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Acefox

Thoughts on playing The Cave

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I'm surprised there isn't a thread for this yet given that someone mentioned there are already walkthroughs posted. (And if you had to consult with them already- shame on you >:-(

where's the fun and challenge if you're just going to follow steps like an instruction manual?)

Anyways, please mention if you are putting any SPOILERS by setting them in bold. For some reason the tag doesn't work in these threads.

---

I've only played a little bit so far, but I must say- the game is awesome and hilariously funny. I was expecting primarily an action platformer and did not expect the puzzles to be of the same level as an adventure game- and being that I love both types, this game was perfect for me. The part in the beginning where you choose your characters really harkens back to Maniac Mansion. My team currently is The Knight, The Adventurer, and The Time Traveler. Can't wait to play them all! I completed the Knight's first quest (Possible Spoilers) and dude- that was not what I had expected! :lol:

Anyways, really fun and addictive so far.

Mad props to Ron and the Most Excellent Folks at Double Fine!

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I'm really enjoying this to. I pre purchased about 10 days ago and was really happy when I noticed it was ready today :-)

This is my first time playing a doublefine game and it won't be the last. Silly question maybe but is this the game that was funded with the kickstarter project? I ask because that is how I found out about these guys after someone mentioned how successful their kickstarter had been.

Oh and I am using the twins, the knight and the hillbilly :-) I have to say the art and animation guys you have working on this game deserve a pay rise because it amazing, and it's so immersive.

Thank you for this game doublefine xx

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This is my first time playing a doublefine game and it won't be the last. Silly question maybe but is this the game that was funded with the kickstarter project? I ask because that is how I found out about these guys after someone mentioned how successful their kickstarter had been.

No, The Cave had been under development since before the Kickstarter happened. It's a completely separate project.

Also, on topic, I agree that it would have been really nice if there was a "Gather everyone" button, because moving all the characters around in single player can get a bit tedious. Otherwise, I have no complaints. The puzzles are enjoyable, the world and characters are charming (in a dark way), it runs smoothly on my PC, and the keyboard/mouse controls work fine.

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The music in the twins house is actually really great. The mood is always there though, i found it fitting.

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I'm really loving the game so far. It's made me laugh out loud several times already. The artwork is pretty spectacular; every time I enter a new part of the cave I'm buzzing with excitement. A few bits remind me of Monkey 2 (not just the Grog machine!) and obviously Maniac Mansion, making the world feel familiar and welcoming. I think the atmosphere is spot on, and I like the way the sound effects and music subtly pull it all together. I've been really looking forward to this game since the first concept art was released on Ron's website, and my high expectations have been exceeded already. Fantastic work Double Fine :P

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I definitely enjoyed my first playthrough. Thought the personal levels were the unique highlights, the well-drawn background stories were fondly reminiscent of Psychonaut's memory reels, and the subtle moral choice at the end was quite satisfying.

The music in the twins house is actually really great. The mood is always there though, i found it fitting.

That soundtrack stuck out for me as well; loved the ominous theme that whole area had going for it.

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Just downloaded it and passed the dragon (time traveller, scientist, twins). A few impressions...

pros:

A Roooon Gilbert game, the atmosphere, the humour, the talking cave (but wouldn't it have been cool if the characters talk to each other as well? i guess budget reasons), the characters, most of the texturing, the sfx effects, the steering (gamepad, little bit confusing at the beginning but good enough and a very good layout!), resolution can be changed without restarting the game, i like the stones and the water, camera works fine, formulas (hey, Newton might miss the unit vector), love the effects from the time traveller and the scientist (more formulas, hihi!), the dragon looked very cool (especially when he breaths at you), no dying, hahaa! space ships (at least in the background), ...

cons:

It's stuttering like hell (GT330M, Mac, 10.6.8) and in no way soft scrolling, lot's of tearing (although vsync is enabled), z-fighting too, sometimes the uv mapping settings seem not to be set properly (or the engine misinterprets those, dark lines around texture borders), confusing light changes for the same scene but according to where you're standing, transformed and animated textures are cut hard because they boundaries are too small, sometimes the difference between sharp and blurred gfx is too strong, the animations look good but lack some more phases (are these only 30fps?), ...

So far i really (very much) enjoy it but the cons make it look a bit rushed/low budget.

