IF Archive is now keeping old versions of games

In the early days of the IF Archive, it made sense to only keep the latest version of any game (or tool, file, etc). DIsk space was expensive and the FTP browsing experience was clunky.

Those arguments haven’t been meaningful for a while now. Indeed, the Archive has long since started keeping old versions of compiler tools. If you want to compile an Inform 6 game, you need the library setup that it was originally built with. So it makes sense to archive those.

We didn’t really revisit the question for games, though. Until now!

As of this year, if you upload a new version of a game, the old version will be moved to an “old” subdirectory. For example, there are now directories called if-archive/games/glulx/old and if-archive/games/zcode/old.

We’re not trying to exhaustively fill in all the old versions that have been thrown away over the years. However, if you want to upload old versions of your games, feel free! Also, if you look at ifarchive.org/indexes/if-archive … eXold.html, you’ll see several old versions of Graham Nelson’s Curses which have been dug up in various places. (Curses is a historic landmark, we figure, so collecting old versions has interest.)

Some caveats:

  • Old versions will be renamed to include a release or serial number, so that several old versions of the same game can co-exist.
  • If a game is really huge, we may want to keep only one or two versions. We’ll discuss the details with authors when it happens.
  • Competition games will still follow the old policy, where the comp-release version stays in games/competition20xx and the post-comp release goes in games/platform. Subsequent releases will make use of games/platform/old, as described above.

time to dig into the Internet Archive’s collection of old CDs, once and for all… someone known how to deal with the Acorn User ones ? (I suspect that even pre-5 Inform survives in those images, but I can’t open/convert those Archimedes compressed files, nor I find a suitable tool) :slight_smile:

EDIT: OTOH, from the r.a.i.f. archives seems that there’s something whose can be termed “lost treasures of r.a.i.f.”, example, someone was porting Advent into AdvSys, but never completes the work, AFAIK (I’m mid-93 in my slow perusal (BTW, I’m actually an historian by trade…)

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

Huzzah! This is nice.

Would a future update possibly be considered that HTML games with assets could be set up in a folder that’s not zipped with the correct structure? That way, we could have the “Play Online” button from IFDB work and the game would be able to be played online with multimedia.

I guess this is essentially hosting the game, and I suppose that’s where it gets bandwidth-intensive. Just an idea, though.

No, I specifically don’t want to do this on the ifarchive.org site. It would be a reasonable service to provide on a different site.

It would be possible for a proxy to handle the unzipping of resources like that.

I think philome.la, itch.io, and textadventures.co.uk all make for better hosting sites than IF Archive + IFDB, in terms of the user experience for the player. They are also more self-service than the IF Archive, so authors don’t have to wait for human intervention (and the mirrors to propagate) before their URL is live. It’s better to think of the archive as a backup site, rather than the primary site for your game.

Good suggestions. If I have an HTML game file with 50 separate images and sounds (which I would normally include in a zip that is downloaded) can any of those sites offer a “play online” function?

I know itch offers a play online box, but I remember some people couldn’t get Inform games to work from the published interpreter.

I need to look more into textadventures.co.uk. I know that’s Quest and they do offer hosting of other types of games. Is it a large, potentially untapped audience?

re: itch, that’s news to me, and sounds bad. Does anybody have more technical details?

Thanks for the posting.