Kamis, 29 Mei 2014

I am an adult, bicilotti

At some point, Carina, a fellow agser started a wonderful and pretty interesting discussion in the IRC channel concerning  the evolution of anonymosity on the world wide web, and how it has changed things, perhaps for the worst or for the better.

It's all right we told you what to dream...
I found myself agreeing with her almost entirely, nodding my head, falling into deeper thoughts. Practically come to think of it, we've kind of being restricted due to the lift of anonymous usage of the various internet-related services and protocols. Restricted to behave the same way in all of them as they all connect to our real life persona one way or another, whereas we could be whatever we wanted, behave freely, and nobody would mind.

I found myself surprised to see everyone mindlessly getting addicted to Facebook, posting as much of their lives as they could, for the whole world to see, when up until then, it felt silly to even give out your first name. Isn't it odd to realize we've welcomed the invasion of our privacy, confining ourselves within the walls of our real life and its limitations. And now, being anonymous is treated differently, but the need to realize what the element (of anonymosity) brought to the table is growing more and more by the day.

Is internet being slowly controlled to the wishes and desires of certain people? Is it gradually being manipulated to be TV 2.0? Tacky ads, profits expands, brands everywhere, monetization values and huge growth potential, this is it.

Senin, 26 Mei 2014

Adventure Games Museum: Exhibit #4

From Arj0n's game vault comes...



...another museum piece did catch my eyes:
EXHIBIT #4: THE BLACK CAULDRON [(1986]


Front and back of the box:
 

Information & Hits Sheets

Discs & Warranty Card

The book

Again the book

Closeup

Nice map



By Arj0n

Kamis, 22 Mei 2014

They shoot horses,don't they?

To get things running, I've always found the title so interesting, besides the wonderful acting by Jane Fonda, I've surrounded the movie in my head with a veil of mystery and intrigue. The hindering whispers of dead-end and inevitability throughout the simple yet catching story arcs, are totally the highlight. Life is a bit crazy after all, and sometimes it does get too real.

Going a bit off-track, my mind is a bit traveling to my mom, who kind of escaped death, according to my father, this past Saturday. But she's doing well now, can't wait for her to return home.

A valuable lesson to be found in realizing what's worth pursuing.
Anyhow, sometimes, we have to learn to let go.

Not just people, but also creative projects, as they sometimes go ashtray and it's hard to pursue the goals we set out to achieve through them. It saddens me to see a project I really want to see, get shut. But those behind it, have their reasons. They've matured and gained experience from them.

Vital elements to be used in the future ones. And that's how game designers evolve, by throwing down what they consider as dead-weight, whether it's easy to do so, or super-hard. No matter how much you've clung to something, it won't fix the issues that revolve around it.


Personally I've abandoned a good dozen of half-started games. We all have, whether we put work or we just thought about them for a day or two - or an hour. In the spirit of the old Sierra adventure games, we learn through countless hours of trial and error, till we see the much desired exit.

Apologies for the inconsistent rambling.

Senin, 19 Mei 2014

Adventure Games Museum: Exhibit #3

EXHIBIT #3: THE COLONEL'S BEQUEST
Front and back of the box:
 


What's inside - lots of goodies! Four 3,5" disks, manual, Misty Acres Plantation map, magnifying glass, Laura Bow's notebook & pencil, Sierra catalogs and a registration card


Beautiful little notebook where you can write down your clues
Attention to details is staggering!


Big folded plantation map so you don't get lost.


Manual is not just a dull piece of how-to-play document. It contains many interesting informations, like a short biography of each of plantation guests. There's also ACT 1 in the form of a play.


