Personally, you have my word that the Barn Runner games will never become commercial games. Further, I pledge to ensure that they shall continue to remain games only in the broadest sense of the word.Here's to another five years of Barn Runner: barely playable, hardly enjoyable, utterly non-commercial freeware. It's a tradition I intend to uphold!And where the hell are the AGS forums? Has CJ taken off for the Bahamas with all our money again?
If people want to get more freeware games, they should show more love to them. I mean most opinions on games are limited to the forums and the word rarely gets out. Almost none ever devotes his time to write a review (or even a short recommendation) for something he enjoyed for free. For example A Second Face, while being one of the more popular AGS titles, has only one review over the Internet it seems.
@ Igor:Nah. Just google for "a second face" and you'll see a load of sites with reviews, walkthroughs and downloads. It's so poular that google ends your search keywords if you type in "A second f"...Well, I can't understand why anyone says that there are too many commercial AGS games. The few commercial ones show a lot of effort and a high standard. I myself can't afford to spend 2 years on a game and then release it for free. I just don't have the time & money...
@Mr Matti:Google finds me only three reviews of ASF, one of them is in German, and the English ones come only after a more extensive search. There are very few opinions on the game to be found overall besides the threads on bluecup forums. And it's like this for one of the best known AGS games. It looks like after going commercial with a game that has a decent amount of polish you can at least count on reading a few longer reviews of your game and some comments from people saying why the game is too expensive. If you go freeware, the reception is rather silent.
The reason why commercial games get more coverage is because the makers need to sell them and actually spend a whole lot of time promoting their games to every news outlets that might be interested in covering the game, before and after the game is done, to a point where promoting become a second job additionally to the game making job. The worst thing that can happen to a commercial indie game maker isn't piracy, but people not knowing about your game.Most freeware game makers tend to follow the "let's just post my game on this little forum and hope the people running the big adventure/indie games websites will find about it and talk about it everywhere" route, which doesn't happen really often.As for the original post, I can't really answer that question, I got my paypal account in 2006 and buying AGS games is not a problem anymore. I can understand however how frustrating it can be to not be able to buy things on the internet.
I think it is true that we do not do enough to support exceptional free indie games.When we play a free game that has been released we don't really think a lot about the authors.Many of the ask for donations on their sites, but do we really know, if they get any?What do we really know about the authors and their life?The above discussed "A Second Face" is a good example. It has been on top of the popularity list at the AGS site since it was released, butthe author is not often seen at the forums. The same goes for Ali, Grundislav, Yahtzee or Sektor13. What do we really know about them?About their life, their situation what they do, if the have a job for example...Shouldn't it be our work to make reviews, interviews and portraits of shy and remarkable independent game developers?Couldn't there be a serie of interviews here? Or we add more portriats to the AGS wiki of them?Not only interviews about their games but also more personal interviews, about their life.I think this could already help a lot to bring the people behind the games to the public.In our internet society we forget the human aspects behind all these scripts, graphics and informations.This is not good...
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