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

Post by pau1ie » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:49 pm

Thanks Dave, that is very kind

I could use wget or some such to spider the site and download every screenshot under bbc_b, then its a matter of manually inputting them into the database. However, the images I have taken up till now have been twice the width and height, so I am tempted to say can we go for the screenshots of b-em? I do prefer the way the images are scaled down to the way they are scaled up, which tends to make them fuzzy as the colour becomes a gradient and loses the hard edges. See the comparison of a house from Airlift from Daves site expanded by the browder, and from mine at 100%
airliftHouse.png
airliftHouse.png (6.21 KiB) Viewed 2762 times
Options are: Re engage Sidney, Use Daves pictures but expand them with a program, or I was playing with a script (screencap.txt) to take screenshots and name them after the disc - I don't relish the thought of having to synchronise 2000 screenshots with their entries, but timing is an issue. Maybe I can control somehow when the screeenshot is taken. Anyway, I think I will defer a decision till I have finished the programming the website.

I hope Dave doesn't take this as a criticism of his site which is amazing.
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sydney
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by sydney » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:13 pm

What about PJ's offer here?

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by pau1ie » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:39 pm

Thanks for the resized images sidney. I am matching them up to programs, and have got about 1/2 way through. There are a number of games which don't have screenshots in that set, and vice versa. Once I have finished I will put the test website up again and maybe we can crowdsource the remaining screenshots.

Cheers

PaulH

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sydney
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by sydney » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:14 pm

pau1ie wrote:Thanks for the resized images sidney. I am matching them up to programs, and have got about 1/2 way through. There are a number of games which don't have screenshots in that set, and vice versa. Once I have finished I will put the test website up again and maybe we can crowdsource the remaining screenshots.

Cheers

PaulH
Thanks to PitfallJones for the screenshots, I just resized them!
I'm happy to mop up the few games left over needing screenshots if you can get me a list.

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by pau1ie » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:10 pm

Thanks to PitfallJones for the screenshots,
You are of course correct.

I have got it in some kind of order now, so I attach the code. There are brief instructions in the readme, but it should be pretty straightforward to get a website working for someone who has experience of these things. I apologise for the extremely poor code, but it works and should be free of common security problems. I have also updated my test site. Let me know what you think. Screen shots and disc images are not included in the zip file to keep the zip file small enough for the board, apart from the one for 2048 - they need to go in gameimg/screenshots and gameimg/discs. I also attach a list of missing screen shots - 780 of them.

Reviewing progress against spec I get:
- stores standard, unprotected ssd/dsd disc images only - Done
- stores limited Metadata e.g. Year, Done
+ Genre, Sub Genre, Done
+ Possibly Author. Not done
- searchable and browsable by Title, Done
+ Publisher, Done
+ Year Done

Unless you find any show stoppers or I would like to submit this as the first release, unless you want author to be included. Then I can take a bit of a breather, refactor the code a bit to tidy it up, and we can decide on the next set of priorities. To maintain my enthusiasm (Or to limit damage if I get fed up with the project) I would like to limit the extra features to (say) 3 at a time, so they should be prioritised.

I would like the play button to be pretty high up the priority list. Maybe more of the metadata should be searchable as Arcadian suggested. The database allows for more than one screenshot and disc image per game, but the UI doesn't currently. Should there be possibility for some blurb about each game (I'm not writing it!)? Links to reviews, youtube videos, blurb about images which could include tape inlays and adverts. Or should we concentrate on getting more games in there?

If anyone creates screenshots can you name them with the disc image or my game id, or both in the name, this will make it much easier to create the database entries.

Thanks

PaulH
Attachments
bbc.zip
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missing.txt
Missing Screenshots
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Last edited by pau1ie on Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sydney
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by sydney » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:29 pm

=D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
Great work Paul!
I'm at work all week then at Halifax at the weekend. Could we grab any of these from everygamegoing?

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by pau1ie » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:39 pm

sydney wrote:Could we grab any of these from everygamegoing?
Yes, probably. I can look into it, but I won't be able to do any more this week.

If you downloaded the php code I realised I left a debug statement in game.php line 52. I have reuploaded it.

Cheers

PaulH

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by leenew » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:02 pm

Looking good!!!
Will have a closer look in the morning...
Lee.

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by Arcadian » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:05 am

Really impressed with how it's looking now the screenshots are in - great work Paul!

Hosting is getting set up now (which incidentally will be on bbcmicro.co.uk - rather than bbcmicro.com, as the .com can continue to feature a set of graphical links to stardot, retro software, bbcmicro.co.uk etc).

One little issue I noticed on the development server: whilst clicking a screenshot will successfully open the sub-page for the game, clicking the game title opens up a page with blank entries (this is seemingly because it's linking to game.php?game=xxx rather than game.php?id=xxx).
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by lurkio » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:04 am

Paul, great work! I've been in touch with Lee about this project as it developed.

