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Phoenix Online Studios => The Silver Lining => General => Topic started by: Cez on November 09, 2011, 03:59:59 PM

Title: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Cez on November 09, 2011, 03:59:59 PM
Hey everyone,

I've seen that people have been having troubles with the fight, and I want to hear feedback on how to make it better, especially since there is a similar sequence in the upcoming episode. I've heard some people wish there was a skip function, but I honestly do not to include a puzzle that people feel the need to skip. I want us to make something out of it that people can truly enjoy, maybe with two modes to choose from.

So, for those who had problems with it, would you say that the biggest problem with the fight was that it was timed? Would you have felt better if you had all the time in the world to choose your attacks/defense?

Let's say for example Shadrack began his attack, and you clearly saw what it was, then the game fully pauses, allowing you to think how to respond to it. Would this have been a better approach in your opinion?

In my mind, I always wanted to do this as an action-reaction thing, a bit more like the turn based system of JRPGs, where you have all the time to plan out what to do, but make it more adventure based, where the attacks and defenses are puzzles to figure out on themselves. And at one point it was like I described, but based on feedback from our team, we changed it to be timed, and only have a small window of opportunity to attack. I think this is what hurt the section a bit in the eyes of adventure gamers, but I want to hear your opinions so that we can implement that feedback into Episode 5.

Thank you!
Cesar
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: spiritgamer on November 09, 2011, 04:32:58 PM
HI Cesar.

I am following up on my post over at Gameboomers regarding this.  I would prefer to be able to attack/defend in an open fashion without the timer delay.

Also, I think a nice added touch would have been for the developer to put an option in to replay the end scenes!
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: KQ5Fan on November 09, 2011, 04:47:57 PM
I'd prefer to have it where you have more time to see what's going to happen.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: flitchard on November 09, 2011, 08:37:01 PM
Me, I'd like it if there were an easy way to tell which side the opponent was aiming for. That
lightning attack
was BRUTAL, AND random! :(
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Cez on November 09, 2011, 08:50:24 PM
Look at the sky :)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Madd on November 09, 2011, 09:24:08 PM
Hi  :)

I just LOVE what you are folks are doing with this marvellous series and have been a supporter since the start - but in adventure games I really do not want to have to "pass difficult and timed rapid reaction tests" in order to progress.

I want to "think" my way through puzzles  8)

So .... if a "skip" button is out of the question, can we at least lose the "timed" element, please  ??

Thanks.

Madd  ;D

Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: AzzyGale on November 09, 2011, 09:27:01 PM
Actuaslly I kinda like it... it operates on the idea of battle of wits. an element vs opposite element.
The only thing for me is timing and figuring out which attack is the best counterattack.

I like it.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: tessspoon on November 09, 2011, 09:36:23 PM
I like it.
Me too.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: seir on November 09, 2011, 09:38:59 PM
Personally I didn't have any problem with the fight, I thought it was pretty easy.  It took me two attempts to get through it--the first try, when Shadrack first rocked the boat, I fell off.  I got through the fight with no problem on the second try.

I thought the signs of which attack he was about to use were easily distinguishable, so it didn't take long to figure out which way to defend against each upcoming attack.

The fight probably took a bit longer than it needed though: At first I tried going back and forth between the earth and fire attacks, before realizing that the fire attack was probably only supposed to work later in the fight--so using the fire early really just wasted turns and served to needlessly lengthen the fight.

I may not have a traditional adventure gamer's stance on battles in adventure games though:  I've always liked adventure games, rpgs, action games and shoot-em-ups, so mixing fights in with adventure games has never bothered me at all.  The QfG games were always my favorite adventure games.

One possible option, to make everyone happy:  Rather than "Easy" and "Hard/Normal" modes for a fight, you could actually have two entirely different ways to do the final fight:  "Adventure" and "Fight".

The Adventure way would use a purely puzzle method to defeat the boss, much like most adventure games.  The fight method would instead do the action sequence.  Giving the Adventure/Fight option also wouldn't have the same sense of stigma that "Easy" vs "Normal" gives the player when faced with the choice -- Adventure vs. Fight are simply two different styles of play.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Madd on November 09, 2011, 11:51:32 PM
I too play RPGs and if I want a game with action content that's what I go install  !!   ;)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: AzzyGale on November 09, 2011, 11:59:02 PM
 this rock-paper scissor concept is to me the most adventury way of solving things. I would hate real time battle (Think Aquaria here) this one is a puzzle and I'd rater keep things this way.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Lambonius on November 10, 2011, 12:02:11 AM
I honestly do not to include a puzzle that people feel the need to skip.

But puzzles that intentionally frustrate are okay?  ;)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: karamazov on November 10, 2011, 02:55:03 AM
I  think the fight was fine. I got it right the second time around and it was a puzzle not an action fight. Old SIERRA games had more difficult arcade sequences sometimes. Overall I found it tense and enjoyable. One thing though: After a long stretch of relaxed adventure gaming, there were two potentially frustrating puzzles the one right after the other (Pandora's box and the fight). I didn't mind it, but I can see how it might frustrate some people.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Arkillian on November 10, 2011, 02:58:43 AM
I'm not an action gamer. I don't mind timed sequences, but lets try to not give me a heart attack with the next one- please T.T Shadrack scares the heck out of me now T.T *clings to Graham* The battle strategy wasn't obvious to me. Once I looked up on the hints the timing was actually alright for me. It just freaked me out deciding which move to use out of 4 (my heart is still racing D: ). The snakes one was fine cause there was two options, but 4 was getting too much for a non gamer like me. I play King's quest for puzzles- not battle sequences. I don't mind them, but if you want battle sequences that are hard, play an action game.

That's my POV. Simplify it, or have the option to simplify it.

I love Ranger intervention  :sweetheart:

Funnily enough too- I enjoyed the Pandora's box one when I figured it out. Shadracks pressure made it exciting ^^
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: SilverBall10 on November 10, 2011, 04:11:20 AM
I wish there was the possibility to save just after the Pandora's Box scene, even if it does it automatically as "Shadrack fight" AND after that long battle, in order to see the end sequence without doing it again every time.

I hope that in Episode 5 the final sequence will be selectable from a save game point without doing again battle sequences or else.
Thank you.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Damar on November 10, 2011, 05:43:24 AM
I would agree that the skip option is something I wouldn't do.  Likewise, freezing time for reaction would take me out of the game even more.  Call me a masochist, but if it's there in the game, I have to play it just so the game doesn't defeat me.  Seir's ideas of having it be shorter is nice, as well as possibly having an adventure mode.

Honestly, though, my advice about tweaking the battle is this: Cut it entirely.  If you want a game to have an RPG element, do an unofficial sequel to Quest for Glory.  Or use the ideas in a new game.  Don't try to graft it to King's Quest, particularly when you have so much more story to tell.  You like RPGs, that's fine.  But King's Quest is not an RPG.  This attempt to combine other non-adventure elements to an adventure game is one of the reasons why Mask of Eternity was so maligned.

Look, I understand that these fights are your babies and that you want to infuse something new into King's Quest.  But firstly, you're doing this project because King's Quest has endured on its own due to great gameplay and nostalgia.  It doesn't need a shot of the modern and other genres to keep it relevant.  The fact that you can make an unofficial sequel to it and people will play it means it's relevant enough.  The fact that AGDI and IA already released great games means that the series doesn't need revived.  Secondly, while cutting the fights might sound extreme, it's not without precedent.  You guys have made it clear that this game was originally going to be massive with a lot more visitable areas, more plot points, and so on.  You had to cut those because there wasn't enough time, it wasn't feasible, and so on.  I'm sure some of those plot points were your babies too, but you cut them for the good of the game, because you realized that the game, as originally envisioned, just wouldn't work because it was too big.  You can still use those ideas and concepts in your upcoming commercial games.  So there's a precedent here and I feel I can offer this suggestion without coming across as a jerk.  Cut the battle.  This isn't the game for it.  And in this final chapter where so many plot points are still to be fully resolved and explained, it's really not the place for it.

And again, I'm not emotional about this.  You're not raping my childhood, you're not killing King's Quest.  But you are making an uneven game.  Cut the battle.  That's my suggestion.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: AzzyGale on November 10, 2011, 06:38:28 AM
But this battle does add to this chapter; it was high tme for Graham to have a first confrontation with Shadrack and we will never get any full answers or solutions anyway. I really think this battle was called for and the way it was handled does not take anything away from it. It;s not a shot of the modern.  it;s a classic battle cocnept; even quest for glory had some battles, basing on using opposing counter attacks.
I feel mix of adventure and rpg is very interesting.....and I appreciate it being impleneted here in a classic way. Then again, of course Quest for Glory was built like this from its very conception-with character stats. I absolutely loved that.

But I felt that battle was needed for the chapter, plot-wise. Because of all the backstory related to Pandora and black cloaks and silver cloaks and because it was high time for Graham to meet his enemy. Actually, I thought this should have happened in earlier chapter chapter because I was hopinjg that thry would somehiw manage to squeeze all trilogy into this five episodes lol. Not going to happen and it would probably be impossible to hope for. 

I feel this very justified.  
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: snabbott on November 10, 2011, 08:05:36 AM
The battle wasn't particularly functional until pretty late in development, so I didn't get a chance to get used to it. I still didn't find it overly difficult. I had to try it a number of times before I got through it (mostly because I didn't read the directions carefully and didn't realize the dodge arrows were actually on the amulet), but it wasn't too hard to recognize the various attacks. If I were designing it, I would probably make it more puzzle-y and less action-y, but I think it was ok the way it was, too.

I was much more frustrated with the Pandora's box sequence. When I first played it, it didn't have the disappearing symbol wheels. I think I would have left it that way, at least for the easy mode. Still, I did manage to get through it (in easy mode) even though I was half asleep at the time. :sleepy: (After Benjamin's bedtime is about the only time I have for that sort of thing these days. :-\)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: AzzyGale on November 10, 2011, 08:11:20 AM
Pandora's puzzle was easy enough for me in  easy mode. And besides Valanice has all te hints she needs to look at  right in front of her on that wall...in order not to blindly click at anything.  We get the puzzle and basically the instructions and hints all together.

I also like the "red mode" to prevent players from just blindly clicking at any element for an infinite number of times..it pulsates red twice and if you don;t get the right element the third time..uh oh, start again, buster!  

However I did write elsewhere that i could not see what I was doing because the upper part of the mirro was impossible to see..therefore, especially the left hand and  right hand upper corner of the image I was building left me doing a bit of intuitive guesswork, I really would have preferred to the see the whole image, rather than have the upper part of it cut. Also, I would have removed/disabled the advenutre bar for the duration of the puzzle, because I found it irritating to click on it instead of the puzzle piece.

other than that, this really isn't an overly complicated puzzle. And there has to be some difficulty. I would have hated it  personally, if the difficulity/challenge lay only in increasing the speed to demonic degrees...although perhaps iut would have been logical.

But then disappearing is also logical given Valanice;s situation.

She is threatened by Shadrack, Rosella is in danger. er heart is beating fast, she is probably trembling on the inside. Tears are in her eyes maybe and she has difficulty seeing--hence the disappearing. The fact that thiose wheels start moving faster --her heart is racing, her pulse is skyrocketing. In other words, the puzzle reflects the pressure Valanice is feeling.



Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Damar on November 10, 2011, 11:27:04 AM
Just played through the double whammy of Pandora's Box and the fight again.  This time I did the box on easy just to see how dumbed down it was.  Pandora's Box on easy is just plain tedious.  Pandora's Box on normal is infuriating.  Honestly, I don't know which version is worse.

As for the fight, on my second playthrough I beat him without a problem.  I think I was able to do better because I was less frustrated about the sudden tone and genre shift.

I also reread the original post and realized that this is more about the difficulty of the battle.  So let me reiterate as one of the vocal dissenters of the boss fight, this isn't about difficulty.  This isn't about not getting the vision.  It's about not liking the fact that the boss fight exists at all in place of actual puzzles or storytelling and that it stands between me and a job well done completing the tasks of exploring and collecting the ingredients.  I'm not bad at games and I'm not a philistine.  I'm just an adventure gamer who doesn't like RPGs.

So if this is a topic about how to improve in general, then my suggestion is to dump the boss battles in the final episode in favor of puzzle based game play or just a cutscene.  If this is a topic that is saying, "Well there's going to be a battle regardless, now do I really have to dumb it down for you?" then the answer is no.  The battle is playable, Shadrack is beatable easily enough.  Making a skip option isn't really going to appease anyone and making it easier would just be a waste of time because the battle is easy enough.  It just seems to take forever because I'm getting thrown into an RPG-type minigame and forced to play in order to advance.  Honestly, it's like I'm a kid again and being forced to eat my peas.  Yeah, I can do it, but I'm going to hate every minute of it and it's going to feel like it takes forever.

