Why Adventure Games Suck

May 22, 2004 ten to six pm

I wrote this back in 1989 while I was designing Monkey Island.  It is now the futuristic year of 2004 and we are all driving around in flying cars and wearing sliver jumps suits.  A lot has changed for Adventure Games as well, but unfortunately not in the right direction.  

Adventure Games are officially dead.  I think this article from Old Man Murray (written in 2002) sums it up pretty well.  Make sure you read the whole thing, it starts out slow, but his conclusion could not be more true.

Some people will tell you that Adventure Games aren't really dead, they have just morphed into other forms, or that other genres have absorbed Adventure Games.  If this is true, they've done a pretty bad job of it.

I wrote this article to help fellow Adventure Games designers back in 1989, but the RPG, FPS and RTS designers of 2004 could use a little of the self-proclaimed wisdom of the past.

As I read this some 15 years later, I'm not sure I agree with everything in here anymore.  I learned a lot from Monkey Island 1 and 2, plus countless kids Adventure Games at Humongous Entertainment.  At some point in the near future, I will do an annotated version of this article, talking about things that have changed, or were just plains wrong.  But in the meantime, there is something interesting on TV right now.

I would also like to thank David Fox for passively-aggressively forcing me to post this.



Why Adventure Games Suck

And What We Can Do About It

By Ron Gilbert

Copyright 1989, Ron Gilbert

Of all the different types of games, the ones I most enjoy playing are adventure/story games.  It is no surprise that this is also the genre for which I design.  I enjoy games in which the pace is slow and the reward is for thinking and figuring, rather than quick reflexes.  The element that brings adventure games to life for me is the stories around which they are woven.  When done right, it is a form of storytelling that can be engrossing in a way that only interaction can bring.  The key here is ?done right?, which it seldom is.

One of my pet peeves is the recent trend to call story games "Interactive Movies."  They are interactive, but they are not movies.  The fact that people want to call them movies just points out how lost we are.  What we need to do is to establish a genre for our works that we can call our own.  Movies came from stage plays, but the references are long lost and movies have come into their own.  The same thing needs to happen to story games.

The desire to call them Interactive Movies comes from a couple of places.  The first is Marketing.  It is the goal of narrow-minded marketing to place everything into a category so it will be recognizable.  These people feel that the closest things to story games are movies.  The other source for the name Interactive Movie is what I call "Hollywood Envy."  A great number of people in this business secretly (and not so secretly) wish they were making movies, not writing video games.  Knock it off!  If you really want to make movies, then go to film school and leave the game designing to people who want to make games.

Story games are not movies, but the two forms do share a great deal.  It is not fair to completely ignore movies.  We can learn a lot from them about telling stories in a visual medium.  However, it is important to realize that there are many more differences than similarities.  We have to choose what to borrow and what to discover for ourselves.

The single biggest difference is interaction.  You can?t interact with a movie.  You just sit in the theater and watch it.  In a story game, the player is given the freedom to explore the story.  But the player doesn?t always do what the designer intended, and this causes problems.  It is hard to create a cohesive plot when you have no idea what part of the story the player will trip over next.  This problem calls for a special kind of storytelling, and we have just begun to scratch the surface of this art form.

There is a state of mind called ?suspension of disbelief.?  When you are watching a movie, or reading a good book, your mind falls into this state.  It occurs when you are pulled so completely into the story that you no longer realize you are in a movie theater or sitting at your couch, reading.  When the story starts to drag, or the plots begins to fall apart, the suspension of disbelief is lost.  You soon start looking around the theater, noticing the people in front of you or the green exit sign.  One way I judge a movie is by the number of times I realized I was in a theater.

The same is true of story games (as well as almost all other kinds of games).  As the story builds, we are pulled into the game and leave the real world behind.  As designers, our job is to keep people in this state for as long as possible.  Every time the player has to restore a saved game, or pound his head on the desk in frustration, the suspension of disbelief is gone.  At this time he is most likely to shut off the computer and go watch TV, at which point we all have lost.

I have created a set of rules of thumb that will minimize the loss of suspension of disbelief.  As with any set of rules, there are always exceptions.  In my designs, I hope that if these rules cannot be followed, it is for artistic reasons and not because I am too lazy to do it right.  In Maniac Mansion, in one place or another, I violated all but one of these rules.  Some of them were violated by design, others by sloppiness.  If I could redesign Maniac Mansion, all the violations would be removed and I?d have a much better game.

Some people say that following these rules makes the games too easy to play.  I disagree.  What makes most games tough to play is that the puzzles are arbitrary and unconnected.  Most are solved by chance or repetitive sessions of typing "light candle with match", "light paper with match", "light rug with match", until something happens.  This is not tough game play, this is masturbation.  I played one game that required the player to drop a bubble gum wrapper in a room in order to get a trap door to open (object names have been changed to protect the guilty).  What is the reasoning?  There is none.  It's an advanced puzzle, I was told.


Here, then, are Gilbert's Rules of Thumb:

End objective needs to be clear

It?s OK if the objective changes in mid-game, but at the beginning the player should have a clear vision as to what he or she is trying to accomplish.  Nothing is more frustrating than wandering around wondering what you should be doing and if what you have been doing is going to get you anywhere.  Situations where not knowing what's going on can be fun and an integral part of the game, but this is rare and difficult to pull off.

Sub-goals need to be obvious

Most good adventure games are broken up into many sub-goals.  Letting the player know at least the first sub-goal is essential in hooking them.  If the main goal is to rescue the prince, and the player is trapped on an island at the beginning of the game, have another character in the story tell them the first step: get off the island.  This is just good storytelling.  Ben Kenobi pretty much laid out Luke's whole journey in the first twenty minutes of Star Wars.  This provided a way for the audience to follow the progress of the main character.  For someone not used to the repetitive head-banging of adventure games, this simple clue can mean the difference between finishing the game and giving up after the first hour.  It?s very easy when designing to become blind to what the player doesn?t know about your story.

Live and learn

As a rule, adventure games should be able to be played from beginning to end without "dying" or saving the game if the player is very careful and very observant.  It is bad design to put puzzles and situations into a game that require a player to die in order to learn what not to do next time.  This is not to say that all death situations should be designed out.  Danger is inherent in drama, but danger should be survivable if the player is clever.

As an exercise, take one complete path through a story game and then tell it to someone else, as if it were a standard story.  If you find places where the main character could not have known a piece of information that was used (the character who learned it died in a previous game), then there is a hole in the plot.

