PC_Workbench


PC Workbench

Estimated reading time: a lot, but this is an important page, so worth reading it

56K WARNING: MASSIVE USE OF .GIF


Introduction

PC Workbench is the space where you can create a new game to use within comPLAY and, optionally, upload it on comDB.

If approved, it will be available for everyone else on comPLAY.

Also, you can EDIT any already existing game if you need to have a copy or to correct it.

This page is long, but it VERY important if you want to master how to insert game into comPLAY.



How the PC Workbench works

You can see PC Workbench pages in 2 cases:

  • You want to insert a new game -> pressing the 'NEW GAME' in PC window

  • You want to edit an already existing game -> pressing the 'EDIT' button after you have selected a game

In the last case, most/all fields of PC Workbench could be already filled with data from that game.

In both cases, you will meet 2 (or 3) pages.

Reading this document is strongly recommended

Also to upload the game on comDB your 'entry' will have to meet certain requirements



Page 1

Here you can insert the following 'fields'. I will explain in detail each one.


Game Name

Pretty self explanatory.


Alias

An alias is simply another name for your game. Can be a mnemonic one, or a common acronym. Some examples:

  • ds for Dark Souls
  • GTA for Grand Theft Auto
  • sotl for Spec Ops - The Line

NB: Aliases are case insensitive

If you want, you can insert more aliases separating them with the | character. Some examples:

  • sotl | so tl for Spec Ops The Line

NB: Isn't necessary to make 2 different aliases if a game has a number at the end. An example:

  • tw 3 | tw3 -> WRONG. comPLAY will find it regardless if you write 'tw3' or 'tw 3', so write only one of the two.

Here you can insert some reference links about your game on some famous sites like (alphabetical order, so no one gets angry):

Inserting one link is simple as doing 2 basic steps:

  • Step 1 - Find your game on one of these sites
  • Step 2 - Copy the URL of the game on that site
  • Step 3 - Press the 'Analyze button'

Two pratical example:

I want to insert Mad Max

The game is on Steam, so:

  • Step 1 - Go to the Max Max Steam page of the game
  • Step 2 - Copy its URL from the browser ( SPOILER: is this http://store.steampowered.com/app/234140/Mad_Max/ ) pressing the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON and choosing 'Copy' (I'm really doing a tutorial on this??)
  • Step 3 - Press the 'Analyze button'

Another example: I want to insert Metal Gear Solid 2 :

Game isn't on Steam, but exist on all of the other sites. I chose to find it on PC Gaming Wiki

  • Step 1 - Go to the Metal Gear Solid 2 PCGW page of the game
  • Step 2 - Copy its URL from the browser ( SPOILER: is this https://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Metal_Gear_Solid_2:_Substance ) pressing the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON and choosing 'Copy'
  • Step 3 - Press the 'Analyze button'

This will put the new born link directly on the interface.

You can even try them clicking them with the LEFT MOUSE BUTTON.

You have done some mistake? Highlight one link and delete it using the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON.

NB: To make the game elegible for uploading to comDB you MUST insert at least one of them !


Game executables

A game executables is, no more and no less, the things that you click for opening that windows that display colouful and magics pixels and play voices of screaming teenagers.

Press the 'ADD ONE' button to start the inserting procedure.

It's also used to launch the game directly from comPLAY.

Inserting one require only few seconds:

  • Step 1 - Click that damned button
  • Step 2 - Find the game executable in the windows explorer, and select it
  • Step 3 - Answer if is a game LAUNCHER or a simple EXECUTABLE

A game executable is...a game executable. Check above to understand what it is.

A game launcher is a separated exe used for configuring the game, a mod launcher or something else that you can start TO start the game after opening it.

For example, some games that have launcher are Fallout 3 or 4, Skyrim, Borderlands 2,

  • Step 4 - Optionally, insert an EXECUTABLE COMMENT

This will be used to personalize the game launcher label. Leave empty if you don't need that.

For example, Borderlands 2 has a launcher that allow you to configure you graphical settings before you even start the game. So would be a nice idea to insert in the comments Configure graphical settings.

