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Topics - Ben

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This is a really interesting run down of forgotten adventure games for various computer platforms.  The only obvious one on the list is Full Throttle, the rest of these aren't any I knew about.
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The 1990s were a good age for adventure, if your idea of adventure is playing video games. Point-and-click adventure games were at their peak, offering new worlds and new mysteries to explore. Companies like Sierra Games and LucasArts were publishing titles that often simply dropped players into a new world and let them test and explore in order to find their way, searching for the correct item or action that would let them progress. Clues were often infuriatingly hard to come by, but when you could finally solve that tricky puzzle, you felt like a real genius. 

And now, adventure games of the '80s and '90s are making somewhat of a comeback via modern titles, and remakes of classic versions. Titles like The Secret of Monkey Island and Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis (LucasArts is the undisputed king of the genre), are still hot topics among gamers, but there are many other games that have fallen by the wayside, or been forgotten completely. Well, thanks to the awesome Internet Archive and their vast collection of old software, we can take a look at some of greatest forgotten and unknown gems of the genre.
http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/fo ... ture-games

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Other Systems / Amiga 30 and the Unkillable Machine
« on: August 29, 2015, 11:42:02 AM »
This is a pretty cool Amiga article I ran across, I thought some here might be interested.
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http://spectrum.ieee.org/view-from-the- ... le-machine

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I thought some of the Amiga fans here would enjoy this.
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https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150 ... oday.shtml

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Retro News & Chat / Sega Will Not Have Its Own Booth At E3 2015
« on: May 07, 2015, 11:08:57 AM »
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/arch ... -2015.aspx

I'd say it's the end of an era, but there isn't much of the old Sega left at this point, anyway.
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Retro News & Chat / Assessing Phantasy Star II 1/4 Of A Century Later
« on: February 08, 2015, 07:54:23 AM »
**TIP**
This post contains spoilers about a 26 year old game.  You've been warned, I don't think the [SPOILER] tag works on this board. 

I wanted to bring this up because I replayed Phantasy Star II recently, and it made me reflect back on the legacy of this game.  In particular, a lot of things credited to the Final Fantasy series seem to have shown up here first.  The storyline really is what strikes me as outstanding and groundbreaking. I see Final Fantasy VII recognized all the time for the serious storyline that involved protecting the planet and killed off a main character early on.  But, Phantasy Star II had a message about respecting nature and killed Nei off early on, then kept her dead.  It also had an open ended conclusion where the planet was - maybe - saved, but the fate of the main characters was left open.  This was in 1989, mind you, when Nintendo were still policing the content of their games.

The detail of the sprites, soundtrack and complex dungeons (the hardest of any RPG to date I think) also impress me to this day.  I know this board isn't as big on JRPGs as some, but I was curious about what others thought with 26 years between us and the release of this game.  When you compare it to anything else from 1989 it is just mind boggling to see how far ahead of its time it was, I'm pretty sure it's my favorite 16 bit game.

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Other Systems / Long Live Grim Fandango
« on: February 03, 2015, 21:24:30 PM »
This is an interesting article, including an interview with Tim Schafer, that i ran across.

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http://blog.longreads.com/2015/01/29/lo ... -fandango/

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Other Systems / Did you know the Apple II had cassette DRM? I didn't.
« on: February 03, 2015, 21:08:29 PM »
But, then I read this!
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Before the Apple II had floppy drives, however, it had an audio cassette interface for storing programs and data.  This was a very primitive system, requiring you to hook up a cassette recorder to your computer and fiddle with the volume knob until things started working.  To read data from tape, you specified a range of memory to fill, and hit the "play" button on your tape recorder.  If all went well, the computer cheerfully beeped at you and off you went.  Loading BASIC programs was even easier, because the start location was pre-determined, and the length was stored on the tape.  All you had to do was type "LOAD".

I recently found myself extracting software from cassette tapes purchased on eBay.  At the start of the project, I thought to myself, "it's awkward to get at the data, but at least there's no copy protection."  As it turns out, I was wrong.
http://www.fadden.com/techmisc/cassette-protect.htm

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Retro News & Chat / The Untold Story Of The Invention Of The Game Cartridge
« on: February 03, 2015, 21:05:01 PM »
This is an interesting article I ran across, and thought I'd post.
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http://www.fastcompany.com/3040889/the- ... -cartridge

