Gamebase Oric V3.0

Want to talks about games you like, would like to see developed on the Oric, it's here.
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Dbug
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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by Dbug » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:58 am

Possibly the reason there was not much feedback, is that some people like myself when they tried to find the previous gamebases only arrived on dead links.

Few weeks ago I wanted to try to see how many oric games had been released on DSK format, and could not find one single working download link. The best I got as a "part one out of three" rar file.

If you want people to test something, it should be easy to find (ie: at a fixed location, not some random miror that can disappear when Kim dot com gets busted by the FBI), and with a clear explanation on how to use the thing.

I downloaded the "oric.rar" that was recently linked, and here is my experience:

- First, it's called "Oric.rar", not "Oric-gamebase-v3.xxx.rar" or something that would make it easy to reference the file. That means that if somebody is googling for download links to the oric game base, it will not be found.

- Then, the choice of "rar" instead of "zip". I know that RAR packs better, but ZIP is supported by default by most operating systems without having to install software to handle rar. One more hurdle for the potential user. (and the potential size win is probably dwarfed by the fact you forgot to remove a 20 megabytes AVI file from the oricutron folder).

- Then after unpacking, there's no explanation. All there is is a "help.htm" that says the following:
This file is named "help.htm" and is pointed to in the file "credits.ini" within your GameBase database folder.

Please check out "credits.ini" to see how you can customise GameBase's Help menu and create links to your own Web Site, Email address and Database Documentation.
There's nothing that tells you what actually is a gamebase, where to download it, what it does, etc...


If there's one thing I learnt by providing stuff to people on the internet, is that you have to be like the parent birds: You have to pre-mash everything, else you will just miss opportunities to connect with people.


Based on what you wrote, what I would suggest is:
- Make sure there is a task on the Oricutron bug tracker regarding having an easy way to take screenshots, explaining how you would like the feature to work (ex: I'd like oricutron to automatically save screenshots in a folder called "screenshots" using the name of the currently loaded tape or dsk file and automatically incrementing the name with a number each time I press the key, and I'd like screenshots to be in PNG format. Or something like that), explaining that you need the feature to maintain the gamebase or to make it easier for people to post screenshots on Oric.org, and saying that because of this one feature you need to use Euphoric. I'm sure that will motivate Xeron and the other.

- Find a fixed/reliable location where to put the gamebase, with a clear name and version number. (hint: If asked, the owner of defence-force.org may be considering providing a direct link in an easy to remember place on the site, even possible a custom page and subdomain. I'm pretty sure the same would be possible on oric.org)

- Make sure there's an easy to follow "how to use" that explains how to install the whole thing, with the list of know issues or common mistakes, with possibly a link to your email for people to send feedback, and making sure the archive itself contains information about where to get the updates - in case somebody gets the archive from somebody who did not bother to indicate where it came from -

Then when this is done, only then, advertise about it.

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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by dave3622 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:52 am

I know what you are saying Dbug and you are right, however this is not a commercial product and I originally started it for my own pleasure and convenience then decided to share it. I presumed anyone downloading it would be familiar with the Gamebase software and know how to install it. Still, doesn't really matter anymore, the whole thing has become a chore.

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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by Dbug » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:55 am

I never heard of gamebase before you started the project :)

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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by Symoon » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:27 pm

dave3622 wrote:A lot of the games come in several parts which need joining; easy enough to do but the joined files that work in Oricutron often don't work in Euphoric :?:.
Euphoric almost never failed me.
Can you send me one non-working file? I'm pretty sure I can help on this.

What I guess is that your file starts with more than three $16 before the $24. If so, all the following parts must have at least four $16.

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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by dave3622 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:47 pm

Here's one that springs to mind. The game comes in three parts which I joined using a program called 'Simple File Joiner'. The joined files work fine in Oricutron (you need to type RUN though), but not in Euphoric. I know it's in HIRES mode for this example, but other joined files have just said 'FOUND' in Euphoric when trying to load the remainder of the game.
Attachments
DISCOVER.TAP
(33.96 KiB) Downloaded 144 times

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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by Symoon » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:02 pm

Ok, I see two problems with your file (Euphoric's point of view):
1- the very 1st bytes are 1616161624, and the beginning of the other parts is only 16161624. This will cause a problem with the most recent versions of Euphoric: the following part won't be detected, they require at least the same header than the first part.
2- in your loader, there are CLOAD"DISCOVER2.TAP" and CLOAD"DISCOVER3.TAP". But :
_a- the loading names of the following programs don't have ".TAP" in them
_b- the loading names of parts 2 and 3 are "DISCOVER" (and not "DISCOVER2" and "DISCOVER3")

You generally should never, ever, in any way, use ".TAP" extension in program names. If so with an orignal tape, that means the transfer is not 100% similar to the original data, thus possibly faulty (.TAP wasn't known in the 80's and it shouldn't be seen in a byte-for-byte transfer).

EDIT: here's a working file ;)
Attachments
DISCOVER.TAP
(33.95 KiB) Downloaded 149 times

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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by laurentd75 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:49 pm

First of all, MANY THANKS Dave for this awesome games compilation project!

I just stumbled on this post, I never heard of your project before (well, I didnt' spend much time on this forum before very recently..) so you see, even in 2015 you are getting new fans!!!

