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KestrelPi

Something they may be able to do quite easily difficulty-wise while the game is still in beta

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I feel the need to be clear that I LOVED Broken Age, and while the puzzles are quite easy that didn't do much to impair my enjoyment of it at all. But I do think that it's possible some good tweaks might still be made in the time we have, as unlikely as that seems...

So it's true that the puzzles in the first half of the game are quite easy (and we know from the doc they plan much harder puzzles in the second half)

Clearly we're not going to turn this into a really hard first act in 2 weeks. But something I remember from the opening section of the doc was that Tim was talking about was how they'd tweak difficulty by adding/removing clues from the game. I think this would actually have a noticeable impact on the difficulty for people who haven't played it yet, so might be an easy way to still make tweaks.

Sometimes I got a clue before I even knew there was a puzzle, and it gave it away, so my suggestion is to get rid of, where possible, verbal clues that pop up in dialogue, in the cases where they are particularly overt.

If the whole first Act had a de-clue-ifying pass over it then I think a good few of the puzzles might have held me for longer, or I might at least have felt a bit cleverer about solving them.

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I also thought that the clues came a bit too quickly. One that I felt was slapping me in the face with the solution was the "take a dive" line.

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what was the clue on the death ray?
As I recall, Alex has about 3 different ways of saying 'hey, it would be really dangerous if you swapped those things around!'

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I also thought that the clues came a bit too quickly. One that I felt was slapping me in the face with the solution was the "take a dive" line.
I don't remember that one, but I remember Harmn'y saying something about ROOTS (which were capitalised in the subtitles, too) that seemed unnecessary. Just a general lot of heavy handedness.

Not all the dialogue clues would be easy to remove, but I bet some of them would, and I bet that'd immediately bump the difficulty up juuuust a notch. In preparation for the hopefully much bigger bump that we know is planned for Act 2.

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what was the clue on the death ray?
As I recall, Alex has about 3 different ways of saying 'hey, it would be really dangerous if you swapped those things around!'

Yeah, the only way they could have made it any more obvious was if they hung a giant neon "SWAP THEM" sign on his neck.

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Thinking about it, it might be perfectly pitched for adventure game newcomers already. Getting stuck in an adventure game isn't fun, and I never got stuck once.

My biggest problem was that I didn't always know what the character was trying to achieve (like why Vella wanted to join the pageant at the beach), and so I'd accidentally stumble across solutions without even trying. There was none of the satisfaction from solving the puzzle -- as exploration tended to yield solutions without trying.

Some solutions:

Vella should have made it clearer to the people she met what she was trying to achieve: She'd escaped from Mog Chothra and now she was worried that the monster was going to destroy her town! And even more importantly: If she couldn't get back to Sugarbunting to help defend it, then the next best thing would be to try and kill Mog Chothra before he decided to attack Sugarbunting -- the logic of which I still don't get... Wouldn't he just attack their town as soon as she escaped?

It wasn't clear to me why on earth she'd want to join the pageant (until later). It also wasn't clear to me that Mayor Buckethat was the person I needed to get permission from (probably because I was still unclear what Vella's aims where when I first spoke to him).

Hmm.

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Thinking about it, it might be perfectly pitched for adventure game newcomers already. Getting stuck in an adventure game isn't fun, and I never got stuck once.

I've certainly seen few complaints about the difficulty from newcomers. They're generally just having a blast exploring around and all the things that seem obvious to us aren't immediately occuring to them. I think there is value in having this first half of the game easier, because it sort of trains newcomers on the sorts of things to expect, so that they are equipped with that knowledge for when it gets harder. It almost feels like a tutorial for 'how adventure puzzles work' but maybe a little TOO tutorial like for the comfort of us veterans. I think it'll make more sense when part 2 is out.

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The problem is: If you don't know you are supposed to swap them would you? How would you even get the idea?

A no hint mode would require a few re-writes and that would mean getting the voice actors in the studio again.

Another hint (that was awesome though) was grandpa flat out telling you that he had the knife. That (and Vella's reaction to it) was one of my favourite set of lines though.

What else... removing the false activities for Shae before he broke out. In the end only the train ride remains so the way out had to be there.

Not sure that's true. In the last doc Tim was talking about how he was adding and removing clues to tweak the difficulty. So it's doable. Pretty sure he didn't re-record every time he did it. There are certain lines that could just be omitted without trouble. Some clues would be harder to remove, it's true, but it might be that they even recorded a couple of versions of some of the lines.

Anyway, as for the swapping puzzle, it's simple: just leave the more subtle clue in there, and remove the 'SWAP THEM GODDAMNIT' stuff.

