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Retro PC gaming is hard to get into

#11BeknessPosted 4/30/2014 9:12:23 PM
The cranky hermit posted...
PC games back in the day generally were harder to "get into" than console games of the time. Back then PC gamers truly could claim master race superiority - we had to struggle with fun stuff like EMS, IRQ, sound card driver configuration, load mouse drivers manually, MSCDEX drivers, and all of this had to be done before you even watch the intro FMV!

Here's the secret to 90% of your woes - read the manual! PC games back then were designed with the expectation that you would read the manual. It's not like today (or contemporary console games) where every game controls and plays like every other game. Just read the manual, or at least the quick reference card, and figuring out how to play the game is no longer a puzzle.


Great point. I think also, if there is a problem with a newer game, it's so easy to look up online to find your solution.
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#12imasexywoman(Topic Creator)Posted 4/30/2014 9:48:42 PM
I've never been a fan of reading manuals. I love reading, don't get me wrong, but gaming is such a visual and interactive medium that i think you should be able to learn by doing. I guess that's why I mostly prefer modern PC gaming.
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#13kobalobasileusPosted 5/1/2014 12:11:28 AM
imasexywoman posted...
Consoles like NES or SNES are easy. D-pad and some buttons. Older PC games before mouse control was more common, though... it's a puzzle in itself figuring out the controls/interface.

And sometimes the game doesn't even have to be THAT old to confuse me. I tried playing Civilization III and the UI/controls are so confusing to me compared to Civ V. Perhaps it's because for most of my life I played on consoles, but I'm incredibly picky about PC controls.


Uh oh! I can hear the Master Race's jackbooted feet heading toward you now, TC! For the sin of disparaging their beloved keyboards as clunky and unintuitive, they will take yours away from you and beat you to a pulp with it!
#14Bossdog421Posted 5/1/2014 10:09:30 AM
The cranky hermit posted...
PC games back in the day generally were harder to "get into" than console games of the time. Back then PC gamers truly could claim master race superiority - we had to struggle with fun stuff like EMS, IRQ, sound card driver configuration, load mouse drivers manually, MSCDEX drivers, and all of this had to be done before you even watch the intro FMV!

Here's the secret to 90% of your woes - read the manual! PC games back then were designed with the expectation that you would read the manual. It's not like today (or contemporary console games) where every game controls and plays like every other game. Just read the manual, or at least the quick reference card, and figuring out how to play the game is no longer a puzzle.


RTFM... Yeah the manuals were really good (and big). It's so surprising to see how spoon fed gamers are now compared to years ago. Everything is too over simplified.

Could you imagine seeing a modern gamers with one of those old novel style manuals...
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#15SneakiestNegPosted 5/1/2014 11:18:41 AM
Baldurs Gate, Groundcontrol and Arcanum spring to mind. Casuals. Casuals everywhere! Now get of my openGL lawn
#16pothocketPosted 5/1/2014 11:36:17 AM
imasexywoman posted...
I've never been a fan of reading manuals. I love reading, don't get me wrong, but gaming is such a visual and interactive medium that i think you should be able to learn by doing. I guess that's why I mostly prefer modern PC gaming.


Agreed. Can you imagine if movies didn't have an Act 1 and to understand what was going on you'd have to read a pamphlet that listed who the characters were and what motivations they have?
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#17The cranky hermitPosted 5/1/2014 12:41:25 PM
Yes, I can imagine that, and it doesn't sound so horrible. It's not done because we have enough cinematic tools to convey that in the movie itself, but other types of theatrical arts actually do precisely that - nobody wants to go to a ballet and listen to dancers discuss their characters for 45 minutes before the show starts.

And not all game mechanics can be presented in a way that perfectly integrates with narrative techniques. Can you imagine if Chess had pieces that talked to you and told you how to move them while playing it? Sometimes it's better to keep the rules separate from the core game.
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#18imasexywoman(Topic Creator)Posted 5/1/2014 12:44:09 PM
I'm not saying mechanics MUST be integrated with the narrative, though that is preferable. I'm saying a physical manual is pointless these days. There must always be an optional tutorial showing you the controls.
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It is the end times for console gaming. All hail PC and 3DS.
#19rockman202Posted 5/1/2014 12:59:03 PM(edited)
Honestly, I miss the big manuals. They often contained a huge amount of background information, often they went into great details describing the characters, factions, history, and provide some character development that expanded on characters history, prior to their appearance in game.
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#20JKatarnPosted 5/1/2014 1:00:03 PM
Yes, interface design was somewhat scattershot in those days, but I never had any problems when playing games back in the day. A little bit of experimentation/consulting the manual and you were up to speed on the controls/interface. Of course games back then weren't as obsessed with catering/designing to the mainstream audience, companies probably didn't have interface designers/UI research etc.
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