MPQ Archive tweaks

Gom Jabbar pointed out some bugs with the Author Listing on MPQ Archive. The listing is meant to show the author name along with the average score for all their reviewed maps but it was incorrectly working the score out and also counting maps when it shouldn’t have been. Turns out the problem was due to me including unreviewed maps in the count (Gom has a map on the “pending” list). Oops.

A slight tweak to the SQL sorted that one out. The side affect of which was it also removed authors from the list who had not yet (ha!) had their maps reviewed, which I think is the correct thing to do anyway.

So thanks Gom for spotting it.

Remove a review from MPQ Archive?

This is an interesting one and it’s also a first. I received this email earlier today:


The request was pretty simple, a Google on the chaps name threw up an old MPQ Archive review in the first few results and given that he does web design work, he didn’t want potential customers seeing it. I wasn’t entirely sure people would put 2 and 2 together, but thought it was a polite and reasonable request.

However, two things stopped me from removing it completely. The first is that I’d gone to trouble of writing the review and also that I’d put a lot of effort into getting MPQ Archive up and running so didn’t want to start removing content. Secondly, as far as I’m aware, this is the only Quake map to feature Pamela Anderson. Not just that, it’s a Quake / Duke Nukem 3D / Barb Wire cross-over! It just had to be kept!

So I came up with a compromise. Simply change the authors name on the review and accompanying readme. I asked if that was ok, it was, so I changed it at the author’s request to “Bernd Maus” (German musician?). Means nowt to me, but I’ve done it.

Anyhoo, I can kind of see why he wanted it removing since it’s a low scoring map and it’s a bit chaffy, but on the plus side it shows that from an early age he showed sufficient motivation to go about creating a map, publishing it and then getting muggins here to review it. But there you go. Just don’t tell him that his name is still in the full map download ;)

Last bit of MPQ Archive Coverage

Promise (fingers crossed). Ok, so I’m kinda struggling now but I want it more as a record for myself more than anything. (thanks again Spirit).


Raven Games forums. Wonder how it got there…


Nobodysalternative QW forum (login required).


I also made some tweaks to the site as well. The Archive By Author now lists all the author names first and then you click on the names to get the maps that author created. It also gives an average map score which is just a bit of fun. Previously it just listed all the maps, ordered by Author name, which was very messy. Thanks to Aardappel for suggesting that.

I also added an Archive by Comments which is just like on the old site. It just lists the comments by date with links to what they relate to. Not much use to anyone other than me, but it’s just so I can see what’s being said.

More MPQ Archive coverage

Funny really given I only posted about it on my blog (which only Bal, bear and Vondur read), func_msgboard and in #terrafusion (which was kept in the topic for about 3 seconds until someone called czg a penis or something similar).

First up QuakeBrasil. I haven’t foggiest what it says, probably that I’m the son of a goat herder and that I like to drink pig slop. I obviously deny the charges (about being a goat herder’s son).


QuakeOne had a post in their forums (thanks Baker).


As did (thanks Spirit).


And Daz posted too… but missed out 300 reviews from the total (there’s nearly 500, not 200). Or maybe he just didn’t count Rocketman maps? In which case, fair play.


MPQ Archive on Inside3D and PlanetQuake

Cool, some nice publicity for MPQ Archive.


Cracking write up on Inside3D about the site. Thanks to scar3crow for that.



No idea how PlanetQuake found out, but it’s all good. It’s a bit misleading that the site is accepting reviews though. I did note I’d like to people submit reviews for the maps that are still pending, but not new reviews.

However Daz threw in the idea of making it a community review site, where anyone can review a map and the admins pick the best of the bunch. It was undecided as to whether multiple reviews would be allowed on a map or just one review compiled from lots of peoples comments. From an admin point of view, the former is easier (less work) and would probably result in more consistent reviews in the long run.

It would be cool to submit every DM map from when the site closed until now and get them all reviewed… but the pessimist in me thinks the effort getting the site set up to do that would be wasted. Am I wrong?

MPQ Archive now open!

Whoop and stuff! Everything is there with a shiny new coat of paint. Reviews are searchable, maps downloadable, comments readable. Why open it on the 31st August? Well it was seven years to the day that I released my one and only half decent Quake map, Vaguely Interesting. It’s a good feeling to have it done and dusted. It’s been on the todo list for a while… *cough* 4 years *cough*. I also uploaded the old site too. It’s very broken, but it’s fun to see it again.

I was bit gutted that only three peeps gave feedback (Vondur, Biff and DaZ) but it is an old site that wasn’t very popular to start with and people have moved on from it now, so I shouldn’t really be surprised. Anyway, on the plus side, no more nagging about it in #terrafusion now!

MPQ Archive Update #5?

I dunno, I’ve lost count. You’re probably sick of this waffle, but I’ll carry on anyway. Current status is this, I’ve finished the site (yay!) and I’ve emailed various peeps who I think will hopefully give some useful, constructive feedback. Fingers crossed!

I’ve already had some excellent help from Vondur and RPG. Vondur found a cracking bug and was getting this on the search screens:


It was puzzling because only his home machine was affected and it wasn’t just one browser, but all 3 he had installed. IE, Firefox and Opera. It was the first time I’d come across it and I’d developed the site on two machines without any problems. I had various peeps at work try it, Vondur even tried it at work, and it was all fine.

It turns out it was down to input controls not having a width defined in the CSS (oops). I kinda figured this was the problem  when I asked Vondur to look at the contact form on my works website. It had recently been redesigned using similar CSS and it suffered from the same problem. Anyhoo, a quick fix of a new CSS class with the width defined and a tweak to the PHP to use that class when generating the HTML sorted that.

