Archiving maps

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PfeifendePanzermeise
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Archiving maps

Post by PfeifendePanzermeise » Tue May 09, 2017 12:20 pm

Hi out there,

during my work on the article about BZF in the German Wikipedia article I tried to describe the main character of BZF as a game. I realized, that beside FFA, CTF and a 'rabbit-chase' there are lots of different game-designs like testing your jumping-skills or a 'Prisonball'-(Voelkerball)-like game.

But unfortunately you can't find one of these maps anymore (the prisonball-one was called 'Turret-something').

Once I visited the Computer-Games-museum in Berlin, which stores *very* old games and tries to conservate and documentate the history of digital games this way. So I would like to ask, if there is any idea about saving maps (all? special ones? on request?) for documentating the whole creativity of BZF, which keeps me playing it for many years now. I still find interesting game-ideas.

What do you think about that?

Daniel

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by Zehra » Tue May 09, 2017 3:01 pm

I think a map archive would be a good idea, but I think copyright reasons are why it hasn't been done.
There also was some sites iirc which some map makers released their maps on, but no longer are online.

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
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Re: Archiving maps

Post by PfeifendePanzermeise » Tue May 09, 2017 4:40 pm

I see. Copyright reasons is (always) a major topic.
So it could be just a collection of 'free to use'-maps, which doesn't mean, the designer renounce his copyrights.
Maybe like a Creative Commons License CC-BY-SA '(Use it, but dont forget to mention my name').

On my research for this Turret-somewhat-map I already noticed the copyright-issues (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18050&hilit=turret).

Sad, that these works seems to be just gone away, where storage-place is absolutely no issue anymore :/

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by Zehra » Tue May 09, 2017 5:08 pm

I could think of an archive for open-source maps and ones which have licenses which can be used.
If someone is willing to write a site for this, I'm willing to help where I can for a map archive project.

EDIT:
Some maps require custom plug-ins and this could create some issues when the map is open-source, but the plug-in is closed source.
This could create issues on some maps when it's not possible to use the plug-in and the plug-in alters game play or adds custom flags or settings.

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by blast » Tue May 09, 2017 10:23 pm

Not all of these have the actual map downloads, but at least may have a screenshot or some information.

http://www.jefenry.com/main/BZFlag.php
http://shellshock.bzflag.bz/tmf-dutchrai.html
http://shellshock.bzflag.bz/tmf-collaborator.html
http://shellshock.bzflag.bz/tmf-mapperscafe.html (links to other sites, some of which may be down)
http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/b ... zflag.html
http://static.bzexcess.com/downloads/bzWorlds/ (this was something I grabbed from the Internet archive long ago. Some files/thumbs are missing. These were from before we stressed having a license, so the usage of them is questionable.)

There used to be a big map site, but unfortunately it's gone now and it doesn't appear that the maps were saved by the Internet Archive because their were accessed through a form instead of a link.
https://web.archive.org/web/20111103091 ... 80/bzmaps/
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Re: Archiving maps

Post by Zehra » Tue May 09, 2017 10:59 pm

I'd love to see an archive of BZFlag related content.
There's a good amount of textures, maps, plug-ins, code and projects which would have been nice to have archived.

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by trpted » Wed May 10, 2017 7:46 pm

*Sign* / +1 / me too / nods head in agreement with OP and with memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=57773

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by PfeifendePanzermeise » Wed May 10, 2017 8:09 pm

OK, I came to this topic editing the article in the German Wikipedia. I never dealed with the technics behind editing maps or running a server. And I am an open source-enthusiast, but everything else but a programmer or server-admin.

