3. Gamebits (overview)

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2006

Bugs

Well that last post (Naiture: Artifical Planet Update Announced) was quite a drag wasn't it? When I pressed the icon that had been hiding on my desktop for years all the game did was creating the following logfile: Detected monitors = 1Loading settings...done.Creating f3DEnvironment...Saving settings...done.Goodbye! :) Although the specs on the website read that you need the latest drivers to run the simulation, several forums that I consulted recommended NOT to use a modern driver as the software is...

Dutch Localisation file 0.80

I played a few games in Dutch and the file has now been changed into version 0.80. Na een aantal spelletjes heb ik wat aanpassingen gedaan. Een aangepast taalbestand, versie 0.80 van 20 juli 2006, staat nu op de Penumbra site. If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Penumbra Overture Announced...

Gyroworld

A Spindizzy clone (see my previous post) in Flash can be found here: Gyroworld. It uses, however, other maps than the original... If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Much Ado...

Much Ado

Things haven't been moving a lot on this website and that is because some rather disturbing things have happened in my life lately. If you ask what it is I'll answer 'none of your business', my psych knows and that is enough. Ask me another question then, for instance 'what is the best computer game... ever' and I'll give you an answer in a split second without hesitation. I'll give you three answers even... On three: Tetris, the original (1985). The game is so well known that I don't need to elaborate on...

Naiture: Artifical Planet Update Announced

If you are the kindaguy who just likes to watch how things evolve slowly, rather than to click and shoot ten times a second, then Artificial Planet is the game for you. I am not even sure if it is a game so let us call it a simulation instead. To quote the creators: AI.Planet is a virtual world for artificial intelligence. The environment has water, land, suns, moons, and atmosphere. Plants, animals, fish, and insects can be added to create a dynamic ecosystem. Clouds, rain, wind, lightning, rivers, and...

Nomen Est Omen: Starship Titanic

Having read the Douglas Adams novel  that was actually written by Terry Jones, from Monty Python fame, I found that it was about time to titillate my visual sensor systems and to play the game that listens to the same title: Starship Titanic. I remember the game well, around the year 2000 it was lying in heaps in the sales bin of a local CD shop, that also happened to sell some software and videos of girls in various stadia of nakedness, and perhaps due to the fact that nobody knew what this shop...

Open Source Theme Hospital Clone Announced

Amongst the dozen best games of all times is Bullfrog's Theme Hospital. Although a bit old-fashioned in the graphics area it has a kind of absurd humor that is hard to find in most games nowadays. More info on the original game can be found here:Wikipedia's Theme Hospital entryand this is the Holy Grail for would-be playersIan's Theme Hospital Clinic I'm quite thrilled by the fact that a few developers have the intention to make a 21st century clone of the game: "Hospital Tycoon is intended to be...

Penumbra Dutch Localisation File

I know that somebody else is also busy with a Dutch translation but I couldn't wait any longer with my version...This still has to be fully tested by me so I don't upload it yet to the Penumbra server.Download can be found is here:Dutch. lang version 0.70Beware it is still in testing mode, so there might still be typos here and there (hence the version 0.70). If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Penumbra Overture Announced...

Penumbra Overture Announced

The makers of the Penumbra demo have the following exciting news: Today we would like to announce that a commercial version of Penumbra, called Penumbra - Overture, is in development.The game will feature the same story as the tech demo, but will go go alot more indepth on what has happened on the Greenland and with your late father. There will also be some new gameplay features, for example a new mouse driven melee system.Check out the www.frictionalgames.com mainpage for two new screenshots. If you...

Penumbra Overture Website

The gothic horror demo Penumbra was so excellent that the makers have decided to go commercial. Three episodes are planned, costing 19.99 Euro each. The hype can be followed at Penumbra Overture. If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Nomen Est Omen: Starship Titanic...

Penumbra Walkthrough

Penumbra is an excellent game, I made some notes while playing and turned these into a walkthrough that can be found here:Penumbra WalkthroughYou can mail me if anything is wrong, suggestions, typos, etc..., etc...Felix(atagong add lycos dot com) If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Dutch Localisation file 0.80...

