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Old 03-20-2009, 02:25 PM   #1
Joe Siegler
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Several old Games released as freeware!
When we used to go by our original name of "Apogee Software", this company was involved in a lot of games. Most of them of a different era, they looked different, they felt different, and they were a lot less complicated. The legacy of the company is quite large, and as the years have marched on, a lot of titles from that era have been left behind technically. We started to release some of the old titles for free way back as far as March 1998, when we released some old 80's era Infocom style adventure games such as "Beyond the Titanic" & "Supernova". That was our first foray into the world of freeware releases. As the years went by, we started releasing more and more of our older discontinued games as freeware. A lot of them were released in the "Apogee Legacy" series of interviews from about three years ago. (If you never read that series, you should, there's a lot of good stuff in there).

However, we've been getting requests since then about the remaining titles that we no longer sell. Today we're here to bring the freeware releases full circle, so to speak. Today we are releasing five more games as freeware, and re-releasing three others as well! The one game that is most notable in this release group is Kroz. Kroz was our first ever game, it was the one that founded the company, and got everything rolling back in 1987. Hard to believe our first game is 22 years old now, but that's what was built out of Scott Miller's bedroom in Garland, Texas all those years ago. Here is a complete list of what is being released today:
  • Kroz - Our first ever game, a text adventure game by Scott Miller [ download ]
  • Arctic Adventure - a CGA based scroller game by George Broussard [ download ]
  • Dark Ages - an EGA based scroller game by Todd Replogle [ download ]
  • Monuments of Mars - a CGA based scroller by Todd Replogle [ download ]
  • Pharaoh's Tomb - a CGA based scroller game by George Broussad [ download ]
We're also re-releasing some previously released freeware games.
  • Beyond the Titanic - Text based Infocom style adventure game by Scott Miller [ download ]
  • Supernova - Text based Infocom style adventure game by Scott Miller [ download ]
  • Word Whiz - A text based trivia game from Scott Miller [ download ]
The reason we are re-releasing those is because they're being released with source code (under GPL). These were found when we were doing research into Kroz, which is also being released with source code, too!

There were a lot of Kroz games. Seven officially, but many of them had alternate names and variants. There's been a small, but persistant number of requests over the years for the Kroz source code. In the earliest days of the company, we used to actually sell the source code to Kroz (and other titles from that era). We were finally able to make it through the dusty old floppy disk archives in Scott Miller's effects. We found the Kroz source along with the source for these other games, so it's all been GPL'ed, and you can check it all out for free! Kroz has a rather complicated list of games and aliases and whatnot. We strongly suggest reading the readme file that comes with that download.

A few notes about these releases:
  • These are all being offered as freeware (which is not to be confused with public domain or the illegal concept of "abandonware"). YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN WITH THESE! Do not contact us for help with them, you will be mercilessly ignored.
  • Given the ages of these things (the newest one came out in 1990), you almost certainly will need DOSBox to get them running. This is a free third party program that lets you run older DOS based games in newer OS's (especially Vista) when they wouldn't be able to otherwise. You can get that at http://www.dosbox.com
  • A huge thanks go out to two fans who helped out a lot with the restoration of the Kroz archives. This would be Frenkel Smeijers & Jeremy Wrezinski. We probably couldn't have been able to put out the release without their help, as some of the materials we no longer had in our archives. Thanks, guys!
You can download these releases via the links above, or visit our main downloads page where you can check them out as well as everything else we have available.

This bunch of freeware brings our concept of freeware releases to a close. The reason I say that is that of all the games we no longer sell, they've all either been released as freeware previously, or are in this batch (except for one, and that might be revived at a future date, hence no freeware release on that one yet). Unless we discontinue something new in the future, there's no more to come from this well. Make sure and read our games page for a list of freeware, discontinued, and whatnot games. You can also check out our timeline history page for more details as to when what was released.

We want to close out by giving you this really cool little extra. It's a flash based version of the "Kingdoms of Kroz II" game. It was put together by the aforementioned Jeremy Wrezinski. It's quite cool, and we spent some time here playing this for real. A big thanks to Jeremy for letting us host it on our site. It originally appeared on his site at this location.

Since I can't embed flash in a forum post, you need to go here to play it:

http://www.3drealms.com/kroz/index.html
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:03 PM   #2
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Nice move from 3drealms this is amazing ! Great stuff and good old freeware games, thanks for doing this ! It's so nice ! Apogee era games here i come :P
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:06 PM   #3
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Has it been mentioned how awesome you guys are?!!?!?!
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
*is speechless*
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:22 PM   #5
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Wow, not just one game... But 5 games, and 3 re-releases.

