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Decaffeinated Jedi

A one-room AGI/AGS adventure to promote SpaceVenture?

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Hey, gang!

 

I've had an idea kicking around for the last few days, so I thought I'd throw it out there for the community to digest. Inspired by the guy who created a short LucasArts-style adventure as a job application for Double Fine, I thought it might be a fun idea to create a one-room AGI adventure to promote the SpaceVenture Kickstarter.

 

My concept was a short adventure featuring a Space Quest fan completing a couple of puzzles (finding his/her wallet, accessing his/her computer, etc.) that culminate in the character pledging to the campaign. Of course, the whole thing would end by encouraging the player to follow up with a real-life pledge.

 

I have some general ideas about the design and writing, but I have absolutely zero knowledge of AGI -- so I can't really pull together the graphics, sound, and programming on my own.

 

Is there anybody out there with AGI experience that wants to work with me on putting this together? Clearly, the timetable is tight; I assume we'd want to wrap it up within the week. Having never played with AGI, I have no idea whether that's even feasible.

 

That said, it seemed like a fun idea. I'm curious what you folks think...

 

Jess

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Don't really have any experience, but I understand Adventure Game Studio is easier? Also, the graphics could probably be pulled from the Space Quest games.

Anyway, what are your ideas about the design and writing? Maybe they inspire someone who knows how to put them in a game.

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Are we too late to pull something like this together -- whether it's using AGI, AGS, or something else -- with only two weeks to go in the Kickstarter? I approached a SQ fan with quite a bit of AGi experience a little over a week ago, but he couldn't fit it into his schedule on such short notice.

 

Again, it was just a crazy idea that popped into my head. Who knows if it would even generate interest in the project or bring any new backers to it. After all, if it's only going to reach people who've already pledged, it doesn't make much sense to devote a lot of time to developing it.

 

Jess

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I think AGI would be cooler, personally. AGI art is much easier to make and much more forgivable because the large double-width pixels hide so much detail. I could put together some art for it, if nobody else. Can also make the sound resources. It also could conceivably be played on Sarien.net.

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I think AGI would be cooler, personally. AGI art is much easier to make and much more forgivable because the large double-width pixels hide so much detail.

AGS games can have AGI-style art, while still being easier to work with.

Unless you want an AGI parser and the exact menu structure, etc.

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Yeah, you can fake the AGI look.....if you put the work into it. But it's going to look off unless you know exactly what it's supposed to look like. But it takes longer. AGI is faster. And Sarien.net works on everything (albeit, without sound...but I suppose it doesn't really need sound).

 

Either way, a one-room game sounds awesome. Do we have some witty writers in the house who can come up with a funny and pertinent little story?

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AGS has a text parser and an "arrow keys-only" option, and I'm sure there's a facsimile of the AGI/SCI menus around somewhere.* I've never had any success with AGI Studio or experimented with the parser option in AGS, but I'd say an AGI-style game in AGS is definitely possible.

 

*EDIT: And I was right!

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All right, Jess... looks like it's up to you to get the ball rolling! Since you'll not be doing coding/implementation, it doesn't particularly matter what the engine is. Write us a story with a description, make 2-3 small puzzles, and sketch it up (even crappy paintbrush style). If not Jess, then SOMEBODY. If it's AGS, and it gets far enough, I would commit to packaging up a Linux build.

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I can code in AGS or AGI. We also have some unused scenes from VSB if anyone is interested in writing a story around them instead:

 

http://www.sqvsb.com/upload/Backgrounds/stage.jpg

http://www.sqvsb.com/upload/Bgs/506_backstage1.jpg

http://www.sqvsb.com/upload/Bgs/7xx_shower.jpg

http://www.sqvsb.com/upload/Bgs/1xx_belowfortress.jpg

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Perhaps a bit of information would help. Does anyone have any vision? or are we stuck in the brainstorming stage? While AGI would be wonderful, does anyone know how to use it? Right now we have time restraints. We need to pick an engine that we can get stuff out as quickly as possible. Also if we're going to distribute this or use this as a marketing tool we need to make sure it has some cross platform support. (Starting to paint a picture as to why the two guys used HTML5 eh?)

 

As mentioned previously we need to have something that we can piece things together rather quickly with. Everyone throw in your suggestions for the following areas (preferably if you have skills in these respective categories):

 

Graphics: What do we want them to look like?

