LaunchBox Platform XML
The XML file used by LaunchBox is the local copy of all textual metadata, supported by LaunchBox, exported from our Master Database. It is located in .\Data\Platforms\
The following data is stored within the XML for each game and viewable via the front-end
- #Game Title
- #Release Date (Year)
- #Release Type
- #Max Players
- #Play Mode
- #Alternate Names
- #Additional Applications
- #Video Snaps
- #Application Path
- #Configuration Application Path
Unused Data Types
The XML file is capable of tracking the following data, however it is unused within the eXo project.
- Controller Support
- Sort Order (used by a handful of games)
- Video URL
- Wikipedia URL
- DOSBox (eXo Projects use their own DOSBox versions.
- ScummVM (eXo Projects use their own ScummVM version)
Game title is derived from the actual title screen of the game. This is important, as there are instances where the box, manual, and actual title screen disagree with each other. For identical games that were released under different regional names, the U.S. name is chosen for the metadata. Often however, upon starting the game the user is given the choice to launch the version of their choice.
Release Date (Year)
As specific release dates were not very well documented (and quit often it was a slow roll-out as shipments arrived across the country in various store sat different times), the release date is primarily just the year the release year. A handful of well documented games have specific dates which are noted. When a games release date is unknown, the order of inspection (in order of priority) is:
- a date on any scanned printed materials
- a copyright date within the game
- the actual file date
A couple of games have none of the above and have been marked as 198x or 199x to indicate the decade they are from.
Within launchbox, Release Type typically denotes
- ROM Hack
For the purpose of the eXo projects, only Released, Unlicensed, and Unreleased are used.
Max players is the total number of players a game supports. This is calculated by comparing the max local, max offline, max online, and max co-op player fields from the Master Database. The highest number of all of these fields is then assigned to the Max Players field in the XML.
eXoDOS uses the following genres
- Beat 'em Up
- Board / Party Game
- Construction and Management Simulation
- First Person Shooter
- Flight Simulator
- Game Show
- Interactive Fiction
- Interactive Movie
- Paddle / Pong
- Racing / Driving
- Vehicle Simulation
While the genres may seem non-traditional my current standards, they are reflective of the types of games released for these platforms. Many games are cross genre, in which case multiple genres have been assigned to them. The #Series field further delineates the game type.
The operating system or platform the game was released on.
The developer of the game. This may be a company or the name of an individual. Values have been normalized to make it easier for cross referencing. eg: Sierra, Sierra OnLine, Sierra On-Line, and On-Line Systems would all be listed as just Sierra On-Line, Inc.
For games that were released commercially, this contains the game's publisher. Self published games are often listed the same as the developer. Freeware games are simply listed as 'Freeware' within this field. Like #Developer, this field has been normalized to a common name for publishers that released under multiple names.
The series section is a massive list of multiple types of sub data that links the games in the projects. This includes game series, sub-genre, themes, and categories. Examples include:
- 3D Engine: Wolf3D (which denotes games that use the Wolfenstein 3D engine)
- Alone in the Dark series (which lists the three main line titles, as well as the Jack in the Dark spin-off)
- Board game - Chess
- Card game - Poker
- Genre: Falling block puzzle (for those hundreds of Tetris variants)
- Historical Conflict: Cold War
- King's Quest series
- Lemmings variants
- Scott Adam's Classic Adventures
- Sports: Wrestling
- Theme: Fantasy
As you can see, this is a very wide ranging field that links the included games in a multitude of ways of finding games with similar attributes.
This is not often used by the primary eXo projects, except in cases where a game is not in English. The Language Packs (Main_Page#Language Packs) however use this field to help denote the country of origin.
Cooperative, Multiplayer, or Single Player are the potential options for this field.
Source is also used to denote the Business Model. Commercial is a catch all for any game that was "sold". This includes boxed games sitting on store shelves or games that had a nagging address at the end asking you to send them $20 (such as the shareware concept). Freeware denotes games that were released either totally free, or under the "Donorware" model, in which the software solicited donations but did not nag or lock content behind them.
Some games were released under various names that either changed over time or by release region. This had led to confusion in the past, such as a user searching for Broken Sword and not finding it under it's U.S. release name, Circle of Blood. Alternate names have been integrated in order to alleviate this issue. It includes both alternate names in English, as well as foreign language spellings of games (when known).
The manuals are a massive project in and of itself. The Manuals page details this, however the short of it is any scanned manual for a game will be linked here.
The "extras" for a game are listed here. This includes reference card, keyboard command charts, posters, technical addendums, release notes, game design documents, recorded audio (such as scans of cassette tapes or other media), making of documentaries, novels base don the game, and much more. It is also where the Pixel Perfect & Shader Options alternate launcher can be found. Details on this can be found on the Launcher page.
Music linked to the game will auto play (if the settings are allowed) while browsing. Music files currently in the eXoDOS project were primarily located and donated by erebus44, a member of the eXoDOS Discord.
Images for a game include box scans, 3D boxes, media scans (floppy\CD), title screens, game play screens, banners, clear logos, and more. Please check theImages page for more detail on how this project sources and assigns imagery.
If a video snap exists for the game, it will be linked here. Details on the Video Snaps project can be found at it's link.
A link to the games Launcher.
Configuration Application Path
This links to the games Installer.