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The Royal Archives => Fan Feedback => Topic started by: Odball89 on February 21, 2011, 06:17:03 AM

Title: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Odball89 on February 21, 2011, 06:17:03 AM
On the whole, wonderfully done. It looks a lil dated, but overall fantastic for a fan game. You guys have been straight about what you set out to do, which was to add layers to the King's Quest plot, to chalk in the emotion and  todevelop the characters psychologically. Personally, I don't think that's what King's Quest is. At all. But there's room for different opinions and what you've done, you've done fantastically.

There are problems though. The loading time between rooms is bad. I tried turning all the fancy graphic options down but to no avail. It really hinders exploration when - for example - I need to go from the tree on Isle of the Mysts to a bedroom in the Castle of the Crown. It's a boring loading screen-ridden trek. And just now, I did it, got Rosella's voice in my shell then BOOM. The game crashes. It does that a lot. I know it's a fangame and like I said - the production values are great - but things like that really hindered my immersion.

The emotional conversations Graham just loves having with his in-laws and the detailing of minor events whenever you look at random objects are not to my taste, but I can see a lot of people love them. And they're done splendidly - can't fault the narrator, I'm not in the hater camp on that one. But what really gets me is that - despite the story being done well and the humour dramatically improving (the narrator's comment on the spaced-out druid had me laughing out loud) - is it's just not King's Quest.

King's Quest gave you new lands to explore. A couple of rooms tacked onto each island is not exploration. I know all these places. I know ALL these characters. And although most are re-done well enough (Saladin and the shopkeepers are quite good; Jollo is an abomination - in King's Quest 6 he was a nice friendly face for Alex to turn to, here I wanted to slap him with his stupid fake hand), there are no new people to get to know, or win over. The land isn't hostile to you - people know who King Graham is. On most of his adventures before, being a King doesn't count for anything and he has to win people over. It's part of the fun.

Which brings me to another thing - although each quest has a personal aim, along the way you're meant to heal the land and it's people. Whether it's feeding the woodcutter, de-enchanting the snake, ridding Llewdor of Medusa, de-enchanting the weeping willow, returning Dr Cadaver's spine or solving all the political problems of the Green Isles, it was always THERE. King's Quest 4 even split the game equally between the two: find the fruit for dad but get me my talisman as well.

It's evident walking around that THIS LAND HAS BEEN FIXED. The shops are thriving, the islands are open and everyone's happy. Alex sorted it. What you should have done (and what you guys are clearly talented enough to pull off) is 'Graham's Last Quest' - send the old man off to some new land with new characters and new adventures. I can do without the rewritten backstory and the extra details about Queen Alaria's episiotomy if you just let me EXPLORE!

So sorry guys, it's great fan fiction and I loved every minute of it, but it's just NOT King's Quest.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: KatieHal on February 21, 2011, 07:28:42 AM
Thanks for your feedback, Odball!

We know our story choices aren't for everyone, but we always welcome constructive feedback on what we can improve with the gameplay. I'm glad to see you've been enjoying playing the game, even if it doesn't entirely say "King's Quest" to you personally.

And we're definitely aware the game had some stability issues this time around! We'll be sure to give testing the time it needs for future Episodes, but we didn't want to delay our release a second time for this one, which obviously had its pros and cons.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Eldrast on February 21, 2011, 08:20:47 PM
Nice post, Odball, but I'm not sure that I agree entirely in your underlying premise.  The King's Quest games were, of course, primarily adventure games.  And I agree that each game gave us new worlds to explore, new faces to meet, and new puzzles to solve.  But each game also gave us greater plot depth and characterization.  Look at the evolution of Graham from the original KQ to KQ5.  He went from being a knight on a quest from the King to being a King questing through distant lands in an effort to save his family - KQ5 also being notable for having rather significant backstory and integrating some of the plot/characters from KQ3.  KQ6 took this further still by making Cassima (who first appeared in 5) the driving force behind Alexander's action. 

Now that we're looking at what is effectively KQ9, I thoroughly enjoy the reintegration of all of the villains and many of the heroes of the series.  What's more, I believe that (while new lands would be a joy to explore) the increasingly complex plot tracks the growth of the KQ series quite well, and appeals now to a slightly more sophisticated audience.  I do hope that once we collect the ingredients, we will be given an expansive new land to explore - since it appears that we need to rescue Valanice, Rosella, and Alexander from it.  But to say that this is not KQ is, in my opinion, a comment that misses quite wide.

Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Lambonius on February 22, 2011, 07:39:39 AM
appeals now to a slightly more sophisticated audience.  


