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Episode 4: Feedback and Thoughts

Started by dark-daventry, November 06, 2011, 03:08:08 PM

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I must admit, the travelling was a pain in the ass. The Isle of Beast and the Castle got an audible groan out of me cause it was time consuming bouncing between them constantly for stuff. That may just be how this chapter was though. I loved the Isle of the Winged ones though :) That was cool ^^


Good goddamn, this is a great game.  I can't get over the visuals -- they look better than some professional games.  Frankly, if it weren't buggy as hell, I wouldn't notice it was a fangame at all (hey, it's my fault for playing it the first weekend it's out...I'm sure the bugs will all be gone in a month or two).

Three highlights for me: the city of the Winged Ones was utterly gorgeous.  Shadrack's voice blew me away with how professional it sounded.  And Amy Kurylo's singing voice is divine (and the song is divine too!).

Great job, guys!  Now get to work squelching all those bugs.  :)
My dad is King Graham, so that makes me a prince!


Quote from: aaadsa on November 10, 2011, 01:46:19 PM

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.

That's it in a nutshell although Karsten made some excellent points, too.  I don't play adventure games to have my reflexes tested and if this is the way you intend to keep going, I very much doubt I'll be playing Episode 5 or, to be honest, any future games you intend to make.

I really wanted to like TSL.  I kept going through some game-killing bugs with the aid of a walkthrough...a scroll with crucial info that wouldn't open at the maze, cut scenes that wouldn't play, sudden slowdowns that made it necessary to save, quit and reopen the game...even cursed my way through that ride up the mountain.  Then I ran into Pandora's Box and that was it for me.  Mental challenges I can deal with and enjoy, having to jump through hoops like that with unresponsive reflexes like mine when the puzzle itself was so obvious as to be insanely simple, was too much. 

You seem adamant about adding what I see as RPG elements to point and click adventure games.  So be it.  If that's the case, and this is what the future holds for them, I can see I'll be replaying the great adventures I already own, games like Grim Fandango, Broken Mirror, ZGI, the Sherlock Holmes games and Lost Horizon to name a few, that challenge the mind, not the reflexes.


Favourite chapter so far!

Still a little too much blah-blah and verbal exposition - seriously Graham, you're supposed to be saving your kids, not wandering down memory lane.  ;D

That said, I thought the bit about Alexander was much more interesting - and relevant - than Rosella, considering the circumstances.

Graham is still a shameless kleptomaniac [spoiler]Can I have this? No reply? That must mean yes![/spoiler] and I cracked up so hard when [spoiler]the beast killed him[/spoiler] as a result of his light-fingered habits.

Valanice's back-story is really interesting - my sincere congratulations and gratitude for the story you've weaved for the whole family.  :-*

Oh and the tailor's accent - I love it!

(Posted on: November 12, 2011, 08:41:50 AM)

Quote from: Arkillian on November 10, 2011, 02:23:12 PM
I must admit, the travelling was a pain in the ass. The Isle of Beast and the Castle got an audible groan out of me cause it was time consuming bouncing between them constantly for stuff. That may just be how this chapter was though. I loved the Isle of the Winged ones though :) That was cool ^^

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that.

The travelling really was painful at times - I missed Alexander's magic map. Why couldn't Graham have boosted that from his son's possessions?

I liked that leaving the Beast's castle put you past a section of the maze, but maybe after the first time, simply entering the [spoiler]cut open hedge[/spoiler] can be enough to enter the castle?

The running around is especially painful when you're not sure what to do next and you're checking to see if you missed picking up a random item or not. Another possible solution is double-clicking on the edge of the screen to automatically fade to the next area? (That could be an option switched on or off by the player as their patience shortens or lengthens? Sometimes walking through an area is desirable for immersion.)

Speaking of boosting items, I thought it very odd that [spoiler]Graham arbitrarily would take the tinderbox and flute[/spoiler] at the very beginning, for no apparent reason, despite not taking anything else because he had 'no reason to'.

And yeah, the Isle of the Winged Ones was GORGEOUS. And the dude with the purple hair - hilarious. Thanks for letting us finally [spoiler]fly around the place.[/spoiler] :)

(Posted on: November 12, 2011, 09:03:43 AM)

Quote from: Arkillian on November 10, 2011, 03:15:43 AM

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.

Heh. He is so incredibly wussy/pansy that I am convinced that Rosella married him purely to become princess of Etheria.

We need a story where Alexander and Edgar have to team up to save their respective wives, and the questing experience (and Alexander's example) man that blond prince up!

And then Alexander and Edgar run away together.  :rofl:


 I finally got Pandora's Box after two hours of staring at symbols and screaming at the circles to slow down and stop disappearing every two seconds.

I'm not kidding. Two hours. No wonder Valanice went crazy! I was also ready to tear out my hair and throw myself off a balcony after that.

In other words, congratulations! I haven't been driven this crazy by a puzzle since KQ3!


