Text vs. Graphics
Posted 12 August 2006 - 05:51 PM
How do you think about this?
Posted 12 August 2006 - 06:21 PM
Posted 12 August 2006 - 07:01 PM
It's much like the book vs. film market...
With a book or a text-based game you need to be able to visualise many aspects of the environment in your head. There is more room for creating richness of story and adding in character and backdrop to your game and the entities within it, but then you usually can't provoke such intense momentary emotions within the reader/gamer than you can when someone watches a movie or plays a more graphical game that they have immersive control over.
That also is another aspect to the reason why text games are not considered mainstream anymore: the interface either promotes or limits gameplay. This is the reason why text-based games tend to only be in the RPG genre - you can't really control a car through text and feel like you're driving, you can't shoot at someone and feel like you've survived anything, and you can't build something and stand back and look at it.
A movie (or TV show) or a visual game is, as said, more intuitive as there's simply much more easy to process feedback and environmental awareness. As there's less work to be done to get around the business of actually controlling and understanding the game it's just easier for the vast majority of people to understand and therefore prefer these forms of media. Even a lot of my friends don't read books for fun nowadays.
Also, although web-based games, etc, are doing some things to change this, it is only really a more hardcore element that will play these games anyway. This guarantees that the audience that is there are all keen and appreciative, but many casual gamers could feel they won't get anything more out of playing one of these games than reading a book. And many casual gamers could feel it a waste of their machine's power to run only a text-based game on a modern PC - why not just get Oblivion and really enjoy the graphics/audio/AI/interactivity that the text-based game won't be providing them ?
When I say "casual gamer" I mean someone not hardcore into games - more a stick-to-the-mainstream gamer - rather than the more games-related expression of someone playing things like web games and mobile phone games a lot.
I'd say you'd be well in the minority in preferring text-based games (even on a highly specialised games-related forum like this) if you ran a poll on this thread. But that certainly wouldn't make you wrong for feeling that way. Storyline, depth and great dialogue are always commendable. Now we just need to get them into a quality FPS game and really have some fun :sneaky:
Posted 13 August 2006 - 09:57 AM
Some may call it only nostalgia to love text based games (or even to read books than to watch a movie), but I don't think this is the case. Also the very fact that text-based games attract less casual gamers is usually appealing to the serious gamer. After all we play a game for the fun of it, and it is more fun to have some serious, let's say, enemy in the game than one who gives up on the first difficulties. It could be, usually, far more challenging, and a challenging game is what a gamer is usually looking for.
Posted 16 August 2006 - 09:10 AM
I wouldn't say it is the only reason, for sure, but for many there is a retro or 'recapturing youth' aspect to playing this style of game.
The primary draws for this game form has to be good storyline and community (for MU*s). And, as you agree with my earlier comment, this latter point is quite easily achieved when the gamers that are willing to invest time in this game are often a more hardcore audience. The former point is considerably harder to pull off to everyone's liking. :dry:
Posted 16 August 2006 - 09:15 AM
You'd be well advised to read 'Designing Virtual Worlds', by Richard A. Bartle. This guy is an old(er) and famous text adventure designer - he wrote MUD1 - and has a lot of great advice to say on why certain virtual worlds work and others fail. Not just for text adventures, but a lot of the start of the book is a history of text games and how he got started, etc. All very interesting.
If you're interested in text-based games, especially if you'd like to make your own at some point, it's well worth a read. I'm reading it at the moment.
Posted 22 August 2006 - 02:01 PM
The difficult part of it is how to make it "casual" and still have a great gameplay in the text based context.
By casual, I mean easy to pick up, reewarding if played only a short moment, and challenging yet simple to play.
The book sales here in Sweden have increased rapidly the last years. If a game could be designed and implemented as an interactive novel, I'm shure it would have it's audience.
The obvious solution would be to just write a branching story with choises after each chapter, or similar. But that would require a rediculous amount of writing. If instead an interface could be designed to mimic the classic (lucasart) adventure games, but in tex-only, there could actually be something interesting.
Posted 23 August 2006 - 01:34 PM
In a casual game you should'nt need to do any typing. Selecting one of several possible choises manipulation the inventory from a menu should work. Something browser based would be ideal. Maby a wap interface for mobile gaming?
Posted 24 August 2006 - 07:41 PM
Have you ever noticed that people give directions differently? Some people will give you directions with stop lights or stop signs. "Go five lights, then turn right. Go three lights, then turn left"
Others use compass directions. "Head north. Go about five miles, then turn West."
And yet a third way is landmarks. "Go to the McDonald's and turn left. Then go to the Wal Mart and turn right."
Anyway, I like to navigate around the world by landmarks. It's hard to do that in a text based game, which is why I don't play them.
Wanna make your own MMORPG?
Posted 25 August 2006 - 01:33 PM
Most text-based games I've played (although I'm not especially well versed in them) and the system I most associate with text-based games is exactly that: waypoints/key locations. I've never found one that required you to navigate as if you were in a open land and needed to specify left here, right at the next junction, five steps forward. It's always 'go to the door', 'go to the Inn', go to another player, go to the items within the room.
I can imagine scenarios where such a system might be used and I concede that a dungeon-crawler game might use something similar for exploring dark areas, but I think any open, social game that tried using such a restrictive system would be dooming itself to a justifiably low audience.
Posted 28 August 2006 - 12:36 PM
And there are browser-based strategy games in which you lead a nation, not a person. This genre is, of course, more suitable for this kind of game. I especially like these kind of games, and I think a text-based interface CAN give more control over the game, if properly desgined. A line oriented web server like Apache is usually better configurable than a graphically configurable one like IIS. I suppose the same is true for games. Although I have not seen game, yet, taking good advantage of this, and most of them are not very challenging. One, for example, called Dark Throne (www.darkthrone.com, still in beta and another test version called "omega") has about 250,000 players (I don't know how many of them are really active). It is a very simple game of attacking and farming. Not very challenging of mind, but because it contains real user interaction, it is quite popular. I think user interaction can make even such simple games popular and somehow challenging.
Posted 02 September 2006 - 09:10 AM
Really, this is the basis of many game types we have nowadays, but I do think that text-based games especially can improve and gain new followers with a cleaner, easier to use interface like this.
Posted 06 October 2006 - 10:41 AM
Ye are in a dungeon. To the left is exit. To the right is bones. Ye could also scream for help. What shall ye choose?
Ye cannot reach exit because of ye figurative chains.
player: get bones
Ye gets bones and naws them, but stabs ye cheek with chicken leg. Ye now is suffering from laringitis.
player: scream for help
Ye has no voice: Ye cannot scream for help!
And so on. I really, really, hate text games. No offense.
Posted 06 October 2006 - 12:06 PM
That's the text-based game a´la 1980. Graphical games games from that era were not that fun either.
What you criticize is not the game being text-based, but a bad interface design and lack of game design.
A well thought out text-based game could be very interesting.
Posted 06 October 2006 - 01:42 PM
I would reather make a story that evolves based on your choice.
Some very longyears ago, I wrote a poker game under the CP/M OS (Z80 CPU) in basic. It only had text mode, so I drawed the square cards with * signs, and wrote the card value as a text.
The game was very succesfull in the lab. Students played it for a few years ;)
Posted 06 October 2006 - 01:57 PM
The 80'ties are by many considered the golden age of computer games.
Try for example a classic, Maniac Mansion, about 5 disks of size. That game beats most of todays adventure games.
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