So says Wikipedia. When we have adventure games in my classes, many of the students are excited because this is something unusual, something that is not done in their regular classes at school or in other after-school classes they may be taking. The situations and scenarios I present in my games are certainly risky, and the outcome is anything but certain. In other words, it's great fun!
So how do you make an adventure game in your class? In this series of articles I'll try to walk you through the process of coming up with an idea for an adventure game and then show you how to make it with Powerpoint.
When I try to come up with ideas for adventure games, I almost always start with the setting, or place. Where can it be? What is an exciting, and perhaps mysterious place? What is a place that seems normal but is fraught with danger? What is a place that will get my students excited, but also make them laugh. Remember, adventures usually involve extraordinary, fantastical things and occurrences; not the stuff of everyday.
For this example I'll use the setting of a snow-covered mountain. And to make it interesting I'll have the characters start from a plane crash. Just think of the movie Alive.
What I usually do after that is begin to gather pictures. This is easily done by typing in anything to Google, or going to sites like Photbucket.com. I find the pictures I want, put them into paint to polish the edges, then paste them into Powerpoint. I often size comparable images, like places or images that will go in the same spot on different slides, the same size so that slides move seamlessly.
A story is really built with pictures first when you are teaching ESL. Students look first, and then read the words. So after I get the pictures where I want them I'll start to write the text for each slide. It's a simple formula: One slide of choices then a slide of outcomes. This will repeat about five-to-seven times before the game ends. That way it is very easy to just copy and paste and change the text. Templates are made this way, making future game production extremely efficient and fast.
Once the text is in you can add custom animations to it, so that all of the choices or outcomes are revealed separately. This makes it so that students won't know the other outcomes, adding to the level of excitement of the game, while also allowing the possibility that the students might want to play the game again, if you don't show them the other outcomes, of course.
From there it's just some last minute touches of editing and positioning of pictures and text. You can title your game, if you haven't done so already, and then you are finished. This game can now be used with all of your classes, and perhaps in a few months they will have forgotten it and you can do it again, or just use it as a template for a whole new game.