Rules for attaching maps

Post GTA1/GTA2 maps here (finished and work in progress).
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Rules for attaching maps

Post by Sektor » 10 Apr 2009, 06:47

You should use the name of the map as the topic. I prefer 7-Zip attachments since it is usually the smallest format and GTA2 Game Hunter can download/install 7z maps just by clicking on the links (this only works after the map has been moved to http://gtamp.com/maps/ folder). Attaching the map to the forum is better than uploading to those annoying free hosting sites since this site has no ads and doesn't expire files. Please write a description and if you have a screenshot with a resolution under 800 horizontal pixels then please attach it. You can link to larger screenshots. When the author is ready for a proper release, I can add it to the GTA2 Multiplayer Maps page. I would like to fully automate the submit map process at some stage but using the forum attachment method will do for now.

All GMP, STY and MMP files have to be in the root folder of the archive.

Try to make your map support 1-6 players. It's just lazy not to add 6 player spawn positions.

MMP file: Generally, it is not allowed to have 1 MMP file for each player count but there can be exceptions (maps that just can't work with 1-6 players or highly complex scripts). GTA2 v11.39 and newer don't need a PlayerCount line in the MMP file (delete that line). GTA2 will crash if you try to use a command on a player that doesn't exist but you can ensure the player exists by checking if their health is more than 0.

IF (CHECK_CHARACTER_HEALTH(p2, 0))
----COMMANDS ON P2 GO HERE
ENDIF.

GMP file: Use GMP Optimizer or TM's Editor to shrink the .gmp file.

Image: I also suggest to add a preview image to the 7z archive. The main image must have the same name as the GMP file and a .jpg or .gif extension.

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by BenMillard » 13 Oct 2010, 08:38

I'd like ZIP to be one of the preferred formats, if not the preferred format. The slightly smaller sizes of 7-zip and RAR is false economy.
  • Finding, downloading, installing, then learning a new application takes a lot longer than the extra download time of a ZIP.
  • On top of that, you have to put up with the clutter they all add to context menus and other UI.
  • It really isn't worth it.
  • People who like 7-zip (or whatever) can still use it on files which are in ZIP format.
  • Peole who don't like the 7-zip GUI are forced to use it for .7z files?
I've been using 400x300 for the GH preview image, which works well. The Create Game window only gets maximised occasionally?

(EDIT) Elypter makes a good point below: compress the files directly, not the folder they were in!

(EDIT2) Is there an easy way for modders to check for naming conflicts with other released levels? Including less popular ones?
Last edited by BenMillard on 21 Oct 2010, 11:22, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by elypter » 13 Oct 2010, 15:35

It does matter a bit when your maps include custom sty and especially audio files. you can save about 500kb although i think that still doesn't matter much. The important point is that it is already established so you have to have 7-zip anyway when you play gta2 and furthermore the built-in zip functionality of windows is crap. i suggest anybody to use 7-zip instead. 7-zip only has 1 submenu in context menu which is really a great advantage to all those ui killing archive managers.
-But I would also support that .zip becomes a preferred format and for small maps it's probably the best choice. at least much better than rar.
-400x300 is a good resolution i think.
-much more important than the format: please put the files always in the root folder of the archive. It is much easier to explain an absolute noob what to do then and it makes automation much easier too.
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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by elypter » 27 Oct 2010, 18:21

BenMillard wrote: (EDIT2) Is there an easy way for modders to check for naming conflicts with other released levels? Including less popular ones?
you could check the files of the multiplayer_pakx
http://giantgta.elypter.square7.net/pak ... akx.7z.txt
and the rest:
http://giantgta.elypter.square7.net/pakx/other.txt
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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by BenMillard » 27 Oct 2010, 19:37

That's awesome, elypter! :shock:

Should PM/e-mail you with new map file-names? Sektor could link to those from the GTA2 maps list, as a central modder's reference.

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by elypter » 27 Oct 2010, 22:41

BenMillard wrote:That's awesome, elypter! :shock:

Should PM/e-mail you with new map file-names? Sektor could link to those from the GTA2 maps list, as a central modder's reference.
these list are auto generated by my packing script which uses the the 7zip command line tool. I need to have the actual file in order to add it to the list. But im always interested in new map, also if it is not available yet.
Linking these files is a good idea. Although i might want to change the link to the second list(other.txt). It's generated semi automatic. So if it is demanded i will probably do something to make this work in a fully integrated way.
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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by Sektor » 01 Nov 2010, 10:45

If all maps used the MMP filename as the .7z name then I could automatically link to that map when someone tries to join and eventually automatically download. Renaming all the maps would take a while. We could make a huge redirect .htaccess file or database table but that would take just as long as renaming maps and require the server to do more work.

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by BenMillard » 09 Nov 2010, 17:10

Another newbie I was trying to help today couldn't understand how to install Pure Zooka Arena. He'd never heard of the 7-zip format, though it was some custom GTA2 map package type thing which he didn't know how to run.

Probably wasted hours. I've seen at least 3 new players have experienced the pain of rare compression formats in the past few weeks. It really is a false economy for files less than, say, 100MB.

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by Sektor » 13 Nov 2010, 16:42

It would be possible to make all the topics created in the map forum automatically appear as a link on the http://gtamp.com/maps page. It would be best if topic creators use the map name they want to appear on the map page as the topic name and only use the map forum for creating topics about new maps.

The descriptions used here are often too large to go on the map page, so I'd need a way for users to edit the description.

Maybe it would be better to add a submission form to the map page and make the map page create a topic in this forum.

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by Vike the Hube » 10 Mar 2011, 03:35

Sektor when you get around to doing auto-map downloads, distribute the command-line 7z with GH.

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by elypter » 24 May 2012, 10:04

please add that people should not upload maps to shitty file hosters which let files expire after some time. either upload it to the forum, that's why it has that function, or to http://gta2dare.omnitude.net/maplist/list.php or at least use a decent file hoster like http://minus.com/
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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by Salamander » 02 Jun 2012, 22:12

FWIW:
BenMillard wrote:The slightly smaller sizes of 7-zip and RAR is false economy.
The RAR format is one of those things that would put a smile on my face if it was dead and forgotten. It's a proprietary format. It's slow. WinRAR sucks at creating and unpacking RAR files - other programs that can create and unpack from/to the RAR format outperform WinRAR in terms of speed at identical compression.
Not so with 7-Zip. It has a safe and free license. The only issue you might have is that Windows doesn't support it out of the box (or didn't, last time I checked), but this is a non-issue as unpacking 7z files is handled by GH using 7za.exe.
BenMillard wrote:Finding, downloading, installing, then learning a new application takes a lot longer than the extra download time of a ZIP.
Yes, but GH ships with 7za.exe so no need finding it.
As for the full 7-Zip program (or any other programs that support the 7-Zip format) installing it and learning to use it is a one-time thing, only applies the first time round, and that will happen sooner or later.
7-Zip's compression ratio to ZIP can be high, even half the size (depending on the content) which is a lot when you think of downloading an 18MB GTA2 archive on a slow connection (but fast enough for GTA2) vs a 36MB one. Makes a difference when you want to download a whole map pack.
BenMillard wrote:On top of that, you have to put up with the clutter they all add to context menus and other UI.
You don't have to.
BenMillard wrote:Peole who don't like the 7-zip GUI are forced to use it for .7z files?
No they're not, there are many alternatives, and as mentioned in the first point, GH does all that for you.

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by BenMillard » 04 Jun 2012, 15:15

Yep, for normal players the 7-zip experience is much better than it used to be.

I'll start looking into .7z compression tools which have decent GUIs, for my own levels.

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by elypter » 04 Jun 2012, 16:18

BenMillard wrote:Yep, for normal players the 7-zip experience is much better than it used to be.

I'll start looking into .7z compression tools which have decent GUIs, for my own levels.
Directory Opus :P
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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by Sektor » 04 Jun 2012, 16:30

Directory Optus isn't free. The 7-Zip frontend works well enough when I need it or I can right click but I mostly use command line and have lots bat files.

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by CarThief » 03 Aug 2012, 15:53

Well i just recently noticed the rules about the MMP limit, while its pretty minor in from what i gather it doesnt seem to be enforced on files uploaded outside of the forums, seems pretty bullshit to be honest. Some scripts can be overly complex, complex enough to possibily not even function with added player health checks, or maybe the map only allows for very specific amounts of players. Or it just forces uploaders here to forcibily alter their script into something more overly complex and increasing the chances on bugs and errors, or they might not be up for the task at all.

I would say this is a bit too restrictive when talking about a game thats so old and has so many unusual habits glitches and behaviour, that it just seems hard or pointless in some cases to comply to. Just my opinion and observation though, it is... managable... despite its flaws, as it seems to be made only for uploads here. (Would be really hard to enforce anyway outside of the forums, and pointless i'd imagine.)

I take it exemptions can probaly will be made if the map is absolutely meant to have specific amounts of players?

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by elypter » 03 Aug 2012, 16:17

if the map is "team failure" then it's ok but thats kind of self-explanatory
no map gets overly complex by adding "IF (CHECK_CHARACTER_HEALTH(p1, 0))"
even player depended counter values in rocket chamber and stuff like that is nothing more than a few if checks
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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by CarThief » 03 Aug 2012, 19:46

Perhaps, though GTA2 in its infinite wisd- uh, buggy behaviour and glitches might not always allow for that, kinda makes the rule imperfect and hard to follow sometimes, either that or said script is so damn long it would just ask for trouble to add the 3P and more content as well, or who knows what other problems might pop up.

I guess its in good faith for people's mmp folders to not clog them up too much, but i dont think the number of mmp files was ever a problem, let alone needed to be reduced to the disadvantadge of the creator of the map who might have trouble doing so. Just doesnt seem worth the hassle for any overly complex map, though admittedly most maps are fairly simple, most of the time.

This does get slightly worrying when it comes to larger projects like my singleplayer project if i ever decide to make co-op compatible missions.
Missions alone can be a messy thing, let alone building in several player checks, considering the sensitivity and chance of crashing alone when just making new mission code... Hm, if i ever get to finishing it that is, just need to think of more missions...

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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by elypter » 03 Aug 2012, 20:31

actually i made a map that is too complex to add support for more than 4 players. still i find it much easier to just make one mmp and scr file. its too much trouble to keep up with changes if you have multiple files.
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Re: Rules for attaching maps

Post by BenMillard » 03 Aug 2012, 21:13

GTAMP is run by a reasonable person: Sektor.

If there's a good reason to break the rules, I'm sure he'll allow it on a case-by-case basis.

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