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How to Handle Deaths (Revised Poll)

posted by chucklas on - last edited - Viewed by 4.6K users
There has been much debate over how to handle deaths in this game. I want to present a single option asd ask, would this be ok with you?

So, if they were to implement the retry option as the default and allow the user to disable it and only save manually if they choose, would you be satisfied with that compromise?
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  • Well, I agree with you that it is what it is for many reasons.

    I think it has always been a playable story (emphasis on both words), a game that would be nonsensical if all the story elements were removed or made abstract. The same is not true of games like Breakout or Tetris, as there all the elements could be (and have been) changed into something quite different. Those games remain recognisably the same as long as the gameplay remains unchanged.

    Whereas in King's Quest, if all the characters and objects were changed into Tetris blocks and all the narration was removed or made gibberish, there would be no reason to suppose that it would be necessary to manoeuvre the block previously known as Graham into the block previously known as the royal castle. :) The only thing that makes the goals even make sense is the story content.
  • Wow. I'd venture a guess that there's more text in this thread than there are lines of code in the original King's Quest game.

    Just sayin.... maybe there's a little too much thought going on here. I mean, the point of games is to entertain and escape..... this sounds like WORK to me.


    Bt
  • Sure, but some of us find the whole phenomenon of games fascinating and spend a lot of time thinking about them anyway, out of personal or professional interest, or both. The thoughts I was trying to express were not straightforward and seemed to call for lengthy explanations. However, I agree with you that brief is best when possible. But also, there is no obligation for anyone to read lengthy posts.
  • True, true. I was just suggesting less is more for your OWN sanity, really. Trust me, I love, love, love, the games too - but I try not to delve TOO deeply into it.


    Bt
  • I agree that is definitely something to keep in mind. And in fact I am trying to wind down my involvement in this thread.
  • Simo Sakari Aaltonen;506062 said:
    3) People - including you, thom-22, in the very paragraph where you dispute this - are claiming that the gameplay mechanics (plural all along, rather than the singular, "specific" gameplay mechanic you use in your argument) were an important part of what made Sierra great. (Just reread this thread - and also see what you wrote in the paragraph just mentioned.) My belief is that it was mainly the story content and those aspects of gameplay relating to the richness of the interactive storytelling only.
    I'm not exactly sure what you're saying here. I stand by my statement that while I don't think any specific gameplay mechanic can be cited as something that made Sierra games great, what I termed the "style" of gameplay in KQ (and I do mean KQ; I'm not talking about Sierra in general here) is just as much a part of what made KQ great as story is. I admit that "gameplay style" is vague; more on this below. I think that your idea of "those aspects of gameplay relating to the richness of the interactive storytelling only" is a good one but far from complete.
    Simo Sakari Aaltonen;506062 said:
    4) Assuming that KQ will be like BttF or later S&M is unwarranted unless Telltale say something explicitly along those lines. The interview part frequently quoted as supposed indication of this is nothing of the kind, in my opinion. The reaction to that is part of the overreaction common on this forum. No good reason so far to suppose the sky is falling! :)
    I have never assumed anything about the forthcoming KQ game. I have suggested there is cause for concern, I gave a list of facts in support of that contention, and there are others here who agree with this reasoning. (Also, I forgot to include on that list the negative comments that were made by the Jurassic Park developers concerning adventure gaming.) So you take one of my reasons, say it isn't valid "in your opinion", offer no opposing reasons of your own, and you expect that to be persuasive? Just because you say so? At least attempt to make a rational counter-argument before accusing people of overreacting.
    Simo Sakari Aaltonen;506062 said:
    5) Re: King's Quest I. Storytelling? Really. Absolutely storytelling! What aspect of a story is missing? Honestly, I would be very curious to know. What do you think made the whole thing even relatable, let alone interesting, if not the story? (And every single action you can take and every response from the game is part of the interactive narrative.) Replace all the characters and locations with Tetris blocks and eliminate the character/character and character/environment interactions (pure interactive storytelling, all of it) and see how many people will play. You are seriously undervaluing the story content of these games, my friend!
    My quip about the first King's Quest was not to say that any aspect of a story was missing or that story was unimportant in the game, but rather that the story was less detailed those of the later KQs or games like GK2. I do not undervalue the importance of story in KQ. I've said repeatedly that story and gameplay are equally important. And the only reason I've responded to your posts is because you are undervaluing gameplay, with your last statement below and this earlier one:
    In fact, you could eliminate the gameplay aspects entirely and still have it accepted as King's Quest. But you could not eliminate or change the story aspects while retaining only the gameplay! Unless you think Space Quest qualifies as King's Quest. This clearly shows that King's Quest is a story first and foremost.
    Where have I said anything like that with terms "gameplay" and "story" switched?
    Simo Sakari Aaltonen;506131 said:
    Where our views go their separate ways is when it comes to what we wish for future instalments in the series. You and many others wish for similar gameplay structure as the existing games. I and many others think it is not as important to carry on the form as it is the content.
    You don't need to convince me that there are many people who believe it is more important to carry on the KQ content than the form; I was aware of that going in. In fact, that in and of itself, rather than anything you've said here, is enough to conclude that content must be essential in defining what KQ is, what makes it great, why fans love it. What I don't get is why, when so many KQ fans in this forum have made it clear that gameplay is important to them, you can be so dismissive of that portion of the fanbase and what we find to be essential about KQ, what makes it great, etc. There have been quite a few threads in this forum on gameplay -- on deaths, danger, exploration, the Sierra puzzle style, etc. -- that fly in the face of the idea that gameplay could just be eliminated entirely from a KQ "game" and the KQ fanbase would accept it as King's Quest.
    Simo Sakari Aaltonen;506131 said:
    The form can incorporate all the design elements from previous games, if they are found appropriate by the designers. The only point where I disagree with you here is on whether they must be included.