Out of interest, if, say, someone were to rename all the SSDs into a possibly more user-friendly format, how easy would it be to update the code for your site? Is there a script you use to generate the SQL that populates the DB with SSD filenames, or something..?

(Asking for a friend. :wink: )

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by richardtoohey » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:40 pm

=D>

Thought someone else might pick this up; I'll have a look this weekend at Halifax to see if anything left for me to do. :D

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by leenew » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:01 pm

:D
I am sure there will be loads to do Richard... 8)

Lee.

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by richardtoohey » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:07 pm

leenew wrote::D
I am sure there will be loads to do Richard... 8)

Lee.
If you've got anything specific in mind, let me know. Otherwise I'll just be making the tea. :wink:

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by Arcadian » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:26 pm

pau1ie wrote:I would like to limit the extra features to (say) 3 at a time, so they should be prioritised.

I would like the play button to be pretty high up the priority list. Maybe more of the metadata should be searchable as Arcadian suggested. The database allows for more than one screenshot and disc image per game, but the UI doesn't currently. Should there be possibility for some blurb about each game (I'm not writing it!)? Links to reviews, youtube videos, blurb about images which could include tape inlays and adverts. Or should we concentrate on getting more games in there?
Ok, if I had three votes for 'next to be implemented' they'd be as follows!

1. Addition of an "Alphabetical" menu (e.g. 0, A, B, C etc) to replace the current numerical menu (assuming that's easy to do?)

2. Making the genres/sub-genres "browsable" ... but appreciate that some work is probably needed on the spreadsheet before this can be accomplished.

3. Checkbox (or similar) to toggle between display of commercial/non-commercial games (again, would require a new field adding to the master spreadsheet before you can do this - have chatted with Lee about this tonight and it's something we'll strive to get done over the weekend at the ABug meet)
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by richardtoohey » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:37 pm

pau1ie wrote:If you downloaded the php code I realised I left a debug statement in game.php line 52. I have reuploaded it.

PaulH
Hi, Paul. I'm just catching up now - I'll download the code and give you some feedback (I'm used to working with other people's code so will keep my suggestions (if any!) to important ones - security, performance, major readability changes.)

Definite yes to collaboration and code sharing via version control - just let me know how you want to work.

I'm going to start by looking at the alphabetical listing (A - Z).

Thanks.

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by pau1ie » Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:24 pm

lurkio wrote:Out of interest, if, say, someone were to rename all the SSDs into a possibly more user-friendly format, how easy would it be to update the code for your site? Is there a script you use to generate the SQL that populates the DB with SSD filenames, or something..?
It's a mix of scripts and hand editing. If you provided a spreadsheet with the old and new names it would be easy to generate scripts to rename the files on disc and in the database.
richardtoohey wrote: Definite yes to collaboration and code sharing via version control - just let me know how you want to work.

I'm going to start by looking at the alphabetical listing (A - Z).
Brilliant! At present I am creating screenshots, so not working on the code. I don't have a preference for version control. I know subversion, not git but I am sure I could learn it. If you have used anything you are happy with then go for it otherwise I will have a look at what is available and pick something. I will probably pick GPL for the license unless anyone wants something different.
Arcadian wrote:1. Addition of an "Alphabetical" menu (e.g. 0, A, B, C etc) to replace the current numerical menu (assuming that's easy to do?)
Shouldn't be too hard. Richard has already volunteered!
Arcadian wrote:2. Making the genres/sub-genres "browsable" ... but appreciate that some work is probably needed on the spreadsheet before this can be accomplished.
Again this shouldn't be too hard. The data is already in the database, it's just a matter of writing the User Interface.
Arcadian wrote: 3. Checkbox (or similar) to toggle between display of commercial/non-commercial games (again, would require a new field adding to the master spreadsheet before you can do this - have chatted with Lee about this tonight and it's something we'll strive to get done over the weekend at the ABug meet)
Yes, we will need the data for this.

I still want a play button so we can launch jsbeeb - it shouldn't be too hard. Also don't forget Lees original spec incuded "maybe publisher" so this would need to be prioritised as well. Lastly I am collecting screenshots so every game has a screenshot. I think this is probably the highest priority for me at present.

Cheers

PaulH

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by richardtoohey » Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:25 pm

Got the code going no issues (nice and simple, not over-engineered, no SQL injection risks); have added A-Z at the top. Tidying up and will see if we can go live, just to get something up and going - we can enhance, polish, upload those screenshots, etc.

Fixed a couple of minor bugs, shuffled text around at Arcadian's request.

I'm used to SVN as well, but github seems to be the in thing these days? Initially after go live I'll post the code here or email it so you can get the up-to-date code.

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by leenew » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:44 pm

^^ Excellent work Richard =D>
I am extremely impressed with how much work Paul did in a short amount of time, and I am equally impressed with how quickly Richard picked up the reins and rode the err... website horse :lol:

**I am also impressed (but not quite as impressed) with how Arcadian suggested that Richard put an extra space before a bracket on the main screen. I must admit it looked better. :wink:


Lee.

