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AG Theme of the Week 1 - Managing Our Stuff

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I still like this type of inventory the most. Since inventory based puzzles are my favourite, I usually spent a lot of time browsing through the items. There is no need to see all stuff at once.


What I hate the most is inventory like this one. It’s all over the screen!


I also remember being fascinated the most when Simon managed to put that large ladder into his hat!


Looking for some logic behind transporting some bigger items is pointless imo. I meant mostly on those, A Vampyre Story & Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island.

     
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One particular system I am a fan of is the Resonance one.

I like the fact that it doesn’t get in the way but when you want it it comes up nice and big. Also the big text names with little icon are a nice method of showing items with teh pixels.

The whole long term/short term memory thing is cool, I like the idea of collecting things as discussion topics that you can use in dialogue - although that is maybe slightly off the point in this thread. It is similar to the system in Mata Hari but about 1000 times better and better implemented too. Also the game isn’t complete pants!

What are your thoughts on the inventory system for the Return to Mysterious Island games?

Generally speaking I don’t like full page or huge inventories, although it does depend on the game. Where you have crafting to be done or a Bethesda RPG type inventory of items (further off topic?!) then bigger can be better.

I suppose it comes down to the amount of time you’re going to be spending in the inventory. Whether it is a “grab bag” or a “workshop”.

     

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I don’t mind a full screen inventory as long as a simple click will make it disappear.  I haven’t played Jack Orlando and am not sure how functional his trenchcoat inventory is, but you have to admit that it looks good.

     

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My favorite scene from Monkey Island as a kid was this one Smile

I loved Simon the Sorcerer too but the ladder in the hat didn’t mark me because I still remembered Guybrush taking out the Q-Tip. Side note, just rewatched a video walkthrough and the animations were actually quite well done and smooth.

Apart from that, I agree with Intense Degree on Resonance’s inventory (even though I hated that game due to the plot twist in the middle). It was well thought out and I loved the idea of long/short term memory.

     

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Here’s a typical & nice-looking inventory presentation from the game Conspiracies except that the space is limited. So, if you desperately need to pick-up something & there’s no space for it you need to ‘drop’ another inventory item ‘on the floor’ to make space for it (as far as I can remember) either in the location you actually are or anywhere else you have access to. It was a terrible idea in my mind unless you’re a stickler for notes & recording exactly the location of dropped inventory items in the event you might need them later!  Smile

     
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Another interesting inventory management game was Shivers from Sierra. Throughout the museum you could store pots and lids, but you could only carry one pot and one lid at a time. So you didn’t want to be carrying a complete assembly, e.g. a complete wax assembly for capturing the wax Ixupi unless you knew where it was hiding.

     

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chrissie - 17 May 2017 03:58 PM

...the space is limited… It was a terrible idea in my mind unless you’re a stickler for notes & recording exactly the location of dropped inventory items in the event you might need them later!  Smile

I agree with this, I really don’t like inventories that are limited in this way, say 30 slots but 50 possible items and no way of knowing which is going to be useful. I suppose it’s meant to give more realism in that one person can only carry so much stuff before they are dragging a couple of suitcases round with them but to my mind that’s the sort of realism Adventure Games don’t need. Same as going to the toilet or stopping the action to watch a character sit through a meal (no offence David Cage! Wink)

Having said that…

rtrooney - 17 May 2017 04:24 PM

Another interesting inventory management game was Shivers from Sierra. Throughout the museum you could store pots and lids, but you could only carry one pot and one lid at a time. So you didn’t want to be carrying a complete assembly, e.g. a complete wax assembly for capturing the wax Ixupi unless you knew where it was hiding.

I love Shivers, it’s the game that got me into first person adventures. Despite what I said above, somehow I like that you can only carry one pot and one lid at one time and have to try them out to see if they match, backtracking all over the museum in the process. Even as I describe it that sounds really stupid, but somehow it adds to the excitement in trapping the Ixupi.

Definitely going to replay that game soon now so thanks for the reminder rtrooney! Smile

     

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Sir Beardalot - 15 May 2017 11:07 PM

I like the fact that in the Discworld games you can resize the inventory window to avoid having to scroll. Though clicking on luggage can be annoying at times since it likes to dilly dally.

What are your thoughts on the inventory system for the Return to Mysterious Island games? There were a couple of other Kheops games that used a similar system as well. Anyway, I thought it was pretty well done. Once I got the hang of crafting things I would keep certain types of items in certain tabs to keep it organized and quick and easy to find what I needed when crafting or using items.

I loved this inventory. It appealed to my sense of organization. It was like having my own filing sysytem. Great concept if you need to use inventory. Of course, most people know I prefer playing games that don’t have inventory Wink

     
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colpet - 18 May 2017 07:52 AM
Sir Beardalot - 15 May 2017 11:07 PM

What are your thoughts on the inventory system for the Return to Mysterious Island games? There were a couple of other Kheops games that used a similar system as well. Anyway, I thought it was pretty well done. Once I got the hang of crafting things I would keep certain types of items in certain tabs to keep it organized and quick and easy to find what I needed when crafting or using items.

I loved this inventory. It appealed to my sense of organization. It was like having my own filing sysytem. Great concept if you need to use inventory. Of course, most people know I prefer playing games that don’t have inventory Wink

Yes, I also like the idea of being able to organise inventory items, as you can do in e.g. the Kheops’ games, especially when there are a few pages of them! Thumbs Up

     
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I remember the inventory system in Gobliiins 4 because I could only tell that the inventory item had been placed over a hotspot by glancing at the bottom left of the screen, where words would appear to indicate that the item had hit the hotspot. So while placing the cursor on the middle or right of the screen, I had to keep looking down and to the left to see whether the placement worked correctly. This was especially dicey during timed sequences.

At least, that’s what I remember. Maybe it was all just a bad dream?

I’ve always thought of inventory items as being portents in some ways. If I pick up a flashlight, it’s going to be dark somewhere. If I pick up chewing gum, something will need to be mashed together. If I pick up a picture, I’ll probably eventually meet this person. If I pick up a giant chicken costume, I’ll probably look ridiculous for some portion of the game.

Inventory items that aren’t ever used are like an unfulfilled promise, or bad foreshadowing. It’s similar to stage plays—like Chekhov’s gun—“One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep.” If you’re carrying an inventory item, then at some point it must be used. We could call it Chekhov’s rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle.

     
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Yes, we do assume we know what use we’ll have for an item, but of course, it can surprise us, too.  I do remember carrying around an alien belt in The Labyrinth of Time and was disappointed I never got to use it.  Also, there was a certain box in Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon that was a complete surprise because it had an unpredictable and utterly funny use.

     

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Becky - 20 May 2017 10:27 AM

I’ve always thought of inventory items as being portents in some ways. If I pick up a flashlight, it’s going to be dark somewhere. If I pick up chewing gum, something will need to be mashed together. If I pick up a picture, I’ll probably eventually meet this person. If I pick up a giant chicken costume, I’ll probably look ridiculous for some portion of the game.

Inventory items that aren’t ever used are like an unfulfilled promise, or bad foreshadowing. It’s similar to stage plays—like Chekhov’s gun—“One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep.” If you’re carrying an inventory item, then at some point it must be used. We could call it Chekhov’s rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle.

I guess Gilbert didn’t pay attention to Chekhov’s Law when making Thimbleweed Park then?

     
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BitingWit - 20 May 2017 11:08 AM

I guess Gilbert didn’t pay attention to Chekhov’s Law when making Thimbleweed Park then?


I haven’t had the chance to play Thimbleweed Park yet, though I’m looking forward to it. So Gilbert apparently defies Chekhov? How dare he? Laughing

Was it in the context of breaking the fourth wall and satirizing adventure game missteps?

     
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BitingWit - 20 May 2017 11:08 AM
Becky - 20 May 2017 10:27 AM

I’ve always thought of inventory items as being portents in some ways. If I pick up a flashlight, it’s going to be dark somewhere. If I pick up chewing gum, something will need to be mashed together. If I pick up a picture, I’ll probably eventually meet this person. If I pick up a giant chicken costume, I’ll probably look ridiculous for some portion of the game.

Inventory items that aren’t ever used are like an unfulfilled promise, or bad foreshadowing. It’s similar to stage plays—like Chekhov’s gun—“One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep.” If you’re carrying an inventory item, then at some point it must be used. We could call it Chekhov’s rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle.

I guess Gilbert didn’t pay attention to Chekhov’s Law when making Thimbleweed Park then?

Becky - 20 May 2017 11:47 AM
BitingWit - 20 May 2017 11:08 AM

I guess Gilbert didn’t pay attention to Chekhov’s Law when making Thimbleweed Park then?


I haven’t had the chance to play Thimbleweed Park yet, though I’m looking forward to it. So Gilbert apparently defies Chekhov? How dare he? Laughing

Was it in the context of breaking the fourth wall and satirizing adventure game missteps?

I might be wrong but no, as engaging as the game is (& well worth playing despite), there were a lot of ‘unfulfilled promises’ in the way of inventory items that couldn’t be used with a loss of potential in my mind. One that springs to mind is there’s one puzzle that relies on seeing the Kickstarter video to be able to solve   Thumbs Up  Thumbs Up  Thumbs Up This could have been included in the game via an inventory item that you can pick up if the developers had included the means to use it which they didn’t, or so far no-one has found!  Thumbs Up
EDIT Yes, maybe having to watch the Kickstarter video to solve a puzzle is totally in context of breaking the fourth wall but it’s not a concept that impresses me at all - sorry!  Thumbs Up

     
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To argue the other side of Chekhov’s law, if an item foreshadows what’s going to happen, it might act like a spoiler in some way. So what if you want to throw the players a surprise, by giving them an item that would let them think the story is going down this route, but then let the story take a different turn. That could be interesting right?

     

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