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Author Topic: AGS Book is here!  (Read 17274 times)

densming

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AGS Book is here!
« on: 09 Feb 2010, 00:56 »
Hi everyone!

As many of you know, some time ago I decided to create several video tutorials for AGS and put them on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=21DB402CB4DAEAEF).  These videos have been very well received, and I feel like they've helped people to get started with AGS who might have otherwise been overwhelmed at how to begin.  The feedback I've received both here on the forums and through YouTube have been great, and so George (my AGS partner-in-crime) and I thought about other ways we could contribute.

To that end, George and I have decided to write a book documenting how to use AGS.  Different people learn in different ways, and, while some people prefer learning by example by watching video tutorials, I think others learn best through reading.  We've completed a DRAFT of PART 1 of the book and there's a link to the draft at the bottom of this post.

I know that other people have written AGS documentation, technical manuals, etc. in the past and I know documents of this kind fall short due to either not being complete, or just because they're not kept updated with AGS changes.  But our thought was that AGS is very stable at this point, and, while Chris stays VERY busy supporting AGS and providing additional functionality, I think that huge, global changes aren't made too often to AGS.  I don't mean to undermine Chris's work with AGS in the slightest bit here, I recognize the amount of work he puts into AGS and the AGS community, but I think that a book that documents the current version of AGS (3.1.2), even if it wasn't kept up-to-date, would still be relevant for a while to come.  And, George and I plan to keep the book up-to-date at least for a while.

The book is broken up into 2 parts.  The first part, which is linked below, is 123 pages long and covers the basics of AGS and is a good start to people learning how to write a basic game.  We're working on Part 2 now, which will cover more "advanced" topics, like Timers, Dialogs, customizing the interface, cutscenes, and other things.  The *really* advanced stuff, like modules and plugins, aren't in scope for this book at all, so we won't be covering those aside from briefly mentioning them in Part 2.

Part 1 covers the following:
The AGS Editor
Sprites, Views, and Characters
Rooms and Events
Hotspots, Objects, and Inventory Items
Sounds and Music
General Settings

Anyway, a DRAFT of part 1 of the book is here:

http://ensadi.com/ensadi/AGSBook.pdf

Feel free to take a look at it, and give us feedback.  Is this book thing a good idea? Is is something that anyone will care to read?  There is still TONS of editing that needs to be done to really polish it and make it useful, and we're looking for editors, so if anyone is interested, send me a PM.

Our thought is, once the book is done, we'll release it as a FREE PDF, with the option that if people want a printed copy, we will have a copy on LuLu.com where people can order prints of the book.

I hope people find this useful, and please leave us your feedback!

Thanks

densming
« Last Edit: 08 Jan 2011, 16:10 by densming »

Ethan D

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #1 on: 09 Feb 2010, 01:20 »
Wow, looks like a lot of work has gone into this.

I remember when I was just starting learning to use AGS I saw several of your videos and they were great help I haven't looked at the book really in detail at all yet but it looks like it will be useful to a great number of people.

It's great to see something like this!

Jared

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #2 on: 09 Feb 2010, 02:42 »
Hmm, having a quick look through now and I think maybe the sections should be re-arranged slightly -  a lot of work's gone in and it looks and reads well, but the order is a bit odd. Just hit the 'About the game we're going to make' heading and it seems very oddly placed.

I think some of the introducion and the 'About this book' piece should be in a separate section with Roman numerals as you usually see in professionally published works. History of the Adventure Game might even be a passage for an appendix.

It does seem very thorough, though, and I have to say I would have liked something like this when I first started tinkering around with AGS. Maybe this could be packed with the AGS download in the future?

Knox

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #3 on: 09 Feb 2010, 12:21 »
This is great! Thanks a lot for taking the time to do something like this!
--All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #4 on: 09 Feb 2010, 14:58 »
Holy carp, awesome!

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #5 on: 09 Feb 2010, 18:22 »
A fantastic effort, well done! Having gone through all your youtube tutorials, I look forward to diving into this.

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #6 on: 10 Feb 2010, 01:17 »
Awesome!  I enjoyed your YouTube tutorials and this looks like a big help as well.  I haven't read it yet, I just scanned it, but it looks like a good resource.  Thanks for giving back to the community as you have!

limeTree

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #7 on: 10 Feb 2010, 01:49 »
The book is wonderful!

