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Molyneux Talks Reviving Classic Games

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the nothing-like-a-blast-from-the-past dept.

124

Gamespot has a few words with Lionhead's Peter Molyneux, who looks back on some of the great games of the past in the days before the Leipzig Conference, where he is slated to give a keynote. Along with some commentary on modern gaming, Molyneux discusses a wish to reimagine titles like Populous, Dungeon Keeper, and Syndicate. Great ideas ... if he ever gets the chance to make them come true.

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Populous remake (1, Redundant)

zoeblade (600058) | about 8 years ago | (#15912789)

After realising how much I missed it, I bought Populous second hand a few months ago. What makes it so good is that it has everything a good real-time strategy game should, and nothing more. If only someone were to remake it on modern hardware, with photo-realistic castles and fluid water, but no changes whatsoever to the gameplay, I'd buy it in an instant.

Remakes in General would do well (1)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | about 8 years ago | (#15913034)

I can think of many popular games in the past that could be re-released with improved graphics and sell well- especially if they were sold as inexpensive expansions. Take CounterStrike: Source, for instance. Same game, improved graphics. What I would love to see is StarCraft 3D- They could use the WarCraft III engine and sell it as an expansion to WarCraft III.

Re:Remakes in General would do well (0)

chrismcdirty (677039) | about 8 years ago | (#15913285)

I'm sure someone could do it as a mod, but might get smacked down like these guys [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Remakes in General would do well (3, Informative)

booch (4157) | about 8 years ago | (#15913640)

There's a company called Twilight Games [twilightgames.com] that has written a couple re-makes, as well as some that are similar to old classics. My favorite is Space Taxi 2 [twilightgames.com] . Many of the levels are very close to the original, with better graphics. Other levels are new, but in a similar spirit.

Re:Remakes in General would do well (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 8 years ago | (#15916329)

The problem for blizzard is that the original Starcraft is so popular (I expect that there are people out there who have machines that can play Starcraft but not Warcraft III) that if they released a new Starcraft, all the Starcraft players wouldnt want to buy it (cant run it, not enough players yet etc)

Re:Populous remake (4, Interesting)

kabocox (199019) | about 8 years ago | (#15913817)

After realising how much I missed it, I bought Populous second hand a few months ago. What makes it so good is that it has everything a good real-time strategy game should, and nothing more. If only someone were to remake it on modern hardware, with photo-realistic castles and fluid water, but no changes whatsoever to the gameplay, I'd buy it in an instant.

I think the only 2 of his games that I've played were Populous on the SNES I think and Dungeon Keeper. Populous on the SNES could have used some work. I could see how it would have been much better on the computer though. I don't mind some minor changes other than updating graphics and the engine. I don't like series that tend to stick too closely to the status quo. My thought on that is the Civ series. Other than updated graphics and engine, there wasn't much new other than culture was added in Civ3. My biggest dislike of the Civ series was always Alpha Centuria was released before Civ 3 and its tech engine and unit builder made anything in Civ feel dated. The Civ series should have had a unit builder. You should have been able to choose which animals to domesitic and breed different riding animals other than just elephants and horses. (You should have been able to ride big cats or train war bears or maybe even ride cows/bulls into battle.) Other thing is mixing and matching weapons. If I want tigers pulling my chariots and shooting fire arrows, I should be able to train and build the units. Well enough of my Civ rants.

I'll need to dig up a copy of populous. It was a cross between an early age of empires and a regional sim earth with a computer god to play against. Now that I think about it, an updated Populous could make an awesome multiplayer game or maybe even an online game. You'd just start everyone off with a single hut and villager and go from there playing against others. You could have a polythesic religion where you let allies villagers into your turf or maybe spread religion around like Civ culture a bit. Or you could be monothesic where if they were of a different religion your followers would automatically kill or injure villagers of another religion.

Re:Populous remake (1)

joshsisk (161347) | about 8 years ago | (#15914177)

Civ IV is vastly different than the previous Civ games... religion, improved culture, great people, no corruption, vastly more flexible diplomacy, the city maintence which eliminates "city rushing"... lots more cultures and increased differences in the cultures' abilities and units... revised seige unit rules...

Try Civ IV, it's great. Warlords expansion makes it even better.

Re:Populous remake (1)

usrusr (654450) | about 8 years ago | (#15915277)

I think the unit builder was the worst of alpha centauri (but the rest was so good, i still love it most of all civs, which, uhm, means quite a bit because the others are so good. i especially like the way the factions are presented, the feel so much more real than those civ nations which barely differ more than in the face that presents them)

the problem i had with unit builder: the units do not really evolve over long periods of time, it's still "unarmoured buggy, n attack", with only n changing, same goes for the planes etc. in the end game there are all those really funky extras like drop pods and the new chassis, but imho they come way too late in the game.

btw: civ4 has "learned" the good parts of the unit builder, the promotions don't just make your units stronger but allow for special abilities which give even more interesting combinations than in SMAC, but at the instance level, not at the class level, if you allow the analogy. at the same time it is even less administrative work, because there are no bulk upgrades as in SMAC.

Re:Populous remake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15917921)

Now that I think about it, an updated Populous could make an awesome multiplayer game or maybe even an online game. You'd just start everyone off with a single hut and villager and go from there playing against others. You could have a polythesic religion where you let allies villagers into your turf or maybe spread religion around like Civ culture a bit. Or you could be monothesic where if they were of a different religion your followers would automatically kill or injure villagers of another religion.

Powermonger [wikipedia.org] had some of the elements you refer. Also from Molyneux.

Yay for autonomous NPCs (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | about 8 years ago | (#15913979)

I just picked up populous for super nintendo at a garage sale. I had played it on genesis a few times about a decade or so ago, and it is still quite as much fun as I remembered.

