Questions tagged [gaming]

For questions about retro games, both software and hardware-based.

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2
votes
0answers
92 views

Who did what exactly for the original Shadowgate (1987) Macintosh video game?

I primarily know Shadowgate from the wonderful NES port, which was ported by some Japanese company and whose Japanese musician composed the beautiful, iconic music which I frankly thought was there ...
44
votes
2answers
5k views

Why are paddles called paddles?

A paddle is a sort of input device, common on early video game consoles and home computers, consisting of a handheld wheel with one or more fire buttons. Unlike dial boxes, which spin freely, paddles ...
0
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1answer
118 views

Any Public Videos of Anyone Playing Jupiter Mission 1999?

When I was growing up, I played a game for the Atari 800 entitled "Jupiter Mission 1999", which has as a premise that you wake up in the middle of the night with astronauts at your door and ...
63
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5answers
9k views

Back in 1984 I wrote some games for Spectrum - Will they still be playable?

Back in 1984, I was commissioned to write some games for ZX-Spectrum. They were sold together. To my amazement I found that someone is selling a copy online. I thought of buying it but it is in the ...
2
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0answers
116 views

Is there any statistical data about the modern vintage games marketshare by system?

I know that every year there are still at least a couple of new games for old systems like VIC-20, C64, Amiga, different ZX Spectrum and Amstrad variants, DOS, different games consoles, and so on, ...
2
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1answer
230 views

How does the “backwards bump method” of SMB work?

In Super Mario Bros, the screen automatically starts scrolling once you are past X position 112. However, a strategy employed by many speedrunners of the game during level 4-2 is the "backwards bump ...
34
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5answers
10k views

Why did early game consoles need the TV to be tuned to channel 3 or 4?

It just dawned on me that, when I was young, game consoles like the NES and SNES, and possibly other devices like VCR's, required the TV to be tuned to channel 4. I asked around, and some remembered ...
5
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2answers
424 views

Two graphics cards for retro gaming

I'm considering installing two graphics cards in my retro gaming setup (one AGP and one PCI) and was wondering if there are any drawbacks to doing so? The main things I'm thinking about are power ...
22
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4answers
4k views

Why was NEC able to wrestle PC graphics standards away from IBM?

The dominant standards for PC graphics in the 1980s were the ones introduced by IBM. This included MDA and CGA with the original IBM PC, followed by EGA shortly after the PC/AT, and then VGA with the ...
8
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4answers
619 views

How do you play “The Sentinel”?

Many, many years ago, we had a game for the Commodore 64 called "The Sentinel". I remember reading the instructions and being utterly baffled as to how you actually play the damned thing! Hopefully ...
6
votes
2answers
452 views

Did loadable levels for ZX-Spectrum games contain only graphics / game data, or executable code as well?

There was a number of ZX-Spectrum games that had loadable levels - e.g. R-Type, Gauntlet, Short Circuit (48k). I wonder if those loadable levels only contained graphics / music / game data for the ...
2
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1answer
141 views

Looking for a Ninja PC Game where hero arrives in hang glider

I'm looking for a game I played in the early 90's on a Tandy computer. Here are the facts I remember by decreasing order of certainty : The beginning of the game is the hero arriving in an hang ...
7
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2answers
406 views

What was the world's first computer role-playing game?

Role-playing games are distributed in various digital & non-digital formats AFAIK. What was the world's first computer RPG? It was written from scratch or was an adaption of a pen-and-paper RPG?
13
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1answer
1k views

Why are the out-of-bounds areas of Doom distorted on MS-DOS?

Why do the OOB (out-of-bounds) areas of Doom look so unusual? As seen in the image above, the Doom engine not only incorrectly renders the scene, but also renders slices of other scenes that aren't ...
3
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0answers
119 views

When was the “Director” role added to Game Development? [closed]

Obviously, crediting a "Director" was borrowed from the cinema industry. It was a new trend in computer game development in the late 1980s and early 1990s to embrace the story-telling aspect of a ...
5
votes
1answer
214 views

Were Artworx and Dynacomp the same?

Back in the day my copies of Creative Computing always had a two-page add from Dynacomp somewhere in it, like this one. Tracking down some of the programs, it appears they are also almost all also ...
7
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2answers
948 views

Were any DOS games (or software) known to use VBE/AF?

