Sign in to follow this  
matthansen

Day of the Tentacle: Special Edition Wish List Features

Recommended Posts

There's also the bug where in some circumstances characters are animated to be talking, but because of the screen panning to the left or right there's no voice coming out until after the screen stops moving.

And I say again, keep the verbs. That's the one thing I truly want from this project, but I'm all in favor of the other suggestions.

But don't ever rush with release dates, we don't mind waiting but if we're told one thing we will hold you to it. Release it when it is ready.

Really keen to hear what you have to say about Maniac Mansion though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Question: I don't imagine anyone wants to change the original VO, but if the music gets a high quality overhaul, is that going to create a weird audio quality disparity between music and VO?

That'd be a neat one to pop in the questions thread :D

You're a prince Matt Hansen. High five the rest of the team for me.

High fives all round! o/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My one request is a lot more than 8 saves on PS4.

Yes. More than 8 saves!!! I used about 30 on my playthrough of GF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Matt, if you're still wondering what to do with the verbs. You could hide them so we get the game in full screen. But when there is a hot spot, the verbs can surround it. Like MI1 SE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do like the idea of more screen space for the new artwork. Maybe the verb "wheel" from SMI2:SE, but with words in it is a reasonable compromise? It makes it a little less UX-accessible for younger children: words aren't just on the screen, there's another level of depth to the modality, etc. I'm not sure how you'd make having the verbs always on-screen optional, since putting them there will mess up the aspect ratio..

it's a tough one, for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The solution for the verbs is going to be tricky. I really like the suggestions everyone has written so far, but I think we need to talk more internally with the team about the best approach. From a high level, I am a fan of trying to give player as many options as possible to customize the game to how they would like for it to work. I think what I want to explore is to let players control how that stuff is displayed for the UI. I think we can find a solution that will make most people happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read through this whole thread so apologies if this has already been said, but I feel like the verbs can all be condensed into three for a verb coin...

USE

-Give

-Open

-Close

-Pick Up

-Talk To

Push/Pull

Look At

...and then just click to walk. The only fault in this idea is the possibility that there will be action-specific dialogue, for example 'Push' and 'Pull' on the same object might have their own dialogue each.

Another idea is clicking and holding on an object could bring up the verbs that work with that object. So if you can only 'Look At' and 'Talk To' a character, only those verbs will appear on a coin.

Honestly though it might be more trouble than it's worth. Verbs work great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think part of the problem with the verbs is that even as early as DOTT they're mostly redundant in terms of puzzle solving. I sifted through a walkthrough once and did a count of all the actions you have to do in the game, and it turned out I could count on one hand the number of actions you have to do that aren't:

Pick up thing

Use thing

Use inventory item with thing

Talk to person

A common example of an exception would be pushing the speaker as part of the fake barf puzzle but there are not too many of them.

So in terms of puzzle solving, that's tricky because nowadays I think if you present so many verbs people are going to expect to be using them a fair bit, because that's what good UI design has taught us. It's like how in Grim Fandango there's really only 1 proper inventory combination style puzzle, so they didn't bother to build in a whole inventory combination UI into the game, they just solved that puzzle the other way. Nowadays, perhaps that push-the-speaker puzzle wouldn't have been written that way, maybe instead you would have had to use the crowbar on the speaker or something along those lines, to lever it over.

Anyway, the fact remains there ARE all these verbs and very occasionally they are used in puzzle solving, so that needs to be worked out one way or another. I think providing interface options is the best solution.

The other part of having lots of verbs is that there are some funny responses to using the wrong verb on something, and so people are going to want access to those lines. That said, most responses remain generic 'I can't pick that up' etc.

Maybe it could be a verb coin style interface, but you can choose between always-list-all-verbs or only-list-verbs-with-unique-dialogue-or-that-have-an-actual-effect. The former would be purer to the original experience, but the latter (like MI2:SE) may be less of a confusing/frustrating way to play for newer players. And actually for repeat players - because it would actually let me know about extra dialogue I might not have been aware of before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Verbs are more than just doing puzzles.

Verbs are way of interacting, explore and doing stuff in the world. I hate the modern day 1 button approach in many Point N Click games. Part of the charm of the old games is the way you can explore the world and get funny or mixed results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Curse of Monkey Island got the verb list down to what we all ever really needed. It was the pinnacle of the evolution of the Scumm interface (partially because it was the last game to use Scumm, but still -- it's the best).

Left click = Walk To

Left click hold = Look At, Talk To, Use

Right click = Inventory (or the Inventory icon on screen)

Of course with some of the older games they worked in extra jokes to do with the obscure verbs they had, and it would be a shame to lose them, but moving forward I don't know why this hasn't been used more often. It even works with touch devices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except the problem with condensing verbs is that it contracts the possibility space significantly. I'm not sure if I have a nice way to articulate why that's a bad thing, but it makes it harder to feel like you as a player are making decisions vs automatically doing what the game expects you to do to progress.

If a game was designed to have that extra possibility space, sacrificing it is in most cases going to diminish the game IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Except the problem with condensing verbs is that it contracts the possibility space significantly. I'm not sure if I have a nice way to articulate why that's a bad thing, but it makes it harder to feel like you as a player are making decisions vs automatically doing what the game expects you to do to progress.

