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#1118764 - 07/24/17 01:49 AM Adventure games 101
flotsam Offline
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Registered: 04/24/00
Posts: 4124
Loc: Canberra, Australia
Hi
Someone is going to offer me a job one day to lecture on Adventure Gaming, and how it enables insights into all sorts of social and human history.
I want to be ready, so thought you could all contribute to the syllabus. Which will hang off the taxonomy.
If the kingdom is adventure, the phylum might be graphic and text, then we would have the class etc. I don't know that you would get all 7 hierarchies but perhaps you would.
Once we sorted that out, we would then identify the games you would study to reflect the taxonomy.
Lets just have at it, and refine as we go. And please don't feel any pressure knowing my future rests on this joy
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#1118779 - 07/24/17 06:55 AM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: flotsam]
Mad Offline
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Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 28385
Loc: United Kingdom
Is this a serious request ?? headscratch
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#1118832 - 07/24/17 02:18 PM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: flotsam]
Jenny100 Offline
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Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 39037
Loc: southeast USA
Originally Posted By: flotsam
I want to be ready, so thought you could all contribute to the syllabus. Which will hang off the taxonomy.
If the kingdom is adventure, the phylum might be graphic and text, then we would have the class etc. I don't know that you would get all 7 hierarchies but perhaps you would.

I don't think a biological classification system works well for games.
With biological classification, Kingdom is very high up -- plant vs animal vs fungi vs bacteria, etc. You don't naturally have combinations of plants and animals. For example, the zinnias in your garden don't cross with your cat.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_(biology)

Hybrids could only exist naturally at genus, species or occasionally family level.

But there are games like Quest for Glory where people disagree if they are adventure or RPG or a hybrid adventure/rpg. You don't get that with biological kingdoms.

Biological classification seems to be by DNA or RNA or other stuff you don't see. The closest analog with games would be the underlying code.

+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+

There are various ways you could classify adventure games, but they wouldn't be hierarchal.

For example

By interface
Point and click vs keyboard vs gamepad

By puzzle type
Inventory based vs mechanical vs standalone (not sure what they're called -- puzzles in Shivers, Jewels of the Oracle, or Safecracker as opposed to puzzles in Myst/RHEM) vs conversation puzzles vs other puzzle types

By dexterity
None required vs QTE vs other action vs timed vs timing vs aiming ability

By ratio of exploration vs story vs puzzles

By environment / literary genre
Fantasy vs sci-fi vs steampunk vs post-apocalyptic vs detective story vs ghost story etc. including combinations (Are the Myst games fantasy or steampunk? The linking books seem magical, but much of the environment and machines suggest steampunk)

By length or divisions
A game that takes 15 or 20 hours to complete has a different "feel" as opposed to one that takes 1 or 2 hours. A game that is split into chapters or "episodes" may never come together as a single game, even after all episodes are released.

By delivery method
Hard copy with various game-related stuff in the box vs disc in case vs download. Not really a choice anymore unless you collect old games, though Telltale had an "extras" box you could get along with their Tales of Monkey Island game (inside you got a cloth map, a coaster, a pin, a coin, some sort of card, and the crippled game in a DVD case).

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#1118833 - 07/24/17 02:26 PM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: Jenny100]
Mad Offline
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Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 28385
Loc: United Kingdom
I expected this would be a difficult task and having read your post, Jenny100, I am convinced it IS !! whistle
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#1118841 - 07/24/17 05:29 PM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: flotsam]
flotsam Offline
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Registered: 04/24/00
Posts: 4124
Loc: Canberra, Australia
Hi Mad
It was serious in the sense that I thought trying to devise a taxonomy would be interesting. I doubt though that someone will ask me to lecture sad
A nice first post Jenny - I will ponder and come back to you.
bravo
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#1118851 - 07/24/17 07:57 PM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: flotsam]
Mad Offline
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Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 28385
Loc: United Kingdom
Well, flotsam, if push comes to shove, you could always deliver a lecture on the difficulties of devising a taxonomy !! lol
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#1118866 - 07/24/17 10:01 PM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: flotsam]
Draclvr Online   content
Hints & Glitches forum Moderator
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Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 13387
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
Oh, I love the idea! I think we can make a taxonomy system work. I have a bad habit of referring to different plants by their taxonomic names because I had it drilled into my head so thoroughly in my Plant Taxonomy course in college!

