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Fronzel Neekburm

Something that DOES worry me...

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Hey there, Mr Blackthorne! Looking forward to receiving Quest For Infamy!

They know what the hell they're doing

See, that‘s exactly what I thought as well*. It was only after they released an early prototype last year (which, if I may be so bold, played like a boring piece of tablet shit) that I began to wonder whether that confidence was severely misplaced. Have you played that demo yet**? I‘d love to hear the thoughts of a professional game designer and passionate fellow adventure gamer!

I said it before, they can take as long as they want. As long as the game doesn‘t turn out to be swipe-controlled direct-to-tablet casual garbage (which I hope we can all agree on that this is not something we'd want, right? RIGHT?), I don‘t mind. I‘d like nothing better than the game being released by March next year and it rocking everyone‘s mind.

 

 

* & ** edit: I edited parts of my original post which I felt came across as incredibly hostile and disparaging. I'm not out to win some stupid internet fight, I only want to add some (hopefully) constructive criticism. Besides, I already kind of got the answer to my question on one of the more haughty.png places of the internet. An interesting and somewhat encouraging read. I guess if I were chatting with Scott Murphy on a regular basis, all my worries probably would have been laid to rest ages ago.

 

I know, since it's not out, all people can do is speculate - but it's going to be funny to look back on times like these when it's done and out, isn't it?

God, I hope so! It's either that or "swipeamole" will become a word in certain circles.

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I said it before, they can take as long as they want. As long as the game doesn‘t turn out to be swipe-controlled direct-to-tablet casual garbage (which I hope we can all agree on that this is not something we'd want, right? RIGHT?), I don‘t mind. I‘d like nothing better than the game being released by March next year and it rocking everyone‘s mind.

It won't be - with the swipes they were just trying to extend the old-school adventure game control structure (clicking around on scenes in different modes) with new functionality. Believe me, it's not going to be all dragging around crates.

 

I think the way that Ace and Rooter work together (each with different aspects that make them better to solve a certain puzzle) certainly is something that wasn't seen in the Space Quest games and will definitely add a new twist without alienating the gamers looking for the traditional adventure.

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Chris' playthrough video did a great job at showcasing how well the rooter puzzles could work in the game. I remember playing the demo and killing Ace by running into steam. He just lay there. At the time I thought that was one of the bugs, but it turns out you can actually revive him. A really cool idea! If you can find a way that makes these puzzles more intuitive (Chris said in the video that you already have), this is really something to look forward to.

 

By the way, great job on today's update!

 

3cc8f38513b37d2e03bfff48345da5f9_large.J

 

Really liked the picture that came with it. I have no idea what that location is supposed to be (looks like a workshop of some kind) but it looks great!

 

 

edit: Been reading up on some of the comments left on today‘s KS update. Good grief, guys! Take it easy with the Latin! "Mea culpa", "pro bono"... Can‘t a guy just sit back and enjoy the popcorn-munching glory of a bit of good old-fashioned Interwebz drama without having to consult a fucking dictionary?

Edited by Fronzel Neekburm

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Aren't mea culpa and pro bono pretty common phrases? Like rendez-vous, coup d'etat and schedenfreude? Though to be fair, the person I've seen using them most is Fred, who's European like me. Perhaps it's a Eurotrash thing.

 

One thing I am seeing in the Kickstarter comments are some reasonably legitimate points about deadlines and wasted time (even if they do come wrapped in bile and insult). In that sense, I think it's a good thing that the latest update has admitted to making mistakes (without needing to go into them and inviting more uninformed crap), and then set out a broad road map for what's likely to happen over the next 12 months.

 

What I'm hoping is that this proves that, yes, with Ken Williams' money and whip you get your games "on time"; but with time and patience you get a much more rounded gaming experience.

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As soon as people start throwing words like "redemption" (chill out - it's just a game) into the discussion, it's a free-for-all as far as I'm concerned. I would say all those phrases are fairly common, but maybe that's just me.

 

And I think Gareth is spot on. SQ4CD was delivered on time with a set of dreadful timer bugs that I'm sure - despite the advancement of technology being the culprit - could've been picked up in a code review. SQ6 was delivered on time with the solution for a very complicated puzzle cut from the manual without its primary designer being asked, and a crapload of bugs. KQ7 was delivered on time with resource files that were indicating that a sizable chunk of the game had been scrapped at the last possible minute (King Graham being scrapped after he was voiced).

