Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8

Posted by: RichAlexis

Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 05/31/17 06:59 PM

Hi all,

I'm glad Rome: Caesar's Will, an edutainment game on CD from 2000, or Rome: le testament de César, as the original French release was called, is relatively easy to install and run on Windows 8.1.

So, if you still have it somewhere in your attic or cellar, or come across it at a bargain - and aren't allergic to fact-based history games sleep - give it a go!

Instructions:
  • On the installation CD, right-click the Autorun.exe-file to edit its Properties.
    Set Compatibility for Autorun.exe to Windows 98 / Windows ME.
  • Run Autorun.exe.
  • Install game with Custom Setup (option 4).
  • Select all options (tick boxes), except DirectX 7, DXmedia 6, Media Player 6.4
    In other words, the final three options should be left blank.
  • Default installation will be to C:\Program Files (x86)\Montparnasse Multimedia\Rome
  • Restart your computer, as the installation menu indicates.
  • Set compatibility properties for Rome.exe-executable to Windows XP (Service Pack 3).
  • Do NOT set the screen resolution for Rome.exe to 640 x 480, as the game is designed for 800 x 600.
Saving the game should not be a problem.

Good luck!

Best,

Rich
Posted by: MaG

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/01/17 07:34 PM

Thanks for the info, Rich.
Posted by: Marian

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/01/17 10:17 PM

I believe I still have this game somewhere in the house - good to know that it will run. Thank you for the instructions. smile
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/01/17 10:23 PM

I have this game too, though I've never tried playing it.

Kind of like Timeline and Wild Wild West: The Steel Assassin, games from around the same time period that I never got around to playing.
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/02/17 12:29 PM

Thanks for your replies!

Though the characters have a strange 'origami marionette' (polygonal projections) kind of look, comparable to the In Utero productions Odyssey and Jekyll & Hyde from the same era - it takes some getting used to - one quite interesting aspect is its non-linear design.

That is, for each dialogue, you can choose to interrogate non-player characters in three moods: friendly, terse/businesslike or hostile, which will influence their replies and thus your quest. Each option is represented by the familiar Greek tragedy/comedy theatre masks. This is a bit similar to the dialogue options in Odyssey.

You can also visit 16 quite nicely rendered historical locations in the order you choose. Obviously, your choices should be motivated by the information you gathered, and inevitably, there are limitations (also time constraints), and some flaws to this design, but I think this is to be expected from a game made in 2000.

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/02/17 01:56 PM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
Though the characters have a strange 'origami marionette' (polygonal projections) kind of look, comparable to the In Utero productions Odyssey and Jekyll & Hyde from the same era - it takes some getting used to - one quite interesting aspect is its non-linear design.

Yes, that clunky primitive 3D look for characters isn't a favorite.
The backgrounds are interesting though.

Quote:
That is, for each dialogue, you can choose to interrogate non-player characters in three moods: friendly, terse/businesslike or hostile, which will influence their replies and thus your quest. Each option is represented by the familiar Greek tragedy/comedy theatre masks. This is a bit similar to the dialogue options in Odyssey.

I can't remember Odyssey that well, though I do remember some weird glitchiness in the graphics (which I mentioned in my ***review of Odyssey*** from way back when) and problems moving around in some areas due to camera angles changing and invisible boundaries. I wasn't happy when Cryo decided they had to make their games keyboard-controlled 3D. Their previous point-and-click game engine was a lot easier to use.

Quote:
You can also visit 16 quite nicely rendered historical locations in the order you choose. Obviously, your choices should be motivated by the information you gathered, and inevitably, there are limitations (also time constraints), and some flaws to this design, but I think this is to be expected from a game made in 2000.

I've never liked time constraints, and it wouldn't surprise me if the time constraints were the reason I put off playing it. I bought the game because it was supposedly a "historical" adventure and I collected those.

Nor are "conversation puzzles" a favorite of mine.

***This archived review by Tom Houston*** doesn't make Rome: Caesar's Will sound very good. It's not the review I remember though.
It wasn't *** this CDmag review*** either, though it's slightly more positive.
***The gamesdomain review*** is the most negative, and the reviewer seems to have had quite a lot of bugs.
***This review from gamerspulse*** gives it 70% overall, and some of what he says about conversations seems to contradict the gamesdomain review (the part about being able to replay conversations).
Posted by: Mad

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/02/17 02:14 PM

I have vague memories of attempting this game.

But wasn't there was a time element to completing the game ??

Which could be why I gave up on it rolleyes
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/02/17 04:28 PM

Wow, this does appear to stir up memories, regardless of the quality of the game - which I'm still playing, by the way.

Yes, Jenny (thanks for all the links!), this 3rd-person view game does have camera angle issues like Syberia 3 and Odyssey, though it's mouse-controlled point-and-click, unlike the other games. You have to position your character well to start a dialogue, and when your hero moves to the edge of the screen, you can end up with a reverse angle in the next scene, or any other perspective, which is often disorienting.

Indeed, Mad & Jenny, it's a timed game as a whole (represented by a sun dial, obviously!), because you have to complete your mission before Aurelia gets executed. I think it is an added, quite realistic challenge (unlike some random timed puzzle), as you have to be efficient and dexterous at your interrogations and movements about town. I think the reviews, however, indicate it's not that you have to be frantic about it.

Dialogues can only be replayed in a different mood, though a log is kept, and the documentary base contains character descriptions. So I assume it's still best to take notes yourself at certain points. And save often, to make sure your harsh interrogations (if chosen) don't end you up in prison or worse.

So I agree this wouldn't be the first vintage game you'd want to play, but as for me, I'm quite used to installation and playing issues, and I usually get a lot out of it regardless (as with Odyssey, Pompeii/Timescape and Jerusalem), if I can soak up the atmosphere, authentic background and lose myself in some historical graphic details. For me, the ability to walk around in a different world for days or weeks, without being forced into a linear narrative, as in a book or a movie, is essential.

One disadvantage in this case would be there is no visiting mode, as it's all against the clock.

So it would depend largely on the player's attitude, and what s/he is willing to put up with.

Best,

Rich

P.S. The game originally cost about 35 dollars/euros, now between 3 (used) and 6 (new) dollars/euros on Amazon.
Posted by: Iurii

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/03/17 12:03 AM

Oh, I remember this game as well. It was not very nice when compared to superb historical adventures by Cryo / Arxel Tribe / Index+.
And crude characters looked quite terrible against the photo-realistic backgrounds...
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/03/17 10:27 AM

Ha, well, nobody is perfect, especially if you're French. Or Belgian. Or Dutch, for that matter. wink

I think the French and some Belgians carved out a really nice niche for games that weren't kick-punch-jump or shoot-'m-up, with very limited means and the added burden of having to translate every bit of dialogue and documentation many times over. You can't expect the technical razzle-dazzle of big American budgets, but you gain something in creativity and individuality.

