Monday, December 29, 2008

Bing me sunshine

Well, I reviewed the first Tales of Bingwood game over at AdventureGamers. I think, actually, I really hate reviewing games which is odd because for some reason I like beta testing them, which is somewhat similar. Oh well. Perhaps its because with one you're trying to bring the game down and with the other you're trying to make it better?

Oh and don't believe Dualnames, I'm not in Spain yet!

Friday, December 26, 2008

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Well, I'm going to sort of holidays today, so well I won't be posting for a few days. But I'll return, I promise. Hopefully SSH , now somewhere in Spain, might post, so you'll have something to look at.

Well, happy next year folks.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my readers. I pre-scheduled this post... what's you're excuse for using the computer when ou should be with the family?

There should be a fun adventure carol thing up on AdventureGamers today, which I contributed to...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's nearly Xmas(Mods brought them)

With what I just saw, only Mods is missing to make Christmas come.
Mods actually brought Christmas..and made his first completed game. Wooh. Not the one I was expecting,but well I made some no music for it so go and listen to it. The game is a first person shooter about Santa..


-Games to play:
Eye of Geltz:
Le Woltaire has just released this. A sort of an investigative game..and a mystery covered one. Well, to add more try and get yourself over 12 years old, because the game isn' the one for minorines. A planet has two sides. One dark and one light thus two civilizations, who are not familiar with each other apart from legends. So 'nough said go check it here.

Road Racer:
Ryan has finally released his driver top-down racing game apparatus. And well despite it's small, it's too small to be true, hopefully a release with more levels will make its appearance in the next months. So to quote: Are you man enough to beat this game? Ryan is.



Merry Christmas Alfred Robbins:

Well, HillBilly tried to keep it a secret. But failed miserably.
Go check this.

-Games to wait for next year:
Cadaver Heart:
Kromagnon, a newbie has promised a release of a DOTT graphic style adventure game. Yay.

-Competitions on the paper:
Almost Christmas for Mags, well 40 hours deadline has been given till we get some fun on the 25th. Another extension, for the colouring ball by Twirlly as well. Trihan has won the writting competition by the way. Who he beat is not important.

-Things to check out:
Irrelevant yes,but whatever check the SLOGANIZER.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Almost X-mas!!

-Things to Check Out:
Christmas Quest Trilogy are featured in Adventure Gamers. I hope you've played them already. If not, go ahead.

-Competitions on the fly:
Backgroundblitz 19 December - 4 January (Zyndicate):
Can you draw opposites? An interesting idea indeed. Hope we get some people on it fast.

Photoshop Phursday 19-26 December(rock_chick):
After winning now it's all about making your favorite celebraties make a commercial advertisment...go pick one.

Tune food contest which ends on christmas eve(Inkoddi):
Make a tune about a food?! Well, weird as hell, but well, you have to make a tune that will make Inkoddi attack the fridge.

Sprite Jam(Misj):


Well, that's definetely a cool idea Misj has come up with. Create A-Team. A team of Fantasy Warriors. Go make some will ya? The world needs saving!!

Reality on the Tube

Dave Gilbert did a brief history of RON in a presentation which you too can enjoy on YouTube. More background in the forum thread on the same.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Handy code snippet #378

Babar was just asking on Stickam how you'd set a particular inventory item to be first of your inventory window (not rearranging inv item order, but just scrolling the window to the correct point). And here we are:

function settop(this InvWindow *, InventoryItem *thing)
{
int itemi=0;
while (itemi < this.TopItem) {
if (this.ItemAtIndex[itemi]==thing) {
this.TopItem=itemi;
return;
}
itemi++;
}
}

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Well, the weather outside is frightful and the SimpleSnow module is so delightful, that at Marion's request, I updated it to work much better with higher resolutions, 32-bit colour AND AGS 3.1 so go and add a snow scene to all your games, OR ELSE!

btw, sorry for not blogging much recently!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nothing new,we're 'bout to chew.

-Games to See?!

Murphy's Salvage:
I haven't checked this out ye, but Mods wrote some tracks, the idea sounds cool,..

-Competitions on the fly:

Photoshop Cross Dressers (11-18 Domino):
Domino rue the day almost, by deciding for a few minutes that now that he has won Progzmax comp, the competition has really fallen in decline. At least he is honest..

Animation See Santa?!(9-23 Twirlly):
Can you make Santa do stuff? Not kinky stuff..

Geraduatuza's Background Blitz - Nov.25 - Dec.07 - Trapped -
Zyndicate's as usual blow-mind entry was won, but abstaubers and Babar's inspired could have done it as well..




Pslim Gender Bender Sprite Jam just got Misjed.
Apparently Misj won..space boy got a duke sprite and a second place and somebody got third place..oh yeah Hoffmeier. With a trilby sprite.


-Things to Check Out:
Well, Greece is burning as we speak, but well it appears that the critics lounge has been overrun by one man..anyway..check this coolish song by Moody Blues. And this blog, might seem of interest to you...if you need a blast from the past..

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ben Made It Happen


Along with Ghost's Retro Level Pack, Bicilottis's Clever Hacks, it appears that someone that didn't belong to the team, gave colourwise the boost it needed. It looks, it feels and damn it plays amazing..so here's a small story level packed boost by Ben304.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Google trawl

A couple more things I found on google:

View on what's new.

-Games to see:

Thorak and Steve Episode 101: The Hunt Begins:

Well, this just came out, so what's the story? Well, remember the MAGS about Stone Age. Good. Now add a very intelligent homo sapiens called Thorak and Steve , a barely involved ape(in brain terms). It's a comedy setting game, with coolish music, voice acting, and verbcoin interface.


-Games about to come:

-Testgaemia? Yep.

A test game by Anomaly, with 3d graphics, which is actually pretty good looking. It's very weird that it is his first AGS game, but anyway. The game will be 10 roomed.


