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How Do You Feel About Telltale's Direction?

posted by Alcoremortis on - last edited - Viewed by 4.5K 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.

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  • 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!

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    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.

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    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))

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    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!

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    Vainamoinen Moderator

    @Secret Fawful said: 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.

    Yet those are exactly and exclusively the accusations I was responding to here yesterday, an answer which sparked your anger. I'd really like to point that out.

    @Secret Fawful said: The philosophy, the one little idea that puzzles are not needed and are bad, is very much widespread and popular.

    I hope that I'm abundantly clear for once when I respond that, yes, this absolutely seems to be a direction the industry is moving into. The 'puzzle game' still is very much alive, with widely successful modern variants like Portal out there. It's specifically the adventure genre with its ever so strong narrative focus where designers seem to cringe at implementing those 'stop and think' moments. One of the central examples of these last months follows below.

    I'm following the Dreamfall Chapters project very closely, which was explicitly kickstarter-advertised as rendering more of the traditional. That was surprising to a degree, as the predecessor essentially only was a nine hour long movie with a few fetch quests, sneaking and combat sequences in between. And I really thought they could do it right (after all, they're still the Longest Journey guys), that's why they got more money from me than any crowd funding campaign ever before times eight (!). I haven't given up hope yet, but first they displayed a visible aversion to even using the word 'puzzle' (shifting to 'problem' to rule out the more abstract 'jigsaw' versions of the paradigm), then they said that they don't want the inventory to carry "a lot of junk" (which essentially is the gameplay), and lastly, entire hour long developer presentations went by with keywords 'games with soul' and 'meaningful choices', in which the actual puzzle gameplay wasn't even mentioned. Last I've seen, they're implementing the same percentage choice statistics TWD collected to show up right at the moment of player choice, as if you're supposed to base your own decision on what all the other gamers chose. Someone might have fun with that, but I admit that I see this effort and just think it's crowd funds wasted.

    I'm more or less left to pray that they're still getting it right. :(

    I love interactive story elements in my games as much as the next guy, but in my opinion, game developers must understand that the very clear cut borders between narrativism and ludology absolutely weren't blurred at all by these last games from Dreamfall to The Walking Dead. You can tell the greatest stories with games, but the story isn't the game, however 'interactive' it might be. A 'choice' is always just a single, second long interactive moment in a game, and a 'consequence' is always a non interactive, passive thing to experience. You might say that puzzles break the pace, you might say that puzzles get you stumped and frustrated, you might say that puzzles are not universally accepted by the gamer community, but I refuse to accept the idea that these most intelligent gameplay elements could be flat out substituted by 'just story'. Thinking for the hero, solving puzzles as the hero and having the game react to and progress because of your skillful perception of the in game world, that is the central immersion kicker, one I absolutely personally don't want to go without.

    Was that more of the stuff you wanted to hear, Fawful? :)

  • I dunno, I'm just not seeing it. Yes, Telltale and Double Fine are straying away from the classic style we all love but it seems like every couple months there's a new game from Daedalic or Pedulo or Frogwares or Wadjet Eye or any number of other companies that ARE making classic style adventure games. Just because Schafer and Connors are going for something different doesn't mean the whole genre is.

  • @Vainamoinen said:

    Was that more of the stuff you wanted to hear, Fawful? :)

    tumblr_lnbimiZlaN1qez0bso1_400.gif

    THAT'S RUBBISH! PUZZLES ARE SHIT! THEY MAKE MY HEADBRAIN HURT!

    @Vainamoinen said: I dunno, I'm just not seeing it. Yes, Telltale and Double Fine are straying away from the classic style we all love but it seems like every couple months there's a new game from Daedalic or Pedulo or Frogwares or Wadjet Eye or any number of other companies that ARE making classic style adventure games. Just because Schafer and Connors are going for something different doesn't mean the whole genre is.

    It will. Just read above what Vainamoinen said about Dreamfall Chapters.

    Which I forgot to react to...

    tumblr_m32tsvs2gi1qiernro1_500.gif

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