What's wrong with new 8- (and 16-) bit games?

When the other folders just won't do!

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psj3809
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Post by psj3809 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:32 am

Crunchy wrote:I still don't see why a gamer would want to bother playing Spectrum versions of Wizard Of Wor, Mr Do! and Puzzle Bobble when they can play much better versions on other, later formats. A dedicated spectrum fan would want to, obviously, but a more mainstream gamer ... well why bother?

I thoroughly enjoy the old gameplay styles but unfortunately for the developers of new speccy software and suchlike, what they're doing has been done before and done years ago and usually done better.
But some people might say why bother playing games on ANY old platforms when the latest consoles have many similar games which are better graphically and sound wise ?

The new Speccy games are mostly new types of games, eg Farmer Jack I (Mr Do!), Farmer Jack II (Ladybug), Cannon Bubble (Puzzle Bobble) where the Speccy never had similar games. The Egghead games are a variation of course on platform games which might not be original

For me i like the ease of use of getting a rom of a Speccy or Megadrive game which might be new and playing it on an emulator. I can then play that game on a variety of gadgets. Last thing i personally want is to install a PC game (Plus i cant on the GP2X or Pocket PC) even on my PC.

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Post by Crunchy » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:58 am

psj3809 wrote:
Crunchy wrote:I still don't see why a gamer would want to bother playing Spectrum versions of Wizard Of Wor, Mr Do! and Puzzle Bobble when they can play much better versions on other, later formats. A dedicated spectrum fan would want to, obviously, but a more mainstream gamer ... well why bother?

I thoroughly enjoy the old gameplay styles but unfortunately for the developers of new speccy software and suchlike, what they're doing has been done before and done years ago and usually done better.
But some people might say why bother playing games on ANY old platforms when the latest consoles have many similar games which are better graphically and sound wise ?
Nostalgia, which has already been mentioned.
And the fact that many old games, many old types of games, are not available on modern systems. At all.
But something like Puzzle Bobble, well I can play a far superior version than anything the speccy can manage, and still be playing it on an old system.

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Post by psj3809 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:39 am

Crunchy wrote:Nostalgia, which has already been mentioned.
And the fact that many old games, many old types of games, are not available on modern systems. At all.
But something like Puzzle Bobble, well I can play a far superior version than anything the speccy can manage, and still be playing it on an old system.
Yeah mainly nostalgia. I love MAME games and 99.9% are better than the Speccy versions, sometimes i love to get a good nostalgic blast from my old arcade games and play on that. Other times i love to play a more basic cut down version by far on the Speccy to bring back memories.

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Post by TMR » Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:50 am

Turrican wrote:If you're selling the games for free and it's not doing anyone any harm, then what was the point in someone setting this thread up in the first place?
To understand why people seem so reluctant to download and try free or nominal cost games for 8-bits.
Turrican wrote:I can think of worse things clogging up cyberspace that won't give you the fun and enjoyment that a blast from the past will. I am intrigued though as to where all these new 16 bit games are, as all I see and hear about are speccy and C64 titles.
The 16-bit machines don't do anywhere near as well as the 8-bits to be honest, there is Paradize knocking out Atari ST games at the moment and Beggar Prince for the Megadrive, but the main focus of most homebrew developers seem to be the 8-bits. i'm not sure why that is to be honest...
Turrican wrote:Sure, I understand this is a retro gaming forum and there will be more people dedicated to playing titles on it's original format than anywhere else, but that is their choice.
That's not really my point as such, a lot of people here are already equipped to play these games because they have reasonably powerful PCs, emulators already installed for their platform or indeed platforms of choice but they don't seem willing to download a file, unarchive it (and that's not always needed either) and run the thing. What i'm interested in is their reasons, why there's a difference between a game released in 1985 and one in 2008.

