Adventure Maker: No Prior Game Development Knowledge Needed!

By Zac Jackson

I remember when I first started thinking about making games. I was overwhelmed. There were a plethora of game creators and engines out there, and most of them were too complex for me to understand at the time, and it almost pushed me away from game development entirely. The learning curve seemed too steep.

I very rarely see projects being developed that are targeted towards those who know little about making games or game development, so when I stumbled upon Dream Mix’s Adventure Maker, I was pleasantly surprised. You may remember Dream Mix, as we also wrote a review of another title they developed called Harrow.

 

 

One of my favorite games growing up was The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on Super Nintendo, and after watching the trailer for the game creator, I quickly picked up on how easy it would be to make something like that, and it really made me wish that something like this was more available when I started (I think the closest thing to this at the time was RPG Maker 95, but even that was a little too much for me). What is Adventure Maker exactly? That’s explained in more detail below, I also interviewed the developers behind the creator as well.  

 

What is Adventure Maker?

Adventure Maker is an adventure game creator that allows you to make games with no prior knowledge of game development, it’s as easy as dragging and dropping assets into the game and making the game almost feels like playing a game too. It’s also very customizable, the creator gives you the ability to change out the music, sprites, and art, as well as the ability to use visual scripting for advanced functionality. You can build massive worlds, and share them with others so they can explore them, and download worlds that others have created.

 

 

The first official campaign being developed in Adventure Maker, dubbed Runiya is currently on build 0.62. Dream Mix also plans to release more official campaigns after the release of the creator for backers of their Patreon.

Interview: Dream Mix

GameBorough: What motivated you to start developing games?

Dream Mix: Making some good games that have interesting concepts.

GB: What are some of your favorite adventure titles? 

DM: Majora’s Mask, Shadow of the Colossus, and (does this really count?) Sonic Adventure. Also the Uncharted series. I’m playing The Forest right now.

GB: What was your inspiration for developing Adventure Maker?

DM: Nintendo wasn’t interested in making a Zelda Maker, so that’s how it started, and then I moved to original sprites upon their request to remove copyrighted content.

GB: What are your long-term goals with the creator?

DM: It’s more of a game than an engine, to be honest. I’m not that smart yet. It works out though because my thoughts are to create a simple experience to get people into making games, even if they have little prior interest.

GB: How does Adventure Maker Help others achieve their goals?

DM: Hopefully to give them a fun game and trick them into coding with visual.

GB: What are some of the more useful tools found in the engine?

DM: Definitely the visual coding, the trigger objects, and I’m not sure if this is a tool, but an easy way to change sprites and music, and have them save with each individual adventure.

GB: Are there other tools and functionality coming to Adventure Maker in the future?

DM: I feel like there’s too much to list here, depending on what you mean by tools. It’s all pretty simplified for the most part since it’s more of a game than an engine, but I suppose the cutscene tool would be the most interesting thing to come!

GB: How can those interested in exploring Adventure Maker get started?

DM: They can become a patron at www.patreon.com/dreammix. They will get monthly builds of the game at the $5 level, and constant unstable updates at the $10 level. Donating $5 once saves your name in an email list so you will get the game on its final release.

GB: Do you have any advice for people who want to start developing their own games?

DM: Oh hell yea. I’d say if you’re interested, but don’t understand the basics, it may help to try using my game to create a short game. It’s hard for some people to grasp the basics when a lot of tutorials online talk about stuff like you already know that. I’m one of those people that struggled with this. This game is for people like me that also feel have that struggle. It’s a fun way to learn that doesn’t come off as educational. That’s what I’m shooting for anyway! I hope it helps some that struggled like I did.

GB: What other projects is Dream Mix working on?

DM: I’m currently working on Lock In (a first person, PS1 styled, Silent Hill inspired horror game). I just finished a fun little arcade game called Rutabaga, which you can get for free. The first game I completed is Harrow, which you can also get for free. For quality purposes, I should say that Rutabaga was finished in a day, and Harrow in a month. I’ve got many ideas brewing actually. Adventure Maker: Runiya is my main project right now, though.

 

Dream Mix Links:

Instagram: @dreammixgames

Harrow – an Indie Horror from Dream Mix

By Zac Jackson

 

Have you ever had a scary dream where you are super weak and unable to run away from the scary thing chasing you? Dream Mix recreated this feeling in game form with their title Harrow.

 

 

From what we know, Harrow is a culmination of several nightmares. All of these nightmares were in an old 1995-1998 horror video game setting, much like the Silent Hill series, which seems to be a huge influence for the developer of this game.

 

 

It wasn’t the creepy screenshots that influenced me to try out this game, or the SUPER CREEPY trailer, but this message by the developers in the description of this game:

By entering this game, you are entering the embodiment of the nightmares, and because of this, you should proceed with caution.

And so I did.

Loading the game up for the first time, I didn’t know what to expect. There is no typical “Start” screen. You start by carelessly walking off into the darkness, embracing your fate. The graphics style resembles early PS1 games, and the developers really did a great job recreating that art style, which plays into the creepy ambiance of the game.

The controls are simple, WASD to move, and the mouse controls the camera, as well as running and jumping. They don’t need to be complex because this game isn’t about crazy combat or dynamic systems. Instead, the game experience is built on fear of the unknown. There are “things that go bump in the night” in this game, and the eerie sounds that play throughout it make it feel like that are just beyond arms reach, waiting in the darkness to grab you. Because of this, there may have been screams coming from my office while myself and Game Borough’s Chief Editor Tim played through it…they definitely didn’t come from us though…I’m going to blame the boogie man.

 

 

If you are interested in learning more about this game or playing through it yourself, you can buy the game Dream Mix’s Itch.io page. We highly recommend this game if you are into the horror genre. And on that note, we will leave you with this tip from the developers.

Make sure you know the full threat that you could be putting yourself in when entering this nightmare. This is not a reference to the game, but to you.

What are some of your favorite scary indie games? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!