Torchlight Steam Code Giveaway: The Game That Got You Into PC Gaming

TPG, in association with Runic Games, is giving giving away five (5) Steam codes for their dungeon crawling RPG, Torchlight.  To enter, tell us a story about the game (or games) that made you become a fan of PC gaming and why it had such an impact on you.  Already own Torchlight?  Enter anyway and give the code to a friend.

Rules and details are inside.

The Rules:

  • No Profanity
  • One entry, per person, per e-mail address, per IP
  • 48 Hours Only
  • Post your first name and last initial
  • Post your story about becoming a fan of PC gaming

TPG team members will decide on winners based on their favorite stories.  The individuals with winning entries will be contacted via e-mail with their Steam code shortly after the contest has concluded.

This contest is now over.  Thanks to everyone who participated.  The winners are: Brian, Anthony, Michael, Kevin and whoiii.

25 thoughts on “Torchlight Steam Code Giveaway: The Game That Got You Into PC Gaming

  1. I will start this one.

    My very first PC game was Earl Weaver Baseball. I spent the better part of 1989 not only playing the game, but inputting statistical information on every player in the Majors based on the 1988 season. I played as my hometown, Oakland Athletics, where I ended up playing the World Series against the Chicago Cubs. EWB was far and away the best baseball simulator of its time. I played other baseball on consoles like RBI, Bases Loaded and World Series Baseball, but none of them could offer what EWB did for me. I guess being a stats nut helps too.

    A year or so later, I came across a game called, Circuits Edge. Looking back on the game now, it could be considered one of the first Cyberpunk titles on the PC. It has obviously been a while, but I remember sneaking into my parents bedroom while they were sleeping (they had the PC there to keep an eye on what I was doing) and playing for hours.

    Fast forward to 2000. I had dropped out of the video game scene for quite a while with the only games I really played between 1994-2000 were Final Fantasy VII, A Link To The Past, Madden and Super Mario World. My cousin got a Voodoo 5 5000 (I think) which came bundled with Deus Ex and Unreal Tournament. He did not want either of them so he gave them to me. I had a very old system at the time. It had a Cyrix CPU and probably a few megs of SIMM RAM. It was the first PC I tore apart and upgraded. I remember some of the pins being pinched together because the previous owner looked like he lost the jumper. Anyway, I upgraded a few things and started playing Dues Ex. I had never been engrossed into a story like what Deus Ex offered. Plus the crazy fun of UT also added to my enjoyment. A few yeas after that, I picked up Max Payne, High Heat 2001 and Golden Bear Challenge.

    I have been a fan of PC gaming ever since.

  2. It is quite old. X-Com:UFO Defense, it’s a really really awesome ! If I didnt play it, I’d not play PC Game even now. 

  3. ah, Civilization II made me a PC gaming addict, never played anything on a console 🙂
    Hours of tweaking the best buildings of your cities on one of these pink iMac G3’s, loved it!

  4. I become a true fan since 1999 i was just 9 yers old kid. before that i was playing nintedno games. One time my brother showed me one internet cafe not far from me. I remember i was playing Worms Armagedon and Half-Life. but become a true PC fan from Half-Life i was so amazed ot this game. graphic and the gameplay. for that time to have a pc in your home was very expesnsiv. I remember when my mom give me money for food i was spendig them to the internet cafes. I miss that time it was such a wonderfull times 🙂

  5. The 80s the last century. My father bought me a C64. I always used to play arcade games or sports. And then I knew the game Elite. This game rules! And because English is not my first language, thanks to this game I started to learn it. With the dictionary in the hands, I conquered outer space! Elite, Frontier and First Encounters, even today attract me to the monitor. This is the best game series ever created.

    • Great story, Chris. How much did the game help English once you got older? Did it help in school? I vaguely remember playing the C64. It was a football game which had licensed teams and players.

      • As you see, it did not help much 🙂
        In school, unfortunately, I learned the German language. I learned English on their own, at home. And thanks to this game, I bought (mean, my mom bought), the first dictionary. Later, it was just better – I found a more complex game. Maniac Mansion, Zack McKracken and many other games with lots of text. But I still feel affection for Elite and Frontier is for me the best game of all time.

