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Gamers Life

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boogie2988 made a nice rhyme about what its like to be a gamer.

Non-gamers would not understand what its like to play an online video game, or even a single player role playing game.  Modern video games open up a whole new world.  Games like Left 4 Dead, New Vegas, Skyrim, Left 4 Dead 2 open up whole new worlds to gamers.

If nothing else, video games are a great way to relieve stress.

My first PC video game was Command & Conquer for DOS, but it also ran on Windows 3.11.

My second PC video game was Doom.

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Ultimate Doom Final Doom and Doom II

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Decided to visit the Steam Store to see if any good games are on sale.  The big holiday sale usually starts around December 19th, so I was not expecting any great deals this close to the holiday sale.

While I was browsing the games in Steam I looked up Doom.

You ever get that feeling when you see something that brings back some good memories?  Maybe a picture of an old friend, toy that you played with as a child,,,, stuff like that.

That is the same feeling I get when I see The Ultimate Doom and the Final Doom.  Doom II was ok, I never could develop an interest in it though.

My wife saw The Ultimate Doom at wal-mart, bought it for me, brought it home, tapped me on the shoulder, handed it to me and said something like, “this looks like something you might be interested in.”

There was just something about Doom that pulled me in.  When I first started playing, it was like I was consumed by the game.  I played hour after hour and after of The Ultimate Doom.

A few months later my wife brought Final Doom home.  Holy crap, it was like level after level after level of demons and slaughter.

Then along came Quake. After a buddy of mine told me about Quake, and I got internet, my life was never the same.

Even though Quake was a great game in multiplayer, it did not have the atmosphere like Doom had.

December 2012, it has been 19 years since the release of the original Doom. Holy crap, has it really been that long? Yep, it sure has. The original Doom was released in December 1993. 1993 does not seem that long ago.

The Ultimate Doom contained 4 episodes:

Knee deep in the dead
Shores of Hell
Inferno
Thy flesh consumed

The original Doom only had the first three episodes – Knee deep in the dead, Shores of Hell and Inferno.

The Ultimate Doom added the 4th episode – Thy flesh consumed.

Final Doom has 2 episodes, with 32 levels per episode.

The 2 episodes in the Final Doom:

The Plutonia Experiment
TNT: Evilution

Personally, I like TNT: Evilution better then I did The Plutonia Experiment .

The second level of TNT: Evilution is called “Human BBQ”.  When the level starts, one of the first things you see is a human being spit roasted over a fire.  It kinda sets the tone for the rest of the level.

I do not remember what map it is, but in one of the TNT: Evilution levels, there is this huge room.  As soon as you enter the room walls start scrolling down with demons appearing out of the space behind the wall.  It is a very action filled level with lots of room to run around.

Doom II: Hell on Earth is a single episode with 32 levels.

At the end of Inferno in the original Doom, the player sees a city burning, implying the demons made their way to earth, which sets up the story for Doom II.

I never could develop interest in Doom II. The way the levels were designed, it was like I was playing in a box.

Does The Internet Change Like A Community

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Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistAs I was looking through some older sites, I started thinking about what the heritage of the internet would be without those sites?

For example, for you PC gamers that like to read about gaming history, or like to think about the “good ole days”, what would the internet be without sites like Doomworld.com or planetromero.com.

Quakeworld was wiped clean several years ago.  All that remains is a “QuakeWorld.com.. stay tuned” message. Back in the late 1990s Quakeworld.com was one of the more popular pages on the net.

Back in the 1990s fans sites opened right and left at free hosting providers. The main free hosting provider back in those days was GeoCities. But GeoCities closed a few years ago. All of those fan sites gone in a split second as the servers were unplugged.

Along with geocities, also went a vast amount of time, effort and internet history. Gone are the walk-throughs to Doom, Quake, Diablo, Quake II, Warcraft II,,, and other popular games from the 1990s.

Before geocities was closed in the 2009, sometimes I would land in a fan site that dated back to the 1990s. Reading those sites was like taking a trip back in time. There were some pages that had not been updated in 5, 6, 7 or more years. I wonder if the page was setup by a high school or college kid, then forgotten about?

Those lost geocities pages were like footsteps in the sand. They are only there for a little while, then the sands of time erases them. They only exist now in our memory.

As I drive through my home town of Bridge City Texas, I notice the front of an old store has been reworked, or an old house has been demolished.

The old homes that have been demolished exist only in my memory, much like the websites at geocities.

Just as a community changes, so does the internet. Maybe a friends house burns down, the house is sold, the house is updated with a fresh coat of paint,,, just like what happens to websites.

About 5 years ago or so I was going through a backup of my internet explorer favorites that dated from the late 1990s – early 2000s. The majority if the websites were offline. Those were websites that I used to visit on a regular basis, but had drifted away from.

As I was going through those old bookmarked sites, I found myself getting sad. Some of those sites were like a friends house. You visit the site, and you feel at home.

Maybe the internet is like a community, in that we build relationships with sites, and other people. We all have pages that we visit on a regular basis, just like we visit certain stores and the homes of certain people.