Penumbra Walkthrough in PDF format

Planetphillip (Commentary and Analysis of Sci-Fi Single Player First Person Shooters) were so kind to add my Penumbra Walkthrough on their site. It comes in three different flavours:As a webpage: Penumbra Walkthrough HTMLAs a printer-friendly page: Penumbra Walkthrough Printer FriendlyAs a pdf file: Penumbra-Walkthrough.pdf Of course they also have a 'regular' Penumbra page and that can be found here: Penumbra If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Penumbra Overture...

Penumbra's Wikipedia Entry Back Online

I suppose that the title says it all but for those who didn't grasp it the first time: The Wikipedia entry for the Penumbra game has been put back online.Penumbra at Wikipedia.A link to the walkthrough has been added as well. If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Penumbra Overture Announced...

Seiklus

While I was looking around for the ELU simulation I came across this small gem that was gathering dust on my hard disk since 2004. It is called Seiklus and I remember it stole my heart when I started playing it a few years ago. What is it about, ???, a kind of gingerbread man is trying to get back to his darling because he has been hurled into the catacombs of the little big planet they are living on by a crash-landing meteor (quite a few meteors lately on this blog). To get back to his wifey he...

Seiklus (again)

Not a lot happening 'ere, oy, last week. Wot have I been doin' you might think. Well after I had written a small piece on Seiklus I could not resist the game anymore, so I played it once again. Twice in fact. In a row. First time I got pissed of because I only reached 99% of the game. Second time was slightly better. Seiklus is about the best - retro style - game I have encountered so far. And even more important, it is freeware. Totally freeware. It has been made with Mark Overmars's Game Maker that...

The Sandbox Of God

Does anybody remember Tetris? The original, I mean. It came in three flavours, if my memory is correct. Etetris in EGA, Ctetris in CGA and Vtetris that had a staggering 16 colours! After a few years I put Tetris for Windows on my computer, mainly because my original Tetris disk had become unplayable, but that version never gave me the same kicks as the DOS version. Speaking about my old computer, I still have got it somewhere. A 286 beauty with 150 megabyte, containing Windows 3.11, Microsoft Office,...

Walkthru Update

My walkthru / hintsfile has been updated a little bit.Not to spoil the fun I don't give the *exact* solutions in this file: you still have to read the notes / mails in the game to find the access codes you'll have to find the solution yourself to grab the gasoline / power chord / climb into the ceiling hatches, etc... Penumbra Walkthru If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Tentacle Day...

Wikipedia article has been deleted

Altough several fans of the game tried to save the Wikipedia article on Penumbra, the article has been deleted. Some reasons why (and why not) can be found here:Wikipedia: Articles for deletion / Penumbra (game) (broken link). If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Penumbra's Wikipedia Entry Back Online...

2007

Cym City

People who have ever bothered to read the introduction just above this post... Start nerdy bit.Only if you are reading thison the main page of this website andif it is the most recent entry of the blog.End nerdy bit. ...know that I have a very limited attention span. So after playing Age of Empires vigorously for a week or so, at night I was literally dreaming of little antlike men crawling over my desktop, I suddenly gave up from nanosecond n-1 to n. Just like that. I started the same mission a...

Donuts and doctors

I have been a fan of Theme Hospital for over a decade now and although the gameplay is a bit old fashioned, even to my standards, the game has never left my PC. It was only a matter of time, I hoped, before a fan-based clone, remake or upgrade would be made as the game still has some fervent admirers today. Other classic games have their 21st century versions for ages, one of the most famous is Transport Tycoon Deluxe that has two very active open source upgrades: Open TTD and TTDPatch. Both clone, copy...

Everything is green and submarine

I confess.I'm in a mess.I'm so deep down that all I can do is playing Submarine Titans for hours and hours.Submarine Titans is cool. It is not the best game in the world though.I'm even reading Douglas Coupland's Microserfs again. That is always good for a few laughs.Had an idea for a short story that I wanted to put on the Unfinished section of this blog.If only I could remember what it was about.It's misty in my brain.Time for a Tiger. If you liked this post - you might be interested in this...

Fish, nipples and donkeys

I quit playing Fishing Champ before the open beta was over. The reason why can be found on a forum thread, dedicated to the game, and written by Pompoko:"I would say this game is probably boring from the start. But fishing is always boring as it is. You cast - sit - wait - reel in - cast - sit - wait, wait, wait, and wait..." Now why is a fishing simulation boring and a golf simulation not? And believe me, playing a golf simulation isn't the world's most dynamic pastime either....

