Since a lot of my future reviews will be based on games developed by the AGS-community, I'll present this fascinating software product.
First of all here you can find the main entrance of AGS.
Now some of you maybe ask themselves: "Whut the hell is that guy talking about? Whut is this AGS? What's so awesome about it? Hell no, this sucks..." Patience is the key to success. :)
Adventure Game Studio (AGS) is a software product created by the adventure guru Chris Jones(in the forums known as Pumaman or CJ) with one main goal - development of adventure games like the old classics from LucasArts (Monkey Island, Full Throttle, The Dig, Maniac Mansion etc.), Sierra (Quest for Glory, Space and Police Quest etc.), Virgin Interactive (Beneath A Steel Sky) and many other game developers that made the real adventure gaming back than in the 80s and 90s. Of course the fact that AGS has been developed for adventure games doesn't mean that one has to stick to that. There are very successful attempts of making RPGs and side scrolling actions. So even if you don't like adventure games, you can make a game that fits your style (haven't seen anyone make a strategy (RTS or something), but that doesn't mean it's not possible).
Some of the great features of AGS are:
- incredible variety of features
- intuitive and easy to use interface (you need no more than an hour to get used to it)
- supports DirectDraw and DirectX (so you can make some shiny 3D stuff too)
- supports OGG, WAV (uncompressed), MP3, MIDI, MOD, XM, IT and S3M audio formats(although you'll probably need half of those)
- supports AVI, MPG and OGG Theora video formats(so you can make cool intros/outros and cutscenes with some very complex animations and import it as video in you game)
- although you can develop games with AGS only under Windows 98 and above, you can play them on Mac and Linux as ports(no development but at least you can play cool games on those two OSs)
- many many other amazing things(visit the AGS-website for more)
Now when you have read all this, you start wondering: "That probably costst tons of money!!! :(" Well, actually that's another splendid feature of AGS - it's not 100 but 101% free. :) You can even go commercial (for details contact CJ) and earn from this.
Now is the time for a painful fact - if you want to make a really great game, you'll need to script day and night. But even for a complete what's-that-scripting-stuff guy it takes short time to learn at least the basics. Even if you have problem there are tons of great tutorials (+ the official Manual) and the above mentioned community that is always there to help you add some "flesh and blood" to your dream-game.
AGS also has a big variety of Plugins and Modules created by the community. They make it a lot more easier for the developer and can also do fantastic things (effects etc.).
Download it and see for yourselves.
#Pentium or higher processor
#64 Mb RAM
#Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP or Vista with DirectX 5 or above
#Supports all DirectX-compatible sound and video cards
Note: I use to many times words like "awesome" and "amazing". Well that's not enough to describe AGS. :)