I posted some of this in the fight thread, but I wanted to add some positives!

I liked the hedge maze.  I didn't have too many bug problems so I was good with it.

Really I liked the puzzles in general (and I played this on a newer computer so I enjoyed it more than previous chapters cause it ran better)  This was the first one I didn't have to resort to a walkthrough due to computer issues so I had a nice time. 

I liked the time reverse bits, I found it a nice touch and there is no reason for me to think on it too hard, its just fun :)

Small things:  I took the wood to the termites expecting them to make me a horn, so imagine my shock when they made me a white king!  There were a number of things I did "by accident", did that come up at all in beta or with others??

Agree with others the travel between islands got tedious.

LOVED the Isle of the Sacred Mountain!!!!

The episodic nature means that I forget things from last time, I assumed I had already read the poem book in the bookstore for a really long time.  Its hard to remember what you tried, what you didn't, and what's different now.  I really would like to avoid episodic stuff in the future. 

Why the hell couldn't I just ask the Beast/Prince for the horn?  I didn't go back and talk to him because I realized what I was supposed to do, was that addressed if I were to talk to him again? 

Also I got frustrated that I couldn't directly address the muse playing the harp, trying to talk to just her got me her 2 annoying sisters.  That stalled me for a LONG time!

Also, WE HAVE A GENIE!  Why is everything so hard? :)

Where DID the actual white king go? 

I thought the fact that the scepter/locket fight with the queens got emphasized meant I should be looking for a locket, and giving one of them them the baton, that threw me off for quite a while!

I have to BUILD a paintbrush when my comatose son has one just lying around????

I love the overarching story can't wait to see where it goes.

Was that the pumpkin house from KQ7 in the cutscene at the very beginning???  Cause that's awesome!

And as I and many others have stated, I HATED the last 2 sections.  If I want to play an RPG, I will play an RPG.  I didn't play QFG cause I didn't like those elements.  And no, this was nothing like the ending sequence from KQ5, which as I have said, was a puzzle battle.  And really, I have to assemble 12 zodiac signs????  There should be a puzzle about which 4 I need, then I assemble those 4.  12 is just stupid, and so is having the narrator in that puzzle.  And no, I wasn't tense after it became obvious I wasn't on a timer and wasn't going to get killed.

And really Valanice?  You should be prepared to sacrifice your own child for the sake of the world.  The whole time I was being forced to open the Pandora's Box all I could think was, if you open this the world ends, so we all die anyway, why am I doing this?????

Keep the puzzles semi logical and quit with the hand-eye coordinating arcade stuff, and I will LOVE LOVE LOVE episode 5.


I want to congratulate everyone involved in the creation of this game on their excellent work. I have enjoyed playing all the episodes. The arcade type sequences are also great, maybe frustrating at times but with endings that make them well worth the effort. At the [spoiler]end of the Shadrack fight[/spoiler] I almost screamed with delight  :).

What peaks my curiosity is the different death messages and narrations on each click or action. I keep clicking on anything and everything I can and many times I end up giggling or laughing out loud at the narrator's comments. My complements to Amy  8).

At the same time, there is the intensity of the storyline that makes this game so gripping. It's almost like watching an interactive movie. All the voice actors are terrific and really play their characters well. I love how Valanice is becoming an integral part of the story and [spoiler]the whole druid thing[/spoiler] is very exciting.

Keep it up guys! I look forward to playing episode 5.
Carpe Diem! Seize the day!!

Big C from Cauney island

Seriously amazing episode!!! Where to begin.. The beast maze, though I was expecting something more like the dungeon of KQ5, was awesome. Visually very impressive. The same goes for the winged ones city.  The boss battle was cool, as was the valanice puzzle. I had to switch it to easy to pass.  It seems like the visuals in this chapter definitely stepped up a notch. I would say in total it took me 7 hours to finish. At times, it was frustrating going between islands, but that is minor.  There were some glitches in the boss fight, but a cool fight none the less.  I was so angry when the game ended, I've got to see chapter five. I REALLY have to see it, especially with a new graphics engine. What will you be using?

Anyways, well done and well thought out. You did the green isles proud.  Some funny parts too.
I don't know how you guys did this in your spare time.  Wow. Just Wow.  And that piece of wood was way to heavy for graham to carry. That was pretty hilarious for me.


We will be using Unity for Episode 5. We are pretty excited about it.


Katie Hallahan
~Designer, PR Director~

"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix." Christina Baldwin

I have a blog!


First of all, I really enjoyed this episode, I do believe! ^_^

I've already mentioned in the "Feedback on the fight" thread my feelings on that puzzle and the Pandora's Box puzzle, so I'll leave those aside here, other than again to say that I like the concepts.

