Designing Laura Bow III.

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).
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Tawmis
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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by Tawmis » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:12 am

Laura finds herself onboard the Central Pacific Railroad.

"Transportation determines the flow of population," declared J. D. Spreckels, one of California's early railroad entrepreneurs, just after the dawn of the twentieth century. "Before you can hope to get people to live anywhere...you must first of all show them that they can get there quickly, comfortably and, above all, cheaply."

Spreckels' greatest challenge would be to provide San Diego with its own direct transcontinental rail link in the form of the San Diego and Arizona Railway (completed in November 1919), a feat that nearly cost the sugar heir his life. The Central Pacific Railroad, in effect, initiated the trend by offering settlement incentives in the form of low fares, and by placing sections of its government-granted lands up for sale to pioneers.

Several others are onboard this train, because it happens to also carry a historical piece of history along it's ride - the supposed shovel of one Jerrod Wilson, who was one of the many men who traveled across the United States during the Gold Rush and struck gold! Valued in the millions, this shovel has had several people willing to do anything for it. Someone would even... die... for it.

When one person on the train turned up dead - everyone thought that it might have been of natural causes. But when another body turned up, Laura Bow knew that her story about the Central Pacific Railroad would have to wait - there was a murderer on the loose!

:lol:

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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by Semi-Happy Partygoer » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:24 am

Love it! Kudos on incorporating Spreckels into it.

Roberta Williams' Laura Bow in The Shovel of Jerrod Wilson. Nah, kidding. Maybe Murder on the Central Pacific.
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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by MusicallyInspired » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:02 am

Collector wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:22 am
Given the time period riverboats were no longer a common form of passenger transport, but it was the height of the passenger trains era.
It could be a special historic period event. A party cruise on a classic riverboat. The idea appeals to me because it really feels like the south, where Laura's adventures usually take place. Much like visiting an old plantation in the bayou. I just can't see a train being very interesting, and making train stops removes the element of isolation that I like about being trapped on a riverboat or on a swamp-surrounded plantation or in a history museum (it is a history museum, right? And I know you don't START there, but you are STUCK there once you reach it....right? I haven't played it yet...).

Then again, maybe I'm just picturing an older style game where all the train cars are the same simplistic background. But I suppose you could do different angles? I don't know, train cars are just so small. And full of seats. Change my mind. lol
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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by Tawmis » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:59 am

MusicallyInspired wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:02 am
Then again, maybe I'm just picturing an older style game where all the train cars are the same simplistic background. But I suppose you could do different angles? I don't know, train cars are just so small. And full of seats. Change my mind. lol
You're thinking short term trains.

Trains that went great distances (across the US), had bedrooms, dining chambers, bars, etc.

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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by Collector » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:26 am

Dagger was in NYC, so only half is in Dixie. I think I see where the disconnect is. We are talking the 20s and 30s. TCB was in the roaring 20s and Dagger was in the Art Deco era of the 30s. The height of the "Modern" Era. This is the time when rail travel was king, not the 19th century with trains that were nothing but rows of seats. Don't think of trains in old western movies. Think 20s-30s luxury rail. It was when there was a romance about rail travel. There would also be the panorama of outside the train with a whole host potential scenes just beyond the train with an 'inconvenient' breakdown or washed out bridge, etc.

As I said before, this would be a passenger train of that era, not of the 1880s-90s or a modern commuter light rail.

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And observation or dome cars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dome_car
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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by MusicallyInspired » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:25 pm

Yeah, I had those luxury train designs in mind. But still, it'd be nothing but walking left and right. You can't really do these scenes on an angle. A 1D adventure lol.

Of course, I'm thinking about a game made in SCI. If you made it modern 3D with all the bells and whistles, that's a different story I suppose.
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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by Tawmis » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:14 pm

MusicallyInspired wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:25 pm
Yeah, I had those luxury train designs in mind. But still, it'd be nothing but walking left and right. You can't really do these scenes on an angle. A 1D adventure lol.
I was thinking, even with SCI - the way it would work on the train is - you'd be doing a straight view into the train car as if (say the left train wall) isn't there.

I don't see how it'd be any different than:

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and
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So the doors would always be, for the most part on the left and right of the screen. With the occasional door to the north/south, like if you're entering a bathroom or something.

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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by MusicallyInspired » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:58 pm

Yeah. It's just that the rooms would be a lot narrower since they can't be as wide as those rooms, not to mention a lot less space on the top and bottom of the screen (similar to Vohaul's asteroid hallways in SQ2). And without any of the variety. In LB1 you got all of the outdoors to explore besides the rooms in the mansion.

I guess I'd have to see it.
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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by adeyke » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:21 pm

LB1 actually has a quite complex layout, in terms of what rooms connected to what other rooms. The layout of a train, however, would be much more linear. The only way to get from one car to another is by going through all the ones inbetween.

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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by Tawmis » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:25 pm

adeyke wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:21 pm
LB1 actually has a quite complex layout, in terms of what rooms connected to what other rooms. The layout of a train, however, would be much more linear. The only way to get from one car to another is by going through all the ones inbetween.
The rooms would be thinner, sure (but you could exaggerate the size inside the train for gameplay reasons). I don't think anyone is going to yell that the measurements are off. :) And while the train was in motion, the scrolling background in the window, would keep things interesting. :)

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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by MusicallyInspired » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:02 pm

The linear thing adeyke mentioned is also a good point. No other way to get from point A to point B than to just go through the whole string. That could get old fast.

I'm just playing devil's advocate. :) I'd play a new Laura Bow either way. Just little things I can't wrap my head around as far as designing a fun game goes.

EDIT: Maybe instead of walking through EVERY train car there could be a map function that would allow you to get to whichever car you wanted...or at least certain sections of the train. Every few cars or something. Important standout locations. That would make it less boring.
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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by Semi-Happy Partygoer » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:17 pm

Collector wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:26 am
Dagger was in NYC, so only half is in Dixie. I think I see where the disconnect is. We are talking the 20s and 30s. TCB was in the roaring 20s and Dagger was in the Art Deco era of the 30s. The height of the "Modern" Era.
Dagger actually takes place in 1926, one year after TCB, but it has more of a 30s feel due to the Art Deco influence. Setting the third game in the 30s would probably be wise, allowing for even more inspiration from that period.
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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by Tawmis » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:40 am

MusicallyInspired wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:02 pm
EDIT: Maybe instead of walking through EVERY train car there could be a map function that would allow you to get to whichever car you wanted...or at least certain sections of the train. Every few cars or something. Important standout locations. That would make it less boring.
I don't see why not - similar to the GK1 map.

But I don't think the "map" should be accessible until you've walked the entire train. Little thing pops up, "Now that you've explored the train, you can easily move about it."
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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by MusicallyInspired » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:40 am

Agreed.
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Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Post by Collector » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:03 pm

Of all the proposed sequels this I find this one the most intriguing, especially if it were in SCI, like the first two. The scrolling background outside of the windows would add a lot of visual interest. Perhaps the background could be a view resource with enough cels and loops that you would not notice it was looping. You could have a number of these views, each for the different type of terrains needed to keep it all fresh.
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