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Author Topic: First Impressions and Hima-direction  (Read 105968 times)

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coroloro

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First Impressions and Hima-direction
« on: March 18, 2006, 11:11:23 AM »

How could I pass up the opportunity to be the first to post on the public user forums? Although it will be sad if my only claim to fame is "Posted first on the Hima forums when they went public". :P

I thought it might be nice to open things up with a spot for folks to post their first impressions of Al Emmo (when it comes out)- or even their impressions prior to- and thoughts of what might come next, what you'd like to come next, etc. Of course, here is where Chris will kick me in the tush since I think of everything they want to know, another opinion of "You should do THIS" is not at the top. But hey, I'm sure everyone who comes here will have one- might as well get it off your chest! That's what these forums are about, anyway, right?

As for me, being a long-time traditional fan of games like Kings Quest and Quest for Glory, I've always loved the fantasy genre. Sci fi isn't bad either- I enjoyed Space Quest, and so it is a good second runner up, but fantasy foremost. I never played Leisure Suit Larry myself- of course, I was younger then, and it didn't interest me. I'd like to see some real fantasy stuff coming up- one thing I loved about Quest for Glory is it was a SEROIUS adventure, new and original with real heart and strong characters, but it didn't take itself too seriously and had a light heart. I'd like to see a fantastical adventure like this come out of the brilliant minds and artists here! I would like to see them create- with the masterful music, skilled writing, and hard work, and more- a whole world of their own that stands up in its own right. Not just a comic masterpiece with spoofy airs, like Al Emmo, but an immersive fantasy world. I think a lot of fans out there of QFG and KQ will agree- we've loved some of the remakes certain anonymous people have put out for this very seroius, we love the fantastical worlds. I'd like to see them make their own, now- the magical, sword slashing, fantastical kinds.

Okay, there's me! Let's hear your thoughts.

-Patrick
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Angelus3K

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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2006, 04:12:39 PM »

All right!! Himalaya forums are now open for business!!!

Let the games begin!

Ahh I feel vunerable without my mod status  :O
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VampD3

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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2006, 04:50:33 PM »

Hey guys, just thought I would make myself heard  :D
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DennisBergkamp

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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2006, 04:55:19 PM »

Interesting to see new options on the forums  :D
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navynuke04

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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2006, 08:22:15 PM »

Welcome to the forums guys! Can't wait until we have many people here!
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Angelus3K

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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2006, 03:52:12 AM »

Once people actually realise the Hima website actually points here now lol or Brit releases the announcment then there will be a huge boom of users lol!  <):)
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The Avatar

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Yay Himalaya Forums!
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2006, 08:07:39 PM »

<):)  -I'm a cowboy, for the new western game.. heh.
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Tom Lewandowski

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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2006, 08:21:27 PM »

You betcha it's a nice place to call home!  Welcome, guys!  Let the game playing begin!!   :hehe:
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Luke

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Hi everyone!
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2006, 08:46:03 PM »

Hi guys!  Name's (as you can probably guess) Luke.  I was a beta tester for KQ2VGA and am a close personal friend of The Avatar.  Nice to be here! :)
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MusicallyInspired

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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2006, 09:10:55 PM »

Sweet! Looking forward to Al Emmo! These forums have a nice design, too! I like very much the blue on white. It's a lot less blue than AGDI too which makes it easier on me :).

EDIT: BTW, I noticed that there isn't an off-topic board. Are we still going to use the 'old' forums for off-topic then?
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Erpy

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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2006, 11:35:12 PM »

Hi guys. Welcome.

Yeah, right now we're still looking into whether an additional OT-forum is a good idea. It doesn't seem to be at the moment, as it might just provoke a lot of additional stuff for us to read to be posted.

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MusicallyInspired

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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2006, 01:32:47 AM »

True. Maybe it is a good idea to keep these forums based on Himalaya and its games. Off-Topic is good for fan forums and whatnot, but for an official company it might not be such a good idea.
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Luke

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I agree
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2006, 04:43:27 PM »

I agree with Brandon.  Solid reasoning on your part, too, Erpy.
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GameDevBrit

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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2006, 07:59:48 PM »

Hey guys!! I'm hoooome :D   Welcome to the forums...I'm excited to have you guys around!
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Tom Lewandowski

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« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2006, 08:24:12 PM »

Hey, Brit...hope you brought doughnuts ... I'm starving!
  :rolleyes:
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GameDevBrit

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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2006, 09:17:26 PM »

Donuts, Tom?  We're having a PIZZA Party!  At your suggestion though, we'll have a Krispy Kreme dessert...You're all invited :D
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MusicallyInspired

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« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2006, 10:45:22 PM »

Hey Pizza! I don't care what you put on the rest of it, but keep at least 2 or 3 slices with just pepporonni and bacon for me!
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GameDevBrit

