Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
maruk

Addons at ease

260 posts in this topic

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Suchey @ April 10 2003,15:54)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Maruk @ April 09 2003,20:28)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Our intention is to establish a submission and evaluation process and select the best addons (solely from BIS perspective) and recommend it at our official websites.<span id='postcolor'>

It would be GREAT if BIS would wrap up these files which they select as being 'best' in a single installer package (say once every month or so)...this would allow a single package of addons to be used as a (BIS) standard and make things ALOT easier on multiplay servers! Its alot easier to say "you need the latest update of the user addon pack from the BIS website" than to say..."you need this list of items to play". With a single package in place, addons may actually becomes useful for dedicated servers!<span id='postcolor'>

I don't think the goal is to make a single file, it is to tag addons with AAE and provide easy installation system. For doing so, addons have to be approved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (whisperFFW06 @ April 09 2003,21:22)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">I don't think the goal is to make a single file, it is to tag addons with AAE and provide easy installation system. For doing so, addons have to be approved.<span id='postcolor'>

yeah...Im just saying that if they are going to "recomend" certain addons, it would make things MUCH easier on Muliplayer servers if they would also put all of the "recommended" files into a single installer so there could be a standard pack of sorts for use in 'on line' play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... First though on the 3 points showed by Maruk :

- Installer : Well.. Something which could track version numbers and make appropriates updates if possible.

- Demo missions : The template would be really excellent. In my opinion, demo mission is required.

- addonRequired : so far, the propositions seems quite OK. Would it be possible to add some auto download feature? Like, let's say addon X is required but missing, make a pop-up appear askig "Addon X is required, but appears not to be present on your system. Do you want to download it? Yes - No". Further, this way, this would solve the issue raised by Suchey about single addon pack for dedicated servers, as the only thing required for such a pack is an addon just stating the correct addonRequired sections.

Whis'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering that this is not an engine change or modification but just a suggestion(order?) in how to do addon distribution. why so late?

Most of us have like 3-4 gigs of addons at this point without any "proper official" way of doing it.

I don't disagree with the idea, it just seems like it should have been brought up a long time ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is not just a suggestion, considering the patching system that has to be built. This takes time

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BIS and everone else, regarding version upgrades and patches, would this free product be better than MSIs:

Patchwise Free

No, I've never used it but Toadlife used it to create small patch files to update the beta versions of his mission Lojack 2. From the patch end user side, it was great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suchey:</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">yeah...Im just saying that if they are going to "recomend" certain addons, it would make things MUCH easier on Muliplayer servers if they would also put all of the "recommended" files into a single installer so there could be a standard pack of sorts for use in 'on line' play.<span id='postcolor'>

whisperFFW06:</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">- addonRequired : so far, the propositions seems quite OK. Would it be possible to add some auto download feature? Like, let's say addon X is required but missing, make a pop-up appear askig "Addon X is required, but appears not to be present on your system. Do you want to download it? Yes - No". Further, this way, this would solve the issue raised by Suchey about single addon pack for dedicated servers, as the only thing required for such a pack is an addon just stating the correct addonRequired sections.<span id='postcolor'>

I think those two ideas put together would be a great solution. The server provider would make his own (empty) installer, referencing to the various addons used by the server.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally do not create addons, but I have experience using them and answering questions on how to get them going. Therefore I will say:

I think this is a very good idea. smile.gif Look at one of the greatest (IMO) addon packages (Seb Nam Pack), it is such a pain in the back to install for even very experienced computer users because of the lack of an installer. biggrin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great idea!

Some other issues which may be relevant.

For custom models

- certain standards regarding face counts,resolution lods and their use. Verification could be time consuming especially if the models are binarized.

-texturing standards (eg, use of pac/paa rather than jpg).

re: Installer, not too keen on the idea but if it works and allows flexibility (eg install into a non-ofp folder) then it should be ok.

re: One installation file (exe or zip) but what about the number of pbo files? My preference has been to make lots of small pbos rather than one big one, basically on the assumption that a pbo is not fully loaded unless it is actually needed.

