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Author Topic: The Return of 2D Point & Click Adventure Games  (Read 28480 times)
ghostwheel

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« on: January 26, 2011, 05:41:14 AM »

My eye's have been opened. They aren't dead, they've been reborn and remixed. I bought Phantasmat http://phantasmat.com/ last night. It's a mix of point & click adventure, puzzle and hidden object game (a genre I was completely unaware of). I don't remember how or why I downloaded it but I played the demo played it an hour and immediately paid for the full game. The art was attractive, the audio immersive and the presentation very slick. It didn't have an especially amazing story and it was even pretty predictable. However, it's really the journey that counts in this case and it was a very enjoyable one.

I know most here hate games but if you loved the old 2d adventure games, you should look into this new, weird generation of casual games. These are easier, they don't have the obtuse, nonsensical adventure tropes - but is that really a bad thing? That's rhetorical so no, it's not a bad thing.

Anti-casual game snobbery comes from the games-as-art, indie and mainstream game scenes. I think that's a shame, short-sighted and a bit stupid. I'm guilty of it as well. There is a whole other world of games out there that are largely ignored by everyone except, well, those that enjoy casual games. I've been missing out and so have you. Unless you just hate games then, you know, whatever.
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axcho

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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 08:39:24 AM »

Heh. I actually got a job as a game programmer recently and my first project was the casual hidden object adventure game Fiction Fixers: The Curse of Oz, which we released a few months ago. Silly game, but hey, it's my first commercial release! Cheesy

Soon I'll be working on our next adventure game, which is a lot more interesting and actually draws a lot of inspiration from Amnesia, but I can't say anything about it yet... Lips sealed
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Thomas

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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 09:01:08 AM »

The Drawn games seem quite nice to if you are into plenty of puzzle and so on. It has actually gotten some mainstream coverage too, like at RockPaperShotgun. Is Phantasm like that or perhaps even more adventure game? I found Drawn a bit too puzzle heavy (and not my kind of puzzles) for me to really enjoy it, but i liked the art and so on. So would be nice to take a shot a similar game with more focus on the adventuring.

Games like this blur of core and casual even more, which hopefully help new kind of audience for not games.
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Thomas

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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 09:04:03 AM »

Quote
Soon I'll be working on our next adventure game, which is a lot more interesting and actually draws a lot of inspiration from Amnesia, but I can't say anything about it yet...
Interesting and fun to hear! Smiley Looking forward to seeing what kind of inspiration a "casual-adventure" (or what ever it might be called) can draw from Amnesia.
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2011, 10:07:31 AM »

I've had quite an infatuation with hidden object games a few months ago!  Kiss
Thanks for the recommendation!

I still want us to make one. It's such an easy formula. And you can use any subject matter. And it's relaxing to play. Plus hardcore gamers hate the genre. What more can you want? Smiley
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 10:10:23 AM »

I wonder what would happen if the designers on this forum each made a small hidden object game with a subject of their choice. It would make a nice bundle! Smiley What would a bunch of artistic hidden object games look like, when the designers are not interested in mass appeal?
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ghostwheel

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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 10:31:01 AM »

I wonder what would happen if the designers on this forum each made a small hidden object game with a subject of their choice. It would make a nice bundle! Smiley What would a bunch of artistic hidden object games look like, when the designers are not interested in mass appeal?

I was thinking of doing a 3d hidden object game in UDK! It could be a very cool bundle. I'm very interested in something like that.
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ghostwheel

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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 10:45:42 AM »

The Drawn games seem quite nice to if you are into plenty of puzzle and so on. It has actually gotten some mainstream coverage too, like at RockPaperShotgun. Is Phantasm like that or perhaps even more adventure game? I found Drawn a bit too puzzle heavy (and not my kind of puzzles) for me to really enjoy it, but i liked the art and so on. So would be nice to take a shot a similar game with more focus on the adventuring.

Games like this blur of core and casual even more, which hopefully help new kind of audience for not games.

As Samyn said, they are relaxing to play and do blur the lines. Games like this and the stuff Telltale does are making adventure games much more accessible and I believe may revitalize the genre, if they aren't already.

Phantasmat is a hidden object game mostly, with a sprinkling of simple puzzles. I picked up Drawn: The Painted Tower and Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst last night. The latter is also a hidden object game mixed with puzzles but the puzzles tend to be more difficult than those found in Phantasmat. I'm really digging these games. The thing that really surprised me is how good the music is. For example, Return to Ravenhearst's soundtrack was recorded with a full orchestra. That's pretty damned impressive, especially considering some AAA titles don't even do that. Sometimes it's a bit too busy but it's really very good.
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black snoopy

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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 12:28:38 PM »

I wonder what would happen if the designers on this forum each made a small hidden object game with a subject of their choice. It would make a nice bundle! Smiley What would a bunch of artistic hidden object games look like, when the designers are not interested in mass appeal?
I think it could be brilliant. Unfortunately, the only ones I've been exposed to seemed so geared toward a 'casual gamer' stereotype that not only was there no challenge, but there wasn't even anything to enjoy (gameplay-wise or artistically). "Here's an hour, now find the 10 items whose pictures were the first thing we found in Google Image Search".

