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About Dexter

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  1. I've provided plenty of criticism when the game came out, my main complaint was and still remains that they didn't deliver what they promised - a classic point-and-click adventure game. Nowhere did it say it'll be a "dumbed down, casual, kid-friendly tablet game". http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/12483/ http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/12906/#325068 Trust me, I know about "the forum" and I've watched all the "highly enjoyable documentary episodes" which were one of the best parts of the campaign. Many people that don't likely come away with an even more negative opinion of all of this. But it isn't just about Broken Age: http://www.destructoid.com/bobby-kotick-destroys-schafer-for-calling-him-a-prick-184931.phtml Almost every word of that proved to be true in retrospect. The head of a German Adventure game studio (making a lot better actual Adventure games), Carsten Fichtelmann also commented on it back in the day, Tim overpromises and overspends, can't keep a time table and underdelivers: It's high time to take off the blinders and rose-tinted glasses and treat Double Fine like any other company out there. EA, UbiSoft or Activision would never get away with anything like that and the "sympathy bonus" that Double Fine had for being "Indie" and "quirky" is gone. There's only so many times someone can call you things that are untrue and act entirely unprofessional while trying to make "fun" of you before you lose any respect for said person. You tell yourself that again and again, obviously what people are saying in some tightly controlled echo chambers is what everyone comes away with. I found this topic in the first place because people were laughing about you and this thread in general, how "pandering to consumers" and "consumer protection" are apparently considered bad things: https://boards.4chan.org/v/thread/291664915/why-do-we-keep-forgiving-double-fine#p291665504
  2. It's a pretty great article imo that sums up the state of Double Fine at the moment. I didn't even buy the Grim Fandango remake after their latest stunts and wonder how long they can still run the company the way they have done so far. Kind of loved Double Fine in their heyday and I own and have played almost every one of their games aside from the Kinect stuff, but the magic seems to be gone and one disappointment follows another. They did Psychonauts, which was one of the best games I've ever played, Brütal Legend which was rather great and Costume Quest and Stacking that were fresh and very enjoyable. I was let down by Iron Brigade (played in CoOp with friends, never finished because if got boring), The Cave (similarly never finished) and Broken Age was also a disappointment and not what was promised. Then they pulled the double KickStarter and Spacebase DF-9 "it's ready to launch - we ran out of money" thing. Then Tim decided to pick a side and take an ample shit on half of his lifelong fanbase in what became GamerGate. Soon after the "Kotick was right." Memes started to flow: http://steamcommunity.com/app/246090/discussions/0/613937306734463495/ http://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2gwor1/tim_schafer_once_again_fails_to_deliver_a/ And now he's just regarded as the sad sock puppet man by the Internet at large: And the guy that made it into Postal 2 through his late failures: http://www.hardcoregamer.com/2015/04/20/postal-2-dlc-blasts-double-fine-portrays-tim-schafer-as-sexual-deviant/145427/ Especially love this one: I'm kind of over Double Fine by now, they had enough chances, instead they decided to party it up with DJ Fish Sticks in San Francisco.
  3. Just thought I'd share: If you don't know about them, they're running a campaign kind of like Amnesia Fortnight allowing five women in game development to pitch their ideas and get their games made with supervision, the studio doing the work also employs largely women like the Director, Producer and Animator of the game as described on the page, voting on which game wins is for everyone and personally I like Afterfall Empire: http://www.thefineyoungcapitalists.com/Voting Their IndieGogo campaign is here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-fine-young-capitalists--2
  4. My votes from the start were Derelict, Dear Leader and What Could Go Wrong, so I very much hope those. I'd be fine with Breach, Steed or Mnemonic possibly replacing one of them though. It's sad that one spot was already filled with a predetermined Pendleton Ward project though, as I have absolutely no interest in any of those.
  5. I would probably beat the average if I could vote for another DF game instead of the Pen Ward things. The pitches sounded more like rants where he was going on and on about "fat guys" and "iOS" than game pitches and too long.
