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"Dungeon Monster" game on the way

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Mmmmmh, but thats only a 3D Maze where one has to find the exit. No monsters, no action, nothing, just walking around and trying not to get lost. Initializing of the Atari Basic program takes a minute or longer, thats why I created a CTB file of it and linked it with the CTB-linker into one executable file which starts almost instantly.

 

There are much better examples for (dungeon) RPGs, like:

 

- Castle of Blackthorn (german, requires 128k RAM, unfinished; TB XL source; gfx ripped from ST/Amiga): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=5566

- Labyrinth of Death (german and english versions, 64k RAM, TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4142

- Master of the Dungeons (english, 64k RAM, TB XL, unfinished, gfx ripped from ST/Amiga): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=3874

- Land of Mystery (german, no dungeon! 64k RAM, TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=6211

- Lankhmar (german, type-in listings from Atari Magazin, they had a RPG/dungeon corner there, this is the final product): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=5931

- Demo Dungeon (german, type-in listings from Atari Magazin, from the RPG/dungeon corner, playable demo), not available at Fandal's webpage...

- Arkaneth I (german, Compyshop Magazin, 64k RAM, TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=5366

- Arkaneth II (german, Compyshop Magazin , 64k RAM, TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=3784

- Gothic/Gohtic/Ghotic (german, PD, TB XL, no dungeon/more Ultima-style, but slow as hell! list protection!): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4064

- Mythos (german, Axis/Ariolasoft, Ultima-style, 64k RAM, Basic): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4210

- Gizmo's Castle (german, 64k and 128k versions available, CTB): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4068

- Unriagh I (german, 64k RAM, TB XL, 50% gfx-adv., 50% RPG with realtime fights! 4 disksides), not available at Fandal's webpage

- Unriagh II (german, 64k RAM, TB XL, 50% gfx-adv., 50% RPG with realtime fights! 8 disksides): picture shown at Fandal's webpage, but no download available...

- Phantastic Journey 1 (german and english versions, 64k RAM, TB XL, afaik no dungeon?; village pict. ripped from "Noisy Giant"): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4293

- Phantastic Journey 2 (german, 64k RAM, TB XL, afaik no dungeon): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4277

- Maze (french, 64k RAM, Basic or TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4961

- Strip Fun Maze (english, 64k RAM, Basic or TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=5254

 

To name just a few RPGs with or without dungeons, where one has more to do than just searching for an exit (searching for weapons, fighting monsters, buying clothes and other stuff, etc.).

 

If those are done in TurboBasic or the source code is still there. We can go through where all the foreign language texts are stored, copy them into Google Translate, and do an English port. I am not going through all of them, but they will be a good start to do something Dungeons and Dragons style. They may need some ML routines to speed things up.

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Unrelated to this thread but a bit of info that Pete may already know, just read Retro Gamer issue 177 and they talk about Venture and interview Sal as the man responsible for the port to the Atari, he does mention you Pete and says "you are a damn good coder" but he was project director and came up with the idea's?

 

Really? I thought he did the sound?

 

The real credit should go to you.....

 

Sal Esquivel is responsible for the 2012 port to the Atari 8-bit computers.
We caught up with him to find out what inspired his own conversion
Why did Atlantis Games
Group choose Venture for a
conversion to the Atari 8-bit?
It had never been done justice
on any other system except the
ColecoVision. We felt that it was
a game that was screaming for
an Atari 8-bit port.
What was your exact role in
the project?
I did the initial graphics and all
the audio. I was also the project
director. Peter Meyer was the
coder and he altered some of
my initial graphics to make
them work better with the
Atari. He also was the one who
came up with the idea for the
textured walls in the rooms. I
have to give Peter credit, he’s a
damn good coder.
Were you a fan of the original
arcade game?
Absolutely, it’s one of my all-
time favourite arcade games.
What were the biggest
challenges of making this
version of Venture?
One challenge was trying to
cram it into a 16k cart. That was
a lot of headache, but worth
it in the long run. The biggest
challenge was adding a new
map to the game. Many people
complained that the Coleco
version was too easy. We were
just going to increase the
difficulty, but then we thought,
‘Hey someone mentioned
adding extra rooms, why
don’t we just add a whole new
level?’ That led to making the
challenger mode, which not
only has a fourth map, but a
bunch of other obstacles in it.
Are you pleased by how
authentic this game is to the
arcade original?
We did a bit of a mix between
the arcade and Coleco version
and we are quite happy with
the result. One of the things we
did in our version that no other
version has, is we offered two
different control methods. One
is the ability to ‘hold and shoot’
which means that if you point
you arrows a certain direction
and hold down the fire button,
you can move Winky around
the room while he continues
to hold his aim. The second
control system is the original
directional shooting.

