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KestrelPi

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KestrelPi last won the day on June 21

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  1. I dunno what to tell you, they're objectively the same melody but with MI2's version modified a bit to make it fit more easily into a 4/4 time signature. And I already knew it was based on an existing tune, I just couldn't remember where I'd heard it before. And we know all 3 composers were both pretty fond of incorporating trad tunes into their pieces, and it was a well known enough tune in the US to make it into The Simpsons, so it's not even a stretch as far as I'm concerned. This sounds much more deliberate to me than the idea that the LeChuck theme was based on that tune from Dr. Doolittle, which starts the same and then goes off somewhere else. Or the Moleman being a bit like that Poirot music because they both use a 5 note chromatic descending melody. This is the same melody right up to and including the B section (it's an AABA structure melody - there's a tune, then it's repeated, then it does something else, then the A melody comes back again and both the A melody and the B melody at the same here)
  2. I'm a little confused about what the disagreement IS here, given....
  3. Yeah it's definitely that tune. That must have been what I was thinking of. I've no memory if where I'd heard this tune before but I must have done. It starts a bit different but it's clearly the same, it's just that the 3/4 melody has been changed to 4/4 and the first note gets repeated a couple of times to fill up the space. It even has the same B section. It's basically identical if you change the wharf music so that the first 3 notes are one long continuous note and imagine it in 3/4
  4. I think all I was saying was that it's the same concept?
  5. I mean, I'd say that's pedantic to the extreme. It's the same concept. You just like Curse's implementation better... that doesn't make it a different thing.
  6. I'm not sure what weird conventions in other genres has to do with it, I guess? But I'll have a go - I think what Ron is getting at is that verbs don't actually have very much utility, or at least they are given way too much prominence for the amount of utility they have. Those two examples you gave... sure, they're odd genre conventions, but it's useful in a game where your health is important to have a way to heal quickly because I don't think most people would enjoy an FPS where every time you got shot you had to take a trip to hospital. And in a game where scavenging items is important, on whatever corpse is nearby is as good a place as any (I would say how realistic the items you find might be varies from game to game, and that's about how much that game cares about realism vs utility). So the obvious question is... what do verbs bring to the party? And the answer is... usually, very little. I've made this point before, but if you go through the walkthrough to DOTT, for example, and have a look at which puzzles actually wouldn't be as good if you took the verbs away, it's a small handful of situations across the whole game. I can't remember them all - one of them is pushing the speaker over in Green Tentacle's bedroom, another one is opening the clock. With very few exceptions, puzzles are solved by picking stuff up, using things with other things and talking to people. "But those few situations where other verbs are useful still exist" Sure, but they're so rare, and spread out that they might as well not. They could have been replaced with other, equally clever puzzles that didn't need extra verbs. "But sometimes you get a funny response." Yeah I guess, but 90% of the time you just get a canned response you've heard a million times. "But the verbs add detail to the game and complexity that raises the difficulty of all puzzles. Removing them narrows the possibility space and therefore your thinking." Maybe? But like I said, you don't need to fill the game with red herring verbs and canned responses to make a good puzzle, you just need to be a bit creative in how you frame the puzzles. So where I tend to fall on this is: 1. The look verb is cool. Keep that, in some way. 2. The rest can probably be boiled down to one or two actions. 3. Inventory. Inventory is already like verbs, but better because you can gain them, lose them, combine them, spend part of them. Inventory does everything a verb does, and more, and can be ANYTHING, and in this context losing things like Push/Pull Open/Close, and seperate Talk To/Use/Pick Up commands seems trivial. I believe that Ron meant something like this when saying verbs are cruft. And we already know this. Nobody said Grim Fandango's puzzles were too basic, or Escape's, and they basically did away with everything except for Look and Interact. And of the various complaints I hear about Curse, its 3-verb system isn't one of them. In fact, people liked it so much that now call it the Verb Coin system, even though Full Throttle used the same type of thing before it. "
  7. They've said, both before and in recent interviews, some stuff that can probably give us some clues. Back in 2013, Ron's thinking was here: I more or less agree with this with a few caveats, but that's by the by. More recently toward the start of ReMI, he's said: It's unclear what he could mean here. What IS the current status quo. I don't really think there exists enough consistency in adventure UIs to have a status quo, so I'd be interested to know what Ron had in mind here. In interviews, they've said: In my opinion if this were JUST what we saw in Dolores, or just similar to something that already exists, they would have simply said that. It's a fascinating quote because it sounds like whatever they've hit on, they believe that it's truly different to what's been attempted before. This bit... Feels to me like it's hinting towards some sort of context sensitive elements of the intervace, moving away from just a standard list of verbs and moving more towards actions that serve particular puzzles in particular moments. Suggests some sort of dialling down of the ability to do invalid actions which to some people might sound a bit scary, like it'll make the game feel too easy or something, but I wouldn't be TOO worried about that, because it's all about how you design the puzzles around the new interface. Sometimes in Thimbleweed Park, for example, I felt like the puzzles were only 'hard' because the possibility space was so big and not because I actually had to be clever with my working out. But puzzles in Monkey Island like following the shopkeeper to the swordmaster were clever and satisfying even though the only thing you were doing is walking around. Or ones like retaining the grog to go to the jail were clever even though all you were doing was using one item with another. You don't need a ton of invalid possible actions with canned responses 'Mmm.... no' to make the puzzles feel good. You just have to .... design clever puzzles. It excites me that they might have spent more time in this game thinking about what would be fun things for the player to figure out. I've been thinking along similar lines for an adventure game I'm in the early stages of designing with a friend, and it's really fun to try to think of puzzles that use the interaction style and feel of adventure games, but in puzzle situations I don't think I've seen before.
