Battle of the U.I.s, Pt. 3: The One U.I. to End Them All

This has been a long time coming, but I was recently reminded of this topic as I have been (glacially) doing the groundwork for Space Quest Historian: The Adventure Game. When you’re making a game, one of the things you have to settle on early is what kind of user interface the game will be using.

And for the SQH game, I wanted to use my favorite type of adventure game U.I. ever. Turns out that’s not easy to do in AGS, but that’s not what this blog is about. Right now, I just want to tell you what that U.I. actually is.

It's this.
It’s this.

Surprised? Well, don’t be. Whatever you may think of Leisure Suit Larry 7, I will fight anyone who says that isn’t the best adventure game interface ever devised. Let me briefly explain how it works.

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I did my very own Upper Memory Block episode!

I guess this is what they call “coming full circle,” eh? The podcast that inspired me to start my own podcast allowed me to do my own guest episode for that podcast.

Confused yet? Don’t be. It just means that I got the chance to do my very own episode of Upper Memory Block, the podcast usually hosted by Joe Mastroianni. But because he’s off populating the Earth, he asked friends if they wouldn’t mind keeping his show alive while he was tending to the new heir to the throne, and I was fortunate enough to be included in that roster of people.

The game I’m covering is Steel Empire (also known as Cyber Empires in North America); a little-known strategy/arcade hybrid by then-fledgling company Silicon Knights.

I even managed to score an interview with Silicon Knights founder Denis Dyack, who kindly spoke to me for an hour about making the game. There’s about 30 minutes of the interview in the episode itself, but I put the full-length interview on Mixcloud.

Go have a listen to the episode!

Oh, and if you’re interested in seeing how this thing actually plays, my mate David and I sat down and played a campaign at his house, which I, of course, put on YouTube.

Warcraft Adventures leaked; designer spills beans

Warcraft Adventures was supposed to have been released by Blizzard back in 1997, but never was. That is, until now.

All the major game sites have now covered this, but in case you haven’t noticed: a Russian dude who says he “found it” back in August last year, decided to release his long-forgotten copy of it.

So, is it worth playing? I don’t know, because I haven’t, yet. I plan on doing a one-off video on it tomorrow, if I can get it running. That’s not why I’m writing this post, however.

I’m writing this because Mark Kern of Blizzard really wants you to know one thing, and I concur that it’s a really important thing:

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Battle of the U.I.s, Pt. 2: Verb coin vs. single-click

In this, the 2nd instalment of my little blog series on adventure game interfaces, we take a look at two of my least favorite interfaces. The kind that’s either cumbersome or simply treats you like an idiot.

That’s right, synchronize your Swatches, ‘cos it’s bitching time.

Continue reading “Battle of the U.I.s, Pt. 2: Verb coin vs. single-click”