Friday, 30 June 2017

UPDATE - JUNE 2017


Those who follow me on Facebook or Twitter will know that this past month has been dedicated to reader requests. I have an ever-growing list of requests, of which many have sadly not been so successful in getting them to work. If you haven't seen your suggested game in the last month, keep reading after the jump to hear if it was one of my failed attempts. There's also the usual site news and a couple of game updates in there too!

A lot of my recent Chamber time has been spent trying - and often times failing - to get your requests to work, but that's not to say nothing else has been done. To begin with, I've made more progress with updating how screenshots are presented on older posts, making them easier to view and the page look cleaner.

I've also finally succumbed to including a PayPal donation button (it's on the sidebar on the right). Some of you have asked how you could show your appreciation and suggested something like this so here it is. Alternatively, a word of thanks and a spread of the word will always be gratefully appreciated.

paypal.me/collectionchamber
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WANNA SHOW YOUR LOVE?
DONATE!


Anyway, here's some notes on my failed request attempts. If your request isn't mentioned here, I've probably not got round to it or I have and am saving it for later.

The Dark Side of the Moon - This has been requested several times by several people. It's a great game that uses an upgraded version of the same engine as Temujin. It plays smoothly and is probably completable too. The problem is that for some reason the "Magic Pink" bitmaps aren't displaying correctly. This means that the colour in an image which would normally be read as transparent now shows as pink. It makes the image look quite ugly and it would more than likely affect a puzzle or two later down the line. With this in mind, I decided against putting it on the site.

Dementia: Armed and Delirious - This quirky (to put it politely) adventure does play under an emulated Windows 95 DOSBox build, but it often crashes or stutters. It also has some graphical glitches.

Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza - This FPS was released in what I like to call the 'no man's period'. From about 1999-2006, games are very hit and miss as to if they'll work. They're often too advanced for any emulators to run them and are no longer supported enough to have them work well on modern OS's. This is sadly one of them. All I got was crashes.

Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine - This is another game that kinda works well of an emulated Windows 95 using DOSBox. The problem is that there are moments in the game where it slows to a crawl. This happens when any detailed textures are on screen, for example, the title screen or a close-up of a book. Everything else runs fine with no graphical glitches (I've completed 2 levels), but if that slowdown happens during play - which it's likely to do in later levels - it will be unplayable.

John Saul's Blackstone Chronicles - A Windows '95 game. It crashes during installation, so I couldn't even get to run the game.


There are just 2 minor game updates to talk about, which are mentioned below...

Heart of China
  HEART OF CHINA

        Updated to Version 2
        Added WHDLoad support for Amiga version,
            removing the need for disk swapping
Return of the Phantom
  RETURN OF THE PHANTOM

        Updated to Version 2
        Changed resolution to suit all desktops

13 comments:

  1. Wow! Well at least you've been trying man (so glad you were trying to work on Die Hard, yeah I've been able to install it directly even in windows 10...but it NEVER could play straight no matter what I do)

    Um maybe this could be easier to do since it'll just require a PS3/Xbox360 emulation...Condemned 2 Bloodshot. It's unlikely this'll ever be PC Ported so maybe you can provide the next best thing

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    1. I've not tried PS3 emulation yet, but from what I gather it's a bit spotty (XB360 seems non-existent). It may a while before I can do it adequately. It's a good game though. I have it on my PS3 - one of the few to truly creep me out when playing.

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    2. Well here's hoping

      Also FYI "I" have been able to get Die Hard installed and playing on my computer once it's all patched up...the only problem is I can't ever seem to properly force the FPS to 60 and force VSYNC. Because of that I'm one of those stuck with the stupid "Skipping cutscenes" and "Unplayible mouse control in the gameplay" problems

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  2. First of all a great site! I love that you are covering those hard to fix games from the end of 90's that GOG and ScummVM can't get to work.

    Might I have 2 suggestions for next games? X-Files (7 CD adventure game) and Black Dahlia. Both are good FMV games that have several hoops to get working. I have the files if you are interested.

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    1. I have both (big box too!) but the sheer no. of disks is a problem I haven't fixed yet. Windows 95 on DOSBox doesn't allow for more than 6 CDs or 2GB hard drives. Not tried Black Dahlia, but X-Files seems to work with minor slowdown. It's just a matter of getting the whole game in there.

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  3. Hey Biff,
    Check your inbox :)
    Cheers,
    Charlie

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  4. Hi Biffman,

    in terms of The Dark Side Of The Moon and other hot candidates which look like being a little bit tricky to emulate them in proven way - why not actually using a Virtual Machine (VMware), provided with an OS like Win98 or higher to get all those difficult-to-run games to work whilst offering great compatibility at the same time?

    Bye for now,
    Thomas

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    1. Hello Thomas.

      I've looked into Virtual Machines and they are probably the best way to play any of these old classics. The problem is that they can't be packaged into a simple installer and played on any machine which is what I'm trying to do here - click-n-play simplicity that requires next to no technical know-how for the average gamer.

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    2. You, dear Biffman, are not only absolutely succeeding in presenting interesting - and sometimes positively obscure - games of any genre which haven't seen the light of day for a quite long time; you're also aiming for the major common denominator by making your installers accessible for the widest range of gamers. And that's something I definitely respect and approve. Chapeau!

      However, with actually "hopeless" cases like The Dark Side Of The Moon, Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza and others, maybe there could be worked out a golden middle course, so to say: In fact, with a portable VM Player like Portable VirtualBox (whose only limitation seems to be that it's not available for PCs which are still operating with Windows XP), at least it should be no problem any longer to integrate those otherwise tough-nut-to-crack games into your formidable installers, if I ain't wrong.

      By the way, I was taking the "trouble" of trying to get The Dark Side Of The Moon and Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza running on my plain 32-Bit Windows 7 Dual Core Nvidia Notebook system. Well, what shall I say? Die Hard worked at once, and The Dark Side Of The Moon only had to make use of two additional .dll files (Text & Mouse movement fixes) that I easily downloaded from the web.

      Summarising the above, it can be said that the crux of this matter seems to lie in the Bit architecture of my system; which automatically leads me to the cautious conclusion that the said games don't like 64-Bit environments. Simple as that. I guess.

      Bye for now,
      Thomas

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    3. Just to avoid a possible misunderstanding of me saying "approve": it was meant in the same sense as "to endorse" or "to like it".

      Bye for now,
      Thomas

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    4. Hello Thomas,

      In all honesty, the main problem is time - it takes a lot to learn a program like that inside out. I'll look into Portable VirtualBox at some point (I've not come across it before) but from my experience with other Virtual Machines it may not be suitable for what I'm aiming for. In regards to 64bit vs 32bit, that's become one of the main reasons why so many old games refuse to work. You may have more luck with many games 64bit users have trouble with.

      Anyway, I have loads of games on the backburner that I've got working that I know you'll enjoy or at least find interesting. Your enthusiasm for them always makes for a welcome read.

      Biff

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  5. Hi there, Biff,

    together with numerous technological improvements of Virtual Machines to be expected as time progresses, there might come a period as well when those splendid little programs have grown absolutely sophisticated and will be ready for click n' play likewise; which would mean an era accompanied by a new great horizon opening before your Collection Chamber!

    Until then, and as you said, countless old game delicacies are still present on your shelf (without feeling the need for any Virtual Machine), waiting for their introduction here at this fine place and at your pace. Thanks, Biff!

    Bye for now,
    Thomas

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