read / discuss / question

Links / Related: deviantART / Cool: The Written Pixel

Login:    Password:      Don't have a username? Register!

Discussion > Off-Topic > Nostalgia Etcetera

Nostalgia Etcetera

Semirrahge (June 29th, 2002, 4:23 am)

Heh, PoP, eh? I don't know that I exactly remember when that came out. I remember PoP2, because I was into PC Gamer then... Hm. What year was that?

I do remember Test Drive 2, though... That was a really awesome game! Killer grafix! :) But, actually the game that I would show all my friends was Links 386. Those graphics were truly mind-blowing.

But back into the proper timeframe, I was probably going full-tilt (lAm0r style, I admit) with BBSes and Trade Wars 2002. Heheh. That game rules. Um, I had Commander Keen 4: Goodbye Galaxy (good colors and sound); Major Stryker (really cool game, introduced multi-parallax scrolling); Duke Nukem; and the great and wondrous Wolfenstein 3D. :) Anyone play that?

Going back to my Tandy 1000 (I still like those stupid things) and 8088 days, I had StarFlight. I never got very far (I was MUCH too young to play it), but I'm still in awe of the scope the game had. And Thexder! I was never very good at it (I generally do poorly in action games in comparison to other people), but it was fun, and I liked the soundtrack. I also had Space Quest! This was SQ 1, before the franchise went wacko and died. I had no instructions, and once I figured out how to play, I would sit out in the garage with my own personal system (a Tandy, as I recall, the HX 1000, I think it was. I had an IBM but the soundchip in the Tandy made it better for games. Tandy 0wN3d MuzAk) in the hot texas summer and play it, covered in sweat. I got WAY far (to my mind), and then the fate that all HD-less computers are subject to hit my SQ disk, and I've never found a new copy. :'( *sob*

But the thing that brings back more nostalgia than any other is tweaking DOS for all it was worth (and then some). Anyonw remember rebooting 20 times to get that extra lousy 5k so you could run Ultra Badd Super Kill? :) Heh. I think I even miss that.

Nostalgia Etcetera

cruise (July 1st, 2002, 10:48 am)


DOS ruled.So much to have. I kinda miss it too...though I do also appreciate the ease of most current games, and sait my tinkering urge with programming.

Stunts is one of the coolest games ever. Someone needs to do a modern day update of that. Pissing about with the inbuilt map editor was just too much fun...madness abounded :D

My first home computer was a Toshiba MSX...which I have no doubt none of you will have ehard of :P Had a few games...ghostbusters was the only one I could remember...but I tried to write plenty...since I was only seven at the time, they weren't exactly complex...but it was a start :P

Nostalgia Etcetera

Narainsbrain (July 2nd, 2002, 6:08 am)

my lord, you people have been at it for ages... me, my first computer was a 486 with a 216MB HDD. i used to think that was quite a depth of low-power computing, until about five minutes ago.

but atleast, i can proudly say that i've played more ancient PC games than semi (conveniently ignoring non-PC games for the moment)! i've played the first versions of both PoP and Test Drive. yep, TD one (it was simply called Test Drive) featured 2-bit ie. 4 colour graphics -- count 'em, four -- black, white, cyan, magenta. how they managed to program pseudo-3d graphics (which was very impressive back then) to run at a decent fps on such an underpowered machine, i'll never know.

i also had (they came with the assembled comp) the quite-pathetic-but-great-for-timepass Dangerous Dave as well as who-knows-which-version-of Pac-Man. boy, anyone played Pacman recently? i'm beginning to miss it now.

most of my time though was spent messing around with the graphics in qbasic. anyone else tried that? i'd make simulations of bouncing balls, fireworks, solar systems... using mostly the circle command and a bit of applied physics. 'twas a whole lot of fun, and i guess it influenced me toward my simulation stories quite a bit. ;)

Nostalgia Etcetera

cruise (July 2nd, 2002, 9:27 am)

Don't get me started on QBasic :P

Admittedly most of my creations were along the lines of random poetry and story uncannily appropriate :P

However, since these were on a public machine, with instructions in the code on how to add to the volcabulary, you can imagine the...colourful...kind of stories that would result... :P

Nostalgia Etcetera

Ben (July 2nd, 2002, 4:20 pm)

Heh -- yeah, I played Test Drive and Test Drive 2 myself. Great games. My parents had an ancient Zenith -- older than me -- and somehow it managed to run the graphics without a hitch. And Space Quest -- Space Quest was cool! My cousin made me a copy of SQ2 when I visited him for his bar Mitzfah (I was, I thnk, 6 or 7 at the time) and played it pretty frequently. Never got much past the opening level, though. :)

Nostalgia Etcetera

Semirrahge (July 2nd, 2002, 8:55 pm)

Heh... I never did hardly anything with any kind of basic. When I first started, it was too early a version of DOS and they did not have QBASIC, only GWBASIC, and I got bored with all that.

