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ExoDOS Import

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1 minute ago, eXo said:

eh?

i dont now :D is there a guide because i have no idea what im doing. i have all 6 on my seedbox that is as far as i have gotten 

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The guide is included in the packs. It is the readme file. But I said "eh?" because your post just didn't make sense to me.

"so it can be done out combining. "

I wrote above:

"Do you mean "without" combining? Then sure, you just run each packs setup file.... I mean, it doesn't get easier than that."

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 I have about 2 weeks left until I'm ready to put out the next volume.

I should be finished making sure every game is added correctly to launchbox by mid next week. After that I spend some time checking all the different sort methods (year, genre, series, publisher, developer, etc) to make sure everything is entered properly. It's common for a company like Konami to be entered as Konami, Konami Inc., Konami, Inc., Konami Corporation of America, etc... So I try to normalize all of the variants into a standard version, that way if someone wants to sort by all Sierra Online games, they actually get them all and not just a subset of them.

After that I run QC checks. Number of games listed in front end versus number of games in directory versus my database. This ensures I don't have weird issues like two games

So yea, about two weeks to go for the strategy pack, which has some of my favorites in there.  Dungeon Keeper, Theme Park, Theme Hospital (I just realized these are all a Bullfrog games so far... and I was still going to mention Syndicate... Lol), the Maxis Sim games, and lots of others.

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15 hours ago, eXo said:

I should be finished making sure every game is added correctly to launchbox by mid next week.

 

Do you mean where i can add games straight without having to use meagre and it would scrape fine?

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No. 

To release the launchbox compatible versions of my packs require setting the games up in launchbox. This means pointing the launchbox entry to the games launch.bat file, making sure all the game info is populated correctly, replacing the covers and sometimes screenshots with ones that do not have mobygames watermarks, adding all my "extras" (code wheels, maps, quick reference cards, etc) as 'additional applications' to each game, and then doing all of the things I mentioned in the last email.

I have nothing to do with the games entries over at the games db that launchbox scrapes from.  FistyDollars has been working on that process. Games in which he has already updated to make my process go much quicker, in terms of being able to use the covers and such he has already added. However, launchbox does not use the same type of genre sorting as I do in their games db. For example, all sports games in the games db are just categorized as "sports" I have sub genre classifications for soccer, football, etc...  I also classify fantasy, sci-fi, and other thematic elements as well.

So even after FistyDollars and others have completely finished adding every last DOS game, if you scrape from there versus using my packs, you will loose several classification types. I also disagree with the artwork used in the games db on occasion. Such as the US release of a game having a shitty budget repack, so if you scrape from the games db you get the budget game release scan, where-as in my pack I put in the original cover art. Other times it is the reverse, for whatever reason the games db has a german cover for a game when there is a perfectly good english cover.

Basically, I can't control what gets uploaded or changed in the games db. By making sure the metadata I include in my release packs is as perfect as possible, I don't have to worry about what happens in 5 years if some tool gets on there and screws up 50+ games by uploading their personal fan made covers or deciding that all the genres should be switched, so they start retroactively deleting existing genres and adding new ones. If you think that sounds crazy, then just take a look at MobyGames. That places has info getting changed all the time, and not always for the better. And that goes through approvers who are very specific about what gets by. Here, anyone who uploads like 10 things gets to be an approver.

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wow.. that's alot of work... so you are going to copy your artwork into launchbox's file locations? that's pretty awesome... you rock... thanks 

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Yea, so basically I have already released Adventure and RPG packs. Strategy pack releases very soon. 

 

When you download one of these packs, it pre-populates launchbox with all of the art assets, manuals, etc... so you don't have to scrape anything.

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13 hours ago, eXo said:

So even after FistyDollars and others have completely finished adding every last DOS game, if you scrape from there versus using my packs, you will loose several classification types. I also disagree with the artwork used in the games db on occasion. Such as the US release of a game having a shitty budget repack, so if you scrape from the games db you get the budget game release scan, where-as in my pack I put in the original cover art. Other times it is the reverse, for whatever reason the games db has a german cover for a game when there is a perfectly good english cover.

