Reviving The Classics

Reviving The Classics

How do you go about bringing back everyone's favorite games?

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Actually it's really easy.

Step 1) wrap the old version of the game in a DOSBox wrapper in a way that doesn't violate GPL (this part is optional) and re-release on Steam or GOG.
Step 2) patch together a generic shooter and slap the old name onto it. Writing? Hah.

Anyway, seriously - the only way people care for old games so much is because most games are crap in comparison to those classics. For example I'd like to more games in the vibe of Mafia (3rd person shooter from about 2002 I think) because there still isn't anything like it. If more games were as good, I wouldn't care THAT much. It would still be a classic, sure, but going back to such old games wouldn't be such a revelation compared to other games.

On the other hand, often it's really just nostalgia. Some games simply aren't as good as we remember them, have been surpassed etc., and making a sequel or reboot for them would be really quite dodgy.

Sgt. Sykes:
Step 1) wrap the old version of the game in a DOSBox wrapper in a way that doesn't violate GPL (this part is optional) and re-release on Steam or GOG.

Alternative plan: Get game IP and code, license it to GOG.com (who I imagine would kill puppies for old Lucasarts games), and let them worry about making it work on modern machines.

craddoke:
and let them worry about making it work on modern machines.

For the LucasArts adventures, this part is actually the easy one: ScummVM. And ResidualVM for Grim Fandango.
GOG already uses ScummVM for some games, although they don't advertise this much. Which always bugged me, but YMMV.

"If the author of Snow Crash was given the Percy Jackson series."

I would so read the hell out of that book.

Shamus Young:
Or the game asks strange "Sound Blaster" questions and things about ports and IRQ thingies that made sense to DOS gamers in 1993 but are now completely mystifying gibberish to someone who grew up gaming on the N64.

Wow, I feel old. I also feel sometimes that new gen gamers should be given a boot camp style course of getting old games set up correctly so as to appreciate the ease of access we have today.

What I want is Jedi Knight, picking up from the Dark Side ending of Academy.
But that's stupid, I have no idea how anyone would go about creating a game with gameplay simiral to what it was like in 2002 without it feeling super awkward and stilted, and stuff.

Telltale's Sam and Max games are incredible and IMO up there with titles from the golden age of adventure games. So it is possible to continue a series with new writers. On the other hand their Monkey Island game, though, good is dick cheese compared to the first 2.

Honestly I think the best bet might just be to release a sequel, patch up the original so it'll run on something more powerful than a kettle and package them together. TBH I'm a console player and it would suck for them to be unavaiable to me but I'd just rather they get done right. If they prettied them up Monkey Island style and put them on PSN for 10 bucks I'd definitely buy them though.

amaranth_dru:
I also feel sometimes that new gen gamers should be given a boot camp style course of getting old games set up correctly so as to appreciate the ease of access we have today.

Oh hell yes. You get a passing grade if you can work out how to:

1) Write a CONFIG.SYS boot menu to select the right memory configuration (EMS/XMS) and mouse drivers for a certain set of games, and a corresponding AUTOEXEC.BAT to launch them;
2) Explain every term in the line SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T4;
3) Install this game on any Windows machine without using GOG:

image

That shit was crazy.

Back on topic, if there's one thing that conversations with fans of certain games have taught me it's that they have no idea what structure, pacing or story mean; they just want more. More stuff. More extra things and shiny bits bolted on with no idea of how to actually make them fit.

some dicksplash called 'Slayer17' in an FF7 remake discussion thread on ScoreHero five years ago:

All I would want is better graphics and a ton of additions to the already awesome game they have. When I say this I mean that there should just be more of everything.

More enemies(WEAPONS maybeh?), more items, more materia, an extra character or two, and possibly another planet or something. Just something to add a ton of play time and replay value to the game without taking away from the epicness that FF7 already has.

I literally fell on the floor laughing at how ridiculous it was possible for some people to be. How can you do any of that while preserving the existing game? Yes, I think the game's shit, but this is not the sort of thing that can possibly help it; unravelling the whole story line and character dynamic they built up just to tack on extra shit? Sidequests are literally the best you can hope for, and even then you've got to be careful.

Grim Fandango doesn't need a sequel - it's tight enough as it is. It doesn't even need a remake - it's visual aesthetic already fits the game perfectly. I've said time and again, what it needs is a movie.

Kinitawowi:

amaranth_dru:
I also feel sometimes that new gen gamers should be given a boot camp style course of getting old games set up correctly so as to appreciate the ease of access we have today.

Oh hell yes. You get a passing grade if you can work out how to:

1) Write a CONFIG.SYS boot menu to select the right memory configuration (EMS/XMS) and mouse drivers for a certain set of games, and a corresponding AUTOEXEC.BAT to launch them;
2) Explain every term in the line SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T4;
3) Install this game on any Windows machine without using GOG:

I credit DOS games with teaching me how to troubleshoot PC issues and giving me my first job for 15+ years doing tech support. Were it not for games, I'd not have had the skill set necessary to network (setting up LAN's for Quake/Quake 2 matches for LAN parties). Kids today have no appreciation for how their machines work.

Are you implying that Neal Stephenson wouldn't write awesome Percy Jackson books? Because... my brain is having trouble parsing that sentence.

Great article about the issues involved. I know someone who owns the rights to a popular old game who is trying to port it forward to modern devices. I've helped them figure out some of the original game data files. But I don't think they have the original source code (either that, or it exists but it's completely useless or too cryptic in a modern environment).

Yep, much harder that most people recognize.

amaranth_dru:
I credit DOS games with teaching me how to troubleshoot PC issues and giving me my first job for 15+ years doing tech support. Were it not for games, I'd not have had the skill set necessary to network (setting up LAN's for Quake/Quake 2 matches for LAN parties). Kids today have no appreciation for how their machines work.

Same, more or less. Even today I still find the DOS command line the most efficient way of dealing with viruses at work, and all my knowledge of how to use it came from gaming way back when. Most of my fellow technicians have no idea what I'm doing when I type "set dircmd=/ogne /a" and "rd temp /s", and little things like that were bread and butter when you were arguing over which mouse driver made Transport Tycoon work.

All I want in life is a sequel to Jedi Outcast. :(

The Random One:
Are you implying that Neal Stephenson wouldn't write awesome Percy Jackson books? Because... my brain is having trouble parsing that sentence.

Neal Stephenson would write awesome books. They just wouldn't be Percy Jackson books. In the same way Stephen King could probably do a pretty good book in the Harry Potter universe, but what he wrote wouldn't be a Harry Potter book.

There would be characters with the same names, but the personalities and the tone would be completely different. It's harder than it looks to match someone's writing style - just ask Brandon Sanderson or Eoin Colfer.

I wanted a revival of Thief... look at where we are now D:

In the case of Grim Fandango, a scene-for-scene, puzzle-for-puzzle remake in a more modern 3D engine with the awful controls replaced with a proper point-and-click interface (the Telltale Tool would work perfectly for this; they'd only have to add support for a Look command) would probably be the best possible outcome. I don't know how they'd accommodate dual-analog controls. Maybe they shouldn't, and between the WiiU, tablets, and that touchpad thing the PS4 has, they might not have to.

"Imagine if someone had given the Harry Potter books to the person behind Hunger Games. If the author of Snow Crash was given the Percy Jackson series. If Michael Crichton had been given the job of extending the Lord of the Rings into three more books."

Yeah, it's like if you had Brandon Sanderson write the last books of the Wheel of Time...

I desperately want a monkey-island style remake of Grim Fandango. Kickstart it or whatever, my money is yours if you do.

 

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