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Etienne

Anybody played the new adventure ´YESTERDAY´ yet?

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2148857-yesterday_pack2d_int_large.jpg

http://www.pendulo-studios.com/

http://yesterday-game.com/

Just released in English and French. A German voice-over version will be released on April 30th, btw.

Just finished it and I think it was quite good, has a nice and dark (but short) storyline. Although it is still a little buggy atm., it was fun to play in my opinion.

What do you think?

I hated the narration. To me it felt like watching some idiotic C-movie that tried so hard to be cool but completely lacked any originality. IMO the game never took the time that would have been necessary to tell this story - for me it was like it's jumping from one point to another without really thinking about an actual story-arc. Then after ~4-6 hours it's over. Besides the puzzles are okay but the actual goals in the game could have been communicated a lot better. Also the control IMO isn't good (from what I recently read, they reworked parts of the control exclusively for the german version; als corrected some of the puzzles where you have to combine three objects - in the german version really have to select all three objects and not just two). The hint-system is great though and I'd like to have something like it in DFA... IMO "Runaway" trilogy was better. I also think Pendulo's "The Next Big Thing" was better, although IMO also too short and the narration could have used more focus but for me it was definitely more entertaining than "Yesterday"..

Right I'm hoping for "Memento Mori 2" (probably the puzzles will suck, but the story should be entertaining enough...), "Secret Files 3" (this time the story is designed by guys with a lot movie-experience) and "The Dark Eye: Satinavs Chains"

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I hated the narration. To me it felt like watching some idiotic C-movie that tried so hard to be cool but completely lacked any originality.

Thanks for your comment! At least one fellow backer already played it.

Nah, come on, the plot wasn´t that bad. You sound a little like the infamous former gamespot reviewer Jeff Gerstmann to me (just kidding!).:lol:

It´s not that we´re drowning in brilliant point & click adventures atm., are we? In fact the plot had some nice twists, but admittedly, on the other hand, some inconsistencys in the end, also.

IMO the game never took the time that would have been necessary to tell this story - for me it was like it's jumping from one point to another without really thinking about an actual story-arc. Then after ~4-6 hours it's over.

Agreed. I definitely is too short, at least for a full priced game.

Besides the puzzles are okay but the actual goals in the game could have been communicated a lot better.

Agreed. In fact puzzles seemed a little too easy from time to time.

Also the control IMO isn't good (from what I recently read, they reworked parts of the control exclusively for the german version; als corrected some of the puzzles where you have to combine three objects - in the german version really have to select all three objects and not just two).

Controls were brilliant, imho. No keyboard needed at all! Full doubleclick support. I experienced some inventory bugs in the "Monastery" chapters (the Katana...), though. But I´m sure they will be patched soon.

The hint-system is great though and I'd like to have something like it in DFA...

Agreed, although I only tried it once (monastery: door to your master´s chamber pixelhunt).

IMO "Runaway" trilogy was better. I also think Pendulo's "The Next Big Thing" was better, although IMO also too short and the narration could have used more focus but for me it was definitely more entertaining than "Yesterday"..

Agreed.

Right I'm hoping for "Memento Mori 2" (probably the puzzles will suck, but the story should be entertaining enough...), "Secret Files 3" (this time the story is designed by guys with a lot movie-experience) and "The Dark Eye: Satinavs Chains"

Didn´t like Memento Mori too much, first and foremost because of the 3D based controls. But it definitely wasn´t a bad game either. Looking forward to ´Geheimakte´ (´secret files´) 3, also.

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@Etienne and Mickey

You should´ve played it in German.

I was in Hamburg 1 month ago to betatest it! And it was great! Short but a good entertainment!

And we discussed it! So a few enhancements and debugging are unique to the German version.

The France Publisher wanted to release it first. Well they asked for it!

Yes it´s true. It´s a "hate-it-or-love-it" game. :cheese:

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I hated the game`s narration, too.

little to no character evolution. no memorable scenes, only the hint of violence torwards the main hero. constantly.

wish I hadn`t bought it.

and way too short for an adventure game, more of a casual game feeling imo. ;-(

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@Etienne and Mickey

You should´ve played it in German.

I was in Hamburg 1 month ago to test it! And it was great! Short but a good entertainment!

And we discussed it! So a few enhancements and debugging are unique to the German version.

The France Publisher wanted to release it first. Well they asked for it!

