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Ice2Cool

Extremely disappointed with Act 1

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I kind of loved the game. Obviously I would have loved to get the whole thing because it feels like you have finished it as soon as you start it but I was expecting that. Yes the puzzles could have been a little harder. I definitely think the dialogue gave away too many tips or at least the tips it did give away were FAR too blunt but the story and the whimsical style just completely won me over. I thought it was fun and funny and a little bit thought provoking. For $15 how can I complain?

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The great things about Full Throttle were the german voice acting (best german voice acting of all LucasArts adventures) and the biker scenario. On the downsides the game was way too short (the end almost felt unfinished) and also too easy, and not this interesting puzzles related. But these aspects are known since years. Grim Fandango is the best adventure Tim Schafer has ever ever made and i expected him to knew this.

Grim Fandango has its issues but that doesn't mean that you want something so streamlined in replacement. I want creative and challenging puzzles not obscure ones or a complete lack of puzzles.

You know i have no idea if people like me are just a vocal minority regarding these things or if there are more thinking this way apart from the entries on this forum but honestly it doesn't matter to me because i don't care about the 75 million Steam users (obviously DF has to care to some degree) or some weirdos writing reviews about Betas, i do care about my experience as someone who grew up playing adventure games and loves these kind of games, it's me who i want to enjoy this game, not someone else.

I'm not happy and i quite don't understand how things ended up this way. It really would be interesting if the documentation could shed some light on this. I mean wasn't it Greg in one docu who was telling us that the game was so long and there were puzzles and so on? Where are they, what happended to them? I already had some sort of bad feeling when Tim was testing the game with Gaijin Games, it might be wrong and these guys might be great adventure gamers but my first idea was "Uhm, they're testing this game with people who are making running games?!" On the opposite i interpreted Tim's concerns about the difficulty as irony.

Speaking of Tim, i don't understand how he could go so wrong puzzles related. This game wasn't done in a week, it took two years to get there. Maybe it was done by intention (mimicing Machinarium, story over puzzles, ...) or if he misjudged the difficulty. I have no idea how things really work at DF but i hope that Tim still is being challenged and gets brutal honest feedback. I've seen it a couple of times already that once people had reached a certain position the others weren't giving honest feedback anymore and just applauding to everything they say. This would be very unfortunate because you can't improve anymore and are loosing your contact to reality.

Do people at DF also play adventure games? I mean did they just play the classics from the golden LucasArts era years ago or are they also experienced in the games which were released up to day? I'm asking regarding internal feedback. From the people i've talked to there also seem to be differences between the expectations regarding the markets in Europe/Germany and the USA.

Maybe it also was budget related but then again wasn't it obvious that people wanted an adventure game? If i can have both i take unique gfx and great gameplay/puzzles/whatever but if there are serious contrains i want the gameplay in the first place because that's what i was missing the most. I enjoy great production values and put TWAU into my top PC games list but that's purely for the atmosphere and the gfx, ... not the gameplay and if i have one game which delivers in these areas already, it's way more interesting if another game doesn't try to do the same.

And gfx related i have to think of the interface again. I'm sorry but from this team with this budget i expected the best possible adventure interface for each platform (or at least for those platforms you also want to play these kind of games on) and not some dumbed down mobile compromise. This is frustrating, watching how the same mistakes are being made again and again.

[There are a few of things wrong but even for this simple implementation drag & drop is unsexy, and cumbersome for systems like a touchpad of a notebook. PC: Why not making the inventory react to the vertical position of the mouse pointer? you move the mouse pointer down / test if you're within the inventory mouse over area, maybe wait some tolerance time in case the user accidentally went down there (dunno, <= 0.6s? until it shows up) or immediately start fading the inventory in within the same time / select an item (source) by clicking on it / move your mouse pointer (without holding it down) to the hotspot area/object you want to use it on and click in order to confirm the action (destination). I want to point & click and not to point & drag, this can also hurt your fingertips after some time. If there's a problem with any already existing hotspot area down there then open it per click. {Or if you want to invest more effort you could also implement an easy to use multitouch input method.}]

Anyway, i hope that DF can provide some sort of enhancement (spicing it up, offering two gaming modes, ...) and they are taking a different approach for the second part (which they said they gonna do) but won't it feel awkward if the second part is noticeably more difficult than the first? Btw. with all this critism also thumbs up to Oliver for the dithering.

