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  Game "literacy"  (Read 5479 times)
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Offline philfrei
« Posted 2012-07-01 20:25:06 »

I actually got to play copies of the first "Adventure" and "Star Wars" at UCBerkeley in the 1970's, and spent a fair amount of time in arcades and got pretty good at "Space Invaders" & not quite as good at "Asteroids".

But my experience with games after that is kind of spotty. Am wondering what folks recommend to try out, for the sake of "literacy" (and fun). Especially useful are games I can play on my PC as I do not have any console systems.

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Online Riven
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« Reply #1 - Posted 2012-07-01 20:32:05 »

Am wondering what folks recommend to try out, for the sake of "literacy" (and fun).
Dune II, the first RTS game (which I enjoy to this day).

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Offline teletubo
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« Reply #2 - Posted 2012-07-01 20:41:20 »

X-Com: Terror from the Deep is a great strategy game. It is one of those games I wish I haven't played, just so I can feel all the thrill again!

It is already abandonware, so here's the link for download if you want to try it out:

http://www.myabandonware.com/game/x-com-terror-from-the-deep-1pk

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Offline sproingie

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2012-07-01 21:17:20 »

You can buy the entire X-Com series on Steam for 15 bucks.
Offline Cero
« Reply #4 - Posted 2012-07-01 22:27:14 »

Dune II, the first RTS game (which I enjoy to this day).

Still have my original Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Cartridge in the shelf.
You cannot even select more than one unit at once, AND scroll with the dpad.
Still my favorite RTS of all time... but nostalgia might be involved =D
Great music too.

@Philfrei
Well over the time I downloaded all the ATARI2600-32bit console emulators and played all the major games.
For old Arcade games there is MAME of course - playing a round of Frogger every day is good for you ! =D
Also collections are great, like Capcom classics and Taito legends

There is also a lot to discover; like for example the popular mobile game "Flight Control" which is actually a copy of the game Final Approach for the ATARI 2600.

Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2012-07-01 23:51:08 »

Are you aiming for any particular genre or just games literacy in general? Because you're going to have to be a bit more specific if you don't want loads of recommendations. Smiley

'literacy' is an odd criteria to recommend games for. Something like Battlezone 98 is fantastic game, both for the concept and execution of a FPS/RTS hybrid, and being a genuinely great game. But in terms of 'literacy' is almost irrelevant since it's a complete dead end - no one has really tried to do the same concept and even most of it's really great UI ideas have gone ignored.

In terms of influence, you'd probably have to go for the high profile, landmark games. Monster Maze 3d, Wolfenstine 3d, Doom, Quake, Half-Life, Deux Ex, Halo, Bioshock, for your FPS lineage.

I guess RTS would be something like Carrier Command, Dune, Command And Conquer, Age Of Empires, Total Annihilation, Homeworld, Starcraft, Supreme Commander, Company Of Heros.

I'd do the other major genres but my brain is tired. Hat tip to anyone who manages to get a succinct list of RPG lineage games.

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Offline Cero
« Reply #6 - Posted 2012-07-02 00:46:13 »

I'd do the other major genres but my brain is tired. Hat tip to anyone who manages to get a succinct list of RPG lineage games.

RPGs well... Diablo 1, Final Fantasy, Zelda, Phantasy Star, Ultima
If you go back far enough the line with early adventure games gets blurry...
RPGs evolved from different genres and have many subgenres now - not the easiest genre

Racing Games ?
Need For Speed, Test Drive, Gran Turismo

Fighting Games
Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat...

But if you just want favorites that were good and influential in general:
My personal tip: Play Metal Gear Solid 1 ! - There is also a PC Version.

Offline ReBirth
« Reply #7 - Posted 2012-07-02 03:01:28 »

X-Com: Terror from the Deep is a great strategy game. It is one of those games I wish I haven't played, just so I can feel all the thrill again!