Amazing stuff Joe!
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:24 PM   #6
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Thing is, I'm out of stuff to release as freeware now. Not unless we discontinue something new in the future.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
This is fantastic! Really awesome thing you're doing releasing all of your discontinued games as freeware, if only more companies would do this!

Very cool!
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:48 PM   #8
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
I was excited about Kroz, but Dark Ages and Arctic Adventure too?!?! AWESOME!
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:58 PM   #9
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
This sort of thing really sets Apogee/3D Realms apart from 99% of game companies in my opinion.
The forums and interaction, the release of source code and freeware etc really sets Apogee/3D Realms apart in a way I see as under-rated by the majority.
To me, this sort of thing is news-worthy.

Thank you Apogee/3D Realms, Joe S, George B, Scott M, and the others those involved... and thanks to the key fans that held on to their old data and games.

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Old 03-20-2009, 04:59 PM   #10
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJongo View Post
I was excited about Kroz, but Dark Ages and Arctic Adventure too?!?! AWESOME!
Yeah, the extra ones I was keeping a secret. Kind of do a last big "push" with the freeware eligible titles. You guys knew about Kroz, but not the other stuff, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBlackCat View Post
Thanks you Apogee/3D Realms, Joe S, George B, Scott M, and the others those involved... and thanks to the key fans that held on to their old data and games.
From this end, it was all me. George would prefer I never mess with this stuff anyway, and other than answering some questions about Kroz game names and whatnot Scott didn't have anything to do with it either. The only involvement George had was when I asked him if I could release AA & Tomb. Beyond that 30 second conversation George didn't have anything to do with it. hahaha.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:03 PM   #11
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Wow, didn't even see Pharoah's Tomb! I'm so excited, never played the registered version before!
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:39 PM   #12
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Joe Siegler, a big thanks, truly appreciated!
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:17 PM   #13
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Exclamation Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Woo. Nice.

You could always release the source for these games, right? You still have the source for Monuments of Mars, right?
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:56 PM   #14
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
The source is included with the releases.
Last edited by Dopefish7590; 03-21-2009 at 12:32 AM. Reason: Misread the post I responded to.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:50 PM   #15
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosma View Post
You could always release the source for these games, right? You still have the source for Monuments of Mars, right?
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:06 AM   #16
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Exclamation Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Siegler View Post
Oh yeah, missed that. Sorry about that, old bean.
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:57 AM   #17
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
What a beautiful load of classics!
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:09 AM   #18
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
SAUCE!!!

My weekend has just been cleared.
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:12 AM   #19
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
these games were before my time of a gamer...but seeing all the fans excited, let me want to look into these games for the first time! And Cudos to the Siegler of course!
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:14 AM   #20
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Very awesome. Thanks Joe.
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:42 AM   #21
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Regarding Arctic Adventure and what George had to say about it, I must be one of those six people because I absolutely ADORED Arctic Adventure. I have never beaten the first shareware episode, but now with all 3 I have new motivation to finally see it through to completion! Thank you, Joe and George!
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:27 AM   #22
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Siegler View Post
Thing is, I'm out of stuff to release as freeware now. Not unless we discontinue something new in the future.
What about releasing what was done of games that were never officially released (like Megaloman)? Of course, with a big disclaimer stating that those games are unfinished and almost certainly have bugs.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:21 AM   #23
Joe Siegler
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altered Reality View Post
What about releasing what was done of games that were never officially released (like Megaloman)? Of course, with a big disclaimer stating that those games are unfinished and almost certainly have bugs.
Betas are out of the question.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:48 PM   #24
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
hmm....fascinating... I shall enjoy looking at these games, one of them as old as me.

Also, this would be a fun project for me to look at the source codes (especially of the text adventures)
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:23 PM   #25
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
That's great Joe all those freeware the best thing to use is Dosbox, hey I prefer Dosbox 63, because in the config you can make the textures better.

