Support Pack Tutorial
This page is a basic tutorial on how Flashpoint works and how to curate support packs for addition to Flashpoint. Support packs are packs focusing on adding or adding to technologies.
How Flashpoint Works
Flashpoint is more than just a program to play files; rather, it's a combination of two programs working in parallel:
- a web server, which hosts game files from an internal or external drive and pretends to be the original Internet source the games ran off of,
- and a launcher, the user interface to select and play games from.
Flashpoint itself also comes in three primary versions:
- Infinity, the version that downloads games and animations from a server as you play or view them,
- Ultimate, the gigantic version with every game and animation included and ready for offline play and viewing,
- and Core, the version with only a few games for testing, most often used by Curators to add games.
Infinity will download files as you play games that request them, while Ultimate and Core know the files are already there. All three make the files believe they're being ran on their original source. This has numerous benefits, the two most important being bypassing sitelocks and supporting multi-asset games.
Setting Up Our Software
To download technology files from the Internet, you'll need:
- Flashpoint Core, used to add and test new technologies. It can be found at the bottom of our Downloads page. DO NOT use Flashpoint Infinity to curate.
- A modern browser such as Chrome or Firefox, which can be used to find and grab the technology files, mostly found within installer EXEs or MSIs.
Download Flashpoint Core, extract it to an internal or external drive, run it via its shortcut in the extracted folder, and make sure that the included games play properly before you continue.
Finding the Source of a Technology
Be sure to check the Technologies to Add and Curation Format#Appendix I: Flashpoint Platforms pages before settling on a technology! Otherwise, it might be a waste of time and effort to save a technology that's already been saved.
As a tutorial, we'll start by curating the simplest type of technology: an NPAPI plugin only requiring one DLL that works offline, specifically LiveMath Plugin. LiveMath Plugin may need to be enabled in a browser to get it to play (this tutorial won't work with another player such as the LiveMath Viewer).
1. Find and download the technology. In some cases, this involves going to the Wayback Machine, especially if the technology is from the 1990s or early 2000s. LiveMath Plugin is available [here].
2. If the technology is built into an program, such as a EXE or MSI (Windows), a DMG, PKG or ZIP (Mac) or a TAR.GZ or RUN (Linux) file, open the installer in an program (one may need to be downloaded) that can look inside the files, then locate the technology files.
3. Create a folder of the name of the technology in FPSoftware\Browser-Plugins, located in the Flashpoint folder, in the following style: LiveMathPlugin. Move or copy the technology files to it.
4. Go to FPSoftware\Basilisk-Portable, then open Basilisk-Portable.ini in a text editor. Go to ;(plugins path), then add the plugin directory to the path via a variable called FP_(plugin)_PATH, again, using a short version of the technology name instead of (plugin), fully in uppercase and without spaces. For LiveMath Plugin, this would be FP_LIVEMATH_PATH=%FP_BROWSER_PLUGINS%\LiveMathPlugin. Go to MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH and also add the variable name to it, starting with a % symbol and, unless placing it at the end, a semicolon at the end. For example, with all parts, it would be %FP_LIVEMATH_PATH; for LiveMath Plugin. Save the file. The text editor can be closed.
5. Create at least one curation in the technology to test. Go to Curation Tutorial if you don't know how to make one. If the technology does not work, a special .bat file may need to be created for it. To do so, create a file in FPSoftware, and name it in the following style: startLiveMathPlugin.bat (please note LiveMath Plugin does not require a .bat file). Here's a short example:
@ECHO OFF PUSHD %~dp0 FlashpointSecurePlayer burster "%~1" IF %ERRORLEVEL% EQU -2 ( ECHO MsgBox "You cannot run multiple instances of Flashpoint Secure Player." > %TMP%\TMP.VBS WSCRIPT /nologo %TMP%\TMP.VBS DEL %TMP%\TMP.VBS ) POPD
6. Once done, find an picture for the technology to use as the icon for the technology, or related to the technology, such as the company or the most prominent program if you can't find one. This may require some image editing, which is out of scope for this article. Export it to Data\Logos.
7. Create the directories Data\Logos and FPSoftware\Basilisk-Portable separately, and the final picture and the technology files into them respectively. Place these directories into an empty 7Z file, preferably named after the technology, such as "LiveMath Plugin support pack" for LiveMath.
8. Submit the support pack to #pending-fixes on our Discord. Give a description on how to add the support pack. For instance, "LiveMath Plugin support pack - Add FP_LIVEMATH_PATH=%FP_BROWSER_PLUGINS%\LiveMathPlugin to ;(plugins path) and ;%FP_LIVEMATH_PATH% to MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH in FPSoftware/Basilisk-Portable/Basilisk-Portable.ini".
9. Check if the .7z is 50MB or less. If so, click the plus button on Discord, open the file and submit. If not, submit it here if it is 1GB or less. Otherwise, upload it to another cloud storage platform, such as MEGA or Google Drive, and add a link to the uploaded file to the message once it has uploaded. It is recommended to highlight the link and copy and paste it.
10. Curate the curations you have made in the technology like any other technology. Also submit a link, along with a label, to the support pack message. Go to More, then Copy message link, to copy the link. You may submit it in a separate message or the same message as the curations.
Congratulations! Your submitted support pack and curations will appear in the next version of Flashpoint.