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About Maes

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    Here's an old post I made on the subject,

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  1. Maes

    Alex Jones has a video game.

    The only thing wrong with the trailer is using an NES Joe & Mac ROM hack as an example for "Super Mario Brothers". Other than that it looks similar in conception as e.g. the AVGN fan games.
  2. Maes

    Weirdest Ads You've Ever Seen?

    Not a weird ad per se, but more like weird (and eerie) ad placement: ages ago (somewhere 2011-2013) I was reading an article about illegal immigration in Greece, and an ad for Golden Dawn was embedded in the article. Kinda like "you read about the problem, now here's the (final) solution". Never seen something like that ever since.
  3. Maes

    Do you know some obscure 1990's PC games?

    Huh. Totally not a ripoff of Ralf from Ikari Warriors/King of Fighters...
  4. Maes

    Porting Disasters Thread

    Continuing my (much) earlier rant about the Playstation version of Pinball Fantasies, I was surprised to find out that there existed a SNES version as well, which could be used on-the-go with an X7 Plus console. Hmm... maybe that will be better? Turns out, not really: Most of my complaints about the Playstation version also apply here, especially the very fast ball, weird physics, and delayed flipper response time, so practically it's just as crap to play. Pity... Now, the guy in the video does a quite passable job playing it (I couldn't last more than a minute on each table), but that's probably just practice. I'm just afraid that "practicing" on that version of the game will kill all the fun to be had from other, better versions. Other questionable features are the introduction of horizontal scrolling (well, the SNES can't manage a 320-px wide screen... or can it? Wasn't there a hi-res mode?), and the menu that seems ripped off straight off the Gameboy port of the game (yes, it exists, and probably merits its own review. If only it worked with the X7 Plus's emulator.... grrrr) As for the rest, the art looks needlessly cut down on a lot of places, the tracker music has lost some finesse after being ported to the SPC, but at least it doesn't have the lame SFX of the Playstation version. There's also a Pinball Dreams port (BTW, all of these are made by Spidersoft and licensed by Gametek... ugh...) but seeing how the physics weren't quite there yet with that one, even on the Amiga/PC, that's an easy pass.
  5. Maes

    Do you know some obscure 1990's PC games?

    Not really an obscure game, but I discovered that there is an MS-DOS port of Trog, of all games. Huh. The port doesn't look half bad, considering the year of release (1990), but it has that certain "not quite there" feeling compared to the Arcade. Still, not many other ports of this otherwise great game exist, apart for the NES/Famicom.
  6. Maes

    Do Not Buy Dell

    TBQH most laptops I've dealt with, from any brand, have remained technically functional for quite a long time, I even have a 20 yo Compaq Presario 910EA that still functions. It helps that they are easier to store/take out of storage than a full-fledged desktop. But, oh boy, do they age badly, also considering you can only go so much with regards to upgrades.
  7. Maes

    Managed Doom - A Doom port written in C#

    Well, basic/non-overflow/non-bug demo compatibility should come "naturally", if you otherwise translate the base mechanics of everything correctly (assuming that you keep working with the equivalent of fixed_t and BAM angles internally and don't screw up the signedness of certain operations). For more exotic stuff you need to add special handling/bug emulation, as that, indeed, won't come "naturally" in a managed port. That being said, if you have a way to compare memory/variable values at key points where desyncs occur, using a regular source port as a reference, you can actually go a long way towards emulating pretty much whatever you want. It's just that it's a long and tedious process (I didn't forget about you, @kb1, thank you for all the time we put in this together).
  8. Maes

    Do Not Buy Dell

    Well, with computer and motorcycles "reliability" is a big word and always a source of heated debates (unless you buy Honda, of course...), but I still have the same Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop I bought in 2009. The only thing that technically crapped itself before(?) its time was the original Shitgate Momentus 250GB hard drive (click... click... click...) after 4 years. Got replaced with a 500GB WD one, going strong ever since. The only other actual damage done to it was me spilling a protein drink on its keyboard and I had to source a replacement, but other than that it's still going. RAM was eventualy upgrated to 4, then 6 GB from the original 2, and I got a large capacity battery from AliExpress to replace its near-dead OEM one. OSes went Vista (OEM) -> yanked it out for XP right way, then Windows 7 that it keeps to this days, along with Ubuntu. Since 17" laptops seem very hard to source these days, and my gaming needs are limited to Doom, DOSBOX/emulator and pinball games, I'll keep it around as long as I can.
  9. Maes

