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Thimbleweed Park - Replay... WTF?


ThunderPeel2001
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So... I've long been someone who has voiced negative things about Thimbleweed Park. I backed the game on Kickstarter and loosely followed its progress. I even have an answerphone message recording in the game (1488). I played it when it was released and, taking my cue from CMI, started with "Easy" mode.

 

The game wasn't what I expected. Rays and Reyes were essentially the same character. The world didn't captivate me. It was filled with endless details (like massive libraries and phone numbers to call). It got better when Delores, Randsome and Franklin were introduced. I played it until the end and was just utterly let down by the conclusion. It felt like a non-ending. I've carried that memory around with me for 5 years.

 

With all the commotion around the announcement of Return to MI, my appetite had become whet for a classic point and click. And for some reason, I decided to give TP another whirl...

 

This time I made little notes about the characters, their desires, and the central mysteries around the game. If there was going to be ANY pay off at the end of the game, I wanted to catch it.

 

To my complete and utter delight... I loved every minute of TP. Even the ending. It was so clever and interesting.

 

I don't know if it's due to me playing in Hard mode. Or if it's because I roughly knew how it was going to end, so I was more prepared for the type of game it was. Or if changes have been made since I first played it (I know several major patches were release: Adding the ability for characters to talk to each other, a hint system, and the arcade hall with playable arcade games). But whatever the reason... I FREAKIN' LOVED IT! Total perception shift.

 

(I think the new Hint system helps a lot, actually. I didn't use it THAT much, but I really appreciated it for some of the more obtuse puzzles -- of which there were a few.)

 

So anyway, what I'm saying it:

 

1. I was completely and utterly wrong, Thimbleweed Park is a fantastic game.

2. If you're carrying around a bad memory of it, like I was, I really suggest giving it another go.

 

I don't know why I had such a bad experience the first time around. I would say as a tip for any new players: Don't get bogged down in the endless details that fill the world (maybe turn off the injokes, and don't bother hunting around the phone book or library for hidden things). Ignore the specs of dust, too (they don't mean anything -- and you'll get an achievement for doing so). Just focus on the story and the characters. They're really rewarding.

 

Kudos to Gilbert, Winnick, Fox, Sandercock, Ferrari, et al. TP is a clever, modern successor to Maniac Mansion style games. I'm so glad I backed it!

 

That it all.

 

PS - Turn on the uncut Randsome dialogue when you get to the inner chambers of the factory at the end of the game. It's adds to the theme of the narrative :)

 

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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I guess, as always, it has a lot to do with expectations.


I didn’t back it (shame on me), also because I somehow wasn’t really interested in the whole project. I only really stumbled upon it a few month ago, gave it a go on the iPad - and loved every minute of it: the story, the characters, the puzzles etc. I read here on the forums that the ending was… special and that many people didn’t like it. So maybe I was kind of prepared? Anyway, I also really loved the ending. It’s interesting, clever and totally fits to the whole game. A game which was meant to be a big nostalgic adventure party. For me it was exactly that and the end was the icing on the cake. I really wouldn’t that kind of ending for a Monkey Island game, but here, it was just perfect.

 

Too bad, some people had a bad (first) experience, because of expectations, an “incomplete” game or some other reason. I’m glad you changed your mind! :) Because it might not be the game everyone wanted/expected or likes – but it’s not a bad game either!

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Going to response to Kestril's post here:

 

  

On 6/19/2022 at 2:04 PM, KestrelPi said:

Finally got round to finishing Thimbleweed Park and I know a couple of people were curious what I'd make of it so here are my non-spoilery thoughts:

 

* I think the game looks and sounds great. Don't love all of the voice acting, but generally think it achieves a good aesthetic, even if that kind of bobblehead character style isn't one I'm particularly fond of.

 

* I don't think the game has a lot of great puzzles. I got stuck and used the hint line quite a few times, and 90% of the time it wasn't because there was a clever piece of logic I hadn't worked out, but more like I hadn't tried one particular thing with one particular character, or there was an item I'd missed which was hard to get to. In particular, the middle of the game I really felt had a lot of busywork to it any not a lot of actual nice 'a ha!' moments.

lengthy example:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

There's a puzzle toward the end of the game where you need to get the four pages back into Ransome's book. No idea why it's four pages, because they're all just in the safe, but no, you have to pick up the four pages. Why four? No particular reason.

