I got the email about this sidequest and I thought I'd just skim through the video real quick.
I didn't stop playback even for a second. The whole play through was amazing to watch. Hopefully Part 2 - 4 will be out at some point.
I'd like to learn more about Peter Chan's obsession with treating everyday objects like a piece of meat. That and I totally forgot that twisted take on the 'living world'. This game had so much great depth to it.
Sadly my experience with this game wasn't as good as it could have been. Grim Fandango was the first adventure game I played growing up. I played Quake, Unreal, Half-life and game mods. FPS stuff. So while this might have been Lucas Arts final adventure game, it's the only adventure game I had ever played. I inherited the game from my brother who loved playing Jedi Knight and saw this game as another Lucas Arts title he might enjoy. I sorta got some of the puzzles in the beginning, then I just kinda threw my hands up in the air because I didn't understand the clue collection thing going on. However, the story was so engrossing, I couldn't stop playing it. So for the rest of the way I just played through it with a walk-through guide. It completely defeated the purpose behind the game and it completely bewildered me as to how anyone would have been able to figure out any of these puzzles in the first place. The whole story was amazing and to me it was just unfortunate I didn't get to enjoy the game aspects of it at all. That part I hate myself the most for, but Grim Fandango is not a good game to introduce yourself to adventure games.
I do appreciate the simplicity of Broken Age's interactions. It enables the interaction of the puzzle objects far more easily than the 'tank' movement in Grim. It's interesting to see how fondly Tim thinks of that system as he completely struggles moving Manny around like we all did when we played it. The open garage door scene, for example. I understand how Tim insisted that the game be played as literal as possible, but a lot of the times it hindered the players ability to interact with the puzzle clues in the game if you didn't get Manny locked into the right invisible walk box. And that was just it, you were fighting against that walk box rather than fully searching for clues like you wanted to do. It got in the way like Microsoft does with their Office quick tools, personal assistants and whatnot. You're just trying to type up a damn document and not trying to adventurously fight against it's auto-formatting features. That is NOT being productive. The concept of tank mode it is very simple, it's just the implementation wasn't precise enough for enjoyable game play.
So what could have been done to improve it within the literal world restriction? How about as you move Manny around he one-word mumbles what he is staring at after a certain amount of pause. That at least confirms to the player the character has move into position where they wanted him to be. Basically it's like having an announcement flag added to each walk box. That corrects part of the issue. The other tedious part was the player having 'too much' free movement of Manny. Each keystroke should guide the player through a table of walk box choices. This informs the player 'what' they should be seeing in any given scene. This would cut down the unnecessary amount of repeated searches of the same object thinking you got Manny to move or look at something else in the area. Tim even reacted like we did at times at having to hear the same thing over and over because of imprecise control movement. It was the right concept, but needed to refine the 'game' mechanic a bit. I see this clearly as a game developer ideology struggle over the ability to move freely to enjoy the full player experience versus the 'hey this is supposed to be a GAME we're making here, right?'.
I swear, if anyone ever got around to making this game into an animated series or a movie, just how would they interpret this "Manny" character who seems to 'take' a lot of the things he see's lying around? I would absolutely love to see that utilize as a bad habit of Manny's kleptomania. I can just imagine someone like Eva walking up to Manny and be like "What do you have hiding in your suit?" whilst ripping off his jacket and shirt only to find his entire rib cage filled to the top with stuff. Then a rubber ducky falls to the ground with Manny nervously responding with "Now wait, Eva, I can explain!" There's so much story and so much potential in this world to explore. I really do wish there was more Grim Fandango stories made.
With all that said, it's still in my personal top 5 favorite games of all time. Viva-la-Revolution!