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 The HaloDemoMods.com Plan 
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Delta Force
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
I respect that there are more important things in life; if you have read any of the General Discussion topics I started, you would know this. Everyone mods Halo games as a hobby. Some invest large amounts of time and put forth appreciable (and that particular word does not imply value or the potential for value) works. You have not yet received any compensation for your efforts, so you feel more obligated to stick to them and see them through to completion; you also feel somewhat attached to what you have done because it reflects upon you and what you can do. While I see this as a false representation of true value, because I do not believe that the value of a person's life hinges upon their recognized accomplishments or productivity toward goals of human standards, I see that this is what most people chase after in their lives: this concept that they could somehow gain honor for themselves by somehow making their own lives more meaningful. They do this because they do not recognize the actual meaning of life which has nothing to do with judgements by human standards.

I will not tell you what to do because I am not living your life. I do not know what personal decisions you are making for yourself and other people, whether beneficial or harmful. After all, you can choose to ignore wisdom if you don't have room for it, but that will not help you then, will it! If someone gives you advice, it is up to you to decide if you will listen, based upon your capacities / faculties at the time. A smart person would ignore judgements by human standards because they know that what is really important in life is rather based upon God's standards. You can have real Peace if you learn this. Fear will stick out like a sore thumb and be entirely avoidable then. And you will be freed from slavery to whatever human judgement standards are imposed upon you by your imagination and the wills of those around you. Read this. It is important. And these two and others are for me.

I have shown you this goal and some of the process involved and I always expected this to be an uphill struggle. I never expect anyone to support me in it. I only recognize the values of those around me based upon their words and actions, and I work with them to formulate ideal situations for them based upon their values. You see, I am doing this for that reason, because that is how I operate. As a member of several Halo communities, I recognized the specific values of each and have developed this plan to bring those values to a place where they can develop with the best potential.

This is not a business monopolization. This is a new concept formulated in my mind in the attempt to make a mutually-beneficial ("win-win") scenario for everyone involved, based upon their values.

You may think I am ignoring the poll votes here, but what does it matter if HDM is on this server or on another server? I had intended for it to expand anyway, and this lets me expand it in the way I had envisioned anyway. It was heading in this direction and I would continue to plant more wheat on this farm, but now I have moved to another property where there is more space for the wheat. That is much better than renting storage. I use the metaphor so you can visualize that I'm not trying to increase my possessions but the quality and unity of the halo communities. I am not operating out of selfish motivations or greed, because I do not seek money in this -- in fact, most people don't, since they already do it for free as a hobby -- but I am only seeking a way to make this hobby neutral ("self-sustainable" by human standards) in areas of money transactions. A financial burden is placed upon each community manager right now, like Monoman and Dennis, and I recognize this and have developed this as a way to eliminate that burden and even reverse it so that they are making a slight profit. In fact, everyone except for the pure-player-gamer base would be making a profit. Why would you argue against that? Microsoft wouldn't! (LOL)

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:11 am
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
The satisfaction of a successful product becoming a hit is not a false representation of anything. It's a fact. Compensation and consolation are meaningless if you get what you wanted. If I wanted money I would have asked.


Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:23 am
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
I do what I do here because I like playing Halo PC. I get "rewarded" by having fun. If I were to choose between never playing HPC online, or never modding/hacking HPC online, I would without a doubt choose the latter. The playing base is most important, followed by the modding scene (because they create what players may want), followed dead last by developers. It's very important to focus on HDM being a resource for players to easily install mods (or HaloMD now I guess). Blam whatever developers - how appealing and logical does that look to a player? Not at all. I don't care if the server were to move to a better one, but I certainly care about the website name and purpose.

We can't just "use" the engine. We can mod games that use the engine, but we can't just use the engine and make something around it. In other words, we can't make a mod of Halo that's a "different game" and legally be able to distribute it (definitely not through a business either). No one is going to spend their time opening up their engine in such a way just because you want it so. No larger communities like halomaps.org are going to go along with your plan just because you want it so. You will be losing money, and no one will be making a profit. It's a win-lose.

