Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More trolls on the forums lately? Maybe we're more popular than ever?

Is it me, or have there been more trolls on the AGS forum lately? We've got people starting flame wars about rape, the holocaust and more, but why? I first joined the AGS community in 2004, and over the last (almost) 8 years now, there have been a few trolls that showed up now and again, but lately it has been overwhelming.

There are people with very few posts (that I am assuming are trolls based on their posts)discussing how adventure games are dead, how the holocaust never happened, and how rape is acceptable in a game, seemingly just in an attempt to rile people up.

Could it be the recent acceptance of Gemini Rue to Steam? Could it be Dave Gilbert's accolades with his most recent Blackwell game, or some other combination that is bringing more people to the AGS community or the adventure game genre in general?

With popularity and exposure comes the good and the bad I guess, but I am hoping that this community I have grown to love over the years doesn't suffer the same fate that has fallen other smaller communities due to people being dissuaded by trolls. I guess the best advice to give is, "Don't Feed The Trolls."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

That Butler Finally Did It!! *Fist Shake*

On the AGS forum, a relatively new member (only 4 posts) made a post about adventure games being dead. He claims that the 'Butler' did it. We all know if anyone was responsible it would be the maid, not the butler. But I digress... It is a thought provoking thread with lots of thought put into it, and has induced a bit of discussion on both sides of the line. Since I enjoy these kinds of posts, ones which bring forth discussion while not causing flame wars or arguments, I decided to post here so you can check it out and maybe put in your two cents if you feel so inclined.

EDIT : Looks like the thread got out of hand and the moderators on the forum deleted it. :(

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Egress: Or How Did We Miss That?

Personally I blame the AGS forums being down. Cause we missed, well, I did at least, Egress. Dane Krams, or Sughly, made this FP adventure game, very similar to the MOON (Sam Rockwell movie plx), but generally affected by all kinds of sci-fi greats.

I won't lie, I just started playing the game, cause I just noticed. But, some people, probably with accounts like IRNOTREPORTER or LURKER12 did. And they posted for their blogs/sites.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Last And Final Word

Yes, the title makes no sense, even by my low standards, but it's a very fascinating thing I discovered, thanks to Gnome. To explain myself, it's a blog/tumblr/collection of Fifty interviews from Fifty developers.

Including Ben Chandler (Ben304, you dorks!) and Shane Stevens (ProgZMax)

Speaking of fantastic stuff, forums are up.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Adventure Treff Interviews Remigiugz Michalski AKA the maker of Downfall

Pointed to me from Igor Hardy, and well done so, I present you this interview of Remigiugz Michalski also easier called "Remi", or Grim in the forums (STILL DOWN BTW).

An interview about the much awaited Cat Lady. It also talks about me at one point *wink* *wink*

About the comments, I have no rights on approving them, and several people complained about it. So yeah. That. Also link to the interview, much forgotten,

Saturday, November 19, 2011

We don't post as much as we used to.

Not wanting to sound any nostalgic, cause well I find all my earlier posts a bit mediocre and crazy, and all that. But, it's just a nice statistic. The blog has been getting the traffic that was considered unimaginable, in fact since 2010 or so, we have quantupled the total viewership.

Now onto a graphic. Roll the clip, Steven!

So do you think it's better that the posts are getting less and perhaps of bigger quality? I say perhaps, so take the sentence with a lot of salt. Also despite SSH isn't posting as much as he used, he still owns the record of most posts per month, and that is 54 and just on his own. That equals to about 2 blog posts per day.

I will also like to thank poc301 for increasing the viewership by a considerable amount. And increasing the content.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Turn To Stone

I turn to stone
When your are gone
I turn to stone
Turn to stone
When you comin' home
I can't go on

In case you feel like listening to it as well. A great song by ELO. Kind of stuck in my head.

Oh, yeah, also the forums are down. OMG SURPRIZED FACE. I should take a picture of my surprised face. It's such a big deal!

EDIT: They just went up. What a bad timing ! ! !

A ridiculous post indeed, but I've been in a weird mood today. So yeah, take it as it is. Plus zanny posts are nice. I also promise you an interview.

AGD Zine: Issue 4 - April 2001

And here is the promised 3rd issue of this web-like magazine, by Mark m0ds Lovegrove, Ben Yahtzee Crowshaw and whoever Todd Johhson is. And Eric Mr Colossal Feurstein, as a time traveler.

This happens to be the last AGD Zine with Yahtzee, and one of his last efforts with this community, except his games.

that we gracefully uploaded, thanks to Peder Johnsen.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thank the HEAVENS!! The forums are back!!


Yep, you've got it straight. The AGS forums are back online and roaring away. Looks like a problem with the flux capacitor caused the headlight oil to burn out, resulting in a johnson rod malfunction within the webserver itself.

It's a good thing CJ is such a nerd, and could diagnose and fix such a troublesome and problematic issue.

Well, don't just stand there, get over there and do some posting!

Fly me to the Moon...

The entire AGS site may be down, but that didn't stop Dave Gilbert announcing a new game for Wadjet Eye Games. Well, a friend's game. Anyhow, I don't care much about such stuff.

