I’ve heard plans and rumors about this before but it seems now it’s official: The next versions of the Flash and AIR runtimes will have a low-level 3D API on board that utilizes DirectX, OpenGL and OpenGL ES. Maybe this racing demo video will convince most game devs who were skeptical about the Flash platform before.
The demo was coded by the guys who maintain Alternative3D, one of the the few software-rendered 3D engines for Flash that are better suited for 3D game development. The engine has recently been made free of charge for commercial development. The makers only require a back link to their product website in your game now.
I find Alternativa3D quite attractive, in particular after seeing videos and screenshots of War.ru, an online multiplayer Role-playing game that reminds me of RPGs classics like Wizardry, just with better graphics. Unfortunately the whole game is in Russian only for now and so far I haven’t been able to log in, the load procedure is very slow and always gets stuck at some point for me.
Still the game looks very promising with some nice looking 3D environments. The actors (NPC’s and creatures) seem to be inanimate billboard sprites though so they only look impressive on a static screenshot but imagine what would be possible with the newly achieved 3D power! I’m looking forward to create vast 3D environments with autonomous actor AIs a’la Oblivion or Fallout 3! The only bottleneck will – yet again – be the content creation.
This is a great gift from GOG.com! For anyone who has registered an account during their beta period (which lasted at least over a year, I think) they are giving away a copy of Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games for free to anyone.
If you’ve read my blog for a while you will probably know that JA:DG counts to my absolute favorite games (together with JA1) so expect utmost nerdiness whenever I mention this game. For anyone who doesn’t know this pearl of a game yet, it’s a turn-based, tactical strategy game with role-playing game elements where you control a squad of mercenaries around wilderness areas of enemy territory to fulfill various foolhardy missions. The main difference of JA:DG to it’s prequel is that it doesn’t come with a particular story or campaign but with a collection of scenarios and an editor that can be used to create your own scenarios and campaigns. The biggest fun part of JA:DG are however the many characters that you can choose from to assemble your team, which all have their very own quirks and perks.
If I wouldn’t already own the original box of this game I’d probably be even more looking forward to this gift but as it stands I’m going to enjoy getting this game yet another time. There’s something to the first two JA’s that the later and newer Jagged Alliance 2 titles lost. Maybe it’s the story of JA2 that I didn’t like so much or it’s simply the cozily tootling MIDI music of the first two games in this series.
A video courtesy of CRPGAddict that shows the final gameplay of the classic space exploration/role-playing game Starflight. I remember playing this game back in the day on the Amiga but never really came around to finish it. But now that I’ve read how the game’s story resolves with a big surprise in it toward the end it dims to me what a great plot this game had. There are many of today’s modern role-playing games that story-wise would pale in comparison that Starflight.
This was also one of those games from the era where I realized my affinity for science fiction-themed games. Back then whenever there was a new review to be read in a game magazine about a space-themed adventure or RPG my eyes started glowing. I liked the idea of flying around with the ship and explore a vast number of planets and Starflight was basically a whole galaxy squeezed on a floppy disk.
If you’re interested in classic role-playing games I recommend to check out CRPGAddict’s blog! I don’t know how he manages to find the time but he already finished playing 26 games since he started last year. And not only that! He analyzed them, drew maps about them, and reviewed them in a very detailed way. On top of that he made a long list of CRPGs that he yet wants to play and review and it seems he’s serious about it. Determination is everything!
There’s also the whole write-down about Starflight, no less than nine blog posts!! Check it out! You will certainly have enough to read for a while!
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?!!
Back when I was younger … much younger … the first computer I ever possessed was a Atari 600 XL which I got from my parents after a lot of begging. I had exactly one game for it, a cartridge with Jungle Hunt on it. Needless to say this got boring very quickly. My friends all had a C64 already and so it wasn’t until long that I also got a C64 and sold the Atari to a friend.
Back then I always knew the Atari was no match for the mighty C64 and for some part (16Kb RAM) this is true. But I never really realized until recently that the Atari 600/800 XL had much better graphics than the C64. The 256 color palette was already way ahead of it’s time and it had 4 sound voices instead of C64s 3 voices etc. But I suggest you see for yourself about that in this nifty video showing gameplay of a 2010 produced game, the RPG named His Dark Majesty …
I’ve mentioned before that it’s possible to run Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic in DOSBox with Tandy sound enabled but I couldn’t figure out how to get it working. Today I’m back with good news in that I can tell you how to get this fixed so the trillions of SWFM fans out there can enjoy this fantastic game with the excellent Tandy sound!
Shoot First, a game by Beau Blyth, is a mix of a Roguelike and Run-N-Gun where you explore a randomly generated dungeon while searching for precious items and encountering vile enemy monsters of all kinds. You get thrown into the dungeon at a random entry point from where you have to make your way to the next-lower floor. On the way you find chests that you can shoot open to reveal useful items and occasionally you find companions who join your party or damsels which you have to rescue from captivity. If you escort them safely to the next exit they will thank you with a reward item.
The game isn’t your generic rogue-like, it’s actually very fast-paced. To get forward you have to encounter many monsters and dispatch them or at least evade them but the enemy AI is quite smart. Many monsters will try to flank or evade you and try to shoot you while you’re hiding in a tunnel. That said, Shoot First is not an easy game. The enemies shoot a lot and they shoot well. Many of them are also quite powerful. To counter this, you’re able to shoot into any direction or strafe-shoot into one direction while running. You can also increase in level which will improve your character’s skills. You’re doing so by shooting monsters and collect small, yellow artifacts (gold?) that are revealed after a monster dies. Still the game is rather difficult to beat and to be honest I haven’t made it any further than to the third floor so far.
Oldschool RPG fans can now enjoy playing the classic Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar directly on the web via this impressive Flash port. The game is an almost one-to-one conversion of the 1986 original but the author Blair Leggett also made some enhancements to it.
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.