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Old 07-21-2011, 05:34 AM   #10
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Lack of "mature adventure games" is directly proportional to the lack of good adventure games, because story is nothing without a good gameplay (and vice versa) and good adventure game compromises of both. And looking from the perspective of 90s, then yes, we probably have less "good" adventure games, although the genre is struggling and has "been around" for more than 10 years now, and to say there hasn't been good adventure games in last decade would be an understatement.

I'd also like to "defend" comedy adventures in a sense that they can be "mature" in it's own right, as laugh is just another human emotion and quality humour = mature humour, no matter if kids still do enjoy it. The balance of "quality" that can be recognized by many ages on a different level is the hardest achievement for a writer. It's the reason why, for example The Simpsons are so unique, or why even a kid can find for his own perception such an overwhelming story of Gabriel Knight - fascinating. I'm not suggesting writers shouldn't bother to think about kids as a target audience, but it's the thing that comes naturally from a high quality and "mature" writing. If there's a hint of patronizing the young it's easily traced by adults. Furthermore, even the most absurd comedy like Monkey Island can have a "hint" of "deeper" message in it's writing, dialogs or characters - things about life, love and hate... Finally, even a somewhat "serious" tone to it can be well hidden beneath all the comedy like in A Stitch in Time, The Whispered World...

However, if by "mature" we acknowledge only "serious" stories, i'm not really sure if such titles are disproportionate in numbers compared to let's say, those of 90s. Attempts on dramas or meaningful stories with deep emotions hadn't been really prevailing theme in the history of not only adventures, but gaming in general. Even though adventures are probably the closest thing to books and movies - they are still games, and story in it works in a different manner. Of course, that's not to say that such a story can not be told but it needs to work with other game elements, which brings us back to quality authors.

Even if we're to, for the sake of the argument, split decades, other than adventure games were more popular in 90s where quality did come with quantity, it's not that in post '00 period there's significantly less "mature" themed titles - The Longest Journey came after the "golden age", and when it comes to emotions it's still Syberia and Sokal at the top of many's list. Some mystery and horror games also contain more complicated stories and deeper emotions. Keepsake is a take on "Myst like" gameplay with an emphasize on story and characters. There's also many AGS and underground titles that came with the boom of independent efforts, with recognizable authors that also dwelve with complex stories and emotions - like mentioned Blackwell series, Eternally Us, Gemini Rue...

So it really boils down to game designers. When we hear piece of Beatles song or Knopfler's guitar play, we can almost deduce what it is because of distinguished and characteristic style, and it's the same with quality games where you can recognize unique style of Jane Jensen, Tim Schafer... To put it simply while stating the obvious - "mature" games comes from quality writers and designers.

Last edited by diego; 07-21-2011 at 07:07 AM.
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