Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Feeling like this game could be murder... literally? Well, come on in here for some extra detective work (and clues/hints/etc!) for the Laura Bow games (The Colonel's Bequest and The Dagger of Amon Ra).

Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby Tawmis » Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:06 am

Not too proud to say - I am giving up on Heart of China right now. The entire interface is entirely too painful.

So I am going to give Dagger of Amon Ra a spin! I have beat this game two or three times; but don't remember too much of it.
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby DeadPoolX » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:26 am

Tawmis wrote:Not too proud to say - I am giving up on Heart of China right now. The entire interface is entirely too painful.

That's how I felt about the original GK. I wanted to replay it (I almost beat it back in 1993, but my computer crashed and I lost all my saved games) but the interface was just too cumbersome and unwieldy.
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby Tawmis » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:48 am

DeadPoolX wrote:
Tawmis wrote:Not too proud to say - I am giving up on Heart of China right now. The entire interface is entirely too painful.

That's how I felt about the original GK. I wanted to replay it (I almost beat it back in 1993, but my computer crashed and I lost all my saved games) but the interface was just too cumbersome and unwieldy.


Have you ever played Heart of China? (I don't remember GK1 being too cumbersome? It's pretty much like the other Point & Click Sierra games, if I remember correctly? Which, granted, back in the day I was not a fan of - as I enjoy the typing better than the "click everywhere on the screen to see if something happens" method!) :lol:
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby adeyke » Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:13 pm

GK1 had a more complicated interface than the usual Sierra games: it split the talk cursor into separate talk and ask cursors, and the interact cursor into separate pickup, open/close, interact, and move cursors. So instead of the usual five cursors (walk, look, interact, talk, inventory-item), it had nine.

(Personally, I'm in favor of a having just a single cursor, with left-click being a contextual action and right-click looking. In most cases, there's just a single obvious way to interact with any given hotspot. Unless a significant number of puzzles involve either involve talking to inanimate objects, pick up people, etc., it's not worth giving the player that option.)
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby Collector » Wed Jan 21, 2015 2:21 pm

Tawmis wrote:
DeadPoolX wrote:Have you ever played Heart of China?

Pretty sure that he has played Rise of the Dragon, which has a similar interface. They were made with the same engine.
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby AndreaDraco » Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:23 pm

I actually prefer The Dagger of Amon Ra to The Colonel's Bequest! :)
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby BBP » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:30 pm

Enjoy Tawm! Maybe read the script I made when you're done. :)
(Adeyke: on GK's interface I prefer moving the mouse to the menu bar to switch icons; better than right-clicking my way through, and it has the bonus of pausing the game if you need a breather)
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby adeyke » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:40 pm

(I think I ended up playing that way, too. But it's still bad if the right-clicking method becomes too awkward to be useable. One clever thing Heroine's Quest did for the multiple-cursors interface was to have keyboard shortcuts for immediately switching to a particular cursor. Sierra games already had a quick switch to walk (middle-click), but having more of those would make the interface even easier to use. GK1's nine cursors are still way too many, though.)
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby Tawmis » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:33 pm

adeyke wrote:GK1 had a more complicated interface than the usual Sierra games: it split the talk cursor into separate talk and ask cursors, and the interact cursor into separate pickup, open/close, interact, and move cursors. So instead of the usual five cursors (walk, look, interact, talk, inventory-item), it had nine.
(Personally, I'm in favor of a having just a single cursor, with left-click being a contextual action and right-click looking. In most cases, there's just a single obvious way to interact with any given hotspot. Unless a significant number of puzzles involve either involve talking to inanimate objects, pick up people, etc., it's not worth giving the player that option.)


Ah! Yes! I see what you're saying! That is a good point; because it takes you out of the game, have to change the cursor (if I remember correctly, you could do it from the top menu - but couldn't you also use the "mouse roll" button/right click to scroll through or am I misremembering?)

What I disliked about Heart of China, that made ms stop (and decide to go to it later) - one of the VERY first things you do is go to Town. From there, a piece of paper flies down. So naturally, it's Sierra, you pick it up. Well picking it up "sort of" puts it in your inventory. I remember that there was something more to the paper - and I remember, it had to be made into a paper airplane (the description even nudges you in that direction) - but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to do it. Because the paper is "picked up" in the lower left screen. Then I'd click the inventory, and it was there too.

Finally figured out, you need to drag the paper onto the icon of yourself. And then he makes it into a paper airplane. THEN, rather than just going into your inventory as such - you need to drag the paper airplane away from the icon of yourself holding it... Way too many steps for something that should be REALLY simple.

Collector wrote:
Tawmis wrote:
DeadPoolX wrote:Have you ever played Heart of China?

Pretty sure that he has played Rise of the Dragon, which has a similar interface. They were made with the same engine.


Heh - that's funny. I have Rise of the Dragon, but never played it (acquired it from ebay along with Thexter and a few other games). That's discouraging that it's the same interface. :)

AndreaDraco wrote:I actually prefer The Dagger of Amon Ra to The Colonel's Bequest! :)


Probably makes sense; because it's larger, more beautiful. I think I was just so enamored with Bequest because of all the endless (well, seemingly endless!) possibilities for a game back then; how you can miss things (like spying on various people, finding specific items) - and depending on what you find, hear, etc - the game ending was a little different! I based my own little text adventure game on Colonel's Bequest!