So, like I said, if you're going to include the battle (I hope and pray there's only one and that the whole final episode isn't centered around it as you made the statement that the amulet of dreams was central to the final episode) and that is simply that, then there's no point in changing what you've done.  Dumbing it down won't help.  In fact, it would probably frustrate me even more to be taken out of an adventure game to do a simplistic fight.  Asking how to make it simpler is missing the point, which is it just doesn't fit in the genre of the game.  It's like the fighting in Mask of Eternity genre shift mixed with the unnecessary annoyance of Cedric.  For me, anyway.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: AzzyGale on November 10, 2011, 12:25:52 PM
This was a puzzle of sorts too. I entirely entirely disagree with this kind of vision without this or that added, like that action sequence in ep3..it;s just that it makes the game better for me.

Also, I do tink Graham should try new approaches, especially  the entire game play is based on adventuring type exploration?  I for one will be looking forward to this centrality of amulet of dreams....Because I love the concept. I confess to having been mad a bit abvout the arcade sequence in 3 at first but after that I grew to love it. Here, it's the opposite, I like puzzle but I absolutely love this final battle and I consider it a very good idea.  Yes, I love rpgs. Baldur's Gate is an unforgettable experience.  Rpgs tend to be very rich, long and satisfying experiences with great plots and great characters you grow to bond with.... And I loved Quest for Glory for incorporating rpg elements..made it so much more interesting.  The games gain so much by not limiting themselves to solutions just within the same classic genre! They gain flexibility and freshness and variety that makes the playthrough more surprising and thus..more interesting.

And it's just one puzzle and one battle anyway. Not like it overwhelms the game or change it from an adventure to other genre. Maks of Eternity doesn't even compare....Mask of Eternity was action adventure in poorly rendered 3d, though the story was goodm just more focused on the action. This is an entirely different story.



So on that note...maybe you could actually think of having two routes incorporated..for those who absolutely hate rpg games and for those who are very strongly in favour of this approach, tat is adding in some mixed solutions to make the gameplay more varied, rater than just relying on classic adventure solutions.


Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: aaadsa on November 10, 2011, 01:20:44 PM
Personally, as an adventure game enthusiast, I would prefer a puzzle instead of an action sequence any day of the week. I don't think it was overly difficult, but what made it more annoying than usual was that it was a bit buggy: it got stuck (not really stuck; stuck as in neither Graham nor Shadrak do anything) from time to time and I had to quit and restore. Also, the fact that the tutorial was repeated again and again on every retry was a bit redundant.

It wasn't too bad. I'd just prefer it wasn't at all :)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Numbers on November 10, 2011, 01:28:24 PM
AzzyGale, I know you consider it to be more of a puzzle, but a lot of people are still going to refer to it as a boss fight, if for no other reason than the fact that Graham and Shadrack both have health meters and a variety of different attacks.  I didn't really have a problem with it, though--it just took a bit of trial and error.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Cez on November 10, 2011, 03:26:11 PM
I would agree that the skip option is something I wouldn't do.  Likewise, freezing time for reaction would take me out of the game even more.  Call me a masochist, but if it's there in the game, I have to play it just so the game doesn't defeat me.  Seir's ideas of having it be shorter is nice, as well as possibly having an adventure mode.


An adventure mode seems to be the fight without the timing. Rock, Paper, Scissors is an "adventure gimmick". And learning patterns is an adventure thing. Figuring out that you have to use wind to disperse smoke is a puzzle within itself. Turn to water so that Shadrack passes through you is a puzzle within itself. This is not Final Fantasy, this uses the idea of FF, but transforms every step into a puzzle.

I suppose that if there hadn't been the instant part of it, it would be just like a puzzle, where you stop to see what this button does, what this other button does, what happens if you press this when this happens, etc.

Somebody else mentioned that these were experiments. And to stay within the limitations of adventure games. Well, that's what I tried to do. Arcade Sequences existed in some of the Sierra games. What I've always disliked about them is that they were all about reflects and not about figuring anything out. In these sequences the point is that you have to figure something out. In both, there's a puzzle contained -- in Valanice's you have to figure the symbols out, look at them in the Box, and remember them enough to pass that information to the mirror --a very common adventure puzzle-- and in the fight, like I said before, it was a combination of mini puzzles disguised as the turn based system of FF. You guys have even said that on second try, it wasn't hard or frustrating. It just threw you off initially because you thought it was something else, but if it's just a matter of judging a book by its cover, man, that's actually a bit sad.

They also weren't designed to be frustrating either. The fact I felt a delighting frustration when I played through Pandora's Box the first time felt cool to me, and sometimes, it's ok to have that as part of the game (hey, Sierra games were frustrating in general, and ask anyone who's played Dark Souls about frustration). The thing is there's challenge to it, you have to put some thought behind it, while things are moving around. The simplified version would have been the four wheels there, not moving, enter the 12 signs. Or enter a 12 "signs" code. I don't know, maybe just me, but after 4 episodes of this kind of stuff, I found I needed a break. Some people receive it well, some others don't, but it's a shame that adventure has never been allowed to evolve --every other genre has, by even borrowing elements of adventure and implementing them into their core, and adventure gamers sheer at this idea, but as soon as the opposite happen, you hear a lot of squirming around. Perhaps that's the reason why adventure games are in the state they are.

One interesting point someone mention is having had these two guys back to back. For some, it did exactly what I wanted, which was elevate the tension and feel the epicness of the closing sections. For others, it had the opposite effect, it disconnected them completely from the story. You guys are hard to figure out!

It's good feedback from you guys, I'm just thinking out loud, and sharing my thought process with you --not really saying my design is flawless or even good, just opening up as to what I think of it and how it was shaped together.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Arkillian on November 10, 2011, 03:40:27 PM
Can I ask- was the easy version of Pandora's box meant to spin the symbols around really fast on the easy setting? I'd hate to see what normal was like cause I could barely keep up with it.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Damar on November 10, 2011, 04:02:35 PM
Yeah, the normal version had that fast spinning and disappearing initially.  Then the wheels started fading out two at a time and switching places.  Then they started spinning clockwise while phasing in and out (which I actually found easier than the switching because I could keep track of which wheel would be where more easily.)

As for the fight, I really don't see it as a puzzle.  Figuring out that wind counters smoke or that water counters punch is as much a puzzle as when people say a first person shooter has puzzles because you have to find a key to unlock the door.  Ok, yes, there's technically some brainwork there, but it's mild.  It's not a puzzle based on interaction, exploration, and inventory, which is the calling card of the adventure genre.  And again, it wasn't that I didn't get the fight, so I had a knee jerk reaction.  Shadrack didn't just appear and cause me to hold my head and scream, "My poor adventurer brain can't handle this!"  I knew what it was.  Just because I was less frustrated the second time through doesn't mean I didn't feel it fit the game more or that I wasn't rolling my eyes at the repetitive earth attacks the same as when I first played.  I was just less taken out of the game, mainly because I restored right to that point.  I hadn't been playing the adventure straight through when I did the fight the second time.

And yes, I get that just clicking on the signs again would be seen as repetitive and you wanted to up the ante.  But no one said you had to do it again at all.  Opening Pandora's Box, while a significant plot point, is a simple and basic action that could have happened in a cutscene without any loss to the game.  I get that you wanted to make it big, but Valanice was already being told to do something she didn't understand while Rosella was being threatened.  It was already pretty big before the zodiac wheels came out.  Likewise, Shadrack was already established and everything was said between him and Graham before the fight.  Heck, the Ranger even saved Graham and pulled him away from the fight before sending him back!  So that's why I say the fight was unnecessary (other than the fact I also feel it didn't fit.)  And yeah, you could say it's too much of a Deus ex Machina to have the Ranger swoop in to save Graham, but I'd argue it's just as much of one to have him swoop in, save Graham and say, "Check it out, here's a totes cool amulet to fight the powerful bad guy!"  So, again, I get what you were trying to do, I just don't think it worked.

As for adventure games not evolving and that being the reason why they're dead, I'd argue the reverse is true.  Adventure games don't evolve specifically because they're dead as a genre.  They're driven by nostalgia.  I get that you want to revive the genre a bit, but to not only try to revive it but then also insist on evolving it is a bit much and you're going to get that kind of push back.  Besides, I've never felt that adding the attributes of another genre evolved anything.  More often than not it just leads to weakening the delivery of both the genres.  And yes, I know that some Sierra games had arcade sequences, to varying degrees of success.  And like I said before, the arcade sequence from episode 3 worked with the tensions.  This final fight just didn't.

But that's just my opinion and I'll stop repeating myself now.  Do what you will with episode 5.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Cez on November 10, 2011, 04:30:48 PM
Like I said, I'm reading the feedback, and it's been an interesting read. I haven't really disagreed on anything until now:

One thing I will eternally disagree on is to show things in just cutscenes, and leave it at that. That is a thing of the 90s and a thing of  the past. You are basically asking to have had a long cutscene from the scene with the ArchDruid and Graham all the way to the credits (about 15-20 mins of uninteractive sequences), and to me that's just a huge no-no --especially after the feedback from Ep1.

The whole idea is to give the control to the player so that the players do it themselves. At the end of the day, this is a game, not a movie. And as hit and miss as the Pandora's Puzzle and Boss Fight seem to be, that is something I can't budge on as a gamer or as a designer, as especially as a gamer/designer living in this period, where it's all about interactivity and not taking control from the players.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Lambonius on November 10, 2011, 05:19:45 PM
But aren't intentionally frustrating, overly drawn out matching puzzles and contrived borrowing from other genres the worst possible ways to "keep control in the hands of the player?"

And also, if you're going to try to "innovate" by borrowing gameplay elements from another genre, wouldn't it be better NOT to choose the absolute most formulaic and uninspired video game genre of all time, the JRPG?
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Cez on November 10, 2011, 05:33:36 PM
they aren't intentionally frustrating. I did find that Pandora's Box puzzle was on the too frustrating side after hearing feedback from our guys, and that's why the "easy" option was implemented. I think that was a good compromise on that one. But now that I'm getting more feedback, maybe the right way would have been to have created an "action mode" and an "adventure mode", where in the latest, it would ahve been about moving the pieces around from circle to circle until they were in the right order or something. Which is why I'm glad I'm hearing this feedback, so that we are more careful with commercial outings.

Also, I don't think that the JRPG is a bad genre per se. People play those games because their systems are fun. I've played a handful of those games in my life and if there's not a fun system, it doesn't matter how good or bad of a story it has, the game breaks down because there's so much of the gameplay between the story.

Now, the fight was born out of playing these games, yes. I always looked at the normally vast spell list these games have and wondered about the possibilities. One thing I've always hated, both in JRPGs and Western RPGs, is that you cannot really use all these spells you have in an adventure way. In a Table RPG, you can get creative, and really make use of all these spells, within and out of fights. But in computerized versions of these, all of that is lost in translation (I guess, understandable). 

So the fight was born was out of this idea. Do you have a power to turn into water? Hmm, that could be a great defense against someone trying to punch you. Do you have the power of Wind? You could dispel a spell that is all about a swirl of smoke. Perhaps, like Damar said, the "puzzle" aspect is too simple. Perhaps it would have been more interesting if you cast Wind to make Shadrack do something so that then you can do something else --sort of like the Chess Puzzle in the chessboard. But again, that's why I opened this topic to hear what exactly people are thinking and so that I can take this feedback away with me.

Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Cez on November 10, 2011, 05:45:52 PM
Also, another thing we are going to take advantage from in the future is to have playgame focus groups, so that we may get this feedback before the game hits out there. We've been wanting to do it, but in all honesty, these episodes have been so vast, and there's so much content, that we barely have the time to make sure they are good to go. And it's going to be people that have never played the game. Our testers are too used to the game by the time the game is functioning correctly to give us the kind of feedback we need for these things.

Getting this feedback at a point in time where we can still do something about it would be great, so that's one thing we are definitely going to start doing.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: AzzyGale on November 10, 2011, 08:42:53 PM
AzzyGale, I know you consider it to be more of a puzzle, but a lot of people are still going to refer to it as a boss fight, if for no other reason than the fact that Graham and Shadrack both have health meters and a variety of different attacks.  I didn't really have a problem with it, though--it just took a bit of trial and error.

I guess, but it IS really sad, just because something has a meter, doesn;t mean it;s anything more demanding than figuring patterns, and those are predictable...gosh, just what those action/shooter games do with people?

And this is such a lovely concept.

I'm glad we got it in this episode, it mader it more enjoyable for me and I will never tire of saying this. 

 Unless of course there would be two modes, which I hooe could be the case. But even then there will be voices of discontent, I'm sure.

Quote
For others, it had the opposite effect, it disconnected them completely from the story. You guys are hard to figure out!


That's the prolem  of most game developers, I'd say. Some players will say: give us choices! Others will say: Choices kill the storyline! Well, what can you do?

How about making a poll to see how the votes go down on the preferable solution?
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: wilco64256 on November 10, 2011, 08:47:35 PM
Heh well the problem there is that polls automatically include choices so they alienate people who don't want choices.  Unless it's a poll with only one option.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: AzzyGale on November 10, 2011, 08:50:27 PM
Wilco, what I meant is that some players in say, some rpgs, like to have alternative paths to explore and choices that affect the outcome. others will criticise it, saying it;s bad for story. Just an example I used for saying that game developers are forever falling from frying pan into the fire, it would seem.

