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Poll: How many puzzles?
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Tons of puzzles, I love adventure games
21 24.14%
A reasonable amount, I don't want to spend 3/4 of the game solving puzzles, but I enjoy them
53 60.92%
Not very many, I don't really like solving puzzles but a few here and there is okay
11 12.64%
None at all, I want my game to be a movie
2 2.30%
Total 87 vote(s) 100%
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Should Soma be more like Penumbra or The Walking Dead?
Rya.Reisender Offline
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RE: Should Soma be more like Penumbra or The Walking Dead?

Many puzzles are good, but too complicated ones are not. Some games have so hard puzzles they are impossible to solve without clicking on everything for hours or just reading a guide. And when you have to read a guide every few minutes, it completely ruins immersion.

That being said I still like it when horror games focus on puzzles and not on combat. In fact, combat is probably what I dislike the most in horror games.
01-20-2014, 11:33 AM
Googolplex Offline

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RE: Should Soma be more like Penumbra or The Walking Dead?

(01-20-2014, 11:33 AM)Rya.Reisender Wrote: And when you have to read a guide every few minutes, it completely ruins immersion.

For me it's the contrary. When puzzles are too easy like just picking something up and then set it into a slot and operate a lever or when you just have to mix chemicals by fill them into a glass and operate the burner etc. this totally won't cause any immersion for me.

I want to think, make my own thoughts what I could do as next to came forward. And I always enjoy it to read a manual with secrets that help me solving something. A game has to be "brain-challenging" but without to be unlogical. Everything should be plausible, for example when I can't get on the other side of a room, because there are laser beams or electrical water, then I search for an object I could use as a bridge to get through.

A game is immersing, when there's a lot of stuff that makes you thinking.
Otherwise puzzles just seems like to be "fun-elements" for 12 year olds.

Puzzles doesn't need to be as hard as in Silent Hill for example. But as hard they are in Penumbra is a very good balance. Amnesia was too easy, but I enjoyed the control room with the bridge machinery.

Games with easy puzzles like AAMFP are not bad, but they could be even better when there would be much more "work" for the player "logical work" to get things right by interact with the world. As more interaction, as more a game feels immersing! Even when you can interact with useless things.

For me it's not bad to read an external solution when I stuck. I love it when a game is more intelligent than me. But a perfect way would be when you have to read in-game manuals. But when everytime there's a hidden manual waiting for you to get found, the game feels not plausible. So this should be a design feature with care.
(This post was last modified: 01-21-2014, 09:07 PM by Googolplex.)
01-21-2014, 09:04 PM
GiggleBlizzard Offline

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RE: Should Soma be more like Penumbra or The Walking Dead?

Puzzles that involve the player having to read and understand the lore are great for immersion but that's never gonna happen cause people don't like to read - they could add a difficulty level though so you can choose to skip the puzzles if you want to, because honestly that's what you do in The Dark Descent, the puzzles are super easy in the game.
01-24-2014, 08:02 PM
Sampyli Offline
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RE: Should Soma be more like Penumbra or The Walking Dead?

I'd say there'll be a lot of puzzles, but reading the blog posts and tweets, FG is really focusing on making the puzzles primarily relative to the story and narrative.
03-05-2014, 03:26 PM
CielsTenebreuse Offline
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RE: Should Soma be more like Penumbra or The Walking Dead?

Penumbra had better puzzles than Amnesia, but worse everything else. Not to say the games were bad, but not nearly as polished an experience as Amnesia was.

What would I like? A SOMA-type of game. That is, a game that stands on its own while retaining that familiar "Frictional" style identity. Penumbra and Amnesia I'd say are two incredibly different games/experiences but were similar in how they played. If SOMA can continue to build on top of that, improving the engine even more, changing/removing things, and adding new things, maybe things we'd never see coming, that's what I'd like to see. According to Frictional this game will deal with the conscious mind and its implications. And we're in for one serious head screw if it's anything like what the gameplay trailer and two "video files" on the website show.

