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jasondesante

it took me an hour to find the knife

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reminded of the "good old days" banging my head against a wall going through all the multiple choices and then literally the very last thing I did was ask grandpa to spit a cupcake, to which he pulls out the knife, that was supposed to be hidden, but the game was actually lying.

Literally everything I dislike about point and click adventure games and it is right at the start of Broken Age. A puzzle that doesn't require logic, but requires luck and trial and error to solve, and a misleading message from the entire game about how to solve that puzzle. I'm very sad because I feel like this could be a good game, but is riddled with all the problems of the previous games as well, without any acknowledgement that those were problems in the first place, and that anyone wants to solve them and move forward. Was really hoping that if you were banging your head against the wall for a long enough time the game would just move the story forward in a different way.

Anyways this just got me thinking about when you guys showed the game to Eric Wolpaw and he was basically saying that Broken Age will be just as good as the older point and click games. That is something I really really hope isn't the case, because it has a higher production value in many levels, except in the puzzles, which are just as ridiculous as they have always been! (in certain cases, for example when saving those aliens with Marek and you aren't able to save them all, I liked how that was some nice gameplay + story, even if it was very minimal and is totally linear. Stuff like that and many others definitely show there is a lot of potential) But I'll never see the logic in that first puzzle in Vella's story. It really really makes me wish that Double Fine spoiled the entire game from the beginning and let us influence the puzzles so they didn't turn out horrible, because this is the exact thing I was hoping to not happen, knowing it was easy to have happen because its just what ends up happening when someone makes a point and click adventure game, which is why I thought the large amount of playtesters could help force Double Fine to cut things they otherwise wouldn't, much like Valve made Half Life. But that would have resulted in the best point and click adventure game ever and simply because of methodical testing and iteration.

:(

I hope very much so that the rest of the game isn't like this and I am just being a jerk or something, because first impressions are very important to me, and Shay's story left a very good first impression and Vellas story left a very bad first impression.

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you. must be kidding.

you consider asking people about something youre looking for obscure and ridiculous?

at least you got through the cutscenes allright yeah?

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at least you got through the cutscenes allright yeah?

I think if I had been drinking anything while I read that I would have snorted it out my nose.

Sorry you had a bad experience on that puzzle, OP! Honestly though, I'm not sure you're going to find many people who had the same experience. While solving a dialogue-tree puzzle often is trial-and-error based there were only... what, two or three options to choose from? Hardly time-consuming. Considering the character flat-out tells you that they know where the knife is, you have a small amount of dialogue options to choose from and only one object you can manipulate... it's not exactly up there with the game's most difficult puzzles.

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I actually got stuck on this one as well. I thought I had asked grandpa everything and went around the room multiple times. Talking to everyone, trying every object on everyone and everything. It was obvious that grandpa had hidden the knife, and it felt fairly obvious the solution (or at least the first step) was in that zoomed in view when standing next to him, but yet I failed. This was the only place in the game that I got stuck. I'm not sure if it's something todo with in what sequence one does things, because I really think I talked to grandpa several times without getting the right dialogue option? I'm not saying this needs to be changed, but it might be something to look over, especially since it's the very first puzzle in Vella's story and you don't want to scare people away.

Getting stuck is part of adventure games and frustrating as it is I don't think you can design it away entirely. Overall I actually found Act 1 almost too easy. But only almost. I hope Act 2 will be a bit more complex, now that the mechanics and story has been introduced. But not by much since I prefer having the flow in the story over too hard puzzles. It sure is a hard balance... but I think DF has done an excellent job with the balance in Broken Age!

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I actually got stuck on this one as well. I thought I had asked grandpa everything and went around the room multiple times. Talking to everyone, trying every object on everyone and everything. It was obvious that grandpa had hidden the knife, and it felt fairly obvious the solution (or at least the first step) was in that zoomed in view when standing next to him, but yet I failed. This was the only place in the game that I got stuck. I'm not sure if it's something todo with in what sequence one does things, because I really think I talked to grandpa several times without getting the right dialogue option?

That's... odd. I would have to go and play the start of the game over again to figure out if there's an issue with it, but isn't there only one object you can pick up? Therefore only one object you can use on everybody? And only two options with what to do with the object when it comes to Grandpa, one of which is the puzzle solution? Unless you're experiencing some glitch where the solution isn't an option to you, I don't see how it's possible to get stuck on this puzzle for a protracted period of time.

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you have two objects, the cupcake and the towel. one of the things you can say to grandpa though is "do you want a cupcake?" regardless of you having one on you. so thats a big hint.

giving him the cupcake you get 3 options give/keep/split.

I didnt mean to say it was stupid to get stuck there - sometimes you get caught along one train of thought. but its another thing to attack the logic of the whole setup after the fact. especially as it already has a bunch of obvious hints.

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I don't think a player's failure to grasp this puzzle is the fault of the creators anymore than it is the fault of Counterstrike devs that some people can't kill their adversaries.

The necessary elements were there. The logic is there. If someone had trouble with this puzzle, they just need to get better. That is the point of any game. If you want to be carried through an interactive story, get visual novels. *shrug*

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I don't think a player's failure to grasp this puzzle is the fault of the creators anymore than it is the fault of Counterstrike devs that some people can't kill their adversaries.

The necessary elements were there. The logic is there. If someone had trouble with this puzzle, they just need to get better. That is the point of any game. If you want to be carried through an interactive story, get visual novels. *shrug*

Counter Strike and Point and Click Adventures don't have the same skill curve. Not even close. I understand what you're saying, and I also understand the value in a game providing red herrings, but not when the first puzzle's only clue is a red herring and you have to solve it by luck. I unfortunately looked around the room a lot longer than I should because people kept saying it was hidden somewhere. It is fine if the very beginning of the game has the first characters you come in contact with lie to you....and if that is a theme of the game that is cool, there is just something about that beginning that rubs me the wrong way really badly.