  6. I hear this kind of thing all the time, but from the "reviewers" on the web I think he is one of the most accurate and trustworthy (although he can often be somewhat off in the past few years) despite sometimes thinking that he is *wrong* especially with genres he can't really do much with like RPGs. Who do you "trust"? IGN? GameSpot? Polygon? They're usually part of a well-oiled Advertisement machinery and their words aren't worth the page space they are scribbled on. They wouldn't know how to be honest about something and have a proper opinion nowadays if they tried to. At least he has an opinion and doesn't mince words and embroids them in form of buzzwords like "immersive", "cinematic", "emotionally engaging", "streamlined/accessible", "acclaimed", "visceral" and the likes of bullshit that means nothing and has a clear opinion about the game that he shares. I actually think he went too easy on Broken Age. http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/01/24/translating-gaming-journalism-buzzwords/ Just for reference, this is how he acts when he actually *likes* a game and this actually got me to play Psychonauts in the first place back in the day since I missed when it was released and subsequently become somewhat of a fan of Double Fine: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/2-Psychonauts As other people have also already remarked he even did a few of his own Adventure games resembling Maniac Mansion and probably knows more of what he is talking about in regards to the genre, I think I played the first two and remember liking them overall (they are free): http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/games.htm http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/5days/ http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/7days/ http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/notes/ http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/6days/
  7. That sounds like an awful lot of bad luck, hope everything gets better. As for your question, they delivered the keys via Humble Bundle to the E-Mails that are tied to the KickStarter account so you should have gotten an E-Mail from "noreply@humblebundle.com" with the topic "Broken Age, Act 1" including a link to the key.
  8. It was? Puzzle difficulty and interface design and complexity are certainly the big ones for me, but the more I think about it the more I could "criticize". The sound/music and animation as well as the graphics team probably did the best and it kind of shows in the finished product, but back in the day I was fine with beepity-boops and Stan flailing his arms and jaw around wildly and a lot happier with the increased focus this actually allowed for things that actually matter much more to me like gameplay and puzzles: http://www.reocities.com/timessquare/ring/2270/stan.gif But even if I compare it to how I imagined it might look from the very beginning or when compared to some other games out there I don't think the art style itself is exactly the best I have seen but "just good". It seems to be lacking that certain je ne sais quoi that I imagined it might end up having from looking at some of Bagels work: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_f3CF_YOanKs/S_S-VN3e9iI/AAAAAAAAA7A/eRR1mV6hLfg/s1600/commutinggiant.jpg http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_f3CF_YOanKs/S_S-VTxb6TI/AAAAAAAAA7I/llMVVjakeA4/s1600/fairy.jpg http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_f3CF_YOanKs/S_S-WTJKcSI/AAAAAAAAA7Y/-ubSxrIhCQ4/s1600/Moon+Framed.jpg And even despite not having as many dynamic elements moving in the screen, not being placed on a 3D plane with Parallax or employing things like real-time shadows and reflections I think I actually still enjoy the art style in Daedalics games more. http://mehm.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/tww-1024x580.jpg http://estatico.aventuraycia.com/imagenes/the-dark-eye-chains-of-satinav-362048.jpg http://www.daedalic.de/images/screenshots/Deponia_Screenshot_02_en.jpg In regards to the tone of the game it lacks many of the morbid and/or interesting elements that I found in old Lucas Arts games. I brought this up before. Things that I can still remember from Monkey Island include: http://abload.de/img/23-somi_1555ogo6r.gif http://static1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120426130134/monkeyisland/images/8/8b/26-mi_26_24.gif If I'd have to describe it I'd say it has too much honey, not enough vinegar. I also realized another thing that somewhat bothered me about the game I couldn't quite put my finger on (since I overall kind of liked the art and sound design), which was the world building. In most other Lucas Arts games I can remember (Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Loom, Indiana Jones, The Dig, Grim Fandango...) it seemed like you were in a coherent world and there were a lot of areas with specific themes - the islands in Monkey Island for instance felt a lot different from one another and distinct but still familiar (and sometimes the area maps helped with this) while in Broken Age it kind of felt like they had thrown something together to get it done. There were like 3 screens of Sugar Bunting (outside, inside the house and then the sacrifice) - for instance I would have expected to explore the town first and possibly doing some tasks for its inhabitants as a short introduction to the game like helping to bake the cake or putting together a costume, learning to know the town and its culture building up to the crescendo for the big event surrounding the sacrifice and how Vella sees it, instead I barely even got to know her family and that entire area was a huge missed opportunity for character building. There were 7 screens of cloud colony that seemed to be built out the most aside from the spaceship but again there seemed to just be people there standing around waiting for you to talk to them and give you stuff (where do they even live, there were no houses or anything?). Then you were suddenly thrown into the woods that they had used for their initial art tests encompassing 3 screens that really didn't fit in all that much with the rest of the world and there was the fishing town including the Temple of the One Eyed God (I kind of got somewhat of a Monkey Island feeling during this part, but very brief - as was this whole area) and the space ship was entirely separate with like a dozen or so screens in most of which you didn't get to do all that much. Not much of these really fit together very coherently as a whole.
  9. In regards to who this game is for, I think definitely for a somewhat younger audience. I know there are people that are claiming the game has some sort of deep-seated meaning and whatnot but I don’t really see much more of that in the game than you could find in your usual children’s cartoon show (at least those through the 90s). That aside they even largely strayed away from the more morbid elements of say “Monkey Island”. People say there is “ritual sacrifice” in the game but it is a lot more sugared up as a cake party and the way it is all depicted as very jovial makes me think it was intended for a younger audience and people could as well be saying that Sesame Street is for adults since there are “deeper themes” in it and even horrible monstrosities like the “cookie monster”. Meanwhile Monkey Island had you digging up the dead (or burying people alive), Voodoo witchcraft, cannibalism and had these sorts of elements that kind of gave you the creeps making me think that the games were meant for people about the age of Guybrush himself, most of which are missing entirely from Broken Age: Tim Schafer additionally said they are apparently targeting an "E for Everyone": http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/12638/#322951 Down to your next point, I don’t think that „classic Adventure game“ is hard to define at all, in fact I think it is possibly the easiest thing ever since even the initial KickStarter video itself included all the references you could possibly need (if it didn’t, just imagine the most popular games in the genre which usually come down to LucasArts and SIERRA anyway with some other contenders like AdventureSoft): 0:37 – Grim Fandango (also notice the posters afterwards – Grim Fandango, The Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle) 1:32 – Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island 2:28 – Depicted are again Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango 3:20 – Old-school Adventure feature As for defining Adventure games, they are usually a Mix of story, puzzles, characters and writing as the cornerstones of the genre. Wikipedia describes it as: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_game Graphic adventures largely developed from Text adventures, there is a short “documentary” of sorts exploring this and the growth of the genre, although the fifth part is lacking: http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/6621/ The term was largely coined and popularized by the first King’s Quest in 1984: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_graphic_adventure_games There are various sub-genres, most notably Puzzle Adventures or First Person Adventure/Puzzle games that have largely arisen from Myst (which kind of created the genre) and encompass titles like Portal, Dream, Homesick, Montague’s Mount, Obduction, Ether One, Kairo, The Witness, XING and so on today. I’d find it very hard to describe many of these