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Basically you could mail this once to all uploaders and add something like : "if we don't hear from you within the next 60 days we consider the new agreement as accepted."

And you might add: "In case you refuse we will still love you." This way you also had checked which content can be regarded as abbandoned. Only thing - maybe you had to put an internal flag on uploaders or content not granted permission to change.

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4 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

Basically you could mail this once to all uploaders and add something like : "if we don't hear from you within the next 60 days we consider the new agreement as accepted."

And you might add: "In case you refuse we will still love you." This way you also had checked which content can be regarded as abbandoned. Only thing - maybe you had to put an internal flag on uploaders or content not granted permission to change.

No, you can't do this.  Or if you did, an "opt-in" is better.

Look at it this way - if people uploaded something to the site under one understood set of circumstances ("we won't redistribute this"), and then years go by and then the circumstances change ("hey guys, we're now going to redistribute this"), unless there is wording in the original agreement ("we won't redistribute this...unless we decide to change this policy in the future"), you are opening the site up to a host of ill will and potential problems.

Whether or not old plugins and uploads are considered abandoned by anyone, it still doesn't give the site or anyone the right to change the circumstances of these uploads' submission/hosting after-the-fact, unless there is provision in the original agreement allowing this.  Whether or not the original uploader cares, knows about, or what have you, it shouldn't matter - they are the ones that should have final say.  And if you don't get it for whatever reason (they say no, they don't answer back, there's no way to track them down, their email returns as undeliverable, they're dead), then it shouldn't be part of what you're doing.

Unless you get an affirmation or a denial from the original content providers, you should not seriously consider including anything in any way/shape/form in these packs.  This is regardless of legality - this is common decency and deference, something which this site has maintained up until this point with the STEX contributions, and which this site should continue to maintain.

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6 minutes ago, madhatter106 said:

Whether or not the original uploader cares, knows about, or what have you, it shouldn't matter - they are the ones that should have final say.

Might as well abandon the whole project then. This isn't going to happen. I'm in agreement that like every other site on the internet they reserve the right to change the rules and we should not be an exception. Simply posting the notice on site would be enough. Emailing each member would merely be an extra courtesy gesture.

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5 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

Might as well abandon the whole project then. This isn't going to happen. I'm in agreement that like every other site on the internet they reserve the right to change the rules and we should not be an exception. Simply posting the notice on site would be enough. Emailing each member would merely be an extra courtesy gesture.

It can happen - if you get the uploaders' consent to include the plugins, just like the site does with the STEX discs.  Rather than retroactively "changing the rules" of submission and hosting their content on the STEX.

I, for one, would pull my content from the site entirely if a notice was simply posted saying that "the rules have changed, we can now do whatever we want with your uploaded content."  Because that is NOT what I agreed to when I uploaded it; call me old-fashioned, but I like to be asked on something of this nature. 

"Yes" is not the equivalent of "they didn't say no."

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Yeah, I also disagree with retroactively including everyone's content. And I don't see a need for it because there's so much content to process that people would be able to organize the content that there is permission for first while trying to contact other people. 

Also, I think an important thing about the plugin packs is that people can already do them right now. All it would take are a few creators agreeing to do it, and then doing it. Any BATer could consolidate their uploads into a handful of uploads, or could form a group to consolidate even more. 

But I think that also reveals that maybe the idea is liked in theory but isn't quite there yet in practice, because if I got a pm right now asking for permission to put my stuff in a pack I would probably say no.

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Awhile back in this post matias93 suggested an approach similar to the apt system. He also wondered if I could expand on it a little more. At the time I really didn't know many of the details but it has been banging around in my head since. I have had some time to look at it a bit more and I now feel a full blown apt system might be more than we need. However, a loosely based (KISS) version of that could work very well.

Basic concept:
When a user wants to download a mod, MODPACC, bug fixes, they would still go to the STEX/LEX, find the content and read about, it and the content developer, as they currently do. If they decide to download the content they click the Download button, as usual, but instead of the content they actually get a text file.
Now they fire up a small app that reads the text file, this tells the app everything it needs to download the content, including any dependencies, and place them properly into the correct folders.

