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Default General News - Going Back in Time to the TRS-80

November 27th, 2012, 01:23
Being old enough to have toyed with gaming on Radio Shack's TRS-80 I found the article on Gamasutra that delves into the history of the TRS-80 and its games a worthwhile read, so I'll bother you with this as well….
The TRS-80 was hardly a gamer's dream; it was designed for "serious" home and business use, though users were hard pressed to find many practical uses for the primitive technology — a 3 x 5 card and a pencil were still superior tools for most purposes. Radio Shack wasn't quite sure how to market the system to consumers beyond the type attracted by its basic technological appeal, usefulness be damned.
While the TRS-80 was intended to help file recipes and balance the household checkbook, good tools for actually doing so were slow in coming, and most required the additional expense of a disk drive. Many of these utilitarian software packages were promoted with appropriately dull black-and-white one-sheets — three volumes of Real Estate software, anyone?
It's hard to believe from a 21st century perspective, but Radio Shack's marketers didn't quite grasp the appeal of games as a way to sell home computers. This ad promoting a paltry launch selection of "Games and Novelty Programs" is just as uninspiring as the company's other software promos.
More information.

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November 27th, 2012, 01:23
Wayback machine! I remember playing Microbes (Asteroids clone) on my TRS coco when I was 12. I'm so old.

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November 27th, 2012, 01:36
Trash 80 and Z-80. It would be funny to see what techies would do with these now.
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November 27th, 2012, 01:56
Dungeons of Daggorath

First RPG I played on any type of computer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQKQH…feature=relmfu
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November 27th, 2012, 02:05
Funny, I see gameplay hasn't evolved much in 30 years. Looks like Legend of Grimrock. How pathetic is that?
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November 27th, 2012, 02:15
It's evolved quite a bit, but there's always going to be basic similarities between games that use the same point of view- i.e. first-person, isometric, etc..
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November 27th, 2012, 02:22
Grid based dungeon crawl 20 years ago the same as this year with base gameplay elements not really evolved at all.
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November 27th, 2012, 02:27
Depends what you consider "base" gameplay elements. There's only so much you can do in corridors with a first-person view. A game like LoG offers a lot more than Dungeons of Daggorath, but of course you're still moving N,S,E,W, and fighting monsters.
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November 27th, 2012, 05:42
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Funny, I see gameplay hasn't evolved much in 30 years. Looks like Legend of Grimrock. How pathetic is that?
Please, I come to RPGWatch for intelligent discussions on games. Don't sully it with silly throw-away (and easily refuted) lines like this one.

As JDR indicates, a similarity in viewing perspective does not equate to the non-evolution of gameplay. Did Dungeons of Daggorath have portal puzzles solvable in real time? No. Did it feature a party? No. Did it have a rune based mage system? No. Did it have as heavily driven a character system as Legend of Grimrock? No.
All of these things have direct implications and effects on gameplay.

Doesn't leave much room for the "How pathetic is that? line of "reasoning"

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November 27th, 2012, 05:55
Wow, Dungeons of Daggorath is in 3D!! And here I was stuck playing Zork and Eamon adventures on my old Apple ][+. Though I did get to play some Temple of Apshai on my friend's Atari 400. (Talk about needing the game manual… ToA wouldn't even give you the description for any rooms, you had to look each description up in the manual!)
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November 27th, 2012, 06:19
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
Please, I come to RPGWatch for intelligent discussions on games. Don't sully it with silly throw-away (and easily refuted) lines like this one.

As JDR indicates, a similarity in viewing perspective does not equate to the non-evolution of gameplay. Did Dungeons of Daggorath have portal puzzles solvable in real time? No. Did it feature a party? No. Did it have a rune based mage system? No. Did it have as heavily driven a character system as Legend of Grimrock? No.
All of these things have direct implications and effects on gameplay.

Doesn't leave much room for the "How pathetic is that? line of "reasoning"
Please read above. Base gameplay is the same with enhancements added that you mentioned (among other). That was my point.
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November 27th, 2012, 09:33
That just means it was a good basis to build on, no? What is pathetic about that?

And then there is the fact that Grimrock is a deliberate throwback to a style of games that was largely extinct for many years (making quite a comeback now though).
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November 27th, 2012, 09:57
The article misses the picture for the game I remember the most: the dancing demon.
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November 27th, 2012, 10:14
Give up arguing with Thrasher once rationality is out the picture. He's not going to budge, believe me

Basic gameplay is the same? Yeah, like Battlefield 3 is basically the same as Wolfenstein 3D. They're both real-time first person shooters. So, complaining that basic gameplay is the same is a non-statement of very little use and insight.

It's just a genre and it has evolved - but the core is intact, which is why it belongs in that genre.

Anyway, for this particular subgenre - we've evolved a LOT from games like DoG, but I consider the peak to be games like Ultima Underworld and Arx Fatalis. SINCE then, however, there has been almost no evolution there. Legend of Grimrock was a throwback to Dungeon Master - and was a devolution more than anything else.
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November 27th, 2012, 10:33
I loved the my TSR 80. Never owned a single game for it as I did not have a floppy drive or tape drive for it. But I did take my first steps learning how to program in BASIC which was quite a lot of fun back then.

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November 27th, 2012, 11:04
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I loved the my TSR 80. Never owned a single game for it as I did not have a floppy drive or tape drive for it.
Not sure which version it was, but mine had a cartridge slot in the rear of the system, and the games I owned were in that format.
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November 27th, 2012, 12:06
Good to know I'm not the oldest here. My gaming didn't start before my friends C64s and my own Amiga…
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November 27th, 2012, 12:43
I was playing tape-drive games on my C-64 (Or maybe it was the Vic-20; my brother and I had both.), while my dad was writing a horserace-handicapping program on his TRS-80,in Basic, I think.
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November 27th, 2012, 15:15
I wrote text adventures like Zork in line code basic as a kid. Ran out of memory even though I has the "8K extended version" of the CoCo. Had to use tape to progress the story.

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November 27th, 2012, 19:13
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
That just means it was a good basis to build on, no? What is pathetic about that?
What's pathetic is that the industry can't successfully be more creative it seems.
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