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 1 
 on: 2024-02-22, 22:42 
Started by Makou - Last post by Kajet
Yeah it's pretty sad that there is content, even entire games that are completely lost. I recently found out about a part of Silent Hill Play Novel, the GBA visual novel version of the PS1 original, It had two paths on the cartridge itself, Harry Mason's being a retelling of the original game, and Cybil Bennett's a new viewpoint on those events, and available through a cellphone connected download was "A boy's story" that is mostly unknown other than it was split into four parts, corresponding to the seasons.

 2 
 on: 2024-02-16, 10:58 
Started by Phoenix - Last post by Phoenix
Ranger's random musings.  I took his quotes from Quake Champions and, er... completed them.  Slipgate - Smirk



"You bastards!  Why are you torturing me like this?  I'm still waiting for my damned sequel!"

"This operation is falling apart.... kind of like my clothes after 20 years in the field."

"Kickin' a man when he's down?  That's pretty low.  I mean, it has to be.  He's literally on the ground."

"I need to find a slipgate out of this place.  To another place.  That I'll be in."

"When you've been here this long, nothing and everything makes sense.  Kind of like my voice lines."

"Too painful to be a dream.  Too real to be a nightmare.  Too broke to afford a chiropractor."

"Slipgates are closed.  Gotta find another way home.  Maybe I can hitchhike."

"Maybe my kingdom's finally come.  I need a better real estate agent."

"Sometimes the world doesn't need another hero.  It needs a Monster." *Pulls pop top and chugs*

"Surrender is not an option.  I checked the brochure."

"Too much going on in my head.  Can't focus.  Damned kids and their Rick Rolls."

"Where have the portals taken me now?  GlaDOS?  Long time no see!"

"Lord give me strength.  I'm fresh out of steroids."

"I seem them... all around us.  Tentacles and teeth, within and beneath.  Is this Japan?"

"Spent 20 years trying to get out.  Not giving up now!  Damn this zipper!"

"Been trying to get out 20 years... Not giving up now.  Is there an echo in here?"

"I ain't got time to bleed.  No... actually I can't duck."

"Surviving... One day at a time.  Like everyone else."

"All these places are starting to bleed together.  Did they merge the .bsp's?"

"'Put your back into it!' Coach always said.  I don't think he meant wall spikes."

"'Put your back into it' Sarge always said.  Thought I ditched that guy when I graduated."

"You can't keep me from getting home.  I'm not allowed out after dark."

"Let's go you sons of bitches.  God I hate walking the dogs."

"Your friends are going to have a hard time peeling you off the wall." *Throws another banana*

"Operation is running smooth as silk.  Now for the funnybone..."

"Operation is runnin' smooth.  God I love the sound of my voice."

"Everything is good to go.  Shop Smart, shop S-Mart."

"Proud to serve.  I still don't like tennis though."

"When you're 20 feet all and throwing lightning, then you can face me.  If you can get through the doorway."

"Stay down, you disgraced yourself enough.  I told you not to beg at the table."

"You disgraced yourself enough.  Stay down this time.  No, that's not a euphemism."

"Makin' momma proud.  I folded the laundry all by myself."

"No no no you SHOOT with it!  That's not a euphemism either!"

"I love the smell of gunpowder!  I just did 3 lines.  What do you mean, 'cancer'?"

"Ranger reporting!  Call me a snitch again, I dare you..."

"I know a good slipgate to shove you in.  #5 over there is trippy."

"I've been killing Monsters for ages.  Beats using White Claws**."

"I've seen some shit.  I'm ready for anything.  Like new underwear.  Seriously, it's been 20 years on the same pair."

"Time to get back in action.  I mean, Duke got a sequel..."


**Let me know if you get this reference.

 3 
 on: 2024-02-11, 07:21 
Started by Makou - Last post by Phoenix
I'm all for preserving old games, whatever their original form of distribution was.  Doom - Thumbs Up!

