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Fable:

Don't know whether I have mentioned this, but many years ago, in dire financial straits, I had to sell my collection on eBay. My signed Ultima 1 went for $500. Time Zone garnered $125. Sundog $20. Ultima III $100. I sure miss having them around. BTW, I still have the cloth map from Ultima's III and IV.


Me, too! In fact, I came across Ultima IV over the last few hours in the original box, with everything still in it. Ultima III for $100? Amazing. I wonder if anybody would pay for an original, completely intact box of Darklands, with the original, highly informative hint guide that was sold separately by Microprose. I never thought that gaming could make anybody money, except, of course, distribution franchises and bigname publishers.

Do you by any chance remember Murder on the Zinderneuf, or Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves?

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Fable:

"I wonder if anybody would pay for an original, completely intact box of Darklands, with the original, highly informative hint guide that was sold separately by Microprose."

Ah, Darklands, one of the original buggiest games. I just checked eBay. A straight copy of the game along has been bid "up" to $7.50.

"Do you by any chance remember Murder on the Zinderneuf, or Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves?"

I sure do, mainly the former which was part of EA's original offerings along with others including Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson, the incredible M.U.L.E. whose theme music I play occasionally.

Speaking of EA, quite a forced segue, no?, I went to the Consumer Electronics Show in 1986, the first one where games were prominently involved. (Now, E3 going on as we speak is THE gaming show.) I was the head of the largest Gamesig in the country, and knew many of the gaming luminaries. Get this for great gaming namedropping! I was standing around with Trip Hawkins (founder of EA), Lord British (Richard Garriott), Brian Fargo, former prez of Interplay. For some reason, I decided to ask the group the best game they ever played. (Mine at the time was the incredible Star Raiders for the Atari 400 and 800!) Trip Hawkins looked and me and answered "Star Raiders". Quite a moment in my gaming life.

Fuff

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I was at all the E3s, too, until a few years ago. Name dropping: feh. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> I've met the people you speak of. To the best of my knowledge, they were just as human as everyone else on this board--though I have my doubts about Garriott. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

When I was last at Microprose, under their third owner, they had some stuff up on a blackboard clearly showing MULE development. I quizzed 'em on it, and they admitted to working on a successor. But then they were bought out again, and things rapidly went downhill. Too bad. I especially liked the chocolate chip cookies that Sid's mother used to bake.

Darklands *was* buggy, incredibly so--for the time. It went through 8 patches, large and small.

Sacred has gone through 12 patches, 6 of each.

But no one thinks twice about that, anymore. Makes you wonder.

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Fable:

"When I was last at Microprose, under their third owner, they had some stuff up on a blackboard clearly showing MULE development."

One of the artists working on Sid's updated version of Pirates lives in my building. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll get a chance to see it early.

"Sacred has gone through 12 patches, 6 of each. But no one thinks twice about that, anymore. Makes you wonder."

The current spate of bigtime RPG's are so massive. I recall someone mentioning that there are millions of lines of code for an rpg.

Happened to stumble across an "abandonware" site last night. These games are available for download, and the number of rpg's is staggering. I had forgotten many of them until that site refreshed. Remember Hard Nova? Escape from Hell? Betrayal at Krondor? You can download these games for free. For many you have to also download some program that lets you play dos games under the modern faster computers.


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Speaking of Microprose, when I ordered Gothic I through Amazon (got it from one of their vendors), I received a free game called "Majesty". (Nice boon). It's a Fantasy Kingdom sim, which I have yet to load on my computer. But even more interesting is I had never heard of Microprose until I received the game. Fable, what kind of company are they? Small? Large? Medium? (I'm just curious and like to keep informed about this kind of stuff).

Plus, I had completely forgotten about abandonware. If anything, one can find some excellent gaming ideas in some of those long-forgotten projects.

I'm glad I'm not the only person who has spent a lot of time on computer and video gaming. It combines 3 of my favorite pastimes and passions: writing, graphic design and technology. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/party.gif" alt="" />


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />





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Microprose used to be quite prolific back in the Amiga 500/Atari ST days - I remember Microprose Soccer being one of their more popular titles.

No idea what they are doing these days...

