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Reply 40 of 62, by Bruninho

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RandomStranger wrote on 2021-12-20, 10:35:

It used to be the case, but moving back to them today, performance is a non-issue. If you don't care about real hardware, just about any PC can run games maxed out up until about 2006-2008 and entry level gaming rigs about 2015-2016. That's what moving back to old games means.

Yes, exactly my point, I was talking about current gen modern hardware, not the hardware of that era. Back then I could play anything I want, without any problem, now to play this or that I need to buy this or that, get that DLC, buy that new NVIDIA/AMD gpu... the same thing every year and after every new game version release... I got fed up of this. So I built virtual machines to play my old games in peace (and for the peace of my wallet).

Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-12-20, 05:48:

As mentioned before, I hate modern AAA games because they are filled with DLCs, micro transactions, loot boxes, season passes and similar crap. Basically, most games made today are designed to squeeze out as much money as possible from people. In contrast, old games were designed to be fun to play, nothing more.

Agreed. I have an additional reason to hate them (requirements for newer hardware), but Kids playing Fortnite or PUBG or whatever they call it will never know it, because they spend a lot of time (and money) buying skins and stuff inside the game, instead of playing the game itself...

"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.
READ: Right to Repair sucks and is illegal!

Reply 41 of 62, by creepingnet

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Bruninho wrote on 2021-12-20, 15:21:

Agreed. I have an additional reason to hate them (requirements for newer hardware), but Kids playing Fortnite or PUBG or whatever they call it will never know it, because they spend a lot of time (and money) buying skins and stuff inside the game, instead of playing the game itself...

(raises hand) - Guilty. And I'm almost 40. That's one reason I don't play "The Sims" games as much anymore because I never actually played a campaign of growing up and raising a family.....I just loaded my guy with Simoleans and went on a Serial building spree with downloaded goods....filling all the lots with whatever building my imagination and what not came up with that day. Robot Arena 2 was another one I Did that a lot with as well....actually, I'd try and build the most over-done and ridiculous bots ever just to glitch the engine and cause all kinds of havoc in the havok engine.......flying CRT TVs with light sabers that played the CTW ending theme from Sesame Street, giant mechanical lobsters with so many blades winning a match was basically just press "A" And go to town shredding anything that moves. When it came to being a good "player" I was awful though with more standard bots.

When the wife saw a friend of ours playing Minecraft, she said "You're not getting that!", 🤣. Because she knew next thing I'd be doing is building and building and building.

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Reply 42 of 62, by Bruninho

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I'm also almost 40. I used to play racing games and paint some skins for cars and open wheel formulas with Paint (GP2/GP3) and Photoshop (GP4 onwards). I didn't had to pay for it, I painted them all by myself, downloaded car sets for each season because it was a great community sharing its work to play between themselves. A BIG community. Be it Grand Prix series, or rFactor...

Now you have to pay for a track or a car on iRacing... pay for a skin in a mobile F1 game on my phone... Seriously... Kids don't have the chance to learn creativity skills for their own skins?

This skill has helped me to learn tricks with Photoshop and design, which ultimately led to my career as a Frontend Web Designer (now UI/UX Designer) with Adobe X D. Apparently these kids will just learn that if they don't know how to do it, buy it...

EDIT: Recently, I found an old website about Grand Prix 2 still up online (!!!!!) and one of my first cars I had painted is still there. Amazing. I think I did it around 1999.

"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.
READ: Right to Repair sucks and is illegal!

Reply 43 of 62, by creepingnet

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Bruninho wrote on 2021-12-20, 18:58:
I'm also almost 40. I used to play racing games and paint some skins for cars and open wheel formulas with Paint (GP2/GP3) and P […]
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I'm also almost 40. I used to play racing games and paint some skins for cars and open wheel formulas with Paint (GP2/GP3) and Photoshop (GP4 onwards). I didn't had to pay for it, I painted them all by myself, downloaded car sets for each season because it was a great community sharing its work to play between themselves. A BIG community. Be it Grand Prix series, or rFactor...

Now you have to pay for a track or a car on iRacing... pay for a skin in a mobile F1 game on my phone... Seriously... Kids don't have the chance to learn creativity skills for their own skins?

This skill has helped me to learn tricks with Photoshop and design, which ultimately led to my career as a Frontend Web Designer (now UI/UX Designer) with Adobe X D. Apparently these kids will just learn that if they don't know how to do it, buy it...

