Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Duke Nukem 3D free

Just an heads up to everyone who reads this. For a short period Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition is free at Good Old Games. If you have an account grab it, if not, time to create one, you also will get other games.

All here!

Keep a track on GoG website, sales are coming till 3 of January.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Some free games in the meanwhile

While I don't grab this up and start doing some proper stuff, why not you go here and grab a few free games:

The Free Indie Bundle

I am as I post this downloading the games to give them a try. All games are created by independent developers, and some of these create truly remarkable games with superior quality to many AAA games.

Don't be afraid, give it a go!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

GoG and Abandoware

The other day, I left a post about how to use DOSBox. But why use it when we don't have any of those old games? I can point you to some sites where it's possible to get games considered abandonware or freeware. 

Besides that allow me to introduce to some the wonderful site that is Good Old Games (GoG to friends). This site was created a few years ago, with the idea to create free DRM games based on older titles. The is the main particularity of this site. You can buy old titles, like Settlers 2, any Ultima game, any old Might and Magic game, or others, for a fraction of price, and with the advantage that this games come ready to play on your current system (all thanks to DOSBox for many games). They also sell recent indie games (some of which are really good, Legend of Grimrock for instance). For the time being they have nearly 500 games on the list, and I bet some of these games will make you smile. Also, when you create an account, you will be entitled to 10 free games like Beneath a Steel Sky or Ultima 4, so there is no loss of just go there and create an account. Besides that, every week they do some sales over some games, so it's not uncommon to see the game you really want, for half the price. This site been on my favorite list since almost I know it, and everyday I like it even more.

About Abandonware  Well personally I only follow a couple of them, but I can name one or two that should be OK to use. One is Abandonware Ring. It's an group of sites that are devoted on supporting and distributing Abandonware. You can find there a long list of available sites that host some abandonware games.
Another site, and this one I use it much longer the the above mentioned, is Home of the Underdogs. It hosts a kinda big list of abandoware games. You can find games there like Al-Qadim: Genie's Curse, Albion  or Alien Legacy, to name very few of the possibles games found there. These games, you will need to use DOSBox, and will have to configure it manually. Just read my previous post.
These Abandoware sites, are the best option you can get to get those old titles. Just be sure, you don't end up on some site that also boast warez. Abandoware Ring will point you to safe sites.

In another news, I'm currently playing on 2 games i got from GoG. Total Annihilation Kingdoms (medieval version of Total Annihilation) and Divine Divinity, a game that i always wanted to play and never got a chance. I will post something about these games soon.

Happy gaming!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

How to play those old games?

A common issue with most, if not all, more ancient games is the fact that they aren't compatible with our current systems. It's very normal to have a old game just wont refuse to run on Windows 7, because either it's an DOS game or there are other issues. 
Thankfully there is DOSBox. This tool been around for a few years now, and it's been quite handy to allow me to run all those old titles I have here at home. Basically what DOSBox does is emulate an DOS system, that allows most DOS based games run in your system. With this emulator, i can run titles like Elder Scrolls Arena (or Daggerfall), Theme Hospital or others.

I'm gonna post here some fast tutorials that will show users how to do a basic setup of DOSBox. For that I'll use two examples, a non cd version Elder Scrolls Arena (which everyone can pick here, since it's free) and a cd version of Dungeon Keeper (to see how easy it is to setup and install a game from a cd).

So first things first, go to DOSBox main website and download the latest version of it. Install should be straight forward, I don't recall doing something special to it.

So let's start with the Elder Scrolls Arena game. (Note that this applies to most non cd games.)
After you download it, have the file extracted to anywhere you would like it to go. Personally i have a specific directory where all my DOS games go to.
After that, start running DOSBox and you should end up with something like this:

This is the normal DOSBox screen. Reminds of the old DOS screen (good old DOS!).

First thing to do, is mount a directory or drive to be your new C: in DOSBox. You can define either a drive or a single directory, doesn't matter what. My usual command is mount c d:\, since this is the directory in D: where all my DOSBox games go to. After that just basically do C: and you will be placed on your new created drive. If you do dir you will see something like this:

All going good until here. Nothing complicated.

After this, it's just going inside the folder with cd arena and type arena and you are playing it!

I would say, this is a game that will eat lots of hours if you get into it.

If for any reason you wish to play it full screen, just press alt+return and it will go full screen. Do it again will throw you back at window mode. To exist, can either exit the game, and type exit at DOSBox window or just close the window at the top right.

Now, Dungeon Keeper, cd version. The process is all the same, with except one small difference. In this case, you will have to mount both your disk drive where you want to install the game, plus the drive where the cd is located. So if you follow the first part of the Arena installation, you should mount your C: drive and also the D: with the command mount d H:\ -t cdrom (note that in my machine my cd rom drive is H:). 

After this you will need to go to your now new cd drive D: and run the installation process of the game. After that, just go back to C: where you installed the game and run it.

Here it is, running!

Process is really simple and should be the same to all cd based games. Of course there will be some that will offer some issues like cd verification. Will cover that on another post.

Using DOSBox for this, isn't really complicated, and personally I haven't tried harder configurations. The only things I've tweaked about, is games that tend to run very fast, and there is ways to slow them down. Even Dungeon Keeper runs a bit fast. But will look at it on another post.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What's this all about then?

Well, first and foremost, my main hobby is video games, mostly PC. It's been ages since I first played my PC game (Alley Cat) back in an old Sinclair that i can't even recall it's specs. It used back then, if I'm not mistaken, MS-DOS 3.0 and had an external drive for 3.5 low density disks. No, i never had one Spectrum... Eventually i would grow from then on to a 386 and all the way until present. 
Man, looking back it's been such a long time... 

But why this and why now? Well first off, i have found memories of many of the classics I've played all these years. Outrun, Wing Commander, Civilization (the first one), Doom,  Castle Wolfenstein, Dune 2, etc etc. I could go on, these just spring to mind. Lately I've been roaming around my old games disk, and nostalgia just got to me. (Not the 3.5 disk games, those are gone unfortunately for me...). I've been member also of Good Old Games ( site for some time now, and every time i browse that site there are a ton of game i wish to play again. And many are not on that site. So basically my idea is just to create a blog where i share my experiences, once again, with all these games that for many are lost in time. And this idea been on me for some time now. Maybe it's time to put it to practice.

First off, I'm gonna try to get a list of games from each year since 1990 (wont be easy and probably i will miss many), and place it on the blog. Eventually i will try, not all of course, but some and point how to make them work on modern systems (Dosbox is a wonder for old games). Will also point for excellent deals that can be made on 
And also, and i was forgetting this, lately there has been an increasingly amount of games being developed by independent parties (called Indie companies) producing in many cases excellent quality games. I will try to post a few notes about any of those i try.

Overall i just want to create a blog that shows what has been made in video games history. I wont be the first doing this, and probably not the last, but as Barney would have said "challenge accepted"!