All posts by Jaap

Interactive dialogue – part 3

Wow this has been really some time off the game. We’ve actually run to the point of doing nothing for months, because after finishing a basic game engine – and being quite content with being able to make a prototype game to test its neat features – we’re quite daunted by the fact that we somehow have to start making lots and lots of graphics, sounds, etc and therefore have to start working on the more boring stuff of building a good tool for putting in these game assets, which should prevent pulling out hairs every time you want to test e.g. changing a parallax layer or a few altered pixels in a sprite sheet.

Anyway for the interactive dialogue, which this post is about, this tool should not be necessary, since the input format should be easy enough to edit and understand without needing a separate tool. Check out the previous two posts on this topic for some context on this.

Continue reading Interactive dialogue – part 3

Interactive dialogue – part 2

Having extended the holiday slumber for way too long, let’s continue with interactive dialogue.

This time I’ll go through an input (YAML) file that shows all of the currently available interactive dialogue features, which I’ll try to explain in detail.

In the next (and last) post on this topic I’ll show you the layout of classes that make up our dialogue model & dialogue engine and finally an embarrassing parsing function that parses the input file and maps its contents onto the dialogue model.

Now, let’s have a look at the example:

Continue reading Interactive dialogue – part 2

Interactive dialogue – part 1

Today it’s time to talk about interactive dialogue.

Here’s a thing: point and click adventure games actually don’t offer that much in the area of gameplay, at least: when you look at the number of things the player can control.

For example, in other games like e.g. an RPG, a player can fight enemies using dozens of different strategies, choosing from hundreds of spells and abilities, buy or trade items, talk to people, etc; in Mario you can control jumping and running in the minutest detail and in most sports games the available controls try to mimic the real thing as closely as possible.

However, in a ‘typical’ point and click adventure game, the gist of things you can do are: walk around, pick up stuff, use stuff with stuff and talk with NPCs.

Of these things, walking around and talking to NPCs take up about 3/4 of the gameplay while working with objects (in your inventory) maybe only 1/4. More importantly, in general the player can only click on things to trigger a possible action, meaning that it is very well possible that certain clicks result in nothing happening. Also by emphasizing the word trigger, I mean that if successful the player can lean back and watch a result, without needing to be alert for any quick reaction.

What I am trying to say here is that since adventure games do not offer a great number of (“real-time”) controls to players, they need to excel in story and atmosphere. Those two things make why we love adventure games and why they seem to appeal a bit in the same way as a good book. Interactive dialogue discussed in this post, plays a big role in bringing the story, setting the atmosphere and giving the player part of the controls.

In this post, and following posts, I’d like to go into what interactive dialogue entails: what requirements we defined for it and how I went about implementing the underlying dialogue engine.

Continue reading Interactive dialogue – part 1

Developing a 2d point and click adventure game

Welcome to our first message on!

Groebelsloot is made up of two guys: both software engineering drones by day – slaving away for our bosses – and starry-eyed wannabe game developers by night.
With this blog right here we want to share our ongoing experiences of building a classic 2d point and click adventure game, addressing technical details, story writing, puzzle design and whatever else is worth mentioning.

Why this kind of game? Growing up in the eighties and nineties we, like many of our friends, loved the classic adventure games: Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Legend of Kyrandia, Broken Sword, etc.
For a loooong time wanted to develop such a game ourselves, but because of a string of boring non-adventure game related silly live events, we never did.

Finally the stars have aligned and we got started.

In this first post we want to go into the basic setup and approach of our 2d point and click adventure game.
In subsequent posts we want to go into much technical detail describing how we went about the realization of the various aspects of game programming. Code examples will be provided as well.

We like to think that even though the game we are building may never be finished or published at all, we want to learn something along the way and like to share and discuss it all with whoever is interested.

Alright let’s start with it then!
Continue reading Developing a 2d point and click adventure game