Whatever Apple thinks, they aren’t the first to open up the market to indie developers. Probably one of the first and simplest ways to date to get into the business of creating games (be it adventure ones) is still AGS – Adventure Games Studio – where even newbie developers are able to create games similar to the 90s Sierra titles without knowing one bit of programming. Quite a number of quality titles have been released based on the engine, including some commercial ones that have been well received by the critics. And now it seems the engine might finally find it’s way to the iDevice, bringing with it vast amounts of high-quality adventure games, thanks to Daniel Alexander and his Xna Adventure Game Engine.
So what exactly is the Xna Adventure Game Engine or XAGE for short? Well, according to the site:
The Xna Adventure Game Engine runs adventure games created by XAGE Editor. As it is based on Microsoft’s XNA framework, these games can be played on various platforms:
- Windows PC (XP, Vista, 7)
- Xbox 360
- Planned: ZuneHD (eventually)
- Planned: iPhone & iPod Touch (possibly)
- In a Web browser via Silverlight v3 (supporting these platforms/browsers, including Mac)
The Editor itself is designed to be user-friendly and as such should be accessible to non-programmers. It is also possible to automatically convert AGS game projects to XAGE.
From the information I gather that XAGE is not exactly an engine able to play AGS games out of the box, like say ScummVM for it’s supported games. Rather it requires the games to be pre-converted to it’s own format. At the same time it should do so automatically with no special adaptation required. The resulting package will be playable on any supported platform, much like Flash apps are.
At the moment the project is still in its early stages, though after 5 months of hard work the test game Awakening has been completed. And yes, the iDevice platform is noted in the “Planned (possibly)” pat of the list.
I wish Daniel all the luck and hope that we’ll see the iPhone version move from the Planned (Possibly) to the Available (Now) section as soon as possible.