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GenoForPrez

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  1. Hello, I am Anemone's secret alter ego. He neglects me. Note the join date! I'VE BEEN STALKING YOU ALL THIS WHOLE TIME.
  2. Hello, I am Anemone's secret alter ego. He neglects me. Note the join date! I'VE BEEN STALKING YOU ALL THIS WHOLE TIME.
  3. I don't think this is something that would be easily accomplished, and I doubt that any answers a person might come up with could be easily applied to all other adventures games for instant replayability, but it is a fun thought experiment. One really specific idea that might work, though it would require an extremely BioWare-level complicated dialogue system... I really like the board game (and movie!) Clue, and I really like adventure games about mystery. So I have tried to imagine a couple of times what the game Clue might be like if it were an adventure game. The big obstacles would be narrative, because depending on the murderer, the weapon, and the room, the different characters would interact with the player and other characters differently (or at least I would imagine they would at least a little bit). So that could get quickly out of hand. However! From a pure gameplay point of view, it multiplies the number of experiences you can have. Just like Maniac Mansion multiplied the number of experiences you could have via a combination of possible characters and possible skills, this would multiply the number of possible experiences by the number of NPCs, weapons, and rooms to explore and choose from. The advantage this has over Maniac Mansion, though, is that with MM you are choosing the character combination upfront, and thereby setting the parameters for the experience up front. So the player can choose their "dream team" and just replay the game they already know how to win every time they play the game. But with Clue approach, the game secretly/randomly chooses the clue combination upfront, and the player's guessing of the combination is the game-ender. So unlike Maniac Mansion, the player isn't setting the parameters themselves, so it is impossible for the player to know what experience they are going to have every time. But the big problem with that is story and dialogue. It cold get waaaay out of hand, so I'm not sure how possible something like that actually is.
  4. You don't have to agree with me. I'm just glad enough you can at least kinda see where I'm coming from. It would be a difficult thing to apply a standard rule to, which is part of the difficulty of describing what I mean. Any example I try to give is almost always very specific to that example and can't really be taken and iterated to make infinite other puzzles. I hate to drag out the old cliche, but "It's more like a guideline than a rule".
  5. Just checked out American Dawn. Looks awesome! And apparently it's going to be freeware?! That's mighty generous!
  6. It's not so much that I think they need to be entirely information-less, I just think the information they are filled with should be the game's native information, not general trivia. I'll go into more details in my answer to the next quote. I think problem-solving is a kind of puzzle, at least in terms of a video game, where the number of possible solutions is limited by the solutions the developers have given to you. In real life, I can solve a rubik's cube, or I can break it with a hammer, or I can remove and rearrange the stickers; but if it were a rubik's cube in a video game, I can only do with it what the game parameters ALLOW me to do with it, so it is really a puzzle at the end of the day. The trick is to avoid making it a "guess what the developer was thinking" puzzle and have the solution be challenging but intuitive. I was hoping to express my agreement with your "problem-solving" point when I said that puzzles could also be like a (problem solving), not just like a rubik's cube. Speaking of Portal, Valve is actually exceptionally good at putting into their Half-Life series.If you look at another famous point-and-click like Myst. There is no trivia in that game world because it's not even in the same universe as our world. So all of the artifacts you interact with in that game have to have an internal logic of their own that just makes sense, or else any special knowledge needed must be available somewhere else in the game. One of my favorite examples of this is in the game Riven, where the D'ni have their own number system that you have no way of deciphering at first. However, when you get to the D'ni village, one of the little D'ni huts is actually a school, and on one of the tables is a children's game. There is a piece that displays a D'ni number that works as a dice roll, and whatever number is displayed, a little effigy of a man lowers X number of clicks into a shark's mouth. All you have to do is roll and count the clicks, which tells you what symbol stands for what number. You can just count the clicks for all ten numbers (i.e., 0 - 9); but the number system is also a geometric code, so you can just figure out 2 or 3 of them and solve the rest if you want. (This also makes it easy to remember, so you don't have to write it down.) Once you have the number system figured out, you can crack all the passwords for the spinning domes. The opposite of this approach---the "trivia" approach---would be to do something like, "The numeric password for this spinning dome is the exact date on which Abraham Lincoln was assassinated." I don't like that idea NEARLY as much. Or if we go back to the example of the wine, it could be something as simple as having a funny dialogue sequence earlier in the game in which someone makes reference to the phenomenon. Then later in the game, when you have the wine, you can remember that dialogue sequence from earlier in the game and feel clever for remembering. If the information you need can be discovered in the process of doing the problem-solving puzzle itself, that also works. For example, in Machinarium you discover a funnel and a bucket of paint and you need to get into a door a guard has just walked into. The information you discover in the course of the puzzle is that things you dip in the bucket of paint become painted and that you can manipulate the pattern/color of the paint using other objects. The knowledge you were given previously (just moments before) is that guard helmets are funnel-shaped and blue. So the problem-solving puzzle is this: How do I use this bucket of paint to make this funnel look like a blue guard hat? But all of the knowledge you need is right there in game. Maybe that is a better example. But, in short, the test of the problem-solving puzzle is still what you DO with that knowledge you have of the game world. A situation that merely tests "Do you know this science/history/etc fact?" is still a trivia challenge in my book.
