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Blog: "Thoughts on Limbo"
Rapture Offline
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RE: Blog: "Thoughts on Limbo"

Since this is the latest blog, when can we start getting more info on the new game for HPL3? It's been awhile, and I'm really interested in whats in store for us! Smile
10-18-2011, 12:42 AM
Thomas Offline
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RE: Blog: "Thoughts on Limbo"

(10-18-2011, 12:42 AM)Rapture Wrote: Since this is the latest blog, when can we start getting more info on the new game for HPL3? It's been awhile, and I'm really interested in whats in store for us! Smile
But this blog post does contain plenty of info. You just need to read between the lines Wink
10-18-2011, 08:09 AM
imgoneimdead Offline
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RE: Blog: "Thoughts on Limbo"

Well, puzzles in games is actually a really fun aspect, as you said you wanted to remove them. Why do that? No puzzles, is... not enough interesting. And i'm hoping it will be a horror game. That's what you guys are known for! I personally want more monsters. and Limbo hardly has a monster. The spider is like a scripted event. I think you guys should have more close encounters with your monsters.
10-24-2011, 10:45 PM
Sexbad Offline
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RE: Blog: "Thoughts on Limbo"

I'm double-posting this to another part of the forum, but I wrote something up with my own view on the usefulness of things that LIMBO does, so why not post it here too?

[Image: jao3z.jpg]
01-17-2012, 12:17 AM
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Googolplex Offline

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RE: Blog: "Thoughts on Limbo"

LIMBO is a great game, thanks Thomas for showing this game.

OK, it is not one of my favorite games, but it it really awesome when you haven't something to play and the puzzles and atmosphere are great.

Here is a fantastic article for Thomas, but it is unhappily in german. Perhaps you can translate the text with Google Translator or something. You must read it - it will be very interesting for you about the culture of games. Wjhy action games destroy all and why good old games are full of story elements. It is really interesting to read.

Thomas goes the correct way.

The player wakes up in an unknown location and has no weapon and there is no helicopter crashing into a building, no explosions are coming and you have not to fight against hordes of zombies with a big sword. Thomas is an artist who knows how games should be.

This article is for him, maybe you can understand the translated text.

I'm from germany and games in our country are very popular. Today we get this interesting article here:


Translated text:
The end of the epic

The trend toward faster and more action makes telling stories in front of the RPG genre is no exception. Thereby lost something? We analyze the report current and classic RPGs.

Kevin random |

Date: 01/14/2012

»RPG Preview 2012
The upcoming RPG Hits

Enemies, enemies everywhere! Even before I can shoot, a cutscene begins: A helicopter crashes into a skyscraper, which collapses. From the debris cloud from an attack dog dives, Quick Time Event: W, D, S, A, hammering on the left mouse button, so you win the battles of today. I still invite - Cutscene! A spaceship lands from the evil eight-headed snake eels. I take a step back - cut scene! Marines run through each other, screams, explosions! The Vatican declared war on America away, storming Swiss Guards with halberds the Capitol, the nuclear suitcase is!

Okay, I exaggerate: in this degree I was not a game of disaster rushed to disaster - not even Modern Warfare 3, which is honestly tried. The fantasy scene is rather pictorially represent a trend that I observe for several years: In general, games are always fast and action packed, they outbid each other with fireworks effect. This is most evident in the Call of Duty series, which has earned her the label Kawumm backdrop of perfect popcorn entertainment.

Now, like many players of a shooter also expect exactly that. In story emphasized genres, especially role-playing games, I hope, however intelligent, very well told one story that touched me emotionally. But even there the trend to germinate fast-paced and action-heavy gameplay, even if he has not long since captured the entire genre. The prominent representatives of the push-to-the-tube group are The Witcher 2, Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect series, their stories faster and more film-like than about Two Worlds 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Risen or Drakensang - not to mention the adventures of the old guard like Baldur's Gate, Gothic and Outcast.

