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Adventure Games Thread 2019 - The Liveliest Dead Genre There Ever Was

Oct 14, 2010
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Some cool new information on Blacksad: Under The Skin from this regular MeriStation feature dedicated to adventure games. The stuff i'm quoting is unfortunately auto-translated from Spanish but it's still readable. You can tell the interviewer is an adventure fan asking pertinent questions other genre enthusiasts would want to know (M is MeriStation P is Pendulo).

MeriStation Interview said:
[M]: At the playable level we have not seen anything yet. Are we facing a traditional graphic adventure with control point and click, or given its three-dimensional nature and taking into account that it comes out in consoles we will have the possibility of direct control with command? With regard to the puzzles, what can we expect from your new adventure? Will we have a development of classic graphic adventure, something new?

[P]: Indeed we have tried to take advantage of all the possibilities offered by the 3D environment, so we could say that it is a graphic adventure but modernized like many others nowadays. Thanks to this we managed to give the player a direct control over the character, which together with some original mechanics allow a richer, more complex and dynamic exploration of the scenarios. All this moves us away from the Point & Click, remaining hidden in the bowels of the development, but without a doubt we continue betting very hard for the exploration and that the player is the one who has to solve the enigmas and puzzles proposed.
MeriStation Interview said:
[M]: What would you highlight most about Blacksad: Under The Skin? What makes it special? What are you most proud of?

[P]: Without a doubt the story that counts, the personality that Blacksad squanders, the visual section and the mechanics of both exploration and deduction that make the player can put on the skin of a detective. As we have already commented on some previous question, we believe that we have been able to move the universe of the comic to the videogame, and the fans will be delighted.

[M]: We are very intrigued by what you are talking about exploration mechanics and especially deduction. Can you tell us more about this? Will we have to draw our own conclusions during the game as if we were real detectives?

[P]: It has tried to capture in the most reliable way how a detective thinks and comes to his own conclusions, all through several unique mechanics that combined will make the player get much more in the skin of Blacksad and be himself provoke the advance in history by making its own decisions. Undoubtedly, this aspect is one of the most important in the game.
It seems to me, thankfully, that in adopting modern adventure branching narrative mechanics; they're also keeping puzzle solving mechanics as well. That's the right choice as far as I'm concerned and elevates my hype for Blacksad that much more.

There's also a new screenshot that Pendulo released for this article. Nothing major, but it reveals a new character and it's always cool to get a new look at this game:

The feature itself is also well worth reading, even auto translated, it turned me on to a new game that is now on my radar, "Evolutis." A 2D narrative adventure featuring a striking visual style (reminiscent of Aeon Flux imo) that's early in development and boasts a lot of ambitious features should you read the relevant interviews. It's a bit too early in development for me to really form a solid opinion on it, but I'll be keeping up with the game for sure.
 
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Mr Underhill

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Feb 16, 2015
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I love Blacksad and it looks good, but given its legacy I would have preferred it 2D and visually close to the graphic novels. I'm glad it will happen, either way, though :messenger_smiling_with_eyes:
 

Fuz

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Jun 8, 2009
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modernized [...] All this moves us away from the Point & Click
NOPE.


Really pertinent questions in that interview.
The feature itself is also well worth reading, even auto translated, it turned me on to a new game that is now on my radar, "Evolutis." A 2D narrative adventure featuring a striking visual style (reminiscent of Aeon Flux imo) that's early in development and boasts a lot of ambitious features should you read the relevant interviews. It's a bit too early in development for me to really form a solid opinion on it, but I'll be keeping up with the game for sure.
Oh wow, this looks really cool.
 
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Oh my god Fuz, you stone cold purist!!!

Personally, I'm good with direct controls and 3D investigation. It's worked really well for detective games in the past (I'm thinking Frogwares' Sherlock titles) and it could help the game appeal to those fans or perhaps even some of DontNod or Quantic Dream's fanbase. Although, I am making some assumptions. The game could still have directed camera angles. I'm hoping they'll put out some substantial gameplay footage soon.

Besides, if you want classic 2D Blacksad... Backbone has pretty much got you covered on that front:

Truly, 2019 is the year of the hard boiled, anthropomorphic, detective adventure game.
 
Oct 14, 2010
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Just discovered another great looking adventure game slated for 2019 " Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love." It's a comedy game about a western journalist visiting the fictitious, satirical, communist country of Matryoshka. It's got a cartoon art style reminiscent of LucasArts classics like Day Of The Tentacle or Sam & Max: Hit The Road. The team also seems to be doing some good work on the animation itself. They already got a few laughs out of me from their trailer and steam page, so I'm definitely interested in seeing more.



