The point and click graphic adventures are without any doubt one of the more attractive genres, at least to play with a mouse, a keyboard or a touch screen.
Is also true that doesn’t require any specific and complex knowledge at the time of play or to create an engine to make it work. Although in the recent times some mutations have arised, adding some extra mechanism from other action video games, but for the most part you just need one solid system to handle the dialogue, a inventory mechanism, a half robust pathfinding algorithm and you´re almost set.
So is very tempting for the beginner to handle one the this open source engines such as the good ´n´oldies AGS or Wintermute, maybe buy a license of Visionaire Studio or, even better, try the new and wonderful Bladecoder Engine to remember you that there´s plenty of free tools at the reach of everyone, make unworthy the investment of a paid software.
But this is just the beginning.
Usually the graphics adventures don’t require complicated state machines to handle the characters and make them punish themselves mixing combos out of this world or developing complex AI systems to do some funny stuff, however is important not to fool yourselves.
The public that likes this kind of genres is very demanding! They look for good stories, they take notice of the graphics design and is not easily aroused by anything. The shadow of a certain pirate apprentice from the ´90s and the awesome adventures in an insane Mansion will still be very important when making comparisons.
One of the first advice that I struggle to accept during the development time of Sol705 was the one related with the voices.
I thought that with interesting dialogues will be enough. Soon I realize that the characters win a lot when a good voice over actor give them a full personality. Is day and Night!
We must not forget the little adventures that are not use to reading big chunks of text, making the situations more comfortably when a character “tells them” what is going on or what is suppose to be doing instead of losing interest in the game or bothering the nearest adult in the middle of their Netflix Weekend Marathon every two minutes!
In my point of view the voice over is very important, more important that the decorations or the minor characters. The same premise is valid for the music, period.
Another point to keep in mind is that graphics adventures demand a series of long script with several options of questions and answers in each dialogue, lots of descriptions of objects and situations that can become easily hard to handle. Not only each of the lines should be recorded for each character, but also need to be translated at least in three or four extra languages if you want to reach a bigger audience, so that´s an insane quantity of work!
At this point I would like to make clear that this a matter of personal taste and nothing is written in stone. The super fun graphic adventure created by a friend The revenge of Johhny Bonasera– doesn’t have any voices and is a big hit, getting hundreds of downloads every day around the world.
To conclude, is in each one of us to find the middle point that will also satisfy us in the creative way. Making a game is complicated, long and expensive and it could even become boring for long moments… so is very important to feel that you are looking to the horizon you’ve visualised and…paradoxically…have fun!