Door World Magazine archive

What was it?

This short-lived monthly electronic magazine focused on BBS door games.

Door World was published by RoAnn Vecchia and Dave Wendling of the N.U.G.I. ConSorTium from 1995-96. Wendling was a door game author, best known for titles like Terra-Firma and Quantum Jump.

The magazine was not distributed as textfiles, but appropriately enough, as a custom door program. A sysop would install the Door World reader program on his BBS, and callers could then use the program to read the latest issue, complete with color and monochrome ANSI advertisments.

Each month's issue contained the reader program and its support files, plus a set of articles, advertisements, and index files. The articles and indices were not plain text -- they were encoded .DAT files.

Read it now

So far I have located 12 issues of Door World Magazine, plus one "Hints" edition. I have converted the .DAT files into text, so you can read the magazine without any special software.

I am still missing at least three issues: June 1995, July 1995, and March 1996. There may have been issues after June 1996, but I am not sure.

Want to experience the original versions? Just download the ZIP file below. You will need a DOS emulator like DOSBox to run the reader program.

Updates to this collection

How I converted it

I was excited when learned this magazine existed. A contemporary source on door games!

My enthusiasm waned, though, when I learned the articles weren't stored as plain text. Browsing through each issue in an emulator would be tedious, I thought. Even if I found something interesting, there would be no way to copy and paste the text from the emulator to make it accessible.

I decided to find a way to decode the article format, so that I could make the content accessible to search engines and web browsers.

So I began to examine the files. Each .DAT file was a list of comma-delimited numbers, which I thought looked like ASCII codes. Turns out I was right, with one caveat: the codes were offset by 1 or 2 from the true ASCII values.

I wrote a PHP converter to change the .DAT files to plain text files, and then another converter to linkify the index files so they could serve as tables of contents on the web. Lastly, I converted all the ANSIs to PNG files or animated GIFs.

Please note that while I converted the magazine's data formats, I did not edit or change any of the content.

Want more?

See some of Break Into Chat's other special collections.

Interested in BBSing, door games, or retrocomputing? Check out the Break Into Chat BBS wiki or the blog.