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-   -   Is the adventure game dying? (https://adventuregamers.com/archive/forums/adventure/18593-adventure-game-dying.html)

Crapstorm 01-23-2007 12:17 PM

Is this thread dying?

akane_t 01-23-2007 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spiwak (Post 384008)
The problem is that people within the community keep hoping we will cling to our old ways for nostalgia's sake or something, when the point-and-click method has died for the most part. Let's just hope the DS is home to more "adventures" that build sme notoriety for story-based games (if "adventure" is meant to describe only lucas/sierra p&c games, then I'm referring to story-based games), because everyone knows that there are people out there that want them.

Why is it that people who like to play P&C adventure games are considered a problem? Why do some people jump to the conclusion that people who like to play P&C adventure games are clinging to the past "for nostalgia's" sake? I like playing P&C adventure games because I liked them. I'm not holding on to the past for the sake of nostalgia. I can't say for others but I like P&C because it helps me concentrate on the story and the game without having to think about how to control the character. It provides me the best form of interface for experiencing adventure games.

If you guys are bored by the P&C adventure games but still would like to enjoy "story-based" games, there are a lot of choices available to you already. Whether a group of gamers like playing P&C adventure games or not will not affect you in any way.

SirDave 01-23-2007 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by akane_t (Post 384016)
Why is it that people who like to play P&C adventure games are considered a problem? Why do some people jump to the conclusion that people who like to play P&C adventure games are clinging to the past "for nostalgia's" sake? I like playing P&C adventure games because I liked them. I'm not holding on to the past for the sake of nostalgia. I can't say for others but I like P&C because it helps me concentrate on the story and the game without having to think about how to control the character. It provides me the best form of interface for experiencing adventure games.

If you guys are bored by the P&C adventure games but still would like to enjoy "story-based" games, there are a lot of choices available to you already. Whether a group of gamers like playing P&C adventure games or not will not affect you in any way.

Don't worry. When you read derogatory remarks about P&C games which are often a back-handed slam of any Myst-like games, consider the source. You missed the most 'telling' comment of the poster in question: '... a large part of the community is intelligent and wants a good story in a game.' This is the same poster who sees a great future for games he likes because there are 'gasp' a few games appearing on the 'earth-shattering, sales-breaking' Nintendo DS. I know when I go into Best Buy or Circuit City in the U.S., the Nintendo DS is lining shelves all over the place!

My point has nothing to do with any aversion to story, dialogue-based games- I happen to really like them, though over-all, I prefer P&C games- no, it has to do with the fact that people who prefer story-based 3rd person games resent the fact that a strong sector of the AG community (if not the majority) prefer P&C games and they can't help but show their disdain to the point of making it personal- ie. the remark that infers that somehow we are perhaps less intelligent than those who prefer stories. My response to that is that it takes special intelligence to discern the underlying story in P&C games; we don't have to have a bedtime story read to us. :D

After a brisk nap 01-23-2007 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SirDave (Post 384026)
Don't worry. When you read derogatory remarks about P&C games which are often a back-handed slam of any Myst-like games, consider the source. You missed the most 'telling' comment of the poster in question: '... a large part of the community is intelligent and wants a good story in a game.' This is the same poster who sees a great future for games he likes because there are 'gasp' a few games appearing on the 'earth-shattering, sales-breaking' Nintendo DS. I know when I go into Best Buy or Circuit City in the U.S., the Nintendo DS is lining shelves all over the place!

Not sure if this is meant to be sarcasm or not, but the Nintendo DS is certainly very successful, and is devoted significant space in games and electronics stores (though handhelds never get as much shelf space as stationary consoles).

Quote:

My point has nothing to do with any aversion to story, dialogue-based games- I happen to really like them, though over-all, I prefer P&C games- no, it has to do with the fact that people who prefer story-based 3rd person games resent the fact that a strong sector of the AG community (if not the majority) prefer P&C games and they can't help but show their disdain to the point of making it personal- ie. the remark that infers that somehow we are perhaps less intelligent than those who prefer stories. My response to that is that it takes special intelligence to discern the underlying story in P&C games; we don't have to have a bedtime story read to us. :D
You seem to contrast "story-based 3rd person games" with point-and-click. This must be some kind of misunderstanding, since most of those games are point-and-click.