By the way, I'm not exactly alone:

Quote:
9:39:51 PM nil: I want your thoughts about what sparky is trying to do
9:40:06 PM Monoman: that its going no where
9:40:33 PM nil: so is that what sparky meant when he told me he had a nice lengthy discussion with you?!
9:41:33 PM Monoman: our discussion was him trying to explain it to me while i was asking him about all the things he is skipping
9:42:37 PM Monoman: he somehow missing the point that he brings nothings to all the people he wants involved
10:13:04 PM dirk: oh so Monoman
10:13:13 PM dirk: you mean you are also bringing up the parts he is skipping
10:13:21 PM dirk: good to know I am not the only one

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:09 pm
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
So basically, Joe, what you're trying to tell me is that I'm right. Is that what you're trying to tell me, Joe?

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:51 am
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
Halodemomods must continue to exist, no doubt. However, Halo is not GPL. You can't resell even modified software. Even if it were legal, you shouldn't have to buy mods as it ruins the point of modding. Mods are for changing the game, not reselling it. I have spent enough money on buying two copies of this game, as it is.

Again, I got this game for the fun. I got my money's worth. I consider modding as part of the fun. Why else would we mod?


Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:10 am
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
Listen very carefully to me now, because I'm about at the limits of my patience. I am telling you frankly that if you do not listen to me when I speak, it will be very hard for you to benefit from what I do.

Think back to the start of HaloDemoMods.com, its inception. Did I ask anyone about the idea beforehand? If I did, what were the responses? If anything, I was met with resistance, the same reluctance that I am getting now again with this next idea. Why is it that every idea I present brings you all up into a huff in arguments and quarrels against me? Why do you constantly argue with my ideas? I did HaloDemoMods based upon my ideas, and I just went ahead and did it; I didn't even care to mention it until it was here in front of you. And I have been told to not mention things until they are finished. Well I don't do that. What I actually do is mention things when it is the right time to mention them. This was the right time to mention these things, and I mentioned them to the people to whom I wanted to mention them. If you don't know what I'm talking about, or if you have any questions at this point, then just accept the fact that you were not spoken to about this, but you will still be able to benefit from participating in it. I did not speak to you because it was not imperative that I do so. I tried for several days to establish communications with Monoman and even on the side mentioned some details to nil and dirk who immediately took offense because they were not the right people to whom I should have spoken; this information is not meant for anyone except the owner of each community group web site. So I eventually spoke with Monoman, and what you see here are still the results of a couple other people who don't have all the details to make a right judgement about it.

If you don't trust me in this, and if you don't want to participate in this, then I ask you to think back to the inception of HaloDemoMods.com. It would have never existed if I had not done what I am doing now. So if you want something even better than HaloDemoMods.com is now, then just work with me here and don't argue with what you don't understand the details to. All the questions thus far that I have been asked have indicated that certainly this is only a win-win plan, to a much greater extent than HDM will be.

What I ask is your participation, your willingness to use what I am developing, just like you use HaloDemoMods.com that I have developed.

To answer this question 002 posed, modders will be able to sell their map packs and maps. You don't have to buy anything you don't want to buy. If you want to buy it, though, you will be able to. I am not forcing anyone to put a price tag on their creative projects. But the option will be available to those who choose to do so. Please don't barrage me with further questions, though, because I have to move forward to the next step of this plan, and that next step does not involve answering any more questions here.

I ask for your participation though, regardless of whether or not you feel or think or believe anything can or will come of this. If you do not participate, you will be left in the dust and regret the time and influence you lost because you did not participate. You have already presented your ideas. If I have any other ideas I would like to discuss, I will discuss them with the people I feel they should be discussed with. Vegerot has been a great discussion partner so far, but even then, when the discussion becomes a roadblock because of conflicting ideas, I must move on and reflect upon what was discussed. You see what I did with HaloDemoMods, now anticipate something far greater with this next project.

HaloDemoMods.com will be eaten by this new project. It will become a part of it and grow with it because its directions complement the purpose of HDM. This is not how monopolies and businesses work, though. When one company buys up another company, it seeks to control it or profit from it. Rather, this analogous metaphor of imagery I have used is meant to say that the new project is far greater and HDM will become merged with it as will every Halo community. Either sooner, or later. But it will happen. And it can be done easily and happily through the consent of the community owners who can therefore help guide the growth of this new project, or it can be done in other ways that I will not mention. But it will happen regardless of the fact that nobody wants to listen to me.

Sparky wrote:
I never expect anyone to support me in it.

nil wrote:
(paraphrased) Nobody believes you, you are stupid and out of your mind, blah blah blah rant rant rant. No. By the way, keep paying money for HaloDemoMods even though you are stupid and out of your mind and nobody likes you.

