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Arch-Stanton

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Everything posted by Arch-Stanton

  1. Did you like Back to the Future? I bought and played literally every TT game up to that point, including the CSI ones, but for some reason Back to the Future just didn't grab me. I enjoyed it, just not memorable.
  2. I don't really treat the new cinematic adventures like a game but more like I would a TV show or movie. I know its going to take me about 2.5 hours, and that I'm going to be entertained by the story, not by the puzzles (more like quicktime decisions, really). 400 days was something quite spectacular, not necessarily because of the story or mechanics, but because its an extremely innovative way to approach storytelling, connected but non-linear in either time or order, but still allowing the viewer to influence the outcome. It was like playing a TV show in all the right ways. But I wouldn't call it an adventure game, really. I do wish we could see another season of their actual adventure games like Sam and Max, or Monkey Island, or even some other new property, but know that they're making megabucks with the new licenses I don't know if those days are coming back. I don't mind, there's plenty of other companies offering adventure games, and I like the community here. Everything changes eventually, and given enough time and success everyone goes corpo.
  3. Preach it brother. The ways DF involves their fans and creates a community are the yin to the yang of TT. Right around the first Walking Dead, it just went to hell. Their PR team is beyond incompetent, they normally don't have release dates for even the tentpole games until sometimes the week of release, and the community team is non-existent. The community mod concept not only doesn't work, it actually highlights the fact that the company can't be bothered to interact with the fans, and expect the fans to sit over in the forums and take care of themselves. The agony and teeth-gnashing of literally 100s of threads on tech support forum from gamers whose PC save system was broken and couldn't play the game months after its release, while a single staffer would swoop in every week or so to tell everyone they "couldn't replicate the problem". The current release disaster of The Wolf Among Us, where the first episode drops in October, and the second episode disappears into the ether (still as of yet unreleased), with 70 odd pages of posts over 3 months begging for an update and total silence from TT until the complaints blew up on reddit, and TT was forced to respond with a "coming soon" update, and then tried to pretend like they were going to respond to the forums that day, anyway. Not to mention they made the first episode free, and there was a 20% price drop on the pre-released game steam, completely undercutting all of the loyal fans who had pre-purchased the game early. I enjoy the games, I for one don't mind the cinematic experience, I think its good their trying something creative and new. But they're putting zero effort into the fan community building that DF thrives on, and it shows.
  4. Bad Dreams #1 will be out next month from Red 5. I believe he also did some writing for Day of the Tentacle. Info hera: http://www.previewsworld.com/Home/1/1/71/920?stockItemID=FEB141419 What you think?
  5. HBO GO is only available to those who have HBO Cable service. Its a bonus for cable subscribers, not a separate service you can subscribe to independently (I wish!).
  6. Yep, that's a prime example of what bagaganoosh posted on the first page about the "4 types of currency" in piracy. I think HBO suffers from this a lot, too, since there's literally no way to get their content unless you have cable service and HBO on top of it. People that WANT to buy the shows can't, so they just get it illegally. I think it speaks a lot to how much DF cares about this whole backer thing, in that they're willing to take the hit to keep their promise to those of us that supported them. I also think this goes to show that the gaming journalists who insisted on publishing reviews because "DF can't tell me what to do" are missing the whole point of trying something completely different with an early games release.
  7. Gaming trends and tastes have changed, but I think the biggest market sales pattern change has been the rise in casual gaming. Back in the 80s and 90s, "casual games" were minesweeper, solitaire, Hoyle's Book of Games, and some bargin bin casino titles, while most traditional PC Games catered to the hardcore crowd. Today, we've seen a huge dollar shift where casual gamers have become a dominating commerical factor, and have to be included in game design considerations. Which leads to creating easier games if you want to capture those buyers. Just curious if there is a way to create a hardcore difficult old school adventure game, that also had some innovative mechanics in it that would allow casual gamers who aren't interested in the potential frustration to also play as well. Instead of a "one size fits all" gaming experience, and adventure game that can be tuned to cater to both ends of the spectrum.
