These few steps provide a summary of a production that lasted more than 3 years.
Between accidents and wild rides, this is the story of genereAvventura.

The idea - October 2002

IlTimido, jerrymouse and LaStrisia during a gaming night (at IlTimido's place) think it would be cool to try to make a videogame.
The idea is to make a game that uses music as the solution to some puzzles of the adventures...

IlTimido

I remember that the original idea wasn't to make an adventure game but something more similar to a Japanese RPG. I had recently made my first steps with Macromedia Flash Mx and it looked like it would perfectly adapt to this type of game. Soon, though, I realized that it wasn't what I wanted...
I had always wanted to make an adventure game like the ones made by Lucasarts without any compromise to my (our) creativity.

LaStrisia

That night there
was a lot of beer
and a sea of enthusiasm...
I remember that the idea to use music as a plot device had really struck me and I was really convinced of its potential.
I was happy to work on this project.

Wow, 3 years have passed!

jerrymouse

LaStrisia: Have you got some free time?
jerrymouse: yeah, some.
LaStrisia: ...because, you know, we wanted to make a videogame.
jerrymouse: OK!

That's it. The rest is history.

Studying - Thursday 17 October 2002

IlTimido, jerrymouse, LaStrisia, Hallamittuna and Lukexli meet to decide our various roles in the project.
The first ideas are written down.
The concept is a SCUMM-like adventure game whose plot deals mostly with music.

IlTimido

That night cost me a fortune in beers but it was worth it: everyone had come with lots of enthusiasm and ideas. We also had fleshed out the basics to build the gaming engine, studying the user interface and how to control the
protagonist: our (wrong) idea was
to discard the mouse, preferring a keyboard control: at that time lots of internet adventures like Steppenwolf used that interface.

LaStrisia

I had no words. The
idea had evolved and
we were speaking about
a Scumm-like adventure
game.
We had three great graphic artists, a terrific programmer who, above all,
wanted to improve his knowledge.

I was overexcited!

jerrymouse

Pure brainstorming.

Beers, sheets, pencils.
We spoke about everything, we proposed and discarded ideas.
Enthusiasm and optimism.
We even said to each other:
"if we work hard, the games comes
out by Christmas".

First attempts - November 2002

That month was very intense: frequent mail exchanges, gaming structures that obtain shape on paper (literally!)
with block note sheets representing the different rooms and many other nights together.
We also passed from a first implementation of the engine, with Hallamittuna's graphics, to a new design of the gaming window and the interface.

IlTimido

The gaming engine was growing and it looked like it worked as we expected: it was already possible to move from one room to another, to get items and use them. Also the dialogue system was being implemented. From a technical point of view, being one of my first exercises in Flash, the code was very lacking... but the important thing was that it worked!

LaStrisia

Even the story was evolving and getting richer in details;
the meeting of that period, the hours cut from our free time with difficulty allowed us to refine a script that was always evolving.

jerrymouse

Small steps for humanity, but giant steps for us.
How hard; I remember that period with a frown.
We had imposed on ourselves technical limits (maybe due to fear, or for caution) and if I think back on them now, I chuckle. We then decided not to do things that looked impossible, but are now trivialities.
But it was great! We worked with a great spirit and we could already see some results.

The crisis - December 2002 / January 2003

The first version didn't go very well. The project looked enormous and some of us had troubles working on the game. A sense of discouragement showed up and for a while the project was frozen...

IlTimido

I think back on those moments with difficulty, because I had always believed in this project and I was sad to see that it wasn't going as I wished. Also, the initial enthusiasm had disappeared.
I tried to pump up the morale of everyone as much as I could (and I succeeded only with LaStrisia) but I realized that we had underrated the project's complexity.
Well, we weren't completely wrong to get discouraged.
I still shudder when I see that version!

LaStrisia

IlTimido never gave up!
He strongly believed in the project and since we had played together Ultima VII for whole days and nights I couldn't leave him alone. I knew that jerrymouse would have returned after his personal trouble.
I was trustful.

jerrymouse

The limit I mentioned before had become larger than the enthusiasm,
and personally it was during a very bad period with my job (I was a freelance, and lacking in commissions).
I didn't really feel like sitting down and drawing, and I felt badly for IlTimido and LaStrisia who were still fighting.
What a pity.

