Etletlien - Bring life back to gaming - the 90s (essay - poetry slam)
BRING LIFE BACK TO GAMING / the 90s (essay / poetry slam)
in response to the article:
so, on spotify et al, you have million of songs available. if you go to an online game store its not like that (even an IRL one for that matter, its jampacked with same-of-the-month packages). well, i did try to find a modern mmorpg to play, and just ONE company seemingly had hundreds of them.
but as he says, terrible movies from 1989 are easy to find - even on blu-ray, but to BUY a console / pc game from that period - AND be able to play it? good luck. and still, sometimes you find remasters. but its only a few select POP games, not your odd favorite.
on the topic of remasters. i was to play diablo immortal (diablo II with true 3d graphics) [correction: its called diablo resurrected], but as i checked some videos on it, none of the gameplay was changed. i mean, theres so many skills which are silly useless, and a few overpowered ones, which everyone uses.
and when you use a poisoning or chill build, then every monster STILL turns to a simple green or blue shade. i mean.. its just dumb. when they spent that long on the remake? =(
i mean, to get back at the linked article: its the equilant of, if, when you went on spotify, all you could play were a top 100 list, and that was IT?
and diablo immortal, it really.. didnt look much different. i mean, the original game werent hand-drawn sprites, but rather 3d-renders. a stupid idea. and then you have things like this:
theres memes about it even. basically, as theyre talking about the remaster, one of the chief designers, goes up on stage, saying "this will only be for smartphones", and the crowd goes nuts. and hes like "O_O dont you.. have.. PHONES?!?!?!?".
i mean, the whole point of oldskool gaming was using your entire keyboard for hot-keys, and the fast reflexes needed. though, i did highly enjoy runescapes click-and-it-does-lots-of-things.
i tried a pc game today, a modern indie-developed platformer. well, it was the dumbest thing ever. it did have a nice ambient soundtrack. except that though, there werent any enemies. sooooo incredibly bare plain graphics. no extra-lives to worry about. save-states every 15 second. you could walk, and you could jump, and that was about it. no one to talk to. nothing to interact with. your only mission was to collect a bunch of things, which.. didnt change anything. except, when you had all of them, you won the game. ugh..
still, except runescape, theres really no other game that i could pay. when trying that platformer, after holding either the left or right arrowkeys for awhile, and quickly pressing the jump button over and over, my arms started to ache.
sigh.. growing up, is.. painful. =(
still, to this day, the pinacle game of 1996, and all time - quake, is the most innovative and enjoyable game ever, in many many categories.
first off, the whole game content was like 50 megabytes, and the music - which was in the form of true cd sound, was around an hour. not just that, it was made by a high profile artist, a really talented one, at that.
then, the levels were designed so, that you could see other parts of it easily. and sort of like super mario worlds multi-dimensionality - with the invention of rocket-jumping, you could traverse the levels in completely different ways.
thus we had this thing called "speed-runs", which im not sure existed before quake. as you could record - just in-game data, while playing. then the community made proper video-editing-like software, so you could chop together multiple recorded segments for a movie-like experience - or as storylines for mods.
yep, mods, that was a huge thing. although the game was written in its own coding-language, something like that? now, not being a software engineer, i never delved into this aspect. but there were so many mods! and tons of sites popped up - with skins - and new player models, too. another innovation.
and gaming art! that dude who started working for ion storm afterwards. he made a skin, called "dire protofiend" - painted in a completely new, highly detailed style. unfortunately, like a decade passed without ion storm outputting a single game. their flagship - duke nukem.. what was it called? some part of that series.. when it was finally released, turned out to be a buggy mess.
and then there was dhabih eng, who also did fan-art in that style. although, highly trippy, to the likes of giger or dali. he got employed by valve - where, also, his talents werent really taken care of.
and dhabihs forum! a mecca for digital painters. well, never really checked it out much, as i cant even draw a stick figure realistically.
