Double Fine’s Ron Gilbert says that the upcoming release of adventure game The Cave has no inventory, will include some light platforming as well as a cast of seven which will greatly enhanced replayability.
Eurogamer reports that Gilbert began development two years ago with three principles that would modernize the game.
No inventory is the first of these principles Gilbert put in place, saying that games with inventories containing hundreds of items were “sloppy”. “It was one of the core tenets of this design, and we were stuck with that.” Gilbert adds, “That was a very challenging part of the design, I think if there was any one ‘most challenging’ part to making this it would be designing a classical adventure game with no inventory.”
“You don’t have the ability to just load people up with crap and call it a puzzle – when you just had to scroll through your inventory to find something. That’s not a puzzle, that’s just boring. But we did that a lot back then.”
The light platforming element included is there to entice gamers not interested in puzzles. Once their interest was grabbed, having a trio of characters from a cast of seven would enhance the story, with characters having their own skills and therefor able to access exclusive areas.
“Some of that occurs in Maniac Mansion, but we hadn’t done enough to make the characters individual or interesting,” Gilbert explained. “No one replays Maniac Mansion to be Jeff. When we designed this we wanted all the characters to have their own story, their own special ability or skill that’s different to everyone else. And it was to get that re-playability [factor]. You can play it once and that’s fine, but if you want to explore every nook and cranny you do need to play it again.”
The Cave will have to be played through three times in order to discover each character’s individual areas and back story. “The changes are quite significant, it’s not like you play it again and 95 per cent is the same. You’ll get into completely different areas and entire groups of puzzles that are different.
Out in January on PC, PS3, Wii U and Xbox 360, there’s also a desire to see The Cave on iOS. “We are looking at touch-based platforms really, really closely,” he explained. “We haven’t made a final call on it but I do most of my gaming these days on my iPad and iPhone. Having it on those devices would be really, really great. We’re seriously looking at it. There’s some technical issues. What we don’t want to do is Cave Lite,” Gilbert concluded. “It’s got to be the full game.”