Fishy

Fishing Champ is a new MMO brought to us by Games Campus that is also responsible for the superb Shot Online golf simulation. As in my personal dictionary the words fishing and simulation seem to be somewhat contradictory I was of course very eager to try it out. But alas most of the time the website was only announcing that a beta version of the game was still in the make. Then on August the 16th came the news that an open beta of the game was downloadable. When I found out it was only 169 MB I didn't...

Freeware Poker

There is a lot of suffering in this world and that is perhaps why we play a lot or, better said, I play a lot of computer games. It is a matter of turning the wolf (homo homini lupus est) into a softer me, a homo ludens. Unless you prefer first person shooters of course (which I don’t). A few posts ago I wrote how I liked Samantha Fox's strip poker on the Amstrad CPC. But the poker simulation that I liked most was a DOS program called Alien Poker. I tried to Google it but apparently the...

GiveAway Of The Day

People that keep a close watch on this blog may have seen that, since a week or so, there have appeared two links at the right side of the screen, right under the Google search for this site. The first is called 'Giveaway of the Day', the second 'Game Giveaway of the Day'. The concept behind these websites is fairly simple (it must be, otherwise I wouldn't understand it). For one day, one day only, a commercial program can be downloaded and licensed for free. The software in question, so it goes, is a...

Heroes In The Sky (beta release)

I am not really into ultra-realistic simulation games. I love a nice simulation but it needs to combine good old arcade fun with decent realism. One of my colleagues at work was deeply into Microsoft Flight Simulator but this has never been my cup of tea. I mean what is the purpose of flying an airplane over the Atlantic Ocean if you can't shoot down some enemies? But perhaps I am still pissed off because I never managed to land a plane on the tarmac. One of the first games trying to combine fact and fun...

Money for nothing and your bits for free...

I'm a great believer of freeware (or beerware as some call it). Practically every utility can be found legally and for free on the web. It's a bit like generic medicine. Some freeware sites however are not that harmless at all or are only in it for... the money. George Dillon has put his 50 favourite freeware programs on one page and I'm pretty sure you will find one or two in the list that will make you say: hmmm... He writes that he wants to thank the authors of the programs he lists. By hyperlinking to...

No time.

I had these superb ideas for at least half a dozen of posts on this blog but local warfare prevented me from writing, more about that later. Then yesterday, when I had some time at hand, my LA-girl threatened with divorce if I didn't go to the hairdresser. So I took a bus to the hair stylist where a consultant recommended me what to do. In my days one went to the local barbershop where an elderly cantankerous guy would give you the choice of three different haircuts: short, shorter or bald. Nowadays you...

Some updates...

Audacitybeta 1.3.4 releasedstable release version 1.2.6. PokerTHbeta 0.6 released. With this new version of PokerTH, you no longer need to exchange IP addresses and configure routers to play on the internet. The makers are now running a dedicated server which will host PokerTH games. Thingamablogbeta 1.1 version 4 has been released fixing some bugs. If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Freeware Poker...

Theme Hospital Tycoon

Aeons ago I wrote an entry about Theme Hospital, a much-acclaimed game, dating from pre-Windows-98-days that still has a small group of dedicated followers today. I had a quick peek on their forum and the most recent post dates from about 5 days ago, meaning there are still some people around who want to cure the world from diseases such as: 3rd Degree Sideburns, Infectious Laughter, Kidney Beans or Unexpected Swelling. Unexpected Swelling has got nothing to do with Pregnancy. That female bodily...

2008

(insert title here)

Life is hard for a man who is relentlessly addicted to:Cycling Manager 4 (Molteni rules!),Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe (Felix Cars rules!) and, a newcomer that has been burning holes in my harddisk since a couple of weeks,UFO: Alien Invasion (Atagong’s Green Alien Slime Destruction Team rules!) Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon trying to figure out where a slimy alien was hiding before I found out that I had been the victim of the stuck person in a game syndrome. Game glitches are more or less...

Autumn Blues

Recently I have been in my cynical go-get’em-all mode and I want to apologise for that. I blame it on the season but it could of course also be that my bad character is beyond fixing. The following text (part 1 and 2) is about gameplay for adults. If your legislation forbids to read this under a certain age and if you are under that certain age you are advised to skip the first two entries of this post and to read only part 3, which is about The Sandbox of God. On the other hand, if your...

