I like this very much because I had the same sort of experience. I’ve found myself less enthusiastic about the ultra-realistic games that are more recently available, as they leave so much less to the imagination.
You don’t use your imagination to improve upon the design? That’s what my friends and I would do, imagine a world where the game was more realistic (pretty much what you did). Except ours would be post-video game experience, not mid-game.
I grew up on the PS1/N64 era of video games, moving onto PS2 in my teenage years.
@Ryan: Wait, you mean you stop playing?
Coming from the NES/SNES era, I totally agree with the point of the comic. More importantly, I find that more game developers seem to feel that storyline and gameplay are secondary to the graphics. I don’t need my games to have top-end graphics (though it can be really cool), but a good storyline is essential to my enjoyment. Failing that, something that is just incredibly fun to play (see flash games) can be a fair substitute.
Just a question, I understand sentimentality, I do, but do you enjoy movies with bad special effects more because those too leave more to the imagination? I mean really. If you want to use your imagination, read a book or go to a professional story teller, or find a friend or family member to tell you a story. That was the time when you really had to use your imagination.
For me, it is more about the memories I have playing those old games with friends rather than needing to use my imagination. Dono…just a though. Don’t mean to offend.
the graphics in independence day could be considered “bad” these days but the movie is still great. same with bill and ted’s excellent adventure. the graphics aren’t stellar, but that’s not what was important, it was getting the babes.
Thank you for this, Artist. This made my day.
Thank you all for your kind comments. I’d rather not clear up the misunderstandings that have come up in discussions regarding this comic (it breaks my heart to explain my own “jokes”). I’m just pleased to know that there are plenty of people that know exactly what it’s all about.
Thank you for visiting, all of you.
Reddit Effect, I underestimated you. Half of March’s bandwidth was gone in just one day. Well played.
I loved this piece and it exactly matches what I was trying to say in an article, which is going to go online 11 March (I think) here
It’s about the ZX Spectrum, not the C64, but the idea is the same (even more so as the graphics were simpler)
“the worlds created on the Spectrum were poems, not photographs. They asked for your investment. They needed your imagination, your faith, your belief, to make them come to life. They invited you to help create worlds.”
I absolutely adored this comic (well, when the image was viewable). I used to imagine all sorts of things when I first got my Atari 2600 and then my C64. Well done, sir. Well done.
It’s a sentiment worth spreading around. 🙂 Looking forward to your article.
Ooops, sorry about that. Got a bit overzealous with the hot-linking protection, I guess!! Should be fine now.
No problem, Pedro. I’ve had the opportunity to go through a good portion of the rest of your works and, trust me, I truly appreciate the work and effort you put into it. You really do some wonderful work.
article is up 🙂 I hope you can connect with it.
Will: that’s spooky, man. What a happy coincidence for us both to reflect on these games beyond natural nostalgia. As games strive for filling these once graphical blanks, this area demands less interpretation skills. This, in turn, makes vintage games look unreasonable in their asking of taking the onscreen graphics as mere stimulus, a starting point for a landscape of the player’s own creation. I loved the mention of game and magazine covers of the time in your article, because nowadays they are perceived as pretentious and disconnected from the actual game: in actuality, sometimes games looked even more daring and magnificent in our minds!
There’s still plenty of abstraction in games that requires of the player willing suspension of disbelief in terms of narrative, mechanics and even control (most player’s underestimate how alien is to non-gamers the idea of pushing a button to achieve an action), so it’s not like modern games are already-chewed experiences. I’m not campaigning either for a return to sparse interfaces that put the grunt of the work into the player. At best, it’s just an invitation to approach these old games with new eyes, with a willingness to pour yourself into them and make them unique experiences.
In the end, though, I made the comic just because… it was a special time for a kid to be a gamer, you know? That’s all. But of course you know: it’s all there in the article. Congratulations, Will!
😀 Im playing patapon nowadays, and I can tell you =o I love it, because I can imagine I’m the ultimate god of these little creatures. It lets me feel more like im in control of the game. All the other games just make you feel like some lame nerd. =( so sad
I actually had this version of the Great Giana Sisters:
It’s a copy that has been hacked back to look more like Super Mario. It was also one of the first games I beat all the way through. I remember playing flawlessly for level after level because I KNEW there was one almost impossible jump where you had to land on the side of a spike on the other side of a pit to get through a level. I would go through 10-15 lives every time I played and that would be the only place I would die.
Great game and thanks for the memories!
I haven’t played Patapon, but any game that lets you use your imagination is A-OK in my book.
I kinda remember that part. I wonder if that hack had the same abrupt ending of GGS. At the time, I wasn’t even sure I beat the game!
Glad you enjoyed the comic!
This comic kind of got to me. It’s the same thing I experienced playing Earthbound.
Revisiting the game, I was shocked at the amount of events that I remembered happening but weren’t explicitly shown in the game.
Couldn’t agree more!!!!! Was just thinking this the other day!!!
In 2006, I got hooked on Morrowind. Before I learned about the game mechanics, I was absorbing it all like a new world to explore, to learn, and to live. Eventually, I realized what the stats were for, and I started to win, and it stopped being as magical. But I’ll still remember the day I stood and watched the sun come up over Suran.
Same for me, also on a C64. Not Gaia Sisters, but Below the Root from Wyndham Classics.
Ironically, I found the entire series of books in various used book stores (before the Internet) completely by accident – in order they came out.
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