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!

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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!

Star Trek Deep Space Nine in HD

2 Years ago like many other Star Trek DS9 fans I was devastated when it became public that CBS would not push ahead with the DS9 HD Blu-ray remakes due to the lacklustre sales of the STTNG blu-rays (recently re-confirmed here). Watching TNG in HD with all the remade special effects was a truly amazing experience but through the whole thing I kept thinking “I can’t wait to see all those big sets and space battles from DS9 in HD”. While DS9 was supposed to be the little bastard show it ended up being bigger in every way and therefore would have benefited from an HD remake even more. A real tragedy for us fans.

However there’s been some interesting developments of late and some great fan made stuff I thought I’d post about that just might give us some hope that one day we’ll get ‘something somehow’ lol.

Firstly the What We Left Behind: Star Trek Deep Space Nine Documentary Indiegogo I posted about the other day was a HUGE funding success which had to have gotten the attention of CBS. On top of that Adam Nimoy and the rest of the doco team dropped a very exciting surprise on us. If we fully funded the stretch goals they would bring the STTNG HD bluray team back out of retirement to scan and convert select special footage from DS9 to include in the documentary. It probably won’t be much and no doubt it wouldn’t be any space stuff (unless it’s an early season pre-CGI model shot) but nevertheless this is really cool! Naturally the fan reaction was explosive and all the stretch goals were knocked out of the park haha!

Secondly there’s some amazing fan work going on out there. This guy has managed to recreate some of DS9’s largest most epic battle moments in HD with INCREDIBLE quality that just defies belief!

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Imperium Galactica is back in 2017!

Imperium Galactica was one of the greatest game series I ever played as a kid in the 90s and now I’m pleased to say this old forgotten 4X space strategy series is returning to us thanks to Nordic Games. What made IG so good and different to Master of Orion and everything else out there at the time (& even to this day in some respects) was 2 things:

1 – It had epic immersion via all the amazing videos and story elements. Completing strategic objectives brought on amazing video & story rewards instead of just some simple text on a screen saying “well done” lol. In IG1 you could even explore your own ship! People raved in 2010 when Starcraft 2 WoL came out because you could spend large amounts of time exploring your battleship and talking to people in the bar in between the strategic missions. Well IG1 did that 13yrs before Blizzard did haha!

2 – It was basically 3 games in 1. I grew up playing Master of Orion, Sim City 2000 & Dune2/C&C and used to think “wouldn’t it be cool if there was a game that combined them” and then I found IG1&2 and realized some clever folks in Hungary had made my dream a reality! As far as I know no one has really combined those 3 things since!


IG1 & IG2

IG2 & OpenIG

A couple of years ago I started seriously considering doing a big IG tribute at Blake’s Sanctum and started looking into what happened to its creator Digital Reality. I thought they were long gone so I was so excited when I did some digging and found out that they were still alive in the 2010s and had made an enhanced IG2 for mobiles and were working on a new online IG game (called Stargazer or something?). But then I discovered that this was actually old news from around 2013ish and Digitial Reality really were gone this time and their lifeless website & forums were filled with spammers.

However this week I’ve discovered that Nordic Games bought the series in 2016 and have released both Imperium Galactica 1 & 2 on Steam and GoG! Even better they’ve taken all the improvements digital reality did with the mobile version of IG2 (improved interface & textures etc) and ported them back over to the PC version. And on top of that they’re even patching IG2 to make sure the old 1999 game is fully compatible on modern systems! 🙂

If these releases are Nordic Games ‘testing the waters’ to see if IG is still a good money maker for a sequel then I encourage all IG fans to go purchase these new versions. Then we might just get that Imperium Galactica 3 we’ve been waiting so long for.

On top of all this the fan project OpenIG which is a remake of IG1 is looking very good now after many years of work. It does NOT require the original game files and it supports high resolutions, better interface, gameplay improvements and best of all SKIRMISH/SAND BOX MODE! No longer are you locked into the campaign making the game just a re-playable as its sequel! It supports multiplayer and you can ever play as the alien races with full Master of Orion style race customisation.:)

So basically we can now play both Imperium Galactica 1 and 2 in high resolution with modern improvements thanks to the work of Nordic Games and the fans behind OpenIG. Finally some good news relating to a great series that hasn’t had any in 18 years!!

