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Everything posted by SmashManiac

  1. You should put some head-crunching Professor Layton-style puzzle in the survey and check the correct/incorrect/didn't bother ratio.
  2. First of all, I fully agree with Mats's last post. Why can't a game be both challenging and driven by story? There are lots of examples to the contrary, and Radiant Historia is the best one I can think of right now. Also, Braid is a story-driven game? If it was the case, I would have never finished the game in the first place since the story was too cryptic, stupid (in my opinion) and completely irrelevant to the brilliant puzzle-solving gameplay. Besides, only the last level actually contains story development, everything else is presented through books and the epilogue. In fact, I'd argue that Portal is much more story-driven than Braid. Hardware and software are two wildly-different things. I highly suggest you to learn programming and study computational complexity if you're serious about game design. Both are very important assets in my opinion because it allows to really grasp what is easy, hard or impossible to achieve in computer science. WarioWare D.I.Y. on DS is a very good introduction to programming and can also be used as a simple prototyping tool, or if you feel ready to go with the real stuff, I recommend learning Java first.
  3. Wow, I didn't expect such a long reply to my comment. First, I just wanted to clarify my position on AI because I only briefly mentioned it and you refer to it a lot. All I wanted to point out was that AI was not a good replacement for a human in terms of emergent storytelling, not storytelling in general. That's all. Now, about your arguments. If I summarize your points about the type of game design you're seeking: 1 - Open world 2 - Multiple dynamic linear storylines 3 - No primary thread that pulls together all of the different storylines Here are my criticisms: 1 - The open world factor doesn't help at all in immersion beyond accessing the different events out of order, or not accessing them at all. This can be both a positive and a negative, so I'll leave it at that. 2 - First, you mentioned potentially having 15 possible outcomes. Assuming you're talking about widely different outcomes, it's achievable, but it may require a lot of development time, even with only a few number of variables in play. But most importantly, having multiple storylines will most likely mean that only a few of them will be fleshed out enough to be actually interesting, if not none at all. Who cares if some guy dies or not if I don't even know him? Who cares about moral choices if they don't have any impact in real life? If I can't win, why do I even bother helping NPCs? Pretty much nothing besides a potential reward or punishment, and decisions based on this factor alone don't add anything to the immersion. 3 - The problem with this type of design is that the game is then never about yourself, but rather about the game world and their characters. You mentioned The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and personally it's a game for which I cannot be immersed with at all because all of the characters care about in this game is their own agenda. Your interaction with them is completely one-sided. Sure, I'm going to influence their stories, but again they can't influence mine beyond making it easier or harder to achieve other goals in the game. The result is just a bunch of distracting sidequests or an exercise in playing god. I guess the latter can be interesting, but in the end you're still the hostage of the game designer's decision about what should happen, so it doesn't work in that context either.
  4. Lots of good points made in this thread, although it seems to be more of a criticism of western RPGs than adventure games. I fully agree that there are often out-of-place puzzles in many games, that there's not enough innovation coming from big publishers and that the illusion of choice is almost always too obvious to be effective. I however have a problem about having true choices in games in a way that deeply affects the story during gameplay. As of now, technology does not allow more than basic AI for NPCs, so emergent stories are pretty much a no-go for them. The only possible way to achieve non-linear storytelling in this case is by adding branches to the story. However, each additional branch doubles the work starting from that node, quickly creating a huge exponential tree of choices that simply cannot be implemented or even designed. Let's take Deus Ex as an example. They used several tricks to avoid this problem, including allowing the player to complete a single objective in multiple ways, allowing story-critical events to occur before their required time without breaking continuity, having player choices potentially have an effect much later in the game, and being allowed to do the complete opposite of many sidequests and still get rewarded. Still, the result was a fairly linear RPG, because while your gameplay experience may greatly vary from another player, none of your actions affects the story in any significant way. Still. I don't think that even a truly non-linear experience would make any game any more immersive; it would only add replay value. For me, the immersive part of video games is living the experience, not shaping it through my will, and that holds for any genre of games. The raft scene in Illusion of Gaia is a perfect example of that. Of course, if your personal motivations goes completely against what's going on in the game, the immersion will break, but that's a different problem entirely.
  5. Personally I'm not sure why anyone would even have a passing interest in that game. Awful. Probably because I'm a sick twisted human being with no soul. That or I just prefer games designed for adults.
