Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Return of (Old) PC Graphic Adventures

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the back-to-the-past-ure dept.

Classic Games (Games) 93

KingofGnG writes "Though they belong to a genre already considered defunct and inadequate for the mainstream video game market, adventure games have a glorious past, a past that deserves to be remembered, and, of course, replayed. At the center of a good part of this effort of collective memory, there is ScummVM, the virtual machine which acts like an interface between the feelings and the puzzles from the good old times and the modern operating systems. As already highlighted before, the ScummVM target has grown immensely over time, going from the simple support of the 'classic' adventure games par excellence published by Lucasfilm/Lucasarts, to a range that includes virtually any single puzzle-solving game developed from the beginning of time up to the advent of the (Windows) NT platform. The last video game engine added to ScummVM within the past few days is Groovie, created by the software house Trilobyte for its first title released in 1993, The 7th Guest ."

cancel ×

93 comments

O LAWD (-1, Troll)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26197459)

izzat sum firsty p0st?

Re:O LAWD (-1, Offtopic)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26197777)

No. You lose. Your consolation prize is a brown shower.

Re:O LAWD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26216159)

I'll be sure to give it to you.

I AM THE WINNAR

Not mainstream? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26197471)

While the definition of mainstream videogames can be debated, new adventure games are still sold in places like best buy and wal-mart. That seems mainstream to me. It is true they don't have the prestige or marketing behind them that they used to but they are still good.

I picked up the Agathe Christie series on a whim at best buy one day and am presently surprised.

adventuregamers.com and justadventure.com are still 'keeping it real' so to speak.

Re:Not mainstream? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26197565)

How do they compare with the older games though? Is there anything today that is as good as the Monkey Island games, Maniac Mansian, Day of the Tentacle, or Grim Fandango? I'm not interested in being presently surprised. If there isn't anything out there these days that compares, then I'm content playing scummvm, or nothing at all.

Re:Not mainstream? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202545)

Most are pretty terrible, some are enjoyable, but none of them comes near the old classics. The Telltale Games are probably the best new ones these days and they release new stuff quite regularly.

Re:Not mainstream? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26213323)

I would not call the ankh series worse than the old games, neither is a vampire story, also the new sam and max games are excellent. those are the ones which follow the classical lusasarts style, there are others which are mystery alike like memento mori.

problem is that many of the newer adventure games follow the rather boring myst style (I personally could never get warm for the dracula series for instance) but there are a load of excellent games of every style.

Re:Not mainstream? (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26214233)

Respectfully, I'm not sure that's an entirely fair comment without a slight addition: "but none of them comes near the old classics IMO." Don't get me wrong: I'm amazed that I like a game like Assassin's Creed (or even WoW) but I'm still pissed off that I can't find an emulator for the last Monkey Island game. I think the issue is the expectations of today's gamer might be different than ours is. While we may enjoy today's games (oh Lord I sound old. You kids with your long hair, Rock and Roll and Quake! Get off my flying mount!) we do so with a gaming experience that was built upon the types of games with which we "grew up." Compare that to a gamer who's experience with Wolfenstein was when it went 3-D, instead of flat and with lousy sound cards that made it tough to understand the guard saying, "Halt! Alles Pass?". To them, the games are great ... certainly compared to that crap dad played.

Re:Not mainstream? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26234219)

Well to speak fairly the last monkey island game was utter garbage, it was sort of the last attempt of the few ones left at lucasarts to survive in the EA mentality which had taken over once they hired the guy from EA as COO who then refocused everything towards mediocre star wars games. Most of the good people had left LucasArts back then already and the few ones left could not save the game anymore! It was a mediocre ending to a good series. But seriously, adventure games nowadays have the problem that all of them are rated against the monkey islands and other lucasarts classics but with the view of nostalgia. Against this kind of refocused view no game can match. I can recommend to replay the old monkey islands again to refresh your opinion about it. The newer adventure games are just as good, but the nostalgia curtain really has to be washed away!
(Btw. one game even had the in game joke, where one cried, i cannot hear about monkey island anymore :-) )

Re:Not mainstream? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26213525)

Well if you want comic adventure games lucasarts style:

A Vampire Story
Ankh 1+2 and 1.5
Runaway 1 (2 is not good but 1 is)
The Westerner 1+2
Clever & Smart
Simon the Sorcerer 4
then about 20 telltale episodic adventure games

Those are just the few ones I can think of there are probably many more
on the mystery road there a load more, the broken sword series is still alive
also there is a very well done broken sword 2.5 done by some fans (dunno if the english version already is released)
memento mori

Also Jane Jensen soon will have another adventure game out:
Gray Matter

Since I am not a fan of mysterie adventures I dont have a list of good games but the mysterie crime adventures outnumber the comical ones about 10:1 best check out a site like http://www.adventuregamers.com/ [adventuregamers.com] for more info!

