Posts Tagged ‘text adventure’

The Monster Inside – Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @tylerowen)
Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 10:11 am

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Click here to visit the Ludum Dare entry page

This is the most fun I’ve had working on a game jam entry in a very long time. And the key to that was the scope of the project. This was my 6th game jam I’ve done, and I feel like I’m finally starting to understand what kinds of games can be accomplished in a short weekend. With The Monster Inside, we kept it simple and small, and the result is one of my favorite games I’ve ever created.

park

 

In my full time project, Lacuna Passage, I’ve been doing a lot of programming work that hasn’t felt very creative. For Ludum Dare 33 I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to take a short break from that and build something almost purely narrative with a distinct, simple art style. After the reveal of the theme “You Are The Monster” I started brainstorming ways to limit the scope of the project that would allow me to focus primarily on the story writing.

The first aspect of this was to use very simple art. I decided that I did want the game to be 3D, but I didn’t want to have to spend time animating characters, doing physics collisions, navigating obstacles, or managing an inventory or items. That quickly led me to consider doing an interactive visual novel. We could use simple static 3D renders in the background and just have text and dialogue in the foreground.

I was inspired by the memory of simple chapter art that would sometimes accompany young adult novels like Harry Potter. In the example below you see a small black and white image that appears at the beginning of a chapter and gives you a small taste of what you will encounter in the following text.

official-dh-chapter-art-harry-potter-26-the-deathly-hallows-200206_400_5011

 

I always loved these images as a child and I’ve always wondered why more adult novels don’t incorporate establishing art in a similar way. Some fantasy books include illustrated maps in the back cover, but why not full illustrations to really put you in the world?

Well, with our game we could do whatever we wanted. So I took the idea of simple “chapter” art and combined it with an isometric style that I am fond of. A reference image we used can be seen below.

low_poly_scene___first_day_at_monsters_university_by_kautsar211086-d6afvz4

 

Artist on DeviantArt

But we needed to go even simpler for our scope. With a film noir style we could go pure grayscale and avoid the complication of color. The result fit our needs perfectly.

docks

 

Our artist, Doug Auerbach, did an amazing job with this style. It gave me exactly the context I was looking for with the narrative, but without being overly complicated and time consuming.

After working more on the script I realized that visual novels have some interesting advantages over writing a book or traditional short story.

For example, I could control the pacing of the story completely. The player has an interactive button to progress the text, but I could fully control when that next line of text was revealed after a delay. I could make the player hang waiting for the next suspenseful line to appear. It also prevented the player from reading or glancing ahead to spoil the timing of a reveal. Obviously I’m not the first to discover this, but it was something I found very powerful while writing the script.

We were also able to leverage the benefit of sound and music. Clark Aboud, my long time partner for all things musical, did an incredible job on the soundtrack with a unique theme for almost every chapter. This really helped bring the static scenes to life and engross the player in the mood of the story.

As for the story, I was mostly inspired by having recently finished the first book of The Dark Tower series. SPOILERS for both The Dark Tower and The Monster Inside… there is a Succubus in that first book that stuck with me and largely led to the plot you see now in The Monster Inside.

I wanted to include some limited dialogue trees in the game that would make the player feel more like they were role playing the character of Jack, but I knew that I probably couldn’t make them extremely branched or it would make our scope too large. So I stuck with very few dialogue trees that had very short branches. It was a small touch that helped you feel more a part of the story rather than an outside observer.

I managed writing these dialogue trees with a program called Chat Mapper. I highly recommend it. I didn’t actually have time to create an xml parser that used the exports from Chat Mapper, but it was still very useful to keep the dialogue trees organized while writing. I ended up just copy-pasting the story text from Chat Mapper into .txt files with my own parsing logic. It was lightweight and simple for our purposes, but it did have a high probability for error (thankfully I don’t think there are any).

The only real point of “gameplay” that I included was a simplified investigation mechanic where you are able to search crime scenes for clues, but it is very minimalist and again only really serves to put you more in the role of Jack by clicking on scene objects rather than just the NEXT button over and over.