Backwards Puzzles

The backwards puzzle is probably the one thing that bugs me more than anything else about adventure games.  I have created my share of them; and as with most design flaws, it?s easier to leave them in than to redesign them.  The backwards puzzle occurs when the solution is found before the problem.  Ideally, the crevice should be found before the rope that allows the player to descend.  What this does in the player?s mind is set up a challenge.  He knows he need to get down the crevice, but there is no route.  Now the player has a task in mind as he continues to search.  When a rope is spotted, a light goes on in his head and the puzzle falls into place.  For a player, when the design works, there is nothing like that experience.

I forgot to pick it up

This is really part of the backwards puzzle rule, but in the worst way.  Never require a player to pick up an item that is used later in the game if she can't go back and get it when it is needed.  It is very frustrating to learn that a seemingly insignificant object is needed, and the only way to get it is to start over or go back to a saved game.  From the player's point of view, there was no reason for picking it up in the first place.  Some designers have actually defended this practice by saying that, "adventure games players know to pick up everything."  This is a cop-out.  If the jar of water needs to be used on the spaceship and it can only be found on the planet, create a use for it on the planet that guarantees it will be picked up.  If the time between the two uses is long enough, you can be almost guaranteed that the player forgot she even had the object.

The other way around this problem is to give the player hints about what she might need to pick up.  If the aliens on the planet suggest that the player find water before returning to the ship, and the player ignores this advice, then failure is her own fault.

Puzzles should advance the story

There is nothing more frustrating than solving pointless puzzle after pointless puzzle.  Each puzzle solved should bring the player closer to understanding the story and game.  It should be somewhat clear how solving this puzzle brings the player closer to the immediate goal.  What a waste of time and energy for the designer and player if all the puzzle does is slow the progress of the game.

Real time is bad drama

One of the most important keys to drama is timing.  Anyone who has designed a story game knows that the player rarely does anything at the right time or in the right order.  If we let the game run on a clock that is independent from the player?s actions, we are going to be guaranteed that few things will happen with dramatic timing.  When Indiana Jones rolled under the closing stone door and grabbed his hat just in time, it sent a chill and a cheer through everyone in the audience.  If that scene had been done in a standard adventure game, the player would have been killed the first four times he tried to make it under the door.  The next six times the player would have been too late to grab the hat.  Is this good drama?  Not likely.  The key is to use Hollywood time, not real time.  Give the player some slack when doing time-based puzzles.  Try to watch for intent.  If the player is working towards the solution and almost ready to complete it, wait.  Wait until the hat is grabbed, then slam the door down.  The player thinks he ?just made it? and consequently a much greater number of players get the rush and excitement.  When designing time puzzles I like to divide the time into three categories.  10% of the players will do the puzzle so fast and efficiently that they will finish with time to spare.  Another 10% will take too much time and fail, which leaves 80% of the people to brush through in the nick of time.

Incremental reward

The player needs to know that she is achieving.  The fastest way to turn a player off is to let the game drag on with no advancement.  This is especially true for people who are playing adventure games for the first time.  In graphics adventures the reward often comes in the form of seeing new areas of the game.  New graphics and characters are often all that is needed to keep people playing.  Of course, if we are trying to tell a story, then revealing new plot elements and twists can be of equal or greater value.

Arbitrary puzzles

Puzzles and their solutions need to make sense.  They don't have to be obvious, just make sense.  The best reaction after solving a tough puzzle should be, "Of course, why didn't I think of that sooner!"  The worst, and most often heard after being told the solution is, "I never would have gotten that!"  If the solution can only be reached by trial and error or plain luck, it's a bad puzzle.

Reward Intent

The object of these games is to have fun.  Figure out what the player is trying to do.  If it is what the game wants, then help the player along and let it happen.  The most common place this fails is in playing a meta-game called "second guess the parser."  If there is an object on the screen that looks like a box, but the parser is waiting for it to be called a mailbox, the player is going to spend a lot of time trying to get the game to do a task that should be transparent.  In parser-driven games, the key is to have lots of synonyms for objects.  If the game is a graphics adventure, check proximity of the player?s character.  If the player is standing right next to something, chances are they are trying to manipulate it.  If you give the player the benefit of the doubt, the game will be right more than wrong.  On one occasion, I don't know how much time I spent trying to tie a string on the end of a stick.  I finally gave up, not knowing if I was wording the sentence wrong or if it was not part of the design.  As it turned out, I was wording it wrong.

Unconnected events

In order to pace events, some games lock out sections until certain events have happened.  There is nothing wrong with this, it is almost a necessity.  The problem comes when the event that opens the new section of the world is unconnected.  If the designer wants to make sure that six objects have been picked up before opening a secret door, make sure that there is a reason why those six objects would affect the door.  If a player has only picked up five of the objects and is waiting for the door to open (or worse yet, trying to find a way to open the door), the act of getting the flashlight is not going to make any sense in relation to the door opening.

Give the player options

A lot of story games employ a technique that can best be described as caging the player.  This occurs when the player is required to solve a small set of puzzles in order to advance to the next section of the game, at which point she is presented with another small set of puzzles.  Once these puzzles are solved, in a seemingly endless series of cages, the player enters the next section.  This can be particularly frustrating if the player is unable to solve a particular puzzle.  The areas to explore tend to be small, so the only activity is walking around trying to find the one solution out.

Try to imagine this type of puzzle as a cage the player is caught in, and the only way out is to find the key.  Once the key is found, the player finds herself in another cage.  A better way to approach designing this is to think of the player as outside the cages, and the puzzles as locked up within.  In this model, the player has a lot more options about what to do next.  She can select from a wide variety of cages to open.  If the solution to one puzzle stumps her, she can go on to another, thus increasing the amount of useful activity going on.

Of course, you will want some puzzles that lock out areas of the game, but the areas should be fairly large and interesting unto themselves.  A good indicator of the cage syndrome is how linear the game is.  If the plot follows a very strict line, chances are the designer is caging the player along the path.  It's not easy to uncage a game, it requires some careful attention to the plot as seen from players coming at the story from different directions.  The easiest way is to create different interactions for a given situation depending on the order encountered.

Conclusion

If I could change the world, there are a few things I would do, and quite frankly none of them have anything to do with computers or games.  But since this article is about games?

