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Is it really an adventure game?

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New interview http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/06/01/ron-gilbert-interview-pt-1-all-things-cave-related/

Key section:

"Well, it’s not really a platformer. It depends, I guess, on what your definition of a platformer is. The Cave, when you’re playing the game, you are jumping, you are climbing up things, but that’s really not the game. Nobody’s going to miss a jump in this game, unless you’re just completely screwing around. I very purposely do not want to make it a game that’s about jumping, that’s about barely grabbing ropes at the right time and getting all that stuff. The traversal part of the game is really just a fun activity.

I think one of the things that classic point-click adventure games were always criticized for was that walking around is boring. You had to walk from one end of Melee Island to the other end of Melee Island, and it’s just boring to do. When we were developing Monkey Island, we had little cheat keys that would allow us to run as fast as we wanted, just because it was boring for us as the designers to run around the damn game. And so I think that kind of world traversal is something that’s always been a little bit boring in adventure games.

Having the Cave be something that you’re running around and you’re jumping, you’re climbing up things, wasn’t really a way to add this whole other level of gameplay. It was just about making traversal fun and interesting and something you enjoy doing. If I had to run over here to get something, it was kind of fun to actually move over there and get that thing."

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New interview http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/06/01/ron-gilbert-interview-pt-1-all-things-cave-related/

Key section:

"Well, it’s not really a platformer. It depends, I guess, on what your definition of a platformer is. The Cave, when you’re playing the game, you are jumping, you are climbing up things, but that’s really not the game. Nobody’s going to miss a jump in this game, unless you’re just completely screwing around. I very purposely do not want to make it a game that’s about jumping, that’s about barely grabbing ropes at the right time and getting all that stuff. The traversal part of the game is really just a fun activity.

I think one of the things that classic point-click adventure games were always criticized for was that walking around is boring. You had to walk from one end of Melee Island to the other end of Melee Island, and it’s just boring to do. When we were developing Monkey Island, we had little cheat keys that would allow us to run as fast as we wanted, just because it was boring for us as the designers to run around the damn game. And so I think that kind of world traversal is something that’s always been a little bit boring in adventure games.

Having the Cave be something that you’re running around and you’re jumping, you’re climbing up things, wasn’t really a way to add this whole other level of gameplay. It was just about making traversal fun and interesting and something you enjoy doing. If I had to run over here to get something, it was kind of fun to actually move over there and get that thing."

Thanks for the link. That's kind of how I was imagining the platforming being used, so I'm pleased enough with that answer. =]

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New interview http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/06/01/ron-gilbert-interview-pt-1-all-things-cave-related/

Key section:

"Well, it’s not really a platformer. It depends, I guess, on what your definition of a platformer is. The Cave, when you’re playing the game, you are jumping, you are climbing up things, but that’s really not the game. Nobody’s going to miss a jump in this game, unless you’re just completely screwing around. I very purposely do not want to make it a game that’s about jumping, that’s about barely grabbing ropes at the right time and getting all that stuff. The traversal part of the game is really just a fun activity.

I think one of the things that classic point-click adventure games were always criticized for was that walking around is boring. You had to walk from one end of Melee Island to the other end of Melee Island, and it’s just boring to do. When we were developing Monkey Island, we had little cheat keys that would allow us to run as fast as we wanted, just because it was boring for us as the designers to run around the damn game. And so I think that kind of world traversal is something that’s always been a little bit boring in adventure games.

Having the Cave be something that you’re running around and you’re jumping, you’re climbing up things, wasn’t really a way to add this whole other level of gameplay. It was just about making traversal fun and interesting and something you enjoy doing. If I had to run over here to get something, it was kind of fun to actually move over there and get that thing."

That supports what I was guessing. The platforming is for getting from point A to point B in a way that's a bit more fun than just walking across the screen. It's not one of the main focuses.

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It's STILL platforming!

What on EARTH does he think other platformers use it for?

I don't get it...

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It's STILL platforming!

What on EARTH does he think other platformers use it for?

I don't get it...

The difference is that the "game" of a platformer is based around your skill at executing jumps. Long jumps, short jumps, timed jumps, fast jump. Timing, accuracy, reflexes. It's about responsiveness. The way to win a platformer is to be really good at running and jumping. See: Super Mario.

But some games allow you to freely walk and jump that ARE NOT platformers. For example, if you look at a typical beat 'em up game like Double Dragon or Final Fight or Shank, you can walk all around the screen and jump, but the the way you win the game is by being good at punching bad guys until they die. You should especially punch them more times than they punch you. But while you CAN walk/run/jump, it has little to no effect on your ability to win the game or be good at it.

