Modern Retro Gaming

Started by republic, February 28, 2012, 05:28:24 PM

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I think your right besilarius.  I think boardgamers or early PC gamers are used to using their imaginations more.  Most of the reason I am enjoying Crusader Kings 2 is that it has brought that sort of gameplay back.  The stories are there in data, but you have to use your imagination to make it fun.  In our heads we turn a -19 spymaster with -3 honesty into a enemy in the cloak and dagger game of the court.  He is a possible double agent and source of consternation.

I'm not sure if anyone has played the 4X game Aurora, but its one of my favorite 4x games and is little more than dots and words:


Jack Nastyface

Creating horizontal interoperability between software platforms is far more daunting than creating greater vertical depth within a single application...given the choice, most developers will chose the latter.  And you don't even have to limit your field-of-view to game developers.

For example, why do I have to start seperate office productivity applications when I want to create a spreadsheet, a document, or a flow diagram?  Why can't I just use one single "master application" to create a document, and then insert the kind of object that I want to have on that page?  The reason (already hinted at) is complexity.

Developing, testing, and maintaining a "multi-engine" application would be a challenging task, indeed, and it may not result in a product that reflects the wishes / desires of any single end user group.  Although I admit it would be great (amazing, even) to have an application that allowed you to fight the war in the Pacific at a grand strategic level and then jump in and fly a plane or  captain a sub or cruiser, the implications of the inter-acting environments may create bad gameplay scenarios.  For example, what should / would the "flight sim" experience be in a game where at the strategic level you didn't provide enough fuel and weapons supply to your aircraft carriers?  Would you as a pilot just sit there in the cockpit on the flight deck, getting strafed by enemy planes?  And what would be the impact upon the strategic game if you "gamed" the simulation portion...for example, by nose-diving four fully loaded b-17's into the decks of the Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu and Soryu on Dec 11?  And how close to "realistic" should the sim environment be modelled?  I am recently reading a book on the naval air war in the Pacific, and I just can't imagine that the experience of Torpedo 8 at Midway or on one of their missions near Guadalcanal (30 bombs dropped, no hits) would provide a compelling "I really want to do this again" experience.  A final challenge would be on reliance of the AI engine.  If I only want to play the "sim" side of a game, how trusting could I be that the Strategic AI wouldn't completely screw up the campaign (or just my supplies) for me?

Obviously, key decisions are made in the name of good gameplay.  I recall playing pilot campaigns in Red Baron where I wracked up 150 kills and had a career that lasted 3+ years.  IRL, any WWI pilot attempting that would have ended up dead, wounded, captured, shellshocked or fatigued.  If, on the other hand, Red Baron had modelled a realistic career, I probably would have quit playing after the 20th patrol mission with no enemy sightings and no furballs.  In fact, I am playing a Wings over Vietnam campaign that has become decidedly boring now that I have splashed all the migs in my AO.

Merging two game engines has been done with success...merging more than two, and I think you'd be pushing the limit.

Yours in gaming,

Jack Nastyface 
Now, the problem is, how to divide five Afghans from three mules and have two Englishmen left over.


Well, the point of merging a retro flight sim like Pacific Air War with War in the Pacific at the strategic layer is that the lower complexity of something like PAW makes it somewhat feasible (from a complexity of programming stand point), and therefore from a lower cost of development.  I may have that wrong, though, because the more I think about it, the more I think that perhaps it isn't that much more complex to program an IL-2 vs PAW; the graphics limitations might be as much hardware driven as anything else.  I don't know enough about this aspect of computer game programming.

I agree with you that, using our PAW/WitP merge example, the possibility exists for ahistorical outcomes.  However, I disagree that it's all that hard nor that it necessarily would lead to a bad gameplay experience.  There are too many precedents for games that have a tactical and strategic layer that show it is a feasible game. 

If you look at the WitP combat layer, in AE you get fairly robust reports of what the aircraft are doing in a strike and intercept.  The game is already calculating how many planes are scrambling, altitude the incoming strike is spotted, there's an underlying weather model, etc.  I am positive that a savvy programer could take that info, export it, then import it into a flight simulator mission creation module; allow the player to fly the engagement in the flight sim, export those results; then reimport the results into WitP in lieu of WitP running its engagement model for that particular engagement.  It can't be that hard if both games are programmed with this portability between them.  I think of the work that was done taking an export of the tactical battles of Empires in Arms and playing them out in Les Grognards and reimporting them as the exact process I am describing.

This fits into the retro gaming idea only because I assume that programming a retro flight simulator is less labor intensive (and therefore cheaper) to make it possible within a game's budget to do it.  I might have this part completely wrong, though.

"If you had a chance, right now, to go back in time and stop Hitler, wouldn't you do it?  I mean, I personally wouldn't stop him because I think he's awesome." - Eric Cartman

"Does a watch list mean you are being watched or is it a come on to Toonces?" - Biggs


Along the same lines of the thread title, but getting away from my game merge idea, I am onboard with "retro gaming" to some extent, but the more I have tried to do it, the more I realize that I really do need modern graphics to some extent to enjoy gaming.

I'll use a retro game I have tried repeatedly to get into: Kingmaker.  I've had Kingmaker for several years, and once or twice a year I try to get into it.  I'm sure it's a great game but the graphics are so hard to look at now, and the interface is so difficult, that I just can't get past these limitations enough that I can enjoy the great gameplay. 

I'm fine with the idea of a retro-type game: Frozen Synapse, Armageddon Empires, things like that, but then when you go even further back I start to fall apart in the enthusiasm department.  I've gotten used to a certain level of graphics and usability. 

I'd probably enjoy something like Flanker 2 if I could get it to run perfectly on my HOTAS and TrackIR, but it's hard to say that it is "better" in any way to something modern like Falcon 4 BMS. 
"If you had a chance, right now, to go back in time and stop Hitler, wouldn't you do it?  I mean, I personally wouldn't stop him because I think he's awesome." - Eric Cartman

"Does a watch list mean you are being watched or is it a come on to Toonces?" - Biggs


There are dozens of old games that I would still be playing if they just had a simple resolution bump.  I plan to get Jagged Alliance 2 (somehow I missed it back in the day) thankfully there is a fan patch that bumps the resolution up to 1024x768.

Lots of my old favorites maxed at 320x240.  Thats hard to stomach in the age of 1080p gaming.  :(