EDIT: Recently, I found an old website about Grand Prix 2 still up online (!!!!!) and one of my first cars I had painted is still there. Amazing. I think I did it around 1999.

You have a point. I used to make my own skins for my Sims, not just with tools, but with GiMP and earlier, I think I got away with grafx-II in DOS. Also did that for NASCAR 2 and racer.nl (wanted a Turquoise fox body Mustang, so I reskinned an 88' GT). I tried to do this with RA2 a few times as well with varied success.

I don't think the creativity is all dead though, for as toxic as the Five Nights at Freddy's community tends to be it seems to have really spawned a lot of Fan Games, both cringey but some so excellent they could count as an official release. Those kids are actually doing 3D renders, something I tried to do for racer (render a 1994 Ford Explorer Sport 2 door) and failed. I spent maybe 4 hours and a tutorial just getting half the body done to do a low-poly-count Explorer. That's maybe one of the few modern games I like, but it seems they might eventually go down the DLC rabbit-hole as well before too much longer. Already now being made by a studio instead of Scott himself.

That said, that's another thing I'm not really into about newer games is massive, convoluted, fancy-scmancy lore. The beauty of that first FNaF Game was that you did not know everything, and you were not supposed to. That's what made it scarier IMHO because you did not know who, what, or why these darned things are roaming the building, at least not the truth about why. That made it all the more immersive and believable.....are they possessed? Malfuncitoning? Or is this someone's autophobic nightmare? Now there's this whole mess of a lore everyone argues about involving dead kids, a purple guy, some guy named Henry, some guy named Afton, a chick in a rabbit suit.....and it just goes on and on.

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
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Reply 44 of 62, by Bruninho

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Most of my friends are more concerned about graphics realism than game physics, storyline or whatever. "Oh look even the grass is moving with the wind on track". That's nice, but when Codemasters F1 game is all about graphics but zero simulation physics, tyre grip and so on, this is not a good Formula One game. The AI drivers did improve, but they're still far from GP4 (2001) AI drivers perfection. Geoff Crammond mastered it early in GP1/GP2 at MicroProse before it was handed to Hasbro (GP3) and InfoGrames (GP4).

I used Photoshop to paint the skins for the cars and GP4 also had a great tool called ZModeler where I could load the cars in near 3D to see how it would look in game. Not actually accurate, but a very good idea of where I was going with the liveries.

GP2/GP3 had the great Car Editor from Paul Hoad I think. Indeed, the late 90's and early 2000's were my most creative moment for game skinning, not only Grand Prix series, but also FIFA series, painting some team kits and crowd flags or stadium textures, for FIFA 98 and FIFA 99. I remember that we had a patch from a website named FIFA Latinoamerica, called FIFA 99 Libertadores Cup with the biggest south american tournament. I tried to find it to play again, but unfortunately the patch is gone. I had hoped for Internet Archive to have it but no luck. The link is there but the file isn't.

Nowadays, I don't feel like doing all that work again (game skinning) but eventually I want to do it again in the future. These were the best games I have ever played. So, for me, best era was 1996-2002.

"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.
READ: Right to Repair sucks and is illegal!

Reply 45 of 62, by Shreddoc

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The whole Skins thing, I dunno.

See, I remember back in the early 90's. Having a 286 and a set of basic games. Having to "CD" and "DIR" around the command prompt. Gradually picking up what everything meant. What an EXE file is. A text file. A sound file. A sprite.

Before long, your 14yo self looks at Golden Axe's files,

axe.png
Filename
axe.png
File size
24.54 KiB
Views
504 views
File license
Public domain

... and muses, 'hmm, !what-if-I! swap the dwarf sprite file with the dragon sprite file - might that magically let me play as a dragon?'. So you write a simple batch file, and it's inverse to restore. @ECHO OFF / CLS* / C: / CD\GAMES\GOLDAXE / REN DWARF.SPR DWARF.OLD / COPY DRAGON.SPR DWARF.SPR *because it's imperative that the screen be clear while the rest of your batch file runs, right guys?!

And wow, suddenly here I am rocking fireballs in Golden Axe at home. Thus beginning a tour through the entire cast, playing as every character from Amazons to Death Adder himself.

It didn't add anything to the game beyond the excitement of "hacking" (lol) and the novelty of wandering around overpowered and thwacking everything in sight. And in a way, it highlighted to me very early on how.. shallow.. the notion of simply swapping skins in a game is. How it's a thin veneer over the notion of simply "swapping graphic files", and that it has little bearing on a game, and should certainly not be a key element imo.

