Optimising VP's flipperless section

Ike Savage

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Note: posts split from that thread. In this thread we're talking about 1) solving an issue with updated attachments, and 2) optimising the flipperless section, while improving the labeling.

@JonPurpleHaze,
Hmm... So the 'broken update' issue seems to keep involving Druadic. So-- is it possible that the loss of the older screenshots (etc) are due to the way he's filling out the update form?

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JonPurpleHaze

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Hmm... So the 'broken update' issue seems to keep involving Druadic. So-- is it possible that the loss of the older screenshots (etc) are due to the way he's filling out the update form?
I think this has happened to another user: https://pinballnirvana.com/forums/threads/led.20207/#post-125911 (Original Table - LED)

I just discovered that the Edit Resource target in more options changes depending on which tab you are on (Overview and Updates), edit is also listed on the bottom of the different tabs so both of the entries can be edited.

We have some more clues now, I think the problem with different screenshots appearing on the Overview and Updates tabs (I also think this is perhaps intentional by XF) could be that the original file's screenshot would need to be deleted (Edit Resource) and the new one added instead. I'm not going to do this right now so you can see the differences. The images are very different and in the attachment browser the one in the Overview tab is old. Perhaps the old one should be deleted and replaced with the new one and then when updating don't add the new screenshot because it would be a duplicate?

Another problem? We now have 3 different listings with 4 versions of Midget Hi-Ball in 3 different categories, if we need to keep the older versions, I think they should be listed in one place as older versions? The prefix of VPX perhaps would need to be changed but I don't think it would matter much. I'll try and figure this out if we need to keep the 2 older listings:

 
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Ike Savage

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Another problem? We now have 3 different listings with 4 versions of Midget Hi-Ball in 3 different categories, if we need to keep the older versions, I think they should be listed in one place as older versions? The prefix of VPX perhaps would need to be changed but I don't think it would matter much. I'll try and figure this out if we need to keep the 2 older listings:

I guess the good news is that the 4th listing is displaying as a discrete entry, even though it's only an update, and is indeed bundled with the main VPX version.

So having separate entries for VP8, VP9 and VPX isn't a terrible problem to have, assuming everything's marked nice and clearly. And for whatever reasons, some people like to run older VP versions, and theoretically appreciate being able to grab the corresponding table entry.

That said-- yeah, I'd prefer it if the VP8 and VP9 entries could be merged, though. I'm thinking keep the VP8 entry, update it with the VP9 version, and mark it accordingly. Then delete the VP9 entry. Want me to do that?

I also see what you mean about the table being sort of scattered across categories. The VPX version in particular shouldn't be sitting in the broad flipperless are, of course. I've therefore moved it just now to "commercial coin-op." As you may recall, I recently closed two useless loopholes that let uploaders place a resource in a broad category (flipperless and "pinball machines"). So all new uploaders must now choose a specific sub-cat.

Another issue with games like this is whether the table could legitimately be placed in two cats, i.e. "commercial coin-op" and "counter top." This is the kind of thing that drove me a bit bonkers a while back when I was trying to figure out if there was a way to reduce the number of flipperless categories.

Maybe it's time to briefly think about this again, though-- for example, aren't "commercial coin op" and "counter top" pretty much the same thing? What think @druadic? If that's the case, then there's an argument for merging the two categories. Because my understanding is that "bagatelle" refers to home (non-commercial) games.

This particular game does have a coin mechanism, of course.
 

Ike Savage

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@JonPurpleHaze,
Although I'm having trouble replicating the issue perfectly, I think I may have stumbled on the problem:

After I moved Skill Cards from the general flipperless area to "commercial coin-op," I was finally able to attach some shots to the overview tab without getting that "version number" error.

I think more than just the way the XF folks intended this stuff to work (as you talked about above), that nonsensical strange error was the huge red flag.

My working guess is that because the general flipperless area had been closed for uploading, that was creating the issue. If I figure it out any better, I'll indeed update.

I think what needs to happen next is for us to decide whether or not we want to merge those two sub-cats mentioned above, and then I need to go through the whole flipperless section and make sure everything's in a sub-cat, not the general category.

Yeah, and that doesn't explain the "LED" table issue by Fastdraw, but maybe it's not necessarily related. I.e., maybe it was simply user-caused.

Okay, hope that all made sense.
 

druadic

"The old things always defeat the new"
Ike,

MANY counter top games are NOT coin operated but I guess it doesn't really matter. I only work on COIN OPERATED machines for PC screens at 1920x1080 dpi. Nothing else.

FYI: I DO NOT support ANY of my tables before VP9. I'm doing my best to get MANY MORE of them from the older versions to VPX but it seriously takes a TON of time on top of trying to get newer tables up. I even plan on redrawing Sure Shot by Carlson by hand so it looks brand new IF I ever get to it with all the WIP I have covering my entire desktop; I must have over 50 tables strewn across my desktop.

I recently got ALL the spinner scores for Mat-Cha-Skor, 1933 by Peo along with a new label. I have redrawn the entire play field and just about everything else for it. I am going to incorporate actual holes and trails for the balls to fall into and line up underneath. This takes a bit of time too.

