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Modern "retro" FPS corner  "For some more general discussion, news etc. in one place"

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#1

Considering the trend appears to be on the rise, I believe that a centralised topic for keeping track of the "retro" FPS titles that appear on the radar would be in order.

First off let's try to define the term. I would assume that a modern "retro" FPS game explicitly aims to capture the look & feel and/or the design aesthetic of popular FPS titles from the 90s (Wolfenstein 3-D, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D etc.). The resulting projects seem to vary widely due to different developers' perceptions of what constituted core elements of the 90s FPS formula, nostalgia glasses and this "indie BIG PIXELS" trend that has been observed lately. For simplicity's sake, and not to diminish the scope, let's consider a modern "retro" FPS game any title that has any of the following features (the list is not exhaustive I guess):
  • is a self-proclaimed retro game as stated by developers
  • explicitly mimics features of a known 90s FPS title
  • runs on an authentic engine from the era (Doom, Duke3D, Quake etc.)
  • uses an art style similar to what was common in the 90s (sprites, low-poly models, voxels etc.)
  • avoids modern FPS tropes like regenerating health, limited weapon arsenal the player can carry etc.
  • tries to imitate level design peculiarities like 90 degree walls of the Wolf3D era for example
  • uses any of various techniques to imitate "pixelly", "low-res" look


Now let's move on to the games themselves, this is not an exhaustive list but what I am aware of are (in no particular order):

Project Warlock (released 2018) - discussed in a separate thread here.

Prodeus (WIP) - discussed in a separate thread here.

Ken's Labyrinth II (WIP) - discussed in a separate thread here.

RetroBlazer (on hold) - discussed in a separate thread here. A demo was available from the now-offline official site (Wayback Machine link).

STRAFE (released 2015) - discussed in a separate thread here.

Wrack (released 2014) - discussed in a separate thread here.

Dusk (released 2018) - discussed in a separate thread here.

Wrath: Aeon of Ruin (WIP) - this was apparently announced (sort of) in a thread at Doomworld in 2017, a very early footage is available here. It uses sprites (or at least, used at some point in development) in a very distinct style and aims for a Heretic/Hexen vibe as it seems, but with some firearms too. Some of the WIP stuff shown earlier in the Doomworld thread has been removed though, no info on the developer's website either at this moment. It seems that the project went dark as of now, I wish it stuck with the design of the first video shown.

In The Kingdom (demo released 2014) - I discovered this project a while ago (not sure when exactly) and it was hard to track down back then. A video discussing it an showing gameplay is available here.

LAB (v3.0 released 2018) - discovered this just now, Wolf3D/Blake Stone style design, but there are many more like it and often not good quality apparently (as discussed here).

Membrane (WIP) - a GZDoom engine game.

The Adventures of Square (Episode 1 released 2014) - a Doom engine game but has a lot of Duke3D vibes going on.

Harmony (released 2009) - ZDoom engine game.

Gunload (WIP) - discussed in detail in the development thread.

Rise of the Wool Ball (released 2017) - excellent game that pays homage to Rise of the Triad, with a distinct art style, uses ZDoom engine.

Intrude (released 2016) - a Wolf3D knockoff, haven't played it.

Caesar's Revenge (WIP) - might be worth checking out, there's a dev blog with some interesting visuals.

Gun Godz (released 2012) - Wolf3D-esque game with low res graphics and Doom-like gameplay and weapons.

Shaw's Nightmare (released 2013) - runs on the Build engine, aims to play like Doom.

Gloomy Dungeons 2 (released 2013) - probably even more like those Amiga games along the lines of Alien Breed 3-D or Gloom than Wolf3D.

Shootrage (WIP)

This list is obviously incomplete, I found a few titles just now by Googling the subject matter, so any feedback on more games of this type is pretty welcome. I haven't included games that aspire to recreate the 90s style gameplay without sticking to the "retro" visual design aesthetic like Hellbound, Amid Evil or Apocryph, but perhaps we should discuss them as well seeing as how the developers claim to follow the classic 90s gameplay formula.
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User is online   MusicallyInspired 

  • 3,352

#2

I can't help but be disappointed that Ken's Labyrinth II is not being made in Build/EDuke32.

