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Game too easy/ short/ lacks puzzles Thread

posted by joseppey on - last edited - Viewed by 3.7K users

How did the first episode compare in terms of difficulty to Telltale's other games?
(More specifically, the last Sam & Max season)

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    Macfly77 Moderator

    Like Dangerzone stated, the difficulty of the episodes in any given Telltale season stays pretty much the same throughout.
    However, I have a feeling that things will be different this time.
    Sam & Max and Tales of Monkey Island could afford to be a bit more difficult than Back to the Future, because the target audience for those games is mostly made up of adventure gamers who grew up on LucasArts and Sierra's point-and-click games.
    However, with Back to the Future, Telltale has a chance to reach a much bigger audience, a lot of which probably never played a point-and-click adventure game before and the last thing they want to do is antagonize that audience by making a game that will not let them in.
    Telltale's games have never been the most difficult, but if you search the Telltale forums, you will find out that even their easier games from other series provide some challenge to players who are new to the point-and-click adventure world.
    I predict that the difficulty will increase gradually over the course of the season, possibly reaching a TOMI level (but probably - hopefully? - not a Sam & Max Hit the Road level) by the last episode.
    I actually believe that the reason that Telltale is not going to make the free episode available before February is that they want the people who might decide to give up after one episode because it's too easy, to check out the forums (maybe to post negative comments about the lack of difficulty of the game ;)) and see comments made by people who played the second episode and might have found the difficulty nicely increased.
    It's all speculation at this time, but that's what I'm really hoping for.

    As for this:

    @Dangerzone said: The best way to see for yourself is to simply play another telltale game season :P

    you might want to try a free episode, say this one, which might give you a better idea of the usual difficulty of Telltale's games.

  • Yeah, it does answer my question. Thanks!

    During the BTTF preorder specials, I ordered almost every game Telltale has for 80% off, so I'll definitely get around to their other games soon. I've played Sam & Max Hit the Road, so probably playing through a Telltale season of that would give me the best indication.

  • how many hours to complete episode 1 ???
    im still waiting for PS3 ver and i heard from alot of people its way to easy =P

  • Some people said 2, some people said 4. It was exactly 3 hours for me. Didn't get stumped in any puzzles, didn't miss any crucial dialouge.

  • About 2 Hours on my first go, compared to the 4 hours per episode of Sam & Max Season 3.

  • Hours? I'm honestly not even sure I played for more than 2, but I wasn't timing myself either.

  • I really, really, really loved the story in the game, but the puzzles were really too easy! It was like watching a movie, and sometimes there was a pause where I had to click somewhere. I'm sorry but the best way in which I can describe this is by quoting Ron Gilbert

    From http://grumpygamer.com/2152210
    A great number of people in this business secretly (and not so secretly) wish they were making movies, not writing video games. Knock it off! If you really want to make movies, then go to film school and leave the game designing to people who want to make games.

    The point is that I'm loving BTTFTG like a movie, but not as a game.

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    Wise quote, thank you!!

  • I found it quite a bit too hard. I'd prefer it if, for instance, I didn't even have to think about where to click my mouse. In fact, why should I have to click my mouse at all? Shouldn't the game just decide where to click it for me? That'd be kind of like a BttF movie, except on my computer screen. Wow, wouldn't that be great? ^^

    Edit: haha, just read to the end of this thread ;)

  • I just finished Back to the Future episode 1 in one session, and felt I didn't need to think quite enough for this to be satisfyingly challenging.

    First of all, I'm a long time adventure game player and finished many of the classic Lucasfilm games, and I am definitely appreciating how TellTale is making these games much more casual these days. I think that's great… I *want* to play through a game in just some days and I don't want it to be as incredibly hard as some of the very old adventure games were (like the ones before the original Monkey Island in the 1980s). I did enjoy the level of difficulty of Monkey Island tales 1. Ideally, you get stuck a couple of times, but you will then find a solution after a lot of thinking. TellTale gives some of the sweetest products to gamers these days -- fresh adventures!

    [Spoilers ahead!]

    However, with Back to the Future 1, I found it was often just a matter of using whatever you just acquired with whatever new object or person was already around. For instance, if you find a rocket, then the bike is already standing there. The inventory is very limited, there's little to no red herrings, inventory items cannot be combined. Even if you're completely lost it usually is just a matter of clicking through the three combinations or so which you end up having. Limited maps -- for instance, just being able to crawl on a driving car -- create even less room for creative puzzle solving. I do enjoy easier parts and limited maps in such a game, by the way, it can be a great relief to have a little bit of an easier part to deal with. But if it's all too easy, then it feels more like you're just watching a movie, required to click here and there, without much "heureka, that's what I should try!" moments.

    Often, the most straightforward click was already good enough for the game to progress (sometimes, to the point of feeling like a bug: for instance, I couldn't even use the tape recorder with the metal pipe in the soup room to create the clanking sound, yet when I then clicked the pipe directly, Marty took out that same tape recorder, at least I think it was that, and clanked on the pipe!). Some theoretically cool puzzles, e.g. make the dog find someone by giving them a shoe, were almost ruined because *the shoe was that very single item you just picked up anyway and the dog was already standing there*. You almost automatically use the two together without as much as 5 seconds of thinking. Thus this theoretically good puzzle was almost "thrown away" by the game. (And the dog puzzle was then repeated with other objects, getting even less challenging.) Giving the shoe to the dog should be at the end of a thought process done by the player -- "OK, I have rooms X and Y and Z and items 1 and 2 and 3 and characters A, B and C, what makes sense to do now? think, think, think!" -- but not delivered to you on a silver plate.

    As it is, it was all over too quickly and didn't have enough depth. I didn't really get stuck once. I didn't really feel like I had to really "get to know" a certain environment, room, set of tools, or character, to be able to solve a puzzle; I didn't have to prove myself worthy to be able to win. Things where I did make a mental note later weren't needed after all (e.g. the number of times to hit on the pipe, not to say that this would have made a well puzzle in anyway -- just as a minor example). I didn't feel like I did anything truly superbly creative, and often that was because whatever I did was pretty much the only choice in that situation anyway given so few items and characters, so even if it was smart it was more a smart plot in the game (e.g. record the voice to get grandpa to come downstairs), but not smart puzzle solving.

    What to do to create a great level of difficulty? I suppose that's the toughest question to answer, as both making it too easy or making it too hard might put off players on either end. Perhaps there's still room for a great invention here, an approach that scales with the player by dynamically adjusting puzzles based on how many minutes players play without achieving "solved something" points. Lacking this, I guess a good hint system as well as an option to play through an easier version of the game, could allow for making the game a bit easier for those who want it yet allow for other gamers to play a more satisfyingly challenging adventure. Perhaps then the higher-difficulty players could have more items to play around with, longer solution combo requirements, more open maps, a way to combine items, and generally less thinking "done for them" (the puzzles should still make sense, of course, and not just be plain confusing and odd to be tough; the game should be *smarter* when playing it at high difficulty). I wish TellTale good luck in figuring this out for future games and hope they're listening to feedback.

    Just to add, I still enjoyed the game, and think TellTale is doing very good jobs here with their work, and I will buy the next episode. It was still a fun game.

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