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Advie - 19 July 2020 06:04 PM

patches do not fix gameplay controls problem, man

Actually this one did.
It’s the only game I know of that added control options to such a degree.
It made a huge difference.

You’re probably using controls that did not exist when the game was first released.

Good on you though for not buying it when it first came out.
It had some serious, gamebreaking bugs on release, pretty much all fixed now.
Now you can get the game for almost nothing when it’s on sale, and it’s a better, more polished game.

     
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crabapple - 19 July 2020 06:26 PM
Advie - 19 July 2020 06:04 PM

patches do not fix gameplay controls problem, man

Actually this one did.
It’s the only game I know of that added control options to such a degree.

Wow, its the first time i ever hear of such kinda patch, thanks crabapple, and i beg your pardon, Luhr.

     
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Advie - 19 July 2020 06:57 PM

Wow, its the first time i ever hear of such kinda patch, thanks crabapple, and i beg your pardon, Luhr.

Patches fix whatever the developers put in them. When Ultima 8 came out back in 1994, it got a huge amount of criticism because it had introduced jumping mechanics and puzzles into an RPG game. The problem was, that the engine was ill-suited for puzzles where you had to jump on moving platforms and the jumping itself was not very precise. So Origin ended up patching the jumping to be more precise as well as removing the moving platforms from the game altogether, which made the game immensely more enjoyable.

While patches do commonly fix bugs in games, they can and have been used in altering the game mechanics as well. When you think about it, the current model of early access can be seen as developer patching up the game according to what the player base thinks of their game. During that period, they actively fiddle with controls, UI elements and other mechanics.

I’d place some of the remastered editions of old games into the same category as well, especially if they are not clear remakes, but just fiddle the original base game by giving them better textures and adjusting controls.

     
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tomimt - 20 July 2020 03:42 AM

I’d place some of the remastered editions of old games into the same category as well, especially if they are not clear remakes, but just fiddle the original base game by giving them better textures and adjusting controls.

It’s a common mistake in adventure circles to call Grim Fandango a point-and-click game, which it wasn’t. I can’t understand how some people could make that mistake.

It became point-and-click though, first because of the ResidualVM fan patch, and then the remastered version, which is actually a remake, as it uses a different engine and all that.

But yes, releasing patches, updates, fixes, and new versions of the same game with completely new features is quite common, even if not so usual in the adventure genre.

     
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GateKeeper - 20 July 2020 04:48 AM

It’s a common mistake in adventure circles to call Grim Fandango a point-and-click game, which it wasn’t. I can’t understand how some people could make that mistake.

Isn’t it clearly in the same genre as all the classic point’n'click games though? And since the term “adventure game” is vague enough to contain everything from Adventure to Zelda and more, I can see how people would use that term for Grim.

I would personally not choose that term, unless someone else had started the conversation using that terminology, but I wouldn’t hesitate to talk about Grim Fandango in a conversation about Point’n'click adventure games. It would be on topic unless the question was specifically something like “how do I program my game to detect when the mouse pointer is over an interactive object?”

     

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Trumgottist - 20 July 2020 08:49 AM

Isn’t it clearly in the same genre as all the classic point’n'click games though? And since the term “adventure game” is vague enough to contain everything from Adventure to Zelda and more, I can see how people would use that term for Grim.

Of course it’s a graphical adventure game, but if there’s no pointing and clicking, calling it such wouldn’t make much sense. We might also call it a text game then. There’s no parser and typing either, so it’s just as right, or wrong.

     
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Grim Fandango obviously comes from a company that made almost all of their games with “point&click;” interface and, just 2 of them with “direct control”, one of them being Grim Fandango. Also, it’s a company that is closely associated with point&click; term, so no wonder Grim Fandango is mentioned in that context. And I don’t mind it, really, unless we’re in some “serious” game developing and design conversation. Also, I think that p&c term has outgrown the core meaning, and is representing an era, or “way of thinking” when approaching the design of adventure games.