If a game was designed to have that extra possibility space, sacrificing it is in most cases going to diminish the game IMO.

having extra verbs is a "cheap" way of increasing the possibility space, if those verbs are rarely actually used. And as Tim once pointed out, inventory items ARE verbs, functionally.

I agree that the extra verbs increase the possibility space, but I think that is was one of the less refined areas of Adventure Game design that it would rely on this sort of obfuscation rather than just designing logical puzzles which can be solved with intuitive leaps. I see the case for keeping all verbs accessible at all times, but I also totally understand a modern player's desire to just know what they CAN do, and figure out the puzzle from there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
having extra verbs is a "cheap" way of increasing the possibility space, if those verbs are rarely actually used.

It certainly can be cheap, but when used poorly, just about anything can. I don't think that's really relevant for DoTT though.

I agree that the extra verbs increase the possibility space, but I think that is was one of the less refined areas of Adventure Game design that it would rely on this sort of obfuscation rather than just designing logical puzzles which can be solved with intuitive leaps. I see the case for keeping all verbs accessible at all times, but I also totally understand a modern player's desire to just know what they CAN do, and figure out the puzzle from there.

That sounds like two different kinds of games with two (potentially overlapping) audiences rather than any real division of modern from classic audiences. I'm sure that somewhere there are people who would appreciate something like a jigsaw puzzle where only the next adjacent piece needed was available in the box at any given time, but then that wouldn't really be a jigsaw puzzle anymore, it'd be something else.

Edit: I do like the way that additional verbs have been added/removed depending on context in some adventure games (the parrot sequence in Monkey Island springs out as an obvious, if a little gratuitous example).

And I'm also working on a single verb adventure game at the moment, so I recognise that there's a time and place for that as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If a game was designed to have that extra possibility space, sacrificing it is in most cases going to diminish the game IMO.

I agree with this, to an extent. But ultimately all you're talking about is lines of dialogue. As soon as you hear a generic response (eg. "I can't pick that up") it kills the illusion of your "possibility space". And the proof is in the fact that I never actually felt constricted in Throttle, Curse or Grim. (Or Sam & Max for that matter, which only retained "Pick up".)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
having extra verbs is a "cheap" way of increasing the possibility space, if those verbs are rarely actually used.

It certainly can be cheap, but when used poorly, just about anything can. I don't think that's really relevant for DoTT though.

I do.

I love DOTT, I think it's a brilliantly designed adventure game, possibly the best in terms of how its puzzle structure comes together. But there's no getting away from the fact that 99% of the actions required to complete the game are: pick up, use, use (inventory), and talk. So I actually don't think it makes good use of all those verbs. It uses them for a mere handful of puzzles, and back in 1993 those could have probably been quite easily redesigned to accomodate fewer verbs, without making the puzzles themselves any easier.

I know I'm never going to win this one with people who think otherwise, and some incredible bores are still going to argue that I just don't understand why they think all these verbs are good, but this is what I genuinely think. Anyway...

The fact of the matter is, those verbs ARE in the game, and while most of the time they produce generic 'I can't do that' style responses, sometimes they give some amusing context relevant gag or whatever. So I'm not arguing for the removal of the verbs from the game, I'm arguing for the option for people to only see verbs which are relevant to the object at hand, which I think did no harm at all to MI2:SE (and, as I mentioned, actually let me in on a few places where there were context sensitive responses I'd never found before)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can understand something without enjoying it, and people can have differing opinions to your own without being "incredible bores" :b

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can understand something without enjoying it, and people can have differing opinions to your own without being "incredible bores" :b
Hey now that's not what I said at all. I said that people who insist I don't "understand" why verbs can be useful are bores. And they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alrighty, I'll be less subtle. We left that kind of nonsense back on page 4. There's no place for name calling or being derogatory in this thread. Find better ways of expressing yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fun pills and sleds for everyone.

Also, I like the sound of this:

The solution for the verbs is going to be tricky. I really like the suggestions everyone has written so far, but I think we need to talk more internally with the team about the best approach. From a high level, I am a fan of trying to give player as many options as possible to customize the game to how they would like for it to work. I think what I want to explore is to let players control how that stuff is displayed for the UI. I think we can find a solution that will make most people happy.

Smiles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alrighty, I'll be less subtle. We left that kind of nonsense back on page 4. There's no place for name calling or being derogatory in this thread. Find better ways of expressing yourself.
I take exception to this. I'm not calling out anyone specific, I'm just expressing, in general, an honest opinion. I absolutely 100% stand by what I said and think it was highly unnecessary to call me out on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not calling out anyone specific, I'm just expressing, in general, an honest opinion. I absolutely 100% stand by what I said and think it was highly unnecessary to call me out on it.

If you have a problem with it, shoot myself or one of the other moderators a PM and we'll raise it for discussion. In the meantime, please respect the request.

Also, I like the sound of this:
The solution for the verbs is going to be tricky. I really like the suggestions everyone has written so far, but I think we need to talk more internally with the team about the best approach. From a high level, I am a fan of trying to give player as many options as possible to customize the game to how they would like for it to work. I think what I want to explore is to let players control how that stuff is displayed for the UI. I think we can find a solution that will make most people happy.