Josho 01-23-2007 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luthski (Post 383969)
How and why?

I believe I've already explained the "how": designing games that feature adventure game-style gameplay, but which are not classified as adventure games because publishers and investors shy away from that particular verbiage. We say, "Let's do a detective game" or "let's do an edutainment title" or "let's do an action-adventure" instead, and they get published.

Why? Um, I dunno...to pay the mortgage? Because we like to? Why does anyone do anything for a living?

--Josh

sethsez 01-23-2007 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SirDave (Post 384026)
the 'earth-shattering, sales-breaking' Nintendo DS. I know when I go into Best Buy or Circuit City in the U.S., the Nintendo DS is lining shelves all over the place!

If this is sarcasm, it's pretty bad sarcasm. The DS has been breaking sales records left and right. It's been the best selling console every month for over a year now (usually by a pretty large margin), except for last December due to Nintendo not being able to keep up with demand since they were trying to produce Wiis as well.

If you don't like the system, that's fine. But trying to pretend it's just a small little nothing of a system is ridiculous to anyone who's been paying attention to the market.

But yeah, I guess 32+ million sales in a couple years is small time.

Intrepid Homoludens 01-23-2007 02:01 PM

:) This is what I wrote in my very longwinded article over at AdventureDevelopers.com, The Cold Hotspot...

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Cold Hotspot: part 2
You've heard it countless times before. According to the media the adventure game is dead. Or dying. Or at least no longer important. The irony is that other genres, like role playing games (RPGs) and first person shooters (FPSs), have been borrowing key attributes and techniques of the adventure game for years, and even some of them are doing it better now than most modern adventures. You can discern this in titles like No One Lives Forever 2, Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, Deus Ex, Beyond Good & Evil, and Fable. When this happens, the game expands into new territory, it grows, deepens, and the player often discovers a new way to have fun. The game innovates and the genre diversifies. Silent Hill 3, despite its survival horror pedigree, features wickedly difficult puzzles on par with that of Myst or The Longest Journey. Fable, an RPG, rewards players for thorough exploration by allowing them to discover peripheral but enriching stories about the game's world and characters, very much like an inquisitive dialogue tree in any adventure game.

...The incest contained within the almost hermetically sealed genre of adventure has trapped both game designers and gamers themselves into instinctively thinking that a puzzle must be both elemental and obscurely difficult, as well as 'stereotypically puzzle-y'. That is, it must look and behave like puzzles they have encountered innumerable times in past games. While this mindset is understandable, it's painfully constricting as it leads both parties - gamers and designers - into a cul-de-sac of redundancy, and has produced laughably recyclable and artificially integrated obstacles. Quite a sin: let he who is without prior experience in the 'poke - pencil - through - keyhole - to - knock - key - out - onto - newspaper - below' puzzle cast the first stone.

Discussing the convention of the tired 'puzzle-cutscene-puzzle-cutscene' approach, Jake Rodkin, writer for the games site Idle Thumbs, says: "At their core adventure games are nothing but this weird linear puzzle skeleton -- that is what makes them work. But if that's all there is, any illusion of choice, of exploration, of interaction, of discovery -- especially by people who can't read and infer directly into the abstracted scripts of the game -- is completely obliterated...the genre has done it to itself - ideas have been rehashed time and again in the last 15 years without any new blood."

Many things have, of course, transpired since I wrote this editorial series around two years ago, so that I should update my thoughts a bit. For example, the Nintendo DS has done much to introduce to a wider audience games that focus intensively on stories and cerebral challenges. Controversial titles like Dreamfall, Indigo Prophecy (known as Fahrenheit in Europe), Missing: Since January (known as In Memoriam in Europe), and EVIDENCE: The Last Ritual, may have helped proved that adventure games (or at least 'adventure-like' games) are fully capable of exploring new ideas and concepts, but for the most part the genre is still widely uncompetitive commercially, artistically, and conceptually, thus largely ignored (or as one poster here stated, forgotten) by the media and the many potential interested parties.

In fact, from what I've read in various news blog comments, non-adventure fan community forums, and news reports, many non-adventure gamers loved and raved about titles like Dreamfall and Indigo Prophecy specifically because they offered them a much needed break from the otherwise boring and redundant conventions that the typical adventure game offers. And I think that's the primary clue.

