Difference between revisions of "Curation Format"

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===Checking the Master List===
 
===Checking the Master List===
  
Before curating, please check the [[Game Master List]] (and for animations, the [[Animation Master List]]) before possibly taking time out of your day to save something that's already been saved. '''Use CTRL+F to search the list of titles.'''
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Before curating, please check the [[Game Master List]] (and for animations, the [[Animation Master List]] as well as the curation submission channels in our Discord for newer games or animations that might have just been done before possibly taking time out of your day to save something that's already been saved. '''Use CTRL+F to search the list of titles.'''
  
 
===Banned Games and Animations===
 
===Banned Games and Animations===

Revision as of 15:55, 8 October 2020

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about putting together a curation and submitting it to Flashpoint. If this is your first time contributing, be sure to follow our step-by-step tutorial.

Before You Start

Checking the Master List

Before curating, please check the Game Master List (and for animations, the Animation Master List as well as the curation submission channels in our Discord for newer games or animations that might have just been done before possibly taking time out of your day to save something that's already been saved. Use CTRL+F to search the list of titles.

Banned Games and Animations

These are games/animations not allowed in Flashpoint for any reason. You can make an effort to get them working in Flashpoint if you want, but you may not request or curate them.

  • Games/animations that are still on sale, we will not distribute currently paid content. (Don't forget that some games start in web browsers for free then get paid versions later, the web browser version would be allowed in Flashpoint in this case; be sure to check the history before you archive.)
  • Games that require a server and have zero single player content. The amount of work it takes to preserve these is too high relative to what else we can be working on.
  • Any outright emulation of a commercial game (Such as a swf of Contra which contains the Contra ROM image). Ports of games are absolutely fine, but games that are a ROM wrapped in an emulator are not allowed unless they contain only non-commercial games and/or allow you to load your own.
  • Videos embedded in SWF files. If it plays perfectly fine in VLC Media Player, it doesn't belong in Flashpoint; please upload it to the Internet Archive instead.
    • This means that your curation can't be only a video embedded in a SWF. Games, animations and websites that use video are allowed, and you should include the video files and/or SWFs containing video in the curation.
  • Any game from XForm Games (At their request)
  • Windows 93 (At their request)
  • Dragon Ball Devolution and other games from www.txori.com (At their request)
  • Any game developed by Nitrome (At their request)
  • Flash Flash Revolution (At their request)
  • iLL WiLL PrEss, Neurotically Yours (At their request)

It should go without saying that blatantly illegal games/animations are not allowed, either.

What is a Curation?

Flashpoint is not just a collection of files; it is a museum of playable web games. As in any other museum, each item needs to be curated before it can be put on display. Curating for Flashpoint is more than downloading an SWF, dropping it off in the Discord and expecting it to appear in the next update. Instead, you'll need to put together an archive file (ZIP, 7Z, etc) called a curation.

To make a curation from scratch, first create a new folder with any name (preferably the name of the game you'd like to save, but it doesn't matter). Inside of that folder, you'll add a screenshot and logo, a meta file containing metadata about the game, and a content folder containing all of the files needed to run the game; all of these are required. The following sections will explain each of them in detail. You can download an example curation ZIP file to see what a completed curation folder looks like. Note that you should not have both meta.txt and meta.yaml in your finished curation; using only one will suffice.

To make this process easier and reduce errors, a smaller, for-curators version of Flashpoint named Flashpoint Core was created with a special tab for curating named the "Curate" tab. This tab will allow you to automatically make new curations with the "New Curation" button, edit their logos, screenshots, and metadata quickly, and test games with the "Run" button at the bottom of each curation. You still need to manually add the content folder to curations made this way. You can download Flashpoint Core from the bottom of the downloads page, and new curations you make will be stored in a folder named "Curations" wherever you extracted Flashpoint Core. See the Curation Tutorial for more information about Flashpoint Core.

