|Well of Souls:
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To Publish Your Own World
you've created your masterpiece, and now you want
to share it with the universe. How do you make it
show up in the "Check On-line for New
you need to PUBLISH it, of course. And here's how
to do that! (Hey, I did this, why
didn't Dan publish it?)(Wait, I refuse to obey that!)
world by hook or by crook and place it in the
WORLDS folder of your own copy of Well of Souls.
Test it to make sure you like
it. If YOU don't like it, then think twice about
publishing it :-)
A57, your world's folder should NOT have a
"savedHeroes" folder within it. If your
world was created before A57, you should delete
any bogus savedHeroes folder before publishing.
Your real saved games are now in the WoS\Save folder, not the WoS\Worlds folder.
GIVE IT A VERSION #
Next you will
want to version your world so that people will be
able to easily track when they need an upgrade.
Also, playing in an un-versioned copy of your
world will eventually get characters marked as
'modders,' so it's the polite thing to do.
- Close any
editors you have open, and incarnate
yourself into your new world. You
probably want to use a 'cheat' character
for this purpose.
- Type "/version" to bring
up the Version Dialog
for your world. If you haven't already
created a Publishing
Center or set the World
Password, you will be prompted
for that first.
- Enter the
new version number for your world
(versions are decimal numbers, starting
at 1.0000, and can only go UP in
- Press the SET
VERSION button and bang, your
world is versioned! Unless something goes
horribly wrong, of course...
When you next
open the Version Dialog, there
should be a comment on the order of "seems
to be an official version."
If your comment
is more like "seems to be a mod"
then either your versioning didn't work, or you
have since changed one or more of the world's
ZIP IT UP
world is all fine and well, but what you REALLY
want to do is create the files that you need to
upload to your web site. You do this by use of
the PUBLISH button:
- Bring the
Version Dialog up by typing "/version"
- Verify that
it "seems to be an official
- Push the PUBLISH
- Fill in the
form which is presented to you. This
information will be recapped in the
publishing instructions letter that you
ultimately will want to email to me.
- Press OK.
This will run WinZip for you
automatically, creating the world ZIP and
INFO files you will need to upload to
your web site.
Please note that
this REQUIRES you install WinZIP(tm), available
from http://www.winzip.com It's a fine piece of
shareware which everyone should be encouraged to
register. I depend on WinZIP for security
purposes (so people don't hand each other
self-extracting archives with viruses in them,
UPLOAD FILES TO YOUR WEB SITE
button will also create a list of instructions as
to what you need to do next. But basically you
will need to:
- Upload the
world ZIP and INFO files to your web
- Make a
simple web page which is your world's
Home Page (talks mainly about your world,
not about you.)
Synthetic-Reality has no space to host your
worlds. Check out one of the many (free)
web-hosting sites such as http://www.geocities.com, http://www.angelfire.com, or even (yuck) aol.
The mechanics of
uploading files to web sites are not covered
here, since they vary with the site. Your web
host will be pleased to explain it to you...
REPORT YOUR NEW WORLD TO ME
Finally, email me to let me know you are
ready to take your world public. Include the full
URLs of your world's archive and info files. Once
I do a little magic at my end, your world will
appear whenever people select the "Check
OnLine for New Worlds" option from within the
You only have to
do this the first time you publish your world.
After that, you can change your ZIP and INFO
files as much as you like without having to tell
synthetic-reality.com (since people will always
fetch the most recent files you have on your web
site, you only need to tell synthetic-reality.com
when your actual URLs change - say you change web
Here is an
Dear mister samuel, sir, local deity of WoS and friend to all mammals,
I am pleased to announce the availability of my new world, "Inferno"
which I hope you will consider publishing at your earliest convenience
(and I understand it may take you days and days to do anything at all,
because you are so busy making the world a better place).
Here is the information you requested:
my name: Lord Weatherwax
world Name: Inferno
world zip URL: http://www.geocities.com/funtown/1023/Inferno.zip
info file URL: http://www.geocities.com/funtown/1023/Inferno.txt
World Home Page URL: http://www.geocities.com/funtown/1023/Inferno.html
Thank you again for your kind attentions.
Your eternal fan,
your email, ask yourself:
- Does it
properly suck up to Uncle Dan? He likes
- Does it
include all the relevant information,
full URLs, spelled correctly?
- Check those
URLs one more time. Do they really work?