BBP wrote:Enjoy Tawm! Maybe read the script I made when you're done. :)
(Adeyke: on GK's interface I prefer moving the mouse to the menu bar to switch icons; better than right-clicking my way through, and it has the bonus of pausing the game if you need a breather)


I will definitely check it out! It's posted here somewhere in the Laura Bow forum?

adeyke wrote:(I think I ended up playing that way, too. But it's still bad if the right-clicking method becomes too awkward to be useable. One clever thing Heroine's Quest did for the multiple-cursors interface was to have keyboard shortcuts for immediately switching to a particular cursor. Sierra games already had a quick switch to walk (middle-click), but having more of those would make the interface even easier to use. GK1's nine cursors are still way too many, though.)


I have Heroine's Quest - only got to the part where the snow caved in on me. I should probably get back to that as well, someday!
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby adeyke » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:23 pm

Tawmis wrote:
adeyke wrote:GK1 had a more complicated interface than the usual Sierra games: it split the talk cursor into separate talk and ask cursors, and the interact cursor into separate pickup, open/close, interact, and move cursors. So instead of the usual five cursors (walk, look, interact, talk, inventory-item), it had nine.
(Personally, I'm in favor of a having just a single cursor, with left-click being a contextual action and right-click looking. In most cases, there's just a single obvious way to interact with any given hotspot. Unless a significant number of puzzles involve either involve talking to inanimate objects, pick up people, etc., it's not worth giving the player that option.)


Ah! Yes! I see what you're saying! That is a good point; because it takes you out of the game, have to change the cursor (if I remember correctly, you could do it from the top menu - but couldn't you also use the "mouse roll" button/right click to scroll through or am I misremembering?)


There's no mouse-wheel support (many Sierra games let you click the middle mouse button to switch to walk, but I just tested GK1 and it doesn't even have that), but it does have the right-click to scroll through. With that many possible cursors, though, that takes a whole lot of clicks (up to eight, plus another nine for each time you accidentally scroll past the one you wanted). The alternative is to move the mouse to the top of the screen and pick the cursor you want.

It's not just the clicks, though. The more possible cursors there are, the more time you have to spend considering which the right one would be in a given situation, what it looks like, and where it is in the interface, and the greater the chance that you'll get the wrong one (e.g. thinking that reading a newspaper means using "look" or "interact" on it, when you really need to use "pick up" on it). The ideal for an interface is to not even be noticed by a player and to just translate player thoughts into game actions as efficiently as possible.

Side note: LucasArts SCUMM games also have a really high number of possible verbs, but they also had a default action for the right-click, so a lot of things could be done without even touching the verbs. The earliest games lacked this functionality (and, worse still, lacked the mouse-over hotspot labels), and I find those unplayable as a result.

Tawmis wrote:
adeyke wrote:(I think I ended up playing that way, too. But it's still bad if the right-clicking method becomes too awkward to be useable. One clever thing Heroine's Quest did for the multiple-cursors interface was to have keyboard shortcuts for immediately switching to a particular cursor. Sierra games already had a quick switch to walk (middle-click), but having more of those would make the interface even easier to use. GK1's nine cursors are still way too many, though.)



I have Heroine's Quest - only got to the part where the snow caved in on me. I should probably get back to that as well, someday!


That would be the intro cinematic :P.
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby Tawmis » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:46 pm

adeyke wrote:
Tawmis wrote:I have Heroine's Quest - only got to the part where the snow caved in on me. I should probably get back to that as well, someday!

That would be the intro cinematic :P.


Oh then maybe stuck at a part where there's snow? Because I remember talking to a kid and such. And then leaving; and the area seemed to be blocked off.
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby BBP » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:35 pm

You can get it from here:
http://www.adrive.com/public/YQYGeS/laurabow2.pdf

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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby Tawmis » Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:26 pm

BBP wrote:You can get it from here:
http://www.adrive.com/public/YQYGeS/laurabow2.pdf

Still haven't found a permanent parking place.


Anything you do, Sierra (or even remotely Sierra related), I'd be glad to host on Larry Laffer. Even make a "Bonnie's Corner" in the Extra Section of the site, if you want?
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby BBP » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:39 pm

Wouldn't mind if you'd host them, but I'm a bit worried about copyright now that Activision is re-releasing vintage Sierra. No need for a special corner but if you credit me, please spell my name correctly. ;)
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Re: Dagger of Amon Ra play! - Tawmis

Postby DeadPoolX » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:15 pm

adeyke wrote:GK1 had a more complicated interface than the usual Sierra games: it split the talk cursor into separate talk and ask cursors, and the interact cursor into separate pickup, open/close, interact, and move cursors. So instead of the usual five cursors (walk, look, interact, talk, inventory-item), it had nine.

Yeah, that was my issue. It wouldn't have even been THAT bad if I could scroll clockwise and counter-clockwise, but if I missed an icon, I'd have to go through the other eight icons again just to get back to it.

I know I could go to the top of the screen, but for some reason I've never liked doing that.

Regardless, with the new remake of GK1 out, I don't have that problem. I started playing it, but stopped because I got side-tracked by games like Divinity: Original Sin, Heroes of Might & Magic V, and Space Engineers.

Collector wrote:
Tawmis wrote:
DeadPoolX wrote:Have you ever played Heart of China?

Pretty sure that he has played Rise of the Dragon, which has a similar interface. They were made with the same engine.

I've played and finished both Rise of the Dragon and Heart of China.

In some ways, RotD is more "primitive" (for lack of a better term) than HoC, but I liked it better overall. The downside is there are definitely ways to make your game unwinnable in RotD, whereas I don't recall that happening in HoC.

I think Maia also played HoC. I think she preferred the time period and setting of that game (the 1920s, as opposed to dystopian cyberpunk future) over RotD.
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