New Imperium Galactica Section!

Hi guys! We’ve passed 27,000 visitors at Blake’s Sanctum and are already half way there to 28,000! That’s nearly 10,000 up since this time last year which is just amazing! Thank you everyone for your support and kind messages. 🙂 Helps drown out the few who feel the need to tell me how much they hate my work. :/

Anyway it’s that time of the year again when I add a brand new section to Blake’s Sanctum. To celebrate Imperium Galactica’s 2017 resurrection on Steam & GoG I thought I’d finally do what I’ve been planning for years and create an Imperium Galactica Legacy section paying tribute to the original IG games along with any successful & sadly unsuccessful IG related fan projects out there to make sure that they are never forgotten and can inspire talented IG fans to create new IG projects in the future. I also created a list of other games out there that are similar to IG as while there’s nothing out there quite like IG there are still some pretty brilliant similar 4X games out there with in-depth planetary development. For this list I collected pics, vids, demos, and information for as many of the projects as possible.

Videos:
I’ve also created some videos as thanks to THQ Nordic upgrading IG2 and the awesome guys behind OpenIG you can now play the whole series in high resolutions looking better than they ever did back in the day.

I waffled on more than planned haha but I just love these games. 🙂 Hopefully they bring more new and returning fans to the series.

IG2

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Elder Scrolls Oblivion Remastered 2017

Regular followers of my website & blog will know that I’m a huge Elder Scrolls fan & enjoy posting amazing realistic super modded Skyrim videos from youtube user “Unreal”. Well who would have thought that someone could make the 11 year old game Oblivion look just as good but someone has! Youtube user “Bevilex” has added a huge list of mods to Oblivion making it looks absolutely incredible! A lot of it comes down to ENBs and there’s now a few great ones out there for Oblivion. I’m only a few months away from finally starting my big Oblivion journey (where I explore & do everything just like in my 5yr Morrowind game) so I’ll definitely be using some of these mods.

Check out these videos below, you won’t believe it’s Oblivion!!


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Great Retro Gaming News Sources

Hi guys,

Found some great retro gaming, indie gaming, classic consoles & emulation news sources last night. I’m amazed to see just how alive the old Commodore 64 community is too. Check them all out!

https://twitter.com/Indie_RetroNEWS

(there are people friggin building new Commodore 64s & making new games lol)
https://twitter.com/CommodoreBlog

https://twitter.com/_RetroGaming_

(I used to visit Zophar’s Domain in the 90s lol)
https://twitter.com/ZopharsDomain

https://twitter.com/emuparadise

(These guys appear to be a magazine that’s been going for years.. how on earth did I not know about them!!!)
https://twitter.com/RetroGamer_Mag

Looks like you can subscibe to the magazine here:
https://www.isubscribe.com.au/Retro-Gamer-UK-Magazine-Subscription-Subscription.cfm

And these guys have past copies in digital format:
https://au.zinio.com/www/browse/back-issues.jsp?productId=500654829

These are Australian sites however it’s a UK magazine so no doubt you’ll be able to find similar online distributors for other international locations.

Babylon 5 Civilization IV BTS FF Mod

Has anyone here played the Babylon 5 total conversion space mod for Civilization 4: Beyond The Sword? I decided to give it a go a couple of months back to a do a cool tribute to it on my Babylon 5 Fan Games Website and have been COMPLETELY addicted since lol! It uses the awesome Master of Orion style Final Frontier space mod for Civ 4 BTS to create an amazing B5 space strategy game. Was so blown away I made a 3 part video series below for people who may not know about it. For a turn based strategy gamer like me who’s always wanted to play a sandbox game as the Earth alliance colonising planets and conquering the galaxy with Hyperions, Omegas & Warlocks it’s just a dream come true!! The creator has plans to add huge battle scenarios (separate to the sandbox game much like the Star Trek Civ 4 mod), and he wants to have playable shadows & Vorlons too. Unfortunately he’s the only one left working on the project now and he has limited C++ coding/graphics skills so progress is slow. Hopefully he doesn’t abandon it! If you’ve got experience with C++ or the Civ 4 graphics toolkit then he could really use your help!

