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Old 05-08-2009, 01:38 AM   #21
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(adventure gamers looking to expand into the RPG world - I must heartily recommend Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. It's amazing. Oblivion, the graphic powerhouse sequel, is a dumbed down version of it.

I've only started Fallout, but so far, it's superior to Oblivion, but nowhere close to Morrowind.

I recommend Morrowind because it's assimilation of fun, open-endedness, and a complex, deep, mythological history is something to rival Middle Earth.)
I'm old school , i loved adventure games and RPG games. Never got to play Morrowind but i loved its predecessor , Daggerfall. Pain in the ass to level up though.

I stopped playing new gamers nowadays , been only playing older old school games. I loved FMV games , and certain fmv games do involves simple puzzles.
I loved the old school fallout 1 & 2 , not so sure about the fps fallout 3.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:08 AM   #22
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The Beast Within is also an interactive movie.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:32 AM   #23
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Define "puzzle"? Isn't an AG one big puzzle? You have to find out who killed who, or an lost item, or to release dead spirits or something.

Isn't it a puzzle to look for the key to open a door, or finding ingredients to make jam?

Or do you define puzzles ONLY as "here and now" puzzles, like sliders to open a safe (hate them myself), or a correct combination for opening a secret passway, or piecing a ripped letter together to find some clues?

I myself play AG because of the puzzles (except the sliders), and it is also the only type of game I play. Take away the puzzles, and what's left? Walking around and talk to people?

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Old 05-08-2009, 04:39 AM   #24
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I loved the old school fallout 1 & 2 , not so sure about the fps fallout 3.
As a fan of the Fallout series, I was dubious about the FPS mechanics of Fallout 3 - finding FPSs boring (and not being very good at them) but the VATS system made it a joy to play. It's essentially an implementation of the turn based system.

However, if anyone has a major problem with violence in games, I really wouldn't recommend Fallout 3.

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But that will be extremely hard to implement if there is a story to unfold as well.
Other genres manage it though, which is a source of constant frustration for me. Adventure Games should be at the forefront of story based gameplay such as this. Obviously there will be certain beats that are 100% required to advance the tale, but other than that, optional side quests and character interaction should be open to different paths.

---

As an aside, I'm not suggesting that all Adventure Games should follow the same path. This doesn't happen. There are always going to be Adventure Games like those we recognise now, just as there are always bare bones, pure FPSers.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:05 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mohlin View Post
Define "puzzle"? Isn't an AG one big puzzle? You have to find out who killed who, or an lost item, or to release dead spirits or something.

Isn't it a puzzle to look for the key to open a door, or finding ingredients to make jam?

Or do you define puzzles ONLY as "here and now" puzzles, like sliders to open a safe (hate them myself), or a correct combination for opening a secret passway, or piecing a ripped letter together to find some clues?
Yeah, this is a constant source of confusion here. When I refer to puzzles, I mean everything from dialogue trees and fetch quests, to slider puzzles and code cracking.

The main source of contention is when a 'puzzle' is arbitrarily included, despite it not having a place in the story. The Cookie puzzle in Still Life is a prime example - in the middle of a major serial killer investigation, the detective can't advance until she's baked some cookies for her father.

In games where I discover an ancient manuscript, I should be solving the riddles in the document itself, not bribing a guard with his favourite sandwich.

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I myself play AG because of the puzzles (except the sliders), and it is also the only type of game I play. Take away the puzzles, and what's left? Walking around and talk to people?
And there will always be that type of game. I just want some attempts to broaden the genres horizons.

Simple example:

You're at a castle. A prisoner asks for water - Do you ignore him; do as he asks; bring him water and ask for something in return; kill him and search his corpse; tell the guards...

Each choice may have repercussions down the line. Different people may be more/less willing to interact with you because of your actions. Different paths may be open/closed. Your choices are part of the story.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:20 AM   #26
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Ok, so your dislike for this type of games isn't really the problem solving (aka puzzles) but the way you solve it?

I can agree on that. For example, right now I'm plaing Nostradamus. Early in the game you have to collect some ingredients to make a paste, and they must be heated up to mix properly.
So, here I am, in a type of kitchen, and I have to light the wood in the stove.

Beside me is a) a candle burning and b) a big fire crackling in the fireplace. Can I use any of this to light the stove? No I have to go and find a type of lighter... In real life this is redicoulus.

That is bad game design, and just "puzzle for puzzle's sake".
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:27 AM   #27
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Adventure games have to do with puzzles and picking up items etc and it will always be that way. Sounds like your just not a fan of them.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:31 AM   #28
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Adventure games have to do with puzzles and picking up items etc and it will always be that way. Sounds like your just not a fan of them.
*sigh* This isn't even an argument. Games for video game consoles will always be 8-bit and nothing will change. FPS shooters will always be about mowing down demons from Hell and that's how it is. Women can't vote, and that's the way it will always be.