Content

All content for each curation must be placed inside a content folder, then arranged in the same way that they would be placed in Flashpoint proper from the "Server/htdocs" folder - the best practice is to try and recreate the same structure that the game had on the internet. For example, if a game was hosted at http://uploads.ungrounded.net/59000/59593_alien_booya202c.swf you would create the folders in the format shown in the top example in the image below. If you cannot find the full url the game is hosted on, a secondary format is acceptable - a domain folder, a folder with the game's name, then the game files, displayed as the second example. Note that if you are using Flashpoint Core, you will still have to make this folder yourself.

Some games request files from other domains. If this is the case, you can include more than one domain folder inside of the content folder.

You might also notice that some games in Flashpoint use a domain called localflash instead of a website domain. This is a legacy practice, and it is not used anymore unless the source files come from a CD, ZIP file, or other offline location.

Examples

Logos must be in PNG format. A good logo shows the entire title of a game or something else that is representative of the game. It must be named logo.png and placed in your curation folder. You can add a logo to a curation in Flashpoint Core by dragging it on to the left panel above Drop an image here to add it.

Recommended tools for grabbing logos include Snipping Tool and Paint, both included in Windows 10 by default. You're free to use other tools, but remember, always save logos in PNG format.

Examples

Screenshot

Screenshots must be in PNG format. A good screenshot is a credible 'action shot' of the game (no menus or obvious tutorials). It must be named ss.png in your curation folder. You can add a screenshot to a curation in Flashpoint Core by dragging it on to the right panel above Drop an image here to add it.

Recommended tools for grabbing screenshots include Snipping Tool and Paint, both included in Windows 10 by default. You're free to use other tools, but remember, always save screenshots in PNG format.

Examples

Metadata

The metadata for a game must be included in a file named meta.txt, meta.yaml, or meta.yml in your curation folder. It is recommended that you use Flashpoint Core's built-in "Curate" tab for entering in metadata instead of writing this file manually as this can significantly reduce errors. If you choose to create a YAML/YML file instead of a plain TXT file, check out the YAML Format article.

The table below shows all of the fields that you can include in your meta files or type into Flashpoint Core. All fields should be included if they are applicable. Pay special attention to fields marked with * - they are required fields. If a field is not applicable and not required for your curation, either omit it or leave it blank.

Many fields allow multiple values. If they do, separate each value with a semicolon and a space. For example, Value1; Value2.

Some fields have only a few possible values to choose from. If this is the case, they'll be shown in the table as a bulleted list, with the default value in italics. If you omit this type of field, it will take on its default value automatically.

If you're not sure how to use a metadata field, see the example meta file.

List of Metadata Fields

Field Explanation
Title* Always required. The name of the game, in full. When in doubt, use the name indicated in the game's logo. Use the game's official title; don't add anything to it, such as a franchise or series name, if it doesn't exist in the game's title.
Alternate Titles Alternate titles that can also be used to refer to the game. For example, an alternate name for Gateway II is Gateway 2. You also may use this to indicate the title of the game in other languages. Normal rules pertaining to Title field do not apply. Use ; to separate multiple values.
Library* Required if you are curating an animation for Flashpoint Theatre. Possible values:
  • Arcade: This is a game that should go in Flashpoint Arcade (the Games section).
  • Theatre: This is an animation that should go in Flashpoint Theatre (the Animations section).
Series The name of the specific-to-webgames series. This is for games that have prequels and sequels, such as Run, Run 2, and Run 3. Make sure you're not confusing a game's series with it's franchises (e.g., The Fairly OddParents or Pokemon), which go into the Tags field.
Developer The name of the developer(s) who made the game. Separate multiple developers with ; . Make sure that each person or game studio actually developed the game; sponsorship does not count. Look for a Credits section! If a developer is known by multiple names or aliases, you may separate each with a slash, like this: Kajenx / Lucas Paakh
Publisher The site that published (sponsored/branded) the game. Look for a "More Games" link or prominent logo; it will probably lead to the Publisher's website.
Play Mode Can be either one, two, or all three of these values:
  • Single Player: A solo experience from start to finish.
  • Cooperative: Like "Single Player", but with others being in the journey of finishing the game from start to finish.
  • Multiplayer: Playing against someone else or multiple players in a session, competing to win.

