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TT's King's Quest: R.I.P. (aka Really Improbable Project)

posted by Bloody Eugene on - last edited - Viewed by 5.8K users

I've heard that they have problems with the Activision's rights. Any TT official news or reference about the game (aside this forum thread) was deleted. They had a placeholder website similar to the Fable one, and it's not available anymore.
The last statement about it was "The genre doesn't need us anymore".
No official comments on the forum aside Mods, the last one being one year old.

So.....
Telltale's King's Quest R.I.P.?
:(

279 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • User Avatar Image
    exo

    @magodesky said:
    More to the point, so what if people are just jumping on because of The Walking Dead? Isn't it a good thing that more people are getting interested in adventure games? This is the kind of attitude that's kept the genre marginalized for the last fifteen years. Any time someone new comes along who hasn't played an outdated game from the '80s, there are too many fans who just say, "you're not allowed in our secret clubhouse."

    Hey, guess what. See that thing way over your head? Yea, that was my point, you totally missed it. I don't give a shit if you want to join the "secret clubhouse". It's not so secret. It's a public friggin forum that has been dead for quite some time. I was simply pointing out that in the debate over whether or not this game would actually be released, that it was interesting to me that those of us who have been discussing the game at length for quite some time are all the very skeptical ones, while the new batch of fellows are all very optimistic. It's not a value judgement, it is a factual observation.

    That's insane. Telltale has built its whole company on licensed games. Including the revival of series from LucasArts' golden age of adventure games like Sam & Max and Monkey Island. And, while The Walking Dead is an obvious exception, most of their games have been based on light-hearted fantasy worlds, just like King's Quest is. Frankly, I can't think of any game developer in the industry today that would be a more perfect fit for a new King's Quest game.

    As musicallyinspired pointed out, it has nothing to do with it being a light hearted fantasy world. It has to do with the fact that KQ games are large, open world games, full of characters, complex puzzles, disastrous consequences, and somewhat tricky mechanics. Again, you totally missed the point. I have played at least 1-2 episodes from every series TT has released. None of them are open world, none of them have complex puzzles, none of them are even difficult for that matter (I have never spent more than an hour or 2 on any episode, and I've never had to consult a walkthrough). And in recent times they have gone heavy on the quicktime bullshit.

    I only got two episodes into BttF, because frankly, it was a boring ass world. The town square in episode one is static, not detailed, and takes way too long to traverse from one side to the other. I spent more time walking around in that game from one of the three available locations to one of the other three locations then I did actually dealing with any puzzles.

    Jurassic Park was just a joke. Sam N Max was fun, until it got repetitive after 3 seasons. Walking Dead's "moral" choices are contrived, and really don't affect anything. Save this person? Then that person hates you. Save the other person? Now a different person hates you. None of it really effects where the game is going, what scenes take place in what order, or how the game world at large plays out. The most interesting thing about it was seeing what percentage of people picked different choices at the end. And what do you have without the moral choices? A small gameworld, with 2-3 puzzles, and a handful of conversations you can have.... oh... hey.... like every single TT game to date.

    You cited Tales from MI, yet this is a LucasArts style game. Again, as has been pointed out, these were always presented in chapters. And the puzzles in Tales do not compare to those of the core games. The game was fun, humorous, and a nice short distraction, but it was also a TT game with MI thrown in... just like every game they release... They run a formula, and while that works for some people and some licenses, KQ simply isn't suited for it.

    It's actually *NOT* a numbered sequel. The official title is King's Quest: Mask of Eternity, not King's Quest 8. But I take it that your point is that MoE is official KQ canon. Which is, sadly, true. I really wish we could all just pretend it never happened. But for now, we have to assume that MoE is actually canonical.

    Roberta herself specifically stated that Mask of Eternity is synonymous for King's Quest 8. We've been over all this shit already, there are entire threads devoted to it. Please feel free to indulge in one of them, but don't bring that shit back up in here. The whole reason I brought it up is because it is one of many, admittedly retarded, debates that has already been put to bed around here. If your going to crash our "secret clubhouse", at least don't be a retard while your at it.

    For the record, there was also quite a bit of official press material that is labeled as King's Quest 8, not MoE. Baggins is like, some creepy collector of all this stuff. He has black magic contacts and arcane knowledge. Defy him, and you are liable to received a 4,000 word response beat down. But you would know that already if you didn't walk in just to say that everything that makes KQ enjoyable to us is crap, and should all be scrapped for a light hearted romp through jackass land.

