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AppGameKit Studio Chat / Opinions wanted: The state of AGK Studio in 2023

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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 21st Jan 2023 17:40
I'm currently in the process of making a documentary about TheGameCreators, their products, and their relationship with their community. Although my primary focus is on the lineage of GameGuru MAX (DB, DBPro, FPSC, X10, FPSCR/GG), I do make cursory mentions of AppGameKit as it's one of their more successful and well-reviewed products. I'm not in touch with this side of the TGC community at all, so I wanted to ask what your opinion is on the state of AppGameKit Studio in 2023. In the past, some have accused TGC of leaving large swathes of their users high and dry with unfinished or underdeveloped products, has this happened to AGKS since its launch in 2019? Do you feel the updates coming thick and fast? Or is the pace of development of the tool too slow? Conversely, some of their products have fostered collaborative and creative communities of passionate developers (such as with FPSC and DBPro) who have gone on to create great projects in spite of any shortcomings in the tools - is this an accurate description of AGKS's userbase now?

I'm interested in hearing your opinion on the subject, particularly if you've been around the community for a few years.

AE
Game_Code_here
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Posted: 21st Jan 2023 18:31
AppGameKit is already a finished product that makes programs.

It is updated all the time with fixes and addons.

With that said I have looked into many compilers and nothing I see is better than this. It is easy to learn and remember and easy to run.
Dark_ITheI _Angel
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Posted: 21st Jan 2023 21:18 Edited at: 21st Jan 2023 21:21
I would say the problem is more that they dont have a vision for their tools (my opinion!),a roadmap for their userbase. Its not about quantity but quality and how much work you can take off our shoulders. But afaict AGKS is a finished product and a very powerful one.

Btw whats your channel? Are you the guy on youtube that talks really bad about game guru and TGC? Saw 2 videos on youtube and wow sich a hate video .
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Kevin Picone
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Posted: 22nd Jan 2023 12:36
Take a look down through the boards on the forums and A.G.K doesn't hold a candle to DB/DBPRO in terms of success rate.

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Steve Ancell
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Posted: 22nd Jan 2023 13:53
For me AppGameKit is a great toy to play with, I've done many projects with this.
Dark_ITheI _Angel
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Posted: 22nd Jan 2023 20:12 Edited at: 22nd Jan 2023 20:27
Quote: "Take a look down through the boards on the forums and A.G.K doesn't hold a candle to DB/DBPRO in terms of success rate."


I wouldnt be so harsh, DB\pro came in a time out where everybody was excited about games and games making,modding and what else. I remember good those times and how excited people where in every forum,i was one of them with the dream to make the next GTA3 .(and i see you too judging by the 20 years old account)
I believe DB\Pro profited very much from the time it came out.

AGK\S came in a time where..well, there are way too much arternatives and easier ones and sadly better ones to archieve your goals without having to be a full programmer,Integrated editor,shadergraphs,visual programming etc...especially interesting for lone wolfs\lone developers wich we all are here. If DB\Pro would come out today,it would struggle just as much or even more as its not cross platforrm plus the masses have shifted to an all-integrated-Development-kit.

I think its the nature of the thing .
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W Red
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Posted: 23rd Jan 2023 07:46
it's a pity that tgc spend little time on AppGameKit, a lot of short work, a lot of communication, updates are trifling, I think that if tgc devoted more time to AppGameKit, then it would not be worth it. And so I'm disappointed with AppGameKit, it's like I went back to the time when TGC made Game Guru Classic. But I hope that this language will get a second life like Delphi. There's a lot to be done for this, and little bug fixes won't fix it.
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Phaelax
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Posted: 23rd Jan 2023 20:35
Quote: "Take a look down through the boards on the forums and A.G.K doesn't hold a candle to DB/DBPRO in terms of success rate."


