Future Game Distribution

General discussion about LÖVE, Lua, game development, puns, and unicorns.
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rude
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Future Game Distribution

Post by rude »

suritc wrote:I have another suggestion.

How about love.exe doing the following:
Check if the last path element (without extension) of argv[0] is "love". If so - behave as normal. Otherwise, if argv[0] is a/b/c/d/efg[.exe] then take a/b/c/d/efg.love (file) and a/b/c/d/efg (directory) as candidates, in that order. If any of them exists, run them.

That way, one can develop as usual (using love or love.exe), but to distribute (or debug) the code, one can rename love to "game" (or "game.exe") and a double click would just run the game. Even a shortcut would work in that case.

If that suggestion sounds reasonable, that how about trying to load "game.ico" as the icon of the game (if it exists), otherwise using the standard love icon?
Starting a separate thread, so more people will see this.

What you're suggesting is a good idea, but I had slightly other plans for argv[0]. Some time in the not-so-distant future, you'll be able to merge the .love file with the .exe itself, rename it, and run the game without the "external" .love-file for everyone to see. PhysFS supports reading .zip files appended after binary code, so this shouldn't be too hard. ^^)/

So if the leaf of argv[0] is not love[.exe], it will try to read itself. Epic? Yea verily.

You'll also be able to change the icon of the yourgame.exe-file, of course.

The goal is that people shouldn't know that you're using LÖVE.
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mike
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Re: Future Game Distribution

Post by mike »

rude wrote:The goal is that people shouldn't know that you're using LÖVE.
I disagree. This would be the best opportunity to introduce the "Made with LÖVE" splash screen.
Now posting IN STEREO (where available)
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Xfcn
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Re: Future Game Distribution

Post by Xfcn »

What if I want people to know what I'm using? I'm happy to show people a better path, and thus far Love is superior to all the rest. It's just too bad you guys didn't start working on this years ago.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke
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rude
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Re: Future Game Distribution

Post by rude »

Well, you can always create a splash screen or put the logo somewhere ;)
mike wrote:I disagree. This would be the best opportunity to introduce the "Made with LÖVE" splash screen.
People can do that by their own choosing.
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farvardin
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Re: Future Game Distribution

Post by farvardin »

rude wrote:Some time in the not-so-distant future, you'll be able to merge the .love file with the .exe itself, rename it, and run the game without the "external" .love-file for everyone to see.
well, why not, but for people only releasing their games as .exe, how will linux and mac os x users be able to play the game if it was lövely embeded into a windows binary?
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Tenoch
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Re: Future Game Distribution

Post by Tenoch »

Here is a little experience feedback that might intereset you :
When I made my first little demo, I proudly mailed my friends and offered them the .love, plus a link to the Löve exe (they all use Windows).

But people are reaaaally lazy when things are not directly to their own personnal profit. Very few of my friends made the effort to grab Löve on the website and double click my .love to test.

Plus, they generaly don't want to install stuff on their computer when it's "just to see what your game looks like".

And explaining them about the non-installer binary takes additional "per-person" convincing... In fact, even having to tell them to drag and drop the .love on the Löve exe is too much for most of them. Half the person who tried told me "yeah I wanted to try your game but it didn't work, there was just a green monster oscillating". They had totally ignored the instruction.

Personally, the way Löve works is fine by me. But the "pre-game" is part of the experience too, and a non standard installation/launching is really bad for standard users.

With a way of having the whole engine + data in one file, I suppose the distributing scheme would be as follows (I would do it that way anyway):

- the three complete exes, one for each OS
- the universal .love, with the mention "prefered", and explaination that you have to install the Löve engine first (with a link to the website), but that it is better since all the games here are made with it, and that instead of having to download the complete file each time, you can get the engine once, and then only the game files (hence smaller downloads). Plus, you can benefit of updates in the engine if you upgrade it, while using the bundles freezes the version of the engine.

All in one distribution allows the "standard users" to do what they always do: click on the link you gave them, save the file, double-click. Period. Most of them simply won't go further, even when they are you best friends on earth and it's your creations that are at stake. For those who get a little bit more interested about your games, the engine + game files solution will come naturally, especially if you advice this on the download page. Geeks are like poets anyway, no one understands them ;)

About the advertisment for Löve, I suppose it should be the choice of the game maker. I know *I* would write in big letters I used Löve, but the plain end-user doesn't need to know the mechanics. I could also put in big letters that it was programmed in Lua (did I mention my love for Lua ? ;) ), but again, they wouldn't care, and wouldn't even understand what it is about. Some would even worry about having to install more stuff on their computers, I suppose.

Well well, again I use office time to write novels on web based forums. Shame on me. I hope this little contact with "the real world experience" proved useful. I know we often forget what life was before programming :)
"When in doubt, use brute force." Ken Thompson
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rude
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Re: Future Game Distribution

Post by rude »

Right you are, Tenoch. The whole situation now (downloading, dragging and dropping, external .love-files) was never intended to be the way to distribute.

In reality, the distribution scheme will be like this: people will create embedded binaries for the platform(s) they care about, and just give the .love to all others. Nothing wrong with that. Can't force all OS on everyone.
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Merkoth
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Re: Future Game Distribution

Post by Merkoth »

Some users are not only lazy, but also fairly stupid.

When I first tried to distribute one of my games in Windows, it was just a folder with a batch file called "Play Zoomer.bat" and I had renamed love.exe to bin.exe. For some weird reason, they kept double clicking bin.exe (remember, Windows hides file extensions by default, as annoying that actually is) instead of the batch. Why? No idea.

One of the solutions I came up with was to rename the batchfile to something like "CLICK ME TO PLAY THE FUCKING GAME!!shift11!!" but I thought it was kinda aggressive :P Now seriously, I had to move the love binary to a different directory...

My point was (besides ranting about stupid users), distribution is really important and having an all-in-one binary can only bring benefits.

As for the LÖVE splash, it would be a good idea if the almighty team gave us some nice splash screens so we can show it when/wherever we want :)
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Xfcn
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Re: Future Game Distribution

Post by Xfcn »

This may sound completely wacky, but why not a content distribution system similar to Steam? An application anyone can download that plays Love games? That way we've all got a standard place to upload our love files, the thing can self-update and we can easily make our stuff available to other. Plus its one download, no muss, no fuss. Just launch Love and you've got wicked games on any platform.

Just a thought.

Of course, there's always the unique delivery method. That's been working great for years, I guess.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke
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qubodup
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Re: Future Game Distribution

Post by qubodup »

Merkoth wrote:Some users are not only lazy, but also fairly stupid.

When I first tried to distribute one of my games in Windows, it was just a folder with a batch file called "Play Zoomer.bat" and I had renamed love.exe to bin.exe. For some weird reason, they kept double clicking bin.exe (remember, Windows hides file extensions by default, as annoying that actually is) instead of the batch. Why? No idea.
The situation you describe is an indicator for that people are smart. They have learned that "icons that are unusual are often the ones to click to start the game" and that "icons that have the default window icon usually do nothing or open this white-on-black text thing"
lg.newImage("cat.png") -- made possible by lg = love.graphics
-- Don't force fullscreen (it frustrates those who want to try your game real quick) -- Develop for 1280x720 (so people can make HD videos)
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