I am honoured to be a part of the tenth anniversary celebrations for The Good Old Days.
I first came across the site in the summer of 2000, at my father's house during a trip across the western United States. During an idle hour I searched for some information on the game Global Conquest, as I am wont to do. Games, like any other art, operate upon our consciousness, molding, instructing, enhancing or degrading it as the case may be. Those games whose operations we enjoy we remember fondly, and the urge to recapture that enjoyment brings sites such as TGOD into the world. I was particularly fond of Global Conquest because it struck and continues to strike me as the best single implementation of the Empire-type game in existence, one that STILL deserves a proper remake. (Empires of Steel, you are not it!)
So I searched, and up popped a lengthy review – the meatiest return I'd yet found. I clicked through eagerly – Good Old Days, right, Python theme, that's cool – and just imagine my dismay when I found that the review in question was less that adulatory! I was gobsmacked! It was fair of course, a cool assessment of the game, but it didn't match my imagination of the perfect GC review, the praise I felt the game merited. I could not restrain my indignation, convinced as I was that anyone who played, really played, Global Conquest would come to share my opinion of it. Ah the passion of the zealot! I wrote immediately to Mr Creosote about emending the review. He was open to the idea so I dashed off the gush of enthusiasm that you still see on the Global Conquest page today.
Reading Mr Creosote's history of the site I see that I was the first outsider to offer content, which I hadn't known. I was just a rabid fanboy eager to see the object of his affection more widely admired. In the years since my review I've wound up spending a lot of time away from computers and so haven't made much contribution to TGOD or to Global Conquest fandom. But I see that the love for old games which moved me then still moves people to offer their time and skills to the site, keeping the torch burning and preserving the memory of these great old games, which are such a fragile medium, like old comic books or postage stamps. May The Good Old Days enjoy many more years of success as one of the truly great abandonware sites, perhaps not the biggest, perhaps not the slickest, but without doubt the one with the most heart.
Congratulations, vielen Dank, und alles Gute zum Geburtstag!
About seven years ago and approximately 7,000 kilometers away, I quite inadvertently discovered the possibility of recreating the game archive that I had left behind, searching for the titles with the keyword 'abandonware'. Well, The Good Old Days entered the list of favorites, and it hasn't left it since. In fact, it changes for the better, which is the main reason I feel obliged to contribute, and as soon as I'm done with the BA thesis, I'll write a review or three in no time.
In late 1999, I got my first personal Internet access. I was amazed by the possibilities to experience old systems like the C64 again and to refresh my memories. In addition, I discovered many classics of many platforms previously unknown to me.
People in the WWW who put an enormous amount of time in their hobbies just for the fun of it and who rose to the technical challenges of running websites with reviews, information and downloads of games impressed me. Especially the Abandonware scene which combined this with a certain set of morals attracted me.
My ISP then was "UUnet" (bless its memory). It offered some small amount of webspace including a domain name along with the Internet access. Without even an ounce of experience in the area of web development (not to talk about the necessary background knowledge concerning computer networks), I wanted to join in immediately.
It was the time of the private web. Everybody had his own presence on the Internet. And so had I from then on: "dregenrocks.de".
It was a chaotic mixture of documents and self-righteous articles about badly reflected topics. Added to that guitar tabs and downloads of C64 and PC games.
This ridiculous attempt to build up a website in spite of complete ignorance (what's a database?), using highly professional tools like Microsoft Frontpage, quickly lead into a dead end. So I decided to get in touch with other webmasters who seemed sympathetic in order to exchange experiences and knowledge.
Above all, those were Mr Creosote and Tapuak (R.I.P. tapuak.de).
They were both active in the same scene and because "gooddays.org" was still in its infancy itself then, they seemed approachable. All the more, because Mr Creosote tended towards extravagance even then which was why he put his site navigation - against the predominant trend - on the right side (the right frame).
Redemption after ten years: Almost the complete navigation can be found on the left side in 2010. What was that about principles again?
Back to the story, though. It was the age of welcome pages. A welcome message, a smart phrase. A visitor counter and a number of icons of the active rings and link pages were all the norm. gooddays.org had a strong link to Monty Python, too. For a time, this was even celebrated with a audio file forced upon the visitors. Those were the days!