 4 
 on: 2024-02-11, 05:31 
Started by Makou - Last post by Makou
I know we're mostly about PC-related matters here, but I really dig cool game preservation stories and feel like this kind of thing is worth sharing.

In brief: The Broadcast Satellaview was an add-on device for the Japanese Super Famicom that allowed subscribers to download games via satellite and save them on a form of flash media. Most of this data would be overwritten or otherwise lost before the ROM data could be dumped. This includes the specific subject here, BS F-Zero Grand Prix, specifically its second iteration, which is so almost certainly lost that the F-Zero community has a $5000 bounty on a working, dumpable cartridge of GP2.

But you can't stop a determined group from figuring out something, and something was figured out. Japanese console players have a history of recording gameplay that long predates the existence of services like YouTube and Twitch, and one such player happened to still have their VHS recordings of this game. They were uploaded to YT about five years ago. Someone eventually created tools that could do something with these recordings with a high level of accuracy, and the work started.

It is now as restored as it will ever be without the original ROM data, and it is fully playable.

And I just think that's neat.

A more detailed video on this game's history and the process of restoring its content can be found here.

 5 
 on: 2024-01-29, 04:29 
Started by Footman - Last post by Woodsman
Well to be fair to Romero it's not like the development of quake was some smooth process the only difference is Quake was dumbed down so there was less to screw up.

 6 
 on: 2024-01-25, 07:14 
Started by Phoenix - Last post by Phoenix
With the increasing prevalence of bots and now AI getting into the mix, I wanted to make a note to anyone wanting to register on the forums about how the process works:

I personally approve all registrants.

That means I'm going to look at your user name, email address, and pull a geolocation on your IP address.  If you look like a bot, script, AI, or paid corporate data mining drone trying to register you'll get rejected.  This is not meant to block legitimate users, but to protect users from the crap that's out on the web causing problems.  A few tips on how to not get caught up in the rejection process:

1.  Be mindful of your user name.  If it's something generic like FirstnameNastname and especially if your email address is similar that's a pretty dead giveaway you're not here to talk about Generations, Id titles, or games in general.  That's typical lazy bot registration behavior.

Better idea:  Use something that's a gamer handle or something related to Quake.  We can always change it later if you don't like it.

2.  Your email address matters.  Yes, I know everyone uses gmail.  That means scammers/spammers use gmail.  The same with aol, yahoo, etc.  Again, if it's something overly generic looking or smacks of spam bot I'm probably going to not let it through.  If it's the same as your username in some way and the username already looks bad, that's a hard fail.

Better idea:  I know this is a tough one because people get attached to their email address, but use something that stands out that looks like you created it.  Same rule applies as with your user name.  If you want to just use a free email service to create a burner account and we can change your desired email after the fact.  It just takes one PM to me once you're active on the boards.

3.  Where you live matters.  I don't want to deny a potential gamer a voice here, and Wirehead does not discriminate when it comes to any gamer's ethnic or cultural background, but let's face it:  Sometimes your country's government and/or business practices really suck and that has to be taken into account.  If it looks like a residential IP that's not going to raise many flags in and of itself, but if an IP originates somewhere in a country known for having a repressive government or allowing internet scammers to run rampant that's a factor.

I cannot provide more specific examples of what makes a good registration without feeding the spam bots but let's face it - if you're here because you love Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein-3D, or the like you'll know what to do after reading this.  Any potential bad actors reading this... take note.  It's not worth your time, there's no money to be made here, and you need to find an honest and honorable line of work.  I'm going to protect the legitimate users and you're going to lose.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Sorry I had to post this but for the legitimate gamers out there, I feel you have a right to know that there is a real breathing flesh-and-blood being making these decisions, and that being can and will make mistakes from time to time.  If you register and your attempt does not get approved *PLEASE* re-register based on the above guidelines as soon as possible and you'll have a voice here.  Also, remember that registration on the message board is not necessary to download and play Generations Arena - only to discuss things on the forum.