The first thing I?d do is get rid of save games.  If there have to be save games, I would use them only when it was time to quit playing until the next day.  Save games should not be a part of game play.  This leads to sloppy design.  As a challenge, think about how you would design a game differently if there were no save games.  If you ever have the pleasure of watching a non-gameplayer playing an adventure game you will notice they treat save game very differently then the experienced user.  Some start using it as a defense mechanism only after being slapped in the face by the game a few times, the rest just stop playing.

The second thing I?d change would be the price.  For between forty and fifty dollars a game, people expect a lot of play for their money.  This rarely leads to huge, deep games, but rather time-wasting puzzles and mazes.  If the designer ever thinks the game might be too short, he throws in another puzzle or two.  These also tend to be the worst thought-out and most painful to solve.  If I could have my way, I?d design games that were meant to be played in four to five hours.  The games would be of the same scope that I currently design, I?d just remove the silly time-wasting puzzles and take the player for an intense ride.  The experience they would leave with would be much more entertaining and a lot less frustrating.  The games would still be challenging, but not at the expense of the players patience.

If any type of game is going to bridge the gap between games and storytelling, it is most likely going to be adventure games.  They will become less puzzle solving and more story telling, it is the blueprint the future will be made from.  The thing we cannot forget is that we are here to entertain, and for most people, entertainment does not consist of nights and weekends filled with frustration.  The average American spends most of the day failing at the office, the last thing he wants to do is come home and fail while trying to relax and be entertained.

Other people's comments:

Posted by Adam on Jul 21, 2004 twenty five to six pm

Very, very good essay! I have been trying to point out the meaning of this essay to everyone I know who plays games. It's sad to say that most video games and movies are trash because there is no artistic value to them. Most games I see are almost always "clones" of other games that are recieving massive attention. The same goes with movies. People are trying to get something out of a movie. And when I see movies such as "The Fast and the Furious" or "XXX" making the top box office hits, it tells me that most Americans want the violence and "outstanding visuals" from a movie and not the story or the meaning of the film. But because there is no artistic value in almost any game or movie these days, it's hard for anyone to find an inspirational film that was well made, or buy a great game over a game that was quickly slapped together.
     If people want to start including artistic value into games they can start by looking into a game before they buy it. See if the game has a website that includes an overview by the ceator. Or find out what was the creator's inspiration for the game. Just by reading these you can see that the creator put a piece of himself in the game and didn't make "just another shooter".
     Hopefully, if people do a little research before buying a game, gamers will purchase the better, higher quality game that they will remember for years to come instead of purchasing the same old games that are easily forgotten.

Posted by Ophiuchus on Jul 27, 2004 quarter past three am

Absolutely true! I'm not a game designer myself, but I'm a novellist, which is actually in some ways close to being a game designer. You've got to put at least one thing in which is "you". So many novels and so many games are just copies of each other. The problem is that that's what people want.
The key is originality and freshness, and never, ever, setting out to give people what they seem to want. This is why so many of the early Lucas Arts games were so brilliant. I've played Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island 1, 2 and 3, and Day of the Tentacle and I loved 'em, even though they were ancient. If you asked me what Lucas Arts has made recently, I couldn't tell you. All I can tell you is that a) they're probably not half as good, and b) it's so hard to find old games these days.
At least one game designer out there still knows what's important. Good one, Ron!

Posted by Cobweb on Jul 28, 2004 quarter past three am

Ron, you rock! thanks for the killer blog!

How do you prevent Backwards Puzzles from happening? Are there techniques?


Is there some kind of technique people use to prevent this from happening? Like some kind of state machine or something which controls what's available /etc?  

I'm playing around with an adventure game design for fun, and it's a big concern of mine...This happened to me in Grim Fandago (with the coffee scene/bone grinder thingabob) and it drove me nuts...

Posted by Darksoul on Aug 7, 2004 five to eight am

Hi Ron i dont read this text because i want to ask something
I want to know what�s the secret of Monkey Island
It was your idea and i think you know the secret
I want to make a remake of Monkey Island fan game and i want to explain the secret of monkey island :) so i ask you mhh....i know you have to work but it�s fun and if you want to help us mail me plz =)

Posted by Augusto on Jul 27, 2006 quarter to ten am

Man, i think Ron is really tired of hearing the same question every day.

Posted by shawno on Aug 7, 2004 quarter past eleven am

Well, that was inevitable.

Posted by Robert Lacey on Aug 8, 2004 twenty five to one pm

This is such a true article. Though I disagree with your initial statement that adventure games are dead - just far less powerful than they used to be.

Posted by Edmundo on Aug 10, 2004 half past noon

Teh Secret of Monkey Island? is pretty easy to figure out. Just play Monkey Island? 2: LeChuck's Revenge again and pay close attention this time around.

Ignore the later games. Those were just made to confuse you, and to try to change the real secret of Monkey Island?.

Posted by Jeff on Aug 12, 2004 twenty past one am

That's a classic article, I used to give copies to people, and I learned a lot from it.

Then one day I found the corpse of an adventure game on my doorstep, with a bullet hole in its forehead and a string tied to the birdfeeder in its hand, with a marmoset chasing the hubcap from an undercover FBI car on the lawn.  

None of it made any sense, and I knew it was time to get out.

Jeff

Posted by Stuart on Aug 13, 2004 twenty five to ten am

Ron,

I just saw this article via a link on the Just Adventure website (www.justadventure.com). The article clearly illustrates why you are one of the most skilled game designers ever. My only comment is that adventure games would not be dead if you and other talented people were still creating them.

Stuart

Posted by DuqueKarl on Jun 12, 2006 five to five pm

I have ever loved Adventure Games since I first played Monkey Island and one other game like this. Ron, nice article. I am currently (okey, I started 2 years ago... but the thing got paused) developing well, my second (and I guess the last, it's a lot of work xD) adventure game. It's about pirates and I have been oriented by Monkey Island...