The best times I had at gooddays.org were the times in the forum, the "Spam Club". We had many interesting discussions about all the world and his wife there. All the time, there was a number of intelligent and likeminded people there, writing. This went as far as inviting a member of the "Jesus Freaks" to the forum in a serious attempt to start a discussion about religion with him.
Furthermore, it lead to the attempt to have a personal meeting in the Netherlands. This turned into a massive failure. My train connection failed due to a delay in Zwolle. Ich got into the next (wrong) train and half a country later, I had to confess to myself that I had gone the wrong way and so I went back home. This wouldn't have happened with modern methods of mobile communication.
Over time, I lost my interest in Abandonware and so my activity in the forum and on the website itself decreased.
I still visit from time to time, because "The Good Old Days" has become a tiny minory on the world wide web: privately run value, personally developed.
It's ironic that a site with such a name is in better shape today than it has even been.
To the next ten years!
So... I was asked to write something about me and abandonware, me and The Good Old Days... or just... something. And it should be at least one word - preferrably more. I thought about this and that and finally came to the following conclusions:
1. Pretty much noone of you knows who I am.
2. Noone cares anyway.
I decided to change a little bit about 1. and just ignore 2., because well... I don't care that you don't care!
Who I am then? Some hardcore abandonware fans might remember me as the guy who ran The Keep and started TUOL - back in the days before the big G (=Google) was the standard thing to get anywhere. We used to to list abandonware sites so people knew where to go. The Keep was my own abandonware site back then. It must have started around the same time as TGOD - a little bit before that maybe. It wasn't my first site, but it was the first site that was something. I had it running for a while... two years, maybe three, I'm not sure and it's not important anyway. At its time it was one of the biggest sites and pulled in pretty nice amounts of traffic. 4000 visitors a day wasn't so uncommon. But then... I stopped because I didn't have the time and motivation anymore. I gave what I had to Mr Creosote and told him to do with it whatever he wanted.
As things were pretty much every review I had written for my old site didn't meet the standards here at TGOD. Even those that did had too few screenshots. So most of the time a game from my old collection found its way here I had to rewrite the review, do new screenshots and all that. But at least a small part of The Keep lives on somehow.
Every now and then I still go through the old things and decide to rereview something so it ends up here. I don't really have a high output there - like... one or two per year, but now that I'm thinking about it... I'm still in "the abandonware scene" somehow. And there was I thinking I wasn't...
Ah, but I'm getting away from the point. TGOD celebrates its 10th birthday. That's a bit funny - there must be tons of games out there considered abandonware, which are a good deal younger than the site.
Okay, you see I'm babbling where I was supposed to tell a story. Some sort of anecdote. And I promised Mr Creosote I would write something like that. So lemme see...
Right, here's one: About 5 1/2 years ago I started studying again. I had given all of my games (and that means originals with boxes and all that) to Mr Creosote (I think it confused him a bit that I just gave all the things away, but I also think he also liked getting a few new old games there). I wanted to make sure that nothing would distract me from studying. Well... of course it didn't take long before I played something again. But indeed I didn't let games distract me from stuying - it was at the end of semester break. I was playing a bit of Telengard (which I had reviewed for TGOD at that time btw.) and had fun with it. Still one week before the semester would begin and I was glad to have some free (=play) time. Unfortunately I realized that... I previously agreed to be a tutor for the new students and that meant the last week of the semester break would be a training week... A training week I had to spend in a house with the other tutors. I didn't feel like that the slightest bit. To make it short: I went there anyway and if I wouldn't have I wouldn't have met my girlfriend and my life would be totally different and THAT would have been the fault of Telengard.
So that's my personal anecdote - and the moral of it: Don't let games distract you from the really important things in life!
The Good Old Days turns 10. In times in which even the publishers don't support their products for more than one or two years, this is almost unbelievable. I've known (and appreciated) TGOD for a little more than one year now and I would like to extend my congratulations this way.
How is it even possible that someone who cares about old games only learned about TGOD so late? Simple. I already own all the old games I'm interested in (or so I thought). So I never really looked into the subject of Abandonware. Shortly after moving into a new flat in 2008, I thought about archiving my old treasures. Those being about 120 old games from the 80s and 90s. So I began saving all my floppy disks and I learned that some of them contained bad sectors. I made a list of defective games and just carried on copying the data, in order to look for replacements for the defective games on the Internet later. Quickly, I discovered that I could easily find versions of all of my games readily installed, but nobody offered the actual install disks themselves. Which for me, as a collector, are of essential importance. So I searched for "disk images" and I found a site which I didn't see before: The Good Old Days. Mr Creosote had just posted a plea about sending in disk images a day before, because they were relatively hard to find. What a coincidence!
