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LostCosmonaut

Unstart's Thread of Good Games with Terrible Graphics

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Recent advances in computational technology have enabled video games to have some emot-krad2.gif graphics. However, graphics is not the end all be all of what makes a game good. There are many games that I like which have terrible graphics, but are still fun.

 

1. Dwarf Fortress

Map-01-Floor01.gif

 

The stereotypical game with terrible graphics but absurd depth, Dwarf Fortress puts you in control of seven alcohol midgets who must survive and thrive in various environments, while overcoming obstacles such as fluid dynamics, hostile wildlife, and their own stupidity. It is in continual development (by a single guy in Washington with a bit of help from his brother), and will probably not be feature complete until sometime in the 2020s. Despite this, it has a great amount of depth, mostly because of how much stuff is procedurally generated. "Stuff" in this case includes an entire game world, with up to thousands of various historical characters. Also easily moddable, if you're into that sort of thing. Get it here (it's free); http://bay12games.com/dwarves/

 

 

2. Aurora 4X

 

SystemZoomed.png

 

A Microsoft Access database that has somehow mutated into a quite playable game. Design your own spaceships, prospect for minerals, purge xenos, and explore the galacy, all using the magic of spreadsheets and graphics that wouldn't look out of place on in 1995. Do note that it doesn't follow real world physics exactly (FTL, and spacecraft require constant thrust to keep moving), so it feels more like naval battles in space. Still, pretty fun. Also free, can be found here; http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php

 

 

3. Caves of Qud

 

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An old favorite of mine which I've been getting back into recently, Caves of Qud takes place in a vaguely post-apocalyptic landscape of ASCII characters. Complete various quests or just wander around the map, and kill things using methods such as your mind, blunt objects, and lasers. Free version is here; https://s3.amazonaws.com/CoQ/setup.exe, do note that it's not fully complete at the moment. A paid version, with better graphics and other minor improvements, is in development and will probably show up on steam at some point in the future.

 

I will give $10 to anyone who manages to kill a Chrome Pyramid without cheating.

 

4. Young's Modulus

 

 

It has robots and such, use them to shoot at other robots. Very definitely requires use of joystick, and can be a royal pain to get working on any computer that is not a toaster. Still, it's pretty fun to do quick battles against the AI (it theoretically features online multiplayer, but I've not yet tried it). Get it here; http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=10769 (it was originally paid software which is now free, should be unlockable by entering "123456" as the product key).

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On the plus side I could probably forcefeed those games pixels for that sweet sweet virtual 6880x2880 super resolution smoothing.

 

It's interesting, a lot of ugly games I can put up with the graphics but I can't deal with the interfaces.

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Dwarf Fortress 0.42.01 is here!

 

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Here is the new version we've been working on all year! The flow of fortress life is quite a bit different now -- specific breaks and parties have been replaced by taverns and performances and needs and inebriation. You can designate a tavern, temple or library from a meeting area zone, bedroom or dining room using the new Assign Location option. The location list ('l') will let you know what sort of furniture and items you need, and you can set tavern keepers, scribes and other occupations there as well. You'll need to set up a drink stockpile and a chest for goblets in taverns for drink service to work properly, but dwarves can still drink without a tavern as before. You can assign multiple rooms/zones to a single location. There's a lot more -- see the feature list below.

The bug fix list below is partial. Large chunks of the game were changed, which has a way of making old bugs go away while bringing in new ones to take their place. We'll be focusing on bugs old and new in subsequent releases, starting with crashing saves and moving down the list. The next set of bug-fix releases will be measured on a scale of days and weeks rather than months, as usual.

