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“I suck at puzzles!” - An interview with Dave Gilbert of Wadjet Eye Games

Total Posts: 308

Joined 2018-12-01

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LittleRose - 30 October 2020 06:08 AM
JK5000Games - 30 October 2020 04:27 AM

Hello Jdawg445

Of cause is “Need for speed” or Doom not adventure games because there main focus is on something other the adventure and story. I just not agree with you or others, that it’s not possible to make a adventure game without or with at least very few puzzles. But I agree that games without puzzles are not classic adventure games.

And is walking simulators not just become a name we give to games we don’t like? And I agree that they are not really adventure, shooters or racing games because there main focus is usually on walking around.

Regards JK5000

I don’t like them either, because most of them don’t feature any fun gameplay for me, but I think thät the name is very unfair. I prefer the term explorational (adventure) games. Even if I don’t buy them, the develepors have put effort into them, and there are people who like those games.

I wouldn’t worry yourself about the developers. So-called “walking sims” usually sell better than traditional adventure games, so the term may even be beneficial to them financially.

It certainly doesn’t stop me from playing them, and I’m just as likely to check out a game labelled walking sim as a regular adventure game, if I like the sound of it.

     

Total Posts: 34

Joined 2020-10-21

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Hello TimovieMan

I totally agree it’s does not mater if something is a adventure game or not. The important part is if games are fun/interesting or not. But when I make some of my weird indie games, that in some cases plays a lot like an adventure game, but they don’t follow all the classic rules for adventure game, then when I have to explain or tell people about the games, I will call them adventure game, because that is what they mostly are.

And I think I will call it “exploration” when I like it in games, and “walking around” when I don’t like it. Smile

Regards JK5000

     

Total Posts: 34

Joined 2020-10-21

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Hello LittleRose

I like creativity in game development, and I don’t want adventure games to be limited by rules of they needs puzzles. And of course when you not include them, you have to do something else. And of cause some of the games without puzzles you will like and some you will not like, but it’s the way it’s with all kind of games. And I will in no way fear that adventure with classic puzzles will totally disappear, but sadly I am not sure in general they are big sellers.

Regards JK5000

     

Total Posts: 168

Joined 2014-12-25

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JK5000Games - 30 October 2020 06:54 AM

Hello LittleRose

I like creativity in game development, and I don’t want adventure games to be limited by rules of they needs puzzles. And of course when you not include them, you have to do something else. And of cause some of the games without puzzles you will like and some you will not like, but it’s the way it’s with all kind of games. And I will in no way fear that adventure with classic puzzles will totally disappear, but sadly I am not sure in general they are big sellers.

Regards JK5000

That’s something I can agree on.

     

Total Posts: 34

Joined 2020-10-21

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Hello Vehelon

I am in no way against “Walking Simulates”. They can be relaxing and fun to play. But there have been an tendency to call bad games, with very little contents, for “Walking Simulates”.

Regards JK5000

     

Total Posts: 34

Joined 2020-10-21

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LittleRose I don’t think we particularly disagrees. I just things you wants to protect the kind of adventure games that I and you likes.

     
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Total Posts: 2396

Joined 2007-01-04

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If you are into story, Wadjet games are an excellent choice. I myself play these for characters and story, which wadjet is excellent at. I will play a game that has just those to elements. I don’t just play adventure games.

Now sure, wadjet puzzles are pedestrian, but one of my favorite adventure games of all time suffered from that, Kathy Rain.

Heart

     

I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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Total Posts: 645

Joined 2015-07-01

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LittleRose - 30 October 2020 06:08 AM
JK5000Games - 30 October 2020 04:27 AM

Hello Jdawg445

Of cause is “Need for speed” or Doom not adventure games because there main focus is on something other the adventure and story. I just not agree with you or others, that it’s not possible to make a adventure game without or with at least very few puzzles. But I agree that games without puzzles are not classic adventure games.

And is walking simulators not just become a name we give to games we don’t like? And I agree that they are not really adventure, shooters or racing games because there main focus is usually on walking around.

Regards JK5000

I don’t like them either, because most of them don’t feature any fun gameplay for me, but I think that the name is very unfair. I prefer the term explorational (adventure) games. Even if I don’t buy them, the develepors have put effort into them, and there are people who like those games. Also, most of those games still have you search cupboard, drawers etc. for clues, so there’s some interaction with the game world.

