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Author Topic: unique adventures, new ways  (Read 13292 times)

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gfx johnny

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unique adventures, new ways
« on: June 10, 2004, 09:18:20 AM »

Hi all - today i'm rather a design johnny ;D

Yesterday i played Loom again after all these years, and i'm still loving it :) Its so well designed and unique, just fantastic. You don't need an inventory, nor the classic verbs. Nevertheless the drafts are a nice replacement for that, allowing new kind of riddles. Of course there are more games who try to enhance the old ways (e.g. Death Gate).

So, what do you think? Better to go the classic way, using verbs or icons representing actions the character can do, or do you rather want to see new innovations, if they enhance the game experience?

And what about new ideas? I guess its easy to destroy an adventure with stupid new innovations ;) Do you have any good ideas? Oh well, i dont want to steal your conceptions :D So i will throw in some of my ideas. After playing loom, i thought about some kind of new ways to control the character.

I found some concepts, for example you could play some kind of robot. Remember "Beneath a steel sky?" ;D Oh man, Joey was so cool, and his voice, too :) He was just a sidekick back there, but i think playing some kind of intelligent and sarcastic machine could be interesting; or you could play some kind of cybernetic human, so it wouldn't be too strange/alien. In BASS, you had to find new shells for your robot so he was able to do other things. So that was "my" first idea... as a robot, you would have some default tools; some kind of grasper/picker arm, an analysis tool (scanner, or a telescope perhaps) to replace the classic verbs. It could be a challenge to find new tools so you have more options. You could even avoid an inventory, so your robot can just take one or two items with him. Plenty of room for unique riddles i guess. But not that kind of a new idea, also ;)

I guess loom influences me more than i want to ;) I just love the concept behind it. Weaving spells, the whole guild concept and so on. I guess spells are a common way to enhance the possibilities of your character. Several games use spells. Another idea based on that would be a super hero main character: he would have unique super powers who will allow interaction with the game world. He could learn new powers (perhaps from his enemies or by drinking a power potion ;D) or perhaps you can choose between several heros with different sets of powers. But i dont know if this idea is too strange for some people.


Oh well, i guess i'm stuck here... Loom ist controlling my every thought, i fear... ;)  i think i just hit a dead-end. So, anyone wants to discuss this matter? Anyone thought about this yet? I would love to hear your ideas, your comments about this aspect of adventures. And don't limit yourself to the facets described here - let this thread be about every new idea you can have. Tell me! :)


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Nihil

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2004, 09:47:17 AM »

Well, I for myself work on a very classical adventure with only one real special thing, two different endings, to be played with different actors depending on a choice you have to make at a certain point of the game. But well, in the end this isn't THAT special  ;)

As this is the first game I ever really worked on I think it's not a good idea to re-invent the wheel before learning the basics.

I never played Loom, so I don't know what new ways it went, but innovations, as long as they are well done, are always good, at least for me. I like old-shool adventures very much, be it point&click or with a parser, but if someone comes with a whole new systems I'm more than interested to play it, and as long as the game still has that atmosphere an adventure needs for me (that you become a part of the story, that the virtual world becomes real for you while playing) - why not?
As long it does not end in a so-called action-adventure where the only adventure-part is collecting keys and pushing switches to open doors I say go for it  8)

Playing a sarcastic robot sounds good ... maybe you should add some depressions and call him Marvin  ;)
The idea to having to update him to solve different riddles is also good, as long as it's not used too much - I think then it could become boring after a while ... but well, that depends on how you do it I guess.

The idea with the diefferent super-heroes is also good - everyone has to solve certain riddles depending on his abilities, like in Maniac Mansion ... if this is well done it could be a very good reason to play the game very often with different actors. But you have to be careful while designing the riddles then, not that one of chars isn't able to solve the game because he turns out to be a not so super super-hero  ;D

gfx johnny

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2004, 10:16:11 AM »



In Loom, you play Bobbin, 17 year old Weaver. You dont use verbs or inventory. A single mouse click is for selecting things, doubleclick is for using it. Its used most of the time for giving information about a thing (~look at).

Then you just have your distaff, a weaver instrument. Its a wooden staff with whom you can weave drafts (~spells). The staff is seperated in different parts, and every part is representing one note. To finish a draft/spell, you must play 4 notes using the right combination. You start with three notes (c,d,e) and only a few drafts. For solving important steps you get new notes.

For example, you will find a green dyeing cauldron to color clothes (see above). If you use it, it will play the 4 notes for dying something green. If you play the notes in reverse order, you could dye somthing green to white. At one point of the game, you need to dye white sheeps green, so a dragon who kills the sheep will fetch you instead, because everything else (sheep&grass) is green ;)

So instead of verbs you just use your drafts. You will learn several spells, for example: open, light, mirror, drain, fear, invisibility.

