Hello everyone, and welcome back to another fun-filled look at the progress of everyone’s (i.e. my) favorite yet-to-be-even-close-to-finished-point-and-click adventure game, in this month’s edition of testgame.exe: Making the Adventure!
I actually did quite a lot of work this month; just take a look at that nice long list of new things to check out. And these things include plot! (Woah, no way.) We’re now getting reeealllly really close to the end of the second part of the game. (Yeah, I’ve been saying that for a while, but I’m just gonna keep saying it until it stops being true!)
Also, a newsflash: I am not, in fact, a composer. Apparently the best way for me to compose is to randomly write down whatever comes into my head, and then try to figure out where in the game it might fit. I should remember this the next time I spend five hours trying to write something specific. Yaaaay. 🙂
Here’s something else that’s new this month that I’ve been thinking about for a little while: Now Paul is unable to give the slingshot to Hans without first making the deal with him (surely you know what this deal is by now, but I won’t say it just in case). Although the “getting the slingshot” puzzle is rather long and involved, and I can’t really imagine playing through all that without at some point talking to Hans and figuring out his side of things, it still bothered me that it was possible to get the slingshot and give it back to Hans without once talking to the boy. In general, I am trying to avoid things like that, because it bugs me when it’s possible to do such nonsensical things in adventure games.
I am a firm believer that Paul, the character, should not be doing things in the game unless he can see the reasons behind them. Even if you, the player, have already played the game before, or happened to have looked at an FAQ and therefore know what’s going to happen, I don’t think the game should allow you to skip important steps that keep Paul in the loop. You and Paul should be of one mind! If you’re ahead of him for any reason, you have to make sure to catch him up, or else the flow of the game just falls apart.
So, if you, the reader, are ever playing testgame and you find something that Paul can do that doesn’t make sense from Paul’s point of view, just let me know. I already know of a few little things I still need to go back at fix at some point (like Paul being able to unlock his bedroom door without having any reason to think that it’s locked), but that’ll come eventually. The only downside to this that I can see is that it takes much longer to “quickly” play through the game (like I have to do when I’m making a save file from the second part for all you eager players every month), and I can see where it might get a little tedious if you’ve already played the game and still need to go through all the little steps for Paul’s sake. But it’s important!
Besides, I reeeally want to avoid people being able to accidentally do something that doesn’t make any sense and have it work, thus skipping over bits of story/dialogue/whatever that might have made them do that action on purpose later on.
Oh sigh. Enough long-windedness. Where was I? Ah, yes.
Play the game!
(no extra programs needed to run this file)
Things to do/new features of note:
- Lily now leads Paul to the secret entrance to Herkimer’s lair at the appropriate time. Of course, the entrance doesn’t actually exist yet, but they still go there! And I don’t thinkit’s possible to break the game while they’re walking there….
- Also! When Lily takes Paul to this secret entrance, a brand new cutscene ensues! At this point in development, it ends a little prematurely, but it’s getting there. (Do I sense another mini-puzzle in the works?)
- Ability to talk to Hans when he’s behind the market stall.
- New interactions when Paul uses the slingshot on Hans without having first made the deal with him. Things are slightly different depending on whether Paul has already talked to Hans or not.
- New reinforcement dialogue option for the guard captain after Paul has given him the hand but he still needs something. Also, the same sort of thing with the calligrapher now exists.
- Ability to use look/hand/talk icons on Paul himself. This is required in every adventure game—why in the world did it take me this long to do it?
- New graphic for the guard captain when he’s standing on stage with Amazing Anthony and is wearing his new hand.
- New graphic for Hans when he’s standing. He looked a little too much like a short man before, but I think he looks a bit more like a child/teenager now.
- New music after Paul’s death scene(s).
- Fixed a minor bit of irksomeness (is that a phrase?) when Paul dies after drinking too much Spasm: Now if you choose to try again after the death, Paul still has the same amount of Spasm as he did before he drank it (previously, the number would go down by one). This makes more sense to me.
- Background work: castle kitchen, forest outside Paul’s door.
All the graphics and design are by Lizo. The story and dialogue were written by Lizo, with significant input by Paul. The background music is by Lizo. “Let’s Go Skateboard” is written and performed by The Word Problems. Adventure Game Studio (the program used to create this game) can be downloaded at http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/.