It looks to be that most media and interested consumers tend to overlook or be ignorant about the adventure game many times (with the exception of high production titles like Syberia, Still Life, and the Myst series) because collectively these games have done nothing new, dynamically bold, experimental, and even controversial in the past several years. Whatever titles that may categorically fall within the genre (like Indigo Prophecy) that are noticed by the press are the exceptions, and yet even these titles may fail to arouse inspiration from other adventure game developers to explore beyond the genre's conventions.

This is NOT to say that I think that some traditional adventure games do not deserve attention. They do deserve it. However, I think it has much to do more with the perception that the adventure genre, collectively, has essentially nothing new to offer, either to the consumer or the media reporting on what's going on the game world.

:)

Terramax 01-23-2007 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Intrepid Homoludens (Post 384056)
:)...and even controversial in the past several years.

YEAH,BRING ON NIGHT TRAP 2!

eXo 01-23-2007 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elisabetta611 (Post 383862)
The Sierra kind of adventures died in 1999 when GK3 was released. Broken Sword and MI also lost their sparkle with the new sequels IMO.

Adventure games may not be completely dead but other than THE LONGEST JOURNEY I don't know ONE game released after 1999 that can hold a candle to the classics.

agreed.

In regards to cygma and brisk nap - I'd like to see you guys give up your day jobs and invest all your money into the industry. Or hell - just go invest it all in AG companies. Come back in a year and tell me how much you made. Then tell me just how commercially viable your invest was.

akane_t 01-23-2007 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Intrepid Homoludens (Post 384056)
In fact, from what I've read in various news blog comments, non-adventure fan community forums, and news reports, many non-adventure gamers loved and raved about titles like Dreamfall and Indigo Prophecy specifically because they offered them a much needed break from the otherwise boring and redundant conventions that the typical adventure game offers. And I think that's the primary clue.

Can you clarify your statement? Is it the non-adventure gamers you mentioned who find that the typical adventure games offer only boring and redundant conventions or is it you who feels that way? I'm not sure why someone who have never played or been a fan of AGs would find what's offered in the typical adventure games boring or redundant. They would not be interested in what these typical adventure games have to offer in the first place, right?

I know that the adventure games as a genre has largely become a niche in the gaming industry and do not enjoy the commercial success or industry recognition that it used to get but the fact is that there still is a good number of people who continue to enjoy and spend money on games that some of you find boring, redundant, and lacking in artistic merits. It also is true that there are still talented teams like Telltale, Kheops, House of Tales, Frogwares, and Cyan, that continue to make adventure games. It has customers and vendors who are willing to supply them with wares. It's not what it once was but is still commercially and artistically viable. In my book, adventure games are definitely not dead.

akane_t 01-23-2007 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eXo (Post 384062)
agreed.

In regards to cygma and brisk nap - I'd like to see you guys give up your day jobs and invest all your money into the industry. Or hell - just go invest it all in AG companies. Come back in a year and tell me how much you made. Then tell me just how commercially viable your invest was.

I don't think cygma and After a Brisk Nap needs to quit their day job to answer your question. If you really feel that no one can make a living marketing adventure games, what do you think the fine folks at places like Telltale, House of Tales, and Kheops are doing? Do you think they are just in it for the love of the game?

Intrepid Homoludens 01-23-2007 02:52 PM

:) Whoah, no need to be defensive, akane. As I had stated, I do think there ARE more traditional adventure games that deserve as much attention from the press and gamers as possible. They merit the attention. However, the reality is that, because of the perceived notion that the genre has nothing new to offer (at least in terms of ideas and such), most of the media choose to not cover it and consquentially most people - other than the hardcore adventure gamers, especially those who frequent communities online like this one - wouldn't know about it, or for that matter, some of the better quality games that fall within the genre of adventure game.

Quote:

Originally Posted by akane_t (Post 384067)
Can you clarify your statement? Is it the non-adventure gamers you mentioned who find that the typical adventure games offer only boring and redundant conventions or is it you who feels that way? I'm not sure why someone who have never played or been a fan of AGs would find what's offered in the typical adventure games boring or redundant. They would not be interested in what these typical adventure games have to offer in the first place, right?

