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Author Topic: Writing / development process on Blackwell games  (Read 4914 times)

bslinger

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Writing / development process on Blackwell games
« on: April 01, 2013, 07:57:38 PM »
I've just finished The Blackwell Deception after playing through all the previous games this week, and thoroughly enjoyed them all! I'm dabbling in game development myself, and playing your games has inspired me to start work on a point 'n click adventure, so I was wondering if you had some time to give some insight into how you work? (If you've written anything like this before that I've missed, feel free to point me in that direction rather than rewriting anything)

I'm interested in the process you go through - do you write the entire game before starting on programming and getting any art done? Do you have a particular process for writing the game?

Puzzle design is obviously a big part of the writing process, do you generally have the puzzles sorted out from the beginning or do you just write vague descriptions of what needs to be achieved and figure out the details later as you flesh it out?

I'm notorious for not getting stuff finished so my plan is pretty much to write the entire game and do all the programming (probably in AGS, though I may consider writing something in Unity to take advantage of higher resolution art) before I get any artists involved, do you think this is a good way to go about it or do you tend to have your artists involved earlier?

If you have the time to answer, thanks so much :)

P.S. This question is obviously for Dave, but if anybody else has any comments or insight, you are of course welcome to contribute!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 07:59:55 PM by bslinger »

Yinsho

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Re: Writing / development process on Blackwell games
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2013, 03:58:22 AM »
Heh, it's funny that you posted this.
I know I'm a few months late on this, but I'm also interested in making my own point and click game. I'm also struggling with the writing as well.

If you're wanting to use something that can take advantage of bigger art, I know another editor / engine designed specifically for point and click games.
It's called Visionaire, and it's the editor that was used to create Deponia, if you've ever played that.
Visionaire also supports LUA scripting.
The software is free with all of it's features, but to compile or legally sell your games, you have to buy a license, which isn't too pricey either.

Offline SirPrimalform

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Re: Writing / development process on Blackwell games
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 04:23:35 PM »
though I may consider writing something in Unity to take advantage of higher resolution art

AGS supports (IIRC) 320x200, 320x240, 640x400, 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768. Of course, some of this might have changed by now.

I also remember reading somewhere that the commercial version of 'The Journey Down' is still running on a modified version of AGS that supports 1280x720 art and takes care of scaling if the user's computer has a different resolution.

Offline DaveGilbert

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Re: Writing / development process on Blackwell games
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 12:34:04 PM »
AGS does so many things right, but what it gets wrong it gets REALLY wrong. :)

There are three wrong things that are big ones.

1 - the fact that savegames get corrupted whenever I make an update.
2 - The fixed resolution sizes (makes unique monitor configurations a pain to develop for).
3 - Lack of portability (although that's changing, albeit verrrrry slowly)

But aside from those issues, it is design perfectly to make precisely the types of games we want to make. Making a new engine, or even learning a new one, is just way too much work than I'm prepared to give it. I'm not a "real" programmer, although Janet is. Which is why she's handling all the porting and I'm just tweeting about it. :-D

Journey Down was made with a brand new engine, I believe. Something fancy and 3Dish! Way beyond my abilities, sadly. Unity is something I keep wanting to try out, although all the tutorials and books about the engine all seem to assume a base level knowledge of 3D and 3D programming that I just do not have.

Offline SirPrimalform

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Re: Writing / development process on Blackwell games
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2013, 10:35:37 AM »
Journey Down was made with a brand new engine, I believe. Something fancy and 3Dish! Way beyond my abilities, sadly. Unity is something I keep wanting to try out, although all the tutorials and books about the engine all seem to assume a base level knowledge of 3D and 3D programming that I just do not have.

Ah you're right, it's called Gobby. Although they didn't end up using it, it turns out they really did modify AGS to support 1280x720 before deciding to make their own engine to make the game more easily portable.

http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?PHPSESSID=uasedgorhktll6hiim3q9sfgp2&topic=48254.msg636454888#msg636454888

Although it looks it, the game isn't actually 3D. It's sprite based, but using pre-rendered sprites so nothing you couldn't already do if you hooked up with a 3D artist/animator instead of a pixel artist. Not that I think it would be a good choice for the Blackwell series, but perhaps for a future unrelated Wadjet Eye original? Hmm, given the scalability of pre-rendered graphics it would probably be an economical way of going hi-res.