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Old 04-30-2009, 10:18 AM   #1
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Default Adventure Games are Dead? - Reinventing the genre

It is my first post here and I wish it was about a more pleasant topic but I have been thinking some things, which I expand bellow, for awhile now. My intention is to stimulate a discussion that could be used as a pool of ideas. I would be thankful if the spirit of this thread is kept calm, fruitful and hopefully productive!

I hate to say it, but after ~1998 the genre is dead. Apart from 2-3 games (Dreamfall, Fahrenheit,?), there is nothing to draw people to the adventure gaming community. Adventure games are no longer hot, very little innovation, stereotyped characters and repetitive gameplay. I am not trying to say that there are no decent titles that an advocate of the genre will enjoy playing, but rather that there is lack of titles which take the genre one step ahead, graphically, gameplay-wise, AI wise and depth wise. This is reflected in the sales of the adventure games and if something doesn't change, the genre will become a dying breed.

A comparison between an adventure game and e.g. a Prince of Persia game, a Bioware RPG game, Half Life 2 or even WoW makes me wonder what happened to the genre I love since my childhood, when monkey island was a top notch game and kings quest offered groundbreaking interaction with a magnificent world. I will attempt to see what abilities new game engines offer and see if these could be transfered to adventure games I will also try to spot key elements specific to the genre that need adjustment.


First of all my perception of an adventure game is an interactive game world, some interesting main character(s?)/NPCs to interact with, puzzle solving and possibly some action sequences. The closest thing that I have found to that, if we restrict to high quality products, are some Bioware rpgs like KotOR & Jade Empire. These games had an interesting story to tell, the main character interacted dynamically with the game universe making the games non linear and also had cool dialogues. The only thing that wouldn't classify them as adventure games is the existence of a combat system.

What can be drawn from games like these?


- first of all a good game needs good graphics, while not an eye-candy anymore KotOR graphics are not bad even with todays standards. Dreamfall excelled in this but I feel most adventure games are using yesterdays graphics.

- second thing is replay value, non-linear games are the way to go because of the opportunity to replay without doing the same old stuff and seeing the same old ending. After all this tactic was pioneered by an adventure game, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, why should non-linearity be absent from 2009 adventure games? Ask the character to make choices, its fun!

- third, playing multiple characters and sometimes having them play cooperatively in a party, one could be the computer expert guy that unlocks the password for a security door while the other member is concurrently trying to do something else. Each party members should feel special, have his own unique abilities in order to make the multi-party setting more fun than single character playing.

- fourth, a (quality) mod tool! imagine if *god please* monkey island 5 came out and it was the great game we all wanted to see. A mod tool would allow customers to e.g. build remakes of MI1, MI2 with modern graphics and also many indy new titles would come up. NWN/NWN2/Oblivion are a pure win just for the mods, so many classic rpg games remade with modern graphics, so many cool new indy rpgs are playable in modern graphics because of mod tools. Imagine the silver lining giving a mod tool and that being used to remake the Perils of Rosella and possibly other, new quests using the games engine (It would be too much to ask so much from a freeware game, personaly I am thankful to TSL team just for doing what they do, but if they ever decide to make commercial releases, a toolkit would make me want to buy their product!).

At this point lets look at WoW, the most successful mmorpg. This game can be a valuable lesson for many single player games, so lets look at some things WoW offers that can be adapted to adventure games:

-Factions: why cant adventure games have factions? when our hero helps a village by doing quests for the citizens, he could get reputation from it. Reputation could reward items, like keys to locked gates or poisoned meat to put some dogs to sleep. I don't want an exhaustive rep grind like ashtongue in WoW, just to feel special for completing the few quests of my favorite village. The grind should not be necessary (after all one may wish to skip this village's quests) but it should bring a reward.

- Professions: professions in WoW are mostly centered around min/maxing and getting raid consumables, how can this be adjusted to adventure games? First of all they could provide alternative means for obtaining some game items. Instead of wandering in the forest for hours, stuck trying to figure how we can get the potion that will let us get past the big ogre, we could pick some herbs in the mean time and craft the potion. This not only adds multi-linearity but also helps gamers get past a point they may be stuck for hours. Again, professions should never be a requirement to finish a quest line imho.

