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yoyoman
03-26-2005, 01:37 PM
http://www.justadventure.com/articles/State_of_Adventure_Gaming/March2005/SOAG_Mar05.shtm

I have to say, I'm very disappointed in Tim's Comments

Joshi
03-26-2005, 02:33 PM
Would you care to elaborate on that?

Personally, I'm in two minds about this. On the one hand, he's slight justified in what he said, graphic adventures (i.e, the scumm games where all of the available verbs were put in front of you) did limit the possibilities of what you could do in a sense, but then, the very first scumm game (maniac mansion) had a whole host of verbs available for you which made gameplay as irritating as text based games because you still had to get the right combinations of verbs and all it did was take away the threat of spelling mistakes or using words the game didn't understand (I don't know if sprites were around in text based games, if not i guess they were also introduced with the scumm engine).

But rather than make games less enjoyable when games went as simplified as SOMI and then even down to just three symbols to represent all of the verbs in such things as the verb coin in COMI (and of course the skull in Full Throttle), games became, for most, more enjoyable because one didn't have to worry about whether their verbs weren't in the right order, or even with text based games, whether the game understood what the hell you were typing, but rather whether there was another path to go down elsewhere.

On the whole, I've played a lot of text based adventure games and I do prefer graphical adventures better, not because they're prettier (a modern day text based adventure could go far in terms of artwork) but because there's better gameplay to be got out if it with logical puzzels rather than fretting over what you've typed incase the programming couldn't understand the word "sprint" (I know, bad example)

Gabez
03-26-2005, 03:27 PM
Adventure games are DEAD, man.

They need to evolve or something.

Metallus
03-26-2005, 04:03 PM
Oh my, an e-mail campaign? Well done, Randy S. It takes balls to direct legions of dismayed adventure fans at someone who speaks his mind. It isn't like Tim's the one who killed the genre. Maybe Schafer is just evaluating the response to Grim Fandango (i.e. it cost a lot to make, it was barely marketed by LucasArts, and it didn't sell well at all), and I think he has a right to be skeptical about how adventure games are received by the greater gaming community.

Personally, I disagree that it was graphics specifically that caused the decline of adventure games, but something did. Something's just not fun about adventure games anymore, and it's probably a combination of very visible limitations in gameplay (I find Syberia to be an excellent example of this, but to be fair, GF also has its moments of blatantly not allowing you to do something without much explanation), lack of real gameplay innovation (point and click? still?) for years and years, and strict boundary limitations on what is and isn't an adventure game (no action allowed? still?).

Maybe the fans are to blame for not being more welcoming to changes in their beloved genre :) I mean, some people are still bitching about Grim Fandango's non-standard control system 7 years later, or that it was "3d" or whatever. I don't really even consider myself an adventure fan anymore, because I've scarcely enjoyed any of the games I've played in that genre in the past 5 years due, in no small part, to the stuff Tim mentioned in the interview.

Randy points out a bunch of games that are coming out, which I guess is good for the genre, but I don't plan on buying or playing any of the ones he listed at this point. I mean, I don't know, I think a couple of those titles will sell decently, but I'm starting to lose track of what I'm typing, so I'll stop. JA+ Sucks. Please don't e-mail Tim Schafer if you're mad about the genre not doing so well lately. He'll probably tell you to buy Psychonauts if he responds at all. And really, you should.

Udvarnoky
03-26-2005, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by Joshi
the very first scumm game (maniac mansion) had a whole host of verbs available for you which made gameplay as irritating as text based games

What? Sure, there were a lot more verbs, but how did that make it more irritating? All the extra verbs were useless because all the actions that could use them could just be accomplished with "use" ... and that's why they eventually disappeared. Not because they made the game as annoying as guess-the-parser games (?!) but because they were unnecessary. What did later games do but streamline this brilliant evolution? MM was a huge jump from the text games, don't let a bunch of extra words on the screen decrease its significance in your mind.

