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Is the project still on hold?

Discuss the Commodore Amiga database that uses the GameBase Frontend.

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Is the project still on hold?

Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:15 pm

Are you still on vacation Runey?
Anything I could do to help?

Well, I hope you will use CAPS games whereever possible, and they are easy to get a hold of....
http://capsdi.free.fr/
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Runey
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Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:49 am

Yes and no :)

I've pretty much decided to end GameBaseAMY, at least in it's current form. Sorry guys :(

Three main reasons for this. One I have very little time right now and am not sure when that is likely to change. Second it has been very difficult getting back into. The feeling of OMG I'm doing this all over again has been a bit overwhelming and depressing. Lastly with the release of Lemonade (www.lemonamiga.com/lemonade/) there doesn't seem to be the need for GBA anymore.

However I do intend to re-invent GBA in the future, if the time issue allows it. The most likely candidate is a database for the many demos available for the Amiga, but I'm open to suggestions. I also have to sort out my internet connection. I currently can't broadband of any description and only have a max of 28k dial-up. As you can imagine this makes it massively time consuming to keep disk images up to date. I'm hoping this will be sorted by XMas, but who knows.

Again sorry for this announcement and I hope you understand
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Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:21 pm

Hi Runey

This really is a shame but I understand your reasons! It does take a huge amount of time and effort creating a Gamebase, and if there is something else consuming time in your life then it's virtually impossible. Currently I spend 3 to 4 hours every day on GamebaseST and it really does take it's toll. I remember taking a 3 month break from it at one stage because it was all becoming a bit to much!

I would dearly love to take GamebaseAmy on since I love this machine as much as the Atari ST. Maybe some sort of collabaration between other interested parties can still move it forward. I for one would help in any way I can!
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Sun Nov 27, 2005 12:00 am

Hi Paul,

I'm hoping that once I spend some time on something different I may find it easier to get back into the game database.

I'm definately leaning towards doing a database for all the demos, animations etc... As Amy was a character from Eric Schwartz, it makes sense to use the GameBaseAmy name for that project.

However I also own the domain name www.gamebaseamiga.com and have access to a hosting service. So they will always be availale as I intend to continue paying for those rights. So if anyone wishes to take it over then I can offer at least that. I would also like to stay involved in at least some way. Because even though I am having trouble getting back into it, it is still something I want and will do long term. My lifes gotta slow down sometime right? :)

If I did continue on the GameBaseAmiga I would probably dump the use of TOSEC ADF's for it. The multiple versions of the same disk image was a major factor in not starting over again. Having to re-test every single image to find the good one wasn't something I could face. So I would most likely do a CAPS (now SPS) version only. Or even add in WHDLoad games into that as well (for a speed boost, well at least load times). CAPS / SPS is now to the point that almost every popular game is now imaged. At least that way there is only the one version of each game and will reduce testing time greatly. What do people think?

It was always my intention, long long term, to do multiple GameBase frontends. Commercial Games, PD Games, Demos etc... There was going to be a main website called C.A.F.E (Commodore Amiga Front-Ends) with branched off to the various databases, GameBaseAmy and GameBaseAmiga for starters.

You know everytime I think I'm done with this, people say encouraging things and get me all keen again :D

Once I get my internet connection sorted out, it will be eaiser to maintain both my catalogue of ADFs etc and the website. With dial-up it's proving too time consuming to do that. Recently I have been spending every spare moment building a wireless network to try and connect into ADSL at a friends place. The towers are currently 8m high, but it doesn't look like it's enough. Hopefully another couple of meters will finally do it. After that I will seriously look at getting back into things.

Paul, if you seriously want to look at working on the database then I'm more than pleased to work on it with you. Though how you manage 3-4 hours a day astounds me. I only manage that a week at the moment. :(
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Sun Nov 27, 2005 1:25 am

Hi Runey

I am all for some form of collaboration between ourselves. If we do work together on this I would like to start from scratch with the games in the database and dump TOSEC altogether. In GamebaseST the best cracked version is sourced for a game and if available an original image in Pasti format (basically the same as CAPS) is added. Both are then added to the frontend giving the user the best of both worlds, so in GamebaseAMY it could be:

Superfrog
Superfrog (CAPS)

As you can imagine this type of approach is a lot slower than converting TOSEC dat files but with each every game you know your getting the best versions possible.

As you suggest it would be better to rename the database as GamebaseAmiga and leave GamebaseAmy for your future project. AMY as you have said is quite rightly identified with those cool demos by Eric Schwartz. This will also signal a new start and approach to the project.

WHDLoad is an excellent system but not it’s not free and it must use a hard disk image. We could use it but the nag requestor would soon drive people crazy and of course adding a registered version of WHDLoad to every hard drive image is out of the question.

Let me know what you think?
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Sun Nov 27, 2005 2:40 am

f'en f'en dial-up connection. Gives me the shits. Just finsihed typing a long winded repsonse and my connection times out when submiting it :x

A prime example of why I don't to continue with anything until I sort out my internet connection. This sort of thing happens constantly.

