How could Hidden Object games change to becoming something less casual? - Adventure Forums
You are viewing an archived version of the site which is no longer maintained.
Go to the current live site or the Adventure Gamers forums
Adventure Gamers

Home Adventure Forums Gaming Adventure How could Hidden Object games change to becoming something less casual?


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-11-2011, 05:34 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Monolith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 974
Default How could Hidden Object games change to becoming something less casual?

I'm writing up a doc for a hidden object/adventure game for Flash/Unity. This thread will help to serve as ways for fans to communicate ideas that can help make the forbidden (for some or many) HOGs. Here are a list of questions that could help lubricate the mind for ideas if you can't think of a starting point.



In terms of gameplay, what would you say would push the genre forward without leaving its initial base?

What don't you like about HOG's currently, and wish to be changed?

What is your favorite part of an HOG (assuming you are thinking of a good game)?

Assuming you were to actually like an HOG, what would have really stood out to you?

What are your feelings on the 360 degree panoramic HOG game released a year an a half ago called 'Mystery in London'?

If there was one game that an HOG element could work well with, what would it be?



Thank you for your time. Hope to hear from everyone.
__________________
"Oggi abbiamo erediteranno la terra! Domani, ci distruggiamo!" -S. B. Newsom

http://www.sbnewsom.com/
Monolith is offline  
Old 03-12-2011, 10:36 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 278
Default

HOGs are already becoming less casual and it's not somethgin I like. A HOG is a fun time passer that I can dip into as I feel like it for an hour or so; an adventure game is a substansive experience that I make a time commitment to. I like both individually, in different ways, but these cross-over 'casual' games don't satisfy me on either level.

So I would say that what I don't like is clicking through a lot of extraneous, tacked on story, inventory puzzles etc. I play AGs for all that.

Sorry if this is glib but my idea of an excellent hidden object game is one that has static screens containing hidden objects that I am required to find. Preferably the static scenes should display interesting locations, a picture you wouldn't mind having on your desktop (without the extraneous hidden objects obviously). Throw the occassional door lock puzzle and so forth in for variety and voila: perfect. See the first Ravenhurst game for an excellent example.

Worst thing I can ever see in a Hidden Object game: an attempt to convince me that it is an adventure game.
__________________
These are my opinions. Please don't get het up.
cbman is offline  
Old 03-12-2011, 02:16 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
rayvio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: UK (I miss Belgium!)
Posts: 509
Default

the difference between an adventure game and a casual game, in my opinion at least, is heavily tied to story. the story adds depth to a game which makes it more than just a series of repetitive actions (be they solving puzzles, shooting things or whatever) and is the big difference maker between a game you pour lots of time into and a game you play for a few minutes now and then to pass the time
maybe I'll be proven wrong but I see putting a story onto a hidden objects game as being about as problematic as putting a story onto a card game, for much the same reasons
firstly the puzzles are essentially the same puzzle over and over, just with different objects. fine for killing a few minutes but not so much for spending hours at a time on
secondly, how do you make the story actually fit? granted some adventure games push suspension of disbelief pretty far but not quite as bad as justifying solving all your problems by finding a half eaten doughnut and a pair of scissors amongst gardening tools, car parts and alien underwear

I have nothing against hidden object games, I just don't see them as being more than a quick time-killer
__________________
Playing: Edna & Harvey: The Breakout
non-adv: Oblivion (very heavily modded), Planescape Torment
recently finished: Gray Matter, Alter-Ego, Whispered World
non-adv: Dragon Age: Origins again and again...
Melody Gloucester Pegasus
rayvio is offline  
Old 03-12-2011, 03:29 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Mohlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Denmark
Posts: 253
Default

I like HOGs for what they are. Short, cheap and entertaining. I don't really like the hidden object scenes (yeah... I know), I play it for mini games and puzzles, which I think have mostly dissapered from AGs.
I also like that it is first person games, I can't stand third person games, why whatch when our hero runs across a room to get to his car?

