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Old 12-15-2005, 06:56 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by cesarbittar
yes, as much as anyone who can grab a pencil and a sheet of paper can draw.
That's pretty unrelated if you ask me. Anyone can draw if they pick up a pencil, but to differing degrees of greatness. In an ideal world, people are recognized for their talents. Not everyone is talented. Some people deserve to sit like tadpoles at the bottom of a pond.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:59 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by fov
Here's one.

I wouldn't pay $50 for it, but I wouldn't pay $50 for any game. And many of the games I have paid money for in the past few years were not as good.

How many (and which) amateur games have you actually played? It doesn't sound like you know much about the scene, to be honest.
I've played about eight amateur games. These include:

No-Action Jackson
Apprentice II
Enclosure
Cirque de Zale
Two of a Kind

I've played some of the remakes too. They're not bad, but I'm yet to see a standalone adventure that's any good, with the possible exception of Cirque.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:03 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by AudioSoldier
Name me a fanmade game that's good enough to be sold in the shops? Something professional and downright well-made enough to have a price tag attatched?

Fangames may be relatively engaging, but they're not titles you'd spend $50 on. Why? The length of the game, for one, or the substandard visuals and poorly constructed plot with gaping holes in the story due to a lack of motivation halfway through on the part of the team, who, while wallowing away in a basement asked themselves: "Why the fu** are we bothering?"
"Substandard" (relating to what standard?) visuals shouldn't be a surprise, as many Underground developers work on their own. Now, I don't know about you, but the chances of finding someone who's an amazing artist, quality writer, excellent designer, technically proficient coder, quality music composer and is capable of making sound effects is, in my mind, pretty damn small.

As for your other points, there are always going to be bad fan games with poorly constructed plots, but the fact that some exist doesn't mean that all games suffer from this problem.

Turning to the length issue: games take time to develop. That's a simple fact. These people are working on games in their spare time, and you can't expect people to produce extremely long titles within a reasonable timeframe on a couple of hours work (and I'm probably being optimistic here) a day.

There are very few games that I'm happy to spend £30 (the equivalent in the UK of the $50 price tag). Priced more affordably, however (let's say £9.99, which is the most I spend on the vast majority of games that I buy), I'd certainly be tempted by commercial versions of a number of these "shit" games of which you've spoken. In fact, I'd happily argue that many of them are far, far better designed than a lot of what does get released commercially...
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:14 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by RLacey
"Substandard" (relating to what standard?) visuals shouldn't be a surprise, as many Underground developers work on their own. Now, I don't know about you, but the chances of finding someone who's an amazing artist, quality writer, excellent designer, technically proficient coder, quality music composer and is capable of making sound effects is, in my mind, pretty damn small.

As for your other points, there are always going to be bad fan games with poorly constructed plots, but the fact that some exist doesn't mean that all games suffer from this problem.

Turning to the length issue: games take time to develop. That's a simple fact. These people are working on games in their spare time, and you can't expect people to produce extremely long titles within a reasonable timeframe on a couple of hours work (and I'm probably being optimistic here) a day.

There are very few games that I'm happy to spend £30 (the equivalent in the UK of the $50 price tag). Priced more affordably, however (let's say £9.99, which is the most I spend on the vast majority of games that I buy), I'd certainly be tempted by commercial versions of a number of these "shit" games of which you've spoken. In fact, I'd happily argue that many of them are far, far better designed than a lot of what does get released commercially...
You've just proved what I’ve been saying all along. Fan games are not as good as their commercial counterparts because they're developed by small teams that don't have the resources to churn out games that are worth your while. And how are they better designed? First you take the time to point out their downfalls, then go the other way and try and reason that they're better made. How, how? They're shorter, less professionally created, filled with design flaws and plot holes...I could write an essay on why they’ll never be as good or as downright worthy as something backed by a publisher.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:15 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by RLacey
"Substandard" (relating to what standard?) visuals shouldn't be a surprise, as many Underground developers work on their own. Now, I don't know about you, but the chances of finding someone who's an amazing artist, quality writer, excellent designer, technically proficient coder, quality music composer and is capable of making sound effects is, in my mind, pretty damn small.

As for your other points, there are always going to be bad fan games with poorly constructed plots, but the fact that some exist doesn't mean that all games suffer from this problem.

