Author Topic: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts  (Read 68326 times)

Offline MikPal

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #60 on: November 09, 2011, 01:14:21 PM »
It's the crappy recap, man, it ruined peoples enjoyment! *SOB* I'm going to go and lay myself down between the sofa and the wall, so that the sweet soft dust can create a warm blanket over my weeping body.

Offline Cez

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #61 on: November 09, 2011, 01:20:52 PM »
Aurelind, thanks for the review and feedback.

About the fight...

Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):

Rest of the topic has gone somewhere else. Let's keep this discussion for people interested in talking about Ep4.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 02:00:21 PM by Cez »


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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #62 on: November 09, 2011, 02:59:01 PM »
AzzyGale, your post made my day!

Thank you! :D


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Offline jsh357

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #63 on: November 09, 2011, 06:30:37 PM »
Ok, just finished the game and I thought I'd wait to post what I thought of it, because quite frankly I'm pissed off, but I'm going ahead and posting anyway.  I'll get to why I'm irritated in a minute, but might as well start with the good.

As always, I really like the music.  The game itself was also pretty, though like someone else said, there was some clipping issues.  I didn't really care either since it's a fan game.  I also really enjoyed the maze.  In fact, I really wished it had been bigger.  It was pretty basic, actually since most of the maze you could see was inaccessible.  I also wish you hadn't had to cheat to get to the castle.  Normally I'm not a fan of mazes in games, but the overhead view made it much more accessible.

Ok, now for the kind of picky things.  I wasn't a fan of Pan's voice (it looks like he wasn't even listed in the credits.)  To be fair, though, I really don't know what I imagine Pan sounding like.  I couldn't even tell you if he has a high or low voice, so me saying I don't like it isn't exactly fair.  What I can say, though, is I don't like how he was written.  Having him refer to himself as "one" constantly just didn't work.  It was annoying and difficult to follow.  But he wasn't really a major character, so not a huge deal.

I also don't really like the fact that everything is moving backwards.  At the risk of being that nerd who actually analyzes these things, it just doesn't make sense.  Events are moving backwards, yet other things are moving forward.  The curse obviously doesn't get undone, and clearly everyone is still aware that Alex and Rosella were cursed, even as they're becoming unaware of other things (Shamir unlearns spells and the chess pieces replay their game, unaware it already happened, though Graham knows.)  The banner is suddenly hanging again while the tree still blocks the way to the beach.  Like I said, I stop short of being that nerd who analyzes it and gets indignant about such things (I save that level of geekdom for Star Trek) but these inconsistencies kind of scratch at the back of my head.  Was it really necessary to have time revert?  Why not just have things being undone completely and disappear, since that achieves the same result story-wise (though people when then accuse you of ripping off Neverending Story.)  And actually, for that matter, what is the Black Cloaks' endgame?  Completely undoing the world in which they live?  Doesn't that hurt them just as much as everyone else?  The story says that they're ambitious and corrupt, but ambitious people don't want to undo the world, they just want to rule it.  Like I said, these are picky points, but they are points that kind of stick in the back of my head because they just don't quite fit together.

Moving on to the more frustrating items, which was the puzzle design.  The first thing that bothered me was getting the horn.  Mainly, Graham goes around asking everybody for everything, guilting them into it by saying it will help his children.  But to get the horn, he doesn't even bring that up to Beast, and instead conspires to steal the horn in an elaborate plot.  I'm all for a elaborate plot but it all seemed so unnecessary because Beast was reasonable at that point.  Now, if you had shifted his transformation back into a beast a bit earlier, then that would explain why he's being unreasonable and Graham needs to resort to stealth and deception.

One of the things that really bugged me was calling the winds.  I figured out how to do it just fine.  The puzzle made sense.  What didn't make any sense was having to put all the instruments in the same inventory slot.  Why would I have thought to do that?  You click inventory items on each other to combine them.  You didn't combine these.  You just wanted them consolidated.  But that doesn't make sense, because they're already consolidated in Graham's pocket?  On top of that, there was no indication from the narrator that this was an issue ("Good thought but calling one wind at a time won't do Graham any good.").  All you got if you tried to play the instruments was either a stock response, or a "you can't do that here" response.  And it should also be noted that the "you can't do that here" response occurs in a separate screen from where you're supposed to play the instruments while the stock responses occurred in the screen where you were supposed to call the winds.  So I was left thinking that there was a hotspot I was missing outside the city, maybe around the statues.  It really got me frustrated because it was the worst kind of "read my mind" issue so far in the game in that I didn't have to read the developers mind to solve the puzzle, but I did have to read their mind to figure out how to implement the answer.  And speaking of the winds, I suppose it would be really picky to ask why the winds didn't look like they did in KQ7, even though the narrator makes special mention that Graham knows the statues aren't the true forms of the winds.

