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Cheeseness

DF Game Club: The Cave!!! (With Ron Gilbert!!!)

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DOUBLE FINE GAME CLUB: THE CAVE (starting 23rd Feb)

The Double Fine Game Club is a community run weekly event where interested gamers play through and come together to discuss what they do and don't like about a particular game (sort of like a book club, but for games). We usually aim to play one or two hours a week, and we normally have somebody streaming the current game so that those who don't have the game or don't feel like playing it again can still feel involved.

Discussion takes place here in the forums and on the Double Fine Game Club home page. Game Club is a very informal weekly chat, and everyone is welcome!

Previous game: Time Gentlemen Please!

Next Game: Sam & Max: Culture Shock

The_cave_video_game_cover.png

» » » CLICK HERE TO JOIN « « «

GAME CLUB SESSIONS

- 23rd February, 9:00pm UTC (click for your time zone): Interview (Archive, Transcript) and first game session (Stream 1, 2, 3) plus dev chat with Ron Gilbert (log)

- 2nd March, 9:00pm UTC (click for your time zone): Second game session (Stream 4) and general discussion plus dev chat with Ron Gilbert (log)

SPECIAL GUESTS

- Ron Gilbert (@GrumpyGamer)

ABOUT THE GAME

The Cave is a new adventure game from Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion creator Ron Gilbert, and Double Fine Productions, the award-winning studio behind Psychonauts and Brütal Legend.

Assemble your team of three from seven unlikely adventurers, each with their own unique personalities and stories, then descend into the mysterious depths to explore locations including a subterranean amusement park and a medieval castle, not to mention a fully armed and ready-to-launch nuclear tipped ICBM. The Cave awaits.

WHERE TO GET ONLINE

- Steam (Windows, Mac, Linux)

GAME CLUB INFO

- Double Fine Game Club home page (with webchat, stream and session countdown timer)

- Game Club IRC: #DFAdventure on irc.foonetic.net (use the link above if you're not sure)

- @DFGameClub on Twitter (keep track of announcements)

- Game Club planning thread

Edited by Cheeseness
Fixed URLs after forum upgrade

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The game club's first Double Fine developed game! Should be very interesting. :)

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Looking forward to this one as I'm enjoying The Cave a lot.

Who will be streaming? :o

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Alrighty, so alphatt will be streaming this one for us (all didn't go well ^_^ ).

I'll be streaming a live chat with Ron at the beginning of the session, relaying questions from IRC, so make sure to arrive on time!

I finished my first full runthrough yesterday, and can't wait to do my next! The Linux version has a few rough edges, but I'm massively enjoying the game itself so far. Can't wait to chat with everybody about it on the weekend :)

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My house is going to be at the other end of a skype chat with Ron Gilbert.

It'll be almost like he's in our living room.

I'm sorry, but I'm totally geeking out here.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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Now I'm not sure I can make it in time, I hope so!

Something not game related but that I'd really want to know is what is Ron going to do next, Reds or work on a new game?

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Ah damn, didn't realise this was on tonight, made plans to hit the pub :( Ah well I'll drink for the rest of you :P

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Here's a question for Ron, even if he probably has answered it in an interview somewhere:

Has the idea for The Cave evolved over all these years or is the game we see today what you had originally envisioned?

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Ah damn, didn't realise this was on tonight, made plans to hit the pub :( Ah well I'll drink for the rest of you :P

Ask the pub to show the stream. :)

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Ah damn, didn't realise this was on tonight, made plans to hit the pub :( Ah well I'll drink for the rest of you :P

Ask the pub to show the stream. :)

Do it! :D

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Ron is here, and we'll be starting soon! Come join us!

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Ah damn, didn't realise this was on tonight, made plans to hit the pub :( Ah well I'll drink for the rest of you :P

Ask the pub to show the stream. :)

Do it! :D

Shall see what I can do... Probably be responded with "F**k off!" ;)

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Nice work y'all. Good turn out this week! ^_^

Could the presence of the great and powerful Ron Gilbert have had anything to do with that, I wonder?

