Author Topic: DOS gaming, anyone?  (Read 832 times)

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Offline Toonces

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Re: DOS gaming, anyone?
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2021, 12:16:03 PM »
I had mentioned in that other thread that I was spending a lot of time playing a game called Carrier Strike.  It's a Grigsby game, and you really see the base of his future carrier games like Uncommon Valor and WitP in it.  Something about it really struck a cord with me in a way that Carriers at War doesn't.

I can't remember where I got it now, myabandonware or some such site.

I tried to download M1A2 Tank Platoon but I never could get it to download or run properly.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: DOS gaming, anyone?
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2021, 03:10:34 PM »
I feel at least 80% sure that GoG does use DosBox under the hood for appropriate games, just transparently or blink-and-miss-it.

The genius of Electronic Arts' adaptation of Space Hulk from back in the days of the original Doom, can hardly be understated. (Not available at GoG, alas.) I use a slightly older version of DosBox to play it on occasion (it didn't work with newer versions for some reason, last time I played).

Taking a rigid RNG-death-fest turnbased boardgame and converting it to a first-person shooter, simpler on the face of it than Doom at the time, sounds on paper like sheer bleeping hubris. But it worked amazingly (and still does I think) thanks to several design factors converging together.

1.) the underlying basis of SH rules at the time is still running under the hood.

2.) the game provides a limited-time in-game pause for planning your moves in classic SH style. Then when unpaused -- or agh, when time runs out! -- you watch your plan unfold. And possibly fall to catastrophic pieces (perhaps barely salvaged for a win at the last minute), but practically never because of the meshing of the FPS/paused design. It falls to pieces because of the classic turn based boardgame design running under the game, which is recognizable if you know what to look for. (e.g. getting flanked or reared by a Genestealer back in that day was instant death, but the basic power fist used for melee by most Space Marines still only gives you 1/3rd of a chance at survival in frontal fights.)

3.) the gameplay layout leans even more heavily into the boardgame's Aliens inspiration than the boardgame does! Unlike the boardgame where you're hovering over your pieces and the enemy and can see the whole map all the time, the PC game encourages you to play like the Lieutenant overseeing his squad back in the APC, only able to see shoulder cam footage, and each Marine's motion tracker -- which is very much portrayed as in the movie (translated over to the map-squares of Space Hulk). Sure, you can go to a map overview to play that in real time if you want, much as you do in pause to plan out orders for your marines, but then you won't be able to...

4.) ...make special use of the FPS trappings to shoot the aliens yourself by taking command of a Marine's suit. While it isn't strictly necessary (the marines will always shoot dead center down the hallway on their own, unless you order them to hold so as not to blow open a door you could seal off), doing so can give you slight but noticable bonuses to hit. It also allows you to exploit the blocky 3D engine to tag the very edge of GS sprites lurking around a far corner, allowing you to snuff a few and aggravate the others into charging down a hallway with odds in your favor. Doing this however keeps you in the limited visual focus of the marines and their camera screens. In some missions there's a second Marine team which you can shift back and forth between during the mission, which amps the tension even more because you can only see the five screens of one team at a time! -- so then you're REALLY trusting to your assigned plan when you can't spare the time to hop over and see how they're doing.

But you can hear how things are going. For better and/or for worse.

5.) The sound design is so good that it easily adds 50% to the overall tension factor! I used to demo the game at college for friends to try out on my system, and watching them play the tutorial missions was hilarious, for reasons I won't spoil for people who haven't played the game.

6.) A very generous selection of classic missions, including the original six Sin of Damnation campaign missions (though not called that), two or three dozen...

7.) ...plus an original campaign written for the game, which so far as I know hasn't been replicated anywhere else. Half of it doesn't even technically take place on a Hulk, and yet plays just as well on the mission design. (It's set in tunnels found underneath a city.)

Reading the rulebook and mission book is a fine callback to a day when Space Hulk and Rogue Trader were the primary lore of Warhammer 40K, for comparison to see where all the modern complexities have come from.

No kidding, I have the game instructions and mission book lying literally within reach of my left arm whenever I'm at the computer, including while typing this! Not because I play the game that often -- every few years I'll boot it up again -- but JUST BECAUSE!  :D


From this you may extrapolate my disappointment to discover that Deathwing was not in fact the long awaited remake sequel to this version of the game I have always wanted to see...  :'(

(The real sequel, Vengeance of the Blood Angels, is difficult to find. I think I threw its discs away long ago due to the game being shipped with some serious bugs, programming not Genestealers ;) , and patching being difficult back in that day. I did find the PS1 version of the sequel, but it strains too hard at the PS1's control scheme to be very playable. The game design suffers a little from allowing full 360 degree rotation of the marines, too, which is not really as handy as it sounds, but on the other hand the graphics look three or four times better with only a year or two advancement!)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 03:12:05 PM by JasonPratt »
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Offline Senex

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Re: DOS gaming, anyone?
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2021, 11:48:44 AM »
I'd say that 1830 from the mid '90s and the even older Civil War Strategy Game still occupy about a quarter of my computer gaming time.
And on my Android tablet, Magic Dosbox will let me play old DOS games, letting me map keyboard actions to screen gestures.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: DOS gaming, anyone?
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2021, 12:01:13 PM »
I noticed with some interest last year, that GoG has already set up a page for 1830, even though they aren't selling it yet (last I checked).
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline solops

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Re: DOS gaming, anyone?
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2021, 12:54:25 PM »
One of my favorite games in the 80s was Gettysburg by SSI on my Apple IIe. It could take up to 30 minutes for the AI to do its turn. I am sure the UI is awful now, but it would be a great game to play...very board game-ish.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2021, 01:01:26 PM by solops »
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Offline PeaceFlower

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Re: DOS gaming, anyone?
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2021, 02:18:03 PM »
One of my favorite games in the 80s was Gettysburg by SSI on my Apple IIe.

Was that the SSI series that included Antietam? I played that one a lot as well as a Napoleonic
version that used the same system. Although I was playing off of a C-64.

I still play Civ I once in a blue moon. I had a terrible
addiction for it and after a day long session playing,
would dream about playing it in my sleep too!

Sometimes when I was getting genocided by the AI, I would
tell my people to hop on a ship and sail to some godforsaken
arctic region to live off of seal blubber while the AI
was building the spaceship. I just wanted to survive until
the end.

Other times, I would fall behind with no chance of winning
so I would try to subvert whichever Civ had caused me the
most grief in the hope of allowing a friendlier AI to win.

Then there were those games I thought I was doing great,
had conquered all of Europe and Asia with cannon and musketeers,
then a huge Aztec invasion fleet suddenly appears and begins unloading tanks
and mech infantry...Kinda like the ending in the movie Apocolypto, only in reverse.

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: DOS gaming, anyone?
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2021, 02:33:23 PM »
Renegade: Legion Interceptor plays JUST LIKE the FASA board game of the same name!  The scenarios make it fun for a while, although eventually it starts to get repetitive.  The fact that scenario missions don't ramp up in difficulty also makes the campaign game less satisfying.

But dang!  What a game system!!