Redshark Suggestions Thread

Discussion in 'Redshark' started by Otaku, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. Otaku

    Otaku Active Member

    Here is a great chance for me to accidentally annoy all those involved in keeping Redshark going!

    >.>

    This is obviously not my intention. I enjoy the program quite a bit (now that I can get it working reliably on my computer :rolleyes:). I had some ideas that I hope are simple (and desirable) enough to be worth consideration.

    1) Include filters for older modified formats.

    2) As long as a reputable site like Pokebeach has translations of Japanese cards up, could those be included in an update of Redshark?

    #2 is where it sounds like I am asking for the moon, so please let me downplay that fear. I am not asking for an extra update. Just if you've got an update coming anyway, if we could enter in the Japanese cards revealed but not yet available.

    Now that is extra work, but it doesn't have to be that much extra work. How hard is it to edit/revise cards already entered into Redshark? Besides wondering if I could be of help, if it isn't too bad then wouldn't it almost be better to just have to revise cards instead of entering them all new when they do receive an English release?

    So thank you for your time and hopefully this is an appropriate place to post this.
     
  2. StormFront

    StormFront New Member

    1) Include filters for older modified formats.

    Already has this feature

    2) As long as a reputable site like Pokebeach has translations of Japanese cards up, could those be included in an update of Redshark?

    This aspect has bugged me for a long time, I don't see why this can't be done. More people would play online if they could play with cards that won't be released for 3-6 months

    #2 is where it sounds like I am asking for the moon, so please let me downplay that fear. I am not asking for an extra update. Just if you've got an update coming anyway, if we could enter in the Japanese cards revealed but not yet available.

    This is already possible
     
  3. Mekkah

    Mekkah New Member

    Redshark should really just go open source at this point. At this release rate it's just not going to compete with anything. : (
     
  4. reshinov

    reshinov New Member

    I'm also one who'd be very enthusiastic to see Redshark become open-source - either that, or a team willing to update Redshark whenever we get new set information. I hate to pull an outside TCG example, but YuGiOh has an unofficial simulator called DuelingNetwork that happens to be incredibly good at keeping tabs on new and/or unreleased cards. Admittedly it's not even close to open-source, but they consistently update their card listings with Japanese releases within days of their leak/release. If it's not feasible/timely for the programmers to implement the new cards for Redshark, then some players (including myself) would probably be very willing to pick up the job of updating lists and implementing new cards before their release.

    Though I was hoping originally that a custom DAT of card sets could be uploaded/downloaded so custom games could be played without hassle (if that's possible; I don't know the extent of custom cards in network play), the issue of implementing new mechanics such as Dragon-type and the upcoming Ace Spec is mired in the code of the game. Moreover, the custom DAT hasn't been updated to reflect mechanics that have been around for a while (Abilities).

    The probability that I'm missing out on some levels of programming/communication is relatively high, but it would be great to see Redshark become more of a community piece of work that can be modified for specific playtesting and scenarios rather than a closed-source program whose updates correspond only with official English leaks/releases.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  5. Otaku

    Otaku Active Member

    I am wondering... perhaps a small "team" could work on inputting cards? I am drawing a total blank at the moment, so someone who knows, please jump in, but if it is something like a spread sheet or the like people could work individually and someone just needs to correctly copy information over.

    If it works differently, perhaps just finding the right people (if it is data entry, I can help) and we simply take turns then pass it along. Literally schedule shifts and you do as much as you can, and as soon as your shift ends, send the updated file to the next one.
     
  6. reshinov

    reshinov New Member

    What could possibly happen is such a team could work on a Google spreadsheet all at the same time, ie. for example, if you have 120 (arbitrary #) cards in Dragons Exalted, you can allocate 20 cards per individual on the same spreadsheet and have 6 people working on it at the same time, taking it less than 45 minutes to complete. After all that is done, one of the members could simply edit the current DAT with the new information (I understand it to be a simple copy/paste operation for card information, judging from the custom creator) and send it in to be incorporated in the official download (or as a standalone too; this also works for more dedicated players). This definitely could work in future sets after Dragon-type and Ace Spec are put into the code.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012
  7. StormFront

    StormFront New Member

    All the scans are now available for Dragons Exhaulted, although I can't implement them myself because of the new dragon type. One request I'd like to make to the people doing the next update is could you please include the cards from Freeze Bolt and Cold Flare.
     
  8. Illydth

    Illydth New Member

    While I'm not an expert or on the Dev staff for this application, the Developer and I have had a few communications in the past, I've worked with the custom card stuff enough, and I'm an Open Source Developer myself. I feel able to answer a few queestions...these are in no particular order.

    Fiilters for Older/Modified Formats:
    ------------------------------------------
    I believe what you're asking for here is to be able to pull "2010-2011, Diamond and Pearl -> Heart Gold Soul Silver" or something like that.

    While this IS possible it's not the focus of Redshark to play games in past formats. The possbility IS there to play prior format or unlimited format games through the use of the drop down selector setting the format from Modified (which has specific meaning to the version of code you are running and the date it was released on) to "unlimited" which allows the use/selection of any card. TBH This is only a filter, there's nothing stopping you from creating a deck with any card you wish in it.

