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Old 12-22-2010, 01:31 PM   #1
Dig Site 1138
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I'd like to see Rockstar's take on an Indy game. Not an Indy-style game, an actual Indy game."Grand Theft Treasure", perhaps
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:22 PM   #2
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They might as well just take GTA IV.
Put Indy instead of Niko.
And release it.
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:51 PM   #3
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I think there's a lot about Red Dead Redemption's layout that could be adapted nicely to an Indy game.

You could change guns from a S&W .45 to a Browning 9mm to a Webley... pick up an MP40.

Slowly upgrade your whip skills...

And have a great, overarcing adventure with freedom to do lots of side quests.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:26 PM   #4
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Hey there, gang. I've taken the liberty to branch off your posts there into a dedicated thread on this idea.

Could there possibly be an Indiana Jones game on the model of the output of Rockstar Games (Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, etc.)?

The foremost problem here is obvious: scope. Indiana Jones depends on a rather large world, with a lot of cultures involved in it. Unless they were to narrow in on a single culture or artifact focus, there would either need to be travel involved from one map to another, or a variant on Red Dead Redemption's grand panorama of the entire West in a single map. Now, there was the sequel to EA's The Godfather sandbox game, which apparently took place in New York, Havana, and Miami, so there's some precedent for this. One also supposes that Rockstar's Agent, if it's ever produced, will of necessity - considering its Cold War spy narrative - require similar globetrotting.

But there's also depth. Maybe scope isn't the problem? Maybe it really is important to focus in on a single location, in a way not dissimilar to Indiana Jones and his Desktop Adventures, from way back when, which was focused in the American Southwest and told a lot of shuffled up stories within that context. Maybe it's more about giving an appropriate level of archaeological depth to the story, along with lots of colorful friends and foes, along with individual locations with a grand enough scale to enable some Indiana Jones-style set pieces.

So, thoughts? I reckon setting is one of the more interesting questions involved in this hypothetical, at least by my lights.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
I reckon setting is one of the more interesting questions involved in this hypothetical, at least by my lights.
Raiders:Cairo:no pyramids. Doom:India:no Taj Mahal. Crusade:Venice:sewers?

Rockstar would do Indy justice, no doubt...

Third world locations, customs and superstitions...
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
Raiders:Cairo:no pyramids. Doom:India:no Taj Mahal. Crusade:Venice:sewers?

Point being that the films didn't do all of the obvious things with the places they feature? Well, that's true. (And to their credit, to my way of thinking, save for the sewers.)

Here's what I figure: whatever setting that could be chosen, potential variety of landscape matters, if for no reason more elaborate than that Indy needs places to go to, and to enlist people to take him there. (There's plenty of room for the Jocks, Katangas, and Webers of his world to fit in here, to say nothing of the third-world local sleazos like Sapito and Barranca.)

If they hadn't just used it in the film (and I suppose I'll operate on the assumption that this is something that would be made in a few years, as a way of considering where it stands in the franchise) I'd think the Amazon is best. You can bring in the Andes, and the Pampas, and some islands. Throw in all sorts of Only Angels Have Wings business with aviation. And if they have it in the 1940s, in the post-war environment, they can finally play the post-war Nazis fleeing to Argentina game. Also: Mac.

Alternately, China, if they can resist the temptation to have Indy go to Shi Huangdi's tomb yet again, would afford a variety of locations.

Central Africa - but even though imperialism happened everywhere, i think it would be harder to make that a place for a fun time. Nevertheless, it's the great untapped location for Jones narratives, Young Indy aside. (I've got a lot of regard for the series, but they are fundamentally different in focus.)
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:35 AM   #7
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I could see it being a somewhat sandbox game.
Indiana Jones can pretty much only be go from A to B in a level and it I can't see it working as a complete open sandbox.
If there would be sandbox then I could see it at one point in the story where there are a couple of things to do in a certain location for a number of people.
Much like Rockstar games tend to do.

Just putting my thoughts in...
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:56 AM   #8
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Stick an airport in it and let him jump to other continents. Like unlocking a bridge in GTA.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiscoLad
I could see it being a somewhat sandbox game.
Indiana Jones can pretty much only be go from A to B in a level and it I can't see it working as a complete open sandbox.

Is this true, though? To consider Raiders, for example, the entire time he's in Egypt he's alternating between Cairo and the dig site, with a lot of different things happening at each. The entire Pankot complex is treated similarly.

I agree that a lot of the things we expect and require in an Indy narrative, namely exploring ruins that contain traps and tend to collapse in on themselves, are a less easy fit into the sandbox form than some of the other elements (like, as you point out, going around doing things for people, which we've come to expect in Indy games, at the very least).

