The Lost Age of Keen Fangames

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StupidBunny
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The Lost Age of Keen Fangames

Post by StupidBunny » Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:36

I was thinking about it and came to realize that nobody in the Keen community really makes fangames (aka not mods) anymore. There are certainly a couple of serious projects, like Keen 2.5D, in the works, but there was a time over a decade ago when it seems like the Keen community was awash with fangames, mostly made with TGF/Klik and Play. Granted, most of those weren't very good, and a great deal were unfinished, but they were the first unofficial Keen games I ever played; indeed, they introduced me to the very concept of a fangame way back when, at a time when I was somehow convinced I could find the real Keen 7-9 if I looked hard enough. :P In time, I played the hell out of some of those, even the mediocre and unfinished ones, and many of them have a strong nostalgic resonance for me.

I dunno, I guess there was a question or something in there somewhere. What happened to this glut of fangames? Did Keen fangames actually get superseded by Keen modding, or was modding always predominant in the community and I just discovered the fangames first? Did anybody here like those old fangames, and do any of them still hold up now? Or are they held back by their buggy software and ripped graphics that so many of them have? And while I think about it, are any of the people who made Keen4Evr, Keen2000, etc. even around anymore? I oughta go through dosclassics.com and figure out how many of those links still work, and which of those games I have now. They're special to me, whether anyone else remembers them much or not.
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Post by Roobar » Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:51

It's clear that K1n9_Duk3 is no longer interested in working on keengine. Neither there seems to be any interest anymore from any other so that's that (depressing). However, I'll continue working on my project when I get my hands on Surface Pro 3 or 4 (if their new tablet(s) is(are) any better). I have plans for a unity game too, but of course, I'm too lazy to work alone.

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Post by VikingBoyBilly » Sat Jan 10, 2015 14:16

Perhaps I'll finish that 2.5D shikadi master and make it part of Keen 2.5D episode 2. I just have to finish episode 1 first! It's like, 7 years in development hell now? Shouldn't take long :crazy

As for Klik & Play... I'm only interested in the ones Szemi makes (with no restrictions on the color palette).
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Re: The Lost Age of Keen Fangames

Post by Plasma Captain » Sat Jan 10, 2015 17:16

StupidBunny wrote:...a time when I was somehow convinced I could find the real Keen 7-9 if I looked hard enough.
Hah, I remember going through that as well. That's how I found Keen 2000... and some game in which you played as a Dopefish, I think...

That's all I had to say. I don't know the answer to this question. I'd guess that it has something to do with how far along patching has come. But I'm just theorizing.

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Post by Benvolio » Sat Jan 10, 2015 19:29

Ah yes I remember playing a few of these back in the day. i thought most of them were awful. For some reason I used to like playing the Keen version of pac-man a fair bit. It was quite well made, and had the midi's of the Galaxy/Aliens soundtracks playing in the background.

My go-to place for the fangames was the Cerebral Cortex, which had very regular visits from me for a while back in '01 and '02.

http://cc314.shikadi.net/fanworks/fanga ... plete.html

Plasma captain is probably right about patching. Although, even before there was any meaningful patching, games such as Yorphius II were already far far better than most of the fangames.

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Post by KeenRush » Sat Jan 10, 2015 22:15

I'm happy it turned out this way. I think modding the originals interests people much more than making fan games but before there were no tools for it. So fan games were created instead. Modding began the moment adurdin released the graphics import/export tool; that was the key, the new graphics.
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Post by Ceilick » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:47

...there was a time over a decade ago when it seems like the Keen community was awash with fangames, mostly made with TGF/Klik and Play. Granted, most of those weren't very good, and a great deal were unfinished...I played the hell out of some of those, even the mediocre and unfinished ones, and many of them have a strong nostalgic resonance for me.
All of this. Exactly. Those old fangames were basically awful. I loved them. Have distinct memories of: Rule of a Yorps Supper demo, Sporkia, Commander Keen learns to drive, Keen 2000, School's Out, Yorp Convention, the Mystery of Isis II demos.

I'd even suggest the Rule of a Yorps Supper demo is an essential for any Keen fan.
Did Keen fangames actually get superseded by Keen modding, or was modding always predominant in the community and I just discovered the fangames first?
I joined the forum right around the time Keen modding first started. It's hard to say how common fangames were prior to that, but given the large number of games, demos, etc. at the time I joined, and remembering the trend of fangames being developed since, I'd be willing to say Keen modding pushed fangames to the fringe of the community. But I also think this isn't necessarily a commentary on the quality of fangames; modding is easier and original Keen physics are that vital to popularity.

Flaose would be a good person to ask regarding a possible golden age of fangames.

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Post by Commander Spleen » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:09

Dopefish Forever was my favourite Keen fangame. KnP games had a fascinating charm about them and certainly have a flavour of nostalgia all of their own.

Somehow it never really occurred to me to make a Keen fangame (aside from the Shikadi space shooter spinoff in Watch314 Mk II), though I had made some KnP and TGF platformers. I was more into programming from scratch using Allegro, but at the time anything like Keen was far too advanced for me (especially some of my more ambitious ideas) so that's probably why I never really bothered. And then modding kicked in.

Real Keen Player 3 had a somewhat mystical atmosphere about it as well, though I only ever completed a few levels.

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Post by Keening_Product » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:40

Nobody has mentioned wiivn's Flappy Vort yet :(
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Post by DoomJedi » Sun Jan 11, 2015 15:11

Well, tried to make BomberKeen - but got no support :(

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Post by Nospike » Sun Jan 11, 2015 15:22

The Worst Keen Fangame Ever (is that what it was called?) was pretty kickass. :p
It just might be done someday. The chance is always there.

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Post by elecdude33 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 14:34

I remember playing one of the Real Keen Player games I think, among other fangames. It seemed pretty strange and interesting but if I recall I couldn't get used to the physics and overall feel of it and didn't seem to be able to get anywhere

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Post by Flaose » Tue Jan 13, 2015 20:22

Fangames were certainly popular at one point (enough so that we had to put a notice on cc314 that we would only list fangames that actually had signs of progress first), but I think KeenRush and Ceilick hit the nail right on the head: for a long time the choice was either custom levels for Keens 1-3 using the same old graphics and gameplay, or new levels graphics and gameplay using a homemade or premade engine. The games generally were terrible (though I played quite a bit of Keen 2000) and I preferred fan levels. Though Mystery of Isis II showed real promise, and I recall people getting quite excited for the Spork and Real Keen Player games. In the end, weird physics and rampant bugs generally got in the way of any good gaming, at least from my perspective.
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Post by Roobar » Tue Jan 13, 2015 20:34

Where can I download Rule of a Yorps Supper since the link in http://cc314.shikadi.net/fanworks/fanga ... plete.html doesn't work.

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Post by Grandy02 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:12

wiivn wrote:Where can I download Rule of a Yorps Supper since the link in http://cc314.shikadi.net/fanworks/fanga ... plete.html doesn't work.
There's a game called "The Rule of a Yorp's Dinner" on KeenWiki and Beyond the Pogo for download. I guess it's the same? At least it's also by Ilsoap.
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