 

One of the pages gets blown away. That's fine, adds a complication to the puzzle. It's not hard to work out that you need to use the trampoline to get to it, and once you realise you can do it from the steps you've basically worked out the puzzle. That on it's own is a fine puzzle. You have to use the trampoline and do it from the steps.

 

But then the trampoline isn't close enough. No problem, it's trivial to work out you need to push the trampoline closer to the steps (what else could the solution be?) so it's starting to feel like a chore.

 

But then Ransome says he needs a spotter. Why Ransome is suddenly incredibly health and safety conscious I've no idea, and I've also no idea what this adds to the puzzle except for the busywork of having to bring someone else into the scene, so now I'm just frustrated that this puzzle that I figured out several minutes ago is making me go through these very perfunctory extra steps, it feels like a very cheap way of extending a puzzle.

And I feel like lots of the puzzles in the game do that. It's not that you have to figure out the clever lateral thing to make the puzzle work. There's not a lot of 'padlock the door to climb the chain' here, or 'pass the grog from mug to mug' but there's an awful lot of 'move this person here and that person here and pass these objects between this person and that and get that book from there' kind of tasks that take time, but don't have any real thinking involved.

 

* The final parts of the game I think actually did have some nice puzzles in them.

 

* I do think the character work overall was a little bit shallow. The most developed arc was clearly Dolores, and I liked that character, and I don't know if I'd have prefered a more focused game with just the one lead character, than the character switching.

 

* I didn't find the game particularly funny, but that's mainly I think because I'm not super fond of the sort of self-referential thing this was going for. Characters like Ransome really don't do anything for me, also.

 

* if this sounds a little negative I'd say that my overall impression of the game is that I had a decent but perhaps slightly underwhelming time with it.

And my spoilery thoughts:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

If a game is gonna be all self-referency and meta like this one is, then it might as well justify that with an ending like this one had. I suppose I didn't mind the way it ended, and it actually made me like the self-referential jokes a bit more than maybe I otherwise would have... buuuut I still think on balance I would prefer it if this wasn't a game about adventure games.

I did enjoy that the kickstarter video was the solution to the last puzzle. If it's going to get that meta it might as well go all out with it.

 

 

 

I agree that some of the puzzle logic was a bit much, but once I'd accepted that a Hint System wasn't cheating those moments didn't bother me too much. (Actually, I don't know how you realised the 4th page was there -- as this came from the same mind as MI2, a piece of paper can be known to float ANYWHERE on a big game map.) I agree that getting a "spotter" seemed odd, but it was mostly painless once you'd given everyone a map.

 

I do think there were general quality of life improvements that could have been had. (Passing objects from one character to another was excruciating -- why not use the excellent system perfected by Day of the Tentacle? And that damn hotel lift...!) But on the whole I really appreciate the game's structure. The way it unfolded and kept all five characters active. I thought it was really clever.

 

I also think I was braced for how "meta" it was going to be due to my first playthrough (even though I had zero recollection of the actual details of the ending -- I swear the "Easy" mode just ended abruptly, where as the game I just finished seemed to ramp up to the ending nicely).

 

I think maybe I had a better time with it now is perhaps I was prepared for what it was: A very meta, spiritual successor to MM. Not a spiritual successor to Monkey Island.

 

I would say one thing: I barely played with Angela Ray... the line delivery was unbearably slow, and her line deliveries didn't work for the hardnosed character she was supposed to be. She seemed more petulant than "no nonsense". It's odd because the rest of the characters are great -- Reyes in particular added depth to everything he said.

 

You can nitpick anything, of course. On the whole I really loved it this time around.

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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Well, you've seen my comments on the other thread now, and, well.

 

I wish I could love it. But I just can't. I think it's... fine.

 

In terms of atmosphere it's there, and in terms of characters, there are a couple of good ones but it's very inconsistent.

 

and over all, I think I'm cool with where the story goes.

 

But I just didn't find it funny. The jokes that were there really just washed over me, and I think that was a combo of ... just not finding the delivery very good and an over-reliance on joke 'formulas'. I enjoyed if for the first 2 minutes that the Pigeon Bros. were talking about the signals, then that being everything they said. Same with all the a-renos and a-boos. It's an okay bit, that is quickly driven into the ground. Same with Ransome's whole character. I found myself frustrated by it in the same way I was frustrated by EMI - there's recognisable jokes here, but I'm just not really laughing.

 

And didn't find very many of the puzzles interesting or fun, I've already covered that in the other post, but basically my gripe is that most of the puzzles felt more like busywork than things I was actually working out. With the exception of the ending parts, that had some nice stuff, and a few of the cleverer bits around the hotel.

