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The Milkman

My One Problem With The Cave

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So I finally started playing The Cave and, not surprisingly, Ron Gilbert and the fine folks at Double Fine haven't failed to both intrigue and make me laugh. There's only one real problem I have with the game thus far. If it's in the game and I'm simply too dense to see it, let me know.

You can't recall your whole party to one location. I understand why your three characters have to stand still, but why can't I get them to teleport to my location with a single button-press? I know I can do this at checkpoints, but besides that, it can get a little annoying having to walk every character through the cantankerous caverns of the Cave when I'm playing all by my lonesome. Personally, I think this would improve an already amazing game.

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I think it would be nice, but it could also be a bit difficult to shoehorn in a mechanic like that. There's points when your characters are purposefully kept separate, and being able to pull them all to you would break the puzzle. A potential "bring everyone together" button would have to be intelligent enough to disable itself in those situations.

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I think it would be nice, but it could also be a bit difficult to shoehorn in a mechanic like that. There's points when your characters are purposefully kept separate, and being able to pull them all to you would break the puzzle. A potential "bring everyone together" button would have to be intelligent enough to disable itself in those situations.

Good point. It would take some careful programming, so at to not break the game.

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I think it would be nice, but it could also be a bit difficult to shoehorn in a mechanic like that. There's points when your characters are purposefully kept separate, and being able to pull them all to you would break the puzzle. A potential "bring everyone together" button would have to be intelligent enough to disable itself in those situations.

Good point. It would take some careful programming, so at to not break the game.

Potentially, it could be a system that flags characters as unable to teleport until a certain condition is met. For example (very minor spoilers:) about 2/3rd through the game when one of your characters is grabbed by a crystal monster and trapped behind it, that character could be flagged by the game as unable to teleport, but you'd be able to easily move the other two characters around since they wouldn't have that flag. Once the puzzle is completed, that flag could be removed.

Any way you poke it, some clever scripting would be needed to implement a teleport/follow button that would work well and wouldn't break puzzles.

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I thought I would be frustrated with the three separate player mechanic since I play on PC and don't have any controllers that would work with it. But I haven't encountered anything particularly vexing yet.

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The problem with a bring in other characters button is that it could potentially allow you to get characters where they aren't supposed to be, and increase the likelihood of getting stuck (Think of how much it would mess things up in the Twins bubble). It would be useful at times yes, but it would have had to have been something that we designed into the game from the beginning.

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My two biggest issues so far is that you can't skip the intro, and you have to backtrack a lot due to only being able to control one character at a time. The first one isn't a big deal, but it's annoying the second time through. Yes, I know it's a talking cave. Yes, I know it has a story to tell. Can I please get on with the game soon? *groan*

The second is a bit worse. Take the beginning, for instance. You first find a puzzle, then you have to backtrack to pick up an item. Then you head all the way back to the puzzle, then all the way back to where you found the item to pick up another one, then backtrack all the way to the puzzle again. This isn't a problem in co-op, of course, but it's annoying in single-player. But what if instead of teleporting the charaters, we could ask one to follow us? It shoudl be a simple matter of asking the AI to keep the character a few steps behind us, jump when we climb up somewhere and drop down when we drop down. If we physically have to talk to the character to ask him/her/them to join us, it won't be a problem in the areas where we are kept seperate on purpse. But it would mean a lot less backtracking at times. :)

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My two biggest issues so far is that you can't skip the intro, and you have to backtrack a lot due to only being able to control one character at a time. The first one isn't a big deal, but it's annoying the second time through. Yes, I know it's a talking cave. Yes, I know it has a story to tell. Can I please get on with the game soon? *groan*

The second is a bit worse. Take the beginning, for instance. You first find a puzzle, then you have to backtrack to pick up an item. Then you head all the way back to the puzzle, then all the way back to where you found the item to pick up another one, then backtrack all the way to the puzzle again. This isn't a problem in co-op, of course, but it's annoying in single-player. But what if instead of teleporting the charaters, we could ask one to follow us? It shoudl be a simple matter of asking the AI to keep the character a few steps behind us, jump when we climb up somewhere and drop down when we drop down. If we physically have to talk to the character to ask him/her/them to join us, it won't be a problem in the areas where we are kept seperate on purpse. But it would mean a lot less backtracking at times. :)

That sounds like a great idea.

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this is also my one big problem. the ratio of running around getting into position to actual puzzle-solving thought is too high, especially in the minecart area. it wouldn't even have to be an instantaneous teleport, it could just be a "make the other characters run and jump to me and stop if they reach an impassable obstacle" button. my other 'great' idea (which is something that i'm guessing would probably screw with the design even more than a teleport button) is being able to zoom out and see the whole area, and then telling the characters where to go and they'll run there automatically.

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I'd love a zoom out feature almost as much as I'd love a "follow" command. I have my own problems with the game, but they'd be vastly reduced if I didn't have to navigate each area three times and if I could just zoom out to check what's at the end of any of the myriad passages in each area.

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Next to a straight teleportation (which would cause aforemetioned puzzle issues), just speeding up the controls by quite a bit and perhaps even offering a mini map alongside would do wonders. As it is now, I really dislike ladder climbing for instance as it's so slow, and I can't count the number of times a jump turned messy in a non-fun way (platformers are only fun when controls are super-responsive).

I love the game, despite these flaws. It would be even sweeter with them fixed.

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Seriously, that's really not that much of a big deal. You almost never need your characters together all at once. And when you do the distance is pretty short.

you can easily just walk ahead with your character without the others if you plan correctly ie when you are collecting the final trinkets; collect with two and have the last go call the elevator. Then change to the third an pick the last trinket change to the second and step on the elevator. You don't need the two others as long as you have the trinkets.

You can't die in this game anyway so it really comes down as the only punishment; plan ahead and you don't have to backtrack as much.

That said, the tutorial cave should be optiona,l though there is more than 1way to solve it faster.

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Seriously, that's really not that much of a big deal. You almost never need your characters together all at once. And when you do the distance is pretty short.

you can easily just walk ahead with your character without the others if you plan correctly ie when you are collecting the final trinkets; collect with two and have the last go call the elevator. Then change to the third an pick the last trinket change to the second and step on the elevator. You don't need the two others as long as you have the trinkets.

You can't die in this game anyway so it really comes down as the only punishment; plan ahead and you don't have to backtrack as much.

That said, the tutorial cave should be optiona,l though there is more than 1way to solve it faster.

Yeah, I suppose that wasn't the right way to word it. Everyone else on this forum made much better suggestions. Getting everyone in place can be a bit of a pain sometimes.

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