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Why First Person Shooters Beat Text Adventure Games 255

einstein writes "Old Man Murray has this commentary on why the adventure game genre lost out to titles like Doom, Quake, and why players would "rather run around in short shorts raiding tombs than experience real stories..." also provides an interesting look into the eyes of an adventure game writer." Ah, Old Man Murray - some of the funniest reading out there, in my book.
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Why First Person Shooters Beat Text Adventure Games

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  • If I had several hours to spend at my computer, text adventures would be fun. But when I sit down at my computer to play a game, I want instant gratification. Who has time to sit and think? I want to blow people away, or race down the road at 150mph with reckless disregard for the safety of others. Zork was a blast, but it just doesn't pump the endorphines as fast as Quake. Nevertheless, I still believe that text adventures could have a huge market. People still read books, right? Get some super-famous author (say Stephen King, Anne Rice, Michael Crichton, etc.) to write one. Don't make it software for people to buy. Keep it on the Internet (i.e. make money via advertising), throw in some new twists, and you are on your way to making tons of $$$. This seems to obvious to me. People would be playing it at work, etc. Nothing to download, except web pages. I really believe this could work.
  • What most people don't realise is that there's the address range #D9C0-#DABF reserved entirely to provide the address space for 256 large, jiggly breasted, pictographs.

    Silly me, I thought it was somewhere in the #BABE range.

  • I don't think OMM or the majority of posters here have made the correct assumptions. Yes, FPS games are gaining in popularity in contrast to adventure games, and there's a very good reason why.

    FPS games, unlike adventure games, are growth experiences.

    Those who characterize FPS games as "mindless" clearly have very limited experience with them. They ignore the vibrant communities that have sprang up around the id Software games, and focus on the "difficulty" of the silly puzzles that seem to be the sole reason for existance of adventure games. Frankly, I need more than puzzles to hold my interest. I need people.

    1. FPS games are easy to play, and very hard to play well. Ever seen a professional adventure game player? Playing Quake3 well means practice, and lots of it. You must master aim of course, and also movement and tactics as well, if you hope to beat the best quake players.

    2. FPS games, as a result of interconnected online play, often create entire communities of people - people that play together, talk together in IRC, and travel far to attend lan parties like Quakecon 2000. As often as not, regular FPS afficianados develop an identity that transcends the game itself.

    3. FPS games are competitive experiences - in other words, sport. People like sports. Hundreds of thousands of people compete regularly in leagues like the Online Gaming League, Cyberathlete Professional League, etc.

    There are other reasons, of course. But the bottom line, is that immersing yourself in the FPS scene is a far richer and more fulfilling experience than anything a solitary adventure game can ever offer. And that's the real reason FPS games are proving to be the more popular genre.

  • by Kitanin ( 7884 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @11:32AM (#786033) Homepage
    This continues, and eventually, the fish ends up in your ear as the result of a huge Rube Goldberg-style chain reaction. You never have to know it belongs in your ear; it just ends up there.

    Actually, IIRC, if you follow step by step (this happened, block it with this, now this happens, block it with this), the dispenser runs out of fish just before the last one. You have to think ahead a bit.

  • I'm coming at this from the stance of a long time gamer. What's been seen in the last few years with DOOM et al. is simply the prevalent choice of the bulk of the users coming in now, who on average, just are not as smart as those people starting out in the '80's.

    I was going to compare the difference in setting up a Win box and a DOS box, particulary as the things like Autoexec.bat and Config.sys drivers got to be more complex. Suffice it to say, it took a certain breed of individual to shell out 2-5K and then have a steep learning curve as well.

    Anyone able to get to the point of having there 'EGA 286 640K blah, blah' system running "Starflight" in 16 vibrant colors would have some mimimum smarts.

    Generally those that don't want to think didn't buy home computers. NOW you can brainlessly install 'Unreal' and go at it. Those that don't want to THINK after work (most of the world) can buy computers and use them for games.

    The shift in games to less cereberal is obvious when you stop to think that the point of W9x GUIs is to make computers usable to the less-clueful.

    One final note: Thinking games ain't going to die - they just ain't going to be big sellers COMPARED to the mindless games - simply because the common consumer now using computers has swamped out the (generally) smarter pioneers of yesteryear.

  • the same game played against human opponents becomes a puzzle when played against game-playing (AI) routines

    How about this? Single-player Quake is a game. Multi-player Quake is a sport. Single-player Quake III is a sport the way NBA Live is a sport.

    There is such a thing as Quake skill or ability. It's how Thresh got the money to buy himself not one [], but two [] dweeby web sites and I'm just posting on Slashdot. I think it's different from getting to the end of Pac Man or Dragon's Lair. Same thing for driving games. The spread of lap times at GPLRank [] convinces me that there's such a thing as sim racing talent.

  • In FPS, the game development is done by a Cathedral, made up of an exclusive bunch of high-tech priests, and professional wizards who are treated almost as Gods (e.g. John Carmack). Tha game advances through their implementation of ideas, and releases of games are few and far between. Especially innovative ideas.

    In Text-based MUDs, the game is developed by a Bazaar of developers (called Wizards, Imps(?), Admins(?), Gods(?)) and players. In a genre like LPmuds, players suggest ideas all the times as they progress up levels. When they reach the top level, they are given a wizard/development character where they can implement their own ideas into the game, based on their experience. The game evolves through the rapid development of small ideas from players suggestion, or from wizards implementing ideas on-line. Releases of these ideas happen early and often. There are a lot of bugs using this method, but once all these are ironed out, you have a game with much more depth, and breadth to its gameplay than the equivalent PC/console FPS. The development model is also a lot faster because there is no need for artist to render each new object which you want to place into the game. The MUD libraries (i.e. code) are often made available as Open Source and can be used to develop other games based on the same theme.

    As a result, there are 1000s of different games out there. On the one extreme are the hack-n-slash MUDs including ones like DOOM (called PKmuds), which PRE-DATE DOOM. And the other extreme are games which require loads of puzzles, and quest to solve. In the MUD world, multi-user interaction is the NORM, not something tacked on add at the end to take advantage of the Internet hype.

    The lowest from of these type of games (interactive wise) i.e. PKmuds, has much more greater depth than the highest form of the FPS equivalent. There is TEAM-work in PKmuds. This naturally follows on from the fact there is TEAM-work in ALL MUDs. The depth of TEAM-work far exceeds anything on DOOM-look-alikes (which, as already has been mentioned, is a late comer to this field).

    "The height of cultivation tends towards simplicity. Half-way cultivation tends towards ornamentation" - Bruce Lee.

    FPS are half-way cultivation. They spend more times on getting polygons into their scenes than on things which make a difference to GAMEPLAY. What is gameplay?

    As a game player matures, he will instinctively recognise what this is. Ask yourself this, why is a game like Chess so enduring although it is so simple?

    The MINIMUM characteristics which define a game, thats it gameplay. It does not matter how many polygons you have in your explosion. So long as someone can tell the difference between an explosion and a puff of smoke. This is why a mature player will recognise that a game like Nethack or AngBand is head and shoulders above Tomb Raider.

    Yes! The new comers to the field wont recognise the subtle differences. But they wont remain new comers for long if they keep playing. And if they do not, who cares what they think.
  • You are definatly right, some sort of story has got to be going on here and there to maintain interest for MOST players of a game like this. There would be the pure-breds who play it just to escape reality and they'll be sitting in their virtual room drinking tea not really doing anything. Most, however, are going to want to DO something.

    I think the most compelling aspect of this entire idea is that since it is a full multi-player environment set within realistic bounderies the players will in fact create the story. Since it is not real which really in this conversation boils down to the fact that you don't die by screwing up, people will be less hesitant to try out new things.

    Obviously some would turn to the criminal aspect, at the same time, think of how many wouldn't mind being a detective solving big crimes. I think it would slowly balance itself out, and create interesting stories all by itself due to the nature of human creativity, freed from survivalistic fears.

    So, you really would be able to enter the book/film/theatre/comic world that is so intriguing, without being limited to that book at any time. If you grow tired of whatever line of duty you are in, you can at least attempt to change it. If some person attracts you, you could run off with them. Things that the preset story type game would not consider or allow for.

    As far as perfection goes, I never suggested that the word Ultimate should be synonomous with Perfect. I suppose the two can be confused, but they do have their own quirks. I use the world Ultimate, because while it wouldn't be perfect, it could literally become whatever you wanted the Game to become.

    It would be interesting to see how research could be programmed into the Game, so that realities could become morphed over time.

    If you ever have the chance to pick up The Golden City (author escapes me at the moment, I'm not even 100% sure that is the right title for the first book in a series) it covers this very well. The book contains a alternate virtual reality world that people have access too. It isn't as comic book as Snow Crash, which to me is a good thing. I find the alternative to be much more interesting.

  • Oh yeh, this is flamebait.

    In the sense that people would rather believe the comforting lies that they've grown up with, yes I suppose it is.

    Oh... come on now... this is so clearly a troll... There is absolutely no basis to support this claim... Which peasants fled? from whom? why? what smelly hole did you crawl out of...

    There are several historical sources for this information, compiled in a historical book called, IIRC, "The Myth of Native Americans", although I can't remember the names of the authors. Try reading it sometime, it isn't prejudiced by liberal revisionists.

    You also said that the country was built on the "christian priciple" that hard work is its own reward... sigh... first of all, its called the "protestant work ethic".

    Which is what I called it in my original post.

    Its not a christian principle. Its protestant apologetics that allows for individuals to gain wealth, and still feel like they are going to heaven. It was an excuse... Its also a large reason that lutheranism and protestantism caught on as quickly as they did. They allowed people to accumulate wealth without the guilt that the catholic church placed on them. And yes, I realize that the catholic church is ridiculously wealthy, and abused their position causing the reformation.

    Wealth creation is not against any of the tenents of Christianity - where does is mention that being wealthy is a sin? The idea that wealth is a sin is a blatent lie spread by atheists and liberals intent on damaging the reputation of Christianity. Wealth creation is in fact fully supported by the Christian faith, have you ever read the parable of the rich man?

