Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Distancing Spring Engine from Games

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abq911
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Joined: 16 Jul 2011, 00:13

Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by abq911 » 31 Dec 2011, 22:53

For the benefit of the end user, we should try to distinguish the games from the engine itself as much as possible.
To do this:
  • Split the website (springrts.com) into a user portal which pretty much only showcases the games but is a great place for a new user to get started (eg. http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/ or zerok website)
  • Make a generic .exe installer for game devs to use that doesn't interfere with you existing spring installer but is easy to use for users, just click-install. Autoupdate is a must.
  • Have games on the central spring ppa for linux users so that they can install games from the spring repos as well as try to get the GPL games into major linux releases eg Ubuntu 12.04 for easy installing and free instant media coverage on every single Linux games website
  • Make a generic lobby for game devs that is specific to each game and has a nice frontend, eg generic zero-k lobby that makes it less confusing for end users

For the .exe installer, I'm planning on just using Autohotkey to unpack a Portable Spring with the game data included into Program Files, and have a shortcut essentially. For debs, contacted PPA maintainer and see if he could do it. Website, first thing I want to do is get analytics on there and then make a decision based on that. Lobby, I don't know where to start.
Last edited by abq911 on 01 Jan 2012, 21:11, edited 1 time in total.
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maackey
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Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by maackey » 31 Dec 2011, 23:18

Forewarning: didn't read most of it.
abq911 wrote:Now, it's your turn to say "Why don't you do it?" This is all good talk, but in the end, it comes down to the various game devs coming together and agreeing to create an installer that doesn't corrupt each other's game installs.
Already been done. You even mention ZK already has this feature. The problem isn't "coming together and agreeing" ... the problem is "someone make an installer for **** (BA)" but being an open source project nobody is obligated to heed your demands which means its left to you :)
So plan of action: the person who made the executible for 0K meets up with a couple other devs who made their own .exe solutions and make a generic one that any game dev can use to make an exe for their game that autoupdates and doesn't kill the system's existing Spring install.
See above (already been done) granted, it might not be in the most visible of places, but the "Rapid" tab of ZKL has all the games on the spring engine. (even BA and EVO)
Person in charge of the ppa right now after we have some discussion on the best plan of action can go ahead and package the most common mods (0k, BA, etc) according to this discussion, if nothing meaningful comes out of the discussion, just go ahead and package the sd7's.
The person who made the 0K lobby meets up with maintainers of Springlobby and make something that would be generic and able to be used by multiple mods (and work on Linux, all it takes is taking the Trident shell and replacing it with webkit)
Ahh, I see you are on linux - but Rapid is still available as a command line tool and can download all the games same as ZKL. http://zero-k.info/Wiki/Download#Linux

TL;DR telling other people to do stuff probably won't get you what you wan't. It is honestly faster/easier to learn how to create an installer and do it yourself.
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abq911
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Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by abq911 » 31 Dec 2011, 23:35

maackey wrote:Already been done. You even mention ZK already has this feature. The problem isn't "coming together and agreeing" ... the problem is "someone make an installer for **** (BA)" but being an open source project nobody is obligated to heed your demands which means its left to you :)
Will do. .exe's for most popular games, once I find out how to do them :)
See above (already been done) granted, it might not be in the most visible of places, but the "Rapid" tab of ZKL has all the games on the spring engine. (even BA and EVO)
That makes it easier then :)
Ahh, I see you are on linux - but Rapid is still available as a command line tool and can download all the games same as ZKL. http://zero-k.info/Wiki/Download#Linux

But command line tool isn't easy to use for most users, the best plan of action is to integrate it into update manager, which doesn't happen right now, even though it's really easy to implement.
TL;DR telling other people to do stuff probably won't get you what you wan't. It is honestly faster/easier to learn how to create an installer and do it yourself.
[/quote]
Agreed, was just hoping someone who has more experience with it could help me out.
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maackey
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Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by maackey » 31 Dec 2011, 23:58

But command line tool isn't easy to use for most users, the best plan of action is to integrate it into update manager, which doesn't happen right now, even though it's really easy to implement.
then feel free :D

IMO certain things are much easier and faster with cli tools. eg. svn, moving files/directories, installing/uninstalling packages from repos, etc. especially when all you have to do is copy paste the code snippet from the download page, but I wouldn't mind having the option for a gui on linux either.