Sparky wrote:
So basically, Joe, what you're trying to tell me is that I'm right. Is that what you're trying to tell me, Joe?


So you see, I am correct. Opinions of those who were not meant to know about this have not changed. I mentioned it to them, but they were not the people I was primarily interested in discussing this with. And so they confirm to themselves -- in their ignorance of the details of the situation which I even told them I would not mention -- that I am incorrect. And so they spoke with Monoman and ... well, like I said, I am correct.

I do not expect you to support me, but I am offering you the opportunity to support me. This is not me coming to you begging for your permission that I do what I want to do, because I am doing it anyway, whether or not you like it or believe it or think I'm stupid to try it. You saw what resulted from HaloDemoMods.com, and now you will see what results from this project. Either support me and participate in its development, or find out later that it has grown without your participation. Which would you prefer?

This has now gone beyond MacGamingMods and HaloDemoMods. I do not see it as appropriate to continue discussions in this forum. You will be informed when more information is available.

And because you will inevitably ask this question based upon your own fears and lack of knowledge, I will answer it right away: I am not doing or trying to do anything that is or would be illegal. So there. I have answered that question that some of you have assumed is correct because you were afraid it was so. Kind of makes you laugh, doesn't it?

By the way, with HaloDemoMods, we all decided to participate. I could have done the work by myself, as boring and time-consuming as that would have been, as I surely would need to do on this new project anyway, but even Zapconquest was the first to mention the idea of it being a wiki. So whether or not we all decide to participate in this new project, it will still happen and we will all still benefit from it in our own time, when we are willing to benefit from it.

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:42 am
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
I know it's frustrating that you think we are not listening to you, but dirk and I feel the same way about conversing with you. You say it was a mistake talking to us, but Monoman, the owner of MGM, feels the same way (see above). You tell us for example that we'll be able to sell mods legally, but you don't explain how that will work when we don't own 99% of the assets included in them.

I saw the potential of HDM shortly after it came into existence when I was developing HDemoLauncher. MGM sucked for mod hosting, and I knew HDM could make it better. Had I not written a script to convert all the MGM mod descriptions onto HDM's database, and had I not spent a large amount of time making it a place with almost *every* mod, who knows what would have happened with the most important part of the site.

You're right that HDM wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for you. But just because you had a great idea before, doesn't mean you have a great one now. You also met much resistance with Zeus. Look at how many years of this project you tried to start went "nowhere."

Aside from all this, I have a couple of questions I'd like answered that I need to know:

*How soon will it be for the new domain to exist?

*How long do you plan on keeping the halodemomods.com domain, with its URL's and accounts valid, while the new one exists, allowing for us enough time to migrate smoothly? In particular, I'd need to move MD's user base via an update. Other users may want to fix their URL's being linked somewhere, you may want to have a site moved page and update bookmarks, etc.

*Is this suitable for HaloMD to be on it, or not? Does that go against its wishes?

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:52 am
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
One of the things I'm providing on the new site will be all the data files associated with Halo's assets, besides the source code. This can only be done based upon what the community tools enable us to do, not based upon anything otherwise specifically dealing with the business or the web site itself. So I would only be releasing what the halomaps.org community and/or this MGM community would release if it knew it could do these things with the available tools... so basically, that's what is being used with what's being released. These resource files will be useful primarily to people who use the Halo Editing Kit, but that goes without saying.

I've already finished the bitmaps which can be found as .tif files in the collection at HDM. This will be removed and combined into a larger collection of all the data files that you'd find under the HEK's "data" folder. I'm working out some kinks in the third person animations right now, but they are nearly resolved. When helpful, 3ds Max scene files will also be provided. I'd like to include .obj files also, but those functionality details have not been worked out yet... so 3ds Max will still be the main way of doing things at this point. Again, I'm using what scripts and tools have already been developed by the community members. By releasing this collection in a comprehensive set of data files, the result will be a more unified community between Halo Demo Mac and Halo Custom Edition PC.

Answers to nil's questions:

* The web site and domain already exist. I linked you to them in the IRC but I guess you might have missed that, even though you were mentioning it in conversation a few times. I'm not sharing the URL (hint: and neither should you) nor any hint of it until things are moved along some more.

