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When did we as gamers get dumber? #124054
11/03/02 12:18 PM
11/03/02 12:18 PM
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Body in California/Heart in Ha...
syd Offline OP
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Or maybe that should read : When did the game developers decide we as gamers are dumber?

I've recently been replaying some of my older games in order to write reviews on them and I've been noticing that they were more difficult in the "old days". They seemed (at least to me) to require you to think more. One example: there was no smart cursor that lit up the screen telling you - here, look here, there's something to pickup here!. You had to check around on your own. The games didn't lead you by the nose like seems to happen a lot now days.

Don't get me wrong there are some tough games out there - Schizm is a prime example - but for the most part the games seem to be lots of pretty pictures on multiple CDs that take about 1/4 of the time to finish as it used to take to play a single CD game.

Guess I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today smile


Dark Side : Risen
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I can only please one person a day. Today isn't your day. Tomorrow's not looking good either.
Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124055
11/03/02 01:09 PM
11/03/02 01:09 PM
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Stockholm, Sweden
emma Offline
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I have thought about that too Syd. I think it's too bad that games has to become "easier" in order to sell better. Hopefully, we're just looking at another genre-development, that still holds puzzle-laden games as well as those that are more hot-spot controlled. Like how 3rd and 1st person exist under the same umbrella name.

Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124056
11/03/02 01:18 PM
11/03/02 01:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 28,859
United Kingdom
Mad Offline
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Hi Syd.

Have to agree with you there smile

I regularly re play oldies and STILL get stuck happydance ]

Cheers.

Mad wave


Time : The Most Precious Commodity
Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124057
11/03/02 01:27 PM
11/03/02 01:27 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 211
Sydney Australia
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Sydney Australia
I reckon it is the other way around. I find the games I play these days harder. I guess it's just age catching up with me. I remember so many times thinking how I used to struggle through the old games without any hints or walkthroughs. I didn't have the internet then as it was new and not many people did have access to it. I still managed to get through the games. I just assumed that the games had gotten harder to play but I guess it's more than likely that my brain is getting befuddled as I get older eek

Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124058
11/03/02 02:57 PM
11/03/02 02:57 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 5
Germany
S
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The graphics in old games were very simple and less detailed then the games today, so a smart cursor weren't needed. IMHO a "non-smart-cursor" doesn't increase the gaming experience, its simply annoying to klick on every object on the screen to find out if it can be used or not.

Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124059
11/03/02 03:30 PM
11/03/02 03:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 121
USA
Kathy Salisbury Offline
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I'm feeling nostalgic too. As a game developer, I feel I kind of lost my way. I listened to a lot of people who were making software, but not games like these. I became convinced I needed to change the games to something that would appeal to the general public.

It wasn't really that I ever wanted to make a lot of money, but just enough to feel justified in continuing to do what I love to do.

Adventure games are really an artform, I think, unlike anything else.

On the demo for the last game, my testers convinced me to add a lot of helpful hints so the casual gamer can figure it out right away. It really does lose something though.

My last few games were educational too (maybe because I married a teacher?) As a wise person recently told me, the edutainment area is a "tough nut to crack".

At any rate, I think I have one more game left in me, and it will be a true adventure game, I promise you, and not too easy either.

Those are the kind of games that I personally like, and what I should be doing.

I'm going to keep reading the messages in this forum and checking out other games by independents. I know the plot for my new game, and it should be fun. I won't give away too much, but it will involve a mad scientist and talking cats. laugh

Thanks, everyone, for giving your opinions here.


Kathy Salisbury
Pharos Games
http://pharosgames.com
Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124060
11/03/02 03:50 PM
11/03/02 03:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 39,399
southeast USA
Jenny100 Offline
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I don't think things like pixel hunts and dead ends enhance the game experience. I like smart cursors. Given a choice between smart cursor and stupid cursor I choose the smart one all the time. (Was it Lighthouse that let you choose the intelligence of your cursor in the game options? Maybe some other games did too.)

