Author Topic: Dead ends  (Read 6648 times)

Offline ThunderChild

  • Silly Adventurer
  • **
  • Posts: 93
Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2006, 04:17:12 AM »
Quote
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.

Third one for the catacombs: If you happene to forget to take some light with you, you would end up very unhappy dead ...  ;D ;D


Somehow I always expected that a King's Quest game had these 'dead ends' and I probably would've been dissapointed if they weren't included, it simply added to the level of difficulty the games had plus that the later games had more then one way to complete it ...

With all Sierra games there was at least one dead end included (as far that I was able to see/find) and that was something I was expecting to find. In adventures from other developers like Lucasarts's SCUMM titles (Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle), it was impossible to get stuck on a dead end and that was something I would expect from them.

Basicly it's simply a matter of taste. I happen to like both ...
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

  • Phoenix Honour Guard
  • ************
  • Posts: 18427
  • Gender: Male
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Re: Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2006, 08:50:21 AM »
Here's a fun dead-end I just remembered (which is even present in AGDI's version).  In KQ2, you can give the Woodcutter your entire inventory before giving him the bowl. :P  No unique death messages there, you just get robbed.  Same thing applies when the dwarf robs you.  ::)

There's a dead-end in KQ6 where if you enter the catacombs without the brick, you have no way of preventing the roof from collapsing on you (the skull won't work).  And, getting the brick is pretty illogical because it's something you have to pick up by chance, and unlike the Tinderbox, you would have no idea that you'd need it before venturing into the Catacombs.

Also, you never commented on my quadruple KQ5 dead-end, where if you never pick up the locket, you can't befriend Cassima, and if you don't befriend Cassima, you can't get in and out of the prison, and if you don't go in and and out of the prison, you'll never get the cheese, and if you don't get the cheese, you won't finish the game. :P  Sure, you'll get fried by Mordack but would you have any idea why your wand is as useless as Cedric was? ;P

Deloria mentioned a dead-end in KQ7 (which I thought didn't have any) that occurs if you don't talk to Dr. Cadaver as Valanice before the "Dr. is out" sign is hanging.  The bug was if you visit Dr. Cadaver before the fates tell you to go to sleep.  Valanice will not go to sleep when the fates ask, and due to KQ7's annoying auto-save feature, you can't even restore, meaning you have to replay the entire chapter. :o
« Last Edit: August 16, 2006, 08:54:13 AM by Yonkey »
"A wish changes nothing. A decision changes everything."

Offline Baggins

  • Read-Only
  • Magical Genie
  • *
  • Posts: 2554
Re: Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2006, 09:03:50 AM »
All games pre-KQ7 had intentional Dead-Ends in order to artificially extend gamplay, in order to justify the prices they asked for the games. Sierra and Infocom were rather notorius for their intentional dead ends, thinking up nearly hundreds of sadistic ways to drive their customers crazy.

The manuals even mentioned to expect the dead-ends and to save early and save often, and make several saves at important points in the game simply because they intentionally included dead ends(these warnings were not included in KQ7, since that game was intended to not have any dead-ends, due to the linear chapter system, and fact it only had a single save feature).

In one of the zork games for example you could kill people, but if you did, a NPC called the "Vigilante" would show up and steal all of your inventory. But you would be stuck in the game wandering around trying to find where he stashed the stuff(however the stuff was no where, this was Infocom's sadistic way of punishment).

In KQ1 you could have your treasure stolen by the dwarf. Which lead to an unwinnable situation and dead-end.


Apparently one of Infocom did a survey to find out which games people enjoyed the most and of those games which ones hadn't finished, and apparently people of the time enjoyed the games that had dead-ends the most, over their infocom games that were linear and short, and easy to complete. So old-schoolers were masochists  :suffer:. On the other hand I'm not sure I would have been spent $30-$60 to buy a game I could have beaten in 2-3 hours if it lead my hand the entire way. So I understand early companies justification for creating dead-ends.

KQ7, on the other hand had poor game design with the single save feature, and 2-3 unintentional dead ends. Somethign they fixed in later version of the game. Another dead-end in the game is if you somehow forgot to get the smelly flower, you couldn't awaken Otar. If you didn't awaken otar, well volcano blows up, or malicia gets you.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2006, 09:16:08 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

  • Phoenix Honour Guard
  • ************
  • Posts: 18427
  • Gender: Male
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Re: Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2006, 09:12:53 AM »
Yeah, the auto-save feature was the cause of quite discussion back then.  It was a nice idea, in the sense that you didn't have to worry about saving and restoring.  But, if you're gonna use a feature like that, you better make sure you have absolutely no dead-ends obviously.

