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Episode 2: A Promise of Infinite Possibility

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I must honestly say that so far I really dont like the concept of the game. Of course it is way to early to hate the game but after the first artwork and this video I really concerned that this will be not like the game I was expecting.

Personally there should not even be the question of having puzzles or not. It should not even be a question of having an inventorysystem and so on. Also I think asking the Machinarium or even portal guy who has not even played most of his games is just wrong. I backed this project becasue I was hoping to get an old school Adventure game not some modern "junk" or even artistic game. I backed it up becasue I think most of these new Adventure games are really not for me.

None or less I enjoy these videos but I alo really hope that my concerns are just wrong and I will get a really good and old school like Point and Click Adventure.

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Yay! I am absolutely LOVING this window into the process. It fascinates me more than I even thought it would (and I thought it would, a lot). Good luck to Tim and the team on everything, and I hope you all have as much fun creating it as it looks like I'm going to have watching it!

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This is one of the most exciting pieces of news I have received in May. We have moved from Infinite Possibility down to a single idea. (I say we... but I guess I should say Tim or Double Fine).

I also want a copy of Tim's journal when the project is over. I'm unsure anyone outside of Double Fine will ever see that, as it may contain personal stuff or future ideas, but it would become an Adventure Game Fan's bible.

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This was a great second episode!

I was shocked by the players who said they didn't care about the puzzles: they WERE the gameplay! Without puzzles, adventure games are simply slow-paced cartoons!

As far as the puzzles go - personally I think that what caused the frustration of old adventure games wasn’t so much that there were puzzles impeding your progress, but that it was usually not clear what those puzzles actually were. When you know what you’re actually trying to accomplish, it’s possible to think through potential solutions, try them one-by-one, see which one lets you make some kind of progress, and then continue from there. When there’s nothing indicating what obstacles you’re actually trying to overcome, finding a solution can seem impossible, and I think this is generally what causes the moments where players just give up and start trying every item on every character and part of the environment just to make some progress.

Actually, this describes most people's objections to puzzles (if any) pretty well.

As for the concept, it's very early to tell (as Tim mentions) but I can see tons of potential. Even his little stick-figure "cover art" sent my mind running on possibilities. Execution is everything, but Double Fine knows what they are doing.

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Great Stuff , but i feel a bit disappointed.....I was hoping for English subtititles

:(

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I liked the idea of multiple scenarios, but if it was just time travel it has the risk of looking a lot like a DOTT 2. And, although I'm sure they would do everything possible to differentiate DFA from DOTT, let me suggest something. I think it'd be cool if they both at the same time, or maybe one is dreaming about another (who's dreaming?!). Maybe he could be a priest of some crazy religion and she a young witch or something. Yeah, that would be cool.

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Thank you for another great episode! Good to see the PaRapper love in the Double Fine office.

Sounds like a very promising concept for a game (solid potential for humor along with heartfelt moments). Like many others here I feel that I'm already getting my money's worth by being able to spy on the development process. Keep that juicy info coming.

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I'm ridiculously excited about the game idea, it sounds great! I'm really glad they're going with a male and a female main character. It'll be really interesting to see how the characters turn out, and I'm hoping that having a decent female protagonist will influence the way the rest of the games industry depicts women in video games. It's so great to see a company that's genuinely passionate about what they do, and who don't take work so seriously that they forget to have fun.

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Lovely documentary again. It's quite calming to see that even Tim the legend gets embarrassed and a bit freaked out about showing ideas to others too, you can still be human to reach that level of awesome! Ron's comebacks were spot on too, seems to know so well exactly what could help. After this I feel that I need to find a good way to turn his notebook writing ways into something I can use to help myself as an artist. I've heard some concept artists who do 20 min sketches before each serious work but it still doesn't feel like quite the same intensity and emptying of the mind like Tims way. Maybe it's not just game developers and designers who take good use of endless writing. World might be a better place if everyone did! o.O Be right back off to write!

I'm one of those people that would love to pay 2 years ahead for a Double Fine adventure game without seeing what's going on behind, but I would also give so much more to be able to see how the game happened. And I did! But I would not have expected this inspiration and a better way of life to be included in the price! Thank you again :) Can't wait to wear that t-shirt everywhere either.

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The coming of age concept does sound like a lot of fun, it sounds like the sort of thing which at once would really speak to younger gamers going through/about to go through their own coming of age experiences and also older gamers looking for something which resonates with their own experiences. Then again it'll probably require some finesse to make sure the story doesn't end up accidentally reinforcing some of the more harmful or gross cliches about that sort of thing.

For instance, I'd be kind of disappointed if the game revolved around the two characters getting into this romance as part of this coming of age thing because I think people are told a little too often that they need to be with someone to be a fully realised adult. On the other hand, if you had a thing where at first it looked to the protagonists as though they lived in different worlds but then they found as they matured that their worlds were actually much the same that could be a very positive message.

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Castles! Spaceships! Adventure! AWESOME SAUCE!!!

Thanks for the peek behind the curtain on the development of this game. I'll just reiterated that I think this is great and I wish ya'll the best in creating this game. Can't wait to see more!