That label will be dispayed on the button where you launch the game, to understand better what are you going to launch.

  • Step 5 - Optionally, insert LAUNCH PARAMETERS

If you know what they are, insert them if you need. Otherwise leave empty.

Finishing these steps will put the new born executable directly on the interface.

You have done some mistake? Highlight one link and delete it using the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON.

NB: To make the game elegible for uploading to comDB you MUST insert at least one !


Delete game

This option will be available only on User entry games.

It allow to delete it from the database.

NB: If you have more user on the system watch out! You could be deleting their pinned games, and this can have consequences. Be careful!



Page 2 - Game resources

This is the CORE of comPLAY. Please read this chapter very carefully.

VERY CAREFULLY

In this page you can set WHAT comPLAY will be able to backup for your game. Note that you can skip this steps, but a prompt will remember that neither your game can be uploaded to comDB neither comPLAY will be able to backup anything.

On the top you can find the already inserted RESOURCES for your game.

Your GOAL: Insert something there.

YOUR OPTIONAL GOAL: Don't do any mistakes doing it.

If at least one resource is there, you can delete it using your RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON.

If you want to edit a resource you can click it using your LEFT MOUSE BUTTON. Also, please note that, if you save this edited resource, the 'old' one it will not be automatically deleted. This is intentional, so don't be fooled by it.

Inserting a resource can be a tricky job because comPLAY can't guide you too much: you have to already know WHERE your game is saving its data. comPLAY can't find it for you.

Every game is different so, sadly, I have to take it for granted that you know it already where its create your savedata.

To insert succesfully a resource, you have to go through 4 different steps:

  • Step A - Select the resource location (DynPath & Path)

  • Step B - Set the type of content

  • Step C - Set the optional filters

  • Step D - Save the resource

Each steps has a dedicated chapter.

Also each chapter has an appendix with examples.

Its easier to do that to explain it, so let's start!

PROTIP: You can EDIT an already inserted games to see how they are made; is very inspiring, I promise.


Step A - Select the resource location

It this step we will try to set up WHERE your data are located.

If you have messed with savegames in the past, you will know that games (for various reasons) put their data in a lot of different places.

To tell comPLAY where they are you have 2 different ways :

  • 1 - Use the folder selector button

  • 2 - Compile DynPath - Path fields manually

The first method is the easiest, but doesn't work in one special case: if the game put its data inside its install folder. In that case you have to use the second methods. Isn't so difficult, howhever.

Let's examine the two methods:

USE THE FOLDER SELECTOR - Useful in the 99% on cases. Good if game save in most common folders like My Documents or AppData. Just press the Open Folder Selector button and choose where savedata are. Check Vice City and Cuphead examples in appendix below to understand it.

Compile DynPath - Path fields manually - Useful when you want to complicate yourself your life or savedata are inside game installation folder. In the last case you must select "Game install folder" in DynPath and set the relative path in Path field.

Also, see the didactic case below

See the appendix below for more example.

A - Examples

Grand Theft Auto Vice City

Savedata are inside My Documents\GTA Vice City User Files

Grand Theft Auto Vice City


Cuphead

Savedata are inside C:\Users\[YourWindowsProfile]\AppData\Roaming\Cuphead

Cuphead


Metal Gear Solid 2

Savedata are inside the game installation folder.

In my case it is C:\Program Files (x86)\KONAMI\MetalGearSolid2 Substance\savedata, but unfortunatelly could be on some different path on another computer, so I can't simply select it.

The game install folder is C:\Program Files (x86)\KONAMI\MetalGearSolid2 Substance. The relative Path is savedata.

So simply select Game install folder on DynPath and manually write savedata on Path.

NB: Because you selected Game install folder you must to face ANOTHER extra page where you have to tell comPLAY how to find the game installation folder.

Metal Gear Solid 2


Didactic case - Risk of Rain

This is fantastic.

It save game progress inside a file called Save.ini inside its installation directory.

I've buyed the game on Steam, and so on my system is installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Risk of Rain.

comPLAY support well Steam directories so I could simply use the FOLDER SELECTOR, but I KNOW that game save inside its folder, so we choice a smart approach. Why?

