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#119313 - 01/23/03 08:16 AM Useless things in games
ThunderChild Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 303
Loc: My own little world
Just wondered what anyone else thought.....

Currently playing Post Mortem and I noticed (so far) that there is nothing in it that's irrelevant or useless. I don't mean red herrings though (and if anyone's read Laura's wonderful review of this game you'll know there are none of those either)

I mean the really trivial things such as being able to turn the taps on in a bathroom or flush a toilet. A good example in PM is drawers: there are millions of drawers in this game and yet only the ones with something useful in them can be opened. I want to be able to open them all.

I seem to remember a game (Black Dahlia maybe?) where if a room had a light switch then you could turn it on and off. It had nothing to do with the game and didn't suddenly reveal a new clue or anything like that, it was just there.

So, am I odd (OK, odder than usual) or does anyone else like these things?
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#119314 - 01/23/03 08:43 AM Re: Useless things in games
nolalou Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 02/10/00
Posts: 5037
Loc: New Orleans, LA. USA
I know what you mean! Some games give you very little to interact with, for example: maybe only one drawer in a desk with 4 drawers can be opened. (or worse, no matter what drawer you click on , the same drawer opens).

Those extra touches add some realisim to the game (and can make games last longer, as you try every room and drawer, etc looking for clues. The problem I suppose is that it makes the development time longer, as you have to add all the extra graphics and code to handle things that have nothing to do with progressing in the game.

Louis

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#119315 - 01/23/03 08:44 AM Re: Useless things in games
Jen Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 08/20/02
Posts: 394
Loc: Hampshire, UK
I like these types of things..if a draw opens you think oh it might be a clue but it really is just a useless draw...or doors that open and take you into rooms that aren't relevant at all!Its all part of the game!
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#119316 - 01/23/03 08:44 AM Re: Useless things in games
MacDee Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 06/06/99
Posts: 14887
Loc: Battle Creek, Michigan
Me, Me, Me! happydance

I love to play around with all kinds of things in a game. I want to open all the doors, drawers, boxes and be able to pick up the things inside them. Actually, it makes the game more interesting to me because you don't know if it is important or not. wink

I want to enter all the rooms too. I was so disappointed that I couldn't check out all the staterooms in Titanic. frown

I also enjoy contact with animals, like the sunners in Riven and the cute little burping bug in Amerzone (can't think of the name right now).

~Dee

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#119317 - 01/23/03 11:03 AM Re: Useless things in games
gatorlaw Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/01/99
Posts: 10312
I am on the fence with stuff to check out in games. If it isn't presented as red herrings or keeps you from advancing if you don;t mess with it - Then I like it as the exploration is there but optional. Sometimes I am running hot and heavy with the plot, pushing through the game and don't want to slow down.

Black Dahlia (which is one of my favorite games for other reasons) had non-essential places and things to look at - but even though opening that dresser drawer didn't advance the game - if you missed it - you didn't go onto the next chapter.
frown

But I love it where at your option you can just amble about and check things out - like in Riven and such. smile

Laura
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#119318 - 01/23/03 11:12 AM Re: Useless things in games
mbc841 Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/29/01
Posts: 368
Loc: Alexandria, VA USA
You can turn the lights on and off in "Harvest". (even though this is not part of the plot - but I thought it was a neat touch that adds realism). It's good to see that players appreciate those types of added touches. laugh

Mike
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#119319 - 01/23/03 12:31 PM Re: Useless things in games
nickie Offline
Grand wizard of high mucky muck
Adept Boomer

Registered: 01/08/02
Posts: 13453
Loc: Texas
A really funny touch to the game "Foul Play:Mystery at Akward Manor" is that when you are searching for clues, if you hit the light switch (as you inevitably do) the game goes dark, and a droll Butler's voice says "May I get that for you madam/sir?" and turns the light back on. Or if you click on the mirror, laughing voices say "They're looking at themselves again!"
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#119320 - 01/23/03 02:27 PM Re: Useless things in games
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35358
Loc: southeast USA
I always like fooling around with the plumbing in games. I'll try to turn on the water in the sinks and flush the toilets. Labyrinth of Time had a working toilet and Faust had a sink and a tub that worked. But I don't think I've ever seen a game where you could turn on the shower. Not that I remember anyway.

I also like it when appliances work - when you can use a phonograph to play LP's (as in Zork Nemesis) or tune in a radio (as in Faust), etc. It may not be essential to playing the game but it makes the gameworld seem more real.

