Monthly Archives: September 2012

Talking about Quest and text adventure games on The Transmedia Podcast

I am the guest on episode six of Robert Pratten’s Transmedia Podcast. We had a good chat about the past, present and future of text adventure games, building interactive stories, expanding the “niche” for text based games, getting kids into game making and more.

It was great fun, though I inexplicably got the name of the first ever text adventure game wrong. So if you can forgive me for that, and the number of times I say “erm”, you should hopefully enjoy the podcast!

Download or subscribe to the Transmedia Podcast

Direct MP3 link

POV support – multiple player objects in Quest 5.3

Quest 5.3 adds support for a game to use multiple player objects. The game is still a single-player game, but you can now switch between different characters at any time.

This means you can now create a game where the player can explore from different points of view, or perhaps simply choose a pre-defined character when starting the game.

Previous versions of Quest simply had one object called “player”, which stored the player’s location, inventory, and any other attributes. As of Quest 5.3, any object can “be” the player, and it is easy to switch between them at any time using the new ChangePOV function (available on the script editor as “Change player object”).

So you could change the POV after asking a question in the game start script, in response to a command, or maybe after successfully solving a puzzle.

Each player object gets its own inventory and attributes. This includes status attributes, so each player could have their own health or stats, and these will be updated on-screen as the player switches between characters. For status attributes which apply across the entire game (perhaps “score” for example), you can still set these on the “game” object itself and they will be displayed whichever object is the player.

Objects can behave differently depending on whether they are the player or not. For example, if you have two player objects “Dave” and “Bob” in a game, and it is possible for them to be together in the same room at the same time, you will want different responses for “look at dave” and “look at bob” depending on whether the player is currently Dave or Bob.

To handle this, options that were previously only available for the single “player” object are now available for all objects. The object’s Options tab has a new “Player” section. If “Can be a player” is selected, new options appear where you can set an override “look at” description to display when this object is the player.

This new feature is part of Quest 5.3, which will hopefully be in beta around the end of October. In the meantime, you can download the nightly build from CodePlex.

Thanks to Phillip Zolla for sponsoring this work. If you’ve got an idea for a feature you’d really like to see in the next version of Quest, please consider sponsoring it as a way of making it happen – contact me for more details.

New free version of Visual Studio edits Quest source code

Microsoft have released Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop. This is the first time there has been a free version of Visual Studio which is capable of editing mixed-language .sln files.

This means you can now open and edit the source code for the desktop version of Quest without having to use a paid-for version of Visual Studio.

Download VS Express 2012 for Windows Desktop

Download Quest source code

More information on contributing to the Quest open source project

When you open the .sln file in VS Express, it will complain that it can’t open the Setup, WebPlayer and WebEditor projects. You can safely ignore these messages, as they are not required to build and run the main Quest project.

If you have any questions about the code, please visit the Developer Forum. Happy hacking!