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Adventure games of all genres... what parts are most fun?

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derekjinx
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Joined: 08/10/2008

I once read a great article about the various types of fun that exist in gaming, and I've incorporated many of them into an adventure game. In my typical thought process, however, I tend to create mechanics, theme, and rules subtleties over the actual object of the game.

I have what I believe is a slam dunk of an idea for an adventure board game that no one has touched before. I think it could sell in this era of the hobby gamer. Now there are all kinds of adventure games out there and what I want to know is "what parts of adventure gaming (regardless of genre) you find the most fun?" Consider the object of the game or end goal when answering.

What I'm ultimately trying to do is find the perfect quest system/victory condition/end goal for this design. I want it to be one of those games that has a gamer thinking up new strategies in between games, or going back to use different characters to achieve victory, etc.

I don't want to reveal the idea specifically for 2 reasons:
1. Its not been done yet and I wanna do it first!
2. I want the object of this adventure game to not suffer from genre cliches

So tell me in 1 or 2 sentences which adventure games are your favorite or most fun and point to one element that makes it so.

THEME CLUES ABOUT MY DESIGN
survival
loss of home
threshold crossing
undoing of nature
ever dwindling resources (food, water, medicine, etc.)

Cheers.

Derek

quentinschilling
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Joined: 02/24/2009
Adventure Games

favorite ones - Quest for Glory series... why... well character development and medieval comedic flavor. plus, you could play it again as an entirely new class and its a different game.

derekjinx
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Joined: 08/10/2008
interesting...

Im gonna look that up

Darkehorse
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Quest for Glory

Is a computer game series. I don't see how you can compare apples to apples when the topic here is board games.

I love adventure games. I have about half a dozen in my game collection, even though I rarely get to play them.

What I like is the building of your character throughout the course of the game. It helps you get into the theme of the game. I also like the feeling of not knowing what's going to happen next, this is usually achieved by random events or draws. Exploration is also something I find quite enjoyable, which goes hand in hand with my previous like.

Hope these help.

Also, no offense, just because an idea hasn't been 'done', doesn't mean someone else hasn't already thought about doing it. My motto with regards to game ideas is this: "There is nothing new under the sun". Because game design, like all creative outlets, are derivatives of existing ideas, it is unlikely that you will really come up with something someone else hasn't already thought of. That's okay though. Just don't make it the key reason why you are working on that idea.

-Darke

derekjinx
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Joined: 08/10/2008
You might be right

Thanks for your thoughts.
You might be right about "nothing new under the sun". You certainly see that in video games, tv, film, and board games as well. The adventure game concept isn't new as we know, but the genre I'm doing it in hasn't been touched by the industry yet. Not even in the excel spread sheet Euro auction games. I'm doing it because I like the source material and the survival aspects, dwindling resources of the hero, its like a film in a game.
I'm going to award victory points for failure as well as success to decrease the risk/AP in some actions, and encourage players to "go for it". The subtext of the game is the story your character is telling.
The end goal I have so far is variable based on the players background. Each character chooses a fixed/card drawn secret mission and must complete it. I'm also thinking about communal quests/missions (more minor in the scope of the whole game i.e. worth fewer victory points), so that you can't guess what the player is up to after a few plays and predict the behavior patterns of a given character.

IMPORTANT ELEMENTS I WANT IN THE GAME:

rewards for success, some compensation for failure encourage not only leveling up, but more like experience in the real world as you also learn from failure
choice of missions which are hidden and one is selected, also communal missions worth fewer VP
dwindling resources which must be sought out - food, water, medicine, etc.
equipment/items discovery
global events, and "adventure cards" -- this might have to go to keep the game simpler--
weather effects on the map to affect movement in a straighforward way --this might go as well--
repair/modify/customize your equipment/items to increase their power and to gain new abilities
non-dice combat resolution
first to X# of victory points, kill 'em all, AND talisman style "king of the hill" game modes

My favorite adventure game has to be Runebound. The combat/movement mechanics work well and the leveling up is cool too. The end games are variable based upon the adventure you play, but the base game has 2 main elements :

kill the 1 main boss or kill several of his lieutentants after leveling up, but they scale the global events to coincide with the weakest character

Derek

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Definition

What is your definition of an adventure game?

Is it a game where you control and follow te deeds of 1 character?

