Monday, April 07, 2008

Adventures, art, design...

New art for Adonthell

There has been slight activity on Adonthell's mailing list: James Nash, an artist of the team, announced some new art to be soon added. Good thing too, considering the graphical quality of the engine demo game "Waste's Edge" (I'm only 120% sure, but "Adonthell" is the name of the engine and "Waste's Edge" is the title of the small adventure game that often gets served as "Adonthell".)

Waste's Edge, in case you forgot how... classic it looks

Adonthell 0.4.0 alpha 2 has been released half a month ago, luckily with build instructions, the INSTALL file directed me to them and I was actually able to build it. Unfortunately it seems to be an engine-only release - I don't see any demo to execute. FIFE (which by the way recently switched to the LGPL) at least includes it's tropical island tech demo.

Speaking of adventures/RPGs and their engines, Steve commented on the open source adventure games situation. Compared to RTS or FPS, the situation is: "there aren't any." At least not of the point-and-click kind of type. Steve says the reason is that making adventure games isn't fun - since the story/surprise/suspension of your work won't work on you.

There is however the Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine, an apparently simple-to use visual interactive fiction engine. It sure is and all and the engine's logo is the obligatory girl entangled by a tentacle monster python snake, but I'd rather prefer a decent point-and-click engine and community. I simply am a sucker for more interactivity and less text and more animations and less relationship novels and more (audible) speech and less *blush* in adventure games. It's great to see that the open source gamedev community appears to be useful for lots of prepubescent girls though!

Back on the adventure games issue: Tranberry proposed, that instead of creating games, game developers should create game frameworks for non-developers. O_o Of course it makes sense from the perspective, that it's no fun to know the story of the game for the game programmer, but on the other hand someone will have to know the whole story and won't be able to play the game as a player, this way or another. I think he's correct though that the role of the game designer should be separated from the role of the programmer for great justice better game quality. Excluding some naturals I guess.

BTW: Tranberry is the guy, who created the friggin-awesome looking current style for the JCRPG blog (see old style for comparison.)

Ulroth Axe, one of the kick-ass awesome models from OpenFrag

Again back to the game design issue: Creating the story and assembling the game's code and media should be done in a specific order. I am the fan of the "functionality-first, story-second"-method. OpenFrag's dev team is walking such a way at the moment, as I was told on #openfrag yesterday. In the beginning of the project, there were discussions about the story, but it became too complicated and now they concentrate on getting the orcs and swords and the slaughtering and bloodsheds to work and will worry about story later! Awesome!

Metropolis game menu

PS: Something seems to be happening regarding Micropolis' port to *nix systems... But I'm not sure what. I can start the game menu, but fail to actually play it. See screen.

Where are my buildings?

PPS: Anonymous just told me to deactivate NumLock, which helped :) But I am unable to see anything besides the map. O_o

PPPS: Gah, all the info is in the comments, if you want it. ^^