Actually, many of those (whose comments I had read in other gaming communities and news blogs) who enjoyed games like Dreamall and Indigo Prophecy happen to be adventure game enthusiasts (i.e. they loved games like Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, old school Sierra and LucasArts, and the Myst series, as well as The Longest Journey) who had moved on to other kinds of games (FPSs, RPGs, etc.). They themselves collectively implied or outright stated that they have moved on because they got sick of the lack of quality of adventure games in the past several years. So then a title like Dreamfall comes along they're terribly excited.

Quote:

I know that the adventure games as a genre has largely become a niche in the gaming industry and do not enjoy the commercial success or industry recognition that it used to get but the fact is that there still is a good number of people who continue to enjoy and spend money on games that some of you find boring, redundant, and lacking in artistic merits. It also is true that there are still talented teams like Telltale, Kheops, House of Tales, Frogwares, and Cyan, that continue to make adventure games. It has customers and vendors who are willing to supply them with wares. It's not what it once was but is still commercially and artistically viable. In my book, adventure games are definitely not dead.
The truth is that many gamers - especially those who loved adventure games and decided to move on - do find adventure games, as we know it, to be boring and redundant. That may make you upset, but what do you about it?

And remember, NEVER have I stated that I personally think that the adventure genre is dead. I am just being observant and trying to figure out how all this has come to pass. I personally think the adventure game is alive and doing reasonably well now (it's been two years since I wrote The Cold Hotspot). What I was addressing was that as a whole, it doesn't get as much coverage as it might deserve. Why is this? I'm thinking it's that the media thinks there's nothing fundamentally new about it compared to what's going on with other games - for example, like Will Wright's upcoming Spore, Epic's Gears of War, Bethesda's Oblivion, and other titles that are getting tons of attention. The media need to report on whatever's new and exciting. That's their job, to increase and maintain readership. Why would they want to post a headline that says: "New 2D point-n-click linear adventure game announced" and risk getting disinterested readers and advertisers?

Yes, the adventure game has become a niche market, and yes, its fans will claim there's nothing wrong with it. But I think that's part of the problem. Since you feel so strongly about the adventure game, shouldn't you also feel that it deserves more coverage so that more people out there would know about, say, TellTale's games, or Harvest Moon's, or other good quality games, and potentially fall in love with them and want to play more games like them?

There's plenty of room for diversity within the genre, and there's definitely room for improvement in terms of design and quality, and of course there's tons of room for getting more people interested in these kinds of games.

numble 01-23-2007 03:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Periglo (Post 383905)
By the way, I guess some of you are aware of the AG wikipedia entry. It points to an interesting article by Old Man Murray, in which he takes on GK 3 as an example on why AGs are supposed to be dying. He is partly right, in my opinion, at least as far as the beginning of GK 3 is concerned.

My take on the issue: I am playing Psychonauts, and I don't really mind AGs ceasing to exist as we know them, as long as their elements get incorporated in games as good as this on.

Coincidentally, I think the writer of that article, Erik Wolpaw, was the person that shared the BAFTA award (with Tim Schafer) for Best Screenplay in a game for their work in Psychonauts.

Intrepid Homoludens 01-23-2007 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Periglo (Post 383905)
It points to an interesting article by Old Man Murray, in which he takes on GK 3 as an example on why AGs are supposed to be dying. He is partly right, in my opinion, at least as far as the beginning of GK 3 is concerned.

:P Heh heh, that was a bluntly funny piece. Yeah, I agree that that puzzle in GK3 was one of the stupidest I've ever encountered, but at the same time it was rather fun to solve if you could get into the spirit of its silliness.

Quote:

My take on the issue: I am playing Psychonauts, and I don't really mind AGs ceasing to exist as we know them, as long as their elements get incorporated in games as good as this on.
To a point I agree. That's why I'm moved on to other games like the Silent Hill series, Beyond Good & Evil, and the Knights of The Old Republic series. These games have incorporated key elements of adventure games and, in my opinion, did them much better and in a more exciting and involving way.

SirDave 01-23-2007 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by After a brisk nap (Post 384028)
Not sure if this is meant to be sarcasm or not, but the Nintendo DS is certainly very successful, and is devoted significant space in games and electronics stores (though handhelds never get as much shelf space as stationary consoles).

