Adventure Game Studio
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (November 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
The room editor in AGS v3.3.3
|Initial release||1997 (version 1)|
|Stable release||3.3.5 / March 26, 2016|
|Preview release||126.96.36.199 / July 28, 2015|
|Operating system||Windows, Mac OS X, Linux|
|Type||Game creation system|
|License||Artistic License version 2 (editor & runtime)|
|Website||Adventure Game Studio homepage|
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.
The software is not related to the similarly-named, notable proprietary GameMaker: Studio platform released in 1999.
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 Ben Croshaw's Rob Blanc and Philip Reed's Larry Vales 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 licence.
In 2015, a small group of community developers keep maintaining and improving the engine and IDE, and started to implement cross-platform capabilities as well as support for more modern screen resolutions (4:3, 16:9 and custom high resolutions).
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 320×200 (games with more "classic" looks) to truecolor games with any higher resolution supported by the player's graphic adapter, like 1600x1200 (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.
The AGS community is based on the AGS Forum and the AGS Internet Relay Chat channel. There have been real-world meetings of the community each summer for some years, known as "Mittens". There is also an ongoing blog covering the latest goings-on in AGS development, games and community. The community runs several competitions to create games, art, writing and music, as well as the annual AGS awards to honour the best of the year.
Reception and usage
Games based on AGS
Thousands of games have been produced using AGS, some of them being of professional quality, such as professional games like the ones mentioned below. There are several non-professional yet full-length acclaimed games such as Heroine's Quest.
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 Primordia by Wormwood Studios, Resonance by XII Games, and Gemini Rue by Joshua Nuernberger.
- "Whoa, Adventure Game Studio went open source". Jake Rodkin. 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
- "Adventure Game Studio – now open source (again)!". Skygoblin. 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
- "Exploring The Studious World Of Adventure Game Studio". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. 2012-04-03. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- Interview: Chris Jones Adventure-Treff, September 8, 2002
- AGS Editor Source Code Release AGS Forums, October 26, 2010
- Initial AGS Engine Source Code release AGS Forums, April 27, 2011
- changes.txt ags on github.com (2015)
- "AGS GitHub repository". github.com. 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- "AGS wiki: GNU/Linux". Americangirlscouts.org. 2010-03-02. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
- AGS v2.7 Refresh 2 now released AGS Forums, May 2, 2005
- "AGS Forums - Index". Adventuregamestudio.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- AGS Wiki
- "The AGS blog". Ags-ssh.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- Adventure Game Studio full game list on uvlist.net
- Games made by AGS
- "Adventure Game Studio". Adventure Game Studio. Retrieved 2012-05-27.