  6. I understand why some people really enjoy cloud saves, but personally I despite it: - Sometimes the service isn't accessible - Sometimes the service gets hacked - Sometimes newer saves are overwritten with old saves - Sometimes it's not possible to delete saves - Sometimes PC-specific configuration files are copied in the cloud - Sometimes you have to pay an extra fee - Sometimes it introduces additional bugs in the game - Sometimes it's not even possible to have a local backup copy - Sometimes it is even mandatory to use the cloud even for offline stuff - Sometimes the service shuts down Too much trouble, bleh. Manual copying is the way to go for me! And for those having trouble figuring out where the save files are located on your PC, let me introduce you to Process Monitor!
  7. The Steam version of Indigo Prophecy is the censored version though, and some scenes have even been cut from it. If you want the full experience, I highly suggest you pick the GOG.com version too.
  8. If you like games like Heavy Rain, you probably will be interested in Fahrenheit. Be warned though, this is the uncensored version, so you may want to play it only when the kids aren't looking.
  9. SKYJACKER Kitaru There's a demo of SKYJACKER too!
  10. Excuse me cel1ne, but I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. It really sounds interesting, but I don't know half of the vocabulary you're using. Can you be more clear for people that don't have a background in psychology?
  11. Your poll is missing a "whatever" option, because that's the one I would pick. If there's no reason to have humor, it shouldn't be forced.
  12. I for one share the posters opinion, as someone who is also close-to-broke most of the time these days.. Attacking people that feel a bit ripped off by calling them some ridiculous name, or stuck on the exclusiveness, doesn't really advance the debate. I feel like Double Fine changed their mind on something in a way that cost me a ton of money, so it could benefit them financially - I donated around $100, because it was a moment that had to happen for the future of the genre of games I love. So, I sympathize, since it seems like that deadline turns out to be false -- and this is beyond-a-doubt a telling moment of Double Fine "changing their mind," "backtracking," or whatever you want to call it. I don't see how this is different from Google "being evil" - Double Fine has broken a promise, regardless of how-much-we-love-Tim-Schafer - case closed. Edit to add: This clearly doesn't stop me from following the game, or getting over this eventually -- but it does hurt -- I'm also pretty shocked that there's less community support for the general notion of "keeping Double Fine honest." I guess that's a testament to the rabidness of the fanbase, at least until it effects more people somehow. I understand your frustration about sacrificing money when you didn't really need to, but I honestly don't understand why you feel betrayed, especially when Double Fine never promised Kickstarter-only exclusivity, only backer exclusivity. The deadline in Kickstarter is the time when the funding has to reach its goal, otherwise no money is given. It's an insurance for backers to prevent them losing money if the goal isn't reached. That's it. Considering Double Fine reached that goal in a mere 8 hours, that was not an issue for long. I'm not sure how you interpreted Double Fine's words at the time, but I definitely don't see any contradiction between what they promised and their actions.
  13. Very interesting and complete analysis bset! This is the #1 reason I stop playing games with multiple narratives. I can't think of any single game that I enjoyed where the playable characters couldn't interact with each other directly and were living different stories from their perspective. It's like reading two autobiographies simultaneously, it's just weird and not fulfilling. Day of the Tentacle worked because the characters already knew each other, had a common goal right from the beginning and could share information and items. I'm not against the idea however. If both stories quickly merge together and the interactions between the characters are varied and original, it could totally work. We'll see. I'm confident that Tim Schafer and his team will take the right decision on this regard.
  14. I agree with Ralewyn. You won't find much stuff in books because not only the video game industry is young and constantly evolving, but game design itself is an art and an empirical process. You might find some tips and techniques, but that's it. I suggest you look instead for game postmortems, you can learn a lot from those.
  15. I've always liked music, but almost everything I was listening to wasn't very memorable for multiple reasons. And then I played Mega Man X. :coolsmirk:
  16. Honestly I can't compare them because I've never played Gabriel Knight. I've seen someone play the first 30 minutes or so and it was clear that this game wasn't for me. Maybe Gabriel Knight IS the better pick for the game club, I don't know. All I'm saying is, this game was not picked with the development of Double Fine Adventure in mind. Playing a game for fun is not the same thing as playing a game to analyze it. Speaking of which... I understand why you think I might be too serious about this considering we're talking about games of all things, but I think it's the community that doesn't realize the importance of this game club. I've worked in the video game industry for several years, so I do tend to see the development aspect very seriously. Making a fun game is not something trivial. It's in fact hard. Very hard. Quite often you might think you have the best idea ever on paper, and it's only when the hard work of implementing it is done that you realize it simply doesn't work as you expected and it's just not fun, and if it can't be fixed you have to start all over again from nothing. In other words, you've wasted precious time and resources on garbage. Not good. Having access to previous game releases helps a lot on this regard to avoid doing the same mistakes and improving on proven good concepts. That's what I expected from this backer-only game club - a chance to analyze existing adventure games to help with the development of Double Fine Adventure. I was even convinced it was going to be the case when I saw the reasoning behind starting the club in the first place: That's totally not what I've seen so far though, at least in the game selection. I can't comment on what is discussed on IRC because I've never been able to attend to it, but I don't think it's much different from what I'm seeing here unfortunately.
