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Night Dive bringing re-release of Noctropolis (DOS dystopian P&C adventure)

Sep 11, 2011
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Night Dive Studios said:

No specific details announced yet (this was announced in conjunction with NDS's Twitter profile reaching a thousand followers), but I don't think it's a fluke tweet. Here's an overview courtesy of the Gaming Obscuritory:

In Noctropolis, you play as Peter Grey, a failing comic book store owner on the verge of bankruptcy. Grey’s favorite comic is Darksheer, the story of an eponymous superhero who defends the Gotham-esque city of Noctropolis from ne’er-do-wells with the help of his catsuit-clad sidekick Stiletto. One evening, a package arrives from the Cygnus Publishing Group containing a special final edition of Darksheer. It’s a bleak issue, implying that Darksheer has vanished and that villainy has overtaken the city. When Grey finishes, a powerful and mysterious force sucks him into the world of the comic, stranding him in Noctropolis – and leaving him to take up the mantle of Darksheer.

This looks to be a release like what Night Dive produced for Harvester, another FMV-laden and off-kilter adventure from a transitional period in Western PC adventure gaming. I like the music, that's for sure.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
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Half of the stuff Night Dive has re-released I've never even heard of before, but I have to say I'm delighted that there's a company willing to dig deep into the abyss of random old PC games. Frankly, GOG is a great site, but I wish they'd do more outreach to try to sign this kind of stuff. I always thought by now GOG would have thousands of classic games, but it seems like they mostly just tried to sign bigger publishers and then at some point switched to letting publishers come to them.
 
Sep 11, 2011
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Half of the stuff Night Dive has re-released I've never even heard of before, but I have to say I'm delighted that there's a company willing to dig deep into the abyss of random old PC games. Frankly, GOG is a great site, but I wish they'd do more outreach to try to sign this kind of stuff. I always thought by now GOG would have thousands of classic games, but it seems like they mostly just tried to sign bigger publishers and then at some point switched to letting publishers come to them.
GOG really should get a licensing contract signed with Microsoft so they can hunt down classics that only run on Windows 3.1. If they had a deal with SEGA we'd have received Rocket Science's FMV adventure Obsidian by now. The possibilities are endless, it's just a legal quagmire.
 

Sinatar

Official GAF Bottom Feeder
Jun 7, 2004
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This is the first game Night Dive has released that I've never heard of.



Looks pretty cool.
 

4lejandro

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Feb 27, 2013
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I vividly remember playing this back in my PC days :), it was pretty creepy and it didn't take itself too seriously, with the right amount of campyness.

Would play it again.
 

Axiom

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Jun 8, 2004
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I never thought I'd see this game again. I got it at bargain price back in the day because a) I got every adventure game I could and b) it had boobs and I was a young man
 

MulderYuffie

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May 13, 2015
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I love Night Dive and I remember bits and pieces of this game from way back when I can't wait to get my hands on this when they release it.
 

Vlaphor

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Jul 25, 2011
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A weird and silly game with some neat videos and questionable puzzles. Did an LP for it ages ago for SA
 

BlackRock

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Nov 13, 2011
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Half of the stuff Night Dive has re-released I've never even heard of before, but I have to say I'm delighted that there's a company willing to dig deep into the abyss of random old PC games. Frankly, GOG is a great site, but I wish they'd do more outreach to try to sign this kind of stuff. I always thought by now GOG would have thousands of classic games, but it seems like they mostly just tried to sign bigger publishers and then at some point switched to letting publishers come to them.

Apparently there just isn't that much money in retro games. They are heavily trying to push into competing directly with Steam, Origin, etc. they are still doing a nice job getting old games, but the pace is indeed slow. It's clearly no longer their major priority.
 

MrFortyFive

Member
Aug 19, 2007
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Half of the stuff Night Dive has re-released I've never even heard of before, but I have to say I'm delighted that there's a company willing to dig deep into the abyss of random old PC games. Frankly, GOG is a great site, but I wish they'd do more outreach to try to sign this kind of stuff. I always thought by now GOG would have thousands of classic games, but it seems like they mostly just tried to sign bigger publishers and then at some point switched to letting publishers come to them.

Apparently there just isn't that much money in retro games. They are heavily trying to push into competing directly with Steam, Origin, etc. they are still doing a nice job getting old games, but the pace is indeed slow. It's clearly no longer their major priority.

I think this is pretty much it. The cost vs. reward for them just isn't always worth it. I don't have the exact quote, but I believe that I remember seeing a quote from one of the mods on the forums saying that it's safe to assume that many of the classic games that make you think "GOG should have this already!" have brought up the same thoughts in their minds as well, but are simply so tied up in a legal quagmire or so difficult to get running on modern hardware that it's just not worth it for them to dedicate that many resources to it. That doesn't mean that they won't get *insert old game here* at some point, but they most likely have to dedicate the majority of their efforts to more profitable endeavors while leaving the projects that attempt to procure more classic/retro games on the back burner to sort themselves out over a longer period of time.

That is, of course, purely conjecture on my part based on something I'm not even 100% sure was actually said, so if someone has something more concrete to refute or back up my claims, I'd love to here it.
 

Catshade

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Jul 23, 2009
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Half of the stuff Night Dive has re-released I've never even heard of before, but I have to say I'm delighted that there's a company willing to dig deep into the abyss of random old PC games. Frankly, GOG is a great site, but I wish they'd do more outreach to try to sign this kind of stuff. I always thought by now GOG would have thousands of classic games, but it seems like they mostly just tried to sign bigger publishers and then at some point switched to letting publishers come to them.

They've started publishing a few games themselves since May 2015, including the latest classic Warhammer games. Hopefully GOG and Night Dive Studios can complement each other.
 

Of All Trades

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Oct 14, 2004
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Curiously I'm fairly positive that my long-gone copy of this game was an EA Classics game back when they put 1-2 games in thinner boxes in the mid-90s or so. Populous/Powermonger was another one, along with various Origin or Bullfrog games.

edit: wiki says it's EA published so I'm a little surprised that GOG couldn't get this through their contract with EA. Or maybe GOG just doesn't care any more.

edit2: it wasn't a good game.
 
Mar 16, 2011
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Right, I feel as I should mention that I am going to be interviewing the head of Night Dive Studios, Steven Kick on Wednesday night and see if anybody here might have any questions about this game.

Can you ask about what is happening with PowerSlave?
 

gabbo

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Jun 25, 2011
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Right, I feel as I should mention that I am going to be interviewing the head of Night Dive Studios, Steven Kick on Wednesday night and see if anybody here might have any questions about this game.

Will they ever go after NOLF again?
 

The Shadow

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Jun 7, 2004
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Man! I remember this game back in the day. I had just graduated high school back in '97 and I found it in the bargin bin. Worth the price back at the time, although being 18 I'm sure my tastes weren't quite as refined. Honestly, the worst thing about it was that the end boss was some doughy white guy that didn't look very intimidating at all. :/

Rumor has it that development started as a Batman game, but early on the license was abandoned.

I remember there was some slight nudity at the very beginning. Like a good half second.

The vampire chick at the very beginning, and then the side-kick of Darksheer later on for like a FULL SECOND or something obscene like that. Bolt-ons though. By the time I played the game, I'd seen much nicer in person.
 

Stiler

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Jun 3, 2009
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I am so glad that there's someone out there bringing back these classic adventure games

I always had a soft-spot for the FMV adventure games of the mid'ish 90's era, just something so endearing about the FMV mixed with the CGI and the whole campyness to it all.
 

gabbo

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Jun 25, 2011
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Not really related to Noctoropolis but both of those are on my list of questions. Indeed if you have non- Noctoropolis questions you wish to be asked, just send me a PM so as to not derail the thread.

With this in mind, what was it about Noctropolis that made them go after it for rerelease?
Is it just to get it out there again or does the team have a soft spot for terrible 90s FMV adventures?
 