    And don't talk about Catholics as if they were Christians. They are most definitely not.

  • So is this a game or a puzzle then? When I lose to GNU Chess is this really any differnt than when I lose to a human on FICS?

    My take is that it's a puzzle if you can detect/develop a set pattern for which the program can be beaten. When the program can detect that you've found its weakness, and evolve/change to beat you by anticipating your exploit of it, it'll be a game again!

  • Subtitled foreign films have more text than your typical action flick. That doesn't make 'em novels.

    Metaphors aside, LucasArts and Sierra games use a graphic interface rather than a text parser. This necessarily reduces the number of things that the player can do, and leads to cartoon-logic puzzles.

  • Job #1 at OMM is to amuse you. Their example is amusing because Gabriel Knight's puzzle was so atrocious. And at the same time it makes a point. The rest of the puzzle one trudges through are less absurd, but they're still extremely one dimensional.
  • Please can moderators delete posts containing freaky gay shit

    How do you know that wasn't a female talking? I know loads of females who hate games produced in North America because all the men are repulsive.

  • Have people completely missed Bladerunner (the game that is), or? It's probably one of the best games I've ever played, just because it's not the "use fish in keyhole" style, but what matters is your decisions. Do you help the replicants or not? Is it morally right? Should you run away with the 14-year old replicant girl, leaving the others to their destiny? Should you hunt them all down? And so on. Basically, it's really a challenge for your intellect, not so much as your puzzlesolving abilities.

    I just wish some more companies could create games like this, because it's really the future of adventure gaming (i.e not puzzlegaming). I never think I've played a game that enthralled me quite that much (with the possible exception of Outcast).
  • Miriam Webster ( defines a game pretty well as an activity engaged in for diversion or entertainment. Soccer is a game, Fuzball is a game, and so is Nintendo World Cup Soccer, even single player. (hell even Solitaire is a game!)

    In chess, go, or pente (or all kinds of similar games) each move could be seen as a puzzle.

    You may not like games that focus mainly on puzzles, and maybe I don't like games that focus on blowing up avatars of other people (Which I do like, actually) but you're trying to redefine the word Game to exclude things that don't suit your tastes. punk. :)
  • I'm going to take a moment to rant a bit here. Several people have commented to me lately, in varying degrees of frothy fervor, how online communities of the text variety (MU*s) have changed. I wanted to take a moment to throw in some thoughts on the subject for those of you who care. And some of you do. Clearly.

    First of all, as with any community of people, real or virtual, things are going to change over time. They just are. Someone who's goals it is to change the natural progression (or regression, as the case may be) of time are not just attempting something futile, they're just not being realistic.

    Now, clearly, one might argue that the good ol' days were better, longer, faster, more (or less) intelligent, more (or less) sexy, or better informed than before. But isn't that always true? Isn't the grass always going to be greener? Pining away for times when The Internet was all Fresh and New isn't going to bring it back, is it?

    Now, I wouldn't even begin this topic if I didn't have some sort of theory as to why this is the case, or even why it pertains to this thread at all, so I'll get to that point now. The online communities of old have slowly but surely turned into social clubs. We don't go there anymore (and I definitely do still go there. I personally administrate no fewer than 2 at the moment), but instead to simply stay in touch with the folks we've come to know and love through their use over the years. In fact, some of the more reclusive places tend to (d)evolve into just a single social group! Those places lucky (or not) enough to have larger groups of folks hanging out on them might have as many as 15-20 such social groups, each with different interests and concerns, sometimes mingling, sometimes not. But clearly, the groups are not, in general, going to all get along with everyone in every other group, no??

    My theory as to why this is the case is exactly the point though. When a 13-24 year old seeks out 'action and adventure' or 'something immersive' to make them forget reality for awhile, they dont' go looking for a MU* anymore. In fact, I'd be pretty confident in saying that most of them don't even know what they are. Instead, they're in Q3A, Tribes, UO, EverQuest, Asheron's Call, some other multiplayer immersive environment that provides that fix OH SO MUCH better than a MUD ever could. This is the part where the over-25 crowd of die-hard MU*ers go screaming and running around yelling heretical things about me. You know what? Get a grip. Tell me how immersive MU*ing is for you anymore. I'd bet my pennies that all you use it for nowadays is a way to stay in touch with some social group you've accumulated along the way.

    Ah yes, one more final point. Some have also mentioned to me that they use them for romantic purposes still. There's so many prospective mates, there blah blah blah. Ok. Well, though I've no personal experience with them, have you tried things like Yahoo Personals? Holy hell in a handbag. Even providing only anonymous stats about yourself yields DOZENS of people, all within your geographical area, with similar interests, who want to meet you, within 20 minutes. I do have friends that are experimenting with this recently, and it makes using MU*s for romantic purposes look like chasing around a gnat with chopsticks.

    Alright, well... I've gone on long enough. I won't rationalize the quality or nature of this post. There are some folks out there who know where I'm coming from and what I'm getting at. If you don't agree, fine... but don't come bitching to me when you realize how fruitless your efforts to 'get back to the good ol' days' really are, and how many of the people you're trying to get to stay are going to leave through the draconian efforts you're making.

    end rant.
  • As far as worship of Mary goes, go back and read the introductions to the Gospels (in particulary Luke) where an angel (not the Pope) calls Marry 'Blessed among all women.' There is a large distinction between veneration and worship.

    Then how is it that in the Confessional, forgiveness can be granted through the invocation of either the Lord or Mary? Only the Lord can grant forgiveness, yet the Catholic cult seems to place Mary on the same level as the Lord, which is a heresy and a sin.

  • H2G gave birth to what is referred to as the most difficult puzzle ever: the babel fish.

    Hardly. The Babel fish puzzle walks you through, step by step. You have to do many things to solve it, but there's plenty of feedback on the sequence you have to follow.

    The really difficult puzzles are those where there's simply no hope of logically inferring what you should do. This happens just a bit later in HHGTTG, with a puzzle involving fluff and not tea and several other things. I got to this point, couldn't solve it, and checked a hint book. I then uninstalled the game, realizing that it would be just another game requiring you to try every permutation of verb and noun (or in this case verb noun noun verb noun verb) to solve a puzzle. Several years later I uninstalled the highly acclaimed Sam 'N Max for the same reason.

    The much-hated Myst is a great example of a game where being smart actually paid off. I rolled through Myst in something like 20 hours. There were several DIFFICULT puzzles, but if you paid attention and thought it through, there was an intelligent solution to every puzzle.

  • You have entered a dark chamber. You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

    But the Grue was far scarier than anything in Doom or Quake, because you never see it. It's as horrible and scary an your mind makes it out to be. Besides, if I want babes in my games, there's always Leather Goddesses of Phobos!

  • Let me explain it using my personal experience...

    Once upon a time, I disliked FPS games, because of the dumb violence. I've played adventures and strategy games. They were great and they still are. This was while I was a student.

    Now I spend all of my day in a firm as software developer. I come home late and have several other more important stuff to do than playing (and in addition I'm married now). This means, I don't have the time to spend hours on one game as it is necessary for playing strategy or adventure games as I don't have the time to read a novel anymore. When I have got some time left, it's just some minutes. In very rare occasions more than an hour, never more than two hours.

    Formerly I spend up to three hours on just one game of Command&Conquer or up to 12 hours on an adventure.

    Today I cannot afford spending such a long period of time on a game. When I play, the game has to be ended quickly. Solitaire games and Tetris got to boring. The only exciting games that are left are FPSs and Racing Games.

    So, for me it's more a question of time than a question of violence. I would appreciate a FPS like game without violence, but there aren't any.

    Have fun!

  • I have long felt that Spellbreaker was the best of the Infocom games, and probably the best adventure-puzzle game I've seen. But the text definitely does describe the puzzles very well - it's just quite subtle about it in parts, and requires you to put yourself in the perspective of the game situation more than most (where you can respond as a passive reader). This is really a goal of interactive fiction, so it succeeds.

    But yes, there are an awful lot of other puzzle games that are hard just because they're stupid, obscure, or poorly-described. I would put HHGTTG squarely in this category - it was moderately amusing, but the puzzles were largely very poor. The one where you're stuck in the dark place and it "lies" about the direction of the exit particularly stuck in my craw. And I paid about $40 for that game, at a time when I could scarcely afford it.

    As for Myst, the puzzles weren't really puzzles at all - the only one that required a logical leap was the floating chest. Everything else (and I mean everything) was simple extrapolation or lookup. Boring.

    The best piece of interactive fiction I've seen since Infocom (there are puzzles, but they're not hard and they're very nicely integrated) is Photopia by Adam Cadre. He had a Java ZIP interpreter on his site so you could play it straight from a browser for a while, but I'm not sure if it's still up somewhere. You can certainly download it from the IF archive and play it in an interpreter for your platform. Be warned that it's poignant and rather sad, and relates to a personal tragedy the author experienced - but it's very, very worthwhile.

  • Where did you hear that? Their site certainly doesn't mention anything about a cancel... Of course, it also mentions a Fall 2000 release.

    I assume you're referring to American McGee's Alice [] and not some other project.

    Anyways, there have already been several FPSes that included fairly advanced puzzle-solving -- Half-Life and, to a slightly greater extent HL:Opposing Force had quite a few puzzles to go with the gruesome slaughter. MDK2 was third-person, but managed to be a pretty good hybrid of puzzler, shooter and 3d platform game. Messiah was supposed to be a sort of shooter/adventure hybrid, but it turned out the biggest puzzle was getting it to run for more than a minute without crashing. And, of course, there's the "thinking man's shooter" games System Shock 1&2 and Deus Ex. They're no Grim Fandango, to be sure, but there's a lot more to FPSes these days than rocket launchers and blue keys.

    perl -e '$_="06fde129ae54c1b4c8152374c00";
    s/(.)/printf "%c",(10,32,65,67,69,72,
  • [native Americans] most probably arrived in the Continental US some time after the Vikings left

    It seems to me that the variety of artifacts that predate the second millenium indicates otherwise. The most notable ruins are, of course, in South America where entire civilizations are dated to prior to 1000 CE, but up here in North America there have been many discoveries made of tools and dwellings that date to before Lief Erikson made his longboat voyage.

    the curriculum is basically "Are you white? Then hate yourself?"

