Issue #6 Feedback

Discussion related to the Midnight Synergy newsletter.
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Robbie
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Post by Robbie » Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:44 am

C64 Pauline. I remember spending half the night playing those games... the other half waiting for the games to load up :roll: :wink:

Robbie :D
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Post by Midnight Synergy » Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:55 pm

popo wrote:I think it may be just nostalgia talking. I used to play these sort of games on the C64. A lot of the time it wouldn't understand what I was telling it to do and would come back with 'I don't know how to ....whatever I'd told it to do'. I would alter the way I had asked it and try again, only to be told the same thing. After so long I would tell it to %@*#! off, and it would tell me 'I don't know how to %@*#! off'!

Oh, those were the days. :wink: :lol: :lol:
True, some games had rotten parsers. But I always thought the Infocom games (esp. later games, such as Trinity) did a really good job at understanding you. The limitation, of course, was that you couldn't perform every possible action, and so there was some 'guesstimation' as to what an appropriate action might be for a given situation.

Other personal text adventure favourites:
- 'Guild of Thieves' and 'Fish' by Magnetic Scrolls (both excellent!)
- The Hobbit (yes, it's very primitive, but I always liked the randomness created by the other characters' actions)

How about anyone else - care to share a favourite retro-Adventure (text or graphical) from the 80s or early 90s?
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Post by Midnight Synergy » Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:56 pm

Robbie wrote:C64 Pauline. I remember spending half the night playing those games... the other half waiting for the games to load up :roll: :wink:

Robbie :D
Yep - my brother and I used to load The Hobbit (tape version, not disk), go downstairs and make pancakes for breakfast, and hope that when we were done the game would be ready to play! :D
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Robbie
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Post by Robbie » Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:26 am

I a number of the Infocom games, a little on the devious side as I recall.

One of my favourites were the Questron games from 1984 & 1988 (link >>> http://www.mobygames.com/game/questron-ii - may not be familiar so I thought I'd throw that in)
- I remember it being quite enjoyable to play, the big pull though retrospectively was the ending. So many games are great to play & then when you see the ending leave you wondering why you bothered... without a doubt probably the best ending to any game I've ever seen... present company excepted Pat :wink:

I also enjoyed the original Bard's tale games (1-3), Ultima 4 & 5.
Head over Heels was another top game
And there's a few other's that have just slipped my mind - the original text adventures like Zork that came out before computers had much in the way of graphics...
One a bit later I really enjoyed was Wonderboy in Monsterland (early Nintendo)
Shinning Force & Fantasy Star games on the Megadrive

One of my school mates was from Japan (boarding school) & he had an original PC Engine. The RPGs he was playing back then blew away anything else I saw for many years to come... not that I could understand much apart from when he would translate what was happening.

Robbie :D

PS. Landstalker for the Sega Genesis, that's what I was trying to remember.
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Post by Midnight Synergy » Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:25 am

Yes! I spent many an hour on Ultima III, IV, V, and Bard's Tale I. Ultima IV is a masterpiece - it will definitely get a retro spotlight one of these issues. I actually met Richard Garriot (aka Lord British) at a game developer's conference this year. Very cool! I tried not to geek out and get all "fanboy" on him. Not sure if I succeeded. :lol:
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Post by Robbie » Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:45 pm

Being a relatively young developer that must have been pretty inspiring!

Just imagine, you could be the next Richard Garriott... though Lord Wonderland doesn't quite have the same ring :roll:

What sort of stuff does he work on now?

Robbie 8)

PS. A conference report might be interesting for the forum members - either here or in the next Midnight Post. Maybe even a behind the scenes look at what you have to go through in your own personal game development - for those of us completely clueless.
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Post by Mahaloof » Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:12 am

I remember Head over Heels for the C64 (thanks for that tip, Robbie) and Wizzball. Anybody played that one?

I think Wonderboy was from Sega. And I played the awesome Phantasy Star I and II also, just great.
Now, Ultima IV was something that kept me up at all hours. Probably hardly playable now (so tedious, like my own RtW levels), but I had to collect the letters at the end and find out that final 8 letter word. It was awesome!! (No, that was not the word...)

Never did the Zork text adventures, but Zork Nemesis was great, and creepy too.
After that I became a Nintendo junkie. Played all Mario and Zelda games and lots more. Hurray for Miyamoto!
:)
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Post by Midnight Synergy » Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:48 pm

Robbie wrote: What sort of stuff does he work on now?
Well, the Ultima games remained very much his artistic vision until Part 7. Then financial issues led to a take-over by Electronic Arts. Origin Systems grew and tried to put out many projects at once - many failed, and EA tightened the reigns, and pushed for quicker releases. Both Ultima 8 and 9 were disappointing results from that shift in mentality from "artistic vision" to "profitability". In the end, Origin systems died, Garriot left to work for NC-Soft (who published e.g. City of Heroes).

He's working on a new multiplayer RPG "Tabula Rasa", which will be very interesting to watch.

I doubt there will ever by a return to the worlds of Ultima (which are now owned by EA). In the end, I actually think it's a bit of a sad story - especially given that the games that started it all for him (a) fizzled to a disappointing end and (b) are no longer his own.


Mahaloof: I actually recently bought a used copy of Ultima IV for the Commodore 64 again! ;) (Except it was missing the cloth map!!! :( :( :( ). I had previousy played it a little on an emulator, and it's still pretty fun - you have to, of course, look past the graphics (or lack thereof).
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Post by Robbie » Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:36 pm

so true... Ultima was sort of like the Zelda for the PC. Not having access to broadband, or the time, I've never played any of the online RPGs but they sound interesting.