Uahhh, it's not easy being an adventure gamer these days, i guess it's not easy for the devs too.

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I agree 100% with you taumel. I think we were expecting a typical old school type adventure game, but instead got delivered something more akin to a story game. Maybe something just got lost in translation along the way and this is the unexpected result.

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I wasn't disappointed in the Act 1 as a whole. I was quite satisfied, and it did feel like an Adventure game to me. That said, I echo many here on the forums in saying that the puzzles are simply too easy, but primarily in regards to how they are presented. Each puzzle usually only requires one piece to solve it, and often you will have this piece AGES before you encounter what it is for, like the crystal sun from the cabin, and it moots and real difficulty. I made a separate post in the difficulty thread about simple-ish tweaks to add a good bit of difficulty along the way that I hope they can add in a patch.

I'm still excited for Act 2, and I hope it comes together nicely.

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The great things about Full Throttle were the german voice acting (best german voice acting of all LucasArts adventures) and the biker scenario. On the downsides the game was way too short (the end almost felt unfinished) and also too easy, and not this interesting puzzles related. But these aspects are known since years. Grim Fandango is the best adventure Tim Schafer has ever ever made and i expected him to knew this.

Grim Fandango has its issues but that doesn't mean that you want something so streamlined in replacement. I want creative and challenging puzzles not obscure ones or a complete lack of puzzles.

You know i have no idea if people like me are just a vocal minority regarding these things or if there are more thinking this way apart from the entries on this forum but honestly it doesn't matter to me because i don't care about the 75 million Steam users or some weirdos writing reviews, i do care about my experience as someone who grew up playing adventure games and loves these kind of games, it's me who i want to enjoy this game, not someone else.

I'm not happy and i quite don't understand how things ended up this way. It really would be interesting if the documentation could shed some light on this. I mean wasn't it Greg in one docu who was telling us that the games was so long and there were puzzles and so on? Where are they, what happended to them? I already had some sort of bad feeling when Tim was testing the game with Gaijin Games, it might be wrong and these guys might be great adventure gamers but my first idea was "Uhm, they're testing this game with people who are making running games?!" On the opposite i interpreted Tim's concerns about the difficulty as irony.

Speaking of Tim, i don't understand how he could go so wrong puzzles related. This game wasn't done in a week, it took two years to get there. If it was done by intention (mimicing Machinarium, story over puzzles, ...) or if he had really no feeling about the difficulty. I have no idea how things really work at DF but i hope that Tim still is being challenged and gets brutal honest feedback there. I've seen it a couple of times already that once people had reached a certain position the others weren't giving honest feedback anymore and just applauding to everything they say. This would be very unfortunate because you can't improve anymore and are loosing your contact to reality.

Do people at DF also play adventure games? I mean did they just play the classics from the golden LucasArts era years ago or are they also experienced in all the games which were released up to day? I'm asking regarding internal feedback. From the people i've talked to there also seem to be differences between the expectations regarding the market in Europe and the USA.

Maybe it also was budget related but then again wasn't it obvious that people wanted an adventure game? If i can have both i take unique gfx and great gameplay/puzzles/whatever but if there are serious contrains i want the gameplay in the first place because that's what i was missing the most. I enjoy great production values and put TWAU into my top PC games list but that's purely for the atmosphere and the gfx, ... not the gameplay and if i have one game which delivers in these areas already, it's way more interesting if another game doesn't try to do the same.

And gfx related i have to think of the interface again. I'm sorry but from this team with this budget i expected the best possible adventure interface for each platform (or at least for those platforms you also want to play these kind of games on) and not some dumbed down mobile compromise. This is frustrating, watching how the same mistakes are being made again and again.

Anyway, i hope that DF can provide some sort of fix (spicing it up, offering two gaming modes, ...) and they are taking a different approach for the second part but won't it feel awkward if the second part is noticeably more difficult than the first? Btw. with all this critism also thumbs up to Oliver for the dithering.

Uahhh, it's not easy being an adventure gamer these days, i guess it must feel the same for the devs.

