I would like to open this topic with a little “Intro” to give context:
There is very little in TWP that I found dissatisfactory, I am of the belief that it is one of the finest examples of the Point and Click genre, If not one of the best ever made.
So believe me when I say I do not pass negative judgement on TWP lightly. Though even to call this “negative judgement” is too crass, this is merely an observation of mine and a critical analysis of why I came to this conclusion.
On that note, this has been something that has been on my mind since the release of the game and I would like to open a discussion to the forum, to see what others thoughts on it are.
I am specifically talking about the Intro and what is, in my opinion “missing” from it.
Here we go.
It has all the hallmarks of a great Lucasfilm/arts P’n’C opening:
- A “cold opening” on some images to set the tone, time and place. Which here is done more subtly than previous games, but by doing so ramps up the maturity, suspense and mystery of what is about to unfold.
A dark audio “boom” displayed along side the year
A radio tower top ominously clicking on and off
A lock and chain eerily swinging in the low wind
A Thimbleweed Park sign, with a single bullet hole, removing another number from the population, to also show their will be some humour amongst the dread
A “Part One” screen set to another audio cue splashes on the screen and we are introduced to the game
- Shortly after we are plopped into a short gameplay section, to not only give us a safe small area to learn the controls and how the game works, but also to build out the narrative to setup the rest of the events surrounding TWP, and it’s many mysterious characters and events.
But it is not entirely safe as a mysterious figure lurks in the shadows, ending this short gameplay section
- We are greeted two lines of blue text and silence, to round off the “cold opening” section. These simple lines solidify the note of Intrigue and dread surrounding the events which just unfolded before us. Leaving us in the perfect place for the game to kick off:
- following a brief moment of silence as “Part Two” hits the screen with another ominous audio cue
- Here we are dropped into the game for real as the image fades in, so does the “Intro music” and our first duo of characters take a moment and then begin to talk over it.
So, you have probably read over this and enjoyed reliving it in picture form and are wondering to yourself:
“Wait… what’s wrong with that DangerousLee?”
“It’s a great intro and sets up the game perfectly.”
And I agree, but it is missing one thing, a “credit sequence”
Right there in between those “blue lines of text” and that “Part 2” screen. It was the perfect place for a title sequence set to the energetic “Main Theme”
Nearly every Lucasfilm/arts game had one, with near identical structure, but why not here in TWP?
(I have provided just some examples below)
You might think to yourself “that’s an extreme nitpick” but being honest I don’t think it is.
There is something about how those title screens are the crescendo of all the cold opening build up, you get to sit back for a moment and reflect on the narrative setup, revel in the beautiful music that is being pumped through your speakers, and get to see the names of the auteurs whom have brought this game to your screen, Plus you get a big bold game Logo splashed in your face, usually it hits on the first beat of the musical melody.
There is something vigorous about it, and satisfying. It builds up my excitement to play the game.
It certainly is part of the “charm” of the older titles.
With all that in mind I feel the TWP intro falls flat, all the cold open “build” in anticipation, and it just has the intro theme lightly in the background as the characters talk over it. It feels wrong, and does just fall flatly. That is why I feel the intro was missing something, and could have been more effective with an opening credit sequence.
Though I must also say, I am acutely aware that Ron, Gary and David, most certainly would have talked about this and whether or not to put one in. Be it budgetary, tone setting or time constraints, I can see why it would be left out, in order to give every other aspect of the games design and implementation the full time and proper budget it deserves, furthermore I think it is very evident that the game is of a very high quality, because of expert use of time, creativity and budget.
Anyway I wanted to bring this to the forum and are interested in other peoples thoughts regarding it?
If Ron, Gary or David could also weigh in that would be amazing.