Wadjet Eye Games

Author Topic: A question for Dave  (Read 8324 times)

Offline LindaS

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
A question for Dave
« on: February 09, 2009, 02:39:54 AM »
Hi Dave!

I'm very much looking forward to ECC, the new Blackwell game, and puzzlebots, as well as several other "Sierra-style games" that are slated to come out. I'm an old-time game player from the 80's and 90's, and I've been thrilled in the last year to discover that people are making the old "Sierra-style" games again.

However, there is something that's been puzzling me, so I thought that I would ask you. Someone on one of the game sites that I visit said recently that 2008 "would be [remembered as] the year HOGs [hidden object games] shun the HOG label for point-and-click adventures like in the old PC days". In thinking about it, I think that I would say that 2008 was the year that *everyone* shunned the <fill in the blank genre> for point-and-click adventures.

There have been an explosion of adventure titles that are fusions of previous genres. There are now Myst-style adventure games, strategy adventure games, match 3 adventure games and even card solitaire adventure games, some with Mini-games and/or HO elements, as well as inventory. In addition, even games that are more genre games tend to have at least some adventure aspects to them (in the sense that they try to have some sort of story connected to them).

The one genre that seems to be staying "pure" is the Sierra-style of adventure game. Unless I don't know about them, I just can't think of "Sierra-style games" that I would consider "fusion" or "cross-genre" games. I am really curious as to why that is so. Is it by choice? Limited resources? Something else?


I realize that you're really busy right now, but would love to hear your thoughts on this, either in this thread, or as a vidcast sometime.

Offline sierramindy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 86
    • View Profile
Re: A question for Dave
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2009, 12:48:25 PM »
Hi LindaS,
I think Sierra's King Quest IX strayed a bit from a "pure adventure" and added some action genre scenes, I'm not sure though. Something happened to it and I don't know if it was even finished. Anyway, I never played it.
I remember feeling way back then that Ted and Roberta Williams were losing interest in Sierra Online and then they sold it, which didn't come as much of a surprise to me.
Just putting in my 25 cents worth, inflation you know.

Offline DaveGilbert

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2215
    • View Profile
Re: A question for Dave
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2009, 01:50:33 PM »
Hi Linda.  Good question.  There's been a huge resurgence in the last few years of "pure" old school genres, and not just point-and-click adventures  Last year saw the release of a few old-school RPGs (Aveyond 2, Eternal Eden and Laxius Power), and there are a lot of old timey shooters and platformers coming out for the PC and Xbox live.

I think this is mostly due to the availability of easy-to-pick-up third party tools, like AGS, RPGmaker, Gamemaker, Wintermute, Unity, Torque, among others.  They enable folks like me to make games that we enjoyed as a kid without needing to hire an entire staff of programmers.  Not only that, but the Internet lets us sell then and distribute them without having to get them into stores. 

I would never have been able to do this ten years ago, or even five years ago.  I'm sure we'll be seeing more "pure" genres coming back in the next few years. 

-Dave

Offline LindaS

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Re: A question for Dave
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2009, 04:22:15 AM »
Really? Wow, that's interesting. It sounds like there must be two separate trends going on right now. I hadn't realized that there were so many "pure" genre games being made again. Somehow I've just been more cognizant of games like MCF: Return to Ravenhearst, Puzzle Quest, Ancient Quest of Saqqarah, Totem Tribe, Heartwild Solitaire, etc. that are definitely fusion titles.

I wonder if maybe my impression was merely due to the titles I was paying attention to? I have zero interest in shooters and platformers, or anything else that doesn't have a solid story connected to it, which pretty much means that it needs to be some sort of adventure game, fusion or not. I guess I'm still curious though about why I haven't seen any "3rd person" fusion games  (as opposed to "1st-person" or "Myst-style" games, which seem to be experimenting quite a bit with various fusions, especially with HO elements).

Can I give a specific example here? I really loved MCF: Return to Ravenhearst (which is a "Myst-style" game). The developers said that 7th Guest was an inspiration for the game and it showed. Just as in 7th Guest, you are wandering around a spooky old house trying to get into various rooms. You often have to solve logic puzzles connected to the doors (the sorts of puzzles that you see in Safecracker, for example). In addition, they solved the "hunt the pixel" problem beautifully, by introducing certain places where you had to find lists of hidden objects, one of which turned out to be an inventory item that you needed.

To use that specific example, logically it seems like those sorts of "door puzzles" and "HO screens" could be added to 3rd person adventure games just as easily as 1st person games. (When you click on a door for your character to go through, instead of just exiting, a "puzzle lock" could pop that you need to solve before the door would open.) However, while all sorts of changes and experimentation are going on with 1st person games, it seems that 3rd person games are staying true to their roots. (I don't mean that as criticism in ANY way. I love 3rd person adventure games and would gladly play them, fusion elements or not.)