I think the time period plays a factor here. Today there's a lot more options and way more information now. In the early days of DB, folks were still just getting away from DOS stuff like QBasic. DB filled a void back then that had very little options. AppGameKit came out at a time when there were dozens.
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brunuu
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Posted: 26th Jan 2023 12:15 Edited at: 26th Jan 2023 12:16
it's fantastic, I don't use the AGKS map editor much and I'm also more used to using external map editors like Tiled and others.

But AppGameKit itself is fantastic and now as it has support for Visual Studio Code which is great.

I think some people are annoyed by AppGameKit BASIC , the main language, and would prefer that AppGameKit was mainly C# or Lua, I love BASIC but I understand the criticism, there is Tier 2 that I highly recommend because AppGameKit with C++ is fire!


I think AppGameKit manages to be better than frameworks like Monogame and similar ones, but it's not as famous because of BASIC.
Monogame is an excellent framework too, but AppGameKit has implemented many functionalities from physics to cross-platform in such a smooth and straightforward way, whether in C++ or BASIC, AppGameKit itself at the core is very good
Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 26th Jan 2023 19:45
Thank you for your responses so far, it's all very enlightening.

Dark_ITheI _Angel wrote: "Btw whats your channel? Are you the guy on youtube that talks really bad about game guru and TGC? Saw 2 videos on youtube and wow sich a hate video ."

Not at all! I think I know the guy you're referring to but that's not me. I'm a long-standing member of the TGC community who started in FPSC and have followed its lineage through GameGuru Classic right up to GameGuru MAX today. About a year ago, on the eve of MAX's release to early access, I released a 30-minute interview with Lee about MAX and its development, but that was only a small part of this much larger project. I also periodically run a series called FPS Creator Classics where I play and analyse old FPSC games. If you'd like to watch my stuff, it would mean a lot!
https://www.youtube.com/c/tannerproductions

My intention with this documentary is not to bash TGC, far from it. They've done some solid work over the years making tools for aspiring and novice developers. I do find it interesting though how much better remembered their tools for coders are as opposed to their "easier" tools like 3DGM, FPSC, GG, and MAX, and the dynamic they have with their community is fascinating to me, hence why it's useful for me to garner opinions from across the spectrum.

Sounds like by and large, this pocket of the community is relatively happy with their product. I can tell you the same cannot be said on the other side of the pond in GameGuru land. But that's a topic I'll let my documentary delve into!

AE
James H
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Posted: 26th Jan 2023 22:28
Most of my experience has been with DBPro, I originally came across DBC in Gamepspot or store or similarly named shop from within an arcade off the high street of my local town. If not for that purchase I may never have entered the DBP world and eventually AGK. I also have FPSCX9/10, skipped GGC but do have GGM and of course I have AGKC and AGKS. I have a bunch of their other products as well.

The move from DBP to AppGameKit was simple enough, no complaints there. There is a large performance difference between the two in at least one area - iterations of memory is costly to say the least. I feel that as a hobbyist I may well never produce anything for publication, so for me at least the focus is windows platform. Therein lies an issue for me - the trade off of performance versus larger memory access and to be honest my journey is incomplete in these regards - there is still work on my part still to be done. In terms of BASIC I find AppGameKit just fine - as I did with DBC/P, however I have not found any need or reason to step outside the world of BASIC. I *think* the purpose of BASIC was to do just that - to prepare for progression onto other languages? Now I am not saying that AppGameKit or DBP are in a state whereby there is no need to progress, but simply that I have had no need. As a hobbyist it is for enjoyment/entertainment that I code, to that end AppGameKit seems fine so far(bare in mind I don't get to spend a whole bunch of time on this hobby). That all said they need to be getting their rear into gear regarding all those issues not concluded on Github. Some where fast approaching ancient from what I recall(ok slight exaggeration with ancient lol).

Quote: "Sounds like by and large, this pocket of the community is relatively happy with their product."


