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The Random Adventure Game News Thread

Discussion in 'Adventure Gaming' started by Jaesun, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. iqzulk Savant

    iqzulk
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    I am sorry to intervene, but this is completely and utterly ridiculous. Have you - not even so much as played - actually seen the original EGA version of the "Secret"?

    I am sorry, but you must surely be joking. First of all, TLJ "art style" would look too "modern" to let the developers to play any kind of "retro" card, which would mean it would get evaluated from the standpoint of, say, Wintermute Engine games (for example), and lose THE main thing that made the game to actually stand out (with a bunch of other commercial AGS games). Second of all, TLJ, eeeerm, how do I say it, doesn't actually look all that good (even when compared to some other games of its time, such as Nightlong or Worldspiral:Liath - not to mention Riven, Amerzone and Gadget). Just look:
    Show Spoiler
    the shittiest Photoshop job ever on dat "majestic" foreground:
    [​IMG](1)

    extremely inconsistent level of detail - the "floor" is just eye-gouging (and it holds nearly for the entirety of Stark):
    [​IMG](2)
    [​IMG](3)
    [​IMG](4)
    (also, pay attention to the amount of cheap bloom on the above screenshots)

    the lighting that is extremely flat: the scenes lack any sort of depth whatsoever:
    [​IMG](5)
    [​IMG](6)
    [​IMG](7)
    [​IMG](8) - dat BLOOM, dat BLUR, so pwetty! Gaem of da millenium!
    [​IMG](9) - pay attention, in the lower left, the background is just a photo, while the upper left is a horrendously blurred Photophop job in an extremely overdone attempt to imitate the "aerial perspective" - compare also to (1) and (8)
    [​IMG](10)
    [​IMG](11)

    also, "aerial perspective" strikes again (the upper left):
    [​IMG](12) - notice also the ugly "wall of trees" backdrop in the upper right - also, on a whole, this scene is one of the better looking ones in the game

    also the shittiest 3D models ever (see all of the above - not to mention that all the animations of said models, despite being numerous and thorough - are unnatural and slow to the extreme) - which do not fit the the environment in the slightest (due to aliasing first and foremost) - also these:
    [​IMG](13) - notice how the models are completely and utterly unaffected with the mist (which would otherwise be quite successful in providing the actual depth to the scene - again, this is one of the better-looking ones, despite the, again, ugly "floor")
    [​IMG] (14)

    and the shittiest-looking interface ever (again, see all of the above).

    Seriously. Like, seriously seriously. This game looks like an inconsistent flat amateur-level mishmash of everything with everything (both overall, and as an actual collage quality of the particular scenes due to the flatness and level-of-detail factors). And while I DO admire the sheer complexity of some of the scenes, with the gazillion of of lovingly built and stacked together in-game objects, it just doesn't constitute any kind of consistent or particularly aesthetically attractive art style, and for me personally, this game is just downright painful to look upon (which have nothing to do with its date of release, I assure you). And while I do think that Primordia is too low-res, and maybe somewhat too cramped for its own good, I personally wouldn't want it to look anywhere even close to the crapfest from the screens above.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
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  2. Qiu222Be Literate

    Qiu222Be
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    It would be better if it is English. Thanks for sharing. ^^
     
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  3. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    A more generous explanation, with regard to his older games, is that as he got more experienced and older, he realized the mistakes he was making. God knows that's true of me, even with respect to Primordia, where my work is relatively recent.

    Agreed.

    Agreed (except that I wouldn't use TLJ as a standard to aspire to, despite some interesting concepts). Hell, Primordia would've sold much better if, like, I hadn't put in the 99 problems line, we'd had another month of testing (such that, for example, the Clarity vs. Scraper scene had audio . . . seriously, WTF?), I'd relented on various annoying puzzles (most of which are now fixed), and we'd thrown one or two more rooms in. I'm in the process of doing one more pass through the game for a final patch, and while I'm pleasantly surprised by a lot of stuff (the variety of puzzle solutions, the custom quips for a huge variety of a random actions), other stuff stands out as really mediocre. The voice acting, which I remembered as very strong, is actually surprisingly weak, particularly in the smaller parts, but even with Logan's line readings, he often lisps and slurs words. I think the art is very, very strong, but has two significant problems: (1) Vic needed to do a handful more animations for mundane things, like picking up items at different heights. Almost every time two characters interact, and most times when a character interacts with the environment, they don't quite line up right, and it is jarring. (2) Vic's use of perspective is off in many of the scenes, which causes terrible scaling issues -- such as doors that characters are too tall to walk through, or bloated sprites. This is especially true in the UNNIIC interior rooms but crops up from time to time elsewhere. Other than that, I think the art is probably the best part of the game.

