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Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!

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13 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

Which version ? Mac still?

Will see if this has been picked up on by support, but am currently in Las Vegas so may not be able to stay on top of it. 

 

PC.

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1 hour ago, BabelRich said:

Was your analog stick not centered when you turned it on? 

 

I don't have an analogue stick. I'm using an 8bitdo Zero.

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21 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

Last Ninja was one of those really desirable C64 games, it was supposed to be released on the Spectrum but never did (I think the amstrad did get a conversion)

 

The Last Ninja 2 did get a Speccy version, then ported to the CPC. Neither the first nor third games made it to those machines though.

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@Anne Summers Nothing to do with deKay’s problem, but one thing I noticed on his video is that every section ends with ‘games’, like ‘driving games’, ‘platform games’, etc. Is there any real need for it? I mean, it’s a service for games which only has games, isn’t it? Games.

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I’ve said already, but the search needs much improvement. You can only search by name, which is useless if you don’t know the name or want certain types of game.

 

I want to search for “1988” or “1993” for games from those years. I want to search for “Data East” or “Gremlin”. Or “Cecco” or “Darling” or “Pickford” ( ;) ).

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35 minutes ago, dumpster said:

Working fine for me on PC, but nothing updated.

 

Works fine with no controller connected.

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On 04/07/2019 at 15:40, deKay said:

 

The guy chatting in your video reflects the opinions of everyone I've shown it to.   "Wow, that's cool! Has it got Chase HQ? Has it got Jetpac? What, it's streaming? Oh my god, why?

 

Tried playing it on a train the other day. Didn't end well, barely started well.

 

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11 hours ago, deKay said:

 

There you go. And I opened my big mouth.

 

@Anne Summers - someone needs to fix Skool Daze.

 

 

The Skool Daze thing is interesting, and brings up something I'd not thought of before.  Home computer games back then were *way* buggier than later console games.  We just didn't have QA back then.  A lot of games weren't even tested really, beyond the programmer playing it for 20 minutes before sending it off to be mastered.  So it's highly likely that lots of games are going to be very buggy in a way that doesn't really match modern expectations, and which the streaming service can't really do anything about.

 

Nintendo games of the same era, by comparison, had proper modern style QA and thorough testing, so the games on the Nintendo Online service, for example, hold up perfectly well, technically speaking, even today, in a way that home computer games won't, really.

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Yeah, I remember the old Jet Set Willy bug where if you jumped onto another screen and hit an enemy it would respawn your next life at the same position and trajectory leaving you to howl in rage as you watched all lives burn away in the exact same way.

 

Or how about this, jump from screen below directly into unseeable spikes. Good times.

 

 

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The Skool Daze bug seems to be Antstream caused though. It just refused to accept any input from me at all. Like they'd configured the controls to be all the buttons I don't have.

 

Except it worked until I got punched.

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13 hours ago, SozzlyJoe said:

Yeah, I remember the old Jet Set Willy bug where if you jumped onto another screen and hit an enemy it would respawn your next life at the same position and trajectory leaving you to howl in rage as you watched all lives burn away in the exact same way.

 

Or how about this, jump from screen below directly into unseeable spikes. Good times.

 

 

 

I never considered that a bug, that's just how the game works. If you weren't able to enter the next screen with a jump etc lots of paths would be inaccessible. You just had to learn the rooms.

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On 09/07/2019 at 08:41, Ste Pickford said:

So it's highly likely that lots of games are going to be very buggy....

 

Nintendo games of the same era, by comparison, had proper modern style QA and thorough testing, so the games on the Nintendo Online service, for example, hold up perfectly well, technically speaking, even today, in a way that home computer games won't, really.

 

Really good point that , and that ties in with the memories of many of these games being a bit rose tinted.  I played a bit of Great Giana Sisters on the Amiga a couple of days ago and realised that this 10/10 Amiga game was one I fondly remembered because I didn't have a NES and Giana was the nearest thing to Super Mario Brothers that I could play.  30 years later and I can play all the Mario games on one emulator or another , so Giana is all about curiosity value. If you load SMB and GS side by side, Mario is still great today and Giana is a weak lookalike.  

 

2 issues to raise - I think the fact that a game is available on multiple formats in interesting. I was surprised how different Wanted Monty Mole is on C64 having only played it on Spectrum. But I think it is a mistake to have multiple formats listed on the front page.  At the moment I'm looking at the action games section, RanaRama, Last Ninja and Wanted Monty Mole make up most of the list. It gives the impression there are not as many games as you'd think, because at first glance the same game is listed multiple times.