- Items & Stats: By this I don't refer to combat stats nor having to "gear up" a character in an adventure game but wouldn't it be more fun if consuming a flask of charm brought more dialogue options to the table?

- A huge pool of quests to choose until you reach the level cap. I want side quests in adventure games, I want a big world that offers opportunity for exploration and has things to keep me busy while I'm trying to progress in the main quest line. Many areas with different quests, which reward exploration.

- Economy: in an offline game we cant have an auction house and trade channel but quests could reward some gold and this gold could be used to buy eg charm potions or even some quest items (that again should be available by more traditional means). You don't like this quest line but need to do it to in order to acquire a flute? its ok to skip it, the flute is also on sale for 1k gold. Of course prices for quest items should be high so that you can only skip 3-4 quest lines and only if you are quite wealthy. Also how about gambling mini games? play some poker in that SCUMM bar while discussing with pirates.

Finally lets look at the prince of persia games. If there are combat sequences I want them to be as good as PoP but is that all there is to PoP? I think not, PoP also has some very interesting puzzles to solve and which almost always have to do with a good feel of the physical environment around prince. The interesting bit is that many puzzles can be implemented as real time, while others don't have to be real time puzzles and therefore PoP-like challenges can be used in games where there are no action sequences and in games which have some. I know many people disagree with this but imho a blent of "traditional" and real time puzzles would make adventure games more exciting, I don't want adventures to become like Lara Croft but I cant deny that they could benefit from some action.

TLDR: game engines are lacking many features that are present in every quality game out there. From using some of the most sophisticated engines of their era, like SCI, adventure games have now sadly become cheap/low-end games. This needs to change, the genre needs to become top-notch again, else it will be indy-only very soon. I want the adventure genre to be at the front of innovation in graphics, interaction with environment, gameplay and AI.

Other things:

- in-game hint system, in the fashion of UHS hints in every game.

- Day/night cycles, each with their own unique feel. A quest should be doable during both cycles but with different ways. Eg in the night one could break into a house and get that wanted book, in the day he could distract the house owner.


I hope things change and adventure games become interesting again. For the moment being, the only titles I am eager to see released are Heavy Rain and Dreamfall Chapters, all rest are rpgs, action games and shooters. This is saddening me because I consider myself an adventure gamer, back in the day I played only adventure games and an occasional rpg, but I am not willing to spend my money on anything less than very high quality titles. I don't believe that as customers we should see supporting a company as a good thing, companies should get profit if they deserve it, charity is better spent elsewhere, e.g. in support of medical research, I will never buy an okish game just to support the developer. I only spend money on entertainment products if they are indeed entertaining and while I am more than happy to spend on adventure games, the current quality of the genre makes it hard to do so. I feel that by buying games just for the sake of supporting, we spoil the developers as they get profit even from low quality titles.I dont mean to sound harsh, just want to see the genre rise up again, at the front of innovation in gaming and provide my kids happy moments, as I had happy moments with King's Quest.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:13 AM   #2
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Hi, imisssunwell. Welcome to our forum!

Your post is very dense, and full of interesting annotations, with which I usually disagree but which are nonetheless interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imisssunwell View Post
First of all my perception of an adventure game is an interactive game world, some interesting main character(s?)/NPCs to interact with, puzzle solving and possibly some action sequences.
I'm glad that you started with your definition of adventure game, because this way is certainly easier to understand your many points. As many users on this forum already know, my perception of adventure is extremely similar to yours, except for the fact that I usually put a lot on emphasis both on story and (especially) writing. I'm a fan of interactive movies, and in my opinion puzzles and - generally speaking - gameplay should never stifle the natural flow of said story. I'll try to consider your points with this emphasis in mind.

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Originally Posted by imisssunwell View Post
first of all a good game needs good graphics, while not an eye-candy anymore KotOR graphics are not bad even with todays standards. Dreamfall excelled in this but I feel most adventure games are using yesterdays graphics
Agree and disagree. A good game needs a stylish graphic. I don't want real-time 3D rendering, cel-shading and volumetric fumes if the environment the graphic depicts is lifeless and dull. Dreamfall had awesome graphics, probably the best I've ever experienced in an adventure, but take a look at these two screenshots: So Blonde had stunning, colorful, brilliant graphics that were a real pleasure for the eye without requiring all the gimmick one usually sees in FPS and The Lost Crown, while a little blocky when it comes to characters' models and animations, had a very eerie, atmospheric graphic design.