Other users can have buyed the game from GOG and in that case comPLAY wouldn't be able to find the game.

So we choice to set DynPath to Game install folder and Path to....nothing!

Why? Because actually the save.ini file isn't in any subdirectory.

So, how comPLAY understand what files to take? Easy: using the optional filters, that in this particular case isn't optional at all. See the Step for more info! (SPOILER: You shoud write 'save.ini' inside ToInclude filter! Otherwise comPLAY will take ALL FILES IN THE GAME DIRECTORY)

NB: Because you selected Game install folder you must to face ANOTHER extra page where you have to tell comPLAY how to find the game installation folder.

Risk of Rain


Step B - Set the type of content

Type of content will tell comPLAY WHAT your kind of data are you pointing.

You can select one of these kind of data:

  • SAVEDATA - Is all data that your game create for memorizing your settings and progress. Basically the things that is erased when everything corrupt.

  • CONFIGURATION - A subset of 'SAVEDATA'. It contain ONLY files used by the game to memorize things like keyboard/gamepad layout and graphical settings. NB: This will be tied your current machine name. I hope you spent 15 seconds reading this. Don't you ? .

  • SCREENSHOT - This will contain ONLY screenshot taken by the game. Be sure to read below to understand how comPLAY will manage them! NB: NO NEED TO INSERT ANY EXTRA FILTERS into 'Include this' or 'Exclude that' optional filter! comPLAY know what kind of data are images and what are not!

To understand better the deal look this sets:

An image is better than thousand words

A winning approach is to always set a SAVEDATA resource (which therefore also include configurations). If your game save its configurations inside a separate file(s), then create another resource with ONLY CONFIGURATION file(s).

If your game take SCREENSHOT, create another resource and indicate it where game save them.

Remember: Optional filters are your best friend (in that case, at least).

B - Examples

Grand Theft Auto Vice City

Savedata are inside My Documents\GTA Vice City User Files

Configuration is inside a file called gta_vc.set

Create 2 different resource:

  • SAVEDATA -> Type of resource SAVEDATA -> No optional filters

  • CONFIGURATION -> Type of resource CONFIGURATION -> 'Include this' filter: gta_vc.set


Cuphead

Savedata are inside C:\Users\[YourWindowsProfile]\AppData\Roaming\Cuphead

1 resource:

  • SAVEDATA -> Type of resource SAVEDATA -> No optional filters

Cuphead save its settings inside system registry, and this isnt supported for now. How sad :(


Metal Gear Solid 2

Savedata are inside the game installation folder, inside a folder called savedata

Configuration files are .ini files inside the game installation folder, inside a folder called bin

Create 2 different resource:

  • SAVEDATA -> Type of resource SAVEDATA -> No optional filters

  • CONFIGURATION -> Type of resource CONFIGURATION -> 'Include this' filter: *.ini (* is a jolly token: take all files that has .ini in the name)

All these 2 resources have:

  • DynPath -> Game install folder

  • Path -> Nothing. Leave empty.


Risk of Rain

It save game progress inside a file called Save.ini inside its installation directory.

It save game progress inside a file called Prefs.ini inside its installation directory.

Create 2 different resource:

  • SAVEDATA -> Type of resource SAVEDATA -> 'Include this' filter: Save.ini

  • CONFIGURATION -> Type of resource CONFIGURATION ->'Include this' filter: Prefs.ini

All these 2 resources have:

  • DynPath -> Game install folder

  • Path -> Nothing. Leave empty.


Step C - Set the optional filters

Optional filers explicit wich files I am interested and in what not.

Also, you can leave some messages when backupping and when restoring.

They aren't always required. Often they aren't, but using them could really improve the 'game entry' quality.

In other cases, they are really required and you cannot escape

Risk of Rain explain well these cases.

Let's see them in detail...

Include this

If left empty comPLAY will take ALL files in your DynPath+Path directory EXCEPT those excluded in Exclude that filter, if set off course.

If is not empty comPLAY will take ONLY files explicited by the rules you writed, EXCEPT those excluded in Exclude that filter (even if they match that rule).