SelectThis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (theavonlady @ April 10 2003,17:37)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">BIS and everone else, regarding version upgrades and patches, would this free product be better than MSIs:

Patchwise Free

No, I've never used it but Toadlife used it to create small patch files to update the beta versions of his mission Lojack 2. From the patch end user side, it was great!<span id='postcolor'>

I'm happy with Clickteam's installer and patch maker - it's the standard for Ghost Recon mods, and you can create addon subfolders if you want to. You can also use the Flashpoint registry entry to find each user's install path, so it's a perfectly brainless procedure for a user to install from the executable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Suchey @ April 10 2003,15:54)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE"></span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Maruk @ April 09 2003,20:28)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Our intention is to establish a submission and evaluation process and select the best addons (solely from BIS perspective) and recommend it at our official websites.<span id='postcolor'>

It would be GREAT if BIS would wrap up these files which they select as being 'best' in a single installer package (say once every month or so)...this would allow a single package of addons to be used as a (BIS) standard and make things ALOT easier on multiplay servers!  Its alot easier to say "you need the latest update of the user addon pack from the BIS website" than to say..."you need this list of items to play".  With a single package in place, addons may actually becomes useful for dedicated servers!<span id='postcolor'>

Also if once there are quite a few addons in there how about offering them up to several PC Gaming magazines? OFP never gets much attention on their demo CD's so adding something like, say, the Nam Pack, BAS work, Kegetys work and all the other great addon makers work, we may be able to give the ofp community not able to access forums/news sites something to play with, because if a million people bought the game (and 200,000 bought res) there are a lot missing out on all the addons which greatly increase the gameplay, may just give the ofp community the boost it needs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (earl @ April 10 2003,19:22)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">I'm happy with Clickteam's installer and patch maker<span id='postcolor'>

That was the 2nd one I had in mind. smile.gif

Here's another important concern: intentionally and unintentionally malicious MSIs.

Someone could come out with an MSI the clobbers other official and unofficial addon files.

Any way to prevent this? This could be a more prevelant problem if support for mod folders is added, since mod folders can have any name. So if someone creates an AAE MSI with a folder structure of \Res\Addons, for example, this can happen.

A minor solution is to institute a unique mod folder naming convention - at least as far as AAE goes. For example, forcing mod folders to start with a unique character (I personally use "@") would assure that no official files could be overlayed.

Am I being overly concerned? confused.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad BIS is taking initiative towards addons, and if anyone wants a sample mission made for their addon, I think there should be a pool of mission editors to volunteer and make something for those who don't have the means to do it themselves. I, for one, will volunteer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is very sensible and long-overdue.

I know people like to tinker with models and publish their toys to the world.

As someone who's done both mods and missions, I can tell you some of the main reasons why such products don't get more circulation:

A) Missions that require a bunch of individual mods don't get downloaded or played.

B) Individual mods without missions don't get downloaded until there's a reason to do so.

AAE facilitates modmakers' releasing missions and addons together. Guys: an addon isn't complete without a mission. Besides, addons need "field testing". How can you say you've fully tested an addon without making a mission?

And we've got the other generic problems:

C) Every step we take up front to simplify the process will increase its distribution. This is a game. I know many people (and many very smart people) who will download something, fire it up, and if it doesn't work, just throw it away. Others will just be uneasy.

This is a principle that I use in making addons with respect to the mission editor's load (keep it simple), and it makes sense to extend it to the addon system.

D) Increasing support of the OFPEC TAG System makes sense. Avoid unintended consequences.

E) It's optional folks. I don't see for a moment releasing an addon only in AAE format. If someone wants to do it "the old way", that will still work.

F) I don't think BIS should engage in the mire of selecting "officially sanctioned addons", on artistic merit. That's our job. They can do what they're doing right now: releasing standards and incentives for adherence, and encouraging the ocmmunity as much as possible. But we're the ones who end up voting on stuff. You want an "addon pack" of stuff adhering to a certain standard of quality? Contact the addon makers and put one together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Dinger @ April 10 2003,02:31)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">You want an "addon pack" of stuff adhering to a certain standard of quality?  Contact the addon makers and put one together.<span id='postcolor'>