Yes it´s true. It´s a "hate-it-or-love-it" game. :cheese:

Yeah, I read about the improvements a few days ago. From what I read it's definitely a good fix but it would not have changed my overall opinion...

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I might be biased as I was involved in the German version, but I think the full voice-over in the German build (as compared to the partial only-dialogue voice-over in English / French versions) will do quite a difference when it comes to players perceptions. This also goes for the careful translation: It helps if you are not just aiming for a literal translation but also try to make sure everything is comprehensible, everything "clicks" together, storywise. Remember, the game is originally from Spain, so the English version is at least n+1 removed from the original text. I know we changed things around literally to the last moment, improving dialogues, etc. - not to speak of tons of bug fixes.

In re: length, I agree with you. It should have been longer, and I am sure more content (to a certain degree) would have benefitted the game. Would it been better to include more dialog to fill up some of the backstory? Would it been nice to have more screens and more puzzles? Sure. But it all comes down to budget constraints. If we only had had more money, say, 3 million USD ... ;) Anyway, being forced to operate on a small budget sometimes helps to make bold decisions and try new ways. It also helps you not to overburden the game with unnecessary weight. Everything needs to be precisely measured. Also from a narrative-perspective. I think this overall worked in the game's favor.

Which, incidentally brings me to an interesting question regarding DFA: Would you rather have a shorter game with excellent production values (let's say we limit this to graphics, animations, sound, voice-over - and assume the story and puzzles will always be brilliant no matter the budget) and shorter playing time; or would you rather have a longer game, even if it meant less graphic and audio fidelity, animations etc.?

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Which, incidentally brings me to an interesting question regarding DFA: Would you rather have a shorter game with excellent production values (let's say we limit this to graphics, animations, sound, voice-over - and assume the story and puzzles will always be brilliant no matter the budget) and shorter playing time; or would you rather have a longer game, even if it meant less graphic and audio fidelity, animations etc.?

Personally I don't need excellent production value. I also don't mind for example if only conversations have voice acting (like in YESTERDAY). But I think a lot people only buy games with at last some voice-acting. But I have to say that sound IMO is important if you want to cut down some of the other things because with sound you can compensate a lot. I only like 3D if it looks like SKYRIM or better games. In Adventure games 3D usually looks totally 3D - I think well used and produced 3D shouldn't actually strike you as being 3D. IMO if the 3D engine isn't that great it's probably better to stay away from 3D and stick with 2D (which from my point of view also is easier to watch). I don't need many movielike- sequences. Usually in a game there are maybe 2,3 moments where something like this can be useful but that's about it and if it's not there, it's not there. Besides I think the style of such sequences in games like Gray Mattes or Jekyll & Hyde makes a lot sense for productions with lower budget. It can look nice (if you don't use it too often and in too long sequences) and it's a lot simpler than movielike sequences. For me the most important thing is that the story works as well as possible and has as much space to breath as possible (as long as it makes sense for the main-story).

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I bought this game from steam and payed £19.99 for it.

It was extremely short and wasn't worth the money.

The game was over in about 5 hours.

I found the story to be quite disjointed and confusing at times with all the flashbacks and the puzzles were quite easy.

The in game hint system practically tells you what to do next and certainly leaves no need for a walkthrough.

The game seemed quite silent too with not all that much speech really.

When you looked at an item the character didn't speak but instead story book captions popped up describing the item.

It seemed a strangely deserted environment to me.

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Awful game. Worse story than a C-Movie, horrible characters and it didn't even look that good. I liked some of the previous Pendulo games (A Twist of Fate, mostly) but this has to be their worst effort yet. Didn't really care that it was short -- if it had been longer, I would probably have stopped playing anyway.

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Haha, yes I love Yesterday. ;)

@mo54

That´s why you must be in the game with your mind. ;) I liked the flashbacks but they can really be confusing.

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Remember, the game is originally from Spain, so the English version is at least n+1 removed from the original text. I know we changed things around literally to the last moment, improving dialogues, etc. - not to speak of tons of bug fixes.

First of all, thank you very much for the input, Sir! I find it always highly interesting to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse, especially when it comes to game making. Secondly, I want to thank you for still cherishing the idea of making oldschool point & click adventures, thus being one of the few remaining studios in the world.

As you mentioned, Pendulo is based in Spain and if I got you right (and what first comes to mind, of course), story and character writing is originally done in Spanish. So why is there no Spanish release to begin with (just curious)?