    Now that is indeed a shame because if history teaches one thing it is that there are no innocents. Virtually every race and nationality imaginable has its share of skeletons in the closet. It just so happens that some were more successful in their conqueests than others.

    Children should be taught in school that, yes, Europeans did do quite a number on the natives when colonizing the Americas and, yes, this was a bad thing, but this is the story of history. There is not one race on the planet that is not guilty of the same crimes. We must not forget that humanity as a species is prone to horrendous violent and despicable acts, but neither should we let that fact result in a defeatest attitude that attempts to slough off responsibility for our despicable acts.

    And also, within the sad story of history, there are also many, many acts of redemption, the genesis of the ideas of the hospital, of equal rights, of liberty. To teach one side of the story without also teaching the the other is to do an injustice to children.

  • by xianzombie ( 123633 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @03:01AM (#786072)

    Its got guns, action, good graphics, a storyline, and perhaps most importantly, a hot babe in tight clothes...

    What more does a male need?

    Ok, this is probably worthy of some flames....

  • by Malc ( 1751 )
    "Thanks to their television-atrophied attention spans, these casual gamers are mentally incapable of spending six hours trying to randomly guess at the absurd dream logic Roberta Williams has applied to the problem of getting the dungeon key out of the bluebird's nest."

    I don't watch much television as most of it's crap. I'm a software engineer... after a day (alright, and most of the night too) sitting in front of the computer thinking for my job, I don't particularly want to play cerebral game. I want a complete change of direction; a huge dose endorphins to clear the brain. I could go for a run, or something, but you have to admit the Q3 is a fun why to get the job done!

    Now I've heard that computer/video games cause(particularly in men) huge amounts of dopamine to be released within the brain. This is why certain games become so addictive: it's all about getting one more fix!

    I played a few adventure games when I was younger. The thing that bugged the most was the built-in life-time of the game. The more involved one got the game, the less time that one got to play it. I didn't have much money when I was younger, and so this was really quite upsetting. Before Doom, I played the Microprose games, as they were pretty open ended. Even Doom had a lifetime... after completing all the levels on Ultra-violence with just a shotgun, there wasn't much left to do until I went to university and discovered multi-player deathmatch! Quake2 was eventually installed on our computers at my first job as why to wake ourselves up during all-nighters. In the end, I've probably played that more than anything else (deathmatch only... the single player side was soon completed and forgotten about.) Although I've moved to another country, I still play Q3 over the internet with my friends that I used to work with... it has a social aspect too (it's good to laugh with friends, even though they're far away and you can no longer hear or see them.)
  • Probably the same reason why most people would rather watch TV than read a book. Less imagination/effort is needed in understanding your entertainment when you have everything setup in front of your face in moving pictures. I kinda miss the ol' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy text game myself. Progress...ain't it great? hehe.

  • Exactly what I was aiming to get at in the original post! A game that is so free of rules that it is created by the gamers themselves. If you get enough people together in an RPG environment plots will indeed form spontaneously. It might take a little nudging to get things started, but once they are on track the game could drive itself indefinatly.

    An interesting idea I had for a gaming engine that would cater to -many- different people who enjoy different genres would be an engine that allows multiple points of entry depending on your interest.

    Say you liked Descent: Freespace and you love flying around shooting things in a fighter. You'd enlist in a faction and start training the next day. Player two comes along, they don't care as much for shooting things day in and day out, they like to fly around and control the battle from a "safer" place. They could enroll in the academy and become staff on a major battleship. Many functions of the battleship would have to be computer controled, hardly anybody would want to join the game as a cook until the game fleshed out and the real RPGers got interested. So for a while many things would have to be automated, but before long you have would have a battleship that is practically full of RPGers each doing their function and taking orders from somebody.

    Take it a step further. Eventually the game would get big enough to allow more control, and those officers who were most respected could be promoted to be in charge of more strategic commands if they so desired. From there, they wouldn't really be involved with the nitty gritty details. They would simply order Battleship CCX-101 to such and such solar system for such and such cause. The twist here is that unlike Master's of Orion or whatever 'Emporor' style game you prefer, you would actually be giving orders to living breathing humans who possess intelligence and inguinity.

    Gone would be the days of issuing one line commands to your wing mates and watching the computer AI botch up yet another strike attack. Gone would be the days of ordering a fleet to a system and getting a bunch of numbers back telling you that you lost. You could watch the battle through relay video and moniter it as it is being fought by real humans on opposing sides.

    Such a system would be really fun, and could definatly extend far beyond the 'ordered' military set up I described. The concept could go all over the place. People on planets, scientists, mercenaries, traders, guys on street corners selling antiques to tourists. The game would be so much more fun because you would actually be defending something. There would be real players on that planet who have otherwise ordinary lives. Giving the command to surrendor wouldn't be such a thoughtless move anymore.

    Well, I think it would make for a wonderful game. As with all RPG type games you would need gamemasters somewhere. I think the best approach would be to distribute them among the players. Have them RP as well, with the purpose of creating missions for people, or giving reason to their gaming experience.

    I could go on and on...

    I think the single biggest appeal to me with all of this is taking good old fashionied RPG to the modern world of interconnection and real-time multiplay. We aren't quite there yet as far as technology goes, but we are getting close. The thing that appeals is the fact that most of the characters that used to be NPCs in paper and pencil games would become real players with their own missions and ideals. It would make for a much more realistic world since they wouldn't be extensions of your local gamemaster, however creative he/she may be.

  • For something close to that right now, try Square's recently released Chrono Cross. Two friends and I are playing this at the moment. We are all in roughly the same place in the game (the overall plot doesn't change) but we got here by completely different paths. The game has 44 chararcters that can be in your party! OK, I know Suikoden had 106, but I haven't played it far enough to find out if they have a profound effect on the story. I can say that they do in Chrono Cross.
  • Its probably the same reasons as to why people use GUI's and not CLI's - they look cooler.
  • by Tony Shepps ( 333 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @03:44AM (#786091) Homepage
    I love games. I hate puzzles.

    Text adventures are not games; they are puzzles. Games cannot be solved, only won.

    Single-player FPSes are puzzles that are so intricately molded that you can't tell they are puzzles. There is typically one solution ("kill the boss!"), but hundreds of ways to get to that solution ("Let's just use the pea-shooter this time!"). The more interesting single-player FPSes hide the nature of the puzzle by improving the AI to the point where you can't see any obvious patterns.

    Other single-player games become too puzzle-like when the AI is crap. In various incarnations of EA Sports' NHL series, for example, the game is fun until you find one type of shot that always works for a goal. At that point, you have "solved" the "game" because the goalie bites on your deke move (or whatever) every time.

    Multi-player computer games are GAMES. And in my very extremely humble opinion, gamers graduate to the point where computer AI is no longer interesting and the only solution is to add humans.

    This is why the consoles must eventually be netted; not because the net will become utterly ubiquitous, but because AIs will always be harder to make interesting than other humans.

  • rotl3'd for spoilerness? What's rotl3'd?

  • I appreciate your more thorough response. As a christian, I get edgy when I hear people talk about our "Christian Nation."

    Having read four books this year on US History (by Stephen Ambrose, and excellent writer), it's quite clear that our history is truly muddled with some tremendous leaders, noble ideals, amazing actions as well as some horrible actions and hypocritical leaders at times.

    An interesting note: during Jefferon's presidency, there was essentially taxation withour representation on the settlers living west of the Appalachian Mts. And that's a terribly sad occurrence of hypocrisy among some of our early leaders.

    OTOH, with the wealthy landowners, there were those who came because they saw a possiblity for a better life for them and their children; not so much greed as the desire to improve their life.

    Getting further OT; Jesus said to expect persecution, but He didn't say you had to stick around for it. Many from the early church agreed with that attitude when the fled Jerusalem to escape Pauline persecution.

    Well, anyhow, I agree that we both initially over-simplified the case. The history of the US can't be categorized as simply "Good" or "Bad".
    D. Fischer
  • And where did the Catholics get all those books and scriptures? By ransacking the homes of pious and learned Jews in pogroms.

    Yeah, all those mean Catholics stole all those Christian books that pius Jews were hoarding throughout the millenia. Sure. Whatever.

    The standardization of Scripture happened at a point before the Catholic Church gained any sort of meaningful political power.

  • I don't agree with this. Games are for playing, not winning. Contests are for winning. They are not one and the same.
    Some people play games to win. Some people play games to experience the game, much like you read a book or watch a movie, except it's interactive. Some people do both. For the second type of gaming, the AI isn't as important - you're not trying to beat the computer, you just want to see what happens when you do something.
    This is not to say that AI is only important in contest-like games. Good AI in adventure games could make them far better (good enough, and they could actually be real role-playing games). But Baldur's Gate is fun without good AI. Planescape: Torment is among the best games I've ever played, and it has nearly as poor AI as Baldur's Gate. Whereas Counterstrike against current AIs would most likely be fairly boring.
  • I have for this opinion is that the apostles and other witnesses often contradict one another. In the Bible but even more so when you go outside the (reviewed, edited, published by established Church authorities) Bible for evidence. So how can they be reliable witnesses?

    The key points are: (1) there are only 'other witnesses' if one goes outside the accepted tradition of the Church and (2) the only significant contradictions (contradictions pertaining to theology rather than matters of fact) occur with extra-canonical sources.

