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Old 09-13-2003, 01:28 AM   #1
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Default AGS ezine

For everything AGS related, be sure to check out the AGS ezine - http://www.amazing-ebooks.co.uk/ezine
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Old 09-13-2003, 03:48 AM   #2
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I've read the 4th one but, woot! How did I miss number 3? The Apprentice review in the 3rd one is great, though I think Apprentice deserves at least 93%. What factors do you use to determine the score?

As for the latest issue, the Buccaneer review rocks, as does the game How does the MAGS score differ from a normal one? Is it in comparison with the other games or is it considering the fact the contestants only have a month?

Anyway, keep up the good work
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Old 09-13-2003, 04:43 AM   #3
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I use five components:
sound
graphics
Misc stuff like scripting etc(bugs also go here)
plot
puzzles

Apprentice mainly lacks depth of plot(which will hopefully be fixed in the sequel)
and has some bugs and typos, and is quite short

As for MAGS score, I have only two components - idea and realization for limited time
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Old 09-13-2003, 07:03 PM   #4
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In the category of depthless test games "Apprentice" is the best one. Besides, have you talked to the chrystal ball? That should bring you enough depth! (Please note: this is not meant as criticism.)

I thought most of the bugs were fixed for the updated version.

But seriously, I would have given Apprentice full points just because of Lloyd and the chrystall ball...
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Old 09-14-2003, 04:54 AM   #5
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But this is criticism. This flame will give me friends and power, to be sure.

[flame]I have some comments abiout the article "Why is AGS better than the other engines" (second issue of the AGS ezine) Giving a list of all the bugs in other engines doesn't prove anyting about AGS, especially when the article tells nothing of AGS's features! With this in mind, the final conclusion is embarrasing: "As you can see, there are plenty of engines out there, but AGS is most certainly the best. You can create anything with it. The examples are many. It is very flexible and is constantly updated. Hats off to Chris Jones – the king of all engines!"

I'll nitpick just for the fun of it - no, just because I think that the quality of writing about amateur adventures could be a little higher, and people need the right knowledge about engines, and the writers need to know that there's at least someone who doesn't like what they've written and how they might develop. If you ask me "Why don't you write it yourself?" I respond: "Because I don't know enough about other engines - anyone who doesn't know enough about other engines should stay relatively quiet about them."

Quote:
Many people, including myself, Think that AGS is the best engine for adventure games.
How nice that the writer already has a View. It strikes me as odd why an ezine devoted to AGS would even need an article like this, if they weren't afraid of the other engines. (No, I really don't believe they are afraid of the other engines.)

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But why is that so? Lets make a in-depth comparison between AGS and other engines and find out.
In depth my...

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SLUDGE is the engine that is the most useful engine after AGS. It has many features, it is updated often, but it has no IDE.
Someone might actually like the fact that it has no IDE that messes up everything. See, there is a different viewpoint, which ought to be covered in an article that claims to be "in-depth". But of course, if the target audience is AGS users, they'd probably be more than happy to read that their engine is the best one and the rest are losers.

Quote:
And the scripting language is more difficult to learn. You'll have to have at least minor knowledge about programming if you plan to use it. SLUDGE also supports any resolution and is faster on hi-res.
If you want hi-res games, AGS is not the best choice because it's still relatively slow. AGAST Morningstar and WinterMute are already 3D accelerated. Besides, whichever engine you use, you eventually have to learn the scripting language.

Quote:
AGAST It is also a good engine, but it has no IDE, and the scripting language is hard to learn. There are some very nice examples of games made with it, but judging from them, it is very, very buggy.
If you want to create a basic game with the default interface it shouldn't be that hard. If you want to change the interface it gets trickier. The scripting language in AGS isn't easy-peasy, either.

If you say that AGAST has no IDE, you have to remember to tell people that it has many helpful utilities. Without the paths editor creating paths would be almost impossible.

2ma2 once challenged Agast developers to make a platform game with Agast. His exact words in his website were: "Try to make this with Agast!" And an Agast platform game was created - though its only known to few. (AGS the most flexible engine?) Also, there are two commercial games made with Agast. That's certainly a merit.

