Author Topic: Dead ends  (Read 6516 times)

Offline Yonkey

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Dead ends
« on: August 15, 2006, 09:01:29 AM »
Ahh ok $79 was still a bit overpriced in those days.  I think the going rate was $49-59 CDN (and that was before GST was invented). ::)

Oh, and Cedric's annoyance and the dead-ends were still present in the disk-based version. ;P 

"Watch out Graham!  It's POISIONOUS game design!" ;)

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Offline ThunderChild

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Dead ends
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2006, 09:08:34 AM »
Ahh ok $79 was still a bit overpriced in those days.  I think the going rate was $49-59 CDN (and that was before GST was invented). ::)
It was a different time then and I don't know if the 2 is an acurate number. Over the past 10 years the European and the American market leveled each other out on the major points, so it doesn't really matter now ...

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Oh, and Cedric's annoyance and the dead-ends were still present in the disk-based version. ;P 

"Watch out Graham!  It's POISIONOUS game design!" ;)
One of the benefits of the floppy version (applies also on the CD version), just *click* and it's all over ...  ;D ;)


Though, shooting the bird or cast a spell over/on it would've been nice (or is that an unKing's Quest thing for me to say ??) . . .  ;D ;D
It seems totally incredible to me now that everyone spent that evening as though it were just like any other. From the railway station came the sound of shunting trains, ringing and rumbling, softened almost into melody by the distance ...

Offline Yonkey

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Dead ends
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2006, 09:11:25 AM »
One of the benefits of the floppy version (applies also on the CD version), just *click* and it's all over ...  ;D ;)
You mean Restore/Restart? ;P  I still find that poor game design. XD
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Offline ThunderChild

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Dead ends
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2006, 09:19:29 AM »
You mean Restore/Restart? ;P  I still find that poor game design. XD
Well, what else did you expect ?? A 6 MB large outro in which the royal family was tickled to death by Mordack ??  ;D :P :pleased:
It seems totally incredible to me now that everyone spent that evening as though it were just like any other. From the railway station came the sound of shunting trains, ringing and rumbling, softened almost into melody by the distance ...

Offline Yonkey

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Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2006, 10:02:43 AM »
Hahaha, well I was referring more to the incredible amount of dead-ends and illogical puzzles. 8)

To further illustrate this:

Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):

And I'm sure there are more dead-ends as well.  For that reason, I would not price KQ5 that high, I would rather fire the QA team and drop the price. :P
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 01:46:02 PM by Yonkey »
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Offline Baggins

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Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2006, 10:27:17 AM »
Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):
« Last Edit: September 08, 2006, 10:49:05 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Yonkey

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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2006, 01:42:33 PM »
Regarding all the spoilers I posted, it wasn't that they were illogical.  The point is that if you don't perform those actions, the game allows you to continue until you reach a "deadlocked" state where you cannot proceed any further. :P

Obviously none of us want our programs to become deadlocked, and dead-ends are like the deadlocks of adventure games. :P  They could all have been easily fixed if KQV had better game design.  But since the game design was poor, it should have been reflective in the price as well. 8)
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Offline oberonqa

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Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2006, 02:00:34 PM »
Bleh.... KQ5 was the first game I needed a hint book for thanks to all those deadends.

In fact, KQ5 is the game that drove my dad away from the series.  He was the one who got me into computer games (my earliest and fondest memories were of watching him play computer games).  Neither of us needed hintbooks for any game up until KQ5.  He ended up walking away from the series and I broke down and used my allowance money to get a hintbook.

KQ6 was much better from a design point of view... though it also had it's fair share of deadlocks.  The one I most vividly remember was:

Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):

God I spent days wandering around that area wondering what I was missing.  In the end, I had to restart the game.  There were other similiar deadlocks... but that one sticks out in my mind.
 
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Offline Baggins

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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2006, 02:02:40 PM »
That was actually the standard game design of the time. Apparently fairly popular too, people liked death scenes, and intentional dead ends & red hearings that lead to unique death scenes, and unaturally lengthened what were essentially short games.

However Lucasarts poked fun at Sierra's deathscenes and intentional dead ends in Monkey Island. In there adventure games there was actually no death scenes, or few death scenes.

The exception being in Indiana Jones games.

Basically just consider it a change of tastes in games from then to now.