And I can't think of anyone who'd enjoy replaying a large chunk of the game because they'd missed picking up some piece of inventory early on.

Games where your character offers verbal hints before you want them are kind of annoying though. There was some of this in the Loch Ness game. I'd rather they'd left out the verbal hints (or kept them confined to the diary) and left out the timed aspect of the underwater maze. The maze was bad enough. Why make it timed?

I don't mind an easy game once in a while. I enjoyed Dracula Resurrection and Road to India. But it annoys me when they try to make an adventure game which is fairly easy as far as puzzles go and then increase "difficulty" by adding timed or action bits that have to be repeated several times (indefinitely if you're not fast enough). What gaming audience are they trying to please by doing that? The largest untapped potential audience for adventure games is not kids or action gamers, but older people who won't appreciate the timed bits.

As for the topic "When did we as gamers get dumber" I think I'm about the same dumbness as I was when I started playing adventure games. I tend to have less patience than when I first started out though. Having been blocked by game bugs before, I'm less patient about trying to solve puzzles myself before looking at a walkthrough. It's really aggravating to find you've been blocked by a game bug that caused something not to trigger. But it's even more aggravating when you've spent days trying to solve the problem instead of just an hour or so.

Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124061
11/03/02 04:24 PM
11/03/02 04:24 PM
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Posts: 2,006
New Hampshire
SuMac Offline
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I just spent the last couple of hours playing the latest Nancy Drew (The Scarlet Hand) and so far the puzzles seem a lot easier than previous ND's, and I've hardly looked at Tally's Ho's WT at all. This is the complete opposite of the last game I played - "The Lighthouse" - where I used multiple WT's and all the help I could get.

The next game on my play list is "Rhem" and I'm sure I'll be wracking my brain over that one. And so it goes.... :wave

Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124062
11/03/02 04:30 PM
11/03/02 04:30 PM
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Alberta
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Kathy, If your new game concept involves talking cats I love it already !! At the present time 3 cats own me and all 3 have a lot to say !! laugh laugh I'm looking forward to seeing your new game when it is released.



Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124063
11/03/02 05:18 PM
11/03/02 05:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 39,399
southeast USA
Jenny100 Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by SuMac:
I just spent the last couple of hours playing the latest Nancy Drew (The Scarlet Hand) and so far the puzzles seem a lot easier than previous ND's, and I've hardly looked at Tally's Ho's WT at all.
One thing about The Scarlet Hand was that you always knew what you could be doing. At the beginning you get that errand list and you can get to work on it immediately. In the other games, it wasn't always clear what things you should do first. Sometimes you needed to talk to a character, but it wasn't always obvious where you needed to look for them and what time they would be there. There was always one character who I couldn't seem to find when I want to talk to them in the earlier games, even though I set the alarm clock for many different times. (I wish I could fall asleep as easily as Nancy Drew. No tossing and turning for that girl. She takes one look at the bed and she's out like a light.).

Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124064
11/03/02 06:22 PM
11/03/02 06:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,516
North aurora IL
burpee Offline
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I think that we, as gamers, need to stop deciding from our own point of view what constitutes a good or bad game. Each one of us likes different things in a game. I just LOVE easy games, sometimes, and I usually end up keeping them and replaying them. On the other hand I don't like overly difficult games like Schizm. Beautiful but too hard for me. Maybe I'm the reason that developers have made games "easier". Maybe they're trying to appeal to a wider audience.

I have to agree with Jenny (my own opinion smile ) that timed sequences can be irritating. I don't usually mind them but many people have trouble in this area.

I don't know if I'm even making any sense but I have noticed one thing from this website. Every one of us likes and dislikes different things in a game. There is no set standard for what we as gamers want. Me, I just want some distraction from my everyday life. Take me to a place where I'm the intrepid explorer who figures it all out easily smile

Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124065
11/03/02 10:56 PM
11/03/02 10:56 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 121
USA
Kathy Salisbury Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mugsy:
Kathy, If your new game concept involves talking cats I love it already !! At the present time 3 cats own me and all 3 have a lot to say !! laugh laugh I'm looking forward to seeing your new game when it is released.
Thanks, Mugsy! It seems to me that many adventure game lovers also like cats... I've noticed a high percentage of programmers are quite fond of cats. Something about having a quiet and thoughtful nature, I think. smile

I'm writing a complex (but humorous) story for this game, and I'll try to make the puzzles challenging.