I have to laugh every time I read statements like this.  Especially when "teen fantasy" has been stated many times as the genre inspiration for the game's story.  Are YOU more sophisticated than a teenager?  Because me, I'm almost 30, and I sure as hell don't think like a teenager anymore.  Anyone who grew up playing the games when they were new would be around the same age, at least.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Big C from Cauney island on February 22, 2011, 07:45:18 AM
I was in 3rd grade when kq5 came out, and vga graphics were the greatest thing.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: NW15 on February 22, 2011, 08:41:41 AM
appeals now to a slightly more sophisticated audience.  


I have to laugh every time I read statements like this.  Especially when "teen fantasy" has been stated many times as the genre inspiration for the game's story.  Are YOU more sophisticated than a teenager?  Because me, I'm almost 30, and I sure as hell don't think like a teenager anymore.  Anyone who grew up playing the games when they were new would be around the same age, at least.
I do not know about that. I am getting close to 30 and I do not feel like my age at all, at the same time I do not feel like a teenager either.

I really enjoying playing Episode 3. I think you all did a good job.
I cannot wait for the next one. :)
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Odball89 on February 22, 2011, 09:04:48 AM
I see what you mean Eldrast, but that wasn't what I was getting at. The King's Quest story has certainly 'evolved' in TSL, for better or worse depending on which way you lean. I'm in my early twenties (meaning it was KQV and VI that defined my early childhood) and I enjoy overarching plot archs as much as the next guy (I'm an avid Lost fan, though the less said about how that turned out the better), but that wasn't what I played King's Quest for.

Although KQVI was brilliant in its complexity, I think it's KQV that really defines what King's Quest is. Why doesn't Graham tell anyone where he's going? Why doesn't he ask the townspeople or the allegedly invincible Daventry army to lend him a hand? Isn't he worried that when he comes back, the people of Daventry will have noticed the disappearance of their King and castle and might have elected their first ever democratically-elected government, leaving him and Valanice with no choice but to shack up in the Woodcutter's poolhouse?

No - he runs off with a talking owl and spends the first half of the game looking for a tambourine to get past the poooooisonous snake. It doesn't make any sense, but it doesn't have to. IT'S A FAIRY TALE. The magic came from exploring an exciting new place, meeting the Weeping Willow and the townspeople and those funny little elves. And what was so integral to the plot - vital even - was helping these people. Graham doesn't spend time agonising about whether his family are still alive, he goes and has cheerful adventures with cheerful woodland critters and still finds time in between rescuing his family to save the Shoemaker from poverty, hurl shoes at other people's pets and invent the first ever hearing aid.

It's not how a psychologically-realistic human being would react to their family being kidnapped. No, that'd be more along these lines: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0936501/ But because King's Quest is A FAIRY TALE, it works. And it worked well enough to have an forum full of adults who still idolise it twenty years on.

TSL isn't a fairytale. There's no escapism. It's all intense and 'real' and largely regurgitates old material: old characters, old locations, old plotlines... with an eerie new spin. Very well done, VERY well marketed but NOT King's Quest.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: snabbott on February 22, 2011, 09:09:13 AM
I do not know about that. I am getting close to 30 and I do not feel like my age at all, at the same time I do not feel like a teenager either.
I'm getting close to 40...
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: NW15 on February 22, 2011, 09:16:42 AM
I do not know about that. I am getting close to 30 and I do not feel like my age at all, at the same time I do not feel like a teenager either.
I'm getting close to 40...
I bet you do not feel like you age do you? Years go by too quickly. Hey, the 40's are the new 20's. So, that makes you close to 20. Not 40. ;) I know that was lame. :D

It what you feel at heart. I say if you do not feel like your age, who cares how old you are. ;) :)

Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Eldrast on February 22, 2011, 09:57:44 AM
appeals now to a slightly more sophisticated audience.  


I have to laugh every time I read statements like this.  Especially when "teen fantasy" has been stated many times as the genre inspiration for the game's story.  Are YOU more sophisticated than a teenager?  Because me, I'm almost 30, and I sure as hell don't think like a teenager anymore.  Anyone who grew up playing the games when they were new would be around the same age, at least.

Hummm...I dunno.  I'm 30, an attorney who works as General Counsel for a pretty large (in terms of employees and Gross Revenues) company...but that's all irrelevent here.  My comment regarding sophisitication was meant more in terms of people's expectations.  The simple graphics and plotline of the early KQ games would, in my opinion, be unfulfilling for today's market - whether it be nostalgic 20-30 somethings or teens/youths entering the adventure gaming genre for the first time.  Granted, the nostalgic market share would be far more forgiving of simplicity, since simplicity was the essence of the early KQ games.

