The obligatory Sam & Max: Situation Comedy thread! - Page 4 - Adventure Forums
You are viewing an archived version of the site which is no longer maintained.
Go to the current live site or the Adventure Gamers forums
Adventure Gamers

Home Adventure Forums Gaming Adventure The obligatory Sam & Max: Situation Comedy thread!


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-14-2007, 04:45 PM   #61
Senior Member
 
CrimsonBlue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,167
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by numble View Post
Eh, I'll still maintain that the puzzles I mentioned are some of the most egregious examples of obscure illogical puzzle design in such games. I will maintain that most people came to the conclusions to the puzzles I mentioned from either a walkthrough, or trying to use everything with everything.

I'll talk you through one of my examples, but it really applies to all the puzzles I mentioned.
Spoiler:
When Sam and Max need money to spend, does it involve a little thinking to figure out that you should go back to the office and "use/pick-up" the mousehole? Or is it more reasonable to expect somebody to have stumbled upon it by using everything with everything? Nothing to do with the logic of the universe.

I thought that was pretty logic. You only had a few commands you could use in Sam and Max, and look only lets you, well, look. The action icon (use, pick up) works as a context sensitive icon. If you see a hole in the wall, and you're looking for clues, you put your hand in the wall to feel if there's anything of interest in there, not just look inside it - it's obviously going to be dark and you're not going to see much. It's fairly logic.

Then again, it's been a while since I played the first Sam and Max (and shamefull I haven't gotten around to ordering any of the new ones either. Only Telltale game I've played for now is the first Bone episode.
CrimsonBlue is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 04:46 PM   #62
LA-S-LE
 
Ariel Type's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Snow Country
Posts: 549
Default

numble
Ok, just out of interest I installed Sam&Max and guess what? Sam says "All our money is invested in that rat hole". Now THIS is an example of great mix of humor, logic and thinknig. And that's how most of the puzzles were constructed. There were always hints, not obvious, but tricky enough to make you think and link the things.
Quote:
the same design as the major puzzle in the first act of Monkey Island, the first act of Monkey Island 2, Year 2 of Grim Fandango
I know, it's one of the distinctive feautures of Lucas Arts adventures. In MI1-2 they were original. In FT or GF they occupied just one of the acts. But in Bone2 and S&M1-2 they are the whole game, because of the short length. And well, it's more of the same. I mean, they have a whole new direction. They must progress. Look at Escape from MI. It used the new possibilities of keyboard interface, the designers (btw, Sean Clark and Michael Stemmle) constructed many new, interesting puzzles, without repeating old formulas (like in Curse of MI). That's why I respect them so much and feel a little disappointed for Dave and new S&M games.. But well, better this then nothing.
Ariel Type is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 04:49 PM   #63
Unreliable Narrator
 
Squinky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Le Canada
Posts: 9,873
Send a message via AIM to Squinky Send a message via MSN to Squinky
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by numble View Post
Though I will say that the Sybil puzzle in Culture Shock and the many verbal-based puzzles feel very innovative to me.
I completely agree. I generally enjoy these puzzles more than the contrived inventory-based ones.
__________________
Squinky is always right, but only for certain values of "always" and "right".
Squinky is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 05:02 PM   #64
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 97
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel Type View Post
numble
Ok, just out of interest I installed Sam&Max and guess what? Sam says "All our money is invested in that rat hole". Now THIS is an example of great mix of humor, logic and thinknig. And that's how most of the puzzles were constructed. There were always hints, not obvious, but tricky enough to make you think and link the things.
Ah well, if that happened, then I'll give that to you. I'll still point out that you still have to pixel hunt that rat hole before you're given that hint though (I think).

Anyway, I mentioned that puzzle specifically out of personal experience, and because the rat hole puzzle is specifically mentioned in this Retronauts podcast on Hit the Road on how unintuitive a lot of the game puzzles are. (8 minute mark is when they specifically talk about that puzzle)... They also talk about the new Sam and Max and how they would want a happy medium between the old/new in puzzles, and how hard it is to achieve such a delicate balance.

---

Summary of one of Retronauts points + context.

