Diecast #116: Voice Acting, King’s Quest, Windows 10

By Shamus
on Aug 11, 2015
Filed under:
Diecast

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Hosts: Shamus, Pushing Up Roses, Campster, Rutskarn, and Josh.

Thanks so much to Pushing Up Roses for being on the show.

Show notes:

1:20: Voice Acting

Roses was the lead in Serena. She also has other projects in the works, and here we talk about the logistics of indie voice acting.

9:00: I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream

After this recording, I picked up this game on GoG. I’m less than an hour in, but I will say I’m sorry I overlooked this for so many years. If I had just glanced at the back of the box or read the synopsis I’d probably have picked it up. Ah well.

17:45 King’s Quest Reboot

Here is Roses’ review of the game. I’ll also talk about it in this week’s Experienced Points column.


Link (YouTube)

34:44 Mattress

43:00 What pre-1995 games would you like to see get a remake / reboot / revival / rehash?

This question goes for everyone in the comments as well.

56:00 Windows 10 Minutes of Monologue

Discuss: Why is Microsoft pushing so hard to give this away? What’s their plan for the future?

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A Hundred!202020203I bet you won't even read all 183 comments before leaving your own.

From the Archives:

  1. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Even though (and perhaps specifically because) there’s already been a botched attempt, I’d like to see a return of the classic side scroll arcade beat em up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games. My particular favorite was Turtles in Time which notably was the first game I ever played on a console that didn’t feel inferior to the arcade experience. I heard the original Turtles in Time was once available on the Wii’s virtual console but sadly they had to pull it before I got a Wii U.

    Naturally, I’d like to see Mega Man return (with something like updated X-series gameplay with the dashing and charged blasts) I know Mighty No 9 is coming and I look forward to that but I’d still like an official Mega Man.

    As a mostly Nintendo and Atari player growing up, pretty much everything else has been revived or maintained in some fashion that I’d want to see. Heck, I can even get Sonic on my Nintendo now and there are a couple of classic or current Sonics for the Wii U that don’t totally suck (which would have blown my 1994 self’s mind back in the day. I had a friend I shamelessly exploited for his Genesis console back in the day).

    Also, if PushingUpRoses sounds in the game like she sounds in this show, I’d consider her voice a selling point.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      Also, I’m fascinated about PushingUpDaisy’s work on future projects. How does she plan to get to the future to do those projects? Will she be coming back when she’s done?

      I’ve always wondered when people say that.

    • Ivan says:

      Yeah, having mostly played Nintendo pretty much every series I played is still alive in some form. There are also a bunch of sonic games available on steam, including 1, 2, 3 & Nuckles, (there was a) 4(?), and sonic CD which I really liked.

      So there really aren’t any older games that I have left to want to be remade (that haven’t been butchered(Mechwarrior, Thief, Hitman)). More recently though there was Star Wars Republic Commando that was a fairly standard FPS except for its squad system. You had 3 other AI squadmates (that didn’t suck) with their own roles and specializations that you would order around and you actually felt like the leader of a squad. Despite the fact that the orders consisted of finding a predetermined position and ordering a dude to take it, it really felt like you were contributing as a leader.

      They also left the game on a cliff hanger which was really mean considering a second one was never made.

    • Robyrt says:

      The X-Men side-scrolling arcade game got re-released on several platforms; that’s probably as close as you’ll get to Turtles in Time. Fair warning, though – this kind of gameplay is a lot less exciting when you aren’t betting real money on your skills.

    • Jonathan says:

      Turtles in Time was a great game. ROMS and emulators are out there if you look…

      How about Commander Keen? Anyone else remember him?

      • Bryan says:

        Wooo! :-) I went out of my way (to the point of restarting from a save if it happened accidentally) to never shoot one of those aliens with a single eye that never killed you but could push you off (or into) things, which you bring home as a pet at the end of the first game.

        I’d memorized most of the levels in the first game (and absolutely everything in the first half of it; I still remember their layout, too).

        It bugged me that it wasn’t possible to get the last lollipop in the one level where you had to hit the pogo and jump keys right next to each other to get the right “size” of jump to happen to pick up most of them. It was trivially easy to get them all (…at 150 points each, so it mattered not one actual bit… :-) ) when cheating, but then again you were cheating.

        I don’t remember if I ever ran out of raygun charges, but I got really close a few times…

        I remember finding and writing down the entire Vorticon alphabet (the third game has a level on their homeworld where younger Vorticons are learning their alphabet, and the entire thing is written out in order, so that makes it rather easy actually… just have to write it down), and using it to read a bunch of the signs in earlier games when playing through again. They’re in English, just transliterated.

        And I still find the similarity of Vorticon and Vortigaunt confusing…

        I can never remember if id or Apogee made the games. (Certainly wasn’t Valve; they were nowhere near existing…) Not that it matters all that much, I can just never keep them straight on it. I think it’s id. Shrug.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    What pre-1995 games would you like to see get a remake / reboot / revival / rehash?

    Zak mckracken and the alien mindbenders.

    • Shamus says:

      True story: I’d never heard of this game until now. Which means that I had NO IDEA that the Zak McKracken that hangs out with us here in the comments was named after a videogame character. As far as I new, he was probably just some guy named Zachary McKracken.

      Well. Every day’s a school day.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        You have to play it.It has dumb aliens,martian brooms,a three headed squirrel,elvis,everything.

      • Steve C says:

        I love that game just due to the Stupidity Machine complete with ON-ON switch.

        How can you love Monkey Island and not know about Zak McKracken? Just yesterday you described yourself as a “full-on Lucasarts fanboy.” It goes Maniac Mansion —> Zak McKracken —> Monkey Island for SCUMM games. There are in-jokes in Monkey Island about Zak McKracken.

        You know you’ve just opened yourself up to a lifetime of ribbing on par with Josh’s Total War let’s play.

        • Shamus says:

          On the “lucasarts fanboy” thing:

          I didn’t play a lot of games in the early 90’s, and I didn’t pay much attention to who made what. I didn’t read gaming magazines. I did all my shopping by walking into Babbage’s once every six months and staring at the shelves. I wasn’t informed, I was nearly broke, none of my friends were gamers, and my computer was shit.

          Which means I missed a LOT of games. By “Lucasarts fanboy” I mean that once I saw the no-death gameplay of Monkey, I immediately embraced it as a superior idea and saw my previous favorite Sierra as archaic and irritating.

          • Mike S. says:

            I feel the “missed the 90s” thing. I spend the 90s with a) my 1986 CGA XT clone, which had long since ceased to be able to play anything new that used these newfangled “graphics” things, and b) a Mac from the depths of the interregnum between the once and future Jobs.

            Theoretically, it could play some ports. In practice, Wing Commander III taught me nine and sixty ways of crashing, despite painstakingly installing every upgrade I could piece together the money for. (More RAM! L2 Cache! Massive 1 gig hard drive! 2MB “AV Card” for graphics!) It took me a long while after the turn of the millennium to believe that Apple had actually gotten competent, because Apple’s fanbase had been just as effusive about the early PowerPC Macs as they were about anything else.

            (The more-advanced PowerPC CPU, which proved to be so successful Apple switched to Intel. Postscript, which at the budget level meant laser printers that were more expensive, but also slower! And the Geoport, a sophisticated telecom port that with a simple adapter meant you didn’t need a modem! Did I mention the adapter cost as much as a modem, but was slower, more unstable, and used precious system CPU and RAM? Not that I’m bitter two decades later or anything.)

            It wasn’t until decade’s end that I had something gaming-capable: Pentium III with TNT2 Ultra, baby. (Which at this point presumably comes in somewhere below a modern budget smartphone.) The first “big” game I remember playing was Diablo II.

          • Zak McKracken says:

            To be fair: I played whatever games I could get a hold on, and there weren’t many of them to buy where I lived. So I played Zak McKracken first (which left the biggest impression, later Maniac Mansion. Monkey Island was not released on the C64 any more, so I only watched parts of it and Indiana Jones on a friend’s Amiga. By the time I had a PC able to play decent games, it was almost too late. I did play Day of the Tentacle and Space Quest V on my mother’s PC (with no soundcard, thus cannot comment on the narrator…), later Simon the Sorcerer from an “old games” collection, but that was it.

            I later tried to go back and play the Monkey Island games, but by that time I was at Uni and had a lot less time for such things (between studying and playing Diablo and Counterstrike — social obligation at that time). I loved them as far as I got, but sadly that is not saying much.

            I recently got the fan-made Zak McKracken: Between Time and Space. Looks fun but my goodness I forgot how much time these games used to swallow.
            Now I feel bad.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Does it have the patented alien hit song:Tum de dum.Tum de dum.

              • Zak McKracken says:

                As I was trying to insinuate: I did not get very far. I managed to get out of the apartment and into the barber shop. (The bakery seems closed now) — that part was fun but I have not taken the time yet to sit down and figure out how it goes on from there…

                If you liked the original, I’d still encourage you to try it:
                http://www.mckracken.net/
                (It’s a free download)

      • Zak McKracken says:

        Wow.
        Just wow.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Im still baffled by how theyve managed to get that performance for the dinklebot.How do you get such a thing from someone who delivered this speech:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFROZkA-EWg

    • Squirly says:

      I’m only now listening to the podcast, so I’m most likely retreading what may have been mentioned, but that always came across to me as a severe lack of direction for Dinklage. It just feels like he has no idea what the significance of what he’s saying is. He has nothing invested because he barely knows the world (hell, you can say the same about most Destiny players that haven’t bothered to read the story cards) and ultimately ends up going through the motions. Maybe he made up his own ideas according to what little he knew. “I’m playing a robot. Best sound kinda robotic.”

      • Muspel says:

        Pretty much this.

        When they’re recording the voice actors, the game is usually not done (and may not even be in a playable state)– and even if it were, they’re not going to play it alongside the actor and have him say his lines at the right part, because then you have no way to rewind if he flubs the line.

