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Etienne

Short-documentary about early 90s adventure games

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So part 3 of "All Your History: Adventure Games" finally popped up, taking a closer look at the adventure era of the early 90s. Maybe you´ll find this interesting (but you want to watch parts one and two also!).

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+++ Final edit to insert Ep. five (Grim Fandango & Tim´s new DFA), wich completes the series +++

Found the series quite interesting, although they didn´t mention the still existing European point & click adventure market with a single word.

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Part five:

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Part four:

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Part three:

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Part two:

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Part one:

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This was actually well written and researched without the glaring errors I usually expect from these things.

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Matt Barton (blacklily8 in YouTube) has two multipart interviews with a couple of great adventure authors:

* Josh Mandel (Sierra: KQ upgrades to Freddy, Legend: Callahan's): #129 to #122

* David Fox (Lucasfilm games (now arts): Koronis to Zak): #138 to #141

His interviews are quite good!

http://www.youtube.com/user/blacklily8/videos?view=0

BTW if you are into CRPGs, check his book Dungeons & Desktops.

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Matt Barton (blacklily8 in YouTube) has two multipart interviews with a couple of great adventure authors:

* Josh Mandel (Sierra: KQ upgrades to Freddy, Legend: Callahan's): #129 to #122

* David Fox (Lucasfilm games (now arts): Koronis to Zak): #138 to #141

His interviews are quite good!

http://www.youtube.com/user/blacklily8/videos?view=0

BTW if you are into CRPGs, check his book Dungeons & Desktops.

Indeed! His channel is highly recommended!

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So part 3 of "All Your History: Adventure Games" finally popped up, taking a closer look at the adventure era of the early 90s. Maybe you´ll find this interesting (but you want to watch parts one and two also!).

Thanks!

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Added (final) part five.

Thanks so much for posting these, I'd probably never have seen them if you hadn't and it was a lot of fun to watch; made me feel really nostalgic.

It'd be interesting to hear what Tim and Ron think of the videos if they've watched them; I got a warm fuzzy feeling just watching and thinking 'I played most of those games', I wonder how those guys feel having created a fair chunk of them?

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That was pretty good until the last couple of videos when it missed the point by pretty much claiming that adventure games died overnight because actual cool games started appearing. Eventually it's just another one that claims that the only reason that adventure games were ever popular was because computers at the time were too weak to handle 'proper' games.

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That whole series is great. Interesting documents about gaming companies and people behind them.

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Matt Barton (blacklily8 in YouTube) has two multipart interviews with a couple of great adventure authors:

* Josh Mandel (Sierra: KQ upgrades to Freddy, Legend: Callahan's): #129 to #122

* David Fox (Lucasfilm games (now arts): Koronis to Zak): #138 to #141

His interviews are quite good!

http://www.youtube.com/user/blacklily8/videos?view=0

BTW if you are into CRPGs, check his book Dungeons & Desktops.

'

Great link. Took me into a black hole of youtube videos watched all the interviews with Brian Fargo and Chris Avellon (sp?) on MattChat. Great stuff. MattChat is pretty cool!

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That was pretty good until the last couple of videos when it missed the point by pretty much claiming that adventure games died overnight because actual cool games started appearing. Eventually it's just another one that claims that the only reason that adventure games were ever popular was because computers at the time were too weak to handle 'proper' games.

Exactly. The series fell apart in the 4th video.

No mention of Gabriel Knight 2 as the best FMV game?

While adventure games did not sell well from the late 90's onward, they didn't acknowledge the point that quality games were still produced. The Longest Journey and Syberia I/II are a few examples. In recent years there have also been some very great games.

The story of adventure gaming ended too hastily. And while they mentioned games starting to incorporate adventure elements in the past few years, I think more attention could have been focused here.

It's true that the rise of 3D gaming made adventures less attractive, but that doesn't mean adventure games dwindled in quality. They simply received less attention from the gaming magazines and websites which promoted other titles more prominently.

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I don't much care for the conclusion either... aside from Grim Fandango and some of the games as of late from TellTale, 3D Adventure games plainly sucked. It was very much a case of "I never asked for this!" combined with "Yuck!" when developers that were both inexperienced or unfit to design proper games using 3D engines turned to them "over night" because apparently some higher deity (publishers? marketing?) asked it of them. I wanted more of the good old handdrawn craftmanship with a great story and funny jokes and instead got... this:

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I don't much care for the conclusion either... aside from Grim Fandango and some of the games as of late from TellTale, 3D Adventure games plainly sucked. It was very much a case of "I never asked for this!" combined with "Yuck!" when developers that were both inexperienced or unfit to design proper games using 3D engines turned to them "over night" because apparently some higher deity (publishers? marketing?) asked it of them. I wanted more of the good old handdrawn craftmanship with a great story and funny jokes and instead got... this:

[Full Ack]

And even with the good 3D adventure Grim Fandango and the okay 3D adventure Monkey Island 4 - there were still big problems:

- Horrible (HORRIBLE) controls - I always felt like controlling and bumper cars and not people

- The stupid hotspot hint in form of a turning head

- The half-assed graphics

- Thee crude animations

I hated that transition and for me Adventures Games were dead up until "Runaway" came along and delivered exactly what I wanted: Beautiful 2D Animation, good gameplay (aside from the stupid "look again in the box - perhaps this time you'll find something) and a good story.

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Just watched the final part. So much wrong with it!

Grim Fandango is described as one of the first realtime 3D adventure games. Really? It's more 2,5D, actually. Backgrounds are still pre-rendered. You wouldn't call the first Alone in the Dark a 3D game either, would you? Secondly, some realtime 3D adventure games came out before Grim Fandango, like the Tex Murphy games (merely four years ahead) and Azrael's Tear (two years).

The story behind King's Quest VIII seems awfully misrepresented, like Roberta Williams was forced to compromise her vision for the game and make it into an action-adventure, which is untrue. I remember an interview on JustAdventure where she basically said that she saw this as the natural evolution of the genre and necessary for its commercial survival. And it's true that she only was partially responsible for the game, but that's how it has been with the King's Quests for a long while (Jane Jensen was co-designer on KQVI, Lorelei Shannon on KQVII). And I'm not sure how the guy who made this video came to the conclusion that King's Quest VIII sold badly. I heard that it actually sold pretty well. Sure, never heard anything concrete about the sales numbers, but you never do, and I doubt the narrator of this video did either. And then implying that KQVIII ended the series on a sour note. Honestly, I think it's the second best King's Quest that was ever made. The series was never good to begin with (despite the obvious standout of KQVI).

The video goes on to mention the last adventure titles of LucasArts, but not of Sierra? What about Gabriel Knight 3?

Then, of course, ignoring pretty much the past decade in adventure gaming...just goes to show how US-centric this video series is. They mention Telltale Games, then L.A. Noire and Heavy Rain (admittedly, a game by a French developer and Japanese publisher), and skip the rest? No mention of Machinarium, The Longest Journey or Syberia? The Book of Unwritten Tales? The games from Daedalic Entertainment? Other genre-bending titles like Amnesia and Portal? What about the handheld renaissance? Phoenix Wright? Professor Layton? For shame.

The reasoning for the dearth of good adventure games seems to simplistic. I think many many factors conspired to put the genre to rest.

Then there's the ridiculous suggestive cut that compares Quake with Monkey Island 2! These games were merely released five years apart from each other! How many technological leaps stood between them? A comparison with Full Throttle would have been more apt!

Overall this was a pretty badly researched and misinformed documentary I have to say!

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yep... thanks for sharing!

I miss a lot of adventures from the last 10 years... and maybe a more European vision for the new age, there is not only Telltale's games. Anyway, it's a good documentary in general...

But the main reason of the fall of the genre is money. At the time I think there was a shift from adult(or teenager) people playing on PC to console... The PSX explosion, came with 3D graphics, with more action, gore and adult(or teenager hehehe) themes. So the money went there... And without money you cant make a blockbuster...

Take Modern Warfare 2 (2010)... good game, more of the same bla bla... but better graphical tech than any other adventure ever... and yep, it's total action FPS headshoot and everything... but if you take the $50m budget and $200m of advertising and give it to the adventure game gods then... we would have a blockbuster adventure game, like in the old times...

But in the meantime, lets conform with $3m and free blog advertising hehe :P

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