User Avatar Image

How Do You Feel About Telltale's Direction?

posted by Alcoremortis on - last edited - Viewed by 2.8K users

Just like the good old days, back when a simple discussion of who the best male and female users on the forum were could turn into half the people here changing their avatars to eyevatars... and still seem perfectly natural.

I miss those days.

293 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • User Avatar Image
    Vainamoinen Moderator

    @MtnPeak said: Anyway, you're entitled to your incorrect opinion, but I know what I've read. It is clear the message that was being sent: traditional adventure games are flawed and are in need of fixing and evolving; we are the future of adventure gaming. In doing this, Telltale helped popularize the (sometimes unfair) complaints about traditional adventure games. They didn't create the criticisms, but they made them a lot more commonplace.



    Telltale did not state that adventure games are flawed and in need of fixing and this was never 'implied' or the 'message sent' as well. The simple fact that Telltale's making their own version of the adventure game doesn't entail any of these 'messages'.

    The validity of more traditional variants of these games was never, ever questioned by Telltale. You're embarrassing yourself with these accusations to the highest degree.

    If you really think that complaints against the very basic mechanics of adventure games were "popularized" by Telltale, you must have missed the last twenty years and the entire development of the genre.

    All you're doing is to make up senseless allegations out of thin air, and you're a driving force in making an earnest, possibly constructive discussion of this topic, i.e. "Telltale's direction", de facto impossible.

  • @Vainamoinen said: This does not only border on delusion. These claims take the hurdle with a swift leap and safely arrive in the conspiracy theory realm of the 'eats babies' paradigm.


    You are full of SUCH fucking shit, vain. You haven't been paying attention to interviews with Telltale staff and other people like Tim Schafer for the past couple years. Calling people delusional is ridiculous. It's obvious that to you any criticism is unconstructive.


    http://www.shacknews.com/article/77827/telltale-ceo-discusses-more-walking-dead-reinventing-adventure-games

    Making the genre more of a "storytelling medium" and less of a "puzzle-based" medium is Connors' ultimate challenge to makers of adventure games.

    "Hopefully they continue to push mechanics forward as well and don't retreat back to the known 1992 or 1993 vintage of adventure game mechanics, which can be something that people have clung to for a long time," Connors said. "It hasn't had the ability to go outside of the people that really like it. It's like a really good wine or something that some people really love and other people can't drink."

    Granted, The Walking Dead is certainly a solid answer to that challenge. Even so, Connors seems to think that part of this evolution of adventure games is necessary to reach a new, nontraditional audience. "I don't know if the people that played Walking Dead on XBLA are ready for an adventure game that comes out that is 'walk around the world, pick up objects, use them on other objects, put them back in your inventory, combine two items, solve the puzzle,'" he said. "I don't know if that's a direct link."

    http://killscreendaily.com/articles/articles/after-lucasarts-closing-what-does-future-adventure-games-look-tim-schafer-dan-connors-ron-gilbert-weigh/

    Gilbert: The focus is more on making the games themselves enjoyable. I think that is a place adventure games are going. The Walking Dead is a great example of really great games that have no puzzles. The puzzles that are there might as well not be. You just want to get on with the story. I think we should stop thinking about them as adventure games and start thinking about them as just games, or ways of telling stories

    I really hate not knowing what to do next. How do you deal with that?

    Gilbert: Being stuck in an adventure game is not fun. Back in the day, yeah, you’d be stuck for a month. The only way I could beat that wizard at the end of King’s Quest 3 was beg my parents for their credit card and order the hint book. You’ve gotta be at the end of your rope to do that. Now, maybe you last five minutes before going onto Google and getting the answer.0

    My philosophy as a designer is if a player has to leave my game to enjoy it, then I’ve failed. But there’s no way to really avoid it. There’s no puzzle so easy that someone somewhere won’t get stuck on it. You can have a locked door and a glowing shining neon key right in the middle of the room and someone somewhere will miss it and get stuck!