The important fact is that, you need to go here, and check this amazingly amazing game called To The Moon. A tale of epicosity and well, really worth it and glad Dave picked it up. The music is fantastic, and the game is quite an experience.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Guests will be guests.

Forums will be just down.

Guests will arrive shortly at my house, so I must write this fast and all. Well, the forums are still down, surprisingly, and well, you're probably here wondering if they are. So yes, our plan has worked.

In the meantime play some good music and browse this blog, or else.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AGS Forums are down!

Yeah, those. They are. Down.

Forums? They are down. In the meantime, nothing interesting, but feel free to join the AGS irc, that actually is up.

Channel: #ags

Anyhow. Forums are down. In case. This is what happened. True story. Typo on the date, it meant 2011.

Snakes of Avalon on Alternative Magazine Online

Jamie Downes has written a very wonderful review on Snakes of Avalon, created by well, Igor Hardy, who is just plain fantastic, and Baron, who is plain impossible and a bunch of other talented people, especially Thomas Regin.

Anyhow, here is the review, I hope you like it.

As for who is Jamie Downes, he keeps this wonderful blog, that he probably will come back to, I cross my fingers.

Friday, November 11, 2011

AGD Zine: Issue 3 - January 2001

And here is the promised 3rd issue of this web-like magazine, by Mark m0ds Lovegrove, Ben Yahtzee Crowshaw and whoever Todd Johhson is.

Anyhow, it's an interesting view to the past. Larry Vales II: Dead Girls Are Easy was just out in this issue, and there's also a review on Gabriel Knight III.

that we gracefully uploaded, thanks to Peder Johnsen.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bad Graphics? Adventure? Say It Ain't So!!!

On the AGS forum a really insightful thread was started by Iliya about the term "Adventure Game", and whether in the current culture of big budget games with HD graphics and years of development, our AGS made games should even be called "game".

Iliya argued that instead we should call our creations "Adventure Stories", and Mark (m0ds) Lovegrove pointed out that he'd ask for "point and click adventures" at a store while omitting "games" since the employees would likely laugh at him.

Iliya then went on to post some comments that were made on Dave Gilbert's blog post on nygamedev:
  • "Wow - are the graphics really as bad as those screenshots depict?"
  • "I couldn't stand playing this for even 10 minutes ... the graphics are terrible! Looks like it was written over 20 years ago."
  • "It is like giving yourself crossed eyes for the fun of it. HORRID. My eye sight is still blurry."
  • "I can't see a game developer releasing a game that looks this bad and is so hard on the eyes"
  • "HORRIBLE!!!! I wouldn't take this game if it were FREE."

Iliya then went on to post two lines that really struck a chord with me, and I felt compelled to bring attention to this post/thread.

Iliya said, "Why is this happening? Are these comments comming from classic adventure games fans? I don't think so. And of course we don't care if they don't like classic adventure games. But these comments are ugly thing.

I don't want the games that we are making to be judged by wrong people. They are giving their comments, because we say that we create "games". No! We create stories!"

I would argue that while we do create stories, they are indeed games. The modern point-and-click genre is essentially a thing of the past with the evolution of the FPS with wonderfully rendered 3D graphics, but there is something beautifully simple and elegant about low-res or (GASP!) hi-res 640x480 resolution games.

I for one, think that Dave's creations are gorgeous and speak for the time and effort that we put into our hobbies. Yes, hobbies. We surely don't do this to get rich...

See the thread:

Dave's blog thread about budgets and games:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Silver Lining Ep. 4 Released! King's Quest fans rejoice!

In a post that is exactly opposite of my last one about the death of Hero6, Phoenix Online has released the 4th episode of their Silver Lining series, taking King's Quest fangames to a whole new level. This features the favorite cast of characters, with two of them playable.

While not an AGS-made game, it is a beautiful romp into a classic game-world made famous by Sierra Online. It is free to download at

You know what's hot?

1) Well, of courze ze bait of ze dracoolator, numbbberr too.
(I apologize at very bad attempt at imitating a romanian accent.)

Anyhow, indiegames featured it.

2) Oh, and before i forget, something a bit old, but well, Dave needs to know :D. Indiegames's Cassandra Khaw, reviews The Blackwell: Deception.

Clickity clicky.

3) And lastly, a radio podcast with Dave Gilbert.
As he had to say "If you care to hear me ramble about game development, I was interviewed by the Geekfist podcast during New York Comic Con. We talk about Blackwell, comics, and assorted nerdery."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quest For Glory fans mourn the death of Hero6

What began in 1999 as the unofficial 6th game in the Quest for Glory franchise after Vivendi put the series into retirement, had evolved over time into a complete standalone original RPG. If I remember correctly, I think a cease and desist order was issued, but that is just my feeble memory, so don't take it as gospel.

Hero6 was the holy grail to diehard Quest for Glory fans like myself, and the official message was released from DeltaMatrix on the AGS forum as well as on the Hero6 page, that it was officially dead:

Instead of putting it to rest as some people do, the Hero6 team decided to release the entire source code of all work to the public to do with as they please: Download link :

If some industrious team were to pick it up, perhaps it will some day see the light of day, though there is apparently a lot of work to be done with it. As a true fan of the Quest for Glory series, I will be offering a moment of silence for the demise of this most wanted game.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

AGD Zine: Issue 2 - December 2000

And here is the promised 2nd issue of this web-like magazine, by Mark m0ds Lovegrove, Ben Yahtzee Crowshaw and whoever Todd Johhson is.

