The Making of Lure of the Temptress
- Locked up in a Turnvale Dungeon -
The avatar can die in the game, and a EOG screen was added. In the final (castle) episode Diermot has to fight twice against a "Devil-pig-man." Equipped with an ax, (just) found before the fight starts, the game enables him to attack and block with 3 positions (controlled by mouse or keyboard).
The game includes audio (music and sound effects), but the score is quite sparse, only the intro, transportation, ending and EOG sequence get a longer tune. Sound effects replace the lack of tunes, and off-screen sound effects were added so for instance Diermot hears the footsteps of anapproaching guard in his cell, or the blacksmith's anvil when he walks in the street nearby. Temptress offered a "real world" experience that was based on a new game engine. With the engine Revolution had the technology to do nice things with secondary characters, so they designed around that. From a design perspective it was a good thing to do, because the main character and his companion could exchange dialogue, which enriched the game.15
The new game engine was called "Virtual Theatre" (design Tony Warriner). It allows the in-game characters, in stead of being static NPCs, to wander about in the game world independently of each other, living their own lives and doing their own things. So the blacksmith Luthern for instance, will be frequently found in "The Severed Arms," for it is hot in the forge. It also allows the player to give direct orders to Ratpouch who would then go off to perform the task. When the mouse is moved over him, a menu with action verbs pops up, such as "Tell Ratpouch xxx," and then the player can choose between "and then" or ""finish" to end the command string. When Ratpoutch is told "Go to, a list of locations pops up to choose for, but only as far as the locations are already known.
The game also includes an auto-routing system, so when the player moves the character to some object or location, it will do so without bashing into other objects or characters. Sometimes there are 5/6 characters are at a location at the same time, and all will side-step and reposition, uttering sentences such as "Excuse me, sir," or in case of the Skorls, "Watch it, 'uman."
Another advantage of the engine is that it is a multi-platform engine, so Temptress was published on MSDOS, Amiga and Atari. Of course it wasn't as advanced as modern multi-platform engines (for instance it couldn't handle different screen resolutions), but it was faster on the Amiga than the C code that was used by many USA programmers. Compared to the Sierra titles, the game became in this respect more "sophisticated," a reason why Revolution did the conversion of King's Quest VI to the Amiga.16
The idea behind Temptress was to create a more living world. However, though they achieved to create it, technically, it was hard to design for, so gradually it was scaled back over the coming games. According to Warriner they could have gone the other way and used it more, but if they had, the resulting games would have been less adventure and more RPG type genre.17
They also added an evil touch to the game. An anti-piracy trick was added: an object was taken away if the game "knew" it had been copied. They considered it pretty amusing, and it had the intended effect. Gamers who found a tinderbox missing in the game, thought that the game had a
Warriner and Sykes succeeded to create a demo, which they decided to present to Mirrorsoft. One day the companies one and only PC was left in the car overnight and someone broke in. The radio was stolen, but the PC, which wasn't insured, was still there.
Had they taken the PC, Revolution would have been in trouble, as they couldn't afford to buy a new one. So they were able to present the game to Mirrorsoft, and they commissioned the
(c) All artwork copyright Revolution Software
(c) Text game-nostalgia.com