-Competitions On The Fly:

Sprite Jam Gender Bender:(Pslim):
It appears that there's a lot of interest. Even someone made Boobin Threadbare..cracked me up.

Background Blitz 25/11 - 7/12(Geratuaza):
Well, the host has decided a trapped theme. All you have to do is make a room, that will depict that feeling.

Coloring Ball(Twirly) 4/12 -15/12:
Twirly after beating Akatosh's paddle, and Ghost on the last competition (hosted by Blue), is now hosting this coloring ball. Theme: Presents!!

Abstauber's animation(Also won by Twirly(she's on a winning streak):
It appears that Twirly can't stop winning boys. After all boys mostly win those. I'm glad to see a girl win to be honest. Go twirly!!

Musical Competition -Retro NES Style(Dkh):
Definitely a theme I would pick. Dkh has decided to allow entries only if he can hear the sweet sound of NES blips.

-Things to Check out:

Rick J found a very useful thing, that makes me feel less a man, but well, whatever..Ghost appears more of a woman than I am so that is comforting. Go check Site Gender Analyzer.

Apparently a 46% said that they got the wrong gender. My profile is manly, my blog is womanly, my posts are manly, what am I?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

AGS 3.1.1 RC2

CJ put up AGS 3.1.1 RC2 yesterday, which fixed a number of the issues with new features.

JABDTD

Just Adventure have reviewed Ben There Dan That in their unique style and throw in some passing praise for Fountain of Youth, too. BTDT gets a B rating overall.

Sinister and Strange

Jonas Kyratzes, who wrote The Museum of Broken Memories has got a new quasi-adventure out called The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge. Not AGS, but you may wish to check it out.

Ivy Converges on Release


Well, thanks to his busyness with Emerald City Confidential, Dave Gilbert has announced that he's hired Erin 'Ivy' Robinson to manage the getting of Blackwell Convergence out the door. He's also given an interview about ECC, so check out the latest Wadjet Eye updates.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Prizes can make you less miserable, crook!

-Are you less miserable?

It appears that Chris Tolworthy is on the final 10 days, separating him from releasing Les Miserables. It appears that yesterday, he fixed a lot of stuff on the game. If you haven't figure this out, this game is taking you inside the book. Yeah, the famous book. It appears that Tolworthy is planning on making us play every book we loved. Next is Dante's Divine Comedy.



-The Knobbly Crook is back in black:

While AC-DC have nothing to do with the game, the bloodiest and most disgusting ags game seems to be resurrected today. There's even a demo game with one room, but it still looks good, and well, I think we might play this one day.You play as a simple paper farmer who realizes he has a power. Something that has to do with the rock, paper, scissors theme , has a big part in the Knobbly Crook.


-Competitions on the fly:

Musical Feud(Phema):
As nobody would expect it, not that dkh doesn't really deserve it, DKH has won the first prize. Runner up was Thomas Regin , considered as a winner by me, sorry for that, and third place was taken by Funkmast(the man who composed for Besieged).

Sprite Jam Gender Bender(Pslim):

Well, if you want a booby prize like this,
you better hurry. Can you draw a sprite so manly that it looks like a woman?



Fortnightly Writing Competition(rock chick):

"Okay the theme is Vivid memory or memories, basically the restriction is the memory or memories need to be real in the story." appears to be the theme as rock chick said, well, go take your pen and write something,sonny.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wierd web stuff

Here's a couple of nearly-adventures from the web:

Pragaras: a flash game where you explore someone's dystopic wierdness

The Lake: another Lovecraftian game, simple but spooky.

Not so wierd: Gamastura do a retrospective on The Last Express

Stockton Sixth Form College

Yes, a wierd post title, but my little spies at google analytics tell me that ONE visit to my site was referred from Stockton Sixth Form College, and I'm very intrigued. Anyone can shed some light, please comment!

View To Kill

-Competitions On The McFly:
Well, definetely a lot of movement here.
  • Pilf has announced the winners of the Sprite Jam -Seasons. Pslim made it happen. Ghost was a runner up, and Ben304 just made it.
That's the award!
That's the Entry!
  • Blue's Coloring Ball, definetely caught fire, with Geratuatuza posting a worm's based entry. Definetely one of the best I've seen.
What are you playing, and what you should play:
Well, it seems that some coolish games are out.

Besieged or how to get out of a castle..
Baron and Yarooze have it made it and Funkmast wrote a music for that. And even before Christmas. If you enjoy medieval sort of games, like Damsel, you'll definetely get a crash with this one. A shovel was never this fun. Give it a try, will you!



Vic Wreckles's Halloween Costume
That might save your life, as how many time's have you found yourself without a costume on Halloween?

Time to learn what you should have done!!

The only one stopping you is yourself.





Barn Runner 5: Forever Friday..part 2.

I've finished this yesterday. I must say that as the Barn Runner games get more, I get merrier. I'm having trouble saying something that's not my opinion on this game, so mind that. Well, the puzzles seem to be more logical than part 1, as playing you'll get the feeling that puzzles are made in section logic, which is great, you finish the game sort of faster than part 1, but it feels more and more of an interactive movie. There's a long cutscene at the end, which looks cool. Mostly, the game has good animations, but I've to agree that Harry needs a proper walkcycle, or at least one that looks better. As for the story, well chaos has erupted, but you're there to save the day. The game has two playable characters, Harry and Prick. Weird is that when you get the one, most puzzles are based on the other.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Man vs Fish vs Nightwatch

Well, Cheerio's Man vs Fish won the November 2008 MAGS battle, beating out Buckethead's decent Nightwatch effort.

Cheerio's choice of theme for December is Real World/Holiday World and bicilotti has already promised to enter, so if you don't want that colourwise Italian winning the Christmassy-themed MAGS by default then go and start your own one NOW!

Pick Poll Postmortem

Well, Damsel came top with 18 votes and then came Barn Runner 5/2 with 10 votes. Dr Lutz and Odot Tamat On also did respectably and all the choices got at least 2 votes, so no-one needs to feel completely rejected!

