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The Random Adventure Game News Thread

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

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

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  2. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    Oh god that picture of Bruce Carver from 1985.... he's unrecognizable!

    The article is great, it's a detailed history of their early days and the development of RealSound, Raid Over Moscow and Beach-Head. Awesome read.
     
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  3. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

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    US Gamer has been doing some good retro content lately. Aside from the Curse of Azure Bonds and Drakkhen retrospectives, they also have an interview with the Zork writer Dave Lebling - about Zork, Infocom, and interactive fiction:

    http://www.usgamer.net/articles/dave-lebling-interview
     
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  4. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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  5. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    The flaws that the article identifies aren't crazy, but there is a lot that's weird about the piece -- perhaps most notably that he would pick out a designer famously mocked for illogical puzzles (in an article to which he links!) as one of the "few [wo] can make a good adventure game." Also, the walkthroughs for TeenAgent suggests that his design was not unlike what he's criticizing, down to one puzzle in which you glue together two pieces of wood for use in water, which is almost exactly the specific (lame sounding) puzzle he criticizes in Mobius. (Interestingly, the same seems to be true of level design. For example, he criticizes the narrow-path-to-striking-vista trope in FPS games, but then the gameplay trailer for his game starts with exactly that!)

    (I also wonder whether he was being mean-spirited in picking out a screenshot in which Dave misspelled "memento" as an example of the writing in Blackwell.)

    What I disagree with is his contention that the core mechanics of adventure games are not fun. His seven deadly sins are largely absent from the best adventure games (Monkey Island 2, Loom, QFG, a few others), or present only occasionally. Several examples of what he describes as inherently lame core features either aren't core features or aren't inherently lame:

    * "Inventory management" is bizarre. I can't think of any adventure game inventory I managed; some of the very old games had maybe a couple dozen items to track, but they were all easy to see at a glance and -- setting aside text adventures -- I don't think you ever had to manage encumbrance or anything like that).

    * "Dialogue repetition" seems off too. I don't remember repeating dialogue, though of course "dialogue exhaustion" was (and is) a problem in any game with consequence-free dialogue trees.

    * "Pixel hunting" has always been oversold. (Maybe I'm just touchy on this because of Primordia.) With a few exceptions, you weren't hunting "pixels," you were hunting objects. And while hunting objects isn't my favorite thing in the world, it's not self-evidently "anything but fun." An entire genre of games is based solely around that mechanic, as is a genre of books (Where's Waldo being the most famous).

    (I tend to agree that "back tracking" and "option exhausting" are problems in adventure games.)

    Really, the core pleasure of adventure games was the flash of understanding when you discovered how to solve a puzzle. Certainly this is best when the flash of understanding precedes the solution ("Oh, I know how to get past this!"), but it actually works even when you arrive at the puzzle through brute force ("Oh, so that's what I was missing!"). As long as the player didn't respond with, "I would never have gotten that, it's stupid," the puzzles worked. And for the most part, I would say that adventure game puzzles did work, particularly in Lucas games but also in Sierra ones.

    For what it's worth, I think a major cause of the genre's death was simply exploding costs. Adventure games are perhaps the least amenable to reused content. Unlike in an RPG (or an FPS or a platformer), where graphics, enemies, mechanics, etc. could be used over and over again, typically each element of an adventure game was once-off and handcrafted. The article is right that adventure games had developed a reputation for cutting edge graphics and sound, and when that standard keeps going and up and up, the cost of handcrafted content goes up too. At some point, in a genre that doesn't sell to as large a demographic, costs can get too high for the product to be sustainable. The AGS renaissance is based on a bunch of factors that push costs down: a fondness for low-res retro graphics; low-budget voice acting; and mostly volunteer developers working purely for back-end profits. Primordia "cost" almost nothing to make -- the only out of pocket expenses were a couple thousand bucks Dave spent on voice actors and marketing. Same for Heroine's Quest and, I suspect, for QFI. I know it's mostly true of Resonance. While Dave pays the artists who make his game rather than giving them back-end, they aren't paid market rates -- maybe now they are, but certainly they weren't prior to Epiphany.

