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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Might & Magic X - Fan Day & John Romero

Default Might & Magic X - Fan Day & John Romero

August 23rd, 2013, 03:30
Limbic Entertainment has two more updates for Might & Magic Xon the open development blog.

Up first they talk about the GamesCom 2013 Fanday.

Dear blog readers,

Yesterday was so much fun! Thanks to all of you who were at the Fan Day (or who came to the Might & Magic booth on their own) and talked with us about MMX (and other interesting things), played the game and explored gamescom. Here are some first impressions - we hope that we'll be able to present you more soon. If you have taken pictures of the fan day or gamescom yourselves and want to share them, feel free to upload them somewhere and post the link in the comments!
Next they interview John Romero about his career and the Might and Magic franchise.

How were you involved with Might & Magic?

In 1988 I co-founded a company named Inside Out Software. Our first project was to port Might & Magic II from the Apple II (double-res) to the PC and Commodore C64. I did the C64 port straight from Jon Van Caneghem's 6502 assembler source.

When you think about your work on Might & Magic, what’s the first association that comes to your mind?

The difficulty of converting 16-color Apple double-res graphics to the limited C64 mixed-mode with the limitation of 3 colors per 4x8 block. Also, having to write 2 scan line interrupts to switch the screen between 2-color hi-res and 16-color mixed mode per frame so the character names looked crisp at the bottom of the screen

What does Might & Magic mean to you today?

It means a ton of adventuring in a D&D-based world. Hack and slash.

When developing a game in general, what do you aim for?

First question is: why should this game exist? What will it do that is different and move the bar in gaming forward. Not necessarily in tech but in design.

Your message to the fans of Might & Magic?

What a game series, eh? Still surviving since the early misty days when Wizardry and Ultima ruled the world, there was still some space for another peer to rise to prominence and cement its place in history. Jon Van Caneghem and Mark Caldwell deserve high honors for their efforts.
More information.
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August 23rd, 2013, 03:30
I never knew Romero was involved with M&M, even if just for porting. I played the first two M&M games on C64 so I guess I played his work.

On the otherhand, I remember the wait for M&M II being the first game I really anticipated and couldn't wait for. I drove the Electronics Boutique store staff crazy calling every week asking if the C64 version was in yet.
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August 23rd, 2013, 13:10
Originally Posted by Caidh View Post
I drove the Electronics Boutique store staff crazy calling every week asking if the C64 version was in yet.
All of us who can recall such moments, when we went to a store to finally hold the beloved boxes in our hands are very lucky for having such kind of memories. I feel sad for the younger ones, who never knew the time when games were actual physical objects. The digital age has its own advantages but I'm certain that that can't compete with such emotions like the ones I can still recall today. I'm thankful for having lived such an era.
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August 23rd, 2013, 20:06
Originally Posted by Gloo View Post
The digital age has its own advantages but I'm certain that that can't compete with such emotions like the ones I can still recall today. I'm thankful for having lived such an era.
I agree. The boxes and the manuals were physical objects that could sometimes connect you in a more personal way to the digital game world.

I still remember the awe of unboxing my first 'real' CRPG which was Ultima II. The big box. All the disks. All the manuals and compendiums. The trinkets and the map. And also can't forget that smell… the smell of freshly printed manuals that I would ALWAYS read before even thinking about installing the game.

By the time I was ready to play, I already 'felt' the game world all around me. It was a very cool experience.

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August 23rd, 2013, 20:43
I still try to get my games boxed whenever I can. But now it's usually delivered, as opposed to running out to Babbages or EB or whatever on release day. More convenient in theory, but it does feel like something was lost.

I think the big, fat manuals are the biggest thing we've lost, though. Same as you described, I would read them beginning to end before I installed the game. Sadly, the majority of games today are so dumbed-down that you wouldn't need a manual, even if they felt like printing one.
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August 23rd, 2013, 21:16
My favorite thing was the extra touches you got with M&M. I REALLY wish I still had my score acknowledgement certificates sent by New World Computing (and at least for the first two, signed by JVC).

You got the score at the end of the game and were instructed to write to the "Hall of the Ancients" or "Ancients Headquarters" (can't remember which, but it was in Van Nuys, CA). For M&M I, I never expected to get an actual certificate in the mail for it. For a ~9 year old, that was a fantastic thing to get.

Ah, those were the days.
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August 23rd, 2013, 21:51
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
Sadly, the majority of games today are so dumbed-down that you wouldn't need a manual, even if they felt like printing one.
One thing I really appreciated, and that Richard Garriot delivered in spades with the Ultima Series, were the compendiums. You didn't even need to read them to know how to play the game - that was what the manual was for.

The compendiums that you held phsycially in your hand and read like a book set the tone of the game. They were a great way to get your brain imagining a world that they'd never be able to even come close to representing on-screen given the technology of the time.

But it worked well. Those compendiums were sort of like getting an infocom experience along with an interactive graphical one. Very cool.

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August 24th, 2013, 01:05
Originally Posted by Gloo View Post
All of us who can recall such moments, when we went to a store to finally hold the beloved boxes in our hands are very lucky for having such kind of memories. I feel sad for the younger ones, who never knew the time when games were actual physical objects. The digital age has its own advantages but I'm certain that that can't compete with such emotions like the ones I can still recall today. I'm thankful for having lived such an era.
Truer words have never been spoken.

I lived in a small town, about 1 hour away from a big(ger) city that actually had a mall, and you are spot on: my memories of making a special trek to the city, heading into that mall and into Software Etc with baited breath, knowing EXACTLY which new CRPG I wanted for my C64, showing outward calm but doing internal jumping jacks of glee at finally spotting it on the game rack, and then eagerly poring over the map and the manual and the compendium and everything while eating lunch in the food court…..man, it just doesn't get any better than that.

Thanks for prompting those memories, and encouraging my appreciation of them. I don't think I've ever thought of those times in such a special light, but you're absolutely right, I am fortunate to have them.

What strikes me now is how alone in the world I felt. There I sat, in the middle of the food court surrounded by the hustle and bustle of "normal" people, letting myself get carried away into another world, and I honestly believed that I was the only person in the world who was drawn so strongly to these types of games.

I'm also thankful that the Watch reminds me that I'm not so alone after all.
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August 24th, 2013, 14:04
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Up first they talk about the GamesCom 2013 Fanday.
How were people able to attend there ? I had thought that on Wednesday this was open only exclusively for trade visitors ?

“ 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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August 24th, 2013, 17:10
Originally Posted by Caidh View Post
I never knew Romero was involved with M&M, even if just for porting.
Same here. I always think of Doom and Quake whenever I hear his name. Or on a lesser note - Daikatana.
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August 24th, 2013, 18:50
There you have it: Romero made you his bitches and you didn't even notice!
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