Action sequences in Adventure game, yay or nay?

  • #1, by TymorWednesday, 21. September 2016, 12:37 4 years ago
    Although the gameplay in adventure games mainly rely on puzzles , many adventure games have action sequences or minigames that instead requires timing or quick reflexes. From a developer standpoint I understand the need to add some action or real danger as well as spice up the gameplay but many play adventure game because they like pure thinking and do not find traditional games to be much fun. What is your opinion on this matter?

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  • #2, by ke4Wednesday, 21. September 2016, 13:27 4 years ago
    Well we have both action sequences and minigames in our game. I guess it's just a matter of taste. I prefer adventure games with this additional type of stuff.

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  • #3, by afrlmeWednesday, 21. September 2016, 13:36 4 years ago
    I think QTE are fine as long as you don't over-do it. Spice is the variety of life & all that & I guess overall it depends on the type of game you are developing & whether or not it fits in with the story-line.

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  • #4, by caligarimarteWednesday, 21. September 2016, 14:15 4 years ago
    If you have dangerous, timed Sequences, it might be very traditional but also frustrating if the Player can die and and old Savegame must be reloaded -- if your Game has Autosaves or the Player cannot die anyway, then it is no Problem anyway. But watch out that whatever the Player has to quickly do is in any Case something simple and obvious, or else the Sequence may become unnecessarily infuriating.

    As for Minigames, on one Hand the Player may think "I didn't sign up for this!" every Time a Minigame pops up, but then again I intend to insert Minigames into my Game, for which I initially did not want any Minigames, because I think they are a good Way to to bring in some refreshing Change in the Gameplay from Time to Time. Walking around to talk in Multiple Choice Dialogues and combining Items can get a little tiring after a While, and then I actually quite welcome a little Minigame.
    However, because of the very "I didn't sign up for this!"-Aspect, you may consider to make the Minigames skippable. This may be either entirely functional (press little X-Icon and it is simply solved), or be explained in the Game's Narration: In my Case, there is a Sequence where an Engineer inspects a Machine you give him and it spontaneously falls apart, so he asks you to help him to reassemble it, which you either do or you skip the Minigame, and then the Engineer will be like "oh well, I am sure I can get this done on my own...", followed by the classical "Three Hours Later..." and voila, it is solved -- it is basically "Narrative Cosmetics" and requires only a few Lines of Text.

    P.S.:
    If your Action- or Minigame Sequence requires alternative Controls, like Cursor Keys instead of Mouse Controls, make sure to mention this, like using a quick Tutorial-Text. In such Cases, always try to additionally offer a Way to control the Sequence with the Mouse as well.

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  • #5, by TymorThursday, 22. September 2016, 10:45 4 years ago
    Thanks everyone for your answers. My own opinion on the matter is this:
    I am okay with action sequences, but I often find them to be really flimsy in their execution. I can´t name many games where I found it to enhance the experience in any way.

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  • #6, by afrlmeThursday, 22. September 2016, 11:38 4 years ago
    Usually it's done to add tension. TTG's The Walking Dead for example was to add aditional tension on top of the player decision mechanic which was stressful enough (until you realize that ttg are only really tricking you into believing that you get to fully control the story).

    Timed puzzles & events are really just to add a sense of tension to the player & to control the players emotions. Sometimes it works & sometimes it just pisses a player off depending on how difficult the timed segment is.

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  • #7, by TymorFriday, 23. September 2016, 13:27 4 years ago
    I feel that episodic games, Telltales games in particular is a bit different since I do not feel that they are pure point and click games (not an insult) but rather some kind of narrative-action hybrid.

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  • #8, by afrlmeFriday, 23. September 2016, 14:10 4 years ago
    Isn't most things an hybrid of something else these days? TTG games tend to be a mix of area exploration via keyboard / left controller axis stick & mouse / right axis stick for pointing & interacting with items in a limited environment.

    Technically it's possible to create those kind of games with Visionaire Studio now as you can control characters with keyboard / controller since a recent update of VS - it's far from perfect though. Oh it's also possible to import 3D character models too.

    I myself, don't care all that much for action sequences; especially ones that require super quick reflexes - having said that I'm quite a fan of the Tomb Raider & Uncharted games - as I sometimes panic when a QTE comes out of nowhere & I end up pressing the wrong button.

    Memory / pattern based mini-games like the Stab mini-game in Red Dead Redemption was horrible for me as I have really terrible short term memory & yet I persevered & it probably took me about an hour to beat all the opponents - it was made especially hard as you had to press each button within a certain time limit. It did tell you what button to press, but I found that distracting as it defeats the purpose of a muscle memory game.

    As for the sort of games I like. I really like very story driven games that let the player tailor the games story-line with their in-game actions & dialog choices. I don't mind death in point & click games as long as it's not for every stupid little mistake (like in the old sierra quest games - I gave up on each of those in frustration). I much prefer a game with an interesting story-line & dialog as opposed to a point & click game full of inventory combination puzzles, sliding puzzles & often illogical puzzles that seem to plague the large majority of humor based point & click games.

    P.S: sorry for the epically long text again. [/rant]

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  • #9, by jmbmFriday, 23. September 2016, 18:15 4 years ago
    For an adventure i think action-sequences should be "forgiving". I mean, as long as the player does something, and not everything wrong, he should succeed. If it is not too hard it surely can spice up the gameplay.

    But for me adventures are mostly relaxing. Like Sudoku or the crosswords in the news paper (i really enjoy solving them after all the horrible news :x). I just don't want to get stressed while playing a P&C-adventure. So i'm not a fan of puzzles based on timing or action-sequences. But as long as there aren't to many of them, i can live with that.

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  • #10, by afrlmeFriday, 23. September 2016, 20:09 4 years ago
    I liked the timed dialog decisions in ttg's the walking dead series. It helped add a bit of tension to the game & made you feel like your split second dialog choices could affect how characters acted towards you, but as well know it ended up being a load of twoddle as you didn't really have control over who lived & who died except for a few of the more minor role characters (let's just call them redcoats).

    I recently played ttg Michonne mini-series & there was even a notification during the last segment of the game (x will remember that) - but will he really? I already forgot what it was & it was only a few days ago that I played the bloody game! grin

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  • #11, by TymorMonday, 26. September 2016, 14:38 4 years ago
    I have an additional question that is kinda related so I will not make a new thread for it:
    What is your opinion of sections of the game where the main characters is separated from other characters for an extended amount of time? For me good adventure games are in large part character studies/driven by their characters so to me they often appear a little dull.

    Examples of the kind of sections I am thinking of:
    - Fate of Atlantis, exploring the Minotaur labyrinth and Atlantis
    - Grim Fandango, the factory in year 3
    - Escape from monkey island, stranded on Monkey island
    - The whole of the original Maniac Mansion (kind of a grey area, since it does not have traditional character interaction)
    - Leisure Suit Larry 2-3, the jungle segments

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