 7 
 on: 2024-01-25, 02:41 
Started by Footman - Last post by Makou
The weird thing about Daikatana is that there's actually a competent game in there somewhere. The multiplayer is apparently fantastic, and there's a community that's spent a decent chunk of the last 24 years doing what it can to make the single-player... well, playable... without destroying the core of the game. And for the most part, it's succeeded; the result isn't incredible, but it's serviceable (when it isn't crashing because lol running an early 2000's game on modern Windows without problems).

The Gameboy Color version is also one of the better games on the handheld that nobody talks about, because barely anyone knows about it. It's a top-down action-adventure game! That was done at Romero's request, apparently.

Since we're on the subject of not beating games for seemingly far too long... I only somewhat recently played all the way through both (Ultimate) Doom and Doom II. And I've never actually finished a full playthrough of Quake 2.

I'm surprisingly bad at finishing games, even some of the ones I'll say are favorites, heh.

 8 
 on: 2024-01-24, 06:39 
Started by Footman - Last post by J3E125

My thoughts about the gameplay, design, and soundtrack have evolved quite a bit since my first experience with Quake.  Quake is, had to be, and will remain a product of its time.  The unusual combination of medieval knights, cosmic horror-inspired nightmare creatures, military weapons, and odd level structure was a result of the constraints of its development process.  It's not a game made from careful deliberate choices.  It was brutally Frankensteined together to make a mismatched whole that somehow managed to work despite all its problems.  That same brutal crudeness is reflected throughout every aspect of the game as well, from the weapons to the enemies to the models and environments.  True 3D games were a new thing, and Quake was pushing the hardware of the day beyond its limits.  Everything had to be as simple as possible while still being truly 3D, so you got angular models that wobbled due to vertex precision limitations placed into chunky, crudely shaped environments with simplistic weapons that went from weak to insanely powerful with no real refinement.  The soundtrack was even a huge gamble, favoring an ambient feel over the pulse-pounding metal music from Doom.  Yet... somehow all this managed to work.

...

Looking back on Quake 1 from my present position I can fully appreciate it for what it is, what it tried to be, and I find it sad that it was never properly followed up on afterward.  Overall I do like Quake 2 better.  It is certainly a more polished game, with thought-out design, deliberate flow in the level structure, a very balanced progression of weapons, and the weapon variety just seems more flavorful.  It's just more to my personal taste, but I certainly like what Quake 1 has become for me in the time since it's initial release and my very unpleasant initial experiences.  It's hard to imagine a world of 3D games without Quake squarely at the beginning, like a brooding Great Old One awaiting for the stars to be right once again to awaken from its slumber and terrorize the unwary world.



Well said.

It's not even id's first time they did genre mash in their games. Doom was entirely derivative of 80's action movie culture, with the concept being James Cameron's Aliens sci-fi but the extraterrestrials are replaced with interdimensional hell spawn. In my opinion Doom aged better than Quake (although the gameplay is a different conversation) because the sci-fi of Aliens remains relevant in popular media. Quake's grunge dark fantasy stopped being "cool" the moment stuff like (and its equivalents) Nirvana or NIN were no longer transformative agents of cultural taste, and by the time of Quake 1's release those were already on their way out. As a standalone work of art, Quake 1 suffers from its incoherent mix of action sci-fi and horror fantasy. Notably the tech base levels are nice but thematically do not belong.

Nevertheless, I think Quake 1 will always be attractive because of its idiosyncrasies gathered from early 90s pop culture that have never quite resurfaced like other eras have (eg the endlessness of 80s inspired media of the last two decades). The angst, anger, and attitude of Q1 is wonderful. Underappreciated, even? Every element from visuals, gameplay loops, and music channels the vibe of grunge and teen angst. You're fighting for your life just to escape the masochist death traps of Azure Agony, where players are purposely thrown out of their element via level design, where the game actively plots against you with slime and shamblers, trap doors, makes moments like the thunderbolt and quad damage pickups much more satisfying, being able lash out against a hostile world and briefly turn the odds in your favor. In a way, Quake 1 is condemned to be the moody little teenager, the kid who's not bad just misunderstood, making for an excellent mood piece that excels when compared to Doom or Quake II. Its a shame that the release version didn't turn out to be a video game cultural reset like Doom was before it.

