Pros and Cons of Bone

edited January 2006 in Bone
I thought it would be a good idea to write what we liked about Bone..and what we didn't like..



  • edited September 2005
    I agree with a number of comments on other forums that the demo segment is too short to draw in (some) people unfamiliar with Bone. The desert section is quite bland graphically too, so what little people see in the demo isn't as lovely as the next few sections. There's no real introduction of the characters and no story advancement. I think some people are left a little underwhelmed at this point and that will cause many not to stump up for the rest of the game, and hense the rest of the series.

    I'd recommend that the demo should extend to the river crossing. that way you'd meet several new characters (good and bad), take control of one of them, and navigate the lovely torchlit rock formation area, plus see the vista across the forest plus experience a bit of the graphically pretty forest (I hope none of the bits just mentioned could be thought of as spoilers - it's all in the screenshots & trailer anyway).

    What I do like - I think it's amazing what's being packed into a 75MB download. I managed it ok yesterday on a 56k dialup modem. I especially love that I'm playing the game at the same time as the rest of the world. Psychonauts, for example, still hasn't made it to shop shelves in this country.

    The 3-person conversations are neat and sound very natural. I think the animations are cute, just what I'd expect. Graphically, it's superb for a 75MB download.

    But most of all I love the fact that the core of my favourite team from LucasArts are back, making & selling games, trying something new with the 'smaller episodic style' and cutting out the publishers from the loop entirely. And that coupled with the Sam & max news has me very excited for the future.

    I guess one other downside will be having to wait several months for the next chapter once I finish Out From Boneville.
  • edited September 2005
    Personally, I thought the game was... good. Not excellent but certainly far above average.

    I've never read any of the books but I don't think that Fone Bone is a really good character. Phoney Bone on the other hand is quite probably one of my favourite characters ever now. There's something compelling about watching him stump about and being a complete and utter bastard is a new Adventure game character type which I really quite like.

    The graphics are very nice, except for the actual normal looking people. Simple, yet very nicely done.

    The mini-games are mostly okay. Although I'm none too pleased about the running thing. The second time I had to do it my computer suddenly decided to minimize the game and spend forever to do nothing in particular. Then the game didn't maximize again and i hadn't saved for about an hour. I suppose this wasn't really anything to do with the actual game though.

    Overall I think it's a pretty good game, yet it doesn't give me that special tingly feeling I get inside whenever I play a really good game.
  • edited September 2005
    I'm downloading the game right now at work (UNICEF Uganda ;) ) so I haven't played it yet. However, having just last week read the wonderful and massive Bone 1 volume edition, I can tell you that the first chapter (or episode) is by far the least interesting and exciting of the series... I really hope they keep it up with the series and complete the entire story arc because it really becomes amazing, magical, grand and epic. I really fell in love with the characters, the world and the story and was really sad to see it end. It really creates a wonderful, somehow believable alternate reality. I'm really glad Telltale chose the Bone licence... there's so much built into it already and so many possibilities. I also really hope the game inspires Jeff Smith to write more Bone stories, or stories specifically for the electronic medium.
    Alright, the game is almost finished downloading... now I have to fiind a bathroom in which to hide with my laptop and headphones for a few hours so nobody will know I'm slacking off on the job B-)
  • edited September 2005
    Hi all!

    I really enjoyed this game.

    The adventure style of gaming has an under-served market. Bone really capitalizes on the strengths of this genre by combining raw talent with an enthralling story. Its serialized business model and family-friendly content suggest a very bright future for Telltale Games.

    The following are my pros and cons for Out of Boneville.

    SPOILER ALERT (puzzle solution revealed below!)

    • Models & textures are very good!
    • Animation is good - Very expressive gestures!
    • Music is good
    • SFX are good
    • Voice acting is good (especially the possums!)
    • Puzzle to Story ratio (pacing) is good
    • Dialog writing is creative - I like the interactive story-telling

    • Control
      • Sometimes VERY hard to find the right place to click to move the character or pick up an item.
      • The apple tree has multiple locations onto which one can click to display an "success-like" animation. It seems unfair to require the user to click on the apples as opposed to the apple tree.
      • Window Control - It is very easy to exit the game when running dual monitors. Mouse movement should be restricted to the game while it is active.
      • Chase sequences - Arrow key control would make these sections much easier.
      • Walking speed - A walking speed setting would be great! Another option is double-click a location to run to it.
      • Skippable dialog - It would be nice to have the ability to skip sections of dialog.
    • Voice recording (not acting) - Audio levels are too low for Dragon & sometimes Gran'ma. One option is to automatically lower/mute the background music level during dialog.
    • Lip-sycing needs work
    • More jokes during dialog would be nice


    Telltale, thanks for all of your hard work! I had a lot of fun playing Out of Boneville and look forward to the next installment!

  • edited September 2005
    the only thing I didn't like about the game was the female voices. Thorn sounded creepy, and Grandma Ben's voice didn't fit very well. I was imagining more of an Agnus Skinner sound to it. But other than my voice nitpicking, great jorb Telltale! I was surprised at how good the music was. Hope to see more from you guys soon. :D
  • edited September 2005
    Not only walking speed, but MOUSE SPEED!!!

    1. Mouse speed - too slow / laggy. Should be customisable.

    2. In the top corners (right and left), and sometimes on the extreme left hand side of the screen, the mouse will change to windows default. Clicking here at any time switches the window back to Windows.

    3. Game doesn't like alt-tab / switching, coming back from this messes up the cursor and has it switch between Windows default and the Bone cursor if you move it fast enough.

    4. On / off switch for the hint '?' on the button right's a newbies way, so it should be auto-enabled, but there really should be an option to turn it off. I really don't like having the icon there... makes me think about getting hints...and I don't want any!!

    5. 'Just stand up will ya' said by Fone Bone to Smiley Bone in the demo when asking about the thing under Smiley, the audio clips at the end.


    Finished the demo in the 70 MB version, now just have to DL the 50 MB version so IT ACTIVATES AND I CAN PLAY THE REST!!!


    I know that the new version was whipped up very quickly, but in future could you bring out a patch as well?

    That's all I've found so far, I'll keep on the hunt when I get into the full game...

    apart from these few small things I have to say EXCELLENT JOB.. I love Bone and adventure games and it is great to see both together!!
  • edited September 2005
    I'd like to share some of my thoughts about Out from Boneville. I'll begin with an introduction of myself, my familiarity with Bone and adventure games (for context), then present what I feel are the pros and cons of Out from Boneville, and finish with general thoughts and conclusions.

