Tropical Island Escape

October 22, 2010

I’ve been toying around with an idea for a simple adventure game where the goal is to escape from a tropical island you’ve washed up on. I think it’s best to summarise the gameflow with the following two diagrams. (You can click on them to see them enlarged)

Comments/Notes

Yes, I wanted it to be an easy game as far as adventure games go, things that an ordinary person might guess (I do wonder about veteran adventure game reviewers who claim an adventure game was too easy in the review, will the people who don’t review adventure games for a living/hobby find it so easy, hmm?)

In theory I could add information on camera positions to the world layout map, but I’m not ready to say for certain if that layout will work at this point (have to start blocking/roughing it out in Torque before I know for sure).

I’m a little bit iffy on the number of items found in the ship wreck, but I decided to omit the tedium of forcing the player to create his own makeshift compass and/or axe, though those are possibilities if I chose to add difficulty to the game.

I considered assigning values to each action within the game that correspond to how much time it takes for an action, so that even moving from one scene to another would advance time in the gameworld. I decided instead to elect two tasks as things that would require a long time to do (Repairing the sail and chopping down some trees) because it would be easier to implement & less likely to invoke bugs and/or fail states that make the game harder (Remember I’m going for an easy game). As such, when you’re about to do the two things that would take a whole day to achieve, the player character first requires food (Berries or Meat) & Drink (Fresh Water) so that they have supplies to keep up their strength after a long day of work and a nights sleep.

You can chop down the front row of trees anywhere between the two vantage points to create the pile of logs that you make the raft from. Also, for believeability, I decided that the player character wouldn’t carry around entire tree trunks in his inventory and would instead stockpile them near the water.

I was going to put the cave on the coast, but a tide coming in could make living in a cave very dangerous so I swapped the position of vine & cave around. Not that I’m modelling tidal currents in the game, just as something that otherwise wouldn’t quite make sense.

Blue sky thinking here: In theory you could completely change the game and make it more about survival. Maybe the player character gets injured and needs to get herbs to heal the wound. There’s building a proper house. Doing stuff to keep your character from going insane.

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