App Internal Requirements:
-Cross platform
-ability to issue credentials to gain access to the site
-maintain a list of currently installed mods and dependencies
-compare, mod and dependency, download requests against current list
-check for and install updates

App External Requirements:
-templates for the text files
-procedure to maintain template and text file integrity
-developers submit new or changed text files for review
-address compatibility issues

This is an oversimplified description but I think it conveys the concept.
It addresses the issue of developer rights, because nothing changes, and does not require an extensive overhaul of the STEX and/or LEX. This could also handle the MODPACC idea with a specific text file template.
I know there are those among us, like myself, when presented with a challenge will set there creativity free. That's a necessary step but then you have to make it work. We need to focus on the basic requirements of the system then we can build on a solid foundation.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, madhatter106 said:

the rules have changed, we can now do whatever we want with your uploaded content.

But that's really not the case. The text I proposed - with my limited english - was:

On 4.8.2017 at 2:54 PM, Fantozzi said:

for reasons of keeping compatibility with future developments and to keep usability of custom content, you grant site staff or an assigend community member to do fixes and to repack the data into larger collections (reducing dependencies), without touching the creative content and without touching authorship.

It's not fair to argue as if this was a charter to do 'whatever we like'. Action is clearly limited to fixes for compatibility reasons and for reducing dependencies. For other reasons content can't be touched - also as I said in the previous post this is limited to the site and would always need an approval.

If this is alread too much to ask to uploaders, I'm afraid @CorinaMarieis right, we are open to loose crucial content and therefore it's a matter of time the carpet, the webbing of lots and dependecies will get holes and won't work anymore.

18 hours ago, Jasoncw said:

Any BATer could consolidate their uploads into a handful of uploads, or could form a group to consolidate even more. 

Yes, I primary had modders in mind, they lost interest in their creations so giving the community the possibility to care for. I absolutely agree that modders still active, still nursing their content simply would be part of the process - still they would give approval. No one wants to hijack your content.

Therefore, if you got the mail you would answer: no. Maybe we could add an option like, 'I will care for this myself'. 

But again - I never intended that as a decission about giving your content away or passing over your content to the community. This is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. Again, the agreement would be strictly limited to necessary fixes and creating mega packs for limited reasons: reducing dependencies. And nothing else. It's not 'starter packs' I was refering - those are a different task. And if you want to be involved in the process first - I can't see any reason why it shouldn't be this way. As said in the agreement: it's not to touch authorship, it's not to steal responsability. So therefore all your rights as an author keep intact, even if you say: yes. There is no change about that.

 

#################

 

We should work on a solution. A little constructiveness will be needed. It's not I insist to have found the holy grail. And I not insist it has to be the way as I say. But bashing every idear and not offering a better one - a single word to process, to advance, to get ahead - this makes all thinking and posting about 'how'  a waste of time.

You know - @madhatter106 and @Jasoncw  - you mostly did create indipendend content. Most of your content can exist without any other content and will work without other content. But there are creators their work is dependend on other peoples work.  It's like a house of cards - if you pull a card at the bottom all the house will collapse. You may not know how it feels if your content doesn't work anymore because of lost dependencies.

And community is defenseless against this. And if you refuse to change about that, it will happen. It's a matter of time - we see creators passing away leaving their content abbandoned.

We have to think of a solution to carry their things on. So please come on, help to solve this. Please. Don't remain in a 'I-don't-like-this-state'. Push yourself a little and put some idears into it. 

I believe we are an open community - but we need idears to solve challenges not only reviews. There are probably 10 reviews, mostly negative, on every idear and so no idear survies. And people afraid posting idears because being afraid of the wall of negative reviews.

You won't even get new players to participate in discussions - if we can't play with controversial thoughts, strobe them, but hurry to condemn every thought that doesn't match our needs immediatly. I'm open to other suggestions to solve the issue.

