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Reply 60 of 106, by Shreddoc

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Lawnie's new video More Annoying Things About Modern Gaming is rather good. I went into it already knowing well that I was The Choir unto whom would Be Preached as-the-saying-goes, but as the well-written essay progressed, I found myself increasingly nodding along in focused agreement, and by the end came away convinced it's the best thing he's yet written. Good stuff.

Reply 61 of 106, by Lawnie

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beastlike wrote on 2021-08-10, 00:12:

Any chance of enabling comments in the videos? Would love to see people's reactions to these. Please keep up the good work

Cheers! Comments are and always shall be enabled in my videos! You might want to check there's not something going wrong your end. YouTube can be temperamental when loading comments sections.

Shreddoc wrote on 2021-08-12, 03:56:

Lawnie's new video More Annoying Things About Modern Gaming by the end came away convinced it's the best thing he's yet written. Good stuff.

It's one of those where I know that 90% of the people who view it will already hold the views, but every so often I just feel like talking about things that bother me about modernity. Glad they're being taken the right way and not as some reactionary controversy-merchant style that plagues the site. I don't want to be chasing after every modern release and speaking ill of it in the hopes of garnering more clicks.

GET OFF MY LAWN - Yet another retro PC game review channel.

Reply 62 of 106, by the3dfxdude

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If I could suggest something. While not the sole reason for the trouble in modern gaming, it would be nice to place a bit of a ban on the instant accessibility of internet requirement used in either game design or game function, and that could move things in a positive direction again.

That is one aspect Lawnie touched on, but still there are other things in modern game design completely left out from games as they used to be.

Reply 63 of 106, by Gmlb256

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I agree with most of the thing you said about modern games especially with always online requirement, homogenization of the genres, the quality of single-player and patches with occasionally very large download sizes.

The unskippable videos (I don't like them either) sometimes is used to disguise loading times and the meddling has always been there regardless, just only worse. As for consolification the main reason is that the console hardware is "fixed" and that makes them very easy to optimize them unlike the PC platform where the hardware is inconsistent despite standardization.

Reply 64 of 106, by Lawnie

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Update the twenty-eighth!

Coming at you with more content than the average British supermarket currently, Lawnie is back with another update!

This week's scripted video has already been linked in the thread! It was an essay/rant about more things that annoyed me about the state of modern gaming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4poJnKD1JTc

In addition to this I also released a comparative video that had you listen along to a real MT-32 playing tracks from Transport Tycoon, Dune 2 and The Secret of Monkey Island. It would then switch mid-track to Munt, then the Hedsound MT-32 soundfont, then the Hedsound GM mapped soundfont playing the General MIDI equivalent of the same track! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB45JPt5uUk

Two games in Random DOS Game land really stood out this week for entirely different reasons. The first of these was the utterly compelling Archimedean Dynasty, a post-apocalyptic underwater submarine game that flied like a space combat simulator! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRuppQbt1h4

The second DOS game that grabbed me was 3D Cyberpuck, a game I used to play obsessively back in the 90s. It's a simple shareware title that crosses football with hockey in a fun formula that doesn't outstay its welcome and sports suitably silly sound effects. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKceVSZXnx4

No new Stele Chronicles this week due to a kitten disrupting my microphone (yes, really) and a wedding to attend.

And ending on a positive note as usual, here's the brilliant new 3D animation by subscriber Pops Freshenmeyer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obHaxAhI3dw

Maarek will be back next week. As shall Lawnie with even more content!

GET OFF MY LAWN - Yet another retro PC game review channel.

Reply 65 of 106, by Lawnie

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the3dfxdude wrote on 2021-08-12, 15:58:

it would be nice to place a bit of a ban on the instant accessibility of internet requirement used in either game design or game function

This sounds like something that could be written into law somewhere, but sadly it will never happen. The idea that internet-based services in 2021 is such a ubiquitous one, and that's by design. Games will always have something in their legalese that will allow them to just pull the plug whenever. I know that Ross Scott over at Accursed Farms has been championing the idea of getting rid of always-online single player games for years, but it's a real struggle.

Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-08-12, 16:54:

As for consolification the main reason is that the console hardware is "fixed" and that makes them very easy to optimize them unlike the PC platform where the hardware is inconsistent despite standardization.

The thing is, it wasn't always that way! This inconsistency in hardware came about with the plethora of IBM-compatibles in the early 80s, but there were other companies back then like Commodore and Sinclair who developed PCs that did have fixed hardware. No consolification there! Because when attempts were made at doing just that, they were on entirely different systems that failed miserably. Just take a look at the Amstrad GX4000 or the Commodore C64GS.

This consolification that I'm talking about is something a lot more recent that has been ported back to the PC, and it's all about making things easier for developers in a closed system with limited controls and standardised gameplay elements at the expense of making things less diverse for players.

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Reply 66 of 106, by Gmlb256

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Lawnie wrote on 2021-08-13, 08:34:

The thing is, it wasn't always that way! This inconsistency in hardware came about with the plethora of IBM-compatibles in the early 80s, but there were other companies back then like Commodore and Sinclair who developed PCs that did have fixed hardware. No consolification there! Because when attempts were made at doing just that, they were on entirely different systems that failed miserably. Just take a look at the Amstrad GX4000 or the Commodore C64GS.

This consolification that I'm talking about is something a lot more recent that has been ported back to the PC, and it's all about making things easier for developers in a closed system with limited controls and standardised gameplay elements at the expense of making things less diverse for players.

I'm aware that there are computers with hardware that never or barely changed, the usage of the PC term here was only referring to the IBM-compatible PCs and its descendants.

No disagreement about the controls, gameplay and UI being more tailored for consoles in recent times though.

Reply 67 of 106, by Shreddoc

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Lawnie wrote on 2021-08-13, 08:34:
This sounds like something that could be written into law somewhere, but sadly it will never happen. The idea that internet-base […]
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the3dfxdude wrote on 2021-08-12, 15:58:

it would be nice to place a bit of a ban on the instant accessibility of internet requirement used in either game design or game function

This sounds like something that could be written into law somewhere, but sadly it will never happen. The idea that internet-based services in 2021 is such a ubiquitous one, and that's by design. Games will always have something in their legalese that will allow them to just pull the plug whenever. I know that Ross Scott over at Accursed Farms has been championing the idea of getting rid of always-online single player games for years, but it's a real struggle.

Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-08-12, 16:54:

As for consolification the main reason is that the console hardware is "fixed" and that makes them very easy to optimize them unlike the PC platform where the hardware is inconsistent despite standardization.

The thing is, it wasn't always that way! This inconsistency in hardware came about with the plethora of IBM-compatibles in the early 80s, but there were other companies back then like Commodore and Sinclair who developed PCs that did have fixed hardware. No consolification there! Because when attempts were made at doing just that, they were on entirely different systems that failed miserably. Just take a look at the Amstrad GX4000 or the Commodore C64GS.

This consolification that I'm talking about is something a lot more recent that has been ported back to the PC, and it's all about making things easier for developers in a closed system with limited controls and standardised gameplay elements at the expense of making things less diverse for players.

As we know, PC Gaming has evolved from a fledgling quasi- home industry (70's-90's) into a multi-billion$ commercial battleground. And of course, wherever big dollars are concerned, economic forces take over and channel the content towards certain efficiencies and trends - with the primary guiding force being Profit In The Bank rather than quality of product.

I view the AAA gaming industry now in the same way I view the AAA movie industry - "mostly annoying, generic/teen/Michael Bay stuff that I'm not interested in, with the occasional gem that I'll eventually hear about and get around to later".

But it's heartening, that one can still go many lifetimes and never-even-close to run short of awesome gaming experiences ...without ever having to touch the overtly commercial offerings. And the amount of choice out there is incredible. It is literally insane that I can be holding something like TFTC in my back pocket for when I have time to properly get around to it - and that it's just the tip of a very big, fun iceberg ("said the Titanic Passengers"). Insane. And so cool.

Reply 68 of 106, by Lawnie

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-08-13, 12:52:

I'm aware that there are computers with hardware that never or barely changed, the usage of the PC term here was only referring to the IBM-compatible PCs and its descendants.

