The ISA-Bus

One blog to bind them all.

Six months Download Central

Today it is exactly six months that I announced my new download site, Download Central. I’m quite happy with the way it has grown. A couple of days ago there were 900 downloads. At the moment, there are 921. I know a lot of similar sites that are far older and have maybe half as many.

I’d like to point out that in spite of this number I very rarely upload something that I haven’t tried out. The whole PC section contains nine screenshots that I know I didn’t take myself. There may be an equal number where I just don’t remember, but even in these cases I have usually played the game at least long enough to get an idea what it’s like.

It’s different in the Amiga section. There are a number of games that I didn’t get to run on WinUAE, and there are a few where I didn’t even try. I guess the screenshot relation here is about 50:50.

Lately I’ve made a number of structural improvements to the site. Whenever I know which country a game is from (note: I always go by the country where it was written, not the nationality of the designer), I put the flag of this country on the description page. There are now games from 48 countries, 27 of these flags are linked to a page on my old site that usually contains a list of all the games from this country I have something about (not just those on Download Central). The flags not linked are the USA (due to the immense number of American games a list would be impractical) and those countries where I have so few games that making a separate page is not worthwhile. The threshold is usually four or five games.

Nearly all concepts are now linked as well. I have made a lot of new concept pages lately. They often start out with nothing but thumbnails of the games for download, but sometimes, as in the case of Snake and Mahjongg, develop into articles of their own right.

Lately I’ve started adding pages for game designers and groups. Currently only two names are linked, Adrian Millett and Digital Nightmares. More will follow. When I transfer a game from the old site to Download Central, the description page often becomes useless. Because of this and the fact that I can’t make server-level redirects on the chello server, I’m reluctant to just delete them. In many cases it makes sense to convert them into a page about the designer(s) instead.

It is interesting that while meanwhile two out of three downloads were added within the last six months, those that are downloaded most are still mainly those that I already had up on the old site for a while. The most successful new addition is without doubt QBasic. The program itself is usually number two, and the two sample games are quite popular as well.

Among the other games, only GobMan and Xonix32 have made it into the top twelve. The system & support files enjoy quite some popularity, as do DOS GUIs.

It will be interesting to see how things look in six months, when the site is one year old.

Update 2011-10-03: It turned out that not all that much had changed.

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