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DF Chris Remo

Episode 8: "Adventure Games Are Not Dead"

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One of the few things that used to bug me about the oldschool adventures was the fact that that hotspot areas looked artificially added after the the scene was created, completely out of place with the whole scene. So you knew immediately as you entered an area that the spade which doesn't look right was something you need to pick up.

Each to their own I guess but i hope they don't change it.

Agree with this. The style of some games make hotspots so obvious they stick out like a sore thumb, pretty much screaming "Here! Click here! This is where you should be clicking! Whoo!" and that just turns the experience into a boring, Fisher-Price toy.

I find the games that really managed to blend hotspot objects with the surroundings in a natural way handled them like props on a stage, so that although they fit in nicely with the background and don't glow or anything, they are noticeable through the logic of the game.

Place the object around too much clutter and the exercise can become tiresome, unless presented in a way that is supposed to guide your thinking. For example: "A manila envelope you say? I think old Guybrush keeps one somewhere in his horrendously cluttered den o' things, but you probably won't find it unless..." and perhaps further leads....

Another example would be a room with a table, a few chairs and a piece of paper on the table. If there aren't a billion other things to look at, the paper sticks out as an obvious hotspot-object, whereas the chairs are more likely part of the decor, unless otherwise hinted at.

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One of the few things that used to bug me about the oldschool adventures was the fact that that hotspot areas looked artificially added after the the scene was created, completely out of place with the whole scene. So you knew immediately as you entered an area that the spade which doesn't look right was something you need to pick up.

Each to their own I guess but i hope they don't change it.

Agree with this. The style of some games make hotspots so obvious they stick out like a sore thumb, pretty much screaming "Here! Click here! This is where you should be clicking! Whoo!" and that just turns the experience into a boring, Fisher-Price toy.

I find the games that really managed to blend hotspot objects with the surroundings in a natural way handled them like props on a stage, so that although they fit in nicely with the background and don't glow or anything, they are noticeable through the logic of the game.

Place the object around too much clutter and the exercise can become tiresome, unless presented in a way that is supposed to guide your thinking. For example: "A manila envelope you say? I think old Guybrush keeps one somewhere in his horrendously cluttered den o' things, but you probably won't find it unless..." and perhaps further leads....

Another example would be a room with a table, a few chairs and a piece of paper on the table. If there aren't a billion other things to look at, the paper sticks out as an obvious hotspot-object, whereas the chairs are more likely part of the decor, unless otherwise hinted at.

I definitely agree with this, personally. It is the logic of the environment design, not artificial things like highlighting, etc, that should make it clear what can be interacted with. That sometimes it's not completely clear is definitely part of the fun. So you look at a table, and you're focused on the table and you're not making any progress because you can't get into the safe and nothing on the table helps you get into the safe and man what am I supposed to do - oh. Wait. The corner of that poster is folded slightly. Can I click on that? AHA! The combination is written on the back of the poster! WHOO! And all that stuff on the table was just misdirection? Clever game designer, clever!

Those are some of the most satisfying moments. :)

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Great episode! Things are looking much less bleak this time round :D Game is looking to be coming along nicely, would like to see some forum post updates from the team to explain stuff that's happened in more detail going forward though. I miss them so!

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Tim should just stay off the internet for a while, until we all come to terms with his BEARDLESSNESS.

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These episodes are such a delight!

I love watching the progress ye guys are making, and I love the snippets of dialogue and and animation we get to see, and I love the merch everywhere, and all the good ideas, and how personal it feels, and the cars and the kid and the concepts and the clothes and...

Know what? I love everything and everyone.

Thanks!

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It's good to hear and see the game is taking shape so nicely. It seems everyone is happy with the current development, which is kind of a relief after the previous episode.

Tim, good for you to lose some weight, the lack of beard takes some getting used to though... :)

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We need a recipe of that juice of Tim's. A cucumber, lemon (how much?), some celery and salad, what else?

And make it an official Reds drink! =)

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Wow, Tim looks a whole lot younger without his beard, it almost seems like he's actually mixing up the recipe for the Elixir of Youth instead of throwing some stuff in the juicer.

Encouraging to see that progress is being made. I'm really enjoying the documentaries as they're showing us the highs and the lows of the entire development.

Just a quick question, is the game being tested out on iOS and Android at the same time as the HOF, or is that something that will occur later in production?

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It seems like one solution could be to just have it so that the cursor changes when you're on a clickable thing. Then you can tell the difference between walking and interacting. But I don't know how well this would work for touch devices, so maybe they would need their own solution.

Try playing the first Maniac Mansion again - I have recollections of having to sweep the whole screen with the mouse to find what you can interact with (Was that the "What is" verb? Cannot recall...) and I don't remember it being an especially fun thing to do

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Wow, Tim looks a whole lot younger without his beard, it almost seems like he's actually mixing up the recipe for the Elixir of Youth instead of throwing some stuff in the juicer.

