Peter Gousis
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So if you are an adventure game fan, what makes them fun for you? If it is the theme that does it for you that is a good reason, but I am really looking for things in the game that interest people. For example, is it the big boss battles at the end? Is it the building up of your character? Are there certain mechanics that really stick out in your mind when you think of adventure games?

The reason I am asking is that I am working on an adventure game currently. The playtesters I have introduced the game to seem to like it, but I want to make sure I haven't missed anything glaring before I start shopping it around or publish it myself. Any reply is a good one, and any insight would be appreciated.
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Eugene Domingo
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I like replayability. Where the board is always different each time you play it. Like randomness.
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Tim West
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A few thoughts on what I enjoy:

1. Having a character that grows more powerful as the adventure progresses. Levels, stat increases, and loot/gear all make the player feel they have a hand in customizing their hero(ine).

2. Random treasures/monsters/locations really adds a sense of exploration and the unknown. Careful though, this is a very fine line. Too much randomness and people feel like their playing glorified craps. Too little, and the game becomes stale. I prefer decks of cards over dice and tables to generate these, but the latter certainly is more cost effective.

3. Narrative. Quests or missions or whatever should start with a dramatic hook, have a meaty-middle, and end in a climactic confrontation. Think outside the box of "kill x# of this", "or go fetch that glowing thingy over there", or simply "go kill the uber-bad-guy". Have multiple steps, and tie them together with a decent tale.

4.Theme.

5.Theme.

6.Theme.

7.Theme.

8.THEME!. Seriously.
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Peter Gousis
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Thanks for all the feedback so far. This really helps. Keep it comming.
 
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Matt Mac
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I think the big thing about adventure games is that the folks who are rabid about them tend to like them as close to an actual RPG as possible, but in boardgame form and with more standardized rules. The items others have mentioned: scaling skills, loot, equipment and encounters, story, strong (stinky cheese strong) theme and a real feeling of immersion. They like getting things and experiencing things, but with a balance so it doesn't seem they're unstoppable or carrying every "legendary" item on the planet.

That's all general stuff, but personally I like having something that sets me apart besides a different combo of numbers on my character card. Some thing only I can do for the group (or against if that's your pref). I like the idea of personal goals that may not be the same as those around me. Every so often I also like something that makes everyone stop whatever they're doing and come running. A pirate/alien/zombie/dragon attack on the players' home town. A natural disaster. A pestilence.

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Jeff Brown
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hamburgers
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chris reichl

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I agree with story and theme.
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mich
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Hi,

for me it´s tension. Tension from the beginning to the end. Not only the end game villain, You have to be ongoing throughout the game. This can be done by building a character (like posted before, i.e. in Talisman) or by completing multiple or a komplex single quest (like in Shadows over Camelot).
At best You combine both aspects in a single game, but the breaking point for tension is time. So if You put "everything on it" Your game gets longer and longer (timewise of course) and boring.
The solution of this problem makes agood game.

Greetings
stoldti
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1. Cool special powers, and customizing characters.
2. The unknown, that changes every game, so that it always feel unknown.
3. Tension - an objective or series of them.
4. A good environment that's imaginative.
5. Rewards, items, etc.
6. Never knowing what's behind the next corner. Surprise.
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Russ Williams
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I remember back a few years when many marketers were lamely trying to use the label "Adventure Games" to cover all types of BGG type games (Euros, AT, card games, collectible games, wargames, abstract strategy, etc) as well as RPGs...

To answer the question as I grok the more specific intended meaning here, I would say clear elegant intuitive rules are important, so play is not frequently interrupted by rules confusion and needing to look stuff up, which breaks the willing suspension of disbelief in an adventure game.
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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    Character growth. Specialization through skills and equipment, mixing and matching to make unique characters that change over time.

    I love Descent but the characters don't really have a chance to continue their growth and development from session to session. There are rules for it but they just don't seem to stick.

    Story and theme are important, but the characters drive both of those.

             Sag.

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Nick Fisk
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That's weird. This bit used to mention Shire Games, and tell you all how wonderful we are. But it seems to have got deleted. Let's see what happens this time ....
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Sagrilarus wrote:

I love Descent but the characters don't really have a chance to continue their growth and development from session to session. There are rules for it but they just don't seem to stick.



Isn't that what Descent: The Road to Legend is supposed to do ?


N.
 
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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Moviebuffs wrote:
Sagrilarus wrote:

I love Descent but the characters don't really have a chance to continue their growth and development from session to session. There are rules for it but they just don't seem to stick.



Isn't that what Descent: The Road to Legend is supposed to do ?


N.


    Oh yeah, go ahead and throw the "buy the expansion" card down on the table. You sound just like those guys that own game stores.

    Alright then, send me a copy.

             Sag.


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Rod Batten
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I've always been a fan of the crazy little Tom Wham style of adventure games. Games like Mertwig's Maze, The Search for the Emperor's Treasure, etc. I think the theme and initial story are important for immersion. Unique characters (unique as in different from one another) and some mode of character improvement (skills or stuff) are important.

