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Pros and Cons of Bone

posted by Anonymous on - last edited - Viewed by 3K users

I thought it would be a good idea to write what we liked about Bone..and what we didn't like..

B-)

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    Anonymous

    [quote]Attempted to reactivate with the user/pass and now it thinks my hardware is different. God forbid I would want to take it on a laptop on a trip. Please come up with a better way to release the content. The way it is now about kills it for me.[/quote]
    What? It barfs if your hardware changes? That's not cool. I want to upgrade my computer and definitely don't want to have to pay another $20 to play.

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    Anonymous

    Hi, I'm a Hungarian writing from Italy, and first of all, I want to thank you for your digital distribution model! It may still have some hiccups, but it's nothing comared to months of waiting for European releases (Psychonauts!!!)

    For the most part, I agree with the cons mentioned in previous posts (brief gameplay time, low difficulity), but I never had any real problems with an adventure being too easy. I've been playing adventures for almost twenty years now, in all forms and sizes. I adore complex and long games, but some of my favorite experiences come from Humongous children-adventure titles, like the first Putt-Putt games or Fatty Bear's Birthsday Surprise.

    These games were incredibly easy, taking you by the hand, and could be completed in a couple of hours, just like Bone. The difference is, that you could interact with practically anything and everything on screen and that's what was missing from Bone. Of course, I don't mean that every flower should start dancing and singing on screen in the Valley, but a bit more comments and more hotspots would really be welcome!

    I also agree that that the Thorn model and voice should be changed a bit. All the other characters are captured too perfectly, and she sticks out a little. Also, because it's her story as much as it is the bone cousins', she should have a more promintent role, otherwise gamers unfamiliar with the comics won't care for her when the time comes... I really missed a lot from her conversations with Fone Bone on the farm (especially concerning the existence of dragons, more on that in a bit).

    The last con to point out has to do with dramatic timing. This of course is different to everyone, but it was a bit too perfect in the comics. My all time favorite scene in Out From Boneville is when Thorn and Fone Bone are surrounded by dozens of Rat Creatures in the woods. It's the first time the story takes a darker tone, because it shows that the Rat Creatures are not only "Stupid, stupid", but can actually be rather menacing! It's a sign of the darker things to come, and I was really looking forward to seeing it in the game, but it was cut alltogether, and thus the dragon arrived to save the day with no real sense of relief, and no sense of awe. Plus, the non-belief of Thorn in dragons wasn't really fleshed out, so the emotional drama of the scene was completely lost.


    Man, those are a lot of negative things, but I actually enjoyed the game a lot! So much in fact, that I played through again a second time, right after the ending credits! The pros have been discussed so there's not much point repeating them. However, the animation and graphics are excellent, I think the game world looked perfect and wasn't bland at all. I also loved the mini-games, and the voice acting (though grandma should sound a little older).

    I adore the comics, and I admit that seeing things translated scene-by-scene is what I usually like. However, I found that the extra parts added (the Firewood/water scene and everything involving Phoney) turned out to be my favorites. The funniest being Phoney's comments during the hide and seek game! I kept making mistakes, just to hear everything he had to say!!!

    IN CONCLUSION: The graphical and the audio pros and cons have been discussed by everyone. What I wanted to add was, that the cut-scenes should have a bit better dramatical timing, because that's what helps gamers really invest in the story emotionally, and if they're not interested in the story, they won't be back for The Great Cow Race!

    All in all, congratulations TellTale on your first adventure game, I think it you've got a bright future ahead of you! Any criticism is meant for your benefit, and please know that you've given me a fantastic experience! I'm going back to play it through a third time!

    Best regards!

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    Anonymous

    [quote]For the most part, I agree with the cons mentioned in previous posts (brief gameplay time, low difficulity), but I never had any real problems with an adventure being too easy. I've been playing adventures for almost twenty years now, in all forms and sizes. I adore complex and long games, but some of my favorite experiences come from Humongous children-adventure titles, like the first Putt-Putt games or Fatty Bear's Birthsday Surprise.

    These games were incredibly easy, taking you by the hand, and could be completed in a couple of hours, just like Bone. The difference is, that you could interact with practically anything and everything on screen and that's what was missing from Bone. Of course, I don't mean that every flower should start dancing and singing on screen in the Valley, but a bit more comments and more hotspots would really be welcome![/quote]

    Bull's eye, gcsorba! ;)
    Diduz

  • What I liked:

    The art. I felt that it really captured the style of the comic, and the similarity is especially striking for those familiar with the colorized version because the game uses the same color palette most of the time (check out that mountain background in the desert!) . Even better than the environments though are character models. With the possible exception of Thorn I thought all the models looked like stunning 3D realizations of the character, particularly Gran'ma Ben who looks about as faithful as you can get.