    So what's my point? Simply this, one can only make coherent sense of Christianity if one assumes that the apostles were valid witnesses (although, strictly speaking, one could also make coherent sense of the morass of extant documents by choosing any one school of theology and sticking with it as the rule to judge everything else). If one doesn't make a judgement call on who has the 'correct' tradition the teachings of Jesus are so contradictory that any attempt to make Jesus into a wise man like Gandhi or Sundar Singh or Buddha is doomed to failure on the sea of contradictions.

    It is a simple matter as to how the apostles could be faithful witnesses given that there are contradictory accounts of Jesus' teachings outside of the party line. The other accounts could simply be wrong.

    My contention is that the Church in the first century, having known Jesus and having known the apostles, was much better equipped to make such a judgement call than I am two thousand years later when the only evidence is on manuscripts copied (and edited) by hand for generations prior to the copies we've found.

    I would love to continue this conversation via email if you please. lee . malatesta @ yahoo . com. Leave out the spaces.

  • I have always thought the Ultimate Game myself would be a massive online Star Wars Universe where we can all try to take out DeathStars, lead rebellions, go spying.....whatever we want (pod race to make money, kill innocent bystanders, join Jabba, be a bounty hunter). If the infrastucture was capable of dealing with a million players and the games wouldn't collapse after a few years or so I reckon we could soon see newspapers publishing little tit-bits of news on the war of the Alliance V the Empire.
    So how long before Lucas Arts are ready to bring all their Star Wars games together into this beast and would you play?
  • Personally I fail to see how a man lusting after a man in tight clothes is any less clean than a man lusting after a woman in tight clothes. Lust is lust is lust. If a man lusting after a man is sinful, a man lusting after a woman is also sinful.

    Therefore, I'm confused why you don't request that slashdot moderaters mod down posts that condone male/female lust.

  • Its not a christian principle. Its protestant apologetics that allows for individuals to gain wealth, and still feel like they are going to heaven. It was an excuse... Its also a large reason that lutheranism and protestantism caught on as quickly as they did. They allowed people to accumulate wealth without the guilt that the catholic church placed on them. And yes, I realize that the catholic church is ridiculously wealthy, and abused their position causing the reformation.

    Not quite. It's called the "Protestant ethic", as has already been pointed out, but it should actually be called the "Calvinist ethic", as it doesn't occur in any other protestant form of Christianity. It's also not quite just an excuse to get filthily rich. Originally, you could be a good Calvinist and be as rich as Bill Gates, but there wasn't anything you could do with your wealth, as all the fun stuff was considered sinful.

    The real reason Calvinists believed in this work ethic is the doctrine of predestination. According to this doctrine, God had already decided who would go to heaven and who would be eternally damned (the vast majority of people) at the start of creation. Material wellbeing was one of the signs that you were one of the chosen few, so, as a result, it was a *good* thing to gain enormous wealth. Maybe you were one of the chosen, maybe you weren't (only God knew tat), but it didn't hurt to make it at least *seem* as if you were by going for large amounts of cash.

    However, good deeds were also a sign of being one of the chosen, and hence it was also advisable to give away a large portion of the wealth you had acquired to charity.

    So it's not as black and white as it's often made out to be. Furthermore, Calvinism has only been prominent in American WASP culture, British dissenters, parts of Switzerland and France and the northern part of the Netherlands. Catholics, Lutherans and all the rest do not share the protestant ethic.
  • i guess that i am just in a troll feeding mood.

    so i checked Amazon for the book "The Myth of Native American's" and there were no references to books that remotely fit the description that you gave. if you could please point me in a direction that i could locate this tome, I may give your arguments a little credibility.

    and i distictly remember the bible metioning that "it is easier to pass a a camel through the eye of a needle than it is to get a rich man into heaven".

    I dont know why you think that catholicism isnt christian, but by your actions and attitudes, maybe you should be asking if YOUR the one who is truly Christian, and not blindly discriminate based on a religion that you dont understand.


  • Too many game creators fail to take advantage of the value of a good creep-out.

    The best part of Doom I was the series of cubicles where you didn't know which, if any, had a CacoDaemon hiding inside. Playing that scene in a darkened cubicle while working third shift on a help desk certainly raised the hairs on the back of my neck.

    Suspense is the key to enthralling play in any media whether it be FPS or text adventure.

  • by hugg ( 22953 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @05:43AM (#786108)
    You are in a texture-mapped, shadow-mapped, Bezier curved hallway. There are obviously a lot of polygons being pushed here. Through the volumetric fog you see a pink monster.

    You are carrying:
    a brass lantern
    a shotgun
    a pile of junk mail

    The pink monster attacks!

    >kill monster with all
    brass lantern: The pink monster howls with pain!
    shotgun: The pink monster howls with pain!
    pile of junk mail: Your thrust is blocked, and the pile of junk mail breaks in two!

    >hi, monster
    The pink monster tips his hat to you.
    The pink monster emits a hideous scream, and ends your life with one fell swoop of his gigantic claw!

    -- END OF SESSION --
  • Actually, a needle in the context of that quote was a stone structure found at the outer edge of many fields in Biblical times(and no, I don't remember its exact purpose). A camel could fit through such a needle, but only with great effort.

    You've been lied to.

    There is absolutely no reference to a structure like you mention being called a needle. Nor is there a gate in the wall of Jerusalem refered to as the eye of the needle. Both of these are fictions that first appear in the medievel time period to make Christianity more palatable to rich people.

    You can get more info on this untruth and other s in David Downing's humorous volume What you know might not be so: 220 Misinterpretations of the Bible []

  • Imagine that you had never heard of a babel fish, or what it does -- how the hell are you supposed to know that, in order to advance in the game, you have to enter the command 'PUT FISH IN EAR'?

    (spoiler ahead)

    You never have to enter that command. There's a babel fish dispenser in the room and not much else of interest. You're sitting around with nothing to do, so you try pushing the "Dispense" button.. It shoots out a fish and it goes right into a hole in the wall. So you put your gown on a hook on the wall and try again, and the fish hits the gown, goes down its sleeve, and into a drain. This continues, and eventually, the fish ends up in your ear as the result of a huge Rube Goldberg-style chain reaction. You never have to know it belongs in your ear; it just ends up there.

    Plus, your character is carrying a copy of the hitchhikers' guide itself, and you can type
    and it will tell you all about them.

    You really shouldn't have taken such an authoritative tone with such blatantly incorrect information.
  • Since when does church attendance equal religion?

    Attending Church does not, in and of itself, equal religion, but attending Church is one (among many) good indicators of whether a given individual (or society) is religious.

    I am a Christian, but I don't go to church. I think I can get more on my own than from a church.

    This individualistic attitude runs quite contrary to scripture. The analogy of the believers being a body is used time and time again in the New Testament. The purpose of this analogy is to show that Christians need each other.

    Churches are for people who either don't know enough about the religion to practice on their own, or don't want to think for themselves and follow like sheep.

    The Bible teaches otherwise. Scripture teaches that all spiritual gifts (such as pastoring, teaching, healing, etc.) have been given for one purpose, the building up of the body. These gifts have not been given for the building up of the individual, but of the body. Christianity is inherently a team sport, not an individual sport. This is why we have assertions like that of Paul's in Corinthians where he makes the outrageous claim that if any Christian is hurting, all Christians are hurting.

    The Church is not an organization with walls and congregations. There are no priests, pastors, or whatever you want to call them. It consists only of people who can think for themselves and choose to follow Jesus.

    The Bible puts forth a different claim. Paul mentions the positions of deacons, priests, and bishops by name throughout his letters. He goes on to detail (in some places) some of their responsibilities and the qualifications of people fit for the job.

    There are two aspects to the Church, the Church militant and the Church triumphant. The Church militant consists of all believers present on this earth and the Church Triumphant consists of all believers that are now in heaven. To say that the Church militant does not have boundaries and does not meet in buildings and does not have people that were given by God to shephard people into a fuller relationship with Deity is to deny the validity of the scriptures that your faith in Jesus are based on.

    One can be a Christian without attending a Church, but individuals on their own will seldomly grow into mature Christians. This is similiar to open source software. Given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow. Well, given a body of believers, all sins are shallow. Together we can build each other up and help each other achieve the full and abundant life that Jesus promised for his followers. Alone we are limited to only what we ourselves can achieve which in most (but not all) cases is not very much.



  • Did Dennis Miller start writing for Old Man Murray? I think he is pretty much spot on, though. Adventure games became insufferably stupid. Infocom was the only company making witty, intelligent games, but they didn't adjust with the times, and computing power was not sufficient in the eighties to create an immersive, graphical world with substantive characters and meaningful ways to interact with them. Some of the most important communication humans have with one another are subtle, like body language, but no one has been able to put this into a game that I am aware of.
  • Choosing an awful example from a single product, the author indicts an entire genre. Sure, bad adventure games are bad. But so what? So are bad shoot-em-ups.

    In the 80s, the attraction to photorealism, which sucked up too many resources to leave room for any game, was undeniable. In time, however, Moore's law makes it possible to step back again, and perhaps we will someday see an article ridiculing the "brain-dead" gib-hunting of Doom, arguing that the raw shoot-em-up killed itself.

    But neither view is fair to either genre. At a time when photorealism in personal computers was a laughable goal, adventure games were the place for an artist, and therefore a gamer, to be. Suggestive (as opposed to representational) graphics added something, but the text was how we painted images in "those days."

    Some artists were oblivious to the problems of "dead ends," ludicrous obscure non-puzzle puzzles and improbable (sometimes indefensible) prose. 90% of Text adventures are crap. But that's OK. 90% of everything is crap.

    Now, we confront again the possibility of overcoming the oxymoron "interactive fiction" with new genres that are not text adventures, not RPGs and are not shoot-em-ups -- yet draw from all that is good in each. But the artists really haven't stepped to the plate. When they do, we'll see magic that will make last year's genre seem old and obsolete. (Indeed, studying the traits of that oxymoron provides a far more plausible explanation for the relative success of these two genres.)