    The same could have been said of Monkey Island, and yet it made the transition to episodic games just fine. Just because the series has traditionally had longer stories in a time when game developers were willing to invest bigger budgets in adventure games is no reason to think it can't be made episodic. Frankly, "3 screens, 2 interactive characters, and 5 puzzles" sounds to me like a far more entertaining adventure game than Mask of Eternity.

    If the goal is to simply make a KQ game that is more entertaining that MoE, then the bar is already set so low that we should all just go home. It is fucking sad to me that you have to go and find potentially the worst game in the series and use *that* as the mark that TT might be able to push past. Nobody here wants another KQ8. Nobody anywhere wants another KQ8. Nobody here, there, or anywhere, is going to look at a TT game and rationalize any shortcomings by saying, "Well... at least it's better than 8....". The reason for this is quite simple - nobody is anxiously awaiting a TT KQ game based on their love of KQ8. While everyone here may have a different favorite KQ game, part 5 and 6 are two of the most loved. So *these* are generally the games that still define the series. KQ7 wasn't bad, imho, but it was also such a departure from a tonal standpoint (and artistically) from the much darker KQ6, that it sort of stands apart from the rest.

    There's a good chance that that's true. Which is sad. But unfortunately, there are a lot of fans who are so stuck in the past they can't enjoy a new game that isn't riddled with the kinds of horrible design flaws most of us were glad to leave behind decades ago but are now, for some reason, remembered fondly based purely on nostalgia. The way I see it, that's their loss. The rest of us will enjoy experiencing a classic King's Quest tale without the frustration of dying every five minutes because there was a pixel we missed five hours earlier in the game.

    There is nothing sad about loving a franchise for what it was, and hoping/expecting that any resurrections of it are true to what made you love the series in the first place.

    If it is your standpoint that the old KQ games are purely loved for nostalgia, and at their core they are "riddled with horrible design flaws", then you really have no business here. If all you want from a KQ game is a light hearted fantasy, then you don't actually *want* a KQ game. KQ games were NEVER known for their stories. What planet are you from if *that* is what defines it for you?

    And please, pray tell, what are all these horrible design flaws that we are all looking over with rose tinted glasses? Pixel hunting? That was indigenous to nearly all adventure games of the time period, so is it your stance that the entire genre as it stood in the 90's was "horrible flawed"?

    No wonder you like recent TT games. You don't have to use that little brain of yours. They do it all for you. You get to just click through conversations and get through a quicktime event or 2, and then monkey clap for yourself for solving a "puzzle".

    And for the record, I will say that no one who has been in this thread for any amount of time "left behind these games decades ago". I for one still play through the KQ games every few years, and I am positive many others her do as well. I also still go back and play lots of adventure games from that time period that I missed.

    All you have done here is show how little you understand of what made the KQ series popular in the first place, and then divorced all that out of the formula, and boiled what was left down to a "light hearted fantasy".

    So if that is all you want, go petition TT to make you a My Little Pony game. Then you get all the light hearted fantasy you want, without shitting all over a franchise that is much more then simply a "light hearted fantasy"

    I don't see why you even want TT to make a KQ game, as you come across as hating the entire series, as well as the mechanics that made it popular. What, were you 6 back then? No patience? Couldn't read yet? I don't get it.

  • @Diduz said: I don't think they're working on it.
    True, Telltale doesn't reveal too much about upcoming games, but Fables hasn't been nearly as secretive as King's Quest until now. We know for example that Mike Stemmle is handling Fables, he also posted in the dedicated forum as soon as the section was opened, more than a year ago.
    No designer/writer/producer has ever posted anything about King's Quest.

    Well, the TTG Designer JD Straw (Sinaz20) posted a lot of "personal" thoughts on KQ, but it was more then a year ago. He was "trying to compile a lot of research material to build a reference library for the eventual team." (http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=481683#post481683)

    The most significant post he wrote about the game itself is his last one on KQ board:
    @Diduz said: [...]

    All of our communication with designers related to previous King's Quest games has been positive.

    Our designers recognize that King's Quest cannot be handled in the same fashion as games like Monkey Island and Sam n Max.

    We reached out to Roberta Williams to get insight about what she felt was core to the games rather than simply relying on our experience from the gamer side of the screen.

