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Default Realms of Antiquity: The Shattered Crown - New Trailer

March 23rd, 2021, 23:17
The retro-RPG Realms of Antiquity: The Shattered Crown got a new trailer:

New Realms of Antiquity Trailer

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March 24th, 2021, 01:25
This retro RPG might be a bit too antiquated for my tastes…
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March 24th, 2021, 02:52
Okay, I can understand why people make retro games - nostalgia, less time to make than a 3d game, more forgiving of a small team or individual who doesn't have artistic skills, just like that art/game style etc. But apparently this developer actually coded this game to run on a TI-99/4a computer, a system which was released in 1981, and it uses an emulator to actually run on a modern pc when anyone who doesn't have 40 years old equipment wants to play it. That tips over the border of 'okay, it's retro' and into the 'what the hell, why would you do it that way?' territory when you consider the limitations they would have had to work with to get it done.

I lived through 80s gaming, and was quite happy to leave all that clunky memory management behind. Reveling in it seems like masochism.
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March 24th, 2021, 10:11
Originally Posted by Avantre View Post
But apparently this developer actually coded this game to run on a TI-99/4a computer, a system which was released in 1981, and it uses an emulator to actually run on a modern pc when anyone who doesn't have 40 years old equipment wants to play it.

I lived through 80s gaming, and was quite happy to leave all that clunky memory management behind. Reveling in it seems like masochism.
Lol, that was my very first computer, that I got for Christmas. I spent many hours playing "Parsec", "Mountaineer", "Ti Invaders" and of course "Hunt the Wumpus" on it. Might be tempted to pick this one up for that reason alone. (provided it's cheap enough)
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March 24th, 2021, 10:16
I bought it, because I like such an retro-revive effort.
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March 24th, 2021, 12:28
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
I bought it, because I like such an retro-revive effort.
I think I wouldn't be able to play to those games anymore either, though I haven't tried. I'm trying to find what is good today, and fortunately there are still some good games that don't rely only on nice 3D graphics.

But I watch channels like The 8-Bit Guy and others with some admiration when they restore old computers (that I used to yearn for when I was a kid) and program them. That's almost the type of games they could run on this hardware, except this game is for today's OSes.

There is also an interesting series of C64 remakes; some are just emulators but others are going further and have created FPGA implementations of the custom chips to get the real thing. Developers are still creating games today for this platform, it's a little bit in the same vein, and it's nice. At least they learn to use memory sparingly and to program at low level.

Recently I saw Reentry, an accurate simulation of the ships used in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programmes. It's quite incredible to see the dedication the developer is showing, and he's doing a very good job! Some people are also actually scavenging parts to restore an Apollo Guidance Computer. The same happens with restoration of Spitfires, Bf109s, or even WWI planes for example, and simulators that accurately emulate them.

They're just a few examples, but remakes seem to happen in many technological domains, I like to thing of them as "keepers of the history", a little bit like the Smithsonian Institution One could argue it's not necessary and wasted effort, but I like to think it's interesting to see where we're coming from, and that it's actually possible to achieve great things starting from little, by being smart. It's way too easy to develop by using a "brute force" approach today thanks to the advanced technology, with all the impacts it entails. So that's a useful reminder.
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March 26th, 2021, 16:32
I'll be picking this up. Already picked up Nox Archaist, and here's my reasoning:

Doing less with more is an artform, and it's a mostly lost artform in programming.

I'll explain a bit further - these games *force* developers to work within the tight constraints of old operating systems, with all of the modern knowledge we now have about CRPGs in general. Being forced to utilize such scant resources and produce a game that people will actually play in 2021 is quite an art form, and I look forward to seeing what people can do with these limited resources.

Text, for example, has to be concise. Brevity is another lost art in general, but it's a useful and possibly beautiful one. Descriptions of towns, dialogue, everything text based has to be as bereft of "rambling on" and filler text as possible because there simply isn't room. Sure, the incredibly detailed descriptions in some games is kind of fun at times - but how much text do you need to get the feel of a town across? A blacksmith? An NPC's personality? Can you do more with less?

These are interesting little passion projects, and I like to support them. I'm not one of those old grognards that thinks the past was better in every way, but I am fascinated to see what modern gaming sensibilities combined with super-limited resources can produce. And, people look like they're having fun with these kinds of games right now.
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March 26th, 2021, 17:37
Well, it looks like there is a market for such old junk after all. I no longer have the eyesight I did in the 80's and can't play these for more than about 15 mins before getting a roaring headache. Hard pass for me.
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March 31st, 2021, 07:15
Hello ladies and gentleman, game developer here…

I actually never intended to market the game as a modern release. For money, even. It was purely a passion project, something I'd wanted to do since I was a teenager in the 80's. I only realized late in the process that if I offered it for free, it was doing a disservice to every other retro RPG developer out there.

And yeah, it was a challenge. I actually started trying to keep it in the original TI's memory confines, but I had to give up on that because it would have produced a clunky almost unplayable game constantly accessing the disk drive. The more advanced memory system I chose to use became available in 1993 thereabouts, and it allowed me to make something that would be suitable to modern designs. Even with that, coding in 100% assembly language and having to do a module approach means I still was dealing with memory issues in specific ways.

As for the eyesight comment, I feel you on that one. If my own eyesight wasn't already trashed by genetics, NTSC CRT monitors would have finished the job. The game does run in emulation using "true" pixel rendering, not NTSC garbage, so you will find it's a lot easier on the eyes.

If you don't want to try it, that's cool. I get it. I hope if you do choose to play it you find that it was worth the money spent. (Which is the equivalent of a decent pizza or a couple of movie tickets. Or a month of Netflix? I should stop this analogy while I'm ahead…)
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