Sure, it'll always be like that, if no one pushes the envelope and if fans don't ask/demand/pay for games that push the envelope.

Perhaps the biggest reason I'm a fan of adventure games is because, like some RPGs, it intentionally pushes the envelope of creating real, comprehensive fantasy* worlds to exist in and explore, which is what I'm extremely interested in, being a filmmaker/artist myself.

And, the last statement, is also absurd. Why would I not be a *fan* of adventure games simply by railing against poorly designed, superfluous puzzles that interrupt a game? It in fact, proves I am a fan of well-designed adventure games, of which there are legion - and I might add, even the best can suffer from that silly, out-of-place puzzle and still work - the first Myst certainly does - but I am not a fan of poor, lazy, uninspired game design.

I am a fan of good games - in ANY GENRE (desite hating genres), and loathe bad games - in ANY GENRE. I feel the same way about movies, I don't give a flying ykw what genre a film is in, as long as it's good and explores its thematic content responsibly.


* When I say fantasy, I don't mean swords/sorcery, I simply mean alternate to current reality. The stype of stuff my hero Bradbury rails against - but I do find that using fantastical settings as metaphors is one of the best ways to create real art.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:38 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Mohlin View Post
Define "puzzle"? Isn't an AG one big puzzle? You have to find out who killed who, or an lost item, or to release dead spirits or something.

Isn't it a puzzle to look for the key to open a door, or finding ingredients to make jam?

Or do you define puzzles ONLY as "here and now" puzzles, like sliders to open a safe (hate them myself), or a correct combination for opening a secret passway, or piecing a ripped letter together to find some clues?

I myself play AG because of the puzzles (except the sliders), and it is also the only type of game I play. Take away the puzzles, and what's left? Walking around and talk to people?
You have a point - in the end, Riven is just one huge "puzzle." To be honest, I think of it more as a riddle, but you're correct, in fact, you could say ANY predicament in life is a puzzle.

How do I get that raise? Is that an inventory or dialogue-tree puzzle? How do I cook the souffle? (Inventory) How do I live a successful, satisfying life (That's a Riven-level puzzle.)

But to to clear up, the puzzles I hate are the ones that do not make sense in the context of the game, are usually puzzle puzzles (sliders, weird ball thing in Myst 3, number puzzles, etc...), or completely go against our intuition (ie, in TLJ if you had to have that key, you'd just jump down and get it with glove, or go buy a glove or a broom, you wouldn't rig [minor spoiler] a deflating inflatable toy with a clamp)*.

Any puzzle that is put in as I've mentioned as a cheap and lazy way to manufacture immersion and engagement with no thought on how it augments or supports the characters or their story - that seems pasted on, are the puzzles I hate. Unfortunately, they seem to be part and parcel of this genre, and I just wish designers would get away from feeling trapped by genres.


* I'll add that this puzzle itself I find jarring and inconsistent, and one of the reason I don't love TLJ, but it is whimsical and fun to complete, but for me, it completely detracts from the main story (as did much of the weak humor). One of the main things that Funcom seemed to be doing in TLJ was create a viable, living, breathing possibly future reality, well adding puzzles like this underscores your intent, because this possible future reality now has people behaving insanely. (I don't want to spoil more, but what about the cop taking a poo...that snaps *crack!* any barrier of believability.)
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:41 AM   #30
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Ok, so your dislike for this type of games isn't really the problem solving (aka puzzles) but the way you solve it?

I can agree on that. For example, right now I'm plaing Nostradamus. Early in the game you have to collect some ingredients to make a paste, and they must be heated up to mix properly.
So, here I am, in a type of kitchen, and I have to light the wood in the stove.

Beside me is a) a candle burning and b) a big fire crackling in the fireplace. Can I use any of this to light the stove? No I have to go and find a type of lighter... In real life this is redicoulus.

That is bad game design, and just "puzzle for puzzle's sake".
A perfect example.

the Still Life cookie is one great, too. They seem to be superfluous puzzles to manufacture engagement and to lengthen the game.