Also keep in mind that people who use linux are generally not referred to as "most users" :wink: and should hopefully be able or at least learn to be able to use the terminal.

If you're looking for people who can help you, Licho and CarRepairer did a lot with ZKLobby (and car also made Weblobby) and zwzg (sp?) did the Kernel Panic stuffs.

ZKLobby started out as a cross platform .net/mono project, but support was dropped because there were no linux devs to deal with the bugs.
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AF
AI Developer
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Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by AF » 01 Jan 2012, 00:37

Painfully long article with no summaries, bullet points, formatting, diagrams, and giant paragraphs, written by unknown user, is painfully long.

It's midnight on new years in 24 minutes, and I don't want to eb reading a forum post when the countdown reaches zero.

These things take finesse and you need to get your point across in a manner that is short and concise.
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Cheesecan
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Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by Cheesecan » 01 Jan 2012, 01:46

Sorry tldr on a phone. Most games have own websites. Weblobby doesn't work in LAN. Requires you can run applets to work unitsync. Nobody likes applets.

0K lobby is made for 0K there is no one size fits all because community cooperation is not that good. Most contentdevs want BA to die.

Custom exe? afaik only one game has a branched exe.
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smoth
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Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by smoth » 01 Jan 2012, 06:49

AF wrote:Painfully long article with no summaries, bullet points, formatting, diagrams, and giant paragraphs, written by unknown user, is painfully long.
Op, clean up your post if you want it to be read.
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abq911
Posts: 11
Joined: 16 Jul 2011, 00:13

Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by abq911 » 01 Jan 2012, 11:22

Hehe I see nobody read it. Here's rewrite. Most of the above was details on the actual implementation.

For the benefit of the end user, we should try to distinguish the games from the engine itself as much as possible.
To do this:
  • Split the website (springrts.com) into a user portal which pretty much only showcases the games but is a great place for a new user to get started (eg. http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/ or zerok website)
  • Make a generic .exe installer for game devs to use that doesn't interfere with you existing spring installer but is easy to use for users, just click-install. Autoupdate is a must.
  • Have games on the central spring ppa for linux users so that they can install games from the spring repos as well as try to get the GPL games into major linux releases eg Ubuntu 12.04 for easy installing and free instant media coverage on every single Linux games website
  • Make a generic lobby for game devs that is specific to each game and has a nice frontend, eg generic zero-k lobby that makes it less confusing for end users
For the .exe installer, I'm planning on just using Autohotkey to unpack a Portable Spring with the game data included into Program Files, and have a shortcut essentially. For debs, contacted PPA maintainer and see if he could do it. Website, first thing I want to do is get analytics on there and then make a decision based on that. Lobby, I don't know where to start.
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Cheesecan
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Joined: 07 Feb 2005, 21:30

Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by Cheesecan » 01 Jan 2012, 11:44

1.
It's not the job of spring engine to market spring games. This has already been discussed a dozen times on forum and all the little frogs agreed on this. Spring games have their own marketing and websites(except for Bastard Annihilation which has nothing because it aspires to nothingness).

2.
I think in Windows you can actually double click on sdz and it will install to the games/mods directory. No need for a setup..

3.
Are you volunteering to become a PPA maintainer and provide every game version on PPA?

4. There are plenty of lobbies like this already. A good start is to use the search feature on these forums or simply look under the right sub-forum which has a mystical and alluding name, 'Lobby Clients'. :shock:
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abq911
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Joined: 16 Jul 2011, 00:13

Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by abq911 » 01 Jan 2012, 12:28