RPG came up with a great suggestion of anywhere a map author’s name was listed it should be a link to display what other maps they’d had reviewed. A quick tweak to the search code and that was implemented. It’s not perfect, since there is some inconsistency in how author names were inputted (mostly by the author themselves), but in the main it works. Perhaps if it’s a big problem I’ll go back and tidy them up.

I finally got the logos done as well. My brother, Jay, was busy, and I itching to get them sorted. So I downloaded a trial version of Fireworks and tried my hand at creating them. As it turns out, I’m pretty damn happy with the results. Here’s a sneak peek of some of them (there are 15ish in total):


I really enjoyed making them since it involved lots of tweaking with screen shots, layers, transparency and various filters. Graphics editing has always been something I’ve stayed away from since my results are usually pretty crap, but I think I’ll practice a bit more at it now.

Where does the time go?

It’s been a hectic couple of days. Did various wedding related things since it’s only 5 weeks away! Things like holiday insurance (since we’re going to Italy)… oh and a suit! Kate wasn’t keen on me wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

So I’ve not really been at a computer much and when I have, I’ve been getting on with MPQ Archive. Speaking of which it’s pretty much done. I’ve got all the map downloads sorted and uploaded. There are 22 reviews I couldn’t find maps for so when the site goes live I’ll stick them up as a list. Going through the old news posts though it seems that most of them are really long standing ones I couldn’t find downloads for back then, so I’m not holding out much hope.

I’ve also added an archive listing by file which is a directory style list of all the files for download on MPQ Archive. This includes ones that haven’t been reviewed as well. I’ve tended to put up all maps by certain authors since it’s nice to have them as a backup.

I’ve included two types of list. One with all files in alphabetical order split into so many per page and the other by alphabetical grouping. Kind of like on ftp sites, 0-9, a-c, d-f etc. Here’s a couple of screen shots of it:

MPQArchiveListing1 MPQArchiveListing2 

Not particular impressive, but useful I hope.

All I’ve got left to do is sort out the interviews. The html for them is a real mess and I’ve found that quite a few are of Quake 2 authors and I don’t have the maps, so I’ve been off hunting for them! I’m also waiting on some proper site logos from Jay, but hopefully that shouldn’t too long.

Then I can invite some people in for testing, see how it all holds up. I actually have a date in mind for when it’ll all go live too, which will probably only amuse me. Looking at the readme for phdm1 might give you a clue…

MPQ Archive Downloads

One of those jobs I’ve really not been looking forward to has been sorting out the map downloads. The initial pass of the 500 maps (I was wrong in a previous post on the number of maps, I was using old review tables) came back with about 400 that I had. With a bit of tweaking to my map finder and searching the interweb I’ve brought it down to just 22 files missing out of 520 in total. There are also some that are apparently “ok” but I need to go back and check them.

The majority of those 22 that I can’t find are… how shall I put it… not that brilliant anyway, but for completeness sake I will try to get hold of them. Although finding and K:\Games\Quake\id1\maps\ might be difficult! I’m going to knock up a list at some point and post it here and on func_msgboard, see it that gets any takers.

In the mean time I’m going to mark those maps as download wanted, so when someone goes to download them, they’ll be asked if they have it (yeah daft logic I know since they’re trying to download it) but you never know, it might spring up some results.

Amazingly for some maps the original download urls still worked, and the same was true of some author websites such as StarGazer’s Map Observatory. Ok, so it’s not been updated in four years but at least it’s still there *cough* PlanetQuake *cough*.

In terms of where to search I used Google and Yahoo but they’re not very helpful. PlanetQuake and Telefragged are littered with broken links, and PQ in particular is full of broken sites due to the their constant need to change the site urls. Why? Who the hell now wants an url at!? Yuck.

In the end I was looking in three places for maps, mirror of PlanetQuake, mirror of idgames2 (off and most ironic of all the Rocketland mod upload section (yes, run by Rocketman).

Through staring at the various reviews, odd things have cropped up. 3 maps were reviewed twice (all by Joe Hunter). I reviewed them first time around and then 21 months later they were submitted again and Fat Controller reviewed them. Thankfully, we gave them the same marks (except for one, differing by just 0.5). Shows I wasn’t complete off base! Also browsing through the comment content showed that Pingu had a stalker, Ashley Lauren, who commented on most of his maps usually with “mapping god” or “master”. Very strange.

Another MPQ Archive Update

No screen shots on this one, just waffle. I’ve gone a bit overboard on what I originally planned to do and I think I’m now officially in tinkering mode. I didn’t intend on having user accounts and therefore the ability to comment but I have added that back in. I think my logic was that it would be cool to have people comment on the old reviews. Not sure if that’s a good idea or not?

Of course I couldn’t just put this stuff back in like it was on the old MPQ. Comment spam is now a problem so I’ve used a combination of user accounts and CAPTCHA’s to hopefully stop it. And I couldn’t just put in a plain comment input, I’ve had to do a preview screen as well since that’s what you have to do now. Also because I added user accounts I needed register, login, logout and edit account screens… oh and a reset and email me password option.

Then there’s download tracking, i.e. counting how many downloads a map gets. More for personal interest than anything but that led to a bunch of code, a new table and a list maps by download option. I did attempt this on the original site but never finished the code.

Anyway, this is definitely a bad case of feature creep!

I think though, other than bug fixing, I’m done coding. I’ve decided to draw a line (actually I can’t think what else to add… well other than the option to input reviews, but I don’t want to go down that road!) What’s left to sort out now is data related, like messed up formatting in review / article text, map downloads, review images and misc text and pages on the site. I’m hoping to get that done in the next week to have something ready for testing not long after, but we’ll see.