Okay, here`s how the whole thing looks at the moment
Roguelike Archive aim: to collect every single roguelike ever released.
Simple statement, insta problem. Yes, commercial games will have to be excluded for obvious reasons...though as a completist and an old pirate, I say it with kinda heavy heart. The commercial games will be fully documented in the database though. As for the "olden", abandonware titles - well, will have to deal with these on case by case basis.
The collection will be released both in torrent and perhaps also downloadable archive format (depending on circumstances).
DIRECTORY STRUCTURE - sort of a cross between Roguetemple db and my HDD one.
[ DOC] - any documentation unrelated directly to particular titles. Tech and non-tech alike. Articles, blogs, cover art, sites, forums - anything goes. Plus all the master lists.
[7HDRL] - 7HR, 7D and any other competition RL
[Alpha] - all the alphas
[Beta+Stable] - all the betas and stable versions
[Demo] - all the demos
[Originals] - all the original archives/files exactly as obtained from whatever sources. No changes, no fancy naming, 100% organic.
[Proto] - anything hard to classify - tbh not sure what could go in this dir or if it will be named that or even feature at all. Original thought was it`d be for pre-alphas or just some...drafts? but not sure if such exist.
[Source] - all the sources we can obtain
[Version] - mentioned in previous post - all the versions we can obtain
[???] - any ideas?
Defunct games - it`s a "type" in Temple`s database, here I changed it to just a "status" - meaning there won`t be a separate directory. It`s a tough one...but overall I think it works better. So, you can have an alpha or a beta beta that is "defunct" - it`s one of the flags in the naming system.
Playability - is my main concern in building this db, basically I love to know how many playable RLs are out there, and also it`d be great just to unpack the dir and know what kinda stuff is there. This more or less governs the above structure, I also would like to add a flag ["p" or "playable"] to the games in alpha section later - many of them play as well (or better?) as betas. Overall it`s a tricky field (define playable?), but I just assume for the sanity`s sake that all the [beta+stable] games are "playable" - but so is lots of alphas. For that flag player`s feedback and opinion would be needed - later.
Alpha-Beta-Stable chain obviously fluctuates over time. Updates ahoy!
Ok, sit tight now, deep breath, etc..
There will be a traditional - non-traditional divide inside main [Alpha+B/S] directories at least. At the moment I have a Lite directory inside each of these, trad RLs are in the main. Criteria is simple: turn-based/permadeath/procedural.
The explanation: I want to know at a glance what do I have and access it accordingly, and for me personally this is a preferred setup and classification. It`s not to cause or further any argument, prove some points or promote any interpretations. The divide is not a diss or a slight by any means. Please note: there are no separate RL/ RLite torrents, just one big ass Roguelike Archive and thats all there is to it.
Still hate it? Okay:
It`s all easily adjustable. Simply mark/move all from the Lite dir into the main, done. Don`t like alpha/beta distinction? Pour it all into one dir.
GAME ARCHIVE STRUCTURE
I`v chosen 7zip as a main compression tool. If anyone has better idea I`m willing to listen as my decision is only vaguely informed - it`s open source, seems to have a decent ratio and these days most other packers recognize it too. But I don`t know really if that`s the best idea.
Games will be re-packed with no changes from original archive apart from one: I will add a [ Doc] directory containing whatever info regarding this particular title I can find. At first it`s mainly from Roguebasin/game`s website (if differ from internal game docs) but later on we can add anything - guides/reviews/spoilers etc we can find.
This is a questionable decision as many people might balk at having an "alien" dir inside the game proper. However from experience with other sets i know a separate mammoth Doc dir is a pain...and I always wish I had all the info in the game`s directory itself (1stWRLDPRBLM detected, yes). Again though, for those who can`t stomach it, a simple solution: unpack everything - treat the lot with a good file finder ([ Doc] is distinct enough) - hit delete - repack - done. Tested this in Total Commander, it`s a breeze.
Why bother? Well, things get messy otherwise plus we need to able to search. there will be hundreds of games - probably under 1500, not as bad as ZX Spectrum or MSDOS collections (5 digit numbers) but still. Also, the games will escape their native directories eventually and then naming+flags can be quite helpful.
Inspired by TOSEC et al, but I want to keep it much simpler, since their names can get to a silly novella-grade sometime. So, for example:
Abura Tan v0.A11 [alpha][src][DOS][def].7z
Hopefully it won`t get longer than that. Again, playability is my yardstick, I want to know as much about it just by looking at a name. So, [alpha/beta/stable] - [src] only for sources - [platform] (here Win will be a default and the flag only appears for other platforms) - [def] for defunct (again only appears if that`s the case, "live" is assumed default)
And again: hate it? Purge it! (I might do it myself in personal HDD...names-sans-flags definitely looks cuter). The flags are easy to search & destroy in a single swoop (Total Commander plug again....well, it IS the best tool for Win ever :)
Thats that for now. I will post my spreadsheet/db examples over the weekend on my site hopefully. Again, kudos to people behind the Roguetemple database - I was always mesmerized by how brilliant it is and now it comes fully to life again - exporting is super easy and thoroughness staggering. Without it this project would be hardly possible.
All comments and suggestions and customary RT scalding/tumbleweed are more than welcome ;)