Moving on to the Pandora's Box puzzle.  I tried it on normal because I didn't want to be a wuss.  I figured I could handle it.  And I was right.  But it took me forever.  Seriously, just reducing the number of symbols to two per side would have improved the puzzle.  As it was, though, I just had to keep doing the same thing over and over, and it took forever.  And the more frustrated I got, the more I disliked the puzzle and started to question it.  Like, seriously, what was Valanice doing?  Were there really symbols swirling around her?  How does projecting them on the wall translate into unlocking the box?  I realize that's getting very concrete with the puzzle, but the fact is that when you get someone frustrated enough, they start to pick things apart like that.  At least I do.  The interface on that puzzle just wasn't well designed.  And not just because it was tediously complicated.  Also, it was just badly designed.  A lot of the symbols would go up into where the icon bar was, which meant you couldn't click them.  And then they'd disappear or switch places.  It really was infuriating.  So infuriating I didn't really get a sense of accomplishment when I beat it on normal.  I was just irritated and glad it was over.

And then you threw me right into a rock, paper, scissors game with Shadrack.  Two non-adventure minigames in your adventure game.  The Shadrack fight pissed me off beyond all recognition.  It took me forever to beat even after recognizing the patterns.  The rock animations, which looked cool at first, began feeling like they were lasting forever, and the entire time I just felt that it had no place in an adventure game.  It's a freaking boss battle.  I played King's Quest because I didn't like arcade and RPG games.  I don't care if RPGs are popular, I don't need boss battles in my King's Quest.  Especially not after an infuriating mini-game puzzle.  And absolutely not when it's just killing time and didn't resolve anything.  Was Shadrack defeated?  Of course not!  You'll still have to face him again.  This did nothing to further the plot, nothing to develop the characters.  It was there to kill time, and I knew it the entire time.  I knew the game would probably end after I beat Shadrack, rendering the frustration I was feeling completely useless.  It was a meaningless edition and it left me severely pissed off.  It literally dragged all the fun and good will I had playing the rest of the game right out of my mind and left me sullenly staring at the computer, trying to dodge lightning bolts.  At least the arcade sequence in the last chapter furthered the story.  This did nothing.  It was unnecessary.

There were other things that didn't sit quite right with me.  I felt the title of the episode was over long and didn't seem to reference anything in particular (but ultimately that doesn't matter.  It's just a title.)  I also didn't like the fact that Valanice seems to be completely lost.  I attributed her suicide attempt to being under a spell, but this episode seems to confirm that she's going through a tough time and at a loss on how to handle it.  Frankly she comes across as weaker than she's been portrayed in past games.  And lastly, once again I feel compelled to point out that I hate the episodic release.  It breaks the flow of the game.  Yes I know I've made that point before.  To which I respond, that's the fault of the episodic release too.  I haven't made this point for six months, so I feel it bears repeating, even if it is beating it into the ground.

Ok, I'm done now, I promise.  Over all, the episode was enjoyable.  There were just some flaws in the execution of the game that keep gnawing at me.  And then there were those minigames that just interrupted the flow completely and were more infuriating than anything else.

I'd say this wasn't the strongest of the four episodes, in all honesty.  I did enjoy several parts, but some of the design left me cold.  I realize it can be disheartening to see so many negative posts here, but I do want to stress that I enjoyed the game and I'm just looking out for what I think is the best interests of the designers.

I'm in agreement with the quoted post almost entirely, but I have to add that there really should have been a way to cut down on travel time (notably in the maze). 

Looking at this one example in a vacuum: the player has to walk back and forth between the Beast's Castle and the land of the Winged Ones several times, which involves 4 very long screen transitions, waiting on the winged shoes animation, waiting for Graham to swim to/from the boat, selecting the destination island, and navigating the maze (I don't mind the mediocre pathfinding normally, but the small corridors here got to be very frustrating).  Logically, Graham would have to do these things, but it's frustrating since this can take a couple of minutes which could have been spent better and nothing of interest happens along the way to these two points.  I liked that you added a short warp when LEAVING the castle, but perhaps there could have been a way to make getting BACK IN faster as well, apart from muscle memory.  King's Quest VI has a lot of backtracking too, but with the option to make Alexander walk faster it's hardly an issue.

I'm not sure how I feel about the direction the plot is going.  I'm reserving most judgment until Episode 5 comes out (Still looking forward to it, of course) but I really feel like the time-reversion is half-baked and, as the quoted post says, makes little sense from an analytical standpoint.  It hardly feels like an important element to introduce to the plot either, as anyone playing this is probably heavily invested in the Daventry family as-is--wanting to save Alexander and Rosella is reason enough for me to be playing as far as I'm concerned.  I also feel that we didn't really need to KNOW what Shadrack plans to do with his reign of terror.  The fact that he's doing it is bad enough.  The Silver Cloak plotline has always felt out of place in the story to me, and this episode did little to reverse that, but I'm hoping we get some closure in the next part. 

Best part of the episode was using the old Pawn Shop items again.  Nice blast of nostalgia there.  I also enjoyed a lot of the puzzles, although many more conceptually than in practice.  Would have liked there to be a few more puzzles after bringing the four instruments to the cliff or some monster in there or anything (it was.. anticlimactic after that long quest to get all the instruments), but we can't have everything I suppose.