East Side Story

The last week I have been playing a point and click adventure game called East Side Story. It came as a free download at game giveaway of the day (GGAOTD) that should be better renamed to game giveaway of the weekend if you ask me. But nobody ever does so I'll just go on if you don't mind. I'll skip the flame war avalanche that this download created for the simple reason that it is old news now; if you are interested you can look up the insults & co right here. My download arrived in a jiffy –...

Illegal Aliens

I woke up this morning with a Karen Carpenter tune whistling through my head.Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?It is the distinct proof that my brain is slowly alzheiming away. Although it is of course a great song… but not very cool to admit that… I had promised to do a lot of blogthings, there is an article for the Church crying to be written, I need to extrapolate on my ArianeB walkthroughs now that there has been an online update, my friends at the Late Night forum are flooding...

Much Ado (the sequel)

Audacity, the excellent freeware audio editor has got a new beta release, but that is not the topic of this post, but now you know it anyway. What I really wanted to say is... In 2006 I wrote a topic about my most treasured vintage computer games. Spindizzy was one of those and the original Tetris if my personal RAM is still intact. Anyway if you promise to come back after the intermezzo you can read about it here: Much Ado. Tetris clones can be downloaded by the dozen, but my favourite amongst those is...

open Theme Hospital - 3 different ones

Anybody who has read this blog knows that I am a fan of Transport Tycoon Deluxe and that since more than a decade ago. It is probably the best game in the world and thanks to the Open TTD Projectst the game is doubtless more popular than ever. Open TTD used reverse engineering to recreate the DOS game from scratch and to export it to other platforms, including those that are not Microsoft friendly. Since a couple of years aficionados are busy finding ways to replace the original 8bpp graphics with newly...

Tentacle Day

I start with my favourite Groucho Marx scene, (probably) with Thelma Todd. They are having a romantic rowboat scene (as far as a romantic scene with Groucho is possible) when she says: “Spring is in the air.” Groucho replies: “And fall in the water.” Cracks me up every time. Of course you need to know that this is partially a Yiddish joke. I don’t speak it but Yiddish antecedents can be found in the German language and the German language isn’t...

Twinsen Ma Non Troppo

I urgently need to stop writing about these games I’ve once played. Remembering LBA (Little Big Adventure aka Relentless in the USA) in a previous post Tycooning was enough for me to go hunting after it. I soon found the floppy version (only 13 MB) and thanks to Dosbox I could play it in a jiffy. I tried it for a couple of days and decided that the floppy version wasn’t exactly what I wanted, although it does contain the complete game, but without the vocals and the intermediate movies. So I...

Tycooning

I once met this young guy, bright, slightly nerdy computer chap, who liked to travel to Jamaica in order to inhale some of the local herbs and drink a few gallons of rum. But his finest hour came when he discovered Thailand and its abundance of sweet smelling Rosies. After each visit he came home loaded with original Thai movies, music and software. One of these packages contained a fine selection of DOS computer games: Links 386 Pro (the best golf simulator of the mid Nineties, later bought by...

Widelands

A couple of weeks ago I made a small comment about the Sims [cfr. (insert title here)] and that made me look for that CD-rom and insert it once again. My harddisk still had an old neighbourhood peopled by Floydian personnel and I found a little man in a little house listening to the name of Syd Barrett. He was aptly dressed in a madcap costume and the first thing he did, after I had activated his personality, was setting the kitchen on fire. Pixels imitating life. The Sims, I only have the first one plus...

2009

Ancient Warfare

This page contains some visitor's statistics that will be daily updated for a week seven days period: complete. A couple of years ago I was interested in Mark Overmars’ Game Maker utility because I had this concept that would blow the complete game industry to pieces. I tried several game creators but always reverted to Game Maker, I subscribed to the forum and asked some silly newbie questions, I downloaded the complete tutorial (and the software itself, obviously), started learning its...

And Another Thing... or two...