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Originally Posted by imisssunwell View Post
second thing is replay value, non-linear games are the way to go because of the opportunity to replay without doing the same old stuff and seeing the same old ending.
I agree on the replay value, not on much on the non-linearity. I prefer a Gabriel Knight 3 kind of approach, where the game is divided in chapter which require some actions to complete but which also leaves the player with the freedom to explore optional (rather than non-linear) segments, tasks, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imisssunwell View Post
third, playing multiple characters and sometimes having them play cooperatively in a party[...]
Many games, both new and old, present this kind of cooperation between two or more playable characters. The old Amazon: Guardians of Eden pops immediately in my mind, for example. As far as this approach enriches the story, I'll be glad to see more dynamic duo (or more ) implemented in the adventure genre.

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Originally Posted by imisssunwell View Post
Professions: professions in WoW are mostly centered around min/maxing and getting raid consumables, how can this be adjusted to adventure games? First of all they could provide alternative means for obtaining some game items.[...]
While your point about factions leaves me pretty cold (I really don't see the usefulness), this point is interesting: of course, I don't want to choose any profession for the character - primarily because I like my characters fully fleshed out and provided with a deep, rich background -, but it would be nice to see more ways to obtaining items/surpassing obstacles/etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imisssunwell View Post
I want side quests in adventure games, I want a big world that offers opportunity for exploration and has things to keep me busy while I'm trying to progress in the main quest line.
That's exactly the approach I love in Gabriel Knight 3, so I'm all for optional, lateral tasks to keep me busy if I'm stuck in the main plot-line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imisssunwell View Post
Day/night cycles, each with their own unique feel. A quest should be doable during both cycles but with different ways. Eg in the night one could break into a house and get that wanted book, in the day he could distract the house owner.
This is interesting, and the only game that really took advantage of a night/day cycle is the old King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella. I can live without a dynamic cycle, but at least I want to experience a life-life, realistic time flow, with days passing and so on, like the Tex Murphy games or, once again, the Gabriel Knight ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imisssunwell View Post
I hope things change and adventure games become interesting again. [...]
What the genre really lacks nowadays, and this is what is necessary, at least in my opinion, for adventures to become interesting again, is writers. I mean: anyone can come up with an interesting story, all right, but it takes skill to dress this story, to enrich the characters and the setting, to deepen the immersion of the players. Unfortunately, authors - real authors - are rare, and we are stuck with dull plots worsened by uninspired writing: average games that can be a nice filler for a couple of afternoon, but nothing really substantial. We have still some of these talented writers - like Steve Ince, for example, or Ragnar Tornquist (I won't mention Jane Jensen to give a less biased impression ) - but they are few.

I'm all for a work division: bring in talented designers to take care of the graphic, enlightened game designers to build the game but, please, don't forget to bring in the writers. Who wants a book written by an editorial proof-reader (generally speaking of course, since there are many proof-readers that are also talented writers) without a spark of creativity, when he can have a brilliant writers? I can't believe they are so rare to find.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:13 PM   #3
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Well thought out.

However it seems to me that what you describe is not an adventure game but a RPG.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:30 PM   #4
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Hi AndreaDraco83, thank you for your reply,


I agree alot with the story comments, any game is empty without a fascinating story. RPG games use the world/story from novels oftenly, while I'd rather have an 100% original world/storyline, I dont think it is bad to transfer a good novel to the gaming schene and possibly adventures could do that (Gabriel Knight also has some novels by Jensen if I am not mistaken).

Regarding graphics, I cannot but agree that the quality of the art is what matters more than the rendering & physics engine. If the game graphics are hand drawn (2D), I am very happy as this is usually my favorite type of graphics if they are 3D however, I want the latest technology to be used and go "Wow!" when I start playing the game. I am not 100% certain of this, as I do not work in the game industry myself, however a friend-game developer has told me that 2D games are more expensive to produce when the game is large because eg, the artists have to redraw the character from scrach for every possible optical angle, use 100% original/non-repetitive environment models etc.

