Verb Coin from Curse of Monkey Island

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Verb Coin from Curse of Monkey Island

#1 Post by miro4D2 »

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Have you ever played the Curse of Monkey Island? If not, go do that now.

Welcome back! I'm sure you loved it. You know how you interacted with people and items in that game? In the Adventure Game Business, we call that a Verb Coin. That's what this is attempting to replicate. It isn't a 'tool' in the traditional sense of plug and play. Maybe it would better to call it a structure that can help you learn to make your own Curse of Monkey Island style interactive gaming mechanic.

Actually, if you can understand my code, then it is kind of plug and play, as you can just swap out graphics and labels to make it do what you want.


You hover on an Interactive Object (IObject). That IObject has a description (desc) which shows at the bottom of the screen. Left-Click on that IObject to bring up the VerbCoin screen.

This screen stops all other interactions and disables the Right-Click to Save. Instead, Right-Click will exit out of the VerbCoin screen allowing interactions again.

Examine, Talk, and Interact are imagebuttons laid on top, with their own interactivity.

The VerbCoin screen itself is setup by default to appear to the right of the IObject, in the middle on the y-axis. However, it's also designed to always remain within the bounds of the display, so if the IObject is too far to the right where the VerbCoin would show off display, it will be pushed so that the right edge of the VerbCoin lines up with the right edge of the display. This, of course, can cover up the artwork of the IObject, so it also has a Drag function. Simply Left-Click and drag on any part of the VerbCoin that's not interactive, to move and release where you want it to appear.

I created a Class called IObject (also included here), but you can just use imagebuttons if you wanted to. These IObjects are accessed by the VerbCoin screen, which controls what Verbs will be used, and how they will be used.

There are two main screens that I created outside of the VerbCoin to show how these IObjects can be used: InteractiveScreen and Inventory. Again, the IObjects can simply be imagebuttons, but I suggest having a Class like IObjects or even a dictionary to make building the screens that much quicker. Not being a traditional programmer, I structured this to be as logical for me as possible. I'm sure there are better ways, but this makes sense to me.


This is the Ren'Py project file, or 'source code', because it sounds cool. Just unzip this file into your Projects Directory, Open Project, and play around with it.

Because I can't just do something simple, it's also a little game, which has two good endings, and a few bad endings, though a couple are similar enough to maybe count as one ending. Just click Launch Project from the Ren'Py Launcher to play and mess around with the Verb Coin.


Programming Magic!


Whatever you can imagine! Currently it's setup for Examine, Talk, and Interact, as those are the three main actions or Verbs in Curse of Monkey Island. But it can be morphed into whatever you want.


While scoping out the next entry in my Assassin series, one of the main things I wanted to do was make my games more like a point and click adventure, something I had elements of in Assassin at Crimson Keep, but just weren't a big focus for.

As such, I figured I'd take a stab at doing the Verb Coin style from The Curse of Monkey Island, which is fairly streamlined, and exactly what I think this next game needs.

The biggest challenge for me is that I struggle with Ren'Py Screen Language. To be fair, I struggle with all programming and scripting, as I am foolishly self-taught, but Ren'Py's Screen Language gives me an extra hard time for some reason.


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Re: Verb Coin from Curse of Monkey Island

#2 Post by ISAWHIM »

My suggestions for another "format"... Still keeping the "coin style".

In some countries, coins have holes in the center. (Part of an easy to identify mark for the blind. Sometimes, just purely for the looks.)

If you make the coin more like a "ring", with buttons that float around the ring and keep the center clear of obstructions, it may be a more "friendly" selection device. More like how "the sims" uses a floating ring of selections around the thing you target.

I like the limited verb-wheel setup. It was a better option than a wall of verbs that you had to pick, or having to TYPE and GUESS verbs, like the early games they had.

Having a verb-icon, which you could scroll through actions, may be even less invasive and offer more interesting potential. But you would have to hijack the mouse-scroll wheel action from being defaulted to "roll-back" and "roll-forward", which is really not a good default use for that set of actions or the mouse-scroll wheel. (That should have been page-up and page-down, or limited to something clickable.)

As a hover-icon window, you could cycle/roll through the available verbs, which could all be visible. If there are three verbs available, the two that are not the selected icon, would be smaller and darker. perhaps "rolling", as if the coin were at an angle, like a tall "oval" pattern. (Some math would be required for that transform calculation. Applying the scale and also darkness modification, as the icons rolled behind the current "verb icon" which is your mouse selection on the object. Then it would not matter if the other verbs are "off screen", since the current, selected icon, is always on-screen.)

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