Monthly Archives: July 2014

Changelog 2014-07-28


It was an interesting and successful week, with another foray into the C++ engine code. I haven’t done that since the upgrade to AFX 1.1, so it took a while to get reoriented to the code. I’m not particularly good with C++, but I know enough to get by and make necessary minor changes. This time, I needed to find a way to make objects partially transparent, at a level specified by me. To this point, we were incorporating opacity into the object prior to exporting it to DTS format, but the game engine doesn’t seem to play well with that. With respect to the holy water, it was resulting in weird visual problems, where the water was either completely invisible (a layer sorting [More...] Read the rest

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25 Years Later, Why Adventure Games Suck

A quarter of a century has come and gone since Ron Gilbert first wrote the article “Why Adventure Games Suck” in 1989.

I discovered this while flipping through some old posts on my blog, and I found one from six years ago that discussed this very article. Since my memory, generally speaking, sucks, I had to go back and read Ron’s article again, not to mention my own, as I could barely recall either. Note: I am not proud of this fact.

It was then that I realized that it’s the 25-year anniversary of that article. 25 years. That’s insane.

Ron reprinted it back in 2004, when a mere 15 years had passed, and at that time he declared that “adventure games are officially dead,” [More...] Read the rest

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Changelog 2014-07-21


Busy week last week, with a lot accomplished. We’re still working on that holy water, trying to get good animations for the water motion while working out some of the persistent issues with object visibility. Some weird stuff going on there – at times, the water looks fine, while at other times, the visibility of the water block object is inconsistent. I’ll be spending some time trying to figure that out, but in the meantime it looks like we have a good animation for the “spinning” version. The main thing I advanced was the handwritten note found on Matteo in Act 2. In addition to creating the game object, I was able to create a nice detailed image of the note with the handwriting, [More...] Read the rest

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Who Killed Adventure Games? Redux

In the process of not doing work and scanning the interwebs, I came across a classic article on Old Man Murray from 14 years ago on “Who Killed Adventure Games?”

It was triggered by a Gamecenter article from a series that I believe was titled, “Dead And Buried: Five Vanishing Genres,” although it’s not entirely clear since the page doesn’t exist anymore. Through the magic of the Internet Wayback Machine, however, the body of the article can be read here, though I’m not even sure who wrote it. The classic long story short: simpleminded, casual gamers killed adventure gaming, and Myst made them do it. The editorial at the end by Cliff Hicks symbolically put the nail in the coffin of the adventure genre. [More...] Read the rest

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Changelog 2014-07-14


Most of the week was spent working on the holy water shape and animations. Although it’s straightforward to create a semi-transparent shape with an animation sequence on the surface to represent water, there were several places we got tripped up by the system. The biggest one had to do with transparent object sorting, which meant that the water object was not being rendered on top of other objects but rather behind. So the font itself was obstructing the view of the water inside of it. We fiddled around with different options, but in the end we got it all sorted out (so to speak). Most of the rest of the work dealt with finding good, cheap animations to license to represent the different versions [More...] Read the rest

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