Could you give me an example from the game where you have to struggle to find the right combination of verbs to do something? I can't. MM accomplished exactly what it set out to do - make the puzzles entirely the challenge without the interface complicating anything. Sure, it was improved, but on a fundamental level it's the same as any of the later games.

Udvarnoky
03-26-2005, 05:32 PM
Originally posted by Metallus


Maybe the fans are to blame for not being more welcoming to changes in their beloved genre :) I mean, some people are still bitching about Grim Fandango's non-standard control system 7 years later, or that it was "3d" or whatever. I don't really even consider myself an adventure fan anymore, because I've scarcely enjoyed any of the games I've played in that genre in the past 5 years due, in no small part, to the stuff Tim mentioned in the interview.


/\

I remember when Psychonauts was announced as an action adventure and everyone went insane. Well, OK, so I was one of them, but in retrospect it was stupid. The second we realized jumping was involved, it got the sinister "Hybrid" label, and, well, didn't get covered officially at AdventureGamers :) .

Wasn't it in one of the video interviews with Tim that he called Psychonauts an adventure game (to him) point-blank, and says that he finds people mistakenly use a certain kind of interface to judge whether or not a game is an adventure? Kind of a good point if you ask me. It's easy to see that the adventure genre has sort of cheated to keep up with the times in that aside from some technical improvement it never bothers to try anything new, and as a result we get a bunch of bland games that people pretend to like because they don't want to admit that adventures totally suck now could use some improvements. I think adventure gamers are particularly fearful of change even if it's not really changing anything fundamental.

Joshi
03-26-2005, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by Udvarnoky
What? Sure, there were a lot more verbs, but how did that make it more irritating? All the extra verbs were useless because all the actions that could use them could just be accomplished with "use" ... and that's why they eventually disappeared. Not because they made the game as annoying as guess-the-parser games (?!) but because they were unnecessary. What did later games do but streamline this brilliant evolution? MM was a huge jump from the text games, don't let a bunch of extra words on the screen decrease its significance in your mind.

Could you give me an example from the game where you have to struggle to find the right combination of verbs to do something? I can't. MM accomplished exactly what it set out to do - make the puzzles entirely the challenge without the interface complicating anything. Sure, it was improved, but on a fundamental level it's the same as any of the later games.

It's really an initial struggle with trying to figure out what everything does, much in the same way with text based games where initially, you have to figure out which commands to type in. There's no argument that it didn't help a lot, but there was a lot of guesswork to begin with. I guess what I was saying was that it only simplified it to the point where you didn't have to guess at the words to type in as they were done for you by just clicking on the appropriate verb and object and so on. But much in the same way as a text based game, sometimes (no particular situation) one may find that he had to open the door as a posed to use the door or walk through the door. This has been simplified a lot now, and hell, even Maniac Mansion made it a lot easier than it would have been had it been text based. What I was getting at was the fact that if you took a text based game and turned it into a point n click scumm adventure with all available verbs, it'd look something like the Maniac Mansion interface.

Plus that fact that most of the time, you'd have to choose a verb, click on and then choose another verb and then something else again (I think, I'm a little hazy, been a while since MM) which was a lot of excess mouse movement that i wasn't used to (this is my own opinion after having played games with more simplified controls like SOMI and MI2, call me vain if you must but that's how I found it) which, for me made it slightly irritating.

Again, I'm not arguing that the new SCUMM interface wasn't innovative for it's time, or anything, I was simply making an observation and applying an opinion.


As for psychonauts and adventure games in general and their 'evolution' as it were, what exactly determines whether an game is an adventure game or not?

It's hard to tell really. How many hairs ust a guy have on his chin before he has a beard? Same kind of thing now because so many games incorporate adventure elements into their games. and so many adventure games now have action elements (think of Broken Sword 3, especially the ending). Crossovers have become so wide now that it's hard to tell. especially with RPG's and so on.

