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Style?

posted by RAnthonyMahan on - last edited - Viewed by 427 users

As I'm sure you all know, the style of the old Sierra adventures like King's Quest is drastically different from the "Exploration shouldn't be punished" philosophy employed by LucasArts (and later Telltale). The slightest step out of line can easily kill you, or even worse, render the game unwinnable, usually with the game's narrator making snarky jokes about your suffering.

I'm not trying to be another one of those complainers going "Telltale can't make a proper King's Quest game because they've never done something like that before!" Instead my question is...how do you want the game to be done? Would you like a return to full-on Sierra sadism, or for Telltale to stick with the friendly approach they've always used so far?

I'd personally like if there can be a little bit of both. Don't get me wrong, I want this game to be frustratingly hard, but stuff like unwinnable situations are just too much. And in the era of auto-saving, I think death should be treated the same way as in The Tomb of Sammun-Mak: you're immediately taken back to where you were before.

What do you think?

67 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I voted Sierra-style. But I suppose I wouldn't be opposed to the minor addition of lack of dead-ends. But I definitely want deaths and challenging puzzles. Something more challenging than anything Telltale has ever done.

  • One thing nobody has mentioned yet that a King's Quest game would need is this:

    A narrator.

    Every Telltale game has taken the LucasArts approach so far with the ego narrating everything. King's Quest needs a dedicated eloquent narrator.

  • @MusicallyInspired said: One thing nobody has mentioned yet that a King's Quest game would need is this:

    A narrator.

    Every Telltale game has taken the LucasArts approach so far with the ego narrating everything. King's Quest needs a dedicated eloquent narrator.

    I wholeheartedly agree. It is an integral part of the storybook/fairytale charm of those games. The humor needs to be handled more delicately as well. King's Quest games have humor, but they are not comedies, and the humor is not overtly sarcastic (that would be Space Quest or Leisure Suit Larry.)

  • @MusicallyInspired said: One thing nobody has mentioned yet that a King's Quest game would need is this:

    A narrator.

    Every Telltale game has taken the LucasArts approach so far with the ego narrating everything. King's Quest needs a dedicated eloquent narrator.


    This! I love the LucasArts-style ego narration, but having a separate narrator is KEY to the Sierra feel.

  • Having a narrator would seem especially key for Space Quest game. You just can't do it without Gary Owens. That's one franchise where the narrator is more consistent and defining than the main character himself.

    A narrator in King's Quest also seems key for re-capturing the old style. Possibly not like they did in the old days where everything on the screen was clickable, but it could work if TT just replaces the ego's speech with a narrator when you're randomly exploring.

    In terms of actual style, I want to see some middle ground. The avoidance of dead ends, of course - but deaths are always fun in these games. Just add a "TRY AGAIN" button.

    The puzzles should also be plenty and challenging, but not completely illogical. Early KQ games never had practical or cartoony puzzle solutions - they always fell back on fairy tale logic. And if there were clues inside the TT game, those illogical fairy tales puzzles might seem logical for a change.

    Either way, there should be a sense of wonder with this game. Not just a cartoony romp through a fantasy world. King's Quest is classic, and the end result of this game should feel classical.

  • Another thing a King's Quest needs to be is enchanting. In terms of locales, atmosphere, and story. The King's Quest games always threw you into brand new magical lands in every title for you to explore, take in, and ultimately solve whatever problem(s) that land has while helping yourself along the way. It needs a sense of wonder and excitement.

    And also a creepy forest. This is mandatory.

    Referencing the musical works of Mark Seibert, Ken Allen, and Chris Brayman would not be unwelcome either. :D

  • @MusicallyInspired said: One thing nobody has mentioned yet that a King's Quest game would need is this:

    A narrator.

    Every Telltale game has taken the LucasArts approach so far with the ego narrating everything. King's Quest needs a dedicated eloquent narrator.

    Tim Curry.

  • I agree that a narrator is essential. The problem is figuring out how best to present narration in a more cinematic-looking game. Long passages of narration work great in non-voiced games with minimalistic graphics; you can just sit there reading a big block of text at your leisure. When a game has a more cinematic presentation, though, like Telltale's games or like the Silver Lining, you have to figure out what to do with the camera and what to show to the player while a voice actor is reading the narration. The Silver Lining mainly resorted to slowly panning close up shots of the objects being described, which worked fairly well, I guess. The Devil's Playhouse had an actual narrator character you could see speaking, which worked really well, but it wouldn't really suit a King's Quest game. Secondly, and more importantly, when narration is voiced, it either has to be really interesting and entertaining (like Josh Mandel's signature pun-filled prose) and fun to listen to (like Gary Owens' iconic narration in Space Quest) or it has to be kept short. The narrator in the Silver Lining had a really obnoxious voice, and she just kept droning on and on about the most mundane things, and that's ultimately why I got bored and stopped playing the second episode after the first couple minutes.

  • Thing is....King's Quest isn't a cinematic experience so much as a story book experience. While Roberta was going for a movie-like experience in KQ5 and KQ6 the underlying method of development was closer to an interactive fairy tale. I again draw the distinction of Roberta's quote saying that the player is "the audience, director, and actor all at the same time" whereas in Telltale games you're just the audience.

    I agree that a narrator can drone on in some games, though. And we don't want that.

  • Somewhere in between. Old school Sierra games are completely brutal and I don't think anyone wants anything that challenging again. In the mid-nineties they started taking mercy on people and removed dead-ends and allowed you to die but gave you the option to restart at the same spot (I'm not sure about Kings Quest but it was the case with Space Quest and LSL).

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