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I'd also suggest looking at what the guy did with the Morrowind Overhaul.  (the OLD and only real Morrowind)

It takes the best of the mods for that game, essentially changing Morrowind from an old, dated RPG to pretty much cutting edge by drawing in content from many people and putting it all into one file, one installer, and asking you at each step if you want this change or not.  Granted, the mods in that game fundamentally change game behavior because the engine is far more open than the SC4 one, but the method and approach to installation is what I'm getting at here.

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Fantozzi, I respect that opinion too. But here we are talking about objects that have no monetary values. The community has always maintained that copyright must be respected and has remained very respectful.

I do not try to get marginal and do my "tinkers" in my corner, but the game is old and if I ask permission to publish a ModPack to all the authors of the plugins I have, it will be impossible To gather the agreement of all. Most modders are inactive, and when I see that I can help a person by sharing my ModPack, I do. For me it is essential to maintain the community. SC4 is the only game I know that pushes copyright so far, I play other games with mods and I have never heard so many topics about copyright. I sincerely think it would be time to start "liberalizing" the content.

I still want to add that my ModPack does not contain any significantly modified plugins. The only modification I have made to all lots is to translate them into French and change the batch icon in the game menu. The author's own creation is not changed in depth.

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Entire Plugins Folders

I am also against wholesale catch all plugins folder sharing (except for small scale personal sharing, like sharing it with a friend from school or your brother or something).

Plugin selection is very personal and specific to the goals that the player has, and plugins as they exist across different authors is inconsistent (menu icons and descriptions, what tilesets people put their buildings into, etc.). I feel like a new player would just be inheriting a giant confusing mess. imo any successful pack would have to be thematic and carefully curated. 

Multi-Author Thematic Packs

I think thematic packs containing content from multiple authors is bad. Deciding which content gets included/excluded, and how/if the content should be standardized within the pack would be messy. And then longterm, in terms of building a plugin folder, it's awkward.

So for me, you'd have most but not all of my old American BATs included in one pack (along with nofunk and NYBT etc). And then you'd probably have most but not all of my modern American buildings in another pack. My I-HT buildings would probably go in a separate pack. My Brazillain buildings might go into a separate pack. Some of my BATs might be in multiple packs depending on how they're categorized. So your plugins folder would be a bunch of ThematicPack.dat files, plus the stray individual versions of my BATs that weren't included in the packs. And then this problem gets exponentially more complicated because the same problem exists for all of the other authors included in the various packs. Plus they wouldn't even know what authors made which BATs (and I'm speaking in terms of BATs because that's what I make but it applies to all content types) in order to seek out anything else the author has created. 

Single-Author Thematic Packs

I think authors uploading their plugins into thematic packs would make it easier for users.

Madhatter already does this to the extent possible for ongoing purposes (rather than archival purposes), and imo it's very user friendly. He only uploads once or twice a year, but when he does, each upload has a large number of thematically similar buildings. If he only had one giant midrise office pack that he updated with new buildings (instead of uploading them as a new packs), it would make it hard to keep track of when he releases new buildings, and it would be hard to stay up to date, unless you delete the whole pack and redownload it. 

But I think this only works with authors of a certain quality, volume, and thematic consistency. Otherwise it just changes the problem from sifting through the STEX to pick out the buildings you want, to sifting through your plugins folder and readmes to delete the buildings that come in the pack that you don't want (assuming that the packs aren't datpacked). 

But even when there *is* thematic and quality consistency, it seems like not everyone wants everything. If someone was making an American city, to me it would make sense to download basically all of my old style buildings. But when I look at American CJs, it's not uncommon for me to only see one or two of my buildings. Recently I actually saw one that was a small American city that only had like one of my old American BATs, but had several of my very modern ones. 

 

To me multi-author thematic packs feels like trying to build a music collection using Now That's What I Call Music! albums as the foundation. 

Single-author thematic packs are more like releasing a singles compilation. Except the analogy breaks down because SC4 content is free, never out of print, and acts the same in-game regardless of format (SC4 is always on shuffle), so building a plugins folder out of individual uploads isn't the same as building a music collection out of singles. 