I did mess around quite a bit with batch files, though... I did all kinds of screwy things, mostly creating menu programs that changed the prompt from C:>_ to Enter Selection>_

I used standard ASCII symbols at first, but then when I got my hands on a DOS manual (WOW!) I learned the ANSI codes and began using escape sequences and lines... All of this, BTW, through "Copy Con newfile.bat" :)

Once I got DOS, um, 6, I guess, I started using Editor, so that made it a lot easier. I never did learn how to use IF THEN and GOTO, though, so I was saddened when I found out what I had missed. It would have made things so much easier. :)

Cruise, that sounds cool! It reminds me of my ideas for music, this so-called "Intellegent" Techno inspired. What if you could get a computer to combine and create patterns of music in response to some kind of stimulus? Eh? :) I'd like to hear that, and read some of your "poetry" :)

I've played Pac-Man (yes, I love that game, though I think I've only gotten to, um, level 7), as well as Chuck Yeager's Flight Simulator - which also used my Tandy CGA 4-Color, had sound, and was 3D. It allowed you to pick from a Sopwith Camel to the SR-71 and some others in between... I liked the SR-71 because you could get up into space and view the blackness, speckled with stars... :)

Lesse, 4-color games... Zaxon, which was my first vertical scrolling shooter, played even before I had heard of Galaga(or Space Invaders, or whatever your clone is called:)). Sopwith, which was a game where you had to fly around a scrolling map and take out your opponents tanks, spare planes, and base before he did the same. You played either against the computer, and neat things were: If you hit the top of the sky, you would go into a spin and could only get out of it if you sped up. You had bombs to drop (tricky but fun), and a machine gun that you used to fight the planes or dive and strafe the enemy.

There was Marble Madness, Starflight.. As I mentioned, which used an extremely primitive game system using three COM files that you had to write via a special program, from your master disk to your play and save disks. :) You had to exit the game, saving it, and then write those files to your backup disks. If you died in the game, it would quit, and upon loading it you'd get: "GAME IN PROGRESS BUT NOT SAVED" and you'd have to quit. I almost always had a harddrive, so I developed batch files to automatically copy my files from my play into my save directory whenever I exited... :)

I can't remember anything else right now. :)

Nostalgia Etcetera

Eldritch (July 3rd, 2002, 12:01 am)

You people have a way of making me fell young :P My first computer had a 133mhz processor and Windows 95... I don't know what I played. I did play lots of NES and SNES though.

Nostalgia Etcetera

Narainsbrain (July 3rd, 2002, 8:49 am)

i remember now, mine was 66 MHz =)

the prose/poetry generator does sound very interesting! i wanna try it! ...but i don't know about the *ahem* colourful vocabulary. how did it work? did it randomly pick up nouns, verbs etc and arrange them in some predefined orders? or something more (or less) sophisticated?

you know, i wrote a php script recently that calculated letter-triplet frequencies in a piece of text and used it to produce something distinctly jabberwockish... or it could work on sequences of three words and print out a bunch of deranged sentences. unfortunately i didn't have much text lying around, so i couldn't fully exploit its capabilities =) but 'round here it would have a ball!

man, i wish i had a dos manual back in those days. i would've been busy for hours a day at the command prompt. =D i did try changing the prompt though, and after some fooling around i finally settled on "What do you want, foolish mortal? _"

in fact, i wouldn't have minded a dos manual a few months back either, when my hdd got screwed up and windows wouldn't boot. the system floppy got me as far as the dos prompt, and i refused to turn the computer off without doing something on it. i started fooling with the prompt again. boy it sure did bring back memories... =D

Nostalgia Etcetera

Semirrahge (July 3rd, 2002, 1:10 pm)

LOL This is cool...

Anyhow, scripts like that would be cool... I wonder if you could get it to actually invent words for names, and give it plot controls... Gah. Does something like that require AI, or can it merely be mechanical?

I don't know how fast those Tandy's were... But I remember the day my dad bought his first REAL l33t computer: 486DX2/66, with EIGHT megs of ram, guys! It had something like 256k of cache, and it used a 4 meg Number9 VLB videocard. It had a, Um... 270meg Connor HD, no CD or Sound, but it did have a 17" Mag monitor with digital controls. This was back in like '91 or something. I can remember when we bought another 8 meg stick so that we had 16 megs (!!), as well as when we got our CD rom and sound card. :)

Ahhh... Those were the days, no?

Nostalgia Etcetera

cruise (July 3rd, 2002, 10:41 pm)

The first random poetry generator was pretty just took random phrases and put them in random order. The second generator took a list of verbs, nouns and prepositions and combined them in random arrangements.