But then, we are all products of our own generations, are we not?

Reply 46 of 62, by creepingnet

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Shreddoc wrote on 2021-12-20, 21:39:
The whole Skins thing, I dunno. […]
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The whole Skins thing, I dunno.

See, I remember back in the early 90's. Having a 286 and a set of basic games. Having to "CD" and "DIR" around the command prompt. Gradually picking up what everything meant. What an EXE file is. A text file. A sound file. A sprite.

Before long, your 14yo self looks at Golden Axe's files,
axe.png

... and muses, 'hmm, !what-if-I! swap the dwarf sprite file with the dragon sprite file - might that magically let me play as a dragon?'. So you write a simple batch file, and it's inverse to restore. @ECHO OFF / CLS* / C: / CD\GAMES\GOLDAXE / REN DWARF.SPR DWARF.OLD / COPY DRAGON.SPR DWARF.SPR *because it's imperative that the screen be clear while the rest of your batch file runs, right guys?!

And wow, suddenly here I am rocking fireballs in Golden Axe at home. Thus beginning a tour through the entire cast, playing as every character from Amazons to Death Adder himself.

It didn't add anything to the game beyond the excitement of "hacking" (lol) and the novelty of wandering around overpowered and thwacking everything in sight. And in a way, it highlighted to me very early on how.. shallow.. the notion of simply swapping skins in a game is. How it's a thin veneer over the notion of "swapping graphic files" and that it has little bearing on a game, and should certainly not be a key element.

That's actually where I started as well. At first it was because my sister bought Freddy Pharkas Frontier Pharmacist for her college computer (386) and I wanted to play the game though she was unwilling to let me because she was afraid it was inapropriate for a 10 year old. And of course the day I figure out what .EXE means is also the day she happened to have the game saved on the part with Freddy and Madame in bed, 🤣.

On a similar note that's how I learned what resource files were. When I put together my first decent Windows machine in 2001 (486 DX-33) I was also given a huge box of 5.25" floppy diskettes as well. Among those was one listed as "Spoker"...well, when I did a DIR /W to find the executable/batch/command to start the game, what did I find but a row of *.PIC files with girls names and a number.......so I reversed the name5.pic and the name1.pic....turns out uh....the game was quite "revealing" if I do say so myself, 🤣.

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
Creepingnet's World - https://creepingnet.neocities.org/

Reply 47 of 62, by sf78

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Early 90's PC. It was a time when games got "better". Graphics were improving year by year, so was audio and complexity of games. In a way, a transition from old 8- and 16-bit home computers and game consoles to serious gaming with ton of different genres and limitless possibilities.

Reply 48 of 62, by Shreddoc

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Perhaps the initial, technical barriers-to-entry were higher back then, too. Resulting in a relatively high concentration of technical prowess driving the PC scene forward during it's critical sophomore decade. But as growing complexity entailed ever-increasing abstraction, compared with the DOS years of more direct access and manipulation of hardware, the nature of the scene inevitably morphed in some respects. Especially in concert with the initial on-ramps to home computing lowering, with the advent of the ubiquitous all-encompassing GUIs that defined home computing from 1995 onwards.

Reply 49 of 62, by shamino

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Game consoles: Late 80s
I love late 80s NES games, especially those in the adventure genre. I was never so obsessed with new games as I was when I starting seeing stuff like Goonies II, Legend of Zelda, Rygar, etc. People often complain about adventure games of this period being cryptic, but the mysterious nature of these games contributed to the obsession I think. Wandering the map and hoping to make a new discovery wasn't tedious, it was riveting (to me anyway).
As adventure games "matured" they started telegraphing information to the player so that everybody was guaranteed to solve them but they also lost some of that sense of mystery.

PC: 1990s (hard to be any more specific)
I had a Genesis, but from 1992-94 I was losing interest in console games and getting drawn into the complexity of PC games. Consoles couldn't touch them.
By the mid-90s my family had a decent PC and consoles were dead for me. I didn't have 3D acceleration in the 90s, but that wasn't as universal or mandatory as people sometimes think nowadays.
1990s had so many great PC games, I doubt I'll ever be able to experience them all.

In the early 2000s I stopped caring about new games, though later I discovered Morrowind which might be my favorite game of all time.
One of the reasons I love it is because of it's old fashioned presentation, which some consider obtuse/cryptic. It's like a 1990s PC RPG on a much more powerful platform, and as such is a high water mark that will never be revisited (unless the Rules of Modern Game Design change an awful lot).
As adventures/RPGs get more "refined", they make the mistake of becoming too obvious, generic, and less interesting.