My statement was unrelated to the question of polls, lol. Sorry if I made myself unclear.

Of course poll would have multiple choices, and perhaps it would be interesting for you to see how the voices break down regarding this battle.

Although really..perhaps it would be too generous, considering the status of this game?  I am usually of the opinion that game developers are there to show their vision to te players and the player may  take it or not and besides all players do not have to agree with all decisions made by the game developer, as long as the general vision is what the player takes a shine to.... If it's not what he or she wants, they wouldn't be touching the game in the first place, in my humble opinion.   This is why I always prefer the finished complete product...which conveys the pure vision of a game developer as THEY want it (Including solutions they pick.. Has proven especially worthwile in the case of this game; even if I don't know how much it was influenced by players since I came here only now, but I'm guessing most of it IS the vision of those hwo made the game) and that it's a once and for all decision..

some game makers, I think,  even of some small free games, implement patches to satisfy some of player suggestions..and sometimes to me it seems like a compromise of the integrity of that vision. It's an artist's vision.

 And I am in favour of having different ways of experiencing the story implemented into one game...it gives new life to it and also the element of surprise...when suddenly you get something which is different...it's so nice to break away from traditional storytelling and traditional adventuring and piecing things together. Juat as long as balance is maintained and not one element of these other solutions overtakes. And obviously in adventure it;s the adventuring that needs t stay the focus. All of this was done here.

And I actually took something out of King's Quest: Mask of Eternity, if only the idea of what it COULD have been, though I may not have liked its direction, as much as I liked KQ7. The very fact that it featured a different character made the change into action game more acceptable, even if I thought that that crazy company was mad to have done such a thing, overall.  But I took it for what it was, in the end, a fantasy action game  a genre which may perhaps fit a young questing knight.  I recall it was dark and had too many fights and that action thing made it monotonous but I suppose it was written into the storyline, though I seem tor ecall that the very idea of some Mask of Eternity was somehow cheesy. Acgtion games in general are cheesy and uncreative and very stupefying. That's the word.  I have to replay it one of these days...

I don't know, it's a matter of being open to certain things, rather than closing oneself in some clearly defined, narrow boundaries..I guess.  

And this battle is really a small thing, overall.  And I certainly do not mean it in terms of work required to implement it.

Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Madd on November 10, 2011, 10:05:33 PM
Quote :
Besides, I've never felt that adding the attributes of another genre evolved anything.  More often than not it just leads to weakening the delivery of both the genres
: Quote

The sentence above (from Damar) just about sums it up for me ....

I want my RPGs to be RPGs and my Adventures to be Adventures. otherwise what's the point of having "genres"  ??

I was liking The Silver Lining just fine without the hybrid content  ::)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Nonpartisan on November 10, 2011, 11:10:34 PM
I must be weird or something, because I loved both the box puzzle and the boss fight.  My problems with them were technical, not content-based.  I had to make a phone call right as the box puzzle began, so I shut down the game, and when I went back to play it again I had to go back to the Isle of Mists and watch the whole cutscene again -- there should have been a savegame after the cutscene.  And the fight was ridiculously buggy.  Two problems I noticed were that my cursor stayed a crown icon throughout almost the entire sequence (so it was hard to tell when I could click on anything) and that the amulet seemed to lag far behind the actual gameplay -- often it would let me put up my defense just a second before the attack hit me, or wouldn't let me attack or defend at all until after the moment had passed.  Another problem: if you get knocked off the boat, the game puts you back ON the boat (while the narrator tells you you're dead) and you continue fighting Shadrack...until your health meter runs out, and then the game glitches and has to be shut down.

Those things were frustrating -- but they are glitches and will be fixed before the game is complete.  And I loved both sequences as gameplay!  I even played the box puzzle on normal and enjoyed the heightened difficulty of it.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Delling on November 11, 2011, 04:23:46 AM
I don't think anyone ever accused the SQ-series of being hybrid or non-adventure (http://spacequest.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Minigames) (though that could just be ignorance on my part), yet it combined arcade and strategy mini-games fairly consistently into its content throughout its whole run. (And they were often a combination of fun and frustration. :P)

Just my two cents on the presence of mini-games/other-style puzzles in TSL.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Fierce Deity on November 11, 2011, 07:49:00 AM
I haven't got to the end yet because of a detrimentally game-stopping bug that will force me to start over from the beginning, but if I could add my two cents for what a boss battle should be in an adventure game, I'd say "a confrontation with actual consequence".

For instance, King's Quest 6 didn't really have a quote on quote "boss battle", but they had moments where the tension arose and you had to combat the situation with wit. For instance, when I was a kid and I played KQ6, I got to the Isle of Wonder and met with the sense gnomes. I remember I kept forgetting one of the items needed to get past them, and every time I went back, the pressure was on, because I knew that if I didn't get it right, it was Game Over.

Now, those instances aren't really boss battles, but they might as well have been, because you have to be quick on your feet, but you are still adapting to the adventure-style of gaming. Using items in a certain order to get past a puzzle. There were tons of instances in KQ6 where these occurred. The Minotaur, the Isle of the Dead, Shamir, and even Alhazred with the sword fight. The game didn't change genres for these parts, it was still a point-and-click adventure game, but it applied the element of tension into each encounter.

Or, you could do the Tell Tale thing and just relieve the player of consequence as they sit around trying to fiddle around with the same three objects hoping that they can get past it. Not a bad route, but certainly not the most epic one either.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Aurelind on November 11, 2011, 08:40:39 AM
I'm with Damar that I'd rather not have these sequences at all, but if you feel the need to include them, then I think any or all of the following ideas would help:

1. Stop with the Interface Screw (spinning controller in this case), or at least keep it out of the Easy mode.  It's enough for some people to just have to learn the new interface of the minigame/fight scene without it continuing to change on them.  If you want, you can leave it in the more difficult mode for those who do want the extra dexterity challenge.

2. The fire option being useless until the very end felt like a sneaky way to prolong/add difficulty to the fight.  The player needs some hint as to why fire would be ineffective now and effective later, even if it's a subtle one (some elemental pun in the villain's fight banter, maybe?).  Reward us for observation, but don't punish us for information we couldn't possibly know, is what I'm saying.

3. Keep it short and simple.  Someone brought up the Mordack wizards' duel in KQV, and that's a good example to consider.  There, you each take 4 distinct forms, no repeats, and it's done.  The tells are obvious (no mistaking the dragon for the snake), and the counters have at least adventure-game logic behind them.  Even if you aren't sure what some of the graphics represent, you can still learn by process of elimintaion and trial and error, and the fight is short enough that going back to the beginning doesn't hurt as much.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Karens12345 on November 11, 2011, 10:32:30 AM
I think CEsar's action/adventure mode idea is excellent, that way everyone gets what they want,,
well, maybe not the programmers, but that's another story :)

I think giving the player more freedom (or a sense of freedom) is always good, for me the option you had in Monkey Island was quite revolutionary at the time, choosing the mode of amount/difficulty of puzzles,,

 I think TSL did an excellent job after people complained about overly long narrations, and having a short version is an excellent compromise. It gave the gameplay a jolt and made it a lot faster and more fun (for some people!),

cause it just shows that everyone's idea of fun and drive is relative and individual, and I think that's the way to go if you wanna create a solid, fun game.

and I actually think you could do the same for other parts of the game too, speeding up the gameplay (which in imo is by far the game's biggest problem, it's just too darn slow),

and there's a lot you can do, like an optional hint system, (doesn't have to be complex, maybe something like the universal hint system where you can click at different levels and get clues that are more and more revealing, gradually,,

and the option for a transportation map system that would extend the normal sea map to every screen (like in the kq3 fan game),

I think a lot of players would start out with the regular map, exploring the entire land by foot and then, the second time around check the option for a more in depth screen to screen transportation map system instead.

At least for me, that would have made the difference between waiting for the walkthrough or playing it,, right now! :)

but my point is, it doesn't have to be part of the game per se, like with the narrations, but an addon, bonus thingie you can choose from the main menu,, that way the purists have their way and the more impatient, action hungry people can have theirs,

and more freedom, more fun,, always :)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: snabbott on November 11, 2011, 11:57:15 AM
Hey! It's Karen. I recognized you by the double commas! :P
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: joedoebloke on November 11, 2011, 12:35:37 PM
I have a better idea.  The battle sequence and adventure sequence (for E5) should be a window option (play difficult puzzle, play battle sequence).  But here is the difference compared to the other forum users ...

One playable character (say, Princess Rosella or Queen Valanice) solves a difficult puzzle that will aid in the final battle, while (King Alexander or King Graham) fights Manaanan &/or Shadrack in the background (with the solved puzzle) to win the series.

Vice-versa for the other playable character (say, King Alexander or King Graham) who battles Manaanan &/or Shadrack, with Rosella or Valanice in the background solving a puzzle that will aid in the final battle.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Karens12345 on November 11, 2011, 05:10:08 PM
yeah, Im back with a vengeance!!  
kidding :)

 joedoebloke; that would be awesome, kinda reminds me of Dragon Age and the chaos when everyone ran their own way and you had to choose your characters and strategy for the final showdown. You really felt you were part of the big war, epic gameplay,
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: SilverTrumpet on November 11, 2011, 06:43:31 PM
My fight has been really bugged, of course on the tries when I'm doing well. It seems that sometimes the game thinks I've clicked on an action when I haven't/haven't even had the opportunity to! This has happened multiple rounds, but the actions haven't "stacked" like this before...

So this time, Graham was able to dodge right, while in water-defense, and I still had an inch of health when I got the first death message (while dodging). I got the second while he was "stuck" in the rigging, but i also had a walk cursor. I clicked to make the message disappear (don't actually remember what happened), now: I am stuck with a crown cursor, Shadrack is not moving at all, Graham's health is empty but he is standing in fight-stance, and I can't do anything. Help please?
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: joedoebloke on November 11, 2011, 09:38:27 PM
My fight has been really bugged, of course on the tries when I'm doing well. It seems that sometimes the game thinks I've clicked on an action when I haven't/haven't even had the opportunity to! This has happened multiple rounds, but the actions haven't "stacked" like this before...

So this time, Graham was able to dodge right, while in water-defense, and I still had an inch of health when I got the first death message (while dodging). I got the second while he was "stuck" in the rigging, but i also had a walk cursor. I clicked to make the message disappear (don't actually remember what happened), now: I am stuck with a crown cursor, Shadrack is not moving at all, Graham's health is empty but he is standing in fight-stance, and I can't do anything. Help please?

This is the FAN FEEDBACK page, NOT the HINTS page.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: DeadDancers on November 12, 2011, 05:31:00 AM
I liked how, after the silver cloak built your amulet for you, you continued fighting with full health.

This allowed the player to use the first part of the fight to learn what the black cloak's attacks looked like, making failure in the second part of the fight more likely to be from player error than simply not knowing what to expect/how to react. (Excluding the time taken to learn when a defence would or would not work with what)


A more generous margin of error between the player recognising an attack and reacting to it might be nice - when I got the fight scene reacting smoothly, it was by mashing the attack/defence/dodge button so that the second the game allowed the input, it would be done. This was only achievable to me by dying often enough to really be comfortable with what the attacks looked like at their earliest points.

Which leads me to another thought - maybe reduce the damage that Graham takes so he can survive a little more trial and error?

Lightning: I never nailed down which way I'm supposed to dodge. Is it random?

And finally - those earth attack animations were hilarious. :D
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: SilverTrumpet on November 12, 2011, 06:57:02 AM
This is the FAN FEEDBACK page, NOT the HINTS page.

Thank you for your input, but I was trying to talk about an apparent bug. I already have a pretty good idea of what I am supposed to do, hence "when I am doing well".

The game isn't frozen or anything, I just can't do anything because I've got the crown cursor and Graham is supposed to be dead. He has no health. I want to know if there's a way to salvage this, or if I have to start back from
Valanice's puzzle.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: wilco64256 on November 12, 2011, 07:56:57 AM
We have seen that on totally random occasions the fight does lock up like that and stops progressing.  When that happens just kill the game and start it back up - when you choose to Restore a game you'll see on called "Shadrack Fight" that starts you right back at the beginning of that part.  We forced the game to create that specifically so people wouldn't have to play all the way through the crypt puzzle again in situations like this.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: SilverTrumpet on November 12, 2011, 09:03:52 AM
Thank you very much!
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Fierce Deity on November 12, 2011, 10:50:19 AM
Yeah, like Weldon said, you can start the game right back up and try again. My game locked up on the final fight, right before I was going to defeat Shadrack. Luckily, I figured out the patterns of all of his attacks, so I was able to beat him pretty easily.

After beating the episode, I have to say, the fight wasn't that bad. I liked Cesar's vision of mixing an RPG battle with an adventure game. Not bad at all. But I do understand why some would prefer something else.