Here’s all the Links:
THQ Nordic Games Announcement

Imperium Galactica 1 on Steam
Imperium Galactica 1 on GoG

Imperium Galactica 2 on Steam
Imperium Galactica 2 on GoG

OpenIG Project Page

IG2

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What We Left Behind – Star Trek DS9 Documentary

Wow wow wow! It breaks my heart that we’re not getting a HD remake of Star Trek DS9 due to the TNG HD remake blurays not making enough money however at least we’re getting this!

DS9 showrunner Ira Behr has teamed up with Adam Nimoy (who did the recent excellent For The Love Of Spock doco) to do a new Star Trek documentary all about Deep Space Nine! Unlike the existing soft DS9 PG DVD extras this doco looks like it will contain lots of juicy and possibly even controversial behind the scenes info on the struggles of the show and the actors (eg like the full on recent Chaos On The Bridge TNG doco). Nearly the entire cast is behind this too and best of all Ira has got together the old DS9 writing team (including Ron Moore) to brainstorm a mythological DS9 Season 8 Episode 1 story that us fans have been begging for years. How will they get Sisko back to DS9? Can’t wait to see!

TNG was my favourite Star Trek show back in the day yet after all these years I seem to find myself craving and missing DS9 more. I just loved the characters and stories so much. I loved all the things they did that they weren’t supposed to do in the Roddenberry Trek universe like serialised connected stories, imperfect flawed heroes, likable bad guys and huuuuge wars.

In the last hour or so I’ve seen $20,000 USD being thrown at this thing resulting in it already being at $60,000 as I type this which means its well on its way to meeting it’s $150,000 target. Let’s make sure it does and spread the word fellow DS9 fans!

Update:
It made it in ONE DAY! Now it’s over $200,000 and flying towards the stretch goals! I hope paramount are watching this. TNG HD may have fallen short of their $ goals but DS9 fans are very loyal to our bastard series. 🙂 They could at least do a ‘testing the waters’ HD release of the pilot & favourite eps like they did with TNG. DS9 fans would pay! Or maybe even a straight to dvd/bluray release of this mythical season 8 story (eg Ark of Truth was Stargate SG1s 11th season wrapped into one dvd film for the fans).

Link:

What We Left Behind: Star Trek Deep Space Nine Documentary Indiegogo

I made it to Rock Paper Shotgun!

Well it’s been a pretty crazy 2 months since I released my Quest for Glory IV 3D Hexen and Star Trek Doom mod projects. I went overseas to Ko Samui Thailand for a month and around it I did my best to respond to the surge of attention my mods brought to this blog, my youtube channel and my website. Thank you every one for your feedback, it’s been amazing and certainly inspired me to pick up work on my mods again one day.

Blake’s Sanctum has passed the big 20,000 moment and its now already closing in on 21k. This blog has shot up by 1000 hits including one crazy day where 600+ people visited. The mod videos have received over 4,000 hits. Just amazing!

As I posted about the mods in various facebook groups and forums there were many surges in visitors but the biggest of all came from a wonderful man named Richard Cobbett. I’ve posted about him before over the years as he was responsible for showing Quest for Glory to a huge audience on two occasions when he first ensured QFG4 made it into the 2012 PC Gamer UK top 100 Games of all time list and then second posted an awesome 2 page spread on QFG4 in 2013 once again in PC Gamer UK.

Well now after finding out about and even playing my QFGIV 3D mod he decided to do a massive article on Rock, Paper, Shotgun all about my mod. Rock, Paper, Shotgun has got to be one of the biggest gaming news sites out there! I’ve read many an article there over the years so for my silly little mod to be covered on their site is just a nerdy dream come true lol!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Thank you Richard! I work hard to promote and ensure QFG is never forgotten but I’ll never have the global reach you have so the fact you do the same thing for QFG on sites like this and in the huge PC Gamer mags is just wonderful.