It was the dead-ends and special death scenes for dead ends, that spawned the, "Save early save often make several saves" comment in the manuals for the game. Anyone that just kept on using the same save file over and over were only asking to screw themselves over.

Even the earliest King's Quest games had dead-ends.

For example it was possible to go to Land of the Leprichauns for example without having any items needed to get past the rat, the leprichauns, or even the exit out of the cave.

An example for KQ2 is that it was possible to get to last area without the dagger, or the meat so no way of defeating the Lion.

An example for KQ3 was it was possible to leave Llewdor without every possible spell IIRC. So then you couldn't beat the game.

In KQ4, it was possible to get a bad ending by not getting the "fruit", plus among some other dead-ends, if you missed certain items.

In KQ6 if you didn't have the key you couldn't get the paper needed to convince Saladin of the Vizier's treachery. So he would kill you, instead of letting you into the wedding. If you got into catacombs without having the "hole-in-the-wall" you couldn't get out the catacombs. If you didn't get the brick you couldn't get past the catacomb's crushing trap. If you didn't have the tinder box you couldn't survive the dark room.

In KQ7 if you didn't have the smelling flower you couldn't wake up King Otar, and Malicia would kill you.

I think MoE was the only game that didn't have any "dead-ends" as it literally wouldn't let you move on from areas until you had all the items you needed. It wouldn't  let you into the final zone unless you had all the items needed for those levels.

Infocom text adventure games were also quite similar in that respect, that they intentionally placed dead-ends and red herrings into the games to intentionally make them more difficult, and lengthen the game.

I suppose you could compare older adventure games to make choice books and their dead ends.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2006, 10:49:48 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Yonkey

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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2006, 08:19:32 PM »
Well, personally I despise dead-ends.  I didn't find them cute back then, nor do I find them fun now. :P  I already explained how I find them equivalent to a deadlocked program. 8)

The sad thing is, they are so easy to prevent just by better game design.  All you have to do is add Narrator dialogue to prevent you from permanently leaving an area without a required item.  It's so simple that it really makes you wonder why they never designed games like this in the past.  ::)

I know Baggins said that death messages were all the rave back then, but dead-ends are different from death messages.  At least when you die, you know why.  Dead-ends make you aimlessly travel around hoping to find out what you did wrong.  Unfortunately, without reading a hintbook or walkthrough, you have no idea that you've reached a game state where you cannot advance any further. :no:
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Offline Baggins

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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2006, 08:24:38 PM »
Actually the reason why there was intentional dead-ends was simply to forcably extend play time in games, in games that were much shorter than todays games. It was actually an intentional design choice, not merely done by mistake.

Actually all dead-ends in KQ5 lead to special death scenes, sometimes unique ones that you could only see if you forgot something. These special dead-ends usually had some kind of clue as to what you missed, through the use of some really bad pun.

All dead-ends in previous games lead to deaths, or bad endings.

These kind of dead-ends leading to deaths was just a way to extend what amounted to a short game to make gameplay longer, and force replay.

Again this is why the manuals warned to save early, save often, make several saves and name them different names to show when they take place.

Similarly side-scrolling action games at the time tended to be incredibly hard compared to todays games for the same reason. They were made difficult to make people have to play the games over and over until they got it right.It made a game that could be beat in an hour last 24 hours or more, simply due to continues to retry a level, or restart the games.

Some Old Schoolers bemoan modern games for being "too easy". While most New-Schoolers do not necessarily enjoy the older games because they were so hard.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 08:39:33 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline dew7

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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2006, 08:53:46 PM »
I still usually have at least 20 saves in a game -- just in case I end up on a part of the game without a particular item and so I don't have to start all the way from the beginning if this is the case.

 :P
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Offline Baggins

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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2006, 09:48:17 PM »
It was actually pretty bad in KQ7, where you could unintentionally save yourself into a problem and not even know it (and then have to restart chapters over again), as there was only one save file, and the game auto-saved when you quite the game.

This is why in version 2.0 they added the ability to save any time and have multiple saves.

