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Nightdive Studios, Piko Interactive, Ziggurat, Pixel Games and others rereleasing classic games

LESS T_T

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Codex 2014
Ziggurat still has military sims to rerelease.



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Infinitron

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RPG Wokedex 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 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath


Time flies when you're playing games! This month Ziggurat celebrates 2 years of retro games, remasters, and even a few all-new titles!

Thank you to all our fans who have supported us, we love being part of such a passionate and engaged gaming community. We can't wait to see where we'll be in another year!
 

Infinitron

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RPG Wokedex 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 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
https://af.gog.com/news/interview_michael_devine_from_ziggurat_games?as=1649904300

INTERVIEW: MICHAEL DEVINE FROM ZIGGURAT GAMES

Many classic games that were revived by Ziggurat Games have already found their way to GOG.COM, giving us the opportunity to revisit them or discover them for the first time. We had the opportunity to ask a few questions to Michael Devine, SVP of business development at ZIggurat, to learn more about the company’s interesting past and plans for the future.

GOG.COM: Ziggurat Games has been around for 2 years, yet it has already made a name for itself in the video game market. Can you tell us how it all began? How did a passion for classic games become the cornerstone of the company?

Michael Devine: Our founder, Wade Rosen grew up an avid gamer and fell in love with games for their ability to bring us into magical and imaginative spaces. Despite his many successful businesses, he always wanted to return to games and share his love for the classics. It was from that inspiration and passion that Ziggurat began.

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Not content to let classic games sit in the vaults of history, Ziggurat brought together an incredibly talented and committed team to resurrect classic game titles and give them the life and rebirth they deserve. In just two years, our small team has worked with development partners around the world to publish over 100 titles on PC and consoles.

We still connect with that original passion for games, bringing these games back to life as enhanced, HD, reimagined, and even brand new forms from the archives of video game history. It truly is an honor for our entire team to be a part of this work.

Each classic game that we release on GOG.COM that was revived by Ziggurat Games is quite popular among our users. How do you choose the classics that will be re-released next? Can you shed a little light on the whole process?

Our team starts the process by diving into our game library of currently unavailable or neglected content. Many of our IP’s come from now defunct game studios, but where possible, we try to work with original developers to resurrect and enhance their original games.

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We investigate the history of the games, find what’s unique, and work to make them ready for new and old audiences alike. We aim to have something for everyone in our catalog, so we jump at the chance to work on games that are a little quirky, unexpected, or of historical importance.

Which video games do you consider the company’s biggest success? Were there any titles that sparked more interest than you anticipated at first?

Certainly there are quite a few. Krush, Kill and Destroy, Advent Rising, even smaller titles like World Championship Boxing really exceeded our expectations. But it was the Bloodrayne series that has been in a category all by itself. We were blown away at the response to the re-releases and upgrades given to Rayne and her franchise. We truly want to honor Rayne and her place in the history of video games, while also modernizing her for contemporary audiences. The opportunity to work with Terminal Reality and WayForward has been so rewarding and has helped forge partnerships that we hope will continue long into the future.

I would also say another big success for us has been reaching our two year anniversary with the milestone of over 114 published games – with 65 just released in the last year. We are a small team here at Ziggurat and most of us can’t believe that number! We have such an amazing team and to work alongside such a high caliber committed group makes it exciting to go to work each day.
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Now for a more personal question – what is your favorite classic game that you can play over and over and why?

It’s really hard for me to separate the games from the people and companies that made them after 30 years in this business.

For me, Heroes of Might and Magic 3 is an almost perfect Turn-Based Strategy Game, but it’s also my sentimental favorite, as I thought the folks at New World Computing were among the best, nicest, and most talented developers I’ve ever met. Also, I’ve been playing HMM3 on and off for almost 25 years.

Can you tell our users what they can expect from Ziggurat Games in the upcoming months? Which games should they get excited for?

A Boy and His Blob is back and it is a really exciting release for us. The Nintendo Switch version is coming out this week and it’s just the beginning of a number of announcements about this wonderfully innovative, inclusive magical world.

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We are also extremely happy to be working with Limited Run Games. They have been such a great partner in helping us bring Retro and Classic games back to life, and can’t wait to tell gamers about even more physical releases of classic games in the coming months.
 

Unkillable Cat

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And some company called Zerouno Games rereleases old Spanish game Livingstone I Presume (1986) by Opera Soft.



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Interesting, that's the Amstrad CPC-version of the game. A native MS-DOS version seems to exist, but I'm guessing they chose to go with 16 colors instead of 4.

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It's also possible that the MS-DOS version is only available in Spanish, I haven't seen any evidence of an English version yet.

There's also a sequel.
 

vonAchdorf

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Atari rereleases three 80s Microprose strategy games by Sid Meier and Ed Bever.

