The Neverending List of Doom

The Neverending List of Doom

Hm, sorry, it’s been a week since my last post.  It’s not that I’ve been neglecting the blog, and certainly not that I’ve abandoned it; it’s that the preparation for the next post has been taking a lot longer than I expected.

I said before that my next post would be the big list of game creation programs I’d be working with, and that should still be the case (that is, the next post after this post should be the big list of game creation programs).  The problem is, I’m still working on the list.  I didn’t think I would be.  I’d already spent weeks on it.  But I wasn’t quite done… I had a few more sites I was going to check out, a few more leads to follow up on.   Still, I already had more than two thousand games in the list… how many more could there be?

Well… I’m over three thousand now, and I’m still not done following up on those leads.  And not for want of trying.

If it were just a matter of copying a few names down from a list somewhere, that would be easy.  But for each system, I want to link to a webpage about it, if I can find one.  Sometimes that requires delving into the Wayback Machine.  And I want to find out when the system was first released, or at least make some kind of reasonable estimate.  Sometimes that requires delving into the Wayback Machine.  Anyway, it’s been quite a bit of work getting this list together, and the work’s not quite done yet.

The fact I have over three thousand systems in the list doesn’t mean I actually expect to cover more than three thousand systems, of course.  Many of them won’t be available; others will turn out not to meet my criteria when I look at them more closely; and by the time I get to the 2000s when there really starts to be a huge glut of game engines I’m likely to narrow my criteria anyway… up through 1989 there are only 225 systems currently on my list, which seems more manageable (especially since a lot of them are level editors that may only require a quick post or two), and even through 1995 there are fewer than 500; it’s after that that things really start to get out of hand, and some stricter winnowing may be needed.  But for now, I want the list to be as complete as possible, even if it may be cut down later.  And rather than toss up what I’ve got so far, I want to get my list as complete as I can first.

Which means you’ll have to bear with me another few days; sorry.  The big list is the last of the preambular posts, though; after that we’ll get to the more fun and more interesting part of actually going through the game systems.  We’re almost there… we’re just not quite there yet.

I mentioned before that I’d started this blog on Blogger a few years ago, but didn’t keep it up, but that that was probably mostly due to lack of preparation, and I’d laid the groundwork a lot better this time and expected to be able to keep it going.  Well… I’ll tell you, putting this big list together has itself provided me with a lot more motivation to keep this blog going.  With all the tedious work I’ve put into compiling that list, I want to make sure it pays off; I don’t want to have gone through all that for nothing…

(Current count of game systems on the big list: 3049.  I don’t expect it to grow to 4000… I’m well past the point of diminishing returns where each time I go to a new site with listings of game creation systems, most of the systems there are already on my list.  But I may have a few hundred yet to add…)

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