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Nick R

Digital Foundry DF Retro videos

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I know people tend to link to DF Retro videos in each game or console's dedicated thread, but here's a topic for all their miscellaneous videos that wouldn't really fit elsewhere.

 

Today they published this video testing out four games (Quake 3 Arena, Half-Life, Unreal, and Trespasser) on a 700 MHz Pentium III with a whopping 384MB RAM, and two graphics cards: an ELSA Erazor III TNT2 Pro, and a 3dfx Voodoo 2.

 

 

A lot of people seem to look back fondly on Trespasser. I never played it but my main memory of it is that CVG gave it a really negative review. (That score is listed on the game's Wikipedia article as 1/10, but CVG used a 5-star rating system at that time. Will have to edit that, once I've found my copy of the issue...)

 

John Linneman does lots of praising of CRT monitors in that video! I recently had to dig out my old 4:3 Dell CRT to use on my PC after my LCD monitor died. (In my case this CRT monitor seems unusually dark even with contrast and brightness set high, so I'm wondering if that's not due to this particular monitor dimming with age, but because Windows 10 and my graphics card are in some way optimised/expecting to output to LCD? There's probably a gamma setting that needs tweaking somewhere...) Anyway, at the moment I'm just pleased to have the chance to press the degauss button again - wheeee! :wub:

 

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DF Retro's great. I'm not into the dry technical analysis of modern games but seeing what creative workarounds developers had to come up with in olden times is genuinely interesting. I like the multi-format comparisons and when they use emulators to break boundaries or run in wireframe or whatever. I've also learned a lot about classic games that I missed, and their historical importance.

 

I get a little kick of joy whenever a new DF Retro video crops up on my feed. I prefer the normal structured episodes over Let's Plays (or, heaven forbid, the "let's talk over skype while watching an old E3 presentation" videos), but I did enjoy watching them play through all of TMNT on the NES recently.

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Yeah i love seeing all the short cuts dev used to create scenes or graphical effects. Especially as CRT's hid a lot of the obvious seams and it's only now you can see actually how things were done.

 

The Trespasser stuff where it created a 2D object from a 3D render and kept updating the 2D image as you moved around it to avoid actually rendering a 3D object at distance is crazy!

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