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Introducing the Adventure Game

Introducing the Adventure Game

Prerequisites
  • General knowledge of Studio covered in Intro to Studio
  • Students should feel comfortable scripting and have completed Coding 2
  • Lesson Time 10 - 20 minutes
    Optional Handouts
  • Game Vision Document
  • Learning Objectives
  • Learn about and apply pre-production to create a written plan for a game
  • Use Terrain Tools to create a starting area
  • Adventure games can come in different forms but often focus on getting a player to explore a world. This game will be all about exploring, harvesting items, selling them, upgrading bags, and then doing it all over again. This cycle of actions is called a game loop.

    Each part of the game loop is a different game mechanic, or action, players can do. This game loop has four game mechanics:

    • Explore the game to find items.
    • Harvest items. Players can only hold so many at a time.
    • Sell items for gold.
    • Buy bag upgrades to holds more items at a time.

    Planning a Game

    Before professional developers start a new project, they plan out what things will look like in a process called pre-production. They’ll often create a game vision document that includes how the game works and what the theme will be. Having a vision of your finished game lets you focus on what’s important to build so you can complete the game faster.

    You should share your game vision doc with others to get feedback on how to improve your idea, before spending too much time building something you might have to redo.

    Game Vision Document

    Before starting to build, plan out your game. On the Game Vision handout write:

    1. A description of the setting and what players will be collecting.
    Examples:
    • A fantasy world where cupcakes are as valuable as gold.
    • A suburban town where you need to collect lost pets.
    • A future where the most valuable object is a potato.
    1. What the player will harvest.
    Examples:
    • Cupcakes
    • Lost pets
    • Magic potatoes
    1. The tool players use to collect that item.
    Examples:
    • Spoon to collect cupcakes.
    • Net to collect lost pets.
    • A bucket for potatoes.
    1. What players will buy to hold more items.
    Examples:
    • Cupcake box
    • Backpack
    1. Create a drawing of the starting area,
    Mark down:
    • Where players start the game.
    • Placement of the harvestable items.
    • Where players will sell items.
    • Where players will buy upgrades.

    Example maps with all key points marked

    1. The name of the game.

    Here are some techniques to help students brainstorm.

    • 6, 3, 1 - Write down 6 ideas. Circle your favorite three. Out of the remaining three, pick one you’re most excited about.
    • Popcorn Share - Introduce a topic to start with, like favorite places or foods. Have students say the first thing that comes to mind.
    • Mix and Match Brainstorm - Write down options for two categories (adjectives and places). Mix and match items in each category to create an idea, like radioactive forest or rainbow forest.

    Create the Setting

    The Terrain Editor lets you create realistic landscapes like mountains, rivers, or deserts. You’ll use the tools in the Terrain editor to create the world you drew in your game vision document.

    1. Open Studio and create a new Flat Terrain project.
    2. In the Home tab, click on the Editor icon. This opens the Terrain Editor on the left of the screen.
    1. Use the Paint tool to change the material of the landscape. Depending on your vision, paint in roads, water, or even lava.

    Using the Paint Tool

    Vision of a game map

    Road, water, and rocks painted in Studio

    1. Use the the Add and Subtract tools to draw the setting you created in your vision doc.

    Using the Add Tool

    Using the Subtract Tool

    Once finished, your map might look like this:

    Vision of a game map

    Hills added in and area subtracted to create a river

    Terrain Creation Tip

    Rotate the camera around your terrain platform as you build it. That way you won’t be surprised if it looks different than what you expected.



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