    Introduction: I'm 27 now and have been playing adventure games since I was about six or so (Zyll was first. then King's Quest III). I played through all the classic Sierra and Lucasarts game and still have "Day of the Tentacle" and "Sam and Max" permanantly installed on all my computers (and my modded XBOX), which I play through SCUMMVM. My favorite adventure games ever are Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max, Grim Fandango and Quest for Glory II (I can hardly wait for the ADG Interactive remake!).
    I first heard of Telltale in the aftermath of Sam and Max: Freelance Police being cancelled, and I have been following their development as a company almost daily since their website was put on-line. Of course I desperately hoped they would aquire the licence to Sam and Max (which they now have) and that would by their principal project. When they announced they would be working on Bone I was a bit disappointed, but also excited to explore a new world I'd not yet visited. I ordered the 1-volume volume of Bone and, over the course of reading it, absolutely fell in love with it... such a magical, whimsical, wonderful world full of characters with real human emotions and problems, and a collection of not one but many lead characters, all of which I could empathize and became emotionally attached to. I was very, very happy indeed that Telltale would be making Bone. I had, several months earlier, bought Telltales Texas Hold'em and the thing I was most impressed with was the extent to which the characters were able to convey convincing emotion and character. The animation system, though simple, worked surprisingly well, and I looked forward to seeing that same emotional versatility in action with Bone. Well, now I've played through Bone twice and I'd like to share some of my thoughts. I welcome disagreement and criticism, as long as they are well intentioned.

    - The animation - I really think Telltale did a superb job with the character animation, with a few exceptions. The range of emotions, expressions and movements that the characters display is just superb and very convincing. I often felt like I was watching real people (or... somethings?). Likewise the character models are very, very good. I particularly thought the rat creatures were fantastically done. The sole exception was Thorn. I simply didn't think that Thorn really looked a lot like the character in the comic and certainly didn't capture her spirit. Particularly strange were here eyes, the way her mouth moves when she speaks, and also her voice (I'll address the voice later). I think Telltale should put a bit more work into bringing Thorn's character closer to that invisioned in the comic. I was really, really pleased with the rat creatures in their entirity. Another thing that worked very, very well was the eye-brows on the Bones. Good work Telltale.

    - Voices - Generally I liked the voices, with a few exceptions. The Bones were all fine. The rat creatures were superb. The dragon was spot on. Ted the Bug was... well, that's what Ted the Bug sounds like. The only characters I had any real problems with were Grandma Ben and Thorn, which, I realize having read the end credits, are voiced by the same person. It's really hard for me to place why Thorn's voice doesn't work for me. First, I don't think it sounded quite young enough. Thorn is quite young in the book (somewhere between 16 and 20, I would guess), after all. She also didn't sound kind enough to me. Thorn, in the book, is exceptionally kind and caring, with a bit of a stubborn streak and a lot of resolve when she thinks something is not right. She is also very gentle towards Bone in particular, and very sensitive... I would like to hear more of that in her voice and see it in the face and animation of her character. Grandma Ben is also a bit problematic to me, though not to the same extent. The problem is that Grandma Ben doesn't sound like she's an old grandmother. Instead she sounds like a younger woman pretending to be an old grandmother, which is in fact the case. These problems with the voices of both Thorn and Grandma Ben could, in many ways, be alleviated quite simply - by hiring voice actors who are the actual age of the characters. How hard would it be to find an old Grandmother to act as Ben and a teenage girl to be Thorn? Please consider it for the next episode.

    - Music - All around fantastic and exceptionally well suited for the game. Very well done Telltale! The only suggestion I'd make is to add a bit longer clips, as the music does become repetitive fairly quickly, and the repetition can make even very good music obnoxious.

    - The controls - I thought the control scheme was very nice, intuitive, easy to use and elegant. I did miss, however, having the opportunity to interact with objects in more varied ways. I wonder if there is a way we could retain the elegance and intuitive nature of the interface while adding more possibility for experimentation and play?

    - The camera- The camera angles and how it moves, are just right. Very well done indeed.

    - The dialogue - The dialogue, and the system it uses, was very well done. I understand that Telltale is trying very hard to remain faithful to the original Bone book, and I appreciate them offering dialogue that didn't appear in the books, but it would be fun and add a lot to the game if there was a wider range of choices. As it stands all of the dialogue is almost completely inline with the book, and every choice leads, eventually to the same eventual conclusion, which leads to a point I'll write more about later, that of linearity and choice. In terms of dialogue, I'd really love to be able to say things aren't so completely in line with what the characters said in the book.. to experiment with being mean, being wacky, being greedy, being forceful, being honest, lying, and seeing the consequences. Knight of the Old Republic, more than probably any game I've ever played, did this perfectly and I think that's a huge part of why it was so succesful. Of course, Bone needs to remain faithful to the story, but at least allow us the pleasure of testing the response from characters to various approaches, even if it doesn't directly effect the end outcome of the conversation. I also really liked the three-way conversation in Bone, but I think they could be exploited a bit more. Choosing to say one thing to one character didn't have a whole lot of effect on what could be said to the other character. Likewise, in (I think) almost all cases of three way conversation the lead character gets the chance to talk to address someone and after doing so the character that was addressed responds and then the lead character gets to choose who to talk to again. I can't recall many cases (except with the possum kids and the rat creatures) in which A address B and C responds or both B and C respond. There's a bit of room for further exploration of the possibilites of this dialogue system and the dialogue itself.

    - The mini-games -
    This is the point I need to come down hard on. The mini-games are simply not fun. I know Telltale wanted to make the game accessable by not making puzzles that are too difficult or don't make sense within the story itself, but these puzzles are not only not fun at all, but are also not at all challenging and have zero replay value.The mini-games are a miss on all counts. A while back Heather Logas wrote a blog-entry about fun in games. I invite her, and Telltale, to reexamine that entry and take to heart what she said. The core of any game should be fun and if that fun is absent even the best story will leave the game player unfilfilled. So think about how the games can be truly fun, and consider also that because there is a built in hint system that a certain amount of real challenge and puzzle can be included, with the hint system available for those who don't want to deal with it. As for me, the two running and jumping sequences were just plain frustrating, as was the sequence trying to escape the rat creatures (all of which repeat from the beginning, ad nauseaum, exactly the same until they are completed, with no variety, change, replayability or option to skip them altogether). Remember... fun is number one!

    - The art - Good and satisfying, though not spectacular in any sense. I'll take it as it is, but it could use a little spucing up. I'm glad it was very true to the original illustrations, with the already noted exception of Thorn, who was simply not quite on target.

    - General playability - The game itself is very easily playable and works intuitively, unfortunately the entire world itself, with the possible exception of the dialogue (though there is room for improvement) is lacking in opportunities for fun. Most scene having almost no clickable objects, and even then the options for interacting with the objects are extremely limited. Please Telltale, let us PLAY in this beautiful world you and Jeff Smith have created. Make everything, or almost everything, a potential toy, with game and the world being a giant, wonderful, magical box full of the funnest toys around. The fact that almost nothing in the Out from Boneville world can be interacted with, and even less can be played with, is a huge mistake and seems diametrically opposed to what I thought was Telltale's philosophy. It also means that the game ends up having almost no replayability whatsoever. This is a serious problem, especially for a game that is so short. If the storyline of the game is going to be short, then there at least needs to be lots of toys to play with within it to extend it's enjoyability.
    This leads me to the issue of linearity. I know Out from Boneville is following the story of the graphic novel, but does it have to do so so slavishly, to the extent of disallowing any surprises, options, choices, exploration or consequences? What results from the current format is, essentially, a clickable version of the comic, which to me is simply not satisfying and not worth the money when, for a little bit more, I can go and buy the entire 1000 page complete graphic novel and enjoy the story that way. So not only is the game one of the most oppressively linear I've ever played, allowed basically no real choices whatsoever, but in following the original book it doesn't add any real extras to what happens in the book, nor does it maintain those in the book, but it actually strips some of them out. If this game is going to be fun for those who have read the book then ideally it should offer additional experiences to those contained in the book, or at the very least contain all those in the book. Stripping them out while not replacing them with alternatives is really short-changing the gamer.