They also say they are trying to make the game as "un-gamey" as possible, when it comes to puzzles, how you interact with your environment and so forth. Like, "oh this is clearly a puzzle that I must solve later." I'd assume less of that and more situations you would react naturally to and not immediately consider as a puzzle (whoever mentioned the water monster sections where you figure to throw body parts in the water to distract them. throw boxes around to walk on and open doors as quickly as possible, that's a good example; perhaps also the giant worm chase in the first Penumbra qualifies despite how awfully convenient the set-up is in allowing you to temporarily stall the worm at certain points and how it stalls you itself with wood-blocked passages just to increase the panic levels, heh).

And the less scripted the enemy encounters are, the better. I have no idea what sort of creatures this game will have (probably not the pleasant kind) but it'd definitely add to the immersion if encounters were more randomized. Instead of learning to dodge enemies I know will be coming based on my knowledge of the maps' layouts and trigger points I'd be dodging enemies based on my knowledge of how the enemies themselves work and think. I guess that's another thing Penumbra (the first one at least, the only one I've played) did better than Amnesia, though the enemies, especially the spiders, were annoying, their presence felt a bit more believable. In Amnesia, nearly all the enemies were scripted encounters triggered by something you did (i.e. pick up a crucial item, and in a lot of cases you see it coming the moment you pick it up), then you hide and they disappear... somewhere. Whereas in Penumbra, worm chases aside, the enemies were already there before you came along (or the obvious disturbances you caused woke them to your presence) and they attack you because you just so happen to be waltzing in their territory uninvited.
(This post was last modified: 03-05-2014, 07:56 PM by CielsTenebreuse.)
03-05-2014, 07:52 PM
asdasd Offline
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RE: Should Soma be more like Penumbra or The Walking Dead?

[Image: 190I7CP.png]

Day 1 pirate
05-28-2014, 12:23 PM
Ashtoreth Offline
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RE: Should Soma be more like Penumbra or The Walking Dead?

(05-28-2014, 12:23 PM)asdasd Wrote: http://i.imgur.com/190I7CP.png


Actually, according to Thomas Grip, the estimated playtime for SOMA is around 8 hours. [source]

Just because the game won't be as puzzle-focused as Amnesia: The Dark Descent, it doesn't mean it won't be a challenging and interesting experience.

At least FG are being honest and transparent about their intentions and design choices right from the start of SOMA's development process, so as to not create false expectations.

Also, in the article you took that screenshot from, Thomas also said:

"Pure puzzle-wise, it's a bit in-between [both Amnesia games]"

"There should be something interesting for the player to do, so it fills them with a sense of accomplishment," Grip explains. "We want you to feel like you are a source of progression in the game. That you're constantly doing stuff that's allowing the story to progress."

The way I see it, this means the puzzles won't be as simple as in AMFP, but they also won't be as unintuitive as some of the puzzles in ATDD.

(This post was last modified: 05-28-2014, 05:44 PM by Ashtoreth.)
05-28-2014, 05:32 PM
Paddy™ Offline
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RE: Should Soma be more like Penumbra or The Walking Dead?

With regards the general topic of this thread, one of the driving principles of SOMA's development is to ensure that the player is an "active participant" in the game's story. That is, there won't be periods in the game where control is taken from the player so they can be brought up to speed through cut-scenes or the like; the player will experience the story through play. The Walking Dead, for all that it does right, is not like that.

You can read Thomas' writings on the design plan for SOMA here:

05-29-2014, 06:41 AM
boredgunner Offline
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RE: Should Soma be more like Penumbra or The Walking Dead?

Uh, Frictional Games should stick to what they do best. It should be more like Penumbra and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, hopefully with writing on par with Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. It won't be anything like The Walking Dead.
06-02-2014, 09:19 PM
eliasfrost Offline
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RE: Should Soma be more like Penumbra or The Walking Dead?

Frankly I disagree with that assessment, I think it would do them good to crawl out of their comfort zone that they have been cuddling in since 2007(?). I hope this game won't be too much like Penumbra/Amnesia. It's also an opportunity for them to show that they can do more than just one style of gameplay (and story-telling).

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06-05-2014, 09:26 AM

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