That's what you made Ron. You and some other guys. Feel happy with that! I would be. But if we love adventure games, we must go on! If you go on creating, it surely won't die... Nice work, thank you, Ron! (Nice name... mmmm! xD)
Karl

Posted by rumplestiltskin on Aug 17, 2004 five past nine am

Hey Ron...  great article!

i have to tell you, there are so many things that i agree with in this blog, and ur right... games are definitely not the same anymore.  i remember playing all those sierra point and click adventures. they were great. but there is one obvious reason why. they HAD to be interesting. The computers back then didn?t have the strength of todays computers... so if i game is going to be made, the story & design is what has to keep the player hooked.  Today its way too easy to forget about the game design and story cause the only thing that most companies focus on is the graphics engine.  id say that about 75% of the games made are a complete waste of money... cause they are fun for about 15-30 mins. after that they become very repetitive and boring.

im currently working on the Myst 4 dev team... one of the only remaining "adventure" games i think!  Im sure a lot of you here are prolly saying "ah what a crap game", and yes... its not the most exciting game in the world... but one that it definitely does is suck you into the world.  The way it was designed was keeping the original Myst fans in mind, but giving the new fans a little break with next-to-impossible puzzles. So the charm of the game is still there, but the play-through is much quicker.  The only thing is that it pretty much defies all of Ron's rules. But considering todays games, it is completely original.  I would consider it a very mature version of sierra's classics.  And believe me, i was NOT a Myst fan before!! (still dont consider myself a fan, but i do envy the work and beauty put into it!) I would love to see how a game like this would turn out if Ron was the designer. i bet it would have a lot more people into it. You should think about that Ron!! ;)

anyway, i hope u guys dont think this is a Myst plug, cause its not. I just really believe that there are not many games among than the 10 billions fps' out there that could still be considered an adventure game.

Great work Ron... i hope that we get to see another one of your creations in the future!


rump.

Posted by Justin on Aug 17, 2004 twenty past eleven am

Just recently I remembered how much I love adventure games. I played Peasant's Quest [http://www.homestarrunner.com/disk4of12.html] over at Homestarrunner [http://www.homestarrunner.com] and got a bite from the nostalgia gorilla. So I went in search of some old games, remembering a few years back that companies often abandoned their games so they could be made available online (at least with not any immediate repercussions).

Cascading through a few games I eventually made it at your doorstep through Just Adventure [http://www.justadventure.com]. After playing Peasant's Quest I realized how seemingly (I haven't tried it yet) easy it would be to write some pretty decent adventure games in Flash. I'm really sort of enamored with the idea, and I'm starting to read up on my Flash and get my Illustrator skills up to snuff (I'm a coder by profession, so I'm not worrying too much).

Over the course of playing the old games that I had never beaten when I was younger, I had a lot of your truisms rolling around in my head. Though I have another one to add, especially in these days where graphics can be very spectacular.

### Make Original (And Relevant) Puzzles ###

Puzzles are often seem to be the same boring generic puzzles - but with different graphics. The human mind is pretty impressive and I never understoof why puzzles weren't any more original. But then again, that goes back to the laziness involved. It's easier to just rehash old shit and throw some pretty graphics; effectively buying a nice dress for  the ugliest girl in the world.

I really intend to use the help of your rules to make some (hopefully) interesting adventure games. It's nice to have them all laid out conveniently. Unfortunately, I have so many pet projects that I never know when I'll actually finish the damn thing.

Thanks for the great article.

- justin

Posted by John W. Wells on Sep 5, 2004 twenty past seven pm

When I designed "ESP," an simplistic ASCII-based action-adventure game that owed a lot to the LucasArts traditions, one of the questions I kept asking myself was, "Is this as good as Monkey Island?" Well, the answer was usually no, but it was fun to get kinda close every so often.

I advise any adventure game designer to

>HEED RON

I don't understand the word "heed."

>LISTEN TO RON.

You hear nothing special.

>TAKE RON'S ADVICE.

You can't see any Ron's Advice here.

> FOLLOW ADVICE.

If you want to follow somebody, you have to do it yourself. Type the direction.

> TAKE ADVICE.

You take the excellent advice.

(You have gained 1 point.)

_

Posted by Roger Tober on Sep 6, 2004 ten past noon

"If any type of game is going to bridge the gap between games and storytelling, it is most likely going to be adventure games.  They will become less puzzle solving and more story telling, it is the blueprint the future will be made from.  "

I would just like to take the opposite side here, and say that puzzles are supposed to be FUN.  What is one of the most played games on computers? Free Cell.  Free cell is not a solitaire game, it's a puzzle.  What is one of the most played parlor games?Scrabble(puzzle!).  Why would  people come home from a hard days work and play free cell?  Because they're work is mind numbing and they need to use their brain.  Why don't they play an adventure?  Those things called puzzles are really hunt for the easter egg, and switch the inventory item around until something happens.  Story telling will never be more than a way to add interest to game play.  Adventure games suck because story telling became more important than game play and people play games to play.   They read books or watch movies if stories are the be and end all.

Posted by Ron Gilbert on Sep 6, 2004 twenty past noon

Adventure games suck because story telling became more important than game play and people play games to play

I am going to have to disagree with that.  Adventure games sucked because designers started putting in crappy puzzles that had nothing to do with the story.

Every major puzzle in an adventure game should support the story, just like in a film where every scene supports the story.  

What happened at the end of the adventure game reign was that designers just started throwing in any old puzzle to trip up the player.  It stopped being about solving problems to advance the story.  It became a battle with the game designer to try and figure out what they were thinking.  The puzzles became completely disconnected from the narrative.

I think there are a lot of other reasons for the decline of adventure games, but of over reliance on story is not one of them.

Posted by Joshi on Sep 6, 2004 five past one pm

Teh Secret of Monkey Island? is pretty easy to figure out. Just play Monkey Island? 2: LeChuck's Revenge again and pay close attention this time around.

Ignore the later games. Those were just made to confuse you, and to try to change the real secret of Monkey Island?.

Even by ignoring the latter 2 games, a lot of people have come up with a lot of different conclusions to this which all seem plausible. The most popular has been the whole "he's just a little kid" aspect, which is quite ingenius and plausible, but even still, there is no solid proof to say that this is the definative secret.
I also think that the latter two games were not made to confuse you and try and change the real secret of monkey island, but to entertain you and make money. That's generealy why people make game, not solely to send you on a wild goose chase and give you some nice red herrings. o they weren't made by the same guy. Do all James Bond films past Connery count as real Bond films?

Posted by Roger Tober on Sep 6, 2004 quarter past one pm

"The puzzles became completely disconnected from the narrative."

Which ones?  I can only think of a few instances.  I can think of a million instances where I walked around not having a clue what I was supposed to do, taking every inventory item and putting it on every hotspot until something happened, or searching for the hidden item that I missed.  I could have cared less if it was story related or not.  It sucked.  I would have much rather done a sliding tile puzzle.  Let's face it, when the restriction is every puzzle must be completely related to the story you end up with inventory on hotspot "puzzles", which makes crummy gameplay.  Tell me a game where the stroy is more important than the gameplay.