Maybe you're right, though, that there will be places (namely, ruins - chase scenes can happen anywhere) that are really only used for a given set piece, and are of necessity so linear that they can't be a part of the general gameplay. (Although, with that said: there is the "Return to Peru" level in Infernal Machine, which shows that, in a return to the Temple of the Chacopoyan Warriors, that there is fun to be had in returning to a ruined complex that has already collapsed.)

And, I suppose, I'm taking it as an assumption that there will be places in the game that you cannot visit until other things have been accomplished, be it through traversing a landscape or getting a pilot to take you there, or what have you. (Strange how the more I think about this, the more it seems like a prettier version of Desktop Adventures. Bring it on, van Loon!)
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
Maybe it's more about giving an appropriate level of archaeological depth to the story, along with lots of colorful friends and foes, along with individual locations with a grand enough scale to enable some Indiana Jones-style set pieces.

This is the most significant thing that's been said in this entire thread.

The idea of a total open-world Indy game is pretty ludicrous. Not only would it never happen in a million years, but it wouldn't work based on the sheer fact that the core of an Indy adventure is and must always be a tightly woven narrative that keeps the player (or audience) sucked into the story and itching to see what happens next. Open world games, by definition, do not allow for such tightly driven narratives, because the player can, at any time, break up the pacing of the story and go off and do god-knows-what. An Indy game made in this fashion simply would not feel like an Indiana Jones story. Sorry, but the man in the hat is not going to be riding the tales of Ezio Auditore or Niko or anything like that any time soon. Nor should he be.

The most appropriate current gaming formula for a great Indy tale would probably be the Uncharted formula, except with a heavier bend towards puzzle solving and fisticuffs as opposed to shoot-em-ups.
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:51 AM   #11
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Well, now, this is the most significant thing that's been said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambonius
The idea of a total open-world Indy game is pretty ludicrous. Not only would it never happen in a million years, but it wouldn't work based on the sheer fact that the core of an Indy adventure is and must always be a tightly woven narrative that keeps the player (or audience) sucked into the story and itching to see what happens next. Open world games, by definition, do not allow for such tightly driven narratives, because the player can, at any time, break up the pacing of the story and go off and do god-knows-what. An Indy game made in this fashion simply would not feel like an Indiana Jones story. Sorry, but the man in the hat is not going to be riding the tales of Ezio Auditore or Niko or anything like that any time soon. Nor should he be.

The most appropriate current gaming formula for a great Indy tale would probably be the Uncharted formula, except with a heavier bend towards puzzle solving and fisticuffs as opposed to shoot-em-ups.

I'm not kidding around; this is the level to engage with this on, as far as I'm concerned. After all, it should be about story, and how the gameplay can serve that.

I haven't played Staff of Kings yet, but as far as I'm concerned, the Indy game that is the most striking failure is Emperor's Tomb. Yes, Fate of Atlantis is inherently wedded to its nature as a graphic adventure, but it had a grand scope and a narrative and a real sense of choice. Yeah, Infernal Machine had an entirely gun-based combat system, but it's environments were huge, and you really felt like you were exploring something, and the mythos made sense. Emperor's Tomb was more or less on-the-rails, though. Yeah, there was fun platforming, and the combat system was a blast, but the narrative was a shambles, just composed of having you jump from place to place around the globe without any real sense of why, or any explanation as to why the three parts of the Heart of the Dragon or whatever it was where in Ceylon, Istanbul, and Prague (at least try to make something up about Marco Polo, or somebody.)

But then there's Desktop Adventures. I don't know how many people really remember that game, the one we get our icons from here, but the most interesting thing about it is that it's really just a presentation of a time when Indy and Marcus went down to Mexico for awhile to obtain various artifacts. That's the only way it makes any sense in canon. Other than his dig site at the beginning of Infernal Machine, and more-or-less equivalent bag of pot shards we get at the beginning of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, we've never seen Indy doing basic archaeology, where he's not just on an adventure, but he's actually running a dig, or tracking down some artifact or lost city from a given home base. We saw that a number of times in the novels (especially MacGregor's), but not elsewhere. And that makes sense, because films are a narrative form, and games wouldn't think that that's interesting. Let's not kid ourselves: the sandbox form has a lot of the graphic adventure in it, what with the whole "doing favors for people in order to proceed" gameplay style they often break off into.