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Post by Turrican » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:57 pm

TMR wrote:
Turrican wrote:If you're selling the games for free and it's not doing anyone any harm, then what was the point in someone setting this thread up in the first place?
TMR wrote:To understand why people seem so reluctant to download and try free or nominal cost games for 8-bits.
it's a mixture of time restrictions and the ease of use, as Crunchy said, to get similar games, via emulators, on more powerful systems, unless you have a strict following of that computer/console. If you had a choice between Rainbow Islands on the C64 or MAME, which would you choose?
Turrican wrote:I can think of worse things clogging up cyberspace that won't give you the fun and enjoyment that a blast from the past will. I am intrigued though as to where all these new 16 bit games are, as all I see and hear about are speccy and C64 titles.
TMR wrote:The 16-bit machines don't do anywhere near as well as the 8-bits to be honest, there is Paradize knocking out Atari ST games at the moment and Beggar Prince for the Megadrive, but the main focus of most homebrew developers seem to be the 8-bits. i'm not sure why that is to be honest...
I think that it's time for people to move up a little bit and get more 16 bit games out there, as it may well have a knock on effect and get people going back to 8 bit too...
Turrican wrote:Sure, I understand this is a retro gaming forum and there will be more people dedicated to playing titles on it's original format than anywhere else, but that is their choice.
TMR wrote:That's not really my point as such, a lot of people here are already equipped to play these games because they have reasonably powerful PCs, emulators already installed for their platform or indeed platforms of choice but they don't seem willing to download a file, unarchive it (and that's not always needed either) and run the thing. What i'm interested in is their reasons, why there's a difference between a game released in 1985 and one in 2008.
It's a mixture of a few things... well, for me anyway. Firstly the emotions you go through when getting a game as a kid back in 1985 are much different than all of us going into shops now and picking up, say, Call of Duty 4 or something. There's also the rose tinted nostalgia that can clog up the reality of what it's like to look at and play now. They were more cutting edge back then than now, which can sometimes make an affection for an old skool classic wain.
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Post by TMR » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:37 pm

Turrican wrote:it's a mixture of time restrictions and the ease of use, as Crunchy said, to get similar games, via emulators, on more powerful systems, unless you have a strict following of that computer/console. If you had a choice between Rainbow Islands on the C64 or MAME, which would you choose?
i'd play both until i made a decision as to which i felt was the more playable.
Turrican wrote:I think that it's time for people to move up a little bit and get more 16 bit games out there, as it may well have a knock on effect and get people going back to 8 bit too...
i'm not sure i follow the "knock on" logic really, but generally speaking the 16-bit machines are quite a bit more powerful and don't offer as much of a challenge; by far the most popular machine for homebrew developers is the hardest to actually do something with, the Atari 2600.

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Post by Crunchy » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:01 pm

TMR wrote: To understand why people seem so reluctant to download and try free or nominal cost games for 8-bits.
Here's the simple answer coming from my very own personal viewpoint:

"Because the stuff being produced does not appeal to me"

Scrolling shooters on the C64 when there's already a glut of such games on the C64.

Platformers on the Spectrum when there's already a glut of such games on the Spectrum.

Puzzle games on both machines when there's a glut of puzzle games everywhere else, modern or retro.

Pointless ports of games that are available in superior forms on other formats.


It's always the same old stuff being put out. I know the developers are hobbyists and that it's easier (and less time consuming) putting out another scrolling shmup, but in all honesty I'd rather see a game for the speccy that was along the lines of Everyone's A Wally, or Enigma Force on the C64. Basically anything that isn't in an already saturated genre.
I would pay money to play a new game that was like Everyone's A Wally. But nobody ever does games like this. And the thing is, it would be worth playing to me even if it was a new game made for the speccy, because it's not only the speccy programmers that don't do games like this, nobody does games like this anymore unless it's a straight remake.
The games you make have to have relevance now if you want to move outside of the very small niche of people that already enjoys these games. That means you have to look at what was available back then that hardly gets a mention today.

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Post by Turrican » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:14 pm

TMR wrote:i'd play both until i made a decision as to which i felt was the more playable.
Even though they are the same game and bearing in mind that one of them IS the arcade original..
TMR wrote:i'm not sure i follow the "knock on" logic really, but generally speaking the 16-bit machines are quite a bit more powerful and don't offer as much of a challenge; by far the most popular machine for homebrew developers is the hardest to actually do something with, the Atari 2600.
The logic is simple. You play some 16 bit games and it may entice the player to delve further back in time to see where these kind of games really came from. Do a 16 bit version of Uridium and he may want to check out the C64 one and so on.

I'm sure I'll be expecting some quotes and reasons why I'm not in the right ballpark tomorrow lol ;)
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Post by Dudley » Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:22 am

TMR wrote: To understand why people seem so reluctant to download and try free or nominal cost games for 8-bits.
Free games are only free if your time is worthless (Something I've always said about Linux actually). Hell, I've got more than 1 360 game I paid for I've not started, let alone blindly scrabbling for possibly crap 8-bit stuff.

But to save me some time, let's quote from RGCD 3 and my "Hurrican" review.
There's plenty of homebrew that, while free in money terms, is not worth your time. Every second you play Barbie's Seahorse Adventures is a second you're not playing Hurrican and that would be a shame.
Incidentally, said CD also includes Barbie's Seahorse Adventures. Play it and you'll agree with me.
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Post by Shaun.Bebbington » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:24 am

Crunchy wrote:It's always the same old stuff being put out. I know the developers are hobbyists and that it's easier (and less time consuming) putting out another scrolling shmup, but in all honesty I'd rather see a game for the speccy that was along the lines of Everyone's A Wally, or Enigma Force on the C64. Basically anything that isn't in an already saturated genre.
I would pay money to play a new game that was like Everyone's A Wally. But nobody ever does games like this. And the thing is, it would be worth playing to me even if it was a new game made for the speccy, because it's not only the speccy programmers that don't do games like this, nobody does games like this anymore unless it's a straight remake.
The games you make have to have relevance now if you want to move outside of the very small niche of people that already enjoys these games. That means you have to look at what was available back then that hardly gets a mention today.
What specific things in the game mechanic of Everyone's A Wally do you like or crave? Just out of interest...

Regards,

Shaun.
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Post by TMR » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:33 am

Crunchy wrote:Here's the simple answer coming from my very own personal viewpoint:

"Because the stuff being produced does not appeal to me"
That's a valid point as long as you're actually keeping up with what's being released to be sure that's the case - the "to do" lists for Oldschool Gaming list over 300 games we haven't had time review (and that's just the "edited highlights" that i felt were worth further consideration, not everything released) yet so there's quite a bit out there...
Crunchy wrote:Scrolling shooters on the C64 when there's already a glut of such games on the C64.
So what about all the games for the C64 that aren't scrolling shoot 'em ups, titles like Joe Gunn or Newcomer? Or the Metal Warrior series that people mistake for run and gun games but are much deeper because they have a back story to tell, or BOFH - Servers Under Siege which is essentially a top view version of an FPS...? Even Turrican 3 isn't a straight scrolling shooter and that one was "signed off" by Manfred Trenz, creator of the original two Turrican games.
Crunchy wrote:It's always the same old stuff being put out. I know the developers are hobbyists and that it's easier (and less time consuming) putting out another scrolling shmup, but in all honesty I'd rather see a game for the speccy that was along the lines of Everyone's A Wally, or Enigma Force on the C64. Basically anything that isn't in an already saturated genre.
The thing is that these developers, myself included, are writing in their own time so they have to stick to projects that they themselves are going to enjoy playing because they're the ones who play a game more than any gamer. Personally, i've never liked Enigma Force so the odds of me spending six to nine months writing something similar and not enjoying all the alpha testing are hideously low. Scrolling shoot 'em ups on the other hand, i got the C64 in the first place for the scrolling shooters so it follows i'm going to enjoy writing them...
Crunchy wrote:The games you make have to have relevance now if you want to move outside of the very small niche of people that already enjoys these games. That means you have to look at what was available back then that hardly gets a mention today.
But the games being produced at the moment have more relevance at a general level than the kind of titles you're suggesting, after all the platformers and scrolling shooters are the genres that the majority of people remember rather than titles like Enigma Force or the Wally Week games - gamers gravitated (and to a degree still gravitate) towards the platform that had the kind of games they wanted to play.

