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Original 'System Shock' Code Open Sourced, More Updates Promised

Original 'System Shock' Code Open Sourced, More Updates Promised

“The folks at Nightdive Studios this week released the source code for a Mac version of Looking Glass Studios’ 1994 classic System Shock,” reports Gamasutra. Friday the game’s new owners unveiled on GitHub “the original, unaltered source code that was discovered by OtherSide Entertainment and graciously shared with us a few months ago… We have been hard at work updating this code and plan to release a new version of System Shock: Enhanced Edition as well as the code in the near future.”
We’ve gone back to the original vision we shared with you at the start of our Kickstarter campaign — this time with more reliable performance and higher fidelity visuals thanks to the Unreal Engine… We have been able to re-use the majority of work we’ve done over the past year and we’re making significant progress in a very short amount of time. With that said we’ll be inviting our highest tier backers to privately test the game beginning in September at which point we estimate that the game will be fully playable, from start to finish. The majority of the art won’t be finished, but we’ll be ready to start high-level testing.

Going forward there’s even a Twitch component. “In an effort to remain transparent throughout development we’re going to begin streaming on a regular basis and inviting the backers to join us.” And the audio department has also revealed some of the music from the medical deck.
After their Kickstarter was funded, Nightdive had explored making a “bigger, better game” after receiving a verbal commitment from a game publisher, but then “were left high and dry after making crucial, consequential changes in staff and scope… We still have the funds necessary to complete the game, but the timeline will inevitably move back with our shift in direction…”
“This will be closer to a 1:1 remake with updates to the weapon/character designs but without altering the core gameplay of the original.”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, classicgames
'King of Kong' Billy Mitchell Stripped Of Donkey Kong Record For Emulator Cheating

'King of Kong' Billy Mitchell Stripped Of Donkey Kong Record For Emulator Cheating

MojoKid writes:

More drama is unfolding in the ultra-competitive retro arcade gaming scene… Billy Mitchell, the arcade legend who appeared as a central character opposite Steve Wiebe in the documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, has been accused of cheating his way into the record books for high scores in Donkey Kong. As a result, he’s now been stripped of his 1.062 million score on the Donkey Kong Forums…
The legitimacy of his score was called into question by Donkey Kong high score judge Jeremy “Xelnia” Young laid out a body of evidence that seems to prove Mitchell recorded several of his high scores on the open source arcade emulator MAME, though he claimed his scores were obtained on an original arcade cabinet, and therefore were not subject to same strict authentication requirements. “It’s possible they were recorded in one shot,” Young says, but “Given the play style in Billy’s videos, it’s more likely that vanilla MAME’s INP recording feature was abused.”
Twin Galaxies recently threw out the 35-year-old record for the Atari 2600 game Dragster, and has now said they’re “in the process of fully reviewing the compelling evidence provided by Jeremy Young.”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, classicgames
Celebrating '21 Things We Miss About Old Computers'

Celebrating '21 Things We Miss About Old Computers'

“Today, we look back at the classic era of home computing that existed alongside the dreariness of business computing and the heart-pounding noise and colour of the arcades,” writes the site Den of Geek. An anonymous reader reports:

The article remembers the days of dial-up modems, obscure computer magazines, and the forgotten phenomenon of computer clubs. (“There was a time when if you wanted to ask a question about something computer related, or see something in action, you’d have to venture outside and into another building to go and see it.”) Gamers grappled with old school controllers, games distributed on cassette tapes, low-resolution graphics and the “playground piracy” of warez boards — when they weren’t playing the original side-scrolling platformers like Mario Bros and Donkey Kong at video arcades.

In a world where people published fanzines on 16-bit computers, shared demo programs, and even played text adventures, primitive hardware may have inspired future coders, since “Old computers typically presented you with a command prompt as soon as you switched them on, meaning that they were practically begging to be programmed on.” Home computers “mesmerised us, educated us, and in many cases, bankrupted us,” the article remembers — until they were replaced by more powerful hardware. “You move on, but you never fully get over your first love,” it concludes — while also adding that “what came next was pretty amazing.”

Does this bring back any memories for anybody — or provoke any wistful nostalgic for a bygone era? Either way, I really liked the way that the article ended. “The most exciting chapter of all, my geeky friends? The future!”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, classicgames
Google Maps Adds 'Ms. Pac-Man' Feature

Google Maps Adds 'Ms. Pac-Man' Feature

An anonymous reader quotes a blog post by Google Maps:
Starting now until April 4, you can chomp fruit, avoid ghosts, and collect PAC-Dots along city streets in Google Maps worldwide — all as Ms. PAC-Maps. Just tap on the Ms. PAC-Maps icon on iOS and Android, or click the Ms. PAC-Maps button at the bottom left on desktop, to enter the maze and start chompin’. Sign in to save your top score on the leaderboard and share with friends.
A playable Google doodle commemorated Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary in 2010 — and was estimated to have cost the IT sector (and other workplaces) 4.8 million hours in lost productivity.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, classicgames
New Release Of StarCraft In 4K Ultra High Definition Annouonced

New Release Of StarCraft In 4K Ultra High Definition Annouonced

The classic 90s-era videogames StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War will be re-released this summer — remastered in 4K Ultra High Definition. An anonymous reader quotes The Verge:

It will also include a number of updates, such as remastered sound, new additional illustrations for the campaign missions, new matchmaking capabilities, the ability to connect to Blizzard App, the ability to save to the cloud, and more… Blizzard also announced that it was issuing a new update to StarCraft: Brood War this week, which will include some bug fixes and anti-cheat measures, but will also make StarCraft Anthology (which includes StarCraft and Brood War) available to download for free.

Kotaku reports that the news was announced at this weekend’s I <3 StarCraft event in South Korea, “a mini-tournament between some of the game’s best players being held to honor the game’s legacy.”

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Posted by amiller in Blog, classicgames