Useful Adventure Game Resources: Puzzle Documents

Since I started my series about handling movement, I’ve learned a lot more about Entity Component Systems and I’m changing the way my engine is structured to reflect this.

While this sounds like a Typical Simon Rabbit Hole, it has fundamentally changed how I approach game engine development and I have made some huge strides with very minimal effort. Thanks to the advantages of ECS, some features that I thought would have to wait for many versions down the line have become trivially easy to implement.

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Handling Movement Part 2: Scaling and Z-Positions

In part one, I set up a Movement Component that moved sprites around a space without any regard for the type of scene that they inhabit.

However, many adventure game scenes have some sort of perspective where it’s possible for players to move around an object.

Imagine a game where, say, a character in a trench coat is visiting a square in Lecce, Italy. For some reason, there’s a crate in the middle of it:

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Handling Movement Part 1: Getting from A to B

In my initial prototype I used SKActions exclusively to handle movement. It’s a fire and forget solution—I create an action with a destination point and a duration and run that action on a sprite. SpriteKit will move that sprite to the given point over the given time without me having to think about it again.

It’s great for many situations. However, there are a few limitations:

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AdventureKit: Development Mode

Since my last update, we have settled in Lecce, Italy for four weeks and I am back in the saddle and racing that horse as hard as I can towards the bright and glorious sunset that is AdventureKit 1.0.

Tortured metaphors aside, I have made some significant progress in the last two weeks. All of the Development tasks in my roadmap are just about complete which means I can now edit scenes directly on the iPad and have the changes appear in running scenes!

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Simon the Sorcerer

This post was originally written before the 25th Anniversary Edition was released in April 2018

Simon the Sorcerer is a 1993 adventure game by Adventure Soft. You play Simon, a teenager who chases his dog through a portal and into a world is under threat from Sordid. It’s up to the rather sarcastic Simon to become a certified wizard, rescue Calypso, and save the day in a game that gleefully subverts and gently mocks many fantasy tropes.

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Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

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.

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Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge

I was ten years old when I first played Monkey Island 1 and it blew my mind. Granted, it does not take much to impress someone at that age: pirates, sharp writing, and a well-realised world is plenty.

A more mature and cynical eleven year old, on the other hand, is much harder to excite. It was therefore somewhat surprising to me at the time to have the belief I had experienced everything the world had to offer roundly shattered by the 1991 sequel, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge.

Warning: spoilers

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Space Quest IV

Space Quest IV is a graphic adventure by Sierra On-Line, first released in 1991, and is the fourth in a series of six Space Quest games.

This is my second Sierra adventure (the first being Quest for Glory IV, which I haven’t written about yet because I only realised after finishing it that it was published in 1993 and not 1989 like I first though) and I found this one to be more accessible and the puzzles to be a more straightforward. Unfortunately, it suffered from the same narrative problems as Quest for Glory.

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