Anyway, being forced to operate on a small budget sometimes helps to make bold decisions and try new ways. It also helps you not to overburden the game with unnecessary weight. Everything needs to be precisely measured. Also from a narrative-perspective. I think this overall worked in the game's favor.

I absolutely agree. But considering the "Runaway"-Trilogy and "Next Big Thing" have been highly successful, why is there such a small budget for new projects in the first place (although "Yesterday" didn´t appear/feel in any way low budget to me; it was a little short, that´s all)?

Btw., if players want the game experience to last a little longer, how about not using the ingame help function all the time? (Just saying...)

Which, incidentally brings me to an interesting question regarding DFA: Would you rather have a shorter game with excellent production values (let's say we limit this to graphics, animations, sound, voice-over - and assume the story and puzzles will always be brilliant no matter the budget) and shorter playing time; or would you rather have a longer game, even if it meant less graphic and audio fidelity, animations etc.?

To me at least a minimum standard of production quality/value is absolutely indispensable. So especially when it comes to point & click adventures, don´t cheap out on background art (Pendulo surely doesn´t). The backgrounds are the stages, the arenas of gameplay. The player´s eye rests on them by far the greatest part of the time. Furthermore they (along with ambience music) convey the atmosphere/mood/vibes. On the other hand, just as important: good storytelling! So don´t cut on the writing! In the end the game shouldn´t be too short, either; I don´t dig the episodic content idea/trend too much. In my opinion, if there are two words associated with the demise of classic gaming, it´s "social" and "casual". So, take your time, don´t rush things. If it takes not one but two years to make a really good game, so be it. Of course I´m well aware that´s easier said than done considering you have to generate consecutive profits to keep the thing running...

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As you mentioned, Pendulo is based in Spain and if I got you right (and what first comes to mind, of course), story and character writing is originally done in Spanish. So why is there no Spanish release to begin with (just curious)?

Just to complete some information: I'm in Spain right now (actually I'm from Spain but I'm currently living abroad) and there is a Spanish release, but the name of the game here has been changed to "New York Crimes", so if you look for it as "Yesterday" you won't probably find it. I don't really know the reason for this change; "The Next Big Thing" was renamed here as well, to "Hollywood Monsters 2", but in this case it made more sense (although personally I wouldn't have renamed it) since "Hollywood Monsters", a kind of previous version of the game, had enjoyed some success here more than a decade ago.

Anyway, in Spain it got released a couple of weeks ago, so unless in Germany it was released much before, the time difference is not that significant. I do remember that the German version of "Runaway 2" got released several months before the Spanish one, and the explanation I read somewhere was that much of the funding came from Germany, and therefore they focused on finishing that version first. I don't know if this is still the case, but it could be a reason.

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As you mentioned, Pendulo is based in Spain and if I got you right (and what first comes to mind, of course), story and character writing is originally done in Spanish. So why is there no Spanish release to begin with (just curious)?

Just to complete some information: I'm in Spain right now (actually I'm from Spain but I'm currently living abroad) and there is a Spanish release, but the name of the game here has been changed to "New York Crimes", so if you look for it as "Yesterday" you won't probably find it. I don't really know the reason for this change; "The Next Big Thing" was renamed here as well, to "Hollywood Monsters 2", but in this case it made more sense (although personally I wouldn't have renamed it) since "Hollywood Monsters", a kind of previous version of the game, had enjoyed some success here more than a decade ago.

Anyway, in Spain it got released a couple of weeks ago, so unless in Germany it was released much before, the time difference is not that significant. I do remember that the German version of "Runaway 2" got released several months before the Spanish one, and the explanation I read somewhere was that much of the funding came from Germany, and therefore they focused on finishing that version first. I don't know if this is still the case, but it could be a reason.

Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it!

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liked the story (yes even the narration), but was waaaay to short.

didn't like the interface (the inventory almost made me uninstall after 10 mins into the game), Runaway 3's was way better.

overall i preferred the "Runaway" series and the first Hollywood Monsters.

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Btw., did you know that right now, for a very short period of time (until April 18., to be more precise), you can download the original "Hollywood Monsters" adventure game (predecessor to "The Next Big Thing") FOR FREE ?

