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Old 06 June 2004, 03:59   #1
Runey
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GamebaseAMY (Amiga) front-end database

Hi all,

Just like to announce that I am just starting up a new project similar to Gamebase64 for the Amiga.

It is a database of the best available games using the TOSEC Commodore Amiga - Games - ADF naming convention. Extras will include title screens, snapshots of game play, music, box scans and anything else that can be suggested.

Nothing has been released at this stage and the project is still in the very early stages of development.

If you would like to contribute in some please visit the web site at www.gamebaseamy.com for more details.

All comments, either good or bad, will be appreciated.

Thanks for you time.
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Old 06 June 2004, 05:41   #2
Medvind
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I've been waiting for an excuse to play some old Amiga games yet again! I'm in.
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Old 06 June 2004, 10:12   #3
fiath
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Nice idea, but I would be careful of copyright if I were you.
Also, if you have not already seen it, look here: http://hol.abime.net
Perhaps you were planning to make it unique in some way?
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Old 06 June 2004, 10:21   #4
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Is there really a copyright of these things? I mean, we have GAGE too.
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Old 06 June 2004, 10:58   #5
CodyJarrett
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fiath is talking about copyright on disk images, screenshots, scans and items like that, rather than copyright on databases. You can copyright an idea.
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Old 06 June 2004, 11:36   #6
Mr Creosote
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Quote:
All images are to be in PNG format with a resolution of 320 x 200 x 72 pixels/cm.
Just a piece of advice: use 320x256, because otherwise, you'll cut off chunks of the common PAL screen.
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Old 06 June 2004, 12:28   #7
Runey
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So far I haven't heard of any problems with copyright in regards to screenshots etc... Many other front-ends / databases do this and don't seem to have a problem, so hopefully I wont

I will not be making the ADF images available. Many people have them already or know how to get them. They can worry about the copyright issues to do with that.

I've looked at HOL and it is very impressive as is CAPS. However they seem to be databases purely for information purposes and not meant to be integrated into a front-end. Unless I have misunderstood the projects If either of those projects were to make the images readily available to me it would definately speed things up.

I'll check on the resolution change from 320 x 200 to 320 x 256. I was using 320 x 200 because that is what GameBase specifies. Not a problem to change it at this stage.

Just got a message from Eric Swartz and Amy the Squirrel is now the official mascot of GameBaseAMY

In a few days you will be able to download a trial version of GameBaseAMY. It will contain information on just a couple of games. This way everyone can have a look and see if there can be any improvements made before I'm too far in to change.

Thanks for your input.

Last edited by Runey; 06 June 2004 at 12:37.
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Old 06 June 2004, 12:54   #8
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Everything that can be done in the database part is already being done by HOL so maybe you can work harder on the frontend part and ask HOL for cooperation.

Will the frontent provide unique WinUAE configs for each game? What if winuae changes the way it handles configurations then? It's still a beta product you know, features still come and go. You can configure the "hardware" part of winuae but everyone have different tastes for the "host" part. How do you plan to solve that? Will you ask for universal filter settings for example and apply them to all configs with the frontend? Again, not all games center the same! Also how will the frontend recall winuae? By launching the configs and letting them launch WinUAE? These are the things I wonder
 
Old 06 June 2004, 18:10   #9
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I think it is a good idea but.... what happens when Tosec is updated?

The Images renamed wont work :/
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Old 06 June 2004, 23:29   #10
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Burserg

Yes everything done in the database end is being done by HOL except for putting it in a format usable by the Gamebase front-end. If HOL were willing to supply all the images they have already gathered that would speed things up dramatically.

The fronted is Gamebase, I'm not writing it, go to www.bu22.com for details. I have created a set of my own configs, for WinUAE, that works for every game I have tested so far. The frontend will use those at this stage. If a particular game causes problems then it will receive a different config. The frontend will be the "host" part, the idea is to make WinUAE invisible so people can just play the games and not worry about using an Amiga. I'm looking at the filter setting now. WinUAE can be run using arguments. It will told which config to use and to go staright to the game.

Bippym

That's a problem for every frontend Evertime there is a TOSEC update there will have to e a GameBaseAMY update. It will just be a matter of downloading the database file only. Just like having to get new datafiles for MAME. Unless the updates are huge then it shouldn't be a problem, I hope
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Old 06 June 2004, 23:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runey
So far I haven't heard of any problems with copyright in regards to screenshots etc... Many other front-ends / databases do this and don't seem to have a problem, so hopefully I wont

I will not be making the ADF images available. Many people have them already or know how to get them. They can worry about the copyright issues to do with that.
Ah, I see. Good. I misread your post. I thought you were including disk images.
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Old 06 June 2004, 23:53   #12
fiath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runey
I've looked at HOL and it is very impressive as is CAPS. However they seem to be databases purely for information purposes and not meant to be integrated into a front-end. Unless I have misunderstood the projects If either of those projects were to make the images readily available to me it would definately speed things up.
The CAPS database is not really meant to be a database with information about the games in general, but rather just information specific to those games that have been preserved. Everything else can be got from HOL.

