Make your own point and click games with Adventure Creator for Unity
Staff Writer By: Sergio Rosa (nemirc)
One of the best things about Unity is that it's a very versatile game engine when it comes to adding new tools to it. One of those tools is Adventure Creator. Adventure Creator is a tool designed to let you make your own point-and-click adventure games, similar to those old adventure games from Sierra. However, Adventure Creator also includes some features designed to give you some extra functionality found in newer adventure games, like The Walking Dead.
Adventure Creator is a plugin that runs on top of Unity, and offers its own set of tools, asset managers, prefab builders and so on. It also includes its own programming system, allowing you to build the entire game using this plugin. However, AC also includes the ability to work with other third party tools, such as PlayMaker.
When you start a new game, the first thing you need to do is start the New Game Wizard. The wizard asks you some information about the game, how it will work and what kind of controls you'll use and then it will create a basic set of managers for you to work on. The next step is to create the main character.
Configuring a character consists on adding a mesh, the set of animations, sounds, etc. Adventure Creator will call this character on every level, and place it in the correct spot as required. This is an important piece of information. The software only requires you to setup a "starting point" (a spawn point) where the character will appear as you press play. This character will be controllable based on the inputs you defined, without the need to do anything else.
Adventure Creator has a panel called AC Game Editor. This panel lets you control almost every aspect of your game. From here, you can create different prefabs, inventory items, menus, actions, etc. For example, if you need to create a hotspot so the character performs an action (or picks up an item) when you click that hotspot, the AC Game Editor includes a section where you enter the new hotspot name and then create it. The same goes for cameras, sounds, navigation meshes, colliders, triggers, etc. Likewise, if you need to create new items, you go to the Inventory section and create the new item by entering a name, an icon and different sets of actions you may need.
Adventure games are mostly about interacting with things, picking up objects that will then be used (or combined with other objects) on interactive elements in the background, and things like that. This is why hotspots will be some of the most used prefabs you find in Adventure Creator. When creating a hotspot, you're allowed to define what the hotspot does: for example, is it an inventory item, an object you interact with, a character? Based on this, you can decide to create different kinds of interactions for this object.
Interactions are made using AC's own node-based system. What's nice about this system is that you don't really need to know anything about programming, so it's a very simple system, and easy to understand. Each node represents an action, and when that action is finished, it moves to the next action, and so on. Unlike PlayMaker, you're not moving from one state (with a bunch of actions) to the next.
Adventure Creator is a very to use tool that allows you to create your own point and click games. It's very intuitive, but also very powerful. If you are a fan of such games, and would like to make one, look no further.
As a side project I am making a short point and click game using Adventure Creator. This is a solo project that I'm making on my free time, and part of it is using it as an experiment. The idea is to make a game using mostly assets from the Unity Asset Store, and pre-made assets (I recently got the latest version of Poser Pro, with the game developer license), as an experiment on how a solo game developer can make games using Unity. I will document that process here, so stay tuned.
Sergio Aris ROSA