I think you can compare it to French/Belgian animation by people like Raoul Servais, Roland Topor (Planète Sauvage), Michel Ocelot (Kirikou series), Sylvain Chomet, Vincent Paronnaud (Persepolis) and the studios that made the Tintin and Asterix series. Limited means, but more variation and more artistic freedom than Disney/Pixar.

I agree, though, I have to play some Index+ games at some point. If I can still get them to run on Windoze Trilennium Edition, that is. wink

Best,

Rich


Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/03/17 10:42 AM

I think the timer is what spoiled Rome: Caesar's Will the most, even if it wasn't timed by-the-clock so much as timed by how many places you visit. They should have made that optional, or at least offer a "Visit Mode" for people who just want to wander around seeing what things look like.

***Some screenshots***

Was this early 2.5D? The backgrounds look pre-rendered.
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/03/17 10:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
Was this early 2.5D? The backgrounds look pre-rendered.
I think you nailed it: prerendered backgrounds.

(The screenshots don't appear to be available. I guess some nasty person claimed the domain and inserted an anti-crawling robot into it, to keep people from browsing archived sites. Such a pest!)

See also Planète Aventure site for some screenshots.

And here at history-adventures.com.

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/03/17 11:25 AM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
(The screenshots don't appear to be available. I guess some nasty person claimed the domain and inserted an anti-crawling robot into it, to keep people from browsing archived sites. Such a pest!)

It's working for me, but not through the direct link anymore.
Try starting ***here***, click R, scroll down to Rome, and click the Screenshots link. Sometimes I'm getting a "bad gateway" error but next time it works. The main site may take a few seconds to come up (longer than most archived links) and may time out.


Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
I agree, though, I have to play some Index+ games at some point. If I can still get them to run on Windoze Trilennium Edition, that is.

You mean like Crusader and Vikings?

I've never really understood the connection is between Index+, Canal+ Multimedia, Wanadoo, and France Telecom Multimedia.

My Crusader and Vikings boxes say Index+ and France Telecom Multimedia. My Genesys box, which claims to be from "the same collection" on the back of the box, says Wanadoo, France Telecom Group, and Galilea.

Then my Pilgrim game box mentions Anne Carriere Multimedia, Arxel Tribe, and Infogrames Multimedia.

Then my Dracula Resurrection box says Index (without the +), Canal+ Multimedia, France Telecom, and Microids. I guess Microids would be the publisher of this particular edition, but what about the others? Are they ALL developers? Did they develop different parts of the game? Did one do the research while the other made the game?

Mobygames isn't much help because they list Anne Carriere Multimedia as the co-publisher of Pilgrim but the co-developer of Faust. So was Anne Carriere Multimedia a developer or a publisher?
http://www.mobygames.com/game/pilgrim-faith-as-a-weapon
http://www.mobygames.com/game/seven-games-of-the-soul
Posted by: Mad

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/03/17 01:23 PM

I attempted most of those games you list, Jenny100, but only managed to complete some of them grin

However, I enjoyed all my plays whether they were successful or not yes
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/03/17 04:17 PM

Yes, Jenny, thanks for the Rome screenshots link. It works for me now!

Quote:
You mean like Crusader and Vikings?

Yes, plus Paris 1313, and Louvre: The Final Curse (The Messenger).

I really don't understand all the company names either. Probably lots of confusing takeovers and mergers, as is still happening to European ICT-companies.

For instance - I looked this up - Euronet was bought by France Telecom, but as a branch kept its name, then was renamed Wanadoo, until it merged with Orange, and now operates mainly as Online.nl! That is, according to some Wikipedia page.

My educated guess is that European game developers, and ICT-companies in general, were never successful enough, despite many valiant attempts, to make it on their own, considering the major investments, with all the limited markets and their language and cultural differences.

The same applies to the movie industry. We all remember Philips' considerable but brief Phonogram/Polygram multimedia successes ... followed by its swift demise.

Just another example: my mobile phone provider started out as Telfort, then became O2, then reverted to Telfort, until it was bought by KPN ...

Probably nearly impossible to disentangle .....

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/03/17 05:49 PM

I couldn't find Louvre/The Messenger at first.
Apparently I didn't think it was "historical" enough to be on the same shelf with my historical games. I do remember I didn't like the main character -- thought she was murderous.
Posted by: Iurii

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/05/17 12:09 PM

Yes, those merges are quite a long story!

In short, as far as my knowledge goes, there was Index company founded by Emmanuel Olivier, who added "+" to its name a little bit later. They often colaborated with France Télécom Multimédia - and in 2000 they merged into one company Wanadoo Edition, just in time for 'Genesys' new box look smile
I am not sure why they asked another little company Galiléa to develop it and other games - maybe some people left them after the merge.
And in 2003 Microids bought it all (with Olivier becoming its CEO).

Anne Carriere Multimedia - now, that's more interesting! Anne is from the old family of Parisian book sellers and publishers, and when her son Stefan cofounded Arxel Tribe company, his mother helped them a lot - like by providing the rights to Paulo Coelho (whose books were published in French by Anne Carriere) for 'Piligrim'. So she was like a coproducer with Arxel Tribe, and Cryo often was their partner as well. To say nothing of Réunion des Musées Nationaux who helped to make almost all historical adventures.
They sure were like a big family smile

Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/05/17 12:31 PM

Thanks, Iurii, for clearing up some of the considerable confusion! thumbsup

It's nice to know that Paulo Coelho developed three games with Arxel Tribe as part of this deal. I've only recently come across his name in relation to games.

It must have been hard for those companies to plan the design and production of their games, when so many partners merged or folded, and funding was limited. You can imagine that's where some of these aborted projects, postponed releases and flawed implementations come from. Not that they are unique to this set of games, but I reckon they played a large part in them.

Though "one big family" is a far more positive characterization, I agree!

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/05/17 02:05 PM


Very interesting, Iurii. Are any of those companies still around?

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
It's nice to know that Paulo Coelho developed three games with Arxel Tribe as part of this deal. I've only recently come across his name in relation to games.

You mean Pilgrim, Legend of the Prophet, and Secrets of Alamut?
Those are the ones I know about.

Dreamcatcher sold Legend of the Prophet and Secrets of Alamut in the same box in North America. I didn't realize that at the time, and thought Dreamcatcher had only published the first half of the story. So I bought both Legend of the Prophet and Secrets of Alamut from overseas.
Posted by: Mad

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/05/17 02:31 PM

I don't remember where I bought Legend of the Prophet and Secrets of Alamut but mine both came in the same box, too yes
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/05/17 03:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
You mean Pilgrim, Legend of the Prophet, and Secrets of Alamut?
Those are the ones I know about.

