Point-and-Click adventure in First-Person for DOS

Hello, I just wanted to talk about a project I’m working on to see if anyone would even care to see it.

Basically it’s a point-and-click adventure but in first person (like Myst or Riven) and will have FMV scenes when you travel from place to place, though it will be made for MS-DOS and the FMV will be made to look more like the pre-rendered CG animations from back then. Though I will admit this wasn’t the original idea though I’m not just settling for less than what I wanted just to get it done.

I originally wanted to make a 3D Zelda game in Nintendo 64 style but decided for multiple reasons this wouldn’t work as a fat fetish game too. Since the player model may get too big for the camera to work and/or too big to use items. I’ve thought about ways around these problems but eventually decided I’m not that good at game mechanics and better at making stories instead. More accurately interactive adventures.

So why didn’t I make one of those instead of a point-and-click? Well, because I wanted there to be a goal in the game and also to seem like a game to best fit from that time period in the look and feel I wanted. You can add a goal to interactive adventures, but if you were going to make a game from the 90s then it would have to be an interactive fiction (text adventure) or be a point-and-click (since they are similar after all in their mechanics). Though also I wasn’t entirely sure how to communicate a goal in an interactive adventure without carrying on for too long before we get into the gameplay.

Lastly, why DOS? This came from an even earlier version of the idea where it wasn’t 3D Zelda but more of a 3D Platforming RPG inspired by Paper Mario, but then I deemed that it would be too tricky to allow the player to switch between turn-based and active battle, and also I didn’t like the “gamey” feeling of the world (too obvious it was disconnected rooms that were loaded and unloaded, and while I love them in that game it wasn’t the fit for my game). Though it was the system that was meant for that gave the reason for the need of DOS, as I wanted to make that for the Sega 32X CD. While not everyone’s favourite system I wanted to use it for the way it would render 3D and 2D simultaneously but also how it can play CD audio and audio form the Mega Drive’s FM synthesis chip. Only one other systme really had what I was looking for in that way, old PCs with soundcards, so DOS became the obvious choice.

Now with the why, let’s move onto the what, so what is the idea?
I’ll admit I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I do have a few things (the map and the puzzles basically, as well as most of the rough interactive paths). But here’s what I do have:

You start the game with amnesia, no idea of what just happened or where you are (not set in stone might change) and your only option is to explore the area around you to figure out what’s going on. As you go around the place you find end up finding out more about who you are and what happened here, as well as solving puzzles that help you to other places and even solving ones which end up adding to your waistline. You also find people who are only echoes and disappear soon after but they help keep you company for what little time you see them and also help make your belt a little tighter, even though you don’t remember wearing one earlier, oh well perhaps you had just forgotten, you seem to be doing that a lot lately.

Of course you must have been wearing it all that time and just didn’t notice, just like you didn’t notice those doors being open before or that window leading to an nice suburban cul-de-sac outside, or is it leading to a futuristic city now that you’ve looked back. (If you can’t guess, this game also likes to mess with the player character’s perception of reality, as you figure things out and gain weight while befriending the non-existent people things will change around you to shape up the world until you learn the truth).

What is the truth? Well I guess you’ll have to play to find out. Though also because I haven’t figured it out yet either. While I feel that I’m at least okay at making interactive adventures I’m not so great at coming up with a beginning point for things, and thus I’m having an issue making the overall story but I’m trying to figure things out and look for inspiration but nothing’s jumping out at me at the moment. Which is why I wanted to tell you about it now while I only have the parts I’m willing to reveal for now ready. (I do have some story elements already just not some others, like I know you’re playing a female lead, who may turn into a male down certain paths but not for long, and basically where she ends up but not many of the answers as to why, which while might not be important to some people is important to me as a way to string everything together and give it meaning and purpose)

So what do you guys think? Would any of you be willing to play this game? Do you think I’m crazy for using DOS or is DOS fine by you? What’s that face doing at the window? Would you rather this game be a different type of game to interest you, or would you at least be willing to try it? How much would you be willing to pay for a game like this and of this magnitude (it’s going to be a big one, not too long but certainly not a short game)?

