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Johnny Castaway was made using the Dynamix Game Development System (DGDS), which was also used to create Heart of China and some Willy Beamish games. It’t be really great if that system would ‘leak’ somehow. Somebody’s gotta have it archived. Though no-one I co tacted so far seems to be that person.
About the rights: I guess you shouldn’t worry too much about them, since sierra clearly distantiated itself from JC, according to the accompanying readme file.
As vista 64-bit and win7 (32 and 64 bit) don’t have support for 16-bit windows executables anymore, even that would be difficult One possibility would be to layer it on top of a program like dosbox or some other kind of VM, but that would be more of a quick hack than an elegant solution. Better would be to figure out the used file-formats, and rewrite the engine. But reverse-engineering isnt an easy thing to do. Any help appreciated of course!
I know about that version, i made it. It’s essentially nothing more than an installer, a configuration tool, and a screen-resolution switch in order to make it full-screen. Plus some tricks to make windows XP and up recognize it. Not the slightest bit of chance it will port to any other platform like that.