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      Please help us for July   06/30/2017

      This month we're hoping for a little bit of a boost this month or next, in addition to covering the regular bills, we could benefit from some hardware upgrades. STEX Collector's Set gifts can now be sent to you via digital download as well as regular mail if you wish! Every donation dollar goes toward keeping Simtropolis online and humming along. Your contribution counts! Hardware Upgrades As our website community software improves with more and more features, and as we bolt on additional features such as chat, the increased load to handle all these new toys is taking the server a bit to task. You may have noticed that we'd been forced to temporarily disable the chat as we worked out allocating resources for more optimal performance. Following this, we've applied a number of 'soft' changes such as caching options and experimented with server configurations (nginx as proxy, for example), so the hardware aspect is also an area we'd like to focus on. The last time we upgraded hardware was back in 2012, prior to the release of SC13. Your contribution means a lot! Your donation will go toward helping us to 1.) migrate to a newer server or 2.) at least get some ram/cpu/storage updates and any other infrastructure hardware or services. Donate and Get a Gift or Donate Any Amount Thanks so much! - Dirktator & The Admins

161 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

On the thread @CorinaMarie linked above @rsc204 wrote:

Context dear boy:

Quote

If we remove the barriers to entry, we'll have a larger community in future. Because whilst it's true that some dedication is always required to mod any game. The amount of work most players are expected to do is simply hideous, after all some people aren't looking for a hobby, just for some casual fun. We (the community), need to unlock the barriers to entry for these people and start providing an easier way to get going. Starter packs, with everything included would be one step in the right direction. The problem is that consensus can not be formed on whether change like this is ethical or not. Well once more I argue screw ethics, it's simply necessary. Terms and conditions change all the time, it's about time we changed ours. Because if we're not careful, all those who come along enthusiastic about creating things they see others making. Those players will continue to be frustrated and go elsewhere.

Let me clarify, when I said "screw ethics" it was a statement to reflect my frustration that this argument is always the one preventing sensible change in this regard. It was never intended to be a catch all statement.

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2 hours ago, GMT said:

Most of the players out there use the NAM, so even if it's just say 50 user plugin folders that one day can be downloaded, that's most likely 50 times the NAM.

I believe we've already decided these packs would be customized to not include the NAM within them for the obvious size reason and for the convenience of each player installing it themself with the options they want. For a particular themed pack it would then include step-by-step instructions for which options to select when installing NAM.

Additionally, I see this discussion as trending towards the idea it cannot be a free-for-all just tossing out complete plugin folders. The packs needed to be scrutinized and tested to avoid conflicts and duplicates.

Handyman, huzman, Tarkus and 1 other like this

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49 minutes ago, rsc204 said:

Let me clarify, when I said "screw ethics" it was a statement to reflect my frustration that this argument is always the one preventing sensible change in this regard. It was never intended to be a catch all statement.

Yes. Sorry. What I wrote may lead to missunderstanding what you said.

Basically we had the same subject - the abuse of ethics as last argument like some Gods sword. But now it may seem as if you deny ethics and I defend it.

So thanks for clarifying- this was unadept on my part.

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3 hours ago, T Wrecks said:

Once again, I think that a custodian account would be useful for making such uploads. It would constitute an "official" and trustworthy source, and it would prevent any impression that a particular person is trying to push their community reputation on the backs of others.

Imho - this is the only way to not to break our own standards.

Me, the legal owner of the content, by clicking on the 'upload button' I make a wordless contract with the site owner - put in word it would mean something like 'I allow you to distribute my files'. Or one could say - It's a contract between legal owner and distributor (which in my opinion also means the distributor takes responsability to care for the files).

In the link provided by @Tarkus, RippleJet states:

You may use these objects FREE provided that you do not SELL or DISTRIBUTE the MODEL Files ... you must point your users to the MODEL File package.

Obviously this adresses the end user - as he, RippleJet, permitted the site owner - he granted him this exclusive privileg to distribute.

