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Patching the game in the 90s / Official patch disks?

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Hi guys!

This is my first message here in the forum, but I really like the whole retrogame scene, the history of PC gaming!

In the first 90s, not many computers had access to FTPs, BBSs etcetera (well, not in Italy), so I'm asking how a registered DOOM player could update the game. I explain better: someone posted their floppy collection, and I've seen some 1.1->1.2 and 1.1->1.666 official patch disk from iD. So I'm asking, for who was there, if iD sent some sort of paper snailmail newsletter and/or floppy disk, or requesting them from the source paying the postage was possible.

I'm asking to myself if registered DOOM players who hadn't access to internet, who didn't bought PC gaming magazines, one day they received some iD official newsmail, saying that paying just the postage the would freely update their copy of DOOM to Ultimate DOOM. If so, exist some documentation (photo of those floppy, scan of those newsletter)?

It's just for curiosity sake :)

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That's a good question, but somehow I doubt that id (or any other company, for that matter) really offered such a "straight to your home" support service, at least not for this kind of software (games...), not for long and not for the international market, especially considering the sheer numbers of patches that they released, with many of them being clearly transitional, and none of them really being must-haves (in the sense that none of them fixed fatal flaws). Posting several thousand of floppies internationally (or even just domestically) each time they released a patch? No way.

Even back then, it was far more convenient and far more outreaching to just trust any update patches to their FTP servers, to local BBSes, computer magazine floppies, shareware CD-ROMs etc. and let them dribble down the the final users.

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Those days there used to be actual brick & mortar shops that carried shareware stuff on floppy disks. I've seen such places at malls, for example.
Also, there were lots of mail-order places that carried PD, shareware, and even used or old software at a discount. You'd just call them up by phone and do order by credit card, check, or COD. I bought some Amiga games and Fred Fish disks that way.
If the Doom updates were ever available without some network access via modem, this was probably the way.

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Maes said:

That's a good question, but somehow I doubt that id (or any other company, for that matter) really offered such a "straight to your home" support service

Actually, AFAIK at least some old LucasArts and MicroProse games have such official patch disks (I think you had to specifically request them though? Or maybe they were mailed to everyone who returned the registration card from the game's box at least if the patch fixed some critical problem...). id, I don't know.

EDIT: Also, Sierra games.

from https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/1tl1zf/how_game_patches_were_done_before_the_internet/

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