Somebody suggested having the characters split the work at beating Shadrack. Cool idea, but it would be better if each of the characters were still trapped in their dream dimensions. Rather than being unified, they would be split in their own worlds but could still battle Shadrack as a team. A puzzle solved in one dimension could open up something in another dimension. The player will have to switch between the four or however many characters to get past the obstacles.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Boogeyman on November 12, 2011, 04:48:26 PM
I really enjoyed the fight, even though Graham did go swimming a number of times, and the game actually hung once. (Graham and Shadrack weren't doing anything, and the cursor was a crown.)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Datadog on November 12, 2011, 05:28:28 PM
I figured out his attacks after 3-4 tries, but I would just lose the part where Shadrack rocks the boat. The whole balancing act thing isn't covered in the battle tutorial so it's very easy to get him down to 10% health only to get wiped out with one hit there. There's barely any time to figure out how to catch your balance. I had to wait several tries for a fight where he didn't rock the boat at all before I could properly beat him.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: maatathena on November 12, 2011, 08:48:22 PM
I didn't enjoy the Tower Sequence in the last chapter, and I did not enjoy the fight here.  It took me 6-7 tries to get it right, so luckily it wasn't insanely frustrating, but it left a bad taste in my mouth after what was otherwise an incredibly enjoyable adventuring chapter.  

If you MUST have a sequence like this, then yes for heaven's sake make it slower for think time and shorter.  

I can't remember similar instances from all games, but since I recently replayed KQ6 (which is of course the best!)  I noted twice in the game where you have to react in "battle" very quickly.  One is with the minotaur, where you just have to get the right item and do it quickly.  It might take you a few tries to get the right item, but its just one quick thing.  The other is with Ali in the tower, and again, its one quick move, so at max you would need to do it 2-3 times.  Plus, the programming made it as easy as possible by automatically putting the correct item as your icon.  Or as someone reminded me in another thread, the end of KQ5 - you have 4 possibilities, you have time to think though you do have to be a bit quick with the clicking.  Its a battle/puzzle.

None of the "favored" KQ games had sequences like these, just MOE which was one reason I hated and never finished it.  I don't game anymore for the most part because I HATE games that require speed in battle.  

That being said, this could have been more like a puzzle.  You see what Shadrack is about to do, get plenty of time to pick the correct reaction, and go from there.  This could have been fun and not so annoying.

On another note, while I got the box puzzle concept easily enough, it took me bloody forever to do with the circles disappearing.  And that was on easy, I shudder to think how long it would take on "normal".  And it got REALLY annoying when I would try to click on a symbol as it was disappearing and get the narrator whining instead.  I would have disabled the narrator there, it wasn't helpful and it just contributed to me wanting to throw my laptop across the room.  Also, 12 seemed excessive, it would have been more interesting to have a puzzle about which 4 to do, and then assemble those.  
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Fierce Deity on November 12, 2011, 10:04:13 PM
That being said, this could have been more like a puzzle.

It was.  :-\

You see what Shadrack is about to do, get plenty of time to pick the correct reaction, and go from there.

That's what you were supposed to do for this sequence. Were you guessing which attack you should do next, or did you actually pay attention to what Shadrack was doing?
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: maatathena on November 12, 2011, 10:28:51 PM
I paid attention, but I had literally a second to react, and often time in my haste I would click the wrong thing, and boom I am losing (or dead instantly in the case of being hit by a wave).  Not to mention that I had to play it and die about 3 times to get the pattern.  Then I played it and died 3 more times because even if I knew what move I needed to do, I couldn't always hit it fast enough.  If you are not used to playing these kinds of sequences, they are very difficult, and not welcome because to me they are not enjoyable. 

And when I mean it should be more like a puzzle, there should be some thinking to it.  There is no reason why I should use "water" against a certain move, its the right move because the programmer decided it should be, not because it made logical sense.  Whereas in KQ5's end, when the wizard becomes a snake, it makes sense to turn into a mongoose.  I can't think of a sequence from old KQ where you HAD to die several times for trial and error. 
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Sir Perceval of Daventry on November 12, 2011, 10:38:36 PM
Gotta wonder though:
Those who hate Mask, why are you ok with this game having action sequences so far, and possibly more to come?
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Fierce Deity on November 13, 2011, 01:26:56 AM
There is no reason why I should use "water" against a certain move, its the right move because the programmer decided it should be, not because it made logical sense.

You should use "water" against that certain move, because the tutorial tells you to use it against that certain move. I admit, there was a trial and error factor to it, but it wasn't completely illogical. When you see the lightning appearing in the clouds to the left, you dodge right. When you see the boat tilt in one direction, you dodge into the other direction. That's how you avoid dying.

Gotta wonder though:
Those who hate Mask, why are you ok with this game having action sequences so far, and possibly more to come?

I'm not sure who you are directing this comment to, but I was a huge fan of Mask and felt like the action sequences were a fresh idea. I expect people to be annoyed with it, but it's because they are not used to it. If they get better at it, they'll probably be more immersed into the experience.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: oberonqa on November 13, 2011, 09:04:11 PM
Gotta wonder though:
Those who hate Mask, why are you ok with this game having action sequences so far, and possibly more to come?

I'm not a big fan of Mask... but not because of the emphasis on action sequences.  I'm not a big fan of Mask because it didn't feel like a KQ game as far as I was concerned.  The emphasis was on combat as opposed to puzzles, which I don't think a KQ game should have (my opinion).  The puzzles the game did have were rudimentary at best and were more environmental-based than anything else... again something which a KQ game shouldn't have (my opinion).

As for the action sequences in TSL, I don't like them because they are poorly implemented... simple as that.  I applaud Cez for trying to think outside the box and explore new gameplay territory... it's gutsy and it takes guts to be innovative.  But the way the action sequences are implemented are just a mess.  It's one thing to try to get the player to empathize with Valanice by making the player feel confounded and frustrated... it's quite another thing to literally beat the player upside the head with what is basically asinine mechanics (and I'm looking squarely at the rotation speed of the wheels, the fade-mechanic of the wheels, and the random placement of each wheel).  That is absurd not only from a design standpoint (name one successful game that introduces a new gameplay mechanic in the final moments of the game... I dare you), but it's absurd from a storytelling standpoint.  If the goal of a situation is to make the player feel a certain way about said situation, you provide stimuli that makes the player feel what you want them to feel via set design, lighting, music, and story devices.  To put it bluntly, you had already achieved all of this before the box puzzle even began.  You had designed the set to be ominous.... lit it in such a way as to evoke a feeling of dread, and had some pretty good music playing.  You also had the great story device that was Shadrack threatening to kill Rosella if Valanice didn't open the box.  You didn't need anything else.  You had set everything up perfectly right there.  You could have presented the rotating wheels by itself and that would have been fine.  The spirit of the puzzle would have been maintained and players such as myself would probably be talking about how fun the puzzle was.  The player would also have felt a sense of accomplishment at having saved Rosella after opening the box... as opposed to feeling a sense of accomplishment for having the raw tenacity to keep on clicking.  The box puzzle as it is presented in EP4 is poorly implemented and failed at what Cez stated his intentions were for the puzzle (which was to make players feel like they were in Valanice's shoes, desperate to open the box in order to save her daughter).  This doesn't hit upon the UI design of the puzzle, I might add.  I covered that in the feedback thread... no need to rehash.

As for the boat confrontation... it would have been fine except for the silly boat rocking mechanic.  You gave a tutorial that covered the use of some of the features of the amulet, but then you make the amulet spin around while the boat is rocking?!?!?  I can only assume that Cez's intentions here was to make the player feel as off-balanced as Graham was when Shadrack was rocking the boat.  Yet again, this is absurd from a design standpoint for the same reasons why it was absurd during the box puzzle.  You shouldn't have to rely on gameplay mechanics to make a player feel a certain way.  That's what the story, visuals, and music are for.  In both instances during EP4, I didn't feel anything like what I was supposed to feel, at least according to Cez.  During the box puzzle I was angry as all heck at the mechanics which took me OUT of the game and caused me to focus on keeping my temper in check so I could finish the blasted thing.  During the boat fight, I was angry as all heck at the spinning amulet BS which again took me OUT of the game and caused me to focus on keeping my temper in check so I could finish the blasted thing.  

Anytime you have players focus on finishing something, you have failed.  Because at that point, they have ceased thinking about the game as an enjoyable experience and have instead starting thinking of it as something they must... suffer... through.  Kind of like how you have to suffer through waiting in line at the grocery store in order to check out.  Kind of like how you have to suffer through paying your taxes.  Is that really what TSL is supposed to be?  I for one don't much like the idea of lumping TSL in the same category as grocery lines and tax collectors.  

If you want to do action sequences, your going to have to do them properly.  Take a look at the Assassin's Creed series if you want an example of how to do action sequences properly.  In those games, new gameplay mechanics are introduced and the player is given the opportunity to grow into the gameplay mechanic gradually.  Then, once the player has grown accustomed to the new gameplay mechanic, then the designers start utilizing the gameplay mechanics in gradually more complex action sequences.  You don't see a single action sequence in any of the AC games that just throws something new at the player without giving the player time to get used to it first.  

If Assassin's Creed isn't quite your cup of tea.... then take a look at Heavy Rain.  Heavy Rain uses a lot of gameplay mechanics over the course of the game, but each gameplay mechanic is introduced to the player and the player is given time to work with the new mechanic before being thrust into complicated action sequences.  By the time the player reaches the end of Heavy Rain, the designers can throw out complex action sequences which require a great deal of hand-eye coordination and memory-retention because the player has reached a certain degree of competency with the gameplay mechanics.

To put it another way, games with action sequences should be built like a pyramid.  Just like a pyramid is built from the foundation up to the tip, so too must games with action sequences be built from the foundation to the tip.  The foundation of the pyramid is the building blocks of the action sequence, which would be the gameplay mechanics that the action sequence you are designing utilizes.  Each of these building blocks introduce the player to a specific mechanic.  The next level of the pyramid are blocks that use the mechanics from the foundation in a more complex fashion.  The next level up from that is the tip of the pyramid and is where the most complex and challenging sequences should be located.  Players start at the bottom of the pyramid and work their way up to the top, gaining familiarity and confidence as they progress.  By the time they reach the tip, they have mastered the gameplay mechanics and are ready to face the most challenging sequences the game has to offer.

The box puzzle and boat fight try to utilize this structure, but ultimately boil down to dropping the player off at the tip of the pyramid, requiring the player to quickly adapt and gain mastery of the mechanics over the course of minutes.  The rationale is, oh it's ok... Shadrack isn't going to actually kill Rosella, so you got all the time in the world.  Great... let's make Shadrack out to be a liar who gives nothing but empty threats (he does threaten to kill Rosella, but never actually does, regardless of how long you take opening the box).  Especially considering all he really had to do was work his mojo on Valanice in much the same manner as he did with Alexander during the opening cutscene... that's neither here nor there and is the topic for another discussion.  As for the boat fight, the rationale is, oh it's ok... the player can reload the game and try again until he/she gets it.  Great... let's throw the player into the ocean and hope he/she swims... sooner or later they'll get it!  

Cez and co are trying new things, and that is good.  They just need to actually take the feedback of their beta testers seriously.  Like I pointed out in the feedback thread, nothing I am writing here should be of any surprise, since it SHOULD have been brought up by the beta testers during internal testing and it should have been addressed during internal testing.  I cannot believe no one on the beta tester team brought this stuff up.  Surely they sent a simple "Hey that box puzzle is brutal... too much going on all at once!" email.  Or in regards to the boat fight, surely they sent a simple "Yea that boat fight is epic, but don't you think we should put a tutorial or something in there that covers all the aspects of the fight, kinda like a trial run?"  Oh wait... that must have come up since we got a half-baked tutorial which covers some of the aspects of the fight, but leaves the rest to trial and error....

Sorry for the wall-o-text... I seem to be particularly apt at typing novella-sized posts.  **lol**
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Thaumaturge on November 16, 2011, 08:50:43 PM
to begin, let me say that overall, I really liked the addition of the Pandora's Box and Shadrack puzzles, I do believe.  They added a pleasant variety to the gameplay mechanics.  I do, however, feel that they might have been more effectively introduced a little earlier in the episode by smaller, easier versions of themselves, training players in these new gameplay elements.  Indeed, it may even have reduced the aversion that some feel to them, being perhaps more likely to have been seen as more complex versions of pre-existing elements rather than new elements suddenly included.

The Pandora's Box:
First of all, I really like the overall puzzle mechanism, and I agree with keeping that section being implemented in gameplay rather than a cutscene.  I very much enjoyed the artwork in it, by the way: a lovely, mystical atmosphere, joined with urgency and threat from Shadrack.

As to the mechanism itself, my only real complaints were the place-swapping, the narrator being still active and, to a lesser extent, the top icon-bar being still active, which all added some degree of frustration.  The first was slightly mitigated by my learning, in time, to identify the circles by some reasonably distinct element, but even so the movement and fading of the circles meant that I didn't always identify them before they vanished again.  The narrator, combined with fading or moving circles, became a little annoying, as I recall, and at that point superfluous, I feel.  the menu-bar issue is a niggle: at times I wanted to select an element that happened to be near the top at that time, and found the bar getting in my way.