 

Truth be told, I wasn't playing these games back when they were released, but I do know a few bits of Sierra history. If you were to ask someone more knowledgeable like Troels, Rudy or Andrew, the list of examples above would probably be longer. The rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia seem to be messing an awful lot with people's heads here.

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Hehe, I say mea culpa a LOT.  That's because I mess up a lot - this is what my parents and my wife tell me, hahah.

 

 

Personally, I liked the swipe functions; I saw it as a new twist in the old adventure game controls - it wasn't done perfectly in the demo, but I liked the idea and concept behind it.  I think they've had the time to work with it more, and because they had a LOT (I'm putting it mildly, I think some people acted as if these swipes were actually punches to the face) of feedback, I bet you they've had time to refine the mechanic.

 

I stil think SpaceVenture looks awesome, and - well, I dunno, maybe as a developer myself I can appreciate the development process and time length - but I feel like this game is going to be pretty cool.  Making an adventure game certainly isn't as easy as it seems, I can tell you that from experience. 

 

Anyway, yeah, my mantra is still SpaceVenture looks Space Quest-y as fuck.  Besides, even my beloved Space Quest III has those STUPID FUCKING ROUND HALLWAYS GODDAMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Bt

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I saw it as a new twist in the old adventure game controls

Sorry, but I can‘t make out any sort of "idea or concept“ other than wanting to appeal to the tablet crowd. Sure, I kind of get the argument that TGA want to "rejuvenate“ the traditional point&click controls. But why fix it if it ain‘t broken?  Take "Gabriel Knight“ for instance, they tried to innovate the UI by breaking up the hand icon into four seperate icons. Ultimately, those features added nothing to the game. Don‘t get me wrong, "Gabriel Knight“ is a great game (possibly the best from the Sierra catalogue). But it‘s a great game despite its UI, not because of it.

 

I'm putting it mildly, I think some people acted as if these swipes were actually punches to the face

Personally, I thought they felt less like a punch to the face than a running drop-kick to the groin. They were extremely painful and kinda hard to pull off.

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I‘m not really one for subtlety.

Besides, there certainly are ways you could use swipe controls to add some fun to the game. Like giving the player the ability to smack Ace or to pick him up and drag him to some other part of the screen (Can‘t quite remember what game I stole that idea from... "Black & White“, right?). Those might be cool ways of using them, but the way they were used in the demo they just added unnecessary hoops to the gameplay.

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Sure, I kind of get the argument that TGA want to "rejuvenate“ the traditional point&click controls. But why fix it if it ain‘t broken?

Honestly, if you want to use a UI from the '90s you should stick with Space Quest. We're going to try new things in SpaceVenture, you should be aware of that.

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Nothing wrong with that. In with the new, I say! As long as it adds something worthwhile to the gameplay. If it doesn't, you have no one but yourselves to blame if the reception will be along the lines of...

 

"And also the wipes aren't very intutive“ - 4Players.de
"Swipe controls are a pain“ - IGN
"Honestly, the swiping concept seems to be adding unneeded steps to solving puzzles that don't add anything to the experience.“ - Joystiq
"Seems much more like a gimmick than something that seriously adds to gameplay. Very frustrating.“ - Eurogamer
"Why shuffle stuff around in the cart when you could just dump it all on the ground, or shove it aside? Why play sokoban with crates that you could just climb over?" - PC Games
"The swipe is unintuitive for a mouse on a desktop PC" - GameStar
"The swiping is realy awkward. [...] So I almost quit playing.“ - PC Gamer
"I felt raped by their patriarchical swiping controls" - Anita Sarkeesian
"I also agree with the overall sentiment in this thread regarding the majority of the puzzles being simply object moving/sliding and hand swiping interactions. It's quite below the par of clever puzzles that have come before them in earlier space quest games, and I too hope that this is not the intended ratio of puzzle types (tablet-savvy finger swiping and object moving / clever intellectual designs) for the final product." - Kotaku

 

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If it doesn't, you have no one but yourselves to blame if the reception will be along the lines of...