Yes, these three. Wikipedia happens to be a very extensive source on this subject:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilgrim:_Faith_as_a_Weapon

And concept art by Moebius (Jean Giraud)! I actually own two of his comic books, and he was also designer for movies like TRON, Alien (though the Alien itself was created by Swiss artist Hans Giger), Willow and The Abyss.

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Iurii

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/05/17 11:29 PM

Jenny100, as far as I know, only Microïds is still alive. And it is no longer a company - just a trade mark of Anuman who bought the brand Microïds in 2010 (it was merged with MC2 and Wanadoo in 2003 but made a label again by Olivier in 2007). I am not sure if Emmanuel Olivier is still there. But at least Benoit Sokal is.
And Anne Carriere books are still alive of course. It seems they are no longer engaged in games.

RichAlexis, concept art of Moebius for 'Pilgrim' is great indeed! I have a French collector's edition with the third disk showing his graphic work. Too bad the 3D characters of the game have little to do with his superb drawings...
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/06/17 07:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Iurii
Concept art of Moebius for 'Pilgrim' is great indeed! I have a French collector's edition with the third disk showing his graphic work. Too bad the 3D characters of the game have little to do with his superb drawings...
Hi Iurii,

What a complicated company history! No wonder people lose track.

Great to have these editions with making of's and the like! I love them. I guess the transfer of the designs was plagued by the 'curse of the polygons' at the time. If you wanted to create moving figures with some interaction, greater realism and detail wasn't possible.

Which is why I think it's a pity in general that adventure games became a sort of marginal genre after the turn of the millennium, or relegated to small-scale, low-res platforms like tablets and smartphones.

Just to think what would have been possible with historical or fantasy games like the ones we mentioned with the graphic resolution available now! Similar to CGI in movies: wonderful potential, but rarely applied to do more than shock and thrill, or create fake surroundings and extras (i.e. anonymous bit players) on the cheap, not to develop an immersive experience you can enjoy at leisure.

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Mad

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/06/17 02:35 PM

"Which is why I think it's a pity in general that adventure games became a sort of marginal genre after the turn of the millennium, or relegated to small-scale, low-res platforms like tablets and smartphones."

I can't agree with you there, RichAlexis ....

I have purchased and played many excellent Adventures on my PC since the turn of the millennium !! rolleyes
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/06/17 04:14 PM


I'd agree with Rich Alexis about adventure games being marginalized. They were marginalized from before I'd even started playing them. That doesn't mean there weren't any being made after year 2000, but there weren't any being made with the really big budgets to rival other genres. Compare to the early to mid 1990's, when there were FMV adventure games being made that were very expensive to produce and had huge budgets for the time.

Do you know of a single modern adventure game that offers an experience like walking down the street in ancient Rome? or Greece? or Egypt? or more recent time periods, like 18th century London? or the time of Leonardo da Vinci? There are older games from developers like Cryo that simulate this kind of thing as best they can using 2D images. But they are still images. I don't remember any that had animations like a breeze stirring tree branches or birds in the sky, and they certainly don't have lighting effects to simulate the sun moving across the sky during the day from morning to afternoon.

As far back as Myst IV there were scenes in adventure games with animations, more recently Dear Esther. But these are not (and never were) real places. They may look pretty with the tree branches blowing around and the realistic "live" look of the scenes, but they aren't historical and have nothing to teach about the way people used to live or what it was like to live in ancient times.
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/06/17 05:56 PM

Thanks for the replies! Well, I try to express myself as cautiously as possible, and I'm still on a learning curve, so I still need to check out lists of more recent adventure games to "play before you die". wink Like the list of 29 essential games posted in the general discussion section.

Yes, I was thinking of Dear Esther and some others as counterexamples.

I was referring, indeed, to the lack of bigger budgets and the fact that dozens of the companies that started and defined the genre, and employed a variety of very dedicated and talented people (graphic artists, historians, novelists, composers) have sadly gone bankrupt.

I just found two quotes on Wikipedia from a few years ago by LucasArts developers Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer that illustrate my point:
Quote:
"From first-hand experience, I can tell you that if you even utter the words 'adventure game' in a meeting with a publisher you can just pack up your spiffy concept art and leave. You'd get a better reaction by announcing that you have the plague."

"If I were to go to a publisher right now and pitch an adventure game, they'd laugh in my face."

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Mad

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/07/17 02:37 PM

I suppose it boils down to what you are looking for in an Adventure game ??

I have to admit that graphics are not the most important element for me.
I will look for storyline and friendly interface first.
So I don't need, for example, to be walking down a street in ancient times with accurately portrayed animated humans, wildlife, weather effects or flora & fauna etc, etc. wink

Which is probably why I haven’t felt deprived of good Adventure games during the last seventeen years, despite their “marginalization”.

However, like everyone else, I, too obviously lament the departure of the big name companies that once gave us such excellent games.

But speaking of Ron Gilbert ….
I am currently playing his new game - Thimbleweed Park - which although in the retro style of very early games like Monkey Island, I am finding it to be just plain excellent old school adventuring thumbsup
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/07/17 04:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Mad
But speaking of Ron Gilbert ….
I am currently playing his new game - Thimbleweed Park - which although in the retro style of very early games like Monkey Island, I am finding it to be just plain excellent old school adventuring thumbsup
I see what you mean, Mad!

Speaking of lists of recent favourites, some weeks ago, someone posted on a Dutch game site that the Syberia 3 release was a big disappointment, but that fortunately there were enough new classy graphic adventure games around, like Thimbleweed Park, as you mentioned, Silence and What Remains of Edith Finch.

Each of these indeed looks very promising, both storywise and graphically, though as you say the deliberate retro style of TP may put some people off.

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/07/17 10:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Mad
I suppose it boils down to what you are looking for in an Adventure game ??

Well, we were mostly talking about historical adventure games in this thread. And as Rich Alexis said, it's possible to create much more realistic environments now than companies in the 1990's like Cryo could with the "Visit" modes in games like Pompeii (Timescape) or Egypt.

Quote:
I have to admit that graphics are not the most important element for me.

Unlike adventure games like Thimbleweed, historical games could benefit more from more realistic depictions that show more detail. We're talking about next-generation Cryo/Arxel/Wanadoo historical games, not next-generation LucasArts. The needs are different.
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/08/17 07:42 AM

Quote:
Unlike adventure games like Thimbleweed, historical games could benefit more from more realistic depictions that show more detail. We're talking about next-generation Cryo/Arxel/Wanadoo historical games, not next-generation LucasArts. The needs are different.

It would certainly help improve my screen recordings of Visit Modes and the like for educational purposes in the classroom! wink Not that students were dismissive about them and other simulation graphics made about 15-20 years ago, from what I've heard. That's always a good thing to hear, that children needn't always be given the latest gadget or hype, like 4K resolution graphics, to keep them interested. In fact, a case can be made for the opposite as well, as long as you as a teacher show commitment, personal attention and insight, and provide a compelling narrative.

