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Another one of those, what number is it now?Episode Work environment! 38
CEREMONY - Sun 9 Mar 2014 20:00 London timeWAYS TO ACTUALLY BE THERE:1) AGS Ceremony 2013 Live Game2) Connect to irc://irc.agsarchives.com/#ags: via an IRC client (like xchat) (tutorial here)using your web browser (warning: more of a resource hog!)
Prologue:First, apologies for last's years absence, I was in the army. And the year before that we had some terrible issues that kind of rubbed me the wrong way, I meant to abandon this.But then again, I was reminded that this is not my idea, I use a medium made by someone else to project a vision made by someone else. Wyz deserves credit for this, the man single-handedly made this possible and I seem to be getting undeserving claps. Also, this wouldn't be possible without bicilotti, even if he wants to be the most annoyingly modest person about this.So TL:DR, the AGS Awards will be held on that small place that will all have missed. Updates:I've implemented stuff that nobody got to see two years ago, and I've also updated several. So here's a list of what's new:1) Added buttons for turning music and sound on and off.2) Added loading screen (practically the first AGS loading screen of all time that CJ didn't code)3) Switched connect after you put the nickname to make sure you don't send too much data beforehand and instead just send them all at once, when you actually join.4) Reduced the number of commands sent by each client when someone joins from 4 to 0, as a bot (I coded that bastard) now handles data and instead of everyone lagging on joins, now just the guy who joins experiences slowdowns.5) Screen graphic, awards text and song, properly gets set when you join, without lagging everyone.6) The ceremony now features Daft Punk and currently 4 new songs.7) Laugh track8) Lesbians (you know it)9) Lifted limit of entrants from 60 to 70 (Thanks nemo)10) Added the following avatars: LeChuck, Bernard (DOTT), gabriel night (no typo)11) Added a notification button, now whenever your nick is referred.How to IRCConnect to irc://irc.agsarchives.com/#ags: via an IRC client (like xchat) (tutorial here)using your web browser (warning: more of a resource hog!)Download the AGS IRC Live Ceremony*Warning THIS is a stable version but do check for the topic till the ceremony, the files may get updated with bug fixes or new features*
Vince Twelve is there, they talk for a while, about games.Episode 37
Blackwell series last and latest addition has been provided a teaser. I've always wanted to say that the art in this episode looks absolutely stunning, one of the best in an AGS release. Get teased a click below.
The final version of the "first community-made AGS" is now up for grabs- get it while it's fresh!
Basically, the wonderful team behind the Indiana Jones AGS fangame called "Indiana Jones & the Seven Cities of Gold", gathered on the AGS IRC Channel, and we rambled lots. Like lots. About game design, about origins, about sexual preferences. Fun talk.Click on the link will take you to a wonderful document.Here's a small cutscene, where stuff happens.
While it comes with the need to register on Steam, I think the service is popular enough to make the post here:Serena, a short adventure game about a man dealing with his past (to say the least) has been made available as a free download over here. It's a simple game, more like Myst than classic Point-and-Click, but it does explore its small tale to the fullest and should give you a quiet hour or so of gameplay.Fun Fact: According to their blurb it's really a collaboration game- with Senscape, CBE Software, Infamous Quests, and Guys from Andromeda all credited for adding to it.So if you are on Steam you may already have the game and not yet noticed. If not, I suggest you try it out, it's unsettling and rich!