New stuff

  • Ability to designate taverns, temples and libraries in the fortress
  • Taverns and libraries also exist in adventure mode and world generation
  • Tavern keepers can serve drinks in both modes, goblets can be used by dwarves to drink (in taverns or otherwise)
  • Performances include stories, poetry, music and dance (you can view activity descriptions from the unit/job list)
  • Art forms are randomly generated for each civilization
  • Instruments are now all generated, instruments can be used in both modes
  • Most instruments are constructed from multiple pieces using different materials
  • Personalities and values lead to needs which can be met by various actions in both modes
  • The fort has visitors, residency petitions and eventual citizenship, including non-dwarves
  • Tavern visitors include mercenaries, monster slayers, bandits, diplomats and performers
  • Can set details for clothing/armor jobs to make them for other races that can equip items
  • Monster slayers can petition your fortress to go down and fight monsters once you discover the underground
  • Performance troupes are active in world generation and into play, visiting the fort, can be formed in adventure mode
  • New knowledge system divided into nine branches (though it has very few practical effects so far)
  • Fortress scholars can advance knowledge, form master-apprentice relationships and write down their findings
  • Fortress scribes can copy works in your library
  • Scholars can visit your fortress libraries, bringing knowledge from around the world
  • Devoted historical figures can visit your fortress temples
  • Three forms of writing material: papyrus sheets, paper sheets and parchment sheets
  • Papyrus sheets are made directly from the plant at the farmer's workshop
  • Paper is made from pressed slurries (start at the quern/mill, then go to a screw press)
  • Parchment is made from hide and milk of lime at the tanner's (bake quicklime at a kiln, then make milk of lime at an ashery)
  • Sheets are used to make quires or with rollers to make scrolls -- these are then used for writing
  • Quires can be bound into codices with bindings after they contain writing
  • Dwarves read books in the library (they don't need to be scholars)
  • Values can be passed in writing (both modes) and through adventure mode arguments (uses some conversation skills)
  • Animal people are playable as adventurers, arrive as fort visitors and sometimes live in towns in (playable) populations
  • Children play with toys now, and they can also play make believe, in both modes
  • Personality can be customized/randomized in adventure mode, appearance can be randomized as well
  • Temples can be defiled in both modes, dwarf temples can be assigned to particular gods
  • Adventurer can rent rooms in inns
  • Adventurers can compose new poems, music and dances
  • Adventurers can write material down on empty quires or scrolls
  • Alcohol causes inebriation, erratic behavior, unconsciousness, death
  • Festivals occur in world generation, though we haven't gotten them out of there yet
  • Dwarves will wear trinkets again

Major bug fixes


  • Fixed some army pathing issues
  • Goblins have mounts again
  • Fixed long-standing flow bug with unit occupancy
  • Stopped some issues with brawls escalating to non-lethal

Other bug fixes/tweaks


  • Looking at reaction screen for redded-out reactions in workshop will indicate missing reagents now
  • Fixed inversion problem with half of the child/parent conversation thoughts
  • Lots of historical figures that weren't around from the beginning didn't have deities when they were supposed to
  • Allowed site finder to look for 1x1 sites
  • Human civilizations now have randomized values
  • Added ability to set invasion wave cap size

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Started playing Caves of Qud again since it got on steam and is now getting major content updates. I was going to write an effortpost about it, but instead I'll just steal a quote from SA;

 