        So the director’s job is to tell the voice actor what’s going on in the game at the point that the line is delivered, so that they can give it the proper weight/meaning/emphasis.

        Destiny’s director apparently failed at this very badly. You can also see this from cutscenes that involve other characters, since none of their dialogue is done well, either– it’s just more noticeable with Ghost because he talks far more than any other character.

    • Lalaland says:

      Bad script, bad directing and rumours of multiple recording sessions as they gutted their own story to release in time to avoid clauses in their contract that would have given more control to Activision (reddit rumour).

      It was a bad performance but it was a terrible script that wore the scars of hacking all over itself, the worst for me was not just the ‘I don’t have time to explain why I don’t have time to explain’ but the ‘little light’ joke that your character suddenly pulls out. When did I develop a relationship with my ghost? My character has like 5 lines in the entire game how did I develop any kind of relationship with my ghost at all? It’s weird but over time that part of the scene with it’s unannounced and subsequently ignored relationship development that is most emblamatic of the thing that was Destiny Year One.

      A hollow mishmash of poorly developed ideas and systems seemingly inspired by the most abusive of F2P systems in the context of a Pay2Play game. The levelling system has now had no fewer than 3 overhauls and is being binned yet again for Year 2. I honestly feel Bungie owes those of us who played their incomplete game a hell of a lot more than a few poxy shaders (yeah I’m out for TTK, 1 planet for €40? bugger off Bungie).

    • Zak McKracken says:

      I talked to someone who has been directing theater plays for some time (successfully so), who was in awe of one actor who was able to breathe meaning into one author’s words which previously no-one had been able to quite make sense of.
      The actor later said he didn’t quite understand it all himself but knew the author very well. So he got the mood just right and emphasized things the way he thought it was probably intended. And suddenly it all made sense to the listeners.

      … I don’t think that whoever wrote the lines for Destiny is comparable to that author, and I don’t think that Peter Dinklage had a way of understanding that person’s intentions in any comparable way. Oh, and it doesn’t make much sense to start with. Actually, I guess that even the makers of the game didn’t quite know what to do with his lines because the story had not been fixed, so they needed to keep it general and flexible, in order to be able to re-purpose the lines later.

      Red Letter Media gave credit to Liam Neeson for his part in the Phantom Menace — little of what he says or does makes sense but you wouldn’t notice until you start questioning things. That’s the kind of ability needed in such situations. I think, though, that Liam Neeson was given a better chance at this, since he had some direction and probably knew most of the context.

  4. Wide And Nerdy says:

    “Its some kind of quantum chromodynamic module powered by a tripolymer plasma.”

    My personal favorite technobabble. And its meant to be taken seriously because this is Chief Engineer Torres talking to Captain Janeway, a former Science Officer who would have been able to call Belana on this if it was supposed to be BS.

    • Lalaland says:

      I used to be so in awe of the Star Trek techno babble stuff until I started to learn science in school, then I just started to realise that most of the terms bore no relation to the topic at hand. Still I also used to scoff at their tablet like things ‘Ha screens will never be that small’ now they look as dated as the CRTs on the Sulaco!

      That ‘tri-polymer plasma’ though :D

      • Mike S. says:

        My wife, who did graduate work in biology, was particularly vocally incensed by “anaphasic energy”. (Anaphase is a stage in the cell division process, not something that would lend itself to a particular type of energy or life form.)

        The odd thing is that the scriptwriters would just put “[TECH]” at those points in the script, for the science consultant to fill in later. I have to figure that those folks must have eventually just despaired of life and written things in from a dictionary. (Or a database of previously made-up technobabble like “tetryon”.)

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “Its some kind of quantum chromodynamic module powered by a tripolymer plasma.”

      Is that…a lava lamp?

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        She was trying to fix a sentient robot from a race who’s creators had deliberately withheld the knowledge of how to fix themselves.

        Its kind of fascinating, these robots are fighting a proxy war against each other on behalf of species who have long since made peace. The robots didn’t get the memo. But as usual the idea is wasted by Voyager. They should have been an ongoing threat for Voyager ala the Kazon or the Hirogem.

        • Shamus says:

          Speaking of 90’s stuff that needs a do-over, I’d love to see Trek try again on the Voyager concept: Lost in Space by way of Trek. The more I think about it the more perfect the idea seems, and the more incomprehensible it is that they managed to bungle it so badly.

          Ugh. The missed potential kills me.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            This is something I actually feel Abrams could tackle in part because he doesn’t hold Star Trek as sacred.

            What should have made Voyager work in part was the conflict among the mixed crew. the problem is 1) Gene Roddenberry had been against the crew having conflicts. We’d somehow evolved beyond that which is creepy to consider. And 2) Making the argument anything other than one sided against the Masquis would have meant acknowledging that Utopia has flaws.

            Also the early seasons were basically seasons 8 and 9 of TNG (look at what TNG season 7 was like. Genesis, where the TNG crew ‘devolved’ is only little better than Threshold. And both feature these single word high concept titles.)

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Um,wasnt his vision up for grabs at that point?I mean ds9 was about at the same time and it did loads of questionable stuff.

              However,even with preserving the utopia thing,you could still have conflict and a good show with that premise.Just have voyager go from planet to planet in order to try and fix their constantly breaking ship,while solving the problems of the natives,and making a new federation of planets on its way.So it would start with only voyager with its mixed crew and scarce resources,and gradually evolve into a fleet of ships with a variety of races escorting voyager through dangerous borg space.

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                If you’re going to do it that way then its kind of pointless going to all the trouble to establish the Masquis for this show.

                As for your other point, yes it was out of Gene’s hands at this point but Voyager and DS9 felt deeply split between writers who had an unquestioning belief in the ideals of Star Trek and the other team who was willing to at least challenge and cross examine those ideals.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Its not pointless.But having the same one thing drive the entire show for 7 years without changing would be ridiculous.They friction between the two groups shouldve been the problem in the beginning,but slowly resolved.

                  • Exactly. They half-heartedly tried, but in the end, they just had news reach Voyager that the Maquis in the Alpha Quadrant had been wiped out, which meant (of course) that all tension was over and no more friction, ever.

                    BTW, this brings up another thing they chucked from the show. Tom Paris was supposed to be the character Nicholas Locarno, who the actor had portrayed on TNG (as the leader of Wesley Crusher’s squadron that killed a fellow student in a risky fighter maneuver that was banned by Starfleet for being dangerous). While the producers claimed that would make the character irredeemable, my money is on the fact they’d have to pay royalties to the writers of the TNG episode that came up with Nicholas.

                    “Irredeemable” my foot. That’s called “character development,” something Trek needs a boatload of.

            • I’m having a hard time looking at the decisions that Berman & Braga made and equating those with the idea of holding Star Trek “sacred.” Also, Abrams has gone and made more of the same mistakes that Star Trek’s original run did, just faster and bigger with more action. He’s already introduced more magical tech that ruins whole swaths of the franchise’s premise (anti-death blood and galactic transporters, just to name two). His mangling of Khan and his place in the Star Trek universe was someone watching Star Trek and just taking the surface impressions from the show without actually delving into character. The result are big, dumb action movies that have no depth to them in the slightest. It’s all a big reference remix with new actors and more explosions, pretty much.

              • Wide And Nerdy says:

                I was more referring to the interpersonal conflict among the crew.

                But you’re right. Though I think Kurzman and Orci were more to blame. Those guys have a real problem with prioritizing cool moments over plot, themes, characterization, etc.

                • Indeed. I almost yelled at the screen when I saw they weren’t ever going to bring up the Maquis in any meaningful way ever again. I don’t think Belanna even called someone “Starfleet” past season two, if that.

                  One of the major character dynamics that they could’ve used was ignored, just like everything else that might have made the show interesting.

          • Mike S. says:

            Arguably, both Ron Moore with Battlestar Galactica and the Stargate: Universe folks were mining that shaft, since both involved far-flung, isolated ships trying to keep themselves flying through continually unknown space, trying to reach an impossible goal. (The Robert Hewitt Wolfe/Kevin Sorbo Andromeda too, to an extent, though there the civilization was lost in time rather than space.)

            None (except to an extent Andromeda) starts with people from the semi-utopian Federation, so there’d still be room for a Trek take on the concept. But at this point we’re far enough from the basic “explore strange new world for the Federation” Star Trek that we’d probably need to reestablish that before ringing Voyager or DS9-type changes on it.

          • In order for Voyager to have been done “properly,” the actual structure of the way Star Trek shows were ground out would have to change:

            1. They’d need a head writer who laid out a beginning, middle, and end to the Voyager saga with specific events happening along the way. This doesn’t mean they couldn’t have stand-alone episodes (if they didn’t want really hard continuity, I’d look to Stargate SG-1 as a model, where you can have long-term arcs among plots that resolve themselves in 1-2 episodes), but it would mean they’d have to jettison having a new writer every show plonk down their vaguely sci-fi idea stapled on to Voyager’s roster and setting with a nice big “reset everything” button ending right before the credits. This also needed to be done because of the whole “stranded with limited resources” thing they set up in Season 1, which seemed to go away as soon as they needed more shuttlecraft.

            2. Continuing on the head writer topic, they’d have to make the head writer responsible for the tone of the show as well as maintaining the characters’ integrity. By this I mean that when taken as a whole, Voyager’s crew are a bunch of people with multiple personality disorder. Kate Mulgrew often complained that thanks to them letting someone new write each show, Janeway was practically schizophrenic. She’d emphasize the Prime Directive one week then casually throw it out the window the next. Forget the technobabble, this is what made the show one of the worst Treks out there.

            3. Star Trek needs to get away from the technology, or plan ahead for anything new they encounter or incorporate. They either run into new and amazing gizmos that get blown up or they seem to forget completely about the new and amazing gizmo they found last week that could solve this week’s problem. Again, using Stargate as a model, the show would actually try to work into the series the idea that the cast would find and try to reverse-engineer some of the stuff they were finding (that wasn’t destroyed for plot reasons). Planning ahead goes double for any more time-travel stuff they want to do. I’m tired of time-travel coming into play, which always happens when “everyone DIES!” because you know by the end of the show, it’ll all be put back the way it was as if nothing happened. Feh.