as “classic Adventure games”. They often sacrifice story and characterization in favor of puzzles. The second note-worthy sub-genre are Interactive movies and FMV (full motion video) games that have largely started with Dragon’s Lair in 1983 and got especially popular through the 90s with titles released on CD-ROMs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_interactive_movies There are still some games produced today like Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls or even The Walking Dead games that loosely fit this sub-genre. They often sacrifice puzzles in favor of story and characters. The third is “Action Adventure”, which is kind of a broad term of games that generally combine things like inventory and puzzles but largely focus on Action gameplay, the primary example being “Tomb Raider”. A lot of Adventure games like say Broken Sword or Alone in the Dark tried to go and “evolve” in this direction through the 00s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action-adventure_game In regards to Broken Age, I’d say it definitely fits the definition of an “Adventure game”, but it is more an “Adventure game Lite” with a focus on the Casual and tablet market similar to titles like Botanicula, Machinarium, Kentucky Route Zero, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery which Tim specifically called out as inspiration and doesn’t have all that much in common with the “classics” as many people hoped it would: http://www.gamespot.com/videos/broken-age-rethinking-a-classic-genre-for-the-mode/2300-6415966/ They even have “Casual” as a genre descriptor on the Steam store and I don’t think they did that as a mistake: http://store.steampowered.com/app/232790/
  10. Considering that it sold over 10 Million copies and was one of the main reasons publishers were poking other developers and pointing them to those numbers saying “Hey guys, why don’t you make an Adventure game like that?" producing a large number of Myst-clones up to today I highly doubt that number: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/oct/18/myst-creators-cyan-inc-launch-kickstarter/ That said, this is why I don’t think developers should pay that close attention to metrics when it comes to things like “how many people have finished our game” or similar, I discussed this about 2 years ago here: http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/6790/P125/#215136 The simple matter of it is, they can tell you how far someone has gotten in a game, but they can’t tell you how much fun they’ve had or what the reason was if they don’t continue. I also used this example back then of playing Super Meat Boy for over 15 hours and damn I had some fun with that game even though I never finished it (I might some day). Similar with a lot of console games in the past, I think there were quite a lot I never actually finished, things like Battletoads or some of the Super Mario games but I had fun playing them for hours and hours. On the other hand, something that you can finish in 3-4 hours but never challenges you gives you stats that say “a high number of people finished our game” but never how much fun they’ve had doing so due to any lack of challenge. I can see from your posts that you apparently didn’t like Myst, I believe I tried a demo briefly of a few of these kind of games and never got into them because they seemed all puzzle at the expense of story, characters, humor and many other elements I liked about other Adventure games (and they were 3D to boot), but I would never dream to for instance back their new Obduction game and tell them to make a Lucas Arts Adventure game instead because I really liked those which is kind of somewhat happening here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cyaninc/obduction They still seem to be having a solid user base to fund a new game and I might even play it down the line, given that it will have Oculus Rift support and that is probably the one thing in gaming I am looking forward to the most at the moment. And that’s your prerogative and I’m happy for you, go ahead and play all the tablet and mobile phone games you like, I believe some near effortless ones have already been brought up in this thread: Kentucky Route Zero, Botanicula, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery. They are all reminiscent of old Adventure games somehow but really aren’t, they are Casual tablet games and you might have fun. There isn’t exactly a lack of developers appealing to that kind of market overall. In fact nowadays, you’d find articles even saying that gaming consoles are dead in favor of tablets getting more commonplace. If a player ends up not liking a game and he quits, then he quits. You can never satisfy everyone and that is a reality