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DF Chris Remo

Episode 2: A Promise of Infinite Possibility

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Thank you Double Fine and 2 Player for the great update! It seems like you're giving away just the right amount of information... keep it up!

I love the duel protagonist angle and the air of mystery about the whole thing from the start. It immediately makes me want to jump in and start exploring :)

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I love openness in adventure games. The best moment of an adventure game, is being set loose on some village so you can talk to everyone and get a sense of the atmosphere.

Another are the characters, it's always fun to see a recurring character like Stan in Monkey Island.

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Im so glad I bought this game! Tim Schafer, you will never have that "no money in my account" problem, your fans are just too damn loyal. :lol: - smiley

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Can't help but chime in that I loved the documentary - best way of avoiding work bar none!

Witnesses the creative process behind the game is indeed more than worth the money spent by all of us, I'm sure. Plus it pushes me to try and get my own creative writing back in gear. I'm afraid to dig up my own old notebooks though, har har!

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My redundant Thumbs UP for the game concept. The twin worlds, and interactions between them is bringing in that awesome aspect of Day of the Tentacle. And it being a coming of age story just feels fantastic.

Happy feelings inside now :)

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First of all, that was an amazing video. I was a fan of 2PP from the first season of Penny Arcade: the Series, so I knew they'd do a good job, but this was a whole new level of awesome. As a (perpetually) aspiring game designer, it was really interesting to get these sorts of insights into Tim's creative process. And (like many others have said) I would kill to get a copy of that Grim Fandango design notebook. Any chance we could at least get a few pages scanned and posted online? As a fan of every game Tim's created, I'd love to see some of any of those notebooks.

I was also really surprised and pleased to see Tim soliciting the opinions of a diverse set of developers, not just diehard fans of the genre. It's a healthy part of the creative process to question every preconceived notion you have about something. It never struck me that any of this was about removing puzzles from adventure games, it was about gaining a better understanding of their role in the games. What they add to, or (in some cases) detract from the other elements of the experience. I thought the other perspectives were interesting (or humorous), but I'm glad he came to the what I feel is the right decision (to include puzzles). I'm incredibly encouraged that he would ask these sorts of questions, as my biggest concern for this game was that it would be nothing more than a retread of the classics. I loved those games, but remakes are rarely classics in and of themselves.

As for the premise, I have to say I think it's effing brilliant. The emotional nature of a coming of age story could very nicely parallel that of this kickstarter project, as both are steeped in nostalgia. I love the idea of the dual narrative/setting, and I think having a girl as one of the protagonists is a great choice. Hopefully we'll finally get a well written, well rounded female character in a videogame (and I don't mean well rounded in a physical sense). We'll have to wait and see on the execution, but there's a lot of potential here from both a story and gameplay perspective. Even if the two characters don't wind up interacting directly, there are so many interesting ways their stories (and gameplay) could complement each other.

It's been really interesting reading this thread and hearing people's thoughts on old-school adventure games. I have to say the things I liked most about those games was the sense of exploration. Beyond exploration of a virtual space, I loved how classic adventure games let me explore the narrative and characters through dialogue trees and get to know the protagonist better by hearing their perspective on everything.

My biggest problem with adventure games has been issues with presentation and feedback. Presentation issues include things like pixel hunts, where you know what you're looking for, you just can't find it in the environment. Feedback issues include not giving adequate hints, or telling players why a completely reasonable solution doesn't work (which leads to frustration). The problem is that everybody has differing levels of patience, observation, and aptitude for puzzle difficulty; and what might be the right amount of feedback for one person could feel like hand-holding to another.

I think the only way to properly solve these issues are to have more options. Some things can be easily solved by having optional hints (or additional dialogue options when players are stuck), or item shine (as long as we can choose to turn it off), but I think the bigger issue of varying aptitude would be best served by having difficulty settings and multiple solutions to each puzzle. It would be nice (though expensive to develop) if each puzzle had a handful of possible solutions of varying difficulty, and the easier solutions would be disallowed (with an appropriate narrative justification) on higher difficulty levels. A similar, less expensive option would be to make it so each puzzle has a series of progressively more difficult stages (you think you've solved something, then there's a complication that has to be dealt with, then another etc.) and the number of stages to the puzzle you have to complete would be dependent on your chosen difficulty level.

Anyway those are just (entirely too many of) my thoughts on the matter. Loved the video. Love the early direction of the game. Can't wait to see more.

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Psyched!

