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About MagnetiCat

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  1. What makes you think that they planned a specific playtime length or that it even matters. Their games varied radically in length (Full Throttle and Grim Fandango for example), and I think it kind of just depends on the story and the resources they have available. Thanks for the reply. Tim mentioned this in both DFA videos. He mentioned that they were always aiming/asked to aim for 40 hours of gameplay, which was the standard back then. Full Throttle was heavily criticized, and I remember it myself, for being too short in comparison Edit:fixed typo
  2. Yeah, I really think you hit the nail, and this is a way to do things that so few games, even indie games, seem to follow. But it is so refreshing when it happens.
  3. Hello everybody! I have watched with great pleasure all the DFA videos, and one thing that has always intrigued me is hearing experienced adventure game designers talking about how they had to meet certain requirements when it comes to game length when they were working on titles like Monkey Island, Full Throttle (yeah, it was shorter but I loved it), Grim Fandango, and so on. So, a question for Tim,Ron, or anyone in here who has experience with designing and releasing an adventure game. How were you able to "plan" and "test" the length of your adventure games? Did you count the puzzles, looked at the puzzle dependency chart, or just did a lot of play testing? But in the latter case, does this mean you always needed new testers that did not have experience with the game before? Or did it all come just from your experience and intuition? Thanks!
  4. Well, super simple is relative! The project cost 250,000 USD to the developers; it might not be a lot, but for most indie developers it is an impossible sum to have to back your project. The interesting part, though, is that I think they used a system not too different from Moai to develop their game, using C++ with Lua scripting on top. Also the artwork, it is deceptively simple. The awesome Craig Adams actually researched painstakingly for years before he found his unique style; the amazing thing about pixel art is that it looks simple, but to get to have your own style and expressiveness, it takes a lot of research and artistic skills and practice. If you look at the animation sheets of the game, you can see that characters have literally hundreds of animation frames! Then the dialogues (which is the part I liked less in the game) are very sophisticated and written to appeal a certain audience and some marketing requirements (limit of 140 characters, for example). What I want to say is that however you look at it, S&S is not a simple game by any means. It is a very complex, expensive for indie standards, very self-conscious, and always a smart game. What I want to say is that Tim, Ron, and their team can obviously look at S&S as an example of a modern successful adventure game, but they do not need it for what concerns the actual gameplay. The games they have worked on in the past are in my opinion richer, more fun, and even more innovative than the pure adventure game part of S&S. Do not get me wrong: I loved the atmosphere of S&S, I loved the art, some of the music, the sound effects; it is a game that must be praised because it was a bold effort of creating beauty in a market filled with crap or downright evil game design. It is a great interactive/multimedia experience. But the storyline, the puzzle structure/dependency chart, interactivity, and dialogues cannot compare to what we had in games like MI 1 & 2, Grim Fandango, and so on - in my opinion, of course.
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