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Was TWP too ambitious? Too big/lengthy?

Finished my first play-through today, and I’ve got some thoughts:

So overall, I really enjoyed the game and I can see the love and attention that went into it. I played on my couch through steam, and I was surprised at how well TWP actually played with a controller. I really enjoyed the first few acts in particular, but as the game went on, my fun level did go down. For me, as with a lot of modern games I play, TWP was just a bit too long. Probably half of all SP games these days overstay their welcome for me, either by a little or a lot. Be that Uncharted 4 or Bloodborne or Persona 5, or whatever game you want to name. At my age (33), I don’t have the time to devote to a lot of these games, there are too many things I need to do, and too many games and hobbies for my limited free time. In addition to TWP’s length, the ever increasing number of characters and items to manage also became tiresome for me.

I know Ron has said that the time and money needed to make another TWP-style adventure game are keeping him from wanting to make another, but what if he scaled back the next game a bit? I know I would have been just as satisfied with TWP being a 10 hr experience, instead of a 16 hr one. Even a 6 to 8 hr playtime would be more than fine for me. I’d also be quite happy just controlling one or two characters instead of 5! Surely a shorter game, with less characters, would take less time and money to develop, especially with an engine all ready in place. I don’t think a shorter game has to mean a lower quality one.

Maybe that’s why some of my favorite adventure games are Gabriel Knight and Star Trek 25th Ann/Judgement Rites. Specifically with ST, I like that the game is episodic in nature, so you’re not carrying around the same items the whole game, and they don’t pile up. And being episodic, the puzzles/situations just feel more manageable on the whole. I know TWP has Acts, but the gamestate and items are still mostly preserved, and the locations mostly stay the same as well. I also like that even though you control 3 characters in the ST adv. games, you all move from scene to scene in a group, so that means that you don’t have to keep switching characters just to keep everyone together. You do still have to figure out which character is best-suited to which task, but since you’re all together you don’t need to switch items or move people around in order to figure things out.

One big positive that TWP and the ST adv. games share, is that there aren’t really any fail-states, other than the “don’t go through that door/push that button” variety. I like that quite a bit. One final note about ST that I think was a nice touch, and that could be used in other adventure games, is that there aren’t a lot of “game stopping” puzzles in those games. A lot of puzzles in ST25/JR can be solved in a number of ways, its just that some ways are harder to figure out than others, and usually the more complicated or thoughtful solution will reward a player with a better end of mission score/review.

But enough about the Star Trek games, I only mentioned them because I think they represent a really nice example of multi-act, multi-character adventure games. What do you guys think? Would a Ron Gilbert game be just as good with only one or two player characters, or with a shorter playtime? Anyone else feel the same as me?

PS. I also wouldn’t mind a more “conventional” story, while we’re at it, but that’s only a minor quibble and up for debate! :wink:

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Oh, I should also mention that I bought the game on sale through GOG, and now knowing the financials of the game I kinda feel bad about that. But my conscience is soothed by the fact that I did go out and order the Big Box edition of the game and a t-shirt, once I started playing and saw how good the game was. I’m still waiting for it to arrive, but I can’t wait, it’ll be like taking a trip back in time with all the goodies in a big ole box.

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There is a casual mode meant for people who don’t want too much puzzles or don’t want a too long game. Ron thought of everything :slight_smile:

He actually thought of episodic gaming way back when we even didn’t had the means of digital distribution like we have now. (He wanted to send out CDs every month or so.)

Yeah… what happens to all that stuff? Is it filtered by the transporter when they beam back up? :thinking:

Nope, it’s a Ron Gilbert game and you will also get Ron Gilbert endings. :slight_smile:

We would all be happy about another kind of adventure game from them. Shorter, simpler (less playable characters etc.) are fine too.

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I really liked that there was 15 to 20 hour gameplay in this game.
For such a good game, the longer the better.

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It was a big game, and that’s exactly what I liked about it. An unfortunate problem with modern gaming is that some games tend to be too short on content/story, so this was a nice change. I only hope they at least broke even or made some profit from it.

Incidentally, with all this talk of a Tarantino Star Trek film, I’d love to see a Ron Gilbert Star Trek game!