Re:Not mainstream? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26197571)

do games such as : telnet frontiermux.com 5555

and other mud/mux's count as 'video games'?
there are some which are adventure based, and others which are scenario based...

who decides what is mainstream?

Re:Not mainstream? (3, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26197639)

Muxes, mushes, moos and MUDs are not video games, they are text adventures or text social roleplaying systems. AberMUD (and descendants) would qualify, as would anything produced via one of the open-source graphical adventure systems. Text adventures, though, are generally superior to graphical ones as they can be larger, more powerful and less constrained by technology or graphics design skill. It would be hard to make a good graphical version of Dungeon, for example, despite Dungeon being ancient. For every graphical attempt you see, a hundred Dungeon-like adventures which truly take advantage of the power of modern PCs for even greater gamescapes could be churned out. Given the choice of one so-so graphical game or a hundred truly superb text games, I'll take the hundred.

Re:Not mainstream? (3, Insightful)

Umuri (897961) | more than 5 years ago | (#26197971)

Ok no offense but you're full of it.

That's like saying newsweek, the new york times, or a manga isn't a form of literature.
Sure it's not traditional, but it is.

And you will find VERY VERY few people who would back you up saying that Zork wasn't a video game.

You are using the age old trick of "Oh it's on the internet, therefore it's something else". No, it's not. Just because multiple people can play it and it doesn't have graphics does NOT mean it's not a video game.

Also, if you're going to get that technical, at least use the right terminal. Don't capitalize MUDs and not capitalize MUXs, MOOs, and MUSHs. They all stand for something.

Re:Not mainstream? (2, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198367)

Umiri, as funny as it may sound I think that you and jd agree ;-)

Re:Not mainstream? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26199009)

Even though helicopters can fly, they are not planes.

So the question is: does a video game need video?

Re:Not mainstream? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26199745)

They're not planes, but they are aircraft. Since there's nothing on the internet stupider than pedantically arguing semantics (is there any other way?), I'm posting AC.

Re:Not mainstream? (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26199803)

So the question is: does a video game need video?

Define video though. In the "filmed reality", or even rendered video, sense, "video games" didn't have video for a very long time. I mean, Space Invaders, Galaga, Asteroids, Pac Man, etc, didn't have "video" in that sense but they were still "video" games. I think it's obvious throughout history that a "video game" has been effectively any game played on a video display device (ie, a monitor). By that definition text based games still fully qualify.

Re:Not mainstream? (1)

Dennis G. Jerz (473507) | more than 5 years ago | (#26200745)

Early text games were often played on printer terminals, so the "glass teletype" is not really the defining factor here. I remember going through reams and reams of paper in the computer room in the early/mid 80s.

Re:Not mainstream? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201081)

There's a difference in that the text based games are verbal whereas the likes of Space Invaders, even when implemented in text mode, are visual, and hence video games. Consider the difference between a letter 'd' coming towards you that you have to shoot and the letter 'd' in 'it is dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue'. All definitions are by nature arbitrary, but I don't see the point of arguing for one that encompasses everything done on a video screen. Text adventures and the likes of Space Invaders work through different media.

Re:Not mainstream? (2, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202437)

The term was not "visual games" though, it was video games. As stated everything that has ever been called a video game has had two common threads: interactivity and the use of a display device. The sophistication or even presence of pictures or graphics has never been much of an issue.

Indeed, if you check the literal definition of "video game", it is:

1. any of various games played using a microcomputer with a keyboard and often joysticks to manipulate changes or respond to the action or questions on the screen.
2. any of various games played using a microchip-controlled device, as an arcade machine or hand-held toy.

Any game, including text ones, played on a computer fit both of those definitions. As such if the dictionary states that they've a video game, and my own intuition doesn't disagree, then I'm not inclined to modify my perception of them as such.

Re:Not mainstream? (0, Flamebait)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26203101)

Video is taken from the Latin word 'video' literally meaning 'I see', in modern English usage the visual counterpart to 'audio', sound, not a shorthand for video cassette recorder or video game console. Your idea of non-visual video shows that you have absolutely no clue as to what the word means. Further, microcomputers, keyboards and joysticks don't come into it; the first video games used analogue circuits to generate the graphics.