Against my usual habit, I registered at the forum and wrote Mr Creosote that I had just finished saving my collection and that I would be glad to share it. He was pleased, but then the disappointment: I had just saved the contents of the floppy disks instead of making images. Shit happens. I simply didn't know that an image format had considerable advantages over a simple data transfer. So I started reading all disks again. Fortunately, I was on vacation and I didn't have anything better to do.
From then on, I was infected, because this site really put the games and their reviews in the focus instead of just building up a huge download archive. Since then, I'm in more or less regular contact with Mr Creosote and I try tohelp using the little free time I have. Mostly in not so visible areas of the site, like for example adding themes and comparisons to existing game entries or taking care of the disk image collection. Oh, yes. And I managed to review two whole games for the site myself! Not a lot. But it will become more in the future. Promise!
Congratulations to the 10th anniversary!
Some yerars ago I "only" visited this site because I was looking for some He-Man comics...
In the meantime it is basically the opinions and reviews about the old games (some of them I played myself back in the time when I was kid) that I'm interested in and that get me back to the continuously growing goodolddays.net archive from time to time.
Thanks a lot to all the active users who participate on the site to give it life and who provide new articles!
Of course, I also like to send a "thank you" to the former crew members who worked on the site back in "the good old days", but who maybe don't have the time to do it anymore.
In this spirit - the show must go on - to the next ten years!
I'm asked to talk a bit about my relationship with the page, and now I don't know what to say. I feel like I was talking to the yellow press.
It would be pretty (well, more likely it would be creepy) to say this page made me a reborn abandonwarer, putting light into my soul and raising me above all I knew. But it just gave me a place to help, which isn't a small thing. No magical revelations or anything, I've just being reviewing new games, mostly increasing the RPGs section size.
Of course, I knew the page from before I started helping, and I saw it change with time. Which probably is what made me decide to help here. A page with lots of years behind, that never stopped being well kept and improved.
And now I'm here, helping however I can. Keeping the floppies collection, and making reviews, and hoping I'll have plenty more time to expend on both things.
Well, what do you know? It's really been ten years. I don't want to re-hash the site history article here and neither be too redundant with my profile page. So I'll keep it brief.
If you think about it, it's probably obvious, but nevertheless, I'd like to spell it out: My own relation to the site is fundamentally different from most other contributors' in one (and only one) way. For most, TGOD represents a change, their involvement being unusual. You can read in their own testimonials (of course I'm cheating a little here, having read their treatments of the anniversary texts first) how they got to the site and how it changed their life (ok, exaggerating a little here). For me, it's the other way around: In the last ten years, TGOD represented the single point of stability in my life.
When I started the site, I was in my last year at high school. I finished that, did a year of community service, started at university, switched to another programme, eventually finished it, went through several jobs. I moved, acquaintances, friends and colleagues came and went. I had a brief semi-political career in my university days which most of my time went into then. And so on and so on. During all those changes, TGOD was always there.
Sure, it changed over the years, too. Yet its core challenge remained. It never entered my mind to cut down on it or even close it. TGOD has outlived various generations of websites by now and it will continue to do so. It's here to stay. Not just for another ten years, but forever. How will it develop? Who knows? It all depends on you - the people working on the site and thereby shaping it. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and (sometimes necessary) patience!
When I first came to this site, I'd just learned that there was such a thing as "abandonware" and was looking to see what the fuss was all about. For some reason or other, I registered on the forum, not meaning to ever really get involved. Then someone (Was it Tapuak? I can't recall) posted something adressed to me, and I responded. And kept responding for quite a while
Some of the highlighs of the time (for me at least) included Catch the Kreis, a freeware game by Dregenrocks, betatesting that was a blast. Also, repairing Ökolopoly was a lot of fun. I also remember writing a game review with someone else through discussion (the discussion being the review) fondly.
Currently, I'm too busy in real life to have much time for games, but on the whole, my time on the Spam Club was a lot of fun. (What, you mean there is an actual SITE attached to the Spam Club? With GAMES? I never noticed...)