I figured you might be aware of the other types if you were posting on this forum, not worth assuming though! PC has become such a ubiquitous term for IBM-compatibles that people forget that there were different kinds of personal computers with hardware that was identical.

Shreddoc wrote on 2021-08-13, 22:04:

I view the AAA gaming industry now in the same way I view the AAA movie industry - "mostly annoying, generic/teen/Michael Bay stuff that I'm not interested in, with the occasional gem that I'll eventually hear about and get around to later".

But it's heartening, that one can still go many lifetimes and never-even-close to run short of awesome gaming experiences ...without ever having to touch the overtly commercial offerings.

It's simultaneously the best and worst time to be a gamer, it's a very strange time to be alive and many of us are somewhat baffled that we made it here. There is the odd film or TV show or game that pops up on the old Lawnie radar and turns out to not be bad, they're not all duds by any means! It's just that the bulk of the market isn't really aimed at the likes of me anymore, as pretentious as that might sound, because I'm not a big spending category due to already having a near-endless supply already of perfectly good-to-great old stuff I will most likely enjoy.

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Reply 69 of 106, by DracoNihil

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Shreddoc wrote on 2021-08-13, 22:04:

I view the AAA gaming industry now in the same way I view the AAA movie industry - "mostly annoying, generic/teen/Michael Bay stuff that I'm not interested in, with the occasional gem that I'll eventually hear about and get around to later".

Lawnie wrote on 2021-08-15, 15:07:

It's simultaneously the best and worst time to be a gamer, it's a very strange time to be alive and many of us are somewhat baffled that we made it here. There is the odd film or TV show or game that pops up on the old Lawnie radar and turns out to not be bad, they're not all duds by any means! It's just that the bulk of the market isn't really aimed at the likes of me anymore, as pretentious as that might sound, because I'm not a big spending category due to already having a near-endless supply already of perfectly good-to-great old stuff I will most likely enjoy.

The problem with the "video gaming industry", from what I can see anyways; is that, "the people at large" are directly complacent in how everything is to begin with.

You can't convince a large demographic to completely drop whatever they're doing in protest against what's become a unhealthy, outright toxic and predatory trend these days. They'll just keep coming back for more eventually at the end of the day.

"Video games" should never have become a "multi billion dollar industry". It should have remained just a hobby at the very least. I don't even feel comfortable selling whatever I myself would someday make if only because I'm not spending any actual, tangible "money" typing on this stupid thing.

The very fact anyone's even willing to give me money for anything I do genuinely scares me too...

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Reply 70 of 106, by Lawnie

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DracoNihil wrote on 2021-08-15, 23:23:

The problem with the "video gaming industry", from what I can see anyways; is that, "the people at large" are directly complacent in how everything is to begin with.

Just like in politics, you get what you deserve. People can be gradually led by the nose wherever they're needed to go by the powers that be. Back in 2006 people were up in arms about the idea of paying for horse armor. Flash forward to the present day and they're overjoyed at post-game roadmapped additional DLC content and skins.

The overton window has shifted, and companies will push further and further so long as it's financially viable to do so. And because people are complacent and hooked on their dopamine fix, they'll either say nothing and accept it, or make a big song and dance about it and then follow it up by doing nothing. If all the people who actively complained about things actually got up and did something we might even see a positive change. They won't though, and both you and I know it.

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Reply 71 of 106, by Lawnie

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Update the twenty-ninth!

Like a local bus service with a broken down engine, Lawnie is late, but got there eventually!

This week's scripted video was about the importance of source ports and game remakes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aO-yFlOwY8

100 More Worthwhile DOS Games returned with Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold. The best Wolf3D engine game ever! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDUGqzCUsds

Marek was also back for an episode with Thrawn Bait. The first of many great strategic plans he would witness from Vice-Admiral Thrawn himself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ub1hHkRP1k

Random DOS Game land was far less impressive than the aforementioned trio of videos, but it did unearth a game called Chasm: The Rift. A shooter somewhere between Doom and Quake that went the full 20 minutes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTmK-CEBLoI

Will Lawnie continue posting updates far too late? Will he get back on schedule? Will he stop pumping out videos at a stupid rate? The answers to this and much more will be revealed in the next update!

