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Anyone else miss multiple choices?

posted by Zamot on - last edited - Viewed by 486 users

I think Telltale has done an excellent job keeping the spirit of adventure gaming alive, staying true to the old 90's style and at the same time bringing in new stuff. However, there's one thing I miss when comparing to the old LucasArts classics: Multiple choices.

When the player interacts with the objects there's only one thing to do; click on it and see what happens. I miss being able to look at a person before talking to them, looking at an object before picking it up etc. It gives the player more freedom, gives descriptions of the environment and adds content to the game. My favorite adventure game interface is the hand/eye/mouth-style that's used in CMI and Full Throttle. One mouse button for look and the other for talk/use/pick up/whatever works pretty good too.

I know the Telltale team knows their game making and that some of them worked on the old LucasArts classics so I'm pretty sure they didn't just forget about multiple choices, more likely excluded them for a reason. Actually I'm a little curious what that reason might be.

Also note that I'm not complaining, it's just a thought I felt like sharing. So what do you other Telltale fans think about this?

19 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I want the look at option back for gameplay objects, because it would be hilarious to hear Sam's or Strong Bad's description of not only inventory items but of gameplay items too

  • I actualy did like the multiple choices. It actually added to the challange to the games. Like the underwater puzzle in monkey island one would be way to easy without the multiple choices.

  • I definitely miss multiple choices, too. Aside from adding difficulty to games, it was also a great opportunity to read/hear more dialogue. In TTG games, clicking something just completes the appropriate action for you, whereas if we had look/pick-up/use options for everything in the game, there would be lots more funny dialogue than we have now. Maybe they just don't have the time to do it with a monthly release schedule, or all of that extra dialogue would make the file sizes too big?

  • I actually prefer the newer style of one action per object - sometimes in those older games it got really annoying in that you had to choose the right verb or nothing happened.

    e.g. "Open door" wouldn't work, but "Push door" did... how annoying would that be?

    Being able to just click on an item and get to either pick it up, interact with it, look at it, etc just tells you what you can do with it. Can't pick it up? Then it's not for your inventory no matter how much you want it. Generally speaking based on the dialogue for a "look" action, it would give some clue as to whether interaction would be needed (now or later) or whether it's just set dressing.

    Eh, maybe I just don't feel like wasting hours trying different verbs on everything just to see if I can get something funny rather than just "I can't do that" or its variation.

  • @Molokov said: I actually prefer the newer style of one action per object - sometimes in those older games it got really annoying in that you had to choose the right verb or nothing happened.

    e.g. "Open door" wouldn't work, but "Push door" did... how annoying would that be?

    There is a happy medium to be found, and a lot of games found it. Full Throttle, Curse of Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, The Longest Journey and many others managed to balance control versus complexity. Most of these had three options, if I recall correctly. Look, talk to, or interact with. That way you could choose to try and read the sign on the door, or talk to the person on the other side, without jumping straight to kicking the door down.

    To me having only one option with a click leaves me feeling like I'm not actually controlling the game. If I can't control weather my character chats with someone, or punches them in the mouth, am I really doing anything at all?

  • @figmentPez said:
    To me having only one option with a click leaves me feeling like I'm not actually controlling the game. If I can't control weather my character chats with someone, or punches them in the mouth, am I really doing anything at all?

    To be fair, a lot of the responses you get from those games are basically "I can't do THAT to that!". You're not really controlling the game either way, the game just stops you from whatever you want to do when it doesn't see it fit.

  • @Falanca said: To be fair, a lot of the responses you get from those games are basically "I can't do THAT to that!". You're not really controlling the game either way, the game just stops you from whatever you want to do when it doesn't see it fit.

    I don't think that is entirely fair. Even if I don't always have multiple options, that doesn't make it the same as never having multiple options. Most items in your inventory result in a "I can't use this on that", does that mean we should simplify the inventory to a single option and let the game decide what item is the appropriate one to use? If we condense Look, Talk, Use down to a single Interact option, why not take Wrench, Pencil, Rubber Chicken (with a pulley in it) and Gem and just turn them into Inventory? Is there a significant difference I'm not seeing?

  • TTG's adventures aren't for adventure gamers anymore, not with BTTF.

    They might look like adventures on a first view where you can walk around, explore, interact, experiment and solve riddles but they really aren't. These are games which primary are afraid of beeing adventures, afraid that there might exist a living creature on this planet who might be too dumb to understand the game and so resulting in a lost sale.

    Video games related TTG is the biggest dissapointment of 2010.

  • I miss the possibility of having multiple choices.
    And I think a three verb interface maybe with some appropriate default value.
    (If I click on a door, I don't want to talk to it, I want it to open and then walk through)

    And one thing I also miss is the multiple solutions games like Maniac Mansion offered.

    It made it feel more like a real game..and increased replay value.
    And replay value is the one thing most adventures lack nowadays, which is probably the main reason why they aren't popular anymore.


    And it's not like it would be impossible with episodic games.

    The end result of an episode could remain the same, all it changes are small details on how you got there.
    But it is all about giving the player the illusion that his choices do matter.

  • Have always been a fan of multiple choices. While a 9-12 verb interface such as the old Lucas classics had certainly gives a lot of possibilities, a 3 or 2 verb interface should work better for today's market.

    The CMI verb coin was apparently so intuitive that after CMI for a while every adventure I played used that. Then came other games which used the "left click/right click" interface, which is fine too. Right click to look, left click to do. Or, if you want to keep it simple take a look at the interface for MI2:SE. Only relevant verbs are shown when you click on something, so whatever you choose, at least it gives you a hint about the item you're interacting with or a funny line.

    The essence of an adventure game was for me always to figure out a world which you don't understand yet. As such, you should be able to find out things about the world by examining things in the world and interacting in different ways, and not just magically have the character do the right thing.

    I already posted this comparison in a thread a while ago but in a discussion about choices I feel it's appropriate to bring this example again:
    Imagine you play Super Mario Bros., but it doesn't matter from which side you touch the enemy, you always survive and the enemy is always dead. After all, you do not *want* to die from the interaction with the enemy, but there is a reason why it's designed in a way that you HAVE a choice, of jumping ON it or running INTO it, because it's a game, and not an office program.

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