How do you issue patches?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by tentons, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. tentons

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    I was wanting to hear about other people's methods for issuing patches to your customers.

    Do you offer a full download that replaces everything or do you do it incrementally (diff)? How do you ensure that non-customers don't get the updates (and possibly get the full version free)?

    TIA for any comments.
     
  2. Hamumu

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    I do a very cheap, basic, and lame method - just an installer that replaces all files that need changing. This DOES give people who don't deserve it the full version... but it only gives them the EXE for the full version (and a few assorted files), so it doesn't actually work, since it's missing tons of graphics and sounds and data. Boy, do I remember the good old days of complaints of invisible monsters in Dr. Lunatic. One guy admitted to me he actually just went ahead and played it with the invisible monsters anyway. Since then I've made my games less tolerant of missing files!

    I know other people use Clickteam's (I think?) patch maker program, which seems to work wonders in finding out exactly what's changed and sending just the necessary data (and only allowing them to upgrade if they have the right version too).
     
  3. revve

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    You could take a look at this page. It shows how ShortHike's updates works. I'm still unsure about how I'll do it, but since I don't have a completed game yet, I'm not too worried updating it yet.
     
  4. Martoon

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    When you first release a game, it's not a bad idea to think ahead a little bit about what kinds of things might be useful in the future if/when you release a patch, even if you don't have a plan for patching yet. For example, have the game's installer write a registry key with the version number and installation folder of the game. If you never end up using that info, you're not out much (it only takes a few minutes to write that code). But if you do release a patch and decide to take advantage of that info, you'll be really glad it's there.
     
  5. princec

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    Full download each time. Makes the logistics much easier.

    Cas :)
     
  6. Teq

    Teq
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    I was thinking it might be an idea for my next title to have an internal update checking and download system, but I'm a little unsure about the effect this might have on users who still use dialup connections.
     
  7. tentons

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    @Cas: How do you prevent non-customers from getting the updates? I'm trying to decide how I want to handle this.
     
  8. soniCron

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    Why would he want to prevent non-customers from getting the updates?
     
  9. tentons

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    Well, if the patch is the full download then it means the non-customer could download the full version, right? Unless it's unlocked with a code, I guess. But my game doesn't use a reg code, so maybe my question doesn't apply to Cas' game.
     
  10. princec

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    You're right, it's the full game I distribute, unlocked with a code. Another great simplification in the whole "unlock-versus-separate-full-download" debate ;)

    Cas :)
     

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