  8. I've taked about this a bit too far but I agree with his comments from years before about how mostly verbs are cruft and getting rid of them isn't as scary as it sounds. Inventory items are more interesting than verbs. But I do think Tales took it one step too far in removing 'look' (except for inventory items, I guess). So whatever the new thing is I hope it either finds a way to make verbs more interesting than they have been before and I hope it isn't so stripped back that we lose what we had in a meaningful way.
  9. Further thoughts on Tales of Monkey Island now I've hit episode 2: * I think Guybrush is written a bit too stupid/silly in these episodes so far. He's a little bit wet and sometimes a bit oblivious - mostly to problems he's causing, but I never got the sense in the first few games that he was a complete buffoon -- he gets stuff done and can hold his own in a battle of wits. Here he occasionally approaches Homer Simpson levels of obliviousness. I don't think it's a bad joke for Guybrush to be so tickled by the idea of mermaids existing that he doesn't pay attention to what Winslow's saying, but it doesn't feel particularly Guybrush to me. * I've only played the start of Chapter 2, but so far I think it flows a bit better than the first, and the dialogue is just a little snappier overall. There's some signs of them settling into the writing style that really starts paying off in the next episode if I recall. * I enjoyed the puzzle at the end of Chapter 1 involving listening out for De Singe's sounds. * I'm worried I'm not gonna love some of these jokes about the Merfolk. * It's done something which is a really nitpicky pet peeve of mine. It's not 'Insult Swordfighting' and shouldn't be called that in universe. It's just sword fighting. EMI is the worst at this, treating 'Insult Swordfighting' like it's a thing, and not just what players called the puzzle about swordfighting, but I think to make a whole thing of it undermines the excellent joke/puzzle in MI1 that this is how they resolved to implement swordfighting in an adventure game. * a friend pointed out something to me that i think I agree with. People are way too nice to Guybrush. Guybrush can be a little bit of a jerk sometimes but it was always balanced out by the characters generally having no interest in being his friend, or feeding his ego. I think it's fun to have the one character, Winslow comically taking everything in his stride, but other characters are a lot like that too, way too tolerant of Threep's bullshit. * I still feel like the difficulty is piched about right, once you turn hints down * It's a nicer looking game than I remember, but that makes me want a remaster more than ever. * De Cava's theme music is really nice.
  10. I feel like we're getting waaaay too fixated on a single example I gave. But ... to your other point - kinda yeah? I would have distinctly preferred this game if it had lost 2 main characters and cut out some of the padding from the middle. It took me... what, 12 hours to go through? I think 9 or 10 would have been just fine because I don't get the sense that they had a very good idea of what to fill most of those middle hours with.
  11. Nothing, I think, but the sign outside the factory said it was being managed by Safely First so I figured out it must be to do with the bank. I realised that it might open later in the game, but I wasn't sure about it, so I spent quite a lot of time around it and calling it and trying alternate methods of entry. This is just one example though, I ended up calling the hint line on several puzzles and finding out the answer was just 'wait until later'. And that was only one of the ways that I found the puzzles irritating. But as soon as they focused the game in any way (for example the ending when you get locked in) then I found it much more enjoyable to work them out, and they seemed to become proper puzzles again, and less busywork. I really do think the middle of the game has a tendency to mistake 'amount of stuff to do' for puzzle complexity.
  12. I want to emphasise that my use of the hint system had very little to do with difficulty and everything to do with not having the patience to figure out what thread the game wanted me to pull at next, and that was to do with the nature of the puzzles and the pace at which they unfolded
  13. Don't read too much into this, because, as he said after the Devolver showcase:
  14. I used the journals a lot, and while they were initially a help they started being part of the problem. It was frustrating that there were lots of items in it that literally couldn't be solved yet because I wasn't at that point in the story yet. I spent so long calling Safely First and trying with different people, and different tools before I finally realised that the reason I couldn't get into the factory was just because i wasn't at that bit in the story yet.
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