1. OCAU Merchandise is available! Check out our 20th Anniversary Mugs, Classic Logo Shirts and much more! Discussion in this thread.
    Dismiss Notice

Jill of the Jungle

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by micsway123, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. badmofo

    badmofo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,790
    Location:
    Australia
    I have all 3 but only ever finished episode 1 - the next 2 look cool too but it bothered me that they changed the sound effects!

    It plays well with a game pad IMO but that's a recent revelation for me - as mentioned keyboard was and probably still is the best controller going around. Now that I'm an old man though I like to sit back in a comfy chair so a good pad is a winner.
     
  2. DonutKing

    DonutKing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,572
    Location:
    Tweed/Gold Coast
    I definitely agree about Hocus Pocus, very repetitive - feels a bit like the devs were just phoning it in by episode 4.

    Jill doesn't really have that issue, IMO. There's enough variation in the levels and enemies to keep things interesting. Plus you get to turn into different animals (fish, phoenix, frog etc) that all play differently.
     
    baronbaldric likes this.
  3. CRTified

    CRTified Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2021
    Messages:
    406
    The above posts touch on something which (trivially) fascinates me : citing the Wiki sentence "The game started out as a platforming level editor", this shows how Sweeney was highly engine-focused even in his early work. Showing the sheer length of pedigree behind his enthroned position as cutting-edge modern Engine overlord. Other clues can be seen in his personal history (e.g. "wrote own text editor so he had a primitive IDE to program in", self taught programming early teens, all that jazz).

    Another trivia which came to light while reading is that the graphics dude for Jill, one Joe Hitchens, also did the graphics for Epic games Xargon and (more meaningfully) Epic Pinball. All have a certain style (e.g. liberal use of colour gradients). Certainly Xargon, almost feels like a male-reskinned version of Jill.

    And indeed most of those early Epic platformers, while fun in their own ways, did have a certain copy-and-paste feeling which in hindsight (referring to Sweeney's Level Editor-centric tendencies) was probably the result of his "Make a great level editor, and then use it to make a game" approach - a technical template which ultimately became the modern norm, refined over the decades since. Not to imply Sweeney was first or only, in this regard!, but simply to mention it all as Relevant Trivia Of Interest. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
    elvis and colmaz like this.
  4. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    46,311
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I really enjoyed the way you could identify artists/developers on old games from these commonalities.

    It doesn't really happen any more now that games have scaled to enormous sizes. That, and many old games artists were the programmers themselves, many of whom had no real formal training in art (audio was often the same). These days you have entire art teams, dedicated art directors (even for different parts of the game - characters, backgrounds, etc), and art styles designed and chosen for a specific theme well beyond the style of any one individual.

    While it's all more professional these days, I think it has lost some of the charm in other ways too. Or maybe that's just me falling for nostalgia again. :)
     
    Fitzi and Flamin Joe like this.
  5. Vanne

    Vanne Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Messages:
    3,222
    Location:
    DXB.. mostly.
    Not to take anything away from big team shows, some are exceptional, while many others are rather lack lustre.. I just bought Days Gone, as I've been hanging to play that game for yonks.. and even though the graphics are really awesome, I feel outside of the game.. (not sure if that makes sense) I like the story (so far) but the game mechanics leave something to be desired.. it's clunky as hell..

    Games like Jill, very simple, and I am not comparing the game mechanics as they are worlds apart, but at least Jill is responsive and I feel in control.. I don't get that with a lot of new games.

    Really weird. For me the analogy (shit! is part of that word Anal,?) Is like Suzuki and Yamaha.. one you sit on, the other you sit in, or that's what it feels like.

    Even though some of those older games are very often made by one guy, or sometimes a smaller group, it's easier to take that game to where you want it to be. Sometimes this goes both ways ,(Diablo for example wasn't supposed to be a click click click click game, but because of that change, it became awesome)

    Gave Jill a spin last night as yeah it does feel a lot like keen, though absolutely nothing like Jungle Hunt, so shows you how wrong initial screen shot impressions can be. I still can't say I am a fan, but I can appreciate it as a one guy coder team show.
     
