Double Fine’s LeBreton, who also worked on BioShock, explained that the trick is to find the good kind of “being stuck.” Providing just the right amount of information is paramount when designing any game’s puzzles. But he learned that a straight-up adventure game like The Cave presents additional hurdles at the user-testing stage.
“You don’t have clear metrics like you do with a game that’s based around combat, where you can say, ‘OK, they died this many times and they took this much damage, and we’d rather it be this way, so let’s put more health packs or whatever in the level,” he begins.
“With [The Cave], it was more just like, ‘Well, they were stuck in this area for a long time. A, are we OK with that? And B, what do we want to do about it? Do we want to give them a hint in this direction? No, that’s too much of a gimme; let’s figure out something else. Or let’s just leave it, because it’s actually good because it’s late in the game, or it’s the right kind of difficult puzzle for this kind of situation.'”
The Cave will make you laugh. The Cave will make you curious. The Cave will make you confused. The Cave will make you think. Yes, The Cave will make you a lot of things as you solve puzzles that are only occasionally as frustratingly obtuse as they are clever. Unfortunately, one of those things Double Fine Production’s point-and-click-is-dead/long-live-point-and-click adventure game will make you is bored. Playing Double Fine’s adventure game will inspire in you feelings of pride and contentedness during your moments of puzzle-solving clarity, but it will also inspire you to go play something else when you’re (frequently) stuck shambling along its mostly lifeless halls for the umpteenth time.
You’ll uncover the shady pasts and green-eyed and avaricious desires of the game’s seven playable characters — if you’re willing to play through the game three separate times — as you explore ever deeper while the Cave itself plays the dual roles of court jester and adjudicator. These stories are intriguing despite their simplicity, and the game will have you smiling and chuckling a bit when the Cave is narrating proceedings or morbidly recounting a character’s past. The experience breaks down, however, when you’re hopelessly stuck on one of the more perplexing puzzles without the benefit of the titular narrator distracting you from the tedium of your aimless wandering.
Originally reported to be coming in January, Double Fine’s The Cave now has a solid release date. Announced today by publisher Sega, and by creator Ron Gilbert via …
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The “point and click” adventure game genre simply refuses to die. Ron Gilbert, creative mastermind behind Monkey Island, leads Double Fine‘s upcoming console-bound return to adventure games, The Cave. Gilbert isn’t redesigning the wheel here (though I wouldn’t put it past him) but The Cave definitely has everything for the contemporary adventure game fan.
The Cave is an adventure game of the 2D platform and puzzle variety wherein you guide three characters along a journey through a mysterious, question-answering cave. Seven characters — amongst them a Hillbilly, Knight, Scientist, Monk, Time Traveler, Adventurer and a set of creepy Twin children — each find themselves with a deep desire which they believe the cave can satisfy. Though they have an overt motive for venturing into the cave, Gilbert says there’s something deeper going on in The Cave.
You might have thought Double Fine had forgotten about XBLA, with their Kickstarter fame all we’ve heard XBLA-wise is rumblings of new Iron Brigade content. Now Sega is publishing their brand new game entitled The Cave, conceived by Maniac Mansion creator Ron Gilbert. It’s an adventure game with puzzle and platforming elements but not in a traditional sense and more Metroidvania-style exploration. You’ll assemble a crack team of spelunkers each with different abilities and personalities. You can switch between any of the three characters on the fly or use 3-player local co-op. The characters include a scientist, a knight and a hillbilly…because why not? Ron Gilbert had this to say about The Cave:
“The concept of The Cave has been bouncing around in my head for many, many years, and then the little voices that tell me to do things said it was time to make the game,” added Ron Gilbert. “I’m thrilled to be working with amazingly talented folks at Double Fine and ecstatic that the team at SEGA believes in adventure games and quirky ideas.
Catch some screenshots after the jump, the game will be out some time in 2013.
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