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StuartK
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icon Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
Further to an email exchange with Mike regarding a previous build, I've created another new set of test levels demonstrating the same (or similar) hold upgrading problem, now in build 36.

test.zip contains 3 files, test1.hold is 1 level, test1b.hold is 2 levels, test1c.hold is 3 levels. Each level is just two blank rooms, with a stair to the next, or the end of the hold.

1. Import test1
2. 'Play' it through
3. Import test1b. Error

Despite test1b having been created after test1, and including an additional level, import is prevented due to it being the 'same as or older version of the same hold' The only way to import is to delete the older hold before importing.


I had two reasons for creating these test levels, aside from the above. It would be nice if these two things were checked as well (save some time as we're nearing release) since I cannot do so myself.

- Restoring to the start of the last completed level works. If I complete test1b (2 levels) then upgrade to test1c (3 levels) am I able to restore to the start of level 2, after upgrading?

- If editing rights have been granted after completing a hold, do they remain granted after upgrading to a new version of the same hold? Just checking, but I think this would be an important one not to miss...
08-15-2003 at 02:14 AM
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StuartK
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icon Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
Ack, I just realised I've goofed. I think this is an appropriate moment for a :twak

When I was creating the test holds, I forgot to set the editing rights for the first two, so I went back to them, changed it, and re-exported (without making any other changes to the individual levels) This would of course throw the hold date off, and prevent importing on those holds (if the hold import check is based on the file creation date?) I'll create a new set for further testing and get back to the group if there is an actual problem.
08-15-2003 at 02:20 AM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
You're going to pains here to make this reproducible. Very much appreciated, Stuart!

-Erik

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08-15-2003 at 02:25 AM
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StuartK
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icon Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
OK, it looks like hold upgrading and restoring work as advertised :D


However

1. Play hold with 1 level and complete it, gaining editing rights.

2. Upgrade to a new version of the same hold with additional levels (or changes to the first level I assume) and you retain those editing rights, whether you've completed the new levels/rooms or not.

Since if the player is making changes to the rooms they've already completed, they will have made a copy of the older version of the original hold, IMO editing rights should be removed when importing/upgrading to a newer version. Unless the importer is also the hold author of course...


I've attached a new set of test levels to demonstrate the behaviour. Same deal as the first lot, except I didn't screw up this time :P

[Edited by StuartK on 08-15-2003 at 01:46 AM]
08-15-2003 at 02:41 AM
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mrimer
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icon Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
Retaining hold editing rights is the intended behavior when a hold is upgraded. If Erik thinks it should be removed I'll yank it from the import, otherwise it stays.

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08-15-2003 at 03:48 AM
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StuartK
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icon Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
Keeping the existing behaviour will grant anyone who has completed the first alpha version of a hold editing rights to any future versions (or the entirety of an individuals future output, if they're just working on one big hold) whether they're 1 or 25 levels, and whether the hold designer wishes to restrict editing to the completed hold or not.

This IMO should have a rethink - I cannot see a justification for the current behaviour, especially since the player has the option of copying the hold for editing before upgrading. The warning could have an addendum to indicate that editing rights, as well as restore data, would be lost in an upgrade.
08-15-2003 at 02:24 PM
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Oneiromancer
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icon Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
I think the original reason that hold editing rights were kept between updates was kind of for playtesting, so that you wouldn't have to play through the entire hold every time one little thing was changed. If hold editing rights were lost, then the hold maker would have to make it "Anyone can edit" from the very beginning while playtesting, and then change it for the final release. This might not be a good idea to some people. I don't really care; only release one level at a time, or only have certain people playtest and e-mail them the hold, etc.

Game on,

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08-15-2003 at 04:55 PM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
quote:
StuartK wrote:
Keeping the existing behaviour will grant anyone who has completed the first alpha version of a hold editing rights to any future versions (or the entirety of an individuals future output, if they're just working on one big hold) whether they're 1 or 25 levels, and whether the hold designer wishes to restrict editing to the completed hold or not.

But there's also the case where a tiny modification is made to a hold by the author in a later version. I think people would complain if they lost their editing rights and had to replay through the last level. So by changing the rights behavior we would make a second problem.