  8. I wouldn't throw out predictions like that so haphazardly. Two years ago, a lot of gamers were absolutely sure that we would "NEVER, EVER, see an RPG like Fallout or Planescape: Torment again". The reality is that you don't have the faintest idea what people will enjoy in 5, 10 or 25 years from now. I wasn't referring to the tastes or appetites of the gamers or the types of games. By "old days" I was referring to the pre-internet era of puzzle-solving aides of hintbooks, 900 numbers, magazines, or gamer word of mouth. I simply meant that information on solving games is almost instantly available now, and there will never be a time in the future where it won't be.
  9. yeah that was an interesting system and worked in that game. for most games that kind of hint in-game would be too breaking-the-4th-wall. but for an actual separate hint-button type hint system that certainly is a nice way of giving it without spoiling it. also the game really needed it cause it was kind of frustrating. That mini-monkey/mega-monkey idea above is something I'd never thought of, but a great idea. Machinarium's hint mini-games sounds like the concept. I just wonder if there's a way to do it that isn't so blantantly "I'm going to go get a hint now", that was more seamless for the 4th wall problem above. Like Day of Tentacle or BA, you switch characters, but one of them is the "hint mode" character. Switch over to them and depending on where you are in the main game, they have a simpler task that may involve them using some of the items or situations from the main quest, or somehow spinning what you may need to do. When I think about Hostmaster games, those can't have been that expensive, and something like that would make a great alt-mode. It would take more writing and work, both because you'd have to implement the second mode, and also because its probably more work to write the more difficult puzzles in the main game to justify it. Anyway, its just a sidechannel. Somebody's going to think of a really creative way to do it soon, I just know there's got to be some way to include those old skool hardcore puzzles... Really, figuring one of those out gives you an insane video game high, and I remember them so fondly because of the true sense of accomplishment when you got done.
  10. #2 is a good question... They may not legally be allowed to report sales like that. I'm pretty sure the entire industry is waiting to see if the 90k backers are the core group of purchasers, or if they're just the first ones through the gate with a larger crowd to come.
  11. Ditto. Dear OP, generally when you're trying to ask an open discussion question, you don't title the post with the answer you're looking for. This ain't TMZ.
  12. I'm really glad to read you guys' responses. I thought we were heading down the path of There's Nothing Wrong With Piracy, while most of you have been pretty quick to point out that piracy is not a good thing, you were discussing more of its true effects, which is great.
  13. That "in-game hint" part is key. Sometimes in-game hints kind of bang you over the head, basically click on the question mark in the corner and it tells you what to do. I remember some of the infocom text adventures had built-in hint systems that were actually a full walkthrough guide you could reference at any point. I kind of liked it, because when you got stuck, you didn't have to leave the game. Also, the hint guide had some great tongue-in-cheek 4th wall humor, along the lines of the "Turn off your computer and go to sleep!" at the end of Monkey Island. Some folks talked about having multiple difficultly levels for the hardcore vs. casual gamers. I think there's some creative ways to keep the same game for everyone, but integrate in some type of guide or hint system that isn't blatantly clicking on "get hint". LA Noire tried some fresh ideas. For example, when you're interrogating someone, you could choose a "hint" option where the game would aggregate what all the other players around the world picked for the correct answer. Not terribly useful, but definitely a fresh take. The way hints are normally set up in games with difficult puzzles, if you use them you blaze through. Hints reduce playtime. What if you flipped that around a bit? So if you're completely stuck, you could flip over to a parallel game/character at a differnet area with much simpler puzzles, their resolution would give you a hint back to the main quest. This way you're not reducing the playtime, you're kind of rewarding the character and letting them "work" at the solution from a different angle. The hardcore players don't have to use the side quest, but if they want to on a second playthrough, well that increases replayability.