    So classic adventure games died because they cost too much for their niche market to bear; retro adventure games thrive because they cost much less to make; and modern adventure games thrive because they market to a different, much larger audience. (Typically by incorporating either action elements or an established IP, sometimes both.) I certainly don't begrudge those games their success, but it seems a little bit silly to assume that every game needs to be made in that model. In fact, bad developers trying to make the next Gone Home are unlikely to do much better than bad developers trying to make the next Monkey Island.

    That said, I think The Haunting of Ethan Carter looks neat, and I'll probably pick it up. And I am a sucker for designers who post about their design thoughts, because I shamelessly copy their ideas!
     
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  6. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Great post MRY

    I only have one bone to pick. Adventure games didn't die because they weren't making a profit, but because they weren't making *enough* of a profit. The famous example is Grim Fandango. It sold 500k copies and was profitable. However, other games with similar accolades were selling 1 million+ at the same time. So Lucas Arts decided they wanted the market that sells 1 million copies per game. Instead of trying to control costs to keep 500k market viable, they just tried to cash in on the Star Wars name (to be fair this worked for a long time).

    This is basically, why I think the codex exists. To show there is a market for small to mid budget games that appeal to people who like--for lack of a better term--hardcore mechanics. We're not scared of difficulty. We don't mind having to spend time to learn how a game works. We aren't even that worried about not finishing game. Which probably makes most modern producers recoil in horror.

    Like isometric roleplaying games, I think the genre "died" because people stopped making them more than people stopped wanting them. Also, to be frank even the better adventure games these days lack some spit and polish that Lucas Arts was able to provide in about 1990. I love Primorida, but it still feels short compared to The Secret of Monkey Island. It has less and worse voice acting than the talkie Lucas Arts games. And this one hurts the most to say--while the art is good, it's not quite on par with the VGA stage of Lucas Arts either. I bet if you had the art, voice acting, and marketing of say The Longest Journey (popular enough to "earn" a sequel with action elements and other assorted "fun"), Primordia would have sold much better.

    As a final note, I'm not convinced backtracking is bad, it depends how it's handled.
     
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  7. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    Thanks MRY, I was hoping this would sprout an interesting discussion but was too lazy to kickstart it myself :salute:

    The biggest problem with the article's credibility is exactly this. He's coming in all high and mighty, yet every single one of his games contains MAJOR flaws that detract from the genres (both his adventures and his FPS), some of which are much more serious than his stated sins. Which raises two problems: either he knows the flaws yet was himself too incompetent or lazy to fix them.... or worse, he's harping on these sins because he's unable to identify problems that are even worse. I just finished Moebius. It was not a good game or a good adventure, for reasons that I don't want to elaborate on just now. But the point is that the game's major flaws are not the ones he lists (he instead lists stuff that's either trivial or just plain false - more on this later), and more importantly, these flaws are what always characterised bad adventure games. ALWAYS.

    Fully agree.

    Very few games had encumbrance mechanics. Shivers 2 has some, but they're hardly ever a problem. Myst only let you carry the one page at a time, and while this slightly extends gameplay it is by no means an issue (especially since you don't need to bring out both pages out of each world - even on a blind playthrough). The Kyrandia trilogy is perhaps the most notable example of inventory management, thanks to a large number of red herring items and limited inventory slots, but frankly this wasn't much of a problem in the games; the trial-and-error solution to puzzles was, and quite frankly the inventory management at least made the trial-and-error part a little less mechanical.