The Fight:
I enjoy the concept here: it could well have been a rather fun sequence for me, I believe, and again I feel that the artwork was good, if perhaps less impressive than that of the Pandora's Box scene.  The attack animations, by the way, were both pleasantly varied and at times amusing (clearly Shadrack is not quite a "squishy wizard", given what he stood up to. ;)).

My main disappointment here was that the Earth attack was the only one that worked throughout most of the fight.  This is perhaps not in and of itself a flaw: the main puzzle is reacting to Shadrack's actions, not the counter, I feel.  However, the sequence was presented suggesting that Fire was likely to be useful, if only I looked for the opening, leaving me feeling that an attack was wasted.  A solution might have been to either provide a Fire attack that has use in the main combat, or to not allow access to Fire until it becomes useful.

Shadrack's lightning attack has been mentioned a few times, I think: I don't think that I ever figured out where I was supposed to look for that.  Instead, I was watching Shadrack, and thus missed the cue.  Perhaps a slight pan up might have cued players to look to the sky?

As to the smoke attack, I seem to recall being a little confused about that one, as I don't think that it ever seemed to touch me; indeed, I think that I at first took it for a teleportation on Shadrack's part.

Finally, as to Shardack's "rocking the boat": I think that the only problem here was initially not realising that the arrows on the amulet were dodge buttons.  Again, I think that this may be a player-training issue: previously - just prior, perhaps most saliently - dodging has been achieved via clicking to one side or the other of the character, accompanied by white text, meaning that that was likely the expected interface (and I do seem to recall that I looked for just that).  For preference, I think that I would like to keep the standard mechanism, since that is what the player is trained in.  If, however, the new mechanism is to be included, then perhaps highlighting the arrows a little more might be helpful: making the arrowheads larger, and perhaps flash briefly the first time, for example.

Implementing "adventure" and "action" options:
More work for you, I daresay, but it could work, I do believe - although note that I don't think that it entirely fixes some of the points that bothered me, at least.

Thoughts:
The duel with Mordack has been mentioned, I believe.  One idea for an alternate approach to such sequences that might be more interesting than the duel in this episode might be to give the player a set of actions that they can take, each with some effect.  The enemy then has another (perhaps overlapping) set of actions, again each with some effect.  These are then chosen by each in more or less the same system that you have, albiet with more time to think, given the greater number of options: one side acts, the other reacts, and then places reverse.  Notably, the effects of one action may cause the one affected to become more vulnerable to another, and the logic should be set up such that repeating a small set of actions over and over fails.  The challenge is then to manoeuvre and manipulate your opponent, while avoiding having the same done to oneself and taking advantage of said manipulations and manoeuvrings.

For example, the player might find themselves in a spell-battle; they have access to an ice spell, an earth spell, a fire spell and a wind spell, as does their opponent.  Said opponent is standing on a short pillar, not tall, but tall enough to keep him away from the flames of their fire spell.  Their opponent might himself cast a wall of fire at the player; the player counters by casting ice on themselves, creating a zone of cold that negates the heat of the fire.  If, however, they had used wind no effect may have been had on the flames, but the opponent might have been knocked from the pillar, leaving him vulnerable to the player's fire on a later turn.

The above is probably far from the best that might be done with such a system; indeed, I suspect that, with some thought, a confrontation might be made that plays as combat but which is effectively a boardgame in logic (without necessarily including anything like an actual board or set positions; states may take the places of the board).

... but it's a shame that adventure has never been allowed to evolve ...
Personally, I would love to see more new mechanics appearing in adventure games, I think, and to have games of both the old styles and new styles, and likely too hybrids of such.

For that matter, as someone who is very fond of the Quest for Glory series, I think that I'd also like to see more Adventure-RPG hybrids, which I feel worked rather well in those games, and could likely be improved upon.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Lambonius on November 17, 2011, 02:26:40 PM
All these statements about "evolving the adventure genre" are complete bullshit. 

Evolution does not equal transformation into another genre, which is what these sequences in Episode 4 really are.  Sure, adventure games should evolve, but at what cost?  At what point in this "evolution" does the game cease being an adventure game and become and action game?  Or an RPG?  Or a puzzle game (NOT the same as an adventure game, by the way.)

If you want to "evolve" the adventure genre, try coming up with something original, not just "borrowing" game mechanics from another genre.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: KatieHal on November 17, 2011, 02:38:39 PM
Did you play Ep4, Lamb?
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Thaumaturge on November 17, 2011, 04:00:39 PM
Evolution does not equal transformation into another genre ...
Hmm, if you mean another pre-existing genre, then I might agree.  That said, I'd like to see new genres taking shoot from the adventure genre, and more outright hybridisations.  While a sudden genre swerve mayh well not be a good idea, a good melding of genres might be...

... which is what these sequences in Episode 4 really are.
I'm not sure that I agree.  While the combat sequence may have had the timing and appearance of combat, it seems to me that it was at heart about identifying a state by sight and picking the appropriate response.  Lacking the quick-thinking adaptation or button mashing / frantic clicking of an action game or the complexity of a tactical game, I don't think that I'm inclined to call it either, really.  It seems to me to be simply a puzzle with unusual trappings.  As to puzzles, one or two outright puzzles in an adventure game doesn't make a puzzle game, it seems to me.  Even the relevance of timing is not unknown in adventure games, I think.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Cez on November 17, 2011, 05:29:30 PM
Did you play Ep4, Lamb?

Obviously he hasn't, and obviously he's just talking out of spite for TSL, because one of his favorite games of all time, Quest For Glory, is one of the greatest example of a game that lacks that identity he's referring to.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Damar on November 17, 2011, 07:01:58 PM
If the fact that Lamb hasn't played episode 4 disqualifies him from asking those questions, then let me ask the same questions and make the same points.  How should I phrase this...

All these statements about "evolving the adventure genre" are complete bullshit. 

Evolution does not equal transformation into another genre, which is what these sequences in Episode 4 really are.  Sure, adventure games should evolve, but at what cost?  At what point in this "evolution" does the game cease being an adventure game and become and action game?  Or an RPG?  Or a puzzle game (NOT the same as an adventure game, by the way.)

If you want to "evolve" the adventure genre, try coming up with something original, not just "borrowing" game mechanics from another genre.

I think that works.  This really is how I see it.  And I'm not talking from spite for TSL.  Heck, when I first joined up I jumped into a topic defending why I thought the narrator not only wasn't annoying but also wasn't that much of a departure from past King's Quests.  His points here are valid.  You talk of evolving the genre, but is this evolution?  It's just taking aspects of other genres and saying, "This is really fun, so do this now."  And I would also argue, once again, that the genre can't really be evolved right now because it's pretty much dead, outside of fan games.  If you want to do an adventure game, do an adventure game.  Worry about evolving the genre when it's reestablished.  And as for Quest for Glory being one of Lamb's favorite games, the difference is that Quest for Glory was always an adventure/RPG hybrid.  King's Quest has not been.  That's why it seems so out of place here.

Look, I've already beaten my points into the ground, which is why I haven't been posting in this topic recently.  I don't think the fight sequence fits, and I simply don't believe that these are adventure puzzles.  These are less "figure it out" adventure puzzles and more stimulus/response puzzles.  You can talk about Shadrack's tells, but the tells are repeated over an over again, so it devolves into stimulus/response and repetitive button pushing.  And that's just the defense.  The offense is just spamming the earth attack every single time until the final fire attack.  So the so-called "adventure puzzle" is really only half the sequence anyway.  So I won't belabor my points anymore.  I don't like the sequence.  I think it drags the game to a grinding halt.  But clearly you want to continue with them, so whatever.  It's you're game and I'm enjoying other aspects of it, so I can suck up the fights and deal.  But Lamb's points here are valid whether he played the game or not, and I know I've seen him be far more sarcastic in other topics than in that post.  But whatever.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Lambonius on November 17, 2011, 08:22:49 PM
Did you play Ep4, Lamb?

Eh...no.  :)  You've got me there.  

But my above argument is more directed at the idea of evolution being about borrowing the mechanics of other genres in general.  Why can't we try an original way to evolve adventure gaming that doesn't borrow core concepts that turn the game into a genre-bender?  Heavy Rain did it more or less successfully--and is now being poorly copied by Telltale, the undisputed KING of poorly executed ideas that don't live up to their original source material.

EDIT:  Hahaha, Damar, I hadn't seen your post yet when I wrote the above.

It's true; I haven't played Episode 4 yet, but I was being serious in my earlier post--and not JUST out of spite for TSL (only partly out of spite, haha.)  I've seen this argument about evolving the genre before on other forums from other people, and I just have to fundamentally disagree that genre-bending as a means of genre-evolving is a good thing.  There should be original ways to do the same thing that don't rely on unoriginal, tired mechanics from other genres.

And the fact that Hero's Quest (QFG is for tools!) is one of my favorite Sierra games in no way should have any bearing on whether or not I think genre-bending as evolution is a good idea.  HQ wasn't about evolving the adventure genre, it was intentionally a genre-bender and always was, right out of the gate.  You wanted to play an HQ game, you knew right away that you weren't playing a "pure" adventure game.  There were no pretenses, no lofty claims of "genre evolution."
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Demidronik on November 17, 2011, 10:49:08 PM
I had no trouble with the fighting sequence
(though the boat rocking to knock me off kind of confused me when I saw it, I didn't even realize I was at risk of dying from it)
I did not find it particularly different than the fights at the end of KQ5 or KQ6, which both required you to preform actions with a limited amount of time.
Though I would have preferred if the fight had at least one more puzzle in it, as oppose to solely relying on the rock paper scissors puzzle. Like a dialogue tree puzzle or something, just to balance things out.

I guess you could add an easy mode for people with slow reflexes, maybe give them double the time to preform the actions needed. That is the only solution I can think of the people's quick time event woes.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: KatieHal on November 18, 2011, 08:06:43 AM
It doesn't 'disqualify' Lamb's questions & thoughts about the adventure genre, but it does throw some salt into how one should take his thoughts on the Ep 4 puzzles in particular. If I were to read this thread knowing nothing and not having played the game, I'd have no idea what to think based on this alone--the opinions are across the board.

As for my thoughts on the idea in general: I love classic adventure games. But if they were perfect the way they were, it wouldn't be a struggling genre now. So, yes, something needs to change and evolve in it. Is it this? Maybe not. I think our 'action-y' sequence in Ep 3 was much more successful overall than it seems these two have been. My guess is that one reason is that was an extended section, not one screen you were locked into until you were done, which gave it less of a mini-game feel.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: oberonqa on November 18, 2011, 08:36:23 AM
It doesn't 'disqualify' Lamb's questions & thoughts about the adventure genre, but it does throw some salt into how one should take his thoughts on the Ep 4 puzzles in particular. If I were to read this thread knowing nothing and not having played the game, I'd have no idea what to think based on this alone--the opinions are across the board.

As for my thoughts on the idea in general: I love classic adventure games. But if they were perfect the way they were, it wouldn't be a struggling genre now. So, yes, something needs to change and evolve in it. Is it this? Maybe not. I think our 'action-y' sequence in Ep 3 was much more successful overall than it seems these two have been. My guess is that one reason is that was an extended section, not one screen you were locked into until you were done, which gave it less of a mini-game feel.

I agree that the genre does indeed need to evolve... but that is true of all genre's.  Look at RPG elements.  20 years ago, RPG's were considered a niche market and as a result, there weren't very many successful RPG's aside from the holy trinity of M&M/Wizardy/Ultima.  Even the now venerable titan Final Fantasy met with questionable mainstream success outside of Japan in the early 90's.  However, that all changed with Final Fantasy VII.  Final Fantasy VII was a critical success, not just for that particular series, but for the genre as a whole.  Why?  The answer to this will vary depending on who you talk to, but my particular take is Final Fantasy VII raised the bar for storytelling.  No one had seen anything quite like what Final Fantasy VII presented.  RPG's had been telling deep and compelling stories for a decade prior to Final Fantasy VII, but it was the method in which that story was presented that made Final Fantasy VII special.  Pre-rendered FMV cutscenes added new depth to the experience and it's my opinion that this is what made Final Fantasy VII such a success.  And because Final Fantasy VII was such a success, it led to a revitalization of the RPG genre that continues to this day.

The adventure game genre needs to evolve just like the RPG genre evolved... but it has to evolve naturally.  Final Fantasy VII was an evolution in storytelling and presentation that gave the genre the breath of fresh air that it so desperately needed.  The adventure game genre needs something similar in my opinion.  Your average gamer these days is a lot savvier than the gamers of 20 years ago, which makes it harder to grab and keep the gamer's attention.  I'm not sure what the adventure genre needs in order to successfully evolve, but I would strongly recommend looking at the successful adventure games of the last decade and see what made them successful.  The Longest Journey was a great success for the genre... why?  Indigo Prophecy / Heavy Rain are great success for the genre... again... why?  Answering that question about those games will enable adventure game designers to begin narrowing in on what is needed to successfully evolve the genre.  You can't simply copy what came before you call it evolution... but you also cannot play it safe.  Evolution is all about maintaining balance between the familiar AND the new.  Too little evolution and you fail.  Too much evolution and you fail. 