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  • Original Poster
  • If we were to go with a 'base plugin pack', I would expect it to contain the same building 'styles' as Vanilla SC4. Any other content / 'thematic packs' could be separate downloads or perhaps packed into an install file with a check mark similar to the NAM selection process during install.

    Please note this is all hypothetical.

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    I guess what we're discussing here is broadly similar to what we now take for granted as Dependency Packs.

    Through the years we've all been aware there was bulk sharing happening, especially within younger players that have had contact with the game outside the community. To my knowledge, these players eventually face compatibility issues that are not easy to troubleshoot even if one is willing to turn the blind eye on some practises.

    A Themed Starter Pack as @T Wrecks suggest seems to me like a good compromise between releasing full folders and the system we currently have. The existence of these packs does not impede in anyway the download of more content from other authors or the deletion of undesirable content.

    As far as duplicated content goes, it wouldn't be hard to do a Cleanitol file to be included in the pack (although, to be honest, the application's UI could use a cleanup itself). This could ensure that the same dependency in multiple packs would not be repeated. A problem with this method though is the wide variety of naming conventions.

    Proper documentation could also be easily done. I have, however, some doubts on how effective these type of documents actually are. It used to be frequent to see noobies in chat asking for assistance on bad installations on the NAM (especially before the Monolith installers). I feel these new batches of players are less willing to go through a 5 page pdf document with extensive descriptions and lots of text.

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    For an absolute beginner's base pack I'd guess it should include the fixes (if appropriate) I'd listed here. And I still maintain the NAM should have a step-by-step walkthru document, but not be pre-installed since it gets cool updates periodically.

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    23 minutes ago, Tarkus said:

    Using a set, default folder structure would be the best way

    OK, it will be a little off, but this method should be default for any upload onto the exchanges at least SC4D and STEX and of course the other still active sites. I've got headache reorganizing Ill Tonkso's stuff (I couldn't manage ot finish them yet, because we are talking about hundreds of files), because most of them don't have read me and/or pictures and normal folder structure, but this one is just an example, however thousands of files have the same problem. And the funny part when the description on the downloading page says Installization: just copy the files from the zip... - and I start crying, because the first thing what I learned after I downloaded lots of plugins and followed this advice, that I ended up with an uncontrolled everywhere conflicting mess and an unplayable game... So I had to make the proper folder sturcture and spent God knows how many time to reorganize some stuff, and actually I can't see the end of the process...

    So it's an other problem/issue, but whenever the community will be ready to activly start maintanencing the uploaded files (I mean making folder stucture, attaching pictures and reupload the files without changing the actual content), that would be huge, but nice move... And of course I would help this process anyhow I can...:)

    And yepp, I know most of the players have life, but could the moderators/admins of the still active exchanges make contact with each other and make a decision to try to collect the long lost/unreleased but playable/etc contents in one place (drop box, onedrive, google drive etc...) with the help of the community and organizing these stuffs and upload them onto the exchanges or making a "master cloud storage" for them, and share the links. Or making "DVDs" from them... :)

    - Tyberius

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    11 hours ago, FlyHigh said:

    I guess what we're discussing here is broadly similar to what we now take for granted as Dependency Packs.

    As far as i can see there are 3 different actions discussed and maybe mixed - but they point all 3 to the same problem. The problem maybe described: custom content during the years became very rich but also as there are relationships it has a complex structure of dependencies. Just f.e.: me, personally, I'm working on project that will have  ~40 external dependencies, so to install it's a pain. From this other problems arise. Incompatibility (caused by ID conflicts on different levels), it's almost impossible to share built regions, plugin folder gets big by files rarely used,  it's confusing for new players etc.

    (1) - sharing whole plugin folders.

    This aims mainly on people who want to share their regions or for people that want to reproduce a certain 'style' or environment f.e. as seen on a cj.

    (2) - creating a 'starter pack'

    This aims mainly on beginners, who may have to go through hundreds of threads instead to learn what fixes were done during the years, where to find them, how to install them.

