FamousAdventurer77 / Afraid I can't reveal my true name on here.Age:
F.1. How long have you been involved in the AGS community?
I first found out about AGS in 2004 but didn't really get involved with it until mid-2005.2. Why did you get involved in AGS?
Like my culture that's dedicated to preserving old school ways of life, I was thrilled to find out there was another group of people who felt the same way about my childhood treasure: adventure games. I realized there were a couple thousand people who felt the same way I did about these games, and well, I needed a place to go where I could hold intelligent conversations with people and who could understand the computer geek side of me that my punk and hardcore compatriots sorta can't.3. How do you feel that the fact that AGS is a freeware programme affect the community that has built up around it?
I think it ensures that only serious adventure game aficionados get involved. Granted, there's terms and conditions if you would like to use AGS to make a profit and since games take so long to make and there's nothing wrong with wanting to get profits for totally busting your ass (especially if you have to work alone). But seriously though, adventure games are hardly even much of a niche market anymore. It's all this 3D kill-everything crap, and game designers are more about revolutionizing hardware (digital eyelash rendering) than about making great software anymore. But the fact that this particular engine is nonprofit also keeps everyone together: only those who really like doing this and making these games will want to get involved. It's not like way back in the day when putting SCI and AGI on your resume would've meant something, if you want to get a job in the gaming industry today it sure won't be with adventure games and definitely wouldn't involve 14+ years old languages that only us real old-schoolers care about.4. How big a part does the AGS community play in your life?
Thanks to the community, I got one of hell of a research project done for uni. Usually my other life in the music scene is my dominant one but since a few NYC clubs shut down, eh, things have been rather shut-in lately. When I'm not in school [uni makes me want to rip my brain out with a rusty fondue fork] or out with my friends then I'm attempting to finally get my game done. And a lot of people have been real helpful and supportive with my ideas and attempting to help me learn the actual programming language.5. Have you been involved in making any games using AGS? You may list them if you want
No. But I'm going to plug my own game in progress right now! 6. Answer these questions if you have been involved in making AGS games:a. Were you interested in game design/programming before you started using AGS?
Yes. I attempted making an RPG with Coldstone til I realized it just wasn't going anywhere. It felt like I had a house made of stick figures: it looked great and finished from the front but no internal scripting, um, the whole thing's just a decoration that's going to fall over. I also used to concentrate in Comp Sci in high school where I mastered rudimentary VB98 which is an accomplishment considering that I'm awful at math. But when C++ came around the math was too hard, same when I registered to major in Comp Sci at uni-- I realized that not only was the industry not to my liking but that I'd be better off with just-for-kicks game design like AGS because the gamers I met in my first programming class-- NOT in my sphere at all! I realized that just like with my music/culture, I was born too late. I realized my true purpose a month later.b. If no, do you feel that you would have got into game design without AGS?
AGS kept me interested if that's what you mean. Luckily my school just started offering a class in basic programming for non-math majors-- meaning maybe I'll finally get the hang of it. c. Do you make games using other programmes, either freeware or not? How does the eperience differ?
I tried Coldstone (if you ever played the adventure-RPG Pillars Of Garendall, this was the engine used for it) to make a parody RPG but realized that unless I had a team of like 150 people to help with things I would never get it done.d. Has AGS inspired you to try and take up game design professionally?
Quite the opposite actually. I saw the AGS community as another underground network just like my culture: the bands and songs that are a big deal to us, make no difference to normal people who don't know our kind of music and the way bands make themselves known. Our bands tour when we can and live for it but we hold regular jobs and/or go to school in the daytime and when we're not touring. We don't belong to talent agencies or management groups, to quote the Wretched Ones "We don't belong to nobody."
So AGS made me feel the same: "Finally. I can be with other old-schoolers but still keep up my regular job and just do this on the side." Being that the industry changed so much, well, I didn't want to just belong to some company just to be told my ideas were 15 years behind. I didn't want to bother learning the new languages for this unoriginal 3D mass-produced crap...doing AGS for free is fine with me as another hobby of mine that doesn't have anything to do with music and my culture.7. Do you feel that there is a gender divide in the AGS community?
Women are definitely in the minority. The divide isn't palpable like how it can be in the underground punk and hardcore scene (which I still find sad sometimes) and other scenes and creeds, but computer gaming is still and always was pretty much male-dominated.8. Are you likely to feel differently about a game if you discover it’s made by a female? In what way?
