May I add something?
For a long time, AGS was maintained by a single man (CJ, its creator, a.k.a. "Pumaman" on the forums).
His ultimate effort was to produce the version 3.x of the Editor, which was very classy and modern.
But alongside the Editor was also the engine, meant to run the game once it's compiled. Let's call it the core of AGS.
This "core" is very old and, as Stee said, is using some rather obsolete stuff (like the "Allegro" library). By "obsolete" I don't mean old (if it's working, no need to fix it, no matter the age), but I mean that it was becoming very difficult to move on to new technologies (like hardware acceleration, etc.). Not to mention the successive enhancements transformed the code into a pile of intricate patches that make it hard to change anything wihout breaking something else.
Last year, CJ announced that he was willing to open the source of the Editor to the community, and more recently he also opened the source of the engine.
"Return of the AGS.Native" was one of these announcements. He notifed the community that he was releasing the last bit of source that was still kept private. It was also the lowest level of source, and the most complex one.
That means a whole wolrd of new possibilities.
- the community will be able to remove the obsolete parts
- the community will be able to add new features
- You can consider that within a year or two, you will probably see versions of AGS running on several platforms. Within 3 years it will probably run on all platforms, I'm confident in the community for that.
- In a near future, you will see AGS running on higher resolutions, also faster. (it's already the case if you use the experimental branch of AGS, coupled with the hardware-accelerated blending plugin).
- You will see the number of hardware compatibility issues reduced (at the moment you sometimes need to choose between hardware acceleration or no hardware acceleration to make the game work).
- You have already seen new external tools flourish (dialogDesigner, etc.). That's because the AGS file formats are more easily documented, now.
As an indirect consequence of the code's cleanup, you will most likely see some new plugins that implement features that you can already see in some other engines (there are more and more attempts at networking and 3D, for example).