Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

Fan-made adventure games


#1

Several people in this community of TWP fans are developers and have developed adventure games.

A few weeks ago @Guga said in another thread that he didn’t feel comfortable to talk in this forums about his adventure game because it might be considered an attempt to spam. I understand his concerns.

Still, I’m a player of adventure games and I’m interested to discover new stuff, especially stuff that doesn’t have the visibility of mainstream games (BTW, I read the reviews of freeware adventure games published in this cool category of AdventureGamers).

So I think that a thread about this topic might be interesting.

I’m sure that it will be easy to avoid explicit invites to visit/download/try/buy and focus on the features of the games, the development aspects and even the areas of improvement.

Have you developed an adventure game?


#2

Thanks for the citation :smiley: and thanks for this topic.

As a developer, I’m mostly interested in the development aspects of indie games - I mean, I’d be eager to play games made by fellow TWP forumers, but mostly I’d be asking them questions about how things were done. For example, I’m waiting to have the time to play @enthusi 's game to flood him with technical questions :smiley:

So, to answer your original question: yes, I did develop a PnC Game. I wouldn’t call it an adventure game since it’s not really an adventure, but I was building an adventure game library and I needed a puzzle game to test it.

It’s called Kill Yourself (sorry, Android only) - you’re a 40-something man who’s been fired from his job and left by his wife who decides to end his miserable life. The tone is quite grim, but the game is intended to be funny and comical :stuck_out_tongue: the goal is basically not just to die, but to find all the ways to do so. It’s free - at least, the “original” game is. I first developed and published 18 endings, but then I added 12 more as an in-app purchase. I was planning to add 20 more as a second in-app purchase, but then… well, it’s embarrassing. Then I formatted my PC losing my keystore file which I thought I had backed up. So I have no way of updating the app :cry:

The game has ads, which are shown after each death. If you don’t want to be annoyed, go offline before turning off the game. I won’t be missing those 0.001 cents I’d get from your impressions anyway :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d be happy if you wrote me your opinion and suggestions :slight_smile: at the moment I have story and puzzles set up for another game, but I’m lacking the time to develop it. And, I don’t even want to re-use my engine, because it’s only Android and I really really want to publish something for the PC, so I’d first need to redesign my engine.


#3

@guga Cool idea. Sadly I do not have a decent android device.


#4

This is something I intend to do. I’m learning Unity for this purpose but there’s just so much in this software it’s bit overwhelming. I’m not a programmer so I bought some plugins - Playmaker and Adventure Creator to help me with the engine. I haven’t even tried the second yet, so it will be a while. I’m a writer and a musician / sound guy, so I suspect the main problem will be graphics, if I’ll stick with doing everything by myself.

As for released games, I loved The Bum. It’s a free AGS game. It’s was made by Polish creator and I’m Polish too but I honestly don’t know the guy. It has one too many of Lucasarts references but other than that, I was surprised by how good and funny it was. I almost never check out free AGS games so it was a lucky find.


#5

People are lazy! Here’s the link: The Bum


#6

If one would develop a game like a cardboard table game for mobiles, which can be adventure based also, with cooldown times, random collectable cards… how hard is to make? The alternative to adventure games for me is some sort of digital table game, not linear like monopoly, but I guess would be complex to create and update especially :slightly_smiling_face:


#7

That’s an unusual goal, for sure. Did you receive any critic from people who thought that the topic was no laughing matter? If so, how did you handle them?

I’m curious to know how many people (as a percentage of those who played the game) purchased the “extension”. Could you disclose this percentage? In another thread I was wondering if in-app purchases could be applied to PnC adventure games.


#8

I’m one of them. Hope the percentage is not 100%…


#9

A lot of people, but also surprisingly few if I compare to the number of downloads. I usually answer in two ways: the first is that games aren’t real life, and if war can be made into a game (not to mention GTA!), I see no reason why one can’t laugh at suicide.

The second is: I had - also surprisingly - way more actual suicidal people writing me to tell that they loved the game, that they found it funny and that it helped them vent off the bad thoughts a little bit. I bring up this fact asking upset people if they actually played the game or stopped at the title, because if a suicidal can play it and find it funny, I don’t see how a NON suicidal can be offended. And guess what? :stuck_out_tongue: some of them wrote back to tell that they tried the game and they got wrongly triggered.

