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Greg Rice

DFA Game Club: DOTT

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Thanks to everyone who joined us. It was fun! We'll definitely have to do this again sometime. Now that the game is fresh in everyone's mind, feel free to post impressions! What things do you like about DOTT? What feels like it could use updating? Very interested to hear what you think.

DOTT is one of the best adventure games ever made... Possibly the best. It has a great, epic story. Lots of puzzles available at once, so you never get stuck. Great script. LOGICAL puzzles (nothing that gets you stumped like the "monkey wrench" puzzle in MI2, or many of the things in Full Throttle). Also, a wonderfully satisfying ending.

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oh man do I miss DOTT and I'm so sad I missed out on this group gaming session. Ah well.

Hope you guys all had fun!

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DOTT pro's are:

1) The art design - I absolutely LOVE the 2D animation and art design of this game. The only other time I felt like I was playing through a cartoon was when I played Wind Waker.

2) The story - I loved the time travel aspect and jumping back and forth between characters. It isn't really all that special now-a-days, but I still think it has great fell narration.

The con's are:

1) Length: I feel the game is to short and I always have. The pacing is pretty good, but even if you don't know a single puzzle (if you've never played the game before) it still feels a little on the short side.

That is not to say that I don't adore the game and that there aren't other pro's and con's; these are just the ones that I feel are major. However, having said that I do not think that Double Fine should drag out the DFA if they feel it is to short. If when the game is finished and it is on the short don't change it just because you want to try and stretch out the user's enjoyment. Stay true to your artistic vision and if the game is short, well the game is short.

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DOTT Was my first LA game... Still have the original case for the game.

And I'm fairly sure i still remember more or less exactly what I'm supposed to do and when.

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Thanks to everyone who joined us. It was fun! We'll definitely have to do this again sometime. Now that the game is fresh in everyone's mind, feel free to post impressions! What things do you like about DOTT? What feels like it could use updating? Very interested to hear what you think.

DOTT is one of the best adventure games ever made... Possibly the best. It has a great, epic story. Lots of puzzles available at once, so you never get stuck. Great script. LOGICAL puzzles (nothing that gets you stumped like the "monkey wrench" puzzle in MI2, or many of the things in Full Throttle). Also, a wonderfully satisfying ending.

The monkey wrench puzzle, hah! Just try to figure it out in a different language! There's no literal translation in italian.

DotT is probably the funniest adventure game ever made.

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So, reading the threat it looks like a lot of us either beat the game or are most of the way through. (I've got the diamond and just need to swipe some gold for the past and get a nice smile for Dead Cousin Ted in the future myself). Are we going to do another communal play through of DOTT or are we going to move on to some other game this weekend?

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Hello a Tim and team! I want to reinforce the positive opinion on the 'parallelism' of DOTT's puzzles. You can solve other puzzles, until you get the flash on a very difficult puzzle, so you don't get stuck and bored. This is a element that has been implemented in other great games like Discworld.

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What's great about DOTT?

That's simple: almost every puzzle is a gag. You literally play the story. Solving the game is actually funny, it's not a chore.

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DOTT is a great game!

One minor thing I thought was not so good:

You could do a lot of things before you knew why you have to do them.

For example, I gave the left-handed hammer to one of the twins (which was an obvious thing to do) but I didn't know why I had to change the statue, because I hadn't pushed edna before. When I finally solved the puzzle in edna's room by pushing her out I always wondered what the statue puzzle was about, because I did not know that pushing edna wouldn't have worked with the first statue because I never tried. I kept going back to the twins and talking to them and trying stuff although there was nothing more to do.

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Last week i went wayyyyyyyyy back to the mansion in Maniac Mansion (the first). And that was -very- inspiring. And it's actually pretty good also! The only thing that aged a bit is that you have to walk a lot (only to bring that one item to the right person), and there are a few ways to get stuck. Other than that: it's a timeless gem!

Anyway, back to DotT (you can play Maniac Mansion from Ed's comp in DotT, right?)... i was looking to get an original (and legal) copy of this one, because i lost my talkie DotT cd (with custom made cd cover, by cutting a copy of PC Format magazine). This loss still hurts me!! I've been looking around on official LucasArts sites, Amazon, etc. but nowhere to get those kinda games anymore :( If there's anyone out there who knows where to get it LET ME KNOW. Tim, help!! Luckily i still have all the other LucasArts adventures on original cd's (some kind of adventure collection).

Of course there are other ways to get DotT (i bought the original twice, disk version and talkie version, so i "backed" the original team more than enough). Or else i'll just watch a playthrough on youtube... the horror...

Have fun playing! The mansion is awesome!

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I have my dusty ol' copy lying around in the closet somewhere. Count me in!

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This is the perfect excuse to play it through yet again! Hope to join the chat whilst playing for a couple of hours. As someone already said, "Now I know... I must go back to the mansion!". Aaahhh *gets all nostalgic, tear forms in eye* :-)

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I've been playing it lately for my own research since I have to make a game for my Masters, found my old cd and got it working. Forgot how epic it was.