Master of Magic HD Multiplayer Remake (by Implode)

Hi guys, I really want to spread the word on an awesome fan project that’s still going and has utterly blown me away.

Master of Magic – Implode’s Multiplayer Edition is a brilliant MoM engine rebuild that supports larger maps, up to 14 players (either Human or AI), and any modern windows resolution like HD 4K etc. The author Implode intends to expand on the original MoM experience but with minimal changes to the core gameplay and graphics that we all know & love.

Implode the creator of MoM-IME has been working on this project for at least 12yrs now and isn’t getting much support these days so if you’re a huge Master of Magic fan and you’ve dreamed of playing against 13 other wizards in massive slaughterfest over 2 giant worlds in high resolution then get yours butts over to the official MoM-IME forum and try out the latest demo and offer your support! 🙂

I love the improved battle graphics eg how he’s done a LOTR-Weta workshop trick of grabbing a few guys and replicating them into larger groups. Makes you feel like your commanding large armies instead of little squads and big monsters who are upscaled and not replicated look much scarier now as they tower over the little armies! Also like the Civ style territory borders and how the game supports simultaneous turns like AoW which would be great for multiplayer games.

For anyone interested here’s a video I recorded of his game in 1080P (FYI it doesn’t go full screen until the map loads)…

Part 1 covers me exploring the starting an empire (fast forwarding through slow bits):

Part 2 covers me attacking some neighbours and starting a new game in the Myrran dark world:

NOTE: This video was made with the 2015 WIP 0.9.6.3 release. There have been multiple releases since adding things such as treasure rewards and hero items. In late 2016 Implode started work on the much anticipated enemy wizard global AI (AI build cities & armies, casts spells etc) so I can’t wait for that! Battle AI is functional however so you can still have a fun monster/treasure hunting RPG style game in the current build.

MoM-IME forum:
http://mom.pjj.cc/forum/index.php

Download latest demo build from:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/momime/

Join the Master of Magic facebook group here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/MasterOfMagicGame/

For more information on this and many other MoM related games & mods check out my MoM Legacy Games page here:
http://blakessanctum.x10.mx/Games/MoM/MoMEnter.html

Star Trek Doom Project (GZDoom Doom 2 mod)

WARNING: This mod no longer works with the latest versions of GZDoom! Most of the music tracks don’t play (unless triggered by a script event), the sky’s are all wrong, it ignores my cluster settings and end up up with Doom story cr*p at the end of the demo instead of my stuff. Clearly it’s not liking my old MAPINFO and I’m stumped as to how to fix it. 😦 Until I resolve these issues I recommend you play my mod with GZDoom 1.8.2 or ZDoom 2.7.1. Apologies for the inconvenience.

If anyone can see the issue with my MAPINFO please let me know!

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Wow guys, things have really taken off in the week since my Quest for Glory IV 3D (ZDoom Hexen Mod) announcement. The site has reached over 19,000hits, this blog has also had hundreds of hits and same with my QFG4-3D videos! Thanks to everyone for your support and kind comments on the forums, facebook & videos.

So now the time has finally come to announce the second of my 2 big projects that I’ve been secretly working on over the last 2 years, the resurrection of my old Star Trek Doom project!

I originally worked on and off the Star Trek Doom Project from 1997 to 2012. I had almost all but given up on ever working on it properly again but people just kept contacting me about it over the years and I finally decided to really go for it again! So I resumed the project in 2016 and have totally redesigned & remastered EVERYTHING for GZDoom.

