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dead-ends in king's quest

posted by shaygol on - last edited - Viewed by 2.4K users

The thing I remember most about sierra games are the dead ends.

This usually happens when you got to a certain place in the game and you can't move on no matter what you do. Then, when you look at a walkthrough you see you forgot to pick up a certain item and you need to restore or restart to get to that point in the game.

This is something both lucasarts and telltale (till now) avoided.

But if they're remaking king's quest what will happen?

I prefer it if they will continue to avoid those dead ends. I didn't like them - they seemed so unfair, it was the main reason i preferred lucasarts games to sierra.

85 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @thom-22 said: But was that a bug, ie. inadvertent, or did they mean to make that part of the gameplay? We're talking about intentional dead-ends here, not ones that happen due to mistakes in programming or other oversights. There have been a few unintentional dead-ends in Telltale games caused by bugs with inventory items disappearing; I know there's one in Hector, for instance.

    What's the practical difference to someone playing the game that just wants to get to the end?

  • @DAISHI said: What's the practical difference to someone playing the game that just wants to get to the end?

    One has the possibility of being corrected through Tech Support or a future patch; the other does not.

    One requires that you merely replay exactly as you did before except for deliberately avoiding the set of actions that triggers the bug; the other requires you to play differently, to figure out how to do better than you did the first time.

    :rolleyes:

  • @DAISHI said: What's the practical difference to someone playing the game that just wants to get to the end?

    The person who just wants to get to the end could watch the ending on youtube and avoid painstaking task of playing a game, which they obviously don't really want to do if all they want to do is get to the ending. Perhaps a movie is a better investment for that person.

  • @chucklas said: The person who just wants to get to the end could watch the ending on youtube and avoid painstaking task of playing a game, which they obviously don't really want to do if all they want to do is get to the ending. Perhaps a movie is a better investment for that person.

    I support this post.

  • Here's my point. To a person that wants a fair and honest trip to the end, they just want to solve puzzles and get there. They don't want a bug stopping them any more than a programmed dead end because they are in all practical ways the same thing: A stop to the game that forces them to restart. I want to play a game, solve the puzzles, and get to the end. I usually like to play a game and finish it within a week's time. Why? Because my life is so hustle bustle and crazy that I don't have time to invest in a game for more than a week. Artificially stopping my progress because I forget something is not different to me than a bug, because they both keep me from finishing the game in a way that has nothing to do with whether I was solving the puzzles or not. Artificial extensions to the game's length only come across as cheap and hackneyed without any attention to real gameplay. For instance, say I place the key to solving the game on the first screen of the game and only allow you to revisit that screen within a certain portion of the game. There is nothing about this setup that is good puzzle design, but it has a lot to do with laziness. It punishes a player for what? For not having been as observant as they should have been? I'm all on board for having the deaths in KQ, but dead end just comes across as lazy game design.

  • @DAISHI said: It punishes a player for what? For not having been as observant as they should have been?

    YES! Adventure games are all about being observant and trying different things. That was a major part of King's Quest. If that's not really your thing, then perhaps King's Quest wasn't really meant for you. I'm not a big fan of Call of Duty, but that doesn't mean they should change it up because it doesn't fit what I think is good game design. I just shouldn't play it. The same goes for you if you don't like the way the game is designed. Like I said, there are no dead ends in movies or books, either of which will provide as much or more story and take up much less of your precious time, while costing you less money.

  • Chucklas is right, it all comes down to what you're willing to accept from a game. Obviously not near enough people can handle game dead ends anymore and to me that's a shame, but I can live with it. But the player should be enforced upon to be as observant as possible and act responsibly in the game world. It's not free easy ride. If you miss something in real life you miss it. That's that. At least in adventure games you get saves! :)

    And yes, players should totally be punished for not being observant in an adventure game. That's half the gameplay. No, that IS the gameplay. Even puzzle designs are all about being observant and figuring things out with some logical reasoning.

