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Messages - Hobo

A great addition to the Outer Zone series. Really love the worldbuilding and visual style of these games, creates an awesome atmosphere. The story was intriguing and left me wanting for more. The cutscenes and music were neat, puzzles solid. Very enjoyable, good job!

By the way, the version that I played still had the debug mode on.
A great jam game. Maybe a bit too dark for my personal taste, but still very enjoyable. Loved the overall visual atmosphere and the color use, cutscenes were neat and puzzles solid. As Shadow1000 mentioned, the divide sign was something new and I also don't think I've ever seen this type of quicktime events in AGS games before. Well done.

The "extension cord" was spelled "extension code" in one place and I think there might have been a couple more spelling errors.
Also, when I started a new game again from the main menu after finishing, it played the opening cutscene, but the game itself didn't reset, so I couldn't actually interact with anything or proceed with the game and already had the inventory items etc.
Great to see this in development! There's certainly some potential here, the tech demo already featured some awesome visual effects and solid voices, eager to see more.
Recruitment / Re: Offer Your Services!
03 Dec 2021, 17:44

I'm looking for some paid gamedev work, either smaller freelance gigs or full-time projects. I'm mainly interested in creating pixel art and animation, but can also help out with other aspects of game development or make a whole game for you.

Currently only available for smaller jobs.

Here's my pixel portfolio: And some quick examples here:
I've made a bunch of free AGS games myself (you can find those from my profile) and worked on a few commercial projects, most recently as an animator on Kathy Rain: Directors Cut and a writer/artist on Office Management 101.

I can offer reasonable prices and discounts to smaller games or hobbyist projects.
If you have any interest or questions, feel free to PM me or send an email at

You can find the latest AGS web port stuff from this thread:
The first post should have everything you need to get your game running in a browser.
The jam is on! Theme is CONTACT.

Not completely sure yet if I'll participate myself, anyone else planning to take part?
Tested this with my Prelude game, incredible stuff and quite easy to implement.
This will be extremely useful when doing some game jam stuff or the like.

I did have some issues with the native fullscreen mode, the music stops playing for some reason when switched to full screen, but the in-game switch seemed to work fine. Any idea what that could be about?

General Discussion / Re: DRM Discussion
24 Sep 2021, 20:51
Quote from: Babar on 24 Sep 2021, 19:46
...GOG requires an account and sign-in, as does actually doesn't require an account:
When you buy (or donate to) something on you don't need an account. When purchasing without an account your purchase is tied to your email address. If you used PayPal, it's your PayPal email address. If you used credit card, it's the email address you provided when you made the purchase.

And I've bought a few Humble Bundles in the past as well without having an account there.

So I guess that's probably as DRM-free as you can get? Or maybe some stores offer completely anonymous purchases with crypto or something.
It's generally a fairly easy task, but it really depends on the brand and model. Most Lenovo laptops I've worked with have been rather robust and straightforward, so it has usually involved screwing a few screws and connecting the cable. I'd assume that the worst that can happen is breaking some of the plastic latches either on the keyobard or the body.

And as Khris suggested, there are multiple videos on youtube for almost every laptop model, I always check out those, before actually doing anything.
Got mine as well a couple of days ago, no side effects, second shot in a month.
Good to see that so many are finally getting the chance to get vaccinated.
Great work tampie85 and AGA, lots of very solid stuff in such a short time already.

I'm personally not a big fan of modern web-design trends with short slogans, big images and a huge empty space that looks like it's just waiting to be filled with ads. I feel like it just leads to endless scrolling, lot's of wasted space and makes it difficult to reach and find relevant information. But I do understand that this is probably how people prefer and like to consume their sites these days, especially on mobile devices. The current mock-up actually does seem in some ways that it's more geared towards the mobile user, so it would be interesting to know what the actual traffic stats are.

For the desktop version, I'd probably prefer it to be a bit more compact and maybe only have like one or two screen scrolls max for all the important information.

For example, the main page's Download AGS and Find Games sections could be side by side in desktop view. And instead of those big images, there could maybe be some smaller or more integrated visual aids that either guide the eye or separate the sections on mobile.

On the Games Page, I'm not sure the Awards and Ratings section needs a whole big area to itself. I'd probably move the ratings under the download button, possibly simplify them like others have suggested and perhaps get rid of the AGS panel ratings, since this feature has been dormant for years.

The the AGS Engine Features section on the other hand looks like an information overload to me and kind of hard to grasp at once. Maybe a more tighter bullet point list with little bit less information would be more suitable here? Or some other visual solution?

I'd also put some more emphasis on stylistic consistency, I feel that currently there are a fair amount of areas that implement very different size and design choices, but I guess this might simply be because the project is still in a placeholder stage.

I would like to add though that I know absolutely nothing about web design and I am an old antiquated dinosaur, whose web browsing preferences and habits do not reflect the average person that will be visiting the AGS website  :-D
I do have a duo-core, but I'm guessing it's the lack of dedicated graphics card that's pushing the cpu to the max.

