Adventure Escape: Dark Ruins has officially launched! You can download it on iOS, Google Play, and Amazon. In this post, we thought we’d share some of what we hoped to accomplish in Dark Ruins. Let us know if we lived up to the task!
Dark Ruins is a sequel to Hidden Ruins, which was well loved by our players. Despite all the love, we set our sights on trying to make an even better game. One thing we felt we could improve is the character development in Hidden Ruins. Character development is always tough because we have much less space than a book or television show to explore dialogue between the characters. In Hidden Ruins, we initially had backstory with Professor Burns and Teresa and Rachel and her mother. We ultimately cut that story because we couldn’t add it in a way that we were happy with. We won’t spoil anything here, but in Dark Ruins, the player gets to know the backstory of our characters better than ever before!
A Realistic Civilization
We wanted to achieve a consistent look and language for the mythical Zoltec civilization. One idea that our lead designer, Gene Mocsy, had was that the player could learn about the civilization throughout the game. Wouldn’t it be cool if you began as a novice student of the Zoltecs but then picked up mastery as you played? That was the idea behind the map. You first piece together the map in Chapter 2 of Dark Ruins. The map is accessible near your inventory, and more information is added to it as you learn more and more Zoltec symbols. By the end of the game, our players are experts at the Zoltec numerology!
Of course, the key to a great Adventure Escape game is compelling puzzles. Both Dark Ruins and Hidden Ruins were challenging because they were set in an ancient civilization which limits what puzzles we can provide - an electronic four digit combination lock just doesn’t make sense!
We think we came up with an interesting mix of puzzles - there are puzzles about avoiding dangerous alligators, carefully managing your oxygen when swimming, and of course ancient stone slabs. And the interaction with present-day looters and Peter’s love of technology lets us break up the ancient puzzles with some electronic ones as well.