IFcomp "Play Online" button

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Denk
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IFcomp "Play Online" button

Post by Denk »

Since IFcomp opened for entries this year, I have been trying to get the "Play Online" button to be displayed when I view my entry on the IFcomp site. I know The0didactus managed to get it working last year, while I couldn't. I have been in touch with the Ifcomp organizers and now it is working.

Here is a short How-to-display-the-"Play Online"-button tutorial:

1. Most importantly: Do NOT put your game on the ADRIFT site BEFORE the games have been published on the IFcomp site!
2. The IFcomp crew require that you have uploaded a game file to IFcomp before the 28th of September. Thus you must upload a game and accept that there isn't* a "Play Online"-button when the games are released to the public on the IFcomp site.
3. Once the games have been published, upload your V5 game as a .taf- or .blorb-file to the ADRIFT site. Double check that the game is playable online on the ADRIFT site.
4. Make a text-file called index.html (NOT .txt - you might need to give yourself permission to modify file types (in this case .html)). The file index.html should contain the text given below. Note that you must ensure that the game number in the html-file should correspond to your game-number on the ADRIFT site.
5. Zip index.html and your blorb/taf-file together in one zip-file and replace the main game file with this new zip-file.
6. Manage your ADRIFT entry on the IFcomp site and set "Gameplay Platform" to "ADRIFT (online play available)"
7. Preview your entry and check that the Play Online button is working and that it points at the right game (your game should start when you click "Play Online")

*: If you know the URL of your online game before the 28th of September, you could include the index.html file. However, on the ADRIFT site you don't know which game number your game gets, before you upload the game to the ADRIFT site. In theory, you could upload a dummy file to the ADRIFT game section to get a game-number. Then you can include that number in the index.html file. Once the games have been made public, you should replace that dummy file with the real game. But the date of the first upload will be mentioned and so it will look as if you published the game before the games were made public. Personally, I wouldn't run that risk.

The content of the index.html is:

Code: Select all

<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="0; url=http://www.adrift.co/cgi/play.cgi?1541" />
IMPORTANT: Remember to replace 1541 with the number your game is given on the ADRIFT site.

I attach an example zip-file, which works with the "Play Online"-button. You must replace the .blorb-file and modify the html-file to make it point at the right game. The html-file should be modified with Notepad, not WordPad I think, since WordPad might include some invisible formatting.
Attachments
testgame4.zip
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Denk
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Re: IFcomp "Play Online" button

Post by Denk »

Just want to add, that if you want your game to be playable online, keep in mind that whenever you play online the background is black. When playing a game with the normal Runner, the runner allows the game to change both text color and background color. But the online Runner only allows the game to change the text color. The background color is always black. Thus, if you e.g. are using black text on a white background, the player cannot see the text when playing online, since that will then be black text on black background! :nerves:
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The Bash Saga:
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Denk
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Re: IFcomp "Play Online" button

Post by Denk »

Bumping this, so people can see how to ensure the PLAY ONLINE button works on the IFComp site.
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Lumin
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Re: IFcomp "Play Online" button

Post by Lumin »

This seems so complicated.

But it is absolutely necessary for the IFComp. Even aside from most players not understanding how to download and install a program to run a file in the traditional way with all IF anymore, ADRIFT has the extra issues of:

1) Windows only when Windows is no longer the majority.

2) ADRIFT for some reason will try and open games with the developer by default. The extra steps for getting them open in the Runner feel unnecessary and unintuitive to most. (As does the fact that the Runner exists as a separate thing in the first place...)

3) Windows Defender or whatever excessively hand-holdy antivirus most people end up using will just straight up refuse to install ADRIFT, give fake positives for viruses, or may come back at any time they launch it and decide to outright delete it.

Online play is all we've got now, for whatever that's worth. It'd be great if the saving and loading new games issues with that would be fixed, but after all this time I'm not really expecting it.
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Campbell
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Re: IFcomp "Play Online" button

Post by Campbell »

Lumin wrote:2) ADRIFT for some reason will try and open games with the developer by default. The extra steps for getting them open in the Runner feel unnecessary and unintuitive to most. (As does the fact that the Runner exists as a separate thing in the first place...)
Games should open in Runner when double-clicking.
It'd be great if the saving and loading new games issues with that would be fixed, but after all this time I'm not really expecting it.
What issue is this?
ADRIFT Developer developer.
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Lumin
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Re: IFcomp "Play Online" button

Post by Lumin »

Campbell wrote: Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:56 pm Games should open in Runner when double-clicking.
Maybe so. I've never tested it with a fresh install, but multiple times when walking people through opening a game they've wound up staring at the passworded developer. That and the Open Adventure/Open Game confusion are the most common issues beyond actually installing the program without Windows 10 obliterating it from orbit.
What issue is this?
Saving: Getting an 8 digit code that you have to manually type somewhere to and save (there's no way to copy the text off the screen) and then entering it in again later to restore your game is just a bit of a pain, and not something a player of any experience level with IF will have encountered anywhere else.

Loading: The problem here is probably easiest to see if you just go to the Games page and start clicking a few games.

But to illustrate with Skybreak:

Image

Image

Close the tab for whatever reason, or let it time out, and that's what it turns into. That's the point when newbs just shrug and figure it's broken, and there have been a lot of completely new to IF people playing Skybreak.

Same result with other games, I think it cuts out the introduction text when it loads one copy of a game on top of another. and if you look at one game and then go to try out a different one before whatever unknown amount of time has passed to make it load the next one fresh, you start getting all kinds of weirdness:

Image

That's some sort of freakish amalgamation of Dreamspun and Alien Diver there. I don't have the faintest idea how that happens. (Clearing the cache might fix it if you happen to be on a PC, I haven't been able to test that.)


Anyhow, online play is THE way new people are going to be experiencing ADRIFT going forward. They are simply running out of other options as Windows gets more and more draconian and it keeps showing up as a threat to antivirus software that's stopped giving users options to install it anyway. (And being unable to run it isn't just a confused newbie thing, even Theo has had Windows up and randomly decide to delete the entire program...)

I still love just opening up the developer and writing, but I'd have so much more confidence in the future of ADRIFT if players could just have a smooth experience and play a game without having to be convinced first that the end result is totally worth jumping through hoops for. There is no shortage of other entertainment out there and I can't really hold it against anyone who just passes on a program that seems to be resisting them.
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DazaKiwi
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Re: IFcomp "Play Online" button

Post by DazaKiwi »

Yes i agree the Open Adventure/Open Game in runner is confusing. I've had to make sure i mention this in my games so that player who want to resume a saved game can do so without much confusion. This needs to be simplified. To my memory, one has to run the original game and then Open game (thats two steps) but i get the logic of it. Perhaps Open Game needs to be reworded as Load Game.

Could it be possible Campbell to implement when saving a game it will record the file name/path of the game file itself? if double clicked on or/and via the menu. However i suppose there could be a conflict if you are playing a new build of a game and the save will break.
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