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New Direction is Best

posted by Sleeq on - last edited - Viewed by 1.7K users

First time poster here!

I'm now 31 and I've played almost all of Sierra's games since I was a kid (yes even Larry... we were cool back then... and how else do you think I learned how to play Blackjack!)

I loved every moment of these games and they really challenged the mind. They hold a special place in my heart.

However, we should get with the times.

King's Quest is a controversial series due to the loyal fanbase; I know it will be hard to please everyone. But I don't think going for a 2D classic game will cut it this time.

I think going for a 3D (please don't kill me) Mask of Eternity style'd game is the way to go, and adding more classic elements from the older games into it.

Think about it; a POLISHED free roam 3D game with classic item hunt and use mechanics with MINOR or REDUCED action sequences with a little more mature themes/humor would be pretty good if pulled off.

I don't want to feel nostalgic; if I want to I'll just replay the games. I want a new direction.

As far as puzzles, they should be challenging but fair. No dead-ends, but death sequences are ok (to provide a sense of urgency).

The best games this new generation for me were Demon's Souls & Dark Souls, simply because the mechanics of minimal plot, addictive combat, and challenge created a great formula. Every mistake you made was yours and you learned from it.

So putting this philosophy into the new game would surely be helpful.

Sorry for the long post!

118 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Sleeq said: I think for me, it belittles the crisis at hand. Like how in KG5 Graham acts as if his family being captured happens everyday and his dialog and
    VA , not to mention his actions don't match the situation.

    I don't know if it makes sense or if I worded it correctly...

    I totally get what you're saying. There's no denying that King's Quest games have that incongruity about them. But you know what? Fiction is full of such incongruities, and most games and game types suffer from similar non-realism. Do you think it's a coincidence that you always have just enough time (and bullets and health potions, etc.) to do everything you need to do to prevent the bad guys from blowing up the world or killing all the hostages? Regardless of what the character is facing on screen, the point of gaming is for the player sitting in front of the screen to have fun along the way.

    Think about Indiana Jones or James Bond: they go on urgent missions to save the world from Nazis/Commies/terrorists yet still have time for dalliances with whatever women happen to be on hand. So Graham stops to help rats and shoemakers and hungry eagles instead of for martinis and a quickie. It's all just escapist fiction and there's nothing non-adult about it.

    @Sleeq said: Why can't a series evolve with the times?

    The thing is, this isn't really a series anymore. It's not like we've had ongoing installments from a stable development team; rather, we've had nothing, at least not official, for 15 years. The series isn't stale; it's dormant and needs to be revived first.

    Moreover, I think your concept of "the times" is actually outdated. Game development has been opened up way beyond a handful of big publishers all trying for the big bucks with AAA titles in copycat genres. The "times" of today encompass many new and old aspects of gaming, an explosion in game-type variety -- indie gaming, retro gaming, classic gaming, and yes, point-and-click adventure gaming -- all of which are as appropriate for the times as any of the examples you've cited.

    And variety is what this is all about to me, not nostalgia. We've lost so much variety in adventure gameplay from the Golden Age of the late 80's to mid 90's, as all the third-person adventures that have come out in the past decade or so are Lucasarts clones. So making a Sierra-style adventure is a bold step in and of itself, and is the only appropriate bold step I can see.

    I like 3D action-adventure/RPG games. Very much. Often more so than pure adventures. I embraced the transition with the Indy franchise and wish Lucasarts would make another one. I would, under different circumstances or in the future, accept a KQ game that continued Mask's genre transition. (It would sure as hell be preferable to transition to the "cinematic adventure" genre, AKA trivially interactive content-delivery system, AKA point-and-click-where-you're told-to-click.) But this is not the right development studio to be doing that with the first King's Quest game in 15 years. The only action gameplay element they've ever demonstrated is QTE's, which, IMO, can supplement but are not a substitute for a fixed set of action-oriented character capabilities. The latter is crucial for making a good action-adventure or RPG, as is a chase camera for that matter, another thing Telltale has never done.

    @Sleeq said: If you want something new, why do you want an old name like King's Quest on it?

    Next effin' question.

    I'm not sure why I bothered posting when this is the best response anyway. If you want survival horror, there are plenty of them out there. If you want an RPG, well, it seems like a new one is released every other week on Steam. There is absolutely no sense in reviving a franchise by making a game for people who didn't like it the way it was in the first place.

  • AWESOME.

    I seriously tried for several minutes to single out a portion of that amazing post to quote, but damn--it was impossible.

    Case closed.

  • Good post Thom...

    only action gameplay element they've ever demonstrated is QTE's,

    Well, they also had those stupid arcade mini-games in the early Sam and Max games... Shooting at things while driving down the streets/car chase...