So my horizon is pretty limited, when I ask:

There are already open source maps?
The copyright- or copyleft-tag is somewhere in the map data? Is it more or less accidentally, whether a map-designer tags the map 'open' or 'closed' like 'OK, lets create a map and dont bother me with copyright-stuff!' ?
For to *run* a map or to *edit* a map or both you need (eventually) a closed-source plugin?
There (Here!) is a community of map-designer: Is publishing maps under a (free) license a topic within this community? Seems so, when I understood right, what Blast was talking about. But does somebody 'push' the designers to a certain license?
To get an idea what 'archiving' on means: It would be more or less a download-site, where all necessary files are packed (and of course presented or have a preview). Or is it a way to run a server with all these maps installed (maybe limited usability, because of the server-power) and only to present the maps?

I had a quick view through the links. Just from the first impression this work *really should be* archived - although I am not addicted to 90s graphics ;).

Let' see, what will grow from this...

Daniel

EDIT: The pages from the Wayback-machine are links to a site by Garrett Padera (http://www.garrettsites.net/)!? He is alive and maybe didn't wipe all data?

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by allejo » Wed May 10, 2017 9:00 pm

If maps are posted on the BZFlag forums, they are required to have a license for it. The license dictates what players/server hosts can do with it. If it's an open source license, then anyone is free to host it and (typically) make modifications to it provided they follow the license's guidelines. For example, if I license a map under Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 then that means anyone can distribute the map, host it, and make modifications if, and only if, they give me credit for the original work and modifications are shared under the same license.

For most older maps, they had no license so we can't ethical host it/modify without the author's permission to do so. For example, I have an archive of Jefenry's map that I can toss up on a rotation server even though they were never released but I have his permission to do so. Same way, Leagues United has permission from zaphod and a few others to use their maps exclusive in the league.

Plug-ins aren't needed to run a map (usually), they just provide server modifications. Most plug-ins are around, are licensed, and haven't been lost to time. There are some closed source plug-ins nowadays but I'd say a good number are available to everyone on the forums or on GitHub.

I wouldn't think starting an archive solely for maps and plug-ins would benefit anyone and instead they should be posted on the forums if the authors would like to open source them. The forums aren't going anywhere so long as the project's alive :)
Here's my personal website and my open source projects are available on GitHub; I work on a lot of cool things.

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by Zehra » Wed May 10, 2017 9:20 pm

A few notes:
An archive project would be useful, but requires lots of work.
Finding some archives would be close to impossible as the author might no longer be around or active anymore.
Also some archives would not work and need to be updated.
PfeifendePanzermeise wrote:
Wed May 10, 2017 8:09 pm
To get an idea what 'archiving' on means: It would be more or less a download-site, where all necessary files are packed (and of course presented or have a preview). Or is it a way to run a server with all these maps installed (maybe limited usability, because of the server-power) and only to present the maps?

I had a quick view through the links. Just from the first impression this work *really should be* archived - although I am not addicted to 90s graphics ;).
I like the idea of being able to preview items and having all the items needed in one place.
This way it's possible to preview textures and other related items without having to download it to see it.
allejo wrote:
Wed May 10, 2017 9:00 pm
Plug-ins aren't needed to run a map (usually), they just provide server modifications. Most plug-ins are around, are licensed, and haven't been lost to time. There are some closed source plug-ins nowadays but I'd say a good number are available to everyone on the forums or on GitHub.

I wouldn't think starting an archive solely for maps and plug-ins would benefit anyone and instead they should be posted on the forums if the authors would like to open source them. The forums aren't going anywhere so long as the project's alive :)
There tends to be a number of items which are lost or are no longer available anymore.
Someone might have an archive of an open-source program, plug-in, or map, but it is no longer available for the general public.

@ allejo
I agree an archive for only maps and plug-ins is not really useful, but saving textures, projects, artwork, historical content would probably be worth some effort.

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by blast » Wed May 10, 2017 9:27 pm

Some of the older maps posted to these forums did not always have a license listed. It wasn't until 2007 that we required including a map license when posting them on the forums. So maps from around April 11, 2007 and beyond (see viewtopic.php?f=64&t=10575) that we started to require an open-source license be specified when releasing a map here.
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Re: Archiving maps

Post by Zehra » Fri May 12, 2017 3:10 am

I'm not sure if it would be a good idea to add a policy which works automatically placed into public domain if they do not contain a license.
(This wouldn't apply to posts before policy took affect.)

