Forum Replies Created
You’re absolutely right neither Prince of Persia nor Another World gives off the somewhat amateurish vibe that Jill of the Jungle has. I’m personally not a big Keen fan though, I think I’m enjoying this more actually!
But yeah, $30 seems awfully steep for what it is. I can’t imagine a lot of revenue was generated in Europe. I certainly have never bought one of these old shareware titles, nor have I heard from anyone around me doing so.
It is very true that this game (and similar PC titles from the same period) cannot come even remotely close to the quality of the games that were available on other systems.
But I do feel the need to point out that the Sonics and Marios all have large billion dollar corporations behind them, while this game was essentially developed by a kid living with his parents, and a bunch of friends helping out to finish it.
And although I don’t think this is a valid excuse for delivering a sub-par game, it is important to realise that the game development landscape looked very different then than it does now. There was no Game Maker or Unity to help you get started, no frameworks or libraries to rapidly put something together, no internet filled with resources.
As such, it’s a huge accomplishment that these games were made at all, even if they can’t really compete with the fantastic products released by large and experienced studios.
You can say “listen to thom” for example to make it a little less generic, but it remains a bit awkward. I sort of understand why it doesn’t want to spit out 5 pages of dialogue in one go though. I guess the system from the second game works better for conversations.
Thanks for checking it out! It was a little more work than I anticipated yeah, haha. I think an approximate metric is that 1 minute of video takes about 1 hour of work.
My process was to first write the script, record the narration of it, then record a whole bunch of gameplay footage and finally pick & choose appropriate scenes for the whole thing.
I’m not a video editor by any means and I don’t know how any of the professional tools work. Instead I used a Mac app called “ScreenFlow”, mostly because I already had it installed, as I occasionally use it for recording my desktop.
It offers a simple built-in editor which allowed me to put everything in order, so that’s what I used. This is what it looks like with the project loaded:
Oh by the way, you can enable MT-32 music output by running the game with the “mt32” parameter (so: “gate mt32”).
Similarly you can enable SVGA output by running the game with “gate svga”. SVGA mode allows for more text on the screen at once, but the graphics are otherwise the same.
I don’t remember using the blood, I don’t think it’s necessary.
You’re definitely thinking in the right direction with the stump, the sack, the ash and the net. It’s mostly a matter of figuring out the right order to make it all work 🙂
I just beat the game too! I got motivated to do so after Firefyte beat it so quickly. I actually finished it years ago, but it’s crazy how little I remember of it. I don’t even remember how old I was when I played it. I just remember liking the game a lot.
The story is really pretty cool, which might not be so surprising since it’s based on a novel. The number of frustrating puzzles is quite limited, I feel most things make sense. The way the game is structured also means puzzles are contained to their own area, so the number of items and rooms you have to mix and match aren’t too much to handle.
Very impressive game all in all!
If you’re not playing the Gold version, you really need a map. Weirdly the gog.com version doesn’t seem to come with one? Anyway, here’s the one I’m using: https://magisterrex.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/piratesgamemap.jpg
If anyone’s wondering what version to play, I personally would recommend new-comers to check out the 1993 Pirates! Gold remake. It’s essentially the same gameplay as the original game, but presented in much more appealing SVGA graphics, better sound, nicer UI and very importantly an in-game map! So at least you’ll have a vague idea on where you are, which you have to figure out by yourself in the original version. The game came with a map on paper I believe, which is very cool of course, but being able to show it in-game is very helpful for beginners I think.
I’ve tried the original DOS version, but because I’m completely new to the game, the lack of tooltips was really a big hassle. So many unmarked buttons!
I’m now playing Openxcom and I’m having a much better time. I think the game is similar enough to still be in the spirit of the club tbh. It’s not like it’s completely different, it’s just a little more convenient.
What’s also very different is the way disk space is perceived by game developers now vs then. Back in the day games were distributed on floppy disks, so if a game didn’t fit on a single one, it meant production costs would be a lot higher. Also shipping a game on many disks is cumbersome for the player, so there was a strong focus on keeping game size to a minimum.
With the introduction of the CD-ROM and later DVD and Blu-ray, keeping games small in size became less and less important, to the point where we are now.
“How have game file sizes become so big? Is it just the graphics? Just the high-fidelity audio?”
Essentially, yes. 100 KB of OPL instructions can play hours and hours of music, but the same amount of space can only hold 5 seconds of MP3 audio.
The same sort of thing can be seen in graphics, where a single texture for a modern high resolution 3D model can be larger than all of the graphics in an old low res 2D game combined.
The code itself is larger as well, but I don’t think that’s nearly as significant a factor as the audio and visual data.
Here’s a nice article about this very subject with some interesting quotes from game developers: https://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/why-are-video-games-so-big/
Thanks for these suggestions, it’s really helpful. I feel like I could enjoy this game, but I’m totally new to it and I have absolutely no idea how any of it works. There’s no tutorial in the game, so it’s a bit difficult to get into. All tips are appreciated!
I also found this helpful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfICiJzmPYA
Yeah, I had the accidental item thing too. That’s why I tried to made sure the cursor was always on an empty inventory slot.
I think the main trick to this game is to take it slow. There aren’t really any timers or anything, apart from buttons with closing doors attached, so you can just carefully go from screen to screen, inspect everything, try things out.
If you approach this game as an action game, it probably doesn’t work very well. But doing it more like a puzzle game, it’s much more manageable.
Yeah, in the end I never used the F key at all. Space for fire, D only for running. That prevented me from firing in the wrong direction haha.
I also made sure my cursor was always on an empty spot, so accidentally pressing E would not result in using up an item. It’s important to be careful with the items, because many levels require very specific items in order to progress.