[del][/del][del][/del]

[del][/del]

34AqguxqT6A

[del][/del][del][/del]

[del][/del]

[del][/del]

DL-Link here, you just have to register (for free):

http://juegos.fxinteractive.com/game.php?id=22&Hollywood;-Monsters-espanol-aventuras

[del][/del][del][/del]

[del][/del]

THEN simply apply the fan-made English-patch:

http://shinji-nerd-life.blogspot.de/

[del][/del]

and voilà, you´re good to go! :)

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First of all, thank you very much for the input, Sir! I find it always highly interesting to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse, especially when it comes to game making. Secondly, I want to thank you for still cherishing the idea of making oldschool point & click adventures, thus being one of the few remaining studios in the world.

No need to thank me, I'm just a guy working to bring the game to market and making it "speak German". But I will forward your thanks to the right people :) Keep in mind that all I am writing here is my personal opinion :)

As you mentioned, Pendulo is based in Spain and if I got you right (and what first comes to mind, of course), story and character writing is originally done in Spanish. So why is there no Spanish release to begin with (just curious)?

As someone else already wrote, the Spanish publisher FX wanted to have a different title, "New York Crimes", Actually, there are a bunch of different titles for the game around the world. Even the German version is not called just "Yesterday" but "Der Fall John Yesterday" (which roughly translates to The John Yesterday Case).

But considering the "Runaway"-Trilogy and "Next Big Thing" have been highly successful, why is there such a small budget for new projects in the first place (although "Yesterday" didn´t appear/feel in any way low budget to me; it was a little short, that´s all)?

There are tons of reasons. While "Runaway" was indeed successful, the market on which adventure games are competing now has become flush with games, compared to when Runaway 1 hit the shelves in 2002. Back then it was the only high-profile adventure game in quite some time. Nowadays, players have a much richer selection of new adventure games to choose from, especially in Germany. Coincidentally, the consumer base seems not to have grown with the supply. It's still pretty much the same size as in 2001.

My personal opinion is that the market is overcrowded and excellent titles cut into each others potential earnings because they are released too close to each other. Thus, for the last 10 years expectations have gone up, budgets have gone down again. "Low Budget" might also be a misleading term. You still can buy a few condos with that money, but as a rule of thumb, I don't think any adventure game (except!!!!! DFA) can be profitable with a 2002-budget right now. You're lucky if you have half of it.

Btw., if players want the game experience to last a little longer, how about not using the ingame help function all the time? (Just saying...)

I partly agree. Problem is, you still want to supply players the option to help if they do get stuck and don't want to brood over the solution for a few hours. Rather than having the user task-switch and break the immersion of the game, I think it's better to offer them an ingame-solution.

Thanks for your input on the question. I agree, and I think Pendulo does as well: don't compromise on quality. I can understand that some people don't dig the new art style, the whole graphic novel vibe Pendulo has tried on with this title, but personally I like it! It's a different way of telling that story, and I think it works. Same goes for the narrative approach. The game surely asks for your attention with all the flashbacks, but I think that's actually a nice way to keep you involved.

I think DFA will be the usual outstanding quality like the other "smaller" titles like Costume Quest and Stacking. I think there's actually no safer bet than this. :)

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As you mentioned, Pendulo is based in Spain and if I got you right (and what first comes to mind, of course), story and character writing is originally done in Spanish. So why is there no Spanish release to begin with (just curious)?

Just to complete some information: I'm in Spain right now (actually I'm from Spain but I'm currently living abroad) and there is a Spanish release, but the name of the game here has been changed to "New York Crimes", so if you look for it as "Yesterday" you won't probably find it. I don't really know the reason for this change; "The Next Big Thing" was renamed here as well, to "Hollywood Monsters 2", but in this case it made more sense (although personally I wouldn't have renamed it) since "Hollywood Monsters", a kind of previous version of the game, had enjoyed some success here more than a decade ago.

Anyway, in Spain it got released a couple of weeks ago, so unless in Germany it was released much before, the time difference is not that significant. I do remember that the German version of "Runaway 2" got released several months before the Spanish one, and the explanation I read somewhere was that much of the funding came from Germany, and therefore they focused on finishing that version first. I don't know if this is still the case, but it could be a reason.

The thing with those name changes and different release dates comes from the fact that Pendulo is not only a small team (so not all versions can necessarily be finished simultaenously), but also that the publishing rights are spread out over different companies and territories. As companies like EA would never sign such games right now, adventures are mainly licensed to publishers country-by-country, or rather country-blocks by country blocks (like Germany Austria Switzerland vs. Italy and Spain vs. UK and US, etc.)

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Which, incidentally brings me to an interesting question regarding DFA: Would you rather have a shorter game with excellent production values (let's say we limit this to graphics, animations, sound, voice-over - and assume the story and puzzles will always be brilliant no matter the budget) and shorter playing time; or would you rather have a longer game, even if it meant less graphic and audio fidelity, animations etc.?

Personally I don't need excellent production value. I also don't mind for example if only conversations have voice acting (like in YESTERDAY). But I think a lot people only buy games with at last some voice-acting. But I have to say that sound IMO is important if you want to cut down some of the other things because with sound you can compensate a lot.

I agree. Voice acting can make a big difference, especially since Adventures are so story-driven. On the other side, a bad voice-over can destroy an adventure game narration pretty fast, so you have to use quality voices, recording studios and personell to get it right. Lemme tell ya, an excellent voice-over doesn't come cheap!

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I really loved Yesterday.

I really loved the story, the fact that it is original, thought-provoking and full of unexpected twist-and-turns. I love the ambiance and the graphics. I loved the humor dispite a dark subject.

Of course, the game is too short and probably too easy for most adventure game experts, still there are some interesting puzzles and many really great moments in the story.

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I really loved the story, the fact that it is original, thought-provoking and full of unexpected twist-and-turns.

How exactly is it though-provoking?

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Runaway 1 and 2 are good old-school adventure games: long, sometimes frustratingly difficult, very funny. The graphics have aged rather well (if you like Pendulo's art style). However both are plagued by a rather poor English localization. Playing the games in German, Spanish or French is recommended if you can.

From Runaway 3 (A Twist Of Fate) onward, their games tend to be more streamlined: shorter, more emphasis on story than puzzles, still very funny, original plots, awesome graphics. The English localization is also far better.

There are also two games that were created before Runaway : Igor and Hollywood Monsters. Both are very old school adventures: graphics that haven't aged very well, Monkey Island interface with verbs, extremely difficult puzzles. If you are into these king of adventures, you can try to track them. Igor is rather difficult to find (and I don't know if it was ever translated into other languages). Hollywood Monsters can be found on FX store in Spanish and Italian. Some unofficial English subtitles are available on the net (I don't know how good they are).

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I really loved the story, the fact that it is original, thought-provoking and full of unexpected twist-and-turns.

How exactly is it though-provoking?

Without going into details to avoid spoiling the story, I found that it does make you question the values of good and evil, of pleasure and pain, of life and death. And it puts a clever new twist to the whole "should we die in adventure games" dilemna.

Of course, I'm not claiming that this is a highly philosophical game, but it's not that often that videogames (even adventure games) deal with that kind of subjects in a rather subtle way.

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From Runaway 3 (A Twist Of Fate) onward, their games tend to be more streamlined: shorter, more emphasis on story than puzzles, still very funny, original plots, awesome graphics. The English localization is also far better.

are).

I agree that the development became more and more obvious from Runaway 3 on (although I felt it was still nice enough, I had my issues with it). And yes, style seems more important than puzzles. I don't really think that there's much focus on story though. IMO Pendulo is moving away from a more traditional narrative approach and due to having cut down many elements because of lacking budget, the story gets more and more rudimentary. IMO Pendulo seems to me they focus on adding cool elements from movies and tv-shows and comics without wasting too much time with a story-arc. Personally that's one thing I really don't like and I see little art or skill in this narrative approach. To me characters and story feel terribly empty and bold.

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Well, for me, there is definitly a sense of "I want to know what happens next and how it will all end" that keeps me hooked on these games.

For example, I find that the way Runaway 3 is able to tie most of the loose ends from Runaway 2, while still being accessible to someone who hasn't played the series yet is wonderful. The Next Big Thing has some great storytelling ideas and fun characters (even though the overall plot is rather weak). And I already said that I'm a huge fan of Yesterday. :D

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Wow, didn't know that there was an english version of Igor! Thanks!

For those who are interested by Pendulo, there is a nice recent interview here, where they talk a lot about the way they are working.

Tim Schafer and DFA get a few mentions too.

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Today I got Yesterday!

Well the release date is in a few weeks in Germany but I was testing it two months ago so I got it today.

With the soundtrack, the poster and the ringtone as mp3. :)

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