If someone cares about this breach of security, they could release their alpha holds with "Who can edit" -> "Only You". You probably wouldn't want people editing your works in progress anyway. For the final version, change it to "Who can edit" -> "You and Conquerors". I just checked the security for this, and it seems to work right.

If you are collaborating with other hold authors, set editing rights to anyone, but distribute the hold privately to the other authors.

quote:
I cannot see a justification for the current behaviour, especially since the player has the option of copying the hold for editing before upgrading.

Yeah, but maybe the player forgets to do that. Admittedly, the author could also forget to change the "who can edit" settings on his early releases. I tend to think if it is important to him, he will remember to do it. The author who forgets and makes an early release that grants people editing rights to his future releases has the option of creating a new hold and copying levels into it. Then the testing players would not get editing access (aka "cheat access") to levels in the final hold.

We might update the help file with a "practical considerations" paragraph next to the editing rights explanation.

-Erik

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08-15-2003 at 05:02 PM
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StuartK
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icon Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
So we're weighing up the dual considerations of the original author of the holds right to choose when and how their work is exploited, and the players rights to mess with someone elses work. Your chosen solution will lead to the potential desire for hold designers to protect their work more (now we're aware of what the particular security settings mean in practice) which then means the players will lose out, because they won't be able to edit these holds under any circumstances.

Once someone has a hold with the 'You and Conquerors' security setting, any future output from that author, on the same hold, entire new levels or modifications to existing levels, will be 'cheatable'. No way to protect the crown jewels except by locking them up so noone can see them.

quote:
quote:
I cannot see a justification for the current behaviour, especially since the player has the option of copying the hold for editing before upgrading.
Yeah, but maybe the player forgets to do that.

Maybe they do. IMO, the author granted the player access to build on their work, and they had their chance. There could be a warning when upgrading, that editing rights would be lost, and if the player wants to retain them, they'd have to make a copy of the hold first (perhaps even put a button there to do the job automatically)

For a more flexible system, how about a small re-think of the security settings? There could be a way for the hold author to set a hold revision number or some kind of secret key, which when changed, would indicate a major revision, for which editing rights would be lost. A minor revision would not affect editing rights e.g.

1.0 New hold
1.1 Minor revision - editing rights unaffected
2.0 New version - editing rights re-set (with accompanying warning when upgrading)
2.1 When upgrading from 1.0 or 1.1, editing rights re-set, when upgrading from 2.0, editing rights unaffected

I suppose it would be out of the question to apply the above settings on a per-level basis? Probably getting a little too complicated, but this would allow players to editing access to levels they've already completed after upgrading, whilst still restricting access to those they have not.

quote:
Admittedly, the author could also forget to change the "who can edit" settings on his early releases. I tend to think if it is important to him, he will remember to do it. The author who forgets and makes an early release that grants people editing rights to his future releases has the option of creating a new hold and copying levels into it. Then the testing players would not get editing access (aka "cheat access") to levels in the final hold.

And the option to upgrade and retain restore points would be lost, forcing any players to play the hold from the start again (unless hold builders all employ the 'stair room' convention)

quote:
We might update the help file with a "practical considerations" paragraph next to the editing rights explanation.
Definitely. If it hadn't been explained to me as intentional, I would have seen the current behaviour as a bug ;)
08-16-2003 at 11:15 AM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
quote:
StuartK wrote:
So we're weighing up the dual considerations of the original author of the holds right to choose when and how their work is exploited, and the players rights to mess with someone elses work. Your chosen solution will lead to the potential desire for hold designers to protect their work more (now we're aware of what the particular security settings mean in practice) which then means the players will lose out, because they won't be able to edit these holds under any circumstances.

I think right now we are overvaluing the benefit of releasing a hold with editing rights given to conquerors (or "everyone" ). You don't really want to give away editing rights to people who are just playtesting. I believe the reasons people are doing it now are related to the beta process.

We have all these builds and people tend to lose their player data a lot because they forgot or didn't want to go through the export/import rigamarole. After beta is over, we won't have people reinstalling DROD twice a week and losing their player data as a side effect. There are two things that this improves:

1. If you upgrade a hold that you've already played, you will retain saved games at the start of the levels you reached (you lose other saved games). This mostly solves the problem of players having to replay levels they've already beat after a new release is made (they may still have to replay rooms on the last level they reached). With the beta builds, people tend to lose their player data, so they ask on "Architecture" for ways to get to the levels they haven't played yet (warp rooms, release holds with one level, release with editing rights). I don't think there would be a demand for this except for during beta.