    I mean, this is an empirical issue, and I'm probably wrong -- I'm just speculating without any data. But I think you're slipping eras here. The point at which adventure games were wilting was when FPS games weren't cinematic CODs, they were, like, pre-Half-Life stuff like Hexen. I think The Dig, Grim Fandango, those games were all pretty pricey to make.
     
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  4. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    Stop wasting time posting and get back to working on another game, slacker.

    Unless you want to become another vapourware developer devoted solely to posting in threads about Russia, like Vault Dweller :rpgcodex:
     
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  5. Maiandros Learned Possibly Retarded

    Maiandros
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    while i can see other factors being determinate, far as i am concerned the primary reason was company fault.

    - adventure games got to be less and less about creative, imaginative and qualitative
    [and more and more about harder (in often a illogical/unintuitive manner) because keep the player playing for longer, and pwettier]

    they clogged their own market, slowly alienated it and eventually saturated it. Nothing to do with budgets, or the new kids on the block selling bigger. Just.. the equivalent of Herves doing the decision making, and the equivalent of morons creating them. Can well recall what i -then- thought of as the 'new' generation of adventures, such a distinct difference..
    i remember a lot of years back purchasing some Sherlock Holmes adventure (one of the first, in Greece at least, to ship on CDs, all i can help you with) and thinking how the fuck is this an adventure? Just..head bashing..i remember Bethesda trying its hand, that big debut it did with a detective (to be series, they flopped and ended with just one of them) (i think) that was all surface and no depth. Could name so many more. Ah, yes, to name one last from Sierra this time, remember that one where you are being hunted, gotta run all the time? They spent an insane amount of time doing the camera work (holywood stuff) and...nothing else...souless

    i know that's why i stopped bothering for a loong time, and i know i am not alone :)

    and typically giving fuck all about who gets offended or not, my deepest regrets, but most of the current incline bearers have yet to convince me i am wrong. In terms of why this has remained niche. It's not "thinking iz teh hard" You want to tell yourselves that, but if that was so, chess would probably be extinct as a game by now. No.
    In their case, it is entirely different a thing. I fail to "care", i fail to manage to get drawn in. In some titles, the developers' lack of education serves for poor ways of delivering content that in the hands of others could have been gold. In yet others, the gap in mentality/thinking between their (newer) generation and mine is very prominent, resulting in either mixed signals, or loss of coherence/empathy. In yet some more (by far the number one culpit), the lack of research is more than evident when attempting to face puzzles, or think of solutions that i may happen to be familiar with due to real life habbits/practice.

    That too has nothing to do with budgets. Just, learning, and approaching things critically. What qualities derive from these aspects are the core of what can make an adventure game. Just think of Have No Mouth, how is that for a perfect example?
    With the necessary disclaimer that as i get older, i am obviously in a position to be a lot more critical..can't be helped that i think.
     
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  6. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Sceptic
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    It's kinda hard to address any of your points when the most specific you can get is "that Sierra game where you run".

    The bit about adventure games getting harder did make me laugh out loud though. I can see why you have this tag.
     
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  7. Maiandros Learned Possibly Retarded

    Maiandros
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    your opinion will have weight and meaning when you get to say the very same thing to my face. RL
    from the safety of your chair (sweaty or otherwise), you may feel free to post aaaaanything you fancy :)
     
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  8. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Primordia is one of my favorite adventure games in several years. I think it has many strong points, including art. I just think it is slightly less strong than a few games I consider among the best of all time.

