Tool Updates: AGS

I’ve previously written about certain adventure game authors shifting their gears over to other software that are more regularly updated. This post will feature the recent (and not-so-recent) changes to some of the game design software I’ve been checking out, so readers can have a better clue of what they need to be looking for.

First off, the long overdue one: Adventure Game Studio (AGS) 3.0. At its current version (3.0.2), a lot of changes have been put in after AGS 2.72. Most of the changes were made to ease designing of adventure games further, and to straighten out issues that have plagued AGS since its inception.

AGS Editor opening screen

AGS Editor opening screen

AGS creator Chris Jones has settled on using the .NET Framework for making the next major version. This decision was apparently made to focus less on rewriting the software from the ground up and to minimize issues for authors upgrading to the new version with their v2.72 WIPs. During the time when he announced the release of the new version, Chris stated that only the Editor would require the .NET Framework, not the run-time engine, to the relief of those working to port the AGS engine to other systems (there’s a Mac OS and a Linux version available already).

Aside from the utterly modern look, several new features have been added to the AGS editor, including tabbed windows for opening multiple scripts at a time, debugging features such as breakpoint setting, and the ability to import editor plug-ins. Another useful feature especially for teams of people working on a project is the built-in support for revision control systems such as Subversion. Certain features that were available on v2.72 and older, such as the Interaction Editor and the ability to edit Global Messages, have been scrapped, and any interactions from a v2 game imported into v3 will be converted into scripts.

tabbed script editor

tabbed script editor

Not only has the editor features have been updated, but also the manual. Jones has fully updated the CHM manual included in the package, and gone are the days when you would obtain a ZIPped archive file from the AGS site. The author has also created an actual installer package (minus .NET Framework 2.0, which can be downloaded here) to prevent install issues seen previously with v2.

More articles about AGS 3.0 can be read from Andrew “SSH” MacCormack’s blog.

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