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Default The Escapist - Know Your Gaming Roots

November 15th, 2010, 22:41
This isn't about RPGs although a couple of games of interest get mentioned - but I thought the idea of understanding where some of the current popular games stem from was an interesting one. Shamus Young talks about Know Your Gaming Roots:
Westwood Studios

What made them important: Eye of the Beholder is a classic and served as my introduction to Dungeons & Dragons on the computer, but I don't think the game has any progeny on the shelves today. I think a first-person, party-oriented, turn-based RPG would be an impossible pitch in today's market. (You could claim that something like Dragon Age is a descendant, but I think that would be a stretch.)
But what solidified Westwood's place in history is the fact that they basically invented the Real-Time Strategy genre. Bits of the idea had surfaced in earlier games, but Westwood's Dune II gave us the full package: Build a base, harvest resources, make dudes, and kill the enemy base. (Yes, Dune II - they invented a new genre in the process of making a sequel. Man, do I miss those days.) After Dune they went on to create the Command & Conquer games.
What happened to them: They were purchased by Electronic Arts in 1998, and closed by EA in 2003. The silver lining is that EA admitted their mistake and CEO John Riccitiello took responsibility for the once-successful company flaming out under his management. They seem to have mended their ways, and BioWare has fared much better in their service since then. Hm, admitting fault and changing direction? I disagree with Riccitiello from time to time, but this is a pretty good example of why he's a class act compared to other guys I could mention.
More information.
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November 15th, 2010, 22:41
It's good to see credit where it's due. I've heard so many who thought Warcraft was the original RTS, although it came out 2 years after Dune 2. And the pathfinding in Dune 2 was still superior at the time. In fact i'm sure there were other indies previous to D2, but this was the one that paved the way for even the most prestigious RTSs and RTS/RPG hybrids today.

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November 15th, 2010, 22:46
So before I kick all of you youngsters off of my lawn
Sometimes I wish I could.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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November 15th, 2010, 22:48
I think a first-person, party-oriented, turn-based RPG would be an impossible pitch in today's market.
EoB wasn't turnbased and there are now tons of first-person games.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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November 15th, 2010, 23:29
I read the article, and came to an artickle on Mr. Kotick, and from there to this : http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news…cenes-As-Films

There it says that Activision wants to sell movies made out of cutscenes.

Well, NOW I understand that promotional movie (?) DVD I recently took home from Gamestop (with an okay by the employee, because there were many more of these promo DVDs) :

It apparingly consists (I haven't watched so far) of cut-scenes of The Force Unleashed put together (in)to a movie !

And distributor is - Activision !
It was a promo DVD, and no money was charged for it.

But it is a hint towards the future.

Could somebody please inform The Escapist of my find ?

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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November 16th, 2010, 04:27
I loved Dune 2, but if you really want to know the very first "RTS" out there then check out Battletech: The Crescent Hawks' Revenge. Far inferior to the first one, but I'm biased. I preferred the RPG elements in Battletech and the TB battles. Still that game was one of the first, if not THE first to offer up the traditional RTS elements that we know today. Plus, it was the most amazing thing when I heard actual speech coming out of the speaker built into the computer. I heard it and couldn't believe my ears! Not really all that amazing now, but at the time it was great. Crescent Hawks' Revenge isn't that bad of a game. It was just a total departure of what I expected.

I would love it if GoG offered this one up. I would snatch it up in a millisecond because it is a pain and a half to get it to run on modern day computers even in Dosbox.

Here's a funny story for anyone who is bored. I ordered Dune 2 over the phone through Chips & Bits. It takes about five days to get to my house. I open the box and they sent me DOOM 2!!!! Can't really blame them. Doom 2 was hot at that time and the poor lady just misunderstood. I was tempted to just keep that one, but I really wanted to play a game in the Dune universe so I called them up and shipped it back to them. They finally sent me the right game. I'm glad I did too because that was one fun little game that I got a lot of hours out of. To this day I've still never played Doom 2

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I'm still just a rat in a cage.
Last edited by skavenhorde; November 16th, 2010 at 14:54.
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November 16th, 2010, 10:49
Dune 2 was amazing. I even played the remake Dune 2000 a lot. And Dune Emperor. And Dune 1. I love Dune.
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November 16th, 2010, 11:05
? > Dungeon Master > UU > SS > Bioshock.

Evolution got messed up somewhere after UU/SS.

I'd rather play a good Dungeon Master clone than another Bioshock!
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November 16th, 2010, 11:09
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
I loved Dune 2, but if you really want to know the very first "RTS" out there then check out Battletech: The Crescent Hawks' Revenge.

The first RTS I played was Herzog Zwei, and that was released 1 year prior to Battletech. I'm pretty sure there were other RTS games prior to that.
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November 16th, 2010, 11:13
Dune 2 coined the term, and they created the basis for pretty much all future RTS games.

However, RTS in purely technical terms, happened a long time before Dune 2. My first real experience with the genre was probably Mega lo Mania on the Amiga.
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November 16th, 2010, 18:22
Oh my beloved westwood game studio may you rest in piece knowing you provided me with many rts since the early 90's.A pox on EA for ruining the company and making sequels that were terrible.
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November 16th, 2010, 18:45
I'm sad for their Kyrandia adventures. They were really good. I especially loved the middle game.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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