So, Damsel is this month's pick (you can also see Leon's review of it on this blog) and I'll keep Barn Runner in mind for the future. Thanks for your input folks and if people complain now, I'll blame you.

Lovecraft: is that like the love boat?

Lemmy and Binky of the pneumatic nurse AGS game-in-production The Forgotten Element have released a 3D game as part of TIGSource's Lovecraft competition. Carrion Re-Animating lets you raise the dead and have lots of zombie fun, although its not very adventure-y. You can't have everything!

Friday, November 28, 2008

More to come..

So what did you miss in 12 hours?

-Empty Mind is not Dead Empty Anymore

Well, Nergal, fell insulted by an email, sent by someone that didn't like the game. Well, we probably all get those. At least I am. Anyway, but as fans always prevail, he put the game back. Downloading and checking it out, I have some things to say about it.

Empty Mind-Blank Fate:


First of all, the intro is very short, but not necessarily bad. The words are chosen carefully, thus making the game very interesting from the first minutes. You find yourself in a warehouse, reason unknown to you.
The music is quite good. The background art also seems to be given a lot of effort into. Though I must say, that I definetely think the ones in Quiero Morir were of a better quality(at least I like them more). Comparing it with the first game of Nergal, the character walks a bit weird on this one. As for the puzzles, they seem to be mostly based on logic, except for a few occasions, but well there's always a walkthrough. Since Nergal is having a way of telling a stories, so unique that you can't stop playing, I suggest you give this a try.


-Recent Newbie Activity(I'm not calling anyone a noob):


This is usuallly done by SSH, but I'm posting some info on the guys I've picked up.And a similar article was last time down in June...

Clarvalon:
Well, he's actually trying to give a different approach to game development(XNA). Remarkably, even for a newbie, he took some time to read the rules.

Pilferinloot:
Well, she's been there for a while. But we've known her for a much longer time. She's Sylvr's sister and if you want to meet her, you should check the competitions or just enter the AGS Stickam Room because those are the places where she lurks most of her time. She's also hosting the current sprite jam Seasons.

Cheerios:
He came,he made a game,he posted it. Talked about it on my previous article, see the MAGS site, or the MAGS topic, he double-posted on his second post, but he seems to respect the rules.
Some of which fail to.

-Things to Check Out

Certainly, I'm not a fan of Yahtzee in general, but well, we should admit, that he can really make some excellent games. So cruising the internet, I found two cool videos. One is called ask a demon about himself and features 3d models of Trilby,Chzo, ecc.. and the other is called 5days contains a couple of fan art.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

XNA in action

A new video of the XNA Adventure thingy in action is over at their blog.

Assimilation

Well, Dualnames posted some interesting articles on his blog, so I contacted him and he's agreed to post his AGS-related stuff here. Woo! My empire will rule the whole earth BWUHAHAHAHAHAHA. Errr, I mean more content for my beloved readers...

Dualnames View on what's New

Le Woltaire Strikes Back:
A Second Face-Eye of Geltz:


This was dead for a while, but from the man that has one of the five games that have a 5 blue cup rating, you can't expect less. Quality needs time. This is definetely something that I'm waiting for. The graphics are outstanding for an indie game, the plot is definetely worth(at least I can imagine it as so), and well, this game has style.




Empty Mind just go totally empty..:

Well, as I was about to make a short review on this, checking it out, for some reason, unknown, to me and probably the most of the community, Nergal has deleted the game. I do however hope that this will be back soon. Concerning to Nergal's previous games, I'm sure this one can't fail.


Ace Quest: the world is not big enough..literally:



Ace Quest:

Well, it appears that one of the most favorite AGS games of all times, is about to get resurrected. Or at least we can hope for it. Originally created by MillsJRoss , who still is going to work on it(at least I hope so), the game's audience bothered to dive in and post . Progz even drew the wonderful fan picture; a parody to James Bond. I suggest you go and check out the game and MillsJRoss's website.




MAGS News:

Well, I praised Buckethead's entry. But then I saw Cheerios(yep, like the cereals) entry, who only joined the forums to post his game and enter the MAGS. That's definetely one thing to consider. Anyway, to his entry; I find Man VS Fish very cute and charming, as you play from the view of the man and the fish changing at your own will. Seems like a solid idea, and definitely got me.


Visit the MAGS site and pick your favorite one(2 entries so far).


Local Celebrity Enters Competition:

Well, it appears that Thomas Regin has entered the AGS Music Competition, check his entry here.

He recently achieved an honorary mention award for his song "Take Me Home" in one of the world's largest songwriting contests, Unisong. Surprisingly that's the music he posted at the competition..

Things to Check Out:

Ghost's deviant art page. One of my favourites. There's a Ulysses deviation. WOOW. Ghost seems to be a likeable folk everywhere he goes, regarding the comments he got. Carry on.

So let's have a look at what competitions are running at this point at the AGS forums:

Competitions on the Fly:
MAGS:

Buckethead posted a wonderful entry on this one, and as far as you can read from the topic it seems that it's probably the only legitimate entry.

Musical feud! - 18/11/08 -- 02/12/08 - Threeway:

Well, this is an entry I'm trying to enter, but I probably won't. You can select from three ways(Threeway), either a pop song, a detective theme or a mexican song. So far Funkmast and DKH have posted and they both selected the 2nd theme. And Thomas Regin has also posted..it's getting popular.

Sprite Jam-Seasons:

Theme: Pick a season, make a usable sprite personification of the season, and have fun with it! Could be a man, could be a beast, could be...I don't know. You think of something.

Ghost has my favorite entry so far, but Ben surely made me laugh,pslim also posted a very good looking sprite. There seems to be an argument about Sylvr's entry

Photoshop & Friends:

Go and see Progz entry, it feels like he actually drew it, but he didn't.
Abstauber added a totally gross entry. Eww.

