Retirement, Envy, and 15+ year old games.

It’s been a while, and I apologize.  A lot of things have been happening. The biggest is that my father at 55 has retired from his cushy government job and is now enjoying doing a whole lot of nuthin’ on his cushy government pension. Good break if you can get it.

Unfortunately at least two of the reasons that I’ve not been writing is that I’ve been sucked into some old video games. A short time ago the ScummVM project sucked in the FreeSCI project, and made the first joint release. For those who don’t know, ScummVM is a reimplementation for modern computers of the Scumm engine which was used in a large number of old, 2D Lucas Arts adventure games such as Loom and The Secret of Monkey Island. For me, these games represent my early years with computers, and at the time were very cutting edge.  Each was packed with adventure, humor, colorful graphics and some really good music. ScummVM has since grown to include a large number of other similar games, and with the assimilation of FreeSCI, that includes all of the old “Quest” games by Sierra! I thrived on these!  And none was better than Quest for Glory. I got lost in that world for hours as a young teen, and I was happy to be back. It sucked far more time that I care to admit, both then and now.

In much the same vein, the Exult project seeks to reimpliment the engine used in the Ultima 7 series of games. A great example of open ended games and a level of interactivity which I don’t think has been matched since. Every single on screen item is an object that can be picked up, including (with size and weight checks turned off, the best cheat I’ve ever used) the walls and ceilings of the buildings. I never had so much fun as pulling apart a ship board by board and shoving it in my backpack! Each character has a full daily schedule, so as you follow them you can see them get up, eat breakfast, work in a field/shop, go out for a beer at the local pub, watch a play, go to church, and finally turn in for the night. So much attention to detail for a game released in 1992.

Check out both projects. They both have versions for all 3 major PC platforms, and I believe they both have android versions, as well as a large number of other platforms. Many of the games they run can found cheaply at used stores like Half Priced Books, or are considered abandon ware, and can be downloaded freely from sites like Abandonia or Home of the Underdogs. Check them out and have fun!

I promise that there will be more HAM and nerd related content coming soon. I ordered a Pandaboard that I’m going crazy waiting for it to be delivered!


About Grant Wagner

General class ham: KC9SJQ
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