Not to belabor Riven, but that's why the game's "puzzles" completely work. They are integrated flawlessly, you can attack any of them and different linear types, and "solving" each one usually offers more insight into the entire "puzzle" of what is going on - but more than anything, you BELIEVE this is how Gehn might have constructed his island - having had Myst as a backdrop, their cool steampunk style makes all these dials and gadgets make sense...
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:01 AM   #31
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wow and yet you manage to sound completely condescending. especially as i mentioned before that i play many different genres of games. all i said is that i play an adventure when i want an adventure game many games cross the boundaries and i am open to these, i enjoy silent hill's, resident evil's, fable etc etc etc. you are not talking about expanding on an adventure game but removing the vital (imho) component. if i wanted to just watch a story unfold i would play an interactive movie. oh and no i cant name a single one, maybe because i find the whole concept deathly dull. mayb as a filmaker you should spend your time making your own? and then show adventurers a new way to play a game tho in my case you would need to give me the game for free boot it for me, tie me to my chair and drug me full of anti-sleeping pills lol x
Maybe I should let this go - but I'm trying to find your argument.

You like movies and novels, but would find an interactive movie deathly dull, but a movie with puzzles would be entertaining?

Is it possible to recognize there are other ways of making a story or game interactive, besides the use of puzzles, ie, along the lines of what some RPGs do with morality choices, linear decisions - would this interest you, or do you need to actually have the turn the keys in the right direction after collections the raft key puzzle to be involved?

My major contention is that puzzles are placed in a game at the expense of immersion, they can entertain us, but I think there's less lazy ways to augment immersion and engagament, that there's avenues that would even continue to support the basis of their characters, their motivations and the problem they're facing.

I have written way too much on this - mostly because I am passionate about. Too often I get wrapped up in a game, its characters and its world, only to find myself wondering the sense in a particular puzzle showing up.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:03 AM   #32
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I'm old school , i loved adventure games and RPG games. Never got to play Morrowind but i loved its predecessor , Daggerfall. Pain in the ass to level up though.

I stopped playing new gamers nowadays , been only playing older old school games. I loved FMV games , and certain fmv games do involves simple puzzles.
I loved the old school fallout 1 & 2 , not so sure about the fps fallout 3.
Fallout 1 was one of my faves - just completed it through Gametap two weeks ago. I've just started FP3, but the first person perspective totally works. The humor isn't spot on, but the combat and the environment are.

That being said, if you liked Daggerfall, you owe it to yourself to play Morrowind. I don' thave words to describe the beauty of that game, safe to say, it's the closest I've ever come to a fully realized fantasy world with limitless choices.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:20 PM   #33
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Maybe I should let this go - but I'm trying to find your argument.

You like movies and novels, but would find an interactive movie deathly dull, but a movie with puzzles would be entertaining?

personal choice although my 3 year old enjoys the disney ones. however when i sit at my computer to play an adventure i like to be challenged, when i watch a movie or read a book i want to sit back and be entertained

Is it possible to recognize there are other ways of making a story or game interactive, besides the use of puzzles, ie, along the lines of what some RPGs do with morality choices, linear decisions - would this interest you, or do you need to actually have the turn the keys in the right direction after collections the raft key puzzle to be involved?

that sounds interesting however again that would be a hybrid not an adventure (interactive adventure copyright me as of now lol) again the whole wanting to shoot things or solve things issue is back lol

My major contention is that puzzles are placed in a game at the expense of immersion, they can entertain us, but I think there's less lazy ways to augment immersion and engagament, that there's avenues that would even continue to support the basis of their characters, their motivations and the problem they're facing.

correct however the majority myself included seem to enjoy the puzzle (minus slider) although i dont think anyone turns their nose up at the thought of every puzzle being better integrated to each game. however i think the huge "casual" market stands testament to the fact that the story is to most a bonus that can be lived with or without

I have written way too much on this - mostly because I am passionate about. Too often I get wrapped up in a game, its characters and its world, only to find myself wondering the sense in a particular puzzle showing up.
have you tried the path as i have it but have not bothered to play it yet as alot of what you suggested seems to be included. sounds "deathly dull" imho rofl
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:29 PM   #34
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have you tried the path as i have it but have not bothered to play it yet as alot of what you suggested seems to be included. sounds "deathly dull" imho rofl
I have not played The Path, but might check it out.

I am surprised you are able to pigeonhole movies/novels= entertainment while games = challenge.

I think all mediums at their best, offer all three. I just saw Primer the other night - have you seen it? It's not the best movie of all-time (I actually like Timecrimes more) but it's a perfect blend of all of those. In fact, Primer offers more of a challenge than any game...well, since Riven.

I do not undertstand any contention that the thematic narrative is not the central character to the best video games. That the tools to tell that story should remain subservient, that anytime that is not true, you are essentially playing shanghai. or tetris. Which are both challenging.
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:31 PM   #35
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This does make me more curious to check out DreamFall (which has sat in my collection for way too long, now) since many of my gripes in TLJ came from the anachronistic* puzzles.