Yeah, it sounds like Matt's head is in the right place :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So I'm not arguing for the removal of the verbs from the game, I'm arguing for the option for people to only see verbs which are relevant to the object at hand, which I think did no harm at all to MI2:SE (and, as I mentioned, actually let me in on a few places where there were context sensitive responses I'd never found before)

The addition of verbs as unique options (which wouldn't make sense with another verb) is a good idea. I'm guessing they'll probably go with something like that for DOTT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So I'm not arguing for the removal of the verbs from the game, I'm arguing for the option for people to only see verbs which are relevant to the object at hand, which I think did no harm at all to MI2:SE (and, as I mentioned, actually let me in on a few places where there were context sensitive responses I'd never found before)

The addition of verbs as unique options (which wouldn't make sense with another verb) is a good idea. I'm guessing they'll probably go with something like that for DOTT.

I just hope we get options, really :) the thing I like about the way it was done with Grim is that there were all kinds of options, for the purists, for the new people, and everyone wins.

What I think will be more controversial is if there should be some sort of in game UHS style hint engine. I think, after reading people's responses to Grim, probably there should be. Many people just don't want to be stuck on puzzles, and that's okay, we shouldn't force them to be, even if that's how we liked to play it. Particularly because, as I recall, there were versions of DOTT that came with a walkthrough packed in. So I'd love optional hints, it seems like a win-win to me. I'd be interested in what other people think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there were a walkthrough/hint system included with the game, I'd rather see it as something you could access/interact with from the menu rather than integrated with the game itself (which I think the MI special editions had? I'm not sure, I never used them). That would avoid making it "too easy" to grab a hint (which seems to be some people's problem with hint systems) or to frame hints as being something that's a part of the intended experience (which seems to be some other people's problem).

Another thought I just had was that it could be neat to flavour hints with a bit of relevant design insight or trivia relating to the original game and/or the special edition. That would give something of value to for long time fans (which is something that hint systems never seem to do) who wanted to know more about the origins of a particular puzzle, and give players who were super stuck an opportunity to progress.

It could be a nice way to give small but deep directed tidbits that might not be exposed through a commentary recording session, though it'd have a bit of production overhead in terms of wrangling the extra info ^_^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mechinarium had a hint system that was locked in a little in game book I recall...

Smiles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mechinarium had a hint system that was locked in a little in game book I recall...

Smiles

I liked that, did you have to play a little minigame to unlock the hint book or something?

I'm not sure about using concept art as hints.. it was a good idea but wasn't always clear. I always like UHS style hints where the first one you get use nudges you in the right direction, then they get progressively more direct. And you always ask for them, never get given them automatically. I don't like the periodic-auto-hint school of hinting like in early Telltale, where you get hints when you don't want them, then can't seem to get one when you actually need it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has been a while since I played Machinarium, but I found this on youtube:

Smiles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Idea:

If they are unable to implement the Maniac Mansion easter egg, just put the hint system on the computer instead. Or they could make it so that there's a choice between the two if they are able to implement the easter egg. So hints wouldn't be available during the prologue, but after that people would be able to go to the computer to look up a hint, UHS style. I think it would be cute, anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i'm sorry if I'm sounding a little stupid, but why does the remake need hints all of the sudden?

It's a simple fact that a lot of people enjoy the story/dialogue elements of puzzle games but don't enjoy the aspect of being stuck for a long time on puzzles. I've seen it again and again in the reaction to the Grim Fandango remaster. More or less everyone loves the story, the characters, etc, but many people could take or leave the puzzles, and for some people not playing with a walkthrough is actively hindering their enjoyment.

I don't see any particular problem with that. When I first played Monkey Island at 10 I found it quite hard, and I used to use a walkthrough. Later on I started to enjoy the challenge of puzzles and get used to how they worked in this sort of game, so I tried to figure it all out on my own, but even though I cheated most of my way through MI1, it's still a formative game for me in so many ways. So I feel like I'm living proof that just because someone wants to use hints right now doesn't mean they won't get a taste for adventure puzzling further down the road.

Now people have the internet. Walkthroughs are accessible, easy. To me it just seems like a simple (and cheap-to-implement) courtesy to include hints for people who want to use them, since it's hardly an imposition on people who don't want to use them. There are a couple of advantages to including hints in-game:

1) If someone wants to use a walkthrough, they can do so without going out of or turning away from the game, so it just keeps things flowing nicer.

2) You get to control what those hints are. Like I said, I think the best sort of adventure game hints are the gradual ones - first a nudge in the right direction, then more obvious until finally it'll give up the answer if you want it. Rather than just going to the first internet walkthrough they find, it ensures that at least the player is given a chance to enjoy the satisfaction of solving the puzzle, even if it was with a nudge in the right direction.

tl;dr - I'm not a big fan of proscribing how people 'ought' to play games, and if someone doesn't like tricky puzzles that much, I see no reason not to include hints for them - and the right sort of hints could simply make the puzzles easier, rather than making them go away altogether.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this