            And these are just basic things that would have to happen. There are a lot more things that would improve on Voyager’s premise a lot (like retooling or jettisoning Neelix & Kes), but those would go a long way to making the show something that you might watch a second time.

            • Wide And Nerdy says:

              There was a version of Janeway out there I liked if you cherry pick the episodes and ignore the others. This is a Janeway who is aware of the rights and wrongs of the Federation and believes in them but increasingly realizes that those ideals got them stuck in the Delta Quadrant and while she can live with that, she knows not everyone in her “crew” is so pledged.

              So there are times when she’s willing to bend or break the rules to try to keep her crew intact and get them home. My Janeway includes the episode where she decided to split Tuvix back into Neelix and Tuvok. She knew it was a questionable choice but she was willing to make it and carry it out herself to distance the rest of her crew from the wrongness of it, taking the guilt fully on herself. This is also the Janeway that sometimes puts herself in the shuttle for the dangerous missions because, again, she feels its her fault they’re in this danger.

              It all comes to a head in season five when they’re in the empty expanse for months with nothing to do and Janeway retreats to her quarters and won’t talk to anybody except Chakotay. Finally having no imminent dangers to distract her, she begins to beat herself up over getting them stranded. Its like she’d kept it buried all this time and didn’t let herself think about it but now she couldn’t anymore. This is a crew that could have really used a ships counselor instead of a self appointed “morale officer*.”

              She’s a good and competent captain who sometimes shows cracks under the enormous strain of living for years with the consequences of one questionable decision. At least she is in my cherry picked episodes.

              *Although while we’re at it, there’s a version of Neelix I liked too. The nicer guy he became in the later seasons who was good with children, held parties, made a persistent and earnest effort to be upbeat. If he had just thrown all his energy into that role instead of trying to be the explorer and survival expert, he may have been one of the most valuable members of the crew. As it was, Tom Paris had the best idea of the bunch creating the ongoing simulation of that quaint 19th century Irish town.

              • If they’d planned that out and made it a part of her character, then watching her views evolve would’ve been great. However, the show wasn’t consistently written and the scripts came from new writers almost every episode. Janeway would speak in absolutes about the PD in one episode in a stirring speech and then toss it off as no big deal the next. It was another missed opportunity, to have her starting out perhaps as a Federation idealist and then making decisions that ran contrary to those ideals as the show progressed out of necessity.

                It would have added something to the show if the Federation, once contacted, let her know she’d be facing charges over various decisions she’d made and would likely be stripped of her rank. The ending could have been her not only saving the day (from whatever threat/macguffin the Alpha Quadrant would face) but having to drop off any crew who wanted to return home while escaping Federation custody with Voyager itself. Maybe even starting a new Maquis?

                • Wide And Nerdy says:

                  I wouldn’t favor it going that far. I don’t think she deserved any worse for her actions than Kirk who stole the Enterprise for personal reasons. He saved the Federation, so they busted him down to Captain and gave him the new Enterprise. And Janeway is no Masquis. Her divergence, in my mind, would have been circumstantial, an acknowledgment of her responsibility to the non starfleet members of her crew.

                  What was ridiculous was Janeway being essentially promoted to Vice Admiral upon her return (even if it really, as has been speculated, a case of Janeway being kicked upstairs, something which I could have accepted if it was rear admiral, but a vice admiral is two steps further up the chain. You don’t need to kick her that far up the stairs to get her out of the captain’s chair.)*

                  *Side note: Some people complain that Janeway got promoted over Picard but we see at least once on screen Picard turning down promotion Commandant probably before Janeway was even made Captain, with Kirk reinforcing this decision. Thats enough for me. I think Picard stayed Captain because he wanted to be out there while Janeway had understandably had enough of starship command.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          I was actually playing this fun game of imagining what the words they are saying could actually mean.That sentence deconstructed suggests that its small light shifting(quantum chromodynamic) object powered by chemicals(tripolymer) that are heated(plasma).So a lava lamp.

        • Though ongoing threats for Voyager made no sense, really. Voyager is going thattaway, and said threat is staying put.

          If the show wanted an ongoing threat, it should’ve been something that was trying to get to the Alpha Quadrant before Voyager did, representing a threat to the Federation. It would’ve given the show a little more tension as Voyager tried to find ways to jump ahead of said threat or reach it before it could complete its mission.

        • Squirly says:

          Oh man, that’s basically the plot of Planetary Annihilation. No actual living beings left, just their robots that were built to fight wars on their behalf, still fighting even after thousands of years have passed and everything else is dead.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      If we reroute the plasma conduits through the dilithium matrix, we can use the build up of anti-protons in the Heisenberg compensators to create an inverse annular confinement beam.

      We’ll have to use quantum tunneling to dodge the resulting explosion.

  5. Lalaland says:

    Windows 10
    – it’s the Androidification of the O/S (ie user as product)
    – it is sadly inevitable (sadly Linux is not a real alternative)
    – at least MS have customers who can hold their feet over the fire on security (large corporate) whereas Apple/Google give no flips as their customers (OEMs, themselves) don’t

    #1 annoyance?
    In the new Start Menu ‘File Explorer’ has a right facing arrow ‘>’ that implies it pops out as the old ‘All Programs’ did but it just launches a window, ‘All Programs’ pops in now rather than out. Good Luck IT support personnel of this world you’ll need it!

    UI designers of the world I don’t care if it ‘looks better’ or is ‘more intuitive’ if you’ve already trained folks to the ‘worse’ and ‘less intuitive’ method over two decades changing that is just change for changes sake.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      Speaking as one of the olds, we’ll adjust. It would be worth it to me to see new users and perhaps previously baffled or intimidated users to be able to adopt more quickly. In the long run we need to make the leap away from old school Windows at some point.

      • Lalaland says:

        I agree with you that touch focused interfaces are the future, heavens help MS adapting as their greatest strength is their greatest weakness now. Android and iOS can drop old paradigms, APIs and force change because they have no legacy apps. Windows is the king of legacy app support but that comes with the problem of old APIs not understanding touch and being incapable of ‘automagically’ updated by the O/S. If Windows were to do a MacOS and just say ‘stuff your Cocoa API’ many VLK customers would say ‘fine cloud apps it is’. Hell even the full screen start menu was enough to make most VLK customers think ‘hmm nah I don’t need 400% more support calls for the first few months’.

        I’m not sure they even can ease the on ramp for users beyond where it is, mouse/keyboard is just inherently alien. I move my hand beside the keyboard to move this cursor over here on the screen, action and reaction are just too split. Compared to the ease with which even kids incapable of speech can manipulate touch screens that ship may well have sailed for those of a younger generation. I’m genuinely unsure with the strong trend in consumer to all touch will the average home user only know keyboard + touchscreen in 5 years time?

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          I’ve never met anyone who had much trouble grasping the basic concept that a mouse controls a cursor or that striking keys makes text appear.

          Where they get tripped up in my experience is on things like the start menu and the menu options or the difference between an internet browser, internet service, and/or the internet itself (AOL is probably partly to blame). Some are also afraid to click anything because they’re used to computers that give a basic user more power than they should have and they don’t want to break anything. Kids adapt to computers faster in part because they lack that sense of caution about playing with computers (though that comes with plenty of other problems.)

        • Mike S. says:

          While this is more a symptom of the earlier shift to laptops/touchpads: a little while back I was at a university library meeting where they’d tried to offer mouse pads as a small incentive to attend a training session. The students’ response: “What’s a mouse pad?”

          • That’s more a commentary on mice than on advances in touchscreen technology. Most mice made now don’t even require the use of a pad designed to make a little rubber-coated ball roll as the mouse is moved. All they need is a surface with enough texture or variation in appearance to let the laser and sensor detect motion.

            • AileTheAlien says:

              Yeah, the problem is, a lot of desk surfaces are too smooth/shiny to be registed by the mouse. So, we’re still stuck with needing mousepads. The dual-laser mice are much more resilient than single laser or LED+sensor, but they’re still not perfect. :C

              • Mike S. says:

                Yeah. I went without a mouse pad for years. Then I got a gaming mouse that really didn’t like my desk surface, so I use one now.

              • Supahewok says:

                That’s why I use mice like the Microsoft Explorer and Logitech’s Darkfield line; both work on most surfaces, and I’ve even used the latter on glass with no problems whatsoever.

                • With few exceptions, Microsoft makes the best mice. I also say this because no matter how many functions or nifty things Logitech might put in their mice, few if any are as large as most MS mice and I get carpal tunnel trying to grip their diminutive input devices. BIG MICE FOR BIG HANDS, I SAY!

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I still dont get how 7 managed to be so close to xp,and yet such an improvement.It changed a bunch of stuff,yes,but the adjustment period is almost nonexistent.

      • TMC_Sherpa says:

        For one thing they had all of Vista to work out the kinks :P

        For another I think folks have short memories, even the vaunted XP was the work of the devil when it came out. 98 is the best windows! MS is using the Direct X stick to force everyone to upgrade! They changed the driver API so now all of my stuff is broken and the manufacturers are in on it too so I have to buy new crap to replace my old crap that still works!

        98 and 7 came out after the hardware caught up to the previous OS and XP was around long enough for the hardware to catch up while it was still available.

    • Piflik says:

      The File Explorer does pop out, if you click the arrow instead of the text.

      I have to say, Win10 is definitely a huge improvement over 8. I sadly had to upgrade to 8.1 recently, in order to work with Kinect for University, and I hated it. I was more than glad when I could upgrade to 10 (a staged upgrade: first I upgraded my Win7 machine to make sure I have a fallback, if I break something on the vital Win8 machine, before upgrading that one). I would even say that it holds up in a comparisson to Win7. Again Micro$ofts streak of only getting every other version right continues…

      There are some issues, like their auto-update policy (luckily I have Pro, so I can defer upgrades), or it not recognizing installed programs in its “open with” dialog or when setting up default applications, but overall I am quite happy with it.

