Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ghost here, rubbing the crystal ball

So here we are, a fresh new year and lots of blank pages yet to be written.  2014, way to go.

Last year saw a lot of things happening on the forums and I am curious to see if they will continue to happen:

Commercial AGS games are by now very clearly a thing. In addition to the venerable Wadjet Eye company there have been a couple of commercial games by small teams or individuals. Steam seems to be favoured and the "adventure" section now contains a really nice selection of AGS games. Personally I am very much in favour of this development; it shows that our little passion is a bit more than an oddball genre people keep alive for the sake of it. It shows that there is still a demand for these games. It shows that a community can give rise to people who make a bit of money or even a living out of their passion, and that is awesome.

At the same time, AGS (now open-source) seems bound to break out of its initial boundaries. The current beta indicates that, while many things in both editor and runtime will remain the same, cross-platform as well as removal of old limits are within reach. The contributors are still much in favour of backwards compatibility, which is a nice touch... but again, personally I think that at some times these ties will be severed. AGS is still pushing forward and needs to do so. I tip my hat to the talented people working on the editor and providing us with the tools to make awesome games.
Just, hey, please: Can someone bring back the Make My Game button? It used to be so awesome!

Lots of games have been released and I feel that the bar is rising- when I first registered on the forums you basically got a huge cheer when you made an effort not to use the default game template. But new people pour in and some have cool ideas and as a result I feel the over quality, especially of "first games", is rising. The cool thing about a large community is that you see a lot of individual takes on the established genre, and very often a breeze of fresh wind can go a long way.

Most importantly, despite the fact that it is no longer "the genre", 2013 saw a lot of quality AA titles. Deponia made it to a full trilogy of awesomeness. The Dark Eye adventure games seem to become a mainstay. I read somewhere that they are planning an Oddworld Point-and-Click. The genre is still there, everyone's mum can kickstart a game these days, and people are willing to back.

I rub the crystal ball and see: 2014, just as the year before, will be a year of adventure games.

'Cuz we'll make it so.


  1. Wonderful post, always nice to read your posts, Ghost. Frankly, it seems AGS has moved away from freeware and that's a good thing. The more serious projects become commercial successes, and that's something that puts a smile in my face.

  2. Great post, Ghost. But I shall buck the trends and continue to forge a path through the fringe of the freeware frontier. No, Wadjet Eye Games! Stop throwing money at me! I'm in it for the love of making games! You can't win me over with your offers of free cocaine and hookers!*

    Here's hoping that 2014 will be an even more productive year for all the AGSers.

    - Ponch

    *This is what I'm pretty sure I'll say should Dave Gilbert ever become aware of my existence. ;-)

  3. Don't get me wrong, I am pretty sure that AGS will (probably forever) be about freeware. Just look at projects like Heroine's Quest and Donald and the Ghost Manor- quality games released for free just because of... reasons! But seeing AGS games being sold, that feels good; it's crossing a line.
    Also happy new year everybody! And great to see you back here, Jim!


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