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The memory of adventure gaming

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There were/are with no doubt great-great adventures witnessed thru the past 42 years of adventure gaming, but only few were/are considered (not necessarily) then as a millstone. I am talking about games that had shifted the direction of production (or outlook) whether by giving the genre a chance; to use the 1st person perceptive as how it had been presented at arcades by Nintendo or SEGA since 70s, or even much prior to that like when Mystery House had given the sweet innovation with its graphical visual component. 

From LucasArts (Manic Mansion) graphical-user-interface, that had created then that 1st step in the direction thats known as point and click today, to Fahrenheit or Indigo Prophecy’s story-driven concept. .. What other games out-there that were this millstone.

     
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Advie, I think you mean milestone not millstone (Not criticising as I know English isn’t your first language) and they are very different things.

A milestone is a specific and notable place in history/geography/philosophy etc. A millstone is something (apart from being a stone used for milling grain) that weighs you down, is a very heavy burden.

Oddly, some of your favourite games that you would think of as milestones I think of as millstones Grin

     

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damn this google’s prediction/correction.

but just on topic, i haven’t said anything about anything being fav, a milestone is a milestone whether we like it or not.

     
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Sometimes being first isn’t enough, but another game takes the “milestone” etiquette. For example, Myst wasn’t the first solitary 1st-person puzzle game, but it was remembered as such. For me, milestones are:

King’s Quest, as the progress of the graphic adventure (even though it was not the first graphic adventure)

Maniac Mansion, revolutionized the genre with verb-object interface, further popularized by Monkey Island

King’s Quest 7 - introduction of the smart pointer

Phantasmagoria - exploited FMV to the maximum

Myst - 1st person solitary puzzle-adventure

Gabriel Knight 3 - adventure in full 3D

Some other games tried an interesting approach - The Last Express, with real-time adventure, or Machinarium - no-voice adventure, but they remain exception rather than the rule.

     

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I think of milestones in gaming in terms of quality more than innovation in presentation/interface/controls. But in terms of innovation the only obvious one for me is the introduction of full graphics with some other type of input scheme than the text parser. Even though I hadn’t discovered adventure games at the time i’d put 1989 or 1990 to split a before and after in the way I view adventure games. Guess Maniac Mansion may indeed be the game that made adventure gaming take the direction of what has become the standard.

Since then there has been variations, sometimes gimmicks, to bring things forward when it comes to interface, graphics, media etc. But I can’t think of anything that has changed the way adventure games function and play at its core.

It will be interesting to read other’s views on this!

     
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diego - 19 September 2019 07:15 AM

Phantasmagoria - exploited FMV to the maximum[

I know you said that this is your view Diego but it helps to show what I mean about milestones and favourites.

For me, the game that first really exploited FMV was Under A Killing Moon. Not only does it integrate FMV far better than Phantasmagoria it came out a year earlier (1994 as opposed to 1995).

     

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Portal would be a milestone for “FPS-like puzzlers” like Talos or The Witness, Qube, etc.

I would say Runaway (which I hate, by the way) contributed to revive AGs in the 2000s.

There was probably also a milestone for the so-called walking simulators (Firewatch ?).

     
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diego - 19 September 2019 07:15 AM

Sometimes being first isn’t enough, but another game takes the “milestone” etiquette. For example, Myst wasn’t the first solitary 1st-person puzzle game, but it was remembered as such.

Hm, maybe not, although I don’t remember many solitary 1st-person puzzle games. Lost in Time is the only one I can think of right now. But Myst did more than that. The traditional inventory puzzles were replaced by the novel mechanical puzzles. The player as the protagonist entered a weird game world with no background story, no idea what to do and where to go. That was totally new and it stands out in my memory as a WOW! experience.

Jabod - 19 September 2019 08:06 AM

For me, the game that first really exploited FMV was Under A Killing Moon. Not only does it integrate FMV far better than Phantasmagoria it came out a year earlier (1994 as opposed to 1995).

I remember The 7th Guest (1993) as the first game that really took advantage of FMV. I loved those ghosts! But there had already been “talking heads”, like in the first two Tex Murphygames, and digitized photos in for instance Heart of China.

Many people don’t regard the so-called walking sims as adventure games, but for me they are a milestone as well. Love them. Gone Home, Dear Esther, Firewatch, Edith Finch. Ethan Carter. I don’t know what would be the first one, perhaps Kentucky Route Zero? Or the Stanley Parable?

EDIT: Esther (2012) is older than either Kentucky or Stanley.

     

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Karlok - 19 September 2019 10:04 AM

The player as the protagonist entered a weird game world with no background story, no idea what to do and where to go. That was totally new and it stands out in my memory as a WOW! experience.

The Labyrinth of Time

     

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Karlok - 19 September 2019 10:04 AM

Many people don’t regard the so-called walking sims as adventure games, but for me they are a milestone as well. Love them. Gone Home, Dear Esther, Firewatch, Edith Finch. Ethan Carter. I don’t know what would be the first one, perhaps Kentucky Route Zero? Or the Stanley Parable?

EDIT: Esther (2012) is older than either Kentucky or Stanley.

I would call A Mind Forever Voyaging the first walking sim. No real puzzles, mainly walking and observing.

Portal (1986) was possibly the first interactive novel and Madness of Roland the first multimedia interactive novel.

Below the Root may have been first to do many things, non-linearity, multiple character choice. I don’t know what the first graphic adventure was, but 1984 is quite early.

     
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Grue22 - 19 September 2019 11:17 AM

I would call A Mind Forever Voyaging the first walking sim.

I would not. Text adventures are a subgenre or even a genre of their own. Everything developers of graphic adventures have come up with over the years has a counterpart in text adventures. 

Portal (1986) was possibly the first interactive novel and Madness of Roland the first multimedia interactive novel.

Haven’t played Portal, liked Madness of Roland very much. Not a milestone IMO.

 

     

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In the vein of walking sims, I would consider Gone Home to be a milestone for home-slash-memory exploration games, with a more intimate setting and storyline. Generally, I would tend to to consider games which title is being used as a descriptive for other games as milestones, at least in terms of making a sub-genre, trope or type of game mechanics popular. I don’t have any example in mind at the moment, but I’m pretty sure I’ve come across Gone Home comparisons in several game descriptions or reviews. Now in terms of walking sims as a whole, I would say Dear Esther was the one to open the gate.

     
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I’m by no means a gaming vet but since I was enlightened I agree that Dear Esther was something different to appear on the horizon & possibly the 1st game to get the VR treatment?
Another game that rattled my cage was The Path - I’d never come across before such a wonderful smooth interface but personally didn’t like the premise & found it tedious.

     
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Grue22 - 19 September 2019 11:17 AM

I don’t know what the first graphic adventure was, but 1984 is quite early.

well, it was even earlier than that Grue, haven’t you heard of Mystery House (1980)

     
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I completely forgot about Mystery House. Maybe I rather thought of it as text adventure with pictures, because it doesn’t actually have any animation. Technically it does have graphics.

     
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Alone in the Dark is a milestone in the survival horror which at least started as an adventure subgenre (even advertised as an adventure game back then). In fact, it’s a milestone in the whole action-adventure craze before it was dumbed down to pure action. And then the formula was revived and refreshed by Penumbra and Amnesia series that gave push to a whole new line of survival adventure games.

     

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