I experienced a lot of random slow-down in this episode in Beast's Garden and a few other maps, which made little sense as the game was barely using my CPU and burning less RAM than Firefox on a semi-bad day.  Hope that wasn't a problem for many others...

I do have one question that I hope somebody can answer  (This isn't a criticism really).  It might have been answered in an earlier episode but I totally missed it.  How did Shadrack locate Pandora's Box?  I thought Rosella had sealed the box away for good in the tomb.  Don't get me wrong, I'm okay with it coming back as it was always a Chekhov's Gun in the KQ timeline, but it feels like the bad guys managed to track the box down far too easily.  The tomb was standing wide open when Rosella walked in there (assuming it's the same place).  Maybe the creators didn't feel like it was necessary or worthy to explain, but I would not be surprised if other fans of the series took issue.
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Offline Damar

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #64 on: November 09, 2011, 07:17:07 PM »
Yeah, I'd wondered about the Pandora's Box thing too.  Shadrack made mention that they couldn't get to it because it was protected, which kind of made me wonder protected by what.  The mummy?  The locked door?  But I eventually just figured that part of this game's plot centers on the fact that the royal family are basically the culmination of both these warring factions, so Rosella is special.  She could get in and out, so we were never aware of how the box was magically protected.  How they got it after Rosella returned it, though, I don't remember being specified.

As for the issue with Valanice, I hadn't put that together either.  I had no idea she was acting out her dreams.  It just wasn't clear to me.  It looked like she was giving up.

Lastly, I would agree with what someone else said, that the story should build the tension without using boss battles as a crutch.  There's a difference between being unconventional and trying to push together two different ideas that just don't fit.  The arcade sequence in episode 3 wasn't really my thing, but I will admit that it worked.  It built tension.  But it built tension because it furthered the plot.  You wanted to get to Valanice.  You knew there were answers at the top of the tower.  The minigames in episode 4 didn't further anything.  Getting frustrated opening Pandora's Box doesn't put me into mind of Valanice's frustration.  Truth be told, I was more in touch with that seeing her fumble with the box while this cloaked guy threatened to kill Rosella.  That's terrifying in a literally nightmarish way (I don't know about anyone else but needing to do something but not knowing what is a nightmare I've had before).  All that empathy I was feeling for the character vanished, though, when I had to do a minigame because it took me out of the story.  And getting frustrated didn't make me say, "Oooh, this is what Valanice is going through."  It just took me further out of the story and made me focus on icons and clicking the mouse as fast as I could while watching for patterns.

Likewise, fighting Shadrack didn't give me a feeling of accomplishment.  Finishing collecting the spell ingredients did.  This is an adventure game.  I play it for puzzles and story.  If I want boss battles I'll go play an RPG.  Figuring out patterns and moves doesn't make me feel more in touch with the story, it specifically takes me out of the story and forces me to focus on minutia.  Personally, I'm one of those people that can't get engrossed in a boss fight because turn based fighting doesn't exist in the real world.  It has always felt contrived to me, but like I've said, I just don't enjoy RPGs.  Regardless, this didn't further the story.  Shadrack had already said what he needed to say and when you beat him he just flies off while shouting that next time we won't get so lucky.  It doesn't further the story and any sense of accomplishment is hollow because the point of this whole episode was solving puzzles and navigating the islands to find the spell ingredients.  That's what ultimately bothers me.  If it furthered the story, like the sequence in episode 3, I'd be more forgiving of it, even if I didn't like it much.  I would agree with what was said before in that I hope episode 5 doesn't have any more action sequences.  Not just because I'm not a fan, but because there's so much story that needs to be wrapped up.  Clearly a lot of story has already been cut.  Why put off more story just to make people do another boss fight in an adventure game?

Offline Cez

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #65 on: November 09, 2011, 07:59:03 PM »

I do have one question that I hope somebody can answer  (This isn't a criticism really).  It might have been answered in an earlier episode but I totally missed it.  How did Shadrack locate Pandora's Box?  I thought Rosella had sealed the box away for good in the tomb.  Don't get me wrong, I'm okay with it coming back as it was always a Chekhov's Gun in the KQ timeline, but it feels like the bad guys managed to track the box down far too easily.  The tomb was standing wide open when Rosella walked in there (assuming it's the same place).  Maybe the creators didn't feel like it was necessary or worthy to explain, but I would not be surprised if other fans of the series took issue.

