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What you'd like to see in TTG's Kings Quest (merged threads)

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 1.5K users

I've noticed in KQ games--ESPECIALLY KQ5--you get a lot of interesting things, both in the art and story, which are never explained but nonetheless entice. For example, look at the shot of the Roc carrying off Graham:
kq5vga3h.png

Note in the foreground there is a primitive village. It's there and it's made clear, yet we never learn anything about it, or visit it. It's just there to entice the eyes and get you wondering.

kq5vga2q.png

Or this snowy vista. Endless miles of snow lay beyond, perhaps kingdoms of ice and caves among the mountains in the distance--but we don't know. We aren't told. It's just there.

Then you have some of the characters. We never learn much about Mordack, but he comes off as a very powerful, dark, evil fellow right out of a pulp fantasy story. We don't know all that much about him, but we can see he's clearly obsessed with the occult, with snakes, and with some kind of cult (note his Satanic looking altar in the last photo ). None of this is explained to us, but that makes it all the more interesting.
kq5vga3r.pngkq5vga3s.pngkq5newvga18.pngkq5vga3u.png

Or, look at these scenes when Graham is in the boat.
kq5cd1r.pngkq5vga3a.png

Dozens of rocky islands are seen far off in the horizon, but we never visit them, and we're never told anything about them. And it leads the mind to wonder--what IS on those islands? What creature or people reside there? Your mind can run wild with speculation.

I think that a TT King's Quest game should have little things like this--places we can't explore that are just at the edge of the screen, far away places that tantalize the imagination, interesting characters who we don't learn the whole story of--Because it allows you to have things left up to your own imagination, to dream up your own stories and backstories about these characters and locations.

It leaves you hungrier for more--and such things have sustained the fan community for years. For example, single, cryptic message about something called the Black Cloak Society kept fans' imaginations fired for nearly 20 years, without us ever being told much of anything about this society other than it's name. Less is more in King's Quest, and in KQ, all of these lands, and characters are left purposely unexplained, and are never returned to, never explored in full, and it serves a good purpose:

It entices you, the same way a scantily clad woman is enticing and intriguing to the eye without revealing everything; It makes your mind wonder, and lights your imagination up. If you're told everything about a character or, are allowed to explore every crevice of a land, you lose the ability to imagine and dream yourself, and you become less an active participant in this wild, alien fantasy world and more a mere observer with everything about it being spoonfed to you.

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  • Really? I'm kinda more thinking that's all this forum has been about...lol.

  • Yeah, but it's scattered, I'm thinking we need a more compiled list. Come on, don't look like a troll, post something.

  • Good idea, icedan. I've merged some threads so that more people can join in on the conversations. :)

  • Here's a more succinct list of things I'd like to see in the game:

    Deaths (with retry button maybe)
    Fantasy world based on real world myths and legends.
    More challenging puzzles then we have seen recently.

    These are just things off of the top of my head :).

  • A game world that doesn't feel like it is confined to 3 or 4 screens per episode, complete with puzzles whose solution isn't clicking on one of 3 or 4 hotspots on the screen, or clicking one of 2 or 3 inventory items on one of the aforementioned 3 or 4 hotspots. ;)

  • @icedan said: Yeah, but it's scattered, I'm thinking we need a more compiled list.

    I think the most common requests are:

    -Death Sequences
    -Graham as main character
    -Numerous, challenging puzzles
    -More Explorable Hot-Spots
    -No Stylized Cartoon Graphics
    -Fairy tale and myth-inspired situations and environments
    -The feeling of a large open world

    And a lot of God-I-Hope-Nots in terms of TSL-style fan-service.

  • I should add that the game should have a narrator :). That is something I feel was always important in most of Sierra's games.

  • I've been mulling over what the underlying features and mechanics of what made King's Quest so appealing would be and have tried to organise my thoughts in this post. Besides the obvious "It's gotta be a fun fantasy adventure with lush storybook graphics and deaths lol!" point of view.