Cheesecan wrote:1.
It's not the job of spring engine to market spring games. This has already been discussed a dozen times on forum and all the little frogs agreed on this. Spring games have their own marketing and websites(except for Bastard Annihilation which has nothing because it aspires to nothingness).
I'm not saying it is the spring engine's job to market spring games. It should be fairly obvious by looking at some other game engine (eg http://unity3d.com) that the spring engine's job is to promote game development, and not the games themselves. However, the fact is that I guess as a legacy of calling it SpringRTS for so long, people still come looking for something called SpringRTS (eg http://wiki.debian.org/Game#Strategic_games) so just simply making a distinction between the people who come here looking for the devoid SpringRTS and actual content developers would help a lot organizationally. I mean, just open the Help page: you have an entire section devoted to "Playing ingame FAQ", so you either have to strip out all of the Game specific content (BA....) and make it strictly a dev site or just split them more so that they are clearly defined. I think most content devs and all the random googlers who are looking for a "SpringRTS" would agree.
2.
I think in Windows you can actually double click on sdz and it will install to the games/mods directory. No need for a setup..
Weird. Can't say the same about my install. http://i39.tinypic.com/15eu6x2.png
3.
Are you volunteering to become a PPA maintainer and provide every game version on PPA?
If necessary, yes, though I feel like it would be more appropriate if one of the senior devs like Tobi or koshi who are already maintaining the PPA just do it, most of the game devs provide debs already so its not additional workload or anything. I can package the mods that aren't already in debs, but that doesn't take any time, its just putting the sd7 with a description.
4. There are plenty of lobbies like this already. A good start is to use the search feature on these forums or simply look under the right sub-forum which has a mystical and alluding name, 'Lobby Clients'. :shock:
That is rather shocking :) now that you mention it, I thought springlobby was the only linux (and thus crossplatform) lobby out there until I saw your lobby, http://springrts.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=24905 will check it out ASAP.
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hoijui
Former Engine Dev
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Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by hoijui » 01 Jan 2012, 13:55

don't rewrite the first post in an other post later on, you will obviously not get more readers this way, you have to edit the first post. also.. make titles as AF suggested, not just bullet points.
me also no read this stuff.
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knorke
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Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by knorke » 01 Jan 2012, 14:50

wiki:
I agree the wiki on springrts.com should mostly be about game making, engine and technical FAQ/troubleshooting.
Every game should have only one page where it can put whatever it wants. Need more pages? Get a homepage/google code thing.
Basically all games already do that, though there are many old leftovers.
Most of those pages are for BA and since BA atm does not have a homepage, it would be bad to delete them without any replacement. So whoever wants to make a BA homepage could start with collecting whatever usefull BA stuff is on the wiki and then clean it. Or at least copy it over to the BA svn.
"Help&Bugs" should imo remain on springrts.com because most gamedevs can do little if something does not work.

Games that have/had their own installers:
Kernel Panic
GundamRTS
EvolutionRTS
Spring1944
zero-k
Conflict Terra
NOTA
Even BA had an installer once (but from what I understand BA maintainers atm not really want one until BAR)

What others games are we talking about here?

The problem with game-installers is that no player only plays one game.
For a local network those installers are good, but on the interweb most springplayers play multiple spring games: if they can not find players for their favorite game, they play something else. lolbadsdlol
But who wants to switch between 3 or more lobbies?
So eventually players will copy their KP, S44, Evo,... files into the install that they use the most.
(and if they do not do that on purpose, archivemover* will help mix everything up anyway)

At this point it is clusterfuck:
1) incompatible maps (Spring1944 Nazis on KernelPanic cyberspace maps)
2) incompatible AIs (TA AIs failing at everything non-ta)
Both could be avoided:
1) All lobbies should read http://springrts.com/wiki/Validmaps.lua
2) A similiar file for games to block AIs from the add-bot menu.

I think in Windows you can actually double click on sdz and it will install to the games/mods directory.
*Yup. The program is called "archivemover" and will happily mix your game1-files into the install from game2. :?
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FLOZi
MC: Legacy & Spring 1944 Developer
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Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by FLOZi » 01 Jan 2012, 16:02

Spring site / forums / wiki issues I agree with whole heartedly.

See attached file for an old discussion / proposal on this by Smoth and Tobi.
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AF
AI Developer
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Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by AF » 01 Jan 2012, 19:18

An attempt to move developers to a dev site was made a long time ago. I still get emails from it when spambots register, otherwise nobody else bothered and it was abandoned
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knorke
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Re: Distancing Spring Engine from Games

Post by knorke » 01 Jan 2012, 22:20

What I meant is the wiki being "abused" to create games webpages with many subpages. Forum is imo ok except for some details (eg "Lua scripts" should be under "content creation")
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