Now I must say, this is for my (DOS) version of Blackthorne. I’ve read somewhere that the latest version (which can be downloaded from Blizzard’s servers for free and runs on Windows/Mac) has slightly different controls: http://www.blizzplanet.com/blog/comments/blackthorne-keyboard-controls
This game is notoriously hard. But also there’s a bug which causes the monsters to do more and more damages as you save & load. The bug is present on all difficulty levels except for the default one. So I guess playing on the default difficulty is the only option, unless you don’t want to use saving & loading at all.
I haven’t played Emergency Room, but reading the description, I wonder if it also involves actually operating on people? Because that’s really the core of Life & Death, I think. The diagnosis stuff is just to ease you into it, but the real gameplay I think is getting an operation completed successfully.
I must admit I’ve used a guide when playing this, but honestly I don’t feel it’s as different as without, except it saves a whole lot of visits to the classroom, haha.
Honestly I love this kind of novelty game. It’s utterly weird and arguably barely any fun, but I just imagine I’m an actual doctor and have a great time with this sort of thing 😀
Ok, this game is impossible to figure out, so I went onto YouTube and found a play through. It massively helps to learn the weird rules of this game, haha.
I’ve just tried playing this game, but I don’t really get it, haha.
Has anyone had any success with this? I’ve tried digging a bit, I’ve even been able to sell off some silver. But all in all I just seemed to burn cash and lose health until I died?
Yeah, this game is really daunting to get into. There are so many aspects you need to consider!
Once you get the hang of it, it’s really great though imho. Things are very interconnected, so every decision you make influences almost all other aspects of the game.
Oooh, I’ll have to try MoO1 then, it sounds interesting to check out.
I must admit I quite like MoO2 now though. I’ve been playing it for the last few weeks quite a lot. At first it was quite intimidating, as there are a lot of things going on which you need to understand before you can really have any success with this game.
What helped for me was to first play without tactical combat (which also means no ship design). This way the game is more strategic in nature and it’s mostly about managing your empire. There are still battles in this mode, but instead of going into detail, it just shows an outcome based on stats. Just like Civ really. It makes for a very streamlined experience, I really quite like that the game gives you the option to play it how you like.
Thanks for all the awesome suggestions, everyone! I think we’re going to go for Wasteland for this particular occasion. A lot of people seem interested in checking that out and with the release of Fallout 76 it also seems relevant.
But don’t think this is the last RPG we’ll ever play, so I’m sure we’ll be looking at this list again in the future 🙂
Oh man, this game is so brutal. I’ve only tried it a little bit as a kid, but I never really got beyond the first room. It’s so unclear what the options are and how it all works!
After watching how to deal with the first monster on YouTube, I sort of got the hang of it and managed to play through the starting floor tonight, even getting rid of those weird beasts that guard the staircase.
But man, if this is just the beginning, I don’t know if I’ll manage without a walkthrough, haha.September 14, 2018 at 7:57 pm in reply to: Favourite Gags and Jokes? Heavy spoilers, potentially :-p #1895
But honestly, this game is so crazily packed with jokes, it’s almost difficult to find a moment when it’s not hilarious 😀September 14, 2018 at 7:56 pm in reply to: Favourite Gags and Jokes? Heavy spoilers, potentially :-p #1894
The little cutscene when Stan hands you the ship is really great.
I recorded a video of it:
It would be cool to have an RPG in an upcoming month (January?)!
I’ve played *loads* of Dark Sun by the way. It’s a really cool game. I haven’t played so much other RPGs. I’d love to dive into Krondor or Ultima, but also maybe one of the Might & Magic games would be interesting? Or Dune 1 possibly? Fallout is also a big one of course, but maybe too mainstream (we’ve covered a lot of big games recently).
If anyone has anymore suggestions, that would be great!
Wow, so you played all the… let me count… 10 Monkey Island games? That’s counting each chapter of the “Tales” games as a separate game.
I’ve never really played Curse or Escape myself, nor the Tales. It’s interesting to hear you enjoyed the Telltale series, I might check those out myself.
I’m currently playing through the sequel and I must admit… I’m enjoying it less than the original. The original is so fully packed with jokes and silliness, it’s just great. The sequel feels more tedious, where you constantly have to move between places to get a little further with the intricate puzzles. It’s not unfunny though, definitely still very good.
I think they felt maybe Secret was too easy and they wanted to offer the player more of a challenge? I don’t know, but for me the original is still absolutely fantastic. It all works so well and is so unbelievably goofy, it’s really great.
Wow, that’s amazing. I suppose the sound isn’t vital for beating the game, but the music is really great though and provides tons of atmosphere.
Playing the game some more this morning, I realised how cinematic it actually is. Most point & click adventure games are quite static, but there are quite a few dramatic scenes and even some interesting camera angles and such things going on in this game. I don’t think I had realised that before.
Oooooh, I think I actually tried playing this game a bit relatively recently. I don’t remember a whole lot about it, but I think I found it a bit too unintuitive to play it for longer.
But I’d love to dive in properly and check this game out for real. I mean, it does seem intriguing!
I definitely agree that a large part of the appeal of Warcraft is the setting, and also how polished it all is presented. Especially the voice acting of course, but also the creative way the buildings and units are designed. It’s just a pleasant world to be in, I think.
In terms of pure gameplay however, I must say I’m a bit disappointed. I’m at level 13 in the Human campaign now, and there’s only been 1 or 2 levels that posed any kind of challenge. I expected it to become more difficult near the end, but actually the last 2 levels turned out to be extremely simple. It’s all a matter of just building a big army and then overrunning the enemy. Because the AI lacks aggression, this strategy works on basically every map.
So all in all… it’s quite enjoyable to be around all these characters in this fantasy world, but it doesn’t seem to offer much in terms of actual strategy.
Yeah, I definitely feel a lot of what makes this game great is through the polish that went into it.