    Flamin Joe likes this.
  6. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Messages:
    2,648
    Location:
    Brisbane
    It came pre-installed on our family PC (486-SX 33MHz) when I was a kid along side about 20 games including Duke Nukem and Commander Keen. The PC was bought for my Brother when he was in Uni and I was introduced to the games on it.

    That machine and games represent my earliest memories of gaming. Sure, retrospectively criticize Jill for being inferior to this or that, but it's what I had. It will always be 1 of about 20 games from which my digital wonderment was born.
     
    Fitzi, badmofo, Vanne and 4 others like this.
  7. Vanne

    Vanne Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Messages:
    3,222
    Location:
    DXB.. mostly.
    Spot on Wuz, it's that personal involvement that triggers certain synaptic connections. I am just glad games were there, my childhood would have been a lot different without them.
     
  8. CRTified

    CRTified Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2021
    Messages:
    406
    It's the personal involvement for sure. Multiplied in this instance, I believe, by the insane acceleration curve of PC development during those specific years. The iconic Doom is merely symbolic of the greater movement that was pulsing through the entire scene at the time. To have been part of those years as a very privileged PC owner, feels a bit like the hippy analogy of having been at the original Woodstock festival.

    It was a crazy good time to be growing up alongside a PC.

    One of the good things about Jill was that it (along with other examples) heralded the arrival of 256 colour VGA and full Sound Blaster support into the PC shareware scene, where previously 16 colour EGA and (if you were lucky) Adlib FM or (otherwise) PC speaker had been the norms. While we look back on PC speaker with fond nostalgia now, and even legitimately enjoy it in some titles, back in those years nothing gave us PC kids more jealousy and angst than the limitations of PC speaker gaming audio!

    I'll probably never play Jill again at length, because I don't rate it as a game in the modern context, but at the time it was part of a rather special phase in the midst of an insane scene, and the fact the title's reception is cleanly split between (then-) PC owners and non PC owners is only indicative of that complex nostalgic reality.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2021
  9. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Messages:
    2,648
    Location:
    Brisbane
    something satisfying about the beeps and bloops in this still...


    Though I do remember when we upgraded that 486 to have a sound blaster clone the joy of firing up every game one after the other to see what it now sounded like.
     
    Flamin Joe likes this.
  10. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    46,311
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I agree with this, but previous comments (that got a little heated) also gave context of what was available at a given point in time.

    Various platforms have always leapfrogged each other in capabilities. Arcade, microcomputers, PCs, consoles, handhelds, etc, etc. Nostalgia for a *single* platform is a big player, but so is the complex relationship of not only the technology a given platform offered at a given time, but also where the bulk of commercial development resources existed.

    And honestly, it's no different in 2021. Different platforms still exhibit unique changes at different times, although admittedly somewhat less diverse in modern times as we're seeing diminishing returns on new technology now. But it's still happening all the same, like it did 50+ years ago when this all started.

    There's also a group of people who grew up with BOTH PC and non-PC options. My household had three different technology platforms in it during these critical formative years of gaming, and then of course I went out and played arcades too, which I feel helps me get a more grounded reality of what happened when, witnessing these "leapfrog" events where platforms fell behind and caught up in a cycle over and over again. That was part of the fun and fascination, honestly.
     
    Flamin Joe likes this.
  11. badmofo

    badmofo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,790
    Location:
    Australia
    Another intangible quality in my mind is that PCs weren't really designed to play games on back in the early 90s, it was a battle to bring a game-world to life and often it was a slightly different battle for everyone depending on their hardware, and that battle in itself was an epic and never ending game. We had an SMS before a PC but once the PC arrived then it was my everything - games were "free" if you had enough of a network of nerds, but you had to figure out how to make it run. And of course you wouldn't get a manual so then you had to work out how the game actually worked, and maybe it could be hacked or modded to work differently. And later you were lucky enough to get your hands on an overdrive chip or a sound card and all your games were new again - faster, better sounding.