    Each episode would have to cover a wide variety of areas. For instance, say KQ5 was a Telltale "season". The first episode would take place in the first main area (the town, dark forest, desert, wooded areas, etc). The second episode would be the snowy mountains, the beach, and sailing the ocean (though puzzles would have to be longer). And the final episode would be Mordack's island. Now, that's only 3 episodes, but honestly I'd rather have 3 long episodes than 5 short ones. And I wouldn't mind waiting longer either. But if it absolutely must be 5 episodes then trimming each one down a bit or cutting them in half would make a great 5-episode King's Quest "season". But there has to be a lot of areas to explore in each episode. You shouldn't have to wait for a new episode to explore somewhere that's in the same area as the first episode (the first areas of KQ5 being an example).

    Some other things, the game shouldn't help you along. There should be one goal in mind (not many) as defined by the plot and introduction/story. The rest is up to the player on how to figure out how to reach the end of that goal by discovering obstacles and solving the puzzles of those obstacles. Take KQ1. What's the goal? Find 3 treasures. How? What do you mean how? That's the game. Figure it out! This is an adventure game! Take KQ4. What's the goal? Save your father by finding a magical fruit and try to help the fairy Genesta by getting her medallion back. How? Figure it out. Honestly, the stories of King's Quest weren't that complicated. There was just a lot of convolution in attaining the end goal because of the large world that was created. Solve one puzzle to solve another to solve another etc where everything is connected until you can move on to the next area of obstacles and repeat the process to reach that ultimate goal. I don't even think KQ7 or even MOE was that complicated story-wise. King's Quest really took the best of good (but simple) storytelling and excellent game mechanics to create the best gaming experiences I've ever had.

    Take KQ5 again. What's the goal? Save your family. How do you do that? Well, Cedric flies you to Serenia and that's a large step closer but the fairy dust wears off. Crispin tells you that Mordack's island lies beyond the mountains. So how do you go beyond the mountains? There's a snake (a pooooisonous snake!) in the way. How do you get rid of it? Who knows? Come back to it later. You'll have to do some looking around. As you explore you discover new areas, items, puzzles, and characters with dilemmas that you must help them with. And you realise that you've got a lot to do before you can even think about going over those mountains because there's a whole realm of areas on this side of the mountain that holds some purpose yet. You solve each puzzle and help each character and get something in return for it all the while discovering solutions to puzzles you've seen previously because you didn't have the proper item before (the 'Aha! I can use this now!' moments, those were huge in King's Quest). Each solved obstacle lets you get closer and closer to the journey's end and the attaining the ultimate goal. But you figured it all out on your own.

    The point in all this is there is no clear cut sign pointing you in the direction you have to go in King's Quest games beyond your own curiosity and ingenuity. All you have is a conflict/dilemma and a goal. The rest is up to you to figure out for yourself.

    The game also has to feel dangrous. This is a large adventurous and perilous world. YOU are the character. You aren't PLAYING the character. So everything should feel dangerous around you. If you make a wrong step you pay for it. Because that's the way the world is. It adds to the realism and immersion. That's huge. Deaths as well as not being able to continue immediately before your death is crucial. Autosaves in certain areas would be fine I think, but "retries" are horrible for portraying this feeling of danger to your experience. A Restore/Restart/Quit window with autosaves that don't take place right before a death is the way to go in my opinion.

    So to sum up:

    -Only one goal in mind. Everything else you figure out on your own as you discover the world.
    -The world has to be big and full of life and obstacles to get in your way to block you from that goal. Don't give the WHOLE world away all at once, but a lot of it. There has to be some excitement to see new areas, which is what puzzles like getting rid of the snake and fixing the boat in KQ5 were all about. Getting to that new area at last!
    -The game has to be dangerous and cause real feelings of suspense, thrill, and excitement. There has to be a possibility of utter failure in the gaming experience if this is to work.

  • MusicallyInspired's post above should be required reading for any Telltale team member who is going to be involved in the design of this King's Quest game. Seriously. He just summed up EXACTLY what makes King's Quest games great.

    Perfectly stated, dude.

  • I'd love to see (and I realize this is completely unrealistic :p) Telltale making an AGI text-parser version of every episode, it can't be that expensive to make something using that engine these days :D

    I'm of course joking in that it's completely unrealistic, but I'm not joking when I say it's something I would really love to see :D

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