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Topics - Ali

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I'm updating Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy using AGS 3.4.0. There are lots of scenes where I have to switch objects off or on based on the current translation.

Code: Adventure Game Studio
  1. if (Game.TranslationFilename == "") {
  2.   oSp1.Visible=false;
  3.   oFr1.Visible=false;
  4.   oGe1.Visible=false;
  5.   oPo1.Visible=false;
  6.   oF1.SetView (54);
  7.   oF1.Animate (0,  3,  eRepeat,  eNoBlock);  
  8.   }
  10. else if (Game.TranslationFilename == "Nelly_Spanish") {
  11.   oSp1.Visible=true;
  12.   oFr1.Visible=false;
  13.   oGe1.Visible=false;
  14.   oPo1.Visible=false;
  15.   oF1.SetView (93);
  16.   oF1.Animate (0,  3,  eRepeat,  eNoBlock);  
  17.   }

The other translations work (Spanish, etc.), but the script for no translation file (Game.TranslationFilename == "") doesn't happen. The same script works back in v3.2.1, but it doesn't work in 3.4.0. Has something changed?


AdventureX will be returning to London on the 19th & 20th of November. Hooray!

We have launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help AdventureX keep growing. Please share the campaign support us if you can:

If you're not aware, AdventureX is the UK's only convention dedicated to narrative-driven gaming. Now in its 6th year, AdventureX is a free event bringing together developers & gamers with a passion for interactive storytelling. AdventureX was founded by Mark Lovegrove (m0ds). This year it is being run by Tom Cole (theSynapse) Rebecca McCarthy (Azure) and me. (Mark is busy developing, so please don't email him with questions about exhibiting at AdventureX! Contact us here instead.)

Previous guest speakers include:
  • Charles Cecil (Broken Sword, Beneath a Steel Sky)
  • Dave Gilbert (The Blackwell Series)
  • Jon Ingold (80 Days, Sorcery!)
  • Steve Ince (The Witcher, So Blonde)
  • Mark Estdale (Telltale’s Game of Thrones, Deponia)
  • Dr. Ernest Adams (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl)

Applications for exhibitors / speakers / panellists are now open:

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at AdventureX 2016!

I guess we can all agree that the most elegant way to design a puzzle is for the player to meet the obstacle before they come across the solution. But when a game is plotted in a non-linear way, it's (probably) inevitable that the player has a chance to come across the solution first.

So here's my question. If the solution involves carrying a large/outlandish item that doesn't seem immediately useful, should the player character decide to take it before they have a reason to?

I would say no. Though, I can see the traditionalist argument, that the player is king and you shouldn't stop them from picking up whatever they want.

I think the player character should refuse to take an item until he/she sees the relevance of it. I think that's preferable because (in an adventure game) the protagonist is a character with opinions, not just the agent of the player. The player's agency is mediated through their personality, and they are entitled to refuse to do something which is pointless or doesn't make sense. Particularly in the context of a 1 or 2 click interface, I think the protagonist picking up useless bulky item X is unlikely to be what the player intended them to do anyway.

What do you think? How happy/angry does this make you as a player?

This alternative knowledge thread reminds me of the old joke about alternative comedy - it's the alternative TO comedy.

So as an alternative to the alternative knowledge, here are two REALLY interesting episodes of Jon Ronson's BBC Radio series Jon Ronson On. In the first he meets a woman injured in the 7/7 bombings who was harassed by truthers who think she doesn't exist. And in the second he follows lead conspiracy theorist David Shayler's very sadly collapsing mental health.

Hello! Apologies for the slightly spammy post, but a game I'm working on is on Greenlight, and I think you might be interested in checking it out.

Unforeseen Incidents is a conspiracy mystery with a subtly black sense of humour. It's being developed by a team called Backwoods Entertainment, and published by Application Systems Heidelberg (who published my game Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet).

The game follows small-town handyman Harper Pendrell as he's drawn into a mystery involving a cryptic radio signal, a deadly disease and a fanatical cult. Armed with nothing more than his trusty multi-tool, can Harper get to the bottom of the conspiracy?

I'm working with Marcus (the designer) on the English language script. But since it isn't my project I can shamelessly say that I really love the game. I think it has great characters and fantastic artwork, and hopefully people are really going to enjoy it. So if you like the look of it...

Please vote for Unforeseen Incidents on Steam Greenlight!

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If you happen to have fond memories of Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! you might like to know...

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet launches on March 22nd.

If you hated Spoonbeaks Ahoy! then this probably isn't for you.

If you feel like helping us out, you could share this Press Release Trailer with influential associates. I'm thinking World leaders, Business Gurus, Games Journalists etc.