So, its not just a special thing, its elementary. After all, its the only thing you can actually do ;D


Btw: it would be too cool if anyone could throw in some more ideas or facets to develop new ones. :)
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Nihil

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2004, 11:53:02 AM »

Shit, just wrote an answer and then my browser crashed  >:(

Anyway, when you say "its the only thing you can actually do" - does that mean that there are not even conversation possible, or did you refer just to the "active" game part?

And for really new ideas ... I'm afraid it's way to hot to be creative today  8)

But there is a thread about multiplayer-mode somewhere in this forum, that is something I REALLY want to see some day, though it's very complicated to do without going too far in the role-play direction ... but definately interesting for me.
Something like Maniac Mansion perhaps, with different characters that have to work together to solve some tasks.

But as mentioned in the thread - that is VERY hard to plan, because a lot of problems arise that do not occur in single-player mode, like one player takes an important item and then goes offline etc. ... I think it could only be done with a really limited amount of players, lets say 2 or 3, not a mmorpg or something. And you have to find a way handling the items of players that leave and so on ... but it could be a very interesting new kind of game I think.

Here is a link to the thread: http://forum.dead-code.org/index.php?topic=90.0

gfx johnny

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2004, 12:43:14 PM »

Quote
anyway, when you say "its the only thing you can actually do" - does that mean that there are not even conversation possible, or did you refer just to the "active" game part?
You wont choose your answers during a conversation, nor an overall direction. Loom is some kind of fairy tale, with its beautiful music (Tschaykovski's swan lake), its characters and its story.


I think a multiplayer mode in an adventure would be interesting, but that's too much for me. I want to create something like a classic adventure, but with a new way to control and solve it. I guess one adventure started using verbs (text aera), and then almost every adventure just did it the same way. This kind of control is obvious, but rare masterpieces like Loom (my opinion of course) show us you can do it differently.

And i will use Wintermute, so multiplayer support had to be there, too. I think thats not a priority for Wintermute at the moment. And i wouldnt make it one, if i were Mnemonic :) 
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Nihil

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2004, 12:44:34 PM »

Oh, one new thing I forgot: there came out an Adventure recently where you had to sign-up on an internet-site to play it, and from time to time you got a mail from them with new informations regarding the story, and newsletter articles on the page and stuff like that ... I forgot the name of the game, but it sounded interesting.

Nihil

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2004, 12:56:18 PM »

I think a multiplayer mode in an adventure would be interesting, but that's too much for me.

I can understand that :-)

Quote
I want to create something like a classic adventure, but with a new way to control and solve it. I guess one adventure started using verbs (text aera), and then almost every adventure just did it the same way. This kind of control is obvious, but rare masterpieces like Loom (my opinion of course) show us you can do it differently.

I see ... but I have no real idea for a new way to control the game ... I choose the very simple form of left-click = action and right-click = look at.
Not very creative, but it works :-)

Quote

Well, time will tell :-)))

gfx johnny

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2004, 01:25:19 PM »

Quote
I see ... but I have no real idea for a new way to control the game ... I choose the very simple form of left-click = action and right-click = look at.
Not very creative, but it works :-)
I guess i will have to do it in a similar way if im not able to come up with something both new and interesting. ;)  But its not a disadvantage, the classic control concept is approved.

After all, there are lots of possibilities to make your game special. Even if want to find a new way to control a character, i woud love to talk about other ideas in almost every area. :)

Perhaps we should speak about innovative elements of well known adventures, to find new starting points for own ideas. On the other side, perhaps we become blind about new ideas because we just try to enhance old ideas ;) Oh well, lets start! ;D

(grmbl: the super hero-idea was already done besides MM, i remember... Bureau 13, in a similar way, oh well ;))

-> the famous insult-duel of monkey island
-> use of sidekicks to solve riddles (BASS, Indy4)
-> loom and its spells instead of verbs
-> different actors with different abilities (Maniac Mansion, Bureau 13)
-> new methods of manipulation (bottle of time, Chronomaster)
-> ?   





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McCoy

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2004, 08:12:39 PM »

Mhhh... maybe a variation of the robot or superhero thing: A character who can turn itself in animals, like some kind of power. I know there's a technical name for that in RPG but I can't remember now, well, I know it in spanish, but not in english  :-\.

But that way, for example, the character could turn into a dog, changing it human habilities for the dog's one, like bite, bark, pee, and such  ;D, or a rat, or anything needed. Maybe at first you're normal and during the adventure you acquire such power, and maybe you can't turn in anything you want, only things you've touched or something like that, having to solve puzzles to get new forms out of new animals you find, or something.

