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FlyPigFly

[Feedback/Suggestion] Puzzle Scripting

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OK, starting off (and sucking up just a little), LOVED the game and holy wow, the ending...

I do agree with the general opinion that it was too short, too easy, etc, but that's all been said before and I don't think it's true to the degree that it'd ruin the experience that is BA. I'm normally one to simply lurk in the background and mutter my opinions under my breath, but in this case I felt the need to comment.

Probably my biggest annoyance was that, a lot of the time, you found yourself in a situation where you were presented with a puzzle, only to find the solution sitting, (often) glaringly obvious, already in your inventory. This is especially true with the scant number of inventory items in the game (don't directly have a problem with few items, except in cases where it makes things too obvious).

An example of this would be in finding the use for the hipster lumberjack's strange piece of "art"... Perhaps it's just something years of adventure games have taught me, but I had already verbally wrestled the art away from Curtis, before reaching the temple, or even knowing why I may have wanted it. Then, when presented with images of a strange symbol and a possible keyhole in the same shape, it was a simple case of "open inventory, oh look, strange symbol shaped art; strange art, meet strange indentation", and what could have been a mind-bender of a puzzle was over.

That really got to me, because the puzzle could have been (and could still be? huh? huh?) hugely improved simply by not allowing me the opportunity to take the art before going through the temple. If that were the case, you would have to REALLY think about the symbol, backtrack, talk to people again, and then make the connection, and get the art.

Similar situations just repeated themselves too many times in the game... I just want to be able to figure out that I even need an axe, before the game throws an axe at me, or a peach, or a knife. Surely some minor scripting changes would answer my desire?

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I totally agree with what you're saying, but I think that's just the game BROKEN AGE turned out to be. Also, unfortunately, I'm not sure it could be changed *that* easily.

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If you kept a close eye on the early development updates, this would've been ruined for you a long time ago (Watch it; it's really silly).

Hah, right. I didn't remember that before you mentioned it. I was constantly waiting for the rocket to fly out of Curtis' house though.

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That really got to me, because the puzzle could have been (and could still be? huh? huh?) hugely improved simply by not allowing me the opportunity to take the art before going through the temple. If that were the case, you would have to REALLY think about the symbol, backtrack, talk to people again, and then make the connection, and get the art.

I'm a bit surprised by having seen this kind of suggestion come up several times now. In discussions elsewhere of games that do behave like that (Runaway comes to mind), it's usually pointed to as a very bad design decision. People get annoyed when the character refuse to pick something up that the player knows will be useful.

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I'm a bit surprised by having seen this kind of suggestion come up several times now. In discussions elsewhere of games that do behave like that (Runaway comes to mind), it's usually pointed to as a very bad design decision. People get annoyed when the character refuse to pick something up that the player knows will be useful.

It is a bad design decision but in this particular case I don't think the character really knows that this thing will be useful. So waiting until Vella saw the religious symbol before triggering dialogue asking for it would make sense. Not that this discussion at this time makes sense anymore.

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I just want to be able to figure out that I even need an axe, before the game throws an axe at me, or a peach, or a knife.

You're so right it hurts. :-P

The peach example is perfect for me, because I had NOT taken the peach before reaching the temple, so I was forced to actually SOLVE the puzzle (an unusual feeling during Broken Age Part 1): I realized I needed the fruit and I went all the way back to get that. I know, that's backtracking, but it's not bad per se. Going back to Meriloft gave me the feeling of knowing the game world, a great feel. That was my only (mild) "ah-ah!" moment.

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I'm a bit surprised by having seen this kind of suggestion come up several times now. In discussions elsewhere of games that do behave like that (Runaway comes to mind), it's usually pointed to as a very bad design decision. People get annoyed when the character refuse to pick something up that the player knows will be useful.

I get very annoyed, if a character refuses to pick something up because "I don't need it now." It's a case of genre blindness on the character, and I don't want to play an adventure game with such a character. It is also very misleading. Why would I want to check out an item again, if I already heard from my character that he doesn't want to pick it up (yet)?

The CORRECT solution to such situations I'd like to explain with this example:

- See the art in Curtis' house

- Try to pick up the art

- Curtis says: "I can't let you have that unless you " (here, the circumstance that the acquisition of the art is tied to another puzzle will also keep it in the back of your head, thus making it easier to remember to backtrack here later, much in contrast to the arbitrary "I'll pick it up when 'the time is right'" excuse)

- [...]

- Go to the DEG's space ship

- See the art-shaped hole for the first time

- In the room, find the solution (or a part of the solution) to puzzle X by examination or talking to DEG

- Solve puzzle X

- Present solution to Curtis

- Receive art from Curtis

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