 

 

Edited by Mclaneinc
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Mmmmmh, but thats only a 3D Maze where one has to find the exit. No monsters, no action, nothing, just walking around and trying not to get lost. Initializing of the Atari Basic program takes a minute or longer, thats why I created a CTB file of it and linked it with the CTB-linker into one executable file which starts almost instantly.

 

There are much better examples for (dungeon) RPGs, like:

 

- Castle of Blackthorn (german, requires 128k RAM, unfinished; TB XL source; gfx ripped from ST/Amiga): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=5566

- Labyrinth of Death (german and english versions, 64k RAM, TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4142

- Master of the Dungeons (english, 64k RAM, TB XL, unfinished, gfx ripped from ST/Amiga): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=3874

- Land of Mystery (german, no dungeon! 64k RAM, TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=6211

- Lankhmar (german, type-in listings from Atari Magazin, they had a RPG/dungeon corner there, this is the final product): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=5931

- Demo Dungeon (german, type-in listings from Atari Magazin, from the RPG/dungeon corner, playable demo), not available at Fandal's webpage...

- Arkaneth I (german, Compyshop Magazin, 64k RAM, TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=5366

- Arkaneth II (german, Compyshop Magazin , 64k RAM, TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=3784

- Gothic/Gohtic/Ghotic (german, PD, TB XL, no dungeon/more Ultima-style, but slow as hell! list protection!): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4064

- Mythos (german, Axis/Ariolasoft, Ultima-style, 64k RAM, Basic): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4210

- Gizmo's Castle (german, 64k and 128k versions available, CTB): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4068

- Unriagh I (german, 64k RAM, TB XL, 50% gfx-adv., 50% RPG with realtime fights! 4 disksides), not available at Fandal's webpage

- Unriagh II (german, 64k RAM, TB XL, 50% gfx-adv., 50% RPG with realtime fights! 8 disksides): picture shown at Fandal's webpage, but no download available...

- Phantastic Journey 1 (german and english versions, 64k RAM, TB XL, afaik no dungeon?; village pict. ripped from "Noisy Giant"): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4293

- Phantastic Journey 2 (german, 64k RAM, TB XL, afaik no dungeon): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4277

- Maze (french, 64k RAM, Basic or TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=4961

- Strip Fun Maze (english, 64k RAM, Basic or TB XL): http://a8.fandal.cz/detail.php?files_id=5254

 

To name just a few RPGs with or without dungeons, where one has more to do than just searching for an exit (searching for weapons, fighting monsters, buying clothes and other stuff, etc.).

 

That's a fantastic list of some great titles. To my mind, though, nothing has surpassed MIDIMaze as the superlative fps/dungeon crawler/maze game on the A8.

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Unrelated to this thread but a bit of info that Pete may already know, just read Retro Gamer issue 177 and they talk about Venture and interview Sal as the man responsible for the port to the Atari, he does mention you Pete and says "you are a damn good coder" but he was project director and came up with the idea's?

 

Really? I thought he did the sound?

 

The real credit should go to you.....