    I'm personnaly with @CorinaMarie on this. IMHO - this 'starter pack' is a good idear but should focus on fixes and settings. But maybe it's possible to think of a set of different 'starter packs' - to make them modular, a construction kit ... or an installer with detailled instructions. Antetype could be the NAM.

    (3) - consolidate content into so called 'mega packs' or 'themed packs', basically all kind of packs.

    This aims mainly on reducing dependencies and the time consuming effort of gathering content and to keep overview. It may also effect bandwith in a possitive way.

    IMHO - this is a crucial task for the future of SC4. For years I see with sad eyes there are many small prop packs etc. of superb quality - but rarely used by lotters because they increase the dependencies list. Rarely used by lotters means: rarely used by players, means: rarely used at all. Instead many people stay with the big mega packs created some years ago by the BSC team which contain a little bit of everything and therefore are handy for lotters and therefore did become popular dependencies most people have. There you see the need to unify content. The most popular content - the NAM is an example for this too - is unified content. The NAM is a (network) themed mega pack.

    IMHO - this third action/task has urgently to be done. To me this is a groundwork for (1) and (2). Regarding base game - Maxis grouped their game content into megapacks of a size ~100 MB. I personally think we had to create some mega-mega prop packs reaching the same size - by integrating newer prop packs of a smaller size done by different users with older ones. Those mega-mega-prop packs could be themed according to the games 'needs': mmps, industrial, agricultural, commercial, residential, fauna and flora etc. It would be a big progress if we could reduce the dependencies list by a half and integrate some of the smaller packs. Also @T Wrecks made some practical proposals, imho, worth to consider.

    I've seen discussion about plugin folder size. I don't think this is a primary problem. Mostly the problem is secondary arising from the amount of files. If you reduce amount of files the problem of plugin folder size get's smaller too.

    But on topic is only (1) and maybe (2) - (3) imho is something essential discussed several times before and maybe it's better to discuss it separated from  (1) and (2).

     

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    It's nice to see a discussion like this and that there seems to be some common ground on solving this issue. Some kind of thematic starter pack would not be the worst thing to have. Learning the intricacies of SC4 is hard, and funny enough, not only for newbies.

    Spoiler

    I have a confession to make. I had been mostly playing C:S during the last years and have not really done anything with SC4 in years. Now, I'm not exactly an SC4 newbie. Steam claims I have 1816 hours of SC4, and that's not the only installation I have. So I decided to just start up SC4 yesterday night and look at one of my latest efforts. Funny enough, this was one of the few shared regions, Maxisland, which is available for download on this site as it's just a vanilla setup. I had changed this up a bit with custom content. Just to refresh my memories, I picked one of the smaller cities that I had added by myself on an unused city tile and of which I had a screenshot on Steam.

    https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/529506867157830708/1D2C28FBB197A8948B692973B3C6E965A3DAE010/

    It's remarkable how much I have forgotten. First thing I noticed was that scrolling moved like molasses. Oh yes, my video card had died, and SC4 would need a special introduction to my new card. Someone had made a tool to automate that, but that tool never worked for me. This meant editing some system files with the card ID and also the card name (memories of trying out different spellings until one stuck came up). The passenger train model and one of the train stations were by some Japanese modders, whose files may or may not be available on the net anymore. I remembered that I once knew how to edit the max number of cars of a train... long ago. The river front was made by some modder who had passed away years ago. I noticed that nearly all low residential buildings were vanilla or by spa and remembered that I was in the midst of shuffling stuff around. I also remembered that I had an organized backup of mattb325's or Cycledogg's stuff... somewhere.

    When I finally looked at the agricultural area, a feeling of despair hit me. I remembered what an absolute PITA finding the dependencies for the BSC agriculture was. Even the lauded BSC megapacks had their issues, like one of the last packs modifying a group of random props in an older pack with incompatible items. The easiest way out of this was to use PEG's stuff. And what I was looking at here were fields with missing buildings. No, no brown boxes or PEG's flags, just empty base textures where buildings would be. Plus a few water bug areas. At this point I just sighed, because I had no idea what was wrong anymore.

    I then went back to editing a river and a rail mountain ramp in my current city in C:S.

