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Adventure Games Thread 2022 - We CAN use these things together


Nightmare Frames is out today. Played the demo for this some months back and the writing impressed me. It's not often you see a cynical character like the one in Nightmare Frames who isn't written too clever for his own good, or purely insufferable. I have some other games to finish before I jump into this one but I'm looking forward to it.
 

jacksp

Neo Member
Another day, another Steam Fest demo. CLeM is a slow paced (literally, you can't run!) adventure in which you're a rag doll and you hear a voice that gives you "purpose" (objectives to complete, items to find). I liked it but I really hope devs will implement running.

 
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Japanese adventure obscurity, Garage: Bad Dream Adventure, will finally be available in English on PC within the next two weeks, after only having a mobile release since it's reemergence late last year. The game was originally very rare as its publisher backed out of their deal, only producing 3,000 copies of the game. But has since gained some cult following because if it's surrealistic & dark aesthetics.

 
...and I've been wanting to replay Thimbleweed Park for months. :pie_tired:
Ryan Reynolds Reaction GIF
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
I tried out the demo for The Many Pieces of Mr. Coo and it's only like 11 minutes long but I'd still encourage people check it out because the style is really impeccable and I think it's worth it, even though it only lasts for just a bit. The best way I can describe it is like a playable Tex Avery cartoon.

This looks really well done, the animations and composition are superb.
I wish someone made an anime game like this though. Funny that Japan has some really amazing animators but none of them work on games.

AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative (PS4, Xbox One, Switch) – 9/9/8/8 [34/40]
bomb GIF
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
I meant 2D animation, but your point still stands.

I suppose it's inevitable though, 2D animation in games takes way too long and there's almost no way to reuse content if the camera angle or lighting changes.
There is limitation with 2D, if you play Great Ace Attorney, the things they do in that game just was not possible in 2D without spending fortune on it.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Would a game like Wonder Project J be considered an adventure game?

It's the only japanese game that springs to mind regarding traditional animation. One of the animators that worked on the game even went to work on some Studio Ghibli movies afterwards (he already had worked on other movies though)

 
It's a life sim but the same developers made an adventure game as well with very impressive animation.


There are a handful of of adventures with nice traditional 2D animation, mostly from the 90s while the industry was still in transition from 2D to 3D, but the tech allowed for higher fidelity.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Would a game like Wonder Project J be considered an adventure game?

It's the only japanese game that springs to mind regarding traditional animation. One of the animators that worked on the game even went to work on some Studio Ghibli movies afterwards (he already had worked on other movies though)

It's a life sim but the same developers made an adventure game as well with very impressive animation.


There are a handful of of adventures with nice traditional 2D animation, mostly from the 90s while the industry was still in transition from 2D to 3D, but the tech allowed for higher fidelity.
1994



2022: skeletal animation, flat cutout design, flashlike style, calarts crap.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
It's a life sim but the same developers made an adventure game as well with very impressive animation.


There are a handful of of adventures with nice traditional 2D animation, mostly from the 90s while the industry was still in transition from 2D to 3D, but the tech allowed for higher fidelity.
Damn, what a shame. Twenty years later and that level of quality is still unmatched.
I want to live in the timeline in which that level of quality has become the norm.

bad 2D animation can make look cheap.
That applies to 3D and to any type of animation as well. Bad animation looks bad regardless.
Heck, it's even harder to make 3D look not-janky because of interpolation. Which is why motion-capture is used for high-fidelity animation.

For cartoonish characters vertex animation was used in early 3D games (e.g. Crash Bandicoot) because skeletal was not the norm yet, but it was easier to stretch the character like in 2D cartoons.
Unfortunately the high number of vertices now does not allow that to be easily achieved, and so bones are used, which makes most animations look very rigid and robotic.

 
Some other titles from around the same area with good 2D animation. None of these are really as impressive as Kaze no Shima Monogatari, but that's a super stand-out example.

I appreciate the expressiveness and plentiful gestures in Mikagura Girl Detective Agency (this is from the sequel), you could imagine them taking it even further in terms of fluidity but this is a cut above most other games are trying to do.


Urusei Yatsura: Dear My Friends did a good job of capturing the TV show's look on the MegaCD


Yuuyami Doori Tankentai has some really fun looking rotoscoped animations. I really like the one where the dog starts running and the little boy is pulled along by its leash.


The moment-to-moment graphics in Virus are pretty standard for the time, but it's got an abundance of well produced 2D cutscenes.

Recently on the western side of things, I was very impressed with the character animation in Tangle Tower.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
I appreciate the expressiveness and plentiful gestures in Mikagura Girl Detective Agency (this is from the sequel), you could imagine them taking it even further in terms of fluidity but this is a cut above most other games are trying to do.
You know, if visual novels had animated portraits like in that game, I would probably feel more compelled to play those games. It makes the characters feel much more alive.

