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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Elite Systems - Retro RPGs Coming to iOS

Default Elite Systems - Retro RPGs Coming to iOS

November 2nd, 2011, 23:21
In the war between Android and iOS, keep in mind too that these are Apple customers we are talking about.

its like walking through a JC Penny's and wondering why so much floor space is devoted to golf paraphernalia.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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November 3rd, 2011, 01:58
meh, played (and loved) all those games (and still have em) when they came out.

Let me know when Emperor of the Fading suns makes it to iOS. That event will force me to get a tablet.
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November 3rd, 2011, 11:04
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
That was true last year, but Apple has lost a ton of market share since then. They are currently down to to 66% market share, with most people anticipating large further drops. But they are still predicted to be the leader for the forseeable future.
No, sorry … try again.

That is based on an offhand comment by Larry Page about '6 million tablets out there' - which isn't remotely borne out by reality. Taking into account the Android Market data puts it closer to ~3.5 million. Which, when you figure in Apple selling 11 million *last quarter* … puts things in perspective.

Even with comparing 'estimated shipments' of Android tablets to *actual sales* of iPads, most estimates put it as Apple having closer to 75% quarterly share, higher overall share. And since we know Samsung flat out lied - used 'shipped' numbers of 1 million Galaxy Tabs when in reality they SOLD fewer than 100,000 … it is hard to know.

Add on the staggering estimate of 30-40% returns for Android tablets, and the situation is worse.

The reasons are clear - mediocre hardware (Apple bought the supply chain), awful tablet OS, and terrible app compatibility issues. It is like PC gaming in ~1997 - you never knew which games might or might not run. Sure, the top games would work … but second tier stuff simply might never work.

As of now, the #1 tablet with an Android OS hasn't shipped yet - Kindle Fire. It has pre-ordered more units than ALL Android tablets combined. And THAT shows that people want something that works, something with an ecosystem … which is very bad news for Android tablet makers.

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November 3rd, 2011, 11:30
As with anything, the market changes all the time. No one gets to stay in the limelight forever.

Eventually, there will be strong alternatives with less rigid systems.

So, if you're not a fan of the closed platform - you just have to wait a bit. It's not like anyone will die from not having yet another superfluous gadget
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November 3rd, 2011, 11:41
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
As with anything, the market changes all the time. No one gets to stay in the limelight forever.

Eventually, there will be strong alternatives with less rigid systems.

So, if you're not a fan of the closed platform - you just have to wait a bit. It's not like anyone will die from not having yet another superfluous gadget
Absolutely agree - my point is that the 'market shift' was based on lies and biased estimates … and that if anything the trend is towards MORE vertical integration rather than less (by year end I would say 95% of the tablet market will be the 'closed' iPad and Kindle).

Anyway … I can't *wait* for these games to arrive, whether for Android or iOS!

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November 3rd, 2011, 11:44
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
It is like PC gaming in ~1997 - you never knew which games might or might not run. Sure, the top games would work … but second tier stuff simply might never work.
Not sure what you are talking about. You sometimes had to change some entries in the config.sys and autoexec.bat files to get it to work, but even someone who knew nothing about it at the time could figure it out. Almost every game came with a quickstart guide that had the optimal configuration of the autoexec.bat and config.sys on it. If it didn't have a quickstart guide then it had something in the back of the manual. I never encountered any game that never worked no matter if they were top tier or not.

The only one that had to be patched was Privateer 2. It would crash during a movie cutscene. They sent me a floppy with the patch and fixed it right up.

But you were making a point with the Android vs iPhone Sorry, but had to clear up that misconception about PC games immediately.

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November 3rd, 2011, 12:08
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
But you were making a point with the Android vs iPhone Sorry, but had to clear up that misconception about PC games immediately.

Sorry - but you are wrong in calling it a 'misconception' - we are speaking of different eras. You are speaking of the DOS era … I chose 1997 specifically as it was the time when games were transitioning to WIndows, yet there wasn't a standard hardware abstraction layer present. So you might get a '3DFX Mode' … but there were PLENTY of games that had issues in those days. I recall having 'Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire' only work on ONE computer … same for a game my older son like 'Spiderman: Sinister Six' - but naturally they were *different* computers.