For example, a fighting game where you can play against another player or the computer would be Single Player; Multiplayer.

Status*
  • Playable: Fully playable from beginning to end. Not hacked or modified.
  • Partial: Game is missing files, impacting the player's experience. You'll need to elaborate further in the Notes.
  • Hacked: Game has been hacked or modified to work in Flashpoint. Use the Notes field to explain what has been modified. If you hack a game, you MUST also include the original, unhacked file(s) in your curation, even if they are just extras.

If a game is both Hacked and Partial, its status would be Hacked; Partial. If a game is playable from beginning to end, but missing assets impact the player's experience, then its status would be Playable; Partial.

Release Date The date that the game was first released. Use YYYY-MM-DD format, with whatever precision is available. For example, if you knew a game was released in January 2010, you could say 2010-01.
Version The version number of the game. This is for revisions of the same game, not games in series. Leave this field blank if the game's version number is not clearly shown somewhere.
Languages* Required if you are curating a game that supports languages other than English.

A list of all languages that the game supports. Use ISO 639-1 language codes and separate each code with ; . For example, if a game supports English and Spanish, you would say en; es. Defaults to en.

Extreme* Required if you are curating something unsuitable for minors. Possible values:
  • Yes: Indicates that a game is unsuitable for minors because of excessive violence, sexual content, or other mature content.
  • No: Indicates that a game is suitable for minors.
Tags* See Tags. Separate multiple tags with a semicolon and a space, for example: Platformer; Puzzle. The section headings (Action, Adventure, etc) may be used as tags as well. Pay special attention to the tags in the Content Warnings section, because these are required if they apply to the game you are curating.
Source* The URL of the webpage where you found the game. Full URLs are preferable. If you found the game on the Wayback Machine, follow this format: Original URL (via Wayback Machine). If you found the game somewhere other than a webpage, use whatever format you find appropriate to indicate the source.
Platform* The web game technology that the game uses. See the Appendix for a list of supported platforms. Note that a game is only considered to be HTML5 if it does not require any browser plugin.

If your curation omits this field, the Platform is assumed to be Flash. This field is required for all non-Flash curations.

Application Path* The path to the application to use to launch the game. This path is relative to the main Flashpoint folder. For example, the Application Path for most Flash games is FPSoftware\Flash\flashplayer_32_sa.exe.

If the Application Path is omitted, it will be automatically chosen based on the game's Platform. See the Appendix for a list of default Application Paths for each Platform. We recommend that you always use this field.

Launch Command* The location of your file inside the content folder, replicating an internet URL. This is case-sensitive. Never have https:// at the beginning of a Launch Command, as it will not work properly; ALWAYS use http://. Flashpoint DOES NOT have HTTPS support. If you found the game on the Wayback Machine, the launch command is the original URL, without the web.archive.org section (same goes for the folder structure inside the content folder).

This field is always required. If you're having trouble figuring out the correct launch command for your curation, see the Curation Tutorial.

Notes A message that will appear on the right panel of the launcher. Use this field for important information about the game not explained in the game itself. For example, Notes can provide details about cheat codes, missing assets, hacked files, or unimplemented features. If you are creating the meta file manually and need to create multiple lines for Notes, use the pipe symbol: Notes: | , then indent each line. To learn how to do this correctly, see the example meta file.
Original Description If a game's webpage contains a description of the game or its controls, you may copy and paste it into this field. If you can't find a description on the game's webpage, you can check the page source for the <meta name="description"> HTML tag. If you are creating the meta file manually and need to create multiple lines for the Original Description, use the pipe symbol: Original Description: | , then indent each line.
Curation Notes Use this field to show a message to BlueMaxima if he needs to add your curation in a different way from usual. Note that Flashpoint Core currently does NOT save this field properly, so you will have to put it in your meta file manually. For multi-line Curation Notes, use the pipe symbol: Curation Notes: | , then indent each line.
Additional Applications Use this section to add a message that pops up before a game runs, a link to an Extras folder, or an alternate version of a game. For more details, see the Appendix.