    In the meanwhile, let us evaluate the artist within their media, and the context of what their machines could do -- and appreciate what was wonderful in every game.
  • Ad rickadams/adventure/index.html">Colossal Cave [] (Don't ask me what slashdot is doing to links today. Its not written like this in my comment, but it appears to work despite being mangled)

    The original text based adventure game by Woods and Crowthar for those of you looking for something to do at work. A variety of binaries and source code for a variety of versions of the game are available for a wide variety of platforms.

    Also maps and hints.

    I played this game a lot on my Kaypro64. Unfortunatly the game crashed when you relesed the vial to kill the slime. At the time I didn't ha"ve access to walkthroughs or maps or anything. I didn't realise how close I was to beating the game until I looked through some of the stuff on this site and downloaded current non crashing versions.

    Ah nastalgia!

  • Was that the one about the painfully bright light stabbing at the front/back of your eyes? I found it particularly nasty b/c it required more retention. You had to remember exactly what the descriptions were (beyond the typical 2-3 moves) to notice the clue. Doesn't that merit a real challenge?

    It wasn't the Dark puzzle in general that I objected to, but specifically a feature of the Hearing component (I think) - when you "Listen" it tells you that you can hear an exit to port. When you try and go that way you can't, and after trying all the directions (assuming you don't just give up and feed the game disk to your garbage disposal) you discover there's actually only an exit to south - as you exit it says "I lied about the exit to port". Uh-huh.

    There are other examples of Adams's desire to merely frustrate, like the Babelfish dispenser running out just as you trial-and-error your way to the solution (which is the only way to reach it). That one means you must quit and restart the game, hopefully from a saved position, and that's a real no-no IMO (requiring the player to know something in advance based on a previous playthough - something the character couldn't know). That kind of Murphy's Law stuff is funny (maybe) in a novel, but not for long in an interactive game, and HHGTTG is full of it (Bureaucracy is even worse, which sealed my opinion that Adams should stay away from authoring computer games). The only time a game should be frustrating is when you can feel a solution just beyond your reach, intuitively knowing that you've been given just enough information but not quite making the leap (yet).

    I didn't mind the Infidel ending too much, but then it had already been spoiled for me by a letter to The New Zork Times. Even so, it was fitting because the character was supposed to be a nasty piece of work, and he got what he deserved. My real problem with Infidel was that I played through the whole thing on one quarter, so to speak - the puzzles were so logically obvious that I never died or got even momentarily stuck (well not strictly true, I allowed myself to do the wrong thing at the point where you have to put the pole across the doorway because I wanted to see what would happen :). And I still haven't played AMFV mostly because of reviews like yours above, though I keep meaning to check it out one day anyway.

  • Does FPS stand for first-person shooter or for frames per second? Sounds like they're directly related to each other.
  • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @05:53AM (#786132) Homepage Journal
    Rather than type
    "turn left", "open door", "blow motherfuckers' heads off"
    Most of us would rather , ,

  • It seems to me that a large part of the reason for bogus scenarios like the Gabriel Knight 3 one listed is: lack of playtesting.

    There are numerous stories back in the Zork days of players playing Zork and thinking of something that the designers never thought of, and the designers going back and fixing things to make them better. For example, instead of grues, Zork originally had bottomless pits. If you wandered into a dark room without a light, you had a good chance of falling into a bottomless pit. Players soon pointed out, however, that if there was a bottomless pit on the second floor of the white house, you'd probably be able to see it from the first floor. Hence the invention of the grue (notionally, the 'dungeon master' went around the whole dungeon filling up the bottomless pits, but this displaced the grues, who now wander the darkness looking for food.)

    Another such example was the troll. As everyone knows, the troll had an axe that he would attack the player with. Players complained that when they killed the troll, the troll's axe would disappear too, and finally the designers said 'ok, ok, you can get the troll's axe now.'-- of course what they did was just code up the axe as another weapon. However, then one of the players said 'great, I can get the axe now, I'm going to go to the forest and chop down the trees.'

    The point of this all being: designing good adventure games is Hard; you're Not Going To Think Of Everything. Best to let independent eyes and brains work on it for you some; you'll find things you never would have thought of.

  • Huh... never heard of Elite and its two sequels? THAT was exactly what you mean. THAT still is THE ultimate game. If it went online multiplayer and with 'modern' gfx it'd be a true revolution.
  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @03:57AM (#786143)
    I have loved playing Zork, and all of the Monkey series, Day of the Tentacle, along with Grim Fandago. Some of the best computer games around and definately some of my most favorites. (Gee most Lucasart's games ;-)

    But there are reasons WHY I play Quake TeamFortress, (now Quake 3 CTF) every weekend.

    a) Adventure games are linear. Everything is brand new the first time through. Replaying the game again is like re-reading a favorite book. You know exactly what is going to happen. (And yes, FPS are repetitive, no argument here.)
    Adventure: 0, FPS: 0

    b) Adventure games are usually solo. (Allthough I had one of my best friends over when playing the Monkey Island and Grim Fandago. It was like watching a good movie together.)
    Adventure: N (lots of fun to play) FPS: N (where n = # of players in game ;-)

    c) There isn't any teamwork in an adventure game. I'd say this is the only reason I keep playing FPS's. Deathmatch gets boring pretty fast (Doom/Quake junkie) so team play is what keeps things fresh. Diablo 2 single player is awfully repetitive, but hardcore co-op is certainly a blast (pun intended.)
    Adventure: 0, FPS: 1

    d) FPS can be played for just a few minutes. Only have 5 minutes for a quick game? No prob. Adventure games take a "while" to get into the mood. I remember playing Thief ONLY late at nite, whereas Quake3 most of sundays :-)
    Adventure: 0, FPS: 1

    So on a purely articial scale, FPS's "win" - just barely. Doesn't mean adventure games aren't just as good. FPS just happen to be more "convenient" to the mass-gamers.

    I would say the social settings is the main reason FPS's are more popular. Massive Multiplayer games (like UO, EQ, Diablo 2), and FPSs clearly show that people just want to "virtually hang-out"

    Here's an interesting thought: that Thief 1/2 is a FPS "adventure game", but yet I still enjoyed it. Maybe today's adventure games are morphing?

    Aside: Woohoo, Monkey Island 4 is in development.

  • If you think about it though, compared to the FPS that are available now, the Sierra games were "text" adventures, even though they were graphical.

    First Person Shooters have little text, almost no text and Sierra games, although there were graphics on the screen, most of the time, the text did the story telling.

  • I think perhaps the ultimate game (which does not exist yet) is a game with absolutely no plot, yet so complex that it could be confused with reality.

    Why not just go outdoors?

    But all facetiousness aside, what you suggest is anathema to what I look for in a game. Which is simply the same sorts of things I look for in a novel. A compelling story, believable and interesting characters, immersive environments. That's why I've been a fan of Japanese-style RPGs for so long. There, you can find the sorts of things that make books, theatre, movies, what-have-you so enjoyable.

    But I don't think they're perfect, either. What I would personally like to see is a game of the Japanese sort, but with many divergent storylines that depend on choices the player makes. Sure, this would be relatively difficult to accomplish, but the focus here would be on the writing, rather than the programming. Such games are possible right now.

    It still wouldn't be perfect, of course, since not everyone likes that sort of game. but who cares? Instead of striving for "perfetion", let's just aim for "damn cool".

  • How about a fast-paced game of tag or hide-and-seek? The characters could be very athletic with cool levels to do gymnastic moves and dodges on (high-dives to underwater hiding places, nets and tightropes, cliffs to climb, etc.)

    Or instead of tag, a race to collect the most "coins" or whatever, with ways to "trip" your opponent or mess up his path by cutting a rope bridge, etc.

    "Free your mind and your ass will follow"

  • by tenzig_112 ( 213387 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @04:36AM (#786153) Homepage
    You are now in a large room with steel girders supporting an arching ceiling with walkways to the NORTH and to the EAST.

    A guy dressed in green with the handle "WrathMonkey" stands ten yards in front of you with a large shot gun.
    >:Change weapons
    I don't know what you mean.
    In your sack of plenty you have:
    1. Pointed Stick
    2. Nail Gun - 100 Rounds
    3. BFG - 1 round
    You are now holding the Nail Gun
    >:Gib the green guy.
    I don't know what you mean.
    >:Shoot the green guy with the Nail Gun
    That won't work. Try something else.
    >: Load ammunition.
    >:Shoot the green guy with the Nail Gun.
    OK. The green guy is now dead. I hope you feel good about yourself. []
    /. does not own this

  • Wealth creation is in fact fully supported by the Christian faith, have you ever read the parable of the rich man?

    Do you mean the parable where the rich man dies and goes to hell, while the beggar (Lazarus) that sat on his doorstep goes to heaven?

    Or perhaps you mean the parable of the rich fool where the rich guy dies, faces God and is condemned.

  • When movies first had sound, the old silent film actors would talk about how all that talking got in the way of the "real" acting they were doing.

    When movies first got color, plot was secondary to epic sized sets and retina burning colors.

    If 3D movies had ever become as ubiquitous as their flat brothers, they might have risen above all that sticking stuff in your face.

    As the new kid on the block, the current FPSs focus on how the new technology differentiates itself. Given time, these games will become more about plot and strategy than the fastest action your hardware T&L can deliver. If you compare Quake and Unreal to Deus Ex and Half-Life, you can see the evolution starting. There will always be a market for brainless, fast-paced killing, but it is way to early to judge what the FPS genre is capable of.
  • To be honest, I consider it more of a "devolution". The early graphical adventure games were simply text adventures with graphical backdrops. The parser was still text (or mimicked text, in the case of the Lucasarts games), it's just the descriptions that were more visual.

    Later iterations of graphical adventures have sacrificed their complexity for ease of use. A typical Sierra graphical adventure game has a set of perhaps seven mouse-icons (representing actions from "look" to "use") which can be clicked on an object or piece of scenery, or a short combination thereof. This has led to their games becoming little more than clickfests-- if you're stuck, just "use" everything in your inventory on anything in the scenery window. That has led to the absolutely ridiculous "puzzles" that we've seen in the later Sierra adventure games (Gabriel Knight 3 being a prime example). Similarly, reaction times and "pixel hunts" have become even more popular: King's Quest VII includes several "puzzles" in which the player must click upon an arbitrary location within a short period of time, or die.

