Call of the Sea: A Classic Adventure

I picked this up at the Winter Steam sale and have just started it.

Norah Everhart is on an uncharted “island of death” alone, looking for her husband who disappeared in June of 1934 while on an expedition to find a cure for her unnamed disease.

Though the expedition was well supplied, she has only found small abandoned supplies and camps (so far).

In classic adventure style, she has a great journal which refreshes your story as you go.

She finds helpful notes left by someone. I liked this one so much, I put it in my own journal I always keep when playing such a game.

They might want to hire me for my drawing skillz on the next game…

My first real puzzle is this combination lock type totem. I haven’t solved it quite yet.

Simple controls:

WASD to move

Tab to open journal, up and down, left and right arrows to move around in the journal.

Move in close to get an EYE to look at items, or a Hand to interact.

Somehow I wasn’t paying attention when they said how to SPRINT. Oh well.

In true adventure game style, Call of the Sea maintains tension via the story itself, and the exploration of an unknown land where others have disappeared.

Serendipity! Double Fine On What Makes a Good Adventure Game

A day after I post my thoughts on puzzles in games, IGN has an article on Double Fine and their upcoming game Broken Age.  In the article among other things are what makes a Good Puzzle from the masters of puzzle making.

 

double fine ign

 

Also this morning, Gamespot provides a link to the GDC panel   Broken Age: rethinking a Classic Genre for the Modern Era – GDC Next   “Oliver Franzke, Lee Petty, Greg Rice and Tim Schafer from Double Fine Productions discuss ways in which they leveraged modern technology and methodologies to deliver a game that preserves the ideas and experiences core to the traditional adventure game.”

broken age panel

Puzzle Adventures

I loved all of the early RPG adventures I played.  I enjoyed the combination of story and puzzle.   Two of my favorite series have Kickstarters:

7th Guest: the Collector

7th guest kick

and from the creators of Myst a whole new game  Obduction   (just a few days left, jump in there NOW!)

obduction kick

I’d love to see these succeed not only so that I can play through a game written by developers who created some of my best game experiences, but because if you look for an “Adventure” game now you find a timed hidden picture puzzle game.  These have some plot to them but the action is constantly stopped with another hidden picture scene, and these become boring and repetitive (do you PLAY so that you can deal with boring and repetitive or would you like to leave that behind at the end of your work day?)

Let’s go beyond these and think our clever thoughts.   Here are a few things for you to read so that you too begin wishing for more clever adventures:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131326/designing_and_integrating_puzzles_.php?print=1      What makes a good puzzle game?  Classical Adventure Games.  Action-Adventure Games with an Emphasis on Action.  Mixed Action Adventure Games.   The Golden Rules for Integrating a Puzzle.  Integrating a Movement Puzzle.  Integrating a Goal Puzzle.

gamasutra designing puzzle

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/189266/The_technique_LucasArts_used_to_design_its_classic_adventure_games.php     Make it Bushy.  Work Backwards.   Too easy? Break Something.  Too hard? Branch Out.   Break up Story With Gameplay and Vice Versa.

gamasutra lucasarts

https://vagrantcursor.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/choice-vs-puzzles-in-adventure-game-design/    Examines the gameplay and puzzle choices in Telltale’s The Walking Dead

vagrant cursor puzzles

http://owlcave.net/2012/07/17/how-to-design-adventure-game-puzzles/    Puzzles should exist to provide pacing to the narrative….

owlcave puzzles

http://frictionalgames.blogspot.com/2013/02/puzzles-what-are-good-for.html    “A puzzle should make players to do something in such a way that they feel they came up it themselves.”

frictional Games puzzles

http://www.adventuregamers.com/articles/view/24000    If Not Puzzles, What?   Adventure Gamers “Three Pillars of an Adventure Game are Story, Exploration and Puzzles”.

Adventure gamers on puzzles