I’m up to level 12 in the Human campaign. This level is actually pretty interesting, with lots of islands everywhere. There’s 15 in total right?
I definitely recognise the bit about the waiting. I didn’t mind that when I was younger at all. I remember being so taken by the setting and the world that it was enjoyable to just be there and look at all the guys walk around.
But nowadays my view is a bit more abstract and I agree… it’s really a bit boring? I guess you can increase the game speed to ease the waiting a bit, but then you lose a lot of control over your troops in case you get attacked.
Sadly I also agree with dr_st that the same strategy seems to work on almost every map, so that doesn’t help either to make things more interesting.
The voice acting is still great though, haha!
Yeah, IPX-over-IP has worked pretty well for us so far, let’s go with that!
I don’t have the Battle.net edition of this game, but I do have the original one patched up until 1.4.
I hope the different versions of this game are compatible enough to get a multiplayer game going.
Wow, I guess I’m lucky, because I haven’t ran into a lot of issues getting this to run on my Mac. I’m using Boxer, which is just a nice GUI which wraps Dosbox.
I heard from Florian that it’s also not working that great for him in his Dosbox though. I think he resorted to playing it on his 486?
I have so much nostalgic love for POP2. I thought it was absolutely fantastic back in the day. All those different settings! It felt much more epic than the dungeons of the first game to me when I was a kid.
But playing it now, I can see how flawed it really is (and how well-made the first one is!). It’s a shame, because I think some of the scenes of POP2 are really cool and memorable (like the jumping onto the ship as it sails away, or jumping onto the horse statue like you mentioned).
Great tips, guys!
If the game remains difficult, there’s one last trick you can resort to: cheating 😀
By launching the game with the “megahit” argument (so “prince.exe megahit” on the command-line, or simply “prince megahit”) you unlock the cheat-mode. When enabled, you can use the following commands to perform various cheats:
k – kill an enemy
r – resurrect from death
+ – increase time left
shift+L – next level
shift+T – extra life
shift+S – heal life
shift+W – enable float mode (allowing you to survive long drops)
n – look down
u – look up
h – look left
j – look right
Hey hey, I’m back from holidays and dove straight into the game.
I just beat it, with 11 minutes and 23 seconds to spare \o/
All the way through, I was convinced I had never beaten it before. But every single level was familiar, up to the very end, so I guess I have beaten it? Haha. Maybe I used the megahit cheat code before, but this time it was an honest run from start to finish (apart from some save scumming, which I feel is allowed).
Truly awesome game, this. And incredibly influential of course!
Thanks for sharing your story, Simon! It’s so cool to hear these fond memories. This game seems to hold a very special place in people’s hearts, which is great.
We’re recording the podcast today. We’re already fully booked, having 5 people on the show. But if you do want to take part, you could record a voice message and send it to email@example.com and we’ll include it 🙂
There are definitely multiple valid strategies, so the game is surprisingly deep! I’ve so far tried to upgrade my cars as much as possible, instead of buying new ones. I also think you don’t actually need the fastest car to win a race. There’s a lot to gain from having good handling, so you don’t have to slow down in corners and stuff. So going for the tires first is definitely a good idea, I think!
The strategy I’m using now is to not waste too much money on mines and stuff, but rather upgrade your car itself, so you can start competing at the higher levels.
I mostly try to stay away from the initial chaos and indeed lag behind a bit, so I don’t get as much damage. Once everyone’s out of bullets, I just try to race as hard & clean as possible to get ahead. That seems to work quite well so far.
I’m not sure if the AI is indeed responding to your current position, but that could well be the case!
I hope vede will come in post some of his progress. I think he’s played the game a lot, especially earlier in the month.
I didn’t get that much time to play myself. But I must say that this thread is motivating me to dive in and give it a go!
Thanks for joining the forums and share your story. I love reading how people played these games at a young age and it just stuck with them for whole their life.
It would be great if you could dive in again and see what you can make of it. And if you could share any tips or points of interest with us, that would be much appreciated!
Ok, I’ve been playing for a bit and I must say that apart from the technical issues described above, I find this game extremely impressive. The UI isn’t actually that clunky, given the fact it’s so old. I’m glad only a handful of buttons are used, so it’s quite easy to figure out how to control the game.
The game itself seems to be very ambitious. That landing sequence, in 3D and everything! Really something!
Wow, that save system is seriously old school. I wonder why they thought this is a good idea, because it seems extremely prone to error. In fact, the readme even states:
“ALWAYS SAVE GAME TO END A SESSION. ESC BRINGS UP THE SAVE GAME MENU.
NEVER REBOOT THE SYSTEM DURING A SESSION BECAUSE IT WOULD LEAVE THE STARFLIGHT FILES IN AN INCONSISTENT STATE.”
I bet this led to a lot of phone calls to the support line back in the day 😀
I was just watching a new LGR video the other day and Duke Nukem popped up!
Apparently there was a “mobile” release of Duke Nukem 3D for this weird PDA-like device. But sadly… it’s not very good. I don’t believe it has anything to do with the real DN3D, other than that it looks sort of similar. Maybe it has the same weapons/enemies as well, but the levels are completely different, so the whole game is different.March 17, 2018 at 11:35 pm in reply to: What a Game! aka. WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME _HOW_ GOOD IT IT?? #1226
Oooh, that’s an interesting suggestion, dr_st! I never played it like that back in the day (probably because I didn’t know about it), but it actually makes a lot of sense.March 7, 2018 at 10:14 pm in reply to: What a Game! aka. WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME _HOW_ GOOD IT IT?? #1212
Yeah, same here Mgoddard. I always play these oldschool shooters with just the keyboard, using the default controls (arrows to move, ctrl to fire). It’s the default for a reason, right! 😀
I was 13 years old when this game came out and despite the game’s “adult content” warnings, me and my friends were very much into it, haha.