Screenshots showing off the games progression:
 

Tanais_Games

Neo Member
Mar 4, 2019
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Just read about Saint Kotar. There apparently is a free demo on Steam

The game is still a little rough around the edges (no voice overs, translations) but I’d especially dig the atmosphere (horror PnC).

There are two trailers/early game footage out there:




The game was first announced in 2016 and the last steam entry is from 24th November 2018. Apparently they’re just now planning a Kickstarter so I don’t know if or when the game ever comes to fruition. With the Kickstarter PnC hype being rather down atm I’d wager they’d need a slightly more appealing trailer for a successful campaign but maybe that’s just me.

In any way, I’d never mind more PnC adventures so all the best to them.

Guess it’s wait and see, just wanted to share the game info.
Hello frogmeetsdog and everyone else on this wonderful thread! I'm the CEO of Tanais Games and game director/writer of Saint Kotar.

I felt that I should jump in to comment on the posts to clarify some things. Those 2 trailers are really old. We've done a lot of improvements in the mean time. Not only the walk speed has been improved for all the characters in the game, but there's now even a double-click for faster walk speed, just in case to make the game more enjoyable for everyone (and to be in line with modern adventure games). So, no need to worry about this problem anymore (it really frustrated me back then and it was the first thing on the to-do list).

We've also improved the look of the characters and the backgrounds. The backgrounds have been redone to match the grim story world, and then the characters have been too to match the semi-realistic style of the backgrounds. You can get an idea of what I'm talking about by looking at these screens in the Gallery: http://www.saintkotar.com/#media. But keep in mind, those are not final quality screens because we've worked further on them in the mean time (yes, a lot of mean times have happened :D)

To conclude, this is our first project and a lot of things have been done wrongly in the past. It has been in development for quite some time mostly because I'm a person who doesn't accept half-products and/or sloppy works. In the last 5-6 months we've finally established everything we needed the right way (we've done a complete technical overhaul to gain better productivity later in development) and since then we worked to improve the assets and fix problems that have been dragging form the beginning of the project. We are now on the right way to wrap it up, although we cannot set a release date yet. I'll stay around on this thread and as soon as we have some news I'll be happy to share it.

You can also follow us on our social media outlets (facebook, tiwtter, discord, newsletters, whatever suits you better) by visiting the official webpage www.saintkotar.com, and you can wishlist the demo on Steam:

Thanks for keeping this alive, we need threads like this, we need good stories and adventure games! :)
 
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@Tanais_Games Welcome, and thank you for the excellent post. Looking forward to being able to give Saint Kotar a try when the demo comes out. Looks like it's shaping up rather well.
 

Mr Underhill

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Feb 16, 2015
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Hey guys, if you're curious about what's been up lately with Gibbous, click the pic below to be whisked off to a magical land of gifs, obligatory pictures of studio cats, and unholiness:




PS: Hey Marko (Tanais Games), good to see you here! :)
 
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TripleSun

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Dec 17, 2012
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I too am waiting on a Oak Island release date announcement but didn't realize I missed some new stuff on their Kickstarter page (posted in Jan 2019)


Check under the updates tab. They still need some voice actors and stuff

Hoping on a 2019 release! @bravoguy @heckmanimation
 
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Oct 14, 2010
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lol dude I just noticed that before you posted.

the link is fixed now. oof.

(thanks for the heads up @Fuz )
 
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Oct 14, 2010
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Adventure Gamers recently did an interview with Florian Kohne of btf on Truberbrook. I've only skimmed it because at this point I want to retain all the surprise that I can. But it is interesting to know that btf as a company has also produced award winning German documentaries and TV Shows. There's also a bit that's pertinent to some of the discussion we've had prior. Regarding Truberbrook's puzzle design.

Florian Kohne said:
Apart from these common features, we wanted to make the game accessible for today’s gamers, especially players who have no long history of playing adventure games, allowing more people to experience an entertaining and exciting story. Most of the puzzles are designed to advance the story, and less to ponder on how to find the right solution or to cause frustration or headaches on the way. We want it to be fun, without the moments of frustration that can happen with harder puzzles from time to time. But of course there are also some puzzles for the die-hard adventure game enthusiasts, which we believe are a bit harder to solve.
Florian Kohne said:
when creating the story, the characters and the puzzles, it was important that we come up with precise sketches of the scenes, so that everything important for the story, the world lore and the puzzles would find its intended spot.
Reading this it affirms, to me, that the difficulty will be about Blackwell level. Clever puzzles, well integrated into the plot, but not too complicated. With a few mid level head scratchers sprinkled throughout. The ones for "die-hard adventure game enthusiasts."

Harder than Unavowed but easier than Technobabylon. I'll be happy with that.
 