AGs are now more about "the STORY". And interaction with other carachters. I don't care very much about the story (if I want a good story I read a book), and I don't like running around talking to the Bartender, the Maid and the Garderner again and again.

Actually. If someone knows about a game that is just a collection of puzzles and mini games, please say so!
Mohlin is offline  
Old 03-12-2011, 03:36 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
rayvio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: UK (I miss Belgium!)
Posts: 509
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohlin View Post
Actually. If someone knows about a game that is just a collection of puzzles and mini games, please say so!
Keepsake pretty much fits that bill, and from what I've heard maybe Safecracker, although I haven't tried it yet
__________________
Playing: Edna & Harvey: The Breakout
non-adv: Oblivion (very heavily modded), Planescape Torment
recently finished: Gray Matter, Alter-Ego, Whispered World
non-adv: Dragon Age: Origins again and again...
Melody Gloucester Pegasus
rayvio is offline  
Old 03-12-2011, 09:25 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Bismarck, North Dakota USA
Posts: 30
Default

Dislike currently:
1. Many HOGs use unattractive pictures with the hidden objects placed scattershot. The pictures have too many objects in them, resulting in areas that look like I'm visiting the home of a hoarder. Really unpleasant to look at.

2. Games that don't have a "relaxed play" option. I really, really hate any game that has a timer. If you have to have a timer, make it optional. Or at least don't force the game to end when the timer runs out. A timer would be fine, if I can use it as a way of simply measuring my personal best, and then trying to beat it.

3. Most HOGs use low-res images for better compatibility with low-end computers, and thus look terrible. I'd love to play one that can take advantage of my 1920 x 1200 screen.

Likes:
1. I like the ones that break up the object seeking with clever puzzles in between.

2. Relaxing, ambient sounds. Or if it's a scary game, non-relaxing ambient sounds. And use long sample loops, so that they don't repeat so often. Better yet, have multiple ambient soundtracks that change randomly with each play. Variety!

Last edited by Giles Habibula; 03-12-2011 at 09:30 PM.
Giles Habibula is offline  
Old 03-14-2011, 01:10 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Default

i was really dissappointed when i realised that the game i bought was hidden object game. i love adventure puzzle ones but not hidden objects :/
scary penguen is offline  
Old 03-14-2011, 01:15 PM   #8
Senior Passer-by
 
zobraks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Naissus (M.S.)
Posts: 1,612
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by scary penguen View Post
i was really dissappointed when i realised that the game i bought was hidden object game.
There's this nice little place called the Internet. There you can check the games you're about to buy.
__________________
If you can read this you don't need glasses.
zobraks is offline  
Old 03-14-2011, 03:47 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Monolith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 974
Default

Also keep in mind, not all HOG's are the messy room find random object type of games. There are also ones where you actually have to find a specific object or an object that is broken up into pieces.

Saying the HOG genre doesn't belong in other evolutions is like saying speech shouldn't be involved in adventure games because its boring. hehe
__________________
"Oggi abbiamo erediteranno la terra! Domani, ci distruggiamo!" -S. B. Newsom

http://www.sbnewsom.com/
Monolith is offline  
Old 03-15-2011, 08:54 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 278
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monolith View Post

Saying the HOG genre doesn't belong in other evolutions is like saying speech shouldn't be involved in adventure games because its boring. hehe

Some things are simple enough in concept to not require evolution. The crossword doesn't require improvement for instance. Imagine if you bought a crossword book and found it was full of sudoko. If I buy a Hidden object game I want Hidden Object puzzles, though there are lots of variations on that style, as you point out.

