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Author Topic: Discussion about broken game links and other stuff  (Read 4604 times)

Abisso

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My download link of my game is tagged as broken, but it isn't, and I never found that it was, in fact. I really didn't know where to report this, so maybe some mod can just move this thread where it belongs. I really think it should be nice if there was more info about the right place to ask for this kind of things, btw.

Thanks.

P.S. The game is Mickey Mauser: Wrath of the Rat
« Last Edit: 14 Jul 2009, 17:31 by Abisso »
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Leon

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #1 on: 10 Jul 2009, 15:35 »
It says that it was broken the last time they tried. It doesn't say when that was. 
More info on the database can be found in this thread.
« Last Edit: 10 Jul 2009, 15:43 by Leon »
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Abisso

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #2 on: 10 Jul 2009, 15:55 »
Thanks Leon, you've been really helpful. Didn't find that post before.
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LimpingFish

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #3 on: 10 Jul 2009, 18:54 »
Has the link always been the same?

When we mark a download as not working it generally means that, for whatever reason, the link returned an error at the time it was checked (404 or some such). Perhaps Lycos was experiencing some downtime during that period. Regardless, we don't follow-up a link once it is marked as broken. This is up to the individual creator, but I do agree that some form of direct communication with the panel could be of benefit.

A user comment from the creator would be a temporary solution, informing other users that the link in fact works.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that it wouldn't hurt creators to check up on the status of their game's DB entry from time to time, so that such errors can be dealt with quickly. The link in question has been marked as broken since the 26th of November 2007.

Anyway, the broken link message has now been removed. :)
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Abisso

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #4 on: 10 Jul 2009, 19:09 »
Yeah, the link's always been the same... and I noticed that message some time ago. I just forgot about that, and assumed someone was going to fix it sooner or later... and since I didn't have an internet connection at home (until the last month), the few times I checked the site from an internet point or my university I didn't have time to deal with such a thing.

Thanks a lot though, you've solved the matter quickly as lightning. Hope you can improve the report system for such things. Even a dedicated forum cathegory should do the trick, I suppose.

P.S. How did you manage to even rate it so fast?
« Last Edit: 10 Jul 2009, 19:11 by Abisso »
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LimpingFish

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #5 on: 10 Jul 2009, 19:49 »
Glad to help. :)

One of the other panel members had already played it, so they went back and added the belated cup rating.

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Leon

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #6 on: 10 Jul 2009, 23:53 »
But didn't remove message? What's the use of the message anyway? Just a notification that the game couldn't be rated because of a broken link? What if a panel member discovers a broken link? Do they look for a working one or abandon the entry right away?
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Abisso

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #7 on: 11 Jul 2009, 00:09 »
You misunderstood Leon... they actually removed the message (as the link wasn't really broken). And I suppose the point of the message is also to let the people know the game is not downloadable. I must admit that I agree this is almost useless and, worse even, it discourages people to even try... in my case, in the last two years there likely have been at least some people who didn't even try to download, having seen the message...

But, now that is rated just 2 cups, they'll be discouraged even more, I fear  ;D

Well, still one cup more than my other game!  ;)

I find the rating thing quite nice, by the way, and I'm sure the members chosen are experienced players. Maybe I'd just encourage a more friendly way of reporting errors and change the "broken link" message in something like "The game has yet to be rated, or the staff couldn't download the game" with indications as how to contact the staff.

My case is closed, anyway.

Thanks again Leon.
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LimpingFish

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #8 on: 11 Jul 2009, 00:40 »
But didn't remove message? What's the use of the message anyway? Just a notification that the game couldn't be rated because of a broken link? What if a panel member discovers a broken link? Do they look for a working one or abandon the entry right away?

The message was removed, as Abisso pointed out. :)

The problem with a lot of the older games flagged as having broken download links is that a large proportion of them were marked as such during the initial "clean up" of the DB. We simply didn't have time to track down a working link for every broken one we found, as we had over a thousand games to check. After we had finished, we did try to attempt to find working mirrors of lost downloads (using the BforS server), and succeeded in filling in a few blanks. With the demise of BforS all those links are now broken again (and waiting for us to go in and mark them all as such once more).

Still, I think that the ultimate responsibility for keeping links in order is down to the individual creator.

We've taken on board the suggestion that it should be easier to contact the panel to get a broken link message removed, and hope to have a method of doing so established soon. Combining this with the creator's ability to update download links themselves should ensure we keep on top of things.
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Leon

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #9 on: 11 Jul 2009, 09:53 »
Maybe it's also an idea to keep the games that are added to the database (responsibility of the game maker) in a central archive so links don't get broken anymore? If the game maker doesn't want that, he/she just announces it in the Completed Games thread. In a sense the database is not only responsibility of the game maker, also of AGS (Panel/CJ?)