I like the idea that the people you "control" are mostly autonomous - there isn't the same degree of micromanagement as, say, Command and Conquer or Warcraft; though, reshaping the land and recruiting knights can be a bit tedious.

I could imagine populous being remade as a mmorpg; player characters could be the people, and the gods could be controlled by computers. The bandwidth requirements of mutable, shared terrain could be quite high, though.

Re:Populous remake (1)

chrisbtoo (41029) | about 8 years ago | (#15914357)

Agreed.

Populous was my first exposure to multi-player gaming - I have fond memories of building myself a 3-wire RS232 cable so my mate and I could link our Atari STs together and play against each other.

Re:Populous remake (1)

WreathOfBarbs (804654) | about 8 years ago | (#15914707)

My friend and I did the same with our Amiga 500s. It totally rocked.

Re:Populous remake (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 8 years ago | (#15915379)

Carrier Command...

I know that there are a couple of remakes in progress but nothing that is available to buy or download.

If someone would come out with it, I'd buy it in a minute.

LK

Dungeoun Keeper.. (2, Insightful)

Tracer_Bullet82 (766262) | about 8 years ago | (#15912795)

One of my fav of all times.

And I think it would be great as a MMO.

and since we're on the subject a MMORPG for Disciple would be great too. From a lowly acolyte, "evolving" into the lords of demons :)

Re:Dungeoun Keeper.. (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | about 8 years ago | (#15913797)

please, bring me the Fallout MMO.

actually strike that.

bring me an MMO my wife would like to play that is also enjoyable for me to play. do that and i will bring the piles of money to the gaming table.

Please please please (1)

remembertomorrow (959064) | about 8 years ago | (#15912796)

Do not make them "XBox 360"-exclusive.

We all saw how well that turned out for Fable. :P

</sarcasm>

Re:Please please please (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | about 8 years ago | (#15913581)

Fable was a remake?

Re:Please please please (1)

Babbster (107076) | about 8 years ago | (#15913714)

Fable was an Xbox exclusive? :)

Re:Please please please (1)

remembertomorrow (959064) | about 8 years ago | (#15913790)

It was at first (for about a year)... for no apparent reason.

Later released on PC with a little extra content.

Game had insane potential, but ended up being largely a waste.

Re:Please please please (1)

Babbster (107076) | about 8 years ago | (#15915788)

It was at first (for about a year)... for no apparent reason.

Whatever the reason, the game sold extremely well on the Xbox. The only people who considered the game a failure were those who had paid way too much attention to pre-release hype. It was a solid game (Game Rankings has it at 85% for the original Xbox version) despite all their griping. It was no Dungeon Keeper (I liked 2 better), mind you, but it was fun.

Re:Please please please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15914567)

Fable was xbox360 exclusive? because I thought it came out on the xbox... did I have a special beta of it or something?

Also, no cookie for you, Microsoft bought Lionhead, which means that PM is their bitch, so I guess that means you'll need a 360 if you want to rock his games...

Curse you EA (5, Interesting)

hords (619030) | about 8 years ago | (#15912799)

I loved Dungeon Keeper. I always cursed EA for buying up good franchises and then never using them. Especially the ones from Origin and Bullfrog.

Re:Curse you EA (1)

DSW-128 (959567) | about 8 years ago | (#15912853)

Exactly... I have fond memories of pre-EA Ultima, and Syndicate Plus. Then again, I remember EA having some of the more fun titles way back in the day. When did they turn evil?

Re:Curse you EA (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | about 8 years ago | (#15913314)

My best guess would be 1992, when they first made a sequel to John Madden Football.

Re:Curse you EA (1)

abandonment (739466) | about 8 years ago | (#15914631)

>>When did they turn evil?

when their board of directors became a bunch of 60+ CEO's from other companies that have NO game experience whatsoever

Re:Curse you EA (1)

MadJo (674225) | about 8 years ago | (#15914995)

Funny though, these people apparently do know how businesses are supposed to be run, because EA is one of the largest brand in gaming at the moment. They might not recognize a game, if they tripped over it, but they do make successful businesses.

That is not to say, that I particularly like their franchises, but apparently there is a profitable market out there for them.

Or not! (1)

Cadallin (863437) | about 8 years ago | (#15917099)

as their non-game centered practices seem to be catching up with them. EA corporate hasn't been doing so hot in the last few years, and I'll be cheering their continued decline.

Re:Or not! (1)

MadJo (674225) | about 8 years ago | (#15917313)

well, there are still many people buying the Madden, NFL, NHL and FIFA series (almost every year?), and The Sims and their many add-ons.

Re:Curse you EA (1)

Duds (100634) | about 8 years ago | (#15917548)

When trip hawkins left.

Re:Curse you EA (1)

HaeMaker (221642) | about 8 years ago | (#15913188)

Yea, how about Wing Commander! I loved that game.

Re:Curse you EA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15915172)

Woo, yes. I bought the last one, Wing Commander Prophecy, from eBay because I never played it but it crashes very quickly on my modern machine :-/ Could be the AMD64, could be XP. I still plan to get a slower PC out of the attic to try it with.

Freelancer is good as far as it goes: I've played that through a few times now.

Re:Curse you EA (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | about 8 years ago | (#15913391)

I always wished a Crusader:No Regret and No Remorse sequel would eventually come out... I believe the Unreal 3 engine would do nicely :)

Re:Curse you EA (1)

Xtravar (725372) | about 8 years ago | (#15914342)

... and Maxis.
But at least we have The Sims with its 5000000 expansion packs. ... I would kill for an updated SimAnt

Don't forget Magic Carpet (1)

Knnniggit (800801) | about 8 years ago | (#15916992)

I can't believe nobody's mentioned Magic Carpet. That game was addicting as hell, and the later levels were very intense. I would've played all the way through to the end if it weren't for the memory limitations of the engine.