Also, how is Amid Evil not retro designed? Those polygons and nearest neighbor-mapped textures could poke someone's eye out.

Roland SC-55 Music Packs
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This post has been edited by MusicallyInspired: 14 November 2018 - 06:26 AM

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#3

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 14 November 2018 - 06:23 AM, said:

I can't help but be disappointed that Ken's Labyrinth II is not being made in Build/EDuke32.

My thoughts exactly.

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 14 November 2018 - 06:23 AM, said:

Also, how is Amid Evil not retro designed? Those polygons and nearest neighbor-mapped textures could poke someone's eye out.

Well, it doesn't look particularly retro to me. But objectively speaking, this is a good topic to discuss because there is very obviously no single coherent way to define the "retro" visual style, even if we break it down into broad but separate types for Wolf3D, Doom and Quake-like designs.

There are games that, plain and simply, use the same techniques (or improved versions thereof) as in the 90s to create game art and levels. Most of these run on the original engines, including the Doom engine titles listed above, Ion Maiden (I didn't include her on the list because, well, we all know about her here :)), and also REKKR (basically it's a Doom TC but a stand-alone version is available). These I would probably consider the most authentic of the lot. Caesar's Revenge looks pretty close too.

And then there's the rest of the stuff. There seems to be a relatively large group of games that kind of mimic the Wolfenstein 3-D style with orthogonal walls and such, but everything (sprites, textures) is at an even lower resolution. I probably should have also mentioned the incomplete Starshock and also Duke Nukem 2.5 (it's not like Duke3D isn't 2.5D). Then again, these can also be compared to Amiga 2.5D FPS games with similarly low-res graphics.

True 3D games are very much a mixed bag to me, as they range from deliberately low-resolution, low-polygon stuff to those modern graphics thingies I mentioned above without including on the list. I can't say STRAFE or Dusk look particularly like Quake or Hexen II to me, there seems to be a great variety of where the visual style can go and it does not necessarily correspond to the norms of actual 3D games of the period.

UPD: More stuff to note: Bitsturbed, Rupture.

UPD2: I have also just discovered that a WIP retro style game that was discussed a while ago is now available as Hermodr.


This post has been edited by MrFlibble: 14 November 2018 - 08:08 AM

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User is offline   Ezepov 

  • 49

#4

8bit killer

Xibalba

RGM games (russian language)

This post has been edited by Ezepov: 14 November 2018 - 08:42 AM

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User is offline   thricecursed 

  • 75

#5

Amid Evil looks really good to me, I'm slightly more excited to play it than Dusk. Waiting for both to be finished.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#6

Just found a thing called Gibhard which seems to have some nice looking visuals but it seems on hold (was planned for release in 2016).
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User is offline   thricecursed 

  • 75

#7

View PostMrFlibble, on 14 November 2018 - 10:00 AM, said:

Just found a thing called Gibhard which seems to have some nice looking visuals but it seems on hold (was planned for release in 2016).


Good find. He's still working on it according to Twitter. Just got ahead of himself a bit it seems, said on the FB page that he was almost done. Probably noticed he still had a lot of issues to fix.
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User is offline   leilei 

  • 528

#8

I haven't played many of them but I will at least say i'm not a fan of most of their marketing campaigns, especially when certain 'nostalgia' buzzwords are involved and explicit namedropping references are involved. For me, the "....dork" eyerolls happen and then instinctively forget about the game that's being hypespread around on Youfacetwittdit about "True <90s game> Sequal !!" to high expectations. It's a cycle commonly associated with Unity and UE4 games than those based on old engines.

One of the recent ones I shall not name here (but is on the list) necrobumped a DOS game compatibility thread on a forum to promote their Unity-based game with "pixels that kill you!!!" within a minute of user signup.


I suppose the cynicism gained from being burned by a ROTT '13 pre-order is a silver lining....

