Purging most of my iOS Game Backups

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by nightc1, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. nightc1

    nightc1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    4,362
    0
    0
    AL
    For anyone big into iOS it gets clear pretty quickly that anything can happen to your purchases. I'm not going to rant about the deceptive things that happen or just how games get broken. Most of us know the instability of any ios game purchase and have heard it all before. My collection easily is in the multi-thousands of games and backing up games to my PC through iTunes just got a bit too crazy as I'd save old versions of stuff to be safe.

    Well this weekend I took about 300 gigs worth of games (about 4000 backups) and dug through them all deleting anything I didn't know what it was or that I just didn't care about and kept only the stuff I knew I wanted and loved. I had already done an initial purge several months back where I deleted mainly extra versions of very large games. This time though I went through everything I had backed up regardless of size. Most games I kept just one version but a few I kept many versions. The end result is about 25 gigs worth of games and a couple of apps saved and 275gigs of games deleted for good! I think I now have backed up about 100 games.

    It was the most refreshing harddrive cleanout I've done in a while. To get rid of garbage games, stuff that had no meaningful impact, and to stop collecting this stuff is a giant burden lifted off my shoulders. Yes, I no longer backup my games (haven't backed anything up in over a year and a half) but I've also sort of given up on iOS as a gaming platform for purchases. I think I've spent $15 over the past year and a half and several of those games ended up filled with ads or turned freemium. Sure there are some good games but getting out of the weekly cycle made me realize just how rare the really great games were and how easy it was to get caught up in the hype each Wednesday. I'm not completely done with iOS, if the right games came out I'd seriously consider grabbing an itunes card and go shopping... as is though my backlog is too massive to buy more games on the platform so it would take something amazing to get my money (another Goblin Sword, 9th Dawn, Traps & Gemstones, Aliens Vs Humans, Mecho Wars, Cytus, or Cavern could force my wallet open).

    So if there is anyone else contemplating a cleanout, just do it. It may seem crazy but just sort everything alphabetically and go letter by letter and you'll get there. Just ask yourself, "do I love this game" or "do I want to save this" or "why am I saving this"? It made deleting garbage much easier once I started slecting 600 games at a time and then scrolling through the list and de-selecting any keepers and then delete anything still selected when I got done and then move on to another selection of games. I easily put an hour into it (maybe more) and it was completely worth it because some games I really wanted to keep so a full purge would have been bad. Especially some of the Gameloft stuff that is no longer on the store (yet will still play on an old iPod I have). So doing a full purge of all ios backups would have been neglectful to a lot of great purchases.

    I'll be honest, I was kind of scared to do the work. I thought it would be mind numbing but it was surprisingly exciting to watch the gigs and gigs of games get deleted and see those shining gems pop through the massive mess. Heck it helped me remember several games I loved to pieces and wouldn't want to part with.

    Anyway I wanted to post something somewhere about it. This seemed like the most appropriate place.

    I hope everyone still here is doing well. I occasionally check in because the community here was such a huge part of my time when I took the iOS market very seriously.
     
  2. nemerleb

    nemerleb Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2013
    544
    0
    0
    OMG you had guts to do that. I backup all my stuff (anime, epubs, scanned work, songs, iTunes lib) except for games lol. Frankly I am so anal and afraid to lose any data, I backup all my life by keeping the same files on: two external hard drives and on my side lappy (are three identical backups overload and borderline OCD?). SO kudos to you for separating yourself from your progress.
    It's crazy how obsessed we become in hoarding loads and loads of things just for the sake of it...in the mentality of "maybe that would come in habdy one time and I'll be hunted by the ghost of mass deletion".
    Anyway, how do you backup your iOS games? I have iExplorer installed and have never actually used it. Can you keep your save data on PC then redownload an updated game and continue from there while getting all added chievos? That's my main concern tbh.
     
  3. Spin-Doctor

    Spin-Doctor Member

    Jun 22, 2015
    8
    0
    0
    multi-thousands of games? Wow, that's a gamer!
     
