Monday, January 25, 2010

Adventure Game Studio- the Blue Cup game- peerless.

Once in a while I scan around the internet, looking at game making software. Not even because I HAVE to use it, I could code stuff myself although when you do a project more or less on your own- it is time consuming beyond any reasonable degree and into the realm of the Old Man and the Sea. :)

To this day, after some five years, I am yet to find anything that matches AGS. Not even close. And by and large, allowing for a few of the sorts of clownshoe armchair experts all internet forums have, the community is EASILY the best I have found. Easily far and away. With new and very talented people landing on the top all the time, and the dregs naturally composting far far below, although one or two of them seem to consistently burrow up to daylight. Still, even allowing for the injokes and clique dinosaurs, the general community is staggeringly friendly, supportive, literate and helpful. There are loads of silent users too, not so much lurkers as people who, as I did back in 2004, turn up firstly to just get support for the program, find out how something intuitive for the software author but not for the user is meant to work... AGS is incredibly powerful, and as a result there are way more features than any sensible writer would ever use at once. But that puts the temptation there- to go huge or go home. 99% go home, of course, their games unfinished. Back in 2004-2005 I was one of them.

You don't so much quit, as just have the energy drained away from you by the scale of the undertaking. :)

Now when one looks at indie game designers- not really "amateur" designers as some of the clueless call them, but genuine indies- garage band members of the software world- the stuff made by them is amazing in its variety, finish, content and concept. Compared to the <> 100 bucks a pop cyber drugs that the controllers want people to drug themselves with I think it is almost subversive to use AGS to make games. Being independent is itself an act of protest. Truly.

Chris Jones, the author of AGS, is a brilliant software designer and author, and more than that, a lovely person, because what others try and sell a FRACTION of for prices ranging from 60 bucks up, Chris has given away, to the world. And look at the results- one of the, if not the most, diverse forums anywhere, and a multiverse of games great and small. So many other authors could look at his successful approach to world and community building and emulate. :)

AGS website: CLICK HERE. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment