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ThunderPeel

Tim Schafer plays Day of the Tentacle

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Watching it again now, this is fun, but it's a shame that Tim doesn't really PLAY the game. He wanders around the mansion as Bernard, but he never actually engages with the story. If he'd picked up the battery plans he would have been given a task by the game to complete, which would then have led him to solving puzzles as pushed by the story, rather than just wandering and exploring.

The way I look at it: A player should never be expected to just discover things. Discovery is actually pretty boring unless you're extremely relaxed. There should always be something pushing you forward, making you want to do something.

Of course, I'm sure Tim knows all this, and he's probably overly familiar with the game, but DOTT is a great example of how things suddenly kick in and become interesting once you've been given your first task.

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DOTT SPOILERS AHEAD

I certainly wandered around the mansion looking for those plans everywhere *except* the basement on my first playthrough, so Tim is reflecting my experience well there. I totally got conned by the Dr Fred red herring!

I think it's a clever way to get the player to look around the place without getting overwhelmed by an influx of puzzles and objectives, and there's even a custom dialogue line for most of the characters iirc; I always do it that way on replays as well! It's a part of how well DOTT draws the player in: cutscene - simple one-room puzzle - cutscene - simple full-mansion/one-character puzzle (ie find the plans) - open up to 2 characters - open up to 3 characters.

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I like how he wanders around, as that's both what I enjoy and what I always did as a kid.

I'm not opposed to plot motivation, of course, as long as it doesn't turn into a Quest in the Quest Log with a Radar Arrow (Wadjet's Emerald City Confidential had this problem).

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DOTT SPOILERS AHEAD

I certainly wandered around the mansion looking for those plans everywhere *except* the basement on my first playthrough, so Tim is reflecting my experience well there. I totally got conned by the Dr Fred red herring!

I think it's a clever way to get the player to look around the place without getting overwhelmed by an influx of puzzles and objectives, and there's even a custom dialogue line for most of the characters iirc; I always do it that way on replays as well! It's a part of how well DOTT draws the player in: cutscene - simple one-room puzzle - cutscene - simple full-mansion/one-character puzzle (ie find the plans) - open up to 2 characters - open up to 3 characters.

I did, too, but I also got bored (just like he does). It's a clever way to get you to explore, and to let the user know that the mansion has opened up to them, but the game really kicks in once the story does, IMO. I certainly don't go exploring on my playthroughs now.

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Something that always, always surprises me about these retrospectives: Tim Schafer does not seem to like adventure games. You can tell by the way he talks about Sierra games. He doesn't even know what topics they covered. ("Traditional fantasy" applies only to King's Quest and Quest for Glory. Sierra had many, many prominent series.)

Do you think he played any adventure games at all after 1990?

Ron Gilbert and many other famous designers are similar this way. I remember when all the Kickstarters were coming around in 2012 -- it slowly came out that nobody had even played their own company's games.

It's disappointing.

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An intrepid journalist should ask him what adventure games he's completed since 1990. I'm willing to bet the number is under 10.

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Machinarium was brilliant, loved the Ben and Dan games also.

The sam and max telltale series were pretty good, their later stuff really needs more puzzles though, it's all dialogue trees and QTEs.

I'd think it's harder to enjoy a game when you spent so much time working on it that you've seen everything there is to see and know every puzzle/dialogue tree off by heart. Then again i could almost play DOTT blindfolded and I still enjoy playing it every couple of years.

I didnt get the sense so much that Tim didnt enjoy the game, more that he was playing it with the mindset of considering how you would do this same game today: Verbs or extremely simplified interface, mouse-overing being a major element and that doesnt work on touchscreen devices etc.

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So... is there ever going to be a part 2?
Let's say there's a better chance now that the special edition has been announced.

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So... is there ever going to be a part 2?
Let's say there's a better chance now that the special edition has been announced.

So you're saying that all I know is my gut says maybe.

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