Darth Marsden

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Without ever having played Borderlands, I somehow still liked the first episode of the game. Laughs and action, decent length. But now that the actual interactive elements in Telltale's games have become so scarce that their anachronistic remains are, well, annoying, I'm getting seriously confused. There's no effort at all in the interactivity Telltale itself wanted to bring forward. They're now at a point where these elements are only in there so that it still can be called a game, mere alibi function. Great games for an evening with friends, certainly, but it's nothing as a single player experience.

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I'm losing more and more hope for even a small Sam & Max adventure game. TTG have more or less become a mockery of their former selves. Most of the old staff have left, and with every passing year, more and more gameplay are sucked from the game. At this point, I don't even know how it's called a game, it's more like an overpriced movie with small bits of interactivity.

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Without ever having played Borderlands, I somehow still liked the first episode of the game. Laughs and action, decent length. But now that the actual interactive elements in Telltale's games have become so scarce that their anachronistic remains are, well, annoying, I'm getting seriously confused. There's no effort at all in the interactivity Telltale itself wanted to bring forward. They're now at a point where these elements are only in there so that it still can be called a game, mere alibi function. Great games for an evening with friends, certainly, but it's nothing as a single player experience.

Coming a fan of both old and new Telltale games, Telltale's casual design is... weird. I'm not faulting them for wanting to appeal to casual players and remove the more obtuse elements from classic adventure games, but they don't really add much interactivity in their place. They seem to think that any interaction not directly relevant to story advancement ruins immersion for their casual audience.

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I'm losing more and more hope for even a small Sam & Max adventure game. TTG have more or less become a mockery of their former selves. Most of the old staff have left, and with every passing year, more and more gameplay are sucked from the game. At this point, I don't even know how it's called a game, it's more like an overpriced movie with small bits of interactivity.
It's simply not going to happen - not with the success Telltale has seen with these 'cinematic' games.

Accept it and move on. Most of us have by this point.

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Wow, this was a unpleasant ride.

#1 I gave both games a quick try on YouTube but i mainly was fast forwarding in both of them. Borderlands seems to have reduced the amount of interaction even more (i don't understand any arguments for a RPG here) and it looks and sounds like trash, not interested in the story, not in the characters and certainly not in the horrible style. Somehow sad as space/humour/artifacts are ingredients which could be/and already were combined to something nice. Considering how long you once could play TTG' point & click adventures, it's kind of amusing how people get excited about the "long" "playing" time.

#2 GoT seems to offer more interaction than Borderlands, although typical for TTG it doesn't lead to different more interesting results. You can't kill/protect someone like you might wish because either their option-tree would explode or things would conflict with the TV series. Therefore you're limited to those "it-doesn't-matter-anyway" decisions once again. GoT certainly shows, regardless of the stylised presentation, that they've fallen into the uncanny valley. Some backgrounds are looking nice (not due to the superfluous shaders) but the modeling and especially animations skills aren't enough anymore. I expected TTG to learn how to animate throughout all those years till they come up with something more realistic but no ... budget/talent, dunno what they lack.

It was quite interesting to see that even really big production like DAI reached the uncanny valley, some of those characters and stuff in the game was looking really bad and showed no style or that someone really cared about the quality they could provide the available technology and reminded me of those cheap FMV productions where they also used to integrate offline renderings in weird ways or vice versa. As for animations, why do characters always make these slow and exaggerated movements & gestures? Sometimes this looks like from the days of silent movies when you weren't able to communicate to an audience with voices and sounds. Naughty Dog is so much ahead

Yeah, so nothing new apart from that some of the supposedly big games fail to deliver this year.

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Yep, just ugly and strange. The story gets more dense in the end but for gamers, due to the lack of control (different options which really matter also at different times, points in the story where it really could make sense) is must be a frustrating experience. Even more if you want to try out the other "options" just to see that it all ends up the same way again. I heard that as a gamer you can't skip dialogues, so it might be better watching different options on YouTube as well.

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Coming a fan of both old and new Telltale games, Telltale's casual design is... weird. I'm not faulting them for wanting to appeal to casual players and remove the more obtuse elements from classic adventure games, but they don't really add much interactivity in their place. They seem to think that any interaction not directly relevant to story advancement ruins immersion for their casual audience.

