It's been almost 20 years since the site was founded, back in the early internet days of January 1999. Many of you reading this will remember the design that the website had since 2001. I've actually received a few emails from people over the years to say thanks for keeping the design unchanged! (If you're interested in website history, see the About page.) The old design lived here for about 17 years before being replaced:
So why change it now? Besides it being waaaay past its expiry date, I have actually wanted to update the site for a long time now. In fact, I started major updates a few times over the years but never finished. (See the end of this post for a few sample images!) This time I decided to do it for real! And a few hundred hours later (!) it's done! Now the website is much more flexible and contains more great content. Part of the reason it took so long is that all of the manually hard-coded html game listings needed to be converted to a database. (If you're interested in the more technical details, see the DOSGames.com v2.0 Technical Details post.)
Here are some of the improvements made besides the new look:
- Responsive: Works on mobile devices and tablets. (Not all features, but most of them!) Of course, using your phone would be more for information than actually playing ...
- Database-driven game lists: Now you can search, filter, and sort the game listings. Each game now has its own dedicated page, and authors also have their own page so you can easily see all the games by a particular developer / publisher.
- More game information: Each game now includes a video (if available; in the future I will record video for more games), as well as information about violence level, Wikipedia links, and Android/iOS remake links if available.
- New content: The first of what hopefully will be many new/updated content sections includes:
- DOSBox Guide: Brand new guide to setting up and running DOSBox, with images and links.
- FAQ: Updated frequently asked questions with more relevant Q&As for today’s users.
- Game Bytes Magazine archive: An archive of every Game Bytes magazine.
- Game Company Catalogs archive: An archive of catalogs from game companies listing their games.
- User ratings and comments: Users can now rate all of the games, as well as leave comments.
- Blog with news archive: You’re reading it now! :) I also imported old news announcements, dating back to 2003 (the oldest that I kept). (I plan to go through the Wayback Machine archives to pull more posts.)
- Secure HTTPS: This was actually done before the design switch, but it’s still a good thing, not just for search positioning but as a best practice for users.
- 101 minor additions, updates, and fixes: Too many to list here, from small things like fixing typos in review text, an actual working contact form, adding the random game to the sidebar, removing old broken links (remember when Web Rings were a thing?) and many more.
If you notice any problems, or have any feedback that you want to share, you’re welcome to leave a comment below, or you can contact me to let me know. Please be constructive; after all, this is a one man operation!
As you might imagine, it’s taken quite a bit of time to complete this revision work, and it will require more time to keep it up to date and continue to add more content and features. If you would like to support me and the work I’m doing here, please visit the Donation page for a few different ways that you can support the website. Thank you for your support!
That’s all for now, however I plan to continue to improve the site when I can (I’ll be a father in a couple months so, that’s going to cut into my free time
a little a lot ..) and will continue to add more games and make this website the best that it can be.
PS. Here are some screenshots of some previous attempts at a redesign over the years; none of these made it very far!