Author Topic: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?  (Read 14538 times)

Crimson Wizard

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Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« on: 13 Apr 2017, 19:10 »
Seriously, does it? It will soon be FIVE years as I work on it, and haven't yet reach much of the goals we set up when we started. It is still old tech, still mostly software drawing, still no unicode support, and so on and so on.
And project is practically dead. with nearly zero organization, no planning, and no one willing to contribute.

Am I using my time for good purpose, or just wasting it? The efficiency of my work here is incredibly low. People are leaving for other better engines all the time.

For example, there is this Adventure Creator for Unity. I think it was made by people who once worked on AGS games:



It already has much much more than AGS.

And what I do seem to be simply stupid.

Yes, maybe I can try to force some more stuff in AGS, but what's the point? I will never be able to do anything even closely as good.


I think, the only reason why I am still here was that always felt the urge to prove that I can do something good. Since I was failing to reach the defined goals, it kept backfiring. In the end, I feel like I gained nothing from this work, except for endless frustration and despair.

I need to find some other work to put my efforts to, where I would be more productive.
« Last Edit: 13 Apr 2017, 19:41 by Crimson Wizard »

Slasher

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #1 on: 13 Apr 2017, 20:07 »
Crimson,

everybody here admires your efforts to make improvements.. no mean feat i'm sure..

Sometimes we just don't realise the beast we take on. We just need a really stable version and no more...after that you should retire for you own sanity...It's not like you have a very reliable team to work with... so don't feel obligated... If we can get to a very stable 3.4/5 version then stop there and jump the cart....you will have truly done your bit...

Do what is best for YOU...

slasher


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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #2 on: 13 Apr 2017, 20:17 »
Strange... every time I decide I stay with AGS (after having evaluated other engines), you post a statement like this.

Let me tell you, why I always come back.

Common awesomeness:
- AGS compiles results, which are very easy to distribute
- Comes with a IDE/Editor which includes syntax highlighting and breakpoints
- Editor is completely portable.
- Although in small steps, it is getting better and better (VSync, OpenGL, Linux Compiler etc.)


Compared to PyGame:
- Functionality for non adventure games almost equal equal since we have can have full access on surfaces and controls
- No nice and free IDE (apart from Eclipse)

Compared to Unity:
- Size: A simply AGS game can be 2 MB, a simple Unity game at least 30 MB
- Learning curve: Unity can do it all. But you have to learn a lot of new concepts. Dealbreaker: No integrated IDE as I can't install VS on my machine.
- No offline installer
- In the rare case of my game succeeding, Unity wants a fee (although the pricing feels fair)

Compared to GameMaker:
- ridiculous pricing model for mobile platforms
- also some contains dated elements like AGS

Compared to Godot:
- Script compatibility seems to break for each major release
- Documentation is average at most

Compared to Unreal Engine:
- mainly, see Unity. I can't even install this behind a corporate proxy

Scirra Construct:
- Yearly fee (100$) for the editor with the beginning of version 3.0
- HTML5 output (v2) So offline distribution would need something like Nodejs.

So far, these are all the things I tried or evaluated, but AGS is still the best in class for my needs.

Of course it's selfish: you (Gurok etc) have all the work, and I'm having the fun without ever paying anyone back. All I have is my gratitude that you didn't leave this dying five years ago (nod)

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #3 on: 13 Apr 2017, 22:26 »
It has been a great time ever since. Thank you!
« Last Edit: 19 Apr 2017, 02:03 by Amy »

Crimson Wizard

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #4 on: 13 Apr 2017, 22:38 »
What I mean, maybe there are better ways to continue from this point?

I've mentioned some possibilities before. Write a completely new barebones engine that would try to load and simulate game made in AGS as close as it can. Or help creating a free adventure framework in Unity (although I guess Unity has mentioned drawbacks)...

I was just thinking, maybe I could do more if I helped other people with the adventure engines they were creating to substitute AGS.
Of course, if they are still doing that.
« Last Edit: 13 Apr 2017, 22:39 by Crimson Wizard »

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #5 on: 14 Apr 2017, 00:29 »
People are leaving for other better engines all the time.

And new faces are also joining all the time.

