Author Topic: Personal Reaction  (Read 3913 times)

Offline DaSkruff

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Personal Reaction
« on: July 12, 2010, 05:40:23 PM »
First off, I'm really glad you guys are continuing the series. It's been forever since I'd played a King's Quest (I grew up on them); Consequently, when I heard about this today I immediately downloaded it and beat episode 1 in one session. It was really good to get back to the world established so long ago.

As for thoughts on the episode itself, I'm in agreement with what I saw some people say earlier about it being less of an adventure game and more of a storyline in episode one. I'm hoping as well that the player's involvement is upped in the future episodes.

For voice work, I'm actually impressed I admit on the fact that all characters did get voiced over for this rendition; Graham sounds just as he should in my opinion, and I love the narrator's more over the top bits (Such and the ninja/samurai bit and the mocking for taking a breather). They really help bring the story and world to life a bit more.

As for suggestions, I would say there's a few control mechanics that would be useful added in:

1. An icon change for when you mouse over an exit: I spent a little bit of time trying to get to the lighthouse because it seemed like the most apparent thing on the screen, but I couldn't figure out how to get to it.

2. Double-clicking on exits to travel instantly/faster: Having to walk at the set speed from screen to screen can add in a lot of time of not doing anything while you wait for Graham to get to his location, and then for the location to load. It drags down the pacing of the game a bit.

3. A way to know what Graham is thinking: This tends to be a useful way to know what you need to do in modern point and clicks; at the beginning of this episode I roamed around the island for a while not knowing what I was supposed to do, because I hadn't picked up the cloak, and thereby Hassan never spawned and the cloaked man's transformation never triggered.

Those are the primary functional things I think would help this series progress; other small hopes such as some diversity to the musical score and some puzzles for the player to partake in are there as well, but not as important as the aforementioned.

On a side note, I honestly wouldn't mind paying a little for the next episode if it helps keep the project running. Maybe put a place for donations attached to the next episode, so that people can choose if they'd like to help?

Keep up the good work.

Offline kindofdoon

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Re: Personal Reaction
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2010, 05:44:37 PM »
Phoenix Online cannot make money from TSL. That was part of the deal they reached with Activision.

Daniel Dichter, Production/PR
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Offline B'rrr

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Re: Personal Reaction
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2010, 06:55:01 PM »
3. A way to know what Graham is thinking: This tends to be a useful way to know what you need to do in modern point and clicks; at the beginning of this episode I roamed around the island for a while not knowing what I was supposed to do, because I hadn't picked up the cloak, and thereby Hassan never spawned and the cloaked man's transformation never triggered.

Is that not just another way to describe hints of what to do next? it might be really usefull if you are stuck, but wouldn't that also take away a bit of the fun of solving puzzles all by yourself?
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Offline wilco64256

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Re: Personal Reaction
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2010, 07:01:03 PM »
Any time you get stuck in a King's Quest game, just imagine that the main character is thinking, "Now what did I forget to pick up back there?"
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Offline DaSkruff

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Re: Personal Reaction
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2010, 12:16:09 AM »
3. A way to know what Graham is thinking: This tends to be a useful way to know what you need to do in modern point and clicks; at the beginning of this episode I roamed around the island for a while not knowing what I was supposed to do, because I hadn't picked up the cloak, and thereby Hassan never spawned and the cloaked man's transformation never triggered.

Is that not just another way to describe hints of what to do next? it might be really usefull if you are stuck, but wouldn't that also take away a bit of the fun of solving puzzles all by yourself?

Except for when it's not really a puzzle, because it's something that doesn't make sense. It's not really logical line of thinking to go 'Hm. I can't do anything, Maybe if I pick up a cloak, it'll trigger a cut-scene in which the man with the doomsday sign will magically transform and a ferryman will appear.' No reasonable person is going to expect that out of the blue.

Not having picked up the cloak isn't a puzzle. It's:
1.) Not knowing you needed to.
2.) Not knowing you could do something.
3.) Not even knowing you can make it to that location to pick up the cloak.

These kind of loopholes can add a ton of monotonous spam clicking to a game that allows you 4 functions on almost every object in the environment. After a while, that becomes very not fun and takes away from playing the game.

Unfortunately, that's part of the reason the popularity of point and clicks have died; most people don't have the patience or desire to click blindly in hopes of randomly getting what the developer wanted them to find when they're trying to play a game and have fun. (I grew up on them, so I still have a decent level of tolerance, I just appreciate it nowadays when developers attempt to circumvent that loophole.)

That being said, I think it's a game of middle ground; Not 'No hint whatsoever.' or 'I need to go pick up the cloak.', but something more like 'Maybe there's something I can get from the castle to help me here.'

In the end, just my 2 cents tho.

(Posted on: July 13, 2010, 02:14:45 AM)


Any time you get stuck in a King's Quest game, just imagine that the main character is thinking, "Now what did I forget to pick up back there?"

^ Best answer possible. XD

(Posted on: July 13, 2010, 02:15:24 AM)


Phoenix Online cannot make money from TSL. That was part of the deal they reached with Activision.

Ah, see that's new news to me, as I hadn't heard anything about this project until today.

Thanks.

Offline crayauchtin

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Re: Personal Reaction
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2010, 03:30:57 AM »
If you go out to the dock and Hassan isn't there yet, the Narrator says something along the lines of "Maybe if you go back to the castle and look for a clue from the attack, it will give the ferry time to return."