Um lack of response does not always mean everything is AOK. Not saying it isn't but there have been countless occasions when I would read a post, felt I really wanted to respond but then I would "um and ah" in my own head as to how to respond, eventually capitulating that to do so would take up more of my time than I would wish or have available, thusly did not respond. This would also include topics I felt strongly about. To add to that, I don't think you would get too many bad responses here - it is their own forums after all. For as long as I can remember every time somebody had something bad to say it would not go unchallenged by other members. Regardless of the fact that *maybe* in most cases the OP would be misinformed, seeing that kind of response has always made me think twice before posting on here. Ultimately it could mean genuine warranted complaints won't always be voiced. Of course you can only base your articles on what responses you do get, but I would further point out that a lack of response is not a good thing - you only have 8 opinions including my own so far - pretty sure we may be missing a lot of users lol. Folks should be posting left right and center by now if they where 100% happy - you should have had an overwhelming response really don't you think? There is one more consideration - everyone will be at different stages in their learning and may feel unqualified to post, also these products have been around a good long time now and others will have moved on happy or not. I would say it would be quite difficult to get a good measure on opinions from this single thread and so soon. That all said it has only been a few days, many may not have seen the thread yet if they don't frequent here every day. - 8 opinions is not an ideal number for a product that has sold way way more copies than that!

What annoys me a little is the lack of a good coding product for windows since DBP. AppGameKit is behind in 3D best I can tell. No x11/12 x64 and it has been years. Instead the best option is GGM/LUA which is so far away from v1 release and without some features I would want to have in v1 that I just cannot be bothered to use it. I had the exact same feeling over FPSCx10(although I have FPSCx9 it was given for free at a convention and I wanted terrain as a basic start so only ever used the levels to make indoor buildings for DBP). Overall I have been more disappointed with their game makers than I have with their BASIC products. In term of GGM I would want multi player at V1 so I can play with friends - I will have played around with GGM so much(in theory should I be ever be bothered/convinced to actually spend time on it) that I would not get much more entertainment in SP than I already had making it. I also don't expect to sell many copies - enough to pack in regular job - so I doubt I would get much entertainment knowing a few people enjoyed(or didn't!) playing something I would have spent a lot of time on unless I get to watch them all play. In essence I feel I would want to participate, unless of course Lee knows some magic and can produce some decent AI...

Anyway that is my opinion - right or wrong. cheers
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brunuu
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Posted: 26th Jan 2023 23:37
yehh I suspected it was the TurnerProductions channel, looks like i was right
is this for the second part of the FPS Creator/Game Guru documentary?
janbo
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Posted: 28th Jan 2023 12:00 Edited at: 28th Jan 2023 12:02
So my 2 cents are that AppGameKit is just fine wich isn't bad but also not good.
You need to reinvent the wheel too many times wich in other languages/engines you have build in or there are professionally made librarys available for free.
I would have lost the faith if it wasn't for one of the last Updates where Dave build in the Textshader commands I created for AppGameKit and had send him via Discord.
So that was nice...
I think there are people who can and want to contribute to the source code and i think the repository was intended for that but somehow it isn't really working.
Someone also was faster at creating a set of sprite shaders commands years ago, which we are missing still today. (they just need to copy paste the code basically)
Im really missing some shader, GUI, Matrix/Vector commands and types on my end.
So while you can archive pretty much anything in AppGameKit if you are good in reinventing wheels, it's just sooo unconvinient at times.
And while i ranted a bit about AppGameKit now i am working on a Multiplayer game/clone like Stick Fight or Rounds using it
Also the comunity is Great
SFSW
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Posted: 28th Jan 2023 22:47 Edited at: 28th Jan 2023 22:48
Quote: "AppGameKit is behind in 3D best I can tell. No x11/12 x64 and it has been years."


I would disagree with this 'no x11/12 x64' statement. AGKC/S is doing quite well in the 3D graphics department and never used DirectX nor does it need to. It was originally OpenGL and now uses both OGL and Vulkan in Studio (the latter being quite on par with DX12). And it has supported x64 for a long time (just had to check the box before, now only supports x64). So I'm not sure what that claim is based on, but in terms of graphics, AGKS is sufficiently modern in terms of rendering technology and its bit format is x64.

