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DF Chris Remo

Episode 2: A Promise of Infinite Possibility

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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 !

Yeah, agreed. I'm worried a bit because I'm not digging Terrence Lee's stuff at all. It all sounds like variations of the same generic thing, I don't know. I hope I enjoy the ost, other people seem to like his stuff so I guess that's good.

Terrence Lee is the composer for the documentary, not the game. The composer for the game hasn't been officially announced but there have variously been hints that it will be in-house or Peter McConnell who has a long working history with Tim Schafer having written music for almost every adventure game Tim has ever made, as well as Psychonauts, Costume Quest and Brutal Legend.

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Another excellent episode. I was familiar with some of 2PP's work but this has exceeded my expectations. I can't wait for the next one.

I've seen some people on twitter talking about backing with Paypal after seeing the first episode and I can't blame them. It's really good stuff.

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Good video - but also frustrating at points.

The main frustration was the fact that he was sitting down with non-Adventure fans and asking for their feedback. Obviously, you want to hear both sides of the coin (I may have mixed metaphors there), but they're not the audience that he is supposedly catering to. The guy who said no to puzzles? Gee whiz.

I hope it doesn't turn out to be a Machinarium-type adventure game. It's alright, but gee it's just repetitive. It's more of a puzzle game than an adventure game. An adventure game gives you a fully fleshed out world and story that features puzzles. A puzzle game is sorta the vice versa of that.

Well, they're people who have all recently made games which have had adventure elements to them or at least have tried to tell stories in different ways. I think he was just trying to get lots of different perspectives on what was enjoyable about adventure games, so he talked to

*Adventure game fans that work for him

*Writers he's worked with in the past

*People making different sorts of story games

*People making modern adventure games.

*Ron Gilbert

*And of course, he has access to these forums and reads them.

A good spread of people to talk to. Should always make sure to learn from as many people as possible, it's the best way to ensure you're not mentally running in circles. In the end he clearly decided that this game needed to be something that did have puzzles in it, even though he admires the approach Sworcery took to their thing. It can't hurt to get the opinions of a wide range of people, but it can help you get unstuck from your comfort zone and make the great things it's possible to make by exploring a little further.

I've never made anything of any worth when my starting point has been: 'okay, I want to make something like that cool thing I made before'. All my best work comes from directions I don't expect, and I think that's true for a lot of people. But that doesn't mean that the new thing can't still evoke similar feelings to the old thing. It's just that you have to come at it sideways, or it'll forever elude you.

While I agree that it helps alot to talk to many people, why do you want to talk with people who A have not played Adventuregames and B are totally different from these Point and Click andventure games.

Take Portal for example.

Different persepective

Different controls

Different interactiction with the world and you as player

different puzzlemechanics

different way of storytelling and presentation.

etc.

There is really nothing you can get out of this. If you really want suggestions or if you want to try to innovate this genre than talk with people who made Adventure games and talk to people who are still making these games. See what has changed for the worse and for the better and than try to get something out of it. Just dont talk some other developers who had some reccently or indy like successful game.

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This was a pleasant way to spend my afternoon. Look forward to more episodes! Great work 2PP.

I'm excited to see how the story of the game will unfold.

Oh, by the way. Fun pills and sleds for all those that stop by. I'll leave them by door.

Smiles

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Text at top of one of the pages (as far as I can tell)

"Could Meatloaf sing for Dragonforce?"

What's that all about?

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Awesome, just awesome.

Yes, please, Double Fine make it so.

Let the representations are beeing.

You should go, like your historie, your own way.

I´am with you - for sure.

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Good video - but also frustrating at points.

The main frustration was the fact that he was sitting down with non-Adventure fans and asking for their feedback. Obviously, you want to hear both sides of the coin (I may have mixed metaphors there), but they're not the audience that he is supposedly catering to. The guy who said no to puzzles? Gee whiz.

I hope it doesn't turn out to be a Machinarium-type adventure game. It's alright, but gee it's just repetitive. It's more of a puzzle game than an adventure game. An adventure game gives you a fully fleshed out world and story that features puzzles. A puzzle game is sorta the vice versa of that.

Well, they're people who have all recently made games which have had adventure elements to them or at least have tried to tell stories in different ways. I think he was just trying to get lots of different perspectives on what was enjoyable about adventure games, so he talked to

*Adventure game fans that work for him

*Writers he's worked with in the past

*People making different sorts of story games

*People making modern adventure games.