I -am- glad you had a better time with it, on your second go round, but I couldn't help but be just a little frustrated with it. It's like a game designed to push all my nostalgia buttons, that is constantly juuust missing.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

I -am- glad you had a better time with it, on your second go round, but I couldn't help but be just a little frustrated with it. It's like a game designed to push all my nostalgia buttons, that is constantly juuust missing.

 

It's interesting because your complaints are all things I felt the first time around. I think it's because I'm used to character driven stories these days, and TP was more like Maniac Mansion: The characters were mostly secondary to the story and the puzzles (although Delores obviously becomes more important by the end). The characters often repeated lines, for example, instead having their own twists on things.

 

And you couldn't LOOK at anyone, which is the first thing I do in LucasArts games, because it adds so much context (and usually a joke): How your character sees that person, etc. In TP all of that was missing... just like it was in MM. (Who the hell was "Doug" other than a character with a pun for a name, for example??)

 

I also didn't laugh much, but then I didn't expect to (this time around). I wonder if Billy is right and it's more to do with expectations.

 

Maybe in 5 years' time you'll give it another go and enjoy it like I just did... (Believe me, I didn't expect to enjoy it like I just have.)

 

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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7 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

So... I've long been someone who has voiced negative things about Thimbleweed Park. I backed the game on Kickstarter and loosely followed its progress. I even have an answerphone message recording in the game (1488). I played it when it was released and, taking my cue from CMI, started with "Easy" mode.

 

The game wasn't what I expected. Rays and Reyes were essentially the same character. The world didn't captivate me. It was filled with endless details (like massive libraries and phone numbers to call). It got better when Delores, Randsome and Franklin were introduced. I played it until the end and was just utterly let down by the conclusion. It felt like a non-ending. I've carried that memory around with me for 5 years.

 

With all the commotion around the announcement of Return to MI, my appetite got whet for a classic point and click. And for some reason, I decided to give TP another whirl...

 

This time I made little notes about the characters, their desires, and the central mysteries around the game. If there was going to be ANY pay off at the end of the game, I wanted to catch it.

 

To my complete and utter delight... I loved every minute of TP. Even the ending. It was so clever and interesting.

 

I don't know if it's due to me playing in Hard mode. Or if it's because I roughly knew how it was going to end, so I was more prepared for the type of game it was. Or if changes have been made since I first played it (I know several major patches were release: Adding the ability for characters to talk to each other, a hint system, and the arcade hall with playable arcade games). But whatever the reason... I FREAKIN' LOVED IT! Total perception shift.

 

(I think the new Hint system helps a lot, actually. I didn't use it THAT much, but I really appreciated it for some of the more obtuse puzzles -- of which there were a few.)

 

So anyway, what I'm saying it:

 

1. I was completely and utterly wrong, Thimbleweed Park is a fantastic game.

2. If you're carrying around a bad memory of it, like I was, I really suggest giving it another go.

 

I don't know why I had such a bad experience the first time around. I would say as a tip for any new players: Don't get bogged down in the endless details that fill the world (maybe turn off the injokes, and don't bother hunting around the phone book or library for hidden things). Ignore the specs of dust, too (they don't mean anything -- and you'll get an achievement for doing so). Just focus on the story and the characters. They're really rewarding.

 

Kudos to Gilbert, Winnick, Fox, Sandercock, Ferrari, et al. TP is a clever, modern successor to Maniac Mansion style games. I'm so glad I backed it!

 

That it all.

 

PS - Turn on the uncut Randsome dialogue when you get to the inner chambers of the factory at the end of the game. It's adds to the theme of the narrative :)

 

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it this time around! I also played it for the first time a few months ago, and I really loved it. I do think it has a lot to do with expectations, and I think I was prepared that it was going to be quite meta and a spiritual successor to MM. I don't know, but for having low expectations I was blown away by the details and story, and I actually found the puzzles to be some of the best. I found they were generally challenging, but I never felt annoyed when I figured out the solutions. I do think that finding out about it later and then being able to play it right away might have helped, as I didn't have years worth of expectations built up that didn't match the game I played.

 

In short, I played it because RtMI was just announced and I wanted to see a recent RG game, and after playing it I felt super confident that I'd love Return. I've been thinking about it a lot recently, and if I remove the MI series and ranked it next to the rest of the LA adventures then I'd rank TP right near the top after DOTT and Grim and just before FOA.