Use this to include only certain files by name (Like 'save.bin'), include some a certain folder (like 'savedata') or only one kind of files (like all ini files, using: *.ini).

How to write rules? Check below.

Exclude that

If left empty comPLAY will take all files explicited in the Include this and simply ignore this optional filter.

If is not empty comPLAY will EXCLUDE files/folders that respond to the rules you writed from the Include that rule.

You can use this to exclude files that you don't want to backup or they doesn't serve any purpouse like log files (for example: crash.log), cache folders (using: cache\* ) or somethings like that.

How to write rules

Include this and Exclude that fiters can be written with the same logic:

You can write a single file name, example:

savegame.bin

You can use * char like a "jolly" character.

For example you can take all screenshot inside a directory in this way:

screenshot\*

Or take all files of a kind in this way, like all .ini:

*.ini

Or you can combine them; for taking all .bin files inside a certain folder:

folder\*.bin

Also, you can write more rules separating them with | character.

Example: For taking only a folder and a file you can use: config.bin | savedata\*

I've made examples that fit good in Include this filter but obliviously all these rules can be used in Exclude that filter.

For example; to exlude all files inside a folder you can use:

folder\*

to exlude all .log files:

*.log

Check this example for a pratical uses.

Comment & Restore warning

Comment and Restore comment are exactly what you could expect: comments. The only difference is the display timing:

  • Comment is displayed only before backupping the resource

  • Restore comment is displayed only before restoring the resource

Usually they aren't required/useful, but in certain cases they can be a REAL life saver!


Step D - Press the damned button

If you compiled all required fields, just press the Save resource button.

When you are finished to compile all game resources, go to the next page pressing the button on the top-right.



Page 3 - Installation directory

If you see this page, you have to do the ultimate sacrifice: a last step.

Because some resource you have inserted has a Game install directory DynPath, comPLAY (ultil now) can't retrieve game installation directory.

You have 2 methods to set one (or more) install dir:

Easy way

Press the Set a folder button and...set a folder!

Be careful that has to be coherent with the Path you have inserted before.

NB: If your selected folder path is on your hard drive and not inside one folder that comPLAY know how to reach dinamically (Like the Steam folder, for example) you will be unable to upload your game to comDB

Hard way

Hard way work better, because relies to Windows system registry entry.

Usually is used for old games that has their data inside Program Files.

Isn't SO hard, but its very annoying. Also, because we are going to use RegEdit, be sure to know what you are doing!

Below I will illustrate the methods you can use for retrieving the Path of the system registry that has the value that contain the installation directory.

Matrioska style.

Example - Metal Gear Solid 2

Check the video for a more 'graphical' explanation.

If you are old school, read this:

  • Open RegEdit
  • On the menu on the left click HKEY_CURRENT_USER
  • On the menu on the top, select EDIT -> FIND (Or simply press CTRL+F).
  • Go to your local game installation and copy its path (In the example is: C:\Program Files (x86)\KONAMI\MetalGearSolid2 Substance)
  • Paste the path in the 'Find' textbox in RegEdit
  • Uncheck Keys in Search in :
  • Press Find next
  • Wait 5 seconds (If takes longer, repeat this step)
  • You shoud have found your installation path keys name: is highlighted on the right. Write it EXACTLY like is written inside comPLAY in Name of the key textbox (In the example is: InstallDir)
  • On the Menu on the top, select EDIT -> Copy key name
  • Return on comPLAY and paste it on Registry key path textbox.
  • On comPLAY, press EDIT.

On the bottom you should have the game install path written clear like the sky.

If is right (and it should be, otherwise you should read again the tutorial) press the SAVE IT button and be happy: you have finished a really annoying work :)

How to set an InstallDir from System Registry - Editor's Cut



Page 4 - Les jeux sont faits

Ok. We have finished.

Astonishing, right?

If you game have all the requirements to be uploaded to comDB, the Upload to comDB button will be available. Press it to submit immediately!

If not well...you have to do it from scratch inserting all fields you have (intentionally or not) missed.

From now on, you can find you game using the searchbar or any other methods. Check this chapter of the guide for more info.

NB: If you edited an already inserted games, you have to PIN it again!