2. The other reason during beta for setting a hold so everyone can edit, is that the hold author doesn't want to lose editing to his own hold after an installation. By setting editing rights to everyone, he can avoid the player export/import process between builds. I've lost rights to my hold once after upgrading, and after that I set rights to "anyone" to protect against making the same mistake.

So these two reasons probably go away after beta. I think hold authors with a protective attitude towards their work could simply release playtesting versions of their holds with no editing rights. What are they really losing this way? I can think of some counter-arguments and further responses to those, but I would look silly arguing with myself, so I will let you bring them up if you want. :P

quote:
quote:
quote:
I cannot see a justification for the current behaviour, especially since the player has the option of copying the hold for editing before upgrading.
Yeah, but maybe the player forgets to do that.

Maybe they do. IMO, the author granted the player access to build on their work, and they had their chance. There could be a warning when upgrading, that editing rights would be lost, and if the player wants to retain them, they'd have to make a copy of the hold first (perhaps even put a button there to do the job automatically)

This would be an acceptable solution, but I don't see a good reason to write the new code and switch to this.
quote:
For a more flexible system, how about a small re-think of the security settings?

(Description of idea omitted)

I think versioning individual levels and using a major/minor system is too complex. We'd rather keep the UI simple. We'd rather code features with a better effort/reward ratio. One of the things Mike and I have learned on this last release, is that we really need to aim for simplicity in design or our progress will suffer.

quote:
quote:
Admittedly, the author could also forget to change the "who can edit" settings on his early releases. I tend to think if it is important to him, he will remember to do it. The author who forgets and makes an early release that grants people editing rights to his future releases has the option of creating a new hold and copying levels into it. Then the testing players would not get editing access (aka "cheat access" ) to levels in the final hold.

And the option to upgrade and retain restore points would be lost, forcing any players to play the hold from the start again (unless hold builders all employ the 'stair room' convention)


That's true. I was mentioning it as a solution for one case where the author forgets. To avoid this case, we can change the default editing setting on holds to "only you". This should be the preferred default now that the beta builds are past. This would prevent authors from giving away too many editing rights during playtesting, as long as they didn't change the setting from the default themselves.

So right now my planned actions are:
1. Change default editing rights to "only you".
2. Update help to explain future consequences of choosing different editing rights and reasons why an author might want to use the different options.

If somebody makes a really strong argument in the next 3 hours against, then I might change my mind before I put out the release candidate, but that's probably going to be it.

-Erik

[Edited by ErikH2000 on 08-18-2003 at 05:48 PM GMT: Getting smilies when I just want parentheses.]

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08-18-2003 at 05:47 PM
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StuartK
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icon Re: Re: Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
quote:
So right now my planned actions are:
1. Change default editing rights to "only you".
2. Update help to explain future consequences of choosing different editing rights and reasons why an author might want to use the different options.

If somebody makes a really strong argument in the next 3 hours against, then I might change my mind before I put out the release candidate, but that's probably going to be it.


Nothing here to change your mind here for the 1.6 release, given how unlikely it is to change the code now. For the sake of the argument though.... Oh, and I've missed your deadline :P


If you don't want to implement the more flexible major/minor release thing (reasonable - I was considering that it might overcomplicate the interface) I'd still appreciate the 'You and conquerers' setting be altered as outlined, and the warning put in place when upgrading a hold. I don't believe it would hurt to fix it so the setting is something useful to both hold authors and players/playtesters. The only person who would miss out (by not copying a hold first before upgrading) would be the inattentive playtester, who will be denied access to the hold anyway with the current solution (i.e. denied editing rights altogether)


So, with the consequences of using that security setting, it is rendered effectively useless ('overvalued') The consequences I've already outlined, but FWIW;

The solution of 'only you' editing rights disadvantages players who want to benefit from others work. Perfectly reasonable and within the rights of the hold designers to do so, but it just seems a little less 'friendly' to me (perhaps that's a personal perception that needs altering) Hold authors may indeed have the option and desire of providing non-cheatable editing access ('You and Conquerers') to their work, but there are somewhat severe consequences for doing so, since any future work on the same hold becomes automatically editable/cheatable. And 're-setting' a hold so those editing rights are returned to the control of the hold author, also has the consequence that the entire hold has to be played from the very beginning again.

