Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

Open World Point and Click game?

I’ve seen some crazy PnC mechanic ideas here, including the multiplayer Maniac Mansion :smile:

So here’s one more idea:

A cross between Point and click and RPG:

  • just like RPGs you have an open world with many different puzzles at different towns
  • there is no linear plot, so just like in RPGs you wander around and solve ‘quests’ for folks
  • BUT: quests are NOT boring like ‘kill 10 boars’ but actually interesting point and click stuff

The boring grinding and levelling is why I abandon most RPGs, if it were interesting puzzle solving, I’d be hooked… So what do you guys think, can it be done (as a dev I can already see a billion issues, but it doesn’t sound impossible)? I love it when RPGs make you think (like some item puzzles in Deathspank for example), but would it work as the only mechanic, I don’t know…


1 Like

Dude, check out Death Spank, by none other than Mr. Ron Gilbert himself. An adventure game/RPG hybrid was its intended goal.

I think he succeeded. It’s got the best of both worlds: my wife, an RPG gamer loved it, and so did I.


1 Like

yes man, yes. I dream of a game like this.

The problem of having an open world is that you can no longer have puzzles that consist in using objects in uncommon ways (mcGyver style). Because in an open world there would be more logical substitutes for those objects. An interesting question is how many puzzles in TWP you would lose. Another interesting question is what are the kinds of puzzles that would survive. (I remember Ultima 7 had subsections where you are locked up in dungeons, or in alternate dimensions, with few objects in the inventory, exactly because of this problem.)

Have you played “Else Heart.Break()” already?

You’re right. Since my time is limited, I need to choose: either play else heart.break, or keep tormenting readers of this forum with abstract posts that are of interest only to myself. I choose the latter.

but seriously, these days I am finding it more interesting to make an engine (point& click but text based). Unfortunately, I had just finished an engine with an objective-based UI (see other thread) and I already lost interest… now I am going to build an engine based on proof trees, meant for Agatha Christie style mysteries. It’s a hard life.

To get back to that game (else heart break)… I have read some descriptions and I seem to understand you need to be a hacker and actually write code? I find this incredibly unappealing. Is it an important part of the game?


If I have understood your posts correctly, Else Heart.Break() offers exactly what you want: An open world adventure where you can use every object with a context sensitive UI. It has even a day and night cycle. So I would highly recommend to play this game. Even …

… if you have to code. This is part of some (of the later) puzzles: The code changes the world and with this ability you have to solve the puzzles.

If you don’t like coding in a game, wait for the next (Steam) sale. But I highly recommend you to try this game: I’m sure it gives you new “input” for your own prototypes.

In your posts you are doing thought experiments that Else Heart.Break() (partially) implemented.

Else Heart.Break() implements an object based UI. Have a look at the videos on Steam.

1 Like

The Quest for Glory series of games comes pretty darned close to what you’re describing. It’s an RPG in the sense that there’s combat and a skill-based character progression system. along with the ability to play one of three different character types (fighter, thief, mage). But it’s first and foremost an adventure game. The first two games used a text parser, but the first game got a VGA point-and-click remake from Sierra, and the second one got a high-quality fan remake to the same VGA point-and-click standard.

The games themselves aren’t truly open world, as each game tends to focus on one community and its surrounding area, but they do have various major and minor quests to accomplish, and the character can be imported to each sequel, so you can maintain your character’s progress. They’re the closest I’ve ever seen a game come to replicating the pencil-and-paper RPG experience, since the adventure game mechanics and associated art break away from the usual computer RPG experience. Admittedly there’s potentially a lot of combat, but mages and thieves can rely on magic and stealth respectively to avoid combat. Due to the skill-based system, using skills is what improves them, so there’s no need to grind through combat unless you’re specifically working on combat-related skills, which are a minority of a character’s skills.

If nothing else, I think the games would be a good starting point to further explore your idea.


Quest for Infamy is a similar game/adventure/RPG:

1 Like

Ultima 7 : The Black Gate might fit the bill. Officially its an RPG but the levelling up is minor compared to the exploration/puzzles.


I am watching some videos. It definitely has a Ultima 7 feeling. I am reliving those sensations. I will buy it as soon as I’ve time to play. Looks great.

However I haven’t yet understood the details of the ui. You hover the mouse on the door, you see “open door” and “unlock door”. But how do you choose between the two? And what is the purpose of the list of actions on the top left corner?

Also, I’ve not yet seen a puzzle. So I don’t understand if and how they solved the “substitute” problem above. In other words, what kind of puzzles are there in this game (if any)?

You click on the action, you want to perform. :slight_smile:

It lists action, you can perform in that moment. For example you can open your bag = open your inventory.

There are normal puzzles like in a point and click adventure. For example you have to find person X or gain access to your hotel room. :slight_smile:

I just played a couple of hours of Else Heart.Break() and that’s almost exactly what I had in mind. I loved it, but it was a bit too fast for me, I get frustrated that time goes by so fast I can’t get anything done.

Thanks for the heads up!

I didn’t much like that you couldn’t drag objects around freely (like in Ultima 7) and that you could not select all of them (again like in Ultima 7) but only a few.

This is nice:


I really wanted an adventure game like this.

There is no combat, and there are real adventure-style puzzles.


Rakuen is a similar game and part of the current Humble Indie Bundle. So you can get it for 1 Dollar:

Website of the game:

And the Steam page:

Just 1$ !!! Thank you!

Interesting. Have you guys played those games, are they as nice as they sound? (Rakuen is DRM-free btw.)

This is the minimum price. You are allowed to pay more.

1 Like

A lot of good things suggested on this thread. I love the feeling of “A long road home” and I am happy to see I am not the only one who would love a game being a mixture of that Japanese RPG feel and Western-style adventure games.

Another suggestion: why not a game in which point&click would be only an element of the game? What I mean is, a game which would be part simulation/combat/rpg whatever until you reach places where they play as P&C.

There was sort of an example in the past: Eternam. The game had you travel through its world on a first-person perspective, shooting enemies until you reach places of interests. In such places, it becomes a P&C game. Eternam was not so good, at least I did not like it so much, it was fun at times but quickly got on my nerves. However the idea is not so bad.

1 Like

No, not yet.

Yes, sorry, I should have mentioned that, so just to clarify: In the Humble Indie Bundle you can get several games and you chose the price. Minimum is 1 US Dollar, but you can pay as much money as you like. Some of the money goes to charity. And you’ll get some of the games only if you pay the shown price (for example if you would like to have Superhot too, you have to pay 14 US Dollars or more).

Official Thimbleweed Park Forums powered by Discourse.