No i will NOT install your frameworks

Posted by
August 30th, 2012 4:51 pm

In the interest of less typing, first, read my post from last ludum dare on this topic, as it covers 90% of what I want to say right now.

Basicly though, the short of it is, if your game REQUIRES a setup procedure, or requires me to go out and install some other libraries or runtimes on my system itself before I can play, I will (most other people will too) click the “back” button and move on to the next game in the list of 1400.  This goes for you too love2d people! (ESPECIALLY love2d people!) Even if i did manage to figure out how to get the mess of severely outdated libraries love uses on my system without destroying my entire OS I would still have to deal with the fact that love versions don’t work with games made in other versions, so no matter which one I install it would only work for half the games!  Pack the interpreter for love, it’s a TINY set of executables and libraries, i showed a few people how to do this last LD and it seemed to be a huge success, a lot of people were able to play the game that otherwise wouldn’t have.

To add on to this as well:

* No I will NOT install a different web browser, if your game has issues in firefox I talk about the issues in firefox and rate it based on that, sure chrome may be a better experience in your game but I don’t use chrome.  If it has MAJOR issues under firefox i just leave a note saying it doesn’t run on firefox and move on. I’ve seen a lot of instances of people pointing out bugs/lag issues that break the game and the response basicly being “oh…just test it on chrome”

* No, I will not upgrade my system core (libc, libstdc++,etc…) just because you compiled with the latest git version of gcc and don’t want to take 10 seconds to copy those shared object files into the tarball.  “just upgrade gcc/libc!” as a fix to get your game working, leaving me with a month worth of tracking down every package that breaks and bug testing all my code against a new gcc version is not going to cut it.

* No, I will not install sun java 7.  Seriously, unless you have some sort of HUGE PRESSING REASON to be compiling for sun java 7, set your compile target for java 6, now magially those 90% of users complaining in your games page about “crashes on start” or “wouldn’t run” can run the game just fine!  Also stop using the non-standard java extensions for different sound types included in sun and microsoft’s jre’s only, it breaks your game under the default vm’s on android, linux, and basicly any system using anything but those two vm’s

A few extra tips to add on to the ones in the linked post:

* Linux Games:  on top of what i already posted last LD (READ THAT POST!!!)  another common mistake i’m noticing is distributing the linux games in zip files.  Remember, zip does not preserve permissions! This means that your executable files will not be executable after download, and you simply have to hope that the user knows how to re-flag the file executable. (you’d be surprised! linux is far more mainstream now, the majority of users do NOT know why that file “just wont run”…even in something here like LD) . The preferred distribution format is .tar.gz , i don’t know offhand the gui programs for linux that can create them but even from a shell it’s as simple as

tar -pczf filename.tar.gz /folder/path

* Naming your links:  Please stop simply calling everything “web” it makes filtering for platforms next to impossible, and LD’s search function next to useless.  At least make them say, “web(html5)” or “web(unity)” so that when i’m  browsing html5 games on my android or such every other “web” link isn’t silverlight or unity telling me “lol…i trolld you, i don’t have a web plugin that works on your device!”.  There’s also quite a few games that named their links “windows” “mac” “linux” and all three of them point to a windows executable, sometimes with a blurb that it “hopefully” works under WINE.

* Don’t put things like “sorry linux users”  “sorry mac users” “maybe next time i’ll do html5” or things like that in your description text, it makes your game come up when filtering for those platforms and makes the ludum dare search feature entirely useless.

* Make sure your zip/tarball has a well named folder your entire game is contained under in it, do not have all your files simply sitting on the top level.  there’s 1400 games to test, most games do this properly but a few still do not, if you dont contain your stuff in a folder it will happily unzip all your files all over other peopel’s test directories, generally containing other games we’re testing or want to keep around to try farther/review, and now instead of just having a folder to remove i get to hunt and peck files, sometimes hundreds of them, from the main directory trying not to delete the ones i meant to keep…


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11 Responses to “No i will NOT install your frameworks”

  1. Zelen3d says:

    Actually, this post is great! More people should see this.

  2. andreyin says:

    Great post!

