What is an adventure game?

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paranoid marvin
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Post by paranoid marvin » Tue Jul 31, 2007 4:05 pm

For every definition there's at least one game which can be mentioned that defies it

So basically don't bother!
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Celebaglar
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Post by Celebaglar » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:55 pm

Well, my argument would be that text adventures without graphics (what you have classed as text adventures) and text adventures with graphics (what you describe as graphic adventures) and in fact the same thing: text adventures.

The reason for this is the example I gave earlier. Take Level 9's Colossal Adventure - it was initially released without graphics, and later released with graphics (as part of the Jewels of Darkness trilogy). But it's the same game, not two different games. Even in the version with graphics, the scene is described to you via text and you issue instructions in text form. You can turn off the graphics with no impact whatsoever on gameplay.

So if we want to use the terms because they were used in the context once, fine, but what the terms mean tends to change depending on what era is being considered. When point-and-click adventures first appeared, people did refer to them as point-and-click. By the time two of three years had passed and text based adventures had virtually vanished from the market, they were called graphic adventures or just adventures. Talk to most of the post 80s gamers and many wouldn't begin to think of text based adventures if you mention the term adventure.

But we could go round in circles forever. It's the "what is retro" question in another guise.

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Post by Antiriad2097 » Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:07 am

Celebaglar wrote:When point-and-click adventures first appeared, people did refer to them as point-and-click. By the time two of three years had passed and text based adventures had virtually vanished from the market, they were called graphic adventures or just adventures. Talk to most of the post 80s gamers and many wouldn't begin to think of text based adventures if you mention the term adventure.
I've never heard of a point n click adventure being referred to as a graphic adventure until this thread. The thought appals me. I see what you're saying about text adventures (and agree, yes, they're the same game with or without graphics), but that doesn't change the fact that graphic adventures are text based at their core.

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Celebaglar
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Post by Celebaglar » Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:20 am

:)

Oh, I'm happy to concede the point over how and when the terms were coined, but I would still argue that calling a text adventure with graphics a graphic adventure is misleading. It suggests a different genre and that's obviously not true. History adapts and it doesn't always get things right the first time.

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Opa-Opa
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Post by Opa-Opa » Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:35 am

From when I first got my VIC-20 right up to the 16-bit machines text only or text and graphic based "interactive fiction" (I hate that term) games were known as Adventures or Graphic adventures.
Point and click adventures such as Monkey Island or Beneath a steel sky are called that because you use the pointer and click to interact...

If you want to know more just read back issues of Crash / Zzap which had dedicated adventure sections but Ant is right, the adventure sub-genres were established over 20 years ago..

The only people that I know who call Point and click adventres, graphic adventure are the users of this forum/thread..?

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GarryG
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Post by GarryG » Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:07 am

Xesh wrote:Personally I would call any game that has a narrative where you play one of the characters (whether it's text or graphics) an adventure game.
I think you’re confusing the loosely fitting Adventure Game genre with the term ‘Graphical Adventure’.
A lot of modern 3D FP games can come under your description!
It’s how the term ‘Graphical Adventure’ is currently being used that we are talking about. For example you wouldn’t call the GTA or Hit-Man games ‘Graphical Adventures’, but my 17 year old son would loosely call these adventure games; you play a specific character, there is narrative driven plot and you have to perform certain goals in order to proceed in the game.

To me a ‘Graphical Adventure’ is primarily a text based adventure game, with static or moving (but not directly interactive) graphics. Point-and-Click is different because you as the player directly interact with the graphics. I probably think this because this is how these types of games were being described in the media at the time of their release, and I was around at that time ;)

I would definitely call all the ‘Myst’ games Adventure games, but not ‘Graphical Adventures’, yes they are entirely ‘graphical’ based, and are largely still pictures, but you interact with the graphics directly so for me these definitely fall into the Point-and-Click adventure category.

For me games like the original ‘Leisure suite Larry’ are the last type of games that could be called ‘Graphical Adventures’ because although the graphics on the screen were animated and this is primarily what you used to proceed through the game, you interacted with these graphics through typing text. The remake of the game was the exact same game but with the text interface replaced by a Point-and-Click system. So for me the game was changed from a ‘Graphical Adventure’ to a Point-and-Click adventure, same game, but it’s the user interface that makes all the difference for me!
paranoid marvin wrote:For every definition there's at least one game which can be mentioned that defies it
So basically don't bother!
An easy thing to say, but you don’t mention any ;)
In this case I think you would be hard pushed to find such a game!
Celebaglar wrote:Well, my argument would be that text adventures without graphics (what you have classed as text adventures) and text adventures with graphics (what you describe as graphic adventures) and in fact the same thing: text adventures.
Can I just point out that it isn’t ‘us’ that are classing these games like this. These were well established industry terms used all the time to describe these types of games. A text adventure, with graphics, was widely called a ‘Graphical Adventure’ within the industry and in the media, that is a fact, and yes they are all text adventures, that’s kind of my point ;)
Opa-Opa wrote:"interactive fiction" (I hate that term)
So do I.
When did good old adventure games became ‘Interactive Fiction’ anyway, someone seriously needs shot IMO ;)

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The Penultimate Ninja
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Post by The Penultimate Ninja » Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:28 am

Adventure is a really loosly defined description really, you could successfully argue all sorts of games from text games to Zelda can all be called "Adventure" games.
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GarryG
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Post by GarryG » Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:41 am

I totally agree on the term Adventure game, which really is too open to argue about.
But the term ‘Graphical Adventure’ did mean a very specific type of game.
Point-and-Click games never were ‘Graphical Adventure’ games.