  7. Oh yeah! I forgot about FTL! Thanks for the reminder. Very curious what's going on there. Apparently there was an OnLive demo event, but I missed it. Blast. I love the idea and I'm really excited about it. I'm curious to see whether DF jumps on board and posts the KIF badge on their kickstarter page. I think since DF were kinda the ones that ignited kickstarter fever, it would be a huge high five to Fargo and his idea.
  8. There have been games trying to get funding through kickstarter since before the DFA, but the success of the DFA has directly inspired more of them and created a surge in the ones that were already there. Like some others, I am now sort of addicted to finding new projects to support and then refreshing the hell out of the page to watch the funding rise. The two big ones I keep hearing about now that the DFA kickstarter is closed are the Wasteland 2 kickstarter and the Banner Saga kickstarter. Has anyone found any other interesting kickstarters lately? Have you contributed to any others?
  9. Re: Hint systems The hint systems that let you ask for progressively better hints is one good way of dealing with hints without spoiling the game, but PopCap and Valve have also made use of adaptive messaging in their games for hint systems and/or tutorials, and I think that's the best way to handle it. For example, In HL2:Ep 1, when you are trying to escape from the underground area and you need to solve the power supply problem to the elevator, the player can just figure it out on their own, but the game monitors how much time has passed since the player entered that room and whether or not the puzzles has been solved yet. If too much time goes by, then Alyx offers the first vague hint. After that, you can get more hints from her upon request. The more hints you request, the more direct she gets, ultimately just telling you exactly what to do if you prod her enough. (They are a lot more smooth about it in the dialogue, though. If she has to give you the answer, it just plays out as if Alyx figures it out before you do. It doesn't treat you like you're stupid, which is important.) When you look at something like Plants vs Zombies, if you are a long time player and are familiar with tower defense games, there is a lot about PvZ that you probably didn't have to be taught, but certain things are not so obvious to newer players. For example, there are adaptive messages in the game to provide you with hints and help if you place too many plants toward the right side of the screen when you're first starting out. But if you don't do this, you never see those messages and probably never knew they existed until just now. By using both of these, I think it's possible to get a really good but unobtrusive hint system in there that doesn't ruin the fun of people who don't need it. That wasn't a point-and-click game...?? It was a puzzle game, but it was a physics/platformer sort of puzzle game...???? Intelligence isn't content; it's process. A puzzle that tests your intelligence should be a puzzle that puts your thought process to test. Something that tests your special knowledge on a certain topic is really just indirectly presenting you with a trivia question, which is not the same thing as a puzzle, in my opinion. It's still a brain thing, but it's testing your knowledge, not your intelligence. A puzzle is more something like a Rubik's cube or a Portal chamber, and that's the sort of thing I would want out of a puzzle. I don't consider Jeopardy questions puzzles.
  10. I think I agree with SurplusGamer on this one. The point here isn't whether or not puzzles requiring special knowledge are good puzzles or not. The point is solvability. And even Tim Schafer has expressed agreement with this idea in lamenting the fact that the infamous "monkey wrench" puzzle was unsolvable to players outside the US, where a monkey wrench is called a "spanner". You can't just say that such a person is stupid and needs to use Google just because no one in their country calls it a monkey wrench. That is absolutely an oversight or design flaw in a puzzle. But if there is some way of acquiring the necessary information in game, such as an NPC that gives out progressively more helpful clue responses, etc, then it's not a problem. Those players who have the special knowledge can just solve the puzzle and feel good about it. Those who didn't have the special knowledge can go get it, then solve it, and not have to get stuck until they consult an outside source. The knowledge puzzle would still be in the game just as it ever would have been, so I don't see what the problem with this would be.
  11. I agree with you on the environmental puzzles. I love those (assuming they make some sort of sense). But with dialogue and inventory puzzles... I don't know. I guess I would have to see the puzzle in question to be sure. Adventure games use those a lot, and they are a staple to the genre, so I want there to be some of that, but to me those never really feel like puzzles. Usually you're just kinda trying stuff until something works, or else someone just gives you a clue that you should use inventory object A on inventory object B, and then you do, and it's over. There's not really any headscratching going on. I understand the concern. It's an adventure game and not a puzzle game. I guess it's just a matter of what our favorite kinds of puzzles are. For me, personally, I like the more logic-oriented ones. Like Ron Gilbert said in one of the recent videos: when you fail to solve a puzzle in a game, it should ideally feel more like "Oh, pfft, I should have figured THAT out" and not so much like "How was I supposed to know that?! That's dumb?!" And in my personal experience, I associate logical puzzles more with the former and the dialogue/inventory puzzles with the latter. Dialogue and inventory puzzles can be sort of arbitrary, and I'm not a big fan of that in huge doses.