Kathy Salisbury
Pharos Games
http://pharosgames.com
Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124066
11/03/02 11:30 PM
11/03/02 11:30 PM
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Florida
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I kind of agree with Saber-Zauber that the older game were easier on ythe eye and you could look around and things to work with or on. Now adays the graphics are so detailed and intense that you can not see something in plain. That to me was part of the problem with Syberia,your eye was taking in so much I could not see objects or places to enter

Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124067
11/04/02 08:12 AM
11/04/02 08:12 AM
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Posts: 2,451
Cambridge, England
Kickaha Offline
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There's a challenge here for developers to give us games whose difficulty can be adjusted. With an action or RPG game this is simple. Harder for Adventures if anyone was going to try (which I suspect they're not.)

For me comparing new with old I note that dialogue and scripting seems to have got much dumber over time.

For example in some older games if you spoke to the same NPC twice you would get a different response. Or NPCs would vary what they said according to what you had done. You'd get a good range of messages if you tried to do stupid things.

In newer games like Syberia no. There isn't much left in the average budget after the graphics have been done.

Regards, Peter.


Used to answer to "Peter Smith", now answers to "Peter Rootham-Smith"
Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124068
11/04/02 08:55 AM
11/04/02 08:55 AM
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Posts: 3,805
Kentucky, USA
acornia Offline
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Cats with a quiet and thoughtful nature? Must have trained yours. None that we have has had a shy bone about asking for what they want whether it's a itchy ear, food to eat, out, a lap, brushing, or someone to play. Only time play quietly is when into something, they know they shouldn't be. Have two cats that have found out can wake me if need feeding or out. Some have more manners than others and more curiosity.

As for games, think that adventure games are trying to appeal to a bigger range of age groups and not just to ones that like puzzles. Puzzles that the whole family can solve. Nancy Drew with it's junior and senior levels. Same with Jewels of the Oracle. My early adventure games were mostly geared for a more adult audience otherwise wouldn't have gotten some of the jokes or have been able to solve even with the subtle hints/clues. Remember giving up on Timequest cause didn't want to have to go to different times in history to get things to fix this time in history. Had your choice of three or four and had to know which one.


Never resist a generous impulse.
Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124069
11/04/02 09:11 AM
11/04/02 09:11 AM
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USA
Kathy Salisbury Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by acornia:
Cats with a quiet and thoughtful nature? Must have trained yours.
laugh Actually, I meant the programmers had a quiet, thoughtful nature, so like cats better. Most of the time cats are quieter than dogs, at least the ones I know. wink

Quote:
As for games, think that adventure games are trying to appeal to a bigger range of age groups and not just to ones that like puzzles. Puzzles that the whole family can solve. Nancy Drew with it's junior and senior levels.
Must admit I haven't tried the Nancy Drew mysteries yet. I thought they were more for kids, but I can see they are very popular here. Interesting information about the levels. smile


Kathy Salisbury
Pharos Games
http://pharosgames.com
Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124070
11/04/02 09:16 AM
11/04/02 09:16 AM
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Body in California/Heart in Ha...
syd Offline OP
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Hi Kathy

Nancy Drew is definitely not just for kids - I found that out really fast with the first game lol. Figured ha - game made for 10 year old girls - I'll play senior detective since I'm so old and "smart". About a quarter of the way through I was wishing I'd have picked junior detective lol They are really terrific games.


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Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124071
11/04/02 10:48 AM
11/04/02 10:48 AM
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the desert foothills
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It's very true that we all have our own likes and dislikes when it comes to adventuring gaming. Tho most of us agree that timed puzzles are the worst......

