DFU Installer

Discuss Daggerfall Unity and Daggerfall Tools for Unity.
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jayhova
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DFU Installer

Post by jayhova » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:06 am

Since DFU is now officially in alpha, perhaps it's a good time to start looking at installer software. There are a number of possible free solutions. Unfortunately most (the first 3) are strictly Windows. I'm sure there are a number of good installers for mac but unfortunately I know even less about Mac than I do about Linux. I have only included installers that have a freeware version.
  • Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) is a script-driven installer authoring tool for Microsoft Windows backed by Nullsoft, the creators of Winamp. NSIS is released under a combination of free software licenses, primarily the zlib license. It has become a widely used alternative to commercial proprietary products like InstallShield, with users including Amazon.com, Dropbox, Google, Ubisoft, FL Studio, BitTorrent, and McAfee.
  • Advanced Installer by Caphyon is am MSI creation tool with a large number of features in the freeware version. The installer supports both 64 and 32 bit installs in the free version.
  • Inno Setup is a free, script-driven, installation system created in Delphi by Jordan Russell. The first version was released in 1997. The installer is open source (but NOT public domain). The installer lacks some of the features of the commercial products but does support 64 bit installs.
  • Zero Install is a means of distributing and packaging software for multiple operating systems (Linux and Unix-like, macOS, and Windows). Seems written primarily from a Linux POV. The system is web-based.
These are a few of the installers I have run across. I'm sure many people on this forum have much more extensive experience with these things than I have.
Remember always 'What would Julian Do?'.
Windows 10 Pro 64 bit. DFU Ver. Alpha 0.10.7

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Nystul
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Re: DFU Installer

Post by Nystul » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:53 am

one of the huge advantages of DFU is that it does not use an installer that polutes your os ;)

Al-Khwarizmi
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Re: DFU Installer

Post by Al-Khwarizmi » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:52 am

For advanced users, sure. But for many users an installer would help. It doesn't have to be mandatory to use it.

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Hazelnut
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Re: DFU Installer

Post by Hazelnut » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:34 pm

I get that sure, but also something in the back of my mind tells me if a person cannot install DF files using the very easy methods available, then unzip DFU, they're going to have quite a hard time playing Daggerfall the game... it's more complex and less handholdy than modern games.

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jayhova
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Re: DFU Installer

Post by jayhova » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:46 pm

Nystul wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:53 am
one of the huge advantages of DFU is that it does not use an installer that polutes your os ;)
The idea that an installer will pollute your OS is not exactly accurate. Generally speaking it's the software installed that does that. The addition of registry keys, etc. are an option with an installer but as you say DFU does not use those. What an installer would be good for is:
  • Having a single package for both 64 and 32 bit versions
  • Checking to insure the user has Classic installed correctly and the minimum recommended system requirements are met
  • Not having a large number of loose files for the user to contend with
  • Automating the removal of old files
  • Not forcing the user to deal with managing mods
  • Automating the installation of DFU into the user's chosen location
  • Automating placement (and removal) of desktop and start menu shortcuts
  • Splash screens explaining Frequently Asked questions during the install.
  • The ability to remove DFU and any created shortcuts

In addition there are a number of additional possible future benefits or options.
  • Installer could check the status of mods and update mods that are out of date
  • Automated (voluntary) feedback on the installed systems to help developers better understand what systems DFU is being installed on
  • Automated updates 'There is a new version would you like to install it?' (fewer bug reports on obsolete versions)
  • etc.
Remember always 'What would Julian Do?'.
Windows 10 Pro 64 bit. DFU Ver. Alpha 0.10.7

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TheLacus
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Re: DFU Installer

Post by TheLacus » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:25 pm

I think the only reason to have an installer for Daggerfal Unity is to store a files list to allow in place upgrades. It's quite bothersome to extract to a new folder and manually move mods every time.
I also think it should be very simple and efficient for its single purpose, not filled with unnecessary features.
Mod System documentation - Learn how to create mods for Daggerfall Unity.
Modder Discussion - General help and discussion for the mod system.
Github Issues - Submit a bug report for the game, including the mod system.

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BoneofMalkav
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Re: DFU Installer

Post by BoneofMalkav » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:29 pm

TheLacus wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:25 pm
I think the only reason to have an installer for Daggerfal Unity is to store a files list to allow in place upgrades. It's quite bothersome to extract to a new folder and manually move mods every time.
I also think it should be very simple and efficient for its single purpose, not filled with unnecessary features.
True, it we wanted to see if the mods we're using are updated. Well, someone could always make a Mod Manager like Mod Organizer 2 (Or maybe even someone could add DFU support to MO2 if possible.) (Mostly cause my time using Vortex for Skyrim was a cluster****)

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Interkarma
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Re: DFU Installer

Post by Interkarma » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:34 pm

I don't wish to maintain a custom cross-platform installer application.

Something I've considered is placing DFU on Itch.io, as they have a desktop app for Windows, Linux, Mac. The end user would still need to provide their own copy of the game files of course, but this would make installation and updating a lot easier.

I have written to Bethesda in the past (and pinged them on Twitter) asking for permission to create a standalone distribution for the convenience of end users. Something like Steam would be ideal so users can also manage mods, have cloud saves, etc. Both Daggerfall and Daggerfall Unity are free and highly available, this would just make the process more convenient for everyone. Unfortunately Bethesda have not replied at all to my attempts at opening a dialogue around this. I've decided not to chase this again until the game is closer to 1.0.

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