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

The Onus Helm: A Rogue-Like Meets Zelda With Procedurally Generated Levels

By Tim Youngblood

 

In the Onus Helm, you play as a guy who wakes up with a magical helmet on his head that he can’t remove. He goes into a labyrinth to solve the Onus Helm’s mysteries and hopefully remove the helmet.

 

 

As for the gameplay, we can confront the elephant in the room… this game is very similar to the old Legend of Zelda games. Your health is displayed in hearts, rooms don’t open until you defeat all the enemies or solve a puzzle, and there is an assortment of not so original items such as the sword, bow and arrow, bombs, a boomerang… you get the picture. That being said, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I love the old-school Zelda games and would love to see more games with that classic style come out. Especially with Breath of the Wild being rumored to be the last Legend of Zelda game.

What The Onus Helm has that Legend of Zelda doesn’t, is procedurally generated levels for replayability. Often, when replaying classic games for SNES or Sega Genesis, there isn’t much to gain in terms of skills or entertainment because the fights are always scripted the same with no variation. This makes the games more of a test of memory than skills. Having procedurally generated levels allows players to have new experiences playing still playing in the same engine.

 

That’s so Zelda!

 

The Onus Helm’s Kickstarter Campaign

Unfortunately, the team at B-Cubed Labs is unlikely to meet their funding goal on Kickstarter. As far as their campaign and promotion they did a lot of things right. They set a modest goal of $5,500, had a playable demo, and made lots of cool gifs. The game was covered by a lot of big websites too. There are a few things that might have helped them reach their goal, although, running a Kickstarter campaign and failing is still good for promoting a game.

I think that a press kit would have helped them out a lot. I scoured the internet to find a decent featured image (Around 600x 400 pixels) and ended up having to resize an image anyway. This could have turned off a lot of media outlets from covering the game. I also would have liked to learn more about the story. Normally, I would advise not going too deep into lore on a Kickstarter campaign, but I wanted to learn more about. All you can really glean from the campaign is “Guy gets helmet stuck on his head and has to do Zelda stuff to remove it”. Lastly, I would have liked to see a longer demo. It didn’t take me long to beat the level, and although I enjoyed the gameplay, I had seen all there was to do in less than 10 minutes. Comparatively, I spent hours playing the demo for Broken Reality.

Fortunately, with crowdfunding, you can always run a new campaign later! I love the concept of the game and I think their stretch goal of making the game multiplayer will make it a unique gaming experience and distance The Onus Helm from stereotypes of being a lazy Zelda clone. If you check out B-Cubed Labs on Twitter and itch.io, you’ll see that there are actually a lot of cool fight mechanics a very fast gameplay style. Unfortunately, I don’t think the demo does what B-Cubed Labs is trying to build justice.

 

Learn More About B-Cubed Labs and The Onus Helm