Now - you or me - reorganize the stuff, repack it. So far this is okay. But now, if you or I upload this repack, we break with RippleJets disclamer, but also we violate policy. As we press the 'upload button' too, a second time - so we - the same - make a second wordless contract with the site owner, but we aren't the legal owner (we aren't authorized to make this contract, we break ownership). This would cause serious problems imho. 

Instead site owner hasn't to do all the work by his own hands.He can instruct some of his workers (f.e. moderators) to upload the repack as he still has a valid contract with the legal owner regarding the original files. 

This way repack can be done in full respect of ownership - not touching it in any way. The important thing is - that the distribution privileg of the site owner isn't touched.

So this will become a problem if we want to repack files they exist only on STEX with files existing only on LEX. F.e. to distribute repacks on the STEX which contains files the legal owner made only a contract with LEX may remain an issue. Maybe a site owner can transfer his distribution privileg to someone else. But I'm in doubt about that.

Regarding the fact, that legal owners should feel save on this sites and sites should keep on to protect and care for the files handed over, I wouldn't recommend to get lazy with the distribution privileg. This is something crucial for the sites reliability.

 

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To address Fantozzi's post, I think you can accommodate that by having each site have its own download for the modpack in question.

I do agree with you about distribution though.  I can't see any way that the site/moderators have any limits on distribution as the initial upload by the creator should have explicitly been a contract with said site to distribute.  There isn't any agreement that the site will distribute in the same way over time.

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4 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

This way repack can be done in full respect of ownership - not touching it in any way. The important thing is - that the distribution privileg of the site owner isn't touched.

So this will become a problem if we want to repack files they exist only on STEX with files existing only on LEX. F.e. to distribute repacks on the STEX which contains files the legal owner made only a contract with LEX may remain an issue. Maybe a site owner can transfer his distribution privileg to someone else. But I'm in doubt about that.

Regarding the fact, that legal owners should feel save on this sites and sites should keep on to protect and care for the files handed over, I wouldn't recommend to get lazy with the distribution privileg. This is something crucial for the sites reliability.

Here comes when we start overcomplicating the things and nothing will be changed. (or I'm totally misunderstanding something, maybe due to too much special english terms). We are talking about contracts again... Why???? When do we start thinking as  a community and not X site's and Y site's privileges and copyright, and distribution problems and contracts brown sauces... We are a community, the community has files, there is some still active and activly working site. The community decides that it makes some modification, reorganization on these files, which means these files have to be uploaded again. Hurray. We still give credits to the original authors, and where is not necessary any remodding, just for example remaking the folder structure, it's not even necessary to make a new upload, simply we (community) can update the existing content. OK, not anybody without control, that's clear. And when two or more files will be merged (one from STEX, others from LEX), well it can be uploaded onto both exchange with giving the credits to the original creator. 

And with the distribution privileg can't be tauched comes an other problem. Files which have been lost over the years, because the original sites went down, so the privileg is nowhere at this moment as the files... Who has the destribution privileg on these files...??? Here comes what I said before: the community responsible for these lost contents, we upload those files (what we can still find) here and there and give the credits the original creator, and problem solved...

I think it's more important to restore and save these files then arguing on which site has the distribution right on which part of the files until the credit goes to the original creator.

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This copyright story is pushed to the extreme here. One thing disrupts me in this discussion, for a little while you talk about making "themed packs". But who will make these packs? The creator of the lots in question or an administrator? Because the problem comes back if it is an administrator who makes the pack, has he got all the copyrights or publish it thanks to these skills of administrator?

This leaves me perplexed, I try to follow the discussion as best as possible, but understanding everything is difficult when you do not speak English, so I'm sorry if I ask questions that have already been answered.

There is a comment back (I do not remember which one, pardon) which says that the creation of the lots does not belong to the author but to Maxis. Maxis shares his tools to create buildings, but the buildings created are Maxis if I understood correctly ... So the author has no right to claim its creation since it is thanks to Maxis that he Has created its BAT, it comes down that the ModPack are therefore authorized even if there is no authorization from the authors.

Am I here legally then? Finally, should we still talk about legality, the copyright here is not money, so the subject is complicated.

Other games that use mods do not have copyright problem, far from it. Yet all creators of all games use software shared by game developers, SimCity 4 is in the same configuration.

