Behind the Curtain: The Adventure Creator

Greetings delvers!

Last week we announced the Adventure Creators Pilot Program, and we are thrilled with the enthusiastic response we’ve had so far! While we are getting ready to invite our first authors into the program, we’d like to tell you more about the process of creating adventures, let you take a quick peek at the Adventure Creator, and answer some of your questions about it.

 What does it take to make an adventure?

As with most things in life, adventure creation starts with an idea. Whether we remaster classic content (which we talked about a bit last year), or develop entirely new stories, such as Road to Gull or the expanded Golden Dust, Red Death, first we need to decide how an adventure fits into the overall picture. MetaArcade’s own adventures are grouped into campaign arcs, imposing strict creative guidelines on our writers, but authors in the Adventure Creator Pilot Program will be far less constrained. A brief detour into a local dungeon? An epic mission like Overkill? A quest to save the world? The only limits will be your own imagination and the writer guidelines available to the participants of the Pilot Program.

After you settle on an idea, it’s time to develop the structure of the story. This, of course, involves selecting adversaries for the players to encounter, and treasures to be gained! Initially, you will have a selection of pre-generated monsters and items to choose from; in the future, we will add new ones, and even let authors create their own.

Now it is time to start writing!

The Adventure Creator

The Adventure Creator is the software we use to develop all content for Tunnels & Trolls Adventures.  It is designed to be as easy and intuitive as possible; after all, our aim is to let anyone create their own interactive story, with no technical or artistic experience required.

The software lets you work on one or more adventures at any given time using a simple graphical user interface. You build the adventure one frame at a time by entering story text, selecting images and audio from the asset library included with the Adventure Creator, and choosing actions and outcomes that form the core of the player experience.

Setting choices in a frame from  The Ascendant

Setting choices in a frame from The Ascendant

These actions can be simple choices as shown in the screenshot – each choice leads to another frame, which, in turn, contains its own set of actions. We call these choices ‘deterministic,’ as their outcome is always the same and does not depend on any random factor.

To help you visualize connections between all frames in a story, the Adventure Creator has a map mode (a part of a story map is shown on the screenshot below). Purple lines indicate deterministic choices, while green or red lines respectively show successful or failed outcomes of a combat or a saving roll.

Map view of an adventure: a slice of  The Ascendant

Map view of an adventure: a slice of The Ascendant

Speaking of combats or saving rolls: these are defined in the same way via an action in the frame. You will be able to choose from over 100 monsters at first, and, as mentioned earlier, we will make more monsters available for our authors in the future.

Setting up saving rolls and combat in  The Ascendant

Setting up saving rolls and combat in The Ascendant

What’s next?

We hope you enjoy this brief preview of the Adventure Creator! If you have already applied for the Pilot Program, please wait for an invite via email – as we mentioned last week, we will invite new authors into the program gradually, and it may take some time to enroll everyone. If you haven’t applied yet but would like to try your hand at making interactive Tunnels & Trolls adventures – please feel free to complete a brief application using this link.

In the meantime, stay tuned for the next adventure in the City of Terrors arc, coming your way next week!

This Week’s Trivia Contest

Once again, the T&T Trivia question will be from the newly expanded Hot Pursuit!

The Question: In Hot Pursuit Sadara asks you to disable something. What is it that you are asked to disable?

Post your answer in the comments section below, on the MetaArcade or Tunnels & Trolls Facebook Pages. The deadline for posting your answer is March 26, Monday 12pm pacific time.

I will choose an answer at random from the correct answers, contact the winner, and mail them a free signed copy of Grimtina’s Guard, plus a free signed comic. Anyone can guess, even if you’ve already won in a previous week. And remember just because someone has posted the correct answer doesn’t mean they will win. ALL correct answers have the same chance to win –you just have to post the answer in order to have a chance to win. Note: you must live within the continental US, so we can ship it to you. Ok go to Gull and look for that Prince! 

Last week’s question was; What is the Prince of Gull’s name? 

The answer was “Arion” and was posted by John Sozio.

We’ll be sending John his prizes as soon as we get his address.

Come back next week for another chance to win. If you’ve played Hot Pursuit you may already know the answer!