I was informed by some italian chap, that Ghost, finally finished the post-mortem.So:PART 3PART 4PART 5
My first taste of computer game development was in the 90’s using GW-BASIC. I created many amateurish games including ‘Great Escape’, an adventure game without the luxury of pointing and clicking (as GW-BASIC didn’t support a mouse) but rather with the unique experience of key-tapping numbers and letters to interact with inventory and hotspots!Along came the year 2000. The future had arrived! And I could download AGS (version 2.07). I played Demo Quest and was blown away! I knew what I had to do. That weekend we took a trip to the country and stopped in at my aunt’s holiday caravan site, which we fondly called The Block. I took a few happy snaps, bung ‘em into AGS, added a few puzzles, a jazzy sound track, and Bob’s your aunty! My first AGS game! A masterpiece which I simply called The Block. I didn’t bother releasing the game though.By coincidence, a few years later, a reality home renovation show called The Block appeared on Australian TV. I was gutted! The bastards obviously stole my brilliant game title and used it for their own mediocre purposes!The following year I dabbled with a detective adventure called Sleuth, but AGS 2.07 was a bit buggy (as was my scripting I suspect), and I abandoned the project. I’m currently in the process of reviving this one.In 2004, I started another game based loosely on a girl I was into (but she just wanted to be friends). My hopes were to finish the game and give it to her as a present (the game that is). I never finished it, and that’s probably for the best. I won’t work on this one again (too many painful memories) but I will show you this scene of her on the toilet.In 2005 I started an odd project involving a crude stick figure on a black and white background. Thus the rather obvious name Chalkman was born. It was a bit of an experimental joke game at this stage. There was no plot, just drawing the world, the city, and creating the infamous cube maze. I abandoned this project, I suppose due to a lack of vision or inspiration. I was still using AGS 2.07, which was getting tedious to use, and that could be another contributing reason. I also met my future wife later that year. Hmm…The next 5 years were inactive. However, in 2009, while on holiday, I discovered Yahtzee’s Trilby / John DeFoe games and was TOTALLY blown away! I rediscovered my purpose in life: TO MAKE GAMES!Nearly a year later, in 2010, I knew I’d procrastinated long enough. I finally downloaded the latest AGS, got a strong cup of coffee, and recommenced production of Chalkman. A lot of it was sort of made up as I went, but it was thrilling, artistic freedom! The pieces of the puzzle were coming together, albeit a few mashed together into place. I became excited as vague ideas became... less vague. And a sort of plot emerged. There was even an antagonist, which I literally just threw in at the end. Yes, it gets weird. It’s definitely not your average adventure game. But I’m proud I can say I finished it!After releasing Chalkman (Feb 2013) I thought I should probably pay more attention to my heavily pregnant wife. But fuelled by adrenalin and coffee from just completing my first game, I couldn’t resist re-making The Block in AGS 3.2.1. It only took two weeks to complete! What a rush! Better than sex (which I wasn’t getting much of anyway).I hadn’t been involved with the forums at all prior to releasing these games other than searching for technical advice. So although I’ve known about AGS for some time now, I’ve only just recently discovered the forums so to speak. All this has coincided with the birth of my daughter (aka monkey425) who is now 9 months old and gaining speed! AGS can be a time consuming and somewhat guilty pleasure, but as Baron and co. have stated, family comes first.
Nikolas Sideris, who I remember as one of the first "original musicians" I met at the forums, has been asking for comments, help and critique on logo illustrations recently... And we may have thought he'd sit there somewhere, brewing up a small project maybe. But, no. Now finally he has revealed what he's been up to right here. He's running a Kickstarter for a project called Beauty & Hope in the 21th Century, and I won't spoil his surprise here. You'd really check it out for yourself.This is the Kickstarter video.It's a beautiful concept. And it really MUST happen.
This month's MAGS has beared fruit to 5 games, all under the following theme set by Captain D, selmiak, and Emont:The game should have COLD as a major feature of the game in whatever way the game authors decide; the main element of the game should revolve around something that happens under ground (BURROWED) (be it the turtles or beeing buried alive or a cave adventure or whatever the author comes up with) and the color PINK should have an important role too.Don't Drink the Pink by HoboRex and Sissi in Pink Cult by Robin Gravel (Volcan)Pink Sky by HanaIndianaThe Ice-Cream Mystery by Dmitry StefantsovA-Mused by LostTrainDudeClick on the game title to download or you could be a smart pumpkin and download in a bundleIt's good etiquette to play all the games and vote for the one that took your heart. VOTE
