Difference between revisions of "Viscape Curation"

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Revision as of 20:03, 5 May 2020

This guide will show you how to curate Viscape using Flashpoint Core.

Superscape Visacpe is a 3D viewer released in 1996 with the main goal being creating virtual worlds users could explore. We accept all kinds of Viscape content, not just games and animations, and this is especially true here, as not many traditional games or animations exist for it, being its library mostly comprised of Applications and 3D models of virtual worlds.

Before You Start

This tutorial will assume you've read the standard Curation Tutorial, which is highly recommended to go through. Try curating a Flash game before moving on to other platforms like Viscape.

Recognizing Viscape

Button typically placed in the page before the plug-in was needed.

In older pages, you could find an option to enter a "Virtual world" or "3D Website/Page" or something along those lines. Most have a sort of "buffer page" where you'll be asked to download the plugin in order to view it's 3D content, usually accompanied with the Superscape Viscape prompt button most pages used, but not always.

If your browser allows automatic downloads, when entering the page with Viscape content, it'll download the content file, or have a download link, which can have one of 3 known file extensions;

  • .ssv - Stands for "Virtual World Compressed", this is by far the most common file type you'll find, as it was much more preferred due to it's small size due to internet speeds in the early years of the internet.
  • .vrt - Stands for "Virtual World", this is the original file type used, that fell out of favor at the start, so you're more likely to find these in the older apps, although not guarantied.
  • .svr - Another rarer file type that can be used.

Before proceeding with curation, you need to keep in mind that there are two main types of Viscape apps;

  • Standalone apps - These are similar to most Flash Games, where the Viscape file can be removed from the page and run separately without missing any content or important details. The whole experience is contained within 1 or more Viscape files.
  • Integrated apps - These Viscape files are part of pages/games that can have HTML and/or Flash components, all combined into one. These need to be saved as a whole. Saving only the Viscape portion would be like only saving a cutscene from a game.

Notes

Before you begin, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • This is an old plug-in from the late 90's, so many of the pages that hosted them might no longer be online, and if they are the Viscape files might be gone.
  • Most of what you'll find will probably be saved on the Wayback Machine. Due to the way it works, saving only what's loaded at the beggining, multiple assets might not have been saved, resulting in missing parts. These pages/apps should still be saved, but there will be a lot of partial curations, and you should note what's present/missing from it.
  • A lot of these had links to other websites, separate from the Viscape app, these can be ignored and left as 404s.
  • This tech has been recently added, and there are still from issues with how Flashpoint runs it, such as .ssv and .vrt files not always functioning, older apps needing a missing older version of the plug-in to launch properly, and HTML/Javascript buttons to interact with elements in Viscape not working.

Curation Steps

Follow the Curation Format to add metadata for your game and create its correct content folder. The Platform should be Viscape and the Application Path should be FPSoftware\startSVR.bat.

The Launch Command you should use depends on the type of game you're curating;

When testing the game, you'll be asked if you want to use your 3D graphics card, or run in CPU mode when you launch Viscape. Either option works, although you might encounter some texture glitches and speed differences, so use the one that seems to work best for you.

Wrapping It Up

When you're finished testing, export the curation and name the .7z file with the name of the app, and submit it to the #other-game-curations channel of the Flashpoint Discord. Use the Viscape emoji when submitting.