Author Topic: Abandonware  (Read 5896 times)

Xev

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Abandonware
« on: January 27, 2013, 06:56:03 PM »
Still haven't found anything to play regularly since the COH servers went down. My main obstacle is that the only fast Internet that has reached me so far has a 5gb/month bandwidth limit - too little for most game clients out there. The game clients I do have on my PC already either need more than 5gb of updating or are of games I'm just not interested in anymore (Guild Wars from NCLimp, for example..) even without anything else to go to.

Now, I'd much rather find a new game to play online with other people but meanwhile an interesting diversion has popped up and I thought I'd share it with folks out there who aren't yet aware and might be interested.

A ton of those old DOS games some of us used to play are out there and ready to be downloaded for free and they'll even work on your new PC with a free & easy program out there called DOSBox. Games like Sid Meier's Pirates!, Civilization, Sim City. Command HQ (woot!), Wasteland, Escape From Hell, Populous, Lemmings, Eye of the Beholder, Might and Magic, Castles, Wing Commander, Sword of the Samurai, etc etc. Just do a Google on 'Abandonware' to find some sites to download from.

I used to work in a software store from the late 80's to mid 90's, selling games mostly, so even just seeing pictures of a lot of the old box covers & screenies was pretty entertaining for me. So far, the games I've tried play surprisingly well with DOSBox. Especially when you consider that back in the day you were considered a guru to even get some games to run on the generation of pc's they were built for.

For anyone out there losing the faith for a COH resurrection I'd just have to point at things like this and the net's first graphical mmorpg, Neverwinter Nights, that was shut down years ago but came back and is still going today after 25 or so years. Where there are good games that people love, there is always hope.. Just wish someone would turn the lights on again for COH already because I'm ready to play.
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houtex

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 07:56:36 PM »
Hm... The original Wing Commander on a decent machine... (I had a 286... the cutscenes for running to the ships took 10 minutes alone, seemed.. )

I haven't played that in years, and *never* all the way through...

Yep, abandonware... although, one should note, much like CoH, just because it's not being sold, doesn't mean it's free and clear of being sold... that is, pirating may be the word used by the people who own the software.

/But hey, what do they care right?  Right.

Little Green Frog

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 08:29:13 PM »
Plenty of those games are also available via http://www.gog.com/, which bundles them with preconfigured custom DOSBox launcher for easy installation and play. It's sort of Steam for older/indie titles.

dwturducken

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 03:19:38 AM »
I keep a machine operating with Windows 98 installed for just this era of software. This weekend, it was the original XCom. I have a CD-ROM that is a collector's edition of the first three games. I also have most of the SSI Gold Box games, CivII, and the first two Master of Orion games. I don't know how I've managed to hang onto all of those and more, but it drives my wife crazy that I can't throw anything away. :)
I wouldn't use the word "replace," but there's no word for "take over for you and make everything better almost immediately," so we just say "replace."

Xev

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 04:49:12 AM »
I didn't realize abandonware wasn't freeware so I'm glad that was said because that's what I thought and was implying, so thanks for straightening that out.

It's pretty close to freeware though, huh? I'm just really glad that there is a community out there keeping so many of these museum pieces alive. I've moved a lot over the years and had given up long ago on ever seeing so many of these games and manuals (!) again. More power to them but I'm kinda curious how GOG can sell the games. I mean, the games aren't theirs to sell and I'm guessing that none of their proceeds go anywhere except their own pockets.

Wing Commander series, X-Com series, Gold Box series, Civ's and about anything Sid Meier did, MOO 1 & 2, all top notch stuff in their time. Played and pushed all those favorites. Back then about all I did was go to work and talk about games (and other geekness) and then take them home after to play. When NeverWinter Nights came online and AOL finally allowed IBM clone users to join I was easily spending 500 bucks monthly (back then, on retail mall pay..) in hourly online fees. Totally addicted to my lil stick characters and being able to play with them with people from all over.
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Captain Electric

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 09:59:56 AM »
I mean, the games aren't theirs to sell and I'm guessing that none of their proceeds go anywhere except their own pockets.