    BTW aren't you supposed to be announcing your next project like 10 years ago now :rpgcodex:
     
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  9. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    So, there have been three "next projects": (1) Star Captain, a space game in the vein of Weird Worlds, FTL, etc., which was abandoned -- at Vic's behest -- in favor of; (2) Cloudscape, a more open-ended P&C adventure that was abandoned when Vic decided he wanted to focus on mural painting; leading to (3) the current next project, Fallen Gods, which is probably best described as a mash up of Barbarian Prince and FTL, but with longer, more involved CYOA vignettes. FG seems the most plausible of the three to actually get done, though I hope to return to the others later. (I'm going to post a retrospective on Cloudscape once I have something to show on FG.) I am very pleased with the pair of artists I'm working with on FG, a Hungarian doctor and a fellow Californian pixel artist who shares my penchant for researching. Whether my side of the game will hold up to their quality is harder to say -- I've elected to go with a writing style that could well be a turn off. It is indisputably purple and overwrought, wholly self-indulgent, and hard to penetrate. But it's what I feel like writing, etc.
     
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  10. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    [​IMG]

    :thumbsup:
     
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  11. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Leigh Alexander is doing a series of short Let's Plays of early graphical text adventure games: https://www.youtube.com/user/leighalexander1/videos

    Can't say I like her style of commentary, but it's worth a look out of historical curiosity alone.

    The latest one is Sierra's 1980 Mystery House: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/08/27/lo-fi-lets-play-mystery-house/

    Show Spoiler
    [I've been doing a series of Let's Play videos exploring old adventures, text games and lost design forms from the 1980s Apple IIe and Commodore 64 era. In a time when young men shout over new action games, I will talk softly over strange old ones. Come along on a visitation of a different era that's one part meditations on my childhood, one part adventure game criticism, and one part preservation effort. Bonus: Everyone says the quiet talk, lo-fi handmade feel and keyboard tapping triggers ASMR responses. Please enjoy!]

    In honor of Activision’s revival of the Sierra label, I decided to revisit the 1980 classic Mystery House, Ken and Roberta Williams’ first “Hi-Res Adventure,” and the first official game by the company that would become Sierra On-Line.



    Mystery House is often erroneously celebrated as the “first graphical game”. While computer roleplaying and war games had graphics before this one, it’s true that this is the first adventure game with graphics. It’s fair, then, for a pioneer to have made so many mistakes. Initially, the advent of graphics did not make favorable advances on the text game format, as you’ll see in the playthrough. And that’s not just because of the crudeness and simplicity of age; early text games, like the inspirational “granddaddy” Colossal Cave (the subject of my “Gaming Made Me” here a few years back), had terse but incredibly useful prose, where generally every detail mentioned was either relevant or clearly demarcated as atmospheric.

    Throughout the early 80s, many graphical text adventures struggled with how to inform the player which elements of the picture they saw were important to their interactions and which ones were merely for visual “richness”. As you’ll see in a recent Let’s Play here, just two years after Mystery House, The Curse of Crowley Manor would do a better job with this design challenge, by denoting “visible objects” in the text interface that could be used or taken whenever the player discovered them.

    [​IMG]

    And while similarly terse, Crowley had a flair for verbal pacing which made it much creepier and more atmospheric than Mystery House, which is often a bit awkward and flippant. That occasionally-silly tone gets fleshed out to positive effect in later Sierra games, of course, and you see flashes of it here. You’ll also see Mystery House forge some blunt approaches to design which would be foundational to later Sierra adventures — a certain willful obtuseness, a meanness, a constant rejection of the player’s intuition that made adventure games more frustrating and therefore last longer.

    Mystery House sold unprecedentedly well for its time on release, presumably in part on the novelty of the graphics, and in part on how difficult it was to finish and the perceived value in the time spent trying to solve it. That bluntness didn’t seem to matter to the adventure gamer of the 1980s, a consumer who was satisfied with a hard game that took a long time, even if the difficulty was down to a selectively-intelligent parser and a certain lack of grace rather than to elegantly-designed puzzling and fruitful experimentation.

    [​IMG]

    On a more obscure note, a non-trivial number of games I’ve visited in my Lo-Fi Let’s Play series include shovels and graves. DIG is one of the most crucial verbs, mechanically and tonally, to classic adventures, it seems.
     
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  12. Redlands Arcane

    Redlands
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    Fixed that for you, Leigh.
     
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  13. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Sceptic
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    True, but I wasn't willing to cut him this kind of slack considering that learning from his early mistakes led him to making.... Bulletstorm.

    I mean, I had fun with Bulletstorm, but a blueprint on how to push the genre forward it ain't.