So I guessing the mIRC chat was last Saturday?

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Just finished my playthrough. I agree that the game is a little short, but I don't think it's quite as short as people make it out to be - I think it feels that way because the ending seems to lack resolution. The fast-paced triple-headed bit at the very end is all good, but the epilogue lacks something - it'd have been nice if it had been fleshed out a little more, perhaps showing what happened to the various characters in the present and past (particularly poor old Green Tentacle, who I think was sorely under-used in the game as a whole) with maybe a snippet of a de-Purpled future too.

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Just finished my playthrough. I agree that the game is a little short, but I don't think it's quite as short as people make it out to be - I think it feels that way because the ending seems to lack resolution. The fast-paced triple-headed bit at the very end is all good, but the epilogue lacks something - it'd have been nice if it had been fleshed out a little more, perhaps showing what happened to the various characters in the present and past (particularly poor old Green Tentacle, who I think was sorely under-used in the game as a whole) with maybe a snippet of a de-Purpled future too.

I think is was mainly budget issues. $300,000 was not a lot.

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I think is was mainly budget issues. $300,000 was not a lot.

Also don't forget: in 1993, when DotT came out: it was hilarious, a milestone and nowhere-yet-to-be-seen interactive cartoon (and no, Dagon's Lair stuff doesn't count). Perhaps a little shorter gameplay-length wise, but a huge leap away from the other point&clicks;.

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Btw. Here's some awesome Day of the Tentacle orchestral performance :-) :-)

Enjoy!

(edit: sorry for post update, couldn't get the youtube code working, now a link to the correct vid.. although it doesn't open a new browser window)

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To add a positive note: the voice acting on DOTT was fantastic. So many games from that era had voice actors who were either completely apathetic or just plain bad (remember the original Resident Evil intro?) so it's really nice to have a game from the 1990s where the actors all clearly got into their roles and gave great, characterful performances.

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Now that I've sat back and thought about it, the only real issue (which is simultaneously one of its biggest strengths) I can think of in DOTT is its non-linearity. It's fun to play such a non-linear adventure, but it also often presents the issue of solving puzzles before you even know why they're supposed to be solved in the first place. For example, I remember that the first time I played it, I completed the puzzle involving the sculpture well before I found out what the point of changing that statue was.

Also, if we do this again, I vote for the next game to either be Full Throttle or Secret of Monkey Island. Both games can be pretty easily beaten in a sitting, so I think they'd be good picks for this sort of thing.

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I actually don't think it's a bad thing being able to solve puzzles before you know their consequences, as long as they still make sense and the characters in the game don't imply that they actually knew what they were doing it for. It just gives you more liberty without screwing up the story.

I remember changing the statue before I had even met Nurse Edna, but that actually added a new joke when I tried pushing her out of the room the next time I played the game, so it felt like I was still finding new stuff after having completed the game. It's pretty similar to all the stuff you could do in Maniac Mansion 1 with certain characters, but you didn't need at all for some of the endings.

Speaking of, that's something that DOTT sadly missed, different ways of finishing the game. Having a character selection could have added a lot of replay value to it.

Not that I'm complaining because I think the finished game was pretty much perfect, but yeah, that's something they could have done to expand it a little (had they had the budget, time, etc).

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I actually don't think it's a bad thing being able to solve puzzles before you know their consequences, as long as they still make sense and the characters in the game don't imply that they actually knew what they were doing it for. It just gives you more liberty without screwing up the story.

I remember changing the statue before I had even met Nurse Edna, but that actually added a new joke when I tried pushing her out of the room the next time I played the game, so it felt like I was still finding new stuff after having completed the game. It's pretty similar to all the stuff you could do in Maniac Mansion 1 with certain characters, but you didn't need at all for some of the endings.

Speaking of, that's something that DOTT sadly missed, different ways of finishing the game. Having a character selection could have added a lot of replay value to it.

Not that I'm complaining because I think the finished game was pretty much perfect, but yeah, that's something they could have done to expand it a little (had they had the budget, time, etc).

I personally like knowing why I'm solving a puzzle before I solve it, so I don't have to just wonder what the point of what I just did was until I see the results in action later on. It just feels like more of an accomplishment if I immediately know why that particular puzzle needed to be solved. I understand that it's pretty subjective though and it just goes to show how hard it is to find flaws in DOTT when the worst thing I can think of about it is more of a matter of personal taste than anything else.

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Thoroughly enjoyed the playthrough of DOTT last Saturday. The art direction (especially the cleverly distorted perspectives) and voice acting are probably the two best elements of the game. I find it really difficult to judge the quality of the puzzles in retrospect but I certainly don't remember any frustrating me for the wrong reasons. The best puzzles were definitely the ones that most took advantage of the passage of time.

Anything that could have been better? Large portions of the gameworld are available from the very start with the rest very quickly available if you happened to cut the 'cherry' tree down early on. This means that even though you may be solving many varied puzzles, you can sometimes be covering a lot of the same ground repeatedly. The game can sometimes suffer from a lack of momentum because of this - there's often no feeling of the world opening up over time and giving a sense of direction. But that's the only potential flaw I can think of in an otherwise excellent game.

