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I want to make a very simple "escape the room" game. I was hoping for something that looks something like this. You would see images of some room and you click around to move or to add things to inventory. Then, you can select something in your inventory to use that item with something on the screen. During the whole game there would be a text box describing what is happening (probably in really broken English instead of Japanese).

I am looking for something that can be quite simple. I would prefer to have the ability to play sound (probably mp3's) when something happens. It can be web-based or a downloaded executable or .jar file. It doesn't have to be perfect, just a proof-of-concept really.

What is the best approach to get this game working with minimal effort? Are there some libraries that can help? I have plenty of Java experience and some C++, PHP, and others. I'd rather avoid Windows-based technology as I primarily run Linux. I am willing to learn other languages if they have a huge advantage.

Ideally, if someone could point me to an example program that I can modify. I'm not expecting to sell or distribute this game.

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I really don't know why this is tagged as linux; the sorts of libraries needed would run cross-platform. –  The Communist Duck Oct 21 '10 at 15:36

5 Answers 5

Take a look at Scratch: http://www.scratch.org It was designed to teach kids, but it's very suitable for adults, and it's an absolutely wonderful prototyping engine.

It has an integrated audio sampler and image editor. You can also import images and audio files. It doesn't have a state mechanism, which could be useful in this type of game, but that's not really a major problem.

This is probably easier than just about any other approach, as the language uses a tile-based programming system (no code typing.) It works fine in Linux (I'm an Ubuntu guy myself) and it creates web friendly apps in a Java Applet container.

You could do this entirely in HTML and JavaScript, too. Use an imagemap for the background image (or small absolutely positioned elements.) You can keep track of your inventory with JavaScript code. You could also have the inventory pop up as a secondary window.

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Url actually is scratch.mit.edu –  Svenstaro Oct 25 '10 at 13:07
    
Yes, thank you Sven... –  Two pi Oct 27 '10 at 15:22

You can use the Wintermute adventure engine http://dead-code.org/home/index.php/lang-pref/en/

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That's very cool. Do you know if there is an equivalent that will work in Windows? I don't have a good Windows machine for development. –  User1 Oct 22 '10 at 15:15
    
Sorry, I meant an equivalent in Linux. I can't edit my last comment. –  User1 Oct 22 '10 at 19:49

If you plan to stick with C++, you could give a try to Allegro ( http://www.allegro.cc/ ) Simple to learn and suitable for what you need. Technically tough, I see this easier to build with PHP and some Javascript, without any libraries except maybe jQuery. It's all up to which language you're more comfortable with.

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You have plenty of Java experience? Use Java.

Famous games written in Java.

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Personally, I'd recommend sticking to the programming language you know best, and checking out the graphic/audio libraries available to you. If you're familiar with Flash, there is a tutorial on how to make a basic escape the room game. Even if you don't know Flash, that tutorial should help give you an idea as to how such games are constructed.

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