Colouring Ball And Blitz have no entries, hope they get some.

Oh almost forgot, abstauber's hosted the animation competition(one entry so far)

Small Foreword:

We've yet to work the final details, but we've agreed that as a slave must do, according to global slave rules, I'm obliged to post frequently, so that the followers and believers of the Ol'Mighty Super Scottish Hero, get their fun.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blogstars: The Rivals

My evil nemesis Dullnames has set up a rival AGS blog. Whatever you do, don't visit it and read his summary of the competitions and recent releases that I haven't done for a bit.

Double dutch

A dutch website have a review of some top AGS games, but it's all in dutch! But if you hail from the Netherlands you may enjoy it...

Beware Greeks bearing interviews

Over at Adventure Classic Gaming they have an interview with two greek AGSers: Alkis and Nikolas. Check it out for some diamond-in-the-rough-style action!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Youtube is alive with sounds and music...


What do you do about a problem like Media? Well, coming to your aid(elweiss) is the latest in the series of AGS tutorial videos by densming. Fab stuff, that makes it as easy as Do Re Mi.

Friday, November 21, 2008

November Niceness

Well, here's a quick summary of the November releases so far:

Loftus and the Sky Cap

Despite sounding like the infamous Jude Law/Angelina Jolie movie, this is about a dragon kidnapping Inessa's master, who is some kind of wizard. This Ivan Dixon (The Sydney Finds Employment series) looks great and begins a new series of game from this grhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifeat artist.

AMTAG: another medieval themed advent.

Sir Galahad sets out to find the Holy Grail with the aid of some supposedly deliberate bad spelling.

Empty Mind - Blank Fate

Pre-rendered 3D adventure from the author of Quiero Morir poses the typical "wake up in a deserted basement and don't know what's going on" scenario, but there's a bit more to it than the standard fare.

Chronicles of Captain Cringe

From Montague, who wrote Cayanne Pepper and This Game, comes this short exploration of someone who helps people without asking anything in return.

Barn Runner 5: The Forever Friday 2

Detective Prick Peckard is back and this time he's lunch for the crazed citizens of Arc 19 who want him for their dinner. The usual Barn Runner fun ensues as you try and avoid being a cannibal's entree.

DoVaDuLa'S BuRn

A punk game which features the hero PuNKKoMmANDO trying to rescue the town of DoVaDuLa. You may find it as accessible as punk music, however, as its very graphically confusing.

Starship Poseidon

The Posiedon Adventure gets remade in space! Dualnames presents this non-Hitchiker adventure.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More bytejacking


Part 2 of the bytejacker video includes the revelation of the titles of both Ivy and Grundislav's new games. Woo! Blackwellbot Relics!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Duck the flak

Indiegames.com chose Life of D Duck II as their freeware pick and got a whole load of flak in their comments! Head over and join the furore.

Bytejacker AGSfest

Well, Grundislav, Ivy and Dave Gilbert have been busy... they're in this episode of Bytejacker's Indie game picks and you can vote and win a part in Ben Jordan 8! Woo!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Scene this before?


This pic may ring a bell... Layabout, Ivy and Grundislav re-enact the Blackwell series!

More on Dave Gilbert's site.

Dec Pic Pol

You decide who is the game with the X-factor and deserves to be December's Pick of the Month. Choices on your left, choose one and cast your vote. Or you can discuss in the forum thread.

Pick of picks poll

Well, the Pick of Picks poll has closed, and Once Upon A Crime is the clear winner. I wonder if this a foretaste of AGS Awards?

Fountain of Youth and Charlie Foxtrot tied for 2nd, and Earl Bobby's Balls, La Croix Pan, Dread MacFarlane and Jessica Plunkenstein all made good showings too.

Holy Rapid Release, Batman!

CJ's keen to get 3.1.1 out quickly, as he's already on to release candidate 1! There's a few bug fixed from the new features here, that's about it.

AGS user stats

Hidden away in the Windows 98 thread (support for the editor in Win98 is discontinued in AGS 3.1.1, by the way folks!) is an interesting bunch of statistics about OSes and screen resolutions that the AGS Editor runs on:

Windows XP: 74%
Windows Vista: 22%
Windows 2000: 2%
Windows Server 2003: 2%

Screen resolutions:

1024x768: 14%
1152x864: 4%
1280x1024: 28%
1280x800/960 (widescreen): 19%
1440x1050: 4%
1440x900 (widescreen): 9%
1600x1200: 4%
1680x1050 (widescreen): 16%
Higher than 1680x1050: 4%

4:3 resolutions: 56%
Widescreen resolutions: 44%

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Accessibility: it's everyone's issue

My article/interview on accessibility is up on AdventureGamers. We're all only one disease or accident or just a couple of decades of age away from being more disabled ourselves... so GO AND READ!

Playfirst guest blog

I missed this before, but Dave G gives a guest blog over on Playfirst's blog. Some inside info on the genesis of Emerald City Confidential.

Careering into the gaming world

Do you want a career in game production? Have you started on that path? If either of these is true, then the GameSetWatch article on game careers is worth reading: 5 things you can do to further your career.

Haiku Musical

Everything is more profound when presented as a haiku. Sorry, let's say that again:

Everything is more
profound when presented in
the form of haiku

For further examples, see Sylvr's haiku blog or the Haiku thread in the forums. Also, I wanted to get the High School Musical pun in.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The dialogue you always requested

CJ's released AGS 3.1.1 beta 1 and it introduces embedded scripts to dialogues, eliminating the need for dialog-request etc.! Woo!

Also, he's added embedded Ogg Theora video support and a few fixes and enhancements.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ace in the Hole

Well, following on from Larry Vales's resurrection, MillsJRoss's classic work Ace Quest is reborn, too. Whatever next, the Pleurghburg sequel finally arriving?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Teen tutorial


Well, if you recall the video tutorials I mentioned a while ago (and I didn't recall them, thanks to IndieBoy for reminding me) you'll be pleased to hear that no less than the 19th one is out, and covers Text Overlays. densming is doing a great thing here, so a big thanks to him for creating this resource.

