The 90s was a prolific time for Australasian developers and lead to the creation of variety of games like Beam Software’s Shadowrun (1993), a role-playing game set in a gritty cyberpunk future; Ratbag Games’ Powerslide (1998), a post-apocalyptic racer; and Interactive Binary Illusions' Flight of the Amazon Queen (1995), a point-and-click adventure set in the Amazon.
This variety can lead to preservation and playability issues. The often-complicated digital nature of 90s games can be exacerbated by their need to run on rare or even obsolete hardware. Because of this, emulators – digital recreations of a specific hardware or software environment – are often used in place of the original hardware. However, finding, installing and testing the emulator that best represents the original experience can be difficult. ACMI is working with a variety of partners including Swinburne University, RMIT and AARNet to ease this process and bring these games back to life through EaaSI (Emulation-as-a-Service Infrastructure). EaaSI collates available emulation environments in one convenient space, giving us the ability to iteratively test and track down the best emulator for each individual games.
This project is a continuation of Play It Again I, which focused on preserving Australasian videogames from the 1980s. It is funded via the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme, which funds collaborative projects between University researchers and Partner Organizations.
Check our Play It Again page for updates on the project.