* HaloDemoMods.com will continue to exist as the domain name pointing to a wiki that will be expanded to include information about the game engine and its files. I'm thinking about file uploads now, no word on that yet. Wiki software is certainly not ideal for uploading and managing files, though. And if anyone even thinks about mentioning mediafire or filefront, please don't. There will be a strong overhaul of all the content if I can manage it properly. The period of updating things like certain tools can be however long you want; essentially, consider HaloDemoMods.com to be LOCKED right now against further uploads and edits. I'd like to handle migration of assets myself first to maintain uniformity. I'll keep it simple for us and see what can be done in the next few days.

* HaloMD will be just fine running on this server. Regarding wishes, I've already said that I look for what values we have and work with them to provide superior environments and scenarios. Since HaloMD is a part of that, it has already been a consideration when I was thinking about scripts and memory limits, for example. I explained more details about that earlier, probably just to Monoman. Yes, it is suitable for HaloMD to be on it, and no, it does not go against the intent of the site. Any other Halo or Blam! engine - related projects are also suitable for this server. Since I'm anticipating more scripts running on the server and better things, I decided to upgrade to give us more head room.

That said, I'm juggling a few different things here at once based upon all I've mentioned above and what you already know I'm working on. I'll have to juggle them properly in order to make the most out of this sooner. For example, I'm not going to spend most of my time at this moment focusing on Zeus, but working on the web site instead.

If you already know the domain URL and name of the project, please do not mention it here, and certainly do not mention it elsewhere.

----

I was not intending to discuss specifics of the new site, but I'd like to run this idea by you all:

- A single XML-based page that includes all the data from the HDM Mod Database. This is what you already generated, right, nil?

- The Mod Database using a new appearance identical to http://m.mediawiki.org/

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:58 am
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
OK, I'm going to assume not being able to access HDM right now then is temporary, and you're doing the server upgrade now.

Regarding Mod Database:
The huge advantage with the old (or current) one is that every mod is listed on the same page, with good descriptions and images. It is easy to skim through the entire page getting an idea of almost every mod in existence. Disdavantage is that it is kind of easy to mess up the page, and well, it's huge to download with all the images.

Another approach is having a page that has links to all mods. Advantage is that the page is lightweight. Disadvantage is that it makes it very hard to find mods you don't know you want, and scatters between hundreds of different pages.

One thing I learned is that, we should probably let people request mods, but not enter them into a database that is being parsed by a computer - it is too easy for the average person to make a mistake both on the website and outside of it (eg, submit a mod that crashes the game). We could have a "user friendly" way for modders posting mods, someone (like me) can review it to make sure it works, and then enter it into the computer-friendly database correctly. This could be an XML file (I never generated a XML file by the way).

With MD, it's essentially starting over. Mods from demo would have to be ported and they should be ported correctly (Pearl alone won't suffice).

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:15 pm
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
Please elaborate about porting mods from demo to full, where you say Pearl is not enough.

I tried to get the database to work, but it looks like the HDM database is somehow so esoteric in its setup and the potential for data corruption so likely if I continue to upgrade or moving it to another server that after trying all night to get it to work, I just ended up giving up. I was thinking about how other sites would be able to merge their data, and with phpBB and other forums, that should be rather straightforward. But mediawiki software is so cumbersome and difficult to handle and needs like no "unfavorable" configuration settings... it's all just a mess with that software now. I'm really fed up with mediawiki. Pretty much what we'll have to do anyway is to start over from scratch on another wiki, I would copy/paste and move all the actual page information and such between the current HDM wiki and the new wiki, and then I would have to do some other small changes. But like I said, I'm tired of mediawiki. I think if we can do with another setup or php-related software (I will try many options that I have now), then we should do with those other options.

The major value of HDM has always been file hosting. That means that even a custom setup could work. For example, it would be superior even just to have a form like you said with several fields requesting specific information about the mod that the uploader fills in which would then be parsed into XML field values that would be stored on a single page and in a single upload directory. So much easier to manage, very little hassle, much greater potential for use by third-party applications like HDemoLauncher and HaloMD. I liked the idea of having one page per mod on the HDM wiki, but now I think all that could be simplified to a single upload form whose data gets parsed into an XML file and whose map and screenshot files get uploaded to one or two directories on the server. Edits would not need to be made; different versions could simply replace each other, and then we could actually delete files to conserve space. Also, use of a mysql database would be entirely unnecessary, lightening the server load.

So that could function as what was the main role of HDM, a place to upload mods.