What I would like to see in it is a list of the most common questions and mistakes which would
help most of the beginners not to ask the same questions over and over on the forum.

Also, since I struggled with this before getting my own way of doing it, a tutorial of art would be nice. By that I mean a section dedicated to making backgrounds and characters out of scratch, maybe if someone would be willing to share their experiences.

Just a thought...

Arcangel

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #8 on: 10 Feb 2010, 10:25 »
Well I,m back. ;D
 And see a lot of new stuff here. This book is awesome. Good job.

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #9 on: 12 Feb 2010, 01:36 »
This is a great project you are working on.

I just recently got acquainted with AGS and I'm constantly trying to find new tutorials concerning different aspects of AGS. Thanks to your tutorial videos (I still constantly refer to them for guidance) and great ags community, I've really got into the basics of the program. I can't wait for more material on the book!

Dualnames

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #10 on: 12 Feb 2010, 11:14 »
Well I,m back. ;D
 And see a lot of new stuff here. This book is awesome. Good job.

THE TIMER SOMEONE!
No more military army stuff. I'm alive and back.

SinSin

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #11 on: 12 Feb 2010, 12:07 »
Well I,m back. ;D
 And see a lot of new stuff here. This book is awesome. Good job.

THE TIMER SOMEONE!
What a break it was  ;D

1274 days, 11 hours, 2 minutes and 34 seconds  
or
110,113,354 seconds
1,835,222 minutes (rounded down)
30,587 hours (rounded down)
182 weeks

Dualnames

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #12 on: 14 Feb 2010, 03:44 »
On-topic, I think it's a really great idea Dens, and I think it should be AT least released with every stable version of AGS, and you can have people buy it, if they want to you know get the feeling of a book. I'm seriously thinking of getting a copy in my hands. I don't think it's bad for a book to be in a computerized form. I think it rather helps the medium reach more people.
No more military army stuff. I'm alive and back.

cat

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #13 on: 17 Feb 2010, 12:58 »
Well, I finished reading the book (yes, I really did read it all!) and I have to say it's great! Most things weren't new for me but others were very useful. Some minor issues:
The Table of Contents should be linked to the chapters so you can easily navigate there
The Link to the online resources does not work.

I hope part 2 will be as good as part 1!

MJL

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #14 on: 21 Feb 2010, 12:21 »
Great stuff! And bonus points for using drop.io :) This should be very useful for some peeps! My only comment would be that the intro ends a little short, it'd be good to see you promote how the scene has developed since the millenium - how companies like Wadjet Eye have changed the scene thanks to AGS, etc. The book reminds me of those Guerilla Film Maker's blueprint books, and they feature case studies with film-makers - I think some case studies with some AGS developers would really make it that much more interesting to read. None the less, very good job, it must have taken a while!

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #15 on: 26 Feb 2010, 23:50 »
I loved your youtube videos and infact it was how i learned how to use AGS, i'd gladly by a hard copy of the book considering i've learnt much more from your free youtube videos than most paid books/video tutorials i've used in the past.

straydogstrut

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #16 on: 27 Feb 2010, 01:49 »
Amazing! I'm one of those 'learn by reading' people so this is really great news for me and the good kick up the backside I needed to really get started with AGS. I can see myself using this in tandem with your videos. Oh and I'll definitely pick up a printed copy from Lulu when it's available=)

Nickydude

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #17 on: 27 Feb 2010, 15:49 »
I enjoyed your video tutorials immensely and learned a lot from them. If the book is written in the same easy style then this is going to be one best seller. :)
Best Regards,
Nickydude
www.madladdesigns.co.uk

AGS Beginner's Guide - All you'll ever need!

Hueij

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #18 on: 28 Feb 2010, 22:18 »
Checked out the forum for the first time in three years yesterday, stumbled across this thread, clicked the link to your Youtube video's, spent the weekend watching them all, all the ideas I had about making a game came back to me, and installed AGS again.

Thanks for ruining (sp?) a what promised to be perfect weekend...  ;D

If your book ever goes to print I'll order one. Downloading the PDF now.

Thanks.

DarkestMaiden

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #19 on: 01 Mar 2010, 00:54 »
Hello Densming!
I found your tutorials on YouTube previously and I've spent the weekend learning with them, they are helpful, but I'm still a little stuck. I'm a complete beginner... LOL. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about AGS? You seem to really know your stuff.
Thank you!

