File Host Question

Discussion in 'Server Discussion' started by Ar7ific1al, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Ar7ific1al

    Ar7ific1al L1: Registered

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    Hi all, I'm new to the forum as well as making maps, managing a server, etc., and I have a few questions.

    1) For a file host from which players can download my custom maps to play on my server, is there a good free file host I could use? I currently am using Ripway, but the free plan only allows a measly 100 megabytes maximum file storage. I'm looking for something with a decent storage limit, and with FTP upload access.

    2) Do files downloaded HAVE to be bz2 compressed? I'll always compress my maps in bz2, but as far as materials go, do file absolutely have to be compressed, or can I upload the files as they are?

    3) Let's say I use a material that's not standard with TF2, for example, something that's part of a pack. If I upload all of the materials, etc. from that pack, but only use a few materials from the pack on my map, will the people connecting to my server download only the required files for the map? Or will they download everything?

    I would highly appreciate it if someone could answer my questions, because I reached my Ripway storage space limit and really need a new file host. I am unable to pay for file hosting, so anything that requires you to pay is out of the question. Thanks in advance to anyone and everyone who can help :D
     
  2. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    1) FYI: Dropbox is a good online host. It syncs your files online and has amazing backup capabilities. (retrieval of older file versions). You can access up to 2 GB with this, up to: "For every friend who joins Dropbox, we'll give you both 250 MB of bonus space (up to a limit of 8 GB)". But, as it says, you'll need to refer to people to gain that max capacity (and use a referal link to get it to gain some free space off the bat): http://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTE0Mjk3NjQ5. (maybe this will increase mine too, if it's not already at max free capacity). Also this probably has bandwidth limitations so depending on how busy your server is and how much custom content you have, it's probably not good for a server redirect.

    But if you're planning to run a redirect for a server why can't you just use your web host? That's what TF2map's is doing. If you want to run a good server you'll need to throw out some cash at some point, if you don't already have an online community that is. TF2maps is constantly upgrading, if you want to know how it was run from the start (as i have only recently become a server moderator here) you'll have to talk to one of our community founders, DrPepper.

    2) Files don't have to be compressed but it's better/easier for the host's bandwidth and the client that they are. Our redirect is setup to allow clients to auto extract bz2's after being downloaded (i think?). Perhaps it's a 7zip feature/site plugin or just because it's open source it's better than other compression software that way (as opposed to winrar which technically you have to pay for, but also not everyone has). But 7zip is better than zip for compression ratio's anyway so that's always a plus.

    3) You can use pakrat/pack bsp to include your custom material/models within the bsp itself to save you messing with any external file directories. Players will automatically be able to see your content and only DL the content included within the BSP. This means players wont have to download custom material packs to see custom content, but it does mean sometimes if a model is used in several maps that that data will still exist in all relative bsp's so it might increase data usage that way.

    As far as i'm aware that's a rule around here, that we only use bsp's (compressed into .bz2's of course) on the redirect, so people have to pack their content into the bsp's. We get a lot of maps though, as you can imagine, i'd be pleasently surprised if they were all compressed and packed properly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  3. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    That has nothing to do with the redirect, it's a feature built into the Source engine. Both decompression AND compression. People actually don't download a raw .bsp ever from the server, it's compressed into a .ztmp before being sent off if no .bz2 is found... or redirect, the engine can't very well control what happens at a remote location, so it's actually worse to have a redirect with .bsp on it than letting people get the .bsp off the server.
     
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  4. Ar7ific1al

    Ar7ific1al L1: Registered

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    @grazr, Thank you very much for the reply, that cleared up many things. I don't plan on my server being anything big and really successful, it's mainly just so I can invite some friends and members of communities to playtest my maps. If I ever want to have a serious server, I'm well aware that I'll have to shell out some cash at some point. Thank you, grazr, your response was a great help.

    EDIT: Is there a way for me to use my dropbox as a redirect for players to download my maps? From what I've read on Dropbox and from their FAQs, I won't be able to. If there's a way, please tell me?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  5. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    Are you running a dedicated server off your own machine?

    Either way, try adding:

    Code:
    //enable downloads
    sv_allowdownload 1
    //max file size allowed for download.
    net_maxfilesize 64
    //faster downloads Helps clients download files from server faster.
    net_maxfragments 1400
    to your server config. This will atleast allow people to download from your server. Since you don't appear to have a web host... it shouldn't be a problem if you're not planning anything big, but if you're just inviting friends to join there's always giving them a list of download url's before running an event. But saying all that i'm not specifically sure what you're trying to do... since this would have been an option before creating a redirect from a web host.

    There are free web hosts that allow up to 1gig with ftp access if you just google it. I imagine they have bandwidth caps (~10GB a month) but you seem to be running something small so that shouldn't be a problem.

    I'm not sure what else to say, i've never run a server without a web-host. I've not done solo stuff like that...
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  6. MjRNuT

    MjRNuT L1: Registered

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    I concur with grazr's comments and also his questions back to the OP.

    Hard to tell what the proper situation you have going.

    From my PoV, if you're going to do custom maps....you only have 2 choices:

    1) setup a webhost for the proper redirect. I don't use Dropbox and can't speak to its ability for this usage.

    2) Use Dropbox to upload your maps. Provide the URL to your buddies and instruct them on how to manually install the map after downloading it.


    Here's a Tut on setting up a Redirect though: http://forums.srcds.com/viewtopic/5240