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Nice work y'all. Good turn out this week! ^_^

Could the presence of the great and powerful Ron Gilbert have had anything to do with that, I wonder?

No, don't think that had any effect. ;)

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Lightprayer, I asked your question! Ron says he likes to take a break after projects ^_^

OK, so the chat log and stream archives for both for the interview and the game session (Stream 1, Stream 2, Stream 3) are up in the first post.

We had a few technical difficulties this week, which led to the last minute or two being cut off from the end of the interview. Apologies to everybody who was watching.

Here's a quick rundown on what we covered from memory:

* The remainder of the question about how Ron felt about the Special Editions continued to talk about how these were a good thing that made the game available to people who would not have otherwise been exposed to it.

* I asked Ron if he had any new perspectives on Maniac Mansion when playing it through whilst getting ideas for The Cave. Ron talked about how he built on and improved mechanics such as multiple character control.

* I asked Ron if a special edition of Maniac Mansion would take the form of something like The Cave. Ron said that for games like Monkey Island or Maniac Mansion that they are best presented as traditional point and click games.

* Somebody in IRC asked what Ron's favourite language was. It's Objective C.

* I asked what Ron's development environment looked like. He codes in Xcode on a Macintosh.

* Somebody asked which of Ron's games was he was most proud. Ron said he is most proud of Maniac Mansion. He definitely likes Monkey island, but as his first game, MM has a special place for him.

Ron's definitely more eloquent than me, so if he's able to attend next week (he said he'd try), we can ask him these questions again :)

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Oh man, so bummed I missed this! Will definitely check out the recorded interview though!

Fortunately, I got 100% on the Steam achievements. Really interested in behind the scenes commentary he can add about the game- things like artistic decisions, and specifically the whole 7 sins for each of the characters idea.

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meant to be a part of this one, but due to the vagaries of my current issues trying to achieve a better sleep cycle, I missed it :/ this is the one I was most psyched about tbh. hopefully I'll make the next. any plans to show some love to the EST participants, i.e. making it later in the evening, after supper (some folks like me have early suppers sometimes. but then folks like me are eating at all hours of the night, with pepsi and crappy oven pizza by the bedside. Ayuh.)

and good Jesus weeping in his Magical Cave of Biblical Wonders, March 2nd? I canna hold it any longer, Captain Cheese. Fire the phazers at Ron's Intergalactic Voodoo Pirate ship (part of the new - or old depending what side of 1992 your fandom originates in - 'or you Monkey Back' line of starship).

"Fire all cannons on the GeorgeDestroyer!" "But sir, Disney has taken the helm!" "JUST FIRE THE DAMN CANNONS GUYBRUSH!"

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Lightprayer, I asked your question! Ron says he likes to take a break after projects ^_^

OK, so the chat log and stream archives for both for the interview and the game session (Stream 1, Stream 2, Stream 3) are up in the first post.

Woah thanks!!! I'll also check out the archives, thanks for your work!

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Woah thanks!!! I'll also check out the archives, thanks for your work!

No worries! I can't speak for the others, but I definitely find being involved with Game Club to be a pleasure ^_^

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Many thanks to Ron for stopping by and Cheeseness for the interview! ... think we managed to ask a few questions that Ron hadn't answered before :)

Great job!

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For anybody who wants to go back over stuff without having to listen to the whole interview again, I spent the last few nights transcribing (a woeful task that I'm glad I don't do very often). For your enjoyment, here's a text version of the interview, complete with time indexes and reference links!

Is everybody excited for our second session of The Cave?

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thanks dude, missed the first obviously. Sometimes 4 pm my time isn't the greatest, also I hadn't really got far enough in THE CAVE yet to participate - not gotten past the first monster even. Yeah, I know, I'm a bastard. Kind of been addicted to Persona 4 Golden lately.

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I just got word from Ron that he'll be able to join us for a little while today. Half an hour till we go live :D

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Wow, what another great session! Thanks so much to Ron for joining us again, and thanks to Alphatt for streaming!

