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Wishing for some new plot lines? #1157433
07/20/18 02:42 PM
07/20/18 02:42 PM
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I invite a discussion on the Themes of Casual Games. I get it that drama sells, and Big Drama may sell even better. Still, I am finding myself wishing that casual game designers could find an alternative theme than "Evil Entity Seeks Total Domination of the Universe" as the basis for a plot. I am a big fan of these games, but am getting a little tired of their repetitive nature.

I'd be content with a quest to find a lost artifact, itself, and don't need a motivation based on thwarting either a violent kidnapping or the destruction of souls. I've seen plenty of TV series and films, and read plenty of books, based on little more than finding a lost child, and they totally held my attention. Odd things can happen and humans can react in troublesome ways, thereby creating an interesting puzzle for us, without needing to bring down the entire cosmos. One of my favorite casual games, out of the hundreds I have played (Eternal Journey: New Atlantis), takes place entirely on an abandoned space station, where the protagonist tries to figure out what happened. That's it. No demons, no witches, and no curses or haunting necessary. It was great!

I like a good, scary story as much as the next person. I like sushi, too, but I would not want to eat it for every meal. I'm just saying, it would be nice to have more variety in our choices. After a while, you can't help but get tired of the same theme over and over again, just offered with a name change.

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Reenie] #1157438
07/20/18 03:03 PM
07/20/18 03:03 PM
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United Kingdom
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I don't play as many Casuals as you, Reenie, but like you, I tired of the formulaic themes .... and some time ago at that !! yes

Which is probably why I re-play so many from my collection. I know which ones don't go down that "so well worn" old path wink

Of course, I do still continue to look hopefully at the many games newly appearing at Big Fish and do occasionally pick up a gem lol


Time : The Most Precious Commodity
Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Reenie] #1157446
07/20/18 06:13 PM
07/20/18 06:13 PM
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I think you'll find the same kind of feedback like this thread. They really don't seem to change much.

Ana wave


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Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #1157454
07/20/18 09:17 PM
07/20/18 09:17 PM
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I would say that as long as such games continue to be bought, they will continue to get made !!

Money ruling the roost as it does 😳


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Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Reenie] #1157466
07/20/18 11:08 PM
07/20/18 11:08 PM
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Waukegan, Il.
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I never follow the storyline. I just play for the graphics and the HO's, sometimes puzzles.


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Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Reenie] #1157490
07/21/18 10:07 AM
07/21/18 10:07 AM
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I'm a fan of cozy murder mysteries. Although they tend to be pretty formulaic, I still enjoy them and have been reading them for years. It appears I feel the same way about the casual games I play. I enjoy all of them for different reasons - a good story, outstanding artwork, fun gameplay, etc. I often do get a laugh when it's easy to figure out what's going to happen next, but it doesn't deter me. I started out playing adventure games and am surprised by how I got hooked on casuals. I guess it's because they don't require as much time and thought.

An added note: These games are made to appeal to a certain demographic worldwide. I don't think it would easy to please everyone. And the time and effort involved makes it risky to go in a different direction, unless you're one of the big names. jmo

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Sparkle] #1157492
07/21/18 10:19 AM
07/21/18 10:19 AM
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To be honest, although it would be nice to get some more original plot lines, it really doesn't matter to me all that much. For me, being as most of it has all been done before, it all lies in the execution; that's what separates a really good game from a game that is merely so-so.

Having said that, I did play a few HOPAs this past year where I thought it was obvious that an effort had been made to hold the player's interest by keeping the player guessing over the course of the game as to how things were going to pan out - and I thought they were quite successful in doing so. It was enjoyable and refreshing to play these games.

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Sparkle] #1157495
07/21/18 11:42 AM
07/21/18 11:42 AM
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Hi, Sparkle!

I love murder mysteries as well, and am really becoming tired of the supernatural storylines where we have to rescue the kidnapped relative of the day from the alien with glowing red eyes. I really enjoyed the "Dead Reckoning" series, but I believe it has sadly come to an end. I was delighted when "Murder She Wrote" and its sequel were released, but I don't think we'll see any more of them either.

Susan

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Susie07] #1157499
07/21/18 11:59 AM
07/21/18 11:59 AM
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I enjoy much more the Casuals that have an interesting storyline - but of course I do also want that story to be told in a well executed way laugh


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Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Mad] #1157505
07/21/18 01:35 PM
07/21/18 01:35 PM
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Hi, Mad!

I always enjoy a well-written and interesting storyline, whether it be a movie, TV show or computer game. With most games out there today, I find that after a few minutes, I've forgotten what the point of the game is. The puzzles and HO scenes are important as well because, if I'm playing a demo and the game has too many puzzles I hate, I won't buy it, but the storyline is what holds my interest.

Susan

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Susie07] #1157513
07/21/18 02:41 PM
07/21/18 02:41 PM
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United Kingdom
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"With most games out there today, I find that after a few minutes, I've forgotten what the point of the game is."

Yes. That is very easy to do - especially when game plots resemble each other so much lol


Time : The Most Precious Commodity
Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Mad] #1157519
07/21/18 04:48 PM
07/21/18 04:48 PM
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Hi, Mad!

It's as though we were separated at birth lol ! I've downloaded a demo and couldn't shake the feeling I'd played the game before. Not possible since it was a new release, and then I realized it was exactly like another game I'd played a few months earlier with a different kidnapped relative and different alien kidnapper.

I can overlook a lot of things, but give me a good solid and compelling storyline and everything else seems to fall into place.