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frogmeetsdog

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Jul 25, 2018
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Hmm, most reviews seem mixed, Polygon just gave it a 6. If they‘re right the game‘s only roughly 4 hours long, while also criticizing non-existent puzzles, the voice acting, gameplay inconsistencies and a bad story and only hailing the visuals. Gamereactor (7/10) has some similar views (they, like the others, say length is 4 - 5 hours) but they liked the story a bit more and even talked about one tricky puzzle (which "payoff they missed" because "the challenge was simple enough" - Whatever that‘s supposed to mean).

On the other hand, Gamespew does a 180 on this by calling the puzzles illogical and gave the game a score of 5/10. The best review so far (7,5) comes from Techraptor but they also, like everybody else, criticize the wonky voice acting, especially of the main character. Alas, no review from Adventuregamers (yet).

As backer I wouldn‘t be very happy about the game’s length of one or two Blackwell episodes. They promised up to 10 hours of gameplay after all (but maybe the "up to" was intentional, it‘s open to interpretation). Well, I‘m gonna give it a whirl nonetheless soon. We‘re not swimming in too many new adventure releases anyway.

Edit:
Conclusion of the polygon review:
"Even more disorienting is the storyline itself. Without spoiling too much, Trüberbrook feels like a bad episode of Doctor Who. (…)
Most disappointing of all is that the gameplay itself is merely perfunctory. In motion, Trüberbrook is achingly linear, and relies on a series of barely connected tasks. Almost nothing in the game can be described as a puzzle. It’s more of a pixel hunt, with a contextual interface that does all of the work for you. The end result is a world that’s beautiful to look at, but a game that fails to entertain in any meaningful way."

If this is true, it‘s even worse than Fuz and I feared, but some other reviews are a tad more positive at least. Guess I‘m gonna see for myself soon.
 
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frogmeetsdog

Member
Jul 25, 2018
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Hello frogmeetsdog and everyone else on this wonderful thread! I'm the CEO of Tanais Games and game director/writer of Saint Kotar.

I felt that I should jump in to comment on the posts to clarify some things. Those 2 trailers are really old. We've done a lot of improvements in the mean time. Not only the walk speed has been improved for all the characters in the game, but there's now even a double-click for faster walk speed, just in case to make the game more enjoyable for everyone (and to be in line with modern adventure games). So, no need to worry about this problem anymore (it really frustrated me back then and it was the first thing on the to-do list).

We've also improved the look of the characters and the backgrounds. The backgrounds have been redone to match the grim story world, and then the characters have been too to match the semi-realistic style of the backgrounds. You can get an idea of what I'm talking about by looking at these screens in the Gallery: http://www.saintkotar.com/#media. But keep in mind, those are not final quality screens because we've worked further on them in the mean time (yes, a lot of mean times have happened :D)

To conclude, this is our first project and a lot of things have been done wrongly in the past. It has been in development for quite some time mostly because I'm a person who doesn't accept half-products and/or sloppy works. In the last 5-6 months we've finally established everything we needed the right way (we've done a complete technical overhaul to gain better productivity later in development) and since then we worked to improve the assets and fix problems that have been dragging form the beginning of the project. We are now on the right way to wrap it up, although we cannot set a release date yet. I'll stay around on this thread and as soon as we have some news I'll be happy to share it.

You can also follow us on our social media outlets (facebook, tiwtter, discord, newsletters, whatever suits you better) by visiting the official webpage www.saintkotar.com, and you can wishlist the demo on Steam:

Thanks for keeping this alive, we need threads like this, we need good stories and adventure games! :)
Thanks for the post. Great to hear there‘s progress. Looking forward to the demo, really digging the game‘s athmosphere. And great to hear about walking speed and the implementation of modern conveniences like fast travel ;)
 

frogmeetsdog

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Jul 25, 2018
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Now I‘m looking forward to Gibbous even more. I always had a much better feeling for that than for Trüberbrook - From what I‘ve seen so far I think that Gibbous will be a masterpiece and maybe even set some new standards for the Point‘n‘Click genre. Hope I‘m not proven wrong but those guys are so commited and dedicated. They aren’t even just translating the game in the 2-6 standard languages but also took on Hungarian, Japanese, Korean and even Arabic (and 8 other languages). That‘s what I call dedication ;)
 

frogmeetsdog

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Jul 25, 2018
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Oh my god Fuz, you stone cold purist!!!

Personally, I'm good with direct controls and 3D investigation. It's worked really well for detective games in the past (I'm thinking Frogwares' Sherlock titles) and it could help the game appeal to those fans or perhaps even some of DontNod or Quantic Dream's fanbase. Although, I am making some assumptions. The game could still have directed camera angles. I'm hoping they'll put out some substantial gameplay footage soon.