I think you are mistaking your dislike for this game with its quality. It's not fair to say that all got wrong, that Tim failed writing the puzzles, that maybe he wasn't challenged enough, or that you hope the game gets "fixed", just because Broken Age is far from the idea you had.

We've all played Full Throttle, which was a very personal game for Tim, so we know that sometimes this is the kind of games he likes to make. That makes him a bad writer? Or maybe he's just a writer that doesn't appeal to you?

And it's ok! Video games are art and there's no work of art in history that has been praised by absolutely everyone.

Broken Age is a great adventure game just as Full Throttle was. They are a different kind of adventure game compared to Grim Fandango or Day of the Tentacle? Yes, but that doesn't make them bad or broken.

In my opinion, telling Tim to change his vision and way to make his work is losing the purpose of all this Kickstarter thing, that was allowing him to write the game he wanted without the presure of a publisher who tells him what to do and how to do it.

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Broken Age - Smartphone UI + Some Puzles = true Greatness

This shouldn't be called a Smartphone UI, because a Smartphone UI doesn't have to be as shallow as it is in Broken Age.

Great examples of iPhone P&C adventure UIs are Broken Sword and Beneath a Steel Sky.

Broken Sword:

Beneath Steel Sky:

BTW the zooming effects are new and wonderful adaptations to small screens!

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There weren't red herrings? What was the ice cream mountain for? The snake? The fishing poles?

Could you do anything with the ice cream mountain? Could you pick up different flavours of ice cream? Could you mix them? Could you put them anywhere else in the world? Did the behaviour of the snake differ at all if you applied different inventory items or approached differently? Oh, that was not possible? Could you pick up the fishing poles? ... Nah. You don't think much about those things if you don't have the impression that you *could* use them.

The game is like a chain of 2- or 3-part jigsaw puzzles, each one quite easy to solve and without many alternative options to consider.

It really bothered me that the characters only picked up some stuff (the stuff they magically "knew" they would use later) and even threw away some stuff after using it. Why would anybody throw away a perfectly fine tool when going on an adventure?? I would have wanted to try to re-use that stuff later!

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There weren't red herrings? What was the ice cream mountain for? The snake? The fishing poles?

Could you do anything with the ice cream mountain? Could you pick up different flavours of ice cream? Could you mix them? Could you put them anywhere else in the world? Did the behaviour of the snake differ at all if you applied different inventory items or approached differently? Oh, that was not possible? Could you pick up the fishing poles? ... Nah. You don't think much about those things if you don't have the impression that you *could* use them.

The game is like a chain of 2- or 3-part jigsaw puzzles, each one quite easy to solve and without many alternative options to consider.

It really bothered me that the characters only picked up some stuff (the stuff they magically "knew" they would use later) and even threw away some stuff after using it. Why would anybody throw away a perfectly fine tool when going on an adventure?? I would have wanted to try to re-use that stuff later!

You can climb up the mountain and you fail and they say something about the ice cream up there. Same with the fishing hooks, she keeps saying how they are useless because someone took all the hooks and you can see two girls right next to them with all the hooks. I am assuming it is how you will remove the snake in act 2.

I am so glad the game doesn't clutter your inventory with useless items meant to purposely confuse you. That makes the game boring and frustrating, on the other hand there needs to be some sort of punishment for trial and error to make the player think things through ahead of time.

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I see it more as the game provides a ton of real world items in the game world. If the player decides to pick them up, well that's their decision. Doesn't mean they're necessarily required. Same thing with "hotspots". There's tons of things in a game background that you can see. But in a game with limited hotspots you can only "examine" or "interact" with some of them. This was apparently done to appease the people who have no patience interacting with every single thing on the screen until they finally find what they're supposed to do. That's not why they're there. They're there so you can inspect them...because they were drawn into the background. If something is on the background that I can't inspect, that annoys me more than anything. Especially if it's interesting. You might as well hang big arrow signs up saying "CLICK HERE TO PROCEED". That's why Sierra never had highlighted hotspots. It also opens up the possibilities of how you're going to proceed in the game. This is where multiple puzzle solutions can come in. It's not a matter of guessing what the programmer intended, it's about experiencing the game world. If that's a waste of time for some people they have my pity for missing out.

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The thing with easy puzzles might also be about the fact that we grew up...