*Ron Gilbert

*And of course, he has access to these forums and reads them.

A good spread of people to talk to. Should always make sure to learn from as many people as possible, it's the best way to ensure you're not mentally running in circles. In the end he clearly decided that this game needed to be something that did have puzzles in it, even though he admires the approach Sworcery took to their thing. It can't hurt to get the opinions of a wide range of people, but it can help you get unstuck from your comfort zone and make the great things it's possible to make by exploring a little further.

I've never made anything of any worth when my starting point has been: 'okay, I want to make something like that cool thing I made before'. All my best work comes from directions I don't expect, and I think that's true for a lot of people. But that doesn't mean that the new thing can't still evoke similar feelings to the old thing. It's just that you have to come at it sideways, or it'll forever elude you.

While I agree that it helps alot to talk to many people, why do you want to talk with people who A have not played Adventuregames and B are totally different from these Point and Click andventure games.

Take Portal for example.

Different persepective

Different controls

Different interactiction with the world and you as player

different puzzlemechanics

different way of storytelling and presentation.

etc.

There is really nothing you can get out of this. If you really want suggestions or if you want to try to innovate this genre than talk with people who made Adventure games and talk to people who are still making these games. See what has changed for the worse and for the better and than try to get something out of it. Just dont talk some other developers who had some reccently or indy like successful game.

Eric Wolpaw was a writer with Tim Schafer. They have worked together on writing a game in the past. It makes perfect sense that they would chat together about their thoughts on story in games. (besides, if he was just going to get people who were similarly aligned to him in the industry, why bother?)

Also, the idea that 'there is really nothing you can get out of this' is extremely naive from a game development perspective, and from a creativity perspective in general. You should never limit yourself as to where to draw inspiration from. Portal for example, did, as you point out, have very different ways of storytelling and presentation, but it also had some very interesting methods of visual storytelling which are of interest to anyone working in interactive stories, even if the methods don't translate in a direct fashion. It also helps you understand your own approach better because you can see its strengths and limitations in contrast with other approaches.

At this stage in the process Tim is reaching out to lots of people from different backgrounds and saying 'well, what's your view on this?'. That doesn't mean he has to then say 'Okay, I want to do that, too!' But what it might do is make him think: 'Oh, well hearing you say that makes me understand my OWN perspective better,' or 'Well, I wouldn't approach it that way, but it gives me an idea about how I SHOULD approach it.'

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I really like the idea that was mentioned of the game(world) being a toy you would want to play with, rather than strictly a succession of steps to the goal.

I think that really hits at the heart of what I've enjoyed about a lot of games, and what's behind the nagging feeling of insufficiency I have toward others.

If there's a richness to the game world beyond the "right path", then we get to enjoy exploring - we get to enjoy the adventure. We're drawn to try different things to just to see what will happen without expecting to "solve a puzzle".

Perhaps it's a chain of dialogue, or an interaction with the world that doesn't necessarily advance the plot, but gives insight into the characters or evokes a chuckle, but those types of sideshows really hint toward the "Promise of Infinite Possibility" that came up in the interviews.

Without these, your game becomes a chain of buttons to push in the right order.

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Interesting idea, can be cool ^^

Liking the idea of contrast between the two too

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I have a difficult time imagining an adventure game without puzzles. To me that's no longer an adventure game, its something... else.

One of my greatest joys in an adventure game is picking up massive amounts of ridiculous junk - usually things that would never fit into your pocket - and then finding fun and bizarre uses for it.

Great video, btw! I know it sounds odd, but its actually kinda reassuring to see Tim wresting with self doubt. I doubt anything truly great has ever come from someone who was 100% sure that the outcome would be liked by everyone - if that is even possible. Risk is all a part of the equation and the more of yourself and your ideas you risk, the greater the potential reward.

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These videos are so amazing. I think that the money I put in this project has payed off already in watching these films.

I was wondering about the end credits music. What is the song title and who made it?

I love that song and I would like to get it if possible. Or will it be included in the documentary soundtrack? I want to listen to it again and on the go.

Thank you and keep up the great work

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Zelda failed because of the puzzles, that's what I have to say. Oh it didn't?