The only thing that I did not have time for was to incorporate some simple motion elements into the art. I wanted to have a rain particle effect overlaid on the dock scene, and I wanted steam coming from the sewer grate in the alley scene, but we simply ran out of time. Thankfully these were just set dressing ideas and didn’t affect the overall game. We are extremely proud of the end result and hope you enjoy playing it!

 

Update about gist-txt: a text adventure engine

Posted by (twitter: @johnnyaboh)
Monday, March 16th, 2015 9:19 pm

Twelve days ago I posted about gist-txt: a tool I created to build text adventures.
Since then it grew with simple, but powerful, new features.

I’d like to cite some that could be really helpful to create non trivial adventure games:

The tool is still underdevelopment, but I think it’s almost ready and it would be great if you would like to use it to develop a game for the next Mini LD #58. I’m definitely going to use it to build a text adventure for the AdventureJam!

If you’re interested about gist-txt you can watch the repo at https://github.com/potomak/gist-txt, I’ll also post periodic updates about its development at /r/gamedev.

A minimal tool to create text adventures

Posted by (twitter: @johnnyaboh)
Thursday, March 5th, 2015 11:55 am

Yesterday I published the very first version of a minimal tool to create and publish text adventures.
It’s called gist-txt and you can find the source code at https://github.com/potomak/gist-txt.

The inspiration for this project came from two pieces of software:

  1. Twine (http://twinery.org/), an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories
  2. bl.ocks.org (http://bl.ocks.org/), a simple viewer for code examples hosted on GitHub Gist

Tool’s features are very limited. What it does is basically reading GitHub public gists and handle links to browse between files of the gist (scenes in gist-txt’s vocabulary). The cool part is that you can create your text adventure simply by creating a new gist. This lets you easily share and track updates of your work (gists are git repositories). Another cool part of this tool is that the hosting is as simple as a specially crafted url: just share an URL in the form http://potomak.github.io/gist-txt/#<your-gist-id> to let people play your game.

I made simple example gist at https://gist.github.com/potomak/acebd8fe14942fab4e8e, this can be shared as a text adventure with the link http://potomak.github.io/gist-txt/#acebd8fe14942fab4e8e.

I’m going to use it to prototype text adventures, but I’d like to know what do you think about it and I’m looking forward to see what people could achieve with this minimal set of features.

Update 03/16/2015: I posted about tool’s updates and new features as of version 1.6.0.

Click-Text-Adventure for Ludum Dare

Posted by
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 12:52 pm

A Text-Adventure at Ludum Dare. That might be rare. But anyways we did it. If would like to play a text adventure go this way.

 

>Play the Game<

Bildschirmfoto vom 2014-08-27 20:54:13

Bildschirmfoto vom 2014-08-27 20:52:45

At this game you have a conversation with a player character and you can make him do something  for you. It comes with hopefully funny dialogues and some hidden gimmicks.

 

This game connects 6 different games created at the same location. At certain points you should play one of these games to go on. Anyways, if you dont like to play them there are spoilers that gives you the passwords to go on.

 

Have fun

 

A Breath of Fresh Air

Posted by (twitter: @http://twitter.com/#!/TKia_)
Sunday, August 24th, 2014 3:29 am

Well, after a wild, wild ordeal, it looks like I’ve finally finished my game. Essentially.

And, by essentially, I mean, I would be OK with submitting it as it is, but I would definitely like to add more. For example, having images would be nice.

My game, which I’ve made with Ren’Py, is a short, story-driven visual novel, with only one choice in it. So, really, calling it a “game” per se might be considered just the slightest bit of a stretch by some people, but, uh…

I’m going to ignore those people.

Right now, though, the VN is all just completely text. I haven’t had the time to begin on any art yet. So, forget the whether-or-not-it’s-a-game debate, because we need to clear the floor for whether-or-not-it’s-even-a-visual-novel debate. Spoilers, it probably isn’t. Maybe I should just call it a text-based game or a text adventure or something, if I can’t free up any time tomorrow to do some art before submitting.