Turning to the length issue: games take time to develop. That's a simple fact. These people are working on games in their spare time, and you can't expect people to produce extremely long titles within a reasonable timeframe on a couple of hours work (and I'm probably being optimistic here) a day.

There are very few games that I'm happy to spend £30 (the equivalent in the UK of the $50 price tag). Priced more affordably, however (let's say £9.99, which is the most I spend on the vast majority of games that I buy), I'd certainly be tempted by commercial versions of a number of these "shit" games of which you've spoken. In fact, I'd happily argue that many of them are far, far better designed than a lot of what does get released commercially...
Relating to a standard that is worthy of your time and money.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:18 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by AudioSoldier
You've just proved what I’ve been saying all along. Fan games are not as good as their commercial counterparts because they're developed by small teams that don't have the resources to churn out games that are worth your while. And how are they better designed? First you take the time to point out their downfalls, then go the other way and try and reason that they're better made. How, how? They're shorter, less professionally created, filled with design flaws and plot holes...I could write an essay on why they’ll never be as good or as downright worthy as something backed by a publisher.
Some have design flaws, but that doesn't necessarily make the game bad. Go play Bestowers of Eternity or Two of a Kind or 5 Days a Stranger and then tell me that all games have atrocious design.

As for commercial games being by their nature better, I disagree. It would, I believe, be pretty harsh of me to start slating commercial titles in the way that you've just dismissed every amateur game out of hand, but I can point to flaws in every single adventure game released in the past few years. Yes, I mean every single one. And this isn't be pretending to be big or clever, just pointing to problems that others would probably agree about. From crippling design flaws to minor quibbles, of course, but commercial titles are by no means the bastions of perfection that you're making them out to be.

And, why not take your comparison further than you have? Because, let's face it, every single adventure game released ever looks worse than, say, Unreal Tournament 2007. Even the ones in development.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:26 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by RLacey
Some have design flaws, but that doesn't necessarily make the game bad. Go play Bestowers of Eternity or Two of a Kind or 5 Days a Stranger and then tell me that all games have atrocious design.

As for commercial games being by their nature better, I disagree. It would, I believe, be pretty harsh of me to start slating commercial titles in the way that you've just dismissed every amateur game out of hand, but I can point to flaws in every single adventure game released in the past few years. Yes, I mean every single one. And this isn't be pretending to be big or clever, just pointing to problems that others would probably agree about. From crippling design flaws to minor quibbles, of course, but commercial titles are by no means the bastions of perfection that you're making them out to be.

And, why not take your comparison further than you have? Because, let's face it, every single adventure game released ever looks worse than, say, Unreal Tournament 2007. Even the ones in development.
I'm not making out that commercial games are the bastion of perfection. I'm merely stating that they're better than fanmade games since the developers have a tapestry of resources to utilize, some companies more than others. I don't think Grim Fandango would have been the game it was had it been devoid of the superb music, voice-acting and state-of-the-art visuals. It would have remained a good game, but a lesser one.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:39 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by AudioSoldier
Relating to a standard that is worthy of your time and money.
That makes no sense. You can't apply a standard higher than a game aspires to. The developers KNEW these games you're talking about were going to be free, and their production was built around that reality. Saying "I wouldn't have paid for this" is being utterly redundant. Of course you wouldn't. That's the point of the game's existence.

Anyway, I actually agree with parts of what you're trying to say here. If time and money are important to a gamer, they're especially important to a developer. The less they have of each, the greater the likelihood a game will be lacking in several areas. That's true even of commercial adventures, which are rarely "backed" with publisher money during production, either. But it's especially true of amateur developers making games in their spare time.

BUT... if you actually carry a little respect INTO an amateur game, you're likely to see not only a lot to value in the better ones, but an appreciation of the incredible amount of work and skill that's gone into creating them from the ground up. That's all anyone's really saying here. Anyone can be a critic, and the less you know about the topic, the easier it is.

Oh, and the notion that a game CAN'T be as a good as a commercial game is just nonsense. It will almost certainly never LOOK as good, but that's the only thing close to a certainty. Money and talent are often connected, but just as often not. Making arguments about an "ideal world" is useless.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:59 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by AudioSoldier
Name me a fanmade game that's good enough to be sold in the shops? Something professional and downright well-made enough to have a price tag attatched?
Even if I couldn't, they are free. Besides, I wouldn't pay thousands of dollars to sleep with someone. Does it prove that cars are better than sex?