*update*

Save doesn't work (not saving the latest state, will have to beat the dragon again) and the game crashes on exit.

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Just downloaded it and passed the dragon (time traveller, scientist, twins). A few impressions...

pros:

A Roooon Gilbert game, the atmosphere, the humour, the talking cave (but wouldn't it have been cool if the characters talk to each other as well? i guess budget reasons), the characters, most of the texturing, the sfx effects, the steering (gamepad, little bit confusing at the beginning but good enough and a very good layout!), resolution can be changed without restarting the game, i like the stones and the water, camera works fine, formulas (hey, Newton might miss the unit vector), love the effects from the time traveller and the scientist (more formulas, hihi!), the dragon looked very cool (especially when he breaths at you), no dying, hahaa! space ships (at least in the background), ...

cons:

It's stuttering like hell (GT330M, Mac, 10.6.8) and in no way soft scrolling, lot's of tearing (although vsync is enabled), z-fighting too, sometimes the uv mapping settings seem not to be set properly (or the engine misinterprets those, dark lines around texture borders), confusing light changes for the same scene but according to where you're standing, transformed and animated textures are cut hard because they boundaries are too small, sometimes the difference between sharp and blurred gfx is too strong, the animations look good but lack some more phases (are these only 30fps?), ...

So far i really (very much) enjoy it but the cons make it look a bit rushed/low budget.

*update*

Save doesn't work (not saving the latest state, will have to beat the dragon again) and the game crashes on exit.

Think that is mostly mac with those problems because with windows the game runs super smooth.

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No idea, i lack a comparison.

Game also crashed when i tried to use the dynamite.

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Just downloaded it and passed the dragon (time traveller, scientist, twins). A few impressions...

pros:

A Roooon Gilbert game, the atmosphere, the humour, the talking cave (but wouldn't it have been cool if the characters talk to each other as well? i guess budget reasons), the characters, most of the texturing, the sfx effects, the steering (gamepad, little bit confusing at the beginning but good enough and a very good layout!), resolution can be changed without restarting the game, i like the stones and the water, camera works fine, formulas (hey, Newton might miss the unit vector), love the effects from the time traveller and the scientist (more formulas, hihi!), the dragon looked very cool (especially when he breaths at you), no dying, hahaa! space ships (at least in the background), ...

cons:

It's stuttering like hell (GT330M, Mac, 10.6.8) and in no way soft scrolling, lot's of tearing (although vsync is enabled), z-fighting too, sometimes the uv mapping settings seem not to be set properly (or the engine misinterprets those, dark lines around texture borders), confusing light changes for the same scene but according to where you're standing, transformed and animated textures are cut hard because they boundaries are too small, sometimes the difference between sharp and blurred gfx is too strong, the animations look good but lack some more phases (are these only 30fps?), ...

So far i really (very much) enjoy it but the cons make it look a bit rushed/low budget.

*update*

Save doesn't work (not saving the latest state, will have to beat the dragon again) and the game crashes on exit.

Regarding the graphics issues, can you get to a spot where you see the z-fighting or "wierd texture borders" and try disabling individual features in Settings->Display? Try SOF and SSAO off first, see if those fix it for you. I'm not sure what's going on, but you are on the oldest version of OSX we support and apple stopped fixing driver bugs in Snow Leopard a while ago, so that's possibly what you're seeing.

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I'll give it a try.

I know that 10.7 is around but on this machine i prefer snow leopard for various reasons. Not that it will fix issues here but my own SSAO runs on snow leopard just fine.

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I'll give it a try.

I know that 10.7 is around but on this machine i prefer snow leopard for various reasons. Not that it will fix issues here but my own SSAO runs on snow leopard just fine.

I personally suspect it's the DOF, which is done in a fairly custom way on The Cave, but obvs that's just a guess. Sounds like you're pretty technical, so I'm sure you know there are lots of ways to implement a given technique, some of which work well on a some hardware/driver configs and not so well on others. It's tricky to find the ones that work perfectly everywhere :)

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Pros:

- Humor and good dialogues

- Good puzzles and gameplay

Cons:

- Sometimes too long ways you have to run

- Crontrols sometimes annoy me

- I don't have the feeling that the cave pictures add much to the game, they give a little intel about the characters, but its not much--> would have been better if you would've learned much more about the characters in their levels while playing

- lack of story and quantity of dialogue

- though the puzzles are fun, they could be harder (haven't finished the game yet though)

All in all it really its a nice little game and it is fun to play, it really is. Still with more interaction between the chosen characters and lot of more dialogue it would feel much more awesome.