Posted Image

This post has been edited by leilei: 17 November 2018 - 06:26 PM

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User is offline   thricecursed 

  • 75

#9

Lost in Vivo


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User is online   MusicallyInspired 

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#10

That's not really retro...

Roland SC-55 Music Packs
Latest release: Heretic SC-55 Music Pack (12/12/18)
*new* Buy the Mage's Initiation Original Soundtrack on Bandcamp by me!
Buy the P&C Adventure/RPG game Mage's Initiation on Steam, GOG, and Humble
0

User is offline   thricecursed 

  • 75

#11

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 19 November 2018 - 08:03 AM, said:

That's not really retro...


It's not "really" retro, just kinda retro.
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User is offline   VGA 

  • 14

#12

Sorry to sound so harsh but a lot of these games are unplayable trash and some others are abandoned. Maybe there should be some standards in this thread? lol
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User is offline   DavoX 

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#13

Of course Im biased but I still wonder why Ion Maiden isn't on the list :P

(I'm working on hellbound as main and only level designer, wish me good luck)
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User is online   MusicallyInspired 

  • 3,352

#14

That just made me much more interested!

Roland SC-55 Music Packs
Latest release: Heretic SC-55 Music Pack (12/12/18)
*new* Buy the Mage's Initiation Original Soundtrack on Bandcamp by me!
Buy the P&C Adventure/RPG game Mage's Initiation on Steam, GOG, and Humble
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User is offline   VGA 

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#15

View PostDavoX, on 20 November 2018 - 03:31 PM, said:

Of course Im biased but I still wonder why Ion Maiden isn't on the list :P

(I'm working on hellbound as main and only level designer, wish me good luck)

Oh, it's yours? Nice!

As a rando retro fps fan I have to tell you, the HUD of Hellbound puts me off it, it looks very amateurish, please consider making it more streamlined, like the Quake Champions hud

This post has been edited by VGA: 20 November 2018 - 04:55 PM

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User is offline   thricecursed 

  • 75

#16

I think the HUD is excellent and fits perfectly. I like the little face!
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User is online   MusicallyInspired 

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#17

So how good is Amid Evil anyway? And Dusk? I hear and see good things about both. But how would you rate them in comparison to eachother? I've got a bit of Steam money in my wallet and need something to spend it on. Any other games that would be a better option maybe?

Roland SC-55 Music Packs
Latest release: Heretic SC-55 Music Pack (12/12/18)
*new* Buy the Mage's Initiation Original Soundtrack on Bandcamp by me!
Buy the P&C Adventure/RPG game Mage's Initiation on Steam, GOG, and Humble
0

User is offline   Malgon 

  • 347

#18

Meant to post the other day that this is a good idea for a thread. I realised there were a quite a few "retro" games around but I didn't realise it was this many. :o

I've got another one to add to the list, Arthurian Legends, which looks pretty neat so far (found it mentioned in the comments of Gggmanlives' Ion Maiden video!). I mean it even has a preview of an old-school style manual! One to keep an eye on for sure.

Most anticipated games: Ion Maiden, Cyberpunk 2077, Doom Eternal, Beyond Good and Evil 2
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#19

View PostDavoX, on 20 November 2018 - 03:31 PM, said:

Of course Im biased but I still wonder why Ion Maiden isn't on the list :P

I felt it would be a bit Captain Obvious of me to mention Ion Maiden here, as I explained above:

View PostMrFlibble, on 14 November 2018 - 07:45 AM, said:

Ion Maiden (I didn't include her on the list because, well, we all know about her here :))

It's also to be noted that there's indeed a very wide range of these retro games. Ion Maiden stands out because it is not only a high quality project, but it also absolutely doesn't "pretend" to be retro like those titles that were referred to as "old-school impostors" in IM's trailer.

In my opinion, Ion Maiden belongs to the category of games that are not "retro" as a trend, but simply logically build and expand upon the same design principles as the classic FPS titles from the 90s, and are made by people that know these principles well and know how to implement them with modern (or updated) tech. This group also includes Harmony, The Adventures of Square, REKKR, Rise of the Wool Ball, and also Operation Serpent (theoretically it's not standalone but it runs well as an IWAD).

