Adventure Games Never Died, They Just Stopped Being Good | Extra Punctuation [YouTube Video]

Yahtzee’s Extra Punctuation episode (the slower version of Zero Punctuation) may be of some interest to IF game creators and fans. This is mostly dealing with the realm of graphic adventures in light of the Monkey Island sequel announcement, and the juxtaposition of good story vs. gameplay, but includes some short but interesting musing on the evolution of game writing and puzzle design.

[Some salty language, as per usual with Yahtzee.]

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What’s slower about it? Certainly not thespeedatwhichhespeaksandeditingoutofallpauses. But that’s par for Youtube.

He obviously got me on side by using an Apple II system to represent “computer games”. He wasn’t really right implying that computer games weren’t actiony in the past. A lot of the earliest microcomputer games were unlicensed clones of popular arcade games. Still, I think (because it’s so fast, it often doesn’t touch the sides) that overall the video was alright? It may be better but Youtube expositional style and tone really does travel up my nose!

-Wade

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It’s definitely a slower pace than a Zero Punctuation video. He does breathe between sentences and isn’t racing for the time window!

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Yikes

-Wade

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I’m sure he makes some good points about puzzle design but oof, that video title is extremely offputting as someone who thinks IF and adventure games are better and more diverse now than they were 30 years ago.

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True, but remember he’s talking about graphical adventures and not necessarily IF as we think of it.

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I know, but I also think graphical adventures are also generally a lot better today too lol. Norco is easily in the top 10 adventure games for me and that just came out in the last month. It just feels like something someone would say when they’re not actively engaging with the modern indie community or have rose tinted glasses on.

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The part about using a point-based system is interesting (using the example of 30 insert points + 30 leverage points to pry open a manhole).

There’s a game called Mysterious Island that I hear takes a similar approach to this, though the bit I played was pretty linear. As Yahtzee says, it is basically a crafting system.

My own Spring thing entry this year (Bigfoot Bluff) used an approach where you did not have to complete all of the puzzles.

I think a score-based approach could apply to dialog puzzles as well. Rather than having to navigate a dialogue tree/maze, you could have a scoring system. Then again, I think insult sword fighting uses a scoring system already, maybe? Where you do not immediately lose or win the fight after choosing a wrong answer; you have to do it a certain number of times.

There was also an old edugame called Eagle Eye Mysteries that did something like this, where you would gather clues and need to select a certain amount of correct clues that point to the guilty party. No dialogue trees required (not in the main puzzle solving part, anyway).

Sounds like someone who didn’t play enough indies and completely missed the wave of HOGs.

That’s the problem! Use a gatekeeping definition that excludes new forms, then complain that nothing new is being made.

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As MikeK said, graphical adventures are also becoming more varied and interesting.

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