I think the thing that's being overlooked here is that people want
to stick with AGS. They just want it to be more capable/modern. I have an adventure game project I'm working on (with my wife) and we've jumped ship to Unity because, while it's crazy expensive, it's WAY more capable for what we want to accomplish with the project. I feel terrible about not using AGS but AGS cannot do what I want so I have no real option in that regard.
For whatever it's worth I think AGS4 should be a total rewrite to encompass modern technology.
It should, essentially, work the same way it does now (to keep it familiar to the loyal community that's been here all along) but brought into the 21st century a bit more.
I don't think AGS (as it stands today) is in any real "danger" but it is definitely stagnating (in my opinion) due to falling WAY behind in terms of how people are consuming games today. I have always felt that AGS was a system designed to keep adventure games from going extinct. It does this very well in a retro sense. I would rather keep adventure games evolving and keeping up with modern tech. AGS does not do that very well. But it could...
The current version of AGS should be renamed AGS Classic
but not improved. It is for creating classic/retro adventure games which is does, and does very well. Leave it alone.
AGS4 should have two versions:
AGS4 and AGS4 Premium (or Pro, or Plus, something like that).
Both are full-featured versions of the engine. The only difference between AGS4 and AGS4 Premium are:
1) AGS4 Premium is not free but a very affordable price (like $49.99)
2) AGS4 Premium has no "watermark" where AGS4 would have a water-marked "Made in Adventure Game Studio" splash screen
There is ZERO licensing nonsense that is so prevalent in (and ruining) the games industry. You pay the initial fee for the premium version and you can release as many games you want.
I was thinking something along the lines of the purchase (for AGS4 Premium) would be $49.99 and then when AGS5 is released it would be $49.99 but to upgrade from AGS4 Premium would be like $19.99 (again keeping it very affordable) or if/when they purchase AGS4 Premium they can do a $129.99 version that grants them free upgrades for life.
I think this model is sooooo much better than the way Unity and others and all their convoluted licensing nonsense. This is just my opinion. I feel that the lower price would mean more sales.
I think the way to fund the development of AGS4 is a kickstarter.
- find a developer(s) willing to commit to the project
- find out what the developer(s) want as far as salary
- set a campaign fund-raising goal (meticulously calculated, let those in the community that have KS experience give advice)
- put together a kickstarter campaign (let the community work together to create the campaign/pitch video - could be fun)
- start an LLC, or equivalent in the country that does the founding, (using the funds from the kickstarter if successful -if AGS4 has a paid version, a "company" is necessary to handle the revenue)
- sign a contract w/ the developer(s) and start cuttin' them paychecks as they develop
- the project will need
a project manager/coordinator to create goals/deadlines/etc to keep everything streamlined and on target.
I think this is all very possible and doable if people commit to it. I am fairly certain there are developers here that, if compensated accordingly, would devote to it as a full-time job! Could even work out some kind of partnership with the company where they get a percentage of the revenue.
Maybe I'm just too optimistic but I think we have it in us to pull this off.