  4. nightc1

    nightc1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    4,362
    0
    0
    AL
    I used iTunes on my PC. I would just download new purchases and let them amass. Nicely when iTunes downloaded an updated version of a game the old version would end up in the trash so I'd just restore the old version and have both. After a while it was just second nature to do that. I'd use iFunBox to install older versions of games or games no longer on the store. Stuff like the original Mecho Wars which is a fraction of the size of the HD remake.

    For game saves, since iCloud is hit or miss, I'd also use iFunBox to backup everything on the apps I really wanted to keep the saves on. But unless it's fixed, iOS8.3 stopped making it possible to restore games and saves with iFunBox (it may be fixed, I don't know, I don't really care anymore since I can at least restore to an old iPodTouch4).

    The more serious diehard iOS gamers have more on the order of 10K games and apps. I'm more middle of the road compared to them. Far more diehard than a casual gamer sure, but a lot less obsessed than the big dogs. There are/were people that literally would buy any game that looked interesting every single week at launch. The core of my friends list in GameCenter are many of these folks. I'm around 50K points, the best of my friends is over 246K points. The top 8 are over 100K points. It's crazy humbling... but I don't actually pay much attention to the points and just play what I want to. I'm just glad I barely make it into my own top 25 of friends.
     
  5. JindoFox

    JindoFox Well-Known Member
    Patreon Silver

    Dec 21, 2008
    506
    2
    18
    I did something similar last year when it became clear my iMac was not going to last much longer. I was backing up hundreds of gigabytes of iOS apps and updating everything via iTunes whether or not the apps were actually still installed to a device. I had more games than anyone could store on a mobile, let alone play.

    iPhone OS 2 (later iOS) came out in 2008 and in the early days, things were very exciting. There were new game genres and lots of retro throwbacks almost every day. At just an app a day it would be trivial to have well over 2000 by now -- and with sales and freebies, it was very easy to amass many more than one per day. iCloud, Time Machine and BackBlaze preserved my stuff, and why throw away data?

    Then iOS updates started to break things, and developers wouldn't keep up. I was backing up broken stuff that I literally would never use again. I saved some of the things that I like (Star Wars licensed games, and retro emulators that got removed from the store) and put them in a safe place. Everything else could go!

    Around the same time, Apple made it so we didn't need to store local copies of all of our purchased movies and music. I had terabytes worth of stuff that I no longer needed to back up. Subscribing to iTunes Match gave us a nice clean copy of our CD rips, and I suspect that even that will be something I won't need to keep around forever now that Spotify and Apple Music are here.

    I'm reasonably confident that most of my stuff that I care about is still available in the cloud, and if developers drop support, I don't much care what happens since I can't play it anyway. The only things I'm backing up now are the unique things that I created, and family photographs.

    It feels good to be free. :D
     
  6. JindoFox

    JindoFox Well-Known Member
    Patreon Silver

    Dec 21, 2008
    506
    2
    18
    The ONLY problem I have with the big purge is "what about the history of early iOS gaming? Should we really treat all this interesting software as disposable?" The answer, I think, is "yes." It's healthy to clear out old crap to make way for new awesomeness. Someone should send terabytes of old apps to archive.org for preservation, but it doesn't have to be us. :D
     
  7. pluto6

    pluto6 Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2009
    5,835
    0
    36
    Military
    I just bought a 5 TB drive to replace my 2TB drive that is almost full. Its too easy for me just to back it up, but i admire your efforts. The funny thing is that so many of the games i have no idea if they actually even work any more, although i have an ipad 1 that is still going strong with an old ios - maybe 4.x. My drives also have movies which the HD versions can rapidly fill. If my apps were old newspapers i would be on a "hoarders" reality show. :D
     
  8. nightc1

    nightc1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    4,362
    0
    0
    AL
    That was initially part of my feelings ... "I'm preserving history!", especially for the really great indie games that came out. But it was also a little bit that I was preserving stuff I put quite a bit of money into. It's hard for me to throw money away. That was part of my difficulty going digital on any system... with physical I can put it on a shelf and then sell it later if I don't like it, want it, or just need the money. With digital I'm just stuck with all of my purchases... letting go was really difficult but very liberating. If only apple had a way that I could clean up my purchase history. There are tons of apps/games I'd delete even knowing that I'd be throwing some money away.

