Game:

The Spam Club

» The Spam Club - Life, The Universe and Everything - Site Issues - The importance of manual scans - Reply

Reply

Username:
Not Authentication Code (blank):
Password:
Guest Password: WO5EO
Post:
Attachment: (max. 5000000 bytes)
Mail Notification?Yes
No

Last 20 Posts (View All)

Posted at 19:31 on July 17th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Guest
If it saves you the effort of scanning (and I've scanned a few manuals in my time so I know how tedious it can be) you may be interested to know that ReplacementDocs has a manual available for Simon the Sorcerer II - it's marked as the DOS version, but is the Amiga version of the manual that much of a difference? Also, a scan for The Clue! (Der Clou!) is in RDocs's upload queue, again it is marked for the PC but as the manual is multi-format it also covers the various Amiga versions, the problem here is how long it will take RDocs to make this scan 'live'.

Re. The Train Game, does a scan offer anything that cannot be conveyed in the text file? If not then there is little point in offering a scan, unless, as mentioned by T-Pow, the aim of the site is to preserve everything gamewise in which case you will have to offer scans of manuals for all the games.
Posted at 17:36 on July 17th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Dr Gumby
Posts: 192
I thought the main aim of TGoD is to preserve the games. Why just preserve the software? The Boxes and Manuals are also worth the work. Even if they are not usable to play the game. It might be a good example for future software companies how you should not write a manual. ;)
Posted at 14:19 on July 17th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Retired Gumby
Posts: 716
I think it mostly depends on the individual game. Is it one where the manual is essential (because not all the info you need is available in-game, or because it has one of those security things "what is the picture on page 2?", etc) or is it one of those lameass "press button a to jump, press button b to fire, use the d-pad to move around" pieces of crap?
A good example of this can be seen in atari 2600 manuals. Most are the same useless "use joystick to move, press button to fire" garbage, but a few have a list of complex game settings. (Warlords has about 16 different modes, you can choose 1-4 players, fast or slow balls, catchable balls or deflecting only balls, but the only way to know which mode is which (they're simply numbered 1-16, you don't get to choose each option seperately or anything) is by the list in the manual. Space caverns is similar, but more so. You can choose 1 or 2 players, having 2 or 4 aliens above, 0, 1, or 2 side aliens, large or small top aliens, whether the top aliens fire straigh or diagonally, and about 6 levels of difficulty. None of these are seperate options, you have to choose one of some 60 or 80 numbered modes & try to figure which one is the one you actually want, a task which is nearly impossible without the chart included in the manual.
Both of these games NEED a manual, yet for the vast majority of 2600 games, the manual is completely useless.)


Manuals are something that is generally an "eh, so what?" thing, but become very important when you want/need one & can't find it.
Your best bet would be to include manual scans, but do so with minimum effort, using ones other people have already scanned & posted somewhere (giving appropriate credit of course).
-----
At the end of the day, you're left with a bent fork & a pissed off rhino.
Posted at 09:29 on July 13th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Master Gumby
Posts: 82
I thought you might say that. :)
-----
Posted at 09:25 on July 13th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8989
Well, at least one person who hasn't been here before has voiced an opinion - although I don't expect much, I still want to make it clear that nobody has to be discouraged just by this side-topic.

And you'll be surprised: I do have a Perl script which handles all the post-processing of the raw images, i.e. cleaning them up, reducing colour depth and so on. If you finance a pair of robot arms and hands, I'm sure I would be able to write a control script in Perl which would make them turn the pages as well ;)
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 09:12 on July 13th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Master Gumby
Posts: 82
Yes, all 5 of us. :D Can't afford to go off topic with numbers like that! I picked 'case to case decision' or as I would put it 'case by case basis'.

I've only scanned one manual before, and it's not something I would want to do very often.

Maybe you can write a perl script to do it. :) Show us the true power of perl!! :D
-----
-----
Edited by Gargantuan Orangutan at 09:13 on July 13th, 2009
Posted at 08:58 on July 13th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8989
No, the last Windows system I had ran Windows 98 (not SE), but I gave that away to a friend who desperately needed "a" computer.

Anyway, we've gone 'slightly' off-topic. I'm still looking for more opinions about the the manual issue - please don't be discouraged by this short interlude about task automation via scripting languages, everyone.
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 21:39 on July 12th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Master Gumby
Posts: 82
Do you have Windows 2000? Far as I know, it will also run. Also reported to work under Vista.

