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Messages - LimpingFish

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41
The Rumpus Room / Re: The Big Blue Cup Gallery
« on: 31 May 2017, 00:05 »
It's small, but it's there!


Heartland Deluxe

42
Recruitment / Re: Programmer for Mystery-Adventure
« on: 02 May 2017, 23:31 »
I believe this is the same message, right? :)

http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=53620.msg636537001#msg636537001

Is that right? Neon-Games, I can combine both threads if you'd like. Strange to have the same game posted by two different users (the last thread was locked because of user inactivity).

43
So a handful of people depend on AGS to make a living. So what? They outlaid no money for the program, and pay no licensing fees to use it in a commercial capacity. If I had a commercial AGS game in the works (and who says I don't?), I wouldn't automatically assume that I could then demand the whole AGS project lean into my way of thinking because I have a couple of quid riding on it. Like I said earlier, if AGS doesn't meet their need, and they have the money to pay for a commercial engine (which, let's be honest, would cost a fraction of the amount required to pay a programmer to develop AGS for an indefinite period) then pay for one! I'm not saying it's current AGS or nothing, but can we at least stop decrying a future in which we don't monetize the community?

Instead of this 1% demanding how we should decide our future, and dictating who has a right to talk about it (the cheek! :=) based on the fact that commercial endeavors are something they need to think about, how about we get our shit in order (I mean, secret rewrites of the engine going on, while the person in the driving seat of development has a public existential crisis about the validity of the current engine?! Way to go guys. FFS!) and secure the immediate future of the program.

Crimson Wizard is out, it seems. That sucks, but he owes us nothing, and has given us more than we had any right to expect. So many thanks to him, and I wish him all the best.

Now, what do we do next? Any of you secret-Santas interested in a spot of philanthropy?

...

I am angry and annoyed with how this is playing out.

44
I am not following this, tbh, what is a difference between "native support" and "third-party ports of the engine"?

Well, what I mean is that we won't get a version of AGS that has a "Export to..." option for iOS/Android/etc that presents you with a ready to publish file for the App Store or Google Play.

A lot of people seem to want that one-click option, along the lines of what Game Maker does. My argument is that this expectation is too much, for the situation we find ourselves in, and that, unless we're talking about a mythical rewrite of a mythical AGS 4.0, we would be better suited putting a pin in that particular line of thinking. Instead of wringing our hands over what AGS can't do, we should be ensuring that what it can do remains supported.

But let me clarify, because I'm starting to confuse myself. How I see it is, and correct me if I'm wrong, AGS 3.40 by Crimson Wizard is the official version of AGS, as opposed to, for instance, the Draconian build of Alan V. Drake. As it stands, projects created with AGS 3.40 can be run on other platforms through the use of a third-party ScummVM-like wrapper (Android, PSP, etc) or through a combination of the existing Mac port and some extra technical wizardry involving other coders (iOS/Mac). Without a rewrite of AGS from the ground up, it's highly unlikely that these methods will be supplanted any time soon.

If we want to keep that official AGS 3.4x build going, I feel we desperately need to pare back people's expectations, and jettison everything that isn't integral to achieving the best possible version of that official build that we can, so that future maintenance will be focused, concentrated, and kept to a minimum of fuss. If this means no ground-breaking new features, or losing backwards-compatibility and old OS support, so be it. This also means that multi-platform support should remain the domain of those willing to put the work in, and not something that should fall on the shoulders of the person in charge of overseeing continued development of the offical build. This isn't to say that this person can't be mindful of these other coders work, though.

If there comes a point in the future were somebody wants to attempt a rewrite of AGS, be it you or somebody else, that's great. All the things 3.4x can't do and all the features it lacks can be tackled then, and everybody's wishes and dreams can be fulfilled.

We keep hearing about how the old code is a mess, and how it holds back what can be achieved, creates bottlenecks, etc. That may be, but, though it might be ugly, it works. We're playing games, free and commercial, that exist because AGS 3.40 does what it's supposed to do.

For that reason alone, it must be supported.

45
Quote from: Crimson Wizard
But in my opinion, the changes that AGS needs may only be solved by rewriting very large parts of it, which is comparable to writing an engine anew. Of course, that's just me, because other people seem to think that AGS is pretty good as it is now.

I think this is the crux of the situation. There are those who think AGS is fine as it is, and, like Dave Gilbert says, what we should be concerned about is ensuring that the games we produce with it continue to function on current, and future, systems. It just so happens that I agree, and that this is how I would like to see us proceed.

