Level(set) manager/loader

Got a cool idea that should be in R'n'D? Let's hear it!

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bojster
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Level(set) manager/loader

Post by bojster » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:56 am

Hello!

I just thought, if there's ever enough time, it would be nice if RnD got equipped with level (levelset) manager and (down)loader along with a central site to which they could be uploaded. When I installed the new RnD today, I backuped and removed my old levels dir as I decided it was too much of a mess already - with at least three versions of Supaplex, each with a different set of tapes, and all the other levelsets misorganised all atound. Now I have a vanilla RnD instllation with a perspective of installing all the cool levelsets again, and most of them I have to first download from different websites. Also I skimmed the forum and noticed quite a few new levelsets I might find interesting, if I ever decide to download them from all around the Web. So a built0in feature of checking for new/updated levels, automatically downloading them and keeping everything in a clean hierarchical order would be more than handy. :)

PS. Thanks (again and again) for the great game!

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Martijn
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Post by Martijn » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:42 am

Wow, yes that would be a great idea indeed...
But the problem is that level sets are uploaded at several places. Some can be downloaded from the Artsoft website, others are uploaded on Zomis' file archive and yet others are linked to in this forum.

I have collected ALL these level sets and sorted them out, except for a number of new sets (about 10) mentioned on this forum the last year. Because their links don't work any more, I have requested for new links.
For the rest EVERYTHING can be found on my Boulder Dash Fan Site at the Rocks 'n' Diamonds page: http://bd-fans.com/RnD.html

At this page, you can also find a handy level structure which I suggested (download it here: http://bd-fans.com/Files/RnD/Level_structure.zip

I'm currently redesigning my website, giving it a fresh new, modern look, which is much different from what it looks like now.

Your suggestion of an in-game feature to check for updates would be great. But for this, Holger would need to sort out all new level updates himself and put them on his website, which he wouldn't like to do, I think.

So the problem is that there is more than one source of levels... except my website, which lists them all.

Has anyone got an idea? Perhaps the best option would be that some web place is created (on the Artsoft website, for instance) where level sets for the in-game updates can be uploaded. If then a level set is suggested in the forum, we, as forum members together, can either upload this new level set to that new upload place or tell the one who created these levels to do so.

Then what remains is Zomis's files archive. The problem is that some people upload single levels. If we don't want to miss these, these should be turned into level sets (of 1 or a few levels only) as well. This is what I have always done for my site so I can upload these to that new upload place myself...

But of course, this is only a suggestion...

What is also important to consider, is that level sets often don't have the right sort_priority, read_only and handicap options. I always have to change these when I upload new level sets to my website. In line with the suggestion above, this problem could be solved if the upload website would demand the uploader to select the right sort priority, etc.

Well, as you can see, the option of in-game updates would be VERY nice indeed, but we need to find some solutions before it can be put into practice. And, of course, Holger must like the idea as well...

In the meantime, you can follow updates on my website, which is the most accurate source there is, I think...
Visit my Boulder Dash website at:
http://www.bd-fans.com

Watch my avatar! That orange little thing is Murphy, the Supaplex star!

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bojster
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Post by bojster » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:18 pm

I think there should be 2-3 auto-syncing sites hosting the level archive, and I don't see why yours, after a bit tweaking, couldn't be one of them. It would be best if artsoft.org hosted the main mirror, just for the sake of integrity, but the interface for uploading levels, that would next be peer-reviewed, adjusted and optionally arranged in levelsets, could easily be elsewhere.

I have no idea how it works behind the scenes, but as an occasional player of XMoto I find it very comfortable that on each start the program checks for new/updated levels (and scores! how could I forgot, such central archive could also store best scores for each level, which would be reliable since the levels would be under control and the score could be uploaded along with level hash to make sure it is correct) and asks me if I want to download them. They are automatically (read: by the archive maintainer, but for me it's transparent) arranged/rearranged in levelsets, new levels land in a separate temporary 'set' so that I clearly see which ones are new. Well, if you don't know what exactly I mean, it's best to download XMoto and see for yuorselves, it's more or less what I would like to see in RnD (adjusted to RnD specifics, of course).

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Holger
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Post by Holger » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:07 pm

Great idea! And something I have on my (endlessly long) ToDo list for a very long time, including level sets and highscores (with tapes to prove them, if needed or wanted, as highscores can be faked by changes in the code in an open source project).

More on that later!

Zomis
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Post by Zomis » Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:11 pm

I also like this idea very much. The reason why I started working on "R'n'D Database" was partially this, as RnDDB was be able to compare MD5-checksums of different levels and levelsets. However, I've abandoned RNDDB as there's much else that is occupying my time.

Another idea I thought about while reading this though, is to have a RSS-feed with the latest levels and levelsets. That could be easily read by many different programs and then downloaded and arranged properly. For an example of an RSS-feed, check this: http://mfe.zomis.net/replays.xml. The problem then, would be to maintain the RSS-feed :)

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