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Old 10-28-2011, 12:30 PM   #1
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Originally Posted by TimovieMan View Post
Maybe adventure games should offer multiple difficulty settings?
i was wondering what everyone thinks of this somewhat forgotten option?


I gotta admit i've never been really a big fan of difficulty modes (not only in adventure games), as i've always felt like i'm missing something either way, but that's really more noticeably lately with games that include in-game hints. For example, Kaptain Brawe had two difficulty levels, but in reality, both modes had their cons/pros, like in easier mode you have diary with hints which can be useful even for experienced player who decided to go with harder mode when he's left without any hints.

Also, if you've read this article where Dave Grossman talks about his mother-in-law and adventure games, then it's easy to understand how game designers today, much more than before, need to think about difficulty in their games if their aim is to reach wider audience, simply because much more people and age groups use computer and play games today. But i see a paradox here also, since it would be more convenient that there is much more use of difficulty levels today, since it's a neat way to please both newcomers and veterans. I can see Book of Unwritten Tales 2 has adopted difficulty settings, and we can also find it in couple of other newer titles.

Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing that games sporadically include this option, if this means we'll REALLY get HARD/EASY gameplay, instead of one difficulty level where game designers tried to make compromises.
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:12 PM   #2
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I don't really like difficulty settings in adventure games when they make it so that the solutions to problems are different because I feel like always miss out on half the game.

The way they did it in the remastered Monkey Island games or Tex Murphy is much better. Just giving you a hint or solution at the press of a button for whenever you get stuck.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:30 PM   #3
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Wow, I totally forgot MI2 and CMI had difficulty settings. Probably because I clicked "Mega-Monkey" immediately...

I like the idea of a hint system (like in the Professor Layton games, and didn't Phantasmagoria and The 7th Guest have one too?), but a hint system should be applied to the game itself, apart from any difficulty setting. It's a way to avoid having players reach for walkthroughs all the time, and that goes whether or not the game is difficult or not.

Anyway, if there are different difficulty settings, then they should just be about finding more items for your inventory and needing a few more steps to solve the exact same problem. They definitely should never make you feel like you'll miss out on half the game.

The difficulty setting in first-person shooters doesn't affect the story at all, just how many bullets it takes to kill a bad guy, or how many it takes for you to die. The same rule should apply to adventures with a difficulty setting.

Heck, you can even restrict them to the difficulty of any timed puzzles or action sequences.

What I'm basically trying to say is that a difficulty setting could be a good way for more casual gamers (or older gamers with slower reflexes) to get through tedious parts a bit easier without it affecting the story that's being told...
Also, reaching a wider audience in doing so isn't a bad thing, especially in a niche genre like this...


Edit: Conspiracy (or KGB) also had an option where Donald Sutherland would give you a hint (I think he played your character's dead father).
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:44 PM   #4
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The youtube-video "Let's Play my own Game: Emerald City by Dave Gilbert" talks a lot about how he tried to make that game accessible to the casual audience, while he doesn't talk specifically about the concept of difficulty-options it sure is a shocking eye-opener for how the casual audience will react when they play an adventure-game.

For example in one case there was a huge pop-up on screen asking you which action you wish to take where many casual testers would get stuck because they would click around the entire screen EXCEPT for that huge centered pop-up.

This has led me to believe that reaching out to a casual audience is NOT a easy job, and thus despite my opinion being that I dislike difficulty-options I'm starting to at least consider it being a necessary evil, so I'll be following this thread with an interested eye.

But my general view is that is a puzzle is bad QUALITY then you can still get away with it if the difficulty of it is just right (not too easy, not too hard), and thus difficulty-options simply allows the developer to get away with bad quality-puzzles as the player might think sub-counciously "that puzzle didn't make much sense, but since I completed it within reasonible time-frame I'm not going to complain".
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimovieMan View Post
Wow, I totally forgot MI2 and CMI had difficulty settings. Probably because I clicked "Mega-Monkey" immediately...
I clicked Mega-Money too, but it turned out too tricky so I had to re-start with the easier mode to my utter shame. It definitely made me feel like a failure and that I was missing the most fun of the game.


Quote:
Heck, you can even restrict them to the difficulty of any timed puzzles or action sequences....

...What I'm basically trying to say is that a difficulty setting could be a good way for more casual gamers (or older gamers with slower reflexes) to get through tedious parts a bit easier without it affecting the story that's being told...
That's a good point. (IIRC Dreamfall had that option.) Anyway, I've had to bring in my son to manage some timed sequences I never would have managed myself. I think that's the only ingredient of an adventure game I would feel relieved to be able to avoid. I definitely wouldn't want to miss out anything story or puzzle-wise like I feel I did when not being able to play the Mega-Money setting in CMI.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:07 PM   #6
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Hmm..I didn't think of that...

This actually reminds me of when I was little, and playing The Lion King game
I often choose the Easy setting of the game (the game had easy medium and difficult if I remember corectly) just to get to the next level quicker and see the next level's landscape and the creatures...
Ah, memories...

Now, in an adventure game I don't quite feel it has a point using difficulty settings except if you wanna attract newcomers to the genre or kids... or wanna go quicker over the game ,therefore, the easy setting
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:40 AM   #7
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I feel like difficulty options are a waste if the easier option has less content. Why would I ever want to see less of the game?

The problem with adventure games is that I can't picture any kind of difficulty change that wouldn't impact the amount of content you see.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:29 AM   #8
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I wouldn't mind a choice of difficulty with tightly timed puzzles. After numerous tries and failures, it would be nice to be able to switch and be given more time to complete the actions.
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