 

19 hours ago, madhatter106 said:

I, for one, would pull my content from the site entirely

But to threaten is to stop the dialogue. It's like saying: shut up now.

So I'm out. This leads nowhere.


  Edited by Fantozzi  

Tried to reduce the amount of language errors

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The most efficient way to reduce download times (* of download) is packing dependencies into 1. But, you should drop anything not relevant, like IRM Starter Pack should only bundles IRM deps, not including CDK dependencies, etc. Don't forget to merge Cleanitol files, too.

Also, for cross-site problem, I think we should make Simpacc (I hate all-caps) Agreement and make other sites to be ratify it. The content might like this

Quote
  1. Authors should make the contents free to redistribute as long as redistributed necessarily, not modified (excluding packing), and with attributions.
  2. Site owners should allow the others to redistribute the contents as long as covered by the former rules.
  3. End-users shouldn't distribute plugins if not agree with the redistribution rules.

You are right, @Fantozzi. We should focus on solution, not the problem. If we still discuss problem, we get harder to succeed. I think the agreement is effective. If not, please reply here.

Note to mods: Remove unnecessary spoiler :)(Un-spoilered by Cori.)

Thank you.

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22 hours ago, T Wrecks said:

Going forward, another important topic may be cross-site cooperation. Unless I misinterpreted Alex (@Tarkus), SC4Devotion would be open for such a project, is that right? This would be an important piece of the puzzle, really, because many key dependency packs are hosted there exclusively. Could we and should we reach out to other sites like toutsimcities.com, simcitypolska.pl and simcityplaza.de, for example?

Your interpretation is spot on.:thumb: 

Speaking from the SC4 Devotion side, we're very much open to the idea of collaborating with Simtropolis in devising a solution that is for the greater good of the community.  As far as the non-English language sites, I do think it would be prudent to reach out as part of the process, as their involvement could certainly further such a project on a number of fronts.

-Tarkus

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Hhhmmm voices of prominent batters  @madhatter106 and @Jasoncw must be hear. So  the permission from the creators is needed.  Sure this complicates the matter, but in a way I feel it may be a good thing. It forces limiting the targets, instead of random hoarding of content in to a massive mega pack. So it still can be done as, but it needs some hard work.

Quote

Any BATer could consolidate their uploads into a handful of uploads, or could form a group to consolidate even more. 

I could do something like that, but I would like to see a theme pack which is balanced into game play. I can't do that alone. My dream is to create UK pack, but alone I am not able to BAT, lot and mod enough models to create a pack which could replace Maxis default tileset.

So if the would be a project that has a specific aim and good will of the community, I would like to join.

I am not fan of the BSC mega prop packs, because those are not organised. One pack can contain anything from a house plant to a military plane, so I feel it is ineffective to load a large prop pack to get one or two props. I feel the worst one is BSC MISC 1 mega pack which I think is just a random collect of models from different creators, many of them have shared in their own pack. This is fairly common dependency, so I hope a new project could address in to this kind of matters by carefully selecting the dependences.

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Hi!

29 minutes ago, Bombardiere said:

I am not fan of the BSC mega prop packs, because those are not organised. One pack can contain anything from a house plant to a military plane, so I feel it is ineffective to load a large prop pack to get one or two props. I feel the worst one is BSC MISC 1 mega pack which I think is just a random collect of models from different creators, many of them have shared in their own pack. This is fairly common dependency, so I hope a new project could address in to this kind of matters by carefully selecting the dependences.

As a player I disagree with this, because it's quite usefull that everything in one place and don't need to download several different stuff even if this is just a big random pack. However as a LOTter I agree with you very much. If I need only a bench prop, why should I have to browse through among military planes, flower gardens, house models, warehouses and other industrial stuff etc... But it's a small problem I guess.

33 minutes ago, Bombardiere said:

Hhhmmm voices of prominent batters  @madhatter106 and @Jasoncw must be hear.

