You may have noticed that user @leeoneil has been releasing updates on @loserman76 re-creations. Instead of releasing a full VPX file; he has opted to use the VPURemix Patching System. There are several reasons why I believe that a Remix/Patch system is perfect for a hobby/community such as the virtual pinball hobby where content is continually derrived from other works.
*** By no means; is any of this a requirement. This is simply an option to our table authors and modders that is available for use. I think this allows flexibility and the respect that is necessary for our hobby to continue. ***
What is the VPURemix - Patch System?
The VPURenux - Patch System is a way to provide modified tables without having to re-distribute the original creation.
Why should we use the Remix/Patch system?
Authors upload tables to sites for hosting/distribution of their files. Sites such as VPUniverse provide our hobby a major hub for the hobby. In return authors gain views, likes, download counts, and feedback on their creations from our members. VPUniverse, the only site that does this, has our "BeerMe" program. This allows our members to directly make a monetary donation (aka buy a beer), via PayPal, that goes directly to the author of the file. If someone creates a mod of the original file and releases it as a full release on their own; this *may* make the original file obselete and no longer necessary. New users would probably only download the modified version as it's more recent. The new user may not ever see the original authors version. This takes away likes, download counts, views, and possible "BeerMe" possibilties from the original author.
With a "remix"; it requires the user to obtain the original file from the original author(s). Thus adding to overall downloads, views, likes, reviews, feedback, and BeerMe for the original author. This also allows the person that did the modifications/remix to receive the same from users. This is a win-win for both the original author as well as the person that did the remix, but requires an additional pricedure for the end users.
Keep in mind; this hobby is ultimately a big "Open Source" project. This may be a bit more controversal, but it should be allowed due to the nature of our hobby. We ALWAYS want to encourage a modder to reach out and obtain permission from the original author(s) to create a derivation. Unfortunately, sometimes it just is not possible to obtain permission for various reasons. For example if the person has passed away, such as the deal with Loserman76 tables or instances where the original creator is no longer participating in the hobby after a length of time. With the Remix system; it *may* be reasonable for people to create a Remix without requiring permission from the original author(s). In the end; the remix system requires the end user to obtain the original/most recent release by the original author. The patch created by the patch program only contains the changes made by the mod creator.
Using a patch system also helps out our sites. The overall file size of the remix is a MUCH smaller filesize. Smaller filesize = less required transfers/bandwidth. With a patch; we wouldn't have had 32 different releases of NFL as each could have been small patch files and patched using the same original table. *wink* *wink* @CactusDude
Con's of the Remix System:
- Applying a patch is an extra step for end users. However, the time it takes to apply the patch is NOTHING in comparison with the time it took for the author to create it.
- Users MUST use an unmodified version of the release that is specified by the user that created the remix. This includes personal modifications, such as script changes and POV changes, etc. I'm not sure exactly what would happen, but it could cause un-expected behaviour of your game.
* POV settings can be exported and saved as a .pov file and placed inside your tables folder.*
I'd love to encourage our table authors to request that if anyone is looking to mod your table; that you recommend the VPURemix System.