yesss! not to forget. im sure the game sold well, it was even released as shareware on the internet / BBSs at first (or as bargain-priced at game stores), with 1/4 of the game - and the whole soundtrack, intact.
and, yes. id softwares chief programmer, carmack, being ahead of his time, released the sourcecode as free / open source, eventually.
and the soundtrack, has since some years back, been officially released - even on vinyl!
and. yep. there were tons of quake affiliated sites that popped up - modding sites, 3d modelling tutorial sites (paul steed, youre not forgotten!), fan-art sites, community sites which collected all of it - and forums. even mynx adult-themed column on.. quakeworld? who later, in quake 3, even got an official skin dedicated to her.
yep. another part. the servers. only served by the people, and the people alone. although you could customize the gameplay somewhat, nearly no admins did that.
and the graphics processor requirement - sure spurred a whole lot of high-end computer sales. i think my gaming rig at the time, costed on the likes of 12000 bucks - like a modern smartphone.
and i remember reading gaming magazines, where people told stories like "sorry this issue is late. you see.. we have been LAN:ing too much quake". and i bet this phenomen was worldwide. i mean, come on, even the european unions monetary sign, looks just like a slanted quake II symbol - €.
sooo. not like i have any influence or anything (you do, more than you can imagine. "every thought is a prayer").
but just on the long-lived (r)evolutionary success of quake alone, making a "forever" game, for a set fee - NOT subscription-based, and involving / making a huge community, in every sense of the word - is the real way to go, for any game developer.
also to note, that just some year later, its sequel arrived, which got basically even better mods for it. and UNREAL - the "quake killer" also saw the light of day. using module-based music, with adventure vis-avis combat-versions of each song, and just about every level had its own soundtrack - which in total was on the likes of 3 hours! it also had many other innovations, and a real original and very beautiful art style. still, the online portion, just like half-life (and its mod counter-strike, allow me to vomit >=\) was a complete and utter joke.
yet another part, was the networking code. completely impeccable, still in comparison to modern games. i remember using a modem to play both quake 1 and 2 online in the early days, and usually logged onto on american servers. with pings of 250-500 millisecond, it was still highly playable.
the most fun playing online, was on ordinary single-player levels, both in part I and II. youd explore a vast world, and needed real fast reflexes - similar to that particlar IRL experience known as "fishing", to get the most frags.
the deathmatch levels which followed, on the other hand, densively designed, werent much fun. and then, we got action quake II, where you could slay someone with a single bullet. and with the aformentioned terrible counterstrike, the intent on making 3d games "realistic", completely obliterated the genre.
same goes for just about any games soundtrack, prior and former to quake. on the whole, either it was blippy and bloppy, or symphonic - not really my cup of tea. then, instead of enjoying flacs or redbook audio in games, companies insisted on compressing the hell out of the songs with lossy codecs.
and now, at present. where are we at? well, i did not play games between 2005 and 2020, but ive checked up on the scene, some details, once in awhile.
just to take runescape as an example - the devs and admins, basically dont work on improving the gameplay at all. some new skins, "cosmetics" and sickly over-powered items, are often added, which you have to pay for - sometimes on the likes of 100s or even 1000s of dollars, in a lottery / gambling like mini-game.
and no-one barely plays the game, or even levels up, or does hard work, anymore. in the normal, none-ironman/hardcore mode, every day, when you log in - youre treated to one spin on the wheel of fortune.
it often gives you items worth millions of goldcoins (which, at low levels, even high levels, for many skills, can take a week / many dozen hours of gameplay to acquire) or auto-xp giving "lamps".
also, for the most part, with intentionally left bugs in the game, the majority of players are high-level - even billionaries - after as little as a month of casual play. as longtimers can somehow "tell" that youre new - they invite to their clan, where youre given millions, lots of expensive items, and help to gain xp easily.