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There are still so many ways to take the genre further. Many innovations which can be found in old, traditional adventure games were never elaborated upon. Consider The Last Express, there's nothing else like it and I feel this is just one direction you could take further. Just read this article by the genre's biggest fan and harshest critic, Richard Cobbett: http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/09/04/dont-quit-how-to-save-adventures-225/

Some people are spectacularly narrow minded here when they're not even considering Myst to be an adventure game! Would those people consider the first adventure game ever to be made, Adventure, to be an adventure game now? There are no characters and barely any story involved there. Just exploring some caves...

Why have so few recent adventure games failed to immerse us so much as the old ones? Maybe most of them were made by people who weren't just as talented. LucasArts was a magnet back then for talent. But I think there have been many really cool adventure games released in the past few years, though a significant part of them are rather non-traditional, like Amnesia, Portal 2 or Stacking. More traditional ones might include Machinarium, The Book of Unwritten Tales and Deponia. I often wish the developers had a larger budget to spend to realize more ambitious ideas. Oh well...

Anyway, this episode was simply awesome! It was wonderful to see Tim try to find inspiration on how to fix some of adventure gaming's flaws by talking to many different people, like Eric Wolpaw, the guy behind Machinarium, the one behind Sword & Sorcery, and all the others.

What can you say about his seed of an idea? Not much. It sounds promising, but like Tim says, the execution is what matters. So now I'm even more excited and look forward to this ride!

Thanks everyone!

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...

I should have specified about 'innovations' done with the genre since it reached it's golden standard back at the apex of it's golden era than in general, I figured it was assumed since we did go from purely text based games (Infocom adventures) to text based commands (early Sierra games) and so on, evolution clearly happened.

The same goes for all genres really but you don’t really see any real innovations done to most of them these days (more likely hybridization), and it is not only due to lack of trying, but you know at some point, there’s only so much you can do to improve one thing without changing it completely.

Thing is, modern ‘innovation’ with adventure games are stuff you see in Heavy Rain, Fahrenheit /Indigo Prophesy and Dreamfall, or the Grim Fandango, Monkey Island 4 controls that really didn’t serve anything than to make those games more cumbersome to play than point and click controls.

QTE’s and action sequences are not the way forward, stop trying to make games appeal to a crowd that can’t think for a minute and doesn’t have the patience to click around, that’s what other genres are for, if the majority of the gamer audience doesn’t like adventure games it just doesn’t, stop catering to the majority and look after the niche that exists.

I think if any innovations are going to be made they should be in the story/presentation rather than the gameplay, of course if anybody has some good tangible gameplay alternative I’m all for it.

And this game was not presented as an experiment, we were promised an adventure game, not the Frankenstein monster, but of course if Tim or anybody on the team comes up with a good revolutionary idea I’m all for it as I’ve said already, just don’t start with the gimmicks that are usually made in order to attract the casual market.

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I'm really thrilled to see this video. I feel privileged to be a part of this. Not only am I seeing this game come to fruition, but we all helped one of my favorite game development companies (Double Fine) avoid the utter desolation the unfortunate other game developers are dealing with. Also, it's good to know that Tim is getting some relief from the stresses of owning a company too. :)

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I just want to say, i love your games, I backed your idea, because I trust you.

The bottom line is I funded you to make a game, not a perfect game, a game. I want another tim schafer game and I will never regret my choice

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Interesting video. What's that Captain Subtext? Yes I too noticed Tim talking about how actions have consequences and how actions in one world can effect the other. Yes that does sound like an awesome dynamic. Not only do you have to solve a puzzle in your current characters world but you have to make sure it doesn't adversely effect the other characters world. Yes my brain does hurt just thinking about the possibilities.

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[...]

And this game was not presented as an experiment, we were promised an adventure game, not the Frankenstein monster, but of course if Tim or anybody on the team comes up with a good revolutionary idea I’m all for it as I’ve said already, just don’t start with the gimmicks that are usually made in order to attract the casual market.

This game was barely presented as anything beyond the information that it will be a 2D point & click adventure game. That's a very big canvas to draw on! I think you're jumping to conclusions. And being an experiment is not mutually exclusive with being an adventure game. You would call something only an experiment when it fails anyway. Otherwise it will simply be a great innovative game!

Just out of curiosity: What do you think is the last great adventure game that managed to innovate?