Maybe it's a blessing after all that Quake was released in the state it's in. Romero's next attempt at another historical video game moment failed pathetically. Besides, all the failures of Quake guaranteed that the genre would no longer be led by a single studio or game. Duke Nukem 3D, Unreal, Half Life, Halo CE heralded the changes for the fps genre without occupying such a towering position Doom had or Quake expected to.

id completely fumbled the Quake reboot, but I do feel like there will be one more Quake revival before 2030.

 9 
 on: 2024-01-19, 05:02 
Started by Footman - Last post by Makou
The second point was that Quakeworld's super-shotgun lies. ...  visually the gun seemed to pattern all its shots in one spot when that's not what was happening on the server.  A long-standing gameplay misconception was finally put to rest.
IT'S STILL REAL TO ME, DANGIT

 10 
 on: 2024-01-18, 11:11 
Started by Footman - Last post by Phoenix
Oh boy, down the Quake rabbit hole I go.

So Quake for me, initially, was... disappointing.  I had seen preview articles and teaser pictures with the dragon, knights with arms missing from locational damage, and the general idea was that Quake was going to be some kind of medieval fantasy game in full 3D.  I had just finished playing Hexen and was looking forward to this 3D castle romp... so that expectation was completely shattered when I got a copy of the Shareware and got to play the actual game.

But let's stop right there.  I heard Quake before actually playing it.  I put the CD in a player and listened to the... soundtrack?  The Quake theme was awesome.  Great stuff.  Then... what was this other stuff?  It's just ambient sound.  What's going on here?  That was a source of confusion.  It only got worse....

I read the manual.  Shotguns?  Military installation?  What happened to the dragons and knights?  Oh well, let's see where this goes.

I installed the game.  My first thoughts were in dealing with the performance.  My computer was not up to the task, so it was very choppy.  I got into the first level, and yikes.  The animation on the enemies was nauseating.  I was watching a slideshow playing another slideshow.  And... I walk into buttons?  I no longer have a "use" function?  What if I don't want to push that button?  And everything looks bad.  Those shotguns... so weak.  What happened to the punch from the shotguns in Doom?  The Rocket Launcher blew stuff up, sure, but it all just felt so bland.  Where were the gun animations?  Why does switching weapons just instantly put up a new gun instead of letting me see the old one lower, and raise up the new one?  Why no BFG?

I slogged through the first episode.  I got to the end, and I didn't want to play again.  Quake was thoroughly unenjoyable.  I went back to playing Doom.

Time passed...

I wanted to revisit Spear of Destiny.  I hadn't played it in a long while, and I noticed that my floppies had gone missing.  I purchased a CD replacement.  On this CD was a demo for Quake 2.  Hmm... well, let's look at it and see how it is.  I installed the demo, and I never looked back.

The performance was absolutely horrible.  I was playing 320x200 software mode, it was choppy, but the gameplay was absolutely fantastic.  I loved the cyborg enemies, the soundtrack was epic, and the weapons just punched where the Quake 1 weapons felt lacking.  There was variety to the weapons and enemies.  The gun models moved, raised and lowered, the enemies had personality in their actions.... I got a retail copy.  Eventually I got a Voodoo 2 card and I was hooked on Quake 2 since.  It was also my first foray into online multiplayer, as I was very, very slow in deciding to connect to the internet.  I wasn't sure I wanted to.  It was a tremendous personal risk that I wasn't certain I wanted to take.  But... the access to all that information was too much to pass up, so internet access, then multiplayer gaming for Quake 2 followed after.

At some point I stumbled across a source port for Quake 1 that described itself as bringing in model interpolation, among other features, to improve the performance of the GLQuake engine.  It was Q2K4, which was an evolution of a project called Phoenix Quake (I was not involved with that, despite the name).  I gave it a try, and that changed Quake for me forever.

