At last!! An Adventure Games Convention in the UK! Fresh on the heels of the 2011 event, Screen 7 produced another convention in 2012 with games galore. Adventure X was a great success with all sorts of presentations and exhibitors. Since the UK Adventure Convention (which was text adventures/interactive fiction only) hasn't been held for a few years, this was a much welcome introduction to the games community. Another event was booked for December 7th & 8th 2013 in East Anglia with Charles Cecil of Revolution Software as one of the guests. Charles Cecil's interview (youtube below) about how the sales of Broken Sword went radically up when they also offered it free, are absolutely fascinating.
In 2014 they held their fourth event, well done guys on making this a regular thing.
Charles Cecil - Beneath A Steel Sky, Inca Curse, Lure of the Temptress, Broken Sword, etc
In the 1970s the game "Adventure" was born, and a genre was created to tap the subconscious and unconscious memories of the globe, a genre which has persisted through the decades. What marks these games out from puzzle games is that you play a human character in typically realistic settings, manipulating typical objects, and in addition to logic often a flash of creative inspiration is needed to progress. This realism doesn't confine the genre, however, it can be first-person, third person, text-based or controller-based, or even both, and it can be set in horror environment, your favourite film, in the future, in the mythical past, in Communist Russia... the scope is infinite.
Now the genre arises from its coffin to crush underfoot the first-person-shooters and the games-with-no-point.
Browser-based "Escape the Room" games can be played on Nintendo Wii as well as PC. This site pulls together all the disparate adventure games into a single easy-to-access INVENTORY.
There possibly couldn't be a better time for the humble text adventure, otherwise known as interactive fiction. For Android there is Twisty, and Hunky Punk, downloadable from the Android Market (now called Google Play). An app called Explore also has a couple of game, or you can emulate with the simple to use Spectrum emulator Marvin, or ZXdroid, or Xpectroid; there is Commodore 64 emulation with ViceC64, Frodo C64, etc, etc, etc.
Perhaps what is most impressive is that now interactive fiction is possible on the Kindle. To really make use of the vast titles available, presently you need to jailbreak your Kindle.Then install Andrew de Quincey's developer keys using the same method as the jailbreak. Finally, simply download and unzip KIF (Kindle Interactive Fiction), which is now on Release 0.5. Any thing which may or may not happen to your Kindle is your responsibility! But I had zero problems. The main difficulty is finding your correct Kindle model, but instructions are very clear, and any hiccups in the process that you might encounter will surely be written about in the forums. Of course, doing this probably invalidates your warantee, but the worst that is likely to happen is that you get an error message saying jailbreak wasn't installed, nothing happens, and you can go back and try again. You can also download z5 games directly from the Kindle by installing FreeDownload on your Kindle and changing the freedownload.conf file as written here. Or else just link your Kindle to your PC by USB and place them in the developer/kif/work folder. If Amazon gives you a message about your Kindle not being a test kindle, then just place Andrew's developer keys on your device again, and update your kindle from the menu.
Installed the Kindle Screensaver hack?
Online Java Spectrum games can even run on Kindle though they are VERY slow...
Buy: Inheritance at Amazon by Gang of Penguins.
If you aren't based in the US, simply add a dummy US address, and register your Kindle to it... You could always change it back later. I'm UK-based and it worked for me :-)
Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe, of "The Two Guys From Andromeda" fame are creating a new Space Quest game...
With half a million dollars of pledged support it should be pretty great once it finally hits the shelves, not that games
hit the shelves any more...
Over to Mark and Scott:
"Our philosophy was originally to make games that we would like to play and that, ultimately, you would as well. We aren’t straying from what has been a successful formula. We’re back to make more while also incorporating what we’ve learned from you via comments made from the days of snail-mail and moving to email and social media. It’s been interesting to learn what you’ve found fun, funny and/or annoying, and what games you’ve favored. Clearly, not everyone has well rated taste but we can work around that."