The question here is not from a legal point of view, one can not apply laws on this type of objects, it is only an ethical point of view. The community of SC4 has remained very respectful to creators, but only because of ethics. But ethics is different for all, some will say it is good to share the lost files even without the agreement of the creator and others will say that it is not good.

From the community point of view, what is good: lose a file and respect morals, or publish the lost file again (through a player who has the file in his Plugins)? If we refuse to publish the file, then we agree to see the community die slowly.

Today the community is present thanks to the thousands of existing mods, but the community is small, and newcomers get scared when they see the immense task of downloading all the plugins. The ModPack is not bad, it's wrong ... Whoever wants to test me has only to download my ModPack to realize that it is wrong! The problem with theme packs is that it is limited by buildings of a style, it will obviously lack something obvious for the new player, but the new player wants a complete pack to play right away to SC4 with Buildings GROW, PLOP, utilities, transport, etc ... The themed packs quickly reach their limits.

I think it is completely possible to propose complete ModPacks like mine, it is voluminous certainly, but nothing obliges me to publish it on LEX or STEX, I can leave it on my Drive and whoever wants to download it Asks me. I have translated the lots into my ModPack in French, I do it for the French community and my work is not finished, I think that my ModPack is 100% legal, but not to the eyes of administrators ... A long debate.

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@Tyberius06 - I'm totally with you. And in my heart or somewhere close there I share your opinion. And me I love Simtropolis very much. But I can't exclude the possibility someone out there isn't the same and he hates Simtropolis and if he had the possibility he would burn the site down to the ground. Some not so friendly company perhaps? This site played a key role in communicating the SC5 desaster. I don't know. I simply can't exclude this.

And to make Simtropolis vulnerable to this person or company by hosting files without permission - and to see this site shut down just because we gave someone a reason to do so - it would break my heart.

And therfore - even me, I would share all those file as a privat person without retention - but I can't recommend to do the same on an 'offical' level. 

There are possibilities also for abbandoned custom content where no permission exists. But also on this, my conviction is, we should avoid to become unnecessarily vulnerable to some unknown evil mind.

On this - you and me have much more freedom. I can't see anything wrong in sharing - but this site is exposed to public in a different way. And there are many years and many citybuilders still to come and there will be new sections above the C:S section. And you and me we don't know who might be an enemy to us in five years.

Why to put this site in risk? Why not think about how this can be limited? I can't see nothing wrong in that.

I'm working on the same project as you. I want to have those packs too, the reduction of dependencies, the availability of abandoned content. Please don't forget - even if I doubt on some things, I'm working for the same aim as you. So I try to care for the future of this site. Maybe I'm too anxious. Maybe.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

If anyone ever shares a whole plugins folder (hierarchy), then it should come with an identically organized docs folder hierarchy containing all of the readme files. Plugins without docs would be troublesome.

Many plugins have options. What are the odds that one person's combination of dozens of choices is going to please someone else? Thinking about the play-style choices reflected in a player's slope mod has me convinced that customizable plugins are ill suited to large-scale repackaging. Like NAM, plugins such as slope-mods should be left out.

Could an RSS feed work in place of a gigantic zip file? Instead of containing content itself, each "package" would actually be a collection of pointers to recomended STEX and LEX downloads. The subscriber would still need to download and install them, and thus receive readme files and make choices on options. If I understand RSS feeds, the author can keep adding to it, and subscribers will get updates. I'm not an expert on RSS, so maybe someone else can tell us whether it would help solve some of the issues mentioned earlier in this thread.


  Edited by jeffryfisher

plex -> lex

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At some point a decision has to be made ... as I can remember variations of this same conversation going back quite a few years and still we are debating it, to be honest if we lose anymore sites it becomes a moot point anyway,  as there may not be people who have the files anymore given we have a lot of people who now play Cities: Skylines, etc

On my site I was faced with a similar dilemma when it came to CityScape 1.8 I did this

Quote

The company that made this demo software was called PixelActive, it was sold in 2010 to another company owned by Nokia and in turn this company was merged into another Nokia company, after than I lost track of who owned what, as a result;

Do not know what the copyright laws are re this demo, but am going to treat it as;

An orphan work is a copyright protected work for which rightsholders are positively indeterminate or uncontactable. Sometimes only originator or rightsholder name(s) are known, yet contact is stymied by the exhaustive unavailability of sufficient further details.  A work can become orphaned through rightsholders being unaware of their holding, or by their demise (e.g. deceased persons, defunct companies or websites) and establishing inheritance has proved impracticable.  In other cases, comprehensively diligent research fails to determine any authors, creators or originators for a work.