      • newplan says:

        I have to say, Win10 is definitely a huge improvement over 8. … I would even say that it holds up in a comparisson to Win7.

        Heh.

        So Win10 is enough better than 8 that it’s almost as good as 7.

        Microsoft should make that into an advertising campaign

        “Windows 10 – ships all your data to Microsoft and it’s almost as good as Windows 7″.

    • If you click the arrow, it pops out. Not ‘File Explorer’, the arrow itself (separate buttons).

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      (Can’t listen to the podcast until I get back home so may be repeating what was said)

      I’m slightly suspicious of the free update to 10. I already know you have to go the extra mile to disable the snooping but I can’t help but wonder who is paying for me to have the free upgrade (I know about the ads but still).

      Plus the usual worries about anything MS related. For example most installs I heard about went smoothly but I heard a few tales of dread, or “will a random update turn the snooping back on without telling me”…

      • Nidokoenig says:

        I’d assume they want to make up the cash on their download store, the same way Steam is free. Have everyone there and able to be tempted to spend money rather than a select few people who paid for it and a bunch of pirates who just cost support hours. It also justifies cutting support for everything pre-10 and replacing it with a note telling people to upgrade to 10. It could also be that messing around with selling to consumers is more trouble than its worth when selling to businesses, both business use and selling prebuilt desktops, laptops and phones, makes the majority of their cash, and depends on a level of Windows literacy in the general population.

        • Mike S. says:

          They clearly have all sorts of plans for monetizing it. That said, I get the impression a big impetus is saving money on long term support for older versions. They wound up supporting XP significantly longer than originally planned– are still supporting it for some customers, albeit for a cost. And retail customers weren’t buying a lot of upgrades anyway, even given dire warnings of the consequences of, e.g., the end of XP support. (No surprise, since the cost of an upgrade from XP on an old computer could easily be greater than the computer’s worth.)

          So if instead of three or four different OS versions to patch, they can eventually get it down to one, that plausibly saves them money in the long run. They still sell the initial license they way they always did. So they only lose the comparatively small number of sales to people who actually upgraded their versions of Windows. I can easily see that being a net benefit to Microsoft. Ditto if letting Win7 users upgrade in 2015 means they don’t have to offer extended-extended support for it after 2020 a la XP.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            See I considered it could be a matter of trying to merge the userbase from 7 and 8 (and versions) under one OS but even if the upgrade is free can it really work? Like you said yourself there are people who still hold on to WinXP, heck I’d probably be one of those people if not for the shift to 64 (I got the new OS when I was actually upgrading my machine to something that could handle the technology). No matter how much they try to up-sell it there will be a solid number of both the tech-savvy people who will have opinions about 10 and will refuse to use it as well as the tech-unsavvy (is unsavvy a word? the alternatives I come with are kinda pejorative, like ignorant) who will decide that “if it ain’t broken don’t fix it” and will stay away from this strange new thing.

      • Robyrt says:

        Microsoft has a bunch of reasons to entice people to upgrade.

        Legacy support is a drag both for Microsoft and customers; it’s a lot easier to debug someone’s problem on 10 than on “Windows 7 with most of the service packs installed I think”, and a lot easier to hire someone to answer phone calls about 10. People are a lot more likely to upgrade if it’s free and obvious.

        Microsoft’s competition already has a model of rolling upgrades. Apple and Google release frequent, free OS upgrades that are theoretically optional but functionally mandatory. Consumers are more accepting of constant patches, UI changes, and incremental updates than they used to be.

        If MS can get you to think everything is a service, they can start charging a monthly or yearly fee, just like Office 365. Monthly fees and upsells can make you an embarrassing amount of money.

        Even if it ends up losing money, MS also wants Windows to remain relevant and at least not uncool. If they can keep young customers on Windows, they won’t become the next IBM or Oracle.

  6. Kelerak says:

    Both Darkseed games, with poor FMV and everything.

    But seriously, I kinda want to see a reboot/remake of Harvester, with some more modern commentary and special effects. I have a soft spot for Harvester, as gruesome as that game is.

  7. silver Harloe says:

    The Star Trek “ideal” of people talking to their computers is … well, let’s just say it only works because they have a script so only one person is talking to the computer at once. Then again, they only use it when the audience needs to know what they’re telling the computer to do.
    It also exposes a sort of oddity of the technology era they’re representing: the difference between “Computer, lay in a course for X” and “Mr Data, lay in a course for X” is virtually non-existent (and not just because he’s an android. Whatever crewman is sitting there, the point is that the crew seems unnecessary for normal ops – it’s like they’re only there to get practice in case they have to act if something breaks… which is probably a good enough reason to have them there, but it still feels off. Like they could be doing something better with their time in some other part of the ship)

    • That’s a huge can of Federation worms for me you’ve opened up. The computers on Federation starships are at the same time the most capable and least functional machines in the galaxy. Why they aren’t put in charge of combat (and firing all the weapons continuously until a target is destroyed, it runs out of power/ammo, or the crew tells it to stop) makes no sense. Heck, this is a part of a gripe I have that humans should be practically Borg at this point, with some ship commands being given by neural implant.

      But yeah, voice commands are interesting in Star Trek. How does the computer know who a person is talking to? And it happens a lot more than you’d think, especially with communications. A lot of the time, no badges are tapped, yet the com system knows when one character wants to place a call to another.

      Of course, there’s also how the computer can conveniently remember or forget who last activated what when the plot demands it. I’m also assuming there are a ton of redundancies and several other computer nodes in the ship (though they always refer to a “core”), or the controls wouldn’t work when the computer gets damaged or goes off-line. It’s a technical quibble to be sure, but it’s something one thinks about when dealing with real-world computers on a daily basis and wondering how the ones in Star Trek (or other shows) manage to work even partially when several components are spewing sparks.

      • ? says:

        Knowing who is speaking is fairly easy to explain. How do you know which host is speaking at a given moment on a podcast? You recognize their voices, duh. It’s conceivable to develop computer program that does the same. With the added bonus of comm badges helping identification. It just always listens to pick up when someone wants something (if series cared about continuity you could even have different levels of ‘privacy’ deciding whether you need to tap your badge or not to get attention, nobody has time for that nuisance on a bridge or engine room). And knowing what to do with multiple orders is also easy because there is chain of command (at least for characters we tend to follow). Riker can override Data because he outranks him, Geordi might have more authority in engine room as chief engineer (examples made up by me, possibly actual footage contradicts me here). I don’t know if we ever get a scene with Garak and Quark arguing over public access replicator or something to know what happens with civilians. But it all sort of works because there is only one central computer on a ship or station. With windows 10 working like that you have room full of people, everyone with their own device, all simultaneously turning off because one person is done with work for the day.

        TL;DR Star Trek assumes there is only one smartphone per ship and everyone on board is using it.

        • It’s not just a question of knowing who is speaking. It’s a question of the computer knowing that it’s being issued a command, sometimes without being addressed as “Computer.”

          The show often treats the computer as if it’s psychic.

          • Joe Informatico says:

            When they address the computer, they tend to either be facing a console, or glance up at the ceiling. Maybe the computer has some kind of gesture recognition.

          • Twisted_Ellipses says:

            I think this is why (apart from making them seem more human) Siri and Cortana have names, so it’s clearer when they’re being addressed.

      • Joe Informatico says:

        Well, Trek has a backstory to explain why the Federation is philosophically opposed to transhumanism, although Geordi’s VISOR gets a pass. On the meta level, that’s partly the mass rejection of eugenics by culture, society, and academia following WWII, partly Roddenberry’s take on humanism, i.e., humanity has achieved all these great things without fundamentally changing ourselves*, we shouldn’t need to change to explore the cosmos (he’s probably wrong–engineering our DNA to resist cosmic radiation might be necessary). But mostly the practical limitations of makeup and effects, and the need to make characters somewhat relatable.

        *It’s weird then, how many Trek episodes–and even other space opera series, like B5–lean on what I call the “materialist Christianity” trope. That is, the notion that one day we can transcend our fleshy prisons and become beings of pure energy and intellect (sometimes mentioned with pseudoscientific babble about “the next stage in our evolution” or something), but divorced from notions of the soul or anything supernatural.

        • Josh says:

          Something that makes Stargate so interesting to me is that it exists as a subversion of a lot of those “idealistic godlike energy race” tropes. And I’m not even certain that this was what any of the writers intended from the outset. The Ancients get a lot of flak for ascending to a higher plane of existence and effectively leaving all of their technology behind to be exploited by (presumably) less benevolent races. They practically created the Goa’uld, their arrogance allowed the Wraith to conquer the entire Pegasus galaxy, and they created at least one race of replicators, if not both of them.

          What’s better (and strangely unusual for Sci-fi series) is that they never shy away from calling the Ancients on their bullshit and how they were the ultimate neglectful precursors of the galaxy. Daniel Jackson has an entire arc (the ending of which I can’t even begin to believe was intentional from the outset) where he ascends because he thinks he can do better in that form, only to realize that the rules the others have prevent him from doing anything of worthwhile consequence; and when he does break the rules, he nearly destroys everything he still cares about because they won’t let him interfere, even to stop a threat to the galaxy they created.

        • Mike S. says:

          I’d say the idea that transcending matter is desirable is closer to Gnosticism (humans are fundamentally spiritual beings, the material world is an evil trap, particularly bodies) than Christianity.

          Trek was pretty ambivalent on energy beings. They’re invariably powerful, but not necessarily wise. (The Organians are the only really angelic ones I can think of.) They were often malicious (immaterial, immortal serial killer Redjac), or messing arbitrarily with material beings (the Metrons making Kirk and the Gorn fight each other). And then there’s the one at the center of the galaxy claiming to be God and wanting a starship…

          DS9 had outright evil energy beings (the Pah-wraiths), and the “good” ones were scarily disconnected from understanding humans despite Sisko’s best efforts. (Sisko’s mother woke up after years under the control of a wormhole alien, during which she had been married and had a child without her knowledge or consent. That’s a pretty comprehensive violation.)