On the preorder of Borderlands 2

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As much as I want to preorder Borderlands 2, I just can not bring myself to do so. I have been burned so many times when buying a game, I guess I am trigger shy.

Quake 2 was a major letdown, at least to me anyway.
Doom 3 was a joke. It did not come close to being as good as the original Doom.
Quake 4, how many times do we have to find a key to open a door? Talk about terrible level design.
Left 4 Dead 2 crashed on start up for 2 weeks after release. The problem came down to left 4 dead 2 would not work on the Fat32 file system. Valve did not fix the problem until 2 weeks after release. Nobody knew what was causing Left 4 Dead 2 to crash until right before the fix was released.
Homefront, 70 metacritic rating.
Brink, 70 metacritic rating. And Brink had video card driver issues on release day.
Duke Nukem Forever, 54 metacritic rating.
Rage, 79 metacritic rating.
Diablo III and its always on internet requirement.
Dead island and all of its release day bugs – like uploading a developer version to steam.

How can a game go through years of development, and still be released with bugs that should have been found in play testing?

Why should I have to wait weeks after a game has been released for patches to make the game playable?

The day Left 4 Dead 2 went on steam for pre-order I bought it. Release day, game crashes on start up. Raging in the Steam forums along with thousands of other people do not get a fix for 2 weeks. Two whole weeks? Really?

Brink had video card drivers on release day. Really? Video card problems? Why wasn’t that fixed in play testing? When the public buys a product, we expect that product to be finished, unless other wise noted.

There have been some good examples over the past few years – Skyrim is one such good example.

For every good game, there are probably dozens of bad games.

I have the original Borderlands, and I think its a good game. Hopefully Borderlands 2 will be better then the original. But I am going to wait a few months for patches to be released. I do not want to go through the same frustration like what happened with Left 4 Dead 2.

I am going to hold off on Borderlands 2 until it has been patched and it goes on its first sale.  $60 for a game is a bit much, especially in todays economy.

About the Author:

has been playing video games for over 30 years. He first started playing arcade games such as Donkey Kong and space Invaders in the early 1980s. From arcade games he moved to an Atari and Super Nintendo.  Kevin currently uses Steam as if primary gaming platform.

My favorite video games

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I first started playing video games in the early 1980s.  My buddies and I would ride our bikes to a corner store by the name of Cecil’s grocery in Bridge City Texas. Cecil had put in a Donkey Kong arcade next to the front door. My buddies and I would buy a coke, then spend what felt like hours pumping quarters into that machine.

Shortly after Cecil put his Donkey Kong arcade in, Howards grocery store in Bridge City put a Space Invaders and I think a missile command arcade game. The bike ride to Howards was long then the ride to Cecils. for some reason, riding the bikes all the way to Howards made the games less enjoyable then going to Cecils.

I guess it was somewhere around 1981 or 1982 mom and dad bought my brother and I an Atari. We must have played Pong and Pac Man for hours on end.

Fast forward 10 years. I got married, had kids and bought a Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

Between 1995 – 2000 is when gaming really got interesting. My family and I bought a Packard Bell computer with windows 3.11, 75mhz processor and 8 megs of memory.

Join the SurvivalistBoards Steam Community

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Skyrim First Impressions

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*** Spoiler Alert ***

This article contains spoilers. If you do not want any spoilers, stop reading!!!!!

Holy crap, I have not seen a game that grabs you by the balls like this in a long time. The last time I remember a game with such an epic start was Half-Life and Left 4 Dead.

The way Skyrim starts out, you are a prisoner in a wagon on the way to meet your death. Your neck is put on the chopping block, the executor is just about to swing when the dragon shows up. Mages start throwing fireballs at the dragon, archers are shooting their arrows as you and someone helping you head to cover.

The caves are a nice way to introduce the player to the game. When you get to the outside, its like “holy crap”. The graphics are awesome, the sounds, the mountains,,, everything is there to make the world believable.

Skyrim plays well even on my low hardware specs:

Motherboard – ASUS M4A785-M
CPU – AMD 620 quad core 2.6Ghz AM3
Memory – 6 gigs of PC6400 DDR2 800MHz
Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
Cable Modem
Video card – ATI 4850 – 512 megs

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I Will Not Buy Diablo III

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Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistI will not be buying Diablo III, and neither should you.

Unlike the vast majority of zombies that bought Diablo III, I played the original Diablo and Diablo II “back in the day”.  The day Diablo II was released, and was standing in front of Best Buy in Beaumont Texas 15 minutes before the store opened.

Diablo was an epic game for the time period.  When the internet was new, and a lot of games were using IPX/SPX, Diablo came with built in TCP/IP support, and game making through battle.net.

Up until the release of Diablo you had to either have a dedicated server (like quake and quakeworld) or host the game on your computer and your buddies connect to your game.  On dial up, hosting a game on your computer was a nightmare for everyone besides the person hosting the game.  Diablo changed all of the rules for multiplayer game.  No more having to lease a server, no more having to keep the server updated, no more security issues,,, and everything else that came with running your own server.