The game offers full voice acting in both English and German, with an incredible cast including the legendary Tom Baker (Doctor Who, Little Britain) and Thomas Reiner (Raumpatrouille Orion, Futurama). It also offers text localisation in French, Spanish and Italian. It also has a wonderful score composed by the forum's own Nikolas Sideris.

Read the Press Release

Character Info & Voice Acting Samples

For AGSers with an interest in development - I have archived my Captain's Log Updates which were previously only available to Kickstarter Backers. They chart changes the project has undergone in development, graphical and technical, including my reluctant transition from AGS to Unity.


At this year's AdventureX next weekend, I'm going to be hosting some kind of Adventurer's Tavern (Pub) Quiz about adventure games.

But, to keep the questions from being all about games I've played, I thought I'd ask for contributions from the AGS community.

Categories (so far):
- Golden Age Classics (Quest for Glory, Curse of Monkey Island etc.)
- 21st Century Adventures (Syberia, Machinarium etc.)
- Indie Gems (A Tale of Two Kingdoms, Resonance etc.)

I'd love some suggestions for both questions and categories. Please help, or it'll just be me asking, "seriously, how good is Riven?" over and over again.



If any of you still remember Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy!, you might be interested to know that I've just launched a Greenlight campaign for Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet.

I would very much appreciate your votes, tweets and shares:

Vote for Nelly on Steam Greenlight!


Earlier this year I teamed up with a German company called Application Systems, who are co-developing and publishing the game. Working with them has made it possible to offer the game for Mac, Windows & Linux, in English, German & French. It's also made it possible for me to bring the game up from good old 800x600 to 1920x1080.

A sad consequence of the collaboration is that the game's development is being continued in Unity rather than AGS. Nevertheless, if you can find it in your heart to support the game, you will have my eternal gratitude.

- Ali

I've just finished Broken Sword 5 part 2. It almost lived up to the promise of part 1, but things started to go wrong for me when solving the Tabula code. I'm not looking for hints here, I just want to know if you made better sense of the puzzle than me. Perhaps I'm a mad fool:

I had solved the code apart from the second glyph in the second line, at which point I cheated using this walkthrough:

Of course, in real life I had actually worked out what the glyph meant (I thought something like "Look at the Young City Region") I had also worked out these were directions to the garden of Eden, but I couldn't communicate any of that to George.

Having cheated, I know that the glyph translates as "South". My question is, how the hell is that a reasonable translation? Is it because Young Cities is the southernmost marking on Gehnen's map? Or because following the first line of clues, and then looking at the Young Cities would result in you facing South? If so, the glyph still wouldn't mean south.

Am I a semantic pedant, or is there a reasonable explanation I can't see?

(There are other points which make this puzzle extra confusing: When George examines the symbols marked 'a 'and 'b', he seems to mix up the letters and says 'a' must represent 'b' on the map. And Gehen says daylight will make his words fade, but we use lamplight instead. Come on!)

Any help?

In case anyone is interested, I recently did a let's replay of Monkey Island 2 with Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson.

A few commenters are offended by me saying that the SCUMM interface is the worst interface of all time. No one (yet) is offended by me saying Monkey Island is better than Star Wars, which is nice. Tim Shafer saw it and said I was funny, so today has started well.

This may be an odd request, but does anyone have Steam saved games for Monkey Island 2 (or 1) Special Edition? I need to play through a section of the game(/s) at short notice and I thought this might be faster than a full replay?

Can anyone help?

Beginners' Technical Questions / Change Hotspot Name?
« on: 11 Dec 2013, 17:49 »
I can't find any recent posts about this, but - is it still not possible to change a hotspot's name?

I'm aware that I could use an object, but in this instance hotspots would be preferable.


I'm looking for two or three German speakers to test a new translation of Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! If you're interested please reply to this thread or send me a PM.

- Ali

Edit: Some helpful AGSers have stepped in to playtest and proofread. Thanks!


I think this is probably a known issue, but on a new laptop it's much more distracting than it used to be. When the mouse cursor is in motion over a script window it flickers between the pointer and the beam cursor in a very annoying way. Weirdly, I can stop this happening by changing the beam cursor in windows to the one with a white outline. I searched but couldn't find this mentioned, so I thought it was worth posting.

Also as a side note: The dialogue window in the editor does not work very well with Win 7's text sizes above 100%. The left column is too narrow and needs to be resized, but it still doesn't fit properly. If the same layout is used in the new betas, it's worth looking into because (I believe) 125% is the default font size for systems with a 1920x1080+ monitor attached at the time of installation. (And thanks to a windows bug, changing default font sizes doesn't work properly in this situation without editing the registry).

I hope those notes are of some use.


I've had some success running an AGS game on Macs using Wineskin ( However I've just had a crash reported on the older Lion OS.

