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Thread: Removing "removed workshop items" from game.

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Removing "removed workshop items" from game.

    I made a few workshop mods for Tabletop Simulator. Later on, I removed those mods from the workshop. However, my mod hosting server is still being spammed with requests for the workshop items that no longer exist. Could you please add a function to the game that, removes deleted workshop items to stop flooding hosting servers with requests by "UnityPlayer/4.5.4f1 (http://unity3d.com)"?

    EDIT:
    A modification to my suggestion:
    When a workshop mod is deleted and the links are dead, have TTS remove the links from the file. Optionally peer transfer from the host to connecting clients the require files from the deleted mod.
    However it should be noted:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kimiko View Post
    The EULA is just there to cover our butts. That being said whatever you originally create is solely your own. TTS is there for game designers to create and test on. In no way would we ever publish anything unless we worked together to do so. Basically whatever you create is yours and yours alone. It's up to you who you share it with, so be sure to just share with those you trust during the initial phase. The only way we'd ever use your work is in any videos we create. Like if we were showcasing the Workshop or something. And even in that sense, it would have to be publicly available. If you have it set to hidden or friends only, then we value your privacy and would not showcase it at all.

    We'll have it revised since this was created before we were on Early Access and it was essentially cut, pasted, and "borrowed" from other games. We'll have our lawyer look into it. We want you guys to feel comfortable and know we're not out to do any stealing of any kind!

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by GoldKnight; 06-24-2015 at 09:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    People will still have these files and link saved on their machines and any time they try to load the mods for friends that don't have them cached they will attempt to download from these links.

    It's best to use public file sharing websites for content that is public.

  3. #3
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    That is why I am suggesting that when tabletop simulator checks for workshop updates, and if a mod has been deleted, uninstall from the user's computer rather than leaving the cache and fail attempts to try to connect to content through links.
    Using public file sharing services isn't a solution, it's just handing the problem off to someone else, and it is a problem. As your game increases it's user base more and more of traffic generated by your game will spam servers with useless requests. That could be seen as a DDOS, unintentional as it may be.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldKnight View Post
    That is why I am suggesting that when tabletop simulator checks for workshop updates, and if a mod has been deleted, uninstall from the user's computer rather than leaving the cache and fail attempts to try to connect to content through links.
    I would assume this would be greatly unpopular to the general user base.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tin_Foil View Post
    I would assume this would be greatly unpopular to the general user base.
    How so? If the mod is deleted and the links are dead then it really is of no use to the user trying to play with that mod.

    The traffic generated by one user requesting files may not seem like a lot, but it adds up across multiple users. All of the mods that come and go using the same public file sharing networks adds up in a lot of bandwidth. A good middle ground if you'd like: Have the cache files peer uploaded to everyone connecting to the host game when the mod is deleted. Of course, this too is passing the problem off, but to the users rather than the public servers with requests for dead links. This way, your requests actually do something rather than pelt a server with now useless requests and a flood of packets.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldKnight View Post
    How so? If the mod is deleted and the links are dead then it really is of no use to the user trying to play with that mod.
    Right now, as long as I have the json file (by opening up TTS after subscribing to the mod), even if the mod gets deleted off of workshop due to DMCA or something, unless the person who made the mod killed all the links in the .json file, It's not useless to me. If I've downloaded the assets once by opening up that particular mod in TTS, even if the original modder killed all the links, I still have everything I need for the mod, and can share those files with friends if they report missing images. If they deleted mods from my computer when they were taken down from Workshop, I'd be very unhappy.

    Also, your mod might not be the only thing that uses the images from it. I recently looked at the .json file for games that matched a mod I put up when the game was new, and got taken down 2 months later. These were posted 6, 8 and 10 months after my mod was taken down, and they use my card decks for the base of the game. Anytime someone saves something to their chest, they're saving the links to the images wherever you put them, so even if no one is still playing with your mod, people could still be using parts of it elsewhere. While I'm sure they don't have a way to track this, if they deleted things from my chest where the items came from games that were no longer on Workshop, I'd be super confused and not happy.

    I'm sure that's what Tin_Foil means by it being greatly unpopular to the userbase. Everything still works for most mods as long as I have the json, and for the rest of the mods as long as I have the artwork. Very little is useless if the mod is deleted, or if the mod is deleted and the links are dead.

