7/05/2006

AGS (Adventure Game Studio)

Before WoW, EQ, UO and other fantasy/sci-fi game worlds that supports millions of players, there were humble adventure games like Day of the Tentacle, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Sam and Max, Beneath a Steel Sky, Monkey Island and other "classic" games.

Around the mid-90s or so, adventure games began to disappear and commercially released adventure games are pretty much extinct now. What happened? Were people lured away by hi-res graphics, billion polygons per model, lots of explosions and fast paced shooters? Did game companies lose interest in making adventure games? Personally, I don't know all the variables that contributed to the disappearance of commercially released adventure games and I don't really intend to change people's gaming preferences.

So what about the community that still plays "classic" adventure games? Do we stop and force ourselves to move on? Sure. But a better idea is to make our own games, especially for those who don't mind getting some grease on their hands.

Enter the Adventure Game Studio (AGS), made as freeware by Chris Jones. I don't know who Chris Jones is but here's what I think about AGS.

My Review

First off, AGS was designed to help people make 2D adventure games like the ones published by LucasArts and Sierra. So that means the artwork quality in the numerous indie games are measured by the artist's skill; awesome artwork if you can draw, if you can't draw you can still have awesome 2D artwork if you follow some of the community-created tutorials. This goes for sound too. If you have a good ear and a decent sound editing tool, you can have full voice and a musical score.

As a developement tool, AGS is very easy to use and anybody can crank out a very simple game in a day. This is possible because there are community members dedicated to creating art packages of characters, objects and background art. The complexity of the games are limited to the skill of the programmer; if you can't program for beans, you can hop onto the forum ask for help.

At the moment I haven't delved into AGS much but I'm sure I can whip up something simple and build for it.

Potential Stories

The worst thing that can happen to a writer is writer's block. Something worse than writer's block is when the writer loses his/her muse and is having trouble finding anything to write about. As a cry for help, anybody have suggestions for an adventure game?

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