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Hi Guys,

You may have noticed that I've been going through the issue tracker for the LaunchBox Games Database. So, here's the lowdown on what's happening:

1) Hi! Name's Alex. I'll be helping out with development wherever Jason needs me for the next little while.

2) I'm currently looking into throwing some love at the Games Database.

3) I'm pretty quick at resolving or closing tickets. Sadly, I sometimes pull the trigger too quickly. Don't be afraid to reopen issues or to comment on them, i'll look into it. 

4) I basically use the issue trackers as my to-do list. Keep adding everything and anything to it, I'll filter through it and see what we can fix/improve upon :). So, here's what some of the messages mean:

 - If you see a reply with "Fixes #issuenumber" and then some weird combination of numbers and letters at the bottom, it means I've submitted code to fix that specific issue. You won't see the fix until the physical server hosting the website is updated to match what is being held on the bitbucket repository, although we're very good at doing that pretty quickly :). So, if I'm resolving your issue, and it's still happening, try again tomorrow :). It's probably going to be fixed. (If it's not, I messed up. Let me know.)

- If I'm closing something as "Invalid", it means that it's either posted in the wrong issue tracker, or it's not actually a bug/feature request. Sadly, due to the large number of issues submitted, and the low number of people looking at them, I won't be in a position to crosspost them to the appropriate tracker. Before being offended, make sure to read the comments posted. Seriously. My main goal is to make everyone happy and everything awesome, so don't think that I'm trying to ignore you :). 

- If your issue is marked as "On Hold", it doesn't mean that I'm sweeping it under the carpet, it means that I'm not working on it right now. Not because it's not important, or not a good idea, simply because something else is on fire and/or melting somewhere else :). I've seen the issue, I've probably commented on it (I hope. If not, I apologize.  Let me know! ), and I will get to it :). 

- If your issue is marked as duplicate, even though it seems different than the issue i'm relating it to, it's because it's actually a duplicate or a deeper bug. Don't worry.

- I'm excessively bad at estimating the time required to do things. But I mean well. So, if I tell you that i'll get something done today, I sincerely mean to get it done today. Sadly, chances are that a pack of radioactive mongoose will select that day to overtake the local government and try to press me into some form of man-mongoose militia. I apologize in advance, but the good news is that it should be done shortly :). 

So, that's that :). Currently, I'm getting alternate names up and working, next is some random bugs that are causing crashes, and then i'll see what I can do to resolve some of the stuff that's currently on hold.

Feel free to give me a shout whenever, i'm pretty much always online (either at vlansix@gmail.com or through the patreon discord server)

So, thanks for taking the time to read, you guys are awesome (Seriously. This place is scary. Everyone is so nice o.O), and let's fix this database :). 

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What a great introduction. I could use u in my team at work, lol!! Good luck dude, i'm an application manager myself and it's not easy to keep everyone satisfied :-).

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Great news @Vlansix! So glad to see Jason getting some help on this awesome software. I'm excited to see your contributions!

 

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Hey guys. I'm copying a post here that I posted on another thread for the Launchbox Games DB. It's a pretty big proposal idea. I think it's pretty cool, and if you think so too vote for this ticket on Bitbucket: https://bitbucket.org/jasondavidcarr/launchbox/issues/1933/add-save-game-files-for-sharing-w-other

"I requested a while ago (like a year ago) the possibility of adding shareable save files for games hosted through the Games DB, but there wasn't enough attention focused on the Games DB from Jason at the time for anything feasible to happen.

As great as emulation is, one problem is that (with modern games) when you play any games you beat as a kid, you don't have any of the saved progress from playing that game when you emulate it. Sure, you can beat the game, if you have the time now, but that's very inconvenient. Us adults don't have all day now, do we? Plus, there currently is no way to back up these save files or easily share them with the community for all users to enjoy.

Enter a new feature for the Games DB, "Save Files". Here, anyone can upload their save files to the LB Games DB, can insert comments on the save file (i.e. 100% completed game save file. All missions complete etc.) and once that save file is submitted, other users can download the save file directly from the database and insert it into their emulator save directory folder (that takes some user end knowledge, I confess) and can play the game with everything unlocked before ever booting the game!

I admit, one issue right now is that there are so many save file extensions that it would confuse users on which save files are compatible with which emulators. There's two solutions for that IMO:

     1) Allow only .srm save files for the time being, because .srm save files are the universal standard for RetroArch and can be used as the standard for the Games DB for the time being, if this request isn't too nutty. Since most platforms are currently emulated in RetroArch, and it's probably the most popular emulator available, this may be a good starting point.

     2) Have another field upon uploading of the database that allows check boxes or a quick single line entry of which emulator this file is compatible with. I admit, this option is probably much more work, but it could be a better long-term solution. You'd also have to allow all extensions to be upload-able, not just .srm extensions.

Any feedback on this idea would be appreciated. I already have save files ready to be uploaded (in .srm format) that I want to both back up and share with the community. If you feel that this idea may be too complicated for the end user, then I can make a tutorial video on how to do it properly with RetroArch. The video may not be the most professional, but I'll do my best :)"

Let me know what you guys think. Any feedback is appreciated. And again, vote for the ticket if you like the idea!