    Connors: In 2004, when we started Telltale, we had a vision that games should be released in smaller chunks over time. That would be a way to introduce more people to games. It was more consumable. You could finish it and digest it and move on to the next one. We honed our craft by looking at Mad Men and Game of Thrones. We’re bringing the elements that make a show great.

    Schafer: Puzzles aren’t really needed anymore. They break the flow. For Brütal Legend, I thought about how to come up with puzzle design that makes confusion entertaining. It’s hard to get that through a focus group. We had these puzzles in Psychonauts and the first focus group said they didn’t know what to do with the paintings. They figured it out, but they didn’t know what to do at first. What’s the problem? We called that gameplay. But now it’s confusion.

    The biggest names in the genre right now, including Telltale. Telltale don't disagree with these sentiments, man.

  • User Avatar Image
    Vainamoinen Moderator

    @Secret Fawful said: You are full of SUCH fucking shit, vain.



    Can you do this ANY other way? Is it possible? Is there any other mode you talk to people than full out affrontery?


    @Secret Fawful said: You haven't been paying attention to interviews with Telltale staff and other people like Tim Schafer for the past couple years. [...] It's obvious that to you any criticism is unconstructive.

    How can you believe that any criticism, to me, would be unconstructive, when you've watched me criticise the mechanics of first Back to the Future, then Jurassic Park, then The Walking Dead, continuously, as a forum moderator, on this forum? :confused:

    What I'd like to see is a skilled criticism of TWD's game mechanics, not the stab-in-the-back legend of adventure gaming. You know this. I'm just tired of people exaggerating the situation to an absurd degree in an attempt to 'insult to improve'.


    From the first interview (Dan):

    In a way, adventure games started the idea of graphics in games. They're like the blues of the whole thing. Every game has some adventure game mechanic in it. So resurgence-wise, it's great that Ron [Gilbert] and Tim [Schafer] are working on it." Making the genre more of a "storytelling medium" and less of a "puzzle-based" medium is Connors' ultimate challenge to makers of adventure games.

    "Hopefully they continue to push mechanics forward as well and don't retreat back to the known 1992 or 1993 vintage of adventure game mechanics, which can be something that people have clung to for a long time," Connors said. "It hasn't had the ability to go outside of the people that really like it. It's like a really good wine or something that some people really love and other people can't drink."

    First paragraph: Acknowledgement of the validity of traditional forms of the adventure game, appraisal of continuous efforts in the genre; second paragraph: reason for Telltale's own direction. In the middle, we have Jeff Mattas' rather desperate interpretation of those quotes, as Dan seems to refuse to directly answer the question whether there do or do not have to be 'puzzles' in adventure game. Still, the author is of course on the right track: Those moments go out of Telltale's games at the moment.

    None of the tin foil hat accusations up there have any part in this.

    We KNOW which direction Telltale is moving into. You don't like it, I don't like it. Absolutely no need to make this the adventure gaming apocalypse. And no need to draw Tim Schafer into this, especially not with this ill fated killscreendaily triple interview where the participants never really seem to answer the questions at hand.

    From the second interview (Tim):

    It has to be point and click. To me it has to. I feel like it has to be solvable by someone who’s not dexterous. That was an unspoken contract. You can sit and think, without having to have good reflexes. You can scratch your chin. That’s the most important gesture. Your dad can play. I’m too stressed to play an online first-person shooter. I don’t think fast. I like to stand and think about a problem with secret layers of meaning and make connections that weren’t obvious. Like, “Whoa, I’m so smart.”

    That, in a nutshell, indeed is the traditional adventure game to me. I've in fact taken up his idea of the "stop and think moment" and been using it in my own critiques of the present Telltale direction. Where do you see Tim's bashing of the adventure genre in this interview? Ah, yeah, I see. And I stumbled across the same part:

    Puzzles aren’t really needed anymore. They break the flow.