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Reply 72 of 106, by Gmlb256

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Lawnie wrote on 2021-08-24, 12:12:

This week's scripted video was about the importance of source ports and game remakes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aO-yFlOwY8

One thing that sometimes gets overlooked is the tickrate calculation on certain source ports and remakes that doesn't implement framerate interpolation such as ECWolf (an otherwise great source port), where turning and moving around on a modern 60 Hz displat isn't smooth as the original game which runs at 70 Hz. Using a variable refresh rate display can mitigate this problem though.

Lawnie wrote on 2021-08-24, 12:12:

100 More Worthwhile DOS Games returned with Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold. The best Wolf3D engine game ever! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDUGqzCUsds

I find the Blake Stone games to be the best one based on the Wolf3D engine without heavy modifications like ROTT. Feels like an improved Wolf3D game with new features and less bland gameplay.

Reply 73 of 106, by Shreddoc

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Just watched the Older Was Better rant. Good stuff again.

I lolled understandingly at [old gamers are misanthropes and hate the world] but that's just a coincidence.

And, while (I can only assume) you're probably not the first person to make the observation[!], I think the comment about Gen X being the first gen to grow up fully immersed in video games is quite an insightful one. It puts a few things (about my own Gen X life, and it's relationship to video gaming) into perspective.

Reply 74 of 106, by Lawnie

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-08-24, 13:12:

where turning and moving around on a modern 60 Hz displat isn't smooth as the original game which runs at 70 Hz. Using a variable refresh rate display can mitigate this problem though.

Yeah, I have had a few people in the comments sections complain about this with ECWolf, fortunately most modern monitors are adopting the variable/adaptive refresh rates these days. It's the sort of thing that 99% of people won't notice/care about, but will drive the 1% insane.

Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-08-24, 13:12:

I find the Blake Stone games to be the best one based on the Wolf3D engine without heavy modifications like ROTT. Feels like an improved Wolf3D game with new features and less bland gameplay.

It could definitely be argued that ROTT is better than Blake. It started as a Wolf sequel so there's good reason for it to feel like an improved Wolf3D! In my series I replace games that are already on the 100 Worthwhile DOS Games List and it was a part of that and I had already listed Super 3D Noah's Ark, so that left me with Blake or Capstone games. I think we both know which is the best out of that sorry bunch.

Shreddoc wrote on 2021-08-26, 04:11:

you're probably not the first person to make the observation[!], I think the comment about Gen X being the first gen to grow up fully immersed in video games is quite an insightful one. It puts a few things (about my own Gen X life, and it's relationship to video gaming) into perspective.

A large chunk of my subscriber base are 40-50 years old, and while I'm a bit younger than that (36) I still grew up in the 80s surrounded by technology and gaming at a very young age due to my father's profession. So I remember the tape drives and BASIC and microcomputers and Windows 2.0. I was immersed in the ever-changing PC gaming landscape and got to see it mature and eventually explode in popularity. It's cliche to say 'I have more in common with the previous generation', but it's the truth in this case. Many of my contemporaries got into gaming ten or even fifteen years later than I did, when DOS was obsolete and 3D accelerated Windows-only games were in vogue. Living in that time period was a unique experience that informed our future and will never be replicated. I can only imagine what the full-body haptic VR generation is going to look like!

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Reply 75 of 106, by DracoNihil

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Lawnie wrote on 2021-08-26, 08:07:

A large chunk of my subscriber base are 40-50 years old, and while I'm a bit younger than that (36) I still grew up in the 80s surrounded by technology and gaming at a very young age due to my father's profession.

I'm 29 and I still would rather enjoy these than what's been coming out today. (though Cruelty Squad, Terraria, and some such indie games are a strong exception to this)

I've also grown up around a lot of older technology, my first video game console was the Vectrex, first minicomputer was the Commodore VIC-20. The first actual PC I ever used had a CD-ROM (added later) in addition to both a 5¼ and 3½ floppy drives. AdLib card and Disney Sound Source included as well.

