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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: Text Adventures In The Age Of Decadence

Default RPGWatch Feature: Text Adventures In The Age Of Decadence

September 27th, 2010, 12:08
In this feature, Vince from Iron Tower Studio walks us through one of the "text adventures" embedded in The Age of Decadence. Here's a snip from the intro, and read the full feature for a step-by-step sample of this style of gameplay:
Text-adventures are an old, venerable, and sadly all but forgotten element. We did our best to capture the spirit, but as usual, you're invited to bitch, complain, and make other helpful suggestions. For those who like to quantify things: this particular text adventure is 14,687 words long.

You start the game in Teron, a small crumbling town controlled by House Daratan. At some point you may (or may not) decide to have a chat with Lord Antidas.[…]
Read it all here.
More information.

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September 27th, 2010, 12:08
A big thanks to Vince and ITS for setting this up for us.

The last time I played a text adventure embedded in another game was Space Rangers…one of my favourite all time games. Hope it works as well in AoD, though no doubt not as whacky.

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September 27th, 2010, 14:07
I still have a hard time to stomach that nothing in the text quests are random…. IMHO that takes some excitement out of them….. it would probably be better to have rolls for each action instead…
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September 27th, 2010, 14:10
For me, lack of randomness in this context puts more excitement in: more depends on my own decisions!

Two thumbs up!
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September 27th, 2010, 14:13
It also means you can go through all the options fairly quickly with saving/loading…..
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September 27th, 2010, 14:21
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
It also means you can go through all the options fairly quickly with saving/loading…..
Yes, but to see other options (that your character is not skilled enough for) play out, you would need to build an entirely different character, while with a roll system you could squeeze through with lucky rolls (or enough patience) - at least you are not tempted to save/load spam until you have a favorable outcome.
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September 27th, 2010, 14:30
You can have rolls which would never succeed if you have too low value in the skill….. the most exciting thing about these kind of quests are ussually when you managed to get futher than ever before and you have to think carefully which option to choose next to give you the best chance since you might not be so lucky again to get that far…. but with this system you can just choose one, knowing you can easily get to the same state again.
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September 27th, 2010, 14:53
Only most players will not think but just reload, at least if the outcome really matters. If you use a roll-based system and inform the player in cases he has 0% success chance, than given a save anywhere system, you have a system where a player can always turn it into Vince's system, if he is just patient enough. If you do not inform the player, you can get them potentially very frustrated.
Not that I disagree that there aren't pros and cons to both approaches, but i think in a game that is specifically designed to be replayed trying out different character builds, like AoD, its a valid design choice.
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September 27th, 2010, 14:55
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
the most exciting thing about these kind of quests are ussually when you managed to get futher than ever before and you have to think carefully which option to choose next to give you the best chance since you might not be so lucky again to get that far….
No, that just promotes reloading and diminishes the importance of character development.
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September 27th, 2010, 15:16
One word will do: awesome!
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September 27th, 2010, 15:35
Forgot to mention: you can't save during the text adventure sequences and some of them are quite long. This way you wouldn't want to take unnecessary risks and click on everything just to see what happens and reload if you don't like the results.
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September 27th, 2010, 18:19
I find it harder and harder to patiently wait for this to come out. This game is a roleplayer's dream come true..!
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September 27th, 2010, 18:48
No, that just promotes reloading and diminishes the importance of character development.
Doesn't this system also mean you need to reload as soon as you make a wrong decision, with the subtle difference that it'll be a railroad without excitement of clicking different options just to get back to the same place again… you already know you'll succeed ? If you have high enough value in one skill nothing to prevent it from always succeeding with certain simpler tasks.. and nothing to prevent you from always failing neither…. with this logic you could just as well say that having any randomness in combat takes away from character creation? since you might miss even if you are a spearmaster?

This way you wouldn't want to take unnecessary risks and click on everything just to see what happens and reload if you don't like the results.
hmm, as I understand it the animations are played out during each action? does that mean it would take quite some time to play through all the options again for a long text quest? I would imagine if you know how to click it would still be very fast to get back to the same status again.

That said I still love the text quest from what I've seen so far…. just think it would be even more exciting with a little random flavour added in…..
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September 27th, 2010, 19:15
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Doesn't this system also mean you need to reload as soon as you make a wrong decision, with the subtle difference that it'll be a railroad without excitement of clicking different options just to get back to the same place again… you already know you'll succeed ?
Succeeding isn´t really the main thing here. Not succeeding is.
Reasonable way to play through these quests is to take the in-game conditions and your char´s strengths into account and choose the options accordingly. Then, if you still fail, you either go with the flow (in case failure isn´t fatal, of course) or reload and try to utilize different strengths or simply postpone the quest altogether. The point is, after the failure you´ll know that your character is lacking in the required skill and there´s no point taking the same route again right away.
With the random roll system in place, you´d most likely end up grinding the optimal route till the roll will be in your favour.

Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
with this logic you could just as well say that having any randomness in combat takes away from character creation? since you might miss even if you are a spearmaster?
Combat is simply way different, as the high amount of rolls tends to even randomness out in a longer run and failure/success isn´t dependent on one single roll.
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September 27th, 2010, 19:38
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
hmm, as I understand it the animations are played out during each action?
They play very fast. The action is almost instant.
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September 27th, 2010, 20:00
Sorry for this banal comment, but something so fundamental to a RPG so very often gets overlooked: your font is crisp and a pleasure to read. I have issues with font, it seems, in at least half the games I try out. The writing is also excellent. Between you and Garath, it seems that there will be a mini-revival in well crafted RPG worlds, over the next couple years.

PS I would have loved the option to stab the sleeping guards in the throat (or a few drops of poison in eatch mough, etc.), but I imagine that that would make the quest too easy.
Last edited by Santos; September 27th, 2010 at 22:49.
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September 27th, 2010, 20:30
Combat is simply way different, as the high amount of rolls tends to even randomness out in a longer run and failure/success isn´t dependent on one single roll.
Well, as far as I undersand it there are critical hits in combat… which could render you more or less dead….. and in the text-quest there are partial success which isn't instant failure? If the player will grind save and load instead of giving up… why not? it is the same for really hard combats which you can only win with some luck?

In the space-quest text quest one of the most exciting things are the randomness…. a very bad roll in a very bad situation could render you dead… but most of the time you'd just get less benefit. An example would be fail to pick the chest… and get out without the gold….. if the player wants to replay the text quest and hope for better random luck and optimize results? why not? it just makes the text quest being played more… and a lot of time was put into them I am sure…
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September 27th, 2010, 22:26
if the player wants to replay the text quest and hope for better random luck and optimize results? why not? it just makes the text quest being played more… and a lot of time was put into them I am sure…
The strength of the game is to be re-played with different character builds and experience different things. That adds enough variety to the game without need for random rolls in text checks and grinding to get the desired result.
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September 28th, 2010, 05:27
If the whole game is this fleshed out with decisions and choices dam Im gonna love this game.
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September 28th, 2010, 13:31
Waw, very cool stuff! I keep forgetting about this game and then they release something like this that gets me all exited again…

And in relation to what was said above: I actually very much like the absence of randomness in the text adventures. Lets/forces you play more as your character instead of providing you with a means to abuse die rolls to get the desired outcome.
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