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Wizard Nov 10, 2013 @ 11:18pm
Old DOS/Windows 95 games
I have this great desire to play some old games that are not compatible with the current window's 7 that I know exist and are probably public domain. Rather than deal with a tedious and confusing setup involving a DOS-box, why can't I pay Steam to provide the architecture for playing them on a modern computer without having to deal with technically sophisticated setup, and be able to run them on my OS.

The games I want to most play, are the old mystery games of Riven, Dust: a Wired West, Command and Conquer, and other fairly old titles.

I'd pay ~5-10$ per game for this service if this is relevant to the discussion.

My time is valuable and I don't want to spend it trying to figure out how to code to make something function.

It might be that the market isn't large enough for this, but fairly small files and a one time human resource investment into making this functional could still be profitable?
Last edited by Wizard; Nov 10, 2013 @ 11:25pm
Showing 1-15 of 27 comments
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Sera Nov 10, 2013 @ 11:32pm 
Here's the thing. Steam/Valve aren't the ones who are able to get the games and edit them for a Win7 compatibility. The logical thing to say is, you must contact the original developers. But if the games are so old and the makers don't exist anymore then yeah, too bad. No one can do anything for you.
Wizard Nov 10, 2013 @ 11:42pm 
Originally posted by Sera:
Here's the thing. Steam/Valve aren't the ones who are able to get the games and edit them for a Win7 compatibility. The logical thing to say is, you must contact the original developers. But if the games are so old and the makers don't exist anymore then yeah, too bad. No one can do anything for you.

The point here, is to provide an easier to use program that can recognize and play file types that are admittedly scattered around the internet as freeware in various file types, but are often complete. I would pay money for that. I think Steam has enough software development skill to achieve this.
Pantheon Nov 10, 2013 @ 11:44pm 
Valve can't just go around, collect old games and offer them for sale.
Also, what do you think Steam uses for old games? Dosbox.
And it's not like Dosbox is in any way complicated.
Wizard Nov 10, 2013 @ 11:46pm 
Originally posted by Pantheon:
Valve can't just go around, collect old games and offer them for sale.
Also, what do you think Steam uses for old games? Dosbox.
And it's not like Dosbox is in any way complicated.

Dosbox is in any way complicated.

I'm offering to pay someone to provide the services I want from it because I deem it too complicated. You'd think you computer programmer types would understand that not everyone is trained in your field.
Last edited by Wizard; Nov 10, 2013 @ 11:47pm
Pantheon Nov 10, 2013 @ 11:48pm 
You think I'm a programmer because I can handle Dosbox? Wow.
Wizard Nov 10, 2013 @ 11:52pm 
Originally posted by Pantheon:
You think I'm a programmer because I can handle Dosbox? Wow.

Here we go with the elitism again. I don't care, and in fact most people don't. What people want out of software is to put in a disc and it runs properly, not debug and learn something that takes several hours to do that they use once.

All that I want, is a software that recognizes a huge variety of file types from earlier times. The fact that i'm willing to pay is of no concern to you.
Pantheon Nov 10, 2013 @ 11:59pm 
How is this elitism? I have no programming skills whatsoever and I think Dosbox is easy to setup and run. That is all.
Steam is just offering integrated Dosbox support for old games, nothing more. Same with games from GoG.com
And if you want to just put in a disc for a game to run, you might be better of with a console.
Adelion Nov 11, 2013 @ 12:23am 
Well for the sake of discussion: Of course Valve has the abilities to do this. But just because games are "free" to download somewhere in the internet they are not free for distribution. Only the copyright holders are allowed to bring them to Steam.
As for the DosBox: If I remember correctly you just need to start it and then Drag and Drop your *.exe or *.bat into the window and your game starts. But I may be wrong.
AusSkiller Nov 11, 2013 @ 1:02am 
GOG.com does that sort of stuff, most (if not all) their games have been packaged up to work on modern computers, sometimes that means they use DOSBox but it's all pre-configured for you so all you need to do is double click the short-cut and it runs.

Originally posted by Y.O.B.A.:
I have this great desire to play some old games that are not compatible with the current window's 7 that I know exist and are probably public domain.
I don't think there were any computer games around 70 years ago, that's how long the copyright lasts before it enters public domain. There are some grey areas that people like to use as an excuse for piracy, such as no-one claiming ownership of the relevant properties any more, but I wouldn't ever trust such claims to protect me from litigation, chances are it's just straight up piracy as far as the law is concerned.