I didn’t have my own computer until years later, but my uncle ran a computer store and my dad was also a bit into gaming, so the family computer was pretty decent in those days. I’m not 100% sure when we got what though. What I do know is that in 1995 we had a 486 still. It was a fast one, running at 100 MHz, with 16 MB RAM. So we didn’t feel it was needed to upgrade to a Pentium when they first started to appear.
At one point we did replace it with a Pentium 120 and 32 MB of RAM. Maybe that was in 1996? If so, then that’s the machine I played Duke Nukem 3D on. But maybe I also still played it on the 486.
Later we upgraded the Pentium 120 to a Pentium 150 MMX using once of those “Overdrive” upgrade kits, along with a 3Dfx Voodoo card. I think that was in 1997. I probably still played Duke from time to time on that machine.
We kept 2 machines for a while, connected through a serial cable. I know I played multiplayer Duke Nukem in that setup as well. I think one of the machines was the old 486 and the other one was the more modern machine. I think Duke 3D didn’t run at full resolution on that 486, but it was still quite playable. I think the Pentium could play it at 800×600 even.March 1, 2018 at 1:40 pm in reply to: What a Game! aka. WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME _HOW_ GOOD IT IT?? #1185
The “humour” is indeed in very bad taste and hasn’t aged well at all, with all the sexism and stuff. It’s probably the biggest point of criticism you can have from a modern day perspective.
At the time, I liked DN3D’s graphics a lot more than Quake’s. I didn’t really understand the 3D stuff, it just looked like a bunch of triangles without any detail to me. Meanwhile, DN3D looks very crisp at 800×600.
I understand Quake’s aesthetic better now, but I still have a soft spot for Duke Nukem 3D.
Ok, I’ve finally managed to play for a night. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, but thanks to rnlf’s excellent guide I was at least able to drive around a bit.
I’ve actually made a bit of a profit trading stuff and I managed to buy a crane which I’ve used for mining.
So, not all bad, but now I’m looking for something to err… well… do, haha. Aren’t there quests and battles of some kind? Haven’t encountered those yet!
Hey man. I’m sorry, I don’t think we can help you. We’re a club of DOS game enthusiasts. Since EverQuest wasn’t released for MS-DOS, it’s not something we could cover.
This support forum is meant for people who have issues with this website, the podcast or anything else related to our activities.
Good luck getting help elsewhere!
I’ve been trying and retrying the final level forever now. It’s incredibly hard, because all of the other 3 players are attacking only you, not each other.
I’m not saying I’m giving up, but… I’m feeling quite hopeless about this.
So rnlf and I played a multiplayer game yesterday. We had planned for more people to join, but we soon learned… HOMM only supports 2 people playing over IPX 🙁 😀
It went quite well: no real technical issues and I won the game, haha. It took ages though. Even on the smallest map, we easily burnt through the entire evening like it was nothing.
Now apparently HOMM does support 4 people in hot seat mode. Maybe we can set up a VM which we can get into using VNC, like we did with Scorched Earth. The cool benefit of this would be that we could stream that game to Twitch. That could be fun!
Oooh, nice! Level 3 can actually be quite tricky, depending on how it unfolds. You might think you’re doing well and then one of the AIs suddenly finds the treasure and it’s game over. Good job on beating it!
Yeah, the different objectives are nice, but I think it’s just fighting to the death from here on out though, haha.
I believe there are 8 levels in total, in case you were wondering.
It’s definitely one of those “just one more turn” games where it’s suddenly 4 am and you don’t know what happened 😀
Did you manage to beat level 2?
I did beat level 5 yesterday and I’ve played a little bit of level 6. It’s tough as nails though, so I’ll probably have to restart it a few times to get a good one going. So far I’m just exploring the map, but I’m already getting beaten up quite badly by the other guy, who seems to send strong heroes to my home town right from the start 🙁
By the way – there really is only 1 campaign in the game. The only difference is your starting hero/town, but the maps & goals are the same between all the different lords you choose from the beginning.
I’m trying to beat the campaign using Lord Alamar (the warlock). I’m currently on mission 5 and it’s getting really quite challenging, so I’m not sure I’m actually able to finish the game. But I’m giving it my all!
So cool you’re getting into this while at first you thought you wouldn’t like it. That’s really what the club is about, finding those hidden gems you otherwise would have overlooked! 😀
Now I can tell you, I’ve been playing this game since forever and I’ve got the same experience as you, David. I mostly have 1 or 2 main heroes and some other ones for guarding cities. I’ve grown used to the popup asking whether I’m sure that I want to forfeit some of my movement points, but UX-wise it would be nice to be able to shut it off.
It doesn’t feel like I’m really waiting around a lot though. The flow for me typically is that I explore a lot in the beginning of the game, which is quite interesting. In the meantime, units build up in the towns I’m conquering. Then at some point, some enemies will pop-up and I’ll require reinforcements. What I often do is that I buy a “transport hero” in my most remote town and he will pick up units along the way until he reaches my main hero. He drops off the reinforcements and heads back home, and the main hero can continue his conquest.
After playing some more, I feel I need to add something to this thread: the fact there’s a big difference between an offensive and a defensive army.
When going out into the world, it helps to have an army that’s quick to take out any enemy you might encounter. So flying units are great to block off enemy ranged units for example.
But when defending one of your cities, I feel it’s a better strategy to have strong units that can take quite a beating. It doesn’t matter if they’re slow, because you can’t really go anywhere from your castle anyway.
Some of the units I wrote off initially, such as the dwarves or the hydras, are actually quite useful when defending. When a hole in the wall is created, they can move into the gap and block whatever comes through.
