It seemed to me that there were a lot of interesting things in the factory once I went downstairs but there seemed to be way less hotspots. At times it felt like many screens were there only to be passed through even though there were all of these machines around. I couldn’t ‘look’ at very many of them.
I thought that perhaps they simply hadn’t gotten around to it yet and then maybe when there was a time crunch it was decided that since there were no practical uses for the things it would be a waste of time and resources to write up little reactions for all of them.
There are for sure less hotspots, in that part of the factory. I don’t know the reason.
Still, one of those rooms gave me some food for thought: I’m still wondering why the machines are installing viruses on floppy discs. They invested time in creating that animation, I assume there was a reason for it.
Maybe the purpose of that section of the game isn’t to resolve puzzles but only to give the player something to observe and to think about.
The way I see it (and I may be wrong of course): if you got to the pillow factory, chances are that you have already spent a certain amount of hours in the game solving potentially tough puzzles.
You are closer to the end of the game and the design at this stage is walking you through narrower stages as tension increases.
[spoiler]You have a nice and simple Escape Room puzzle when uncle Chuck locks you inside and you have to use the C4 on the door (Hard version). An Escape Room kind of puzzle is considered more “relaxing” because you already know you have everything you need to solve the puzzle and you don’t have to wander around (even though you have Franklin) the game world to find other objects. Everything is within that same room.
After that, things get just a little less narrow, but I consider that last section of the game to be a “boss fight” in point and click adventure fashion.
I also noticed that you can use/push/pull/open/close the tubes in the mainframe room, rather than having a single verb to do so. I guess this is because of that being the very last “important” section of the game and the characters (and players) being eager to get closure.[/spoiler]
I guess, those rooms are there so you can feel the vastness of the pillow factory.
The same thing with the sewers. Most rooms serve no purpose other then connecting more rooms, yet they perfectly add to the game, imho.
The concept of rooms only there to connect other rooms isn’t new either. Zak McKracken also made extensive use of it, encouraging you to draw maps.
Mr. Gilbert will probably disagree and say it was done on purpose, but to me it looks like they ran out of time and money, needed to ship the game, and just concentrated on the really important things. After all, LOOK AT and other interactions that are not germane to a puzzle are just “nice to haves”.
I’m sure that’s the theory, but in practice – at least to me, but I’ve seen in the blog that I am not alone – it feels a bit like the game is rushing you and instead of creating dramatic tension, it’s just making you reach the finish line rather perfunctorily. To me it’s a bit disconnected from the pace and style of rest of the game.
I don’t require puzzles in every room. Actually, I think that I wouldn’t like it. Part of my enjoyment comes from the fact that I can simply wander around and observe the environment, especially if I like the visuals a lot.
I did that in Monkey Island or in Rubacava a lot.
So, I’m pleased that they put in Thimbleweed Park sections with fewer things to do, like the sewer or part of the factory or the woods or streets with few objects to interact with.
Yesterday I spent a few minutes observing the valley and Matt’s art. (I discovered that the highlighted hotel windows don’t change, if you observe them from the vista).
I disagree. At the end of the day an adventure game is a gigantic puzzle that you need to disentangle… Having empty areas, red herrings, and in-jokes that don’t give clues are all making the big puzzle less perfect.
I get how these contribute to make it a better comedy, atmosphere, etc… But I feel that TWP has a bit too many of those, and definitely more than the original Monkey Island games, where almost everything and everyone you could interact would be part of a puzzle or give you a clue to solve one.
I watched the first half of Home Alone 1 the other day, and I was amazed to see how every single bit of the first 20 minutes is important… It’s the same with Back to the Future I, there’s nothing you could cut and make the movie any better.
I remember the blog post “Cut Cut Cut”, and I feel that there’s stuff that should’ve been cut as well. Hey, I still think it’s the best adventure game since 1992, but when analysing something and discussing it for so long you get very picky
I think it’s just a matter of personal preferences. I will always prefer the version of the sewers that you gen on the “hard” mode to the one that you get on the “casual” mode.
The first one has a lot of additional rooms with no objects to interact with, while the second one has just the room with the objects that you have to collect. You can feel being in a sewer only in the first version, because they used the quantity of the empty rooms to make the player perceive the vastness and depth of a town-sized subterranean system. This kind of atmosphere is important to me.
How can you move away from the portal with Franklin? It says there’s a mysterious force that keeps him close to the portal.
If you remove Franklin who has very limited interaction with the environment you have the only the flowers, Chuck sign, and the door. Speck of dust is only for an achievement and path to the highway is just to exit the area, not a real hot spot.
Regarding those who say they didn’t think more puzzles were necessary in the pillow factory, I agree in that I think it’s fine with as many puzzles as there are. I am literally only questioning why so many things in the environment aren’t hotspots that can be looked at. Like walk up to some machine and look at it, “Oh this is the such and such machine–this must be where such and such happens…”
If we use the example of the sewer, there is a lot of stuff that you don’t need to use, but there are still a ton of hotspots. Eventually I’d looked at so much floating debris that the player just said something along the lines of “I’ve seen enough junk.” I could point to all of the pipe valves even though there were no puzzles for them.
And certainly the pillow factory was a more interesting place to investigate than the sewer