Uncle Dan does
NOT like changing URLs once set, nor to discover
that the archive file is corrupted. Beware the
wrath of Uncle Dan. And try to provide the REAL URL, not some wacky
In fact, the
instructions created by the PUBLISH button have
all the information I need, so it's fine to just
send me a copy of that.
UPGRADE YOUR WORLD WHENEVER YOU LIKE
Once your world
has been published, you can modify your files
whenever you like, so long as you keep the
filenames the same (full URL must stay constant).
Remember to always "/version" and
PUBLISH to create the new ZIP and INFO files for
each release of your world. Then everyone playing
WoS will be able to get automatic upgrades.
You do NOT have to send an email announcing your
upgrade (but feel free to anyway).
development, you might want to share your world
with some friends before publishing it to the
world at large. Just email them the ZIP file you
made and then they should use the IMPORT command
in the game to unzip and install it. In general I
prefer that we all use ZIP files and not
self-extracting archives to help insulate
ourselves from possible viruses.
Most web hosting sites won't let
you put spaces in a file name, and since the
filename of your zip file is also the world name
which appears in the menu, this is a bit
inconvenient. Some sites won't even let you use
capital letters. And since your URL must exactly
match the file name's capitalization, it is
important to show great care.
In general, the
World Publishing features will replace spaces
with underscores, but otherwise attempt to keep
your world named the way you wanted it.
are the ZIP and INFO Files?
Well, the helpful page of
instructions displayed after pushing the PUBLISH
button does its thing should give the full path
to the files for you, but here is the theory
VERSIONED worlds can be PUBLISHed. The
PUBLISH button will be dim if the version
comment is "seems to be a mod."
- When you
push PUBLISH, a new folder is created
with a name like: c:\WoS\Publish\WorldName\1.0001\ (where worldName
is your world's name, and 1.0001 is your
most recent version number)
- Inside of
that folder are two files: The World
ZIP file containing all the files
of your world, and the World
file (ok, it's a .TXT file) containing
simple version information about your
world. (Basically, players will download
the small INFO file in order to determine
whether or not they need the big ZIP
Please note that
the Publish folder ends up keeping copies of
every version you have ever PUBLISHed (even if
you never actually uploaded that version). This
can be useful when you realize you accidentally
deleted all your custom monster skins.
It's up to you
to decide when, if ever, you want to delete
things from your Publish folder.
|What's all this about
Publishing Centers and World Passwords?
The first time you ever
use the "/version" command on your PC,
you will be asked to create a publishing center.
When you version your world, it will be credited
to that publishing center. So people will be able
to see who made the world.
The first time
you set a version on your new world, you will
also be asked for a World Password. You will need
this each time you subsequently change the
version number. (Otherwise you might have helpful
friends releasing versions on your behalf.)
If you make
additional worlds in the future (on that PC),
they will be credited to the same publishing
If you lose your
publishing center, or world password, well... you
won't be able to make a seamless new version. You
can still version again for your next release,
but ALL EXISTING CHARACTERS (for everyone who has
ever played your world) will be marked modders
when they play your next release. This is a bad
enough thing that you want to avoid it.
In fact, your
publishing center is just a single file, called
"pubCenter.dat" and you can (and
should) take it with you if you move to a new PC.
should NOT give it to other players, unless you
want them to be able to publish in your name.
(which you might want to do under some
circumstances. Generally, however, you don't know
anybody that trustworthy.)
|Hey, Dan never
published my world! How come?
There could be many
possible explanations to this. If I didn't seem
to send you an email explaining why, consider the
- Maybe I
didn't get your email, or perhaps I just
flaked out. Sorry.
- Did you
follow the instructions above, exactly?
Or did you just send me an email with a
random link or two in it? I need ALL the
information described above. Remember,
the PUBLISH button makes ALL the files
you need AND it composes the email you
need to send me. Just send me a copy of
that set of instructions it displayed for
you (it probably left a copy of them on
- Did you set
up your website file hosting before
sending me the email? I need all the
links in the email to actually WORK. I
can't publish worlds in advance of you
actually crafting them/hosting them.
- Did your
world actually represent sufficient
'effort' on your part? Or was it just a
renamed copy of Evergreen with a couple
monster names changed? It's ok to make
worlds like that for your private
consumption, but theres no real need to
make other people download them. This is
a subjective judgement on my part. I
apologize if your world was a LOT of
effort on your part, and I just can't see
- Did your
world properly credit the previous world
authors who inspired you? Provided your
maps, music and skins? You'd want people
to thank YOU wouldn't you?
