The Excavation

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Re: The Excavation

Postby burningpet » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:51 pm

How hard is it to make, for the serverside?
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Re: The Excavation

Postby YetiChow » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:48 am

muzzy wrote:
burningpet wrote:We really should automate uploading of buried towns. so players will always find new towns buried down.


What could possibly go wrong?

*uploads a few hundred hellish nightmarish bullshit towns with just ladders connecting the heavens to the depths of hell*


What's to stop people doing that already though?

I know it would be easier for lazy people with automated uploads, and yes it seriously does need to be fixed; but there's a better way to say so... like, for example, "before that's added, have you considered a way to restrict/stop malicious uploads and modded saves that would crash the game?" Currently it's already a risk, so I don't think that simply re-iterating that risk the way you have makes your point clear; even though I doubt anyone objects to your point I don't see it making a lot of sense when phrased that way.

On that note of preventing game-breaking buried town downloads, would a preview function be possible? Even something as basic as a stat-checker that lists the number of items in the town, number of traps, number of monster-spawning buried items (or the potential number if the items aren't "decided upon" until the buried town is loaded... AFAIK it's decided when the town is buried, but either way would work), number of graves, number of levels etc., and whether the buried town includes any items not recognised by the vanilla game... it wouldn't stop people uploading those kinds of maps, but it would make it a snap to avoid them. Currently there is a description but that can be ignored or faked; if the uploader made a quick count of such things then people would have a reliable way to check the map they're downloading.
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Re: The Excavation

Postby muzzy » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:53 pm

burningpet wrote:How hard is it to make, for the serverside?


There are some questions that need to be answered first, such as if interpreting the bury data is dependent on game data files or not. If bury data cannot be validated without data from the latest patch, it'll have to be updated every single time the game updates. You'd actually have to update the servers BEFORE pushing the patch to the players.

The validator might have to be written in java to use the existing codebase and due to java object serialization, but I have some serious doubts about reusability of the Towns code. The engine doesn't use proper OOP practices such as single responsibility principle, everything's tied together in a huge mess. I'm not sure if the changes required are minor or major, but you might not be able to use the existing buryfile handling code as-is.

Oh, just in case you're thinking of it, there's no chance the serverside code can be written in just PHP. I don't think anyone's been insane enough to implement java's objectstream reading for php.

Blah blah blah. To summarize, I have no idea how hard it'd be to make. But I know it's not a straightforward task, and you'd probably have to run java on the buryfile server.

PS. You might want to consider changing the savefile and buryfile formats eventually to make it easier to write external tools to toy with the game data. Not exactly first thing on the list after you get the new programmer, I believe.
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Re: The Excavation

Postby muzzy » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:17 pm

YetiChow wrote:What's to stop people doing that already though?


Right now, requiring players to take action outside of the game stops people from doing it.

If it's accessible in-game through some menu option, the developers are responsible for the content provided.

If the player gets an obvious an intentionally placed swastika in their map after they choose some in-game option, the game is suddenly illegal in Germany. Now that'd be fascinating, maybe I shouldn't have warned them after all! It would've been super entertaining to watch the situation unfold. I think that would've been enough to get the game pulled off from Steam too...
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Re: The Excavation

Postby YetiChow » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:36 am

muzzy wrote:
YetiChow wrote:What's to stop people doing that already though?


Right now, requiring players to take action outside of the game stops people from doing it.

If it's accessible in-game through some menu option, the developers are responsible for the content provided.

If the player gets an obvious an intentionally placed swastika in their map after they choose some in-game option, the game is suddenly illegal in Germany. Now that'd be fascinating, maybe I shouldn't have warned them after all! It would've been super entertaining to watch the situation unfold. I think that would've been enough to get the game pulled off from Steam too...


But that's just the thing - you seem to have an axe to grind, you could very easily do those things already. There are reasons (both inside the community and outside of it) you don't, and those reasons are the same for most other players.

Making it automated doesn't add extra risks, it just means there are more opportunities for malicious users to have the idea or put it into practice. The chance of any individual user being malicious is the same; it's only that there would be more users of the upload system and so a higher chance of malicious content.

The developers of a program are not responsible for user-created content - people drawing swastikas doesn't make MS Paint or Minecraft illegal in Germany; and not even the fact that players can accidentally download a swastika-laden image or Minecraft map changes that. If the Devs had laced the core game with swastikas then it's a different story, but UGC isn't directly attributable to the Devs.