The bigger the database gets, the bigger this problem gets and the more difficult it gets to clean it up. I just keep bringing this up because the current situation isn't ideal.
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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #10 on: 11 Jul 2009, 10:55 »
Maybe it's also an idea to keep the games that are added to the database (responsibility of the game maker) in a central archive so links don't get broken anymore?

Very, very good idea!   :D

Abisso

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #11 on: 11 Jul 2009, 12:37 »
It seems that we're all going off-topic now... but I'm glad my little problem served to put the finger on something that can be made better...

Ok... if I'm not mistaken, there was an AGSer who had this idea and tried to put every game ever made on a server he had... well, he was brutally killed for doing so!  ;D Ok, apart from the last sentence, this is true. I don't know if that archive is still out there and where, and I don't remember who this user was... but I remember I found a lot of games whose link was broken there. I'll make a quick search on the boards to see if I find something.

Anyway, not just due to the new graphic possibilities granted by AGS, but also to the increasing number of full-length games I suppose it would be a really huge archive! Don't know if someone is willing to keep it.

But I would be glad if this was the case.
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Leon

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #12 on: 11 Jul 2009, 18:27 »
He wasn't killed, the server that held all games died. I do have a lot of games at the moment including a copy of that server. In total you'd need roughly 15gb to server all games and futures to release. Some people already offered disk space to store them on but as long as the database is inaccessible (read: responsibility of the game maker) there's no use in putting them up other then for personal use.
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Pumaman

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Re: The download link of my game is reported as broken
« Reply #13 on: 12 Jul 2009, 22:57 »
I suppose the point of the message is also to let the people know the game is not downloadable. I must admit that I agree this is almost useless and, worse even, it discourages people to even try... in my case, in the last two years there likely have been at least some people who didn't even try to download, having seen the message...

The reason for the message is that in the old days, the moderators here used to get lots of PM's and e-mails from people saying "did you know, the link for Game X is broken. Please fix it!!!". This was annoying since we couldn't fix the link since it's the game author's responsibility.
Therefore, a message was added saying "we know this link is broken and it's the game author's responsibility to fix it", which stops people contacting us complaining about broken links that we can't fix.

Quote
Maybe it's also an idea to keep the games that are added to the database (responsibility of the game maker) in a central archive so links don't get broken anymore?

We sort of tried this once, but the server died. It's not exactly trivial to ask someone to provide 15 GB of disk space on a server to host all the games and provide all the bandwidth that people downloading them would use up.

Re: Discussion about broken game links and other stuff
« Reply #14 on: 21 Dec 2009, 03:45 »

Gilbert

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Re: Discussion about broken game links and other stuff
« Reply #15 on: 21 Dec 2009, 04:19 »
Since it was reported by IndieBoy I doubt he would have problems extracting files, unless this is an imposter. I've just downloaded this and tested it and got no error. I'll bet it's just a temporary thingie.

Re: Discussion about broken game links and other stuff
« Reply #16 on: 21 Dec 2009, 08:49 »
Sorry, I did try to download the game a couple of times and each time I got a corrupt file. The problem might be my end, oops.
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Gilbert

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Re: Discussion about broken game links and other stuff
« Reply #17 on: 21 Dec 2009, 08:58 »
Well, unfortunately such kinds of things do happen and it's not easy to guarantee everyone could download your games. For example, few years ago many people used freewebs but in fact, it was inaccessible here; and recently, Megaupload which is infamous for warez large file uploads and its speed actually blocked access to where I'm living (and I know a number of people here do use it to host their games).
Let's wait for this to be mirrored. :=

Re: Discussion about broken game links and other stuff
« Reply #18 on: 21 Dec 2009, 20:07 »
Is it possible to have a php/mysql (or something) script that checks to see if the url is not a 404 or not found?  I imagine once a website forwards you to their own custom 404 url, it could become quite tricky to script.  And some people have the download url direct to their website games section instead of the file itself.

I'm just shooting ideas into the air.  I have no clue if it were possible.  But if it is possible, the site could do a daily/half-daily check to see if the url was correct.


Actually just before posting this I did google check for some php scripts, and it is possible.  I have no idea if it'll detect whether or not the url location was redirected to the websites own 404 page.  I don't understand php at all. :P

Leon

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Re: Discussion about broken game links and other stuff
« Reply #19 on: 21 Dec 2009, 21:36 »
Not sure if it's of use but I use Xenu's Link Sleuth to check whether the links are still in tact or if I have to search for alternative download locations. It also detects 404 pages on other sites as well as your own. 

It's free so check it out. If you want an online checker, you can find one here.
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