Alea's Quest is the working title of a project I've been meaning to do for a very long time. It's quite ambitious, hence this DevLog. It'll help me keep up with it.
On the surface, AQ is just like your average 80's adventure game. You play an AFGNCAAP (Ageless-Faceless-Gender-Neutral-Culturally-Ambiguous-Adventure-Person, for the heretics out there), you just landed on an uninhabited island/peninsula, and your quest is to find 3 currently-undefined MacGuffins. There is a major difference however : all the features of the map, its buildings and the items they contain are generated at random.Now, hold your horses, Missy. A randomly-generated adventure game ? Isn't that... a bit weird ?
Yeah, I can understand your confusion. Most adventure games are very linear : every obstacle can only be overcome in one way, and every item has only one use. They focus mostly on the story and the caracters. A few years back, those were for me the characteristics of a good game. Then I discovered Dwarf Fortress.
DF changed everything I thought about games. It's a sandbox game, which means there is no plot, and it's randomly generated, which means the setting and the story will never look as good as if it had been designed by a real person. But it doesn't matter. The gameplay is so vast and so complex that the story literally creates itself as you're playing : you're really living YOUR own adventure.
Here's an example : one day, while playing the game in Adventure mode, I received a quest to kill a giant. It was way too powerful for me, so I devised a plan : I would ignite a tree to start a forest fire, then drag the giant out of its cave so it would get caught up in the smoke. It was rather laborious, and I almost killed myself in the process, but I succeeded. It was wonderful, because it was not planned. It was me, who chose among all the resources the game offered me, and came up with a solution to find my way out of this.
That's why I created Alea's Quest : I want to take this concept up to eleven. Every object in the game, rather than having a specific use, has a set of attributes (for example, its size, or the material it's made of), thust they can be used anyway you want, and each obstacle you'll encounter will require you to come up with an original solution. The walls of the temple are closing in on you ? Quick, pick up an item that is long and solid enough to hold it. Need an extra bag ? Why don't you grab that potato bag over here, pierce it with that bronze pick you got earlier, pass a rope through the hole and use it as a shoulder strap. A troll is blocking your path ? Set the bridge on fire thanks to an improvised molotov cocktail made off a bottle of whisky and a burning silk scarf as a fuse. Etc...
I don't know if I'll be able to go that far, but that's what I'm striving for.Sounds intriguing... Would it be possible to see what it looks like ?
Well, the graphical interface isn't done yet, and besides, the game is still in french. But if you want to see what it will
look like, here you go :
Yes, it's text-based. No, don't run away.
It will have a relatively simple interface, because it needs to display the in-game time, and stuff such as your hunger and your thirst. The text will be colored (dangerous things will be written in red, the description of your surroundings in blue, etc...) But that's it. I don't want to put real graphics, first of all because it would be too damn long (it's already going to take some time sticking with the current plan), and it would prevent me from putting everything I want in the game.And when will it be out ?
That's a damn good question. I have no idea. I have never work on a project of such a scale. I'd like to say I'll be able to give you a beta version in early 2013, but I'm not really sure... Maybe a bit later. Or maybe it will be out by the end of the year. Or maybe not. (I'm not being really useful here, am I ?)
The only thing I can tell you, is that I'll post more updates here as progress is being made. Stay tuned. Oh, and I'll also try to update this Twitter page
, and this Facebook page
. I said "try". I don't ususally use those things very often.