Adventure Writing Tips

The main tip I can offer is that, whatever the player does, they should always be able to solve the adventure. You want people to play the adventure so don't force the player to start again. "Oops, you stood on a mine and are now dead - do you want another go?" is, in my opinion, NOT the way to do it.

Cover every avenue that the player might take. In "Ticket" for example, there are two ways of keeping the dog out of the way. You can either put the lead on the dog and tie it to something or you can talk to the dog and tell it to "SIT". However, due to the way the dog is implemented, if you put the lead on the dog and then try talking to it you will find that the dog ignores you. It is as though putting the lead on, makes the dog deaf. This is not acceptable.

To provide some more examples of "what not to do" I'm going to poke holes in Timeline. If you haven't tried it, this might "spoil it" for you.


The bull

Don't dilly dally near the bull. There is a chance that he will wake up and kill you.

The cobwebs

Same again. If you hang around the spider can kill you.


You can die of starvation. Also the toadstool is poisonous.

The match

The shopping list says that there is only one match left in the basement. The basement is dark and although "GET MATCH" works, I'm now not too keen on this approach. Once this match is used there is no way to light the lamp. The player has to light the match before they can light the lamp. If they light the match in the basement then the screen is cleared and the description of the basement is displayed and they forget to light the lamp - the match eventually burns out leaving the player in the dark.