The Hidden Evil?

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mmcgah

The Hidden Evil?

Post by mmcgah » Thu Jun 02, 2005 2:49 pm

Ok, without having to read all the message boards, is The Hidden Evil ever coming out, or is this project dead?  I need a Zork fix, and I haven't played the text only versions.  I would love for a new graphics version to come out.  Please somebody tell me something!

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Re: The Hidden Evil?

Post by DataAngel » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:44 pm

As of right now the Z:THE game has been indefinitely put on hold. The good news is that our very own Dr. Paul ingeniously created the TAP(text adventure prequel) for Z:THE. Hope this suffices your fix and someday I am sure we'll get around to finishing Z:THE, I wouldn't want TAP to have been a waste of time.

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Re: The Hidden Evil?

Post by DrPaul » Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:48 pm

I just wanted to say that someone over at the unofficialtexmurphy message board was asking about Z:THE.

It's been so quiet over here lately.  It's erie.  

The guys over at Unofficial Tex Murphy have been wanting to produce a fan game also.  They want full roaming 3D, full motion video, everything.  As a result of not settling for anything less, they got nothing.

So now, finally deciding that something is better than nothing, we've started (sort of) a Text Adventure.  One of the guys is a pretty good writer, and he's going to write a novel-style new story.  I (and whoever wants to help) will program it into a text game.  This is much different than what I did for TAP because the story will already be written and I will be able to cut-and-paste a lot of the text.  At least we will get something that we can play.

The reason that I'm mentioning this is because, you know, maybe we bit off more than we could chew with Z:THE.

I'm not suggesting we abandon the graphic aspect of it.  But we should remember that it is a fan game.  We're not going to be able to spend $500,000 to develop the game.  Maybe we should think about a MYST-style game.  I'll bet we could do that with a LOT less time and effort than what we were trying to do.

Sure, we know how to do a real 3D game.  But we have to be rrealistic.  There's nothing to be ashamed of about a MYST style.  Heck.  Nemesis was mostly MYST-style (Ok.  it had  panning too.)  

Anyway, I'm afraid it will never happen unless we lower our sights a little.

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Re: The Hidden Evil?

Post by Reaver » Fri Jul 08, 2005 10:25 pm

Truthfully, I would be happy with any kind of Zork game that came out if it was enjoyable.  If you guys decide to change tracks and make it a text-adventure or a Myst-style game, that would be just as great as a full 3D.  And if you guys just decide to stop altogether, then that's fine too as it is your life and you're not getting paid to make games.

What I really intended to say with this post is, no matter what you guys decide to do, myself (and most likely all other fans that know of it) appreciate what you guys do for us.

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Re: The Hidden Evil?

Post by Siriusstar » Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:23 am

I, for one, greatly prefer the look of the early Myst-style games to the 3D stuff.  IMO, Riven is much prettier than the newest Myst games.  Text is great too. Or perhaps mostly text with some pivitol scenes with graphics? I know I care more about a nice story and good puzzles than about fancy graphics any day.

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Re: The Hidden Evil?

Post by Not_Afgncaap5 » Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:38 pm

Hey I still exist!
I've been mostly at the OverClocked Remix boards, and school, myself.  I did hear about a fan based sequel to The 7th Guest / The 11th Hour http://www.t7g3.com .  Their's seems pretty ambitious, and also seems to be coming along.  Maybe they could help in showing us how to get our act together

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Re: The Hidden Evil?

Post by Project_K. » Thu Jul 28, 2005 6:18 pm

I found a free game engine for adventure games. You could use this to make a fan game that is similar to Zork-TGI

http://www.adventuremaker.com/

But you would want the full version for the 360 degree panaramas and stand alone games. Sigh, but there are alternatives to purchasing. XP
Last edited by Project_K. on Thu Jul 28, 2005 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Hidden Evil?

Post by Nemesis » Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:42 am

I think we considered that engine for a while (it's certainly been brought up around here a lot) but never ended up making anything out of it. I think the main problem is no one wants to put any money (or effort really) into a project that may not even be completed. Tis a shame because it's a rather self-fulfilling prophesy, nothing ventured nothing gained.

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Re: The Hidden Evil?

Post by DrPaul » Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:08 pm

Would our application be considered non-commercial use?  If so, the full release is only $99.  Although I'm afraid that's not all that's stopping us, but if we bought something like that, maybe it would be the little incentive to get things moving again.

If we (the fans who are not the 3D game developers) raised the money to get an Adventuremaker, what are the odds that you (the 3D game developer guys) would get the incentive to start up again?
Last edited by DrPaul on Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Hidden Evil?

Post by theshadowfan » Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:23 am

Hi all,

I used to play the Zork games and while I don't remember them that much (I distinctively remember this drunk who you had to drink with him to get him to pass out so you could get passed him, "Want some Rye?! Course ya' do!") I've decided to come and help any fan game attempt out, a little.

The main thing that must be realized is that, apparently, Activision holds rights to Zork. So in theory they could make you stop making this fan game at any stage of development. Before you begin on this long journey ask Activision for permission to create this fan made (non-commercial).

Don't bother raising money to buy an engine that can be made fairly quickly. To include pre-rendered images, FMV sequences, and puzzles (excluding any AI) in an engine should take about 2 months to program, if that long.

The main thing is to not get over confident in any aspect. Keep things simplistic. Avoid doing extravagant cutscenes, replace it with nararrated text that includes still pictures.

Also keep the game short. If you succeed you can always do a sequel. You'll have a extremely confident team after they've completed one game and the dev. time spent on the next should be downsized by all the experience gained.

The other thing to do would be to figure out who on these forums would be interested in helping out, what their skills are, and what their availablity looks like. Also if a person is a fan of Zork and they can draw stick figures do not allow them on the team. Be selective on who can join. Think about what the team needs currently and what it might need in the future.

Well those are just some ideas to get you all started if you are serious about making a Zork fan game.

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Re: The Hidden Evil?

Post by DrPaul » Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:25 pm

Hey ShadowFan,

I understand what you're saying about not spending money on an engine when it's something we could develop ourselves.  Especially, I understand the pride and motivation in doing it that way.  However....

We originally took that route (developing our own engine) when we started this.  The first problem is that you end up spending a lot of precious time reinventing the wheel.  Is it worth two months work just to avoid paying 99 bucks with which you could get something that is probably more polished, reliable, and easier to use?  The second problem is that, typically, one person is responsible for developing the engine and he/she becomes indespensible to the project.  If that person's life suddenly becomes too complicated, the whole project dies.  Meanwhile, the rest of the crew loses interest, waiting for the engine.

Of course, you say, there are many things they can do while waiting.  Story, puzzles, geography, etc.  But in reality, that doesn't happen.  There are also too many stumbling blocks: Mainly, not knowing what the engine's specs and limitations are.  It is amazing how much this unknown can cramp the creative energies.  Also, not getting any immediate feedback from one's contributions because you can't stick it in the engine and see what it looks like or how it works.

I think, if we had a nice game developer system, ready to run, that anyone could use (to avoid too much reliance on any one person) and if we could start building an interactive world from the get-go, and slowly expand it, we would be much more likely to get this project on the road again.

Please don't misunderstand.  I usually take exactly the approach you suggested.  But sometimes, when time and resources are so limited, the time and energy needed to create one's own tools are the very straws that end up breaking the camel's back and I think that's what hurt us the first time.

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