Anyone know what happened to the Bitmap Brothers (Xenon, Xenon 2, Chaos Engine, Gods)??

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Faralas:

"But even more interesting is I had never heard of Microprose until I received the game. Fable, what kind of company are they? Small? Large? Medium? (I'm just curious and like to keep informed about this kind of stuff).:

In the early Apple II and PC days, they put out some war sims, Silent Service and Pirates being 2 big ones. They had as chief programmer one of gaming's true superstars, Sid Meier, of Civilization and Master of Orion fame, plus a lot of wargames. Pirates is being updated for modern computers and is to be released in November. Sid Meier now has his own company called Firaxis, I believe. Microprose may be gone, not sure.

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Speaking of Microprose, when I ordered Gothic I through Amazon (got it from one of their vendors), I received a free game called "Majesty". (Nice boon). It's a Fantasy Kingdom sim, which I have yet to load on my computer. But even more interesting is I had never heard of Microprose until I received the game. Fable, what kind of company are they? Small? Large? Medium? (I'm just curious and like to keep informed about this kind of stuff).


Micrprose was "Wild Bill" Stealey's first game company. Stealey was a decorated fighter pilot. He had connections, energy, intelligent and focus. He had an eye for talent. He was also rude, completely uninterested in anything outside his narrow field of vision, and unconcerned about marketing or budgets. He built a company of brilliant, dedicated programmers and gave them room to do what they wanted to do. He also made enormous mistakes in judgement--like never putting out a sequel to a big hit. Civilization was an enormous hit for Microprose in 1991. Do you know when they finally got around to its followup? Seven years later.

They were never large. Garriott had delusions of grandeur (of at least, Walt Disney) and hired enormous numbers of people, but even at their height, I don't think Microprose had more thirty or forty fulltimers on staff. I'm sure they farmed out parts of their activity for a game. In the end, they fell victim to their inability to hit deadlines, with many fine titles remaining vaporware after 2-3 years work.

Majesty was one of Cyberlore's games. They used Microprose for distribution; it was towards the end of the latter's existence. It was great fun, sort of a god sim/strategy title, in which you created buildings for heroes, who spent money buying potions, weapons, etc. You put bounties on the heads of evildoers, and your heroes killed 'em--earning the money. I understand a Majesty 2 has been in development some time, but the company keeps putting it on the backburner for other projects. It appears no current distributor is really interested in a title that's so non-formula, and that's so wrong.

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Abanyir, Fuff and Fable,

Wow! This is turning out to be a well-informed group! And you are all so much more interesting (and fun) than hanging out at developer sights! I'm appropriately impressed.

Thanks for shedding some light on Microprose. I sometimes forget there were computers before the days of the IBM pc. And it just occurred to me, my mother had an Apple back in the early 80s and even though she's passed on, I think my father still has it.

Majesty is not a game I would have purchased. Although I do like medieval RPGs, Majesty is a sim. I've never played a sim. But since this fell into my lap for free, looks like a good opportunity to try something new. Thanks for the info. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif" alt="" />


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />

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Majesty is indeed an excellent game. I still have it on my hard drive along with its expansion "The Northern Expansion" (great name <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />). I still play at least once a month. Its one of those games with "personality" IMHO. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


"Wizard's First Rule: People are stupid" - Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander
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Hi all. Saw this thread as I was looking for info on charms and crystals. Wow, does this bring back memories. Does anyone remember "The Summoning", an old SSI PC game? In my opinion that was the first great action/adventure RPG. Lots of battles mixed with some great puzzles. God, I loved that game! I may have to get it out of the attic and replay it.

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The Summoning was a fine title, but the one I recall liking best by Event Horizon Software was Veil of Darkness. They were largely into third-person action games filled with complex puzzles and large, well-designed traps. Both The Summoning and VoD were quite a departure for them--the latter a bit too linear for me, but with a compelling story, good puzzles, and attractive graphics and dialog.


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Yep. Veil of Darkness was good, although much too short. I could be wrong, but The Summoning and VoD may have been the first games to use 3D isometric perspective and real time combat. I always had a sneaking suspicion that Blizzard modeled Diablo (at least a little bit) on The Summoning.