The castle’s archer is quite strong, so just hanging in there can really pay off. If you have a few strong ranged units as well, this is really all you need to effectively protect your town from danger.
Yeah, I like HOMM2 the most as well. Some of the graphics are copied over from 1, but they’ve replaced the worst ones with new, crisp, good looking images. And from HOMM2 on, the hero is on the battlefield, instead of that weird tent. What’s up with the tent? Are they carrying the tent at all times? Is that where they sleep?
I’ve played a lot over the past few days. The game is extremely similar to HOMM2 (which I’ve played a lot before), but there are some key differences.
The AI seems to be pretty aggressive and most of the maps allow fairly access to your starting city, which means that leaving it unguarded is quite dangerous. This means you can’t grow too quickly, or you will spread your resources too thin and you’ll end up unable to defend your kingdom.
The battle field is a lot smaller than later games and it’s a bit unclear how the underlying grid works exactly. You just have to move your cursor around and guess where you can go, which is not the greatest UX. I did get used to it however and it works reasonably well.
What’s really different is how magic works. There is no mana and instead the magic towers produce spells each week which your hero can collect when he visits town. So instead of running out of mana, you actually run out of certain spells. This makes me quite hesitant to use magic at all, because depending on a spell means I can’t use that spell in the future. It really becomes more of a last resort for me.
There are no monster upgrades, but there are more monsters types than there are slots, so you have to decide which units to bring along, just like in later games.
All in all this games has all the basic foundation in place on which the later games are based and it all works reasonably well. The game never crashed on me and I didn’t encounter any bugs or anything. It’s not as polished or feature rich as I’m used to, but still very very enjoyable to play!
Wow, great review, Pix! Well done. Congrats on beating the game too!
I agree the game does feel quite flawed, but there’s a certain charm to it as well. And since it’s a one man effort, it’s actually quite an impressive achievement, even though it does feel at times more like a children’s game than anything.
So much for our “spooky October” Halloween game, eh? Haha. Ah well, we might have something scarier next year 😀
Oh he moved to America? I didn’t know, that’s fairly interesting, especially to see it influencing his writing!
It is indeed truly amazing that your far away childhood heroes are just people on Twitter nowadays, haha. I remember sending Al Lowe (who made Leisure Suit Larry, amongst other things, at Sierra On-Line) an e-mail somewhere in the late 90s / early 00s and HE ACTUALLY SENT ME A REPLY! I’m still a bit psyched 😀
Is it just me or are the levels quite disorientating? I feel lost most of the time, haha. Having the minimap helps, but sadly you can’t have it on all the time. Which is in itself an interesting mechanic I suppose. Quite novel, I don’t think I’ve seen “temporary map” as a feature in other games.
I’ve managed to reach level 3 so far and found the magic wand. I’m not particularly into shooters, so I’m playing on easy, which I suppose removes a lot of what the game is actually about. But I’m having quite a good time nonetheless and I can’t wait to beat the episode!
It’s only because you guys talked about the “garden” area that I recognised it as such by the way, hahaha.
Yeah, rnlf also mentioned on IRC that the side-scrolling thing is a very significant step forward for DOS.
I never realised at the time that this is very different from how for example Prince of Persia or Another World/Out of this World work. To me, all these games played very similar and by comparison, Commander Keen definitely isn’t the best looking one.
I never was a big fan of the platformer genre in general, but thinking about it for a moment, I did play more DOS platformers than I thought I did. Apart from the already mentioned Prince of Persia and Another World, I especially enjoyed Blizzard’s Blackthorne, Jazz Jackrabbit and the Disney platformers (Aladdin and The Lion King). Those games can compete with the best console platformers imho, but of course they were released years later than Keen.
So even though Keen might not make the best first impression compared to contemporary games in the same genre, it did pave the way for scrolling DOS games. We have to respect that I suppose, haha.
I think that style of puzzly level design is known as “metroidvania” nowadays? I don’t know that much about platformers, but maybe Keen is too cheery to be considered one of those?
Either way, yeah I noticed it’s less straight-forward to find the exit than in for example Mario games. The whole keycard thing was later repeated in Wolfenstein and Doom. It’s funny to think that basically Wolfenstein is a 3D Keen, sort of 😀
Man, you are making some *excellent* progress! I think you’ve got all the spells there are in the game now. And you beat one of the main quests! Way to go! You’re rich 😀
So… any idea what’s next? I advise you to visit the bar in the town and have a good look near the stool. That might trigger a sequence of events that will bring you further along 🙂
Also, I have no idea about that centaur. Completely useless if you ask me, haha.
Oh yeah, that reminds me: there’s a super nice remake of Quest for Glory 2 made by fans that’s really worth checking out. You can get it completely for free and it’s super impressive. Also fully compatible with the character import/export stuff, which is pretty impressive if you ask me.
The same people made a King’s Quest 3 remake which I’ve also massively enjoyed. Really top notch stuff!
Awesome progress, dude!
By the way: you can empty a bottle that’s filled with potion by typing “drink [type] potion”. But I don’t think you can drink the water, weirdly.
I think focusing on the wizard’s game first is a good idea. There are actually two places where you can get the trigger spell. If you want a hint, let me know, I don’t want to spoil it for you. It’s not very hard once you know it, but that’s always the case isn’t it 😀
As for the quests… I think it’s probably best to focus on the ogre first? It’s really mainly a matter of leveling up your skills and you’ll be able to make more progress with him. Although there is an alternative to attacking him, which requires yet another spell you don’t have at this point. It’s not for sale, but you can find it somewhere in the forest. I would advise you to check out the important areas and do some searching around, I’m sure you can find it 🙂
Hey, super cool you’ve decided to join us, Pix! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it’s really nice you’ve touched on all of the DOS games in the series!
It would be great having you on the podcast, is that something you would be interested in?
