Remember When Video Games Came In Big Boxes?

I most certainly do as I'm collecting them. For sharing my games with other (retro) gaming heads, I decided to turn my collection of over 790 boxes* into shiny 3D

The tech behind the 3D boxes is simple: first up the game boxes sides are scanned. Then, those textures are attached to a 3D mesh based upon the boxes' actual dimensions. All boxes can be zoomed and rotated and some can even be looked at from top and bottom angles. Also, double click/tap a box with a gatefold cover to pop it up.

The site is a one-man show and done in my spare time. I do try to keep it as up-to-date as possible but sometimes, well, life happens and the time from picking up a new box until it's available in 3D with all bells and whistles does vary quite a bit. I'm trying to keep you all posted via the blog though.

Anyway, I better stop babbeling and let you jump right in. Use the search in the top right corner or start with one of the games listed below.

Enjoy,
Benjamin

* Well, lots of boxes and some not so boxy ones

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Latest Blog posts

2024-06-19 Tweaking Spent some time tweaking various things to speed up the page. 3D boxes are of course still quite a load, but starting up bigboxcollection.com should be a bit faster now. Also squashed a couple of bugs along the way.
2024-06-18 RetroGamer Magazin: Thief - An Enduring Legacy RetroGamer Magazine takes a look at the enduring legacy of the Thief series which first appeared on our monitors back in 1999. The article can be found in Load 260.
2024-06-16 Latest Pickups: SSI Adventures Came home from a short vacation with two more Big Boxes waiting on my door step: Al-Qadim had been on my wishlist forever and Thunderscape just had to be picked up due to having added Endomorph.
2024-06-06 Latest Pickups: R-Type and Ikari Warriors A couple of C64 games arrived today: R-Type Ikari Warriors Death or Glory
2024-06-05 RetroGamer Magazin: Making of Star Trek 25th Anniversary Another fantastic article in RetroGamer magazine load 259: The Making of Star Trek: 25th Anniversary.
2024-06-04 Tetris revisited Back in the day, I definitely preferred DuoTris, but at the same time, MirrorSoft's Tetris always had a special place in my heart. It was all I had while all the boys and girls around me played the superior GameBoy version, and boy, was I jealous. Then again, there's Wally Beben's mind-blowing 20+ minutes tune and all is balanced again Cut to 2024. I've just found out on CSDb that there's a remaster, err, remix, err, recoded version out there and it has just received an update! Let's boot it up! The update is not just some graphical tweaks, no, it's a full re-implementation of Tetris following how the game played on other Platforms at the time. Further, there's an optional shadow as well as music and sfx options. It does play great, not as snappy as current versions of Tetris, but still. The addition of slow/hard drop is great and the sfx are a nice touch too. My main complaint is that the original tune is only played on the title screen and can't be selected as background music thanks to technical limitations. Bummer. Anyway, grab a copy of version 1.1b and give it a try!
2024-06-02 ToDo List Oh boy, I'm lagging behind big time! Sry for the spare updated these post months. Boxes are piling up everywhere but the time needed for scanning and uploading them is very, very rare at the moment but I do hope to manage at least one or two games per week from now on again. Curious, what's gonna show up? Yeah, I thought so, so here's my backlog of unscanned big boxes: Adrenix Age of Empires Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Alien Breed: Tower Assault AotD 2 (inkl 1 & JitD) Archimedean Dynasty Baldur's Gate III Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast Black Mirror II: Reigning Evil Black Mirror III: Final Fear BloodNet Blue Force Brain Dead 13 Burntime Call to Power II Cannon Fodder 2 Caribbean Disaster Command & Conquer: Firestorm Command & Conquer: The Covert Operations Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun Creatures Creatures 3 Crudader: No Regret Crudader: No Remorse Curse of Enchantia D Darklands Death or Glory (C64) Delta V Demonworld Descent: Freespace - The Great War Descent 3 Die Höhlenwelt Saga: Der Leuchtende Kristall Dominion Dragon Lore II: The Heart of the Dragon Man Druid: Daemons of the Mind Dune Dune II Battle for Arrakis Dune 2000 Extreme Assault Eye of the Beholder Trilogy Fade to Black FIFA International Soccer Flashback: The Quest for Identity Freespace 2 Frontier: Elite II Fury of the Furries Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers Genesia Heimdall Heimdall 2: Into the Hall of Worlds Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death Holiday Island Ikari Warriors (C64) Incubation: Battle Isle Phase Four Incubation: Mission Pack IndyCar Racing Inferno: The Odyssey Continues Innocent until Caught Ishar Trilogy KISS: Psycho Circus - The Nightmare Child Lands of Lore Legends of Valour: Volume 1 - The Dawning Little Big Adventure: Twinsen's Adventure Loopz (Amiga) Lords of Magic Lost Vikings LucsArts Classic Adventures Magic Carpet Hidden Worlds Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares Men in Black: The Game Microcosm Noctropolis Novastorm Pandemonium Pictionary: The Game of Quick Draw (C64) Prehistorik 2 Prisoner of Ice Protostar: War on the Frontier Quarantine Quest for Glory III: Wages of War R-Type (C64) R.O.M. Gold: Rings of Medusa Realms (The can onl be one) Realms of the Haunting Rebel Moon Rising Rent a Hero RexNebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender Ringworld: Revenge of the Patriarch Ripley's Believe It or Not!: The Riddle of Master Lu Rival Realms Robinson's Requiem S.T.O.R.M Sacrifice Sensible Soccer: European Champions - 92/93 Edition Shannara Shivers Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls Sid Meier's Civilization II Sid Meier's Civilization III SimCity 2000 SimCity Classic Space Hulk Space Marines: Der stählerne Kaiser Space Quest 5: The Next Mutation Space Quest 6: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier The Space Quest Saga: Roger Wilco Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Star Trek: Elite Force Star Trek: Generations Star Trek: Armada Star Trek: New Worlds Star Trek: Starfleet Academy Star Wars: Tie Fighter Star Wars: Tie Fighter Star Wars: X-Wing Star Wars: X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter Star Wars: Rebel Assault Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance Star Wars: X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter - Balance of Power Campaigns StarCraft StarCraft: Brood War Stellar 7 SuperKarts Swiv 3D Syndicate Plus Syndicate: American Revolt Synnergist Tachyon: The Fringe Take no Prisoners Talisman Tempest 2000 Terminal Velocity The Daedalus Encounter The Dagger of Amon Ra The Journeyman Project The Last Dynasty The Lawnmower Man The Settlers III The Settlers IV Time Commando Torin's Passage Transport Tycoon Turrican II: The Final Fight Unreal Utopia: Creation of a Nation WarCraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal Warcraft III Battle Chest Waterworld Whale's Voyage Whale's Voyage II: Die Übermacht Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi - Special Operations 1 Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi - Special Operations 2 Wing Commander: Privateer World of Aden: Entomorph - Plague of the Darkfall World of Warcraft World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade World of Warcraft: Cataclysm World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Litch King Worms X-Beyond the Frontier Zool Zork: Grand Inquisitor
2024-06-02 RetroGamer Magazin: Ultimate Guide to California Games California Games was a huge hit for Epyx and thus released on a lot of platforms back in the day. RetroGamer mag takes a look at all the versions out there in Load 259.
2024-02-16 Big Box Pixels With pixeling for the C64 being my new love and of course still loving my big boxes too, it only was a matter of days before those two worlds crashed into each other and formed something exiting! Below, a work-in-progress screenshot of my BigBoxPixel. It's a HiRes picture (with expanded borders) showing the first 21 games turned from 2k textures into tiny 8x40 spines using only a hint of color due to the C64's restrictions. But still, I'm sure most of the boxes are recognizable, so enjoy figuring out what's on this 8-bit shelf
2024-02-14 Pixel Pushing Pixel Pushing OK, I've got somewhat carried away this week by joining the C64GFX.Com CharSet Logo Compo 2024 and working on my first CharSet pix. There wasn't really any concept to follow but I stumbled along while learning the graphic modes as well as the editors (Petmate and PETSCII Editor) I used. For the PETSCII pic, I've fooled around with tiles, as in ceramic tiles and one thing lead to another an a 3DBBG (short for my social media handle @3DBigBoxGames) thingy appeared waiting to be tweaked over and over again: Next, I tried my luck with HiRes mode, which means, pixels and color are separated and thus easier to handle. Well, it got all out of hand and I've ended up with the whole screen filled and (almost) all the available colors used in a bright fever dream color splash. One of the problems that arised is, that there's no logo there and reworking the charset to have once again 3DBBG or something there felt too tedious. I've somewhat fixed it by making this the core and just turned it into "Oh, no! What logo?" and called it quits The competition runs from Feb 7th to April 30th, so there's still time to join in. Voting will be May 1st to May 14th. Make sure to check out all the submitted entries: C64GFX.com (incl. non-demo-scener submissions like mine) CSDb.dk
2024-02-08 RetroGamer Magazine: Legay of System Shock With Nightdive Studios working on their System Shock remaster, RetroGamer magazine sat down with them and Jon Chey, the lead programmer of Shock 2, for discussing the series' beginnings, how it could be updated and what's up with Shock 3. It's a lenghy 8-page article well worth the read. This article appeared in Load 249.
2024-02-08 Retro Reading The other day, a I received a mail from RetroGamer Magazine telling me, that I can now access the complete backlog of the mag thanks to my ongoing subscription. Your new benefits * You've unlocked 253 digital back issues, worth a massive €1,087 * Free unlimited access - all back issues are available now * Read all the new (and old) issues on-the-go Don't forget, you can access your digital subscription via the App Store on iOS devices, or via Pocketmags if you want to read on Android or desktop. Full of excitement, I've opened my PocketMag app and, well, there's now 90+ issues to read through, but that's far from the whole archive. Re-reading the mail again, I've found the following footnote: PocketMags library may not have access to the full archive of digital back issues. Bummer. I don't own any Apple devices. Anyway, I've been a reader since day one of the relaunch back in 2005 and had a subscription till 2013 (which I re-newed in 2022), which means, I do have a huge pile of printed issues that are now — more or less — old enough to be considered retro themselves. That said, I've started digging through them and I'm gonna link all the relevant articles in short blog posts and add them to the related 3D boxes. But first, here's the first ever issue that I've gotten my hands on. I do remember the day very well; I was in Wels at the train station waiting to return to Vienna and had some time to kill and usually that meant hitting the Kiosk, browsing through computer magazines and there it was: Rubber Love. A high-quality, oversized magazine looking for my attention and I couldn't believe at first what I was seeing. A whole magazine dedicated to old computers? Ignoring the price tag, it was mine and the 2h journey went by in the blink of an eye with me reading through the mag. The articles were fantastic and to top it off, there were pixelated screenshots spread out over two whole pages. It was magical! From then on, I've not only grabbed the latest issue at the train station each month but also tracked down the first 18 issues via eBay to complete my collection and sometime later — after almost missing one issue — I've gifted myself a subscription and was happy for the following years.
2024-02-05 Things you have to do when playing IK I really do like to revisit International Karate (and its sequel) a lot; it's a perfect game. The music is fantastic and the sound effects crunchy — yeah, yeah, Exploding Fist fans, I hear you disagreeing — and the controls, again, perfect. Throwing punches and kicks is simply magical but there's more. The game's timing is pure bliss too. After sending your opponent to the ground, there's a couple of seconds that you can hold your pose for extra awesomeness and just get back to your stance right when the points are announced. Yes, show that you're 100% in control over every single muscle in your body. Show the audience that this punch or kick was not luck button mashing but the exact strike that you've envisioned and then executed flawlessly. Ahh,... the satisfaction. Another thing I'm always aiming for is a perfect first round. Sommersault + flykick, sommersault + flykick, sommersault + flykick. Jep, three times with one half-point and two full points. All that with 27 seconds left.
2024-02-02 Latest Pickups: Indy Jones and more A couple of games arrived today, all small boxes but definitely pretty ones. Drakensang (Gold Edition) The Witcher 2 Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb Darksiders (Hellbook Edition) Will hopefully be scanned and uploaded soon.
2024-02-01 Look at all these variants Gameroom Ramblings shared a post where he wondered why some games have different box art and well, that's a good question. My latest purchase [...] made me wonder once again why publishers in different regions decided that different box art was needed. Me, I have of course also come across variants too. We're not talking about small layout shifts here, those are often necessary due to translated names and tag lines as well as to make space for huge USK labels, but completely different art. Here's a couple of examples from my shelf: For some, I do like the European variant a bit more (e.g. MDK), while others, I definitely prefer the US take (e.g. Last Ninja 2) but all in all, they all have their own reasons to exist. Looking at my sample, one major reason might just come down to having different publishers with a different line-up of games to cater and — like in the case of Epxy — their own style to follow and also marketing trying to match whatever's cool with the kids right now in their part of the world. As a collector, I am, like GR, happy knowing that there's more than just the one box art out there, waiting to be stumbled upon and put onto my shelf.

Statistics

There's 790 games available in 3D on this site that have been viewed 217,543 times since the site's new version went live on Nov 24, 2023. That's 39 games per hour. Piling those 790 games all up would result in a stack 28.06m high and with a volume of 1.23m³. When adding up all sides there's 87.34m² of boxart, not counting the 60 gatefolds available to explore on this site. Further, there's a total of 739 photos showing the games' contents.

I'm not done yet getting all the data in regard of media included, but with 657 boxes indexed, there's a total of 1,285 media. Here's a breakdown

527 × CD-ROM
385 × Floppy (3.5")
199 × Floppy (5.25")
85 × Tape
56 × DVD
18 × Audio CD
6 × Cartridge
4 × Flash Drive
3 × Download
1 × Vinyl
1 × VHS

In regard of fidelity, 422 out of the 790 boxes have all six sides scanned. I'm working on adding more but this comes down to finding the time needed for scanning and editing. There's also 60 boxes with a gatefold cover that can be flipped open by double-clicking the box. Also, 85 boxes do have specific textures for their reflectiveness. It's a subtl effect but IMHO worth all the work, just look at Morrowind or Beneath a Steel Sky.

Tweaking

posted 2024-06-19 22:05:04

Spent some time tweaking various things to speed up the page. 3D boxes are of course still quite a load, but starting up bigboxcollection.com should be a bit faster now.

Also squashed a couple of bugs along the way.

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RetroGamer Magazin: Thief - An Enduring Legacy

posted 2024-06-18 22:04:54

RetroGamer Magazine takes a look at the enduring legacy of the Thief series which first appeared on our monitors back in 1999.

The article can be found in Load 260.

Latest Pickups: SSI Adventures

posted 2024-06-16 21:50:00

Came home from a short vacation with two more Big Boxes waiting on my door step: Al-Qadim had been on my wishlist forever and Thunderscape just had to be picked up due to having added Endomorph.

Latest Pickups: R-Type and Ikari Warriors

posted 2024-06-06 16:15:00

A couple of C64 games arrived today:

  • R-Type
  • Ikari Warriors
  • Death or Glory

RetroGamer Magazin: Making of Star Trek 25th Anniversary

posted 2024-06-05 19:55:54

Another fantastic article in RetroGamer magazine load 259: The Making of Star Trek: 25th Anniversary.

Tetris revisited

posted 2024-06-04 21:52:20

Back in the day, I definitely preferred DuoTris, but at the same time, MirrorSoft's Tetris always had a special place in my heart. It was all I had while all the boys and girls around me played the superior GameBoy version, and boy, was I jealous.

Then again, there's Wally Beben's mind-blowing 20+ minutes tune and all is balanced again

Cut to 2024. I've just found out on CSDb that there's a remaster, err, remix, err, recoded version out there and it has just received an update!

Let's boot it up!



The update is not just some graphical tweaks, no, it's a full re-implementation of Tetris following how the game played on other Platforms at the time. Further, there's an optional shadow as well as music and sfx options.


It does play great, not as snappy as current versions of Tetris, but still. The addition of slow/hard drop is great and the sfx are a nice touch too.

My main complaint is that the original tune is only played on the title screen and can't be selected as background music thanks to technical limitations. Bummer.

Anyway, grab a copy of version 1.1b and give it a try!

ToDo List

posted 2024-06-02 16:44:07

Oh boy, I'm lagging behind big time! Sry for the spare updated these post months.

Boxes are piling up everywhere but the time needed for scanning and uploading them is very, very rare at the moment but I do hope to manage at least one or two games per week from now on again.

Curious, what's gonna show up? Yeah, I thought so, so here's my backlog of unscanned big boxes:

  • Adrenix
  • Age of Empires
  • Age of Empires II: The Conquerors
  • Alien Breed: Tower Assault
  • AotD 2 (inkl 1 & JitD)
  • Archimedean Dynasty
  • Baldur's Gate III
  • Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast
  • Black Mirror II: Reigning Evil
  • Black Mirror III: Final Fear
  • BloodNet
  • Blue Force
  • Brain Dead 13
  • Burntime
  • Call to Power II
  • Cannon Fodder 2
  • Caribbean Disaster
  • Command & Conquer: Firestorm
  • Command & Conquer: The Covert Operations
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
  • Creatures
  • Creatures 3
  • Crudader: No Regret
  • Crudader: No Remorse
  • Curse of Enchantia
  • D
  • Darklands
  • Death or Glory (C64)
  • Delta V
  • Demonworld
  • Descent: Freespace - The Great War
  • Descent 3
  • Die Höhlenwelt Saga: Der Leuchtende Kristall
  • Dominion
  • Dragon Lore II: The Heart of the Dragon Man
  • Druid: Daemons of the Mind
  • Dune
  • Dune II Battle for Arrakis
  • Dune 2000
  • Extreme Assault
  • Eye of the Beholder Trilogy
  • Fade to Black
  • FIFA International Soccer
  • Flashback: The Quest for Identity
  • Freespace 2
  • Frontier: Elite II
  • Fury of the Furries
  • Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
  • Genesia
  • Heimdall
  • Heimdall 2: Into the Hall of Worlds
  • Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller
  • Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death
  • Holiday Island
  • Ikari Warriors (C64)
  • Incubation: Battle Isle Phase Four
  • Incubation: Mission Pack
  • IndyCar Racing
  • Inferno: The Odyssey Continues
  • Innocent until Caught
  • Ishar Trilogy
  • KISS: Psycho Circus - The Nightmare Child
  • Lands of Lore
  • Legends of Valour: Volume 1 - The Dawning
  • Little Big Adventure: Twinsen's Adventure
  • Loopz (Amiga)
  • Lords of Magic
  • Lost Vikings
  • LucsArts Classic Adventures
  • Magic Carpet Hidden Worlds
  • Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares
  • Men in Black: The Game
  • Microcosm
  • Noctropolis
  • Novastorm
  • Pandemonium
  • Pictionary: The Game of Quick Draw (C64)
  • Prehistorik 2
  • Prisoner of Ice
  • Protostar: War on the Frontier
  • Quarantine
  • Quest for Glory III: Wages of War
  • R-Type (C64)
  • R.O.M. Gold: Rings of Medusa
  • Realms (The can onl be one)
  • Realms of the Haunting
  • Rebel Moon Rising
  • Rent a Hero
  • RexNebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender
  • Ringworld: Revenge of the Patriarch
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not!: The Riddle of Master Lu
  • Rival Realms
  • Robinson's Requiem
  • S.T.O.R.M
  • Sacrifice
  • Sensible Soccer: European Champions - 92/93 Edition
  • Shannara
  • Shivers
  • Shivers Two: Harvest of Souls
  • Sid Meier's Civilization II
  • Sid Meier's Civilization III
  • SimCity 2000
  • SimCity Classic
  • Space Hulk
  • Space Marines: Der stählerne Kaiser
  • Space Quest 5: The Next Mutation
  • Space Quest 6: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier
  • The Space Quest Saga: Roger Wilco
  • Star Trek: 25th Anniversary
  • Star Trek: Elite Force
  • Star Trek: Generations
  • Star Trek: Armada
  • Star Trek: New Worlds
  • Star Trek: Starfleet Academy
  • Star Wars: Tie Fighter
  • Star Wars: Tie Fighter
  • Star Wars: X-Wing
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter
  • Star Wars: Rebel Assault
  • Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter - Balance of Power Campaigns
  • StarCraft
  • StarCraft: Brood War
  • Stellar 7
  • SuperKarts
  • Swiv 3D
  • Syndicate Plus
  • Syndicate: American Revolt
  • Synnergist
  • Tachyon: The Fringe
  • Take no Prisoners
  • Talisman
  • Tempest 2000
  • Terminal Velocity
  • The Daedalus Encounter
  • The Dagger of Amon Ra
  • The Journeyman Project
  • The Last Dynasty
  • The Lawnmower Man
  • The Settlers III
  • The Settlers IV
  • Time Commando
  • Torin's Passage
  • Transport Tycoon
  • Turrican II: The Final Fight
  • Unreal
  • Utopia: Creation of a Nation
  • WarCraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal
  • Warcraft III Battle Chest
  • Waterworld
  • Whale's Voyage
  • Whale's Voyage II: Die Übermacht
  • Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi - Special Operations 1
  • Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi - Special Operations 2
  • Wing Commander: Privateer
  • World of Aden: Entomorph - Plague of the Darkfall
  • World of Warcraft
  • World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade
  • World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
  • World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Litch King
  • Worms
  • X-Beyond the Frontier
  • Zool
  • Zork: Grand Inquisitor

RetroGamer Magazin: Ultimate Guide to California Games

posted 2024-06-02 16:03:54

California Games was a huge hit for Epyx and thus released on a lot of platforms back in the day. RetroGamer mag takes a look at all the versions out there in Load 259.

Big Box Pixels

posted 2024-02-16 22:33:00

With pixeling for the C64 being my new love and of course still loving my big boxes too, it only was a matter of days before those two worlds crashed into each other and formed something exiting! Below, a work-in-progress screenshot of my BigBoxPixel.