 

Sal handled the music and sound effects, but I had to figure out how to integrate RMT into the VBI routine. Sal is no longer working with myself and Lance, he is no longer profiting from the sale of Venture. He attempted to take "control" my newer games, "Delta Space Arena" and "Secretum Labyrinth:The Legend", wanted all this other stuff done and thus delaying the release. I made a side pack with Lance to still release the games without Sal involved. I cannot give out all the details because it is still confidential.

 

Now I have stated numerous times that Sal is no longer working with us, and I always had control of these games since it was my program. Why you keep bringing this up? You not going to convince me to put Venture up for Digital Download or release it as a free game. You had issues with Sal, do not keep me involved. Besides today is actually his Birthday, why don't you make a fried request with him on Facebook.

 

During the development of Venture, I seen something that can do done with more than 4 player/missile sprites, that this programming can be used to make a room by room adventure game like 2600 Adventure or NES Zelda. I actually starting tinkering with the Venture to add more rooms. One early proposal for "Venture RPG" or "Venture II" or "Venture (something) was to make it more into an RPG like game. In the early stages I decided to replace the many of the characters in the game and give it a new title. The "Adventure RPG" project was launched, then evolved into this "Secretum Labyrinth" collection of games.

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Now I have stated numerous times that Sal is no longer working with us, and I always had control of these games since it was my program. Why you keep bringing this up?

 

I think he was simply trying to give you kudos and appropriate credit for the job you did programming Venture.

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Back to the main subject. I had not time to go through all those Basic games, but had given thought of using a 3D view dungeon crawler, but leave some room at the top or bottom for the text information, and handling the prompts for the Role Playing Dungeon and Dragons stuff.

 

Maybe we can work together to develop an open source core program that anybody is free to use. They can enter whatever data and extra programming for their specific game. The core part will be royalty free, just as RMT, Inflate, XBIOS, Fast Line Drawing, and other assembly language tools floating around. The data + additional programming for someones specific game, they will be free sale it because then what they add is their own intellectual work and can be put under copyright.

 

Honestly I am not sure how big of a market there would be for a AD&D game on the Atari 8-bit since these types of games are all over the internet for other platforms. I already downloaded all the SSI gold series and UUkral game and can play them in DOSBOX.

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As FifthPlayer said I was simply trying to say that he was stealing your thunder and you should have been credited, but instead of understanding that you went on a rant about digital downloads and my not being a mate of Sal...

 

Talk about delusional......I've gone out of my way to be friendly and amiable about your games and said numerous times that 'you are the boss' re how you release stuff, its old news, or at least it was for me but it seems you are still holding a serious grudge, I'm sorry Sal tried to rip you off and steam roll your games but the way you have replied to me almost makes you a perfect pair.

 

How on earth could you have construed that post as an attack?????

Edited by Mclaneinc

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As FifthPlayer said I was simply trying to say that he was stealing your thunder and you should have been credited, but instead of understanding that you went on a rant about digital downloads and my not being a mate of Sal...

 

Talk about delusional......I've gone out of my way to be friendly and amiable about your games and said numerous times that 'you are the boss' re how you release stuff, its old news, or at least it was for me but it seems you are still holding a serious grudge, I'm sorry Sal tried to rip you off and steam roll your games but the way you have replied to me almost makes you a perfect pair.

 

How on earth could you have construed that post as an attack?????

 

I apologize that I misunderstood the intent of your message. Have to admit there had been a shaky history with some members on the forums. Chances are that Sal will never see this post himself because he is personal health problems makes him much less active these days. His company, Atlantis Games Group had been dissolved and he signed the rights over to Lance around March 2015. Lance still maintains publications rights of the game.

 

It was Sal that was really pushing for game titles to be ported to the 8-bit without any concerns about copyright owners. He believed and led others to believe the Atari community is not large enough to draw the attention of any copyright holder. He even wanted me port games like Mouse Trap, Ladybug, Space Fury, Chopper Command, Enduro, and a few others on the list. Laser Blast was in production and I just decided to finish it with just calling calling it Laser Blast X. After seeing how Nintendo Corporation responded to the Atari 2600 "Princess Rescue" that shows us, that copyright holders do care.

