And I would argue that there is emotional weight involved in such judgements. It is called unconscious bias.
Don´t think that´s an unconcious bias but the best possible analogy in that case. The biggest difference is that once you beat a game on easy you can climb up the difficulty ladder and still have the same enjoyment while having been hinted through an adventure game you can´t “unknow” the puzzles.
Grand Theft Auto 5 on the one hand had very fair checkpoints (they learned their lesson from the frustrating part 4) but added a strange option that if you failed a mission multiple times you could just skip it. I didn´t really like that idea very much but I wonder how many players took up on that option (which basically enabled you to skip through the whole game).
That’s a fair point, and it is quite possible. However, to counter that I will say that I observed great discussions in the TwP blog when the game came out about getting stuck and how people were very frustrated. Mr. Gilbert responses to most of these were something like “it’s a hard problem to solve. If we do this, then this happens, I don’t know what would solve it…”
These were not “novices” nor newcomers to the genre, mind you; these where the fans that backed the project and formed the community during its development.
I think that, ultimately, Mr. Gilbert hit on a very elegant solution to such problems: The hint system is not only a brilliant solution in itself, but the fact that it is diegetic and built-into the game world proper is a master-stroke. Much better than a separate booklet or 1-800 phone line.
As always, it would be interesting to know Mr. Gilbert’s thought processes, but in my opinion it addresses concerns from both “hardcore” players as well as newcomers, and everyone in between.
I was not talking about the comparison. I was talking about the viewpoint that, “needs a hint = must be a novice, therefore different from us.” That is loaded with emotional baggage.
Well that´s not an assumption I am making for once. I was just talking about how casual gamers are looked down upon in other genres in ways that are much worse than you see here.
I haven´t had a chance to check out the new hint system yet, but I think it can be a good thing as long as it´s not like it was in the Monkey Island SE:
Press “h” once for a vague hint
Press “h” twice for more or less direct advice
Press “h” thrice for bluntly being told what to do, idiot!
That´s not a very good system in my opinion.
So far, from what I can see, it gives you very vague hints, but will progressively give more details while you keep on asking for more, until the answer is given.
I think that’s great, and it allows anyone to get enough of a nudge as they require to progress.
For instance, one of the things it says off the bat is that, “if you can’t find the hint you are looking for, then it means you cannot solve the puzzle yet.” That in itself would have saved me HOURS of frustration on the two times I got stuck – yet as you can see, it doesn’t give anything away.
The problem is some sort of hint button addiction, if you know what I mean. There is some border you cross the first time when you´re really desperate and on subsequent occasions it´s much easier for your mind to accept going back to the hints again and again even though it wouldn´t have been as difficult for you to figure it out yourself. I know I´ve experienced that and I think it´s a common phenomenon. But that example above sounds pretty good!
Ooh that’s interesting too, I shall have to check that out. Lots of reasons to go back into the game
I understand. That happens to me with walkthroughs. However, I think that’s because those are written in a way that you can’t really avoid spoilers, and it is kind of juicy to see what’s up ahead.
The way that this is implemented in TwP is very subtle; each hint is fully self-contained and gives you just enough information to move on. If you need more, you go back and select “I need another hint…” At each step, it is very easy to just stop.
Personally I rather take the risk of enticement from the hint system (something which I can control), over hours of frustration any time.
I think the idea of using the ingame phone is brilliant, I´m downloading now and check out the character dialogues! Next up the arcade!
Is the arcade open now?? Woo-hoo! This game keeps getting better and better!
I´m sorry, I meant that because it´s said to be the next update after this one.
Here is the answer, from the blog post
The biggest change was a new in-game hint system. I know this will cause the hardcore adventure gamer’s blood to boil (as it does mine), but the lack of hints was widely criticized by some of the more casual press.
It seems that the critics came mainly from the press that wasn’t adventure-specific.
Ah, no worries! I can wait.
Thanks interesting to know the reason behind it. Sounds like Ron was a bit reluctant, heheh, but a nice subtle way of incorporating it into the game.
From what I´ve seen so far it´s really neat. I also like the way it tells you general things about locations and characters. I will certainly play a little bit with it in subsequent playthroughs. Only problem is that if it´s done it hangs up and you have to call it again to ask for more, but I guess that´s okay.
Does anyone else have a way to memorize the hint number?
I just looked it up every time that I called it, until I didn’t need to anymore.
I meant, when I called to play with it. I didn’t need any hints, I already finished the game.
It’s HINT on the phone.
I noticed that last night. Per the “hint” on the hint flyer, showing the number as “H. I. N. T. (4468)”
You actually quoted me here (this happens often on the forum also happened to me) so I´ll reply.
I noticed that in the US you often use the letters on the phone to memorize numbers (“Call 555-SHOE”) which is something that hardly anyone knows of in germany, because it´s never been used. I don´t think we even had the numbers written down on our phones for the longest time, I only realized how that works when I started writing messages on my first cellphone.
So I absolutly see how that makes sense. But from my european standpoint it wasn´t the first thing that entered my mind.
But thanks, I might remember that one better than my own convuluted one.