Were there any MS-DOS games or graphics software that were known to take advantage of VESA BIOS Extensions/Accelerator Functions (VBE/AF)? some of the functions defined in the standard are ... Bit ...
54
votes
6answers
15k views

Why do old games use flashing as means of showing damage?

When you play old games, especially platformers, a common "special effect" is rapid blinking of your character when they are hit. Also, enemies often blinked before dying. Not all games did this, but ...
3
votes
2answers
458 views

How can I extract game data from Nitemare 3D files?

I am trying to reverse engineer an old Wolf3D style Dos game named "Nitemare 3D". I can get a raycasting engine with directional sprites running pretty easily using SDL2, but I have no experience with ...
44
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3answers
6k views

How did C64 games handle music during gameplay?

On the C64 there was no threading, so how did games handle treating at the same time music and game code? Music requires exact timings, and the SID had to be instructed to change the note at the right ...
46
votes
8answers
10k views

Why weren't bootable game disks ever common on the IBM PC?

While for other platforms of that era (primarily, Amiga), putting a game on a bootable disk was quite a normal practice, this approach never taken off on IBM PC. Why not? I do remember people having ...
10
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2answers
4k views

How did Satoru Iwata compress Pokemon GS to fit two regions on a single cartridge?

Satoru Iwata's story of saving the development of Pokemon Gold & Silver by compressing its assets to fit on the GameBoy Color cartridge is something of a legend. Iwata optimised the game so much ...
3
votes
1answer
408 views

Extracting files from a Windows 3.1 (16bit) install/archive (game)

I'm interested in doing some practice work around legacy systems out of pure recreation. I want to extract data or information related to a DOS game running on the 16bit arch of Windows 3.1 (1991 ...
4
votes
1answer
265 views

PlayStation 2 Slim with analog A/V output having noise interference issues

I'm having an odd issue with the aforementioned system, the A/V receiver is a RCA STAV-4180 unit, and being from 1996, it's still a great unit. So far, while it's tape output for recording does have ...
55
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6answers
12k views

How did old MS-DOS games utilize various graphic cards?

Nowadays each graphic card has some driver in operating system that translates some (typically) standard API such as OpenGL, so that programmers use some standardized API code to tell graphics cards ...
4
votes
2answers
579 views

When did various PONG systems overflow/crash due to points?

Edit: Given the many different versions of the game Pong, which version allowed you to accumulate the highest score before the game would crash, reset, or otherwise not just give you one more point? ...
9
votes
1answer
659 views

Why wasn't the Z6 version of the Infocom Z-machine ported to the IIgs?

Infocom ported their Z-machine to nearly every viable platform in the 70s and 80s. Zork runs on around 18 different 8/16 bit platforms using earlier versions of the Z-machine. Why was Z6 the graphical ...
8
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2answers
731 views

Were there actually any games for the IMSAI 8080 computer, used in the movie WarGames?

David, the main character of the 1983 movie WarGames, uses an IMSAI 8080 computer. The plot of the movie is driven by David's desire to find games to play on his computer. He war-dials phone numbers ...
5
votes
1answer
403 views

Identify Windows DirectX game about building a manufacturing business

I'm trying to find the name of a game that I played in the mid-to-late 1990's. Here's what I remember about it: What I played was a demo version, that came on a CD along a bunch of other demos. They ...
32
votes
2answers
6k views

How did Elite on the NES work?

Elite was one of the earliest 3D games, wireframe only of course but still a remarkable accomplishment on 8-bit computers. Originating on the BBC micro, it was ported to many home computers, as well ...
25
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6answers
6k views

Why weren't discrete x86 CPUs ever used in game hardware?

Please don't point out APUs with x86_64 cores used in current generation game consoles, these are not part of the question I cannot recall a single arcade system or game console that ever used x86 ...
3
votes
1answer
308 views

How much RAM did the first version of Oregon Trail on the Apple II require?

The later iterations of the series could have hundreds of kilobytes of RAM, but the original Apple II had 4K in the minimum configuration and 48K maximum (the latter using 16kbit chips which were ...
3
votes
0answers
312 views

Who developed the Super FX co-processor?

