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Return of the Amazon Queen (an adventure game)

09-27-2015, 01:14 AM
#1
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 50
Send a message via Skype™ to Johnno
Return of the Amazon Queen (an adventure game)

Hi everyone,

I'm making Return of the Amazon Queen, a text based sequel to my game from 1995 called Flight of the Amazon Queen.

The original game was a point and click graphic adventure and came out on PC and Amiga and there's now a port available on iOS.

The new game is text based with a small room image and I'm building in Swift to work on the Apple Watch and iPhone/iPad.

It's more like a text version of a traditional graphic adventure than a "choose your own adventure" game in that you can traverse rooms and collect stuff to solve puzzles. I'm still experimenting with how much text to show and the tone of the game.

It's still a while away from beta testing, but I would love to have any fans of Lifeline... or graphic adventures test it out and give feedback. I'll try and keep the progress updated here.

Email me at john@redspritestudios.com with an email for TestFlight and comment here to let me know (so I can check my mail) and I'll make sure you get a build to play when it's ready.

Thanks
John
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09-28-2015, 04:51 PM
#2
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 50
Send a message via Skype™ to Johnno
For those interested in getting a behind the scenes look at the making of an adventure game I will to being posting updates. So without further ado here is the first one!

I let my son (aged 8) play through the demo on the Watch. He read everything and said he loved it (he is probably biased ). He managed to solve the first few rooms worth of puzzles. His one comment - too much text. So I'm looking at balancing what is shown graphically with what you read and removing as much redundancy as I can to make the text snappy while having personality.

I will be adding in some more graphics where I can. This week I set up the inventory system to show you the items you find on your adventure. Still a work in progress, but I've attached a screen shot of an in game item.
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In this example the phrase "You take the torch." is redundant and will be removed - the title says it all.

What do adventure gamers here think? Are you fans of short, concise text or are you okay with reading a few paragraphs of text?

10-05-2015, 03:56 PM
#3
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 50
Send a message via Skype™ to Johnno
This week I spent time making sure the game worked on the iPhone and iPad. Currently the iOS version looks like the Watch but on an iPhone and iPad. For the programmers reading this I used a stack view inside a scroll view to make things simple. The game can be played in any orientation and scales to suit your device.

I'm not going to worry about the visual look of the iPhone/iPad version until the game is mostly wired up, so until then it will look a little bare bones.

As you can see from the screen shot, the way you interact is by using pre-populated verb/noun commands. Ignore the fact that there isn't a Torch or Chest in the scene - I'm still prototyping stuff and it's faster to add text and worry about graphics later!

The game uses the same underlying tech as the Flight of the Amazon Queen point and click adventure game, except the sprites that would have made up the objects in rooms are now words and rather than giving the player a series of verbs like "OPEN", "EXAMINE", "TAKE" to try and match with those objects, the game works out all valid verb/noun constructs and offers those to the player to choose from.

It may sound like this would make the game too easy - but once you have a dozen rooms to navigate and many objects to interact with the difficulty starts to feel more like a traditional graphic adventure. Also, commands will only appear once you've satisfied certain conditions or have certain items.

The game logic is written in JSON and currently hand coded (!) so my next task is building the editor to wire everything together. The original Amazon Queen game's editor was written in AMOS which wasn't really suited to making editors (it lacked basic UI stuff like list boxes and menus). The new one will be written in Swift and run on Mac OS so should be a lot easier to put together.

Remember, if you'd like to be on the beta, email me at john@redspritestudios.com with your TestFlight details and reply here so I know to check my mail :-)
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10-08-2015, 07:40 AM
#4
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 50
Send a message via Skype™ to Johnno
The adventure engine is running on iOS and Apple Watch OS 2 but the current game data is hard coded in JSON.

Hand writing in JSON is okay for a half dozen locations, but the final game will have at least 100 locations to explore and dozens of inventory items to use - maybe even more.

As mentioned before, the original game had an editor written in AMOS, but this new one is written in Swift for the Mac. I wanted to share the very start of the new editor (see attached image). It's not much to look at, but it will allow me to add rooms, descriptions, inventory and to wire up the game logic.

I had a separate editor for dialog trees in the original game. I'm keen to add dialog into this game as it's a great way to add humor and character - so the dialog editor will probably be baked into this new editor.

The challenge with dialog trees is how they will work on the Watch screen - perhaps this part of the game will feel more like Lifeline... whereas the core exploration part will be more like a traditional adventure.

Keen to hear from any text/graphic adventure fans about their favorite adventure games and what they'd like to see in this this new "touch and tap graphic text adventure".
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10-13-2015, 04:34 PM
#5
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 50
Send a message via Skype™ to Johnno
Hi everyone,

I've set up a sign up form for beta testing Return of the Amazon Queen.
Check it out here:
http://goo.gl/forms/1j0lSXiVmK

Thanks
John
10-13-2015, 05:31 PM
#6
Great job , good luck with new game, and HUGE congratulations for Flight Of The Amazon Queen, have just recently replayed it and loved it even more than when I was a kid (played it on Amiga at the time).

While i'm not seeing myself playing the new chapter on the iWatch, I'll get immediately for iPad ! Thanks for the updates.

Edit : actually, a text adventure on the iWatch it's slowly making more sense in my mind......, surely interested in how it develops.

Last edited by FrozenPepper; 10-13-2015 at 05:33 PM.
10-14-2015, 06:13 AM
#7
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 50
Send a message via Skype™ to Johnno
Thanks FrozenPepper! I'm glad you enjoyed the original.

The original is out on iPhone and iPad and will be getting an update early next year with an enhanced interface. The work is being done by MojoTouch who did the Simon the Sorcerer iOS and Android versions.

The update may also include the interactive interview we did when the game first came out - I recorded some "director's commentary" for the demo. And possibly a making of section... I'll post here when it is released.

And yes, the text angle seems to work nicely on the Watch, but I am making sure it works just fine on iPhone / iPad too!

Cheers
John
10-21-2015, 04:50 PM
#8
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 50
Send a message via Skype™ to Johnno
Adventure Editor update

Just a quick update on Return of the Amazon Queen.

I've been working on the Adventure Editor which is coming along really well. It loads JSON and lets me edit room names, items, etc.

The next big piece of functionality for the editor is to allow me to add and edit actions (these are the commands that drive the game, eg. pick up a key, use the key on the door). This all works on the Watch and iPhone - but is hand crafted in JSON. The editor will allow me to quickly add new stuff to try out.

One bonus of making an editor is that it should be a lot faster to make other types of adventure games.

And don't forget to register here if you want to be in on the beta!
http://goo.gl/forms/1j0lSXiVmK
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Last edited by Johnno; 10-21-2015 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Add space between beta url and screenshot
10-24-2015, 09:00 PM
#9
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 256
That editor is looking really cool

Good to see some classic adventure gaming make it's way to a mobile friendly format.

You still need to add me to test flight
10-26-2015, 03:55 PM
#10
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 50
Send a message via Skype™ to Johnno
Thanks Mr_Snuffle - I will add you to Test Flight! I haven't pushed out a beta yet as only the prototype level is playable and right now I'm building out the editor.

Hopefully will have something to play soon!

Do you have a Watch yet? (Not that it's necessary, but I am going to do some cool things on that platform)