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I've certainly seen few complaints about the difficulty from newcomers. They're generally just having a blast exploring around and all the things that seem obvious to us aren't immediately occuring to them. I think there is value in having this first half of the game easier, because it sort of trains newcomers on the sorts of things to expect, so that they are equipped with that knowledge for when it gets harder. It almost feels like a tutorial for 'how adventure puzzles work' but maybe a little TOO tutorial like for the comfort of us veterans. I think it'll make more sense when part 2 is out.

I've seen this sentiment a lot lately, but I don't agree to it. This game was very well funded by a kickstarter project with the mission statement to "make a classic point & click adventure". Therefore that is what backers should be expecting in terms of puzzle difficulty. If they want to "devote a significant portion of the game into easing in new players, thus growing the Adventure Game audience and community" they should have put that goal into the kickstarter page. I am not saying this isn't a worthwhile goal, but it also isn't what many investors asked for.

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I didn't notice him saying anything and I did it immidiatly just seemed funny to me, I expected him to go "What are you doing!?" but I also immidiatly cut the hose once I could when I was spacewalking. So I think without the hint its easy enough to figure out that you should do it, since they're the same shape and you break one of them.

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I've certainly seen few complaints about the difficulty from newcomers. They're generally just having a blast exploring around and all the things that seem obvious to us aren't immediately occuring to them. I think there is value in having this first half of the game easier, because it sort of trains newcomers on the sorts of things to expect, so that they are equipped with that knowledge for when it gets harder. It almost feels like a tutorial for 'how adventure puzzles work' but maybe a little TOO tutorial like for the comfort of us veterans. I think it'll make more sense when part 2 is out.

I've seen this sentiment a lot lately, but I don't agree to it. This game was very well funded by a kickstarter project with the mission statement to "make a classic point & click adventure". Therefore that is what backers should be expecting in terms of puzzle difficulty. If they want to "devote a significant portion of the game into easing in new players, thus growing the Adventure Game audience and community" they should have put that goal into the kickstarter page. I am not saying this isn't a worthwhile goal, but it also isn't what many investors asked for.

Whilst that's a fine sentiment, 3 million to spend on the game is nice and all, but I'd imagine they have some desire to make money off the game, so just pleasing the backers really wouldn't have much of an effect.

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My biggest problem was that I didn't always know what the character was trying to achieve (like why Vella wanted to join the pageant at the beach), and so I'd accidentally stumble across solutions without even trying. There was none of the satisfaction from solving the puzzle -- as exploration tended to yield solutions without trying.

This. I'm not sure this is tweakable just by removing the hints.

Two moments really bugged me.

When Shay was on the falling train I discovered the solution to the puzzle by mere chance, first try! I simply re-clicked on the mountain's mouth right away and- bang! "Puzzle" solved. And I hadn't even tried all the rides yet! I was forced to restore a previous savegame to experience those BEFORE the plot of the game went on. Annoying.

Same goes with the grandpa-knife puzzle: I tried to give grandpa the cake (no real choice there: he was the only one willing to accept that) and I chose the "split option" just because I thought he was nice and I wanted to share the cake. And then - bang! Puzzle solved: here is the knife.

Another example: the shoes you need to avoid falling off the clouds. When the shoemaker gave me the wrong size, I began to think about a way to solve the problem. I kept exploring, I met the other maiden and -bang, she gave me the right size shoes. Just like that.

The game would need some triggers to keep players from stumbling on puzzle solutions.

Less hints could help, you're absolutely right, but these issues would still be there.

Tim can still improve the experience, though. We know he's working on upping the difficulty level for Act 2. If Act 2 is really challenging, Broken Age could become the perfect way to introduce newcomers to the magic of adventure games AND to please us old timers. :-) Otherwise, the game will be targeted to newcomers and Schafer/Double Fine-fans ONLY. That would be such a waste of a wonderful work (storywise, artwise and... soundwise! :-P ).

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what was the clue on the death ray?
As I recall, Alex has about 3 different ways of saying 'hey, it would be really dangerous if you swapped those things around!'

Yeah, the only way they could have made it any more obvious was if they hung a giant neon "SWAP THEM" sign on his neck.

I actually got stuck on this puzzle for a long time, maybe an hour or more. I wasn't sure what to do so I swapped them and then nothing happened so I tried all sorts of stuff and I just ran around reinteracting with everything I possibly could and then I went back after an hour or so I just tried putting them in again and it worked.