I'll type it up again in a minute when I calm down :lol:
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Sun Nov 27, 2005 3:49 am

A short version of my previous response.

To my knowledge TOSEC is the only database of ADFs? So we'll still have to use them as a basis. I can;t really face re-testing all those images again. So if you and others are willing to find the best cracked version then I'm overjoyed.

Personally I still prefer CAPS iamages. Mostly because of the reduced test time. However they do have the disadvantage of the protection still being in place. So password based protectio will require a copy of the manual or other documentation. I am happy to handle sourcing all the IPFs and associated documentation.

From now on GameBaseAmy is now associated with demos and GameBaseAmiga is now associated with commercial games. I will up date the websites in the near future to show that. Only something basic for now, just so people know what is going on.

Yes that WHDLoad nag is a pain. Let's drop WHDLoad for now. Maybe in the future when the project is more mature.

I think we need to sort out all the fine detail before plunging in. Things like who will do what, details required for game and screenshot submissions. All that stuff. Sorry if I sound pedantic, it's my nature :) I think it's best to iron out all the details first to avoid problems done the line. I'll throw some ideas together and send em your way.

One thing though. I wont have alot of time for it right at the very minute. I need to sort out some things on my end first. But hopefully in a couple of weeks I should be ready to get stuck into it. We can spend that time sorting out all the details though.

Let me know what you think.
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Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:04 am

TOSEC should of course be used for sourcing disk images, what I meant is that the TOSEC Dat files should not be used.

An issue that must be addressed is Gamebase’s screenshot viewing capability which is restricted to 320x200. A fair number of Amiga games used 200x256 or even higher using overscan. I know Gamebase can resize these on the fly but the result is not always pleasing and slows game browsing down. One of the main reasons I went for a Gamebase on the Atari ST was screen resolution! On the ST 99% of games use 320x200 which is the same as the Commodore 64 for which Gamebase was originally built. One solution could be to have the screenshot window at 320x256 which would cover the bulk of games, the ones using 320x200 could then be centered. However, I am no programmer so I would suggest screenshots are never resized until the problem is soughted, that way GamebaseAmiga will be ready straight away!

Another hangover from the Commodore 64 days is music, references to SID files are still present even in the latest Gamebase version. The Amiga used MOD’s and other custom formats, it would be nice if this was sorted so information on music is more generic (at the very least) across formats. GamebaseST suffers from the same problem since it uses SNDH, YM, and MOD’s.

I would also add PD games to the database since I believe it should cover all games, these would be identified simply in the publisher section as ‘Non Commercial’. These can be added after all commercial games have been done, this however is all open to debate!

I have looked at Lemonade and it’s quite impressive but lacks certain key features that Gamebase already has, multiple screenshots, attached extras, playing music, and linking games. It also heavily leans towards Lemon64 with an annoying amount of hotspots on its interface to that website. Also, it does not source the best versions of games and that is where GamebaseAmiga will have the edge since it will re-catalogue and use only the best versions.

OK, we will thrash out the details over the next week or so and see what we can come up with.
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Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:05 am

Sorry, the post above is from me :oops:
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Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:08 am

OK, one last try, the previous two posts are from me :oops: :oops:
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Sun Nov 27, 2005 6:52 am

Paul. Don't know if you have looked at my website at any time. Have a look at the FAQ page. I laid down alot of ground rules about snapshot submissions etc... Let me know if it all sounds OK... I'm just re-rereading it now to make it sure I didn't put anything stupid in it :)

Looks like we pretty much agree in snapshots. A good start :)

With music I used the third party DeliPlayer for playing music. I had always tinkered with the idea of converting everything to a single format. However I'm musically challenged and was always unsure what was the best way to go. So whatever you thinks best :D

No worries about the PD. We'll leave them until the project is more mature. Actually one of my favourites games was PD 'Deleuxe Galaga' amongst others.

Yes the integral link between Lemonade and LemonAmiga was something I didn't as well as it's lack of flexibility.

Anyway have a look at my FAQ page. Tell me what sounds good, what sounds stupid and we'll go from there.
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Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:43 pm

Hi Runey

I think it would be best using GIF for screenshots because Gamebase still has some issues with the PNG format. When I first started GamebaseST the natural choice was to use PNG but while browsing the games the odd screenshot would not appear, just a white space where there should be one. After changing to GIF this problem as never appeared again. I also noticed Gamebase was considerably faster at displaying GIF's making browsing games much more pleasant!

Also, saving each screenshot in 24-bit colour is slightly overkill since most Amiga games used only 16 or 32 colours. With GIF (as with PNG) you can save in 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 colours, and also 16-bit and 24-bit. By saving them in the best possible format you will save disk space and also speed up the screenshots themselves. Note, that games which split the screen using, for example, two 32 colour screens will use the same principle but will be saved as a 64 colour screenshot, and so on!