 

Also, I don't know how big an issue this is, but I was playing a couple of games on my laptop and realised that most games use WASD for directions, or the arrow keys and CTRL/ALT/Shift for the fire buttons.  I never had a problem playing a game on this laptop before and Anstream has taught me that I can't use Z and arrow keys at the same time. I wonder how common these issues are with different laptops, but seeing there's no way to redefine the controls I'm not using it on the Laptop any more.  Obviously this is a niche problem but if this service is to become mass market, that would surely need addressing.

 

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21 hours ago, Fry Crayola said:

It's not a bug, but it's piss poor design to wipe out all of your lives in one fell swoop.

 

Mate, they were making this all up as they went along - it's piss-poor design with the benefit of 2019 hindsight, but back in 1982 it was all fucking miraculous.

 

But sure, modern gamers aren't going to be as starry-eyed as we were.

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13 hours ago, smac said:

 

Mate, they were making this all up as they went along - it's piss-poor design with the benefit of 2019 hindsight, but back in 1982 it was all fucking miraculous.

 

But sure, modern gamers aren't going to be as starry-eyed as we were.

 

I gotta hold these guys in the past to high standards, lest they get fanciful notions of making mega trees.

 

Anyway, Jet Set Willy was 1984. Plenty of experience to learn that killing people as they enter the screen is total bollocks.

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1 hour ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

I gotta hold these guys in the past to high standards, lest they get fanciful notions of making mega trees.

 

Anyway, Jet Set Willy was 1984. Plenty of experience to learn that killing people as they enter the screen is total bollocks.

 

I always thought multiple-death in JSW was deliberate - there's even a screen called Welcome to Hell that is just there to take all your lives if you fall into it.  When I say deliberate, I mean, however it came about they chose not to fix it and left it in to make the game harder.

 

What Antstream has shown me is how many of these games I played as a kid without ever progressing through the game structure.  Like when you see people play GTA by running around blowing things up but not actually starting missions, I think I messed about with most spectrum games rather than actually playing through it to an end point. Head Over Heels was a favourite game of mine, and I bet I didn't see more than about 10 screens. I definitely don't remember getting both characters in the same room to join up.

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Head over Heels was actually one of the few games of that type that actually seemed well balanced, with an excellently judged learning curve and actually possible to complete with practice and a little persistence. I think there was only one crown which I wasn't able to get, but that was unfortunately just due to a visual limitation making it not obvious one of the screens had another area you could explore. Went back and finished it properly with emulation and it felt enormously satisfying.

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1 hour ago, Benny said:

Head over Heels was actually one of the few games of that type that actually seemed well balanced, with an excellently judged learning curve and actually possible to complete with practice and a little persistence. I think there was only one crown which I wasn't able to get, but that was unfortunately just due to a visual limitation making it not obvious one of the screens had another area you could explore. Went back and finished it properly with emulation and it felt enormously satisfying.

 

All-time great game and don't anyone forget it.

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I can't remember how to get Head and Heels together at all. Tried a few times and determined to keep doing it until I remember how. 

I could do it back in the day but never got much further than that. 

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Interested in getting people's opinion on something. 

Online competitive leaderboards have always been something I think will be key to the whole experience. 

So are save states, obviously. 

But if they both get thrown into the mix without any thought about how those features will work together, there's the obvious problem that people could just save scum themselves to the top of any leaderboard.

Like the way, for example, I have something like the 70th best score in the world on Gain Ground on the PS4 Mega Drive collection. I used the save and rewind features because I wanted to get though all of the early levels I've completed hundreds of times and see the later levels, and because I was reloading every time I died so I would have all my guys available when I got to the levels I wanted to play, I ended up with an almost perfect score. 

 

This would clearly be a problem in score-focused games like Space Invaders or something, but much less of an issue in an adventure game like Monkey Island. 

So should it disable access to the leaderboard for a game in which a player has used a save state?

Or do people have the right to save-scum if they want to - after all, anyone can do it, so no one has an unfair advantage. (If it's good enough for Sega...)

Or would it be better to come up with a more nuanced solution? Create a "pro" mode with its own leaderboard and saving disabled? So save scummers can knock themselves out competing over who has the most patience, while skilful players have their own arena to compete in. 

Or the answer could be to designate some games as saveable games and some games as leaderboard games (eg, do you really need to save your game in Pac Man - except for an auto-save in the case of a dropped connection - and would anyone need high score tables for Final Fantasy ... Maybe a speedrun leaderboard would be fun though !)

There's clearly a few different solutions and I'd be interested to hear what people think would be the best, or is there a different way to tackle it?

 

 

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