    The interface. A lot of people would consider point 'n click to be a step backwards and in some cases it is, but with this game it felt really smooth and it worked great. Simple and effective. The one-click-does-everything route similar to The Dig works well.

    The puzzles. Though it felt like there weren't enough of them, I thought all of the puzzles were great, not only because they were fun but because when I solved them I always felt like I was moving the story along rather than, you know, just trying to get to the next part of the game. I guess one of the good effects of knowing you're going to make a short game is being able to make sure all of the stuff the player does is relevant to the story. And while I would have enjoyed some more inventory puzzles, I must say my favorite puzzle was the one where you escape from the rat creatures. "Active puzzles," indeed. I felt like I was playing a cutscene. Speaking of which...

    The non-interactive bits. Because there were so few of them, and they were all short and in-game, and did only what they were supposed to. I think Telltale did a fantastic job of making much of the comic's story interactive and making you feel like you're involved in it instead of simply solving puzzles and letting a cutscene handle the narrative. I felt there was also a disappointing side-effect to this as well which I'll get into further down.


    The voice acting. The voices were all at least adequate, but some (the red dragon and ted the bug spring to mind) were spot-on. My two main quibbles were Gran'ma Ben (which has to do simply with her not being what I imagined more than anything) and Thorn, who's actual voice I didn't mind but the delivery was completely expressionless.

    The music. I don't know what else to say except that the songs were completely appropriate (both to the particular scene and the overall "feel" of Bone, giving the game nice atmosphere) and I really liked them. I hope the same composer is used for the rest of the games. One thing I think would be cool to do with future games (if it can be done without bloating the file size too much) is implement an iMUSE type of sound system where the music reacts to the player. Psychonauts, a non-LucasArts game, pulled off something similar.

    The multiple-person dialog trees. Excellent idea, and I think for the most part it works very well.

    The in-game help system. Excellent idea. And I love the way it works like the old LucasArts hint booklets where the hint gets progressively more specific before finally just giving you the answer.

    And what I think the best individual aspect of the game is: the animation. Very expressive and just plain fun to watch. There's a lot life brought to these characters and all the little animations for their reactions, whether it's Fone expressing his confusion at Ted's complicated directions or the possums shock at an exciting story, are great. I hope that level of quality can be kept up!

    What I didn't like:

    The emptiness. Perhaps this is partly intentional for keeping the game simple and helping to keep people who are new to the adventure genre free of frustration, but there simply wasn't enough to do off the beaten track. It's not so much that I object to the game's linear nature (which I know was intentional) or that I want ridiculous red herrings everywhere, but more interactivity with the environment and overall more depth would go a long way in making the world seem more alive and worth coming back to. I mean, there were a few nice extra bits here and there that I appreciated, but just...more :) . It'll be interesting to see how Telltale tackles this challenge in the future while still keeping with its policy to make the games straightforward and easy to get into. I think it can be done.

    The lopping off of several story bits from the comic. This is especially evident near the end of the game, where the later parts of the comic's story get compressed and rushed. Some of this was handled well and creatively and I'm sure was done because of time and budget constraints (we can learn about the cow race, the fair, and see Phoney's betting interest all in the dinner scene, which allows a few scenes from the comic to be lost). But with other cuts I'm a little bit upset about. I mean, what happened to the scenes with The Hooded One? Phoney's trip to Barrehaven, his meetup with Smiley there, and the introduction of Lucius? Maybe it was to prevent needlessly padding the game, maybe Telltale preferred cutting scenes that they didn't think they could turn into good interactive bits instead of giving us long cutscenes, or maybe they're trying to save Lucius and the Phoney/Smiley scheme entirely for part two. And maybe the game's rapid fire conclusion is less jarring if you're not familiar with the comic. But it was sort of a problem for me, so I had to point it out.

    And uh, yeah, Thorn. She could use some expression in her voice, rather than it sounding like an actress reading lines.


    OK, that's enough writing for one post. I was impressed by Out From Boneville, and I can't wait for The Great Cow Race next Spring. This game confirms to me that you guys know what you're doing, and I'm ready for more!

