Source code is among some of the most valuable finds that archivists can make. Thanks to some auction purchases, one preservationist now has the code for Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and NBA Jam Extreme.
Last month, the folks at SiliconClassics got their hands on workstations and discs from Acclaim Entertainment. The company went bankrupt in 2004, with assets sold at auction. Among the data on those stations was the source code for Nintendo 64 first person shooter/fog simulator Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.
A new discovery has unearthed what appears to be the source code for NBA Jam Extreme a 3-D entry in the popular basketball franchise. The files seem to indicate that the project was known by the odd codename "Squid." An additional copy of Turok's source code was also found.
As companies fold and data storage deteriorates, it is harder and harder to preserve games either in their original state or remasters. SiliconClassics claims that Nightdive Studios CEO has expressed interest in the source code. Kotaku has reached out to Nightdive Studios for more information.
Dev kits and data often find their way to auction. Finding important source code or lost projects helps keep game history alive. Finds like this give insight to game development including cut features or design trick used in making the games. Who knows, the next time there's an auction, maybe you'll find something special hidden on the hard drive.