Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

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antsbull
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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by antsbull » Thu May 31, 2012 7:14 pm

@Jagfest_UK - for those who grew up outside of Europe, DOS gaming was huge in the 80s and 90s, and was far bigger than the Spectrum or Amstrad. Where I grew up it was C64 and PC all the way. The number of PCs used for gaming in the US was huge during the latter half of the 80s.

The PC has an amazing legacy, and has as many stories, great games and legendary developers as the Spectrum and other such machines. The fact that you don't realise this shows your ignorance on the topic more than anything else.

There are hundreds of great games and many legendary developers all of which would fit perfectly into RetroGamer. RetroGamer needs to up its game in this area, as it currently is a blight on it, that the editor and writers don't even seem to realise any of this, and are happy to rehash articles on the Spectrum and Amstrad every couple of months. A great example is how one of the biggest and most influential developers in the 80s/90s world, Sierra Online, has not even had one of their 80s games featured in the mag as a making of - even though they dwarfed the sales figures of all of the UK developers.

I love the mag, but it has a massive hole in it - pretending that PCs didn't exist or trying to come up with lame excuses why they are not featured more in the magazine is rubbish. RetroGamer is doing itself a disservice here.

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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by The Laird » Thu May 31, 2012 7:27 pm

antsbull wrote:@Jagfest_UK - for those who grew up outside of Europe, DOS gaming was huge in the 80s and 90s, and was far bigger than the Spectrum or Amstrad. Where I grew up it was C64 and PC all the way. The number of PCs used for gaming in the US was huge during the latter half of the 80s.

The PC has an amazing legacy, and has as many stories, great games and legendary developers as the Spectrum and other such machines. The fact that you don't realise this shows your ignorance on the topic more than anything else.

There are hundreds of great games and many legendary developers all of which would fit perfectly into RetroGamer. RetroGamer needs to up its game in this area, as it currently is a blight on it, that the editor and writers don't even seem to realise any of this, and are happy to rehash articles on the Spectrum and Amstrad every couple of months. A great example is how one of the biggest and most influential developers in the 80s/90s world, Sierra Online, has not even had one of their 80s games featured in the mag as a making of - even though they dwarfed the sales figures of all of the UK developers.

I love the mag, but it has a massive hole in it - pretending that PCs didn't exist or trying to come up with lame excuses why they are not featured more in the magazine is rubbish. RetroGamer is doing itself a disservice here.
The thing is that Retro Gamer is UK based magazine so it is always going to go for more UK centric coverage. Back in the eighties and early nineties hardly anyone over here used a PC to play games on. Why would we when there were far cheaper and more capable systems we could use. It was only when the ST and Amiga died out, 2 machines that were very popular and get little coverage in the mag (especially the ST), that the PC began to see success as a games computer. Given this, the fact DOS gaming gets as much coverage as it does in the magazine is certainly a big bonus for anyone who did grow up with it. I have never seen an ST game on the cover of RG :wink:

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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by DreamcastRIP » Thu May 31, 2012 7:41 pm

antsbull wrote:... I love the mag, but it has a massive hole in it - pretending that PCs didn't exist or trying to come up with lame excuses why they are not featured more in the magazine is rubbish. RetroGamer is doing itself a disservice here.
Let's look at the last two issues of RG (so I can't be accused of being too selective in the sample used),

Issue 103
* PC games chart listed in Back to the Nineties
* Two pages on Hogs of War - a PC and PlayStation game
* Four pages on Diablo - a classic PC franchise
* Two pages on 'loot drop games' - something mostly identified with PC gaming
* Eight page feature on flight sims including several references to PC games
* Two page review of Legend of Grimrock - a new PC game

Issue 102
* Front cover devoted to a PC game franchise
* Eight page feature on the Star Wars X-Wing saga - a classic PC game franchise
* RetroRevival for Lemmings 2: The Tribes listed as a PC game
* Deathtrap Dungeon discussed - a PC and PlayStation game


"Pretending that PCs didn't exist"? Nonsense!

That's a lot more coverage than the likes of Amiga, ST, PC Engine, Vectrex, ColecoVision, Intellivision plus many other platforms too combined.
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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by themightymartin » Thu May 31, 2012 8:23 pm

I too would like to see a little more PC coverage in the future, but what I'd specifically like to see is an article on the use of the shareware model in games.