Bingwood Sings and Walt Disnae

Thanks to Edmundo for pointing out this non-AGS gem to me (although it looks quite AGS-ey and he wasn't sure!) Tales of Bingwood is 320x240 2D point-and-clicker (see what I mean about being like AGS games?) and has a free demo available on their website. Also on their website is details of their own Adventure Engine AWE and more about the making of the game. Well worth a look, methinks.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November pick

Well, after last month's accusation on the forums that I didn't choose enough 800x600 games for pick of the month, I decided to give Cosmos Quest II a try (since it seemed to be the best of those not already chosen) and see. And my experience pretty much matches the general buzz: great game, if you don't mind having to resort to a walkthrough now and then (or are very clever). Since I'm usually so pants at games that I need a walkthrough anyway then this was no big deal for me.

Every software developer should read this

Princess Rescuing Application is a set of slides on application design, game design and human-computer interaction and is well worth a read by anyone who designs games OR applications.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote

OK, my blog isn't going to change anything, but Americans please be aware that if you don't elect Obama today then the entire rest of the world and at least a third of your own population will regard you with contempt because you will all have been lying to the pollsters which only can mean that you are racist.

On the other hand, Sarah Palin is hot.

Final Notice

CJ has just posted AGS 3.1 Final. The installer is available in the beta thread and CJ says "if no serious problems are found, I'll upload it to the website along with a RAR version in a few days."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Beyond the Vales

Another development blog has started up, this time for the return of Phil Reed's 'burntastic creation, Larry Vales. Since Phil is a published writer, it may make better reading than some blogs which just bombard you with small, badly-written articles.

Fountain of News

The Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth team have sent out an update to those signed up to their forum newsletter. If you want to get these in future, head over to their forums and sign up, too. There's hints of a forthcoming Christmas animation and updates on the coding of the fight engine and the script writing (80 scenes of about 240 done!)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I've a feeling we're not in New York anymore

Dave Gilbert has finally announced his (reluctantly non-AGS) Playfirst project: Emerald City confidential, with heroine Petra, Dee Gale (think about it), The Lion and many others from the land of Oz. You can discuss it on the forums, too..

As a beta-tester, I've played it and its pretty amazing. And HUUUGE. And not at all like any movies of Oz you may have seen.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Outbid by one dollar!

Well, the MAGS vote results are in, and OneDollar won by a landslide by using the sneaky underhanded tactic of making the best game. The puzzles in Rock Rock Rock were its downfall: they were pretty poor and it was VERY short. Oh well! I already won before anyway and OneDollar deserves it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Competition Commision

So, voting is open in the "Under the Earth" background blitz and there's a good selection to choose from.

You can also draw CJ in the Sprite Jam Halloween edition. Spooky!

And a new Tune Contest with the theme of metamorphosis has begun. Get composing!

Warm mittens

Well, Mittens (the annual AGS meet-up) is scheduled to be in Florida next year after this year's French and previous excursions to Greece, Spain, Canada and Staines. If you're at all interested in meeting a bunch of wierd internet people and are over 18, then head over to the Mittens 2009 thread and find out about it and express your opinions for the planning thereof.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New game explosion

AGSers are trying to keep the economy afloat by themselves as their output has shot up! Suddenly, a deluge of quality games have entered the database: Adventure, the Inside Job, Life of D Duck 2, Erk: Adventures in Stone Age Real Estate, Stediddy in IP1 and This Game! Only Sarah Palin's Saks' store card is working harder to stimulate the global economy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wow Wow Wiki

Some people have been getting together and trying to improve the AGS Wiki. Good for them. Read about their exploits (and then pitch in!) in the forum.

If you're not sure WHY one should do so, check out my earlier blog about the AGS Wiki.

Election 2008

Your vote counts, so make sure you head over to the MAGS site, try all 3 games and vote for the best. Eggie, myself and OneDolalr are all battling it out for the coveted October MAGS.

AGS 3.1 Release Candidate 2

What, no terrible pun in the headline? Well, CJ's put up RC2 and hopes that this will be the full release if no-one finds any problems. No doubt lots of people won't start using it until it IS released and then he'll have to fix the bug they find. Can't people take a risk and try it out now? Pfff, the global economy needs more risk takers, you know!

Nano Review Mo

An Occasional Player's review have taken a look at Ivy's Nanobots and liked what they see.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

MAGS in the can

Yay, MAGS game is finished, although considerably smaller than originally intended. This was a pretty bad month to try and do it, really. Oh well. Beta testing ongoing on Stickam... lets hope Indie can do the missing walkcycle in time for tomorrow!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

CJ to start charging for AGS

No, not really, but unfortunately another global giant has come a cropper in the credit crunch... CJ's been given the boot by his "real" job. Still, that leaves more time for improving AGS!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mock the Nominees?

I've put together an idea for how the AGS Awards nomination page might look (albeit with a lot less games than will be eligible!) and I'd like to hear feedback here or in the Awards thread on the forums, please.

The Colour of Magic

Fancy a sparkly cursor trail like in the Discworld games? Or like those you get with spyware-ridden Windows cursor pack downloads? Well, guaranteed spyware-free is monkey_05_06's SparkleMotion module which provides this fairy dust effect.

The Light Fantastic


Well, Ben has another wee graphics tutorial up on his blog, giving some info on how one can do reflective highlights of the surrounding environment.

Friday, October 17, 2008

October Offings

In the offing for October, the following games from the "In Production" forum:

Eye of the Tempest

Radiant and Crystal Shard's latest stunning-looking offering is this Bard's Tale style RPG. Radiant's previous maze game, MOTLPAA, had somewhat less monsters in it but Lands of Lore fans should look forward to this and no doubt it will be up to Radiant's usual high standards.