As we're talking about HOGS, allow me to make a few animal analogies:

Saying that something should be what it is isn't a condemnation. I don't want chicken to taste like beef. We don't need to grow dogs with two heads. Sure, you CAN make a game that's halfway between a HOG and an AG and you could theoretically bio-engineer an animal that was half cow and half pig, but ultimately I don't think the hybrid will be as satisfying, or as beautiful, as either.
__________________
These are my opinions. Please don't get het up.
cbman is offline  
Old 03-15-2011, 08:56 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 278
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles Habibula View Post
Dislike currently:


2. Games that don't have a "relaxed play" option. I really, really hate any game that has a timer. If you have to have a timer, make it optional. Or at least don't force the game to end when the timer runs out. A timer would be fine, if I can use it as a way of simply measuring my personal best, and then trying to beat it.
Conversley, although I love adventure games for their 'relaxed' play, I actually prefer to have a timer in Hidden Object Games... otherwise it seems a little too easy and pointless.
__________________
These are my opinions. Please don't get het up.
cbman is offline  
Old 03-15-2011, 09:49 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Mohlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Denmark
Posts: 253
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbman View Post
Sure, you CAN make a game that's halfway between a HOG and an AG and you could theoretically bio-engineer an animal that was half cow and half pig, but ultimately I don't think the hybrid will be as satisfying, or as beautiful, as either.
Why not? I like HOGs/hybrids because they are cheap, short and entertainĂ*ng. I do love "real" AGs (that would be Myst, Lost Crown and Barrow Hill type of games), but they are big. Long. It takes time and engagement to finish them.

I'm 50 years old. With a tough job (programmer/analyst), long hours, a house and a family. I don't have the time to sit down for hours and hours to play a "real AG". If I do, it should be something I know I will like. I'm waiting for Bracken Tor and The last Crown as an example, but until then - I'm quite happy with HOGs. And I just love the AG type of hybrids.

Not all game players are young and carefree...
Mohlin is offline  
Old 03-15-2011, 10:03 AM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 29
Default

The obvious thing is give the casual game a good story, possibly one with multiple endings and/or branching paths based on your choice to go to "x" location. Better graphics in general would be better as someone else said since a lot of times it is hard to find an object because it is pixelated, not because it is well-hidden.
HitBattousai is offline  
Old 03-15-2011, 04:28 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 278
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohlin View Post
Why not? I like HOGs/hybrids because they are cheap, short and entertainĂ*ng. I do love "real" AGs (that would be Myst, Lost Crown and Barrow Hill type of games), but they are big. Long. It takes time and engagement to finish them.

I'm 50 years old. With a tough job (programmer/analyst), long hours, a house and a family. I don't have the time to sit down for hours and hours to play a "real AG". If I do, it should be something I know I will like. I'm waiting for Bracken Tor and The last Crown as an example, but until then - I'm quite happy with HOGs. And I just love the AG type of hybrids.

Not all game players are young and carefree...

That's exactly why I like them too. I'm not sure we're actually in disagreement here. That's why I don't like these long, complicated hybrid games: a HOG should be quick, fun and disposable. I'll leave all of that story and exploration for when I make the commitment to a new adventure game. I don't want to follow a story from session to session, especially when it's rendered simply through static scenes and has no real relevance to the puzzles i'm solving. If I actually have the time to make a commitment to a longer game then I wouldn't choose a casual title anyway.


By the way, my taste in adventure gsmes is more or less the same as yours (although maybe you already knew which games I liked and so chose those example deliberately. I don't follow the different names and users on forums very well).
__________________
These are my opinions. Please don't get het up.
cbman is offline  
Old 03-16-2011, 03:51 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Mohlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Denmark
Posts: 253
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbman View Post
By the way, my taste in adventure gsmes is more or less the same as yours (although maybe you already knew which games I liked and so chose those example deliberately. I don't follow the different names and users on forums very well).
Nope, that was pure luck. I don't follow other users either.
Mohlin is offline  
Old 03-16-2011, 03:58 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Monolith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 974
Default

I think the real problem lies in the fact that HOG's are primarily just random irrelevant objects in a scene that makes no sense. I think if I can tackle that and make a more engaging story and gameplay (as in puzzles that actually are relevant to the game itself), then things could work out.

