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Looking for adventure game suggestions with great engines

Total Posts: 13

Joined 2012-10-09

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Howdy.
I moderately enjoyed games like amnesia and penumbra, my main beef with most adventure games is they feel so restricted, because everything is scripted puzzle wise and not only(example: not being able to pick something up before you talk to someone, but it makes no sense for your character to not pick it up due to no interest, although you “see” a use for it ).
Are there are any games out there that have great engines that allow for solutions to puzzles that even the developers didn’t predict ? Maybe with integrated physics, chemistry etc in the engine.
thx in advance.

     

Total Posts: 1793

Joined 2010-11-16

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while there are plenty of adventure games that have alternate solutions for puzzles, theres few that have that broad of a feeling, heres a few games i can think of that try to give you a free sense with problem solving:
journey
portal
terraria (really not an adventure, theres no story, but just dozens of different ways you can accomplish and build things things, and it has much more progression than minecraft)

     

Total Posts: 13

Joined 2012-10-09

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Thank you very much for your suggestions.
I am curious what kind of things do you refer to when you invoke accomplishing and progression in terraria ?

     
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Total Posts: 4011

Joined 2011-04-01

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Gabriel Knight 3! If you want freedom there’s no better engine. I only wish they would use it with more games.

     
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Total Posts: 521

Joined 2010-02-08

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Gabriel Knight 3’s engine allows for a lot of freedom of exploration, to be sure, but not freedom of puzzle solutions (e.g. through physics simulation or similar) as Rareh seems to want.

I’m not sure there’s a lot of traditional adventure games that fit what you’re looking for, Rareh, so you’ll have to look outside the box. There’s several adventure games out there that have multiple solutions to puzzles; if that’s of interest to you, we could list some of those. But those multiple puzzle solutions in adventures are usually all still options planned by the designer, they are not “emergent” like you could get from a physics simulation. That is to say, they do not lead to outcomes unpredicted by the designer.

Honestly, even in other genres this is often the case, even with physics. For example, I can choose which objects (chairs, desks, wastepaper baskets) around me to stack in order to climb on them and reach an open vent in an FPS, but it’s not like the designers usually didn’t know that they wanted you to stack something to reach the vent. Is that emergent? I guess so, but the dream of some kind of perfect sandbox is still just a dream.

You may want to keep an eye on this successful Kickstarter project as it develops. It’s not an adventure game, though, it’s an RPG:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1473965863/sui-generis

I personally think the game itself looks incredibly bland, but the engine they are using has some impressive tech (see time index 1:00). If this team doesn’t do anything cool with it, puzzle-wise, hopefully others will learn from the tech and a make a game that takes advantage of the possibilities. And even this tech, at the end of the day, is really just a fancier way of stacking objects with more nuanced collisions.

Also, if you haven’t played Deus Ex (the original), you should. Warren Spector is all about letting players choose how they accomplish a task.

Hope that helps. Zane’s suggestions are also good. While not particularly emergent except for Terraria, they do have some feeling of freedom.

     

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rareh - 24 January 2013 02:11 PM

I am curious what kind of things do you refer to when you invoke accomplishing and progression in terraria ?

theres a bunch of different bosses and tiers of equipment and spells. Theres also a “hard mode” with a bunch of additional bosses, which you have to find by “beating” normal mode. You find bosses by exploring, experimenting, and crafting. Its pretty much a 2d minecraft where theres an endgame (though its still very sandbox-y never the less). Its especially fun if you can find a couple people to play multiplayer.

     

Total Posts: 13

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Caliburn - 24 January 2013 07:53 PM

There’s several adventure games out there that have multiple solutions to puzzles; if that’s of interest to you, we could list some of those.

Thank you for your comment.
Interesting, do any of those games track how many solutions I found, in a user friendly way or maybe let me replay any part to find all solutions to a puzzle?

     
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Total Posts: 521

Joined 2010-02-08

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Not that I know of. Maybe someone else here will be able to think of something I don’t know about.

Of course, some older adventures would use your score as a general way to indicate that there were optional activities or alternate solutions you had missed. But I don’t know of any game that actually itemized for you exactly where the alternative thing that you missed was.

As for replaying any part of the game to try each alternative, the closest example of this in adventure games would be The Last Express. Jordan Mechner, the designer of The Last Express and best known for Prince of Persia, also disliked certain things about the traditional adventure games. One of the things he tried with The Last Express is that instead of giving you save games, you have this clock timer that looks like a Fabergé egg. If you ever decide you want to try things differently, you can rewind time and the clock moves backward—based on branching points in your decision making, not real time. This allows you to try alternate solutions, listen in on different conversations, etc. The rewinding time idea is something Mechner would revisit in a new way with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

(If you want to be a completionist, though, this is perhaps not the game for you. The gameplay works such that you can’t see everything on a single playthrough, and you aren’t really meant to rewind unless you lose, though you can. In some ways the egg clock makes it harder to see every alternative than just having multiple save game files would do, but the way the clock works is neat and sort of like a more advanced auto-save that also keeps track of branches in the past.)

For adventures with multiple solutions to puzzles, besides The Last Express (1997), you might try Conquests of the Longbow (1992), Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (1992), or Return to Mysterious Island (2004). There’s others, but those are the first few that come to mind. And in none of these games do the multiple solutions arise from the engine, they were all designed by the designer.

You also might find these discussions interesting on why multiple puzzle solutions in traditional adventure games are so much less common than a single-solution approach:
http://www.stasisgame.com/the-problems-with-multiple-solutions/
http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19178#10
http://www.adventuregamers.com/forums/viewthread/486/#6765

     

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Caliburn - 26 January 2013 01:40 AM

One of the things he tried with The Last Express is that instead of giving you save games, you have this clock timer that looks like a Fabergé egg. If you ever decide you want to try things differently, you can rewind time and the clock moves backward—based on branching points in your decision making, not real time. This allows you to try alternate solutions, listen in on different conversations, etc.

If i go back in time multiple times does it “save” the branch of decisions i made, so i can go forward in time to eventually complete the game with any of those ramifications i unlocked.

     
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Total Posts: 521

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No, if I remember right you can only move the clock forward again so long as you haven’t changed anything yet.  Once you’ve changed something at an earlier branching point, you’re on a new path and stuck with it unless you rewind again. It’s been years since I played it, though, so you’d have to look into it yourself to be sure.

     
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You’re essentially right. You have a short grace period (1 minute?) during which you can change your mind, but after that all your progress past the point you’ve rewound to is gone for good. (You can make copies of your save file before rewinding, obviously.)

     

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Do different decisions have a great deal of affect around you ? Do they allow different areas, characters, endings to be unlocked ?

     

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