Anyone who has every heard of Monkey Island, the Day of the Tentacle, the Sam & Max series or Leisure Suit Larry will know the history of adventure gaming is peppered with intriguing, immersive worlds and excellent storytelling. And Leisure Suit Larry.
This weekend, adventure games (the digital type, not dressing up) come to London in the form of the AdventureX 2013 event. Adventure games tend to focus less on graphics and action, and more on gameplay, innovation and on creating believable yet frequently bizarre stories and characters. Our recent crowdfunding feature included The Slaughter by London-based Alex Francois, which will be one of the games on show at the event (and which is edging towards its funding target as its Kickstarter reaches its climax). A murder mystery set in Victorian London is a good example of the type of game you can expect to see at UEA London over both days of this weekend — i.e. not Call of Duty.
Other titles include: 2D puzzler Location Services, about the unlikely exploits of a collector of information who tracks down individuals for money; Quest for Infamy, where you play a shifty character trying to escape a shady past; and Bolt Riley, 'a reggae adventure'. Numerous independent studios will share their ideas and pitching their wares across the two-day symposium of fun.
Guest speakers include well-known writer and game designer Steve Ince. Additional half-hour talks from key figures in the industry could prove useful for anyone looking to break into adventure game creation, or find out which skills are most useful to existing developers.
The third annual AdventureX kicks off at 10.30am on both Saturday and Sunday (7-8 December 2013) at UEA London, a few minutes from Liverpool Street station. Entry is free (just turn up on the day), although a £12 'VIP card' entitles you to what game designers would call 'bonus content' — a selection of free games, plus discounts on various things on offer during the weekend. Full details can be found at the AdventureX website.
Image from AdventureX 2012.