    Length of the game - The game is simply far too short. It ends as soon as any interest has begun to develop. I think this is a real shame, especially for those new to the series who will finish the episode with little reason to buy the next episode. Of course those of us who have read the book know that this is partly a weakness of Jeff Smith's original story - Out from Boneville is in itself the least compelling chapter of the Bone graphic novels, with the story becoming more and more interesting and exciting. However, as much as we'd like to, we can't use that as an excuse - the reality is that the original comic book cost a few dollars per issue, so there was some possibility that one would buy the second issue without much reservation, even having been not completely contented by the first, but in the case of the game we really don't have that luxury. The gamer has invested $20 in something that was very short, had very little fun in it, has no replayability, and doesn't really have much of a compelling story. Even for me, who knows and loves the Bone story, the game was far too short and lacked enough fun and replayability for me to be excited about a second episode or very willing to pay another $20 for a similar experience. . I would be really surprised if most gamers buy the second episode based on the first.

    Conclusions - Telltale, a company I desperately want to love and see succeed, has done so on many level, and has proved that they can create a magical world faithful to Jeff Smith's original vision, but they have also failed on a level that, if not addressed succesfully, could end unhappily. Telltale needs, first and foremost, to remember that games are meant to be FUN. If a game isn't fun then it isn't a game. Telltale has managed to convincingly recreate a world born in Jeff Smith's imagination, but they haven't been able to make it fun and the end result is, essentially, a clickable comic book. Unfortunately, for most adventure gamers, including myself, a clickable comic book, especially of this length and price, is simply not enough. I commend Telltale on their achievement in recreating the Bone world so beautifull, but I also strongly encourage them to spend some serious time thinking deeply about their game-creation philosophy and how they can make Bone the most FUN it can possibly be. If I see evidence that Telltale has made progress on fun and length of the game then I will most certainly buy the next Bone game, but if the next game follows the same model I'm sorry to say that, despite how desperately I want to see Telltale succeed, I will spend my $20 elsewhere.

    You've got character, story, beauty and imagination already but remember Telltale - fun, replayability, choices, consequences, exploration, discovery, inventiveness, interaction, and options are the gems of gaming - without these things than even the most beautiful world will not be satisfying as a game.

    Telltale, I know you can do this right. You've got the very best game designers in the world and some of the best creative material to work. I have faith in you.

    In sincere appreciation, gratitude, respect and hopefulness,

  • edited September 2005
    Length of the game - The game is simply far too short. It ends as soon as any interest has begun to develop. I think this is a real shame, especially for those new to the series who will finish the episode with little reason to buy the next episode. (...) I would be really surprised if most gamers buy the second episode based on the first.

    Well, acutally I will ;) I haven't read the books, but this story and world DOES have captured me!

    I also DID like Bone as a game experience and thought it WAS fun! Of course, it cannot be compared to other adventures, it isn't challenging at all. But I still liked most "mini-games", and thought they were quite special. (For example the hide and seek sequence or getting the bug to the other side of the river...)

    But I have to admit that the game really is too short. I would have loved to go on for a while. Indeed, the length/price relation is at the limit of being acceptable... either the game should have been longer, or cheaper.

    But that won't keep me from buying part two. I LOVED the general atmosphere of this game. Good job, Telltale!

  • edited September 2005
    First off, let me say that, for the most part, Bone was great. I really enjoyed what there was of it. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough.

    I'd say the shortness of the game was a huge drawback. For $20, I wasn't expecting a full-length adventure, but, having played all the classic Lucasarts games and spending several hours at a time talking to characters and figuring out puzzles, I was disappointed. In fact, I couldn't believe it was over already. When the credits started rolling, I kept expecting a Curse of Monkey Island-type fake.

    I know Telltale isn't Lucasarts. They shouldn't try to be. But still. This game needed to be a ten-hour game. I think it only took me three hours or so. The repitition of areas was one of the problems. I haven't read Out from Boneville, so I don't have any special love for the characters or desire to see it adapted faithfully. As an aspiring writer myself I respect the hell out of Telltale for being so faithful (so I've heard). But there needed to be more puzzles (there were only, what, five?).

    It just felt rushed. I wished they would've taken more time to flesh it out.

    I was super-impressed with the eyebrow system, though. The way they would spring up out of nowhere (just like in a real drawing) was very well done. The voice acting was great and Smiley Bone was especially good (and I agree that the possums were great, too). The animation was fantastic. The graphics were perfect (I once saw a poster of Bone on the Dragon Stair, and what was in the game looked EXACTLY the same). What puzzles there were way too easy, but the gag about the termites was wonderful.

    I don't know. There needed to be more to do. More options with the interface, more conversations. More environments. More puzzles, definitely. Just more. I know more is coming, but I don't want to end up paying $180 for 9 volumes of Bone games when they could've split it into 3 full-fledged $40 games.

    I kinda feel ripped-off. But not really. I'll continue to support Telltale. But if Sam and Max isn't a real game...
  • edited September 2005
    Thanks Everyone for the support and comments.

    Chris thank you for your insightful and helpful criticisms.
    Be well in Uganda and we will take this all to heart.

    On another note, I am very curious if you share your love of games with the local people in any way?
  • edited September 2005
    I actually thought Ben was good in both design and voice, but Thorn is horrible in both. Yeah, the fact that she's one of the less cartoony-looking characters obviously makes things hard, but her current design and animation are horrible. The face looks downright creepy, and every animation is really stilted (I winced every time she got a closeup during the dinner conversation). She needs to be given a new model in future episodes.

    As for voices, they were mostly better than I thought they would be. The ones that don't need improving at all are Smiley, Phoney, Ted, the Dragon, the Rat Creatures and Kingdok, and one of the possums (The one with a voice somewhere in the middle; the other two have a deeper and lighter voice, and both were annoying.). Ted's Brother and Ben have fitting voices, but sounded kind of lifeless. Fone and Thorn, on the other hand, just sound terrible. This is VERY bad considering that they're the two central characters. I got used to the sound of Fone's voice over time, but he doesn't sound just sort of lifeless; he barely has any emotion at all. Compare that to the comics, where he's bursting with curiousity and energy. Thorn also has a weird-sounding voice and a lack of emotion in her acting that, when combined with the model complaints mentioned above, completely ruins her character compared to the comic. I vote that the current voice for the female characters continues to play Ben, but when you get enough money you should hire a new girl for Thorn. Fone's voice actor should either be assigned to a future character or just plain replaced.

    Concerning minigames, I enjoyed the one with Ted and the rat creature chase. The locust chase wasn't challenging at all, and both possum games felt like a chore.

    So what DID I like? Quite a bit, actually. The animation on characters besides Thorn is for the most part really good, particularly the Bones in the opening and closing sequences. Also, the second half of the game, starting from where you get to the farm, is a lot more fun than the first. The puzzles actually take a little thinking, and things aren't as spoon-fed and linear. Being able to decide what chore to do first for Fone is a nice touch (I don't know if you can decide what to do first for Phoney), and I'd like it if future installments let you decide what order to do things in. Really, as mentioned, the game needs more freedom; look at classic adventure games. You're able to look at the scenery and get funny comments about it from your character. It may not sound like much, but it really adds to the atmosphere.

    I also think the "dialogue tree" idea shows a lot of promise, judging by the dinner conversation. I can't think of a good way to expand upon it, so keep on trying new stuff with it. (I might as well mention, though, that I ended up hearing some conversations twice by selecting certain questions. This was kind of annoying.)

    And if you want us to report graphical glitches, I encountered two: When Fone falls off the cliff at the beginning, instead of a smooth fall down, his model ran down diagonally through the cliff to a certain point in the air, got in the falling position, flew back up, then fell back down. Also, when I selected the yawn option in the dinner, Fone's silverware continued to move as if he was holding it, even though he was leaning back with his arms outstretched.

    I have faith in you guys, and I did get a lot of enjoyment out of this. But a lot of other people are bashing this game to hell, and stuff does need to be worked on in order for future installments to get a warmer reception. If this means delays, so be it. Just work out the kinks. I'll be there to the end to support you guys and your products.

    6/10 (Would be a 7 if not for the voice and graphical problems)
  • edited September 2005
    So I sit down and start playing the short Bone demo yesterday, and as soon as I finish I buy the thing. Sure, the puzzles aren't as hard as some adventure games, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a real live adventure game. The world has not seen its ilk in many an age, and while Bone certainly isn't the best of the genre, it's a solid entry that in my mind really could revitalize the point and click genre.

    The dialogue system in particular was excellent, though as has been mentioned, it would be nice if some of the other characters would react to your conversation.

    Voice acting wise, I liked all the vocalizations, especially the dragon. I had to turn down the music volume a bit so I could hear him better though.

    Unfortunately, it was short. I beat it in a couple hours, and sadly the next 'issue' isn't out already. I'm fairly sure that I'll be picking up the new one when it's done.

    I think you guys did a great job, especially for your first real effort as a developer. You've got an excellent handle on the adventure genre, which is what I was hoping would be the case. Good luck on the new editions, and here's hoping that the new Sam and Max is just as good (or even better).
  • edited September 2005
    Pros: Great Fun
    Cons: Want More

    Simple, eh? I'll go into a bit more detail, but I won't be armchair designing on this one, filling the post with lots of mostly useless verbiage in an attempt to give my ramblings some sense of validity. Bearing that in mind, I'll probably just babble. Enjoy!

    The game is great, hands down. Yeah, Grandma Ben reminded me a lot of the early Sierra "talkies" when Bob, Programmer #12 would lend his voice to the dialogue. (Of course, had this been one of those early Sierra talkies, Bob's voice would have been dressed up in a thick and horrible accent in a vain attempt to mask his lack of voice talent, but that's neither here nor there.) Still, it was passable and I didn't mind it much. That's probably my biggest gripe, and it's not much.

    The animation was terrific. Back in the olden days of the adventure genre's glory days, the reward for completing any significant puzzle or plot element was a simple bit of extra animation and now we're treated to such rewards constantly, so that's a big plus. Also, the attention to the camera during cut-scenes was very much appreciated as most games don't bother with changing angles, cutting, or moving the camera in the slightest. Movies figured this out years ago, and I'm happy that TellTale is ahead of the curve on this one versus the rest of the industry.

    The art was charming and visually interesting, so that's a win as well. A bit more life could be added into the scenes without changing the flavor of the art direction by just adding a little more animation, I think. Have some of the plants and grass sway in the wind, that sort of thing.

    Now for the, well I guess there isn't any. Was is too short? Of course it was, but isn't that the case with anything good? Vacations end too quickly, great books are read through entirely too fast, etc... I guess it's that whole relativity concept I keep hearing about these days. Time flies when you're having fun, sort of thing...don't you wish it was the other way around?

    I guess you could add some more puzzles next time around and certainly more interactions; after all, the hint button is right there for people who get stuck. Challenge things up a bit, but by all means keep the puzzles logical and making sense.

    Anyway, keep up the great work and keep the games coming. I'm exceedingly happy that TellTale will be bringing us the next Sam and Max game, but I do worry a bit that development on both titles (Sam and Max and future episodes of Bone) may slow each down in coming. I wouldn't want the company to expand its employee base beyond its means just to compensate, however, so I'll wait patiently. Work hard, work well, work long if you have to - just make things great and we'll all love you.
  • edited September 2005
    Okay, I've finished it and here's my review:

    The first thing I noticed was how well-done the characters were. The models produce a believable facsimile of every character in the comic book without looking overdone. The voice-acting that accompanies the characters is consistently good.

    The atmosphere is pleasing. The objects in it are well-rendered and numerous, but not so many as to clutter the screen. However, there was a general lack of interactivity that was disappointing. In the adventure games I grew up on (namely King's Quest, Gabriel Knight, Quest for Glory) almost everything in the environment could be examined. Some things in this environment were also examinable, but not enough.

    Speaking of the environment, the puzzles were too few. There were only two traditional puzzles in the game: Fone Bone in search of water and firewood and Phoney Bone in search of turnips and apples. The other puzzles were less traditional puzzles. They were innovative and entertaining, however.

    Of these puzzles, the difficulty was, in general, too low. This may be justified by the game's "difficulty rating", however, part of what plays into difficulty is complexity. Overall, the puzzles were fairly simple and straightforward.

    This leads us to my other negative point: the game was too short. I bought it and beat it in the same afternoon. While $20 buys a shorter game, it's easily much less than half as long as the $40 adventure title of the 90s. Part of this is that there's less plot to cover. However, another part of this is that the plot is covered too strictly. You're artists, use more artistic license!

    The high-point of the vignette, for me, was the turnip/apple/water/firewood series of quests. They got me reminiscing my earlier adventure game experiences. Those kinds of puzzles serve to help tell the story, entertain players and, importantly, delay gratification. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers isn't particularly long, either, but the extensive use of puzzles prolongs the game. Frustrating? Sometimes. In general, it's fun. The first time I played Gabriel Knight I also beat it in one uninterrupted gaming stretch: a 12 hour one.

    To a certain extent, brevity is always a problem in the adventure genre. However, more, harder and more complex puzzles help solve this problem. There are many opportunities to work this into the game. The dream sequence could have been a puzzle. Further, it's okay to deviate from the story somewhat in order to add more puzzles and challenges.

    By increasing the interactivity of the world and strengthening the puzzle/challenge makeup, the core of the game can match the strong aesthetics. Bone is delivered extremely richly and is an ideal platform for an adventure experience.

    My rating: I don't give ratings. They encourage people to just skip to the end to read the rating. Yeah, people like you. YOU. The one reading this instead of the review. Get back to the top and start over, newbie.
  • edited September 2005
    I really liked it. I thought the price and length was fair for the type of game.


    I think the biggest pro is the conversation system. In my 25 years of playing adventure games, I've never seen a multicharacter conversation system work as well.

    Ofcourse the graphics, sound, and everything were good too.

    The controls automatically select what action I wanted. While I can see that this makes the game very accessable to new players, there were times where I felt the game was on auto pilot.

