Home of the Underdogs is Back!

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Home of the Underdogs is Back!

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Apparently it's true that you can't keep a good dog down, because Home of the Underdogs is back!

After growing into the premiere abandonware site on the internet, Home of the Underdogs began a long, slow slide into oblivion when founder Sarinee Achavanuntakul stopped updating in 2006. Die-hard users kept it afloat through a hosting crisis in September 2008 but on February 9 of this year the site's host went bankrupt and four days later it went offline. At the time, given the apparent lack of interest in maintaining it, another revival seemed highly unlikely.

But that assumption was incorrect, as only days after the site disappeared an effort to bring it back got underway. Dan Rubenfield, the man behind the resurrected Underdogs, says there were a few competing revival efforts underway, driven by "fundamental disagreements about software and direction." But with the help of the raw XLS spreadsheet of the source data provided by original HotU founder Achavanuntakul, Rubenfield was able to get HotU relaunched on March 8.

The site has expanded considerably since then and earlier this week was moved from a shared host to a "full bore server" in order to handle the increasing traffic. The new Underdogs is a new type of archive, Rubenfield said, noting that while the original site was static, this incarnation is built to be extensible.

"Users can add new listings, submit reviews, rate games, and grow the archive far more than the original," he explained. "The idea is to grow the amazing original repository into something that the community builds and expands, a place to share the under appreciated and forgotten games with fellow fans."

Rubenfield said that as well as maintaining a policy of respecting removal requests from copyright holders, the new Home of the Underdogs is also "working closely" with GOG.com to push traffic their way. "The idea is to maintain listings for all of their games and feed them the traffic," he continued. "Hotud is dedicated to protecting and encouraging Good Old Games, Steam, and any other old-game provider out there by pointing fans to the proper avenue to get a copy of a game instead of offering a download. If it's for sale, we're not going to list it."

There are currently fewer files available than on the original HotU site but the process of rebuilding the archive is continuing. Along with everything else, the URL has changed slightly too: The new Home of the Underdogs can now be found at www.hotud.org. Drop by and say hello!

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Booyakka! Nostalgia's coming home to stay. Who needs new games anyway?

Good news

Great news!

Full kudos to Rubenfield.. Part of what made Home of the Underdogs such a great thing was that it made abandonware available while at the same time respecting the rights of the developers.

BTW guys/girls, a picture tells a thousand words:

imageimageimageimageimage

Wait. I thought http://homeoftheunderdogs.net/ was the official rebuilt HotU?

Well, I never knew that they had a listing for the 1998 game, Battlezone, until now. It makes sense, though, because the obscurity of the title does mean that I'm one of those few people who have played it.

Anyway, this is fantastic news, although I knew they were busy with a revival of some sort. I love reliving memories from the past and discovering games that I haven't played before. I think that Root's collection of pictures says it all.

JLrep:
Wait. I thought http://homeoftheunderdogs.net/ was the official rebuilt HotU?

There were a few revivals after the original went down. Attempts to work on a single effort didn't work out and the revival group fell apart. None of the other revivals have seen any changes since March, and they're all partial versions of the original (static pages, no files or anything), let alone any actual growth.

I worked closely with the revival groups and Dan Pinchbeck over at the University of Portsmouth to make sure I had his blessing on this site. It was only after his okay that I brought it up in March.

That said, none of these revivals are "Official" in the sense of sanctioned by Sarinee (the original Underdog).

RAKtheUndead:
Well, I never knew that they had a listing for the 1998 game, Battlezone, until now.

The original didn't have a listing. That's a user addition.

The_root_of_all_evil:
BTW guys/girls, a picture tells a thousand words:

imageimageimageimageimage

Holy shit...I'll finally get to play Grim Fandango?!

I need to sit down.

This, bastion of internet and gaming history, has been harmed by commercialism.

What? How so?

Oh joy and ecstasy!! Abandonia and Home of the Underdogs have provided me with countless hours of entertainment when I've been broke and bored. Glad to see it back.