          B5 felt more teleological about them: any species that lasted long enough and didn’t stagnate would eventually transcend and withdraw from galactic affairs, and failing to fully do both (like the Vorlons and Shadows) was sort of a case of arrested development.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Shamus,have you played the space rangers games?I think there was a recent hd release of the second one.They are about exploration,trading,ship management,and discovering how to deal with big galactic threat.

    • DeadlyDark says:

      Space Rangers is a good game. Though, I played only first game and it isn’t for my taste, but I liked it. Especially text quests portions. And I like the idea of wholly simulated space with how every ship in universe is doing stuff like you.

      Though, I’m not sure if english translation is good? In original language (and my native; strange, I know), russian, it’s good. Did anyone played SR on english? Very curious about that.

      You know what? I would love to see remaked Brigade E5, come to think of it. Same mechanic, same AI, same level of simulation, but with new levels, animations and graphics. 7.62 was a bit too buggy, sadly.

      • Squirly says:

        Here! I played Space Rangers and regularly still do actually. The english translation can be a bit wonky at times, sounding a bit like a Grade 10 english student trying to write big sentences. But it’s 100% understandable and rarely leaves you confused.

        Mind you, it doesn’t really compare to Starflight because a lot of it still boils down to upgrading your ship in order to combat the gigantic threat to the galaxy. There is at least the choice of focusing on your own ship, or focusing on getting a bunch of other rangers together and leading them into the fight. And getting there involves, thankfully, a lot more than just shooting stuff to get more stuff to upgrade your stuff so you’re better at shooting stuff to get more stuff …. and so on.

        Games like Starflight and Space Rangers stand apart, I think, because they have dozens of mechanics that interact in unscripted ways, making the whole game universe feel more real because it feels like it actually reacts to what you do. Dominators will assault a system where you previously got a quest – if they manage to win then getting your reward is impossible. But you can also organize attacks against dominator owned systems, whether that’s gathering a group of ships, or joining an assault with the military. Or maybe you need to jump into a dominator system because your engine doesn’t allow you to reach your intended destination in one jump. Maybe you’ll run into a mountain of them and die, maybe you’ll find a bunch of other ships fighting them allowing you to slip through with no scratch (or find some valuable flotsam dropped by them).

        It’s a great game, and one of the better examples of what a somewhat procedural gameworld can offer.

        • DeadlyDark says:

          Oh yeah, world does seems very alive in SR (didn’t play Starflight). They somehow nailed that feeling. Maybe because of the turn-based nature of the game it was much easier to pull off.

          So translation isn’t terrible. That makes me glad. I heard a lot about awful russian-to-english translations, so I would be kinda hesitant to recommend any russian game, but if this isn’t the case, I agree, anyone should play Space Rangers.

          Well, sadly, after good games (SR and King’s Bounty remake) developers were assigned to that MMO (why?) and now there is no any sound from them (

  9. The Rocketeer says:

    I’m trying to think of mid/early-nineties franchises that need revival, but I can only think of franchises that DID get rebooted eventually and need a do-over on the reboot, like Perfect Dark.

    But I know this for certain: There needs to be a new Star Wars: Droid Works.

  10. Shamus, it’s a good thing you passed up “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream” initially. The game was a bug-ridden mess when it first came out. For months (this was before the internet was really a thing or had gotten itself decently organized) I thought I was stuck because I couldn’t figure out a given puzzle, but it turns out it was impossible for me to progress due to a glitch in the code. That’s all been fixed now, of course. On the downside, by playing it now you miss out on the free mousepad that came with the original box.

    Apparently, it also took a lot of haranguing of Ellison to come up with a possible ending that could even remotely be called a “win” state, if that gives you any indication of what you can expect.

    Ellison is a marvelous curmudgeon, and he’s got a ton of stories following him around concerning his exploits. He managed to work for Disney for the span of one day (I believe it was to be a science adviser for the movie, “The Black Hole”) when he was overheard in the commissary joking about making an animated porno movie using popular Disney characters by Roy Disney. He was promptly fired.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    For those few that dont know about the hate speech,here is the intro to I have no mouth and I must scream(the hate speech,plus the chilly introduction to the characters):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw-88h-LcTk

  12. Zak McKracken says:

    Haven’t listened to the cast yet but these were my precise thoughts when I heard that windows 10 was going to be “free”:
    https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fpowet.tv%2Fpowetblog%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2010%2F12%2Fadmiral_ackbar_says_its_a_trap.jpg&f=1

    Not sure yet why exactly, but timeo Danaos, et donas ferentes.
    They probably just want to invite everyone into the shiny golden cage they’ve prepared and then lock you into the built-in Windows store where you can buy MS-sanctioned software and nothing else, oh-so-conveniently that you forget that there are other ways of purchasing software which would allow you to get whatever you like but no you will only ever buy what Microsoft approves, and you will generate a handsome cut for them.

    …nope, not for me. Of course it will still be possible to bypass the MS store, as it is possible to avoid having a Google account for Android. But the vast majority won’t go that mile; and before you know it, people ask you to justify why you don’t serve the monopoly like everyone else.

    Of course it makes business sense, as it did for Google and Apple, to lock in their customers, or for Valve to stop making games and start selling other peoples’ (and hats!) (and locking in their customers, too, to some extent). But it is not in the best interest of consumers (except maybe in the very very short term), and I’m one of those.

    This is getting more Cyberpunk-y by the day.

    • MichaelGC says:

      Not un-cyberpunky is the amount of data it’ll hoover by default:

      Windows 10 Is Spying On You

      So, yeah – probably don’t want to be giving Cortana direct control Administrator rights just yet-a-while!

      • Mike S. says:

        I was guessing the amount of data dwarfs classic cyberpunk, taking the capabilities of the decks in Neuromancer as the standard. (Case is famously trying to sell “three megabytes of hot RAM” when it opens.)

        On the other hand, it also has: “Program a map to display frequency of data exchange, every thousand megabytes a single pixel on a very large screen. Manhattan and Atlanta burn solid white. Then they start to pulse, the rate of traffic threatening to overload your simulation. Your map is about to go nova. Cool it down. Up your scale. Each pixel a million megabytes. At a hundred million megabytes per second, you begin to make out certain blocks in midtown Manhattan, outlines of hundred-year-old industrial parks ringing the old core of Atlanta…”

        Cisco[1] estimates 2015 global net traffic is a bit over 70 exabytes/month. Which is only (only!) about 30 terabytes/sec (or “thirty million megabytes per second” in Neuromancer terms) for the entire planet.

        [1] http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/VNI_Hyperconnectivity_WP.html

      • Zak McKracken says:

        I found this one the craziest so far:
        http://boingboing.net/2015/08/10/windows-10.html
        Sending the results of keylogging and mostly complete surveillance of their kids’ activities to parents — via e-mail! — yeah, that’s probably safe or whatever.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          If there is an option to just store it locally on that machine under password,that would actually be a very good feature.

          • Zak McKracken says:

            I’m fairly certain that turning off the option to get those mails would only in Microsoft stopping to send them to you, not from collecting the data.
            Apparently this is the “kids” version of W10, because apparently someone out there believes it’s saver for children to have everything they ever do or say recorded and stored in an insecure location?

            For adults, too, at least the voice recognition feature is running somewhere on a server, not locally. Which again is a terrible idea, and I’m counting days until the voice database is hacked (or subject to a broad, overreaching NSL).

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              And here I thought people would learn something from that massive attack on the consoles networks.Guess not.

              • Zak McKracken says:

                That’s where the money is: Turn your customers into users, and make money selling other companies access to the users and their data. That’s how Apple and Google did it (Amazon and Valve, too!), so MS more or less has to follow suit.

                I really hate this.

            • McKracken says:

              update:
              http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/even-when-told-not-to-windows-10-just-cant-stop-talking-to-microsoft/

              …no, you can’t keep Windows 10 from phoning home, it seems, although you can turn of a large amount of things.

              I had voice recognition software which worked juust about okay-ish in 1997. It did not require an internet connection. So why would a modern PC (or even a phone? My PC back then had 64MB of RAM…) not be able to do this locally?
              I wouldn’t mind a nice synching function for user data across devices, which then would be server-based but why on earth would you involve a web server in every single word a user says to their computer? Madness!

              Oh, and W10 also does not check server certificates for all communications with Microsoft cloud services. Good news for any attacker.

        • MichaelGC says:

          Blimey! I’m glad I’m not a kid anymore… Hoary decrepitude FTW.

  13. Knut says:

    Re: I have no mouth and I must scream: The original short story is also well worth reading, and available free online: Here (via Wikipedia)

  14. Dormin111 says:

    Even though it takes place in an underground ocean instead of outer space, “Sunless Sea” sounds like the closest thing to “Starflight” in modern games.

  15. Jeff R says:

    Kings Quests were big on fairy tale riffs; the mattress thing was maybe related to the Princess and the Pea? Like someone stacked a few thousand and the princess knocked over them all in some kind of pre-game apocalypse? (Played most of them but I don’t think I ever finished a KQ…)

    Remake just about anything from old Origin: I’d love to see what a post-Skyrim/post-Witcher single player Ultima would look like, and I’d love to see a Wing Commander reboot bring back the space shooter genre.

    Also wouldn’t mind someone like Telltale taking a run at the Zork IP.

    And a 2015 update of Chris Crawford’s Balance of Power, too.

  16. Syal says:

    Pre-95 games I’d like to see remade or rehashed: Dragon Quest 4, Startropics, and Milon’s Secret Castle.

  17. Zukhramm says:

    They’re bringing the start menu back? I’ll have to skip it then. The start menu was terrible and I was glad to see it gone. I don’t know why people loved it, it was just a menu.