A portion of GOG.com's proceeds are used for various licensing fees. This is a win-win for them and for big publishers. The company that effectively owns Master of Orion 2 these days hasn't spent a dime to support the Master of Orion franchise, for instance, so sales via GOG.com basically represents free money for those dudes. For us, the users, however, things are even sweeter. We don't pay ANY licensing fee to GOG.com or anyone else, and there are no DRM schemes. We only pay a purchasing fee. From GOG.com, "It basically means that you actually own the games bought at GOG.com. Once you download a game, you can install it on any computer and re-download it whenever you want, as many times as you need."

DRM or Digital Rights Management is a kind of copy protection technology used by many companies to limit the usage of digital media. Although designed to stop pirates from creating illegal copies, in reality the only people who are hurt are the legitimate consumers, stripped of their fair use rights, such as the ability to make backup copies.

GOG.com believes "that a DRM-free world would be a better place and that's why you won't find any DRMs or other intrusive copy protection in games available at GOG.com."

Master of Orion 2 was given to me as a kid, so I never bought it, even though I have enjoyed it off and on for years, along with the community who still plays it online. So when GOG.com came along, I was finally able to give some coin for the game.

Xev

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 02:53:43 AM »
I couldn't find anything on GOG's website that said they were sharing their dough with anyone that is still around from the old days. Good on them that they do. Even if they didn't I think it's a great service they have going.

I'm presently trying to remember how to roll up a good party to trudge through a Gold Box series with the help of manuals and some handy docs that came with. Just reliving err.. reading the manuals has been highly entertaining so far. Haven't played any of this stuff since it was new except MOO and Age of Empires and haven't played those since years.

Glad to hear XCom's held up ok. Will prolly try that next. Can remember when that came out it was a real hard sell for some reason and I always thought it was one of the top games.

If you guys haven't tried Command HQ yet, may want to give it a go. It's held up pretty decent as a nice little diversion. It's a customizable rts with adjustable game speed/opponent difficulty with great multiplay and fun solo too. The sound is contrastingly bad even for its time..
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dwturducken

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 06:29:56 PM »
I think the memories of the original XCom depend on how you were first exposed to it. I had it on my old Playstation, which had a cumbersome interface and took forever to reload when you restarted from a save point, which I did frequently.  All of that went away on PC, but it very quickly became hard to control as processor speeds ramped up. The simplest solution I've found is to just be sure I have an old computer in the sub-333MHz range.
I wouldn't use the word "replace," but there's no word for "take over for you and make everything better almost immediately," so we just say "replace."

Aggelakis

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 02:45:34 AM »
I think the memories of the original XCom depend on how you were first exposed to it. I had it on my old Playstation, which had a cumbersome interface and took forever to reload when you restarted from a save point, which I did frequently.  All of that went away on PC, but it very quickly became hard to control as processor speeds ramped up. The simplest solution I've found is to just be sure I have an old computer in the sub-333MHz range.
Or buy the Steam update. Works wonderfully on a new computer.
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dwturducken

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 06:23:13 PM »
Or buy the Steam update. Works wonderfully on a new computer.

Now, where's the fun in that? :)

Besides, I'm only doing it with games I actually own, although I did have to torrent a new copy of CivII due to a solvent of some sort etching a hole in the label on my original. (I have a kind of complicated ethics structure regarding torrenting, but, basically, I'm OK with it if it's something I've already paid for but can no longer buy a replacement, for whatever reason.)
I wouldn't use the word "replace," but there's no word for "take over for you and make everything better almost immediately," so we just say "replace."

Xev

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2013, 03:29:36 AM »
I sold and supported so many copies of any ancientware that I've recently downloaded that I don't feel bad about getting it back on my hard drive for free. Had I known abandonware <> freeware I wouldn't have suggested anyone dl this stuff for free in the OP, tho.

Btw, when I was looking for Civ recently I found an interesting looking freeware version.

Also found something about a project for Wasteland 2. For like 5 grand you can have an npc named after you when it comes out! ha  : )

Hey, 1 more month and I should have enough bandwidth to finish downloading Champion's Online! /rollseyes.