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Originally Posted by AudioSoldier
I'm not making out that commercial games are the bastion of perfection. I'm merely stating that they're better than fanmade games since the developers have a tapestry of resources to utilize, some companies more than others. I don't think Grim Fandango would have been the game it was had it been devoid of the superb music, voice-acting and state-of-the-art visuals. It would have remained a good game, but a lesser one.
So you do actually think that more money = better game? I thought I misunderstood you for a minute there. Well, your loss.

As a (sort of) side note, one of the reasons Grim ages that well, is that the graphic style was chosen as to hide the incapabilities of 3D graphics of the time (compare to Mask of Eternity, even just visually, to see how could it look like).
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:01 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Jackal
That makes no sense. You can't apply a standard higher than a game aspires to. The developers KNEW these games you're talking about were going to be free, and their production was built around that reality. Saying "I wouldn't have paid for this" is being utterly redundant. Of course you wouldn't. That's the point of the game's existence.

Anyway, I actually agree with parts of what you're trying to say here. If time and money are important to a gamer, they're especially important to a developer. The less they have of each, the greater the likelihood a game will be lacking in several areas. That's true even of commercial adventures, which are rarely "backed" with publisher money during production, either. But it's especially true of amateur developers making games in their spare time.

BUT... if you actually carry a little respect INTO an amateur game, you're likely to see not only a lot to value in the better ones, but an appreciation of the incredible amount of work and skill that's gone into creating them from the ground up. That's all anyone's really saying here. Anyone can be a critic, and the less you know about the topic, the easier it is.

Oh, and the notion that a game CAN'T be as a good as a commercial game is just nonsense. It will almost certainly never LOOK as good, but that's the only thing close to a certainty. Money and talent are often connected, but just as often not. Making arguments about an "ideal world" is useless.
The best commercial games are superior to the best fanmade games. And anyone can be a critic? I disagree. Some people are too shortsighted to notice flaws. Being critical of your own work is harder still.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:03 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by AFGNCAAP
Even if I couldn't, they are free. Besides, I wouldn't pay thousands of dollars to sleep with someone. Does it prove that cars are better than sex?


So you do actually think that more money = better game? I thought I misunderstood you for a minute there. Well, your loss.

As a (sort of) side note, one of the reasons Grim ages that well, is that the graphic style was chosen as to hide the incapabilities of 3D graphics of the time (compare to Mask of Eternity, even just visually, to see how could it look like).
I know they're free. And they're free because they're not good enough to have a price tag attached (not entirely true, but it's the gist of what I'm trying to point out).

Cars and sex are completely unrelated.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:06 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Jackal
That makes no sense. You can't apply a standard higher than a game aspires to. The developers KNEW these games you're talking about were going to be free, and their production was built around that reality. Saying "I wouldn't have paid for this" is being utterly redundant. Of course you wouldn't. That's the point of the game's existence.

Anyway, I actually agree with parts of what you're trying to say here. If time and money are important to a gamer, they're especially important to a developer. The less they have of each, the greater the likelihood a game will be lacking in several areas. That's true even of commercial adventures, which are rarely "backed" with publisher money during production, either. But it's especially true of amateur developers making games in their spare time.

BUT... if you actually carry a little respect INTO an amateur game, you're likely to see not only a lot to value in the better ones, but an appreciation of the incredible amount of work and skill that's gone into creating them from the ground up. That's all anyone's really saying here. Anyone can be a critic, and the less you know about the topic, the easier it is.

Oh, and the notion that a game CAN'T be as a good as a commercial game is just nonsense. It will almost certainly never LOOK as good, but that's the only thing close to a certainty. Money and talent are often connected, but just as often not. Making arguments about an "ideal world" is useless.
Why should I be carrying respect? It's up to the game to make me respect the effort put in.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:17 AM   #33
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You've just proved what I’ve been saying all along. Fan games are not as good as their commercial counterparts because they're developed by small teams that don't have the resources to churn out games that are worth your while.
I think many amateur games are worth my while. I certainly don't regret the time I spent playing 5 Days a Stranger, Grrr! Bearly Sane, Two of a Kind, Ben Jordan 3, or KQ2VGA. Were they perfect? No. But their flaws weren't greater than those of many professional games.