Ok, I'm going to rant a bit... (4, Insightful)

CaseM (746707) | about 8 years ago | (#15912858)

but after the everything-you-do-will-affect-your-world-even-your -sneezes hype bullshit fiasco that was Fable, I have no more respect for Mr. Molyneux or anything he says. The man is a idea man and a dreamer, no doubt, but he simply cannot make a game without opening his mouth about how orgasmic the gameplay experience is going to be when the reality of it is far, far more mundane.

Re:Ok, I'm going to rant a bit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15914120)

Diddo. They broke some many promises that he fucking posted an apology on the forum after the game was released!

They said (at the time of release) that it was like a 30 hour campaign, just doing the main quest (which was down quite a bit from 100+ hours...). It was more like 8 hours, with the -optional- included quests.

Then just to add another "fuck you" to everyone that bought the game, they then release "the lost chapters" that is actually the finished version and expect people to buy it! It was insane.

All I can say is, whatever this guy says, believe it only when you have personally played it for yourself. Likely 90% is bullshit.

Re:Ok, I'm going to rant a bit... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | about 8 years ago | (#15914305)

Good Lord, I've been waiting to hear some one else say that. I heard so much about how great Fable was going to be, and how open-ended it was. Let's think about this for a minute. There was two possible endings. How is that open-ended?! There were two main things that could happen in that game. Your charecter would be good/evil depending on your decisions, and people would react to those situations... rather simply. As in, "Oh, yay, the [insert title] is here!" or "Please, God help us the [incert title] is here". That's all. And it pissed me off. Sure, there were small encouragements along the way, like those demon doors, but all in all, it was not that great of a game. And I too am getting weary of Molyneux's visionary games.

Re:Ok, I'm going to rant a bit... (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 8 years ago | (#15914789)

Amen to that. Seriously, given Molyneux' track record of late, the idea of him "re-imagining" classic Bullfrog titles should be taken with a grain of salt and treated with the same concerned horror as Spielberg editing E.T. or someone seriously considering a Casablanca remake.

Besides that, he's already "re-imagined" Populous, and we all know what a monochrome turd that turned out to be. Twice, even.

Re:Ok, I'm going to rant a bit... (1)

kaffiene (38781) | about 8 years ago | (#15914992)

Fable is ONE game from the half a dozen genuine world-class games that Molyneux created. P.M. has a proven track record of creating world first games so don't piss all over his name just because you didn't like one of his games.

Re:Ok, I'm going to rant a bit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15915152)

Fable is ONE game from the half a dozen genuine world-class games that Molyneux created. P.M. has a proven track record of creating world first games so don't piss all over his name just because you didn't like one of his games.


Aww, did we insult your widdle hero?

Check the other comments in parallel with this one, asshole. Molyneux is overrated by an order of magnitude.

Dungeon Keeper! (3, Interesting)

avalys (221114) | about 8 years ago | (#15913027)

If he remakes that, I'll be the first one to buy it. That game was awesome!

I remember if you had the screen centered over the sexy torturer woman for too long without moving the mouse, the game's narrator/alert voice would say "You know, that'll make you go blind."

Re:Dungeon Keeper! (4, Insightful)

StocDred (691816) | about 8 years ago | (#15913426)

Yes, more Dungeon Keeper 2. One of the truly great underrated, overlooked PC games of days gone by.

Hell, forget making a new one, I'd take a simple DS port.

Re:Dungeon Keeper! (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | about 8 years ago | (#15914290)

I spent a happy weekend flying round the dungeon 1st person with the fly while wearing my LCD shutter glasses, now that was a trippy night !

Dungeon Keeper - Easter Eggs (5, Funny)

JoshDM (741866) | about 8 years ago | (#15913674)

I remember if you had the screen centered over the sexy torturer woman for too long without moving the mouse, the game's narrator/alert voice would say "You know, that'll make you go blind."

Really? How'd you find that out? No, wait. I don't want to know.

Online Syndicate (4, Interesting)

hal2814 (725639) | about 8 years ago | (#15913062)

Oh yeah. I would hope they keep it as small squads. It would be sweet to have multiple people playing on a squad. No more of your shotgunner getting nailed by a sniper while you're got your attention on another player.

Re:Online Syndicate (1)

kkiller (945601) | about 8 years ago | (#15913564)

Surely it would be better to have other players playing as other squads?

Re:Online Syndicate (2, Interesting)

hal2814 (725639) | about 8 years ago | (#15913675)

I think it depends. Squad vs. squad trying to secure the same goal would work out as long as it doesn't get too crowded (50 squads trying to assasinate the same person) but I think a deathmatch-type scenario would get old really quick. Personally, I think a co-op has a lot more potential and I guess in that case you could be using different squads. What I would hate to see is too many agents running around with noone to persuade or assasinate. That would be like taking the worst parts of Diablo and the worst parts of Quake III and putting them together.

Re:Online Syndicate (1)

usrusr (654450) | about 8 years ago | (#15915332)

yeah, multiple competing coop squads operating in a world filled with enough NPCs to make it interesting even if the two (or more) teams would maybe never meet directly in some matches.

why? because it would make the direct meeting experiences feel special and not routine.

and indirect strategies (like blocking the supply of civilian cars to teams needing them or something like that) could make for a very interesting gameplay. gta3-like engine (otoh: a fresh isometric would certainly rock for us oldschoolers), with much smaller worlds to allow for persistent NPCs during matches. sounds like an idea?

Re:Online Syndicate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15913595)

Syndicate rocked...the persuader rocked even more!!! I think it was Colorado with that motorcade...you persuade people, and if you have enough of 'em, you can persuade police. Enough of those and you persuade enemy agents too.