    Again, I want sudden deaths and I want manual saving and I want deep gameplay just as you do. But this thread has been (at least nominally) about the suggested compromise of having the option to have "Try Again" in addition to manual saving. (Having both would be my preference.)
    While this thread was about manual saving, your ideas to which I've been responding went well beyond that. My comments in this latter part of the thread are not motivated by a desire to defend manual saving. I have jumped into that discussion primarily to defend its legitimacy in game design in general, and to request that it be preserved as an option in TTG's KQ game. There is no narrow aspect of gameplay, as narrow as manual saving, that I have said "must" be included. But I think there are more broadly defined aspects of gameplay -- like exploration, and complex interactivity, and engendering a sense of danger, and engaging puzzles that are not trivial to solve -- that are essential to KQ. Those things couldn't just be eliminated, or transformed beyond recognition, in a King's Quest game that the fanbase (at least that part of it that play the games for more than story) would find satisfying.

    In other words, there is some bounded area within the realm of gameplay-space outside of which a KQ game would not be acceptable. For instance, you couldn't make a KQ video poker game, even if the story is dead-on, and claim that it respects the legacy of the existing KQ games. Now, where those boundaries lie would be difficult to define precisely; the list I gave above is intended to be suggestive, not definitive. But that doesn't mean boundaries don't exist. At the same time, there is a lot of leeway within the area -- in part because, as you've said, the gameplay varied in the existing KQ games and in part because it can't be defined with sufficient precision -- for Telltale to design the gameplay with their own touch; some things included in the existing games will be subtracted, other things will be added. But in the end, the game will be evaluated by the fanbase as to how well it feels like KQ in terms of gameplay as much as it will be in terms of story. Individuals will differ in the terms they use, a few perhaps even sticking to narrow criteria like whether or not it includes manual-saving; but I believe there is enough of a consensus among those of us who believe it is important to "carry on the form".
    Simo Sakari Aaltonen;506131 said:
    About King's Quest being a story first and foremost: Remember that I consider it an interactive story and an adventure game and that I consider these terms synonymous.
    How, under this scheme, do you account for something that is clearly interactive, and clearly fiction, and yet demonstrably not a game, in the everyday sense of that word? Because the most generic dictionary definition of "game" you could find encompasses such a thing, you just declare it a game anyway and move on? Even though there is a community dedicated to and creators of interactive fiction who would bristle at the notion of describing their works as "games"?

    (You said before something to the effect that words "mean what they mean" and not what we hope they mean. Do you not see the irony in that you have done exactly that by picking only one of a multi-part definition without regard for context and its relevance to which of the definitions offered is most appropriate?)