I prefer having the save/restore feature because besides being able to revert to a non-inoperable state, it allows you to replay cool sequences over and over! ;D  KQ7 lacked this, and that was one of my major beefs with it.  The other being its extreme "Disney influence". :P
"A wish changes nothing. A decision changes everything."

Offline Baggins

  • Read-Only
  • Magical Genie
  • *
  • Posts: 2554
Re: Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2006, 09:26:35 AM »
That being said early games from infocom and sierra might have needed intentional dead-ends (both-ones that lead to you wandering around(ex. stolen treasures in KQ1, vigilante in zork2), or ones that lead you to death, both unique, or normal, if you still try to push on) to artifically extend gameplay and justify the cost of what would normally be a short games.

No one would have payed $30-$60 for a game that could be beaten in one to four hours. So most people appreciated dead ends at the time, since it increased the challenge, and extended their gametime.

Lucasarts newfangled no dead-end policy came later, and actually was lambasted by many old-schoolers for being too simplified.

People back then expected it, often complaining if intentional dead-ends didn't exist in the games. Accusing the games of being "dumbed-down", "easified".

However it is unforgiveable in today's more modern games where the game takes about a day or more complete. Where the games length is determined by the detail of its story and the actual size of the game, and total number of puzzles. People do not want to be forced to start over on a game that takes that long to complete...

Something that causes unwinnable situations in modern games is usually because something was overlooked by the game designers, not because of intentional reasons.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2006, 09:31:45 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

  • Phoenix Honour Guard
  • ************
  • Posts: 18427
  • Gender: Male
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Re: Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2006, 09:38:39 AM »
Hmm.. well you can't always co-relate filesize with difficulty.  Take our demo for example.  It has no dead-ends or deaths, and if you know what to do, you can finish it in 5 minutes or less! ;D  I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but it makes it very easy for me to blackbox test each scene. :)

But to get back to what I'm saying, our demo is 76MB yet probably not more than an hour worth of gameplay for a complete newbie.  However, there is plenty of descriptive dialogue, artwork, audio and scripting to keep you entertained throughout the entire time.  I prefer using things like that to "extend gametime" and replayability, rather than using intentional dead-ends and illogical puzzles masked as "challenging".

The other thing I like is that I can easily add new features and functionality to this demo, without advancing plot or spoiling anything. :suffer:  Due to people's attraction to novelty, the easability of creating software updates/patches, and our use of non-obtrusive marketing, you can get people to enjoy games of any size, regardless of genre/content/storyline. 8)
"A wish changes nothing. A decision changes everything."

Offline Baggins

  • Read-Only
  • Magical Genie
  • *
  • Posts: 2554
Re: Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2006, 09:48:39 AM »
The demo literally held my hand all the way through it and told me what to do... It was incredibly easy...

Its also not a complete game... I"m sure the full game will be incredibly large, much larger than any previous King's Quest Game. It will be more difficult and take more time simply because of its length, amount of dialogue and amount of puzzles.

In the early days, they only had room for a few puzzles, there was not much room for dialogue, and obviously graphics and audio were limited as well. Thus a need for artificial ways of extending gameplay. Limitations were caused by the fact computers simply were not as powerful as they are today, and they had to design games based on the limitations of their customer's systems (many customers did not even have hard-drives and were limited to floppies of various sizes).

Later on they started adding 256 color graphics which took up alot of space on floppies, so length was limited due to that reason(the games were also designed with 16 color graphics for people who didn't have expensive 256 color video cards yet).

 Majority of people did not have cd's yet, or much HD space(5, 10, 20 megabyte hard drives were new and quite expensive). So games were still artificilaly lengthened by other means to justify their costs to the customers...

So if they didn't have artificial ways to extend the gameplay length, and lead your hand through the game, they could easily be completed in 1-3 hours. People were not willing to buy games that were that short back then, and would not pay $30-$60.

If the companies did not make that much per game, they lost money compared to how much they had to pay the teams, and cost of making the games. Remember even technology was expensive back then, so they had to make money to upgrade their systems or pay for systems they already had.

You literally can't compare todays powerful computers to the way things were back then. Its a completely different industry. Now designers have incredible tools to work with, and space to work with. Many people have access to machines that are powerful enough to handle it.