I’m personally torn between the Magic User and the Thief. It’s not that I don’t like the Fighter, but I think he’s a bit… boring? He’s very strong, he solves problems by force and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it lacks a bit of cunning I personally prefer.
Choosing the Thief gives you a lock pick at the beginning of the game, which can be quite useful. The Magic User starts with the Zap spell, which is… not that great a spell to be honest 😀
So for QfG I would probably prefer a Thief with magic abilities over a Magic User with thieving skills. But during later games in the series, you can get some special spells if you are a Magic User, so if you want to play the entire series with the same character, picking this class might be interesting.
Another thing I just remembered that really helps: draw a map of the world as you explore it! It’s really useful later on to be able to travel in an efficient way. It’s also useful to know where to go when you’re in danger and need a safe spot to come to your senses.
And let’s be honest, it’s also loads of fun to draw maps on paper 😀
Haha, I think this is a typical first impression at this game, toasty 😀
It’s definitely a good idea to save often. That’s a thing in most Sierra games and QfG is no exception.
I think picking a magical thief is definitely one of the most interesting ways to play the game.
I’m currently playing the EGA version with a magic user character who has some thieving abilities, which is sort of the same thing 😀
Sorry for the delay! I’ve just taken my turn and left Dossington with a bright looking future!
Mayor Tijn is dedicated to making Dossington “a more liveable city”, as was promised during his campaign. In order to realise this, action is immediately undertaken:
* The fire department is reorganised to run more efficiently, saving 50% of its budget for better uses.
* An anti-drug campaign is started to help the kids of Dossington reach their potential.
* Pollution controls are mandated, so the citizens of Dossington can breathe freely.
* Taxes are increased by 1% across the board to fix the city’s empty treasury.
* A police station is built near the bridge between Stinky and Riverside
* A fire station and hospital are built in Windy Bottom
* There is an on-going lack of power in Dossington, but the funds are lacking to fix this issue properly. Because the city generates enough income, a $10,000 bond is issued at 6% to make sure the necessary developments can be implemented for the benefit of all citizens.
* The funds are used to build a significant number of hydro plants, providing cheap, clean and durable energy for the city.
* A grade school is built in Hillview
* A great number of water pumps are built near the Micropolis lake. Both the electrical and water issues of Dossington are hereby sorted for years to come.
* To meet the great demand for housing, additional residential zones are placed in Windy Bottom
* As demand for housing remains high, it’s clear the city needs to expand. Beyond the Windy Tops & Bottom area is suitable area, but it’s hard to reach because of the hills in between. An ambitious project is started to build a tunnel that allows to access the area beyond the hills, to allow future development and expansion of the city.
* A glorious tunnel is built to allow “Grand Valley” to be developed into the expansion the city so desperately need!
Yearly income: $1185
Approval rating: 64%
I’ve tried several games on “medium”, but found it was hard to get good momentum.
Since then I’ve tried 2 games on “easy” that were both very successful, so I suppose there is a real difference between the two modes.
I’m not trying “hard” until I’m comfortable with “medium”, haha 😀
Oh no, I made rnlf’s mistake too D: I thought the game started in 1911 so I had to play until 1915, but I started in 1910, so I played for 6 years by accident :'(
Here’s a report of what happened:
* In response to the high demand of industrial zoning, a new industrial area will be created across the river. It will be known as: “Riverside Modern Industry”
* The lake in the middle of the new industrial area will be redesigned in order to use the land area more efficiently
* Riverside project phase 1: building a bridge across the river and laying a ring road
* To finance this project, Industry and Commerce taxation will be increased by 1% (to 7% and 8% respectively)
* A small park is built between Stinky Place Industrial and Old Town
* Phase 2 of the Riverside Modern Industry project is initialised: water pipes & electricity lines are put into place
* Because of the lasting demand in Commerce, a 1% Sales Tax is introduced to help finance further development in this type of zoning in the future
* An unfortunate water shortage is reported
* To combat the water shortage, 3 new water pumps have been built. After inspecting the water network, it turned out an area in Hillside was not connected to the water network, a serious oversight of previous administrations. Mayor Tijn has restored the network, which was likely the cause of the shortage.
* Riverside project phase 3: industrial zoning of the new area is underway, despite significant funds having been used for the redundant water pumps instead.
* The Riverside Modern Industrial project is completed
* Additional industry zones are assigned in Hillside
* In response to rising demand in Residential zones, additional space for housing is designated between the Old Town & Hillview area
* The new Residential zone between Old Town & Hillview is finalised
* At the people’s request, a small park is added to the new residential zone as well
* Commercial & Industrial taxation is lowered by 1% to respectively 7% and 6% to allow growth in these areas
* The new Residential zone is slightly expanded. Also a City Hall and Mayor’s House are added to the area
* To keep the crime rate low, a Neighbourhood Watch Program is instated
* A 1% Income Tax is implemented to pay for the additional services the city is providing
End of 1915 status:
Yearly income: $716
Projected income for 1916: $762
Sorry again for governing an extra year!
I think it’s fine if the level 5 times are pushed down to be honest. If a level 3 time is faster, it’s only fair it’s placed above a level 5 time.
The level is still mentioned with each entry, so if you’re interested in the best level 5 times, you can look them up, right?
I just realised the other day that the spinning out mechanic of GPC is one of the things that makes this game kinda cool. I understand the feedback isn’t really there, so you can’t tell when it will happen, which doesn’t make it a great simulation game. But it does provide a nice upper limit to prevent going max speed into a corner. It is precisely because it’s kind of hard to predict, that it makes the game quite exciting.
Especially in the McLaren, if you’re pushing for good lap times, over trying to overtake another car before a corner, being scared of spinning out is what provides the thrill, I feel 😀
Well first of all, maybe we as drivers are at fault? Hm? But yeah, it does seem that the Ferrari allows for a fairly quick lap time to be set relatively easily. Possibly because of the superior handling, even a novice can get it ’round the track without too much trouble.