My fave thing to do in that level was to persuade everyone in the map, head off to a nice place with trees, wait for everyone to gather 'round, and then boom, self destruct. Halfway through the burning process, use a healing kit and you're back in action...while the rest of the population go extra crispy.

I think I got the game running on a DOS emulator once, but I don't remember which one.

Re:Online Syndicate (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 8 years ago | (#15914216)

I remember the later versions of Syndicate (the expansion pack) did support network gaming, but I don't think it supported TCP/IP. I could be wrong about that though...

Yay! (1)

kniLnamiJ-neB (754894) | about 8 years ago | (#15913065)

I love old games. Never got into Populous much, but I'm always happy to hear about people reviving classic titles. The more the merrier!

Classing Handheld Gaming (1)

cHALiTO (101461) | about 8 years ago | (#15913073)

I received my GP2X [wikipedia.org] a month ago and I can't stop playing It. All those PS2/PC/whatever 3d super graphics games are OK, but somehow there's something about games like super mario world, SF2, flashback, etc that make them so damn addictive..
I've already finished Super Mario World and now I'm replaying flashback. Man, what a game.
This little console is an absolute must for every classic gamer out there.

Re:Classing Handheld Gaming (1)

Jurrasic (940901) | about 8 years ago | (#15914221)

Could not agree more. I am currently making the commute dissapear every day playing classic SNES and Genesis games on the GP2X, and after winning Final Fantasy 3(6) finally, I am absorbed in the fan-translated hacked version of Seiken Densetsu 3 (Secret of Mana 2) that was done by fans upset it was never localized for an English language release, and what an amazing gem this game is, the pinnacle of 2-d console sprites and animation I think. So many classics to play again on the 2x, no fan of Linux or classic games should be without this gem of a handheld game/music/movie/picture/ebook media player. /preach OFF

Re:Classing Handheld Gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15914477)

You should both get a DS, it doesnt have the SNES or genesis emulation (yet, im not really sure havent checked in a while) but there's so many games on that machine that have old school addictive gameplay.
New super mario brothers, castlevania, advance wars DS, sonic rush, the list goes on and on. There's also a bunch of games that make use of the touch screen to create some innovative gameplay like trauma center and meteos.
I got mine two weeks ago and I struggle to not play with it 24/7, I havent had this much fun with a new gadget in years.

"EA-ing it" (1)

anti-human 1 (911677) | about 8 years ago | (#15913115)

As everyone knows, re-hashes are all the rage these days. Why play 'Tetris' when you can play 'Septris'? OMG flashy!

Fable's been sitting on my shelf since about 4 hours after I first popped it in. A new record.

Coming up next: Industry Shills who Don't Know it, and the Midgets who Love Them.

This just in.. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 8 years ago | (#15913139)

...game developer has ideas for games he'd like to develop! Film at 11.

...actually, considering the general state of the video game industry in recent years, maybe this is news after all.

Re:This just in.. (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about 8 years ago | (#15913444)

...game developer has ideas for games he'd like to develop! Film at 11. ...actually, considering the general state of the video game industry in recent years, maybe this is news after all.
I challenge you: name any recent game that is worth playing.

The game I played last: Super Mario Bros 3 (due to the recent /. poll). The game before: Master of Orion 2. The game before: Nethack. Oh, and that reaches the beginning of this year.

Generally, the game industry is getting as low as mainstream music these days.

Re:This just in.. (1)

FiveDollarYoBet (956765) | about 8 years ago | (#15913732)

Chanllenge accepted: Civilization IV.

You're right though, I can't think of the last game besides Civ IV & Europa Universalis 2 that were as good as the old classics like Populous, X-Wing, Dungeon Keeper & Doom.

Re:This just in.. (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 8 years ago | (#15914337)

I challenge you: name any recent game that is worth playing.

Darwinia [wikipedia.org]

If Molyneux remade these games what would we get? (4, Informative)

kinglink (195330) | about 8 years ago | (#15913150)

Ok Molyneux's two biggest games are Black and White, and Fable. And what happened to each of them? You hear all the hype that goes on for years and years and then you get the game and it's half as cool as it says. "oh you can get scars and stuff and it'll carry through to life. It's not even scripted" Except in the final game it's scripted.

"Oh you're monster will learn from everything" except you have no idea what it learns, you have to wait til Black and White 2 for that. Hell in Black and White if you don't pay attention to the monster 24 hours a day you will never know what is going on or what it might be doing.

I do give Molyneux kudos because he does take big games and attempt amazing things, and doesn't fall flat on his face like Romero, but at the same time he does fall on his ass quite often. He does do the hype to the extent that Will Wright has done, but at the same time Wright delivers on most of his promises or at least admits when he can't do something before a game comes out, not after, or in the final hours.

On the other hand one thing that these games had going for it was lack of graphics and amazingly complex gameplay that made fans cheer, unfortunatly most of the industry seem to focus so much on the gameplay (because the fans crave it and crap on any game that's not perfect) that we see nothing that has the depth or complexity of even games like Deus Ex. I don't know if I want to see Lionhead look into classic games, it might just turn into an abomination.

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (2, Informative)

Dasaan (644170) | about 8 years ago | (#15913268)

Um, Molyneux has more than just B&W and Fable to his name. In fact before Lionhead Studios he worked at Bullfrog on the very games mentioned in the article that he would now like to remake. Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Molyneux#Games [wikipedia.org] for a more complete list of the games he has worked on.

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (1)

Chazmyrr (145612) | about 8 years ago | (#15917849)

Um, you missed the point. Molyneux hasn't done anything worth my money since Dungeon Keeper. The Movies is the only thing he released since that didn't just flat out suck and someone else at his company designed that. Mind you that I don't think The Movies is a good game or is worth the asking price, I'm just saying that it isn't piss poor like everything else that has come out of Lionhead. Makes you wonder how much of the earlier successes were actually Molyneux.