    I have to wait 5 months till the next episode. :(
  • edited September 2005
    Bone was okay, but it lacked quite a bit:

    1.It's too short. I finished the game in under 2 hours, which isn't quite worth the $20 charged.

    2. The game world is graphically bland. I don't expect cutting edge stuff, but Bone really borders on the unimaginative. The models and animations are done very well, but the settings feel dated to me.

    3. Too much reliance on mini games. One of the reasons why Bone is so easy are the mini games and the lack of inventory logic puzzles. There's barely any inventory usage or revisiting areas. The game world, though based on the comic, is too small.

    4. Not enough is done. The comic actually is more informative and atmospheric. Games allow us to move beyond the game world, which Bone doesn't do much of.

    I like the premise and I want to keep supporting TT both for good adventure games and the Sam & Max game. But Bone falls seriously short in terms of storytelling and adventure game mechanics.
  • edited September 2005
    What i found with bone was also kind of mixed. The good is the gameplay and the story which so far in seems to be really good. The characters are excellent especially the dragon and fone and phoney are both excellent leads for a game. Most of the graphics are excellent, solid and looks right to what it is. The music is nice too, not too distracting but making the world have a feel of it should.

    On the flip side, forcing the game in 800x600 is a crime, i can understand being indie and not having the focus on graphics, but selectable resolutions please, that low res on my monitor is an injustice to the game. Still on graphics the human characters are kind of dissapointing graphically, with noticeable defects and ridges, where the dragon for instance is smooth and solid, but at least the animation is rock solid, infact, cheery and humbling. The voice quality is the lowest point of the game, i can understand keeping the file size down but the sample rate is an abomination to the actors doing a great job behind it, maybe have a hi and low sampled versions of the voice's, your voice sources are probably of high quality.

    Anyway, its great to see the team responding to these posts and i really feel peoples view are getting heard which is another plus, im definitly going to follow this series to its finale and any other telltale adventure games, hopefully you will in the future have access/afford higher end projects, but untill then, keep up the good work guys!
  • edited September 2005
    What do you think a higher resolution would have brought to the game? None of the textures were high resolution, and with FSAA there's no aliasing.

    Realistically, all a higher resolution would get you in such a game as this is the mere knowledge that you're running in a high rez, with no real visual indication of that fact.

    In other words, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Well, unless your monitor has a really bad low rez display with scan lines and such, but let's hope not.
  • edited September 2005
    I get scanlines on 1024x768 let alone 800x600, plus the higher the resolution the clearer things will generally look, the aliasing on mine is also quite bad.

    But i suppose this is the start of a (hopefully) long road of tell tale games and so with it all taken in mind and the price point im not that botherd about it, just niggles
  • edited September 2005

    I like the characters, but there isn't enough background on some of them in the game.

    I really like how some of the 3d effects are used, especially with panning around. The walk along the dark cliff was interesting.

    Inventory is a little off, there doesn't seem to be a way to use inventory items on one another. But it's simplistic and fun regardless.


    Introduction was a little confusing, I've never read boneville so it was all new to me, but I got quickly over it.

    Worst part:
    Activation system for the game. A nightmare for me. I got in once, and played most of the way through. Now it thinks its a demo again. Attempted to reactivate with the user/pass and now it thinks my hardware is different. God forbid I would want to take it on a laptop on a trip. Please come up with a better way to release the content. The way it is now about kills it for me.
  • edited September 2005
    Attempted to reactivate with the user/pass and now it thinks my hardware is different. God forbid I would want to take it on a laptop on a trip. Please come up with a better way to release the content. The way it is now about kills it for me.
    What? It barfs if your hardware changes? That's not cool. I want to upgrade my computer and definitely don't want to have to pay another $20 to play.
  • edited September 2005
    Hi, I'm a Hungarian writing from Italy, and first of all, I want to thank you for your digital distribution model! It may still have some hiccups, but it's nothing comared to months of waiting for European releases (Psychonauts!!!)

    For the most part, I agree with the cons mentioned in previous posts (brief gameplay time, low difficulity), but I never had any real problems with an adventure being too easy. I've been playing adventures for almost twenty years now, in all forms and sizes. I adore complex and long games, but some of my favorite experiences come from Humongous children-adventure titles, like the first Putt-Putt games or Fatty Bear's Birthsday Surprise.

    These games were incredibly easy, taking you by the hand, and could be completed in a couple of hours, just like Bone. The difference is, that you could interact with practically anything and everything on screen and that's what was missing from Bone. Of course, I don't mean that every flower should start dancing and singing on screen in the Valley, but a bit more comments and more hotspots would really be welcome!

    I also agree that that the Thorn model and voice should be changed a bit. All the other characters are captured too perfectly, and she sticks out a little. Also, because it's her story as much as it is the bone cousins', she should have a more promintent role, otherwise gamers unfamiliar with the comics won't care for her when the time comes... I really missed a lot from her conversations with Fone Bone on the farm (especially concerning the existence of dragons, more on that in a bit).

    The last con to point out has to do with dramatic timing. This of course is different to everyone, but it was a bit too perfect in the comics. My all time favorite scene in Out From Boneville is when Thorn and Fone Bone are surrounded by dozens of Rat Creatures in the woods. It's the first time the story takes a darker tone, because it shows that the Rat Creatures are not only "Stupid, stupid", but can actually be rather menacing! It's a sign of the darker things to come, and I was really looking forward to seeing it in the game, but it was cut alltogether, and thus the dragon arrived to save the day with no real sense of relief, and no sense of awe. Plus, the non-belief of Thorn in dragons wasn't really fleshed out, so the emotional drama of the scene was completely lost.

    Man, those are a lot of negative things, but I actually enjoyed the game a lot! So much in fact, that I played through again a second time, right after the ending credits! The pros have been discussed so there's not much point repeating them. However, the animation and graphics are excellent, I think the game world looked perfect and wasn't bland at all. I also loved the mini-games, and the voice acting (though grandma should sound a little older).

    I adore the comics, and I admit that seeing things translated scene-by-scene is what I usually like. However, I found that the extra parts added (the Firewood/water scene and everything involving Phoney) turned out to be my favorites. The funniest being Phoney's comments during the hide and seek game! I kept making mistakes, just to hear everything he had to say!!!

    IN CONCLUSION: The graphical and the audio pros and cons have been discussed by everyone. What I wanted to add was, that the cut-scenes should have a bit better dramatical timing, because that's what helps gamers really invest in the story emotionally, and if they're not interested in the story, they won't be back for The Great Cow Race!

    All in all, congratulations TellTale on your first adventure game, I think it you've got a bright future ahead of you! Any criticism is meant for your benefit, and please know that you've given me a fantastic experience! I'm going back to play it through a third time!

    Best regards!
  • edited September 2005
    For the most part, I agree with the cons mentioned in previous posts (brief gameplay time, low difficulity), but I never had any real problems with an adventure being too easy. I've been playing adventures for almost twenty years now, in all forms and sizes. I adore complex and long games, but some of my favorite experiences come from Humongous children-adventure titles, like the first Putt-Putt games or Fatty Bear's Birthsday Surprise.

    These games were incredibly easy, taking you by the hand, and could be completed in a couple of hours, just like Bone. The difference is, that you could interact with practically anything and everything on screen and that's what was missing from Bone. Of course, I don't mean that every flower should start dancing and singing on screen in the Valley, but a bit more comments and more hotspots would really be welcome!

    Bull's eye, gcsorba! ;)
  • edited September 2005
    What I liked:

    The art. I felt that it really captured the style of the comic, and the similarity is especially striking for those familiar with the colorized version because the game uses the same color palette most of the time (check out that mountain background in the desert!) . Even better than the environments though are character models. With the possible exception of Thorn I thought all the models looked like stunning 3D realizations of the character, particularly Gran'ma Ben who looks about as faithful as you can get.

    The interface. A lot of people would consider point 'n click to be a step backwards and in some cases it is, but with this game it felt really smooth and it worked great. Simple and effective. The one-click-does-everything route similar to The Dig works well.

    The puzzles. Though it felt like there weren't enough of them, I thought all of the puzzles were great, not only because they were fun but because when I solved them I always felt like I was moving the story along rather than, you know, just trying to get to the next part of the game. I guess one of the good effects of knowing you're going to make a short game is being able to make sure all of the stuff the player does is relevant to the story. And while I would have enjoyed some more inventory puzzles, I must say my favorite puzzle was the one where you escape from the rat creatures. "Active puzzles," indeed. I felt like I was playing a cutscene. Speaking of which...

    The non-interactive bits. Because there were so few of them, and they were all short and in-game, and did only what they were supposed to. I think Telltale did a fantastic job of making much of the comic's story interactive and making you feel like you're involved in it instead of simply solving puzzles and letting a cutscene handle the narrative. I felt there was also a disappointing side-effect to this as well which I'll get into further down.

    The voice acting. The voices were all at least adequate, but some (the red dragon and ted the bug spring to mind) were spot-on. My two main quibbles were Gran'ma Ben (which has to do simply with her not being what I imagined more than anything) and Thorn, who's actual voice I didn't mind but the delivery was completely expressionless.

    The music. I don't know what else to say except that the songs were completely appropriate (both to the particular scene and the overall "feel" of Bone, giving the game nice atmosphere) and I really liked them. I hope the same composer is used for the rest of the games. One thing I think would be cool to do with future games (if it can be done without bloating the file size too much) is implement an iMUSE type of sound system where the music reacts to the player. Psychonauts, a non-LucasArts game, pulled off something similar.

    The multiple-person dialog trees. Excellent idea, and I think for the most part it works very well.

    The in-game help system. Excellent idea. And I love the way it works like the old LucasArts hint booklets where the hint gets progressively more specific before finally just giving you the answer.

    And what I think the best individual aspect of the game is: the animation. Very expressive and just plain fun to watch. There's a lot life brought to these characters and all the little animations for their reactions, whether it's Fone expressing his confusion at Ted's complicated directions or the possums shock at an exciting story, are great. I hope that level of quality can be kept up!

    What I didn't like:

    The emptiness. Perhaps this is partly intentional for keeping the game simple and helping to keep people who are new to the adventure genre free of frustration, but there simply wasn't enough to do off the beaten track. It's not so much that I object to the game's linear nature (which I know was intentional) or that I want ridiculous red herrings everywhere, but more interactivity with the environment and overall more depth would go a long way in making the world seem more alive and worth coming back to. I mean, there were a few nice extra bits here and there that I appreciated, but just...more :) . It'll be interesting to see how Telltale tackles this challenge in the future while still keeping with its policy to make the games straightforward and easy to get into. I think it can be done.

    The lopping off of several story bits from the comic. This is especially evident near the end of the game, where the later parts of the comic's story get compressed and rushed. Some of this was handled well and creatively and I'm sure was done because of time and budget constraints (we can learn about the cow race, the fair, and see Phoney's betting interest all in the dinner scene, which allows a few scenes from the comic to be lost). But with other cuts I'm a little bit upset about. I mean, what happened to the scenes with The Hooded One? Phoney's trip to Barrehaven, his meetup with Smiley there, and the introduction of Lucius? Maybe it was to prevent needlessly padding the game, maybe Telltale preferred cutting scenes that they didn't think they could turn into good interactive bits instead of giving us long cutscenes, or maybe they're trying to save Lucius and the Phoney/Smiley scheme entirely for part two. And maybe the game's rapid fire conclusion is less jarring if you're not familiar with the comic. But it was sort of a problem for me, so I had to point it out.

    And uh, yeah, Thorn. She could use some expression in her voice, rather than it sounding like an actress reading lines.

    OK, that's enough writing for one post. I was impressed by Out From Boneville, and I can't wait for The Great Cow Race next Spring. This game confirms to me that you guys know what you're doing, and I'm ready for more!
  • edited September 2005
    Loved this game! Great graphics, music, loved the story but just as it was about to take off...done. WAYYYY too short if i'm paying 20 bucks for EACH episode...10 bucks and episode i can handle maybe...9 episodes at under 2 hours at 20 bucks each? I really want to continue to play but im not sure if i'm willing to pay that much for so little gameplay. I honestly hope Sam and Max is released as a full game and not episodes if it is going to be so short...other then that though i thought this game was very well done :)
  • edited September 2005
    You're so right it hurts, Udvarnoky. :p
    This a wonderful short and empty game. Does it sound strange? It is, but I am pretty sure TellTale guys will get it 100% right the next time.
  • edited September 2005
    Looks as though I arrived a little late to this discussion, everything there is to say about the game appears to have already been said. :(

    I'll give my personal thoughts anyway...


    Voice acting - Top class across the board. A lot of people seem to have an issues with Thorn's voice but I really liked it.

    Writing - No use having decent voice acting if your going to have them talking complete rubbish. Thankfully this isn't the case, and the dialogue also is first rate stuff, makes conversations a joy to listen to.

    Homour - I funniest adventure game ive played in a long time, Phoney Bone and Ted the Bug are brilliant characters.

    Multi conversation tree - What a brilliant little inovation, I had such a great time playing through the dinner conversation. i think the Telltale guys are really on to something with this.

    Interface - Evidently this has really divided peoples opinions, but I found it really simple and fun to use. Again it's not really something we've seen done in such a way before, also something I hope to see more of.

    Story - Well told, they've done a nice job of bringing the book to life.


    Length - Not really to much else to say about that.

    Puzzles - The main problem I had with the game. There just weren't enough, and what there was were just to simple. The exception being Escaping from the Rat Creatures, I thought that was clever, and funny. I really hope that next time TT try to flesh out the gameplay a bit.

    A bit rushed towards the end - After the Rat Creature chase they seem to have left an awful lot out, i.e. Phoney reuniting with Smiley, the journey to Barrelhaven.

    All in all though I thought the game showed a lot of promise.
  • edited September 2005
    First, let me say that I did really love this first episode, except for its shortness.
    Loved the 3D point'n'click engine, loved multiple conversations too! Sceneries are beautiful, the music is great, and the voice overs are neat.

