Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Writing for Adventure Games
Lee Sheldon
IF you would like to start with some history, GOTO “ Plus c¸achange,plusc'estla
meme chose
IF you would like to jump to the theme of this chapter, GOTO “Writer as Designer”
IF you would like to jump to the red meat, GOTO “Player Character”
IF you reached this chapter by mistake, GOTO “END”
3.1 Plus ¸a change, plus c'est la meme chose
In 1996, the then dominant video game magazine Computer Gaming World pub-
lished a book called Graphic Adventure Companion . As co-designer of one of its
featured games, The Riddle of Master Lu , I wrote a sidebar that included the follow-
Adventure games these days at least pretend to story and character. Puzzles
should therefore be designed in the context of the story and characters. It should
be one of the “Poetics” of adventure game design.
Speaking to the players, I added:
Unless the game designer is unconcerned with-or unfamiliar with-story and
character logic, the “learn context” method can be a shortcut to correct ac-
tions, encourage your suspension of disbelief, draw you further into the story,
and provide a far more satisfying overall experience than the “how do I get by
the next puzzle roadblock” mindset.
Writing in context—that is, making sure adventure game puzzles directly con-
tribute to your story and help reveal your characters—has remained my mantra ever
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