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Levering_2pp

Sidequest: “It's All Coming Back To Me”

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I really don't want to play through the game fast. Monkey Island 2 proportions would't mind me at all %-P

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i love the fact that Tim started getting critical with the game with those minor design "flaws" ahaha.

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I'm definitely pro-verbs. Just having to click on stuff and see what happens makes an adventure game feel even more like interactive story book. Verbs make the player's actions feel deliberate.

Yeah. I thought that. It certainly makes puzzles generally a lot easier, and the example at the start of the painting you have to pull (where the player's click would just mean "look at") is perfect. Also agree with Tim though that most verbs are largely redundant. I think you can go through some of the old games without ever using the verb "close." My favourite verb version was MI3 which had "eye" "mouth" and "hand" and you picked which body part you wanted to use for the action. Worked really well.

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I'm definitely pro-verbs. Just having to click on stuff and see what happens makes an adventure game feel even more like interactive story book. Verbs make the player's actions feel deliberate.

Yeah. I thought that. It certainly makes puzzles generally a lot easier, and the example at the start of the painting you have to pull (where the player's click would just mean "look at") is perfect. Also agree with Tim though that most verbs are largely redundant. I think you can go through some of the old games without ever using the verb "close." My favourite verb version was MI3 which had "eye" "mouth" and "hand" and you picked which body part you wanted to use for the action. Worked really well.

Yeah I think something like that is probably the best format, it gives the player a choice of what their clicks mean but does away with redundant verbs. I really think distinguishing between pick up and interact is important - you shouldn't be playing the game thinking "I wonder what will happen when I click this"; you should be thinking "I wonder if I can pick this up" or "I wonder if I can push this" or whatever.

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What would life be like without all those verbs? A lot of inaction.

Look forward to the next installment.

Smiles

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In the video, Tim remarks that DotT highlights clickable objects as you move the mouse cursor over them and that this system doesn't work on smartphones/tablets. I don't think that the game should be designed with smartphones as the lead platform. Even though a lot of people own them, this poll ( http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/6674/ ) shows that they still intend to play the game on their desktop computers.

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I always miss verbs when games don't have at least the verb coin style thing from Curse of Monkey Island or Sam and Max. if only because without them you can't try to pick up all the characters.

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I think this has been said already but this video highlights how useful creative failure dialogue can be. When you try to use an object where it doesn't go, you should hear some dialogue that's relevant to your idea. Tim touched on it when he tried to use the hamster in the microwave.

It's always interesting to hear what issues a developer has with their own game.

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I really don't mind if you make a slower-paced game than what we are used to, as long as it's interesting. This video certainly was.

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Generally speaking, I think the Full Throttle/CMI-style pop-up is a good middle ground for the interface - there's also the Monkey Island 2 SE version, which collectively represents the entire verb bar, but only shows commands relevant to the selected object.

That said, it depends entirely on what works for the game in question - and simpler interfaces don't necessarily mean less complex games. And it's not like it's a new thing - the two first Broken Sword games had context sensitive left click, with right clicking to examine, and I wouldn't accuse them of being "overly simplified". You can argue that it technically limits the ways in which you interact with the game - but it's a matter of how you construct the puzzles around the given interface.

Again, I'm not anti-verbs (although I'm really not interested in having 1/3 of the screen filled by it - looking back, it's an astonishing amount of real estate to steal away from the actual game world), but I'd never insist on a full, early-SCUMM-style interface just because that's how we rolled in the '90s.

Also, regarding dialogue, I quite like it when the opening lines don't match the chosen option word-for-word. Not necessarily icons or options so vague you're genuinely not sure what you're about to say, but a basic, clear description that still allows you to be surprised/amused at the actual line:

[DIALOGUE CHOICE] We wanna buy something.

[ACTUAL LINE] "We'd like to patronize your fine establishment, my good man".

That said, once again it depends a lot upon the style of the game. Dialogue icons worked just fine for Sam & Max, and again, Broken Sword. But I was, for instance, occasionally frustrated in Tex Murphy games (which I otherwise love) when the dialogue choices ("sarcastic retort", etc) sometimes felt so vague I genuinely wasn't sure which option best represented what I actually wanted to say, especially since those choices sometimes had a huge impact on the story.

