Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

When design was king

Posted by Trixter on January 21, 2008


A lot of old gamers continue to beat the dead horse of “The games were better when I was a kid!”  While there are a ton of reasons why this is just nostalgia rearing its ugly head, there is one very strong reason this is true in some cases:  Since the graphics and sound of early home computers were so terrible compared to arcades of the day, game designers had to focus on actual game design and not just excuses to blow shit up.

I bring this up because my eight-year-old son Max and I just finished playing Archon for the last 90 minutes.  We didn’t even play it on one of the “cool” platforms, like NES or Amiga, but rather on one of the ugliest ports: The IBM PC.  Terrible sound, horrible graphics, and yet none of that mattered.  In 3 minutes I was able to explain the basics, and then 90 minutes later we were still laughing at each other for some crazy battle.  The entire time, I couldn’t get over how basic game design still reigns supreme, 25 years later.

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One Response to “When design was king”

  1. No fair, you get the poignant video game stories and I all I get was that my cat watched me while I edited.

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