Imho both optional content and non-linearity are features which add value to a game. Additional/optional content can be played during the first time we run through the game and if the game is linear, there is very little motivation to replay the game apart from nostalgia. As high-end titles are quite pricey these days, non-linearity can make them give more entertainment hours and therefore worth more their cost.

The dynamic day and night cycle is something I became addicted to when I first played the Quest for Glory games as a thief. I just loved to sneak into houses! I havent played the QFG games for about 15 years but if my memory doesnt fail me, this was not possible during the daytime as the thief would be seen, also I liked that e.g. city gates were closed during the night and I had to climb. Also I certainly wouldnt mind certain characters, like e.g. Vampires to appear only during the night as they fit more into a dark setting.

Regarding Factions, I just like the feeling of having served to the maximum a faction, eg a village and hear the peasants say stuff like "it's a honor to have you among us". Factions could also add to non-linearity, two factions dont like each other, you quest for one of the two and get high reputation, then they give you the map of the forgotten cave which is underwater and the other faction gives you a key to the underground part of the city. The cave and the undercity both have new quests & stories to tell but you have to make a choice, which of the two villages (that hate each other) you plan to serve.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasus View Post
Well thought out.

However it seems to me that what you describe is not an adventure game but a RPG.
You are very correct that many of the features I would love to see in adventure games are from rpg games. However for me, a RPG game is an adventure game with more focus on combat and character stats instead of puzzle solving.

The reason I am using rpg games to see what can improve adventure games is that this is a genre which has evolved remarkably since the early 90s (I dont mean to start a flame if Planescape is still the top rpg and is left unsurpassed , that's late 90s!).

Adventure developers could take what is good from newer RPG games without altering the nature of the genre, they don't have to implement stats, classes, alignments, gear and all that. That would break the essence of adventure games, I cannot imagine gearing up Guybrush to face LeChuck, nor choosing him to be a Chaotic neutral islander. However, I would love to see the non-linearity, the big worlds, the dynamic environment and the module tools of rpg games
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:50 PM   #6
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If dead is 10-13 good to great games a year, then dead be it.

Dreamfall makes it not dead? It isn't even a game.. the GAME part was taken out! Please.. NO more "games" like dreamfall. If that is the future of adventures, I want no part in it!

Also, a copy and paste from another forum of good games since 2000:

Barrow Hill : 2006
Dark Fall : 2002
The Lost Crown : 2008
Diamonds in the Rough : 2008
TLJ : 2000
Myst 3 : 2001
Still Life : 2005
Return Mysterious Island :2004
Secrets of the Da Vinci : 2003
2 Last halfof darkness : 1989 & 2000
Black Mirror : 2003
Dark Fall 2(2004)
Sam and Max series(2007-2008)
RHEM 1-3(up to 2007)
Syberia 1-2(to 2004)
Blackwell series(2006-2008)
ECC(2009)
Runaway 1-2
Myst 4-5(to 2005)
Bad Mojo
Tony Tough
Agon 1-4
Voyage(2005)
Overclocked(2008)
Perry Rhodan(2008)
So Blonde(2008)
Nostradamus(2007)
Ceville(2009)
Culpa Innata(2007)
Moment of Silence
Vampyre Story(2008)
Schizm 1-2(2001-2003)
Overclocked

Last edited by darthmaul; 04-30-2009 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthmaul View Post
If dead is 10-13 good to great games a year, then dead be it.

Dreamfall makes it not dead? It isn't even a game.. the GAME part was taken out! Please.. NO more "games" like dreamfall. If that is the future of adventures, I want no part in it!

Also, a copy and paste from another forum of good games since 2000:

Barrow Hill : 2006
Dark Fall : 2002
The Lost Crown : 2008
Diamonds in the Rough : 2008
TLJ : 2000
Myst 3 : 2001
Still Life : 2005
Return Mysterious Island :2004
Secrets of the Da Vinci : 2003
2 Last halfof darkness : 1989 & 2000
Black Mirror : 2003
Dark Fall 2(2004)
Sam and Max series(2007-2008)
RHEM 1-3(up to 2007)
Syberia 1-2(to 2004)
Blackwell series(2006-2008)
ECC(2009)
Runaway 1-2
Myst 4-5(to 2005)
Bad Mojo
Tony Tough
Agon 1-4
Voyage(2005)
Overclocked(2008)
Perry Rhodan(2008)
So Blonde(2008)
Nostradamus(2007)
Ceville(2009)
Culpa Innata(2007)
Moment of Silence
Vampyre Story(2008)
Schizm 1-2(2001-2003)
Overclocked
I can't agree on Dreamfall, I think its a really great game. I am not saying that there are no good adventure games anymore, but 10-13 per year sounds abit stretched imho.

