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Blade Runner

Modron

Arcane
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I've heard that there's going to be a sequel to Blade Runner this year, do you think the game will also get an update?
Westwood lost the source code like a decade ago so the outlook is not likely ever. In case you weren't trolling*
 

SCO

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Shadorwun: Hong Kong
I remember (if I remember correctly) that I killed some guy suspecting he was a replicant but he was actually human and I got arrested and the game ended.
I remember my first ending was the pedophile replicant ending (where you leave with the jailbait girl on a road trip and one of those life extender canisters). I was like 'wtf did they put in this ending, this is literally a scene from Lolita lol?'
 

Zarniwoop

TESTOSTERONIC As Fuck™
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Shadorwun: Hong Kong
Westwood lost the source code like a decade ago so the outlook is not likely ever. In case you weren't trolling*
How the fuck does someone just "lose the source code"?

That seems like a made up excuse to keep EA's multi-headed dick of shitty remakes away from the corpse.
 

Modron

Arcane
Joined
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Messages
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Westwood lost the source code like a decade ago so the outlook is not likely ever. In case you weren't trolling*
How the fuck does someone just "lose the source code"?

That seems like a made up excuse to keep EA's multi-headed dick of shitty remakes away from the corpse.

Games from the 80's and 90's didn't really get a lot of love from the corporate shills once they left the shelves, it's kind of like films from the 20s and 30s before preservation societies were formed the masters sat mildewing forgotten in some box in a basement somewhere. When Westwood relocated their offices they lost the source code and realistically if no one has come forward with it since it's either in the trash or at best some janitor/retired employee has in it cardboard box in their attic unaware of what it is.
 

Jaesun

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MCA
Even Ultima VIII: The Lost Vale suffered from lost source code. It WAS at a Gold Master, but that is now lost sadly.

:negative:
 

Boleskine

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http://www.pcgamer.com/returning-to-westwoods-blade-runner/

Returning to Westwood's Blade Runner

By Andy Kelly 6 hours ago

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With Blade Runner 2049 releasing this week, we're republishing Andy's 2015 piece on that other extension of the Blade Runner universe, Westwood's 1997 point-and-click game. Check out Tom's Why I Love on Blade Runner's balcony, too. Who doesn't love a good cyberpunk balcony?

I never think of Blade Runner as an old film. Thanks to its use of practical effects, Ridley Scott’s obsessive attention to detail, and 2007’s pristine ‘Final Cut’ HD transfer, the dystopian sci-fi classic has barely aged.

So I was amazed when I realised it was already 15 years old when Command & Conquer developers Westwood released their spin-off game in 1997. They won a bidding war for the rights to make it, beating EA and Activision, and the result is a flawed but interesting point-and-click adventure that beautifully replicates the visuals and ambience of Scott’s rain-soaked masterpiece.

While Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard was a washed-up veteran cop pulled out of retirement against his will, the game has you play a fresh-faced rookie, Ray McCoy. He has the trenchcoat, the blaster, and the crummy apartment, but he’s younger and less world-weary than the film’s hero. Your first case is an animal murder at an exotic pet store: a crime on par with homicide in this world where animals are rare and expensive. McCoy himself has a dog, which cost him a year’s wages.

Investigating the crime leads McCoy to a group of rogue replicants—synthetic humans who are almost indistinguishable from real people, and whose presence on Earth is illegal. As a ‘blade runner’ with the Los Angeles PD’s elite Rep-Detect squad, it’s his job to hunt them down and kill them. Sound familiar?

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My biggest problem with the story is how closely it mirrors the film. Despite the immense size of this futuristic urban sprawl, McCoy’s pursuit of the replicants takes him to many of the same locations Deckard visits—from JF Sebastian’s creepy toy-filled apartment in the Bradbury Building to the colossal gold ziggurats of the Tyrell Corporation. As a fan of the movie, getting to visit these locations is a thrill for me, but it makes the game’s plot feel like a retread. The replicants’ leader is a low-rent Roy Batty who has the same black coat and love of reciting poetry, but none of Rutger Hauer’s menacing charisma.