I've been talking it over with my coworker and we have some interesting ideas that could make the game both casual and hardcore, without relying on the "just add a timer" attitude.
__________________
"Oggi abbiamo erediteranno la terra! Domani, ci distruggiamo!" -S. B. Newsom

http://www.sbnewsom.com/
Monolith is offline  
Old 03-16-2011, 04:30 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zobraks View Post
There's this nice little place called the Internet. There you can check the games you're about to buy.
oh really??
scary penguen is offline  
Old 03-16-2011, 04:44 PM   #18
She Wants Revenge
 
millenia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Finland
Posts: 494
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
I think the real problem lies in the fact that HOG's are primarily just random irrelevant objects in a scene that makes no sense. I think if I can tackle that and make a more engaging story and gameplay (as in puzzles that actually are relevant to the game itself), then things could work out.

I've been talking it over with my coworker and we have some interesting ideas that could make the game both casual and hardcore, without relying on the "just add a timer" attitude.
Yeah I dislike regular HOGs precisely of this randomness and messiness. I found out that I can enjoy a good hybrid though, with a real story and some actual puzzles.

I enjoyed 3 Cards games immensely, they had somewhat non linear gameplay and a great plot. On top of that the hidden object part wasn't even a regular list of silly things but rather playing with words. This way finding the objects was actually somewhat fun.

Love & Death: Bitten was rather nice piece also. There were some "real" puzzles here and there and some of the object scenes actually made some sense.

I also played the first Women's Murder Club and while it was okay I found it too much of a HOG to my taste. I heard the sequels would be more adventurish though so I'll give them a chance.

I don't think HOGs should become any less casual, casual games have their market too. But I have nothing against these hybrid adventures. With a good engaging story I am happy they are made hybrids rather than not at all. And sometimes hybrid can bring even a nice twist to gameplay.
__________________
Currently playing: AlternativA, Diablo III
Recently finished: Hector - Episode 1, Dear Esther, Gemini Rue, Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper, Blackwell trilogy
All-time favourites: Discworld Noir, Gabriel Knight trilogy
millenia is offline  
Old 03-17-2011, 04:41 AM   #19
Easily amused
 
colpet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,091
Default

I play both adventures and casual games - mostly Interactive HOGs.
In terms of gameplay, what would you say would push the genre forward without leaving its initial base? More exploration, 3D movement, challenging puzzles (not timed)

What don't you like about HOG's currently, and wish to be changed?
They are too easy. I'd love the puzzle parts to be more challenging.
What is your favorite part of an HOG (assuming you are thinking of a good game)? I love that it can fill in a few minutes of time. No commitment to story, no trying to figure out where you left off, just jump in and play. No big story to follow, nor reams of inventory to keep track of.

Assuming you were to actually like an HOG, what would have really stood out to you? The more places to explore, the better. I also like innovative puzzles where you have to figure out the rules (eg. Return to Ravenhurst).

What are your feelings on the 360 degree panoramic HOG game released a year an a half ago called 'Mystery in London'? Didn't play it, but I have played Fall Trilogy which incorporated panning areas. I quite liked the freedom it provided.

If there was one game that an HOG element could work well with, what would it be? I personally see HOGs and IHOGs blurring the line between adventure/puzzle games - games like 7th Guest and Safecracker.
__________________
Occasionally visiting Uru Live (KI 00637228).
colpet is offline  
Old 03-17-2011, 05:01 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Monolith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 974
Default

I find that HOG's sort of require the need of a story. Why? I feel that in order to compete in the market, you need to do more than just a puzzle game that follows the same genre based formula.

I guess the best way to make the game Casual and Hardcore is to offer two modes. Casual will offer the story, but in a more to the point fashion with less scenes. The hardcore mode will offer full length cutscenes and dialogue.
__________________
"Oggi abbiamo erediteranno la terra! Domani, ci distruggiamo!" -S. B. Newsom

http://www.sbnewsom.com/
Monolith is offline  
 



Thread Tools

 


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