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I believe AGDI’s contribution to the gaming industry is rather over-inflated. Regardless, I still appreciate the amount of work they put into their projects. And I am keeping an eye on Al Emmo’s development.
Regarding the realisation that gamers can finally make their own games, I don’t think that’s quite right. Gamers have always been able to make their own games. That’s where the whole industry was born – with people sitting in their bedrooms making games until the wee hours of the morning. Just consider the likes of David Braben, Geoff Crammond, Archer Mclean, Peter Molyneaux, etc. And I’m pretty sure Ken and Roberta would have something to add about that early to mid-80s period as well.
However, if you are talking about modern-day gamers creating their own games independently, then I would agree that Chris Jones, and generous folks like him, have indeed greatly assisted non-programmers (like myself) in fullfilling their ambitions. AGDI is however only been one group (of many) that has prospered from the emergence of these (relatively) easy to use engines/tools like AGS, Wintermute, etc.
Anyway, I don’t mind if we all hold different points-of-view on the matter. After all, debate is healthy! And regarding paying $50 for a game (that translates into a lot of money down here, by the way) – I just about never buy a game (of whatever type) at full-price. I don’t believe in software piracy either. I’d rather go to the trouble of looking for bargains and good second-hand deals. Even with brand new games, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, I can guarantee you you’ll find them on special somewhere (in this country at least).