    Adding a filter for each format is extending a feature that is not intended to be widely used. The basis for the reason RedShark exists (same as the other online Pokemon Games) is deck testing relivent decks within the current format with a wider audience than those people in your neighborhood or league. While it IS POSSIBLE to test any deck with any card, extending the filter may not be the developer's best use of time...especially since if you are interested in playing a prior format you should already know what those cards are.

    Adding Additional Cards not currently Released
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Again, the feature is ALREADY THERE to add whatever cards you want to your Custom Cards Database and play with those cards. You CANNOT do this online, however, for VERY good reasons.

    1) You can't pass cards along the network, everyone has to have the same cards to play a game with each other. This is not "client server" technology: There is no maintained centralized database of cards that the networked clients are accessing (allowing the developer to control what is what). Allowing Custom Cards to work over the network would require both parties to have the same Custom card database, and then when 1 person's translation is off or missing or the cards are mis-setup, something odd can happen...at which point the developer starts getting support requests for broken software which are really client side problems. Believe me when I tell you even the most basic of problems and the most obvious of "user" issues will suck up 10s to 100s of hours of your support time. Best to avoid these completely. This is why "CUST" cards form the cust card database are not read during network play.

    If, instead, you allowed each user to modify the base database and/or allowed Custom cards, you could be encouraging cheating.

    2) The focus is on current format testing, not future/past format testing. Again, the focus of the application, as with ALL online Pokemon Applications, is on testing the cards in THIS format, not previous and CERTAINLY not future formats. Focusing on only leagal playing cards distributed from a centralized source (with the download of the app) without ability to be modified ensures that all online games are played with the same consistency.

    Specifically related to Rules Questions: what happens when you have the japanese translation for a card in the game and there's a question: who solves the rules issue? There are no resources to go to to verify how the card is actually suppsoed to be played because it's not yet been RELEASED in the US. The Rules team can't answer whether Pokemon X's ability affects Pokemon Y's attack in way Z because the card isn't ours to transalte. This creates inconsistency in game play, game to game, when you and your oppoent decide one thing and in the next game your opponent won't agree to it.

    3) Playing cards that are 6 months out does NOTHING for your pokemon play. Having your networked opponent able to build decklists that are out of current format doesn't help your deck testing in this format. While it's fun to play cards that aren't released yet, we don't allow it in leagues or tournaments for the same reason it's not allowed here...for as fun as those cards look to play they're NOT RELEVANT cards. You don't know WHEN you'll get them, you don't know if the actual translations are correct, and you don't know how conflicts will be ruled.

    Note also, that technically Redshark breaks copyright and Intellectual Property law. The developer of Redshark does NOT work for Pokemon, this is NOT their application. He does NOT own the copyright or intellectual propery rigths to any of this and it IS a violation for his application to exist without permission from the copyright holder. It's ALLOWED to exist by the Pokemon Company LTD. because it serves them to allow his software to work. More people playing the game allows more visibility to The Pokemon Company LTD. The software hasn't been shutdown because it's not worth it to do so and actually is beneficial to exist.

    That may not be the case if the developer starts putting unreleased cards into his software. It is my understanding that The PokeBeach has gotten in trouble time and time again for their release of cards and information that is NOT public knowledge and that MAY BE under leagal NDA (NOTE: I need to be clear that this is hearsay, I have no first hand knowledge of this being the case). While the site is typically DEAD ON with it's information, the public posting of that information, in at least some cases in the past, may be actually Illegal (were someone to want to push the issue). This is NOT something you EVER want to be involved in as the developer of an open source piece of software.

    Best practice is to follow what the Pokemon Online software does: When it releases new cards to your target audience, you do as well...and that precludes "future" cards from being added to the software.

    The "Lag" of Redshark Development
    ------------------------------------------
    What StormFront points out in his post is actually dead on, many cards and intracies within Pokemon actually require the update to the SOFTWARE to support the cards, not just the card database. From the large and broad (how do you impelement a new Dragon Type in the software) all the way down to the Minuta (how does the card filter support a new set designation) there are changes that each version of the software needs to make to support the new set of cards.

    Getting a group of people (after talking with the developer, it's not the card scans and card entry that's a problem here, that's usually done pretty quickly) to update a spreadsheet properly is not a major problem. It's the code and release that becomes an issue.

    Back when this software was hosted by the beach, many times the lag in update was not due to the release of the software, it was simply due to the beach's admins making that software available to the public by updating their links. Sites like that are VERY busy, admins are few and far between, and always volunteer. Given the challanges inherent in running a large site such as this one or the beach or others, sometimes just getting to doing something like releasing a new piece of software can take months.

    Opening Redshark to Community Work
    ---------------------------------------------
    While, as an OSS Developer myself, I appreciate the concepts and interest in opening a piece of software like this to the Pokemon Community to maintain and build, there are some unique challanges in sutuations such as this that make this kind of idea problematic.

