Category Archives: Entrapment

Entrapment Postmortem

It has been over a year since Entrapment’s initial release with the AGS Bake Sale and this space of time has allowed me to contemplate on the development of the game. As I recently released a slightly updated version of the game it seemed like the ideal time to write a postmortem of the development behind the original game. This article was featured on Game Career Guide as a Student Postmortem as the game was created initially during my time at University. In it I discuss the good and the bad elements behind the development of Entrapment.

Introduction

I was probably 7 or 8, when my older sister’s boyfriend gave me his Super Nintendo Entertainment System. He was into sports and racing games and so had a couple of driving games and golf, I think, but I was never really into sports. I found the games dull and boring and so it wasn’t long before I went to my local Gamestation and bought something with brighter colours and a familiar face. When I first put the Super Mario All Stars cartridge into my second hand SNES I was blown away. What appeared on screen was a world that I could explore, characters that I could manipulate and interact with and secrets that I could discover. What I witnessed resonated with my childhood self and left a voice in my brain that would echo around my head for the rest of my life. ‘This is it’ it said, ‘This is what I’m going to do with my life’.

From that day on I was obsessed with the notion of making games. I drew characters, I invented worlds, I wrote detailed scribbles on game mechanics and began coming up with stories rather than having them read to me at bed time. Throughout my education I strived to cater my subjects to courses that would benefit me in my dream goal of becoming a game designer. This eventually led me to the University of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, UK, where I would study a degree in Computer Game Design. In my final year I started work on my major project, which started off as a demo for an adventure game, but within a year grew into a short game that was included in the AGS Bake Sale Bundle and helped to raise over $4000 for Charity.

This is the story of Entrapment, but more importantly, it’s the story of the lessons I learned from making it. I will be covering the good and the bad, but let’s start with the good part first.

Screen01

What Went Right

 

1. Using the Right Tools

I’m not a programmer by nature. Throughout school, I much preferred making my ideas come to life through words and concept images, but that will only take your game so far. When I hit 17, I decided it was time to actually make a game instead of writing them down or filing ideas away in my brain. I opened my laptop and began searching for a FREE game creation tool. The idea of having to program something really scared me and I kept being put off by phrases like ‘programming language’ and ‘code’. I began to feel that my search was fruitless as I had no idea what I was looking for, until I stumbled upon a game editor specifically for Adventure Games. I should take this opportunity to mention that I. LOVE. ADVENTURE GAMES. Even before they made their come back, I was always fascinated by games like Broken Sword, Monkey Island and Simon the Sorcerer. With this Game Engine I could create my very own. What I proceeded to make was an abomination called ‘The Adventures of Turquoise Macdonald’. I returned to the game engine years later to make a few games for University. When it was time for my final project, I had accumulated enough basic AGS programming knowledge to create a decent demo. I then felt comfortable to continue the project and make it my first fully finished game (not counting Turquoise Macdonald). Selecting the right tools for the job is essential for development. By all means, try new things out from time to time – it’s the only way to make sure you are using the right tools – but for something like a final project at university, you need to ensure that you go with something you’re comfortable with. Choosing the right engine to make Entrapment in was a vital factor in it seeing the light of day.

 

2. Reaching out to the Community

I was working on Entrapment pretty much on my own. As well as being an awesome tool for making games, Adventure Game Studio also has an excellent community.  The forums are full of friendly people who are willing to help out whenever you need advice on your code or the best way to do something or even something totally non-game related. As I was working alone, I felt it was important to reach out to the AGS community for feedback on the game. I posted screenshots of artwork asking for improvements, I asked people what they thought was the best adventure game interface as well as looking and offering comment on other people’s work. This brings me to my favourite thing about Entrapment, the music. I don’t have a musical bone in my body and when it came to putting music into Entrapment I didn’t want to take some random loop I found on some website, I wanted it to be tailored to the game. I was looking for a way I could find someone who would be willing to make music for the game for free, and I thought what better place than the community of people who are interested in creating things with AGS. I added a post on the forums asking if anyone was interested in helping out with the game and within a week I had a number of replies. Because I reached out to the AGS community, I went from having no music in the game and no idea how to make it, to having someone who was talented and dedicated to creating an original soundtrack for the game. I asked Brian ‘SwordofKings128’ Carnrike to make the music for the game and he did a spectacular job. He also offered some valuable input on the game itself and without him and the AGS community I believe that Entrapment would have nowhere near the creepy atmosphere that it has.