I answered this question in a previous post. It's implied how it appeared by Shadrack in the beginning cutscene. From previous games you should know what the Silver Cloaks power is and what can they do with it (Pull things from the world into the dreamworld and make them real). There's something going on with Graham and the Silver Cloaks. Tie the dots :)

To add to what you said about Rosella, Damar, remember also that Lolotte sent Rosella to get the Box, as opposed to getting it herself, or sending one of her goons.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 08:00:59 PM by Cez »


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Offline Cez

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #66 on: November 09, 2011, 08:07:44 PM »

Likewise, fighting Shadrack didn't give me a feeling of accomplishment.  Finishing collecting the spell ingredients did.  This is an adventure game.  I play it for puzzles and story.  If I want boss battles I'll go play an RPG.  Figuring out patterns and moves doesn't make me feel more in touch with the story, it specifically takes me out of the story and forces me to focus on minutia.  Personally, I'm one of those people that can't get engrossed in a boss fight because turn based fighting doesn't exist in the real world.  It has always felt contrived to me, but like I've said, I just don't enjoy RPGs.  Regardless, this didn't further the story.  Shadrack had already said what he needed to say and when you beat him he just flies off while shouting that next time we won't get so lucky.  It doesn't further the story and any sense of accomplishment is hollow because the point of this whole episode was solving puzzles and navigating the islands to find the spell ingredients.  That's what ultimately bothers me.  If it furthered the story, like the sequence in episode 3, I'd be more forgiving of it, even if I didn't like it much.  I would agree with what was said before in that I hope episode 5 doesn't have any more action sequences.  Not just because I'm not a fan, but because there's so much story that needs to be wrapped up.  Clearly a lot of story has already been cut.  Why put off more story just to make people do another boss fight in an adventure game?

I wouldn't say it doesn't further the story, but then again you need to be patient. You got the Amulet of Dreams and used it, which is the center of the gameplay mechanics in Episode 5.

Aside from that, I understand if you were put off by the mechanics, but kicking Shaddie's ass remains one of the top moments in the series for me, personally.


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Offline flitchard

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #67 on: November 09, 2011, 08:44:14 PM »
Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):

Offline AzzyGale

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #68 on: November 09, 2011, 09:33:09 PM »
Well let me add to what I wrote previously.

This post contains spoilers.
 

1. The puzzles and battle:


The pandora puzzle is easy. Valanice has got all the answers and clues right where she needs them, right in front of her. . The only thing I would use is..to be able to see the whole of the upper mirror to actually see ewhat I'm doing lol. As it is I've doing a lot of intuitive guesswork just because I couldn;t see the upper parts of the elements I added.

Maybe you could disable the top bar for the duration of the minigame (the one with the saving and all icons, I mean)  because what I found bad is that when I clik it- I click the bar and lose the chance of adding the element. Also the top left hand circle..I see only half of it. I can;t change resolution, I have a wide screen vista laptop. Other than that...it adds to Valanice's tension and her fright and sense of terror..and she has to be the one to open it...given her dual heritage, it seems, though Shadrack would have her believe that she;s all black cloak and all. The resemblance of Valanice to pandora is uncanny. But there is more to it, I feel.  

I am doing the final battle right now and I love the mechanics since it operates on the battle of wits concept an element for another element... like a shape for another shape. something lie paper-rock-scissors game and I absolutely love those. I only need to figure out the timing and waht counter attack is best for what attack.

I would hate a real time battle...I am terrible at dodging. My hand-eye coordination is terrible and if it waas real-time I would be begging for a skip option.... I prefer it this way, I think you have struck a comprimise between real time battle and turn-based battle.  

And it is not a boss battle just an interactive confrontation with our arch-enemy who has done Graham and his family so much evil!  Having a cut-scene would be pointless. I don;t see how it does not fit....of course it fits into the genre! Especially because of rock-paper-scissor concept,  wich is as adventury as it can get.
I've been dying to see more of it in games.


2.So...what then? Wild speculations.


Other than that..I just hope Graham can comprehend it all (lathough it is quite a lot) and forgive Valanice and understand that she is as much a pawn as he is. All this talk about forgetting the past and moving on..can he move beyond it? so far he;s been showing that he actually can.  

 Two pawns are likely to form a horse or a tower if they cooperate.It truly is a test for Graham as a human being and let's hope he has enough of wisdom to take it in.  It;s a test for Valanice, it;s a test for them all as a family and I'd at least like to see them passing it...stronger for it, having been expolited so badly.

Some of my other wild speculations:

1)Graham has seen and experienced it all in his life so he is also a character ripe fo an ultimate sacrifice...and he's all ready to do it too, I don't think he'd hesitate to jump into a pit of fire, if need be. But even if...that would possibly come in the final part of the trilogy. As it is, we're not getting any ultimate endings.

2) We end on a loophole..of creating and uncreating to be resolved in part two of the trilogy...but having seen the ending credits I can't envisage it that way any more.

3) It seems that in episode 5 we are likely to help the children at least...but I have a feeling something is aboit to happen so they only thing we may accomplish is to assure that their sleep is peacful. In other words, i think we will save their dreams and banish their nightmares... but whether or not it will help to wake the is quite another story. It doesn;t have to wake them, because something else will interefere, but we may at least make sure their dreams become a better place...


But it will be up to Graham and the Silvercloak Ranger (is he ever going to show his face?) or is it?... And Graham has already accepted the amulet of dreams....the Silverlcloak power. Two sides of power, silver and black, yes, I would have expected that and I like it.   I will be certainly looking forward to chapter 5. But first to see those end credits...I am sure I will be able to add more thoughts once I see them.