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The Fifth Horseman

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2013, 11:51:44 AM »
It's pretty close to freeware though, huh?
Key difference: freeware is legal. Abandonware is technically piracy: the games are distributed without actual consent from the copyright owners, with an assumption of either silent consent or lack of anyone who could give it. Though any self-respecting AW site will stop distributing the game if it's sold or its' owners request it, that doesn't make it legal.
Quote
I'm just really glad that there is a community out there keeping so many of these museum pieces alive. I've moved a lot over the years and had given up long ago on ever seeing so many of these games and manuals (!) again.
More than one such community, in fact.

Welcome to the world unlike today's video games. Where forgotten - or sometimes never really remembered in the first place - games live on refusing to be buried. Where graphics don't mean squat and gameplay's where it's at.
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The end occurred pretty much as we predicted: all servers redlining until midnight... and then no servers to go around.

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dwturducken

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2013, 07:25:20 PM »
Btw, when I was looking for Civ recently I found an interesting looking freeware version.

Also found something about a project for Wasteland 2. For like 5 grand you can have an npc named after you when it comes out! ha  : )

There's actually a really good Android version of FreeCiv. I have it on my phone, but I only let myself pla it for a few minutes at a time.  I never played Wasteland, but I played The Bard's Tale, which had a similar play style. That was at a time when EA had some really cool games, like Racing Destruction Set, M.U.L.E.,  and Mail Order Monsters. Ah, good times... :)
I wouldn't use the word "replace," but there's no word for "take over for you and make everything better almost immediately," so we just say "replace."

Aggelakis

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2013, 07:44:10 PM »
I kickstartered up Wasteland 2. So excited, you have no idea. So excited!!!!! THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH EXCLAMATION POINTS TO EXPRESS MY EXCITEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Xev

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Re: Abandonware
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 04:01:13 PM »
Had to revisit and say that the Abandonware experience was/is pretty great. I think it might be hard to appreciate some of these games if you are only familiar with today's games.

XCom 1. I forgot how good this game is and have never played it all the way through, so, that was a real re-find. X-Com must have come out during one of those periods when there were a lot of good new games flooding the market. Working at a software store it was hard (but I trudged through, somehow... : ) to keep up sometimes to play all the games through far enough to get an idea of who I thought would like what game. Apparently I forgot to come back to this one. I do remember being turned off by the ground combat but I'm into it now.

Castles 2 is a good one to try if you haven't. Like XCom, it mixes things up and is fairly unique.

Command HQ gives fond modem gameplay memories... It still holds up pretty well as a single player game too even though there have been plenty of really good rts games come out since it did. It would make for a good modern sequel game imho due to it's uniqueness and immersion level.

I had a party made and was running them around in Wasteland some, too, but, there's only so many hours in the day.. Aggelakis' post makes me laugh every time I read it and I'm glad they're making a new version. I really want to get the newest XCom version someday too. I bet it's big fun.

Wow, how great is Champions Online, huh? Well, so far, at level 20ish anyway. It's no CoH and elements of it make me think I'm playing WoW sometimes but it's still awesomesauce. First two things an ex-CoHer must do are to turn off the Comic Book Outlines and turn on "Chase" as the Camera Type and things start to feel more familiar right away. Jumping turns off Autofollow, which still bugs me, and, holding down the jump hotkey doesn't repeat, which kinda bugs me too but whateveh.

I'll still insta go back to CoH when it comes back online but CO and XCom & friends have definitely made it into my newly refilled gamers toybox of joy.



Some Faves:

Jooc  ~L50 TW/Ele Brute> Senge  ~L50 Claws/Fire Brute> Leezard  ~L50 Claws/Regen Scrapper> Kosmoz  ~L50 Fire/MM Blaster>  Xev  ~L50 Ice/Emp Troller> |NW|~~ Erste ~L80 Warlock> Reks ~L80 Rogue> Phizzl ~L80 Wizard> Ayeron Gahls McBinty ~L80 Fighter>