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DF Chris Remo

Episode 2: A Promise of Infinite Possibility

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Hey Tim, do you read any of these posts to get more idea-meat to chew on?

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Another fantastic documentary! I love to see the writing process Tim is going through and much of the mental anguish I have myself when trying to write stuff. The story is certainly important but if it isn't balanced and complemented with good puzzles then it all falls flat anyway.

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Nice update, as always. One thing I liked about adventure games is ability to have plot twists. Not that the game itself is built around a plot twist, but rather the fact that we explore this world with the character and learn that things are not what they first appear. This is part of what makes it fun and does give the feeling of infinite possibility in the world, since the world seems to have a life of its own. After solving a puzzle, beyond just the gratification of solving the puzzle ("yay, I'm a genius"), you get the reward of getting a wider perspective of the world.

Another twist is on the puzzle itself. I'm still an advocate of a second quest, where practically almost all puzzles are changed, but this could even be much simpler - for example, throw the character into the same jail cell twice, but the solution to get out of the cell is different the second time (basically, the game designer tells me at this point "genius, ha? let's see you this time").

I must admit the first thing that came to mind when you said a boy on a spaceship and a girl in a castle is Relativity (yep, Einstein). Basically, the fact that time is relative so if the boy leaves the girl, boards a spaceship traveling at very high speed and comes back after a few years from his point of view, he will find her much older. It probably means nothing for adventure game, but for some reason I thought of this case.

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Video was great! Story premise is cool! Tim is awesome!

Please do not get rid of the inventory system. One of my favorite parts of adventure games is getting a new item and wondering what it will do or laughing at the characters description of the item. There's a certain sense of excitement. When my friends and I would play as kids, we'd always talk about what items we found.

Did he say this was going to happen ? This is probably one of the most quintessential adventure gameplay methods there is... I don't think you could even call it an adventure game without an inventory and array of options to use with the items and environment. (pick up, lick/talk to, push, etc...)

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I hope they do keep inventory/item puzzles. They've always seemed like an integral part of the genre to me. I still play adventure games without them, but it always feels like a little something is missing without those types of puzzles. I'm also hoping for plenty of clever dialogue but Ron's presence almost guarantees that we'll get plenty of snappy lines since he often emphasizes the importance of good writing and dialogue in games.

Anyway, like always, really interesting stuff. I loved the parts about his notebooks, like the pages and pages of title ideas for Grim Fandango. The premise behind DFA sounds really cool, and has lots of potential for some crazy types of puzzles. I can't wait until we find out more about what Tim has planned for the game.

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The only thing i get is a VIMEO message which says:

"Sorry

The creator of this video has not given you permission to embed it on this domain. This is a Vimeo Plus feature."

Why oh why?!?

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The story's premise is really amazing in my opinion.

I've always liked adventure games with multiple protagonists. DotT and King's Quest VII are some of my favorite games for that very reason. I think there is a huge opportunity here for a very special game, especially if there does end up being some sort of interaction between the two worlds.

I'm ambivalent when it comes to inventory systems. I know that whatever DF chooses there will be in the best interests of the game, so I'm not particularly worried.

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I just wanted to comment on what's annoying and not annoying for me with puzzles. The most important aspect of puzzles for me in an adventure game is that it be natural. If you have to hot-wire door to get it open, you have to find a key to open a door, find the combination to open a safe, those are fine, but a puzzle put in just stuck in to be a puzzle gets frustrating. When puzzles are forced into a story then it ruins the illusion really being there and exploring the world. Inventory puzzles don't bother me, but they should have something to do with exploring your world or creativity(figuring out you can use the ladder to cross the chasm in Planetfall or using the spaghetti to make a hairdo in DOTT). Inventory puzzles get tedious when its only go there and get this, but when your figuring out how something works or find some creative way to use an object you've found, those are the moments I love about adventure games.

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The only thing i get is a VIMEO message which says:

"Sorry

The creator of this video has not given you permission to embed it on this domain. This is a Vimeo Plus feature."

Why oh why?!?

Like always make sure you have disabled popup blockers/privacy protection addons for browsers often they disable the HTTP Referrer which is needed for watching the video.

Or if it doesn't work try a different browser.

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This concept is so cool, like you said sharing ideas gets other people bubbling so I hope you don't mind me sharing back...