Some people believe that pictures saved in the PNG format are a lot smaller. This is simply not true, sometimes PNG can be smaller and sometimes GIF can, it is roughly a 50/50 spread with no clear winner!The license for GIF can also an issue to some but since Compuserve's licence expired last year it is no longer a problem.
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Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:55 pm

Sorry for the slow reply. I haven't been checking the forum and for some reason I didn't receive an e-mail to say there had been a reply :?:

I must admit I haven't seen that particular bug in GameBase when using PNG. So probably best to avoid it then :) Still I would like to keep a copy of the original screenshots in a non-lossy format. That way if there are any changes in the way GameBase handles images in the future we will already have suitable masters. Since WinUAE takes them in BMP then that will be fine. The distributed copies can be GIFs of whatever the appropriate colour depth is. I can set up a FTP where they can all be stored centrally.

I've been working on a new GEMUS script. My old ones were pretty basic. The new one is shaping up nicely. Much smarter and more flexible. Should have it complete this weekend.

I've also been looking at an installer as well. Currently playing with NSIS. So far it looks to see if WinUAE and GameBase are already installed and puts GBAmiga in the right spots. I'm looking at adding some more features to help the user configure the graphics, sound and input side of things as well. This will probably take me a couple of weeks or so do finish.

I'm going to set up my A500 this weekend and run a few tests.

Also been thinking about which games to include. Originally I was including ADFs as the main game and IPFs as extras when available. However recently I've been thinking it's pointless including two version of essentially the same game. So how does this sound. My idea of the ideal game is one that has had all non-disk protection removed, e.g. passwords, contains cheats and / or trainers that can be turned off and is completely stable. So if there was an IPF game that contained no protection and there was no equivalent ADF that had trainers etc, then the IPF would be used. However if the IPF had protection then an ADF would be used in it's placed, providing it was suitable. Sound OK? Or would you prefer to include both the ADF and IPF?

I've also been thinking about hard drive versions of games. WHDLoad is a wonderful thing but that nag requester is very annoying. So that's out. So for games that had there own HDD install option then that could be used. Especially for games that come on more than 4 disks. The HDD version would be used in place of the disk version? I believe that certain games also had patches / hacks created for them so they could be installed on HDD. So I'm going to be doing a bit of looking through Aminet.

I've finally got my TOSEC collection back up to date :) but still no luck with getting broadband. This will slow things down with the transfer of files between us :( I'm still trying to sort it out though.
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Sun Dec 11, 2005 11:22 pm

Many apologies for taking so long to reply!

There really is no need to keep backup files of screenshots since GIF is not lossy format. Saving in lower number of colours does not reduce the quality since a 16 or 32 colour image will still be just that.

I would have both the best cracked version and the original ipf version available from the frontend. The frontend view can then be sorted to show either cracked versions or original, or both a the same time, this way the user get the best of both worlds. I would just love to do away with cracked version all together but the protection in the games makes it impossible.

Games like Monkey Island, Darkseed, The Legend of Kyrandia, etc, really do need installing to hard drive (as you suggest) to stop all those dread 'Please insert disk x'. I went down this route with GamebaseST and it works perfectly on all 50 hard disk based games in the collection.

I don't know if you have have looked at GamebaseST in it's current form, if not let me know and will send you a DVD. Anyway, the way GBST is setup would be perfect for GamebaseAmiga with just a few changes here and there. GamebaseST as made slow progress simply because I can't help being perfectionist, GamebaseAmiga deserves the same treatment since it's one of the greatest machine ever made.

I'm glad your working on the GEMUS script and refining it, WinUae is such a complex beast it must be a pig to write a script for it. When you have the script in workable form let me know and we can start on GamebaseAmiga in earnest. Also, setting up an FTP account is a good idea since will be exchanged too and forth as we get started.

Speak to you soon!
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Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:40 am

Don't worry about how long it took to reply... I've had my own problems :) Doesn't help that work keeps sending me away... and my ISP decided I no longer needed an internet account, so they discopnnected me :( Anyway all back to normal. In fact I should have broadband by Xmas. Finally sorted out a 7km wireless link :|

OK No prob with the cracked and originals... It shall be done

I will have the script and installer done by new years now... cause work are sending me away again this Friday until Xmas. I'll also have an OCS, ECS, AGA, CD32 and HDD game done as well. So we have a starting point for all future games...

I am currently D/Ling GB-ST at the mo... and with my upcoming broadband large files will no longer be a prob...

With the pics I've always found that converting to GIF has reduced the quality... Maybe because I've been reducing the colour depth as well... I'll do a bunch of experimenting over the Xmas break... Oh and I'll get that FTP account sorted out ASAP as well :D

In the mean time do you have any other ideas, tips, suggestions or things you would like to see... Not just from Paul by the ways guys... anyone is welcome to put in there 2 cents worth...

Thanks for your patience :oops:

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