0xC0000005 occurred in ACWIN.EXE at EIP - 0x4530827F; program pointer is -1893, ACI version 3.21.1115, gtags (1065,275)

I don't know how to interpret this information. Would anyone have any suggestions?

If I can find out what it means, I might be able to customise Wineskin to fix it.

To investigate this I'm trying to compile Engine.sln in Visual Studio 2008 (Express). I have installed DirectX SDK (June 2010), and told it to include Common and Common/libinclude as advised here

It gets a fair way through the build, successfully building Common.Lib and Compiler.Lib, then gives this error:

1>fatal error C1900: Il mismatch between 'P1' version '20080116' and 'P2' version '20070207'
1>LINK : fatal error LNK1257: code generation failed

Googling the error suggests that some library has been built with a different version. But most of the remedies involve installing SP1 (which isn't possible for the Express Version) or rebuilding the offending static library - which I don't know how to do.

Can you offer any suggestions for how I can get around this?

Hello! I've just moved to a new computer and widescreen borders are no longer working in my game. I seem to be having this problem.

From DebugView:
[2832] AGS: Widescreen side borders: game resolution: 800 x 600; desktop resolution: 1920 x 1080
[2832] AGS: Widescreen side borders: gfx card does not support suitable resolution. will attempt 1066 x 600 anyway
[2832] AGS: Attempt to switch gfx mode to 1066 x 600 (32-bit)
[2832] AGS: Failed, resolution not supported

What I'm wondering is, why doesn't AGS try standard resolutions like 1366x768 or 1280x720 and add borders on the top and bottom, as well as the left and right?

Like the first, instead of the second screen:

I did try to tinker with the AGS source code, but Visual Studio 2008 doesn't support Solution Folders, so I couldn't open it. (I probably would have been stumped anyway, but I'm keen to find a solution for this!)

Any help or suggestions would be hugely appreciated!

And Tony Benn is still alive! Finally, a victory for the left!

I know this issue has come up many times before... but as I start to update animations for Nelly 2, I'm reminded of what a ridiculous waste of time it is to manually replace hundreds of frames of animation over and over again. (I seem to remember it was a major factor in pushing Theo away from AGS towards a custom engine for The Journey Down, so it is a big issue).

Can anyone suggest something I can do to make it more efficient? Is there a way to create an editor plugin which acts like an action in photoshop and repeats the reloading process for a selection of sprites?

I'm afraid I don't have the programming knowledge to just deal with this myself, but I would like to help if someone could suggest a possible solution?

26/04/14 Sadly, I've had to shift production if this game to Unity in order to achieve multi-platform delivery & high-resolution.

Nelly Cootalot II: The Fowl Fleet

The Story
Pirate heroine Nelly Cootalot is on the trail of Baron Widebeard, from the South Seas to the icy north. The nefarious Baron has kidnapped a fleet of birds and hypnotised them to do his bidding. What is he planning? Can he be stopped? In what way is a frozen volcano involved? These questions may or may not be answered as Nelly uncovers the secret of William Bloodbeard's final voyage.

This game is a sequel to Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! It will be a commercial release, bigger than the original with richer graphics, more remote islands to visit and many outlandish characters to meet. It will also be both pointier and clickier.

In this game, Nelly will heroically:
  • Race aristocrats for fun and profit
  • Be immortalised in folk song
  • Join the Merchant Navy *shudder*
  • Pilot an airship.
  • Uncover Bloodbeard’s Lost Treasure
  • Take advantage of a short-sighted old man
  • Lie to strangers with no consequences

Crowdfunding Campaign
In order to complete this game, I am throwing myself bodily upon the crowdfunding bandwagon. The campaign is now live: Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet Kickstarter! I'm now working on a playable demo, so watch out for updates on Nelly's website, and by following Nelly on Twitter and Facebook.


Nelly washes up on Vogel Island and meets Sebastian the Coot

In the workshop of Rackham the Birdman

On the trail of Captain Rehab Sea Shanty Town

Looking for something special in Lady Chang's Junk Shop

Plot & Puzzles: 80%
Background Art: 80%
Character Art & Animation: 50%
Scripting: 25%
Voice Acting(?): 0%

I released the original Nelly game in 2007, if the word 'original' can be applied to a pirate-themed adventure game. Back then no one on the AGS forums could grow a beard and 640x480 was considered hi-res. These days the forums are thronged with facial hair, and 640x480 is still considered hi-res.

Since 2007 I have been gradually working on this sequel, beset by jobs and distracting noises. Now I feel like I have reached the point of no return. I'm hoping a crowdfunding campaign will give me the push I need to complete the game, and stop having to think up nautical puns on the bus.

Please let me know your thoughts!

- Ali

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