Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Diduz76

I liked Machinarium, but...

Recommended Posts

Hello!

I wonder how much Tim Schafer and Double Fine are interested in following Amanita Design's gameplay style.

Tim keeps talking about the game, it's getting a lot of votes in the "best adventures" poll, so I'm a bit worried.

Granted, Machinarium is a great game, touching, elegant. Classy graphics and characters. Wonderful sound design.

Unfortunately, Machinarium has one thing I REALLY hate: abstract puzzle-solving minigames, often totally detached from the context. I love classic adventure games, but I'm not so keen on the Professor Layton / 7th Guest gameplay. That's one of the reasons I love old LucasArts adventure games, usually you didn't stumble in this stuff.

If you're really interested in this casual-gaming approach, at least don't make it an integral part of the experience. I know I would be really disappointed... Telltale's Puzzle Agent felt a missed opportunity to me. :-P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's plenty of backwards puzzles in Machinarium, too. Plus it got overwhelming when it suddenly opened up into a bigger world.

The hint system was great, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's plenty of backwards puzzles in Machinarium, too. Plus it got overwhelming when it suddenly opened up into a bigger world.

The hint system was great, though.

I'm still hoping that Gilbert will explain his opinion on backward puzzles in Machinarium anytime soon. I don't think the puzzle design in machinarium is what he had in mind when talking about backward puzzles!

Overwhelming... I'd say it got more challenging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Overwhelming... I'd say it got more challenging.

No problem with that aspect of Machinarium! I like having multiple places to explore at once. ;-)

I just don't like the idea of the "casual" gameplay engulfing the classic story-driven puzzle solving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel that Machinarium got a lot of votes because it was probably one of the most accessible adventure games in the last decade as it was included in the highly popular Indie Bundles. I feel the results would have been different if some of the other games were as accessible as Machinarium. In my humble opinion, it has a great graphics style and I love the abstract puzzle solving, but it has a complete lack of dialogue which would be a huge disadvantage to a Double Fine game. This game needs dialogue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Overwhelming... I'd say it got more challenging.

No problem with that aspect of Machinarium! I like having multiple places to explore at once. ;-)

I just don't like the idea of the "casual" gameplay engulfing the classic story-driven puzzle solving.

More story would be nice... but on the other hand we have so many adventure games that are heavy on story but suck when it comes to puzzles, why not accept something that's going the other way round ! And yeah, I don't need every game to be like that but right now that's really not the danger. I think a lot games can profit from games like machinarium you try to focus on puzzles and maybe impliment some ideas in their own games and make them more challenging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be sorely disappointed if the project was based along the lines of machinarium.

I can't think of anything less like a monkey island than that game, and I must admit that I signed up in the hope of a game similar to an updated "monkey islandish" concept.

I just felt that with machinarium I was in one "escape the room" game after another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I beat it a few minutes ago, as I realized Amantia Design's next game (which I will pick up on release day) is coming out soon, and I hadn't beat Machinarium before.

Yes there are lots of backwards puzzles and the little in game walkthrough was barely helpful. I'm ashamed to say I looked up a few solutions, but yeah, I definately hope that DFA doesn't go down Amantia Design's methodology of making PnC games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I feel that Machinarium got a lot of votes because it was probably one of the most accessible adventure games in the last decade

And I think, Tim promoting and almost praising the game in his videos and interviews might have had it´s effect on some backers´ opinion also.

(ducks and runs)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And I think, Tim promoting and almost praising the game in his videos and interviews might have had it´s effect on some backers´ opinion also.

(ducks and runs)

No doubt about that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved Machinarium in spite of some of the stranger design choices. It's all a part of the unique charm and experience of the game, to my mind. I'm not too worried about DFA being negatively influenced, as I think Tim and Ron have an incredibly solid grasp on the genre (obviously, given their experience). I can't see them wanting to make their style of adventure game more like someone else's style. It's more likely that they will build on their past formula and arrive at a design philosophy and interface which makes even more sense than the `90s LEC adventures did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a problem that a lot of media has these days, not just games but movies and books and all kinds, and it's to do with expectations.

If you don't have any expectations that something will be good, and then it IS good, people will be pleasantly surprised and tell all their friends "Hey, this thing was pretty awesome!" If enough people start to say "hey this thing is pretty awesome", then the new people will go in expecting it to be extremely awesome, and they'll usually be disappointed because their expectations are way too high.

I think Machinarium suffers from that problem a bit. Enough people like it that there's a bit of hype, people are going into it expecting it to be totally excellent. And it is a good game, but people's expectations are higher than that so they're disappointed.

I think Portal 2 is another game that suffered from this: Portal 1 was so extremely well received in part because most people bought the Orange Box for Half Life Episodes, so they just looked at Portal as this freebie game thrown in, and it was so much better than anyone expected for a little game they hadn't heard of before. Then when Portal 2 was due out, people remembered how extremely impressed they were by Portal 1 being so much higher than their expectations, and they expected Portal 2 to impress them just as much as Portal 1 had. So most people's Portal 1 experience was like: expectations around 20, actual experience 90 (I'm just making this scale up as how I imagine it), Portal 2, people had expectations of 90, actual experience maybe 85? So first game has +70 points on the how-much-better-than-hoped scale. The second -5. Even though the game was almost as good, many people were just utterly disappointed because there wasn't that same feeling of surprised pleasure at something being a million times better than they imagined it.

tl;dr I think a lot of the negative feeling towards Machinarium isn't because it's a bad game, but that people expected it to be a completely awesome game and were disappointed that it was only a pretty good game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tl;dr I think a lot of the negative feeling towards Machinarium isn't because it's a bad game, but that people expected it to be a completely awesome game and were disappointed that it was only a pretty good game.

I don't think so for some reasons:

1) It's not a typical adventure game (there's not much story in it and the puzzles feel different than compared to usual adventure games). A lot people who expect an adventure game, might start playing that game with wrong expectations - that's probably a source of disappointment. Also if you hear than Tim obviously like this game, you probably not expect something like Machinarium. Expectations IMO are a strong issue here!

2) For many people it seems easier to accept an Adventure game with nice story and bad puzzles than an Adventure game with little story and interesting puzzle design. Puzzle's mean hard thinking... story can be more passive entertainment and it's easier to endure.

From my point of view if you're communicating a game like MACHINARIUM as a point-and-click adventure game, you're risking a polarising perception. The common denominator may seem big enough to be tolerated as part of the genre, but it's not really big enough to find broad acceptance and many people simply like and expect a different kind of adventure games. I think Machinarium is a good game but I can understand if some people don't like it. Or think about "Samorost"... it's even less an adventure, but according to the description it's supposed to be. You'd probably need to define a new genre to really get these games to the right target audience. Another example would be FULL PIPE (also from the Machinarium guys) which is also supposed to be an adventure... at its core it reminds a bit of Machinarium but it moved away from all adventure characteristics that Machinarium had - a bit too far to really succeed within the genre. It's not a bad game and probably for some fans of logic games it might be an interesting tip but it's a game not many adventure gamer will enjoy. And most reviews were pretty bad. I'd say in this case the lowest common denominator with the adventure genre is too small to find a large enough audience within the genre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you. I know there are plenty of people who like slider puzzles and the like, but personally they make me groan and reach for a walk-through just to get them over with. Machinarium got a little carried away with these kinds of puzzles. Neverhood too: great story, humor, style, music and otherwise good puzzles... just too many iq puzzles. >:(

Hello!

I wonder how much Tim Schafer and Double Fine are interested in following Amanita Design's gameplay style.

Tim keeps talking about the game, it's getting a lot of votes in the "best adventures" poll, so I'm a bit worried.

Granted, Machinarium is a great game, touching, elegant. Classy graphics and characters. Wonderful sound design.

Unfortunately, Machinarium has one thing I REALLY hate: abstract puzzle-solving minigames, often totally detached from the context. I love classic adventure games, but I'm not so keen on the Professor Layton / 7th Guest gameplay. That's one of the reasons I love old LucasArts adventure games, usually you didn't stumble in this stuff.

If you're really interested in this casual-gaming approach, at least don't make it an integral part of the experience. I know I would be really disappointed... Telltale's Puzzle Agent felt a missed opportunity to me. :-P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From my point of view if you're communicating a game like MACHINARIUM as a point-and-click adventure game, you're risking a polarising perception. The common denominator may seem big enough to be tolerated as part of the genre, but it's not really big enough to find broad acceptance and many people simply like and expect a different kind of adventure games...

Good point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I´m not to worried about this, not since Ron Gilbert talked in the adventure game discussion with Tim Schafer about keeping the player occupied with different puzzles at the same time. That´s a design philosophy I expect them to stick to, and no go down the "one puzzle at a time" style of Machinarium or Gemini Rue.

I do hope that the team will play Gray Matter as a reference. Not that it´s a perfect game, but because it´s a good example of a bit more advanced adventure game, made latelely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh, I felt that the biggest problem with Machinarium was that it switched from the "one room, one puzzle" from the beginning of the game to the "open-world" nature of the end.

I kinda threw me off.

I'd rather have them stick with one approach or the other.

And I guess the lack of dialogues didn't help with the "open world" part of the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heh, I felt that the biggest problem with Machinarium was that it switched from the "one room, one puzzle" from the beginning of the game to the "open-world" nature of the end.

I kinda threw me off.

I'd rather have them stick with one approach or the other.

And I guess the lack of dialogues didn't help with the "open world" part of the game.

My thoughts exactly!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think for me the biggest problem with Machinarium was it's lack of focus. I totally fell in love with the game but the thing that bothered me was the lack of clear goals. I understood that the goal was to find your girlfriend and and diffuse the bomb. But when it got to the "open world" part of the game I got confused. What was my motivation for doing a lot of the puzzles?

Why am I helping these musicians find all their instruments? How does that help me get my girlfriend back? Why am I helping this old man get oil? What would happen a lot of times with me is I'd be doing a puzzle only because I knew it was there. It wasn't until after I found that solution that I was able to put together why that had to be done in the first place. As a player I was having a fun time trying to solve these brain teasers, but it definitely took me out of the game when I was wondering what the point of a lot of this was.

And sometimes, in a moment of weakness, I would cave under pressure and look at the in-game walkthrough for some guidance, only to find that I have done everything on that page and that the answer still lay in some mysterious other region of the game. It sucked enough having to play that terrible minigame to open the walkthrough book, but now the game is basically asking me to do it again in other rooms to help with my answer. This hindered my enjoyment of the game a little.

Am I the only one that had this problem?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny, I played through samarost 2 after machinarium and disliked the '1 room 1 puzzle' approach - felt it was too simplified. As much as machinarium broke my resolve a few times (imagine if we had google when playing through day of the tentacle!) I absolutely loved every minute of that game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just beat it and I have to say it was a great experience. For a small flash game it was brilliant. The atmosphere and music were the best parts I think, but most of the puzzles were very creative and the characters, while simple, were overall quite charming. The story also worked well, though sometimes it was hard to tell what your actual goal was. I really appreciated the wordless style (with the little thought bubbles for example). But man, some of those puzzles were total brainteasers! My head got a really good workout, that's for sure. It was very satisfying when finally figuring them out, though. Those arcade minigames also added some nice variety to the gameplay, which I liked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...