The story isn’t the reason you should reinstall Blade Runner, but rather the chance to exist in that world. Even with fuzzy 640x480 pre-rendered backgrounds and messy voxel-based character models, every screen is drenched in atmosphere. The perpetual rain, roaming spotlights, blinking neon signs and cluttered streets evoke the same downbeat, gloomy feel the film does. Scott’s pessimistic vision of the future is a powerful setting, and Westwood expertly mimics its melancholy tone.

The game itself is a pretty standard point-and-click adventure of the pixel-hunting (well, voxel-hunting) variety, but with a few twists. When you start a new game, it randomly decides which of the principal cast are humans or replicants—including McCoy. The choices you make, and the timed events it’s possible to miss, will result in one of thirteen different endings. Ambitious stuff for a game from 1997, even if your overall impact on the course the story takes is minimal. This unique approach to storytelling had a lot of potential, and it’s a shame a sequel was never made to expand on it.

Some technology from the film is recreated brilliantly, including the ESPER machine. In the film Deckard uses this to explore a photograph in three dimensions, and you can do the same in the game to uncover clues. The monotonous click, click, click as you move around the image sounds exactly like it does in the movie. You also get a chance to use the famous Voight-Kampff machine: a device that probes a person with emotion-stirring questions to determine if they’re a replicant or not.

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Some of the original cast from the film reprise their roles for the game, including Sean Young as Rachael, Brion James as Leon, James Hong as Chew, William Sanderson as JF Sebastian, and Joe Turkel as Tyrell. It’s actually possible to miss the meeting with Rachel and Tyrell if you don’t talk to your captain, Guzza, at a specific time in the police station. The performances are a mixed bag in any case. Hong is brilliant as Chew (he’s brilliant in everything), but Brion James seems to have forgotten how to play Leon. But, again, as a fan of the film, I love that Westwood managed to reunite some of the cast at all.

For whatever reason, they didn’t manage to secure the rights to Vangelis’s stunning, sweeping score. But it doesn’t matter, because Frank Klepacki’s version for the game is near-identical. As someone who listens to the Blade Runner soundtrack on a regular basis I noticed a few of the synth sounds weren’t quite right, but most people will never realise. Stepping out onto the balcony of McCoy’s apartment and hearing the moody strains of ‘Blade Runner Blues’ drift in is an evocative moment.

As if it wasn’t unlikely enough that McCoy’s pursuit of a group of rogue Nexus-6 replicants would so closely mirror Deckard’s, both actually take place at the same time. When you meet with Tyrell, Rachael will mention ‘the other Blade Runner’. Study a photo taken in Animoid Row and you’ll see Deckard in the background showing the snake scale to the fish woman. It’s a neat touch, but only highlights how unoriginal the story is. Perhaps the similarities between Deckard and McCoy are intentional: a popular fan theory posits that all blade runners are actually replicants.

Blade Runner is a game with big ideas that almost always fall flat, but it’s still a worthwhile experience—especially for fans of the movie. There are far better point-and-click adventures on PC, but few are this atmospheric. Sadly, all of the original game assets have been lost, like tears in rain, so an HD remake or modern port seems unlikely. But the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long.
 

evdk

comrade troglodyte :M
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Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Oh yes, Blade Runner. A game whose full install was 1.2GB. On my 1GB HDD.

Commence CD swapping.

Also pedo bait.

Err...
 

oneself

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Catching the first showing of it tonight.

Gonna be good.

Going to be seeing this soon myself! The Harrison Ford-Ryan Gosling song-and-dance interviews are worth two $12 tickets alone.

Just came back from it. Great cinematography work. The pacing of the movie is deliberate, but not boring. The movie builds up and keeps that tension through to the end. It exudes a dark vibe, yet not overly depressing like The Road, where you just want to stop watching.
 

Infinitron

I post news
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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2...all-time-classic-in-danger-of-being-forgotten

Westwood's Blade Runner is an all-time classic in danger of being forgotten
Hard to replicant.

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Some of the brightest lights of 90s gaming are beginning to wheeze, croak and lose some of their sparkle. But just as they take a step towards retirement, they're given a new lick of paint and booted back through the door in remastered form. Or kept upright by a battery of emulators and plastered across the front page of GOG. We're truly spoilt. But what happens when a golden oldie can't be revived?