In that game the dead-ends were unintentional and were caused by a poor save game system. It was actually one of the first games to remove the "save early, save often" advice, since there was no way to save as often as you wanted to.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 09:50:58 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Yonkey

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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2006, 10:54:49 PM »
All dead-ends in previous games lead to deaths, or bad endings.
I'm not entirely sure that's true.  If they lead to deaths or just bad endings, people wouldn't refer to them as "dead-ends" they would just call them deaths.  Anyway, my mind is a bit too fried to think right now, but someone else is free to give examples. :)
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Offline oberonqa

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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2006, 11:03:49 PM »
Oh I don't know.... I'd call going into The Catacombs in KQ6 without the Hole-in-the-Wall to be a definite dead-end.  You don't get any special death scenes... you don't get any interesting puns...  all you get is the joy of wandering around the Catacombs wondering what the heck your supposed to be doing and not given any clue as to what you were supposed to do.

If that's not a dead-end, I don't know what is.

I kid you not... I spent DAYS wandering around trying to figure out what to do.  In fact I think I still have a hand-drawn map somewhere of the entire area... complete with notes on what rooms had false floors in them.

And let's see... what else can I think of...

Ah yes.

Being swallowed up by the Whale in KQ4 without having the peacock feather.  Good luck getting out of that situation without the peacock feather.  **lol**

In KQ3... good luck finishing the game if you didn't prepare the Brew a Storm spell...

In KQ2, not having the sword or the meat by the time you got to the Quartz Tower was definitely a bad thing.  Kinda hard to save Valanice without some way to deal with the guard.

So ya... definitely some dead-ends.
 
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Offline Baggins

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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2006, 11:16:01 PM »
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Oh I don't know.... I'd call going into The Catacombs in KQ6 without the Hole-in-the-Wall to be a definite dead-end.  You don't get any special death scenes... you don't get any interesting puns...  all you get is the joy of wandering around the Catacombs wondering what the heck your supposed to be doing and not given any clue as to what you were supposed to do.

I wondered around for a while, and then went into a room and minotaur showed up and skewered me. That was the death scene I remember.

I don't remember it occuring if you had all the other items you needed for the dungeon.

BTW if you had the hole in the wall, but forgot to bring the red scarf, good luck trying to get past the Minotaur.

That was another death dead-end.

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Being swallowed up by the Whale in KQ4 without having the peacock feather.  Good luck getting out of that situation without the peacock feather.  **lol**

After about 30 minutes she dies from the fumes of the whales digestive juices.

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In KQ3... good luck finishing the game if you didn't prepare the Brew a Storm spell...

The dragon will instantly kill you the moment your invisiblity wears out. Yep leads to another death scene.

On the other hand the manual tells you exactly the spells you need to make... if someone doesn't bother to make those spells, well I suppose its their own stupidity. But ya they still lead to dead ends.

Infact some people complained about that the game because nearly all the answers to all the puzzles were "spelled"(forgive the pun) out for the player. It didn't allow people to try to figure out things for themselves.

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In KQ2, not having the sword or the meat by the time you got to the Quartz Tower was definitely a bad thing.  Kinda hard to save Valanice without some way to deal with the guard.

Which leads to the lion kiling you if you try to get past. So yet another death scene.

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So ya... definitely some dead-ends.

Yep dead ends and certain death scenes are synonmous with each other.

Also dead-end is an obvious pun. By dead-end sierra generally meant it lead to you becoming "Dead".
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 11:22:26 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline oberonqa

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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2006, 11:29:49 PM »
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I wondered around for a while, and then went into a room and minotaur showed up and skewered me. That was the death scene I remember.

I don't remember it occuring if you had all the other items you needed for the dungeon.

It does.  If you happen to go into the Tapestry Room without having spied on the Minotaur beforehand... he would still come into the room and skewer you.  Not a unique death scene.

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After about 30 minutes she dies from the fumes of the whales digestive juices.

Which is what happens even if you have the peacock feather.  Not a unique death scene.

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The dragon will instantly kill you the moment your invisiblity wears out. Yep leads to another death scene.

Which occurs even if you have the Brew a Storm spell prepared but don't use it.  Not a unique death scene.

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Which leads to the lion kiling you if you try to get past. So yet another death scene.

Which again... occurs even if you try to get past without using one of the items if you had them anyway.  Again... not a unique death scene.

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Yep dead ends and certain death scenes are synonmous with each other.

No your thinking of special death sequences that can happen (like going into the mountains in KQ5 without food and dying of starvation). 

What Neil and I are pointing out are dead-ends that are a direct result of the game allowing you to progress and reach a dead-end where you cannot proceed and you cannot backtrack. 