There have been quite a few servers that have done this...unfortunately it hasnt taken off very well in most cases. Most players cant seem to figure it out. Having a pack of all the addons which BIS considers as high enough quality to be linked from their page gives them a stamp of approval and a common downloadable file facilitates an easy method of ensuring that players have a similar set of addons available for multiplay. Server could be labeled as 'AOE pack' servers...or something similar. This certainly doesnt mean that different packs cant be put together individually and if a server wants to add additional items, no one is stopping them. So far addons and multiplay dont mix well...if you search back through the forums you'll find a variety of topics in which individuals have attmepted addon packs for their servers and report that their servers were reduced to very few players because they cant find all the addons (even if they are in a single pack somewhere). Having a standardized pack bound by the 'AOE' standards overcomes some of the obstacles currently present in bringing addons to the table in multiplay...and the "AOE" stamp facilitates an instant standardization of items included on a server. People dont have to travel a ton of web sites and download packs for every server...it simply makes thing easier on server admins and players alike. Imagine having an addon pack of items that can be downloaded from a variety of sites and yet it contains the same items...multiple servers running that pack gives the player choices in where to play and opens the door to mission makers to use a variety of addons in a single mission for on-line play without worrying about the ability of the players to find all the addons included.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Suma:

Implement a line of code into the MP engine that will display the value of MOD_URL, that will be placed in config of every addon. server can broadcast this value to all clients on mission start, those who are missing a certain addon, will display the MOD_URL value, belonging to that addon.

MOD_URL, ofcourse , would tell the player where to find the addon.

as for the AAE , we dont have any objections  to it, but we will also host the 'pure' addons in zip on our server, for those who dislike installers.

Making demo missions for the addons that need them; sure, but making it mandatory is not a good idea.

Lots of addonmakers dont know how to/want to make missions, while their addons might be superb.

Carnage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We, here at Red Star Studios also think this is a great idea and fully support it. This system willmake it easy for ordinary (and by ordinary people i mean people who are mabe not as fanatic as all of us here tounge.gif ) to use addon stuff without having to read each and every readme for a new install.

The tagging system developed by OFPEC is also great and we think should be used as a base standard anyway.

I love the idea of sort of labling up-to-this-standard addons as it will act as sort of a Review magazine and will allow users to have a better view of whats up there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (earl @ April 10 2003,17:22)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">I'm happy with Clickteam's installer and patch maker - it's the standard for Ghost Recon mods, and you can create addon subfolders if you want to.  You can also use the Flashpoint registry entry to find each user's install path, so it's a perfectly brainless procedure for a user to install from the executable.<span id='postcolor'>

I agree, although I do support the idea of a standardised form of installer. If such a scheme is implimented, SJB Addons will be using it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to point out one thing in respect to providing an imbedded link to direct players to a web site containing addons: They sometimes change!

Some of the bigger players in the industry may have one URL from day one, but other individuals may have to change hosts for a variety of reasons. Even OFPEC was once "OFPEditingcenter" and they are one of the more popular sites! I think that a cental database is a better idea so that no one will get the infamous 404 error while searching for a needed addon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Wadmann @ April 10 2003,19:16)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Some of the bigger players in the industry may have one URL from day one, but other individuals may have to change hosts for a variety of reasons. Even OFPEC was once "OFPEditingcenter" and they are one of the more popular sites! I think that a cental database is a better idea so that no one will get the infamous 404 error while searching for a needed addon.<span id='postcolor'>

A central database that redirects to the proper links. It doesn't have to contain the files, just some html or scripts. smile.gif

To releave some frustration than the Developers might be getting: Obviously something like htis can only be included in OFP2 since 1.91 is final. biggrin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good thing for sure, but i think suchey is right by making package not single files for each add-on. Its way more easy for map developers / server admin to launch one add-on patch then tell this servers use ver. x.xx. Usually when you release upgrade you pak maps, weapons and units in a single installer its easy, fast and map dev are not asking themself if they can use this add-on. It's pretty frustrating to get drop by server cause one add-on is missing and today find an obscur add-on is very complicated... So I guess an "Official unofficial add-on package" would be the best it could be released on regular basis and would be easier for everyone. Off course the ideal scenario is the distribution of the missing add-on in-game but they are still too many 56k out there wink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way Suma, when is BIS going to release complete sources of v1.91 config? Those config files which came with Binarize are v1.75. That way making Total Conversion mods would be possible simple to launch by just typing:

OperationFlashpoint.exe -mod:MODNAME

- No need to put files to addon folder

- Mods displayed clearly in your OFP folder

Nobody uses single addons on public servers - it's just too much hassle with files etc. I think total conversion mods would be the key in making OFP more interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice idea.