Another element I enjoy in non-cooperative adventure games is the idea of a retinue, or at least a follower, which serves the same function as the skill or stat increase but adds to the flavour of the game and increases the possibility for variety in combat.

Combat and its resolution is really central to most adventure games. My own preference in an adventure game is a streamlined system that still has some colour in it. "Yeah! I *so* took your leg off!" Some players enjoy player versus player confrontation, some hate it, I enjoy it if it's a sideline thing. When the combat takes too long the theme and the adventure are forgotten.

The quest is another central pillar of the adventure game. How many quests? One or several? Do all players have the same quest? I prefer multiple or multipart quests that can be randomised so that not all players have the same quest(s), or at least they aren't necessarily doing them at the same time.

Check out the Tom Wham stuff for some super simple adventure games that capture the essence of *fun* adventure games.
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This Guy
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It's the heroic narrative. I like Power Grid, but I don't find myself telling people the next day, "Then I outbid him and got a the best plant in the game!"

I do find myself describing key moments from adventure games. Recently, during a particularly brutal session of Descent Road to Legend, the Overlord's minions killed me. Next turn, I came back from town, walked around the corner, and said, "Why not, I don't lose anything for trying." I drew an arrow on the beast man who'd killed me, now 8 spaces away; I got the range and the damage I needed to kill it in a single shot. Revenge!

I believe that the more narrative opportunity an adventure game has, the more enduring it will be. Munchkin as a game is basically a set of rules to create narrative opportunity.
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Simon Lundström
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Sense of anticipation

Go to a place. Draw a card or roll a die. Not knowing what will happen. Feeling a crazed story unfold.

Translates into: a lot of possible Stuff That Happen = lots of cards. And lots of flavour on the cards.

Hopefully, the cards/whatever can combine.

Being able to continue something that you completed earlier is nice too (sort of a "part 2" to the story).
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B C Z
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MonkeyGoose wrote:
So if you are an adventure game fan, what makes them fun for you? If it is the theme that does it for you that is a good reason, but I am really looking for things in the game that interest people. For example, is it the big boss battles at the end? Is it the building up of your character? Are there certain mechanics that really stick out in your mind when you think of adventure games?

The reason I am asking is that I am working on an adventure game currently. The playtesters I have introduced the game to seem to like it, but I want to make sure I haven't missed anything glaring before I start shopping it around or publish it myself. Any reply is a good one, and any insight would be appreciated.


For me, it would be a play time of less than 'forever', which is what most of this genre of game seem to take.

Don't make character advancement entirely random (Munchkin!)
Don't make there be a middle game period where you HAVE to 'noodle' to build up your character before finishing (Talisman, Order of the Stick)
Don't put all the look up tables and random elements on eight stacks of 4-5 cards each (Arkham Horror)
Don't make the end game be a lame dice roll resulting in death or massive setback to the PC (almost all of them)

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Peter Gousis
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Great responses. Keep them comming, this is very enlightening and will help me produce a better game that more people will enjoy.
 
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What I like the most is a sense of discovering something new and unexpected. ADVENTURE. I'd like to see a game that has enough out-of-the-box rules and scenarios so that players can begin playing "immediately", but whose rules can be bent by the GM in a somewhat typical RPG-style fashion.

I'd rather have less but more elaborate combat instead of many thin and repetitive skirmishes. I am reminded of a battle scene in an old CRPG. One enemy was fire-based, the other ice-based, and the other I forget. After I cast a spell to deal fire damage to everyone, I noticed that I healed the fire creature by mistake! So pulling out your strongest ace shouldn't always work. Also, consider that killing all enemies is a bad idea. (For some scenarios.) Maybe some need to be captured, or pushed away, or can't be killed, or they are old friends who need to be awakened, or it's much better to leave them alone, etc.

Also, use non-combat skills frequently such as lock-picking, stealing, haggling, scrying, hiding, knowledge and use of foreign languages, swimming, bribing, throwing, climbing, rope/ladder/switch puzzles that require multiple characters to work in unison, amnesia (remove map areas that have been drawn/placed), require library research, treasure chests that run away in fear*, etc. In other words, tone down the need for combat but make it worthwhile when it happens. And make combat more than just attack-attack-attack.


_____________________________________________________
*only to discover that they were empty mwahaha
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Einmal ist keinmal
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I'm surprised that no one has commented on the successes of Magic Realm.

This is the game I've been keeping an eye on. With it being OOP, and therefore expensive, and complex rules, there is a huge barrier to entry. Yet it still has a very devoted fan base. It must be doing things right.

I'd say storyline/narrative would be the most important factor in an adventure game.

A close second would be cooperation among players. To me, this is what makes Descent: The Road to Legend so much better than Runebound (Second Edition).

Unfortunately, I've not played very many of these types of games...yet.
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