We're now archiving GOG games!

Information and news about the website will be posted here.
Post Reply
mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 9172
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by mrpijey »

Hello everyone!

This has been something I've thought of for years. I've been a personal collector of GOG games for years and I know there are many members here interesting in proper preservation of them as well. So I think we should make a collective effort trying to preserve these titles, so let's make this a trial run :).

A little bit about GOG:

Formerly known as Good Old Games, is a digital storefront for games, run by a subsidiary of CD Projekt - the company behind the Witcher series games and Cyberpunk 2077. All the games has an easy installer, comes completely DRM free or without any online requirements. Meaning that what you download you keep. It won't expire, it won't stop working (as long as the OS you run it on can handle it of course). Many of the titles also comes with separate DLC installers and some with extra bonus content such as soundtracks, artbooks, wallpapers etc. All distributed as individual files. All of their titles can either be downloaded directly from the web, or through their Galaxy software application. It can act as a launcher for more than just GOG games, but by no means is it required to run any of the games, albeit it may be needed for some custom GOG multiplayer functionality. The games they offer are all kinds, everything from vintage DOS games all the way to modern and current AAA games. But they all come with their own easy to use installer, you can download all the installer files and install it without any need for online connectivity or worry about intrusive DRM junk to be installed on your system.

https://www.gog.com/

--

I am now opening up the doors for members to help out with the GOG preservation. GOG doesn't keep historical versions of games except in few cases, and only then they may keep only the most recent patches or versions. So the goal is to archive any versions, unavailable or otherwise, and to preserve them as they are presented in the store front.

However, since all these games are still being sold by GOG we won't be able to distribute any of them for the time being (as it would violate two of our primary rules), but for any titles that gets removed we will make them available in the archive. All of this is meant to be done for pure preservation, to make sure that even older and no longer available versions of titles are preserved for a release in the future.

If possible, include all available patches and bonus content as well. Do not rename any of the downloaded files as we want to keep the original filenames, just put them all in a folder named after the title, pack it up as usual and upload. I will however not be able to verify your uploads since as far as I know there's no public hash lists of the installer files and bonus content, but I can verify the installer file and make sure it's authentic. And I can do a test install to make sure the installer files are fine.

I am working on a list that will be published to list all titles and versions we have preserved for everyone to see what's archived. It will include title names, all installer and bonus content filenames, and hashes for each file. It will be possible to build a separate searchable database for this, but for now it will be a list until that's in place.

For the time being archive access will not be granted with GOG uploads. And requesting GOG releases etc is not permitted, as with any cold archive releases. This may change in the future, but there's some issues that needs to be worked out first.

As always with games and software in general, please do buy and support them. GOG has a great service where they make sure the software is DRM free and as easily installable as possible without any of the online requirements all other launchers employ today.

Thank you!
Image
Official guidelines: Contribution Guidelines
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

Darkstar
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 1210
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 1:29 pm
Location: Southern Germany

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by Darkstar »

Oh wow I hope you have enough terabytes for that ;-) I have been collecting GoG installers for a few titles for quite a while now, and sometimes the rate at which they push updates is quite high. Combine that with sometimes very large installers and it becomes clear that archiving every possible version is getting out of hand quickly.

For example, I have about 2TB dedicated to GOG, but if a game is 20gb in size and they publish an update every month or so, I could fill those 2TB up within a year with only a handful games...

For the larger games, I try keeping at least one "major" version but not every patch release. For example Stellaris, where the game mechanics change substantially with every major release, I might want to be able to go back to the older mechanics. Smaller games, on the other hand (200-500 megs), I keep dozens of versions because they don't take up much space.

I also don't know of any public hash list or database mirror (like steamdb) that keeps track with all the releases, so I often miss versions especially for the in-dev and early-access games that update almost daily.
I upload stuff to archive.org from time to time. See here for everything that doesn't fit BA

Andin
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2024 2:22 pm

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by Andin »

Sounds amazing! I'm also a big GOG supporter and fully support the idea of ​​preserving these classic games here. I'm ready to join this trial run and contribute
Last edited by Andin on Mon Feb 12, 2024 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 9172
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by mrpijey »

Darkstar wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2024 1:34 pm
Oh wow I hope you have enough terabytes for that ;-) I have been collecting GoG installers for a few titles for quite a while now, and sometimes the rate at which they push updates is quite high. Combine that with sometimes very large installers and it becomes clear that archiving every possible version is getting out of hand quickly.

For example, I have about 2TB dedicated to GOG, but if a game is 20gb in size and they publish an update every month or so, I could fill those 2TB up within a year with only a handful games...

For the larger games, I try keeping at least one "major" version but not every patch release. For example Stellaris, where the game mechanics change substantially with every major release, I might want to be able to go back to the older mechanics. Smaller games, on the other hand (200-500 megs), I keep dozens of versions because they don't take up much space.

I also don't know of any public hash list or database mirror (like steamdb) that keeps track with all the releases, so I often miss versions especially for the in-dev and early-access games that update almost daily.
I know what you mean.... 140GB or so per Cyberpunk 2077 update.... etc :).

Perhaps we should work together and sync our collections and publish a list? I am working on a clrmame dat for the ones I got which has all the hashes and everything, I am just in the process of naming everything properly.

Andin wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2024 1:50 pm
Sounds amazing! I'm also a big GOG supporter and fully support the idea of ​​preserving these classic games. I'm ready to join this trial run and contribute
You're most welcome to help any way you can :)
Image
Official guidelines: Contribution Guidelines
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

ezpz2077too
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2024 3:48 am

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by ezpz2077too »

That's fantastic news, I've been collecting a bunch of GOG games version by version, especially AGS and other neo-retro adventure games. Looking forward to uploading whatever I have to have some added redundancy.

compact-mac
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 564
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:55 pm
Location: /bin/bash
Contact:

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by compact-mac »

I've a small number of GOG installers lingering on my NAS. Happy to get uploading at my next convenience.
CM's Old Website
Post Tenebras Spero Lucem
Forget DNS/HTTPS or DNS/TLS, the future is DNS over Avian.