  6. It began with a curious episode involving sentient tentacles, time-traveling toilets, and our Founding Fathers. Yes, I speak of Day of the Tentacle, the classic Lucasarts adventure game. I remember just how zany it was to mess around with George Washington and Ben Franklin and send stuff through time and save humanity from tentacle domination (that sounds kinda wrong). You couldn’t do stuff like that on consoles back then, it was all platformers and JRPGs, stuff that could be done with four arrows and two buttons. Point and click graphic adventures were the mainstay of PC gaming, like hunting around the room for hotspots, collecting weird items, combining them with stuff, using them on the environment, talking to people. It told an epic story in a deeply interactive way, and led me to all the other adventure games out there – the space quests, simon the sorcerers, etc. That was truly the golden age of PC gaming. — Kevin N

    • Thanks for the story, Kevin. LucasArts created some fine PC games in the 80s and 90s. Point-and-Click games have gone the way of the “casual” market, which is sad because the stereotype is just not true. For example, games like Nancy Drew, Clockwork Man and Dark Strokes are fine examples of great PAC games.

      Now we just need to get a good X-Wing vs TIE Fighter reboot.

  7. We always had a PC in our home growing up, though I spent all of my gaming time in from the my TV with an NES controller in hand. However, that changed in middle school when my brothers and I received a fancy new computer for Christmas (you know, one of those new PCs with a DVD drive in it). Having no knowledge of PC gaming at the time, my brothers and I began browsing the internet for that one game that was going to define this new toy of ours. Over the course of the next year or so we ended up with several amazing games such as System Shock 2, Diablo 2, and SimCity 2000. Despite the quality of these games, I still found myself spending far more time with my consoles.

    Things changed the day my brother brought home the Heroes of Might and Magic Compilation (it contained the first three installments of the series). Our computer ran Heroes 3 at such a low frame rate that we were forced to play Heroes 2, but that didn’t matter. I was hooked. I had never played any game like it. It was a breath of fresh air from all the platformers I spent my time playing.

    However, my love for Heroes 2 caused one problem: the little tease I received from playing Heroes 3 was always in the back of my mind. Even at unplayably low frame rates, I knew it had to be better than Heroes 2. And if Heroes 2 was already one of the best games I had ever played, what would Heroes 3 be like?

    Presumably by a clever use of words, I convinced my Dad to upgrade the computer so we could play Heroes 3. We had already paid for the game, so we shouldn’t let it go to waste, right? At this point I believe my normal life ceased to exist, because all I can remember happening for the next year (maybe it two?…it couldn’t have been three could it?) is playing Heroes 3.

    I remember one night particularly when a friend and I pulled a nearly 24 hour Heroes 3 session. This was not planned. Even in the midst of it we never acknowledged how much time we had spent. It just happened. The tiny office that housed the PC got so hot. Not only from the computer, but we were still running a CRT monitor. So by hour 8 or so, it had to have been nearly 80 degrees in there. But it didn’t matter. The momentary breaks to use the restroom while the other person took their turn was all we needed to keep going. For me, this night defines not only Heroes 3, but what is so amazing about PC gaming. There is such a plethora of titles available that you just never know when your going to come across that next game that takes over your mind for weeks, months, or years; so I better play them all.

    • Thanks for posting, Michael. I also remember days where my room would be overbearingly hot due to the use of CRTs. I ran a small business fixing systems and I would have 4 or more going at one time. This with me hating the heat in general made for some uncomfortable situations. I used a Dell 24″ CRT up until just a few years ago. The thing weighed over 80 lbs so when I found a placed, it stayed there for a long while.

      How did you go about talking your Dad into upgrading? Was he privy to PC technology at the time?

      • Honestly, I don’t remember the specifics of how I convinced my Dad to upgrade. He wasn’t terribly knowledgable of PC tech at the time, but he was always looking for new projects to tinker with. So I think upgrading the PC gave him a new project to work on. Soon after he became the kind of guy that would look forward to spending his weekend making sure he had the latest version of every driver and program on the computer. Which was nice for me, because even though he never played a single game he would always keep track of the most recent patches and updates.

  8. As much as I would like to name drop some much older PC games the truth is I was a console gamer for most of my life. I still played PC games but my memories mostly involve watching my sister play old point-and-clickers like Myst and Clue. What really got me into PC gaming was a little game from 2004 called Rome: Total War. I had never seen a game with such an amazing sense of scale. fighting battles out in real time, and planning out the progress of my Empire on Macro scale. And the mods! To this day Rome has a thriving mod scene and I scoff at games without mod support. I owe it to that game that I’m such huge history nerd today, before it I had never heard of places like the Seleucid Empire, Parthia, or Dacia. Rome was my gateway into PC gaming and today I still count among my favorite games.