Anyway, just place my tables wherever you want. Like I said, I only work on coin operated tables so everything I make is "coin op" and I DO NOT support any of my older tables under VP9.
 

Ike Savage

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@druadic,
Thanks for the input, Will.
Indeed-- looking over the countertop games right now, every single one seems to be coin-operated.

I think "counter-top" is an important distinction from "table top," because the latter suggests a game possibly intended for home use. But I'm not sure we actually have any in the latter category!


I don't think there's any need to worry about supporting older games. More like-- there's no reason to automatically delete older entries. Because if someone out there makes use of them, then no harm done, right?

Not to mention, we still have some active VP authors producing tables for VP8 and VP9. Users can still enjoy those tables too, I reckon.
 

Ike Savage

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@JonPurpleHaze,
After some more study and research, I'm going to go ahead and make two recommendations here--

1) I merge the "counter top" games in to the "commercial" games for the reasons discussed above.

2) I rename the "Bagatelle" category to "Bagatelle / home-use," and move all the commercial tables out of there. "Home-use" of course includes toys and stuff meant for manual play between friends. Pretty rare for that stuff to use legal-tender coinage, in other words.

As I recall saying a year ago after studying these flipperless games a bit, things can quickly become incredibly murky when trying to divide this stuff up cleanly. "Bagatelle" and "pinball" have a wide range of meanings and huge overlap, after all.

If we instead divide things by home vs. commercial, it pretty much clears up the huge existing mess of flipperless tables being almost randomly scattered across categories. (just browse awhile and you'll see what I mean)

I guess another possibility would be to divide things by era, which Will had suggested a couple months ago. That doesn't really solve the commercial vs. home divide, though. It also likely adds more categories too, even as I'm trying to gets things better-sorted and slightly more compact.

Anyway, I'll wait to hear a response on this before I do anything.
 

Ike Savage

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Thanks, Will! So the proposed changes would look like this:

CURRENT
VP Recreations Flipperless Games
  • Arcade, Video, Puzzle & Board
  • Bagatelle
  • Bingos
  • Commercial Coin-Op, General
  • Counter Top Games
  • Pachinko - Slots
  • Sports Themes
PROPOSED
VP Recreations Flipperless Games
  • Arcade, Puzzle & Board
  • Bagatelle / Home-use
  • Bingos
  • Coin-Op / General
  • Pachinko - Slots
  • Sports Themes
You'll notice that I'm also proposing I shorten the naming of the highlighted categories, since currently they're getting cut off. (see attachment)
 

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JonPurpleHaze

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I finally got some time to get back to this, in the future I'd suggest to not upload a screenshot image with a update after adding the update description, but instead use the edit link in the Overview tab and delete the old image and and add the new screenshot. I just don't like the new image not appearing on the Overview and don't see a need to have additional clutter of outdated screenshots.

We have some more clues now, I think the problem with different screenshots appearing on the Overview and Updates tabs (I also think this is perhaps intentional by XF) could be that the original file's screenshot would need to be deleted (Edit Resource) and the new one added instead. I'm not going to do this right now so you can see the differences. The images are very different and in the attachment browser the one in the Overview tab is old. Perhaps the old one should be deleted and replaced with the new one and then when updating don't add the new screenshot because it would be a duplicate?
I have done the changes with the screenshots with Midget Hi-Ball, you can see the new SS on the Overview tab and it was removed from the updates tab. I also discovered that a short snippet of the Update appears at the bottom of the Overview tab with a read more link to the updates tab.
After I moved Skill Cards from the general flipperless area to "commercial coin-op," I was finally able to attach some shots to the overview tab without getting that "version number" error.
I just discovered that the Edit Resource target in more options changes depending on which tab you are on (Overview and Updates), edit is also listed on the bottom of the different tabs so both of the entries can be edited.

I really think that the "version number"error perhaps was due to XF not knowing which version was being edited, like the original or a update?
I have been testing this and couldn't reproduce the above quoted Edit Resource in the more options menu target (Original and Update) changing depending which tab you are on. They both seem to go to the original right now. The edit link in both of the tabs at the bottom of the description (or thumbnail) do work fine so I think they should be used instead, think that might get rid of that error message....Like perhaps when someone is on the Updates tab and uses the edit resource link in the more options drop down, XF gets confused?

I love both of your ideas about this, feel free to merge the VP8 and 9 versions if you want to, I wanted to mention that while searching resources one of the options is Include resource updates.

About the categories, I also like the solutions Ike has mentioned and support the changes.

:yourock:
 

Ike Savage

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I finally got some time to get back to this, in the future I'd suggest to not upload a screenshot image with a update after adding the update description, but instead use the edit link in the Overview tab and delete the old image and and add the new screenshot. I just don't like the new image not appearing on the Overview and don't see a need to have additional clutter of outdated screenshots.
This is something I think I mentioned earlier. In any case, totally agreed.

I've just now heavily updated the uploads notice to suggest this and other recommendations. See what you think. Trying to jam as much info as possible in there while keeping it as short as possible, plus easy to read, was a good little challenge!