Encouraging to see that progress is being made. I'm really enjoying the documentaries as they're showing us the highs and the lows of the entire development.

Just a quick question, is the game being tested out on iOS and Android at the same time as the HOF, or is that something that will occur later in production?

Testing games on mobile is a lot more complicated than just running a build directly on your PC, so for the HOF we just did the latter. Otherwise we'd spend a bunch of HOF time just getting it all set up. You also need to make sure there are enough compatible devices, etc.

The team does their own testing on mobile, however!

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Very nice 2PP and DF, a nice way to end my work week.

Smiles

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It seems like one solution could be to just have it so that the cursor changes when you're on a clickable thing. Then you can tell the difference between walking and interacting. But I don't know how well this would work for touch devices, so maybe they would need their own solution.

As a point of reference:

(keep an eye on the cursor)

In terms of 'one-click-does-everything' point and click adventure games, Toonstruck is probably one of the best. I find this contextual cursor does far more to communicate what a player can interact with than a simple text pop-up (think recent Telltale games), however this system will be harder to implement on tablet/touch based devices. Only solution I can think of is to create two separate UIs that play to the strengths of each input method (touch vs mouse).

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Last episode was cause for concern. Glad I made it long enough to watch this episode, most of my anxiety has gone away. Thanks 2PP and DFA team.

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The art looks fantastic. It seems like the game is really coming together. When does that trailer drop?

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Very happy to know that things are going better. Going to pick up Brutal Legend on PC, as I've always wanted to play it but am not a console person. So cool to finally get some big shots of the game even if we don't know the plot. We backed because we know you can do amazing things! It's great to kind of 'meet' all these other people on the team through the videos that were never formally introduced. Psyched to see Dave on the team! After seeing him on Amnesia Fortnight I can only imagine he will bring great things to the project. Anyways just keep on keepin on. Life's a garden, dig it.

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Great episode as always. The game looks beautiful, can't wait to see more :)

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Say, are we to understand that Cloud Colony was finally completed?

Think that was the first version of Cloud Colony completed, but sounded like there's a fair bit of work to do after the HOF feedback.

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Concerning Tim's diet: There are obviously tons of (competing, mutually incompatible) diets and tons of ways to get healthy. I personally really liked the book "Change Anything". It's a book about habit change.

Pertinent quotes on diets:

"Only one in twenty dieters with a history of obesity is able to lose weight and keep it off for one or more years."

And research on diets:

"Here's what [the scientists] discovered:

1. All of the [weight-loss] programs worked.

2. If people used them.

3. But people rarely used them."

It's a short book and not particularly expensive. I hope it helps some of you stay or become healthy or healthier.

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I hate when these documentaries end, cause then I have to go back to my normal life. :/

I've loved every one and having this inside access is getting me so excited about the game. I have no doubt that my 3 yr old daughter, 5 yr old son, and graphics designer wife will love the style of Reds.

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Nice job on the documentary, I'm loving the game so far.

Really beautiful looking art overall, and even better in motion!!!

I am wondering whether the team is using a "game testing" speed for the characters. It seems to me like the characters move just a little bit too fast (see 13:20 and 15:00). Compared to the adventure games of yore, space boy and sacrifice girl seem to moving a bit too fast.

Overall an awesome game!!!

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That was another enjoyable episode, but I kind of feel we've moved away from the production a bit. Didn't episode seven end with Bagel trying to figure out how to balance his involvement in the game as a lead artist? Now in this episode we discover that he created a detailed style guide for everyone -- when was that decision made and by who? I know the documentary took a break, but I was kind of hoping we'd see what happened instead of just hearing people talking about it (months...?) later.

Also, it was great to get a long episode, but did we really need to see Tim and John Romero compare cars? It was interesting to see Tim's transformation; His car, his beard, his diet, his writing -- but that scene didn't add anything to that. Also, why has Tim brought about this change? Was seeing himself in the documentary part of that? Was it something completely different? Was it just a new year's resolution? I feel like we're not getting under the skin of anyone here.

There doesn't seem to be much of a narrative anymore about the actual development. Everything seems to be happening in the background -- Each episode the game has progressed, but it's unclear how and by whom. What obstacles have been overcome? How are people feeling?

Matt Hansen suddenly appears, but there's no indication of his history (he's from TellTale Games it seems) or when he was brought on.

It's clear that REDS has put DF under a lot of pressure because (somebody somewhere) has decided that this game is going to play heavily into the future of the company. There's a lot of press waiting to happen when this game is finally revealed, and it's in everyone's interest if the game is amazing -- more so than any other DF game.With that in mind, I can't help but feel that DF may have asked 2PP to tone down the content of their doc.

Finally, it's been an issue from the first episode, but as this episode covered more time than a usual one, it's not clear when the footage was taken. How many months into production are we? The only indicator of time difference in this episode was Tim's beard -- was it there or not.

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