It's a fine line to walk... which is why I say continue doing what you do.  Make the game that you would like to play.  Worry about things like evolution and innovation later.  :)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Fender178 on November 18, 2011, 06:49:19 PM
I liked the fight at the end kind reminded me of the fight against Mordack at the end of KQ5 but it was  harder and more commands were involved in the end fight at the end of Ep4 of TSL than KQ5.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: DawsonJ on November 19, 2011, 01:29:52 AM
I've got to ask.... What makes Valanice the only one who can do the puzzle, when Rosella is of the same blood lines? To me, there's nothing truly Valanice-centric about that part. And, really, 4 mouse clicks (aside from the puzzle itself) don't mean a character is uniquely "playable". No more than the two clicks performed as Boogle really made him a "playable" character in the final level of Torin's Passage.

I liked the concept, but a mere puzzle as Valanice left me longing to actually play as her, in any world - even if just walking out into Rosella's dream world for a couple of minutes, with Amy telling of Valanice's maternal or autohistorical thoughts, like how she was remembering things long forgotten.

(Yes, those are puzzle-related comments. So I put them here, not in general feedback.)

And, the Amulet, just like the "Dodge" comments, tends to leave little time to actually click them, even if you're ready, in Ep3 and Ep4. Maybe adding a 1- or 2-second delay would be a good idea.

Since the Amulet will be in Ep5, how about some opportunities to play with it outside of battle? As much as I enjoy RPGs, they rarely let you use the characters' abilities freely. Really, I can only think of the Mario & Luigi series which allows you to do that - like randomly throwing fireballs and electricity, without the strict Pokémon Hidden Machine type of rules (Whirlpool can only stop whirlpools, not randomly start them in calm seas.)

(Still a battle/extra-battle question and explanation.)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: KatieHal on November 19, 2011, 08:44:17 AM
Dawson--you think we'd leave you hanging with only a few minutes and one puzzle as Valanice? :) Not likely, my friend! (Also, did you watch until the end of the credits?)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Thaumaturge on November 19, 2011, 10:31:54 AM
But my above argument is more directed at the idea of evolution being about borrowing the mechanics of other genres in general.  Why can't we try an original way to evolve adventure gaming that doesn't borrow core concepts that turn the game into a genre-bender?
I think that I partially agree with you here: specifically, I think that the inclusion of elements from other genres is not the only way to bring change to the genre.  However, I do think that elements from other genres - perhaps changed appropriately - might yet have a place in adventure games.   As I see it, why should a mechanic having been used elsewhere already disqualify it for application in another?  Is there a problem with taking inspiration from another genre?

For example (and I'll note here that the following would likely be more a gimmick than something to be taken up broadly, although I may be wrong), what about side-quests, inspired by RPGs?

A game might then have, as per usual, its main story-line, while at times presenting the opportunity to go off on a brief tangent, a short story within the setting of the main story, perhaps.  Playing through this might then affect the main story or other side-quests in relatively minor ways.  For example:


Heavy Rain did it more or less successfully ...
I'm afraid that I haven't gotten to play Heavy Rain (although I think that I'd be interested in doing so) - could you please elaborate?

... There were no pretenses, no lofty claims of "genre evolution."
Hmm...  You do prompt a thought: while I do think that allowing the genre to evolve may well be a positive thing for it, should we be actively trying to do so, or should it arise naturally from our making games as we want them to be?

And I would also argue, once again, that the genre can't really be evolved right now because it's pretty much dead, outside of fan games.  If you want to do an adventure game, do an adventure game.  Worry about evolving the genre when it's reestablished.
Why should a no-longer popular genre (and I'll note that there have been at least some professionally-made adventure games of recent, such as Gray Matter) be precluded from change?  Indeed, perhaps changes to the genre might actually be the source of renewed popularity.  It seems plausible to me that the lack of change in the genre might well be the reason that it is has not recovered more popularity - consider oberonqa's point about RPGs, for example.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: DawsonJ on November 19, 2011, 02:46:24 PM
If you think about it, adventure games are currently evolving - into the Casual Game and Puzzle Game garbage that Telltale and Big Fish Games continue to defecate. So, in that way, I agree with Cez's idea to make the genre more user-involved. But, these are too long for a gradual change.

Adventure game designers seem to think the modern-day players have the thinking ability and attention span of a Spongebob-obsessed child. The difficult part is strengthening a game, without causing literal Flying Toasters and laptops.

Katie, I saw the whole episode, including the post-credits clip. According to what I've seen, there has been no explanation why Rosella, with Valanice's very blood lines, couldn't do what Valanice did. It just seems like it's just an excuse to explain why Valanice has been worthless throughout the game.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Thaumaturge on November 19, 2011, 03:12:40 PM
If I may speculate (and I'm afraid that I don't recall whether I've seen whatever comes at the end of the credits, and the computer on which I played recently suffered a failure), a few potential reasons come to mind:


If you think about it, adventure games are currently evolving - into the Casual Game and Puzzle Game garbage that Telltale and Big Fish Games continue to defecate.
A good point - although I don't really see a problem with casual- and puzzle- games.  There seem to be people who like them, so why should they not be made for such people?  I doubt that the adventure genre is losing anything much by their creation, and a greater multiplicity of genres, and thus of opportunities and game mechanics, and a wider audience in gaming all seem largely positive to me.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: DawsonJ on November 19, 2011, 03:26:46 PM
True, some people love the puzzle games, but many of the oldtimers want real adventure games, not watered-down games, such as Telltale's Back to the Future. It's more of an interactive movie under the guise of an adventure game.

Good points about Rosella, by the way, Thaumaturge. I'm trying to keep the designers on their toes because this game is intended to tie up perceived loose ends in the KQ series. That's also why I brought up the fact that Beast's enchantment is tied to Alexander, which originally caused the Beast Death in KQ6.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Thaumaturge on November 19, 2011, 04:26:20 PM
True, some people love the puzzle games, but many of the oldtimers want real adventure games, not watered-down games, such as Telltale's Back to the Future. It's more of an interactive movie under the guise of an adventure game.
And that's fair enough, but it seems to me that casual- and puzzle- games are a separate but related genre to adventure games.  To my mind it's a little like a fan of story-heavy RPGs (think Baldur's Gate or Planescape: Torment) being upset about click-fest RPGs (think Diablo and its kin) - while being both offshoots of the RPG base, and sharing core elements (character -types and -stats, for example), they're by now two separate genres of game.  I'm inclined to argue that the same is more or less true of casual- and puzzle- games.

Of course, having read some of the thread here regarding Jurassic Park, I'll note that I believe that there's a difference between casual gameplay and gameplay that is likely to be annoying (lack of at least save-on-exit in such a game, for example).

Good points about Rosella, by the way, Thaumaturge. I'm trying to keep the designers on their toes because this game is intended to tie up perceived loose ends in the KQ series. That's also why I brought up the fact that Beast's enchantment is tied to Alexander, which originally caused the Beast Death in KQ6.
Aah, fair enough - my apologies for stepping in, then! ^^;

(I've also just noticed that I seem to have suggested that Valanice was in blood a Black Clock, which, while an interesting Epileptic Tree, was not, I think, what I had intended, but too amusing to not leave some record of... XD

(I'm going to go fix that presently, I believe. :P))
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: KatieHal on November 19, 2011, 06:34:08 PM
Going on about Valanice's role here...

Shadrack clearly has in mind what roles he wants the various players to play in this whole thing. Valanice's role, in this plan, was to open the Box; it had to be opened by a Black Cloak with good intentions. Here that's Valanice opening it to save her daughter. Why not Rosella? One, he's got something else planned for her. And two, Rosella knew what box that was, so there's no way she'd open it at this point anyways, fully understanding that.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Damar on November 20, 2011, 11:52:57 AM
As for my thoughts on the idea in general: I love classic adventure games. But if they were perfect the way they were, it wouldn't be a struggling genre now. So, yes, something needs to change and evolve in it. Is it this? Maybe not. I think our 'action-y' sequence in Ep 3 was much more successful overall than it seems these two have been. My guess is that one reason is that was an extended section, not one screen you were locked into until you were done, which gave it less of a mini-game feel.

I'd agree that being locked into one screen is part of the issue.  But even if the backgrounds shifted, the issue is that the story itself has ground to a halt.  In episode 3, you were trying to get to the top of the tower.  You were trying to save Valanice and figure out what was going on.  In both the episode 4 sequences, the plot was moving along, then stopped dead for these minigames.  And it happened one right after the other right at the end of the game so it was a very abrupt shift, right when the player is ready to move on to the next plot point, having collected the spell ingredients.  And that was kind of baffling to me because neither of those sequences needed to happen then.  Valanice and the box was a flashback, and Shadrack could have come at you any time.  I understand that there was probably a thought that both these things were big events, and they were a climax, but in reality they stopped the plot dead.  Plus, one could argue that having the Shadrack fight earlier, and before the Valanice sequence, would have added more tension.  Shadrack taunts Graham by saying that Valanice opened the box.  If this had happened earlier in the game it would have added uncertainty in the player's mind, and a growing sense of unease and dread as Valanice's sequence began as they realized that Shadrack wasn't messing with Graham and Valanice actually did open the box.

As for evolving the genre, I feel like I kind of sound like a grumpy old man that doesn't want anything different.  Yeah, I realize nothing's perfect.  I do question whether these sequences are evolution or just enjoyable to people who like RPGs already, but I also don't think that this is the right place to try to evolve the genre regardless.  The team is doing this game to wrap up the King's Quest series (as well as gain experience and so on.)  This game comes from a love of an already established series of games and a desire to complete the plot lines and so on.  Because King's Quest is already developed, I don't think it takes forced evolution well.  It would be like me inviting you over for Thanksgiving dinner, then serving deconstructed salads, foams, or other "high concept" culinary items, and cutting out the turkey completely.  I can say that cuisine is evolving, and under normal circumstances I might be right.  But this is Thanksgiving dinner.  There's an expectation of a traditional turkey dinner.  This isn't the place to evolve cuisine.  No one is calling for that in this situation.  King's Quest is established and you're trying to wrap it up.  Work on evolving the genre with Corridor 9 or Cognition.  Is this really the place to try to add RPG elements, then use Quest for Glory (or Hero's Quest.  Whatever) as a precedent?  This is King's Quest.  There's not as much room for evolution.  And that's not be being a stick in the mud.  That's just the reality.  The series has been established for as long as I've been alive.  You want to wrap it up, I think you have to do it by the rules already set by the series.  You wouldn't look at more adult-oriented games (as brilliant as they might be) and then claim that King's Quest would be improved by having Graham physically demonstrate his love for Valanice through a sex scene.  It doesn't fit in what the game is.  The RPG elements are the same.  Do that in Cognition and Corridor 9 and I've got no compliant (outside of personal opinion.)  But it doesn't work in King's Quest.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Cez on November 20, 2011, 01:46:17 PM
You are probably taking a bit too far how the sequences "stop" the plot. They advance the game as anything else does. If such is so, getting the evening glory from the Chessboard, for example, does absolutely nothing to the plot, really. Yet these two sequences are crucial in terms of what happens: One shows you who opened the Box, and why, which plays a very centric plot element in episode 5, and the other is essentially the prelude to Episode 5 in every way possible. You don't know where exactly is Episode 5 going, so I'm surprised to hear you saying how important these sequences are to the plot with so much certainty :)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Damar on November 20, 2011, 02:17:30 PM
Yeah, I get that Valanice opening the box is important to the plot.  I get that the Ranger giving you the amulet, Graham embracing the power of the Silver Cloaks, and the brief look at Dreamland is important to the plot.  But the minigames had nothing to do with that.  With the box puzzle, Valanice meets Shadrack, Shadrack threatens Rosella unless Valanice opens the box, Valanice agrees to open the box and all of this is advancing the story.  Then you are expected to stop and solve a puzzle.  The story has been advancing and now it is ground to a halt because I need to match swirling symbols.  There's no longer a question of who opens the box.  Valanice already agreed to and she's actively trying to open the box.  The payoff of seeing the box opened is delayed until you solve the minigame, but that doesn't evoke any emotion.  The emotion already existed but now it's in stasis until you match the symbols.

Likewise, Shadrack stops your boat and talks to Graham like he's the reincarnation of the Silver Cloaks and shows off his new army of smoke snakes (which oddly enough he doesn't use in the fight).  The Ranger appears and gives us a view of what I assume is Dreamland and gives Graham an amulet, telling him to embrace the power of the silver cloaks.  Ok, that's advancing the plot and foreshadowing the final episode.  I get that.  But now all of that stops because it's time to fight and shoot rocks at Shadrack while dodging punches and trying not to fall off the boat.  All those tantalizing plot bits are now on hold.  And when you're done, Shadrack just flies off.  You're not given any more plot information, just a "you won't be so lucky next time."  The plot was advanced prior to both minigames.  The minigames stop further development until the game proper is ready to resume.