A Good Meta File

Title: Alien Hominid
Series: 
Developer: The Behemoth
Publisher: Newgrounds.com
Play Mode: Single Player
Status: Playable
Release Date: 2002-08-07
Version: 
Extreme: No
Tags: Shooter
Source: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/59593
Platform: Flash
Application Path: FPSoftware\Flash\flashplayer_32_sa.exe
Launch Command: http://uploads.ungrounded.net/59000/59593_alien_booya202c.swf
Notes: |
  This is our sample curation in Flashpoint Core.
  Multiple lines in notes and descriptions are cool.
Curation Notes: Thanks for your work!

Blank Meta File

Title: 
Alternate Titles: 
Library: 
Series: 
Developer: 
Publisher: 
Play Mode: 
Status: 
Release Date: 
Version: 
Languages: 
Extreme: 
Tags: 
Source: 
Platform: 
Application Path: 
Launch Command: 
Notes: 
Original Description: 
Curation Notes: 
Additional Applications: 

Testing

You'll need Flashpoint Core to test your games in a lightweight copy of Flashpoint you can afford to break.

If you've created your curation from scratch, click one of the buttons on the right-hand side of the "Curate" tab to load it into Flashpoint Core. From there, you'll be able to edit, import, and export the curation.

To test a curation in Flashpoint Core, locate the respective curation in the "Curate" tab and press the "Run" button at the bottom of it. Make sure you physically play through part of the game when testing it.

All games should be tested in Flashpoint; if not Core, then at least Ultimate. Just opening the game in a projector or browser is not enough of a test.

Here is the full example ZIP file. (This was also linked earlier, in the Overview section).

Packing it up

You've finished your first curation! Now follow the instructions below to make sure it gets added to Flashpoint.

Becoming a Trial Curator

Before you can officially submit curations, you will need permission from the Flashpoint Staff. Head to the Flashpoint Discord server and upload your submission to the #curator-auditions channel.

If your file is too large for Discord, please upload it to our site Bluepload instead. Once the file has finished uploading, paste the link to the file into #curator-auditions.

If you have any questions, ask in #curator-lounge and a Curator will answer them. No discussion is allowed in #curator-auditions - you should only post your curation there.

After you have posted your curation in #curator-auditions, a Curator will check it. This can take some time, so please be patient.

  • If you see a green checkmark underneath your submission, that means your submission passed our test. You are now a Trial Curator - you can officially submit your curation!
  • If you see red X underneath your submission, that means something is wrong with your curation. Check the #curator-lounge channel for an explanation of how to fix your curation.

Submitting a Curation

Now that you have the Trial Curator role, you need to upload your curation again to officially submit it. You have two main options for how to do this: using Discord, or using one of our upload sites. Choose one option - don't upload both to Discord and our website.

Uploading via Discord

If your curation is under 50MB, this is the easiest option.

  1. If you are submitting a Flash game, head to the #flash-game-curations channel. If the game uses a separate technology, go to #other-game-curations. If it's an animation and not a game, go to #animation-curations.
  2. Once you're in the right channel, drag your curation onto your Discord window. Then type the title of the game/animation you are submitting and click "Upload" to submit the curation.

Uploading via our website

You may use one of our web services to upload curations instead of using Discord. Unlike Discord, there is no size limit for curations uploaded via our sites. Note that you are still required to post the name of your submission in the appropriate Discord channel. See below for more details.

  1. If you are submitting a Flash game, head to the Flash Curations upload site. If the game uses a separate technology, go to the Other Game Curations site. If it's an animation and not a game, go to the Animation Curations site.
  2. After your curation has finished uploading, go back to Discord. If you are submitting a Flash game, head to the #flash-game-curations channel. If the game uses a separate technology, go to #other-game-curations. If it's an animation and not a game, go to #animation-curations.
  3. Once you're in the right channel, post the title of the game/animation you just uploaded. You don't need to provide a link as long as you uploaded it in the right place.

