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Something that DOES worry me...

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  • 1 month later...

So, today someone used the general discussion forum to shamelessly plug his own sci-fi point&click project. The sad thing is, the graphics he posted actually serve as perfect illustration as to why I'm somewhat disappointed with the locations that were in the SpaceVenture Demo.


Exhibit A


What I was hoping for:




What I got:




Exhibit B


What I was hoping for:




What I got:



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Those screens are 3d rendered and hand painted on top. Mark's artwork is not prerendered. Its either handpainted, digitally painted, composited, or all three. Which is pretty good compared to 3d. I like it.

Sorry, but that's beside the point. Entirely. I love artworks of rich environments and I love finding all the little details in them. And I love it even more when the game has something funny to say about the little details I found. I couldn't care less HOW a piece of artwork is created, all I care about that these artworks don't feel like lifeless voids of nothingness.

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Forgive my ignorance on the subject, but I always thought that painting stuff would be a lot faster and easier than 3D-modelling stuff.

Most of the delay on SpaceVenture is due to programming and writing falling behind. Art has been mostly coming along nicely, as has music. And the differences you are bringing up seem to be mainly a matter of style preference.

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Fuck delays! I wasn‘t even talking about that. MusicallyInspired said that it would „take far longer to put the level of detail that's in a prerendered image into a painted background“. Fair enough, but is it really too much to ask to put some interesting props into the locations? You know, computer consoles, wires, headphones, potted plants, mirrors, side doors, ugly-ass rugs, and so forth? Even a couple more blinking, beeping, and flashing lights would work wonders. I don‘t think that has anything to do with style preferences either.

I don‘t care that this project is over a year behind and unlike those backers that are already starting to pick up their pitchforks, I‘m quite convinced that something will be released eventually. All I worry about is whether the game that comes out at the end is going to be one worth playing. I don‘t want to rain on anybody‘s parade here, but (Full disclosure!) the Alpha demo has left a serious dent in my faith in this project and the sort of hyper-defensive reactions you get for bringing up the slightest bit of criticism isn‘t exactly helping me regaining that faith.

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The alpha demo was exactly that. Alpha. Severely unfinished. Something the team only usually gets to test. Backers got to play it because they were nice and let us. Also they asked us to find any bugs we might/will see. It wasn't meant for public consumption. At least, that was my impression.


Requesting more props is fair enough but I don't think there's anything to lose faith about at this stage.

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No need for a reminder, I‘m perfectly aware that the demo was an early, early pre-embryonal build. But if your gut reaction isn‘t so much "This is really buggy and unfinished, but it looks promising and I‘m kinda having fun.“ as it is "Save for the music, I find this utterly unappealing.“ - that‘s when you inevitably start to worry.

Which is why it would be nice to get some actual info as to where this project is headed. Whether I‘d have something to look forward to, or if it‘s going to be „more of the same, but without the bugs“.

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Hence why developers can be reluctant to release too much their early work to the public.

Alrighty then, a few questions to those in the know:

Have the puzzles from the Demo been redesigned?

Have the locations been changed in any way?

Are there plans to do any of that?


If none of that‘s the case, it‘s kind of foolish to speak of "early work“.



By the way, thanks to MusicallyInspired for understanding that one can have a passionate debate about stuff you care about without treating criticism as either sacrilege or a personal affront.

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It's just too early to tell, I think. This is supposed to be a full length adventure. We know that this station explodes shortly after the events of the demo so we can be fairly sure that it's a fairly short part of the game. We also know that there's a lot more to see and do as evidenced by that mysterious character peeking through the glass at the airlock and by Chris Pope saying there wasn't time to put him in. Plus we haven't seen the whole station yet. It could be huge with lots of things to look at. I wouldn't think there would be very many interesting things in a few hallways and a janitor's closet. Who knows what they've got planned? We've given them feedback already as well about these kinds of things. The Guys know we love our SQ style interactions. Plenty of reasons for me to have faith.


Though, like I said feedback is important. So giving them that is all we can do.