# output -- What to use for output: surface,overlay,opengl,openglnb,ddraw.
For instance opengl has better non blocky textures in that version.
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:27 PM   #26
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Siegler View Post
...snip...
From this end, it was all me. George would prefer I never mess with this stuff anyway, and other than answering some questions about Kroz game names and whatnot Scott didn't have anything to do with it either. The only involvement George had was when I asked him if I could release AA & Tomb. Beyond that 30 second conversation George didn't have anything to do with it. hahaha.
Very well then... redirect all due credit to you. You (Joe S.) and John Romero really stand out as the gaming industries nostalgic persons... at least in my realm of knowledge. Maybe there are others that are not public and donít share their nostalgia... unknown to me.
I believe the nostalgic types are really not very common within the gaming industry.

So... without further chatter,
Thank you sir for putting forth the effort, defying Georgeís preferences, enduring ice, sleet and snow, slaying dragons to get this done. It is greatly appreciated by thousands I am certain.

Thank you,
MrBlackCat (3D Realms Forums)
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:02 PM   #27
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Siegler View Post
Betas are out of the question.
Why is that exactly? After all, we got LameDuke!
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:46 AM   #28
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
From what I have previously heard on this is that the betas usually required a lock key that made it available to play.
Also I can just imagine all the passworded stuff that everyone would remember even today

Lameduke might be something that had no protection and since it also was way different from the final build, making it easier to release with not "eating" the final version content.

Altough I love any betas to my hearts content (really ready to shell out even $200 for some) most just will remain stuck in a limbo. One big thing also is that most are not limited, meaning that you can give a beta out that has more content than the final version (altough unfinished). People don't have simply the time to prepare special "give away beta" builds just like that.

Just my two cents.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:19 AM   #29
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Siegler View Post
  • Pharaoh's Tomb - a CGA based scroller game by George Broussad [ download ]
I had to laugh because of the deliberate reintroduced typo.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:28 PM   #30
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phayzon View Post
Why is that exactly? After all, we got LameDuke!
Why do you think it's that easy? As was stated, most of our betas had code that would corrupt the game, or delete, or something if a ton of special conditions weren't met. Lameduke was specially prepped.

A lot of our games required things like specific date ranges, environment variables to be set, or hardware dongles. These things can't be removed now, and most of hte passwords we don't even remember ourselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tpz View Post
I had to laugh because of the deliberate reintroduced typo.
You know I was going to point that out.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:27 PM   #31
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
A big thank you for the release :-).

I haven't played Monuments of Mars before, but it looks like a nice game now that i tried it :-).
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:05 PM   #32
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
was this news suppose to excite anyone? Everyone would be happier with a screenshot of DNF, if you have been working on that of course...
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:23 PM   #33
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
The only way I would prefer a screenshot of DNF is if it came with a free copy of Pharaoh's Tomb, Arctic Adventure, Monuments of Mars, Dark Ages, and Kroz.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:28 PM   #34
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major kenny View Post
was this news suppose to excite anyone? Everyone would be happier with a screenshot of DNF, if you have been working on that of course...
I guess not? I don't think you can please everyone. What Joe did here is beyond awesome, and begging for DNF media is not really right.
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:35 PM   #35
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Duke Nukem Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by peoplessi View Post
I guess not? I don't think you can please everyone. What Joe did here is beyond awesome, and begging for DNF media is not really right.
But I think it would be correct from 3DRealms to give us some, since fans have been waiting for the game for 11 years!

And I'm sorry, I didn't read the "source code included"! That's the amazing part! I'll just check the code and gonna do some changes to the games!
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:14 PM   #36
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
George Broussad. I love it!

I think I'm most excited about Dark Ages, just because I thought that it was never going to happen. Having every single discontinued game freeware is a huge step! I can now actually complete my Apogee/3D Realms collection!

Thank you Joe! You rock!

[edit]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Siegler View Post
they've all either been released as freeware previously, or are in this batch (except for one, and that might be revived at a future date, hence no freeware release on that one yet)
My memory's going on me. What's the one that hasn't been released? Anyone? Bueller?

[/edit]
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:19 PM   #37
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
I think he's talking about Balls of Steel, at least last time I checked it has been out of print for quite some time.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:50 PM   #38
Joe Siegler
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Yeah, Wildfire three times has denied me permission to release BoS as freeware, yet they won't update it to fix the known problems. Oh well.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:12 PM   #39
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy-vercetti View Post
Maybe you can convince them a little better?
Given that Joe has done just about everything he can to make as many freeware releases as possible, he might need some alternate means of persuasion to clear up the remaining rights issues.

Now, where can we find some teargas...
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:43 PM   #40
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Re: Several old Games released as freeware!
Heh, that explains DNKROZ
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