  12. If the puzzle isn't a logic (math) puzzle, and if it isn't a visual puzzle, what kind of puzzle are you thinking of? Taking away logic and visuals kills about 99% of all puzzles I've ever done in a game.
  13. You are not limited to any particular decade. Out of all the point-and-click adventures you have ever played on anything ever, what puzzle was the best of the best? What puzzle stands out in your memory as zomg-that-puzzle? I'll kick it off with my most memorable: Game: Riven (Myst II) Puzzle Location: Main Dome Island Puzzle Objective: Map the locations of all spinning domes in the world of Riven. The map grid puzzle on the Main Dome Island is one of the most genius but complicated puzzles I can remember doing in a point-and-click. For those who never had the pleasure, the world of Riven consists of several islands that you hop around via little roller coaster cars (video). Each of the islands has a spinning golden dome on it, which you can get inside of by hacking a sort of password puzzle. Once inside, there is a sort of viewfinder puzzle (screenshot) that reveals to you a symbol. It's not immediately clear what the significance of the symbol is early in the game. And that's all the spinning domes do! Later, when you reach the Plateau Island, there is a complicated map room that lets you view elevations (screenshot) of all the islands, and the geography makes it clear where the spinning domes on all the islands are located. Using those elevations, you pinpoint the coordinates of the spinning domes on the map grid and write them down. Like, on actual paper. (No in-game quest journals!) Then there is another secret underwater room on the island with a special chair (screenshot) that, when you press buttons on it, associates colors with symbols. The symbols are the ones you found in the spinning domes, so this lets you associate a color with each of the spinning domes. You then take ALL OF THAT information back to the Main Dome Island, where there is a huge grid inside the main dome. Next to the grid are a bunch of colored marbles. You have to use the coordinates you found and the color associations you found to place the colored marbles (solution) on the 625-square grid to accurately map the exact locations of all the spinning domes in the entire world of Riven. Even then, you find out that some of the information is missing and literally impossible to find, so one color and one marble location have to be figured out purely by deduction. *brain explosion*
  14. +1 "I would not like to see random things in this game." Based on the short time I spent in that thread, I'm inclined to agree. Random humor = funny when it's random, i.e. a surprise. That means, at best, you get one or two. Easter eggs = Awesome. But I'd rather the easter eggs be original and surprising, not taken directly from a forum suggestion. Also, I think it's better to let the people who are famous for their kind of humor just be funny by themselves. It's cool to give feedback on what we like/don't like in terms of games, but if we're talking about humor, I say let the funny people be funny. I mean, would you give George Carlin "good joke ideas" for a "good George Carlin show"? Just let George Carlin be funny! That's why he's famous and you're not! Maybe I'm just being cynical, but that's my take on it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ My own personal things I wouldn't want to see? 1) Pixel hunting puzzles. But I think that's a given. 2) Conversation puzzles are fine, but they get old really fast when not used with discretion. (I'm also looking at you TellTale. I was really enjoying Sam & Max, but I got burned out on Abe Lincoln Must Die. It's a genius episode, but it's 95% conversation puzzles, which puts me to sleep, as much as I love the satire.)
  15. That's sort of the conclusion I came to as well. Originally I was upset just knowing that the game industry is full of people just waiting to clone or leech off of other popular IP, and I didn't want silly leaks to lead to a Zynga Adventure knock-off. But then I thought... you know... if Zynga was really interested in doing that, they probably paid $15 and would get to watch it anyway, leak or no leak. And you know there are games journalists and industry insiders among the backers because, 1) Who do you think pledged $10,000 or more? 2) We saw them in the social stream during the DF countdown party. But still, if a known journalist shares the video on a game news site, that negatively affects that journalists' reputation with DF and other people in the industry who love DF and, you know, honesty and integrity and stuff. Some people care about that. It's the anonymous sharing that sucks. At the end of the day, it's just a crappy thing to do out of principle. 1) Tim explicitly and nicely asked that nobody share the videos. 2) This video wasn't even part of the documentary the backers purchased. This was a private thank you. An intimate video love letter to the fans that Tim sealed with a kiss and marked for our eyes only. Going around and showing it to people is just kind of a d*** thing to do. Maybe it won't have any serious consequences either way, but how lame. But maybe when Tim asked us to not share the videos, he was mostly talking to the journalists and whatnot. He probably expects regular people will leak the videos, because, hello, people on the internet, but maybe what he was actually saying was, "Hey, don't go posting our videos all over your news sites, you people who could do something like that." *edit* Also, anything that IS part of the documentary and gets yoinked and uploaded to YouTube could probably get nailed with a cease and desist and infractions on the account if 2PP and/or DF report it as copyrite infringement.
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