It is already abandonware, so here's the link for download if you want to try it out:

http://www.myabandonware.com/game/x-com-terror-from-the-deep-1pk
So, your recommended emulator is? Grin

Offline Roquen
« Reply #8 - Posted 2012-07-02 06:12:39 »

Dungeon Master
Offline gimbal

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2012-07-02 09:36:46 »

Dungeon Master

Nice one. For a more up to date Dungeon Master experience you might try Legend of Grimrock which is quite awesome. And when you recommend Dungeon Master then Captive must also be named Smiley

Must play games for the PC from very old to old:

- Ultima 7
- Monkey Island 1 & 2 (might as well go for the high-res versions of a couple of years ago)
- Sam & Max (the hilarious original, not the weaker Telltale episodic games. Be sure to get the cd version which has full voices throughout)
- Fallout 1 & 2, fully patched and for the best experience with all user-created patches you can find on the net
- Thief Gold & Thief 2 (on Steam, they work flawlessly on my Windows 7 rig)
- Deus Ex

Playstation (emulated if necessary):

- Silent Hill 1 (best horror game ever)
- Final Fantasy 7 (looks horrible, but a very gripping story and the flexible materia system provides awesome gameplay)
- Final Fantasy 9 (looks a lot better and has an excellent fantasy tale to tell)


I could go on forever though, I'd better stop while I'm not warmed up yet.
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Offline Roquen
« Reply #10 - Posted 2012-07-02 10:14:23 »

Nice one. For a more up to date Dungeon Master experience you might try Legend of Grimrock which is quite awesome. And when you recommend Dungeon Master then Captive must also be named Smiley
I've heard of Grimrock, but never checked it out...never even heard of Captive.  Thanks for the pointers.  For me, four games have really "wowed" me when I first saw/played them:  tempest, zelda, dungeon master & doom I.

A couple of others worth checking out:  star control II & populous.
Offline gimbal

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2012-07-02 11:14:13 »

Nice one. For a more up to date Dungeon Master experience you might try Legend of Grimrock which is quite awesome. And when you recommend Dungeon Master then Captive must also be named Smiley
I've heard of Grimrock, but never checked it out...never even heard of Captive.  Thanks for the pointers.  For me, four games have really "wowed" me when I first saw/played them:  tempest, zelda, dungeon master & doom I.

A couple of others worth checking out:  star control II & populous.

Grimrock started out as a free Dungeon Master fan remake, but then grew into a true indie title. And a very impressive one at that. Old school Dungeon Master gameplay (including the spell system, which people either love or loathe), very modern style.

Captive is a quaint science fiction RPG from the 90's that has one very impressive gimmick even today: its so huge that nobody will ever complete it. This is because the game has an incredible seeded random generator; the game is the same each time you play it, but each base beyond the first is generated nonetheless. Its a bit of a cross-over between Dungeon Master and Elite really. This page tries to explain in detail how the generation works which is a great read for tech geeks:

http://captive.atari.org/Technical/MapGen/Introduction.php

And all that worked amazingly fast on an unexpanded Amiga 500 (0.5mb of memory) or an Atari ST.
Offline JESTERRRRRR

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2012-07-02 12:13:21 »

Xcom is terrifying, can't wait to be dissapointed by the new release
Offline delt0r

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« Reply #13 - Posted 2012-07-02 12:56:52 »

XCom was brutally  difficult. After building up a decent set of marines or what ever they are called. In one mission you could lose the lot. One would go insane killing a bunch of your own men/woman and then some stumpy alien would take out the rest in like 5 moves. Even a rocket up his arse wasn't always enough.

Its was a great game. There is a fan version of the game somewhere with a different name. But i can't find right now.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.--Albert Einstein
Offline gimbal

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« Reply #14 - Posted 2012-07-02 13:09:08 »

XCom was brutally  difficult. After building up a decent set of marines or what ever they are called. In one mission you could lose the lot. One would go insane killing a bunch of your own men/woman and then some stumpy alien would take out the rest in like 5 moves. Even a rocket up his arse wasn't always enough.