Mod located here:
http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=261551



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Dune 2 HD Remakes Comparison & Skirmish Matches

Hi guys,

I’ve been busily working on some fun new video content for my big Dune Games section. I have installed the latest versions of all the big Dune 2 fan remakes and created videos giving a brief tour of their features and then (badly lol) played a skirmish match in each to put them through their paces.

OpenRA Dune 2 Classic Mod
Probably the most recent and rarely seen Dune 2 remake. OpenRA (a C&C and Red Alert engine rebuild) is extremely popular but because this mod only works with the Github development version of OpenRA it’s half impossible to get working. With some help from the devs my friends & I finally got it working. However our multiplayer match was over way too quickly so I decided to do a longer skirmish game to check out end game buildings & units too.


Dune 2 Legacy
By far the greatest Dune 2 remake of them all. Great graphical options, 3 sub houses (Fremen, Sardukar, Mercs), a map editor and loads of skirmish/multiplayer maps. They’ve added the Super Dune 2 Missions with new improved briefings so really the only feature still missing is support for Dune eXtended missions.


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Star Trek Doom & QFG4-3D Hexen NOT WORKING

Hi guys,

After receiving the frustrating news today that photobucket have disabled all offsite usage of their images stuffing up a huge amount of my website, blog and forum posts/links, I’ve now also discovered that due to recent updates to the GZDoom engine both my Star Trek Doom & QFG4-3D Hexen mods have stopped working. There are serious code errors I can’t fix and even if you’re able to get around these errors you still face a multitude of problems in-game. My music tracks aren’t playing, you get stupid Doom/Hexen score screens in-between levels, and my intermission and end game sequences are broken too. 😦

At this stage I have no idea how to fix these problems so I’m sorry to say both mods are currently unplayable unless you use older version of GZDoom such as GZDoom v1.8.2 which they were originally made and tested with. Sorry guys. 😦

Palm Kingdoms & Royal Bounty Series

I’m a huge Heroes of Might & Magic series fan. More so with the classic games then the newer one’s as Ubisoft seems to be ruining the franchise with rushed unfinished releases, budget cuts & incomplete patching leaving us with broken games forever (yet I stupidly keep throwing money at them for the collectors editions :/ ).

On my HoMM website I’d listed Palm Kingdoms (formerly Palm Heroes) & Royal Bounty in my ‘similar to HoMM games’ section for years but had never got around to playing them. However Iosoftware recently decided to release their Palm Kingdoms games for free to attract more fans to their latest game Royal Bounty HD & their up and coming Palm Kingdoms 3 HD game so naturally I couldn’t resist lol!

I’ve gotta say my original expectations were pretty blown away as I became a complete addict playing PK1&2! They look and feel very much like HoMM2 but contain various little improvements either from later HoMM games or totally new and original ideas. The first game required me to get it working on a windows phone emulator but the second one is a PC game and ran just fine (PK2 also contains all the content of PK1). I really enjoyed playing the super XL map ‘The Divine Status’ as there was so much to explore & conquer that it took me days to finish it!

I was so impressed I couldn’t resist buying their newer game Royal Bounty HD on steam as it’s dirt cheap (as I say in the vids it’s pretty much a glass of coke in a bar lol!) and I became even more addicted lol. It drops castle management for a classic King’s Bounty style game however all the graphics are upgraded to HD quality and the game looks great (if you’re a retro fan like me not looking for the big 3D stuff). It’s funny seeing all the people whinging on steam about it being too hard as I pretty much broke the game in the first few hours by upgrading my peasants to money making citizens & becoming insanely rich able to buy & upgrade nearly unlimited troops lol! Guess you’ve gotta be a HoMM4&5 veteran to spot that trick haha.

Looks like all the nice upgraded graphics and gameplay elements from RBHD will be making it into Palm Kingdoms 3 HD. Can’t wait! You can watch PK3’s progress on the Palm Kingdoms facebook page. They’ve had a lot of funding troubles so hopefully they can get it across the finish line!

Here’s some videos I made of PK1&2 going through the races and talking about all the similarities and differences to HoMM if anyone’s interested in checking out the games. With the RBHD videos I rush play through the entire first chapter to give you an idea of the game (I do the peasant trick in part 3).