Susan

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Marian] #1157525
07/21/18 05:39 PM
07/21/18 05:39 PM
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San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Reenie Offline OP
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I agree, Marian. There are some games in this genre that are so well done, and so original and even cerebral, that I have replayed them more than once. That is why it is so hard to understand all the mediocrity aside from them. What usually happens in business is that others copy the good stuff others issue.

There are many games that are "good." I didn't say they all suck. I just wish they'd get out of the rut more often.

I'm going to have to take a long break, I guess. I am seeing witches behind every door, red-glowing demon eyes in every window, purple or green smoke flowing from under every door, and I keep wondering if there might be something for sale called, "Kidnapping Insurance." wink

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Reenie] #1157631
07/22/18 10:43 PM
07/22/18 10:43 PM
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United Kingdom
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Reenie !! I think you might need help rotfl


Time : The Most Precious Commodity
Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Reenie] #1157655
07/23/18 07:38 AM
07/23/18 07:38 AM
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deep south
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According to Forbes in 2009: "You may have kidnap, ransom and extortion insurance and not even know it. You may have it and know it but not be able to use it. You may very well need it--pirates, drug dealers and other opportunists around the world make sure of that. But it's just about the most contradictory, confusing insurance there is. Here is what every executive should know about it."

Such insurance is usually corporate. I didn't read the whole article because I was pretty sure that kind of insurance is not uncommon.

The surprising thing I learned is that kidnapping insurance often carries a potentially deadly loophole:

"The paradox: With many policies, a covered employee (or employees) cannot know that the coverage exists for them or the corporation. If they are aware that it exists, the policy may be declared void. The Catch-22: In most kidnappings, the kidnappers demand that neither the authorities nor anyone else be notified. Balancing the demands of the kidnappers with the desire and need to contact the authorities is tough enough; imagine having also to decide whether or not to contact the insurance company. If you don't, the company may try to deny the coverage. If you do, you may jeopardize the employee's life. (Most kidnappings do not result in death; they result in the payment of a negotiated ransom.)"

I did spend some time on plot lines. The kidnapping hook in casual games is called an excuse plot line and is the squeaky clean sister of the pizza delivery or pool guy set-up in X-rated movies.


Last edited by 8dognight; 07/23/18 10:24 AM.
Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Reenie] #1157756
07/24/18 11:50 AM
07/24/18 11:50 AM
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deep south
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I have thought for several years that casual game developers must rethink the kidnapping plot line.

I now think the need is a necessity and I am framing the following as politely and in a manner as respectful of as wide a range of worldviews as possible: In the U.S., current events present a situation in which the concept of kidnapping, in particular of children, is no longer a suitable hook for escapist entertainment. Kidnapping only worked in the first place because unlikely and not a subject that has dominated the news.

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Marian] #1157759
07/24/18 11:52 AM
07/24/18 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted By: Marian
To be honest, although it would be nice to get some more original plot lines, it really doesn't matter to me all that much. For me, being as most of it has all been done before, it all lies in the execution; that's what separates a really good game from a game that is merely so-so.

Having said that, I did play a few HOPAs this past year where I thought it was obvious that an effort had been made to hold the player's interest by keeping the player guessing over the course of the game as to how things were going to pan out - and I thought they were quite successful in doing so. It was enjoyable and refreshing to play these games.


Which games? Oh, please, which games?

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: 8dognight] #1157766
07/24/18 01:32 PM
07/24/18 01:32 PM
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When I made that comment, I was thinking of Sable Maze: Nightmare Shadows and Phantasmat: Insidious Dreams. I think there are a few others, and I will edit this post if I remember them.

We are not talking the Brothers Karamazov, but when playing them I felt that an effort had been made to actually try to tell a story.

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Marian] #1157785
07/24/18 05:30 PM
07/24/18 05:30 PM
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I will try them.

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Marian] #1157787
07/24/18 06:11 PM
07/24/18 06:11 PM
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Hi, Marian!

I've been replaying the "Dead Reckoning" series, and it's too bad there won't be any more. I don't understand why developers aren't willing to create some murder mysteries that allow players to actually use their brains.

Susan

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Susie07] #1157788
07/24/18 06:32 PM
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Eipix has that new mystery series now - the first one is called Memoirs of Murder: Welcome to Hidden Pines - have you tried that one, Susie? I was sorry to see the Dead Reckoning series end.

8dognight, you may not care for those games at all, but they are worth checking out if you haven't already. I do remember that Phantasmat: Insidious Dreams had some interesting puzzles.

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Marian] #1157829
07/25/18 09:19 AM
07/25/18 09:19 AM
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Hi, Marian!

I completely forgot about "Memoirs of Murder". I do have that one and enjoyed it very much. In fact, I think I'll replay that as well once I've finished the "Dead Reckoning" series.

Susan

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Susie07] #1157875
07/25/18 03:28 PM
07/25/18 03:28 PM
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Thank you, Marian !! Sounds like a series I will like, too yes

But will have to wait for a good sale whistle


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Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Mad] #1157882
07/25/18 04:38 PM
07/25/18 04:38 PM
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You probably won't have to wait very long, Mad.

Susan, you are giving me the idea to replay my Dead Reckoning games. I think there are a couple that I don't have, too, so I will have to take a look.

Re: Wishing for some new plot lines? [Re: Marian] #1157892
07/25/18 05:30 PM
07/25/18 05:30 PM
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You are right, Marian !! Big Fish must have been listening to you wink


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