My favorite point and click adventure game is Day of the tentacle. And I think it’s because of the interaction between the three characters from the past/present/future thru the Cron-O-Jhon. So to discover that the game is going to be some kind of collaboration/interaction between two characters set in different time/places has me jumping up and down!!

I was thinking the exact same thing when Tim announced his idea :-) DOTT was truly a masterpiece!

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Thanks. Enjoyed seeing the creative process. I remember "Free Writing" (hated it at the time - always ended up going in decreasing circles - mostly writing... "I hate writing")

Anyway... I came away from that thinking of the XOR game. http://xor.ovine.net/downloads.php for some reason?

Also, I read an article years ago about a maze with two travelers - it was in "Mathematical Recreations" in Scientific American.

I think it was this

Where Are the Cows?

Where are the Cows? is one of Abbott's most difficult mazes. It first appeared in his book SuperMazes. Abbott warns readers that it "may be too difficult for anyone to solve." Since then, it has also appeared as the titular maze in the book Cows in the Maze.

The complexity in Where are the Cows? includes self-reference, changing rules, and flow charts. It is also worded so as to provoke confusion between an object (such as red text), a reference to an object (such as the word "red"), and even more subtle references (the word "word"). The maze ends up being so complicated that it can even be difficult to work out the next move, let alone the end. In this maze, you have to use two hands, each starting at a different place. The instructions in one box might have to do with the box that the other hand is in, boxes you have already left, or complex combinations of the two.

From here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Abbott_(game_designer)

And got me thinking about games like one I played on the PS2 where you had a team of 4 people and they all worked together solving puzzles

I don't know if this is what Tim Schafer was thinking - but that's what it got me thinking of.

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I think how to go about doing puzzle correctly is a difficult question to answer. Portal does it well, because you are given the tools to solve the puzzle. Most point and click games lead to needing to find tools to solve puzzle (hence the pixel hunting that was mentioned). Personally, I think it is way more fun to use the tools you have and a way they interact with the environment to proceed through the quest

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Watching the episode feels a bit like playing Tim's games.

He has this way of inviting and challenging you at the same time.

"Well, the current idea is to have two separate worlds - one with a boy growing up and finding out how his choices can actually hurt people, and one with a girl doing the same thing."

Now he's got us toying with his ideas.

It would be fun if the boy and the girl have some opposed interest, without knowing eachother. Something like they each live on the opposite side of the same huge lake where they do conflicting things to it (building dams, kill fish, etc) without knowing that.

Ok the setting in this example is pretty boring, but some mechanic like this in a different setting could move the story forward...

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Holy cow this is even bettern then I dared to hope for... Not only is the documentary turning out to be truely awesome but I also really like Tim's idea for the game. The only thing better would be a "Being John Malkovich"'esque tiny doory behind a filing cabinet leading right into Tim's brain xD

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Yes, I admit it, I'm in it for the design secrets. To see Tim's mind at work. But also, this is probably a first good real account that we can see a team of developers at work! Moar team interviews please.

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This has already been said before but it is more intriguing than i thought possible. I really enjoyed the flow of the video. The tease of the idea, and the discussions with various people & the final reveal. The journey back to the how he came up with GRIM FANDANGO was funny.

You guys are really good at lifting the veil behind what actually goes on while making a game & I really appreciate it. Keep them coming.

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SUBTITLES! PLEASE!

Yep! It would be a great help for worldwide backers!

Great video though! Can't wait until the next updates. =)

Subtitles are in the works. We had to find an agency to handle it.

Are you guys making progress on the subtitles? Also, will they be implemented in the already existing episodes?

I'm not a native speaker and I'm afraid I'd really need those...

Thanks

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The one thing that I hate about adventure games are the puzzles that do not make logical sense. Like, you use the 'S' paste on the cat and then make them go up, where a machine is waiting to disintegrate them and turn them into 'catsup'*. It's like, "WTF, that does not make sense!" Or you stare at some items in an inventory and you just try and use them on one another until they make sense. I hate that. It doesn't show any progressions at all.

A puzzle has to be logical. It has to have a certain "flow" to it. A good puzzle is something that is hard but, when you find the solution, you go, "OMG, I can't believe I thought of that! It's so simple!". That gives you a warm of feeling of accomplishment. You feel like you're actually using your brain.

*The catsup thing I mentioned does not exist in any game that I know of. I just made that shit up. Don't go looking for it.

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The best thing about point and clicks? The random humour when trying to look at/use/pick up items around the area. Space Quest 6.....I think, was brilliant for this. Using the Hare (and item you get VERY early on) very late in the game gave a joke that I think 75% of those that played that game would never, ever see.

