Discussion Topic: What's the scariest 16-bit era game you've ever played?
My family has this way of saving everything. Not through conscious, organized preservation, but by virtue of never throwing anything away.
In that vein, I was digging through some old papers at my mom's house after my father passed away in 2013, and I came across this homemade Halloween greeting card.
From the looks of it, my dad made the card for me and my brother using Broderbund's Print Shop on the family's Apple IIc. It is printed on a single sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper; one is supposed to fold it in half twice to achieve a gatefold design with a front, inside, and back. Click the image above to see the whole thing unfolded — the other side is blank.
As for who colored it with crayons, I'm guessing I did (perhaps my dad or brother did it neatly, then I gave it a once-over with a brown squiggly line). What a great momento from the home PC era. Happy Halloween!
Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever made a personalized greeting card using your computer? Tell us about it.
The Gothic fantasy atmosphere of Heretic excited me when id Software first published it as shareware episode in 1994. Either someone uploaded the game to my BBS or I downloaded it from another, but either way, I quickly found myself enveloped in a modem-to-modem online co-op Heretic session with a friend.
Fast forward 18 years later, and I played Heretic again — this time, the entire game (and again, co-op). The first episode is OK, but the level design for the others is incredibly tedious and disappointing. I can see now that it is a very mediocre game. But when first released, following hot on the heels of Doom, people loved it.
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite Doom engine game?
Back in 2007, I intended to write an article about the 10th anniversary of Monolith's Blood, one of my personal favorite computer games. Accordingly, I contacted Nick Newhard, the designer and lead programmer of Blood, and arranged for an interview.
For whatever reason, my interview with Newhard didn't take place until April 2008 via email. (That's probably why I shelved the project.) Since it's almost Halloween — and it's the 15th anniversary of Blood this year — I thought I'd share this little gem from my archives. It should be a treat for any Blood fans that might be out there.
I'm presenting this interview a little more sparsely laid-out than I usually do just for the sake of expediency. Some day I will write more about Blood, but until then, I hope this nugget of history will tide you over.
By the way, you can buy Blood on GOG.com these days for $5.99 (price at present). It runs great in DOSBox on a fast machine — make sure you crank up the in-game display resolution for greatest effect. The game is amazing in 1440×900 VESA mode on a widescreen monitor.
I heartily endorse the thorough and frequent playing of Blood, as it is one of the greatest PC games of all time — in my opinion, at least.
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's the scariest video or computer game you've ever played?
If you like my regular VC&G series of Halloween costume ideas, then you might enjoy this piece I just whipped up for PCMag, titled "12 Last-Minute Tech Halloween Costume Ideas." Readers seeking practical costume ideas may be disappointed, but readers expecting boatloads of Benj-style Halloween humor will hit the jackpot. Or at least I hope so.
Here's a list of the VC&G Halloween Costume Ideas articles:
Halloween is only four days away, and if you haven't chosen your costume already, you're screwed. Luckily, VC&G is here to help (once again) with 13 fresh last-minute costume ideas.
Through this article, things you will see. Other places. The future…the past. Old friends long gone.* Regardless of the vintage, each of these costumes is guaranteed to get you candy or your money back. Did I mention this is the fifth entry of this longstanding VC&G tradition? Most excellent.**
* Modified Yoda quote.
** Unmodified Bill & Ted quote.
That spooky, spooky holiday is just around the corner, so I figured you guys might enjoy something in theme. I think I've played Witchaven once or once before — even if only because it used the Build engine — but I don't remember it well. What did you guys think of it?
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's your favorite scary/creepy computer or video game? Any platform, any era.
Splatterhouse 3 is by far my favorite entry in the Splatterhouse series. The other two just don't cut it for some reason. I prefer Splatterhouse 3′s room-based approach to the game, and its controls are pretty good. It incorporates an on-screen map too, which makes it feel more like an adventure game.
Happy Halloween, by the way!
Discussion Topic of the Week: What's the goriest video game you've ever played?
Yep, it's that time of year again: time for VC&G's famous Video Game Halloween Costume Ideas — 2009 edition.
This article series is almost an institution now, as we enter our fourth year of providing last-minute costume suggestions to desperate video game nerds everywhere. Each of these costumes is guaranteed to get you candy, or your money back. After you're done reading, feel free to post your own costume suggestions in the comments below.