Re:Not mainstream? (2, Interesting)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198333)

I think I agree with you. But the way you phrased your comment made me have to think twice and read it more than once. Correct me if I am wrong, but are you saying: they're not "games", they're "adventures" and deeper than the modern conception of video games. They (text based adventures) were not games, they were, somehow, more... a way that hackers communicated with each other. Made jokes with each other. Spun engaging tales to others interested. Programmed and had fun. Did things for the hell of it. Told a story. Engaged the player. Let the player become part of the story. Hacked. Am I way off track? The masters of text-based adventures were poets, philosophers, comedians, wizards, magicians, storytellers, riddle makers, writers, mathematicians, programmers and, (I dunno how they did this last one) friends? People I'd never met, but I bet if I met them in the street I'd like... that kind of friend

Yeah... those old games...

Re:Not mainstream? (3, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202623)

In a nutshell (or is that a C shell?), yes. There is a difference in the mental process, in addition to the conceptual difference, between an adventure like Dungeon or an online experience like Essex MUD and games like Space Invaders or Chuckie Egg. There is a difference in communication between MUD's "get all the keys except the gold one and put them in a box" (which was perfectly allowed) versus "left, right, fire". There is a difference in the entire nature and spirit between Level 9's Snowball and Attic Attack. There's an entirely different kind of rapport between you and the characters between Infocom's Deadline and ID's Quake. Writing mods for Adventure/Colossal Cave was easy. Writing mods for Pole Position was not. Computer mags circulated far more adventure writing engines than arcade game engines, resulting in far more people being able to experiment and hack their own. More people today remember Zork and do so fondly than can remember Citadel or Knight Lore, despite the fact that both titles were at least as revolutionary and as popular in their day.

Re:Not mainstream? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26200105)

They use a monitor and a player manipulates the video ergo they are video games. They would not however be computer games as there isn't generally an AI involved. I'm not sure if there are any, at least of the older generation, that do include a computer player.

Re:Not mainstream? (1)

Dennis G. Jerz (473507) | more than 5 years ago | (#26200833)

Regarding older text games:

They would not however be computer games as there isn't generally an AI involved. I'm not sure if there are any, at least of the older generation, that do include a computer player.

Huh? Will Crowther's original Adventure (c. 1975) included dwarves that wandered through the maze and initiated combat. Don Woods expanded Adventure and released it (1977) in a form that included a pirate whose behavior was a little more complex. The thief of Dungeon/Zork (1977) is more complex still. They most definitely interacted with the player and moved through the shared environment, using instructions in the form of code executed by a computer. The command line parser definitely required a computer to work.

You can see the source code for Crowther's original Adventure discussed here:

http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/14/011230&from=rss [slashdot.org]

Re:Not mainstream? (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 5 years ago | (#26207469)

I picked up the Agathe Christie series on a whim at best buy one day and am presently surprised.

is it also responsible for your new japanese accent?

Re:Not mainstream? (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26211781)

Well Adventure games have been declared dead since 1992 (thats when I can remember the first gaming mag articles declaring them dead) the funny thing is, the genre thrives, and still is probably one of the genres still very strong in the PC world. The problem is it is outside of the scope of big publishers saleswise, no adventure game since Myst probably has sold more than one million but the sales are solid and you can preplan with sales between 30.000 - 200.000. So where does that leave the genre. Well gaming journalists still declare the genre dead, no big publisher touches them, but the genre is very dominant in the pc sektor mostly driven by small publishers with little money to spend on ads in the games mags (hence the death declaration articles) per year 20-40 adventure games come out some of them having top quality and a few being lousy.

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26197543)

First Post! So that means then that I can play SpaceQuest and SpaceQuest2 (etc) on this system?

Re:First Post! (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26199413)

Sierra games used AGI, then SCI (think point and click). ScummVM has AGI support, originally based on the slightly buggy Sarien engine.

King's Quest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26197613)

I still play the old King's Quest games on DOSBox... good times.

In other news... (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26197631)

Productivity of all geeks over the age of 25 has dropped markedly.

The 7th Guest/11th hour were quite good, but maddeningly difficult. I wonder if we'll get "Return to Zork" too in a few years..

Re:In other news... (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26197671)

I wonder if we'll get "Return to Zork" too in a few years..