    I could have gone that route... but I want to downsize how many drives I'm using to back stuff up. I was (notice "was") using 10 drives to backup stuff (4x2TB, 5x1TB, 1x500GB) with 4 of those being secondary backups of the other drives. I've already dug through and purged video, comics, music, and so on and soon I'll be down to just the 4x2tb drives (really I could be now, I just need to start merging drives). So 2 regular drives and 2 backups. Nicely the first 1TB drive I cleaned off I was able to gut from it's case and upgrade my PS3 from it's measly 250G drive. I'm not sure what I'll do with the others but I could upgrade our other PS3 and the PS4 or upgrade some computers.

    The hardest part is I don't want to just purge stuff but organize it. I have yet to really dig deep into all the years of family pictures. I'm looking at probably 14 years of pics! Some times I'd backup my phone or camera and not clean it off so the next backup would include stuff from the previous one and so on. Digital camera backups are messy anyway with often meaningless file names. I've done some preliminary work there but I want to really organize stuff by reading the meta data and naming the files something meaningful. Maybe a date taken (YYYY-MO-DY, maybe just year if the meta data isn't correct) and then a word or two describing the pic. Then sort everything into folders by year for the types of pics and maybe subfolders for big events. That's going to take weeks of work to accomplish but once done it'll make adding to it much easier and tons of duplicates will get deleted which should help recover more space.

    It's easy to get in the frame of mind to just save everything because space is cheap. But what for? I mean I'm 41, I have maybe 50 years left if I'm super lucky and then what. Do I really want my kids (and hopefully grandkids) having to sort through my digital mess or worse throw it all out because it was too much work to go through? No. I want it to be easy to go through this stuff, find the games I loved, the family pictures, and so on. But waiting till I'm retired with more time is a bad idea as the mess will get worse and who knows I could die before I retire. Granted there's no guarantee that the drives even with backups of them both will survive. Even if one set is at the bank locked away. So some stuff will eventually get burned to DVD's. Just the really important stuff like pictures. I could do a disc per year after I'm done organizing stuff and then just combine years on discs for the old stuff.

    Anyway I'm rambling on like an old fool... or someone who is trying so hard not be a fool. I don't want to spend too much time managing digital stuff... but I also want some of this, the best of it, the stuff I loved, to survive past me and bring someone else enjoyment.
     
  9. psj3809

    psj3809 Moderator

    Jan 13, 2011
    11,566
    70
    48
    England
    I wouldnt worry too much. The great apps will be kept by lots of people for sure.

    Look back at the 8 bit games of the 80's, or MAME or 16 bit games from the early 90's

    Nearly all those games have been 'digitized' from tape/cartridge or from an old dusty arcade machine.

    The iOS classics will be kept by thousands of people for sure and at some point in the future there'll be an 'iOS emulator' or something. Again they've managed to emulate all the past systems so i'm not worried about iOS.

    I back up all my apps to the cloud, a lot of space but i dont want to be one of those people moaning when an app disappears from the app store ! With so many free cloud services out there i tend to backup 50 or 100 gb here and there with ease
     
  10. nightc1

    nightc1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    4,362
    0
    0
    AL
    Well that's not an apples to apples comparison as there were physical chips to rip, physical discs to make images of, tapes to convert, and so on... with iOS it's up to the users to build a history by saving and organizing tons of digital versions of everything good. The big/popular games will no doubt be kept but the small indie dev that maybe got a few hundred sales and then gave up the dream to focus on a regular job and life... many of those great games will be lost in the blur. Then there are the games that were great stand alone games that get converted to freemium, got ads inserted, and so on... those games will more easily get lost. Then again I'm not against many of them getting lost, though there have been some real gems ruined.

    But I'm not championing to keep it all. In fact I did another clean out after my last one! I got rid of some big games I knew I could re-download. So the GTA's, Final Fantasy games, and stuff like that which now I don't have backups of. I'm still keeping several large gameloft classics and some favorites like cytus. Now I'm down to about 15 gigs of games and apps!