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« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2006, 01:28:55 AM »

It's all yours, MusicallyInspired!  Lucky for you, I'm a vegetarian :hehe:
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Angelus3K

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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2006, 01:59:30 AM »

Anything but pineapple for me!  :D
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The Avatar

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Pizza party
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2006, 11:30:31 AM »

Hmm.. Doughnuts do sound good.  And pizza.  I think I'll have a mexican taco pizza for myself, and a 3 cheese pizza as well.  Better add in two more with nothing but veggies: Green peppers, onions, tomatoes, red peppers, black olives, mushrooms, and avacado.  That should leave just enough room for dessert.
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coroloro

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Ummmm
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2006, 07:57:56 PM »

Looks like everything is being posted her BUT what I posted about. So much for trying to be constructive :P

-Patrick
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Tom Lewandowski

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« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2006, 11:00:35 PM »

I think everyone's just pleased to see the forum and is taking the opportunity to acknowledge it in this thread.  :)  There's only been a few of us posting here for the past three years, so it's really nice to finally be able to have some more members on board to share in our excitement.
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GameDevBrit

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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2006, 02:58:34 PM »

Hey, why don't we have California Pizza Kitchen cater Tostada pizzas?  Kinda like taco, meets pizza, meets vegetarian meal :) And I know a lot of people are fans of Jane Jensen's work, although I haven't had much experience with it yet (although Stijn will hopefully cure me of that soon!).

Do you have any additional interests outside of fantasy type games, Coroloro?  What would be your second favorite type?
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Kurdt

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« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2006, 04:52:45 PM »

Oh geez, thanks Brit! Now I want California Pizza Kitchen. You think I got the money for that bit of heavenly goodness??? :D

Take care,
Kurdt
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wickedthistle

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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2006, 04:56:37 PM »

Okay, well I couldn't resist posting something that will make everyone even happier. Or define me as the "insane one" on the forums.  :crazy:  Some of us here know that pizza is one of the five elements. Did you know it can also be dessert?  :O  I've actually tried/created the following recipes, and though it sounds strange they're quite tasty!

You will need:
One pizza dough/premade pizza shell (make it from scratch or purchase) enough to feed your friends. Try to stay away from doughs that have savory ingredients i.e.) garlic, cheese, spices. Make sure it's cooked and ready to go.

and then...
Spread peanut butter on the pizza, add strawberry jelly on top along with banana slices. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings or crushed nuts. Warm it up and make it gooey if you like. It's yummy cold too!

Variations: Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread), chunks of canned or fresh fruit, m&ms/reece's pieces, ice cream on the side, crushed cookie pieces.


Just to make this posting legit, my first games were played on the Commodore 64. When I switched to the IBM-compatible, my first favorite game was "Tass Times in Tonetown" in 1986. My eyes were truly opened when I went to a friend's house and played Hero's Quest. She also had a number of other Sierra games along with Ultima. I was hooked! Since then, I've always appreciated a game that was well-rounded instead of the current trend of pretty graphics and loads of needless violence. It's akin to my taste in movies - I want good characters, a meaningful story, wonderful visuals and music, and that extra special "something" that makes you want to experience it all again. Remake or not, a good game goes beyond the technology and touches the heart.  :D
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coroloro

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« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2006, 07:31:12 PM »

Brit said- "Do you have any additional interests outside of fantasy type games, Coroloro?  What would be your second favorite type?"

Oh, that's an easy one! Well, I THINK it is easy. It depends on if you mean out of the game genre's presently available (ie- strategy, etc) or the categories available for Sierra-Himalaya style games. As far as the second goes, I'd have to easily say Science Fiction! I enjoyed the several Space Quest games I got to enjoy, but I also enjoy more serious ones (aka "The Dig" and not just the farces). Also, I've always enjoyed the Anne McAffrey/Anime style of mixing the two and making a fantasty-type that was actually sci fi.

Now, I could say a close runner up might be historical fiction- l've always had an interest and a passion for the Middle Ages and earlier. Oh, and I loved that too Brit- since I was a boy when I started playing QFG, I was so excited when I realised the games I played actually were based off of REAL places and REAL mythology! Everytime I eat middle eastern food I remember things like "honeyed chicken" and other things the Katta Tail Inn served. Not to mentioned the other various foods like the garlicy stuff from 4, and the grecian food. Why do you think my second choice to game design was intercultural studies? Heh! QFG, that's why. :P I love how the games take you around the world AND outside of it at the same time.

I also enjoy how games like Kings Quest- KQ7 even, with Greek mythology, and KQ6 as well with other mythology like the land of the dead- take you into mythology from around the world as well.