    I honestly don't see the problem with either repetition or exhaustion. Repetition is there because back in the days you were trusted to keep your own notes, and in-game note-taking technology that ballooned your save game size to 1Mb was not an option when the whole game shipped on a sinle 1Mb floppy. Repetition was there so you could re-access information that you might've missed. Exhaustion is also not a problem. I've talked about something similar with respect to classic CRPGs a year or two ago: the point of manual note-taking is to decide what information the game is giving you is actually useful. The exhaustive dialog of old adventures (and CRPGs) gave you a LOT of extraneous info (sometimes for mood, lore, or just for laughs), and it was up to you to decide what was important. That's fine. It only becomes a problem when, as in Moebius, you HAVE to exhaust the dialog to trigger something completely random and unrelated.... and of course this exsits in less than 1% of all adventure games ever made, so calling it a flaw inherent to the genre and that contributed to ruining it all is just plain dumb.

    Again, pixel-hunting was never something that was praised, and it's something that developers got better and better at (see KQ1; the original had some pretty bad instances, but even the SCI EGA remake fixed some of these by moving items to more logical and visible locations, never mind that the series in particular, and Sierra in general, got better about this with the years). Again he's taking a flaw that was always slammed as a bad design decision and that only existed in a minority of adventures and trying to spin it off as a core feature that defines the genre - exactly the same bullshit as Old Man Murray.

    They're not. They're a problem in bad adventure games. Very few of the good ones (never mind the classics) had either problem. This is something I've bitched about often in the past, how such "editorials" pick a single feature that's been considered exclusive to bad games then harp on it as if it defined the whole genre. It didn't, it only defined bad games, and nobody cares about these except as a design lesson on what not to do. A small amount of backtracking is fine. Running around Melee Island and revisiting locations was fun. Actually backtracking is one of the few major flaws of Moebius that he does address, except it's worse in Moebius than in any of the classics that I can recall - yet again, turning something the game does badly into something that's supposed to define the genre.

    Full agree. I have to add the even better than "that's what I was missing" flash - the "oh GOD why didn't I figure this out sooner!" flash. Lucas were always good at this. Sierra had their ups and downs, but when they were good, they were brilliant (Codename Iceman notwithstanding).

    I don't agree. The problem wasn't cost - adventure games are a LOT cheaper to make than COD clones. Bulletstorm cost, what 100M? On the other hand you have Tesla Effect, which didn't even cost 1M. The problem is the expectation you have about return. If Tesla Effect makes 10x its cost that's only a 9M net gain. If Bulletstorm makes double its cost that's a 100M profit. Obviously the smart thing to do would be to make both games and rack in both the big bucks and the smaller bucks. The publisher model doesn't work like this though. Instead of making all kinds of investments big and large and covering as many shares of the market as possible, you just make a bunch of super-expensive projects and hope that one out of 5 is profitable enough to cover the cost of all the failures. Or, as costs spiral out of control, you make a bunch of super-expensive projects and hope that all of them are profitable otherwise you go bankrupt. Hollywood figured out decades ago that making both superproductions and auteur movies couldn't hurt them, but for some reason the game publisher model still hasn't caugh up.

    I do. "Modern" adventure games are much adventures as Mass Effect 2 is a CRPG. I don't begrudge people making and playing games that I have no interest in, but I do begrudge them trying to call them what they're not. Walking Dead and Heavy Rain and all the crap that he praises aren't adventure games. They're at best interactive movies, at worst just movies with the occasional QTE. Don't call them adventure games, ESPECIALLY not in a blog post about how to fix adventure games.

    Please don't copy his though, they're really not that great :P
     
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  8. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

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  9. iqzulk Savant

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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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  10. Qiu222Be Literate

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

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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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  12. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

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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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  13. oasis789 Arcane

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  14. Maiandros Learned Possibly Retarded

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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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  15. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    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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  16. Maiandros Learned Possibly Retarded

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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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  17. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    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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  18. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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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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  19. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

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    [​IMG]

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

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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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  21. Redlands Arcane

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

    Sceptic
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    Divinity: Original Sin
    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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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
     
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