It was provided free-of-charge to any person that set up an account on the PixelActive forums, and those forums no longer exist, if anyone objects to this information being here, I will be happy to delete this section.

CityScape is an interactive tool for creating large 3D environments for realtime rendering. CityScape has all the capabilities that you need to create robust 3D environments for video games, simulations, GPS navigation, urban planning, visualizations, etc.

https://city-builders.info/cbex?folder=CityScape%2B1.8%2BDemo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphan_works

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Yep. I share the opinion - we had only to make some declaration on the upload like this:

" I am not the owner of this file. This is held for to be an orphan work. It was distributed on site xy and was created by user zv. I tried to contact the creator with no avail. To preserve this piece of art to be forgotten and to document the history of sc4 modding I repost this file here. In any way I do not support infringement of copyrights and support ownership."

Or something like this. Maybe someone can elaborate this to make it sound like 'very official english'.

This kind of statement should do the trick.

I agree with @catty-cb - this is the workaround for abbandoned or forgotten content to reupload. But the upload had to be done by 'normal members' - this time not by 'officals'. 

The contract between uploader and site owner this time is done by assuming good faith of the uploader. Therefore the 'declaration' to ensure it for the distributor.

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46 minutes ago, catty-cb said:

At some point a decision has to be made ...

I too would like to see an ultimate decision made on this topic, but I do not think that this thread is the place for this. This is more of a brainstorming topic to contemplate that IF we want to go down a less restrictive path, what is the best way to do to this?

Obviously we can't please everyone, but if we come to a consensus with sane compromises we can do a lot of good for this community.

-----

Summarizing what's been stated in this thread so far, here's a general direction we seem to be going:

-A 'starter pack' or 'themed packs' seems to be a much more popular option than having multiple users share their own plugins pack

-A group of members should be set up to decide what would ultimately be in these packs. They would also do testing to make sure everything plays nice with each other and provide documentation. Credit for the creators could be given here in good faith.

-These packs would not be uploaded by any one member, but instead by a staff member or special group account. If the pack has a significant file size, an admin or the webmaster could do it OR we could find a host offsite to upload it. (Example being ModDB for the NAM)

 

I'd like to suggest that we start with the basics and form a foundation to build upon. My ultimate goal would be to see a starter pack that contains bug fixes, some of the community's highest rated and most popular content, and a building variety similar to the styles SimCity 4 has in it's vanilla versions.

-If this data could be packed into an installer with a checklist of what the user wants to install, that would be even better!

-----

Don't get me wrong, this is going to require a lot of work, and the community will need to work close together to get this done. But in the end I think I think we can pull this off if we put our minds to it, and we'll all be better off knowing that this project will have a huge net-positive boost for the city-building genre as a whole. It shows we care about this kind of stuff.

We can do it! You can do it!

185px-We_Can_Do_It!.jpg     giphy.gif

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4 minutes ago, Fantozzi said:

Maybe someone can elaborate this to make it sound like 'very official english'.

Such as:

"Dis ain't mine. It be wayward and lost and I rescued it. Twas found here in the olden days and was made by someone. I hollered out my window but dey d'int answer me. Now (so we can all still enjoy it) I'm tossing it up on this board. I ain't stealing from the creator. They still have copyright. Tis only the location of where to get it that has changed."

*:???:

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26 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

"Dis ain't mine. It be wayward and lost and I rescued it. Twas found here in the olden days and was made by someone. I hollered out my window but dey d'int answer me. Now (so we can all still enjoy it) I'm tossing it up on this board. I ain't stealing from the creator. They still have copyright. Tis only the location of where to get it that has changed."