As a new Blade Runner film arrives in cinemas today, the video game that shares its name should be front and centre on GOG. But short of rebuilding it brick by brick, Blade Runner will never get a facelift or a new home. In 2003, a terabyte of data was lost. The source code went down the drain, and ever since, Westwood's magnum opus has been buried beneath the weight of time.

If you're lucky, you can still pick up an original copy on eBay or Amazon. Inside the enormous cardboard box, you'll find four discs to be fed into your drive. Getting it to work isn't particularly straightforward - for that you'll need a patch and a fair wind to have it up and running on a modern operating system.

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Blade Runner was comprised of meticulous pre-rendered backgrounds populated with 3D characters built using voxels. Westwood had to pare back the models, however, to get the game running on 90s hardware.

The effort is worth it, though. As Ray McCoy steps out into the everlong night, the collar of his trench coat turned up against the rain, Blade Runner exudes a quality all the greats have: a sense of timelessness. It's a point-and-click adventure game of the highest order; pitting a single cop against humanoid androids fighting the bureaucratic machine. Its years in cyrosleep have maintained its good looks, but in many ways, Blade Runner has always been ahead of the curve.

Take its scope. Developers Westwood brokered a deal in the mid-90s to tell their own story within the shared universe. The problem? The script they had written internally was functional, linear, constrained, and the goal was to weave a narrative that adapted to the way you played. Why not make a choose-your-own adventure set in the Blade Runner universe?

David Leary, a writer and occasional programmer, was drafted in to do just that. He took charge of game design and helped write a programming script that changed everything. Quite simply, a programming script that would roll a dice. "Every time a player started a new game," Leary recalls, "the dice would pick whether characters were replicants or not." Now, every time McCoy would step out into the everlong night there would be no telling - bar a few constants - who was aligned with whom. And besides, whose side were you on anyway?

"Creating the code was not that technically difficult," Leary admits, "but the challenge was to make sure the pieces wouldn't fall apart." Leary began adding to the story, creating a branching narrative he tried to push "as far as possible", one that included a dizzying 13 endings and various diversions along the way. Once the endings were sorted and the opening was done, the spine was in place, and Leary made use of index cards to keep track of the branching threads in between. To make sure the game didn't break, playtesters logged thousands of hours.

In my recent playthrough, there was only one instance where Blade Runner's illusion of a free-form world snapped: a small snippet of dialogue that didn't chime with the events that had occurred in my story. Everywhere else, that illusion was faultless, lending any moment you choose to draw McCoy's gun a sense of serious consequence. Though you never need to pull the trigger, doing so will alter the story inexorably and affect the ending you see.

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Even today, few games evoke an atmosphere as distinct as Westwood's gem. Moody lighting keeps tension high, while splashes of colour give you different looks.

Blade Runner is a breath of fresh air for adventure games. It uses atmosphere to make give its world weight, with its constant slashing rain and a whistling wind, while keeping the interface tactile and light. There are no contrived obstacles you need to dig into your inventory to solve. Simply put, the cursor turns green when you can talk to someone, or when you can pick up a clue. "One of our design pillars was to make you feel like a detective," Leary remembers. "To that end, we wanted to focus on exploring crime scenes and doing investigative work, and reconciling bits of information you discovered with your conversations with other characters." The team decided early on that "traditional" puzzles wouldn't aid that.

"One of the challenges we faced was how much game versus how much interactive story were we trying to hit," Leary remembers. To add flavour, the Esper and Voight-Kampff machines were woven into the game; nods to the original film. "The Blade Runner Partnership" - holders of the IP - "gave us an awful lot of freedom to play in their world. We were motivated to be loyal and we bought ourselves a lot of freedom by having this parallel story and being very careful not to mess with the movie itself," Leary says.

The team channelled the movie's art style, creating a future Los Angeles that felt alive. In McCoy's bedroom, a blue haze spills in from the city beyond. In the sewers, steam billows from rickety ventilation shafts, while in the Chinese district, the roads sparkle with the neon sprawl. High in the Tyrell Corporation a warm sun catches the thick, gold-nugget tiles. Deep in Tyrell's depths, a spider-like console leads to a dome sat squat on its haunches. All these touches are authentic Blade Runner, and every pre-rendered scene is staged at a careful angle as if being viewed from the director's chair. Despite the limitations of 1990s technology, Westwood established a filmic presence.