Blocks That Matter is a game that lets you walk/run/jump, but it is not a platformer. It is a puzzle game.

The Rampage series of games allowed you to walk/run/jump, but they weren't platformers. You won those games by destroying as much of the environment as possible before dying.

If you play Cave Story, it is a game that you win by being good at platforming and shooting. HOWEVER. There are multiple instances in the game where you enter a village or settlement, and you just walk/jump around to various places in the settlement and talk to people. The shooting and jumping are irrelevant at that point, but you still use free movement to get around and speak to all the NPCs.

I think he knows what he's doing.

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This game reminds me of Abe's Odyssey more than Mario.

I would call that a puzzle/platformer, which is what I'm thinking this will be more akin to (with more inventory puzzles).

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It's STILL platforming!

What on EARTH does he think other platformers use it for?

I don't get it...

Platformers put focus on timing, skill, and precision. If The Cave had platforming like

, then I'd be more inclined to call it a platformer, but what platforming is there is just too simple for that definition and would make any platforming fan fall asleep from boredom.

Games are defined by their most prominent genre, whatever mechanic(s) it is that it's focusing on, and the platforming is clearly not the focus of the game. If having to jump over the occasional pit is enough to make a game a platformer, then is Half-Life a platformer? Is virtually every FPS out there an RPG because it has a leveling mechanic? Is Dead Rising 2 a third-person shooter because you can to pick up a gun?

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No offense to the whole process that was involved in the creation of this new game. I think the idea is great and I'm glad a new game from Double Fine was able to be made from it. And adventure games rules my entire childhood. Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Sam and Max, etc. I love nothing more than a game of that type and style.

That being said, am I the only one completely disappointed in seeing that the game looks more like Rochard, than any of the games of past that were simply amazing? Especially seeing the interviews with how they spoke of how game shad a special feel in th epast and that Limbo and this and that were not adventure games but not really. And here we are. Obviously it needs to be played to see, but looks much more like a platformer to me. Give me some talk to, push, combine, look at, commands any day.

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I guess my hang-up is that if it's going to be called an adventure, it's an adventure-slash-something or rather, instead of a flat-out adventure game.

But that's my hang-up, obviously, and really quite petty when I think about it...:P

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I've been out of the loop in terms of adventure games for a while since the "demise" of the old school form. But are games still made in the fashion? Good ones? What happened to them? The trailer for The Cave looks like it has like 6 elevator puzzles in it. Just in the trailer! What is that!? Nothing better than combining two items and have them fit together perfectly. Or solving a puzzle (without cheating). Winning the beauty contest in Day of the Tentacle or collecting all the items for the finish in Sam and Max? Genius. Grim Fandango!? Any Monkey Island game ever!? Someone bring something back! Ha.

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Couple of links for you to checkout, Everyone82:

http://www.adventuregamers.com/topgames/view/pc_past_classic_releases

http://www.adventuregamers.com/topgames/view/pc_recent_releases

Of course it depends on what type of game you're after (Myst-style/comic/serious et al), but that website's a good start. ;)

Personally I'd definitely recommend Stacking though. Not a classic-style adventure game, but will give you the same feeling the old games used to. (And it's made by Double Fine! ;))

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Hearing Ron's point about walking around put it into clear perspective for me. Having direct control to run and jump needn't force this game into the same genre as Mario any more than the direct control and fixed camera in Grim Fandango forces that game into the same genre as Resident Evil.

Ultimately I kind of think... "meh, genre shmenre!" Genres (in any kind of creative medium) might be handy when talking about, searching for, comparing and categorizing existing works, but when it comes to making new ones I think it's counter-productive, counter-creative, for anyone to rigidly limit themselves to the parameters of existing ones. It's much more interesting and desirable, for me, to see evolution in Ron's game design than it would be to see him stick to the same formula indefinitely. People can (and inevitably will) call this game whatever they think it is, based on their own experience of various genres, and that's cool. Ron calls it an adventure game, and that's cool too. How anyone classifies it won't have any impact on whether or not the game resonates with me. The most concern genres will ever create for me is in how to categorize my steam folders or DVD cases.