Anyhow, it's an interesting view to the past. This one shows some engines that were at the time better than AGS or up to par, or who knows, but most importantly, it features an INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS JONES ( CJ ).

There's also an article from mr. Lovegrove, on how to make text adventure games. And a walkthrough to Larry Vales.

that we gracefully uploaded, thanks to Peder Johnsen.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

AdventureX 2011: Armageddon It?

I am directly quoting m0ds/Mark Lovegrove, so here is what he said.

is a humble gathering for fans, players and designers of adventure games - with previews and games to play, special guests with interesting talks and general tomfoolery as we open the world of point & clicks up to the public.

This year is the birth of the event, so it's a little smaller than originally planned.

So, if you are interested, please visit to get a ticket!

So what's happening at this years AdventureX?
» Chris Bateman, designer of Discworld Noir is coming to give a talk on Saturday
» Alasdair Beckett, designer of Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy speaking on Sunday
» Yahtzee - delivering a special adventure game audio message on both days
» Over 25 new adventure games, free & commercial - for you to preview, play & take home
» Various daily debates about 2d & 3D art, selling games, audience psychology & more
» Plenty of space to work on your own games, meet other developers etc
» Licensed bar with beer, wine, tea & coffee
» Mince pies and an afternoon buffet for free

If you're not ready to get a ticket yet and just want to know more, you can find plenty of info on the AdventureX website:

If YOU have your own game, or if you feel you have an interesting talk to give - get in touch! I'm happy to showcase any adventure game and would welcome anyone who feels they can deliver an interesting speech.

That's about it. Thank you for reading, and hopefully see you at AdventureX 2011!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Character Development

Greetings everyone, and welcome to my first post on the AGS Blog!

I was brought on board to help with the general game, industry and forum based stuff, but also to do articles about game development and writing a good game. I’m going to focus this article on a very important aspect of writing/creating a good adventure game: character development!

Without characters that are well developed, the game becomes tedious for the player. Who cares whether Jack climbs the beanstalk and defeats the giant if he has the personality of a cardboard box? It is when the player builds a ‘relationship’ with the characters in the game, and come to actually care about what happens to them, that the most immersion happens and the game seems to take on a life of its own. It is in these instances that an adventure game can really shine.

I did a lot of research on this topic in 2009 when I released Murran 2 and a lot of the reviews come back saying the game lacked any real character development. I made sure when the sequel was released this year that I had spent as much time as possible trying to turn the pixels on the screen into a living, breathing person with feelings, desires and motivations. I would like to think I accomplished this task, and here are some tips I can share for developing a character:

Make sure before you begin writing any dialog that you plan out each character. What are their back-stories? What happened to them in the past to make them the way they are now? What motivates them? Do they desire money? Fame? Power? Are they just a drug addict willing to do anything for their next fix of drugs? Make sure the back-story for the character SUPPORTS and helps along the flow of the game.

Delve further into the character… Do they have any pet peeves? Does something really irritate them? What is their daily schedule like? If they are a busy person, maybe their character will always be in a rush. Maybe they will be forgetful because they are always rushing around.

When you write dialog, write it “as” the character. Put yourself into the shoes of that character, and design the speech and behavior as that person would. Keep in mind their history, desires, quirks and their feelings on things.

Make your character question themselves. Some good drama can be had by introducing a twist which can cause the character to question who they are.

One arc or two? There is the arc of development which comes over time as the characters experience things and learn. There is ALSO a more subtle arc that characters can experience as they SEE the other characters doing things. A good example of this is character A getting jealous of character B when they are seen going to visit character B’s ex-girlfriend. Character A is developing through the outer arc as he learns about the stolen jewelry she has, and Character B is developing through the inner arc as he perceives some kind of affair going on. It is unfounded, but he doesn’t know it.

Emotions. Learn the five stages of grief : Nothing ruins the immersion in a good game like characters who don’t have realistic responses to events. We all know that if someone is killed during a moment of high drama, the main character shouldn’t laugh. But what might not be so obvious is that the character, to be believable, should follow a staged and set path of dealing with this event. It shouldn’t be “I’m pissed off! “, then 10 minutes later be acting like nothing happened.

So to sum it all up, there is a lot that goes into character development, and well developed characters will make for a more fun and immersive game for the person playing it.

The Star Trek team gets a new member

Well, I believe we were always like the USS Enterprise. Just, well not that awesome. So if SSH is Scotie, I am probably and definitely Captain Kirk, then we just got our Spock. Yes, so please all welcome our newest addition:


We are very happy to have him aboard, and he'll be doing some very interesting blog posts. You'll see. I joined this blog on 26 of November 2008, so yeah, that's a nice sign.
Also not to forget the man, made the Murran Chronicles, so you should check them out, like now!

Anyhow, I'm sure he'll have some great content here as well.