3Thousand

This action game planned by new guy MAZAA will see you fly a spaceship round collecting stuff, we hope.

Stediddy in IP1

Another newbie, uncle-mum shows off some naive-style graphics and promises hot girls and untimely death.

Boryokudan Rue

This stunningly gorgeous-looking game that The JBurger is making looks like something worth waiting for. With graphics like this, who cares what the game is like! We certainly won't rue the day when this is released.

Fallen Legend

DazJ's low-cost commercial game looks lovely and is coming along well it seems. Some voice acting samples are available on top of the earlier demo. Release is planned by this Christmas so make sure you add it to your letter to Santa.

Dial F for Fedora

RON fans will love this... because its a RON game. Max Griff deals with another case in Brentimous's game as you can see in its teaser trailer download.

Stick Quest

Another newcomer, tombom62, presents stick figures in whiteboard-style in a short adventure, coming soon.

The SSH appreciation thread

Yay! The "pick of the month" thread transformed into the "lo-res sucks" thread and is now the "SSH appreciation thread"! Why not head over and tell everyone how great I am, too?

Seriously, though, thanks to all the people who posted their support there. On the other hand, I have the password for the secret pick page and only CJ can change it so I don't need your support, I am (nearly) all powerful! Watch the next 11 picks be the Princess Marian games, suckers...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Compo Update

Picky about Picks

Well, another thread complaining about the games page lack of ratings orderability and also abou the pick of the month. Funnily enough, there seems to be an argument this time that I should only choose 800x600 or higher resolutions as the pick of the month. Obviously a 320x200 game can't be good... *sigh*

This is all old territory and I shouldn't let it get to me, but I think I'll head over and post an irate reply now...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Longest Journey

Well, a new record for the the longest development of an AGS game is set... and the game is only just announced. Yes, an untitled commercial game is planned to complete in 2017 and sell for an inflation-adjusted $25. They originally planned to use TADS, or Adventure Maker but now have said they are switching to AGS. I can't wait. No really, I can't.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

MAGS progress update


Well, I thought I'd give you loyal readers the inside track on the most awesomest MAGS game this month. Here's a sneak screenshot and some news:

  • IndieBoy has made some graphics, obviously. Others still underway
  • I have scripted up a small amount of stuff, including the pictorial speech
  • Dualnames has given me a pile of music and SFX but I'm having problems using his lovely MIDIs in AGS (they make AGS hang...)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Keyword Kaos

Well, after some more google analytics browsing, here's some fun google keywords that brought people to my site:
  • shag ags: I know some people like AGS a lot, but that's going a bit far
  • zorst report: All those people looking for a CBeebies programme found my blog instead!
  • adventure game terrible difficult hard download freeware -online -demos -shooter -platform -rpg: this guy was pretty specific in what he wanted
  • jordan exclusive: You won't find Katie Price pictures here, I'm afraid
  • necromancy blog: Today, I raised 3 people from the dead and then updated my facebook page...
  • shagtonight: Looking for love in your area?
  • a "thank you on my end as well" : did they get "merci" tattooed on their bottom, or something?
  • how to make youself sneeze: why would you want to sneeze?
  • nuts dropped: thanks for the update
  • up from the depths, 30 stories high, breathing fire, his head in the sky: Stories? Although the Harry Potter stories are thick enough for a pile of 30 to be quite tall, maybe...?

Does distress make me look fat?

Strange Visitor's Damsel has been chosen as a freeware pick at IndieGames. Congrats!

Big game hunting

Some updates from some of the "big games" in production:


New portraits of Joey and Rosa for Blackwell Convergence

Public beta of Les Miserables available

Bankers get all RC

Yes, I'm recycling my jokes to reduce the carbon footprint. And also, what's the difference between a pigeon and a banker? A pigeon can still put a deposit on a Ferarri!

Anyway, the "Banker Edition" Release Candidate 1 of AGS 3.1 is up. For those of you not in touch, AGS 3.1. features high-res native co-ordinates, 1024x768 support, enhanced dialog system and a bunch of bug fixes and minor enhancements.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why your anti-n00b rant is broken...

Oooh, controversy in the forums as monkey_05_06 tells new posters to read the manual. Whatever next? They'll be expecting banks to only loan to the creditworthy next!

Any Zombie will do

The latest singing contest to get a part in an internationally famous show has begun. With Simon Zombie-Cowell as a judge, you actually have to invent a clever character rather than sing. And you win a part in Time Gentlemen, Please, Zombie Cow's sequel to Ben There Dan That. Head over to cowland and read all about it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cardinal Sine qua non

AdventureGamers have their Ben Jordan 7 review up and its pretty positive. Steve 'stepurhan' Brown does another good review.

Inky

I was just looking again at Inkoddi's awesome flash animation page and just felt I had to link to it in case any poor souls out there hadn't had the joyful experience of viewing them.

Tomato Sketchup

Ben304 has just put up a sketching tutorial on his blog. Go and learn how to sketch a zombie!

Rock stars

Well, this months MAGS has a Stone Age theme chosen by Radiant and I've decided to have a go again. My one previous MAGS entry, Pixel Hunt, won so maybe I've got a chance. Last time, it was just me doing everything (hence very simple graphics and possibly no music at all) except for Beta testing and Voice acting for which I roped in various IRC denizens. Well, in the modern webcam age, I've roped in Stickamites IndieBoy, Sylvr and Dualnames. Go team!

There's a draft design document in google docs (great for collaboration) and Indieboy is already doing walkcycles and stuff, so progress is good so far. Le'ts see if we can get that is everything planned done in time.

You can also read one of our competitor's MAGS blog. It's not as good as mine.

Vote for change!

