An elaborate interview from 2009 with Richard Garriott aka Lord British talking about his beginnings as a game maker, his weird house and toy collection, Tabula Rasa and his flight into space. Some people call him a nerd (probably because they’re envious) but I think he just simply had the chance to do the right thing at the right time, following his passion about making games and becoming very successful with it, eventually earning millions. This is something that is not so easily possible anymore today like it was back in the pioneer days of home-computing. However he’s the living proof that the single most important driving force to be successful is to have passion about what you’re doing, being it creating games or anything else. Watch and be inspired!
Another secret gem from the Golden Age of RPG, Origin’s Martian Dreams can best be described as a fantastic Steampunk themed role-playing game set in a ‘Ultima meets Jules Verne universe’ where you travel with Nikola Tesla, Sigmund Freud, Nellie Bly and several others to Mars to rescue a handful of important people that stranded there some years before. If this doesn’t sound like a good premise then what does?!!
What’s best to do on a stormy spring autumn evening in your cozy carpeted living room with fireplace lightened messy bachelor apartment on the seventh floor while the wind cries outside through the trees concrete gaps? Correct! Playing a nice and well-matured Role-playing Game like for example Ultima.
Ultima is the one role-playing game where you start in the present world and then travel into a fantasy parallel world of Britannia, usually via a portal. Here’s a nice video (from RetroHD) of the last game in the Ultima series, Ultima 9 – Ascension which introduces the beginning of the game.
Today’s video pick (yeah right, as if I had a new post everyday here) is from YouTube user Five5Six and about how he managed to get Sentinel Worlds 1: Future Magic to run on DOSBox with Tandy sound enabled. That’s right, Tandy sound! By default the game uses those bleepy PC speaker sounds as in my own video. Personally I haven’t yet figured out how to get Tandy sound working with this game, so there … a video with the marvelous Tandy-enabled sound of SW1:FM in all it’s glory …
The classic dungeon crawler Sword of Fargoal has been released for the iPhone and it turns out that it’s one of the few computer/console-game-to-iPhone conversions I’ve came across that are actually fun to play on the touch-screen (unlike, say, Sonic, Bomberman et al). Go check it out if you’re into RPGs with an ever-changing maze-like dungeon accompanied by nicely done atmospheric music and sound effects.
Back in the days when computer games still required you to use your imagination to play them there was a role-playing game pearl named Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic, one of the many scifi-themed RPGs back then which today are only sparsely seeded in retailer shelves.
Future Magic was first released for DOS and a port for the C64 was published later which looked almost equally good as the DOS version with excellent graphics done by Michael Kosaka. At times the game is quite bizarre. For example there is a planet with ranchers and farms just like in an old western. Another planet has two very high towers that reach into the orbit and these are the only colonies on the otherwise untouched surface. On another, icy planet you scout an abandoned research base which is overrun by saber-toothed creatures … but this is how the games were made in the golden age of RPG. Despite the number in the title a follower was never developed for Future Magic but instead the acclaimed Hard Nova served as a spiritual sequel.
The game let’s you control a group of five space mercs who are send out on a mission to stop mysteriously appearing raiders which are attacking ships in the local system. Right after your ships drops out of hyperspeed you are being attacked by them. However while the other ships of the space convoy with that you came are trying to fight them you are able to take some distance and locate a yacht floating in nearby space. It’s the space yacht of a tycoon named Grager which turns out to be a luxurious vessel full with the newest technology.
After their last RPG masterpiece release, the Might & Magic 6-Pack, gog.com have now released Realms of Arkania 1+2 and 3. RoA is the English version of what I only knew as Das Schwarze Auge in German back in the 16-bit days of Amiga. If my memory serves me right only the first part of RoA made it to the Amiga while the two followers were only available for DOS.
Realms of Arkania is classic hardcore role-playing, flip3D style intermezzed with isometric combat screens and you can get this for a ridiculous cheap price now.
So far gog.com is only releasing DOS or Windows based games. For some games I wish they’d add Amiga games to their line-up simply because many Amiga games were better than their DOS conversions, just take a look at highly regarded Hired Guns. in case of Hired Guns you feel that the developers were a team of Amiga enthusiasts. The DOS version feels bland and rushed compared to the shiny and atmosphere-oozing Amiga version.
Either way, for DOS games Good Old Games are packing their releases up with a copy of DOSBox pre-configured and ready to install and run. For Amiga versions they would probably have to pack up a copy of WinUAE to assure a hassle-free experience. Not sure how that would work out.
While Jagged Alliance is without discussion one of the finest squat squad-based strategy games ever made that has seen the daylight, I especially enjoy the ‘personal’ characteristics that the mercenaries bring with them and the frivolous Butt Groping demonstrated in this clip shows this side of JADG nicely. The map seen in this video is one of the scenarios that can be found [intlink id="37" type="post"]here[/intlink].
Thy Dungeonman 3: Behold Thy Graphics, a text/graphics adventure from Homestarrunner in the style of the very early days of computing. Complete with fake floppy load delay and amber screen display! You find yourself in a dungeon cell with doom lurking all around you. The texts are intentionally exaggerated old ‘english’ and once you got out of the first area you’ll notice that this game plays quite smooth. It’s a short but funny and while you’re there, you find several other oldschool imitations on Homestarrunner and videlectrix.com.
Everybody has probably by now blogged about this but Claus Wahlers and Darron Schall are writing a Commodore C64 emulator in ActionScript 3.0! It is still to early to tell how this will take shape but things are looking good so far and by the current state the basic ROM works already. Try it and type the following listing in …
10 POKE 646,1
20 PRINT "C64 IN FLASH!"
30 POKE 53281,2::::::::::::::::::::POKE 53281,10
40 GOTO 30
Note that you need the latest Flash Player PlugIn (9.0) to see this. Either way this is exciting stuff and shows how powerful AS 3.0 and Flash Player 9 are going to be. Additionally the current beta player is a debug-only version that throttles the speed down several times. The final Player might be quite a bit faster.