I will now resume my final battle...but I really do enjoy how it was made to be, I love battle of wits concept. I am entirely in favour of this mechanism. And yea, Shadrack needs to get that smirk wiped off his face! What an arrgoant %?^%$?3  he is.



EDIT:

Passed the battle no problems whatsoever when I figured out the attack pattern. Easy peasy.


Regarding communication issues- I'm thinking: plot twists!

Now....I do agree that this family needs may need to work on those talking and listewtning skills a bit. and certainly after all this a lot of talking is in order... HOWEVER...Graham not finishing what he wanted to say when talking to Valanice was just because he did not want to burden her more. He knows shels had quite enough already and he knows they need to take care of the more urgent matters first...save children, perhaps eliniate Shadrack, eliminate this evil scheme and only after that...take care of the past. I do have a feeling that this last part would come in the final part of the trilogy that had been planned but which we shall never see, we can only connect all the other hints and draw a picture of what could happen in those never-to-be-future trilogy parts.

It would have been a blast to revisit Kolyma, and I think we would go there at one point...

However,  more regarding the talking,.. What's with the brooding Edgar? I hope he;s not about to do something unreasonable... I understand the poor fellow is feeling useless, but just wat exactly is passing through his mind? He looks like someone who will just stay until Rosella wakes up and then leave because he's not good enough. Ay, Edgar, Edgar could use a little questing of his own, it seems. You know at one point watching some of the trailers I thought HE was turning into a beast.   Yes, he should have tried getting some advice from Graham...but it;s not the time to be bothering Graham with this, with tis kind of conversations between fater and son-in-law,  as Graham first needs to do things to restore some peace and quiet.  

So again Edgar, like Graham, is keeping some things from others..out of good will, not bother anyone at a momen when they feel is not right for talking because more important issues are at stake.

 And so is Valanice...beating about the bush rather than telling graham directly what burdens her so..but then again she;s only beginning to realise what happened in the past..the ast that was previously blocked out...honestly, to find a missing piece of memoty, sod readful, ti find oneself so expliited and to find that she was a tool to trap her husband....it;s a lot to take...her entire foundation is shaking up...

And probably so is Cassima keeping things.....we haven;t seen much of her, excet for the cut scene and I just imagine wat she must be feeling and doesn;lt really ave anyone to talk to eiher...So alone and they all grow apart throug this isolation, each and every one of them more alone tan ever.  See a pattern? I think this is a clear potential suggestion of where we could be going after episode 5...

Because, theoretically, now is really not the time for those kind of conversations but later on...After all that, they should all sit down and talk. Honestly, about everything that eats away at them..

if people don't say what;s on their mind, what eats away at them and just bottle it up... things ually end up complicating even more and trust is broken...familiy may move away from another...be near but far..

Isn't that a good plot twist? A weakned family...Shadrack just may use it..or could use it future parts of the trilogy...because I have a feeling things may calm down a bit at the end of episode 5...enough to give graham a false sense of victory.  

But without talking...surviving family would be weakned...with many internal demons still to fight..it's a hole to be exploited by the bad guys...and they, I guess, would gladly use a lot  more lies and intricate schemes to complicate things and break them even more.

And don't forget...I think I recall a cutscene from Alexander's dreams in one of the previous episodes..who s to say Alexander and Rosella won't be used against teir parents because the blackcloaks will brainwash them to think that it's their parents who had purposefully abandoned them? And that perhaps Alexander was actually loved by Mananan and that it's his father who is the enemy he should safe guard against...so much possible heartrbreak still before graham....

That;s why I also said earlier that episiode 5 will aim to at least save the dream of the children, because it may not necessarily manage to wake them.

There are several ways in which this could go. And I think Shadrack hinted at it ("You think you still have a family?) .it will be difficult for Graham to get his family back together, let alone heal all that pain and confusion caused by the black cloaks intrigues.

At this point we don't even know whether the children will wake up or whether at least their dreams will be saved, thoug I think Graham may at least manage that.


That;s all, in conclusion. it was a really nice installment, and def the puzzle sequence in episode 3 was more difficult than any of the puzzles here. The battle was a puzzle of wits and I liked it.

« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 11:10:09 PM by AzzyGale »

Offline seir

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #69 on: November 09, 2011, 09:50:30 PM »
although I want to slap people for failure to communicate in such dire circumstances

I agree! I wanted to smack Graham too when he started saying something to Valanice, but then didn't!  Or when he asked the Prince about the horn, but then so easily gave up after getting a simple "No, I likes me my paintings." At least a little trying to explain WHY he wanted to borrow it would have been in order.

Offline Arkillian

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #70 on: November 10, 2011, 03:15:43 AM »
As an art appreciator, I thought Beast's picture was cool. Then I had to steal it by getting one of the winged ones to forge it. My inner artists cried. My inner adventurer cheered.

