They certainly do.
It’s possible, but inconvenient, to replicate (let’s say) a 40x25 non-proportional character layout in some modern interpreters. Easier in many cases to just drag a disk image into an emulator and get the (more-or-less) real deal.
It’s harder to replicate the “ooh, something’s happening! I did a thing that worked!” loading delay from disk on modern hardware, but you get it in an emulator or on real old hardware.
I am a terrible programmer and I just cannot get at all interested in I7. It looks like I’m being asked to chant at the computer for what I want. That makes me bad with all of the alternatives, but at least it doesn’t feel oogy. (And yes I am also in the category of aged eccentrics who looks askance at the idea that a “hello world” game should take up over a quarter-megabyte of disk, or whatever it’s up to these days.)
In no particular order or sequence, over the past few years these happened:
- The revival of DAAD, a late-80s format which was itself the successor to some popular formats of the mid-80s
- More cross-pollenation between this scene (which has generally been focused on the best-available tech of its day) and Euro-dominated retro adventure scene which has stayed pretty true to its 8/16-bit roots.
- The release of the Infocom code and ZILF getting over the tipping point to “usable by normal human beings, for some definition of ‘normal’”
- The niche commercial releases of retro-styled games with marketing that plays that style up as a feature rather than a punishment
- The development of the lightweight I6 libs, which stem directly from some of the above
- And yes Dialog too.
(and, tons of Commodore 64s and 128s survive to this day and work just fine. It was the 16 and +4 lines which self-destruct if you look at them sideways. The original C64 breadbox keyboard is kind of brutal in retrospect because the angle is basically “the opposite of ergonomic.” This affected a lot of Commodore design in the Tramiel era. I remember talking to an ergonomics expert a couple of decades ago, when laptops were starting to creep in as a de facto choice for office desktop computing, who groaned “they’ve reinvented the Commodore PET, and that was the worst design in history!” or something along those lines. Oh, and then there’s the SX64’s mushtastic keyboard which is indeed a crime, but usually people mention that specifically if that’s what they mean.)