I havent fully read everything in this thread (in the middle of making an addon demo misison), but a few thoughts on some things i picked up.

Demo missions with the addon:

I dont think its always a good idea to pack the mission with the addon, in some cases that would work. But at bas we like to use music and large rsc files, which often makes the missions about the same size as the addon. So it is impractical in all cases to double the addon d/l size. Keeping them seperate is less limiting for addon maker and mission maker, and gives the end user the option to d/l only what they want.

Extra addons in the mission:

This is something bas have discussed, and came the conclusion that the demo missions should only require the addon of focus. This is good in theory, and can be workable, but in practice, it is not always a good plan. Eg, now that bas have released units (delta rangers), i prefer using them in place of the defaut nato units. So if an helo addon requires troops in the mission, it is generally better to use our addon troops for many reasons.

So i think there should be some room to move regarding extra addons, especially if the extra addons are from the same mod / studio / team as the addon of focus.

But if a "Demo" requires even more addons, say to set the scene in a desert / winter environment, the mission could be considered a "feature" mission, where the extra addons are known about and accepted.

Templates:

I've actually been working on a few templates lately. I was mainly making them for mates and bas, but they could be useful for people to set up fast but rounded missions. The general template (coop + sp) has everything needed for a complete mission, like a clean briefing, working endings and objectives, and dialogs for time of day and vehicle / option selections.

Anyway, this idea sound good in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow... spend a day at work and look what I miss!

I am very fond of this idea. If it can reach a wider audience, then we should support it. Remember, guys, over 1 million copies of OFP have been sold (and 200,000+ copies of Resistance) and as of right now, only 23,274 people are registered on this forum.

So, a lot of people out there are not coming here. They may check the flashpoint1985 page every once in a while, but for whatever reason, they are not coming to the forums and probably aren't going to other community web sites. If we can hook even a few thousand more people with this idea, think of the potential that the community will have - how many more addon makers out there might be inspired to put down whatever they're playing and fire up Oxygen.

If all those people that for whatever reason don't play OFP anymore find a reason to play again, because BAS has put out those great Delta/Rangers or DKM has their Commanche, CoC has workable artillery implemented, etc., then we'll be a happier and healthier communuity.

I frequent a message board for another game, Combat Mission, and I know a lot of guys that hang out there and bought OFP, played it for a few months, and then uninstalled it. They've recently become VERY interested in all these World War II addons that are coming in soon. They're starting to go out and buy Resistance so that they can upgrade to 1.91 for when Invasion 1944 and everyone else releases their mod.

These are the people that AAE will help most - the people that aren't regulars around here, and that may only check out the OFP forums every once in a while. They will simply be able to go to one centralized area, find what they want, download it and in a matter of minutes be playing. Simplicity for the masses!

And if we do get more people to buy Resistance or GOTY because of this, then BIS will get more money. And if BIS gets more money, we will get a better OFP2. It's as simple as that.

Someone mentioned earlier about sending off SEB's Nam Pack 2 to one of the computer game magazines. What a great idea! If BIS is willing to front the money for such a promotion, I think that the investment will pay off greatly. If all those guys out there saw what OFP was capable of today, like how they could finally drive a Tiger tank or fly air support in the Ia Drang Valley or laze targets for Hudson's F/A-18s, I think you'd find a lot of people willing to upgrade.

So, cheers and kudos. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can flesh out of this, even if I'm not an addon maker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that mod makers should make their mods more

internationally compatible, by that I mean the languages

they use in the mod. Most are English only, and some are

in English and another language, but the two languages are

displayed at the same time separated by a /. It would nice

to see this replaced by the stringtable.csv file so that

anyone can play these great mods. I can only speak and

understand English, but I think that everyone should get

to play games without having to deal with a different

language. I wouldn't want to use a mod with only German

commands in it, so why should a German have to play with

English only commands? And it must look out of place as

the rest of the original game is in one language. What we

need though is some place that we could get good

ranslations, as I think a lack of translation is what is preventing multilanguage mods from getting released. Major translation sites could be helpful, but we are talking about

military equipment here, so often a vehicle's name will have a

completely different meaning in another language. Anyways,

thats my opinion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0