The tempo often joins a simplified mechanism. The time in which I tinkered together heroes from my tables seems to be over. But we go through the accelerated narrative clock lost something else?
Racing toward the entry

A modern trend is the rapid entry, should in the first few minutes, no, must rip it properly. Since it is only logical that The Witcher 2 within the first hour, including a siege burns dragon attack. At the same time I would leave in Baldur's Gate 2 (2001) did not even start the dungeon.

Even with Baldur's Gate 1, the start was slow.
It tells the story but also in Warlock's dialogues, but especially brisk in cutscenes. As swordsmen whirling around each other, buildings go up in flames, assassins assassinate in slow motion. "We can use almost all senses of the player to" pull him into the game world, says Sebastian Stepien, chief author of the CD project. And indeed, my hero, Geralt the Witcher takes an active part in the events, runs, fights, screams. No question: This is fun. In no other role-playing happens within the first hour so much.

The pace moves into the world, keeps the action in good spirits, "cut scenes are a great way to tell stories and let slip the player into the role of the hero," performs Stepien. Also convey emotions the film clips very well, because they show the characters in action. Thus, the characters feel more real than static dialogue partners. When a king falls incessantly up and down, that's just as insistent in saying only: "I'm nervous."
Pleasant prelude

In comparison to the action of the storm sorcerer adventure act entrances of Gothic (2001), Morrowind (2002) and Outcast (1999) snail slow. Gothic issued the first player a first order: the old camp, a settlement reached. It could hardly be less heroic. Cutscenes? None. Instead, you have to take care themselves know the world by holding talks and explore the surrounding area. Even in the later Piranha Bytes games of entry in a comparatively leisurely.

Gothic gently leads the player into the game world.
Björn Pankratz from Piranha Bytes says: "It's important for us not to overwhelm the player immediately. He will find themselves first in a plausible starting situation, the complex is gradually. "While The Witcher 2 begins at the apex of the arc voltage, is Gothic and the classical way it climbs gradually. The result: In Gothic I experience a story that picks up momentum slowly and culminates in a satisfying climax, while in The Witcher 2, after the pompous entry actually flatten the voltage only can - and does.

This is the crux of the cut scenes: they are a good way to build tension and pace, but it is difficult to get both upright. Especially since it lacks many titles to dramaturgy: Without successful soft passages are not effective shock moments. If the intermediate films accumulate too much blunts the player. In role-playing is particularly problematic because they are usually entertained at least twenty hours. For a lasting effect because it is heavy barrage to put real highlights.

Blunted by automatic fire

With this problem also has to contend Modern Warfare 3: Despite all the explosions and catastrophes lacking genuine highlights. To further excitement and action to drive up, each more spectacular than the last cut scene. And the finale is the best one better.

In Modern Warfare 3 follows an explosion of the next.

Especially the latter succeeds in actually very good The Witcher 2 will not disappoint the thin and the third act badly staged dry end. For the player that is unsatisfactory, because the game is the huge expectations that sparked the spectacular entry, can not ultimately satisfy. Similar problems also has Mass Effect 2, the end of which is significantly less impressive than its predecessor. But what we want to shock Bioware even if Commander Shepard is already the beginning of the game dies and is revived?
We have no time

In addition to the story the introduction runs in the game world ever hunted. As in the first hour as much to happen, the idea of ​​the universe must also move quickly across the stage: "You are the hero, this is your job. And now to catch! "So it does not give rise to confusion, the world is increasingly self-explanatory.

In Outcast, the player must first learn the alien language.
Not least for this reason many titles in the Second World War, or are located in a (at least in part) interchangeable fantasy worlds. Games like Morrowind, where you for a while did not understand what's going on work, however old-fashioned. Not to mention Outcast, in which I meet with the soldiers Cutter Slade on an alien society with its own language. Many of the terms I need to learn laboriously before I understand the context and can understand the story.

Why is it then that players still rave about Outcast? Thrilled that they tell how they have spent a whole afternoon of reading books in Morrowind? Both titles are in very rich universes, their backgrounds and relationships we uncovered only gradually and even has elaborate. By the time you become the initiate who knows their way around the game world as in his vest pocket and knows even know about her record. You become part of a larger whole.
In the game world at home

Therein lies the fundamental fascination of Severed: The more I learn about horizon, the more I feel alien there. And the more books I read, the more I realize that is the Elder Scrolls world is not an empty shell, but a well-established universe, a universe with a history. This world is worth saving. Rich drawing board to go down on my own.