:(

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ts

I've certainly seen few complaints about the difficulty from newcomers. They're generally just having a blast exploring around and all the things that seem obvious to us aren't immediately occuring to them. I think there is value in having this first half of the game easier, because it sort of trains newcomers on the sorts of things to expect, so that they are equipped with that knowledge for when it gets harder. It almost feels like a tutorial for 'how adventure puzzles work' but maybe a little TOO tutorial like for the comfort of us veterans. I think it'll make more sense when part 2 is out.

I've seen this sentiment a lot lately, but I don't agree to it. This game was very well funded by a kickstarter project with the mission statement to "make a classic point & click adventure". Therefore that is what backers should be expecting in terms of puzzle difficulty. If they want to "devote a significant portion of the game into easing in new players, thus growing the Adventure Game audience and community" they should have put that goal into the kickstarter page. I am not saying this isn't a worthwhile goal, but it also isn't what many investors asked for.

That's a rather reductive way of looking at it. It's not as if people are literally unable to duck any joy out of the game because the puzzles are quite easy is it? There are plenty of classic adventures that didn't challenge me all that much either, or only challenged me in places. But I didn't give those situations half the scrutiny that you're giving Broken Age when it's still only half done

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what was the clue on the death ray?
As I recall, Alex has about 3 different ways of saying 'hey, it would be really dangerous if you swapped those things around!'

Yeah, the only way they could have made it any more obvious was if they hung a giant neon "SWAP THEM" sign on his neck.

I actually got stuck on this puzzle for a long time, maybe an hour or more. I wasn't sure what to do so I swapped them and then nothing happened so I tried all sorts of stuff and I just ran around reinteracting with everything I possibly could and then I went back after an hour or so I just tried putting them in again and it worked.

:(

I got stuck on this one, but only because I thought, "No, it can't be that obvious." Le sigh. Yes, some gradation option for clues ala the new Sam 'n' Max games would be nice.

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Well, I think Marek made some of the puzzles too easy for me. (He gave some hints that made the puzzle too obvious).

And I wasn't even expecting those hints.

Anyways, I think I've way too much experience with adventure games, because I got most of the things at first try. I just kept clicking and clicking until I got everything in a scene, then tried to combine them, or give them to characters I found on the journey. And I found things way too obvious. But I believe it's not a problem with the game but rather that I'm older and wiser! :D

For example, I see people having problems with the Prima Doom puzzle, which I found rather easy (remembering some Myst puzzles was of great help to solve that).

Thinking about it, it's a really nice game, and the puzzles are nice, specially for younger people with less experience with adventure games.

So, I don't know. They can't please everybody, I guess. I really liked the game.

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Well, I think Marek made some of the puzzles too easy for me. (He gave some hints that made the puzzle too obvious).

and the puzzles are nice, specially for younger people with less experience with adventure games.

So, I don't know. They can't please everybody, I guess. I really liked the game.

Younger people and those with no experience with adventure games have lots of other things to do, why aim this at them? They didn't fund it.

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Well, I think Marek made some of the puzzles too easy for me. (He gave some hints that made the puzzle too obvious).

and the puzzles are nice, specially for younger people with less experience with adventure games.

So, I don't know. They can't please everybody, I guess. I really liked the game.

Younger people and those with no experience with adventure games have lots of other things to do, why aim this at them? They didn't fund it.

Because yes whilst this was also made with old adventure fans in mind, it's also made with the mindset of breathing new life into a genre that was dead and is now barely starting to walk again. And the way to do that is bring i new fans not just please the old ones. And as an old adventure fan I have to say I was pleased, it may not have been extremely difficult but I was thouroughly entertained throughout and wouldnt have traded it for another monkey island or full throttle.

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Because yes whilst this was also made with old adventure fans in mind, it's also made with the mindset of breathing new life into a genre that was dead and is now barely starting to walk again. And the way to do that is bring i new fans not just please the old ones. And as an old adventure fan I have to say I was pleased, it may not have been extremely difficult but I was thouroughly entertained throughout and wouldnt have traded it for another monkey island or full throttle.

Now you are moving the goal posts. "Old school adventure", not "old school adventure, simplified for new fans" that's telltales business and as I said, people who don't like old school adventures literally have an infinite realm of other things they can do.

So many things in this world are ruined by pandering to the lowest common denominator. I'm not even sure that people like simplified things as much as those in the media think, as anything with a bit of depth given a chance tends to do very well (the wire). Truly great things are made by people who say forget it, lets do it the way we want and if people put a bit of effort in they might get something meaningful out of it.

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To me it seems like they did do what they wanted, and you just didn't like it. You seem upset they didn't pander to you. Not upset that they pandered.Especially considering having watched the documentary, it very much seems like they did exactly what they wanted to do and at no point compromised, other than having to turn the game into a 2 parter.