DOS games were easy like you say, but until Microsoft got the hardware abstraction under control things were a total mess … sort of like they are on Android now.

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November 3rd, 2011, 14:59
Android tablet numbers are kind of iffy. For example, do you consider the Nook Color an Android tablet or not? Technically speaking it is, but it's a custom, locked down version of Android that does not have access to Google's market (unless you install a custom ROM, which Barnes & Noble has been pretty hands off about letting people do).

There's also Android now for the Touchpad (which works surprisingly well for an Alpha by the way; I've had almost no issues). I'm kind of curious how many people there are with devices like the Nook and Touchpad that have custom Android ROMs installed that are flying under the radar in terms of hard numbers of people who have Android tablets in their hands.

In any case, the Amazon one will likely by the breakthrough Android tablet, which I think is good news all around. They are filling a void that Apple didn't in terms of having a low cost tablet. Actually, I'm kind of surprised Apple didn't do something like they've done with the ipod in terms of making lower end scaled down iPad models. I bet they will eventually.
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November 3rd, 2011, 15:01
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
I'm not sure that Neuromancer will stand the test of time as much as the other titles.
I don't think the Bard's Tale games will stand the test of time. I spent a bazillion hours playing them way back when but there is NO WAY I am going to again do those insane maps where you there are teleporters and spinners and it's dark and you have to map them by hand. Argh!

Wastelands might work out great, though!
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November 3rd, 2011, 15:05
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
You sometimes had to change some entries in the config.sys and autoexec.bat files to get it to work, but even someone who knew nothing about it at the time could figure it out. Almost every game came with a quickstart guide that had the optimal configuration of the autoexec.bat and config.sys on it. If it didn't have a quickstart guide then it had something in the back of the manual. I never encountered any game that never worked no matter if they were top tier or not.
There were some games that did not work on certain hardware configurations because there simply wasn't enough memory (extended? expanded? whatever…) due to varying driver sizes.

Even for the ones that did work it was crazy. I used to have a config.sys/autoexec.bat setup that prompted me when I booted the system for which of 8 or 9 configurations I wanted to use (many were for specific games). I really struggled to get that to work; there's no way your average non-computer-geek-person would have been able to do that.
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November 3rd, 2011, 15:42
I could get every single game I ever bought to run no matter what and never heard of anyone never getting a game to run. Weird…..

The only problems I ever had were Privateer 2 and Ultima 7 1/2 Serpent Isle. Had to call tech support for Serpent Isle. When I went to windows the only problems I had were getting Dos games to run.

Went to mobygames to refresh my memory of the games that were released for Windows around that time and let's see:

Betrayal at Antara….check no problems
Fallout….check only problem I had was I that it was really slow because I didn't have enough ram. Still worked, but scrolling was a pain

Halls of the Dead 2….check no problems
Hexen 2….check no problems
Diablo……check
Warhammer Shadow of the Horned Rat/Dark Omen….check
Return to Krondor….check
Nethergate…check
Quest for Glory 5….check
Fallout 2….check
Baldur's Gate….check

Those are just games from 1997 and 1998. I could get everything to run normally without any hassles and none of my friends had the kinds of problems you are talking about.

Anyway, it doesn't matter. People will bad mouth the PC no matter what I say, but the problems were not as bad as you make them out to be. At least not in my experience and I have played A LOT of games throughout my life. Everything from "top tier" to shareware.

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Last edited by skavenhorde; November 3rd, 2011 at 15:56.
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November 3rd, 2011, 15:55
Well, like BillSeurer I remember it being quite a hassle at times. But then I pirated my games back then and usually had no manual, so it was probably my own damn fault.
I have only vague memories of the "early windows" problems Taxa mentions, but I vaguely remember that it was a topic in the gaming press at the time.
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November 3rd, 2011, 16:10
Maybe I'm just lucky because once Windows came around the only problems I encountered were getting those damn DOS games to run and getting enough ram. Other than that I was golden.

I'm going through Moby's list for every genre released back in 1997 and not seeing any I couldn't get running.