One of the most promising newbies that have emerged and bloomed this year, shares his story.The year was 2008, I don't recall how I stumbled across AGS, I remember being amazed that I could make my own games so easily. I had a bit of an advantage because I knew the basics of programming from when I attended Sixth form. Rather than working on the actual course work in class I'd make simple games in Visual Basic.My first AGS project would involve a photograph of a Wolf's head, and EGO. The background was a stock Windows XP desktop photograph, the only item to pick up was the good old big blue cup.Of course it was garbage, I'd never dream of submitting it for the masses, but I learned stuff! My second project would involve 2 playable characters named Fresco and Hogg, two badly animated jumbles of vectors made in a cracked version of Anime Studio Pro. I didn't get very far, just two men that shuffled/stumbled across the screen like drunken pensioners. This project never saw the light of day, but I learned stuff! 2009 I would join the forum. I might have asked a question or two, I did not participate in the community side of things. Looking back I don't think I really knew much about it, I didn't make the effort to find out.My third project was about an Alien that crash lands on a strange world.I got a bit further with this one, this was the first project I would show to the community. This was the first game that showed promise, the animation and character design was better than my previous effort. Although I learned stuff, for whatever reason this project was never finished. When I discovered Game Maker, I dropped off the face of the AGS forum. I had a lot of fun with Game Maker, I still do. But I could never complete a project, I must have started and abandoned a hundred projects! But damn it, I learned stuff!Mid 2012: A bit disallusioned with myself for not being able to finish a project, I stumble across some old AGS project files. I laugh, I ponder... I check the AGS website. I discover that there's been new versions since I last checked, I find a little community project known as Reality on the Norm.Jan 2013 I finish and release my first game RON: Reality Check. The buzz I got was amazing, a combination of nervousness, elation, and pride. It didn't make any big waves but people seemed to enjoy it. Ponch sent me an encouraging PM to me about how he enjoyed the game, this message was the reason I started fully participating in the AGS community. I've been a member of a few forums, but I found the AGS community forums to be the most welcoming, interesting, and fun to hang around. I may not post as much as other people, I only have a few hundred posts, but I do read almost everything that other people submit.Fuelled by encouragement, in quick succession I would release parts 2 and 3 of the Reality Check series. I'll admit I found the buzz that builds up close to a project release, addictive. After three projects I'd shot my load. They were short games, but they still took a lot of work. I'd make a few sprites, do a couple of projects outside of AGS. But I wouldn't finish anything! I would long for that buzz again! Then I met Adeel, he'd gave me some positive comments. I offered to help him with a project which became the MAGS August 2013 winner (we were the only entrants though ) The game had it's flaws, but I'll admit working on a project with someone else was a fun experience. I went back to being disillusioned and unmotivated to do any game development. I took a step back from AGS, I have a son that will be two years old in a few months. I have priorities.Recently I've started working on a RON RPG, It may not amount to anything, but I'm taking it slow, enjoying myself. I currently do not have Adventure Game Studio installed on my computer, but I'm still hanging around for the community, and one day I'm sure I'll have another point and click adventure in me!
And here is part 2, of the wonderfully interesting post-mortem that Ghost is writing.READ IT DAMN IT
Well, if the title doesn't give it away already, let me spell it out. Ghost is discussing about his never-to-be project Daemons in the Attic or wonderfully abbreviated DITA. Splitting the post-mortem in 5 parts, here's part one.READ UP
Basically, the ever awesome Baron shares his story as a forumite from his perspective. It is as subjective as it is interesting. Behind the most intriguing games possibly ever made, an unsung hero of the community. Also the first man to coordinate the biggest team perhaps in indie game development and actually make a game out of it. If his only achievement was coming up with the full title of Besieged (a wonderful reference to a certain Kubrick film) I would love him the same. Respect from this very greek. If you have never talked to the Baron, pm the bastard and start discussions about the conquest of the world. January 29, 2003: a day that will live in infamy in the annals of AGS history. Or it would, if anyone ever wrote an AGS history -but that's another topic. On this date I decided to stop lurking like some sort of creepy dude in the bushes and start participating in this community. Can you believe I've been an AGSer for a decade! My, the time flies when you're having fun. But this is not going to be another gushing ode to the forum and its many temptations -I already exhausted that topic for my 1000th post last summer. No, this rambling dissertation will attempt to account for the fruits of the vast amounts of time I have poured into AGS over an entire decade, with the aim of better understanding how I have evolved as an artist and where I am