I get that there are important plot points around the minigames, but my point is that none of those plot points occur within the minigames therefore they grind the plot development to a halt.  And because they're in a genre that is apart from adventure games in general it ends up feeling that I've been taken out of the game even more.  In episode 3 you're running towards a goal with the promise that some things will be revealed.  You're also exploring somewhat (very briefly as you die if you stay in one place too long, but you're still seeing this new world and trying to piece things together in your head while dodging enemies.) But I feel like I'm repeating myself again and beating this into the ground so I'll stop.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Lambonius on November 20, 2011, 09:44:38 PM
Seriously, Damar, you obviously just don't GET the genius of Cesar's narrative.  You clearly need a few more high school literature and art appreciation classes.  If only you had the culture to appreciate the depth of his vision.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Big C from Cauney island on November 20, 2011, 10:38:47 PM
As far as adventure games evolving, I don't think it's a bad idea. If they stayed the same forever, they would get stale.  As to how far they should change? who knows. The genre is obviously not as popular as it was in the 80s and 90s, not mainstream anyways.  Although I don't know much about elder scrolls, Skyrim from what I can tell looks like it has first person perspective and some RPG elements.  Looks like a cool blend. I don't think it's wrong to mix genres, as long as it fits the original canon well.  Didn't Mario have some sort of adventure game or RPG that was good? Look how different mario games have been through the years, but still stayed true while mixing ideas. Mario kart 64 was nothing like the original NES game, but cool and still mario. 
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: oberonqa on November 21, 2011, 12:16:02 AM
As far as adventure games evolving, I don't think it's a bad idea. If they stayed the same forever, they would get stale.  As to how far they should change? who knows. The genre is obviously not as popular as it was in the 80s and 90s, not mainstream anyways.  Although I don't know much about elder scrolls, Skyrim from what I can tell looks like it has first person perspective and some RPG elements.  Looks like a cool blend. I don't think it's wrong to mix genres, as long as it fits the original canon well.  Didn't Mario have some sort of adventure game or RPG that was good? Look how different mario games have been through the years, but still stayed true while mixing ideas. Mario kart 64 was nothing like the original NES game, but cool and still mario. 

Your referring to spinoffs, which are a breed apart.  Super Mario RPG/Paper Mario are spinoffs... in the same vein as Mario Kart, Mario Sluggers, Mario Golf, Dr Mario, etc.  The core gameplay experience of an established Super Mario game hasn't changed much aside from the switch from 2D to 3D.  With spinoff games, different concepts can be explored without diluting the base franchise, which is why games like Mario Sluggers and Mario Kart can exist and do as well as they do.  If Nintendo ever made a game called Super Mario Galaxy 3 that played like Mario Kart, there would be a problem.  This is what Damar was getting at and I agree with it wholeheartedly.

As for Skyrim, the Elder Scrolls series has always been presented from the first-person perspective and has a great deal of RPG elements in it, such as character advancement (via skills and, in the case of Skyrim, perks), free-form quests, equipment management, etc.  Skyrim may look a lot prettier than Arena or Daggerfall and it may have some different mechanics (Arena and Daggerfall, for example, had experience point counters whereas Skyrim does not) but it is still recognizable as a game in TES (The Elder Scrolls) series.  You won't find Quick-Time Events (QTE) in any of TES games, since QTE-style gameplay does not and probably never will mesh well within the confines of the established gameplay that TES series is built upon.  This is also what Damar was getting at and I agree with it wholeheartedly.

To put it another way.... ever wonder why the only game in the King's Quest series that had RPG-like gameplay systems is Mask of Eternity?  In fact, has anyone ever noticed that the title for Mask of Eternity is King's Quest: Mask of Eternity and not King's Quest VIII: Mask of Eternity?  At it's heart, it's a spinoff and not a part of the numbered King's Quest series.  While I have no insider information about why VIII was omitted from the title, I like to think that Sierra was probably planning on making a King's Quest VIII at some point and didn't want MOE to tie the series down storyline wise.  By omitting the number from the title, it exists outside of the established timeline(s) of the numbered games, leaving Sierra free to make other numbered King's Quest games without having to take the events of MOE into consideration (aside from having Graham live to a ripe old age, since he was in MOE).  That is just my theory on the matter and I mention it only to illustrate the spinoff concept.  None of the other KQ games had RPG elements, despite the success and popularity of the Hero's Quest/Quest for Glory franchise (which first appeared in 1989 as I recall, so RPG elements could have been implemented into KQ5-7).  The fact that the lead designer(s) of KQ5-7 didn't implement RPG elements into their respective games says, to me at least, that such mechanics don't fit within the identity and consumer expectation for a numbered King's Quest title. 

Oh sure you had the Mordack fight in KQ5, but that was a logic puzzle and not an actual fight.  The game actually stopped so you could select the spell needed to counter whatever form Mordack took.  There was no hit-point counter for either Mordack or Graham, so you either selected the right spell and moved on to the next form... or you died because you selected the wrong spell.

There were time-based puzzles in KQ6, most notably the clockwork room in the catacombs, the encounter with the minotaur, and the final encounter with Alhazared.  In the case of the clockwork room, this is a recurring motif in the KQ series.  There was a time-limit on many aspects of KQ3, for example (Manannon's sleep/travel schedule and the timer when preparing spells comes immediately to mind), so the idea of having a falling ceiling coming down on you if you don't react quickly isn't a big deal.  With both the minotaur and Alhazared encounters, they are identical in that there is no actual fight that involves hitpoint counters or fight mechanics.  You select the appropriate item (either from your inventory or from the background) and click on the opponent.  They are just like the Mordack encounter in that they are logic puzzles that are devoid of any RPG mechanics.

Moral here is that RPG-mechanics do not and never have had a place within the numbered King's Quest games.  Such is the realm of spinoffs, as established by Mask of Eternity.  However, here is where POS gets a pass.  The very thing that defines Mask of Eternity as a spinoff also establishes The Silver Lining as a spinoff.  Since The Silver Lining is not a numbered entry in the King's Quest series, it is classified as a spinoff, at least by the definition that I have presented.  This gives TSL the leeway it needs to exist outside of the numbered games and do things that otherwise wouldn't and couldn't be done in a numbered game.  It doesn't even have King's Quest in it's title, further cementing it's status as a spinoff.  Given that, it's OK to experiment with different ideas and concepts that wouldn't normally have a place within the King's Quest series.  That is the freedom that being a spinoff provides and it is here that I disagree with Damar.  If TSL was called King's Quest IX: The Silver Lining, everything that Damar has said would be applicable when talking about TSL, since the game would be a numbered entry in the KQ series and would be tied to a much more stringent franchise identity and consumer expectation.  Since TSL is clearly not called King's Quest IX, it is freed from the franchise identity and consumer expectation that comes with being a numbered entry in the King's Quest franchise and falls within the realm of creative interpretation... the very heart and soul of what a spinoff is.  :)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: drusain on November 22, 2011, 09:54:54 PM
Honestly, in my point of view, having just finished the game, I'm finding that if there is a problem about this specific part, it's not particularly the puzzles that are the difficult part. The puzzles, in a vacuum, aren't too difficult and frankly are all were exciting.

I think the underlying issue, at least for me, was pacing.

From what I understand, this episode was Episode 4 with most of Episode 5 included, and so I think that the parts starting with Box puzzle were originally Episode 5, and as a result some parts were crunched together. I believe that this hurt the pacing a little bit.

Individually, the Box puzzle is manageable.

Individually, the Shadrack fight is great.

In a playthrough, though, the pacing is too quick. You start with this very interesting cutscene between Graham and Valanice and then get horrified and emotionally invested into Rosella being one thread away from being blasted to bits and then you're suddenly thrown into a puzzle without having the time to think about all of the stuff that just happened. As soon as you're done with the puzzle you get a cutscene that raises more questions than answers, or at least for me, and then you're immediately thrown into a battle with him. Aside from the autosave after the Box puzzle, there is no time for you to mentally recover from all of the story and all of the puzzling you've had to do up to the point of the fight.

If you were just starting the Arch Druid cutscene and go all the way through to the battle because there's no place to just save and stop, then you're just emotionally and mentally exhausted by the time the battle starts.

If there was a suggestion I could've made about this, I think that, after the Box puzzle, Graham should have gotten back into control on the Isle of the Crown docks. You could have made it so Graham couldn't leave, and the only thing you could do was interact with Edgar. That would give you the option to take a breather and save and be ready for the fight next time.

I think that if you can just spread out the action/twitch sections in Episode 5, anything you plan to do will be fine. In Ep.3, the Tower Sequence had exactly the amount of time allotted to it. For this one, I just felt that it was asking a lot out of the player because there was too much going on at once.

On a user interface perspective I had two problems with the boss fight:

1. The arrows are not distinctive enough from the rest of the amulet, which made it so I didn't even notice that the arrows were interactive until after my second death. My immediate thought was I needed to use the arrow keys because I didn't see any other way to go left or right. But sometimes I'm also just a dummy!
2. User interface should, in my opinion and from my experience, never do anything to make anything harder on the player ever. User interface is always there to be your friend. I understand why you made the amulet spin during the boat rocking, but I think that might be a feature that may need a "will this immerse the player into the puzzle or frustrate them?"

I mean I hope that you do receive this feedback well. I actually really enjoyed the fight, but since you're asking for feedback, here you go!
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: DawsonJ on November 23, 2011, 07:59:07 PM
I watched Dru's LP and Toegoff's LP of Episode 4, and I noticed that the Amulet had noticeable problems switching between Attack and Defense modes, to the point that Toegoff was killed/hit multiple times over it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLfXIYDHd5k
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Thaumaturge on November 24, 2011, 04:37:24 PM
First of all, Damar may well have a point regarding bias: since I enjoy RPG-like gameplay (or some set thereof, at least), I may well be biased in favour of this system as a result of its semblance of an action section.  That said, let me continue.

Given a little further thought, Damar might have a point on the plot-advancement element, although I think that we reach different conclusions.  While I continue to have no problem with the fight's inclusion (and still hold that it is more puzzle than action), I do feel now that it could be noticeably improved by including a little more plot.  The idea that occurs to me is to simply have Shadrack leaking bits of information during the fight, especially if any of what he reveals at the beginning might be worked instead into the middle; there might, however, be better ways to do it.

(And again, I suspect that introducing the gameplay mechanisms in smaller, easier sections earlier in the game would likely also help, since that tells the player to expect them.  Indeed, I think that I've seen it as common advice that a "boss" section should essentially test the player on the gameplay thus far, rather than introducing new gameplay.)

On another note, I think that I agree with drusain on the matter of pacing those two elements: a small section at the docks in which to catch one's breath, save (and thus know that a save point has been made) and jump back if desired would likely help that ending significantly.  I seem to recall that on my first run through, at the very end of Valanice's section I clicked on the box by mistake, hoping to click on something else in the hopes of an optional interaction.  As a result I ended up waiting and clicking through for some time (using my hand to reduce the probability of spoiling what was to come ^^; ) just trying to find a moment in which I could reload an old save.  (It might also have been preferred to have had an auto-save after the box puzzle, for that matter, since that was the point to which I wanted to return, and my own save at that point (likely unintended on your side :P) seemed broken.)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Numbers on November 24, 2011, 05:31:42 PM
Well, I have nothing to say that hasn't already been said.  It looks like episode 5 is going to have a lot of action and puzzles, almost all of which rely on the amulet; and it also looks as if most of the players are going to be okay with it...now that they've experimented, trying to figure out how the thing works, anyway.

All in all, that's my only real advice: give a proper tutorial about the amulet at the beginning of the episode, and start out with simpler puzzles/action scenes before springing the tricky ones on the player.  However the finale plays out, it should be much more satisfying than the boss fight in episode 4 now that we know to what to expect.

I also wouldn't mind if it was possible to save after the finale so the players can re-watch the ending cutscene without having to go to the trouble of playing through the action scene(s) all over again (a recurring complaint with the boat fight).
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Tinu on November 26, 2011, 08:58:00 AM
I didn't 'dislike' the fight, but I found it pretty buggy. It bugged up on me several times including freezing at one point so that I had to restart the whole fight or wound up randomly getting bombarded repeatedly by Shadrack's attacks (all at once) until I died. There were other things like Graham getting swept off the boat and then reappearing on the boat again to attack Shadrack while the death music was playing.

In fact, if it hadn't been so buggy, the fight would've been an interesting challenge.

One other thing I disliked was Shadrack's insta-kill wave attack. The interface was already difficult to use and the swivelling made it hard to get the right button. And on top of that you had to dodge it 2 or 3 times in a row. It's not like it was 2 or 3 attacks of minor damage, it was insta-kill. I mean, that's just broken dude.

