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Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

I know I never finish the projects I start (*ahem* Broquest *ahem*), but I’d like to blame it on all the other extracurricular activities I have going on. Regardless, last night I was reflecting on a horror movie I recently watched, and it got me thinking about making a short horror/thriller game. I must admit, I’ve never really enjoyed these games. Never got into Silent Hill, didn’t enjoy Resident Evil until the forth installment (but didn’t finish it), and never gave those Condemned games a chance (doubt I missed much). Despite not playing them, I think making something like this could be fun.

I think I want to go about it a little differently though. I want to make a game that doesn’t set out to scare you. No monsters will ever be shown, no outright shocking images. No sudden bursts of sound to make you jump, I’ve always thought that was a cheap shot for the horror genre. Instead I want to present a little mystery, and let the player explore. Hopefully letting the player’s imagination build the suspense. I’m leaning towards a first person view in order to get a more confined feel, which also has the benefit of eliminating an player animations. I don’t want you to make a character explore the world, I want YOU to explore the world. There will be little dialogue, if any, and it will all be written on screen. I want the player to hear it with the voice in their head. The only sounds will be footsteps, and doors opening and closing, with the ambient occasional music.

I don’t really have any story ideas yet, but I want it to be subtle. I plan on a small environment (maybe a house) so that small changes can be made and it won’t take long for them to be discovered (such as a previously closed door being open). I think that in a small environment, where very little is happening, small changes can have a huge impact on the player’s imagination.

I’ll probably use AGS for this, as I don’t really know any other programs I am as capable with. I’m just worried about how the first person perspective will work… I don’t want this to behave like Myst.

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Much progress has been made on the adventure game. I feel I am now ready to reveal a few details:

The game tells the story of a new college student who is still young and impressionable. His father, his father’s father, and every generation before have been members of the university’s most prestigious fraternity, and now it is his goal to uphold the family standards and become an honorary member as well. As your journey begins, you soon discover that everything is not as it seems within this prestigious organization, thus begins a tale of mystery, deception, and supernatural encounters. Prepare yourself for…

Broquest: Act I – So You Want to Be a Bro

This game is the first part in a series of at least 3 parts. The plan is for each part to grow more complex (as far as scripting goes), as this is still a learning experience. The entire game will take place within the fraternity house and is made up of 7-8 rooms. Since there are not many locations, I’m working to make each room lush with detail, and really give the house a lot of character. So far, the basic layout is complete, and the rooms just need some polish. After completing the rooms, work will begin on animation and scripting. The artwork is the time consuming process, and since we already have the storyline fleshed out, things should move pretty quickly once the animation is complete. Currently, our completion deadline is still set for Jan. 4th, 2009. I have a feeling we’ll have a playable game by that date, but not a finished product.

Here is the main character of Broquest: Act I

 bro1

More updates to come.

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Upon further review, perhaps my deadline of completing the adventure game in 3 weeks was a bit optimistic.  I’m making steady progress in learning AGS, and am growing more comfortable with the interface and scripting, however, the artwork is quite time consuming. I’m determined to finish this project though, the world does not need another Duke Nukem Forever.

On a side note: AGS is awesome. It gives you all the tools to make what you want, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming to a newcomer like myself. In the process of learning the scripting commands, I’ve put together a random little game to test things out. Perhaps I’ll post it, I think it’s a good window into the learning process.

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With finals coming to a close I’ve found a few seconds to update this thing. With a few weeks break between semesters, a new project of sorts is looming on the horizon. Upon completing Fallout 3, I went back to my roots by hitting up a couple abandonware websites. It was a toss up between retrying Blade Runner (which I played endlessly when originally released, but could not finish for the life of me) and the cyberpunk adventure, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. Obviously, any title like “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” wins hands down.

The way the game was designed makes it pretty easy to get into. You’re given the choice to play as five (or six, can’t remember) characters at the beginning, which basically breaks the game up into 5 shorter adventure games. For some reason this seems friendlier to the casual gamer than the normal one character format, even though I’m sure it will take me just as long to complete as any other adventure title. The game is enjoyable so far. Good writing, good animation, good atmosphere. However, I’m just not hooked. Everytime I sit and play, I just keep thinking how much I would like to sit down and make an adventure game of my own. Not that I could do better, but more as a creative exercise.

The idea seemed like a daunting task at first, but after a quick download of Adventure Game Studio and a little tinkering, it appears that it won’t be as difficult as I originally thought. I emailed a creative friend for a couple of his random-assed short stories as a basis for a game, and feel like I’m ready to begin.

So, the goal is as follows: At the end of my 3 week break from classes, I will have a finished (or at least completely playable) adventure game. I will post updates on the progress, wish me luck.

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