    She declined to participate because she has truly put the series behind her. She supports our endeavors.

    What happened since 06/24/2011 nobody knows - that was the last time JD Straw or any other TTG staff posted anything about the game, as far as I know.

  • User Avatar Image
    exo

    Ah yes, I remember that post. It was a bright day for me. Not only did they admit it could not be handled in the same way, but Roberta was also out of the picture. While she gets credit for what KQ once was, I have never had much confidence in her returning to the series. It's not like a LSL game, where all you really need is Al Lowe's humor. Roberta was pretty clear even back in the 90's that she wanted to move away from the SCI style (not just art, but also gameplay). While KQ8 had it's own troubles, and there was a bit of a power struggle there at times, it was still a game she put out. And she also put out KQ7. Again, the game isn't inherently bad, but I think musicallyinclined put it best when you said it wasn't exactly a positive evolution for the series. Then, when you take into account where she was going with her other series, like phantasmagoria... well, you see a huge departure on all fronts (technologically, gameplay, story-wise) from what KQ was. In a lot of ways she reminds me of George Lucas. The guy seemed to have a phase where he was creating quite a few interesting properties. But the longer he got to sit with them, develop them, and mess with them, the farther he pushed them away from what had originally made them interesting in the first place.

    And I think that this also is exactly the nail in the coffin.

    Exhibit A:
    "Game can't be handled in the same fashion as previous games."
    Does anyone here truly think they will develop a new engine, or gameplay style for this property? Why go through all that work when they can keep buying up licenses like JP and BttF and shoving them into the same mold. Walking Dead's success will bring more companies to the table looking to expand their properties to all the markets that TT games reach. One of the huge benefits to their current engine/platform is that it can be played across so many devices.

    Exhibit B:
    This forum.
    Who is the audience for a King's Quest game? Well, apart from a few random buys here and there, it is people who are already familiar with King's Quest. For all the reason's listed in the forums over the past 2 years, the most engaged fanbase of KQ don't feel TT is a good fit. The companies history, lack of info, and current releases are all direct evidence against a good KQ game. The only defense provided *ever* here in the forums was, 'give them a chance, maybe it will be good.".... which isn't really a defense at all, it is hoping against hope that the stars will align.

    If a hefty percentage of the people familiar with the franchise don't buy it, then what chance does it have with the general public... to whom it may appear to be a generic fantasy game?

    So does it make business sense to develop a new engine or gameplay model for a series that TT's style to date doesn't suit? Or does it make more sense to continue acquiring properties that more easily fit into their current mold, have a wider fan base, and don't require extra development work.

    Everyone here, except magodesky, would like to have a great KQ game (he wants an interactive storybook). So the criticisms that are leveled are not to shoot down any possibility of a good TellTale release, rather they exist to guide. Games like QFI are a direct result of the desire for games of that era, and to a certain extent so is Tim Schafer's current project.

    I, would love to be wrong about TT. I would love for them to release a game that shocks the adventure gaming community and is not derivative of the current state of things. I'd like to believe in a loving god and heaven too, but some things just aren't rational based on observed experiences.

  • @Bloody Eugene said: Well, the TTG Designer JD Straw (Sinaz20) posted a lot of "personal" thoughts on KQ, but it was more then a year ago. He was "trying to compile a lot of research material to build a reference library for the eventual team."


    Whooops, I stand corrected. :o
    And yet... that "eventual" doesn't sound good...

  • Hahaha...this thread just got good again.

  • Because Exo posted in it. I must say, I enjoy his lengthy posts more than Baggins'.

  • Heh, honestly I just think MI sums it up well with "We'll see." Cause really, that's it.

    But I think what we'll see with be nothing.


    Bt

  • Regarding the "can it fit an episodic format" question:

    On reflection it occurs to me that at least KQ6 (and I suppose KQ7 as well) already were heavily chapter-based, transparently so for the former and explicitly for the latter. I personally enjoyed KQ6 the best of the entire series, and while KQ7 had many flaws, the chapter system was not one of them, so I don't see TT's format itself as being particular problematic.

    I agree that the general open-world of the earlier games is missing in all of TT's games (and often stiflingly so), and is something that they'd benefit from re-examining as a whole. I assume the intent is to spread out design and development over the course of the release schedule rather than front-loading it, which may make it impossible, but KQ would feel more like KQ if they could manage to build most if not all of the world up-front to provide a larger playable area.

