Tim Schafer talks about giving players actions, not words.
Double Fine's Tim Schafer earned most of his stripes working on classic Lucusarts titles like Maniac Mansion and Full Throttle. As well regarded as those games remain, they usually required the player to deduce the single correct verb to use on the single correct item/object to progress. However, Schafer wants the upcoming Broken Age to progress beyond the primitive verb-based system, and into one that's more intuitive.
"Deep down, we realized there really was always one verb, which was 'interact with', and a lot of it was context-based," Schafer told Polygon. "So in this game we've actually done that like modern adventure games like Machinarium have done. It's context-based."
Instead of having to select from a list of verbs, players will simply click on objects and interact with them in more intuitive ways. There's still an inventory to build, but items can simply be dragged and dropped into the world. Instead of finding the right choice, it's more about picking the interesting choice.
"There are parts of the game that are kind of unconventional in how they're structured because we're trying to have fun with the genre a little bit," Schafer clarified. "But [the demo area] shows the character walking around pointing and clicking, talking to people, getting dialog trees and using inventory items to solve puzzles classic-adventure game style."
The first portion of Broken Age launches via Steam's Early Access program in early 2014.