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Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:51 pm
by Tawmis
Centered on the time piece that Laura Bow takes place in - this could be a fun one to design.

The idea came to me to post some threads about other Sierra games, when I was just digging through my email and found an ancient story I had written where the next King's Quest game would be Edgar (from King's Quest IV) seeking out Rosella to try and win her hand in marriage. It was, in my head, a cool idea because Edgar would technically be a king (with his mother - spoilers! - now dead).

So, I thought - given the chance, if you were brought in to help, or pitch ideas, or help direct (so let's avoid answers like, "I'd call in Jane Jensen/Al Lowe/Roberta Willians/Scott Murphy/Lori & Corey Cole/Mark Crowe/Christy Marx/etc" - and assume they're there too :lol: ) - to work on the next game.

So in this case - if you were a part of the creative team, what would you hope for in the next LAURA BOW III?

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:14 am
by Semi-Happy Partygoer
This is one I've actually given a little thought to. I think setting it on a train could be interesting, ala Murder on the Orient Express. The game opens with Steve Dorian seeing Laura off as she prepares to travel out of state, most likely to cover some important story for her newspaper. The first act could occur while the train is moving, confined to the various compartments with moving scenery visible out the windows. Laura will meet and speak to the various people she's traveling with. Eventually, of course, a killer strikes, then the train is stopped so the police can board and question everyone. Laura starts investigating, and eventually discovers that the death is somehow related to the event she was traveling to cover.

I obviously haven't plotted in-depth or anything, but that's one possible scenario. The roaring 20's setting offers lots of great possibilities for locales and atmosphere.

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:13 am
by Tawmis
Semi-Happy Partygoer wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:14 am
This is one I've actually given a little thought to. I think setting it on a train could be interesting, ala Murder on the Orient Express. The game opens with Steve Dorian seeing Laura off as she prepares to travel out of state, most likely to cover some important story for her newspaper. The first act could occur while the train is moving, confined to the various compartments with moving scenery visible out the windows. Laura will meet and speak to the various people she's traveling with. Eventually, of course, a killer strikes, then the train is stopped so the police can board and question everyone. Laura starts investigating, and eventually discovers that the death is somehow related to the event she was traveling to cover.

I obviously haven't plotted in-depth or anything, but that's one possible scenario. The roaring 20's setting offers lots of great possibilities for locales and atmosphere.
This is actually a pretty cool idea; because the Laura Bow games have always been a "constricted" area - such as a mansion/plantation or a museum. So it'd explain why you can't just go anywhere.

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:06 pm
by Datadog
I love the idea of putting it on a train and going full orient Express with it. Laura Bow and confined spaces work great together.

The idea I was kicking around was similar, but took place on a fancy Mississippi riverboat instead.

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:39 pm
by Collector
Given the "And Then There Were None" atmosphere of TCB a "Murder on the Orient Express" based sequel would fit in nicely with an Agatha Christie theme.

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:37 pm
by Tawmis
Datadog wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:06 pm
The idea I was kicking around was similar, but took place on a fancy Mississippi riverboat instead.
This would be cool too - because then you throw in a bunch of gamblers, and potentially seedy people that Laura's got to try and get the truth out of.

And was the murder over greed? Did someone cheat? Or something else?

And then - imagine, the murderer is someone named like Clint Bains, who goes on later to have a grandson names Jessie Bains... :shock:

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:00 pm
by adeyke
This talk of murder mystery adventure game set in an early 20th century train is making me thing of The Last Express, but I haven't played that, so I don't know meaningful that comparison is.

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:59 pm
by MusicallyInspired
Murder on a train sounds cool. But wouldn't the scenes get boring after a while? One of Laura Bow's staples is the excellent backgrounds. How would you make a train look good? Maybe there could be stops? That kind of ruins the isolation, though.

The riverboat idea however sounds fantastic! And perfectly in keeping with Laura Bow's time period and locale.

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:44 am
by Rath Darkblade
As for the train setting... I am doubtful. Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express is so iconic, and so well-known, that setting another mystery on a train is sure to suffer by comparison.

Not only that, but Agatha Christie wrote at least three other excellent mysteries that feature murder on a train - The Mystery of the Blue Train, 4:50 From Paddington and Death in the Clouds.

I agree with MI; I think the riverboat idea sounds much more appealing. :)

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:32 am
by Collector
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:44 am
As for the train setting... I am doubtful. Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express is so iconic, and so well-known, that setting another mystery on a train is sure to suffer by comparison.
Not really, at least no more so than "And Then There Were None" was to TCB.

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:09 pm
by Semi-Happy Partygoer
The riverboat idea is wonderful. Very clever. Heck, if we're talking about a third entry, no reason it has to stop there. Maybe the final entry could take place in the 90s - the retirement home murder mystery, and elderly Laura enlists the aid of Gabriel Knight so together they can solve her final case.

As for the train potentially being boring, I always imagined that once it stops (in an isolated area, of course), Laura would have the chance to explore further. Compartments that were locked before become accessible, and I think a rooftop showdown would fit in somewhere. Again, it's just a general idea. I'm sure there are ways and means. I'd love to hear more ideas on Datadog's riverboat concept, too. Lots of great stuff to work with there.

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:22 am
by Collector
Given the time period riverboats were no longer a common form of passenger transport, but it was the height of the passenger trains era. A train would be more in keeping with the overarching story of Laura Bow. Laura could be on assignment from traveling from NYC to some destination in the west. As to a sameness of scenes you would have the same problem on a riverboat. And don't forget that that train can go nearly anywhere, from sprawling metropolises to farmlands to lonely, unpopulated prairies or mountains. Granted in real life if there were a murder on a train that train would stop at the next depot and call the police involved, but if people just ended up missing one by one? Any smart murderer would dump a body overboard in a desolate area. No corpus delicti.

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:40 am
by Collector
Semi-Happy Partygoer wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:09 pm
As for the train potentially being boring, I always imagined that once it stops (in an isolated area, of course), Laura would have the chance to explore further. Compartments that were locked before become accessible, and I think a rooftop showdown would fit in somewhere.
A breakdown in what seems to be the middle of nowhere, but could have anything around the bend or over the hill. A ghost town, an abandoned mine, a farmhouse with no phone. The options are endless. Even the compartments would not have to be carbon copies of each other. There could be private cars, luxury compartments, sleepers, diner cars, smoking cars, observation decks, cargo cars to the functional cars, like the kitchen facilities, crew compartments, to the engine itself. remember that we are talking about a passenger train of the 20s or 30s. It was THE way to travel. We are not talking about a modern commuter train. It could be a very rich environment for the background.

Save the riverboat idea for Freddie 2.

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:33 pm
by Semi-Happy Partygoer
Collector wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:40 am
A breakdown in what seems to be the middle of nowhere, but could have anything around the bend or over the hill. A ghost town, an abandoned mine, a farmhouse with no phone. The options are endless. Even the compartments would not have to be carbon copies of each other. There could be private cars, luxury compartments, sleepers, diner cars, smoking cars, observation decks, cargo cars to the functional cars, like the kitchen facilities, crew compartments, to the engine itself. remember that we are talking about a passenger train of the 20s or 30s. It was THE way to travel. We are not talking about a modern commuter train. It could be a very rich environment for the background.
Yes! That's it exactly. I could really see those environments coming to life with something akin to Dagger's distinctive art style. And I think the idea of moving scenery outside the windows only heightens the visual appeal.

Re: Designing Laura Bow III.

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:28 pm
by Collector
Agreed.