I was saying some stuff before about trying to find a larger scale, about managing to cover a large swath of South America or China or Africa in the location where such a game might take place, but this is, fundamentally, an opportunity to tell a very different form of story. It'd be a lot more like a miniseries or a short form television series than a single film, to offer a metaphor. There'd be climaxes strung throughout, but the heart of it would be Indy spending time in a given place, getting to know the people, getting embroiled in their problems, perhaps, and trying to avoid make his problems theirs, all the while trying to carry on a normal archaeological dig that results in him stumbling upon something larger and richer than that.

This is also, inherently, a late period Jones story; I was throwing out the immediate post-war period, but maybe it's a story that takes place after some great loss, maybe Marcus, or his father. The emotional core than becomes him getting on with his life's work, and some of that is the tedious labor of real archaeology.

I agree, Lambonius, that, generally speaking, Indy stories demand a certain driving narrative thrust. But I'm not sure that that's a matter of the character so much as it is of the form. I think it's possible to try something different. And, look, this game isn't going to happen, we all know that. But talking about it makes for a fun framework to explore what the character can and cannot do as the central figure in a work of art.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:41 PM   #12
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I could see it being a somewhat sandbox game.
Indiana Jones can pretty much only be go from A to B in a level and it I can't see it working as a complete open sandbox.
If there would be sandbox then I could see it at one point in the story where there are a couple of things to do in a certain location for a number of people.
Much like Rockstar games tend to do.

Just putting my thoughts in...

I think it would be great to explore the markets of Peru as Indiana Jones. From a game design standpoint there is no reason you can't offer more side quests. Imagine getting to Machette Landing and having to wait to meet Satipo of Barranca. Check out the locals, who offer you side quests or try to sell you "antiques."

Maybe you can aquire bits, (or friends) to make the main A-B easier or collect enemies who complicate things...

Marshall College offers a paycheck and possibly expenses if you're inclined to open your mail, money does make things easier...maybe pick up a second gun for Belloq this time. Maybe you can sell some stuff to Marcus.

...they might want to keep their prostitutes though...
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
I think it would be great to explore the markets of Peru as Indiana Jones. From a game design standpoint there is no reason you can't offer more side quests. Imagine getting to Machette Landing and having to wait to meet Satipo of Barranca. Check out the locals, who offer you side quests or try to sell you "antiques."

Maybe you can aquire bits, (or friends) to make the main A-B easier or collect enemies who complicate things...

Marshall College offers a paycheck and possibly expenses if you're inclined to open your mail, money does make things easier...maybe pick up a second gun for Belloq this time. Maybe you can sell some stuff to Marcus.

...they might want to keep their prostitutes though...

I see your point, Rocket. Hearing it said that way makes it seem more likely to be a good game. I can see where the market would be a good sandbox area.

I think if they would make a sandbox Jones game then I would like to see open world like that but I would also like to see some A to B levels because it just is something to break up the big open world feeling and slow things down.

A nice little walking level through a cave to collect some bit of junk.
As if we've never seen that before.

As for the prostitutes, I think we'd all love to pick up some turban covered babes in our horse pulled wagons...
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:10 PM   #14
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Why does everyone always want a Rockstar-style sandbox game for everything?

1. There's a reason why the sandbox genre is referred to as "GTA-style" or "Rockstar-style" - Rockstar are the only ones that do it correctly on every level. Even the best of the alternatives get something major wrong. Just Cause 2 for example, story, characters and main missions are all terrible. In Mafia II, those were great but the open world itself was neglected.
2. People were even begging Telltale to make Back To The Future an open-world sandbox game. Not only does that require a lot of money, time and a gigantic development team, it also would not be right for the franchise.
3. With the exception of Spider-Man, no franchise would truly work in a sandbox. Okay, maybe Batman.

I would love an Infernal Machine-type game full of exploration, but a full Red Dead Redemption open-world for Indy? Definitely not. It just would make no sense. I want to explore, but not to that degree. That would require one location, and Indy works best with multiple locations across the globe.

Staff of Kings is still the biggest missed opportunity in Indy gaming Attila. WHAT THE HECK DID A JADE SPHERE FROM PERU HAVE TO DO WITH MOSES, and WHY DID IT DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:48 PM   #15
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I believe Tingler just closed this case...
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:01 AM   #16
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I'll admit, it's been awhile since I played SOK, I had the psp version. Looking back on it, I guess I just assumed that the Jade Sphere was an opening 3rd act "throw-away" artifact, and an excuse to establish a doublecross. I'll also openly admit that the plot seemed convoluted enough to me that I paid little attention to it. Maybe if the gameplay was engaging enough for me to run through it more than once.....
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tingler
I would love an Infernal Machine-type game full of exploration, but a full Red Dead Redemption open-world for Indy? Definitely not. It just would make no sense. I want to explore, but not to that degree. That would require one location, and Indy works best with multiple locations across the globe.

