Help required for the new BBC games archive

feedback, questions and discussion relating to the Complete BBC Games Archive (beta site now open!)
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richardtoohey
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby richardtoohey » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:26 pm

ZZZZZZzzzz wakes up ... what year is it? Have I missed anything? :oops: How was my Rip van Winkle impersonation?

Enjoyed the rest of my UK trip, traveled back to NZ, just coming back to life (or what counts as life) now. Glad to see you've all being going gangbusters. :D =D>

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:59 pm

Hey!
I thought all my "helpful advice" at the Halifax meet-up had sent you into a long coma :D

Lee.

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sydney
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby sydney » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:55 pm

I've just had a quick look and most of the images are 640x502 or 640x510 which are ok I presume. Five had strange resolutions:
DISC041-HuntSTD - Image online was the same but the correct size so I deleted
DISC043-SagaOfErikTheVikingSTT - I retook this at the correct size
DISC044-EmeraldIsleSTT - I retook this at the correct size
DISC049-WinterWonderlandSTD - I retook this at the correct size
DISC017-StrandedSuperiorSTT - I retook this at the correct size

I'll delete the old screenshots.zip file from lee's post and upload the new one here.
Attachments
Screenshots.zip
(1.38 MiB) Downloaded 24 times

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sydney
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby sydney » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:53 pm

It seems Empire by Lothlorien Shards is missing from the site. Was it on one of the disks or is it a game that was somehow missed? Here is a link to the ssd on sth: http://www.stairwaytohell.com/bbc/archi ... Empire.zip

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:07 am

Hi,
Yep there are loads missing :D
Stage 1 is to get all of Mick's collection up and running and I think we are nearly there.
I did a comparison of my spreadsheets of every game in Mick's collection vs. every game in the STH collection.
The differences I compiled and sent to Mick.
There are quite a few text adventures missing and a few minor items, but nothing really major.
I need to speak to Mick regarding how we are to upload these missing games.
Lee.

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:16 pm

I think I updated all the screenshots that have been taken now.

Cheers

PaulH
I'm working on http://bbcmicro.co.uk

Michael Brown
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Michael Brown » Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:31 am

Hi Lee,
I have a uef of Empire by Shards that I will be putting onto Disc113 shortly.
The problem was not with the game, but confusion with the instructions.
I have to copy long instructions and the problem was that they said the game was by Lothlorien, but they did Roman Empire and that is a different game. It looks like the instructions are for Empire by Shards so the confusion is now sorted.
Once I have sorted them onto Disc 113 - I will e-mail it across to you.
Also going onto that disc is Battle of Britain by Design People (the full correct version thanks to Bill) and I am just finishing the instructions for that as I have had to type them in from the images posted on the forum.

If there are any other games missing from my collection that any of you have, then please let me know or if they are missing from the forum, or faulty on the forum and you have a correct version, then please post them on the submissions thread and I will pick them up and add them to my future discs.

regards,
Mick.

PS Good work with the site so far...

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Pernod
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Pernod » Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:07 pm

I've just been through every screenshot and believe the following should be updated:

Code: Select all

Breakout (Fun Games) (V1)
Breakout
Candyfloss
Cat And Mouse
Champions
Circus Games (Disc Version)
Contract Bridge
Football Director (STD)
FSS Liberator
Hacker, The
Invaders (Model A) (Cassette 8)
Killer Gorilla
Licenced To Kill (E)
Life Of Repton, The (P)
Lunar Jetman (Cosmic Battlezones)
Missile Control
Pass Go (AKA Tycoon)
Snake (Fun Games) (V5)
Space Invaders (Arcade Action) (V1)
Spy Hunter (Speech Version)
Uridium (C/B)
Wheel Of Fortune, The (Adventure No.4) (D)
White Magic (Disc Version)
William The Conqueror
World Cup Manager (OS 1.2)
Yes Prime Minister (Disc version) (STD)

Some are MODE7, a few are corrupted, and a couple are the wrong game.
- Nigel

BBC Model B, ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, etc.