It was far from perfect, but the smooth rendering performance and addition of model interpolation fixed the problems I initially encountered with Quake the first time around.  I found myself playing Quake and actually enjoying the game.  I began to appreciate the atmosphere, monsters, and level design for the first time.  Later sourceports such as Quakespasm further improved on the experience, and I finally learned to love a game I initially hated and largely skipped.  I realized most of my dislike was due to the technical performance problems that plagued my hardware at the time, along with the aforementioned model chop.  I'm visually very sensitive to certain kinds of movement patterns, so that was a huge fix for me.  I was late to the party, but Quake finally hit all the right notes.

So enter Generations.  Without going too far into the history of how I got involved, my joining the Generations Arena project pushed me to delve a lot deeper into all the Quakes than I had been before.  I was dissecting model files, looking at weapons code, and seeing just how everything worked.  During this time I also read the collective works of H.P. Lovecraft, so I also got to experience the lore that lead to Quake's environments and bestiary.  That provided some understanding of some of Quake's odder design decisions.  Learning more about the design changes that happened late in Quake's development brought the rest into focus.

My thoughts about the gameplay, design, and soundtrack have evolved quite a bit since my first experience with Quake.  Quake is, had to be, and will remain a product of its time.  The unusual combination of medieval knights, cosmic horror-inspired nightmare creatures, military weapons, and odd level structure was a result of the constraints of its development process.  It's not a game made from careful deliberate choices.  It was brutally Frankensteined together to make a mismatched whole that somehow managed to work despite all its problems.  That same brutal crudeness is reflected throughout every aspect of the game as well, from the weapons to the enemies to the models and environments.  True 3D games were a new thing, and Quake was pushing the hardware of the day beyond its limits.  Everything had to be as simple as possible while still being truly 3D, so you got angular models that wobbled due to vertex precision limitations placed into chunky, crudely shaped environments with simplistic weapons that went from weak to insanely powerful with no real refinement.  The soundtrack was even a huge gamble, favoring an ambient feel over the pulse-pounding metal music from Doom.  Yet... somehow all this managed to work.

My experience with multiplayer Quake 1 was quite a bit lacking.  I did not play Quakeworld until becoming involved in Generations development, and that was mostly to understand the mechanics of the gameplay rather than just playing it for the sake of playing it.  I learned two valuable things from my experience.  The first is that Quakeworld players are entirely fanatical.  They play Quakeworld.  Period.  Many of them never moved on to Quake 2, and the ones that stuck around long after were absurdly skilled.  The second point was that Quakeworld's super-shotgun lies.  During development for Generations there was a constant nagging from some people to make the Slipgaters' super-shotgun pattern super tight like in Quakeworld.  Yet... when playing Quakeworld I discovered that the SSG did very little damage even if the entire pattern was focused on another player.  So I did some testing and discovered that it was all a lie to save on network bandwidth.  The SSG ran the exact same pattern for doing damage that the SSG did in normal Quake, but it was transmitting a single network event, then drawing that multiple times on the client - but in the same spot.  The result was visually the gun seemed to pattern all its shots in one spot when that's not what was happening on the server.  A long-standing gameplay misconception was finally put to rest.

Looking back on Quake 1 from my present position I can fully appreciate it for what it is, what it tried to be, and I find it sad that it was never properly followed up on afterward.  Overall I do like Quake 2 better.  It is certainly a more polished game, with thought-out design, deliberate flow in the level structure, a very balanced progression of weapons, and the weapon variety just seems more flavorful.  It's just more to my personal taste, but I certainly like what Quake 1 has become for me in the time since it's initial release and my very unpleasant initial experiences.  It's hard to imagine a world of 3D games without Quake squarely at the beginning, like a brooding Great Old One awaiting for the stars to be right once again to awaken from its slumber and terrorize the unwary world.

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