Back of the map is covered with the red pattern hiding a set of fingerprints. Each time you start your game you have to take Laura's magnifying glass and identify a fingerprint shown on the screen.
Sierra catalogs are really fun to read all those years later. You can learn that a new Sierra blockbuster game King's Quest 5 is in the production (coming Fall 1990!), or you check out wide rooster of their games. :D



By Gribbler

Rabu, 14 Mei 2014

Flawless

I've always loved and hated the exact same thing about the Resident Evil franchise (moreso focusing on the earlier parts of the saga). The clunky controls. Admit it, they are at best barely working to facilitate the player in his quest. I can imagine a video compilation in my head of people raging over dying from a zombie, because they panicked and the controls slow reaction mechanics did the trick.. Perhaps that thing even exists.

Moving on.

Jill Valentine: Resident Evil III and some other spin-offs
Throughout the years and with lots of practice, I've grown accustomed and come to like that "issue". Adding to the claustrophobic, eerie atmosphere of each game with jump scares, hand-to-hand combat (mostly forced by the scarse ammo) and chasing to construct a handicap, capcom's developers shine, by creating difficulty out of thin air. But, still after all these years, it kinda makes me wonder. Has this been intentional? Or is it a flaw carefully camouflaged as a feature to trick us all?


Regardless, this comes to be a settling argument, when I compare survival horror games. Even if it takes a long while to maneuver throughout the actions, I grew to be terribly fond of Resident Evil, especially Nemesis. With a fragile yet brave protagonist, Jill Valentine, against all odds, I was disappointed to see them fail to add the storyline to the countless irrelevant movies to be. I strongly believe it would be interesting to explore the character depth of Jill, perhaps with an anime series, instead of showing Jovovich's wonderful body over and over again in an action-filled cliched zombie flick sharing no similarities to the franchise.



Besides the name. #Jill


Senin, 12 Mei 2014

Adventure Games Museum: Exhibit #2

Next game is a game that started it all for me. My first adventure game. My dear dear SoMI. I didn't speak English at the time so I had to finish it with a solution. Regardless, I fell in love with the game and the genre. Right after finishing the game I restarted it to live through the experience once again. True story!

EXHIBIT #3: THE SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND

Front and back cover:
 

Excerpts from back cover: 
"Eye-gouging 3D graphics", (I love this one!)
"Ear-pearcing reggae music"
"No typing - point & click interface". (haha in your face Sierra! :) )
"Average playing time: 30 hours. (No way!)


What's inside the box: eight 5.25" floppy disks, manual, Dial-A-Pirate wheel and a bunch of leaflets.

Code-wheel copy protection, in which you had to mix and match several pirate's faces and assemble their names. Almost 25 later - it still works!

By Gribbler

Kamis, 08 Mei 2014

Japan or why I want to be there at least once.

This article is probably irrelevant to gaming overall, so you may want to skip this. This is a rant article, about what Japan is to me, and how it affects my life and artistic output. 

Empire of the Sun (1987)
Somewhat, perhaps due to the fact that we got to see 80s shows where I live (Greece) when I was growing up (early 90s), I have a feeling I've conflicted and connected the whole era of synths and neon-lights and leather jackets to a nostalgic veil. The music I hear, the clothes I love to wear, the small things and yet the bigger things, feed from those emotions. 


Endlessly pointing towards eastern culture as they seem to get a commendable impression of that era, I've been starstruck with visiting the Empire of the Sun, perhaps being  a bit nudged by the movie as well. Though the movie itself doesn't sport anything in particular to make you feel the lust, perhaps I felt related to the main character in different ways, inexplicable ones. I used to love airplanes a whole lot back then. It was nice to feel that simple and be so sure of it. 


Arguably, I'm a bit confused trying to pick my own brain. This probably makes a little to no sense by now. Trying to grasp control, Japan is the 80s for me. The majestic buildings, the rotten atmosphere of decay and smug, the neon signs, the technological obsession, the late wee hours. Hard to understand, hard to explain. It's like constantly being in the edge of your youth, closer to a new fresh start, yet having lived a whole lot needing to settle down. It could be like viewing a great movie for the first time, feeling the fuzz, or listening to a miraculous song under a new spectrum of perspective. 
Neo-tokyo, umbrellas, lights...you simply can't go wrong.
 Recognizing the song in the air, when nobody does, wondering who else knows it and embraces it as much as you, yeah, that's Japan for me, perhaps the same for Stu. This was not a Haiku.