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And how are they better designed? First you take the time to point out their downfalls, then go the other way and try and reason that they're better made. How, how? They're shorter, less professionally created, filled with design flaws and plot holes...I could write an essay on why they’ll never be as good or as downright worthy as something backed by a publisher.
Since when does length equate to quality? I'd rather play a short but sweet game than spend dozens of hours on something that's not as enjoyable.

Although the graphics in amateur games cannot compete with commercial games on a technological level, the best of them arguably rival them artistically. Lower resolution, yes; less animation, yes; more likely to be 2D cartoony than 3D rendered, yes; but the image itself can be just as good. The Apprentice games could be put side-by-side with commercial games done in a similar style and with similar technology without embarrassment. Many of the other best-looking amateur games are very short mini-games with maybe three screens that you can complete in ten minutes--half an hour. Recently I played Caverns, which has (a) beautiful background(s) done in a crayon style.

In most high-quality amateur games, the graphics range from adequate to solid. Most could not be mistaken for professional work, but they do the job. In my opinion, graphics rarely make or break an adventure game, anyway.

The same goes for many of the other things money buys you: voice acting, "state-of-the-art" visuals and so on. Sure, those bells and whistles are nice to have, but they won't turn a bad game into a good one, and doing without them won't usually ruin a great game.

Sure, there are many amateur games with shoddy design and glaring flaws. But it's not really fair to compare the worst examples, or even the average samples, to commercial games. The barrier of entry is so much lower. To really see what amateur games are capable of, you need to look at the best of the bunch. (Admittedly, the games you list are among the best. I really don't think much of what you say applies to them.)

If you play games primarily for the eye-candy and production values, of course amateur adventure games aren't for you. But if you're looking for a fun challenge, an entertaining story, some old-school but cautiously experimental gameplay, and a personal vision that hasn't had all its edges filed off to appeal to the widest possible demographics, you could do much worse than checking out some of the games being made with AGS, WME, SLUDGE, and all the other adventure game engines.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:03 AM   #34
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I think many amateur games are worth my while. I certainly don't regret the time I spent playing 5 Days a Stranger, Grrr! Bearly Sane, Two of a Kind, Ben Jordan 3, or KQ2VGA. Were they perfect? No. But their flaws weren't greater than those of many professional games.

Since when does length equate to quality? I'd rather play a short but sweet game than spend dozens of hours on something that's not as enjoyable.

Although the graphics in amateur games cannot compete with commercial games on a technological level, the best of them arguably rival them artistically. Lower resolution, yes; less animation, yes; more likely to be 2D cartoony than 3D rendered, yes; but the image itself can be just as good. The Apprentice games could be put side-by-side with commercial games done in a similar style and with similar technology without embarrassment. Many of the other best-looking amateur games are very short mini-games with maybe three screens that you can complete in ten minutes--half an hour. Recently I played Caverns, which has (a) beautiful background(s) done in a crayon style.

In most high-quality amateur games, the graphics range from adequate to solid. Most could not be mistaken for professional work, but they do the job. In my opinion, graphics rarely make or break an adventure game, anyway.

The same goes for many of the other things money buys you: voice acting, "state-of-the-art" visuals and so on. Sure, those bells and whistles are nice to have, but they won't turn a bad game into a good one, and doing without them won't usually ruin a great game.

Sure, there are many amateur games with shoddy design and glaring flaws. But it's not really fair to compare the worst examples, or even the average samples, to commercial games. The barrier of entry is so much lower. To really see what amateur games are capable of, you need to look at the best of the bunch. (Admittedly, the games you list are among the best. I really don't think much of what you say applies to them.)

If you play games primarily for the eye-candy and production values, of course amateur adventure games aren't for you. But if you're looking for a fun challenge, an entertaining story, some old-school but cautiously experimental gameplay, and a personal vision that hasn't had all its edges filed off to appeal to the widest possible demographics, you could do much worse than checking out some of the games being made with AGS, WME, SLUDGE, and all the other adventure game engines.
I could get a challenge, an entertaining story and cautiously experimental gameplay with a commercial title that not only does this all a lot better, but backs up the more intrinsic gameplay elements with superior production values that enhance the experience. Your last point, however, is a good one.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:13 AM   #35
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Some have design flaws, but that doesn't necessarily make the game bad. Go play Bestowers of Eternity or Two of a Kind or 5 Days a Stranger and then tell me that all games have atrocious design.