A Few other notes: (Things I feel I left unclear above)
This game will be what I call playful horror, not really scary but will include horror concepts in a lighthearted tone.
The weight gain scenarios will be FMV sequences themselves once you’ve gone through one you’ve unlocked the ability to watch it from the main menu.
I will port this to a console or two through Unity as a DOS shell, at least I’m planning on it.
The sound system idea I mentioned is also something not entirely required for anyone playing on DOS-Box with some sound systems need not emulated and/or you’re playing on real hardware and don;t have them, the game will play just fine but you’ll be missing part of the experience I intend for you. (This is also why I’m thinking of porting it, not in Unity as a DOS shell but using the engine I’m using to make this, AGS, and porting it over to a modern operating system with better resolution animations and the soundtrack all prerecorded)

One last note, this will take some time. I don’t have everything I need for this just yet. I still need to get a case for the DOS motherboard I have and the sound cards and stuff I want to use. I also need to get some stuff for the CG animations (mocap suit or camera, facial capture rig, and finger tracking gloves or similar) and also make all the 3D models and environments. So to make do for now I will make and show off early proofs of concept that will be using mostly text and traced art to show what I’m going for (I can’t draw and I’m still new to 3D modelling and animation, but to me the 3D route seems easier-ish given I only need the capture rig and the ONE model per character not multiple sprites, and I’ll show this off to show I’m actually working on something should I need to outsource the modelling to someone else).

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: Optional fix for the lack of being able to do 3D modelling of people, I’d be willing to do rotoscoped 2D animation of a live action actor as long as I can replace the face to match the character and also use this to add fat to the character (basically live action footage of an actor/actress, most likely skinny me, will be made and then each frame traced into an animation and altered to better match the character and size I’m looking for, ending up with something that moves realistically but is still is very cartoon-ish in nature). To do that however I will either need someone who can do 2D animation or get someone who can at least draw my key-frames for me to do the animation, though still I’m not sure how to do that either, but the option is on the table if it is the one I feel we be more work for anyone who’s stuck with doing than the 3D modelling route.

For the 3D route, I’ll probably need a character creator that can make really fat character models and also give me the look I’m going for (low-poly, like models made for the Nintendo 64 but with some details made for the face to be rigged to have a mouth that can open and close and textures that react to a facial skeleton rig in the animation software). The modelling program will most likely have to be free and also support exporting to a format supported by Blender. Though I’m also not sure if Blender can allow me to control the camera with a virtual camera rig (by that I mean a modified Wii U) and thus I’ll admit part of that process is still being figured out as I’m not anywhere near that part yet. Still, I’m posting it here to also let everyone know of the hurdles we having to overcome. Such hurdles I will go into details about when I start doing development logs on my YouTube channel.

Okay, so I wanted to also mention this as I’m thinking it over. I chose a point and click style because it’s the best one to fit the idea of a cinematic game, I’ve seen the Quantic Dreams games which are more 3D with free-roaming controls kind of similar to 3D Zelda games, and I’ve thought of making a 3D Zelda game but from what I’ve seen most people on here don’t really like games like that and more would like a traditional RPG but I don’t. It’s for the same reason I didn’t really want to make a Quantic Dream style game, it feels too much like you’re pressing buttons which make something happen that you passively watch but don’t really have any bearing on the plot, but in a 3D Zelda or in a 3D Platforming RPG like Paper Mario you have more control over your moves in the battle and thus aren’t just cutscenes you watch after telling the game to play them. Which is why a point and click works as your actions do matter in the game, and when you go through a cutscene you know it has bearing on the plot and isn’t just there to play out and show a random number that has no bearing on the plot.

Though I will admit while the point and click style is perfect, I also just chose it because it was the one I thought I’d be able to do with what skills I have versus what skills I don’t. Though I also thought a Paper Mario or 3D Zelda style game would also work if I just wasn’t the kind of person who could do it. Though the point and click style was also chosen so I could choose DOS as the platform, and that was for one reason and one reason only, my idea for a unique sounding sound track. That reason is something I’m becoming more aware of could be done on other systems from the 90s as well, DOS isn’t the only platform which can have multiple sound devices playing simultaneously or at least give me the ability to have those sound devices in the audio in one way or another.