    I think there were some other carnival type gun shooting sequences in later games too.

    There was that kind of frogger type game in Bone part 1...

    But ya, not that many 'action gameplay elements'.

  • User Avatar Image
    exo

    The car shooting sequence in the early Sam and Max felt tacked on (simply because the original had car surfing). It was also incredibly boring and a waste of time.

  • @BagginsKQ said: Good post Thom...



    Well, they also had those stupid arcade mini-games in the early Sam and Max games... Shooting at things while driving down the streets/car chase...

    I think there were some other carnival type gun shooting sequences in later games too.

    There was that kind of frogger type game in Bone part 1...

    But ya, not that many 'action gameplay elements'.



    There was also that First-Person thing in Episode 5 of SBCG4AP. Allegedly, there was suppose some sortive minigame like thing in Max's Mind in The Devil's Playhouse. Though it got cut.

  • @BagginsKQ said: Well, they also had those stupid arcade mini-games in the early Sam and Max games... Shooting at things while driving down the streets/car chase...

    I think there were some other carnival type gun shooting sequences in later games too.

    Yeah, forgot about those. Arcade and on-rails driving games don't really qualify a studio for full-fledged action-adventure development, though. :p

    I liked the driving games in Telltale's Sam & Max. They were a totally franchise-appropriate addition, well implemented and fun. Even though mini-games are not strictly adventure-game-type puzzles, they add welcome variety IMO when used sparingly and suitably.

    @BagginsKQ said: The car shooting sequence in the early Sam and Max felt tacked on (simply because the original had car surfing). It was also incredibly boring and a waste of time.

    Seems to me that's exactly the kind of thinking that took Telltale from Sam & Max to JP:TG and TWD. Now, I understand that not every player is going to find every segment of a game to be fun. But a waste of time? That's Telltale's attitude toward anything that doesn't contribute to the linear delivery of the cinematic experience they want all players to have, where gameplay is dictated by each story element, leading to ad hoc, one-at-a-time "activities" instead of interconnected challenges in an interactivity-rich gameworld.

    The Sam & Max driving/arcade sequences are an example (a minor one) of what I mean when talking about how so much variety in adventure gaming has been lost since the 1990's. Each studio had their own twists that expanded -- and sometimes went beyond -- the base of traditional adventure puzzles. (I believe Telltale operated in that vein during the early Sam & Max years, bringing some creativity to puzzle design -- derivative of Lucasarts, yes, but with a style of their own -- and it's why I became such a huge fan of the company.) It's the adventure gaming community itself that demanded standardization and left us with nothing but cookie-cutter games.

    Even today when I see discussions of what an adventure game should be, someone always posts a long list of puzzle-types and other elements that must always be excluded and I just have to barf. In this very forum we have repeated calls to eliminate dead-ends, "unfair" :rolleyes: deaths, "obscure" :rolleyes: puzzles, precarious mobility situations, yadda yadda. Hammer that fucker down until it looks like a right and proper twenty-first century generic adventure!

    Meanwhile other character-in-gameworld-based genre fans (though obviously not all developers and publishers) have embraced variety and cross-over gameplay. I don't even outright object to judicious use of QTE's in adventure games. In fact, the QTE's associated with dinosaur encounters were the only redeeming feature of JP:TG IMO. (My objections have always been about its linear and non-explorable gameworld and its simplistic and isolated puzzles.)

    Oh, wow, I went off on another gameplay/design philosophy tangent. Sorry. I'll stop now, go hop in the De Soto, and head for Memory Lane. :p

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  • Well I liked the minigame sequences in Space Quest series, I felt they were better handled. I also like the arcade sequences in the Conquests series, they also felt well-integrated. The same can be said for the arcadey bits in Quest for Glory as well.

    Lucasarts I think did a good job at integrating arcade sequences as well, I had alot of fun in Full Throttle and two classic Indiana Jones graphic adventures...

    They felt more integrated into the storyline, and less of the do this to 'collect stickers' that have little to do with the game at hand...

  • Something occurred to me just now;

    Quest for Glory IV was the "darkest" of the series, yet it is considered by fans the best of the 5 games (or tied with QfG1).

    It had dark mature themes yet retained all the attributes that made the series famous.

    Does this count for anything in my "dark/gritty" argument?

  • It may have Dark and Gritty themes, but they really don't take themselves too seriously. They managed to combine Lovecraftian themes, vampires and other Eastern European horror story elements without going all over-the-top melodramatic with them. The game retained its sense of humor, cheekiness and fun while dealing with a darker setting.


    Bt

  • ^ true... so why was my comment about the reboot being dark but retain all the classic elements (such as QG4) shunned?

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