You want your game, I want mine.

Why couldn't a game "like" Red Dead take place in different locations? Because it's too hard? Why would that REQUIRE one location? Are they unable to create others?

There's no doubt a game which locks Indy in one location would be weak, but what "makes no sense"?

It's absolutely possible to make a game which you can play the main story over a few hours, or go back to locations and sniff around.

How cool would it be asking around Machete Landing for Barranca and Sapito when some locals are chased into town, one is gunned down in front of you and another pleads for your help. You have to decide if and how to help him, make a stand or hide him/her.

Then you discover Barranca is chasing them down.

I want to explore, as Indy, to that degree and more.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:14 AM   #18
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Hey rocket, how about a open world/sandbox Indy that uses marshall college as a hub? You could get everything out of that. Imagine Indy doing some quests all over the world that way! He could do a Vatican city map where he has to track down missing pieces of the Arma Christi, which then leads him to other areas of the globe, which opens up more quests, more bosses, etc. Of course there has to be a main quest/artifact, which I don't think anyone disputes. A scenario like this opens up almost unlimited options for DLC and expansion packs!
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:14 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
I want to explore, as Indy, to that degree and more.

I like that.

Go anywhere. Do anything. Hitch a plane ride. Walk off into the jungle. Emerge at the edge of town. Anything's possible. But it'd have to be in first person, to really become part of the environment.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:21 AM   #20
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I like that.

Go anywhere. Do anything. Hitch a plane ride. Walk off into the jungle. Emerge at the edge of town. Anything's possible. But it'd have to be in first person, to really become part of the environment.

I think you would HAVE to mix perspectives and styles of game play. I would love to be able to wipe out the Nazi's at the sub base like it were a level of Call of Duty, after the Ark cleaned up Belloq and that crew of course.

I think it was Medal of Honor that had a whole level inside a German Sub...
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:22 AM   #21
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I like that.

Go anywhere. Do anything. Hitch a plane ride. Walk off into the jungle. Emerge at the edge of town. Anything's possible. But it'd have to be in first person, to really become part of the environment.

First person? Not sure how Indy-ish that would feel. Gotta have the fedora in plain view imho. I really like the over-the-shoulder third-person view from Resident Evil 4 and Dead Space, and also the uncluttered HUD-less view of Dead Space.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:29 AM   #22
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First person? Not sure how Indy-ish that would feel. Gotta have the fedora in plain view imho. I really like the over-the-shoulder third-person view from Resident Evil 4 and Dead Space, and also the uncluttered HUD-less view of Dead Space.

You'd see Indy's shadow on the ground or the wall, and his reflection in glass, mirrors or water. You'd see the whip snake out and the revolver.

I prefer first person, as it puts you right into the action and environment. Making your way into a dark tomb complex in first person can be more atmospheric than in third.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
I think you would HAVE to mix perspectives and styles of game play. I would love to be able to wipe out the Nazi's at the sub base like it were a level of Call of Duty, after the Ark cleaned up Belloq and that crew of course.

I think it was Medal of Honor that had a whole level inside a German Sub...


Okay you can have third person as an option.

I think it was Medal of Honour. I've battled up and down a sub somewhere to plant explosives.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:49 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Montana Smith
You'd see Indy's shadow on the ground or the wall, and his reflection in glass, mirrors or water.

Sick. I'm not drawn to FPS's, but I love the sound of that. There's room for some real creativity there, too! Like before a boss, or like Indy's own "Spidey Sense" you start to cast the iconic shadow just before the action starts!!!


Quote:
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Okay you can have third person as an option.

No reason not to go that route, It's been done in other games rather seamlessly. Fallout 3 comes to mind.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:58 AM   #24
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The shadow/reflections are great ideas...especially as a precursor to an unavoidable action element, (as opposed to keeping to the shadows).

I have to add, the music makes a big difference too...

I recently dusted off the Dreamcast to play Virtual On and eventually Quake III with my boy and the Raiders soundtrack gave a spooky feel to the game. Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack had us laughing during deathmatch!
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:08 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
as a precursor to an unavoidable action element

Whew! THOSE are the words I was looking for. Took me a minute get the words to express the "Spidey" analogy, but you nailed what I was trying to say right there.

Yeah, scoring for games has become on par with film, as the two media continue to merge. A little footnote, what you described about changing the game scores reminded me of something I used to do. I'd put on some music (usually metal) and turn on the tv to make an impromptu music video, editing by flipping channels on the fly. Yeah, before parenthood I could get that bored.
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