Following the lemur

 
Martila
Minnow
Minnow
220 Posts

Re:Following the lemur

[Post New]by Martila on Jul 31, 11 12:24 AM
You can move and change them freely, but the trick is that you have en empty space somewhere. (You started with picking up a pole and it's place is there until you do't fill it).

 
Branes
Squid
Squid
63 Posts

Re:Following the lemur

[Post New]by Branes on Apr 3, 12 9:49 PM
This is a stupid, poorly thought out puzzle in an otherwise good game. People hear at different ability levels. To create a maze based on hearing where the clue comes from is inconsiderate and bad programming.
And to not allow someone to bypass it if it becomes too difficult is also bad practice.
This is what is killing adventure gaming. Programmers create puzzles that are so difficult that even with a walkthru, people can't progress so they give up on the game.
Every puzzle in an adventure game should have a bypass system so that if it is too difficult, the player can skip it. And I'm also a fan of built in hints. True, this will allow a form of cheating, but then why play an adventure game at all if you want to bypass all the puzzles? Having the ability to bypass some of the more difficult ones will still allow the player to enjoy the game without being stuck and unable to complete the adventure.

Besides, I've always thought that the programmer being concerned about a player cheating is stupid to begin with, unless of course it is a multiplayer online game.. Why should they care HOW someone plays their game? Once someone buys it, it should be theirs to do with as they please. That's the meaning of ownership.



 
Martila
Minnow
Minnow
220 Posts

Re:Following the lemur

[Post New]by Martila on Apr 3, 12 10:31 PM
Branes, in a way you are right: in the old times (this game was released in 2004) developers rarely considered people with impaired hearing. Maybe because the audience was much smaller and the problem didn't arise. The concern has appeared only recently. Agon developer has been thinking about a solution for future releases.

Okay, your opinion is that sound puzzles are stupid and poorly thought out. But have you played the Myst games? They are the most successful adventure games ever, full of sound puzzles, no skip.
Old adventures, like this one, generally had no hint or skip feature as simply there was no demand for one. Just as you say: why play an adventure game at all if you want to bypass the puzzles? Times are changing, however, and today's games have all kinds of features to make us spoiled and forget thinking...

 
Branes
Squid
Squid
63 Posts

Re:Following the lemur

[Post New]by Branes on Apr 4, 12 3:50 PM
Myst is a very good example of old time programming. Good for its time, but show me one person who completed that game without hints or a walkthru. I've never met anyone who has. The genre has to evolve if it is going to survive with all the other competition for gamers' attention.
Even people like myself who played all of the old adventure games now prefer something that, although mentally challenging, isn't going to be tedious and unnecessarily time consuming.

Fact is, once you've played one of the more advanced type of adventure games with a journal that records important information so you don't have always backtrack, a map allowing you to jump around quickly, retrievable hints or maybe a nudge from your character and other things that make the game less frustrating, you never want to go back to the old "keep your pad and paper handy, and prepare to spend hours redoing everything" kind of game.

Take this puzzle for example. I failed to find the clearing following the lemur's "voice." Now I'm back at the gate with the obnoxious guard and the lemur is nowhere in sight. How am I supposed to finish this puzzle now? My last save was back in lapland. I don't want to have to play all that again.

Another example of a bad puzzle in my opinion is the "crossing the marsh" puzzle in Mysterious Island 2, where the monkey has to use the stick to probe the water in order to find a shallow place to cross safely. You have to poke the stick in every single possible location to find that one place...and then have to do it two more times. This is ridiculous. The purpose of a puzzle is to figure out HOW to do something. Once you've done that, the game should allow you to do it and get on to the next area; not have to pixel hunt for an hour or more to get thru the puzzle you're already mentally solved.

I suppose for $6.99 I can't expect this game to be "The Longest Journey." But it's frustrating being held back in an adventure game because of a physical lack of ability and not a mental one. I'm almost 61 and a former professional rock guitarist. I blew out my hearing in front of Marshall stacks years ago. I can still hear, but I have a difficult time hearing subtle volume differences.

To be honest, I probably never even considered the sound puzzles in Myst because at the time I didn't have a hearing problem so it didn't affect me.