- Did your
world's home page have an excessive
amount of popup advertising on it? If
your free web host has excessive popups,
chances are it is limiting your download
megabytes anyway, so look for a different
And speaking of
your world's home page! You have to host your
world files anyway, there's no reason to not have
a little home page for your world!
People will see
that page when they browse the "check on
line for new worlds" list. It's your chance
to convince them your world is a fun place to be.
Plus you can add any special instructions for
getting patches, downloading without requiring
This is also
where you MUST explain to the potential
downloader if you feel your world is appropriate
for kids, etc. You MUST provide an honest
evaluation of your world or I cannot publish it.
It's always sad
when a nice world has no home page to brag about
it. Pity the poor world, unloved by its creator.
|Hey, I REFUSE to follow
your simple rules!
So, all the time I hear:
"I don't like winZip, I can make zip
files, XP has zip support built in, I refuse to
install WinZip just so I can accurate publish my
world in a way others can enjoy it! I insist
instead on making a defective ZIP file on my own
and then dooming people to download 50 megabytes
only to have it end up not working, because I am
an egomaniac and I know best and you're trying to
restrict my creative vision!"
Actually, all I
am trying to do is prevent the frustration that
comes from downloading a 50 meg world which then
fails to install. Well, and to deny you the right
to creatively install any viruses your PC might
have picked up on other people's PCs.
you MUST 'know best'...
on the following:
1.) You host the
files correctly and send me an exact copy of the
publishing instructions with full working URLs
and no handwaving about where to find things. And
by 'files' I mean BOTH the .zip AND the .txt
(info) file. Both of which are created
automatically for you when you push the PUBLISH
2.) Your ZIP
file actually works when installed by
Here is how to
manually create a working ZIP file:
- Start with
a computer where a working and versioned
copy of your world is installed to
"...\wos\worlds\yourworldname" Spaces and
punctuation marks are not allowed in
world names, use underscores if you must.
- Do NOT just rightclick
on 'yourworldname' and select 'add to
zip' as that will result in your world
being installed to "...\wos\worlds\yourworldname\yourworldname"
open your 'yourworldname' folder and select
ALL THE FILES AND FOLDERS INSIDE IT. And THEN
right-click and 'add to zip' and give the
resulting zip the the name of your world
It's not HARD to
do, and yet no one who hates WinZip seems to be
able to manage it (or even test their work before
asking me to publish it), hence my frustration
after providing a nice simple one button way to
do it right :-)
And here is how
to TEST your ZIP file:
- Start with
a computer which does NOT have your world
installed on it (be sure to always keep
your World Development folders backed
up). Get a copy of your ZIP file copied
to that computer. (Ideally you will have
uploaded your ZIP file to your webhost
and given the URL of the file to a
friend, who has now downloaded it and
saved it somewhere on their computer)
- Start WoS
on that computer and select 'Check online
for new worlds'
- On the
lower right of that dialog is an
'import...' button, click on that
- Follow its
instructions to browse the hard drive to
find that copy of the ZIP file and
- When that
completes successfully, return to WoS and
try to play the world. If it hangs on the
loading screen forever, then look in
"..\wos\worlds\yourworldname" and see if
the files are there, or if there is just
another folder in there, like
- If it looks
like it installed OK, trying creating a
new character in the world and make sure
you are not told "would have to mark
you as a modder because this is a modded
world" (which would imply the world
is not versioned correctly, or the ZIP
file did not include all the necessary
And my apologies
to anyone who just plain can't install WinZIP and
make this all trivially easy. I don't mean to
sound testy, I just get sad when I see all that
work made pointless by a poorly formed ZIP file.
Synthetic Reality cannot be held
accountable for mischief perpetrated by
individual world designers, so use common sense
and a quality virus checker when downloading
*anything* from the web. However, if you allow
Well of Souls to automatically install the world
for you, you can be sure it will not execute
any.. um.. executables, and no files will be
installed outside of your Wos\Worlds folder.
Reality reserves the right to pull any world from
the master directory for any reason, but will opt
to support free speech wherever possible. If your
world is violent or foul, please describe it as
such on your world's home page (using G-rated
language to do so, please). The goal is to let
everyone know BEFOREHAND what they should expect
and give them plenty of warning before they
encounter anything they might find personally
distasteful, while at the same time not limiting
the creative expression of the world author.