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    Anonymous

    Warning: TL;DR ahead!

    I think a lot of people (generally directed) needs to understand that what we knew as 'adventure klick and play' games, is dead. That era is over :((

    Personally I would love to have plenty of games in 2D, just like the good ol' days, but it's not gonna happen. Too bad, but alas, get over it.

    However, I can also understand why people are a bit "afraid", look what just happened to the Larry series, since the market for the klick 'n play is (nearly) gone, they turned it into a... erh, yeah, whatever they turned it into.

    At the other hand, there are plenty of interesting things happening right now. Dreamfall (sequel to 'The Longest Journey') looks promising, and 'tho they've stated it won't be a pure adventure game, they're trying to make innovative solutions for the genre, and I think it's needed. Things can only get rehashed so long, before getting boring.

    Thats why I think the whole 'episode' thing would work so much better. That way, you'd get more incorporated into the game. Troubleshooting will be very good (what didn't work in one episode, can be heavily worked at on the next, etc), the history won't feel lacking at times (some games suffer from this, you get to the point were you're thinking, ach, no... not this part), and so on and so forth.

    I think this is great, and a intresting time for gamers. I believe people will grow more and more weary of all these Half-life-clone-FPS that seems to flood the marked. Eventually people will start demanding something else, and maybe we're seeing the first few steps. ;)

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    Anonymous

    I have to agree with Rapp_Scallion. The next Sam N' Max should be released a complete, full, rich game. Not an episode. I don't like games nor movies that leave you with an ending that is not an end. That is the most overused thing in the industry today. The ending should have an end! Now...Add-on adventures for Sam N' Max would be okay, like more cases to solve. That would work. But at least give us a full game to begin with from the start.

    First Release --> FULL game with all content to make it stand alone.
    Future Releases --> add-on adventures that extend the main story, or branch out to different stories.

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    Anonymous

    I don't think the point-and-click mechanic is dead - I think it got stale at some point.
    2D - however cool it can be used in innovative indie-dev ways (rag doll kung fu!), I think is a dead end for adventure games - there's a lot more cinematic potential with a 3D engine... but I don't think point-and-click ever got translated effectively to a 3D environment - people expect more immediacy and more cinematic, dynamic interraction from a 3D game... and point-and-click in its classic form doesn't provide that.

    I think it could work - and I get the impression from Bone that they're starting to explore some of the posibilities of making the classic interface feel more dynamic and tactile...

    We'll see how it goes... I think the most important aspect of any of this is going to be highly emotive, well refined character animation - Bone seems to be on the right track - I like the term "animation is worth a thousand polygons" - basically, something graphically hyperreal can look jarring and awkward (take Final Fantasy - Spirits Within), but something graphically simple and stylised can look amazingly real when animated well - barely any game companies realise this, but Telltale seem to be going down exactly this route.

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    Anonymous

    [quote]Adventure games *CANNOT* be sold in retail any more - since the days of Lucasarts, they have *always* been "sleeper hits" - meaning no - they did not sell 500,000 in the first month... but five years later, they were *still* selling...
    - well, this can't happen in retail any more - there's too much competition... a game absolutely must sell hundreds of thousands very fast to stay on the shelves - and adventure games never have done that, and never will![/quote]
    Funny then, how even Curse of Monkey Island was available boxed on shelves in just about any supermarket in Sweden. Even the re-release of LucasArts Entertainment Pack (Sam & Max, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango and The Dig in one boxed set) was readily available in any game store here, while in the US it wasn't even released in the first place. Yes, this may be the exception to the rule but since Sweden was always a big market for LucasArts adventures and point-and-click adventure games in general, retail just might still be viable over here, while online-only distribution is still not widely accepted, because many gamers here are also collectors who are very passionate about their shiny discs.

    [quote]Digital-distribution is the *only* way forward - like it or lump it, adventure games would no longer exist without it - quit complaining, and accept the inevitable, go get yourself a debit/credit card, and a broadband connection, and realise that having a game distributed online is the *ultimate* form of backup! - there's no way it can ever get scratched - your house could burn down, and you'd still own a pristine shiny new copy of your game - only a username-and-password away![/quote]
    If Telltale goes defunct, who would host it? I don't trust other people to keep the stuff I've bought available to me at any given time, since I might want a new copy of the content long after the provider has gone defunct. I know I can keep a piece of plastic reasonably safe for an extended period of time. I don't know how stable the publisher/developer may be so the download version may vanish at any time, or be DRM-laden so as to disallow making backups offline. I simply don't like the uncertainty of entrusting the safekeeping of immaterial goods to a content provider without having a physical copy of the data myself as a backup (and an additional physical or image backup of the original physical disc for daily usage, so the actual original can be put away in a safe place and backed up again in case the previous backup is damaged).