  17. Love that "unauthorized duplication and distribution" warning from the Thriller video. It's like you guys really want to be sued.
  18. Not really. I think I played it the first time...probably five years ago. But I really want to refresh my memories of it now that Jane is returning per Kickstarter! Sorry, I should have been more clear. I picked Gemini Rue because I thought it would benefit the development Double Fine Adventure the most. Most of the others picked their game based on personal preferences and motives just like you did. It might be more fun doing the latter, but DFA might suffer from it as a result, and I find it unfortunate that most people don't seem to share my point of view on this matter.
  19. Thank you very very much for the suggestion Ronin! I took the time to try this game last weekend, got the space ending, and here's my review of the game: "Whaaat?" That is all.
  20. GDDs are always fascinating to read, so I'd definitely like to have a look at it. In my case, I also like to see how the GDD evolves over time and seeing the major revisions it had. As for releasing it before or after release, I don't care because I won't read it until after I play the game anyway.
  21. Seems a lot of people are voting for the nostalgia value unfortunately. I'm voting for Gemini Rue because it's a modern small budget game with many very interesting strengths and flaws in its design.
  22. Federal regulations require me to warn you that this next test chamber... is looking pretty good.
  23. Music Chase 1: The Music In Me Why? Because I was a kid and they made a review of this game between two Saturday morning cartoons. I was not disappointed: The jokes are hilarious, the animation is pretty good, the puzzles are well designed, and it featured a solid music rhythm game way before Dance Dance Revolution was first released. Plus, a sealed hint book was included for completists. I replayed the game recently and it still holds up, and I was able to notice so many references I couldn't know as a kid. If you can find this game I recommend you give it a try. Too bad it never got a sequel. Favorite moment: The bird complaining about getting free bread crumbs because that's not a balanced diet. Weirdest moment: Marijuana plants everywhere in an elementary school. Clicking on them causes pink elephants to appear. Boy 1969 sure was fun times!
  24. I personally like Escape from Monkey Island and for me it's the funniest of the series and it has with some great plot twists. However, I agree that it's definitively not the best of the series. Here are my biggest complaints about it: - Monkey Kombat. Oh my god that sucks so bad. First, it's an easy puzzle. Second, it takes a hell of a long time to learn the language, and unlike insult fighting you don't get to listen to jokes while doing so. Third, writing tons of "ooks" and "eeks" on a sheet of paper is just plain confusing, and I had to create a metalanguage to avoid that problem. Finally, the solution to beat the last boss is completely illogical. Overall, Monkey Kombat is a complete waste of time. - Unavoidable crash during a 5-minute cutscene on NVIDIA Riva 128 video cards in DirectX mode, even though the documentation clearly listed that model as compatible. Switching to OpenGL mode caused the same cutscene to run at 0.1 FPS on the same video card. Urgh. - Insult fighting was no longer reserved for swordfighting, but for any type of duel, which removes the pirate flavor of the franchise. - The puzzle where you must get a specific prosthesis. Solving it requires looking at an object that is most likely in your inventory for a hint, which is a poorly documented feature you never have to perform during the entire game otherwise. - Combining all the bad prostheses parts of the previous puzzle causes a glitch that resets the amnesia puzzle when used later in the game. - LeChuck is a shapeshifter. Wait, what? - Some relatively obscure pop culture jokes.
  25. I thought you were awesome until I realized it was a Simpsons reference and those videos don't really exist. And here I wanted to know how much fun Euclidean geometry was in hyperbolic space. Boo. So... you can move a sprite over backgrounds now eh? Impressive! Just kidding, I know how complex it is to program a new engine from scratch. Keep up the good work! Oh, and I'm curious to see the class design behind it.