 

I went back through that demo thread... I think you're skewing the response to the swiping --

most people seem fine with the concept of swiping, as long as the controls for it are

updated and there is dialogue added telling you to swipe:

 

"I'm ok with the swipe controls so long as there's good visual feedback" - alhazan

"I really like the earlier suggestion for the first screen or two to offer "gameplay tips" in the dialog...swipe in the direction you want it to go..." - audiodane
"It's not clear that stuff can be swiped." - Thornado
"...the airlock could probably be the perfect spot for a controls tutorial for the swiping." - MusicallyInspired
"I think swipes have a potential to open up a load of new puzzle types and/or Easter Eggs if done correctly" - drdrslashvohaul
 
These quotes you posted are in the same vein... people who are just critiquing the actual controls:
 
"And also the wipes aren't very intutive“ - tomimt
"Swipe controls are a pain“ - Uddasa
"The swipe is unintuitive for a mouse on a desktop PC" - shdon
"The swiping is realy awkward. [...] So I almost quit playing.“ - Thornado

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Someone felt "raped" by the "patriarchial" swipe controls? "Raped"? Seriously? And does this person even know what patriarchial means? Considering the context in which that word appears, I'm going to go with "no" and combining that with the exquisitely bad taste of throwing rape into the mix, I'd say this is the single most useless piece of "feedback" I have ever laid my eyes on.

 

Take this with a sarcastic grain of salt, but this is how the ever-increasing hyperbole and manipulation in this thread (and in the KS comments, for that matter) make me feel:

 

tumblr_n39dk8XNNX1tq4of6o1_500.gif

 

Mea culpa.

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@JimmyTwoBucks

I was arguing for a complete removal of the swipe controls, which is why I hand picked only the most scathing of comments. Logical, no? But let‘s face it even the comments you provided for proper context are pretty fucking far from high praise. At best, some of the posters see potential in the swiping controls. Give us a tutorial and some directional icons and it‘ll be fine, that seems to be the assumption. The problem here is that even if the swipes were to be properly implemented into the game, that doesn‘t automatically make any of the puzzles that opened it (the crates, the cart, the airlock) any more enjoyable. Also, keep in mind that the responses in that thread are already skewed, since they were left in a fan forum and nobody wants to be that asshole who heaps the harsh criticism on everybody‘s favorite Andromedans.

 

 

Pretty sure Fronzel surreptitiously added that one in as a joke, as he credits it to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Sarkeesian

9fctt.gif

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@JimmyTwoBucks: Ah. Got it.

 

I rest my case, though. We have a thread for feminism and political correctness in gaming and said "joke" only makes me feel more cynic about the negativity in here. I mean, if Fronzel can't even take the discussion seriously himself, how am I (or TGFA, for that matter) supposed to? I'm not a humourless asshole, but the lines are beginning to blur. Again, have a look at the KS comments. It's a matter of time before someone posts a biblical quote.

 

Also, in response to Fronzel, everyone agreed that there were flaws about the alpha. There was no "high fucking praise" of anything, but there was plenty of "this is gonna be awesome when you weed out the kinks". So, no. You're not gonna find high praise of the swiping, but that may not neccessarily have anything to do with the controls being as big a problem as you're making it out to be.

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Also, in response to Fronzel, everyone agreed that there were flaws about the alpha. There was no "high fucking praise" of anything, but there was plenty of "this is gonna be awesome when you weed out the kinks". So, no. You're not gonna find high praise of the swiping, but that may not neccessarily have anything to do with the controls being as big a problem as you're making it out to be.

Right, the swiping was part of a release from last year, and if you're complaining about it, you're behind the times anyway. If you have a new idea about the issue, by all means bring it out, but at this point you're just beating a dead horse and it's not helping anyone.

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I wanted to comment on this. As someone who's worked on some games (often from scratch) I can say that the criticisms of the demo show a lack of understanding of how bare bones and brutal an early build can be.

 

I'd say the demo is almost a prototype/pre-alpha stage. To judge it at all is foolish. This isn't your AAA "Beta" where the game is more of a demo/release candidate. So even if you feel as though the swipe controls don't work based on what you tried, or they add nothing, keep in mind that at that stage of the development it was probably closer to being a concept than a fully thought out feature. 

 

I think it's best to wait and see how the interface is going to actually be used in the full game before criticizing it. 

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said "joke" only makes me feel more cynic about the negativity in here

Didn‘t like my joke? I thought you were okay with swipes?

 

BbgL7x3.gif

 

 

I mean, if Fronzel can't even take the discussion seriously himself, how am I (or TGFA, for that matter) supposed to?

Oh, I am taking it seriously (more seriously than the people who are allegedly #2PUNK2CARE), don't let my pitiful attempts at humor fool you into thinking otherwise. Seriously enough to read all the replies from beginning to end with the intent to engage in discourse, not to debunk every opinion contrary to my own. Though I have to admit that it‘s becoming harder. Whatever criticism comes up, it gets dismissed outright. I point out that the art could use some additional objects to liven things up, I get swamped with screenshots of a bunch of 20+ year old games. I point out that the controls are horrible, I get a "This ain‘t the Nineties any more! We‘re doing new things here! Get with the times, sucka!“ Someone points out that they‘re annoyed at the delay, and you basically rebut that with "Well, you should be happy that they didn‘t just stop the project and make off with the $400.000 they got.“ WTF, dude? I'm trying to avoid negativity, believe me. But it's hard to be optimistic if there's a prevailing attitude of "Don't like the game? Well, fuck you!".