A lot of the games Chiptune mentioned in his first post (Hocus Pocus, Jill of the Jungle, Wolfenstein 3D, Wacky Wheels etc.) used this distribution method, wherein the first "episode" of a game was released for free with a payment required to unlock the remaining episodes.

If I remember rightly it was a process pioneered by Apogee Software (now better known as 3D Realms).
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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by The Laird » Thu May 31, 2012 8:51 pm

themightymartin wrote:I too would like to see a little more PC coverage in the future, but what I'd specifically like to see is an article on the use of the shareware model in games.

A lot of the games Chiptune mentioned in his first post (Hocus Pocus, Jill of the Jungle, Wolfenstein 3D, Wacky Wheels etc.) used this distribution method, wherein the first "episode" of a game was released for free with a payment required to unlock the remaining episodes.

If I remember rightly it was a process pioneered by Apogee Software (now better known as 3D Realms).
It was common in ST & Amiga gaming too with PD Shareware

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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by slacey1070 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:43 am

themightymartin wrote:I too would like to see a little more PC coverage in the future, but what I'd specifically like to see is an article on the use of the shareware model in games.

A lot of the games Chiptune mentioned in his first post (Hocus Pocus, Jill of the Jungle, Wolfenstein 3D, Wacky Wheels etc.) used this distribution method, wherein the first "episode" of a game was released for free with a payment required to unlock the remaining episodes.

If I remember rightly it was a process pioneered by Apogee Software (now better known as 3D Realms).
I raised this earlier and would find it really interesting..... Doom was PD/shareware.... that in itself says how important PD was back then....
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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by themightymartin » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:15 am

Jagfest_UK wrote:
themightymartin wrote:I too would like to see a little more PC coverage in the future, but what I'd specifically like to see is an article on the use of the shareware model in games.

A lot of the games Chiptune mentioned in his first post (Hocus Pocus, Jill of the Jungle, Wolfenstein 3D, Wacky Wheels etc.) used this distribution method, wherein the first "episode" of a game was released for free with a payment required to unlock the remaining episodes.

If I remember rightly it was a process pioneered by Apogee Software (now better known as 3D Realms).
It was common in ST & Amiga gaming too with PD Shareware
I never grew up with the ST or Amiga and still haven't used either of them (I know right?). I grew up with the PC because my dad used to work at Olivetti and we'd get a free PC from them every now and then.
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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by pantal00ns » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:16 am

slacey1070 wrote: I raised this earlier and would find it really interesting..... Doom was PD/shareware.... that in itself says how important PD was back then....
Perosnally the first episode of DOOM as PD was probably the most important game ever. It got be back into gaming properly. Then came quake, Counterstrike etc.

If I had not had the chance to play DOOM for free, I'm not sure my interest in video games would have continued to exist on any platform.

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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by kelp7 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:53 am

Jagfest_UK wrote:The thing is that Retro Gamer is UK based magazine so it is always going to go for more UK centric coverage. Back in the eighties and early nineties hardly anyone over here used a PC to play games on. Why would we when there were far cheaper and more capable systems we could use.
An interesting opinion of course but i'm not sure where you're getting your knowledge from there to form it. Did you survey every gamer in the 80s to find out what they were using? I had an Amstrad PC, very affordable, in 1987. It probably cost the same as an Amiga or ST at the time I would have thought. There were, indeed, plenty of games for them. Most popular titles were released for the PC in the late '80s. One of the first I bought was Starglider. My friends were pretty jealous, to say the least, at the speed that the game ran. Especially when I got Elite soon after with filled-vectors running smoothly and quickly. I think he's right to say that the mag is ignoring PC gaming somewhat, but they have included the odd article here and there. I would definitely appreciate an overview of Sierra as mentioned.
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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by merman » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:44 am