 HallwayLivingArea-1

3. Joining the AGS Bake Sale

To begin with Entrapment was just going to be something I put out there for free on the Adventure Game Studio website and that would be it. It would probably be played by just a handful of people and it wouldn’t have received very much exposure.  Around a month before I was due to release the game, I heard about the Adventure Game Studio Bake Sale. The AGS Bake Sale was going to be a bundle of games made with AGS where players could pay what they want for the games and the proceeds would go to a worthy cause. Initially, this cause was going to be helping out the cost of maintaining the AGS website and forums, however this was scrapped in favour of donating the money to charity. I felt this would be an opportunity to give something back to the AGS community, gain some exposure and help out a worthy cause. I offered Entrapment up to the Bake Sale and it released in January 2012. Managing to get Entrapment to be part of the AGS Bake Sale offered exposure I wouldn’t have thought possible otherwise, appearing on The Escapist, Rock Paper Shotgun and Indie Game Mag. It also felt amazing when I heard that we had managed to raise over $4000 for charity. Joining the Bake Sale also gave me an awareness of the importance of seeking out opportunities for your game to gain exposure, even if it is a free one.

 

4. Including Humour

Initially I wanted Entrapment to contain very little to almost no humour due to the story and themes of the game coming from a very dark and creepy place. As soon as I started to write dialogue for the game I felt as though the exclusion of comedic elements was going against every adventure game I had ever played. From Monkey Island to Broken Sword, all these games included elements of humour, even if it played only a small part. Writing heavily serious dialogue for Entrapment felt wrong and so it wasn’t long before the odd joke began to slip in. Once I had written the dialogue the game contained hints of dark humour. Looking back, I’m happy that I made this decision. I feel as though the inclusion of humour allowed players to enjoy the game a lot more. Otherwise the game could have ended up being a dreary depressing mess. I believe that as long as your game isn’t focusing itself on a deeply serious topic, then the inclusion of humour can never be a bad thing and, if done well, will only enhance the player experience, just as those adventure games did throughout my childhood.

Pitch Board

5. Listening to Feedback

I think it is a good idea to gain feedback on your game as soon as possible. When you have a playable prototype, send it out to people that you trust and get them to give you feedback. With Entrapment, I got a lot of feedback from Brian who worked on the game’s music and it was him that suggested that I include some allusions as to Sam’s backstory and the possible reasons why he was doing what he was doing (could you believe I had an almost complete version of the game without coming up with this?). So I included the conversation at the start of the game to give a hint to players as to what was the cause of Sam’s *ahem* issues. Getting others to play your game and offer feedback is also crucial when it comes to testing. Listening to the feedback of others will ensure that your game doesn’t contain any serious flaws that players don’t understand or might not agree with and catching this early on in development is much easier than trying to fix these aspects further down the line.

 

What Went Wrong

 

1. Too Much Exposition

Looking back I realise now that the introduction to Entrapment is WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. The series of cutscenes that start off the game are long, tedious and annoying. When you boot up a game, you want to be able to play the game. Take The Secret of Monkey Island for instance, Guybrush walks onto the screen, says “I want to be a Pirate” and that’s it, the game starts. If I had taken this approach with Entrapment and just let the player explore and piece together the story as they played, I would feel much better about the start of the game. When I watch people playing through that opening sequence it’s excruciating and not something I ever plan on having in a game ever again. Time Stone’s introductory sequence was tiny in comparison, but even then people felt as though it was too long, so imagine what people thought of Entrapment. People want to play games, not watch them and this is important to bear in mind when thinking of including cutscenes for your game.