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (3, Interesting)

Jerf (17166) | about 8 years ago | (#15914039)

I think some of his problem is the canvas got too big.

Dungeon Keeper was a great game. Especially the first one, all things considered. A small set of changes and it'd shine as an engine even today. The AI was spectacular in practice. It was actually fairly simple, each creature had certain rules and preferences, but with a good mix of creatures the dungeon really hummed along by itself without a lot of dumb intervention. Combat could use some work (they tried to fix it in the second one, but the ultimate problem is you probably need to be able to play without picking up the creatures at all, at least as an optional mode), and there were a couple of other bugaboos, but it was really solid. Really packed a lot in on those older computers.

Now he wants to really pack a lot in on these newer machines and consoles, and our tools just aren't up to it. Theoretically the games he envisions probably could exist, but they'd take longer to develop than the consoles will actually be economically viable for. People bitch about bloat, but the fact is that in general, even allowing "bloat" our programmer tools have not kept up with hardware, and truly pushing a complicated world to the limit in code (not just graphics) is basically beyond us right now. An XBox 360 may be, say, 100 times more powerful than a Super Nintendo, but we can't really make a game's code and engine 100 times more complex. (In fact, going from a Super Nintendo RPG to a modern RPG can sometimes leave you wondering what we've been doing with our time since then.)

I do not say this to excuse him; ultimately, despite various self-esteem-propoganda to the contrary, you do need to limit you dreams to the possible. But I think it's a good stab at an explanation.

Someone who would probably fall prey to this is Garriot, the guy behind Ultima. Ultima games were always just on this side of dissolving into a quivering mass of bugs because they were always so cutting edge. (Mind you, I'm not saying they were quivering masses of bugs; they are in general quite good, although 7 and on get a little glitchy. I'm saying that it took a lot of work to get them there and sheer willpower. Witness the fun involved with getting Ultima 7 running, with its incredible memory management scheme. (You're better off running Exult, now.)) And you know, while I've heard about some plans of his, I haven't heard about anything he's done and finished since before the first Black and White...

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (1)

kinglink (195330) | about 8 years ago | (#15914476)

The real thing we've been doing all this time is graphics. FF7 set us back years because every RPG that wanted to be taken seriously needed FMVs, while games like Suikoden 1-2 were amazing games with huge casts. They might not have the best story but the amount of stuff that was done in the story was amazing.

If someone was to take the 360 and make a 2d game, with enough time alotted they would be able to make a game in excessive of one thousand times as long as Final Fantasy VI, which only used 8 megs. I'm not even talking about processing power. But instead we devote huge amounts of our disk to the graphics in the game, where the gameplay continues to sit in the smallest amount of the game. However because we are limited to the graphics we have to deal with doing gameplay content that works with our animation library, not working on developing interesting gameplay. Every attack, every motion, every step in a game has to be animated out nowerdays which basically doesn't leave a ton of time for people who are trying to do something special to really get into it because if it misses all the time to create specialized animations to get that to work fails.

My real problem with Molyeneux is not that he is a dreamer, I'm glad he is, but he constantly states ideas as facts long before they are even finished being implemented, instead perhaps he should wait until he's assured it will get in and will work correctly before even talking about the feature. Perhaps even hold off on talking about key features until the game launches so we can be dazzled by them instead of immediatly looking for those features and finding them missing or not as grandious as the original design called for and being disappointed.

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (1)

Das Modell (969371) | about 8 years ago | (#15915124)

[quote]If someone was to take the 360 and make a 2d game, with enough time alotted they would be able to make a game in excessive of one thousand times as long as Final Fantasy VI, which only used 8 megs. I'm not even talking about processing power. But instead we devote huge amounts of our disk to the graphics in the game, where the gameplay continues to sit in the smallest amount of the game.[/quote]
Quite so, but length isn't inherently a good thing. I think Final Fantasy VII was a pretty long game, for instance. There'd be no need to make it longer (never finished FFVI, but got far - seems like a long game too). And graphics? I think they're sort of demonized too often, because good graphics really immerse you into the game. Jade Empire has very beautiful scenery and character design, it wouldn't be the same if it was running on FFVI's engine.

As far as adventure and roleplaying games go, I think they're long enough.

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (1)

Das Modell (969371) | about 8 years ago | (#15915134)

Argh! Let me rephrase that...

If someone was to take the 360 and make a 2d game, with enough time alotted they would be able to make a game in excessive of one thousand times as long as Final Fantasy VI, which only used 8 megs. I'm not even talking about processing power. But instead we devote huge amounts of our disk to the graphics in the game, where the gameplay continues to sit in the smallest amount of the game.

Quite so, but length isn't inherently a good thing. I think Final Fantasy VII was a pretty long game, for instance. There'd be no need to make it longer (never finished FFVI, but got far - seems like a long game too). And graphics? I think they're sort of demonized too often, because good graphics really immerse you into the game. Jade Empire has very beautiful scenery and character design, it wouldn't be the same if it was running on FFVI's engine.

As far as adventure and roleplaying games go, I think they're long enough.

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 8 years ago | (#15915547)

And graphics? I think they're sort of demonized too often, because good graphics really immerse you into the game.

Graphics are important, however their true importance is far overrated by todays industry. The important thing about graphics is simply that they don't distract, not that they look good by whatever todays standards are. For most part that simply means to provide a steady framerate, a good viewing distance and enough polyons, but thats already all. Once the graphics are good enough by that standard they will simply fade away after 15-30min of game play, since then the player will actually be busy playing the game, not carrying about if that polygon over there is shaded with ShaderModel3.0 or not. Even Doom1 or ResidentEvil1 can still be scarry and fun, once you get used to the fact that the graphics simply aren't up to todays standard. Some old games such as StarFox even look good today, because their graphic style actually works together with the limitations of the hardware, not against it. Sometimes it takes a while longer to get into a game when the graphics suffer to much from technical limitations, but once one is over that hurdle they simply fade away like all graphics do, no matter if good or bad.