 
Branes
Squid
Squid
63 Posts

Re:Following the lemur

[Post New]by Branes on Apr 4, 12 3:58 PM
One other point I just realized is that the developers are assuming the player has a sound system where the center sound comes from the middle of the monitor. But I used two monitors, so that sound comes from between them. How am I supposed to hear where the lemur's voice is coming from?
Now, I'm forced to adjust my speakers just to accommodate a $7 game. That is the folly of making a puzzle which depends on sound direction to complete.

For an example of what I consider a very well done modern adventure game, check out Dracula Origins. I doesn't have an actual hint system, per se, but it tells you when you still need to find something in a room before leaving it, and you can hit the spacebar to reveal all the available hotspots if you get stumped.
But there are still enough clever puzzles in the game to make it challenging and fun.
And important information which you need later is usually found somewhere in your inventory.

Aside from these points, I still think the Agon games are pretty good, just not very good.

You are quite right though, these are older games so complaining that they don't have the more up to date functions is probably pretty ridiculous on my part.
But when you are frustrated with a game and live alone you want to vent to someone. That's what forums are for. LOL.

Edited on 04/04/2012 at 4:05:13 PM PST


 
Martila
Minnow
Minnow
220 Posts

Re:Following the lemur

[Post New]by Martila on Apr 8, 12 1:32 AM
Branes, thanks for telling us all these.
Did you know that Agon's game designer Pierrot is also a musician? Maybe this explains the lemur in the game - and of course the background music

"..once you've played one of the more advanced type of adventure games with a journal that records important information so you don't have always backtrack, a map allowing you to jump around quickly, retrievable hints or maybe a nudge from your character and other things that make the game less frustrating, you never want to go back to the old "keep your pad and paper handy..."

This is exactly the way Agon continued. The next episode The Lost Sword of Toledo and Private Moon's other game Yoomurjak's Ring already has these. But I do like the pad-and-paper way, actually I just had a beautiful handmade notebook for this purpose as a Xmas present

Being stuck for hours/days is not so much fun, indeed. Of course I have to confess that solving Myst puzzles (especially Riven) was a challenge even with the walkthroughs... But I enjoy the look-and-feel of the game so much that I just don't care

Your comments on the lemur puzzle and the march crossing are excellent, though. I don't think any developer would dare to make such a puzzle nowdays

But coming back to the lemur: it is best to use a headset. And if nothing else works just keep turning around until you hear the LOUDEST cry. (The same works for those who don't have a stereo sound.)

Happy Easter!


Edited on 04/08/2012 at 1:33:16 AM PST


 
Branes
Squid
Squid
63 Posts

Re:Following the lemur

[Post New]by Branes on Apr 8, 12 5:38 AM
Martila, To be honest, I have never been a big fan of Myst type games. I've played them because I did enjoy the way the puzzles worked, and of course the incredible graphics, but I'm more of an old Sierra/LucasArts fan. Games like the Gabriel Knight series, King's Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, and Monkey Island series and that style are more enjoyable to me. However, I've been playing PC games going back to an Apple II in college. I've played every kind of adventure there is starting with Colossal Caves on my Atari 400. That was before the Internet and available walkthrus. The Dragon puzzle had me stumped for days until I was able to go to the Computer Club meeting and found out the solution.

Two things I've never liked in Adventure games: timed puzzles and action sequences. Even some of the best games had them, like Gabriel Knight 2 for example, but to me they always detracted from the cerebral fun of the game. What developers never seemed to get was that adventure gamers played those games because they didn't LIKE fast action games in the first place, but wanted something to challenge their imagination, not their mouse finger.

Although it's neither a timed puzzle or an action sequence, I think the lemur puzzle is unnecessary and only serves to frustrate the player. The object is to get to the clearing and get the items or information necessary to get past the guard. The problem with this puzzle is that there is the distinct possibility that some players can't finish it. And no walkthru can help. And even one mistake makes you start it over again. This is very poor programming. Always, always, always, provide a way for the player to finish the game. The last thing you should want is for the player to quit the game because he/she can't solve one puzzle. But enough about this puzzle. I think I've made my opinion of it quite clear by now. lol.

Funny you should mention a special notebook. Way back in the dark ages, (heh heh),I had a special notebook set up just for my Ultima IV hints. It's long since gone, but I remember that one fondly. THAT game required keeping a serious notebook.

 
 
 
 
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