Odball - fair points re escapism.  But TSL isn't done yet - and I hope  (I'm certain you do too) that you have reason to renege them.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: KatieHal on February 22, 2011, 10:02:05 AM
Odball--interesting you should make that example, because everything you just listed about KQ5 are all the things I personally see as a weakness in that game! Sure, the exploration is fun, and Serenia is neat and all, but yeah, Graham's ENTIRE family and HOME are gone! And he's...bumming around Serenia buying pies?? I get that it's a fairy tale, but there was no sense of urgency despite the enormous stakes in that game.

Which is why I personally prefer KQ6 by a large margin. You're never unaware of what Alexander's goal is, and that he's trying to do everything he can to help Cassima and the Green Isles. The main plot is in every aspect of that game, and the game maintains the balance of fun stories and exploration with the main plot's urgency.

TSL obviously takes that urgency a step further, and how people like or dislike it will vary based on their personal tastes. But KQ6 was definitely a huge inspiration in particular to our game, which is rather obvious, of course.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Lambonius on February 22, 2011, 12:35:21 PM
How interesting that people that don't actually like the King's Quest series (except for one or two games) can purport to make a game which wraps up and provides closure to the series as a whole in a "faithful" manner to the originals.   :)

I have to agree with Odball here, you guys rewrote parts of the series you didn't like to fit the parts that you did, and in the end, you came up with something totally different than the originals.  Like it or not, at least be honest about it.  The game is distinctly different in almost every way from the design and tone of the original games (aside from look, interface, and puzzle-solving.)  As Odball points out, not only is the tone starkly different, but the actual design points of the plot and setting itself are different as well.

That's not to say that what you've done is BAD, it's just not faithful in the way people keep trying to argue it is.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: KatieHal on February 22, 2011, 12:39:37 PM
Don't put words in my mouth, Lamb. I said I found those particular points to be weaknesses in that one particular game.

Your opinion is your opinion. Mine is otherwise--I don't think our game is unfaithful to the originals. We decided to put a different spin on things for our plot. IA's done the same, they just did it with fewer points in the plot (the time span between KQ3 and KQ4, specifically). As they say, "your mileage may vary."
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Blackthorne on February 22, 2011, 01:07:52 PM
TSL is, really, the ultimate fan service as far as plot goes.  The game is a fan's dream, (well, a certain type of King's Quest Fan.... I'd venture to say a King's Quest VI fan) and I guess to that end, it does it well.  I, personally, don't care for the melodramatic nature of the plot and the "connections" between previous villains, etc.  But that's me.

As I've played each new episode, I've seen the game improve - the gameplay in Episode 3 is really good, and I've been enjoying that.  The puzzles are great, and the game is fun.   I read somewhere someone bitching about the zodiac symbols - come on, that's a pretty lame thing to complain about.  They fit in just fine.... 

Plus, the game itself looks and sounds beautiful.  Someone needs to send the art team a box of cookies and someone needs to send Austin Haynes a cake, hah!

Yeah, TSL isn't "King's Quest"-y in a tradional sense, but it is really "based on King's Quest".  It's just one possible direction one could have gone in.  I'm sorta thinking if you have a problem with TSL, maybe you should just make your own game that satisfies the needs you want.


Bt
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Cez on February 22, 2011, 01:31:48 PM
We've made changes, yes, but not in the sense of what you are saying, Lamb, to change what we didn't like. It's more in the sense of what BT is saying, to make it a "fan's dream", be able to bring old characters back with a point, and yes, follow the vein of King's Quest VI. I don't think Katie's example really compares (The IA change), but we've certainly done no different than for example the KQ2 (and possibly the KQ3) remake. But yes, we've gone much further.

But anyways, yes, we've made changes, yes we did it so that we could make connections, yes it's a darker plot, yes it's fan-service, and yes, we are absolutely thrilled with it, too. And we are very happy that people have been reacting greatly to ep3. Means we listened to the right feedback from you guys.

AND, the fact that I love King's Quest VI to pieces doesn't mean I don't love the rest. I even like Mask of Eternity. I don't think we are being unfaithful --we have our ways to twist things, but we do try to stay within what's been established.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Odball89 on February 22, 2011, 01:39:45 PM
I'd just like to point out that my intention in posting wasn't at all negative - I really enjoyed Episode 3 (certainly the best so far - and like the others say, visually and musically stunning). A lot of the things people have been complaining about, such as the narrator (who I think is brilliant by the way) and the puzzles, have been improved. The writing is much better and as I said, some of the jokes are genuinely really funny.

