Monday, September 16, 2013

Game Brainstorming: Adventure Game

When I was first introduced to "video games," I started by playing this fantastic little game called "Apple Adventure." It was a text-based adventure game, where the user interacted with the computer by typing commands, and the computer would then narrate the story as the user explored the world around.

Apple Adventure
Later, I got into several other adventure games, such as the "Escape the Room" games, as well as "Myst." One of my most recent favorites was "Tiny Bang Story" by Colibri Games. I love the way it combines world exploration with object hunting and puzzle solving. 

Tiny Bang Story
In drawing upon some of these as inspiration, last year I came up with the idea to have a word-based adventure game similar to "Apple Adventure," but utilize voice recognition instead of typing. This would allow the user to "play" such a game while driving. Imagine how much fun road trips could be!

Oculus Rift
More recently, though, with the invention of the Oculus Rift, I think this could be taken to a much higher level of gameplay. The story could begin similarly, with nothing showing on the screen, the story narrated to you as you interact verbally with the technology, giving commands to "explore" the area until you are able to light the scene. Once the visual dynamic kicks in, the game takes off! Exploration because multi-sensory. You can now walk around and find things to use along your journey. When combined with a gameplay glove (do these exist yet?), there could be things like a combination lock that you actually twist and turn to open, weapons you have to find to fight potential enemies, maybe directions to create some witches' brew...the ideas keep coming. What do you think, does an interactive adventure game hold any intrigue for you?


  1. Hello Allison!!
    Wow your blog is so cool!! has design and all :)

    and I love escape games and puzzle games too! and am trying to create one if I can .... (-__-;)
    voice recognition? its kind of hard for me to imagine how you will play adventure game just with the voice recognition.... while driving...
    so there will be some kind of options?

    Q: you found a mysterious door, would like to open?"
    then you will have several options... like...
    A: "say (1) kick and open the door, (2) knock on the door to see if anyone inside, (3) go find the key for the door"....

    something like that? hmmm but this is quite interesting!! i would love to play your game!!!!!! exciting!!!

  2. Christian Rostrup NielsenSeptember 23, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    Hi Allison!

    Sounds like a game that sparks creativity! I have always been a huge fan of puzzle games, they can be utilized in so many different ways. Fantastic idea to use the Oculus Rift on roadtrips and alike, I can imagine a lot of kids would appreciate that idea. And the fact that the game is super interactive makes it possible to create different versions/levels which each focus on the development of different skills, maybe to be used as a learning tool for children. If you add the glove you are mentioning you will have both audio, visual, and kinesthetic learning elements, which would give this game powerful learning potential. Would have been so cool to have had that back in Primary School!

  3. I love text adventure games and an audio one sounds very cool, although text adventure games are notoriously bad for being frustrating in terms of finding the right words, and adding another layer of ambiguity on top of that in terms of less than perfect speech recognition could lead to a very frustrating experience - but then again perhaps you can take elements of the speech recognition challenge and turn that into really exciting aspects of the game - one way to go is to make the user select from fixed sets of options - another way to go is to invent a story where the user only has very poor slow interaction with the characters in the story, e.g. talking to astronauts on mars. Lots of possibilities here - would love to see you develop this.

    BTW, do check out this prototype I made on how to support structured word suggestions in text adventures:

  4. Thanks Satsuki! If you want any help adding design to yours, let me know. I just used a stock template (cheating, but cool!)

    Yeah, you have the general concept spot on! I think rather than saying numbers, it would be more interesting to have the gamer say short, specific instructions such as "enter" to open the door or "return" to go back the way you came.

    There would probably be a few commands that would be standard options such as "inventory" or "menu" as well.

  5. I thought originally about the Kinect, but I haven't found it to be very good with small detail to the degree I think I would want in a game like this.

    I suppose that if there aren't great VR gloves out right now, they will come right along with the OR. Might be a good time to develop a game like this - be ahead of the curve...?

  6. Haha I totally didn't explain that right...the OR probably shouldn't be used while driving (impaired vision and all). I wonder how it would be for a passenger to be wearing one while in a it would affect movement, and how it would affect motion sickness.

  7. Aww, I ended up wandering the wilderness as a beggar :(
    I like the drop-down suggestions! I'm definitely seriously considering this as a project. I'm not the greatest story-teller, though. I'll have to get some friends to pitch-in on the idea!