I wanted to talk about the Non-MMO world of RPG style games for a minute this week. Next week it will be full on GDC for Jon and I so we will bring you all the goodies then.
For now, I thought to talk about the gaming landscape from the old school. By old school I am talking 70s, 80s, and 90s. These three decades, while not having much to do with MMOs, had a ton to do with RPGs. So lets go on a journey through gaming past.
1974 - I was 2... However, in this year a movie called "The Golden Voyage" of Sinbad came out. If you have not seen it, you should. It is bad ass, even with the Ray Harryheusen effects. Why is this obscure Sinbad movie so important. Well, the movie plays out like a clear D&D adventure. In 1974 the early stages of D&D were formed. Chainmail was launched and the concept of the RPG was born. Oh to live in those days again.
As big as Warcraft is now, D&D was it's Dark Lord Grandfather back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By 1982-1983 there was a saturday morning cartoon and a TV movie called Mazes & Monsters, with Tom Hanks no less, playing a game like D&D and going crazy because of it. Movies like Dragon Slayer and Krull topped off the rise of fantasy as we know it today, did I mention a small movie named Conan in there? Oh, sorry. My other old time favorite is Beastmaster. Not the lousy TV series, the 1982 movie.
This goes down as one of the big three in my opinion. The biggest of the three. D&D made it all possible. D&D set the stage. D&D is still fun on a weekend night with your friends.
The second game of the 1980s that remains a major influence was Warhammer and Warhammer 40k. The idea of RTS battles on a table with miniatures was nothing new in the 1980s, the early gaming groups were doing it a ton back in the 1970s which led to D&D. Somehow though a group of guys in England came up with this game that had a sense of humor, despite being set in a brutal, unforgiving, medieval setting. There are many great table top miniature games, but Warhammer in fantasy or future takes the cake. The Squig cake actually.
Last but not least, 1994, I was in college by now and drinking far too much to care about gaming. Then one weekend on a trip home I went to a game store with a friend. I asked at the counter for a game that did not take too much time and was fun to play. Enter Magic The Gathering to the scene. CCGs were pretty much invented at that point and the world had never looked back. I was so addicted to Magic my senior year in college I spent every dime building decks upon decks. Gosh, my White/Blue deck would be worth over $10k now. Yes I had all of the power nine with the exception of the Mox colors I did not play. I sold my deck and collection for almost $2k at a game convention in NJ. I used the money to pay bills back then. Quite an investment when you look at it. I wish I kept that deck.
So that rounds out the big three games that had major influence on me growing up. I did fail to mention some of my other all time favorites: Awful Green Things from Outer Space, O.G.R.E, G.E.V., Barbarian Prince (solo mini-game), Star Frontiers, Gamma World, and Demon Lord.
If you have the time, research some of these old classics and see where our virtual worlds had come from. It is always cool to take a trip down memory lane. So I ask you this week...how many of you still play any of these games?