Posted by Joshi on Sep 7, 2004 twenty five past noon

Most games these days require a good story to engage the players interest. The idea that you have to do something in order to progress in the story (be it beat up a bad guy, solve a puzzel, lead an army, etc...) makes you want to play more. Well, with most people anyway.

And it's kind of the whole point of adventure games. If you want mindless fun, play Space Invaders (great game mind you, but mindless fun none-the-less, unless you really take it seriously). But most people like there to be something deeper, something worth playing for. Some people, don't. But adventure games are basically stories with restictions, tales that need your interaction in order to move on.

The reason the puzzels need to be related to the story is so the player feels that they're doing something to help the story along and to help our hero. Otherwise, the puzzels are just plain redundant. They might as well take a step, and then suddenly a puzzel appears on screen for you to solve before you take another step. That's called annoying bordome.

Posted by Simone Righini on Sep 8, 2004 five to noon

3 points: the story, the evolutive life of the media and the designers mistakes.

I think the major point for the decease of the adventure is the story. or the plot. Telling stories is the most ancient thing the humans do from the beginning of time (probably much of them were about their sexual life).

it's strange that in our lives the sexual part must be "under the carpet", something like secret, not clear. Maybe some influences by the various religions.

if the adventure was born like a baby, (our new method of telling stories), he (it) dead before the sexual maturity, that comes around the end of the puberty and the major age.

i do not want to write the story of the adventure, that you may know better than me, but there is a clear point where the life of the adventure splits in two different styles.
the maniacmansion like almost dead because the lack of stories:

_In this times there is a lack of people that can find interesting* stories, and a lack of people who still knows the beauty of hearing a story. Our language is moving fast, and telling a story is not just telling a story, it's following the markets trends too. And following the market is the first thing that an artist should avoid (i think that aren't really rules for an artist, but he would tell somethin about the man, maybe something new, or something old under a new point of view).

* you and old murray said that the lack of this interest is about too many unusefull puzzles; this point is about the meaning of the things we see on the screen. You said that a puzzle must be coherent with the story telling of the game, but probably this point that you have clear in mind is missing to others designers (maybe this is why we remember you with love, many years after you did yours creations)._

The other type of adventure is built around the sexual-mature theme, most of the work is done in japan, in anime, hentai adventures that have just one power point: the sex;
The most time passes by, the more sexy adventures get's their personal story, less or more elaborated (probably because too free virtual sex gets boring).

All this writing to tell that if some one wants to make a new great adventure he must consider that he's using an hybrid media, that still needs to get old and evolve; he must have something nice to tell to the world and he must follow Ron's rules.

Thanks for reading this sometimes poor english grammar small comment,
Simone,
Italia.

Posted by Marq on Sep 8, 2004 half past one pm

Great article, and good timing as I find this just as I have started to design my adventure game! Obviously gonna reference this all the way through! ;-)

Cheers!

Posted by Marq on Sep 8, 2004 ten to two pm

Oh, the secret of Monkey Island is that life is like a circus. You imagine that life is fun and exciting, when really you're just stuck in a room full of freaks ;-)

Hope that satisfies your curiosity... On the other hand, I could just be making the whole thing up! ;-)

Posted by whapnoggin on Sep 8, 2004 twenty to three pm

This is a reply to Roger, who wanted good puzzles and didn't care about the story.

I agree with those who think the story is important. For me the puzzles are really secondary. They should only exist as the means of connecting me to the action. This is why I regard a game like KOTOR as being essentially an adventure game, even though it has RPG-inspired combat rather than inventory puzzles and insult fights. When I played KOTOR, I was sucked deep into the story. When I had to stop, I couldn't wait to get back to it and find out more: visit another planet, get involved in another subplot, meet another character. Similarly, I enjoyed GK3 not only because of the outstanding puzzle-design, but because the characters were all interesting and I really, really wanted to know what was going on with each of them. I mean, you could hardly get me off the computer for meals.

Puzzle-oriented games are fine for those who prefer them; in fact you're likely to get much more logical puzzles in this kind of game (one with loads of puzzles, but a thin story) than in an adventure game. For people who just like to work on a puzzle for a while, a story doesn't matter much. But for me, although I do want something to do (choices to make, paths to explore) having to spend a great deal of time on a puzzle isn't pleasant, unless the puzzle itself fits into the story of the game. I like it best when the game's characters give you little hints and nudges, because it makes me feel like I'm part of the game world and not outside it.

Nothing disappoints me more than to solve a bunch of puzzles and then find out that the puzzles themselves were supposed to be the sole gratification. I want a good story and a good ending. This gives me a reason to finish the game. I've played a few games lately where the ending just sucked and I thought, That's it? All that effort, for that? For me, be it a shooter, RPG, RTS, whatever, it ought to have a fair story behind it. That's the main thing I want out of most games, because it links the gameplay elements together. In fact, I wouldn't be a gamer or even much of a computer user at all if it weren't for text adventures, which got me hooked long ago.

Posted by Matthew Beakes on Nov 22, 2005 twenty five to ten am

I have to agree puzzles ARE secondary, not unimportant be any means but definately secondary. I'm sure many of the people who post here have played and then a few years later RE-played their favourite adventure games, not for the joy of puzzle solving but to revel in the story and to play with the multi linearity of the game by solving sub objectives in a different order than previous times - probing the limits of the game world and more often than not if the game is a good one finding new and exciting results.
For example while playing Grim Fandango i had recieved a slip of paper with the picture of a Rusty Anchor'  the correct use of this paper came to me quickly and i showed it to the correct character to progress with that particular puzzle sequence, but while replaying the game i showed it to EVERYONE i could and was rewarded with a small history of the town of Rubacava, pesonal tales, a pretty cool song from Glottis, and only the occasional refusal to do so from Manny. All of these wonderfull discoveries continued to add glorious detail and depth game world, the second time around.

In fact i may say that in some cases i have received more joy REplaying good adventure games, than playing for the first time. For me the joy of probing and testing the setting, story, and characters is more than that of the solving of puzzles and the inevitable frustration involved (E.g. when you couldn't solve that tumbler lock puzzle in Dominos island base- shudder)

Posted by LazerFX on Oct 14, 2004 ten past two pm

Thanks for the article, Ron.  As someone who has played computer games right from the time of Loom, through the 'classic' era of Lucasarts Adventure Games, the Kings Quest and Monkey Island and Space Quest series of games, the text-adventure Zork's and King Arthur's, I can really empathise with what you are saying in this article.