Malygris:
What? How so?

Was referring to the fact, that the original HotU gave the opportunity to download the "ancient", historic titles for no-charge. Working with GOG means limiting access to history. Call me a cheapstake, but the main value of a museum to me, is the no admittance fee and the great experience of revisiting the past. The venture doesn't look as much as appealing as it looked without the fee's of GOG...

... or didn't I look good enough to find the downloads? If yes, I'm stupid, and what I said before is void.

In the last several updates of HotU, I wasn't even downloading anything. I just read up on the updates, discovering games I'd never heard of. Moving beyond the grey legal area certainly won't hurt the site.

GOG.com isn't that expensive, I've bought a few titles from them already, always at less than $10, usually more like $5.

Games have downloads that -
1. Aren't for sale anywhere
2. We've found files for
3. That aren't ESA protected or haven't been requested to be removed.

Caveat - There's around 5400 entries and 4100 files so I might have some stuff up that is for sale elsewhere. I'm pulling them as people point them out or I come across them.

Cheap isn't free. There is a world of difference.

YES!

SomeBritishDude:

The_root_of_all_evil:
BTW guys/girls, a picture tells a thousand words:

[snip]

Holy shit...I'll finally get to play Grim Fandango?!

I need to sit down.

...And System Shock 2?

Is this true? I... I was pretty sure I had seen SS2 in GoG, which meant it was not freeware (just dirt cheap, and I'm going to play the two Fallout(s) that are there anyway)...

I am currently very happy.

cool, but I wasnt following this story much as I never used this site. Gonna go on now though.

Lord_Pall:
There were a few revivals after the original went down. Attempts to work on a single effort didn't work out and the revival group fell apart. None of the other revivals have seen any changes since March, and they're all partial versions of the original (static pages, no files or anything), let alone any actual growth.

I worked closely with the revival groups and Dan Pinchbeck over at the University of Portsmouth to make sure I had his blessing on this site. It was only after his okay that I brought it up in March.

That said, none of these revivals are "Official" in the sense of sanctioned by Sarinee (the original Underdog).

Oh, excellent. HotU is one of my favorite sites ever.
I also really hope to see the return of the downloads. Not for any of the "gray-legal" stuff (let alone System Shock 2 or Grim Fandango, which I'm sure are both still supported), but for their really old, otherwise-nigh-impossible-to-find stuff (like much of the stuff on Macintosh Garden). A lot of the games were just a few megabytes each.

There are downloads.

Just not for games you can buy

In my ignorance, I have never heard of this site. What is it?

Is it free?

Is it legit?

raxiv:
Was referring to the fact, that the original HotU gave the opportunity to download the "ancient", historic titles for no-charge. Working with GOG means limiting access to history. Call me a cheapstake, but the main value of a museum to me, is the no admittance fee and the great experience of revisiting the past. The venture doesn't look as much as appealing as it looked without the fee's of GOG...

Funny, I prefer this approach as I see it creating a greater degree of legitimacy for HotU. Especially in light of what GOG charges, it's a fantastic deal and I'm very happy to see HotU taking this route.

Besides, when was the last time you went to a museum without an admittance fee?

Malygris:
Besides, when was the last time you went to a museum without an admittance fee?

Museums are free in the UK. Lucky bastards.

Still looking for a way to play some 7th Guest and 11th Hour. I miss those games, never got to finish either...

Still, glad to see HotU is back and trying to highlight itself with a more respectable reputation.

HOLY CRAP!

Wow, see, this is where I got Chex Quest 2 and 3, because nobody else hosted them anymore after Digital Cafe disbanded. Good to see them back.

Well this is actually really good, and not too different from how they did it in the past. Not having downloads for games being sold is perfectly reasonable.

I'm a little confused as to what exactly HOTUD is, can someone explain to me? It's apparantly a place where you can play old games?

HoTUD is an Abadnonware site which was originally based around the idea of only supporting abandoned games which were not successful but still fairly good. As opposed to sites like "Abandonia" which was handling titles that were abandoned but also pretty successful in their heyday.

