Hi, hello! Yeah, I knew about AGS before starting work on PonyQuest. I’ve played a few games that were made with it, like The Chzo Mythos and the 1213 series (the former are meh and the latter are awesome), and Gemini Rue (a fantastic game that everyone who likes the genre should check out), and I even tried using it myself a few years ago.
The engine is great because it’s so customizable; The 1213 series and Trilby: The Art of Theft are both more platformer-style games, and the fact that AGS allows that level of customization is great.
Like I said, I tried AGS out a few years ago, but I found it not very easy to use for a newcomer. Also, the “compiled” games don’t work as well as they should on modern computers.
My goal with PonyQuest is to make something a lot easier to use and more focused than AGS. I want StoryQuill to be really straightforward in its UI, PonyScript to be really easy to pick up, and the game engine itself to work great on any modern Windows machine (for example, you can set the screen resolution to whatever you want, and the game will scale accordingly). As a result, PonyQuest stories won’t be anywhere near as customizable as AGS games, and you won’t even be able to compile them into executables or anything; you’ll always launch the stories from within PonyQuest itself.
On the upside, PonyQuest stories will be a breeze to make. You won’t have to worry about making your own art unless you really want to, because there’ll (hopefully) be several available packages full of sprites, backgrounds, and so forth that you can freely use. Also, PonyQuest will act like a library of stories you’ve downloaded, and you’ll be able to browse through them and easily find and replay them. A super long-term goal I have is to make a website where you can upload your stories and packages you’ve made into a kind of social network, and then easily download and review them.
Basically, I want making a PonyQuest story to be less like writing an AGS game and more like writing fan fiction.