It's a HiRes picture (with expanded borders) showing the first 21 games turned from 2k textures into tiny 8x40 spines using only a hint of color due to the C64's restrictions. But still, I'm sure most of the boxes are recognizable, so enjoy figuring out what's on this 8-bit shelf

Pixel Pushing

posted 2024-02-14 21:29:00
Pixel Pushing

OK, I've got somewhat carried away this week by joining the C64GFX.Com CharSet Logo Compo 2024 and working on my first CharSet pix. There wasn't really any concept to follow but I stumbled along while learning the graphic modes as well as the editors (Petmate and PETSCII Editor) I used.

For the PETSCII pic, I've fooled around with tiles, as in ceramic tiles and one thing lead to another an a 3DBBG (short for my social media handle @3DBigBoxGames) thingy appeared waiting to be tweaked over and over again:

Next, I tried my luck with HiRes mode, which means, pixels and color are separated and thus easier to handle. Well, it got all out of hand and I've ended up with the whole screen filled and (almost) all the available colors used in a bright fever dream color splash. One of the problems that arised is, that there's no logo there and reworking the charset to have once again 3DBBG or something there felt too tedious. I've somewhat fixed it by making this the core and just turned it into "Oh, no! What logo?" and called it quits

The competition runs from Feb 7th to April 30th, so there's still time to join in. Voting will be May 1st to May 14th.

Make sure to check out all the submitted entries:

RetroGamer Magazine: Legay of System Shock

posted 2024-02-08 21:56:01

With Nightdive Studios working on their System Shock remaster, RetroGamer magazine sat down with them and Jon Chey, the lead programmer of Shock 2, for discussing the series' beginnings, how it could be updated and what's up with Shock 3. It's a lenghy 8-page article well worth the read.

This article appeared in Load 249.

Retro Reading

posted 2024-02-08 21:24:00

The other day, a I received a mail from RetroGamer Magazine telling me, that I can now access the complete backlog of the mag thanks to my ongoing subscription.

Your new benefits

* You've unlocked 253 digital back issues, worth a massive €1,087
* Free unlimited access - all back issues are available now
* Read all the new (and old) issues on-the-go

Don't forget, you can access your digital subscription via the App Store on iOS devices, or via Pocketmags if you want to read on Android or desktop.

Full of excitement, I've opened my PocketMag app and, well, there's now 90+ issues to read through, but that's far from the whole archive. Re-reading the mail again, I've found the following footnote:

PocketMags library may not have access to the full archive of digital back issues.

Bummer. I don't own any Apple devices.

Anyway, I've been a reader since day one of the relaunch back in 2005 and had a subscription till 2013 (which I re-newed in 2022), which means, I do have a huge pile of printed issues that are now — more or less — old enough to be considered retro themselves. That said, I've started digging through them and I'm gonna link all the relevant articles in short blog posts and add them to the related 3D boxes.

But first, here's the first ever issue that I've gotten my hands on. I do remember the day very well; I was in Wels at the train station waiting to return to Vienna and had some time to kill and usually that meant hitting the Kiosk, browsing through computer magazines and there it was: Rubber Love. A high-quality, oversized magazine looking for my attention and I couldn't believe at first what I was seeing. A whole magazine dedicated to old computers? Ignoring the price tag, it was mine and the 2h journey went by in the blink of an eye with me reading through the mag. The articles were fantastic and to top it off, there were pixelated screenshots spread out over two whole pages. It was magical!

From then on, I've not only grabbed the latest issue at the train station each month but also tracked down the first 18 issues via eBay to complete my collection and sometime later — after almost missing one issue — I've gifted myself a subscription and was happy for the following years.

Things you have to do when playing IK

posted 2024-02-05 22:22:22

I really do like to revisit International Karate (and its sequel) a lot; it's a perfect game. The music is fantastic and the sound effects crunchy — yeah, yeah, Exploding Fist fans, I hear you disagreeing — and the controls, again, perfect.

Throwing punches and kicks is simply magical but there's more.


The game's timing is pure bliss too. After sending your opponent to the ground, there's a couple of seconds that you can hold your pose for extra awesomeness and just get back to your stance right when the points are announced. Yes, show that you're 100% in control over every single muscle in your body. Show the audience that this punch or kick was not luck button mashing but the exact strike that you've envisioned and then executed flawlessly. Ahh,... the satisfaction.


Another thing I'm always aiming for is a perfect first round. Sommersault + flykick, sommersault + flykick, sommersault + flykick. Jep, three times with one half-point and two full points. All that with 27 seconds left.

Latest Pickups: Indy Jones and more

posted 2024-02-02 16:36:00

A couple of games arrived today, all small boxes but definitely pretty ones.