So, all this basically amounts to: These are a couple of things I tend to like, but I'm pretty sure that whatever you choose will be the best thing for the game you're making.

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To some of the points Tim brought up:

"Does anyone play adventure games anymore because they like them, or is it nostalgia?" (I'm probably paraphrasing)

I play my old adventure games a lot (Lucas Arts ones especially are such fantastic games. They're really funny and fun to play through). I know I'm old, and maybe I'm just crazy, but I loved those games. There are some really good, modern adventure games (wadjeteye especially really captures a lot of the feel of those games) but I don't think I've played many modern ones that really capture the fun of the old Lucas Arts adventures. And it doesn't even have to be funny, for me, I even loved The Dig. Maybe at this point it is nostalgia to some extent, but for me they are such fantastic games.

"Dialogue trees: do people want these?"

I know what you're saying about dialogue trees. At a certain point, if the dialogue isn't interesting it feels like the game just stops, and you have to talk to somebody to continue forward, or figure stuff out. In my opinion, though, this comes down to the dialogue. You have to make the player want to talk to the characters because they're either funny or interesting. Hints aside, if paced well the dialogue can even serve as a break from thinking about a puzzle a bit and just enjoy funny or interesting story/dialogue. So, my opinion is dialogue trees are fine if written well. However, don't make the trees go super deep. Too much can be tedious. Some dialogue trees go really deep (especially in Bioware games) and if it drags on too long you just want it to finish already. I guess with that, it's just finding the right balance of what is said as opposed to what the player wants/needs to ask.

Verbs.

I really have never had a problem with verbs. I started playing adventure games with text adventures, so maybe I'm just used to them. You can use either of the interfaces you guys created at Lucas Arts, really, as they were both done really well (or come up with something new). In my opinion, the verb wheel was fine, but I didn't mind having the verbs on screen either. Today, with everything being made sleeker I guess there's still an argument to be made that a verb wheel may be the best (I really hate losing verbs altogether personally), but it's really up to how you want to design it from the ground up. If you want the verbs to be half the puzzle, having them on screen would be one way to do that. All I can really say is don't take away to much, and don't add to much. Find a balance. You can't please everybody anyway. The verbs being on screen maybe be easier for IPads though. I don't know, I'm no game designer. Just my thoughts on that.

Marking usable objects.

You mentioned how you may have a problem marking what is usable on an IPad. You may have to brainstorm that problem at some point, but my thoughts are one of the things maybe you could do have something that shows what objects onscreen are interactable (like highlights all the interactable items on a screen or something). That's a difficult one because highlighting them like that without actually finding the item takes away half of the puzzle, but there's also an argument to be made for some people don't like that (maybe the market of people playing on an IPad would be more likely to not like having to find stuff, I don't know). I have been pretty useless in answering this one. Oh well haha

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Oh, and regarding highlighting clickable objects: For touch screens, sure, but I think it should be optional (and probably off as a default) on any platform with an actual cursor on screen. That said, a button that makes interactive objects flash for a couple of seconds can be an aid if you feel like you're missing something, and don't want to scour the screen (I know I've seen that done before, but I'm not sure - was it the Monkey special editions?).

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Oh, and regarding highlighting clickable objects: For touch screens, sure, but I think it should be optional (and probably off as a default) on any platform with an actual cursor on screen. That said, a button that makes interactive objects flash for a couple of seconds can be an aid if you feel like you're missing something, and don't want to scour the screen (I know I've seen that done before, but I'm not sure - was it the Monkey special editions?).

this may help <link>

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One thing thats really sad about new adventure games is how static they are, look at Telltale's games.

Im not sure why adventure games have become so static, in Day of the tentacle, everything felt so alive, those crazy wacky animation when characters try and express them selves or are doing something.

Thats something i really miss. It really makes the game come alive.

Also i love how everything is just wacky shapes, instead of a mansion being boring straight lines and such, nothing really makes much sense in how space is allocated in DOTT and i love that. Rooms have wierd shapes, are bigger or smaller than you would think.

Someday another game in this color, humor and style should be made.

IMo the game even today looks amazing thanks to that scummvm.

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One thing thats really sad about new adventure games is how static they are, look at Telltale's games.