 

Right, the swiping was part of a release from last year, and if you're complaining about it, you're behind the times anyway.

I'm repeating myself, but why not put out another prototype? I‘d hate to critizise the game for shit that isn‘t even relevant anymore. I mean, the last update states that the first third of the game is done, so why not put that out to soothe the minds of everyone concerned about the current state of the game?

 If you have a new idea about the issue, by all means bring it out

See this post.

 

I wanted to comment on this. As someone who's worked on some games (often from scratch) I can say that the criticisms of the demo show a lack of understanding of how bare bones and brutal an early build can be.

Ah, the old "It's an early build" counterargument, how I missed thee! :)

 

Sure, it's an early build, stuff is subject to change. My concern is that they pointed out repeatedly that as far as the demo portion of the game is concerned, they're primarily concerned with bugfixing and that the gameplay portion will stay pretty much the same, save for making some puzzles "more intuitive". So yeah, early build or not, the gameplay from the demo is fair game, because...

 

When beta testing starts we can start getting critical on design decisions.

Wrong! By that time, they probably won't be able to make any sort of radical changes. (That is if testers should object to certain gameplay elements.)

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The problem here is that even if the swipes were to be properly implemented into the game, that doesn‘t automatically make any of the puzzles that opened it (the crates, the cart, the airlock) any more enjoyable.

 

True... though I think from the demo we don't have a broad enough sense of the game to really judge...

 

We're only really discussing three little puzzles (maybe even just two, as the door one would take 5 seconds with

fixed controls) and I think they took up way more of people's time than they normally would have, due to the controls and lack of instruction.

 

Also, regular adventure game inventory puzzles tend to play out over a far larger area (eg. item on screen 3 is used on screen 24, etc.),

and the demo is only a few screens, so it meant they couldn't showcase lots of inventory puzzles (especially as the demo is

part of the game and not a stand-alone demo), and so it seemed more heavily weighted towards swiping.

 

I think if the demo had one fewer swipe puzzle, then no one would have really made a big deal about it,

and it would be seen as just a nice little variation to add variety to the overall types of puzzles.

It's just people saw the crates AND the cart and are extrapolating that we're going to have to play a sliding puzzle

(like below) every five seconds and that they will make up the majority of the puzzles in the game:

 

120px-Batgirl.gif

 

Now, if that's true and it really is "Sliding Puzzle Venture" then sure, it'll probably get a lot of criticism for it,

but I don't think there is necessarily any reason to assume that it will be loaded with those puzzles.

And there is always the potential for hilarious uses of swipe functions too... 

 

I point out that the art could use some additional objects to liven things up, I get swamped with screenshots of a bunch of 20+ year old games. 

 

I think that's pretty unfair...

When people are making broad criticisms it's helpful to break it down to specifics and to provide some evidence

for the claims, so we can see what we're dealing with and make a more informed judgement.

 

If someone says every scene is empty and that won't make a good game, then let's look at equivalent screenshots

from games we agree are good and see how many objects are in them.

 

If someone hates all the swipe puzzles, let's actually break down how many there were and why people didn't actually like them

and see if there is actually cause for concern.

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Thanks, JimmyTwoBucks! This is exactly the kind of discussion I‘m hoping for!

I think that's pretty unfair...

It is. Sorry if I offended you with my remark (I said it before, subtlety isn‘t my thing). You certainly had a point and the screens were very well chosen. The reason I got annoyed is that I felt you (and others) missed the point I was trying to make. It‘s not like this game doesn‘t look Space Quest-y enough (it does), it‘s just that I felt the locations could use some more stuff to liven things up. Putting in a character would normally do, but since the ship is abandoned, you‘ll have to find other ways to make the locations interesting. I think my criticism about empty-looking backgrounds stemmed more from a writing perspective than from an artistic perspective. I looked at the demo and wondered how you could write some remotely funny interactions with those rooms. Imagine Gary Owens intonating in an overly dramatic voice: „You‘re standing in an empty and extremely boring hallway. It is stuffed with crates.“ In the case of the crate corridor, if there is a way to make the location and possible interactions with it interesting, I can‘t think of it. The only thing that matters, however, is that the people who are making this game can think of it.

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