So given everything I said about setting realistic goals, One thing I really want to achieve with Poly City is a solid story.

This meant before I even got in front of a computer, a year’s supply of post it notes, pens and paper were bought.

It was no coincidence that the UK had just been placed into lockdown during our first wave of covid19 and it felt like we were stockpiling everything. If nothing else the 20 Meter roll of art paper and colourful self adhesive sheets, could be used to stock our bathroom during the great toilet roll shortage of April 2020.

Thankfully being one of the best summer’s we’d had in years (typically during lockdown) those post it notes started to spread around the garden too, giving us a break from our 4 walls.

The key point for all of this planning was to ensure I had a solid story with real motivation to solve the puzzles along the way. It was to also avoid some of the pain of my previous games, which tended to evolve organically and spiral out of scope.

The godfather of the Point and Click Genre Ron Gilbert swears by the PDC or puzzle dependency chart for this very task, something pivotal to creating a cohesive adventure game with multiple concurrent tasks and a feeling of progression for the player.

Not actually a PDC (that would give the game away!) but a narrative flow of the key story points

Without his wise teachings from his blog and his work on the SCUMM engine, (leading to the incredible Monkey Island games) I doubt I’d ever have got into this stuff in the first place.

Thanks Ron.