    It's kind of ironic that Lucasarts has abandoned this "evolutionary" path, with the production of Grim Fandango and the upcoming Monkey Island 4. It's amazing just how many people refuse to play a game that doesn't use the mouse. The characters react to the movement keys, with none of this effete pathfinding stuff. Usable items and locations are discovered when the character passes close by, eliminating the ages-old "flail the cursor until something highlights" schtick.

    So what's Sierra done recently, to push the adventure genre further? Fake mustaches for disguises that shouldn't need them, and Masonic handshakes. Oh, yeah, and the shooter known as King's Quest VIII.

  • I know that I still miss playing the Zork series, and other classic text games like that. One of my favourites, however, was The HitchHiker's Guide To The Galaxy, based on the novel by the same name. It was a great game that followed the story faithfully, while leaving some new things to do for people who weren't familiar with the story.

    Unfortunately, this caused a lot of problems. Why? H2G gave birth to what is referred to as the most difficult puzzle ever: the babel fish.

    Imagine that you had never heard of a babel fish, or what it does -- how the hell are you supposed to know that, in order to advance in the game, you have to enter the command 'PUT FISH IN EAR'?

    That's the problem with text-based games -- unline games such as Monkey Island, there aren't any visual clues as to what you do next. You have to rely on your wit to get you through to the next puzzle.

  • I don't think adventure games are dead - as far as I know Ultima Online is doing great with thousands of people paying them ten bucks a month to play.

    I haven't played Ultima Online so I could be wrong, but I wouldn't describe UO as an adventure game, certainly not in the sense that Old Man Murray usedt. UO is a descendent of games like Moria, rather than true text adventure games like Zork.

  • As someone who long ago played both Scott Adams and Infocom adventures (yes I'm THAT old), there's something to be said for both reasons for puzzle-style adventure gaming dropping off.

    (Note: NOT Dying, just pining for the fjords. Go to the Interactive Fiction archives [] and see that a great many tools have been developed for people to write their own adventure games, and many have. It's almost open-sourcey, in fact...)

    By the way, who remembers the Scott Adams adventures? What a parser those things had! Could only accept one or two whole words at a time, and any sort of mistype would befuddle the poor stupid little thing.

    Infocom's parser started out good and evolved over time to be phenomenal. Under Infocom's z-machine parser, I was always tempted to write an adventure in which the player would have to 'light the light light blue light' and I have faith that the parser could have handled it, damnit!

    But enough of me geezing...

    On the one hand, Gamespot is right that the FPS had more sparkle, more action, more color and flash. Even the original Quake, half of whose color table was shades of 'mud,' had more pop than even the fanciest *text* adventure.

    Much the same way it's advertising's job to be seen, so it is with games. They need bigger explosions, bigger shocks, and bigger enemies to draw players from their competitors' bigger explosions, bigger shocks, and bigger enemies. The text adventure, never equipped to deliver that kind of flash-bang, fell by the wayside or got replaced with the graphic versions.

    (And as long as I'm going to geeze, I might as well toss in that the violence isn't the problem: it's that the videogaming industry is trying to play to an audience so infovoracious, so dependent on that flash-bang, that they could be diagnosed as attention-defecit. To further back up my point, trust me on this one: I've seen preschoolers sit down at a computer and start machine-gunning the mouse on whatever program is running, just to get the computer to do things quickly. They're not learning how to use the computer because they don't have the patience to learn. They just want to get on to the next image as quickly as possible. And come to that, the teacher in that classroom didn't have the patience to learn it either...)

    On the other hand, Old Man Murray has a point too: some of the games started getting too fancy-shmancy for their own good. Some of the later adventure games, in an attempt to be more clever, completely lost their credibility.

    It doesn't help that I hold Sierra, the company that put out Gabriel Knight (among others) in low esteem. It wouldn't surprise me if that disguise puzzle quoted in Murray's article was something concocted by middle management.

    Games like Myst and Riven helped carve the puzzle game a new niche from the text adventure... and it helped that Myst and Riven had their own internal logic. They took thought rather than jump through hoops. And as for the genre being dead, note that Myst 3: Exile [] is in development ... doesn't sound quite like a dead genre to me.

    The Myst series isn't just a set of hoops or contrived events, but a journey set in a world with its own internal logic. Look around and explore enough, and everything is explained. But you need to do the exploring. And a little thinking.

    You don't think of Myst and Riven much as interesting games because even though they have huge panoramas of beautiful scenery, they still lack the flash-bang. They provide their thrills to the whole cerebrum, not just the frontal lobes.

    (Damnit, I've gotten all stream-of-consciousy again...)

    And suddenly, I'm imagining a game using Unreal's FPS engine, backed with the Z-machine's gorgeously elegant parser (which is quite SMALL and could fit)...
  • I thought that was what that Alice in Wonderland game what supposed to be. A sort of macabre puzzle/story/FPS game. Of course they cancelled that.
  • by dualspeedhub ( 207778 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @03:10AM (#786197) Homepage
    You are in a musty cellar. To your north a hole in the floor reveals a secret passage
    You are standing on the edge of a hole which leads down to a secret passage
    You enter the passage. As you proceed along it, a blade suddenly leaps out of the wall at you.
    Do not understand DUCK
    I Can't do that
    You crouch, but your reactions were to slow, and the blade severs your head from your body. In your dying moments you see a large-breasted girl in tight shorts somersault over your headless body and on into the Tomb. She's quite athletic. You begin to feel that progress is catching up with you.
    Game Over
  • For example; "You are standing in a forest next to a river. To the North you see an old mill, to the west a large cave and to the south, six marines armed with bazookas. In your hands you have a fish, some chewing gum and a the August 1987 edition of Practical Electronics" What do you wish to do now? >
  • I appreciate commentary on history, but I think you've swerved a bit close to revisionism.

    Fleeing Persecution: Most people, I think, would call that sensible, not cowardly.

    Capitalism: Taking advantage of a way to improve your life is usually considered wise, not greedy.

    Refusing to accept taxation with representation: Most consider that sensible and appropriate; not negatively rebellious.

    Granted, it's not that simplistic either, but you paint too cynical of a picture. It is accurate to say that Christians and the Christian worldview were significant influences on the formation of the USA. Not the only influence, nor were the theists perfect, but the impact is great, and much (most?) of it benefits us even now.
    D. Fischer
  • Have none of these people ever heard of TADS, or Inform, or the Interactive Fiction Archive []?

    Not being sold in a big shiny box at Best Buy does not equal dead.

  • by Toddarooski ( 12363 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @09:16AM (#786208)
    You're right in that OMM did go out of their way to find a ridiculously bad example of a puzzle. But even the best adventure games have puzzles that make absolutely no sense to anybody who has not been indoctrinated to the Contrived and Arbitrary Rules of Adventure Games.

    Imagine trying to play an excellent game like Sam n' Max with somebody who's never played an adventure game before...

    You: Ooh! Be sure to take that jar with the severed hand in it?

    Friend: Why? What do I need a jar with a severed hand for?

    You: I don't know. But you'll definitely need it later.

    Friend: What? Why?

    You: I just know! Now take the damned jar!

    Friend: But I can't open it.

    You: Yeah, you'll probably have to do it later.

    Friend: It's made of glass. Why can't I just smash it on the ground?

    You: You can't do that!!

    Friend: Why not? It's made of glass...

    You: No, you'll probably have to find somebody who's really good at opening jars later.

    Friend: Okay... and this is fun why?

    And so on. While most adventure games aren't quite as bad as the Gabriel Knight example, they do rely on a bunch of arbitrary rules that, while somewhat logical to anybody who's played an adventure game before, would make absolutely no sense to anybody who hasn't been trained to the way of adventure games.

    And that, I believe, is why adventure games (at least the old-style ones) are dying. At least with an FPS, you can figure out the rules within the first 30 seconds (Shoot something and it dies!)

  • by HiQ ( 159108 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @03:11AM (#786210)
    In this [] article yesterday some threads discussed really interactive books; my own reaction was that I definately would like to see a combination of FPS (first person shooter), a good book and good music. In that way you would combine a good story (not present in current FPS's, sort of present in adventure games), with real interactivity. Suppose you could *be* your preferred character in one of your favourite books...

    Ideally, the adventure would have to have multiple plots and storylines, the main characters should be 'configurable' to your own wishes, etc..

    I do play FPS games from time to time, and I do admire the graphics and all, but those games tend to be very boring, because the levels are too easy to solve. The level writers seek complexitiy in just adding more and more opponents in a level, instead of adding more story and more puzzles to solve.

    So in my opinion, the FPS is *not* the right way to go, it should be combined with the good elements from the 'old' adventure games.
    How to make a sig
    without having an idea

  • My take on the rise of the first-person shooter is that it is a reflection of the increasingly violent society we are living in, where the media attempts to overload us with a constant barrage of sensory stimulus just to attract our jaded and cynical attentions. The FPS is the natural evolution of this idea - rather than being passive it allows people to deal with the stresses of society in a way that is a reflection of its darker side - violence.

    This country was founded on the decent Christian ideal that hard work leads to reward - the American dream is a reflection of the Protestant work ethic. But in recent years the rise of technology and the increasing secularisation and liberalisation of society have lead to a culture where people are uncertain, afraid of what they're meant to do, and of what will happen in the future. This situation was exacerbated by Cold War tensions and the "Red menace", and it found its outlet in an increase in violence, paranoia and hedonistic behaviors. With the liberal views of the establishment, these excesses are likely to continue.

    Nobody can sustain the contemplative life any more - we are constantly being hit with an overload of sensory information. In the culture where MTV is prevalent, text adventures just don't seem "real" enough. On the other hand, the FPS allows for us to participate in violent situations that may seem carthartic in the short term, but reinforce the violent underpinnings of society in the long run.