Maybe. But Return to Zork (RTZ) will definately not run on the Scumm VM. Despite RTZ departing from the traditional Zorks I actually quite liked it. The "other" Zorks (e.g. Zork Nemesis et al) I didn't enjoy so much... I think they were missing the humour.

Re:In other news... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26197803)

Maybe. But Return to Zork (RTZ) will definately not run on the Scumm VM.

Actually, there is a work-in-progress engine for it [scummvm.org] already. It seems playable, but I've only looked at the first few rooms (I'm not familiar with the game) so I couldn't say how well it works yet.

Re:In other news... (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198035)

Maybe. But Return to Zork (RTZ) will definately not run on the Scumm VM.

Actually, there is a work-in-progress engine for it [scummvm.org] already

Nice. Thanks for the link. I was wrong... I didn't know people were working on that. Gosh, I must be getting old.

Who would have thought I'd be sitting here typing these comments about a game that I played maybe 14 or so years ago. And it gets worse. I played the original Zorks (on a C64).

RTZ was state-of-the art when I first played it and I distinctly remember being amazed at the graphics and the wonders of modern technology and how amazing I thought the graphics were. It actually inspired me a little bit (Doom moreso) to read up about graphics (Michael Abrash books) and delve into 80286 asm (before that I was doing demos on the Amiga [motorola 68010 asm]). It was about this time that I had to move on (sadly) from the Amiga into a new life (which funnily enough led me to study biology, which eventually led me back to programming... long story ;-)

Now, get off my lawn!

Re:In other news... (2, Funny)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 5 years ago | (#26206211)

There was an unfortunate set back when the video driver crashed, turning the screen black and the entire dev team was eaten by a Grue.

Re:In other news... (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26213547)

Zork Grand Inquisitor definitely has the humor back, unfortunately ZGI and Zork Undiscovered Undergrounds (a free text adventure easter egg on the ZGI CD) were the last Zorks produced ever.
After that Activision lost interest in the adventure game market!

Favourite ScummVM game (1)

mvanvoorden (861050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26197791)

One of my favourite games that came out on ScummVM was Beneath a steel sky. Got the floppy version years ago, on my old pentium, but didn't have the book, so I couldn't get passed a certain point (where I needed the codes). When I was searching on the internet a few years later to see if I could download some illegal version somewhere, I came across the ScummVM website. I think it's really a good initiative, because I could now play this game on my linux box (there was no Dosbox yet, or at least I didn't know about it).

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

Spillman (711713) | more than 5 years ago | (#26197895)

Beneath a Steel Sky was such a great game. Good plot and graphics!

Here's a video [google.com]

Wiki article, I think. [wikipedia.org]

Seriously, go play it!

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198079)

There's one major caveat to BASS, which is that it requires two mouse buttons. I tried playing it on my PDA and became very frustrated very quickly.

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (3, Insightful)

mvanvoorden (861050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198185)

Have you tried holding the stylus in your other hand?

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (2, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198239)

I can't believe I never thought of that! BRB.

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

Jawdy (864553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198381)

I guess I must be the only one who likes the more "mainstream" of these kinds of games in:
Sam and Max: Hit the Road
Full Throttle
Day of the Tentacle (Maniac Mansion 2)
and I only mean "mainstream" as TellTale games has done the latest Sam and Max's, and Lucas _were_ doing a Full Throttle sequel but canned it years ago :(

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (2, Informative)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26199407)

Tim Schaffer's studio Double Fine is working on Brütal Legend, you may be interested:

http://www.doublefine.com/news.php/projects [doublefine.com]

Also try Psychonauts. It's free on Gametap until the end of the year, so if you hurry...

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

Jawdy (864553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26199533)

How had I missed Brutal Legend!? Awesome :)
and getting Psychonauts now - good find, thanks man!

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26199683)

An advice: Psychonauts is a masterpiece, but don't be discouraged by the somewhat lengthy training part (3 levels, with 1 plot level simultaneously) and play until the end. The six real psychic missions are very well made and (almost always) very funny.

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26206999)

The Zero Punctuation review of Psychonauts is pretty funny:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/2-Psychonauts [escapistmagazine.com]

(I haven't finished it.. I have it for the PS2, and the controls are supposedly easier on the PC. I'm stuck on the last level, but haven't played it in a long time.)

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201083)

Psychonauts is an adventure game? I just started playing it last week, it seems like a platfomer/action-adventure to me.