As for commercial games being by their nature better, I disagree. It would, I believe, be pretty harsh of me to start slating commercial titles in the way that you've just dismissed every amateur game out of hand, but I can point to flaws in every single adventure game released in the past few years. Yes, I mean every single one. And this isn't be pretending to be big or clever, just pointing to problems that others would probably agree about. From crippling design flaws to minor quibbles, of course, but commercial titles are by no means the bastions of perfection that you're making them out to be.

And, why not take your comparison further than you have? Because, let's face it, every single adventure game released ever looks worse than, say, Unreal Tournament 2007. Even the ones in development.
No game currently in development looks as good as UT2007, but the greater visuals present in a commercial adventure title will only enhance my playing experience. I feel fan-made games, unless remakes, are a waste of time. I'd rather invest a few dollars in TLJ, gain the superior plot and technical giblets, than waste my time on a proletarian fan-game that relies on some shoddy old engine and is filled with badly written English and piss-poor dialogue.

Create a fan-game out of love, but don’t start flaunting it as the “next big thing”, because it’ll never top a truly great LucasArts adventure, or a super Sierra title. Why? Because the team is less dedicated (they won’t be making money of it), less experienced and wholly smaller. Yes, if you gather a large team together, as seems to be the case with KQ9, you have a chance of creating something half-decent, but it’ll likely never reach the ears of the mainstream and will fail at achieving any semblance of popularity.

Popular games are not necessarily good, and rich companies shouldn’t necessarily be bowed upon, but they have the resources, the money and the talent to pave the way for better, technically superior and more enjoyable games.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:18 AM   #36
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I could get a challenge, an entertaining story and cautiously experimental gameplay with a commercial title that not only does this all a lot better, but backs up the more intrinsic gameplay elements with superior production values that enhance the experience.
Such as?

Sorry to say, I can't think of an adventure game released this decade that had "superior" production values.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:22 AM   #37
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Such as?

Sorry to say, I can't think of an adventure game released this decade that had "superior" production values.
Sorry to say, I can't think of a fanmade game ever released whose production values were more “superior” than a commercial title released around the same time.

Edit: I'm talking about adventure games here, of course.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:30 AM   #38
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You didn't answer the question. It's hard to understand where you're coming from if you're not willing/able to give an example of what you consider the ideal to be.
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:32 AM   #39
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Because the team is less dedicated (they won’t be making money of it), less experienced and wholly smaller.
On one hand, the team is less dedicated because they're not being paid. On the other hand, they're MORE dedicated because they're not being paid -- it's something they've gotten involved with because of their love of the genre and/or the project. Plenty of people in the gaming industry see their work as just another job and a means to a paycheck. (Many start out idealistic and in the industry to make a genuine contribution, but, as with any other job, many also grow tired, disillusioned, unhappy with management, unhappy with their failure to have the pay and/or job title they think they deserve, or unhappy with a particular project. Not everybody who works on a game is a dedicated employee with his/her eye on top quality.)

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Yes, if you gather a large team together, as seems to be the case with KQ9, you have a chance of creating something half-decent, but it’ll likely never reach the ears of the mainstream and will fail at achieving any semblance of popularity.
Popularity has nothing at all to do with quality.

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Old 12-15-2005, 09:35 AM   #40
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No game currently in development looks as good as UT2007, but the greater visuals present in a commercial adventure title will only enhance my playing experience. I feel fan-made games, unless remakes, are a waste of time. I'd rather invest a few dollars in TLJ, gain the superior plot and technical giblets, than waste my time on a proletarian fan-game that relies on some shoddy old engine and is filled with badly written English and piss-poor dialogue.
"Badly written English and piss-poor dialogue"? How does that even remotely describe Two of a Kind or Cirque de Zale?

Many people consider TLJ one of the greatest adventure games of all time. Saying that amateur games are a waste of time because they don't reach the same level of quality is like arguing that you're wasting your time any time you're watching a movie that isn't The Godfather (or Citizen Kane, if you prefer).

How many commercial adventure games came out this year that are clearly superior to the best amateur games produced? Half a dozen? Hardly any more than that.

The question isn't whether the best amateur games are as good as the best commercial games. They're not. The question is whether the best amateur games are good enough to be in the class of games "well worth playing". I think they are. You keep slating amateur games in general terms, but I'd like you to explain what was so bad about the games you've played.
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