What is the role of ifarchive now?

I’m all ready to release version 3 of A Killer Headache, but looking at ifarchive.org, I’m not sure I really know the right way to go about that. Is ifarchive.org still the definitive place to keep new works, or is it more of a historical record now?

I’ve noticed that recent releases like Shuffling Around and Kerkerkruip 7 are hosted in other locations and maybe they aren’t even on the ifarchive. Is this typical? Is this recommended?

A simple how-to would be lovely but lengthy diatribes would be acceptable if necessary. I want to accomplish the following:

  • Make Release 3 of A Killer Headache available, and make it the default for anyone who wants to go out and play it.
  • Make older versions of A Killer Headache also available.
  • Make the full-size cover art available, replacing the thumbnail that clobbered it during the comp submission, wherever it is currently found.
  • Update the walkthrough file with the slightly nicer edited version I just made, wherever Release 3 can be found.


Speaking as someone who helps keep the Archive running, my view is: the Archive is the place to store IF work (and related information). It is backed up, it is mirrored, it will not go away or turn into something else. The Archive does not try to be the most convenient way to find IF or play it – IFDB does that better – but it is a way. If, in ten years, somebody wants a copy of some game that came out in 2008, it will be possible to grab the Archive index file, look that puppy up, and download the file.

Not everybody chooses to make use of this service, but it is what we offer.

Since the Archive is not optimized for playability, it doesn’t cover all of your bullet points. In particular we do not try to keep older versions of games (modulo some special treatment for IFComp releases). We will not generally have separate URLs for playable game, viewable cover art, and game file – it’s simpler to upload a zip file containing everything, and let us deal with that single file.

So it will generally be worth hosting your own web site for a game. I have a web site for all of my own games (which, by the way, I need to update tonight). Or you could decide to rely on the IFDB page as the game’s “home site” – maybe that covers all of what you want.

However, if a hundred authors create web pages for their games, X% of them will be gone in Y years. That’s life on the Internet. I would like those games to still be available in some form. The Archive offers that.

Fair enough. I didn’t realize a zip file would be easier to handle - I didn’t include the updated cover art and walkthrough in my submission. The form asks for what url you think it should be located at - I thought games/glulx would be right, but now I wonder if games/competition2012/glulx/headache was a better answer. It seems weird because this is a post-comp release, but if ifarchive is more about keeping the latest version, maybe that’s ok?

This is more for David to answer, but the rule is that we keep games/competitionXXXX as the original Comp release, and put updates in games/ZZZZ.

I always viewed the archive for what it proclaims itself to be: an archive. For newer authors it’s free hosting; if they don’t need it, then they may overlook the Archive entirely. Like Zarf said, it will hopefully be a safe place where the games won’t disappear. Submitting a game to the archive is making sure it lives on, as permanently as possible.

The other way to ensure that is of course to give it to Peter!

Chances are I’ll already have it. :wink:

Seriously though, I’m nowhere near as complete as the archive. I have games for most systems, and accompanying documentation, as much as I could find. The archive is a treasure trove of magazines, games of more obscure systems, emulators, interpreters, hints, walkthroughs… it’s a beauty, when you stop to consider it.

In my case, my release is a Beta, and I think it still needs shaking out before it’s worthy of the IF Archive. I don’t want to send them Any Old Release, and in fact, I still have notes somewhere of things to add. I just have a feeling I’m missing a bad bug with all I added.

I definitely really like the archive and will be using it to add/update the walkthrough and logical workthrough of the tougher puzzles for SA. I think it’s a great resource & it’s cool to see the people who maintain it explaining what it can be for in this thread.