  • Drakensang (Gold Edition)
  • The Witcher 2
  • Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
  • Darksiders (Hellbook Edition)

Will hopefully be scanned and uploaded soon.

Look at all these variants

posted 2024-02-01 21:37:00

Gameroom Ramblings shared a post where he wondered why some games have different box art and well, that's a good question.

My latest purchase [...] made me wonder once again why publishers in different regions decided that different box art was needed.


Me, I have of course also come across variants too. We're not talking about small layout shifts here, those are often necessary due to translated names and tag lines as well as to make space for huge USK labels, but completely different art. Here's a couple of examples from my shelf:


For some, I do like the European variant a bit more (e.g. MDK), while others, I definitely prefer the US take (e.g. Last Ninja 2) but all in all, they all have their own reasons to exist. Looking at my sample, one major reason might just come down to having different publishers with a different line-up of games to cater and — like in the case of Epxy — their own style to follow and also marketing trying to match whatever's cool with the kids right now in their part of the world.

As a collector, I am, like GR, happy knowing that there's more than just the one box art out there, waiting to be stumbled upon and put onto my shelf.

Retrogamer Magazine: Making of Diablo II

posted 2024-02-01 20:06:00

The latest issue — load 255 that is — of Retrogamer mag just dropped and guess what, there's a six page Making of article in it about Diablo II.

Hi-res Hell

posted 2024-01-31 21:01:00

Blizzard added the original Diablo to battle.net the other day and with this, why not take a quick look at how to run the game.

Sure, it's been on gog.com for quite a while now, and sure, this version does support higher resolutions that the game would be rendered in, but how about making good use of those additional pixels?

In comes DevilutionX, a open source port of the game, that "strives to make it simple to run the game while providing engine improvements, bugfixes, and some optional quality of life features". Well, yes please!

All the colors

posted 2024-01-29 21:07:00

I was surprised how dark my Turbo OutRun screenshots turned out to be. Settings on my micro64 were tweaked to mimic how I remember what C64 games looked like on our ol' portable color TV back in the day but never really checked the overall parameters and thus went to far. So I've sat down and tweaked it some more to get a little bit more pop out of it without overdoing it.

All in all, it's a now brighter and a bit more saturated.

I've also remembered an old website where the "original" palette was calculated and a quick google brought up Calculating the color palette of the VIC II , where Pepto did all the math and low and behold, my tweaked micro64 with all the PAL emulation bells and whistles comes pretty close to those colors now too.

Cruisin' in the Arcade

posted 2024-01-25 00:00:00

After yesterday's short session with Turbo OutRun, I've sat down and played the Arcade version today. It's astonishing how many of the effects as well as the overall mood of the game could be ported over to the humble C64.

The colorful changes of scenery has also been ported flawlessly with the blazing red sun of Indianapolis IMHO even better looking in 8big

Here's some screenshots

Crusin'

posted 2024-01-24 00:00:00

Ever since I've played the original OutRun on C64, I've been a fan. Sure, it's not the best version out there to play OutRun, but it was all we had. Then, Turbo OutRun came along with fancier music, fancier graphics and fancier tech overall and it was a blast. While the controls aren't as tight as in the origial, it had so much more to offer that we didn't really care.

With a copy of the game now proudly sitting on my shelf, I booted up the game once again and I have to say, it's still a lot of fun.

Here's some screenshots:

Yay, sampled music \o/

First stage with gfx putting the original to shame

Minimal changes, maximal effect. Love it!

Time for tuning our car

Loosing the girl while the band jams.

Well, didn't get that far, did I?

Birthday!

posted 2023-09-20 14:48:55

Happy Birthday #Daggerfall 😍

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Hi, Benjamin here

I'm a nerd living in Vienna, Austria and host of this site. You can get in touch with me via benjamin@bigboxcollection.com and over at Twitter @3DBigBoxGames.

It all started back in 1988 on the humble C64 before moving on to DOS/Win with GameBoy, SNES, and N64 on the side, so to speak. I'm not only a gameer but also a collector, although I didn't set out to be one; I just kept all the games that I've bought over the years. Well, until 2005ish at least. That's when big box games got replaced with first smaller boxes and then later DVD cases until Steam and gog.com came around and we all went digital on PC.

However, back in 2012, I stumbled upon a new release for Commodore 64 called C64anabalt, and guess what?

It's a physical release! In a box! A (very) small one, but a box!