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:22 pm

Ha!
I am retaking some of these as we speak!
:lol:

Lee

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:16 am

Finished Re-taking the screenshots that I was working on, plus the ones that Pernod has highlighted, (a lot were the same ones!).
I need to check the names, which I will do tomorrow, then I will email them to Sydney to re-size...

Cheers,

Lee.

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:48 pm

Screenshots done, and resized by Sydney, and sent to Paul for uploading.
Paul - check your mail :D

lee.

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:01 pm

I think Paul has swapped out the screenshots now.
If anyone spots a poor one, or one that does not represent the game, then let us know!

Here's the first one... Spy Hunter looks a bit long :D

Also, Any errors such as "download" downloading the wrong game etc..

One thing I don't like, is when browsing on my phone, the search boxes are hidden behind one button that says "Toggle Nav".
I don't like the sound of that!

Thanks

Lee.

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Pernod
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Pernod » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:59 pm

Here's a few minor ammendments:
Daley Thompson's Super-Test - Commercial
FSS Liberator - Commercial
Match Day - Commercial
Mr. Wimpy - Commercial

Uridium (C/B) - wrong aspect like Spy Hunter

Also quite a few Alternative titles marked Magazine but should be Commercial.
- Nigel

BBC Model B, ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, etc.

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davidb
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby davidb » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:04 pm

Thanks to whoever it was that transcribed the instructions for Castle Raider into a new loader! You did a really nice job with the presentation! :D

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:34 pm

leenew wrote:Spy Hunter looks a bit long

Pernod wrote:Uridium (C/B) - wrong aspect like Spy Hunter

It looks like there are a number of screenshots in the last tranche which have been cropped to remove the black borders, which is why we have the different aspect ratios. Erik the Viking and 3d pool have had the top and bottom cropped for example. I would suggest leaving the borders in, that is how it looks on a real computer anyway. The website resizes images in the browser to a particular width, which is why we get that effect with Spy hunter.

I want to tidy up the screenshots in the database, and remove any from the filesystem that we no longer use. which is why I hadn't mentioned I have uploaded the last lot, in case I screw something up. (I momentarily did last night, and had to restore the database!).

leenew wrote:One thing I don't like, is when browsing on my phone, the search boxes are hidden behind one button that says "Toggle Nav".
I don't like the sound of that!


What would you prefer? Shall I just change the text to "Search"? This is a copy and paste from the bootstrap demos, so I am not sure I can change the functionality that much.
I'm working on http://bbcmicro.co.uk

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:59 pm

^^ Search is good, yes :D

Lee.

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:50 pm

Latest changes:

Screen shots have been tidied up, mostly removing unused ones. This should not be noticable unless I have made a mistake.

I changed the database connection to use utf8, so now the 3/4 in Adrian Mole displays properly.

Changed text "Toggle Nav" to "Search"

Also some updates to search in the search thread.

Regarding metadata, do I change all Alternative titles to commercial?
I'm working on http://bbcmicro.co.uk

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:57 pm

I would say not to set alternative titles to commercial in bulk. Most would not have been commercial releases.
The odd few may have been, such as Planetoid originally being available as Defender, but I think they will need going through individually.

Lee.

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:26 pm

One little niggle!
A slight presentation issue.
When clicking a game to view details, if the game has a primary and a secondary genre, there is a line between the two, that is not quite right....

Lee.

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Pernod
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Pernod » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:00 pm

leenew wrote:I would say not to set alternative titles to commercial in bulk. Most would not have been commercial releases.
The odd few may have been, such as Planetoid originally being available as Defender, but I think they will need going through individually.

I would say yes. They may have originated from magazines originally, but if they were then included in the Alternative Triple Decker series and released commercially then it's a yes from me.
- Nigel

BBC Model B, ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, etc.

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:19 pm

I think we are thinking at cross purposes here!
I was thinking Paul was referring to the discs marked A01 to A09 which contain pre-release and re-release games and alternative versions in general.
Pernod is referring to the the publisher "Alternative", publishers of the "Triple decker"series which should (already) be marked as commercial software...
Which is it Paul? :D

Lee

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:24 pm

I was referring to the publisher as well. So I will make the changes Pernod suggests, including changing all titles by publisher "Alternative" to commercial?