One thing that I do see starting to appear now in the computer gaming insdustry is something called 'emergent gaming', where things happen based upon the players actions, resulting in a story that is different each time.  It's immensely hard to do, and can give some rubbish gameplay if it fails, but when it is implemented correctly I can see it being the renaisence of the Adventure Game.

Take an example: Elite.  Because it was such a small system that was running it, there was no way to make it a true adventure game, it was a space-flight-trade game, with a few 'emergent' features.  If it was done now, due to the advanced capabilities of modern computers, there is no doubt that it would have a much greater story - a story that would not need to be forced on the player, but one that would be created based upon the players actions.

This can be seen in games like Deus Ex, which though being a shoot-em-up cum RPG cum sneak'em'up, has semi-emergent features; you don't have to shoot that guy, you can sneak past him, but if you do, he's going to be there when you get into the next bit later...

Imagine this in an adventure game context: The plot elements are there, and things you do will cause other things to happen that the author of the adventure has pre-scripted, but you can get to those events at any time; and you can influence them based upon what you have already done.  Adaptive gaming, if you like.

If this comes in to play, and I can sort of see it starting to take a hold in the game-developers mentalities, I can see Adventure Gaming coming back, through the back-door, if you like; not called 'Adventure Gaming', but as something else, emergent gaming, or something along those lines, in a whole new genre...

Maybe Adventure Games are dead... or maybe they just went away for a while, and will be back in another disguise...

... as long as they don't need to use sticky tape on a cat to get the moustache!

Posted by Oded Sharon on Oct 16, 2004 five to eleven pm

Hey Ron.
I'm still waiting for the new revised version of your adventure game making rules of thumb.
I'd also like to hear your opinions regarding how to bring back from the dead adventure games in our time. A few of them are coming out, like Syberia, but most often are really crappy....

Is the target adventure gamer nowadays is still the same adventure gamer he was 15 years ago ?
What about those non-gamers that cam still become adventure games ?

I'm not arguing about weather the genere is dead. I'm arguing about weather you can revive it.

Oded

Posted by Lukas on Nov 2, 2004 half past seven am

Hi Ron!
I love your games, e.g. Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle. These games started my computer-gaming "Carrier". So I'd like to know if you are currently working on a game.

Posted by Malekh on Nov 16, 2004 twenty five to seven am

I realize this topic is rather old and that few people and probably not Ron will read this.. But still.

I've recently played some adventure games and there are some things that also need to be avoided.

For the 1st I'll take an example from MI! The gathering of the fish on the plank with the sea-gull... That annoyed a friend of mine to no end. Now I can't remember if it annoyed me originally but I can see his point. Having to walk to a spot that isn't remarkable in any way in order to lift the plank just isn't obvious. If Guybrush could see the plank and maybe note that it's lose then that'd had helped matters. As it is it's too obscure.

Another example of things to be avoided is from eh.. another game. I walked around for an hour or so trying to find out what to do next.. Randomly trying everything with everything in pure frustration.. Only to FINALLY find out.. That if in one screen... You walked all the way to the right.. It would SCROLL! Thus revealing a new area and the solution to my predicament.. Stuff like that is just annoying... If I really was that character I'd be able to see the entire room and not suddenly say.. Wow.. This room is bigger than I thought.

The 3rd and last thing I've recently found annoying is when what you think is the obvious solution for a puzzle.. Isn't relevant at all. Let me elaborate. In a recent game I came upon a key marked shed or something.. Naturally I picked the key up expecting it to unlock something at some point. However shortly after, said key is stolen by another character. Okay. Later on I come across... A locked shed! "Aha!" I almost utter.. and run back to the thieving character trying somehow to convince him to giving me the key he stole. After trying pretty much everything... I give up. Later on I of course find out the solution after once again having tried everything with the thieving character for the 4th time or so... In desperation I walk down to the shed.. and then it turns out you just have to break it open with a crowbar... Of course that solution is obvious.. Or would have been had there never been a key in the first place. Maybe it's just me that's daft but I found it very annoying.

Posted by Reid Kimball on Jan 3, 2005 quarter past eleven am

Hell yes the adventure genre will be revived. It might take one year for one amazing game to be released, or it might take many, but it will be revived. I hope to help in this cause as much as I can. I want to revive the adventure game genre and I am working on a Doom3 mod, recreating Space Quest with the goals of making adventure games more approachable. Even before reading Ron's excellent article I realized that Space Quest offered frustrating gaming experiences that would not be accepted by today's gamers. I have made changes to the plot and gameplay to improve the game from a design standpoint. In my work I think I've come up with a guideline that will help adventure games regain popularity, much of that is echoed by Ron's words.

1. Create great stories
Great stories include likable and hated characters the player can relate to on one level or another. A lot of popular adventure games have wonderful characters.

Creating a great story also includes an interesting world that grabs the player and never lets go. The world should exist in "reality" and the player just happens to be there, rather than the world created for the player.

2. Everything must serve a purpose for the plot development and/or character narrative. This means all art content, writing and gameplay(puzzles). It will help solidify the experience and lessen the frustration that occurs from confusion or lack of understanding.

3. Clean, intuitive interfaces are a must if the gamer is going to feel comfortable exploring the game world and becoming a part of it. I think Monkey Island three has a very clean yet not very intuitive interface. I stumbled around for 10 minutes banging keys on my keyboard until I read the manual.

4. State of the art presentation. Lets be realistic here. Today's gamers expect stunning graphics that draw them into the world. I don't mean ultra "real world" realistic but a certain level of quality and presentation needs to be achieved. I've played Syberia II and it's a graphically pretty game, but the overall static backdrops and low poly characters display a jarring disconnect that takes me out of the game. Seeing Monkey Island in a first person perspective with top notch artistic quality (cartoon or similar) would be amazing.

-Reid
brushbaron@hotmail.com

Posted by Benjamin on Jan 18, 2005 five to five pm

Hi! I stumbled upon this page for one particular reason: I just completed Maniac Mansion. Yesterday. For the first time in my life.

I realize that I am a little bit late in accomplishing that. But although I was (and still am) a really big adventure fan, and although I have played and completed almost all the classics, I have never been able to finish Maniac Mansion the first time I tried, back in the eighties. The reason? Basically Ron violating one of his own rules ... :)

Back then, I had actually spent quite some time playing MM on the Atari ST. The reason I abandoned it for good was when I got stuck and then found out (from a walkthrough) that I was supposed to give the pepsi can to the man-eating plant  - when actually I had given it to the Green Tentacle WAAAAAY before, and there was no savegame left.  This threw me so off that I stopped playing and never touched the game again - until last week, probably fifteen years later. And this time, I enjoyed it a lot!

