Sunday, February 2, 2014

How I found AGS and why I am still using it: Part II - Oldschool Wolf

One of the most promising newbies that have emerged and bloomed this year, shares his story.

The year was 2008, I don't recall how I stumbled across AGS, I remember being amazed that I could make my own games so easily. I had a bit of an advantage because I knew the basics of programming from when I attended Sixth form. Rather than working on the actual course work in class I'd make simple games in Visual Basic.

My first AGS project would involve a photograph of a Wolf's head, and EGO. The background was a stock Windows XP desktop photograph, the only item to pick up was the good old big blue cup.
Of course it was garbage, I'd never dream of submitting it for the masses, but I learned stuff! 

My second project would involve 2 playable characters named Fresco and Hogg, two badly animated jumbles of vectors made in a cracked version of Anime Studio Pro. I didn't get very far, just two men that shuffled/stumbled across the screen like drunken pensioners. This project never saw the light of day, but I learned stuff! 2009 I would join the forum. I might have asked a question or two, I did not participate in the community side of things. Looking back I don't think I really knew much about it, I didn't make the effort to find out.

My third project was about an Alien that crash lands on a strange world.

I got a bit further with this one, this was the first project I would show to the community. This was the first game that showed promise, the animation and character design was better than my previous effort. Although I learned stuff, for whatever reason this project was never finished. When I discovered Game Maker, I dropped off the face of the AGS forum. I had a lot of fun with Game Maker, I still do. But I could never complete a project, I must have started and abandoned a hundred projects! But damn it, I learned stuff!

Mid 2012: A bit disallusioned with myself for not being able to finish a project, I stumble across some old AGS project files. I laugh, I ponder... I check the AGS website. I discover that there's been new versions since I last checked, I find a little community project known as Reality on the Norm.

Jan 2013 I finish and release my first game RON: Reality Check. The buzz I got was amazing, a combination of nervousness, elation, and pride. It didn't make any big waves but people seemed to enjoy it. Ponch sent me an encouraging PM to me about how he enjoyed the game, this message was the reason I started fully participating in the AGS community. I've been a member of a few forums, but I found the AGS community forums to be the most welcoming, interesting, and fun to hang around. I may not post as much as other people, I only have a few hundred posts, but I do read almost everything that other people submit.

Fuelled by encouragement, in quick succession I would release parts 2 and 3 of the Reality Check series. I'll admit I found the buzz that builds up close to a project release, addictive. After three projects I'd shot my load. They were short games, but they still took a lot of work. I'd make a few sprites, do a couple of projects outside of AGS. But I wouldn't finish anything! I would long for that buzz again! Then I met Adeel, he'd gave me some positive comments. I offered to help him with a project which became the MAGS August 2013 winner (we were the only entrants though (laugh)) The game had it's flaws, but I'll admit working on a project with someone else was a fun experience. I went back to being disillusioned and unmotivated to do any game development. I took a step back from AGS, I have a son that will be two years old in a few months. I have priorities.

Recently I've started working on a RON RPG, It may not amount to anything, but I'm taking it slow, enjoying myself. I currently do not have Adventure Game Studio installed on my computer, but I'm still hanging around for the community, and one day I'm sure I'll have another point and click adventure in me!

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