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Is there a key you can press to show hints in-game?

posted by Bruce Achterberg on - last edited - Viewed by 802 users

Is there any way to press a key in TMI and have the hint shown for whatever puzzle you're up to?

I know Guybrush does say hints every now and then, depending on your hint frequency, but if you're, say, crossing over into another area (which causes the game to load) and Guybrush is giving you a hint, you have to wait a while for him to say it again, which I find makes my game experience less enjoyable and immersive.

I recently found out about the "show object" (hit F4... that's F4, not alt+F4, which would close the game) key, and was wondering if there was a secret "repeat hint" or "show hint" key.

(If there isn't such a key, I would definitely love to see one available in the next episodes. I found the "on demand," "press a key, get a hint" feature invaluable in Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. Ideally, it'd be nice if you could get not just one general hint, but also a specific, "this is what you need to do hint" after you press the hint key a few times, like in MI:SE.)

10 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I haven't noticed such a key.
    And yes it is handy in SoMI:SE, had to use it for at least two hints unfortunately. I feel me kind of cheat when I have to do it :) But it's definately better than a walkthrough, because you're easily tempted to read further and just follow that.

  • Yeah I agree, rather than a hint level I'd prefer a button that distributes hints that get more to the point with each press. That way if I get stuck I can just ask for help rather than have Guybrush give me clues when I know full well what needs to be done.

  • Unfortunately I don't think such hint mechanism can be integrated into ToMI.

    SoMI have the wonderful hint system, as it is a game that have been played millions of times over the decades. The original game have no hints per se. But there have been enough feedback, discussions and talks all round to give the developers an idea where are what type of hints to give.

    For a new game, it is extremely hard to know what puzzle is going to stump a gamer; when to give hints; and how much information is too much information. It will need a lot of game-testing, and a lot of follow-up work between the testers and the designers to come out with a feature that will provide suitable hints, something like the way SoMI did with their hint system. And at this point, I really don't see how the company can afford the luxury to put in the hint system.

  • I don't know, I love the actual hint system. I don't think why they should change it.

  • @smashing said: Unfortunately I don't think such hint mechanism can be integrated into ToMI.

    SoMI have the wonderful hint system, as it is a game that have been played millions of times over the decades. The original game have no hints per se. But there have been enough feedback, discussions and talks all round to give the developers an idea where are what type of hints to give.

    For a new game, it is extremely hard to know what puzzle is going to stump a gamer; when to give hints; and how much information is too much information. It will need a lot of game-testing, and a lot of follow-up work between the testers and the designers to come out with a feature that will provide suitable hints, something like the way SoMI did with their hint system. And at this point, I really don't see how the company can afford the luxury to put in the hint system.

    I don't know, instead of having the characters say the hint that they currently say (with frequency determined by the hint level), remove the hint level system altogether and have them say it when you press a button. The hints themselves are already programed into the game.

    Currently, I maybe need hints on one or two occasions. I can't keep the hint system on because I don't want hints for most of the game, only when I'm really stuck, and the current hint system has a chance to have someone say a hint at a random time if its turned on. So I'm forced to turn it completely off, then when I need a hint turn it to the max and run around for a few seconds till he says the hint, then turn it completely off again. Switching it to a button press would just be easier.

  • @turingmachine604 said: I don't know, instead of having the characters say the hint that they currently say (with frequency determined by the hint level), remove the hint level system altogether and have them say it when you press a button. The hints themselves are already programed into the game.

    Yeah, doing it like that would be fine. A hint system with more "gradients" (i.e. the hints get more obvious as you press the button, like the Special Edition of Monkey Island) would be ideal, but this would work, too.

    The idea behind my suggestion is to emphasise continuity and immersion in the game experience. When I played ToMI, hints being cut off if I walked into a different section of the level really stuck out (at least, for me), and made the game less immersive. It's sort of like watching a DVD and having it skip, or something--you become more aware that you're "watching a DVD" (read: playing a game, in the case of ToMI), instead of being immersed in the experience completely engrossed, temporarly transported to the world of whatever you're watching (read: playing).