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (1)

Das Modell (969371) | about 8 years ago | (#15915845)

Not really today's industry. Graphics have always been important. It just seems like they weren't important because games from, say, the early nineties look so outdated. I remember how much Doom's graphics were praised, and you could see the same thing even in the eighties. It's nothing new. Possibly the problem is that today the graphics take so much time, money and effort to create that they threaten to overshadow other aspects of the game.

I'm not really a graphics whore (I still run 1024x768 with AA/AF off), but I like pretty graphics, and I think they can be important for immersion (depends on the game I suppose). I'm mentioning Jade Empire again, but that game just looks terrific, and really sets the mood. The sceneries and costumes are beautiful. I wonder how long it'll take before I look at that game and declare it outdated.

Dungeon Keeper Creatures with Molyeneux AI? Sold! (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about 8 years ago | (#15916792)

I played a lot more than my fair share of Dungeon Keeper 2. I think it might have been my favorite computer game. It got to the point where I would design new, super-tough levels for myself, and see if I could still beat them.

There wasn't much missing from DK2. It ran on the Quake2 3D engine; now it might run on the Doom3 engine without challenging modern computers too much. But what it really needs is a deeper AI. The creatures in DK2 were a joy to work with most of the time, but occasionally, the shallowness of their intelligence would show through.

But this was 1998. Today's computers could easily handle a much more complex and lifelike AI. Creatures could be made trainable on a model similar to the monkey in Black and White. Each could develop personalities, attachments, character dispositions, etc. And yes, as an earlier poster said, it would be ideal if the hand of god didn't need to pick them up at all, but instad issue commands, reward and punish. Imagine having a dungeon of monsters with such loyalty and discipline that they defend against invaders all on their own, calling on one another for help, making cover for the fleeing wounded, or holding back enemies while the imps come in to do their work. Man, that would be my new favorite game! And honestly, it might not take a great deal of programming: Just adapt the graphics to a new engine and tweak existing Lionhead AI code, and you're well on your way!

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (1)

kaffiene (38781) | about 8 years ago | (#15914966)

You utter moron. Molyneux has a string of hits prior to B&W and Fable - all of which are better than those two games IMO. The world of games was not invented in the last five years - there really IS a history farther back than that.

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (1)

usrusr (654450) | about 8 years ago | (#15915436)

as you said, he was really good at making early 90ies games. as many people were.

i don't see any clue at all that would indicate that he is good at making post 2k games.

he did have the will to try new things and this is a good thing. but in trial and error you have to accept the errors and that's the problem with molyneux.

in the end i definitely prefer an average shooter over what b&w turned out to be. that one quickly becomes repetive in a boring way (sure the shooter has many repetive elements, but it kind of entertains me while repeating) if you don't accidentally get on the track of that one strategy that will bring you through the level without going through a sweat-mill of epic dimensions.

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (1)

kaffiene (38781) | about 8 years ago | (#15917673)

I agree that he has stuggled a little with his current crop of games, but I'd rather have a world in which people still bother to try something new. God help us people try to please only people like yourself who just want another "average shooter". Then we'd end up with an industry cranking out the same old shite time and time again with narry a new idea in sight. Hang on...

Re:If Molyneux remade these games what would we ge (1)

usrusr (654450) | about 8 years ago | (#15917876)

i want fresh ideas as much as everybody else, but molyneux has failed at least once too often.

give trust (which means funding) to someone new, maybe someone who has actually already succeeded to make anything above-average during this decade.

and in what way is an rts game with an added gimmick or two new anyways?

Bought my microsoft. *sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15913251)

I used to be a gamer. A long time ago, I used to be a gamer.

Well, "long" time ago. I was a gamer until about 1998 / 1999, and I still enjoy the occasional gaming session when visiting friends.

While I realize companies make their money on focusing on the main platforms, heh .. I still tend to use Linux ;) That is, I use it exclusively. So do most other people I know.

I just can't understand why so many companies completely ignores the platform. I would buy many a title, if they were released for Linux at the same time as they're released for windows. I don't care to buy them if they're released later. With other people having a head start - I'll probably never be able to be as good as them. :) And some of the fun in games, is to be best.

Give me a new, shiny strategy game for linux. I'll buy it. I don't care if it's difficult to get working - I used to fool around with DOS to get those 619 - 621kb of free base memory - as a 13 year old. I don't mind having to work a little bit to get things running - as long as the end result is that they run natively (with no emulation/whatever) under linux. :)

I yearn for the day the game-companies will start releasing for linux at the same time as for windows.

And hell! Origin could release Ultima 7 for PC's in 1993. There _has_ to be as many linux users these days as there were dos users in 1993. Loads of us would buy equally good games. They wouldn't take that much longer to develop. So .. why isn't there more independant game creators?!

Re:Bought my microsoft. *sigh* (2, Interesting)

usrusr (654450) | about 8 years ago | (#15915478)

> And hell! Origin could release Ultima 7 for PC's in 1993.

How many people worked on that game?

We still love those old pixel grids more than the shiny new HDR graphics, but only because they are our childhood memories. give any person is used to todays visual quality and instant gratification a game made like those old ones with which he does not connect any memories of "the good old times" and he would never endure the pains of long text passages, crude menus etc.

today we see the old games as warm and strong on story, but try to remember: back then we did care little about story, we mostly exposed us to those things because they had those really marvellous graphics, computers were the future and generally amazing miracles, they could even play games!

you can't bring that back, even linux can't do that

Re:Bought my microsoft. *sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15916336)

I yearn for the day the game-companies will start releasing for linux at the same time as for windows.