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He built his own games, too!
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In the late 1990s, my parents divorced, and my mother took my brother and myself and had us go live in a very rural area of Australia with a psychopath who was wanted in 3 states. This was our new stepfather, so we were to remain in isolation so that he wouldn't be found. This being said, we were not allowed to leave the house after school hours, nor use the internet, nor own mobile phones. Before leaving, my dad left me an Osborne 486, with a whoppping 640k of extended RAM if memory serves me correctly. This 486 had only a copy of MS Dos 6.0 on it, and the standard utilities (EDIT.com, QBASIC etc). It had a shareware copy of Rise of the Triad 1.0, and I believe, one or two other shareware titles, Xargon and Wacky Wheels. The last game I saw before leaving New South Wales in the 1990s was a Half-Life preview in a games magazine. I was not allowed to rent books that were not strictly relevant to school work and this made the 6 hours after school incredibly slow, so I set to work making my own games and entertainment on this 486. Thankfully I was able to convince my parents that I needed a copy of "BASIC BASIC" and "ADVANCED BASIC" by James S Coan from our school library, despite being dated to the 80s. With these, I built my first DOS Clone which emulated/mimicked dos in every way I could possibly achieve. Technically, it would function identically (you can move/change/rename/delete files and directories, list time, date, directory listings etc). Fairly basic stuff. I'll post the source codes to all of these shortly, just sorting them as I type this. Next I moved onto text-based adventure games: I wrote a horror game and some generic crappy adventures which totalled to around 40 000 lines (bearing in mind, that's by labelling each line as "100, 200, 300" etc, rather than going by single digits. My next experiment was to introduce graphics. Ideally I wanted graphics to accompany the parser. You would say "Walk NorthEast", and the screen would show a little display that of a first person view walking. I began work on my own "raycaster" of sorts. Below is a screenshot of an early version before I had working skies: Soon after, I was able to create very very primitive "detailed" scenes using various ASCII combinations. I created a DOOM clone to the best of my memory, as I hadn't seen or played doom for a few years at that point. It had relatively small maps consisting of 10 x 10 unit data grids which looked a bit like this (Each number represented a different wall tile or object. 0 meant nothing - floor and sky. The screen would be divided up into 8 x 8 chunks and project pre-written ASCII art that depicted walls at different angles. I did a wall at a 45 degree angle, a 22.5 degree angle, etc until I had 4 or so of each wall setup rotated at each angle, and then was able to make the player rotate in iterations of 22.5 degrees at a time (creating a very basic "3d" engine). (map grid example) DATA 1, 5, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1, 5 DATA 3, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 2 DATA 4, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 2, 4, 0, 5 DATA 3, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 4, 2, 0, 2 DATA 4, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 5 DATA 3, 0, 1, 0,-1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 2 DATA 4, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 0, 6, 7 DATA 3, 0,10,12,10,12, 0, 0, 0, 7 DATA 4, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 7 DATA 8, 7, 8, 7, 8, 7, 8, 7, 8, 7 By this point, I wanted to up the ante. I had vaguely recalled one of my childhood friends at the school I had been going to before leaving for the country whom was into C++. He told me about John Carmacks wolf3d engine, and how it "cast" rays out until they hit a surface, and simply calculated the distance from the camera, then painted the image in vertical strips on the screen. I made a simple (albeit crappy and slow) raycaster over the next year and ended up with this. Instead of projecting pre-made ASCII art at various angles, it correctly cast rays and projected them onto the screen in vertical strips. I then wanted to take it a step further and make my own "game engine". (Silly me, thinking I might make something that could possibly sell? It would've been about 2004 by now). I developed my first general GUI and implemented the raycaster into it (only just noticed that I had the map being read back to front. The map on the right should be mirrored the opposite way)
http://imgur.com/gallery/hRf2trV

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Not to be confused with the Amiga or Famicom games that were actually released.  Here's all Wikipedia has on this: 
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  There was also an unreleased and apparently unfinished Super Famicom game based on Akira by THQ, as reported in the 1993 CES Preview provided to subscribers of Electronic Gaming Monthly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_%28video_game%29

Cancelled Akira game [SNES / Mega Drive / Genesis]

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Retro News & Chat / The Genre-defining Video Games We Forgot
« on: July 15, 2014, 12:23:49 PM »
I just ran across this video, thought others might appreciate it as well. 
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A 50-minute documentary about five games that defined their genres, and then were forgotten because they were superseded by more successful, more marketable, and more mainstream clones.
 

[align=center:3vg5g8s5]5 Genre-Defining Games Forgotten by History[/align:3vg5g8s5]

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Retro News & Chat / Remembering Kenji Eno
« on: June 20, 2014, 11:39:37 AM »
I thought it was worth making a thread about this, because when I was looking up the games D and D2 for another thread, I found out that Kenji Eno had passed away about a year ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenji_Eno#Death 
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Eno died on February 20, 2013, due to heart failure brought on by hypertension. He was 42
  He was both a composer and a developer, and in particular supported Sega's Saturn and Dreamcast consoles with the groundbreaking games D, D2, and Enemy Zero.  His studio, Superwarp (earlier WARP), was also known for supporting the 3DO and producing some famous talent, who would eclipse him in success. 
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  Eno formed WARP, Inc. with a small team of programmers and designers including animators Fumito Ueda[7] (Ico and Shadow of the Colossus), Takeshi Nozue (Final Fantasy VII Advent Children) and Ichiro Itano (Macross), all of whom later became famous under different employment.

So I was just curious, was anyone else here a huge fan of his?  If so, what were your favorite games, and what do you feel was revolutionary about them?  For me, the influence of D in particular isn't remembered enough, I'm not sure the survival horror genre would have developed the way it did without his work.

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