    I believe this was taken out of context. Even if we add the rest of the quote, the confusion grows:

    For Brütal Legend, I thought about how to come up with puzzle design that makes confusion entertaining. It’s hard to get that through a focus group. We had these puzzles in Psychonauts and the first focus group said they didn’t know what to do with the paintings. They figured it out, but they didn’t know what to do at first. What’s the problem? We called that gameplay. But now it’s confusion.

    Brütal Legend and Psychonauts? What was the question again? This was about adventure games, wasn't it? And it really doesn't fit to what he said before, and of course it doesn't fit to what Tim Schafer is fucking doing right at this moment. Do you really think he will stop doing adventure games after Broken Age? Do you really think we won't have the next Double Fine adventure game kickstarter by 2014 at the latest?

    Can't really diminish the confusion this article creates. When I first read it, I thought Tim was using the term 'puzzle' in its narrowest sense, that of the actual jigsaw puzzle (which do break immersion in adventure games; if the problem solving deals with the in game world, with physics or psychology, it's much more of a design achievement).

    But I can draw another quote from the same interview:

    The problem with adventure games right now is that we have to always ask where they are right now. Nobody asks where platformers are now, or where are shoot’em-ups, or where are 16-bit style Japanese RPGs. These are all genres that are old and coming back. Adventure games are a part of that. They’re so broad. They’re just another medium of telling stories. It’s a good framework to hang an interactive story on. I don’t think it needs to go anywhere.

    Yup, Fawful. The biggest names in the genre right now.

    That said, this still was an interview that particularly saddened me. Dave and Tim had such interesting ideas and stances, and Dan was talking about collecting choice statistics.

  • Look. In the end of the day gameplay design has to fix the context of the game.

    Having a warrior doing a Rubik's Cube puzzle in order to save the damsel in distress makes little sense.
    It being a nerdy little dude does.

    (Or in the Warriors case, intimidating/convincing a nerdy little guy to do it while he fights off the Dark Lord's minions makes more sense since it plays more on his characteristics (his strength/charisma))

    EDIT:

    A game series like Professor Layton makes sense because he's an investigator that solves mysteries.
    (So he goes around talking to people and trying to solve their puzzles to find clues. ect.)

    Or say Pheonix Wright. He's a lawyer, he has to peice together his case.
    (Again involving puzzles and investigation)

    In a way I think I'm trying to argue Scott Roger's Triangle of Weirdness.
    In that if the player is alienated to both, setting, characters and situation, then they have little to connect to and make sense of.

    (So a game can have weird characters and situations, but the setting should be familiar, or the situation and setting can be weird, but the characters should be grounded in some way. ect.)

    EDIT 2: Here's a good example.

    In the game: Deadly Premonition, Francis York Morgan, and all the other characters are pretty weird in some way, and the situation is strange, but the place the game is based in (for the most part) is real. Its familiar. Its the ground to all the weirdness.
    (And gameplay-wise you don't exactly, as the player expect the place to suddenly turn into a candy-land with messed up physics puzzles do you?)

    EDIT 3: And on further rambling, it also makes sense why people hate the ending of Monkey Island 2 for this reason!

  • User Avatar Image
    Blind Sniper Moderator

    I think that as long as Telltale works on improving their Walking Dead formula to add more interactivity and variety, the "interactive drama" games will be interesting to see. However, I would still like to see Telltale focus on doing more than one type of game at a time. That applies to both adventure and drama games. I'm very excited for Walking Dead Season 2 and Fables but it would be a shame for Telltale to completely abandon their roots.

  • Does a blind sniper rely on hearing to get there target?

  • You don't seem to get, though, that I don't care about Telltale's games. The philosophy, the one little idea that puzzles are not needed and are bad, is very much widespread and popular. Doesn't matter if the games Telltale makes don't shit directly on the adventure games of old. Doesn't matter if they still respect the old games. They consider them just that: old and outdated. And no one wants to see another game like them. And that's what bothers me. There is a topic on the AGS forums called narrative vs. mechanics arguing that puzzles hurt pacing and should be removed.