What I think is particularly great about King's Quest though is that it has so many different facets and means so many different things to different people. As I said, the fairytale simplicity was always one of my favourite bits and as such, I loved the pea under the mattress puzzle (way to find a fairytale KQ hasn't covered yet btw!). The plot changes can go either way - the only thing that bothers me is that considering how great a job you guys have done, I think you could've done even better if there'd been a bit more of an opportunity for original content.

So I guess I can conclude by saying, while I don't know if I would've paid for TSL, I'll quite happily pay for (and look forward to) Corridor 9!
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Cez on February 22, 2011, 01:45:51 PM
Thank you, Odball89.

And I can also see where you are coming from. I understand people that feel that simplicity is key to King's Quest --I'm among that group, too, actually if this had been a commercial game, but because this was our swan song, we wanted it to be epic.

As for original content, there was lots of it. The original script called for 4 huge lands that were completely original. We just had no idea what it was to make a game when we wrote that, so, at the end, we stayed inside the Green Isles only because that's what we had started to work on. It was supposed to start on the Green Isles and move on to other lands. And then, reality struck. But, at least we managed to find a way to get the story out there.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Odball89 on February 22, 2011, 01:53:34 PM
Congratulations just for getting it out there! For finishing something so mammoth. If teams like AGDI, IA and Phoenix hadn't worked so hard to give all us nostalgic types more King's Quest, I very much doubt Telltale would be bothering to reboot it. Whether we'll be singing your praises or blaming you for an abomination when the reboot comes out is yet to be seen though  ;D
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Lambonius on February 22, 2011, 02:32:35 PM
I'm sorta thinking if you have a problem with TSL, maybe you should just make your own game that satisfies the needs you want.

That's why I'm working on KOS.  lol...well not the only reason why.  ;)

Yeah, I was just being snarky.  Grumpy morning today.  Sorry.  ;)
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Blackthorne on February 22, 2011, 05:55:46 PM
I'm sorta thinking if you have a problem with TSL, maybe you should just make your own game that satisfies the needs you want.

That's why I'm working on KOS.  lol...well not the only reason why.  ;)

Yeah, I was just being snarky.  Grumpy morning today.  Sorry.  ;)

Haha, I wasn't talking to you, Lambo.  I know you're working on KoS!  Hahah.... I was talking to others I'd heard complaining about the game.


Bt
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Lambonius on February 22, 2011, 07:01:52 PM
I'm sorta thinking if you have a problem with TSL, maybe you should just make your own game that satisfies the needs you want.

That's why I'm working on KOS.  lol...well not the only reason why.  ;)

Yeah, I was just being snarky.  Grumpy morning today.  Sorry.  ;)

Haha, I wasn't talking to you, Lambo.  I know you're working on KoS!  Hahah.... I was talking to others I'd heard complaining about the game.


Bt


I'm going to take that as an invitation to continue to loudly voice my complaints whenever possible.   :suffer:
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Arkillian on February 22, 2011, 08:19:03 PM
I'm sorta thinking if you have a problem with TSL, maybe you should just make your own game that satisfies the needs you want.

That's why I'm working on KOS.  lol...well not the only reason why.  ;)

Yeah, I was just being snarky.  Grumpy morning today.  Sorry.  ;)

Hmm... I'm reading KoS right now. I hope it's better than the Floating castle :( That story didn't interest me. Except when Alexander turned into a frog- that was funny :)
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Lambonius on February 22, 2011, 10:45:33 PM
I'm sorta thinking if you have a problem with TSL, maybe you should just make your own game that satisfies the needs you want.

That's why I'm working on KOS.  lol...well not the only reason why.  ;)

Yeah, I was just being snarky.  Grumpy morning today.  Sorry.  ;)

Hmm... I'm reading KoS right now. I hope it's better than the Floating castle :( That story didn't interest me. Except when Alexander turned into a frog- that was funny :)

I don't know about the book...but I can guarantee that the GAME will be better.  ;)
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: snabbott on February 23, 2011, 07:47:00 AM
I'm sorta thinking if you have a problem with TSL, maybe you should just make your own game that satisfies the needs you want.

That's why I'm working on KOS.  lol...well not the only reason why.  ;)

Yeah, I was just being snarky.  Grumpy morning today.  Sorry.  ;)
You, snarky? Nooooo... :o :P

Speaking of KQ5... Graham seems rather mercenary to me. "Oh, I'd love to help you, but... what do I get out of it?"
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: glottal on February 24, 2011, 06:25:35 PM
This seems to be a difference between what I'll call the Williams tradition and the Jensen tradition.