Actors from the 1982 original lent their voices as characters new and old were staged throughout the story. James Hong reprised Dr Chew. Brion James returned as Leon. But not Harrison Ford. Perhaps he had gotten a whiff of the 1985 Blade Runner built for the Commodore and balked at its run-and-gun gameplay and lousy graphics. Perhaps he just doesn't like games. Rumour has it he's in the Roger Ebert camp on that front. Westwood had fun nonetheless, referencing Deckard and concocting ways to have McCoy's story overlap with the film's.

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The story takes place in the same time period as the classic 1982 film. References abound.

Blade Runner shipped in 1997 as a definitive canon entry and sold a million copies to boot. Today it sits in that rarefied strata occupied by the likes of Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and Alien: Isolation; games that perfectly capture the essence of their source material but blaze their own trail.

Despite outselling 1997's other big adventure game by 3 to 1 (The Curse of Monkey Island) Westwood didn't recoup enough money to consider making another. Then, in 2003, EA came calling and Westwood packed up shop as the code slipped through the cracks. I asked Leary what he'd do over if he had the chance. He talked about improving the Voight-Kampff sequences and remaking the character models. "They were built out of detailed slices called voxels but at the time, hardware didn't support pushing those models as far as we wanted to. We struggled with this right up until the end and it was a compromise the team felt bad about."

Today Leary is stationed at Playful. He's dropped his game design duties and heads up production on Creativerse, a sandbox adventure available on Steam. I tell Leary he hasn't left behind his roots, and he laughs. "Westwood was my first gig, believe it or not, and it was a lucky break." Making the game, he got to work with veteran Jim Walls, a former cop who shaped Police Quest. Then there was Michael Legg, the Midas programmer, and Westwood co-founder Louis Castle.

The upcoming Blade Runner film has Leary excited because, like the rest of the Westwood team that brought Blade Runner to PC, he adores the IP. And passion is everything in the chaotic and collaborative world of games development. It's the difference between good and great, memorable and timeless.

Ironically, time has not been on Westwood's side. Sheer bad luck robbed its magnum opus of longer in the sun, but as I discovered, Blade Runner can be coaxed to life on modern PCs. In fact, it shines there and stands tall as a superb reinterpretation of a classic film franchise. The only downside is a sizeable one: getting hold of a copy. Sell your cat, mortgage your house - just dredge up those discs any way you can.

MRY Did you know it sold so well?
 

MRY

Wormwood Studios
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California
No, but old adventure game sales are odd. I was stunned when I learned how poorly Lucas adventures sold relative to Sierra games, for instance.
 

Glop_dweller

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Sep 29, 2007
Messages
1,188
I would love to see a Blade Runner (1) re-master, done in the style of La Noir. Alas, I never got a chance to play the original, though I knew of it when it came out. Westwood is (was) one of my favorite studios.
 

evdk

comrade troglodyte :M
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Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
I would love to see a Blade Runner (1) re-master, done in the style of La Noir. Alas, I never got a chance to play the original, though I knew of it when it came out. Westwood is (was) one of my favorite studios.
I, too, would love to hammer rusty nails in my scrotum. Let's start a club.
 

Boleskine

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Sep 12, 2013
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https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019...er-westwood-first-had-to-create-the-universe/

Video: To make 1997’s Blade Runner, Westwood first had to create the universe
Making the best-selling adventure game of the time required a lot of world-building.
Lee Hutchinson - 2/12/2019, 11:06 AM


Shot by Sean Dacanay and edited by Justin Wolfson. VFX by John Cappello. Click here for transcript. And if you want a close-up peek at the awesome Ladd-style logo Aurich cooked up for this video, you can get that right here.

Welcome back to "War Stories," an ongoing video series where we get game designers to open up about development challenges that almost—but not quite—derailed their games. In this edition, we focus on a genre particularly near and dear to my dead, black Gen-X heart: the adventure game.
And not just any adventure game—we were lucky enough to be able to sit down with Louis Castle, co-founder of legendary game developer Westwood Studios. Castle's hands were on some of the most famous titles of the 1990s, including Dune II, the Legend of Kyrandia series, and, most famously, the Command & Conquer franchise. But as wonderful as those games are—and as many hours as I spent lost in the woods of Kyrandia as a teenager—none of those mean as much to me as Westwood's 1997 cinematic adventure game, Blade Runner.