But DOS, 95, 98, and WinME do not have the functions required for it.
-----
-----
Edited by Gargantuan Orangutan at 21:42 on July 12th, 2009
Posted at 20:18 on July 12th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8989
Originally posted by Gargantuan Orangutan at 19:30 on July 12th, 2009:
my Time Streamer game (which you've probably not looked at, I assume)

Obviously, because "System Requirements:

(Windows XP)".
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 19:30 on July 12th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Master Gumby
Posts: 82
Could be. But Windows has a built-in scripting language, VBScript. I've not used it. But there are also batch files understood by cmd.exe, or batch scripting, which I've had more experience with. Although it's often rather convoluted as hell and counter-intuitive, you can still do a lot with it, as shown in my Time Streamer game (which you've probably not looked at, I assume). Part of what I was doing was to prove that a good game is not dependent on fancy graphics or the language used.

But I will admit that I doubt I could write a batch file on the fly to do what you did. But that may have more to do with never having done it before, and how I don't write them on regular basis.
-----
-----
Edited by Gargantuan Orangutan at 19:32 on July 12th, 2009
Posted at 18:32 on July 12th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8989
Maybe that explains why they're all unproductive, with no way to automate tasks? "lol"
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 18:10 on July 12th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Master Gumby
Posts: 82
There are no typical Microsoft Windows users that use Perl, lol.
-----
Posted at 17:21 on July 12th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8989
Orangutan: Seriously, at least quote with context - the very first sentence of the same paragraph you're quoting is this:
Quote:
Users of Microsoft Windows typically install one of the native binary distributions of Perl for Win32,[31] most commonly ActivePerl.


retro: Thanks, you're making a good point there. This would explain why many of the manuals I mentioned earlier aren't that popular download-count-wise (Adventure games). However, what about other background information about the game? Game documentation includes more than just the stuff necessary to play the game. Castle Master has this very nice, long poem. Is this important?
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 10:21 on July 12th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Member
Baby Gumby
Posts: 1
Hello all,

First time I post here but I have been following goodolddays for a long time now.

Personally, I do like to have manuals available. In most cases I read the manual before starting a new game.

In general I would think that the necessity of having a manual available strongly depends on the type of game. Most strategy games and role playing games are hardly playable without a proper manual (ok, you can try to play them but you most probably will miss the one or the other info that is important for the game). On the other side, most action games, sports games or even adventures have got rather simple game mechanics which do not require extensive explanation.

Regards
retro
Posted at 06:05 on July 12th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Master Gumby
Posts: 82
Originally posted by at 05:57 on December 9th, 2019:
Compiling Perl from source code under Windows is possible, but most installations lack the requisite C compiler and build tools. This also makes it difficult to install modules from the CPAN, particularly those that are partially written in C
-Wiki

etc
-----
Posted at 05:43 on July 12th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8989
That is why it says 'base_url' - the actual URL of each file is constructed by combining that base URL, the page number and the file extension. The script is tested and it works. And last time I checked, Perl was available for MS Windows (though seriously, I don't see how a system without Perl installed can be considered usable).
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 03:52 on July 12th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Master Gumby
Posts: 82
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 06:19 on July 11th, 2009:

http://dmweb.free.fr/files/DMII-Scan-Manual-Amiga-German-Page
= 404 Page not found

The Firefox add-on DownloadThemALL! would probably work very well for this.

How about a python script for the windows machines? :P
-----
-----
Edited by Gargantuan Orangutan at 03:53 on July 12th, 2009
Posted at 06:19 on July 11th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8989
Originally posted by Wandrell at 21:06 on July 10th, 2009:
I know where to download the manual for Dungeon Master 2 in german, but it is a nuisance getting it page by page.

The webpage, by the way, is http://dmweb.free.fr/

Yeah, took me 30 seconds to type in a script to download those images :P

Code:
#!/usr/bin/perl

use warnings;
use strict;

my $base_url = 'http://dmweb.free.fr/files/DMII-Scan-Manual-Amiga-German-Page';
my $extension = '.jpg';

for (my $page = 1; $page <= 44; $page++) {
	if (length($page) < 2) {
		$page = '0' . $page;
	}
	my $url = $base_url . $page . $extension;
	`wget $url`;
}
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Posted at 21:06 on July 10th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Member
Retired Gumby
Posts: 970
Well, they have quite a bunch of MSDos games manuals, I've even uploaded some, 43 f them were approved and are to be downloaded. Usually if I find on internet a manual I upload it there. Not always, as for example I know where to download the manual for Dungeon Master 2 in german, but it is a nuisance getting it page by page.

The webpage, by the way, is http://dmweb.free.fr/
Posted at 21:00 on July 10th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
Avatar
Admin
Reborn Gumby
Posts: 8989
I'm not too familiar with what Replacementdocs offers, but every time I check their collection for a particular document, it seems the ones I'm interested in aren't there. They seem to concentrate on a different time period than I do, that one being current enough for manuals to be delivered in digital format by the publisher itself (so no need for scanning). So while I see the point of that site, I don't really see it as a replacement for scanning manuals of the games we cover here.
-----
Now you see the violence inherent in the system!
Powered by Spam Board 5.2.4 © 2007 - 2011 Spam Board Team