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16 hours ago, Beatlemaniac19 said:

I admit, one issue right now is that there are so many save file extensions that it would confuse users on which save files are compatible with which emulators. There's two solutions for that IMO:

     1) Allow only .srm save files for the time being, because .srm save files are the universal standard for RetroArch and can be used as the standard for the Games DB for the time being, if this request isn't too nutty. Since most platforms are currently emulated in RetroArch, and it's probably the most popular emulator available, this may be a good starting point.

     2) Have another field upon uploading of the database that allows check boxes or a quick single line entry of which emulator this file is compatible with. I admit, this option is probably much more work, but it could be a better long-term solution. You'd also have to allow all extensions to be upload-able, not just .srm extensions.

Any feedback on this idea would be appreciated. I already have save files ready to be uploaded (in .srm format) that I want to both back up and share with the community. If you feel that this idea may be too complicated for the end user, then I can make a tutorial video on how to do it properly with RetroArch. The video may not be the most professional, but I'll do my best :)"

Let me know what you guys think. Any feedback is appreciated. And again, vote for the ticket if you like the idea!

I do like the idea.

But there are going to be issues with this.

1.  As universal as retroarch is we do have a lot of purists and quality "freaks" who won't bother with the quality of some retroarch cores in terms of emulation.

2. I like the idea better

My biggest concern is malware being uploaded and distributed through this system. Each save file would have to be checked by moderators.

I admit that would be an awesome feature for lb can even be combined with cheats etc.

 

 

Edited by Cebion
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47 minutes ago, Cebion said:

I do like the idea.

But there are going to be issues with this.

1.  As universal as retroarch is we do have a lot of purists and quality "freaks" who won't bother with the quality of some retroarch cores in terms of emulation.

2. I like the idea better

My biggest concern is malware being uploaded and distributed through this system. Each save file would have to be checked by moderators.

I admit that would be an awesome feature for lb can even be combined with cheats etc.

 

 

Thanks for the positive feedback @Cebion. I admit that there are many purists out there that are set in there ways on how to do emulation and what emulators to use. I won't deny that and that's not a shot at their style in any way. Everyone has their own personal preference. Some people are purists and wouldn't even want save files to begin with. I think the best frame of mind to have is that this is just an option for those who want to share save files and the more options we give for people who want to share save files, the better.

I like a more simplistic and flexible approach. I use the RetroArch proposal because that's something that I can easily demonstrate for users by creating a tutorial video and it's something that would be easier to code for @Vlansix for the Launchbox Games DB in the short term, because it uses one universal save file extension. If adding more file extensions to support other emulators isn't a big undertaking, then I guess, with Vlansix and Jason's approval, we could add multiple file extensions in one development cycle. However, we'd need to get a list of the supported save file extensions for all emulators so we'll have to think about that issue.

By the way, you made a really good point. There would have to be checking for malware when uploading save files. I'm not an expert in that regard, but the moderating team might be the best option on how to do this properly. Every save file should go through a thorough process to make sure it's high quality and malware free.

Thanks again for the feedback Cebion. If you haven't done so and are interested, then please vote for this ticket: https://bitbucket.org/jasondavidcarr/launchbox/issues/1933/add-save-game-files-for-sharing-w-other

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I'm going to be the wet blanket here, and say that I don't think this belongs in a database of game information. Plus, I'm not interested at all in having to test every save file for malware, so the moderation process would have to be completely separate. I'm not sure how many people you can convince to risk their systems over and over again just to make sure that a save file is correct.

Sorry, I'm against it.

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Hi guys,

Whoa, this blew up. Valid point there. Malware would be bad. There's a bunch of ways to remedy that, but I agree with @FistyDollars. Feels odd to have savegames in a game information database. Although, yet again, this is a games information database at the moment, that doesn't mean that it can't be much more. It's an idea to kick around :).

To make our lives easier, please move this conversation to the development thread in the features subform. We'll be able to group up most ideas there:).

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I actually tried something similar to this with MAME and a few friends.   MAME saves the hi score information in DAT files.  So using a shared Dropbox file and symbolic links (mklink.exe on windows), we all linked up our hi score directory under MAME so we could effectively compete for high scores across the WAN.  

This actually worked for awhile.  It was pretty cool posting a hi score in something like Donkey Kong - only to have my friend Mike completely stomp on me the next day (I hate that game!  lol)  But the downside is that MAME upgrades had to be coordinated, because version changes would cause corruption.   Then lock file issues would also cause issues (if we played the same game at the same time for example).

I know posting the files to a database overcomes the lock file issue.  But version control will become a nitemare, since there is no way to enforce everyone is on the same version.  

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@Fursphere Thanks for the input. This does sound pretty problematic for MAME. I can't honestly give you an answer on how to get around this for this specific emulator. However, maybe an idea is that if you upload this save file to have a notation on what version you're using.

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