 

2. Lack of Motivation

Throughout Entrapment’s development I had periods where my motivation was running thin. I would sense a feeling of ‘I simply cannot be bothered’ which led to poor animations, puzzles being cut and almost no polish to the game at all. The end result was that Entrapment lost some of its initial soul which it had when I started creating it and that then led to being less motivated as I felt I was working on a lesser version of the game I had envisaged. I’m not sure what caused the lack of motivation for Entrapment, but I didn’t do enough to maintain it. I should have given myself a clear development timeline with deadlines and interim deadlines so that it felt as though I was achieving things along the way. Take time to discover and reflect on what motivates you when working on a game and bear that in mind during development, otherwise you can lose steam and struggle to regain it.

 

IMG1

3. Art Frustration

I don’t consider myself an artist, even though I did the artwork for Entrapment and Time Stone. I DO think that my art has improved with each game I have made. I had a lot of frustration early on with Entrapment due to the fact that I couldn’t seem to get perspective right. I would draw out a layout of a room on paper using rulers to get the perspective right, then scan it in, put a sprite of Sam over it and see if it felt right. If it didn’t, I would start again with different perspective point locations. At one point I even made a small scale model of Sam Drake to put against these drawn out images to see if the scale was right. This may sound like a convoluted way around to do it, and IT IS! It took many attempts to find one I was happy with and it was a frustrating process. Now I have a much simpler method of getting the perspective right for my adventure game backgrounds. This method consists of creating simplistic 3D models of locations and then painting over them in PhotoShop, which is much easier than the method I used with Entrapment. My lesson here was to practice my art and read up on art techniques that could have saved me some time and frustration. Alternatively, there may have been someone I could have asked to help  out with the artwork, but for me, I wanted to practice my skills. In a way, I could look at the art frustrations as a positive, as they helped me hone my skills and find new ways of trying things, but at the time there was a huge amount of stress involved for me with trying to do the art for Entrapment when I doubted my skills as an artist.

 

4. The Ludicrous Storyline

This is my biggest regret with Entrapment. I could have spent the time creating a wonderfully simplistic story that still had elements that hinted at a bigger picture, much like Time Stone. Instead I chose to create a game about a man who is trying to frame himself for murder. When I write it out like that I honestly cannot see what I was thinking. How would anyone ever think “You know what, that sounds like a really gripping story” and it is. If you’re talking about it gripping hold of your gonads because it’s so painful! To make matters worse, the reason behind this character wanting to frame himself for murder is utterly ridiculous. The story for Entrapment is probably the worst thing about the game. I may be coming across as being really critical about it, but it’s just something that I feel really strongly about. I feel as though I have learnt from the experience and now know to think carefully about story and to get feedback early on to avoid making the same mistake again.  Games don’t *have* to contain a story, but if your game is centred around a story – as a lot of adventure games are – then you need to make sure it fits well and doesn’t detract from the gameplay.

The Letter 3

5. Long Gaps of No Work

The development of Entrapment suffered from long periods of no work being done on it. It could have been University, work getting in the way, personal life or lack of motivation as I mentioned earlier but, for whatever reason, I was unable to spend any long amount of time solidly working on the game and I believe that game suffered for it. What could have been completed in a matter of months ended up taking over a year to complete outside of other commitments. Sometimes gaps would last months and this may have contributed to the lack of motivation point from earlier. It meant that I would lose touch with the game and the longer I was away from development, the less I felt inclined to work on it. In the future, I feel as though it would be important to ensure that I will have time to work on a game before I start making it. The last thing I would want is to be really excited with an initial prototype, only to not work on it until months after and have lost all enthusiasm for it.

 

Summary

Entrapment started as a bunch of doodles in a sketchbook based around a simple game idea that I wanted to use as my final project at University. The end result was something I was only partially proud of. I like to think that players enjoy the music and the puzzles from the game, but I feel a little disheartened that I allowed myself to get as carried away with the story as I did. Here are the 10 lessons I learned from Entrapment in a handy list form. May you take away from them what you will; no doubt you will make your own mistakes as everyone does. Just make sure you learn from them.

