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How to Handle Deaths (Revised Poll)

posted by chucklas on - last edited - Viewed by 1.2K users

There has been much debate over how to handle deaths in this game. I want to present a single option asd ask, would this be ok with you?

So, if they were to implement the retry option as the default and allow the user to disable it and only save manually if they choose, would you be satisfied with that compromise?

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  • I was about vote yes because this sounds like a good idea in writing, but then I gave it some thought. Now I'm going to vote no just because I think it would be a waste of effort on Telltale's part. It seems like a system that many people would try for a bit, before they get fed up and switch over to "retry" mode. Many past developers have stated that the save/restore method of playing was really more attributed to bad game design, and I don't see any down-side to the "retry" system. It streamlines the constant hammering of F5 and F7, and always sends us back to a place that any smart person would have likely saved at anyway. Being able to die and come back instantly is a solid way of identifying goals and promoting exploration.

    I think people seem to forget how frustrating "save early, save often" really was. I admit, I do feel some nostalgia for the save/restore style, but those rose-colored glasses only seem to apply to games I've played as a kid, when repetition really didn't mean anything to me. When I tried "The Colonel's Bequest" last year for the first time, I found that saving and restoring held no strategic value, since the constant deaths and replaying of the game were actually distracting me from both exploration AND the story. "Retry" doesn't really change the game's difficulty, it just removes the frustration factor (much like the invention of the "skip" button for cut-scenes.)

  • @Datadog said: Now I'm going to vote no just because I think it would be a waste of effort on Telltale's part.

    Huh? Autosaving and manual saving both are already a part of Telltale's usual game design. Implementing a retry system for deaths will be the new development that requires effort. It wouldn't be that much more effort to just not show the retry screen to those users who don't want it, who would prefer to go directly to the load-saved-game screen, which already exists, and to thereby satisfy a larger portion of the user base. Because you personally don't see any down-sides to retry and you personally find manual saves frustrating, you oppose choice for your fellow gamers who don't? Okay. Whatever...

  • @Datadog said: Being able to die and come back instantly is a solid way of identifying goals and promoting exploration.

    I use my brain to do those things. I don't want them handed to me.

  • That's the thing - anybody clever enough to use the save/restore method properly, probably doesn't need it the way games are made these days. Instead of dying at random, danger is now a lot more obvious. "Retry" is more like the F3 key where it saves you the trouble of re-typing your last command.

    But if one really wants the choice between retrying and restoring, there's a more classical solution that doesn't involve toggling a button's function and won't confuse new players. Just make the death screen pop up with three buttons: Retry, Restore, and Quit. That's how "Space Quest 6" handled it.

  • So your idea for people who hate retry is to just not hit the retry button? You guys keep rambling on about how the save/restore function was indicative of bad game design as if it was irrefutable fact, but it's not. It's not the universal opinion. Why does our opinion not matter?

    @Datadog said: I think people seem to forget how frustrating "save early, save often" really was. I admit, I do feel some nostalgia for the save/restore style, but those rose-colored glasses only seem to apply to games I've played as a kid, when repetition really didn't mean anything to me.

    If you really believe that then your perfect game wouldn't have any deaths at all. None of this changes the fact that it removes the challenge from the game. Period. The added function of "retry" completely changes the dynamic of the game. There's no consequence for anything you do anymore which was the whole point of deaths in the first place. Why have deaths if they're not a consequence? Just remove them. Of course, then it wouldn't be King's Quest. Either way it's a shallow and empty experience.

    This is why I think King's Quest should have just stayed dead.

    "Retry" doesn't really change the game's difficulty, it just removes the frustration factor (much like the invention of the "skip" button for cut-scenes.)

    Yes it does change the game's difficulty. It completely nullifies any consequence for failure. ANY consequence. Where's the difficulty if there is no consequence? The puzzles? We all know Telltale's puzzles are dirt easy. And it's nothing like the skip button for cutscenes, unless the game is nothing but cutscenes (...I keep thinking back to BTTF).

    Sigh...it might as well be accepted that Telltale are eventually going to just go their own tried and true method. They'll probably just implement easy puzzles and retry deaths. Which is a no buy for me.

  • @MusicallyInspired said: Sigh...it might as well be accepted that Telltale are eventually going to just go their own tried and true method. They'll probably just implement easy puzzles and retry deaths.

    And limited exploration and plastic-y graphics and more time spent on cinematics and "emotional investment" in characters than gameplay ...

    NO! Stop! Let's not go there yet! Hold on to that faint glimmer of hope that they'll do the franchise justice. There is that faint glimmer, isn't there? Please?

  • I think they will at least provide the option to turn off auto save and retry as do I think deaths will remain. It would be a HUGE mistake to mess that much up. If they do as little and look at the amount of traffic on this board, they will see that there is significant more buzz for this project than any of the others that they announced with it. They know they have a predeveloped fanbase that that they risk alienating by screwing it up. From a marketing viewpoint, they don't want to lose what they didn't have to work to get. It is a easy solution to let people opt out of the telltale way. I am hopeful that they will at least do that. If not, then I agree with MI that it would have been better for KQ to remain dead.

  • Acutally, unlike other franchises like Monkey Island, King's Quest never really died. After MOE hit there was a couple years of silence, but then the KQ9 project got started (now released) and Tierra's first KQ remake was released in 2001 or something like that with 3 more that followed afterwards over the years. And out of all those fangames that have been released they've all shared a non-retry death mechanic (TSL didn't have retry did it? I can't recall). This is what KQ has been for the last 10 years with every new fangame release. It's not like it has to be resuscitated and reorganized to make a new generation happy. The fans exist now and there are a LOT of them. Don't break what the fans have been used to and providing for themselves and been happy with for the past 10 years.

  • @MusicallyInspired said: Acutally, unlike other franchises like Monkey Island, King's Quest never really died. After MOE hit there was a couple years of silence, but then the KQ9 project got started (now released) and Tierra's first KQ remake was released in 2001 or something like that with 3 more that followed afterwards over the years. And out of all those fangames that have been released they've all shared a non-retry death mechanic (TSL didn't have retry did it? I can't recall). This is what KQ has been for the last 10 years with every new fangame release. It's not like it has to be resuscitated and reorganized to make a new generation happy. The fans exist now and there are a LOT of them. Don't break what the fans have been used to and providing for themselves and been happy with for the past 10 years.

    Yeah we have both a manual save/load system and autosaves with a retry option for deaths. We've taken some feedback both positive and negative on how that's been received by people and will do our best to implement a system that people will be happy with in future projects.

  • @wilco64256 said: Yeah we have both a manual save/load system and autosaves with a retry option for deaths. We've taken some feedback both positive and negative on how that's been received by people and will do our best to implement a system that people will be happy with in future projects.


    Lol...the way it was explained at one point on the TSL boards was that the entire team was against retries but that Cesar exercised his personal veto and insisted they be put in. Or perhaps I am imagining things...

    ;)

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