On a slightly related subject, the Pandora's Box puzzle could've been improved with just 2 minor change: Highlight the selected figure on each wheel and indicate which ones had already been used. I would've rathered that be included in the easy mode rather than 'oh you got more time to stare at the spinning wheels that you can't really read anyway'
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: kyranthia on December 02, 2011, 10:44:24 AM
The one thing I didn't really like was that there was only 1 attack that you could use at the various points of the fight.  It seemed pretty repetitive that you saw the same animations several times.   I really didn't have many issues with it though it took my several tries before completing it.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: mapes on December 02, 2011, 10:53:40 PM
I want to mention Pandora's box before I talk about the fight:

Generally, whenever I play a video game, I play it on the hardest difficulty available, and I'll be honest and say I was more confused trying to figure out the candles in the arch druids hut in Episode 3 than Pandora's box in normal mode. Why? Because I totally forgot about the fire/earth aspects of the scissors and the water/air aspect of the nightshade from episode 2 and slept on it for two days trying to figure it out (when I'm stumped with a puzzle, I like to turn off the game and think about it instead of trying every little thing on EVERYTHING). But after 1 minute of Pandora's box, I got the trick.  The hardest part of it was knowing which piece to select first, and which last.  It took me 2 times to get it.  The first time I just couldn't tell two, as I would call it, "undefined squiggly lines" apart on fast moving, fading, teleporting circles. So the second time I did it, I solved the hard ones first, and the easily distinguishable ones last.

But if you don't back away and think about it, and try again, I could see the frustration level from this puzzle being very high.

Unfortunately my fight with Shadrack was filled with some weird graphical glitches and paused moments...

However, after many attempts, (and several times exiting the game when the glitches compounded upon each other even after "retry"ing) I did defeat him.

If the bugs/weird glitches were resolved, it would have been much nicer for the user, and may be much more favorable.

Now for my thoughts on the fight: I felt though that the fight with Shadrack was well written into the story, it has a lot more challenge and dynamic than the fight scene in KQ VI, when Alexanders duels Alhazred and you conk him on the head at the right time to win, otherwise you get stabbed with the "touche" death remark. In TSL, you can get hit a few times unless you get went over the ship (which cause majority of my deaths) and you have to figure out how to defeat him (which doesn't take long to figure out either).
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Dobbs on January 16, 2012, 09:09:25 AM
Don't know if this has been mentioned before but what ouraged me about the fight is that it is so unfair! Especially the boatroll is pure torture. Not because the boatroll is so hard, in fact it's quite doable but for some inexplicable reason Shadrack gets to have two more goes after that while Graham allways gets to attack once. Shadrack also gets to attack again when Graham is allmost dead whereas when Shadrack is allmost dead Graham has to wait his turn before he can attack again. Finally when Shadrack's healthbar is empty (so he basically lost) he suddenly gets to have one more attack on Graham (the earth attack) which you can counter with the earth attack but only the fire attack works and this where I got really, really mad bacause if you don't use the fire attack on Shadrack his healthbar magically fills up again and he can kill Graham off still. So this is in no way a fair fight and really felt like I was being tormented. Had this been a fair fight (They both get to attack once before it's the other guy's turn and whoever's healthbar expires first loses) this could've been fun or at least less annoying.

If you want to implement an action sequence in the finale then make it more like the tower sequence in ep3 which I thought was a huge lot of fun. I only died twice there and that was because of my own stupidity: the first time I ran up to the door but then realised the key was in the coach that had just been tipped over the edge. So I had Graham commit suicide by jumping into the smoke beastie. The second time was when I pushed the closet in front of the door opening but then found out I forgot to close the door resulting in the beast flying throught the gap and killing Graham.  :-[
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: flitchard on January 29, 2012, 12:23:07 PM
Er, you DO realize he's a villain, correct? Generally, a villain SHOULD have an unfair advantage to overcome... Also, I never saw shadrack take an extra turn when I was low on health... Finally, about the wave, it makes sense, since each following wave is more powerful... it's just a combo...
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Numbers on January 31, 2012, 09:46:42 AM
Don't know if this has been mentioned before but what ouraged me about the fight is that it is so unfair!

Er, you DO realize he's a villain, correct? Generally, a villain SHOULD have an unfair advantage to overcome... Also, I never saw shadrack take an extra turn when I was low on health... Finally, about the wave, it makes sense, since each following wave is more powerful... it's just a combo...

What flitchard said.  Bosses are supposed to be harder to kill than your character.  Get with the times, new roman!

(Sorry, I was just looking for an excuse to say that.)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: snabbott on January 31, 2012, 11:39:08 AM
Get with the times, new roman!

(Sorry, I was just looking for an excuse to say that.)
*groan* ;)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: DawsonJ on January 31, 2012, 11:37:17 PM
Get with the times, new roman!

(Sorry, I was just looking for an excuse to say that.)
*groan* ;)

Font Wars!!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6djQHeqMwQ)

(I had a hunch that concept would be used by a YouTuber. :P)
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: snabbott on February 01, 2012, 07:49:31 AM
:rofl:
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Neonivek on August 04, 2012, 11:11:23 AM
Hmm the fight. The fight overall felt like a tutorial

Especially since... as we all know... "Earth, Earth, Earth, Earth, Earth"

Reminds me a bit of the magic duels in the previous kings quests and I thought this was going to be a epic battle where I had to see what element to use at what time. turns out not really.

But WOW they really didn't skip on the power. I loved the rock animation and I seen it enough for it to barely not wear out its welcome.

The attack I hated was lightning, I still don't know how I am supposed to defend against it other then luck (though that could be intentional. It could have been in essence the time limit). Mind you this is more of a gamey hate not a real hate... as in "That attack is so tough to beat I hate it" versus "That attack should be stricken off the face of the earth it was so tough to beat"
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: KatieHal on August 04, 2012, 11:17:14 AM
The lightning, if I remember right works like so...

The side that the lightning starts building up on shows you what side it will strike on--which lets you dodge to the opposite side.

Been a while since I played or watched it, but I'm fairly certain that was the trick. We didn't want any part of the fight mechanics to be totally random and unfair.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: franzpaniero on December 28, 2012, 02:39:55 PM
From what I've seen in the fan comments about the final action sequences, it appears to be a pretty fair split as far as like it vs. dislike it.  I enjoyed the Dragon action sequence from episode 3 (I think) and thought it was a good combination of not too frustrating and intense at the same time.  I think the action sequences in episode 4 were incredibly frustrating, poorly timed (back-to-back), tedious, and almost deal breakers for me wanting to finish the game. 

The primary reason for this is that I did Pandora's box on Normal mode and it was hard enough getting the first 3-6 symbols matched, but then as the movement progressions got more complicated, I had already had a significant amount of time/effort/frustration invested into it so I couldn't justify not finishing at that point even though I was completely over it by then.  By the end of the sequence I was pretty fed up with the whole thing and wanted to put the game down for awhile.  FYI the lack of a manual save in these two sequences was a HUGE mistake.  The game immediately goes into the cut scene for the boat conflict and again, I cannot save and guess what?  Right before the battle begins, the game crashes, without any kind of saved checkpoint and now I'm stuck right before talking to Shamir where my last save was and I have to endure that ridiculous puzzle again.  If I do decide to continue on, obviously I will chose Easy mode this time, but from what I've read, it's still frustrating.

While I don't think the puzzle/action sequences are necessarily out of place, I do have issues with the lack of saving and a more granular difficulty selection for people playing through again, or those of us that had technical issues and absolutely hated the puzzle in the first place.  Seizure anyone, lol??  ESPECIALLY since it's right at the end and climax of the episode ie. the payoff of doing all the work in the game in the first place.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: hobbydetective on February 11, 2013, 02:03:40 AM
For me, I play adventures like I read a book: to be somewhere else, to exercise my mind. Therefore, I like a good story, complicated characters, much dialogue,  much to see and inspect, and clever puzzles which are relevant for the story.

In those aspects, this game is very good. Playing it is like having a mini-holiday.

On the other hand, I hate deadlines, I hate having to do something quick, within a certain amount of time. That's why I play adventure games, and not action games.

I hate those elements in this game.

The worst thing is that I didn't know beforehand: I would never have downloaded the game if I had known there where time-based puzzles and action sequences in it. I supposed it was an adventure.
It is cruel when you are that far in the story: you just want to know what happens, and the only way to get to know it, is to do something you really hate....

I had the plan to check the Cognition games, but now I first have to find out if they also have these horrible time-based puzzles and action games.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: RIDance on February 26, 2013, 07:21:33 PM
I hate deadlines, I hate having to do something quick, within a certain amount of time. That's why I play adventure games, and not action games.

That's me, for sure. I freak out, curse at the screen and just start clicking all over the place.  ::)

I like to have time to think about what to do.

But I thought the boss fight in episode 4 was a cool idea. I had no idea what was going on at first but then got the hang of it. I love turn based RPGs. I just like having more time to choose the attack/defense before the enemy strikes and rocks the boat.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: cherubim on February 28, 2013, 12:04:52 AM
I personally thought they could do even more with the fight, but I suppose for all the people that wanted just puzzles to solve in their own time, it would be a horrible experience to have an action sequence. The fighting reminds me of the legend of zelda ocarina of time final battle with human Ganondorf, since you basically counter his attack and if you are successful you can attack him.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: KatieHal on February 28, 2013, 08:01:50 AM
Yeah,  balancing it so that it was both new & different but also not too alienating to adventure game fans is a delicate thing.

Hobbydetective, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy those sections--as has been said, we did try to make them balanced so they weren't punishing to fans of the classic adventure gameplay. There are a few short sections with gameplay along those lines in Cognition, but the vast majority of the game is the tried and true point-and-click interface. If you're curious, I'd say try out the demo (http://www.postudios.com/CognitionFiles/CognitionDemoSetup.exe)--it's free, and gives you a good idea of the gameplay, both the traditional parts & some of the 'light action' sequences as well.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: boopish on March 11, 2013, 03:35:12 PM
There are a lot of replies here, so I apologize if there is duplication as I don't really want to read all of them...

I managed to make it through the battle, but when I finished it felt more like it was luck. The biggest problem I had was I left the tutorial feeling pretty confident about how to do battle, but then couldn't figure out how to keep Graham in the boat. I'm still not sure exactly what kept him in the boat, because I just kept clicking randomly on anything that seemed to keep him in the boat. I couldn't anticipate all of Shadrack's moves, but most left enough time for me to dodge after he started, so the extra time was greatly appreciated. I was a bit surprised to see such a difference in gameplay, but in an adventure, anything can happen! I found the previous action scenes allowed me to feel more comfortable with this type of scene. If I was having a bad day, I think my tolerance of the battle would have been diminished, as I usually play action games on easy so I can feel like a true hero as I obliterate my foes.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Neonivek on March 12, 2013, 12:53:19 AM
Ohh it tells you how to stay on the boat, you had to pay attention though.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: boopish on March 12, 2013, 09:39:00 AM
That about describes my life. :P
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: GrahamRocks! on March 12, 2013, 03:49:21 PM
That was actually the one thing I couldn't figure out: When it moves to the overhead view of the ship and Shadrack shouts, "Hold STILL Graham!!" and starts rocking the ferry, how are you supposed to hang on?

Regardless, I kept playing that scene until I never got that and continued on. I can remember my... second attempt, I believe? it got REAL close, I mean down to the wire! *makes motion with fingers* Shadrack had low health, Graham had low health, and I thought Graham's got this! Get out by the skin of your teeth, buddy!

Boom, Graham's dead!

But I digress, I liked the fight anyway despite that!
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: boopish on March 12, 2013, 07:00:04 PM
Thanks GrahamRocks! At least the answer to keeping Graham in the ferry wasn't obvious enough that everyone magically knew how to do it, but me. Neonivek's response made me wonder if I had missed something in the tutorial!
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Neonivek on March 12, 2013, 07:40:26 PM
The Compass has a left and right thing
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: GrahamRocks! on March 12, 2013, 08:00:18 PM
Well, I knew THAT! The trouble came when Shadrack kept flipping my pendant back and forth and upside down!
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Neonivek on March 12, 2013, 10:27:44 PM
Well, I knew THAT! The trouble came when Shadrack kept flipping my pendant back and forth and upside down!

Ohh no that is incredibly annoying and often I had to pay attention to it so much that I had to ignore Shendrak.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: GrahamRocks! on March 12, 2013, 10:50:09 PM
...Okay Neo, this is bugging me a lot! Why is it that you always misspell Shadrack as Shendrak or something?
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: Neonivek on March 12, 2013, 11:01:22 PM
...Okay Neo, this is bugging me a lot! Why is it that you always misspell Shadrack as Shendrak or something?

Because that is how I hear it in the game to be truthful.
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: GrahamRocks! on March 12, 2013, 11:20:39 PM
What?!
Title: Re: Feedback on the fight
Post by: calmlunatic on March 21, 2013, 04:29:59 AM
Hey everyone,

I've seen that people have been having troubles with the fight, and I want to hear feedback on how to make it better, especially since there is a similar sequence in the upcoming episode. I've heard some people wish there was a skip function, but I honestly do not to include a puzzle that people feel the need to skip. I want us to make something out of it that people can truly enjoy, maybe with two modes to choose from.


Remember the fight at the end KQ5? That was an awesome fight. I liked it because, while it was similar to the boat fight, it was a little more clearer with what you were facing. On the boat I think I got confused easily and was guessing by a lot of it. I liked the runes puzzle later on a lot better even though it took me forever to do that one.