(note: the only Roberta Williams' games I've played are the KQs ... I don't know what Laura Bow, Phantasmagoria, etc. are like)

Between KQ4 and ... say Gabriel Knight 3 ... TSL feels a lot more like GK3 (and I am not talking about the graphics).  While KQ4 has a great sense of urgency, it's like a fairy tale in that one event after another happens, but the events are only loosely tied together (for example, the minstrel is not particularly connected to anything else, he just happens to be there for Rosella's convenience, rather than, say, being Lolotte's spy or anything), and there is no particularly significant revelations.  Likewise, the characters are quite simple - we don't get a lot of psychological depth.  Whereas GK3 is full of connecting various bits of history and lore together in mind-shattering ways and revealing deeply-buried secrets. We also get a much more nuanced notion of what's going on in the characters' heads.

Granted, KQ3 does have the big revelation about Gwydion's past, and KQ5 does have the plot-connectivity points previously mentioned, but not nearly to the same degree as the GK games ... or TSL.

So I'm basically agreeing with BT that TSL is a KQ6 fan's dream ... since anyone who prefers KQ6 over the other KQs is likely to be more of a Jensen fan than a Williams fan.  Note that it was Jensen who dropped the Black Cloak Society bit into KQ6.

I myself prefer the Jensen tradition, so TSL is pretty much my dream KQ fan game.  I also like the simplicity of the Williams style, and if this were an official KQ9 game I would want it to be more balanced (a la KQ6), but while playing that official KQ9 I would probably constructing a TSL-esque story in the back of my head.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: wilco64256 on February 24, 2011, 06:48:27 PM
We're huge Jane Jensen fans all around, so this isn't much of a surprise to us!  *wanders off to buy Gray Matter*
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Lambonius on February 24, 2011, 07:41:51 PM
I am really impressed with the way AGDI seamlessly integrated more complexity and story into their KQ3 Redux while still retaining nearly the exact same feel of the original game or something like KQ5/6.  In my opinion they reached the perfect balance as far as additional plot and backstory are concerned.

See, guys?  Plot complexity doesn't necessarily have to equal dripping sticky melodrama.  ;)
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: kindofdoon on February 24, 2011, 07:49:10 PM
So far KQIIIR does seem like a fairly optimal KQ game. Honestly, after looking at TSL's 3D models and scenes for so long, it was extremely refreshing to see nice old-fashioned VGA sprites.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: glottal on February 24, 2011, 08:07:55 PM
KQ3VGA is also a great example of a KQ fan game where I was adding all kinds of melodramatic details in the back of my head (not saying that KQ3VGA should have gone in that direction ... after all, I am perfectly capable of using my imagination to add whatever details I please).

Still it's nice to have a particularly Jensen-esque KQ fan game since the melodramatic plot twists can actually surprise me.

EDIT: Since you refer to AGDI's KQ3 redux, I wonder whether you actually meant AGDI's KQ2+ or IA's KQ3.  I would say that KQ2+, while a bit closer to the original KQ tradition than TSL, is a departure in the same direction - more intrigue, more psychological depth (not even TSL - so far - goes as much into Graham's character as KQ2+), more tying together of the plot than any official KQ, more epic.  In all of the official KQ games, including KQ6, it's pretty straightforward who's good and evil, whereas both KQ2+ and TSL mix it up a little (I like that, mind you).
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Sir Perceval of Daventry on February 24, 2011, 08:15:50 PM
I am really impressed with the way AGDI seamlessly integrated more complexity and story into their KQ3 Redux while still retaining nearly the exact same feel of the original game or something like KQ5/6.  In my opinion they reached the perfect balance as far as additional plot and backstory are concerned.

See, guys?  Plot complexity doesn't necessarily have to equal dripping sticky melodrama.  ;)

I think AGDI goes a little too far (in KQ2VGA) of tying all the events together via a 1000 year old prophecy and curse. Yes, they do retain the feel--but they also skewer a lot of the supporting characters, twisting them into either very different from the original or making them polar opposites of who they were in the original story. TSL does the same with the Royal Family and some supporting characters like Jollo and Hassan.

I don't like the idea that every single event in all the games is tied together in some kind of conspiracy, be with KQ2's The Father or with Shadrack in TSL.
Title: Re: Frank Feedback on Episode 3
Post by: Lambonius on February 24, 2011, 08:40:33 PM
No.  I said KQ3 Redux, and that's the only game I was referring to.  It's the perfect balance.  Everything feels fresh--graphics, music, additional plot elements and added depth.  But the game retains the exact charm of the original series.  They fleshed everything out just enough.  Like you said, not as far as KQ2+ and not as off-tone as TSL.  Just a great, great, all-around accomplishment.