    I always search for the least rated games to try out, and so many of them had problems like that. Most of them wouldn’t even open.

    I honestly don’t care about having to quick install a thing or two to make a game work, but if you’re sending a game that you KNOW requires something installed (like the .net framework), just PLEASE put a link on the description or zip the installer with your game. Maybe it would be best to use a quick installer creator, there are a bunch around.

  3. vilya says:

    Well said, couldn’t agree more!

    Great point about specifying HTML5/Unity/whatever next to the “Web” link too – I’d not thought of that. Just gone and updated the link on my entry page now (it’s a HTML5 game in case you’re wondering).

  4. mdkess says:

    Almost all of these things caught me – especially the Java 7 thing. Man, I had no idea. The big lesson that I learned is that if you’re making a Java game, release a Java 6 targeted Java Web Start (JNLP) application – all that you have to do is write a simple XML file, and you are good to go.

    Also, I didn’t know that zip files don’t maintain permissions – good to know!

  5. sfernald says:

    I kinda get where you’re going, but if you can’t get a .love file running on your system, then maybe you are on the wrong site. We are supposed to be developers and capable people, not idiot end users.

    • Raptor85 says:

      It’s not “getting it working” it’s when you come across the persons game who only distributed the .love file and didn’t bother packaging it, do you give that ONE developer 3 hours of your time modifying YOUR computer to suit his game….or do you move on and rate a few dozen other games instead., because Frankly there’s 1400 games here, if you can’t package them in a way that’s easy to use the vast majority of people will just skip it instead of messing around with getting everything installed and working.

      Once they’re informed it’s an issue it takes 30 seconds of effort on the part of the person packaing the game to make it runnable everywhere without wasting tons of time and installing tons of crap, if they can’t spend a few seconds giving me the files I need to run their game, than so be it, there’s a lot of other games to rate that are packaged in a way that runs right out of the tarball/zip.

    • Jorjon says:

      I thought we were out of the age where we needed to install drivers to play a game (I’m looking at you, MOUSE.SYS)

    • sorceress says:

      if you can’t get a .love file running on your system, then maybe you are on the wrong site. We are supposed to be developers and capable people, not idiot end users.

      There’s a big difference between being able, and being willing.

      The truth is that I’m not willing to install a framework, just to try one or two ludum dare games, a couple of times a year. I don’t want my computer cluttered up with frameworks, as in my experience they seem to affect system performance (maybe because of how they sprawl out over the registry? idk). It has taken me years getting my installation just how I like it, where everything runs painlessly, and I’d prefer it to stay that way. As an experienced computer user, I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from.

      So if I am to try a game I want something that I can double click, which doesn’t install anything, nor require me to install anything.

      There are plenty of games for me to try here. I can afford to skip over those that expect me to change my installation.

  6. quasist says:

    Hi! Is my linux entry version packed/released “right” in your opinion?

    • ratboy2713 says:

      Well, since you said that without providing a link to your game page or a description of how you packaged it, thus requiring me to copy your name and go through the search process in order to find it, I would assume not.

      The key here is you doing the work so that the people you are asking to try your game don’t have to.

    • Raptor85 says:

      you have a few issues, for one you dont have a containing folder so when you unpack it it just dumps into current directory, there’s only 5 files though so it’s not too bad. (still a little annoying)

      you linked against a stable version of libc that pretty much everyone should have, so you’re good there, but one thing you did miss is you’re using libSDL and libSDL_mixer, and the vorbis libs. While these are more common than some other libraries you will still run into people without them, so about all you’re missing as far as packing dependencies is,, and whichever parts of libvorbis or tremor you require and provide a small “” file that’s simply

      LD_LIBRARY_PATH=”./:$PATH” ./llcpcls_64

      so anyone without system copies of those libs or with versions of those libs without the compiled support you need (not all copies of SDL_mixer have vorbis support, it’s optional so some systems may play without music, it at least fails “softly” since it dynamicly loads it)

      Your game though doesnt have many dependencies and the ones you do have are very common to actually have installed, particularly on linux (not commonly installed on windows though) so that on it’s own makes your game significantly easier for most people to run.

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