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  • Game Development Community

    dev|Pro Game Development Curriculum

    State of www.twsanpi.cn

    by Eric Preisz · 03/14/2017 (11:05 am) · 58 comments

    I once heard someone say that GarageGames is like a cockroach that never dies. Truth be told, the heart of GarageGames has always been the community that drives it and GarageGames "formal" hasn't played a role in GG for nearly as long as we did (i.e. GG truly has a life of it's own).

    We (I) continue to run GG.com and are happy to do so, but I fear that we don't have much in the way of redundancy and I worry that the lights will go out unexpectedly. At some point, this site will "break" and there won't be the funds to fix it. I'm writing this to start a dialog on how we can preserve this information and make it accessible in a more sustainable way.

    Or, maybe it's a loosing battle and you don't rely on the site?

    Here are some things to consider:

    1) Many of the items in your account are in a fuzzy state of ownership. Many of the contracts are archived/missing so we can't open source something we don't own 100%. For example, GG doesn't own 100% of TGE code which is why it isn't open sourced by us.

    2) We will need to sanitize everything to protect personally identifiable information.

    3) We would consider selling the site/assets for a profit generating concern provided that the users best interests are preserved.

    4) We would consider giving away sanitized information under a CC license.

    About the author

    Manager, Programmer, Author, Professor, Small Business Owner, and Marketer.

    Page «Previous 1 2 3 Last »
    #1
    03/14/2017 (11:49 am)
    I'm definitely keen on the preservation of the data and stuff that's here one way or another.
    Even if some of it is out of date, the sheer treasure trove of information stored around would be terrible to lose.

    That said, you're right in that the trick is finding a sustainable means of perpetuating everything. I'll throw an email at you so we can talk about some of the more confidentially-oriented stuff rather than on an open forum(By the way, what's the best email to hit you up at?), but yeah, a push to ensure the data isn't lost i think is super important.

    I'd say the mainstay highlights of stuff people would want to keep access to is
    a) Access to content packs they purchased
    b) Access to legacy editions of the engine(s)
    c) The various resources from the resource section
    d) The forum thread/post history.

    Obviously, that falls under 'most of the site', haha, but really, that's the delicious goodness that's still held here.

    On the topic of c) I know it's kinda been discussed before, but lots of the links to the resource files point to the old static links and thus 404. Do you know if those old zip files still exist anywhere? Those would be the easiest thing to look at backup up at an external place like the wiki.torque3d.org or the like if we can get them.

    a, b and c are definitely the squirrelier prospects due to personal information and licensing quagmires for sure.
    #2
    03/14/2017 (12:05 pm)
    The most important things you could do right now is to, correctly, backup the entire site and its associated databases, and make sure those backups are duplicated both locally and remotely in a safe and secure manner. Such as have those backups on a removable USB hard drive, another copy on another USB drive that's kept in safe, and yet another copy on something like dropbox (hopefully encrypted first). That way you don't have a single point of data loss nor a single point of backup failure.

    The correct way to backup the site is just tar -zcvf the site's top-level directory. For the database use the database server's backup feature, such as for MySQL you'll need to use the mysqldump command line to fully backup the database. Of course do it for each one if multiple databases are involved, most likely there are for a site like this.
    #3
    03/14/2017 (1:21 pm)
    You can reach me at ericp@www.twsanpi.cn.

    I believe the resource files are a hodgepodge of 3rd party links that are long gone.

    We've got reasonable backups/versioning running on both database and source but it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a hard copy. I guess the real issue isn't archiving as much as it is access to that archive.
    #4
    03/14/2017 (1:23 pm)
    Ah, alas.

    Also good to hear the backup versioning is well handled already, so that's at least one immediate concern aside.
    #5
    03/15/2017 (12:25 am)
    @Jeff Raab
    the webchat here:
    http://widget.mibbit.com/?settings=4c4bdb0c9496a9cc6a3575af8756f5e4&server=irc.maxgaming.net&channel=%23garagegames

    is down. Getting a white screen of death.

    @Eric
    Seeing that www.twsanpi.cn's light might go out is for sure a sad thing.
    #6
    03/15/2017 (4:37 am)
    @DwarfKing
    webchat:
    http://widget00.mibbit.com/?settings=4c4bdb0c9496a9cc6a3575af8756f5e4&server=irc.maxgaming.net&channel=%23garagegames

    seems to work.

    @Eric: Sad to see, but at this point unsurprising. The state of the site being in Limbo was of the reasons most of the active development crew shifted over to the new forums at forums.torque3d.org/ before we were honestly ready to (Initial Plan was to swap over for 4.0 to avoid a bunch of confusion as to what was and was not standard practice for the revised codebase and templates. Read here: If we screwed the pooch it wouldn't splash on you so hard. But, well, we all know what they say about plans...)

    On ownership, just to be clear: Are or are not Hosted Resources still under the GG MIT perview? One of the things I've tried to stick to where possible is throwing over minimally converted resources if and when relevant requests come up that have already been covered to cut down on the whiplash for folks that may have already rolled in and used their own variants. (Not so much of late, given the deeper guts digging. Still. Good to know one way or the other for someone else of a similar bent.)
    #7
    03/15/2017 (7:19 am)
    From what I understood, any resources that were put up on the resource section as hosted by GG where considered open sourced and free to the community. If the files were hosted on private servers it stayed under the owner's perview.