Okay, the DS is successful, but in America, it is not 'flying off the shelves' the way it is in Japan and Europe. Take a look at the relative sales figures for those areas vs. the U.S.; it's rather surprising. Supporting that is the fact that I'm always checking the handheld gaming sections in our (the U.S.) stores and the DS game selection continues to be very limited. At least over here, an adventure games released on the DS are not going to make a big dent in the so-called resurgence of story-based adventure games- which is the point I was making in response to Spiwak's post.

Quote:

You seem to contrast "story-based 3rd person games" with point-and-click. This must be some kind of misunderstanding, since most of those games are point-and-click.
Not really. I was only simplifying the subject because the posters I was responding to did. P&C tends to be used too broadly (as you point out) to refer to 1st person, Myst-like games as opposed to story-based Gabriel Knight-like games. ;)

In any event, give me credit- my post helped to revive this thread after Crapstorm pronounced it dying. :)

sethsez 01-23-2007 03:21 PM

Incidentally, I think it's worth mentioning that DS adventure games aren't the only ones getting interest outside of adventure gaming circles. Telltale have been watched pretty closely since they started, and although most considered Bone a disappointment, a great deal of gaming forums I visit (full of Gears of War discussion and Gran Turismo 5 hype) have been extremely pleased with Sam & Max and even had anticipation threads for episode 2 before it came out. And as Intrepid said, Indigo Prophecy and Dreamfall both got attention as well (though they were both generally considered letdowns for crapping out in the third act).

sethsez 01-23-2007 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SirDave (Post 384088)
Okay, the DS is successful, but in America, it is not 'flying off the shelves' the way it is in Japan and Europe.

It's sold over 9 million units in America. That's pretty much on track for any successful system here. It's lagging behind Japan and Europe, but it's still selling faster than the PSP and Xbox 360. It's not a PS2-esque phenomenon, but it's still a very well established platform with quite a few million+ sellers here.

And handhelds have always been marginalized in stores because they cost more to produce and less to sell to the customer (you can thank carts for this). Stores don't want to push products with a low profit margin, and Nintendo doesn't try to twist arms to get their products in more desireable locations in stores (the last time they did, they got hit with a massive legal battle and lost).

In any case, the point is that DS adventure games have gotten people who otherwise don't care about the genre talking about it.

Aj_ 01-23-2007 03:31 PM

The popularity even here of games that contain almost no adventure gameplay, should say something about the death of the adventure. Dreamfall contains very little gameplay, Fahrenheit* is over 90% Dance Dance Revolution rhythm game. They're loved for their stories, which says a lot about the audience, they're worse than The Matrix: Reloaded, The Da Vinci Code, and Harry Potter**, put together.

There are still a lot of adventures being made with adventure gameplay, I haven't tried many recently, reports of bugs, and stubborn use of conventions that just don't work like fixed camera 3D. The solution developers offer is to limit the ammount of interaction and gameplay, as if cutting a bad game down is going to make it better. There is nothing wrong with doing the same type of gameplay, but right now, it's done badly. Where we should be seeing progress, we're seeing regress.

Other genres, especially RPGs, continue to borrow from past adventures of the '90s, but I very much doubt any of them are going to take anything from modern adventure games. Games from other genres are better at telling stories in the game not in cutscenes, better with technology, dialogue systems, interfaces, game engines, facial expressions and sometimes they even have better puzzles in them (and they're not even illogical, or obscure).

Financially adventures are already dead, making another Still Life or Syberia isn't going to make a lot of money. I don't see developers capable of making games of the calibre of Grim Fandango, Shadow of the Templars, or even The Longest Journey, how many developers are making adventures that made those. Dreamfall, Psychonauts, decidely not adventures, and Revolution with really poor efforts.

* David Cage's excellent post mortem identifies and shows promise he'll not repeat most of the problems with the game.
**It's for children, sure, it's a very good series for children and young adults.

Filmman 01-23-2007 03:46 PM

Adventure Games are not dying they are in a value to put away for a long time so people well never see them again

After a brisk nap 01-23-2007 04:02 PM

Oh god! Same old people, same old opinions. This is becoming one of those threads, isn't it?

Goodbye!


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