Engine: Adventure Game Studio

Engine description


(source: Wikipedia)

Adventure Game Studio (acronym AGS) is an open source development tool that is primarily used to create graphic adventure games. It is aimed at intermediate-level game designers, and combines an Integrated development environment (IDE) for setting up most aspects of the game with a scripting language based on the C language to process the game logic.

Adventure Game Studio was created by British programmer Chris Jones. AGS was originally released in 1997 as an MS-DOS program entitled "Adventure Creator". Jones was inspired by the apparent simplicity of Sierra On-Line's adventure game interface, specifically as showcased in Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers. The first version of Adventure Creator allowed users to create only low-resolution, keyboard-controlled games. Initially only small tests and demo games were created with AGS, and most of the more ambitious projects were cancelled. As a result of the lack of completed games and engine features, the user base was small, but the community grew slowly. Game developers started requesting more features so that they could create more complex games. Gradually, as these requests were implemented, AGS became a more capable toolkit and it was finally possible to create high-quality games with it.

After a long period of slow activity, Lassi Quest was released as the first complete AGS game in late 1999. It was not until the Larry Vales and Rob Blanc games had been released in 2000-2001 that the engine gained widespread popularity. There is now an active community containing thousands of members, and a large output of completed games of all sizes. AGS itself continues to be added to and improved upon, with the release of version 3.0 in January 2008 including a complete rewrite of the editor using the .NET Framework and an update to the game engine to support 3D hardware acceleration.

On 26 October 2010, Chris Jones released the source code for the editor under the terms of the Artistic License, version 2. On 27 April 2011, the runtime engine code was released under the same license.

The editor and runtime engine were originally designed for Windows operating systems; though the runtime engine has been ported to Android, iOS, Linux and Mac OS X since the release of the source code. Prior to AGS 2.7, a DOS engine was also available; this has since been discontinued. It is not yet possible to run the editor to create games on operating systems other than Windows without an emulator or API wrapper such as Wine. AGS can create games with a graphical range from 256 colours and a resolution of 320200 (games with more "classic" looks) to truecolor games with a resolution of up to 1024768 (games with more "modern" looks) and an alpha channel. The higher the resolution, the more demanding a game is on computer resources, resulting in the need for a faster computer. It also supports the following graphics filters: none, 2x nearest-neighbor, 3x nearest-neighbor, 4x nearest-neighbor, hq2x, hq3x. The program has the support of a sufficiently large number of multimedia formats: mod, S3M, wav, xm, midi, ogg, mp3, avi - version 2.61. Version 2.72 has support for IT and S3M.

Wadjet Eye Games is an indie game developer that has created most of its commercial titles using AGS, such as the Blackwell series of games. They also publish AGS games by other developers, such as Resonance by XII Games and Gemini Rue by Joshua Nuernberger. Development teams AGD Interactive and Infamous Adventures have remade and updated King's Quest and other Sierra releases. LucasFan Games have done the same with LucasArts adventure games.


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