Besides, if you want classic 2D Blacksad... Backbone has pretty much got you covered on that front:

Truly, 2019 is the year of the hard boiled, anthropomorphic, detective adventure game.
I‘m with Fuz on this one (except for Crimes & Punishment) - I usually like my (classic style) adventures in 2D. Maybe that‘s just because from Monkey Island 4 to Grim Fandango to King‘s Quest 8 or Broken Sword 3, 4 a lot of succesful franchises were destroyed or damaged with the move from 2D to 3D. Also 2D just suits Point and Click much better, especially regarding movement, controls and inventory management.

I still have nightmares (not really) about the terrible item selection in games like Grim Fandango or Monkey Island 4. 3D just isn‘t really made for inventory puzzles but not including those significantly lowers difficulty. For me 3D adventures usually are sacrificing more convenient controls, accessibility and/or difficulty for (debatably) better visuals. But I‘m also still mentally damaged by the 3D hype of the late 90s and early 2000s.

Edit: Blacksad still looks amazing though. Just hope gameplay will keep up with the visuals.
 
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Oct 14, 2010
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Just finished playing through Truberbrook and the single sentence summery is: It's okay but nowhere near as good as I was hoping for.

The game is consistently gorgeous throughout and it's not just that the scenery is beautiful everything about the texture and detail in the environments make for truly immersive exploration. There's a lived-in believability to it all. Which is aided by a subtle yet distinct OST that adds to the sense of mystery in Truberbrook. Tannhauser is a generally likable protagonists. He carries a tape recorder which you can use on certain objects to get more in depth musings from him. It's good characterization and this sells Tannhauser as an inquisitive, kindly, dork type who's curiosity prompts him to continually dig further. Even when putting himself in danger.

Unfortunately there are major problems with the plot and voice acting. VA is wildly inconsistent. Ranging from good, stilted but passable, to straight up awful. One of the worst offenders is also a main character: Greta Lemke. She's all over the place, her emphasis seems to always be on the wrong words and she rushes through lines awkwardly. The game tries some comedy with her, where timing is everything, and that goes as miserably as you would expect. Most aren't as bad as her but it's a huge miss to have such a big character sound this bad.

The story itself is middling. The pacing is weird, there's not enough build up of the core mystery before things get going. Then once they "get going" it's basically over. Honestly there's really not much mystery at all. About 3 hours in a dude (who is poorly introduced) just tells you exactly what's going on and that's kind of it. There's a totally unearned and honestly laughable twist. Many scenes don't flow together well and that lack of cohesion was immersion breaking for me at points in the game. It's not all bad, there are a good handful of genuinely cool moments which I won't spoil. A stand-out character or two. Enough to pull me through the game's brief 6 hour length (and I took my time as well) but not particularly engrossing.

The gameplay is such a weird case of streamlining. I'll say this right now: @Fuz you will not like this game. I would avoid it if you haven't already payed for it. Maybe give it a look sometime in the future if it's on deep discount. But otherwise just stay away.

Truberbrook's puzzle design is so vexing because it has the skeletal structure of a classic adventure game. There are multiple concurrent puzzle chains spanning several different areas you explore. But the game limits how many items you can select on any given hotspot. At max like 4 items out of a total inventory that could be 10+ and that's only on the hotspots where you get an item prompt at all. So you can choose the wrong answer, on occasion, but with their system it's so trivial to brute force a solution that you're rarely required to think.

When things become more open-ended in the game's latter half there is a degree of challenge to considering where & when to go back and try a newly acquired item. But you'll never have to make that final logical leap because the game will make it for you. There's also some non inventory/lock & key puzzles that do provide more challenge. Overall I'd say there's like 5~6 puzzles I actually had to put some thought into.

The thing I can't understand is; if they were going to make it this streamlined why structure it like a classic adventure at all? Why do you spend all that time collecting so many items if you never have to think when it's time to use them? If you want to make a game like Night In The Woods or Oxenfree, then just do that. But don't tease me with tons of puzzles I don't actually solve. If they released a patch tomorrow to just have the inventory function normally, over night this would be a 20~30% better game.

I was underwhelmed by Truberbrook but ultimately I still had an alright time with it. There's a laundry list of flaws and questionable design choices but in its best moments, I was really powerfully immersed in those expertly crafted miniature worlds. Some of the locales really did blow me away (especially in 4k). The devs threw me just enough decent puzzles and likable character moments to maintain my interest until the next awesome environment came along.

It's a 6.5/10 for me. There's a great game in there buried underneath all the problems. I appreciated the glimpses of that great game that peaked through the muck but ultimately it falls below my expectations.
 
