Thursday 27 November 2008

XAGE feature list

We now have a name - XAGE - standing for Xna Adventure Game Engine. I'd played around with a few acronyms but this seemed the most obvious and least offensive to the eyes and ears.

Completed features:
  • Point & Click Interface (SCUMM-esque verb construction)
  • Input Handling (Xbox controller & mouse)
  • Multiple Rooms
  • Inventory System
  • Global & local characters / objects, all drawn via Y position
  • Object scripts
  • Character Walking (walkboxes, character scaling)
  • Character Talking
  • Audio - Sounds, Game Songs
  • Skippable Cutscenes
In Progress:
  • Menu System (mostly done)
  • Load / Save system (fine on PC, not yet working on xbox)
  • Audio - Networked songs (fine on PC, needs multithreading to work smoothly on xbox)
Yet to implement:
  • Conversation Trees
  • Conversation Gestures
  • Reaching (high, low, across)
  • Room Entry and Exit scripts
  • External Cutscenes
  • Compression of save files
  • Loading of non-compiled assets (for easier PC-only production, i.e. no .xnb files = no VS2008 requirement)
  • Full UI scalability (i.e allow any reasonable gamescreen size and resolution)
  • User defined Object variables (not sure if this is needed yet)
Once the above has been implemented I'll begin work on my game - I have two ideas floating around, one inspired oddly enough by In The Night Garden. This will help me iron out any glaring bugs and any useability issues as I want XAGE to be as robust as possible before release. As it stands the tool has very little control validation and no circular referencing so needs a bit of work.

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Tool Video

A quick video showing the XNA Adventure Game Creator Tool (working title) in action - it's a bit grainy due to compression but you get the general idea of how it works:

Announcing XAGE


It's about time I started a development blog for this sort of thing.

I'm developing a SCUMM-esque engine for adventure games using the XNA framework. Eventually I hope to release an indie game via the recently launched Xbox Live Community Games service.

Development is going well and I'm about 60-70% complete on the engine itself. Here's a quick clip showcasing the engine (using placeholder MI2 graphics):

Alongside development of the engine, I'm also making a tool for the creation of the game content. In my opinion it's very easy to use and requires no actual programming or even scripting knowledge in order to create characters, rooms, objects, events etc. Here's a screengrab:


I'm hoping that there'll be interest in the eventual release of this tool in order for people to make their own Point 'n Click games for my engine. Games could be released for the PC, Xbox360 and Zune, but not any other formats as the XNA framework does not support this.

I'm trying to figure out what sort of model to use, either:
a) Collaborate: Find a pixel artist and possibly a composer with whom to make XBLCG games and share the profits.
b) License: Release the engine and content tool free for non-commercial use, licensed for commercial use (i.e. either an one-off payment or a percentage of revenue - probably the latter as coughing up money upfront tends to put people off)

Any feedback/suggestions/questions welcome.