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    Anonymous

    Loved this game! Great graphics, music, loved the story but just as it was about to take off...done. WAYYYY too short if i'm paying 20 bucks for EACH episode...10 bucks and episode i can handle maybe...9 episodes at under 2 hours at 20 bucks each? I really want to continue to play but im not sure if i'm willing to pay that much for so little gameplay. I honestly hope Sam and Max is released as a full game and not episodes if it is going to be so short...other then that though i thought this game was very well done :)

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    Anonymous

    You're so right it hurts, Udvarnoky. :p
    This a wonderful short and empty game. Does it sound strange? It is, but I am pretty sure TellTale guys will get it 100% right the next time.
    Diduz

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    Anonymous

    Looks as though I arrived a little late to this discussion, everything there is to say about the game appears to have already been said. :(

    I'll give my personal thoughts anyway...

    Pros:

    Voice acting - Top class across the board. A lot of people seem to have an issues with Thorn's voice but I really liked it.

    Writing - No use having decent voice acting if your going to have them talking complete rubbish. Thankfully this isn't the case, and the dialogue also is first rate stuff, makes conversations a joy to listen to.

    Homour - I funniest adventure game ive played in a long time, Phoney Bone and Ted the Bug are brilliant characters.

    Multi conversation tree - What a brilliant little inovation, I had such a great time playing through the dinner conversation. i think the Telltale guys are really on to something with this.

    Interface - Evidently this has really divided peoples opinions, but I found it really simple and fun to use. Again it's not really something we've seen done in such a way before, also something I hope to see more of.

    Story - Well told, they've done a nice job of bringing the book to life.

    Cons:

    Length - Not really to much else to say about that.

    Puzzles - The main problem I had with the game. There just weren't enough, and what there was were just to simple. The exception being Escaping from the Rat Creatures, I thought that was clever, and funny. I really hope that next time TT try to flesh out the gameplay a bit.

    A bit rushed towards the end - After the Rat Creature chase they seem to have left an awful lot out, i.e. Phoney reuniting with Smiley, the journey to Barrelhaven.

    All in all though I thought the game showed a lot of promise.

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    Anonymous

    First, let me say that I did really love this first episode, except for its shortness.
    Loved the 3D point'n'click engine, loved multiple conversations too! Sceneries are beautiful, the music is great, and the voice overs are neat.

    But...
    ..what have you done with the character rendering?
    It looks like DX7 T&N vertex ligthing with awful Gouraud artifacts!
    Please allow owners of half-decent machines to benefit from a smooth per pixel lighting, so that Thorn doesn't look like a zombie! :(

    (Make your engine open-source and I do it for you ;) )

    Bertrand

    PS : Greetings from a game dev from France. Long live TellTale ;-) (Eugen Systems)

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    Anonymous

    I really enjoyed the first episode, while not perfect it was entertaining and killed a few hours of my time. Overall the animation was nice and the voices, I thought, were great. But like stated before the lip syncing could be better. For the next release the puzzles should be upped a notch. Make people have to use items a little more to solve puzzles rather than just find an item and use it. But I liked the dialogue puzzles but they should be limited.

    Pros:
    Animation was smooth
    Dialogue feature
    Simple (good or bad depending on person)

    Cons:
    lip Sync (minor)
    Short (but what do you expect for $20)
    To simple for experienced players.
    Minor clipping issues (during the running sequences it would be nice if phoney or smiley tripped rather than run through the boulders, same for the rats)

    Also I don't know about anyone else but I experienced a few bugs ingame. While attempting to escape from the rat creatures the first time, and failing, I hit esc a few time to speed through the dialogue, and when Fone was place back at the starting point he continued to walk through the rat creatures into the background. The purple rat then attempted to follow him with his head turning it backwards. I also noticed that the dialogue head icons had doubled. Overall I liked the game and would buy it again, but it would make my day if it were a little more complex, it might make up for the short time.


    Oh and one more thing the chase scenes, the mouse(I'm using optical) seems a little kind of glitchy and hard to move around, but that seems to be normal with the chase parts I've seen in other games for me. Anyway around it, possibly an alternative scene by getting captured and having to escape?

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    Anonymous

    The length of the first episode is just not acceptable. 20 dollars for under 2 hours of gameplay? I really feel cheated.

    And its a shame. Bone is the best adventuregame since Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon. But if the next episodes dont around $5 or is at least 5 hours long, then I wont buy any more of those.

    It feels like Telltale are playing a cruel joke on me. 2 hours........and then the credits start rolling.......

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