  14. I can tell you directly and personally that yes, music sales are and were a very important source of revenue for musicians, not just touring, and that yes, the huge drops in sales in the internet age impact them greatly. The argument that the music industry was corrupt or mismanaged and therefore somehow deserved all the misfortune that befalls it is extremely cynical. At the end of the day, musicians are the foundation, and saying that its OK to steal their work because a record exec isn't managing distribution properly is almost sociopathic. But anyway, that argument has been going around for years, and its easy to justify the morality of any action with a couple hours on google and a handful of stats. And the music industry doesn't matter, its a game here. I will say this, if there's nothing wrong with piracy, then why is it even a concern that the game was leaked? Why doesn't DF just post the game on the website, and let people pay if they feel like it? If the argument that "pirates were never going to buy it anyway, and honest people were always going to pay" is true, then why do we even have retail distribution models in the first place? Its a self defeating argument, if piracy were OK, then there should be no games market. Anarchy is swell and all, but all those employees need to pay for rent and diapers, and several hundred employees workin' away in a development studio on the hopes that when they get done some nice consumer is going to opt to throw a couple dollars their way for being nice don't cut it.
  15. That's a convenient sentiment. I'm not sure what that last phrase means. I'm not sure about games, but I can tell you for a fact that plummeting music sales have made it difficult for mid-tier to smaller bands to support themselves except through touring. And it still causes some pretty major problems for creators in the world of comic books, sales are WAY down compared to the pre-internet era.
  16. I started gaming back in that late 80s era when adventure games could really drive you nuts. Growing up in a very small town, there wasn't a community of peers to trade hints. When I got stuck, I had two options, either convince my parents to let me call the pay per minute 900 number hintline... or buy a hintbook (Remember the ones with those ridiculous special markers, that always dried up the first time you used it and you had to buy another one?). Both the 900 line and the hintbooks were structured to try to prevent spoiling anything other than the immediate puzzle in front of you. Rough outline format, and you dig down to your question, hopefully without picking up any other info along the way that would tip you off on puzzles you haven't gotten to yet. Universal Hint System does something similar now. Playing games in the era of the internet is quite a bit different. There's no barrier to information, when you get stuck, you KNOW the answer is a search engine away, and its free. The problem is the internet isn't a spoiler free place, so bouncing around forums or walkthroughs you can pick up way too much info, video playthroughs are difficult to scan through without picking up TMI, especially for nonlinear stories. Like many other gamers, I have a threshold for "breaking the seal". You always want to complete every game on your own, but after the first time you go externally for info... well, you've already cheated once, right, so why not go back for more info? In the worst case you end up just following the walkthrough to see the end of the game. Going outside the game for info has been a problem since the early days, because it rips you right out of the story. With the modern focus on dramatic narrative, its an even bigger problem, when the game loses its gamer to go look for forum hints, it loses that hard earned momentum for emotional impact. The solution so far has been to simply make the puzzles easy so you can hold the gamer all the way through. Looking at Telltale's modern offerings from the last 2 years, they're basically interactive movies, puzzles never really come into it. A lot of the BA feedback has been the puzzles were too simple, but I think that hard choice was made: make it tough and lose some of the dramatic narrative, or make it easier and lose some of the length and difficulty. Everyone has an opinion, but we all know the old days aren't coming back. Some of the late nights spent banging my head on "Bat Vomit" from Manhunter or how to turn on the water in Monkey II... unless you're a masochist or have a Zen mastery of self control, you're not going to sit in frustration for hours. You're going to google. Which is what a lot of people think kind of pushed adventure games off the top of the hill back in the late 90s, and killed the "hard" adventure games altogether. What do you all think? How do you reconcile modern gamers' requirements for increased dramatic engagement with plain old school head scratching puzzles?
