Old Computer Games Find New Life As iPad Apps
The point-and-click CD-ROM games in the 1990s required patience: They were slow and peppered with cheesy acting. But they also were formative for an entire generation of gamers. Playing Myst was like waking up in a beautiful, color-saturated dream where anything was possible. Even games with lesser graphics, such as Sierra On-Line's King's Quest, pulled in the player for hours of puzzle solving.
Console game play largely bulldozed the point-and-click genre from the field, but not from players' minds. Now the old classics are sprouting up again this time on the iPad.
Why now? Part of the reason, said Francis Dierick, a programmer who recently ported a version of the Sierra game Space Quest to his iPad, is simply timing. The people who originally played these games got older, and nostalgia set in .
We started to be an interesting segment to market to. We started getting older and we have a little money, Dierick told InnovationNewsDaily. Not only were the games great, but digging them up is part of a bigger, collective wave of nostalgia surging through pop culture. You see it in a lot more than just games, said Dierick.
If it were up to just the companies that made them, these games might never have climbed out of the dustbin. However, as Generation X aged, it accrued some mighty programming skills. Many of the same people who played these games as kids are now adapting them and making them available as unlicensed iPhone and iPad applications .
The tablet format has cultivated public participation in a way that was never possible with other game platforms. Creating emulators for old games has practically become a way for tech-savvy consumers to show companies exactly what they want. By resurrecting old games, they are giving the original developers the chance to wise up and release them officially.
Programmers themselves often prefer the simplistic classics because they can see the craft behind them, the creative details that can get obscured when massive production teams converge on a single project, said Dierick.
But the appreciation for the classics extends beyond gaming professionals and is proving that a game doesn't have to look like a movie to be successful.
If you have this suspension of disbelief, it doesn't matter what it looks like, said Dierick.
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