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I can see why someone would prefer the more detailed art work and I agree it is impressive/beautiful,

though I personally prefer the style that the SV demo is in, at least for this type of game...


Out of the SQ games, I liked the SQ4 graphics the best, even though SQ6 had more detail...

With the LucasArts games I liked the first Monkey Island level of graphics over the later Curse/Escape graphics...


Part of that I think is the feel of the game and how the visuals represent it, whether it's meant to look

like real life or creating a world with a specific visual style.


Also you can't really make something hyper-realistic with the backgrounds and then have more cartoony

characters walk through them without it looking odd, so it will be interesting to see the Exogenesis game's characters...


Plus, when things get really detailed it can make some of the puzzles needlessly difficult, as usually

you're only looking for a handful of key items and there's just so much on the screen it detracts

from the actual gameplay.


Part of it as well is just subjective - I always found the first Monkey Island game's graphics hilarious

in a way that the later games didn't capture as well.


For me, the lack of items so far isn't a problem with the few bits and pieces we've seen -

I don't really expect corridors to be full of items... they weren't in the Space Quest games.

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C‘mon, there‘s gotta be a better way to discredit my point. Why not just say „You just prefer cluttered locations! I prefer clean locations.“


Well, I just find it really weird that some of you are actively expecting something Space Quest was never really known for and then screaming blue murder when you see, like, 4-5 screens (from a game I would presume will have at the very least 30-40) that aren't totally cluttered with stuff.


Case in point - the Space Quest 6 elevator is possibly the most hotspot-laden environment in all of the games and thus the most "cluttered" because there's so much stuff you can interact with. But how busy does it look? It's just as empty as some of the SpaceVenture backgrounds. Until you start clicking around, it's just an elevator. And it's not even a Murphy/Crowe game!


Space Quest is just chock full of massive, largely empty locations to begin with. The Arcada, Vohaul's asteroid fortress, parts of the Garbage Freighter, Phleebhut, ScumSoft, Vohaul's super computer, the StarCon academy, etc. So to me, it sounds like you're looking for something that sounds more like Monkey Island. And of course, 2GFA taking a cue from other games would be absolutely fine, but we were promised a spiritual successor to Space Quest. The only things they've really promised will be altered from the Space Quest formula are unfair deaths, dead ends and puzzles that are brutally unfair.


In my opinion, I think it's way too early to tell how the game might look and feel. Not in terms of development time, but in terms of what we've been privy to see. But I am reassured that they're not going out of their way to make a boring game, cluttered environments or not. And if I can't trust Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe to come up with a solid game, then who can I trust?

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if I can't trust Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe to come up with a solid game, then who can I trust?

I know, right? I mean, it‘s been almost 20 years since their last game (more than that since their last game together), so even with no plot details available at the time of the KS campaign, I figured that if they had that much time to come up with ideas, the two guys butting their heads together would no doubt result in some kind of supernova of awesome. The demo on the other hand was kind of the exact opposite of that, it just felt dull, uninspired, lifeless and devoid of purpose.


Somehow, none of the locations you mentioned ever bothered me. Sure, much of SQ1 and 2 looks boring as hell by now, but they get a free pass for being 30 years old. And the SQ2 remake you worked on looks perfectly alright to me.


Besides, my biggest gripe would still have to be the superfluous swipe controls and insipid puzzles. Sure, I know that it might be tempting for the TGA to open up a new market...




...but if that‘s done at the expense of the game, I think it‘s better if people speak up about it while there's still time instead of going into „It‘s too early to tell“-mode. The team should have a very clear idea of where the project is going by now and it would be interesting to know if any of the criticism levelled at the Alpha Demo has been heeded.


Looking forward to the next update, then.

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First off, that poster is fucking hilarious. Props.


Second, I don't think people are being "hyper defensive" as you claim. If anything... well, we've had this discussion about irony before. Criticism of a criticism is not intended to silence debate. It continues it. Some of the phrasing could have been better, perhaps, but come on. If you want the freedom to disagree with people, you've got to afford them the same courtesy.

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