Jump to content

Play It By Year and my other archival projects

Recommended Posts

I've been making "digging in the retro-crates" style software (but not only) collections for quite a few years now, and thought that despite being pretty niche, they might be of interest to some folks here. I'm also looking for feedback, bug reports, and contributions. 


Most of these are still WIP, since working on them is quite time consuming and can be quite repetitive, so I usually switch between them after releasing different versions to avoid topical burnout.


All of them are hosted on archive.org. I link to the first two because they are copyright hassle-free, the others maybe not so much. You can find them rather easily there though (either click on my nickname in the ArchiveRL, or search by keywords)


ArchiveRL - my first collection, it's basically a huge roguelike archive, aiming to collect every single classic RL from the dawn of time to AD 2019 (when the roguelite craze took over and it become impossible to differentiate these two styles). It's pretty much finished and "complete", though I'd still like to release additional "Versions" directory in the future. But, the search is always on for MIA games.


CRT SCR$ Project v0.1 - this one collects photos of CRT TVs and monitors in action. These contraptions are a dying and disappearing breed, so I'd like to preserve at least some footprint - even though it's extremely difficult, perhaps even impossible, to capture the "CRT look" 100%, due to some tricksy photography-related factors.  It's been at v0.1 for about a year now, over next two month v0.2 is coming though with a huge number of new photos from OG HW. I'm always looking for contibutions to this one, so if you have a CRT of any sort and are willing to snap some pics, give me a shout.


Play It By Year series - this one is dedicated to my chrono-gaming obsession. Basically, these are exhaustive game collections (containing hdd & fdd images), organised by-year and researched for accuracy according to respectable sources. Mostly aiming for 1G1R (one-game-one-rom) format and containing absolutely everything (so yes, "crap" games included, though these are often the a lot of fun). Despite their chrono-roots they can be also easily turned into comprehensive A-Z collections. I mostly use them on MiSTer FPGA myself, but they have also been tested on emulators, and hopefully should work fine on original HW, after adapting.


Apple II - possibly the best and most accurate AII collection out there (citation needed), even if I say so myself, and despite being only at v0.1 atm. Amazingly, despite Apple being so hugely influential, its software preservetion efforts are rather decentralized and lacking a dedicated website/database (at least comparable to meticulously researched soursecs available for other platforms). This collection is an attempt to somewhat unify and organise the available material. Version 0.2 should be coming by Summer 2023.


Amiga - perhaps my most beloved micro. I've just released v0.9, which covers years 1985-1995 and is basically a mirror of the Hall Of Light database. To consider it as "v1.0" I still have to add the "no year" games from HoL, which will take a bit of time, hopefully not too long though. In some future date I might add years 1996 and up, but for now it' s all about the Golden Era.


MS-DOS - this is a project inspired by the release of the excellent PC/XT core for the MiSTer FPGA. It contains all available games for years 1981-1989 (based on the Total Dos Collection). At the moment at version 0.3, which is actually more like "0.9" - nearly done.


Tandy & PCjr - and offshot of the MS-DOS thing, it tries to contain all the games with exclusive features for these platforms, as mentioned by @Great Hierophant in his excellent articles on the subject and the featured game list. Due to difficulties with establishing which version is which and what works and what doesn't, I consider the current release (v0.3) as "experimental". More updates coming up soon, bug and mistake reports + comments for this one would be most appreciated (the file tandyprobl.txt included there mentions most of my current headaches).



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

V1.0 of Amiga's Play It By Year collection is now up on archive. org (search for "amiga"+"akeley" or "play it by year").



V1.0 adds the "unknown" year 19xx from HoL, and the collection now should - in theory - represent a complete Hall Of Light database mirror for years 1985-1995 (sans compilations, duplicates, language versions, etc), plus some extra games not included there.  

The upcoming version 1.1 will add games which are in TOSEC but not in HoL yet.



Edited by youxia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I've released a new update for the Tandy / PCjr collection (search archive.org for "tandy play it by year").



Version 1.0 (released August 2023)
-some games added/removed according to the updated list
-added fixes for some games
-directories reorganised
-how-to section added to readme


It's been re-tested and reorganised and while still far from perfect, it's probably best I can do with this rather complicated subject. Thanks to @Great Hierophant for hints on how to run some of the more troublesome games.


Please note that while I started it with MiSTer in mind, the final result is probably best experienced in Dosbox-x, because of its largest compatibility. It'd be interesting to hear what other people's success rate in running these games on different emus/platforms is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...