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One thing that always stuck with me with adventure games is that they really had character. I don't mean actual characters, but as an overall kind of feel. It's what I would call the 'voice' in a novel. That sense of infinite possibility is a good way of putting it, and I think it is the same feeling you get on starting an interesting novel. You get a sense that there is so much more to this world than what we are seeing. You want to read on and explore more.

I think more than any other genre in games, adventure games get closest to the sorts of satisfaction that you get from a novel, because of the possibilities. When you're playing a shooter, you know from the end of the second level how the rest of the game is going to play out. You might not know where the story is going, or what is going to happen, but you know the limit and breadth of the interactions that you can have with the world.

This applies to a lot of other genres, but I think it isn't the case with adventure games. The possibilities for interaction are more emergent, it feels more like they are only limited by your imagination. There's a real pleasure of trying to use an object in a particular situation, and despite that not working and not achieving the desired result, something actually happens. A reaction occurs. It might not have any effect on moving the story along, but that doesn't matter. Those standard 'I can't use this here' responses detract from this (obviously, these are necessary because you can't program in a response to every single permutation - it would take forever, and sometimes you really can't use that there).

Those are my thoughts anyway. What do you guys think? I think that's the crux of what a point and click interface provides. A greater breadth of ways to approach and interact with the game world. It makes it feel more real.

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Great Episode!

I can't get enough of adventure games!, growing up with Monkey Island, DOTT, The DIG, Full Throttle (well all the lucasarts games) along with Revolution games Lure of the Temptress... u get the picture. And still play them all to this day... thanks scummVM!! But going back to the video, yeah i found puzzles to be a pain in the arse but, me personally that's what made them great making me want to play them more to get further and further into the story. I remember sitting there in class thinking about how to do that puzzle and going home playing and even keeping me up at night..... Great Times.

'Pixel Hunting' well what do i say... pain in the arse, one in particular springs to mind 'Cruise for a Corpse' by Delphine Interactive back in my Amiga days. in the cabin searching for a pixel in the corner of a brooch that was locked in a desk... took me days/weeks to find.

The basic story idea Tim has outlined i think is wonderful and i'm soooo excited for this so glad i found it when i did.

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Love the idea of having two parallel but different worlds/characters. Immediately made me think of two things:

Escape to Witch Mountain

The idea that there are these two kids out there, a boy and a girl, who have never met each other, and yet they are bound to each other--"twins"--by some kind of cosmic link they are soon to discover in the course of an adventure.

Whenever I think of that movie, I always go back to the scene in the 1995 version, where the boy and the girl are sitting right behind each other in the lunch room, having never spoken to each other before, and every little thing that they do matches---the way they open their milk, the way they arrange their silverware, the way they place the straw, the order and manner they do everything. They are soulmates and don't know it yet.

Paper Mario

This one has more to do with gameplay, but one of the most endearing gameplay elements in the original Paper Mario (N64) was how it constantly switched you back and forth between playing Mario's action-packed adventure and Princess's stealthy, castle-sneaking adventure. But via a pair of magical chests, Mario and Princess could swap items with one another for use in the other part of the game. In Paper Mario it mostly benefited Mario, but it would be a cool gameplay element... a medieval character and a future character swapping inventory items that help the other out. Or some other such interaction. They can never cross into each other's worlds, but they are sort of Adventuring Pen Pals.

Keep up the good work, Tim! Can't wait to see how you flesh out the idea! I'm excited to learn who these characters are and what responsibility they will have to take on in their coming-of-age story.

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i rely like the idea of a boy and a girl in different worlds/places ... it has a good potential to be funny and serious at the same time .... Mr. Schafer your idea is approved (at least by me :P)

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I also think that the split world boy / girl story has great potential, it struck me straight away and has me even more excited for the rest !

As for the puzzles-no puzzles debate... When they interrupt the flow of the game too much it's very annoying, but when you have a hard one every now and again it actually becomes a part of the "stickiness" of the game. You save the game and walk away and keep thinking about it and the game in general. That's cool, it's immersive in a way, like you never really leave the game.

Lastly, I didn't chip into this on earlier DFA threads, but music is super mega important. Iconic tunes like in the Monkey Island series stay with me to this day and I cherish those memories !

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Is there a link to the survey for the 100$ backers?

Surveys were sent out to $100+ backers via email. If you never got one, please double-check your email, spam filter, etc.

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This is one of the most exciting pieces of news I have received in May. We have moved from Infinite Possibility down to a single idea. (I say we... but I guess I should say Tim or Double Fine).

I also want a copy of Tim's journal when the project is over. I'm unsure anyone outside of Double Fine will ever see that, as it may contain personal stuff or future ideas, but it would become an Adventure Game Fan's bible.

I don't think anyone else INSIDE of Double Fine has seen it! And we probably won't! (Other than those few pages.)

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I can surely say, I will not be disappointed in the end. How ever the finished game will be, I will have followed the development from the start and that is really awesome. I can't say how much I enjoy this documentary and the post here in the forum.

The only thing I hope is, that the game won't consist of just slapstick jokes.

PS: The music of the documentary is fantastic. Can't wait for the full soundtrack. :)

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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.

