After I finished the indie vido game, Enola, in 2014, I joked that my next game would be something about cute ponies or unicorns, because making Enola had been a very stressful experience since the game has a very dark story (on a side note, if you haven't played Enola yet, you can get it on Steam here ). However, my current project (The Nightmare from Beyond) is a sci-fi game inspired by The Shadow over Innsmouth and The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft. So, it seems the time of dark stories has not yet finished.
(Still from the indie game, Enola)
That being said, I still think I need a rest from the dark twisted stories from those two games, so that's the main reason why I began this new project as a small side project I work on during my free time.
How it all began:
I have two different approaches when I start a new project. The first one is to come up with a story and then figure out what kind of game could be used to drive the story, and the second one is to come up with a specific type of game and then figure out the story. For example, for The Nightmare from Beyond I decided we had to make a sort-of-Tomb-Raider game (an adventure platformer) and then we landed on the story we have. That doesn't mean I see the story and the game as two different things, but rather I merge the story and gameplay as much as possible. Personally, I dislike how some games can have an interchangeable story while remaining pretty much the same game (that happens a lot in games where story and gameplay go in completely different directions). So, for this game, I began to think what kind of game I could make, that was simple enough to be made by a single person, and that could drive a cool story. After thinking about it for maybe one week, I decided to make a point-and-click game (more about types of point-and-click games below).
(The Longest Journey)
To me, the pros of a point and click game were: they are easy to make because they have minimal gameplay; they use very simple inputs so anyone can play them; I already have tools that would make my job easier.
The cons: they can require a lot of content unless you're willing to recycle a lot of environments; they require a good story.
As I mentioned, I already had a tool that would make my job easier. I recently reviewed Adventure Creator. Adventure Creator is a tool for Unity specifically designed to make point and click games, so at least I have part of the problem solved.
(Mind Snares Alice's Journey)
Another thing I had to do was to decide on the kind of game. There are actually different kind of point-and-click games. For example, The Longest Journey, Phantasmagoria and Siberia are point-and-click games. There are even more modern point-and-click games that play like your standard third person game (with keyboard movement), but then require point-and-click mechanics for interactions. Also, there's also a different breed of such games called "hidden object games" (and even if the genre name is different, they are pretty much the same: you click on stuff and solve puzzles). Right now I'm still undecided, but I'm trying out different things to see what works.
Next comes some actual development. I'm using a combination of Adventure Creator and Sabre CSG (another tool I have reviewed) to quickly prototype something. I'll be writing more about that on the next part of the blog.
Adventure Creator: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/11896
The Longest Journey: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Longest_Journey
Mind Snares Alice's Journey: https://www.artifexmundi.com/g/mind-snares-alices-journey/