Thanks for the go-ahead on the category edits, and the other things you mention make sense. I've also commented a bit more about the 'updated version error' issue in my "projects" staff thread.
 

druadic

"The old things always defeat the new"
Sorry I have not been around. Under the weather sort to speak and couldn't stay awake for almost 21 hours.

Thanks for the info JPH! I'll remember that (IF my memory allows me to). Gr8!

I have so much going on it's not easy to keep up with you two guys. Unfortunately most of what you post, my mind will not allow me to make sense of 75% of it. I wish I was in my late 20's again so I didn't have all these "air biscuits".

Thanks guys!
 

Ike Savage

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Lol, air biscuits. Now that's a fun expression! With a hint of cerebral flatulence, perhaps? :p

No worries if you don't follow much of the previous ramble, Will. It was mostly some 'inter-office' stuff that really didn't belong in an author's release thread. (sorry about that)

Be well, and thanks again for your input on the flipperless categories. It helps me out a lot!
 

druadic

"The old things always defeat the new"
Air biscuits, brain farts and as my Grandmother used the expression in the 30's "pop a boner". ROFL.

All the same to me.

Been working on updating Rollet. The change and the update are MUCH better than what it was. I'm playing it more than fixing it since I feel Rollet is more than likely the most plain machine I have ever released so it was time for an upgrade. I've done so much to this table is not a joke. You might be pleasantly surprised at how far I got it to look.

Still working on new tables too. Been slow.
 

Ike Savage

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@JonPurpleHaze @druadic,
Alright gents, the merge has been made, and the cats relabeled as proposed.

For the moiment, I'm only going to close and tag "Counter Top Games" for deletion, just in case I might have borked anything up in the process. But if there are no objections, I'll go ahead and delete it in the coming days.

Next thing for me will be to go through all the unsorted flipperless games and figure out where they belong. *oof* Wish me luck, because I think it might be in the hundreds. :s

Also, I should probably split these non-Midget Hi-Ball posts out to a separate thread... [edit: done]

Edit2: Ah, wow, it turned out to only be 35 games uncategorised! Not just that, but the screenshots and info were enough for me to easily tell where each game belonged. *pheeewww* So now, all flipperless games have been sorted in to cats, and after double-checking the totals, there are no longer any orphans sitting in the general section. Yay! :D

Looking ahead-- there's still a deal of work to be done restoring entries, particularly with the tables that lost even their screenshots and most basic info. Oh well... step-by-step we'll get there!
 
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JonPurpleHaze

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Staff member
I really like the changes Ike!

I remembered that this split thread is now in a Suggestion type of Forum, I was going to mark your post #4 as a solution for the version error notice that was received but I don't think it will be happening anymore since you figured that out.

Have confirmed that no tables are now in the category of https://pinballnirvana.com/forums/resources/categories/vp-recreations-flipperless-games.51/ (VP Recreations Flipperless Games) Thanks, squashes that problem!
For the moiment, I'm only going to close and tag "Counter Top Games" for deletion, just in case I might have borked anything up in the process. But if there are no objections, I'll go ahead and delete it in the coming days.

There are no tables in the Counter Top sub category so it should be ok to delete if druadic or anyone else doesn't object.

As you know, there was a different problem with attaching screenshots when Users were doing a update, the new screenshot would only appear in the Updates tab and not in the preferred Overview tab. The Overview tab continued to show the outdated screenshot.
I'd suggest to not upload a screenshot image with a update after adding the update description, but instead use the edit link in the Overview tab and delete the old image and then add the new screenshot. I just don't like the new image not appearing on the Overview and don't see a need to have additional clutter of outdated screenshots.
I'm not sure if it's important enough to mention it in a new thread or to edit the upload notice for Users to delete outdated sreenshots and add the new ones in the Overview tab, not the Updates tab to reduce clutter. What do you think?
 

Ike Savage

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I'm not sure if it's important enough to mention it in a new thread or to edit the upload notice for Users to delete outdated sreenshots and add the new ones in the Overview tab, not the Updates tab to reduce clutter. What do you think?
Ah, I see.

I tried to encourage others in that direction in my last update to the official "uploads notice," but we all know how herding cats works.

Obviously, feel free to edit the sucker (i.e. the uploads notice), making the message more clear.

So yeah, how about you take a stab at that for the time being, because I'm still not happy with the "ROMs download" notice. (feels too bloated)
 
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Ike Savage

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Btw, did you need to flex your super-admin muscles to do that, or can a regular admin (*meep*) do that too?

Me, I simply counted the haves and have-nots across the different sub-cats, and fortunately, they totted up to 347 (as of the moment). Certainly would have been a dang ol' pain-in-the-*bliff* if the numbers hadn't matched. :s
 

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JonPurpleHaze

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Staff member
I was really impressed with your Roms category notice, just think it has some helpful info that only appears there, also like using the Users Avatar seems more like a notice to them. I edited it a little, added "You can sort these roms alphabetically, click on Filters, Sort by Title, Ascending" so users can hopefully find them easily.

I found the resource updates template! I'll respond in the staff thread.
You know how I confirmed that no tables now exist in the link above? Hi-Tech? No, I used a stupid calculator and subtracted from 347!
:surprise:
 
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