Basically, I can't control what gets uploaded or changed in the games db. By making sure the metadata I include in my release packs is as perfect as possible, I don't have to worry about what happens in 5 years if some tool gets on there and screws up 50+ games by uploading their personal fan made covers or deciding that all the genres should be switched, so they start retroactively deleting existing genres and adding new ones. If you think that sounds crazy, then just take a look at MobyGames. That places has info getting changed all the time, and not always for the better. And that goes through approvers who are very specific about what gets by. Here, anyone who uploads like 10 things gets to be an approver.

For what it's worth, whenever I audit a game for the gamesdb, I make sure to add all interesting variants of the covers. If there's a US box I'll add it, but I'll also add any interesting European boxes or what have you. If there are multiple variants of a region's box, I add them all. I like variety. Regarding the German boxes, we seem to have a surprisingly high number of contributors from that area, so that might explain it. 

But I agree about the quality control. We do what we can, but we're still a relatively small community, and the database is still very much a work in progress. Hopefully @Jason Carr can implement some of the suggestions you and others have made regarding the database. 

I'm currently working my way through the middle of the "S" 's and will be doing the Win3xO collection when I'm done (and adding the games from the 3.1 release when all the volumes are out)

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I've been fairly amazed at how much progress you've made. When I was working on Adventure it was around H. Then on RPG it was on M. So I was pretty surprised to see a large chunk of S was done as well. It really makes my job a lot easier.

It will be great when every game can be linked =)

And yea, most of the issues with the scraper are for games you haven't worked on yet. However I also noticed that occasionally I have covers I got from mobygames that, for whatever reason, still exist on their server but aren't actually view-able from the games entry. I'm not sure how that happened. A dozen or so times I scraped using your data and wondered why the cover looked washed out, or had a huge sticker on it, or whatever. So then I go look at mobygames, and sure enough, that is how the game looks on there. But I have a super clean version with a watermark on it. So I found that if I google the games name & mobygames and do an image search, I can find the clean version of what I had, with no watermark, still on their server. It's a weird thing and it doesn't happen very often - but it does happen sometimes.

Overall, my main concern was that after you do all this work, some schmuck might come along and screw it up. I am a mod over at the movie db due to a massive number of edits I made there. I went back a few years later and found someone had butchered most of my submissions with bad info. I ended up totally walking away from that scene once I realized it was going to be a constant battle to keep things right, Just looking at the approval queue of the games db sometimes worries me, as some of the stuff people try to put through is just nuts :/ 

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on my way to PD now.

Edit- my seedbox has found yours. I'll keep seeding for a week.

Edited by dmjohn0x

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GR8 :D is it going to turn "free"? My ratio won't allow me to start the download right now.

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No plans at the moment. They go free after being up for one year or during special events. That's why I rushed vol 1 & 2 before Christmas. But in that rush there were errors with the set.

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was there an issue with the file on PD? I was getting it then I saw it was removed and put back up with a different one so I paused the 1st torrent and started the 2nd one which checked against the files from the 1st one seemed to match then it got to 63% and now it says the tracker is updating and it won't restart would really hate to have to start over and take the hit on my download over there.

 

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Yes. I pulled the first one. There was an error in the XML causing launchbox to not launch. I fixed it and reposted the torrent.

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@eXo, I have a question for you. In the RPG 2.0 Collection (I haven't checked the 3.1 version so I can't be sure) the game(s) "Solar Winds: Galaxy & The Escape" are listed as one game for the purposes of the collection. However, they're two parts of a game (Solar Winds: Galaxy and Solar Winds: The Escape) that were released nearly a year apart (with different boxes and everything), and don't have a compilation release as far as I can tell. For the gamesdb, I try to be as accurate as possible, so I'd prefer that they be listed as two separate games, however that would mean that whenever someone tries to import the games from Launchbox, it's going to be erroneously matched to either one or the other. I had a similar issue with Mechwarrior 2, but thankfully a compilation was released so I just pretended that that's what the eXoDOS collection included.

I suppose I could just include both versions of the covers and duct-tape the two entries together, but it just seems sloppy. Thoughts?

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5 hours ago, Dan said:

GR8 :D is it going to turn "free"? My ratio won't allow me to start the download right now.

It's really easy to build ratio on PD.  They have lots of freeleech torrents - just grab one and keep seeding.

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