It is true (as janbo and others point out) that you need to do a lot manually, particularly with shaders, if you want to provide more advanced effects and a few things just aren't available. But in terms of API, performance, and shader capabilities with recent rendering technology, AGKS does very well in the first two categories with some limitations in the last. Overall, I have found it to be quite capable for the various effects I've wanted to incorporate into my game projects.

Broad language and platform support in a compact and efficient development framework with few unwanted/unnecessary dependencies are nice benefits. The low cost is also a major plus. It wouldn't take much to push it into an even more advanced and powerful option (maybe some ease-of-use elements like prefab shaders and utilities for RT/PBR, better IDE, and perhaps a few other capabilities some developers have come to expect in a game development system). So updates would be nice and could improve things further. But as it is, AGKS is a fantastic option providing excellent capabilities for both new and more advanced coders. As I mentioned to someone recently:

"I’m having a blast working within AppGameKit and find my development efforts to be some of the most enjoyable programming time I’ve ever had due to its simplicity, comprehensive capabilities, diverse platform support, and extremely fast ‘compile’ times. I’m getting more done in shorter amounts of time than ever before because of those qualities and in ways that were not previously available to me..."
James H
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Posted: 29th Jan 2023 21:07
@SFSW ah the part you disagree with is not aimed at AppGameKit - The start of that paragraph clearly states my annoyance with regards to Windows which is the context intended for that paragraph. I am well aware of its original and continued use of OGL - my last paragraph is more in relation to the gap between DBP and GGM. I could certainly have worded that better. However I had to rush the end as I am suffering food poisoning. My referring to AppGameKit 3d capability was intended to mean that AppGameKit does not fill that gap. As for Vulkan - it may well be comparable to being on par with dx12 however OGL is what we actually have control of for shaders - I should perhaps have been much clearer there and to that end I fully accept your confusion of my "claim" as my error in clarity or rather lack of, the OGL version fundamentally limits shader capability. I am also aware of AGK's 32/64 bit option prior to recent update and have been for as long as its existence - again it was all about that gap between products. It was not a concern of graphical performance per se but what is lacking in terms of capability. My referring to "No dx11/12" does not mean that I ever expected to see a version of AppGameKit to suddenly go in that direction, I would imagine that is a very tall order to complete, but on the back of that having a separate product instead might have been an option at some point in the past. Clearly never going to happen given the team size and what they already have on their plate, does not mean however that I should not voice that opinion although yes this thread is primarily focused on AGK. Honestly only mentioned it as the OP made mention of the main products by TGC historically as well as currently.

This is a thread about opinion for sure but I do not believe it is about opinions of opinions - this only serves to derail and/or inflame imho. Much like Avenging Eagle my intention is not to bash TGC products, I like AppGameKit however I do not "love" it as I did with DBP.,it does fall short in areas but then I was never expecting it to be at the leading edge of technological advances lol - I would however have liked it far more if it did better on Windows. As it stands OGL 2 is very old and having Vulkan does not give it a significant performance gain if any at all on some machine specs. - a topic covered time and again. This is why the dx12 comparison you made I find to be void. As stated this is my opinion but again, I do not think that opinions of opinions helps matters - it is not as though I am screaming for better, I said "little annoyed" given our best 2 options are a million miles apart. I hope this provides some clarity as to my perspective.
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SFSW
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Posted: 29th Jan 2023 22:50
Ah ok, I didn't recognize that statement as opinion, it seemed like an objective claim to me, so that's why I wanted to reply. Thank you for posting the clarification, I appreciate you taking the time to type that out and hope you get to feeling better soon.