As mentioned, I think backwards-compatibility, support for older OS, and multi-platform support should be wound down, if it helps lighten the maintenance of the core code-base. Instead of far-reaching dreams of AGS evolving into something entirely new and all-encompassing, we should be simplifying what we have, and lightening the load on whoever decides to continue with development, be it one person or a team. The less the engine has to juggle, the less that can go wrong. This isn't to say that innovation will die, or that no new features will ever be added to future versions of AGS (like I said earlier, the code is open-source, so people are free to experiment on their own time), it just means that we shouldn't rely solely on those innovations to come from the "official" build.

Things we need to stop doing:

1. Talking about native iOS/Android/Mac/etc port support in the 3.x builds. It's not going to happen. The best you can hope for is third-party ports of the engine, such as the Android and PSP ports currently available. If you want an engine that does all that, switch to a different engine, or code your own. If you can't code your own...too bad.

2. Talking about bringing in professional programmers. Just...stop.

3. Making this all about money. It's not. And attempting to pay someone to do something they have clearly lost interest in doing isn't going to help matters.

Things we need to do:

1. Invite people who have used AGS to it fullest to informally discuss it's future, away from prying eyes. I would include anybody who has released commercial AGS games (Dave Gilbert, Grundislav, etc.) and those who have maintained or contributed, or are interested in doing so, to the development of the engine and editor (Crimson Wizard, Alan V. Drake, etc.), and from there...

2. ...plan out a road-map for future development of AGS. I can't stress enough how important it is that we have some sort of ground plan in place before making any drastic decisions.

3. ????...seriously, I don't know what comes next. Which is why steps one and two are so damn important! >:(

46
Fair enough.

Good luck with your project. :)

47
I don't inherently disagree with anything you've put forward, m0ds. I think we differ in our expectations of the future of AGS and the community, though both outlooks aren't necessarily incompatible. I just don't think we have a solid base to work from at the moment. Two points:

1. The open-source dream has fizzled out. Instead of strengthening the core code base, it has splintered it, leaving the "offical" version, more or less, a one-man show.

2. The amount of work needed to produce an AGS 4.0, for want of a better term, suitable for today's developer, and built from the ground up, is a colossal undertaking. It also raises the question of what will happen to the legacy version, should people want to continue using it. Would development on both versions run concurrently, until the new version is ready to roll out? Surely not, as it's hard enough to find people to contribute code to one version, let alone two. Or would we just put a nail in the coffin of the old version, and suffer through the  inevitable years of alphas, betas and workarounds while we wait for a stable version of the new editor and engine?

Call me short-sighted (not that you have :)) or eager to settle, but I'd much prefer to see healthy development of what we currently have. If, as you say, CW doesn't want to continue work on an engine he doesn't see a future for, or one that can compete with other engines, then maybe he should call it a day.

But let's not forget: AGS, as it is, does what it's supposed to, and does it very well. It's creates 2D point-and-click adventures, freeware and commercial quality, for Windows. Out of the box, it can be used by just about anyone with any level of talent or experience. It has no barrier to entry, monetary or otherwise. It has a active community, and one that produces content on a regular basis. Can't say that about Wintermute. Or any of the other engines that have come and gone in AGS's lifetime. You may see that as something that demands to be taken to the next level, which is fine, but not following this path doesn't necessarily mean AGS will wither and die.

At the end of the day, if people want a "modern" engine, one that supports Android, etc, then...just pay the $49/$79/$125/$500 and license Visionaire Studio. It seems to do everything people are complaining AGS doesn't do. But if they just want a usable adventure game engine, AGS is more than adequate. Commercial developers may want more from the editor and engine, but there might be a good reason for that...

If I may be allowed to be a little snippy, it's no coincidence that AGS comes with zero ties to any messy license fees or restrictions. This is very attractive to people looking to make money from their games. It also has a small army of people willing to offer snippets of help on engine limitations, coding errors and bugs. The community is AGS's strongest asset, and one that comes free of charge. It's no wonder people don't want to stop using AGS.

48
Could you go into more detail about your project? Because, as it stands, your post doesn't meet the requirements of the board.

Also, you can only have one recruitment thread open at a time, so I've locked your other thread in lieu of you perhaps wanting to combine both requests into a single thread.

Thanks. :)

49
  • Crimson Wizard, if working on the existing AGS codebase makes you so frustrated and depressed, for God's sake stop!
  • If you do want to build a new engine from scratch, either as a standalone or on top of Unity (or some other framework), you can count on our moral support.
  • If financial support would help, there are a number of us who are willing to chip in.
  • However, I wouldn't realistically expect that starting over would somehow fix the problem with lack of concrete developer contributions: it would probably still fall mostly on you and a couple of others from time to time.
  • ... that also applies to the design of the architecture/API/editor – any attempt to crowdsource what a new engine should be like will inevitably devolve into a hundred incompatible opinions with no overall vision.
  • I also think that making AGS no longer free would be a major mistake, and perhaps the one thing the engine/community might not survive.

This.

I think it's a fallacy to equate a renewed AGS with a renewed community or a sudden influx of developer interest.

To be honest, I don't get you're being so tough on the current state of AGS, engine and community, m0ds. As far as I know, there was never a proposed road map to take AGS from a hobbyist platform to some form of commercial development "brand", like Unreal or Unity. I get that you'd like to see such a change, but that doesn't mean that it's automatically right or logically inevitable. Just because some people who developed freeware adventures in the past now produce commercial products, shouldn't mean that the whole community should aspire to do so, or that not doing so makes them short-sighted procrastinators who are holding everyone else, and the engine, back. It's also doesn't mean that those with commercial aspirations should be bound to using AGS, when they might find other, more suitable engines elsewhere. If their project outgrows AGS, then it would make more sense to find a new engine, rather than demand AGS wrap itself in knots to try and accommodate them. Some may see this as a negative attitude, or a lack of vision, but...hey.

AGS is open-source, and has been for some time now, so there's no stopping people from developing their own branches with features that interest them. If we are to continue an "official" build of the engine, we'd probably do well to strip out all the suggested features and improvements that haven't been given at least cursory implementation, and steamline the development process to something achievable.

I think Crimson Wizard, if he is to stay, would also do well to set some form of finish line for the 3.x build.

50
This also includes some of the community side of things, let's just say some folks would need to get on board with positive change, and leave this "CJ doesn't want any money for it" approach abandoned to the 2001 era it originated from, and if they can't support it, step down and let others who can see that AGS progresses rather than fizzles away. Outside of AGS, AGS games have likely grossed several million dollars. Has the community or engine developers seen any of this, have they f***! The engine and the community need an overhaul, not just one or the other. And no-one ever took a risk without accepting it could fail or falter, but often get the impression round here that people prefer a 'development safe space' that the pre-existing engine has provided you and us for 5 or 6 years. One day AGS and community will need to step out of its comfort zone, or the net will be left with an unsupported engine, and an AGS homepage that was designed 30 years ago... ;)

No sugar-coating there, m0ds! :=

Maybe the attraction of AGS is its no-barrier entry point and its free-wheeling community.


51
General Discussion / Re: Pro- or Anti-Antivirus?
« on: 11 Apr 2017, 20:50 »
...Windows Phone is a better smartphone OS than either iOS or Android.

I can attest to that.

In answer to the topic question, I agree that common sense is the best form of virus protection.

I do like a good firewall, though.

52
The Rumpus Room / Re: *Guess the Movie Title*
« on: 24 Mar 2017, 00:26 »
It is. His last login was today, but...maybe he forgot? If he doesn't stop by, we'll open it up to the floor.

53
The Rumpus Room / Re: *Guess the Movie Title*
« on: 21 Mar 2017, 01:30 »
Monkey Shines? or Link?

Well...which is it? :D

...

It's Link! Although, in the above shot it's very obviously a very small person in a rubber suit. The real deal looks like this...



It's not the easiest film to find, being out of print on DVD and, as far as I know, unavailable on any streaming service. It's worth seeing, though, for some super simian acting and a genuinely weird atmosphere.

Next!

54
Congrats, cat and Raeff! ;D


55
The Rumpus Room / Re: *Guess the Movie Title*
« on: 20 Mar 2017, 22:13 »
Thrice no!

Let's start to narrow it down a bit...


56
The Rumpus Room / Re: *Guess the Movie Title*
« on: 19 Mar 2017, 23:45 »
Nopey-nope! Maybe this might help, if you can ID the actress...


57
The Rumpus Room / Re: *Guess the Movie Title*
« on: 18 Mar 2017, 19:05 »
Nope, and nope.

Another clue!



It's a bit of an obscure movie, though it stars some well-known actors.

58
The Rumpus Room / Re: *Guess the Movie Title*
« on: 18 Mar 2017, 01:41 »

59
The Rumpus Room / Re: *Guess the Movie Title*
« on: 18 Mar 2017, 00:07 »
Here's one I don't think I've done before...


60
The Rumpus Room / Re: *Guess the Movie Title*
« on: 17 Mar 2017, 02:05 »
"Fuzzy Wuzzy was a woman?"

I believe that's See No Evil, Hear No Evil?

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