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Will Unity games be playable in 10 years?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sam_M, May 16, 2018.

  1. Sam_M

    Sam_M

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    Do you think PC games made today will be playable in the future? I know it's almost impossible to play some old games today, but has that gotten better over the years? I've been working on a project in Unity, but I've been researching the "lifespan" of digital games, and I'm getting very discouraged. Would love to hear some thoughts on this.
     
  2. bart_the_13th

    bart_the_13th

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  3. Doug_B

    Doug_B

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    Hi Sam_M,
    Why discouraged?

    I grew up playing Space Invaders, Galaxians, Pac-Man in arcades and also, at home, the excellent games available on the ZX-Spectrum. Even now, there are ways and means of playing those games. For example, I would recommend a visit to the Four Quarters pub if you are ever in the area and wanting a beer and a go at an original Pac-Man. Every now and again, some startup venture will consider reintroducing the ZX-Spectrum.

    These are much older than your 10 year timeframe. :)
     
    Lu4e likes this.
  4. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    If a old version of unity stops working in a new version of target OS I guess you are in trouble because chances are unity does not support that version anymore. If you target windows chances are it will work fine, you can play games that are more than 10 years old on w10
     
  5. verybinary

    verybinary

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    I love old games!!!
    And I think the only the only problem that I can think of is the clock speed of the old computers with DOS games.
    Fake problems kids have nowadays is that more time and effort was spent on the game, and not as much on the graphics. I still play muds. I don't need no stinking graphics.
    Are 10 year old games going to be hot in 10 years? Probably not. Im guessing kids will be bewildered that you have to look at a screen. If you doubt me, watch a video about kids reacting to a game boy.
    Will games be playable? Yes, at least on pc emulators.
    Will games be as good? As good as they are now.
     
  6. elbows

    elbows

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    Fun times. Disengage turbo button and it still runs too fast :D

     
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  7. AndersMalmgren

    AndersMalmgren

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    I made my games translations as a function of time even back then so my old games would actually run the same on all hardware :D
     
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  8. derf

    derf

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    Many games made 10+ years ago are still being played I occasionally like to start up Baldur's Gate which is from 1998 and it runs fine on Windows 10. No worries here.


    This only applies to games written sometime in the eighties and very early 1990's. The games from that era were usually coded to run on PCs, in DOS mode (even though they usually had an OS as well they tended to start up in DOS mode and you would have to type win or windows to start up Windows 3.1). These includes games like the original Elder Scrolls: Arena in its first release ran from DOS. The Eye of the Beholder series, Sierra's Darklands ran from DOS. The first releases of Leisure Suit Larry titles I-III were CGA graphics and ran from DOS. The re-releases were windows based and ran from the desktop.

    So a game written in Unity 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. will still run right now on a PC fresh from the store with Windows 10 Pro (assuming it was compiled for a windows environment).

    However; it is theoretically possible a game could be coded in a way using say Unity 2.1 that uses a feature of a graphics card or audio card that is now obsolete on most if not all graphics cards and is no longer available on current PC hardware, BUT this is true for any game even from the big developers/publishers.

    So there are some games out there that when they start up throw fatal errors and crash simply because a feature or a specific element it associates with a graphics card or audio card, etc. are no longer available and the developers did not properly code for this possibility.



    I am not sure what this "lifespan" is your talking about, the only thing I can say is there is a window of opportunity for a game to reach its target audiences and you want to try and make it before it closes and your game becomes just noise in the background among other games of similar style, game play or theme.
     
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  9. Lu4e

    Lu4e

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    LOL Installing drivers on sound card and display card was the game to me already.:D
     
    Doug_B likes this.
  10. N1warhead

    N1warhead

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    I still play a game called Command & Conquer Renegade. It is hands down my favorite game of all time.
    It literally sucked my life away as a teen. overall, I've probably got around 50K hours on it lol (Figuratively speaking). But wouldn't surprise me. Back when I was a teen - as soon as I got home from school, played it until going to sleep, same with days with no school - wake up, play it until I go to sleep.

    In fact, that's the game that really got me into Programming and Game Design, some of my Total Conversion mods I was making was actually top news all over planetcnc, cncnz, etc websites.. But at the time, I was too young to understand Copyright laws, so eventually my Terminator mod was shut down LOL.

    But one problem I do notice with a lot of old games, such as C&C Tiberian Sun, is that everything is going like a billion miles per hour lol. But I believe that's probably because at the time they didn't use a variation of time.deltaTime to smooth things over the frames no matter the FPS.

    But honestly, it's hard to tell if 10 years from now if Unity games specifically will be playable, because lets face it, technology is constantly changing, next thing you know we'll have Molecular Memory (Bill gates stated like 10 years ago he was researching into it), so Microsoft may have it eventually. It would be like having 500 TB of memory per stick lol.
     
    Lu4e likes this.
  11. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Every time I eat food, I just crap is out half an hour later.

    What's the point....
     
  12. frosted

    frosted

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    Holy crap, you just gave me major flashbacks.

    Darklands is probably the best party based rpg ever made. I played it a bit recently on GOG and was blown away at how well it still stands up. The controls are the only thing that are really dated.
     
