Help required for the new BBC games archive

feedback, questions and discussion relating to the Complete BBC Games Archive (beta site now open!)
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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:52 pm

equinox wrote:whether the new archive includes items that aren't actually listed


Rich is correct - this specific archive only contains what you see. Presumably people have copies of this software, but it is not in this archive.

Currently software that can't be distributed isn't listed. Lee or Arcadian - do you think this should remain the case? Or should we list them with a note that the copyright holder is known to not want their software being redistributed?

This archive is only for games. I think the intention longer term is to make another archive for other software. See the original specs in http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=11165#p138480. Arcadian goes into more detail a couple of posts down.
I'm working on http://bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby flaxcottage » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:54 am

equinox wrote:What I want to know is whether the new archive includes items that aren't actually listed, such as games whose distribution is explicitly forbidden (e.g. the 4Mation educational stuff) and a few other utilities and bits and pieces that I remember, which don't seem to be there. For the purposes of historical archiving and preservation, can we at least assume that the archivist has a copy? Perhaps they could be listed on the site even if they are not downloadable -- like what World of Spectrum does with e.g. Codemasters and Activision games?


BBC micro educational titles are being actively archived, including the 4Mation titles. This archive is widely spread, just not published yet. TNMOC has a copy and the Computer History museum at Cambridge will have a copy this weekend, all being well.
- John

Currently running Level 4 Econet with BBC B, BBC B+ 128K, Master 128K, 4Mb A3000, 4Mb A3020, 4Mb A4000, 4Mb A5000 dual FDD; UK101; HP41CX setup; Psion 3a, 3mx and 5mx; Z88; TI-58c, TI-59 and printer, HP-16C programmer's calculator

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby daveejhitchins » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:56 am

Couldn't the 4mation titles be there - to be played - but not downloadable? Maybe 4mation could be approached on this issue? Do we have a contact?

Failing all the above: just listed with (c) details added!

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:22 pm

John makes a really good point - educational software doesn't belong on this site. I understand the intention is to create another website probably using the same underlying software for the educational software.

Having said that I think there are a couple of titles which are not in the bbcmicro site due to request from the copyright owners, so maybe they can be listed and not downloadable.

daveejhitchins wrote: to be played - but not downloadable?

This isn't really possible, because of the way the emulator works the game has to be downloaded to your PC to be played in the emulator. It is trivial to download the game. The best I could do is remove the download button, but you could easily work out what it would have been and download the game anyway.
I'm working on http://bbcmicro.co.uk

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sydney
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby sydney » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:16 am

I've just been browsing the site and noticed a silght bug If you are on page 2 of the games beginning with 'T' then click on 'E' you get a blank page as the site tries to take you to page 2 of 'E' which doesn't exist. Is it possible to reset the page to one when changing in this way?
Also I have a feature request of a 'random game' button. It might make it easier for me to decide on which 'new' game I'd like to try next.
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby richardtoohey » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:28 am

The A-Z thing was something I wodged in at the ABUG meeting, so it's a bit of an add-on to how Paul did the search.

Not that it changes anything, just explaining why its behaviour sometimes seems a bit different to the rest (may or may not be the case here.)

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:51 pm

Several updates mostly requested by Lee:
  • Fixed a few typos on the about page.
  • Search for program power will return micro power games.
  • Searching for text adventure now works.
  • I took the simple option and included everything in the results by default.
  • Removed the clear button. It didn't work, and with only one search box isn't needed any more.
  • Add in authors from Richard (Not searchable yet, they are on the individual games page
  • Deploy admin console from Richard. As noted it only allows author update at the moment.

richardtoohey wrote:The A-Z thing

Its much more integrated now. Do a search and you will see it only displays the relevant letters.

sydney wrote:noticed a silght bug

Fixed.

sydney wrote:feature request of a 'random game' button.

This wasn't in the original spec... Oh go on then. Done.
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby joachim » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:42 pm

pau1ie wrote:Several updates mostly requested by Lee:


All the "Play" links are broken! (They try to connect to "localhost", which is probably bad.)

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:44 am

joachim wrote:All the "Play" links are broken!


Sorry. Fixed now.
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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:17 pm

Here's one...

Searching for "Pac Man" brings up Snapper, and lots and lots of Pac Man clones, which is cool 8)
It also brings up Star Trek games, which is weird :?
It's because the secondary genre of a Star Trek game is "sPACeship MANagement" he he he...

Lee.

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Arcadian
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Arcadian » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:32 pm

Site is looking great now, love the 'dynamic' filters! Well done everyone!

No issues having all the categories turned on by default - it's probably sensible! ;)
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Pernod
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Pernod » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:57 pm

I like the 'Lucky Dip' but after selecting a random game and going 'Back to list' the 'Lucky Dip' isn't refreshed to select a different game. Basically the 'Back to list' should force a page refresh to update 'Lucky Dip'.
- Nigel

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:28 pm

Pernod wrote: 'Back to list' should force a page refresh to update 'Lucky Dip'.

Good point. I think I will have to pass a parameter so it displays the back to home page link rather than back to list, which just hits the back button. Should be doable.
I'm working on http://bbcmicro.co.uk

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:53 pm

OK, I think that should work now.
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Pernod
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Pernod » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:08 pm

Yep, that's better :) The first it chose was Masterbrain which needs it's MODE7 screenshot updating.
- Nigel

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:08 pm

Pernod wrote:Masterbrain which needs it's MODE7 screenshot updating.


Done. I also updated all the screenshots with the wrong aspect ratio, which are:
  • Masterbrain-Acornsoft.png
  • Disc044-LifeOfReptonP.png
  • Disc023-LunarJetmanCosmicBattlezones.png
  • Disc043-SagaOfErikTheVikingSTT.png
  • Disc018-SpyHunter.png
  • Disc033-SpyvsSpy.png
  • Disc031-UridiumCB.png

I couldn't get uridium to work, but it worked in BBC Master mode - I expect it needs sideways RAM or something.

I expect we should capture this information somehow so the play button works properly.
I'm working on http://bbcmicro.co.uk

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Matt Godbolt
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Matt Godbolt » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:26 am

If Uridium isnt working please feel free to check on the main jsbeeb site and file a bug if it doesn't work there either! (Or send my the BBC Micro link and I'll take a look myself)

Thanks!

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:42 am

Another 2 screen shots to update: "Alien 8" - it has some corruption.
Also, "Nightshade" doesn't look right.

Lee.

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Pernod » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:54 am

A suggestion: could we repeat the atoz bar at the bottom of the page, below the 2nd page bar? It would save having to scroll all the way back up to it after browsing a letter.
- Nigel

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Arcadian
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Arcadian » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:20 pm

Couple of suggestions/requests:

- rather than the filters being listed in alphabetical order, could they be ordered broadly in terms of their 'significance'? i.e. the greatest number of titles in the archive are Commercial Releases, so I'd put that first - followed by Type-ins, then maybe Alternate Versions - Unreleased Games - Year 2000 on and finally Cheats?

- the full version of jsbeeb has been implemented (complete with cub backdrop, menus/dropdowns etc) which sort of takes you 'away' from the site structure when you play a game online (unless you hit the back button in the browser). Would it be possible to implement a stripped down version of jsbeeb - similar to http://c4k.rabidgremlin.com/jsbeep ? If it's possible to retain the bbcmicro.co.uk menus at the top then even better!
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:20 pm

Matt Godbolt wrote:If Uridium isnt working

I don't have a real BBC B but I suspect it is an issue with the game rather than jsbeeb. It works in BBC master mode on b-em and jsbeeb, and crashes on jsbeeb in bbc mode (Debugger is displayed) and just goes to a blank screen in b-em.

I'll have a look at the screenshots and the A-Z tomorrow (maybe).

Arcadian wrote:rather than the filters being listed in alphabetical order, could they be ordered broadly in terms of their 'significance'?

I agree you are on to something, but I think this needs to be thought through a little more. For example, if I search for Elite, clearly the first item to be listed should be Elite, but it isn't. Your suggestion wouldn't help in this scenario, because all the games returned are commercial (Mostly by publisher Elite). Also the ordering you are suggesting is rather coarse.

Code: Select all

   9 Alternative versions
   3 Cheat versions
  32 Year 2000 on
 740 Magazine/book type-in
1208 Commercial release
  19 Unreleased Game


Most searches will only return Commercial and Magazine games. The next question is how do we order within these categories. The temptation would be to do some kind of ordering by relevance, but this would be really hard to do. What is more important - publisher or genre? Displaying results alphabetically is very easy for the user to see what the ordering is. Also, given a search for Elite returns a total of 6 games, does it really matter that much where it appears?

Maybe a better way to achieve something similar would be to log the download count of games (Which is not done at present), then we could order by popularity.

Regarding jsbeeb I will look into it. My concern is keeping up to date with changes in the jsbeeb code, so I don't want to change it too much. Also as I mentioned I found I had to use the menus to switch the machine emulated to make Uridium work.
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Arcadian
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Arcadian » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:49 pm

Oh, I think you've misunderstood - I simply meant change the order that the Filter Names read from left to right; I wasn't referring to the ordering of results! ;)
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby lurkio » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:55 pm

pau1ie wrote:Regarding jsbeeb I will look into it. My concern is keeping up to date with changes in the jsbeeb code, so I don't want to change it too much.

Yeah, be careful about updating JSBeeb too soon: e.g. the latest version has an issue where autoboot sometimes fails:


pau1ie wrote:Also as I mentioned I found I had to use the menus to switch the machine emulated to make Uridium work.

Uridium is currently working in JSBeeb on bbcmicro.co.uk, at least for me!:


There's a param that lets you boot JSBeeb straight into Master128 mode if you need it though:


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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby dp11 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:02 pm

a little game that someone at my school wrote. if the number in the cell is great than the number of edge cell the number is redistributed. The aim is to get to the other side.
Attachments
hexplode.zip
(1.45 KiB) Downloaded 27 times

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tricky
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby tricky » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:04 pm


When I tried Uridium at the weekend from bbcmicro.co.uk, it didn't seem to work and also seemed to get stuck when I tried it a few minutes ago from that link.
I swapped to master mode and rebooted, this time it worked, so I tried it again in model B mode and it still worked!
It stopped just before the music both times, so unless jsbeeb has a longer delay sometimes (1st time maybe) at that point, it might be timing dependant.

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby lurkio » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:51 pm

tricky wrote:
When I tried Uridium at the weekend from bbcmicro.co.uk, it didn't seem to work and also seemed to get stuck when I tried it a few minutes ago from that link. I swapped to master mode and rebooted, this time it worked, so I tried it again in model B mode and it still worked! It stopped just before the music both times, so unless jsbeeb has a longer delay sometimes (1st time maybe) at that point, it might be timing dependant.

Well, whaddyaknow? I can't get it to work now either! I just tried, and it hung on a blank screen just after I redefined the keys. Another JSBeeb timing bug by the looks of it.

What should the title of the bug report be? Uridium-specific or just something vague about timing? Do you want to file the bug report, tricky? You probably have a better idea of what's going on than I do!

:?:

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tricky
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby tricky » Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:00 am

I will have another got at logging an issue, buy within and I aren't friends, failing that, I'll just email Matt.

If it is thed same issue as last time, it is a bug in the game that could happen on a real machine, but is more likely under jsbeeb emulation as pressing a key always happens at the same time relative to the Blank.

EDIT: Issue raised, although I doubt it is jsbeeb's fault ;)
Last edited by tricky on Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby sbadger » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:17 pm

An amazing endeavour. Are there any plans for cover artwork also? Maybe be able to flip between cover art and screen shot in the results.?
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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:19 pm

Lee asked me if I could make the buttons line up at the bottom. I wasn't sure if this was possible, but looking at gog.com I notice they do this by forcing the title to be the height of two lines. So here goes. How do you think it looks? I am happy to revert it if people think the extra space below most titles looks silly. I realise that some of the publishers names go to two lines, but this can be fixed by removing anything in brackets like we do for the titles.

sbadger wrote:Are there any plans for cover artwork also?

Well, the specification did originally say maybe low res scans of the artwork. These are available from the stairway to hell website, but I think the resolution is a bit too low for my liking. That site was designed 17 years ago when most people were still on dial up, and you had to compress images to within a millimetre of their lives or everyone would hate you for their massive phone bills! Do you think we should use them, or do you have any idea where we could get slightly higher resolution images from? There are some in the forums, but how many? What about where the cover artwork isn't available, should we stick with the screen shot, or should there be a place holder? Should there be a concerted effort to get pictures of missing art like there is to get copies of missing games?

It all seems like a lot of work, so I think I will leave it unless someone presents me with the artwork in a form I can easily use (Are you offering!)
In the mean time my priorities are:
  • add a control to select the number of results per page
  • try to theme the jsbeeb emulator to look like part of the site
  • allow searching on game author
  • Do something with the alternative images which at present are not up on the site.

Then there is the educational software archive and the atom software archive to think about. I don't think I will be bored!
I'm working on http://bbcmicro.co.uk

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tricky
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby tricky » Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:55 am

What is the plan for adding more titles?
Do you have to do it?
Is there a format that makes it a simple import task?


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