Its was a great game. There is a fan version of the game somewhere with a different name. But i can't find right now.

It was a difficultly level that was unique to a small group of games, yes. Even back then gamers could be put off by it, its not something you can expose to the gamers of today who basically play to win, not play to be challenged. I never really found that kind of punishment fun, so I'll be happy if the new game is simplified a bit - as long as it still poses a decent challenge. From what I've seen so far at least the last incarnation of the game is quite true to the original, in gameplay at least.
Offline ReBirth
« Reply #15 - Posted 2012-07-02 13:19:43 »

Playstation (emulated if necessary):

- Silent Hill 1 (best horror game ever)
- Final Fantasy 7 (looks horrible, but a very gripping story and the flexible materia system provides awesome gameplay)
- Final Fantasy 9 (looks a lot better and has an excellent fantasy tale to tell)

I could go on forever though, I'd better stop while I'm not warmed up yet.
If you're getting tired with FF, there're Grandia or Xenogear.

Offline Cero
« Reply #16 - Posted 2012-07-02 13:28:07 »

Playstation (emulated if necessary):

- Silent Hill 1 (best horror game ever)
- Final Fantasy 7 (looks horrible, but a very gripping story and the flexible materia system provides awesome gameplay)
- Final Fantasy 9 (looks a lot better and has an excellent fantasy tale to tell)

I could go on forever though, I'd better stop while I'm not warmed up yet.
If you're getting tired with FF, there're Grandia or Xenogear.

Yeah, all excellent choices. Grandia 2 also has a kinda unique fighting system which is fun.
Star Ocean games aswell. 3 and 4 have very nice fast dynamic combat.

Offline ReBirth
« Reply #17 - Posted 2012-07-02 13:31:37 »

But still I wasted my young hours in PS with RE series lol.

Offline Cero
« Reply #18 - Posted 2012-07-02 13:37:39 »

But still I wasted my young hours in PS with RE series lol.

Acronyms !
You mean Resident Evil ?
Then I would say: Yeah, back when it was good and scary. Resident Evil 1 was and is one of the most scary games, and look at RE 5 and upcoming 6...

Offline gimbal

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« Reply #19 - Posted 2012-07-02 13:56:31 »

But still I wasted my young hours in PS with RE series lol.

Acronyms !
You mean Resident Evil ?
Then I would say: Yeah, back when it was good and scary. Resident Evil 1 was and is one of the most scary games, and look at RE 5 and upcoming 6...

Resident Evil, meh. Let me dive further into history then: Alone in the Dark 1, 2 and 3. Or the 7th guest. Spooky games indeed! Or the horrific Dark Seed which was designed by H.R. Giger.
Offline ReBirth
« Reply #20 - Posted 2012-07-02 13:59:44 »

Lol yeah. It's funny when you were scared to an unarmed messy rusty zombie trying to bite you, than a muscular zombie wearing uniform dan throwing grenades to you.

The most scary is RE 2 and 3 I think, lot of surprises. RE 1 has better enviroment to scare you. RE 4 is meh. RE 5 I took it as a modded CoD.

But yeah, Silent Hill series are lot scarier. I have to fight a flying monster with only wood block Yawn

Offline delt0r

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« Reply #21 - Posted 2012-07-02 14:05:22 »

Perhaps the scariest game i have played was Doom 3. Yea i know lots of people didn't find it that way or liked it. But i had my rig in the basement with no windows... it was a very dark basement...

My wife and daughter would sneak down and wait till a tense moment and then scare the living crap out of me... They though it was hilarious.

Otherwise i also really enjoyed Quake 4 single player. However I am not strong in the FPS single player genre, while online play is what i get those games for.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.--Albert Einstein
Offline ReBirth
« Reply #22 - Posted 2012-07-02 14:12:23 »

Perhaps the scariest game i have played was Doom 3. Yea i know lots of people didn't find it that way or liked it. But i had my rig in the basement with no windows... it was a very dark basement...
The best horro FPS ever. You know, the base is scarier than the hell itself.

Offline Cero
« Reply #23 - Posted 2012-07-02 14:24:07 »

Quote
Alone in the Dark 1, 2 and 3. Or the 7th guest.
Yes.

We gotta bring back scary games...
Problem is, you pretty much can only do it in 3D, so a bigger indie developer would have to do it.

Dead Space was "ok" too much shocking and cheap scares, but we need more.
More stuff where you are barely armed, dont know where you are and what to do.

So yeah silent hill games are of course also great.

Metro 2033 was kinda scary.

Offline ReBirth
« Reply #24 - Posted 2012-07-02 14:28:36 »

Quote
Problem is, you pretty much can only do it in 3D, so a bigger indie developer would have to do it.
If you have great story with some freaking arts, you can make it 2D and still make somechild cry.

Offline Cero
« Reply #25 - Posted 2012-07-02 14:30:00 »

Quote
Problem is, you pretty much can only do it in 3D, so a bigger indie developer would have to do it.
If you have great story with some freaking arts, you can make it 2D and still make somechild cry.

technically... but its very much about realism and immersion. So the first person perspective plays a large role.
Do you know any scaaary games which are 2D ? Not games with a horror genre but games which are actually kinda scary ?

Edit: Maybe Sweet Home and Clock Tower.

Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #26 - Posted 2012-07-02 15:08:46 »

Quote
Alone in the Dark 1, 2 and 3. Or the 7th guest.
Yes.

We gotta bring back scary games...
Problem is, you pretty much can only do it in 3D, so a bigger indie developer would have to do it.
Amnesia: The Dark Decent.

Terrifying. Shocked RE and Silent Hill are pink fluffy bunnies in comparison.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fytI_fwJ2ss

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Offline philfrei
« Reply #27 - Posted 2012-07-02 16:34:34 »

Wow, thanks for all the recommendations! I can see putting together a "top 10 games every game-programmer SHOULD know and have played" list would be a real challenge. Maybe it should be top 50 or 100!

A scary 2D game is an interesting challenge, but maybe 3D is needed to make it work. With 3D one can create a sense of vertigo. In my meager experience, I played a pretty scary FPS, but it was more "stealth" than shooting: "Penumbra Overture". Imagine crouching behind some big oil cans hoping the growling guard dog does not spot you--and if you peek at the dog, the visuals start shaking (portraying your nerves giving out) and the dog will tear you to shreds. Really good sound effects. That was pretty scary.

Maybe a way to make a scary for 2D would include immersion sound effects & music. But also, there has to be things "around the corner" or unseen, so that might mean the 2D board would have to incorporate or suggest things that are off screen? I don't know. Seems to imply 3D.

Anyway, it sounds like I am in for a treat with some of these other scary games being mentioned!

Doom and Quake get mentioned a lot in "history of gaming" books, so I've long had them on my list to check out at some point. Now I am intrigued by Dune, too (or Dune II, too) and many of the others mentioned. Not enough time...

Yeah, this was a really open-ended question. It is a challenge even to come up with a list of all the genres, let alone the classics that everyone "should" know about in the various genres.

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Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #28 - Posted 2012-07-02 16:43:43 »

A scary 2D game is an interesting challenge, but maybe 3D is needed to make it work. With 3D one can create a sense of vertigo. In my meager experience, I played a pretty scary FPS, but it was more "stealth" than shooting: "Penumbra Overture". Imagine crouching behind some big oil cans hoping the growling guard dog does not spot you--and if you peek at the dog, the visuals start shaking (portraying your nerves giving out) and the dog will tear you to shreds. Really good sound effects. That was pretty scary.

Yeah, that's Frictional's first game, Amnesia is their 3rd I think. At least Penumbra gives you a gun, Amnesia you have to rely on sneaking, hiding and running like a little girl.

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Offline SwampChicken
« Reply #29 - Posted 2012-07-03 08:04:42 »

Elite.
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