Nickydude

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #20 on: 04 Mar 2010, 21:30 »
Working my way through the book I've noticed one or two spelling / grammatical errors, nothing major and you've probably spotted them by now but just thought I'd let you know. :)
Best Regards,
Nickydude
www.madladdesigns.co.uk

AGS Beginner's Guide - All you'll ever need!

densming

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #21 on: 05 Mar 2010, 00:01 »
Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback so far.  I've already had some folks give me some editing help and suggestions (cat, NickyDude, Mods, limeTree, and especially Ethan Damschroder who gave me a whole pageful of corrections!).  And thank you to everyone who has posted to say that the videos were helpful.

Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about AGS? You seem to really know your stuff.
Sure, ask away.  There are lots of folks here on the forums who know AGS much better than me, so someone is bound to be able to help.  I would ask that any technical help be put into a separate post or PM, so that this thread doesn't get off-topic :-)

Thanks for ruining (sp?) a what promised to be perfect weekend...  ;D
Hey, no problem.  I'm always looking for anything I can do to mitigate would-be productive time. :-P

And bonus points for using drop.io :)
Yep, great resource, that.

My only comment would be that the intro ends a little short, it'd be good to see you promote how the scene has developed since the millenium - how companies like Wadjet Eye have changed the scene thanks to AGS, etc. The book reminds me of those Guerilla Film Maker's blueprint books, and they feature case studies with film-makers - I think some case studies with some AGS developers would really make it that much more interesting to read.
I agree about the intro.  Not only that, but I feel that the intro paints a picture of AGS that seems dated by the way I've presented it, and that wasn't the intent.  That needs to be changed.  I like your idea about case studies, and there are plenty of great AGS games that I didn't mention which deserve to be mentioned.  There's so much stuff, it's difficult to know where to start and how it should be organized.  I don't really want the intro to be huge, but on the other hand I want it to do a good job in describing AGS and the community behind it in a way that gets people excited about writing games.

None the less, very good job, it must have taken a while!
George and I only work on this 1 day per week for a couple of hours, so yeah, it's taken a year to get this far...

If anyone wants to help work on this, please let me know.  We're open to volunteers who want to contribute in any way.  Maybe I'll put a post up in the Recruit a Team board as well.

THANK YOU everyone who has given feedback! It's very helpful!

Knox

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #22 on: 05 Mar 2010, 01:23 »
Hey Densming,

Hopefully you can update your book as AGS updates...Im not sure if Im mistaken but there are lots of features added/changed since the release of your youtube videos.

If somehow you could keep updating your vids/pdf, man, this is extremely awesome!
--All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Nickydude

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #23 on: 05 Mar 2010, 02:50 »
Might be an idea in the header of each page to include the chapter number?
Best Regards,
Nickydude
www.madladdesigns.co.uk

AGS Beginner's Guide - All you'll ever need!

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #24 on: 05 Mar 2010, 08:10 »
Would not be here without your videos, love the book!  ;D
It takes up so much more, waiting impatiently for the next part.  ;)

Wonkyth

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #25 on: 06 Mar 2010, 10:07 »
This could very possibly become the definitive Hitch-Hikers Guide to AGS. ;)
I'd probably buy a hard-copy of this, assuming it will have some moderate-level technical stuff, as I love having a paper reference manual handy.
"But with a ninja on your face, you live longer!"

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #26 on: 25 May 2010, 16:16 »
Hi densming,

Just to let you know (as requested) that I did just sit and watch all 44 of your videos (yesterday and today), and downloaded your manual to read at a later date.  :)

I have been into adventure writing programs for years (P.A.W and ADLAN at first) and moved on as programs moved on, with such editors as ShockEd and currently NWN2. However, I have always had a love of adventure games and so curiosity brings me back to the AGS now and then.

I am still working on my own NWN2 project at the moment, but may well come and try my hand at adventure writing using the AGS now that you have put together a comprehensive guide (in video and PDF format).

Anyway, just to say I appreciated all your work to date, and may get to play some good old adventures in thenear future.

All the best,
Lance.

My blog if your ever passing by .... http://worldofalthea.blogspot.com/

Nickydude

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #27 on: 29 May 2010, 23:47 »
I hope this is still going, I'd hate for it to be abandoned. :)
Best Regards,
Nickydude
www.madladdesigns.co.uk

AGS Beginner's Guide - All you'll ever need!