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#119321 - 01/23/03 02:28 PM Re: Useless things in games
kat165 Offline
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Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 1737
Loc: Northern New Jersey, USA
Have I got a game for you, Thunderchile! Have you played Watchermaker? Most of the stuff you can fiddle with is non-essential to the game. You can go in all of the room, open all the draws and cabinets, click on almost everything for some sort of comment. Sometimes it got annoying, hearing lame comments about every single thing, but for the most part I also enjoy clicking on/interacting with everything I see.

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#119322 - 01/23/03 04:12 PM Re: Useless things in games
Cynch Offline
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Registered: 03/05/00
Posts: 1159
Loc: Arlington, WA, US
I especially liked listening to that radio in the "40's" segment of AMBER. While fiddling around with it to get that dumbwaiter to go up and down I had great fun listening to all the old commercials and WWII bulletins. smile
Cynch
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#119323 - 01/23/03 04:45 PM Re: Useless things in games
Quandary Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 10/27/99
Posts: 453
Loc: Fremantle, Western Australia
Great topic, and one of my hobby horses laugh

For me, being able to interact with the gameworld even in seemingly meaningless ways contributes to that feeling of 'being there'. To open drawers, look behind doors, turn lights on and off, makes the location 'real'. I also like to get the character's (or game) description of objects and paintings etc as it gives those items a physical presence and they exist for the character and the player. You can also learn quite a bit about your character based on her/his responses.

Too many of the latest 3D games seem to ignore or restrict this interactivity. Oh they may have beautiful graphics but for me they are as lifeless as a stage backdrop if you can't interact with them.

Often it's the little touches that make a game memorable...

Gordon
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Quandary

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#119324 - 01/23/03 04:52 PM Re: Useless things in games
Witchen Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 22381
Loc: Seattle Washington USA
As long as these characteristics or peculiarities in the game add warmth, color and definitely help engage the gamer, I think they are just terrific. Love the feeling of being able to snoop around here and there for little tidbits. If, in fact, this exercise is a "red herring" in its truest sense; that is, a distraction that leads the gamer off down the wrong trail, then I don't like em'. lol

Love, Witchen =O)

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#119325 - 01/23/03 06:25 PM Re: Useless things in games
audrey522 Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 03/31/01
Posts: 602
Loc: Gillette, Wyoming
I'm with the "fiddlers" on this one. I feel cheated if I cannot enter all the rooms or open all the drawers just to see what's there. BTW, Darkfall was great that way...I could go into every wonderfully creepy room in that hotel. And then I got the goggles and found more new stuff. This was a small (very small) gripe I had with Syberia. "No point in going down there." <img border="0" title="" alt="[Confused]" src="confused.gif" />

Marion
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#119326 - 01/23/03 09:05 PM Re: Useless things in games
Witchen Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 22381
Loc: Seattle Washington USA
Hi Marion.......... smile I'm with you on the dead end doors/gates/streets. Hopefully this won't show up in the sequel. No message at all is better than "No point in going down there," ...as it denotes to some gamers that at some later point, there just might be a point in going down there. lol wink

Love, Witchen =O) wink

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#119327 - 01/23/03 09:59 PM Re: Useless things in games
fov Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 12/28/01
Posts: 2964
Loc: San Francisco
i like playing with things, and if i'm not allowed to play, i want a good reason. laugh

it bugged me in syberia that i would click on something and kate would say "I don't need to do that yet," or "I don't need to do that again." #1 -- in some cases, i just clicked to see what the object was... i didn't even know i was telling her to do something! #2 -- how does *she* know she doesn't need to do it yet/again?! it took away from the realism for me because i felt like kate knew something i didn't... which meant i wasn't *really* controlling her after all.

-emily

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#119328 - 01/23/03 10:58 PM Re: Useless things in games
Ditlihi Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 09/19/02
Posts: 580
Loc: Florida
It is one of the things I liked about the last 3 Tex Murphy games was that you could open almost everything,look under or on top of objects and generally interact with just about anything in the the game. Of course this also took you longer to search and go thru everything as well

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#119329 - 01/24/03 07:14 AM Re: Useless things in games
ThunderChild Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 303
Loc: My own little world
Glad to see I'm not the only one who likes fiddling with things and rooting round in other peoples drawers laugh

Kat

I do have Watchmaker installed and did start it but then got Syberia & Post Mortem & was completely sidetracked so haven't gone very far on it yet. But I shall soon and look forward to snooping around that big ol house smile
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#119330 - 01/25/03 03:35 AM Re: Useless things in games
Advpuzlov Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/05/99
Posts: 2027
Loc: USA
I guess I am a "fiddler" and an "explorer" as well. I like to be able to check out the things that I normally would were I in the situation portrayed in the game. I realize that means a lot of extra work for the programers, so I don't feel that I can be demanding in this regard, but it would be nice.

