Author Topic: Adventure game appeal  (Read 6254 times)

Adventure game appeal
« on: 13 Sep 2006, 22:07 »
     What do you look for in your adventure games? What appeals to you most? What attracts you to an adventure game?
     I find that the most important thing for me is immersion. I really need the game to keep my interest, have excitement, and be enjoyable to play. So I guess the story line has a lot to do with amount of immersion in an adventure game. If it has a great story I find it will meet my requirement; as it WILL hold my interest, have excitement and be enjoyable to play.
     What does everyone think???

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #1 on: 14 Sep 2006, 09:15 »
I look for an appealing story, that while not necessarily new, has a new spin on things.  Also, I enjoy non-conventional gameplay elements; that is, I would rather adventure games were not just a collection of irritating inventory packrat puzzles.  There's so much more people can do with an adventure game if they want to, and the games that offer new and interesting gameplay options are the ones I watch for.

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #2 on: 14 Sep 2006, 10:47 »
Difference. Something that stands out. Not your average LEC/Sierra clone but rather something unique, whether it be gameplay, story or presentation.

Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #3 on: 14 Sep 2006, 12:04 »
I would disagree with 2ma2, but only if it's freeware adventures. Anything nostalgic, new, different, so long as it's fun and can keep you playing. One cannot expect hobbyists to reinvent the genre, it will be too critical on them. But then again, freeware is most likely where 'difference' will come from :), though the 'normal' are still where the fun is most of the time.

Commercial is another story.

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #4 on: 14 Sep 2006, 12:28 »
Maybe this could be answered in a different way:

What are your 5 favourite AGS games?

Checking the simmilarities to these games, and analysing a little will probably give a result.

I'd sya that a definite favourtie are the apprentice series, the Ben Jordan series, Yatsee series, and maybe few others. Again I'm the one who is cuting and choosing abd may dissapoint others. I oculd add many more games, but some times popularity is enough for a quick judgement.

What do all of these 3 series have in common?

Very taken care elements: graphics and music.
Gameplay that can last for a rather long time.
A story that intruiges.
Characters for which you can almost relate with. Ben Jordan is the hero of 5 series! I mean you may as well sleep with him on your head. Pim the same (and sorry for the spelling), Yatsees' heroes as well (though I've not played any of his games, sadly :().
Twists and the element to keep you playing.

When I was younger I was playing for the ending sequence. I was fascianted by good graphics nad music and all that. An ending sequence for me, always means a rewarding experience for the player, and these games have this element also.

Dunno what else...

Something unique can be said for Vinces' games, for example (anna etc...) and they are extremly well done. The only thing missing is nostalgia. Not that it makes a difference, but it seems that most of us here are here, because of nostaliga above anything else. Personality matters, but still there is a tad of nostalgia to someone who only does pixel works. Because pixelating won't get him a job, won't be the best graphis in the world, or anything, yet it appeals to many (me included). Midi music as well. It's not that someone cannot go and make 'high quality' game (graphics, music etc...) it is a matter of choice, and a matter of choice to use SIERRA/Lucasarts GUI.

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #5 on: 14 Sep 2006, 12:29 »
I hate to admit it, but I'm a bit of a graphics whore. If the screenshots look nice, then I tend to give the game a go. Occassionally I browse for games with particularly good user ratings but mostly it's the graphics.

Most recently, I played Mind's Eye on the strength of the character sprite which I thought looked great and also unconventional.

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #6 on: 14 Sep 2006, 14:14 »
First impression comes from the graphics. I almost never download a game without seeing the screenshots. I know I will miss some otherwise great games when choosing from the screenshots, but I don't even have time to play all the games I download :)

When downloaded I try it a bit and if it entertains me even so much I beat the game then it is a really good game. I try lots of games, but it takes a lot for me to actually beat it. So the game has to have some nice eyecandy to keep me rewarded, but even more importantly a good story. A good story can even be somewhat cliché ('cause I don't know these clichés since I don't play that many games through). There are maybe two or three commercial games I play through in a year (all genres included) and I give a try on about third of the games published. Amateur games are usually shorter so they don't have to have so strong immersion as longer commercial games.

Gameplay and music are something that I take for granted. I usually only notice them when they are not working.

So what I look for in adventure games are the overall immersion. But if I have to choose one thing that attracts me to a game I'd say the graphics as they are the first thing I see.

