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Shareware gaming history book
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TOPIC: Shareware gaming history book

Shareware gaming history book 4 months ago #4444

Been meaning to post about this since the project launched a few weeks ago — I'm doing another book with Unbound. This time I'll be digging into the history of the shareware games scene.

So that means stories on the early days of Epic, Apogee, and id, plus more Ambrosia Software stuff and various other stories on the weird, wonderful, horrible, and brilliant things created during shareware's heyday. Like the Mac gaming book, it'll be focused on the behind the scenes stuff more so than the games themselves, but this time I hope to have a clearer narrative arc through the book. (And of course this one won't be Mac-specific — I'm going platform-agnostic, with Amiga, Mac, DOS, 8-bit computers, and so on, albeit with the thrust of the story being on the DOS and early Windows side because that's where the most action is.)

Anyway, check it out if this sounds interesting. And let me know what games/devs/distributors/etc you'd like to see covered in there.

Re: Shareware gaming history book 3 weeks, 1 day ago #4464

Sounds interesting... Shareware was always most vibrant on the Mac, and Amiga, but there's some decent stuff for x86 too.

Are you going to delve into the payment processors like Kagi too?

Re: Shareware gaming history book 2 weeks ago #4465

Definitely will mention them. Will have to look at how much stuff I can fit about them in there.

I know on the Mac, especially (but not exclusively), Kagi was a key piece in the late 90s/early 2000s shareware puzzle, and I think it's important that this book explores the big picture rather than just the games themselves.

Re: Shareware gaming history book 1 week, 1 day ago #4466

I'll have to go back through my collection and figure out who the other players were. I seem to recall ePay got into it near the end, but there was another group that really got the whole Shareware industry going, and it was popular before Kagi.

As an aside, I never actually got a single payment for my Shareware back in the late 80's/early 90's. Every once in a while I'd see someone running my software, but nobody ever bothered to mail me money. That was before the likes of Kagi -- by the time they came along, I'd discovered open source.

Re: Shareware gaming history book 5 days, 19 hours ago #4467

That's a bit sad you never earned even a dollar in shareware registrations, though I suspect hardly unusual. The anecdotal evidence I've found so far in the historical record suggests that the vast majority of shareware programs earned no more than a handful of registrations.

(Side note: The money going around in crowdfunding and mobile apps today strikes me as proof that things actually haven't changed much — we mainly just have newer platforms and better delivery mechanisms.)

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