Hm.... voices of dozens or hundreds of players must be hear as well... I don't understand @Jasoncw thoughts here:

20 hours ago, Jasoncw said:

But I think that also reveals that maybe the idea is liked in theory but isn't quite there yet in practice, because if I got a pm right now asking for permission to put my stuff in a pack I would probably say no.

Why would you say no? Why is it hurting your feelings? I mean it, can you explain? No offense, but I don't understand.

Asking permission is one thing, it's mandatory I guess, and it's OK, but if there's no respond, that means ones doesn't care about enough the whole stuff. And later if ones respond, well we can deal with the situation at that time. How do you ask or can wait permission from someone who has been inactive for 10 years at a chinese site and ones stuff has been gone, because the used site went down? There is no way, so in that case, we can still share those lost items as legacy contents, preserve them to the community and give all the credits to the original author. Of course if we can find a still working email or any other contact adress we can send a message about our planned action.

So I don't see the problem here.

As @Fantozzisaid, the still active BATters should take care of their own contents and if they make groups to take care of each others contents or any other legacy conents that's still one of the best case scennarios. 

Well I hasn't been following this MEGApack making issue from the begining and won't read back. With the permissions, It can be asked and if no response the community can make the changes, I mean probably Ill Tonkso won't come back, so making some megapacks from his stuff (housing, transportation etc...) can work, also NDEX megapacks could work etc... The best would be an *.exe installer where you can chose which contents should be installed...

But I can see that this BS miserable topic about permissions and copyright BS things will be open 10 years later and nothing won't be changed, no megapacks, no remastered and/fixed contents, no organized things and.... no community...

I'm out as well, the solution would be very easy and technically harmless, because we are still talking about free contents what were given for the community to entertain the members of this community so arguing about that "this is mine, this is mine you can't touch it, because This Is My Precious" so pointless. All the credits belong to the original author, that's clear and never been questioned. The common goal should be to keep the community alive and make easy access to the contents for the future generations... But NO we have to arguing among each other about BS permissions and non-existing copyright BS. 

Well, that's just great! :D:D:D:D

- Tyberius

 

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Haljackey    5,956
  • Original Poster
  • @Jasoncw @madhatter106 thanks for your comments. Some good points brought up here.

    The first starter pack should only contain items that is made by creators that have their consent. Gray area / good faith could be given to dependencies and whatnot.

    Another workaround is to use work in good faith if a creator is contacted and not heard back from after some time. If a reply is eventually received and they do not want their content used, we can always modify the file to remove their work.

    Again, we're doing this for the betterment of the game and obviously will not proceed using content if a negative answer is received from the creator.

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    21 minutes ago, Haljackey said:

    The first starter pack should only contain items that is made by creators that have their consent.

    I believe the general consensus is that the first pack will have all the fixes. If we insist on getting consent and don't receive it for some of those, then one merely has to re-create them in Reader, upload, and give consent. (Personally, this seems silly as the original authors should get credit, but it would work around the limitations we seem to be insistent on burdening this project with.)

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    I've officially been a member of the SC4 community since 2006-2007 before that I lurked and I would hate to add up just how many of these type of conversations I have taken part in  over the years.

    They always end going the same way because while everyone all agrees about the problem, nobody can ever agree on a solution as everyone has a different idea on the best way of solving it and so in the end nothing happens.

    My own opinion is before anything else we have to change how files are handled and that policy really has to be applied to all the sites if its going to work.

    So for what its worth.

    When someone uploads a file onto the STEX or LEX, etc they need as part of the upload (or update) process to be asked one very simple question.

    1. In the event of your absence from this site for a year and day do you grant Simtropolis permission to act as your file's conservator, which would include moving the file to another site in the event this site ceases to exist.

    Quote

    conservator is a person or entity responsible for the repair and preservation of works of art, buildings, or other things of cultural or environmental interest.

    It would be a very simple yes or no and the file could be flagged on the site so everyone knows which files are effected, at some point you would need to go back and try and get permission or rejection from previous creators, only then can you take the next step of trying to improve the current system ie by a different method of downloading dependencies or creating plugin packs.