  • 01: Choose the right tools for the job
  • 02: Reach out to the community when you need help
  • 03: Never miss an opportunity to increase exposure for your game
  • 04: Include humour where possible. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone
  • 05: Listen to feedback and get feedback early
  • 06: too much exposition can be damaging to your game
  • 07: Keep motivated
  • 08: Practice your art skills
  • 09: Revise your story until it feels right
  • 10: Stay on track during development

 

Entrapment Details

Developer: Stuart Lilford

Number of Developers: 1, with help on music from Brian Carnrike

Length of Development: 1 year

Release Date: January 2012

Development Tools: Adventure Game Studio, Adobe Photoshop, Fruity Loops

Platforms: PC

Time Stone & Entrapment now available on Itch.io

 

I just realised that it’s been over a year since I started working on Time Stone. Since then I’ve also re-released Entrapment and in that time my games have won awards and been featured on a number of sites. It’s been a crazy year and I’ll have to write up something about the year to come. But that’s not what this post is for.

Time Stone and Entrapment are now available on Itch.io. Why is this newsworthy? Well, Itch.io allows players to easily make donations to the games’ developers. Time Stone and Entrapment have both been on there for a couple of weeks and already someone has donated $5 to Time Stone. I found this amazing to say that I never even announced that they were on there! Someone must have found the game, played it and liked it enough to give a little something back to the developer that made it and I just found it heart-warming. It’s also hugely inspiring and even though it’s a small amount, has increased my motivation for making games.

So, If you have played either Time Stone or Entrapment and enjoyed them and feel as though you want to contribute something towards the future developments of Scared Square Games, then head on over to Itch.io and help us out by donating.

Scared Square Itch.io Page

Thanks to all the fans of Time Stone and/or Entrapment

10 Things That Inspired Entrapment

It’s been just under a month since the rerelease of Entrapment and it’s received some good praise from around the interweb. It was featured on GameJolt and Indiegames.com and was number 2 on Game Addictz Top Free Indie Games of the Week. Some people also left a couple of Let’s Plays around YouTube somewhere.

One thing I found interesting about the rerelease was the number of downloads Entrapment had compared to Time Stone. Here’s how the Gamejolt figures look:

Time Stone

TimeStoneNumbers

Entrapment

EntrapmentNumbers

So Entrapment has less profile views that Time Stone, but over a thousand more downloads. I’ve been struggling to try and explain this, because of the two, Time Stone is the much better game. Maybe it’s the artwork related to Entrapment that people found more appealing, maybe it’s the synopsis, I don’t know. There’s a lesson to be learnt from it, but I’m still not sure what that lesson is. Oh well.

Anyway, to celebrate Entrapment’s mild success, I thought I’d rehash this old article I wrote on the many things that inspired it, including references to them within the game. WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!

 

1. Fight Club

01FightClub

I remember seeing this film when I was young and most people seem to see the ending coming, but not me. I was blown away. The film itself contains such dark and mysterious content about what’s going on, it kept me guessing the whole way through. It took the film to get to the part where the main character is out looking for Tyler Durden and people are saying that HE IS Tyler Durden for me to start piecing things together. After seeing the film I became intrigued with the concept of Dissociative Identity Disorder in story lines.

Reference in Entrapment:

There are two! The iconic pink bar of soap on the metal tray in the Bathroom and the Graffiti on the side of the Hotel towards the roof says “Tyler”.

 

2. Adventure Games by Ben Chandler

02Hope
You may or may not know this, but Ben Chandler has made a ton of cool little adventure games using Adventure Game Studio. He is a fantastic artist and also a really great game designer. All of his games are available on Adventure Game Studio, but the one that really spoke to me was the game ‘Hope’. Ben Chandler and Steven Poulton created Hope in 48 hours and it’s a great simple adventure game. Its simplicity is the reason it caught my attention so much, it showed me that an adventure game doesn’t have to be an epic tale, it can be short and sweet and still give the player a feeling of satisfaction.

Reference in Entrapment:

Well, the receptionist  is named Ben after the inspirational designer behind all of these games.

 

3. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

03Jekyll
I read The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde while I was still in the designing phase of Entrapment. It’s a great book and was really the first story to investigate the disturbing psychology behind split personality disorder and the human conflict of good and evil. This is something I wanted to get across in Sam’s character and the book also introduced the idea that split personalities would take on a different physical form, which I also used for when Sam turned into Sam 2 as I dubbed him, or “Evil Sam”.

Reference in Entrapment:

If you look at the book case in the bedroom, Sam will say there are books by Robert Louis Stevenson before claiming not to know who he is.