 

Therefore, I am no longer using same titles of games I would be porting in the future. Have to alter more than just the title. Replace music, make sure characters in the game are not using the likeness of the original.

 

More to the main subjuct of this thread. Secretum Labyrinth was suppose to be a Zelda like game on the Atari 8-bit. Action, top down view. Did not stop to prompt for action when combat is happening, like a turned based RPG would. I had one thing in the game that I am glad no one bashed us over stated "I copied Zelda" was when you push on some square blocks, they open an hidden door. But I made the blocks look different and set them up to bounce back immediately, just to avoid any claim I copied something from Zelda. Besides I did not replicate any of the music or anything like that. I am adding more Zelda similar elements to the next game. After seeing "Golden Axe Warrior" for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis in that Nintendo never went after them, I believe I can get away with a lot more.

 

Now I do have the option of taking the Secretum Labyrinth room drawing algorithm and making it into a turned based AD&D Role Playing type Game. Just when you come into a room with monsters to fight, it stops and asks what you want to do. I have not yet decided if I am going to be doing this as a separate game project because of the lack of people showing interest so far. These games require a lot of work be put in them, and won't be worth it if I only get less than 20 sales in a 2 year period.

Edited by peteym5
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After seeing how Nintendo Corporation responded to the Atari 2600 "Princess Rescue" that shows us, that copyright holders do care.

 

I would amend that to say, "some copyright holders care A LOT about certain intellectual properties" -- those usually being iconic, big money-making products that are still having an impact in the gaming and/or merchandise world. Super Mario Bros was one of the best selling games ever, not to mention all the merchandise that was and still is being sold in support of the game. The series continues, and so does the name (plus all the related characters) and the money. So, you'd better believe if you make a game with enough "Super Mario Bros" blood in it, and make enough noise on the net, it won't be long until you're shut down.

 

Case and point for another similar game, Sim City: XXL was just in the process of porting over a simple, old BBC Micro version of the game; next thing we knew, he wasn't; end of story...

Edited by MrFish

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After seeing "Golden Axe Warrior" for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis in that Nintendo never went after them, I believe I can get away with a lot more.

 

You can do quite a bit in terms of borrowing game mechanics and overall style. Look at "Blossom Tales", a current game available on the Nintendo Switch. It's an homage to the 8-bit and 16-bit Zelda titles, directly borrowing a lot in terms of visual style and game mechanics. Clearly Nintendo approves of this game, or they would not have approved its sale on their platform. Nintendo's own page on this title directly references "Zelda: A Link to the Past" as inspiration.

 

https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/blossom-tales-the-sleeping-king-switch

Edited by FifthPlayer
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I also say thankyou to CharlieChaplin for posting those Atari 8-bit titles.

 

I decided not to get involved myself with a separate AD&D RPG project as I am currently tied up with many Atari 8-bit projects. I will however work with anyone who has interests in putting together some core programming and database for a AD&D RPG related engine. I can say, I am working on added a few AD&D and RPG similar elements to Secretum Labyrinth, although it is action based that does not stop to prompt during combat. Combats are played out similar to an arcade game.

 

 

You can do quite a bit in terms of borrowing game mechanics and overall style. Look at "Blossom Tales", a current game available on the Nintendo Switch. It's an homage to the 8-bit and 16-bit Zelda titles, directly borrowing a lot in terms of visual style and game mechanics. Clearly Nintendo approves of this game, or they would not have approved its sale on their platform. Nintendo's own page on this title directly references "Zelda: A Link to the Past" as inspiration.

 

https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/blossom-tales-the-sleeping-king-switch

 

During the early stages of developing Secretum Labyrinth, I decided not to represent level with hearts or any symbol like Zelda. Instead I implemented the Experience Points and Skill Level system similar to many other RPGs. I was considering a bar meter for the hitpoints and total hitpoints, but that would had been complicated to do that in assembly. So I kept most of it as a numerical display. I also left out collecting any type of currency with the first game or killing enemies and collecting gems to be exchanged for items, but working on adding it into the next game. I want to have something new and different with each game in the series.