 

 

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Whoa! I really didn't expect this! Good for you for trying it again, and great for you that you're able to let loose on something that you dearly believed (and sharing it!)

 

I'm a bit jealous of you, because you backed the game! I didn't, because back then every aging game developer suddenly went to Kickstarter because of the Double Fine Adventure succes. (I did back Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded though... boy, did I pick the WRONG game to back.)

 

Anyway, it's great to see you turn around like this! And I'm thankful that you have another great game to add to your library. Kudo's to you!

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I had a similar experience with Broken Age. I was also a backer and followed the development with great anticipation, I remember every time a new backer update or DFA documentary episode dropped it felt more like a new Game of Thrones episode! Then came the game... split in two parts to make matters worse... and I felt pretty underwhelmed by it. It was just meh, no strong feelings one way or another. I think by then I was so exhausted by the development that I wasn't in the right mood to play the game anymore.

 

A few weeks ago I decided to replay it and I was able to have a fresh look at it, remembering very little about it. And it is a gorgeous little game, so full of details, a true labour of love. It is not without its flaws but at least this time I had feelings for it, positive for the things that worked and negative for those that didn't.

 

It's hard to understand how that game could leave me feeling so indifferent at the time. Expectations can really work against your enjoyment, I take it as a lesson to try to keep some distance with upcoming projects and our hopes in check.

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About the hint system... I ended up going to it quite a lot. And it wasn't because the puzzles overall were particularly difficult, it was more that...

 

Well, in the middle of the game the possibility space is just extremely large but because the game is split into so many parts, the particulars of what you should be focusing on at any one time are pretty small.

 

So there ended up being a lot of different locations explorable with a lot of different characters, and more often than not I just wanted to be told the thing the game wanted me to focus on next to progress the story. A lot of times, when I guessed what to do next and got stuck the hint system ended up telling me I should focus on something else first because I don't have what I need yet.

 

A lot of other times, it wasn't that I hadn't been clever enough to work out the puzzle - it was just that I'd not thought to look at one not-obvious thing in one room, and that was the thing that was needed. Or I hadn't used it with the right character.

The middle of the game feels very 'padded out' to me. There's not a ton of story happening, and not even any changes in scenery really - you basically have all the locations you're going to go to except for the factory pretty early on.

 

And that had a kind of impact on my relationship with the hint system. I stopped 'trusting the process' of playing an adventure game. That if I wander around enough I'll have an idea and I'll have that 'oh!' moment where I figure it all out. Because every time I'd call up the hintline, it would tell me that it's because a particular character doesn't have a particular inventory item that I picked up 4 hours ago, and forgot about in the bottom of another character's inventory, or because it wasn't time to do something I tried 2 chapters ago, but now it's time (I spent so long trying to figure out how to get that crystal, and it turned out the answer was ... wait until the end). Or because I didn't try to pick up something and walk out with it in the fortune teller's shop because THAT'S NOT HOW SHOPS WORK, geeze, even Monkey Island 1 understand this. Or because I didn't look at something on the 8th floor of the hotel because going up and down that elevator is SO tedious it makes me not want to explore. Or because I hadn't solved a different puzzle that I had no reason to think was important to prioritize yet.

 

Almost every time I called the hint line, I finished the call thinking 'yeah, I would have been wandering for hours before trying that', not because it was a clever solution, but because I really had been given no reason to try it as opposed to the billion other things in the possibility space I could be trying. And that was my core frustration with the puzzles, and the reason I ended up habituallly going to the hint system in the middle of the game.

 

As I mentioned, I had a much better time with the puzzles in the end game. None of them took a LOT of effort to work out, but they all featured a satisfying 'oh! I see!' moment that was desperately missing from most of the rest of the game.

Edited by KestrelPi
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4 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

Almost every time I called the hint line, I finished the call thinking 'yeah, I would have been wandering for hours before trying that', not because it was a clever solution, but because I really had been given no reason to try it as opposed to the billion other things in the possibility space I could be trying. And that was my core frustration with the puzzles, and the reason I ended up habituallly going to the hint system in the middle of the game.

 

I think what you described was the reason for the diaries/todo lists. I always returned to them and it gave me an idea of what I should be working on next. I don't recall ever going to the hint line unless there was something specific I just couldn't figure out.

 

4 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

Or because I didn't look at something on the 8th floor of the hotel because going up and down that elevator is SO tedious it makes me not want to explore.