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But it WAS hidden in Brommel's possession. He was the odd one out in the scene, obviously stood against the celebration and should have been the first choice in investigating the location of the knife. Having the dialogue line that prompted cupcakes was an obvious indication that it was worth giving him a cupcake. Offering the cupcake gave three options, which is also odd, worthy of investigation on that fact alone. And the icing on the cake was an option to 'split the cupcake', which generally requires some sort of cutting utensil, a utensil that only Brommel seemed to know the location of.

Everything was there to steer you to the solution. It was the farthest you could get from luck or randomness. It would only have gotten easier if the game literally told you who to click on and where to use which items.

This is not a failure of the game designer. It is a failure of the player to see the things that were put in place. There is nothing wrong with the puzzle, and the criticism on the design is misplaced. Again, this is akin to blaming the devs of Counterstrike for dying because you didn't take cover under fire because you didn't know a wall was relevant to the situation.

And I have no intention of calling anyone dumb or anything. Not being able to get this puzzle means you need to get better at solving these puzzles, just as dying in an FPS means you need to get better at staying alive. The appropriate reaction is NOT to blame the design in this instance.

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First of all let me clearify: I'm not saying this is badly designed or needs changing. Also I played through half of Shay's story before switching to Vella, then got stuck, then played all of Shay before moving back to this puzzle. Like I said I almost felt the game was too easy, but only almost.

I talked to grandpa early on, before really looking for the knife, on my first attempt. I think I got the option to split the cupcake then, but chose to give him the whole thing. After having browser through the room a bit and starting to focus on finding the knife I talked to him several times. I'm sure there's an option to ask him if he wants a cupcake then and he says "yes". I think I probably thought that meant I gave him the cupcake, and that that did not solve the puzzle. I'm uncertain if I actually dropped the cupcake from inventory on him at this point and did not get the option, or missed that it was a good idea to ask him to split it, or if I just assmed that talking to him and asking him if he wanted a cupcake gave the same options.

If it's just that I should have dropped it on him perhaps this could somehow have been clearer, perhaps by him saying something more then "yes". Perhaps "yes get one for me". Or on the second talk with him have him say "where's that cupcake you promised me?". Or perhaps remove the option to ask him if he wants a cupcake a second time. Or another option would be to actually let the solution options appear when just talking to him. The last two beeing easier to implement since it doesn't require new dialogue.

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you didnt give him the cupcake and werent given the option unless that was a bug.

dont really see the difference between "yes" and "yes get one for me" - thats not what you were having problems with anyways. what could have helped would be to have some reference (somewhere in the room, perhaps from rochelle) that theyre hard to split/cut by hand without making a mess. or something like that. or you guys could be people who see dialogue options :)

edit: spelnig

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Not even close. I understand what you’re saying, and I also understand the value in a game providing red herrings, but not when the first puzzle’s only clue is a red herring and you have to solve it by luck.

... but it's not a red herring, and solving the puzzle has nothing to do with luck. You have all the information needed in that scene.

The only possible solution I can come up with is that your game somehow was bugged, seeing as there are so many hints, and there is such a lack of things to do in that scene. The character (Grandpa Beastender) even says he hid it. "There's a reason I hid it" he says. As long as you talk to him, you have also finished the conversation and seen/heard that line.

I guess I just don't understand exactly how you got stuck. There is nothing to spend an hour on in that scene. The cursor changes shape when you can interact with something, so you can't have spent that time pixel hunting, which means you would have eventually (very quickly) exhausted all interactions with the characters (which in turn means having experienced Grandpa Beastender saying that he hid it, and that he wants a cupcake). Being that you have a cupcake in your inventory, you would have tried to give him a cupcake and seen the different responses. Even then, not understanding the puzzle doesn't stop you from exhausting all the options (which would be the only logical thing to do, if you had exhausted all other possibilities).

Again, I just don't understand how, exactly you got stuck. It just seems nonsensical.

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Maybe he didn't notice that you could keep grabbing cupcakes since Vella doesn't show a grabbing animation for that. That disoriented me a little at first.

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Maybe he didn't notice that you could keep grabbing cupcakes since Vella doesn't show a grabbing animation for that. That disoriented me a little at first.

thats true. wonder if theyre gonna add that animation...I also didnt realize Id gotten one - but only for about 10 seconds.

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To clear things up all I feel about it is that it should be different. Not that it is bad. There were possibilities left out. The way the game removes choices you've already made to make the dialogue options easier....why not use that as a way to steer towards the answer? The possibility of alternate dialogue for a certain line after asking the same thing twice which steer things closer to the answer. Anything like that even making an attempt at making the experience flow better.

After finishing Act 1 I have no complaints. I kind of think the way I felt through that first knife puzzle was the exact intended way, and after experiencing the whole thing, I love it for that. This thing is going to sell huge! :)

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I think what confused me was that I believed that I gave him the cupcake when asking him about it and he said "yes". So even though I went around the room dropping the cupcake on everything else I probably missed to do it to grandpa because I thought I had already done it. It's not a lack of understanding the puzzle, but a simple mistake that I made (but that also could have been made clearer from a design point). That's why "yes get one for me" would be clearer then a simple "yes".

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I didn't realize that Vella had picked up a cupcake at first either, but it didn't take me that long to figure out. Grandpa makes it pretty obvious that he knows where the knife is, so I just kept trying things to get information out of grandpa.

No different than an RPG where you just try all the dialog trees until you get the response you like.

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