But I'd enjoy a game that just took me around the world in history period. To be in medieval China or Japan and play an ADVENTURE there (not just fighting junk), or middle ages... you name it. A QFG style fighting adventure would be wonderful, but even a pure adventure like KQ or Al's game. In fact, that might be even more enjoyable than a Sci Fi game- though sci fi games have HUUUGE potential for things like that too.


Now for the reason why I, as a writer, adore fantasy and sci fi. It is because science fiction and fantasy have, through the ages, taken rough ideas and portrayed them in a way people can grasp. Sci fi has constantly taken new ideas and inventions and applied them in a way only imagination can- only to have them ACTUALLY applied that way later (http://www.livescience.com/scienceoffiction/ where you can see a direct correlation between REAL discoveries and sci fi books where they were originally talked about previously). Fantasy literature (and games), however, are able to communicate beliefs, ideas, cultures, philosophies, and more in a way that is more interesting and easier to understand than an instructional book. I believe that there are many brilliant minds out there- like JR Tolkein- who chose to communicate by writing a fiction over just writing a book on their theories and feelings. CS Lewis, also, is remembered most for his fictional series over even his many theological and philosophical writings.

What I loved about Sierra fantasy games is how they were the congealed form of the minds of both the primary authors, and those who pitched in to help form the final game played. You explored and interacted with the ideas, interests, and meanings they wanted to convey while at the same time learning a little about them and the team that worked on the game. I think an historical fiction- or even just historically based game- would do this as well, as history itself teaches incredible truths and would be exciting to "live out" in a game.

The reason Japanese games like Final Fantasy still have appeal- despite the fighting that bores me at times- is because, while non-linear plots are interesting for a time, it is the relatively linear story that a person gets to experience that intrigues them. The player wants interactivity, they want choices, but they want STRUCTURE too. The human mind naturally wants some sort of structure and path, without which eventually we either panic, get bored, or give up. Movies, and linear stories, will never loose their appeal- and that is why I also believe adventure games like Himalaya is making have a chance still.

Ahhh, sorry for my tangent. I get excited about this stuff!

-Patrick
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Luke

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« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2006, 10:37:42 AM »

Quote from: "GameDevBrit"
Hey, why don't we have California Pizza Kitchen cater Tostada pizzas?  Kinda like taco, meets pizza, meets vegetarian meal :D?

Yum!  That sounds great, Brit.  I'm not the biggest fan of pizza.  I mean, I like it, but not as much as many of you probably do.  I am, however, quite a fan of Mexican food, as well as interesting takes on classic dishes.  A tostada pizza me suena deliciosa (sounds delicious to me).

Luke
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Angelus3K

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« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2006, 10:54:54 AM »

Your not crazy wickedthistle I love Banana and cheese pizza!!!!

Spoiler
Or maybe we're just BOTH crazy!
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Erpy

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« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2006, 05:04:42 PM »

Wow.....the very first public thread on the new forums goes off-topic within a matter of days. My hopes for the bright and glorious future have never been higher.

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Angelus3K

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« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2006, 06:20:16 PM »

Hey, it was Tom and Brit that started it, blame them  :laugh:
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Morte

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« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2006, 10:06:19 PM »

Quote from: "Erpy"
Wow.....the very first public thread on the new forums goes off-topic within a matter of days.
Okay, I'll steer this away a little bit from all the yummy food talk, then. :)[/quote]
I'm afraid I'll have to side with Brit on this one. I've got a real hankering for a good police procedural these days. Hard-boiled plotline, suspect interrogation, forensic work, gritty anti-hero, shootouts with criminals... what's not to like?

Quote from: "wickedthistle"
When I switched to the IBM-compatible, my first favorite game was "Tass Times in Tonetown" in 1986.
Hey, I can't believe someone else remembers this gem. Very trippy game. I think I still have the fold-out newspaper that came with it tucked away somewhere.

Quote from: "coroloro"
The reason Japanese games like Final Fantasy still have appeal- despite the fighting that bores me at times- is because, while non-linear plots are interesting for a time, it is the relatively linear story that a person gets to experience that intrigues them. The player wants interactivity, they want choices, but they want STRUCTURE too. The human mind naturally wants some sort of structure and path, without which eventually we either panic, get bored, or give up. Movies, and linear stories, will never loose their appeal- and that is why I also believe adventure games like Himalaya is making have a chance still.
Well, I agree and disagree. In one sense, linear narrative structure is good because the joys of good storytelling is something no one can deny. The thing is, non-linearity can be just as amazing. If well-implemented, it can give players a sense that their actions are not pre-scripted, that their destiny is their own to write, and that their choices have an impact on a non-static game world. You gotta admit that's pretty seductive too, especially since it's unique to games as an artistic medium.

Quote from: "coroloro"
I thought it might be nice to open things up with a spot for folks to post their first impressions of Al Emmo (when it comes out)- or even their impressions prior to- and thoughts of what might come next, what you'd like to come next, etc.

