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Old 12-16-2006, 09:35 PM   #62
Simo Sakari Aaltonen
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Finland
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Not at all, AprilLives. (I want to avoid spoiling the section for anyone who has yet to play it, though, but maybe I can explain the idea without giving away the specifics. The examples below are not actually from Atlantis, The Lost Tales.)

Ordinarily adventure games deal with very clear causal processes. Clicking the Pick Up icon on the flashlight will pick up the flashlight. This is perfectly fine for most scenarios. But there is no reason to always maintain the same causal distance between acts and effects. Terrific effects could be achieved by varying this distance (or relationship).

The protagonist is mentally ill. There is a table with a bottle of medicine and a knife. The player clicks on the medicine. The character picks up the knife instead. They are not well, after all, their thought processes are not working as they should.

The Last Express featured a similar effect where you could not escape from doing a certain thing. These examples are about limiting and creating tense focus. But the same thinking could be applied to opening up and creating freedom in so many ways.

The protagonist's friend is depressed. There is a table with a rose and a knife. In an ordinary adventure game only one act would cheer up your friend: picking up the rose and giving it to her. But there is no reason this should be so restricted. Do away with excess causal precision: let the friend be cheered by several things the player can do.

You pick up the rose. The friend looks up with a smile, anticipating your gift. This would be the ordinary adventure game. But in a more interesting adventure game, picking up the knife would also cheer her up: she is hungry and gets up saying, "Let's eat!"

There are all kinds of ways adventure games could be deepened by letting up on the old conception of one-to-one causality.

Simo Sakari Aaltonen

Last edited by Simo Sakari Aaltonen; 12-16-2006 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Clarity.
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