as i read on slashdot recently, FOSS (free / opensource software) has basically killed itself. yes, there are some projects which are used often - in a sort of malicious way. the ogg codec is spotifys cup of tea, so they dont have to pay license fees to fraunhofer, who invented and researched on the psychoacustic-based mp3/mp4 compression techniques. and there are some FOSS projects, which are used by multi-billion corporations, and on million of sites out there - without paying a single cent to the hard-working geeks.
still, as news came out this year, of a crack in a part of software which basically every linux computer and server uses, a bug which was decades old - it shows that, really, people dont get into doing free work, to improve the world - to indulge in high quality engineering. its the same ol.
wondering what im talking about? for once, if you download a normal start-page of facebook in your browser (reddit is even worse), you might realize why it takes so long to load, even on a moderately fast, free connections (im talking 1-2 megabytes, aka 8-16 megabits - per second). yep, lines and lines of utterly useless coding - actually on the lines of a whole ten megabytes!
and dont get me started on reading comments. i mean, its text - a few bits of information - should even load in a second on DARPANET in the 80s! testing to load 100 comments, the exceedingly bloated code outputted 20 megabytes of data.
bring FOSS back, bring games as innovative as quake back, bring the true creative community back, bring single fees for games back, bring effort in games back. if anything, make generation Z (Z for "snore", they sleep their way through life) or the hipster plague of wannabe-geeks never happen.
we dont need everything handed to us. we dont need entire games to be so easy and straightforward, that it takes 5 minutes to learn all mechanics.
we dont need to spend almost an entire monthly salary / 1000 hours of in-game-camping, on getting a single stupid item in a MMORPG. and as most people like playing multiple games, remove subscription-based services, as this ties people down, to the point that they become incurable addicts to the formula of gaining ever-increasing XP and GP (experience / leveling, and in-game currency) .
it was a good time - when top-of-the-line engineering, graphics and sound were so bad, that they had no hopes of emulating reality. so, gaming developers had to use effective coding, and the artists had to push the hardware to its limits. bring back 2D platformers! no, the early installations of the mario series werent the best. the star wars games on SNES, with lots of skills and items to use - was the pinacle of gaming. and, yes, bring 2D pre-playstation birds-eye-view role-playing games back.
bring the wonderful world-builing games like transport tycoon, with peculiar soundtracks, back. bring the OG people of gaming back. bring joy back into gaming. bring imagination back into gaming, both for the developers, artists, players, and the community. bring innovative games back, coming up with intirely new styles of playing, in just a simple, finally realized idea. bring 2D games back, as their first-person-viewed three-dimensional equilants - and ultimately.. quake - killed the gaming star. it basically made the creation the games of this day-and-age, depend on an ever-increasing need for larger and larger development teams. bring gaming back to the days, when an entire company, consisted only of some dozen people, and it was more than enough. bring low resolution, pixel-per-pixel painted characters and scenery back. bring back 8-bit limited colour palettes. bring 16-bit consoles back, when the CPUs speed were measured in megahertz, not gigahertz. bring back, when the average output of an artist was measured in megabytes per year, not petabytes. bring back 56k modems, that used your phone line. bring back your besties little sister answering your modems blip-blop-blaps when youre trying to play a one-on-one in quake.
forget IRL carbon-copies of boring history-lesson-like scenarios, enacted in every dimension with picture-perfect 8K detail, except for the soul in the eyes / believable dialogue. forget smart technology. forget point-releases, patches and bugfixes. forget IoT. forget desensitization because of the increasing violence in games. forget the metaverse. forget darknet. forgot the sims, take girls out of gaming - make computers require engineering knowledge to even start a game, and custom hardware - for something as straightfoward as a mouse or CD burner. forget tamagotchi and pokemon GO. forget youtube. forget every teeny-booper turning into a pornstar. forget TIT PICS. forget DICK PICKS. forget myfans. forget smart blur. forget ever getting into a long-term relationship. forget social media. forget wikipedia. forget gmail. forget artifical intelligence and deep data. forget google. forget amazon.