I'm all for starting over with this new site. HDM is on the way out anyway. Mediawiki wasn't exactly explicit about which options to choose, or why did it even provide certain options when they were inferior? I digress.

Information about each mod or asset does not have to be parsed on a separate page; with this XML file containing all the data, we'll just figure out some best way to display the information. So this would all take the place of what is now the HDM Mod Database.

It's midnight and I'm beyond tired, can't hardly even think anymore. Goodnight.

We could even have a similar but better streamlined version of the page where you see something like this:

Code:
SCREENSHOT PREVIEW          Mod Title          Mod Description (with elipses if it is longer than fits on the page...)          Author

Each one of those mod entries would be displayed on its own row on the page. They would be sortable by Mod Title and by Author.

Rather than require a certain Halo platform and version for each mod, you could just check the options at the top or bottom of the screen (a fixed-position div in CSS) letting you choose which mods are displayed, any of Halo Demo, Halo Trial, Halo Full, Halo Custom Edition, etc. So all the mods could be on one page and just be given that XML value indicating which map version it is that is uploaded. Don't even need to stoop to .map file analysis with that step, just give the uploader some radio button options for the different possible versions of the map they would be uploading.

We could even have a Lightbox (you know the image display javascript) thing where each entry is displayed with all its details there.
So like:

You go to the database page and you see every mod listed there. No images, just all text. The entire row for each entry is clickable. If you click on the row, a semi-transparent "Lightbox" slideshow pops up with the information and screenshot for that mod. You can then choose to download it or slide to the next mod using that lightbox display, or close it and go back to the list display. If you want, you can enable images on the list display by toggling a checkbox on which says something like "load map preview images" -- this would then proceed to load the preview image for each mod. This checkbox would be fixed in a navigation menu at the top or bottom of the page, along with checkbox options for displaying different Halo game versions of each mod, like "Show Halo Demo Mods" "Show Halo Trial Mods" and so on. There would also be options to sort the page by Mod Title and Author. This could all be developed in such a way to allow greater use of monitor real estate and compatibility with mobile phones.

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:05 pm
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
nil and Monoman sent me private messages. I appreciate the understanding they have shown me in this extended endeavor and I appreciate their suggestions.

HaloMD server script is running again. The HaloMD lobby is up again.

I temporarily reverted the halodemomods.com domain URL pointer to its server and wiki. HDM email functionality and the web site will be available for at least another week, and I will immediately let you know of any changes that you would need to tend to, such as registering at another location also.

Let's see what tomorrow brings. One day at a time.

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Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:36 pm
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
Sparky wrote:
Please elaborate about porting mods from demo to full, where you say Pearl is not enough.


When we have been converting demo mods to full, we noticed some were broken (crossing, isle, amy's mods, etc) or some mods were not correct (like with shaders/lights) because people did something "wrong" when modding it in demo. Pearl is a start, but in order to make sure the mod works, you need to do more testing and modifying. Also, every mod should use the full version fonts unless the mod uses its own custom font.

Aside from conversions, people will make silly mistakes, like upload a demo version of a mod in the MD database (even if you give them radio buttons for choice), which is why a review process is necessary. Having a form where you fill in fields for a mod request that could be sent to some database could be a start, or simply just using a wiki page modders can modify, then a trustworthy person adds the entry to the XML (or just to a wiki page, as I have implemented currently).

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Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:05 am
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
The first 4 bytes of an uncompressed mod can be used to check full/demo.

I would have real people check if it works as it says, so it isn't a different mod or is vandalism.


Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:35 pm
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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
This is what Halomaps.org does, they test the mod and take screenshots themselves.

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Post Re: The HaloDemoMods.com Plan
:shock:

I only skim read the posts above, so please discount everything below as it is probably completely off-topic.

Sparky, while I pretty much always agree with you, I don't agree with this.
It IS a good idea, but wait until revenue starts coming in before upgrading the server (unless you have a magic pot of gold tucked away somewhere). Delete old, low content maps if you need to.

Problems:
Halo 1 (on mac / windows ) is not popular enough to sustain this business. Halo 2 isn't either.

Unless you somehow get a deal with Microsoft for Halo 4 which enables these mods to be used, then it isn't going to work.
Even getting the source code for Halo 1, porting it to the MAS or AS (iPhone/iPad) would be a better idea. Considering Microsoft doesn't like Apple... unlikely.


Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:49 am
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