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202583)

Its a pretty wild mix, some levels contain classical adventure elements, while others are plain jump'n runs and others feel more like a Zelda-like action-adventure. The game overall is a little uneven and has plenty of annoying spots, but it also features some insanely awesome ideas.

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26203361)

Well, yes, it's action-adventure. Can't it be an action-adventure platformer AND good? ;)

It's a Tim Schaffer game. You play it for the awesome humor and absent minded insanity that made the Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango so enjoyable. Do NOT expect item-based puzzles, it's rather more collection-based (with platformer-style fights and boss fights spread through it, as well as character control based challenges).

Note that I'm a huge fan of Schaffer's, so I'm not exactly neutral.

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26203481)

Oh yes, Action-adventure games can be good, I was just wondering why you brought it up in the context of adventure games. Now I know. I expect it to be good, but it does seem like a waste of talent to have him making an action-adventure game.

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26199893)

Beneath a Steel Sky is supposably playable on modern operating systems through Good Old Games (GOG.com)and is a free download there at the moment

http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/beneath_a_steel_sky/

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26200143)

I wouldn't say supposably, I wouldn't even say supposedly, because I was just playing it the other day. It seems to work reasonably well, although yesterday the menu was giving me trouble. Worked perfectly the day before.

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

Lightkey (819139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26204931)

Guess what they used to port it to Windows.

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26205271)

I thought it was released as freeware or public domain anyway...

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

rantingkitten (938138) | more than 5 years ago | (#26220461)

kitten@minerva:~$ apt-cache search beneath
beneath-a-steel-sky - a science fiction adventure game
scummvm - free implementation of LucasArts' SCUMM interpreter

As you can see it's also in the apt repo of Debian and Ubuntu. Anyone using a Debian-based distro should see if you can just grab it that way -- it really is a fantastic game.

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (2, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26200129)

You can get that for free including a snazzy installer set up that works directly in Win XP from gog.com. Love that site. Great price and increasing selection. As of a couple of days ago BASS was still free to download complete with modern installer.

Re:Favourite ScummVM game (1)

mvanvoorden (861050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26200341)

That's what I already said in my post. I was looking for an illegal version and ran into the ScummVM website. Obviously I downloaded it over there (http://www.scummvm.org/downloads.php). Beneath a Steel Sky is listed over there as well :)

Hello, I'm Anne and I wanted to say... (0)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198007)

... I'm like totaly addicted to scummvm since ... can't remember. Worse, I already played many of those games when they got out circa 1990. It went to the point I spent as much time playing as I spent studying ; factor in the occasional parties, and I still wonder how I managed to make it in the end. Scummvm has allowed me since to play the few I missed in those times. I dedicated a whole Ubuntu on Usb to play scummvm on my Asus 900A while commuting. For all their shortcomings, netbooks are perfect portable retrogaming systems. GBA and PSP ? pah ! Gimme a break... Those machines are designed to milk the player dry ; today games are not as much mind challenging as they used to. Their life is way too short. They look good for sure, at the expense of a deep story. No wonder so many people are on WoW. I would just save the GTA serie from the modern productions (and Rockstar games in general) ; they're the only one to provide games designed to entertain the player for hours on end without assuming he's the IQ of a hamster, with a challenging puzzle and a growing level of difficulty geared toward the solution of a rich storyline.

Re:Hello, I'm Anne and I wanted to say... (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198139)

with a challenging puzzle and a growing level of difficulty geared toward the solution of a rich storyline

Good points Anne; I agree totally. The other thing about the old text based adventure games is that they were often hilariously funny! If not always obvious, there were always "inside jokes" that only a nerd would be likely to pick up or, indeed, maybe, find funny (for example, 69,105). The responses from the parser were often humerous as well (e.g. the response from "attack me with sword"). Then, of course, the grue.

There were many other great adventure games but, in my little part of the world Infocom always entertained me.

I can't speak for any of the early programmers, but I think they somehow were doing the same as me: having a lot of fun with emerging technology. I liked that feeling.

How do you expect to play these games? (5, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198281)

With many of the companies that made these games now defunct and out-of-business, how do you expect to connect to the activation servers in order to play these games?

And some of these games likely came on 3.5" disks, unless you happen to have an old disk drive connected to your machine, you're also out of luck, since we all know that you need to have disk #1 in the drive in order to get past the Securom checks.

Besides, I'm sure that most of you have long since used up your 3 installs.