    ..what have you done with the character rendering?
    It looks like DX7 T&N vertex ligthing with awful Gouraud artifacts!
    Please allow owners of half-decent machines to benefit from a smooth per pixel lighting, so that Thorn doesn't look like a zombie! :(

    (Make your engine open-source and I do it for you ;) )


    PS : Greetings from a game dev from France. Long live TellTale ;-) (Eugen Systems)
  • edited September 2005
    I really enjoyed the first episode, while not perfect it was entertaining and killed a few hours of my time. Overall the animation was nice and the voices, I thought, were great. But like stated before the lip syncing could be better. For the next release the puzzles should be upped a notch. Make people have to use items a little more to solve puzzles rather than just find an item and use it. But I liked the dialogue puzzles but they should be limited.

    Animation was smooth
    Dialogue feature
    Simple (good or bad depending on person)

    lip Sync (minor)
    Short (but what do you expect for $20)
    To simple for experienced players.
    Minor clipping issues (during the running sequences it would be nice if phoney or smiley tripped rather than run through the boulders, same for the rats)

    Also I don't know about anyone else but I experienced a few bugs ingame. While attempting to escape from the rat creatures the first time, and failing, I hit esc a few time to speed through the dialogue, and when Fone was place back at the starting point he continued to walk through the rat creatures into the background. The purple rat then attempted to follow him with his head turning it backwards. I also noticed that the dialogue head icons had doubled. Overall I liked the game and would buy it again, but it would make my day if it were a little more complex, it might make up for the short time.

    Oh and one more thing the chase scenes, the mouse(I'm using optical) seems a little kind of glitchy and hard to move around, but that seems to be normal with the chase parts I've seen in other games for me. Anyway around it, possibly an alternative scene by getting captured and having to escape?
  • edited September 2005
    The length of the first episode is just not acceptable. 20 dollars for under 2 hours of gameplay? I really feel cheated.

    And its a shame. Bone is the best adventuregame since Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon. But if the next episodes dont around $5 or is at least 5 hours long, then I wont buy any more of those.

    It feels like Telltale are playing a cruel joke on me. 2 hours........and then the credits start rolling.......
  • edited September 2005
    I also think it's MUCH too short. i mean, you don't have to pack the second book into the game, but you could at least use EVERY scene from the books instead of just a half. so I really wonder if this is worth 20 dollars... 'cause it's so short, the spirit of the books gets a bit lost.

    The graphics, dialogues and musics are great, the size is comfortable for downloading and 20 dollars aren't THAT much.
    and since I'm a Bone-fan and I wanna support you guys, I most likely will buy the next episodes...

    i hope you can understand my... CURIOUS language ;)
  • edited September 2005
    The major complaint seems to be that the game is too short for $20, and I agree with that. I expected a longer game, and my immediate feeling when the credits started rolling was disappointment.

    But give it a thought! Adventure games is a pretty risky business, as we all know, with LucasArts dropping a highly anticipated title, and Autumn Moon having great difficulties funding A Vampyre Story, et c. I don't know how Telltale managed to fund Bone, but rest assured that they're on a pretty tight budget. My guess is actually that they only had enough money to survive until September, and then they just HAD to release it, just to be able to keep going. So until this release, they've done all they could to put in as much content as ever possible.

    What I'm trying to say is that I believe that Telltale had no option - they would have loved to make the game longer and richer, but it was simply not possible, given the resources.

    So what now? Telltale got some money to produce the next episode. When that money has been used up, they will release episode 2, again with as much content as they managed to put in given the budget. Then, two things can happen. EITHER, customers will fail, Telltale will not get enough money to make a decent third episode, and that might be the end of the saga. Other potential producers and publishers (who most probably are closely watching Telltale's development) will have their doubts confirmed, and we can forget all about A Vampyre Story, Sam'n Max 2, Monkey Island 5 or just any name that sounds like it could be an adventure game. OR, customers show their support, Telltale gets on their feet, becomes successively more solid, mature and efficient, and starts releasing adventures totally worth your $20. And with one successful company, others will surely follow.

    Noone else believed in this market, Telltale did. I think that alone makes them worthy our fullest support!
  • edited September 2005
    I just had a look on my credit card bill and it appears that due to the activation fuck up I have been charged twice. Now while I have no problem with supporting telltale I just don't feel like I got my monioes worth with this episode. It still feels to me like its more of a showcase of their potential. I will buy the 2nd episode probably but that will be clinch time as to whether i will remain a customer.

    I probably agree with most of what has been said on the board (but I won't pretend I read it all)

    -Mini games wern't so great (I( could put up with the 1st one but the 2nd one seemed lazy.

    -Some of the puzzles seemed lazy... such as the apple tree.

    - the humans had slightly weird faces

    However the voice acting was largely impressive... I loved the music, environments, and characterisation.... I will await episode 2.
  • edited September 2005
    A lot has been expressed here that somewhat reflects my opinion on this game.

    Instead of a pros and cons list, I'll offer some constructive criticism. :)

    Music - While I loved the pieces, it was badly implemented. There are scenes where characters are talking about something exciting, terrifying or shocking, but the music completely fails to follow that. There's a scene where Thorn is talking about something terrible, and we get a really dramatic close-up of her face. But the whole scene is ruined because under it, there's some playful, happy music going on.

    Something similar to SCUMM's iMuse system, where the music corresponds to player, and character actions, would be nothing short of incredible.

    Engine/Graphics - I hope the rendering engine is smoothed out a little. When you get close-ups of some of the characters, they look absolutely horrible. Maybe it's just that everything was compressed for file size sakes.

    But then, maybe you could give us broadband users a bigger file with better graphics. Sort of like FATE's graphics patch.

    Dialogue Timing - Some of the dialogue timing felt a little off, maybe due to some dialogue getting cut off at the end.

    Action sequences - They were, to be blunt, boring. The game has all this fancy cinematography throughout, and then we're stuck with a top-view of an exciting Rat Creature chase?

    IMO this should've been a simpler action game (where you only control the characters jumping, not his position on the screen) with a more cinematic camera. Better yet, it could've incorporated some puzzles, like point-n-clickin' the right way through the valley while running. Couple this with some good cinematography and animation, and you'd have something loads better, I think.

    Bad pacing - It felt really weird, taking so much time to explore the caves, but instead cutting out so much after the Rat Chase scene, for example. And certain spots felt like they had something missing, like the start of the cave exploration.

    Jumping - I'd just like to say that jumping from cliff to cliff, after getting out of the cave, was just awesome. I'm probably in a minority about this, but it just felt good for some reason.

    Active puzzles - The puzzle where you're sneaking away from the two rat creatures was nothing short of amazing. It could've been a tad shorter, but on the whole that's the kind of puzzles I'd love to have more of.

    Lastly, I just want to mention that I was pleased with the game, albeit slightly disappointed when the credits rolled in. I was mostly disappointed because the game was really picking up some steam by that time. And it should've ended on something vastly superior to that ghastly Rat Chase scene.

    In short, it was 20 bucks well spent, IMO.
  • edited September 2005
    But then, maybe you could give us broadband users a bigger file with better graphics. Sort of like FATE's graphics patch.