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #6 on: 14 Apr 2017, 05:59 »
If there were some epic AGS ++ rewrite that had backwards compatibility, the power/portability of modern engines, the nice scripting and the editor of AGS 3.4 (and the support of the community..) I would be all over it.
Is this even reasonable  ??? I don't know.
CW, what you've spearheaded with AGS the past few years has been terrific.
What AGS has, besides a great little engine, is the community. I think perhaps coding the backbone is your passion, but I can't help but think that you would be an incredible asset to a team building the next great AGS adventure. Maybe seeing a game through to finish, along with a team, would give you the sense of accomplishment your craving?

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #7 on: 14 Apr 2017, 08:15 »
Seriously, does it? It will soon be FIVE years as I work on it, and haven't yet reach much of the goals we set up when we started

In the past five years, your work has enabled people to release at least 577 AGS games. That's how much of your goal you've reached; do not underestimate it.

Crimson Wizard

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #8 on: 14 Apr 2017, 09:06 »
In the past five years, your work has enabled people to release at least 577 AGS games.

That's not necessarily related to what I did, they released them using editor that already existed.

Besides, that's not the point... I cannot get over the time I wasted doing things that could be done much easier. And lots of things that had to be done, but never completed.
« Last Edit: 14 Apr 2017, 09:08 by Crimson Wizard »

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #9 on: 14 Apr 2017, 10:04 »
Seriously Crimson,

trouble is is that you keep releasing unstable versions and have to make patches to fix issues found. All new beta versions should be strictly beta tested privately by a group of competent testers only.. Only with their full seal of approval should it be released. Until then keep it under wraps and let people only download the last stable version.

At least that way you are not put under as much pressure as people can continue to download last stable version and you can manage your time more manageably. That is until a new version has been approved and released. In which case you can step down knowing that the last version is stable or very close... Who cares if the next stable version takes 2 years?

But I can imagine how you feel...


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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #10 on: 14 Apr 2017, 10:47 »
That's not necessarily related to what I did, they released them using editor that already existed.
Yes, that is the point. The fact that you've been supporting this relates to having substantially more games released.

Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #11 on: 14 Apr 2017, 10:53 »
I think AGS is a great engine for amateurs and beginners such as myself, I've tried doing a few things with Game Maker and Unity
but the number of options did feel a bit overwhelming at times, and to this date, the games I've made in AGS are the ones I actually
completed. AGS is easy to learn and most of all, it has a great community around it as well.

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #12 on: 14 Apr 2017, 12:33 »
If there were some epic AGS ++ rewrite that had backwards compatibility, the power/portability of modern engines, the nice scripting and the editor of AGS 3.4 (and the support of the community..) I would be all over it.
Is this even reasonable  ??? I don't know.
An engine like that would be possible... but it most certainly would not be free.

That's not necessarily related to what I did, they released them using editor that already existed.
Yes, that is the point. The fact that you've been supporting this relates to having substantially more games released.
Exactly. Had it not been for you, this editor would probably be practically dead by now, as everyone would have had to move onto other engines for compatibility reasons.

Now to answer your question as to whether it still makes sense to develop AGS further.
My answer is yes. People still use it, and it's currently still the easiest and most accessible way for a beginner to make an adventure game.
Not only that, but people still use it to make commercial adventure games. Maybe in about ten years, AGS will become too old to be a viable choice to make a commercial adventure game, and when that day comes I doubt it will make sense to develop AGS further. But as of right now, AGS is still alive and kicking.

Whether or not you want to continue working on it, is your choice though.

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #13 on: 14 Apr 2017, 13:17 »
Hey CW

Frankly I use Clickteam Fusion  for my games at the moment . But in other side I work with AGS too . My AGS game process is slow because I have unicode font problem for my native language and more important for export to other platforms .

I promise give up other engines and stick to AGS and even with any pay if it support Android, iOS , Mac from editor or easily method not by GitHub . I'm not good programmer but I'm good designer and developer .

