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Exploration or story?

posted by Lambonius on - last edited - Viewed by 3K users
Telltale's games have always been strictly story driven, sometimes to their detriment. A great story can draw you in and really make you care about the characters, but at the same time, the strict linearity of many story-driven games (Telltale's games are VERY guilty of this) almost completely destroys the sense of exploration and discovery that was such an important part of classic adventure games.

So...which is more important to you for a Sierra-style adventure game? A strong story? Or the sense of exploration and discovery that comes with being able to wander a vast area, looking and interacting with the landscape and objects as you see fit? Or do you think a game can realistically do both?

What approach should Telltale take if they want to capture the "feel" of King's Quest?
50 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • King's Quest deserves a blend of story and exploration, and I hope Telltale uses this opportunity to stretch their muscles in that direction.

    Ah, but I dream.
  • Exploration and discovery. During which -- as part and parcel of which -- a compelling but not overly complicated story is revealed.
  • Both. I've said it before elsewhere: KQVI is the model of choice. It had freedom of exploration (once you solve puzzles to open up your options), and a wonderful, strong plot that was revealed through narrative, dialog and puzzle-solving. The plot and the freedom of exploration complemented each other rather than restricting each other. So, certainly, it can be done. Can Telltale do it? I'm sure they can...if they want to.
  • I voted for exploration, but really, both are important. Some of the Sierra games had a really strong story along with the game play. Space Quest 4, King's Quest 6 and most of the Quest for Glory games come to mind.
  • Okay, now that a few people have voted, I'll cast my lot.

    I voted for exploration--not necessarily because I don't think the story is important. I just think that the old King's Quest games had a very specific "feel" to them, a sense of excitement at visiting new areas and searching and interacting with new things, all in the context of uncovering clues to help solve the next puzzle.

    The heart and soul of those games, to me, was the sense of discovery and wonder in getting lost in that magical fantasy world. KQ4, 5, and 6 were the pinnacle of this for me. KQ7 had a great world to explore, but the single cursor interface and inability to look and interact with things in the background destroyed the sense of discovery and immersion.

    Personally, I feel like the story loomed a little too large in KQ6, but only just slightly. For the most part, you were pretty open to explore at your leisure even there, though the island settings tended to make things feel a bit contained at times.
  • Early KQ was not necessarily heavy on story. The later ones are.. those are the best ones in my opinion. I think it needs to be equal parts.
  • In a perfect world, both would win out. But I just don't see Telltale capable of this yet. I'll vote exploration to be on the safe side.
  • Sense of exploration and discovery, with the story proceeding on the player's terms, and at their prodding. A minimum of non-interactive exposition along the lines of "this is the current situation, these are the characters, this is the place, and here is a shopping list of objectives you need to achieve next", please...
  • Exploration. I want an exciting, beautiful, engaging fantasy world. Leave the tightly bound, epic stories to Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.
  • So far this poll is doing exactly what I expected...proving that Telltale's usual approach to game design absolutely is at odds with what fans of King's Quest would like to see in a new King's Quest game. Please take this to heart, Telltale.
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