heading in the coming decade. I'm also interested in your own AGS journey: where have you come from and where are you going?So it all began for me back in the Silver Age of AGS: The universe had already cooled, Yahtzee had already left, and CJ only occasionally deigned to smite the odd mortal from his cloud-top perch. And into this brave newish world I released the immensely silly AL-Quest 1:I'm not going to delve into the game's obvious graphical failings. I remember carefully overpainting all of the original Roger sprites that I had ripped from the Demo Game, only to discover that I created a character 1/6 proper scale ....and then changing the plot to involve a shrinking sequence so that I could make use of the work anyway! Suffice it to say I learned a lot, which is apparent as the game progresses, but I'm still amazed to this day by the fact that I created an entire game of such length (40 rooms) without learning even a line of coding. In fact, I never would have gotten into AGS at all if not for the no0b-friendly interaction editor. I still think it was a mistake to let that lapse.... Anyway, AL-Quest 1 was never a huge hit, although player feedback was in general surprisingly positive. Like most first projects, it was a fantastic learning experience and served as a good stepping stone for my future endeavours.The next game I finished was The Winter Rose, released in 2005:This project was a vast departure from AL-Quest. Firstly, I made myself code everything -everything!. Sure, I'd often use the interaction editor to see what code it would use to accomplish something, but it was 100% scripted by me. I remember being so very proud of that fact, and of course the skills I learned in this process enabled me to undertake all manner of projects afterwards. The game itself was graphically quite complex: hand-painted backgrounds with pixel work painstakingly made to fit in. In terms of mood it was a much more sombre adventure than I had designed before, although as you can see from the screenshot of the heroine pulling a blade out of a yeti's butt I never did manage to tame the silly beast within.... The Winter Rose was very well received, but people were in general disappointed by the ending -I've tried to internalize that lesson in the endings of my subsequent games. Next I worked on my opus, Charlie Foxtrot and the Galaxy of Tomorrow, a parody of the sci-fi genre released in 2007:At 80 rooms this is the biggest game I ever finished. The backgrounds are occasionally cringe worthy, and the MIDI music was a bit of a bust (which taught me to seek out the aid of competent musicians in future), but the animation is masterful -masterful! Even today I am amazed at the sheer amount of animation, and by the fact that it was entirely done with MS Paint. What was I thinking!?! I don't even know what I could accomplish if I still had that amount of time on my hands.... The game was incredibly and intentionally silly -for the first puzzle you have to flush yourself down an alien toilet to escape the guards (pictured). At any rate, the game was a bit of a cult classic, very much appreciated by people who like my silly humour. I learned a lot about animation, but most importantly I learned if I was going to pursue more ambitious projects I would need to depart from my old methods.So I decided to try collaboration. The first attempt was with Yarooze with Besieged, released in 2008. Graphically it is the best pixel art I've ever done (character art & animations -Yarooze did the backgrounds). Funkmast's music was phenomenal. The plot was about a lowly dung-shoveller who had to save the castle from a siege before the king catapulted him to death. Perhaps there was a bit too much toilet humour (you literally had to sit on "the throne" a couple times to solve a puzzle), perhaps it was the authentic Olde English font that was slightly hard to read, or maybe it was just that I put it into the "short" category in the database, but for whatever reason the game never seemed to gain any traction with the players. Considering all the work I put into the art, this made me reflect that if I was going to keep making games with my shrinking free time (ah, the perils of parenthood...), I would really have to streamline my work process.So I collaborated again, this time with Ascovel (Igor) on a MAGS game, later expanded to a proper game with extra scenes, named Snakes of Avalon, released in 2010: I expressly wanted to work on the animation using the vector power of Flash, but had a fantastic time bantering plot ideas back and forth with Igor. While the animation was panned by the critics, the amount that I learned was well worth the effort, as I easily cut the amount of effort-per-frame by 3/4. Suddenly the sky was the limit! I was also very satisfied that the macabre plot and social commentary in the game were extremely well-received, but of course a large portion of the credit for this goes to Igor.My secret plan for refining my skills with vector-animation was to undertake an epic fantasy project. I haven't finished it, and have abandoned it twice already, but I feel Curses & Castles is an important part of my growth as an AGSer so I'll share it here:The lazy and sarcastic uncle-king has been turned into a frog (and ever present side-kick), while his dutiful princess-niece has to save the realm from five curses of an arch-sorceress. The idea was to make a commercial adventure