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Old 01-07-2012, 10:34 AM   #1
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Default Innovation in adventure games

Looking through the Top 100, I noticed that most of the Nintendo DS games are extremely different and innovative in terms of gameplay, while the PC games are mostly the same basic formula with only the story or graphics separating them.

Look at for instance

Phoenix Wright
Ghost Trick
999
Trace Memory
Professor Layton

If you expand to all console games, then you have Stacking, L.A.Noire, Heavy Rain, Catherine...

Why is this? What is stopping these sorts of games from coming out on the PC?
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
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6 of the 9 games you mentioned are japanese.

and i have no evidence to back this up, but it seems to me they dont take to pc gaming as much as the west.

stacking is from the mind of tim schafer, and is coming to pc this year. so that should count.

so now you are left with two, high budget, triple a titles. Built by companies with big publishers behind them. (2k and sony) therefore there is no way they would consider PC as a market worth focusing on, so their focus had to be on the big audience. which is consoles.

innovation comes in many forms. and for PC gaming, that's indie games right now. spacechem, braid, limbo, not 100% adventures but appeal to me more than the console AAA games mentioned above.

until pc games start selling 6 million in their first month, this wont change.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:52 PM   #3
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The reason why Point and Click is such a popular formula amongst the PC crowd is the fact that the system works and for those that want to tell their story, works best for them. I'm down for people who want to tell a story with good production values (not stick figures and so on) and live with the same ol formula. Games that cost money especially more than 10$ in my mind should try to push out into more creative realms...
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:57 PM   #4
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Like Idrisguitar said most of these are Japanese and quite a few were created with handhelds in mind. So they not only offer different styles of play and storytelling, but also miss a lot of features the PC gamers take for granted. I'm not even sure all of these are true adventure games or more like evolution of the visual novel genre.

So in short there isn't any strong market established for games like that on the PC... Yet.

But look what's already happening - Telltale Games has been borrowing ideas from Layton and Heavy Rain for their newest games. Recettear - a Japanese "RPG item shop simulator" - has been ported to PC by an indie team and enjoyed a lot of sales. More and more titles like that will start to seep through. Especially anything that's attractive to the casual market.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:04 PM   #5
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Again, I have to point out my opinion. Don't fix what ain't broken: PC-adventures have a certain formula. It does not need changing now, and it does not need changing in the future either.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:49 PM   #6
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PC ports of games initially released on consoles doesnt count

I don't agree with the "it isnt broke so dont fix it" argument.

For example, I found Phoenix Wright a lot of fun, and all the comments on this forum for the other games have been extremely positive. All of these games are very story driven, much more than most point and click.

Perhaps being Japanese meant that they didnt have preconceived notions of what an adventure game is supposed to be? And Tim Schafer is genius enough to break out of any fixed mold.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonBird View Post
Again, I have to point out my opinion. Don't fix what ain't broken: PC-adventures have a certain formula. It does not need changing now, and it does not need changing in the future either.
Actually thats BS. It needed changing ever since it went into a niche market. Not to mention that never is right in terms of entertainment. Ever genre moved forward except for Adventure Gaming (not mentioning those games that did evolve like Heavy Rain, Jurassic Park, LA Noire, etc)
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
Actually thats BS. It needed changing ever since it went into a niche market. Not to mention that never is right in terms of entertainment. Ever genre moved forward except for Adventure Gaming (not mentioning those games that did evolve like Heavy Rain, Jurassic Park, LA Noire, etc)
Jurassic Park ain't no innovation more like 10 steps backwards.

However Heavy Rain and LA Noire are good examples of how the genre can go forward.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:29 AM   #9
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I'm not sure if LA Noire was such a huge step forward from say, the Tex Murphy games. The one thing I liked very much was the range of outcomes you could get on a case, but of course Tex Murphy was non-linear too. That's a thing I think adventure games could improve on, it's a nice feeling that my questioning and clue-finding could lead to the right person being caught, instead of just ploughing through a list of questions. The driving around and shooting I could do without (and did so - I skipped most of it), so I empathise with the "ain't broke - don't fix" view.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
I'm not sure if LA Noire was such a huge step forward from say, the Tex Murphy games. The one thing I liked very much was the range of outcomes you could get on a case, but of course Tex Murphy was non-linear too. That's a thing I think adventure games could improve on, it's a nice feeling that my questioning and clue-finding could lead to the right person being caught, instead of just ploughing through a list of questions. The driving around and shooting I could do without (and did so - I skipped most of it), so I empathise with the "ain't broke - don't fix" view.
But Tex Murphy is outdated. Innovation is relative to the times.

@Lucien: I absolutely disagree, especially since we don't really have any innovation in the interactive movie department.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:02 AM   #11
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Personally, I think that Casual games and thier evolution are part of a big change for PC adventure gaming. I find they fill the void for people looking for good 1st person puzzlers.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucien21 View Post
Jurassic Park ain't no innovation more like 10 steps backwards.

However Heavy Rain and LA Noire are good examples of how the genre can go forward.
Yes, Grim Fandango's gameplay was most innovative ever,point &clicks are antiqued,Heavy Rain,Jurassic Park etc. just button mashing.
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:43 PM   #13
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I'm all for innovation but that doesn't mean that every formula we've had until now has to be shunned.What I want is games that come out with incredible ideas that fascinate me while still having new games with old formulas around.And I have a thing for point & click(and the opposite for gamepads,however mouse and keyboard ain't a bad idea to me) so....
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
But Tex Murphy is outdated. Innovation is relative to the times.
So you're saying LA Noire is innovative simply because it's new and 'with the times'?