 

You're not the first person to complain about the elevator, but I have to say after listening to the podcast where David Fox describes how much time he spent wiring up that elevator and trying to make it as realistic as possible, I can't help but love it. So much thought went into it that frankly I have no problems waiting for it, even though a simple double click could have made moving around floors much quicker. Maybe its their way of telling us that we need to slow down a little..

 

4 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

About the hint system... I ended up going to it quite a lot. And it wasn't because the puzzles overall were particularly difficult, it was more that...

 

Well, in the middle of the game the possibility space is just extremely large but because the game is split into so many parts, the particulars of what you should be focusing on at any one time are pretty small.

 

So there ended up being a lot of different locations explorable with a lot of different characters, and more often than not I just wanted to be told the thing the game wanted me to focus on next to progress the story. A lot of times, when I guessed what to do next and got stuck the hint system ended up telling me I should focus on something else first because I don't have what I need yet.

 

A lot of other times, it wasn't that I hadn't been clever enough to work out the puzzle - it was just that I'd not thought to look at one not-obvious thing in one room, and that was the thing that was needed. Or I hadn't used it with the right character.

The middle of the game feels very 'padded out' to me. There's not a ton of story happening, and not even any changes in scenery really - you basically have all the locations you're going to go to except for the factory pretty early on.

 

And that had a kind of impact on my relationship with the hint system. I stopped 'trusting the process' of playing an adventure game. That if I wander around enough I'll have an idea and I'll have that 'oh!' moment where I figure it all out. Because every time I'd call up the hintline, it would tell me that it's because a particular character doesn't have a particular inventory item that I picked up 4 hours ago, and forgot about in the bottom of another character's inventory, or because it wasn't time to do something I tried 2 chapters ago, but now it's time (I spent so long trying to figure out how to get that crystal, and it turned out the answer was ... wait until the end). Or because I didn't try to pick up something and walk out with it in the fortune teller's shop because THAT'S NOT HOW SHOPS WORK, geeze, even Monkey Island 1 understand this. Or because I didn't look at something on the 8th floor of the hotel because going up and down that elevator is SO tedious it makes me not want to explore. Or because I hadn't solved a different puzzle that I had no reason to think was important to prioritize yet.

 

Almost every time I called the hint line, I finished the call thinking 'yeah, I would have been wandering for hours before trying that', not because it was a clever solution, but because I really had been given no reason to try it as opposed to the billion other things in the possibility space I could be trying. And that was my core frustration with the puzzles, and the reason I ended up habituallly going to the hint system in the middle of the game.

 

As I mentioned, I had a much better time with the puzzles in the end game. None of them took a LOT of effort to work out, but they all featured a satisfying 'oh! I see!' moment that was desperately missing from most of the rest of the game.

 

BTW, I'm not trying to negate your opinion or anything, but after your experience with TP I would suggest some caution with having your expectations too high for RTMI. Obviously it's a different game, with a very different theme, but I do think that it's representative of how Ron views adventure games nowadays. Sure, he's probably learned a lot from TP and will be looking to make improvements on everything from interface, to puzzles, to story telling, etc. but as others have mentioned, expectations can really ruin one's experience and I would hate for you to be entirely disappointed.

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2 hours ago, madmardi said:

 

I think what you described was the reason for the diaries/todo lists. I always returned to them and it gave me an idea of what I should be working on next. I don't recall ever going to the hint line unless there was something specific I just couldn't figure out.

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.

 

2 hours ago, madmardi said:

 

BTW, I'm not trying to negate your opinion or anything, but after your experience with TP I would suggest some caution with having your expectations too high for RTMI. Obviously it's a different game, with a very different theme, but I do think that it's representative of how Ron views adventure games nowadays. Sure, he's probably learned a lot from TP and will be looking to make improvements on everything from interface, to puzzles, to story telling, etc. but as others have mentioned, expectations can really ruin one's experience and I would hate for you to be entirely disappointed.

 I'm not sure I agree. I went into this game with fairly middling expectations and found that they were met. Me being very lukewarm on this game is nothing to do with my expectations.

 

I do have higher expectations for RTMI, because of the approach they are taking to the game - they've talked now so many times about how they don't want it to be seen as a throwback, and that they're doing things they're not ready to talk about which make it something of an update on how the genre approaches interface. But not only that, half the problem I have with Thimbleweed Park as I think it was a really, really bad idea to have so many lead characters.

 

If it were my choice:

The agents probably should have just been rolled into one character. Their reactions to each other aren't THAT interesting, and in most situations their dialogue is identical.

Dolores and Franklin should stay about the same.