    • No need to make something out of nothing, Anthony. One of our team members, Mike Bezek, did not get into PC gaming until a little while back. If a game released a few years ago made you a PC gamer, then that is your story. It does not matter if you grew up in the 80s playing on old 386 machines or started PC gaming last month.

      The Total War series is pretty good, but I with the exception of StarCraft, I have never been able to get into the RTS genre. I have tried games like Empire At War, Company of Heroes and Sins of a Solar Empire, but I lose interest quickly.

      • Oh I’m fine with my “PC gamer cred” its just I had an entire post written out about Myst until I realized I’d never actually played it, I just watched my sister play it.

        You seem to be the complete opposite of me when it comes to RTS, I can never play StarCraft because you are always thinking about or doing something. I prefer slower games like Total War or Paradox grand strategy games where I can pause and think over my actions.

  9. As a youngster at an age of 3, I had been exposed to my father’s Commodore Vic-20.
    The bizarre oversized brown keyboard-for-a-computer was attached to an older television with faux-wood paneling and ridiculous metallic knobs.

    I began loading games from cartridge and data cassette with the help of my parental units, but the cumbersome nature of it + sometimes lack of availability of that help lead to me exploring the stack of books that came with the machine. Among them were a couple “Learning BASIC” programming books, complete with game programs to type out and run. Well before the age of three, I was copying these games keystroke-by-keystroke and playing them, and later altering numbers and things to see what effect they would have on the program.

    I had no concept of “saving” data or file management, so I would have to retype it all each time with my tiny poke-and-pecking hands.

    They were strange years for a young man of that age, but I think it was pretty clear in retrospect that I would end up being both a gamer and some kind of computer-using creative type in my adult life.

  10. I had two games that made me a fan of PC gaming; Baldur’s Gate, and The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. The first time that I played Baldur’s Gate I created my noble paladin character and sent him out to kill evil. Got to see the cut scene of Gorion using his epic spells before he died, and immediately made a mage character. Looked around a while, recruited an evil mage and thief, and then came across a big guy labeled “Ogre.” Well, there were four of us, two being mages, “Ogre” did not stand a chance. One hit and I was dead. Even though I died a lot in the beginning, Baldur’s Gate helped net me into PC gaming.
    With Morrowind it was the scope, and well, the alienness of the game that thoroughly drew me in. Also, I could pretty much do whatever I wanted. I ignored the main quest until I wanted to play it. I killed someone and took their house and used it as a storage spot for everything. I, unknowingly, went through the noob ritual of being beaten to death by a bum. Like Baldur’s Gate, Morrowind had this sort of addictive quality to it that was enjoyable, and made me a PC gamer.

  11. Well a story for you is it. I am an older gamer and can go all the way back the beginning in the mid seventies, but the game that truly hooked me to the PC and it’s power was M.A.X.

    Mechcanized assult and Exploration by at that time infogames. MAX came with a complete story line and deep background in the form of a thick manual that told a massive backstory to the game you were playing. The game is a well thought out and just fun to play, but best of all it gave you the feeling of being a master General allowing you to drw back to near orbit or jump right down to a single vechile.The big to small picture was thrilling and just hooked me into the power that the PC and how deep the gameplay could get. It had bugs and crashes but it was a great game nonetheless.

    Fron there I was hooked to the poer and depth a PC game could deliver. Console games were about, but they seemed like small mazes you were forced to run through to reach the end only to pop out big bucks for another maze. The Pc offered replayabilty and big concepts to match. I set out to find games able to offer up up to the same experience. Turns out they were others to follow from masters of Oriion to modren vesrsions like the Command and conqueor universe. However I never forgot MAX and mourned when Operating systems outgrew it and left it behind. For Infogames MAX was a peak point. They went on making games but never any as good or as deep.

    Imangine my susprize when I found a game site a few years ago called GOG and they were selling a version of MAX that had been tweaked to run on modren systems. I snapped it up and renew a now twenty year old freindship. I can be found with a wide range of games on my hard drive these days, but I will alway be most happy when MAX is one of them. Old long time gamer signing. Hope you enjoyed the tale.

