October 15, 2019 | 00:05
The organisation's MS-DOS collection has received a major boost this week with the announcement of 2,500 new titles, all of which are playable directly in the browser. 'Since our initial announcement in 2015, we’ve added occasional new games here and there to the collection,' explains archivist Jason Scott, 'but this will be our biggest update yet, ranging from tiny recent independent productions to long-forgotten big-name releases from decades ago.
'The update of these MS-DOS games comes from a project called eXoDOS, which has expanded over the years in the realm of collecting DOS games for easy playability on modern systems to tracking down and capturing, as best as can be done, the full context of DOS games – from the earliest simple games in the first couple years of the IBM PC to recently created independent productions that still work in the MS-DOS environment. What makes the collection more than just a pile of old, now-playable games, is how it has to take head-on the problems of software preservation and history.
'Having an old executable and a scanned copy of the manual represents only the first few steps. DOS has remained consistent in some ways over the last (nearly) 40 years, but a lot has changed under the hood and programs were sometimes only written to work on very specific hardware and a very specific setup. They were released, sold some amount of copies, and then disappeared off the shelves, if not everyone’s memories. It is all these extra steps, under the hood, of acquisition and configuration, that represents the hardest work by the eXoDOS project, and I recognize that long-time and Herculean effort. As a result, the eXoDOS project has over 7,000 titles they’ve made work dependably and consistently.'
October 14 2021 | 15:04