I understand your point though about wasting time typing games that for the most part will prove uninteresting, but there are a lot of games worth playing also... But you certainly have all rights to call it quits when you want and do something else with your free time! We can only thank you for what you've done so far!!!


Now, I would also to express DEEP THANKS to Hialmar who as I gather is involved in the Mc OS X port of Oricutron!

Well, I am one of your users (discovered very recently that Oricutron was available on OS X and I've used it for 3 or 4 months now n OS X 10.9 and it works GREAT, thank you, and sorry for the late feedback, though I think I did give feedback on the ggogle code page for it !!).

Nice work from you all in the Oric community, maybe the rest of us should give you more feedback but rest assured we are very very thankful for all your efforts for keeping this good old Oric alive and for all your feats in the latest games releases...

A big thanks to all of you here!
Laurent

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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by Hialmar » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:06 pm

Thanks Laurent ;)

Dave, maybe instead of just quitting you could search for other persons to help you and maybe replace you if you are too burnt up.

As for hosting the gamebase infos you could put them on the TOSEC website. I don't think there is a TOSEC for Oric already and it could be a start for other persons wanting to create one.

As for the actual game files they can go on Oric.org.

Edit : look here
http://www.tosecdev.org/forum/database- ... like-oric/

CEO's Didier/coco.oric here is trying to put up an Oric part for the TOSEC. You could collaborate with him and musepat on this. Working with several people is usually a good way of getting motivation.

Didier posted about that a few posts ago.
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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by Chema » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:17 pm

Dave, I also didn't know what a game base was till I read your posts about your work. I'm not using it yet, I must confess, but it is an impressive project and I am sure that many people will enjoy it sooner or later (me included).

It is thanks to dedicated fans like you that the Oric community is alive, so a BIG thanks to you!

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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by Vyper68 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:43 am

I'm not really hardware tech minded and I only have a very rusty knowledge of 6502 assembly, I do know BASIC but very rarely use it these days. So I can't help out as much as i would like. I do have a fair bit of spare time though and what I lack in experience I could make up with enthusiasm. So if I could help out at all I would be willing to do so.
Bazinga!

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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by dave3622 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:58 pm

I'll leave it alone completely for a few months and then see how I feel, hopefully I will then be motivated again to carry on. To be honest I barely have enough material left to add another 100 games so there's no real rush.

If there's another release next year then I'll get it right and include docs instead of rushing a release (Thursday night after having a few drinks...). Leaving that 20meg video file in there was inexcusable!

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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by coco.oric » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:28 am

As for hosting the gamebase infos you could put them on the TOSEC website. I don't think there is a TOSEC for Oric already and it could be a start for other persons wanting to create one.
Hialmar, there are 3 Tosec files :
"Tangerine Oric-1 & Oric Atmos - Various - [TAP] (TOSEC-v2014-10-28_CM)" and the same for DSK & Multipart.

But these files aren't maintained and there a lot of games which aren't specified "ZZZ-"

Tosec objective is different from Dave's one.
Dave's wanted to build a base with the games playable with oricutron, and it's a big work sorting pics, configurating the gamebase... (i think i wrote 2 or 3 articles in ceo-mag (last one in february 2014). He has done a good job and his base is a reference for me.

Tosec objective is cataloging and preservation of software, firmware and resources for computers. So the main task is about making a listing of all the softwares and roms about oric.
So the main differences are :
- Tosec base is cataloging all the softwares (games, demos, dp, ...)
- In Tosec catalog, you can have several files for one game : DSK, TAP, WAV, HFE ... and Oric1, Atmos ...

On my HD, it's a mess !
Oric files aren't sorted, i don't know if they are running fine ... so i've started to sort them with Tosec definitions and i'm in contact with tosec team. I hope i'll finish the lists within 1-2 months. After that, i'll update oric.org with all these certified files.
coco.oric as DidierV, CEO Member
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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by Symoon » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:21 am

Symoon wrote:2- in your loader, there are CLOAD"DISCOVER2.TAP" and CLOAD"DISCOVER3.TAP". But :
_a- the loading names of the following programs don't have ".TAP" in them
_b- the loading names of parts 2 and 3 are "DISCOVER" (and not "DISCOVER2" and "DISCOVER3
A bit off-topic but I'm a bit worried that Oricutron, when asked to CLOAD "DISCOVER2.TAP" loads a program called "DISCOVER".

Tape handling, with all the possibilities between file names and program names, is not an easy thing, but the fact that Oricutron lets this happen will lead to files on the Internet that will only work on Oricutron - and not on Euphoric, nor on a real Oric if converted back to WAV files.

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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by Hialmar » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:34 am

Thanks for the explanations Didier. Both work are important to me, the gamebase and the Tosec and I think that one can help the other and vice versa.

Symoon, are you sure that Oricutron does that ? I thought that you had to manually load the tape and it would only read from the loaded tape.
I'll check ASAP.
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Re: Gamebase Oric V3.0

Post by Symoon » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:13 pm

Hialmar wrote:Symoon, are you sure that Oricutron does that ? I thought that you had to manually load the tape and it would only read from the loaded tape.
I'll check ASAP.
Yes sir ;)
I donwloaded Dave's TAP file from this thread, had no other tape in Oricutron's tape directory, inserted the TAP file in Oricutron, then CLOAD"" to load the 1st part, and then ran it. It loaded the following programs from the TAP file though their names in the TAP file didn't match the CLOAD names in the listing.

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