Friday, 16 July 2010

Point and click adventure creator

A Project I've had at the back of my mind for a while now is to create an old fashioned 2d point and click adventure game for a touch screen device. Think about it! Touch screen devices are perfect for adapting old games like Full Throttle and Monkey Island to, because they don't rely on quick reactions and "twitch" style gaming.
You can take your time with them, spend as long as you like figuring out the solution to next puzzle, and if you don't make it before your train arrives at the station? Autosave should make sure that the game resumes from wherever you last were next time around.

Core to this concept is the idea of some kind of world builder tool, that allows you to manipulate all the assets you have to hand to create an environment and characters that can interact.
For the most part, I envision the tool to look and feel in some ways like a movie editing suite or perhaps more appropriately, the Adobe Flash editor.

You've got your main preview window in which you can see the main goings on in the current "scene".

Then you've got the assets area, which will be a collapsible hierarchy of all characters and environments, into which you can drill down to character animations and then again to see individual frames.

Finally there's the Timeline window. This will be where you layout a scene. This can be as simple as a single animation playing on an object when the player touches it, to a whole cast of NPCs travelling across the screen, but not before stopping to insult the protagonist on the way.

There are of course a lot more components required to enable the editor to create fully featured point and click adventure games, but I shall save those for another post.

There are some GUI conventions I wish for this editor to follow:

  • All of the windows will be resizeable, and "tearaway" meaning they can be dragged out of the main window to form their own separate one. This means people with dual monitor setups can use their desktop space more efficiently.
  • As well as having a File->Add->New Asset drop down menu option, any graphic dragged from an explorer window onto the editor will be immediately placed into assets section and highlighted ready for use.
The idea is, everything should be as customisable and easy to use as possible. It should also be responsive, but in theory that should go without saying. 

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