And we’ve got a new game!
This game was good. You can tell from the style that it’s an early graphic adventure, though I won’t give any hints by telling you who published it. But like most graphic adventures of its day it was quite hard but very rewarding. It spawned an excellent sequel which in turn spawned an abysmal final chapter.
Name and developer, please! If you’re the first to get it right, I’ll totally share my muffin with you. Split it right down the middle. And it’s butter rum!
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers,
Now where is my muffin.
which also happened to be the best adventure game from sierra. All downhill from there..
Darn it Tom, this was the first one that he’s done that I recognized 🙁
Now I need to work on speed!
So downhill, in fact, that Gabriel Knight 3 was used as an example of the Death of Adventure games…
I kinda liked gk3, even though I did need lots of help solving it.
After seeing this name-that-game, I ran to grab a copy of the soundtrack: http://www.smc.sq7.org/gk1cd/ – man, that game has a lot of music! and man, what memories..
Whoa! Less than an hour later and there are five comments!
Tom, I’ll have your muffin tomorrow 🙂
Thanks for linking that article, Dave…obviously I couldn’t link to it in the original post without giving the game away! But I can also link to this article by Scott Bilas, which talks about the engine problems the game had:
I love adventure games as much as the next guy, but it it did seem that the effort to make the games “challenging” was to come up with far more obscure puzzles, as though this mitigated the fact that they became easier in the move to a mouse interface.
We have since become more relaxed about the whole thing. Other solutions have cropped up, such as multiple solutions to a puzzle or a systemic approach to inventory items. But, because of the aforementioned “Amber” problem, these aren’t really a part of the genre except in something like Ultima.
GK3 was not only had bafflingly stupid puzzles, it also featured the WORST voice acting in memory, especially Tim Curry as Gabriel, with a horrible faux Cajun accent that spewed obnoxious dialog EVERY TIME YOU CLICKED ON ANYTHING IN THE GAME. Gawd, I hated that title.
re: forced challenge factor..
If you look at what adventure games were originally – let’s say text adventures first, you could do things like “you’re in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike”, i.e. tons and tons of rooms which create a maze. This thing became really old, really fast, but still there’s dozens of games doing this same thing. Later on, it became a rule of sorts in interactive fiction that every room must have some function in order to be justified, and many of the recent masterpieces have killed off the whole idea of a “room”, and are dealing with “situations” instead.
On graphical side, the easy way to make games more challenging was to kill off the player. A lot. Try to get a copy of early space quest or king’s quest, for instance.. Another one was to make some puzzles pixel-hunting excersizes.
Now, if you rule all those easy things out, you end up with having to do some work. Which then leads to twisting some simpler puzzles to a bit more compilcated ones – yes, it’s work, but it’s still easier than coming up with some actual content. And the budgets were already over several million dollars..
The adventure game-making side of Lucasarts, may they rest in piece, advanced the adventure dramatically, and telltale is continuing on the tradition. Is the direction they’re taking the only possible one? That depends on what you expect from an adventure.
Telltale is mainly telling tales, they don’t want you to spend several evenings finding that one pixel to click, or guessing that one verb.. instead, they’re making games where they walk you through a story, stressing your brain just enough to make it feel like you’re involved with the story.
But what if you play adventure games because of the puzzles? Then you’ll feel out of place with these new games.
Whee, this ended up being quite a post.
The muffin was good.
The game was frustrating because I spent a literal month tring to figure out what to do next because the day would not end. Then I discovered that the game had a scripting error and I would need to start over again. Shelf level event unfortunatly…
Was a great game up until that point….