    And it's very obvious that most current devs find that argument very valid. I didn't pull the argument out of my ass, as I've been seeing it used everywhere from interviews with devs to forums like NeoGAF and AGS. Every time an adventure game topic comes up on GAF, 60% of the topic is people complaining that the game was too hard and required a walkthrough. Games like Grim Fandango and Secret and such all get this treatment, not just Sierra games.

    I'm tired of it. I'm also tired of people saying others with differing stances are delusional.

    Take the Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded release. The typical response to it is "Traditional adventure game humor and puzzles? EWWWWW. If I get it at all, I'll wait for a sale, and maybe not that."

    A part of me, as a dev, who is desperately trying to devise clever puzzles of my own and make a classic adventure game.....let me put it this way. It's extremely frustrating to realize that not only will no one want my game, but every time I write a puzzle I just keep thinking now...."What if it's too hard. What if it's too complex. What if it requires too much thought. Will my game be criticized and ostracized and will I be called a bad designer? Will I get low review scores, like 2 out of 5 or something? Will no one want to ever play it? I've put over five years of my life into figuring this game out, and I'm terrified to finalize even one puzzle or finish the game because it won't be good anymore. Nobody will want it, and everyone will hate it. And every single word I read about the genre solidifies that idea." So yes, I have every reason to be irritated, angry, sad, belligerent, scared, defensive, paranoid, etc. It's so bad I don't even want to finish my product. Nobody agrees with my stances on adventure games. Nobody anywhere. Period. You might say you agree, but if you really read what I think and how I feel about adventure game design, eventually I'll hear "I really hate getting stuck. It's so frustrating to have to figure out where to go and what to do." or "But that's so daishi archaic. Nobody daishi's that anymore." or whatever.

    It might not be the adventure game apocalypse, but it sure as HELL is ruining my life, personal dream wise. And not only that, but it's retroactively destroying my interest in the genre, and even in the classics I used to love more than anything. It's to the point that I don't want to play Secret of Monkey Island ever again.

  • User Avatar Image
    Jennifer Moderator

    Do things because you like them, not because of how other people will view them. I didn't get many views on my first completed animated short film, and it got a pretty mediocre star rating at Newgrounds. I honestly don't care because I really liked making it and I'm proud of it.

    After I released the adventure game I made in high school, it was only downloaded and played by one person as far as I know (and is unfortunately lost to the depths of the internet now, but I'm working on remaking it as close as possible to the original, with a few additions thanks to the benefit of experience). It doesn't bother me at all that pretty much no one played it, since I enjoyed making it (and I'm enjoying remaking it, and surprised at how much I remember about it despite it being released over 15 years ago), and I'm still pretty proud of it (or else I wouldn't bother with the remake).

    Classic adventure games are not going to stop coming out, regardless of what well-known game developers (and people on forums) say. As long as there are people out there who enjoy making them, they'll keep coming out.

    Heck, I still enjoy Dragon's Lair style games, and pretty much everyone says that that genre is outdated and not fun to play anymore. That doesn't stop me from playing them, and it doesn't stop people from making them either.

  • Fawful, just make the game that YOU want to make. Screw everyone else.
    (Shit,even if I played it and it was too hard for me, I'd probably sneak a little look into a walkthrough, but I WOULDN'T depreciate the game because of it as long as everything else in the experience was great. In fact if it was a clever puzzle that made sense in hindsight, I'd totally be praising it and thinking its totally cool! :D (and who's opinion matters to you in the end of the day? Some snooty bribed reviewer or an actual proper gamer, the sort of person you're targeting this game to))

  • User Avatar Image
    Blind Sniper Moderator

    @coolsome said: Does a blind sniper rely on hearing to get there target?



    Where did you hear that? We rely on taste buds of course!

Add Comment