Being a female player and designer, I have to admit I feel the same pride I feel whenever I see another band that features talented girls: We prove that we can be just as good if not better than men at the same things. Female programmers are a definite minority and we always feel proud of it because it's something that we're told we can't do. I just suck at math so that's why I have a hard time getting the grip of certain languages, but so do a lot of men. Being good or bad at math or programming isn't gender-specific-- fingers get pointed at women a lot for not being good a math but I think that the men who are bad at math just don't get spotlighted enough.
And let me tell you it's the same with music. I play guitar a hell whole lot better than a lot of boys I know but men who suck at guitar don't get pinpointed as much as women who do, just because some are still intimidated at the ideas of women getting into male-dominated fields. F.ck I'm proud of being involved in three heavily male-dominant fields and proving people wrong all the time! But to get back to the point,
Great game design and crappy game design are not gender specific. I saw some good points throughout the thread, one man mentioned that men are more likely to draw romanticized versions of women, ie with bigger breasts and nice bodies or just in the way they are vocalized or portrayed; whereas a female game designer may give a more realistic portrayal. I think it all depends on the individual designer and how they want to tell the story and portray the characters. Girls sometimes make romanticized versions of themselves too because it's expected, or what they could wish they could look like, etc.
But once again it all depends on a lot of things of how they want the art to properly execute the story and game design itself.9. Do you feel that AGS makes it easier for females to get involved in computer game design? In what way?
Yes and no. Some girls can get turned off from it the same way men can; when scripting and that Global Settings Module look really intimidating. I know it did with me at first! (Hence why I'm putting off scripting for as loooong as possible.)
Pretty much, it's sexually ambiguous: the same thing can happen with men. Getting exposed to a great AGS game and realizing you can make your own; well, it's ambiguous.10. Do you feel that there is a difference between the types of games created by males and females?Hand in hand with #8 bigtime: I've agreed and disagreed with responses I've seen from people throughout the thread:
Girls can write and design about different things as much as men can. The sky's the limit! But one comment that stuck out was when someone had said that women who designed the games get more attention-- I can explain this phenomenon. It's just like how it was when a certain hardcore band I briefly joined in '04 had this big uproar from other people, like "Huh? They let a girl in?!" Some people are really subconsciously affected at how this society teaches us to think: that in spite of all the things women can do, some things will still shock people (namely men) because of the invasion of such a male-dominated field. Like they think we're still not "allowed" to do it and it's unspoken. And in the case of music and other things, and game design has to do with it too-- there's just things that they think seem more "appropriate" for girls, like I hate pop punk and faux hardcore and that crap but it's just what some of these a-holes deem "appropriate" or appealing to girls. Whereas I and a lot of other women who feel the same way just want the REAL THING straight up, no bulls..t. (If you know the bands: ie, I would sooner cover Warzone or Blitz* than Blondie or something.) So in the gaming world, a romantic fantasy type game would be considered "appropriate" for girls, or at least more appealing.
I've played funny games on here, fantasy-themed, serious ones, violent ones, all types. Designed by both men and women, and production teams. They all appeal to me because they're old school! But if it's shocking you want, read on:
But I know that when and if I ever finish my game it would get attention called to it for being designed by a woman, because it's a theme that women are usually too afraid to explore: I'm making a game called "On The Prowl" loosely based on Leisure Suit Larry 1. You HARDLY EVER hear of a game where it's a girl on the chase instead of a guy and typically when such games or films are made, they're written by men and are usually a portrayal of male fantasy rather than the actions a woman would really take IRL if she was going to go out and paint the town red; and also the fantasy and sexually ambiguous viewpoints from a woman (portrayed wrongly in all mediums 95% of the time
). I'm a libertine and have nothing but pride in making this and hope it encourages both men and women alike to have the same open attitude. But yes, this indeed is not a game a girl would typically make.
Most people would say that girls try not to be violent: look at Cirque du Zale, that game kicked ass and was designed by a woman and did feature some violence and attitudes that would not be deemed "ladylike" (You go girl
) But men also make non-violent games (Bog's Adventures featured minimal blood and violence.)
My final say on the matter? Gender's an illusion. Controversy rocks. Women can be very male and men can be very female and sometimes game design will reflect that. Both genders should tear down the walls society puts up, of what they "should" make and what's expected of them. I hope that's the effect my finished game will have on people, that it'll inspire them to do something different and controversial.11. Any other comments?
I'll probably graduate from uni by the time my game's finished. But it'll be totally worth it when you're playing as Lara Corley who's trying to make her night be something other than "The Day I Got Fired and Dumped In A One-Hour Period" and will she sleep with Indiana Jones? Only one way to find out! (And that's to wait til my game's finished and play the whole thing through. Those Indy cutscenes I'm working on are my pride and death.)
*- ever play "Razors in the Night"? Punks will get the joke here.