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Everything posted by SmashManiac

  1. I've worked for a few big video game companies in the last few years as QA tester and programmer, and while those jobs aren't all that bad, they're not that great either. So far I had no creative input on the games I developed, even when I insisted. There's just too much demand for game designers and barely any opportunities to make the jump. Becoming a successful game designer is my dream since pretty much ever, but it just seems fate is against me, always denying me of a chance to prove my worth. Also, things aren't looking good in the industry because of all the bad decisions they've taken recently. Video games is an art form that thrives on innovation, but partially because of the recent economic crash, no publisher wants to actually take a risk and instead prefer to release the same games over and over and include in them hardcore DRM and ridiculously expensive DLC, but by doing so it's killing the market instead. On the other end we have the rise of the mobile and social network platforms, but now everybody and their cousins are developing on these platforms and are oversaturating the market, and since there's no quality control, 99.99% of the games on those platforms are either shovelware or shallow games (including Angry Birds, Draw Something and Infinity Blade). On the long term, people will lose interest in these kind of games and the whole market will crash. It's not speculation, this has happened several times in the past already. So under these conditions, what does someone like me supposed to do? Most big companies don't have an open mind, I'm too exhausted during my free time, and I can't quit my day job and go indie without the funds to do so, and even if I had the funds my game would most likely be lost in an ocean of crap. I already even tried teaming up with a little group of developers that wanted to try going indie, but in the end they weren't as serious as they claimed and the lack of funds demotivated all of the others team members. Therefore, all I can do right now is endure my current situation... maybe. I thought for a long time becoming a programmer would allow me to eventually become a designer, but as time passes it seems that's far from enough after all. In fact, it's sad how many game designers do not even know the basic concepts of programming. So right now I'm seriously considering changing jobs for something more interesting in the short term outside the video game industry and create my own opportunity much later in my career. Sigh...
  2. Most developers make the mistake of creating "intellectual" games by adding a good/evil bar of some sort or having plenty of characters or in-game books saying the same moral over and over and over. Lame. The most intellectual game I've played so far was Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. The game is full of interesting trivia, smart puzzles and controversial themes. Just that story of the White Santa and the Black Santa really makes you think about reward and punishiment for a long time...
  3. I don't like dying in adventure games except if it's part of some clever puzzle like the one in Monkey Island 3, where it was clearly foreshadowed. Every time I saw that "game over" narration textbox in Sierra games I would rage hard because it always takes you out of the experience, plus it was always presented as a joke which feels like an complete insult to me. It's like the game is mocking me for doing something I would normally do in real life without any bad consequences. The Legend of Kyrandia Book 3: Malcolm's Revenge has deaths and was very forgiving for them: your conscience would warn you if you were going to do an action that would kill you, and even if you insisted and died, you could restart right before your fatal action. While some of them resulted in genuinely funny scenes that were worth experiencing, they would still take me out of the experience so I didn't like them in general either, especially the gruesome ones. Most of them could have easily been slightly modified to not kill you and be even more hilarious that way.
  4. That was in Monkey Island 2, not 1. Personally I liked that puzzle, but I can understand how it can be frustrating if you don't get it.
  5. Most expensive is without a doubt my $400 investment on various dance pads and adapters. In the end I invested in a high quality Cobalt Flux metal pad and it was well worth it. Unfortunately I think they're out of business now, that's a shame. Second most expensive was for Street Fighter III 3rd Strike Online Edition. Game + DLC + HitBox controller was about $225. That controller was well worth it though, I just hate joysticks on arcade pads.
  6. Actually, that's a good point; nostalgia is just a feeling of fondness while looking back upon something. Make anything good or memorable enough, and in the future, you'll be nostalgic for it. Exactly, we don't need this game to remind us how cool the old ones were; half of us are still playing them I'm in this category too. If I just wanted to fill up my dose of nostalgia, I'd just go and play a retro game. On this note, I've played The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword recently, and as much as I enjoy the Zelda series in general, I really can't believe this game could have gotten such highly good reviews if it wasn't for the nostalgia factor. The game is really badly designed considering the constant tedious tutorials, the linear experience, the repetitive strategies against enemies, the limited stamina, the cartoony graphics, the emptiness of sky exploration, the recycled content from one dungeon to another, the abysmal minigames, and the forced backtracking. That's just one example, but for me, it's obvious that nostalgia is much more powerful for many people than good design and originality unfortunately.
  7. Another great series of adventure games, but again I'm fairly sure those games are pretty well known... But that's funny, I find Kyrandia 3 to be the best of the bunch and Kyrandia 1 very annoying and frustrating. K3 is just too funny, and I have to disagree with you when you say that the puzzles aren't logical. I agree that the maze part was really annoying, but the one in K1 was even worse considering it was pure trial and error and you died at every wrong turn. Also Brandon in K1 is just the worst protagonist I've ever encountered in any game; he's just too dumb and whiny. Which puzzle of K2 are you referring about by the way? I've played all 3 games in reverse order and never had any major problem solving any of the puzzles.
  8. Personally I'm not a fan of the game either. Besides, I wouldn't call it an adventure game in the first place, it just plays like one. It's like saying Portal is a FPS, Braid a platformer or Minecraft a RPG. For me, Machinarium is a little simple puzzle game with a depressing atmosphere, just going from room to room to solve the next puzzle. At least, that's how I felt after playing the demo, and after reading the various posts here I'm even more convinced of my opinion. I will definitively not buy it.
  9. +1 vote for Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Here's my pick: a gamebook called Heart of Ice by Dave Morris. The PDF version is free too, so give it a try!
  10. Personally, I like it when games allow you to work on several puzzles simultaneously to prevent such frustration, as long as it doesn't make the story confusing.
  11. I mostly agree with you, but I think one of the problems not-so-well-known developers stumble on Kickstarter is that they not do a decent presentation of what they want to achieve. If you're seeking $1M from a publisher, you're going to sit with them for a while and do the best you can to prove that it's a profitable idea. On Kickstarter, I believe a similar presentation is in order, but to show to backers how fun and awesome this idea is. Most entries however look like "hey I want to do this, gimme your monies". Another major problem of Kickstarter right now is that there's no easy way to browse all the different projects. Hopefully they'll be able to fix this soon.
  12. The Kyrandia series was pretty much spot-on for controls: Left-click: Execute context-sensitive action, select/combine/manage items from inventory, skip current dialog line ESC: Skip cutscene Who needs stupid verbs anyway?
  13. 999 is indeed an amazing game, but I was under the impression that it was one of Aksys's biggest successes. They even announced the sequel for 3DS and Vita:
  14. The reason I didn't create an "overlooked" thread myself was because of that thread. I think it would be much better if we could post exclusively in it to avoid splitting up the suggestions. I already made a few myself, including Shadow of Destiny before it was mentioned here.
  15. The puzzles suck... yes, but if you think this is "poor storytelling" then I must tell you there are only a handful of adventures over the past 13 years that do significantly better. I was just picking up the popular answers from this thread so far. You are of course free to disagree, and I encourage you to explain your point of view further. In fact, I'm under the impression that fans of The Longest Journey liked the game because of the storytelling. It's just not a style that suits everybody. I'm actually thinking of creating a separate thread soon to discuss what made these same games so good to people who actually liked them and then compare the answers with those of this thread...
  16. I decided to compile the results so far. The recurring answers so far, in no particular order, are: - The Longest Journey, for poor storytelling and puzzles - Myst, for its emptiness and being too cryptic - Syberia, for its lack of direction - Sierra adventure games, for being too unforgiving I find that very interesting because I've played all of these and they too are in my list of disappointing games. I didn't even beat Syberia because I got completely lost at some point. I have to mention one more game to the thread since I just beat it: Gemini Rue. While the graphics, voice acting and setting are very good, I just find the game design and story very amateurish. Kudos to Wadjet Eye Games for making a game of this quality with such a small budget, but unfortunately I just wasn't satisfied with the overall experience. You know what? Even though I really like this game, I have to agree with you. It's one of those rare games I had to refer to a walkthrough several times in order to complete it. Yes indeed. I guess there has to be something for everybody, so that's OK with me! :lol: Errr... what? I don't get it. Oh wait, you're just quoting The Longest Journey. Nevermind.
  17. You should indeed edit the thread's title, it's completely misleading. As I said in another thread, solving puzzles with a buddy might be productive, but it's no fun at all. Not for me at least, because then I feel half of the puzzles have been spoiled.
