Oh the memories. Somehow tonight's conversation on the K&G Discord went toward talking about old games we played on our parents computers back in the early days. We talked about the educational games where you did math, and then I remembered a game about a treehouse and learning. Then a video was linked in Youtube, and memory lane came into view.
Anyone ever play The Treehouse? I remember playing it back in 1991-ish era, but I don't remember it looking this good. I'm pretty sure these must be the updated graphics.
I remember thinking how AWESOME it was that these monkeys (now I find out they look like possums, but as a kid I was totally into them as monkeys) had their own treehouse. I always wanted my own treehouse, so this was totally a fantasy coming to live.
I remember the mini games we would play. I'm pretty sure one was about getting money and driving around a taxi, another was about playing a piano and guessing how to play songs, one had you putting animals outside, and a few math ones I'm sure.
Graev and I would totally fight over who got to play the Treehouse game. I have a list now of games I want to go look back on for the sake of nostalgia.
This evening I randomly stumbled upon the UO soundtrack.
I was working on something entirely different (not this post) when this music came on. I had to stop and come write these thoughts down. Forgive my stream of consciousness as I try and make sense of it.
In my mind's eye I suddenly had images of playing a brand new newbie character and wandering around a large capital city. The world of this game is unfamiliar to me, but it's a feeling I had before of wandering around a city looking for potion shops or somewhere to find a shop keeper.
I'm reminded of asking people in local (not global or region) chat channels for directions, and having to figure things out together. I don't recall this being an actual memory, but I wandered into a group of players sitting around a camp fire waiting for day before leaving the safety of the city walls.
Slower... yes, it's a slower feeling.
The worlds today are rushed, hectic, and we're always going somewhere because we know where we have to go. We know what we have to do. We have micro objectives. Everything is prescribed, known, expected.
My nostalgic rush reminds me of days where the entire experience was so slow that logging in and walking around was itself an adventure.
The feelings are almost emotional in a way. It brought back those feelings of not knowing anything and feeling so small, lost, and insignificant in a virtual world. Yet at the same time it was (is) a glorious feeling to have no idea what the future holds.
I feel a huge nostalgia rush coming over me lately. There's an enormous pull to go play games that feel more like virtual worlds again. Tonight's 'episode' and almost day-dream vision of staring off into space while listening to these midis only fuels that desire.
There's Agnarr, the upcoming Everquest time-locked progression server. I've also been looking at Legends of Aria which has components of NWN and UO.
Perhaps Agnarr will be a good place to start once again, but I'm open to your ideas. I can't be the only one who slips into these daydreams and experiences such powerful feeling simply from memories. Am I?
P.S. Which do you like better, the Midi above or this version below?
P.P.S. I felt a picture of The Realm was entirely fitting for a featured image. Those who played as long as I did will remember it hits quite a few of these notes.
In lieu of the ever-unattainable Mini NES, Graev decided to build himself a Retropie out of a Raspberry Pi. He showed it to me this afternoon and I knew we had to devote this week's QuickCast to discussing this cool new toy.
Here's what we chat about this week:
Here are the accessories and gadgets we mentioned in this week's episode:
I was very pleased to see the news of Daybreak’s progress on the up and coming EverQuest progression server. Friday they announced that the “Slower Progression” option won the poll. If you recall from my previous EQ progression server post, this option wasn’t the my ideal choice but a close second. I would have preferred a locked progression, but given their latest bit of news a slow progression server might not be so bad.
- Maximum Nostalgia: 6 month unlocks until Gates of Discord; 3 months afterward. This ruleset would take six and a half years to reach where live servers are now.
- Kunark: 6 months
- Velious: 6 months
- Luclin: 6 months
- Planes of Power: 6 months
- Legacy of Ykesha: 2 weeks after PoP
- LDoN: 4 weeks after PoP
- Gates: 6 months (after PoP)
- Omens and later: 3 months
That’s not bad! Several years of EverQuest? Yep, I’m okay with that. They’re also talking about whether or not voting would be implemented or if the expansions would simply unlock at the predetermined time. I hope voting comes into play so that we can delay PoP.
A few of us in our forum community are already planning to start a group on the server. Let’s hope they keep moving at this pace.
Posts here tend to reflect back on older games, our love for them, our memories, what worked and didn’t, the evolution of MMO design, etc. As a result, we often see a theme in the comments section:
“X game would never work if released today. If X game were released today it would fail. People don’t want X game.”
Those saying these things are correct, but not for the reasons they think. It’s like anything old vs. anything new. People want and gravitate toward the newer thing. The market changes as people’s tastes change. What we want and think is heavily influenced by the here and now of our culture. But don’t lose sight of why something worked in the past.
An old PDA if released today would fail. Why? Because people want the iPad. Does that make what the old PDA did bad, or undesirable? No. People still want a touch device, an organizer, something that can make phone calls, store contacts, take notes, play games, etc. People still want the same things, but they want them ‘sexier’. The limits of what we desire today have expanded. There’s no reason why new games can’t do what those games did while taking into consideration the proper expanded desires of today’s market.
I think Apple has done a nice job proving this point.
‘The original iPhone would never work if released today. If the original iPhone were released today it would fail. People don’t want the original iPhone.’ That doesn’t mean we disregard everything from the original iPhone. We take what worked and we adapt it for what the market demands. The market demands bigger? Give them bigger! The market demands faster, more color options, higher resolutions? Give it to them! But the core concept and design of the iPhone — from the user experience down to the very core of what the iPhone does — remains consistent and can not change or else the iPhone ceases to be the iPhone, and would fail.
So when I see people saying that a game like EverQuest, DAoC, or SWG wouldn’t work today, I’d like to see proof that someone has really tried. Release a sexier version of DAoC, EverQuest, or even SWG (maybe The Repopulation?) and let’s see if it simply wouldn’t work. My honest belief is that it would work, just like it already did, and it work a heck of a lot better than the games releasing today with models that are supposedly ‘what the market demands.’