The current situation with regards the 'You and conquerers' setting is IMO a compromise with unfortunate consequences. But, perhaps I've just gotten a little too used to having editing access (I can try out different ideas myself and make suggestions to the hold author) and I'll admit I also don't want to lose that.
08-18-2003 at 09:41 PM
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Oneiromancer
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icon Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
There's no reason why you cannot e-mail the hold author and ask for an editable version of their hold, especially if you say that you are doing so to better help them refine their hold. They can always export a special version for those people they trust.

Also, StuartK, based on your comments it appears that you are not realizing some pertinent information--that the way it stands now, when you upgrade a hold-in-progress, DROD still remembers what level you reached. When you restore an upgraded hold, you would have to play an individual level again, but if only one level had any changes to it, you don't have to do the entire hold.

If you're saying that there is a bug that changing editing rights suddenly resets a player's save file for that hold, then we have an entirely different matter. But for some reason I doubt that this is the case.

Game on,

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08-18-2003 at 09:59 PM
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StuartK
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quote:
Oneiromancer wrote:
There's no reason why you cannot e-mail the hold author and ask for an editable version of their hold, especially if you say that you are doing so to better help them refine their hold. They can always export a special version for those people they trust.

Maybe. I was getting used to the ad-hoc nature of the current situation. I don't feel obliged to provide the detailed feedback that having full editing access direct from the author would represent, and the author doesn't have to deal with my personal requests, for which they may recieve no consequential reward. I can pursue ideas on a whim, which is the way I like it.
quote:
Also, StuartK, based on your comments it appears that you are not realizing some pertinent information--that the way it stands now, when you upgrade a hold-in-progress, DROD still remembers what level you reached. When you restore an upgraded hold, you would have to play an individual level again, but if only one level had any changes to it, you don't have to do the entire hold.

I understand the current situation with hold upgrades and restore points. I was just trying to focus on a different, though related, issue. After an upgrade at least one level would have to be re-played to get to where the player was was before, since there's no 'restore' point for completing a hold.

That situation can be avoided by an excellent suggestion by Mike. With every beta hold release, create an additional one room 'level' as the last level in the hold, used as the starting point for the next level in the next release. Players will then be able to 'restore' to just after the rooms they've already completed.

Or, the stair room convention can be used, since that sidesteps the whole restoring issue for playtesters. In some ways, the former solution is more elegant, but both have their merits.
quote:
If you're saying that there is a bug that changing editing rights suddenly resets a player's save file for that hold, then we have an entirely different matter. But for some reason I doubt that this is the case.

No, that's not what I was saying. After a hold has been conquered, editing rights are granted (if 'You and Conquerers' is used) After the upgrade to a new version of the hold, the playtester still has editing rights to any new levels. As a player, I don't want that cheat access (just click on 'edit' and all secrets and surprises are revealed - holds become just a collection of puzzles, rather than a cohesive whole) As a hold designer, I don't want to give away that cheat access. But then, I do still want players to be able to edit the hold after they've completed it (so far)

The current situation makes 'You and conquerers' realistically the same as granting full editing access to the hold from the outset. Why have that security setting at all, when there's so little to distinguish it?

- OK, I can answer that one myself (and it was a silly aside) 'You and conquerers' is a good security setting to grant for final versions of a hold. For any works in progress, it's effectively the same as full editing access.

[Edited by StuartK on 08-18-2003 at 10:11 PM]

[Edited by StuartK on 08-18-2003 at 10:17 PM]
08-18-2003 at 10:58 PM
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Oneiromancer
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quote:
StuartK wrote:
That situation can be avoided by an excellent suggestion by Mike. With every beta hold release, create an additional one room 'level' as the last level in the hold, used as the starting point for the next level in the next release. Players will then be able to 'restore' to just after the rooms they've already completed.

Or, the stair room convention can be used, since that sidesteps the whole restoring issue for playtesters. In some ways, the former solution is more elegant, but both have their merits.



I think that these are perfectly reasonable workarounds. Since you agree, all that remains is for the hold makers to follow these conventions, and then all the stuff you have brought up would become moot. Right?

