Tag Archives: Gamers

Haven Editorial: Running Red Alert on Windows 10

I love Command and Conquer, but EA shafted that franchise rather hard. Yet the games can be bought in a neat package at Origin. Electronic arts game platform. However making the older game run is a chore. 

Windows 10 64 bit is not the intended architecture at all. Even more problematic to record any gameplay what so ever. But I did find a workaround. One that can not be done with the origin version.

But first let’s look at the annoying issues.
Tiberean dawn can for the most part run, with the dangers of crashing. Compatibility mode is not very helpful here. Same rings true for Red Alert. Technically there exist an open Ra, which has a new engine and most of the missions. But I never got that bugger to work more than once.

There also exist a fan patch that even works with Dune 2. With custom resolution, but it crashed, then refused to start.

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Alt tab out of the games is a no go. The screen goes black with the sound still playing. I sincerely though the idea of using Origin was to make the games playable on modern systems.

Red Alert 2 has issues with a black screen that I fixed with a custom fan patch. It’s still very unstable and likes to tab out on its own and then refuse to enter the game again.

Multiplayer is no problem at all with Yuri’s Revenge, since CnC net fixes all of that. A quite good fan fix. Does not with well with the story mode though.

Command and Conquer renegade was an almost flawless experience. But as we all know almost is seldom good enough. It decided to crash after a while and the game could have been a bit better in the first place.

I have yet to fiddle around with Tiberian Sun, which is a fantastic game, but a bit poorly programmed and almost as neglected as an orphan.

The easiest way is to install Virtual Box, get Windows XP, then set it up to run virtually with Windows. In window mode, then record the window. For this to work I had to install the disc version of the games. Because the Origin version refuse to let me play then without the software itself installed.

This solution allows software like Obs (open broadcasting software) to record and stream Command and Conquer games without too many problems. It took me a lot of time to find the solution, but it works wonders. Or you could emulate the PSX version of Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert, which runs at 15 fps, but has superior audio quality on the music.

Njål Sand

Tabletop Review: Paranoia – Trust your friend the Computer

As a follow up to my wonderful time at Regncon, I will regal you with a tale of Paranoia. A table top game I played for several hours with a random gang of fantastic fellows. With a very fun and good game master.

But before you can continue with the article make sure you have ultra violet clearance. Anyone without the proper clearance will is considered a terrorist and will receive a summary execution.

Always follow the rules if alpha complex and the computer is your friend. Happiness is mandatory.

*Spoilers* ultra violet clearance reading this is considered treachery. You won’t disappoint friend computer will you?

I started of by exiting a cloning chamber, putting my feet on the cold floor. As a TOS pops up in front of my face. Introducing me to the wonders of friend computer and the joys of working in alpha complex. Quite outrageous really. I had to click yes on a pop-up window in front of my eyes. This annoyed me a lot, so I opted to poke the guy next to me in the ear instead. He was very distraught about that, so I did it again instead of ticking of yes. There system did not like this one bit and a pesky terrorist star popped up over my name. Apparently five turns you into an enemy of friend computer. As we wetter getting out bearings, a horrible rumble shock the foundation. So I headed for the door, but before I could exit a very rude lady in red came offside inside and demanded that I put on a black jumpsuit. seems like being dressed in mosaic bars is not acceptable. Since I’m infrared and all. We were also handed a standard issue mop. Which I was explicitly told had to be taken good care of it.

Outside I came into a long corridor, where a slightly inoperative cleaning bot sat and whined, barley moving. As a gang of reliable trouble shooters, we decided to do the best we could go help the poor thing. I kicked it very hard, twice. Only to be greeted with a horrid sound. One of the other fellows decided to talk to it, hoping that the poor sod could tell us. It simply replied with another whine. At this point another fellow pushed his hands in under the machine. To see if he could wriggle out the thing that was stuck. The bloody machine nearly took his hands off instead. We decided to push it towards maintenance instead after a friendly suggestion from friend computer. Suddenly a wild terrorist appeared running towards us. Which caused one of the others to squeeze his ever wet sponge, pooling up a puddle on the floor. Which caused the five star terrorist to take a nasty stumble. Followed by a nasty beat-down until he died. For the good deed he got rewarded with exp. Whatever that is.

Paranoia is the latest iteration of the game. Which does the best it can to combine witty dark humor and the everyone is out to get you mentality. Backstabbing is to be expected followed by brutal murders, no matter how inconsequential the task. 

The character creation is an interesting affair. Pick a skill your good at, such as athletics +2, which will then cause the one left of you to have -1 to that stat. Until at least 5 skills have been picked. Then pick three adjectives to describe your character. Which you then pass over to the person on the left hand side, so he can reverse one of the adjectives. Such as nice is turned into mean instead. 