     

    I guess, personally I won't need any starter packs anymore. Who knows, maybe I suffer from dementia, but if it's already that hard to go back to the game after a couple of years, it's really a mountain to climb for new players. Yes, it's feasible. However, a content pack and maybe a downloadable example region with a limited amount of custom content could show new players what the game is capable of. Yes, you can also see this on screenshots, but the first look at the game in the vanilla state may be disheartening to some.

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    I like the idea of accumulating the fixes that @CorinaMarie recently compiled and linked to - excluding the NAM as a dynamic piece of content. The other fixes, however, are static. An installer that would be capable of applying the I-HT jobs fix properly - i.e. replacing simcity_1.dat with a patched version - and keeping a backup for inexperienced users would be the bomb (however, file size may be huge). *:)

    I also agree that a default folder structure might work - newcomers would probably stick to installers and, thus, to the default structure. Old hands would know where things are, so even if they ended up using installers, they'd probably be able to locate and eliminate duplicates.

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  • Original Poster
  • Site rules for all this:

    http://community.simtropolis.com/guidelines/

    General

    5. Prohibited Actions
    It is strictly and expressly prohibited to post or upload:

    a) Anything referring to CD keys or no CD cracks.
    b) Any content malicious to computer hardware or software, such as viruses.
    c) Any content that violates another person's privacy.
    d) Anything relating to the pirating, or copying, of any software game title.

     

    -----

    I don't think we're infringing on any of these, but we need to use the upmost respect for content creators. I've made uploads in the the past based on good faith, and I think the same conditions could be applied here.

    -----

    Note that SC4Devotion's rules around this sort of thing are more specific:

    http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=15094.0

    10.  Downloadable content from the forums and the exchange, including (but not limited to) mods, plugins, prop packs, etc. may not be redistributed without the permission of the original author.  Any user found to be redistributing content without permission (including through torrents or other file-sharing systems) will be subject to termination of all membership privileges and site access. People work hard, for free, to make this stuff. Don’t steal it from them.


     

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    8 hours ago, Turjan said:

    However, a content pack and maybe a downloadable example region with a limited amount of custom content could show new players what the game is capable of. 

    If these Packs idea really takes off, a practical example like what you describe could be very helpful.

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    2 hours ago, Haljackey said:

    (quoting Devotion's rules) People work hard, for free, to make this stuff. Don’t steal it from them.

    For this discussion I believe we aren't intending to violate this part. It seems that rule is to keep me from taking another person's content creation, adding one tree (or painting a house pink) and then trying to pass it off as my own work. For the various plugin packs the original authors are to be given full credit so at least the intent of this rule would not be compromised IMO.

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    I also love the idea of a 'starter pack'.  
    The first one should definitely be a 'fix' pack that addresses many of the deficiencies in the original game (per Corina's list)
    As for a content 'pack' ... that's where it starts to get tricky.  Breaking the theme's down into the maxis 'tilesets' per @T Wrecks idea seems the best course of action.  But finding, organizing, and tweaking the stats to all fit together would be a major undertaking.  Not to mention lotting everything so there is some semblance of cohesion.  Just thinking about it makes my head spin.  :boggle:

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    56 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

    It seems that rule is to keep me from taking another person's content creation, adding one tree (or painting a house pink) and then trying to pass it off as my own work.

    But what if you say the owner of the house allowed you to paint it pink - and no one can prove you wrong? Shure - this would be suspicious but does 'being suspicious' count in court?

    What if you give proper credit? If you don't claim it as your work - you simply paint my house pink while I'm away - and say: this is Fantozzi's house and he wanted it to have it pink.

    Who could open a case on this? Who would be in the possition to put up a line of argument to accuse you?

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    4 minutes ago, Fantozzi said:

    But what if you say the owner of the house allowed you to paint it pink - and no one can prove you wrong? Shure - this would be suspicious but does 'being suspicious' count in court?

    What if you give proper credit? If you don't claim it as your work ...

    As I'm not really familiar with the details of lotting and batting and such so I might have this part wrong: I believe our current rules allow me to do that providing I do give the proper credit and link to the original for the required download.