 

4. 5 Days a Stranger

045Days
Easily one of the best series created with AGS, the Chzo Mythos games were created by Ben “Yahtzee” Crowshaw, now mostly known for his work on Zero Punctuation. It was mainly the art style that I took from this game, but it has a great story, atmosphere and great puzzles. It also involves a serial killer, which is also an important them of Entrapment.

Reference in Entrapment:

The Bathrooms in the two games share the odd item of furniture (The toilet, the sink, the rug).

 

5. Two Face (Harvey Dent)

052Face

Another Character that explored dual personalities, Harvey Dent is a tragic figure and embraces his psychological disorder. When working on the story for Entrapment, I realized that nobody ever has two good personalities? There is always one nice one and one really really bad one. I wanted Sam’s evil side to show on screen and using Two Face as a reference helped with that.

Reference in Entrapment:

Two Face – Harvey Dent – The Dent Hotel. I didn’t just make names up you know, I put a lot of thought into naming conventions.

 

6. Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes

06LifeOn

These two fantastic British Television Drama series focus on the lives of people who have accidents and wake up back in time. The theme I took from this is the waking up, filled with confusion as Sam Drake does when we first see him in Entrapment. If you haven’t seen Life on Mars (The British Version), then I definitely recommend it.

Reference in Entrapment:

The main protagonists in the series are Sam Tyler and Alex Drake, a mash up of their names gives you Sam Drake.

 

7. Technobabylon

07Techno
Another great series made with AGS. Technobabylon is a series with great characters and a great story. The first game is also an escape the room game, so it draws similarities with Entrapment in that respect.

Reference in Entrapment:

When testing the game, it was made clear that the player needed more insight into why Sam had this psychological disorder. The opening of Technobabylon Part 1 involves a mysterious conversation between unknown people. I used this mechanic to add a small back story to Sam’s past (although you don’t connect this until later).

 

8. Sin City

08Si
Frank Miller’s Sin City is a phenomenal graphic novel series. It explores a dark gritty world, which is mostly conveyed through internal monologue. I used a lot of internal monologue within Entrapment for Sam Drake and I like to think that I kept Sin City and other graphic novels in mind when writing down Sam’s thoughts.
Reference in Entrapment:

Sadly, there is no direct reference to Sin City within Entrapment, maybe the black and white video tape section could count?

 

9. Doctor Who

00Doctor
I’m a huge fan of Doctor Who and it wasn’t the brilliant science fiction elements that I took from it for Entrapment (as there are none), it was the strong female roles within the series. The Doctors companions (usually female) all have strong characters. Martha is the only female in the game and I wanted her character to come across as a strong compassionate one with her conversation with Sam. I looked to Doctor who for that.

Reference in Entrapment:

I used the first name of one of the Doctor’s companions, Martha Jones, as the name for Sam’s wife as she was meant to come as strong as the character from the series.

 

10. Saw

10Jigsaw
Horror films aren’t usually my thing, but I really enjoy the Saw films. The whole mythology around the Jigsaw killer and the games that he makes people play are brilliant. I totally used the idea of a serial killer that traps you in a room and you have to escape. I love the whole Escape the Room genre such as Crimson Room and Entrapment is basically an escape the room game, with serial killers.

Reference in Entrapment:

As well as being an important point in the story, the camera in the bedroom closet is a nod to the Saw films.

Well that’s it, an extensive list of inspirations to me when I made Entrapment.

 

Entrapment OST Is Now Available For Download

The original Soundtrack for our creepy adventure game, Entrapment, is now available to download for FREE!

This bundle of Entrapment tunes contains 7 wonderful tracks by Brian Carnrike:

1. Menu

 

2. Creepy Title

 

3. The Body

 

4. Trapped

 

5. Airvents

 

6. Revealed

 

7. Credits

 

You can download the full track on Entrapment’s Gamejolt page right here:

http://gamejolt.com/games/adventure/entrapment/24537/

Or you can download it HERE!