So that was why I was asking the question. Is it resources (i. e. do the available tools just not allow for it and/or the extra overhead of programming logic puzzles would just be too much)? Or is it more germane to the genre itself? Are programmers and players of 3rd person adventure games just not that interested in incorporating elements of different genres into 3rd person adventure games?

Again, for me it's as much just an academic question, since I'll play 3rd person adventure games however they present themselves, as long as the story is compelling. But I am curious as to the fact that so many of the other genres seem to be madly experimenting with incorporating bits and pieces of other genres into them, and 3rd person adventure games are not (at least not to my knowledge).

Offline Shany

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 75
    • View Profile
Re: A question for Dave
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2009, 06:16:48 AM »
What about Dreamfall? A 3rd person adventure with stealth and combat.
Or Fahrenheit?

You are probably limiting your search to just  Point and Click games which is why you can't find examples.

Offline Rognik

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Re: A question for Dave
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2009, 12:02:32 AM »
Hi LindaS,
I think Sierra's King Quest IX strayed a bit from a "pure adventure" and added some action genre scenes, I'm not sure though. Something happened to it and I don't know if it was even finished. Anyway, I never played it.
I remember feeling way back then that Ted and Roberta Williams were losing interest in Sierra Online and then they sold it, which didn't come as much of a surprise to me.
I realize this is long after the fact, but I think you're a bit confused on the facts. I don't know who Ted Williams is, but I know Ken and Roberta Williams ran Sierra for a long time, and the last release in the King's Quest series, KQ VIII, was more action than adventure (according to fans, I never played it myself). It also left the series a bit open-ended, also to the dissatisfaction to many fans. Just chiming in with my little info here.

On the main topic, I think it was only a matter of time before plots started entering other genres. Warcraft III started having heroes and a more narrative slant to its main plot scenarios. Games like Half Life and FEAR have stories an unfolding plot instead of just blow up the big baddie. Even DOOM 3 gives a narrative instead of merely blasting away at strange creatures from the fiery place.

Offline LindaS

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Re: A question for Dave
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2009, 02:47:13 AM »
Hi all,

Sorry it took me so long to respond to everyone.

@shany - I really didn't pay much attention to Dreamfall I'm afraid, since I just got back into gaming, so I didn't know about the combat. However, regarding your observation about limiting my search to Point and Click games.....um, I think that that was my point.  :) Whether you call them "Point and Click" games, or "old-style adventure games", my point was that they don't seem to be rushing to incorporate elements of other game types into them (like some other genres seem to be doing). As an example, since I posted, Tales of Bingwood has come out. I am eagerly awaiting for it to come onto one of the portals that I belong to, so I can afford to buy it, but it is a pure tribute to the old Lucasarts games, no fusion elements involved.

However, Wandering Willows has also come out since I first posted, and that may be closer to the type of "fusion game" that I was alluding to, although I'm not sure the story is robust enough to classify as an "adventure game".  (I'm also eagerly waiting for it to come to a portal that I can afford.)

@Dave - It's interesting that you mention Aveyond 2, since there was a recent announcement about Aveyond 3 that it would include minigames that, once completed, could be replayed at any time. Depending on the minigames, that might be exactly the kind of thing that I was wondering about. Also, I hadn't played Aveyond until this last week (and I intend to try Aveyond 2 after that). If Amaranth Games ever expands on the "buy a house and stock it with pets" experience in game with more robust "sim" characteristics, like buying furniture, decorating the house, having a garden, etc., then that would also be an example of what I meant.

Offline sierramindy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 86
    • View Profile
Re: A question for Dave
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2009, 07:20:57 PM »
Hi Rognik,
Well, yes, I meant Ken Williams, of course. How could I have been so careless? I don't know where Ted came from, maybe baseball?

Hi Linda S,
Tales of Bingwood, Chapter One: To Save a Princess is a really neat game with a surprising ending that makes one eager for Chapter Two!
And after playing it, also eager for The Blackwell Convergence, that's a for sure!
Just putting in my 25 cents worth, inflation you know.

Offline Shane Stevens

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Don't be a putz, play The Shivah today!
    • View Profile
Re: A question for Dave
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2009, 12:21:00 AM »
I actually felt rather gipped by Tales of Bingwood, personally.  For one thing, they've had the full game done for years (it's actually a translation from the Amiga version they decided not to sell) and rather than have an episodic, encapsulated feel to it, you're literally left with a cliffhanger ending.  I don't intend to buy part two as a result.