The year is 2371 and the Enterprise-D is in its seventh year of service (Between Season 7 & Generations Film), you play a young junior Lieutenant sent out to test upgrades on a shuttlecraft when a futuristic Borg cube emerges from a temporal portal launching a devastating attack on the Enterprise. After seeing the Borg Cube destroyed by Species 8472 emerging from the same time portal you decide to return to the Enterprise to try and help take back the ship. The game will take you to all your favourite places around the Enterprise and even on to a Borg cube! Obviously since such events are not possible in the canon/prime timeline I had to do some ‘creative thinking’ story wise to make it happen (basically I had to do a JJ Abrams lol) which hopefully diehards will be okay with since after all this is just a bit of fun! 🙂

My goal has always been to create a wild adventure on the Enterprise D that has you believing you’re there (well at least in the boundaries of the ancient Doom engine lol), and I’m happy to say the project reboot has been a success! All old areas, monsters and weapons have been rebuilt 10x better, many new areas have been added, and I’ve completely finished everything I wanted to do for my first public demo. Hope you all enjoy this first public demo below. Be warned that it will likely be a long time before there’s another demo, I’ve spent nearly 2 years on these 2 projects and have sacrificed a lot. I’m burnt out & want to do other things, including getting back to PLAYING games instead of making them lol!


For more information, more screenshots, animations+descriptions of all weapons & monsters you’ll face, and of course the download links for the demo and required files check out my STDoom website here:

Blake’s Sanctum – Star Trek Doom Homepage

If you just want to see the game without all the hassle then here’s a playthrough/walkthrough video series I made..

Part 1 – Type 7 Shuttle, Transporter Room, Turbolift, Corridors, Holodeck, Jefferies Tubes, Shuttle Bay, Type 6 Shuttle & Borg Cube Arrvial.

Part 2 – Borg Cube, Borg Queen boss fight, Enterprise D Bridge & EARLY DRAFT Engineering Species 8472 boss fight.

Quest for Glory IV 3D (ZDoom Hexen mod)

WARNING: This mod no longer works with the latest versions of GZDoom! Most of the music tracks don’t play (unless triggered by a script event), the sky’s are all wrong, it ignores my cluster settings and you can’t escape the your hotel window room at night in map 14 resulting in the demo being unfinishable and players missing out on a whole stack of content. Clearly it’s not liking my old MAPINFO and I’m stumped as to how to fix it. 😦 Until I resolve these issues I recommend you play my mod with GZDoom 1.8.2 or ZDoom 2.7.1. Apologies for the inconvenience.

If anyone can see the issue with my MAPINFO please let me know!

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The time has finally come to announce the first of my 2 big projects that I’ve been secretly working on over the last 2 years, Quest for Glory IV 3D!

QFG4 3D is a total conversion single player 19 map mod for the classic game Hexen with the ZDoom enhancement. The mod contains new levels, textures, decoration, weapons, monsters, NPCs, cutscenes, music & sounds taking players on an old-school linear 3D action adventure set in the world and story of the great classic Sierra game Quest for Glory IV – Shadows of Darkness. I worked on QFG4 3D to retrain myself in Doom editing skills so I could return to my old labor of love, the Star Trek Doom Project.

Before anyone else says it I’d like to say that QFG4 doesn’t need to be in 3D, nor is my project an attempt to convert every single part of the game to 3D (if you want to do everything in QFG4 then go play QFG4 haha). I created QFG4 3D just for fun and to see if I could actually do it lol. Plus it was rather fun to create new areas/views not seen in the original game (eg I show more of the town & give you 360 degree views of each original game location). So if others happen to enjoy this project too then that’s a bonus, but if you’re not a fan of retro gaming & graphics then this probably isn’t going to be of much interest to you.

I used the old Hexen/Doom engine as I lack the graphic & programming talents to use a modern game engine, plus I wanted it to retain the look at feel of the era when QFG4 came out. However the ZDoom/GZDoom extension updates the old engine quite a bit to use true 3D, OpenGL effects & now in 2016 it even supports VR! So if you ever wanted to walk around Mordavia as if you’re there then this is your chance (at least until someone else does a much better job haha).

Hope you enjoy this first demo below. Be warned that it will likely be a long time before there’s another demo, I’ve spent nearly 2 years on these 2 projects and have sacrificed a lot. I’m burnt out & want to do other things, including getting back to PLAYING games instead of making them lol!


