ASCII by Jason Scott

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A Buffet of Backwards Looking —

Here’s some links from around the internet that have captured my attention and interest in the last bit of time. I don’t often write these, but I like to think the stuff that interests me ranges from obscure to unexpected. Let’s see how this little experiment goes.

From The Past To The Future: Tim Sweeney Talks

Excellent interview by Benj Edwards about Tim Sweeney, who started Epic Megagames, worked on the Unreal Engine and Gears of War… but also was heavily involved with Shareware and adventure gaming at the beginning of the company’s life, and covers it to a pleasurable amount thanks to Benj’s excellent questions. Note that his work ZZT is all over cd.textfiles.com if you want to look it over.

1200 Baud

The Retrogeek weblog at Shardcore almost never posts, but when one shows up, it’s a doozy. This one is a great overview of cassette-based games and some aspects of the way they put all sorts of information into the cassette inserts. He has a small business example and a larger one, and even shows off a pretty crazy copy protection scheme utilizing color printing before color printing became commonplace.

Game Set Watch

When super-connected Simon Carless, editor of Gamasutra and man about gaming industry started a weblog full of little columns and entries, I felt bad because when he’d link to me I’d see almost no hits, a worrying situation. I don’t worry about him any longer, because he has assembled such a massive stable of entry posters, and sent them in so many directions, that his pages are filled, absolutely filled, with a treasure trove of gaming related information. Obviously my interests are in retro subjects, and maybe music and maybe interviews of a personal sort, but there’s such a mass of information at this site that I hope it gets remixed, sometime in the future, into the library/encyclopedia of information it already is. I can hope, right? Highlights include Game Mag Weaseling, which is a world-class overview of game magazines past and present, and The Game Anthropologist, which covers gaming communities in a way that we’ll want to check on in a decade.

ClassicGaming.com

Also known as classicgaming.gamespy.com, this is an absolute treasure trove of reviews, download, artifacts and library of games long past, featuring one of a kind OH DID I MENTION THIS SITE IS GOING OFFLINE? Yes, in the most quiet way possible (a forum post), it was announced that a money/tech decision is killing this invaluable site of gaming history and putting it into the trash bin in August of this year. Hope people can get what they can before it dies!

Hey, I didn’t say it was all going to be good news… enjoy the links.


Categorised as: computer history

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One Comment

  1. Andrew says:

    Yeah, the classic Gaming situation I need to get a head on. There is some time but I intended to get onto the archive teams IRC channel to discuss how I’d best go around sorting it out. Going to Paris next week won’t help my time situation for a week though, but I do intend to both do some crawling myself and get the administrators of the sites to provide back-end stuff if they’re available. There is another host putting up some space for moving over too though ( http://www.igda.org/preservation/archives/2009/05/ign_hosted_site.html ). I don’t actually know the extent of what is going, be it just classic gaming sites or all of gamespy or the vault and planet networks – I’ve been told it’s all of them, must investigate further…

    Anyway, 1200 Buad article is the only one of those I’ve not read, interesting! Thanks for using up some of my time, hehe :D (Doc Soft looks sooo cool, hah! and that protection scheme, damn, wow) bookmarked the feed too now.