 

Entrapment Release

Entrapment-New-Logo

Entrapment started out as a project that I created while at University studying Computer Game Design. I eventually turned it into a fully playable short game that I was planning to release for free. At the time, the Adventure Game Studio community created a pay-what-you-want bundle of games to raise money for charity called the AGS Bake Sale. I put Entrapment forward to be a part of it and the bundle ended up raising over $4000, which was pretty neat. A year after the bundle, I was free to release Entrapment as I wished, however I wanted to update it a little here and there before I did so. After a couple of months of working on bug fixes and some gameplay improvements, Entrapment is now available for you to play again:

Head on over to the Entrapment page for download options, or download direct below:

“My name is Sam Drake… and for the past few months, someone has been trying to frame me for murder.”

Sam Drake keeps waking up in Hotel rooms with the bodies of dead girls in the room and the police never far away. He has no memory of what happened to him the night before. He thinks that someone is secretly drugging him and then trying to get him framed for murder. He can’t think of anyone who would want to do this to him. He has had some lucky escapes, but this time, the killer has made it harder for him to get away. He’s determined to see Sam behind bars.

A short Adventure Game created with Adventure Game Studio which features a gripping story with plot twist and a drama thriller theme.

Entrapment was designed and created by Stuart Lilford. Original Soundtrack by Brian Carnrike.

Entrapment Dev Diary #04

Entrapment is an adventure game that I created for the AGS Bake Sale a year or so ago and is not currently available for people to play, as it was exclusively for a pay-what-you want bundle in which the proceeds went to charity. Now the time-frame of exclusivity has lifted and I’m free to release Entrapment to the public, but not before I make a few changes. While I am making these changes ready for the game’s re-release, I thought I’d share some old development diaries I kept from making the original. The following post was from September 2011. It has been updated slightly:

Adventure X was an expo that was held in the UK on Saturday and Sunday, December 17th 2011. It was a humble gathering of Adventure Game fans, Point and Click lovers and Game Designer and Developers from all over the world (mostly the UK). This marked the debut of the event and since then it has been a yearly thing.

You can find out more about the event by heading on over to the official website:

Adventure X

Entrapment had the privilege of being one of the games that exhibited at the first event. I was also there personally to answer questions about Entrapment, Scared Square Games (which was known as Lightbulb Games back then) and also to have some friendly chats.

Above is a video of highlights from the event. The movie contains the talks by Chris Bateman and Neil Rennison and also a few words from me about Lightbulb Games, Entrapment and the AGS Bake Sale.

There has also been a wonderful write up from Will Ross over at Cubed Gamers about the event. I had the privilege of speaking to Will and he had this to say about his experience playing the Entrapment Demo:

Next, I met Stuart Lilford, director and designer of Lightbulb Games, who had brought along his little gemEntrapment, run on AGS, for me to try out. With “classic low-res goodness” and pointedly sarcastic comments from the main character, this demo game is well worth the time and effort put into its creation. You wake up in a sleazy hotel, with a corpse in the room you don’t remember, and an essay on the window explaining that there have been episodes of sniper elimination of cheating partners who have tried to escape in the past, hence the bars, instead of a simple “it’s locked”. I really enjoyed the selectable environment that had clearly taken much thought, red herrings and multiple options to make the experience unique every time you play. Hmm, I think there was a reason I didn’t first try the door… oh yes, that’s right. Because of the huge BOMB attached to it.

That last comment will only really make sense once you play the game, which you will be able to do soon. Here are some more snippets from the interweb regarding the bake sale:

The AGS Blog - We find out more about the background  and the Development of Entrapment.

Cubed Gamers - Will Ross of Cubed Gamers who attended Adventure X asked me about the future for Lightbulb Games (now known as Scared Square Games).

After the original AGS Bale Sale Bundle was available for a month with 14 great games being available, the AGS Bake Sale managed to raise over an amazing:

$4000

Thank you so much to everyone that bought the Bake Sale and we hope that you enjoyed all of the games. Some of the developers of the Bake Sale games took part in commentary of Let’s Play videos. Unfortunately we are unable to create one for Entrapment, but you can check out all of the existing ones right here:

Bake Sale Let’s Plays

That’s it for the old Entrapment Development Diaries. Entrapment will be available to play again from this Wednesday! So keep an eye out for the announcement.