I think the educational potential of historical, strategy and simulation games has always been there, but is difficult to achieve in a school setting, and can hardly have improved sales for these companies substantially. Schools have always been understaffed and underfunded as far as technical investments and support are concerned, and in my own experience, investments in multimedia for students have always been problematic, not just because of the price tags, but also the need for ongoing maintenance and control, and also because, as we have noted, their notoriously short lifespans due to reliance on specific platform versions and third-party applications, and the unstable financial basis of these niche companies.

Add to this issues with saving and hacking (or similarly destructive or disruptive tendencies in a number of children) in a multiplayer school setting, and I can see why it's far easier to rely on books or makeshift media copies than on a complex high tech infrastructure.

The same goes for museums and other public exhibitions. Media displays are often out of order because of lack of funding and support, technical instability and vulnerability to abuse.

Therefore their potential is rarely realized.

Best,

Rich

Posted by: Mad

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/08/17 05:00 PM

Quote:

Unlike adventure games like Thimbleweed, historical games could benefit more from more realistic depictions that show more detail. We're talking about next-generation Cryo/Arxel/Wanadoo historical games, not next-generation LucasArts. The needs are different.


Yes, I acknowledge the general theme of this thread Jenny100, although it has wondered off track a little, but I deem it rather unlikely that a next-generation Cryo, Arxel or Wanadoo historical game project is on the cards, certainly not for the near future anyway, so I would repeat my note about graphics not being the most important thing in a game for me .... Because I would very happily play an interesting and historically accurate "edutainment" game with only rudimentary graphics IF the storyline was strong and IF the interface was player friendly.

My mention of Thimbleweed Park was only a nod to game that doesn't have fantastic "all singing all dancing" graphics but which is still an excellent play. I wasn't at all intending that LucasArts be compared with the likes of Cryo, Arxel or Wanadoo.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/09/17 01:31 AM

Originally Posted By: Mad
I would very happily play an interesting and historically accurate "edutainment" game with only rudimentary graphics IF the storyline was strong and IF the interface was player friendly.

I think you'd be in a minority. What would a "historical game" that used pixel art have over the historical games that Cryo/Arxel/Wanadoo already produced? It's been done before -- in higher resolution than pixel art -- and it failed because it was too much like a picture book instead of a living world.
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/09/17 02:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
Well, we were mostly talking about historical adventure games in this thread. We're talking about next-generation Cryo/Arxel/Wanadoo historical games, not next-generation LucasArts. The needs are different.

Definitely, but is there really such a sharp division? Aren't there many hybrids?

For instance, fantasy based on Tolkien or Arthurian legends often mixes historical details of medieval societies (knights, castles, druids, monks, blacksmiths) with fictional characters like wizards, elves, fairies and dragons. Also, Cryo's Atlantis series used some rather realistic vignettes based on civilizations like the Inuit, Easter Island, Imperial China, early Christian Ireland, Mayan culture, Pharaonic Egypt etc. framed by the myth of Atlantis.

Which would imply both target audiences can overlap, and will share expectations of fluid animations, attention to detail, believable settings etc.

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/09/17 03:35 PM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
For instance, fantasy based on Tolkien or Arthurian legends often mixes historical details of medieval societies (knight, castles, druids, monks, blacksmiths) with fictional characters like wizards, elves, fairies and dragons. Also, Cryo's Atlantis series used some rather realistic vignettes based on civilizations like the Inuit, Easter Island, Imperial China, early Christian Ireland, Mayan culture, Pharaonic Egypt etc. framed by the myth of Atlantis.

I don't know of any fantasies at all that don't borrow from real life (either the past or legends from the past). That includes both drawing from ancient mythologies and depiction of trades like blacksmithing.

But using references from the past in a fantasy is very different from inserting fantasy aspects into something you're claiming is an accurate depiction of life in another century. Are you going to claim people in medieval times actually rode dragons?

No one would claim the Atlantis games were accurate historical representations simply because there were aspects that echoed something from history or legend.

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
but is there really such a sharp division?

The only case I can think of where there is not a sharp division is something like Egypt III, where places like the "World of Isis" were based on Egyptian mythology and weren't mixed with other mythologies or a complete invention by the writers. The World of Isis and the Egyptian gods were real to the Egyptian people of that time.
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/09/17 05:36 PM

What I was trying to say, in support, was that precisely as historical (fact-based) fiction, and fantasy with historical elements often overlap (and as you point out, mythology is often perceived as very real by civilizations, like religious convictions even now), I don't see why game companies wouldn't invest in games that were a bit heavier on historical accuracy than on fairytale elements.

When developed and promoted well, with modern graphics and production values, these could still be successful. Even though, as I argued, the didactic element is rarely effective in a purely didactic (school) setting.

If National Geographic, the BBC, HBO and the History Channel can produce profitable dramatized documentaries, why can't IT companies invest in something like that in game format?

Unless it's only the sure-fire action blockbusters they want to go for?

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/10/17 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
If National Geographic, the BBC, HBO and the History Channel can produce profitable dramatized documentaries, why can't IT companies invest in something like that in game format?

Those documentaries have a proven audience. They've sold well enough in the past, and nearly everyone has a TV or a computer they can watch on.

High system requirements are an impediment to sales of computer software. But even if a developer made historical edutainment software with requirements as low as Myst IV (2004), which most recent computers would meet, the audience isn't "proven" to exist.

It doesn't help that, in the days of boxed games, when Cryo/Arxel/etc were still making historical adventure games, online sales of games weren't counted. With one single exception, I had to buy all of my edutainment purchases online because local shops didn't stock them (I found "Physicus" in the kids' section of an EB). So the hundreds of dollars I spent on the Cryo/Index/Arxel games didn't count as "purchases." Well over half had to be imported from overseas because they weren't sold at any online shop in North America that I could find. The part of the country I lived in was an absolute desert when it came to regular adventure games, let alone historical adventures and edutainment.

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
Unless it's only the sure-fire action blockbusters they want to go for?

I don't think the big game companies would be interested in investing in anything that hasn't sold well for them in the past. Very circular logic -- we'll never sell it because it's never sold for us before.

Considering that they've shown themselves to be completely ignorant about how to promote anything that isn't action-oriented, this isn't likely to change. It is beyond their comprehension that there is anyone who'd enjoy a slow-paced game or "visit" to a virtual world. That audience is completely ignored.

For example, I remember seeing an ad for Myst III where they tried to make it look like an action game -- banging, noisy "music," fast cutting that make it hard to look at, etc. If I hadn't already known what Myst III was about, and all I knew was from that ad, I wouldn't have been interested in it at all.

There is an ignored, untested audience for virtual tours, or visit modes, in software -- not necessarily the same as "games" because there are no puzzles or dexterity challenges -- just exploring a virtual environment.

Last month, YouTube uploader "LateBlt" uploaded a video describing his thoughts on adventure games, "walking simulators", and why he hadn't uploaded anything in several months:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2lT6kX7GFo
He talks about "Farming Simulator" and how he doesn't play it as intended, but just wanders around looking at things and enjoying the environment. He's done this with other games, and at the moment he prefers this over playing any sort of adventure game. He says he knows other people who use Farming Simulator (and other related Simulators) for this purpose. The lack of challenge or imposed goals and the ability to relax while looking around is a major part of the appeal.

Now if you consider which is closer to a documentary -- exploring a virtual environment with no obstacles, or playing a game that features a virtual environment but where there are some sort of obstacles (either puzzles or dexterity challenges), I think the pure exploration is absolutely closer to a documentary.

I don't know if the time to make such a thing is now. Maybe in a few years. System requirements would have to be low enough that almost any computer could run the software, yet it would have to be realistic enough that people used to the realism of filmed documentaries would accept it.
Posted by: Mad

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/10/17 03:08 PM

I absolutely agree with all the points you make, Jenny100 thumbsup thumbsup
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/10/17 04:21 PM

Thanks, Mad.
Glad you're not mad at me.
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/10/17 05:49 PM

Hi Jenny,

Very good, well-reasoned points, Jenny! No, I'm not mad at anyone either! How could I? wink

I'm shocked to hear that, even in pre-download days, online sales didn't count! How unfair! At least in Holland and other European countries there were companies representing or distributing Cryo and the like, so that you could find Dutch or multilingual versions of these games in stores.

The Wikipedia page on adventure games suggests that at one point, there was an oversaturation of Myst-like exploration and puzzle games, which undermined the genre. The same may be true of the endless series of city-building and strategy games which centred on the Roman Empire. You know, Caesar this, Imperium that, Total War this, Grand Ages that. This may have killed historical interest.

Perhaps recent environmental exploration games like Dear Esther and The Stanley Parable can lead the way and open up historical possibilities? Only time will tell.

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Mad

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/10/17 10:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
Thanks, Mad.
Glad you're not mad at me.


Heck, Jenny100 !! I wouldn't ever get mad at you !! wave2
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/10/17 11:44 PM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
The Wikipedia page on adventure games suggests that at one point, there was an oversaturation of Myst-like exploration and puzzle games, which undermined the genre.

Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, and is not a good source of information for anything where there is disagreement.

That "undermined the genre" business is hogwash that's been repeated entirely too often by people who should know better.

The Wikipedia article also says
Quote:
Myst held the record for computer game sales for seven years—it sold over nine million copies on all platforms, a feat not surpassed until the release of The Sims in 2000.

If it sold that much, it clearly outsold any of the Sierra/LucasArts games. So are you going to blame the customers who bought Myst and not a Sierra or LucasArts game? Aren't they entitled to buy the game they want? Obviously Myst offered them something the Sierra and LucasArts did not. And considering 7th Guest was released on CD the year before Myst, and Myst outsold 7th Guest, you can't say that all Myst offered was the novelty of being on CD.

It's not like Sierra or LucasArts stopped making 3rd person games after Myst was published. Nor is it likely that any developer that produced a 1st person game would have produced a 3rd person game instead if Myst hadn't existed.

Myst was released in 1993.
Let's not forget that even more influential game that was released in 1993 -- Doom.

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
The same may be true of the endless series of city-building and strategy games which centred on the Roman Empire. You know, Caesar this, Imperium that, Total War this, Grand Ages that. This may have killed historical interest.

Unless there was some issue with the games becoming too similar, I kind of doubt people who enjoy them would get tired of the historical aspects. But if these games have been "consolized" and designed to use gamepad instead of mouse/keyboard, not everyone will be happy with that.

Originally Posted By: Mad
Heck, Jenny100 !! I wouldn't ever get mad at you !!

Awwww! You're sweet.
Posted by: Iurii

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/11/17 02:35 AM

An interesting discussion. It is very sad and true, that no more historical adventure games are being produced - while both classical point-and-click LucasArts/Sierra-like adventures and 'Myst clones' come out quite often, either from big conpanies (like Daedalic) or from indie-developers.

Is it indeed a technique lost forever, that now forgotten 'French school' of edutainment? Or maybe the sponsors who paid for making those titles - like Canal+, France Telecom or Réunion des Musées Nationaux - are no longer interested in such products now that all edutaiment could be conducted online?

The last attempts I can think of are just casual games made in 2011 - 'Aspectus – Rinascimento Chronicles' and 'Marie-Antoinette and the Followers of Loki'. Even with that 'appeal for broader audience', both those companies seem to have gone bankrupt...
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/11/17 12:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Iurii
An interesting discussion. It is very sad and true, that no more historical adventure games are being produced - while both classical point-and-click LucasArts/Sierra-like adventures and 'Myst clones' come out quite often, either from big conpanies (like Daedalic) or from indie-developers.

There haven't really been many "Myst-like" games either -- some games with solitary exploration, but not all have Myst-like puzzles. You're more apt to find puzzles in casual games, but the puzzles tend to be too easy in those. The bulk of new game announcements seem to be for humorous LucasArts/Sierra type games, horror games, and dystopic games.

I made this list of games I know of with solitary exploration, though I may be missing some. They don't all feature Myst-like puzzles. For example, Eyes of Ara was mainly finding inventory.

2016 Barrow Hill: The Dark Path
2016 Eyes of Ara
2016 Obduction
2016 Quern
2015 Prominence
2015 RoonSehv
2014 Talos Principle
2012 J.U.L.I.A. (re-released 2014)
2011 ASA: A Space Adventure
2010 RHEM 4

Dates are mostly from PAGODA.
And of course the Carol Reed and Nancy Drew games, which are 1st person but not usually solitary exploration. Unfortunately we saw the last Nancy Drew in 2015 and it doesn't look like there will be any more. But ten games isn't a whole lot when you're going back 7 years.

Originally Posted By: Iurii
Or maybe the sponsors who paid for making those titles - like Canal+, France Telecom or Réunion des Musées Nationaux - are no longer interested in such products now that all edutainment could be conducted online?

I haven't seen anything like the old games online. Certainly nothing close to the edutainment games from 15 or 20 years ago. http://www.rmn.fr/ is like a virtual pamphlet rather than a virtual tour. Apparently Canal+ and France Telecom aren't what they used to be. Canal+ is now owned by Vivendi and France Telecom is now called Orange S.A. and is not a company that's going to be interested in promoting cultural history either. There's some surprisingly bad stuff about Orange S.A. on Wikipedia -- high rate of employee suicides and such.

Originally Posted By: Iurii
The last attempts I can think of are just casual games made in 2011 - 'Aspectus – Rinascimento Chronicles' and 'Marie-Antoinette and the Followers of Loki'. Even with that 'appeal for broader audience', both those companies seem to have gone bankrupt...

