The Adventure Game

Blimey… has it been that long? This year I decided to have a go at making an old-school adventure game, but had no idea where to start.

It also didn’t help that I’d never coded anything before.

So I figured I’d attempt a prototype before making something that actually resembles a real life game. The good news is this tiny piece of nonsense grew from a learning device to something with a beginning, middle and a few secret endings.

Let me tell you a little about what I’ve been up to for the past 4 months.

Adventure Game The Office

Ooowffff Nice. Microwave

The good news is that after minimal research I found the excellent Adventure Game Studio which got me up and running far quicker than I would have thought. I gave myself 6 months to a year to have a character walking around a room fiddling and poking objects. Within a month I’d achieved this goal. Badly, of course, walk animations deserve your upmost respect. It’s a logical and excellent engine for those that need to spit out an idea with extreme ignorance lurking on your shoulder. I’d decided to base this little prototype on my working day, or more accurately, get sacked for taking the piss out of everyone in the office I work in.

Another month later all the pieces were in place and I’d even worked out how to get my character to change rooms… which was pretty simple as the code says “ChangeRoom”… Whoop! So now that the scene’s set I took a moment to consider what’s the point of all this? What’s the one thing myself and every office worker want to do? 


Adventure Game The Office

Making a menu screen was kinda fun! I also had to research what buttons a menu screen’s supposed to have, even after a lifetime of playing games. Duh. Fun fact – If you click on “Not that one” you are rewarded with a honk.

With a solid goal in mind I went about what tasks you would need to do to permit such a fancy exit. Naturally this involves a microwave puzzle, a mystic and the ability to push everything. Well, within reason. Some people should not be pushed.

Each puzzle or stupid thought required a slow methodical approach. When pissing about in your favoured games do you every stop to consider the work that goes into something an muh as a microwave? It needs a lot of damn work! You have 3 separate states… opened, closed and when it’s turned on. Each state requires logical thought and how things interact with them. What happens when you put an object in the microwave… how do you code that nonsense? You’ll be surprised at the conflicts that come into play when you start using objects all over the place. Accounting for what a player might do leads to many a game breaking bug. We haven’t even considered that beautiful microwave sound. It’s worth it though. If any of you ever endeavour to create something similar I’m sure you’d be surprised how caught up in the process you get. Losing perspective is extremely easy to do and it’s easy to overwork and over-complicate a simple premise. It’s even easier to not consider all the angles. In short, it is easy to cock up.

Speaking of the microwave there really was a real life office incident where a civil war broke out about what could and could not be cooked due to the smell… oh yes, the great microwave incident of 0-9. The in-game microwave list is based on the real thing, unfortunately the real life picture I took was too small on screen so I wrote all over it. In fact, a fair few secret truths made their way in the game; such as Helen’s flute playing where she genuinely tricked members of the office into believing she really did play the flute to quite a high standard.

Adventure Game The Office

One must never push Nav. Unless it is for a joke. Or you feel like it.

The final couple of months had me preoccupied with polish, secrets and fun little songs. Guys, if you can… make a game just so you can make Sound FX. No-one will ever tell you this but it’s a great way to spend your night!

So the final thought is… what do I do with this thing now? It’s pretty much complete. I guess I could chuck in a couple of more songs, maybe twiddle a few lines of dialogue, but i’m now the proud owner of a 15 minutes joke with minimal appeal.

Guess I’ll sell it on Steam for a quid.

Now I’m guessing that’s a whole new miserable thing to figure out.