Where genre admittedly has some importance is in marketing, which effects who might notice the game and give it a try. If the focus of this game is on adventure-type gameplay.. puzzles, story and so on.. then I think it makes perfect sense to call this an adventure game, to let fans of the genre know that this game focuses on the elements which are at the core of the games they love. If it was marketed as a platformer I think it would be more misleading, and attract a lot of people looking for skill-based platforming who would be left dissatisfied.

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The biggest problem I have so far with only the little we see is that after the interviews speaking about how this game was going back to true adventure gaming. And all we see so far from this trailer is that, oh, it looks like 5 of the last 6 platformer downloadable games to come out in the past year. I guess I was just hoping to click the start button on the video and see what I was hoping to see.

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The biggest problem I have so far with only the little we see is that after the interviews speaking about how this game was going back to true adventure gaming. And all we see so far from this trailer is that, oh, it looks like 5 of the last 6 platformer downloadable games to come out in the past year. I guess I was just hoping to click the start button on the video and see what I was hoping to see.

Ron will be showing off The Cave at E3. I imagine that he'll show off the puzzles more than the trailer did.

...Now that I think about it, has there ever really been a trailer or some other quick advertisement for a major adventure game that focused on the puzzle solving? Most of the time they seem much more concerned with introducing potential players to the world and characters.

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The biggest problem I have so far with only the little we see is that after the interviews speaking about how this game was going back to true adventure gaming. And all we see so far from this trailer is that, oh, it looks like 5 of the last 6 platformer downloadable games to come out in the past year. I guess I was just hoping to click the start button on the video and see what I was hoping to see.
I think that is supposed to be the kickstarter point and click game they are making. I think you might be mixing up "the cave" with that.

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The biggest problem I have so far with only the little we see is that after the interviews speaking about how this game was going back to true adventure gaming. And all we see so far from this trailer is that, oh, it looks like 5 of the last 6 platformer downloadable games to come out in the past year. I guess I was just hoping to click the start button on the video and see what I was hoping to see.
I think that is supposed to be the kickstarter point and click game they are making. I think you might be mixing up "the cave" with that.

Yeah, The Cave and Double Fine Adventure (working title) are two different games. Development began on The Cave well before the Kickstarter happened. Ron Gilbert is leading the team working on The Cave, while Tim Schafer is leading the team working on Double Fine Adventure.

Development of Double Fine Adventure is still at a very early stage, while The Cave is approaching the end of its development cycle.

Can we get a sticky that says that The Cave is NOT related at all to the Kickstarter project in the title?

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Ohhhhhh.....so the Cave and the Kickstarter are different? That explains a lot. Ha. i was under the impression that the Cave was the creation from all this adventure talk. Not true?

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I was also wondering whether this is really an adventure game. From the trailer it looks like a platformer.

Does the exploration and puzzle solving in The Cave involve finding and using objects? Do the characters have inventory?

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I was also wondering whether this is really an adventure game. From the trailer it looks like a platformer.

Does the exploration and puzzle solving in The Cave involve finding and using objects? Do the characters have inventory?

You can find a lot of answers in this excellent preview: http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/21426

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From Ron Gilbert's assertion that it's an adventure game, I'm guessing it's an adventure game. Platforming elements are rare, but not unheard of. Dizzy was an adventure series with platforming elements.

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Ohhhhhh.....so the Cave and the Kickstarter are different? That explains a lot. Ha. i was under the impression that the Cave was the creation from all this adventure talk. Not true?

They're separate games, but it hasn't been too clear. I think it'll be a common misconception until DFA gets a formal title and announcement.

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Ohhhhhh.....so the Cave and the Kickstarter are different? That explains a lot. Ha. i was under the impression that the Cave was the creation from all this adventure talk. Not true?

They're separate games, but it hasn't been too clear. I think it'll be a common misconception until DFA gets a formal title and announcement.

Don't get what's not clear about that they said from the start that Ron Gilbert was busy with his own game.

Second they can never make a full game in just 2 months where Tim Schafer says he is still busy on writing the story.

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The way you have to choose 3 characters from a selection of 7 at the start of the game definitely reminds me of Maniac Mansion. I wonder if there is any connection to that game.

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They're separate games, but it hasn't been too clear. I think it'll be a common misconception until DFA gets a formal title and announcement.

I thought it was very clear.

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The way you have to choose 3 characters from a selection of 7 at the start of the game definitely reminds me of Maniac Mansion. I wonder if there is any connection to that game.

What's interesting is that Ron actually had the idea for The Cave before he started working on Manic Mansion--before he even worked at LucasArts, actually! So there's clearly something about the notion of choosing characters that is of long-standing interest for Ron.

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