    So the first-person shooter has come to reign supreme in the gaming world, a reflection of a society that has lost its hope and its faith. Until we, as a nation, start to deal with these underlying societal issues, games of death will continue to be incredibly popular, and the worship of the gun will pervade the national conscioussness.

  • #define IRONY "Bruce Willis was a robot"

  • ok... time to call your bluff, troll

    please provide the following two things in order to refute my argument:
    1)The ISBN, Library of Congress Number, link to, dewey decimal number, whatever identifying number, to the book "The Myth of the Native Americans" and
    2) A needle that will allow a camel to pass through it.

    Production of these two things will provide a factual basis to your argument. As it stands now, your argument seems completely fabricated.

    thank you.


  • There is a MUD i used to help run (which technically is still going on a machine in someone's bedroom) which has actually done this - someone recreated Doom within a text environment. And it worked! Multiplayer deathmatch was great.

    For those uninitiated, a MUD is a text-based multiplayer adventure. as it isn't written by sadists (only masochists who spend weeks, months, years writing them!), they don't usually have as fiendishly bad puzzles in them, but are a bit more hands-on. So instead of "go north, get sword, tickle troll with sword, get shield, use shield to cook stir-fry", it'll be "go north, kill troll, get all from corpse, enter shop, sell all".

    Suffice to say it was such a big undertaking to both port the Doom environment into the Mud, and the coder is very lazy (as the best mud coders are), that it never got past Beta, and is Doom instead of Quake 3.

    but yes, playing it multiplayer actually worked, and was brilliant :)

  • In a sense I disagree with you. I think perhaps the ultimate game (which does not exist yet) is a game with absolutely no plot, yet so complex that it could be confused with reality. For quite some time I have been wishing for a game that allowed a certain amount of escapism, while pitching you into an environment that is next to real.

    Such a game would require incredible resources and could only really work in a full multiplayer setting, like Ultima Online, unless some really good AI comes along soon.

    Why do I think this would be the ultimate game? In a sense, it would appeal to almost everybody, even the non-gamers out there. Who could resist the temptation to fire up an alternate-life and see what its like to walk around in those shoes. Many people would be able to use such a game to increase their abilities in the real world. Inversely, many would get sucked into it and lose all touch with reality. (Bringing along with it a host of philosophical questions that are better left untouched in this comment.)

    It isn't a novel, or new idea, but it is precisely this idea, that I feel, once created will revolutionize gaming, and possibly the world. If you don't think that such a concept would take off, look at the success of a limited attempt at such a game had, The Sims. While comparing it to what I'm talking about here is a bit of a stretch, it contains the same ideals, and freeform nature that made it so popular.

  • Did anybody else play Bill Frolik's and Rob Lucky's Warp adventure game?
  • Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine is more puzzle that FPS, even though it is a FPS.

    Haven't played the game, but what I've seen of screenshots etc suggests that IJATIM is a third person puzzle game similar to tomb raider. First Person Shooters are easily identified by the first person viewpoint you take on when you play. Another thing to look out for is the shooting aspect :)

    • First Person = I
    • Second Person = You
    • Third Person = He/She

  • When FPS's came out, they were a new idea and something interesting that everyone tried. Most people enjoyed them, and they became popular. Adventure games had to change with the times, so they became 1st and 3rd person shooters. Try your hand at System Shock 2, and tell me that you can make it through the game without thinking. Maybe try Ultima9 without solving the puzzles. Try to make it through Thief with guns blazing...

    Adventures haven't died, they've changed with the times!

    -- "Almost everyone is an idiot. If you think I'm exaggerating, then you're one of them."
  • by Penrif ( 33473 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @04:58AM (#786243) Homepage
    This is why the consoles must eventually be netted; not because the net will become utterly ubiquitous, but because AIs will always be harder to make interesting than other humans.

    Sounds like a revision of the Turing Test is in order... An AI is intelligent when it is indistinguishable from a human when playing Quake.
  • This country was founded on the decent Christian ideal that hard work leads to reward - the American dream is a reflection of the Protestant work ethic.

    *BZZT* Wrong answer. This country was founded on these principles:

    • Cowardice (fleeing persecution)
    • Greed (capitalism)
    • Rebellion (refusing to pay taxes)

    Church attendance by early American colonists was less than 20%. There were some colonies that had a strictly religious nature (such as the Puritan and Quaker settlements) but those were in the minority. Most colonists either wanted to get away from a bad life or a chance to get rich.

    And the US as a country was based almost entirely on an ungodly desire to not pay taxes (hint: what does the Bible say about paying taxes). The US of A was founded on the idea of armed rebellion and rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.

    Nobody can sustain the contemplative life any more

    With the exception of a minority of austere individuals that have become monks and nuns of one flavor or another, no society in recorded history was ever given over to a contemplative life.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hitchhiker's is here []
  • It's just that story-driven games are enjoyed on a different time-scale than shooters. A person might relish the mayhem of a shooter for anything from a few days to a few months. So there *have* to be more of them on the market for shooter-fans to enjoy. But adventure games you can savor for much longer. Why, I'd imagine you could dwell on the notion of a syrup and cat hair mustache for a few weeks alone...
  • This is the same kind of argument that I used to hear from people who played MUDs, only in reverse. Players used to say 'hack and slash' MUDs were inferior to the 'thinking' MUDs.
    I'm not sure if I agree that the adventure game genre is dead or even vanishing but I think the decline is not necessarily related to a change in the taste of individual gamers, more likely a change in the population (or demographic if you want to use marketing terms) of them. More and more people jump into gaming every day so the population is bound to get dilluted with something other than hard core players. The hard core guys who want to spend hours figuring out a small puzzle are still around, there are just a lot more people who want to grab a cannon of blow up a bunch of stuff.

  • If Christians actually followed the teachings of Jesus instead of the biblical dogma created by the Hebrew/Roman/Christian tag team political wrestling and miracle mysticism that followed his death, well, the world would probably be a much nicer place and I for one would be happy to call myself a Christian.

    The traditional claim (FWIW) is that Paul (and the other apostles) being taught by Jesus had a much clearer understanding of what Jesus actually taught than we do almost two thousand years later. I think that there is something to this claim, but I couldn't prove it as history is in essence nonrepeateable.

    The alternative, that the apostles were not faithful witnesses to the teachings of Jesus leaves us with absolutely no guide to judge which sayings of Jesus are authentic or not. After all, the Apostles (and their students) were the ones the wrote and compiled the New Testament.

    Your view point is certainly worth considering, but it can only lead to agnosticism, not any form of Christianity (short of some sort of time travel device by which we can go back and find out what it is that Jesus actually taught independant of the traditions of his followers).



  • I've probably played as many "adventure" games as Mr. OMM, but never referred to them as Adventure games. They were simply Text games (not same as screen games, like NetHack.) The incomprehensible nature of many of these, like his example of the moustached impersonator of the non-moustached man, and the non-obvious path of logic I hadn't often chalked up to the author being on acid, so much as the author/publisher trying to make a killing on Hint books.

    I still think Text games have an audience, but not where authors expect someone to follow their non-obvious logic.

    Example of non-obvious logic:
    A small red-brick house stands nearby. A bed of colourful flowers grows around the outside with a birdfeeder and several garden gnomes tastefully set about. A driveway extends to the east with a mailbox, flag up, standing at the end.
    There is a rock here.

    Example of obvious logic:
    A computer store with a large display window stands nearby. A Beowulf cluster of 1GHz Athlons is producing some impressive graphics on a gorgeous letterbox LCD display, while audio booms out of what must be a THX sound system behind the flimsy glass, making it shake. A riot is going on down the street, thus keeping the local constabulary occupied.
    There is a shopping cart here.
    There is a brick here.

    Vote [] Naked 2000
  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @03:21AM (#786255)
    First, the /. title seems to be misleading, as it suggests that only text-adventure games are 'targetted' by the article, but my reading of the piece in question suggests that any non-free-form games, such as Monkey Island, Myst, etc, are a dying breed.

    People need to realize that action games and puzzle games (the ones listed above) are two different genres that have yet to compete with each other except in a few isolated titles [*]. For every puzzle game that is put out, there are easily 3 if not more quake-like clones, the action market gets that much more visibility.

    Additionally, at this point in time with technology, it's very hard to do a truely complete puzzle game that is completely free-form, as the mustache example tries to emphasize. You'd have to create a small subset of the Grand Unified Theory in order to deal with every sitution that the player may attempt. This, of course, is impractical, so there is a very limited subset of actions that you can do.

    But my biggest beef is the choice of example. Gabriel Knight's not very good as a puzzle game. Better examples tend to be anything from LucasArts, including the Monkey Island triology and Grim Fandango. The objects that you collect tend to have very unique properties, that fit in the game at only one place, but generally have good, funny responses if you try to use them elsewhere that are a near match. To that extent, it shows that the game designs tried to anticipate all actions the users might want to do, and add appropriate actions or responses for flavoring. They also drop more than enough hints, but you have to make sure you talk to everyone and look at everything.

    Puzzle gaming is far from dead. It's just that there's a vast difference for most players of puzzle genre and fps genre.

    [*] Some of the recent FPS/RPG combos (System Shock 2, Deus Ex) come somewhat close, while Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine is more puzzle that FPS, even though it is a FPS.

  • Notice how the title on Slashdot is "Why First Person Shooters Beat Text Adventure Games" (emphasis mine) but the OMM article talks about Gabriel Knight 3 and other games by Sierra?

    There's a big difference between text adventures and "Sierra game" graphic adventures. There's a lot less story in most of the latter, which is due to and made up for by static artwork. People didn't buy King's Quest V for the story; they bought it for the state-of-the-art graphics and sound. Same for most of the puzzle-adventures like Seventh Guest and Myst.

    Text adventures, on the other hand, haven't had to worry about their game engine very much, especially once specialized languages like Graham Nelson's Inform came into being. So all there is to work on is plot and puzzles. Sure, you get the occasional find-the-keys structure from people who don't know anything else (and even this can be excellent; play Curses or Mulldoon and see what I mean), but there's a lot more out there.

  • I'm not saying that there isn't a difference, but beyond the type of gameplay (shoot-first-ask-later, vs, look-first-shoot-later), it's the similar control set, and similar challenges can be done in both views. In IJ, I still had to look in the right direction within a few degrees to aim, though there was a bit of auto-aiming allocated. But, it was no worse in Doom (for horizontal aiming, lets ignore the vertical problems :D) or Quake, which are true FPS. Some of the puzzle challenges that were in Half-Life were of similar nature to those in IJ, and didn't require you to look at the third person to see everything going on. IMO, the choice of first vs third person camera is a personal preference, and ought to be an option in most games, unless there is good reason not to (For example, Populous the Beginning).

    Plus the third person view can give you problems you don't expect. One thing I recall was in IJ; as you rotate the camera up over Indy, you could see over walls that from a first person view, you couldn't; this could include things like enemies or objects that you needed to aquire. Certainly not cheating, but somewhat unrealistic; how much it can detract from gameplay is questionable.

    But getting back to the original point; whether a FPS or TPS, these games tend not to have the same traits as puzzle games like Monkey Island or Myst.

  • I appreciate commentary on history, but I think you've swerved a bit close to revisionism.

    Its part of my rebel streak. I get sick of people toting the party line (doesn't matter much which party these days) of America being built on Christian principles. It wasn't. At best Christianity influenced some (and only some) of the thinking that went into this building this country. At worst, Christianity was twisted to support the thinking that went into building this country.

    Fleeing Persecution: Most people, I think, would call that sensible, not cowardly.

    In principle I certainly agree with your assertion that most people call fleeing persecution sensibility and not cowardice. However, we're talking about Christianity here, not common sense. There is a reason that Jesus called following his teachings the narrow path. Most faiths (not just Christianity) turn a good deal of 'common sense' on its head. And while I don't condemn people who choose to flee instead of staying and being martyred, I do think that the Christian philosophy is built on the premis that it is better to stay and be martyred. What would Christianity look like if Jesus had fled instead of being martyred?

    Capitalism: Taking advantage of a way to improve your life is usually considered wise, not greedy.

    I didn't do a very good job at placing this one in context. The American revolution was caused mainly (but not exclusively) by wealthy landowners that had a good deal to gain if the US escaped British control. As is the case in most wars, the poor were conscripted by both sides and had little actual say in the matter except that those unfortunate enough to be conscripted by the losing side got branded as traitors.

    Refusing to accept taxation with representation: Most consider that sensible and appropriate; not negatively rebellious.

    Remember, we're not talking about common sense. Jesus said to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's. Paul taught outright to pay one's taxes. Now, if Jesus and Paul living in Palestine under Roman rule thought that taxation without representation was a good reason to start an armed rebellion, I'm fairly sure that they wouldn't have incited their followers to pay their taxes. If there was ever a case of taxation without representation, it was in Roman occupied Palestine, and the word from the heads of the Christian movement was to obeisce, not revolt.

    Granted, it's not that simplistic either, but you paint too cynical of a picture. It is accurate to say that Christians and the Christian worldview were significant influences on the formation of the USA. Not the only influence, nor were the theists perfect, but the impact is great, and much (most?) of it benefits us even now.

    I agree that the real picture is never as simple as anyone makes it out to be. Theists did have an influence on the US, but I'd argue that deists had a far larger influence (especially in the realm of political philosophy) in shaping the reasons and rationelle for revolting against Britain. I'm sure there were Christian Patriots just as there were Christian Torries. But the only ones living out the teachings of Christ in the sad story of slaughter and mayhem were the pacifist Quakers who had their property confiscated, were thrown into prison, were publicly humiliated and tortured (good ole tarring and feathering and the stockades) and who were sometimes even executed (most commonly by hanging) just because their beliefs taught them to turn the other cheek and love their enemies.

    Thank you very much for a reasonable and though out reply. I don't agree with everything you say but you certainly saw through much of my baiting...


  • I love you idiots who come here to mouth off from their high horse, proving to everyone that they've utterly failed to read the article they are criticizing- missing the quite obvious fact that "the writer of this article" is being more funny than serious. Dumbass. It's OMM, not some pompous DailyRadar.
  • I always found adventures more fun when I had people with me. Two brains are better then one, and not having to type allows more time to think. Although once in a while you get voted down when you say go north and everyone else wants to go east.

    I'll never forget the look on my unlces face when playing Adventure in the Fifth dimention. (Written in Basic for the atart 800) They came across a device.
    Exmaine device
    It has a slot for a battery
    (okay, there is a store that sells batteries for a buck, and there is a dollar on the ground in anouther room.
    (go to dollar)
    Get dollar
    (Go to store)
    Buy battery
    (go back to device)
    insert battery
    It doesn't fit

    Alone they never would have found the device in the little time they had, but several minds togather allowed them to find it. Myst and Riven are the same type of game, you can play alone, but they are more fun when you have a few eyes helping you think the puzzle through.

  • I gave up when I couldn't get passed the bird. The hints say the bird is afraid of the rod. This is the kind of ridiculousness that the article is talking about.

    (Although I actually loved the Sierra line of "puzzle/adventure" games, as well as Monkey Island, etc.)
  • True, I do know that you can't technically call IJ a first person from the standpoint of where the camera angle is. However, given the engine and the style of play, there is no reason why this could be a first-person type camera -- it's just the way the programmers wanted it. Same with Tomb Raider and Heretic II, for example. Some games allow the switch back and forth (Half-Life allows this for example). The fact that it can be done so easily and the choice between a 'first-person' and a 'third-person' camera is a programming decision means that I'd classify all such games as "FPS". That doesn't mean there's more distinctions within this group; Tomb Raider and Heretic II, from the demo, for example, is mostly shooting, while IJ is a mix of puzzle solving and shooting.

    On the other hand, games where the first person view is impossible to do, such as Baulder's Gate or Diablo I/II, would be a Thrid Person game, but these generally fall into the RPG catagory. Probably the best example of a true TPS would be a game like Space Invaders.

  • by Hermogenes ( 228842 ) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @05:05AM (#786267)
    This month's Atlantic Monthly has a piece written by Jose Luis Borges in 1967. He puts forward the argument that the novel - which is centered around the intricacies of original plots - is dying. Instead people are "hungering and thirsting for epic" - and the plots of epic are few and simple, but far more powerful.

    I think we are seeing something similar in gaming. Adventure games based upon dizzyingly intricate and confusing puzzle-games are dying, replaced by simple, but far more powerful game-plots based - like epics - upon the travails and victories of heroes.

    Borges writes in the piece: "I think that the novel is breaking down. I think that all those very daring and interesting experiments with the novel - for example, the idea of shifting time, the idea of the story's being told by different characters - all those are leading to the moment when we will feel that the novel is no longer with us." It isn't hard to substitute "adventure game" for "novel" in this sentence.
  • So what if they put it together? A librarian could have done the same. They didn't write the thing, they just put separate pieces together in a book. Oooh, big deal.

    ever heard of "Apocryphal" texts? Such as the Gospel according to St. James? Complete with Jesus turning mud sculptures into doves like a cheap magician, and a burly Midwife cheking the virgin mary if her hymen was truly intact. I think the quote she says before checking her was "Prepare thyself woman?"

    What, never heard of it? Oh - thats because the Catholic church read it, and decided that it was not divinely inspired, and should not be included in the "official" gospel. That isnt exactly librarian type stuff.

    So, it is a pretty big deal, because if you had to read ALL the works that were related to Jesus and his time period, you might come out confused, and would have to learn to sift through all the crap.

    I have no idea why I'm still feeding this troll... slow day at work, i guess....

  • [The FPS] should be combined with the good elements from the 'old' adventure games.

    Have you read Ernest Adams's articles at Gamasutra []? In "It's Time to Bring Back Adventure Games []," he makes the point that "3D engines have just as much to contribute to adventure games as they do to other genres." Quake does not represent the state of the art in gameplay. Thanfully, id sells the engine to more ambitious game developers.

    However, I have to agree with OMM. The good old games weren't always good. In "Three Problems for Interactive Storytellers []," Ernest talks about the problem of amnesia in adventure games:

    You don't know what's going to happen to you, so for safety's sake, you pick up everything you see, and you end up carrying around a collection of objects that make you look like a demented bag lady. (Consider the original Adventure: a lamp, a birdcage, a wooden rod, an axe, some gold coins, a bottle of oil...)
    Jane Jensen didn't invent the asinine puzzle.

    Computer games are linear. Half-Life, StarCraft, Diablo 2, Grim Fandango, System Shock 2. Anything that "tells a story" tells one story from beginning to end. I hope the next-generation adventure game is also the next-generation FPS and RPG.

  • I have realized for a while that someone needs to release a decent mod for a FPS without violence

    Would Starsiege Tribes [] count? That is an excellent game, especially if you have a dedicated connection and love multi-player games. I'm eagerly awaiting Tribes2.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @03:23AM (#786275)
    Actually, such a game exists. It's called FOOM and available from the Interactive Fiction Archive [], which is still alive and kicking, and will be for many more years, what with the IF Competition 2000 [] coming up.
  • The really twisted thing is that I, 17-year-old-hormonal male that I am, hate the Tomb Raider franchise with a passion.

    It's my GIRLFRIEND who enjoys them.

  • I had all but retired Doom when I found that thing. I struggled through the instructions and wandered around the first level looking for the source of the creepy noises. Couldn't find them.

    Second level. Wandered around a bit, went down some stairs and found some funky green stuff. All of a sudden something attacks and I fell outta my chair cause it scared me so bad.

    I wasn't used to going through a 1 1/2 levels with nothing to fight. The guy that did that was genius in pacing it for maximum scare effect. I didn't play anything as good in that genre until Half-Life.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky