309: Everything Good Old is New Again

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Everything Good Old is New Again

Classic games are like old friends, and the folks at GOG have done a tremendous amount to work to bring those classics back, even if the process sometimes takes years.

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Thanks for this, sir. If there's ever a gaming company whose work deserves some serious credit and positive PR, it's GOG. They have to go through a lot of work, and they do indeed have a lot of good games there. (I had never played Master of Orion 2 before my work buddies shoved me into it, and promptly spent a lot of sleepless nights trying to conquer galaxies.)

There truly are some good old games out there. And they're generally inexpensive enough to be easily affordable. Good stuff!

GoG really is doing an admirable job in patching up games so they run on modern Windowses, but even so there are often many remaining issues with the games they offer. The games that are run with ScummVM and DosBox usually do work fine, but in other games there are issues.
For example with Shiny's Messiah, GoG has integrated the patch and some Win2000 workarounds into the game, but it will still crash reliably every time at a certain point. This is due to a bug in the level itself that only manifests on the NT architecture (and thus Win2000, WinXP up to Win7) that the original developer never fixed, and GoG hasn't been able to either.

For other games like the two Fallouts there exist higher resolution patches which could bring the game up to modern standards, but Gog does not implement those since they are fan-made. In some cases the existing patches cannot be applied to the Gog version because the games are essentially edited versions.

On the bright side, the individual games' subforums are excellent and filled with hints and tricks precisely because most people on Gog ARE enthousiasts and long-time fans. I myself have rebought many games I own on disk on Gog both because I want to support the Gog people, and because this gives me a version that is already playable right out of the downloader, without needing to track down decades old patches from often defunct developers.

But my absolute favourite feature of Gog besides the games themselves are the extras. The Gog people track down any artwork, soundtracks, and sometimes even making of videos and offer them for download for free with all the games you buy. Some of this content is impossible to find legally (or at least affordably) elsewhere.

I just HAD to comment as soon as I saw Divine Divinity. I remember back in 2003 or so, when I wanted to play it. Couldn't find it in stores, couldn't find a torrent, eventually found one random eBay user selling a used copy. Ah, the memories. What a pain in the ass.

I also remember the max resolution being something like 1024x768. You could increase it by editing a .ini file somewhere, but your world map would bug out on higher resolutions. It's funny how nostalgia is often accompanied by such hilariously bad quirks. If GOG can fix issues like this, then good games will become even better.

I love these guys. They're doing a great service to the gaming community, and they have some real classics up there. Hell, I want to buy The Witcher 2 on there even though my PC can't even run it right now just to support them.

GOG do absolutely wonderful work, and it's great to see them getting more publicity. It's seemed to me like the videogame industry actively wants to bury its past, considering how hard it is to find working copies of old games. Old books get reprinted, old films get re-released on DVD, but old games just gather dust, by and large, and it's for this reason that GOG is so important.

Once my exams are done, I'm going to buy a game from them that I've been meaning to play for a long time - Planescape: Torment. I get what is generally considered one of the best RPGs ever made for a very cheap price, and I support GOG in doing so. Win-win, I think.

I enjoy GOG.com, and visit it regularly. Have picked up a few titles and will undoubtedly get more over time.

Though one thing that always amuses me is how celebrated GOG.com is for doing this, while in console gaming, if a game maker re-releases or remakes an old title it seems to get nothing but hate and bile thrown upon it. Nintendo re-releases Ocarina of Time for a modern audience, with new features and refinements, and the gaming community is foaming at the mouth with righteous fury.

Which has always baffled me, as the nuisance of even holding onto old games to bust out an outdated system you never use and hope still works, is ridiculously clunky and inconvenient. And that's assuming you own the original still or ever had, I know some great old games I never did own, and either borrowed/rented due to financial constraints.

^_^ GOG, fighting the good fight so you don't have to. Got some stuff from them myself. I'm loving Master of Magic from 1996. So primitive, so old school, so awesome. For everyone who didn't have a pc back in the bad old days or who's pc was too feeble when these games were around or they just missed these great titles when they came out, GOG is the place to be.

Oy, and its thanks to The Escapist that I ever even heard of GOG. Tnx guys!

One of the things that I feel holds back games from being generally recognized as artistic is the extreme speed with which they age and become obsolete or disappear. Go to a book store, movie store, or art store, and the titles/works from 5, 10, 20, 50, or hundreds of years ago are still there, still being studied and commented on. Now go to a games store. 3 years for a game is OLD, and the products are rapidly displaced for newer titles. Console games for last-gen machines are pretty much gone, and PC games disappear about that fast, plus they become harder and harder to use as operating systems change. With all of that in mind, Gog is doing something amazing by helping us rescue the history and heritage of gaming. They're finding our medium's classics, making them easily usable, and keeping them available to the public.

And I hope and pray that the other game distributors stop and take note that when a company treats its paying customers like actual paying customers, and not as thieves in the night, that we have returned that respect and helped make them a success.

It's thanks to GoG that i played Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics. I also have a few other nostalgic games on there too. There's only one thing that could make it more awesome; adding System Shock 1 and 2. There's no excuse for not having the single most demanded games up there! Well, aside from disputes over rights, which is a real shame.

Anachronism:
Once my exams are done, I'm going to buy a game from them that I've been meaning to play for a long time - Planescape: Torment. I get what is generally considered one of the best RPGs ever made for a very cheap price, and I support GOG in doing so. Win-win, I think.

One of the best written RPGs for certain, with wonderful characters and an absolutely fascinating setting. The parts that don't involve talking in some fashion tend to be a lot less fun though, but fortunately combat is nowhere even close to being the focus of Torment.

Which is actually kind of odd when you think about it considering the origins - D&D is generally known as a game where players "kill things, and take their stuff", and for all of its quirks I'm sure most sessions set in the Planescape setting amounted to that, but with odd pseudo-cockney rhyming slang and philosophical debates shortly before/after the killing and stuff taking.

Of course at the time I first played Planescape: Torment it was the first CRPG based on D&D that I'd sat down with, and only the second "proper" RPG I'd ever played, so I didn't really notice that the ratio of conversation to combat was so skewed in one direction until after I got my hands on the Baldur's Gate series, whereupon I proceeded to wonder why there was "so little dialog in this game"; if you've ever played those games (and judging by your avatar I'd say you probably have) that should aptly demonstrate just how much talking there really is in Torment (loads).

Not many games can claim they feature the ability to lie about your identity so much that the collected belief in that false identity actually creates someone to match it - belief is power in the planes!

Gralian:
It's thanks to GoG that i played Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics. I also have a few other nostalgic games on there too. There's only one thing that could make it more awesome; adding System Shock 1 and 2. There's no excuse for not having the single most demanded games up there! Well, aside from disputes over rights, which is a real shame.

it really is, and unfortunately its probably just not going to happen. It's not so bad with the first, but the rights to ss2 are all over the place. There were 3 different developers working on the game. Looking glass who made the first and later got bought by eidos, and along with it the rights they held, irrational who were purchases by take two along with their rights, and ea who holds the ip. And back before bioshock ken Levine did an interview and if I remember correctly some things are even owned by private persons.

Shame too, the game isn't difficult to find, but ALL dark engine games are a bitch to get running on modern os's, and ss2 is hands down the worst of the bunch.

I bought Dungeon Keeper from GOG as soon as it became available - I've been dying to play that game again for ages!

captcha: ouser shindio - I'm assuming this is some new type of martial art???

I remember thinking to myself several weeks ago how much it sucks that Dungeon Keeper didn't run properly on a modern OS, and how my disc was long gone so I couldn't even attempt fiddling with it, and then GOG picked up the EA library and suddenly Dungeon Keeper was accessible to me again. Thank you, GOG. <3

GOG's going to be releasing a title I thought I'd never see re-released anywhere, due to IP issues. They're getting Alpha Centauri! I already own it twice on disc (one original, one with addon) but I will be buying the GOG version once it releases to avoid the hassles of tracking down old patches and whatnot.