But now text adventure games are apparently called IF (Interactive Fiction), says who?

I don’t know, you turn you’re back for 20 years and somebody goes and changes descriptions on you! ;)

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Post by Celebaglar » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:15 am

GarryG wrote:Can I just point out that it isn’t ‘us’ that are classing these games like this. These were well established industry terms used all the time to describe these types of games. A text adventure, with graphics, was widely called a ‘Graphical Adventure’ within the industry and in the media, that is a fact, and yes they are all text adventures, that’s kind of my point ;)
I accept that point, but the terms were coined when ALL adventures were text adventures. The genre has expanded since, and the terms as originally coined are no longer accurate in a descriptive sense (i.e. a graphic adventure is in fact a text adventure with added graphics, a point-and-click adventure is an adventure with a graphic interface, etc.)

Old terminology , however nostalgic those of us who were around at the time may find it, does not mean accurate terminology.
Opa-Opa wrote:"interactive fiction" (I hate that term)
So do I.
When did good old adventure games became ‘Interactive Fiction’ anyway, someone seriously needs shot IMO ;)
The term was coined by Infocom, who used to describe their games that way - and not unjustly.

Much of the current text adventure (or IF) scene has evolved from people first writing interpreters to play Infocom games and later from authoring systems designed to mimic the capability of the Infocom system. Also, a significant percentage of the stuff produced is no longer what we would expect from a text adventure of old, which is a pack of puzzles and problems to solve tied together with a storyline. The "solving" aspect is no longer the primary purpose for playing the game.

For me they'll always be text adventures, but the term "Interactive Fiction" doesn't bother me. If anything it's probably too loose, as it could easily encompass purely graphical games too.

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Post by Opa-Opa » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:22 am

Celebaglar wrote:
For me they'll always be text adventures, but the term "Interactive Fiction" doesn't bother me. If anything it's probably too loose, as it could easily encompass purely graphical games too.
To me interactive fiction means those rubbish "Fire on top of warlock mountain/ Steve Jackson / turn to page 99 / you dead..!" books...

Couldn't stand those ethier, they were for the poor kids who didn't have a computer to play real adventure games on :)

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GarryG
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Post by GarryG » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:27 am

Celebaglar wrote:... the terms were coined when ALL adventures were text adventures. The genre has expanded since, and the terms as originally coined are no longer accurate in a descriptive sense (i.e. a graphic adventure is in fact a text adventure with added graphics, a point-and-click adventure is an adventure with a graphic interface, etc.)

Old terminology , however nostalgic those of us who were around at the time may find it, does not mean accurate terminology.
Well to be fair, other things did start to appear not long afterwards. Games like The Forth Protocol were around long before text-adventure-games-with-graphics ceased to be mainstream products!

I do see what you mean but to me this was and still is a term used to describe a particular type of adventure game sub-genre. Point-andClick is a different sub-genre.

There was a noticeable evolution from graphic adventure to point-and-click, you can see this with games like Larry, Tir-Na-Nog and Heavy on the Magik etc..

By the way, I have looked as some of the newer stuff in the IF sites. I like a fair bit of it. It isn’t the content I don’t like, just the name. Sounds too much like the roll-play adventure books you used to get!
Last edited by GarryG on Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Celebaglar
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Post by Celebaglar » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:29 am

Opa-Opa wrote:To me interactive fiction means those rubbish "Fire on top of warlock mountain/ Steve Jackson / turn to page 99 / you dead..!" books...

Couldn't stand those ethier, they were for the poor kids who didn't have a computer to play real adventure games on :)
You're thinking of Fighting Fantasy books. I don't recall them ever being referred to as Interactive Fiction.

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Post by Opa-Opa » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:32 am

Yeah but you think that point and click adventures are graphic adventures, so I'm not going to belive you... ;)
It looks like both me and GarryG both agree on that..

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Post by Celebaglar » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:43 am

Opa-Opa wrote:Yeah but you think that point and click adventures are graphic adventures, so I'm not going to belive you... ;)
It looks like both me and GarryG both agree on that..
:P

(Actually Infocom released some "Interactive Fiction paperbacks", with a Fighting Fantasy approach, so there's a grain of truth in what you say. They bombed and Infocom stopped doing them.)

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GarryG
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Post by GarryG » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:56 am

I think this is an interesting quote:
Celebaglar wrote: I would still argue that calling a text adventure with graphics a graphic adventure is misleading. It suggests a different genre...

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I would say Celebaglar is aged teen to early twentys?
I can see how it may be construed as misleading to someone who first started gaming around the Playstation (er, PS1 to you) eara, at a time when this type of game was not widely commercially available or viable. A graphic-adventure would mean something very different to them. However it doesn’t change the fact that there are a range of games called ‘Graphic Adventures’, and they happen to be an earlier type of game that a PS1 games player may not have met before, understandable confusion, but still wrong to call any type of 3D FP game a ‘Graphical Adventure game’, IMO

I can see the point of this post up to:
Celebaglar wrote: … and that's obviously not true.

Heres whare an assumption was made that is just wrong. If you knew what the term meant, it would be obvious to you exactly what type of game it was.

There are many books and on-line references that describe what the term ‘Graphical Adventure’ or 'Adventure Game' referees to, and they all say pretty much the same thing.
So yes, I can see how it might be construed as misleading if you didn’t bother to find out what it meant! But it has a widely recognised meaning!

I think what you might be talking about here is the Arcade Adventure genre...

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