I will just add that the move to Vulkan has been a significant benefit for me and my projects, both on the shader side (speed of command execution) as well as fundamental rendering performance (sheer number of objects on screen). Results that are typically amplified further on AMD GPU hardware. Only on older hardware (Pascal/Maxwell or older Nvidia) has there sometimes been no improvement (CPU also seems to potentially play a part). Other Vulkan improvements, like the inversed depth precision, have been additional significant benefits. It's been an overall positive performance and technological move and one I hope TGC will further exploit the technological capabilities of (if even just support for compute/geometry shaders with other things later on). The pieces are in place, it just needs a few advancements to take it further.
Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 31st Jan 2023 08:59
Quote: "is this for the second part of the FPS Creator/Game Guru documentary?"


Yes. A year old, I released an interview with Lee predominantly about GameGuru MAX, but the intention was always to create something larger and more all-encompassing. Sadly I don't feel I can speak with any authority on their code-based tools like DB, DBPro or AppGameKit (hence why they only get short mentions), but the documentary is currently running at 1hr and covers everything from Lee's first efforts for Europress all the way up to MAX.

AE
Zappo
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Posted: 31st Jan 2023 13:42
I've been following this thread with interest.
My opinion... personally, I love AppGameKit Studio. I've made commercial applications for desktops, mobile devices and cloud based systems for a very long time using many different languages and platforms, but for games - the cross platform support of AppGameKit and its tier 1 (BASIC) language is the easiest and fastest to develop with by far. There are some issues but most of them are a question of priorities based on the limited hours available for TGC to work on it. For example, personally I would put fixing functionality which doesn't work as it should as top priority, followed by keeping AppGameKit up-to-date with Google and Apple requirements (without which I cannot publish), and lastly adding new features. For other people they aren't too fussed about supporting mobile devices and would rather have new features as a priority. You can't please everyone and it can be frustrating when you are well into a project and find a bug or obstacle which prevents you completing or publishing until it is fixed. This frustration leads to anger, impatience, and the dark side . Remember - many problems are introduced by changes in the supported operating systems, libraries or policies and so TGC have to play catchup.

My biggest wish would be to have better feedback on issues providing a possible timeline for fixes. Currently we often don't know if or when a problem will be fixed and so are left in limbo. I currently have a project waiting to be published which is paused awaiting a fix for both iOS and Android (two different problems) so I do understand, but I still love AppGameKit Studio. The payments from Apple, Google and Amazon for my app sales each month certainly help
jlahtinen
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Posted: 4th Feb 2023 19:05
Only features I would like are running app in backround and separate screen/"code" sync.

But this is fine as it is.
Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 14th Mar 2023 07:43
Just to let you all know, I have now completed the documentary on TGC and it's coming out on 24 March. Sadly, AppGameKit and AGKS only get a cursory mention as the film is already 1hr 20mins long and focuses more on their tools for non-coders, but you might still be interested nonetheless. Here's a trailer to wet your appetite.


Join me at 19:00 GMT on Friday 24 March on my YouTube channel where "TheGameCreators vs. The Fans" will premiere!

AE
Jeku
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Posted: 14th Mar 2023 14:04
Quote: "Here's a trailer to wet your appetite."


Wow, this looks really awesome!! I'd buy a ticket for this if it were in theatre
Zaxxan
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Posted: 14th Mar 2023 16:03
I'm looking forward to watching this.
Phaelax
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Posted: 15th Mar 2023 03:40
Quote: "Join me at 19:00 GMT on Friday 24 March on my YouTube channel where "TheGameCreators vs. The Fans" will premiere!"


Sure will!
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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 24th Mar 2023 18:43
The premiere is about to start, join me over on YouTube to watch "TheGameCreators vs. The Fans"!



AE
Kevin Picone
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Posted: 25th Mar 2023 04:21

Wow.. that was an excellent production ! Learned a things about TGC and of course various omissions along the way; but DB/DBpro we're really the focus more a way point in the story line.