What kind of digital rights management did Diablo have?  You had to have the CD in the CD player to play the game.  When Diablo was installed, there was only about 30 megs of data stored on the hard drive, the rest ran off the CD.

Diablo had 3 character classes – Rogue, Warrior and Sorcerer. For the time period, having three different characters was awesome.

Diablo II was a good game for its time period.  Diablo was an epic game, Diablo II was a good game.

Diablo II had 5 character classes – Amazon, Necromancer, Barbarian, Sorceress and Paladin. The Druid and Assassin were introduced with the expansion Lord of Destruction. 5 new character classes was a nice improvement over the 3 classes from the original.

The graphics of Diablo II left a lot to be desired. When graphics were moving to 800X600 and 1024X768, Diablo II was released with 256 color display at 640×480 resolution. LOD expenasion upgraded to 800×600, which was still behind current trends for the time period.

Diablo II DRM was having the CD in the drive, and having to log into battle.net to play multiplayer.

Diablo III has 5 character classes? Why do Diablo II and Diablo III both have 5 classes?

The absolute reason why I will not be buying Diablo III is because of the always on internet requirement. Even to play single player you have to be connected to the internet. That is intrusive DRM, and I do not support such stupid ass decisions such as that.

I understand a company trying to protect its digital products in an era of piracy, but requiring an always on internet connection is just stupid.

Once again blizzard is behind the times. Why not develop a program like Steam? Where is the Blizzard solution to Steam? Why not have a program that manages all of my blizzard games in one location like Steam does?

I can start Steam without an internet connection and still be able to play my games. Why cant we do that with Diablo III?

As with the release of Diablo II in 640X480 resolution, Blizzard is behind the times in DRM.

Open letter to Valve software

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I had originally posted this the Steam forums, but I wanted to post it here as well. There was a question about Valve being the greatest developer in the world.

Here is my answer:

At this time – maybe so.

In the 1990s – No. Before November 1998, the best software developer was ID software. For those of you that do not know, Half-Life was released in November 1998.

My top 4 FPS games of all time are:

Ultimate Doom
Final Doom (this is really 2 games – The Plutonia Experiment and TNT: Evilution)
Half-Life
Left 4 Dead

Even though the Half-Life series has been great, it’s lacked the dark overbearing atmosphere that Doom had. The one time that Valve came close to capturing the title, was with the original Left 4 Dead. If Doom II Hell on Earth was remade, it hope it would be something very close to L4D.

Valve is a great company, and they come up with some great ideas. But over the past few years I think they have taken a turn towards “fun” games instead of “serious” games. Compare tf2 to L4D. Both games attract a totally different type of player. Valve seems to cater more towards the “fun” player, and less towards the “serious” player.

Why is No Mercy the most played map in L4D2? Because l4d2 players yearn for the return of a dark, serious game with an overbearing atmosphere – like what L4D has.

Now lets go back to the 1990s. Why was Doom so great? Because it created a great atmosphere and attracted a certain type of player. Valve has done a poor job of creating dark games – with the exception of L4D.

When L4D was released, it looked like Valve was going to develop a series of dark games, which would help them become a well rounded company. But instead, they made L4D2, and tried to make it less dark then L4D.

For Valve to take the title of “worlds best developer”, I think they need to offer a wider range of games. The games need to target players looking for “fun” games like tf2, and players that want a serious game with a dark atmosphere like what Left 4 Dead was.

Happy Birthday Half-Life

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Happy Birthday Half Life, your 12 years old today, November 19th 1998 – November 19th 2010. I still remember the first time I saw you, it was at a LAN party in Little Cypress with my buddy Revy.

It was a cold, wet, typical winter day in southeast Texas. I had been invited to a LAN party to play some Quake Deathmatch. While we were taking a short break from the intense action, Revy called me over to his computer and asked if I wanted to see this new game called Half-Life. Revy fired up a new game and showed me the intro scene where Gordon Freeman is taking the tram ride into Black Mesa.

When I got home I told my wife about Half-Life and she bought me the game a few days later. It was a sad time in my life. My sister-in-law at the time was going through a divorce with her husband. On the day she left, my wife took her to the bus station while I stayed at home and play Half-Life.

Half-Life was a turning point in my gaming, as I played Quakeworld and Diablo less and less. When Team Fortress Classic (TFC) was released, it seemed brighter and more fresh then the dark maps of Quakeworld Team Fortress. There was Quake II, but HL seemed to handle better then QII, and the maps of HL were easier to follow then the maps of QII.

When Half-Life was released, a whole new phase in PC gaming started – we just did not realize it at the time. Shortly after the release of HL came TFC and Counter-Strike. From the release of TFC and CS, the Quakeworld servers dried up, and things would never be the same.

I still have that original Half-Life cd on my computer desk. But instead of playing with the CD version, I got Half-Life on Steam as well.

Happy birthday Half-Life, its been a fun 12 years.

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