Also, I think you have misunderstood my point.
When Dave said that puzzles were not that important anymore, he was referring to their former role as game time stretchers. I agree with that. Modern adventure games tell longer and better stories, so streching the games with extra hard puzzles isn’t necessary anymore. But less important isn’t the same completely unimportant. Puzzles are a beloved part of classic adventures. It’s okay to make them a bit easier to create a better flow, but they’re still an essential element to the fans.

You on the other hand made it sound as if you could just leave puzzles out of the game without any substitute gameplay, and that’s what’s bothering me. Your suggestion implies that walking from linear dialogue to linear dialogue, or from cutscene to cutscene was enough. And then I could really just watch a movie.
Like I said, even most explorational games still have you interact with the game world beyond that.

So, don’t use extra hard puzzles as game strechers, easier ones are just fine, as long as they make the player stop and think from time to time. But players want to play, and puzzles are that toy they play with while they enjoy your game. If you drop the puzzles, substitute them with another gameplay element, so the game doesn’t feel like a movie with a lot of clicking, and the player doesn’t get bored.

Of course there are examples of substitutes that have worked just fine. Life Is Strange used decesions instead, while What Remains of Edith Finch used mini games. But in both cases it worked mostly because the presentation was done right and those substitutes felt intruiging and organic in their games.
(To be fair, forced on puzzles just to make the game harder suck, too. If your game is short, it doesn’t matter. Easier puzzles that don’t stop most players for too long are fine either way.)

I dont think I have played a game where the only major gameplay done through decisions was either good and fun experience for me. Walking dead season 1 had an awesome story, but by the end, I though this could have just been an animated netflix show bc the decisions really didnt matter all that much.

Another example of this is the mass effect series, now those games had a lot more gameplay than just dialogue decisions but, when gamers found out how little there choice mattered at the end they were mad for good reason

     
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Total Posts: 645

Joined 2015-07-01

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ps there is nothing wrong with liking walking sims, I just dont think they are real adventure games. Some do sell very well, but will they leave a lasting impact on the industry like kings quest, or monkely island who knows, only time will tell in another decade or so.

For the record though I think dumbed down gameplay has infected the entire industry, not just adventure games. We have near perfect graphics these days, but still brain dead AI in a lot of triple A games. I watched some gameplay from cyberpunk and though wow that is a pretty game, and then wow, that is some very below avg enemy AI

     
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Joined 2007-01-04

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Does it matter? The original adventure game at best could be called thin or story and characters. This genre must evolve or die and it has indeed evolved quite nicely. I myself use the wiki definition of an adventure game and I define puzzles as follows:” A puzzle is a game, problem, or toy that tests a person’s ingenuity or knowledge .” And that covers allot of ground. Trust me.

Heart

     

I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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Total Posts: 645

Joined 2015-07-01

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Adv_Lvr - 30 October 2020 03:43 PM

Does it matter? The original adventure game at best could be called thin or story and characters. This genre must evolve or die and it has indeed evolved quite nicely. I myself use the wiki definition of an adventure game and I define puzzles as follows:” A puzzle is a game, problem, or toy that tests a person’s ingenuity or knowledge .” And that covers allot of ground. Trust me.

Heart

it really doesnt. if you think finding a key on the ground for the one locked door in a scene, test a person’s ingenuity or knowledge than that truly redefines what a puzzle means or what ingenuity means, bc there are definitely devs who count that as a puzzle. I remember that was one type of puzzles that telltale used. Walking dead episode one had a puzzle where you had to put batteries in a device the right way. that puzzle did not test my ingenuity, but it did test my patience. Ps I never trust anybody that says trust me lol. Crazy

I personally think the genre has de-evolved. Im all for choices that really matter, let me know when we get there as a whole. Yes there are a game or two that can do them nicely here and there, but for the most part it is pretend choices the devs use to funnel you in direction of very controlled outcomes.

     
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Total Posts: 201

Joined 2018-03-07

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I think the degree to which puzzle difficulty dictates success is massively overstated in adventure games. When it comes to modern tastes, yes, the most hardcore level of 90s challenge is off the table. But all that really means is people don’t want something totally unfair.

