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Ken Williams Interview

Space Venture Interview of Ken Williams is a video of an audio chat with gaming legend Ken Williams. The conversation is intended to support the Two Guys SpaceVenture Kickstarter which is almost 90% funded with 48 hours to go. They discuss Ken and Roberta's retirement as they circumnavigate the globe, and go into the couple's rich contribution to the history of adventure gaming. The audio pops quite a bit, but is pretty clear otherwise. Just hit the bathroom before the link, as the unhurried conversation runs for more than an hour. Thanks nin.

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9. Re: Ken Williams Interview Jun 11, 2012, 03:42 Jerykk
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jun 11, 2012, 02:31:
I don't like hunt the pixel but I don't like hunt the word either.

I like adventure games, but I don't like their gameplay anymore.

I don't know what the solution is but I wish someone would come up with one. Adding in some good replay value might help too. There's no reason a modern adventure game couldn't have harder puzzles for those who had finished it once, alternative endings, etc.


You should check out Wadjet Eye's adventure games. The Blackwell series and Gemini Rue are really good. The best thing about them is that the puzzles don't feel contrived or arbitrary. No pixel hunting, no silly item combination, no convoluted solutions. The solutions are logical without being immediately obvious and you actually feel like a detective in many cases. You can buy the games directly from the devs here: http://www.wadjeteyegames.com/ or find them on Steam or GOG.
 
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8. Re: Ken Williams Interview Jun 11, 2012, 03:12 Ray Ban
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jun 11, 2012, 02:31:
I don't like hunt the pixel but I don't like hunt the word either.

I like adventure games, but I don't like their gameplay anymore.

I don't know what the solution is but I wish someone would come up with one. Adding in some good replay value might help too. There's no reason a modern adventure game couldn't have harder puzzles for those who had finished it once, alternative endings, etc.



Did you try the last Lucasarts adventure games (Grim Fandango, Monkey Island 3)? Your character moves his head to look at items of interest when you come near. I thought that was a good mechanism.
 
"The future's so bright I gotta wear shades!"
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7. Re: Ken Williams Interview Jun 11, 2012, 02:31 Silicon Avatar
 
I don't like hunt the pixel but I don't like hunt the word either.

I like adventure games, but I don't like their gameplay anymore.

I don't know what the solution is but I wish someone would come up with one. Adding in some good replay value might help too. There's no reason a modern adventure game couldn't have harder puzzles for those who had finished it once, alternative endings, etc.

 
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6. Re: Ken Williams Interview Jun 11, 2012, 01:16 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 22:41:
All the text cursor really did was pad the gameplay with frustrating "guess the right word combination" frustration. Most people still just spammed combinations of items on objects in the room until something happened. All moving to a mouse interface did was highlight the fundamental flaw of Sierra adventure games..
This is pretty much why I never got into those kinds of games. They were far too random in what would work and what wouldn't. Not really my idea of fun.
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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5. Re: Ken Williams Interview Jun 10, 2012, 22:58 DangerDog
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 22:41:
All the text cursor really did was pad the gameplay with frustrating "guess the right word combination" frustration. Most people still just spammed combinations of items on objects in the room until something happened. All moving to a mouse interface did was highlight the fundamental flaw of Sierra adventure games..



Maybe so, the best mouse interface was the one that Lucasarts used on their adventure games being a hybrid between having a text parser of sorts and proper interaction with the environment. Playing "hunt for the magic pixel" with your mouse isn't much fun either.
 
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4. Re: Ken Williams Interview Jun 10, 2012, 22:41 Silicon Avatar
 
All the text cursor really did was pad the gameplay with frustrating "guess the right word combination" frustration. Most people still just spammed combinations of items on objects in the room until something happened. All moving to a mouse interface did was highlight the fundamental flaw of Sierra adventure games..


 
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3. Re: Ken Williams Interview Jun 10, 2012, 22:11 Yakubs
 
Everyone who has any interest in adventure games should fund this project. Their prototype showed lots of promise.  
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2. Re: Ken Williams Interview Jun 10, 2012, 17:02 Dev
 
DangerDog wrote on Jun 10, 2012, 16:57:
Good luck to their project, I don't have any interest in playing a game that uses recent sci-fi movies as parody material - mostly because they're all jokes to begin with. From Transformers, Star Wars Prequels to the Star Trek reboot.

Interesting interview, for me Sierra adventure games took a huge nose dive when they got rid of the text parser and went 100% mouse click, and around that same time they went big on digitized graphics and did away with hand drawn scenes - the vga artifacts looked like ass.
They are older guys, I'm sure they will parody older stuff as well as newer stuff.
I didn't like the look of some of the VGA games like space quest 4, but when they did space quest 6, I thought it was a great improvement in looks. And when they went to FPS and did mask of eternity, yuck. Fortunately, the KQ series was the only one where they did that (and no, I don't count the SWAT series as PQ).

Anyway, if you want to relive the text parser games, you are in luck.
http://www.sarien.net/
That site has all the 1st games of the quest series (PQ, SQ, LSL, etc) in a browser based format (so no worrying about how to get them running with dosbox) and they are still parser based. Plus, they are setup so if you want, you can connect with others playing the game who are in the same room with you
 
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1. Re: Ken Williams Interview Jun 10, 2012, 16:57 DangerDog
 
Good luck to their project, I don't have any interest in playing a game that uses recent sci-fi movies as parody material - mostly because they're all jokes to begin with. From Transformers, Star Wars Prequels to the Star Trek reboot.

Interesting interview, for me Sierra adventure games took a huge nose dive when they got rid of the text parser and went 100% mouse click, and around that same time they went big on digitized graphics and did away with hand drawn scenes - the vga artifacts looked like ass.
 
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