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Oh man, I missed everything. Stoopid classes.

Unfortunately I've never been able to play a legitimate copy of DOTT, which saddens me because it's such an amazing game.Maybe LucasArts will team up with Good Old Games? Probably not.

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Sadly Lucasarts these days (since the departure of the previous president) seems uninterested in doing anything but milking the Star Wars teat.

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Sadly Lucasarts these days (since the departure of the previous president) seems uninterested in doing anything but milking the Star Wars teat.

If only that last guy stuck around for a bit longer. He seemed to actually care about their older IPs.

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if the devs plan to revisit clasic adventures then beneath a steal sky should be on the play list. also the indana jones games and discworld was good as well. inocent untill caught and guilty were ok gameplay wise ,but the humor fell abit flat. I'm just saggesting games other than the lucas arts stuff for some contrast and perspective.

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Sorry but even for a big LA fan I must say: Who needs LA for new adventure games?

There are so manny good adventure games out there!

TOMI was great but I don´t think we need so much sequels of the older IPs.

And yes I love the Telltale Sam and Max games very much!!

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I missed the group play-through, but set aside some time this weekend to complete the game. I never played DOTT before, I preferred pirates and skeletons, but I'm hoping to enjoy Tim's entire catalog starting with DOTT.

My initial impressions, after just completing the game an hour ago, are positive. The multi-character gameplay was brilliant, as well as the concept of sharing inventory items. I also thought that the voice acting was spot on, and made the game even better by adding depth to each character. Humour is a must-have, and DOTT was not lacking in this department. On the other hand, I hate accidentally solving puzzles without knowing what purpose it serves in the game. I found myself accidentally solving a few puzzles without knowing what the payoff was going to be: statue swap, cigar teeth, etc. I also prefer a strict linear approach to control the user-experience. I also found some puzzles illogical: why did I have to read the book to the horse, there was no clue to explain this; I'm dumb about wine so I didn't even think about making it age into vinegar; why did I have to give the crook keys when he was already using a crowbar that would eventually work... etc.

So, after playing through, I would look to improve upon the multi-character gameplay, shared inventory (and explain the drag&drop; sharing experience between characters), definitely invest in high-quality voice acting, let Tim run wild with the story and dialog, make sure that puzzles are logical, control the user-experience, and by all means - ensure that every puzzle is solvable at the correct time!

Looking forward to the next game in Tim's catalog, Full Throttle?

*edit: forgot to highlight a wonderful surprise - Dr. Fred Edison (DOTT) is the same voice actor as Dr. Loboto (PSYCHONAUTS)... that put a smile on my face - as well as all the Star Wars references*

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I got DOTT as part of the LucasArts archives when I was about 12 or so, and I've played it many times since then (most recently, I watched Notch's complete playthrough one weekend when I was sick - and found it a remarkably good way to kill time when you feel too crap to move). I love it, the zany humour is exactly my style, and it pretty much became my favourite in the Archives, though I could never rank it higher than my beloved Monkey Island. I definitely remember getting stuck on some puzzles, but that was always part of the fun of a LucasArts game, and when I found the solutions they always seemed to make a kind of sense to me.

I also found some puzzles illogical: why did I have to read the book to the horse, there was no clue to explain this;

People remove their dentures when they sleep, you needed the horse to remove his. The book was boring, sent him to sleep, and bingo! Dentures. A bit of a stretch, but it makes a kind of sense.

I'm dumb about wine so I didn't even think about making it age into vinegar; why did I have to give the crook keys when he was already using a crowbar that would eventually work... etc

I always took it that the thief was crap at being a thief and couldn't get the crowbar to work. Keys are always going to work better than a crowbar when breaking into something locked anyway. Besides, that one to me is a case of puzzle serving story - we need the character to get a crowbar... well, what if he gets it from a thief who's trying to break into the car in the car park... but how does the character convince the thief to part with his crowbar... etc.

I admit that some of the puzzles aren't so obvious and the game could possibly have benefitted from some kind of built-in hint system, but even then, I'm not sure that would have helped some people. Having played the start of Jolly Roger recently - an independent adventure game with a nice built-in hint system - I still found myself not seeing some solutions even with the hints, and finding other hints so obvious they almost ruined the fun. That's not to say I think the hint system was done poorly, more that everyone's brain works differently and where you and I need hints are likely to be different. You may not know much about wine, but someone else may never have heard the old saw about washing your car making it rain (in fact, at age 12, I'm pretty sure I hadn't - and neither was I particularly wise about the aging of wine).

*edit: forgot to highlight a wonderful surprise - Dr. Fred Edison (DOTT) is the same voice actor as Dr. Loboto (PSYCHONAUTS)... that put a smile on my face - as well as all the Star Wars references*

Nice spot! I always love picking up common voice actors and that's one I didn't know about!

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