Now that I’m starting to get into designing an adventure game, it’s time to come up with some concepts! How about an adventure set at a rural gas station late at night when it’s raining?
Warning: As ever, spoilers about this 26 year old game abound.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is a 1992 action adventure game from Lucasarts, featuring everyone’s favourite adventuring academic. It adheres tightly to the Indy tropes: a mythical ancient power has the potential to give the Nazis the edge and a sceptical Indy and a credulous sidekick (Sophia) have to go on a quest to find it first (which inevitably involves a little bit of colonial grave-robbing—altogether now: where does it belong?).
It’s a surprisingly realistic portrayal of what an archeological expedition might look like. As with many real life digs, it involves a lot of foreign travel, punching, and the widespread destruction of ancient artefacts.
I part 1 I mentioned that using plain text as a game dialogue format is insane and should not be attempted.
What I didn’t mention was that I know this because I attempted it.
Erin ran the London Landmarks Half Marathon on Sunday in an impressive 1 hour and 56 minutes! I am so proud of her!
Here’s the sign I made so she could see us during the run (I can’t tell you how many times I did a two-finger tap on the page to try and undo a mistake—thanks Procreate! 😂).
In part 1 of this short series about adventure game dialogue, I used one of the first conversations in The Secret of Monkey Island as an example of the complexities involved in creating dynamic and believable dialogue in an adventure game.
In it, I mentioned that I might have accidentally become distracted by building my own dialogue editor. (If you’ve been following along with my journey into adventure games, you may be noticing a theme.)
Adventure games use a lot of dialogue. Characters are going to have to talk to one another and, unlike books or movies, game dialogue is non-linear and gets complicated quickly.
To see just how complicated it can get, I laid out the initial conversation between Guybrush Threepwood and Mancomb Seepgood in the Scumm Bar early on in The Secret of Monkey Island. This conversation is short enough to be manageable yet still has many of the advanced features of a complex interaction.
More talking character animation frames for my adventure game dialogue editor.
In building my prototypes, I came across Adventure Creator for Unity which bills itself as a “no code required” adventure game engine. It’s $70 and does everything one would want an adventure game engine to do.
If my goal is to get a game out quickly, this would be the best way of doing it. Now that I have some experience with Unity, all I would have to do is create the assets, design some rooms, and be on my way.
So why am I not doing this?