I have 3 cats and think, Kathy, that they're a great idea!! As are mad scientists of course! That goes without saying! The madder the better!!! Sounds very intriguing!

Mad, i'm with you........i can replay and replay some of my old games and STILL get stuck in the same old spots........ lol

.......and i must say, that i've never met an adventure game that i haven't needed a walkthrough for......at least in some spots. Says something about my intelligence i guess........ <img border="0" alt="cry" title="" src="graemlins/cry.gif" />


Beeba
Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124072
11/04/02 11:50 AM
11/04/02 11:50 AM
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i think that adventure games have definitely changed in their attempts to reach a broader audience. certain puzzles feel easier to me now than they used to with the sierra adventures. (maybe that's because i grew up in the meantime!) the cog puzzle near the beginning of syberia really irked me because it wouldn't have taken much work from the developers to make it so that you could slip the cogs onto the wrong slots and not solve the puzzle, and have to figure out which slots were the right slots before you could move on. but that would have made the puzzle more challenging.

but it has to do with the internet, too. we solve the weirder puzzles more quickly now because it's easy to look up a hint. think how long it would have taken gamers to figure out that GK3 passport puzzle if not for the internet... c'mon, is there ANYONE who figured that out on their own?

-emily

Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124073
11/04/02 11:56 AM
11/04/02 11:56 AM
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Herndon, VA
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Quote:
Think how long it would have taken gamers to figure out that GK3 passport puzzle if not for the internet... c'mon, is there ANYONE who figured that out on their own?

-emily
How about the people who wrote the walkthroughs for us, Em????? laugh laugh laugh lol wave


Lvl 55 Hunter in WOW
Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124074
11/04/02 11:58 AM
11/04/02 11:58 AM
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San Francisco
fov Offline
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i thought about that... but i want someone to own up before i'll actually believe it!

smile emily

Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124075
11/04/02 02:57 PM
11/04/02 02:57 PM
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southeast USA
Jenny100 Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Smith:


For me comparing new with old I note that dialogue and scripting seems to have got much dumber over time.

For example in some older games if you spoke to the same NPC twice you would get a different response. Or NPCs would vary what they said according to what you had done. You'd get a good range of messages if you tried to do stupid things.

That's true. Even in newer games which have fairly decent dialog between characters, you don't get that range of responses from your character when you do something wrong. I'm hoping that Tony Tough will have some of this sort of thing though.

Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124076
11/04/02 06:41 PM
11/04/02 06:41 PM
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USA
Kathy Salisbury Offline
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Quote:
About a quarter of the way through I was wishing I'd have picked junior detective lol They are really terrific games.
Hi Syd!

Could I ask which one of the Nancy Drew mysteries is your favorite? Thanks!


Kathy Salisbury
Pharos Games
http://pharosgames.com
Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124077
11/04/02 07:17 PM
11/04/02 07:17 PM
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gatorlaw Offline
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Quote:
For me comparing new with old I note that dialogue and scripting seems to have got much dumber over time.
Even in the Tex games which have those fabulous dialogue trees with the game changing based on your choice - I noticed a difference between the lines in UAKM and then the most recent game Overseer. However - I come bearing good news. smile

Just got back from the live chat with the Post Mortem crew over at JA and they have an intelligent - emotional response dialogue system in place with the game. Depending on your choice of question - I suppose angry, threatening etc the game choices/ options change for your character. There was a great deal of commentary on the dialogue in the game - so while it may not be the clever patter of older games - it definitely sounds like an improvement over many new games. I would say that Post Mortem sounds like a great game, so far. smile

Laura





Re: When did we as gamers get dumber? #124078
11/04/02 08:16 PM
11/04/02 08:16 PM
Joined: Nov 1999
Posts: 12,307
Body in California/Heart in Ha...
syd Offline OP
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Hi Kathy

I think it was a toss up between Treasure in the Royal Tower and Secret of the Scarlet Hand with a slight edge to the Scarlet Hand - maybe because of all the Myan history you learned. I know some found it a tad tedious having to go back and forth to find info for the Temple levels but I rather enjoyed it.


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