I pretty sure this has been raised previously (albeit quite a while ago) - I know the original Ultimas are available via emulators/rom sites but what technically speaking is the legality of emulators/roms? Is it a matter of being OK providing you have the original games?

I know the site I picked up the original ultima games from (that I have) had a few notices of games that had been removed at the request of the original producers (like Final Fantasy). Just curious.

Robbie :?
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Post by Midnight Synergy » Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:42 pm

Robbie wrote:I pretty sure this has been raised previously (albeit quite a while ago) - I know the original Ultimas are available via emulators/rom sites but what technically speaking is the legality of emulators/roms? Is it a matter of being OK providing you have the original games?
Both emulators and abandonware are a tricky issue - and you'll get very fierce opinions on both sides of the argument.

Technically, I believe neither is legal. However, if you own or owned the game, and want to relive some memories of a 20 year old machine on your PC, I don't know of any company who has much to say against that.

If you don't own the original game, it does get a little thornier. There are companies out there who are quite opposed to emulating old games on modern PC, simply because they are actively putting their old games catalog onto new generation video game consoles (e.g. the Nintendo DS with all the updated versions of old NES and Gameboy games, or the rumoured capability of the upcoming Nintendo Wii to download and play retro games, or the Atari games re-issued in those little joysticks that you plug into your TV). I guess, if the games are for sale in one form or another, the use of emulators is discouraged.

As you can see, it's not a very clearly defined issue. Legally = not ok. "Morally" = it depends on the specifics. The best thing is (but this doesn't happen often) when a company will release their game into freeware - then all legal issues are gone and you are free to play (e.g. the original Zork text adventures mentioned in this issue).

And that didn't help at all, did it? ;)
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Post by Muzozavr » Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:34 pm

I am on the fence with emulating old games or abandonware.
Most people says that this is illegal and recommends ebay or other excahnges. But this is still an unauthorised distribution, I think! Almost like pirated, except more expensive.
So -- will you choose to take it freely or to pay for it, if the game is not in sale anymore, and either choice breaks the rule?
For example, as far as I know, Chip's Challenge is not in sale anymore. I would search for download, rather then buying it from auctions, where everyone can put everything he wants, without thinking much about the legal issues. :?
Rest in peace, Kym. I hardly knew ya.
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Post by dlcs18 » Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:23 pm

I have just downloaded Coin Quest and unzipped all that stuff.
What are the people called. I know Loof is called Loofro but what are the others called
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Post by Liz Mayhew » Thu Sep 21, 2006 6:45 pm

I don't know if you've seen Lord of the Rings, but some of the characters names have been warped into Wonderland names.

Frodo = Loofro = Loof (who also plays the dwarf character)
Samwise Gamgee = Stinky Sam = Stinky (who also plays the evil wizard Saruman (Stinkuman). As well as a few other characters.
Arwen = Qookwen = Qookie (who also plays Legolas = Leggylass the elf)
Gandalf = Peegalf = Peegue
Gollum (Real name Smeegol) = Glum (Peegol) = Peegue

You get the idea. With a cast of thousands, each character has to play several parts. If you look at the Introduction files you will see what character someone is playing at the start of the level. If you complete the last level you will get a complete cast list in the final model.

Thanks for playing! :D
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dlcs18
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Post by dlcs18 » Sat Sep 23, 2006 5:15 pm

The boat picture was really funny
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Midnight Post Issue #7 Feedback

Post by °°pathways°° » Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:26 pm

When is the Midnight Post Issue #7 coming out :?: :stinkywink:
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Post by dlcs18 » Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:28 pm

I think it will come on 22nd of october :mrgreen: :stinkyneutral: :wink:
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iuf

Post by paulm12 » Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:08 am

Reading this, I think you gave a little secret to the "SECRET" Ending of SW MS!!! :lol: :wink:
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RIP free zork :(

Post by Muzozavr » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:48 pm

Here's what I found on wikipedia:

"Activision briefly offered free downloads of Zork I as part of the promotion of Zork: Nemesis, and Zork II and Zork III as part of the promotion for Zork Grand Inquisitor, as well as a new adventure: Zork: The Undiscovered Underground. This led many to believe that the games had been released as freeware, even though the included license explicitly prohibited redistribution. Activision's legal department has recently stated that the promotion relating to those games has ended and that it is not legal to distribute the games or make them available for download."
Rest in peace, Kym. I hardly knew ya.
Rest in peace, Marinus. A bright star, you were ahead of me on my own tracks of thought. I miss you.
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Post by paulm12 » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:39 pm

Darn! And I was just about to download it! My Operating systom got reinstalled!
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Post by ILoveWonderland » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:37 pm

Ms, can you tell me what all those buttons did on the screenshot Buttons, Buttons, Glorius Buttons. I can't wait till tommorow to know the answer.
Insert stupid jokes here.
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Post by Muzozavr » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:39 pm

Dunno.
Buttons can do many things, though, I think opening teleporters, gates, operating boxes, moving objects... god (MS) knows!
Rest in peace, Kym. I hardly knew ya.
Rest in peace, Marinus. A bright star, you were ahead of me on my own tracks of thought. I miss you.
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Post by Midnight Synergy » Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:15 am

ILoveWonderland wrote:Ms, can you tell me what all those buttons did on the screenshot Buttons, Buttons, Glorius Buttons. I can't wait till tommorow to know the answer.
You won't know by tomorrow, either, unless you play through the whole game in one marathon session (which I doubt is possible). ;) Buttons will have different functions that you will encounter throughout the course of the game.
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