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Using the technology of tomorrow to bring you the excitement of the yesteryear!

GOG.com proudly presents the next step in DRM-free retro-gaming: Retromator 4000, a universal nostalgifier for PC & Mac. Our software engineers are very close to producing a stable version, and we're very excited to finally be able to tell you about this revolutionary piece of software. Even more so, because very soon we'll be able to invite you to take part in public alpha testing of the app! (That is as soon as we get the 0.97a version up and running.*) We're glad that GOG.com users will be the first to take part in our next revolution. Or rather: re-evolution ;-)

Ok, but what's Retromator 4000, you might ask, and what does it do exactly? Without going into technical specifics of quantum-level digital retro engineering, let's just put it as simply as possible: it takes your modern current-gen games and turns them into retrotastic, beautifully pixelated classics or even text-based adventures from back in the time when graphics were an option, not a must. All because we know what GOG.com customers are all about--nostalgic gaming!

We've prepared a little preview of our fantastic app working its magic on three modern age classics: The Witcher, Alan Wake, and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, so you can easily see the effect Retromator 4000 has on current-gen adventures, RPGs, and action games.

As we said, there's a public alpha version of the software coming towards you as soon as it's done, but there's still plenty of room for your suggestions and input. We would love to know how would you retromate your favorite game, so please--feel free to leave a mock-up screenshot or a piece of text-adventure in the comments below. There are 5 free games waiting for the authors of the best entries! One thing though, the Retromator 4000 will only be usable with DRM-free GOG.com games, so please limit your efforts to retromating only those.

Again, we're extremely happy to be able to introduce this new and exciting GOG.com feature. Please take a moment to see the preview, and maybe stay for the contest mentioned above!

*The estimated time of completion of the public alpha version is based heavily on fuzzy logic and quantum mechanics. In other words--we think that it might be done soon, but it just as well might take much, much longer. Also, in n-1 parallel universes, the Retromator 4000 is already available. The contest deadline is much more specific: Thursday, April 4, at 12:00 GMT.
How long does this Retromater 4000 thing take to finish a job? I'm playing now, but it doesn't have a lot of the features done yet.

Note that the attached .png is not just a mock-up, but is a screenshot of a live game. I want to post the .exe so others can try it out, but the forum software won't let me. [update: see edit at bottom of post]

********** RTAS (RealTimeAsciiStrategy) ver 0.01 **********

Can you destroy all four evil hoards?

(It took me a few tries to figure out how to do it. Could probably do better, but wiped out all enemies with 3 fairly healthy units left: Hero @ 96%, Cavalry @ 59%, Bowman @ 100%)

in main window:
* left-click to select a unit (player is red, other sides are yellow,
purple, cyan and white)
* left-click and drag to select all units within a rectangle
* left-click anywhere else to deselect
* right-click on open area to move selected units to target location
* right-click on enemy to make selected units attack
* mouse over unit to get info in display panel (lower-left area of
screen)

in mini-map (upper-right area of screen):
* left-click or left-drag to change which part of the map appears in
the main window
* right-click to move selected units to target location

keys:
space: pause/unpause (can issue orders while paused)
esc: quit
arrows (left/right/up/down): hold to scroll main window, use ctrl key
to scroll faster
'a': toggle "pure ASCII mode" on/off (default = use IBM character set)
'h': toggle health indicators (which only show up when damaged,
indicate % health; default = on)

debug:
'c': toggle display of entire character set
's': toggle display of selection info debug

current [mis]features:
* ultra crappy pathfinding (you've never seen the likes of it!)
* game barely knows that cavalry can not walk on water
* single player only
* iron man mode only (no save games)
* console size can be changed dynamically after game started,
but at startup it won't work quite right unless the size is
132 x 60
* mouse functions don't work unless "QuickEdit Mode" and
"Insert Mode" are disabled for the given console
* comes with a single map, where the only terrain feature is a
large perfectly rectangular body of water
* leaves the blinking underline cursor on
* does not detect when win/loss condition has occurred
* units have no attack or defense skill ratings
* no speed control on movement or attacks
- all unit types do 1 HP damage each frame while attacking
- all units move one cell per frame while moving (or moving to
attack)
* should work on Windows 2K and newer (only tested on Vista)
* AI is passive (until you get close)

edit:

I've placed the executable here:

https://anonfiles.com/file/2dd547f038785f86b924dfbbb8087a29

To get it you have to:
* go to that page
* click on the download button with the white text and dark background
(don't click on the green "download" button -- that's an ad that
will serve you who knows what)
* save the file as rtas.zip
* unzip the file -- it should produce rtas.exe

edit #2:

In case you want to verify the integrity of the rtas.exe file:
file size = 61,952 bytes
MD5: b81ecc932879f32d24e6f1966f036401
SHA1: 3552c5fc4da61901f7246ca16930987ff2aadbb0
SHA256: 237405f0b0f8e17488ad886978bbeaa5083565ea318475846dba015c32d120e0
Attachments:
rtas.png (160 Kb)
Post edited April 04, 2013 by TheJadedOne
Hope I made it to the dead line. Had problems installing the Retromator. Here is my try with the Freespace 2. Hope you like it! =)
Attachments:
avatar
Pherim: Tried it on Morrowind, turned out as a 2D isometric game, just like in the old days. Plays a lot like Baldur's Gate now, actually...
Man, this is fantastic, superbly done! :D


Also, thanks for all the kind comments you people who commented on my Deus Ex pixelpicture. : D
Oh WOW! Guys, I seriously didn't expect so many great entries. It was super-hard to choose the winners, especially with all the different approaches people took to retromating their favorites.

Alas, we had to pick just five winners. Here they are:

For an impressive display of pixel-art skills, that would surely grant him a stable position in the game development industry back in the good old days--Johanz, and his pixel-art version of Deus Ex.

For a brilliant write-up of a text-adventure style action game that presents the player with more moral dilemma than he could possibly bargained for--Myxia, with text-based Magic Carpet.

For having apparently mad 3D rendering skills, quite the sense of humor, and a good understanding of what HoMM monsters are really about--Chimerical, with his low-poly spoof of Heroes of Might and Magic V.

For beating inXile to create a real spiritual successor to Wasteland and creating a believable de-make of a well known and loved GUI--Gyrocoptor, and that brilliantly retrotastic depiction of Fallout.

For mashing-up two epochs of Dungeon&Dragons pure awesomeness in one screenshot that made some heads explode from nostalgia overload around GOG.com office--threeandhalstar, with the Dungeon Master-style Baldur's Gate.

And for the final, sixth and special award, for taking the idea of retromating games even one step further and bringing the digital entertainment into the realm of analog (an idea we can relate to)--Arteveld, and his FIFA '68.

Each of you will find an $9.99 bonus-code in your PM box.

Congratulations, and thank you all for the great fun! :-)
Post edited April 04, 2013 by G-Doc
Congrats to winners! Reasonable choices - they are all unique on their own. And thanks to everybody for the fun :-D
Post edited April 04, 2013 by Nordwolf
I won a gog! GOG! [tatata ra!] \m/

Thanks a lot guys!;)
I'm honored that you guys chose my entry, it's probably going to make my entire week.

Congratulations to the other winners!
Congrats to the winners!
Woohoo! I won! Thanks you guys so much. This was a really fun contest and the best April Fool's thing I saw this year.

Now I need to figure out which game to get.
avatar
Pherim: Tried it on Morrowind, turned out as a 2D isometric game, just like in the old days. Plays a lot like Baldur's Gate now, actually...
avatar
Johanz: Man, this is fantastic, superbly done! :D

Also, thanks for all the kind comments you people who commented on my Deus Ex pixelpicture. : D
Thank you, I had a lot of fun making it, even though it did not quite follow the rules. But with your fantastic entry you definitely deserved being one of the winners! Congratulations!
Congrats to the other winners.

Thanks for the contest GOG. :)
avatar
G-Doc: Oh WOW! Guys, I seriously didn't expect so many great entries. It was super-hard to choose the winners, especially with all the different approaches people took to retromating their favorites.
Oh snap! I won! :D Awesome, thanks! Guess it was worth staying up late and working on my entry haha. :D
Congratulations to the winners! That extra oompf of creativity really shows in your entries!
Congrats, it's been a very entertaining thread!
Thanks to GOG and this contest I decided to finally get FTL. Fun game though it's surprisingly pushing my graphics card to the max. I also think I need to look up some beginner tips. I hope GOG has more contests like this in the future as it was a blast.