of epic scope and length, and I think that's why it failed (at least, so far....). In retrospect it was too big, too ambitious for one man to actualize in his occasional spare hours. When I pushed myself to burn the candle at both ends my health began to fail me, and it's been an off-and-on relationship between me and the game ever since. I still believe that if I could pull this off it would be a fantastic game, but.... Well, perhaps one day I'll cobble together the means to pull it off.A little depressed by the failure of C&C, I kind of shot my mouth off about a crazy new way of making games where everyone would do a minimal amount of work but together could create a masterpiece of game art. While this dream of effortless game creation never really panned out (it was actually a lot of work!), the resulting Draculator II, sometimes simply referred to as "The Swarm Project", renewed my interest in the AGS community. It was released in 2011: Despite the copious correspondence required to coordinate the efforts of 40 swarmers, I liked the challenge of trying to weave it altogether into a unique piece of art. Yeah it was short, but I will always value the connections I made through the effort. It's also been great to fall back on that network to find collaborators for other purposes, be it voice actors or people with technical abilities far beyond my own (ie coding, sound editing, music, etc. etc.). You rock, Swarm.After the swarm project I tried my hand at a shorter, hereto unannounced fantasy project tentatively called Flutterby Dawn about a secret agent pixie who has to combat the evil designs of the Order of Nefarious Organisms (ONO): The background world was to be a living organism, with all native "technology" really just repurposed organisms (such as the sparkle vision set, pictured), and the plot a kind of James Bond-esque tongue-in-cheek spy thriller. This time I spent much less time on art (very little animation, minimal effort on backgrounds) in an attempt to finish the game first, and then polish it up later. Various strains on my free time (new job, no sleep due to expanding family, etc.) have also caused this project to be shelved for the time being, but as equilibrium is slowly restored to my life I can see myself picking it back up.And lastly, I finally did finish a vector-art adventure, although you won't be able to play it until March or April or whenever the next Bake Sale is finally going to be released. This is Blue Lobe Inc., the story about a trio of hapless adventure game developers who start their own company to make commercial adventure games (ah... sound familiar? ). It's supposed to be a web-comic/game/cartoon about adventure gaming. You'll notice more than just a bit of commentary about the classics, including the occasional puzzle twist from the past! The game mostly makes fun of my own failed ambitions, while ironically potentially being a successful fundraising vehicle for the AGS community. Only time will tell on that front! So, in conclusion, it's been a long journey, I'm still puttering away at stuff, maybe one day I'll make that perfect game, yada yada, yada. So how did you become the master game-maker of the future? What's your last decade been like in terms of AGS productivity? Share!
...our ends were 34th podcast.Episode 34DANE KRAMS! Whatever/whoever dane krams is. I'm clueless.
Arcee is a transformer lady or gynoid. Arr is a pirate's most beloved throaty grunt. RC also stands for rollercoaster and, in this case, for RELEASE CANDIDATE.AGS 3.3.0 is now at the RC stage where things may get polished and fixed a bit more but, and this is important, where stuff can be considered feature complete. Old dogs like me may stick to 3.2.1 for a while, or in Ponch's case to 1.2, but really, I can't stress this enough- AGS has been made open-source, and many hands have shaped this new version, and it looks nice indeed.See for yourself, though! That blue line up there is a link.
I'm going to pitch you a wonderful idea about a very interesting competition. You may love this, and you may not. But arguably it will appear to be rather appealing, enticing if you will.As members of an indie game community, we can all agree that videogames in general, can exist as a genre of art. In the same way as movie directors, certain videogame creators, have a distinctive style that defines them. I could spot a Tim Schafer game from a mile, and the critically-acclaimed game designer, has swapped lots of genres over the past few years.For example, take two different takes on the same universe/tale.Christofer Nolan's TakeTim Burton's TakeSo, what I'm suggesting is a competition if you will, where a story/universe/setting is present, perhaps somewhat vague, and practically we see how each author envisions the end product. Would you find this interesting?
Grundislav and Ben304 give it another go. They bubble about stuff.PODCAST HEREOn why this blog was a bit silent, well, I've been working on too many things myself these days, frankly. I have bought Conspirocracy, and I am somewhat planning on streaming it. I'll announce date and time, if so. Otherwise I'll play it on my own time and write a review. We'll see. Have a great week.
This time, appearing to be some sort of a trend, Grundislav and Ben304, bring Dave Gilbert to the podcast table. Again. This time, his wife comes along.http://www.grundislavgames.com/podcast/BCT_32.mp3Clicky clicky