Aspectus wasn't a historical game. It was a fantasy in a mostly historical setting. I expect the Marie Antoinette game was the same, since I doubt real life Marie Antoinette had much to do with the Norse god Loki or any group called "Followers of Loki." One of the problems with casual games is that the developers seem to have no concept of history and their games are rife with anachronisms. They'll have games that are supposed to take place in the 1950's or 1960's, and the hidden objects you're supposed to find are antique tools from over 100 years earlier -- museum pieces in the 1950's and earlier and certainly not common household implements in the 1950's.
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/11/17 01:25 PM

Quote:
"One of the problems with casual games is that the developers seem to have no concept of history and their games are rife with anachronisms. They'll have games that are supposed to take place in the 1950's or 1960's, and the hidden objects you're supposed to find are antique tools from over 100 years earlier -- museum pieces in the 1950's and earlier and certainly not common household implements in the 1950's.

Thanks again for your research par excellence, to stay in the French vein! thumbsup

Indeed, casual HOG games appear to be infected by the random object virus ("Find the opossum and the binoculars at the greengrocer's"), regardless of historical context.

One factor must also be the financial crisis that's hit us so hard since 2008, preceded of course by the "New Economy" (Dot-com) bubble crash of 2000 that already ruined a lot of IT companies.

National and local governments are extremely reluctant now to subsidize established public institutions like libraries, archives, museums, zoos, research centres and arts councils (as a number of these were involved in creating these historical games), let alone innovative projects, while banks and other investors are also avoiding ventures that present any kind of risk. Impending bankruptcies for museums, concert halls and archives, that was something unheard of until recently.

The economy is finally picking up now, but there are still lots of uncertainties, financial, political, demographic, you name them. I think that's a worldwide phenomenon, alas.

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Iurii

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 06/11/17 11:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
There haven't really been many "Myst-like" games either

Well, I have not played 'Eyes of Ara', but both 'Obduction' and 'Quern' are recent Myst-like games with a lot of quite difficult puzzles smile

Originally Posted By: Jenny100

I haven't seen anything like the old games online. Certainly nothing close to the edutainment games from 15 or 20 years ago

I meant not games, but general online education. You can now read about everything in 'Wikipedia' and on other web-sites - not much need to make a separate Encyclopedia of some historical period, add a kind of supplementary adventure game to it, and publish it on CDs.

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
Aspectus wasn't a historical game. It was a fantasy in a mostly historical setting.

You are right of course - that's why I called them 'attempts', certainly not on par with the real historical games developed 15 or 20 years ago.
Still, all the titles from Nemopolis had a part of fantasy in them - we play as a little robot travelling throuh the ages of French history, but that does not hinder those ages to be portrayed quite accurately. In 'Marie Antoinette', they just re-used backgrounds from their earlier adventure games and added hidden objects to it. Strange sight indeed, as RichAlexis has already noted.

Oh, I forgot about Danish company Serious Games Interactive and their historical adventure games. Their latest one, 'Playing History: Vikings', came out in 2015. Still, they are probably too childish - with cartoony graphics instead of the realism of the older French games.
Posted by: Fingon

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/01/17 06:48 AM

Hi to all, first of all, thanks to the first post, I was able to install Rome: Caesar's Will on my Windows 10. However, I wasn't able to run it - the game freezes with "Please wait while loading..."

I have a laptop, AMD A8-6410 APU with AMD Radeon R5 Graphics, 2.00 GHz, 4 GB RAM

The game freezes as Not responding.



On a side note, thanks for the tips considering other historical adventures, I have never heard about Crusader nor about The Vikings. As far as I know, there is only one game series that is dedicated to recreating historical cities etc. - Assassin's Creed. Too bad it's difficult to play in places...

BTW on the decline of the genre after 2000 - I keep finding more and more abandoned series that could get two installments published, but not the third one - Adrian Blake trilogy (Pompei + Jerusalem), A riddle of the SPhinx (Riddle of the Sphinx + Omega Stone), Aura + Aura 2 and even the New Atlantis Trilogy (Atlantis: Evolution and Secrets of Atlantis). Maybe there are more...
Posted by: Marian

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/01/17 09:45 AM

welcome to GameBoomers, Fingon.

Hopefully one of the techies here will be able to give you some advice about the freeze problem with the game.
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/04/17 01:46 PM

Hi Fingon,

Thank you for your personal message!

I must say it's hard for me to speculate about an operating system I don't have (Windows 10), and can't possibly emulate.

I have a hunch it has something to do with screen resolution. As I've written, this game requires 800x600, which my Windows 8.1 automatically adjusts to when launching the game. There is a lag during the 'Please wait while loading' screen image though, and this screen initially appears as an ugly cropped image in the lower right-hand corner.

I see that Windows 10 offers the same compatibility options for applications as Windows 8.1, that is a pre-set resolution of 640x480, which is of no use here.

Even though I don't need it in this case, I regularly use the 12 Noon Display changer (https://12noon.com/?page_id=80) for adjusting the screen resolution for just one particular application, which returns to default as soon as you close the game.

You start the application from the command line, or a desktop shortcut like this:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\12noon Display Changer\dc64.exe" -width=800 -height=600 -depth=32 "C:\Program Files (x86)\Montparnasse Multimedia\Rome\rome.exe"

I don't know if this is of any help.

Another issue might be that Windows 10 handles older DirectX and Windows Media Player calls worse than 8.1? As I've said, I skip the installation of these older applications for 'Rome', but this might be the cause.

Another option would be to run all kinds of vintage games (as you're clearly interested in them) inside an emulator, like Hyper-V (if you run a Windows 10 Pro OS) or VMware Player.

Best,

Rich

P.S. On a sidenote too, but a heartfelt one, I recently read a Dutch report by the NCDD (Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation (final 'D' for 'duurzaamheid' = durability, sustainability)) on how urgent the need for preservation of 'old' CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs has become, even more so now that QuickTime (including its VR 3D feature) and Adobe (Macromedia) Flash support have almost disappeared from recent OS-versions. Or given the fact that lots of institutions are discarding their optical disk drives altogether, or recent hardware and software no longer support them - taking into account that the popular acceptance of DVDs and Blu-rays happened only 15 or 10 years ago. And most of these are highly complex applications, unlike an audio or video tape.

It's a crazy situation, especially if you work in a professional environment like education, when you find that in the space of let's say three years, lots of applications won't run your content properly, and all sorts of awkward fixes are required, if they work at all.

Quote:

Quote:
CD-ROMs were popular carriers for interactive works of art from the early to late 1990s. Unlike mainstream mass-produced CD-ROMs, CD-ROM art was usually published on a very small scale, or even remained unpublished altogether. These artworks were created specifically for this medium, and should not be confused with regular files stored on a CD-ROM. This makes them unique, but also vulnerable. Now that many computers are no longer equipped with optical discs drives, operating systems have become outdated, and files are often unreadable, these works are threatened with oblivion.