Well, none of the entries may be as maverick as Sarah Palin or as committed to change as Barack Obama, but the voting is already open in this year's biggest most important plebiscites:

Tune Contest (10 Electoral College votes)
Background Blitz (17 Electoral College votes)
Stefano has already won the Golden Granny in the Sprite Jam (27 Electoral College votes)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Under the Soundless Mountain

Little Girl in Underland just missed out on the medal positions in the results of the TIGSource Bootleg Demakes competition. A Solid 4th place deserves mucho congratulations to the "GrIvyslav" team. Soundless Mountain II got the 1st place.

Friday, October 3, 2008

More hidden AGS stuff

Here's a couple of AGS games I also found: Super Evil I and Super Evil II (in development)

The Escapist magazine had a non-Yahtzee article that mentioned AGS back in August.

AGS wins Toronto Deathmatch


Well, in my occasional trawl of google for AGS-related stuff, I found that an AGS game called "Wheel of Space" was the overall winner of the University of Toronto's game-making deathmatch 2008! A more detailed review of the game is also on the site, and the author's blog on the game is here.

This game wasn't announced on the forums, as far as I can see, and seems to use some Roger paintovers and "eclectic" graphics (like Jessica Plunkenstein) but it beat out non-AGS games, so yay for them!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

AGS Awards 2008 up for debate

I'm asking a few questions of the AGS community about the next AGS awards. They won't be underway until January, but having the debate now leaves plenty of time for discussion and implementation. Of course, my decision is final! :D

Head over to the forum thread to discuss, or PM/comment if you prefer.

Top 5 AGS Top 10s

Here's my list of the top 5 AGS top 10s of all time! Actually, I could only find 5 in a brief look on google... and they're not by any means AGS-exclusive. In no particular order:

CaptainD's epinions top 10 freeware adventures list

Independent Gaming's 2006 top 20 freeware adventures list


Gaming World's top 10 AGS games list


Rampant Coyote's top indie graphic adventures

My own 10 top AGS series list

Please let me know if you find any other top 10 lists!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

YabbadabbaMAGS

The October MAGS theme set by Radiant is Stone-Age: so make an Ayla and Jondalar game or a Barney Rubble mystery: its up to you. Ugggh!

AGS Walktubes

Long-time pneumatically-sigged member JetXL has made some video playthroughs of AGS games over on Youtube. So, for example, continuing the Andail theme:

It's all about Andail

Petter Ljungqvist is one of those people who is so awesome that you feel compelled to write a blog post all about him. He wrote the classic AGS games series of Tulle's World, created the AGS Dictionary, has been a moderator on the forums since, like, 1842, is a fab artist, wrote some AGS Operas, hosted a Mittens once and generally exudes elf-like coolness.

Cougar Hoohah

The new pick-of-the-moth (moth? I mean mouth, errr, month) is Cougar's Quest for Freedom, one of the least-downloaded high-scoring 3-cup games in the games DB. It's a wee gem. Sometimes MAGS and OROW inspire games that are great even when considered against games that took much longer to arrive.

And to try and judge what pick-of-the-months people like, the new poll is to try and determine what people's favourites have been this year. Please vote and I may take the result into account in future. Or just pick one at random as usual...

Radiant won and lost


Since he entered the only 2 MAGS entries this month, Radiant won! And lost! KATA beat out Awesmoe Quest to get this month's MAGS title. Radiant's META history has come back to haunt us yet again. Cuppit forever!

Ben is the Best

Well, another poll has finished and Ben Jordan has won the day as the best release of August 2008. It must be those excellent beta testers and SSH cameo that did it...

Space Pirates was a close second, no doubt due to how much everyone on Stickam loves IndieBoy. Well done!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Little Game with Big Content

Title: Little Girl In Underland
Author:
The Ivy (Erin Robinson)
Release date: 7 september 2008
Playtime: 5 minutes
Size: 7.3Mb

It's not really a game. Actually it's an interactive movie. But one with lots of humor. What else to expect from this author, who also made Nanobots and Spooks.

Always good for stunning graphics and, just like in Damsel, you can't do without the audio. No less than 10 voice actors were used to give the funny characters an even more funny voice. Again a perfect example of what audio can do to a game. Turn it off and the game isn't interesting anymore.

The story is based upon American McGee's 'Alice'. Just as evil but much funnier. It's a story we've all heard once: the girl who became very little and wandered around in a fantasy world in search of her way back. But in this case it's no fantasy world, is it? The communist regime is real (yes still) and the enemy is in everything. But it's up to Little Girl to fight it. And she will of course.

If you can spare 5 minutes, play the game. Your download will probably take longer. And if you wait long enough, after the credit roll you can unlock the bonus material.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The sound of distress

Title: Damsel
Author:
Strange Visitor Productions
Release date: 25 september 2008
Playtime: 15 minutes
Size: 57.3Mb

A prince, a woodcutter and a dragon is what's needed to get the damsel out of her doorless tower. Are they any help? Not really. On the other hand. She couldn't have done it without them. Because they make the game to what it is: a fifteen minutes of fun.

With great, nice, clean graphics this game is a must play. With not too difficult puzzles it just something to get your mind off your daily business.

The best feature of this game is the voices. Although you can download the game without the voice pack, I'd say it's not an option. Download the full version and you'll see what real voice acting can contribute to a game. Windpiper, ElaineMC and Jesse Cox did a tremendous job here to give a voice to the characters. Especially Jesse as the prince made me laugh out loud. Together with the music of TwinMoon and the animations of Pijin Pastrana the game is complete. You can tell it's not the work of newbies.

Negative points? It's short. But that's on the other hand the positive side. With the subtitle Stress on the Tress this was the first chapter of more to come. The production team announced to have enough ideas for several situations and locations for Damsel to get out of. I just can't wait. I'm always prepared to help a Damsel....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Questing with a smile

Title: Smiley's Quest
Author:
Babar
Release date: 22 september 2008
Playtime: 25 minutes
Size: 1.3Mb

Another oldie, or should I say new one? After a development time of over 5 years, the game is finally released. Not that it took that long to develop, it took that long to be found again. And then parts 1 (another part 1?) and part 2 were already released, according to the homepage of the author (although number 2 is not listed..).