bring back the internet of the 90s, without the prohibition on mp3s. bring back module music and chip-tunes. bring back raves. bring back LAN-parties. bring back the original dreamhack. bring back proper interest-based home-made websites and forums. bring back the artist formely known as PRINCE. bring back proper, real, beautiful, efficient, pure html-based webdesign. bring back ASL. bring back cybering. bring back bulky fatscreens. bring back a max screen resolution below 1 megapixel. bring back a time when goatse was more scarring than the average xvid. bring back 50 gram weighing dumbphones of the early nullties, when the epic of mobile gaming was SNAKE. bring back TETRIS. bring back games in luxurious yellow/brown 2-bit monochrome barely visible display on a summers day with GAMEBOY. bring back completely finished and playable games on their non-delayed release date. bring back version 1.0 as the FINAL version. bring back 10 hour download time for a glitchy 30 seconds of a 1/4 megapixel porn video, which had a pre-disposition to time out at least 60 times, and ½ of its length merely contained the title. bring back per-minute prices for pirating ONE MP3, which made the phone bill every time increase by the cost of 10 CDs. bring back horribly compressed 256-colour music videos on CDs. bring back puzzle games with pre-rendered 3D graphics that took 2 dozen CDs to store. bring back USENET. bring back EEEpc. bring back ultraHLE. bring back the ½ terabyte HHDs we had a decade ago, on cheap laptops. bring back noisy hard-disk drives. bring back dusty ventilation systems. bring back DEBUGGING. bring back computers without a built-in soundcard. bring back PC SPEAKER and pinball fantasies / monkey island. bring back JUNGLE. bring back SPEEDCORE. bring back the PRODIGY. bring back FAITHLESS. bring back LAURYN HILL. bring back MUSIC FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF HIPHOP.
bring back red hot chili peppers CHIPTUNE-flavoured bass-lines. bring back troll sites which made unsuspecting victims printers output nudies, in the OFFICE. bring back 10 popups on every site. bring back trojans / spyware that were on your computer and not on BIG TECHs server-farms. bring back anti-virus software which made your PENTIUM act like a VIC-20. bring back 9/11 CONSPIRACY THEORIES. bring back STILE PROJECT. bring back FIVE MINTUES for your operating system to BOOT. bring back 640K. bring back easily cracked passwords, both for individuals and THOUSAND DOLLAR software. bring back .COM viruses on floppy-pirated games. bring back FLOPPYS. bring back 5½. bring back LASERDISC. bring back PUNCHCARDS. bring back STEAMPUNK. bring back the ELECTRIC REVOLUTION. bring back ATLANTIS. bring back RAZOR1911. bring back NAPSTER. bring back KEVIN MITNICK. bring back MAINFRAMES. bring back BSOD. bring back NETSCAPE. bring back ALTAVISTA.DIGITAL.COM. bring back WINDOWS 3.1. bring back MS DOS. bring back OS/2 WARP. bring back ZERO market-share for APPLE. bring back anti-trust VS microsoft. bring back the NEW AGE movement and its corny meditation soundtracks. bring back SALAD BARS. bring back when the only JUNKFOOD were SAUSAGES in a couple of forms, and with a few condiments to choose from, brought to you by a man with the entire restaurant on his STOMACHE. bring back EUROTECHNO. bring back SHAREWARE. bring back the meticulous practice of PIRATING an entire series on VHS tapes in a SHOPPING CART. bring back, PAPER-CATALOGUE mail-in order, of quirky POST-MODERNIST multi-media CDs. bring back the internet BUBBLE. bring back the MILENNIUM BUG. bring back TIMOTHY LEARY. bring back PHOTOSHOP 4.0. bring back - life, light, originality, beauty, insight, FREEDOM, and true democrats / socialists / hippies / leftists / christians / Q.U.E.E.R.S. - onto the internet.
bring life back to gaming.
bring life back to the tech industry.
released June 7, 2022