Not too many of these games had high score reviews overall. I haven't played all of them but for some of them that I did, I ended up agreeing with the reviewers. I did really enjoy a couple of games present in that list but again these had received high score reviews from many sources.

It is not my intention to say which ones I didnt find fun to play, as this would degenerate the thread into opinions which is the worst/best game and possibly end up as a flame thread. However, I dont think a single source is enough to quantify how many of them were found appealing and how many weren't, very few games received high score reviews from many sources.

Of course having fun with a game or not is a matter of personal taste and I am not trying to argue if some people may find them fun or not. In most cases average lower review scores generally reflect lower acceptance by gamers and somewhat lower standards than most gamers expect (out of 20+ gaming years I have found reviews to be harsh only a couple of times). I dont think that many games from that list would be sufficiently calibrated to turn the tables for adventure gaming like e.g. Baldur's gate and Diablo did for the rpg genre, which was in decline after the last SSI games.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imisssunwell View Post
I can't agree on Dreamfall, I think its a really great game. I am not saying that there are no good adventure games anymore, but 10-13 per year sounds abit stretched imho.

Not too many of these games had high score reviews overall. I haven't played all of them but for some of them that I did, I ended up agreeing with the reviewers. I did really enjoy a couple of games present in that list but again these had received high score reviews from many sources.

It is not my intention to say which ones I didnt find fun to play, as this would degenerate the thread into opinions which is the worst/best game and possibly end up as a flame thread. However, I dont think a single source is enough to quantify how many of them were found appealing and how many weren't, very few games received high score reviews from many sources.

Of course having fun with a game or not is a matter of personal taste and I am not trying to argue if some people may find them fun or not. In most cases average lower review scores generally reflect lower acceptance by gamers and somewhat lower standards than most gamers expect (out of 20+ gaming years I have found reviews to be harsh only a couple of times). I dont think that many games from that list would be sufficiently calibrated to turn the tables for adventure gaming like e.g. Baldur's gate and Diablo did for the rpg genre, which was in decline after the last SSI games.

All of these games scores 3/5 or higher from adventure gamers and B-A on the other sites... so I'm not sure what you mean by average low reviews.

I never said they would "turn the tables" for adventures, just that they are good to great games for adventure gamers. The genre will never "turn the table" because most people do not like using their mind, period, let alone in their downtime(free) hours. It won't happen. You can change the genre all you want, but it'll never get mass appeal.

Just like how Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Farscape, and DS9 will never get mass appeal. It doesn't matter how good the writing of a sci fi show is, people would rather watch something familiar, brainless, or one of the 3 million police investigation shows.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthmaul View Post
All of these games scores 3/5 or higher from adventure gamers and B-A on the other sites... so I'm not sure what you mean by average low reviews.

I never said they would "turn the tables" for adventures, just that they are good to great games for adventure gamers. The genre will never "turn the table" because most people do not like using their mind, period, let alone in their downtime(free) hours. It won't happen. You can change the genre all you want, but it'll never get mass appeal.

Just like how Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Farscape, and DS9 will never get mass appeal. It doesn't matter how good the writing of a sci fi show is, people would rather watch something familiar, brainless, or one of the 3 million police investigation shows.
Usually high score is used for scores > 85%, games with 3/5 = 60% cannot be considered as being awarded high scores.

I don't think the reason of decline is people avoiding thinking but rather a matter of drop in content quality. The action puzzles in Prince of Persia require thinking and these games are allot more popular than most adventure games at the moment. The reason for that is that PoP puzzles are more fun and well designed, apart from that the rest aspects of PoP games are more calibrated.