In a similar vein, my favorite post-2000 console game is Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land on PS2, which is an "outdated" throwback style of dungeon crawler with the power of a PS2 enhancing the experience.
It's the last console game that I got deeply into playing and finished. But it wasn't well received because it wasn't like Final Fantasy.

Reply 50 of 62, by BitWrangler

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shamino wrote on 2021-12-22, 12:18:

People often complain about adventure games of this period being cryptic,

I get salty when there's illogical crap, like having to pick up a gold bar with a magnet.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 51 of 62, by 386SX

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Something that make me think about the modern game era is that everytimes I see modern games released they looks like clones of something already released n times before and immediately get that boring feeling even before reading the back cover description not to mention buying a new game console/PC to see the 'same game' already seen decades before. I can't remember the early 80's videogames crysis but I suppose lack of ideas had something to do with it? Do you think nowdays this market is close to that situation?

Last edited by 386SX on 2021-12-22, 15:59. Edited 4 times in total.

Reply 53 of 62, by BitWrangler

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386SX wrote on 2021-12-22, 15:56:

Something that make me think about the modern game era is that everytimes I see modern games released they looks like clones of something already released n times before

That's because it's all mega budget now and the finance guys only approve projects that are clones of things that made money.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 54 of 62, by 386SX

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-12-22, 16:05:
386SX wrote on 2021-12-22, 15:56:

Something that make me think about the modern game era is that everytimes I see modern games released they looks like clones of something already released n times before

That's because it's all mega budget now and the finance guys only approve projects that are clones of things that made money.

I understand this. Also I suppose "videogaming" depends much on the time factor that can't be stopped and while some might think to buy a new game console or to build a new PC to actually play videogames, these are still oriented to people that didn't actually lived or know much about the old times when the same games existed and sometimes better versions. I suppose for me modern videogaming is gone forever since decades. I still read about how much modern games improve gfx rendering and would like sometime to try new games but I'm sure I'd get bored after some minutes. I can still find some patience for retro games even if I'd need a more relaxed period to really focus into videogames and this pandemic period changed a lot of things in everydays life.

Reply 55 of 62, by Caluser2000

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Late '80s early '90s for me.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 56 of 62, by creepingnet

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386SX wrote on 2021-12-22, 15:56:

Something that make me think about the modern game era is that everytimes I see modern games released they looks like clones of something already released n times before and immediately get that boring feeling even before reading the back cover description not to mention buying a new game console/PC to see the 'same game' already seen decades before. I can't remember the early 80's videogames crysis but I suppose lack of ideas had something to do with it? Do you think nowdays this market is close to that situation?

I think a lot of it is cash-grabbery. People have always been a bit greedy, and in any form of "art" there's some aspiriing business mogul who decides if they follow the trends they will make tons of money, and get to retire with an ivory tower and a Ferrari. That's a big reason for the glut of Pac-Man clones back then, and the reason there's so many FPS franchises now. Everyone wants to be a Taito or id Software.

Back then, it was clones of Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Defender, Asteroids, Pitfall,.....

Today it's a glut of Doom/Quake/Halo style FPS, a bunch of Postal/GTA style Sandbox stuff, and then you have an interesting twist in the indie side with all the freebie and low-cost Five Nights at Freddy's clones....that last one brings up an interesting other motive in that they are fairly easy games to recreate or make variations of, spawning another generation fo developers, much like what Nirvana did for rock music, which spawned Nu-Metal a decade later.

And with indie games, when they get absorbed into a AAA franchise, what happens is they become more and more like the mainstream material they deviated from that made them popular. Take a look at "Security Breach" that just came out, it's basically an FPS wth point'n'click graphical adventure elements and a couple scenarios referencing the survival horror genre that started.....a lot of the same strategies that work in DOOM or Duke Nukem 3D work in that game, as well as those from Monkey Island or the first 2-3 games. Basically, it gets so much of the ho hum norm tacked onto the new genre that it fails to look any different than your regular humdrum FPS or platformer that's been around for decades eventually. Even Dragon Quest is hung up on recreating the SNES RPG style on their older titles in recreation, when I actually liked the NES art style more.