Ransome should have been removed from the game and fired into the sun, or turned into a minor NPC so the fairground location could be kept.

 

This would have made the number of characters to juggle much more manageable, and enabled them to work on the characterisation that much more. Heck if it were my choice I would have just rewritten the story to focus solely on Dolores (it practically does, anyway) and have the agents go away and stay away after the first parts of the game.

 

I'm excited for RTMI, much more than I was for this, for several reasons:

 

* One character with one inventory and set of objectives

* Collaboration with Dave Grossman, who with his experience I trust to be an asset both in the writing and in the puzzle design

* New approach to interface

* It's a Monkey Island game and I think Ron and Dave know how to make those

* Everything I've read about it makes it feel like this is being approached in a more collaborative way and I think that'll do it favours.

 

 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Lagomorph01 said:

While playing TWP I never used the hint system. I thought the puzzles were really well tweaked in difficulty (I played hard mode btw). I did use the notepads a lot and thought they were a good way of keeping track of everything. I didn’t find the item swapping very tedious either.

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

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3 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

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.

 

Hmm. Are you sure that's true? Once Safely First is open, what's stopping

Spoiler

Franklin calling and wailing?

 

 

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6 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

I'm talking about before it's open.

 

What journal item told you to try and get anything from Safely First? (I'm asking because it's all so fresh in my mind.) 

 

It felt there were a few times that the game artificially stopped me from progressing a particular line of puzzles... but in hindsight I don't think anything actually was. It just was I couldn't solve them, and the hint line suggested I don't bother until later in the story.

 

Don't get me wrong, I definitely think certain things could have been sign posted better. And I agree that the world was so vast and open to exploration that it was difficult to see where the narrative wanted to go. I think coming back with a rough idea of the overall storyline probably helped me this time around. Although I really just followed the character's motivations (and journals). Ie. I'd ask myself: What was the thing they were most invested in?

Edited by ThunderPeel2001
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6 hours ago, BeleG said:

It's hard to understand how that game could leave me feeling so indifferent at the time. Expectations can really work against your enjoyment, I take it as a lesson to try to keep some distance with upcoming projects and our hopes in check.

 

Yep. Actually Twin Peaks The Return is another good example of this: The second viewing was sooo much more enjoyable than the first time around.

 

I think we're all in for a bumpy ride with ReMI!

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51 minutes ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

What journal item told you to try and get anything from Safely First? (I'm asking because it's all so fresh in my mind.) 

 

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.

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4 hours ago, KestrelPi said:

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.

 

I don't know... I feel like you're advocating for a much 'smaller' and more streamlined game, when really it was the wide open world that I really enjoyed about the middle part of the game. Sure, sometimes I felt as if I wasn't sure what I should be working on next, but there was always clues in the todo lists that gave me plenty to think about and work on. If I couldn't progress in one line of puzzles there was always something else I could make progress with.

 

Also... it seems kinda strange to be spending so much time trying to get into Safely First when it was obviously closed. Right away I filed it away as "hmm.. maybe this will open later". One example of this (and I'm sure there are others) is in MI1 was when Stan's Emporium is closed when you first visit there, but opens later when you are in need of a ship. Sure... if you want to poke around and try to get into the bank there's nothing wrong with that, but no offence or anything, but it seems odd to be frustrated with it doesn't work.

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13 minutes ago, madmardi said:

 

I don't know... I feel like you're advocating for a much 'smaller' and more streamlined game, when really it was the wide open world that I really enjoyed about the middle part of the game. Sure, sometimes I felt as if I wasn't sure what I should be working on next, but there was always clues in the todo lists that gave me plenty to think about and work on. If I couldn't progress in one line of puzzles there was always something else I could make progress with.

 

Also... it seems kinda strange to be spending so much time trying to get into Safely First when it was obviously closed. Right away I filed it away as "hmm.. maybe this will open later". One example of this (and I'm sure there are others) is in MI1 was when Stan's Emporium is closed when you first visit there, but opens later when you are in need of a ship. Sure... if you want to poke around and try to get into the bank there's nothing wrong with that, but no offence or anything, but it seems odd to be frustrated with it doesn't work.

 

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.

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51 minutes ago, KestrelPi said:

 

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.

 

I absolutely had the same complaints on my first playthrough, so I do get what you mean. I just don't have them anymore! For some reason I really appreciated how well structured it is on this second playthrough. I saw the same brain that made The Cave (which I also loved for its structure). I'm really looking forward to Return now... (I mean I was before, but now I think Ron will have done something quite clever with it.)

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