Gildan Bladeborn:
The parts that don't involve talking in some fashion tend to be a lot less fun though, but fortunately combat is nowhere even close to being the focus of Torment.

Which is actually kind of odd when you think about it considering the origins - D&D is generally known as a game where players "kill things, and take their stuff", and for all of its quirks I'm sure most sessions set in the Planescape setting amounted to that, but with odd pseudo-cockney rhyming slang and philosophical debates shortly before/after the killing and stuff taking.

Of course at the time I first played Planescape: Torment it was the first CRPG based on D&D that I'd sat down with, and only the second "proper" RPG I'd ever played, so I only really noticed that the ratio of conversation to combat was so skewed in one direction after I got my hands on the Baldur's Gate series, only to wonder why there was "so little dialog"; if you've ever played those games that should aptly demonstrate just how much talking there is in Torment.

To be honest, this is one of the reasons I'm so keen to play it. When I play RPGs, I tend to enjoy the dialogue sections more than the combat because it's where the actual role-playing comes into effect, and it allows you to find out more about your companions and the world you're exploring. The fact that there's very little combat is a selling point to me about Planescape; I think it'll be a really nice change to progress in a game without murdering everything that gets in your way. Almost every RPG I've played has had combat as a focus, and I'm looking forward to playing a game where that isn't the case.

Anachronism:

Gildan Bladeborn:
The parts that don't involve talking in some fashion tend to be a lot less fun though, but fortunately combat is nowhere even close to being the focus of Torment.

Which is actually kind of odd when you think about it considering the origins - D&D is generally known as a game where players "kill things, and take their stuff", and for all of its quirks I'm sure most sessions set in the Planescape setting amounted to that, but with odd pseudo-cockney rhyming slang and philosophical debates shortly before/after the killing and stuff taking.

Of course at the time I first played Planescape: Torment it was the first CRPG based on D&D that I'd sat down with, and only the second "proper" RPG I'd ever played, so I only really noticed that the ratio of conversation to combat was so skewed in one direction after I got my hands on the Baldur's Gate series, only to wonder why there was "so little dialog"; if you've ever played those games that should aptly demonstrate just how much talking there is in Torment.

To be honest, this is one of the reasons I'm so keen to play it. When I play RPGs, I tend to enjoy the dialogue sections more than the combat because it's where the actual role-playing comes into effect, and it allows you to find out more about your companions and the world you're exploring. The fact that there's very little combat is a selling point to me about Planescape; I think it'll be a really nice change to progress in a game without murdering everything that gets in your way. Almost every RPG I've played has had combat as a focus, and I'm looking forward to playing a game where that isn't the case.

You should have a blast with Planescape then, the web of possible dialog selections and responses is so impossibly intricate it borders on the ridiculous sometimes - a lot of them might take you to basically the same point in the conversation tree, but since your alignment is entirely derived from the things you say and whether you meant it when you said it, even choices that are essentially identical lines of dialog have something to differentiate them (and that's not even factoring in responses you only have if certain stats are above a given threshold, etc). I don't know how the writers ever managed to map all of it out, but I'm certainly glad they did!

Thanks for the article!
Will check it out :D

Jumwa:
I enjoy GOG.com, and visit it regularly. Have picked up a few titles and will undoubtedly get more over time.

Though one thing that always amuses me is how celebrated GOG.com is for doing this, while in console gaming, if a game maker re-releases or remakes an old title it seems to get nothing but hate and bile thrown upon it. Nintendo re-releases Ocarina of Time for a modern audience, with new features and refinements, and the gaming community is foaming at the mouth with righteous fury.

Which has always baffled me, as the nuisance of even holding onto old games to bust out an outdated system you never use and hope still works, is ridiculously clunky and inconvenient. And that's assuming you own the original still or ever had, I know some great old games I never did own, and either borrowed/rented due to financial constraints.

I think there's quite a few reasons for that.

1) When a big company is re-making a game, it'll most likely cost about $20-$30. Lowest is $15. Wheras GoG offers old games for either $6, or $10. You may wonder if $5 is that big of a motivator, but considering how so many publishers are worried about used sales(using the US as an example, Gamestop sells used games for $5 less than the new copies, and is apparently doing so well publishers/developers are comparing it to piracy). Another thing they do in relation to price, is take into account exchange rates, and different currencies. To them, $1 =/= €1(or whatever currency you use). Considering how many Publishers go by the $1 = €1, this is a godsend for people not in the US, who usually get charged much more for games.

2) They treat their customers like people, instead of cashbags intent on stealing from them. This, for me, is why I love them so much. They trust their customers. Not too long ago they stopped using IP addresses to determine a users location. When asked if people would abuse this, they said "We trust our customers not to. We couldn't stop them if they did, but we hope they don't abuse it."

And if people overseas have to pay more for a game(recently this happened with The Witcher, where they had to increase price to match other outlets), they offered the difference in price back to the buyer.

They actually seem to care about their customers. And that, to me, is why I love them so much.

Just my theories though. I'm sure everyone has their own reason(s) for loving GoG.

Thx to GoG no more dead floppies =)

Irridium:

I think there's quite a few reasons for that.

1) When a big company is re-making a game, it'll most likely cost about $20-$30. Lowest is $15. Wheras GoG offers old games for either $6, or $10. You may wonder if $5 is that big of a motivator, but considering how so many publishers are worried about used sales(using the US as an example, Gamestop sells used games for $5 less than the new copies, and is apparently doing so well publishers/developers are comparing it to piracy). Another thing they do in relation to price, is take into account exchange rates, and different currencies. To them, $1 =/= €1(or whatever currency you use). Considering how many Publishers go by the $1 = €1, this is a godsend for people not in the US, who usually get charged much more for games.

2) They treat their customers like people, instead of cashbags intent on stealing from them. This, for me, is why I love them so much. They trust their customers. Not too long ago they stopped using IP addresses to determine a users location. When asked if people would abuse this, they said "We trust our customers not to. We couldn't stop them if they did, but we hope they don't abuse it."

And if people overseas have to pay more for a game(recently this happened with The Witcher, where they had to increase price to match other outlets), they offered the difference in price back to the buyer.

They actually seem to care about their customers. And that, to me, is why I love them so much.

Just my theories though. I'm sure everyone has their own reason(s) for loving GoG.

I know about all those things and adore them for it, but most of it is still that either came along after GOG became so beloved or that people likely weren't even aware of.

Besides, when people are complaining that Nintendo or whoever, they aren't complaining about a lack of those things. They are bitterly raging about the very fact that these companies are "wasting their time" or "being lazy". Those are the customary refrains I hear every time a news piece is posted about an old classic for consoles/handhelds being remade/re-released here on the Escapist or elsewhere.

A lot of these comments are portraying GOG to be some sort of video game hero. It's a company who trades in product to make money.

Shio:
A lot of these comments are portraying GOG to be some sort of video game hero. It's a company who trades in product to make money.

Pretty much everything you can be a fan of is there to make money (bands, movies, books) so your observation is pretty pointless.

Kukulski:

Shio:
A lot of these comments are portraying GOG to be some sort of video game hero. It's a company who trades in product to make money.

Pretty much everything you can be a fan of is there to make money (bands, movies, books) so your observation is pretty pointless.

I don't know. I find a post stating opinion as fact and contributing nothing on topic to be pretty pointless, myself.

Jumwa:

I know about all those things and adore them for it, but most of it is still that either came along after GOG became so beloved or that people likely weren't even aware of.

Besides, when people are complaining that Nintendo or whoever, they aren't complaining about a lack of those things. They are bitterly raging about the very fact that these companies are "wasting their time" or "being lazy". Those are the customary refrains I hear every time a news piece is posted about an old classic for consoles/handhelds being remade/re-released here on the Escapist or elsewhere.

Hm... I guess with GoG, thats what their job is. To bring back old games. With other developers/publishers(who are rather sequel happy these days), people want newer, more interesting games.

Shio:
A lot of these comments are portraying GOG to be some sort of video game hero. It's a company who trades in product to make money.

For most companies, money is the top priority.
For GoG(and CD Projekt Red), money is the second priority. Their first priority is bringing back old classics, and making great games(respectively).