In other words: this is a classic risk/reward calculation, and the vast majority of people agree that the benefits of UGC in games far outweighs the risks. Risks that can reasonably be accounted for and dealt (such as obvious and intentional spamming of traps or graves to make the game unreasonably hard) with are one thing, but nobody can control what people would put in the maps - and in any case, we have moderators to review any complaints and remove any uploads that contain offensive materials or just plain malicious additions. It's also very possible for people to explain in the description why a map contains, say, a humongous graveyard or a trapfield that would make any monster-farmer blush; so that such maps wouldn't be unintentionally game-ruining and also wouldn't be reported wrongfully as being malicious.

There aren't any new risks in the idea as far as I can see; and we've already agreed that the existing risks aren't so great as to make the rewards not-worthwhile. I'll repeat, I think it's a good idea to not automatically have the option enabled but to have an "easy upload" option which players can turn on, and an "easy manual upload" button on the main menu, since those things would mean that players still have to consciously choose to upload in the first place; but apart from that I don't see the point of adding more complexity to the system.
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Re: The Excavation

Postby muzzy » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:02 pm

Yeti: "Axe to grind"? FFS I'm trying to give serious professional advice and you're being an asshat and trying to twist it into something strange. I HAVE NO IDEA WTF YOU'RE TRYING TO IMPLY BUT IT DOESNT SEEM LIKE YOU MEAN ANYTHING NICE.

They reason I'm not doing malicious buryfile attacks is because I'm not that kind of an asshole. The internet, however, is full of that kind of assholes.

Yes, an attack could already be done through townsmods.net, but nobody actually seems to use it. There aren't even any legitimate buryfile uploads happening! Seriously, there are THREE uploads by someone other than burningpet, EVER.

The reason we aren't seeing malicious buryfiles is because NOBODY IS UPLOADING ANY AT ALL.
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Re: The Excavation

Postby YetiChow » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:21 am

muzzy wrote:Yeti: "Axe to grind"? FFS I'm trying to give serious professional advice and you're being an asshat and trying to twist it into something strange. I HAVE NO IDEA WTF YOU'RE TRYING TO IMPLY BUT IT DOESNT SEEM LIKE YOU MEAN ANYTHING NICE.

They reason I'm not doing malicious buryfile attacks is because I'm not that kind of an asshole. The internet, however, is full of that kind of assholes.

Yes, an attack could already be done through townsmods.net, but nobody actually seems to use it. There aren't even any legitimate buryfile uploads happening! Seriously, there are THREE uploads by someone other than burningpet, EVER.

The reason we aren't seeing malicious buryfiles is because NOBODY IS UPLOADING ANY AT ALL.


1. When you said "it would be super entertaining to watch it [Devs getting legal action taken against them] all unfold... maybe even get the game pulled off Steam too", again that comes across as you not liking the game or the Devs. Serious professional advice sounds more like "hey, as a heads up, this is the risk you run..." or, if you're less casual, "so you are aware, doing X creates/exposes you to Y risk...". Again, I get the point of what you're saying, but here's some professional advice of my own (coming from someone who plans to make a career out of written communication): maybe you should stop making those kinds of comments, and stick to objective facts and advice when there's a risk that people will take your statements the wrong way. This doesn't seem like a good time to try the humour/familiarity approach IMO.

2. The fact that you're not an asshat generally was exactly my point - most people who know of townsmods.net aren't asshats or malicious trolls, and the few that do find their way in are ably dealt with by Tom.

3. True, there aren't many files there (although, having personally downloaded a few I can say that "none at all" is hyperbole). That's kind of the whole point of the exercise, to make it easier for people to share their bury files - in fact, if it were set up right then auto-uploaded bury files could bypass the "member's downloads" section and go straight to a central repository, meaning that people wouldn't even need an account to upload. Of course that's where extra checks have to come into the upload process, but again a simple "is modded (Y/N), has X number of graves/traps/items/loot crates/items/whatever, has X number of monsters" description generated by the uploader would let players pick and choose their buried towns if they wish; and any out-and-out malicious uploads like swastikas can be reported easily.
What's that you're eating? A nice, juicy apple? You weren't supposed to eat that you fool, you were supposed to make it into a pie! - last words recorded words of Francis D'Avre before he went looking for snowcherries, but found a hungry Yeti instead.
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