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Thinking about Adventure Games

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I've recently gotten in to playing point-and-click games, which of coarse leads to wanting to make some. After some Google searches I found dozens of indi forums and tools. I've read a couple features saying things like point-and-click is dead and point-and-click is making a comeback. Games like Phoenix Wright,Hotel Dusk:Room 215 and Trace Memory for the DS have done Ok. And now there's Capcom's Treasure Island Z for Wii. After reading "A vision for adventure games on Nintendo Wii" I'm starting to way the pros and cons of developing my own point-and-click games. Link--> http://www.adventuregamers.com/article/id,666 LOL...As I was writing this I just realized Resident Evil, Silent Hill games are basically adventure games too, add shooting and minus the mouse control. What do you think, are point-and-click games worth developing now that there's a new platform for them? Some Pros: Easy to program Many dev tools available for low cost/free "Royalty Free!" Can be made with a small team Can be made quickly Some Cons: Niche market at the moment Is stereotyped style of game Hard to find a team, everyone wants to make a MMORPG or FPS Hard to find a Publisher, everyone wants to make a MMORPG or FPS

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While they may be easy to program, there's more than just programming. RPGs are technically very easy to program, but you can't really mass produce them either.

Yes, it's a small market. And part of what adds difficulty is creating puzzles and a story line for the Adventure game. Also, you might want to add in miny games to give more gameplay.

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Point & Click adventure games still have their market, (on the PC aswell), however you shouldn't expect to be able to make good ones quickly with a small team.
There is still huge amounts of art, voice recordings, music, etc to be made aswell as a solid story and good puzzles + a decent engine if you want something that looks and feels modern.

Ofcourse you could make something like the new Sam & Max episodes (these are basically a series of short adventures sold at a reasonably low price)
http://www.telltalegames.com/samandmax (i can't comment on the quality of those games as i havn't played them yet)

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Quote:
Original post by Art_Sempai
What do you think, are point-and-click games worth developing now that there's a new platform for them?

I'm not sure I'd just get into making graphical adventure games purely because they could be ported to the Wii; I'd still be aiming for the PC/Mac as the dominant market. You can still make graphical adventures without a pointer interface without too many changes to the core gameplay dynamic (such as Grim Fandango).

The main challenge in making a good graphical adventure is that it depends heavily on the quality of the writing and art; IMO much more so than the other staple of story based games, the RPG. The problem is that graphical adventures are as you point out a niche market. This would not necessarily be a problem (indies thrive on niches), but the famous graphical adventure games from their heyday put in a lot of resources into art, writing and voice acting that you generally cannot afford to do if aiming for niches. I think this problem can be avoided as long as you do not aim to directly emulate the later Lucasarts or Sierra adventure games directly but go for something more low budget.

I also would not say that graphical adventures can be made "quickly"; possibly compared to some other genres such as RPGs, but all that art work, writing and testing takes time. It depends how many people you have on your team, of course, but I would expect the work load to be significantly higher for a graphical adventure over the puzzle or some strategy games.

As a final point, I would not consider the fact that everyone wants to make a MMORPG or FPS as a negative. It's sad to have to say this but most of those projects I see float up in the forums appear doomed from the get go, whereas the few graphical adventure games I have seen in Help Wanted have appeared to have great potential. It is far better to get team members who are passionate about your niche game genre.

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SimonForsman: That's what I was thinking small, polished and episodic.
3d would be nice also having hi priced voice actors but indi's lack the funds.

Art like Phoenix Wright is ok at the moment...Hotel Dusk:Room 215 uses sketch styled characters.

Nytegard: I was just thinking the easier the programing means more time to focus on game story and play.

.....
Trapper Zoid: Posted as I was writing this...as far as art goes speaking as an comic/game artist I'm guesstimating based on my production output now.
I work fast, my page limit is about 22 a month full color point-and-click screens and backgrounds animations are easy work for me by comparison.

I've seen a few small teams and individuals do awesome things here so it is possible, it's just finding that special team that can.

...Darn it can't find the link right now but someone did make an AAA looking 3d room adventure in a month. Later they made a deluxe version to sell.

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Quote:
Original post by Art_Sempai
Trapper Zoid: Posted as I was writing this...as far as art goes speaking as an comic/game artist I'm guesstimating based on my production output now.
I work fast, my page limit is about 22 a month full color point-and-click screens and backgrounds animations are easy work for me by comparison.

If you're a skilled comic artist, then that's a different story [grin]. I'd think you'd have a great chance at making a good adventure game if you can provide the art. I think a comic style would suit the genre enormously. If you do the writing for your own comics or can get the writer you work with to help you then that would be the bulk of the work. Once you can show other people the quality of the art you can provide you should have no trouble getting dedicated programmers to help you.

Best of luck!

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I think we will see many adventure games on the Wii and on the DS, however, like others have said, there is also the PC market.

Its also worth mentioning that, in a limited sense, adventure games are alive and kicking on the consoles now. Take for instance "Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon" on the Xbox. Not only is it an example of an adventure game on a modern console, its also an example of a working control scheme thats not based on point-n-click. There are several others as well.

Also, as you pointed out, survival-horror games are essentially graphic adventures with shooting and a controller interface. They are really just the logical, modern extension of the adventure games of old.


As for ease of development, that really depends. There's no other genre that is so tipped towards design, writing and art. The programming (not scripting, mind you) is essentially write-once; fire-and-forget. Once you've written an engine its likely to serve you for several games with only minor updates. But designing interesting characters, stories, settings, puzzles and everything else is HARD.

A functional adventure game is easy, a good one is really something special.

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Yeah, Trapper Zoid. I would be doing the art and writing plus design. :( Arr.
I'm no Neil Gaiman but I can put a group of words together to form something that could be considered a coherent thought.

If I were to use Adventure Game Studio (AGS for short) I'd be programing too.

Oh..Another thought I had was to use DAZ 3d for characters in that type of game.
It's free and the models (lots of them) are cheap and can be customized.
Still 2d with the 3d look.;)

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If you're a 2D artist it makes way more sense to go with 2D art. o.O There have been many wonderful 2D adventure games, from classics like King's Quest to zany one-offs like Woodruff and the Schnibble to Japanese dating-sim adventures.

I love adventure games, I've been a fan of them forever and I always look around to see if any new ones come out. My advice to anyone making an adventure game would be:

1. Please not another horror one! Something funny or mysterious.

2. The worldbuilding is the most important part of an adventure game, and the second most important part is the premise which makes it reasonable to have one character who must solve lots of puzzles. So design those first. And adventure game fans are usually smart, so don't try to feed them stupid pseudoscience.

3. Don't put in shooting or anything which requires speed and dexterity. Hardcore adventure fans are those who like to sit and play with puzzles and thoroughly explore interesting rooms, not the ones who like adrenaline surges.

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