Archive for October, 2013

Pong Adventure part 2

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

I added drama lines to make it more story oriented. This is the final version before I split up to make it fit on screen with my framework. Let me know if this helps it feel more “adventure” oriented.

Pong Adventure v2

Update about 6PM Mountain Time USA:

I’m trying to figure out how many lines of text I can get on one screen. Since my framework only uses images, I decided to make a sort of mockup for one of the screens. I don’t really like the way it looks though. The gray square represents where the art work is going. I don’t have anything to tell the text to stay up on screen a certain time, so basically the image will be overlayed with text every page until you hit a button. I’m still trying to figure some things out. Also I’m trying to find a font that looks like the numbers in the original Atari Pong machine. Let me know if you can suggest other layouts.

Pong – the interactive adventure

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Play the “alpha” version of the twine version of Pong Adventure – Here.

If you want to know more about the game continue reading.

Oddly enough SAUSAGE is not dead yet. I decided to restart my adventure game engine and go all the way back to basics. The most basic for an interactive adventure is the choose-your-own-adventure style game. Remember those books from the 70’s – 80’s where you given some pages of text and then a couple of choices on what to do next and which page to turn to? Like that only computerized. No more turning to pages, but instead clicking on links.

I had participated in the Ludum Dare 48 hour competition #26 — I made a simple one for it. So I realized I could make these kinds of games and technically they’re not very complex. (Stories can be complex but the actual thing that drives them is not).

You can see, if you just read the old posts, about my struggles with building adventure games. I can think up tons of story material, but when it comes to visualizing rooms and scenes, or thinking up puzzles and what not, my mind goes blank. So what if I started from the ground up. I made these simple games, and after each 1-3 games I updated the framework until it’s a bona fide point-n-click engine? I could learn how to build adventure games from the ground up. Of course another way is a text adventure, or interactive fiction as it’s now called, but since I’m not going to build a parser and really interested in more graphical games, this is the way to go.

I’m even going to use this as an opportunity to learn pixel art, which is something I’ve always wanted to learn.

Okay so what to pick as my very first game. Well that was kind of tough… I had several ideas, but alot of the ideas would require research. For one thing I had a story about a haunted castle. But that posed all kinds of questions such as, What kind of castle is it, where is located, what are the parts of a castle, etc. Another is about a kingdom under a mountain where dwarves lived, and if you passed their tests you would win their gold. This is actually not a bad idea, because I can pretty much make junk up and it doesn’t mater if something isn’t technically correct. But I figured I would do something even simpler, as in the mountain kingdom would require I actually visualize locations of caves and stuff.

So someone suggested as a joke that I do Pong. At first I would be like, what would you do “Would you like to move up, down, or stay?” The more I thought about it, the more I thought it would be ideal. Firstly it’s just a funny/dumb idea. Secondly there’s not much I would have to visualize other than where the ball and paddles go. Thirdly the graphics would be dead easy. Perfect. Only not so perfect. The one problem I had was how many pages I would need to write to account for every score variation. Eventually got help from some people and figured it out. So now I have every score variation, that’s a lot of pages if you account for the max score of 11. I cut that down to 5 points of playable action but that was still a good number. You have to do every variation because you can’t just exit early. In the original pong arcade machine, you played until one of you got to 11. So it’s not like I would run into a dead end or die. (You can in some games die with number of lives, but even that you still have to write for each possibility where you don’t die).

Well one I got that all out of the way, I tried to figure out how to layout the game. I was thinking flowcharts and stuff, but interestingly there’s a program that allows you to write these kinds of adventures and put them on the web. It’s called Twine and it’s real simple to learn. So I build my pong adventure in Twine and after I tweak the text and stuff I will actually recreate it with my framework. So let me know what you think of Pong Adventure – Here.. Please leave some feedback.