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What do you do when you're stumped?

posted by Dave Grossman Telltale Alumni on - last edited - Viewed by 2.8K users
So, there's a common thing that people who play adventure games do when they start to get stuck, which is to methodically go through and try using everything in their inventory. I'm wondering what else people do when they're out of ideas -- for example, maybe you take your hand off the mouse and think, or you wander around through all the environments but don't click on anything, or you go back and talk to all the people again. (Maybe you immediately go look on the forums for a hint or call your brother-in-law for advice.) What's your approach?
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  • After the initial frustration, I just combine the things in my inventory with everything else I can find. Often it turns out I just missed some objects while exploring. It can also happen that I forgot to talk to someone about something, but usually I exhaust all dialogue options, so that doesn't happen often... but anyway, mostly I just retrace my steps to see if I haven't overlooked anything (which can be very tedious and frustrating, but rewarding if I find the solution on my own), and if I feel I understand what the puzzle is about but just can't seem to find the object the game designer wanted me to use, I'll just look online for the solution - I don't care much for pixel-hunting.
  • When I get stuck I stop and think about what it is exactly that I'm stock on, then I think of the most likely sollutions or locations where the sollution would be at, and then I systematically eleminate all possibilities until I solve the problem. If that doesn't work, then I go, "ARGGGG!!!" and then go look for a hint online. :p
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    Squinky Telltale Alumni
    Well, aside from cursing the game designer(s), I can't think of much else. :)
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    Sean A Telltale Staff
    With Sam and Max that hasn't happened too often, but when it does I've found just turning it off and coming back later helps. But most of the time I try talking to everybody again, or seeing if I missed something. I used to try all my inventory items, but I think about things a little more before I do that now. What would help make that less tedious--hint, hint--is if the main character didn't have a stock response at all, but commented on how sane or ridiculous each idea was in turn.

    But unless I've exhausted everything I can think of, I never go looking for help.
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    Shauntron Telltale Staff
    I cruise around to think about what I need to do and where I can find my solution. If I get burned out on this, I usually just give up for the day. I almost always find my solution if I can sleep on it, since the key to most puzzles is hidden in plain sight. That's why I bug everyone at the play tests when i'm stuck.
  • Yeah, if I'm stuck and clicking endlessly doesn't seem to be doing the trick, then I stop playing and come back to it later. I can usually solve the puzzles after I've had a rest!
  • I start to take the game apart on a fundamental "somebody designed this" level. I save in a central hub of sorts that is equidistant from all of the extremities of the world, then I go to one extreme and mess with it there, if nothing new happens, I load and wander off to the other extreme part of the game world. It speeds up all the wandering around. If the game has not been all too much fun, or if it is littered with ridiculous puzzles (such as: use love potion custard in outhouse, use octopus in outhouse, give fishmonger prunes, after tentacle rape get fishmonger's belt buckle, yay ftw) I may immediately go to the walkthrough. If there is a lot of pixel hunting (such as with early Revolution Soft. games) I am more likely to go straight to a walkthrough without wandering around looking for conspicuous pixels.

    I have to give it to you guys, though. You've taken a one-click interface, which removes some of the fun complexity of the game such as the look at verb (you may want to give a good hard thought to bringing it back, please, oh please) and managed to make a fairly complex gaming experience -- moreso with episodes four through six than with the previous three, but I guess it took some jelling and experimentation to figure out the best ways of doing things.
  • I usually revisit all the locations, and check the screens for items I may have missed... sometimes even by slowly scanning the screen with the cursor, in the hope of a new object highlighting.
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    *I'll supply a more thorough answer later.
  • I think about what would be most logical to do (in that specific game universe), and if I have got abit in to the game before I got stuck, I'm trying to go over everything that has happend so far, and think about what the heck the designers want me to do next (and possibly some backtracknig, going through dialogs I might have missed due to my lack of knowlege of the english language), and if nothing of this work I traditionally use everything on everything for a few minutes, after those painful minutes I get bored and skip directly to the walk-through part.
    What can I say, I hate when the story/"flow of jokes" stop :P

    Please excuse my horrible english, too tired to correct my worst spelling errors.
    Bed here I come!! :rolleyes: (that I for some reason found that sentance funny might imply the fact that I'm really tired and/or insane).
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