I haven't done anything with the A01-9 discs yet - I suppose eventually they should be an additional download link on the relevant games page.

Edit: OK Done.
I'm working on http://bbcmicro.co.uk

Jeremy Grayson
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Jeremy Grayson » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:10 am

Arcadian wrote:Just tried to search for 'Maze Man'

It returns the Go Software game by this name together with the Electron User game, but not the (type-in?) Virgin game.

Reason is because the Virgin game features a hyphen in the title ("Maze-Man").

Is is possible we can loosen the search mechanism, so that you don't need to enter a hyphen in order to locate games with hyphens in their title?



A sort of related question, I suppose, but would the project benefit from the compiling and maintaining at the appropriate server level of some form of synonym list?

By which I mean: the library catalogue with which I work on a near-daily basis will return results for Romeo and Juliet regardless of whether the "and" is entered as "and" or as an "&", as the title features on a synonym list ingested into our catalogue from the Library of Congress. Could there be an equivalent for bbcgames.co.uk?

Compared to the millions of published works and e-resources that the LoC has to consider for painstaking synonymisation, casting an eye over the complete list of available Beeb games and determining which titles are sometimes rendered in more than one way - or could conceivably be searched for on bbcmicro.co.uk in more than one way, depending on how people think they remember seeing the titles written - might not prove too onerous (accepting that the LoC has more staff at its disposal :-) ).

Hyphenated games (or more precisely, games sometimes hyphenated and sometimes not) would seem good candidates for synonymisation - there's already the example above, but one could add Chichen-Itza, Noc-A-Bloc and a few others.

"And" games would also be candidates, e.g. Smash And Grab (actually, you've got the additional problem with that title of what to do with all the possible "n" variants - Smash 'N' Grab, Smash 'n Grab, etc. - that someone might try searching for first.

What about other punctuation or symbols, too - Q*Bert versus Q Bert, for example.

gc
* Inveterate but sadly increasingly occasional BBC gamer - original hardware/software only
* Former contributor (original software and some editorial) to The BBC Games Archive
* Exhibitor at CG-Expo 2004, 2005
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BigEd
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby BigEd » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:32 am

Would it be enough just to have some also-known-as names, hidden but searchable with the title? I've no idea how I'd do that, exactly!

Jeremy Grayson
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby Jeremy Grayson » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:34 am

leenew wrote:Remember me asking about games with brackets in the title Simon?
This is one of them.
Listed as Mission Unlikely (Plan B2)
The brackets will have been ignored.
It needs renaming (even better still re naming on Mick's DSD so the alphabetical sorting still matches up.


The MARC cataloguer in me would be loath to say Mission Unlikely is wrong per se - I'd be more inclined to call it either a subtitle or a previous title or a superseded title.

Would it perhaps aid discoverability if a facility can be added such that Plan B2 is retrieved whether the user searches bbcgames.co.uk for either Plan B2 or Mission Unlikely?

This wouldn't be the sole example. If, like me, your initial introduction to Danger! UXB by Micropower was via a disk copy of it that the school pirate had lovingly ripped off for you, you might recall three decades later that the game was called Danger! UXB from what it said on the title page, but you're as likely to recall that it was called Blockman (presumably a working title that never got removed before publication?) from it saying that elsewhere in the programme, i.e. on the high score table.

Perhaps I'm at risk of appearing bogged down by the minutiae of specific games, but as a metadaterer by profession nowadays it's almost second nature :-) . The user experience perspective also interests me - in this instance, trying to anticipate what terms people might search for in pursuit of games they might remember by (as we might perhaps see it) the "wrong" title.

gc
* Inveterate but sadly increasingly occasional BBC gamer - original hardware/software only
* Former contributor (original software and some editorial) to The BBC Games Archive
* Exhibitor at CG-Expo 2004, 2005
* Elite ranking: milquetoast

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leenew
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby leenew » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:48 am

These are really good suggestions Jeremy.
How it is implemented is another question! :wink:

Lee.