Regardless of this, it *is* meant to be for including into a front end. You can get the datafile here: http://www.caps-project.org/download.shtml (http://www.caps-project.org/files/datafiles.zip)

Note the filenames use a custom naming convension, partly because we don't have the information needed to conform to TOSEC. However, you can "make up" your own naming of the information available using XSLT.
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Old 07 June 2004, 00:37   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runey
Evertime there is a TOSEC update there will have to e a GameBaseAMY update
There doesn't have to if you don't use tosec and prepare your alternative clrmamepro DAT instead. You'll need to pick only one working version of a game in the database, not [a]lternatives so your dat won't be as large anyway. Tosec is bloated with alternatives! How else one can know whichever file in tosec is recognized by amy if you don't have your own "picked adfs" dat? Without a dat people will feel they need to have all 20000+ disks just to be safe won't they? I would prefer to keep tosec on backup CDs/DVDs and a smaller, clean gamebaseamy dat ready on my hd!
 
Old 07 June 2004, 00:50   #14
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Some history on Gamebase.

Originally was a frontend for the commodore 64 only. Shortly after the Gamebase64 team announced a huge undertaking called the Gamebase64 collection I contacted James Burrows regarding a similar project for the Amiga because there was talk he was currently writing a frontend for the Amiga as well. Well, seems he handed the source over to a good friend of his who used the alias Hitoro.

I contacted Hitoro about doing a "Gambase Amiga" and we ended up partnering for a while with him coding the frontend and myself doing the database. Well, real life issues caused him to stop. However, at the exact same time James Burrows announced he was writing a frontend that could be used with any emulator. So, I became a beta tester and asked for features which I required to get winuae working with Gamebase efficiently. The end result is great. However, I lost everything in a harddrive crash. Yeah, I'm stupid for not backing anything up. No, really, I was 'kin stupid.

Anyways, I started over from scratch and the foundation of what I have created is better than ever.

Now, one thing I've never managed to find for this project was HELP. Could really never figure that one out but.. anyways, what I'm trying to say is I'd like to offer my services and any GEMUS scripts or configs you need.

This is one example of what I've been able to accomplish with gamebase. All games run from one config. I can change settings from within gamebase to tweak a particular game's settings. No lie, one config file. Anyways, let me know. The reason why I'm offering to help is because I know how much work it takes for a single human to finish something like this. Its quite.. impossible.

On a different note, I think an offline version of HOL would be the ultimate thing really. It is too bad the HOL team would not use something like Gamebase to create an offline frontend for hall of light. Knowing the talent from this board I'm sure they would rather code their own frontend although Gamebase truly is a nice piece of work.
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Old 07 June 2004, 09:24   #15
Runey
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Burserg

Firstly in my original post I state that ONLY the best available version will be used. There will certainly be a dat, but that's the least of my problems right now And finally there will have to be a GameBaseAMY update at every TOSEC update to add all the new games. Also the preferred version may changed if a better one is released later. If there are no new games or no better versions there will be no updates. Really the only items included in the update would be a modified database file and any new images / music. I guess at first there wont necessarily by updates every time TOSEC changes because there will always be pleanty of games to add. But once, if ever , we do catch up then the updates will follow closely.

Mangar

Yes help has been fairly short but some people have e-mailed and are willing pitch in

I could almost cry about that HDD crash. OMG . I bet you probably did.

I would REALLY love to see what you have done so far. Especially the scripts and configs at the mo. One config is great I don't know how you managed it. I'm currently running 3 and haven't had any problems. I thought I could get it down to 2 but never 1.

I figured if I thought about how long it would take by myself I would never start. I was always hoping in the long run I would get some help. But the short run is even better

I'm about to go begging the the HOL team for the images they have collected. Information on the games is easy to come by. Music isn;t too bad either but it's split into dozens of formats. I'm sure they could do a better job of the frontend, but who knows when it will happen. Till then I'll keep working with GameBase.

Jason
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Old 07 June 2004, 10:33   #16
CodyJarrett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runey
Information on the games is easy to come by.
Getting data is easy, but getting information (e.g. accurate and relevant data) is quite difficult. The Amiga is comparable to a wild west of computing; anything goes.