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I also enjoyed the length. I felt it was about right. It took me about 16 hours to beat the game on my first playthrough, and I’m okay with that length.

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Although, this is rarely an issue to be honest. Most games have ways to ditch items when no longer needed. Some games are persistent enough at this, that you can be almost certain that you still need an item when it doesn’t disappear when used. A frequent example of this is a key which disappears as soon you unlocked the only thing it fits in.

Probably the same as in the tv show. It sure goes somewhere, but there is certainly no need to keep it all for the next mission. People there have workplaces, quarters and other contacts, which are all possible places for inventory.

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For me it could have been even longer. I took more than 30 hrs for the first playthrough because I wanted to play as long as possible. But I was waiting for this game a very long time :slight_smile:

Nope! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I know for me with TWP, I did find inventory management a bit of a pain towards the end. Since there were only two visible rows of inventory, I constantly found myself scrolling to the top of the list to access the fast-travel map, and then having to scroll back down to the bottom to find a recent item to use/test and then clicking back up to the top to fast-travel again. Got a bit cumbersome/tedious. But it wasn’t a deal breaker or anything, but it did detract a bit from the experience for me. That being said, I do suffer from some RSI-type hand pain, so I’m more sensitive to extra or unnecessary “clicks.” I would have loved to be able to open a full inventory screen or to be able to easily rearrange items.

How do you keep track of the hours played? Do you keep a stop watch next to you while playing games?

It depends on the game. For TWP, as in many games, your save slots will list how many hours into the game each save is. Otherwise, when you play games on Steam, it automatically tracks hours played for each game. At least that’s how I keep track, not sure if there are any other methods.

Or just simple logic depending on the game in question. If I finished TWP in 7 days while I have ~3 hours available to play it every day and I spent the majority of that time playing it, that means I spent ~21 hours on it.[*]

[*] Numbers fictional.

For Steam/Galaxy/whatever tracking that gives me a maximum time only. I’ve never seen a game that pauses Steam/Galaxy time counting while it’s paused or out of focus. I think it’s Rise of the Tomb Raider that I once left paused and in the background for basically the whole weekend. Unlike some @#$@# games the modern Tomb Raider games only use RAM in that scenario. Point being, according to Steam I’d surpassed 20 hours after an hour and a half or so of actual playtime.

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With games like TWP, I use to write down how many hours I play in each session. I also write down clues I get while playing. Too old school, I know.

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It’s the only way to track it… if for some reason you care to have such precision. (The only reason I see to track time that way is work.) Whether it’s on paper or in a digital spreadsheet or something is immaterial.

I don’t think TWP was too long. It was my own fault for being stuck on some puzzles and being too headstrong for not wanting to use any hints (the in-game hint system wasn’t available in the early version I played). I think that may have lead to 4 to 6 extra hours unaccounted for.

In general, I do recognise the feeling of not having enough time to play a game, so if you are forced to sit through endless dialogues/cutscenes/non-saveable sections, those kind of games remain unplayed/unfinished.

For TWP, you can finish it in one month of daily sessions of 30 minutes to 1 hour, which is perfect.

In comparison, I have some FPS games I still haven’t finished after 5 years since starting playing them. So any story in those is kinda lost.

That is actually an interesting idea… as long as it doesn’t put limits to the amount of items you can carry and other inventory management things found in most RPG

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:exploding_head:

(Brothers in Arms had one. That’s about it.)

To say it in more detail, I have no spare time these days too. But I waited so long for something like TWP, that I enoyed every minute and didn´t want it to end too soon.

Did you scroll with your mouse wheel or by clicking?

EDIT: killed some typos…

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I was using a controller, so I scrolled through my inventory by “clicking” or pressing the buttons on my controller. I still find using a mouse while I’m sitting on the couch to be a bit awkward.

Is that with the d-pad?

Uh, the d-pad is used to cycle through the verbs and you can also use it to move over to the inventory items. I tended to use the dpad to pick verbs and the analog stick plus (x) to pick the item or person. The shoulder buttons are use to “quick select nearest object.” So by pressing the dpad to the verb you want and using the shoulder buttons you can actually interact with things pretty quickly. Faster even than using a mouse sometimes.