As far as giving hints goes, that's pretty solid.
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Offline B'rrr

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Re: Personal Reaction
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2010, 04:14:35 AM »
Yush, you get it by clicking the eye on the water near the docks I think (where the ferry should be). And I agree with you DaSkruff, such suggestions aren't that bad for adventure gaming at all. At first I thought you referring more to things along the line of;

"I wonder how I can prove to this captain that I am part of the royal family..  hmm... perhaps I can find something in my room that can help me..."

That would be too much clue for me really  :-\
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Offline balderdasher

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Re: Personal Reaction
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2010, 01:57:36 AM »
Phoenix Online cannot make money from TSL. That was part of the deal they reached with Activision.

Hi, can't Phoenix Online establish itself as a non-profit? Or was the deal that they couldn't make ANY money? It seems like they could establish a game price in order to adjust for operating costs of creating the game.

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: Personal Reaction
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2010, 02:49:08 AM »
King's Quest has always had this formula of figuring things out on your own. I just recall the puzzles in KQ6 that irritated me. Given, I was only around 6 years old when I played it, I couldn't figure out the puzzles on the Sacred Mountain and it took me awhile to figure out what I was supposed to give the 5 dwarves on the Isle of Wonder.

Not to insult DaSkruff, but in comparison to the other KQ titles, the first episode was a gimme as far as progression goes. Although, I can understand your confusion if you had walked to the docks and hadn't picked up the cloak. It's just that adding some form of a hint would take away from the free-form adventuring that the series is known for. The most I could do is give you tips on what to look for.

You mentioned that using the 4 icons on everything that isn't nailed down would become monotonous in this game, while I agree, there is a method to the madness. For instance, in the hallway going down to the garden, I tried to pick up something off of the suit of armor (the lance or shield, heck, even the helmet would have been cool to use), but all I got was a comment from the narrator that said Graham prefers his tunic and tights to a full suit of armor. Clearly, the developers were aware that someone was going to try and pick something from the armor up, or else they wouldn't have programmed the animation and recorded the narrator's comment.

It's not about clicking on everything, just finding something that stands out, or looks useful. Also, if you didn't know to look in the garden for the cloak, I just stress that you must leave no stone unturned. I tried to open every door in the castle just to be on the safe side before I left the castle, but to no avail, only Graham's guest room was accessible. When I went into town, I searched in each pot, the chest, tried to access both the pawn shop and bookstore, talked to the doomsayer, tried to pick up the banner debris, etc. I spent a lot of time doing things that amounted to nothing, but it adds to the adventuring aspect. Besides, if you really get stuck, you always have us.  ;D   
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Offline MusicallyInspired

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Re: Personal Reaction
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2010, 09:09:58 AM »
Most King's Quest players are rock solid in their game mechanics from the adventure days of yore. They know instinctively to go everywhere, look at everything, and try to pick up everything before moving on. And if they do move on too soon they go back and look for something they missed. That said, this is a new generation now and as TSL is trying to garner more players it should be made a little easy. That said, that hint that is given by the narrator is surely hint enough. I even got stuck because I couldn't find the coin to pay the ferryman and the narrator again told me to go back to the castle and look for a clue. I then remembered the puzzle from the old demo and knew the coin was in my room somewhere but just didn't know where. I figured it out eventually, though.

So all that said, I think things are perfect as is. I don't really want a cursour highlight of objects I can interact with (because in King's Quest games, minus KQ5 and KQ7, that's everything anyway).

I DO like the idea of double-clicking to move faster or double-clicking exits to move faster and/or exit locations instantaneously. One thing about the old KQ games was that you could change the game speed. Not something that's really done anymore now, but it did help us to get through locations quickly. I think the same should be considered here in some fashion. The way Telltale does it seems quite good: double-click to run/walk faster. That's about the only thing I'd like to see added regarding the current interface.

Offline garyoa1

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Re: Personal Reaction
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 10:20:23 PM »
Actually the format is really a bit too simple for me. Perhaps on purpose to get those not into adventure games interested without losing them. Hopefully the next episode will turn into a "real" adventure game.

Unlike a "shoot em up", the adventure games make you think. That's what makes them so much fun. It's really sad that they are losing so much ground to the "if it moves kill it" type of games.

I always thot of adventure games as a form of an animated puzzle. Not to confuse that with puzzles in games. I hate puzzles in games but it seems you can't get an adventure game without them.

Offline DaSkruff

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Re: Personal Reaction
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2010, 01:26:23 PM »
That said, that hint that is given by the narrator is surely hint enough.

The problem I had accordingly is that to get that hint, you apparently had to very specifically click on the water with the eye. When I made my way to the pier, I think I attempted to fiddle with the pier once or twice, because I didn't really know that was where a ferry was supposed to appear.

I admit, for point and clicks, I have moved on with culture a good deal towards the quicker paced games overall, and that tends to draw me away from clicking on everything; I'm glad the ability is there, but the more non-relevant talking I'm listening to, the less interacting I'm doing.

I think the inclusion of a hint system (Such as in either Tell Tale Games [But hopefully better implementer] or the Monkey Island remake) would help the game flow better, rather than the bane of the genre, which is getting stuck because something doesn't make sense until after you do it.

Even better I believe, would be to have a choice, right at the beginning of the game: 'Classic KQ' vs 'Graham's input' vs 'Graham's a Know it all' or something. Let people choose how long their going to be stuck looking for a specific item in a non-sensible place (Coin on a balcony, for people who didn't play the previous games).
 

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