The 14 Deadly Sins of Graphic-Adventure Design

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Re: The 14 Deadly Sins of Graphic-Adventure Design

Postby Tawmis » Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:20 pm

adeyke wrote:Fortunately, the game had the "double click an exit for an immediate scene transition" feature, so the process didn't take that long. Still, if a player has demonstrated that they can do something once, they've solved the puzzle, and making them do it again is just busywork. A better approach would be to have the take over or just narrate the repetition (climbing the tree in Monkey Island 2 gives a good example of how to handle such a repetitive situation). The game was also flawed in many other ways. From what I hear, the sequels are better, and I do own them, so maybe I'll still play them at some point.


See, I agree with you (again). That's how it should have happened - solved it once - and then move onto the next step - certainly not rinse repeat.

Legend of Kyrandia (the first one) has a pretty notoriously bad puzzle. There's a puzzle where you collect 12 different gems (or so), and then there was this pedestal - and you had to put 6 stones in it - and only 3 of them were "discoverable" by game hints - but the other 6 are completely random - and if the game decides you put the wrong gem - it teleports the gem back to its original location - which is randomly scattered around the map. So to bypass this, naturally, you'd save, put the gem down, if it vanishes, restore, try the next gem, rinse and repeat. Not game breaking, but certainly pretty annoying.
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Re: The 14 Deadly Sins of Graphic-Adventure Design

Postby Tawmis » Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:23 pm

BBP wrote:Ah that's it Tawm: a problem for me is that most of the cryptic puzzles were unsolvable to me, as English is not my native language. With exception for "a small, headless instrument" I had to cheat on most of them, even if the bulk of the clues were anagrams. Also with the games, which were mostly too rich for my blood. The butt-stupid story, the fact that my PC (Dino) was too poor for the game so it only ran in black & white, bad acting and unlikeable characters leaves too little game. I liked the knight puzzle, that was about it.

(runs up to her 11th Hour Hintbook)
(reads it, finds it badly written, particularly compared to the Sierra hintbooks)


Oh yeah, I can't even imagine if English is not your native language.

I speak and understand a great deal of Spanish; but there's NO WAY I could play King's Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry in Spanish... Let alone 7th Guest or 11th Hour.

I'd have better luck reciting the entire Bible, in Latin, backwards.
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Re: The 14 Deadly Sins of Graphic-Adventure Design

Postby BBP » Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:38 pm

Tawmis wrote:See, I agree with you (again). That's how it should have happened - solved it once - and then move onto the next step - certainly not rinse repeat.

Legend of Kyrandia (the first one) has a pretty notoriously bad puzzle. There's a puzzle where you collect 12 different gems (or so), and then there was this pedestal - and you had to put 6 stones in it - and only 3 of them were "discoverable" by game hints - but the other 6 are completely random - and if the game decides you put the wrong gem - it teleports the gem back to its original location - which is randomly scattered around the map. So to bypass this, naturally, you'd save, put the gem down, if it vanishes, restore, try the next gem, rinse and repeat. Not game breaking, but certainly pretty annoying.


And then you hit the cave... That's LOK's main problem, there are so many trial-and-error puzzles, and after you've finally made your way through the maze, all your tolerance for that kind of puzzle is gone. And then you still need to make potions of course.
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Re: The 14 Deadly Sins of Graphic-Adventure Design

Postby Tawmis » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:38 pm

BBP wrote:
Tawmis wrote:See, I agree with you (again). That's how it should have happened - solved it once - and then move onto the next step - certainly not rinse repeat.
Legend of Kyrandia (the first one) has a pretty notoriously bad puzzle. There's a puzzle where you collect 12 different gems (or so), and then there was this pedestal - and you had to put 6 stones in it - and only 3 of them were "discoverable" by game hints - but the other 6 are completely random - and if the game decides you put the wrong gem - it teleports the gem back to its original location - which is randomly scattered around the map. So to bypass this, naturally, you'd save, put the gem down, if it vanishes, restore, try the next gem, rinse and repeat. Not game breaking, but certainly pretty annoying.

And then you hit the cave... That's LOK's main problem, there are so many trial-and-error puzzles, and after you've finally made your way through the maze, all your tolerance for that kind of puzzle is gone. And then you still need to make potions of course.