The reason why I am posting this: I really love Ron's above statements on the timing of drama events and that the player should be able to complete time puzzles "just in time". Well, do you remember the grand finale of Maniac Mansion? When Dr. Freds sets the self-destruction mechanism and you have exactly two REAL TIME minutes to find a way to work it out?

I came into that situation wholly unprepared yesterday. I swear I hadn't looked into any walkthrough guide for this beforehand (I wanted to keep the "suspension of disbelief"), and I also hadn't tried it before. So this situation was completely new to me, and I was racing to find out what to do (and there are LOTS of things to do!)

And you know what?  I was able to find the solution and complete the game -- with THREE ... SECONDS ... LEFT.

I have never had such a Hollywood style finishing in an adventure game before. This more than compensated me for my first time failure in the eighties. My heart is still pounding today. Thank you, Ron.

Posted by Jacqueline Sherry on Feb 10, 2005 quarter past four pm

Well I'm fairly sure that very few people will read this, but it's mostly a message for Ron. I think that games with real storylines are the absolute best. In fact, I have played all 4 Monkey Island games repeatedly just to enjoy the story and the humor, even though I know how to solve all the puzzles. One of my favorite aspects of the MI games is that you always either have the item you need or you can get it to solve a puzzle. I wish more people would make games like Monkey Island. Maybe if I had enough money, I would have sent you a car for Christmas. =)

Posted by creaothceann on Apr 7, 2005 ten to six am

The points listed here are exactly the reason why I never liked Out of this World. You'd think that nobody would like it, but some even boast about mastering the game - aka. learning the required key sequences. :(

Posted by Risingson on Apr 13, 2005 five past six am

I don't find Out of this world that difficult or unforgiving. When I first played it I finished it in 9 days, and I was younger than a teenager, I never finished any Mario without cheating, and I never finished Prince of Persia 2 (now THIS is a difficult game). Out of this world has a sweet learning curve and lots of deaths, yes, but those deaths increase tension in the game to make it the best cinematic experience in a videogame. Apart from it, it's a game which tells you a lot of things without a line of dialogue, including dramatic tension. The "coliseum puzzle" does NOT depend on a strict order of pushing, and, like Flashback, Black Thorne or Prince of Persia, is just one of those great platformers which you enjoy when you learn all the movements. Period.

Posted by DDrago on Jun 2, 2005 twenty five to nine am

Ron,

When I played Monkey Island ten years before, I was impressed and delighted with this beautifull game as rarely ever after. Now I see it was no coincidence that you were the man behind it. Your article sounds so sensible and true - maby not completely right all the time, but showing the right way. Too bad so a few game designers today realy mean it, as you do, and have some real talent, as you obviously have...

Posted by Nicholas on Jun 26, 2005 nine am

Hello.   I've been playing Psychonauts for the past few days and although it's not a pure graphic adventure it does have a lot of the elements that I find appealing in adventure games.  

When I was seven I lived down the block from the other nerdiest kid in my school.  We joined a book club, read comics and played a lot of Lucasarts Adventure games, especially Monkey Island, which we played over and over.  These worlds were fully realized and were far better escapist fantasy than Super Mario Brothers.  There's something dreamlike about the games.  The simulated environments of adventure games are much like the nes in Disneylands dark rides.  The sensation is like moving through a very involved and sometimes scary dream.  

I entirely agree that videogames shouldn't be a second job and it's something I'e said for a long time.  I could never get into playing Dungeons and Dragons or Final Fantasy because who wants to work to relax?  

I hope that this type of videogame will regain popularity.  I can't gauge how many people are aware of the genre but I remember when my popular little sister accidentally playing the Curse of Monkey Island with her friends and got absorbed by it.  It's a genre that's accesible to people who see videogames as work and don't care about the nameless characters racing around a track, shooting each other or whatevers.

You made going to school easier.

I wish you look in your projects,
Nicholas

Posted by smelly on Jun 27, 2005 twenty to nine am

Hi ron.. just a thought.. but what is it you're actually doing nowadays?

Posted by Ron Gilbert on Jun 27, 2005 quarter to nine am

Prison.   Posts have been a little slow lately because I lost my Internet privileges due to being caught trying to shank this guy in the lunch room for dissing Jumpman.

Posted by Darkfire on Jun 28, 2005 twenty to ten am

Ron, that article was quite well written and I agree with quite a bit of it. I think that it should be mandatory reading for anyone who decides to be a game designer. Games need to be fun, and I think that is something that is lacking these days. People are focusing now on making games look realistic and making physics in the game true to life, but after all these new and great things that you add to the game is it still fun to play? Monkey Island 1 and 2 were wonderful games, and I salute you for making such great games. They achieved the effect you were going for in that they would grab you and pull you into their world, and make it where you would not want to leave. Games today just don't have that, ((except WoW, but that's a compulsion, heh)) and it is very tragic. I wish there were more adventure games today, but ones like the ones you designed. I loved playing the Monkey Island games because I feel as though they stimulated thought instead of just frantic button-mashing. I totally agree with your statement about work and relaxation as well... After tireless hours of working; the last thing I want is to get frustrated because I can not complete a level or whatever when I am trying to relax and unwind. This has an adverse effect and makes playing games no different than work. Playing games should be fun and enjoyable. I'm not saying that they need to make games easier or anything because that wouldn't make them anymore fun, but rather change the scope of the game and work on making the player enjoy what he is doing. Guybrush Threepwood was a great character because even though he was so clueless; he was a good funny guy that you could not help but to like. I loved watching his mishaps over and over; and loved anticipating what crazy thing he would do next. There aren't characters like him anymore. It is very sad that colorful characters and deep storylines are on the endangered list. I can only hope that more people are able to read your essay, get inspired, and wake up! These are some nice guidlines to go by, and several titles today could benefit from them.

Posted by Darius Young on Aug 22, 2005 twenty to seven pm

Wow, that was an awsome read.  Have all the rules ever been applied to a certain game?  I wonder how it would work with adventure game downloads?

Posted by andrew on Aug 30, 2005 twenty to eleven pm

Hello Ron. Thanks for a very interesting read.
I have several questions though - were you engaged in the development of the Dig? Did anyone use these guide back then? It was a really great game with a superb story and all, but the puzzles were so hard and at times pointless.

Additionally, what do you think of the "Hint" system, that was at some point used in Sierra quests?