    Separate tablet/mouse modes seems pretty bad to me too, depending on how different they are and how complicated switching is. I don’t want to have to go into some menu every time I decided to touch the screen or use the keyboard.

    The art tool Campster mentioned was probably Become a Great Artist in Just 10 Seconds, it’s pretty cool, as is Icosa by the same person, it might be a little harder to use initially but you can make some interesting things with it.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I don’t know why people loved it, it was just a menu.

      Its compact,unobtrusive and easy to access without the need to completely remove whatever you are working on from the screen.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      I liked it until XP. It was (so far) the quickest way to get to all of the installed software, including checking what software was installed in the first place.
      Then KDE 3.5 showed how much better you could make it by simply adding a search field which will fade out all entries which don’t contain what you were looking for.

      Then MS released Vista (which I ignored) and KDE went to version 4, and they both broke it. Suddenly you needed to click to see what’s in a subgroup, and to click again somewhere else to go back again: No more quick browsing! Instead they had a search function which kinda works but will not tell you where the damn thing was you were looking for.

      What’s the alternative? Alphabetically sorting things in a long list or a huge grid? That takes four pages on my phone and ages to find anything. If I had all my windows software arranged that way, I’d just stop using most of it because I could not find it.

      So… what’d be better than an XP-style start menu plus an indexed search?

  18. Smejki says:

    Hey Shamus, if you want to a reboot of Starflight maybe try Precursors. It’s a Russian/Ukrainian game, I remember it having some troubles with horrible ENG translation (there are several versions I think) and also that little issue it was practically impossible to get legally outside Russia (so maybe go directly pirate). Not that I played either of those games but from the descriptions I got it might scratch some of those itches of yours.

  19. Volfram says:

    Shamus won’t be upgrading to Windows 10 for a few weeks at least. I will never be upgrading. With the Xbox Live integration comes the Class Action Waiver in the TOS that’s the reason I don’t use XBL. I have a Win7 and a Win8.1 machine, and when it comes time to replace those I’ll be moving to Linux.

    • Ahiya says:

      Same here. Given the baked in security issues (baking keylogging, file scanning and the ability to disable ‘unauthorized’ peripherals into the OS makes bad actor’s lives much easier and mine much harder, no thanks), forced updates, bad privacy options and the fact that 10 doesn’t even respect the options users can change, I’ll keep a 7 image around forever to game on and move to Linux for everything else.

      I don’t do anything now that can’t be done on Linux besides games. Many games are on Linux now anyway, plus there’s WINE and ScummVM, emulators and virtual machines. MS has messed up enough that I’m not interested in trusting them with my bank login and whatever else I do on my PC.

  20. Andy_Panthro says:

    Interesting when you mention about the changes required when updating Kings Quest (the first one), since there is not only an official Sierra remake (made in the same sort of style as King’s Quest 4), and also a VGA fan remake. So this makes the new KQ the third remake, which is an honour that very few games receive. (Several other early Sierra games have also got remakes, both official and otherwise).

    I’d suggest for Ultima to get rebooted/remade, but considering how badly that ended up, I’m really not sure anyone could make a good attempt at it. Thankfully we are getting something almost as good: a new Underworld game (Underworld Ascendant!)

    My definite pick would be for an authentic Alone in the Dark remake. Heavy on horror themes, Lovecraft influences, and puzzles (small amount of combat).

  21. Kings Quest engines…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_Game_Interpreter
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra's_Creative_Interpreter

    Sierra began using the SCI engine with Kings Quest IV and the Larry games. It was mainly PC engine aimed at hard drive installs and support for orchestral soundtracks.

    Kings Quest I was re-released in 1990 with the SCI engine (and graphical updates) compared to the original using the AGI engine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King's_Quest_I

  22. Groboclown says:

    I think we seriously need a remake of Autoduel. It was made so early that a remake could be incredible. The technology really limited what it could be.

    Another good one would be MegaTraveller, which again was so limited by the technology at the time.

    • Uselesstwit says:

      Autoduel is the first game that came to my mind as well. Customizable battlecars traveling thru a madmax like eastern seaboard. Seems ridiculous that it has never been redone. I still have the toolkit that came with the box in a drawer somewhere.

  23. @Josh no need to use the reserve or try to trick the Windows Update.
    Just go here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

    (the following is written from memory)

    Their installer will download 3 to 4 GB of data. And you can choose to do a in place install/update or make a ISO or a USB stick.
    If you do in-place you get to choose “Keep All” system/user settings, or “Keep User settings” (keeps account and user settings), or “Keep nothing” (clean install).

    When doing the upgrade it will put the old os in a Windows.old folder, this folder will stick around for a month I think, although you can just delete it at once if you wish.

    Once you have installed/upgraded Windows 10 (and Windows servers have registered your PC/motherboard).
    Any future re-installs will not require a key so you can skip the key when asked for it.

    Pretty simple really, but perhaps not so obvious for some.
    I read a lot about people doing the upgrade and then making the iso/usb stick and doing a clean install. (basically installing twice) and some where trying to find the Windows 10 key (which is just a generic key that Microsoft use to reference the Windows 10 upgraded systems).

    You can do a clean install by simply choosing Keep Nothing when using the installer I linked to. That will move all of the old OS into a Windows.old folder and then install a fresh OS, no old drivers/programs/settings are retained/carried over that could mess things up.

    • Mike S. says:

      And then sometimes it will fail to directly update (after spending a while downloading all the files) with an incredibly opaque error message. And if you try to install with an ISO burned to a disk, it’ll ask for a Windows 10 license key (and won’t accept the Win7 license key you’re upgrading from).

      Or maybe that’s just me.

      (Next plan is “clean install of Win7, then trigger the update to Win10 with the registry key”. But since that requires over 150 updates before the system is patched enough for the Win10 installer to deign to work, it’s still in process. :-) )

      • “And then sometimes it will fail to directly update (after spending a while downloading all the files) with an incredibly opaque error message”

        Language conflict and elevation issue.

        First of all make sure you run/start it (the installer I linked to) from a proper admin account, you can’t/shouldn’t try from a standard (non-admin) account. Elevation from a standard account will give that cryptic error “Something happened”.

        Also, make sure that the language you choose in the installer when asked matches that of your system.
        If not you need to change the language of your system, and it’s the Non-unicode language setting you need to change/fix. (the language setting applied for software that does not support unicode and for legacy software).

        These are two silly issues that Microsoft should (and hopefully will) fix with their installer (no idea if they have yet).
        I scratched my head for hours on that issue, and searching the net gave no clues at first.

        “And if you try to install with an ISO burned to a disk, it’ll ask for a Windows 10 license key (and won’t accept the Win7 license key you’re upgrading from).”

        You can’t. That key entry is for Windows 10 retail keys only.
        If you have done the upgrade then you can just skip the key entry part. (the free windows 10 upgrade is basically keyless and tied to the motherboard).

        If you try the Microsoft installer (or media creation tool whatever), choose in-place upgrade, and “Keep Nothing” then that is the same as a clean install.

        I’m not sure at which point in the process it happens, but at some point your hardware is checked and your Windows 7 (or Windows 8/8.1) key is re-validated/checked, details are sent to Microsoft’s servers and the machine is flagged as having been upgraded to Windows 10, the windows key is “stored” at Microsoft so you won’t need to ever worry about the key in the future (so iso or usb installs can be done keyless).

        • Mike S. says:

          Alas, no amount of persuasion will convince Windows 10 to install, or Windows 7 updates to stop breaking after a certain point. The fact that the new installation of Win7 rapidly reaches the same point (and throws the same errors) that the previous one did makes me wonder if it’s a subtle hardware issue.

          Since it’s a 9-year-old computer (sort of; the CPU and case are that old, but just about everything else has been replaced at some point over the years) relegated mostly to streaming video in the bedroom, it won’t be an insurmountable tragedy if this is the end of the line. I’ll probably try one last clean Win7 install (to the second hard drive this time), then see if it can do what I need with Mint or Ubuntu.

          If that doesn’t work, maybe it’s time to give it an honorable retirement.

  24. Both Asus and Creative are/have been pretty bad at their driver maintenance.

    If anyone here got a Soundblaster Z here’s a tip to install the drivers and control panel stuff with zero bloat.

    Download the recently released Windows 10 driver for Soundblaster Z from the soundblaster.com site.

    Next, use 7-zip (or similar) and extract the files/folders in the installer SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_03.exe
    You want the folder and contents of /Audio/program files/Creative/Sound Blaster Z-Series/Program/Driver

    Now go to your devices in Windows, or open the Windows playback mixer, right click your soundcard speakers and choose properties then device properties.
    It’s a bit convoluted to get there. But once you do you should click Upgrade driver, Windows will ask if it should search online or if you want to search locally on your system. Choose locally and point it to the folder you extracted.
    It will only take a few moments and it will be relatively quickly done (as it’s just the driver).

    Now for the Soundblaster control panel where you can toggle/change all those nifty things.

    You need to extract (from the installer) the following folder /Audio/program files/Creative/Sound Blaster Z-Series/Sound Blaster Z-Series Control Panel/

    And here is the very important part…. move/copy it to wherever you want.
    To open/start the sound card control to configure stuff just run SBZ.exe
    That’s it. No install needed. Windows might pop up a requester saying it needs to download #NET 3.5 something but that does not take very long luckily.

    Now you should have the updated driver (the basic one that Microsoft provides by default is from November 2014, and the SBZ mic did not fully work with it.)
    And the SBZ configuration programs works fine. You can change speaker/headphone and mic settings and all that stuff, do the EQ tweaks.

    You won’t have the Dolby or DTS etc. stuff as that is not installed (obviously). You can probably dig that out of the installer executable as well though.

    While it’s a slight inconvenience to have to start SBZ.exe manually, the lack of any extra system bloat is awesome. And there is not a bunch of weird files or stuff running as services or in my Windows startup.

  25. Da Mage says:

    What game should be remade? The clear answer is Albion, mainly because it is such a good game that never saw a sequel.