Okay, problem solved! :glasses

Game on,

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08-18-2003 at 11:36 PM
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StuartK
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quote:

(suggestions snipped)

I think that these are perfectly reasonable workarounds. Since you agree, all that remains is for the hold makers to follow these conventions, and then all the stuff you have brought up would become moot. Right?


:D There's two issues here. You're concentrating on the latter, but I was originally concentrating on the former.

1. Retaining editing rights after upgrading when using the 'You and Conquerers' security setting

2. Restoring after upgrading, and being able to resume play at the point you left off with the previous version of the hold


Either of the two suggestions would solve 2, without requiring any complicated programmatical solutions from the DROD devs.

For 1 though, if I wish to grant editing rights to works in progress, without as a consequence providing preliminary cheat access to any new levels with hold upgrades, in perpetuity for that hold no matter how big it gets or how many years in development, I have no current recourse. I'm thinking about this now, because I expect my hold, at its current rate of progress, to take a very long time to complete...
08-19-2003 at 12:34 AM
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Oneiromancer
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icon Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
Perhaps a better question is, how does DROD know that you are upgrading a hold? Is there a way to make it so that your final version cannot be upgraded to, and instead has to be a full import? Does just changing the name of the hold do this, or do you have to physically copy and paste it? Perhaps there is a simple workaround to this problem.

Game on,

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08-19-2003 at 12:53 AM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
Oneiromancer wrote:
Perhaps a better question is, how does DROD know that you are upgrading a hold? Is there a way to make it so that your final version cannot be upgraded to, and instead has to be a full import? Does just changing the name of the hold do this, or do you have to physically copy and paste it? Perhaps there is a simple workaround to this problem.

You'd have to copy and paste levels into a new hold. The problem with this is that players would need to replay levels they already beat. So it works, but at a cost.

-Erik

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08-19-2003 at 01:03 AM
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StuartK
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quote:
Oneiromancer wrote:
Perhaps a better question is, how does DROD know that you are upgrading a hold? Is there a way to make it so that your final version cannot be upgraded to, and instead has to be a full import? Does just changing the name of the hold do this, or do you have to physically copy and paste it? Perhaps there is a simple workaround to this problem.


It's not the name of the hold - I tested this and the imported hold was recognised, and the hold name on the imported list was changed. These guys think of everything ;)

Getting a new hold ID (it must be some internal security code) would solve the security problem for a new release, if you've made a previous release with editing rights. But then you have the problem of hold players having to begin the entire hold from the start again.

So, I guess the only solution for granting non-cheatable editing access to works in progress is the warp room. And some way to ensure that each new release is not recognised as an upgrade to a previous one. Copying and pasting level by level to get a new hold ID, and a warp room to access each level. A rather inelegant solution...
08-19-2003 at 01:13 AM
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icon Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
BTW, I don't think copying all the levels is required to make what the game considers a "new hold". You can just hit the copy hold button and it will make a fresh hold version that the game considers distinct from the original hold. (Don't forget to revise the hold title and description if you want it to look the same as the original. But this seems to me about as simple as you can make the copy process.)

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08-19-2003 at 02:49 PM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: Re: Re: Re: Bug: Upgrading to newer versions of a hold (0)  
quote:
StuartK wrote:
Nothing here to change your mind here for the 1.6 release, given how unlikely it is to change the code now. For the sake of the argument though.... Oh, and I've missed your deadline :P

What? You aren't reading each DROD.net message as it comes in? Sleeping on the job, I tell ya.
quote:
If you don't want to implement the more flexible major/minor release thing (reasonable - I was considering that it might overcomplicate the interface) I'd still appreciate the 'You and conquerers' setting be altered as outlined, and the warning put in place when upgrading a hold.

I can see something like this going into the next release. I'd like to discover what other issues come up related to editing permissions and group-related functionality. The problems are hard to see until you get a lot of real usage (and of course, you are showing us one problem that was generated from real usage.) We might put in your change as you've described it. We might do something else because other problems should be solved simultaneously. I understand that the available workarounds have disadvantages, but we'll rely on them at least until the next release.

(Heh. I think I hear Eytan muttering, "You guys should have just used passwords like I told you!" )

-Erik

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08-19-2003 at 08:18 PM
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