of any sort of creative endeavor. I was just very much hoping that a KickStarter banking itself on making a “classic” and “old-school” game with pictures of Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island and Grim Fandango used as motivation (There’s even a verb use scene in the KickStarter video, ) and how much Adventure gaming fans have been overlooked over the years and publishers wouldn't want to have anything to do with it (I believe they would be very open to Casual games, in fact they were buying casual gaming companies like crazy a few years back) might actually want to end up making a classic/old-school Adventure game.They promised one thing and delivered something different. It’s an okay game and I’m not really in any way sorry I backed, but not resembling what they made a lot of people believe. I’m sure you would think similar if you backed a game in the hope that you’d get Angry Birds and it turns into an impossible Jump&Run; like Battletoads or if you backed a “classic RPG” and got something reminiscent of Mass Effect 3 instead (or the other way around). And I think you are looking at this the wrong way, there is nothing keeping you from picking up and playing some great Adventure games if you want to play them, try starting with something newer like the Monkey Island: Special Editions with Hint systems and/or Telltale games, Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded if you are into that then something like Loom or The Dig might be candidates and work your way back through the catalogue of Steam and GoG. There isn’t anyone keeping you (or anyone else) out with a lock and as I said before I managed to play some of these games back when I was like 8-10 (I think Simon the Sorcerer was one of my first PC Adventure games and to this day I still think the second part is one of the greatest ever made ), sometimes even despite not understanding English (I actually learned most of my English from playing Adventure games and RPGs). Are you trying to tell me that you are more “idiotic” than a 8-10 year old with a language impediment? And personally I don’t want any “niche-y” clubs or whatever you are implying. I don’t care how many people end up playing them (if 10+ Million as Myst did, which was certainly not the easiest game or just 500.000, but I’m sure Double Fine would think different). I just want some more games that I can properly enjoy again. I don’t think I will get many of them if even a KickStarter specifically saying it will make such a game fails to deliver and designs it to be, as you put it “idiot proof”. I also don’t think that trying to do something caught between two markets and not fully satisfying either is the best way to get there or get those sales and I brought up my case in regards to that in the opening post itself. You are not going to sell many Casual gamers on the promise of playing an Adventure game if they generally don't like them and you aren't going to sell many Adventure games to Adventure gamers on the promise of it being a Casual game with hardly any challenge. This likely goes for your comic example too. I'm not sure what this "welcoming" rhetoric is lately, I either want to read a book because it seems interesting or I don't, I either want to watch a TV series or movie or I don't. I see it the same with games and I stopped reading comics long ago because there seemed to be more worthwhile things to do. A red carpet and a *this is for you* cake with my name on it will hardly change my opinion one way or the other. If I were in your place and actually wanted to play more Adventure games I would go out there and do it, if I didn't I wouldn't.
  11. I'd also like to chime in and bring up Emerald City Confidential since it is often overlooked when talking about Wadjet Eye Games, it is their only game made in Cooperation with a Publisher (PlayFirst) and rather charming, it was certainly a surprise since I went into it thinking I wouldn't end up liking it and enjoyed it quite a bit. It looks somewhat like a "Casual game" (and was probably intended as one given the publisher, but ironically ended up being less so than Broken Age) and that was what I expected. It doesn't use multiple verbs and only one interaction, but the puzzles were at least somewhat challenging still and you got a bunch of items and later even spells that you could use to interact with your environment. It plays in the world of "The Wizard of Oz" and was pretty good when it came to the characterization of the persons you meet, as well as convincing in its world building. You play as a sarcastic private detective that is working some cases and stumbles into something bigger, somewhat of a Mix between Discworld and Discworld Noir even if it didn't quite reach that level.