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@DF Nathan

I just wanted to enjoy the game not doing some QA on it. ;O)

Anyway, what i found out right now:

I untagged, tagged vsync and now it seems to work.

I disabled everything except the bloom and fxaa (i hate jaggies in such scenarios, btw. which version are you using?) then i was able to open the door, get the fuse, get the ... and the dynamite worked. For safety reasons i just returned the three items to the man at the counter (btw. i also noticed during my first try a glitch with the text which is naming him that certain characters werde missing). I suspect that the game wasn't supposed to safe any pervious state before returning all three items because the game just saved me some swearing and put me right after returning the three items to him correctly.

Sometimes when you're switching between different characters, the characters get positioned at positions you weren't standing before (just happened when i was doing the door plate mumbo jumbo. Swimming in the water was cool, again the water is nicely done. Anyway, if i remember things correctly, i also had no/less black lines (mainly on the stones and wooden structures) anymore but as soon as i activated the others shaders again i couldn't get rid of the glitch anymore, no matter what i disabled again.

Hope this helps.

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So far:

I'm impressed by the mouse-only control for a game with platformy navigation. Even more when I figured out you can just hold the left mouse button to move around.

The intro was great. I like games that just drop you into it and leave you to move around and figure things out.

It's a bit unclear what I can and cannot click on, but I believe those items and areas that are interactive have a text tip appear. Took a few minutes to figure out.

The narration is so key. I laugh regularly just hearing the Cave comment on stuff. I heard a few lines and thought, "That's a Ron joke."

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Just beat the miner level.

I really liked the atmosphere in there, great stones again with gold veins in between but the whole steering and speed you can move in there was too slow and so felt a little bit after an artificial time enlargement (climbing is quite slow and also if you f.e. let yourself fall down on a ladder whilst descending there are always passages in between, like platforms, where this isn't possible, it gets more annoying the more you get repositioned badly after switching a character when you have to start walking a longer distance than you were supposed to, i don't get the logic behind those positions and why they are chosen).

No idea if i've solved the gold one the way it was intended to be solved because it looked weird to me and took a number of tries (f.e. you can't exit a ladder when a lorry was positioned below and such things. Was there any usage for the broken container?

Using dynamite on those boulders plus the bats reminded me of Mr. H.E.R.O., loved this game. :o)

Additional glitches, sometimes some smaller stones got transparent and a few polygons looked like they had the wrong normals.

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pros:

-humor

- nice graphics/animation

- something different

- funny story approach very "Tales From The Crypt" tongue in cheek which games never do that I can think of

cons:

- your characters don't speak and narrator rarely does, felt quiet for a DF game

- platforming is what I would consider poor for a platformer / rather clunky

- movement is extremely slow with no recourse except the 'kill yourself to respawn thing' which respawns you in the wrong direction a good 75% of the time

Overall I'd say to be honest I was hoping for a wee bit more polish and depth. It's nice but could have been amazing.

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I'll wait until there shows up a serious bugfix release because it isn't playable on my Mac and the input issues just ruin the otherwise great experience. I feel sad.

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This post turned out way to long, but I don't care. The game deserves it. My impressions:

I did two playthroughs: the first time I played with a friend (Knight, Hilbilly, Adventurer), and the second time I played solo with the same team (I'm saving the other characters for when I'll have time to play with my friend again, but I was itching for more Cave in the meantime so I decided to go after the second ending for our original team).

It's an absolutely amazing game, and I'm honestly surprised by some of the more lukewarm reviews out there. This is, in my opinion, the best game DF made since Psychonauts (and that's high praise, as I really enjoyed every single game and simply loved Brütal, Stacking and Happy Action/Kinect Party). I didn't even have particularly high hopes for this game. I wasn't that fond of Deathspank, and even though I grew up loving the old Lucasarts adventure games, I thought I'd sort of grown out of them. I still enjoy the Lucas spin-off companies (DF and Telltale-games are pretty much the only games I play nowadays), and sometimes I'll try a modern adventure game but they rarely manage to hold my attention (Telltale is the exception because they are particularly well written, and they can establish a mood really well). This game was an enormous surprise, and reminded me why I used to adore adventure games.

