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.
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.
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.
Last year, I had the good fortune of lending a small hand in the making of Late Last Nite for the AdventureJam 2015 game jam.
My contribution consisted of writing the dialogue for the snot-nosed Cedric parody, Chadwick, and that was pretty much it. The rest was all down to the fabulous talents of the No More For Today geniuses — Jess, PCJ, Resulka, Chris, Kevin, Gareth, and Fred.
Now, more than a year later, the “full talkie” version is finally released, featuring the voices of YouTube star Sarah “PushingUpRoses” Wilson as the narrator and professional lighter-inquiring-person Rebecca McCarthy as our plucky protagonist.
I voiced the obnoxious potato chip monster, Chippy. And of course Fred voiced Chadwick the Owl in a voice he swears is somewhat dissimilar to CyberCedric.
So, you might ask, why am I making characters walk across the screen? For what purpose do they exist? Well, it stems from an overriding desire to just make games, a long spell of just having that urge without a story or device to hang it on, and from finally having an idea that recently gelled into my head.