Im not sure why adventure games have become so static, in Day of the tentacle, everything felt so alive, those crazy wacky animation when characters try and express them selves or are doing something.

Thats something i really miss. It really makes the game come alive.

Also i love how everything is just wacky shapes, instead of a mansion being boring straight lines and such, nothing really makes much sense in how space is allocated in DOTT and i love that. Rooms have wierd shapes, are bigger or smaller than you would think.

Someday another game in this color, humor and style should be made.

IMo the game even today looks amazing thanks to that scummvm.

I agree with this, while I loved the Sam and Max games they just felt like a frozen world I walked around in.

I think going with a BASS or Verb Coin would be the best (probably verb coin). I don't think static verbs would work well. One of the reasons I liked The Dig is that there was no interface, it was just beautiful art in your face the entire time, same goes for Full Throttle.

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Thanks so much for this, great insight into DOTT, can't wait for the next instalment.

Dialogue trees - please keep them, especially as has been said because the writing is going to be good.

Verbs - though there could be a better way of implementing them, I'd like to see verbs in the new game. But then I like the more leisurely pace that comes with them, and I don't know if the general gaming population these days still has that patience.

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A way to fix the ipad issue you could have 2 buttons at the top of the screen search mode and interact mode. Search mode lets you drag your finger around the room finding things and then if you want to interact just go back to interact mode.

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Surely the verbs could be arranged in like a nice wheel or something, i definitely think it gives depth and possibility to the game.

Im my opinion 1 button is just dumbing it down way to much.

Another great point, which i just saw, is the Tim for most of the video he sits like i do in adventure games, because they are slow paced fun experiences, with one hand under the head, thats one of the main reason why i also hate Telltale games, not only do they lie about they need to you WASD to navigate a 3d environment which you dont, as someone made a fanmade mod. but i personally sit different play a point n click game, compared to an RTS or FPS, because they are more action oriented.

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I think the system where u can see all the verbs on the main screen is a bit too clunky. A context driven selection coin with different verbs per item would make more sense too me.

Pure for visual reasons I would like to enjoy the 2d graphics as fullscreenish as I can and not having to look at 15 buttons all the time.

Like Tim said in the video. It's always awesome to have funny and custom comments when you combine the wrong items.

*Ben voice* "I'm not putting my lips on that"

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On the subject of verbs: I do think that having more than just "move here" "look at this" "interact with this" is useful because if you go for an absolutely minimal approach then the challenge gets sucked out of puzzles - it becomes far too easy to brute-force things simply by interacting with every object and using every object in your inventory with every object on the screen. Having a reasonably well-developed verb set means players actually have to work out broadly what you need to do with an item, object, person or piece of a scenery in order to advance, which makes puzzle-solving about puzzle-solving as opposed to blind trial-and-error and brute-forcing.

EDIT: Oh, and I LOVE dialogue trees. Can't get enough of them. I don't think every single NPC needs them, mind, but if they have a bunch of information the player needs then digging in and really getting to grips with what they know is wonderful. Loved them in the first Gabriel Knight, loved them in LA Noire, love them in most games featuring them to be honest.

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I always liked the sierra interface of right clicking to change the icon. I think they may have had a bit too many icons though...maybe only need four or five to scroll through (or even three). Ben There Dan That and Time Gentlemen Please used this icons and it's still my preference.

Something about the Full Throttle/Curse of Monkey Island interfaces I never quite warmed to.

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At 16:28, Tim is asked whether he's thinking about allowing the user to switch between the characters manually. He responds with:

"Well, we just have two playable characters in the first game."

Did I miss something and are there multiple games planned, or was it a simple mistake, or did he accidentally give away a little secret?

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DOTT is still one of my favorite adventure games! Everyone should play this!

Loved the anecdote about Steven and Max calling for a hint! Also, I seem to recall that there is a funny reference to the hamster and microwave, but that it came from Laverne instead of Hoagie.

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DOTT is still one of my favorite adventure games! Everyone should play this!

Loved the anecdote about Steven and Max calling for a hint! Also, I seem to recall that there is a funny reference to the hamster and microwave, but that it came from Laverne instead of Hoagie.

Yeah, you have to thaw the hamster out using a microwave in the future, and when you do, Laverne makes a comment about future microwaves being much safer and that no one should try that with a modern-day microwave.

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