Please think for make AGS as commerical engine . It's will be good encourage for your developers . Start it for 100 $ to up ... AGS is lovely and worth it .

m0ds

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #14 on: 14 Apr 2017, 16:18 »
You've been working on CJ's engine for years now. As you know, a lot of people support a re-write from the ground up, effectively - AGS - but made your way, with your ideas and structuring. AGS is very much still "the little engine that could", it'd be nice for it to grow up and become professional. You know, so we can all be the proud parent...! (even CJ if he hasn't been stomped by a kangaroo yet). 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... ;)
« Last Edit: 14 Apr 2017, 16:20 by Screen 7 »

Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #15 on: 14 Apr 2017, 19:43 »
I'd fully support a complete rewrite to bring AGS into the modern era.  That said, I would hope that it would work essentially as it does now.  What I mean is that the editor and language would carry over largely untouched so that the process of making a game changes very little.  A few tweaks, and maybe even incorporating some modules into native code, would be more than welcome.  Allowing to publish to modern devices (iOS, Android, XBOX One, PS4, Nintendo 3DS / Switch) would be a real feat.

I think that the lack of financial risk is a huge reason that so many people continue to pick up and use AGS.  The other reason is that it's fairly easy to use and learn.  I believe that anyone willing to do the work to bring such an engine to life is deserving of compensation.  Still, a new, modern AGS should strive to maintain the principles that brought us a free engine.  Everyone is used to a free download.  I don't think it should stay free, but it should remain a budget friendly option.  $100 would be too high, and price many people out of a download.  $10 is quite affordable, but doesn't really generate substantial revenue.  I'm sure there's a reasonable middle ground pricing structure.  Maybe even charging a small fee (like $1) to place your game into the database could help.

Either way, there's nothing to be ashamed of.  The work done on this engine over the past few years has been great, and I thank everyone involved for their efforts.
« Last Edit: 15 Apr 2017, 04:28 by dactylopus »

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #16 on: 15 Apr 2017, 00:49 »
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.

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #17 on: 15 Apr 2017, 01:23 »
You ask for opinions, you get a dozen different answers, many of them contradictory. :-\

You've been around these parts for quite a few years. You know the engine, you know the community. You're as well placed to answer your own question as any of us. Better placed, even, for the part about whether it makes sense for you.

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #18 on: 15 Apr 2017, 01:39 »
Quote
Maybe the attraction of AGS is its no-barrier entry point and its free-wheeling community.

It is indeed attractive that you, I and everyone else don't have to do anything, and just leave all the work to CW. You're right! ;) Attractive, but not very fair...?

Heh, no sugar coating. But this is what, the 3rd, 4th or maybe 5th time CW has raised these concerns? I wonder how many times a concern has to be raised before people start to listen. Like, how many times does your kid need to tell you they're being bullied before you do something about it? That kind of thing (obviously not quite the same scale, but certainly the same principle). Clearly, telling CW he's doing a great job every time he raises this concern isn't actually cutting it in terms of a solution.

It's devs that unlock AGS' potential. It's high time it started to unlock some of its own. But then, I've been for the commercialization of AGS (in some respect, I still want to be able to use it for free!) since 2001. Like dactopolys says, there are things that can be offered aside the engine to help stimulate some kind of AGS economy. And plenty of other people have been on board with that sort of thing for just as many years. I just find it shocking that it doesn't do anything for itself. For the people who work on the engine. They get gratitude, we get hard cash. I know how I'd feel about that if I was CW, lol... When was the last time this community raised funds for anything, charity or servers? 5 years ago wasn't it? I'm really not sure how posting opinions on a forum and doing zero actionable things makes a community "great". But that's just me, all out of sugar ;) I suppose it is fine as it is, currently, but it could be that one day, it isn't, because people left it heading down the wrong direction, one that ends with an engine no-one is working on or rather, willing to, because AGS "the institution" doesn't do enough for itself or for others.
« Last Edit: 15 Apr 2017, 02:06 by Screen 7 »

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Re: Does it make any sense to develop AGS further?
« Reply #19 on: 15 Apr 2017, 05:24 »
I've been in this community for years. Last few years I just been mostly an observer. I have been mostly looking into Unity for it's portability to multiple OS. I think that is my only gripe with ags currently. What if we started from scratch and made a free Unity toolkit, 2D and 2.5d support only, with the ability to import and convert ags projects as well as a backwards compatible VM and save system. Instead of charging, maybe we can do an indie gogo or Kickstarter campaign. Either way, CW, you did tremendous work.
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