Hello again, and welcome to this month’s edition of testgame.exe: Making the Adventure. Yaay, isn’t it great how I start every single article in the exact same way? Maybe someday I should try to be more creative or something.
In any case, there are a bunch of new things in this month’s update of testgame, which, by the way, is still not finished, despite how much you might wish it were, seeing as I’ve been working on this crazy game and writing about it here for over three years now.
This month we have new plot progression (huzzah!), some more animation, various new and altered interactions with objects, and the requisite background work. Yeah, it’s been a good month; look down to the list of new things to get more details.
One quasi-complaint: This is the first time I can remember wanting to do something specific with AGS that it doesn’t seem to have any functions for. For this month’s update, I thought it’d be interesting to have the background music fade out at a particular point as a certain new music track begins. The program lets me choose whether or not to have music tracks cross-fade into each other in the game in general, but there doesn’t seem to be a way for me to turn this on and off at will throughout the game. Oh well, it’s certainly something that can be done without; it just seemed like a cool idea.
Also, this is the first time I’ve come across what seems to be a flaw in AGS (I won’t say “bug” because that sounds a little too strong, and who knows, maybe it’s a limitation that I just didn’t know about until now). I was having major problems with some of the interactions with Lily and Thurston in the kitchen this month (oh yeah, there’s new stuff there now) because the character sprites were somehow not corresponding in the game to what they looked like on the screen—I would click “talk” on Lily, but nothing would happen unless I clicked significantly to her right, which is apparently where the game thought she was.
It turned out I was able to fix this by cropping the sprites so that there was no empty space in the edges of the image, and importing separate images for the characters facing left and right rather than using the program’s “flip” option on a single image. In retrospect, the necessary changes made at least some sense, but it’s just bizarre that in all this time I’ve never run into this problem before, and I sure spent a long time testing and re-testing the game trying to find out what was wrong and how I could get around it!
So in all, this month has been a month of learning and progress (and being out of the country half the time, so it’s just pure luck that I actually got as much done as I did).
Go ahead and check the game out! As always, feedback is highly appreciated.
(no extra programs needed to run this file)
Things to do/new features of note:
- Now Paul can’t walk away after the scene with Lily and Thurston in the kitchen (you’ve gotten there already, right?). I did this a little differently from the case where Paul’s confronted by Artie on the path to the castle, and I sure hope it makes sense.
- And while we’re on the subject of the kitchen scene, here are some new things to try right after the cutscene:
- Talk to Thurston.
- Talk to Lily.
- Use inventory items on Thurston.
- Ability to use the wet lump of clay on the oven in the kitchen.
- Now Paul can’t unlock his bedroom door unless he’s tried to open it and knows that it’s locked. I’ve also tweaked the interactions with the key a tiny bit (when it’s in the drawer), as well as when Paul does unlock the door with the key. I think this whole part flows much better now overall.
- New animation for Paul picking up things that are lying on the ground. (So far this only includes the blue stone and the poker chip, but it’s still cool that I actually did some animation this month, so go me.)
- Tweaked the Paul dying music—there was a little bit of excess space at the beginning of the track, and that’s gone now.
- Background work: castle front.
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/.