OSX has a far far bigger install base than does Linux and yet only a tiny fraction of the games released for Windows get ported to OSX. OSX is just a tiny blip on the radar for many game companys, it is just not worth the time or money. Linux is not even on the radar for most companys.

If you use Linux for all your computing needs and yet you want to play games, my advice is to purchase a console for gaming.

Powermonger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15913357)

Personally, I'd like to see him remake Powermonger. It was always one of his more obscure titles because it was back in the Amiga days and he was forced to release it before it was ready. I really enjoyed it though, and I'd love to see him get to do it properly. Dungeon Keeper and Syndicate would be great too.

It would help if he didn't get over-ambitious though, and concentrated on doing things well, rather than cramming as may features as possible into one project.

Syndicate! I want Syndicate!!!! (1)

nappingcracker (700750) | about 8 years ago | (#15913416)

Wow, that was one of my favorite games. The intro video was creepy - a guy walking down a crowded street, you see him from the inside of a car, next you see him turn around and get hit by the car. The scene cuts to him strapped to a big ring (DaVinci style), and having his limbs replaced with bionic stuff and his whole body coated with plolymer, next thing you see is the same guy, now with trench coat, all bionic an bad ass with a fancy pistol -- he is now part of the syndicate.

I loved this game, after gaining a few territories I would jack up the tax, go out and mow the lawn, and come back to a all my territories rioting, and with a lot more money and tech research, the added bonus was being able to play the mission again, now with style! I would replay this game any day.

Re:Syndicate! I want Syndicate!!!! (1)

usrusr (654450) | about 8 years ago | (#15915492)

heh, i never realized you could rise the tax and simply reoccupy the territory, i think i played through the whole game on the minimal budget :)

(i saw the tax option just recently when i did some futile attemts with dos-box or some different version of the windows os)

Syndicate (1)

scummable (992752) | about 8 years ago | (#15913447)

Syndicate was a great game. I didn't find out until years later that it had been popular since, growing up in Alabama, I was the only person I knew that even had a computer. My favorite thing to do was use the persuadetron on everyone in the city and walk around with a huge mob. It was the best strategy I found, much more so than trying to blast your way through hordes of agents. This way you always had a nice barrier of living targets and it would earn you extra money at the end.

Re:Syndicate (1)

Pop69 (700500) | about 8 years ago | (#15914239)

Yeah, but nothing beat throwing a nuclear hand grenade in Syndicate Wars :-)

Sega - Remake and distribute Rocket Jockey !!! (1)

JoshDM (741866) | about 8 years ago | (#15913629)

Rocket Jockey [wikipedia.org] had a kicking surf guitar soundtrack, Fallout [wikipedia.org] sensibilities, and great gameplay (as long as you had a powerful PC) that was itching for multi-player support (originally not supported until the patch came along). As a fun sport game, it would make an amazing impact as an online console game for the NextGen machines. Think about holding a Wiimote with two hands to steer.

Think about it, Sega. You still own SegaSoft... right? You were going to give this one to the PSOne. Give it to every console and you'll have the breakout remake of the aughts!

Update Dungeon Keeper controls! (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | about 8 years ago | (#15913651)

Dungeon Keeper was a great game, but it was hampered by a mediocre interface. Updating the control setup (Wii!) would go a long way.

Kind of Scary - like the movie industry (5, Insightful)

PDMongo (225918) | about 8 years ago | (#15913723)

While I enjoyed the games in question quite a lot, and would probabaly enjoy a re-vamping of these games, I see a disturbing similarity to the movie industry of late. It seems that there have been less and less really innovative, creative, and original movies being released. There seem to be more and more remakes of older films now that movie technology has gotten better. A few examples of what I am talking about such as 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith', 'War of the Worlds' or 'Cheaper by the Dozen' come to mind. I don't want to start a whole flame war on "how can you say you didn't like movie ..." but to me, most of these remade-for-a-new audience movies have left a lot to be desired. Mostly because they were just remakes of an older movie. The story was the same, the special effects were changed try to make a buck.

I can only hope that the remake of an old favorite game doesn't fall into the same trap. And they need get the same voice actor for the Dungeon Keeper! Thinking about slapping around those imps to get them to work faster still brings a smile to my face...

FWIW...

Re:Kind of Scary - like the movie industry (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 8 years ago | (#15915292)

While I enjoyed the games in question quite a lot, and would probabaly enjoy a re-vamping of these games, I see a disturbing similarity to the movie industry of late. It seems that there have been less and less really innovative, creative, and original movies being released.

A single re-vamped Molyneux game still provides more originality then a dozen of todays regular games combined. While it might not be something entirly new, it at least is something that hasn't been done in quite a while. The last Syndicate game was 10 years ago and the rest isn't really much newer either, so seeing some of those games again could be really a good thing, since a lot of those had ideas that havn't been done to death like so many others have (finger pointing at WWII shooter...).

Powermonger (2, Interesting)

LainTouko (926420) | about 8 years ago | (#15913789)

People tend to forget about the game quite a lot, but I'd be interested to see a modern game along the lines of Powermonger. A real time strategy game set in a medieval world that actually acts like a medieval world; food supply and transportation, and the turn of the seasons are a significant part of the strategy, splitting your army means not being able to communicate instantly, you can disrupt enemy armies by killing messengers (pigeons), you can disrupt enemy armies by killing their commander, people can't be "conjured up" by resources, all you can do is take existing people and give them weapons, (or just conscript unarmed shepherds anyway), everyone has a name, you can kill sheep for emergency food, you can nick fishing boats for your army, but then the towns won't produce as much food for you to appropriate, townsfolk are sycophantic, and then discontent when conquered, large armies travel the waves entirely by coracle, capitals mysteriously lack the production facilities of towns and cities...OK, maybe not a carbon copy. But that would be cool.

