Saturday, April 8, 2017

Adventure Game Design 2

The adventure game I'm writing has puzzles. Since I'm basing it off casual adventure games, I tried to have puzzles in the vein of casual adventure games. You know, puzzles like "use watering can on a flower", "pop a balloon for an item" or "bribe a squirrel with walnuts". I've seen many games where you have to feed a cute animal or cook food to progress; those are pretty standard.

But then there are weird puzzles, like "put a smiley face sticker on the can of soda, so you can use it", even though it's 100% possible to use the soda the way it is. I wanted to include some of those, too. So I threw in some oddly specific puzzles, as a genre parody. And I also made puzzles out of whatever random items popped into my head, like a baseball.

In addition to inventory item puzzles, casual adventure games also have more traditional puzzles, like "jigsaw puzzle", "matching puzzle" and "sorting puzzle". Sticking with the genre, I decided to add a puzzle like that, after every fourth inventory item puzzle. My friend Paul, who made "The Beard in the Mirror", came back to me and said, "Michael, puzzles are hard to program. Can we get rid of these?"

So we went back and forth on the puzzles, figuring out which ones can be programmed, which ones are interesting and which ones are relevant. We got rid of the ones that are hard to program, that aren't relevant and that aren't interesting. Hopefully, this means we have a better end product!

I should note, we haven't done any work on the game yet, outside of finishing the script and outline. We're busy with our other games, like "The Pizza Delivery Boy Who Saved the World" and "Francy Droo 2". Please vote for them on Steam Greenlight!

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