  12. I disagree, I think the main audience for Broken Age (or at least the audience due to which a lot of design decisions were made) are tablet and possibly mobile phone users, the themes of the game overall also seem ever so slightly more “childish” than most Lucas Arts Adventures and it put more focus on things like Animations and cut scenes over gameplay. Most of the SCUMM games were about on the same level of difficulty as the Daedalic games nowadays. Maybe with slightly more intuitive puzzles overall. Adding choices and possibilities for the player to think about and make adds complexity, so did the verbs. The player also actually had to think about what to do and if it makes sense other than use interact and seeing what it does. For instance he had to get the idea of using the pot as a helmet and it didn’t just happen on interact. Without context you have no idea how your character is going to react, if he will try to push something out of the way, eat it, pick it up or throw it or just say something sarcastic and move on. Although there is a certain balance and quite many of them lived off of the humor delivered that way, yet again I found the way the solved this interesting. Their UI hid the the options that didn’t apply to an object and would lead to the frustrating “I can’t use that here” responses, and yet I still needed 10+ hours to solve them (about the same as most Daedalic games). There are various Adventure games I played or (re)played recently and it doesn’t as much have to do with being young as it does with the design of the game.That is another argument that people bring up tirelessly to invalidate criticism about “nostalgia clouding your judgment” and making you think games were better than they were when in fact they were just brilliant games and didn’t feel the need to handhold you. I've played Fallout for the first time in 2009 and still thought it was brilliant and better than Fallout 3. I played Loom for the first time when it turned up on Steam, and while it was short and different I still thought it was brilliant. I don't think Broken Age has the right stuff to become such a classic. We did discuss this point in regards to verbs at length over here though: http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/8341/P50/#304495 BA uses a context sensitive one-click-does-all kind of system mostly employed in Casual tablet or some Flash games. They’re just a simple small step away from turning the game into a click-through Adventure book, which would be “streamlining” away even the inventory and automatically using objects where they are supposed to, Amanita Designs already did this with some of their games: That was kind of my point I was hoping to convey. tl;dr of the Post is: - No, Adventures didn’t die because of complexity (STOP SAYING THIS!) but because of consoles making more money, the whole field either forced to retool by publishers or reduced to a niche and the whole audience got neglected in favor of more popular games. Another consideration was indeed Myst, which took a lot of focus from the genre trying to catch lightning in a bottle again - Be true to what you want to make, do the best possible and stick with it instead and an audience will come, try to design a game for some “profitable audience” and you might just destroy a genre Double Fine already somewhat did this previously by calling The Cave an Adventure game, when it was a pure Jump&Run; with story bits. - Even if you have to, at least make sure to design for the more fitting platform or audience and port down from there (with an ingenious hint system, choice of difficulty or any other way), if you are bothered with appealing to the lowest common denominator (both design-wise with tablets and mobile phones and puzzles for people that don’t actually like Adventure games) it will usually not turn out very great You have simplified my argument quite a lot to suit yours, here let me try: I don’t get why Baldur’s Gate/Fallout isn’t a classic Lucas Arts Adventure game It has dialogue trees. It has an inventory system. It allows the player to combine items. It is playable per point & click It lacks action/reflex requiring sequences. Also 2D and occasionally funny. That’s also kind of an oxymoron, Adventure games haven’t ever been particularly “hardcore” games, but more for people of all walks of life with some time and a penchant for solving puzzles and stories. They don’t really require much skill or reflexes aside from being willing to take a bit of time to think about solving a puzzle. It kind of sounds silly to me like talking about "hardcore" Bejeweled/Angry Birds/Windows Solitaire/Tetris players. For that matter, Loom got around this and being a small game with new, fresh and clever design, it did effectively have "verbs" in the form of the drafts: http://strategywiki.org/wiki/Loom/Drafts There's even a "Open/Close" one very early on as eced or dece (you could turn spells around by playing notes backwards, which was also somewhat of an ingenious idea and at least made you think somewhat as to what drafts you've already got and might have an opposite effect, for instance "Wake" was the opposite of "Sleep"). It's just that they've replaced all the usual verbs and inventory requirements with drafts that you can put together with the notes you gradually get throughout the game. They might as well have had a bunch of verbs greyed out that procedurally un-grey as you gain levels and pick up new spells to your inventory and had the music play by itself if they were less creative about it. Neither are they today, I (and apparently many other people: http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/12348/ and even reviewers) find it too simplistic because it is and because of its mechanics, not because I “think” it is.
