Buffalo Game Space, the indie game developers collective, held an Adventure Game Roundtable on Saturday, November 17th, 2018. At this roundtable event, Point & Click Adventure game players gathered to play demos and discuss what makes them work or how they could improve.
One game played, Dexter Stardust – Adventures in Outer Space: Night of the Hollow Moon, followed the tales of a dashboard hula girl salesperson traveling through space as an evil force rears its head. Another game,the Darkside Detective, was an 8-bit, supernatural mystery story starring a wise-cracking detective. Several others were played during the event. The wide range of games shows just how extensive this genre is. It provides those in attendance with more examples to see the best and the worst the adventure game genre has to offer.
During, and after, each game was demoed, the gamers who were present had a lot to say about them. They commented on countless features and mechanics in each game, like whether or not the command wheel was beneficial, if the story was captivating enough, how well-thought-out the puzzles were, if the games’ animations were done well, and how well voice acting was in games that used it. The most critical discussion topic was how much the game actually gave the player to do. Sure, the adventure games that allow one to interact with various objects, to learn more about this world and more about the lore, can be interesting. However, it makes a world of difference if the game can achieve that while also giving the player more to do while experiencing the story, like solving puzzles, finding clues, and making decisions that affect the plot’s outcome. The “adventure” part is fun, but a developer can’t forget about the “game” part.
Seeing these demos being played and hearing these comments being made are extremely beneficial for the up-and-coming adventure game developer. One could learn a lot about what people look for in their adventure games by attending events like this. It’s also an enjoyable event for those who aren’t looking to develop their own game. Those who simply find playing adventure games fun would positively love attending this sort of event. It was enjoyable to just hang out with other gamers, playing adventure games, discussing them, and joking around about things happening in the games. That’s ultimately how I feel about the Buffalo Game Space in general. It’s both extremely beneficial to local indie game developers, and fun for video game lovers to meet others with similar hobbies.
I thought the Point & Click Adventure game topic was especially interesting due to the recent news regarding Telltale Games. Telltale Games was an award-winning video game company that specialized in adventure games, in which the player made choices that greatly affected the plot. They created some of the best Point & Click games ever, like The Walking Dead, Batman, the Telltale Series, Tales from the Borderlands, and The Wolf Among Us. They developed games based off of some clearly well-known franchises, like Batman, and fans took to them like new, well-made Hollywood movies. Through their clever storytelling and unique gameplay, Telltale Games revolutionized the adventure game genre. Just a couple months ago, Telltale Games shut down due to lack of funding and laid off hundreds of employees. The world of adventure games took a massive hit. Telltale Games certainly left their mark on the adventure genre, and their departure has left fans rather somber. It’s inspiring to see an event at Buffalo Game Space that allows those fans to share their passion – that they are still willing to look for new ways to evolve the genre despite a major adventure game company not being able to stay in business.
Events like this Adventure Game Roundtable are both entertaining and informative, and I’d love to see more like it for other game genres held at Buffalo Game Space. If you’re an indie game developer in Western New York, I suggest keeping up on what events Buffalo Game Space has planned to have in the future.