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AGAST Morningstar has been released. Head to the message board to download it and find out about all the new features.

What is AGAST?

Now is the time...

If you've ever wanted to create graphic adventures, like The Secret of Monkey Island from LucasFilm Games, King's Quest from Sierra On-line, or Myst from Cyan, there's never been a better time than now to get started!

But why stop there? Morningstar's expanded programming language and powerful new hardware-accelerated graphics engine lets you go beyond classic adventures into incredible new realms of sophistication.

Show me how you do it...

AGAST Morningstar makes it relatively easy to create your own game, with minimal programming skill. I say "relatively" because making an adventure game is not an easy feat. And I say "minimal" because you will have to use at least some of the AGAST programming language. Programming is the fastest, most powerful, and most efficient way to describe your game to the computer. And yes, you can do it.

AGAST consists of a compiler to translate scripts into computer logic, an interpreter to run the compiled game, and several utilities that convert popular file formats into game resources. There's plenty of documentation on this site, and a message board where you can get help.

AGAST provides lots of sample scripts to help you get started. In addition, there are third-party utilities made by nice people to help you make a game. Look for these utilities in the User Releases section of the message board, or collected in the Utility Pack.

Here's a short script, to give you the flavor of AGAST. (I hope the gravedigger isn't too depressing, but you have to admit it makes the example all the more dramatic. After all, it worked in Hamlet.)

var TalkedToGravedigger = false;

event Talkto -> Gravedigger
{
Ego:

walk(100, Gravedigger.PositionY);
turn(DIR_EAST);
"Do you know what time it is?"

Gravedigger:

if TalkedToGravedigger
{
"I already told you, it's just after ten."

}
else
{
TalkedToGravedigger = true;
"It's just after ten o'clock."
}

resume;
}

This is an event script that is triggered when you talk to a gravedigger, by clicking the "Talkto" mouse-pointer on the "Gravedigger" on-screen character. "Ego" is the name of the user's character (that was the convention used in Sierra's games, and it's also the Latin pronoun "I"). This script tells Ego to walk over the x-coordinate 100 and the y-coordinate of the Gravedigger, turn toward him, and ask what time it is. The first time the user asks, the gravedigger replies "It's just after ten o'clock." Every time after that he replies "I already told you..." The variable "TalkedToGravedigger" is used to keep track of this. Whenever an event is triggered, control is taken away from the user. The "resume" function gives it back. If this makes any sense to you, you can be a very successful game designer!

An important fundamental feature of this language that makes it good for game programming is that many scripts can execute simultaneously, and over any number of game cycles. Want a script to hold on for a moment? Just type "delay"- the script will pause, but other scripts will go right on marching. This makes it easy to control multiple background animations, sound effects, and music, or to monitor other game events and react to them, while still having precise control. AGAST is flexible enough to implement any existing 2D adventure game, or you can implement ideas that nobody else has even imagined yet.

Here, it's for you...

AGAST Morningstar is easy enough for beginners to use. From defining objects and scenes, to writing scripts to direct the game action, development is a snap. Not only that, Morningstar also offers a wealth of features for advanced users- the interpreter does the busywork of game development for you, but leaves every aspect of your game's behavior customizeable.

License Agreement

Please read the license agreement that is included in the download. In summary, it says that AGAST is free for non-commercial use. If you would like to sell or publish your game, please contact Todd Zankich (tzankich@hotmail.com) to attain a commercial license agreement.

Site updated Sunday, August 24, 2003.