And, after details have been provided to preserve and emulate the various elements on the CD-ROM:

Quote:
Realistically, we must expect emulators, virtual disk images and the host systems running the emulators to eventually go out of date themselves. Just like any other type of software or data file, they require a specific system environment, but these environments are constantly shifting. When one component changes, its dependent components may cease to function. With this in mind, in order to ensure the long-term preservation of CD-ROM art, a standard migration procedure must be applied to the entire archive, including both virtual disk images and emulators.


Posted by: Fingon

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/05/17 03:07 PM

Hi Rich,
thanks for the tips. After reading the first post, second thing I did was to manually change the screen resolution for 800x600.

I have eventually managed to run the recommended program (had to run it as administrator, otherwise it just spits out an error message), but even though it did change the resolution, it didn't change the problem itself- the game just freezes on the loading screen and is not responding.

I have installed the game without any additional programs as recommended. When that didn't work (I have a long string of elderly games behind me. I know how finicky can the different versions of DirectX be and that the newest version doesn't always contain all the necessary data), I have reinstalled the game again, this time with the programs. For one of them, there was an error message.

I have tried the emulation as well - I have only Win 10 Home edition, but I use Virtualbox semi-regularly. I have tried this pest of a game on emulated Win 95, 98 and even XP Pro - the installation works without a problem. When I tried to run it, however, there is an in-game error message:

ROME: Error
Your graphic card does not meet requirements (no hardware acceleration or not enough video memory).

One thing though - I try to never install games into Program Files folder. I could do another reinstall into the suggested location, maybe that will help.

(I am usually able to run anything old enough, given enough fiddling. The only thing I wasn't able to run at all was Aura 2 - even though it worked before. There has been some (Windows 8 ) update, after which it just stopped working. I had to use my wife's notebook.)

PS, personally, once I am done with a game, I usually don't care any more, yet I think these things should be preserved for posterity (and new generations of players). On a purely software basis, we will probably have to make do with an emulation of an emulation (eg. in 2030, emulate windows 10 and in it windows xp and/or DOSBOX/ScummVM), the problem comes in the moment when one needs to get the data from a physical medium.

Recently, I have participated in recovering an obscure Czech game from 1996. Once installed, one could easilly play it in DOSBOX as it was still a DOS game. But the game data had to be installed from two 3,5' diskets and some of the sectors were already damaged beyond repair. What we have now is the only known/rediscovered unit in existence. The producer is still in game business (well, his third studio is/was - after several games fro the Czech market he has founded Illusion Softworks (of Mafia fame), that was turned into 2K Czech and eventually he left and founded a small studio for casual /HO games).

And as this is in digital form and a specialized tools are needed to access theh data, the situation could become bleak indeed.
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/05/17 05:39 PM

Hi Fingon,

Really sorry to hear that, after so many attempts! Thank you for your remarks on vintage historical games by the way! Yes, I've read others on this board who recommend installing older games in My Documents folder, for instance, as the Program Files directories are too restrictive and often require special Administrator privileges for installing and saving (temporary) files, logs and the like.

I should have added that I have a Intel Core i5-4590 processor, with Intel HD Graphics 4600 card, 3.30 GHz, 8 GB RAM.

I just installed the game inside my VMware Player Windows XP Home Edition emulator, roughly the same way I did on Windows 10:
  • Set Compatibility for Autorun.exe (or directly Setup.exe) to Windows 98 / Windows ME
  • Custom Setup without DirectX 7, DXmedia 6, Media Player 6.4 (my emulation already has DirectX 9.0, Windows Media Player 9.0, and VMware Tools)
and again, the game installs without a glitch, I can set preferences, and start playing.

I do get your error message of

Quote:
ROME: Error
Your graphic card does not meet requirements (no hardware acceleration or not enough video memory).

when I reduce the hardware acceleration in Control Panel -> Display -> Settings -> Advanced to the left, so that might be part of the problem in your case.

I also installed the Rome game inside my VMware Player Windows 98 SE emulator, this time without any compatibility adjustments of course, but also custom install without the DirectX and WMP stuff (I already have the same or higher installed inside).

That's when I immediately get your "Your graphic card does not meet requirements..." error, and had to give up.

Best,

Rich
P.S. About the preservation of vintage games and graphic media. I got a little 'Aha-Erlebnis' idea when you wrote that you'd probably need an emulation of an emulation to keep things running. That's exactly what they concluded in the report I quoted from above:

Quote:
Since the emulators themselves eventually grow obsolete, they too should be archived, along with all the system files and programs needed for them to function. In the future, this will enable the possibility for newer emulators to recursively emulate older ones which cannot be used on the latest computers (for instance if their updates for newer OS are discontinued). The technique of running an emulator within another emulator is already commonly practised in the field of archiving and has been noted in several studies.
Posted by: Fingon

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/06/17 05:39 AM

A success - I was able to install and run the game using VMWare Workstation with WinXP Pro. It's a trial so far, but at least some progress...

Thanks for the tip!

(btw I didn't expect it to look so ugly...)
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/06/17 09:04 AM

Originally Posted By: Fingon
A success - I was able to install and run the game using VMWare Workstation with WinXP Pro. It's a trial so far, but at least some progress...

Thanks for the tip!

(btw I didn't expect it to look so ugly...)
Ah, Fingon, that's good news! So far, that is wink.

The trouble with computer support, unlike support for (largely) mechanical appliances, is that you can never know if a set of instructions will work, even if you have the same configuration on the face of it. We all know that of course, but with more and more tools getting hooked up to the internet and receiving unseen software updates and synchronization with various apps, we're basically all left to our own devices!

As for the look of the game, don't say I didn't warn you! wink

Quote:
Though the characters have a strange 'origami marionette' (polygonal projections) kind of look, comparable to the In Utero productions Odyssey and Jekyll & Hyde from the same era - it takes some getting used to - one quite interesting aspect is its non-linear design.

(from my second post in this thread)

You can take a look over here for a beginners' course in ugliness:

https://web.archive.org/web/20010223233642/http://www.aleajactaest.com:80/us/perso.html

Introductory cutscene on YouTube here.

The locations look pretty good though!

Don't they say that ugliness is in the eye of the beholder? Let's call it a bold, unconventional design!

Alea iacta est! (The die is cast!), as Caesar is supposed to have said when crossing the Rubicon!

Good luck!

Rich
Posted by: Fingon

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/06/17 09:31 AM

I have seen the original website a while ago, I think I used it, together with other sources, to create a game profile for my usual stomping grounds (czech-based game database).

Alea iacta est is known to me, together with Littera scripta manet, Cogito ergo sum, Lorem ipsum dolor..., Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam or my personal favorite, Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi.