So let me tell you about The Secret of Monkey Island.. I played it in '95-'96. It was very difficult for me at that time (I was about 16 years old, english was also a bit of a problem back then). I played it again a few months ago (the remastered version). It seemed so easy now ... unbelievably easy compared to how I was remembering it.

As for me, I am not in favour of a gazillion objects, pixel hunting and action verbs. In fact, though I played almost every well known adventure game there is (and many "unknowns" as well) I am generally looking for story, soul, characters, atmosphere, and I care less about the "game" or gameplay part (puzzles, pixel hunting, etc). Which means for me Broken Age is all that I could've hoped for.

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- lack of humor, I smiled few times but never laugh

Though english is not my mother tongue, i was pleasantly surprised by the clever writing, puns, jokes, etc. They are subtle enough so you don't burst into laughs but I giggled many many times. I don't see how the writing could have been better and I was not looking for a stand-up-comedy-type-of-screenplay. In short, I find the writing to be one of the strenghts of this game and a major contributor to the game's charm.

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@sneferu

I wasn't trying to be fair, i stated my subjective opinion and was asking questions, nothing more, nothing less. I'm quite aware of that there are others who might enjoy exactly this kind of game but those might be their opinions not mine. I also can give DF credit for trying to make a game for everyone but for me one half is more wasted this way.

I also didn't question his writing skills but the game also has a few issues apart from the puzzles. In my opinion it's valid expecting an adventure when i was funding an adventure and i miss a couple of things in this one, so, from my perspective it's not as good as from yours.

It's also a matter of personal preferences where you draw the line. If Tim Schafer f.e. would have made some multiplayer strip poker would you have asked where the adventure is or would you have also told yourself something about visions and art? For me this project also involves a certain level of complexity which is part for an adventure the way i enjoy it.

I hope this sounds fair enough to you.

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I with you Ice3Cool.

A great Adventure game in the classic style this is not; we got a linear piece of Interactive Fiction: Everything handed to you, nothing much to figure out and very little world to explore.

I'm hoping the first act is just the introduction, a point and click opening movie introducing the bigger, complex Act 2 adventure to come.

(Yes Yes I liked the graphics and music and I think the voice acting was fantastic.)

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I with you Ice3Cool.

A great Adventure game in the classic style this is not; we got a linear piece of Interactive Fiction: Everything handed to you, nothing much to figure out and very little world to explore.

I'm hoping the first act is just the introduction, a point and click opening movie introducing the bigger, complex Act 2 adventure to come.

(Yes Yes I liked the graphics and music and I think the voice acting was fantastic.)

I also agree. This game is much too easy and is a "linear piece of Interactive Fiction" and not the old school point and click adventure game heavy implied in the KS. I hope DF is reading these posts and make some dramatic changes for part 2. I didn't hate the game but it certainly was a bit of a disappointment.

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Missed opportunity to be able to pick up an ACTUAL red herring at Shellmound, would have been hilarious.
Would be doubly hilarious if it was essential to solve a puzzle that comes right after you get it.

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Something people are missing here that is incredibly important to this discussion:

They did not set out originally to make a two act game. This is CRITICAL to why the game is things like easy and short.

When you set out to make a game in acts - like The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us - you can make choices about pacing that to prevent exactly the feelings we're having. Things like introducing new mechanics, harder puzzles, etc. This isn't just Act 1 of a two part game. It is LITERALLY half a game. Imagine playing Full Throttle or Grim Fandango and having the plug pulled after just a few hours of play. It would feel short. And easy. Because you hadn't gotten to the hard stuff yet.

Please try to keep that in mind here.

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There weren't red herrings? What was the ice cream mountain for? The snake? The fishing poles?

The Ice Cream Mountain is there to set up the frosting gun.

The snake and the fishing poles might count, but you can't pick either of them up. You can't walk around with a useless fishing pole wondering what you're going to use it for.

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There weren't red herrings? What was the ice cream mountain for? The snake? The fishing poles?

The Ice Cream Mountain is there to set up the frosting gun.

The snake and the fishing poles might count, but you can't pick either of them up. You can't walk around with a useless fishing pole wondering what you're going to use it for.

But I thought you could climb to the top and get the ice cream.

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