    I second this, if there would be a significant difference in quality. In addition to the 50 meg version that keeps with the company's policy, there could be a second, larger version for people who are willing to put up with the download size that presents the game with some more sparkle. Again, if a less compressed version would be that different.
  • edited September 2005
    Almost everything has been said, but I'd like to add the following :
    I am disappointed by the puzzles. They are far too simple and linear. You solve a puzzle and you can move to the next screen etc. I totally miss the Monkey Island kind of puzzle, where you can visit a lot of places but do not know what to do first, trying to combine objects and use this with that or how to win a spitting contest. That is what made MI fun and made it a long game.
    In bone, you directly know what you are supposed to do, so you go quickly from the beginning to the end.
  • edited September 2005
    On the product page it lists the difficulty as 2 out of 5 (I think) So I never expected anything too taxing... My theory is that they made it easy in order to introduce themsleves to the adventure community and maybe pick up pace a few games in?
  • edited September 2005
    I feel that the $20 is well worth it. My wife and I played together, and spent about 3-3.5 hours playing the game. It was highly enjoyable. We laughed a lot, and enjoyed seeing one of our favorite comics come to life.

    What else could we have done for $20? We could have seen a crappy movie in the theater (I don't know where you all live, but in San Francisco movies are about $10). This was much better than that experience is (save for something like Lord of the Rings, and I don't think we were expecting something like that from Telltale's first offering).

    The best part is, this game is definitely going to have replay value. I will certainly be playing it again in a few months in anticipation of Vol 2. I expect after a month or two, it will still take me several hours to make it through the game. Also, I have already noticed that puzzles have a few different solutions - our virus scanner went off and bumped us out of the game, and we had to quit and go back away to where we had saved, so we played the Phoney and the possums sequence twice and solved the puzzle of acquiring the shovel a different way.

    All in all well worth it - my only compaint would be that I was bummed that when I task-switched out of it, I couldn't get back in without forcing it to quit.

    Thank you Telltale!!!!
  • edited September 2005
    Bone: Out from Boneville.


    I love Bone, and a Bone game was an exciting prospect so I downloaded the game.

    When I downloaded the demo, I wasn’t exactly impressed. Graphically the game looked it was five years old, and the seemed to play out very slowly. The opening sequence conversation between the Bones played out more like tactless exposition rather than a conversation, like it did in the comic. It was word for word like the comic, but it just didn’t flow like a real conversation when being spoken. Maybe that’s fault of the voice actors who weren’t impressive in the demo, but good enough. The gameI would hardly call a game, but more like semi-directable semi-interactive fiction. The story plays out the same as the comic, but you get all the information by navigating conversations. You spent the entire demo directing conversation to get Smiley Bone to give the other Bones a map. This took maybe four panels in the comic. While I am very familiar with the comic, this aspect of the game seemed to be kind of drawn out, but interesting. Then the locust chase began, where flat bitmap locusts chase you through repeating terrain with maybe four or five landmarks you see over and over again for five minutes. I was NOT impressed by this, recycling terrain is something the way of sixties cartoons not cutting edge video games, not even games of five years ago.

    Well I still had no idea what to expect, the demo left you with NO IDEA what the game was like, because they were promising ADVENTURE, and I like adventure so I forked over the twenty bucks.

    I feel ripped off.

    The game has some promising aspects, but then again I stress it is hardly a game, so little is actually playable, let alone adventure, it is semi-interactive fiction, like a not-so good adaptation of the comic.

    You can finish the game in two hours.

    A rather short graphic novel is condensed into an even shorter game, when other mediums of entertainment are usually adapted into games they are usually expanded upon to make fully satisfying game. That is not the case here, elements are completely phased out which seems needless, and in fact harmful to the game.

    Most notably winter doesn’t happen, which is assumedly because the designers didn’t have the resources (time, money, staff) to create a different set of graphics for the seasons, which is unfortunate, because in between issues one and two of the comic, a lot of time passes, where the game could of interjected some plot and puzzles. Like Bone building his house and meeting Miz Possum. Miz Possum isn’t even in the game, but the Possum kids are.

    The directable conversations, are probably the best part of the game, considering they are primarily what the game is. Playing as Fone when he first meets Thorn and trying to say the suave lines and watching Fone awkwardly say something different was done very well, I liked that a lot. Also playing as Phoney was an unexpected surprise, and the contrast to Fone was also well done. Where Fone tries to help everyone to progress in the story, Phoney lies, cheats, and steals which is exactly like Phoney and well executed.

    Unfortunately the game lacks adventure, and mystery. After the Demo the game feels slightly adventurous as you’re following Smiley’s cigar butts to the valley. But once you hit the valley the adventure stops, and the world no longer seems quite large, but infact very small and confining especially since you revisit the areas you go through as Fone, with Phoney, twice. The game has a few mini game like challenges, which are mildly entertaining at best. Which split up the progress through the semi-interactive fiction . Play as Ted the bug and leap on rocks. Play hide and go seek with the Possum kids. Dodge Ted’s Big Brother. That’s all of them.

    The Bone’s are well animated for the limited graphics, as are the rest of the characters. Except Thorn, Thorn looks like a scary mannequin with no fluidity to her movement and a frightening chipmunk-esque voice. I understand voice actors aren’t cheap, and that the same person had to voice Gran’ma Ben and Thorn, but the digital raising of Thorn’s voice is quite creepy, especially paired with her lackluster animation.

    The puzzles are few, and clumped together at the end of the game, when you get to Gran’ma Ben’s house. Those few puzzles were enjoyable, and I wish the game had a ton more, but it does not. As soon as you finish the two puzzles, you navigate more conversation and then run from the rat-creatures in the same fashion that you ran from the locusts.

    Would I suggest the game to my friends? Definitely not, twenty dollars is far too much to ask of ANYONE for a two hour game. I would rather buy a copy of the graphic novel at that price. The biggest fault is they tried to condense rather than expand on the novel, inbetween issues there are time lapses where allsorts of puzzles and adventure could have been interjected while remaining exactly faithful.

    There is NO way I will pay twenty bucks for eight other games of this magnitude, infact I should at least get the next two for free at this price! If I did, I would probably buy the next three after that for twenty bucks, and then the next three after that for twenty. You’d get sixty bucks out of me, instead of the lowly twenty that you’re only going to get when you ask for $180!

    I’m sorry Telltale, I wish I could only say good things about you and your Bone game, but the fact is, it’s not a very good game. I respect the fact you guys are independent game makers doing your thing, and I wish you luck, and wish I could find it worthwhile to support your efforts but it is just too much to ask financially out of me.
  • edited September 2005
    On the product page it lists the difficulty as 2 out of 5 (I think) So I never expected anything too taxing... My theory is that they made it easy in order to introduce themsleves to the adventure community and maybe pick up pace a few games in?

    2 out of 6 actually. That's also why I was expecting a pretty easy introduction to Telltale's adventure game output.

    They've also said in interviews that they're trying to attract a new audience (perhaps the 20 Female demo (my thoughts, not theirs) who make games like The Sims such a success).

    Honestly, if the game was only pitched at the encumbent 'adventure gamer crowd' or those of us that regularly read gaming sites then they might as well close up shop now. There's just not enough of us around at present, and those who are still actively following the genre tend to be pretty experienced Adventure Gamers - who obviously will find the puzzles too easy.

    Though if I were Telltale I'd wait until all the niggles are ironed out with the distribution method and gameplay, and there are maybe 3 chapters finished and available before pitching the marketing at the mainstream.
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