I don't even think it's a casual audience. Heck, neither the Borderlands nor the Walking Dead nor the Game of Thrones audiences are "casual" in a sense. These are avid fans and most of them are really interested in video game mechanics.

"Weird" is exactly the term I'd use. The interactive elements in Telltale's games were self chosen and advertised, and still they reduce them more in every new game they release. They tease adventure game mechanics, but never use them to any potential (an eight slot inventory, but just one inventory item and no combination mechanics), they use dioramic 'eight step' hubs with two hotspots, they embellish the 'look at' command until you don't even want to look at anything. There's really no perceivable direction in interactivity besides "Less. Definitely less. Less is better." They are not committed to their own interactive concept, and that does weird me out.

I'm sad to say that by utilizing and in some parts blatantly and unnervingly ripping off the interactive concept Telltale once WANTED to pursue, Red Thread Games is wiping the floor with my good ol' Telltale guys. :(

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I'm sad to say that by utilizing and in some parts blatantly and unnervingly ripping off the interactive concept Telltale once WANTED to pursue, Red Thread Games is wiping the floor with my good ol' Telltale guys. :(
Red Thread Games definitely has the right blend of mechanics in the style that Telltale is/was using (successfully blending Telltale's older adventure game style with their newer cinematic game style), but Telltale's engine is much better (and for all the complaints of stiff animations on the Telltale side, the ones in Dreamfall Chapters are much more so). If Red Thread manages to work out the kinks in their next chapters (especially in the interaction, as it actually made me dizzy when the game would snap into a hotspot rather than let you select it naturally), then they definitely will have Telltale beat at their own game.

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RTG's animation isn't "stiff". They just don't have any animation. ;)

Seriously, though, they won't get an animation badge anytime soon. Still, kudos for animating

Saga... SO ADORABLE.

Telltale has body language, Telltale has facial expression, both huge factors in achieving believable characters and an emotional impact. RTG makes an effort, but here the budget absolutely shows through front and center. People usually just stand there and move their lips, ouch. Alas, they have an "air quote" and a "pet Wonkers" animation. Let's see when they'll reuse those. ;)

Strangely enough, I immediately disliked the 'snap in' hotspot controls, which usually means condemnation forever, but not this time. It got better and better as soon as I put mouse sensitivity to 100%. Ragnar has accepted and dealt with a lot of critique these last months, but remained brick hard on controls: They will stay the same. Which for me is OK now, but I don't want you to get dizzy of course.

As to the engine, I really don't know. On the one hand side, Unity is certainly not up to snuff. The technical kinks are extremely obvious (they're still working on even enabling v-sync. Le sigh). On the other hand, if Telltale's engine is so darn capable, why not finally do something great with it? Telltale will probably never ever create something as beautiful, immersive and detailed as Propast (or Marcuria in Book 2... woooohoo).

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Strangely enough, I immediately disliked the ‘snap in’ hotspot controls, which usually means condemnation forever, but not this time. It got better and better as soon as I put mouse sensitivity to 100%. Ragnar has accepted and dealt with a lot of critique these last months, but remained brick hard on controls: They will stay the same. Which for me is OK now, but I don’t want you to get dizzy of course.
I'll try to increase the mouse sensitivity and see if it helps. If it doesn't at least the dizziness is not so bad that I can't deal with it. I like the game enough that I'm willing to muddle through the wonky controls in order to experience it, but it's really a shame that he's not at least open to offering optional alternatives after hearing complaints about it.
On the other hand, if Telltale's engine is so darn capable, why not finally do something great with it? Telltale will probably never ever create something as beautiful, immersive and detailed as Propast (or Marcuria in Book 2... woooohoo).
It's too bad they never went through with their plans to release a community-focused version of the Telltale Tool that would let people make their own games with their engine. It would have been interesting to see what people would be able to make with that.

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I said that I'd rather like mouse sensitivity at 130%. Ragnar replied: "You, sir, are insane". ;)

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"... with their plans ... "

I remember this one. TTG was the first adventure dev who was able to deliver a feeling closer to the LucasArts adventures (but too easy, too episodic, ... but there was hope). It would have been cool if they were able (willing to) port Sam & Max S1 and Bone to OS X though.