Rebirth - May / June 2003

Just before his marriage, IlTimido meets jerrymouse.
Learning from our old mistakes, the development is restarted from scratch, making a new interface and a new gaming structure.
LaStrisia is immediately called in, but the others, sadly, due to different problems, definitely leave the group.

IlTimido

The enthusiasm was renewed. We were smoking on the balcony of my house and I said to jerrymouse something like: "If we remade the interface with the mouse, what would you propose?"
His proposal came up the same evening. In just an hour the new interface was a reality!
Two hours later I called LaStrisia, saying that the project was running again and with great satisfaction I noticed that he was ready to believe in it! This time, until the end!

LaStrisia

I told you so!
The times would have been longer, but we would have made it.

jerrymouse

Someone would say "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"
Maybe, not having worked on the game for a long time caused me to grow the desire to finish the job.
Anyway, that evening started when IlTimido said : "let's make the gaming interface mouse-driven". It was like a cannon shot, like a Big Bang in everyone's mind. In just one night the interface was completely defined. During the next week all the menu graphics were ready.
We wouldn't stop anymore.

On the roll again - July 2003

LaStrisia and jerrymouse meet to test the game blocks and discover some fallacies.
They decide to change the gaming structure and split it into three parts, an introduction and two sections of effective gaming.
Also, many quests are made non-linear.

IlTimido

I was on my honeymoon!
Before leaving I had finished rewriting the basics of the new engine, this time using (almost) completely object-oriented programming, which simplified things a lot!
I remember calling repeatedly from the States, asking how was the work going!
I was just a programmer, and I had become an account!

LaStrisia

A nice evening,
speaking loudly.
With jerrymouse we tested on paper every game block, also we edited the structure, making it less linear.
A special thanks to myrtle liquor!

jerrymouse

In the digital age, with computers and 3D we went into the kitchen with a scrapbook and a pen;
writing on every page the name of a room, putting them close to the others.
In this way we built the entire gaming scenario, placing parts and fixing the interaction possibilities.
Maybe that's not the right way to do it, but we were full of myrtle and we thought so. And it worked!

Genere Avventura - September 2003

The project took a definite turn with the choice of the name. genereAvventura, thought by Lalla in the attic of jerrymouse's house, it became the name of the project and of the site from which people would play the game.

IlTimido

Before that night we had thought about many names like AdventureAgain, Ritorno all'Avventura, Back to the Adventure but we didn't really like them, even if  we all agreed that our name should have defined our aim.
Then, light! jerrymouse's sister shows up and says : "Since the game belongs to the adventure genre, why don't you use "Genere Avventura" (adventure genre in Italian) ?"
Yeah, why not?
The next day I was registering the domain.

LaStrisia

What to say...
jerrymouse's sister showed up,
she said the first thing that came into her mind and that's it!
The next day we had registered the Site's name.

jerrymouse

I had insisted for some time that we needed a name with which to identify ourselves.
I thought that it would add some more enthusiasm to us to feel like a well defined group; and it was true.
That night the name...
The next day the registered domain...
next week the logo...
just like a serious enterprise.

Ah! Lalla is my sister.
We've got good genes!

Pen and paper - October 2003 / March 2004

jerrymouse decides to draw on paper all the rooms (37) and then to finalize them in vector graphics, so the team could use the drawings for the first tests.

IlTimido

Sinergies:
jerrymouse drew, LaStrisia and I inserted the backgrounds into the game, starting to manage the various gaming situations.
Then jerrymouse saw the result, grew excited and put new energy into drawing new rooms!
The work was immense, but everything went on ahead full steam! I fondly remember those moments in LaStrisia's kitchen!
Maybe it was then that I realized that we were going to do it.

LaStrisia

A gargantuan amount of work!
IlTimido and I whipped jerrymouse so he would draw as much as he could. During that period we met each other many times.
The alcoholic level was always high and the discussions were animated.
Everything went great.

jerrymouse

We felt like a real enterprise to the point that we even made some rules for our working methods.
We decided first to make all the Art Direction (I love this word!) study, and after this we would start working in digital.
This brought us many advantages: using the first drawings as temporary backgrounds we created for ourselves new energy for our work.