Recently on the western side of things, I was very impressed with the character animation in Tangle Tower.
I have a feeling western devs are way ahead japanese devs regarding traditional animation usage in games.
The only thing that turns me away is the character design and writing of western games.
 
I need this.
I guess there's no english sub version?

You're actually in luck, mah boy. There is a fan project which has translated and ported the game into the adventure game studio engine making it run natively on windows in English. It's not 100% done but only a small amount of non essential lines are left untranslated. The game is fully playable from start to finish in English.

Link to download the latest version.
Link to the forum where you can keep track of the project.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
You're actually in luck, mah boy. There is a fan project which has translated and ported the game into the adventure game studio engine making it run natively on windows in English. It's not 100% done but only a small amount of non essential lines are left untranslated. The game is fully playable from start to finish in English.

Link to download the latest version.
Link to the forum where you can keep track of the project.
Thank you! :messenger_heart:

Did you play it? Is it actually good?
 
Thank you! :messenger_heart:

Did you play it? Is it actually good?

I played about an hour of it and it is very good actually, especially since I'm a fan of the show. It's also an uncharacteristically "western feeling" Japanese adventure game. The writing is a lot snappier than most JADV games and there's healthy amount of item use puzzles.

If you still have you 3DS you can play this game.
Casual reminder that I'm eagerly awaiting those Hotel Dusk takes when you play the game.
 

Fools idol

Member
My goodness.

Unavowed is really really good. Took me by surprise - has been in my backlog for years but never got around to it... decided to fire it up this afternoon and have just finished playing 5 hours later
 
That is if I can find it with reasonable price.
Amazon

F**ck why is it so damn expensive!?

Holy smokes, I didn't know it was that inflated. Although Ebay has some copies on sale in the 25~40 dollar range depending on box & condition.

Flashcards might be going for a reasonable price this time of year...

In any case I wish you good luck in the search.

My goodness.

Unavowed is really really good. Took me by surprise - has been in my backlog for years but never got around to it... decided to fire it up this afternoon and have just finished playing 5 hours later
Fantastic game, how did you react to the twist with Melkeresa (def butchering that)? Also what was your favorite "level" of the game?

Also since you liked Unavowed you should certainly check out the "Old Skies" Steam Next Fest demo. It's the upcoming game from the same developer/writer as Unavowed.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
(old man yell at cloud time)

Would a game like Wonder Project J be considered an adventure game?

It's the only japanese game that springs to mind regarding traditional animation. One of the animators that worked on the game even went to work on some Studio Ghibli movies afterwards (he already had worked on other movies though)



Man, I can't believe how good and non-flat this looks.
Feels like nowadays all 2D characters have to look flat and flash-like.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
(old man yell at cloud time)




Man, I can't believe how good and non-flat this looks.
Feels like nowadays all 2D characters have to look flat and flash-like.
Yeah, drawing animations frame-by-frame makes all the difference.

One reason why modern 2D games animations' may look awful is because the character is usually made out of individual pieces, and animated using 3D techniques (i.e. interpolation).
They end up looking like those paper dolls that have the limbs attached to the torso with a nail.

Something like this


For games with a "puppet theatre" aesthetic it might look good, but for anything else it might look cheap.
Vanillaware games use that techinique, but they've managed to hide it pretty well. The "puppet aesthetic" is still noticeable though.



There's an old interview with the developers of Wonder Project J2 if you're interested
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Yeah, drawing animations frame-by-frame makes all the difference.

One reason why modern 2D games animations' may look awful is because the character is usually made out of individual pieces, and animated using 3D techniques (i.e. interpolation).
They end up looking like those paper dolls that have the limbs attached to the torso with a nail.

Something like this


For games with a "puppet theatre" aesthetic it might look good, but for anything else it might look cheap.
Vanillaware games use that techinique, but they've managed to hide it pretty well. The "puppet aesthetic" is still noticeable though.



There's an old interview with the developers of Wonder Project J2 if you're interested
Yep, the paperdoll effect. Also stretching and squashing. I think those "perfect lines" play a part too in cheapening the overall design.
I'm not even sure myself of what defines "flash-like" and why disgusts me that much.
It's good only if you want to make a popup book game.

Funny that the opening image in the interview they went and draw even the bird's butthole.
 