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Reply 76 of 106, by Shreddoc

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Lawnie wrote on 2021-08-26, 08:07:
Yeah, I have had a few people in the comments sections complain about this with ECWolf, fortunately most modern monitors are ado […]
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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-08-24, 13:12:

where turning and moving around on a modern 60 Hz displat isn't smooth as the original game which runs at 70 Hz. Using a variable refresh rate display can mitigate this problem though.

Yeah, I have had a few people in the comments sections complain about this with ECWolf, fortunately most modern monitors are adopting the variable/adaptive refresh rates these days. It's the sort of thing that 99% of people won't notice/care about, but will drive the 1% insane.

Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-08-24, 13:12:

I find the Blake Stone games to be the best one based on the Wolf3D engine without heavy modifications like ROTT. Feels like an improved Wolf3D game with new features and less bland gameplay.

It could definitely be argued that ROTT is better than Blake. It started as a Wolf sequel so there's good reason for it to feel like an improved Wolf3D! In my series I replace games that are already on the 100 Worthwhile DOS Games List and it was a part of that and I had already listed Super 3D Noah's Ark, so that left me with Blake or Capstone games. I think we both know which is the best out of that sorry bunch.

Shreddoc wrote on 2021-08-26, 04:11:

you're probably not the first person to make the observation[!], I think the comment about Gen X being the first gen to grow up fully immersed in video games is quite an insightful one. It puts a few things (about my own Gen X life, and it's relationship to video gaming) into perspective.

A large chunk of my subscriber base are 40-50 years old, and while I'm a bit younger than that (36) I still grew up in the 80s surrounded by technology and gaming at a very young age due to my father's profession. So I remember the tape drives and BASIC and microcomputers and Windows 2.0. I was immersed in the ever-changing PC gaming landscape and got to see it mature and eventually explode in popularity. It's cliche to say 'I have more in common with the previous generation', but it's the truth in this case. Many of my contemporaries got into gaming ten or even fifteen years later than I did, when DOS was obsolete and 3D accelerated Windows-only games were in vogue. Living in that time period was a unique experience that informed our future and will never be replicated. I can only imagine what the full-body haptic VR generation is going to look like!

I'm a keen book reader - fantasy, sci fi and the like - so I have read, at length, other people's vast thousand-hour imaginings about future developments.

For example, Tad Williams' "Otherland" series (published 1996-2001) - a monumental undertaking, for both writer and reader - lays out such a future world, where you don't go ON the 'net... you go INTO it. You've got your implants, you suit up (or even get into an immersion tank), switch on, and bang: you're now your avatar operating in a virtual world with everyone else, and off you go. The usual sort of thing. The kicker is in the vast detail of it: the series shows a vision of what could be, the massive societal implications (kids on such a thing??), and also some of the huge dangers that will go alongside such a "new world": power, control, abuse, ambition, etc. Your standard dystopian fare, but in this case distinctly focused upon the notion of what Future Internet could be. Written at a time when the internet itself was barely uptaken.

On another topic: that of Gen X being first to live a certain way - that also puts into perspective for me, the way the retro hardware market has gone. We have been casually chatting in another thread about the retro market and reasonable prices, and in this context it becomes obvious that the price explosion/bubble of retro hardware these days is directly related to the fact that the hardware comes from pioneering decades of home computing itself. So it's not just "it'll be this way for all computer hardware, once 30 years passes". To some degree yes, but (correct me if I'm wrong) it seems that in any market, the truly early stuff has a vintage cache that future editions do not match. Partly due scarcity: take a (say) Pentium 4, it's gonna take a long time before those are rare enough to be worth $500 each. Especially since we enthusiasts all now know to preserve everything possible.

[where's that graph, showing computer sales by brand through the 90's and 00's - said graph shows scarcity differences literally orders of magnitude different, either side of a certain cutoff - anything before that cutoff is officially in the Get Your Hopefully-Fat Wallet Out zone]

Reply 77 of 106, by Lawnie

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DracoNihil wrote on 2021-08-26, 21:30:
Lawnie wrote on 2021-08-26, 08:07:

A large chunk of my subscriber base are 40-50 years old, and while I'm a bit younger than that (36) I still grew up in the 80s surrounded by technology and gaming at a very young age due to my father's profession.

