Replayabilityof Cyan games

Replayabilityof Cyan games

Postby Gral » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:17 pm

I really love the sense of exploration and puzzle solving of a lot of the Cyan games as well as the amazing vistas and mysterious settings. One thing that I've always found a bit lacking though is the replay value of these games. Once you've completed them ones you know the solution to all of the puzzles, have seen how the story develops and visited all of the areas.

For sure there are some enjoyment to be had, trying to find the more elusive Easter eggs and revisiting the more spectacular environments but overall, compared to a lot of other genres, I think there's a lot of potential for improvement here. In role playing games for example you can usually tackle the challenges in the game in a lot of different ways depending on what kind of moral choices and other considerations one wish to explore. In addition you can usually adventure with different companions depending on what kind of experience you want and there's usually a lot of room for customizing the main character, making each play through quite different.

My suggestion to increase the incentive to play the game several times would be to introduce more meaningful choices during the course of the game. In the Cyan games I've played there has really only been a handful of major choices to be made. Usually at the very end of the game, where anything but the "right" alternative leads to a rather dreadful end shortly after.

One might say that there are a lot of choices in that you can usually pick in what order to visit the various areas and solve the puzzles but usually you'll have to finish them all in order to progress the story in the end. So you don't end up having much opportunity to discover new things on a second go around. In addition this has a tendency to make it so that if there's is so much as a single obstacle that stumps you it's usually a total show stopper.

Cyan could make various kind of choices have short and long term consequences, some obvious, others more subtle. A drawback might be that the game would have to be shorter as the different branching options would make it necessary to create much additional unique content that would only be partially accessible in a single play through.
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Re: Replayabilityof Cyan games

Postby Main_Avvie » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:46 pm

If Cyan isn't already doing something to this respect with Obduction, then I would hazard that it is too late in the design and development process to do now. This should be one of the earliest considerations made as the whole product has to be designed from the ground up for it.

For all we know it is something Cyan already has in mind. We still don't know the extent of the narrative in Obduction. I agree that being able to explore a branching narrative and to have our choices effect the world of Obduction and its denizens would lend the experience a degree of depth and enrichment.

Cyan has traditionally written rather 'narrative light' experiences where exposition is more often than not implied in the environment when not delivered in monologues. Who's to say if Obduction presents the story any differently?
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Re: Replayabilityof Cyan games

Postby WeldFord » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:36 am

Well we know that those are the different ends of the game :

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Image(If it helps... :mrgreen: )

However I am not aware of any puzzle game or adventure game that have a stong replayability, so that's wouldn't be a surprise for Obduction...
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Re: Replayabilityof Cyan games

Postby Ainia » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:51 am

Actually, my own take on Cyan's games has been they are far more replayable than others of the genre. With the Myst series, they have embedded bits and pieces of a meta-story that we are free to explore and ponder (if one enjoys that sort of thing, which I do). I believe they have taken great care in providing us clues across all the games, most obviously in Uru where I suspect they had hoped to continually provide us with more bits over time.

For me, this really means they are not so much games but interactive stories, or stories presented in game format. And the ambitious goal Cyan had for Uru was a setting where explorers would become part of the story itself and affect the fabric of the stories yet to be told. Up until Uru, all the games were intended as a historical backdrop, providing us with context for the "real-time, real-world" events Uru was intended to tell.

Pretty exciting, innovative stuff! Now that Legendary is in the mix, perhaps this interactive real-time part of Uru will be realized. :mrgreen:
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Re: Replayabilityof Cyan games

Postby Gral » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:33 am

A fair point indeed. These hints are there regardless of how you play the game though. To what extent one picks up on them more has to do with how carefully you study the surroundings rather than alternative ways of playing the game leading to different results.
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Re: Replayabilityof Cyan games

Postby wstrohm » Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:43 am

I replay all the Myst series games randomly-ordered for the atmosphere and graphics; wandering through the worlds knowing the puzzle answers is easier on my frustrations since I rarely hit a wall (but sometimes I still do anyway!). The Chair puzzle in Spire still confounds me, but wife just zips through it. Also I can never remember how to get through Serena's dream sequence conversations between Yeesha and Sirrus and put them together properly. But ah, Riven... my favorite, and replays both in my mind and on the computer are very rewarding.
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Re: Replayabilityof Cyan games

Postby Magic88889 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:06 pm

Just like a good book, or a favorite TV show, I've found Cyan's games to always be playable. Every time I play thorough it, I gain some new insight, some new depth, a new detail that I had missed before. Sometimes I just genuinely missed it, other times it's because I've matured and see things differently. I've been rewatching Buffy recently, and have had this experience on more than one occasion.

Cyan has built such a rich story. Sure, much of it is subtle, but that's what makes it all the more fascinating.
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Re: Replayabilityof Cyan games

Postby Graizur » Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:53 pm

Replay ability is more like just finding a nice place in the world a do just to chill nn there like it's real.
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Re: Replayability of Cyan games

Postby matthornb » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:27 pm

Cyan's games have higher replay value than many in the genre, not due to the branching story structure (as is the case with Dreamfall Chapters and some Telltale Games projects) but due to the richness of the game world and, in the case of Uru, the social multiplayer functionality.

It's difficult to make an adventure game fun the second time through; it's a genre that's very graphics-intensive, story-focused and puzzle-focused, and those traits don't make the genre easily conducive to replay in the way that, say, an open-ended strategy or simulation game can be.
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Re: Replayabilityof Cyan games

Postby Gral » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:49 pm

"It's difficult to make an adventure game fun the second time through; it's a genre that's very graphics-intensive, story-focused and puzzle-focused, and those traits don't make the genre easily conducive to replay in the way that, say, an open-ended strategy or simulation game can be."

I would argue that this depends on how closely one sticks to the established conventions and ideas about what an "adventure game" is suppose to be though. As people have pointed out, whatever direction Cyan has decided to take Obduction in has likely long since been nailed down already but for future games I reckon they could modernize some of the fundemental concepts without loosing the magic of what makes a cyan game feel unique.
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