11172012084928.gif

 

***

You forgot to mention you did this only for historical documentation (scientific) purpose (science is a no-go-area for copyright. Science is free. Science is like a ghostbuster to copyright-blabla. So it's always good to mention ... I did it all only for the scientific progress. Seems absurd as this is the standard excuse how little boys explain to their mothers why they have a pornographic magazine under their pillow - but instead it works the same way on a global level: we have this under our pillow for scientifc reasons)

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2 hours ago, Haljackey said:

I too would like to see an ultimate decision made on this topic, but I do not think that this thread is the place for this. This is more of a brainstorming topic to contemplate that IF we want to go down a less restrictive path, what is the best way to do to this?

Obviously we can't please everyone, but if we come to a consensus with sane compromises we can do a lot of good for this community.

In same ways yes, but before you can even think about creating plugin packs, etc a consensus and cross-site agreement has to be reached as to how you will treat other peoples work when they are no longer around to ask what they want to happen to their creations.

There is also the issue of beta plugins and programs that never actually made it on to a site exchange, but nevertheless was available to download at some point and before some of you start thinking RTMT 4.0 (yes I do have copies of it and no as long as there are active RTMT Team members around I won't be doing anything with it) I've got at least a couple of programs that were released for people to try out and for some reason never went any further than that ... same with plugins for example

... xannapan give me a snowman lot to try out, if you plopped it in your city it started snowing in the area of the snowman ... spread them around and your whole city was having a snow storm always assuming your computer didn't melt ... the lot was really small and in one of my cities it always snows in one corner cos I lost the lot in a built-up area and I didn't want to delete everything to find it again

Tarkus, CorinaMarie, FlyHigh and 1 other like this

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8 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

So this will become a problem if we want to repack files they exist only on STEX with files existing only on LEX. F.e. to distribute repacks on the STEX which contains files the legal owner made only a contract with LEX may remain an issue. Maybe a site owner can transfer his distribution privileg to someone else. But I'm in doubt about that.

Regarding the fact, that legal owners should feel save on this sites and sites should keep on to protect and care for the files handed over, I wouldn't recommend to get lazy with the distribution privileg. This is something crucial for the sites reliability.

On the LEX side, there's a lot of support for doing this sort of thing, from both staff and the creators I've heard from.  I think if there's a reciprocal arrangement in place with the distribution--the packs go on both STEX and LEX (and maybe ModDB, for the sake of additional bandwidth/access)--and proper credit is given, I don't see how any rational person could argue that it is not in good faith.  In this era of the community--not that I expect ST or SC4D to go anywhere--having the redundancy in distribution is a no-brainer, anyway. 

The idea of doing this under the auspices of some sort of custodial account, as @T Wrecks suggested, is also a sound idea--probably named something that describes the goals of the consortium behind the account, and, in true SC4 community spirit, something that would create a memorable acronym.

 

1 hour ago, matias93 said:

Please tell me ASAP if I'm being technically delirant, but I think there is a way to solve most of the problems we have identified in a relatively easy way:

Instead of creating new packages with copies of the original files, to develop a relatively simple software tool --to be used by end users-- to automatically download and install plugins, and that is programmable with scripts, akin to a Cleanitol on steroids.

. . .

Of course, to manage to do this, somebody with avobe-average programming skills would be crucial. As antecedents, we know that Doc Rorlach did a group of applications for plugin management that could be repurposed, but we don't know if the source code of that software is still available (IIRC, @rivit participated on the WMP site, so maybe he could know more); also, the Cleanitol could be used as a base, but the same issue would arrise with @wouanagaine, that also seems to be inactive for a long time.

This is the other side to the equation, and similar to an idea I've floated a number of times in the past.  The LEX Dependency Tracker is already a model of this sort of thing--it was @CasperVg's phenomenal idea--but it's presently restricted to just the LEX.  If such a system were to be extended to the STEX, and subsequently crosslinked with the LEX's tracker, it would indeed solve a lot of these problems.  There'd be no need to even worry about permissions, as the files would be downloaded from their initial sources (though we'd probably still need to do some repackaging to minimize installer fatigue).  Casper did make his API open source and put it up on GitHub, and while he has been pretty busy with RL, I do know he would be interested in seeing his invention propagate further, into a cross-site solution.  