P.S: Stuart, them photos you promised!

Selasa, 06 Mei 2014

AGS Bake Sale: Return of the Jedi

May the fifth be with you?

Yeah...no, not a good one. But the new AGS bakesale seems yummy, and that's a pun intended. With creators Ponch, Radiant, Tzachs and Baron. So, who gets the money? The AGS Server does. So it's money for the community and you get to play games. I'm not very good when it comes to promoting things I like, so I will just copy Ghost's beautiful handwriting from his web, and pretend I wrote it.

I do have to say that I love finding excuses to use the downtime label on this very blog, so, without further irrelevant stuff, Ghost's writeup on the AGS BakeSale II




2034 AC 2 by Ponch
Some time ago Ponch made a fun little "Canada after the Apocalypse" game starring brave, cute and dangerously media-aware Mountaineer Paige. AC 2 seems to be a follow-up and once more features Paige, Canada and a load of fourth-wall shattering lines.

BEER! by Radiant (of Crystal Shard)
A mixture of minigames and that bubbly stuff called "liquid bread" here in Germany. From the description it sounds like a tongue-in-cheek WarioWare "microgames" affair. We all know Radiant for coming up with highly creative coding and this title may have quite a few surprises in store.

Blue Lobe Inc by Baron
Described as "game, visual novel, and interactive comic" BlueLobe is a fundraiser indy game about... some guys launching an indie game company. If the concept doesn't hook you, it's also fully voiced and it has trendy cartoon speech bubbles.

That Damn Dog by tzachs (of Parking Goat)
In a "playable sitcom", one frustrated man faces one annoying dog. May or may not have a laugh track!

So there they are, four games ready to be yours. The minimum amount you have to pay is 1 dollar, which covers the transaction costs. But the sky is the limit- if you're feeling generous or just think the forum bill could use some of your money, just give what you like.

A little extra is the "bonus content"- if you pay over the (regularly calculated) average you'll get some goodies from the authors, mostly art, wallpapers, soundtracks and whatever they saw fit to put into the mystery bonus bundle.


So check out the site:

http://bluecupbakesale.com/

Senin, 05 Mei 2014

Adventure Games Museum: Exhibit #1

I was basically just gonna ramble forever about whatever was in my head, but then a marvelous topic appeared on my radar, so I'm gonna be pasting all the exhibits here once a week, every monday. The idea has initially been pitched by Gribbler, and it has gathered all kinds of wonderful attention by AGSers.

Gribbler's pitch:
Years ago I had an idea to write a blog called "Adventure Games Museum" where I wanted to write about adventures of the past, with photos of given game front and back cover, it's box contents, trivia and whatnot. You know, like in a display in the actual museum. I guess I wanted to show the young adventurers how the games were being released in the old days, before the age of digital distribution: no "soulless" downloadable keys, no lame DVD boxes, no pretty box covers. The blog didn't really work out. I posted 2 or 3 games and abandoned it due to lack of time. Also, it was in my native language and only about 3 or 4 people read it I thought why not make a collaborative effort out of it, right here in the forums. 
Oh, and I don't do this to boast about my games collection. Not AT ALL! Nooooo, sir!

So, my first game is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Why? Because it belongs in a museum!


EXHIBIT #1: INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE

Front and back cover:
  

What's inside the box - Henry Jones' diary, Hint Book, six 5,25" really floppy disks, copy protection sheet with special glasses, bunch of leaflets.


Intricate spoil-proof hint system! Copy protection worked the same way so you could not xerox it.
  

Beautiful handwritten Henry Jones' diary which you had to consult to solve puzzles in the game. Really cool stuff!