I wish Edgar would stop moping about and dragging the story down. Everyone has something to do but him :< He just sits there and broods. I hope he gets something to do in episode 5 finally. He is a newly wed husband who hasn't been able to show his support for his wife.

New OTP- Arch Druid and animated tea cup. Damn, they're so cute together XD

Ranger- WHY U SO MYSTERIOUS STILL?! Damn it. I want to see his face. He had a cool involvement :)

And epic moment- Alexander versus dragon rematch!!  :sweetheart: (OK- it was the only moment he really got but I can celebrate, right?)

Golden brush? That puzzle I couldn't get on my own cause that's not how my paint brushes look. Had to ask for help on that cause I thought I had gotten a dead end. I thought that we had to turn Alexander's paint brush gold with the golden tree. I was looking forward to the animation, then I found that I had to glue fur to a baton and that's it. I feel kinda bad for the winged one :/ Again- the artist in me. I'm sure everyone else was cool with it :)

Cassima's speech? You GO GIRL. Cassima is so awesome. I totally dig her character in TSL. You don't get to see her be awesome in KQ5 and 6 cause she's imprisoned /enslaved. You get to see her fire in her eyes in this. I can see why Alexander loves her ^^

OK- so Valanice is Black cloak, so Mannanan gave her up for a greater cause. Why did she have to forget him? They're both black cloaks. She can't have been a Gwydion cause he only stole boys (creep)

Over all, I think Episode 3 excites me more, but I did enjoy this episode. Beast death was AWESOME.


Offline AzzyGale

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #71 on: November 10, 2011, 04:55:46 AM »
I don't think Valanice is as simple as you just summed her up....That shels a black cloak is not just..there was also something else. There's more to it. To me it seems perfectly logical..as part of Black Cloak;s plan, to have made her forget... She could have tried stopping that fate probably had she known without that knowledge she became the pawn the Black Cloaks needed, they planned it out very well and besides...otherwise, if she remebered, it woud move away too far from original games, that way the Silver Lining Team added in their view but without doing away wit the Valanice from Sierra Games, they made it that way so that certain things could come out suddenly...only in theor own game, without affecting the rest of the Sierra series and I think this a good way out of a dilamma and also quite respectful. .And now that makes another tragic pawn.

Also about Edgar, I've beebn thinking about it too, as I wrote earlier.. But I don't think there is much he can really do at the moment, as Graham says. he sould just stay by Rosella.

I think he wanted to suggest that he comes with graham but I guess it came out not very directly but then Graham suggested what he should do. And besides, this really doesn't seem like Edgar's fight, it;s more a fight for Graham and Valanice.  

« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 05:09:50 AM by AzzyGale »

Offline Damar

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #72 on: November 10, 2011, 05:51:26 AM »
Spoiler (mouse over to reveal):

I did listen to his speech, and yes, that does further the plot.  But it happens in a cut scene.  The battle itself doesn't further anything.  And yes, it is about time Shadrack stopped you.  Bad guys have been trying to stop Graham in several games without us jolting into RPG mode, though.  And yes, you did fight Mordack, but you beat him by figuring out the spells and using logic.  Here, Shadrack tries to stop you and suddenly the Ranger appears, makes an amulet out of the leftover stuff in you pocket (I guess Cassima's never getting that necklace back!) and says, "NOW FIGHT!"  There's a difference between the two.

As for Valanice, she's from the line of Black Cloaks, but she doesn't want to be one of them.  She's like Pandora.  Technically one of them but not buying into their plans.  And since a Black Cloak with only pure intentions could open the box, like Pandora, that's just what they needed.  Which could explain why they locked her away.  To make her turn against the Black Cloaks and not be corrupted by them so that they could come back and collect her later and make her open the box.

Offline AzzyGale

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #73 on: November 10, 2011, 06:43:32 AM »
I disagree that the battle doesn't add anything; I really feel it does add something to the game...suddenly we get something interactive and it was needed plot-wise, precisely due to the background stories and because of the storms happening.  It;s also a very fitting way to close an episode..although, I'll grant it, perhaps it would have been moore fitting for an epic finale to a trilogy. But we can't have that.

This is not for the game maker's self-gratification or feature testingl it was added, I feel, with the intention of expanding game experience and feel of that game experience and throughtout the game I WANTED to encouter Shadrack finally and show him that his arrogance is not justified. And we did just that!

I really do not understand this reluctance towards mini-games. This really isn't a battle per se, it's a mini game. I love them in adventure games myself. It was a similar thing in Quest for glory II remake...when they implemented that puzzle at Aziza, if I recall correctly. Been ages since I played. And the original series also had battles. Even if you say yes but it was conceived that way, I still see  not how it does not fit Silver lining, since clearly Quest for glory series is an  example of a very attractive adventure with rpg elements.


Too bad...Silver lining couldn't have explored it more.

And these elements are essentially elements we sought to enchant in episode 3, with druidic powers...protective elements of air and water and attacking powers of fire and earth. Why not put them to good use?  Active and passive elements. Interesting use of elements actually. But I think it goes well with definitions of elements, well parts of them, I really am quite satisfied with that battle and how it worked, precisely because it feels like such a classic system to use.