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PitfallJones
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby PitfallJones » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:40 am

For a quick solution of name comparing try removing all symbols "%!~&-' and terms like 'and' from the search string before doing the search - so
"Romeo and Juliet" and "Romeo & Juliet" both become a search for "Romeo Juliet"
PJ

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pau1ie
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby pau1ie » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:24 pm

Jeremy Grayson wrote:Plan B2 is retrieved whether the user searches bbcgames.co.uk for either Plan B2 or Mission Unlikely

BigEd wrote:Would it be enough just to have some also-known-as names, hidden but searchable with the title?

I think we are closer to what you are suggesting than you might think. For example a search for Plan B2 or Mission Unlikely both return the game you mention. This is because the title field actually contains Plan B2 (Mission Unlikely), so even though Mission Unlikely isn't displayed on the index page it still matches a search. The same goes for Danger UXB (AKA Blockman)

Search is already case insensitive.

As a result of Arcadians complaint about Maze Man all spaces are changed to wildcards before searching. Thus a search for "Q Bert" works.

Your Romeo and Juliet example might be better illustrated using Perseus And Andromeda (Mysterious Adventure 9) because it is in the database and we can test.

The following will find it:
    Perseus And Andromeda
    Perseus Andromeda
    perseus andromeda
    PERSEUS AND Andromeda
    Perseus
    Andromeda
    Mysterious Adventure
    Perseus Adventure

You get the idea
http://bbcmicro.co.uk/index.php?title=Perseus+Andromeda

The following won't work:

    Andromeda And Perseus
    Perseus & Andromeda

Taking Smash & Grab as another example, the following won't work:

    Smash and Grab
    Smash n grab

To make it more like what Jeremy is suggesting we could use the "full text search". See https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/fulltext-natural-language.html, but is it worth the effort just to make the above two match?

As I mentioned in another thread I intend to rework the search to have only one search box that searches every field. I think Lee was of the opinion that the genre field could be used to a certain extent as an also known as field, though I notice Snapper is Snapper (Pacman) in the title, so it comes up if you search for pacman (Or pac man).

I would also note that there are a limited number of games, currently just over 2000, so its not really like searching the web or for books. If you search for Smash or Grab you will find Smash & Grab at the top if the first page - its not like searching for a book or a web page where you are searching through millions or billions of results.

PitfallJones wrote:try removing all symbols


We do this at work - have a field in the database that is all upper case without punctuation for searching, How necessary is it in this case because search is already case insensitive and the fact I change space to wildcard means it doesn't matter if you miss out punctuation in your search term. (Apart from the possessive apostrophe) Maybe we should follow the advice of Tom Cunningham on the mysql page I linked. This is a very small dataset so performance shouldn't be a major problem.

Sorry, didn't mean this to be so long...
I'm working on http://bbcmicro.co.uk

equinox
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby equinox » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:07 pm

Hi guys. I posted a few years back about an attempt to make a decent online archive of BBC software
http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7400&p=76365#p76365
I wasn't able to finish it at the time but I dug it up recently and thought "hmmm, finish it?" and then noticed that some fine fellow has made BBCMicro.co.uk which is probably slightly better than mine would have been anyway. So, really good to see that :) Nice work.

I was a bit worried about the Beeb scene being relatively small and the chances of things being lost -- although World of Spectrum has been half-broken for years and there is a lot of INCREDIBLY TEDIOUS BACKSTABBING over how and when it's going to be fixed. (Cute story: the previous maintainer, of several decades, found a nice girl and doesn't have time for it any more.)

What I want to know is whether the new archive includes items that aren't actually listed, such as games whose distribution is explicitly forbidden (e.g. the 4Mation educational stuff) and a few other utilities and bits and pieces that I remember, which don't seem to be there. For the purposes of historical archiving and preservation, can we at least assume that the archivist has a copy? Perhaps they could be listed on the site even if they are not downloadable -- like what World of Spectrum does with e.g. Codemasters and Activision games?

Sorry if this has been discussed but my skim-reading and a couple of searches didn't seem to turn it up.

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tricky
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Re: Help required for the new BBC games archive

Postby tricky » Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:29 pm

I believe that the stuff that is currently up there is just what is in Mr Brows 100+ disk "something special" collection, the rest I believe will be added over time, but not 4mation I wouldn't think.


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