After Submitting

What Happens After I Submit My Curations?

At some point, BlueMaxima will download curations from the submission channels, add them to Flashpoint, and mark them with the Tools.PNG emoji. This means that every submission above it, including the marked one, have been added.

If there are no issues with your submission, the game or animation will be available with the next release. If there are any issues with the submission, you will be pinged to fix it.

Once a new release is in the works, a cut-off date for submissions will be posted. Any curations not already submitted by that date will not be in the next release. You would have to wait for the next version for their inclusion.

Editing Your Curations

If you notice a mistake with your curation after you've submitted it, read our article on Metadata Edits and head over to the #pending-fixes channel in our Discord so you can make necessary changes.

If you're wondering whether your curation has been added to Flashpoint yet, look for a Tools.PNG emoji reaction anywhere below your post in the Curations channel.

Having Problems?

Because we can't remind you enough already, join our Discord and ask away in the #curator-lounge channel.

Appendix I: Flashpoint Platforms

This is page of all web game/animation technologies ("Platforms") supported by Flashpoint.

Here's what each column in each table means:

  • Logo: The logo that represents each technology.
  • Short Name: The name of the technology displayed in Flashpoint Launcher.
  • Official Name: The official name(s) of the technology. Useful for searching for information about the technology or looking for games online.
  • Entry Count: Number of game/animations for this technology in Flashpoint. Only updated every once in a while, so it may not be 100% accurate.
  • Default Application: The path to the default application used to launch a game of this technology.
  • Curation Tutorial: A link to a curation tutorial for this technology. Some tutorials are not available yet, so please help create them if you can!
  • Common File Extensions: List of the common file extensions associated with each platform.
Logo Short Name Official Name Entry Count Default Application Curation Tutorial Common File Extensions
Flash Logo.png
Flash Adobe Flash Player 67265 FPSoftware\Flash\flashplayer_32_sa.exe Curation Tutorial, Flash Curation .swf
HTML5 Logo.png
HTML5 HTML, HTML5, WebGL, or WebAssembly 5107 FPSoftware\Basilisk-Portable\Basilisk-Portable.exe HTML5 Curation .html, .htm, .php, .aspx
Shockwave Logo.png
Shockwave Adobe Shockwave Player 2965 FPSoftware\Shockwave\PJ101\SPR.exe Shockwave Curation .dcr, .dir, .dxr, .cct, .cst, .cxt
Unity Logo.png
Unity Unity Web Player 1016 FPSoftware\startUnity.bat Unity Curation .unity3d
Java Logo.png
Java Java Applets 786 FPSoftware\startJava.bat Java Curation .class, .jar
Silverlight Logo.png
Silverlight Microsoft Silverlight 199 FPSoftware\Basilisk-Portable\Basilisk-Portable.exe Silverlight Curation .xap
3DVIA Player Logo.png
3DVIA Player 3DVIA Player, 3D Life Player, Virtools Player 180 FPSoftware\Basilisk-Portable\Basilisk-Portable.exe 3DVIA Curation .cmo, .vmo
Vitalize Logo.png
Vitalize Clickteam Vitalize! 176 FPSoftware\Basilisk-Portable\Basilisk-Portable.exe Vitalize Curation .ccn
VRML Logo.png
VRML VRML 156 See the Curation Tutorial VRML Curation .wrl, .wrz
ShiVa3D Logo.png
ShiVa3D ShiVa3D Plugin 142 FPSoftware\startShiVa.bat ShiVa3D Curation .stk
Viscape Logo.png
Viscape Superscape Viscape 103 FPSoftware\startSVR.bat Viscape Curation .svr, .xvr, .ssv
ActiveX Logo.png
ActiveX Each game generally uses its own ActiveX control name 99 FPSoftware\startActiveX.bat ActiveX Curation .cab, .dll, .ocx
Authorware Logo.png
Authorware Authorware Web Player 96 FPSoftware\Basilisk-Portable\Basilisk-Portable.exe Authorware Curation .aam, .aas
Tcl Logo.png
Tcl Tcl Plugin 36 FPSoftware\Basilisk-Portable\Basilisk-Portable.exe Tcl Curation .tcl
3D Groove GX Logo.png
3D Groove GX 3D Groove GX 32 FPSoftware\startGroove.bat No more games available to curate .grv
Hypercosm Logo.png
Hypercosm Hypercosm Player 16 FPSoftware\FlashpointSecurePlayer.exe Hypercosm Curation .hcvm
PopCap Plugin Logo.png
PopCap Plugin PopCap Plugin 12 FPSoftware\Basilisk-Portable\Basilisk-Portable.exe All games already curated .cab
Burster Logo.png
Burster Burster Plugin 11 FPSoftware\startBurster.bat Burster Curation .blend, .blendz
Pulse Logo.png
Pulse Pulse Player 10 FPSoftware\FlashpointSecurePlayer.exe Pulse Curation .pwc, .pws
GoBit Logo.png
GoBit GoBit Games Plugin 2 FPSoftware\Basilisk-Portable\Basilisk-Portable.exe All games already curated .cab