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #7 on: 14 Sep 2006, 14:38 »
I can't really tell what is the first thing that gets my interest for a game that I see on a website, since even I myself don't really know it.

When I see a game with awesome graphics I usually download it. Not because I think it must be a very great and professional game, because its visuals are great. No, in this case it's mostly because I want to see more of the graphics, learn more about what kind of style the game's animations and other visuals have and how they are implemented.

On the other hand I'm a real sucker for really simple non-professional graphics. I truly love it when a game has that amateur feel in it, that you can see that the author never intended to make "the best game in the world".

But the biggest reason for me downloading a game must be that it somehow reminds me of something very nostalgic. Because I give real big value to nostalgia. For example, if I see a game that reminds me of, say, Space Quest in some way, I probably will download it since the Space Quest games are one of the first AGs I ever played. And by this I don't mean that I would download any Space Quest fangame that is released, no. I mean that if the game has something, even a really small thing (sometimes I might not even realise what this thing is), that reminds me of the good old days, I will play it. That's granted.

Okay, some of this might not make any sense. It's very hard to explain something I can't understand myself very well either. Let's just put it this way:
I VERY rarely get interested in a game. I mean interested as in "I need to play this game NOW". And if I don't get interested like that, I won't play it. At least not much. And sometimes I get interested in really weird things for really weird reasons. So it's kind of hard to predict if I will like some game or not.

I'm confusing myself... o_o

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #8 on: 14 Sep 2006, 14:41 »
From Nikolas: "it seems that most of us here are here, because of nostaliga above anything else." He's right. In some ways I find it unfortunate, but that's exactly the case, and what you'll hear from most people.

It's fine of course, for people to like what they like. It's only unfortunate for me because I'm the same as 2ma2, I mainly play games that look like they have something new to offer. I haven't played any of the Apprentice games, or KQ remakes past the first few rooms... they just didn't seem interesting to me, from all I've heard about them. The longer I think about games the more I see the issues and limitations in the older ones I loved. It's sometimes cringeworthy playing through some of the games I loved as a kid... not that they're all awful, just that they are so obvious to the experienced player, with their dialog trees and fetch quests and generic characters. The few that I still genuinely love stand up mainly because of their fantastic writing, artwork and sense of adventure, which can be enough.

Computer games are the most wonderfully free and engaging medium I can think of, I love being able to work on them, and sticking to some genre conventions bores me to death as a developer and a player. The old adventure games can teach us lots about creating atmosphere, game art, and developing characters in games, but I find them poor examples of engaging gameplay (often devolving to brute force clicking on everything). I think anything made in 2006 that apes them too closely is going to suffer.

I'm also a graphics whore.
« Last Edit: 14 Sep 2006, 14:44 by scotch »

Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #9 on: 14 Sep 2006, 15:13 »
     Well, I guess at some level graphics are important to me, as it is usually one of the main things to go by when first d/l a game here in our community. (note, how it is required to post screen shots) But I can start playing a game with great graphics and lose intrest in it really quickly if there is no immersion. When I was young (11 or so), I had my PC JR. and remember playing the orginal Kings Quest. I looked forward to gaining access to a new area to see what it would look like and what items I could find there to help me in my journey. I still like gaining access to new areas but not as much to see them but to move forward with the story. So like a lot of people here, I grew up in the so to speak "golden age" of adventure gaming. I haven't bought or played a commercial adventure game in the last 10 years or so.... maybe I'm missing out on a few good adventures but from what I read and hear, there really hasn't been much offered in the genre.
     As far as AGS, I am proud to be a member of our community here. I admire all the people that create there own games that want to bring the genre back to life. I really believe we are getting there......

Thewalrus

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #10 on: 14 Sep 2006, 15:15 »
First off, obviously I agree with scotchand 2ma2 100%.

For me I think I was drawn to AGS for nostalgic reasons [or at least I was drawn to searching for an engine to make adventure games, starting with SCUMM and roBOT] but now that I'm here and I've grown up and can look at my nostalgia without those rose coloured glasses on I see the faults [and there are many many faults] with old adventure games. Like scotch, I get bored when I play an AGS game that takes one tiny part of the "adventure game idea" and makes a whole game based on it, the fetch quest. Regardless of how nice the art. The prettiest AGS game in the world won't stay on my harddrive for longer than an hour if the game behind the art is boring. I've learned not to trust pretty screenshots.

As for what draws me to AGS games... Now-a-days: If it's recommended by a reliable source, i.e. a friend on the forums who I share likes and dislikes with. They're like my agents in the field. They go out, play AGS games and then report back to me on what's good and then I give it a try. They walk amongst you, they are silent... They watch.
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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #11 on: 14 Sep 2006, 19:03 »
2 (two) cents:
 Adventure games need to have a solid story and well-drawn characters and must trap you into them and make you beg for more. They must make you want to stay there, in their world. Adventure games don't necesarily need to have puzzles, but since that is the tradition, then that's very well. While you play such a game you must think and feel. For example, in horror games, you must complete the task at hand while a brown spot on the back of your pants grows slowly, but surely. A humourous game must make you chuckle and do what you're supposed to do with a smile.
 Adventure games (and games in general) needn't have the newest and best graphics, they could be drawn in CGA colors by a 3-year old as long as you can determine what's on the screen without superglueing your eyes to the monitor... A table must be a table and a monkey mustn't be a cup. The strongest example I can give for this is Pleurghburg. No offense, but that game looked quite bad, but still managed to form the atmosphere it proposed to do and it did it with flying colors. MSPaint can be scary too, (5DAS) if used correctly.

Right, two cents kinda turned into three and I could've added some more, but I'm shutting it right now.

Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #12 on: 14 Sep 2006, 20:47 »
i look mostly for atmosphere in adventure games, but then again, i play anything i can get my hands on.  ;D mostly the only reason i quit playing an adventure game is because i'm stuck and don't know what to do (and to lazy to find out). but i atleast try every ags game.

i don't think new gameplay options or a different spin on adventure games is really that much needed. if you are really looking for something different, there are so many other genre's of games that provide exactly what you're looking for. and when something unique and different comes along (like myst did, which i love), then you keep on hearing how the adventure purists "hate" it just because it's "not really an adventure game, only glorified puzzles", the same guys who were looking for something new and different. though, it would be nice to see people try new things with adventure games, but it could be hard to keep them in the pure adventure genre.

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #13 on: 14 Sep 2006, 21:47 »
Quote
there are so many other genre's of games that provide exactly what you're looking for.

Which are these other genres where innovation and new gameplay approaches are the staple of good design? I'd really like to know.

I am with 2ma2, scotch and eric of course. If I want wonderful writing, I'll read a good book. If I want strong atmosphere, I'll watch a good movie. Which isn't to say these things have no place in a good adventure game, they do, totally, but it's not enough for me. The 'dressing' of a game is very important to lure you in and make you care for the characters and what you're supposed to be doing, but once you're there, if all you do in this wondefully drawn game with the awesome sound and writing is fetch quests, I am not going to play it. What makes or breaks a game is for me: GAMEPLAY. And just because adventure games have suffered on this end mostly during their 'classic' period doesn't mean they still have to keep on doing that in AGS games. Gameplay innovation is key.

Those that need a nostalgia fix, which is completely understandable, why don't you go back and play the games from your childhood? No AGS game will reach that production value that LEC and most prime Sierra games had anyway, they're usually derivative. Why not play AGS games for what they are: quirky, different, designed by amateurs. These things aren't faults, they're assets! They're products of distinct visions, made from love without any obligation to you as the player to be the same old stuff you paid money 10-20 years ago to play. AGS for me means Larry Vales and Aaron's Epic Journey and Anna and Automation much, much more than it means Apprentice, King's Quest and whatever else looks, smells, feels but isn't exactly LEC/Sierra. Even Yahtzee is trying new things in his recent designs, regardless of overal execution and that's awesome.

« Last Edit: 14 Sep 2006, 21:49 by Helm »
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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #14 on: 14 Sep 2006, 22:02 »
AGS is games made in AGS, nostalgic, different, whatever (if its made in AGS). I agree to  a certain degree, but still a game like Cedric and the Revolution was such fun yet it was its nostalgic quality that made it fun. Another game that was quite unique is Knightsquire, it's nostalgic and visually appealing (similar to gobliins) yet one has two characters that has different responses to their environment, the mini-rooms was different and the characters each only went certain places, and they have to work together to complete it. A perfect match between different and nostalgic.  Automation too was unique, but but not too much, standard interface with added kick?. Felt very nostalgic too. To me there is a place in amateur adventures for both, the different and the nostalgic, I guess it comes down to taste.