The world of Skyrim feels familiar after some time.

In addition to the game worlds, but also the heroes lose themselves in depth. Often when I begin already battle-world savior, for example, in Dragon Age 2, where the newly crowned warrior swinging a Christmas tree already great sword. Sure, it will pop from the first minute, "fighting brand against rat Half shirt," because only interfere. So, however, is fascinating because, like be a slow one for my later high levels, superhuman abilities credible, on the other hand increases the identification with the hero.

Björn Pankratz brings it to the point. "It is the tale of the young boy who sets out to learn fear, and ultimately saves the world entire" This has worked with the brothers Grimm and still operates today.
Vs. effort. Use

When the action is the rule of thumb: "The simpler my narrative technique, Net history, I can get across with the same effort" to place a character in the game world and feed them with lines of dialogue is faster and simpler than a corresponding cut scene. to choreograph. The implication: If a developer relies primarily on the presentation of the cutscenes, it can be less important, but omitted the credibility of the game world relined elements - after all, limits the capacity of a studio.

The identification with sorcerer Geralt is easy thanks to the good cutscenes.
Thus there are in the first Witcher significantly more passages that enrich the game world as the successor-heavy film, so the first Warlock's epic adventure works. Just think of the gardener in Vizima, the war stories. For the main story is irrelevant, essential for the depth of the universe, however. This can be compared with a novel in which I can roll out my story to hundreds of pages. I can embellish scenes and minor characters put in it. In the film adaptation of a book I must however choose exactly what is shown and what is not. Why give films like The Lord of the Rings again only a fraction of the original paper.

No wonder then that the first story highlighted games were interactive books, which is text-adventure: reading I give a command, and then read on. Even later adventure games like Baldur's Gate (1998) and Planescape Torment (2000) convey their stories remain largely in text windows and develop precisely because such a narrative depth that players still remember it. This was followed only then the full soundtrack and now increasingly the film-like presentation. The medium moves away from the book and game ever approaches the medium of film - with all the advantages and disadvantages.

As fast as the player wants to

This also means that each of these steps has increased the production costs - for nothing can not swallow the development of modern games double-digit millions. For designers, the trick is to skillfully combine the narrative means text, dialog and cutscene.

Mass Effect 2 offers not only excellent cutscenes and lots of dialogue.

Particularly successful of the Mass Effect series. In dialogues between films and I am learning my comrades know, get jobs and learn more about the game world. At the same time can I get information using the Code Lexicon closer than the universe and the history - and cut back the narrative pace for a while. Ideally, a game I can so the choice of what I would like to explore, talk, or rather a gaudy arcade?
High speed = less depth of the game?

Was scaled back in recent years, however, the game mechanics of many titles, such as Bioware Mass Effect emphasized in several role-playing character typical values. Commander Shepard does not increase strength and intelligence, he shoots and saves the world. Moreover, Quick Time Events find their way into more and more modern games.

Dragon Age 2 sets of the first minute of action in the form of bloody battles.
The motivation behind such reductions gameplay is clear: To maintain a high pace, should the player not to bother with tables. This development has its place, after all has to fit the game mechanics for staging. It can not hurt to cut superfluous, such as long walking distances and schnarchige giant rat dungeon.

So by running computer games, just as living things, a continuing evolution. The developers always try out new elements, but if these work, they find their way into followers and imitators. The film-like presentation is one of these success factors, and the temptation is great to put all his hopes on it. Players like action, since it seems likely that more of them can only be good.

But stories are carried by more than a high pace and fast-paced production. Even quiet sections that give me time to let events affect me, are important. Effect of fireworks and explosions? Absolutely! But please, in moderation, so that they remain as the high points in mind as they were intended, and not perish in continuous noise. Do not misunderstand: It speaks to the creativity of the industry that they tried out new items. The danger is that innovations are overused, but also. "The combination of elements such as game mechanics, story, dialogues and cutscenes is an art," says Sebastian Stepien. He was right.