Get killed by ANGRY MUTANT PLANTS. Get killed by ANGRY MUTANT ANIMALS. Get killed by ANGRY MUTANT BUGS. Kill a bear and EAT IT, just EAT AN ENTIRE BEAR. KILL EVERYTHING. Descend into the DEPTHS OF THE WORLD and retrieve ANCIENT TECHNOLOGICAL ARTIFACTS. KNIFE-FIGHT a GIANT DRILL ROBOT and WIN. Be a COOL WASTELAND KNIGHT. Be a TWO-FISTED COWBOY. Be a HOMICIDAL NINJA TURTLE with an AXE and a SHOTGUN. SPONTANEOUSLY BURST INTO FLAMES. Get into a GUNFIGHT with a HYENA-MONSTER and accidentally anger a HERD OF MAJESTIC HULKING DEMON HORSES with your crossfire. Fly into the air like a BEAUTIFUL EAGLE and then SWORD-FIGHT a GIANT DRAGONFLY. MIND CONTROL a TWO-HEADED BOAR and MAKE IT WEAR CHAIN MAIL and KILL YOUR ENEMIES. Encounter a LEGENDARY PLANT with an INTIMIDATING SKULL MASK and the ability to THROW FIERY DEATH FROM ITS HANDS. CONTRACT HORRIFYING DISEASES. Go to THE DEATHLANDS and discover that THE DEATHLANDS are called THE DEATHLANDS because they will KILL YOU DEAD. HACK OFF A ROBOT’S HEAD AND EAT IT. Get into a SLEDGEHAMMER DUEL with a ‘ROIDED-OUT SUPERCANNIBAL. Be SO TECHNOLOGICALLY ILLITERATE that you BREAK A BOX OF CRAYONS attempting to figure out what it is. Be SO TECHNOLOGICALLY GIFTED that you can make an ACID GRENADE out of a PLASTIC TREE and a FOLDING CHAIR. Build your own FLAMETHROWER. Build your own LASER GUN. Build your own HANDHELD NUCLEAR BOMB and BLOW YOURSELF UP WITH IT. Collect MAGMA in a CANTEEN. Pour MAGMA into a pool of ACID to see what happens. DRINK MAGMA. TELEPATHICALLY LOCATE an enemy and HATE IT TO DEATH with your TERRIFYING BRAIN SORCERY. Have your LEGS CUT OFF and then REGROW YOUR LEGS and pick up your previous legs and EAT YOUR OWN LEGS. Encounter your EVIL TWIN and then summon six of your own GOOD TWINS to fight your evil twin’s SIX EVIL TWIN TWINS in a FOURTEEN-WAY PSYCHIC LASER DEATH RAVE and then BURN TO DEATH when all of the combined PYROKINETIC MIND FIRE from all of the TIME CLONES causes the ENTIRE MAP TO COMBUST AND MELT.

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This LP of Wizardry IV, an RPG that uses a very stripped-down D20 system from 1987, is quite remarkable.  This game sounds goddamn sadistic, and surprise surprise, it was highly influential in Japan.

 

A lovely selection of evil features:

 

-Most players can't beat the first room.

 

-There is no XP gain from defeating enemies.  The only reasons to fight them are that they're in the way or holding plot-critical items.  Otherwise, combat is just a way to lose.

 

-There is a thief class of enemy NPCs that can steal items, including plot critical ones.  The player will have to wander around the level, hoping to blunder into them again to get their shit back.

 

-There are a limited number of keystrokes the player has to beat the game.

 

-There is a vengeful ghost that pursues the player in real time despite the fact that this is a turn-based game!  If it catches the player, instadeath game over.

 

-There are spinner squares in several levels that randomly change the player's orientation, and there is no on-screen indication this has happened (first person 1987 graphics, yo).  The player does have a spell that gives their coordinates and orientation, but using it on top of a spinner square will cause the spinner square to spin them again after the spell was cast, obsoleting the information given.

 

-On this map the axes are tilted so that the Z axis becomes a Y axis, and the top-down dungeon crawler becomes a side-view platformer.  It is possible to fall to your death on this map:

 

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Yes, those are landmines.  And this game is played in first person, and the mines aren't visible from adjacent squares.

 

-This would probably be a good time to mention that loading a previously saved game will resurrect all enemies who were killed when the saved game was made, so the game aggressively punishes save-scumming.

 

-There are five possible endings.  Getting the grandmaster, or best possible ending requires the player to pass a surprise test on Kabbalistic Jewish mysticism.  Seriously:

 

24-12wizfour447.png

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This game sounds goddamn sadistic, and surprise surprise, it was highly influential in Japan.

 

14 ports of the original Wizardry games, and 26 spinoff games, including a MMO. And a direct to VHS movie. Plus all the games that copied things from Wizardry like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Etrian Odyssey, etc.

