AGS Book is here!

Started by densming, Tue 09/02/2010 00:56:00

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Hi everyone!

As many of you know, some time ago I decided to create several video tutorials for AGS and put them on YouTube (  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:

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 where people can order prints of the book.

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



Ethan D

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!


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?


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.


A fantastic effort, well done! Having gone through all your youtube tutorials, I look forward to diving into this.

Greg Squire

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!


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...


Well I,m back. ;D
And see a lot of new stuff here. This book is awesome. Good job.


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!


Quote from: Arcangel on Wed 10/02/2010 10:25:35
Well I,m back. ;D
And see a lot of new stuff here. This book is awesome. Good job.

Worked on Strangeland, Primordia, Hob's Barrow, The Cat Lady, Mage's Initiation, Until I Have You, Downfall, Hunie Pop, and every game in the Wadjet Eye Games catalogue (porting)


Quote from: Dualnames on Fri 12/02/2010 11:14:01
Quote from: Arcangel on Wed 10/02/2010 10:25:35
Well I,m back. ;D
And see a lot of new stuff here. This book is awesome. Good job.

What a break it was  ;D

1274 days, 11 hours, 2 minutes and 34 seconds  
110,113,354 seconds
1,835,222 minutes (rounded down)
30,587 hours (rounded down)
182 weeks
Currently working on a project!


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.
Worked on Strangeland, Primordia, Hob's Barrow, The Cat Lady, Mage's Initiation, Until I Have You, Downfall, Hunie Pop, and every game in the Wadjet Eye Games catalogue (porting)


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!


Great stuff! And bonus points for using :) 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!


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.


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=)


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,

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


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.



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!

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