Having finished the game now, I must say that Al Emmo is a lot of fun. It's got charming old-school flavour, memorable characters, and some genuinely funny moments. Puzzle-wise, it's a lot easier than I expected (and believe me when I say that I'm no puzzle-solving savant). Still, that's okay in the end, because not everyone enjoys Mensa entrance exams like the Myst games. I know I certainly have mixed feelings about that series.

That's also why I support the designers' decision to make one particular puzzle near the end easier.


I actually thought it was a stiff but enjoyable challenge, sorta like the adventure game equivalent of a "boss fight". Unfortunately, though, its difficulty really stuck out like a sore thumb in the game.

But to get back on track: after playing Al Emmo for awhile, you'll realize that it does a lot of things right that many modern-day adventure games still struggle with. It's got tons of interactive hotspots to boost immersion. It's got puzzles that are largely goal-based instead of arbitrary. It stays away from masochistic pixel-hunting. And maybe, best of all, it's got an avatar than you aren't forced to watch trudge slowly across game screens (while pixel-hunting, natch).

Could Al Emmo be a long-term franchise? Maybe. It's definitely got potential and I think many adventure gamers will be quite pleased with Himalaya's debut. But, as Yoda says: "impossible to see, the future is."
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"You lick a thick smear of filth off the street, finding the taste unpleasant. You quickly swallow it. What a smart person you are." -Space Quest IV

coroloro

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« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2006, 06:47:53 AM »

Regarding the police style idea for future games- my thoughts, you will see. (ack, Yoda strikes again)

I feel that our culture goes through trends. Right now a BIG trend is the whole police/crime sort of thing. Another part is the reality trend that has been infusing TV and movies- but fantasy is making a comeback. Also, we are having a sad tendency to try to turn myths into "reality". Really sad, I think, since myths are just that- myths! And should be enjoyed as myths. It's like taking Star War's "force" and turning it into a modern concept by adding little mediclorian thingies. Heh. Sometimes it is FUN not to have everything explained or scientific.

I feel that while a police sort of thing could have potential, it'd be too generic a direction. I think that a place like Himalaya wants to both 1) tap into the energy and enthusiasm of players who want to see the fantasy of a genre they thought was dying, revived and 2) by drawing on the power of the past and the energy of a new style for the future, avoid the generic trends and go a new direction. Maybe even try something Sierra didn't try!

I thought of it when I was brainstorming in my earlier entry. Try a historic (or even fantasy) adventure based in, say, medieval China or Japan. Or other countries/historic areas. I think it would be neat to take something that the 'new Sierra' or other places have butchered with battles and turn it into a real story and adventure. Or, do something this modern era has forgotten about and do a historic adventure- but mix some of the fantasy and mythology in from that particular area. Quest for Glory did something like that- but you can be a little more direct, too, create a himalaya style of your own.

I know that of all things, police/detective/present day is the only thing I avoid more than western :P
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Angelus3K

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« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2006, 08:33:57 AM »

I'd love a serious police type adventure game from Himalaya. That would be great, think of the potencial!

Your right though, it would have to be something special to avoid falling into a general police/detective story which are so abundant these days.
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GameDevBrit

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« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2006, 01:50:43 PM »

I think a historical fiction game has a lot of potential.  I also would like to see more adventure games set in the Asian culture--there are a lot of neat places over there, even beyond China and Japan, that would make great locations and offer lots of interesting lore.

As for Al Emmo, even though it's set in the Old West, I wouldn't consider it a typical Western.  In a similar way to Quest for Glory--the games were influenced heavily by certain locations and lore, but the game itself was very unique with a story not completely based in any particular era.  Al Emmo was based more on southwest culture than the Old West. I also am not a huge fan of Western Movies, and tried to make certain Al Emmo did not fall into the Old West stereotype.  It's much more unique...

As for police games, I'm still with Angelus and Morte! :)   Coroloro, you haven't even PLAYED Police Quest yet!  We've got to do something about this!  I think if you experienced those games, you might see police games in the same light as other classic adventure games.  I was actually excited to see, at the Game Developers Conference, I won a copy of Swat 4 by Sierra.  No adventure game, but the SWAT theme was appealing.  I think a law enforcement theme, done really well, in a classic style adventure would be fun!
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« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2006, 12:26:36 AM »

I will opt for a combination of fantasy and detective. These guys at Himalaya made me remember of Randall Garrett and his very nice cycle "Too many magicians". Just think of this mix: Sherlock Holmes,  "Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eko and fantasy style. I'd love to have such an adventure.

And I will also agree with the statement that, I'll put it in this way, ethnic -based adventures have really a great potential (not only based on Asian culture but maybe also on African, etc. Hmm, lets see what Benoit Sokal will show us with his "Paradise" (BTW he will do a report on KRI game developement conference in Moscow next weekend)).
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