    -catty

    NOTE: I said a year and a day, but it can be any time period

     

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    12 hours ago, Haljackey said:

    Another workaround is to use work in good faith if a creator is contacted and not heard back from after some time. If a reply is eventually received and they do not want their content used, we can always modify the file to remove their work.

    Again, we're doing this for the betterment of the game and obviously will not proceed using content if a negative answer is received from the creator.

    Indeed, the "three month rule" is something we've been trying out over at SC4D.  If there's no response to staff correspondence within three months, and the content is otherwise unavailable/inaccessible, we give the green light to a controlled, good faith re-upload.  If the original creator returns and wants to re-assume control over distribution by hosting the files elsewhere, we'll cooperate.

    At some point in time, redistribution is going to become an inevitability--the question is, do we want it to be in a controlled fashion by responsible community stewards, who will ensure the original authors are credited and everything works, or do we want it to be a free-for-all?  I don't think anyone here wants a free-for-all, but unless we take steps to ensure our community's longevity, it's unfortunately going to become the norm.

    I really believe that trust is really an unvoiced factor in many of these sorts of discussions in our community.

    -Tarkus

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    1 hour ago, catty-cb said:

    When someone uploads a file onto the STEX or LEX, etc they need as part of the upload (or update) process to be asked one very simple question.

    1. In the event of your absence from this site for a year and day do you grant Simtropolis permission to act as your file's conservator, which would include moving the file to another site in the event this site ceases to exist.

    Not sure this is necessary to ask; by uploading a file to the STEX you've implicitly given Simtropolis the right to host and distribute your work, and this would be transferable to any site that succeeds Simtropolis. For instance, the rights to host cities uploaded to SC3000.com were handed off to Simtrop when Wren transferred control to Dirk.

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    2 hours ago, simmaster07 said:

    Not sure this is necessary to ask; by uploading a file to the STEX you've implicitly given Simtropolis the right to host and distribute your work, and this would be transferable to any site that succeeds Simtropolis. For instance, the rights to host cities uploaded to SC3000.com were handed off to Simtrop when Wren transferred control to Dirk.

    Also, I given permission by Dirk to copy all the content from SC3000.com and related sites.

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    18 hours ago, Jasoncw said:

    Because it's stuff I made and I have a feeling of authorship over it. I want to have confidence in the plan and I want to trust the people involved with it. 

    And this really is the core. The guy has spent probably hundreds of hours of his own free time for no compensation -- and then some players are going to get around to decide on how the creations are going to be handled?

    As much as I agree with a "custodian" feature similar to how the LEX is looking after abandoned files or how some Chinese/Japanese creators have English-language custodians for Western websites, the fact of the matter is that the community generally hasn't provided for this. And then we're back to the concerns that Jasoncw is voicing. Considering that most of us do not create anything, I think it's well worth listening to those who actually do -- after all, the community and its cohesion (as well as its presence) is mainly driven by the content creators.

    That being said, I seem to remember that the Barry Sanders Project /MiPro probably is one of the better candidates for what is proposed here -- few dependencies, concentrated work, quality content -- and as a player, consolidating work and perhaps dependencies would be considered very, very beneficial by me. But if creators don't want to contribute? Really, we should just steal their work?

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    As a player, anything that makes it easier to download content would be great. As far as 'abandoned content' , maybe we could replace that phrase with 'left in the hands of the community' ?

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    On Sunday, 6 August 2017 at 2:08 PM, simmaster07 said:

    Not sure this is necessary to ask; by uploading a file to the STEX you've implicitly given Simtropolis the right to host and distribute your work, and this would be transferable to any site that succeeds Simtropolis. For instance, the rights to host cities uploaded to SC3000.com were handed off to Simtrop when Wren transferred control to Dirk.