The Super FX co-processor was, according to Wikipedia and every other source I can find, a custom designed RISC chip made by Argonaut Games. Argonaut was a small British company and back in the late ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Which communication protocol is used in AdLib sound card?

By "AdLib sound card" I mean AdLib Music Synthesizer Card released in 1987. Wikipedia says that AdLib uses frequency modulation synthesis to produce sound, but does it use MIDI communication protocol ...
3
votes
2answers
919 views

EGA style 16 color dithering

I am trying to write a program in C# that will re-create the type of dithering used in many of the old sierra and Lucas arts games. I have looked up many different dithering algorithms and none seem ...
8
votes
2answers
623 views

Did any Apple II games use a “timing resistor”?

A science-lab program for the Apple II (I forget the name) had a board that plugged into the joystick port and included a "timing resistor". While I don't know what the program actually did with the ...
11
votes
3answers
731 views

Why have “room of dead” in Ultima VII?

http://wiki.ultimacodex.com/wiki/Quirks_of_the_Ultima_VII_Engine vaguely talks about this room being "necessary" to place seemingly "dead" NPCs and it was result of some challenge that programmers had ...
62
votes
8answers
20k views

How was copying prevented when the first CD-ROM games were introduced?

Several ways exist to protect against the copying of games but, when CD-ROM games were first introduced, were there any measures taken by video game developers to prevent the copying of games?
50
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17answers
12k views

Simplest system to create an emulator for

Next year I'm going to teach a 2-semester microprocessors class to third-year undergraduate EE students. In order to sign up for the class, students need to have completed programming and digital ...
2
votes
1answer
310 views

Seeking source code for Balls (Atari ST/STOS game)

I'm seeking the source code for an old Atari ST game STFBalls1 a.k.a STBalls a.k.a. Balls which was released as shareware back in the early '90s. According to the author, anyone making a shareware ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Name of Atari ST 3D game?

I've been trying to track down a 3D game from the late '80s/early '90s. It was on the Atari ST and featured simple polygonal (space)ships1 floating over flattish polygonal ground with the occasional ...
17
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5answers
2k views

Was 1991's Hellcats the first instance of incremental screen updates?

In case you have never seen it, 1991's Hellcats was a seminal release on the Mac. It ran at full 8-bit color and could, on a newish machine, drive three 1024x768 screens at the same time. Nothing on ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Was cost the only reason why demo cartridge games weren't produced?

I was reading on this page about the Final Fantasy demo cartridge, and I wondered why more cartridge games didn't have demos. From this wiki page: The availability of demos varies between formats....
6
votes
2answers
991 views

Was there any indication that video game companies tried to circumvent Game Shark?

Have video game developers blocked the ability of GameShark to find unused content in games (that they either didn't have time to remove unused, or plan to use in an updated version or sequel) I ...
12
votes
1answer
797 views

When was Breakout developed by Steve Wozniak?

The classic game Breakout was developed in 1975-76; famously, the first version of the circuit board was designed by Wozniak over the course of four nights, though Atari subsequently redesigned it for ...
3
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1answer
762 views

How did PC boot games handle saving?

I was reading on this RCSE page about old PC games that you had to boot into to play. Obviously the machine that the game would run on would at least have enough RAM and necessary graphics ...
10
votes
1answer
755 views

“Your program is testing for optimal display performance” for older Windows/DOS games

I remember seeing the following a lot when I was younger, and recently saw it again in a DOSbox setting: For those that haven't seen it, the squiggly red lines shift and undulate quite a bit, and ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the (usually lower quality) “software rendering” mode visible in so many “second-generation” FPS games?

During a conversation, a friend of mine sent me this picture: It's the first Thief (I guess), with so-called software rendering. I already experienced this effect in Quake 1-2 and to an extent, in ...
18
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2answers
5k views

First commercial DOS game?

What was the first commercial game sold for use on IBM/MS/PC DOS after the IBM August 12, 1981 release.
6
votes
1answer
216 views

Is there a way to get code off an old Sharp Wizard?

I have one of these lying around somewhere... There was a really cool game on it called Dungeon which I'd love to get the code for. Is that possible? What would be the steps to try? I do have the ...