 

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http://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=202304

 

Sub Commander is a free, independently developed roguelike submarine simulator with an emphasis on realism and freedom of choice. Originally, the game was envisioned to be a kind of cross between Dwarf Fortress and the film K-19 The Widowmaker but it is rapidly growing to a full featured submarine warfare simulator. Eventually I plan to simulate all aspects of cold war era naval and aerial combat, so the player's submarine will be in the midst of a dynamic, procedurally generated global war.

One of the main focuses of the game is dealing with accidents and emergencies aboard the submarine. Nuclear submarines are hugely complicated pieces of equipment and there's a lot which can go wrong - fires, flooding, radiation leaks, lack of oxygen etc are all accurately simulated. Careful management of the crew and the submarine's automated systems is essential to conquer these threats and complete your mission successfully. In some ways, it's like a much more complex version of Faster Than Light aboard a submarine (without the fancy graphics unfortunately!)

While the simulation of the onboard systems is highly detailed, I have tried to ensure the game is accessible to almost anyone and the learning curve is not too steep. The graphics are very basic but I try to keep them clean and functional - but I admit great graphics were never a priority for this game.

Key features:
- 38 nations represented in game, 36 of which are playable
- AI controlled forces consisting of 23 classes of ships and 10 types of aircraft, all with historically accurate armaments
- Huge in game map covering the entire globe, with more than 80 cities (uses high-res NOAA sea depth data)
- Realistic physics-based modelling of fire, fluid dynamics and radiation aboard the sub
- Extremely detailed submarine with accurate models of all important systems

 


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Armored Commander has been updated to 1.0, the final release version barring any bug fixes or another developer forking it. So now's the time to play it.

 

IIRC the developer posted on reddit a couple months ago that they plan to eventually start developing a Armored Commander 2 because they feel overly constrained by the Patton's Best rules.

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Have some fun material science facts from Dwarf Fortress;

 


Fun facts about Adamantine based only on the contents of the raw files:

- It melts at 8333 C (15032 F), so you'd need to throw it into the sun in order to melt it.
- If it did melt, its density would increase 13x from 0.2 g/cm3 to 2.6 g/cm3. Most normal substances decrease in density slightly when they melt. This means that a melting adamantine bar would shrink.
- Adamantine is only ~10x stronger than steel, more or less, but it is perfectly rigid. How adamantine thread works is beyond me.
- Adamantine can be made ~10x sharper than most metals, according to the max edge.
- Adamantine has a specific heat 2x higher than water, and 15-20x higher than most other metals.

Strange consequences of these facts:

- The speed of sound in air is 343 m/s (1126 ft/s), in water is 1484 m/s, and in iron is 5120 m/s. According to my calculations, the speed of sound in adamantine is at least 63200 m/s, due to the high stiffness and low density. If adamantine is perfectly rigid, as shown by having 0 strain at fracture in the raw files, then the speed of sound in the metal approaches the speed of light. Adamantine musical instruments would produce ultrasonic vibrations, and cut off the fingers of the musician.
- Adamatine would make for excellent crowbars/prybars, because you could use a 20 foot long pole to pry open a heavy stone door and it wouldn't bend the tool.
- When adamantine does break, it would suddenly shatter like glass without warning, because it is so rigid and because it stores so much internal energy. The resulting shrapnel would be nasty, good thing it is next to impossible to break...
- Even a perfectly sharp blade needs a bit of force to cut, as you have to force the flesh/stone/metal/etc. to part so the blade can move forwards. Since adamantine has low weight, there would be little momentum in the sword swing and all of the force would come from the user.

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Another goon is doing a Let's Play of concentrated space autism (Aurora): https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3822055&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=1

 

Despite the fact that the goons are playing as the Martian Colonial Federation, this is definitely not a backdoored Expanse fanfic.

 

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(definitely not a poorly disguised expanse fanfic)

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