    Yes, but that's only part of it ... Its what happens when the file's creator disappears hopefully because they have decided to do something else, but in at least two cases I'm aware of they stopped because they were dead, one in a car crash the other one was natural causes, who then takes responsibility for caring for their work, at the moment they go into limbo, so forget everything else that's been discussed in this topic re creating packs or better ways of handling dependencies that's just icing of the cake ... if you disappear tomorrow what happens, I know for a lot of the younger creators asking them to do what effectively is a will is something they are going to find difficult to do, but carrying on as we have been doing isn't working nor is having these discussions every few months and then adding it to the too hard basket.

    :read:

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    In the case of creators who are still around the community, I agree with Jason that it'd be a real overreach to go all "eminent domain" on their content.  They're still maintaining their content, and it's simple enough just to ask them.  Now, if someone still "active" did something pants-on-head stupid, by pulling a dependency file for reasons other than updating or re-hosting elsewhere--one really interesting early case on ST can be found here--then that might be a case where action is needed.  Such moves actively prevent creations authored by innocent bystanders from working properly, and the end result is merely a Streisand effect for the original author, plus a wake of angry end users, some of whom will start to resort to the "black market".

    The bigger issue that is at stake now, however, is the case of situations in which files cannot be maintained, as their author is inactive, and succession isn't clearly delineated, or, perhaps, the file's custodians have also fallen inactive.  I think that in these cases, the "three month rule" would be applicable, and attempting to reach both the author and the custodian would be a prudent step to take.  If, for some reason, both parties respond but aren't on the same page, the logical option would be to consider that the original author's word supersedes that of the custodian.

    On 8/5/2017 at 7:08 PM, simmaster07 said:

    Not sure this is necessary to ask; by uploading a file to the STEX you've implicitly given Simtropolis the right to host and distribute your work, and this would be transferable to any site that succeeds Simtropolis. For instance, the rights to host cities uploaded to SC3000.com were handed off to Simtrop when Wren transferred control to Dirk.

    ST already has obtained some agreements for re-distribution through the process for the STEX Collections, and that could at least be a starting point.  Based on catty-cb's post here, it sounds like the selected authors (at least in that point in time--2011) were presented with an opt-out rather than an opt-in.  It would be interesting to look at the verbiage on the messages sent to authors regarding inclusion.

    On 8/6/2017 at 10:27 AM, Jasoncw said:

    The LEX is different because it started off as a closed exchange, and I think even before the LEX most of the BSC members explicitly gave permission for the BSC to be custodians of their work in the future. When it was opened for non-BSC people to go through the scrutineering process people were still implicitly submitting their work to that way of doing things. The LEX has been an open exchange for a while now and idk what impression newer members have but I don't think the nature of the LEX and the STEX are the same. I don't see a problem with the LEX rearranging its content but I don't think it's the same for the STEX.

    The BSC did indeed have a general custody arrangement within the team for inactive members. 

    With non-BSC files on the LEX, it depends on how they ended up there.  There's a substantial number of files that were added to the LEX after the BSC reached an agreement with the original creator to upload and repackage their content (mostly for CAMeLot usage), so regardless of creator activity, those files are under BSC custody.  The non-BSC files that weren't uploaded by the BSC generally remain under the auspices of their authors (or custodians), though there are a small number of files that were added more recently under the "three month rule".

    -Tarkus

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    Haljackey    5,956
  • Original Poster
  • An interesting comment from the reddit thread I made on this:

    -----

    Quote

    [–]GlasMadfall [+1] 2 points 48 minutes ago 

    I realize this post is a little old, but it caught my eye. I bought the CD copy of SimCity 4 back when it was new and had a great time playing it. After a good while I got fed up with all my people driving down the access street instead of using the Highway I built for them because it was 1 tile "closer" and abandoned the game.

    Fast forward to 2017 when I rediscover my copy of the CDs and nostalgia sets in. After a coupled failed installation attempts and a call to EA support, I have SC4 all ready to go. Of course in the meantime I discover mods, WHAAAT?? NAM fixes traffic pathing? sweet! I've played Elder Scroll games and actually am working on a mod for Skyrim, so I think sweet, what else is out there? Apparently a lot!

