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Old 01 November 2010, 11:53   #1
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Preserving original Amiga game source codes

I think we need a new project that is devoted to obtaining and preserving the source codes of commercial Amiga games because otherwise they will probably get lost forever. Now the geeks will say: "We can disassemble the program and then we can already have the source code!"... but this is not the same! I think it's much more interesting to have the original code of the programmer, containing all the comments and tools used to create the game! And maybe some additional routines, graphics, or sounds that didn't make it in the final release version because of the lack of disk space. These are invaluable treasures and they should be preserved!

Take Gremlin as an instance. All sources of games as legendary as the Lotus Trilogy and Zool are probably lost by now, because they went straight to the skip when Infogrames closed the Gremlin studio. See here.

We should not let this happen again! Martyn Brown of Team17 once said in an interview that they still had all the original Amiga sources. Did anyone ever approach Team17 in an effort to release these? I know they have released the source codes of Alien Breed 3D II so they might be willing to release the rest as well.

I think there's nothing against releasing the source codes because most of them are in Motorola 68000 assembler and thus of little commercial value. You can't steal any code or use the engine in a new project because it's 68000 assembler and it would always be faster to rewrite the whole game in a proper language than to mess with that old code. So the source codes are really purely of historic and nostalgic value and no publisher should be hesitant to release these.

What do you guys think? Don't you agree that the original source codes including the documentation and additional tools and files constitute some invaluable treasures of Amiga history and we should try everything to preserve them before they are lost forever?

Thanks for your attention!
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