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The concept of coming of age can be dealt with by each character having to fix the other's mistakes, thus learning about the consequences of their own decisions: what was done and thought right by one of them is seen as actually a mistake by the other, and fixed. ooook... I've just had a braingasm...

This idea is great. Also the whole concept of two different worlds reminds me(like many others) of Day Of The Tentacle, but instead of time the two protagonists are separated by space (or even realities!?). As the story goes along and the boy and the girl take matters into their own hands, these worlds could start to interact more and more with each other, until in the end the the collapse to one or at least have some connection, so the boy and the girl finally meet. Will they like each other? Or hate?

And yes, this is rather fuzzy, but intentionally so. You know, INFINITE POSSIBILITIES!

And Hi to you all btw.

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I love the high production value of the documentary. Really well done and interesting to follow!

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a few notes:

- i hope the game is as good as the documentary

- i bought machinarium after watching the first episode

- i really appreciated the extras video

- this has been well worth slacking off at work for

also, whether the answer is endearing or otherwise:

- i want to know how this crowd influences your process in your next update; tell us

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Really beautiful second episode, guys. It was great to put faces to some of my favourite games - it feels good to see Tim question these outside devs to get some insight on what makes the "perfect" point-and-click adventure game. The 2 Player chaps also keep coming up with the goods; these docs are oozing with a soft focus beauty last seen in the most unicorn-filled dreams of my younger life.

Plus the more I see that Double Fine hoodie, the more I want one too.

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Just a quick comment. I like the puzzles and I can relate about feeling a part of a world. When I was done with Grim Fandango I missed Manny.

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I was flipped off by Tim Schafer, awesome. :D

I really enjoyed watching Episode 2: Attack of the cl... Oh wait, no.

I really enjoyed watching Episode 2: A Promise of Infinite Possibilities (Until Tim settles on a decision and half the population revolts, because it wont be infinite any more...). Thank you.

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a few notes:

- i hope the game is as good as the documentary

- i bought machinarium after watching the first episode

- i really appreciated the extras video

- this has been well worth slacking off at work for

also, whether the answer is endearing or otherwise:

- i want to know how this crowd influences your process in your next update; tell us

A heads up if you like Machinarium, the same developers released a game called Botanicula. It's around 4 hours of charming game.

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I really enjoyed this episode, good job 2PP! I'm always captured by Ron Gilbert when he talks, which is weird since he seems to not even enjoy it much. I totally hated the author of Superbrothers talking instead; my impression of him was still better than his game's though.

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I am surprised to find myself really enjoying watching the process even though it’s very early on. The documentary was the lowest on my priority list when helping to kick start this, and finding it to be entertaining and educational. its honest and gives you a sense of how Tim is putting himself out there. It’s very “Raw” and I just want to tell him how awesome I know this game is going to be.

We got your back Tim :)

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I got all misty when Tim first said his game idea out loud to Ron.

The documentary is pretty much worth its weight in gold.

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The best thing about point and clicks? The random humour when trying to look at/use/pick up items around the area. Space Quest 6.....I think, was brilliant for this. Using the Hare (and item you get VERY early on) very late in the game gave a joke that I think 75% of those that played that game would never, ever see.

If you like that kind of thing, play Edna & Harvey: The Breakout and try everything on everything. Different responses for everything you can think of and more!

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Finally watched the video and getting caught up. There's one thing I wanted to mention that's important for me to bring up as a game developer.

Seeing the notebooks in his office and what he's working on, my imidiate thought and worry is if something were to ever happen to these notebooks. The amount of history contained in these notebooks are in my mind invaluable to the history of this art form. So this leads me to ask:

What are Tim's plans to preserve his design notebooks?

Fate forbid that something were to happen to the notebooks, but I would be heartbroken if these were damaged or lost in any way. Just as many were heartbroken when Aardman studios lost all historical artifacts in a fire.

Decades from now, the contents of these notebooks will be important to the history of the work Tim and many others have made in this art. What I'm asking is to take steps now to insure we as a society will be able to study these texts in the future.

To be clear, I'm not asking for the contents to be publicly viewable right at this moment or soon. That's up to Tim alone to decide under what conditions a release like that is right. What I do want is the ability for the contents to be preserved so that they can be studied years from now.

This is a much larger debate than just Tim's notebooks. The game industry is so deplorable about preservation that we can't even pinpoint when Super Mario Bros. was released. We can at least start with these notebooks. And maybe this journey will start a larger campaign for all the other notebooks and other artifacts that created the artform we love today.

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