    So if it was a resource zip file uploaded to GG as associated to a resource, or the code just pasted into the posts for the resource, it's considered released. Good point to clarify on for sure, though.
    #8
    03/15/2017 (9:08 am)
    @Jeff, I think you've summed it up well. Anything we host/own is something I can make permissibly available. And even if our current or old TOS says otherwise, we can rewrite to make it clear.

    It is sad to think about it going away. The site can/may still continue to run for some time, but I'm just trying to be proactive here so that nothing changes overnight.
    #9
    03/15/2017 (9:19 am)
    Also, I want to clarify that this discussion isn't necessarily one of urgency (at least right now, I suppose that could change quickly).

    One thing I would recommend is that everyone download and backup software/content that they purchased through the site if you haven't already.
    #10
    03/21/2017 (7:38 pm)
    Thank you for the update. I am sad to see this happen as I rely on this site several times a week but it is understandable. Just to know, how much data are we talking about that would need to be hosted so far?
    #11
    03/22/2017 (9:43 am)
    The current size requirements to run the site are:

    Site: 2 GB
    Downloads: 105 GB
    Database: 4 GB
    #12
    03/22/2017 (11:16 am)
    Actually smaller than I'd expected. If a meteor hits the server and we have to mirror it, I don't think that'd be a major obstacle at all.
    #13
    03/22/2017 (7:02 pm)
    As soon as I get back into Game Design, everybody is closing their doors. I've been away from Game Design its a long story(I don't want to talk about it)

    3D Buzz is going through a tough time too. All I want to do is create My Game "Tommy Turbo - Defender of Dreamland" , Think of Crash Bandicoot - Meets Earthworm Jim - Meets Ren and Stimpy
    #14
    03/22/2017 (7:34 pm)
    Well, it's not like it's "we're shutting everything down". It's a "if something horrible happens, we want to make sure nothing is lost", which is pretty much standard data assurance policy, really.
    #15
    03/26/2017 (11:01 am)
    Quote:
    Site: 2 GB
    Downloads: 105 GB
    Database: 4 GB

    to run a site like that it would cost around 10$ monthly at one.com

    For that you get:

    500 GB storage
    4 GB RAM
    Multiple databases
    Multiple domains
    SSL
    SSH
    8 x CPU
    Backup & Restore

    See more here: https://www.one.com/en/
    #16
    04/04/2017 (2:37 pm)
    There's a massive amount of information about the engine in the forum archives here. It's a mess to search through, but there's still content from even the TGE days that applies to the engine now (mostly relating to game systems, predictive networking model, stuff that hasn't changed much).

    The uploaded resources are also valuable, but my perspective is that the first priority should be preserving the actual posted content (blogs/forum threads). There's stuff in those archives that can't be easily replaced. Decades of discussion, experimentation, even commentary from the old-GG founders on some of the systems designs.

    The account assets, like licenses for older version of Torque, are probably less of a concern. I do think it's important to preserve older version of the engine, but if that's not possible through open-sourcing then we can at least warn people ahead of time so that they can make their own archives.

    I just want to add that I really appreciate what GG did for Torque: Rescuing and maintaining the engine, and then open-sourcing it for the community to carry on. Not to mention running this site for years after the engines ceased to be direct income sources.
    #17
    04/05/2017 (1:03 pm)
    It will be a truly sad day when GG does finally close it's virtual doors. If I recall, T3D went MIT almost 5 years ago right? Wow, how time flies. Gotta admit, I have missed it. I still download every release and double check the state of things. (it has improved consistently over the years). I do hope the back-up concepts and ideas being worked on carry over. Good luck and thanks to everyone that helped me over the years. (I will continue to check back now and then and of course, DL every release.)
    OH YEAH... ONE MORE THING;

    Member since: January 5, 2003 (from my profile....holy crap that is ALOT of years!!)


    Ron
    #18
    04/22/2017 (11:35 am)
    'if things go down, I have to say aloud to you all;
    "Great eras always come to a sad end..but they made us better and so here's to new beginnings and many more great eras in life! You're a great bunch of people.".
    ----
    ** About the Site: I'd be happy to mirror the site on VPS/Dedicated.
    I offered years ago to mirror the wiki should it ever be 'POOFED', and now I offer the same for this web-based-ecosystem.
    -- My email is in my profile.
    #19
    04/22/2017 (12:35 pm)
    It would be sad to see GG website go down.

    Can we still purchase stuff at the store? It says checkout is down.
    #20
    04/24/2017 (8:59 am)
    @Jason, no, sorry, the store isn't available. The costs to run it no longer are covered by the revenue. Turns out that paying royalties internationally has a lot of paperwork.

    I don't think a mirror of GG would be doable given all of the privacy policy and the user data. I think the best option is for us to export and publish a database of the content (blogs, resources, forums) without any personally identifiable user data. It would be some work for someone to convert that to a working site but it's certainly doable.
    Page «Previous 1 2 3 Last »

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