  17. Its true, its not all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, there are some darker moments. I definitely appreciated them, remember I did like the game. But even still, it was very G rated. Remember Snow White and Rapunzel had some downright gruesome moments, too, but they're still fairy tales. And much like those stories, I think the whispy setting and the whimsical and magical characters unintentionally drain out the darker pathos. Sure Vella and Shay were mischevious at times, but far from antagonists, each was doing their best to escape a raw deal. I guess what I meant was its missing some type of sharper hook in the top level description. Like if a friend asked you for a one sentence on what the game's about: Full Throttle - Badass Biker in the Future, Grim Fandango - Detective Film Noir in the Mexican Land of the Dead, Brutal Legend - Roadie in the Land of Metal, Psychonauts - Invading Brains in a Summer Camp for the Mentally Unstable, Broken Age Act I - Fairy Tale Boy and Girl Escape Toy Spaceship and Cupcake Eating Monster. BA is definitely the least wild of the bunch, which is NOT a bad thing, change and evolution are good. It was a great game and great first act. But I, personally, I enjoy a bit more bite. I feel that's coming in Act II. Both Shay and Vella have somewhat resolved their immediately distressing problems, and must now forge their own paths in an unknown situation. That'll draw out a lot more of the inner character of each, and I suspect there will be some darker twists on how that will happen. I really think that Act I was engineered to be excessively saccharine, so it'll make Act II even punchier when it tosses those worlds away. Most coming-of-age tales start with the childish, then introduce a very distressing situation to push them over into the world of adulthood. They never end where they start, and that's where Broken Age Act 2: The Kick in the Ass is coming.
  18. I enjoyed it, its a good game. If I have any complaints, it lacked "edge". The tough bikers of Full Throttle, the classic noir of Grim Fandango, the metal of Brutal Legend, and the mental insanity of Psychonauts... All of these things really serve a slightly skewed worldview that adds a little hint of danger and irreverence to the whole affair. Partially because in each of them the character you play is a bit flawed, a bit shady, and wouldn't think twice about dealing from the bottom of the deck. Raw. BA was very warm and safe, many times I felt like I was playing a children's book. Vella and Shay are both just kind of... nice. Good kids, not the kind that would raise hell or lie their way into a summer camp. Which is fine, I enjoyed it, but didn't lend to much character depth. The art was fine. When I first saw Bagel's work combined with DF's sensibilities, I was immediately thinking we were going to be seeing something rip-roaring, cutting edge character art with wild amazement on each page, like Eric Powell's "Goon". Instead it was a blue spaceship, clouds with little propellers, cabins, beaches. Competently done, but very safe, nothing here wouldn't be at home on the wall of a nursery. It felt like I was remembering pictures from one of my first readers. Put this next to the Brutual Legend art book, and it just doesn't hold the eye. The art was kid-friendly, the difficulty was a little easy, the very light humor, and the themes (especially all the kids toys on the spaceship) made it feel as if this might be a great game to sit down and play through with my kid, but not something I'd bring up around the water cooler at the office with friends who aren't parents. It looks, feels, and plays like a really good child's adventure game. Which I think is the twist. I think its a setup, and Act II is when all hell is going to break loose, and we're going to bookend this tale with that wild art, and the dark irreverent humor cut with a little bit of Badass that Double Fine has been so well known for in the past.
  19. I had the exact same occurence. Mog Choth fell on the right, the splash occured in the center.
  20. Nice surprise on the way to work this morning: http://www.npr.org/2014/01/15/262641032/gamers-asked-to-invest-in-broken-age-part-2
  21. Opinions? Read an interesting article on how they affect indie games: http://www.gamesradar.com/toll-steam-trading-cards-take-indies/ What they do for sales, and how some cards can sell for more than the game is something I never thought of.
  22. Is it already out? I heard Chris talking about it and the game developers music feedback on the composers podcast, and I think there was a music sample was from this game..
  23. http://www.polygon.com/2013/8/15/4622252/plague-of-game-dev-harassment-erodes-industry-spurs-support-groups Double Fine is pretty progressive in terms of social media presence. Thoughts?
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