 

Ah, well, I digress. This is my very second Dare, and I’ve had just amazing amounts of fun working on this little project as I watched thousands of other creative people across the globe work on theirs. May the best games win!

SCUMBAG

Posted by (twitter: @avaskoog)
Monday, December 16th, 2013 7:46 pm

Not you! However, you will step into the shoes of one. For this was a scumbag, right?

0

You’ve screwed up. You’ve offended and hurt people. You’ve lost your loved ones. You’ve only got one chance to redeem yourself. Maybe. Perhaps not a good chance. Perhaps not a worthy chance. Who can tell? Figure it out. Play SCUMBAG.

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-28/?action=preview&uid=6155

This is a depressive visual novel and text adventure sort of crossover. Just click around. Talk to people. It’s all conversations, this game. An easy game with a difficult objective. Play it a few times to figure as much out of the background story as you can. It only takes a minute or two or three each time, probably.

1

Me, Ava, of Royal Railway, made this with my friend Mehdi over the course of the last three days as a jam entry. I did sleep a lot, too. I had to rush the end of it. Oh, well.

2

Game Development; A Four Month Retrospective

Posted by (twitter: @powderblock)
Monday, December 16th, 2013 11:39 am

So, I have been learning C++ for some four to five months now. Last Ludum Dare, I used C++ to make a text adventure game. That was the first ‘official Ludum Dare’ game I made with C++, and I was pretty happy with it. This game had no graphics or sound, and that’s because I didn’t know how to program those at the time. This LD, I made a game with graphics and sound, personally, I think it’s pretty cool I was able to learn these skills in just four months.

Or, as I put it in a post on the second of October; “I am still learning more and more about C++ and OpenGL, so maybe next LD I will have sound and graphics. Who knows.” I am proud that I was able to make something playable in OpenGL and SDL in the span of just 48 hours that also had sounds and graphics. Thank you, everyone.

difference_menus
My progress over just four months, represented by menus.

I will still be doing a post-mortem after the voting ends, I just thought I could share this cool experience with you guys.

FINS or The Metaphorical Shark Game

Posted by (twitter: @CScribes)
Friday, November 1st, 2013 8:42 pm

shark

So we’re doing it! I’ve finished the outline and started a sprite for this thing. As always, because my mind loves to over complicate everything, this game will feature real sharks and metaphorical ones legasp! Will be using Ren’Py and yup. Now to sleep and get back up to write-edit-draw-cry-collect-program not in that order of course ^^

Title: FINS

Synopsis: It’s 2046 in an average coastal town, and Anna-Marie thought she’d be spending her break partying it up in warmer waters. But, instead, she finds herself in a den full of cold-blooded lunatics. Because of one, minor, slip up involving letting her best friend alter a grade, resulting in her owing him big time for it… Anna-Marie has to dig up some dirt on the local big bad business in town if she doesn’t want her professor blowing a gasket. The only problem is that snooping around in a major corporations graveyard is never a good idea, and when she stumbles upon some very big and very, very illegal information, Anna needs to think fast unless she wants to end up sleeping with the fishes!

Characters:
Annamarie 1.0
Anna-Marie Gutierrez: A young freshman in college overwhelmed, under-employed and suffering from a severe case of apathy. Due to an ‘incident’ involving her best friend fudging a grade for her, she has to uncover dirt on Tributary Inc. and finds herself way over her head.
Logan Cho: The resident all-around activist and genius in the making, he’s passionate about uncovering all the dirty deets on Tributary Inc. and publishing them up anywhere and everywhere he can.
Experiment F-2V or Fien: A highly, highly illegal Splice Anna-Marie encounters while uncovering the Inc.’s secrets. Splice being a slang term for humans genetically crossed with another species. In his case, you guessed it, a shark.
Big White: A local loan shark and small town gangster, that is working in step with Tributary Inc. to cover up what they don’t want to be known to the public. Is harassing the Gutierrez family over past due loan payments.
Tributary Inc.: A shadowy, international organization that participates in some highly unconventional activity behind the mask of a family-friendly corporation.

The HAV Totally Innocent II

Posted by
Sunday, August 25th, 2013 4:59 pm

I’ve finally finished.

I had to cut some big chunks out of the story I was working on at the end because it reached 10PM and I decided I couldn’t keep going long enough to finish the story.

I hope the game makes sense as big bits of it were written in a hurry while I was trying to avoid dozing off! I’ve listened to a huge quantity of Two Steps from Hell in the process of writing my game!

Just gonna post it before I sleep…

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&uid=3221

Mr Black Has Something to Say

Posted by
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 11:55 am

Things went quite slowly today, but once I got the extension to my engine for playing with a browser running everything sped up.

I now have an intro, the begginning of a story, my main character and a style sheet and my code has reached 1391 lines including the base code in the engine.

As it’s a text adventure I see no point in posting a usual screenshot so I’ll post the intro.

The HAV Totally Innocent II held position 200 feet due south of a well armed British Navy frigate.
Owner of the Totally Innocent, Captain Insidious Black, struck a confident pose on the foredeck.
“Men of the British Navy, I have bested nine of your ships in combat. In a race with only one winner, to come second is to come last. In this tenth sortie you will again come second!
I fight for the freedom of those repressed by you colonial zeal, and for glory! Will you justly surrender?”
Actually, it’s the gold that’s most important, but I’m not telling you that!

While the Innocent carried two large artillery guns, an unusual choice for such a small vessel, it’s supply of ammunition was nearly spent.
Only the small pivoting gun on the foredeck could be fired.

Captain Black’s confidence wasn’t unjustified though. His many pockets held his major advantage over the navy. Mostly in tin cans.

[try the inventory command]

You Are Likely to be Eaten by a Grue

Posted by
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 1:47 pm

I’m in and plan to write a text adventure.

My main aim will be to write an amusing, quirky story. I haven’t succesfully written a game with  much of a story before, so this will be interesting.

My tools:

  • Mousepad (editor)
  • Go (compiler)
  • Mercurial (version control)
  • MtPaint, GIMP (bitmap editors)
  • Sun Vox (synthesizer)

I have two libraries I’ve written, feel free to use them:

IFL is missing quite a few things, but is already 987 lines of code. The design should allow me to easily add support for multiplayer and a web interface. I’m developing on Linux so I’ll have to check whether it works on Windows. I know I need to fix support for CR/LF newlines.

Good luck people!

Poll: Text Adventures

Posted by
Friday, August 23rd, 2013 4:28 am

We’re almost at the dawn of another Ludum Dare! As a result I have question:

Does anyone like text adventures?

 

Example

Text Adventures?

Because I do, and I’m planning to write one for LD27.

I want to know if:

  1. you’ll be prepared to play it
  2. you think it is possible to write an interesting text adventure (in two days)
  3. you think text adventures are still a viable genre

 

Answers in the comments please!

 

Text Adventure

Posted by
Friday, April 20th, 2012 10:27 pm

Since more people play web games, I should make a web game. But I have very little experience in web games, so it’ll be text adventure game…

I’m in!

Posted by
Friday, April 20th, 2012 8:51 pm

A bit late with the intent to enter, I know. It seems like an interesting theme though. I’m going to be doing this using Quest, I think. And I will likely be working with a friend of mine on this, so I guess we’ll be submitting under the jam rules.

tried to make an island text adventure

Posted by
Saturday, April 24th, 2010 8:30 pm

and failed miserably. Just wanted to take a break from Unity and all that fancy 3d. But, it was fun to mess around TADS3 for a bit. There’s a few things you can do in the game, but nothing too interesting. Will probably come back to TADS3 one day and make a proper text adventure. Now to finish my real entry.

windows build + tads3 source code

Hello

Posted by
Sunday, April 19th, 2009 7:01 pm

Hello

Hello! For windows and linux, plus source of course. I scrapped my original game and made this instead.

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