Re:How do you expect to play these games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26198861)

Har har.

Re:How do you expect to play these games? (1)

loonycyborg (1262242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198881)

If I had mod points, I'd mod you funny! Imagine activation servers in times when most players didn't have Internet access!

Nice troll (-1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198895)

Nice troll, but Securom and activation servers are modern problems.
These things completely predates all this problems.

Their copy-protection was at best code to be typed in (from the manual page or from a special stack of rotating paper disc) - which is easily defeated with a modern photocopier - and in worst was a floppy disk check from the original game executable - which is useless since ScummVM is a complete re-implementation of the engines.

Still be careful, because the two main producers of adventure games back then and copyright holders - LucasArt and Sierra - are still around today, although both have completely dropped the adventure genre eons ago. (Sierra is a part of Activision now).

Re:Nice troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26199023)

You're a poor kid aren't you? Haven't you ever heard of sarcasm? He's being sarcastic about the current situation of DRM and the ways of the past and cracking a joke about how it will be in 20 years from now.

Re:Nice troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26199235)

Hi there DrYak. I can only assume you've gotten used to that perpetual wooshing sound going over your head by now.

Re:Nice troll (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26199257)

It wasn't meant as a troll. Actually, I think it's great that games from 20yrs back are being appreciated today. But if you have a retail copy of Spore or GTAIV (or any other recent release), do you honestly expect to be able to play it in 2018 or 2028? DRM is robbing us of our future history. The next generation of gamers will never (unless they download hacked copies) be able to experience many of today's best games.

Re:Nice troll (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26199337)

s/hacked copies/cracked copies

Well (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202445)

Sorry for the troll accusations. It's just that I've seen so much troll copy-pasted on /. with only the names replaced (trolls about linux games, trolls about DRM, etc.) that I assumed it was one. Sorry I should think I little bit more before reacting.

Regarding the conservation of video games after a long time when the company has gone belly up :
Some game genres on classical computers have used extensive copy protection systems based on detection of original floppies.
(Commodore, Atari, Amiga...)
And currently the only reliable source for vintage games for these systems are the cracked copies.
So I think that indeed, as you suggest, the current official games are dead for future history and that future history will have to rely on current cracks. (Or the good will of developers to release one last DRM-free version before the company goes belly up. But this unlikely).

Re:Well (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26203677)

Sorry for the troll accusations.

No problem. It's good of you to say so. It's true that even these games had DRM issues. As I recall, "The Print Shop" had a three install limit, which it enforced by writing to the disk how many times it had been installed. It was easy to circumvent, since you could copy the disk and then install the copy up to three times.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26203795)

And don't forget about the adventure games that somehow worked something from the original manual into the gameplay. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I'm scowling at you.

That's a *good* copyright protection (2, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#26204229)

And don't forget about the adventure games that somehow worked something from the original manual into the gameplay. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I'm scowling at you.

Yup. I remember. You had to constantly read your own copy of the Grail's book to advance in the game, just like Indy in the movie.

But also the various "Conquest" series of Sierra games which came packaged with extensive documentation about the era of the game and everything in the game being very strongly based on that culture leading the player to constantly cross check their documentation.

I personally think that it's a much more brilliant and unobtrusive mechanism for copy-protection than the average "Please type word 65 of paragraph 11 of page 174 of the manual" (Or even worse : the horribly long magical incantations from King Quest III that you had to copy as is).

Of course it integrates a lot better with puzzle/detective oriented gameplay like in adventure games or not too much combat oriented RPGs. Whereas today market is 99% FPS, and I really don't see how to integrate phases asking the player to pause the game and start mining the documentation looking for crucial clues in games which are usually action packed and fast packed (I don't know : detailed map of the battlefield that the player must scrutinize in order to sport possible place where the damn sniper who is constantly head-shoting has hidden ? Heroic fantasy gates that only open on answer of complex riddles that require knowledge about the in-game historical back-ground ?)

And not to forget the single most important factor that encouraged people to actually buy the games :
the games came in decent boxes *WITH* all the aforementioned documentation together with lots of additional merchandise :
additional books (Space Quest II came with a comics book) nice cloth maps that you could pin on the wall (a must have in some RPG with complicated geography) posters, even weirder stuff (Space Quest III came with a "Andromeda Guy" disguise). In the past, Infocom has been renown for the "feelies [wikipedia.org] " bundled with the game.
A genuine legal game box had a lot of significant advantage over a pirated copy.