Primarily, however, I would like to say that I think that the Isle of the Beast had what is perhaps one of my favourite implementations of a maze in an adventure game: specifically, the overhead perspective but limited viewing area allowed one to explore without truly getting lost, and the broad avenues (rather wider than the usual hedge maze, I suspect) kept things visible and allowed space to interact.  Well done on an overall non-annoying - even at times enjoyable - maze implementation, if I may say! ^_^

My criticisms of the maze are navigational:

First, the movement mechanism used by the game became a little annoying in this setting, as moving around involved (for me) fairly rapid repeated clicking as Graham moved.  Perhaps more suited might have been a "driving" mechanism in which one clicks and holds to have Graham walk towards the cursor or, lessening the shift in control scheme, a more complex pathfinding that might have allowed Graham to find his way around a turn or two.

Second, I ended up navigating the maze more than once, especially since I managed to miss that there were two parts to find, as I recall, and while I recall enjoying the initial explorations, re-navigating the maze was a little tedious, I think. While the suggestions given above for the first issue would likely help here, another suggestion to this might be to allow Graham to "teleport" (perhaps hidden by some camera-work) to any part of the maze already covered.

As to Graham's ride, I will say only this:
[spoiler]Villain NOM![/spoiler] ;P

Oh, and I'm glad to read that you're moving over to Unity, by the way.  Having used both Torque and Unity, as I recall, I remember being glad to leave Torque behind and enjoying the use of Unity.  Enjoy! ^_^


Ok... I really enjoyed the visuals of the game, and the added areas were amazing! The music was perfect.

Personally, my issues, though, were (besides the initial cutscene) Graham basically got zero emotional support in this episode. He had a few short conversations, but little was substantial. I kept waiting for a nice long conversation with Shamir, which didn't happen - just a short, rather obvious, conversation.

Also, there was no clear separation between the directions and the "X Marks the Spot" image in the maze - I thought they were the same place, which drove me nuts.

A retcon: according to KQVI, the Beast's state (pre-Beauty) had become intertwined with Alexander's state - hence, the Becoming a Beast 'Death' in KQVI. This game by no means reflects that extension of the curse. Actually, that should apply to anyone on that Isle, now.

Finally, the last two parts: I had to take an anti-anxiety pill and 3 Excedrin to finish the battle sequence.
And, as previously noted, the Box puzzle isn't ideal for people with seizures. Since I have seizures, and am prone to dizziness and migraines, that puzzle really put me on edge - no strong reactions, just a little dizziness and a headache. Then again, my seizures aren't caused by flashing lights, but I am sympathetic to those who have that issue.


Dawson--re: the map locations, that's odd. The story should have a title that mentions a Key while the picture has a title that mentions a Lock. I forget the exact words off the top of my head, but did they not show up for you?

Katie Hallahan
~Designer, PR Director~

"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix." Christina Baldwin

I have a blog!


Katie, I'll check when I get a chance, but I don't recall any clear signs.

Also, did you notice my comment about the typing error in the Narrator's subtitles when looking at the statue in the maze? (Currently "" instead of "...loves")


You guys did an amazing job with Ep4. I was very impressed. I really liked the Pandora's box opening puzzle that was a tough one. I rank that one as one of the hardest puzzles that I have ever done in a Kings Quest based game. I rank that one up with the puzzle in Torrin's Passage where you have to organize the creatures to get perfect harmony to open up the Chamber to go down to the next area.

I also like the interaction with Pan I thought that was a great idea and added a little bit of nostalgia hearing some of the music from KQIV. I also liked the interaction with the Prince and Beauty on the Isle of the Beast. One of my favorite deaths is where you try to [spoiler]take the real painting[/spoiler] off of Beast and he kills you that one took me by surprise. I like the pun that the narrator says after falling down the grate that was very funny.


Katie, I just checked the Key and Lock clues. They're both labeled, but the Lock title is in a small cursive font, so it looks more like "The Path to the Lord", as in Lord of the Castle. So I took it as some reference to the Rose poem that I missed.


I think that I had a similar problem with the lock-and-key puzzle; in my case, I think that it was simply that I was expecting a single item to go into the hole (the "key", with the hole being the "lock"), and took the "lock" title on the scroll as an error. ^^;


Quote from: Thaumaturge on November 19, 2011, 11:06:37 AM
I think that I had a similar problem with the lock-and-key puzzle; in my case, I think that it was simply that I was expecting a single item to go into the hole (the "key", with the hole being the "lock"), and took the "lock" title on the scroll as an error. ^^;

Same here, but I guess it was good that it was the only puzzle that stumped me for more than an hour.


Am I correct in assuming that the 5th episode will take place in an entirely different scenery?

It's just that I think there's a lot of potential left in the existing places that wasn't fully explored, mainly in the winged city (main square contains lovely unexplored structures and people to talk to) and the island of the beast (palace barely explored, e.g. the room at the top and interesting objects).

I'm not sure if all these objects were cut out due to schedule constraints or added as scenery in the first place - seems like an awful waste either way..


Quote from: aaadsa on November 22, 2011, 06:50:26 PM
Am I correct in assuming that the 5th episode will take place in an entirely different scenery?

Weldon Hathaway