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.
At this point, we’re all pretty used to calling Maniac Mansion “the first graphic adventure game,” and just kind of leave it at that. By that, I mean that the natural evolution of graphic adventure games is mostly centered on what LucasArts and Sierra were doing with the fancy new pointing-and-clicking peripherals, and not much attention has been given to the other early adopters out there.
Take, for example, this one: Murder on the Mississippi, released in 1986 for the Commodore 64 by … the fuck? Activision? Okay, didn’t see that one coming. Ironic, considering what happened to Sierra, really. But let’s not dwell on that.
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.
I had an interesting “story meeting” over Skype with Josh Henry, the dude who wrote this, and is now helping me hammer out a story for Space Quest Historian: The Adventure Game.
He asked me something I don’t think has been discussed nearly enough, save for a few bouts of opinionated back-and-forth on Twitter, and certainly not in the forum of long-winded blog posts: What’s the best user interface experience for adventure games?
There are just too many to cover in a single blog post, so I am making this into a series of posts. I assure you, this will eventually lead us down to what I ultimately consider the most successful and ultimately best type of interface of all time.