The first console I was going to make the game for was the Sega 32X CD (as a Paper Mario style game), this would take advantage of the CD audio from the Sega Mega CD and the Mega Drive’s FM synthesis chip. Though I found out I’d have issues making the game with what tools I could find as I could get used for using them and selling the game. Though with the idea of a point and click game of the style I’m going for I’m reminded of Snatcher for the Mega CD which is all I’d really need, but the FMV quality wouldn’t be that great on the Mega CD alone and also the tools issue is still there. So I have two other systems in mind other than DOS, the Nintendo 64 and the Playstation. The style could be Paper Mario, 3D Zelda, or Point and Click from what I’ve been able to tell (mixtures between multiple might be doable but I’m not sure yet) and either system can give me CD audio (PSX from the CD, and N64 from digital samples) and wavetable audio, and if I’m going the point and click method I’d rather do it on the PSX or DOS since they have similar games already (PSX has D no Shokutaku and Snatcher), but fort a 3D Zelda or Paper Mario style game I’d rather go with the Nintendo 64 since I’m not sure if the PlayStation can make the graphics similar enough to the Nintendo 64.

That all said, the other reason I chose DOS and a point and click was also because I can get an engine to make my game with. I also decided against the N64 due to a contract with Nintendo to make Wii U games that while I appreciate having for getting my foot in the door for game development, I also somewhat regret as it limits what I want to do with my idea to either a non-Nintendo platform form back in the day, or a Wii U game and only a Wii U game until that Wii U game makes you enough money to buy another development kit to make it for another system, and since it’s the Wii U that’s nigh impossible.

So I have another idea, I’ll try to make a game in the way that I want, but let’s start with something smaller first to get the idea of how to make the bigger one, but this smaller project will help us determine which style would be the easiest to make while being the best for the cinematic game idea. So should I make a smaller game before I try to make a huge one, or should I try to make this one. (Note: I have another issue with myself that I’ve tried making a smaller project before and it just ended up being a part of this one, so this might not work out if you tell me to go with it, but I’m kind of thinking I’m getting an idea of how to make it so the two games stay separated). Just know as well the smaller game might not be a fetish game as I’m just trying to figure out how to make a game with this first.

Also, I’ve decided it will be perfectly okay with making the game with 2D graphics instead of prerendered 3D, as in to use more traditional animation instead of CG. That said I’d want to use a mix of various styles (cut out, cell and even some altered live action, and possibly even claymation/stop motion and/or using some CG for backgrounds and other things), and also I’ll need an artist to draw our cut out puppets and possible even animate our cell animation parts. Though if I could fully get everything I’d want I;d have multiple artists and we’d transition between their various styles including the 90s prerendered CG style, but still we’d need someway to do cell animation and also to animate the CG.

This is also why I’m interested in making a smaller game first to test out things and then get artists interested in helping me and also get the funds to get the CG animation stuff I need. I just don;t know what to do, or if I’ll ever be able to do it.


It sounds nice. I’m a bit surprised that there haven’t been any point and click adventures here before.

you can use a kinect as a motion capture device. it should probably be a cheaper option (a full suit seems a bit overkill to me)

I don’t really understand why you want to use DOS. It feels like you are adding an extra step that is only going to cause extra headaches to your project.

Thank you. I hope you all like the end result.

The reason I need a full suit is because I want to use it for other projects after this, but I do need facial and finger capture for scenes in this game too, so lip syncing is done along with the fingers being posed right to grip around objects and so forth. Though I will admit, as long as I can figure out an area in my house to use it, I’m fine with using the Kinect as our mocap device, just as long as I have the other two things to help with the more fine aspects of the animation.

As I said I’m still new to animation so I was trying to automate the process as much as possible.

Well, the reasons I wanted to sue DOS is mostly for the sound idea, and I need a live sound device (performs as game plays in real time) to also perform bridging between two tracks. So for that reason it is out of necessity.

The other reason is nostalgia of course, but the engine I’m using AGS (Adventure Game Studio) can export to DOS so thus this step isn’t that difficult only it was tricky to find this older version of AGS. (Had to download a torrent from them and then be reminded too late that torrents open your computer to other people which I had to stop before anything happened and delete all the programs to run that, and even reset my router to get a new IP just in case. (Hopefully that al worked but I’m still somewhat anxious I’m in danger).