    [quote](btw - this isn't directed personally at cappuchok - just a general "wake up" to all you people obcessed with holding a box in your hands - this is the future, and its a good future - it may be difficult, but try and adjust!)[/quote]
    I'd just like to comment this by pointing out that many of us who started gaming in the early years of the industry and who have seen many games be lost that we would have liked to preserve, have become even more passionate about preserving and porting games to extend their lifetime far beyond their shelf life and indeed even beyond the lifetime of their original OS:es and architectures. I for example try to contribute to projects like ScummVM by talking to developers around the world about releasing sources to the team. I have found many developers to be as passionate about their old games as we fans are.

    Having a physical copy that can be controlled and kept safe, in addition to backups for actual use, is the best way (IMHO) to ensure that when preserving and portage is needed and viable, a good copy will actually be readily available.

    As an example of why I don't trust content providers to keep my games available to me, I'll point out that while the ScummVM team were able to get the source code to BASS from Revolution, the source to Lure of the Temptress had by that point already been unrecoverably lost. Otherwise it could have been ported as well. I attribute the lossage to carelessness on the part of Revolution, not being able to recognize the value of maintaining the code until it was already lost.

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    Anonymous

    I just think its funny when people here are saying " I loved what I saw of Freelance Police, but I don't want the Telltale release of Sam and Max to be episodic."

    Well, what did you think the Freelance Police game was going to be like? It was going to episodic.

    Just relax... it's in great hands. I really hope they are able to at least keep the idea of making a game much like Freelance Police, where you "solve/pummel" mini mysteries, and they all served a purpose in the end.

  • Well, it wasn't really going to be episodic. My understanding is that's what the team wanted to do in the first place, but the higher-ups at LucasArts wanted a full-sized, traditional adventure, which of course they later axed. I do know that regardless of this, it was going to be comprised of six "cases" which formed one big plot. There were also rumors that they were going to make future downloadable cases later on. I agree with you, though. We've every reason to think that Sam & Max is in the right hands.

  • [quote][quote]Adventure games *CANNOT* be sold in retail any more - since the days of Lucasarts, they have *always* been "sleeper hits" - meaning no - they did not sell 500,000 in the first month... but five years later, they were *still* selling...
    - well, this can't happen in retail any more - there's too much competition... a game absolutely must sell hundreds of thousands very fast to stay on the shelves - and adventure games never have done that, and never will![/quote]
    Funny then, how even Curse of Monkey Island was available boxed on shelves in just about any supermarket in Sweden. Even the re-release of LucasArts Entertainment Pack (Sam & Max, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango and The Dig in one boxed set) was readily available in any game store here, while in the US it wasn't even released in the first place. Yes, this may be the exception to the rule but since Sweden was always a big market for LucasArts adventures and point-and-click adventure games in general, retail just might still be viable over here, while online-only distribution is still not widely accepted, because many gamers here are also collectors who are very passionate about their shiny discs.[/quote]

    It's true, the market for adventure games has proven more viable internationally than in the U.S. It should be noted though that the LucasArts distributor is different overseas than it is in the US, which would explain why certain packages are only available, or more widely available, in non-US countries. Of course, the reason LucasArts doesn't make its adventures more available over here could very well be because they don't think it will sell. But that's not the point. The market for adventure games in stores is only part of the problem. The other part is actually distributing an selling it. Telltale is funded by private investors, and does not have a publisher. They might not have the manufacturing capacity to create and distribute boxed versions of their games all across the world, regardless of whether or not Sweden has potentially a little bit better chance of buying the game because "online-only distribution is still not widely accepted." By the way, how is it any less accepted over there than it is here? And how would you know that? The cost of distributing the game could very well exceed the cost of making the game itself. Telltale would have everything to lose and nothing to gain by taking such a gamble.

    And many gamers here are collectors and just as passionate about shiny discs as you are.

