In a different thread, at one point, Hanon went:
I have probably tried every other creation tool since then.
And I just went… wow, that is very cool. Shortly after I read that, I was (by coincidence) booting up a game that was obviously made in GameBuilder. The style was immediately recognisable. SCI-style graphic/parser/wannabee engine.
So, hey, I just want to throw some names at you lot, if that’s ok, because frankly I was never really able to throw them at anyone else.
Do you all remember that DOS-based (and maybe Apple?) Adventure Construction Set? I fiddled around with that, never got it to work properly (my system was too fast for the program) but did have a nice time playing some of the random adventures it would churn out.
What about ZZT and MegaZeux? I used to have a sizeable collection of ZZT games, there was some great stuff
Did anyone ever try out Figment? It seemed to be rather buggy, but the gimmick it hinged on was multiple viewpoints, quite interesting. I tried making a Maniac Mansion port that way, and well, no go. I think it’s in the archive.
I actually bought Adrift and SUDS back in the day, I recall. Wow. SUDS was actually pretty interesting in the Andy Elliott days. I also bought The Games Factory back when I was a bigger idiot.
There was a strange program for making windows adventure games; first-person only, and with very limited features (and it’s not Adventure Maker), no idea what it was any more. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
Then there was this one which was about IF, but pretty graphical - it had various windows and pretty features, but a severely limited database. Which reminds me of Archetype, which was also pretty limited but not as pretty. I remember playing a Christian adventure of some sort in it…
Also tried CAT, and found it quite cool until I realised it had a hard limit I didn’t like.
What I really stuck to was AGS. It got so I was very comfortable with it; I actually replicated the LSL7 interface in it, just for the challenge (made it available as a template, but it was a huge, ugly mess; no one could really use it. Still, proof of conpect). Also a Space Quest 2 interface template, to prove it was possible. Great days,
simpler days. And through it all I was completely unable to actually release something original, go fig. I even implemented a sort of parser engine with clickable choices, like the old Legend games.
I remember trying Adventure Builder. I don’t think I got into it much.
And wow, I can’t believe what I just remembered… My uncle had this really really old laptop, that was unrecogniseable as a “laptop” by today’s standards. It did have BASIC (or QBASIC), and I actually went a surprising way towards porting Mystery House to that clunky old thing. My experiment was cut short when the thing died for good. Fun days!
So tell me, what game authoring tools did I miss in my misspent youth? What do you remember from yours? What game engines did you favour?
And hey, while we’re at it, let’s view the present. The only tools I could see myself using today would be Inform 7 and AGS. And you?