    To further demonstrate that there is a real or commonly understood distinction between these things, I'll note something about discussions going on in the BTTF forum. There have been some thorough and eminently logical arguments demonstrating that BTTF cannot reasonably be considered a game. But here's the interesting part: BTTF's defenders do so on the basis of its fictional content, that it works fine as a (trivially) interactive movie, that it is still an enjoyable entertainment experience; but to the best of my knowledge, there have been no serious attempts to defend it as a game.
    Simo Sakari Aaltonen;506131 said:
    It is indeed more a matter of viewpoint than of facts, but I do feel that what I wrote (the paragraph you quote and the later part of my message, about the Tetris blocks) shows that the most essential part of KQ - the part that makes it possible to recognise it as KQ - is the story content, not the gameplay, since you could remove or transform the latter, but not the former. Roberta Williams did that gradually herself as the series progressed.
    The paragraph where you merely restate your hypothesis and call it a conclusion? Neither facts nor viewpoints mean much without logic. So the Tetris argument...

    A. KQ would be "nonsensical if all the story elements were removed or made abstract". (That is not in dispute, btw.) B. There are some games that "remain recognisably the same as long as the gameplay remains unchanged". (Also not in dispute.) C. Therefore "the most essential part of KQ - the part that makes it possible to recognise it as KQ - is the story content, not the gameplay". I'm sorry, but that is a non sequitur if I've ever seen one! Your conclusion simply does not follow from your premises.
  • I still feel we are failing to communicate. I can think of no more ways to phrase what I wanted to say, and you seemed to ignore important parts of my posts. You even suggest I went out of my way to find the most generic dictionary definition of "game", when that is simply not true. I use Oxford Dictionaries as my first-stop quick reference and that definition (here) is the only one that applies to computer games.

    It does match the way I have long regarded most activities that you would probably consider passive and not games, such as reading and watching films. There is the same sense of playfulness and need to actively relate oneself to the proceedings as there is with computer games. This is a point of view shared by many psychologists and researchers today and is a way of seeing things that I find fertile.

    I am not dismissing anyone else like you suggest! You have to understand that my default assumption is that what each of us says has equal value. Accordingly, my posts carry no more (or less) weight than yours, for example. I am only a single voice and certainly Telltale is not going to make the game based on what any one of us says. So there is no reason to suppose my words will have any great effect.

    I say this because you seem to see me almost as someone out to destroy what makes King's Quest beloved to you and others. But I clearly stated I have no problem with any or even all of the old gameplay mechanics being included if they are found appropriate and desirable by the designers. I only feel they are not required, and I remain open to new ideas. What more can I possibly say...?

    I am sorry, but I feel I would be wasting time and energy I genuinely need elsewhere if I continued our point-by-point exchange. (As Blackthorne519 was right to point out.) That is not intended as an insult - just a statement about the extent of miscommunication and misinterpretation I feel is going on both ways. No offence intended, and I do look forward to reading your reactions (as well as those of others) when the game comes out!
  • I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and calm down. You're arguing over which way of enjoying the game is better, and that's not an argument that can be won. Play the game the way you enjoy it, and don't worry about why other people enjoy it.

    Which is why I think a "Retry" button should be included. Ideally with the option to turn it off, but if you truly believe it detracts from the game, just hit the "Restore" button right next to it. I've only played Tales of Monkey Island and a little bit of Sam & Max (too many games, not enough time), but I seem to recall that they both had manual saves as well. I see no reason TTG can't let us have our cake and reload, give the gemstone to the ogre, climb up the cliff wall, save the game this time, and eat it, too.
  • Simo Sakari Aaltonen;506372 said:
    I still feel we are failing to communicate. I can think of no more ways to phrase what I wanted to say, and you seemed to ignore important parts of my posts. You even suggest I went out of my way to find the most generic dictionary definition of "game", when that is simply not true. I use Oxford Dictionaries as my first-stop quick reference and that definition (here) is the only one that applies to computer games.
    Sorry, I take back any suggestion (never intended) that you went out of your way to find the most generic definition, but that hardly negates the point I was making. You cited the second definition given in that link, rather than the first more specific one, which most certainly does apply to computer games. I'm not sure what you think I'm ignoring; I thought my last two posts touched on everything in the posts quoted.
    Simo Sakari Aaltonen;506372 said:
    It does match the way I have long regarded most activities that you would probably consider passive and not games, such as reading and watching films. There is the same sense of playfulness and need to actively relate oneself to the proceedings as there is with computer games. This is a point of view shared by many psychologists and researchers today and is a way of seeing things that I find fertile.