You know the score, pal
Adventure games were one of the two ur-genres of true computer games (with the other being the arcade-style shooter), and as a child of the '80s, adventure games were what got me into gaming. The genre reached its peak in the early to mid 1990s, with some of the best-remembered LucasArts and Sierra titles making their appearance thereabouts. But by the end of the decade the wheels had come off the cart, and it was clear that the genre was being eclipsed by the rise of the first-person shooter.
With the economic realities of the adventure game market in the mid-'90s becoming apparent, Castle's pitch to create an adventure game set in the Blade Runner universe that would look and feel almost indistinguishable from the film itself might have seemed a little barmy. Worse, in order for the game to justify the amount of time and money required to meet that level of fidelity, the title wouldn't just need to sell well—it would need to become one of the best-selling adventure games of all time (a difficult thing to do when your target genre has clearly aged past its prime).

Flipping the tortoise
Castle's team faced a considerable number of challenges in bringing the cinematic world of Blade Runner to life using the technologies of the day, most of which stemmed from having to invent, from whole cloth, a way to seamlessly mesh their pre-rendered world with animated voxel characters (it turned out to be vastly more complicated than simply sticking a sprite in front of the background). Tackling this issue introduced an entire interconnected tapestry of difficult problems to solve, very few of which are faced by modern developers who can pick from ready-made game engines to license and use.

Fortunately for all of us, Westwood stuck with the challenge, even though finishing the game required more money than originally planned. The company built a title that isn't just an homage or reflection of the original Blade Runner—it's a legitimate companion to the movie, fleshing out the world in complementary ways and answering some key questions about the fictional 2019 described in the film. Although it's somewhat difficult to play on modern PCs and suffers from an unfortunate lack of legitimate buying options, it remains a game worth finding and playing—the branching story makes for a high degree of replayability (something absent from a lot of adventure games), and it still looks and plays pretty darn good.

And that budgetary goal of needing to be the best-selling adventure game to date in order to make a profit? Blade Runner managed that, too.

I'll tell you about my mother
This isn't the only thing we were able to film with Castle, either—he was also kind enough to spend some additional hours with us talking about Command & Conquer, which had its own surprising number of challenges (like figuring out how to do hundreds of units' worth of pathfinding on a minimum-spec machine). Castle was happy to go pretty deep into the weeds on the technical issues faced, and we were happy to let him. Stay tuned for that video in a week or two!
 

Boleskine

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https://www.scummvm.org/news/archive/#2019-06-16.

Jun 16, 2019: Blade Runners Needed!
Posted by peterkohaut

Our ScummVM team is looking for Blade Runners who will help find, chase, and retire bugs which escaped from the off-world data colonies. These bugs are not dangerous and they won't stop you from discovering more secrets and choosing your fate. Your spinner, gun, ESPER machine and Voight - Kampff machine will be at your disposal.

We are announcing that Blade Runner is ready for testing. The following languages are supported - English (both CD and DVD releases), German, Italian, French, Spanish, and the unofficial Russian version by Fargus Multimedia.

Find your copy of Blade Runner, grab the latest daily build of ScummVM and copy the necessary files.

Now you can play the game with subtitles! Just download subtitles.mix and place it among the rest of the Blade Runner files. So far we have only English subtitles, however, if you want to help us transcribe other languages from audio, please contact peterkohaut & praetorian.

Note that when you add your game directory in ScummVM you'll be presented with two choices for the game. The first option is for the original game and will simply be named "Blade Runner"; we're mainly interested for your feedback for this version of the game, since it is considered feature complete. The other option is for importing the game with restored content and is named "Blade Runner with restored content"; this version is still work-in-progress and not yet complete. If you're testing this version please specify it explicitly in your feedback and bug reports.

If your version of the game is not supported, please create a feedback report with MD5 so that we can add support for it.
 

Wunderbar

Arcane
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Nov 15, 2015
Messages
8,819
Surprised to see them supporting unofficial Fargus version. One of the best pirate-made russian localizations.
 

DalekFlay

Arcane
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New Vegas
For whatever reason I had it working perfectly on Win10 with a fan patch, but this is cool to see anyway. Can't wait for the rat puzzle!
 

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