You know, it's weird - because the cave didn't bother me as much (this time around, when I recently played it). Because I went in, knowing it was a maze, that you had to go through in a special sequence, so I mapped it out. And at least the maze and way out of it is the same - there's no random thing that can happen to change that. So it made it easier to drop those berries and make sure I had enough to get back to a berry bush, to gather more, and try the next route. But I am pretty sure - first time I played it - the cave may have driven me insane. I recall there's a similar type puzzle in Space Quest II (was it?) - with the gem and the maze? And I think (can't recall) - the maze in Space Quest II is random if the monster thing appears? (I clearly need to replay that soon...)
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Re: The 14 Deadly Sins of Graphic-Adventure Design

Postby adeyke » Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:39 pm

The layout of the SQ2 maze is fixed. as for the monster, I believe you only die from it if you either wait too long before holding your gem or if you find the one fixed, non-random location where it's lurking. So a map would be enough to let you safely navigate the maze, but if you don't already have that map, you might encounter the monster before the exit.
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Re: The 14 Deadly Sins of Graphic-Adventure Design

Postby blueskirt » Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:18 am

Speaking of repetition puzzles, I'm surprised nobody mentioned the whole afterlife chapter in Kyrandia III - Malcolm's Revenge (or the whole game as a matter of fact), with the fish queen and the tic-tac-toe. I can understand the design principle behind that chapter, but I swear...

The whole game has these puzzles with multiple solution where one possible solution is typically to grind your way out of it. For instance, whenever you get captured by Herman and thrown to jail, you can either plot your escape or simply do the boring and repetitive task they ask you to do. There's also a whole bunch of puzzles where, if you misuse the item you're using you need to travel back and forth between locations to get the item back, not unlike that gem puzzle in the first game. But that is nothing compared to the fish queen and tic-tac-toe afterlife.

Upcoming spoiler, don't read if you intend to play that game (but honestly you should stick to the first two games)

...

So, in Kyrandia III you've got that part in the game where you end up in afterlife, which long story short, is full of fishes. There's the fish queen, who put a cursed collar around your neck (I think) for some reason (could be punishment, I forgot). Anyway, while you have that collar on, whenever she is bored, she will ring a bell, the cursed collar on your neck will teleport you back in her throne room and you must entertain her, with a game of tic-tac-toe. If you win, or if it's a draw (and she plays pretty badly) she'll ask for a revenge match, only if you manage to stage games she cannot possibly lose will she get bored of tic-tac-toe and she'll allow you to leave and get back to adventuring.

So. First time you're in the throne room, she'll ask to play a game (and it's painfully long, trust me). Did she win? Good! You are free to go explore the world. You leave the room? She rings the bell. Back to that tic-tac-toe game. She wins again, you can leave again. You leave the room, explore a bit, enter a second room... she rings the bell, more tic-tac-toe... It's like that four or five time, then you can freely explore that little bit of world you are stuck in. There's a guy that can ferry you across to hell if you want. That'll only cost you ten gold coins. Got no money? That's fine there's this guy living in the junkyard that'll trade three identical item for gold coins. And so you waste ten minutes or so walking around, picking items, creating sets of identical items for you to trade for gold, you grind enough gold coins to ferry across to hell, pay the guy, get there, talk to one guy... the queen rings the bell again! Tic-tac-toe, gold grind, pay man again, get back to where you were, save the game, just in case, try something different, she rings it again...


And it goes on and on and on, until you figure out how to get out of that loop (and find the various shortcuts through that part) but yeah, I can understand the design decision behind that chapter, it's meant to be a punishment for Malcolm (and it's damn punishing for the player) but it took me three hours before I finally found out how to escape from that chapter, and by the end I wanted the gouge my eyes out and I kept asking myself "Why?... Why?... Why?"
Last edited by Collector on Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added spoiler tags
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Re: The 14 Deadly Sins of Graphic-Adventure Design

Postby Collector » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:37 am

Just so you know for the future there are spoiler tags (in the full editor) that you can use.

I mostly liked the first game and loved the second, but I could never get into the third enough to finish it.
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Re: The 14 Deadly Sins of Graphic-Adventure Design

Postby BBP » Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:29 am

Good you note me, I'd like to give it a shot... I'm thinking of replaying the Mozart game (will need to install a mouse) and write a similar article but with less attitude and different topics.
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Re: The 14 Deadly Sins of Graphic-Adventure Design

Postby blueskirt » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:20 pm

Collector wrote:Just so you know for the future there are spoiler tags (in the full editor) that you can use.

I mostly liked the first game and loved the second, but I could never get into the third enough to finish it.


You are not missing much. The novelty of playing Malcolm and causing mischief is nice at the beginning, but it wears off as soon you leave Kyrandia and the plot and puzzles from that point on are just not worth it, and the game doesn't have the charming graphics and soundtrack of the previous games going on for it. You are better off sticking to the first two games and ignoring the third one exist IMO.
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