That there is a great need for leisurely narrated adventures, proves the success of Bethesda's Skyrim, the exhibit shortly after the launch Steam 285 000 concurrently active players could - more than Modern Warfare third Also, the PC World readers want adventures that are told a little quieter than The Witcher second Let's hope that the developers consider for future projects that cut scenes and fast-blow narrative an increased number are just another means that can help make games more entertaining. They are not a panacea, however. If this succeeds, the invasion of the eight-member eels still be prevented.
(This post was last modified: 01-19-2012, 09:44 PM by Googolplex.)
01-19-2012, 09:38 PM
Bridge Offline
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RE: Blog: "Thoughts on Limbo"

(10-24-2011, 10:45 PM)Dagrocks Wrote: Well, puzzles in games is actually a really fun aspect, as you said you wanted to remove them. Why do that? No puzzles, is... not enough interesting. And i'm hoping it will be a horror game. That's what you guys are known for! I personally want more monsters. and Limbo hardly has a monster. The spider is like a scripted event. I think you guys should have more close encounters with your monsters.
I agree, no puzzles worries me as well, because that's really what makes Amnesia and Penumbra so unique, their clever logic and physics based puzzles. Take that away and you simply have a great horror game instead of a hybrid that works miraculously well. If you guys think the game is too driven on solving puzzles, you can simply make the puzzles less obvious. To be honest I don't see how you really can though; in Amnesia every puzzle has a purpose, a few of them slightly confusing but in hindsight completely logical and necessary. To me that's really the beauty of Amnesia and Penumbra; they're essentially point & click adventure games with a survival horror core engine.

I don't however discourage evolution and I fully support any direction you guys want to take the next game in. Just bear in mind the puzzles are what made Amnesia and Penumbra so satisfying to me (and probably a lot of other people) and also so horrifying. The stealth mechanics of hiding from monsters is very frightening sure but to me trying to think logically and solve problems in such a dangerous environment where you can die at any moment is where I derived most of the horror from.
05-12-2012, 03:15 PM
AspiringFailure Offline
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RE: Blog: "Thoughts on Limbo"

I'm a little bit confused by what Thomas meant by how actions that promote connectivty with the world should take presidence over puzzles. When I read this, I think of Duke Nukem's cool interactions. I can see how having an interactable world would definitely ruin puzzles, and thus how puzzles limit interactability.

I don't think this is true for ALL puzzles, though. The classic "Find the key or keycode" obstacle works extremely well with interaction-overload. The search for the code gives you motive to explore, and after exploration yields interesting discoveries, you're given motive far beyond "Open that door" to explore. I mean this is basically Silent Hill's WHOLE FOUNDATION for gameplay and it works extremely well. Motivation's not that important, though, because as with all games if you're not moving forward then you feel like you need to do something. 'Cause you're playing a game. Having REAL motivation though, that connects with me, makes a huge difference in how I enjoy a game.

I'm pretty sure the next game will still use the "Look for key" device, though. Seeing as that's not really a puzzle. And I do think puzzles can be dropped, and motivation maintained. I got horribly stuck on the coin puzzle in Penumbra in the very beginning because I never thought of actually flattening the coin and using it as a screwdriver. And everybody I've seen play it only figured it out thanks to the good old "Try everything in inventory on item" strategy, haha. I think puzzles break immersion dramatically. However the puzzle in Amnesia where you have to gather the ingredients for the acidic chemical to get into the Inner Sanctum built immersion VERY well for me. Because I thought exactly what I was supposed to think, and things clicked when they should have. I was fully motivated by the game and by my own determination to get through that door and it was amazing. To be completely honest, too, there could have been loads of interactable things in them rooms and I would still have clearly needed that alchemy-lab thing on the table to proceed. So I think puzzles can work if you put them in a space that seperates the player from the excess tools that would have lead to running around and trying everything possible.

Wow, NO DIRECTION AT ALL in my posts. xD! If anybody can find something to branch off with from that mess then i wholly salute you.
06-05-2012, 10:25 PM

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