Adventure Game Hotspot


What's the best user interface for adventure games?

What's the best user interface for adventure games?
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It was a big jump from text parsers to point-and-click user interfaces, and of course the two adventure game titans, Sierra and Lucasfilm Games, were instrumental in spearheading the transition in their own unique ways. In 1987, Ron Gilbert and Aric Wilmunder introduced the verb-driven SCUMM in Maniac Mansion, while Sierra clung to their parser-driven interfaces for another few years before Roberta Williams designed an icon-based menu bar for King's Quest V, thanks in part to her own mother's difficulty in playing parser games. 

Each approach had its own strengths and weaknesses. Too many options led to too much generic negative feedback, while too few stifled player imagination and freedom to experiment, neither very flexible in adapting to specific contexts. And so each would be refined further in ensuing years, from LucasArts streamlining SCUMM from fifteen to nine verbs, to Sierra adding more icons to allow for more specific interactions, such as the zipper in Leisure Suit Larry, or the "smell" and "taste" icons for Space Quest

So which version was the best? In his latest classic adventure game video, the Space Quest Historian explores that very question, applying his own "uneducated observations" to the evolution of the point-and-click interface before arriving at what he believes is the one – and so far one only! – adventure game with the best UI of all time! 

That game, of course, is...

(Seriously, you thought we were going to tell you? You'll have to watch to find out! And we know you'll be glad you did.)

The Space Quest Historian is part of the Adventure Game Hotspot Network, a collective of talented, dedicated content producers who work entirely independently but have joined forces to promote each other’s efforts. All opinions expressed belong solely to the original creators. 



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