I would always get stuck at "that one puzzle," it might be obvious to someone else but everyone had that one puzzle that they just couldn't wrap their brains around and it brought the whole game to a dead halt. In games like DotT you can jump around to different characters whenever but eventually you get to a point where there's just one missing piece (for me it was the keys hanging on the other side of the open door) that makes it so you can't go forward anymore.

What if you didn't have to solve every puzzle? Or rather, there's multiple solutions to some puzzles and neither one is better, they're just different, and you only have to solve one and let go of the other? What if you could say "it's too much for me" and swing over to the other character in world number 2, where they have an alternate puzzle that fills the same role but requires a different leap of logic, and being able to go back and forth between two possible solutions gets your blood flowing enough to solve just one? It's a feat to let go of a gameplay opportunity, especially for a completionist like me. But letting go is important, it can prepare you for letting go of your emotional baggage, the puzzles of your past that can never be solved and are best left forgotten. It can prepare you for letting go of each other.

Psychomax brings up a good point about multiple solutions this was something stacking did realy well and i would love to see something similar again.

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I must admit the first thing that came to mind when you said a boy on a spaceship and a girl in a castle is Relativity (yep, Einstein). Basically, the fact that time is relative so if the boy leaves the girl, boards a spaceship traveling at very high speed and comes back after a few years from his point of view, he will find her much older. It probably means nothing for adventure game, but for some reason I thought of this case.

oh wow. i wold love a lenth contraction puzzel to do with the ships speed.

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Great update... and yes, I think a lot of us are interested at least as much, if not more, in the 'making of' aspect of this thing. I work as an artist in the games industry, it's great to see how other people do things. Each studio do some things well, some things ... not so well.

I'm always impressed with the writing, the humor and the atmosphere in DoubleFine games. It's easy to feel the love and it looks like people have worked hard to foster an environment where people can say dumb shit and suggest things without being banished from the room. There are a number of places that produce great story in the movie industry that also promote that atmosphere.

It's not common in the games industry, so its great to see DoubleFine has that dynamic, its a reaffirmation of some truths that are important to me. There are few feelings that are more enjoyable to me than the discussing of ideas, when everything seems possible and fun. It's good to get paid, but the long haul inbetween producing something and then shipping something is the larger part of my life.

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I like the two worlds idea, only thing I’m worried about is if the story turns out to be too “kiddy”, since DF has made a lot of games recently that seemed to be aimed at that market, I’d be more excited if it was a love story between two worlds with adults rather than kids.

Of course this is all assumption on my part children don’t directly translate to a “kiddy” environment, I trust Tim will steer the ship the right way.

By the way the two worlds concept reminded of a freeware fan made adventure ‘What Linus Bruckman Sees When His Eyes Are Closed’ from Vince Twelve, where you play two starkly different adventure games in parallel on the same screen, I can imagine the possibilities if for certain parts of this game the same thing happened!

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Thank you for this episode it was awesome, lots of great insights :)!

I really liked free writing technique that Tim uses, and from my experience it is invaluable for idea brainstorming.

Also, its great to see that DF really engages in discussion with other game designers who have recently made significant contribution to the genre, and that there is a will to evolve adventure games and try to explore that notion of possibilities.

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I think the idea for the game is incredibly sweet and I can't wait to play it. It feels mature and not in a ridiculous M-rated way.

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Great update, thanks for pumping these things out so quickly!

I like the initial (admittedly vague) concept for the game. Looking forward to seeing it further fleshed out.

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I simply love being able to watch this process as it develops. The peek into Tim's voluminous binders is worth every buck I've put in. :)

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I really think this idea has legs. I love the concept. You achieve the wonder of limitless possibilities with two different worlds that interact– but you may not understand how or why. Then, eventually, you start to realize that the things you do in world A are, say, causing a calamity in world B. What do you do? That tug of war could be fun– but I'm sure there will be playful ways to do this.

I love it. So may possibilities.

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The only thing i get is a VIMEO message which says:

"Sorry

The creator of this video has not given you permission to embed it on this domain. This is a Vimeo Plus feature."

Why oh why?!?

Like always make sure you have disabled popup blockers/privacy protection addons for browsers often they disable the HTTP Referrer which is needed for watching the video.

Or if it doesn't work try a different browser.

Thx, i used my iPhone. Now it worked.

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I think this would be a cool story setting. I do however wish there was at least a little of an inventory. I cant wait for this game... this is going to be crazy awesome.