So what'sthe definition of an adventure game. A defined protagonist (i.e, the type of game where the character is defined by the game designer and not you)? A preset storyline? Limited in the sense of how you completed the game? And of course a lot of people used to think that it was confined to two dimentions and a mouse (games like Discworld Noir and Syberia proved 3D could work with point n click and grim fandango proved keyboard controled characters were the way to go).

But now we have games like beyond Good and Evil. Is that na adventure game. Many would say that it is because it has a really good storyline that entices you and grips you every step of the way and plus there are puzzels. No, there aren't puzzels, there are fighting sequences, and sneaking sequences and running sequences and racing sequences. Apart from that and the occasional picture taking, there's not much else. Don't get me wrong, it's one hell of a game and I'd recommend it to anyone, but it's not and adventure game, despite how much of an 'adventure' our little heroine gets herself into.

I personally think that an adventure game is a game in which every now and then, you have to stop and think for a while. And here's the best part, you actually get a chance to, no need to pause the game, just stop what your doing until you decide on what to do and then do it, and if it works, you get to go on with it. Even if there is some action in it (there's action in psychonauts, but you get to choose whether you want to be a part of it or not) the game should challenge you intellectually and make you think about what you're going to do as apposed to just jumping into a room nad having yourself wing it throughout. If you can wing through a game, then chances are it's not an adventure game. If you need to stop and think about your options, then there's a chance it may be one (this does actually apply as well to RPG's). There are of course other elements to what makes an adventure game, but I'm not about to go into too much anymore detail here.

Udvarnoky
03-26-2005, 07:15 PM
Bah. I totally, totally disagree with you on the Maniac Mansion thing. I don't want to leave it at that, but I will, for now. :)

It's hard to tell really. How many hairs ust a guy have on his chin before he has a beard? Same kind of thing now because so many games incorporate adventure elements into their games. and so many adventure games now have action elements (think of Broken Sword 3, especially the ending). Crossovers have become so wide now that it's hard to tell. especially with RPG's and so on.

Very true. Various bits and parts of the genre are turning up to small degrees everywhere. I think it's up to the really conservative (in regards to interface and such) adventure gamers to start becoming really accepting. And you can do that without sacrificing what adventure games are really about.


To add what you were saying about adventure games making you think, I think character is just as important to adventure games as anything else. Ah hell, lemme find that Schafer video I was mentioning.

Ah yes, this is the good stuff from Schafer (pardon retarded comma splicing and all around bad copying):


Psychonauts is an adventure game in that there's, you know adventures games are something different to everybody and to me, all the games that I've worked on, the exciting part was about bringing a world to life. Like outlining, you know coming up with, making up a new world that has its own reality to it, its own rules, its own characters, its own history and making it come to life and letting the player gets lost in it. And you get lost in it through a character who's interesting to play. You know like in Full Throttle it's a world of biker gangs and you get to be the leader of a biker gang, so it's a cool way to go through that world and you go through the Land of the Dead in Grim Fandango as Death, as one of the grim reapers. And in Psychonauts you go through this mental world as a psychic and you go through all of the vast landscape of whatever people imagine in their heads. So that, bringing that to life, that's what adventure games are to me. And the mechanic for getting through that has never been super-important to me. Like, in the old days we used to type it in, you know and then we'd point 'n click, and it's really, that, for me I think people use interface too much to describe what an adventure game game is. I don't think the interface is the main thing that defines the genre of adventure games. It's the fact that you're bringing a world to life and bringing characters to life and you're letting the player get immersed in that, and then, not just move through it but solve puzzles in it and get caught up in the story and feel like they're a part of it. That's an adventure game. So that's why Psychonauts is still an adventure game to me.



Indeed.

MrManager
03-26-2005, 09:14 PM
Hee, JA+. :~ Spam Tim, because he's not allowed to have an opinion that differs from the great Sluganski!

