OAGD.net is now known as OpenRetro.org

The name change is done for two reasons: The old name (at least the acronym) was a bit obscure, and the new name is catchier. But the main reason is the database contains information about games from other platforms than Amiga. So the old name wasn’t really fitting any more. The openretro.org site has been up for a good while now, and starting today, all oagd.net links are automatically redirected to openretro.org.

FS-UAE Launcher and Unpublished Games

The latest development versions of FS-UAE Launcher (2.9.1dev+) can now show and play “unpublished” game entries from the online game database. There is a GUI setting for this in FS-UAE Launcher Settings: Game Database. This allows you to test and submit fixes to games before they are marked as publish = 1 (= available for the general public). Think of unpublished game entries as being in “beta”.

There is a relatively new key called disable which can be used to prevent games and/or variants to be seen by external clients such as FS-UAE Launcher at all. Entries with disable = 1 will be completely hidden in FS-UAE Launcher. So to summarize, game and variant entries can be in one of the following three states:

  • publish = 1 – The game is visible for all users (if they have the game)
  • publish = 0 – The game is only visible for users having explicitly enabled the “show unpublished games” option.
  • disable = 1 – The game is completely hidden in external clients.

Comment System Improvements

The comment system has gotten an overhaul. It is now possible to filter comments per platform, and you can also mark individual comments as read. The latter is most useful for administrators / moderators who want to keep track of what’s happening. The comment overview pages also look a bit better!

Published and “Unpublished” Game Entries

The web interface will now clearly mark a game as “unpublished” if it is not published (= it will not appear in FS-UAE Launcher and other game browsers yet). Some of you have probably wondered why games have not appeared in your clients while still being visible on this site, and the “publish” status is why.

The game browser now defaults to only show “published” game entries, with an option to view the “unpublished” ones instead. When searching for a game by game, all entries will appear, but “unpublished” ones will be faded out.

Steam-Compatible Banners Added

Turrican II example banner

Turrican II example banner in 460×215 size

Steam-compatible banners (460×215 or 920×430) may now be added to game entries. The uses cases for these are:

  • Users who also use Steam and/or Steam Big Picture mode might want to have their favorite Amiga games available in the same interface, and then these banners can be used to make it look really nice.
  • The web interface and other clients may sometimes want to present games in lists where wide banners look nicer then tall covers.

One idea is that FS-UAE Launcher can automatically synchronize selected games – or all games from a user’s game list into Steam as shortcuts – with banners automatically added. The game will then start via FS-UAE Game Center full screen mode (for variant and input device selection). Note that this feature does not exist yet, and it won’t displace the FS-UAE Game Center interface in any way – it will be complementary.

Also, a user may not want all Amiga games in the Steam interface as it may clutter it too much, but a game list feature is under development where the launcher and game center can show only the games which are added to a game list. The user could for example create a “Favorites” list or a “Steam Shortcuts” list and choose to export those games to Steam.

Game banners can be added now, and you can also see the already existing banners on a nice page. Also, if you are interested in this – or just are on Steam and like FS-UAE and/or OAGD.net, consider joining the group on Steam 🙂

Markdown Support

You can now use markdown format in comments. This is a markup format used by several other projects. Sites such as GitHub, reddit, Stack Overflow and SourceForge use Markdown to facilitate discussion between users.

See http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax for description of this format with examples.

In other site-related news, the WordPress installation is updated to the latest version (3.5.2).

Improved Search

The search function is improved by allowing us to register extra search terms (in the search_terms field). You can now search for either “dark seed” or “darkseed”, since the latter is registered as an extra search term for that game. As a further refinement, the search function is now based on matching whole words (and there is some semi-clever logic in place to handle common word variations and abbrevations). You can for example search for either “soccer 95-96” or “sensible 1995/96”.

Finally, the search results page are now displayed with the more “user-friendly” game browser. For the classic search results (where you also get listed variants, etc), just prefix the search with +.

The same search improvements are coming soon to FS-UAE Launcher as well 🙂

New Game Pages and New Features

Hi, you may have noticed that new features have been added to oagd.net, especially during the last couple of weeks. The most recent major change is the new “game pages”, see for example Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 and Paradise Lost. This is just the first version of game front pages, coinciding with the release of Paradise Lost. Not all new editing functionality is enabled for users yet. This is simply because not every detail is fleshed out yet – please be patient 🙂

We are also working on support for auto-downloading games (on demand) directly to FS-UAE Launcher – where possible.

The reason for these changes is that while the primary function of oagd.net was to serve as an online configuration database for FS-UAE Launcher (and other clients), the scope of the project grows, as we now also try to host game ourselves where possible – or link to legal download pages. People may now start to browse oagd.net without necessarily wanting to edit the online database.

We keep in mind that trying to do “everything” is not not always a good idea. The primary function of oagd.net was, and still is, to be a great resource for helping people to play games, either directly to human visitors, or indirectly when clients such as FS-UAE Launcher retrieves information from this site. It is not an encyclopedia, and it will not try to compete with e.g. HOL on the level of detail available about games. For this purpose, we link to HOL and Wikipedia instead 😉

It will probably help to have some kind of “mission statement” at some point. But in short, if something is useful to people playing Amiga games, and we can host or link to it, it should have a place on oagd.net in the future. I’ll follow up better later with more details and documentation regarding any changes 🙂