    But, let's not get sidetracked with this since I really don't know what I'm talking about other than my analogy of doing almost no work and then claiming the whole derived work as my own creation as being an example of violating the aforementioned rule. *;)

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    17 minutes ago, SimCoug said:

    Not to mention lotting everything so there is some semblance of cohesion.

    I don't agree with modifying another creator's work for a re-distribution pack. That goes against the spirit of everything our community has defended over the years. One thing is to correct IIDs or some other technical aspect that renders that lot un-usable. Another completely different is re-lotting, changing occupancy and "remastaring" a lot for some kind of consistency.

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    3 minutes ago, FlyHigh said:

    Another completely different is re-lotting, changing occupancy and "remastaring" a lot for some kind of consistency.

    It seems the alternative then would be to skip over these and not include them at all. If a lot is really beautiful, but out of whack for the techy details why wouldn't a re-lot of it be the way to go? Don't we already allow that for a new upload? (With proper credit and all given.)

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    30 minutes ago, FlyHigh said:

    I don't agree with modifying another creator's work for a re-distribution pack. That goes against the spirit of everything our community has defended over the years. One thing is to correct IIDs or some other technical aspect that renders that lot un-usable. Another completely different is re-lotting, changing occupancy and "remastaring" a lot for some kind of consistency.

    Well, we as a community have been re-lotting Buildings/BATs/etc since the first day that maxis released the LE.  In fact, most BATers I know welcome the re-use of their works in original lots, so I'm not sure how that goes against the spirit of this community.  The only difference we are talking about here is including the models in the 'starter pack'.  If we are going to take that step, I don't see how re-lotting the work changes the equation.  :lost:
    And if this does happen, I think 'remastering' would be an important step since some original BATs are incorrectly modded, or have stats that are wildly out of whack with the original game.  I feel like just throwing a bunch of content together and calling it done would be a huge disservice.  Not to mention a missed opportunity to create a true quality 'starter pack' that newcomers can enjoy right out of the box. 

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    5 minutes ago, FlyHigh said:

    That goes against the spirit of everything our community has defended over the years.

    A spirit? Didn't it die in 1882?

     

    17 minutes ago, FlyHigh said:

    I don't agree with modifying another creator's work for a re-distribution pack.

    If I make a copy of a lot - and I hand out to you both, the original and the copy I made - how would you prove which one is the original?

    I'm asking - because I personally believe, if ideals can't be covered by practice - don't know if this is good english, maybe: carried over into practice? - they are bubbles.

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    Where are we going with all this copyright talk when the community dies because of all this bickering?

    I think the most important thing is to keep the game alive...however it happens.

    We all know when someone copies another persons work and claims that as their own...just browse the "cant find it" thread. Yahari, for example will call that practice out in a couple minutes.

    And you are not going to paint a house your favorite color without rendering yourself...that's not possible.

    Fixing broken stats and such like MGB has talked about would be a huge favor for the community...why do we all have to mod it ourselves because the original upload "isn't to be touched", that seems silly to me. We need content that works as expected without us all being a Reader expert. Sharing the work seems logical.

    To me...Maxis owns all our work...you couldn't create it without their tools...and they say as much. You don't own it.

    I really wish this would all go away and we can enjoy our game and all the creative people that have made content for it, without the "ownership" arguments. Wishful thinking.

    My 1 cent,

    Tiger

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    9 minutes ago, tigerbuilder said:

    I really wish this would all go away and we can enjoy our game and all the creative people that have made content for it, without the "ownership" arguments.

    Well I could quote the whole post, but I totally agree with this. The only problem that we are talking about 30000 or so content and these are just the available stuffs, and there are hundreds of "lost" content ones HDs. But babysteps.

    First clear the minds from this pinky copyright brown sauce. The community is old enough I guess to make that decision that not giving credits to the original creator is not OK, but remastering the stuffs, repacking (I mean making normal folder structure, descriptions, pictures to the zips), maintenencing is not not OK, it's rather a responsibility what we have to do it time by time, generation by generation. OK, big words, who cares...  :D:D:D

    And yepp, restoring the "lost" contents is a responsibility as well...