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #28 on: 30 May 2010, 00:59 »
I assure you the project is alive and well. We're getting close to the end and it's getting exciting.

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #29 on: 30 May 2010, 09:33 »
Thats good news!  ;D

Terrorcell

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #30 on: 01 Jun 2010, 11:08 »
Perhaps a few AGS script gurus could get together and discuss another book, similar to that of Densming's book, based purely on programming within AGS? It would certainly help beginners who prefer the scripting side of AGS.

 Just a thought. :)

Great work Densming

Nickydude

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #31 on: 01 Jun 2010, 20:03 »
Any more videos coming densming?
Best Regards,
Nickydude
www.madladdesigns.co.uk

AGS Beginner's Guide - All you'll ever need!

barefoot

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Re: AGS Book is here! NO LINK
« Reply #32 on: 07 Jan 2011, 19:20 »
Hi

i note that the link to book no longer availabe...

barefoot
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densming

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Re: AGS Book is here! NO LINK
« Reply #33 on: 08 Jan 2011, 16:17 »
Hi

i note that the link to book no longer availabe...

barefoot

Yeah, I guess drop.io deleted the book for some reason.  Anyway, I've got it hosted on our site now at http://www.ensadi.com/ensadi/AGSBook.pdf.  I've updated the original post with this new link.  Thanks for letting me know.

While I'm here, I guess I should give a status of the book.  We've got a lot of Part 2 done, but we haven't finished yet.  We took a break from AGS book writing (as well as the YouTube tutorials) while George and I were working on other things (like iPhone and BlackBerry apps).  Since AGS is now going open source, there will likely be some big changes coming down the pike which might make some of the things in the book outdated. We'll just have to wait and see I guess!  I'm excited to see what happens to AGS in the future.

densming

Mati256

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #34 on: 08 Jan 2011, 22:26 »
Thanks densming!
My Blog! (En Espa´┐Żol)

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #35 on: 09 Jan 2011, 18:04 »
This couldn't have come at a better time for a newcomer to AGS. I'll definitely take a look and provide feedback...befor e I get started though I want to give the AGS supplied doc a complete read through first so I capture that absolute basics and to familiarize myself with the api.

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #36 on: 11 Jan 2011, 12:52 »
I would be willing to pay cold, hard cash for that finished book.

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #37 on: 27 Mar 2011, 22:54 »
Hi man, how are you, seems like you know a lot of AGS script, can you tell me how to use the PlayVideo function? I want to play a video on my game and i don't know what i have to do to play the video on Room 1 as an intro to the game.

straydogstrut

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #38 on: 27 Mar 2011, 23:02 »
This thread is for updates on Densming's book, not individual scripting queries, so this might not be the best place for getting a response.

You could try searching the forums for existing topics that may answer your queries or read about the function in the manual. Failing that, you could start a new thread stating the exact problem you are having.

Good luck=)

NickyNyce

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #39 on: 28 Mar 2011, 17:24 »
The you tube videos were great for getting started and the book helped to have on the side for a handy guide, cant wait for the next part...it's mind boggling that there is not a full book about AGS out on the market...i would buy it instantly.

If not for the you tube videos and AGS half complete book, i never would have got a grasp on AGS, so thanks so much for taking the time to help a ton of people get into AGS...Adventure fan forever
« Last Edit: 28 Mar 2011, 17:29 by NickyNyce »

Leisure Suit Harry

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #40 on: 10 May 2011, 18:02 »
Hi densming, just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your video tutoriums a lot! And just when I thought a written summary would be great I found just that!
Since the website where I can find the pdf has changed I wonder where I can find the files (sprites, bmps...) which you are referring to in your book.
One more thing, when are you planning to publish part 2? (Once I am through with part 1, the next part might save me a lot of time for investigations on scripting issues...)

Greetings from the Alps...
Yours Boston McShew (aka Leisure Suit Harry)

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #41 on: 02 Nov 2011, 17:33 »
As with your great YT tutorials, I have to repeat myself - great work and THANK YOU!

I just skimmed through the PDF a bit and what I like is the fact though it is still the first half of it there is also content in it you haven't gone over in the video series like the details of the "General" options in chapter 6. I also can't remember that you talked on scrolling rooms in the vids but I might have overheard something.

