Traditional Adventure Games Are Rubbish

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GuruJ:
I'm a little surprised that no-one's pointed out the obvious flaw in Yahtzee's argument yet. The best adventure games make it *fun to fail*. With fun exploration, adventure games are far different from a "story with pauses".

Space Quest was genius at this (as long as you saved often). On many screens I would try and figure out amusing ways to die just as much as figuring out how to progress :)

I always found that the biggest flaw of the LucasArts "no fail" approach -- too many dead ends that weren't worth finding. But their later games, particularly Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango, did this well.

Lucasarts was really the harbinger of the death of adventure gaming. While they came up with brilliant stories and games which were great fun, the approach of eliminating failure reduced the dynamics of the game to a flat experience in which nothing unexpected ever happened. This was, unsurprisingly, subsequently adopted by the entire genre's developers, since it was more acceptable to the casual (also older) gamer-type which made up much of the adventure game consumption base simply because it was the only genre which did not have violence and didn't require high levels of skill with the controls.

Adventure games need to bring back some of the unexpected, a bit of confusion and surprise, and a higher difficulty and dynamicism which the genre really can offer like no other can. Otherwise it's just a safe haven for those unable to tolerate surprises, uncertainty and death - a losers genre.

lacktheknack:
How do you feel about Myst, then? It's a "traditional adventure game", but the inventory puzzles consist of "not actually existing".

Especially in the sequels.

In Yahtzee's retro review of Symphony of the Night, he said that it didn't live up to the nostalgia it acquired, so that would be a "no".

Although, this was just stated in passing.

Madmonk12345:

lacktheknack:
How do you feel about Myst, then? It's a "traditional adventure game", but the inventory puzzles consist of "not actually existing".

Especially in the sequels.

In Yahtzee's retro review of Symphony of the Night, he said that it didn't live up to the nostalgia it acquired, so that would be a "no".

Although, this was just stated in passing.

I'd agree that Myst itself didn't, but Riven most certainly does.

And the newer games (especially Uru and End of Ages) are still great, even though they're too new to have "nostalgia" attached to them. So I'd be interested to see what he thinks of those ones.

Don't forget Adventure games like The Colonel's Bequest, The Dagger of Amon Ra, the last express, Maupiti Island, Spycraft: the great game, Police Quest series, and Maniac mansion are all traditional adventure games that are hardly boring. All the games are dynamic where events are happening as you play, you can get a lot of the story or a little of the story form the games. Each have the risk of failure too.

It is true that many adventure games have become safe inventory puzzles but I would hardly call them rubbish or boring. They don't have to be hindered and can have game play besides inventory puzzles while being similar in function

I'd heard a bit about Lone Survivor, so thought I'd have a look at how much it is on Steam. Turns out I already own it. I need to actually pay attention to what's in these indie bundles I keep buying, and actually try the games out.

Ah, Lone Survivor. The only game where I fell into despair after the cooking tool I found could neither brew my coffee nor cook the meat I had found. It was the saddest cheese and crackers meal ever after that.

There's players who like the puzzles in games like Monkey island.
If the story was the only thing that was okay, we'd be reading books and watching movies instead of playing.

You know what else is Rubbish?
Victrola portable crank phonograph's

I guess my point is why bash a genre that has been more or less dead for quite some time now?

If it wasn't for telltale they wouldn't exist at all.

_____________________________________

But riddle me this: how do you make a fun game with an interesting story that doesn't involve mass homicide?
Adventure games are the best answer I've seen so far.

noreshadow:

I guess my point is why bash a genre that has been more or less dead for quite some time now?

If it wasn't for telltale they wouldn't exist at all.


Gemini Rue
Blackwell 1-4
Book of Unwritten Tales
Featherweight
Resonance
The Shivah
To the Moon
Time Gentlemen, Please
Machinarium
Still Life 1+2

That's just to name those who are "proper" adventure games from 2009 onwards.

I'd argue that games like Amnesia and Heavy Rain are expanding the genre even further.

Small indie games are an entirely different beast.

with countless people on the internet there's a cult group for everything.

I think most people would assert ASCII graffics are something long gone,
but you have dwarf fortress, and countless other rougelike games online using them.

but in terms of large company's(the industry) making them. there's none.

Hell, I'm sure there's somebody out there making crank phonograph's.
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Heavy Rain (shenmue, indigo prophesy ext.)are basically quick-time event games, and have little to do with classic adventure games
Not necessarily a bad thing, but they have nothing to do with yahtzee's rant

but in terms of my "riddle": Id say "classic" adventure games are still the best solution so far. The quick time button thing seems forced, an arbitrary event to make them "games".

(Didn't played amnesia , never liked horror games)

Blood Brain Barrier:

Adventure games need to bring back some of the unexpected, a bit of confusion and surprise, and a higher difficulty and dynamicism which the genre really can offer like no other can. Otherwise it's just a safe haven for those unable to tolerate surprises, uncertainty and death - a losers genre.

Like the good old King's Quest games, wherein failing to do something two screens into the game will mean that you can never beat the game, but you won't actually find this out until the very end?

but just to keep track of yahtzee's opinions on game genera's as a whole
RTS = crap
JRPG = crap
Adventure Game = crap
Shooters = good

noreshadow:
but just to keep track of yahtzee's opinions on game genera's as a whole
RTS = crap
JRPG = crap
Adventure Game = crap
Shooters = crap

Fixed.

Buretsu:

Blood Brain Barrier:

Adventure games need to bring back some of the unexpected, a bit of confusion and surprise, and a higher difficulty and dynamicism which the genre really can offer like no other can. Otherwise it's just a safe haven for those unable to tolerate surprises, uncertainty and death - a losers genre.

Like the good old King's Quest games, wherein failing to do something two screens into the game will mean that you can never beat the game, but you won't actually find this out until the very end?

No. Dead ends suck. More like the good old Legend Entertainment games, which were the apex of adventure games and probably the entirety of computer game history.

Starker:

noreshadow:
but just to keep track of yahtzee's opinions on game genera's as a whole
RTS = crap
JRPG = crap
Adventure Game = crap
Shooters = crap

Fixed.

Pretty much. He only names a few games here and there that are essentially revolutionary, dynamic combination of gameplay/story, that succeed what they set out to do, very well.

"I realized that where videogames came into their own was the exploration of a new form of storytelling, one that was enhanced by gameplay."

"explore other ways to make the practical element absorbing while still placing the all-important emphasis on storytelling.".

So talk about having high standards. I think he can only say with a straight face that ~10 or so games are great with maybe a small honorable mention list, the rest are shitty/or haven't played list.
I think his only real complements towards game industries is to indie games for at least trying to be unique/experimenting.

From The Death of Adventure Games, an old article by Erik Wolpaw (head writer for Valve's Portal)

Did you read all of that? If not, good for you! Dumb as your television enjoying ass probably is, you're smarter than the genius adventure gamers who, in a truly inappropriate display of autism-level concentration, willingly played the birdbrained events described in that passage. For those of you clever enough to have skipped the walkthru, permit me to summarize:

Gabriel Knight must disguise himself as a man called Mosley in order to fool a French moped rental clerk into renting him the shop's only motorcycle.

In order to construct the costume, Gabriel Knight must manufacture a fake moustache. Utilizing the style of logic adventure game creators share with morons, Knight must do this even though Moseley does not have a moustache.

So in order to even begin formulating your strategy, you have to follow daredevil of logic Jane Jensen as she pilots Gabriel Knight 3 right over common sense, like Evel Knievel jumping Snake River Canyon. Maybe Jane Jensen was too busy reading difficult books by Pär Lagerkvist to catch what stupid Quake players learned from watching the A-Team: The first step in making a costume to fool people into thinking you're a man without a moustache, is not to construct a fake moustache.

Still, you might think that you could yank some hair from one of the many places it grows out of your own body and attach it to your lip with the masking tape in your inventory. But obviously, Ms. Jensen felt that an insane puzzle deserved a genuinely deranged solution. In order to manufacture the moustache, you must attach the masking tape to a hole at the base of a toolshed then chase a cat through the hole. In the real world, such as the one that stupid people like me and Adrian Carmack use to store our televisions, this would result in a piece of masking tape with a few cat hairs stuck to it, or a cat running around with tape on its back. Apparently, in Jane Jensen's exciting, imaginative world of books, masking tape is some kind of powerful neodymium supermagnet for cat hair.

Remember how shocked you were at the end of the Sixth Sense when it turned out Bruce Willis was a robot? Well, check this out: At the end of this puzzle, you have to affix the improbable cat hair moustache to your lip with maple syrup! Someone ought to give Jane Jensen a motion picture deal and also someone should CAT scan her brain.

Who killed Adventure Games? I think it should be pretty clear at this point that Adventure Games committed suicide.

You say that there's all story and no gameplay. No, there's just no action game-play. There's still puzzle gameplay. The old games were incredibly hard, but that was no different than other game genres that were hard--it was to get more game play from the smaller files they had to use. And, because, frankly, it's easier to make a hard game than a balanced one, and sometimes than an easy one.

Telltale games gets things right--they eliminate the one frustration you actually voiced, because they give you in-game hints. And the games actually progress fairly logically. It shortens the play time, so they make 4 sequels to every game to make up for that.

I would love to see a ZP or EP on Resonance. It's short, but the plot, characters, and puzzles were good. It does suffer from the same linear story problem as Heavy Rain, though. You can only really play it once.

I think it does have some issues with "fetch these objects before the next plot point is revealed", but it does have some interesting game mechanics, IMHO.

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