The Penguin and the trap

Released information from various stages of VSB's development.
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Datadog
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Post by Datadog » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:17 am

A gas mask it is, then. Those dust masks are standard janitorial equipment, anyway.

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Post by MartyMcFly » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:02 am

going back with the whole "trials" idea again, i think the sewers is a good opportunity to have more challenging puzzles in a limited area. kinda like in MI3 when guybrush gets eaten by the snake then finds himself stuck in quicksand. i thought it would be funny if we come up with some creative puzzles and while Roger solves them, the macgyver theme is played. just a thought tho.

on top of that, once roger exits the sewers and sees the sewer entrance just on the other side of the fence would kinda seem funny. all that just to get a few feet further

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Post by Datadog » Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:33 am

Actually, the "trials" concept applies to something different as I found. What we've got here is your standard Adventure Game Obstacle Course (AGOC.) (Yes, I just made that up, but it is a recurring puzzle theme in many games.)

We could make the "few feet away" joke funnier by throwing in some blank "fluff" backgrounds where all Roger does is walk for miles.

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Post by MartyMcFly » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:41 am

how about a "Saw" reference? :D
he could wake up with his foot chained or a large head crunching device on his head. penguin could appear on a tv screen or something. but even a slight saw reference would be funny... just a thought

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Post by Datadog » Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:35 pm

I could probably work something in there. Probably wouldn't involve him getting captured and tied to a trap like that, though, since he gets captured on the other side of the sewers and that would get repetetive. But we could probably work in a reference over in the jail cell. He could wake up in the cell with his foot chained up and a saw nearby.

Alternatively, instead of a chasm, it could be a room full of barb wire strips that you would have to chop through.

Although if it was a chasm, I was thinking of recycling a puzzle from the old SQInc script, involving Roger using a coat hanger to slide on a cable across the chasm. Roger could probably use the duct tape to reinforce/fix the coat hangar before sliding over.

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Post by MartyMcFly » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:49 pm

i was thinking about the chasm. its a pretty hard obstacle to overcome without doing something predictable.
i had somewhat of a predictable idea. roger would have to make a catapult involving penguins :D

first things first though. have we figured out the intentions of the penguin yet? is he evil, is he paranoid or just a bit of a prick? also, what can be resolved out of all this sewer sequence (eg albino furkunz helps you later in the game)? basically what does he want from roger besides the umbrella that could involve these obstacles?

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Post by Datadog » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:32 am

The Penguin's just a self-loathing dick who makes things harder for Roger because he leads such a miserable life. If you follow the mistake I made earlier, Roger doesn't need something from him now that he can use later (it would be better for the story if Dr. Nelzo gave him something instead.) But the Penguin could do well to give Roger a warning at least.

I thought about using a catapult as well, but remembered that the player might need to cross back over, so it would have to be something quick and easy. Plus the chasm doesn't need to be too big - just something Roger can't easily jump over.

Just had another idea...

After crossing the obstacles and befriending the penguin...

"Very well! Be on your way, but be forewarned! You may only cross back across this passage nay but seven times! Afterwards, the gateway shall be sealed forever and nay shall you ever cross again!"
"Really?"
"Well, no, not really."
"Then I can go then?"
"I suppose. Think you can stop by the store and pick me up some fish while you're out?"
"We'll see."

And sometimes if you cross back across the sewers, the Penguin will ask if you got him some fish yet. An afterjoke of this could be that you could get some red herring from the store later and giving it to him would get you points and nothing else.

Let me know if I'm going too far.

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Post by pcj » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:37 am

Works for me.

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Post by mjomble » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:00 am

Unless by the store you meant the one in the fortress, because Roger getting captured in the first throne room is the first point of no return in the game. And it's pretty much right after the sewers and with the current ideas, Roger won't be needing any extra items between those two points, so the chasm might be made into a PoNR as well if it's the very last thing in the sewers.

Which means we could even use the penguin catapult idea :P
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Post by Datadog » Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:27 pm

All right - rewrite in process: let's try this.

Enter sewers:

You are in the goo room.
To proceed further down the tunnel, wear the surgical mask as to not pass out from the methane fumes from the goo.

You will be in a long passage.
There will be gears in here attached to a return line (for waste.) You can cram the can in here after encountering the penguin. Continue down.

The Penguin Room
Here, you will encounter the Gatekeeper of the Sewers. He is a miserable old coot, and will dump sewage on you every chance he gets. After you back up the return line using the can in the other room, he'll get covered in sewage and get caught under a drip. Give him the umbrella and he'll decide you are worthy of crossing through. He will send a single penguin to escort you.

PENGUIN: "But be forewarned - once you pass through the next room, there is no going back!"
ROGER: "Geez, no need to be so dramatic."
*Roger enters next room. There is a giant chasm in here.*
ROGER: "Oh. I see."

The Chasm
To cross the chasm, you must construct a primitive catapult to launch you across the gap. Grab the hoverboard from the hut (it doesn't need to be a support for the shelf or work) and place it on a conveniently placed rock near the edge of the cliff like a see-saw. Grab some banana jelly from the Colonel's Hut and use it to lubricate some loose bricks over the chasm entrance. Stand on one end of the board and ask the penguin to give the bricks a push. The penguin will oblige, and send you flying over the chasm, where you can exit to the surface.

Okay, so there we go. We kept the goo, the gear puzzle, dumping sewage, a penguin catapult, and the umbrella puzzle, and story-wise, the penguin's role now seems to play a pivotal part in the plot (the point of no-return) without getting too side-questish. I think it works. Anything else we're missing?

As for the catapult puzzle, if anyone else can think of better items to use instead of the hoverboard and banana jelly, give a shout. But they should probably just be items lying around and not something you have to work for.

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Post by mjomble » Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:51 pm

Overall, sounds pretty good.

The goo I'm still not too sure about, and I think we could just keep it as a regular sewer scene that Roger could freely walk through. To avoid the sewers becoming too easy, the catapult puzzle might be a bit more difficult.

The first thing I imagined when seeing the words 'penguin' and 'catapult' in the same sentence was a penguin flying through the air.

So maybe Roger would somehow have to adjust the catapult like Guybrush in MI1 (probably with an angle choice - too high would make the jump too short, and too low would make you shoot right down the chasm, and there'd be just a few fitting choices), and to test it, he'd launch the penguin.

And he keeps dropping them in the chasm, but every time another one would enter the scene, or crawl back up from below (so falling in the chasm wouldn't kill someone, but they'd be trapped unless they can crawl well, which Roger can't)
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Post by Datadog » Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:27 pm

Why are we trying to make these sewers so hard? We're just going from Point A to Point B. The harder puzzles should start after we leave the sewers.

And I'm not entirely sold on the catapult idea anyway. Something like duct-taping two penguins together and riding them down a frozen waterfall like a sled to the exit ladder would be simpler and more fun to do. A trajectory puzzle would be better suited for someplace like the moonbase, where you could get some real distance across the map.

Hang on a second - that penguin sled puzzle is starting to ring for me. We could put some fish out for bait, and when they start eating, pick them up and use duct tape on them. Plus a frozen waterfall would look more interesting than a chasm, and still be a good point of no return.

As for the goo, I think finding a gas mask should be a priority since he's in a sewer. So having the goo there is a good way to make sure he has proper PPE before going any further.

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Post by pcj » Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:41 pm

Frozen waterfall of sewer waste? :D

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Post by olzen » Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:04 am

Well, we are trying to avoid toilet humour, but I guess that one wouldn't really hurt, considering the area and all.
WARNING: Will often post redundant anecdotes about the history of the "Vohaul Strikes Back"-project.

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Post by pcj » Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:08 am

Yeah, it's going to be hard to avoid toilet humor without completely eliminating the sewers.

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