Posted by RubberChickenWithAPulleyInTheMiddle on Sep 5, 2005 twenty past five pm

I think adventure games have provided me with the most entertainment value overall, particularly in my childhood.  When I played Police Quest III I really stepped into the character's shoes.  I really took on his emotions.  And when I played more light hearted games like Monkey Island I really had a lot of fun.  And the main reason for that was the high quality stories.  It's a bit like watching a movie but where you can do this things at your own pace.  Where instead of watching an actor you actually become an actor.  That's the main difference in the two mediums I think.  With movies you 'watch', but with games you 'do'.

Unfortuantely, I don't really have an interest in adventure games these days.  For example, with Syberia there is not much of a cool factor for me.  I don't see the fun in playing around with these old robots.  

I want a game that follows Ron's rules, where the story flows, and the puzzles don't really seem like puzzles at all, but acts of common sense.  I also want a game with a cool factor to it.  I want to play a cop with a gun again.  Or a detective that has to solve some dark crimes.  I think the adventure game that will potentially give rebirth to the genre needs to be really gritty and violent.  And then, once everyone's attention has been gained, start giving them the more fluffy stuff our imaginations have to offer.

Posted by RubberChickenWithAPulleyInTheMiddle on Oct 23, 2005 twenty to five pm

One of the worst design mistakes in The Longest Journey is this. WARNING: May contain spoilers!

In order to proceed through a certain area you need a pizza box.  You will find this box in a bin.  But the bad thing about it is that you have to wait for someone to put it in the bin.  And this happens only once you have given a character, in a location far away, a completely unrelated item to the puzzle at hand.  

What the designers should of done is this.  When you visit the character far away before, which you have to do in order to gain access to the area with the bin, you should be prevented from leaving him until you have given him what must be given to him.  For example, when you try to walk out your character can stop and say 'I feel like I've forgotten to do something very important here'.  This still may be a bit lame but it is much better than what was done.  Actually, it probably wouldn't have been so lame because of the story.

Posted by Valish on Nov 11, 2005 ten past two am

Adventure games are by far the best and i agree with all the good points of your artical. unfortunatly most games, for a while now, have very little new content beyond improved grafix and sound. I have left most games for the the more intresting game play of the tried and true old paper and pencil rpg. If you can get a few people together almost any story can be all of the above and far more.

Posted by Matthew Beakes on Nov 22, 2005 ten past ten am

We should all get writing, planning, story boarding -

check out 'Out from Boneville' by Tale tale games, i'm not suggesting that it is a perfect example of an adventure - but they produce episodic, downloadable games that are entirely self published (i think).

The first section is released, and then some months later the next one is ,and so on. people can follow a game like they would a series of books or television dramas - people then buy whole series box sets of dramas they like - surely the same could be done with these episodic games- (this product resembling a complete game.)  

A smaller individual product, that is easily distributed; less money involved and less RISK involved.

WE should do this. WE should get as much good stuff out there as we can- we have the intent and knowledge - forget cutting edge graphics, remember design. We should start a movement  get noticed and maybe like podcasting or bloggs perhaps some corperate-suit-wearing-waste-of-semen will try and get on this particular band wagon and put money and advertising into it who knows? perhaps we need to simply proove that there is a market.

It's no perfect approach, i personally doubt that there ever is one, ideals are easily traded in for other tempted rewards - but we need to jump start this genre the only wasy we really can - by doing it our selves. Anyway im probably being angry and rude now so i'll just make this apeall - let's all just be pro-active about this, and design some adventure games.
What do you intelligent people (and i dare say more experienced too)  think?

Posted by Peter Clausen on Jan 18, 2006 five to seven pm

Hi Ron Gilbert... I'm a fan from denmark.

An old friend of mine and I just re-completed MI this weekend. It's still a lot of fun. A few weeks earlier I tried a somewhat new game, Farcry, which had a lousy story... After playing the game for a few hours I left it on the shelf. it got boring.

with the game experiences in mind and having read the posts on this site I get a feeling that we're being had. That computer- and game companies are in on a conspiracy thing.

If the stories were the most important issue in games, it wouldn't be neccesary to improve and upgrade your computer every six months, whereas the games' graphics and cpu bit wouldn't have to become gradually more and more demanding.
However, as the gameplay and graphics part is what people seem to want constantly improved we are stuck with repetitive and boring, but astonishing and almost real life, games.
So at some point the companies decided that "Hey!, we're gonna give them lousy stories and irrelevant puzzles and we're gonna get rich."

If the games that are being produced keep demanding more hardware and cpu power and stuff, the computer companies will sell more of it..

We do get powerful computers, astonishing graphics and almost real-life fps', and hurra(?) for that... But what about the whole lot of people like my old friend and myself who love being absorbed into a good story like the one in MI? We're being had, thats what we are!

What I don't get is why the game companies don't do something about it. I know a lot of people who would love to see some more adventure games... if it's all about the money then I don't see why it shouldn't be possible to release new adventure games... Why? Are we too few, anyway?

Posted by Pasquale on Feb 11, 2006 quarter past three am

Hello Ron,

I was reading this article of yours... and I thought: "What if there would be things like FP- adventures?" Imagine I walk around, first person, in a Monkey Island world and when I hit objects and I can "push", "pull" them etc. FPS is just cool grahphics but story behind is usually poor. If FPS can render graphics so well, why use them just for running around in an alien planet world.

Just an idea.

Bye from Italy
Pasquale

Posted by Valish on Mar 1, 2006 twenty to eleven pm

simply put, adventure games are not as profitable as fps and character building games. first person shooters  allways advance with technology and we see an endless suplly of new ones. one for every new advance, including graphics, sound and any gameplay gimmics the proggrammers can think of. but when it comes down to it fps is point-shoot-move.
character building games are more profitable in time spent playing.
it takes time and resourses to create and original story and turn it into an adventure. much more independent effort is required in comparison and with less potential for long term profits.

Posted by fatbuoy1 on Jun 10, 2006 twenty five to seven am

I agree that commercailly adventure gaming is dead, but what about the indie community? There are plenty of guys producing Adventure games in their spare time (http://www.pinheadgames.com , http://www.johngreenart.com/nearlydeparted , http://www.adventuredevelopers.com/index.php) which are heavily influenced and inspired by the work of Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, etc, and which are actually a very high standard, and really fun to play. They're just a little shorter than the old commercially-made games.

Posted by Omega on Jul 3, 2006 seven pm

Thanks!!! Very nice site.I enjoy being here.


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