    Managed Doom - A Doom port written in C#

    Well, I somehow missed that. I guess you went through similar pains that I went through with Mocha Doom some 10 years earlier. Maybe with a few more niceties -Java didn't even have unsigned types, when I tackled this...
  10. Heh, at a first glance this reminded me of my older project, Mocha Doom -that one was Doom in pure Java. I started it and got it sort or stable about 10 years ago. I don''t have much time for Doom-anything these days, however I'd be curious to glance over Helion's source code -e.g. did you go for a purely managed/OO approach but still close to the original source as I did, or you chose to implement everything from scratch, your own way or -oh, heresy!- just used a wrapper around some C/C++ libdoom.so/dll core? No idea, srsly :-p BTW, this isn't the first port of Doom in C# that I recall, there was one even before I made Mocha Doom -that one was pure C#/.NET, though it was a complete recreation. Too busy even for linking/digging into older posts ATM...
  11. Maes

    unpopular retro opinions

    The Golden Axe dragon has nice, long, smooth, sexy legs. ....what? They really are. Now that I think about it, those dragons were unusual in that they had pretty human-like leg joints, and not the usual "chicken walker" anatomy usually attributed to fantasy dragons, and seen on dipedal dinosaurs.
  12. Maes

    We don't need 3D models! But we do need...

    Well, they are a way to get reference images, indeed, and even hand drawing is more convenient if done over an existing sprite used as a template. But even the best model should be viewed as exactly that: a template, no more and no less, especially if the final medium is as limited as Doom was. My "gripe", so to speak, comes from those projects that thought that using models (of any kind) was a sufficient, one-step method, only to be overwhelmed by the per-sprite postprocessing work. At that point, you might have just as well used a generic, posable artist's dummy as a template and draw around it.
  13. Maes

    We don't need 3D models! But we do need...

    Exactly what I've been trying to convey, @Bauul. There's a difference between "it's easy to make/modify/repose/re-color in its original form" (3D model, clay figurine, latex doll/action figure etc.) and "looks good in the final medium without too much effort". I suppose you could kinda-sorta get away without much post-processing if your final medium has a respectable sprite resolution ( @Tea Monster's models would be enormous by Doom standards) and a high enough color depth so that you don't have to worry about excessive detail loss/pixel noise. Which definitively wasn't the case for any of the classic 1990s era FPS. With Cyberdemon, at pixel scale, for comparison: It's the tallest sprite, yet it looks absolutely tiny next to that Mummy and Chthulhu guy. Still think they would look good if I just blindly halved their dimensions and applied the Doom palette to them? What if they were not even meant to be that tall if resized to scale? E.g. the Mummy guy seems more appropriate for Imp-size, while Chtulhu strikes me more as Baron-sized. Edit: it's interesting how in that before and after thread, the approach they followed was to scale down the resolution first to their intended in-game one (or pretty close to it) and then they performed any edits. That's actually pretty clever, as you know immediately what details will be lost and what you have to work with. That didn't prevent them from going overboard with model details that wouldn't make it cleanly into the finished sprites, though. The Archvile IIRC looked nothing like its final form, esp. the face.
  14. Maes

    We don't need 3D models! But we do need...

    @Tea MonsterNice models, but would they scale down nicely to Doom resolution without some postprocessing work? Carmack & co. definitely had to deal with that aspect, even if it may appear a non-issue today. Limited res., limited palette etc. all required some compromises and good old fashioned elbow grease and eye squint to get a good fit into the final medium, no matter how clean your starting model was. The amount of said post-processing work vs an original creation in the 2D domain determines the method to choose. Like all things in life, it's yet another compromise between desires and available resources.