Kinda makes the word 'innovative' rather redundant, doesn't it?
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:25 PM   #15
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The Nintendo DS has a touch screen interface. A PC does not have one of these and I doubt that it can. You use this touch this screen to play the game and solve puzzles. Some games even use the DS microphone or even the Dsi cameras. I myself love this touch screen interface to play adventure games with.

You can convert PC point and click adventure games to the DS and there are some good one out there like Secret Files.

However, I don't think we'll ever see anyone of the DS unique adventure games ever converted to the PC, the Nintendo DS has a huge market base of over 150 million units sold and I don't see Capcom, which specializes in console games ever converting them to the PC.

Every system has unique games to it - Heavy Rain on the PS3, etc. And while I'd love to see some of these unique titles ported to other systems - they themselves sell systems and will stay unique.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:26 PM   #16
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The strange thing is that whenever someone makes an innovative PC adventure game, it tends to not do so well commercially. Pandora Directive, Last Express, Grim Fandango. The only exception seems to be Myst, but that was released around the first-person boom of the mid-nineties when DOOM also made its entrance.

Part of me thinks that adventure gamers tend to be a nostalgic lot. Tradition and nostalgia also tend to be the enemies of innovation. And I don't think that "casual" adventure games are really innovative, either. They're the junk food of the genre, a quick bag of potato chips compared to Tex Murphy's fine dining. They only support my belief that the *majority* of adventure gamers simply don't prefer a challenging, new experience. Such a thing goes against nostalgia and tradition.

It's not that I actually believe anyone here would actively be against innovation. It's just that there tends to be an unspoken herd mentality amongst the collective majority. Sure, a game like The Last Express was amazing, but for some reason at the time it didn't sell well.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
So you're saying LA Noire is innovative simply because it's new and 'with the times'?

Kinda makes the word 'innovative' rather redundant, doesn't it?
Yes. Did tex murphy pick up objects with his hands and allows hte player to analyse it? Did Tex Murphy had a realtime 3d engine where everything was in High Quality 3D with animated characters that blend animations together smoothly to create cohesion between animation and interaction with the environment? Did Tex Murphy have a basic interrogation system, ultimately effecting how the game/case will play out?

Oh wait, your comparison is completely irrelevant because these two games are completely different.


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Yes, Grim Fandango's gameplay was most innovative ever,point &clicks are antiqued,Heavy Rain,Jurassic Park etc. just button mashing.
Actually I can't say HR or JP are button mashing. Everything you press has direct relevance to the actions on scree. More so with HR especially with the Six Axis tech. Button mashing is a term used by people who aren't capable of understanding certain things.


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Every system has unique games to it - Heavy Rain on the PS3, etc. And while I'd love to see some of these unique titles ported to other systems - they themselves sell systems and will stay unique.
I never was upset that a certain game was never ported to another system. That's the point of having more than one system. Its like saying 'Damn I hate Skyrim wasn't an RPG. I wish it was a Puzzle Flight Simulator'. It doesn't make sense. Why aren't people complaining that Phoenix Wright isn't ported to the PC or 360/PS3? Why aren't people complaining about Zelda not being on the 360? Why are people complaining that Gabriel Knight isn't on the Wii/360/PS3?

Its all relative to your bias if you have one. Just leave these unique products for their respective hardware. They were designed for the specific hardware and it will cost them more money and additional design document changes that just aren't worth the effort.
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Last edited by Monolith; 01-08-2012 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:35 PM   #18
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I don't think that tradition and nostalgia have anything to do with it.....maybe some people try to make only that type of adventures games but that doesn't apply to everyone.If someone wants to do something innovative and is always on the lookout for ideas he will eventually do it.Also for games to go as far as creating a tradition and nostalgia status around them means that formula is still good.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
Yes. Did tex murphy pick up objects with his hands and allows hte player to analyse it? Did Tex Murphy had a realtime 3d engine where everything was in High Quality 3D with animated characters that blend animations together smoothly to create cohesion between animation and interaction with the environment? Did Tex Murphy have a basic interrogation system, ultimately effecting how the game/case will play out?
Yes to all three, aside from the "high quality" part which is just a matter of graphics technology. Haven't you played Pandora Directive?

I'm just trying to figure out which part LA Noire innovated upon. If it's only graphics, then it's not much.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:38 PM   #20
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Yes to all three, aside from the "high quality" part which is just a matter of graphics technology. Haven't you played Pandora Directive?

I'm just trying to figure out which part LA Noire innovated upon. If it's only graphics, then it's not much.
The ability to look at objects is both functional and visual. You are missing the point that a lot of the graphical innovations are functional too.

The way you are talking, its like Tex Murphy is the end all detective games, yet LA Noire is more of a cinematic third person detective experience where as Tex Murphy is a completely adventure based first person detective game with more focus on puzzles and exploration.

I've played all Tex Murphy games and feel that they are the corner stone of first person detective gaming...something I wish Sherlock Holmes looked at a bit more, but you seem to dismiss that the general creativity and design of LA Noire is not innovative at all. LA Noire brought about the organic feel of adventure/detective gaming.
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