Or perhaps escape-the-room games? I love the surreal logic that inhabits these ... an extreme example would be reaching a key by building a racecar out of a remote control, some knobs, and part of a pen, although the better ones typically have gentler puzzles.
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Thomas

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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2011, 01:19:25 PM »

Quote
I wonder what would happen if the designers on this forum each made a small hidden object game with a subject of their choice. It would make a nice bundle! Smiley What would a bunch of artistic hidden object games look like, when the designers are not interested in mass appeal?
RockPaperShotgun actually called Amnesia a sort of hidden object game, which is not far from the truth Smiley When you have hidden objects not just on a flat screen (where everything is visible), but requires navigation in 3D space, it really opens.

I think it would be interesting to contribute to such a bundle but doubt I got time. Already got 2 projects in the works :S
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Thomas

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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2011, 01:45:52 PM »

For those who missed

Casual Meets core for a drink: Developing Drawn
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Booger

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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2011, 04:08:59 PM »

I wonder what would happen if the designers on this forum each made a small hidden object game with a subject of their choice. It would make a nice bundle! Smiley What would a bunch of artistic hidden object games look like, when the designers are not interested in mass appeal?
Uh, hidden object games are a dime a dozen, and to stand out you need to have crazy polished graphics that are expensive to make.

I didn't like the emphasis on production values that's why I flocked to indie games (and most casual games, though made by indie teams, target a mainstream audience).  On the other hand, many games on the current indie scene are too particular on hard / ridiculous mechanics.

A non-mass-appeal hidden object game, to me, is a hidden object game with 8 bit graphics.  Neither the casual market nor the indie market would care (the former because of lack of polish;  the latter because of disdain for the genre).  I don't know if I'll be enthusastic about spot-the-pixel games.
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ghostwheel

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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2011, 06:26:22 PM »

I wonder what would happen if the designers on this forum each made a small hidden object game with a subject of their choice. It would make a nice bundle! Smiley What would a bunch of artistic hidden object games look like, when the designers are not interested in mass appeal?
Uh, hidden object games are a dime a dozen, and to stand out you need to have crazy polished graphics that are expensive to make.

I didn't like the emphasis on production values that's why I flocked to indie games (and most casual games, though made by indie teams, target a mainstream audience).  On the other hand, many games on the current indie scene are too particular on hard / ridiculous mechanics.

A non-mass-appeal hidden object game, to me, is a hidden object game with 8 bit graphics.  Neither the casual market nor the indie market would care (the former because of lack of polish;  the latter because of disdain for the genre).  I don't know if I'll be enthusastic about spot-the-pixel games.

It sounds more like your personal bias. Michael said "designers are not interested in mass appeal" not "designers out to alienate a mass audience." There is a big difference.

Additionally, many of the people here are very much into high production value within their means. Most of the indie scene just does MS Paint crap graphics. Not much thought is put into the artistry and in fact, artists are largely looked down upon. I think that is one of the things that sets experienced-based games apart from the rest of the indie scene.

I'm kicking around ideas for a 3d hidden object game; that's something I've not seen. I'm sure many here could come up with some very interesting spins on the genre.
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2011, 10:04:04 PM »

Michael said "designers are not interested in mass appeal" not "designers out to alienate a mass audience." There is a big difference.

Indeed. And there's also a distinction between "not interested in mass appeal" and "interested in appealing to a smaller audience".

Additionally, many of the people here are very much into high production value within their means. Most of the indie scene just does MS Paint crap graphics. Not much thought is put into the artistry and in fact, artists are largely looked down upon. I think that is one of the things that sets experienced-based games apart from the rest of the indie scene.

I've always found it a pity when well done graphics (especially in 3D) are considered to be a layer of gloss and not a vital part of the medium worthy of thorough exploration.
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ghostwheel

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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2011, 07:21:03 PM »

The Drawn games seem quite nice to if you are into plenty of puzzle and so on. It has actually gotten some mainstream coverage too, like at RockPaperShotgun. Is Phantasm like that or perhaps even more adventure game? I found Drawn a bit too puzzle heavy (and not my kind of puzzles) for me to really enjoy it, but i liked the art and so on. So would be nice to take a shot a similar game with more focus on the adventuring.

Games like this blur of core and casual even more, which hopefully help new kind of audience for not games.

I don't mind puzzles, unless they are so difficult they impede my enjoyment of a game. I was enjoying MCF: Return to Ravenhearst until the last 3 puzzles which, at least for me, were way to difficult. I found them to be as difficult as anything I've run into in the Myst games and less enjoyable. I liked the hidden object parts more; those are fun and relaxing. I found those last 3 puzzles to be about as enjoyable as doing taxes. And I didn't solve them either, I had to cheat or skip them. I hope Drawn isn't as hair-pullingly frustrating.
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