  13. Huh, turned out all that text was too long for just one Post, anyway. Now here’s the thing that I don’t understand, why would you do something like this? Why would you try and design a game that is different enough for the core audience to possibly lose interest while hoping that an audience that has previously had no interest and apparently dismissed said games would suddenly flock to them instead of continuing to play what they like? Where is the business sense in trying to alienate one market that likes your products in the hopes of maybe, possibly grabbing another that doesn’t? Which in the case of Broken Age seems to not be the 3D Action gamers primarily playing on consoles like it was back in the day, but Casual gamers playing on tablets and mobile phones. Why not just decide to either make a proper Adventure game or a 3D Action game or a Casual game and satisfy one market fully and hope this will expand it instead of trying both and satisfying neither? Games like Botanicula, Kentucky Route Zero or Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery and even Machinarium, which Tim has repeatedly brought up in past Interviews as possible role models or inspiration for Broken Age (especially that last one, which he apparently played on iPad) were conceived as either Casual games for tablets or as Flash browser games and never pretended to be anything else, while the promise of a “classic” or “old-school” Adventure game raises entirely different expectations in people that have played and enjoyed those a lot. In the Joystiq interview he said under Lucas Arts they always had to apologize for making Adventure games by saying that it’ll have “biker fights” in it or that it will “be in 3D” and now that he had the chance to do just that, they removed a large part of what makes Adventure games out. The art is there and pretty great, the sound design (music and voiceover) was there and great, although that was never THE staple of classic Adventure games which often came along with merry synthesized tunes and no voice acting and the characters, story and locations are somewhat there, although they didn’t quite have the time to be built out enough and were not used to their full potential (very few hot spots and puzzles or content at all per screen). It is hard to tell with only half of the game, but where is the rest? Where is the gameplay? For large parts of the game I ironically felt somewhat like Shay is supposed to feel in the beginning. Imprisoned by a well-meaning AI to keep him safe and not let him think for himself, afraid that he might do something wrong if he is let off the leash while he is yearning for some challenge and adventure with the only place where I got slightly stuck being only because I had given the game too much credit and expected to have to pick a certain falling fruit up with a bucket or a net or something else while I failed to notice that the area right below extends both to the right and the left. Personally I’ve never had much of a problem with playing a bunch of the 90s Adventures at the time. I was barely 10 when doing so and didn’t exactly have a very firm grasp of language quite yet. I managed to get through them and if I ever got stuck for very long I tried asking for help, did things like drawing a map for “Woodruff” because I kept getting lost with all the screens or went on the Internet and looked up the solution at some point. It wasn’t really a problem and should be even less of a problem now. The thing that I don’t get the most is that both “markets” could be potentially satisfied too, the games could be as “hard” as ever for those that enjoy it and could still remain accessible for newcomers. For instance I personally liked the way they solved this in the Monkey Island: Special Edition games with the Hint system they implemented: It was a three-tiered hint system with a not-so-obvious, obvious, and “DO THIS!” type of hint for each puzzle that could be brought up when someone got stuck. So the puzzles could remain as “hard” as they were back in 1990/1991 and if people got stuck they either had the decision to stay stubborn and push on till they got behind the logic and solved the puzzles without any hints and if they just couldn’t bother with them they didn’t need the Internet or a Walkthrough but just displayed the Hint as to what they have to do. Another added enticement to not use any Hints was an Achievement that you got by playing through the game without using any hints or less than ten hints. All I was mainly hoping for with this game was another enjoyable Adventure game in the style of the old LucasArts games (Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Sam&Max;: Hit the Road, Full Throttle or even Grim Fandango) and while it’s “not bad” overall it is anything but. The Germans, like Daedalic Entertainment, KING Art or Deck 13 as well as some other developers/publishers like Wadjet Eye Games seem to mainly have the right idea in regards to this at the moment, since they are still producing Adventure games and seem to be doing well enough to expand their business and to be getting bigger by organically growing the market with more exposure and interest despite not dumbing down their games. The only thing often missing from them is the charm and story/character design of some of the classic Lucas Arts and SIERRA games, as well as very often the lack of a sense of humor.