Yeah, same here. An adventure game without puzzles isn't an adventure game; it's an interactive movie. And, if that's the case, I'd rather just watch a movie.

I think that puzzles have to be woven into the story in a way that makes sense to not end up just being time-killing obstacles. One of my favorite AG puzzles is Le Serpent Rouge from Gabriel Knight 3, which is actually a monster, multi-part puzzle spanning a whole geographic region, but every solution to the different parts is directly tied to the story's logic and history. I find these sorts of investigative puzzles easier to do with detective games (or games in which one has to act as a detective), but if one is trying to move the story forward and not unraveling a particular mystery, then the puzzles should be directly tied to defined goals within the story. I find that puzzles which have nothing to do with the story can be pretty annoying in a character-driven 3rd person adventure game. (Myst-style adventures are a totally different beast.)

I like the idea of having multiple logical solutions to puzzles, but that basically increases the number of puzzles needing to be built. I also think a choice of "Casual" and "Gamer" modes is a good compromise. The Tex Murphy games had it and Jane Jensen's new one apparently will as well. It gives people who are more into the story than the gameplay the chance to skip some of the harder puzzles or at least gives them more hand-holding through them, but it also gives players into the head-scratchers what they want. Actually, didn't one of the Monkey Island games (2? 3?) have a mega monkey mode or something?

Oh, and great update as well!

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Yeah think it will be abit too personal putting out his free writing idea book. He did say some days he write things just about what he wants for lunch or how he hired someone. Though maybe he will post later on some of his idea parts like how he got to the final idea and stuff.

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Nice Episode! And i totally agree with Tim about the "Atmosphere" of the game or "Ambience" and music is why these old games keep sticking into our head.

As long as the "Ambience" is good of the game, its gonna be a great game! :)

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Great episode. 2 Player Productions has really proven to be fantastic at these sorts of documentaries. Penny Arcade TV hasn't been the same since they left.

Keep it up!

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A spaceship COULD come down!

On a more productive note; I enjoyed puzzles in adventure games, but had more fun with ones where the solution could come up organically just by paying attention to your surroundings. I always hated the puzzles that would dump you in a room and you had to figure out something in the room, but had no idea what or how to go about finding out what to do.

A puzzle that always sticks in my mind was getting across the minefield in Full Throttle. You learn about the minefield, then see it in action after you follow the bunny. So now you know that the bunnies are the way to get across the minefield, so you need more bunnies. The guy at the stand has a remote control car, maybe that can draw his attention away from the box of bunnies. It has no batteries. Batteries flew out of the bunny that exploded in the minefield. I'll put them in the car. The car has drawn the attention of the operator of the stand. Now I can steal the box of bunnies. Now I can get across the minefield. Brilliant.

Maybe this can be chalked up to what was mentioned in the video: The Pixel Hunt. Interfaces that would change based on things that were interactive were more helpful. Then the player would have to figure out the appropriate way to interact with the object. More fun than scanning every pixel on the screen to see what was interactive.

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Great video, guys. I'm really enjoying watching this whole project. Whether the game is disappointing or not, this documentary thing will still be well worth the money, in my opinion.

I personally don't like the idea of controlling multiple characters, as it becomes more difficult to identify with more than one in the fairly short course of an adventure game. I don't think it would ruin a game, as there have been plenty that are still a lot of fun and utilize this technique, ones that I've actually really enjoyed, but the technique alone always seems to take away a bit of immersion to me. I was actually turned off from DotT for this reason, even though I'm sure it's still a really great game, and I'll probably enjoy it if I play it again and try to look past that aspect of it. It might make the puzzles more interesting, but I think it's more important to feel like you are the character, and that becomes a bit more difficult when you have to put yourself in the shoes of more than one. But, of course, I'm no game designer, and there have been plenty of games that this approach worked well in, so I just wanted to give my personal take on it.

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I must honestly say that so far I really dont like the concept of the game. Of course it is way to early to hate the game but after the first artwork and this video I really concerned that this will be not like the game I was expecting.

Personally there should not even be the question of having puzzles or not. It should not even be a question of having an inventorysystem and so on. Also I think asking the Machinarium or even portal guy who has not even played most of his games is just wrong. I backed this project becasue I was hoping to get an old school Adventure game not some modern "junk" or even artistic game. I backed it up becasue I think most of these new Adventure games are really not for me.

None or less I enjoy these videos but I alo really hope that my concerns are just wrong and I will get a really good and old school like Point and Click Adventure.

What's just wrong is this kind of head-in-the-sand attitude towards so called modern "junk". Of COURSE they should ask people who have made adventure and puzzle games recently what they think about the medium. It would be silly not to. Last time Tim made this sort of game is 1998, and contrary to popular belief the medium hasn't been dormant since then.

Yes, he wants to make something that will appeal to the fans of the old games but that doesn't mean placing himself in a bubble where the last 15 years of thinking on story and game design have never happened. It makes total sense to see what people are thinking right now. Doesn't mean you have to go in the same direction - indeed, it looks like this will not be like what those games are. But it would be the height of arrogance for Tim to assume he has nothing to learn from the people who have been making adventure and story driven games most recently.

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