     

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chrissie - 19 July 2020 02:54 PM


I do have this game but I didn’t get too far due to technical problems - nothing to do I’m sure with any patches needed - just to do with not having a good enough graphics card &/or enough memory. Not issues that can be fixed with a patch - I know that!

crabapple - 19 July 2020 06:26 PM
Advie - 19 July 2020 06:04 PM

patches do not fix gameplay controls problem, man

Actually this one did.
It’s the only game I know of that added control options to such a degree.
It made a huge difference.

You’re probably using controls that did not exist when the game was first released.

tomimt - 20 July 2020 03:42 AM

While patches do commonly fix bugs in games, they can and have been used in altering the game mechanics as well…...

Thanks guys, I’m not technically aut fait enough to understand how a patch can compensate for an ‘underpar’ graphics card &/or lack of memory so please can you explain more to make some sense of it to me as to how it works?  Smile

     
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chrissie - 20 July 2020 09:31 AM

Thanks guys, I’m not technically aut fait enough to understand how a patch can compensate for an ‘underpar’ graphics card &/or lack of memory so please can you explain more to make some sense of it to me as to how it works?  Smile

They can, for example, work on optimizing the games memory management and add more graphical options for altering graphics quality or graphical effects. For 3D games, they can alter the draw distance and the texture size, add or remove anti-aliasing or ambient occlusion among other things that have a direct effect on how well games run and need memory. With Tex Murphy: Tesla Effect, they fiddled with realtime lights on a couple of areas in order to increase the frame rate.

 

     
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chrissie - 20 July 2020 09:31 AM

Thanks guys, I’m not technically aut fait enough to understand how a patch can compensate for an ‘underpar’ graphics card &/or lack of memory so please can you explain more to make some sense of it to me as to how it works?  Smile

It is called optimising the code. There are usually ways to make the software code more efficient so that it takes less memory and less CPU time to execute.

An example, that is completely fictional and doesn’t try to match any existing programming language:

var door
door 
locked 

There we introduce a new variable and set its value locked.

Now if we do it like this instead:

var door locked 

We combine two lines of code into one, making the code more efficient.

Again, that is a completely made up example, but imagine doing things like that with a software code consisting of thousands of lines. The more you can optimise it, the better and faster it will run, and require less hardware performance.

Obviously there are limits to what you can accomplish by that, but that’s how it’s done anyway.

When it comes to graphics, you can optimise things by doing other things as well. For instance, if there is some object in the foreground and something behind it, it might be in some cases possible to not draw whatever is behind the foreground object, which is less work for the processor and less things to store in the memory.

If you want a layman explanation of that, you don’t necessarily need to paint the entire wall of your living room, if you hang paintings to cover some parts of the wall.  Laughing

     
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GateKeeper - 20 July 2020 10:20 AM

If you want a layman explanation of that, you don’t necessarily need to paint the entire wall of your living room, if you hang paintings to cover some parts of the wall.  Laughing

Even better, with a painting like this:

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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tomimt - 20 July 2020 10:00 AM
chrissie - 20 July 2020 09:31 AM

Thanks guys, I’m not technically aut fait enough to understand how a patch can compensate for an ‘underpar’ graphics card &/or lack of memory so please can you explain more to make some sense of it to me as to how it works?  Smile

They can, for example, work on optimizing the games memory management and add more graphical options for altering graphics quality or graphical effects. For 3D games, they can alter the draw distance and the texture size, add or remove anti-aliasing or ambient occlusion among other things that have a direct effect on how well games run and need memory. With Tex Murphy: Tesla Effect, they fiddled with realtime lights on a couple of areas in order to increase the frame rate.

GateKeeper - 20 July 2020 10:20 AM

It is called optimising the code. There are usually ways to make the software code more efficient so that it takes less memory and less CPU time to execute.