  26. Vextra says:

    Strangely, I’ve always wanted a decent remake of Midwinter, the 1989 winter-themed guerilla warfare game for the Amiga. We’ve had plenty of third person and first person survival games where you punch trees and fight zombies, but i’ve yet to see anyone do something as involving, as pressured, and as balls-hard as Midwinter tried to do in its “handful of unqualified people against an invading army” scenario.

    Perhaps the prospect of a guerilla warfare simulator is a little on the nose for our current times, but I’d love a survival game where you’re not worried about wolves or pantsless people with handcrafted axes, but a full on, technologically-advanced army that, further more, is relentlessly taking over and cutting off all points of civilisation in your frozen wilderness. If you don’t beat them soon, they will have total domination and you won’t be able to live anywhere.

    I also liked its recruitment mechanics, managing the personal relationships and relative pros/cons of 38 different NPCs, from an old lady to young kids to drunken veterans and all points in between.

    I can’t understand why in our sandbox and milsim saturated market noone’s thought of doing something like this.

  27. What game should be re-made?

    Heck let’s start with which games should be re-released at the very least. NOLF and NOLF 2 damnit.

    But I’d really like to see… Blade Runner The Game
    and… Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

    The sound (voices/music/sfx) in Bloodlines can probably be re-used. And the sound on Blade Runner can probably be re-used too.

    This is not unique to these games. There are a lot of old games where the audio is fine but the graphics have aged badly or the engine/game does not run well on a modern system.

    Blade Runner had voxel characters so one could simply increase the voxel count. And maybe the original assets are good enough that higher res scene backgrounds do exist. But this means access to the original sources.

    Same with sound, you would need to get the original lossless audio wavs or whatever.

    I kinda like the idea of getting to the original assets (art/audio/script/dialog) and then just re-furbishing it all, updating them. Cost-wise it has to be cheaper than doing it all from scratch (the game is fully designed, script/plot finished, all dialog recorded, soundtrack scored, lots of art/other sound assets).

    • Bloodlines IS being remade, almost constantly. Just ask Krellen for his opinion on that. :)

      I wouldn’t mind if they made another Bloodlines-style game using the assets from that now-canceled World of Darkness MMO.

      • Oh wow! Good point on unused assets.

        Can you imagine how much graphics/audio/n’stuff is just on a hard drive somewhere dying a bit death?

        I mean, even if one won’t continue the development of the game itself, at the very least some of those assets would be reusable in some way. Parts from 2-3 games could potentially be enough to create a full game etc.

        We need a “Frankengame” studio.

        • I wish one would arise. I still recall an artist who worked on the last Warhammer MMO requesting that the game world be left up and running (not playable, but explorable) as a kind of museum for anyone who wanted to look at all the hard work that had gone into it.

          Naturally, this request was denied and we’ll never see the game’s components again.

  28. Cinebeast says:

    Man, Roses made the game look really fun, so I started watching a let’s play for it and, sure enough, it looks like a great game. Which makes me upset — I wanted to hate the Odd Gentlemen for how they funded the thing. Is no one going to mention how they embezzled money from a Kickstarter project to work on King’s Quest?

    I don’t mean to bring anyone down, and I’m not judging anyone who paid for the game, but it seems weird to me how few people are talking about this.

    • GoatWithoutHorns says:

      The reason so few people are talking about it is because there is no merit to it. I looked into it when that rumor started; it spawned from an angrily written tumblr post that honestly sounded like it was done by an illiterate teenager. It was then promptly cleared up in the same tumblr post and deleted, but of course, the internet has a “Guilty until proven innocent” policy, and people love drama, so it was passed around as truth. Seriously think about it; if there was ANY merit to this, there would be a huge expose; it would be picked up by Gawker or websites like that, but it’s not, because literally anyone can write a tumblr post without any kind of verification. And if there were any truth to it, why would the original writer delete their post? When something like this happens, and someone wants to expose something, they wouldn’t delete it. They would keep it up and fight for it to be seen if it had any truth to it and if they believed in what they were saying. People who honestly don’t see the fallacies in that are just looking for some drama on the internet, and it’s sad the things people will latch onto just by hearsay. By spreading it further, you’re continuing to be a pawn in someone else’s falsified drama. I’m surprised people don’t know better than to be skeptical of things written on the net; that’s something you learn as a kid.

      • Cinebeast says:

        I guess I won’t get into it here, since Shamus wouldn’t want things to get heated, but you’re simplifying the matter quite a bit, and you must know that. I’m certainly skeptical of the issue — as you said, it should have caught fire on gaming news sites — but it is not without merit.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        if there was ANY merit to this, there would be a huge expose; it would be picked up by Gawker or websites like that

        Thats hilarious on so many levels.

  29. Joe Informatico says:

    I’m not very familiar with King’s Quest at all (I played a couple of the Space Quests and Police Quests when I was a kid, but never got around to KQ for whatever reason), so this is just spitballing: Maybe the mattresses in the dragon’s lair are some kind of Princess and the Pea reference?

  30. Neko says:

    They can’t be trying that hard to give Windows 10 away. I have two windows 7 licences kicking around and I can’t just go to their site and get a win-10 USB or ISO install image, no, I have to reinstall Windows 7 just to get it. And I’ve learned that the Windows 7 disc I can still find is the “upgrade” disc, so I’d have to install frikkin’ Windows XP just to get that installed.

    Pass.

  31. John says:

    Okay, Josh, I’ll just say it: I don’t think Tie Fighter needs a reboot. Despite being a very early 3D game, the graphics–I’m speaking here about the Collector’s CD-Rom edition, in glorious 640×480 with genuine Gourad shading–still look pretty good, even when upscaled to 1080p on a 42-inch screen. There are no unsightly low-res textures because every texture in the game is a solid color. There are no hideous low-poly character models with akward, unconvincing animations because there are no 3D character models. And the flight model is smooth and beautiful.

    No, what we need is a remake of Wing Commander: Privateer. That game has aged terribly. It’s full of low quality textures. Every time you look at a ship, you’re looking at one of maybe eight textures, since the game isn’t actually 3D. And those textures do not scale well, oh no. It’s really hard to judge the distance, speed, or heading of an enemy fighter–in a game that consists mostly of dogfighting, no less. And Josh, we need a new Privateer game because the X series has terrible UI, superfluous management tedium, and a sandbox mode that starts you off in a fighter with no hope of defeating even a single pirate Fighter, let alone two. The new Elite might be okày, but it’s got an always-online component that irks me. What’s more, the people who hate the game seem to really, really hate it, while the people who like the game seem to think it’s just pretty good and might eventually get better. Star Citizen is a mass hallucination.

  32. Gravebound says:

    Pre-’95 (actually two of them are from ’96 :P) Game Updates:

    Wave Race 64 – Liked the look and feel of the N64 water, the “sequel” Blue Storm (Gamecube) looked janky and felt wrong.

    2D Metroid – like the pre-Fusion games

    A Shadowrun in the style of the Genesis release, but with a bigger, more player-influenced world.

    Mutant League sports games – EA already has a yearly-released Football game system to serve as a base; just tweak the settings a bit.

    Wing Commander

    Mole Mania – just a neat puzzle game that deserved a follow up and I wish I still owned…:(

    Road Rash

    (Not pre-’95 but…)
    Steambot Chronicles

    I could totally go for an updated Starflight, too. I played it on Genesis, and I don’t know how different it was from the PC, but it was great! Never finished it, either…I should work on that.

  33. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I’d say that I’d want a Master of Orion reboot but we actually have a boom of 4x turn based space games (though admittedly of varying quality) so I’m fairly content on that front at the moment.

  34. modus0 says:

    I upgraded my computer from Windows 7 Home 64-bit to Windows 10 Home 64-bit on Aug 1st, and (unlike Josh, the Computer Bug Whisperer) I didn’t have any issues with the installation itself.

    I did use the Windows Media Creation Tool to “jump ahead in line” so to speak, but that took about 7 hours on my connection to actually get to the installation part.

    So far, aside from an annoying issue with the audio setup my headphones use, and what might be a hardware issue, everything’s been smooth. I turned off as many of the options related to data collection as you can, and I don’t think I’ll be using Cortana ever (Bing can suck it).

    Haven’t run into any software incompatibilities yet, even tried out the GoG version of Thief: Gold and it ran just fine without any obvious updating.

    The biggest thing, for me, is boot time. Windows 7 had a tendency to take several minutes to get to the desktop, while Windows 10 is there in about a minute.

    • Nidokoenig says:

      If Windows 10 is anything like 8, you’re not comparing like for like there, when you tell it to shut down, it’s actually going into a hibernation mode, to the extent that programs that need a restart after updating will need you to set aside a time to restart properly, which will take far longer. This makes perfect sense for a battery-powered mobile device, but I’m annoyed often enough by something whining about a need for the special restart on my Win 8 desktop. Or rather, the busted-screened laptop I keep on my desk.

      • modus0 says:

        Then why would there be a separate “Hibernate” power option?

        It seems that Windows 8 introduced a sort of “sub” hibernate, which saves some of the system state, but not as much as full hibernate does. Windows 10 also uses that, as a function of its “fast startup”.

        However, using the Win+X menu shut down option in Windows 10 does a full shutdown, and I’ve noticed not appreciable difference in startup times after either (and I’ve unintentionally decided I like the Win+X menu shut down more).

    • Phill says:

      One thing I see every time a new version of windows comes out is comments about how much faster it boots than the previous version. Either they are continually making massive improvements, or it is just the way windows slows down over time as it builds up more and more crap.

      Reinstalling the same version of windows will typically make it boot much faster too.

      And then they all gradually get slower and slower to boot.

      Does anyone have any objective measures of e.g. completely fresh windows 7 (with no updates applied) vs completely fresh windows 10 on the same hardware?

      • Hmm! I wish I had noted down that stuff.
        I saw one test on the net (no link, sorry)
        But Windows 10 was around 6 sec and 7 was around 4 and I forget what Windows 8 had.

