The theme of MiniLD #71: “The retro challenge” was to make a game that must be able to run on hardware and software that was available in the year 2000. Together with Martijn Frazer I made “Detective Quest”, a point-and-click adventure game that runs in the Sierra engine that powered classics like Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest, King’s Quest and Quest for Glory.

Amazingly, one dude has single-handedly made SCICompanion, a fully-featured creation tool for classic Sierra games, which makes it possible to create games in the same engine as the classics! Possible, although not necessarily easy. I spent a lot of time trouble shooting various problems caused by the picture editor and differences between the script syntax in the tutorials compared to the version we used. However, once you understand how something is meant to work, it kinda makes sense.

Another thing I learnt is that it takes a lot of time to make a (good) adventure game. Lots of words are needed for all those things one might want to inspect…or pick up… or talk to!

In the end we made a very short SHAREWARE/DEMO for the compo, and although we might continue working on it at some point, just getting the little gameplay we have took a lot of effort. On the other hand, we learnt a lot and I think the game looks and feels pretty good - there’s no major features missing and it transitions nicely etc.

All in all it was worth the effort!

Watch rnlf play Detective Quest - or download it and play it yourself!

The soundtrack is also available.