Greetings, faithful readers of GameCola. My nameâ€™s Lizo, and Iâ€™m making an adventure game.
Well, let me try that again. Iâ€™ve had a deep and abiding love for adventure games (you know, the Monkey Island sort) for as long as I can remember. There have been quite a few times when Iâ€™ve found myself thinking, “Hmmâ€¦ if I were to make an adventure game, I would do this, and Iâ€™d put this in itâ€¦” etc. So, when informed of the fact that there are actually programs out there (which you can download, for free) that let you create your own adventure games, I went happily on my way and got one of said programs, stowing it away somewhere in the dark recesses of my computer in the event that someday I might actually have enough time to make a game of my very own.
Then, I made the mistake actually using the program, “just to test it out.” And it took over my life.
That being said, I have been gradually building an adventure game over the past few weeks, originally as an experiment (hence the file name testgame), but now I just canâ€™t seem to put it away. More and more things to figure out keep popping up in my mind, and whenever I actually realize them and can see them on the screen and they work, I just get so excited that I have to keep going. Especially once I started lining up voice actors, and planning out an actual plot, it became clear that this project could last me for a while.
And what a project it is. Itâ€™s forcing me to do everything from drawing backgrounds to animating characters to writing dialogue and plotting a storyline, plus writing background music (hopefully something Iâ€™ll get to soon, when Iâ€™m not supposed to be writing things for class…), not to mention learning how to tell the computer what I want it to do, which requires me picking up some semblance of programming skills. And every step of the process makes me feel accomplished (even if it is crazily unfinished and downright simplistic compared to real adventure games, it still makes me super happy :) ).
Which brings me to the aim of this column. For anyone whoâ€™s interested in reading about such things, I will make monthly updates of the game in all of its unfinished glory, along with notes about its various improvements and notable parts. And this way, I wonâ€™t have to keep bugging everyone I know about it and trying to make them try it every time they seem vaguely interested ;).
And keep this is mind: I have no idea what Iâ€™m doing. This is all a new experience for me, and if I can do it, then anyone can.
So hereâ€™s the first installment of the aptly titled TestGame, starring GameColaâ€™s very own Paul Franzen (haha, added bonus for all you crazed Paul fans):
(no extra programs needed to run this file)
Things to do (i.e., Things Iâ€™m incredibly proud of):
- Walk around! Marvel at Paulâ€™s grace and super-broad shoulders.
- Listen to the voice acting. Itâ€™s quality stuff!
- Interact with the desk drawer in the first room (yes, I know this doesnâ€™t actually give you any items, Iâ€™ll get to that later).
- Interact with and note the beauty of the gray rock in third screen.
- Interact with (and talk to) the hole in the tree in the third screen.
- Donâ€™t pay attention to the horrendously unfinished state of all the backgroundsâ€¦ I frequently just throw something together so I can move on to other things.
- Various other things. See if you can figure out what else you can do so far ;) (hint: itâ€™s really not much)
Upcoming tasks for Lizo:
- Another character! Must learn how to do character interactions, dialogue, etc.
- Hmmâ€¦ doors would be nice.
- Inventory items. I know how to do this, I just need to get around to it.
- Plot. It exists, I promise!
Comments and suggestions are welcome! Feel free to let GameCola know what you think about this new feature and/or tell Lizo your opinion about the game so far.
All the graphics, design, and dialogue are by Lizo. Paul is voiced (appropriately) by Paul Franzen. Adventure Game Studio (the program used to create this game) can be downloaded at http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/.
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