Words - October 2003 / March 2004

LaStrisia and IlTimido begin to write and test the game dialogues.
The protagonist is finally named, and he's not a DJ anymore, as it was initially decided, but a nice surprise for adventure veterans.

IlTimido

While jerrymouse was drawing, LaStrisia and I passed our evening refining the story, writing dialogues and compiling the description of the gaming objects. It was cold outside but in LaStrisia's kitchen, we were on fire!
Sometimes it looked like we were fighting, since we screamed a lot, each one trying to make his point of view prevail.
Actually we weren't arguing at all and our best ideas came out of these animated shouting matches!

LaStrisia

Since he was created by three people, in the beginning our character had a multiple, almost schizoid personality. Once we found his name, his personality traits started to be more and more definite.
While developing the story we had to make many choices, so that everything was believable and logical; in the end our DJ of the future became a [I can't reveal it].

jerrymouse

Poor hero!
He had such a hard time before he finally got his identity and a stable job, and at the end he becomes ...
A Mighty... [Ha! You thought I was going to spoil it, didn't you?] with a ridiculous name.
He'll get his revenge (for the name, not for the job).

Colour - March / September 2004

The realization of the rooms is a process that takes longer than it was thought:
Iczer-One (a friend from #emuita) is called in to help jerrymouse with colouring the rooms, but due to technical and communication problems the collaborations don't give good results.
jerrymouse decides to trace the drawings directly in flash, making the colouring a quicker process.

IlTimido

After months of black and white, to finally see everything in colour was a great experience that once again gave us the right motivation!
I realized that even if it was made by amateurs, our work was starting to look very professional and that once completed it would figure well if compared to other commercial production of that genre.
Let's hope so!

LaStrisia

Vectoring would have required years with our timing.
I can't find the right words to appreciate the job made by the guys who designed and programmed Flash.

jerrymouse

Poor Iczer-One...
I'm sorry not to have succeeded in telling exactly how the rooms should be coloured, but I didn't really know it at the time.
Anyways, I was saddened when seeing the first failed attempts. Then I was somewhat enlightened, or maybe I was just inspired, but now (aside from
self-celebration) I'm sure I've made the right choice for the style of the game.
I remember the first time I showed the florist's room to the guys, they were awed.
This is what makes an illustrator happy.

Action - May / October 2004

Starting from the movements of the protagonist's eyes, that always follow the mouse, his gestures are developed, and soon he has a lot of expressions.

IlTimido

Another small revolution!
The moving eyes and our hero's expressions give new depth to the character! The modification of the gaming engine was hard but it was worth it. From that moment on the dialogues and the interactions with objects became even more realistic and cartoonish.

LaStrisia

A nice touch, isn't it?
From the eyes moving to his clueless expression.
For some videogaming artisans it's a nice piece of work.
I'm happy there's something of mine in this [No, I can't reveal it now either; please don't insist].
P.S. besides the hair, of course.

jerrymouse

Another nice touch.
Giving life to a character is not easy... even if many will say that he could have been better,
I feel a bit like being the Dad of this wacky hero.
There's something of each of us in this little guy, who walks around and stares at us as though he was asking who he is and when this will be over.

Test - 18 December 2004

At 11.47 (AM) the first official demo was released. It was necessary to gather the feedback of the public.

IlTimido

The wait was terrible.
Curiosity was the worst!
How would beta testers receive our work?
Fortunately, they loved it!
What will it be like for the rest of the project?
Let's hope so!

LaStrisia

The beta testers' feedback was better than I ever thought.
And we go on!
Thank you, everybody.

jerrymouse

I very much wanted that first demo to be a part of my personal CV, and it did its job extremely well.
The testers gave us useful suggestions to improve the game and we think we did our best to please them.

The End - 14 August 2006 (Italian Version) - 31 March 2007 (English Version)

After more than three years the 1.0 version is released; the development phase is over!
But is it really over?

IlTimido

WE DID IT!

What shall I do now?!?

LaStrisia

We "grew" this project ever since it was a small seed.
It grew up like a weak sapling but we took care of it.
Now it is a strong plant which will bring in its fruits.

jerrymouse

We did it!
Years of work finally see the end in this beautiful "final" version! It's like I had a child, a beautiful chubby child who wants to know the world!
Would I do it again?!?

Of course!