        In that test they called Windows 10 greatly slower, but I think on their test rig being so fast the 2-4 second difference could simply have been due to minor differences in those starts. They did test with fresh installs but I can’t recall how many runs they did. (I don’t think they did multiple runs and then took the average with the top 10% and bottom 10% excluded)

        I can tell you that on my own machine after a fresh install Windows 10 took ironically around 10 seconds, I think. I didn’t time it I just counted, and I know I tend to count seconds a bit too fast sometimes doing that.
        But any OS that uses 10 or less seconds to boot is OK in my book, heck my BIOS takes that long even. I also only start once a day.

        Windows 10 is very fast at quitting though.

        Windows 10 sort of uses a hybernation thing for parts of the OS is what I’ve heard. Though I could care less about that, as I said earlier, 10 seconds or less is more than fast enough, I don’t mind waiting that long. Way back in the day I had a machine with XP on it and it took up to a minute to start (my memory is hazy).

        I’m not surprised if a newer OS is the same or not faster than a old OS. A old OS does way less stuff than a new one (usually) so comparing on the same hardware is a disservice.

        So if a OS comes out x years after the last and you compare using hardware that are x years apart you should find that the new OS is the same or faster.

        As far as load under use (I really love the new task manager)… With Task Manager and Firefox and Chrome up it uses 0% CPU.
        The memory is the same as with Windows 7, around 20-30% memory (and the rest of the memory is dedicated to shadow ram which is a “secret” file/cache RAM in Windows).

      • modus0 says:

        When I can go refill my cup, then go to the bathroom all before Windows 7 gets to the desktop, and that same hardware (and non-OS software via the upgrade and keeping everything) boots to the lock screen in about a minute, I’m thinking there’s been at least some optimization for startup with Windows 10.

        I don’t recall that my system was quite that fast the last time I did a fresh install of Windows 7.

        • Ahiya says:

          It really depends on the PC too. Some PCs lock up completely, some slow down, some get a lot faster. Depends on drivers, which is up to the OEM. A software stack can only be optimized so much when dealing with old or slow drivers.

  35. Hermocrates says:

    I’d love to see a modern game done in the style of Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity. I have never played any other game that so well captured the feel of the TV series, and on top of that it was just a really fun traditional adventure game (tactical battles aside).

    Oh, and I would specifically want it to be a The Next Generation game; barring that, a completely original space fantasy setting.

  36. tmtvl says:

    Pre-95 games I’d like to see remade:
    Eternal Filena, Dark Law: Meaning of Death, Shadowrun (SNES).

    There was a remake of one of the Realms of Arkania games, but it was terrible, so maybe that as well.
    I’m probably forgetting a whole bunch of games, but I’m not too sure on release dates.

  37. Zak McKracken says:

    My namesake game has already been suggested, so I’ll go with this very old gem:
    They Stole a Million
    Here’s a video
    (That guy doesn’t really play well but there aren’t many videos to choose from)

    A heist simulation that some games have come somewhat close to but never quite there.
    This game made us cover heaps of paper in tables to work out the precise timing for your safe-cracker to sneak through the rooms of a bank in order to avoid meeting any of the guards or cameras, in order to avoid hiring someone else to disable the alarm (expensive!) or knock out the guards (cheaper but more dangerous), and then try to do some of those things in realtime yourself (while everyone else runs like a clockwork) in an attempt to make the largest possible net profit.

    These days, apart from updating graphics and stuff, I think you could deal with the things we used to do on paper by either automating them or letting the player do it in-game. You could certainly introduce a lot more mechanics (hacking computerized things, social-engineering people to get information on a target…), and the game could certainly afford to explain itself better than it did back then.

    • By Ariolasoft, which was a subsidiary of Ariola Records.

      It was weird in the 80’s, where record companies released video games for home computers. I remember playing an old game called “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll” where you tried to become a platinum-selling rock band. It was put out by K-Tel.

  38. Henson says:

    While the old DOS game was kinda not the greatest thing in the world, I’d like to see a studio take another stab at Spelljammer. Nautical ships of wizards and elves flying through outer space. Beware of Illithids and their Umber Hulks. Ramming speed!

  39. Christopher says:

    God, Shamus and Pushing Up Roses are old. I can’t even imagine what the old King’s Quest game you guys described looked like. My only reference point for Sierra Adventure games are let’s plays Yahtzee did of a Space Quest, a Gabriel Knight and a Leisure Suit Larry game. If they’re representative of Sierra as a whole, I don’t think they were even any good. But it’s sooo long ago, so what kind of judgment can I pass on people who laid the building blocks for a genre?

    Everything from before 1995 that I could have wanted to see remade has already been remade or got sequels. Even Super Putty Squad got a rerelease on Xbox Live Arcade.

  40. mwchase says:

    Kid Pix actually has a release that runs on most Macs/PCs, apparently.

    Personally, my not-a-game choice to bring back is ClarisWorks/AppleWorks. Either it really is that much better than everything else I’ve tried for the kind of vector graphics I try to do (terrible programmer art), or I have some nostalgia to cure.

    So far as games go… I guess I’m curious about how a Lemmings reboot would look, even though I didn’t play it much.

  41. ZoA says:

    Just as a public service to people upgrading to Win 10 there are some things you should take care of first:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=octjhIXkcf0

    Why is this important? Well you don’t want Microsoft collect 200$ by selling your personal information.

    http://www.dailydot.com/news/microsoft-compliance-emails-fbi-ditu/

    Given that default installation of Win10 comes with key logger that means Microsoft will have access to all your passwords and tipped correspondence. Add to that Microsoft internal security is weak, as obvious by multiple hacks by SEA, and that they are willing to sell their user personal information for as little as 200$, one should be careful when using Win10, and certainty make sure to shut down all known and numerous spyware that Microsoft bundles with default Win10 installation.

  42. Taellosse says:

    I could’ve sworn I posted about the new Descent game earlier? Did the post get flagged as spam for including a link or something? Or did I annoy you Shamus/violate the rules somehow to be posting about an active crowdfunding effort? I honestly only intended to let you know it was a thing that existed, and thought might interest you/others here. I’ve got no skin in the game personally, and wasn’t trying to sell anybody anything – I just know about it because an acquaintance works for them and posts about it on Facebook all the time – I didn’t even pledge for it myself, since I never played the original game.

    If I, in fact, somehow didn’t actually post/it got swallowed by the internet gods, I’m sorry for making baseless accusations.

  43. Paul Spooner says:

    Aww, Shamus missed a great pun opportunity at 16:30. Combine “too scathing” with “scale it back a bit” and you get “Scathle it back”.

    There is no charge.

  44. drlemaster says:

    I burned a Windows 10 disk (not that hard to do, but did have click around a bit to find that option). Did a completely clean install. Seems to be a slight speed improvement over Windows 7, no compatibility problems on my laptop, but it is pretty standard. Have to turn off lots of switches to only send a lot of data to Microsoft instead of all the data. Much better than 8, not going to upgrade my Windows 7 desktop yet, as the slight speed increase not worth the effort.

  45. Bruno M. Torres says:

    I would love to see Phantasy Star again. After so many “hard” science fiction, some cheesy space fantasy would be a relief.

    It wouldn’t even need to be a reboot: Thanks to the high concept of “the Dark Force returns every 1.000 years to destroy the Algol System”, every game was pretty much standalone, story-wise.

  46. RTBones says:

    Microsoft has two big reasons to give Windows 10 away. The first is that so Windows 7 doesnt become another XP that they end up having to support forever. Right or wrong, people hated 8 and stayed with 7. The fact that 10 is much closer to 7 than 8 is telling…and intended to entice 7 users to upgrade. The second reason is that the monetization method for the OS involves your data…ALL of your data. The amount of data 10 snatches up by default beggars belief. The fact is that according to the new Microsoft privacy policy/EULA, if Microsoft has a ‘good faith’ reason, they will take any and all files on your machine – even those in private folders. Microsoft seems to firmly believe that all your data are belong to them. Additionally, by default (assuming you use an MS account), Microsoft will save your wifi password to the cloud. It will also save your BitLocker key to the cloud. Lets not forget Microsoft automatically allowing itself to use your bandwidth to update windows 10 systems on your network.

    A little bit about Windows 10 Privacy settings

    Most of the privacy issues can be turned off – provided you take the time to comb through no less than 13 pages of settings.

  47. Ahiya says:

    MissionForce: Cyberstorm desperately needs a remake. It’s got great battles, great atmosphere, an interesting story and all the things a TBS fan could desire, without overloading users who aren’t looking to seriously optimize their units. Not sure if it’s pre-95 but it deserves a remake anyway.

  48. WWWebb says:

    There are TONS of remakes of Starflight. The problem with almost all of them is that they try to make something “better” than Starflight instead of just remaking the original.

    Most of them get hung up on the combat and don’t spend enough on content. Eventually, these spiritual successors end up in a different genre:
    -RTS (Space Rangers, Star Wolves, Ancient Space, etc.)
    -Simulation (Privateer, the X series, etc.)
    -management simulator (FTL, StarCommand, etc.)
    -giant hybrid things (whatever Star Citizen and The Mandate end up being)

    The original’s combat was about as deep as Asteroids. It wasn’t really the point of the game, and only needed to be complex enough to provide an incentive to upgrade your ship as you explored.

  49. Warclam says:

    The accent problem is one I ran into constantly when GMing. Characters would have whatever voice I could muster at the moment, which was often not the one they had two hours ago. I ended up with a Texan goblin though, so that was fun.

  50. favored says:

    Every of your distributors has their very own set of distinctive knowledge wants and necessities, and
    you could meet these as a way to guarantee your merchandise are at all times available to be found and ordered.

  51. Isla says:

    Oh Wunder- zum Anfang wahrscheinlich nicht, aber zum Ende des Monats wird der Blutdruck nach dem Gehen wesentlich geringer sein als vor dem
    Ausflug.

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