For more information, more screenshots, animations+descriptions of all weapons & monsters you’ll face, and of course the download links for the demo and required files check out my QFG4 3D website here:

Blake’s Sanctum – Quest for Glory 4 3D Homepage

If you just want to see the game without all the hassle then here’s a playthrough/walkthrough video series I made..

Part 1 – Character Selection, Dark One Cave, Swamp, South Western Forest & Rusalka Lake.

Part 2 – Rusalka Lake, North Western Forest, Borgov Castle Gate, Town Gate, Exploring Town, Burgomeister Office, General Store & Adventurers Guild.

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MASSIVE Site Update

Wow.. over 18,000 visitors to Blake’s Sanctum now! And quite a bit of increased traffic to this blog as well! 🙂

I looked at a screenshot of the website that I took at the end of 2014 and saw that there had been around 14,000 visitors over the history of the site at the meaning 4,000 people had visited this site over the last 2 years which was an amazing increase, but then I found another screenshot I took towards the end of 2015 showing the counter at around 15,000 which means that 2015 was just another year for the site and it was in fact this year that things exploded with 3,000 visitors. I have no idea why considering I hadn’t worked on the site since 2014! It hasn’t been a great 2 years in real life, health troubles, a long term relationship breakdown and a few other dramas certainly slowed me down a lot. But I’m back now and have been very busy over the last 3 months working on the site again.

As posted previously I’ve recently released a brand new Star Trek Gaming page which is probably now the largest section on my site with a huge tribute list of fan projects. I then went and updated every other gaming section on the site with new game tributes, better existing game tributes, more screens, more videos, more long lost demos, and navigation upgrades. If you visit your favourite section of the site, odds are you’ll find some new stuff there! 🙂

Thank you everyone for your support, I’m now going to upgrade my youtube channel and then finally release my 2 big mod projects to the world!

Here’s my complete list of changes:


Games Section
Changes made to existing content:
General – Contents menu added.
General – All back buttons changed to utilise HTML bookmarks. Now users don’t have to re-scroll down the entire page constantly! 🙂
General – Fixed some missing slashes in code.


Age of Wonders Series
New AoW related projects found:
Last Days of Old Earth – New game similar to AoW & MoM
Thea: The Awakening – New game similar to AoW & MoM without tactical combat
Dominions Series – Great retro looking series similar to AoW & MoM
Conquest of Elysium Series – Retro looking series (created by Dominions team) similar to AoW & MoM
Armello – New game similar to AoW & MoM without tactical combat
Chaos Reborn – Game similar to AoW, HoMM & King’s Bounty

Changes made to existing AoW content:
General – Contents menu added.
General – All back buttons changed to utilise HTML bookmarks. Now users don’t have to re-scroll down the entire page constantly! 🙂
General – Fixed some missing slashes in code.
General – Added Good Old Games buy links to all games.
AoW1 – Added download link to Community Content pack (heaps of maps & campaigns).


Babylon 5 Games
New B5 related projects added:
Babylon 5 Into The Fire – Someone leaked to the public the original unfinished Sierra game!
Babylon 5 Stardrive – Total Conversion mod for Stardrive. Thankyou to Anibal for the tip!
Babylon 5 Civilization 4 Final Frontier mod – TC mod for Civilization IV Beyond The Sword Final Frontier. THIS is the Babylon 5 galaxy conquering strategy game fans have always wanted!

Changes made to existing B5 content:
General – Contents menu added.
General – All back buttons changed to utilise HTML bookmarks. Now users don’t have to re-scroll down the entire page constantly! 🙂
General – Fixed some missing slashes in code.
General – Added Good Old Games & Steam buy links to mods requiring a base game.


Command & Conquer Series
New C&C related projects added:
C&C All Stars – Cool Tiberium & Red Alert Crossover Total Conversion Mod for C&C Generals.

Changes made to existing C&C content:
General – Contents menu added.
General – All back buttons changed to utilise HTML bookmarks. Now users don’t have to re-scroll down the entire page constantly! 🙂
General – Fixed some missing slashes in code.
RA2 – Added Good Old Games vote links.
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