Author Topic: How to keep your ticalc.org author reputation nice and still get downloads  (Read 1126 times)

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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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I thought I would put some tricks people should follow when they upload their files on ticalc.org (or any other archives). Although this is not as bad as before, I still notice some people continue to upload misleading calculator programs on ticalc.org or even stuff that barely works. Of course, the rules changed over the year, but most remains the same today. Back in 2003-2004, to not be hated in the TI community, the trick was to never upload anything in the BASIC games section. This of course changed because people realized BASIC games could be good too.

Also, I notice some authors do stuff that prevents them from getting downloads, even if their program is good. Anyway here are my advices I think people should follow, to get downloads while not getting a reputation of crappy author polluting ticalc.org archives with junk then even eventually make the S.N.O.T.Y Award:

1) Do not upload a game until it's actually functional. Demos or unfinished games where slashing enemies works but magic doesn't and 3 out of 4 dungeons are missing are ok, because you can showcase what you got so far, but a Mario clone where jumping barely even works at all, where there is absolutely no tilemap/graphics besides the mario sprite moving left or right or worse, a game where all that is included is the title screen menu are not. If you are gonna upload such file anyway, please include in the title that it is just an early engine in the works, like I did with ROL4 menu engine, otherwise put it under misc programs instead of games until it reaches a functional state.

2) Do not call your game Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros, GTA or Final Fantasy unless it can rival with Sam Heald's Zelda, Super Mario 1.2 or Final Fantasy v1.198 in quality. Also, make sure it's an actual Mario/Zelda/FF game. Do not call a game like Jump Mario or a Tunnel game Mario Kart. Also make sure you follow rule 1. Several people in the TI community dislikes misleading titles where the author only uses such title for the sole purpose of getting extra downloads at the expense of actual good and finished programs. A prime example of what to avoid (no offense to the author) is this: http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/fileinfo/425/42500.html . This game has been the subject of many complains and I think some people even reported it for misleading content.

3) Continuing on rule 2), please do not use misleading descriptions. If your RPG is menu-based but the title screen uses the graph screen, do not try to pass it as a graphical game.

4) Please include instructions on how to play the game with your file. See Omnimaga contests, for example, where some people lost considerable amounts of votes because almost nobody could figure out how to play their games.

5) Do not use .tig/.8xo files. Not everyone have the tools to open them or transfer them. 8xg is tolerated, but not recommended either.

6) At least include a copy of your readme in .txt/.html format in your zip file. Not everyone wants to download an extra software (or in .tns case, send the game to their calc) to be able to read the readme. If you add extra formats with more details, I recommend pdf, because it tends to remain cross compatible between versions of Adobe Reader for a longer length than .doc files with their respective softwares.

7) Make sure you upload your game in the right category. If your Pokémon game involves killing an horde of Pikachus in real time, put it under fighting, not role-playing. Do not put menu-based RPGs outside the menu-based sections.

8) Include screenshots whenever possible. Animated is recomended, but non-animated is fine too. By screenshot I mean of the gameplay, not just the title screen. This

9) While following rule 2) about game titles, try to choose a title that gives an idea of what the game might be too. If your racing game is called "Wazatuciebstrezyionialzwatsu", it might look less attractive unless the weird title picks people's curiosity.


If you got more rules, staff are free to edit this if they want to add extra rules or edit some. Note that it isn't directed at anyone in particular, but since Omni got lots of traffic, I thought I might try to help newer authors to make sure they do not get a bad reputation eventually, especially the first few rules.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 12:18:25 am by DJ_O »
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Offline Darl181

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I'll just put this here: "2^6 Ways to Get Your Files accepted to ticalc.org"

And yeah, it's nice that the archivers try to limit what gets in and what doesn't--but the authors should do their part as well...
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 02:26:10 am by Darl181 »

Offline calcdude84se

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5) Do not use .tig/.8xo files. Not everyone have the tools to open them or transfer them. 8xg is tolerated, but not recommended either.
.tig is essentially .zip with a different extension, so it's not that bad. However, at that point it's better just to use .zip anyway ;)
Quote
6) At least include a copy of your readme in .txt/.html format in your zip file. Not everyone wants to download an extra software (or in .tns case, send the game to their calc) to be able to read the readme. If you add extra formats with more details, I recommend pdf, because it tends to remain cross compatible between versions of Adobe Reader for a longer length than .doc files with their respective softwares.
IMO, PDF is only really necessary over HTML when you're writing something for printing (which, for a calc program, isn't necessary).

Darl, I always find that a fun read :)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 09:44:21 am by calcdude84se »
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Ashbad

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As of late I pretty much boycott ticalc.org as a serious archiving site since 80% of the content is *crap crap crap*.  1000 Mario games is too much.  10,000 quadratic things are too many!  The only archives I really look at are independent sites, Omnimaga, and Cemetech.  I try hard not to use ticalc.  Until the archivers stop letting in crap (or at least actually *screen* the files for something besides having "porn" in the program's title) I don't want to be a patron.

And, there are one or two members here who are targeted in your rules above, and I suggest they listen to your advice DJ and heed it well.  If they don't, they'll never be treated seriously again by a lot of people, for uploading crappy things.

Also, txt files are fine for readme's, they are highly versatile across most platforms too
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 09:49:23 am by Ashbad »

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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5) Do not use .tig/.8xo files. Not everyone have the tools to open them or transfer them. 8xg is tolerated, but not recommended either.
.tig is essentially .zip with a different extension, so it's not that bad. However, at that point it's better just to use .zip anyway ;)
Quote
6) At least include a copy of your readme in .txt/.html format in your zip file. Not everyone wants to download an extra software (or in .tns case, send the game to their calc) to be able to read the readme. If you add extra formats with more details, I recommend pdf, because it tends to remain cross compatible between versions of Adobe Reader for a longer length than .doc files with their respective softwares.
IMO, PDF is only really necessary over HTML when you're writing something for printing (which, for a calc program, isn't necessary).

Darl, I always find that a fun read :)
Ok but not everyone knows that about .tig since it's not documented by TI.
As of late I pretty much boycott ticalc.org as a serious archiving site since 80% of the content is *crap crap crap*.  1000 Mario games is too much.  10,000 quadratic things are too many!  The only archives I really look at are independent sites, Omnimaga, and Cemetech.  I try hard not to use ticalc.  Until the archivers stop letting in crap (or at least actually *screen* the files for something besides having "porn" in the program's title) I don't want to be a patron.

And, there are one or two members here who are targeted in your rules above, and I suggest they listen to your advice DJ and heed it well.  If they don't, they'll never be treated seriously again by a lot of people, for uploading crappy things.

Also, txt files are fine for readme's, they are highly versatile across most platforms too
Well personally I won't name anyone, but there are those ppl on every calc site. Also I don't think boycotting ticalc due to their content is really a good idea, since uploading good content instead would actually help balancing things out :P. The best thing to do is rate down every bad file.
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Ashbad

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perhaps, but they'll still let bad files in; I only really boycott it in the sense I don't ever check it's news or new programs, just download things I need that are already up there.  All good content I make takes like a month before it would go up there, and some people upload programs that should really not be released after 10 minutes of coding.  And there's a lot more of those :P the good stuff gets lost in the storm, so to speak.

I just think that maybe if the ticalc staff realize that all good content is no longer getting uploaded there, they might possibly realize the site is becoming a laughing stock and should crack down on quadratic solvers..

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Oooh ok. Yeah it's rare we see much good files. As for news I don't check them as much yet except maybe since Ryan hiring, since he seemed less biased toward a specific calc site or another in general.

And yeah I remember back then they disallowed quadratic solvers. Not sure why they started allowing them again. The last one they accepted from 2006 to 2008 was my grayscale one. :P
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Offline Builderboy

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As far as rating down bad files goes, I've noticed that since so few files are rated, even if your file gets a horrid rating, it will still be near the top when you sort by rating, and all the awesome programs with no rating will be below all the programs that got 1/10  :-\

Offline ben_g

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You should also check if all programs/external variables are included when you upload a program to ticalc. There are some (usually basic) programs that don't have all programs included, so you get an ERR:UNDEFINED.
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Offline TravisE

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I highly recommend rating files on ticalc.org—we never get enough of those. I'm sure there are enough of  you guys here who you could probably organize yourselves and go on a rating campaign or something. ;) That would help us out a lot and give us a better idea of what kinds of files should and should not be approved. It only takes a second for each file, and unlike reviews, it only takes 24 hours max for ratings to be included in the statistics rather than 24 months. :P (I hope Duncan's not reading this)

Oh yeah, and for bad/obviously nonworking, misplaced, suspected stats cheating, etc., programs, do use that report form at the bottom of the fileinfo pages. I do read and consider those reports, even though I don't always reply.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 05:43:59 pm by TravisE »
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Offline Darl181

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Hmm I haven't rated many programs, I think I've only done Axe and zStart :P

Tho pretty much every other time I log on, I have to validate the account b/c I hardly ever use it XD

Btw does ticalc have a designated login page?  Only way I've been able to get to one was by trying to do a members-only action (rating for example) and it asks to log in..
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 06:43:36 pm by Darl181 »

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I totally agree with TravisE.

Here's what we need to do. We need to go through ticalc.org and look through the file names. If you see a game that you have played before, (or know the reputation of (Mario)), rate it. It doesn't matter what the rating is, just rate it. Using this method if at least 5 of us do this, by tomorrow, all of the decent games will have a rating.

I honestly believe that our 10 minutes of rating could help >1000 desperate kids find a good game.
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A agree with the above posts.  All of the good programs would then be pushed up, and all of the bad programs (mostly quadratic solvers) would be pushed down. 

I don't care if you rate down my quadratic program; it was supposed to be terrible.  Oh, and it would be funny if it was the most down-rated program on TIcalc.  :P
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I totally agree with TravisE.

Here's what we need to do. We need to go through ticalc.org and look through the file names. If you see a game that you have played before, (or know the reputation of (Mario)), rate it. It doesn't matter what the rating is, just rate it. Using this method if at least 5 of us do this, by tomorrow, all of the decent games will have a rating.

I honestly believe that our 10 minutes of rating could help >1000 desperate kids find a good game.

Will do. Anyone else commit?
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I totally agree with TravisE.

Here's what we need to do. We need to go through ticalc.org and look through the file names. If you see a game that you have played before, (or know the reputation of (Mario)), rate it. It doesn't matter what the rating is, just rate it. Using this method if at least 5 of us do this, by tomorrow, all of the decent games will have a rating.

I honestly believe that our 10 minutes of rating could help >1000 desperate kids find a good game.
Absolutely. I will commit to doing that.