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Multiple Paths through the game?

posted by TechnoGoth on - last edited - Viewed by 1.6K users

Should Back to the Future games bring back the adventure game idea of multiple solutions and multiple paths through the game? A lot of the old Lucas arts games like the Indian Jones series had several ways to solve puzzles and even multiple routes through the game. Don't you think the tell tale games could benefit from this?

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  • that's RPGs. not adventure games. RPGs are about letting you tailor a character to your own preferences, so multiple paths are preferable.

    Adventure games are not about character customization. They're about puzzle solving and while there may be many ways to solve a puzzle there's usually only one best/funniest/most interesting way to do it. Why bother with the rest?

    If the game has multiple paths, then great. I'm only trying to list the reasons I've seen programmers from Telltale state in the past why we're not likely to see it. And it's not a dumb reason. Do you want them to work on more content you probably won't see or content you probably will?

  • Multiple puzzle solutions would be fine, but I can't see the point in multiple paths to be honest. Telling multiple stories at once seems to me to be a waste of resources.

    And they would need to all resolve and re-integrate by the end of each episode, as there are logistical issues in reading savegame data on consoles from the previous episode.

  • Mass Effect can do it.

    @ Xavian; so why not Adventure games? Isn't "lack of replayability" because it's always the same one of the big cons of the genre. How are you going to alter that if it stays on it's pre-defined path of 'one puzzle, one solution'?

    Like said, RPG's do it since, well, forever. Adventure games can really benefit from this too.

  • It would be interesting for some (not me). It would just take more time to put together. Since more ideas are needed. In an episodic adventure series, where it couldn't carry over into the next (with out confusion) would be pointless though.

    Why would I go back and solve the puzzle a different way, I already would have completed the story, time to move on. Heck, I don't even replay any RPGs that do stuff like that. When I beat a game, I want to move on.

  • @jp-30 said: I can't see the point in multiple paths to be honest. Telling multiple stories at once seems to me to be a waste of resources.

    So, King's Quest 6, Fate of Atlantis, (arguably) Last Crusade, Maniac Mansion...all wastes of resources?

    I agree there are several reasons it wouldn't work in an episodic game, but for adventure games in general, I think multiple story paths not only adds replayability, but added value for different player levels. Someone a little less comfortable with adventure games can complete the story from the "easiest" path, and someone who wants to dig a little deeper can get a more complex story.

    I understand why more adventure game designers don't do it--it's a LOT of hard work--but I always get excited when I realize there were multiple story options in an adventure game.

  • I meant a waste of resources in an 2-3 hour episodic game.

  • @Hassat Hunter said: @ Xavian; so why not Adventure games? Isn't "lack of replayability" because it's always the same one of the big cons of the genre. How are you going to alter that if it stays on it's pre-defined path of 'one puzzle, one solution'?

    I'm not sure you can alter it. My point is that it works well with RPGs. In RPGs, you have the potential to create different kinds of characters with different advantages, disadvantages and possibly different philosophies. There it might make sense to let you bypass a dangerous situation by attacking, talking your way out of it, or sneaking past it. That's great for an RPG.

    But in an adventure game, not so much. Will people go back and replay it JUST to see the alternate solutions? Die-hard gamers, certainly. They're the same people who will probably replay it just to see dialogue choices they didn't click. But the casual gamer? Not nearly as likely.

    Someone mentioned the Indiana Jones games having multiple solutions. That's great. But are all the solutions really something Indiana Jones would do? Did they all really feel like something you'd see in the movies? Some of them yes, others probably not.

    There's no point in offering us multiple ways to bypass a puzzle if one or more of those ways doesn't feel like something Marty would do or if it wouldn't belong in the movie. If there's only one clear obvious approach that's suitable for Marty McFly, then I'm fine if the programmers want to focus their attention on that. And if having less alternate paths means more puzzles/more content in the main linear path, then that's fine with me too.

    Before we worry about a game that's entertaining to replay, let's remember the important thing is to make a game that's entertaining to play.

  • @jp-30 said: I meant a waste of resources in an 2-3 hour episodic game.

    Well, in that case, I agree.

    @jp-30 said: But in an adventure game, not so much. Will people go back and replay it JUST to see the alternate solutions? Die-hard gamers, certainly. They're the same people who will probably replay it just to see dialogue choices they didn't click. But the casual gamer? Not nearly as likely.

    But that's okay; replay value isn't the only reason to have multiple solutions/storylines. Multiple solutions are great for gamers with different levels of experience/different ways of thinking, and having those solutions have different consequences just makes the story and the world deeper. And while the effort required to make that happen will be lost on a lot of people, the effort behind EVERY aspect of any piece of entertainment is lost on most people. :P

    @jp-30 said: Someone mentioned the Indiana Jones games having multiple solutions. That's great. But are all the solutions really something Indiana Jones would do? Did they all really feel like something you'd see in the movies? Some of them yes, others probably not.

    It's been a long time since I've last played them, but I don't remember any solutions sticking out in my mind as un-Indy-like. Of course, maybe I just never found those particular solutions. :P

  • Meh, I disagree.

    Who cares if casual players only play a game once? Are we going to let our games suffer in name of pseudo-gamers?
    I don't mind them, but if my games are molested to make it friendly for them, and hence unfun for me, I really don't want it anymore.

    TTG already makes most games unable to get 100% of all content in a single playthrough. According to your philosophy they should throw these side-gags away for something that everyone get to experience? How would it be different with this, except the effort is spend on something else than merely a gag (think the excellent golden pantaloons scene in 304)?

    Episodic might even make it easier and better to do this, cause if you want to change something in ep #3 you don't HAVE to do #1 and #2 too, unlike full games, to get a new savegame with the changes you wish for.

    Stagnation is devolution...

  • @Hassat Hunter said: Meh, I disagree.

    Who cares if casual players only play a game once? Are we going to let our games suffer in name of pseudo-gamers?
    I don't mind them, but if my games are molested to make it friendly for them, and hence unfun for me, I really don't want it anymore.

    TTG already makes most games unable to get 100% of all content in a single playthrough. According to your philosophy they should throw these side-gags away for something that everyone get to experience? How would it be different with this, except the effort is spend on something else than merely a gag (think the excellent golden pantaloons scene in 304)?

    Episodic might even make it easier and better to do this, cause if you want to change something in ep #3 you don't HAVE to do #1 and #2 too, unlike full games, to get a new savegame with the changes you wish for.

    Stagnation is devolution...

    I think you're still missing my point, which I'm not going to reiterate except to say that there's a big difference between a few lines of alternate dialogue or an optional sight gag and a /puzzle/ in a /puzzle-based/ game that the player will not see in the course of playing the game. To ensure that a player /cannot/ see /all/ the puzzles in a single playthrough is a colossal waste.

    And my final point above was very valid. That before Telltale worries about making sure this game is fun to replay, they need to make sure it's fun to play. That has to be the utmost priority. There's no excuse to sacrifice play value for replay value. Not in this genre. If you disagree, fine, but I think most people will agree that it makes sense to focus on the core game rather than sidetracks.

    But realistically, the game will be what it can be. This thread is no more likely to cause Telltale to add multiple paths if they didn't plan to, and my replies are unlikely to discourage them from doing so if that is their intention. This whole debate is meaningless. The decision was made months ago. All we can do is wait and see if they made the right choice.

    Finis.

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