AGS also has more modern versions which you can port old versions to so as to not leave them behind, though you loose the live sound system other than importing your own wavetable and code for it to have it work. Otherwise you’d only have the system MIDI support which while being nice is missing some elements the sound cards I want to use have.

Sounds Good! I’m always in for point-and-click!

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I do like point and click adventures; Yaffaif actually was point and click to begin with, but I soon realised that it was taking too much time to make all the required images I’d need (low-poly in Max) and I wasn’t getting anywhere with the rest of it.

I don’t understand the desire to make a game for a niche audience on niche hardware and OS. Isn’t that just going to mean very few people can play it as intended, and make your own job that much harder to boot? I guess I also have bad memories of games of that era, the buggering about swapping cards, configuring peripheral addresses and interrupt priorities to make them work at all. Myst et al. pushed the machines of the day to the limit.

I guess I also have concerns about the 3d workflow. It’s going to be complex for sure. But, a more fundamental problem is that motion capture or rotoscoping won’t get you a cartoon-ish feel, and skinny-you won’t move like any fat character either. You (or someone) will need to be able to heavily edit those motions to get them to work, and that’s a skill you have to develop and hone. My housemate is an animator who worked in games, and I probably know a lot more about this than I otherwise would.

In short I’d like point and click, but am not about to start cobbling together old hardware or installing emulators to try it out.

I’m not only making the game for DOS, that’s just the first version of the game. I will be porting it to modern OS’s and it should do fine.

The cartoon-ish feel is more in how a character looks not how they move, and I more meant that I have a certain style in mind that I’d want so thus picking a 2D artist might prove tricky. The mocap or rotoscoping movement will be something I’ll augment to match a fattened up character by adding padding (pillows in clothes or similar) to my frame to get it to the right size (or near enough). Also, I’ve been studying how to move as a 90s mocap to make the finished animation look more like it should (moving robotically in ways and slower more pronounced movement as back then the tech wasn’t able to capture you as good as it can now). I cna so the same process with studying how a person with more weight would move around and imitate that to move like they would.

Part of mocap is acting, that’s the thing that I have spent my life trying to become good at. Whether I am or not remains to be seen, but nevertheless I will attempt to take what acting skills I have to make my mocap and/or rotoscopes look authentic.

And again, you don’t have to dig up anything to get it to work, you’ll just have to wait for the modern port. (You’ll also like this better than the other idea which is making it on an older console with certain peripherals, some of which are rare enough to now sell for more than the console itself these days so consider yourself luckily I’m making it for something that is at least similar enough to a modern Windows PC to be ported over to one and isn’t for something you’ll need real hardware for no exceptions).

I chose DOS because I feel it’s important for people to understand where PCs of today came from and to have a gateway to experience that past to better understand it. It may have been problematic to set up and use back then, but that’s what makes us appreciate it more now, your PC is able to do that a lot easier because technology has moved on. If we forget the past we are doomed to repeat it, so if these problems are really problems than they need to be known by the budding game designers and fledgling software and hardware developers to know why no one does it that way anymore. This old tech (which some people would rather forget) is stuff that should be remembered and kept alive, not just so those of us who enjoy it can keep playing our old games but also so that new people can also play them, and also learn from them. The past is something we take for granted and I’m saying we should try to experience and relive it, to relish in the good memories and learn form the bad ones.

And I say that last part coming from a very bad place, I’ve been through some terrible things, still recovering from them and I’m not sure if I ever really will. Still, while it would be better if I never went through my trauma, but since I have been through it I must remember what led to that moment to not let it happen again, this would allow me to move on and get past it and begin to recover from what happened. Thus, the past is an important thing which while we’d like to forget we must remember if we are to keep moving forward.

DOS is old and outdated now. Barely anyone cares, and that’s the problem, but if we make more things now for people to be interested in preserving that old software and hardware then perhaps it wont be forgotten.

Probably not as few as you think, since projects like DOSBox exist which make it fairly simple to run DOS programs.

Edit: I do note you mentioned emulators at the bottom of your post. I still want to mention this for anyone else who may want to play this game.

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