I'm 29 and I still would rather enjoy these than what's been coming out today. (though Cruelty Squad, Terraria, and some such indie games are a strong exception to this)

That's pretty much exactly how I see it, yes! There's this huge backlog of older titles to get around to finally playing, and there's a handful of great modern titles as the sort of cherry on top.

Every so often there will be a modern game that is just completely up my street, and I'm unapologetic about my love for it. Games like War for the Overworld, Dungeons 3, Sins of the Solar Empire, The Witcher 3 and if we're going a bit older, Fallout: New Vegas and Portal. Great games are great games irrespective of the year they're released in. I just happen to believe that more great games were released in the past.

Shreddoc wrote on 2021-08-26, 22:15:

I'm a keen book reader - fantasy, sci fi and the like - so I have read, at length, other people's vast thousand-hour imaginings about future developments.

We have that in common as well, I've read a LOT of fantasy over the years. Williams is actually one of the few from the early 80s boom period that I never got around to reading! Guess I'll be checking him out sooner rather than later, as that series sounds interesting.

Shreddoc wrote on 2021-08-26, 22:15:

On another topic: that of Gen X being first to live a certain way - that also puts into perspective for me, the way the retro hardware market has gone.

Computer parts are the new mint condition foil-packaged collector cards. I don't mind how the likes of LGR/RMC use them (sort of as a combination of museum pieces/vintage cars) but as with any fanbase there are people who are collecting for the sake of collecting. They don't actually use the hardware in question, and that saddens me. Old hardware should be steeped in practicality and the modern advances on the software side of things means it can be. The main machines I use are Frankenstein's monsters of old parts plugged together and I have a Ship of Theseus attitude toward it all. Any time one part finally fails I replace it with another and keep going with the same system!

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Reply 78 of 106, by Lawnie

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Update the thirtieth!

Like a boulder on an infinite decline, I just keep rolling with the DOS gaming goodness!

This week's scripted video was simply titled Older was Better. It's a 12-minute-long rant about the state of the modern games industry and how certain moments of genius are so timeless they're forever ingrained into our societal consciousness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opHQBcTYIj4

Speaking of moments of genius. Quake appeared at random, and it actually was at random. The video was scheduled weeks in advance! Despite this, it landed exactly the week after it got remastered by Nightdive Studios. I played through the DOS version and had a fantastic time despite my motion sickness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDxTYkTm9SI

The other entertaining DOS game to grace my screen this week was Jeff Minter's Tempest 2000, a remake of a classic eighties arcade-style shooter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdKqjRTYFnI

The Stele Chronicles continue but at a rate of one video a week due to various real-life disruptions. This week Maarek discovered just how lethal cargo ferries and Gozanti cruisers can be when faced with Y-Wing opposition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaagD4-ULH4

Will Lawnie return within seven-to-nine days and spam even more easily accessible YouTube links? Why yes, yes he will.

GET OFF MY LAWN - Yet another retro PC game review channel.

Reply 79 of 106, by Lawnie

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Update the thirty-first!

Like the promise of a new month full of fear and terror, Lawnie returns from the depths of DOS gaming madness to bestow another update.

This week's scripted video was called Roberta, and detailed an excellent Steam compatibility tool used to allow non-Linux titles the ability to use native ScummVM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-VbtYnCqUQ

Despite microphone issues due to a kitten disrupting the input gain knob, the Random DOS gaming continued, and this week's pick of the bunch was Darklands, an absolutely relentless old-school RPG set in the Holy Roman Empire of the 15th century. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5uLBZhr1D4

Thor's Hammer looked like a low budget Arena/Ultima Underworld clone and was suitably entertaining despite its obvious budgetary drawbacks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHyXD-lRz2A

And Chess Wars was amusing albeit suspect in its sheer multimedia bloat, despite this it's a neat little Battle Chess clone. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z56KHkpPkX0

Will there be more next week? Just like there are days in September, of course there will be more!

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