Entrapment Development Diary #03

Entrapment is an adventure game that I created for the AGS Bake Sale a year or so ago and is not currently available for people to play, as it was exclusively for a pay-what-you want bundle in which the proceeds went to charity. Now the time-frame of exclusivity has lifted and I’m free to release Entrapment to the public, but not before I make a few changes. While I am making these changes ready for the game’s re-release, I thought I’d share some old development diaries I kept from making the original. The following post was from Wednesday 2nd February 2011. It has been updated slightly:

I’ve been getting a little frustrated with myself as of late as I feel I am a little lacking in the art department and when creating the graphics for project: Entrapment I had loads of trouble, but I feel as though this artwork for this bedroom scene has worked quite well and I must say that I am actually pleased with it. The main problem I had at the beginning was the perspective. when using one point perspective and then seeing what the character would look like walking around the room, I noticed that as he moved closer and further away from the screen, he seemed to shrink and grow respectively with regards to the perspective of the room. One way to solve this would be to use character scaling so that they get smaller as they move towards the back of the room. However I didn’t really want to do this as I wanted the character size to be consistent and also AGS’s character scaling feature looks a little… odd.  In the end I used two point perspective, but with the two points close together near the centre of the room.

I also had problems with lighting/shade. As I said earlier I feel as though I don’t have an artist’s eye and so had difficulty getting shadows and light to look right. I still don’t feel as though the lighting looks right in this image, but it will do. Let’s hope now that all of the other graphics go a lot smoother than this first one did.

Entrapment Development Diary #02

Entrapment is an adventure game that I created for the AGS Bake Sale a year or so ago and is not currently available for people to play, as it was exclusively for a pay-what-you want bundle in which the proceeds went to charity. Now the timeframe of exclusivity has lifted and I’m free to release Entrapment to the public, but not before I make a few Changes. While I am making these changes ready for the game’s re-release, I thought I’d share some old development diaries I kept from making the original. The following post was from Sunday 30th January 2011. It has been updated slightly:

Okay, so I’ve begun my Second semester at University and for my Major Project, I have decided to work on my Adventure Game Drama: Entrapment. Last Semester I created the prototype, so now I’m working on the actual game and there’s a lot to do. Organization is a key factor when designing/creating a game and when looking at the Minecraft website I noticed that the creator ‘Notch’ had an online To Do list using the Toodledo website. I decided to sign up and create my own for Entrapment, which I am making public for anyone to view.

My Entrapment To Do List

Hopefully, this will help me keep organized with what needs to be done. Other than this I have been busy at work on the artwork such as the background Images and the animations for the player character. I still have a little work to do on the Backgrounds, but here are some attempts at sprites for the main player character.
 

I think they are a lot better than the ones that were in the prototype! My main priorities right now are creating the backgrounds and working with the walking animations for the player character, so hopefully I will have an update on these soon.

Entrapment Development Diary #01

Entrapment is an adventure game that I created for the AGS Bake Sale a year or so ago and is not currently available for people to play, as it was exclusively for a pay-what-you want bundle in which the proceeds went to charity. Now the timeframe of exclusivity has lifted and I’m free to release Entrapment to the public, but not before I make a few Changes. These changes include:

  • Improved Menu System
  • Removal of spelling errors
  • Removal of flashing cursor bugs
  • Improvements to opening cut scene
  • Improvement to some of the puzzles

There may be other changes, but this is all that is planned for now. While I am making these changes ready for the game’s re-release, I thought I’d share some old development diaries I kept from making the original. The following post was from Friday 14th January 2011. It has been updated them slightly:

The following is a screenshot of the prototype for project: ‘Entrapment’. Entrapment is an adventure game with a story written by me.

 Of course the artwork is simply placeholder, but I’ve been mostly working on the code/script for the game. It has been created using Adventure Game Studio.

 

 Looking back at the prototype, I can already tell that my artwork has improved since then. With the prototype, I sent it out to testers and got some feedback on the game. I think it was around 3 people in the end, who gave up their time to play this awful demo. They mostly were saying to keep going with it and they were looking forward to seeing it finished.

I’ll be updating with more Entrapment posts in the coming weeks/months/however long it takes to get it ready.