With finding C64anabalt, my love for boxed games was reigneted, and I began to track down all the games I had only owned as budget release, as well as all the classics that I had always wanted to play but never had the chance to. Classifieds and eBay offered almost everything for a few bucks, and soon enough, I had more games than I could keep track of.

To share my growing collection online with other retro gamers, I started taking photos of my games. Although it worked, managing multiple photo albums and a private spreadsheet with all the data became quite cumbersome and far from ideal. I realized that combining both elements was the way to go — building upon my spreadsheet and creating a website that would showcase a virtual copy of my NerdWall™.

In 2015, I launched BigBoxCollection.com. Here, I host 3D models textured with high-resolution scans of my boxes, allowing visitors to click through and explore. The site has changed over the years staring with a more dark and gritty look before restarting with a clean one in May 2016. In 2023, I thought I'd add a dark theme but instead of just tweaking the CSS files, I've reimplemented the whole site, reworked mouse & touch controls and added features that I've always wanted to have but never found the time for like panning the 3D boxes as well as visualizing gatefolds.

Privacy statement

Purpose of the privacy policy

This privacy statement is for bigboxcollection.com, a site run by me, Benjamin Wimmer, and according to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), I have a duty to protect your personal data. In this statement, I outline which data is reached during the use of bigboxcollection.com, how it is collected, and also what I use this data for.

Data capture

Your data are collected by the following data processing operations.

Log data

Each time you access the website, the visit is recorded in a log file (server logs) for a period of 190 days with the following log data:

  • IP address of the enquirer
  • call method (GET, HEAD, PUT)
  • target address without HOST
  • minutes with version (e.g. HTTP/1.1)
  • name of the file retrieved and amount of data transferred
  • date and time of the retrieval
  • notification indicating whether the retrieval was successful
  • processing time of the request in microseconds
  • user agent used
  • SSL version used
  • referrer

This data is used for system security verification, error analysis and for statistical purposess.

Statistics

bigboxcollection.com counts how often a 3D box is viewed, from where the 3D box was accessed from and also tries to map those views to sessions. For this, the following data is processed:

  • 3D box accessed
  • IP address of the enquirer
  • user agent used
  • referrer

For mapping views to sessions, an anonymizised fingerprint is generated using a combination of the IP address and the user agent data. The fingerprint is generated using a one-way hash function with the given user data and other, internal data as input values. The provided input will always result in the same fixed length set of characters but it is impossible to determine what the original input was because the encryption algorithm only goes one way.

Adding other, internal data that's only known to bigboxcollection.com to the set of input data is done for forcing the result set's uniqueness, increasing its complexity and thus hightening the level of anonymization.

The fingerprint is used to clear the "Games, that have just been looked up"-panel on the starting page from the boxes that have been looked up during your current session and thus only show boxes from other sessions. Further, it is used to help spam detection.

The 3D box viewed, the provided referrer and the generated fingerprint are stored and used for internal statistics as well as for generating content for bigboxcollection.com, e.g. how often a box has been viewed so far and for generating the "Games, that have just been looked up"-panel.

Cookies

bigboxcollection.com does not use any cookies.

Data storage

To ensure the availability and reliability of bigboxcollection.com, I utilize the services of an external web hosting provider. This hosting provider securely stores and processes data associated with your interactions on the site. While I maintain responsibility for the data collected, certain technical aspects of data storage and server management are outsourced to the hosting provider. I have chosen a reputable hosting service committed to data security and privacy, and contractual agreements are in place to ensure compliance with relevant data protection laws.

Other than that, there is no transfer of your data to any other third parties.

SSL encryption

To ensure the secure transmission of data between your device and bigboxcollection.com, I utilize SSL technology. SSL is a cryptographic protocol that provides a secure connection by encrypting the data exchanged between your web browser and bigboxcollection.com. This encryption safeguards your personal information, such as IP addresses and user agents, during the transmission process, enhancing the overall security of your interactions with our website.

By using SSL, I aim to protect your data from unauthorized access and ensure that your online experience on bigboxcollection.com is conducted in a secure environment.

Data subject rights

You have the right to information about data concerning yourself, as well as the right to have data rectified or deleted. You have a right to restrict or to object to data processing, as well as the right to transfer data.

If you consider that your rights are not being complied with or are not being ad-equately complied with, you have the possibility to lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Authority.

Contact details

Benjamin Wimmer, Vienna, Austra
benjamin@bigboxcollection.com

Impressum

bigboxcollection.com is a private website run by

Benjamin Wimmer
Vienna, Austria

benjamin@bigboxcollection.com

Fight Club

What's the best looking box?

Sry, no such game found :-(
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