Monday, 30 March 2009

ARGGH Why does this annoy me so!

So over  the last few years I've read the AGS forums, the General Discussion Forum has gotten worse and worse. If it isn't that a thread is updated too often and people were annoyed that it was always on the top of the list or that someone hasn't heard of Google. And finally, well not finally I'm sure it has came up before, but there is now a thread by a mod about such threads. shaaa-link

Now, if you have spoken to me about the forums on stickam/tok box/irc or whtever you would of heard my view of the forums. But for you lucky story virgins I will post my metaphor here:

(in terms of threads)

  • General Dicussions - The Shite
  • Popular Threads - The Toilet 
  • Games in Production - The Polishing of Turds
  • Completed Games - The Corn
  • Competitions and Activites - The Soiled Toilet Paper
  • Critic's Lounge - A Collection of Different Poo types

(ignoring the technical, RON and the hints and tips fourms)

Now don't get me wrong, I like the forums, and I like to think I'm a contributor. But this is just my impression of the threads I read today. 

There is a time and a place for everything. Hence I'm posting this when it is in disscussion in the forums and in my own blog, not on the forums. 

Ben304's Shading (2)

So I had another shot at it, trying to use more of the colours and edited some of the colours. I dunno if it is anything as good as ben's style, I think the yellow just makes it look muddy.  

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Inventory Item compass?

As I kind of previously posted, I've been thinking about use of inventory in a game. And well I came to the conclusion that the more surprises you can give the player in game play, the more enjoyment the player will have. Now set that in adventure games. I'm thinking about items. 

The one thing I hate in an adventure game is looking for the missing inventory item or having to pixel hunt to pick up an item or have two items in the inventory which would do the same job, but you can only use one for bla and the other for another. I think these flaws only appear when game designers are just being lazy or stupid or both.  

Well the best designers try to incorporate items previously picked up into more puzzles. And well the average adventure game designer will just avoid the whole having to pick up and use a pair of scissors when you already have a knife in your inventory.  

So I came to some more conclusions about what are the most common items in an adventure game:

  • A key
  • A bucket
  • A screwdriver
  • A rope/string
  • A knife

A key and a screwdriver, although different items, sort of do the same job. They allow access to something locked. However a key only fits one slot, while a screwdriver is pretty much universal. So I treat them as separate items. Such as the key is a limited item and a screw driver is a more universal tool item. 

Buckets! Or some kind of storage device, if it’s a bag or an idol missing some jewels. They hold another item. Buckets are pretty much universal, they can carry water to gravel, but do the same job each time and pretty straight forward.

A screw driver (again) and a knife, I treat these as tools. They can be constructed in a game to serve a purpose. But they are universal. Once a knife is in hand, you can stab as many people as you want. However I would avoid the whole knifing idea :P 

A rope or string. These items are used to hold/attach things. Either if it is a new inventory item or something environmental like a rope to swing across a gorge. 

One other type of inventory item is the Information items, which are only used to progress the story through dialogue, Such as a note, article, a photograph or blueprints. They are usually to tell you what to do or who to speak to etc but these are also basically your limited use items. 

So I came up with the idea, why can't you have main items in your inventory and just keep re-using them? My idea was the inventory compass. I made it into a compass because there was only 4 main items you get, (the limited use item, the tool, the "bonder" and the storage device). My idea was that what if these were your main and possibly your only items in the game. It would be a lot more realistic for someone to be able to carry such items around and for me the best puzzles are the possible in real life puzzles. 

Anyway I thought I would briefly share some of my thoughts on puzzle design in the last few months. And it might explain some of my previous blog posts :P

Also, can you think of any other items that wouldn't fit under on my headings? I would be interested if you can think of any, because I think my generalisation is sound proof :P

Oh And Other News:

Here is a proper go at Ben304's shading :P

Rawr its a dinosaur. I kind of failed on the shading point but it did make me think about shading. Anyway Im quite happy with this little fella. Also I drew him with a system. Basically when I have one pixel, next to it would be 2 pixels, and a 2 pixel line would have a 3 pixel line next to it  and so on. And I beleive it makes a more rounded and cartoonish and 3d shape.

Thats a little IB sceret :P Note that this system was only applied to the outline. 

Pure Evil Personified

If you have all of the following you are pure evil and must be killed:

  • Moustache
  • Black Cape
  • Top Hat
  • Long fingernails
  • Wears ankle socks

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


I hope Ben304 takes my last post as a joke :P 

Cause his tutorial is awesome

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

ONLY 7 colours!!!

Limited palettes are difficult to master, but the results you see are worth it :P

But the master has given his secrets away here.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Friday 13th..

Well my grandad passed away this morning. An extra 3 weeks we got, from the one week the doctors said he had left. So I beleive I have understood that his time is up. It is weird, I feel sad, but I don't have any grief. I'm just happy that his pain is finally over. 

RIP John Ritchie