    Unfortunately, trying to install those mods is a royal pain. Each individual file is its own .zip which I have to download then extract. Then I have to install them, wait this one is an .exe, while that one I just dump directly into my plugins folder. What does the readme file say? oh, I only put one copy of that file in and delete the rest. Let's see, I think I already have that dependency, so I only need that other one... Good thing I have a burner e-mail for all the accounts I'm making today. Wait, I got all the dependencies why am I still getting brown boxes? Oh, that flagpole wasn't listed as a dependency, it's part of the legacy Maxis files that I have to go to another site to download. Oh dear that site doesn't exist anymore, time to Google a current download. FINALLY got it, there doesn't my schoolhouse look pretty? Oh wait, when I try hovering over this set piece my game crashes to desktop. There's a fix for that, but it will take another half hour of research and installation to make it work. FINALLY, got it all working!

    Look, I know there's plenty of you old guards out there who snap your suspenders and proudly say "back in my day, installing mods was a pain, and we liked it that way!" Sure, you can install just what you want, just how you want. You know exactly how to structure your mods and already most everything anyways, so installing a new commercial building by Matt325 when he releases it is no big deal.

    For those of us just joining the modding scene however, having some pre-made content packs would be a wonder. Imagine, with a few clicks similar to the NAM installer, you could easily install dozens of the best buildings and lots form around the modding community. Lets see, I want a nice industrial area: Install the mod pack, pick from a few options during install, yes I what night not maxis nights, no I'm not using CAM, and viola! new lots and buildings! Want to add a waterfront area with seawalls, canals, expanded cargo ports, and more ships? Bam! just a content pack away.

    The way I see it, pre-assembled content packs would be a good thing. It would allow newer player, or players who have not bothered with mods to find and use some of the best resources available after over a decade of content creation. But Glas, some might say, wont that make newer users slobbering idiots who don't know a bean about modding SC4 the 'right' way? Maybe, but that's a chance I'm willing to take! (The stakes are super low for me. Also, thanks for your vote of confidence imaginary straw-man.) Seriously though, those who are interested will learn. Making it easier to get a jump-start on a decade worth of mods instead of spending a week or two trying to catch up to the old guard players won't change that one way or the other. Finally, does it matter if some people just want to play the game? I get that mod curation is an enjoyable pastime for many, but there are also many who simply want to install the new content then get back to making their city whatever they feel like.

    TL;DR Modpacks = GOOD :)

     

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    @Haljackey  I guess  I would qualify as an 'old guard' player, but I agree with you. It should be easier to try new content. Even though I have been playing a long time I only started using mods fairly recently. I always avoided them because of the difficulties involved. Now I stick with the NAM and a few that don't use dependencies. As I stated in an earlier post, I think it could be accomplished, without all the concerns about owner rights. I am willing to contribute some time to a solution but there seems to be no consensus on how to accomplish this.

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    Maybe I didn't understand it right, but on the reddit comments some people talked about other games which moved to a mod managing software. Maybe some of that could be reusable?

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    Let's keep in mind, this guy fought through it because he wanted to.

    For every one of him, there are tens (maybe hundreds) who simply would say "nah, not worth it."  or worse things.

    At minimum, we have to be able to provide a baseline that fixes the game to be playable for entry level people.  It can literally take several hours to get just the basic of things in place to get it to work like you'd expect.

    The community owes it to itself and to those who might enter into the community to do it.  And it's owed it for half a decade or more.

    AT MINIMUM, there should be a permanent top-level front page post that lists (with links) EVERY SINGLE MOD that everyone should download at minimum, hour one.  If we can't at least get this done, this entire discussion is just wasting all our time, isn't going to go anywhere, and the community is likely doomed to never be able to grow out of what it is.  The post may already exist, but that's irrelevant.  It should be in your face on the header of every page on the site.    You shouldn't be able to get rid of it unless you have an account on the site (i'm serious). 