Mass appeal will come when we see games that are in the front line of story, graphics, gameplay and world/universe-design. If other genres deliver such games they, rightfully, will get the mass appeal. Given that most people have a finite amount of money they are willing to dispose for gaming and also finite time to play, if their income/time is better spent in Mass Effect/Prince of Persia/Half Life 2/Zelda/WoW, they won't consider looking significantly less calibrated games. Adventure games need to move forward in terms of their design and become the impressive games they can be.

I remember that Roberta Williams used to push programmers to create engines which reached the best possible visual/audio/gameplay outcome given the technology of that era. Scenes from later King's quest games were drawn realistic because actors were hired and artists were modeling them. Every release was pushing the genre one step ahead in all departments, if that wasn't the case instead of SCI/SCUMM we would be playing text adventure games during the late-80s/90s.

I am not convinced that adventure developers treat their games like that now, they seem content to use older graphics, less dynamical engines, not interesting puzzles and in many cases a non-intriguing story.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:50 PM   #10
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@ original poster

Repetitive gameplay, genre you love since childhood.

Well same feelings here, and the problem with genre is attitude of adventure gamers. The demographics include people who can imagine more with text than actual good graphics, and since text fixation is more necessary they don't realize how much interactivity is necessary to evolve gaming genre, specially considering that moving cursor around the 2d image is as hard as browsing/surfing net.

Then come puzzles which you can find plenty online in java based games and those sliding objects, maze, find your way, mixing elements, jigsaw puzzles, etc. , which is to say these repetitive puzzles never evolved.And putting them forcefully or as an excuse to push narrtive forward isn't the most genius way to make adventure game/genre evolve.

So neither pixel hunting is challenging, nor puzzles. And if it tires to evolve people don't accept it and bash it , before hand even playing them like flower or upcoming HR(even bashing it flower for it being non adventure, not just these forums i am talking about other people too on other forums).And HR is being blamed as QTE fest beforehand on single trailer not by RPG or shooter lovers but by advenutre community itself.

Reality is times have changed and adventure game makers and fans not matter how hardcore they are have to find new ways, after all beatemup genre even found its way in this era of shooters which too was diminishing at alarming rate(so many classic and new games coming this year and people loving it, so much for numbers don't equate quality) , probably because beatemup requires hand skills, and strategy , and online makes it more wider, people finding new ways to stimulate and accepting the change not bashing it. There is reason why legends like timschafer even left adventure gaming and concentrating on more brawling genre.(now before flaming yourself with brawling comment , please do read recent GDC previews , and latest one, besides that i am talking and answering to poster of thread, don't want to start argument, my opinion).


Also its bad to have janejensen and cecil like old legends have to work on tight budgets constantly delaying games and making poor or average efforts. Which is to say potential is not totally realized. Maybe they should try something like schafer or davidcage to break in the main gaming SCENE.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:02 PM   #11
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I agree with the person who said what the adventure games need most is writers. A good story with solid writing can never lead anyone into the negative.

I don't really want too much innovation in the basic formula. Changing the basic formula is often disasterous and disappointing to fans of classical adventure gaming. No, I say, just leave it as it is. Play it safe and only work to improve on things that can't lead to disaster: better graphics, better acting, better puzzles, better story...

I mean, there's nothing wrong with trying something different, I'm just saying it's not something I'm asking for as a fan of classical adventures. I want games like Still Life and The Longest Journey, I'll take one hundred of those.
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:18 AM   #12
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TLDR. I struggle to keep up with all the nice adventure games that are around, and have a huge mental list of ones that I'm yet to buy.

The genres not dead, it's just not big business like others. Who cares - there's enough quality company's putting out amazing games regardless of the moola it seems. Suits me fine.

10-13.. more like 25-50. Seek and you shall find.

EDIT: Regarding comment about sophisticated engines and such - this is simply not possible for most developers. What wrong with cool indie games? Joe Meatball from South Boringsville isn't going to rush out and buy Syberia 3 and whatnot; by its nature quality adventures will rarely have mucho $$$ behind them - and all that that may imply.
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:18 AM   #13
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I don't want to change the basics of AG. To me playing is to muck around, look at things, enjoy the scenery.
I don't want to die, to kill anyone or to work against the clock. I want a nice, slow relaxing game that I can play after work. I want my bloodpressure down, not up.