Dungeon Keeper, Birthright, Lords of the Realms II, Magic the Gathering, X-Com Apocalypse, Warlords III, Blade Runner, Dark Earth, Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail, Star Wars: Yoda Stories, Star Trek: Borg (game sucked big time), Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Star Wars: X-wing vs Tie Fighter and probably a few more that I'm missing. Especially the shareware games, but all of those ran without any hassles.

Like I said the only one (and coincidentally from 1997) that could not be fixed without a patch was Privateer 2.

Dang it, now I have to load some of these games. Seeing them again made me want to play a few again

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November 3rd, 2011, 16:19
skavenhorde I'm sure that if there's a chance for a game to work you would be able to figure it out without much hassle. I'm not certain however if the same is true for the average user of any of today's systems. For example, you say editing the autoexec.bat wasn't a big deal? Well… it wasn't for me either, but I am a geek. Do you expect that the average iOS user would even bother learning his way around DOS?

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November 3rd, 2011, 16:23
Telling your average computer user to edit config.sys and autoexec.bat to run a specific program is like telling your average car driver to swap spark plugs and fiddle with the timing belt in order to drive on specific roads. My cousin probably couldn't do the former but easily could do the latter but then he's a car mechanic.
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November 3rd, 2011, 16:34
All those games I listed are for Windows. Maybe a few of them were for both, but I checked the list for Windows games in 1997 at Mobygames. No more bat and sys file troubles.

But you're probably right about it being easy for me. I grew up messing around getting games to work like creating disks for Starflight in Dos and things along that nature, but I never really KNEW what I was doing until I actually took courses which told me what all those files meant. Before that I just followed the directions in the quickstart guides.

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November 3rd, 2011, 16:52
Starflight (the original release) is an especially egregious example of the issues of messing with config.sys et al. If you changed the amount of memory by ONE BYTE you could no longer load old save files. Why? They saved the game by writing a memory image to disk! I got a new CD drive that had a new driver and so I had to give up playing because my save files would not load.
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November 3rd, 2011, 17:06
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
As of now, the #1 tablet with an Android OS hasn't shipped yet - Kindle Fire. It has pre-ordered more units than ALL Android tablets combined. And THAT shows that people want something that works, something with an ecosystem which is very bad news for Android tablet makers.
An alternative explanation is that people aren't willing to pay iPad prices for a tablet without an ecosystem — the Fire costs a quarter to a third of an iPad. Look at the way people snapped up the HP WebOS tablets when the price dropped to $99. No future roadmap or support there at all.
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November 3rd, 2011, 18:23
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Starflight (the original release) is an especially egregious example of the issues of messing with config.sys et al. If you changed the amount of memory by ONE BYTE you could no longer load old save files. Why? They saved the game by writing a memory image to disk! I got a new CD drive that had a new driver and so I had to give up playing because my save files would not load.
Are you sure we are talking about the same Starflight. CDs weren't around back then. Hell I think they only had 5.25 back then. Maybe 3.5, but I doubt it.

In any event, my only point was that I did know how to mess around with it a bit to get it to work, but all it really boiled down to was following the directions that they sent. For Starflight you had to make a game disk from the master disk because the master was not writable. Easy thing to do if you followed the directions. If a 13 year old can do it, I'm pretty sure others could as well

There was one bug with that game and that was if you quit without saving (There's an option to do so…..idiots) then your whole game is gone. You'll never be able to play again and have to start over. That only happened once when I hit the wrong number when I was quitting for the day. I immediately knew my mistake and tried to reload, but it wouldn't because it still thought I was playing and was trying to start another game on top of that game.

Well, whatever.
Point being I was lucky enough to play everything I have ever come across. No mater if they were from the big boys or from a small company, I could get them running. Some of them had problems, but nothing that following the quickstart guide couldn't fix or in Serpent Isles case, a call to the tech support, but that was a dos one and in privateer's case it ran fine till it crashed during a cutscene. That had to be fixed with a mailed floppy with the patch.

If you want to get starflight running now, just ask. It's as easy as pie. I'll show you how to do it in Dosbox.

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November 3rd, 2011, 18:33
*Runs off to sign the petition for EA to make a Bard's Tale IV with updated technology for the 100th time in silent protest (alas, in vain!) to the travesty of the concept of this thread.*

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