    That's off topic in a thread that's already well off topic but when this eternal debate comes up, this is the stuff I think about. Games focused machines might of had fancier games back in the day but a PC was a whole universe in a box, with endless things to tweak and learn about.
     
  12. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    46,311
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Very much this. 8 bit consoles were grossly underpowered by comparison, but every ounce of their design was around smooth scrolling. Ditto for arcades.

    ID software famously took this challenge on in their early games, but even with their genius programmers you can see the scrolling stutter by comparison. And through no fault of the developers either - PC video cards early on just didn't have those capabilities yet.

    Again, this is the "leap frog" effect I was talking about. Whether 2D or 3D, we've seen these happen time and time again on different platforms, where a sudden explosion of tech sees a once-lagging platform suddenly take over when a new hardware addition/feature comes along.

    Don't forget spreadsheets. You couldn't load Lotus 123 on a Master System, am I right? :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2021
    Flamin Joe and badmofo like this.
  13. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    5,376
    Location:
    4300
    Same for the Amiga's and Atari's which were designed from the ground up to be multimedia beasts (which they were) but once the PC caught up in the 1990's it was pretty much game over.

    VGA is overrated, #EGAMasterRace :p

    Of course I'm heavily biased as I was "stuck" with EGA for probably about 4 years and don't get me wrong at the time the eventual move to VGA for me was fantastic, but in hindsight with a large splash of nostalgia I've come to appreciate more how damn good EGA can look and some cases arguably the EGA version of a game looked 10 times better than VGA from an artistic point of view eg. Loom. But of course that's a whole other discussion. :D
     
  14. andrewbt

    andrewbt Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    469
    Location:
    Canberra
    JotJ's music is amazing, and when a 6 year old, kinda weirded me out. As I got older, I appreciated it a lot more.


    I love the initial scoreboard - it spells out "look out world here comes epic mega games" or something like that. Seeing Sweeny's name in the context it is now (like Epic vs Apple etc) is strange, as I always associated it with "person who made shareware games" - Much in the same way I see Carmack and Romero
     
    elvis likes this.
  15. CRTified

    CRTified Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2021
    Messages:
    406
    Excuse my indulgence in continuing discussion which is tangential to the thread topic, I am presuming it is not minded while it stays positive and vaguely connected.

    I wanted to add a point about how weird it was to have a PC in those years. Namely, that it was the only platform where you'd experience such a huge breadth of technical abilities across it's game library. The standard DOS game library would include everything from primitive 4+ colour CGA + PC speaker titles, through 16-colour EGA and Adlib, up to VGA-256 and Sound Blaster/GUS. In the early 90s you could even do (and we did!) at-the-time freaky things like Links386 in 640x480 SVGA, or run your computer all night to POVray a simple SVGA raytrace.

    The very same architecture upon which less fortunate friends - still stuck with ancient XTs and CGA - would be struggling along complaining about cyan-and-magenta hell.

    It meant that even back then, as PC people, we could plainly see our own platform's progress right in front of us every day. Simply by playing games from different years, we'd be peeling back the onion and, in doing so, seeing proof of what was to come.
     
    WuZMoT and elvis like this.
  16. choppa

    choppa Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Asia-Pacific
    Dune 2.
    Commander Keen.
    Duke Nukem.
    Jill of the Jungle.
    Prince of Persia.

    Why is it that I had so much joy in my life as a kid, and even with all the things I have and have access to as an adult I cannot recapture the joy I felt back then? Is it nostalgia? Or do I spend too much time worrying about things I now know but cannot change?
     
    JSmithDTV and micsway123 like this.
  17. power

    power Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    68,162
    Location:
    brisbane
    I assume you just forgot how to have fun.
     
  18. choppa

    choppa Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Asia-Pacific
    I think I just don't like "adult"ing.
     
    Fitzi likes this.
  19. power

    power Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    68,162
    Location:
    brisbane
    i would recommend not adulting, it's over rated. Play old video games instead.
     
    th3_hawk and Nicholas like this.

Share This Page

Advertisement: