Game Development Reference
other media, where adventure usually means an action-packed tale with
dynamic characters who are regularly in conflict or danger.
The first games in the genre actually involved text descriptions of locations
with the player entering commands by typing on the keyboard. Later, when
games appeared where graphics sat alongside the text descriptions, the term
graphic adventure was coined which in time was contracted to adventure.
Typically, adventure games are a detective story in a broad sense, where the
player must unravel a mystery. By exploring the world, looking for clues,
interacting with other characters to find out what they know and by solving
the puzzles set as obstacles along the way, the story and mystery will be
revealed. Many of the puzzles involve collecting items for use during the
exploration and often involve the manipulation of some items within an on-
screen inventory, perhaps combining them to create new ones.
Though traditionally, adventures were presented as third-person, the
success of games like Myst and The Seventh Guest showed that a first person
view could be emulated through the use of a series of images rendered from
pre-defined points. Some consider this to be a sub-genre of its own - one
which places the emphasis on (often obscure) mechanical puzzles over
character interaction. Some games of this type have moved from the pre-
rendered slide show towards real time 3D, which gives for a more immersive
Both first person and third person games have become increasingly well-
developed, moving to higher quality graphics, advanced dialogue systems,
richer stories, but in spite of these advancements adventure games are now
seen as a niche market.
With the increasing importance of games consoles, the personal computer
(the mainstay of the traditional style of adventure) has been somewhat rele-
gated in importance. One interesting development is that an adventure created
for a console is now a very different affair - one that often includes plenty of
action. Although the use of the term in this sense has grown naturally from a
different direction, it almost means that the adventure genre has two defi-
nitions depending on whether the game is for a computer or a console.
Many of these console adventures have much less emphasis on the
detective story side of things and rarely involve complex inventory item
manipulation. Inventory items are the things the player collects that are stored
in an inventory that the player can access, usually by pressing a specific button
or key. Inventory items are often 'used on' other characters or background
objects as part of solving a puzzle or overcoming an obstacle (use key on door,