Finding That Damn Game

Wow, how hard is it to find an item on the internet you don’t know the name of? Especially something reasonably obscure? In this case, it’s my partial area of expertise; videogames. Let’s see, and also handily (for me in the future) I’ll list all the resources I used.

This is a bit odd, I wanted to find an awesome set of animations – pixel art videos – and the only single thing I could remember (after vaguely trying some search terms) was that the artist in question mentioned a game…the game, I recall, was something based on mechanics or something. Might have involved strategy. Turn based? Mmm…DS game, yes!

Had the name of the lead in the title. So I did some searching – Wikipedia is de-facto useless for this kind of thing, consisting of non-cross referenced categories or long lists. No joy there. Mobygames is much better – but in this case, I wasn’t sure what year it was released in – I checked the DS games for 2009 (not there for certain, very limited list) then 2008 (huge list!). No pictures doesn’t help, since I remembered the distinctive art style. Giantbomb was another offering – after some URL mangling, I managed to get DS games only, by release date. Sadly, a few pages in and still no luck – and the search functions didn’t work too well on either site – “mechanic” (all I could really remember at that point) didn’t come up with anything.

Stuck! Darn it, that damn game, you know, on the DS, which I’ve not actually played…

Mmm…strategy…mmm, not in those categories on Mobygames, so coming again at it, defence was involved…towers…tower defence! To the Google machine! Google helped out – my final ridiculous search string found a reference – 3rd one, “Lock’s Quest”! Yes, matches with what I thought it was!

Finally, I found it! Now…credits…credits! Come to daddy! No credits! No credits!…wait…try agian… yes! Credits! (Via Google). GameFAQ’s is a merge between Gamespot’s DB and it’s own (now it’s just the same thing, long ago it wasn’t, but GameFAQ’s is easier and faster to search at least).

(In addition, IGN was a bit useless, and there are not many other game DB’s that either game up in Google, or in fact I know of. I need to search any more reputable ones out for this kind of work).

So, finally found the game – a victory for my memory!

However, the person isn’t on the credits list! How did I find this out? Yep, for starters, there appears to be no artists listed – I vaguely recalled the person referencing it as freelance work – but I couldn’t be sure, so I checked the people on the list. No go!

So, down to Google again – I had the game (Lock’s Quest), the item (pixel art video) and the person (artist). Some massive amounts of variations later…I had it! The 3rd link down, a name I recognised – Paul Robertson!

How can I be sure it is him? Well, his site is down (as of posting this) so no luck there, but it was a blog post. I took a site: Google search and found it, a post about what games he’s worked on – as an animator (a type of artist, so I was close). Lock’s Quest stuck out mainly because it was the one place I saw it to investigate “What on earth it was” – at the time I had no idea it existed 🙂

I’ve now got his site in my RSS feed (he has some really, really great pixel animations – a lot are bizarre, most are plain amazing, many are bizarre and amazing). The films I wanted to re-watch after losing them (heaven knows where they’ve gone on in my files) were Kings of Power 4 Billion %, and the earlier, and I think actually much cooler one Pirate Baby’s Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006. Best to download them (the pixel art otherwise suffers), there are valid links on both – or check Google for the titles. Amazing works of art.

So, now, whew, finally finished – all told, took about 1.5hours including writing this mainly as I went. Internet detective work can be done frankly really quickly, although finding something without knowing it’s name is still damn hard – a person or a game!

I’ve still got a game I need to find actually – one from my days playing DOS games, it was a demo at least I played – I am sure it’s a point and click, “sci-fi” game, with the one thing I remember there being is a chain-mail-like shirt made out of credits/coins. It was the most utterly bizarre thing about it, everything else is pretty much just “it was sci-fi with gangs perhaps”. Man, that game annoys the hell out of me for not being able to find it. Older games like this can be really difficult to find if they don’t hold some kind of cult or mass status! Yes, I have asked around, and my damn post now comes top of the Google search for related terms. Hah! Thanks me! 🙁 Sadly, after trying for a few minute on Mobygames and remembering I’d only notice it by picture (who knows if anyone has any of it), and that I don’t know the platform specifically, the game maker, name, or year of release (even an estimate) it’s a bit futile. No where seems to have “point and click” as a mechanics genre either, odd that, or I missed where it was listed.

Edit: Actually, after checking, there are no such things as “point and click” it appears in any game DB, heh. They’re “Adventure” in most places, “Puzzle Solving” on Mobygames too. Still not worth checking everything in this list for it though. At least not yet!