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Seeing the process of creative people laid out like this is a huge motivator for me. Keep being awesome, everyone involved in this process.

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Okay, now I am officially super excited for the game. Before I was merely averagely excited. I've now upgraded because of all the possibilities. If only I didn't have finals next week, I would watch this over and over and spend countless hours deciphering the blurry notes of genius. Ah well.

I am stoked about the female protagonist, or half-protagonist, or biprotagonist or however it is termed. I mean, as long as there are compelling, round female characters in the game I don't particularly mind playing as a male protagonist if it fits the story, but it's nice to have the option. So much of gaming culture seems to be male-oriented these days, which kinda alienates half of the potential market, and so I like this story already. If it fits with the story and you can do it respectfully, I think it would be a good idea to have people of color in there too.

When you're talking about keeping the audience immersed in the game, I immediately thought of novels. There are dozens of easier, less thought or hand intensive ways we can get entertainment - TV, Internet, Tvinternet, Twitter, sleeping - yet people will still get so immersed in books they'll stay up till three to read the whole thing through, and that has to do with the story and maintaining tension. I've only recently discovered these behind-the-scenes sort of tricks, like making sure each arc has another one immediately following its resolution, with plenty of subarcs to keep the audience busy in the meantime, or withholding the completion of expected tropes, and other such tricks. If the story make us want to keep going in the world, then puzzles are absolutely a plus, because they'll only increase the tension and we'll definitely want to complete them. Of course, having a living, breathing world to play in and interesting, complex puzzles are also parts of a good game, but that's my three and a half cents for the day.

It must have been difficult to decide how much to reveal about the game's premise, but keep up with the high quality job, TwoPlayer and Double Fine! It was so worth a month's wait to see this.

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so....their sending the physical rewards out seperately?

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This documentary has been way more of a treat than I expected it to be. 2PP delivers.

Some comments on ep 2:

- I love Tim's approach to designing games. I could be wrong, but it feels like most companies these days are more soulless in their approach.

- The initial concept sounds promising!

- Asking the tough questions - like "How do we bring the genre forward, without losing what made adventure games special" and defining what works and what doesn't... Pretty exciting stuff. This just adds to my curiosity about how this project goes.

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Funny... I got to the end and was like: Actually, I don't care if this game will end up to be my kind of game r not; I would have done it for the documentary alone... Queue in the end of the video with Tim saying that some might have done it for the documentary alone, :)

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Wow I really want the music from these when it's all over. Simply incredible.

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What a great story idea. I used to love those stories where you sort of split up your main characters and play them out separately until eventually they come together in the end, and sometimes not. I also love that you specifically put a space ship and a castle. Two totally different spectrums of what I think were classic adventures game themes of the past.

Heck if you wanted to play along with the split worlds style of gameplay, you could also introduce new splits later on, perhaps as part of the all-encompassing story arc in the game.

Anyhow love the 2nd episode. Love the editing! It feels very "brain-storm-y-ish" if that makes sense. ;)

Looking forward to the next in a month or so...

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I was pretty much here for the documentary; though this episode has got me damn excited about the game too : 3

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Awesome video, It's great being able to see an idea come to life right from the bare-bones, and I'm definitely intrigued by the idea Tim's come up with, I'm pretty excited to see how that evolves over time and the direction you plan to take with it and all the ideas around it and stuff. I do hope you'll share with us all the ideas you come up with, even if you're not particularly sure about them or don't intend on using them at all, either because they're too ridiculous or that they just don't fit right, just so we can see the whole thought process that goes behind you coming up with the ideas and such (without going into spoiler territory of course xD).

Also I'd definitely like to see puzzles, I always believed it was one of the most integral part of a point and click adventure, besides characters and story, and is part of what makes the experience so memorable, when you sit for ages scratching your head trying to figure out the answer to a puzzle and then BOOM it suddenly hits you! I love that feeling, and in particular I find the best puzzles are the ones that, even if you replay through the game and already know how to solve it, you remember the feeling of figuring out the puzzle for the first time and you enjoy it all over again.

I'm sorry if this doesn't make much sense, I haven't had much sleep and I'm pretty poor at describing things as well xD;. But overall, as I've said before, I'm really looking forward to seeing how this progresses from here, now that the basic idea has been established, I know you can make it work =D!

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