View PostMalgon, on 23 November 2018 - 03:43 PM, said:

I've got another one to add to the list, Arthurian Legends, which looks pretty neat so far (found it mentioned in the comments of Gggmanlives' Ion Maiden video!). I mean it even has a preview of an old-school style manual! One to keep an eye on for sure.

Awesome, thanks for sharing this one, I didn't know about it. Looks pretty cool, a definite Witchaven vibe there. What engine do they use?

I cannot update the list in the first post though, there's a time limit for being able to edit one's own posts here and it's already over.
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User is offline   Player Lin 

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#20

View PostMalgon, on 23 November 2018 - 03:43 PM, said:

I've got another one to add to the list, Arthurian Legends, which looks pretty neat so far (found it mentioned in the comments of Gggmanlives' Ion Maiden video!). I mean it even has a preview of an old-school style manual! One to keep an eye on for sure.



It looks like medieval version of DooM or Duke3D...wow, it hits my sweet spot...I would like to play it when released...

I'm the guy at 3DRealms Forum...

http://forums.3dreal...mber.php?u=3816

Sometimes, I act like a stupid asshole. I know, and I'm sorry about that. :(
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User is offline   VGA 

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#21

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 23 November 2018 - 11:28 AM, said:

So how good is Amid Evil anyway? And Dusk? I hear and see good things about both. But how would you rate them in comparison to eachother? I've got a bit of Steam money in my wallet and need something to spend it on. Any other games that would be a better option maybe?

I have only bought and played Dusk (the first maps), if you like Quake movement with Doom gameplay then you'll like it. It has multiplayer, too. The maps are purposefully low detail, simple geometry, you won't find any Arcane Dimensions type of content here, it's more like Doom semi-realistic designs, it has several options to pixelise the game and change the palette to make it look sinister and retro. It feels like a labour of love and not a "hurr durr look at me, I made a retro Wolf3D clone, it has orthogonal design, so it's playable by vegetables, just like the old games, amirite?".

It also has frenetic strafing gameplay, unlike the vomit that is ironically called STRAFE.

I recommend Dusk!
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

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#22

Here's another WIP game on the Doom engine I forgot about, called Hedon:

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User is offline   Commando Nukem 

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#23



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User is offline   HulkNukem 

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#24

I'm working on my full reveal trailer for Gunload. Should be finished sometime in January with the first episode ready to go April-ish?
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User is offline   Commando Nukem 

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#25

View PostHulkNukem, on 14 December 2018 - 08:51 PM, said:

I'm working on my full reveal trailer for Gunload. Should be finished sometime in January with the first episode ready to go April-ish?


When it's done?

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User is offline   Malgon 

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#26

Just spotted another game over at the Doomworld forums called Nightmare Reaper. Supposed to be releasing on Steam sometime soon.



Most anticipated games: Ion Maiden, Cyberpunk 2077, Doom Eternal, Beyond Good and Evil 2
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User is offline   thricecursed 

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#27

View PostMalgon, on 14 March 2019 - 12:47 AM, said:

Just spotted another game over at the Doomworld forums called Nightmare Reaper. Supposed to be releasing on Steam sometime soon.




Posted Image

I once did a drug that made my surroundings look like that.
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User is offline   Commando Nukem 

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#28

It reminds me of the way Deep AI interpreted Doom. Holy fuck, that blurred my vision.

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User is offline   NightFright 

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#29

Let me guess... Unity? But wow, my eyes hurt from the trailer already. Hard to imagine playing this.


This post has been edited by NightFright: 14 March 2019 - 09:37 AM

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User is offline   Lazy Dog 

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#30

View PostMalgon, on 14 March 2019 - 12:47 AM, said:

Just spotted another game over at the Doomworld forums called Nightmare Reaper. Supposed to be releasing on Steam sometime soon.




Posted Image

This post has been edited by Lazy Dog: 14 March 2019 - 05:15 PM

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