    First and foremost, any ongoing open source development effort requires a leader. Without the drive of an individual or group of individuals the project tends to fall apart. While a single developer with local control can tend to produce a product such as this efficiently, getting more than one developer, more than one cook in the kitchen so to speak, can bring a project to a crashing halt as the "helpful" developers take the project in a metric ton of different directions.

    And again, there's the whole Copyright concept. There's a possibillity that a larger group of people implementing some of the ideas, even in just this thread, could technically get the software shutown and removed from the market simply by making the application into something that Pokemon consideres a hinderance to it's game or it's own offerings instead of a help. With one developer, one central point of contact, one point of control, Pokemon can feel more comfortable: If they ever want to shut it down there's only one place to go to. An OSS Project has hundreds or thousands of people, any of which could do something to give Pokemon a bad name.

    What you're asking to be able to do is get ahold of the card database and update it in the first 24 hours of a pre-release (or in some of your cases you're talking about months and months ahead of time) figuring that's all there is to the maintenance and release of this application.

    There's a lot of missing thought about copy right protections, release strategies (even who should be making an offical build and where it should be posted can become large issues and items of discussion in public environments), and other technical and design details which user communities are NOT good at figuring out. That's not to say there aren't many successful OSS projects out there, it's just that there are some concerns and constraints here that the developer might have about making it into one.
     
  9. StormFront

    StormFront New Member

    --------------------------------------------------------
    2) The focus is on current format testing, not future/past format testing. Again, the focus of the application, as with ALL online Pokemon Applications, is on testing the cards in THIS format, not previous and CERTAINLY not future formats. Focusing on only leagal playing cards distributed from a centralized source (with the download of the app) without ability to be modified ensures that all online games are played with the same consistency.

    Being able to play future formats will attract more players to use Redshark. There is nothing to stop players agreeing on which format they want to play beforehand. I don't agree on the whole consistency argument.

    Specifically related to Rules Questions: what happens when you have the japanese translation for a card in the game and there's a question: who solves the rules issue? There are no resources to go to to verify how the card is actually suppsoed to be played because it's not yet been RELEASED in the US. The Rules team can't answer whether Pokemon X's ability affects Pokemon Y's attack in way Z because the card isn't ours to transalte. This creates inconsistency in game play, game to game, when you and your oppoent decide one thing and in the next game your opponent won't agree to it.

    We have much better communications with Japan than ever before. We already have accurate translations of Japanese rulings i.e. on Ditto

    3) Playing cards that are 6 months out does NOTHING for your pokemon play. Having your networked opponent able to build decklists that are out of current format doesn't help your deck testing in this format. While it's fun to play cards that aren't released yet, we don't allow it in leagues or tournaments for the same reason it's not allowed here...for as fun as those cards look to play they're NOT RELEVANT cards. You don't know WHEN you'll get them, you don't know if the actual translations are correct, and you don't know how conflicts will be ruled.

    Again, there is nothing to stop someone from testing in their respected format. Being able to test well ahead of time is very useful for people who have to play in tournaments that are 1-2 weeks away from the eventual sets release.
     
  10. mai_kingdra

    mai_kingdra New Member

    Thanks for the ideas & discussion

    As redshark's creator and (currently) its sole developer, I, first of all, want to thank you all for your use of redshark and candid feedback and ideas of how to improve it and also make it more widely used...it's much appreciated!

    A couple things:

    1- the Dragons Exalted is now available for download

    2- Open Source
    At this point, as stated above, having redshark development go to open source is doubtful due to the resources required to manage the development. If this were to happen, I hightly doubt that I would be the leader/manager, instead, I would let someone else do that, although it would take someone a fair bit of time to digest the 20,000+ lines of code that make up most of redshark before they could adequately perform that role.

    3-Team approach to card data
    In the past, I have have different people help me out in entering the card text for the newly released sets, and for the most part, it has been helpful, but it really doesn't save me that much time. I can enter an entire new release into my spreadsheet in about 2 hours. When I break up the work with others, although it seems like less work, I have found that I end up waiting for them to send me their data, when most times I could have already entered it myself.

    4- Using unreleased card data
    As correctly stated by Illydth (I think), the main challenge in using unreleased cards for a network game of redshark, is that of making sure both players have the same card data. In its current architecture, redshark does not send any card info to the network opponent, but only a cards "unique ID", therefore, it would be a significant program mod to implement this feature. However, it may be worth the effort to update the way Redshark Custom Card Data is used such that, for a network game, the Host could send his/her custom card data to the Guest opponent, thus ensuring all custom cards are known to both players. This feature would be implemented in a way such that the Guest player would NOT lose his/her own custom card data due to playing a network game, but would likely require the Guest to "remake" a deck using the Hosts Custom card data file.

    Perhaps redshark could allow multiple Custom Card data files, and the user could decide which to use for a given game?? (just thinking out loud)

    5- Legal stuff
    Yes, for legal reasons, I am not interested in officially releasing Redshark versions with data for cards that have not been publicly released in the US. I'm not looking for trouble.

    Thanks again for the feedback and discussion, and please continue to come up with ideas that may make redshark more useful to TCG players.

    -Mike
     

Share This Page