    About the megapacks... In-built bsc cleaner (what is in the NAM as well) couldn't be working to help the process? Not for a newbe with empty plugin folder, but for the others who might consider to use such a mega-mega-mega-giga-mega pack... :)

    By the way, what I do is not so efficient, but for personal use I attach external dependencies for some of the plugins when I'm bulding a new plugin folder. For example Simmer2 is working god knows how many different dependencies on his railway projects, so when I making the back-up from the plugin (unzip, remaking the folder structure to easier further use for me), I make an external dependencies folder and copy the not so common dependencies into it, which only intended to be used for that one plugin. And for this reason I collected every @T Wrecks' IRM lots into one folder keep his original sturcture, but put an extra folder with all the original models into the main IRM folder. So when he uploads a new stuff I just browse the original model and copy into this external dependency folder. Well I might have duplicates, because I may use for example jestarr's industrial lots separatelly too, but way easier to manage for me like this way my plugin folder. Well it was the situation with the first "new" city of mine, because the next two only use the IRM mod and some I-Ht from Goober, tag-one and Mattb325.

    - Tyberius

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    33 minutes ago, Tyberius06 said:

    The community is old enough I guess to make that decision that not giving credits to the original creator is not OK, but remastering the stuffs, repacking (I mean making normal folder structure, descriptions, pictures to the zips), maintenencing is not not OK, it's rather a responsibility what we have to do it time by time, generation by generation. OK, big words, who cares...

    +

    5 hours ago, Haljackey said:

    I've made uploads in the the past based on good faith, and I think the same conditions could be applied here.

    =

    both-thumbs-up-finger-hand-like-yeah-che

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    2 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

    For this discussion I believe we aren't intending to violate this part. It seems that rule is to keep me from taking another person's content creation, adding one tree (or painting a house pink) and then trying to pass it off as my own work. For the various plugin packs the original authors are to be given full credit so at least the intent of this rule would not be compromised IMO.

    Speaking as the person who jeronij has more or less left in charge of the daily operations of SC4 Devotion over the past few years, and one of the people who helped draft up the current version of the SC4 Devotion Site Rules back in 2012, the rule includes what you've described, but that was simply one part of it.  It was also largely aimed at the folks in the "seedy underbelly", who, off ST/SC4D, decided to take matters into their own hands, without concern for the original creators, and released unauthorized, uncredited "modpacks" or plugin folder dumps, often through channels used for piracy.  The rule was essentially a codification of this 2007 post by RippleJet, and also inspired by the Dirk/Will Wright accord.  We have indeed terminated the memberships of people who have violated it, though termination was dropped down to a short suspension if the distributor apologized and/or at least attempted to remove access (hard to do if they chose to use a torrent, because of the nature of "seeding"). 

    What we're talking about here is a repackaging that is being done above board, and with a lot of public discussion and forethought being done before jumping into it--things the seedy underbelly doesn't care to do.  It's always been my view that the sites, which are held to a higher standard and are more likely to follow due process, are the ones that should be managing this sort of thing, keeping it from devolving into a free-for-all.  If we don't do it in short order, though, I fear we may lose the window.

    The main things that have prevented this sort of initiative happening before now are infrastructure, strict interpretation of community policies, and politics. 

    We've come to a time when I think just about everyone is past the politics--even those who were around for the messy years--and the strict interpretation of policy was, at least in part, a product of those politics. There may still be a couple isolated permission landmines we'd have to dodge, but I think, by and large, we're at a point where we can work through that and come to a sensible balance.

    The infrastructure side of things has had a lot bigger impact on the SC4 world than many realize.  File size is one area particularly affected--there's only five files larger than 25MB that I can think of in the community--two are the Windows and Mac versions of the NAM (260MB for Windows,  428MB for Mac), and the others are Gobias' Berner Oberland Terrain (64MB) and Sudden Valley Texture Pack A (56MB), and Lowkee33's LK Terrain Textures 01 (57MB).  I suspect the number of files larger than 10MB would actually be surprisingly short, too. 