Here's a short list of mistakes that have been made (by me, the HOL and other databases):

1. Crediting An External Company As Directly Related To An Amiga Game
e.g. Escape From Colditz shows 'Gibsons Games' on the titlescreen, which suggests that it developed the game. However, Gibsons Games is a board game manufacturer and a creator of the board game that the Amiga game is based on.

2. Using Copyright Dates As Amiga Release Years
e.g. Often an Amiga game shows the original copyright date on the titlescreen, which can be the release date on another platform - Monkey Island 1 & 2 list the PC version release dates on the Amiga version (1990 and 1991 instead of 1991 and 1992).

3. Assuming That If A Company Is Mentioned In An Amiga Game, Then It must Relate To The Amiga
e.g. in the Amiga version of Erben Der Erde, The Dreamers Guild and New World Computing logos are displayed before the game, with a date of 1994. The Amiga version was actually released in 1995 by ReaLogic and Softgold.

4. Listing A Single Game With Two Names As Two Entries
e.g. Blue Max and Aces Of The Great War as separate games.

5. Crediting A Developer That Did No Amiga Programming As An Amiga Giant
e.g. lauding Sid Meier as Amiga programmer of Pirates!, Railroad Tycoon, Civilization etc. when other developers actually did the Amiga conversions (Sid probably never touched an Amiga in his life).

6. Misreading Evidence
e.g. suggesting that there is an Apidya II, because the titlescreen of Apidya shows a 'II', and thus propagating a rumour that there is a sequel (when there isn't).

7. Listing Unreleased Amiga Games As Released On The Amiga
e.g. Magic Carpet or a fake such as Buck Rogers II: Matrix Cubed on the Amiga.

8. Misspelling Names
e.g. 'Millenium' instead of 'Millennium', 'Akklaim' instead of 'Acclaim', 'Leathernecks' instead of Leatherneck.

9. Listing Games On A Hardware That Were Released Years Before The Actual Hardware
e.g. Listing AGA games in 1987 (yes, it's happened).

10. Listing Definite And Indefinite Articles Before A Game Name
e.g. 'A Mind Forever Voyaging' instead of 'Mind Forever Voyaging, A' or 'La Aventura Espacial' instead of 'Aventura Espacial, La'.

11. Misreading Words As Developers
Misreading the Polish text in a game and adding a developer for a word like "presented by".

12. Where Data Varies, Using An Inappropriate Value
For example, if an original comes on one disk and the pirate version on two, it would make more sense to record the original.
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Old 07 June 2004, 10:44   #17
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Perhaps you could use disk images of the actual originals (i.e. IPF's) of the games where possible? There are no duplicates, other than different versions that were really released in the shops, and where that occurs, we document the version number (if we can find it), so you could just use the last one.
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Old 07 June 2004, 11:49   #18
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Well that's depressing CodyJarrett but I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

I originally considered using IPF's from the CAPS set. However I have nowhere near a complete set and couldn't find out how to get any more. I changed over to TOSEC for two reasons. 1) They seem to be more readily available and 2) Many of the games come with trainers. While that might not be considered pure, it is a criteria of many game players. Maybe I could use the CAPS files where available and TOSEC where not and replace them as CAPS versions are released. Everyone let me know what you think of that

Fiath are you actually a member of the CAPS project or just an advocate? I would certainly like to talk to them about using the IPF's and the data they have collected.
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Old 07 June 2004, 13:35   #19
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That was what I was thinking, use IPF's where available... I can kinda understand what you mean about trainers, but personally (IMHO) I don't think that is worth all crack-tro stuff that comes with it. That is what cheat codes are for

Actually, wouldn't it be nice to have a hiscrore.dat like in MAME in WinUAE. I think this idea was rejected in the past because of so many different ADF's, but if you used IPF versions....

So, yes, I think using ADF's until you can source the IPF's is a nice idea.

Note that it is very unlikely anybody will be able to get a complete set of IPF's. Only about 2/3 seem to be sighted "out in the wild". Perhaps you realised by now, but we respect copyright, and cannot distribute them unless we know the person owns the game.

See here, here and here:
http://www.caps-project.org/articles.php?id=ipffrom
http://www.caps-project.org/articles...d=availability
http://www.caps-project.org/articles...=whynotdistrib

Yes, I am a member of CAPS.
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Old 07 June 2004, 14:02   #20
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Yeah the trouble is that a lot of the ipfs are not 'publically' available, there are still a lot of games that are not easily accessible to us users (I do understand why and I've got no qualms with that) Using temp Adfs, then using IPFs over adfs is a much better idea, although it does mean that there will be problems with manual/codewheel protection doesn't it? After all, a lot of amiga games require passcodes and such. Now a gamebase for whdload that would be an idea... too bad they use subdirs and such. booo @ life
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