I’d say around 1% of people who downloaded the game. Unfortunately I don’t have any analytics in my app to better discriminate between people who just downloaded it and uninstalled after a couple of minutes and people who actually tried to play it at least long enough to get a handful of achievements. There are a lot of serial downloaders out there, who just install whatever is free, take a look at it and uninstall, so the percentage might be a bit higher. For me, it’s already enough that somebody thought “hey, this game is fun and I’d pay for more” :slight_smile: it’s quite satisfactory.

The strange part is that it seems Google removed the game (or reduced it in rank) from the searches after I added the extra pack. I published it end of July 2016, and until that I had an always growing number of visitors in the app page, up to 70k in July. After that, it dropped drastically to 10k in a couple of months. The percentages remained the same - 25% of the visitors download the app, 1% of the downloaders purchase the extension - but I now have seven times less visitors than I had before I set the flag “contains in-app purchases” on the store :angry:

I don’t know if IAP are suitable for adventure games. My game is actually a puzzle game. It has the same mechanics of an adventure game, but it has no story, no development. So you could just add new rooms, new stand-alone puzzles, and sell them separately. It “works”, but for an actual adventure I’d have my doubts. It could work for something like in TWP - you have character flashbacks. You talk with a character, he tells you a bit of his backstory, and then you have the choice, if you want, to play his story instead of having it told. It works if it’s something thought out as an extra and not something vital to the game like in TWP.


#10

That’s really clever. I can see IAP working with Larry games as well. Get more chicks to bang or get more nude shots of girls. How about - buy more insults for Monkey Island 1. IAP is horrible idea though, so maybe we should stop there.


#11

I´m not sure if this comes close to what you´re talking about, but it seems a bit like you were describing this:


#12

Maybe this alone is a more meaningful and important accomplishment, even if accidental, than any download/purchase result you have achieved. :slight_smile:

I assume that many developers use Google Analytics or similar analytics solutions to monitor what the players do in the game?

Did you try to temporarily disable the flag and check if the number of visitor increases, to understand if the loss of visibility was actually related to the flag or if it was caused by other factors?

I think that’s a tough question, mainly because most people see IAP used to sell addicting garbage to players and conclude that this method of payment can be used only to sell addicting garbage. I’m not still convinced that it’s impossible to sell optional features that don’t negatively impact into the story or the puzzles. Maybe some adventure game developer has already tried this experiment.


#13

I suppose they do too, but I’m just a hobbyist. I just wanted to finish a game. For the record, I also wanted to add “share” buttons to share on the socials whenever you unlocked an award, but as I was studying facebook sdk and so on I thought it was too much for a hobby. If I were to do that as my day job, I’d add all that stuff.

The risk would be having the app removed from the store, because it’s a policy violation. I don’t want to risk :stuck_out_tongue:


#14

Google needs statistics to take profit.


#15

This sentence brought this old topic on my mind.

@anon36378415, would you mind sharing with us your game? :smiley: I’m pretty curious


#16

Most of my games have not been ‘put out’. One did escape but made me so little money I don’t talk about it.

I can tell you about my adventure on the Amiga. It was a fan made graphic adventure like a Lucasarts on a budget of 0$. Basically it was playing quite well but was killed because I couldn’t afford the art.

It was called

The Monkey of Secret Island

. One day when I revive it I’ll put out my old disks and put up some pictures. I am umming and arring with reviving it but it will be early next year at the earliest.


#17

Come on :smiley: nobody here (well, except for Ron) makes a living with games, mine too wasn’t a commercial success. I’m just curious about forum-made games :stuck_out_tongue:


#18

If I can find out the disks from the loft I will put up a pic or two. I have an issue where I end up getting to about 80% and then get obsessive over small things so games don’t always get finished.


#19

Ah, the Pareto principle.

Anyway, someone once said “you just need to stop working on a game on one day and move on, it’s called shipping”.

It was Ron.

I don’t think the perfect game exists, and the bugs/glitches that remain in them can be Easter eggs for the obsessive players to track down too.


#20

Not really, no, not in my case. That 80% complete game would take a lot of time but I would then end up focusing on things that were not important for fear of ‘letting go’, ‘putting it out there where it can be judged by others’ You can’t be offended or upset by comments if you don’t get them!!