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by richardtoohey » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:57 pm

And what was it you did, Lee? :-k :wink:

I shuffled other people's work around, it's a lot easier than doing it myself. :twisted:

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by Arcadian » Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:09 pm

leenew wrote:**I am also impressed (but not quite as impressed) with how Arcadian suggested that Richard put an extra space before a bracket on the main screen. I must admit it looked better. :wink:
Actually, upon reflection I think it looks a bit weird with the extra space - should have kept my mouth shut! ;)

But amazing work Paul, Richard, Lee, Mick, Chet, Simon+everybody else who's worked on it so far!!!

P.S. Here's an 'action shot' of Richard and Lee working on the site earlier this afternoon!
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by pau1ie » Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:54 pm

Looks good. I should have said, but I guess you worked out that I used twitter bootstrap for the website, and typeahead for the dropdown part of the search. Github is fine for the source and collaboration.

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by Michael Brown » Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:32 am

WOW!

Well done Lee and everyone else who has helped create this new site.
I am very pleased Lee chose to use my discs as the first set of game to be included on this site.

A handful of things I should point out...

1) All the games that were originally altered by me to work under BeebEm or b-em have now been re-modified to work as universal titles (i.e. detect a real BBC or certain emulator and then adapt to work accordingly) and these versions have now been posted back to StarDot. These were games like Rig Attack and Firetrack etc.

2) Some of the games have had instructions (taken from the original inlay) added to help playability, but in most cases, these have been created in seperate files which load first and therefore, can be simply ingored or removed - this happens alot in the earlier discs.

3) Note that some games only like the Watford or Acorn 1770 dfs like Clogger and E-Type as loading further files via the normal Acorn DFS results in breaking the game although they work fine on a real BBC (this has been a topic for some years and affects both BeebEm and b-em emulators).

4) Some of the games were originally only compatible with OS 1.0 but have been amended to wok under OS 1.2 as I am sure no-one uses a real BBC with OS1.0 and although b-em as a OS1.0 mode, it has no DFS so only tape images would be loaded via it.

5) A couple of games load additional game data via RAM images rather than many many files (such as Holed Out and Dunjunz). These games work fine under both BeebEm and b-em with SWR options selected, but do not work on a real BBC with a Datacentre as this only has 1 bank of RAM and these games require 2 banks.

Maybe somewhere on the website a note could be added pointing out these issues, so people know what has been done to the software in order for them to now be able to play it.

Lastly, I am still in the process of obtaining inlays for some of the games and also looking for uef images in case they contain any missing loading screens or info - although this has almost ground to a halt (unless someone finds the missing tapes which are listed on my Excel Sheet and have been posted on the forum).

Once again, I cannot thank Lee and everyone enough for this.
Also, I could not have modified my discs to the state they now are without the help from everyone who has helped with their input and solutions via the Stardot site in the last few years.

thanks
Mick.

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by pau1ie » Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:28 pm

Hi Michael

First, thank you for the work you put into making these games run. I can't imagine how many hours it must have taken over the years!
Michael Brown wrote:Maybe somewhere on the website a note could be added pointing out these issues
I think this is a good idea. I think it should be added at the image level to allow for more than one image per game if required. Where can I find more information - is it in the thread where you originally released the images?

Would it be possible to take scans of the inlays you have? I would like to have more than one image per game in the future, and I think the inlay is an important thing to provide.

Thanks

PaulH

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by Arcadian » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:25 pm

I'm not sure if Mick has any original cassettes (Mick?) though you're welcome to use the scans I created for the Stairway To Hell site - have just zipped them up and sent them to yourself and Richard via WeTransfer.
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by Arcadian » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:45 pm

Was just using the site and I think the Publisher search may have gotten broken?
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by richardtoohey » Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:51 pm

Missing file(s) - I'll copy them up. Paul mentioned the typeahead library and I meant to double-check how that worked but forgot. Will copy up now.

[EDIT: now done, so publisher search should be working]

Couple more tweaks to do as well, then I'll focus on getting into github so everyone can work on it.

@pau1ie - we changed the database name & password (not sure how we keep that information out of github, probably not a good thing to share? But one thing at a time!)

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by Arcadian » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:20 pm

Yup, Publisher search/type-ahead working fine now. Thanks!
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by PitfallJones » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:59 pm

Hi There,

I just tried the new site out - It' really nice - it's got that feel of ease of use about it like the World of Spectrum has.
(And having a download button is brillant)


A couple of debugging comments:

The year pull down doesn't appear the 2nd time you use it.

It would be cool if the publisher box had a pulldown as well.

The years can go beyond 1991 (also could have unclassified 19xx?)

Anyway - Great stuff!

- PJ

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by Arcadian » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:03 pm

PitfallJones wrote:The year pull down doesn't appear the 2nd time you use it.
Seems ok here? (Unless Paul/Richard has nipped in and fixed it within the last few minutes?)
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Post by leenew » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:13 pm

I get the same problem as PJ when using the site on my phone and the desktop.

Lee

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