"The way games are made and gotten into a player’s home has changed greatly, and you have never stopped talking about the adventure game genre and how much you’ve missed it. We are adapting to the changes, taking advantage of them and charting our own course through space and looking forward to finding that ‘new game smell’. "
LEGENDARY GARY OWENS PASSED AWAY (February 2015 update)
So as most of you have probably heard by now, the man with the golden pipes, Gary Owens, passed away on February 12th. We are deeply saddened by this news as I'm sure you all are as well. As you probably know, we had commitment from Gary that he would be the narrator for SpaceVenture as he was for Space Quest 4 and 6.
I had the honor of talking with Gary a few times. He truly was one of the nicest guys you would ever have the pleasure to talk with. Some fond memories I have of Gary involves talking with him about SpaceVenture and how excited he was to return as the narrative for another Two Guys From Andromeda game. I remember going over the lines that he would say for the Narrative skit that we did with Scott, and him bragging on the dialogue, all the while needing to "Xerox" a copy of the script to magnify the font so he could actually read it. He talked fondly of his family and his weekly lunches with other legends of the entertainment industry. Ultimately Gary was just an all around nice guy and positive thinker, just as you'd expect him to be, and he was very grateful for voice over work that came his way. The entertainment industry truly lost a good one on February 12th!
Mark took a moment to write the following:
"Hey Gang -
Scott and I are both very saddened by the news of Gary Owens' passing at the age of 80. What can we say- the man was a living legend in the entertainment biz whom we were both extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to work with and honored to have featured in Space Quest. It was definitely a high-point in our younger lives/careers and an experience I'll always look back on warmly. What makes this news doubly hard ,of course, is that (as you all know) Gary was to be featured as the narrator in Spaceventure. Unfortunately, Mr. Owens health fell into decline before we were able to record him. But what we want everyone to know is that, though we could never replace Gary as the narrator, we will work hard to find the right talent for the job.
A brand new point and click adventure game developed by Double Fine Productions,
renamed Broken Age, put back to 2014, and finally fully released with a second act in April 2015.
Unfortunately Act 2 was a complete let down by many accounts. With a record-breaking $4 million
investment (after raising a bit of extra capital selling the first half of the game to Steam) people did
expect a lot. Nevertheless, ratings for Act 1 are very high, and before long it will be probably be on
sale or even in a bundle.
Check out the progress...
After the release of Adventure aka Colossal Cave, it had been said that adventure games
could not be done on a micro-computer: after all the PDP-10 required 300kb of memory to
run Adventure; the TRS-80 had a total memory of 16kb. Scott Adams managed this with
Adventureland, and a host of other titles followed. As Adams published his source code,
many other authors were able to follow suit. One of these was Brian Howarth, who developed
his own interpreter based on Scott Adams' work. After the success of The Hobbit, and the
introduction of cheap machines with a smidgeon more memory such as the Commodore 64,
and the ZX Spectrum n the UK, many games such as Howarth's Gremlins also included static
graphics (though Gremlins was one of the few which also had some animated graphics... )
The very first adventure game, created by Will Crowther and soon after expanded upon by Don Woods.
It spawned a plethorage of ports to home computers, imitations, rip-offs, alternate versions, while at the
same time authors creatively created their own games using the basic format as a foundation.
Recently in 2012 Arthur O'Dwyer successfully funded a board-game version of the classic text adventure,
using the ubiquitous Kickstarter funding machine.
Andres Samudio, who was largely responsible for the success of text adventures in Spain,
has even released a novelised version of the original Adventure game, or at least his 1989 remake
of it, called La Aventura Original. The Spanish adventure scene particularly appreciated the inclusion
of graphics in interactive fiction, and his version of the Crowther & Woods game was probably the first
to sport graphics. It was funded via a crowdfunder alternative to Kickstarter called Verkami, which seems
more popular in the Spanish-speaking world.
OK, so it's in Spanish, but imagine: a book version of the original Adventure game
that started it all!