The Magician
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Joined: 12/23/2008
Many things are new for you

derekjinx,

I want to say that Darkhorse's comment about there not being anything new under the sun is a vary true statement. We shouldn't get wraped up in thinking we have something no one has done. I have good reasons to feel that way about what I am doing but I have other motivations other than just being the first. I know it's juicy emotion to have to want to be the first. I have a personal motto that is a spin on the above: "There is nothing new under the sun, but it is new for me." Not everyone has invented the next Legend of Zelda. Not everyone has done X "fill in the blank". The way I see life is we are here to have new experiences personally. And whatever you are doing, even if it has been done, will have your own signature. No body els's. For me designing my board game is a project that is new for me. I'm already skilled at my visual art and craft, I am already skilled at many great things I do. I have never designed a game and that interests me. Does that make sense for you? Someone may have thought about it somewhere, but lets face it: no one will shake it up just like me. No one will do it exactly the way that you do. Ever!........Ever!!.

Further more, who would really want to steal an idea? People almost always are interested in there own thing to want to steal another idea. And what if the idea is so good that no body would know what to do with it even if they thought about taking it. Hmmmmm? There's a question.

I would be vary careful that you aren't making your game too complex.

The Magician
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Joined: 12/23/2008
I love it in adventure games

I love it in adventure games when there is a certain area of the map or game that I can only get to once I have acheaved a certain level in the game. No games are coming to mind right now but I love those sorts of things. It's a big motivator for me and there is a certain mystery about it.

Also I love to advance my character in apearance, rank, and skill.

derekjinx
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Joined: 08/10/2008
Map unlocking

Talisman and World of Warcraft the Adventure Game come to mind.
Runebound has encounter tokens you can travel to/land on in green (1 experience point) yellow (2 XP) blue (3 XP) etc. You can travel to any of them at any time, but you'd better be damn powerful if you want to succeed in the blue/red adventures/encounters.
By the by, I'm not hung up on keeping my idea from being stolen. At this point in the gaming industry I've not had the wherewithal to push/publish anything, but have seen bits and pieces of my ideas fleshed out by others who did.
Just like film script ideas I had here or there that I see produced as real films. I once wrote a 112 page novella for high school English class that had many comparable elements to 12 Monkeys; and I wrote it in 1992.
I am from the Quentin Tarantino school of game design which is: I tend to take someone elses concept or game idea and improve it/make it more enjoyable/better.

I simply want to flesh out this adventure game to the point of it being ready for a prototype. Then I want to post the rules and board game elements here.

Which is why I asked you fine people about which type of endgame is most enjoyable.

I think we got off topic here.

derekjinx
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Joined: 08/10/2008
definition of adventure game

It could be anything whereby:

you play a character or group of characters
you gather equipment/explore parts of the board and the board contains a map
there are missions or quests to fulfill
you grow in power and experience
combat or other tests of skill/abilities
great threat at the end, or brother battle occuring with other players
there can be only 1? what about Pandemic that seems like an adventure game and it is coop
sitting back and being passive usually results in failure, you must cross a threshold and leave home to achieve your goals

Is there a game in your collection/ that you have played, like that that you enjoy? What are the end game mechanics?

assdwer
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Joined: 04/09/2009
Hope this helps :)

My fav is Stubs the Zombie, Destroy All Humans Path of the Furion, Over Lord and Fable 2.
I hate Golden axe beast rider and i don't like Destroy all humans so much.

angelz
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Joined: 10/31/2009
I love adventures in my life

I love adventures in my life and I would surely love to play these adventure puzzle games and i am sure that i will enjoy them and i will surely pass on a comment after going through all the series.......

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
i don't know

derekjinx wrote:
It could be anything whereby:

you play a character or group of characters
you gather equipment/explore parts of the board and the board contains a map
there are missions or quests to fulfill
you grow in power and experience
combat or other tests of skill/abilities
great threat at the end, or brother battle occuring with other players
there can be only 1? what about Pandemic that seems like an adventure game and it is coop
sitting back and being passive usually results in failure, you must cross a threshold and leave home to achieve your goals

Is there a game in your collection/ that you have played, like that that you enjoy? What are the end game mechanics?

I don't know the strict definition of Adventure Game but it goes well outside that scope. Most of what is in the specialty maket is considered adventure games.

What you seem to be describing by my understanding is an rpg board game a.k.a a dungeon crawl. These are not strictly restricted to games with dungeons but those that have a system of building charters, gathering items with strong story elements.

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