The account linking issue is a tricky one, and letting unregistered users download without some sort of cap or means of recouping revenue is going to run up a ton of bandwidth.  The SC4D Staff did discuss the prospect of allowing unregistered users to download after it was allowed on the STEX, but the bandwidth concerns nixed it.

There's also the matter of software.  SC4D relies entirely on free and/or open-source software--SMF for the forums, and the custom LEX software for the download side, which are also on completely separate databases.  ST, however, uses IP.Board and quite a few other proprietary software packages in its current form, and I do know the idea of having everything integrated directly in with the same database is a priority here.  You'd probably need the benevolent @Dirktator himself to answer the question as to whether or not it would be feasible to integrate something like Casper's system with the software ecosystem here at Simtropolis.

-Tarkus

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Sounds like a really good idea for the implementation, though I have thought on an exclusively user-side method, which wouldn't require further changes to the websites. 

In any case, your idea would be much better, particularly on respects to cross compatibility and long-term stability. 

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20 minutes ago, Tarkus said:

The idea of doing this under the auspices of some sort of custodial account, as @T Wrecks suggested, is also a sound idea--probably named something that describes the goals of the consortium behind the account, and, in true SC4 community spirit, something that would create a memorable ac@CasperVg

 

Yes. Official accounts are quite handy at certain times.  At least until you realize Craig hasn't checked the mail in a year....

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3 minutes ago, Pegprod said:

Yes. Official accounts are quite handy at certain times.  At least until you realize Craig hasn't checked the mail in a year....

Sorry, i couldn't resist.

The idea of having small (or not so small), introductory packages of custom content, repackaged and maybe even "remastered" is an excellent idea. I agree that for the health of the game and the community moving forward, this needs to happen in some capacity.

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I fully endorse the MODPACC acronym! 

And giving a few more thinking, I just realised that my proposal is basically a shameless copy of the APT system Debian uses to distribute software (well, and several more on the Unix sphere of influence). Considering that, the various exchanges would only be required to offer standarised repositories and the bulk of the work would be done client - side. 

Maybe more asiduous Debian users, as @Handyman could extend on how this works and how much code could be directly repurposed from those existing tools. 

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From reading through, before I add a few additional thoughts...

Just to say it's very reassuring to see as a community we can come together here, discussing such topics so intelligibly. That alone is clear proof there's a strong desire to enact change in the best way possible. Moving away from a 'one for all' approach, I also think the idea is heading in the right direction.

Rules and policies are usually the biggest stumbling blocks. Especially those which have been established around the core fundamentals of a culture or mindset. The longer they're set in concrete, the harder the initial step of breaking them down. However, providing there are valid reasons to amend policy, and providing there are people around with the motivation to do so, that is precisely what should be done. Not by words alone, but by taking focussed action to establish new foundations. And I absolutely agree such measures are required to help keep custom content relevant, accessible and moving forward.

With due care and attention, by continuing to work together, I'm confident this objective can be achieved. *:yes:

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11 hours ago, matias93 said:

....Different sites require different permissions to access to their exchanges, so the program would require to gain access to the LEX and CBEX accounts, for example....

Probably not needed for the CBEX as with the help of @Cyclone Boom and especially @CorinaMarie who went above and beyond given the amount of work was involved doing it, all of the official SC3 and SC4 Maxis files are now over on this site, that leaves the missing SimPeg files and most of you know my belief that they should be uploaded into the "PLEX on the STEX" and deleted from my site, Krio's files well he is semi-active and has recently uploaded files to the STEX so I'll leave it up to him as to what he does with his files, there are a few SC3 files but again I'm assuming they will eventually end up on the STEX given its now got a dedicated SC3 section.

That leaves Paeng's forum attachments, etc but they all need pictures, dependency information, etc and its my to-do-list but given a number of other things I've got to do I can't see this happening anytime soon, but yes I think they should also be on the "PLEX on the STEX" section.