    Yeah I was wrong. The point I was making applies to shooters and adventures now, but you're right that the price gap was inverted back in the mid-90s, when shooters could be made with a team of less than 10 people and adventure games required larger team, lots of artists, full voice acting and so on.

    Thanks for linking it. I'm always interested in commentaries that go this far back (I remember Mystery House, though I never played Curse of Crowley Manor and didn't even hear about it until much much later). I can't understand why so many such pieces are so intent on shoving condescending comments about gamers of the time though - see this part:
    She makes it sound like were were masochists surrounded by good design in every direction who willfully chose to ignore all the good games around us so we could torture ourselves with this parser. Mystery House sold so well because there was nothing like it. People put up with its obtuse design because there wasn't any non-obtuse elegant well crafted design to compare it to - we didn't KNOW what was good and bad design. Everything was an experiment. She makes a comparison to Colossal Cave the "earlier" game but she forgets that Colossal Cave (and Zork for that matter), while older, were still restricted to mainframes. Mysery House was a game you could buy and take home to play on your personal computer. Besides, while Colossal Cave's and Zork's parsers were better, they weren't exactly great either, though Infocom's did improve a lot over the years.

    It's a fun read regardless.
     
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  14. Blackthorne Infamous Quests Patron Developer

    Blackthorne
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    Codex 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    I have to catch up on the reading here, but I can say making an adventure game today is an exercise in both self-indulgence (love of the medium, really) and masochism.


    Bt
     
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  15. Astral Rag Arcane

    Astral Rag
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    The Journey Down: Episode Two appeared on Steam:

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/262850

    This series looks pretty good but I cannot into episodic gaming so I force myself to wait until they release the third (=final) chapter in a year or two :(

    The first episode is currently on sale for less than a euro.
     
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  16. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
     
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  17. Turjan Arcane

    Turjan
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  18. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

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  19. CyberWhale Arcane

    CyberWhale
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    Paradigm



    Paradigm is a surreal point-and-click adventure game for Windows, OSX and Linux set in the strange and post apocalyptic world of Krusz; a land inspired by a mix of Eastern Europe and the 70’s & 80’s.

    Play as unattractive yet over-confident mutant Paradigm; who must prevail through a series of inconveniences on an adventure to overcome the insecure and tyrannical sloth antagonist, Olof!

    Demo is available and they are asking for your money on Kickstarter.

    Uncanny Valley



    Story
    You play as a security guard named Tom at a remote facility. He's in charge of the night shift, while his lazy partner Buck is in charge of the day shift. Nights are long, so Tom starts exploring the facility and finds things he shouldn't. The story plays a huge part in the game, so saying anything more would be a major spoiler.

    Consequence System
    Uncanny Valley's main difference from other games is a thing we like to call the consequence system. Whenever you fail at something, the game goes on, but with harsh consequences for your character that can impact both the story and the gameplay. For example - you fail at avoiding your attackers, meaning your character will move slower throughout the game, making it harder to escape future pursuers, so the player needs to be careful and more clever, which adds more tension to the game. Of course, there are a couple of sections where you can die, but we're trying to avoid that as much as possible.
    Why? Because dying and repeating the same section over and over is tedious and leads to frustration. The game stops being scary if you're angry and just want to rush through it, so we think that adding such a system will still keep the tension while adding a new layer to scariness.

    You can try the demo as well.
     
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  20. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Paradigm is all sorts of awesome. Uncanny Valley looks sweet too!
     
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  21. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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  22. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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  23. JudasIscariot Arcane Patron

    JudasIscariot
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    Serpent in the Staglands Codex USB, 2014
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  24. agentorange Arcane Patron

    agentorange
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    i bought it on gog.

    gimme a refund.
     
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  25. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

    Self-Ejected
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    And lo, though the Great Deceiver has set his snares in every nook and cranny, on every highway and byway of the digital world
    To darken the path of the Faithful and to entrap the souls of those who fear themselves lost
    Though the triumph of the Resurrection is mocked and perverted in modern gaming as a matter of course
    And a new world order is almost upon us

    Yet the true light of our Lord yet shines through the shadows
    In this Spiritual sequel to Deus Ex



    Episode 1 out now.


    Yours in Christ,
    Bubbles
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
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