But I do agree that it can be too many slider puzzles.
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:41 AM   #14
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I certainly don't think the genre is dead, though the subset of Adventures that I like to play (Myst-like) are few and far between. Most, if not all are coming from the independent developers. For myself, I've just turned to more Casual gaming for my puzzle fixes, but they are not as satisfying as a Rhem or Dark Fall.
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:20 AM   #15
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@nomadsoul, we seem to agree on much. I don't see myself why I should spend 30 pounds on a game that is as complex as a java game.
On having tested adventure writers and let them create a high-budget game, I'd really love to see that, they have experience and more importantly they have shown they can deliver good products, it's sad to see some of these people concentrate on other genres.

ps: Regarding heavy rain, I have really high expectations from it, if the reviews are as high as I hope them to be, even though I prefer the 360 for my gaming, I will grab a ps3 just for HR . I also hope they release Dreamfall Chapters for ps3/xbox, Ragnar has hinted it will have drm and only reason it was possible to enjoy the original dreamfall is because of the xbox port, starforce was something I didn't want on my computer.

@Puzzler better story , better graphics, better puzzles and better acting would bring much of what is missing, quality. However I would love to see stuff like dynamic cycles, non-linear gameplay and more interactivity, I believe these would only add value to the basic formula

@seek83 25-30 quality titles per year is far stretched imho, I'll have to be honest and say that I don't think it is possible to back up your statement with good reviews from many sources for these games.

I expect it to be more like 25 low-score games and possibly (depending on the year) 1-2 decent to good ones. I will assume the average price 15 pounds for the sake of example (and most likely it would be more) 25X15 = 375 pounds. Instead of trying a stack of okish (and possibly subpar games), I can see many things that can be done with so much money. One can grab an xbox360 and a whole bunch of ~9/10 score games. These games are also likely to have more playtime hours than the 25 ag and these hours will be spent on products of higher quality.

I have nothing against indy games and it is really nice to see people putting effort to create them but they certainly cannot be considered the way forward, in this day and time this is done by commercial products. I just want AG commercial releases to be on par with every other genre, an AG under development now should be on par with Dragon Age and Bioshock 2 in terms of quality, story, graphics, game hours, replay value and gameplay. Every commercial release should be a step forward, like each KQ/MI was a step forward, not the same ol' stuff, other genres are advancing, why should the adventure genre stay stale?

@Mohlin I agree, dying and killing would make AG like action games, by borrowing elements I didn't mean that. Dying/killing was possible in prince of persia from 1989 it is not part of the PoP evolution I was refering to, but rather adapting the elements that correspond to game advancement.

Day/night cycles don't have to be combined with timers, in fact any proper game shouldn't put such timers, but changing from night to day just gives a feel of a more calibrated game, night and day should just give different ways to compete the same quest/objective not force you to rush. Cycles would just bring salt & pepper and more options to the table.

@colpet There is nothing wrong with casual gaming, in fact, imho gaming should never become a second non-paying job. Many purely casual games like Prince of Persia and Zelda have advanced in many directions, making the games more enjoyable without spoiling the spirit of the game series. I just wish AG could evolve in that spirit, I don't want AG to become shooters but to evolve.

Edit: a couple of typos & altered one reply because of not reading a post properly

Last edited by imisssunwell; 05-01-2009 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:52 AM   #16
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I agree with many of your points, but disagree on others, so please remember that when reading my comments below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imisssunwell View Post
I have nothing against indy games and it is really nice to see people putting effort to create them but they certainly cannot be considered the way forward, in this day and time this is done by commercial products.
All I'm going to say is be careful with this phrasing. See my next comment for my actual response, I just wanted to call attention to this phrase of yours. It's not something that encourages constructive commentary, FYI.

Quote:
I just want AG commercial releases to be on par with every other genre, an AG under development now should be on par with Dragon Age and Bioshock 2 in terms of quality, story, graphics, game hours, replay value and gameplay. Every commercial release should be a step forward, like each KQ/MI was a step forward, not the same ol' stuff, other genres are advancing, why should the adventure genre stay stale?
But not every commercial release for other genres are advancing them. It's silly to think most releases would. There are dozens of FPS/action games released each year, but barely any of them actually innovate or are a step forward. FPS games are relatively stale themselves (it's actually common to hear "it's yet another WWII FPS"), with only a few games bringing new gameplay aspects (usually the high-profile ones). Commercial releases can easily get to the point where they only contribute to a genre's staleness, not improve it.