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
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Reply 58 of 62, by 386SX

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creepingnet wrote on 2021-12-22, 17:05:

Today it's a glut of Doom/Quake/Halo style FPS, a bunch of Postal/GTA style Sandbox stuff, and then you have an interesting twist in the indie side with all the freebie and low-cost Five Nights at Freddy's clones....that last one brings up an interesting other motive in that they are fairly easy games to recreate or make variations of, spawning another generation fo developers, much like what Nirvana did for rock music, which spawned Nu-Metal a decade later.

And with indie games, when they get absorbed into a AAA franchise, what happens is they become more and more like the mainstream material they deviated from that made them popular. Take a look at "Security Breach" that just came out, it's basically an FPS wth point'n'click graphical adventure elements and a couple scenarios referencing the survival horror genre that started.....a lot of the same strategies that work in DOOM or Duke Nukem 3D work in that game, as well as those from Monkey Island or the first 2-3 games. Basically, it gets so much of the ho hum norm tacked onto the new genre that it fails to look any different than your regular humdrum FPS or platformer that's been around for decades eventually. Even Dragon Quest is hung up on recreating the SNES RPG style on their older titles in recreation, when I actually liked the NES art style more.

I understand this. And I think only newer developers that like in the 80's start their job/passion from zero might release again something that use modern tech but with some new idea that focus into being something really new just to exist and not (at least not at first) as a job itself. I suppose the old "single person" company can't do much nowdays but passion for an idea might give that force to do impossible things like sometimes real artists did even before thinking to what they would become in the market thank to their creations. For example let's look at the recent Sonic port on the C64, something that beside the requirements is an incredible result I suppose just as a passion. Or for example I remember decades ago those old style text-only adventure games where the brain imagination had to work to define those software "videogames" considering they were more like a book than a game, but I remember one that was really well written (the software had to understand well the input words/command to move around the character in the game) and I ended up finishing it after many hours spent into it; it wasn't easy but at the end incredible. Considering I still remember it as a great videogaming experience for a msdos text only game it's incredible what can be done with basically zero graphic and still giving all the usual videogaming emotions/feelings.

Reply 59 of 62, by appiah4

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Wall of text incoming, but TLDR; version is: "1995-2000"

Long version: My knee jerk reaction to this question is to yell "486 days!" (1990-1994) then wonder whether I am doing the Amiga days a disservice more or not. However, when I sit down and actually start making a list of retro games I really want to play today, to my surprise it turns out that 586/686 era (1995-2000) is where the games I want to go back to most are. I think this is because, if you take off the rose tinted glasses, a lot of Pre-1995 games did not age well at all. Even the games I remember enjoying immensely back in the day can really shock me with how much of an uphill struggle it is to 'play' them today. Here are some prime issues I have:

Adventure Games (Sierra in particular):
I can't really understand how I actually managed to 'enjoy' these, particularly the early ones . The trial and error gameplay is only part of the issue, but what absolutely kills it for me are the game states where you are forever stuck without even knowing. I install them on every single retro PC I build and I never play them. Even the ones I didn't play back in the day and want to try out (like the Laura Bow games etc.) grind my gears in no time.
RPGs: I basically devoured these back in the day but the design philosophy that basically relies on a core combat loop, sheer amount of grind and a shit ton of random encounters just doesn't work for me anymore. Moreover they tend to have insufferable UI and inventory management (Ultima VI&VII I am looking at you) or unbearable controls (Ultima Underworld, go stand in a corner) etc.
Strategy Games: The issue with most of these games (like Civ or Dune II for example) is that they were simply improved in every single way (particularly UI and AI) by their sequels and it's painful to go back.
Action/Platform Games: The PC was never a good platform for these in my opinion. They were not very good back in the day and they are basically attrocious by today's standards. I don't know of a single PC game of this genre that I enjoyed other than Prince of Persia.
Early 3D: I know some people like this but 320x200 early 3D graphics look like shit in most games. I adored things like Magic Carpet, Terminal Velocity and System Shock back in the day but today when I try to replay them, particularly on a fixed resolution LCD with upsampling, it looks like utter shit. Moreover, pre WASD movement games make me want to break my own fingers..

That is not to say there are no games that basically perfected their genre in that time frame, there are. Yet, even those games are often better enjoyed on 1995+ hardware anyway.

So ultimately, for me it is 1995-2000. Strangely enough, it is not the period I am most nostalgic for, but it is the period from when the games are still the most fun to me.

Last edited by appiah4 on 2021-12-23, 12:16. Edited 1 time in total.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.