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Post by Crunchy » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:49 am

TMR wrote: But the games being produced at the moment have more relevance at a general level than the kind of titles you're suggesting, after all the platformers and scrolling shooters are the genres that the majority of people remember rather than titles like Enigma Force or the Wally Week games - gamers gravitated (and to a degree still gravitate) towards the platform that had the kind of games they wanted to play.
Really? And yet here's a thread asking why people aren't bothering to download this stuff.

This is obviously hard for you to stomach, but the simple fact is that platformers and shooters on the C64 and Spectrum (to name just two machines) have no relevance at all outside of fandom. Scrolling shmups and platformers are everywhere. They're on better systems, are vastly superior, are easily obtainable and they're free to download.
What do you think I'm going to spend my time downloading, Gunroar by Kenta Cho or some 8bit dross on the C64? Be honest.

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Post by TMR » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:50 am

Turrican wrote:
TMR wrote:i'd play both until i made a decision as to which i felt was the more playable.
Even though they are the same game and bearing in mind that one of them IS the arcade original..
There are Spectrum gamers who feel that the conversion they received of Commando is better than the arcade version and i've played a few conversions that i felt were better games because they'd been re-tuned for the home market (arcade games are designed to be bitchy because the machine wants your money). So no, being the arcade original doesn't automatically guarantee that it'll be the best version of a game to my mind and i'd play both to be sure.
Turrican wrote:The logic is simple. You play some 16 bit games and it may entice the player to delve further back in time to see where these kind of games really came from. Do a 16 bit version of Uridium and he may want to check out the C64 one and so on.
i have enough problems getting Spectrum gamers to look past the visuals of C64 games and vice versa to consider playing them; trying to get someone who has chosen to play Amiga, ST, Megadrive or whatever titles to step back a couple of generations would probably be very difficult indeed...
Turrican wrote:I'm sure I'll be expecting some quotes and reasons why I'm not in the right ballpark tomorrow lol ;)
Well, it's nearly the afternoon but... =-)

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Post by psj3809 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:55 am

TMR wrote:i have enough problems getting Spectrum gamers to look past the visuals of C64 games and vice versa to consider playing them; trying to get someone who has chosen to play Amiga, ST, Megadrive or whatever titles to step back a couple of generations would probably be very difficult indeed...
Its bad if people are like that, too me its gameplay #1 so thats why i'll play a ton of MAME games, some quick Atari VCS basic games, MSX/Speccy or C64 as the gameplay on many of these are great

Granted graphics arent as good as the 16 bits but sometimes i like playing a more cut down 'back to basics' version of the game

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Post by TMR » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:13 am

Crunchy wrote:This is obviously hard for you to stomach, but the simple fact is that platformers and shooters on the C64 and Spectrum (to name just two machines) have no relevance at all outside of fandom.
i assumed that since this was the Retro Gamer message board, we all fall within that range of fandom to at least some degree.

The C64 got so many published shoot 'em ups because the market dictated to the publishers what they wanted and the publishers, never ones to pass up the chance of making a few quid, listened and took on what people asked for. Fast forward twenty years and here are people at the Retro Gamer message board, coming to remember games like Jet Set Willy on the Spectrum or Uridium on the C64.

The question i'm trying to get my head around is, if people are here because those games were playable without needing superior machines or huge marketing budgets, if they're here because they're interested in games developed in back rooms by lone programmers... if it's just a matter of rose tinting then that's fine and good, but if any of these people are dipping into the archives and playing games they hadn't previously tried, why is there a distinction between those games and new ones developed in the same way?

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