Last edited by numble; 01-14-2007 at 06:15 PM.
numble is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 07:48 PM   #65
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 308
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel Type View Post
numble


I know, it's one of the distinctive feautures of Lucas Arts adventures. In MI1-2 they were original. In FT or GF they occupied just one of the acts. But in Bone2 and S&M1-2 they are the whole game, because of the short length. And well, it's more of the same. I mean, they have a whole new direction. They must progress. Look at Escape from MI. It used the new possibilities of keyboard interface, the designers (btw, Sean Clark and Michael Stemmle) constructed many new, interesting puzzles, without repeating old formulas (like in Curse of MI). That's why I respect them so much and feel a little disappointed for Dave and new S&M games.. But well, better this then nothing.
I agree with Ariel.. Mike Stemmle is missed on the sam and max team.
__________________
http://www.savesamandmax.com
HieroHero is offline  
Old 01-14-2007, 09:56 PM   #66
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 97
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel Type View Post
I know, it's one of the distinctive feautures of Lucas Arts adventures. In MI1-2 they were original. In FT or GF they occupied just one of the acts. But in Bone2 and S&M1-2 they are the whole game, because of the short length. And well, it's more of the same. I mean, they have a whole new direction. They must progress. Look at Escape from MI. It used the new possibilities of keyboard interface, the designers (btw, Sean Clark and Michael Stemmle) constructed many new, interesting puzzles, without repeating old formulas (like in Curse of MI). That's why I respect them so much and feel a little disappointed for Dave and new S&M games.. But well, better this then nothing.
Well maybe the issue is that you're just really used to such puzzle designs. You initially complained that "New S&M are not adventures," but now you're complaining that the new Sam and Max games are "repeating old formulas."

Your statement does somewhat prove that adventure gaming is a learned process--once you've played through a couple of "collect three items/perform three actions to get a result" games, it soon becomes "more of the same" and thus, easier. For the most part, asking for innovation/evolution on this path really means "make the puzzles harder," (how many people complain about things like action sequences, keyboard usage, monkey kombat, etc? Or don't even care for new things like the psychoanalysis or verbal/dialog-based puzzles? Many people who complain about easiness and ask for innovation really just want harder puzzles, IMHO) but as soon as you do that you're asked to "innovate/evolve" (read: make it harder) 5 years later. Pretty soon, the only capable adventure gamers are those that have played the previous adventure games.

To summarize, basically, yes, the "collect three items/perform three actions to get a result" puzzle design is really "more of the same" to people who have played the last 20 years worth of Lucasarts-style adventure games, but is entirely new to average gamers, most of whom have never played adventure games before.

And in my opinion, the truth is that story really overwhelms everything. Aside from 3 or 4 puzzles, Grim Fandango is really one of the easiest of the Lucasarts adventure games--it only had 3 commands, look at, pick up, and use, and no inventory combinations... yet many people say it is one of the best adventure games ever.

---

Bringing it back to Situation: Comedy land, I'll have to say that the new game is only 1/3rd of the way through, that the game designers have already said that they've planned all along to up the difficulty as the game progresses, and that it really is unfair to come to a rushed judgment on the game before it is all said and done. I think things like humor, dialog and story are fair game, since such elements have to be consistent throughout the game, but an element like difficulty, which has already been acknowledged by the developers as successively more difficult, shouldn't be judged so quickly. People don't go and judge Grim Fandango based on its much easier Year One, so by extension, people shouldn't say "New S&M are not adventures" based on the first 1/3rd of the game.

Last edited by numble; 01-14-2007 at 10:31 PM.
numble is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 03:49 AM   #67
Senior Member
 
phankiejankie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 125
Default

Here we go again, the usual "the game is not an adventure" argument. Aren't people bored of proclaiming a game an adventure or not based only on their subjective preferences. After the no game is an adventure game if it is not p&c now we are in the puzzles are not hard enough so it is not an adventure phase (see Dreamfall, now Sam n’ Max).

Anyway by me the difficulty is just right in the new Sam n’ Max series. I played the first two episodes being relaxed that I would not stuck anywhere, loosing interest on the game. The easy puzzles are a great tool in order not to break the pace which is very-very important if you want the fantastic writing to shine through.

So the core adventure gamers base needs to make up its minds of what exactly an adventure is. One day we talk about how adventures differ from other genres due to their deeper stories and dialogue based interaction and sharp writing etc. and the other day something is not an adventure not because of the story or the writing or the presentation but because of the easy puzzles. Well that makes for an easy adventure game, not a non-adventure game. Please see the new Sam n' Max series for what it is, a nice 4 hours relaxed joy ride with plenty of laughs on the way.