A series like Zero Escape has tons of challenging puzzles and is far more popular than a lot of other games lessening their challenge to chase the devs perception of modern taste.

Most people aren’t adventure game enthusiasts, but many will decide to give one a shot every now and again. I think what really draws this wider group of people to some adventure games over others is a stand-out narrative or stylistic hook. After that so long as the puzzle difficulty isn’t super punishing, I don’t see it being the difference maker.

Fran Bow, for instance, hit big because it came out at the right time during a resurgence of interest in horror games. It had a cool look and some interesting lore to spark discussion. Compare that to Little Misfortune, which hasn’t done nearly as well. If puzzle difficulty were really the difference maker Little Misfortune should have been able to reach a much wider audience. But despite LM having no puzzles and Fran Bow having fairly involved puzzles, it reached more ppl.

     

Total Posts: 34

Joined 2020-10-21

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Hello Adv_Lvr and Jdawg445

Does it matter if a adventure game without puzzles really are a adventure game? My answer is, no it doesn’t matter at all. But what is interesting is what we want our game to be.

I want creative, innovative and interesting games, but I also want classic style of games. I love the classic hard adventure games with really difficult puzzles, but I also love extremely simple adventure games with a funny stories. The game with deep stories with interesting and meaningful chooses can be fantastic, but a more or less linear stories driven by developers that want to tell a important, funny and/or interesting story can be just as amazing. I also love to see the big AAA developers make adventure games, but I also like the small, indie developed and super weird adventure games. I just wants a lot of fun and interesting adventure games.

I don’t agree that there is no evolution in the adventure game genre, but I agree that a lot the evolution has made many of them much less complex. But I don’t necessarily see this a bad thing, and in a way that it have made them even better at telling stories. And yes there is bad modern adventure games with terrible stories, but the old adventure games was not all perfect. And if you wants more complex adventure games with meaningful choices, you have support those games. To all you who wants those games, you needs to know and understand that this kind of games is really expensive an difficult to make, and in a time where fast past and simple games often sells more copies, it’s sadly not very likely we will a lot that kind of games.

Regards JK5000

     

Total Posts: 34

Joined 2020-10-21

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Hello PlanetX

I’m not sure the Zero Escape games success comes from the puzzles rooms, but more from the story. But okay without the puzzles there would be very little gameplay. And it’s also interesting that the same developers next game “AI: The Somnium Files” has much less focus on puzzles(unless you see the games mysterious as puzzles) and more on the story and player choices.

And I am not sure that “Little Misfortune” was a big fiasco, I believe it was more the other games the developers has made that was not big success. But in general I am not sure that is a lot of adventure games, puzzler or visual novels that is a big commercial success, but luckily sometimes some of them have success.

Regards JK5000

     
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JK5000Games - 31 October 2020 06:42 PM

Hello PlanetX

I’m not sure the Zero Escape games success comes from the puzzles rooms, but more from the story. But okay without the puzzles there would be very little gameplay. And it’s also interesting that the same developers next game “AI: The Somnium Files” has much less focus on puzzles(unless you see the games mysterious as puzzles) and more on the story and player choices.

My whole point was that a narrative or stylistic hook is what drawers wider audience to certain adventure games over others. That’s why I don’t agree with the idea that adventure games need easy puzzles to appeal to a wider audience. So when you say “I’m not sure the Zero Escape games success comes from the puzzles rooms” I’m not sure what you’re responding to. That was never my point.

In the discussion about tuning adventure game puzzle difficulty for modern tastes there’s often a very overblown idea of just how dumb, impatient and perpetually bored gamers are when it comes to puzzles. It’s a total over correction to compensate for the reputation the genre earned from unfair 90s puzzles. These are ostensibly games for adults and yet the thought required can be below an average Pajama Sam puzzle, a game made for 1st graders. If your aim is to make casual games, that’s fine. Everyone should make the games they want to make. But the notion that this is how modern adventure games have to be in order to be in line with modern sensibilities is false.

The truth is if you look at the games that have have drawn bigger audiences in the modern era, there’s really no consistent level of puzzle challenge linked to success. Sometimes easier games break out, sometimes harder ones do. Sometimes a puzzle light adventure blows up like The Walking Dead. Sometimes a game with more challenge like Zero Escape or Machinarium does (which sold over 4 million units).

     

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