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Devil_d0g
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Posted: 6th Apr 2023 17:53
Very well put together documentary. I enjoyed watching it and will for sure give it a repeat watch. I have all the products listed and have been here since the creation of DarkBASIC Classic. I still have all my install CD's and boxed versions. I love AGKStudio and use it almost daily. Good content on your channel as well.
3dzforme
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Posted: 10th Apr 2023 09:09
Will watch the doc later today, for me I've coded in good old 'C' for work a while back, coded a lot in BLitz3D, AppGameKit Studio is ace for mobile dev and have had some good results with the GPS functionality embedded within it.

I really like it, and was the logical choice after years in Blitz3D land.
3dzforme
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Posted: 14th Apr 2023 00:05
Loved the documentary, a fascinating insight into the vision and drive required to create what is now my goto coding tool of choice, AppGameKit Studio.

To qualify my statement, I've been able to render heightmaps in 3D on both my computer and Android phone with gobsmackingly little effort to get data that I've parsed from .tcx fies in 3D, on desktops & mobile phones.

Credit and Kudos to The Game Creators!
Pfaber1
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Posted: 14th Apr 2023 08:33
I watched half of it and will watch it again this morning. The Game Creators really know their stuff and if there is a problem on Android or PC it gets sorted asap unlike some other companies who
just don't Know their stuff and take literally years fixing things or don't bother at all. Anyway TGC are a professional company who go the extra mile for their clients.
Yes the height maps are great as are the shadows unlike something I looked at recently . I just realized that if I use 1366 x 768 for the screen resolution instead of 1920 x 1080 I get another 30 to 50 fps which is really cool and most welcome . I was reading that gamers lower the screen resolution to get better fps and I tried it and excellent .
Credit where credits due. TGC and AppGameKit S are way ahead of the competition. Have an excellent day.
XanthorXIII
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Posted: 26th Apr 2023 16:37
Personally I feel like AppGameKit is a very good tool. There are some things I wish that it did better but with the recent additions for detecting the Notch area on Mobile phones was a very nice addition.
It's those kinds of additions that really help to keep me using the tool.

Cybermind
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Posted: 1st May 2023 19:59
I've been around since the days of DarkBASIC (wasn't very good at coding back then) and with AppGameKit I released my first game in 2017 which I'm still supporting. I've since become proficient with both Unity and UE which I've used for some gigs, I like 'em both but I always return to AGK. Coding in AppGameKit Tier 1 is like drawing with a pencil, freedom, I can quickly get something up and running, it's straightforward. It's cathartic for me to work in AGK.
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Unseen Ghost
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Posted: 9th Jun 2023 15:41
I too have been around a long time. I have been around since DarkBasic now DarkBasic Classic, was their flagship product(only product) and the website was (www.darkbasic.com) days.

My true loves are DarkBasic Classic and Pro. They don't seem to work anymore on my pc. If I can get them to work well at some point, I will go back to them, but for now I use AppGameKit and AGKS as main tools. I love them both, probably AppGameKit 2 more than Studio because of the editor is better.

I'm seriously worried that they will stop updating AGK2 and AGKS at some point. If so I might be forced to find another basic language that suits my needs. Languages like C++ are too much for me and too confusing. I'd rather stay with AppGameKit and AGKS. They are easy. Not as easy as DBC and DBP though.

I wish TGC would communicate with us more. Not knowing what to expect or look forward to hurts the community here I think.

I have a weird feeling that TGC might already be or going to start their own "AI" thing seeing that seems to be the next big thing.

I have loved their products and don't want them to stop making easy to understand and learn basic language software I can use.

I have lots to say, but need to stop here lol
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dandrews
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Posted: 9th Jun 2023 18:11
i have been using studio for the past few years while learning. its easy to learn and start out with but i feel like much of the documentation once you reach a certain point becomes sparce. that and some important commands seem to be out of date and dont work anymore at least for tier 1 , after checking the forum most ant new developments
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Joined: 14th Dec 2005
Location: SF Bay Area, USA
Posted: 10th Jun 2023 00:28 Edited at: 10th Jun 2023 01:36
closing this as the OP's since completed the documentary
oh, nevermind.

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