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Monday's UPDATE #1

working on zombie society - dead detective

· tutorial,Game-design,Monday Update

Here and now, with this blog entry, I make a commitment to post weekly updates about the development of my game.
Why on Monday?
Because nobody wants to work on Monday, not even zombies... And I make no exception. I might as well update the blog, instead.
So, here we go.

How do you design a point and click game?

The first case is concluded (you can play it here) and that will work as a demo for when the kickstarter (and greenlight) campaign will start.
But the full game will be made of three other cases, and a conclusive adventure that will link'em all together. And while working on the first one, I've already prepared the most important parts of the code,. so all that's left is to design the rest of the game and draw the necessary backgrounds and characters.
But I don't want to spoil the story of my game to you, so I won't post my designs. Instead, I'll talk about HOW you design the puzzles for a point and click game.

That's a flowchart. It works as a walkthrough to "The Secret of Monkey Island", probably THE most famous game of the genre. A chart like that is fine if you want to finish a point and click adventure game. But if you want to make one, you'll need to make a "puzzle dependency chart", as defined in one post of his blog (that you can read here in its entirity) by Ron Gilbert, a living legend in the field of game developing,

The most important "trick" here is this, in his words:

"I always work backwards when designing an adventure game, not from the very end of the game, but from the end of puzzle chains"

Basically, you start from the solution of the puzzle, then proceed backwards to create the "obstacles" the player will have to overcome to reach that solution.
Look again at the flowchart at the beginning of the post. Now read it starting from the bottom.
THAT'S how you design the puzzles for a point and click game.
Neat, uh?

What about the clues/deductions system?

In a similar way, I came up with the "deaductions" system of "Zombie Society - Dead Detective".
Here's the design for the first deduction of the first case, when Mr. Mitsk visits Margh's office:

I start from the possibile solutions of the case (the yellow circles) and proceed backwards from there. The green circles, instead, are the clues that you need to combine to form a deduction.
On a separate chart, I plan where to put all those clues for the players to find.

And that's what I'll be working on in the next days.
A mysterious zombie that's stealing the arms and legs of other undead people for no apparent reason, a "wild brain" at large in the zombie city planning who knows what, these misteries and others await you in Zombie Society - Dead Detective!

I'm working on it. Starting from tomorrow.
Today is Monday.

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