Originally posted by Y.O.B.A.:
The point here, is to provide an easier to use program that can recognize and play file types that are admittedly scattered around the internet as freeware in various file types, but are often complete. I would pay money for that.
What do file types have to do with anything? The executable for the game will know what to do with the files so the file types shouldn't have any bearing on anything.

Originally posted by Y.O.B.A.:
I think Steam has enough software development skill to achieve this.
Steam absolutely does not, Steam is an application, it has no software development skill at all. Valve on the other hand does employ people with some of the software development skills that would be required, but even then it's not that likely that they would have working knowledge of old CPU architectures and the inner workings of DOS, that's very specialist knowledge and the kind of people with that knowledge are probably the ones writing apps like DOSBox rather than working at Valve because that's where their expertise is needed.

Originally posted by Y.O.B.A.:
Here we go with the elitism again.
I really doubt you can call it elitism, it's the kind of thing 8 year olds can figure out when given 10 minutes, and any self respecting adult shouldn't have any trouble figuring it out given the wealth of information freely available on the subject.
C0untzer0 Nov 11, 2013 @ 1:20am 
Originally posted by AusSkiller:
GOG.com does that sort of stuff, most (if not all) their games have been packaged up to work on modern computers, sometimes that means they use DOSBox but it's all pre-configured for you so all you need to do is double click the short-cut and it runs.
Of course the C+C titles are more an Origin situation. I think the "Ultimate pack" is the one you want.
The OP seems to be advocating a company selling games which others have exclusive rigts to, hoist the Jolly Roger boys! I personally think that the whole rights issue is something much more important for him to understand than the DOSBOX stuff.

Last edited by C0untzer0; Nov 11, 2013 @ 1:31am
Gorlom[Swe] Nov 11, 2013 @ 5:15am 
Just to itterate: Y.O.B.A. You should try gog.com for older games.
C0untzer0 Nov 12, 2013 @ 1:13am 
Originally posted by AusSkiller:
I don't think there were any computer games around 70 years ago...
Having realised I have autobiographies of at least 2 people who had access to ENIAC in 1943, I can tell you that it largely depends on your description of "Computer Game" In terms of custom built programming to code for distraction, time wasting and doing 'amusing' calculus for no purpose, there certainly was. It often amuses me to read Feynman's description of early computing, especially while I sit around waiting for the engineering guys to stop ****ing around with the 3d printer and let me prototype some stuff.
AusSkiller Nov 12, 2013 @ 2:23am 
Originally posted by C0untzer0:
Having realised I have autobiographies of at least 2 people who had access to ENIAC in 1943, I can tell you that it largely depends on your description of "Computer Game" In terms of custom built programming to code for distraction, time wasting and doing 'amusing' calculus for no purpose, there certainly was. It often amuses me to read Feynman's description of early computing, especially while I sit around waiting for the engineering guys to stop ****ing around with the 3d printer and let me prototype some stuff.
And that is why I qualified my statement with "I don't think there were" rather than "There weren't", I was fairly confident there wasn't but it's just so hard to be 100% certain of anything these days, and I'm always happy to be enlightend when my assumptions are incorrect, it's always interesting to find out something that you didn't think could be true :). And actually the copyright didn't last as long back then anyway so technically games from even later that could be in public domain now. I think it wasn't until the 70s that copyright was increased to 70 years which is what I was working off since it wasn't until the 80s that gaming as we know it really took off. But by the sounds of it I doubt any of the games the OP would be interested in would be in public domain yet, nor any time soon.
bvguthrie Nov 13, 2013 @ 11:07am 
Originally posted by Y.O.B.A.:
Originally posted by Pantheon:
You think I'm a programmer because I can handle Dosbox? Wow.

Here we go with the elitism again. I don't care, and in fact most people don't. What people want out of software is to put in a disc and it runs properly, not debug and learn something that takes several hours to do that they use once.

All that I want, is a software that recognizes a huge variety of file types from earlier times. The fact that i'm willing to pay is of no concern to you.
In case you missed the website that a couple of others mentioned, here is the page that will fulfill your desire: http://www.gog.com/game/riven_the_sequel_to_myst. Have fun!
Gorlom[Swe] Nov 13, 2013 @ 11:59am 
We REALLY want to drive this point home: gog.com. Go there for good old games!
Last edited by Gorlom[Swe]; Nov 13, 2013 @ 11:59am
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Date Posted: Nov 10, 2013 @ 11:18pm
Posts: 27