Life as a YouTuber Rants and raves

Playing Space Quest III with digitized sound effects

Maybe you’ve noticed: I’ve started playing Space Quest III on my YouTube channel.

In the first episode, I talk about how Space Quest fans playing on an MS-DOS PC were jealous of those playing on an Amiga, because the Amiga people got to enjoy the game with digital sound effects.

Most famously, being able to actually hear Roger actually speak the words, “Where am I?” in the intro (even though the line is actually in a thought bubble, but never mind that).

Turns out that the MS-DOS version actually did ship with all the digital sound effects in the game code. They were in the game files when the game was released in 1989, and they are still in the game files if you buy the game on GOG or Steam today.

What it didn’t ship with was a working SoundBlaster driver.

UPDATE: Well, actually, it did … sort of.

Since writing this post, I’ve had a few people tweet me to tell me they did hear the digital sound effects when they played the game back in the day. That was quite surprising, as I was under the impression that the SoundBlaster driver for the game was just faulty regardless of circumstances.

Turns out, the SoundBlaster driver does work, but only on specific cards, and only with specific settings. Here’s one chap who got it working on an official Creative Labs brand SoundBlaster 8-bit card with IRQ 7:

But let’s continue, anyway, because for most people, it didn’t work.

Rants and raves

I re-recorded a fan game soundtrack I made 15 odd years ago

I can’t remember the exact year or circumstances, but back when I was a wee Space Quest Historian I had the good fortune of being asked a couple of times to write music for various Space Quest fan games. I’d been doing weird renditions of the Space Quest theme for a while and putting them up there to, mostly, annoy people, first as .MOD tracker files, and then moving on to General MIDI.

One such project was by a guy who called himself Menbailee. He’d been frequenting the Virtual Broomcloset forums, who back then were a buzzing hive of activity, and he seemed like an okay sort of bloke. I want to say he wanted to do a Klik-n-Play game, because that’s what I remember, but I might be wrong about that. He was calling it The Goliath Series.

It was going to take place after Space Quest V, when Roger was still briefly commanding officer of the SCS Goliath. And then something something evil guy called Khar’n haha funny pun something, and that’s really all I can remember about it. I think you shot something at one point.

Yup, that Goliah.
Yup, that Goliah.
Battle of the U.I.s Rants and raves

Battle of the U.I.s, Pt. 1: Icon bar vs. 2-button

I had an interesting “story meeting” over Skype with Josh Henry, the dude who wrote this, and is now helping me hammer out a story for Space Quest Historian: The Adventure Game.

He asked me something I don’t think has been discussed nearly enough, save for a few bouts of opinionated back-and-forth on Twitter, and certainly not in the forum of long-winded blog posts: What’s the best user interface experience for adventure games?

There are just too many to cover in a single blog post, so I am making this into a series of posts. I assure you, this will eventually lead us down to what I ultimately consider the most successful and ultimately best type of interface of all time.

Rants and raves

Your favorite Sierra characters beating the snot out of each other

This is one of those things that deserves being spread around like fungus, or perhaps an especially virulent STD.

What if someone suggested we took all our favorite protagonists from classic 80’s-era Sierra games and made them square off, Mortal Kombat-style? You’d probably have them committed.

Let’s be grateful, then, that this has yet to happen to the lads over at Jolly Roger Epic Productions (but probably will soon), because they went ahead and did just that.