Combining various -irrelevant or relevant doesn’t matter- inventory items in order to solve a puzzle is not considered in my book a quality way of extending a game's life. Put more scenes, put more dialogues, put more puzzles but not that way. It’s boring and it’s an ancient practice… Kinda like cheating on the player. You know we just do not have the time or money to give you some quality gameplay so how about picking up every little thing that comes in your way (this is considered interactivity by many) and then randomly start combine items till you figure it out. We provide a nicely “clattered” inventory and you do the hard work of finding what fits with what. What do you mean you have 23 items which make up for hundred of combinations. This is a proper adventure game. Chop chop start combining…
__________________
Current favorites...

Games: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, World of Warcraft
Music: Laurent Garnier - Restrospective, Squarepusher - Hello Everything
Movies: Terry Gilliam - Tideland

Last edited by phankiejankie; 01-15-2007 at 06:52 AM.
phankiejankie is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 03:12 PM   #68
LA-S-LE
 
Ariel Type's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Snow Country
Posts: 549
Default

numble
Quote:
You initially complained that "New S&M are not adventures," but now you're complaining that the new Sam and Max games are "repeating old formulas."
Yes. But the old formulas worked in older games because you didn't have to find three items to progress. There were LOTS of things to do between those actions. And the story actually progressed. In new S&M that's all you have to do: perform several actions, collect 3 items and you are allowed to watch the final part. That's the gameplay of S&M or Bone, not a part of it. And that's why it looks so unoriginal.
S&M games are short, yes. But designers can always come up with some new challenges, as I wrote before. "Lucas-style" is not all about "3 items".
Quote:
story really overwhelms everything
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Depends on the game. MI games have rather weak and cliche stories, but nevertheless, they are instant classics. And what about S&M? The original game had a very simple story, but in the new games stories are even simplier! They don't progress, nor they are original.
So, what we are left with? Humor, characters and nice animation? That doesn't make an adventure game, sorry.

phankiejankie
Quote:
The easy puzzles are a great tool in order not to break the pace which is very-very important if you want the fantastic writing to shine through.
If I want fantastic writing, I'll go and read a book. If I want to see a cartoon, I''l go and see a cartoon. But if I want an adventure game, I'll go and play some adventure game. It might sound strange, but in earlier games by Lucas Arts, Sierra or Legend I often found everything - great stories, humor, characters AND puzzles. Real puzzles, not some "click here-click there". And I felt like I was playing the game, not watching some movie or reading a book. To say in your words, hard puzzles were a great tool in order not to loose interest.
Quote:
One day we talk about how adventures differ from other genres due to their deeper stories
Please, can you answer my question: where did you see a "deep story" in S&M? The plots are very, very simple. Intro+outro - that's it.
Quote:
Combining various -irrelevant or relevant doesn’t matter- inventory items in order to solve a puzzle is not considered in my book a quality way of extending a game's life.
You know, puzzle solving is not all about combining tons of items. Actually, this is a symptom of bad puzzle design..
Ariel Type is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 03:41 PM   #69
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,773
Default

http://www.telltalegames.com/samandmax/meatball

New screenshots and video for episode 3. Looks damn good!
D.C. is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 03:45 PM   #70
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 97
Default

Quote:
One day we talk about how adventures differ from other genres due to their deeper stories
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel Type View Post
Please, can you answer my question: where did you see a "deep story" in S&M? The plots are very, very simple. Intro+outro - that's it.
Hey there, you cut off phankiejankie's quote which really said:
Quote:
One day we talk about how adventures differ from other genres due to their deeper stories and dialogue based interaction and sharp writing etc.
I am not phankiejankie, but I think what phankiejankie means with "deeper story" is deeper than other games, not necessarily a "deep story." As such, Sam and Max is certainly deeper than Doom, Madden 2005, Wii Sports, Super Mario, etc.

Comedies are rarely "deep," but that does not mean that it is lacking in the story department. The major elements of story in a comedy, includes elements such as humor, writing and timing. Culture Shock just won the Gamespot award for funniest game of 2006, mostly in part because of the sharp writing and excellent timing:

Quote:
Sam & Max's latest adventure might only be a few hours long, but man, they really pack in a lot of great, funny material into the first episode of the detective duo's latest set of adventures. Almost every single object in the game has at least one line of dialogue associated with it that will make you smile, if not chuckle. And what's more, the game does a pretty good job of getting the timing right. Timing's obviously a huge part of comedy, and getting it right helps send this one over the top.
numble is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 04:14 PM   #71
LA-S-LE
 