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I‘m with Fuz on this one (except for Crimes & Punishment) - I usually like my (classic style) adventures in 2D. Maybe that‘s just because from Monkey Island 4 to Grim Fandango to King‘s Quest 8 or Broken Sword 3, 4 a lot of succesful franchises were destroyed or damaged with the move from 2D to 3D. Also 2D just suits Point and Click much better, especially regarding movement, controls and inventory management.

I still have nightmares (not really) about the terrible item selection in games like Grim Fandango or Monkey Island 4. 3D just isn‘t really made for inventory puzzles but not including those significantly lowers difficulty. For me 3D adventures usually are sacrificing more convenient controls, accessibility and/or difficulty for (debatably) better visuals. But I‘m also still mentally damaged by the 3D hype of the late 90s and early 2000s.
Well Blacksad won't have point and click controls so I don't expect those particular issues. I think assessing 3D adventure games in 2019 requires more relevant examples. Sure King's Quest 8's 3D sucked in 1998 but King's Quest 2015's 3D was great in... well, 2015 (and also in 2016 since it was episodic). Worrying about an adventure game being 3D nowadays strikes me as a dated concern. I do get that those late 90s struggle years were traumatizing for many. But there's been so many games that did it right since then.

Even for classic P&C controls, I think they work just fine in 3D as long as the game uses directed/static camera angles. All the mid 00's TellTale point and clicks control well (Sam & Max, SBCG4AP, etc). Grim Fandango's controls actually vastly improved when they added point & click in the remake. I thought that was great. 3D wasn't the problem, the original controls were just ass.

Obviously everyone is entitled to their preferences but I think we can all agree that modern 3D adventure games have progressed from the late 90s fare.

Edit: Blacksad still looks amazing though. Just hope gameplay will keep up with the visuals.
Well me too. Especially after Truberbrook. Thankfully Pendulo seems adamant about letting the player figure out the mystery. Or at least that's the line they gave in that interview.
 

Tanais_Games

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Mar 4, 2019
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it's really a shame for Truberbrook, we backed it on Kickstarter and waited eagerly for the game to come out. Still didn't play it though, but from the posts I see here it's seems they either rushed it or perhaps they don't have enough storytelling craft under the hood. Maybe it's both.

It's easy to judge looking at others work from distance, who knows what problems they had during development. I just hope we won't disappoint with Saint Kotar. Having a great atmosphere, which is the thing everybody notice immediately (and frankly the only thing that could be noticed so far with materials released), is just a decoration element for us. That's how we look at it - decoration on top of a solid base. Our main focus is the story and more specifically the characters. Everything needs to come out of them, not only the plot but the story world, symbols, theme, dialogues...everything. Then, after we get these elements all well written, we create gameplay that supports the story. And not the other way around (story that supports gameplay), because, in my opinion, that leads to a mess and a bad overall experience.

The above are things that have always bothered me in point and click games: non-existing character development and gameplay that rarely has anything to do with the characters and the story in general. Cheers for these things to change in the future!
 

frogmeetsdog

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Jul 25, 2018
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Well Blacksad won't have point and click controls so I don't expect those particular issues. I think assessing 3D adventure games in 2019 requires more relevant examples. Sure King's Quest 8's 3D sucked in 1998 but King's Quest 2015's 3D was great in... well, 2015 (and also in 2016 since it was episodic). Worrying about an adventure game being 3D nowadays strikes me as a dated concern. I do get that those late 90s struggle years were traumatizing for many. But there's been so many games that did it right since then.

Even for classic P&C controls, I think they work just fine in 3D as long as the game uses directed/static camera angles. All the mid 00's TellTale point and clicks control well (Sam & Max, SBCG4AP, etc). Grim Fandango's controls actually vastly improved when they added point & click in the remake. I thought that was great. 3D wasn't the problem, the original controls were just ass.

Obviously everyone is entitled to their preferences but I think we can all agree that modern 3D adventure games have progressed from the late 90s fare.



Well me too. Especially after Truberbrook. Thankfully Pendulo seems adamant about letting the player figure out the mystery. Or at least that's the line they gave in that interview.
I guess I should have clarified that I meant 3D "point and click" games that are only playable with a controller/keyboard and that I was talking strictly about "classic" Point and Click adventures. Games with an inventory, where you combine items, use them on the environment and which have a lot of hotspots to explore etc are just better suited for a 2D environment imo.

I‘d actually have preferred Telltale’s Sam and Max or Tales of Monkey Island in 2D, even if 3D was much better implemented than in the late 90s/early 2000s 3D adventures. I also think it’s no coincidence that Broken Sword 5 went back to it’s 2D PnC roots. The interactive story games are a whole other ballpark though.

