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FPSC Classic Product Chat / Chapter Launcher - A single game or individual levels launcher

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xplosys
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Posted: 10th Jan 2019 19:52 Edited at: 13th Mar 2019 17:35
Due to popular demand..... ( one person asked me for this lol ) I am attaching the Game Launcher that I coded for that "Highly Anticipated" and "World Wide Celebrated Game", Dark City.
Please, Please, PLEASE!!! read and follow the step-by-step instructions. And as always... May the odds be ever in your favor!

EDIT: Latest version is 1.1.01 and includes...

- DirectX 9 update button.
Just copy the "DirectX" folder from your FPS Creator directory to the launcher directory along with your "game", "levels" and "media" folder.

- Default or Custom restricted levels message
Use "Default" or "your custom message" for restricted levels

See the setup.ini for complete instructions.

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Kaelyss
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Posted: 10th Jan 2019 20:03
Thanks.
seppgirty
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Posted: 10th Jan 2019 22:06
THat is a great little launcher. Really made it possible for us to make Dark City. Really cool of you to share it. Thanks again.
gamer, lover, filmmaker
ncmako
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Posted: 10th Jan 2019 22:42
Awesome Xplosys.. best launcher ever made ! "Bar none"
Thank you for sharing it for everyone to try and use. To anyone who want s a great launcher for their multi-chapter game.....
this is a MUST HAVE
My games never have bugs. They just develop random features..
Lots and lots of random features...
Location: You know that space between a dresser and the floor ? Yeah, that's where
Wolf
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Posted: 11th Jan 2019 14:49
Thanks for uploading and the quick response.
xplosys
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Posted: 12th Jan 2019 01:37
Hey, Ya'll welcome. I have to say it that way because I live in the south now. ncmako knows what I'm talkin bout.
Nomad Soul
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Posted: 13th Jan 2019 21:36
Very nice. thanks
xplosys
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Posted: 13th Jan 2019 23:21
You're most welcome. Thanks for all you do.
s4real
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Posted: 16th Jan 2019 19:39
Thanks for this a great bit of software there
Thanks for the share

Best s4 real
Amd fx4100,6gb ram,geforce 450
xplosys
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Posted: 17th Jan 2019 02:31
Awwww shucks, s4. It weren't nothin.
Good to see you're still kickin'.
sbegley001
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Posted: 12th Mar 2019 23:23 Edited at: 12th Mar 2019 23:25
@xplosys

Thought I'd post here this time; bump your thread and its more on topic here I think.

Was wondering if you could make one last minor change If it's not too much (more) trouble, I'd love it if you could change the text displayed when the level is restricted to be a little more generic, in case one is not using a levels format.

Here's a pic of what it says...


...and a quick edit for what I feel would be applicable to more projects (and mine in particular )


I know I'm just nitpicking now lol but that is the one thing that bothers me just a little bit. I'm super grateful for all you've done already so don't sweat it if you just don't feel like it!
xplosys
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Posted: 13th Mar 2019 01:24
Again, this was an attempt to be simple and error proof, allowing the app to sequence and count the levels so there is no confusion.
As you add levels you will notice the message changes. For instance, if you tried to start on level 5 (if you had 5 levels) you would get... "This level is not available yet. Please complete levels 1-4."

I can create a new variable in the setup.ini allowing you to enter your own message, but you will loose the automatic numbering option, and the message will always be the same for any level clicked.
Is it just certain wording you want? If it were changed but kept the numbering would that do? For instance... "This option is not available yet. Complete Level 1 to unlock." When you add more levels, would you want the launcher to refer to previous level numbers?
Let me think about a good way to meet your needs and maintain the "levels" integrity.
sbegley001
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Posted: 13th Mar 2019 02:51 Edited at: 13th Mar 2019 06:13
Ah I did not notice that, that is neat. Definitely the way to go if levels are separated, but I would like to add alternate game modes that get harder and possibly "bonus levels" that are unlocked by beating the harder game modes. In this sense, level sounds a little weird.

Hmm is it possible to put a line in the .ini file that when left blank, would leave the levels message as normal? Then one could type in their own if they wanted to, or could just leave it as is.

Otherwise, I think a simple "You have not yet unlocked this option." would suit me quite well. I like that a lot better than "This option is not available yet. Complete previous to unlock."

Thanks again
xplosys
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Posted: 13th Mar 2019 13:38
Launcher updated to allow use "Default" or "your custom message" for restricted levels.
See the setup.ini for complete instructions.
sbegley001
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Posted: 13th Mar 2019 16:58
Awesome Thanks again, I know I'm not the only one who will find this useful
xplosys
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Posted: 13th Mar 2019 17:03
Just keep testing for me. I don't have FPSC installed, so I don't have any way to check my work.
sbegley001
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Posted: 13th Mar 2019 17:15 Edited at: 13th Mar 2019 17:17
Okay downloaded and tried to get my custom level text into the ini file, but I keep getting this error. What mistake am I making?

With custom message as default works good

Other things I've tried:




xplosys
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Posted: 13th Mar 2019 17:32 Edited at: 13th Mar 2019 17:33
Brain Fart!
I told you I had no way to test it! Now do you believe me? Thanks for testing.
First post updated with fixed launcher.

... and without quotation marks is correct.
sbegley001
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Posted: 13th Mar 2019 17:55 Edited at: 13th Mar 2019 18:46
Quote: "Brain Fart!
I told you I had no way to test it! Now do you believe me? Thanks for testing."


Haha! Well congrats on having so little bugs with no testing! That is a feat. And anytime - I'm a pretty good guinea pig! Working great now - thanks again xploys



Edit: you are getting honored in your own section in the credits "Launcher and Distribution Technology" instead of under "FPSC Community Contributions"
ncmako
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Posted: 14th Mar 2019 20:10
Wow, so much going on with this, I can't keep up Ok, so which Launcher is the newest one?
Is it V 1.1.0.1 ???
Quote: "Launcher updated to allow use "Default" or "your custom message""

That's terrific Xplosys
My games never have bugs. They just develop random features..
Lots and lots of random features...
Location: You know that space between a dresser and the floor ? Yeah, that's where
xplosys
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Posted: 14th Mar 2019 20:51
Hi Mike!
Yes, V1.1.0.1 is the latest (in the initial post) and from now on you will refer to me as "Launcher and Distribution Technology Provider" or LDTP.
Wait.... L-D-T-P. That sounds to much like a life choice.
Scratch that. xplosys will do just fine.
ncmako
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Posted: 14th Mar 2019 20:59
@ LDTP
Acronyms for LDTP

My games never have bugs. They just develop random features..
Lots and lots of random features...
Location: You know that space between a dresser and the floor ? Yeah, that's where
xplosys
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Posted: 16th Mar 2019 03:19
I was thinking about the possibility of creating launcher templates, as opposed to a designer/editor. (which would be a lot of work) Or perhaps offering custom made launchers to the game creators specs. Thoughts?

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sbegley001
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Posted: 16th Mar 2019 05:47 Edited at: 16th Mar 2019 05:47
Quote: "Thoughts?"

Wow launcher templates would be awesome LDTP! I agree - launcher templates would be far less work than an editor and I believe a much more approachable solution Definitely interested. Does this mean we should call you LDTTP(Launcher Distribution Technology and Template Provider) now? Haha!

P.S Make a post on the GameGuru forums as well, if you haven't already! I know some guys over there would definitely be interested and sadly do not always lurk over here.

EDIT: Love your new avatar pics lol so good.
xplosys
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Posted: 16th Mar 2019 14:11
I am not interested in GG and that's a subject for another time and place, but I will continue to look into different options to make your game packaging and launching easier.
ncmako
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Posted: 16th Mar 2019 14:21
@ ?
"templates" Yes, that sounds much easier to work with. If I'm thinking correctly we just replace with our own images & stuff.
My games never have bugs. They just develop random features..
Lots and lots of random features...
Location: You know that space between a dresser and the floor ? Yeah, that's where
xplosys
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Posted: 16th Mar 2019 14:39 Edited at: 16th Mar 2019 14:42
Yes, that's what I'm thinking. Pick a template and provide your images, video, text, and stuff. I'm still looking into a couple different ways to do it, but I don't see any urgent need, so....
No problemo!
ncmako
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Posted: 16th Mar 2019 16:04 Edited at: 16th Mar 2019 16:07
@ LDTP I like your "Disclaimer" on the template. A make believe game ??? ( its a game ) about an incident that never happened ...lol
"play the game before it burns again with you inside " lmao
My games never have bugs. They just develop random features..
Lots and lots of random features...
Location: You know that space between a dresser and the floor ? Yeah, that's where
sbegley001
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Posted: 16th Mar 2019 17:55 Edited at: 16th Mar 2019 18:12
Quote: "I am not interested in GG "

No worries, not to mention that my game is no masterpiece, but some(most?) of those gg games would probably make your launcher look bad haha...