* not the right word, I don't mean out of time, I mean out of place/character. There is another word that means this 'inappropriate?' but I can't remember what it is.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:00 PM   #36
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I have not played The Path, but might check it out.

I am surprised you are able to pigeonhole movies/novels= entertainment while games = challenge.
tbh pigeonholing serves a as a huge help for me, i dont have much time to be able to dedicate to playing games or watching movies etc, so knowing im not about to sit down to a movie that turns out to be a game is a huge help to me. in todays society most people seem to be willing to get their "fixes" in as an uncomplicated form as possible

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I think all mediums at their best, offer all three. I just saw Primer the other night - have you seen it? It's not the best movie of all-time (I actually like Timecrimes more) but it's a perfect blend of all of those. In fact, Primer offers more of a challenge than any game...well, since Riven.
no i havent seen it although i will defo have a look as i find the reviews on imdb interesting and it defo seems like my kind of film. regardless i will still be watching a movie despite any complexity


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I do not undertstand any contention that the thematic narrative is not the central character to the best video games. That the tools to tell that story should remain subservient, that anytime that is not true, you are essentially playing shanghai. or tetris. Which are both challenging
again we quibble over whether a game is defined by the story or the puzzles. i agree wholeheartedly that a decent storyline can benefit a game although i believe that the gameplay is what keeps the game alive. and i could forgo the story quite easily in the instance u mentioned TETRIS no story needed etc x

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Old 05-08-2009, 09:37 PM   #37
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The Beast Within is also an interactive movie.
If my understanding of interactive movie is correct I'd have to disagree with you there. Beast Within is an FMV game but it's not an interactive movie. The distinction relates to how the player's actions affect the game.

In the Beast Within (and other FMV games) the player has to solve certain puzzles to make the story advance. Until they solve those puzzles they have a certain freedom to wander around but the game doesn't move on until they have. As an example from that game, gaining admittance to the Hunt Club is vital to completing one of the chapters and the story won't advance until you do.

By contrast, in an interactive movie, the action advances regardless of what you do. Your actions simply help determine the direction the story takes. To use Voyeur from my earlier post as an example, every time you spy on a room, the game time advances. If you weren't looking at a room when some vital action occurred then that's tough (part of the game is picking up clues when things are happening so you can look in the right place)

I had hoped to link to an actual example that I'd remembered but, alas, the popurlarity of the site has forced it to be taken down. (hosting costs). Instead I can only provide you with a YouTube link. The game was called Survive the Outbreak and the video I've linked to is the intro. It's a zombie survival situation and at the end of each video you are offered a choice of actions. You should be able to follow the story by selecting the related videos named for each action but I can't guarantee that it will work perfectly (in a couple of cases you were offered the same choices on two different branches but earlier actions changed the results so selecting the video on the right path might be tricky)
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:26 PM   #38
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Perhaps Infocom's Suspect or The Last Express might qualify?
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:44 AM   #39
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If my understanding of interactive movie is correct I'd have to disagree with you there. Beast Within is an FMV game but it's not an interactive movie. The distinction relates to how the player's actions affect the game.

In the Beast Within (and other FMV games) the player has to solve certain puzzles to make the story advance. Until they solve those puzzles they have a certain freedom to wander around but the game doesn't move on until they have. As an example from that game, gaining admittance to the Hunt Club is vital to completing one of the chapters and the story won't advance until you do.

By contrast, in an interactive movie, the action advances regardless of what you do. Your actions simply help determine the direction the story takes. To use Voyeur from my earlier post as an example, every time you spy on a room, the game time advances. If you weren't looking at a room when some vital action occurred then that's tough (part of the game is picking up clues when things are happening so you can look in the right place)

I had hoped to link to an actual example that I'd remembered but, alas, the popurlarity of the site has forced it to be taken down. (hosting costs). Instead I can only provide you with a YouTube link. The game was called Survive the Outbreak and the video I've linked to is the intro. It's a zombie survival situation and at the end of each video you are offered a choice of actions. You should be able to follow the story by selecting the related videos named for each action but I can't guarantee that it will work perfectly (in a couple of cases you were offered the same choices on two different branches but earlier actions changed the results so selecting the video on the right path might be tricky)
Ah, okay. Thanks for clarifying that for me.
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:23 AM   #40
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Gonzosports, I have the same problem as you, as I enjoy adventure games mostly for the story and atmospheres and not for the puzzles. However, I recently found out about the japanese "interactive novel" genre. Have you tried these out? Some of them have been translated into english, like Snatcher, or the DS games Phoenix Wright, Hotel Dusk and Time Hollow. They basically have a much stronger focus on the story, while the "puzzles" take a less central role (and sometimes they do not exist at all).
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