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Adventure International

Say Yoho
(an article by Scott Adams, Softside magazine March 1981)

The Games

I have been asked many times how I develop an Adventure. Well, my usual procedure is as follows:

  1. First I pick a topic that I want to cover, such as Dracula or the Old West.
  2. Then I decide whether I want to do a treasure expedition or have some sort of specific mission to perform. (The treasure-finding type of Adventure is usually easier to write, but not by a lot.)
  3. Next I lay out some terrain to cover and put in a simple skeleton of problems and obstacles to overcome. Also I dot the landscape with obvious items and objects which belong there, such as coconuts in palm trees, etc.
  4. By this time, I usually have some interesting problems laid out which I then incorporate into the structure.
  5. At this point I'm usually ready to enter the structure into the computer and start play-testing. The Adventure is probably about 50 percent of its final size at this time.
  6. Finally, the play-testing by myself and other gives me numerous ideas of how to fill in the holes in the final structure and an Adventure is born!

How long this process takes ranges from one year, in the case of Adventureland, to only one week for Mystery Fun House. On the average, an Adventure will take about a month to finish, and anywhere from three hours to three months to play!

I hope this has given you some insight into Adventure creating. Until next month, may all your adventures be fun and safe.