Author Topic: Musing on Adventure Games  (Read 12642 times)

Intendant S

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2012, 03:55:13 PM »
I'll be honest.  I'm not a huge fan of dead ends.  Deaths are fine.  In fact, some of the Sierra and Infocom deaths are hilarious.  But, it's rather frustrating to get to a certain point in a game only to find out that you forgot to do something.  Leisure Suit Larry 2 is infamous in this regard.  If you don't get the Grotesque Gulp (still one of my favorite inventory items to date) in LA or the sewing kit and wig on the ship, for instance, you die at sea.  It would have been a bit better to get a message stating something like "You have the distinct feeling that you're forgetting something.  Are you sure to want to set sail?"
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SarahLiz

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 04:00:10 PM »
And yeah, no dead ends!

I actually like having dead ends (so long as they aren't just oversights).  If you screw something up really badly, there should be a really bad consequence!  I also think that the player should be warned in some way before they screw up too.

I also like the idea of unwinnable scenarios, but I believe pretty firmly that the player needs to be notified that they have entered such a scenario.  It essentially turns the dead end into another form of death, except that your character doesn't actually die.  But functionally, the need to reload an old save is the same.  I'd have the game pop a message up saying something like "Uh oh, something you've done has created an unwinnable scenario.  You can keep playing if you'd like, but eventually you're going to have to reload and try another path.  Be more careful next time!"  Or something like that.  That way, the player still has to figure out what they did wrong, but won't be stuck wandering endlessly not realizing that there is no way to proceed.

Oh, and in order for it to be really effective, I'd have the message show up on a delay, maybe two or three minutes after the player did whatever it was that put them in that situation.  That way, it's not immediately obvious and requires the player to retrace their actions and think critically about what they have done.



I agree with that, I like to be warned that I'm about to do something stupid to end my life...I don't mind dying in a game though--in fact I kind of prefer it, in part because sometimes there can be humor in a character's demise. Sometimes after I've beaten a game I'll even go back through some of my saved games and see all the ways I can make my character die.  ;)  Besides the graphics issue that I mentioned earlier, a game that can make me bust out laughing is a HUGE bonus.  The narrator (for one) in QFI made me laugh several times, one of the reasons I can't get enough of this game...

Blackthorne

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2012, 04:58:51 PM »
Yeah, dead ends from not getting an item from earlier in the game (that you cannot go back and obtain) are just poor game design.


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rogerxy

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2012, 06:01:47 PM »
Wow, I'm actually very surprised that there are people who like dead ends. I don't think there anything in an adventure game I hate more than that.

Getting killed is another thing, I have mixed feelings about that. Used to hate it but I'm leaning more towards being for it nowadays. And that is because of one single quote from Lori Cole, that things you do shall have consequences (just like in real life), to add excitement. There are of course good and not so good ways to kill off your character.

Punishing the player for wanting to explore and not to everything exactly as described in the walkthrough is a typical not so good way. If you screw up is one thing. Being able to get killed of practically everything in the whole game (like some Sierra games) is another (not so good) one
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 06:04:36 PM by rogerxy »
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Blackthorne

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2012, 06:19:05 PM »
Yeah - you have to be careful not to go overboard with the deaths, but I've always enjoyed them as part of the game experience.  It ups the stakes - from King's Quest I, where that music played, and I knew I had to run away from a wolf, or a wizard!  Having consequences matters, I feel.


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rugged

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2012, 10:36:33 PM »
For me exploration is the key. I love exploring areas and am most happy in an adventure when I have just unlocked a new portion of the game. Story is really important but I think too many games get carried away trying to make really complex storylines. I enjoy games where the story unfolds through exploration and progression. I get frustrated when you  have to read dozens of books in library or go through 28 conversation threads with each npc, to find out about the game world. I think kq series did this well, their were plenty of interesting back story things to be explored if people wanted to but you could finish the game following through a fairly basic story as well

rugged

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2012, 10:39:39 PM »
I also really like the old school score system

Collector

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2012, 03:05:32 AM »
As Josh Mandel has noted, Sierra had two kinds of dead ends. The unintentional ones, which were oversights, and the intended ones that were part of the game play. The later were usually avoidable with a little thought. In KQ5, eating the food in Serenia leads to a couple of dead ends later, but why would someone eat their inventory if there was not some indication that Graham needed to? Dead ends that resulted from not picking up an inventory item earlier in the game from an area that can no longer be accessed is unintentional and is simply bad design.

Lambonius

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2012, 01:02:11 PM »
but why would someone eat their inventory if there was not some indication that Graham needed to?

Maybe because the game talks about Graham getting hungry as he enters the mountains, but gives you multiple options for things to eat, all of which will dead end your game unless you specifically eat the mutton.  ;)  That's really not a good example well-planned dead end.

Like I said, as long as the player is notified at some point after they've entered the dead end state, so they don't endlessly wander trying to find a nonexistent solution, dead ends are no big deal.  But that never happened in the old Sierra games.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 01:04:29 PM by Lambonius »
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rugged

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2012, 03:10:55 PM »
I don't mind dead ends as long as they are planned. I agree though that their needs to be a way of letting the player know that they can no longer win. I would prefer it if this could be worked into the game in some manner rather then just an announcement.

Collector

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2012, 02:57:25 PM »
As I had stated, eating the food in Serenia. I am just remembering some that have complained about that dead end when they had eaten the food in town. The point that you refer to is a point in the game that you do not have to restore too far back to undo the dead end. Of course, there are the people new to Sierra games that only keep one save game, saving their game over and over in the same slot. By the time they need to restore to an earlier point, they no longer have one that goes back to the point they need.

Blackthorne

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2012, 05:51:58 PM »
Hahah, yeah, I learned my lesson on that.  I used to just save a game, and when I saved again, I'd just add a random number or letter to it... like "SavedGame1" of "GotCrackerdd" heh.  I had a lot of strangely named saved games.


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Intendant S

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Re: Musing on Adventure Games
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2012, 06:45:58 PM »
I remember filling floppies with saved games.  I had some...interesting names for saves.
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