I just did 9 hours on the road coming home from NW Iowa, so my brain is dead, but I will think about this!
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#1118883 - 07/25/17 03:50 AM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: flotsam]
flotsam Offline
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Registered: 04/24/00
Posts: 4124
Loc: Canberra, Australia
You might be right Jenny although I think some degree of hierarchy would be possible.
If you were teaching the subject, I don't think eg the delivery system would be relevant. You would refer to other attributes, like text vs graphic. You then of course get sucked into pure text, text with rudimentary pictures, then with verb icons and more elaborate graphics. Does it only stop being text once you just point and click? Or something else.
At some point you would cover first and third person, node to node as opposed to free movement, perhaps 2d v 3d, and FMV vs other things etc.
Maybe another way to tackle the issue would be to identify what game best (or first) represents a key set of criteria, sufficient to distinguish it from the other games. Obviously you couldn't cater for every nuance, andyou would acknowledge as the teacher that many games have elements of others, but that these games represent the "periodic table" or the taxonomy or (insert categorisation here) of adventure gaming
There is probably a joint PhD in here for us all!
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#1118918 - 07/25/17 11:25 AM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: flotsam]
CaptainD Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 08/25/12
Posts: 584
Maybe the way to split things up would be a list of different styles:

- Visual Style (2D,3D,1st person, 3rd person)
- Interface Style (Text parser, verb list, verb coin, 2-click, 1-click)
- Communication /Dialogue Style (Text speech, voiced speech, icon-based)
- Genre (Sci-Fi, Detective, Paranormal, Horror, whatever)
- Tone (Serious, comedy, er.... )
etc


Or maybe not, probably not much different to Jenny's suggestion by just my 2p worth!

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#1118957 - 07/25/17 08:58 PM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: flotsam]
mrbill Offline
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Registered: 06/04/99
Posts: 1417
Loc: Great Lakes Region
Nice Topic Flotsam,

I was a biologist and teacher and became an adventure gamer in 97 and at retirement I was going to start a plant nursery. I did a lot of taxonomic identification work with fish in a local river as research and later in retirement with plant identification. I am having trouble at the moment setting up a taxonomic scheme for adventure games. The only thing that comes to mind is the increasing complexity from text to very pixilated graphics to better graphics and realism. Sound would get more complex as well and much better. The developers are the force for change. I'll sleep on it tonight.

cheers,

Mr. Bill
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#1118971 - 07/26/17 03:16 AM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: flotsam]
Geo Offline
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Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 2769
Loc: Michigan
I have no idea what you said.

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#1118983 - 07/26/17 07:37 AM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: flotsam]
colpet Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/07/01
Posts: 1999
Loc: Orillia, Ontario, Canada
While the idea of a hierarchical system seems like it could work, it is based on evolution, and some kind of root connection. While many games can be follow a linear evolutionary style, I think the adventure 'genres' we acknowledge today are more like pop up new species. Perhaps a Venn diagram system might be another way to visualize relationships, rather than a tree-like structure?

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#1119042 - 07/26/17 04:46 PM Re: Adventure games 101 [Re: flotsam]
flotsam Offline
Staff Reviewer
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Registered: 04/24/00
Posts: 4124
Loc: Canberra, Australia
A venn might well work colpet. Or a series of venns. You then see whether you can fit them together.
I again wonder whether you could start with a game, and build the relationship backwards.
We would probably all agree that you would need a game like Monkey Island in the syllabus. Whether it was that game, or a recent incarnation like Thimbleweed Park is kind off moot - we aren't teaching the history of gaming, rather the genre itself. It is verb based, third person, animated and inventory based. We can all think of heaps of games that would be in that category. Sub-categories might pick up the more advanced animation (the rebooted versions), the icons rather than verbs, and perhaps some others. But the fundamental premise remains.
The more difficult part is defining and distinguishing that premise.
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