Jibble

Author Topic: I'm brand new to AGS. What advice do you have for a complete beginner?  (Read 860 times)

I've gone through the help manual, watched a lengthy tutorial, googled various questions relating to AGS, and (of course) toyed around with the engine. While I feel as though I'm beginning to have a very basic understanding of AGS, I'm a bit lost when it comes to seeking out plugins/modules that are still relevant and worth using. Are there any in particular that I should make use of/steer clear of? What's one thing you wish someone would have clued you in on early into your AGS career? My ultimate goal is to make a game that can be exported to both mobile and steam--is there anything I should be aware of ASAP?

Snarky

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1. Use 32-bit color mode.
2. If you're exporting to mobile, you should probably avoid any plugins at all (but modules are fine).
3. If you're putting code in repeatedly_execute, there's probably a better way.
4. If something is fiddly or time-consuming in the AGS editor, ask! There might be a shortcut somewhere, or a simple improvement that can be made.

For coding, there was a thread recently with some tips: http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=55575.0

It's hard to say what modules are worth using, since it depends completely on what you're trying to do. The Tween module gets a lot of use, the various UI modules that come with the templates save you a lot of work if you're using any of the common UIs (and particularly the LucasArts/Thimbleweed Park UI is quite complex to build in AGS), I always use the MultiTextBox module for GUIs (so you can have different text boxes on one GUI and type only in one of them), or you could use my TextField module. The Timer module is better than built-in Timers.

If you're making your game with voice, then the Speech Center editor plugin is a must-have. The Dialog Designer can also be a useful tool to write branching dialog.

Those should be some of the most relevant general-purpose ones.

Welcome to AGS!

Thanks, Snarky. That's exactly the kind of response I was hoping for. I appreciate all the great info!
« Last Edit: 30 Jun 2018, 07:31 by Palmthief »

cat

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Most importantly: start small! Make a small game, finish it, get feedback, learn. Afterwards, you can start to make your Epic Quest as a much wiser man or woman.

Experienced AGS users like Chicky (Guard Duty) and Grundislav (Lamplight city, A Golden Wake) build their game with rough placeholder art, and then when that's done, do the art properly.

Chicky advised this to me, and it has proven to save me hours of work, as I would find I needed to change things, and in one case, scrap a whole room, which would certainly have been a massive waste of time!

VampireWombat

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My advice is to do MAGs games. It pushes you to create a game within a month and can help you much better than just trying to make one big game.
Seeing what others can do in a month and the boundaries that can be pushed with the engine helps a lot with learning. Even if you can't finish a game in the deadline, trying to make one is enough to help you learn by experience.
Another piece of advice is to make at least one game using graphics you don't have to make yourself. Also, trying to figure out mechanics from specific games can help with learning.
The first game I attempted was a fan sequel of Day of the Tentacle. I never finished it, but I learned quite a bit because I didn't need to make my own graphics and I was familiar with the game mechanics.
Maniac Mansion Mania or Reality on the Norm games are a good place to start since both have asset packs and anyone is free to make a game in their universes.
And my last piece of advice is to be active in the forums.
« Last Edit: 30 Jun 2018, 12:40 by VampireWombat »

Most importantly: start small! Make a small game, finish it, get feedback, learn. Afterwards, you can start to make your Epic Quest as a much wiser man or woman.

Solid advice.

Experienced AGS users like Chicky (Guard Duty) and Grundislav (Lamplight city, A Golden Wake) build their game with rough placeholder art, and then when that's done, do the art properly.

Chicky advised this to me, and it has proven to save me hours of work, as I would find I needed to change things, and in one case, scrap a whole room, which would certainly have been a massive waste of time!

That's not something I would've thought to do right away, but I can certainly see the value in it. Thanks.

My advice is to do MAGs games. It pushes you to create a game within a month and can help you much better than just trying to make one big game.
Seeing what others can do in a month and the boundaries that can be pushed with the engine helps a lot with learning. Even if you can't finish a game in the deadline, trying to make one is enough to help you learn by experience.
Another piece of advice is to make at least one game using graphics you don't have to make yourself. Also, trying to figure out mechanics from specific games can help with learning.
The first game I attempted was a fan sequel of Day of the Tentacle. I never finished it, but I learned quite a bit because I didn't need to make my own graphics and I was familiar with the game mechanics.
Maniac Mansion Mania or Reality on the Norm games are a good place to start since both have asset packs and anyone is free to make a game in their universes.
And my last piece of advice is to be active in the forums.

I really like the idea of trying to recreate mechanics from other games. Seems like a perfect first project.