  • @smashing said: Unfortunately I don't think such hint mechanism can be integrated into ToMI.

    SoMI have the wonderful hint system, as it is a game that have been played millions of times over the decades. The original game have no hints per se. But there have been enough feedback, discussions and talks all round to give the developers an idea where are what type of hints to give.

    For a new game, it is extremely hard to know what puzzle is going to stump a gamer; when to give hints; and how much information is too much information. It will need a lot of game-testing, and a lot of follow-up work between the testers and the designers to come out with a feature that will provide suitable hints, something like the way SoMI did with their hint system. And at this point, I really don't see how the company can afford the luxury to put in the hint system.

    I think almost everything these days, not just games, needs more user testing, simply because I see so many things with potential for improvement (obviously it's not just me who can see the potential; my personality just leads me to be a bit more vocal about it at times). There's always potential for improvement, but there's also a sort of sweet spot where the design of something is at least "comfortable," in that "things just work" (see the God of War game series; those games, for the most part, flowed. They had extensive play testing, and yes, a massive budget, but many games with similar budgets aren't nearly as good as the God of War series, which I believe can be at least partly attributed to lack of extensive play testing). The saying, "a system is at it's best when you don't notice it working" seems to apply here.

    Budget constraints are indeed a factor, but I think many things (not just games) could be improved significantly with a few, low-cost tweaks (or at least, tweaks with costs equal to those incurred already) here and there. (This is a big subject, though, in that there are many--many reasons behind why certain things are design the way they are--not just referring to games.)

    Anyway, to respond more on-topic...

    I don't think it's difficult to come up with hints similar to MI:SE for ToMI (i.e. a hints system with more "gradients"). Many people in certain professions (writers; entreprenuers; teachers; etc) are well practiced in "getting in the head" of whoever they're serving and delivering content that is suitable for them (i.e. at their level; not too advanced, or, in the case of ToMI, hints that don't give too much away, while still being helpful).

    To do this for ToMI, I'd just assign the hints to a button and then create three levels for each of the current hints. The first group would have more cryptic (i.e. challenging) hints, the second has more direct, and the third would be blatantly instructional (although, since Guybrush speaks the hints, I can see how very instructional hints could impact immersion a bit, but I'd say not being able to solve a puzzle and alt-tabbing to an FAQ or quitting the game in frustration is more of an immersion killer). I'm not sure if this would lead to nobody ever getting stuck, but I think it'd be a significant improvement (mainly enhancing immersion, since I believe immersion is the lifeblood of most experiences--games--that are created for entertainment rather than education, or training, or other non-entertainment purposes).

    That said, I can see how it'd take a lot of time to do that, so indeed, it is a money thing.

    I'm pretty sure Telltale did their best, given the resources they had available. I'm not so much saying "the hint system is bad," but more so "here's an easy way it can be improved" (re: the idea for assigning hints to a button. The hint system "gradient" idea is a nice possibility, but the assigning hints to a button idea is more of a realistic change that could probably be implement fairly easily and have a nice return on investment).

  • I seem to remember going through S&M season 2 in general with the hint system turned off, but cranking it up to maximum frequency when I got stuck. Pretty much immediately Max would give a hint, at which point I'd turn it down again; a bit laborious but it seemed to do the trick, unless I was just lucky.

  • @mclem said: I seem to remember going through S&M season 2 in general with the hint system turned off, but cranking it up to maximum frequency when I got stuck. Pretty much immediately Max would give a hint, at which point I'd turn it down again; a bit laborious but it seemed to do the trick, unless I was just lucky.

    Nah that always works for me.

  • @mclem said: I seem to remember going through S&M season 2 in general with the hint system turned off, but cranking it up to maximum frequency when I got stuck. Pretty much immediately Max would give a hint, at which point I'd turn it down again; a bit laborious but it seemed to do the trick, unless I was just lucky.

    @mclem said: Nah that always works for me.

    Oh, thank you both--that's helpful info. Thanks!

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