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 9172
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by mrpijey »

For those of you interested and want to help, this is the format I've gone with:

Code: Select all

Title (Bonus)
Title (v[version]) (DLC)/(Update) [OS]
Here are some samples:

Code: Select all

Cyberpunk 2077 (Bonus)
Cyberpunk 2077 (v2.02)
Cyberpunk 2077 (v2.02) (DLC)
Cyberpunk 2077 (v2.02) (Update)
Parkitect - Booms and Blooms (v1.8q5) [macOS]
Parkitect - Booms and Blooms (v1.8q5) (DLC) [Linux]
  • The version is reflected in the setup file, "setup_cartel_tycoon_1.0.9.6163_(67860)" translates to "Cartel Tycoon (v1.0.9.6163)".
  • The bonus content is the same across all versions, so it's not tagged with a specific version.
  • [OS] is only applied when it's anything but Windows. I may add tags if there would be specific say, Windows XP and Windows 7 versions, then I would tag them as [Windows XP] and [Windows 7] respectively. The variants I've seen so far is [DOS], [Linux], [macOS], but there may be variants such as [macOS 68k] or [Linux RPM] etc. depending on the circumstances of the release.
  • (Update) is added only when there's an update installer, and the (v[Version]) tag in the same release the version it updates to. I.e if it's an 1.00 to 1.01 update it would be labeled Title (v1.01) (Update).
I hope it clears up the naming scheme. If you can label your releases this way then you've saved me a lot of time :).

And once again, do not alter the files in any way. Don't unpack any zip files, don't rename anything as it will break the original GOG filenames and hashes.

Any suggestions are welcome to improve this naming format, I based it loosely on the various DAT formats for various console and ROM sets.
Image
Official guidelines: Contribution Guidelines
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

ntalaec
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:37 pm

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by ntalaec »

Instruction manuals and other documentation for older games (MS-DOS, Windows 9x) are going to be preserved as well?

Can we have access to download this content?

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 9172
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by mrpijey »

All the available documentation etc is listed on GOG as "extras", so yes, if it's available it should be archived as well, and it's included in my list under the (Bonus) tag. It will become more clear once the list comes online.

For the time being it will not be available, the same BA rules still apply to GOG releases. I also don't have the online storage available to host it all online. This may change in the future.
Image
Official guidelines: Contribution Guidelines
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

Darkstar
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 1210
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 1:29 pm
Location: Southern Germany

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by Darkstar »

mrpijey wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 11:04 am
All the available documentation etc is listed on GOG as "extras", so yes, if it's available it should be archived as well, and it's included in my list under the (Bonus) tag. It will become more clear once the list comes online.

For the time being it will not be available, the same BA rules still apply to GOG releases. I also don't have the online storage available to host it all online. This may change in the future.
Do you happen to have a DAT file available already? If possible I'd like to check with my files for overlaps, and make sure that GoG doesn't secretly watermark the downloaded files ;-)

Also, did you also notice some version inconsistencies when downloading the same release over the years? I have compared my collection to some friends' collections and we found that sometimes, the version numbers don't match up at all, i.e. the older releases actually have higher version numbers than the newer ones? E.g. VA-11 HALL-A, the download from 2016 is "v2.0.0.2" while a download from 2018 is "v1.2.3.4", or "1nsane" (a funny racing game that we still play on LAN parties with some friends :D ) has a "v2.1.0.6" from 2015 but a "v1.0" from 2018...
I upload stuff to archive.org from time to time. See here for everything that doesn't fit BA

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 9172
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by mrpijey »

I am working on a DAT, I am currently merging a few drives into a new array which I will use to organize and rename everything.

Yeah, I've seen these inconsistencies, but GOG has over the years changed the versioning numbering. In the early days GOG releases were a custom installer exe and a 7z file, or just a single exe file, and back then I think they use a custom versioning system (such as 2.1.0.6). After that they actually versioned the release after the game along with a custom ID which is the system they use today. I've even had original GOG releases that were labeled identically but still had differences in them. I guess their numbering system was a bit of a mess in the beginning. The earlier releases also weren't signed exes whereas all today has a signature with a date you can use for identification as well. So it will be a challenge to identify the older releases, I have a lot of them without any version number or signature, so I am hoping that others may be able to identify and label these correctly.

I would need to dig deeper into the versioning system, perhaps I've missed something we can use to identify the releases. We should make some kind of documentation on different ways to identify a particular version or release version.
Image
Official guidelines: Contribution Guidelines
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

compact-mac
User avatar
Donator
Posts: 564
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:55 pm
Location: /bin/bash
Contact:

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by compact-mac »

@mrpijey, nearly all of my GOG downloads are of the older type when they were just distributed as .EXE files with a version string. Shall I simply compress them into 7z/RAR before uploading?
CM's Old Website
Post Tenebras Spero Lucem
Forget DNS/HTTPS or DNS/TLS, the future is DNS over Avian.

mrpijey
User avatar
Administrator
Posts: 9172
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:28 pm
Contact:

Re: We're now archiving GOG games!

Post by mrpijey »

Yeah that will be fine, as long as the original filenames are not removed. Since I need something to identify the releases with.

Thanks.
Image
Official guidelines: Contribution Guidelines
Channels: Discord :: Twitter

Post Reply