Ian Thomas

Awen: Crisial Engine

I’ve loved LucasArts adventures since Day of the Tentacle and The Secret of Monkey Island, so I jumped at the chance to create a point-and-click adventure engine.

It was a very tight budget and a tight timescale, but it had a lot of potential. We used the last incarnation for producing CD-ROMs, but given the engine was Flash-based, there’s no reason it couldn’t be used for websites.

I was the primary narrative designer and wrote dialogue for two point-and-click adventure games based on this engine. The first game, The Crystal of the Pharaoh, was based on the book by Aled O Richards; he and I adapted it together. The sequel, The Pirate’s Crystal, I and Aled outlined together and then I wrote the majority of the script. For both games I led the realisation of the design, from building the engine to commissioning artwork,  music and gameplay code. Both were traditional point-and-click with branching dialogue trees, inventory and items, in-game puzzles and mini-games. Both were bilingual (Welsh and English versions) and featured full voice recording.


You can read a more in-depth list of features here, however here’s a quick rundown:

  • Scenes constructed using XML + Flash assets + MP3 files.
  • XML scripting system (state changes, objects appearing/disappearing/moving, event triggers etc.).
  • Choice of MP3 audio/speech bubbles or both.
  • Full branching dialogue system, script integrated.
  • Full inventory system (pick up/drop/combine/look at/use etc.).
  • Animation layers.
  • Cut scenes.
  • Integration with external Flash code.
  • Load/save games.
  • 3D engine calculating character perspective and layering of objects.
  • Full localisation – can support multiple languages.
  • Fully skinnable.

All images © Awen.

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