    This is ultimately a vestigial remnant of long-time limits on file size on both the STEX and LEX, both of which were pegged to a mere 10MB for quite some time, unless you got approval and had someone around to FTP it onto the site (which, in the case of ST back then, required Dirk personally).  It's hard to believe now, but a lot of people still had dial-up internet when we started, which, if you were lucky, could get up to about 0.05Mbps.  Bandwidth was also a lot more expensive.  The packaging we've been left with was certainly shaped by this, producing the small, compartmentalized downloads we have now.

    -Tarkus

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    On the thread @CorinaMarie linked above @rsc204 wrote:

    "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."

    I don't think so. One problem we have - in discussion - is the confusion of copyright with ethics. But copyright is all about the money (I can't rembember any trial on copyright that wasn't about money) and ethics is about community and mix them by refering ethics on copyright is an idear that makes things complicated. On most of the action discussed here copyright isn't the matter imho. And the word 'copyright' is used for the individual sense of ethics. 

    If we talk about ethics there is an old fear involved. In 1882 the german philosiopher Friedrich Nietzsche published a book with different papers named 'the gay science'. One of the papers was dealing with moral systems and he stated moral systems to work need a supreme being - a reference point outside the system (humanity). Otherwise a moral system can't be stated as to be mandatory, valid. And indeed you may notice most dispute on ethic behavior is on this, f.e. 'not to change an original file', is this rule valid for me. If rules aren't validated with an authority standing above all mankind (the same: all members  of simtropolis, treating 'the spirit of the community' like some kind of God) ethics can't rule, which, in Nietzsches opinion, leads to nihilism. 

    This essay of Nietzsche became famous for him writing: "God is dead," which later was missunderstood as some kind of atheistic statement, instead he critisized 'screwing ethics'.

    I personally think there is no need to screw ethics, to blow up 'God' or the spirit of the simtropolis community. As ethics isn't without insight. One could say: ethics is inside in God. Or: ethics is insight in the spirit of the community. So you don't have to kill God to develop ethics - it's different. To develop ethics is getting more insight.

    And so the task would be not screw ethics but to develop ethics to get the 'spirit of this community' more clear, more shaped.

    Now the fear on changing 'policies' (now we mix up law and ethics again) is - we kill God, we kill community spirit. A very old fear, strongly bound to the preservation of culture. So immediatly you think of culture going down if ethics change, if gay couples can marry and so on. 

    No, We don't. Not necessary. We could also do different - we try to get closer to the spirit, getting a better understanding what it is. F. e. the meaning of the word 'respect' regarding content.

    For me it isn't obvious why fixing content is 'disrespect' for the author. And some answer - because it's agains the law. So they mix up ethics and money (law).

    At least it would be helpfull for the discussion not to mix copyright and ethics. Again: copyright is on the money, not on respect.

     

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    I'll try to get back to the actual idea of the thread:

    A selection of Packs? Yes
    Whole User-Plugin Folders? No

    Why?
    Well selected packs following certain themes or topics are a great way to easily get started or set up for something. If you wanna put it that way, the NAM is such a pack already. Also there are certain lots already packed in a themed single download, so why not extend on that idea? We can make themes like landscaping, CBT, maritime, suburban, regionally themed packs like asia, us southwest, us northeast, or sports, dirty industry... the possibilities are many.

    Whole plugin-folders from certain users is just not helping here. There's a hell of a lot of content out there and many of the old users like me (I joined June '03, many even earlier) have a huge collection of stuff, amounting to several GBs of content. Not just would that clutter up the servers and abuse the bandwidth, it would also mean a hell of a lot of uneccesary duplications. 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. Plus the actual download pages of the NAM themselves. I just did a clean installation of the NAM with the standard settings, that's 575mb. Times 50 makes almost 29gb. And there'll be many more duplications than just the NAM, pinky promise!

    So, long story short, we should be as reasonable as possible with the bandwidth and server storage both here on the ST as well as over on SC4D.
    f you want to share your entire plugins, sure, do so, but use filesharing platforms. For our dedicated pages, let's focus on the distribution of themed packages.

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