Meanwhile skill checks are done with six sided dices, where one is friend computer. Take the skill, combine it with a stat above and roll the combined sum worth of dices. To dodge, you can use athletic and violence. Every time a five hits five our six, it counts as a success. Even if the computer notice you. Being seen is bad and removes a point of moxie. Lose eight and you’ll go of on the deep end.

Eventually mutant powers manifest as well. Which is handed out by the GM and is represented with cards. Doing good and positive things brings exp, which can increase skills or number of clones. You’ll be number one in no time. It’s not like the other people in the party will put a knife in your back and take the glory for your accomplishments.

Gear, mutant powers and the rest of the goodies comes in a pack of cards. We never really touched on combat, and ran a simplified version. Apparently the game box comes with a GM screen, a funny clones introduction manual to alpha complex and a booklet with a very tongue in cheek adventure, which I roughly introduced above, and a stack of character sheets. After all I can’t spoil all the fun. Unless you want to.

Njål Sand

Haven Reviews: several Good Old Games

Haven reviews: Several Good old games. GOG is a fantastic service that breathe new life into old titles, which may or may not run properly in new operating systems. Most of that has to do with the original game code being crap and a general lack of compatibility. Some games run fantastic even on Windows 10, while some will only run on a specific OS and some does not run at all. This is a short list of several games I bought from GOG.

Blood: One unit whole blood

It’s violent, filled with blood, mutilations and monsters. It’s a old school fast phased first person shooter, with some inventive weapons and some great sprites. The GOG release comes with the original music and the FMW sequences. Which has not aged well at all. The 3d graphics looks worse than my first attempt at modelling. Which is quite jarring, since the in game graphics are quite good, with detailed sprites. Each level has an unique design and theme, heavily inspired by horror movies. A froze Johnny can be found in a hedge maze. While the game supports different resolutions, they may or may not work entirely as intended. At least they’re there. There is only one big issue and that is the music. It can’t be turned muted, turned down or stopped. Especially in the amusement park the music is loud. Not sure if GOG can fix this.

Swat 4

It’s a game about breaching doors, busting criminals and rescue civilians. Where the biggest question is why that guy ignore teargas and where the devil a suspect dropped his gun. The Ai is questionable, but the levels are fun, with random perp placement. It runs, looks okay for the most part and sports a terrible aspect ratio. However it does come with the expansion pack. The game itself runs fine, minus one place where it had stuttering and slowdown. Apparently there are mods to improve the game. Such as the elite forces mod, that takes the realism up several notches and adds more features.

Sim City 4

Build a town, run the town, play mini games to keep earning more money. Then call in a meteorite and nuke it all to hell. Just for fun. While juggling traffic jams and air pollution. It’s fun, addictive and a great educational game, when it comes to city management and all the problems that comes with it. Runs fine, looks fine and it works.

Roller Coaster Tycooon 2

Run and operate a custom built amusement park. Build attractions and kill guests with a badly designed roller coaster. It’s a seriously fun management games, with many fantastic features. However the sprites and the interface is almost impossible to see. Since everything is so small. Usually these old games have too large interfaces if anything.

Outlaws

Lucas art made a game about a sheriff trying to rescue his wife from a big man, with a lot of money. It’s a first person shooter, with some fantastic levels, questionable physics and a insane difficulty. The dynamite has some of the worst physics I’ve ever encountered in a game. It’s also prone to random crashes.

Alien Breed: Tower Assault

Your ship has crashed and the place is over run with alien monstrosities. It has coop, challenging levels and limited ammo. With enemies that spawn in your face a lot of the time. It runs great and has a cheesy as hell intro movie. It’s top down and easy to play, very hard to complete with several paths to take.

Anachronox

A gum shoe detective has an office on the top floor of a seedy bar, set on a very odd planet. it’s a turn based RPG game, with a great story, some really interesting characters. But is littered with so many bugs, that i’d recommend watching a let’s play on Youtube. I have had all of the movie sequences go on repeat, while I was still playing. Looping them when ever I got back to the spot. At one point I also fell through the world.

Planescape: Torment

A man wakes up in a morgue, with no memory, next to a talking skull. It’s one of the few RPG games that brings the town of Sigil to life, with good graphics and for the most part avoidable combat. It’s a terrific story, with a lot of twists and turns around every corner.

Tyrian 2000

Jump from system to system, collect data logs and kill hordes of enemies. It’s a top down scrolling game, where  you control a heavily armed and poorly protected space craft. It’s an okay game, with some dry graphics and intense bosses and a hair raising difficulty.

Archimedean Dynasty


The world has gone down the crapper, along with man kind. Now everyone lives under the sea and commute with submarines. Which pilots a lot like space crafts. As far as sandbox games goes, it’s very open ended, with some catchy tunes and hard enemies. Plus a plethora of bugs. It may or may not run properly. Personally I could not see anything on the screen, followed by random crashes. Hopefully a fan patch or GOG will make it run better.

Njål H Sand