Just continue your great work, take your time and don't get distracted too much by potential Open Source changes. I wouldn't count on a total revamp/radical change "out of the blue" over night ;)

NickyNyce

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #42 on: 02 Nov 2011, 19:53 »
I thought this was it....but no, it's not.

    http://svn.thethoughtradar.com/AGSScript101/
« Last Edit: 19 Jun 2013, 22:00 by NickyNyce »

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #43 on: 02 Nov 2011, 21:43 »
Calin Leafshade just posted the 2nd half of this book around here somewhere.....now where did he put it?

EDIT: here it is...                http://svn.thethoughtradar.com/AGSScript101/

This is also an interesting find but regrettably, sorry to correct you, not related to densming and his co-author. densming's partner is WarpEngineer, both worked together on Sammy's Quest and the do coding and AGS stuff in their spare time. Steven Poulton and Drew Wellman are "another team" so to say.

But very helpful to know nevertheless as it focuses on AGS scripting syntax not whole games. This is very valuable to people with programming experience in other languages trying to get to know the AGS "dialect" and specifics. Good complement I'd say.

- Markus

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #44 on: 24 May 2013, 19:52 »
Does the 2nd half of the AGS book exist?
Can a link to it be posted?
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What if your healing comes through tears...

juanmaguerrero

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #45 on: 19 Jun 2013, 19:11 »
Awesome work!! Thanks so much for your effort!! Greetings from Argentina :)
:: Go, then. There are other worlds than this ::

Tremulas

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #46 on: 19 Jun 2013, 19:16 »
Great job, very helpful as your youtube videos. Thanks


(Is there any chance uploading more tutorials on youtube ???)
« Last Edit: 20 Jun 2013, 22:07 by Tremulas »

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #47 on: 01 Mar 2014, 13:39 »
This book is really interesting, I would like to translate it in italian so that I can share it with the italian AGS community.
I ask the permission of the author to translate it.

I also saw that the book has links to graphic elements - to build the demo - that are no longer available. For this reason I would change them so that they link to new graphics made by me.

Please let me know if I can translate it.

Khris

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Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #48 on: 01 Mar 2014, 14:43 »
densming has been absent for months; I'd think it's pretty safe to assume that he wouldn't object to a translation.

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #49 on: 01 Mar 2014, 23:23 »
Ok, thanks for your reply :-D
In fact, there's nothing wrong with it, and of course, I'll give him credit. I think he would be happy with the fact that his book is shared all over the world.
« Last Edit: 01 Mar 2014, 23:55 by ProcioneSx »

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #50 on: 11 Mar 2014, 03:08 »
This is great and has been a massive help. Hope the project is still going strong. Keep up the excellent work!
I really have nothing to say...

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #51 on: 30 Mar 2014, 07:55 »
Hi

As a noob to AGS I've watched the tutorial videos and downloaded part 1 of the book and was just wondering whether Part 2 ever got finished as I haven't been able to find any mention of it in the forums.
Thanks
Mike

Slasher

  • slasher
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
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    • I can help with scripting
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    • I can help with story design
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    • Slasher worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #52 on: 30 Mar 2014, 10:28 »
Hi,

I don't think densming  has yet been able to finish it...

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #53 on: 28 Apr 2014, 11:46 »
Hey guys!

If some of you still haven't been able to download the book then you should be able to find it here:
http://www.ensadi.com/ensadi/AGSBook.pdf
"Nothing to see here people, just a panda holding a balloon. Move right along...!"

Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #54 on: 08 Apr 2016, 16:01 »
The link seems to be dead now. Does anyone know if it exists anywhere else?

[EDIT] Nevermind, I was able to get the link to download.
« Last Edit: 08 Apr 2016, 16:06 by ugobananas »

birenbergg

    • I can help with play testing
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    • I can help with story design
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    • I can help with translating
    •  
Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #55 on: 06 Feb 2018, 07:43 »
Nevermind, I was able to get the link to download.

So where exactly does one gets the book? :)

Kumpel

  • On the way to break new ground...
    • I can help with AGS tutoring
    •  
    • I can help with animation
    •  
    • I can help with backgrounds
    •  
    • I can help with characters
    •  
    • I can help with proof reading
    •  
    • I can help with story design
    •  
    • I can help with translating
    •  
    • I can help with voice acting
    •  
Re: AGS Book is here!
« Reply #56 on: 06 Feb 2018, 23:58 »
You could sign up for a free trial month on scribd.com and download it here: click me