So yes in today's market on today's machines it would be unforgiveable to have dead-ends, on games that literally are extended simply due to dialogue, audio and visual methods. No one wants to start over on a 30+ hour dialogue extensive game, just because they missed something during the first part of the game.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2006, 10:08:17 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 Yonkey

  • Phoenix Honour Guard
  • ************
  • Posts: 18427
  • Gender: Male
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Re: Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2006, 10:04:13 AM »
Yeah, and keep in mind that the demo only represents 4.5% of Shadows plot-wise, so there is a lot more "under the hood". ;)

But yeah, to get back on topic, I would never permit dead-ends in our game, and before deciding to join this team, I ensured that Cesar would not insert any either. :)  You can even read some of my newbie posts and find that one. XD
"A wish changes nothing. A decision changes everything."

Offline Baggins

  • Read-Only
  • Magical Genie
  • *
  • Posts: 2554
Re: Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2006, 10:15:19 AM »
It would even be unforgiveable if you did, considering you have access to computer systems that can more than handle a game of its length, and detail.

Considering most people have systems that can handle it.

BTW, what is the average length for your game if you listened to all dialogue and knew all the answers to all the puzzles? 30+ hours?

I can't think of very many people that would want to restart a 30+ hour game just because they made a mistake early on.

Your game isn't even as detailed graphically as commericial adventure games(or even other commerical 3-d games for that matter) like say Dreamfall, so the system requirements aren't nearly as high. So you can even have a larger player base.

As for Dreamfall I notice it adds replayability by allowing you to solve certain puzzles by different methods. You can talk your way out of situations in some cases for example, or you can take a more agressive approach and just beat the person up.

Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):
« Last Edit: August 16, 2006, 10:49:31 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

  • Phoenix Honour Guard
  • ************
  • Posts: 18427
  • Gender: Male
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Re: Dead Ends in the KQ Games
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2006, 10:48:00 AM »
BTW, what is the average length for your game if you listened to all dialogue and knew all the answers to all the puzzles? 30+ hours?
To tell you the truth, I have absolutely no idea. :P  I personally find that whole "gameplay" metric to be very subjective, so I don't like to estimate like that. 8)

However, I know just reading the nine chapters of TSL plot in their raw form took me an entire day or two.  But then again, I read them while they were being finalized and over the course of a few weeks.  Plus, I wasn't just reading them, I was analyzing them and making criticism & comments. ;D

TSL is estimated to be triple the size of KQ6, so you you can work out your own timings based on that. :)
"A wish changes nothing. A decision changes everything."

Offline uselessidguy331

  • Royal Heir
  • ****
  • Posts: 335
  • Gender: Male
  • Welcome The Night.
Re: Dead ends
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2007, 03:10:29 PM »
By far the worst dead end in a KQ game is in KQ4...where about 75% into the game (and it is definately the hardest of the KQ series), you can dig at the gravesite with the shovel one time too many...break it...and be completely stuck. This is AFTER you have to go through the whale, the ogre's house, the cave, the weird area behind the waterfall, the witches, etc. Unfreakingbelievable.
"And still we all are so hopeful,
So righteous in our blood.
It looks so tarnished in our eyes,
Yet so afraid of...

Fading into nothing,
Fading into nothing.
Just a trace of light
That burns within our thoughts... "

Offline Boogeyman

  • Devoted Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 212
  • Gender: Male
  • Never go bargain hunting for a flying carpet!
Re: Dead ends
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2007, 10:10:43 PM »
Wrong!
The worst dead end is not saving Cedric in KQ5.
I don't narrate for stinky kings!

Offline uselessidguy331

  • Royal Heir
  • ****
  • Posts: 335
  • Gender: Male
  • Welcome The Night.
Re: Dead ends
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2007, 05:38:10 PM »
Wrong!
The worst dead end is not saving Cedric in KQ5.

Nah, KQ5 was far easier than KQ4 (in my opinion), so it wasn't nearly as bad of a dead end. The fact that it is damn near impossible to even get to the part with the shovel in KQ4 makes it all the worse.

But I will give you props for representing the greatest KQ character ever in your username/avatar.
"And still we all are so hopeful,
So righteous in our blood.
It looks so tarnished in our eyes,
Yet so afraid of...

Fading into nothing,
Fading into nothing.
Just a trace of light
That burns within our thoughts... "

Offline Boogeyman

  • Devoted Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 212
  • Gender: Male
  • Never go bargain hunting for a flying carpet!
Re: Dead ends
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2007, 08:44:52 PM »
Failing to save Cedric = have to start back on Harpy Island and then go through Mordack's Maze again and then dodge Manannan until you can bag him.
I don't narrate for stinky kings!