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During the early stages of developing Secretum Labyrinth, I decided not to represent level with hearts or any symbol like Zelda. Instead I implemented the Experience Points and Skill Level system similar to many other RPGs. I was considering a bar meter for the hitpoints and total hitpoints, but that would had been complicated to do that in assembly. So I kept most of it as a numerical display. I also left out collecting any type of currency with the first game or killing enemies and collecting gems to be exchanged for items, but working on adding it into the next game. I want to have something new and different with each game in the series.

 

I wouldn't put in a row of hearts like Zelda does, or use little gems to represent currency. But if you wanted in-game currency or block-pushing puzzles, I don't see the issue - lots of other games have those mechanics and haven't been challenged over it. (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer).

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I did look at a few of those games, some have a primitive 3D dungeon set up, some do it by pictures. Like I say, we can also use the 3D engine from Project-M or Numan Demo. I would prefer to keep that part simple using character Antic 4 mode (or Super-IRG with 2 fonts) for a 3D representation of the dungeon as you move around. To do an extended AD&D type Role Playing Game, you going to need many data tables for levels, characters, weapons, items in the game, monsters. A XEGS 128K cartridge/128K AtariMax cartridge or run from RAM on a 130XE probably be what a game will require. Could do it on floppy if you do not mind disk loading time. I am getting pretty far with using 64K Williams cartridge set up with using advance optimizations and compression.

 

 

I wouldn't put in a row of hearts like Zelda does, or use little gems to represent currency. But if you wanted in-game currency or block-pushing puzzles, I don't see the issue - lots of other games have those mechanics and haven't been challenged over it. (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer).

I was considering a bar meter, but discovered it did not go well with the Antic 3 mode text display, so I decided to stick with [ HP:057 ] that looks ok for me.

 

What got the maker of Princess Rescue into trouble was most likely he included the Super Mario Brothers music. Now you will not just violated for stealing the game ideal, but the copyright on the music as well.

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I saw this thread for the first time the other day, and I'm puzzled by those screen shots on page one. How on earth do you get that resolution ? It looks almost exactly like the ST version. I'm having a lot of trouble believing that that mummy was rendered on the 8 bit, nevermind the walls. If it really can be done like that, and I don't mean VBXE, I'd be all over that trying to do a port if I could get an artist to help. I can't even imagine how many hours I lost playing that thing. Really was furious when it crashed while flux caging at the end, had to send away for the fixed version before I could finally finish it.

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Not only screenshots, they had it running, as you can see in the 2 videos I linked to: Post #41

 

It's no VBXE. Color is resolution: DLI's for the different vertical sections, P/M underlays, and maybe even Antic 4 char mode for more playfield colors.

 

Kaz made the initial post, so I'm guessing he may have been the artist. It would be nice if the project was turned over to the community if it's not going to be worked on further by the authors.

 

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Not only screenshots, they had it running, as you can see in the 2 videos I linked to: Post #41

 

It's no VBXE. Color is resolution: DLI's for the different vertical sections, P/M underlays, and maybe even Antic 4 char mode for more playfield colors.

 

Kaz made the initial post, so I'm guessing he may have been the artist. It would be nice if the project was turned over to the community if it's not going to be worked on further by the authors.

 

 

Ok, well I'll admit I'm pretty ignorant of what you can do graphically on the 8 bit, it's just not something I ever played with. Watching those videos it still seems like there's too many pixels. Hmm, looks like say six colours for the top: Blue, Yellow, Red White, Black, and Green. So say Antic mode E, that's four. Maybe use the players for the health/magic bars. Ok, so that does that. Not too sure about the walls and monsters. Two players to make a critter maybe, overlapped for colour ? playfield using characters ? hard to tell the size of the black dots, look pretty small but I suppose a gr 0 type char has a fine enough resolution.