Ariel Type's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Snow Country
Posts: 549
Default

numble
Quote:
Hey there, you cut off phankiejankie's quote which really said:
He said "and..and..and..", not "or..or..", so I concluded S&M has all this components. BTW, you said almost the same thing which I quoted:
Quote:
story really overwhelms everything
Where is the story in S&M and what does it overhelms? I don't argue with funny dialog lines or some great parodies, but story?..
Quote:
Sam and Max is certainly deeper than Doom, Madden 2005, Wii Sports, Super Mario, etc.
Well, in this case every single adventure game is deeper then all those games )) And Mafia or Fallout is certanly deeper then S&M. What's the point?
Quote:
Comedies are rarely "deep," but that does not mean that it is lacking in the story department.
Yes, comedies have some great stories. But that is not the case with S&M. The plot simply does not progress.
Quote:
Culture Shock just won the Gamespot award
After the marks given to Scratches and Barrow Hill I even don't want to discuss this mainstream site and its grades..
Ariel Type is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 04:19 PM   #72
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 97
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel Type View Post
Well, in this case every single adventure game is deeper then all those games )) What's the point then?
That is the point, what makes an adventure game different is that it has a "deeper story" than all other types of games in different genres.

Quote:
story really overwhelms everything
What I mean by story overwhelms everything is that, in a FPS, the weapons and vehicles are really much more important than the story, fighting games are about punch/kick combos, airplane games, racing games, puzzle games, RTS, RPGs, etc are really much more about their individual gameplay elements--you want to play because you will get better weapons, tougher bosses, upgrade your weapons/engines/armor, unlock components such as racetracks, new cars, more challenging puzzles etc. But in an adventure game, the story is what makes you want to keep playing--you want to see how it unfolds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel Type View Post
Yes, comedies have some great stories. But that is not the case with S&M. The plot simply does not progress.
Again, I made a point awhile back saying that all we've seen is 1/3rd of the plot so far, and judging the overall plot or difficulty from 1/3rd of a game is like judging the overall plot or difficulty from Year One of Grim Fandango (and honestly, the story and difficulty does not pick up in that game until after you leave the initial city).

But more importantly, the story elements you judge in a comedy are far different from that in a drama. People will say that the writing and timing in the stories in The Office are great, and they will say that the writing and character development in the stories of The West Wing or E.R. are great, but they look at different things when judging those stories, because they approach storylines in completely different angles.

---

And back to Situation: Comedy--people play it to see the storyline and jokes--which are part and parcel of the story in comedies--unfold. I don't think that's really a stretch of the imagination. People are not playing it to seek harder and harder bosses, upgrade weapons or armor, or looking to wrack their minds to solve it or anything of that sort.

Last edited by numble; 01-15-2007 at 04:37 PM.
numble is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 04:29 PM   #73
LA-S-LE
 
Ariel Type's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Snow Country
Posts: 549
Default

numble
And Mafia or Fallout are certanly deeper then S&M or most of the adventure games that came out in recent years.
Quote:
Again, I made a point awhile back saying that all we've seen is 1/3rd of the plot so far
There were two different, complete plots. New plots, even if they will include characters from previous stories, will be new plots.
As for GF, even the first year introduced many subplots, characters and details. The story progressed with every step, unlike in S&M.
Ariel Type is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 04:44 PM   #74
Senior Member
 
jp-30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 413
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel Type View Post
There were two different, complete plots. New plots, even if they will include characters from previous stories, will be new plots.
As for GF, even the first year introduced many subplots, characters and details. The story progressed with every step, unlike in S&M.
You might find this post by Jake interesting.
jp-30 is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 04:54 PM   #75
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 97
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel Type View Post
And Mafia or Fallout are certanly deeper then S&M or most of the adventure games that came out in recent years.
Sure, never played them, but I'll take your word for it. I'd still say that shooting, driving or upgrading weaponry/armor/items is what motivates people to play these games.