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Faralas,

I think we are all just getting old <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> - my parents always hoped I would grow out of this computer game thing by the time I was 20... but here I am 10 years on and if anything my addiction is worse now than it ever was (though with having a full time job I can't stay awake till 3 or 4 am playing anymore <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> ).

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You're right though. Computer games is not something you 'grow out of', like many people think.

The reason people think is, because older people these days tend to not play videogames (with a few exceptions always). But the reason they don't play videogames isn't because they 'grew out' of them, but because of the generation gap! They never grew up with videogames, so they never really start playing them. Alot of them don't start because they think it's very complicated, or can't get used to it.

As for the new generation, most of us will grow up with computers and/or consoles in our very homes. This is a major difference ofcourse.

I think that by the year 2050, most gamers will in fact seniors, simply because that generation will understand videogames, like videogames, but ontop of all, have the time to play videogames. (All the time in the world!)

And you know what? I'll be happy when that time comes, because frankly I'm getting tired of 1337 13-year olds ruining perfectly good games like Counter-Strike, or any other multiplayer FPS for that matter...


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It's not so much the 13 year olds I object too - it's the damn cheaters!! I mean what is the point in playing an online FPS if you are going to cheat?? Where is the skill in that? (Though I guess a lot of the cheats are 13 year olds <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> )

Most embarrasing multi-player fps moment for me was losing to a bunch of 13 year olds at counter strike at a big LAN party... they were good sports though so I couldn't hold a grudge!

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abanyir, just admit that u're going down the hill. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" /> kids, u know as a fact, absorb so much that whatever they can learn, they'll learn them quick & put the teachers to shame. well, unless it's something they hate. like math. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />

maybe we should let lynn know about this thread & move it to a more appropriate section.

@ faralas, wow! u amaze me! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" /> same goes to the rest of the intellectual gamers. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif" alt="" />



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Faralas,

I think we are all just getting old <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> - my parents always hoped I would grow out of this computer game thing by the time I was 20... but here I am 10 years on and if anything my addiction is worse now than it ever was (though with having a full time job I can't stay awake till 3 or 4 am playing anymore <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> ).


Abanyir, I stopped aging at 29. It wasn't doing a thing for me and every year it was the same: have a party, eat cake, get a few gifts, sing a stupid song, blah, blah, blah! So I just said, "to heck with aging," and quit -- cold turkey. Easiest thing I've ever done. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

And if my parents' wishes ever came true, I'd be a concert pianist, Olympic skater and world renowned author with three Nobel prizes in literature. When would I ever have time for computer games? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />


Faralas <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mage.gif" alt="" />




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I own both Sacred and BD. Have to say I like BD a lot better. Sacred has its good points, but I don't like how Ascaron makes you uninstall Nero Burning Rom and Alcohol 120% just so you can play. That kind of takeover shouldn't be allowed. And I found that after installing all the updates and such, the buggy copy protection drivers ground my system to a stand still when I wasn't even playing (moving large files took forever because it would send for a bit, freeze, send a bit, freeze). I had to reformat my computer just get rid of it. Since I got rid of it I've had no problems. But besides that, the graphics are pretty good, but the multiplayer aspect should weed out the rest of the bugs, and I do like how it shows you what percentage of the map you've discovered. Adding Tristram from Diablo is pretty cool addition too.

Beyond Divinity is my favourite though. I prefer the random item system better in it than Sacred. I found a lot of useless garbage in Sacred, and I find a lot of good stuff in Beyond Divinity. That's what I like. The battlefields are awesome, too. I was very interested when I heard about it before BD's release. I just wish the monsters would respawn and match your level so that you don't have to clear out a bunch of levels that give you nothing experience wise (to prevent abuse, they could set a level cap on each of the dungeons. That'd work well).

Either way, they're both good, and I can't wait for DivDiv2.

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Sacred makes you uninstall Nero????

Well, that certainly made up my mind not to buy it... Been thinking about it for a while as I want to wait to play BD until the patch situation stabalizes and am waiting for patch 2 for Temple of Elemental Evil before I really get into that.

Guess I will continue on with BG1 TuTu instead <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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