Pretty impressive however it was done.

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Pretty impressive however it was done.

 

Yes, quite impressive. It's just another example of the great potential of these machines that is yet to be fully exploited.

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The Dungeon Master (Dungeon Monsters) conversion was the next project that Vega and me were working on following Bomb Jack. We started some preliminary work on Usagi Yojimbo prior to this but dropped that in favour of DM. Vega became less active with the Atari part way through the project when he started a new business venture, after a year or so of Vega being away we resumed the project for a short while again which is when those wip videos were uploaded but soon after that I didn't hear from him again sadly. I still have all of our code and project files of course from where we were up to back then. I had the majority of the graphics and planning completed. If Vega is interested in the Atari scene again one day I'll be happy to continue where we left off.

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If Vega is interested in the Atari scene again one day I'll be happy to continue where we left off.

 

What are the odds you think of that ever actually happening ?

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What are the odds you think of that ever actually happening ?

It's been quite a few years now since anyone's heard from Vega so I'm not too hopeful but you never know he might return to his Atari one day if he has the time and interest again.

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The Dungeon Master (Dungeon Monsters) conversion was the next project that Vega and me were working on following Bomb Jack. We started some preliminary work on Usagi Yojimbo prior to this but dropped that in favour of DM. Vega became less active with the Atari part way through the project when he started a new business venture, after a year or so of Vega being away we resumed the project for a short while again which is when those wip videos were uploaded but soon after that I didn't hear from him again sadly. I still have all of our code and project files of course from where we were up to back then. I had the majority of the graphics and planning completed. If Vega is interested in the Atari scene again one day I'll be happy to continue where we left off.

 

I am going to continue discussion about the other type of Role Playing Games in my Prior thread.

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/276639-what-dungeons-dragons-type-fantasy-rpgs-had-been-done-on-the-8-bit/page-2

 

If Tezz and Vega need help on putting together a good AD&D Dungeons and Dragons style part and would like assistance. I can offer some help. I am pretty sure others will also. Are they planning to sell their software?

Edited by peteym5

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If Tezz and Vega need help on putting together a good AD&D Dungeons and Dragons style part and would like assistance. I can offer some help. I am pretty sure others will also. Are they planning to sell their software?

Atari best programmers (like Tezz and Vega) use to release their games for free.

Sometimes awesome boxed editions for collectors are made.

The latest example of this good Atari scene practice is Laura, free to download and now on sale ($31):

post-12528-0-06695400-1522562647.png

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Give people nice packaging, labels, manuals and posters etc. and it adds real physical value. People understand they should pay for physical things and like to keep them. Bizarrely, the most costly part to produce, the software, has no real perceived value because it is not physical and costs nothing to copy. However illogical, some people feel a bit cheated if they have no free download and will be loath to pay just to play it. If there is a free download and they like it, they may well want to buy a nice package version. It works well and leads to no bad feeling.

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Even if its not free but a nice price people will pay it, the C64 scene proves this, I've brought a number of cheap but good games and have been tempted to get the nicer boxed version bar the fact I don't have any C64 hardware. That is the market that is being missed here, there's a great many folk who have no hardware or its stored so a cart or a physical disk is no use to them which leads to some frustration that there's games they want to buy / play but simply can't.

 

This isn't aimed at Petey because he's made his point clear, its merely for other would be devs to say there's a market out there, its not huge but its there.

 

Oops, thought I should add that we all really really appreciate the free games as well, you guys amaze us with your ingenuity and skill in making these tired old machines look young and vibrant, we have been given some of the most superb bits of software be they games, emulators, utils etc etc that simply stun us lot. I know there are those that feel that if they charge it puts a hold on them and we can appreciate that but there's plenty of us who would just donate for the free stuff.

 

You won't get luxury homes in the South of France but every little helps..

 

Paul..

Edited by Mclaneinc
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