In the KQ5 example I just cited, your given ample warning about entering the mountains without food.  So if you go up there anyway, you will die of starvation.  That is a unique death that can only occur there.  However, if you bring food with you into the mountains and either don't bring a hammer with you or you pass the crystal without hitting it and obtaining a shard, you will become stuck in front of Mordack's lair.  You cannot backtrack to get the crystal shard and you cannot progress.  You do get a unique death as a result... but you cannot backtrack from that point to get the shard after viewing the death scene.

In the case of the KQ6 example... the game will happily allow you to enter the Catacombs not only without the Hole-in-the-Wall... but without the cement block.  And once your in... your in until you finish that section.  So if you are unfortunate enough to go in without having the necessary items... you will not progress and you cannot get out.  You get no special death scenes that aren't already there (case in point, if you have the cement block but don't use it during the appropriate trap sequence, you'll get the same death scene as you did if you didn't have the cement block).

These are flaws that indicate a bad design.  The designer either assumed the player would have the necessary items with them prior to encountering the puzzles... or the designer intentionally made those design decisions in an attempt to artificially inflate the gameplay time.

There's never a good reason for bad design and dead-ends are indicitive of bad design elements.
 
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Offline Baggins

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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2006, 11:37:26 PM »
I didn't say they were all unique death scenes, I said "sometimes unique death scenes", but always lead to a death scene if you tried to progress on.

In anycase my point is, and Sierra coined the bad pun term, "dead-end" in their definition was intended to lead you to a death. As you couldn't progress past a certain point. They didn't want you to go back.

Another example is if you don't save Cedric. When Mordack tries to cast a spell at you with his wand after you recharge crispin's wand, he fries you. Otherwise Cedric is hit when he flies in to tell you something.

If you tried to go into Swarthy Hog without the hammer, or having befriended the rat, you get stuck in the basement, and it lead to another cutscene about the thiefs coming to rub you out later.

Another classic example of a classic sierra "dead"-end is the magic golden fish of the enchanted isles. They literally allow it to die, if you don't throw it back in during a certain period of time. In which case you get stuck on the shore until you try to jump in and "die".

The teams were notorious for enjoying to throw these in pretty much every classic sierra game not just King's Quest. They did it just so players would have to reload to earlier save games, or restart the game. which was the reason for the classic "Save, Load, Restart", and the manuals even referred to these "Dead"-ends thus the reason for the warning in the manuals to save early, save often, save at multiple times during the game.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2006, 01:25:17 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline oberonqa

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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2006, 11:48:34 PM »
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In anycase my point is, and Sierra coined the bad pun term, "dead-end" in their definition was intended to lead you to a death. As you couldn't progress past a certain point. They didn't want you to go back.

Then they were artificially inflating the gameplay time and they acknowledged it.  It's as simple as that. 

There's little entertainment value in having to start over just to pick up an item needed to solve a single puzzle.  I didn't paticularly enjoy having to restart KQ6 because I didn't get the Hole-in-the-Wall.  It taught me a lesson... but I certainly didn't enjoy it.  Being able to backtrack is not a bad thing... especially when it comes to things that are required to complete the game.  The only instance where I would agree backtracking shouldn't be allowed is in optional quests/puzzles (like the shovel and buried treasure in KQ3... you don't need the shovel or the treasure to complete the game... it only increases your point tally and thus is optional).
 
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Offline Baggins

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Dead ends
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2006, 11:53:33 PM »
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Then they were artificially inflating the gameplay time and they acknowledged it.  It's as simple as that. 


Yep, that's what I said. It was done mainly because the games would be very short if they didn't exist. They can be beaten within an hour or less if you know where everything is, and what to do.

Which is funny, since apparently most people really enjoyed those games at the time, and never complained about it.

Lucasarts deliberetly tried to avoid the concept of "Dead"-end to set themselves apart from other adventure games companies. They also made many games were you could not actually die.

As a side note there are die-hard old schoolers that complain about Lucasarts so called "dumbing-down" of the adventure game genre, as they saw it in their eyes by removal of dead-end situations.


On the other hand lucasarts games were often known for having really illogical puzzles, that made little sense unless you read some obscure clue in the game, in order to make their games more difficult.

These various ways of extending gameplay time were done in order to justify the costs of the games. Otherwise people wouldn't pay $30-$50 for a game that could be completed in a couple of hours at the most.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2006, 12:12:16 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg
 

anything