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I'll admit it... I have never finished a point-and-click adventure game (although I have STARTED many). I totally backed this project purely for the videos, and I'm loving it.

I'll probably boot up the game when it arrives, play for about 30 minutes, and then it will happen... I'll have to spend the next four hours looking for some stupid little item that I missed. Bah. And then I'll quit. But hey, the videos are worth it.

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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 !

Yeah, agreed. I'm worried a bit because I'm not digging Terrence Lee's stuff at all. It all sounds like variations of the same generic thing, I don't know. I hope I enjoy the ost, other people seem to like his stuff so I guess that's good.

Terrence Lee is the composer for the documentary, not the game. The composer for the game hasn't been officially announced but there have variously been hints that it will be in-house or Peter McConnell who has a long working history with Tim Schafer having written music for almost every adventure game Tim has ever made, as well as Psychonauts, Costume Quest and Brutal Legend.

Ohh, thanks for correcting me. :red: I'm glad to hear that, then.

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Oooh *Wince* I probably in the minority here, but Tim seems to have chosen the one style of adventure game I could never really deal with. I've played short adventure game where you played as an alien fast food worker in a space station burger joint in English at the top while also playing as a medieval samurai woman with a need to appease several spirits in order to save her village in Japanese on the bottom. Whatever you did on the top one corresponded directly to the bottom one and vice versa and it's a terrible way to break atmosphere and it was hard to get fully absorbed into either story, like trying to listen to two audio books of a different genera at the same time. Especially since you had to choose between action on the bottom and comedy on the top and I feel like having both happen at the same time each took away from the other.

However, if it’s Tim, he'll probably find a way to work around those pitfalls and still be able to make another classic humorous game out of it and change my mind about that kind of storytelling.

I think you're assuming too much about the gameplay of this game based on the story setup!

I suppose I could be, but I do feel that telling two stories at the same time could definitely take away from immersion a bit.

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The problem with the puzzles in some of those old adventure games is that they often required a mostly nonsensical approach to solve them. I think a good puzzle should always make sense. Nothing is more frustrating than a puzzle founded on such ridiculous logic that the only way to solve it is with luck, process of elimination, or cheating. There is no joy in using a game guide to solve a puzzle, but there's also no shame when the puzzle is playing by unfair rules.

I don't really have anything to add, except to concur wholeheartedly. Puzzles are fun, brute-forcing puzzle solutions is not.

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Just out of curiosity: What do you think is the last great adventure game that managed to innovate?

I think the best innovation in the genre was point and click controls period, particularly when they dropped the verb system.

As for the last great adventure game to innovate? Hmm that’s a hard one. In story and presentation I can think of a lot, from I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream to Neverhood, to a crappy (yet unique) game like the Harvester.

I guess I can say that the first half of Fahrenheit /Indigo Prophesy really seemed like a good alternative to the old school point and clicking, minus the QTE’s and all the matrix crap that came afterwards. I remember being very excited when I played the demo.

But that was a wasted opportunity, other games made several smaller innovations, hell I even find what Machinarium and Axel and Pixel did a form of innovation (but not a way forward).

I have heard much praise for The Last Express also, but I haven’t being fortunate enough to play it.

I get the feeling I’m missing an obvious game here.

EDIT: Oh to add in the experiment argument, DF doesn’t really have the luxury to start throwing things on a wall hoping something sticks, and stalling development so they can come up with something unique for the sake of it.

Remember that DF is unproven as an adventure developer, Tim and Ron are veterans but when they made their last adventure it was with a different company on a different era.

Ambition is great and all, but maybe with the first baby out the door they should try to get the fundamentals right before they set out in reinventing the wheel.

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How about Discworld Noir? You gathered clues in a notebook and combined them to discover new leads.

I think Machinarium and Samorost and the likes innovated by reduction, but otherwise I felt Discworld Noir was the last innovative traditional adventure game.

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I know some people won't particularly like the idea Tim has but I'd love to see where it goes. Keep up the good work DF and 2PP.

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I think Discworld Noir innovations would go on the small innovations pile; still I’d like to see something like that revisited again.

Oh wait a minute; you know what game was really innovating?

In Memoriam, that took adventuring to a whole new level by mixing reality and game with internet browsing.

I would definitely like to see more done in the vain of In Memoriam, particularly stuff that take the notion further visually and blending it with more traditional styles.

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