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by Bullet Catcher » Fri May 12, 2017 3:26 am

The law does not allow someone to steal the copyright of a work with a policy like that, Zehra. Stop trolling.
Deal with it.

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by PfeifendePanzermeise » Wed May 17, 2017 11:02 am

OK, this topic seem to be in the right hands of you as professional BZF-people.
I can offer a certain help, if there is a perspective what and how to do this archiving.

@Bullet Catcher: So how do you think this could be done? I think noone intends to steal a copyright or present coyrighted material without permission.

This article sums up a few topics (Google translated from German): https://translate.google.de/translate?s ... edit-text=

Happy tanking!
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Re: Archiving maps

Post by trpted » Wed May 17, 2017 2:30 pm

While I like your idea, I just have to ask.

Why not point them to https://wiki.bzflag.org/Main_Page and if they don't speak/read English, have them use Google translate (or something else like it) to translate it OR have the text in the Wiki pre translated?

For example if you wanted to read about Lubuntu in French

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/French

Here it is in English https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lubuntu/

Here is a list of the all of the maps in the Wiki in English, https://wiki.bzflag.org/Category:Maps

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by blast » Wed May 17, 2017 4:19 pm

The wiki is being phased out, but I don't think they were talking about that anyway.
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Re: Archiving maps

Post by Zehra » Wed May 17, 2017 4:55 pm

I think what PfeifendePanzermeise is referring to, is to have a digital library for BZFlag maps.
So I think the idea is mostly along the lines of archiving a collection of BZFlag maps and also archiving the history and the content behind them as well.
(The article linked by PfeifendePanzermeise seems to be about retrogaming, but I think the main idea behind archiving games is the same one as archiving maps from BZFlag as well.)

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

See where I've last been active at Strayers.

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by PfeifendePanzermeise » Thu May 18, 2017 6:08 am

"The article ... seems to be about retrogaming" - of course everything will be retro one day (the reason why I keep my old-fashioned glasses to wear them in 25 years again :wink: )...

But no, the article is about the pretty serious attempt to save creative works. E.g. the computer-game-museum in Berlin is a small one, but presents a very nice excerpt from games and their ideas. And the openness and therefor the different gameplays are IMO the strength and character of BZF.

Digital library, archive, a server which hosts playable maps: This is probably the decision to make. Store maps and game-ideas more or less offline just to keep them: Easier to do, but not quite lively. Making (some) old maps with nice graphics, or game-ideas ready to play is probably harder to realize, but of course much nicer.

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Re: Archiving maps

Post by Zehra » Thu May 18, 2017 5:30 pm

A server would be nice, but they do not tend to stay for the long run much.
An archive is excellent, but would be partly difficult to sort out works in it.
A BZFlag digital library could probably work nicely, but would need some effort to get started.

I can kind of think of the idea as a way to search by map author, game mode, world size, date or license.
I'm not sure if a dedicated site or GitHub would be an option for a digital library/archive of BZFlag maps.

A sample of what an archive/digital library of BZFlag maps might provide when finding a specific map is shown below:

Author: Sample Authors Name
License: Public Domain
Date of release: 3 January 1995
Name: Sample map
Details: ...
Description: ...
Notes: First hosted by Example hosted and popular for 2 years after it's release.

This could move on to archiving the history and content of BZFlag in the future after maps have been archived

-Zehra
Those who are critical of me, I'll likely be the same of them. ~Zehra
There's always something to remember and it's been a game I love. ~Zehra
The time spent is a time which can never be regained, so it's a time to enjoy. ~Zehra
The decisions we make are the ones we look forward too and the ones we regret. ~Zehra
There's a difference between knowing my name and knowing me, one shows respect to my name and the other is to who I am. ~Zehra

See where I've last been active at Strayers.

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