Adventure News
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December 2003



Thanks to our Future of Adventure Games feature, we've been introduced to a promising new adventure game game. Developer Tale of Tales contacted us after seeing the article, and told us they're working on an innovative and artistic game that they simply call 8.

8 is a slow-paced non-violent game with a strongly poetic narrative. The story is set in multiple simultaneous versions of the "Sleeping Beauty" fairy tale. It has a fully explorable 3D world and -- although we've yet to see this in action -- it is said to be completely non-linear. The main protagonist in the game is a deaf mute girl. It will be up to the player to take her hand and guide her through the game world.

The game is being developed independently by Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn, a designer duo whose background is in art and web design. Thanks to subsidies from a number of institutes they've been able to put together an early prototype of the game, which we've been able to playtest. Although the interface is still being worked on, it looks to be an interesting mix of real-time 3D graphics and mouse-driven controls.

[image=1196] [image=1197] [image=1198]

Although the team's goals are mostly artistic, they're trying to create a regular commercial title with a mainstream appeal, and have had contact with adventure game publishers. The lead designers are now starting to work with freelance 3D artists from around the world. More information can be found on the Tale of Tales website.

8 is still a long way off, with a January 2007 release date. However, we will closely track its progress and will report back when there's more to tell.

Note: the screenshots we've included are work-in-progress.



Gamer's Hell is currently hosting a 'LucasArts Demo Invasion', offering a taste of many of the classic adventures released by LucasArts available to download, including such titles as:

Day of the Tentacle (1.1 MB)

Full Throttle (94.6 MB)

Grim Fandango (54.3 MB)

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (800 KB)

Loom (500 KB)

Monkey Island 1: The Secret of Monkey Island (200 KB)

Monkey Island 2: Le Chuck's Revenge (1.7 MB)

Monkey Island 3: The Curse of Monkey Island (18.2 MB)

Monkey Island 4: Escape from Monkey Island (116.5 MB)

Sam & Max (1.1 MB)

The Dig (27.1 MB)

Other, non-adventure demos are primarily Star Wars themed, and include:

Dark Forces (3.2 MB)

Jedi Knight (20.2 MB)

Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith (13.9 MB)

Jedi Knight 2 (66.5 MB)

Jedi Academy (187 MB)

Shadows of the Empire (6.6 MB)

Star Wars: Force Commander (77.7 MB)

Yoda Stories (3.1 MB)

Grab the demos of your choice here.



Retired game creator Al Lowe has published some of his original design documents on his website. This offfers a great opportunity for fans (or anyone interested in game design) to get a sneak peek at what goes into the preparation of designing a game.

The following complete design docs are available in PDF format: Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work, Freddy Pharkas, Frontier Pharmacist, Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out!, Torin's Passage, Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail! and Leisure Suit Larry's Casino.



Over at the Unofficial Tex Murphy fan site, Tex Murphy co-creator Aaron Conners has posted a progress report on his efforts to restart the series. Currently employed at Microsoft Games Studios, Aaron Conners is working together with Chris Jones on a prototype that they hope will convince publishers to fund a fully-fledged sequel to Tex Murphy: Overseer. Here's what Aaron had to say about the current state of development:

The past several months have been very productive and we now have a full team working on the engine, characters, and location graphics. On the story & design side, Chris and I have created a beautiful monster that we wrestle with on an almost daily basis.

Although the last three Tex Murphy games were created with full-motion video and live actors, Conners says the next game will be created in real-time 3D, though trying to get "as close as possible to FMV-quality". The art team is using the quality of the Max Payne 2 characters as a benchmark.

Conners & Co have made various attempts to resurrect Tex Murphy during the past year or-so. Plans for Tex Murphy Flash games, novels or radio theater seem to be on the back burner for now, in favor of trying to get a real sequel off the ground. Conners hopes to be able to make an official announcement soon.

Check out the Unofficial Tex Murphy forum for more Q&A on this project.



Gamespy has just run Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon through its crit mill, bestowing it with a score of 4/5:

"Game designers take note: This is how adventure games should be's enough to say that Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon is the best game of its kind since Grim Fandango and The Longest Journey. This is old-school adventure gaming at its finest."

Full review.

Meanwhile, The Gamer's Temple put Dark Fall: The Journal to the test, giving it a final score of 80/100:

"If you can squint past the fuzzy graphics, you will find a worthwhile, and very scary, adventure game here."



GameSpot has posted their annual Best and Worst of 2003 feature, naming Silent Hill 3 as the best adventure game of the year. The other nominees were Broken Sword 3, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, Syberia and Uru.

Silent Hill 3 makes a few changes to character and storyline but keeps the trademark exploration and puzzle-solving gameplay intact. The first two games had you wandering the peculiar town of Silent Hill looking for a lost loved one, but the third casts you as a confused young girl named Heather who awakens in a mysteriously deserted and rundown shopping mall.



Gameboomers has recently interviewed Benoit Sokal on his upcoming sequel Syberia 2, focusing on such key narrative aspects as the further developing storyline, Kate Walker's progress in her spiritual quest, and some of the new characters she meets on her adventures. The game's enhanced graphics engine is also discussed in addition to other technical improvements:

"All the characters that she left behind are talking really through her boss’s voice. What her boss is saying is, “she must come back - because that is what the reasonable thing to do is. Coming back home, coming back to what she knows and blah-blah-blah.” But, on the other side, she is going to meet a whole new bunch of people, during Syberia 2. This new cast of characters, what they are going to say to her is “that she is now a different person. That she is never going to go home again.

...We have to talk more in terms of a progression, rather than a revolution, in terms of the graphics. We are working with the same engine, but we have had more time to tweak it up a little bit. So we are going to have falling snow, added ice reflection…more dynamic lighting effects. The integration of the characters into the environment is better. Syberia 2 will also have better animation, more fluid animation. The clothing textures are improved."

Read the full interview here.

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