The latest Agast versions aren't buggy, the very first ones were. It seems unfair to compare games made with an old version of the engine, as the article was published in July.

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MAD It is also a good engine, though still in its alpha and beta versions. It also hasn't got an IDE and it has far too less features. It also isn't updated as frequently as the others. And the only game I can think of being made is Hero6. Judging by the demos, you can do a nice game with it, but it requires far too much scripting.
Some people like the fact that everything can be changed by scripting instead of hundreds of windows, wizards and buttons. That's one form of flexibility.

I don't really know why so many people choose AGS, but probably because it was one of the first engines that were finished, and besides, it has the status of a retro engine, it has a real good-old-days -feeling. This alone has caused the fact that not as many developers have chosen the other engines, thus causing even more alienation of the other engines.[/flame]
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Old 09-14-2003, 06:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadworm222
I don't really know why so many people choose AGS, but probably because it was one of the first engines that were finished, and besides, it has the status of a retro engine, it has a real good-old-days -feeling. This alone has caused the fact that not as many developers have chosen the other engines, thus causing even more alienation of the other engines
In my own personal campaign to find the engine that was perfect for me, the straw that broke the deciding camel's back was the fact that AGS has a very active and thriving community. That means for two things: 1) A place to get many opinions and perspectives on something I make, be it a drawing, a tune, etc. and 2) A place to get help - not just from the creator, but from people who have previously been in and experienced the kind of help-requiring situation that I will probably be in when I ask a question.

That was the reason that cried AGS for me. Plus, there seemed to be something wrong with AGAST - maybe it's just my computer, but whenever I closed the Streamliner thing, I'd get an error and it'd make me restart my computer. With Wintermute, similar problem, once I opened the example game file, and close it; the next time I opened it - BAM! Some weird error and I could never open it again, unless I reinstalled. Again, perhaps, it's just my miserable hunk of computerous mass. SLUDGE just looked complicated; and when I put AGS and SLUDGE into consideration - given the above mentioned advantage that AGS had, that just did it for me and I chose AGS.

I agree, that an article like that (which isn't even "in-depth") doesn't need to be in an AGS Ezine, but it's there...oh well
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Old 09-14-2003, 06:13 AM   #7
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Glad to hear some constructive criticism. So, here goes my defence
1. I do not explain the features of AGS, because this is the AGS ezine, and the readers should be common with them.
2. SLUDGE is shareware, and the "classy" features are for the full version only. IDE is really important for most users, because you do not have to trouble yourself with writing hundreds lines o'code which can be avoided with several clicks. Example: scaling levels, walkable areas etc. Moreover, engines with no IDE are more difficult to learn. And, you could make a game in AGS without any scripting. The quality of the game, of course wouldn't be as high as it would be if it were scripted, but many people just want to make a simple game without losing time in learning code. Also, a 256 color game in hi-res would run a lot faster than any SLUDGE game.
3. People choose AGS because you learn it slowly, but steadily. Once you get into the basics(like views, sprites and basic room operations), the things run very smoothly.
4. As for AGAST, I haven't learned it as much as the others, but judging from some games(ozzy and the quantum playwright & others), it is goddamn buggy. The bugs may have been fixed since then, but whenI played those games, the scripting felt really amateurish.
And, finally, I've been searching for an engine for my game for a long time in the DOS days of AGS, but I could stand no engine for more than a day. Draw your conclusions.
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Old 09-14-2003, 08:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krkode
That was the reason that cried AGS for me. Plus, there seemed to be something wrong with AGAST - maybe it's just my computer, but whenever I closed the Streamliner thing, I'd get an error and it'd make me restart my computer. With Wintermute, similar problem, once I opened the example game file, and close it; the next time I opened it - BAM! Some weird error and I could never open it again, unless I reinstalled. Again, perhaps, it's just my miserable hunk of computerous mass. SLUDGE just looked complicated; and when I put AGS and SLUDGE into consideration - given the above mentioned advantage that AGS had, that just did it for me and I chose AGS.
I'd strongly advise everyone against using Streamliner. Use Angel - it's more stable.
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Old 09-14-2003, 08:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vel
Glad to hear some constructive criticism. So, here goes my defence
1. I do not explain the features of AGS, because this is the AGS ezine, and the readers should be common with them.
I wasn't... The magazine is read by other than AGS users.

