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The Past/Future of adventure gaming

posted by Welshy on - last edited - Viewed by 462 users

Reading a little blog about adventure gaming and its planted some thoughts in my brain.

Adventurous Gameous: The Rebirth

Basically, the question asked is - Will the popularity in adventure games continue to rise? If so, can it stay that way for long if the genre cannot evolve any further?

I especially like this part about TT: "I don't doubt that the rise in adventure games has been partially if not almost entirely down to them."

Personally I doubt we will see a continual rise in popularity - although im sure the new Monkey Islands will help a bit.

Thoughts?

46 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • It'll get more popular but it'll never be mainstream as say Halo.

    But I'm OK with that.

  • @PariahKing said: It'll get more popular but it'll never be mainstream as say Halo.

    But I'm OK with that.

    Well, actually there is an adventure game that is as mainstream and talked about and well known as Halo. It's called Myst. Seriously, even the least nerdy jocks and preppies are people I have heard praise this game. I've never played it myself though, so I don't know why it's so praiseworthy, but it is indeed one of the most mainstream adventure games ever made.

  • I think the decline of adventure games was largely down to the way that so many of the early ones tried to not only defeat the player but often make it impossible to finish the game if they missed something important early on. (This was one of the things Ron Gilbert was trying to put a stop to with Monkey Island).

    Even after MI, when so few adventures followed the old tactic, there were still often player defeating puzzles and it would be years before the internet was widely accessible so that people could just look up hints. (I don't think there were any books just for walkthroughs but even if there were I can't imagine too many people buying them. We don't pay to cheat, do we?)

    As Pariah said; Adventure games may never be quite as popular as halo or GTA or whatever else but I do think people are looking for something more from games. For a while now the stories of most games have been becoming more and more advanced and I'm certain that this is something the consumers are asking for and not something being forced upon them (why would developers want to waste resources on extra content when they don't need to?)

    Today was the very first time I have ever seen an adventure game advertised on TV. And I'm not talking about reviews on some games show that nobody watches but a whole advertisement paid for by Nintendo; "Another Code: R" and I really think that means something.

    So yes, adventures may never be as popular as more 'action packed' games. But I think that if the right game was to come along, a game with a great story and just the right levels of excitement, suspense, humour, intrigue, (etc etc etc) it can attract floods of people that nobody ever expected. @Secret Fawful said: Well, actually there is an adventure game that is as mainstream and talked about and well known as Halo. It's called Myst. Seriously, even the least nerdy jocks and preppies are people I have heard praise this game. I've never played it myself though, so I don't know why it's so praiseworthy, but it is indeed one of the most mainstream adventure games ever made. Myst came out in 1993, before adventure games started 'dying out'. Yeah, it was the world's best selling game before the sims but by that time Adventure games were an obscure genre and the titles within it were generally unknown among the unwashed masses.

  • The capacity for adventure games to evolve really does exist. Loom and Maniac Mansion did things that no other adventure had ever done, providing interfaces not yet seen. You can see the interface simplifying over the years, from guess-the-text parsers to verb bars to selections of a few verbs to single click.

    And there is an adventure game as popular and mainstream as Halo. It's called Portal.

    The idea that adventure games have one future that they'll all stick to doesn't sit well with me. I'd like to see a lot of people go off in radically different directions when it comes to puzzle-driven narrative games.

  • My facts could be mostly wrong, but the idea that rang the most true to me was that the adventure game scene hasn't gotten any smaller --- it just stayed the same size while video games became hugely mainstream. So now instead of being a large chunk of the small computer games market, it's a tiny spot in the massive video games market.

  • I would say the market definitely had shrunk over the years and has been doing so since, say, around 1997/8 until now, and still were not seeing too many. They used to flood the market and only now are these types of games coming back onto the shelves but its still few and far between. Hopefully we will see more.

    Rather_Dashing
    Personally I wouldn't count the likes of Portal as a true adventure game but more simply a puzzle game, although i'm sure some people might. Maybe the reason were not seeing so many old school adventure games is that they have evolved and aspects of them have mixed into other genre's? Our Zelda's, Portals and MMO's.

  • When I said "the market" I was (at least as my intention) referring to the group of people that want to buy adventure games. There's still a market for adventure games, but the markets for other types of games have grown so much that most gaming companies don't see it as a worthwhile focus. That was the point I was going for.

    Portal is an adventure game. Sure, the puzzles are a bit rigid and structured, especially at the beginning, but that was also the case with, for example, Myst 3. It's a design choice but it doesn't nullify its adventure status, in my opinion.

  • If it evolves, it'll survive and grow. If people keep complaining about wanting to keep 2D graphics and P&C interfaces, it will die again.

    [quote]My facts could be mostly wrong, but the idea that rang the most true to me was that the adventure game scene hasn't gotten any smaller --- it just stayed the same size while video games became hugely mainstream. So now instead of being a large chunk of the small computer games market, it's a tiny spot in the massive video games market.[/quote]

    That's an interesting observation. I've never really looked at it like that before.

  • @Welshy said:

    Rather_Dashing
    Personally I wouldn't count the likes of Portal as a true adventure game but more simply a puzzle game, although i'm sure some people might. Maybe the reason were not seeing so many old school adventure games is that they have evolved and aspects of them have mixed into other genre's? Our Zelda's, Portals and MMO's.


    I disagree. I do think there is a difference between puzzle games and adventure games, and even puzzle games with a narrative and adventure games. But Portal is definitely full-on Adventure.

    An Adventure game is a game in which the puzzles move the story forward. The structure of Portal may have been designed in such a way that the narrative was wrapped around the puzzles, but all the same it's not in the same league as, say, "Professor Layton".

    The lack of an inventory or other such mainstays of the genre doesn't really change much. It's an adventure game to me in the same way that Loom is.

  • @Rather Dashing said: And there is an adventure game as popular and mainstream as Halo. It's called Portal.

    I would quite like to see adventure games go in "radical different directions", too, but I think one of the defining aspects of the genre is that it lacks action. Otherwise it's just an Platformer, Sandbox or FPS with puzzles.*

    Sadly, this may have been one of the contributing factors in the genre's lack of popularity.

    But now that consumers are actually seeking stories in their games is probably one of the factors in their revival, as an Adventure is nothing if not a self contained story that moves at your pace that you can feel involved in. TTG has really latched onto this with making their games episodic. To me that is a different direction that some have even considered radical (I don't know if they're the first game company to come up with this but kudos if they are :D), which allows for contained stories.

    *An exception to this might be ‘In Cold Blood’ by Revolution Software which gives you the option of using your gun to shoot enemies (unless the situation requires stealth) but it isn't required. Actually, no... It's a stealth game with puzzles, forget I mentioned it. @Rather Dashing said: When I said "the market" I was (at least as my intention) referring to the group of people that want to buy adventure games. There's still a market for adventure games, but the markets for other types of games have grown so much that most gaming companies don't see it as a worthwhile focus. That was the point I was going for. I understood what you said :D You're saying that the adventure games market has remained the same while the entire games market has expanded exponentially.

    And I think there's a good chance you're right.

    It doesn't seem so long since computer games were viewed as an obscure form of entertainment for kids and the nerdy. But a lot of that market was made up of youngsters who wouldn't have had much attention for Adventures, even SMI and its successors. I think they’d have been behind the demand for games with much more action. (I’m certain they might be the reason why so many console games in the mid 90s were scrolling platformers).

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