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It would be nice, though I don't see why a gamer would at all bother with a Mac, tbh. Don't get me wrong, Mac has it's uses. I just don't count gaming among them.

TTG has many other things they could/should have done but didn't which would make more sense to me for them to do than offering games on Mac.

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I'm on a Mac, but I play the Telltale stuff that's not on Mac through Wine and it works really well, so I'm satisfied with that. It would be great to have native support though, especially since season two and three are on Mac. Wallace and Gromit was supposed to come to Mac too, but that one's even less likely to come out to Mac than Sam & Max Season One now, due to them no longer having the rights to sell Wallace & Gromit games.

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Remember the art contest Telltale held when they were planning on porting some of their games to the Mac?

Good times, good times.

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@chyron8472

See, two people are using Macs a.o. for gaming, this should be reason enough for OS X ports.

We might even be three, Coolsome might suffers from big endian disease.

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Remember the art contest Telltale held when they were planning on porting some of their games to the Mac?

Good times, good times.

Yeah, well look who started the contest. No offense to Laura, but interaction with the community has never been stronger than it was under Nikki's tenure.

(Cue a Telltalite from even farther back saying that Emily was the best community person ever.)

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(Cue a Telltalite from even farther back saying that Emily was the best community person ever.)

Emily is great. She does public relations for a bunch of indies these days, including Wadjet Eye Games and the Thimbleweed Park Kickstarter campaign.

I would also very much like to see Microsoft lose some of its stranglehold on PC gaming. Of 4234 games on Steam, 1386 are available for Mac and 843 are available for Linux, and more and more games are cross-platform on release, including AAA titles. Further, most modern game engines are already cross-platform, so I personally don’t see why a gamer would at all bother with a Windows PC. :P

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When the big movie game deals hit (Jurassic Dildo & Back 2 The Futor) Telltale's communication with the players went south and I doubt it was the community manager's fault.

It never was. But even 6000-post-Jake went into hiding back in 2011. The management's logic is 'burnt child dreads the fire', and they've seen the short circuits, the violence, the hate mobs, the whole *cough* gamer culture when those deals hit. With the Jurassic Jeep and Walking Dead delay situations, they've practically learnt not to breathe a word about anything, ever. Telltale's community and PR persons have a really frustrating job. In one situation (maybe before your tenure) I've been told by a PR person that he already had a detailed written statement about a situation typed up and ready to release immediately, but it was never approved.

]Yeah, well look who started the contest. No offense to Laura, but interaction with the community has never been stronger than it was under Nikki's tenure.

As to the art contest situation, maybe it was clear from the start where Telltale would end up. They were always a foreign license game maker right from the start, and as soon as they got their first big license, they couldn't do fan art contests any more. Laura would do all the art contests in the world if she was allowed to. But as no material from, at the very least, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones could be part of it, it would probably not be a particularly successful contest. :(

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When the big movie game deals hit (Jurassic Dildo & Back 2 The Futor) Telltale's communication with the players went south and I doubt it was the community manager's fault.
Laura would do all the art contests in the world if she was allowed to. But as no material from, at the very least, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones could be part of it, it would probably not be a particularly successful contest. :(

Yeah, I wasn't trying to pin it on Laura at all. I know that when we needed a new community manager, Laura was right there with us, hoping that the old interaction would be revived. But the job is what the company says it is, and these days the company is far more concerned with marketing and PR than they are with engaging their community. That started to become pretty clear when we lost Nikki, and was especially evident as we watched Alan's role shift from community to marketing.

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Yeah, I wasn't trying to pin it on Laura at all.

I know, I know! ;)

It's possibly part of the growth process that devs can not communicate on the forums directly. They would always be seen as speaking for the company entirely. But what should be possible in any case is that communication via other channels - blog etc. - still takes place extensively, concerning all issues that arise. :(

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I don't think it needs community managers/moderators at all, not for these kind of forums.

It just was a cool hanging around on the forum and talking about stuff and there was input from both sides, devs as well as people loving these kind of games. Then times got more rough but dunno that's normal if different opinions and point of views evolve. Sometimes it's weird how people behave in such situations, makes you wonder how they deal with the rest in their lives. Anyway, Emily was the TTG-chick.

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YEAH!!! Fictional character that doesn't post on these boooards! One whom I had to google!

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