I saw over at the Adventure-Treff that the team behind the Adventure Game Studio released an early Christmas gift for the hobby developers and genre fans among you: AGS v2.6. The software happens to be a development environment for point'n click adventures in the tradition of the old Lucasfilm Games and Sierra classics. The latest version adds 24/32-Bit colour support among other things and a number of bug fixes. The full feature list and the Windows/DOS version can be found in this thread. A Linux build of an older version can be grabbed at their download section. Beginners might want to head over to the doc page first.
While we're at the topic, Marek Bronstring is currently putting up a feature on the Future of Adventure Games over at AdventureGamers, taking a closer look at the current state of the genre and elaborating on aspects that could be improved. The latest article covers non-linearity and interactive dialogues.
For instance, Discworld Noir gives a large amount of freedom to investigate whatever you want, whenever you want and in which order. Discworld Noir is one of those games that flows very naturally. When you compare your playing experience with that of others you discover how different they can be. I've even heard of players who never got to use the third CD because of a specific path they took through the game.
More articles will be put up over the next days. And last but not least: the team behind Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth - I mentioned it a while ago - created a small but nice, project-related Christmas intro (Flash) for their website.