    [quote][quote]Digital-distribution is the *only* way forward - like it or lump it, adventure games would no longer exist without it - quit complaining, and accept the inevitable, go get yourself a debit/credit card, and a broadband connection, and realise that having a game distributed online is the *ultimate* form of backup! - there's no way it can ever get scratched - your house could burn down, and you'd still own a pristine shiny new copy of your game - only a username-and-password away![/quote]
    If Telltale goes defunct, who would host it? I don't trust other people to keep the stuff I've bought available to me at any given time, since I might want a new copy of the content long after the provider has gone defunct. I know I can keep a piece of plastic reasonably safe for an extended period of time. I don't know how stable the publisher/developer may be so the download version may vanish at any time, or be DRM-laden so as to disallow making backups offline. I simply don't like the uncertainty of entrusting the safekeeping of immaterial goods to a content provider without having a physical copy of the data myself as a backup (and an additional physical or image backup of the original physical disc for daily usage, so the actual original can be put away in a safe place and backed up again in case the previous backup is damaged).[/quote]

    You can back up your Telltale game on a CD if you want to. Yes! You can! And you can put the disc on your shelf and feel all safe protective about it all you want! There's no uncertainty here. Telltale's said that if they close down (not that it'll ever happen, of course :) ) they will release an activation-free version! Then there's no problem. Oh, but what if their content provider shuts down? Don't you think it'll be fan-circulated enough by that point that you'll be able to get it easily? I mean, seriously, games get illegally circulated all the time. You could download all kinds of pirated games with ease, and you're worried about not being able to get an officially released game? And once you have this activation-free copy (I can't believe we have to think about this), you can burn it to a CD and not worry about "entrusting the safekeeping of immaterial goods to a content provider without having a physical copy of the data myself as a backup." Because once you have that, then the situation is is absolutely no different from owning a copy of any other Cd-released game. And don't say, "What if it doesn't run on my computer in 25 years?" because it's no less vulnerable to that than World of Warcraft.

    I really didn't want to go here, because it discusses piracy and is common sense, but aren't you forgetting that when you download a game from Telltale you download the whole game? All the files are there. When you purchase the game you simply "unlock" the content that you already had. Don't you think that if Telltale goes defunct and their content provider for the activation-free version of the game goes down years later (and you somehow managed to miss it), and for some reason no soul on the internet as a copy of it and it's not readily available on the internet, or for some reason Telltale lied about releasing the unlocked version (not that I suggest that's what you're implying), do you really think that some hacker can't crack it? Again, I don't even want to mention that, but I'm guessing this is what you want to hear.

    [quote][quote](btw - this isn't directed personally at cappuchok - just a general "wake up" to all you people obcessed with holding a box in your hands - this is the future, and its a good future - it may be difficult, but try and adjust!)[/quote]
    I'd just like to comment this by pointing out that many of us who started gaming in the early years of the industry and who have seen many games be lost that we would have liked to preserve, have become even more passionate about preserving and porting games to extend their lifetime far beyond their shelf life and indeed even beyond the lifetime of their original OS:es and architectures. I for example try to contribute to projects like ScummVM by talking to developers around the world about releasing sources to the team. I have found many developers to be as passionate about their old games as we fans are.

    Having a physical copy that can be controlled and kept safe, in addition to backups for actual use, is the best way (IMHO) to ensure that when preserving and portage is needed and viable, a good copy will actually be readily available.

    As an example of why I don't trust content providers to keep my games available to me, I'll point out that while the ScummVM team were able to get the source code to BASS from Revolution, the source to Lure of the Temptress had by that point already been unrecoverably lost. Otherwise it could have been ported as well. I attribute the lossage to carelessness on the part of Revolution, not being able to recognize the value of maintaining the code until it was already lost.[/quote]

    Except Revolution never promised its fans that it would keep the source code for Lure of the Temptress intact for ten years. I'm not saying it isn't tragic, but what are you going to say about the bajillion games that don't have a prayer of having a SCUMMVM-like program to run it on newer systems? The comparison of the inability of a fan emulator to run a certain game because it couldn't get the source code from the company really has nothing to do with what you're saying, anyway. Not a thing you've said explains how Telltale's games are susceptible to being lost, at least not moreso than any other game.

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    Anonymous

    [quote]By the way, how is it any less accepted over there than it is here? And many gamers here are collectors and just as passionate about shiny discs as you are.[/quote]
    Not saying it's any less accepted over here, but as a whole, retro gamers and collectors seem to like having the physical product with all the drool-proof paper (manuals) and stuff that comes with it.

    [quote]Oh, but what if their content provider shuts down? Don't you think it'll be fan-circulated enough by that point that you'll be able to get it easily?[/quote]
    You mean "get it illegally". That is simply not an option, because even though Telltale might be long gone, if they didn't put out some official word of acceptance, it would feel like betraying them even though they saved the adventure genre.

    [quote]Not a thing you've said explains how Telltale's games are susceptible to being lost, at least not moreso than any other game.[/quote]
    All games are susceptible to being lost to time if they are not being released and ported beyond their shelf life. It's not a specific problem for online-distributed games.

    Being a tech geek, I tend to move between various operating systems on a daily basis. I don't know what OS I will mainly be running in 10 years, but I do know that if this new Sam & Max game turns out to be as good as we all hope it will be, I will still be wanting to play it in 10 years on whatever platform might be the geek OS of choice then.

    So basically what I'm saying is that to ease this sort of platform-independent preservation, Telltale would do good to bring a Linux / BSD port out as soon as possible, that works with current activation schemes and data files, and to release the source of that version together with the data files if they decide one day to release the game for free. Because in the retro gaming world, while all freeware releases of old games are good, the ones with included source hold extra value for being portable. Even if no Un*x port is forthcoming from Telltale at this time, they would help the community by using only open standards such as OpenGL and SDL to avoid having to rewrite large parts of the engine once porting to new platforms commences.

    So I will refine my point to be about preserving the actual source until a possible free release somewhere down the road, because source code is the most important key to keeping the game available on new platforms in the future.

  • [quote][quote]Oh, but what if their content provider shuts down? Don't you think it'll be fan-circulated enough by that point that you'll be able to get it easily?[/quote]
    You mean "get it illegally". That is simply not an option, because even though Telltale might be long gone, if they didn't put out some official word of acceptance, it would feel like betraying them even though they saved the adventure genre.[/quote]

    If Telltale were to fold and release its games for free, I'm pretty sure it would be for the sake of keeping them circulated and alive. That's if they were to fold. Again, will never happen. :D

    [quote][quote]Not a thing you've said explains how Telltale's games are susceptible to being lost, at least not moreso than any other game.[/quote]
    All games are susceptible to being lost to time if they are not being released and ported beyond their shelf life. It's not a specific problem for online-distributed games.

    Being a tech geek, I tend to move between various operating systems on a daily basis. I don't know what OS I will mainly be running in 10 years, but I do know that if this new Sam & Max game turns out to be as good as we all hope it will be, I will still be wanting to play it in 10 years on whatever platform might be the geek OS of choice then.

    So basically what I'm saying is that to ease this sort of platform-independent preservation, Telltale would do good to bring a Linux / BSD port out as soon as possible, that works with current activation schemes and data files, and to release the source of that version together with the data files if they decide one day to release the game for free. Because in the retro gaming world, while all freeware releases of old games are good, the ones with included source hold extra value for being portable. Even if no Un*x port is forthcoming from Telltale at this time, they would help the community by using only open standards such as OpenGL and SDL to avoid having to rewrite large parts of the engine once porting to new platforms commences.

    So I will refine my point to be about preserving the actual source until a possible free release somewhere down the road, because source code is the most important key to keeping the game available on new platforms in the future.[/quote]

    So you're saying that in the event that Telltale closes up shop, you'd want them to release the source code for the sake of preservation. I didn't get that from your previous posts.

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    Anonymous

    [quote]So you're saying that in the event that Telltale closes up shop, you'd want them to release the source code for the sake of preservation. I didn't get that from your previous posts.[/quote]
    Exactly. But releasing source is always important whether they close down or not. Not right away, of course, but in reasonable time, in order to allow for the fans, many of who have now moved on to systems more geeky than Win32, to enjoy the new games (paying for the data files on disc or online together with a bundled standard engine (likely win32 given the Telltale team's experience from the LEC era), then getting all the proper engines for the OS and hardware platforms of their own choice).

    Of course, I would rather see Telltale do such ports themselves (which was my original request in this post and always has been since I first registered here), but that is highly unlikely given the current time and resource restrictions they must be working under.

    One set of data files purchaseable online, that will work with a portable engine based on open standards, an engine which can be ported to a new OS or platform by anyone in the community with the ability and inclination to do so (after signing an NDA and recieving the source), would maximize the range of possible buyers and porters while minimizing production costs. When the time comes, the source can be released openly to the community for preservation indefinitely.

    Yes, I realise that this is a rather idealistic (or geekishly romantic) idea as it would require a perfectly honest world in order to make the most of it. Still, I think that there are some really good ideas in there that could probably be isolated and put to good use by Telltale and the fans even today.

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