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To me it seems like they did do what they wanted, and you just didn't like it. You seem upset they didn't pander to you. Not upset that they pandered.Especially considering having watched the documentary, it very much seems like they did exactly what they wanted to do and at no point compromised, other than having to turn the game into a 2 parter.

Well, I think the majority of people here also think it was far too easy so I think its unfair to single me out on this. You are right though, they made what they wanted to make and that is fair enough - they got that chance. I just think that if at any point anything was compromised to widen the potential audience (especially to non-backers), then that was a bad decision.

FYI i still enjoyed it!

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Definitely +1.

Hints came too soon, the worst feeling is when you just thought of a way to solve the puzzle, and the game hints you with that exact solution.

Feels like it is stealing your joy of accomplishing something yourself.

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This is a simple and yet very effective idea!

A lot of hints were given way before i needed to know them in order to get through a situation :)

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Even Telltale's Back to the Future wasn't quite as super easy as Broken Age Act 1.

If Act 1 was done this way for the sake of gamers who are new to the AG genre, I hope they won't leave with the impression that the genre has no challenge to offer.

On the positive side, the game looks absolutely gorgeous, Jennifer Hale was nice and I'm interested in what will happen in Act 2. Dumb, beautiful and charming.

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My biggest problem was that I didn't always know what the character was trying to achieve (like why Vella wanted to join the pageant at the beach), and so I'd accidentally stumble across solutions without even trying. There was none of the satisfaction from solving the puzzle -- as exploration tended to yield solutions without trying.

This. I'm not sure this is tweakable just by removing the hints.

Two moments really bugged me.

When Shay was on the falling train I discovered the solution to the puzzle by mere chance, first try! I simply re-clicked on the mountain's mouth right away and- bang! "Puzzle" solved. And I hadn't even tried all the rides yet! I was forced to restore a previous savegame to experience those BEFORE the plot of the game went on. Annoying.

Same goes with the grandpa-knife puzzle: I tried to give grandpa the cake (no real choice there: he was the only one willing to accept that) and I chose the "split option" just because I thought he was nice and I wanted to share the cake. And then - bang! Puzzle solved: here is the knife.

Another example: the shoes you need to avoid falling off the clouds. When the shoemaker gave me the wrong size, I began to think about a way to solve the problem. I kept exploring, I met the other maiden and -bang, she gave me the right size shoes. Just like that.

The game would need some triggers to keep players from stumbling on puzzle solutions.

Less hints could help, you're absolutely right, but these issues would still be there.

Tim can still improve the experience, though. We know he's working on upping the difficulty level for Act 2. If Act 2 is really challenging, Broken Age could become the perfect way to introduce newcomers to the magic of adventure games AND to please us old timers. :-) Otherwise, the game will be targeted to newcomers and Schafer/Double Fine-fans ONLY. That would be such a waste of a wonderful work (storywise, artwise and... soundwise! :-P ).

Very nicely put!

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Younger people and those with no experience with adventure games have lots of other things to do, why aim this at them? They didn't fund it.

How do you know? Have you asked all 87k backers about their age and gaming experience?

I think it's reasonable to think there are all kinds of people in this group of backers.

When you try to create something (I'm a designer, so I'm mostly in the creative side of things) you know how difficult it is to try to please a large audience. Specially a large audience as big as this one.

Yeah, some aspects of the game were not exactly what I expected, but this was not a tailor made game, aimed exactly at my taste and desires.

Overall, it was a great game, and one of the most satisfying experiences I've had with a game lately.

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How do you know? Have you asked all 87k backers about their age and gaming experience?

I think it's reasonable to think there are all kinds of people in this group of backers.

When you try to create something (I'm a designer, so I'm mostly in the creative side of things) you know how difficult it is to try to please a large audience. Specially a large audience as big as this one.

Yeah, some aspects of the game were not exactly what I expected, but this was not a tailor made game, aimed exactly at my taste and desires.

Overall, it was a great game, and one of the most satisfying experiences I've had with a game lately.

Come on. You are not seriously trying to say that a sufficiently large proportion of backers of an "old school adventure" were children (with credit cards) and people who have never played an adventure game?

When people try to create something the biggest mistake is trying to appeal to a large audience. Why does everyone underestimate the intellectual capacity of the public anyway? If people are dumb why is the wire so popular? Focus on the core ideas and make what you want to make - make the audience work a little and maybe you have made something genuinely rewarding.

Anyway, 87k people who want to see the old school adventure revived so much they were even willing to open their wallets on a promise - is the exact opposite of a large audience! And judging by the comments on this board a lot of people feel exactly the same.

anyway, i did enjoy it.

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