Just a rough idea  :)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2004, 03:37:21 AM by McCoy »
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Nihil

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2004, 08:17:20 PM »

Yes, like in the first part of Legacy of Kain, where you could transform into a wolf, Fog and some Bird if I remember correctly. That could give some cool puzzles  :)

FinnishBoy

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2004, 11:14:20 PM »

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rcorp

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2004, 08:56:53 AM »

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gfx johnny

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2004, 09:05:50 AM »

McCoy, that is really great! :o 8)

I think the term could be "shape shifting" or "shapeshifter". I remember there was a first-person action game from origin a long time ago, "Shadowcaster". It was great. You were able to aquire new forms and you had to use them for lots of riddles (using a flying form to get over pits for example). It enhanced the gameplay in many ways, and it was fun to walk around the level in a different body. Hmm, there even was an adventure about a shape shifter, Dragonsphere (oh these old memories). Or wait, it was about a king's son and he had to travel to a tribe of shape shifter or something like that. He got a shape shifter ring and at the end of the game, he had to use the ring to became a seal and a bear. But it was far away from your idea. It was just a little element there.   

Your idea seems to be very cool... just reading about it gets me excited ;D I hoped for something like this when starting this topic. Now i can think about this, and i will get new ideas, i'm sure... and i will even look for old games i remember, because i guess there are lots of nice mechanisms out there which were never used in an adventure game. 

@Finnishboy:
My english isnt good either, but i can understand all of your sentences, thats the most important thing :)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2004, 09:08:01 AM by gfx johnny »
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Alek

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2005, 12:16:28 PM »

Adventure I'm currently developing in AGS ("Sar") is trying to integrate traditional puzzles, nonlinear puzzles and arcade elements. Some examples:

 - the player can have the protagonist, At Teuren, wield his sword at any given moment - by pressing "T". Pressing "U" causes At to swing it - which makes it possible to find a crude solution to apparently subtle problem (for example, confronted with locked door At can either make a lockpick or blow it open with the sword). Pressing "D" causes At to duck, which allows him to evade certain dangers.

 - Player is forced to make quick decisions that affect course of the game - for example, the game opens with the player and his friend being chased by enemy fighter in the outer space.  Friend's ship is hit. Will the player - evading enemy fire - rescue his friend, or will he care for his own life only?

 - Certain actions heighten or lessen probability of suceeding in certain tasks in the future. Example: player is kidnapped by bad guys. He awakens confined within locked store room,  fruit-filled crates lying before him. The baddies will appear within about 20-30 seconds. Now, the more fruits the player character will eat, the more probable is he'll manage to disable the bad guys once they arrive, getting the chance to flee from his captivity.

 I'm also planning another feature that will be (hopefully) used in "Ambers of dream" - ability to interact with enviroment  with other purpose than solving a puzzle required to advance the story. Example:

 - early in the game, Adrian (who just found himself in spooky, abadonned town) enters empty flat. What he can do here,  apart from filling his bucket with water (which is required to advance the game) is to pick up the TV remote control, turn on the TV (the screen shows static) and listen to eerie sound it emits (this interaction would serve no other but  atmospheric purpose).  Some interactions would trigger short cutscenes, giving the player feeling of watching - and being part of  - an interactive movie.

 To conclude, I think every adventure game designer should have at least slight experience with interactive fiction - either as a player or as a programmer. Every adventure game should strive to be a simulation rather than a succession of puzzles - and programming in TADS gives you a feeling you're actually programming a simulated enviroment, not just interactive, linear chain of puzzles most of the point&click games are. The point is - I believe - to make the fictional world of the game ALIVE and responding to the player's actions, not just a challenge player must go through to learn the story. The other point is to make the player character himself/herself  believable - to allow him to act not only on the basis of pure logic, but also psychological probability.
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tdbgamer

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loom
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2005, 10:52:26 PM »

i forgot wat the drafts were. please someone tell me wat they were.
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Alek

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2005, 08:53:14 PM »

Drafts were patterns of sounds used by Weavers (and the player) to affect reality.
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CockAndBalls

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2010, 02:41:56 PM »

Sorry I haven't read the replies just throwing in my 2 cents,

When designing which system you want to use, I recommend totally forgetting everything you know about adventure-game and just think it purely from scratch, when I've done so I've found that the convention is very flawed and there are better ways,
since adventure-games are simple from a game-design perspective it doesn't really take that long to "re-invent the wheel", no need to analys much about how other games has done it.
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selmiak

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Re:unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2011, 08:38:59 PM »

I don't know if you know, there is an unofficial Loom sequel in the making. I designed the website for it, it's called Forge. At the moment the team needs a new spriter, maybe someone will even read this and can help. All the others, enjoy the demo, it's really great, uses the same graphical style as Loom did and the gauntlet system is a unique way of interacting with the environment like Loom did with the distaff.
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R19Nip

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unique adventures new ways
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2014, 08:42:58 PM »

Ive never actually seen it happen, but I know it has happened in games.  I wonder how hard it would be to give a small random chance of planets in the same effect?
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Mot

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Re: unique adventures, new ways
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2017, 01:37:22 AM »

Recently I watched a teaser for an adventure game adaptation of Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth. After seeing the video, it got me wondering about the subgenre, since it looks as a graphical adventure, however, it feels somehow different. Fast forward the video to 1:35, and you'll see what I saw.

Would you say it's something new? Has anyone seen anything like it?
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 02:02:52 AM by Mot »
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