Wednesday, September 12, 2012

HG101 is Making an Adventure Game - Christopher Columbus is an Idiot

For the better part of the year, I've been working on my own adventure game. It's called "Christopher Columbus is an Idiot", which paints a pretty straightforward picture of what the game is about.

The story is loosely based on history, in as much as "history" is defined by checking a Wikipedia article, translating it into another language, forgetting half of it, and then delibrately misappopropriating the rest into a form that would surely baffle the academic community. In real life, Christopher Columbus someone so deeply denial about his misdiscoveries that he wrongly identified an entire race of people - a mistake with ramifications today! - and apparently refused to acknowledge that he'd ever done anything wrong. What kind of foolish buffoon does that? That's what we seek to answer.

Naturally, the project came about after I had finished up the HG101 Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures. After playing tons and tons of these titles, I've gotten a decent grasp of what I like and don't like about the genre, and wanted to concentrate that into my own project. That, and after slapping together Que Pasa, Perro? in a week (a game which I still love despite its obvious simplicity), I found that I enjoyed making games and wanted to do something on a grander scale. (And also make it an actual point-and-click game, so people would actually play it.)

I've felt that with the proliferation of indie development over the past few years, we've entered a second Golden Age of adventures games. But while titles like the Blackwell series, Gemini Rue and Resonance are all excellent, there aren't many of them that are all that least, with the exception of the two Ben There, Dan That! games, which I happily talk about all day to anyone in earshot. The reason why I loved these types of games as a kid was because they had an excellent sense of humor. Comedy in gaming is rare altogether, for reasons that I'm not entirely clear on, and I want to bring that back.

So Christopher Columbus is an Idiot is extremely silly. Sure, themes of colonialism and religion are explored, but it all takes the back seat to stripper librarians, beaver uprisings, nude time gypsies, crying dolphins, dandy fops, addle-brained monarchs, warrior princesses, hipster turkeys, pornographic conspiracies, dragon fetishists, telepathic rabbits, and at least a few references to the baffling 1992 adventure/dungeon crawler/space combat simulator game Inca. The whole deal is obviously inspired by LucasArts games (though the interfae is closer to Sierra) but the sense of humor is quite unique.

I hadn't intended to announce this quite yet, but it's come out into the open when I entered it into consideration for the Indie Dev Grant as part of the latest Bundle-in-a-Box. While I've got most of the design done on paper and a significant chunk of the game already up and running in Adventure Game Studio, I'm an awful artist, and need some money to pay for both graphics and music. The one screenshot at the top of the article is the only image vaguely representative of the final product, and even then, it's missing the interface. As of now, most of the game is rendered in MS Paint scribbles.

Anyway, when the Bundle-in-a-Box goes live on Friday or so, please consider adding a bit to the Indie Dev Grant, and voting for Christopher Columbus is an Idiot. I'll be happy to answer to any questions about it!

Here are a few more screens of the rough, work-in-progress version:


  1. I'm actually compiling a pretty in-depth list of librarians as represented in video games (I won't add the URL here for fear of it being labelled as spam), so I'm pulling for this game just for the promise of "stripper librarians" alone!

  2. I can't wait to see more of this.

  3. Please keep the graphics how they are...