    I went back and did more cleaning out of other digital media too and added up what was left (before cleaning up pictures and games) and currently everything I have will easily fit on one 2tb drive :O . I think I'm just coming to terms more about what I love and what might be overblown nostalgia. Stuff I collected that I'd never really read but just got it because I used to love it. Stuff I enjoyed but knew I'd never watch more than once. Music I knew I wouldn't listen to but I just had it because at some point I figured I would want to listen to it. I still have games, and that will be somewhat a mess because I went through a phase where I was into abandonware. But I'm looking forward to being more organized and having even less digital stuff.

    I think 2tb will be enough (with a backup drive or two since I have them)... but I've got some old cd's and dvd's with files to go through so plenty of long term work before I'm fully organized.
     
  11. september

    september Well-Known Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    2,673
    0
    0
    Games are a bit weird these days and I don't know how well they'll emulate, content kept on server, connection required and so on. It will be interesting. The self contained game is becoming somewhat of a rarity now.
     
  12. JindoFox

    JindoFox Well-Known Member
    Patreon Silver

    Dec 21, 2008
    506
    2
    18
    If you think your old games on CD are worth anything, I have a few disc versions of Duke Nukem 3D I could sell you. They're basically last year's newspapers. They will always interesting be interesting to some people, and they might have been worth the purchase price when they were new, but they don't age well. I looked up trade in and auction values on the PS3 games I accumulated over the past several years, and it's not encouraging.

    Yeah, this. There are some movements on to try to emulate the early versions of Everquest or WoW, or bring back servers for Star Wars Galaxies, but I doubt anyone is going to put in the extra effort to bring back OpenFeint.

    I love this so much. :D

    Ancient computer and video games were tiny ROM files, and they're only a space hog if you have a crazy large amount of them. I wonder if the multi-GB video stuffed apps we're discarding will one day be as trivial to store as 256KB Super Nintendo ROMs?
     
  13. psj3809

    psj3809 Moderator

    Jan 13, 2011
    11,566
    70
    48
    England
    I wont mind if those games arent kept ! The best games i play are all offline ones and dont rely on servers or connections etc.

    Again if they can emulate old arcade machines or games on physical devices like a tape or cartridge i'm certain at some point in the future there'll be an 'ios 4 emulator' (and eventually ios5, ios 6) etc for games to play offline
     
  14. nightc1

    nightc1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    4,362
    0
    0
    AL
    #14 nightc1, Jul 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
    I paid $30 for Shantae for GBC when it released... sold it on ebay a few years ago complete with box, all paperwork and everything in as close to mint condition as it gets and cleared $250. Part of the value in games is actually buying games people love. It helps too if they aren't super common and you take care of them. Try selling a black label copy of Final Fantasy 7 or Castlevania SoTN for PS1. It's not the same experience as selling an old copy of Madden 95 or Duke Nukem 3D.

    And classic games go in phases. I've read from others that the current hot phase is PS2 & GameCube. That the kids that grew up with those systems are now working jobs and wanting to relive playing those games on the original systems. Many of those same kids had to sell off games or were stupid and traded them in to fund other games or other life expenses. So values have gone up as the demand has.

    I'm not saying every game on disc/cart is going to fetch top dollar at all, but even the cheapest games out there will fetch more than what we can make selling our old iOS games (since we can't sell them). If you bought great games then you have a much better chance of making money than on crap or super common games. So Superman64 is going to sell for less than Super Smash Bros or Paper Mario. If you hit at the right time and have the box and other stuff that came with your game then you could good money with it. More than you'd make selling a cd in a sleeve or naked cart. There was a big phase of PC games where if you had the box and paperwork the games were worth good money. I missed that boat but if you treat it somewhat like an investment then it can work out for the positive. Buy low the great games at the bottom of the market, play them and hold on to them for years, sell when the market comes back and people want to play those fantastic games again. I've made a lot of money from my old game collections versus what I paid by being cheap for the most part rather than buying at release. Shantae was a rare event for me in that I bought it when it came out (due to rarity and wanting the game) and that ultimately paid off enough to put tires on my car. But Castlevania Legends (GB), I bought that when it hit $20 and it sold for really good money too.
     

Share This Page