  18. It's quite clear that we all love adventure games because we all pledged to Double Fine Adventure. Also, these forums are designed to help the fine folks at Double Fine create their game, and I believe it's as important to point out what we like about adventure games than what we dislike in order to do so, especially for diverging opinions. I therefore created this thread, not to create a fanboy war, but rather as a way to point out the elements that some people may like or don't care about popular adventure games that could make one of the worst gaming experience for someone else. Don't call it "overrated" if you don't like that word, but I can't think of any better word to describe it. Just saying "I hate King's Quest" is just negative and goes nowhere, but saying "I hate King's Quest because you constantly die for simple mistakes" or "I hate King's Quest because I've never heard of Rumpelstiltskin before and I couldn't solve that puzzle" is constructive. Personally I've always find it fascinating to meet somebody that hates from the bottom of their heart a game I absolutely adore, and hear his opinion on the matter. Almost all the time I completely understand how that person feels when he describes it, and yet I would have never thought about it because those same elements didn't bother me. It's also important to understand that your experience may not match somebody else's. For example, I've always thought that the arrow sign puzzle in Grim Fandango was the best and most clever puzzle in the entire game, but because I'm a math nerd, I would have never imagined that it was the worst puzzle of the game to most people simply because they wouldn't naturally think of geometry while playing an adventure game. That said, I'd like to see people discuss in more details those points, not in a defensive way, but with an open mind. Mothhive's reply about why I disliked The Longest Journey really struck me because I would have never thought about most of the things he said and it allowed me to express more clearly my own opinion, and I hope he felt the same way when he read my original post. So yeah, don't troll and stay cool. I know it's not easy, but please try.
  19. Just remembered a game that nobody mentioned yet and that I almost completely forgot about and that definitely takes the #1 spot for me after consideration. Not point & click, but definitely pure adventure. SHADOW OF DESTINY (USA) / SHADOW OF MEMORIES (EUROPE) PS2, PC, PSP Probably Konami's most original title. So you get stabbed in the back and you die. Thankfully, someone in the afterlife gives you a device that allows you to go back in time to prevent your death. Problem is, you have no idea who's the killer nor his motive, and the killer is actively hunting you around every corner, waiting for the perfect opportunity to kill you again and again, and every time you must go back in time - sometimes by several centuries - in order to delay your death long enough to figure out his identity. The game has high production values and also features several endings depending of your actions. Highly recommended. By the way, if anybody figures out how to run the PC version under Windows 7 64-bit, I'll bake you some cookies. The game crashes so hard, even the desktop becomes unresponsive and must be rebooted. I was unsuccessful even on a virtual machine.
  20. I've always been against censorship in general, so nudity would be a plus value for me, unless said nudity is included just for the sake of having nudity in the game. Best example I can think of gratuitous nudity is Heavy Rain. Both Ethan and Madison have shower scenes in the game. For some reason, only Madison is shown naked. Not only that, but Madison's shower scene and the events that follow are completely unrelated to the plot, so they seem to have been included only as an excuse to show boobs. Strangely enough, you never see her vulva, so there's still censorship even there. Really weird. In other words, if nudity is present or should be present, don't censor it. If there's no reason to have nudity, don't force it.
  21. +1 for Out of Order. I stumbled on this game by mistake and downloaded it because I thought it was some kind of clever joke. Boy was I wrong. The graphics are crazy ugly, but the setting and puzzles are really interesting. Basically you're this teenager that suddenly gets teleported into an alien world along with his bedroom. You quickly discover that inhabitants are other kidnapped people and aliens, and that whomever's in charge is attempting to hypnotize everyone and follow strange orders. Here's my pick: DISCWORLD NOIR I stumbled on this game in a used video game store. Just looking the box sold me, which is no small feat. I then discovered that it was only released in Europe and that it was based on a series of books by Terry Pratchett. It's a very good introduction to the Discworld series and it's actually more interesting than the books in my opinion. You play the role of a private investigator in a dark fantasy world where beliefs become reality. You accept a case from a femme fatale and things don't go quite as expected, and soon you find yourself into a series of gruesome murders that you must solve. There's also a point around the third into the story where you gain special powers which greatly helps your investigation but also have some major drawbacks. Very fun.
  22. I didn't mind the Portal 2 puzzles as they were meant to be solved together and required both robots to do so. My buddy and I tended to work through most of them together. My point is that I would have much preferred to be able to control both robots myself. As an extension of that, receiving hints from NPCs because you don't solve the puzzle right away is equally raging. Thankfully I've only encountered that in games with an option to disable those hints.