Thank you! I can’t profess to have completely got my head around it but I’ve got the gist   Thumbs Up

GateKeeper - 20 July 2020 10:20 AM

If you want a layman explanation of that, you don’t necessarily need to paint the entire wall of your living room, if you hang paintings to cover some parts of the wall.  Laughing

That made me laugh as although I wouldn’t even dream of it at home I do remember at work one year due to budget constraints (which included me having to paint my own workshop) the paint didn’t stretch to painting behind a couple of cupboards -  Sick It did make rearrangement of the furniture in the future awkward!  Laughing

     
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A real life example of making the code more efficient and faster:

http://npjg.github.io/scummvm/lots-of-chop-suey/

That’s not directly comparable to game patches though, as it’s a ScummVM reimplementation, but still, it’s an interesting read.

     
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GateKeeper - 20 July 2020 08:53 AM
Trumgottist - 20 July 2020 08:49 AM

Isn’t it clearly in the same genre as all the classic point’n'click games though? And since the term “adventure game” is vague enough to contain everything from Adventure to Zelda and more, I can see how people would use that term for Grim.

Of course it’s a graphical adventure game, but if there’s no pointing and clicking, calling it such wouldn’t make much sense. We might also call it a text game then. There’s no parser and typing either, so it’s just as right, or wrong.

No, it isn’t.

A parser interface has a different range of actions for the player. I don’t mean “type a command and press enter”, but “Pick Up the Phone Booth” or “Play jig on trumpet”.

A point’n'click game has a few (or maybe even just one, in the case of Myst) actions you can perform on each in-game object.

Then we have the adventure games that fall outside of what we mean by the term on this site. The Tomb Raiders and like, where the actions are mostly moving around, jumping and shooting stuff. (And games that explore the space between these games and the previous category.)

I’m not suggesting that these three categories are the only ones, or even that the lines between them are clear. But they are three distinct groups with different kinds of interactions. I am claiming that Grim without a doubt is the same kind of game as The Secret of Monkey Island. (I’ll even say that Monkey Island is more similar to Grim than it is to Kings Quest V, released in the same year as MI.)

That Grim is played with Gamepad or Keyboard instead of a mouse does change the feel slightly (it makes it a lot more comfortable for my hands), but it doesn’t change how the game is played beyond the surface level. (With the small exception of the vehicle driving parts, but again that’s mostly about how it’s feeling good driving the Bonewagon.)

But sure, if we’re being pedantic, you don’t point the mouse and click, and in some contexts that distinction really matters. I was just reacting how you said you “can’t understand how some people could make [the] mistake [of calling Grim Fandango a point-and-click game]”. So I’m trying to explain the thing you said you couldn’t understand. I don’t expect you to agree with me, but if I’ve managed to do what I tried to do, you should understand it by now.

     

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Trumgottist - 18 July 2020 01:41 PM

But talking about the move to 3d characters, we have to acknowledge how brilliant the character design was in Grim Fandango! Perfect example of working with the technical limitations.

Infogrames and Adeline games like Alone in the Dark, Little Big Adventure, and Time Commando are also good examples.  It’s amazing how much personality they put into the animations of such low polygon count character models. 

diego - 18 July 2020 02:35 PM

Some folks still don’t consider Tales of Monkey Island part of the series.

Oh, I definitely consider it part of the series.  Just not a GOOD part of it.  Although I never even finished all the episodes.

GateKeeper - 20 July 2020 10:20 AM

We combine two lines of code into one, making the code more efficient.

How many lines of source code a program takes up is totally irrelevant to how efficient the program is unless you are coding in assembly language (which no games are anymore).  In a high level programming language a compiler would probably convert the two examples you gave to the exact same assembly code and machine code. 

Program efficiency usually has to do with how long it takes the computer to do certain types of actions (store information in memory, read data from the disk, etc.) and how many times you have to do them each frame or millisecond.

     

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