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Thread: The Future of Updates

  1. #1

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    The Future of Updates

    A New Forum; A New Beginning?

    A recent post by Dermotron got me thinking about the health and wellbeing of CM0102, and more specifically about its future with regards to updating the game, accessibility, and functionality. There are a number of points I would like to bring up for discussion, and I hope it leads to a strong consensus so that this community is able to guide itself forward in harmony, and ensure further longevity in a world where it rightly should have died almost two decades ago.

    The crux of this thread is as follows: the updates are stoic in that they only change what can be changed in the official editor*. As such, the likes of Saturn, Nick & Co, and many greats before them (and perhaps many after) have developed tools and patches to bring the game closer to football as we know it today, compared to the restrictions of the original game engine.
    *This is not absolutely true, as can be seen by the addition of nations, changing of hard-coded club names, addition of tactics etc.

    Perhaps the best place to start is at the end. My proposal would be that future data updates are released as a package that includes a customised data folder and a customised executable file as a minimum. One could then extract a compressed file (zip/rar, etc) directly into the CM0102 folder, not overwrite any present files, and the end user would simply need to then activate the new *.exe file to be able to enjoy the latest offerings from the update team.

    Theoretically we already know this is possible. Look at this thread and you can see how to tie a customised *.exe file to a customised data folder (the same ‘trick’ can be used for customised pictures and sounds). As long as the compressed folder to download is packaged correctly, I would suggest this would prove to create far fewer queries in the Technical Support section of this forum.

    There needs to be limits, but the limits and restrictions are perhaps less severe that in the current climate. The Update Team can patch the *.exe with current foreigner restrictions, current substitute allowances, modern finances, and prize money changes. They may wish not to change things such as hiding private bids or disabling unprotected contacts as these options are very much a gamer’s preference. Then we have the middle-ground things like coloured attributes, the ARSE and PRESET_TACTICS commands, and the Jobs Abroad hack which are subjects that should be up for discussion amongst the community.

    Imagine the scenario: a new member, can’t do computing, just wants to play with today’s players and rules, downloads a file, extracts it to their main CM folder, and then all they have to do is double-click on the new *.exe file and it’s all there for them. Or at least most of it is. There is still toom for Saturn, because you are never going to want to release an update where the user is not able to make their own changes should they wish. But there are plenty of things that can be added as a default with minimal effort and a massive load away from the Tech Support section

    Such a shift in the vision of this forum would be a huge step forward, and it would help cement trust in the work that is going on behind the scenes. While it may be all well and good taking the stance that “we do this, and if they want more then there are other options”, that is not inclusive. The Update Team has an opportunity to further extend the life of this game by moving forward in a positive way by being proactive and making use of the wealth of knowledge and knowhow, not to mention information that exists within the community. Failure to do so will, if fear, soon lead to a further split like the SIM/ODB wars of years gone by.

    As a closing thought, I recall seeing a post ahead of the latest update saying something along the lines of there being as big change that we will like. I have no idea what that was, but as soon as I read that comment I wondered why the secrecy. Are the Update Team keeping the game alive, and if so for whom? If there was a significant change why not say what it is. It hasn’t been said since release as far as I am aware, which gives me the rather sour feeling of the Update Team gleefully rubbing their hands behind the scenes, waiting until somebody posts about something they have noticed. This isn’t “Keeping the Game Alive”, this is vanity tripping.

    Ultimately, we are all in this together. The only reason anyone is active on this forum is because they are dedicated and passionate about the game. We may not all get on, we may dislike one another (as far as internet relationships allow), but I am confident when I say we all have one common goal, and that is to make the best of what we have to present a great and playable game to our members. We must remember, first and foremost, that for all of us this is a hobby, and secondly, that for this hobby to continue thriving, it requires the openness and input of as many people as possible.

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  3. #2

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    That makes sense to me, i am continually looking through threads in regards to updates and nothing is as simple as "right click and mount from there" or "install this, then this and then load your game", always a large number of errors and the step by step guides and a lot of the time the same responses are given. i have gone through the +v9 install procedure as an example, as my CM01-02 needed updating and has taken me 4 or 5 times over a 6 hour period and are still coming across the same errors, have deleted and re-downloaded each individual file that the thread says is required (apparently the simple straightforward version of installing), having messaged a few friends that have had the same struggles they have asked if i have done this or that and i have responded no because it doesnt say to do so, even if the simplified version of updating. I know it will eventually work as it has for my mates, but would save a large amount of us a great deal of time trying and testing to see if things have gone through as you hope they would.

  4. #3

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    @Alan: I would much prefer we gave an exe too - most people would then at least be able to play it without issues (the "make exe portable" option of my patcher means you can play the exe in any directory, without admin (if not in program files), no compatibility options, etc - i.e. a lot easier to use). However, I think we may end up on thin ice, we are then distributing a "full game" rather than just data updates (which were allowed/intended). It's great the guys at SiGames gave the game away for free - but us modding it that heavily and then distributing it might start to take the p!ss a little

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  6. #4

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    The Saturn Patch comes with a heavily modified exe, so I don't see how this proposal differs.
    Not that there seems to be a great deal of interest in this, anyway!

  7. #5

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    I certainly think that the forum needs to be born a new. Start again and keep things simple.

    Downloads section should contain - updates (with appropriate exe offered alongside them for starting years/competition names etc), graphic packs with a variety of resolutions (like Sunday league etc), tactics and training schedules and that's about it. ALL finished or complete. A one stop shop for newcomers. Include relevant tutorials. All as posts within this section.

    Tools & Developmentsection should contain - patches, scouters, Flex, Nick's tool, all development and beta versions and all projects such as bigger graphics packs (that teams might work on), posts about tactic creation/performance and other experiments with the game. All as posts within this section.

    Scouting & Research section remains as is.

    No-one can post new topics in the above forums except forum staff and the developers who will be granted permission to do so via user class. Everyone can reply to threads that warrant them/aren't locked.

    Stories & Challenges - section should combine the two. Users must have X posts to post a new topic here. Guidelines/image source sticky available to help ensure stories follow a theme, same for proof/evidence that challenges are completed.

    Online & Interactive - should contain links/invite threads for games. Honestly never used this that much as was on a rota with work.

    Downloads should be hosted on our own server, not third party sites where links expire and data is sometimes lost forever.

    Most other sections could be removed, most of the chat replaced with the chatbox or an IRC channel or something as part of the page.

  8. #6

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    I don't think he was redesigning the forum... wow

    Would SI care about this game at this point?
    I mean if you were basically creating your own modded version of the game are they likely to swoop in and sue you?

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