But usually, as long as I can use a mouse to point and click, I‘m a happy camper.
 
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frogmeetsdog

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Jul 25, 2018
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Just finished playing through Truberbrook and the single sentence summery is: It's okay but nowhere near as good as I was hoping for.

The game is consistently gorgeous throughout and it's not just that the scenery is beautiful everything about the texture and detail in the environments make for truly immersive exploration. There's a lived-in believability to it all. Which is aided by a subtle yet distinct OST that adds to the sense of mystery in Truberbrook. Tannhauser is a generally likable protagonists. He carries a tape recorder which you can use on certain objects to get more in depth musings from him. It's good characterization and this sells Tannhauser as an inquisitive, kindly, dork type who's curiosity prompts him to continually dig further. Even when putting himself in danger.

Unfortunately there are major problems with the plot and voice acting. VA is wildly inconsistent. Ranging from good, stilted but passable, to straight up awful. One of the worst offenders is also a main character: Greta Lemke. She's all over the place, her emphasis seems to always be on the wrong words and she rushes through lines awkwardly. The game tries some comedy with her, where timing is everything, and that goes as miserably as you would expect. Most aren't as bad as her but it's a huge miss to have such a big character sound this bad.

The story itself is middling. The pacing is weird, there's not enough build up of the core mystery before things get going. Then once they "get going" it's basically over. Honestly there's really not much mystery at all. About 3 hours in a dude (who is poorly introduced) just tells you exactly what's going on and that's kind of it. There's a totally unearned and honestly laughable twist. Many scenes don't flow together well and that lack of cohesion was immersion breaking for me at points in the game. It's not all bad, there are a good handful of genuinely cool moments which I won't spoil. A stand-out character or two. Enough to pull me through the game's brief 6 hour length (and I took my time as well) but not particularly engrossing.

The gameplay is such a weird case of streamlining. I'll say this right now: @Fuz you will not like this game. I would avoid it if you haven't already payed for it. Maybe give it a look sometime in the future if it's on deep discount. But otherwise just stay away.

Truberbrook's puzzle design is so vexing because it has the skeletal structure of a classic adventure game. There are multiple concurrent puzzle chains spanning several different areas you explore. But the game limits how many items you can select on any given hotspot. At max like 4 items out of a total inventory that could be 10+ and that's only on the hotspots where you get an item prompt at all. So you can choose the wrong answer, on occasion, but with their system it's so trivial to brute force a solution that you're rarely required to think.

When things become more open-ended in the game's latter half there is a degree of challenge to considering where & when to go back and try a newly acquired item. But you'll never have to make that final logical leap because the game will make it for you. There's also some non inventory/lock & key puzzles that do provide more challenge. Overall I'd say there's like 5~6 puzzles I actually had to put some thought into.

The thing I can't understand is; if they were going to make it this streamlined why structure it like a classic adventure at all? Why do you spend all that time collecting so many items if you never have to think when it's time to use them? If you want to make a game like Night In The Woods or Oxenfree, then just do that. But don't tease me with tons of puzzles I don't actually solve. If they released a patch tomorrow to just have the inventory function normally, over night this would be a 20~30% better game.

I was underwhelmed by Truberbrook but ultimately I still had an alright time with it. There's a laundry list of flaws and questionable design choices but in its best moments, I was really powerfully immersed in those expertly crafted miniature worlds. Some of the locales really did blow me away (especially in 4k). The devs threw me just enough decent puzzles and likable character moments to maintain my interest until the next awesome environment came along.

It's a 6.5/10 for me. There's a great game in there buried underneath all the problems. I appreciated the glimpses of that great game that peaked through the muck but ultimately it falls below my expectations.
Thanks for the detailed insights! This is a real pity. I know how much you looked forward to the game (about as much as I do to Gibbous) and Trüberbrook has long been one of my top PnC expectations for 2019 too. Has been my no2 after Gibbous when I first heard of it but my excitement had waned a bit after I read some details about the devs puzzle approach.

But that‘s more a matter of personal preferences and I still thought the game would be good in its own rights, just no classic brainteaser adventure. First and foremost the visuals always made a great impression, the trailers looked neat and the story idea also looked good. All in all, still kept looking forward to playing it - Just not with as much excitement.

The product now looks rather disappointing though. Everybody seems to hate most of the voice acting, the length is an insult to their backers, whom they promised up to 10 hours, the story seems to be rather botched and the puzzles sound illogical while still too easy at the same time which is a very odd feat.

I‘m still going to play it one of these days but my expectations are pretty low.

Just started a replay of The Last Of Us after three years. So I know where I‘ll get an amazing story from.

And @Vampire On Titus I know I‘m repeating myself bit you really should give Toonstruck a try :) The game is an overlooked classic.
 
