testgame.exe: Making the Adventure

Oooohhh, pretty. What? Oh. Sorry about that! I just got completely distracted by GameCola's awesome new prettiness.... Am I supposed to be writing about something? Oh, yeah! testgame! Hello everyone,

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Oooohhh, pretty.

What? Oh. Sorry about that! I just got completely distracted by GameCola’s awesome new prettiness….

Am I supposed to be writing about something?

Oh, yeah! testgame!

Hello everyone, and welcome back to a brand new edition of “testgame.exe: Making the Adventure!” It’s been a while, I know, but everyone’s favorite amateur-point-and-click-adventure-game-in-development (that’s testgame) has been far from idle during GameCola’s hibernation! Well, it has been a little idle. OK, a lot idle. But it’s not my fault. (I mean, yes, of course it’s my fault, but I choose not to blame me. I am blameless!)

Anyway! At some level of activity between completely idle and extremely productive, the result is that we now have a pretty darn sizeable update for testgame. At least, it’s way bigger than a normal monthly update, if not quite as big as one might expect for six months of downtime…. Nobody’s perfect!

“OK, enough with the defensive attitude,” I hear you say, “Where’s my testgame?”

Well, here it is! I now offer to you fully one half of what will someday be a completed testgame.

…You don’t believe me?

This is not a joke. Minus some (i.e., mucho) graphics and animation, we are now officially halfway through testgame! (So that’s, what, five years down, five more to go? Something like that.)

In addition to new plot and puzzles to get us to the second half of the game, this update includes some more animation and background work, and fixes for a bunch of random glitches. Check out the super long bulleted list at the end of the article!

We’ve also got some behind-the-scenes changes taking place currently that I should probably talk about, because they are important. Starting with this month’s update, I’ve been getting a lot of help from real-life Paul, and he’s going to be helping me a lot more in the months to come, as well. He’s been editing all of the dialogue in the game, fixing grammar, writing new lines, and generally making everything better. He’s also starting to do some more planning for the next section of the game, writing dialogue and figuring out puzzles, etc., and filling in the general outline of events that I already have, all subject to my approval.

Paul’s been an asset to testgame from the beginning (has anyone ever wondered why the main character in the game is named Paul?), and since he’s interested in getting some game design practice, and I currently have waaay less time than I would like to work on the game, this turns out to be a pretty good plan. So don’t worry, I’m still here and in charge, but now Paul gets major credit. I guess this means I need to start remembering to say “we” more often. Also, now that Paul’s working on dialogue-related stuff, I think for this next month I’m going to be focusing on filling in some missing animation….

Oh yeah, I’m going to be shooting for monthly updates, just like I used to do with the old GameCola, or at least that’s the plan. So keep an eye out in a month or so for the next update.

And right now, check out testgame! Yay!

testgame

testgame.exe v.49

[Important note: Once again, I’ve included a couple of save files from various parts of the game to save some time for those of you who have already played testgame a million times (there’s a “Part 2” save file that starts outside the castle, and a “Before Herkimer” save file that starts… before Herkimer). If you’re using Windows Vista and you want to load the game from one of these save files, you’ll have to move the agssave.001 and agssave.002 files that I’ve given you into a folder called “New game” under the “Saved Games” folder in your Windows user name folder. If you’re using Windows XP, you should just be able to leave these files in the same folder as the testgame.exe file and load them from inside the game.]

Things to do/new features of note:

  • Lots and lots and lots of new plot action! There’s a new (and pretty darn substantial) addition to the most recent cutscene with Herkimer, including tons of new dialogue (some might even say too much?), a new item or two, a couple of new puzzles, and Paul doing magic!
  • New graphics in the most recent cutscene with Herkimer. The mirror has been redone, and we get to see reflections now.
  • New animation (does it count as animation if it’s only one new frame?) when Paul talks to Hans in the castle hallway. Now he raises his head to look at Paul and looks down again at suitable moments.
  • More work on Herkimer’s sprite. He can face downward now.
  • Background work: front of castle, castle kitchen, Herkimer’s room, guard room.
  • Lots and lots of editing and other various dialogue tweaking, courtesy of Paul.
  • Fixed some problems/glitches that GameCola staff writer Nathaniel Hoover found:
    • Broken “try again” feature after certain deaths. This should now work again for all of the deaths, including the three that were broken: trying to take Artie’s stones in the cave, drinking too much Spasm, and swallowing the blue stone. I had to add in more “yes or no” boxes (like the one that already existed before the Omar death) to make these work, which makes me a little sad, but I honestly could not figure out any other failsafe way of making sure the game always autosaved before all of the potential deaths.
    • Contradiction between various things that Paul says regarding the number of heads Omar has.
    • Grammar issues in Amazing Anthony’s spoken countdown (no more “1 minutes” (or “0 minutes” for that matter)).
    • The crowd in the castle courtyard screen appearing and disappearing at inappropriate and/or random times.
    • Some lack of clarity of what exactly Paul’s doing when he makes wet clay. This should be a bit clearer now.
  • Fixed some other random problems/glitches:
    • Problem with Amazing Anthony dialogue; now it flows a bit more smoothly if Paul talks to him twice in a row after his second show fails.
    • Paul looking in the wrong direction when he looks at/interacts with Lily’s fish stall in the castle courtyard.
    • Inconsistencies in whether the festival occurs every month or every year depending on whether Paul talks to Lily or the guard captain. It’s every month.

All the graphics and design are by Lizo. The story and dialogue are written by Lizo, with significant input from 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.

6 Comments

  1. That’s not an official release date! I refuse to be held responsible if testgame isn’t finished by 2015.

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