Archaeologist

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Archaeologist

No real game development news today, but I do have something simmering which may turn out to be downright delicious. Maybe I’ll have more about that later. Hopefully.
Instead what I have is something that I promised a long time ago. Now, for your enjoyment you can get the original The Thief’s Tale that our plucky little team submitted for the IGF. Playing it is like going into a time machine as that version is missing some of the newer, shinier functions that have been added since. It is however, the most polished version of the game currently available, so what’s there is really very playable. Small things that I have grown accustomed to, like the wall hop move and, well, playing with a control pad are missed, but I still find myself enjoying the game as it was, and now maybe you can too.

You can get it both hot and fresh here : http://starfroggames.com/ThiefDownload.html

Which gets me to the title. Both me, and the Team, had to do some searching to find this little nugget of gameplay. You see as the game gets updated, we tend to set aside the previous versions as incomplete, since they are in a sense. My own files become overwritten and in this case, the file structures have changed. So even the original executable did not work anymore, since the lack of certain assets caused an Epic Fail on the compiler’s part.
Over the last few days I had my team searching inboxes and recycling bins like digital hobos in the search of the original install file, the executable that would recreate the file structure as it was so the demo can be played by other people too. Finally, I went back to the sandy well that is the Lazarus Drive (click on that for the start of what I refer to as The Necromancer Saga). I ran a new protocol on it that allowed me to map the thrice damned thing, so in the future I may be able to get things out of it just a little quicker than before. What it had though, hidden deep within it’s writhing, steaming, TaunTaunesque guts, was an install file. Or rather, The Install File.
I told it to go ahead and save it and…crash. Alright, again then. Nope? Crashing? Really? Then I said, “Fine then. Run the executable.” I had been trying to avoid that, worried that the code had somehow been corrupted like my previous Text files (that’s the entry named “Zombie” by the way). I had no idea of what a corrupted installer may be capable of. Maybe like giving your computer an immunization but using a junkie’s rusty needle, but by then I was over it, and just went with it.
The installer worked. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ever so slightly surprised by it, and it brought back to light the original code, with the original art and assets. So I took that file structure, checked every component for cleanliness, and built a new installer for it, which I am happy to share with everybody now.

Hmm, self referential today. Eh, there was a context.