Oh, in BLACK DAHLIA, the light switch in Jim Pearson's office which could be turned on and off does have a bit of connection with the game, since you can more easily see that there is something in the ceiling light fixture when the light is on.
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#119331 - 01/25/03 06:00 AM Re: Useless things in games
magikkk Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 01/07/03
Posts: 6
Loc: London, England
Shenmue 1 and 2 (SEGA - Dreamcast) Although an adventure on a console, it had the most interactivity I've ever seen in any game type. I suppose that's also why it was once of the most expensive (if not thee most expensive!) games to produce - i.e millions and millions of dollars. You could buy stuff in shops, open draws, doors, have endless conversations with almost every character, explore and zoom in on areas and objects in incredible detail, and non of it need necessarily impact on the plot one iota. For immersing yourself in pure atmosphere they were hard to beat, loved and hated in equal measure. For some the most boring game ever (heathens!!!) For me, although not up there with the best adventure games for plot and character, definitely worth doing for an incredible virtual adventure world. Must....stop.....going to peoples houses opening their doors...and going through their....draws.....after....long....gameplaying....sessions!!!
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#119332 - 01/25/03 10:41 AM Re: Useless things in games
Namma Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 11/09/00
Posts: 1793
Loc: The Middle of the Sonoran Dese...
Quote:
I guess I am a "fiddler" and an "explorer" as well. I like to be able to check out the things that I normally would were I in the situation portrayed in the game. I realize that means a lot of extra work for the programers, so I don't feel that I can be demanding in this regard, but it would be nice.
This brings to mind The Cabin in Overseer. Not only did you get to search through everything, if you left even one thing disturbed.......you died. While this was a little frustrating while I was doing it, it still felt more realistic. What else would you expect if you broke into a place where the villian in taking a shower and you started rummaging around. The same scene would have been disappointing if everything was locked but the ones that were hiding the goodies.

I want to fiddle with everything! laugh

Hugs, Cheryl
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Life is not measured by the breaths you take,
it is measured by the moments that take your
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#119333 - 01/25/03 10:48 AM Re: Useless things in games
mszv Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 03/18/02
Posts: 1565
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA (left my bel...
Hi all,
Since I play adventure games for the "immersive world experience", I like to manipulate things in the game. It helps to ground me in the game, and slows me down enough that I can get into the world.

The exception is when I am tired of a game. This happens to me more than to most of you, I think. I get halfway through, and the game may not be done, but I am! Then, it's walkthrough time for me.
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#119334 - 01/25/03 11:15 AM Re: Useless things in games
gatorlaw Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/01/99
Posts: 10312
Oooh I loved Shenmue! I was so upset that Shenmue 2 has been "bought up" by Microsoft as an XBox exclusive. We have been tormented by the idea of adding yet another console to the household inventory. Have to wait a bit ... sigh frown

Great game mention for immersive walking around freedom Magikkk. I also loved the real time factor with the seasonal changes, day to night, weather and other such stuff. Outcast to me was very similar in how you could go everywhere in the game.

Laura
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#119335 - 01/25/03 01:54 PM Re: Useless things in games
magikkk Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 01/07/03
Posts: 6
Loc: London, England
I was lucky Laura to be able to play the dreamcast European version last year - denied to you guys by Microsoft's buying of the game! There was no dubbing so this time unlike in Shenmue 1 it was all Japanese with English subtitles, and far from being a negative it really added to the atmosphere, in fact it was more immersive because I almost started to believe I could understand Japanese! Some Japanese words I do understand of course...like......Sony.....er and ...Toshiba....... oh yeah and.....Sushi
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#119336 - 01/27/03 01:16 AM Re: Useless things in games
Advpuzlov Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/05/99
Posts: 2027
Loc: USA
Shenmue 1 and 2 (SEGA - Dreamcast) ???

I can't recall ever hearing about these games. Are they point & click, non-action Adventure games? Where could I buy them?
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It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -- Aristotle

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#119337 - 01/27/03 04:22 AM Re: Useless things in games
magikkk Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 01/07/03
Posts: 6
Loc: London, England
Shenmue 1 and 2 are adventure games but full roaming 3D ones. They do contain some action elements but nothing difficult. If you're strictly a point and click lover - and who could blame you! - then maybe they wouldn't be your cup of tea. I recommend them though, but you do need the SEGA dreamcast machine to play them. Shenmue 2 only came out in Europe for Dreamcast, but was an XBox game for North America. Shenmue 1 was only ever on the Sega machine. They're all available on ebay if you don't find them in your local video game store. Hope that helps. - David.
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