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Creating Point and Click Games with Escoria

What is a point-and-click Game?

Among all types of games, point-and-click is a quite common category even if it has declined for some time. The popularity of mobile game has renewed the genre and gives new opportunities to designers.

Point and click refers to a type of adventure game, in which the user interacts mainly with the mouse or any pointing device (be it a finger on mobile phones). This type of game requires a minimal knowledge about computers and is really simple to use even for casual players compared to 3D-FPS or such game in which you will use a 100-button-mouse to survive. To make it as simple as possible interaction is generally made of:

  • click
  • double-click
  • drag-drop

and that’s all.

All the game is built around interactions with items of the world. The most classic interactions are:

  • talk
  • look at something
  • take something
  • use an item
  • combine items

Most parts of the game design phase are to liberally use these possibilities, to make the player find solutions to problems. Resolving them will make the adventure continue. In a sense, point-and-click game are similar to puzzle games. The amount of interaction is quite limited, but their number differentiates point-and-click from visual novels in which they are fewer and even exploration game in which their may be no puzzle at all.

LucasArt games are often seen as most important in point-and-click history with title like Maniac Mansion. They were made using a scripting language called SCUMM. This language is descriptive, and was created to allow game designers, scenarists, dialogists, etc. to modify the game without the help of a programmer at each step.

These days, since the popularity of mobile games and their casual nature, this kind of games:

  • are made of a story and puzzles,
  • use few ressources
  • require no special devices
  • don't require special execution skills

This genre is having more and more players and pleased people keep coming at it from other backgrounds such as litterature.

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