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The Keymaster

(2D) Adventure games and memory

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Hi, I''ve been wondering about this for a while... with your typical 2D adventure game (such as Monkey Island, Broken Sword, Runaway, etcetera), the world is ''split up'' into rooms, or locations, so to speak. Apart from the background images for each location, you have dozens of animations of people and things, sound effects, spoken dialogue, etc. Obviously, all this data cannot be loaded at startup, because with a modern game it''ll probably be 100''s of megs of data. I''d imagine it''d be a good idea to load all images etc. per location, but then you might get huge load times between each location, which is terribly annoying. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best way to handle this? How is it done in professional adventure games?

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I wouldn't worry too much about it until you have to. You might find that the loading times aren't that bad. In the end you could try some background loading schemes, like loading surrounding rooms in a separate thread while you're playing.

Also, there's a site called 2DNow which has a few regulars who are writing or have written 2D adventure games or engines. They'd probably be good to bounce some ideas off.


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[edited by - siaspete on March 18, 2003 8:56:37 AM]

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In Syberia and Syberia II we have areas divided into groups of scenes. Each scene automatically loads up the background, masks, special effects, etc...

All the animations, dialogues, etc. are loaded on the fly, when required. As for the animations, they are kept in memory as long as the current scene is active, in case that a character would require it more than once.

Our load times aren''t that bad I''d say, and if you use fading between scenes, you''ll be able to load even more data and the user won''t notice (actually, that''s what we do between areas)

Hope this helps


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