Sid Meier said:
All three of the Command Series, as the wargame trilogy came to be known, provided a solid simulation experience and profound historical lessons–but I don't think they necessarily counted as games.

In his memoir he writes about how they referred to losses to not offend Vietnam veterans and that he gladly broke free from his "wargame obsession" after making those games, because for him it meant wallowing "in life's toughest moments for that long" (long playtime for a game vs. a short movie or visit to the museum). Today it's hard to understand that kind of emotional response to a wargame with 1986 graphics.
 

Infinitron

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RPG Wokedex 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 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
https://www.pcgamer.com/uk/2021-showed-theres-a-fine-line-between-remaster-and-disaster/

2021 showed there's a fine line between remaster and disaster
Reflections on one of 2021's biggest trends, with insights from Nightdive Studios

Your phone pings. A new trailer just dropped on YouTube, and with a quick flash of a logo, it teases a forthcoming remaster of one of your old favourites, Hurt The Bad Men II. This in itself isn't a huge surprise—it's generally considered the seminal HTBM release, and remasters often end in the number two: Baldur's Gate II and Age of Empires II, for example.

But quick: What do you imagine this remastered game will look like? Do you picture the old characters with fancy lighting bouncing off their 4K textured faces in Unreal Engine 4, or a pixel-for-pixel likeness of your childhood treasure running in Windows 10? Are there new voice actors and script changes, orchestral recordings of the original MIDI files, or lovingly upscaled typefaces and mouse pointers? Is it even still culturally appropriate to hurt the bad men instead of reasoning with them?

That's the thing, isn't it—nobody knows what to expect. Despite its prolific incursion on the games industry status quo, the revised and re-released update of a classic title doesn't have an agreed upon set of rules that come with it yet. 2022 brings many returning classics, including remasters of games like Life is Strange and Kingpin—surely the polar north and south of each other—and of Blade Runner and Braid. Beyond them are projects of a different kind, like Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time Remake, which modernise familiar experiences in new tech environments. All these endeavour to capture and re-create the initial joy of some distant original release, but as an industry, we haven't yet decided what final product should entail.

Few studios can claim to be as familiar with the art of bringing back the classics as Nightdive Studios, which has re-released 100 games since 2013, many of them given the remaster treatment. The problem, as Nightdive CEO and cofounder Stephen Kick explains, is that a remaster appeals to someone's memories, rather than an objective reality. "You're adding in a number of quality of life features and updates and enhancements to make the game look and feel like you remember it looking, though that's never really the case … you're basically taking the DNA of that game and you're infusing it into essentially a brand new title, something built from the ground up where nothing is really carried over verbatim, but you're still trying to replicate that original experience as best as possible."

It's in that grey area, the interpretation of what constitutes a game's DNA, what's sacrosanct and what's crying out for creative intervention, where a remaster lives or dies.

Nightdive's own brand of remasters, such as its recent work on Quake or 2015's Turok Remastered, don't stray far from their source material. In many cases, it's only that you're launching the game from Steam—and that it then actually loads without crashing, in a widescreen resolution—that gives away that you're not playing the original. That due diligence to the classic license has earned the studio a well-regarded portfolio, an engaged community, and a relationship with Bethesda that sees further id treasures like Doom 64 Remastered in the pipeline. Basically, when it comes to the remastering process, these guys are The Oracle.

But recent years have also provided several infamous examples of remasters failing with fans. Diablo II: Resurrected's missing TCP/IP multiplayer. The missing bits and lack of polish in Warcraft III: Reforged. And, unfortunately for Rockstar, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is out in front leading the parade.

The GTA remasters were rife with "enough bugs and glitches to make Cyberpunk 2077 flinch," we said at launch, and there was precious little of that fastidious attention to detail that established these games as all-time greats in the first place. It was like driving past your childhood home to find the new owners have rebuilt it to just slightly, but irrefutably, lopsided dimensions. And there's a waterslide coming out of your old bedroom now.

Its many oddities—like the now-fixed Tuff Nut sign—earned it an instant social media mangling and meme-ifying, along with a 0.5 Metacritic user score. It wasn't that Rockstar made too many creative leaps that disturbed the sacred memory of their source material, but more likely that the games—three of them at once, remember—proved simply too much to remaster by hand and maintain Rockstar's trademark quality control. Certain glitches—misspellings like "enchillaoas" at a Mexican food market or a sign for "bearboxes" in a garage—suggest that the AI program developers used for initial retexturing created errors that the team couldn't catch by eye before release.

That doesn't mean AI is the de facto enemy of a good restoration job, Nightdive business development director Larry Kuperman explains: "My expectation is that over the years, AI is going to get better, and the more we use it in classic games, the more refined our techniques are going to become. Use of AI becomes necessary not just because of the scope of the game. There's a corollary to that, which is the cost of remaking or remastering. It's simply a more efficient way of doing things than having them hand drawn."

