Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 139 / APRIL 1992 / PAGE S11

Four ways to play games with multimedia. (Compute's Getting Started with Multimedia)
by Heidi E.H. Aycock

You don't really need a multimedia monster to play a good game. The most successful games don't even require electricity, much less a stereo sound card and a super VGA graphics adapter. Checkers has entertained generation after generation on front porches with a two color board and some plastic tokens.

Purism aside, however, the multimedia generation will be a golden age for entertainment. Those elements of a game that add to your enjoyment--the depth and richness of the game environment, the absorbing quality of the game's design, the detail of the imagery--will become even more pronounced. With increased storage, programs will offer more complex plots. With integrated sensory effects, scenes will pop out and sing more realistically. With more power, you can go more places, see more, hear more, do more. And you'll have more freedom to explore.

While most software companies have upgraded their graphics resolutions with 640 by 480 resolution wiht 256 colors, that's about the end of the similarities in their strategies for exploiting multimedia. Sierra On-Line, for example, has added digitized voices and sound effects to two of its games, replacing text windows with spoken information. Access Software, on the other hand, capitalized on increased storage space by adding another golf course to its simulation; the company also enhanced the program by including helicopter tours, requiring 10 megabytes each, of each hole on the course. InterPlay Productions smoothed out the animation in Battle Chess by adding more than 100 megabytes of graphics; the company also added voices and sound effects.

The games scheduled for release for Windows with Multimedia include King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder, an intricate adventure game set in Daventry, from Sierra On-Line (P.O. Box 485, Coarsegold, California 93614;209-683-4468); Jones in the Fast Lane, a board game with animated characters and digitized voices, also from Sierra; Links, a golf simulation that exploits Windows' multitasking, multiwindowing capabilities, from Access Software (4910 W. Amelia Earhart Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah 84116; 801-359-2900); and Battle Chess, an animated rendition of the classic strategy game from Interplay Productions (3710 S. Susan, #100, Santa Ana, California 92704; 714-545-9001).