I am not very fond of the end of the year, partly because everybody wants you to be happy, which I am, by definition, not. Another recurring nightmare are the end of the year lists that are published everywhere and the New Year’s resolutions for the coming year. So I had decided not to publish such a list, but then… OpenTTD 1.00 OpenTTD, probably the best game in the world, has put a first beta for version 1.0.0 on their website. With this version you can run OpenTTD without the...

Gimme Some Golfing

Some days ago I got a mail from an Internet publicity agency that wanted to use my site to promote a new online golf simulation game. I politely thanked for that, not that I’m rich enough but a cent per click will not pay me for a Ferrari, and I meant the sunglasses. But I promised I would have a look at the game. Promise kept. I used to be a kind of a golf lunatic in the past, not the real thing of course, as a real computer nerd I hate green open airy spaces, but the digital pixelised version of that....

Horses and heroes

Time for some game updates. This post can be watched by anyone, if you are looking for some information about adult gaming, please consult Secret Fantasy Dreams or ArianeB UP 16 (game add-on). OpenTTD, the open source remake of Transport Tycoon, finally has a stable upgrade, version 0.7.0. It brings you, amongst other things: a reworked order system (with conditional orders and non-stop instructions);more engines than in previous versions;path based signals;an AI framework;downloads and automatic...

Lost Yoot

I honestly thought that I already wrote an item about SimTower on this place, but as Google can’t find it back who am I to contradict that? Google doesn’t has it, ergo it doesn’t exist. The Matrix is closer than you think. SimTower was a game devised in 1994 by Yutaka ‘Yoot’ Saito and published by Maxis as a kind of spin-off of their popular SimCity series. As a matter of fact the game didn’t have anything to do with the SimCity brand name and its successors (such as SimHealth,...

Panspermia

I’m writing this post on the worst day of the year, so tells me my newspaper, the 3rd Monday of January also known as Blue Monday or depression day. Of course I can’t tell the difference, as I have been in a semi-constant state of half-depression for most of my life. Ever since I asked my religion teacher, I must have been 12 years old, how he could prove to me that our, his religion, Roman Catholicism, was the one and only and not for instance Protestantism or even Islamism, that also...

Rock around the block

When I look at my latest posts it appears to me that I have become a grumpy old man always at war with the world around him. I blame it on television because I’d really rather chase some nude virgins around, frolicking in a poppy field. But even these virgins aren’t anymore what they used to be, cf. Ahmed The Dead Terrorist. I can’t shout this loud enough from the roofs of Atagong County, the best game in the world is (Open) Transport Tycoon Deluxe. I know you male chauvinist...

2010

Experiment succesful, patient dead.

PC Jeux is a professional French gaming magazine that gives away a free game every month. Of course the previous sentence contains at least two mistakes. First: French and professional don't go well together, but that we will discuss further on. Second: there isn't such a thing as a free game. In Belgium the magazine costs about 8 and a half Euro and I have always thought I actually bought a game and received the magazine for free. Most of the time I take the DVD (it used to be a CD before) immediately...

Machine Shrink

History repeats itself just like the chicken at the zoo that perpetually wanted to pick some breadcrumbs lying inside the monkey cage but got hit each time on the head by a vigilant monkey carrying a stick. Examining the Wintermute Engine for one of my soon-not-to-be Unfinished Projects I fell upon the games section and instead of downloading the editor itself I ended with Mental Repairs Inc. on my harddisk. Mental Repairs, Inc. is a small 2.5D point'n'click adventure following Henrik Liaw, machine...

Penumbra Overture Open Source

2006 In June 2006 a minor incident upset my dreary life. Some people reach for booze, others for drugs, I downloaded the free Penumbra 2006 (tech demo) and started playing like hell. As usual the story doesn't matter that much, a man takes a boat to Greenland, walks around in a snow blizzard (a rather stupid thing to do if you ask me), gets lost, nearly freezes to death, but luckily finds a deserted underground army bunker where he can - at least temporarily - shelter. But shit usually comes in twos and...

Penumbra Trilogy: played at last

A while ago I wrote that I purchased the Penumbra trilogy game pack at the staggering price of 5 dollars. For the non-initiated, Penumbra is a first person horror game, but not - as most games of these type are - based upon hacking, slashing or shooting your way through a maze of dark lit corridors and tunnels festooned with flesh eating monsters or blood sucking vampires. More a combination of adventure and survival the game takes advantage of advanced artificial intelligence to respond realistically to...

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