Let's get one thing clear - Retro Gamer is not saying PC gaming was less important or influential. There have been a lot of articles mentioning PC games, although in general there have been fewer Making Ofs. PC titles have popped up in Classic Game, RetroRevival and as part of company histories.
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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by The Laird » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:29 am

kelp7 wrote:An interesting opinion of course but i'm not sure where you're getting your knowledge from there to form it. Did you survey every gamer in the 80s to find out what they were using? I had an Amstrad PC, very affordable, in 1987. It probably cost the same as an Amiga or ST at the time I would have thought. There were, indeed, plenty of games for them. Most popular titles were released for the PC in the late '80s. One of the first I bought was Starglider. My friends were pretty jealous, to say the least, at the speed that the game ran. Especially when I got Elite soon after with filled-vectors running smoothly and quickly. I think he's right to say that the mag is ignoring PC gaming somewhat, but they have included the odd article here and there. I would definitely appreciate an overview of Sierra as mentioned.
Firstly its not really an opinion as its fact that the ST & Amiga were far more widely supported by software houses during this period than the PC. One look at a site like Moby Games will tell you that, only the major full price releases got PC versions. Also exactly how many PC magazines was there at this time dedicated to gaming? Go read back issues of C&VG, the most popular multi-format magazine of this time and see how much PC content they had.

I don't believe for one minute that you could buy a PC all set-up for gaming for the same price as an ST back in 1987. The price of having to buy a monitor alone would have at least doubled the price, then you had the price of things like a sound card and a joystick. Not even close.

The post by DreamcastRIP proves RG are far from ignoring the PC and he has pointed out it gets more coverage than other more popular games machines of that period.

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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by Doddsy » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:34 am

I agree I'd like to see more Dos and PC game coverage. In my opinion the problem with retrogamer is that to appeal to most gamers they tend to stick to the games people all know and love. Mario and Sonic for example and lately they have been recovering old ground albeit from a different viewpoint. I'd like to see The Janes series of Flight Simulators covered. These were of quality and gameplay wise its something we don't see today.

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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by MattyC64c » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:46 am

I don't remember seeing PC games mentioned in C&VG either. In fact, I've got a few old copies of C&VG from the late 80's, and there is no PC gaming coverage what so-ever. Loads of coverage for the ST, Amiga, no PC.

I'm pretty certain that PC gaming didn't take over as a lead development platform until at least 1994, which was about the same time Commodore went bust.

There was no way to buy a PC at the same price as an Amiga or an ST. Only the more expensive models of the Amiga - the 2000, 3000 and 4000 models would have been of comparable price (even then, I'm sure a PC cost more).

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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by kelp7 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:14 am

Jagfest_UK wrote:Firstly its not really an opinion as its fact that the ST & Amiga were far more widely supported by software houses during this period than the PC. One look at a site like Moby Games will tell you that, only the major full price releases got PC versions. Also exactly how many PC magazines was there at this time dedicated to gaming? Go read back issues of C&VG, the most popular multi-format magazine of this time and see how much PC content they had.

I don't believe for one minute that you could buy a PC all set-up for gaming for the same price as an ST back in 1987. The price of having to buy a monitor alone would have at least doubled the price, then you had the price of things like a sound card and a joystick. Not even close.

The post by DreamcastRIP proves RG are far from ignoring the PC and he has pointed out it gets more coverage than other more popular games machines of that period.
Fair enough. I'm about to get started on my online PC magazine archive actually. Both PCA and PC Plus were covering games from their start in around '86 or '87. I admit that these are not magazines that are dedicated to gaming but they were certainly covering both full price and shareware releases quite early on. As far as cost of machine goes, well, I guess it depends what you are prepared to settle for when you say "all set-up for gaming" :) I mean, i was happy to settle for what the Amstrad machine gave, even though that was just an internal bleeper (which could produce decent music, see Wizball and Quadralien for instance) and CGA graphics (monochrome monitor in my case). Okay, I admit, I can't remember the price exactly now and maybe I'm mistaken but I thought you could get the base model Amstrad PC1512 (single disk-drive, mono monitor) for about 400 quid. Maybe i'm a bit off there...
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Re: Much more DOS and old PC gaming coverage please!!

Post by merman » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:23 am

Again with the argument on balance and coverage. PC games get covered. RG is not ignoring the format. It's a question of available material and expertise. One argument is that that era is when development teams got bigger, and so it makes it trickier to track down and interview people.

GamesTM's Retro section has featured some PC games lately (Theme Hospital and Civilization, for example) so it is possible we will see connected articles/interviews filter through to RG.
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