testgame.exe: Making the Adventure

Hey, look at that.  It seems another month has gone by—that must mean it's about time for another edition of testgame.exe: Making the Adventure!  There's a bunch of new interesting updates to the

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Hey, look at that.  It seems another month has gone by—that must mean it’s about time for another edition of testgame.exe: Making the Adventure!  There’s a bunch of new interesting updates to the game this month, and I’m quite excited about it!

But first off, before we get too far into things, a warning:  You may notice the fairly substantial list of new things at the bottom of the article.  Well, just…don’t get too used to it, OK?  Starting right now (by the time you read this, it’ll be true), I’m doing the student thing again, which I expect will leave me with much less time for testgame than I’ve had over the past couple of months.  Don’t worry, I’ll still do stuff, I promise!  But I just don’t want any of my devoted readers to be disappointed when the volume of output per month decreases.  On the other hand, who knows, maybe there won’t be too much of a change and I just shouldn’t have said anything!  In any case!  Let’s talk about testgame!

Huzzah!  We’re almost to Herkimer!  As of this month, Paul can officially get past Thurston in the kitchen—I mean, we can’t technically go on into the next room, but it is now possible to solve the puzzle that was set up last month.  Plus, there’s a brand new cutscene (with plot development!) once you get through the puzzle.  Keep in mind, as always, that this is very much a work in progress, so at the end of the cutscene, whereas at some point in the future the game will continue to do stuff, right now it just sorta stops, and you will break things if you try to keep clicking around on your own.  I’m just saying.

As of this month, I’ve also started working on an inventory window of my own creation (as opposed to the default one that came with AGS).  The good thing about this is that I can make it look however I want (and believe me, the way it looks now is far from final), and I have much more control over its behavior.  The less good thing is that I have to do more work.  But it’s a good tradeoff—I’m OK with it!


[If you don’t feel like reading about me debating with myself about a tiny issue, feel free to skip the next few paragraphs.]

I’ve added some new animation in this month’s update, including filling in Paul’s side of the transfer of Spasm from Paul to Artie in the cave.  When I was making this animation, however, I didn’t think to consider what to do with the empty soda can once Artie is finished with it….  Now, I know objects in these sorts of games never exactly follow physical laws (it’s the old “how does he fit that full-sized sled into his pocket, again?” problem), but I’m still really not sure how to handle this action.

Paul clearly hands over a full can of soda to Artie.  Artie drinks it.  Right now, the soda can just sort of disappears after he takes it away from his mouth.  Should Paul reach out and take the empty can back?  That doesn’t really make sense because then presumably I’d have to let Paul keep empty soda cans in his inventory.  Should one of them just toss the can to the floor?  If so, would the can then remain visible where it falls, eventually creating a pile of trash?  Any of these options could possibly cause a discrepancy with how Paul treats his own empty soda cans when he drinks the Spasm (he appears to return them to his pocket, but they do not make it back into the inventory).

So basically, I’m probably over-thinking this.  Maybe Paul can take the soda can back without having to have empty soda cans in his inventory, in the same way that the Spasm drinking action is already handled when Paul is drinking the soda himself.  But then again would Paul reaching out to take the empty can from Artie really make sense?  Would it be too conspicuous an action to not result in a new item?

Yeah, definitely too much thinking.  The easiest thing to do is to just leave it the way it is for now, and it’ll most likely stay that way indefinitely!

[OK, you can start reading again now.]

So anyway, give the game a try and let me know what you think!

TestGame v. 40


(no extra programs needed to run this file)

Things to do/new features of note:

  • Ability to look at Lily’s inventory in the kitchen when she offers it to Paul (i.e. new background), plus some new dialogue for Paul examining those items.
  • Three new items (see above).  Paul can also look at these items in his inventory.
  • Ability to use any of these three items on Lily (to exchange them for one of the other three items).
  • Ability to try to use the three new items on Thurston and/or Paul.  Two of these interactions also include some new animation.
  • Also, did I mention that you can actually solve this puzzle?  The solution involves one of Lily’s items, and the resulting cutscene has tons of new plot stuff and some new animation.
  • New animation for Paul handing the Spasm to Artie.
  • Ability to look at/interact with the fireplace in the kitchen.
  • More things to look at in the castle hallway.
  • A small extra bit of dialogue (monologue?) when Paul firsts enters the kitchen.
  • New “pointer” cursor and inventory window (a very, very rough version).  I’m slowly but surely replacing the default elements that came with AGS and are still in testgame.
  • Animation for Lily walking to the left and right.  (I just need to finish her walking-up animation and then she’ll be done….)
  • Background work: castle hallway, castle foyer, castle kitchen.

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/.

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About the Contributor

From 2005 to 2013

Elizabeth Medina-Gray (a.k.a. Lizo) is the creator of the game-in-progress tentatively titled "testgame" and the author of "testgame.exe: Making the Adventure." She thinks videogames are cool.

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