The story generators went through similar stages. The first couple merely combined set phrases with random (or user entered) names for the hero/heroine. My final creation, howver, was a murder mystery, and had an extensive list of various random qualities, such as murder method, place, time, different charcaters, and then combined them all into a set framework. It was therefore somewhat more reptitive, but considerably better structured.

I have no idea if I still have them around, anymore. I always meant to do a web-based version of them sometime, but I've never got around to it...

Nostalgia Etcetera

Narainsbrain (July 4th, 2002, 6:39 am)

wow... that sounds extremely impressive! how long was the output?

semi, you first pc sounds exactly like my first pc... but what were you doing with a 17" monitor, damn you!? even the comp i have now is just 14 inches... bloody nostalgia indeed. ;)

...btw, my word-generator works very well for making names. but as for the word-deranger, the output makes no sense unless you look only at half-sentence chunks. =D

Nostalgia Etcetera

Semirrahge (July 4th, 2002, 12:48 pm)

LOL - My dad was doing mapping for the appraisal district. He had to have the big computer for CAD work.

Heh, I'm big on these word generator things now... What if you combined a bunch of scripts with spell and grammar-check scripts checking the output... Maybe even develop a context checker so that we can help the phrases make sense. Hmm. Without thinking too hard on it it does not sound too improbable.

Nostalgia Etcetera

Narainsbrain (July 6th, 2002, 5:12 am)

ooh, CAD work... yum.

about the word generator thingy, well, it depends on what you want it to do. if you want random, meaningless but grammatically correct sentences, that's easy enough. reusing some of the nouns, even vaguely connected paragraphs could be made. but, they wouldn't make any sense, since the computer literally doesn't know what it's talking about.

not necessarily

Ben (July 7th, 2002, 5:20 am)

I read an article a couple of years ago about a computer program that could write somewhat shallow and purple-prosed short stories about betrayal; but they were readable stories and they were different each time.

I actually wrote down one of the phrases from the excerpt I read, mostly because it was hilarious to me that a computer would write something like that. I think it was something like, "A rush of orange anger rose up and flooded through every cell in his body."


Narainsbrain (July 7th, 2002, 6:16 am)

really? it wrote that? yikes. that thing's impressive. do you remember how it did that? or if you can recall what it was called, i could probably search for it on google.

hopefully computers will never be able to output non-shallow stories... *shudder*

or maybe if AIs began reading prose, they'd think our stuff was much shallower than their own =p

Nostalgia Etcetera

Seabhag (August 26th, 2002, 3:22 am)

Let's see... First systems, first games... Guess that would have been back in '87 when dad got his first system.. an XT.. then we got a 286 sometime in the later 80's early 90's. the games I remember playing were games like Round 42, Dig-Dug (the original), Bouncing Babies (you were a fireman and had to catch babies falling from the windows on your little trampoline thingy and bounce them to the truck.., Um... Ah... Gold Rush (Sierra), Commander Keen, X-Wing (GWBasic Game..) then there was that small Pirate game that my dad and I programed in GWBasic.. Space Goose, um... dunno how much else.. in the early 90's I was a regular on about 5-10 different BBS's and was a Co-Sysopt of another. So I downloaded and played most of the games coming out at that time period. I also played some of the more famous (and not so famous) like Land of Devistation, Solar Realms, Iron Ox, Trade Wars 2002, Legand of the Red Dragon, Usurper, Virtual Sysopt, um.. my mind is drawing a blank now as to other Door Games.. I've played at least some of Kings Quest I-VI. I've played and beat Space Quest 1-5 (Btw Semi.. I have a copy of SQ1 laying around if you wanna borrow it....), MegaTraveller I and II and Space 1889 from Paragon software (before they went bankrupt and didn't produce MegaTraveller III , I'm still ticked about that..), Codename: Iceman, Conquests of the Longbow, Dungeons of Jupiter, Warcraft II, One must Fall 2097, Descent I, II, and III (though the later isn't Nostalgia), I also played Chuck Yeager's Flight Sim, A-10 Tank Killer (by Dynamax) doh there are SO many more that I played but can't remember the names too..

Yes I remember tweeking the config.sys, autoexec.bat, and etc.. Any more I just goto the store and pickup what I want to play cause I know my system is gonna be able to run it.. (though I did run into an interesting problem with Ultima IX... I didn't have a Voodoo card to play it on... I had Uber amounts of processing power... and I didn't have an "old" enough card to play it on... Go fig...

Well must run now


cruise (August 27th, 2002, 4:41 pm)

I spotted One Must fall in that list :D

Hell Yeah :P

Damn fine beat 'em up. Kept me amused for many a month...


Hellkeepa (August 29th, 2002, 1:33 pm)


It still keeps me amused. ;-)

Happy fraggin'!

Discussion > Off-Topic > Nostalgia Etcetera

Register to post.