After you wake up having had a nightmare, you realize it wasn't a nightmare at all or you're still dreaming and the police is at your door. So what else to do than take your money and run....

The game isn't very difficult. There are some logical puzzles in the sense that they are obvious and well hinted. When I reached the map with the car I though: not another police-quest clone... but it's not that bad. You don't have to drive for hours to find your destination and there aren't hundreds of option. Just 4 locations, close together. That saves a lot of annoyance.

What I particularly liked in the game was the switch to the house to find the meteor. A nice combination of logic, nice graphics and good navigation. Well done! Also the fact that you can choose two routes in the game, the easy way and the hard way, although you don't know which one is which when you have to choose.

The key-part combining puzzle might have been more of a challenge. The parts were quickly found and put together, the encrypted letter (very obviously hidden) could have been made more difficult encrypted to extend the game play. The trick in this case was the speed with which is was presented.

Overall it's a nice, fun, solid game that's not too difficult and has graphics that aren't messy and good to look at. Not brilliant, but nice. Not the huge download size I've seen lately, a good sense of humor (buying a car can be very easy sometimes) and several dead bodies (a good game can't do without) and resurrections. So a good start of what could become a series. Or already is..? Curious what number two will be.. eeehh, number three.. no four... oh well.....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An island with melted cheese

Title: Nedy's Adventure
Author:
joecarl (Jose Carlos)
Release date: 18 september 2008
Playtime: 25 minutes
Size: 23.2Mb

This is an updated version of a game released in 2006.

The start of the game is very promising. A 3d leader that suggests there's a state of the art adventure coming up.... but not.

With an intro in black and only text is nothing wrong. And the scene in the plane is also ok. Apart from the fact that you need to play a multiple choice quiz with questions that have nothing to do with the story to gain a key. And the fact that you jump first and then start wearing a parachute... (?). Other than that, the dropping was well presented. But after the landing I quickly lost interest. Not that the screens are messy or the characters are moving like boulders but the story for some reason isn't presented right.

There are too much sidelines in the story that have nothing to do with the plot. Would Jose stick to the facts and tell the basics of the story it would have been great. But I hate the quizzes with or without the multiple choice and questions/riddles that don't even touch the subject we're dealing with: solving the island mystery.

I think the riddles/quizzes were introduced to extend the game play. I wouldn't have missed them if they weren't there. Other than that, the puzzles are logical and very good solvable.

The music, relaxing according to Jose, is a bit too relaxing. Be careful not to fall asleep. It has no addition to the game, just background noise. And the English grammar and typos don't add to the joy of playing. Don't get me wrong: the game is good. The basics are: graphics, story. But not the way they are presented at the moment.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A flower that needs to grow...

Title: Flower Girl
Author:
toonaholic (John Sullivan)
Release date: 17 september 2008
Playtime: 10 minutes
Size: 36.7Mb

From the start of the game I was captured by the graphics style of this cute little production. My first thought was the resemblance with another kids game: Freddi Fish. The game itself isn't much but the characters you meet along the way make up for it. You'll explore the area, which isn't big but want to know what's behind the corner: what will be the next character and what will it look like.

During the intro you'll get a good presentation of the graphics capability of the game maker. His spellings and grammar is lacking but not too bad to become annoying. The music is present but could have been made more in line with the game: more dramatic during intro, cheerful when wandering around and more serious when talking to characters. In the present form it's a nice way to get rid of the silence but doesn't really contribute.

Like said: the puzzle isn't much. Actually there isn't one. You just walk from place to place bringing items back and forth, resulting in other items. There are some hidden 'treasures' but there were some moments in the play that I couldn't quite follow. Maybe toonaholic had more in mind and didn't proceed with it (I still don't get the squirrel part) just to finish the game.

Then the size: it's a massive 36.7Mb compressed (67.2Mb uncompressed) and I wonder where that huge size comes from. The world you play in isn't that big, there isn't a great amount of animation and the music isn't that complex to eat up all those bites.

But all in all for a first one it's a polished graphics beauty but needs much more of a story and puzzle. This part is one for the kids. But I can't wait till Flower Girl grows up ...

Q 2 Review

By the magic of blogger's scheduled posts facility, here I am posting when actually at this very moment I'll be waiting for two hours in a line with my two daughters at Eurodisney for a chance to meet a lady dressed up as Sleeping Beauty.

Anyway, there was great fanfare back in August when AGDI released QFG2VGA but the reaction in the AGS forums was perhaps somewhat muted. There's a kind of historic animosity between AGDI fans and AGS fans. Anyone who doesn't drool over AGDI games can expect a mauling from fans. Al Emmo was particularly badly received, although that could entirely be down to the voice acting of the main character (see Richard Cobbett's comment on his own QFG2VGA review).

So, here's my brief review: Graphics look great, its entirely unclear what you're supposed to do or how to get anywhere in the game without looking at hints or a walkthrough. Full of mazes, very hard combat and I gave up after playing for a few hours as there seemed to be no point. Other reviewers have said that perseverance is rewarded but I don't see why I shouldn't be rewarded a bit earlier. It's a game: its supposed to be fun! They even tell you to go and play QFG1 first, despite the fact its pretty unobtainable without pirating. I also realise that I've gotten used to the awesomeness of tutorials. Most games on the web with an slightly unusual control mechanism explain themselves fully: Dave Gilbert's Blackwell games do this, too. But no help here until you get the walkthrough and manage to find the adventurer guild where you can be taught to fight. By taught I mean get stuck in an unexitable loop until you guess the right nanosecond to hit the correct one of 5 dodge buttons. Sorry folks, this is too much like hard work.

Oh, and postpone your hate mail since I won't be online for a week after this is published anyway...