Quote:
2. SLUDGE is shareware, and the "classy" features are for the full version only. IDE is really important for most users, because you do not have to trouble yourself with writing hundreds lines o'code which can be avoided with several clicks. Example: scaling levels, walkable areas etc. Moreover, engines with no IDE are more difficult to learn. And, you could make a game in AGS without any scripting. The quality of the game, of course wouldn't be as high as it would be if it were scripted, but many people just want to make a simple game without losing time in learning code. Also, a 256 color game in hi-res would run a lot faster than any SLUDGE game.
Some people don't mind that they are more difficult to learn. Agast has a path area editor, so if that's what having an IDE means...

Quote:
3. People choose AGS because you learn it slowly, but steadily. Once you get into the basics(like views, sprites and basic room operations), the things run very smoothly.
This could have been mentioned in the article...

Quote:
4. As for AGAST, I haven't learned it as much as the others, but judging from some games(ozzy and the quantum playwright & others), it is goddamn buggy. The bugs may have been fixed since then, but whenI played those games, the scripting felt really amateurish.
Blame the makers, not the engine. Have you played the Breakdown? Or Eye of the Kraken?
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Old 09-14-2003, 09:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadworm222
I don't really know why so many people choose AGS, but probably because it was one of the first engines that were finished, and besides, it has the status of a retro engine, it has a real good-old-days -feeling. This alone has caused the fact that not as many developers have chosen the other engines, thus causing even more alienation of the other engines.

I don't know exactly what started AGS' mighty rise to power, but I can say that my decision was made almost entirely based on the size and activeness of the AGS community. I've been an AGSer for about 6 months now, and the AGS forums are excellent. There is a real community feeling (though not quite so much as there is here), and there really are people knowledgeable in just about every area of game design, be it scripting, art, music, organization, story, or what have you. Chris Jones updates the thing constantly, and is extraordinarily receptive to bug reports and update suggestions.


In other news, I agree with just about everything you said regarding the AGS/other comparisons. The main sticking point for me is that readers of an ezine devoted to AGS have probably pretty much already made up their minds...
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Old 09-15-2003, 12:41 AM   #11
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On the other hand, the Agast community is extremely intime. In AGS forums you literally have to push yourself through the mass.
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Old 09-15-2003, 01:29 AM   #12
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I wouldnt say so. There are no more that 40-50 active members of the community browsing the forums.
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Old 09-15-2003, 02:09 AM   #13
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I honestly don't see the point of these debates. I hung around the IF (text game) scene for ages, and there were a bunch of different engines. (Tads, Inform, Hugo, and some others). There wasn't a tads community, or an Inform community, there was just an IF community. Why bicker about which engine is better? I personally use AGS, but I could only dream of making a quality game like "Out of Order" or "Cubert Badbone" (neither of which were made with AGS).

They all have pluses and minuses. As long as the games are quality, does it matter?

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Old 09-15-2003, 04:17 AM   #14
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All of you have to agree, that there are much more /good/ games made with ags than with any other engine.
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Old 09-15-2003, 06:27 AM   #15
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All of you have to agree, that there are much more /good/ games made with ags than with any other engine.
Perhaps; As a number, I agree, but as a percentage, others may be better

For an example of what I mean, 1 out of every 5 AGS games is good, yet 1 out of every 3 SLUDGE games is good. However there may be a hundred AGS games but only 10 SLUDGE games, which makes for 20 good AGS games and 3 good SLUDGE games. Consequently, there are more good games made with AGS, but only thanks to there being more games in the first place

The numbers, I assure you, are purely fictious. I haven't played a single bad AGS or SLUDGE game as of date, but that's because I don't download every single game I see.

Speaking of all this anti-AGS you might deduce from my behavior, trust me, I love AGS - I picked it for my own first game
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Old 09-15-2003, 06:31 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vel
All of you have to agree, that there are much more /good/ games made with ags than with any other engine.
Well, yes, but there are also a lot more bad games made with AGS. There are just a whole lot more games, period.
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