Stream archive and chat log are up in the first post, and we also have a thread up for our next game, Sam & Max: Culture Shock

So, what a game, and what a discussion. It's been great to see people offering their opinions on the meaning of The Cave. I'm still exploring the rest of the characters, so I don't feel like I've been exposed to the entirety of the game, but I'm still really taken by the subtleness of the character arcs, and the ways in which that's separated from players "finishing" the game. In most games, when you get to the end, the climax is something you overcome along the path and is a prerequisite to finishing. In The Cave, that happens asynchronously somewhere between the player's mind, heart and conscience (if it happens at all).

Couple that with the actions that the game forces upon you in the exploration of each character's darker side, and becomes's at once a dark and very uplifting game. I'm looking forward to seeing what additional epilogues I'll get as I continue to play.

Now that we've all played through the game, what're everybody else's retrospective thoughts?

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I just played the game for a few hours with my flatmate together. I think he rather enjoyed it, and so did I for the most part.

The puzzles mostly managed to stump for a while, but not for long enough to completely halt progress indefinitely. Putting two minds together helped a lot to progress. I regret having seen the promotional trailers, because as a result I already knew certain puzzle solutions. That was somewhat disappointing since going through the motions to solve the puzzles isn't hugely enjoyable in itself, merely the figuring out part is.

I agree with Ron that movement in point and click adventure games is rather boring. Yet his solution doesn't work well. On the one hand the platforming doesn't provide any challenge and on the other it isn't trouble free either, instead it falls uneasily in the middle where it is an annoyance. Occasionally you have trouble jumping over a pit or onto a rope, but that barely matters since you're immediately reset to the point you jumped off from anyway.

And while you may move through the environment while thinking about a problem at hand, in my experience this wasn't quite the case. Mostly we stayed stationary with our characters, just moving a few steps around, and when we got an idea or hit upon the solution then we still needed to cross the environment to reach certain items or hotspots. The distances you need to cover can be pretty big. Often it's required to move all over the place, like to pick up an item at point A to use it at point B. The thing is, when you already know what to do, then all the rest of the time spent criss-crossing around feels pretty empty and devoid of interesting gameplay. You're just anxious to solve the puzzle and are annoyed by all the distance that has to be covered first.

We selected the twins, the time traveller and the monk; finished the section of the first and stopped playing at the one of the second.

The Cave's storytelling is succinct, straight to the point. There seems to be little more than meets the eye. I liked how moody the mansion of the twins was and generally how the special sections are integrated into the cave. Definitely this is one gorgeous looking game, which should be no surprise considering this is a Double Fine production we're talking about here, but while this game already looks good an screenshots, in motion it's even more beautiful.

It struck me how much work must have gone into the animations, considering all the seven player characters have their custom ones. All the items that the characters can carry around needed to be accounted for, too. Some vistas that open up and allow views into the distance look really beautiful. Visually The Cave impresses, no doubt. I think atmosphere and visual design are the game's two strongest points.

But the gameplay doesn't really convince overall. There's too much idle time spent crossing the environment during which the platforming provides no challenge, merely annoyance. While I wouldn't say that it was a bad idea to cross adventure game elements with platformer ones, it just didn't work out here.

But still, I enjoyed the mental process of thinking about the puzzles and figuring them out. I loved to marvel at the environments and to soak in the atmosphere. And the game did offer a good local coop experience, and that's rare enough. So overall I still enjoyed my hours with the game so far. There's more to play for me, but that needs to wait until I see my flatmate again. :)

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All the items that the characters can carry around needed to be accounted for, too.

Are you certain? I haven't looked specifically, but I remember noticing on my first playthough that carrying animations were being re-used.

There's too much idle time spent crossing the environment during which the platforming provides no challenge, merely annoyance.

I didn't find travelling through the levels to be that bad an experience. It's a nice chance to disengage and enjoy the gorgeous environments, think about the puzzles at hand, and the game in general. I would probably find it hard to argue that more "call together" points wouldn't have benefited the game (the prospector's section comes to mind), and more interactivity in the environmental foreground would have been nice, but I didn't find these to really detract from the game itself. That's just me though - everybody's experiences are valid :)

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