FUNDAMENTALS OF GAME DESIGN, SECOND EDITION

Manipulating Objects

Determining how the player should manipulate objects presents one of the greatest challenges of designing an adventure game. The player typically must figure out what to do with particular objects to solve puzzles and advance the game. In text adventures, this amounts to guessing the correct verb. Play often produces inter­changes that look like this:

> OPEN DOOR

The door is locked, but it looks pretty flimsy.

> BREAK DOOR

I don't know how to do that.

> SMASH DOOR

I don't know how to do that.

> HIT DOOR

I don't know how to do that.

> KICK DOOR

The door flies open.

Sometimes this is fun; a lot of the time it isn't. In graphic adventure games in which the player uses a mouse or a handheld controller, designers no longer face this sort of problem but still have to decide how to allow the player to manipulate objects. The following sections outline some approaches.

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