Today, most of the games are sold in small plastic shitty boxes. Containing only the disc, and the activation code. If you're very lucky, you'll get a small "quick-start" leaflet explaining you how to download Acrobat from Adobe's site in order to be able to print the documentation on your own.
There's absolutely no difference between a retail game, and something that you burn yourself and throw in a plastic box.

The diminishing quality of game packages, I think, has a small role to play in the fact that lots of pirate don't even see what's the advantage of getting a retail box.

Note that both my brother and I tend to buy my games in "Limited Edition" and similar package (Bought Dreamfall together with the artwork book, bought Paradise (intl:Last king of Africa) with the making of, etc.
Because if I'm going to give money to support the authors, I definitely want to have something worth the money in return - not just something that looks exactly like a home made CD/DVD. I really appreciate the art books, etc.

Nonetheless we download the game cracks right after installing the games, because we're just fed up with yet again some obscure DRM system that fails to recognize the original disc. (The first few Starforce games I've met, were systematically detecting forbidden background task - even if my Windows partition is empty and has no DeamonTools or whatever installed. The first few SecuROMs just was unable to detect the original disc. I haven't bothered to check if later versions of the games did fix these bugs - I just crack them by default)

Re:Well (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26205311)

As the doctor in "Life and Death" near the beginning of the game you would occasionally get "paged," and have to refer to a little cardboard gizmo to give the right response. Obviously a variation of the "manual page/rotating paper disk" mentioned earlier. A bit tougher/more annoying because it wasn't up-front, just a few random times early in the game.

Re:Well (2, Interesting)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26208347)

hahaha, reminds me of the old skool D&D games. 320x240 graphics..oh yeah that takes a whopping 32K of graphic memory heh oh yeah the guide into the game thing. same games by SSI/TSR Look on page 3 word 4 of paragraph 2. Those were easy to crack because all you had to do was open the (.EXE) in a hex editor and then pick out any english words. copy them and when they worked you put the question next to it. after about 20 or 30 plays, depending on the game and how many passwords; you had your password list all set, until you lost it but, that is another story for another thread on another day...

Re:How do you expect to play these games? (1)

Rakarra (112805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26205317)

I nominate the parent for "Depressingly True Comment of the Day."

do you still even look for the newsworthiness? (0, Flamebait)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198685)

Sorry, what's the news here "Hey guys ScummVM has been around for eons but it's pretty cool check it out" ?

Oh did you guys here that there is MAME out there? It can play a bunch of old arcade games, maybe we should submit something to Slashdot to tell the world about it? Or can we just use Slashdot to tell people about any program we want to promote? That's really cool then because you see I have this new program called Photosounder [photosounder.com] and it does some pretty cool stuff with images and sounds you should totally try it.

Re:do you still even look for the newsworthiness? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26198807)

We apologize for the confusion. Rest assured that the editors responsible for the oversight have been reprimanded. From now on we shall only display scientific and technological news of global importance. Would you like for us to eliminate duplicate postings of news items, as well?

Re:do you still even look for the newsworthiness? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198985)

Yes, please, and ensure that all the odd stories of little relevance are filed under the Idle section of the website, if you would be so kind.

Re:do you still even look for the newsworthiness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26198847)

I thought maybe the news was that it supports the 7th Guest now. Which is quite good news for me because I never completed it, and I still have the two(!!) CDs in the original box.

Re:do you still even look for the newsworthiness? (-1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198977)

Woot! So some emulator/interpreter/whatever supports one more game! Someone tell me by interposed Slashdot story when MAME supports Street Fighter Ultimate Alpha Disco Beta Bio Aqua Do Loop.

Re:do you still even look for the newsworthiness? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26199141)

> Someone tell me by interposed Slashdot story when MAME supports Street Fighter Ultimate Alpha Disco Beta Bio Aqua Do Loop.

It does already.

Re:do you still even look for the newsworthiness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26199315)

It's already in CVS.

Re:do you still even look for the newsworthiness? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26203249)

Just a quick check confirms that the not-so-much-a-rule-as-a-guide banner reads "News for nerds" not "News to 4D6963" (or even "News to Slashdot colors").

Sierra is still missing (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198849)

Sorry, but ScummVM doesn't "virtually include any single puzzle solving game developed from the beginning of times".
In fact a whole giant half of the gaming history is missing.