  14. Seeing as this seems to pop up very often, was somewhat discussed in this late Interview in regards to Broken Age: http://www.joystiq.com/2014/01/17/super-joystiq-podcast-081-tim-schafer-interview-broken-age-ri/ And it seems to be at the root of most of the complaints in regards to Broken Age, even amongst people that overall liked it (easy puzzles, too brief, too simplified to somewhat of an “Interactive story/click-through Adventure book” experience) I thought about bringing this up to discuss separately. There seems to be this somewhat malicious argument that pops up in regards to Adventures of complexity somehow being bad. A lot of people seem to realize and bring up that the puzzles were too easy, but never without relativization or at least adding how wholly understandable that should be for today, in some of the reviews so far: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2089242/broken-age-act-one-review-kickstarters-darling-is-a-charming-shallow-half-game.html http://www.pcgamer.com/review/broken-age-act-1-review/ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-01-16-broken-age-act-1-review Or even on this very forum in various posts: http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/12003/#317094 http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/12003/#317152 It’s usually in connection to a rather old, sarcastic article from ~2000 as to why “Adventure games died”: http://www.oldmanmurray.com/features/77.html For me, this isn’t anywhere near the truth of the matter, having grown up largely throughout the 90s with Adventure games being my favorite of genres, I can tell you that this wasn’t the reason at all and is somewhat of a redaction of history based on a single article that seems to get brought up in defense of bad game and puzzle design far too often. Similarly to how it was done retroactively to RPGs, for instance by saying that using turn-based systems and a top-down view was only done due to the technological limitations of the time and they’ve since “evolved” (this is by a company that is producing two such games now) or that strategy games are apparently not contemporary anymore (despite turning out that the actual strategy game sold better for them than the Reboot and some of the best-selling franchises for SEGA at the moment are strategy games). The main reason they “died” as a genre that I see is the same reason why some people seem upset over certain parts of Broken Age right now that turned out less than perfect and is often a matter of “I HAVE NEVER ASKED FOR THIS” and believed profit interests that pushed the genre to “evolve” into what it wasn’t in the hope that it will gain additional market base in a time when console games on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 were gaining popularity and Adventure games were still selling, but didn’t exactly bring the desirable Return of Interest for investors. An assortment of such games that effectively ended up killing their series until much later, some of which had a previously rich lineage in being some of the leading Adventure games defining the genre isn’t hard to find: In order: Simon the Sorcerer 3D (2002), Escape from Monkey Island (2000), Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (2003), King's Quest: Mask of Eternity (1998), Gabriel Knight 3 (1999), Quest for Glory V (1998), Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare (2001), Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude (2004), Fahrenheit (2005) And from an Interview from 2002 in regards to this: http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/17561/page2 And also pointed out on video much later:
  15. Anything in an UI that makes it harder to perform a certain task is unnecessary. Take for instance an example for a use-case regarding this feature: I am in a room with 5 hotspots and want to knife 5 items to see what the knife has to say. A somewhat optimal UI would allow me to go into the inventory once, pick the knife and then click on the 5 items in sequence with it. An even better UI wouldn't even require me to enter the inventory, since I could bring up the knife by scrolling the mouse wheel and doing the same. The current control scheme requires you to: Click the button at the bottom left (or alternatively the inventory button), ClickDrag the knife from the inventory on the first item, listen to what is being said, click the button at the bottom left again, ClickDrag the knife on the second item, listen to what is being said, click the button at the bottom left again, ClickDrag the knife on the third item, listen to what is being said, click the button at the bottom left again, ClickDrag the knife on the fourth item, listen to what is being said, and finally click the button at the bottom left once again, ClickDrag the knife on the fifth item and listen to what is being said one more time. See how that might get annoying quick and how the other option might just be a tad better? In the first case you just have the item sticky to your cursor and go from item to item, the mouse movements required to do so are minimal at best, once down left to open the inventory (preferrably no click required), once over the item and click (or skipping even that by using the scrollwheel) then just the way it takes to each item. The alternative requires you to go to the bottom left, click, pick the item in the inventory by navigating right, then ClickDragging it onto an item all across the screen and repeating the whole process as many number of times as it requires.
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