    I am not dismissing anyone else like you suggest! You have to understand that my default assumption is that what each of us says has equal value. Accordingly, my posts carry no more (or less) weight than yours, for example. I am only a single voice and certainly Telltale is not going to make the game based on what any one of us says. So there is no reason to suppose my words will have any great effect.
    Ideas do not all have equal value. They need to have a logical, rational basis behind them before they can be considered worthy. In contrast, personal experiences are indeed equally valid. That you (and many others) experience KQ as interactive story and I (and many others) as video game (a particular kind of game in which the story is essential, to be sure) is what it is and not something to be debated or resolved. Which is why I find your idea that content is more important than form, story more important than gameplay, to the KQ legacy as not only ill-conceived (when asserted as anything more than a personal preference) but somewhat ironic. Because it fails to take into account how many players, including many who have posted about various gameplay issues in this forum, experience KQ. Saying that story is more important, that gameplay could be eliminated without altering the very nature of KQ is dismissive of our experience, Simo, there's no way around that. I'm a little skeptical this is simply a case of miscommunication because you've made the same assertion several times and never really addressed any of my counterarguments or revisited your own argument that was clearly fallacious.
    Simo Sakari Aaltonen;506372 said:
    I say this because you seem to see me almost as someone out to destroy what makes King's Quest beloved to you and others. But I clearly stated I have no problem with any or even all of the old gameplay mechanics being included if they are found appropriate and desirable by the designers. I only feel they are not required, and I remain open to new ideas. What more can I possibly say...?
    No, I do not see you as someone out to destroy anything, or as someone with any ill intentions whatsoever. But talk about ignoring posts -- I've tried to explain I think twice now that I'm talking about how more fundamental aspects of gameplay are essential to KQ; I have always understood that you have no problem with any specific mechanics being included and are not arguing against them, as I have no problem with their being excluded. Of course the designers are going to pick and choose among mechanics and include new ones of their own, but the whole they come up with can and will be evaluated by many players in terms of how consistent the overall feel of the gameplay is with that of the previous games.
    Simo Sakari Aaltonen;506372 said:
    I am sorry, but I feel I would be wasting time and energy I genuinely need elsewhere if I continued our point-by-point exchange. (As Blackthorne519 was right to point out.) That is not intended as an insult - just a statement about the extent of miscommunication and misinterpretation I feel is going on both ways. No offence intended, and I do look forward to reading your reactions (as well as those of others) when the game comes out!
    No apology or explanation is required here. That's the beauty of discussion forums. Participation is entirely voluntary, non-obligatory and self-motivated.
  • Thanks, thom-22. I reckon it all comes entirely down to our different ways of seeing things.

    The Tetris block example seems completely indisputable to me, but you see it as a non sequitur and think my conclusion does not follow from my premises. I confess that I quite honestly fail to see how it does not follow. Maybe I am missing an important part of your counterargument, but that is not deliberate.

    About the dictionary definitions from the source I used, I don't see the first definition as applying to computer games, since I don't see all computer games (certainly not adventure games) as a "competitive activity or sport". However, "played according to rules", sure. But then, books are read and films are viewed according to some rules, too.

    On the "gameplay" vs "story" issue: In my way of looking at this, almost everything you might call gameplay (and that I have been thinking of as gameplay for the purposes of this thread) is actually part of the story. This is really the true and whole meaning of my thinking of it as an interactive story. And yes, it is a personal view only and I am not trying to convert anyone into sharing it!

    What I mean is, "story" comprises not just the scenario or premise or basic plot. It also includes the narration, the dialogue, every action, every consequence, the sights and sounds - just like with a story in any other medium. The only difference is that the player controls the actions of the main character(s). Playing an adventure game (or most other types of games) is almost nothing else than story.

    But please note I never suggested "gameplay" should be eliminated. I was only trying to make the reasoning behind my viewpoint as clear as possible by giving two contrasting examples, one where a variable is changed but the subject remains recognisable, and one where another variable is changed and the subject becomes unrecognisable. It was an illustration, not a suggestion. :)

    I hope this goes some way towards addressing the points you felt I had ignored earlier. I suspect we will not be able to reach agreement on these things, but I don't want you to feel I intentionally ignored anything you said.
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