Preserving Modding Tools

delMar

Rear Admiral
Hi,

heavily inspired by other threads here on the forums, I decided to try to persist any modding info that's available on Wing Commander games. This will consist of two things:
  • Preserving the documentation of game data files (contents, structure, ...)
  • Preserving source code of already available modding tools
Documentation of game file structure currently is fragmented over countless text files. A central wiki would be best for this. And I found one here: http://www.shikadi.net/moddingwiki/Main_Page.
I have already started some rough overview on the game's data files here and all known info about savegamefiles here.
The reason for using shikadi is that the wiki-templates available there are tailored for modding information. Shikadi seems to have been created around 2006, if anyone of you fears that it might disappear sooner than the CIC, mirroring the according sites should not be a big problem, I guess.

I intend to preserve the source-code on my GitHub account. GitHub is cool because it not only allows for sharing of the code but also for easy cooperation between developers. I will post subsequent additions to those resources here to keep you up to date (and to provide as much information for Google as possible :))

I'd love to hear your feedback. I'm certainly open for improvements.
 

UnnamedCharacter

2nd Lieutenant
I think it is a great idea, and I am glad you brought it up. This is something I have been thinking of ever since I started working on WCLibrary, but I just did not want to take it on.

I will be more than happy to share information if you are willing to format it, organise it, etc. For starters, if you look into the documentation of WCLibrary, all the classes that relate to a data file, block, or item includes its basic structure.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
There's areas on WCPedia you could certainly put this information as well.

We can work on adding resources or templates you might need for the project to WCPedia.

That will also keep the information centralized as well. While WCPedia has, unfortunately, taken a back seat while we make our ways through life, the space is still meant to be the repository for all WC information.
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
There's areas on WCPedia you could certainly put this information as well.

We can work on adding resources or templates you might need for the project to WCPedia.

That will also keep the information centralized as well. While WCPedia has, unfortunately, taken a back seat while we make our ways through life, the space is still meant to be the repository for all WC information.
Both, WCPedia and the ModdingWiki use MediaWiki as underlying platform. Do you think an automated sync would be possible?
The reason why I'd like to still have the information available on the ModdingWiki as well is that I hope to attract more people to Wing Commander modding.
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
I think it is a great idea, and I am glad you brought it up. This is something I have been thinking of ever since I started working on WCLibrary, but I just did not want to take it on.

I will be more than happy to share information if you are willing to format it, organise it, etc. For starters, if you look into the documentation of WCLibrary, all the classes that relate to a data file, block, or item includes its basic structure.
Great, thanks.
Just wondering, did you ever think about releasing the sources of your tools?
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
I have now uploaded the source files of many "old" modding tools to GitHub https://github.com/delMar43/wcmodtoolsources
The original authors themselves (@Flashpoint, @Quarto, @HCl, @ZOmegaZ) have published them here on the forums on this thread https://www.wcnews.com/chatzone/threads/wc1-turned-inside-out.27159/
So, if anyone does not want to have his source code published, please just tell me, I'll remove it then (but as you have published it here already, I didn't think that it would be a problem).

I'll just go with the words of Quarto here:
We have lost so much over the years, it's just not funny. So many people have come and gone. This was all before the days when open source was in vogue. It's not that anybody wanted to keep their source secret, they generally just didn't see the point of making it available. Nobody else will do anything with it, and when your hosting was limited to a few megabytes... you know.

I don't think it ever occurred to anyone that there might come a time when not the games, but the tools created around the games might be an object of interest, and that they are worth archiving for their own sake.
 
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Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Both, WCPedia and the ModdingWiki use MediaWiki as underlying platform. Do you think an automated sync would be possible?
The reason why I'd like to still have the information available on the ModdingWiki as well is that I hope to attract more people to Wing Commander modding.
You'd have to ask KrisV about that type of stuff.

We can certainly setup a category for you to organize all the mod stuff. I think there's a small section now, but it's easy to create a bigger umbrella section for this type of project.
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
Good initiative here! Feel free to mirror my files as often as you'd like :)

A sync to some repository here in the CIC would be nice though, I like to think if I need to search for anything WC-related, even source code for old WC tools, I'd be able to find it here :) This sync could be something as simple as cloning the github repo and pulling the change sets from time to time with a cron job (just an idea, i'll let KrisV figure out the best way to do it)

(also, look what showed up in that github repo: my old WC1 to WC2 mission converter :p The code in general should look similar to my old BASIC WC1 mission editor, I coded both more or less at the same time. Good times... that was probably around 1995 or 1996!)
 
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