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Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
For games with a "puppet theatre" aesthetic it might look good, but for anything else it might look cheap.
Vanillaware games use that techinique, but they've managed to hide it pretty well. The "puppet aesthetic" is still noticeable though.
Vanillaware games going for much more of a moving painting rather than hand drawn animation.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Vanillaware games going for much more of a moving painting rather than hand drawn animation.
One pro of this type of setup is that allows using detailed high resolution assets and animating them without redrawing them.

You lose the flexibility of traditional animation, but you it allows you to use detailed high resolution art
Also this allows you to create more dynamic sprites (e.g. change weapon equipped in character's hand without having to redraw the entire character)
 
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Saw this on Facebook earlier, It's that new 3D Laura Bow game that NineZyme showed off (about two years back, I want to say?). The look of it reminds me of pre-Walking Dead TellTale, seems to be coming together decently for a 3D game from a small indie team. I will say that the characters look too young, particularly Crodfoller. In any case it's good to see that they're still working on it, my hope is that it retains some of the non-linear mystery solving gameplay of the first Laura Bow.

On another note I whipped up an OT for the eminent JADV mind-fuck, AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative. So you can check that out if you're interested in the game and haven't seen it yet.
 
You know, if visual novels had animated portraits like in that game, I would probably feel more compelled to play those games. It makes the characters feel much more alive.
Mikagura Shoujo Tanteidan actually has one of the most fun mystery solving mechanics I've experienced in a JADV game, or any game really, I honestly wish other devs would rip it off. You go around exploring crime scenes and interrogating witnesses and frequently particular interactions will produce a blue line of text, indicating that there's suspicious or relevant information. At which point you can either pull or decline to pull the "deduction trigger," if you pull the trigger on the correct evidence you gain points and advance. What makes it work is that the game is relatively open ended with a lot of opportunities to pull on the wrong evidence, plus there's only chapter/mid-chapter saves, so I found myself really thinking through the mystery and trying to make the best of each shot.

It's a really simple system executed well with proper stakes. It's some of the most fun I've had with the actually "mystery solving" of a mystery game.

This is a video from when I played the game, the main window to read is to the right (DeepL) for some reason back then I placed my backup translation at the bottom (Google).
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Mikagura Shoujo Tanteidan actually has one of the most fun mystery solving mechanics I've experienced in a JADV game, or any game really, I honestly wish other devs would rip it off. You go around exploring crime scenes and interrogating witnesses and frequently particular interactions will produce a blue line of text, indicating that there's suspicious or relevant information. At which point you can either pull or decline to pull the "deduction trigger," if you pull the trigger on the correct evidence you gain points and advance. What makes it work is that the game is relatively open ended with a lot of opportunities to pull on the wrong evidence, plus there's only chapter/mid-chapter saves, so I found myself really thinking through the mystery and trying to make the best of each shot.

It's a really simple system executed well with proper stakes. It's some of the most fun I've had with the actually "mystery solving" of a mystery game.

This is a video from when I played the game, the main window to read is to the right (DeepL) for some reason back then I placed my backup translation at the bottom (Google).
I'm surprised the translation works so well in real time, it makes those games actually playable.

Everything from that game looks really well done, the character design, the user interface, the animations, the interaction...
I might be compelled to give it a try one of those days
 

jacksp

Neo Member

Nightmare Frames is out today. Played the demo for this some months back and the writing impressed me. It's not often you see a cynical character like the one in Nightmare Frames who isn't written too clever for his own good, or purely insufferable. I have some other games to finish before I jump into this one but I'm looking forward to it.
Finished it today. So good that I played it for three days straight and stopped everything else.

Top notch writing and atmosphere, It's been a while since I enjoyed an adventure this much. Thanks for sharing it!
 
Finished it today. So good that I played it for three days straight and stopped everything else.

Top notch writing and atmosphere, It's been a while since I enjoyed an adventure this much. Thanks for sharing it!
Really looking forward to playing it but I'm nervous about starting this or Born Punk and not finishing them before Friday since nirvanA Initiative is must play for me. Will likely be diving in within the next week or two so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it so much.
 
Yeah, I don't like it. I don't absolutely hate it as much as other people but this isn't a good fit for MI. Plus, even within the confines of this style, some of the designs are especially bad. Why is Carla built like Marcus Fenix? For all of Ron Gilbert's talk about how he wanted the art style to be fresh, bold, and provocative... it kinda just looks like a less appealing version of Jenny LeClue.



The same kind of stylized flat figures, with simple features, and limited animation has been done before and done better than in Return. Compare Jenny's running animation to the running animations in the trailer. They're both using skeletal animation but at least Jenny has some fluidity and bounce to her. Her whole body moves and leans into the pose.



Compare that to Guybrush who's motion is entirely rigid, no lean, no weight, body is stationary while only his limbs move. Not quite seeing what's so fresh and provocative about this.
 
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