    • Thanks for the story. I did find your tale enjoyable. I was born in 1976 and missed out on the early days of PC gaming because I just was not interested since I got an NES when I was 9. I have heard many other stories, like yours, which put GOG at the pinnacle of PC gaming due to bringing back once beloved older titles.

      I would like to ask if you believe there are aspects to PC gaming that were better in those days as opposed to now. Not looking at the time with nostalgia glasses, mind you.

      • Well for one, it was new and un-explored territory so a fair number of games brought new concepts to the table to play with. Add to that most older players can spin you a tale of when the things that they always wanted to be able to do on a computer suddenly came to fruition, and magic ensued. One such game for me was the bit Brothers Z. Suddenly you were taking and holding territtory and it was darn funny to boot. Sigh I would love to see the Z series pop up on Gog one day.

        Another thing the older games did was really pay attention to fine details and backstory. That is now showing up in all the cinamatic games like the wing commander/ freelancer series and many other curret titles, but for a long while there was a dearth of it.

        There are tons of new games a bunch from indie titles that are finding new approaches, a great one on my hard drive would be Rock Of Ages and Orcs Must Die. Note that the big game makers get a succesful title they rehash it and drive it into the ground {see mass effect three}. In my mind the big companies will end up surviving by snapping up indie titles that get big, but the future in innovation belongs to the risk taking indies whose games I buy with shocking regularity. It is going to be inersting to see where gaming is in five years.

      • Graphically, I do not believe you will see much more boundary pushing outside of a true virtual reality/holodeck type scenario. Game companies are eventually will need to move back to good story telling and other long untouched genres. I look at Amnesia as a nice example of where gaming could be heading.

  12. Figured I may as well spam my 2cents here (= I rushed it so I’d keep it shorter this time around.

    Never really thought about it before now but I was actually really lucky as a kid (technology wise). I grew up playing with my Dad on his Amiga 1200. Gods, Uridium, Zool & Cannon Fodder were my games of choice. A few years later my brother was given a PSX which we’d play on together, well I say play on together, I mostly mean watch him play it then I’d play it myself after he went out (he wasn’t keen on sharing and still isn’t tbh).

    Fast forward to Christmas of 1999 is when it all changed for me though as not long before that my parents had split up and my brother and I we’re distraught, constantly fighting and at loose ends, unsure of how to deal with it naturally. That Christmas however the second to last present I opened happened to be a brand spanking new copy of Unreal Tournament, I had no idea what this was at the time as my gaming experience was really quite narrow but it looked incredible from the case and so (according to my mother) I jumped up clutching UT, ran for the door and shouted thanks instantly upon exiting (kind of like the nintendo-sixty-phwoar video only far less epic, ok not really) to visit what was known unanimously as ‘the computer room’ (even by my granddad who couldn’t speak a word of English).

    Well apparently I ended up staying in there up until dinner was served and I was told to eat, so that would’ve be roughly 6-7 hours. Can you blame me though? The game was incredible! It had huge, vibrant 3D environments, incredibly fast and dynamic gameplay, tonnes of weapons and modes, all controlled by the beautiful precision of KB+Mouse. The fact I could even play against real people from around the world was mind-blowing and the feeling you got from outplaying someone, a real person was fantastic it gave me shivers down my spine. Frankly, it was the first time I realised I was actually really good at something and thoroughly enjoyed doing it at the same time, nearly everyday from that Christmas till UT2004 was released I played it (except when I went on holidays ofc), the disc barely left the drive except for demos from the PC mags my Dad would buy!

    Tl;dr Parents split up, naturally felt rubbish, started playing PC games (Unreal Tournament especially), felt better about myself as I was quite good and had a lot of fun, became a happy kid again. I actually still have my Amiga and the PSX too in my loft and my original copy of UT! Wish I had a camera.. I would seriously get them down and take a picture, they all still work too… The phrase “they don’t make ’em like they used to” comes to mind.

    • You need a Tl;dr for your Tl;dr. 😉

      Thanks for sharing, Tom. Parents can be funny sometimes. “The box looked good, so the game must be good too!” I remember downloading the UT demo (before my cousin just gave me the game as I described above) at 24.4. I think it took 3-4 hours to finally complete. It was worth it. I played that more than any other demo since.

      Sorry to hear about your parents. I cannot understand how you were feeling, but I am glad you found something to ease the pain.

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