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #15 on: 14 Sep 2006, 22:06 »
While 'something new and different' is an enticing grabber for a gamer, it's definitely not enough. While I definitely enjoy making games with 'something new and different' and would absolutely not consider making a game that happens to be same ol' same ol', the gamer does not necessarilly feel the same way. Although it's a nice feeling to think yourself special and unique, and say that 'my game, my way', general consensus is usually a good indication of game crappiness.

A compelling story is also very important. Some sort of slant according to genre (an adventure feel for adventure games, a scarishness for a scary game) is also necessary. Being unique won't save a game, but a good story or 'in-game feel' can. Visuals/Sound/Gameplay are also important, but won't save a game which doesn't fulfill the Story/Depth of a game. Someone should make a scientifickish scale to measure all these things with weights.

What I mean is that a 'different' game will only succeed if everything else in the game is also a success. Differentness!= Good Game. Makes me wish I had AGS ten years ago, so I wouldn't have to go through all the extra trouble.
« Last Edit: 14 Sep 2006, 22:08 by Babar »
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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #16 on: 14 Sep 2006, 22:27 »
helm,
i was just referring to the type gameplay becoming too much like other genre's, eg, adding a lot of action in the game, then it becomes action/adventure, and we already have a genre for that. so we weren't actually talking about the same gameplay changes.  ;D but, like i said, i would like to see new innovative games, so i wasn't disagreeing with you, nor anyone else. prove:
though, it would be nice to see people try new things with adventure games,

i would like to see innovation in gameplay in ags games a, i even try adding them in my own games, like duty and beyond and cotrk. ;D (probably failed miserably)

Quote
Which are these other genres where innovation and new gameplay approaches are the staple of good design? I'd really like to know.
i just finishing cave story this week, and it was a really nice game, mixing adventure, platform action and rpg all into one. thats kinda what i was talking about.

i agree with you what ags stands for. "quirky, different, designed by amateurs". which means we should be able to do whatever we want.

ps, i dont think adding a text parser is really innovative, its been done. neither adding space trading, its been done.
I really enjoyed larry vales, it was really funny. but hardly innovating? it was just a normal adventure game. really great game, but not much different than any other adventure game. if you are referring to the design of the graphics, then we aren't talking about gameplay anymore. if you thought puzzles were good, fine, but that isn't really innovative gameplay either. just good puzzles.
Automation was really well designed, how you control the robot indirectly, but gameplay wise it just plays like any other adventure game.
ps2, and atmosphere is for me very essential in adventure games. and i would love to see some innovation in that. of course i still want a good story and graphics and gameplay and actually do something, so i don't see why i should go watch a movie.  :P
ps3, nope, classic games didn't suffer at all in gameplay.
i think it boils down more to good and innovative game design than gameplay. because gameplay to me seems to mean something different. ;D

« Last Edit: 14 Sep 2006, 23:18 by Mordalles »

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #17 on: 14 Sep 2006, 22:40 »
I agree with ProgZmax, 2ma2, scotch, Eric, and Helm. I want games that aren't created with a cookie-cutter, and most of the games that I want to create myself will have something different and interesting in them. One game I am planning will require the player to use a microwave telescope in order to view the stars invisible to the naked eye beyond a murky barrier so that he can then navigate his airship to different places with the help of atlases and his own records. This is the sort of interesting gameplay that I'd like to see more of in adventure games. Less of King's Quest. More of In Search of the Most Amazing Thing.
« Last Edit: 14 Sep 2006, 22:45 by Erenan »

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Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #18 on: 14 Sep 2006, 22:51 »
Fortunately the AGS community is a versetaile one, and has many members who do not think alike, thus there are games around like Anna, The apprentice and Tiles. All with the same engine.

And while something new can come and be of value, also something looking old, with some new ideas can be as 'new'... A little tricky to explain but: a classic SIERA style game, under the 'filters' of a clever and inovative creator, can be quite new, without changing a single thing. Simply by having an aesthetic, or ideas, not to be found 20 years ago. And this, for me, is new as well.

PS I agree with 2ma2, scorch, Eric, Helm and Erenan. (Just had to say it... It's not really true...)

Re: Adventure game appeal
« Reply #19 on: 14 Sep 2006, 22:53 »
i agree with nikolas.  ;D

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