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The "whatever's on your mind" thread

posted by GuruGuru214 on - last edited - Viewed by 188.4K users

One of the things that's great about this forum is its randomness. Well, this is the epitome of it: a thread for whatever random thought happens to be passing through your mind.

For example, I've just been struck by the most random craving for Taco Bell nachos.

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  • @thestalkinghead said: no they are broke because of certain recurring problems in many point and click games.

    the SCUMM system is essentially pointless because when am i ever going to open a person (except that one puzzle that i will get stuck on because i didn't think to open a person) why not just have icons for the possible action pop up around the mouse cursor that you can select with your mouse wheel, that way the verbs at the bottom wouldn't limit the actions you could perform or get you stuck because you can't read the mind of the creator of the game and select open man, i would say it is because people are lazy and cant be bothered to invent their own system and would rather rely on a broken system.

    and then there is all the items in our inventory (i enjoy combining and using them just to get that straight) this system works most of the time, but when i play adventure games now whenever i find a new item i just try and combine them all for no narrative reason, because i know i will have to and because of the amount of times i have been stuck in a game because i haven't combined the correct items, this is clearly not a good thing for me to just do things totally out of contexts of the game because of an essential problem with combining things, i think they should just tell you what to combine to get it over with at the correct time narratively.

    also there is a big problem that there is only one solution to every problem, and if you aren't in the exact mindset that the developer intended you end up just using everything on everything until you get to a puzzle that makes sense, i often find myself thinking why couldn't i have used this other similar item to do the exact same thing, because in real life you could, why not have multiple solutions to problems? it is because of laziness and because of an "other games don't do it so why should i in my game attitude"

    these are just the problems of the top of my head that i dont see any attempt to solve and using the SCUMM system just promotes this "don't bother fixing it" attitude because it doesn't need innovating just rehashing

    Ah now you are getting to the real problem with adventure games, and even your suggestion doesn't eliminate the fact that players are going to use everything on everything until something works.

    And some older adventure games quite nicely came up with their own ways of dealing with that.

    I know at least one designed itself around it by making certain items replenish able but could be combined and used wrong, then subtle clues around can direct the player to find their own conclusion.
    (Which is why I would argue SCUMM isn't broken, its the designers that are broken for not thinking of that possibility and accommodating for it)

    Then the other way to do it is to make the player be more active in that adventure and have to think on their feet.

    I haven't played it yet, but what I've heard from The Last Express, is that the game runs in real time, and is designed to react immediately to player input.

    So really, designers need to think like Dungeon Masters, and determine whether they want to move players along the story path, letting their interactions change the route, or if ithey want to set up a sequence of scenarios and wait for the resolution to that scenario before moving on/ ending the game.

  • On one of the marvel moives where there go into space they should have a Death Star in the background or a Star Destroyer so Star Wars will be in the same universe then Luke Skywalker can be an Avenger.

  • i guess what i am saying is that i want to play games that attempt to solve the problems of the previous generation of games, not just keep the same problems because people have gotten used to them

  • Then what you really want is tabletop roleplaying games. Puzzles are always different and there's as many ways to solve them as you can think of. Graphics are a bit nonexistent, though, and there's no savegames so if you die, you're dead.

  • Retro games are getting old.

  • Stalkinghead is right.

    Actually, he's touching exactly on the problems I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT. His complaints make sense. And believe me, it's not laziness that keeps me from adding more solutions, it's because of the limitations of my own brain. I'd have someone else helping me design puzzles and jokes and stuff if I could, but I don't. So I run out of ideas quite often and get writer's block all the time.

    I have thought of a few things to try to do to innovate, but they're not huge things because I'm not really clever. I got rid of look at because a verb that tells you what a thing is is useless when the bar at the top of the game that says "Look at Thing" can just tell you. What else is the verb going to tell you? Got rid of Open, Close, Push, and Pull too. Added Check (functions as Search, Look in, Look behind, Look under, etc.) and Move, and will get rid of them if I end up finding no good use for them.

    And I'm running with about four playable characters at a time, and they always follow each other, but are still switchable. It's a small change from games like The Cave and Maniac Mansion, but that's that.

    Telltale had a big innovative idea that nobody even paid attention to, or at least not in design-circles, which was the dialog system that allowed for two characters to talk to another character. It's such an obvious, simple change.

    And making adventure games more playable on consoles with The Devil's Playhouse and Tales, which everyone threw a huge shitfest over.

    I do what I can, but I find discussion like this extremely valuable. Not really wanting to jump in screaming and SILENCE THE HERETIC or anything like that because that DOESN'T HELP ME. Criticism helps me look at alternatives.

  • @Secret Fawful said: Stalkinghead is right.

    Actually, he's touching exactly on the problems I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT. His complaints make sense. And believe me, it's not laziness that keeps me from adding more solutions, it's because of the limitations of my own brain. I'd have someone else helping me design puzzles and jokes and stuff if I could, but I don't. So I run out of ideas quite often and get writer's block all the time.

    I have thought of a few things to try to do to innovate, but they're not huge things because I'm not really clever. I got rid of look at because a verb that tells you what a thing is is useless when the bar at the top of the game that says "Look at Thing" can just tell you. What else is the verb going to tell you? Got rid of Open, Close, Push, and Pull too. Added Check (functions as Search, Look in, Look behind, Look under, etc.) and Move, and will get rid of them if I end up finding no good use for them.

    And I'm running with about four playable characters at a time, and they always follow each other, but are still switchable. It's a small change from games like The Cave and Maniac Mansion, but that's that.

    Telltale had a big innovative idea that nobody even paid attention to, or at least not in design-circles, which was the dialog system that allowed for two characters to talk to another character. It's such an obvious, simple change.

    And making adventure games more playable on consoles with The Devil's Playhouse and Tales, which everyone threw a huge shitfest over.

    I do what I can, but I find discussion like this extremely valuable. Not really wanting to jump in screaming and SILENCE THE HERETIC or anything like that because that DOESN'T HELP ME. Criticism helps me look at alternatives.

    Oh yeah. He's got a valid point.
    I just don't think its quite fair to be too dismissive of retro titles, thats all.

    (There are a lot of cool ideas lurking around in old games. If you can lift and improve them, then it only helps to improve videogames in the long-run)

    EDIT: As for your idea Fawful. It may help to focus on the characters and their
    abilities themselves as the source for the puzzles, over the generic puzzle system.
    (Maybe even their personalities to an extent. Or even their relationships with each other and the world if you want to get really deep into puzzles. (I always liked the relationship system in Onimusha 2. How you interacted with the characters, the items that you traded with them in particular, eventually affected who you team up with, who you played as at certain points, and how their fates at the end of the game end up. Of course its imperfect. A lot of guesswork is needed if you didn't have a guide, and you could screw yourself over by trading stuff at the wrong time, but it is certainly an interesting idea that could be lifted and improved on))
    A little context sensitive shortcut here and there wouldn't hurt, as long as the meat is somewhere else.

    (Ofcourse, take what I say with a grain of salt. I'm just a gamer in the end of the day, not a designer. (not yet anyway! *derp*))

  • Spending the next 12 hours revising the narration in my book.

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