My first flash game. Hopefully the start of many. The Adventures of Red is a quaint point and click puzzle adventure about a little yellow explorer called Red.
Wandering through the forest one day, Red comes across a sign for free Muffins. Red loves nothing better than a delicious chocolate muffin and having missed breakfast is feeling rather peckish. He skips along the path and comes to a castle. Unfortunately, this muffin isn’t just waiting for him. Red must navigate a series of rooms, each with increasingly tricky and difficult puzzles that block his path, to earn coloured keys and work his way through the castle. Never one to give up our pint sized hero is up to any challenge thrown at him…
This was a collaboration with my brother Rob who has been making flash games now for the past 3 years. As a newcomer with lots to learn, I couldn’t have hoped to make anything quite so impressive at my first attempt working on my own. So to be able to leap frog a few stages and produce something beyond my wildest expectations has been fantastic.
When we first agreed to make a game together we sat down and began brainstorming ideas. I’m naturally quite artistic and creative so the plan had always been for me to do the artwork but I was keen to be involved on the coding side as well. As a beginner I had taught myself the basics but wanted to be able to put what I had learned into practice. As a result we settled on the idea of a puzzle game, each one a separate mini game within the main adventure. This progressed quite naturally into this idea of a castle with lots of different rooms. We liked the idea of a non linear route so we added in the concept of locked doors and coloured keys. We then had to map a layout that meant players had to visit every room but not necessarily in turn and avoid getting stuck. This was a lot harder than we anticipated (Even when the game was released, frustratingly there was a small mistake that meant it was possible to get stuck.)
Rob built the main framework and set up the doors and keys. I began the process of creating the artistic elements and visual style for the game – Red started out as a primitive sketch on the back of a cocktail napkin at Pizza Express. Then we began thinking up ideas for puzzles and implementing them into the game. Each room had its own separate class, which enabled me to code some of the more basic puzzles. I’ll tell you right now, coming up with 28 puzzles is not an easy process, never mind trying to balance the difficulty. In the end I think we got it about right – some people complain it’s too easy, others it’s impossible (clearly it isn’t), but you can never please everyone. We threw in a lot of classics (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it), some with our own playful twist and added some humour here and there.
In the end the main question everyone’s asking is ‘Why is Red yellow?”. I could tell you the answer but that would spoil the fun.