SiS Updater and Installer

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bjg
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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby bjg » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:50 pm

sven wrote:Your original installer links should still work, and the installer itself is very backwards compatible. The core network protocol hasn't changed in years, in fact, I believe even the *alpha* version update.exe would still be capable of getting the most recent build of the game off the dev sever.

The url was lost - that email account keeps messages only for a year, and I didn't save the url. Thanks for re-sending.
I know that the old installer works (sort of), but it tries to calculate the assets instead of downloading them - causing some mess and annoying errors. The game works after several "passes", but it's hardly a "clean" install.

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby sven » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:58 pm

bjg wrote:The url was lost - that email account keeps messages only for a year, and I didn't save the url. Thanks for re-sending.
I know that the old installer works (sort of), but it tries to calculate the assets instead of downloading them - causing some mess and annoying errors. The game works after several "passes", but it's hardly a "clean" install.


I believe that now that the dev repo is built for steam-compatibility, the 'asset checking' step should no longer be required. I *think* that once the download finishes, the game should run fine regardless of what happens during the asset check passes.

On an old thinkpad, there are likely to be any number of other quirks, of course. I'm guessing this is one of the machines that generated all those flagged gl errors back in day?

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby bjg » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:06 pm

sven wrote:On an old thinkpad, there are likely to be any number of other quirks, of course. I'm guessing this is one of the machines that generated all those flagged gl errors back in day?

Not sure what do you mean, but unlikely. I was talking about errors happening than a new (retrieved) update.exe "sees" files generated by a very old one.

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby bjg » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:10 pm

sven wrote:The download links are linked to your individual accounts, in the sense that a game installed using Chasm's installer will have Chasm's user id attached to any bug reports you upload from that install.

Expected something like that. Wondering how is that done. Do you dynamically generate installers upon (download) requests? Do you rewrite it into each account every version (sounds like some big infrastructure)?

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby sven » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:32 pm

bjg wrote:Expected something like that. Wondering how is that done. Do you dynamically generate installers upon (download) requests? Do you rewrite it into each account every version (sounds like some big infrastructure)?


This is the kinda place where a language like Go really shines -- it's built to make writing custom servers easy; hacking together something that dynamically overrides part of the installer bitstream during an http download is actually pretty straight forward. The core trick, basically, is just to tell the program I'm using to create the installer (NSIS) that it shouldn't compress the part of the install data that holds user info -- once that's done, I can just tell the Go server to overwrite those user-id bytes in the installer with custom info based on who's downloading.

(Steam has its own user management stuff, of course, so with the Steam distro, I just piggyback on that; which is even easier.)

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby bjg » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:30 pm

sven wrote:This is the kinda place where a language like Go really shines -- it's built to make writing custom servers easy; hacking together something that dynamically overrides part of the installer bitstream during an http download is actually pretty straight forward. The core trick, basically, is just to tell the program I'm using to create the installer (NSIS) that it shouldn't compress the part of the install data that holds user info -- once that's done, I can just tell the Go server to overwrite those user-id bytes in the installer with custom info based on who's downloading.

Do you sign the whole (modified) file or just the executable part?

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby sven » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:43 pm

bjg wrote:Do you sign the whole (modified) file or just the executable part?


Signing gets tricky. But these days, it seems like you really *need* have a digital signature on any executable (downloaded installer or otherwise), or else most security software will go nuts with warnings, etc. So we do sign both the game exe's and the user-customized installer. That actually ruins what would otherwise be a pretty efficient server backend -- because to sign the installer, we need to copy the (user customized) installer bitstream to disk, run the 3-rd party signing software, and then read it back into memory.

That's part of the reason why it's useful to keep the initial installer download small -- quickly generating a digital signature for a 3mb installer exe is a lot more practical than doing the same thing with a 3gig data blob.

Of course, when the GoG distro rolls out (which looks like it will happen soon), they'll probably be distributing 3gig data-blobs with no user customization whatsoever. Interestingly, while the GoG distro strategy avoids putting any user info in the initial downloaded, they've given us a bunch of tools to gather user info from anyone who has GoG galaxy *installed* on their machine (Galaxy doesn't even need to be running for this to work: a fact which confused me for a while there when I was writing up the GoG support hooks).

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby Chasm » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:15 am

Will the gog distro be replacing the current one, or will both versions be available ?

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby sven » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:50 pm

Chasm wrote:Will the gog distro be replacing the current one, or will both versions be available ?


Both will be available. We may actually give people who buy via GoG the ability to opt-in to the updater system (which is currently used only by devs and a few hard-core players like yourself). Specifically, I'm thinking of putting update.exe in an 'extras' folder or something inside the GoG distro, and including a README.txt so relatively hardcore GoG people can hook themselves up to the test server if desired. But, I think it's important to arrange things so it's not the sort of thing the casual players will stumble into. Now that SiS is being distributed by Steam (and soon GoG Galaxy), the core thing that update.exe is really useful for is ensuring that you have the most bleeding-edge possible build; and that's just not something most people who buy the game want or need. However, it *is* helpful for me if there are at least a handful of you who can help me catch bugs before they go out to a wider audience :)

edited by sven: Been looking at the technical side of making this work, and it seems like it's not worth the trouble. Patching a GoG Galaxy distro to work with update.exe is *possible*, but it basically involves re-downloading the whole game. And at that point, a simpler solution is just to suggest that any Steam or GoG players who want access to the dev server send me a note via the old 'beta' signup page. (Um, I'll update the text on that webpage to make it clear that it's no longer a beta-signup, per say.)

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby sven » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:06 pm

bjg wrote:The current is still can't be ran on (my) XP. I understand that this is the toll for testers only, but you officially support XP, and the older versions of the update.exe do run on it (so it's not something crucial).


I've just switched the 'stable' branch of sis to use binaries built using the newest version of visual studio (vs2017). Assuming I've done all my due-diligence properly, the only noticeable effect of this change will be that a few sections of the game will run slightly faster. However, I haven't had the opportunity to test on an XP box, so I don't yet have hard confirmation that the new binaries are working on XP.

Would you be willing to fire up one of your old XP machines, update to the latest version, and let me know if the game still runs?

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby bjg » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:10 am

sven wrote:Would you be willing to fire up one of your old XP machines, update to the latest version, and let me know if the game still runs?

My XP machine is mostly out of service because of some hardware problem (I've mentioned recently in that topic). Sorry.

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby sven » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:27 am

bjg wrote:My XP machine is mostly out of service because of some hardware problem (I've mentioned recently in that topic). Sorry.


Np. I can set one up out of spare parts pretty easily. And I'll admit I do have trouble keeping track of which of your various machines is in service at any moment :)

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby zolobolo » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:57 am

So, can someone coming from Steam update to the latest build somehow?
Is the updater client somewhere here on the forum, or only available via a site where the game was available before the steam release?

(just itching to get the latest balance updates :))

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby bjg » Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:57 pm

zolobolo wrote:just itching to get the latest balance updates :)

Halved damage of Heavy Railguns plus any shields are effective against kinetics now - not sure if I want it. That will be a different game. :(

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Re: SiS Updater and Installer

Postby zolobolo » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:53 pm

bjg wrote:
zolobolo wrote:just itching to get the latest balance updates :)

Halved damage of Heavy Railguns plus any shields are effective against kinetics now - not sure if I want it. That will be a different game. :(

Surely you are jesting good sir :)

Railgun has had its moment of glory, time to give some of spotlight to other weapons as well especially as most of them look more sleek
The game will only benefit if all heavy weapons are viable in a way and do not have a clear hierarchy of usefulness


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