Quote from: Dualnames on 28 May 2021, 19:55
There are no AGS save games, only ours, 24kb each. :) We can infinitely upgrade Strangeland and it will never break savegames.
Ooh, impressive, non-breaking saves is a real fancy and useful feature to have. So the big (compared to other AGS games) agssave.001 and agssave.999 files are part of that custom system?
Congratulations! Great to see this finally releasing and hopefully it will enjoy lots of success and acclaim.

Sadly, this is the first AGS game that my decade old lappy really struggles with. Some other games have had a few hiccups here and there, but this one lags pretty hard in some areas, making it pretty much unplayable. So, it'll have to go in the backlog for the moment, waiting for better days.

From what I glimpsed, I can compliment you on a solid options screen, better than most other AGS games.
Also, what the hell are you feeding your save games with, they're huge!

Congratulations to all winners!

And thanks to everyone involved in organising the event. Also, it was great to see so many people participating in the ceremony!
Quote from: FormosaFalanster on 31 Mar 2021, 06:13
Oh don't get me wrong, sorry if it sounded like I was having a go at you, for sure everyone can enjoy what they want :) I still think even you would find enjoyment in a game that gives you the narrative you appreciate while taking you into a good gameplay.
Nah, it didn't sound like that, no worries  ;-D  And yes, if a good narrative is married with gameplay that I enjoy, then I'll obviously like it. And to clarify: when I'm talking about being fine with light gameplay elements, I would still prefer those light elements to be connected to the story and world.

Quote from: FormosaFalanster on 31 Mar 2021, 06:13
That's what I think: movies are good even if they are passive, but then if we make a videogame instead of a movie there has to be a reason why, and that reason is that it's interactive
Yes, but does that interaction have to be complex or difficult? Or does complex and increased interaction necessarily make it better? Even if we take a very simplistic walking simulator, where all you can do is walk around and look at things, then for me that is already a completely different experience than a movie. I can move around at my own pace, look at things in the order I choose to, probably even skip some locations. And that level of interactivity is often enough and sometimes I really appreciate the minimalism of it.

I was actually wondering if there's a point of diminishing returns with some of this. For example, if I'd hand craft every response line in a full length game then that would take a lot more time and work than having a selection of generic blanket statements. And if most players won't even notice or care much about these small details, then is it really worth it? It's sometimes kind of hard to determine where's the line with a lot of this stuff, especially when working on a commercial game and all that time spent on polishing and adding features might not actually increase the sale numbers and interest in the game.

Quote from: FormosaFalanster on 31 Mar 2021, 06:13
If the puzzle is badly made then the solution is to make better puzzles! I am sorry to see you have been confronted to so many bad puzzles that you have grown a distaste for them...
Writing a good story is hard, creating a good stand-alone puzzle is hard, putting these things together and creating a good puzzle that's integrated into the narrative is even harder. It's not really that I dislike puzzles, but maybe I've lost the faith in most developers that they can come up with a huge amount of consistent and enjoyable narrative puzzles and perhaps it would be better for some of them (myself included) to focus more on one specific aspect.

Quote from: FormosaFalanster on 31 Mar 2021, 06:13
It is playing them and guiding them through the challenge that makes you care for them and experience their plight.
Hmm, I'm curious what's your take on narrative without conflict or with minimal conflict and challenge? Don't actually know much about it, but I've seen kishōtenketsu brought out as an example sometimes. Would that be something that's feasible in games and how would that work with gameplay?

Quote from: FormosaFalanster on 31 Mar 2021, 06:13
I think it is also very important to get out of AGS and see other narrative games out there.
Definitely agree, about 70 percent of the games I play these days are AGS ones, mostly because I don't have much time for gaming in general and I also lack the hardware required for most modern games. But I do really want to broaden my horizon at some point and learn more about and from other types of modern games.

Quote from: eri0o on 30 Mar 2021, 15:51
Not sure if modern, but a different community at least, TIG Source is a bit dead nowadays but the devlogs are still going strong...
Oh, I wasn't specifically asking for gamedev communities, by "scene" I meant more like all the modern adventure games in general and the talk and discussion around them. But it looks like an interesting project, so thanks for the link.

Edit: I quess a better wording for my thought would be that I've lost faith that devs can come up with a huge amount of consistent and enjoyable narrative puzzles that fit my specific taste, because judging puzzle quality is somewhat subjective. So, it might be more of a me problem, rather than something that's characteristic to the genre these days.
Quote from: FormosaFalanster on 29 Mar 2021, 22:56
And this is exactly what is wrong with the genre in 2021: the assumption that story and gameplay are mutually exclusive.
Yes, I agree, they're not mutually exclusive, but I assume it would take more talent, experience and resources to successfully merge narrative and gameplay. And this is not specific to the point & click genre, most games, even the critically acclaimed big budget ones, have serious difficulties with that.

