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(Kings Quest Online)

Ok – here’s another section for you guys to read through. I realize what
I’ve been posting has been rather… meaty, and I apologize for this. As
always, I appreciate your time and feedback and your critiques and
suggestions are greatly appreciated. So, that said, I give you… the
Interface. Key things in this section include the Character icon (which
comprises quite a bit of space and is quite detailed).

Also – if any of you have good working knowledge of C++, DirectX, and
Engine programming, send me an email! I’m starting to reach the point
where an engine should begin development (as these things take time).
I’m looking into outsourcing an engine (such as the Torque engine or the
engine used to make Syberia), but regardless of what is done, I’ll need
a programmer to facilitate everything (my programming knowledge isn’t
nearly good enough to program a game engine. hehe). So – send me an
email if your a C++ programmer interested in game development. 😉

-David Reese 


9.0 Interface

9.1 Interacting within the world

Players with interact with a wide variety of things and people within
the world. This will be accomplished via an icon interface. On the left
hand of the screen, a row of animated icons in descending order will
represent the various actions the player can do. This is similar to the
icon interface utilized in Sierra games from the mid 90s (SCI-1), but
with an updated appearance. Clicking on an icon will change the cursor
into what the icon represents (i.e. clicking the hand icon will turn the
cursor into a hand). Players can then left-click the cursor over what
they wish to interact with and the character will do whatever action the
cursor is designated to do.

9.1.1 Standard movement

Regardless of whether the character is in walk or run mode, players will
utilize the following command scheme to control their character within
the 3D environment.

” W  Move forward
” S  Move backward
” A  Turn left
” D  Turn right
” SPACE  Jump
” CONTROL  Crouch
” SHIFT  Toggle Run/Walk
” TAB  Toggle Combat Mode

The mouse is set to free-look mode by holding down the right mouse
button. While the right mouse button is held down, the player can move
forward or backward while turning either left or right.

9.1.2 The Talk Icon

The Talk icon, represented by a comic bubble and animated with letters
appearing inside the bubble, is used to interact with NPCs in the game.
When the player clicks the Talk cursor on an NPC, the camera will pan
around and zoom in on the character and the NPC. At this point, a dialog
tree appears listing the various things the player can choose to say.
The actual conversation takes place via pop-up dialogs that display the
characters portraits and their dialog.

9.1.3 The Walk/Run Icon

The Walk/Run icon, represented by either an animated miniaturized person
walking (walk) or running (run). This icon acts as a shortcut toggle to
set the character to either walking speed or running speed and does not
have an associated cursor.

9.1.4 The Combat Icon

The Combat icon, represented by a sword with a slashing animation,
toggles the Combat Mode. While in Combat Mode, the camera will move to a
cinematic-like position and will pan around the character slowly
during the course of combat (but will remain central when not actually
in combat.) While in Combat Mode, the Combat Icon will appear
highlighted to remind the character they are in Combat Mode. While in
this mode, to attack a target, all the player has to do is click on the
target. A glowing red meter indicating the targets health will appear
above the target and the character will attack with whatever he/she has
equipped when the target is within range automatically. This enables the
player free to do other actions (such as casting spells and/or setting
up combos).

9.1.5 The Hand Icon

The Hand icon, represented by a persons hand and animated with a
grasping motion, enables the player to either pick up items, activate
switches/mechanisms, and open/close doors/chests. Once this icon has
been selected, the cursor will change to an animated hand and the player
can click on what they want the character to do. The character will
automatically do whatever action is appropriate based upon what the
player clicks on (i.e. the character will pick up a loaf of bread
instead of trying to open it.)

9.1.6 The Spells Icon

The Spells icon, represented by a wand with a sparkle animation on the
tip, opens the players Spell book. Once the spell book is open, the
player can select from a list of spell icons with the name of the spell
below the icon. Clicking on a spell icon causes the spell book to turn
the page to the page the spell is located at. On this page, a
description of the spell along with any reagents the spell requires is
listed. On the bottom of the page is a small version of the spell icon
which the player can drag onto any part of the screen for fast
casting, a button labeled Cast Spell, a button labeled Close
Spellbook, and a button labeled Contents If the character doesnt
have the necessary reagents, the Cast Spell button will be grayed out
and the fast-cast shortcut icon will have a diagonal line through it to
signify that reagents are missing. Additionally, the reagent list will
appear in two colors. Reagents in black type represent reagents the
character has in his/her possession. Reagents in red type represent
reagents the character is missing. At any time, the player can click on
the Close Spellbook button to close the spell book or the Contents
button to return to the contents page.

9.1.7 Character Icon

The Character icon, represented by a portrait of the character the
player is playing, opens the Character Screen. The actual portrait is a
3D model depicting the head of the character the player is playing. This
screen has a 3D model of the character on the left-hand side of the
dialog and a tabbed display area on the right-hand side. Each tab in the
display opens a different page of the display. These tabs are labeled
and described as follows:

” Inventory  This tab brings up the characters inventory in the display
area. Objects the character has are displayed as icons (more than one
object will automatically be stacked together and a counter will appear
on top of the object icon.) Players can click on inventory objects to
select them (making them the active object) as well as holding the mouse
cursor over objects to receive a pop-up description of the object. If
the player wishes to drop an item on the ground, all he/she needs to do
is select the item they wish to drop and click on the button labeled
Drop Item, located at the bottom of the display.

” Equipment  Th