    This shouldn't take but a few minutes.  Why are we spinning our wheels?  Let's take STEP ONE.  Let's get a list up that represents what the community feels is a mandatory minimum ASAP.

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    17 hours ago, Haljackey said:

    Oh wait, when I try hovering over this set piece my game crashes to desktop. There's a fix for that, but it will take another half hour of research...

    Perhaps the first "essentials" collection should be a complete patch kit with step-by-step instructions (and exceptions for who doesn't need each). It would include:

    • version update patch(es) for old disks
    • night-lighting patch
    • model shortcut file with command-line switches such as -CPUCount:1
    • I-HT fix for non-CAM players
    • hover-fix DLL
    • Opera House Fix
    • DAT-packing app
    • DataNode App
    • msvc DLL dependencies needed by common apps
    • updated "Graphics Rules.sgr" and "Video Cards.sgr"
    • Pointer to Extra Cheats and Extra Extra Cheats for debugging
    • Pointer to the NAM "for perfect path-finding if nothing else"
    • support for wine on linux?
    • support for Mac users?
    • what else?

    I wonder how much could be guided / installed via script with Q&A.

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    Thinking about this more and also reading that reddit thread, I realized this is just a rehash of the ancient dependency and installer debates. 

    When people say that SC4 content is too difficult to install, what content are they really talking about?

    Are they saying that they discover my BATs, and that clicking "download" and then dragging and dropping from the .zip is too cumbersome? (and like I've said I think a mod managing program would be great!) I stopped including readmes in my uploads a long time ago because all you had to do was drag and drop a few neatly organized files. 

    Or are they complaining that they saw a building that they liked, which only contained a .SC4lot file, and then they had to go download the building pack that contains it and a bunch of other building models (why on earth this was ever done I don't understand) and then download a few more giant files that contain props and ground textures. And then try to keep everything straight when they have to do it over again with different combinations of model packs and prop/texture packs. Plus clicking through installers for each one and then having to navigate to their plugins folders anyway to delete the versions they don't want, and then having to delete the readme directories that the installer made, and on and on and on. 

    In the future I'm going to be more conscientious about what types of my buildings I could uploaded together rather than individually (especially for filler type buildings). I also still intend on updating my older content and fixing the STEX descriptions. 

    5 hours ago, matias93 said:

    Maybe I didn't understand it right, but on the reddit comments some people talked about other games which moved to a mod managing software. Maybe some of that could be reusable?

    Actually yeah this probably already exists for older games. We'd just need to make a version for SC4. I'm personally not familiar with other older games or their modding communities though. Does anyone know of any in particular? That would make something like this a million times more practical. 

     

    I think a bug fix pack would be great, and should be pretty agreeable. I don't know enough about that side of modding to be personally involved in it, but maybe someone who does could start a new thread and start getting into the nitty gritty of such a pack. 

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    41 minutes ago, jeffryfisher said:

    Perhaps the first "essentials" collection should be a complete patch kit with step-by-step instructions (and exceptions for who doesn't need each). It would include:

    • version update patch(es) for old disks
    • night-lighting patch
    • model shortcut file with command-line switches such as -CPUCount:1
    • I-HT fix for non-CAM players
    • hover-fix DLL
    • Opera House Fix
    • DAT-packing app
    • DataNode App
    • msvc DLL dependencies needed by common apps
    • updated "Graphics Rules.sgr" and "Video Cards.sgr"
    • Pointer to Extra Cheats and Extra Extra Cheats for debugging
    • Pointer to the NAM "for perfect path-finding if nothing else"
    • support for wine on linux?
    • support for Mac users?
    • what else?

    I wonder how much could be guided / installed via script with Q&A.

    From this short list, the only problem would be with the dll dependencies, as they are proprietary software we aren't allowed to redistribute. Fortunately, there are redistributable packages that contain those libraries, so a viable approach would be to ask Wouanagaine (reachable via reddit) for permission to redo their installers to point to the redistributable packages, automating that part without messing with commercial rights.

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