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.)
- 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.