The two adventure games giants back in the days where Lucasfilm/LucasArt and Sierra.
ScummVM was designed from day to support Scumm system (the system used by all Lucas*).
But Sierra's engine aren't all there. The old AGI engine used in their first games has been worked in. But the SCI engine behind most of the classical adventure period of Sierra games is still missing.

Hopefully a merger [scummvm.org] with the FreeSCI project could one day happen and fix this big hole.

Re:Sierra is still missing (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26198883)

Sierra very recently started re-releasing many of it's classic games as series collections, powered by DosBox. I picked up the Space Quest and Police Quest collections, myself.

Re:Sierra is still missing (1)

DrMcCoy (941651) | more than 5 years ago | (#26199267)

The difference in ideology - ScummVM working with disassamblies of executables, while FreeSCI does it the clean-room way by reimplementing what can be noticed from the "outside" - pretty much stands in the way of a direct merge.

But there is SCI support for ScummVM [sourceforge.net] coming, what we need is developers willing to help (*hint hint*).

As can be read there, the FreeSCI could use some help, too, with introducing the GSoC project into their tree; and, I'm sure, general devs wanting to build a clean-room SCI implementation as well.

SCI? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26198859)

Well, that's all fine and dandy, but when are we finally going to see SCI support (for Sierra's later games)?

I remember that many years ago, the ScummVM team said, essentially, "ScummVM is for SCUMM games only, therefore we won't add SCI support even though Sierra's games were the 'other big thing' along wit LucasArts'"; these days, with support for just about any and every engine thrown into ScummVM, is there any update on whether SCI support is planned? Or at least considered?

Re:SCI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26200013)

Want SCI support? See other post [slashdot.org] .

ZX81 fun and games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26200181)

If you need more current games for your ZX81, here is where you want to go:

http://www.zx81.de/english/_frame_e.htm

Novembers offering looks cool. Game a month still!

Fallout 3 (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201445)

The one embedded in Fallout 3 was pretty cool to find. It being on a green screen really helped to bring back the feeling of playing them in the old days.

In case you liked the 7th Guest music... (2, Interesting)

TheMightyFatMan (1436959) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202361)

You can hear the tunes from the 7th Guest and 11th Hour again, and download them, from Amiestreet: http://amiestreet.com/music/the-fat-man-and-team-fat/7-11-soundtrack-to-the-7th-guest/ [amiestreet.com] I tried to make the audio CD a real nice experience, flowing from track to track, and kind of telling a story. I think it came out pretty enjoyable--it feels better to listen to than the CD that came with the game, or the mp3's. At least to me. I hope you enjoy it... http://www.texasmusicroundup.com/The_Fat_Man_p/ru0206.htm [texasmusicroundup.com]

DOSBox is better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26203689)

DOSBox seems to be more compatible with more games. This seems like a hassle.

Re:DOSBox is better (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26205477)

It's not a hassle. It's actually very interesting. To enable them to release games simultaneously across different 8 bit platforms they wrote the games to run on a virtual machine. So, to release on another platform all they had to do was port the VM. ScummVM is just another port of that VM. It's an elegant solution. DOSBox can only enable you to play DOS games. ScummVM will allow you to play games never even released for DOS.

No mention of Adventure Game Studio community!?? (1)

OzPhIsH (560038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26204311)

How the hell can a submission titled "The Return of (Old) PC Graphic Adventures," on a geek oriented website, no less, leave out the amazing Adventure Game Studio project and associated community? There is so much original, independent, and FREE adventure gaming awesomeness coming out of of here, I recommend any fan of the genre check it out.

Adventure Game Studio [adventureg...udio.co.uk]

In particular, I have to give a hearty recommendation to "No Action Jackson." The graphic style is a dead ringer for DoTT, and it's amazing on it's own merits.

"The game centres around Jackson, a young, role-playing obsessed nebbish who's got a D&D game scheduled with two of his friends. The only problem is that his mother refuses to let him leave the house because his grandparents are visiting. Jackson's first task is to somehow get out of the house without his mother and grandparents noticing. After finally escaping, Jackson is horrified to discover that his two friends have completely stood him up. You spend the rest of the game trying to track them down and convince them to play D&D as planned."

No Action Jackson [adventuregamers.com]

The dialog and puzzles are all what you would have expected out of a quality Lucas or Sierra game old. Do yourself a favor and check it out! There is plenty more where that came from. I mean, I love what the ScummVM team has done, but AGS is way more interesting to me, as it's delivering a lot more new and original gaming content.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...