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Abstract adventure game design

April 28th, 2006 @ 9:29 am
by Vince Twelve

Daniel Schuller wrote up a nice article on his blog breaking down the puzzles found in the first Monkey Island game to their atomic levels. It’s a good read, and can potentially help someone plot out some puzzles for their own adventure games.

An example atomic problem:


There is a FOO stopping you from doing something, it may block a location, it may be guarding an item, or an NPC.
Prototypical Example: The bridge troll guarding a bridge.

An example atomic solution:


Warning this can be a very difficult solution, you must do a certain action at a certain time – enter the kitchen when the chef isn’t looking, scarifice the virgin when there’s full moon, spit when the winds blowing with you, throw the bomb when the gas fire goes out … at all other times the action will fail.

Prototypical Example: Enter a room when the room owners isn’t there or is distracted.

It’s up to the game designer to string together these simple problem/solution structures into a well-balanced and fun game.

The article is definitely worth a read to the adventure game hobbyist.

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