FAQ: Site

Design Issues

Why can't I see any images?

For security reasons, we disabled URL based sessions on the site. Please turn on session cookies in your browser.

How do I get to the games?

Basically everywhere. "Browsing" would be a good idea. The "Exhibitions" will lead to right towards them, too.

Download Issues

Why do I get the leecher page every time I try to download something?

For security reasons, we disabled URL based sessions on the site. Please turn on session cookies in your browser.

Why isn't game X available for download?

Most likely at least one out of the following reasons: No, whining or complaining will not change that status. If you ask nicely, though, we'll be able to tell you what the exact reason is.

Why are some download links striked through?

This happens when a game has been entered into the database as a 'stub' This means that we don't have a full review of the game yet. Documents and downloads of such games are only accessible to users who have got at least 100 points. This rationale being that these people have already shown that they are willing to give something back to the community. So there is the chance that after downloading, they will fill the gap with a review of their own. Unfortunately, this cannot be said for anonymous visitors.

Can you send me game X?

No.

How can I download the disk images?

Please refer to our dedicated FAQ.

Accounts

Why can't I log in? It's working in the forum!

For security reasons, we disabled URL based sessions on the site. Please turn on session cookies in your browser.

How do I sign up?

To save you the trouble of remembering two passwords and to save us the trouble of maintaining two user databases, the forum accounts are used on the site as well. So, to log in here on the site, you have to register at the forum first.

Alternatively, you can use an account from any OpenID provider to log in.

What are the benefits of registering?

Points? What's in it for me?

Short version: nothing. The points are just a mean to roughly measure the amount of contribution of each user. So it's all about fame!

Do you collect data about the registered users?

Of course, we save information about your contributions in order to credit them to you. I.e. if you comment on a game, it'll be saved under your username. We don't track any normal user behaviour, i.e. what pages you're looking at and what you're downloading is not registered or saved. Finally, if you run through the quiz while logged in, we will keep track of your scores for you.

Personal information collected on registration (e.g. mail address) or the data collected as described in the preceeding paragraph are not shared with third parties unless they are visible publicly anyway.

Contributions

How can I help to improve the site?

Everything you see, you can do yourself. For a example you could enter new games, write a review, add files (like screenshots, documentation) and data (like links, videos) to the games or write an article about something you always wanted to share with the gaming community. Simply take a look at the requests page, but everything is welcome – or give a shout in the forums if you want to make sure (especially as far as downloads are concerned).

What does it take to contribute?

A simple registration (see section Accounts above) and a little of your time.

What are the minimum requirements for entering a new game?

Minimum coverage on this site implies at least the basic bibliographical information (like the company which made the game and the year of release) a review and a couple of screenshots (a title screen plus at least four in-game pictures). Please mind that both the review and the screenshots have to be made by yourself!

What are the minimum requirements for a review?

It's quite simple: It has to be written by yourself (yes, we check that!), it has to be at least 300 words long (that's usually about three or four paragraphs) and it has to be a review.

Here are some ideas what to do (not all need to be covered in every review):

  1. Make the readers understand what kind of game it is, i.e. how the game plays
  2. Say what is good and what is bad about the game
  3. Say in what way these things are good or bad
  4. Say why these things are good or bad
  5. Say how things work/go together in the big picture
  6. Say how this sort of thing was evaluated/received back when it was new
  7. Give some historical context (did this game come out of nowhere or is it part of a long line of development?)
  8. Say how it feels playing today
  9. Give a concise conclusion and summary

Here is a list of things which usually should be avoided:
  1. Write a manual
  2. Restate bibliographic information
  3. Write about how to get the game to run
  4. Come up with no conclusion
  5. Make factually wrong statements
  6. Uneven paragraph length
  7. Add a list
  8. State the obvious
  9. Speculate too much

As always with such things, they can become very subjective. So the most important thing is: if you know what you're doing, anything goes. Any of the items on the "don't" list could be used to achieve specific effects. If you're unsure now, don't worry – people are helpful around here and if you need feedback on your writing, you will get it.

How do I make screenshots?

That depends on your host system (i.e. what you're using to work every day) and your target system (i.e. the system your game runs under). Often, you will run your game in some emulator. Many emulators have an integrated screenshot function. In Dosbox, for example, pressing Ctrl-F5 will save an appropriate image directly to your hard disk. Please refer to your emulator's documentation (usually found on its website) to find out whether there is such a function and how to use it. Otherwise, you can always use a general purpose image processing application to take a screenshot of any game. A very powerful, but freely available application with this function is The Gimp, for example.

Please always save your screenshots in a lossless file format. Ideally, use the PNG format. GIF is only usable for games which use 256 colours or fewer. Avoid the lossy JPEG format! If in doubt, you can even use uncompressed Bitmaps. We will be happy to convert the files for you.

What is important here is that the screenshots have to be made in the original format of the game. Many of today's emulators offer graphical filter features. Sometimes, they actually do make the games look better, but still, it's not the original look anymore. That is why it is essential to switch off all such options before making screenshots! This also includes 'aspect correction' functions which will unrepairably distort the images.

When will my contribution be posted?

Usually, as soon as possible. It could be that there is a waiting queue due to larger contributions from other people. In any case, you should monitor your private message inbox for reactions. If there is a problem with what you sent in, we will contact you this way. You can configure an e-mail notification about the arrival of such messages in the forum (enabled by default). E-Mail will be used for OpenID logins. Please understand that we can only contact you the ways you provide. If you use a so-called 'spam' mail address to register, and then never check it, there is little we can do. Every contribution is met with a reaction from our side! If you don't receive one within 48 hours, feel free to contact one of the administrators.

Abandonware

What is Abandonware?

Software which isn't sold and supported by its copyright holder anymore.

Is it legal?

No, both offering and downloading copyrighted works which haven't explicitely approved for this is illegal.

Why do it then?

Because, quite frankly the way copyright law is applied is bullshit. Software usually goes out of print after a few years - at the latest! How exactly are the former customers supposed to get replacements for faulty disks? And is it really the owners' intention to pull their product from the market or do they simply not care anymore? A huge branch of our own culture is virtually destroyed by carelessness, and we think it's time to do something against that.

Is all software hosted on this site Abandonware?

No, there's also Freeware, Shareware, Open Source,... Check the licence attribute of each game. Many downloads are perfectly legal.

Where can I learn more about Abandonware?

The (now defunct) Abandonware Network has a very good FAQ online.