Most companies use games as a means to get money.
GoG/CD Projekt use money as a means to bring back/make great games.

Irridium:

Hm... I guess with GoG, thats what their job is. To bring back old games. With other developers/publishers(who are rather sequel happy these days), people want newer, more interesting games.

But then a company like Nintendo undoubtedly has people whose job it is to do that too. Not everyone who works for Nintendo, after all, is a game programmer capable or willing to work away at making new titles. And many programmers don't have the skill or breadth of experience to do such even should they want to, and will undoubtedly be hamstringed into these sorts of third string projects.

Jumwa:

Irridium:

Hm... I guess with GoG, thats what their job is. To bring back old games. With other developers/publishers(who are rather sequel happy these days), people want newer, more interesting games.

But then a company like Nintendo undoubtedly has people whose job it is to do that too. Not everyone who works for Nintendo, after all, is a game programmer capable or willing to work away at making new titles. And many programmers don't have the skill or breadth of experience to do such even should they want to, and will undoubtedly be hamstringed into these sorts of third string projects.

Probably. I'm not saying it makes sense, I'm just saying thats how the general community sees it.

I love GoG! As many of my favorite games are from the '90s.

Since they got access to EA's back catalog recently I am excited about what they might get. I was all over Privater. I went out to a second hand store and scored a great joystick and then downloaded one of my top favorite games ever! Good times! Gives me something to play if DNF sucks. (That and playing through the Witcher 2 again with a new set of skills and backing a different faction.)

That cover image of Divine Divinity just made me unbearably happy. I honestly loved the way that game was done; the world was rich with culture and other general epicness, the characters were done brilliantly and everything was just so wonderfully satisfying. The world had so much promise and hinted at so much more in it. Loved it.
XXBZPTRL! Hopefully someone out there remembers that.

They just started offering Dungeon Keeper. Joy \o/

At last, a Escapist article in which I don't need to namedrop GoG in the comments...

The Random One:
At last, a Escapist article in which I don't need to namedrop GoG in the comments...

All too often in forums including this one I'd bring up gog whenever there was a thread about retro or classic games, always worried it would be seen as advertising to my enthusiastic reccomendation.

Since this is the only thread in which I can safely express my gog.com love, here's my reasons for their site being one of my favored places on the internet:

-Awesome classics for 5$? Steal!!!!!!! Living in London, my daily tube journey costs more then this. My gog collection has blossomed quite a bit over time :)

-Works straight outta the box. I don't know what magic the gog.team do, but only ever had 1 problem with one of their games, and their customer service was prompt in helping me fix it, no need to wade into a forum and hope to the gods someone will help you.
You buy a game, it works. Isn't that just lovely?

-Lack of drm means game is yours. Do what you want with it.
Again, a luxury that a modern pc gamer is finding increasingly rare.

-Good community, maybe because it's still relatively small but I found the forums to be awash in positive energy, maybe because everyone is there for a mutual love of old games.

Gog.com doesn't really provide unique services, it's all about convenience and making buying+playing the game as painless as possible ^^

Thanks to this article I straight away got my own loggin and ordered the Betrayal at Krondor pack. I love BAK and I may even play through Antara (which is included in the price).

Dredos:
Thx to GoG no more dead floppies =)

Or, if you're playing the right game, no more missing floppies! I swear, I am missing one of the 4 or 5 X-wing floppy disks, and what a pain in the ass.

I love GOG, and everything that they do. I should mention that they also fix on thing that a lot of old games couldn't avoid.... DISC SWAPPING! I love the old Tex Murphy games that had 4-6 CD ROMs that you'd have to swap in and out, but now, it's straight download so no need to swap disks at all.... which makes them much more enjoyable now.

Good news :)

I've been worried about the extinction of Win 95/98/XP-based games for some time. Glad to know I won't have to sustain a specialist rig for each old operating system...

I notice someone is holding out on letting GOG distribute System Shock 1 & 2...
The old TSI Stronghold would be nice too.

Tyrian 2000 is free, yay :)

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