I also don't think it's inherently right or wrong, it can simply be a different approach to making games. I mean, if these are the types of games people want to make and there are people like me, who enjoy playing those, then is that wrong? It's unfortunate to hear that there aren't enough games that suit your taste, but hopefully there'll be more in the future.

Quote from: FormosaFalanster on 29 Mar 2021, 22:56
This is ultimately the biggest problems: the tons and tons of games that are so easy they are forgettable.
I personally don't equate game difficulty with quality and enjoyment. Watching a movie is a very easy and passive way to consume entertainment, but that doesn't make them all forgettable. More interactivity doesn't automatically mean a better game. If it's poorly written and designed with underdeveloped characters and motivations, then yes, that might indeed be forgettable, but I'm not sure if the amount of puzzles and their increased difficulty would necessarily make it any better in this case.

To be honest, I don't recall many clever Aha! moments from the games that I've played. Usually, when I've been stuck on a puzzle and then finally figured it out or consulted a walkthrough, I've felt frustration, because the puzzle was (in my opinion) either poorly and unfairly designed or I missed a hotspot somewhere. And in most cases I probably would have had a better experience, if that puzzle had not been there in the first place. Puzzles in general are not something I tend to  remember from the games years or decades later, but interesting characters, great story elements and atmosphere will often leave a strong impression. Yes, sometimes the latter stuff is successfully tied and enhanced with the gameplay, but not always.

I think we have a different understanding of what is a game and what makes it enjoyable. And that's fine, different tastes and opinions make the world a more diverse and interesting place. And there's definitely plenty of room in the genre for all sorts of games.

Quote from: Ali on 29 Mar 2021, 00:19
In my opinion, adventure games between 2000-2010 were mostly bad, retaining all the awful features of 90s adventure games and almost none of the good qualities.
But... but Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! came out in 2007... I think the second half of the 2000s was already quite decent actually. Wadjet Eye was slowly raising its head, I actually enjoyed Dreamfall back in the day, there was Machinarium, early Telltale stuff, a couple of Daedalic games, a fair amount of quality AGS freebies. I mean, even in the so-called golden ages of point & click games, there were only a handful of quality releases each year. How many true classics there actually are from that era, 10-20?
The title of that video seems a bit misleading as there was very little talk about the current situation. It's more like two friends casually sharing their opinions and experiences about adventure games and it's most likely not meant to be a deep dive into the genre or it's state. So, I think it's a rather poor starting point for such a discussion.

An actual conversation about the current state of point & clicks could be an interesting one, especially if it would include information about sales and budgets, statistics about different subcategories, team sizes and media coverage. But all that info is pretty hard to come by.

I'm not overly familiar with the modern adventure game scene outside of the AGS community, but I think it looks pretty healthy both in terms of quantity and quality. I've certainly played quite a few games in recent years that offered me way more enjoyment than many of the old Sierra or LucasArts classics. I also kind of like the direction the genre is heading these days. I value story, exploration and character interactions more than puzzles, so I'm perfectly fine with narrative-heavy games with light gameplay elements.

I'm also fine with the genre being a niche market as long it's a thriving and profitable niche market. Not everything has to have enormous budgets and be made by a big corporation. A passionate indie project will always be more appealing to me than a rehashed soulless AAA title that's riddled with microtransactions.

Quote from: Furwerkstudio on 28 Mar 2021, 00:40
I'll be blunt, he is not the best person to talk about game mechanics or puzzles because I remember playing 5 Days A Stranger and it's sequels, and the puzzles felt so "moon logical"
Bringing out games that Yahtzee made almost two decades ago as a hobbyist still cutting his teeth is a pretty weird argument to make and probably doesn't reflect his current ability to discuss or critique puzzles or game mechanics, unless he somehow has not evolved at all from that time. Don't really follow his content, so I don't know how qualified he is to accurately talk about these things, but Yahtzee and his style of presentation seems like something that's meant  for a specific taste and sense of humor.

Quote from: Danvzare on 29 Mar 2021, 17:06
Quote from: Furwerkstudio on 27 Mar 2021, 16:41
My take, it doing good for a niche market. It's pretty easy for new players to get into, "easy"* for new developers to cut their teeth on along with visual novels, and let's be honest many point and click games tend to good for older machines and laptops.
*Relatively speaking.
That's the most sensible take I've ever heard on the state of Point and Click Adventure games, and I agree wholeheartedly.  (nod)
Yes, this is a pretty good and sensible take.
Congratulations on the release! Downloaded, will take a peek at it tonight and then try to find some time later this week to play and applaud.
Thanks, selmiak! And a huge thanks to everyone who nominated the game for the AGS awards, getting two nominations was certainly a surprise, considering the amout of great and enjoyable games last year.