Quote: "Pick a template and provide your images, video, text, and stuff."

Sounds great! I will definitely look forward to testing it for you. It will be great to have a new look for v1.0 of Escape the Place

Quote: "I like your "Disclaimer" on the template. A make believe game ??? ( its a game ) about an incident that never happened ...lol
"play the game before it burns again with you inside " "

Lol classic hahaha
5wee†
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Posted: 16th Mar 2019 19:54 Edited at: 16th Mar 2019 22:25
wow, that's a nice stuff! thank a lot, xplosys. the game will look cooler with this thing )
working good! except one I changed the favicon.ico, and all is well, but there no changes in the folder
one more thing can you change favicon.ico location in to media folder or put inside launcher.exe? it will look better.
thanks again
sorry, I'm using google translator

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xplosys
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Posted: 16th Mar 2019 20:53 Edited at: 17th Mar 2019 12:10
@5wee†
Because your customization is not compiled in the app, it is unable to add your icon to the actual executable file. But....
I downloaded and successfully changed the application executable icon with Resource Hacker
As for moving the icon to the media folder, I think that makes sense and will put it down for the next update.
I'm always open to suggestions.

Don't forget to put your DirectX folder in the root directory

Edit: It was also brought to my attention that there is another 'community created' icon changer here.
This info will be included in future updates.
xplosys
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Posted: 18th Mar 2019 15:18 Edited at: 18th Mar 2019 15:42
Deep thoughts...
I've been playing around with templates and an editor in an attempt to make the launcher as easy to use as possible while providing the options I think may be wanted. I've come to a point where I seem to be building a webpage editor.
What about a simple web browser that loads YOUR game webpage and has a Launch/Play button.

The good...
Includes all your game info as you want it displayed, with videos, images, news, requirements, recommended, updates, downloads, comments, links to forum, whatever.
The bad...
Those who don't have websites for their game. (If you create an actual game - not a single 10 minute level - you should have a website) Websites are free now, and the builders are very simple to use.
The ugly...
You'll probably need to create a specific web page for the launcher. (Again, something you should have anyway)

So the launcher would be an executable with your game name on it, containing a web browser and a play/launch button to load the game locally.
Your content would still be nested in folders below the root directory.
sbegley001
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Posted: 18th Mar 2019 21:53
Quote: "What about a simple web browser that loads YOUR game webpage and has a Launch/Play button.
"


So kind of like a mini-browser that displays the games webpage, while also overlaying buttons for playing and direct x? Am I correctly understanding?
xplosys
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Posted: 18th Mar 2019 22:27 Edited at: 18th Mar 2019 22:28
In a nutshell, what I'm thinking now is...
An invisible app (exe) that would call your default web browser and navigate it to your game's web page.
It would then monitor the page, or more specifically a particular button on the page, and launch the game locally when that button is clicked. The same could be done for DirectX, but it would be easier to just provide a link on the page to Microsoft for the update, or create a link to dxsetup.exe on your website to download or run it.
Your game page would be more relevant and provide much more content, information and support than a launcher app.
sbegley001
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Posted: 19th Mar 2019 01:34
Ah I see. Not something I am particularly looking for and prefer the current launcher, but still looks like a valuable contribution to the community. Hopefully some other people can chime in?
xplosys
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Posted: 19th Mar 2019 12:10
Quote: "Not something I am particularly looking for and prefer the current launcher"

Understood, and we can continue to tweak what it is, but for complete control and sheer content the web page is the way to go.
Quote: "Hopefully some other people can chime in?"

I'm not holding my breath.
s4real
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Posted: 19th Mar 2019 20:45
Nice work on the launcher so far and some nice ideas that I didn't even think about.

The only problem with a webpage fir the launcher would be anyone who don't have internet at some point would not be Albee to play the game.

Maybe an option to check if there internet and if not have another option when there no internet.

I had to add internet check in Vishnu launcher extra when people had there game online.

All the best with this project S4real
Amd fx4100,6gb ram,geforce 450
xplosys
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Posted: 19th Mar 2019 21:15
I initially considered building an app with a built in browser, but Visual Studio is always 3-4 years behind on browser tech and language, plus it uses Edge, which is basically an 'error box generator'.
I can always have the app save a local copy for when the internet is not available.

I don't really plan on coding it as I figure it won't get used, at least not here, but if I ever need a launcher for myself (game or otherwise) that would be the way I would go.
Mriganka
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Posted: 2nd Apr 2019 17:08
Great little launcher man. Would help a lot!

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