SparkTR

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Jul 16, 2008
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Half of the stuff Night Dive has re-released I've never even heard of before, but I have to say I'm delighted that there's a company willing to dig deep into the abyss of random old PC games. Frankly, GOG is a great site, but I wish they'd do more outreach to try to sign this kind of stuff. I always thought by now GOG would have thousands of classic games, but it seems like they mostly just tried to sign bigger publishers and then at some point switched to letting publishers come to them.

I definitely agree with this. Even no-name digital storefronts are courting retro game IPs better than GoG these days. I mean, the linked Zoom platform got the exclusive rights to a bunch of classic Studio 3DO and Cyclone Studio games (Killing Time, Requiem Avenging Angel, Uprising 1/2), why them over gog?
 

Sir_Crocodile

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Mar 31, 2009
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Gog seem to be getting more retro games now then when they were retro-game only to be fair.

They've been killing it this year as far as P&C games are concerned.
 
Sep 11, 2011
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One more for the interview: has NDS looked into obtaining the license to remaster and distribute Azrael's Tear (first-person puzzle adventure, polygon 3D engine the same years Quake)? The CD DOS release can be installed in DOSBox if that helps.
 

Shard

XBLAnnoyance
Dec 20, 2004
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Alright, I have finished my interview with Night Dive and here is what I was told. (Interview starts at the 14 minute mark)

NOLF:
Status is basically the same since the Kotaku article though some traction has been made but project is on the backburner at best.

Powerslave: Not completely dead but stalled because of rights issues, they tracked down the right holder and they have no interest in seeing the game released and since they know the rights holder is they can't release the game even as a free download.

Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter:
"No Comment"

Noctopolis (Begins at 35:46)
Complete access to the source code.
Very rare for Night Dive, only two or three other games they have ever worked on have had source code.
Game rebuilt from the ground up art assets have been tinkered a bit with and made sharper but limited due to age and other factors.
Updated Widescreen Support.
Will scale properly on a 16x9 display.
Completely remastered soundtrack.
Improved mouse support.
Basically a whole bunch of new features added to make the game more approachable.
Releasing later this month.
Aiming for August 27 but still subject to change.
Still a few things to take of like Steam Trading Cards and Steam Achievements
Since Notcropolis has been rebuilt from the ground up it now runs natively in Windows and will be compatible up to the latest version of Windows as well as native support for Mac and Linux.
Was once running on DOSbox at one point, compatible for the foreseeable future.
Reason for going after Noctropolis, very unique game, Steven played many point and click adventures from that time period and found the game has a really cool aesthetic.
An oddball game that the head of Night Dive just really enjoyed and when Steven discovered that the game was not available anymore he made an effort to preserve the game.
Noctropolis was an easy game to track down, got into contact with the creator and writer of the game and asked him said yes and had the source code with him.
This personage was also in contact with the original composer that allowed Night Dive to remaster the soundtrack.
They are actively looking into getting more point-and-click adventure games from that era.
The Dark Eye, Drowned God, Obsidian, The Space Bar were mentioned as titles they would love to have at some point.
Was once looking to acquiring Dark Seed but was called off in the wake of HR Giger's death.
Steven has no idea what Azrael's Tear and after looking it up he said he was going to have to look into the game future, so good job on that Dragoon En Regalia.

Finally apparently Night Dive is on the cusp of making some new announcements in late-August to early-September, we may do a follow up interview.
 

KainXVIII

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Jan 16, 2014
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Complete access to the source code.
Very rare for Night Dive, only two or three other games they have ever worked on have had source code.
Game rebuilt from the ground up art assets have been tinkered a bit with and made sharper but limited due to age and other factors.
Updated Widescreen Support.
Will scale properly on a 16x9 display.
Completely remastered soundtrack.
Improved mouse support.
That is great to hear!

Also Obsidian (just look at this ad!) and The Dark Eye will be fantastic releases if they made to Steam (bummer about Dark Seed's though..)




 

MrCunningham

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Jan 12, 2012
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This is the first game Night Dive has released that I've never heard of.



Looks pretty cool.

Few more:











Interesting mix of hand painted artwork, CGI and digitized sprites/ FMV. The mid 90's were all about mixed media. I've never played this game either, but I do remember seeing screenshots for this one in some old PC magazine way back when.