  13. derf

    derf

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    Um...good food and a healthy bowel movement are the spice of life? o_O
     
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  14. elbows

    elbows

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    That sort of thing was really what the nerdy me enjoyed most about those times I think. Especially since there was a period of a good few years there where, for gaming etc purposes, switching from 16 bit home computer like Atari ST to IBM-PC compatible clone actually felt like a bit of a step backwards.

    Although I do have memories of not being overjoyed having to muck around excessively with boot OS config file options to enable access to areas of memory above 640K (my memory fades, perhaps there was a time before himem.sys made this realtively easy, perhaps there were 2 different competing ways of doing this access originally, perhaps I am also thinking of times where I decided to muck around with DRDOS instead of MSDOS.)
     
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  15. elbows

    elbows

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    When it comes to eras of slightly painful compatibility, I would possibly also include the first era of 3D cards (Voodoo fx etc) for PCs, the later 1990s period where things like DirectX either didnt exist or were in their infancy, and so a game might ship with Glide support only.
     
    derf likes this.
  16. Lu4e

    Lu4e

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    I am afraid the answer still be yes, if the thread title changed to a challenging 30 years:D
    People always find ways to revive their old machine to experience those exciting moment again in spare time.
     
  17. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    My guess is you're most likely to have difficulty with mobile or console games after 10 years. PC/Mac standalone should be fine.

    For PC, things really started to stabilize around DX9 when it released over 15 years ago. I'd guess that DX11 has at least 15 more years of life left as far as OS support.
     
  18. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    DOSBox has had support for years.

    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=14&letter=A

    DOSBox has had support for years.

    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=3260&letter=E
    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=3261&letter=E
    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=3269&letter=E

    DOSBox has had support for years.

    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=64&letter=D

    Leisure Suit Larry is an interesting case because it is not running natively on DOS. It's running through a VM known as the SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) engine created by Lucas Arts. Support for SCUMM games has always been excellent on DOS.

    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=901&letter=L
    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=342&letter=L
    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=268&letter=L
    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=267&letter=L
    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=177&letter=L
    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=3912&letter=L
    https://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?showID=3963&letter=L

    That being said the games are best run not through DOSBox but through ScummVM which is a third party recreation of the VM that supports a very wide range of platforms and games.

    https://www.scummvm.org/
    https://www.scummvm.org/downloads/
    https://www.scummvm.org/compatibility/

    A few of the more obscure games made with it have become freeware.

    https://www.scummvm.org/games/

    But the ones that remain commercial are now being sold through Steam and GOG which ships with the program required to run them best. DOS games on these stores are shipped with DOSBox and SCUMM games are shipped with ScummVM already configured and ready to run them.
     
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  19. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    DosBox emulates old dos games just fine. In twenty years we could easily see a Windows 10 emulator built for the same purpose.
     
  20. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    @Ryiah I interpreted the OP's question as referring to native platform support for the game. If using 3rd party tools designed to extend longevity is part of the criteria, then the answer is "forever" :)

    I still occasionally play some Apple IIGS games in an emulator on my PC :p as well as some original GameBoy games on my Android phone.
     
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  21. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Same. I just love pointing out how playable they still are. If anything they're likely more playable today because you don't have to fiddle with hardware and software configurations hoping to get that one obscure game to run. For the most part that's all gone with DOSBox.
     
    Lu4e likes this.
  22. Sam_M

    Sam_M

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    Thank you all for the replies, I had no idea I'd get so many! So basically it sounds like emulators are capable of keeping modern games around forever, as long as those games aren't reliant on specific piece of hardware. That's good to hear, didn't realize emulators were so versatile.
     
  23. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    With some exceptions when you need to run older games it's emulators for consoles and virtual machines for everything else. Emulators are generally not flexible and you need one for each platform. Virtual machines are the opposite with one virtual machine program being able to handle many different OSes and many different versions of them.

    Additionally virtual machines are not restricted just for running older programs. With the correct configuration you can have multiple OSes running at the same time on one computer including with the ability to play high end games on each of them at the same time. I've linked the more informative video below but there is another video of seven gamers at once.


    Furthermore virtual machines are practically everywhere on servers with one of the more common terms (virtual private server) literally referring to the fact that it's running in a virtual machine (alongside others on the same physical server).
     
  24. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Hardware can be emulated too.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  25. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    It's often a necessity too as the platform is more than just custom software. A PlayStation 3, for example, has a processor that is nothing like the processor in a normal computer and the software for that platform is very much dependent on the way it works and the features it provides.

    For this reason you generally need a computer that is vastly more powerful than the platform you're emulating to achieve the same performance the platform itself would have had.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
    Kiwasi likes this.
  26. Tom_Veg

    Tom_Veg

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    Yes. Just look at Dota 2 :)
     
  27. tsibiski

    tsibiski

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    With emulators being commonplace, games from any generation will be playable on different architectures. So if x86 architecture becomes outdated, you just need an extra app to play it. Won't be a big deal, I suspect.
     
  28. jasonxtate66

    jasonxtate66

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    If we can play the duct-taped together, finishable Quest for Glory 4 that originally came on several floppy disks 20 years ago - filled with bugs - today... I think we'll be okay.