I'm not planning on shutting CB Web down or anything like that, but with SimPeg as an example of what can happen when a website just disappears I think its good to have the important stuff on another site or sites.

-catty

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I like the idea of making custom content easier to access and use. It may be the thing that extends the life of the game for many more years. I have only been a member here for a short time (a long time player) but I have seen that many here thrive in the face of a challenge. But not everyone wants to bother with such things, they just want the experience of playing a great game and I don't think we can continue to ignore that fact.

I have been watching the progression of thoughts on this topic and I am very impressed how it is quickly melding into a cohesive plan. Especially noteworthy is the commitment to the original authors of the content.

8 hours ago, matias93 said:

And giving a few more thinking, I just realised that my proposal is basically a shameless copy of the APT system Debian uses to distribute software (well, and several more on the Unix sphere of influence). Considering that, the various exchanges would only be required to offer standarised repositories and the bulk of the work would be done client - side. 

I think that is a good analogy of the type of system that would work in this situation. In fact, I am currently working on a project that will require downloading of content from STEX and LEX so the legal and moral aspects of the conversation have been of particular interest.

I don't really know anything about the inner workings of the apt system. I can say that the concept of having everything thoroughly vetted before it gets on the repository is very reassuring.

Also since it is Open Source, a shameless copy is OK.

So I am very much on board with this idea and willing to help if I can, within the limits of RL.

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I'm reminded of a downloader tool I used to use for World of Warcraft that connected to sites with logins and downloaded mods directly.

 

I think going this path is probably the best way to go.  You could have a tool that just ran a script that then DLed all the specified content from all sites and installed it.  This would even allow users to create their own "modpac" scripts.....

Certainly the tool would have to have the userid/passwords for all the sites AND all the sites would have to have DL APIs (this is probably the biggest hurdle).

 

I still think one giant hurdle will be moving stuff around in the folder tree.

As we all know, this is usually the bugaboo that makes or breaks a mod...not the installation.

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1 hour ago, jaredh said:

I still think one giant hurdle will be moving stuff around in the folder tree.

As we all know, this is usually the bugaboo that makes or breaks a mod...not the installation.

Why would it be so difficult? We should just arrive at a standard method for organising folders and adhere to it for every plugin installed via MODPACC.

In particular, we should prioritise the ease of patching and DAT packing, so a scheme that keeps authors' creations together and groups authors' folders on a relatively small number of root directories with uniform size would be needed. 

What I do now to get that effect is to group author's folders on alphabetical directories, merging or splitting letters to get folders with a size around 300 - 350 Mb each. 

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2 hours ago, jaredh said:

...Certainly the tool would have to have the userid/passwords for all the sites AND all the sites would have to have DL APIs (this is probably the biggest hurdle).

Each site could have a userid and password that was only used by the tool ... it would need safeguards so users wouldn't know what it was and that the user was an actual person who was using the tool because we still have to consider bandwidth issues

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7 minutes ago, catty-cb said:

Each site could have a userid and password that was only used by the tool ... it would need safeguards so users wouldn't know what it was and that the user was an actual person who was using the tool because we still have to consider bandwidth issues

Or maybe simply to operate the application as a browser and make it to open a window to sign in, and to use cookies to save the opened sessions. I know several applications do that, but I'm not sure how it's done or if it's compatible with the aforementioned APT standards.

CorinaMarie, Tarkus and Handyman like this

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Actualy, i don't speak English, but i think i need to say my opinion. Life goes on, new users come in, old users get out, but during this last 5 years, i noticed that STEX and LEX are having fewer and fewer uploads. I'm not saying that they are dying, but people are less active. We need to do something to keep this site going foward, and that means that we have to do some changes. Obviously, we have rules to follow and some big problems to resolve if we want to create MODPACCs. One is create categories to every custom content we have. LEX already do this, separes them in categories, RCI, Transp., Mods, Civics, Parks, Rewards, Utilities, and others more. I don't see that in STEX, and i don't know who will select these plugins, but i think we could start by creating categories for these STEX files. If STEX already separes them by categories, so we need to put these categories in a submenu. I'm sorry if someone already said something about this, i don't understand everything that people say here. *:no:

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