An example, here is what I read as a feature about Mafia:
Quote:
Mafia offers players the opportunity to drive a total of 51 classic cars based off real-life counterparts, in addition to another 19 bonus vehicles (including five classic racing models) available for unlocking in a new mode upon completion of the game's storyline. Unlike the Grand Theft Auto series, however, cars are introduced progressively through time in the storyline, with 1920s models available earlier on during the storyline, while newer varieties from the 1930s appear later. In addition, the players must "learn" how to steal a car by acquiring such knowledge from experts or experience, as opposed to the Grand Theft Auto series, where players are free to acquire any type of vehicle, superior or otherwise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel Type View Post
There were two different, complete plots. New plots, even if they will include characters from previous stories, will be new plots.
As for GF, even the first year introduced many subplots, characters and details. The story progressed with every step, unlike in S&M.
Prismatology has been around as a subplot since Episode 1, and I'm predicting that it will be a big part of the finale. There is also the whole hypnosis of celebrities angle. But regardless, I don't really understand how you can tell whether there are "subplots, characters and details" that will be further revealed in following episodes, since you don't know how the story will turn out. The idea of stolen Number Nine tickets is hinted at in Year One, but not mentioned at all again until Year Three. Besides Manny, Glottis, and a slight mention/cameo of Meche, Rubacava really feels like a whole different story from Year One, which is about Don, Domino, Eva, and Salvador.

---

Basically to summarize, since I feel I might have been a little bit incoherent--you will see that the reviews for adventure games overwhelmingly review the elements of story--setting, environment, characters, writing, jokes/humor in comedies, and plot--while reviews for other games concentrate on other aspects, such as car types, fighting moves, fight system, etc. I once did an overview of all the available reviews on Situation: Comedy, and found that story elements really were what these reviews keyed in on the most. In fact, many reviews mention puzzles and puzzle difficulty more in passing whilst they spend enormous amounts of time talking about the writing, comedy, and jokes.

Last edited by numble; 01-15-2007 at 06:11 PM.
numble is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 08:47 PM   #76
The Greater
 
Giligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 6,541
Send a message via AIM to Giligan
Default

Finally started playing, after several days of fighting with the installer files. So far, so good, although I'd say that Culture Shock was just a wee bit better. Graphics look improved, though, although I may be wrong about that.
__________________
Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
-Cliff Bleszinski
Giligan is offline  
Old 01-15-2007, 10:46 PM   #77
The Dartmaster
 
Jake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Rafael, California
Posts: 3,084
Send a message via ICQ to Jake Send a message via MSN to Jake Send a message via Yahoo to Jake
Default

All of the character lighting was re-done for episode 2, so the colors, highlights and shadows on the characters pop a lot more than they did last time around. Other than that there's not a lot changed tech-wise, that I know of at least.
Jake is offline  
Old 01-16-2007, 12:59 AM   #78
Senior Member
 
phankiejankie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 125
Default

Ariel I think it’s pretty obvious that you can’t get too deep with comedy as you can with drama especially if you have a dynamic duo that consists of a Bogart dog clone and something that looks close but not quite like a rabbit. I think you agree that the main advantage of the game is the sharp writing and hilarious jokes. Out of every other reason people will choose to play the new S&M series will probably be to enjoy the two things above. We have seen so far just 2/6 of the whole plot and to quote numble there are some nice plot threads going on like prismatology, the evil hypnobears, celebrity hypnosis etc.
__________________
Current favorites...

Games: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, World of Warcraft
Music: Laurent Garnier - Restrospective, Squarepusher - Hello Everything
Movies: Terry Gilliam - Tideland
phankiejankie is offline  
Old 01-16-2007, 01:10 AM   #79
gaybrush threepwoody
 
eriq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,567
Send a message via AIM to eriq Send a message via Yahoo to eriq
Default

I am patiently awaiting the full season so I can buy the lovely boxed copy!

I am sweating bullets waiting though. All the new stuff looks so fun - especially the shots from episode two. And Telltale is sticking to schedule! Hooray! I love adventure games!
eriq is offline  
Old 01-16-2007, 10:14 AM   #80
LA-S-LE
 
Ariel Type's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Snow Country
Posts: 549
Default

numble
Quote:
I'd still say that shooting, driving or upgrading weaponry/armor/items is what motivates people to play these games.
Not necessarily. The foxus on richer plot in shooters, for example, started long ago, with Half Life and such. And I'm not even talking about games like System Shock or Deus Ex that mixed lots of things, including deep stories. And if you look at console RPGs..
Quote:
Prismatology has been around as a subplot since Episode 1
They might link all the subplots into one big plot, but as the seperate plots they are finished. It sounds like Batman/Superman comix, when all the villains are defeated one by one and in the final they combine their forces to fight against the hero.. Ah, well, I guess Telltale will come up with something more original, but the "one big plot" thing, imo, is not the case here..

phankiejankie
Quote:
I think you agree that the main advantage of the game is the sharp writing and hilarious jokes.
Well, I sure agree with this and have fun with the games. But they are still not adventure games
Ariel Type is offline  
 



Thread Tools

 


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.