Appendix II: Additional Applications

The Additional Applications metadata field can be used to add Messages, Extras, or Alternates to a curation. If you're using Flashpoint Core, you can add these through the "New App", "Add Extras", and "Add Message" buttons at the bottom of each curation in the "Curate" tab. Each of these items is explained in detail below.

Messages

Use the Message sub-field to add a short, one-line message that pops up before a game runs. You'll want to use this if there's something that Flashpoint users need to know before playing a game. If you have less-important information about the game, use the Notes field instead. You can only have one message per curation.

In Flashpoint Core, use the "Add Message" button at the bottom of the curation to add a message.

You can also add a Message to your meta file manually. For example, here is the Additional Applications field of a game that starts in fullscreen and is difficult to close:

Additional Applications:
    Message: This game starts in fullscreen. To exit, alt-tab and close the window in the taskbar.

Extras

Extras allow you to include a folder of bonus materials with your curation. If you would like to include files related to a game that are not required to play it, such as source code or unlockable items, this is how you can do it:

  1. Inside your curation's folder, next to the content folder, create a folder called Extras.
  2. Place all of the bonus materials you would like to include inside of the Extras folder.
  3. In the Notes field, add a short explanation of what's included in the Extras folder.
  4. In Flashpoint Core, press the "Add Extras" button at the bottom of the curation and type gamename into the "Extras Folder" field. For example, if the title of the game was Tokyo Guinea Pop, you would type tokyoguineapop. Do not edit the "Heading" field!

If you're not using the Curate tab of Flashpoint Core, you can manually add Extras to your meta file. In the Additional Applications field, add an Extras sub-field like this: Extras: gamename.

For example, here is the Additional Applications field of a game called Tokyo Guinea Pop. The curation's Extras folder contains unlockable items from the game's original website.

Additional Applications:
    Extras: tokyoguineapop

When the above curation is imported into Flashpoint, the curation's Extras folder will be renamed to tokyoguineapop and placed in Flashpoint's main Extras folder.

Note that you can only have one Extras folder per curation.

Alternates

Alternates allow you to add alternate versions of a game into the same curation. This is commonly used to add older versions of a game, alternate languages of a game, or hacked versions from sites like Arcade Prehacks. Note that all of the files required to run an Alternate should be included in the content folder of your curation, along with the files for the main version.

If you're using the Curate tab of Flashpoint Core, you can use the "New App" button at the bottom of the curation to add alternates. Provide a short name for the alternate version in the "Heading" field. For example, you might say Hacked Version or Version 0.5b. Be sure to fill out the Application Path and Launch Command fields, then test the alternate thoroughly.

You can also manually add an alternate to your meta file under the Additional Applications field. For example, the curation of a game called Drop 3 includes a hacked version. Here is the Additional Applications field of this curation:

Additional Applications:
    Hacked Version:
        Application Path: FPSoftware\Flash\flashplayer_32_sa.exe
        Launch Command: http://www.irregulargames.com/drop3/drop3-hacked.swf