Re:Powermonger (2, Interesting)

Red Moose (31712) | about 8 years ago | (#15914094)

Yes I was thinking the same thing. While the other games are good, and Syndicate (oriiginal one ) was uperb, Powermonger has to be one of my all time favourites. The style of play was very atmospheric, and affected your plans, it was simple quick attacks rolling a catapult down a hill, loads of psychophantic troops! Capturing the enemey general and getting his people.

Powermonger was Bullfrog's finest moment. Intro music was excellent too!

Trainable AI Assistants? (1)

bdp (41335) | about 8 years ago | (#15913896)

Nobody has mentioned it yet, but I wonder what the chances of Microsoft using some of the technology developed by Lionhead in other products, such as Windows or Office. Gesture technology has already been used in some other (non-MS) apps without a tremendous impact, but what if they took the trainable AI technology from Black & White and integrated it into their products so that you could have an assistant that actually learned how you use your computer, as opposed to something like the infamous Clippy that responds the essentially same way every time. I'm sure there's a market for that kind of thing out there.

Re:Trainable AI Assistants? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15914287)

Brilliant. There is definitely a market for a shit-flinging talking paperclip. We'll be in touch with you immediately.

--Ballmer

Robosport!! (2, Interesting)

MrTester (860336) | about 8 years ago | (#15914033)

Of all of the old games I played, Robosport is the one I most want to see redone.
It could be fantastic!

He's out of ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15914689)

So he's really just admitting that he is out of ideas for new games. His last few games have been commercial failures, so he's harking back to the good old days when his name on a game actually meant something.

OB X-Com!! (1)

IgLou (732042) | about 8 years ago | (#15915222)

C'mon, if any game deserves a remake it's this turn based classic. If done right you can easily update and revive X-Com. Mind you, I feel turn based games are too few nowadays; it's sad that it's dying genre.

Still waiting for Total Annihilation 2 (1)

CPE1704TKS (995414) | about 8 years ago | (#15915387)

TA was the most advanced, most beautiful RTS of all time. It was totally ahead of its time, and even things like playing online worked well. I lived in Canada and played against my cousin over the Internet (he only had a 56K modem) and it played fine, with over 1000 objects moving on the battle screen. Please please please bring an update to this absolutely wonderful game!

Re:Still waiting for Total Annihilation 2 (1)

QuantumPion (805098) | about 8 years ago | (#15915444)

TA's spiritual successor, Supreme Commander, is in development.

http://www.supremecommander.com/ [supremecommander.com]

Re:Still waiting for Total Annihilation 2 (1)

Trillian_1138 (221423) | about 8 years ago | (#15916837)

Slightly OT, but that site doesn't load at all for me. It seems to be written entirely in flash and, being on Linux, Flash 8 (I believe) isn't available. So....rather than degrade gracefully and have certain parts of the site inaccessable, the whole damn page is one giant link to Adobe. Poo.
-Trillian

Re:Still waiting for Total Annihilation 2 (1)

annakin (994045) | about 8 years ago | (#15916914)

That's good. I finally got my hands on TA last year, and the lack of an online community similar to battle.net (200,000 users?) meant that I never bothered to play it. I think I found about 100 people playing TA online. After that, I fired up Starcraft real quick.

Great idea! (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 8 years ago | (#15915388)

While Dungeon Keeper left me relatively unimpressed, I miss Syndicate and Populous. I would buy a current version any time.

Dungeon Keeper Anecdote (1)

patio11 (857072) | about 8 years ago | (#15915975)

I got Dungeon Keeper for -$10 at Best Buy. Yes, negative -- $9.99 with a $20 rebate. I was psyched since I had heard it was actually a pretty good game. So I got it home and started playing around without reading the manual, digging gold and marveling at the (at the time) mind-blowingly cool graphics. Two of my little brothers were watching me zoom in on an Imp while I was impatiently waiting around to get more money to build something or other.

"Hey, you're a hand. Wouldn't it be cool if you could, like, smack him to make him go faster?" said one of my little brothers.

At that moment, my finger slipped and right clicked the imp instead of left click. SMACK. There was silence in the room. Then I did it again. SMACK. Riotous laugher and cries of "I can't believe it actually lets you do that!". SMACK SMACK SMACK. We went through about ten imps before we calmed down.

Thats still among my favorite gaming memories.

Magic Carpet (1)

annakin (994045) | about 8 years ago | (#15917009)

No mention of Magic Carpet? That and Syndicate were his best games. Wikipedia says Magic Carpet lost out to Doom, but I still managed to play through to the end. Flying and shooting, what could be better than that?

Molyneux' biggest failure was probably the idea of the god-sim itself. I played a fair amount, actually a crapload of Populous, DK, and DK2, and one question that always nagged me was, "How am I winning?" Those games were a lazy version of an RTS. You have units, you control them...sort of. They fight battles...sort of. Ultimately you just follow your instincts and pray.

Magic Carpet succeeded because it had intense one-on-one combat, with great controls. And Syndicate had conventional, mission-oriented gameplay with experience and money. If Molyneux stops muddying the waters with fuzzy god-sim games, he could do his career a favor. Back then we didn't care, Populous was a proto-RTS and gamers could see where that was going, even if Molyneux himself didn't see the future of simulations in games.

Sounds good (1)

gpn (991395) | about 8 years ago | (#15918084)

I would definitely get the re-release of Populous. I don't know how many of you remember a game called Battle chess. It was chess with a twist. When a piece was taken by another, they battled eachother in a humerous animation sequence. A remake of this with modern 3D animation would be awesome.
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