I agree with you, though, that I want Adventure games to have production values equal to more polished games in other genres. It's not possible to get there within a few releases, but it's a longer term goal I'd like to see.

Quote:
@Mohlin I agree, dying and killing would make AG like action games, by borrowing elements I didn't mean that.
Not necessarily. In my opinion, you could have many action games changed into adventure games by changing how the player interacts with it (such as removing twitch/dexterity-based gameplay action games are known for). I think in defining an adventure game, it's the required responses the game asks from the player to progress and complete the game that is far more important than the content of the story.

Quote:
Day/night cycles don't have to be combined with timers
Yup, just look at KQ4 (I'm sure there's been more but they escape me at the moment)

Quote:
in fact any proper game shouldn't put such timers
Ooh, careful, see my first comment. I think it could be incredibly immersive for a game to do so, provided a mechanic is available to automatically wait until a certain time of day. I know of at least one Nancy Drew game (which is highly popular) that uses this mechanic.

Quote:
@colpet There is nothing wrong with casual gaming, in fact, imho gaming should never become a second non-paying job.
Wholeheartedly agree! Since I started my career after college, I have a hard time bringing myself to play a game that's going to require a significant period of time per play-session to accomplish much. I only have a few hours after work before bed, and many times that's spent with my family. Games should be, above all else, fun...not a job.
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:28 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Vahkris View Post

All I'm going to say is be careful with this phrasing. See my next comment for my actual response, I just wanted to call attention to this phrase of yours. It's not something that encourages constructive commentary, FYI.
I didn't mean to discredit indy games, but I just can't expect an indy game to have the level of craft of a commercial release. I do not attribute this to lack of talent but mostly lack of budget.


Of course there are low quality shooters, rpgs and action games, instead of *every commercial release* I should have used *every big commercial release*. I had in mind games like KotOR, Half Life 2, Prince of Persia, not a not-so-good clone of them. The point I was trying to get across is that in other genres we see the higher profile games making steps forward and raising the standards for the genre. On the other hand, adventure games have made very little progress with regard to e.g. non-linearity (replay value), top notch grahpics, dynamic worlds, interaction with the world and gameplay.

Regarding the timers, I was referring to cases where it is compulsory to complete quest X by day 17, like eg in QFG IV, not having to complete it during the night (any night). I remember I had found this sort of timer annoying for these type of games.
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:32 PM   #18
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Just more people equating big budget and shiny graphics with "advancing the genre" and reviving a "dead genre." Sorry, it just doesn't compute to many of us.

See, I find all Bioware games repetitive, and all single player FPSs a joke... They aren't advances in anything.. just repetition of a formula.

Rpgs haven't changed since BG2. FPSs haven't changed since HL2. Better graphics, same formula. People like it because they require little thought. Adventure games will never catch on again because they require thought and society doesn't like to think. PERIOD.

I just named 40 great games and they were dismissed like they meant nothing... I can't debate anything with people like that.

Just because YOU want big budget doesn't mean a genre with 10+ great gamesa year is "dead."

And Dark Fall, Lost Crown, Diamonds in the Rough, and Barrow Hill can absolutely compete with bigger named and budgeted games.
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthmaul View Post
I just named 40 great games and they were dismissed like they meant nothing... I can't debate anything with people like that.
Unfortunately, you just did the same thing when you called all FPS games a joke. Funny how that works, innit?




Anyway, I'd agree that the adventure genre is definitely lacking in innovation and originality. But is that really a fault of adventure game developers? Game developers develop what gamers ask for, which, in the case of the adventure genre, is more or less the same basic, repetitious game that AG players have been playing for two decades. Personally, I don't think we're going to see any remarkable advances in adventure game design philosophy until adventure game players decide to be a little more open-minded and stop dismissing, even before they've played them, games that tries something new. That's not to say, however, that the point-and-click game genre doesn't still have enormous potential - it does. I'm just not sure if it's being tapped.
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Last edited by Giligan; 05-01-2009 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:44 PM   #20
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I don't think that there are no new games that draw people to adventure games. I started last year with Sinking Island and ever since, I'm hooked
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