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Obby's Flashpoint Importer for LaunchBox 0.4.1

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About This File

OFILb (Obby's Flashpoint Importer for LaunchBox)

OFILb (pronounced "Awful-B") is an importer tool for LaunchBox that allows one to add platforms and playlists from BlueMaxima's Flashpoint project to their collection. It is fully automated and only requires the user to provide the paths to the LaunchBox/Flashpoint installs, choose which Platforms/Playlists they wish to import, and select between a few import mode options. Once the import is started the current progress is displayed and any errors that occur are shown to the user, with resolvable errors including a prompt for what the user would like to do. After the process has completed LaunchBox can be started and the games from Flashpoint can be played like those from any other Platform.

For Platforms, the importer is capable of importing each game/animation along with any additional apps, images, and most of the metadata fields (i.e. Title, Description, etc, see below).

Function

This utility makes use of its sister project CLIFp (Command-line Interface for Flashpoint) to allow LaunchBox to actually start and exit the games correctly. It is automatically deployed into your Flashpoint installation (updated if necessary) at the end of a successful import and the latest version of CLIFp will be included in each release of this utility so it is not generally something the end-user needs to concern themselves with.

Before making any changes to your LaunchBox collection any XML files that will be altered are automatically backed up (only one backup is maintained at once so any previous backup will be overwritten) and if any unrecoverable errors occur during the import any partial changes are reverted and the backups are restored; however, while LaunchBox itself also makes periodic backups of your XML data it is strongly suggested that you consider making a manual backup of your LaunchBox\Data folder to be safe. No responsibility is held for the loss of data due to use of this tool.

OFILb can safely be used multiple times on the same collection to update the selected Platforms and Playlists if that have already been imported previously. The method with which to handle existing entries is selected within the program before each import.

The import time will vary, correlated with how many Platforms/Playlists you have selected, but more significantly the image mode you choose, which is expanded on later. Importing the entire collection usually takes 5-10 minutes with the recommended settings but can take longer with a more basic PC. The vast majority of the processing time is due to the plethora of images that have to be copied/symlinked when games processed so the speed of your storage device is the most significant factor. Running the importer for updates should be significantly faster it first checks to see if the source image from the new import source is actually different than your current one before copying/linking it.

You will still be able to use the standard Flashpoint launcher as normal after completing an import.

Compatability

Flashpoint Infinity/Flashpoint Ultimate
This tool was made with the express purpose of using it with Flashpoint Ultimate (i.e. all games/animations pre-downloaded), but since the 0.2 rewrite of CLIFp it should work with Infinity as well. Just note that use with Infinity is not tested as rigorously.

General

While testing for 100% compatibility is infeasible given the size of Flashpoint, OFILb was designed with full compatibility in mind.

The ":message:" feature of Flashpoint, commonly used to automatically show usage instructions for some games before they are started, is supported. The entries that use it are added as additional-apps to their respective games as they once were when Flashpoint came packaged with LaunchBox. All messages are displayed in a pop-up dialog via CLIFp.

Viewing extras (which are simply a folder) is also supported and the corresponding additional apps that open these folders will be added when importing a platform.

Since Flashpoint originally used LaunchBox as its launcher, most fields within Flashpoint have a one-to-one equivalent (or close enough equivalent) LaunchBox field. That being said there are a few fields that are unique to Flashpoint that do not have matching field and so they are simply excluded during the import, resulting in a relatively minor loss of information for each game in your collection.

Version Matching
Each release of this application targets a specific version or versions of BlueMaxima's Flashpoint and while newer releases will sometimes contain general improvements to functionality, they will largely be created to match the changes made between each Flashpoint release and therefore maintain compatibility. These matches are shown below:
*See: https://github.com/oblivioncth/OFILb#version-matching*

Using a version of OFILb that does not target the version of Flashpoint you wish to use it with is highly discouraged as some features may not work correctly or at all and in some cases the utility may fail to function entirely or even damage the Flashpoint install it is used with.

Metadata Fields

Currently the following fields in LaunchBox will be populated for each game, which is limited by what is available within Flashpoint:

  • Title
  • Series
  • Developer
  • Publisher
  • Platform
  • Sort Title
  • Date Added
  • Date Modified
  • Broken Flag
  • Play Mode
  • Status
  • Region
  • Notes
  • Source
  • Release Date
  • Version
  • Library

Usage

Primary Usage

1) Ensure Flashpoint and LaunchBox are both not running

2) Manually specify or browse for the path to your LaunchBox install, the utility will let you know if there are any problems. If everything is OK the icon next to the install path will change to a green check

3) Manually specify or browse for the path to your Flashpoint install, the utility will let you know if there are any problems. If everything is OK the icon next to the install path will change to a green check

4) The lists of available Platforms and Playlists will quickly load

5) Select which Platforms and Playlists you want to import. Existing entries that are considered an update will be highlighted in green

6) If importing Playlists, select a Playlist Game Mode. These are described with the nearby Help button in the program, but here is a basic overview of their differences:

  • Selected Platforms Only - Only games that are present within the selected platforms will be included
  • Force All - All games in the playlist will be included, importing portions of unselected platforms as required.