This game is made for multiplayer. This game is definitely more focused on puzzles than it is on dialogue or plot, especially compared to the old Monkey Islands or anything by Telltale. The music is awesome but understated and most of the time there isn't anyone talking, which makes it perfect for playing with a friend and talking over the game. Compared to something by Telltale, where plot often takes preference over gameplay, this is almost exactly the other way around (but not entirely, more on that later). Not that playing single player will give you a bad experience, but sitting on the couch with a friend, discussing the problems we're facing, laughing at the silly jokes together and piecing together the symbology of the story is just great. It helps if you can find someone with the patience to play an adventure game though, because a lot of the time is spent running around, not sure of what to do. There's even a lot of moments where only one player has control over the game. Probably not for everyone, but anyone looking for a laid-back, immersive experience will have a blast. We both had our own 'A-HA!!'-moments of brilliance, which was pretty cool.

Some reviewers had problems with the controls, but I honestly think they're expecting the wrong kind of game. The great animations combined with some awesome sound design (the flapping of the Hillbilly's feet on the stone floors, the slapping of the sausages) make traversing the game a blast, as you get to know the environments and get a chance to soak in everything, just like in the old days of plodding around Melee Island. Even so, I agree that rope climbing can be a bit tricky.

The rest of this post will contain spoilers for the Knight, Hillbilly and Adventurer playthrough:

Spoilers Start Here!

I mentioned the idea of gameplay over plot earlier, but that doesn't mean that the plot and ideas presented in The Cave are in any way bad. In fact, I think the entire concept is a stroke of genius. Adventure game heroes are almost always selfish buggers (hard to find a word that the forum wouldn't censor). Even if they serve a goal which in and off itself isn't necesarilly evil (defeat the evil Ghost Pirate and save the girl, become a real, brave knight, find true love, achieve fame and fortune trough your adventures), they achieve these goals by screwing over innocent people, stealing and lying. The characters in The Cave are basically adventure game heroes just before the final scene. They set a goal for themselves, and through their flashbacks we learn about the life they had before arriving at The Cave. They're all at a point of crisis, and before they make their final choice in who they are, they have to face themselves and the choices they made in the past in order to decide if they're prepared to change. It's such a great idea to make an adventure game about the fact that pretty much every AG hero is a jerk that it's amazing that no one ever thought of it before. Telltale sort of touched upon it by making Guybrush go to court for crimes he didn't necesarilly intend but did commit, but that was played mostly for laughs. Guybrush was the same man before and after that trial. Here, the game is all about that tough process of being critical of yourself and judging everything you've done in your life so far. The mechanic at the end where you choose if you've learned something might be simple, but it's a great end to this tale. The more I think about it, the more I'm in love with the idea of this game (which means I should probably shut up right about now, as I have a tendency to go on).

Some random thoughts:

- The moment we arrived on Monkey Island and Herman Toothrot came running towards us, our minds exploded. Great, great, great bit of fan-service, and I'm completely prepared to consider The Cave 'canon' (even though I hate that word) to the world of Monkey Island. I feel like I just learned The Secret by playing this game. It wouldn't surprise me of the themes of this game would be the same as the themes that Ron had in mind for Monkey 3. It certainly feels like Monkey 1 and especially Monkey 2 hinted at the same things. At first I wasn't really into the idea of Ron going after the Monkey Island rights instead of Telltale because he mentioned in the past that he would ignore everything that happened in 3, 4 and 5, but after this scene I can't wait to see Double Fine's take on the Monkey Island universe. Loved how Herman felt completely true to his old self as well. If I ever get a dog I'll name him Spanky.

- Needless to say, but the game looks beautiful. Especially the Adventurer's level and Monkey Island.

- I heard that the three non-character specific levels are the same on every playthrough. If you ever made a sequel, some randomisation could be useful there (think the new version of Star Tours).

- Please release DLC in the form of a prequel featuring the Clown, the Robot and the Pirate. I'll pay you anything.

Spoilers End Here!

So yeah, absolutely loved this game. Sorry for the incredibly long post, but this is honestly the best gameplay experience me and my friend have had in years. Can't wait to see the other characters!

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