Certain assets or games might also force a studio's hand, says Kick. "We are using extensive AI upscaling for our Blade Runner remaster, because those assets are totally missing. And they can't be extracted from the game, because they're all baked into pre-rendered videos. So we would literally have to remake the entire game from the ground up to be able to do any kind of that traditional remastering workflow. It was essential that we use some kind of algorithm-based AI upscaler to hopefully re-create some of the lost details and in those older lower resolution videos that make up the majority of the game."

The more such tools are used to update classic games, Kick and Kuperman agree, the more effective they'll become. And should we find ourselves feeling misty-eyed for those classic 100GB open-world games of the 2020s in 20 years, we'll probably need more than a team of dedicated texture artists to get them upscaled for our quantum PCs and 32K monitors.

Not that remastering is about embracing modernity wholeheartedly, of course. Even the titles playing fast and loose with the original game, like Mafia: Definitive Edition, find themselves balancing old and new. Yes, the puddles on the crime-ridden streets of Lost Heaven look every bit as good as Cyberpunk's. Within the modern Illusion Engine engine, new actors play characters with totally different facescans than their original counterparts. But they're still running-and-gunning like it's 2002, or else there'd be nothing left to tether it to the original Mafia. Those simplified cover shooter gauntlets have long since gone out of fashion, but they're essential to the Definitive Edition.

You need anachronistic touches in a remaster—just enough of them to speak to that fallible memory of how the game plays. Like Turok's famous resource-saving trick.

"The single distinguishing factor," Kuperman says "and a feature that jumped out, was the fog. We understood from our conversations with the original developers the reason that the fog was so core to the original version of Turok is because of limitations of hardware. By limiting your sight distance, they can increase the detail without overwhelming the capabilities of the hardware. Of course, we have more modern hardware now. So [our] default setting is to have the fog rolled back to increase your range of vision. However, if you really are a purist, you can toggle that. There's an option to restore the fog."

That fog slider, like the option to show Quake's goading game shutdown prompts, asks the player: How does the game look in your memory, and how much does this element feature? Since everyone's subjective and wayward recollection will vary, they can adjust the exact level of anachronism to taste.

It's that selective fidelity to the historical truth that makes remastering more of an art than a science. It's also what makes it an exciting and only occasionally crushing experience as a player. However, there are a few moves any studio would be prudent to make if they want to take the guesswork away from hitting the right note.

The first is community involvement. It's unlikely that many of Hurt The Bad Men II Remastered's customers will be experiencing the game for the first time then and there. A core audience exists, probably frequents a forum where widescreen patches are exchanged, and already has a comprehensive feature list in mind for a remaster. To that end, Nightdive enlisted well-regarded Doom modder Samuel "Kaiser" Villareal to work on several of its KEX Engine projects, including Doom 64 Remastered.

Another route is to get the old band back together. Artists poring over partial asset libraries, sometimes even on DAT cassettes, must daydream about having an original developer sitting at the next desk over, ready to consult and illuminate the darker, more cobwebbed corners. EA went one better for the Command & Conquer remasters and brought in Westwood alumni, including fan favourite audio director Frank Klepacki. For Quake Remastered and beyond, Nightdive subscribes to a similar philosophy.

"We are working with Kevin Cloud, one of the original art directors on Quake," said Kick. Cloud started at id working on Wolfenstein 3D, was the art and project director on Quake 2, and became a co-owner of the studio until it was acquired by ZeniMax "He was able to help us guide some of the changes that we wanted to make visually."

Nightdive did the same thing when it came to remaking System Shock, hiring art director Rob Waters to help "drive the overall aesthetic".

Having someone around from the source material might safeguard a remake or remaster from succumbing to the greatest temptation and cardinal sin: stamping one's own identity on it. Whatever may be in the player's personal memory vault, you can be certain an edgy modern day twist to the dialogue or a topical meme is not. A single touch like this might make or break the experience.

The mantra at Nightdive before the alchemical process of reconstructing somebody's idealised memory of a game is this: preservation and accessibility. We're right to raise an eyebrow when originals disappear from storefronts when their remasters appear, and rightly scandalised when our memories are presented to us in distorted form. If only the GTA remasters had been developed using a similar rule.
 

Zed Duke of Banville

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"The third title in the "Command Series" of tactical wargames from Microprose, the game begins with the defeat of the French colonial army and ends with the Viet Cong victory over the South Vietnam forces in 1972."

Someone might want to inform Steam that South Vietnam was defeated in 1975, not 1972, and by North Vietnam, not by the Viet Cong. :M

It appears that the final scenario in this game takes place in Quang Tri in 1972, but, even though South Vietnam lost the province initially to North Vietnamese forces during the Easter Offensive, South Vietnam won the Second Battle of Quang Tri and regained control of most of the province later in the year.
 