7) If any entries you have selected are for updates you may select update mode settings. These are described with the nearby Help button in the program, but here is a basic overview of their differences:

  • (Exclusive) New Only - Only adds new games
  • (Exclusive) New & Existing - Adds new games and updates the non-user specific metadata for games already in your collection
  • (Applies to either of the above) Remove Missing - Removes any games from your collection for the selected Platforms that are no longer in Flashpoint

8 ) Select a method to handle game images. These are described with the nearby Help button in the program, but here is a basic overview of their differences:

  • Copy - Copies all relevant images from Flashpoint into your LaunchBox install (slow import)
  • Reference - Changes your LaunchBox install configuration to directly use the Flashpoint images in-place (slow image refresh)
  • Symlink - Creates a symbolic link to all relevant images from Flashpoint into your LaunchBox install. Overall the best option

9) Press the "Start Import" button

The symbolic link related options for handling images require the importer to be run as an administrator or for you to enable Developer Mode within Windows 10

Example:

OuKuThO.png

 

Tag Filter

In the Tools menu is an option to show the Tag Filter Editor, through which you can customize which titles will be imported based on their tags. 

RiQXpR0.png

Tags are listed alphabetically, nested under their categories names so that you can select or unselect an entire category easily. Exclusions take precedence, so if a title features a single tag that you have unselected it will not be included in the import.

All tags are included by default.

Other Features 

  • If for whatever reason you want to only deploy or update CLIFp there is an option for doing so in the Tools menu
  • Animations are not included by default since LaunchBox is more games oriented; however, you can choose to include them using the relevant check-able option in the Tools menu
  • The playlist import feature is "smart" in the sense that it won't include games that you aren't importing. So if you only want to import the Flash platform for example and a couple playlists, you wont have to worry about useless entries in the playlist that point to games from other platforms you didn't import. This of course does not apply if you are using the "Force All" playlist game mode.

Limitations

  • Although general compatibility is quite high, compatibility with every single title cannot be assured. Issues with a title or group of titles will be fixed as they are discovered.
  • The "smart" feature of the Playlist import portion of the tool has the drawback that only games that were included in the same import will be considered for that playlist. If you previously imported a Platform and now want to import a Playlist that contains games from that Platform you must make sure you select it again for it to be updated/re-imported in order for those games to be added to that Playlist. Alternatively, you can use the "Force All" playlist game mode, but this will also possibly add new platforms you did not previously import.
  • If you are using Infinity you will be able to play any game that is imported, even if it hasn't been played yet in Flashpoint; images for the games however will not be present until they've been seen/loaded in Flashpoint at least once and require the importer to be ran again afterwards. The requirement to have the images load in Flashpoint's launcher first is one I can do nothing about, but I hope to eventually make it so you don't need to run the importer again if you're using the LaunchBox symlink option for images.

Help/Bugs/Feature requests

If you have a bug or feature request I ask that you submit an issue on the GitHub page for this tool, but if you just want to ask a question, discuss the tool in general, or are having issues getting it working for reasons you don't think are due to a bug then please just make a post here. Since sometimes the line between the two can be blurry don't feel afraid to use the wrong system, it isn't a huge deal.

GitHub

OFILb: https://github.com/oblivioncth/OFILb

CLIFp: https://github.com/oblivioncth/CLIFp

Edited by oblivioncth
Change version matching picture to GitHub link


What's New in Version 0.4.1   See changelog

Released

This update is basically just for compatibility with Flashpoint 10.1.

Other:

  • Minor backend changes
  • Fixed an error check being accidentally negated leading to error messages when the task was successful
  • Updated to latest CLIFp which brings various improvements, though for OFILb users the only noticeable one is the presence of a tray icon while a title is running
  • Like 9
  • Thanks 1
  • Game On 1
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Skyroller

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

This is great, worked perfectly. Awesome work that should save everyone a lot of time.

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cemfundog

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

Very good importer and great support. Everyone should try this out!

Response from the author:

Glad it's all working for ya now. Thanks for the review.

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Drodrick

· Edited by Drodrick

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

Excellent, works very great, should you add  notes import support for the games description?  

the importer supports carrying over the descriptions of each games? That is somewhat implied in one section but I can make it more direct and clear if that is what you mean

sorry for my english, Yes I mean that! this is because in FP there is a field called original description and notes, launchbox just import the notes but those are not relevant as original description field that contains the descriptions

Other wise this is a very great tool for flash games lovers so I'm a java clasic phone games lover too,is there the posibility to create a similar plugin for kahvibreak the other bluemaximas project oriented to javaphones?

https://bluemaxima.org/kahvibreak/

thak you for your support

 

Response from the author:

Thanks for trying it out, let me know if you find any issues down the road. Re-downloading 8.2 at the moment because the first attempt resulted in a corrupted archive for whatever reason, but hopefully that will be supported soon.

As for your question, do you just mean that I should note in the description that the importer supports carrying over the descriptions of each games? That is somewhat implied in one section but I can make it more direct and clear if that is what you mean.

EDIT:

Updated the description.

EDIT 2:

Missed your edit since it doesn't push notifications for those. Thanks for the clarification, I do remember trying to remind myself during development to make sure I got the translation of original description/notes correct when moving the data into LB and it seems in the end I messed up and did only transfer the notes over, but not the original description (which as you noted is more important). I will make another patch.

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