    Of course the largest point of contention will probably always be the unforgiving deaths. That's really just going to be subjective. Personally I wouldn't mind seeing them improve on the checkpoint/retry system used in KQ7; it would allow frequent and gruesome ends, but still keep to the relatively easy-going TT style. The older KQ games (and indeed, most of the AGI games) relied often on arbitrary or unfair difficulty in order to stand-in for a challenge. IME, the nostalgia for that sort of gameplay doesn't hold up so well today. Those games are artefacts (and ones which I hold a special fondness for) but I'm quite happy that in general game design has improved and relies less on such crutches.

  • User Avatar Image
    exo

    I have to disagree with KQ7's chapter system not being a flaw.

    Due to the nature of solving puzzles with different items, I remember loosing my save once, using their chapter system to get back to the stupid like town with the moon made of cheese, and having a completely different inventory than what I had when I was there.

    Anytime you have items you earlier acquired that need to be used later, if there is any variation in how those items can be used, it breaks the whole chapter system.

    I'm not sure I see how KQ6 was chapter based. There were islands.... but you could travel to them in any order. The key was having the right items or knowledge to gain entry. But that is like any adventure game. Technically you could leave the castle in KQ3 anytime you wanted... but if you didn't do it at the right time, you died. So is that chapter based? Simply because some gameplay takes place in a castle, then later it is in a town, and then later it is on a ship, etc...? Or is that just scenario changes?

    TellTales chapters are very self contained. The Walking Dead was the first game to come along that took anything you did previously into account, and carried that over. Unfortunately, the game *had* to progress in a linear fashion and all choices come to the same ends, otherwise you create exponentially different endings, which requires exponential programming and assets that only a fraction of all players will ever see.

    KQ games, as Josh Mandell referred to it in his most recent LSL post, were heavily focused on "flags". Character A might not interact with you, until you did a certain task or talked to someone, at which point that flag got hit, and you have now opened that interaction. Hence the tracking around within an open world.

    Chapter based systems kill this off.

    A chapter based game means either:
    A: All items used to solve puzzles must exist within that chapter, and its locations
    or
    B: If an item carries over from a previous chapter, the user *must* find it before it allows that chapter to end.

    In scenario A: you have already broken the open world concept. In KQ6 you use items from one island to solve puzzles on another. So if you consider the islands to be separate chapters, you are dealing with scenario B.

    In scenario B: the user HAS to pick up something that he /she can't even use yet just to progress. Otherwise the next chapter is unwinnable. If you HAVE to pick up the hole-in-the-wall on one island, to use it in the maze in the next chapter... then you either have to have an end point that directs the user to go pick shit up until they find the right item to end the chapter, or you have to put it right out with neon lights so they can't miss it. No matter how you handle it, you kill off the whole exploration nature.

    Missing certain things, and having to backtrack to them, is an important part of adventuring. If your always guaranteed to have the items you need, then what is the challenge?

    If you play KQ7 without using the chapter marker system, it played alright. As soon as you change chapters though manually, you break your inventory. Your items change, you process of solving puzzles changes, and it breaks any immersion you had as now the character you were playing as has essentially been "reset"

  • I HATE HATE HATE KQ7's chapter system. Exo has elaborated most of the reasons above, which I pretty much agree with completely. Also, in KQ7, the whole reason they did the chapter system was to essentially replace the need for manual saving. Eventually they restored the ability to save manually in a later patch, because it was such a bad decision to remove it originally, and so many people voiced displeasure at it. You only had a "save and quit" option, which REALLY made the game feel different (bad different) from the previous entries in the series. You couldn't create savegames whenever you wanted, so in order to allow the player to reply sections again, they staged the arbitrary "chapter" checkpoints. The chapters were also incorporated into the narrative somewhat, in order to create little cliffhangers within the story. I don't have a problem with that idea in and of itself, as it can enhance the narrative, but in KQ7 it always felt artificial and immersion breaking to me, like they had written the story, and then decided on a chapter system, and then weakly shoehorned the story to fit that format. It just wasn't handled as well as it could have been.

    Also, you should NEVER be able to skip to the end of a game without playing the first parts like that. It was a ridiculous design decision. At least with Telltale, we wouldn't have to worry about the ridiculousness of playing the chapters out of order. But yeah, in general, chapter system = FUCKING TERRIBLE DESIGN IDEA for a KQ game. ;)

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