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frogmeetsdog

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Can't believe SpaceVenture is in its 7th year of development (?) now after having received over half a million bucks (fees excluded) on KS ... Original release date was 2013 (!) and if you look at their 100+ updates they said they were nearly done about half a dozen times.

Really hate how disappointing ventures like this have killed so much of the KS adventure hype. To think what the devs of Gibbous could have done with that amount of cash (and did with 1/10 of it in 1/3 of the time) ... Or new projects like Saint Kotar for that matter ...

Guess the 3.3 million for Broken Age also didn't help the next projects considering the outcome but at least those guys finished a few years after their initial timeline.
 
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Thanks for the detailed insights! This is a real pity. I know how much you looked forward to the game (about as much as I do to Gibbous) and Trüberbrook has long been one of my top PnC expectations for 2019 too.
Yeah, I was so hyped for this game leading up to it. My most anticipated adventures for 2019 were/are Truberbrook, Blacksad, Gibbous and Twin Mirror. Still hopeful I'll enjoy the rest and other games like Dance of Death (out in 3 weeks). Since you backed Truberbrook I'm anticipating seeing your impressions of the game from that perspective. I definitely need to know how you feel about the twist.

And @Vampire On Titus I know I‘m repeating myself bit you really should give Toonstruck a try :) The game is an overlooked classic.
I'll make that the next one I play when I'm in the mood for a comedy game. Next I think I'm either gonna finish the Broken Sword series or play Beneath A Steal Sky.
 
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Fresh announcement from Grundislav Games (Lamplight City, A Golden Wake, Shardlight). Looks like he's doing a western this time and the visuals remind me of Full Throttle.
 

frogmeetsdog

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2019 trailer of Guard Duty:



The game has always been flying a bit under my radar and even though they only got about £ 4.000 on Kickstarter (little more than double their modest goal) it looks to be shaping up pretty well - even with full voice acting - and only a bit behind schedule. Overall looks quite neat and pretty funny. They‘re looking for beta testers atm (or at least have 6 days ago) so release can‘t be too far now.
 
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Fuz

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It could have been a masterpiece.

So much work on that amazing photogrammetry wasted.

Try to please everyone, end up pleasing no one.
 
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Just finished playing Beneath a Steel Sky. Fantastic game, as I was expecting. What I wasn't expecting was for it to be so fucking funny. It's reaaaallly funny. A lot more light-hearted than I would ever have guessed from the title and little bits and pieces I've seen throughout the years. That courtroom scene was probably my favorite. The part where the judge changes the maintenance dude's sentence from life in prison to two days community service was incredible. It's so impressive that they managed to balance the humor with the more dramatic moments so well. The final scene of the game is definitely no joke and it still lands without the plot feeling scrambled, tonally. I'd compare it to Phoenix Wright in its ability to juggle comedy and drama while having it feel natural.

The game just has it all it all. A steady stream of interesting characters, amazing artwork, top notch animation, good plot, sharp dialogue and incredible puzzle balance. Struck a great pace for a narrative focused adventure. Impressive for any year but especially impressive for 1994. Total classic.
 

frogmeetsdog

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Cool Top 12 list - Fuz definitely should skip place 2 but especially for ViT, take mention of his first place ;)
 

frogmeetsdog

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Just finished playing Beneath a Steel Sky. Fantastic game, as I was expecting. What I wasn't expecting was for it to be so fucking funny. It's reaaaallly funny. A lot more light-hearted than I would ever have guessed from the title and little bits and pieces I've seen throughout the years. That courtroom scene was probably my favorite. The part where the judge changes the maintenance dude's sentence from life in prison to two days community service was incredible. It's so impressive that they managed to balance the humor with the more dramatic moments so well. The final scene of the game is definitely no joke and it still lands without the plot feeling scrambled, tonally. I'd compare it to Phoenix Wright in its ability to juggle comedy and drama while having it feel natural.

The game just has it all it all. A steady stream of interesting characters, amazing artwork, top notch animation, good plot, sharp dialogue and incredible puzzle balance. Struck a great pace for a narrative focused adventure. Impressive for any year but especially impressive for 1994. Total classic.
Been a long time sonce I played BaSS. I remember it being very enjoyable but alas fairly short. It‘s been freeware for a long time, so no complaint. Just remember I’d wished for being able to have stayed in the game’s universe a bit longer.

In any way, your post made me wanna give it a go again in the near future but seems you unintentionally got another "funny adventure fix" - Guess that spells bad news for an impending Toonstruck playthrough ;)
 
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frogmeetsdog

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Hello frogmeetsdog and everyone else on this wonderful thread! I'm the CEO of Tanais Games and game director/writer of Saint Kotar.

