As time goes on, keeping old games alive has been a roller coaster of success. Even with HD versions of classics and ports, some games are simply lost to time. However, the Video Game History Foundation would like to change that. Dubbed the Video Game Source Project, the goal is to document source code and development related to gaming for everyone to study. Their first game entries to the project are The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge.
With the 30th anniversary of The Secret of Monkey Island this month, the choice was obvious. Members of the Video Game History Foundation studied both games’ source code, digging through and even rebuilding cut content like rooms and cutscenes. The creator of Monkey Island, Ron Gilbert, will sit down with Frank Cifaldi, founder and co-director of the Video Game History Foundation, for a Q&A “fireside chat” about the content on October 30th. The livestream will be available for $10, the funds going toward the Video Game History Foundation.
Ron Gilbert had this to say about Video Game History Foundation’s drive to preserve gaming:
Monkey Island is a special game to me and the creation of the SCUMM system is a large part of that. Looking at the source always jogs my memory and now gives me a chance to answer questions people didn’t even know to ask. As a developer, I see real value in preserving and learning from the work that we never imagined people in the future would care about. I’m glad the Video Game History Foundation is making this a priority while there’s still time to salvage history that’s becoming scarcer by the day.
This is only the beginning for the Video Game Source Project. The foundation is “currently studying source material from a beloved 16-bit RPG, abandoned Sega hardware from the 1990s, and a never-before-seen follow-up to a legendary arcade game.” Furthermore, an advisory committee of developers, publishers, academics and historians is helping them reach out to the video game industry to preserve and study source code.
If you are a video game developer, publisher or someone in-between, the Video Game History Foundation wants to hear from you! The development material they are looking for includes but not limited to:
- Source code
- Concept Art
- Demo Builds
Stay tuned to RPGFan as we learn more about this ambitious endeavor! You can also check out our classic review for The Secret of Monkey Island in the game’s hub.