I have survived Pompei, I have survived Egypt II, I should survive this as well... I used to like educative adventures with french flare (but, honestly, who else has done them, maybe except the Germans - Opera fatal, I am looking at you!), but sometimes the visuals didn't hold that well...


EDIT: the game doesn`t seem to be very stable and the animations in the close-up scenes jitter. It crashed into (emulated) Windows after I tried to save the position... Oh my, this will be fun...
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/07/17 10:11 AM

Oh boy, oh boy .... sorry to hear that!

I had no problem saving the game inside my VMware Windows XP emulator. I was able to find the saves in a subdirectory, and activate them.

As for the other issues, I wouldn't know, and right now I have no time to look into them, I'm afraid.

Over the past few days, I did look for hints or patches on French sites under the original title of "Rome: Le Testament de César", but couldn't find anything, apart from one obvious hint on an official Microsoft support site to set the game compatibility to Windows XP. I guess it's too obscure even in French!

As for Opera Fatal, I thought you were going to talk pig Latin to me, but I realized it's a game I'd never heard of. I found that Jenny posted a superbly written review of it on our site, and as I've had a few years of musical instruction, I think it would be fun to play it.

I read a review on German Amazon which stated it can run on any Windows platform, even 10, so this would be a potential purchase for me, preferably in the original German.

So, inadvertently perhaps, thanks for mentioning it!

The best of luck!

Rich

Posted by: Fingon

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/07/17 10:56 AM

AD Opera Fatal - the original release cannot be played natively anymore, but the developer is still in business and sells an updated re-release. I think it still uses QuickTime, but I had no problems installing nor playing it.

On the Rome note, I was able to save and load at first, but once I did two dialogues and picked two items and wanted to save after that, there was a crash. The game has certain hardware demands which aren't probably emulated with ease, or my notebook can't handle it that well. I will try to fiddle with the settings a bit...

It's fascinating, there is no english walkthrough readilly available, but thanks to one french site I was able to access both a walkthrough in french (and run it through google translate, it's not entirely gibberish) and even some hints in natively written English (via Archive.org).

BTW on a completely side note, are there any Dutch adventure games? I understand German and I can decipher pieces of written Dutch, given enough time:-P
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/07/17 11:13 AM

I wonder if the original Opera Fatal for Windows 3.1/95/NT would run in DOSBox with Windows 3.1 installed, as described at https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=9405

Some Windows 3.1 games work that way (e.g. Shivers and Myst), but QuickTime can sometimes cause problems. The advantage of using DOSBox over VMware, Virtual PC, or Virtualbox is that DOSBox controls for processor speed.
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/07/17 04:07 PM

Originally Posted By: Fingon
AD Opera Fatal - the original release cannot be played natively anymore, but the developer is still in business and sells an updated re-release. I think it still uses QuickTime, but I had no problems installing nor playing it.

On the Rome note, I was able to save and load at first, but once I did two dialogues and picked two items and wanted to save after that, there was a crash. The game has certain hardware demands which aren't probably emulated with ease, or my notebook can't handle it that well. I will try to fiddle with the settings a bit...

It's fascinating, there is no english walkthrough readilly available, but thanks to one french site I was able to access both a walkthrough in french (and run it through google translate, it's not entirely gibberish) and even some hints in natively written English (via Archive.org).

BTW on a completely side note, are there any Dutch adventure games? I understand German and I can decipher pieces of written Dutch, given enough time:-P
Okay, this will be my last post for a while. Too busy!

The Opera Fatal edition on Amazon I was referring to is a Jubiläumausgabe, so some kind of Xth Anniversary Edition. I don't know what year it's from, but at least 'XP' is included in the compatibility specs, so I suppose this is a relatively recent release adapted to later platforms. A number of customers say it will run on the latest versions.

With regard to the rendering problems, this occurred to me with a very similar game I tried to play on Windows XP: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses.

I wrote:
Quote:
Problem: I get shimmering, jittering, epilepsy-inducing images whenever I open a dialogue box, which in this case is a figure overlay which slides down on the screen. So I tried disabling hardware acceleration from the Windows Control Panel -> Display icon. This worked!
This could mean you'll have to experiment with various hardware acceleration settings.

An archived English walkthough for Rome can be found here. It's by a Dutch player, from the obsolete www.gamesover.com. I think it's a good idea to download the page to disk - you never know how long archived sites will stay online and readable.

No, I don't know any native Dutch games, although there are of course Dutch game development studios working mainly for the English-language market. From the old days, I only remember Philips of course (abortive CD-i venture), Davilex and releases translated into Dutch by Dice Multimedia. The only game I played in Dutch was Egypt 1156 B.C. simply because I picked it up at a jumble sale. Even in this case, it was packaged with a French edition, as is often the case (aiming at the combined French/Belgian (bilingual)/Dutch market).

Of course there are some largely isolated hobby projects in Dutch for some museums, theme parks and educational purposes, but they are of limited interest, and were short-lived.

Good luck!

Rich
Posted by: RichAlexis

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/10/17 09:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
I wonder if the original Opera Fatal for Windows 3.1/95/NT would run in DOSBox with Windows 3.1 installed, as described at https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=9405

Some Windows 3.1 games work that way (e.g. Shivers and Myst), but QuickTime can sometimes cause problems. The advantage of using DOSBox over VMware, Virtual PC, or Virtualbox is that DOSBox controls for processor speed.
That's an interesting alternative for the other emulators, Jenny! I thought that DOSBox would only be suited for DOS-based games, as the name implies. Apparently, Windows 3.1 and even 95 can be installed inside them, but I guess it would be quite tricky with all the required drivers and mounting points for disks or disk images. As I don't have these older operating systems, and don't plan to get and spend time on them, it wouldn't be for me, but I guess it would be a nice idea for those who love the look and feel of mostly 'flat' vintage games.

Best,

Rich
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 - 10/10/17 12:25 PM

Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
Apparently, Windows 3.1 and even 95 can be installed inside them, but I guess it would be quite tricky with all the required drivers and mounting points for disks or disk images.

Mounting points are the same as for DOSBox so you don't have to do anything extra. When I installed Windows 3.1, I first copied all the floppies to a folder, mounted that folder as the A: drive in DOSBox, then installed from there without having to change floppies. It went very fast.

Links to the necessary drivers are in the VOGONS Guide
https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=9405
Not all drivers are necessary. You need the graphics and sound drivers. Other drivers depend on whether you want a joystick in Windows 3.1, or additional tweaks as described in the Guide.

Windows 95 is "not supported" at VOGONS. It's apparently a lot harder to install and get usable on plain DOSBox. Usually people use DOSBox Daum or DOSBox-X for Windows 95 on a DOSBox version. I have not tried it.

Something like 86box, where they are experimenting with emulating a few 3D graphics cards, would probably be better for Windows 95 than DOSBox.
https://emulation.miraheze.org/wiki/86Box