On my excursion to The Adventure Company's booth at this years E3 Expo, I had an opportunity to check out a technology build of a new adventure game, Dead Reefs. Developed by Streko Graphics, the game was originally designed as a 2D point-and-click adventure release, but the development has since shifted to a 3D engine to allow for more interactive environments, dynamic lighting, shadows, and facial animation.

Dead Reefs is an island formerly occupied by Pirates and lead by the evil Baron DeSantra. Many years ago, these pirates would lure ships to the island during the night, followed by some good ole fashioned looting and pillaging. One fateful night, an ancient order of monks carrying a mysterious relic were attacked on the island, and from then on the island has had a mysterious curse shrouding it. Since then, every nine years someone goes insane, starts killing others, or commits suicide.

Years later, days before the anticipated murder, the son of the evil Baron is found dead, the curse used as an alibi. You are sent by the King to find the killer, and unveil the curse that has been plaguing the island.

Two separate builds of the game were demonstrated, the first was of the original point-and-click 2D engine to give a feel of the environments used in the game. Following this, I was shown an early tech-demo of the 3D engine to be utilized in the final product; it adds a completely new dimension (no pun intended) to the original concept of the game. The 3D engine will allow for more dynamic puzzles, and a very different atmosphere in which to explore the island.

The game will feature sixteen characters, inventory notes, a standard adventure map system, and roughly forty minutes of cut-scenes, a combination of pre-rendered and in-game. Dead Reefs is set to ship in North America and Europe in October 2006.