Doing the same thing in a McLaren or Williams takes more effort, but once you succeed, chances are the times will be quicker because of their higher speeds.
Maybe that explains it?
I don’t think the Ferrari is the worst car exactly. Especially for racing against the AI, I quite like it for its ability to overtake around corners. But maybe it’s not the best for setting quick lap times, even on the bendy streets of Monaco or Detroit.
That being said, the scoreboard is just a snapshot of course. Maybe tomorrow Ferrari will be at #1 everywhere!
As for me, the game is pretty much how I remember it from back when I played it as a kid. The game is rather basic, but offers just enough variety to keep you busy for a while. Main difference between now and back then, is that I always used to play on the easiest difficulty, where as now it’s quite the opposite and I’m always playing on level 5. I suppose these 25 years weren’t for nothing, as I’ve acquired some racing skills which I was lacking back then, hehe 😛
At first I was enjoying doing championships quite a bit. It’s not that easy to get yourself through qualifying and a race without hurting yourself, so that’s a nice challenge. Winning a championship doesn’t mean you have to win all races. In fact, you don’t have to win any races, as long as you score more points than anyone else in the end. Combined with the save/load feature, it’s quite doable, even though it can be quite challenging at first to make sure you don’t crash out, because a single contact with another car will mean the end of the race.
After a while, you start to notice however that the AI isn’t actually that good. Once you know a track by heart, it’s not that hard to get a pole position. And once you start on the first row of the grid, a race win is almost guaranteed. So after a while, racing the AI gets old and loses its appeal, because the fun (at least to me) is mostly in overtaking, which doesn’t happen if you’re at the front 😀
I feel the scoreboard does give the game a lot of extra replayability though, because now you’re not competing against dumb AIs, but against real humans. There aren’t a lot of things I enjoy as much in gaming as it is racing against other people. Even though we are only doing time trials (sadly GPC has no multiplayer racing features), beating someone’s time still feels much more exciting to me than winning from any AI.
My main complaint now is that I wish the game would give me better access to the built-in scoreboard. It only seems to appear after a session, but there’s no way to access it directly?
Otherwise GPC seems to be a pretty solid racer, especially for the time. Of course the format has since been massively improved upon, and I must say I enjoy some other racing games from that era such as Test Drive II quite a bit more, but still. To me, the few things that GPC offers are well done and still quite enjoyable.
I just did 5 laps on Italy in the Williams and the engine was fine. Weird!
I have trouble getting it above 10k revs in 6th gear. When it’s in 5th and approaching the red zone at about 12k, I shift up and it falls back to about 9k RPM. Then it climbs up super slowly to about 10k and then I’m at a corner where I lose speed.
Haha, yeah the McLaren has the best straight-line speed, so it works well for high speed circuits such as Italy and Germany. But for more bendy circuits such as Monaco or Detroit, the Ferrari performs much better because it can maintain a higher speed around the corners.
I’ve just set the best time for Canada in a Williams, but I don’t know if that time can’t be beaten in a McLaren. I’m not very impressed by the Williams so far 😛
I’ll have to try the Williams more to say something sensible about it. I never pick it because for each track, I’m trying to guess if I need straight line speed or cornering ability. And in my mind, the Williams offers neither really 😀
It’s pretty realistic though. Ok, 7 seconds is a lot, but in real F1 there are huge differences on tracks like Monza, because some cars are tuned for straight line speed and others for cornering. It’s hard to achieve both when designing a racing car, because they sort of oppose each other.
I don’t think Italy is the only track where McLaren has a clear advantage. Germany and Canada come to mind, they’re also both high-speed circuits just like Italy.
To win the championship, you don’t have to win each race. You don’t even have to win a single race 🙂
Ok, turns out keeping a scoreboard on a forum doesn’t really work.
So I’ve made a thing. Lo and behold: the official DOS Game Club Grand Prix Circuit Scoreboard!
I’ve posted my 2 best times for Brazil & Monaco (I have screenshots as proof). I’ll post more times as I get them. I hope you guys will too!April 4, 2017 at 9:31 am in reply to: [DONE!] Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons #221
Great suggestion! I’ve never really played these games. I remember other kids being really into them, but I never really understood the appeal. All the more reason to revisit it now!
Yeah, the game is surprisingly hard to get into (on the highest difficulty level at least) because it’s quite unforgiving. As you say, touching someone else or over-revving for a short while will mean the end if your race immediately.
But now that I’ve been playing for a while, I’m getting quite used to it. The key is concentration, I think. If you play the game casually while not paying attention, it’s very easy to make a mistake. But if you really focus, it’s actually quite doable 🙂
Also the fact you can freely save/load during a championship is a massive help. And of course you don’t have to win all races in the season to end up on top, so all in all it’s not as hard as you might think it is at first.
I think lap times per circuit would be the most interesting thing to compare.
There’s also the total amount of points in the championship, but as you can save/load as you please, getting the maximum number of points in a season is easier than you might think.
So all in all, despite it being the slowest on paper, I really like driving the Ferrari.
I’ve managed to get pretty good lap times with the Ferrari, and I think the handling also enables overtaking around corners more doable.
The McLaren is my 2nd choice, as the speed is simply unmatched.
To me, the Williams is the least interesting car available. I wouldn’t know why I would pick that one over either the Ferrari or the McLaren 😀
Oh yeah, this is a great suggestion! I played it extensively back in the day, but I don’t know if I ever finished it properly. I do remember moving to lots of cities, so maybe I did? But it was great fun nonetheless and I would love to play it again!
I would like to play it in 3Dfx / Glide mode if that’s possible. But maybe software rendering isn’t as bad as I remember it, haha.
Ooooh, I’m impressed! I’m still stuck at Episode 2, and really struggling at Ultra-Violence difficulty. One setting lower is a lot more manageable for me, so maybe I’ll finish it like that.
But you’re using the mouse! I’ll just have to hold onto that to not feel like a failure 😀
Ok, we managed a successful multiplayer session yesterday with sorceress, toasty, dollarone and myself \o/
We played the first level of the first episode and despite notable difficulties it was actually quite fun! And congrats to sorceress for winning the game, with 11 frags 😀
The problem with this though, as kdrnic pointed out on IRC, is that Doom is not intended to played over the internet at all. It synchronises the game on each frame and waits until it’s full synced before moving on to the next frame. That means the framerate is effectively equal to the highest ping between any two players. As you can imagine, with members spanning across the globe, this leads to a less than ideal experience.
Nonetheless we got it to work and despite everything, it was also pretty fun. I had a big smile on my face the whole time, so well done everyone!
Yeah, DOS shareware is awesome 😀 I remember these discs that came with magazines as well, some of them contained dozens of games. Just trying each one was a fun activity in itself.
And wow, that version of Lode Runner looks a lot better than the version I used to play!
Yeah, I’m with you there, sorceress. Episode 1 really got me hooked, but Episode 2 doesn’t do so much for me.
It’s just room after room, killing more and more monsters. And since there’s no story either, there’s really not a lot making me want to progress.
I’m a bit sad about it, because I was really into Episode 1.
One feature that makes Street Rod a really great game is the fact you don’t simply click “upgrade” if you want a better engine or gear box, you actually have to open the right part of the car, disconnect the cables, unscrew the screws, remove the old parts and put the new parts in.
This is a bit of work (and you better make sure the new parts fit your car!), which makes for great immersion. You really feel like a skilled mechanic once you’ve mastered this stuff 😀
Oooh, I’m all for this! I love C&C. After having played Dune II, the automatic resource gathering felt like such a step in the right direction. And the FMVs in between the missions are epic as well.
I think there are a lot of Warcraft fans as well though. Especially Warcraft II was a very good RTS game and released around the same time as C&C was released.
I’m not aware of a lot of other DOS RTSes to be honest, outside of these two series I mean. I think “Z” is one, but I’ve never played it. Other notable series, such as StarCraft, Total Annihilation or Age of Empires were all released for Windows, not for DOS.
If anyone knows an obscure, but good RTS game for DOS, I’m very much interested!
Ha, pretty novel having separate strafe keys, sorceress 😀
I had my own control scheme for a while as well, but not for the likes of Doom, where I thought the default controls were fine.
When I first started to play mouse-based FPSes however, I didn’t feel comfortable with WASD and instead desired the ability to control my character full with my right hand. So I mapped the right mouse button to walking forward, so I could walk, shoot & turn all with the mouse. I then used various keys on the keyboard for strafing left/right, jumping, walking backwards and other things.
I played at least 2 or 3 games like this before I caved and finally accepted WASD, haha.
> It seems counterintuitive to make the game easier in later playthroughs, but it also allows to pass the earlier parts of a game quicker so that you can reach the missions you haven’t played yet with less wasted time on areas you already know very well. I wonder if this is intended as a method to compensate for the lack of saving one’s game.
Well, as you’ve probably figured out by now, you can actually save your game in Doom. Haha.
But it’s an interesting point nonetheless! I do wonder as well if it was intentionally designed like this, but nevertheless it does have the effect you describe. New players aren’t held back by the lack of secrets found, so it’s pretty cool all in all!
So the backstory actually makes sort of sense. You’re on this remote research base where some experiment went haywire and now a portal opened and demons are pouring out.
So far, so good.
But what’s up with the evil soldiers then? Why are they the enemy? Aren’t they the good guys? Are they possessed by the demons? They look pretty much like normal humans, don’t they?
Yeah, an overarching story seems to be way more important in more modern games than it is in Doom.
I’m only realising this now, but I suppose the type of game that Doom is developed into more multiplayer-focused games (Quake, Unreal Tournament, Counterstrike, Overwatch). These games have more in common with Doom I feel than titles with a big single player campaign such as Half-Life or Bioshock or Far Cry.
I think Doom was somewhat popular to play over LAN at the time, but I’m not sure how feasible online multiplayer was back in 1993. Does Doom even support multiplayer over modem or something?
Wow, that link. That’s really cool! I had no idea. This is what you get from always playing pirated copies I suppose, haha.
So the backstory to Doom actually exists and it’s also remarkably detailed! Although it wasn’t uncommon in those days to include loads of backstory to the manual, it’s still a bit surprising they thought about all this stuff and then basically… put none of it in the game itself, lol.
For me personally, playing Doom feels a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I did play some Doom back in the day, but after having played *a lot* of Wolfenstein 3D it felt kinda the same to me at the time. I also didn’t like the darker atmosphere as much, so I never really got into it.
I’ve never really revisited the game since then, although being such a classic title, it does come up from time to time in discussions and articles and whatnot. I’ve always felt a bit “meh” about the original Doom because it didn’t click with me right away when it came out.
So to much of my surprise, playing it now for DOS Game Club, I was actually having loads of fun with it! I don’t mind the darkness as much now for some reason. It’s not as scary to me as an adult, maybe that’s part of why I’m enjoying it more.
I can also appreciate the level design and flow of the game more than I could back then. I sailed through the first few levels of the first episode quite smoothly and felt the urge to keep playing, so that’s pretty good I suppose! I hope the difficulty will ramp up somewhat in later levels, but I’m sure being an oldschool game that will be no problem. And there’s always the difficulty setting which I can increase of course.
Imagine that, Doom is actually pretty cool. Who knew? I didn’t 😀