Unkillable Cat

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"The third title in the "Command Series" of tactical wargames from Microprose, the game begins with the defeat of the French colonial army and ends with the Viet Cong victory over the South Vietnam forces in 1972."

Someone might want to inform Steam that South Vietnam was defeated in 1975, not 1972, and by North Vietnam, not by the Viet Cong. :M

It appears that the final scenario in this game takes place in Quang Tri in 1972, but, even though South Vietnam lost the province initially to North Vietnamese forces during the Easter Offensive, South Vietnam won the Second Battle of Quang Tri and regained control of most of the province later in the year.


Steam is run by Valve.

Valve is run on a "flat structure" system.

"Flat structure" system is communism in the workplace.

Communism seeks to "free" the workforce, and overthrow capitalism and it's single-minded greed for money.

Communists also hate the truth, and love to rewrite history to further their agenda.

The only thing communists seem to love more than rewriting history, is money. Otherwise they wouldn't be publishing 30+ year old games on Steam.

There's a reason most people have a hard time understanding the world right now, and that reason is communists.
 

LESS T_T

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Codex 2014
https://www.gamedeveloper.com/press...lect-titles-of-innovative-studio-rainbow-arts

Ziggurat Interactive Acquires Select Titles of Innovative Studio Rainbow Arts

DENVER, COLORADO (January 13, 2022) — Ziggurat Interactive, publisher of multi-platform retro and modern games, announced today they have closed a deal with Rainbow Arts, a popular game developer and publisher from the ‘80s and ‘90s. As part of the agreement, Ziggurat Interactive now owns more than 80 titles from the Rainbow Arts catalog, including Rendering Ranger R2 (known as Targa outside North America), Logical, Lollypop, X-Out, and M.U.D.S. – Mean Ugly Dirty Sport.

“We are incredibly pleased to add a number of significant games from Rainbow Arts to Ziggurat’s growing catalogue of historic games,” said Michael Devine, SVP of Business Development at Ziggurat Interactive. “Rainbow Arts was a premiere and iconic European video game publisher of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Each game released during that time frame – mainly made for the C64, Amiga, and PC – evokes memories of 16-bit wonders, colorful graphics, and playful challenges the moment you see the rainbow logo appear. We can’t wait to revitalize these games and share them with today's classic gaming fans.”

Rainbow Arts Software GmbH was a German video game publisher based in Gütersloh, Germany, founded in 1984 by Marc Ullrich and Thomas Meiertoberens. Many of their games were originally released on the Commodore 64 (C64) and the Commodore Amiga, with later titles being created for, or converted to, the IBM-PC platform. The studio is best known for titles such as Logical, Lollypop, X-Out, and Mad TV™.

Rainbow Arts’ most prominent release, Rendering Ranger: R2, is one of the most sought-after games for the Super Famicom, as only 10,000 copies were manufactured and were only available in Japan. As part of the agreement, Rendering Ranger: R2 joins Ziggurat’s extensive library, and the company has promised an update on their plans for the title later this spring.

More info about Ziggurat Interactive, its current lineup, and upcoming announcements is available on Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, and the company’s official website, with info on their upcoming products to be announced on the same.


About Ziggurat Interactive

Ziggurat Interactive was launched in late 2019 with the goal of preserving and expanding the legacy of video games. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Ziggurat creates and celebrates games — expanding the audience for both retro and new titles by making them accessible to all types of players across multiple platforms.
 

Ed123

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Serpent in the Staglands Wasteland 2
And Mirrorsoft is alive and it will bring Chronomaster to Steam.





From the makers of Sanitarium, ergo, interested.



Yes, I noticed that when I was checking Mobygames for cover art during the HeroQuest video. I should pin a message in the comment section, although I have no idea of the quality of the port. I assume it's a simple dosbox job.

edit: According to the GoG comments, it's missing the game manual, which is pretty fucking important due to the interface
:negative:
 
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mindx2

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Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire RPG Wokedex Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Yes, I noticed that when I was checking Mobygames for cover art during the HeroQuest video. I should pin a message in the comment section, although I have no idea of the quality of the port. I assume it's a simple dosbox job.

edit: According to the GoG comments, it's missing the game manual, which is pretty fucking important due to the interface
:negative:

Not if you have a boxed copy.... :martini:
 

Unkillable Cat

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Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
Yes, I noticed that when I was checking Mobygames for cover art during the HeroQuest video. I should pin a message in the comment section, although I have no idea of the quality of the port. I assume it's a simple dosbox job.

edit: According to the GoG comments, it's missing the game manual, which is pretty fucking important due to the interface
:negative:

Not if you have a boxed copy.... :martini:

Or a certain eXotic collection... :happytrollboy:
 

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