    Take KQ5, your goal from the beginning is to make a trek through the mountains to the other side which is cold and perilous and also represents the next stage of the game and your journey. Common sense states that once you go that way eventually you won't be coming back (or at least, it should, especially considering how much work you have to do before getting past that snake), so you should double-check everything because it's a large game world and there must be SOMETHING you might have missed. And if you're observant enough you'll find it and move on, or at least make a save and come back later if need be. Now, if the game punishes you for not taking in the game world and exploring everything possible then I say it's not lazy programming, it's justifiable. I rather put the blame on myself the player for being too lazy to explore as much of the game as possible.

    The whole point of adventure games is adventuring into a whole new world. Adventure. ADVENTURE! Why wouldn't you go exploring everything you could and taking in the game atmosphere! And if you don't then shame on you! You're missing out! You should absolutely be punished because, in the words of an amusing internet meme, you're not doing it right. Games that don't have many hotspots, give you all the items you need at all times, offer you hints for everything without letting you find them yourself (ie- thom's point of putting hints in the many interactions themselves), creating a safe pathway that's impossible to fail or go astray from, etc is lazy adventure game design. I should be rewarded for checking out as much of the world as possible and punished for not doing so. I don't want a quick an mildly amusing little stroll through BTTF, I want an adventure through the fantasy world of King's Quest that will wow me at every turn and reward my attempts to further my own gameplay by making it necessary.

    That's me, anyway.

  • @chucklas said: YES! Adventure games are all about being observant and trying different things. That was a major part of King's Quest. If that's not really your thing, then perhaps King's Quest wasn't really meant for you. I'm not a big fan of Call of Duty, but that doesn't mean they should change it up because it doesn't fit what I think is good game design. I just shouldn't play it. The same goes for you if you don't like the way the game is designed. Like I said, there are no dead ends in movies or books, either of which will provide as much or more story and take up much less of your precious time, while costing you less money.

    Let me tell you a little about my job. I get money to scour journals, letters, texts, etc., from centuries ago. In advance there are certain things I know that I'm looking for. I'm provided a context for what my end goal should be because reality dictates perameters. A game works differently. Let's say I come up with the solution to a puzzle, but it's not the solution thee designers wanted, so I'm given a dead end later. So now I'm actively punished for an open puzzle to which there were no perameters. Is easy to say "it should have been common sense not to use that" after the fact, but common sense is a false argument since we all arrive at conclusions differently. So now i have to play a portion or all of the game over because I derived a different solution. Even back to the original comment about observation, the notion being advocated is that because I didn't pass my cursor over a four by four pixel area, I should be punished.

    What I'm advocating is this. If you're going to cut off one avenue of puzzle solution to a player, at least provide another. Rather than dead ends, provide multiple ways to handle a problem. If the player doesn't make the 'correct' choice, make the next solution more difficult to achieve, but don't cut the game off from him. I think flexible, multiple approaches to puzzle solution are far more intriguing than dead ends.

  • Since when has a puzzle solved not in the way the original designers intended resulted in a dead end?

    I agree with your second paragraph, though. That's a more interesting approach and much more realistic in this century of "adventure" gamers. Make the alternative more difficult AND score less points and/or result in a not-so-perfect ending somehow. Either way, I still think there should be punishment, though.

  • @MusicallyInspired said: Since when has a puzzle solved not in the way the original designers intended resulted in a dead end?

    I agree with your second paragraph, though. That's a more interesting approach and much more realistic in this century of "adventure" gamers. Make the alternative more difficult AND score less points and/or result in a not-so-perfect ending somehow. Either way, I still think there should be punishment, though.

    I'm only adverse to playing something again that I've already gone through to a degree. If it's a lengthy stretch, I'm likely to not finish the game, which is why dead ends are the most onerous thing to me. Deaths where done fairly, I'm fine with. And yeah I think that it's fine to have puzzles that are more difficult, score less points, and -occasionally- (where appropriate) affect the ending.

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