Palm Kingdoms 1 – Part 1 Video: Introduction & Tutorial Mission.

Palm Kingdoms 1 – Part 2 Video: Tutorial Mission Continued, Tour of all 6 races castles & units (Using the cool ‘Divine Status’ super XL map), & How to get the game working via emulation.

Palm Kingdoms 2 – Part 1 Video: Introduction & Tutorial Mission (note: I’ve since discovered the game looks better at 720p).

Palm Kingdoms 2 – Part 2 Video: Tutorial Mission Continued, Tour of the 6 classic races castles & units (Using the cool ‘Divine Status’ super XL map), & Extended tour of the new & totally original 7th race!

Royal Bounty HD – Part 1 Video: Introduction, Prison Break, & Chapter 1 Forestria Beginning.

Royal Bounty HD – Part 2 Video: Chapter 1 Forestria Continued.

Royal Bounty HD – Part 3 Video: Chapter 1 Forestria Final Stages, Cool Unit Upgrades, Chapter 2 The Lost Scroll Teaser, & Peasant Upgrade MEGA Money Making Trick.

I made it to PC Gamer Magazine!!!

Two months ago you saw me excitedly posting about discovering my silly little Quest for Glory IV 3D Hexen mod had made it to Rock Paper Shotgun, one of the largest gaming news websites out there! Since that post more than 2,000 people have visited my site (already half way to 24,000 visitors!) and almost as many have watched my videos. My Star Trek Doom mod has been going pretty well too but much to my surprise my QFG4-3D mod which was originally only ever planned as just a test run to get my skills good enough for Star Trek Doom has ended up becoming the bigger and more famous hit lol! Now I know why the visitors keep coming…

Quest for Glory IV 3D Hexen has friggin made it to PC Gamer!! The largest PC gaming mag in the world!! And I didn’t just get some little mention.. oh no they went and bloody put my mod in their top 10 downloads of the month section at NUMBER ONE! It’s the only on in the top 10 filling more than half a page and with more than one picture. Some of the other top 10 mods are way better looking and more complex than mine so I’m just stunned!! All I can put it down to is good old nostalgia. People love QFG4 and they want to be taken back there in some way haha.

I’m in both the PC Gamer UK February edition and the PC Gamer US March edition. I’ve been getting PC Gamer UK since 1994! Never did I ever think that something of mine would ever appear on the pages of this mag.. something I’ve been collecting since I was a boy.. 🙂

PC Gamer UK & PC Gamer USA Scans

Blake’s Sanctum Has a New Home!

Found some good free hosting sites and have decided to go with x10Hosting. They have a very nice and short domain naming system as well so my site finally has a short and simple address lol!

http://blakessanctum.x10.mx/

 

I also decided to keep a mirror copy on another pretty good site called 000WebHost.

http://blakessanctum.comeze.com/

 

That way if anything happens to me there’s a good chance Blake’s Sanctum will live on. 🙂

I’m still left with a few frustrating problems…
Without access to my webring site I can’t remove the old site and setup re-directs. I have some limited access to the root folder so I can at least put some re-directs there but all the gaming, tv and mod subsections I can’t do anything about. 😦
There’s also literally a gazillion places I need to update the links to my site eg facebook groups, many forum posts and sigs, all my youtube videos, and all the posts on this blog… eeek!

Blake’s Sanctum In Trouble!

I figured this day was coming for a while now. Webring (the host of Blake’s Sanctum since 2008) have been in a pretty sorry state the last few years. I’m amazed their site is even still there as it’s clearly being neglected and surely isn’t profitable anymore. The website hosting uploader hasn’t worked in chrome, firefox and IE for 2 years now yet for some strange reason it still worked in Safari so I was able to continue working on the site however now even in safari the uploder has stopped working and I’ve lost access to my site. 😦 😦

Clearly it’s time to move. In fact I should have moved a while back at the first signs of trouble but oh well. I’m going to start looking for a new home for Blake’s Sanctum. Fans have offered me webspace in the past which I appreciate however I prefer not to have my site on a private server that be switched off the moment someone doesn’t pay a bill. So I’m going to go hunt for another free host. Once found I get to begin the long unpleasant process of moving the entire site and changing all my links across the many forums and videos out there to the new site. Fun!