I felt that I should jump in to comment on the posts to clarify some things. Those 2 trailers are really old. We've done a lot of improvements in the mean time. Not only the walk speed has been improved for all the characters in the game, but there's now even a double-click for faster walk speed, just in case to make the game more enjoyable for everyone (and to be in line with modern adventure games). So, no need to worry about this problem anymore (it really frustrated me back then and it was the first thing on the to-do list).

We've also improved the look of the characters and the backgrounds. The backgrounds have been redone to match the grim story world, and then the characters have been too to match the semi-realistic style of the backgrounds. You can get an idea of what I'm talking about by looking at these screens in the Gallery: http://www.saintkotar.com/#media. But keep in mind, those are not final quality screens because we've worked further on them in the mean time (yes, a lot of mean times have happened :D)

To conclude, this is our first project and a lot of things have been done wrongly in the past. It has been in development for quite some time mostly because I'm a person who doesn't accept half-products and/or sloppy works. In the last 5-6 months we've finally established everything we needed the right way (we've done a complete technical overhaul to gain better productivity later in development) and since then we worked to improve the assets and fix problems that have been dragging form the beginning of the project. We are now on the right way to wrap it up, although we cannot set a release date yet. I'll stay around on this thread and as soon as we have some news I'll be happy to share it.

You can also follow us on our social media outlets (facebook, tiwtter, discord, newsletters, whatever suits you better) by visiting the official webpage www.saintkotar.com, and you can wishlist the demo on Steam:

Thanks for keeping this alive, we need threads like this, we need good stories and adventure games! :)
Hi Marko,

just saw some footage of Black Mirror again. It’s one of those games I’ve wanted to play for quite some time now but never came around to. After seeing some scenes the vibe and athmosphere immediatly reminded me of the Saint Kotar trailers. So if you don’t mind me asking: Was/is Black Mirror an inspiration for Saint Kotar and if yes, which other games would you say had the most impact on you and the idea for the game?
 
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Here is a game I was very excited about when announced but for some reason lost touch with, Perfect Tides:

It's an adventure game styled after the 90's Sierra games by Meredith Gran, who is also one of my favorite comic authors. You might be familiar with her excellent comic Octopus Pie. According to the website for Perfect Tides the game is slated for a 2019 release.

Screenshots:
 
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Nice!!! @TripleSun those visuals are fantastic. This is definitely a game I'll be keeping my eye on.

Seems to be another game where you learn a game universe language along the way, such an interesting concept.
Wow, that's interesting that two different adventure games are taking up such a unique concept. Super cool. Constantly impressed with the variety within the genre.
 
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Fuz

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Playing Mage's Initiation. Just got the "lock of hair"* and I'm positively impressed so far. Decent puzzles, interesting setting and so far an excellent worldbuilding. The background art is truly beautiful, the characters' pixel art is great and their animations are quite good - although the main character runs weirdly and proportions are sometimes skewed. Combat is MEH, but whatever, no big deal. The main character is kind of a douche (the mages look like some sort of tyrants) and his voice is a bit annoying. Speaking of his voice, I'm really impressed on the quantity of hot spots and consequential voice lines for the descriptions. Maybe even too many.
The animated cutscene(s) was terrible toh. Soooo bad.
So far, I'm really liking it.


* I was rooting for the priestess tbh


Another gorgeous PnC game in development! Noon's Journey The Tideshell Keeper

Dev Blog: https://medium.com/tideshell-studio

More Screens: https://www.saltschuler.com/drifter

Seems to be another game where you learn a game universe language along the way, such an interesting concept.

This kinda screams "FLASH GAME" to me. Hope I'm wrong.
 
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hariseldon

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Has anyone mentioned this yet? Virtuaverse - a cyberpunk point and click. Looks like it might be of interest.




 

TripleSun

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Can never have enough rainy dystopian PnC games

Also looks like Lorelai is releasing in 20 days, so we got an early April release! Loved the prior games from the series. Excited for this one
 
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TripleSun

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Another nice looking PnC I came across that I don't think anyone mentioned: Brassheart

The art immediately made me think of a Daedalic game, which piqued my interest. I definitely have a weak spot for these type of cartoony adventures.

http://www.hexy.studio/brassheart/



 
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New trailer for LUNA: The Shadow Dust. I didn't know before hand that this game was another 2019 release but the website and steam page confirm this. Like Gibbous, the game sports some impressive traditional 2D animation. I really love the look of those cut-scenes, great stuff. Reminds me of French cartoons but interestingly enough the developers are Chinese. Another very promising game in a stacked year.

Edit:
Found out there's a demo on their blog. Gonna check that out when I get the time.
 
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