I haven't bought a graphic adventure since Runaway, and I haven't finished it yet. In the past five years I think I've bought three.

These days games like Beyond Good & Evil, Deus Ex, Silent Hill and hopefully Psychonauts do what adventure games used to do, just better. Randy is old and bitter, nothing new there.

Crawling Chaos
03-27-2005, 03:39 AM
So, Tim hasn't make a game for a very long time...his planning his return after a series of years with a platform game. And how he justifies the fact that he is developing a PLATFORM game instead of an advenrure?
"Adventure games are dead".
Sorry, I 'll have to pass on this one.

Metallus
03-27-2005, 04:32 AM
I don't think Schafer has to justify not making Psychonauts into an adventure game, or at least your perception of what an adventure game is. As for the interview, Schafer's not perfect, and I don't think the stuff that gets printed from what gets said in interviews should be all you base your judgement on when it comes to the games he's been involved in making. First of all they asked him about why the adventure genre is dead. Maybe he assumed in this instance that the interviewers were only talking about the pointy-clicky, scummy-sierra-ey type of games there, which have definitely been in decline in terms of sales and publisher interest (see: Sam and Max 2, and weep). Whatever the case, he went with the assumed fact that the genre is dead.

However, in this very same thread, he's quoted as saying that Psychonauts is an adventure game. Is this a contradiction? My guess is that A.) it seems like Schafer wanted to bring many adventure elements to a broader audience. I'll point to my previous post and bring up Grim Fandango again. This was one of the last great adventure games, in my opinion (which doesn't count since I am affiliated with the Grim Fandango Network), which cost a lot to make, and ended up losing money. Not only was it a commercial disappointment, many adventure game fans thumbed their noses at the interface and other aspects of the game. This response probably left those on Grim team pretty damn puzzled about where to go next. Clearly, I'm assuming a lot here, but it's not too hard a situation to imagine.

Secondly, B.) adventure game 'purists' (like yourself?) generally reject that Psychonauts as being an adventure game because it happens to occur on platforming levels and you have the option to punch everyone (tee hee), among other things. It's probably fair, since I guess we have to draw the lines somewhere. But I think adventure fans are kind of dooming themselves when they draw them too strictly.

And finally, C.) it's hard to define what an adventure game is. Sadly it seems that a lot of people point to the game's interface, graphic style, or other structural elements to define it, and I think that's a bad move personally. The interface of adventure games has changed dramatically over the genre's existence, but for some reason a lot of people are really attached to the point-and-click formula (which works great for a lot of games!). However, there are many other possible ways to define what an adventure game is, and one could (and probably should) focus on different things about adventure games to derive a definition, like whether the game has a lot of puzzles, or a complex story, or strong character development, or maybe even whether the main character goes on a goddamn adventure :)

I think, in this instance, Schafer has been put in an unfair situation. You want him to make an adventure game, a lot of people do. For whatever reason, Double Fine is putting out a game that, while having a number of your favorite adventurey elements, is classed as an action/adventure or a platformer. If you don't want to buy it, then don't, and be proud of that decision. But what if, years down the line, everyone around you starts calling Psychonauts an adventure game, as Tim S. has called it in a different interview? Perhaps you shouldn't rely so heavily on genre lines and definitions, or what game developers say under pressure in interviews.

Captain Gonzo
03-27-2005, 06:19 AM
For a long time, Tim Schafer has said that what he enjoyed most about creating adventure games was the building of a world, a great story, and a bunch of interesting characters, and he wasn't too hooked on the actual mechanics of pointing and clicking, etc. He realises that the most exciting elements of adventure games can be preserved in other gaming forms, and so I'm guessing he's not too sad to be leaving behind the rigid constraints of 'adventure games' in the 90s mold.

I think that a lot of the genre-purists have this blinkered view of how things should be, and don't realise what they really loved about those games in the first place. I like SCUMM a lot, but I don't think the verb box is why I still adore Monkey Island 2.

Sluganski lists a bunch of 'real' adventure games still in production. Okay, so these games might not be dead dead, but it's like one long last gasp.

I still love those classic adventures, and I'm actually always interested in what communities like AGS are doing, but it is nostalgic. That's fine, but it's a mistake to pretend that there's a lot of life left in this very narrow perception of 'adventure games' as a commercial genre. It's denial, it's clutching at straws.

The purists perhaps don't realise it, but adventure games kind of have become progressive and adapted. A lot of the best things about them have found their way into other genres. This is why the prospect of Psychonauts is far more exciting than all Sluganski's list of games put together, for me.

Joshi
03-27-2005, 10:12 AM
Agreed. Don't get me wrong, I'll still buy all the new adventure games that are set to come out (well, not all of them, Dreamfall and so on) but it is time to move on and games like psychonauts and beyond good and evil are the way to go.

Metallus
03-27-2005, 04:06 PM
Err, I might get Dreamfall too :)

MrManager
03-27-2005, 05:16 PM
Dreamfall certainly looks good, though Tørnquist goes out of his way to let people know that it's not an adventure game. So I guess that strengthens Tim's point. ;-*

Udvarnoky
03-27-2005, 06:41 PM
Originally posted by Crawling Chaos
So, Tim hasn't make a game for a very long time...his planning his return after a series of years with a platform game. And how he justifies the fact that he is developing a PLATFORM game instead of an advenrure?
"Adventure games are dead".
Sorry, I 'll have to pass on this one.

Grim came out in 1998. Schafer left LucasArts in 2000 and has since been working on Psychonauts. Yeah, it's an extremely bloated production time, but it's not like he's been taking a seven-year nap. Why imply that he's talking out of his ass or trying to act as some sort of pompous superior?

Also, it seems to me what with the way he answered the question (which was prompted by the interviewer) that he was more explaining why he thought adventures weren't selling well anymore, or aren't nearly as mainstream as they used to be. And again, the fact that you treat the platformer like it's its own complete genre is pretty much exactly what Schafer proved otherwise in that quote I pasted up there. He calls Psychonauts an adventure game. If he thought they were dead, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be making them.

Udvarnoky
03-27-2005, 06:46 PM
Originally posted by Metallus
it seems like Schafer wanted to bring many adventure elements to a broader audience.

I'm sure that's part of it, but I think it's also important to point out that Tim has made it clear in various interviews that he is genuinely for the idea of Psychonauts being a platforming adventure because it makes gameplay more accessible.

Crawling Chaos
03-28-2005, 06:36 AM
The irony is that in the Psychonauts advertisments on various sites (including adventure games sites) it says "From the makers of Grim Fandago"!!

Thrik
03-28-2005, 10:56 AM
I think it's worth nothing that there is an element of context surrounding this whole situation. In that interview, he was indirectly speaking to a bunch of traditional puzzle-driven adventure game fans. Although he may have his own ideas (which I agree with) on what exactly defines an "adventure game", he knows damn well that if the term "adventure game" is used in circles such as those he's addressing, they're going to automatically assume "puzzle driven", rather than "platform driven".

And he's right. The traditional, puzzle driven adventure games of the past are dead for the most part. Sure, they're still getting developed, and some potentially very good ones at that, but nobody can deny the fact that they have been pushed back into a niche of the general gaming market of modern times. Commercially, they're a whisker away from death. But personally, it's the ingenius character interaction, fully realised universes and permanently memorable situations which make an adventure game for me. Not the fact that I'm sat there solving puzzles and clicking my character around the screen.

Jake
03-28-2005, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by Crawling Chaos
Sorry, I 'll have to pass on this one.

Sorry, it's your loss!

Originally posted by Crawling Chaos
So, Tim hasn't make a game for a very long time...his planning his return after a series of years with a platform game.

And, for the record, this isn't Tim's "return" to gaming... he's been working on Psychonauts steadily since he left LucasArts. It's not like he was out of the games industry for 4 years and has spent the last 12 months on Psychonauts, his "return to form" or something.

He was working on a different game at LucasArts right after Grim (which I can almost guarantee wasn't a "pure" adventure game), but the working conditions and internal bull at LucasArts reached an astronomical level, so he and a bunch of others packed up and left. Psychonauts has been what he's been up to for the past four years.

Originally posted by Crawling Chaos
The irony is that in the Psychonauts advertisments on various sites (including adventure games sites) it says "From the makers of Grim Fandago"!!

Because it is by the makers of Grim Fandango! What is ironic about that statement?

The large bulk of the team that created Grim Fandango left LucasArts in 2000-2001 to make Psychonauts. As far as team leads go, Psychonauts has the same writer/designer as Grim (Tim Schafer), the same visual designer/concept artist as Grim (Peter Chan), the same musician as Grim (Peter McConnell), the same voice director (Kris Brown), and many of the same programmers, animators, and even office staff as Grim. Therefore it is "from the makers of Grim Fandango." LucasArts was not the "maker of Grim Fandango" if that's what you're trying to imply - the people who made it were.

Joshi
03-28-2005, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by RemiO
Dreamfall certainly looks good, though Tørnquist goes out of his way to let people know that it's not an adventure game. So I guess that strengthens Tim's point. ;-*

Back when TLJ came out, the best platform out there to tell his story was point n click adventure. Since then, such games as Beyond Good and Evil (I know, I keep reffering to it, but it is a really good game) have come out that showed that a decent story can be incorporated into decent gameplay, even when it isn't fully puzzle driven. \i don't know if Dreamfall will be point n click or not, but eitherway, i'll be playing it to get more of the brilliant story that was put down in TLJ (plus the new girl looks hot, is it me or have computer game heroines become hot in the last few years?)

Psychonauts, I think also follows this line, it's a new way to tell a story through a game and Tim's embracing it. If he had the full choice of putting this story to ppoint n click adventures or going the way he wen without people throwing sales figures at him, I think he still would have gone the way he has because it's the way forward and it works well.

Jake
03-28-2005, 04:12 PM
Just top clear up any confusion, yoyoman is Randy Sluganski.

At least he gets credit for successfully stirring the pot a bit (and drumming up some new readers for his column to boot).

Udvarnoky
03-28-2005, 05:06 PM
Yeah, well, anyway back to what this is really about - arguing with Joshi about Maniac Mansion, which I'm now at liberty to continue seeing as I've said my Psychonauts piece which I needed to get off my back.


It's really an initial struggle with trying to figure out what everything does, much in the same way with text based games where initially, you have to figure out which commands to type in. There's no argument that it didn't help a lot, but there was a lot of guesswork to begin with.

How? How are verbs like "Open" or "Turn Off" ambiguous? How is it not clear what everything does? Where does the guesswork come in to play?

I guess what I was saying was that it only simplified it to the point where you didn't have to guess at the words to type in as they were done for you by just clicking on the appropriate verb and object and so on. But much in the same way as a text based game, sometimes (no particular situation) one may find that he had to open the door as a posed to use the door or walk through the door. This has been simplified a lot now, and hell, even Maniac Mansion made it a lot easier than it would have been had it been text based. What I was getting at was the fact that if you took a text based game and turned it into a point n click scumm adventure with all available verbs, it'd look something like the Maniac Mansion interface.

No. What it would look like is a list of hundreds of confusing verbs that you actually have to guess to figure out and the only alleviation of difficulty would be the fact that you wouldn't have to actually type stuff in. Maniac Mansion was a lot more streamlined than I feel you're giving it credit for. The way I look at it is just like any of the later games but wirth a couple of extra verbs and the infamous "What Is" thing.

Plus that fact that most of the time, you'd have to choose a verb, click on and then choose another verb and then something else again (I think, I'm a little hazy, been a while since MM) which was a lot of excess mouse movement that i wasn't used to (this is my own opinion after having played games with more simplified controls like SOMI and MI2, call me vain if you must but that's how I found it) which, for me made it slightly irritating.

That's simply because Maniac Mansion still had the "What Is" verb which was designed so that the player could click on it and hover around to find all the objects. By Monkey Island 1 (or the NES version of Maniac Mansion - I'm not sure which came first) they simply integrated "What Is" into the interface so that object names would appear in the sentence line automatically when you hovered over them, saving you some clicks. Again, a minor annoyance, but it's just one extra click of the mouse and hardly something I'd use to describe as merely a step up from guess-the-parser games. The only real bothersome thing I could see stemming from this would be finding a light switch in a dark room (which is what I believe "What Is" was mainly made for), but the game is so second nature to me at this point that I know where the switches are, so again it's not a big deal for me.

And I can't think of any part of the game where you had to select two verbs in a single sentence.

Again, I'm not arguing that the new SCUMM interface wasn't innovative for it's time, or anything, I was simply making an observation and applying an opinion.

I respect your opinion. It's just to me "innovative for its time" is a phrase I'd apply to something a little less, well, very important. The kind of jump made with Maniac Mansion was more than just a convenience; it truly changed the way adventure games worked, and the later games that so many people refer to as the greatest really owe a lot to this game.

Don't get me wrong; it's my belief that they really got the engine perfected with Monkey Island 1 forward. I'm not going to argue that MM, Zak, and Indy3 have some dated irritations, but they are very slight in the long run.

Joshi
03-28-2005, 05:30 PM
Can't believe you continued with that.

Fine, you're right I'm wrong, end of discussion. (I'd argue, but I see no reason to justify an opinion when it really doesn't effect you)

Jake:

Weirdly enough, I just thought people were mentioning him in the wild hope that he would come here (or so they could talk about him behind his back).

Either way, I don't see any point in e-mailing Schafer about it, what's he (note I'm talking about him in the third person now, I doubt he'll come back here considering he hasn't yet) expecting? That Tim will make a public announcement, that his opinion was wrong and that he'll revoke his statement? Tim has said what he's said and left it at that, there's no point debating it.

daltysmilth
03-29-2005, 12:24 AM
If you ask me, I think Tim probably meant that graphics "killed" adventure games in the same way that illustrations "killed" books. I think he just means that people had to use their imaginations with text adventures, and there is no limit to what you can imagine. And he did go on to say that even text adventures have their limits. You can only go where the author of the text adventure wants you to go. And you can only do what the author wants you to do. And if Tim really thinks text adventures are so superior to graphic adventures, what's stopping him from making his own text adventure(s)? He could still do games like Psychonauts and just make text adventures as a hobby on the side.

Jake
03-29-2005, 01:24 AM
Though I don't entirely agree with Tim, I also can see where he's coming from. Tim or one of those guys (some Lucasite) once remarked in an interview that if you wanted to drastically rewrite the ending of your text adventure game so an army of millions invades on the town, all it takes is a half hour at the keypad, but the second graphics appeared, things like that were totally out since someone had to actually draw it. That difficulty is compounded again when you add voice actors, prerendered cutscenes, realtime 3d sets, etc etc.

I think one of the things a lot of the earlier adventure makers liked was that the process of making the games was very organic and spontaneous - like for instance the rumor that all the dialogue in the 3 trials part of Monkey Island 1 was written as humorous banter between Schafer and Grossman, but then ended up being what really went into the game. They just wrote what they thought would be good, and fiddled around with it until everyone thought it worked, then out it went into the hands of gamers.

You can't do that anymore, I think that style of gamemaking was important to Tim, and text adventures were the purest form of that type of game development. So his remarks make sense, even if he was probably being extreme about it.

ThunderPeel2001
03-29-2005, 02:37 AM
I think I agree with this...

The Adventure Game Is Dead…. Long Live The Adventure Game!

I’m sure many of us have been wondering what’s happened to our favourite genre lately. Was LucasArts right to cancel Sam N Max 2 a few months from competition? Would it not have sold well? Is the adventure game really a dead fish in today’s gaming water?

Well the answer is a definitive yes… and no.

While ‘traditional’ adventures like The Secret of Monkey Island, Sam N Max and Grim Fandango, are would undoubtedly sink without a trace in today’s gaming world, the elements that made them so fun to play, live on.

Huh?

What is an adventure game when you strip it down to its core elements? Trying to piece together a story by talking to people, solving puzzles and exploring locations? I can think of plenty of hugely popular console games that have done that, and have done for years. What was Zelda or Final Fantasy is not a slightly more advanced adventure game under the guise ‘RPG’?

The traditional, computer based adventure game is dead because it’s old fashioned, out-dated and well, boring and poorly designed, by today’s gaming standards. What fun is a game that just stops when you get stuck? What fun is a game that’s supposed to be a ‘tense, dangerous, atmospheric thriller’ when you can get stuck in one location for days because you haven’t given one odd item to one character somewhere. It’s no longer tense, there’s no sense of danger and the atmosphere goes out the window!

Today’s gamers are no more likely to want to walk around endless, uninteractive locations with only a few items to interact with, getting stuck on a puzzle, not being able to move forwards (which in short simply stops the gameplay itself!) than they our likely to want ten minutes for a chance to guide Miner Willy through his poorly rendered caves.

The adventure game as we knew it, is dead. It had to be. But it’s elements live on in modern games: Knights of the Old Republic, for example, is one of the best examples of an adventure game I’ve ever played. There’s amazing characterization, brilliant dialogue, puzzles, great locations, superb atmosphere and genuine sense that you’re part of a living breathing story. And yet I never got bored, I never got ‘stuck’, and I never felt frustrated with an illogical puzzle.

The adventure elements lived on…

In Conclusion…

While most of today’s games see characters, storyline and plot as a hindrance, they will eventually evolve into something more cohesive and complete. For adventure fans their favourite genre still lives on in modern gaming, but in a more evolved, generally better, state. As gamers continue to be more picky and demanding in certain ways, the gaming world will continue to evolve into more and more advanced games. The gameplay of just ‘blowing things up’ will continue to live on for a quick, satisfying game, but the for those with more time on their hands, or those who want something more cerebral, the adventure game will live on in new, better incarnations.

The Adventure Game Is Dead… Long Live The Adventure Game!

Jake
03-29-2005, 03:20 AM
Er, what's that from?

Alien426
03-29-2005, 05:27 AM
From justadventure.com (http://www.justadventure.com/articles/The_Adventure_Game_Is_Dead/Adventure_Is_Dead_1.shtm).

Everybody check out Return To Mysterious Island (http://www.mysteriousislandgame.com). I've played it through and even though it's a bit short I liked it a lot.

Joshi
03-30-2005, 10:12 AM
The last adventue game I played that was inspired by Jules Verne was Journey to the centre of the earth and, graphically, it looked the same. Now I'm not one to judge a book by it's cover, there are plenty of point n click adventures that look like that, I'm sure Dreamfall will (be it a point n click adventure or other), but JTTCOTE was simply a bad game. Granted I didn't give it much of a chance, I only played it for about an hour or two, but I really didn't like it for a whole host of reasons I'm not going to go into. That said Return to Mysterious island is probably not at all like that, but I'm in no way inclined to buy it.

Alien426
03-30-2005, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by Joshi
I'm in no way inclined to buy it.
Then try the demo. That's what got me to buy the game.

Joshi
03-30-2005, 04:39 PM
I actually considered that, but I'm running a 300K connection (or so my dad say, I actually have no idea) and it's a 200+ mb file. I'll wait till I get back to uni to download it (uni's got a faster connection)