The problem with Abandonware sites, is that when you DO find a game for download that noone is selling or cliaming the rights do, that typically you need to do a lot of work to get it to work on your system. Trying to get Dosbox to work (even with a frontend) is something I (and many others) have not been able to do reliably. The same can be applied to other nessicary emulators, slowdown programs, and other things.

Differant people have differant degrees of luck however.

I have mixed feelings about "abandonware" sites that charge anything. On one hand I feel what makes this legitimate is the fact that they aren't charing to make money off someone else's work. Comments about how "bandwidth isn't free" bear a great deal of validity, but at the same time it's impossible to verify whether the person involved is just covering costs or making any kind of a profit.

Then again there is also the entire issue that if I pay for a game, even a tiny amount of money, I expect it to work. These old games are hardly plug and play. I've gotten some to work one way or another, and others just will not function. I'm not going to pay anything to effectively play Russian Roulette with a game I might not be able to operate. If someone charges me for a DL under any justification they had best have found a way to ensure that program is going to run quickly and easily on my current system.

That said there ARE numerous old games I'd pay a couple of bucks apiece for if they could be made to reliably run on my system.

>>>----Therumancer--->

Well, cool... But you can't download System Shock 2.

Damn. Oh well, I still have GOG.com.

Malygris:

raxiv:
Was referring to the fact, that the original HotU gave the opportunity to download the "ancient", historic titles for no-charge. Working with GOG means limiting access to history. Call me a cheapstake, but the main value of a museum to me, is the no admittance fee and the great experience of revisiting the past. The venture doesn't look as much as appealing as it looked without the fee's of GOG...

Funny, I prefer this approach as I see it creating a greater degree of legitimacy for HotU. Especially in light of what GOG charges, it's a fantastic deal and I'm very happy to see HotU taking this route.

Besides, when was the last time you went to a museum without an admittance fee?

In Poland, pretty much every museum (majority of them) has no admittance fee, and I was in one two weeks ago.
And I am torn apart with your argument really. You make a valid point, and despite GOG being a Polish initiative, and brings up highlight to "older" games, I feel it targets the precious accessability to history more then helps - It's my impression though, and as I said I am torn in this issue. I am not happy, but I am not angry/sad either.

It boils down to the fact, I would pay for the best games of my childhood - however I'd rather pay symbolic money. I haven't checked the current prices for games on GOG but last time I did, MDK costed 10$, while I would pay 5$, since thats how much it costs to get it off the shelve in a retail box (yeah, I saw MDK in a PC-part shop in its retail box).

GoG looks just like a scam to me, on par with ebaum's world ;
but I'll change my opinion if someone here download rayman 1 from this site and can make it work perfectly, music and all, with no problem.

incal11:
GoG looks just like a scam to me, on par with ebaum's world ;
but I'll change my opinion if someone here download rayman 1 from this site and can make it work perfectly, music and all, with no problem.

GOG is run by CDProjekt, the makers of The Witcher. They are an AWESOME company and it no way a scam.

TheKbob:

incal11:
GoG looks just like a scam to me, on par with ebaum's world ;
but I'll change my opinion if someone here download rayman 1 from this site and can make it work perfectly, music and all, with no problem.

GOG is run by CDProjekt, the makers of The Witcher. They are an AWESOME company and it no way a scam.

Fine, I can believe you;
but are they making old games (such as the first rayman) work well on newer systems ?
because if the dosbox is still required that's not much of an "update" worth 9.99$.
I may be willing to pay for a reedition , on the shelves, fully compatible with XP; not for a download that I don't know if it'll work, even with the dosbox.

Also, do they really own the rights to sell all the games they propose ?
I know they stroke a deal with Ubisoft, but that doesn't cover all of it.

I understand that some feel better paying for their games, but to me it just looks like your nostalgia is being exploited by some nosy guy who has no rights on most of the games he proposes.

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