Interface: Parser? PnC? Inventory on screen or popup box?

Sound/Music: Do we want music? What level of sound? MIDI? Or do we want something richer?

Engine: What will it be programmed in? What OS' do we want it to run on?

Goal/Point: What is the ultimate goal of this project? Advertisement? If it's just one room, how complex will this be? Who's doing the writing? Funny?

 

Now for each of these areas when you suggest an idea please indicate if you are able to assist with your particular suggestion. Last thing we want is for us to decide on a bunch of things and then ultimately it turns out we have no skills whatsoever with what we chose.

 

I'm going to experiment with something I've been working on and based on that I'll give you my input.

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pcj already said that he knows AGI. It is not that difficult. And rightly or wrongly, there has been enough bad reaction to the HTML5. Platform is irrelevant with AGI as there is no game that is easier to run in DOSBox than AGI. The Idea is to make it like SQ1 (see the title of this thread) so that answers all questions of interface, music, etc. As far as skills required to produce anything good, realize that there are people posting in this thread that have already produced professional quality full games that have been met with great acclaim.

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As far as skills required to produce anything good, realize that there are people posting in this thread that have already produced professional quality full games that have been met with great acclaim.

 

True, but creating graphics and music for an AGI game is quite different from importing something like a JPG or MP3 into AGS.

For example, the backgrounds need to be drawn in a special vector format (or converted from a bitmap, but that can render it inefficiently and lead to memory limit issues in the engine).

Not to mention the AGS scripting language is lightyears ahead of AGI's.

 

On the other hand, AGS doesn't support platforms other than Windows natively (although it's portable).

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Decafjedi's concept, in a nutshell, was that an SQ fan is trapped (in their room, but I vote for basement) and must solve several puzzles to access a computer which sends them to http://tgakick.com ... I like the idea, it's simple and should be doable. On #sq, we all discussed the concept, and there is a lot more AGS experience available (including PCJ himself). Further we all basically agreed that implementing an SCI style (think SQ3) interface & inventory system would be the quickest and most appropriate way to go (I'm thinking, score bar and title at the top, title could be tgakick.com).

 

I must admit that I spend WAY too long last night trying to get a working AGS dev environment set up on Linux and found out the sorry state it's in (the one dude, Electroshokker, who was maintaining it has vanished since February, and no code is up). So, I went and pulled AGS from the SVN repo, but I don't see any makefiles or anything for actually building a library, set of libraries, or a game. But I digress...

 

Backstory tells why the player is stuck in the basement (my suggestion was that the player arrived home from work/school to play SQ, and found the breaker tripped in the apartment building, went down to the basement to reset it, and the door stuck. player left their phone upstairs, and nobody can hear you in this basement).

 

A few puzzles were thought up:

  • an old dusty, abandoned PC sits rusting in the corner, wrapped in its cables. player fixes the computer (unwraps it, lays out cords, claims it's ready to go)
  • computer needs power; AC cord is busted. player must get electrical tape from a toolbox, combine with the computer (player fixes short & wraps it)
  • boots but needs password. not sure here, maybe player finds a piece of paper (flies out and lands somewhere while fixing?), combines paper with computer to log in
Ideas for deaths:
  • didn't fix the AC cord, player gets fried plugging it in
  • mess with furnace, fall in and get fried
  • ... ?
Red herring:
  • old ass phone, needs to be charged; player hunts for charger, never finds it
  • ... ?
Design notes:
  • "fixing" of computer could just be the player sprite standing in front of it, bends over it a bit, cue animated hand waving, and poof, we swap out the PC sprite
  • "fixing" of cable, same animation, and poof, we swap out PC sprite again
Objects:
  • furnace
  • door (won't open)
  • broken PC (wrapped in cables, keyboard standing on end, monitor facing side of tower, profile visible)
  • "fixed" PC

    • cord
    • piece of paper somewhere on the floor
  • toolbox
  • open toolbox

    • roll of tape
  • old nokia
Tasks:
  • this seems simple and do-able but not very funny; add humor :(
  • all the art (perhaps the VSB basement graphic could be modified, but then it wouldn't look very SCI)
  • all the code
  • music/sounds
Anyway, that's my first swag at an extremely simple 1-room design that can be accomplished in a week.

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