And if anything, it could have happened earlier...but then Graham would have prevented opening the Pandora'x box most likely. And Shadrack didn;t yet have the powers to flaunt to our dear adventurer.


That's still not it about Valanice, I really don't think it is.  There is more but it hasn't been explored properly, I feel.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 07:27:06 AM by AzzyGale »

Offline Sslaxx

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #74 on: November 10, 2011, 06:44:05 AM »
Shadrak's voice conflates in my head with Mankar Camoran.
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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #75 on: November 10, 2011, 07:36:02 AM »
I don't see how the Shadrack battle is any more RPG-ish than the battle with Mordack in KQ5. Personally, I would have made it more complex - being able to use all elements for both attack and defense. The fact that the battle was turn-based may not be very realistic, but I think it would upset people more if it were actually a real-time arcade battle.

And no, we're definitely not done learning about Valanice. :) Also, the game does have a real ending - it's not an open ending that would have been to be resolved in parts 2 and 3. True, some of the plot does end up seeming contrived, but I think that's what happens when you consolidate a story into 1/3 of what it was meant to be. Maybe it would have been better to throw out the whole thing and re-write it, but I think it works as is. Anyway, that's the designers' prerogative. People don't have to play it if they don't like it. And with a commercial game, that sort of thing would likely affect sales. In which direction is not clear - do a lot of people dislike the way things are being done, or is it just a very vocal minority? I'm not sure how you would make sure you had a representative sample for something like this. I guess that's why there are marketing people. :)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 07:44:20 AM by snabbott »

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Offline AzzyGale

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #76 on: November 10, 2011, 08:06:40 AM »
I don't see how the Shadrack battle is any more RPG-ish than the battle with Mordack in KQ5. Personally, I would have made it more complex - being able to use all elements for both attack and defense. The fact that the battle was turn-based may not be very realistic, but I think it would upset people more if it were actually a real-time arcade battle.


Well, you know, turn-based battles especially tended to be used in rpgs, and I think they immediatewly bring out these connotations.
 On the one hand- yes; I think the arcade in SL3 could be a proof of what yo;re saying.  And yes, this was made easier by this turning side..but as long at wouldn't be an all out-war blasting thing, but we'd still get t use this rockpaper-sciccors concept, even without the turn-base, it probaly wouldn;t have been so terribly scary. In any case, this cocnept is what appeals to me.

Quote
And no, we're definitely not done learning about Valanice. :)


Ah, yay! There is much more that was also hinted at throughout these games!

Quote
Also, the game does have a real ending - it's not an open ending that would have been to be resolved in parts 2 and 3. True, some of the plot does end up seeming contrived, but I think that's what happens when you consolidate a story into 1/3 of what it was meant to be. Maybe it would have been better to throw out the whole thing and re-write it, but I think it works as is. Anyway, that's the designers' prerogative. People don't have to play it if they don't like it. And with a commercial game, that sort of thing would likely affect sales. In which direction is not clear - do a lot of people dislike the way things are being done, or is it just a very vocal minority? I'm not sure how you would make sure you had a representative sample for something like this. I guess that's why there are marketing people. :)

interesting thing you;re saying, it kind of appeases me,m thoug I would have accepted an open ending as a sort or preliude to never to be realised other trilogy parts- a false sense of victory being one way to comprimise; there being a real ending..but not being one in the sense it would leave an opening for further stories. I hope I'm making myself clear here.

But I'll be glad to see something how shall I put it...tangible, that feels like and end, rather than just closure..there is a difference between these two, since closure implies subverting expectations of the receivers, while an ending ios something that grants them satisfaction and pleasure that the character has reached some definite end after hios trial and tribulations.

I would say it does  work.  I, for one, am not saying it doesn't it's just that when you play it it does feel like it's only a forestaste and a prelude to a part two, that would have been much bigger.  That;s why I was so far convcined that te ending would be a closure. And that's why my feeling is that some people may be somewhat disappointed hence they seem to be saying that battle or mini game saequences take up precvious time for a narriative without adding anything...while it's the contrary, in my mind.  

  

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #77 on: November 10, 2011, 10:30:28 AM »
One thing I'm a little confused about is Shadrack's eyes.  When episode 3 came out, the cutscene where he gleefully mocks Valanice depicts him as having red eyes, but when I saw this scene again in the episode 4 release, his eyes were hidden from view.  Edgar even says that Shadrack has "scary red eyes" in the opening cutscene from episode 1, but his eyes weren't visible in that scene either.  In fact, the only scene where Shadrack's eyes are visible at this point is the huge Shadrack head that swallows Graham in the closing cutscene of episode 4.

Is this deliberate?  Were the eyes in the episode 3 cutscene removed for any particular reason, or just because they were slightly out-of-sync with his face?

This isn't a big deal, it's purely an aesthetic issue for me.  I have a sort of affinity for glowing eyes (just look at my avatar).  I just think he looks more intimidating when you see his eyes and it becomes obvious that Shadrack is more of a monster than he is human.
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Offline aaadsa

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #78 on: November 10, 2011, 01:46:19 PM »
I found the puzzles in episode 4 to be pretty easy. I realize with adventure games it's often a matter of luck (whether you thought of something / tried something or missed it), but in this case it so happens that I finished the episode pretty quickly and wasn't stuck for too long on anything, except for one little place where I think the game text wasn't clear enough and threw me off course.

Regarding the Pandora's box challenge: I chose the normal level as it sounded reasonable. I managed to finish it after a while (though it was quite annoying), but I have to wonder: have you thought what this might do to an epileptic person? I mean with all the circles swirling, appearing and disappearing constantly, that can't be good for an epileptic, right?

Also, some of us are old school adventure gamers. By that I obviously mean old and slow :P It's pretty hard for us, and we don't expect to have our reflexes/hand-eye coordination tested in a King's Quest adventure game. ;)

To be blunt, the last two challenges (Pandora's box and the boss fight) seemed like someone was just using the fact that it's a freely distributed game to experiment, shoving his/her weird ideas to a large audience of people (who shouldn't really complain, since they're getting the game for free, right?). And when I say "experiment", I mean in a bad way. Adventure games are adventure games; you can add a few easy arcade games on the side (maybe even as easter eggs), but when you make them hard and focal it's stretching it beyond what fans of the genre are willing to accept. You're basically shoving stuff to a crowd of people who are not interested in this sort of game play - YOU may be interested in experimenting with that. Your audience is NOT - Experiment within the boundaries of the genre - don't change it completely to the point you're alienating your audience.

Regarding the narration: it's cute at times, annoying at others. Self consciousness is great from time to time and can add another comic dimension to a game but you need to be careful not to overdo it and overshadow the story, and in this case it was definitely too much at times.

Last but not least: thanks for your efforts developing the game. Even though I raised some issues that bothered me above, overall I have to say I found episode 4 to be quite enjoyable. The artisans' boulevard was especially beautifully designed so kudos to whoever was in charge of that!

« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 03:04:25 PM by aaadsa »

Offline Karens12345

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Re: Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts
« Reply #79 on: November 10, 2011, 01:54:17 PM »
congrats on a new episode, nice to see it's still going strong,

Im still playing the game, but, sad to say, like a deja vu from ep2-3 the game still seem to suffer from the exact same problems as the other chapters,

 and never before have the game felt so much like work when solving puzzles, traveling from place to place, back and forth, east and west,, pick up this, give this to him, get another item etc etc, it does feel very flat, monotone and trivial to be honest, where is the creativity of puzzles and the originality..?

even if the bugs and screen transitions seem to have been ironed out, I have to admit it has become a painfully dull gaming experience, and I hate to say it but Im going to have to wait for a walkthrough before finishing this, that's how boring the back and forth and fetch and bring have become to me. Cause I really want to see the rest of the game, the atmosphere, the dialogue etc, that's still worth playing TSL for imo,

but it surprises me hearing the designers intending for puzzles and sequences to be frustrating and essentially 'bad'!!.. what! :)
and because the outcome will then make you feel even more grateful, that you eventually got through it...
 
it's kinda like saying, hey, if your hamster died you'll be so sad that buying a new one will make you delirious with joy....
 that's cuckoo game design logic if you ask me...

considering how easy it would be to fix this by implementing a more in depth map transportation or in-game hint system (so you don't have to travel to 10 places just to get the final hint), would have made the game so much more fun and enjoyable.
Makes me sad thinking about how nice it would have been if you could concentrate on puzzles and story and not transportation and walking/running..

and you could really enjoy what makes it good, the nice talks, the atmosphere and parts of the cool backstory, and puzzles that aren't that bad at all, just a bit unoriginal, flat and trivial. Actually a lot of 'good' adv games have the same thing, often far worse puzzles too than TSL, but they're still considered quality games because of the solid, open dynamic gameplay lifting the whole thing up,,
in TSL it's the opposite, the slow gameplay makes the okay puzzles actually seem boring and syrupy,

It doesn't matter how the plot and story goes, if the gameplay is slow and tedious the puzzles and plot will feel the same,, and you've got a problem...

but Im repeating myself since the last chapter. It's the same criticism, and considering 99 percent of the team aren't to blame, it's not really fair to say it's the team's fault,, like someone said on this thread; a bad design is a bad design, and if it doesn't change over time it makes for a bad designer,


and if that feels unfair to say you don't have to look further than the many game reviews of TSL all over the web and how most non die hard KQ adventure game fans see TSL; it's getting more and more slaughtered for every chapter released :(

so maybe it's time to do something radical for chapter 5 to substantiate the 10 years TSL has been in development, and all the team members who have come and gone, but never really felt like they had a say other than the color of textures and the design of a lamp...
 maybe creating a truly fun, effective gameplay would be the best way to justify that, hmm :)
 

anything