    If this really is an issue for you on your personal server, maybe any artwork for publicly shared mods, should be hosted on a different site.

  7. #7
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    If you take the time to read everything that has been posted, you won't post information that has already been discussed.

    Quote Originally Posted by em View Post
    Right now, as long as I have the json file (by opening up TTS after subscribing to the mod), even if the mod gets deleted off of workshop due to DMCA or something, unless the person who made the mod killed all the links in the .json file, It's not useless to me. If I've downloaded the assets once by opening up that particular mod in TTS, even if the original modder killed all the links, I still have everything I need for the mod, and can share those files with friends if they report missing images. If they deleted mods from my computer when they were taken down from Workshop, I'd be very unhappy.

    Also, your mod might not be the only thing that uses the images from it. I recently looked at the .json file for games that matched a mod I put up when the game was new, and got taken down 2 months later. These were posted 6, 8 and 10 months after my mod was taken down, and they use my card decks for the base of the game. Anytime someone saves something to their chest, they're saving the links to the images wherever you put them, so even if no one is still playing with your mod, people could still be using parts of it elsewhere. While I'm sure they don't have a way to track this, if they deleted things from my chest where the items came from games that were no longer on Workshop, I'd be super confused and not happy.

    I'm sure that's what Tin_Foil means by it being greatly unpopular to the userbase. Everything still works for most mods as long as I have the json, and for the rest of the mods as long as I have the artwork. Very little is useless if the mod is deleted, or if the mod is deleted and the links are dead.

    If this really is an issue for you on your personal server, maybe any artwork for publicly shared mods, should be hosted on a different site.
    I choose to delete my mods. This isn't about normal requests or where the content should be hosted. This is about how the game should handle content that has been removed from the workshop. As well as, the flood of requests to dead links and how it adds up to a potential DDOS. (Distributed Denial of Service)

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldKnight View Post
    The traffic generated by one user requesting files may not seem like a lot, but it adds up across multiple users. All of the mods that come and go using the same public file sharing networks adds up in a lot of bandwidth. A good middle ground if you'd like: Have the cache files peer uploaded to everyone connecting to the host game when the mod is deleted. Of course, this too is passing the problem off, but to the users rather than the public servers with requests for dead links. This way, your requests actually do something rather than pelt a server with now useless requests and a flood of packets.
    This is an issue that affects all servers hosting content. I just happened to notice it through personal hosting.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldKnight View Post
    That is why I am suggesting that when tabletop simulator checks for workshop updates, and if a mod has been deleted, uninstall from the user's computer rather than leaving the cache and fail attempts to try to connect to content through links.
    Using public file sharing services isn't a solution, it's just handing the problem off to someone else, and it is a problem. As your game increases it's user base more and more of traffic generated by your game will spam servers with useless requests. That could be seen as a DDOS, unintentional as it may be.

  8. #8
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    The most popular mod for TTS on the Steam Workshop has just under 2,600 subscribers as of this writing. That mod contains a single model, but for the sake of your argument lets pretend its a very complex mod involving 200 different URLs, and that 150 of those files are full sized images (~5 Mb each) and the rest are models (insignificant in size).

    If every single one of those subscribers loaded that mod at the exact same time, that could potentially generate 1.95 Tb worth of traffic. When compared to what a site like Imgur is set up to handle, I'm reminded of Sagan's "fraction of a dot", by which I mean they basically wouldn't notice. On the other hand, your personal server would very likely exceed your bandwidth allowance, unless you get a good rate from your host provider.

    That's assuming that you have, for some reason, left the files online to be downloaded. Given your description, it seems that you've also removed all the actual images from your server, in which case what you would get from the worst-case scenario I described is 390,000 hits on your server with no returns. That may seem like a lot of traffic when you're personally scrolling through the logs, but it's not even 1 Mbps in volume. If your host provider can't handle that, your complaint should be with them, not TTS.

    Also, this whole scenario only happens the first time each player loads the mod - afterwards the files are pulled from the local cache, with no strain on your server at all. So no, this is not a DDOS threat waiting to happen.

    That said, it would be nice if TTS could strike a bad URL from the save file. Objects with missing model and image files should be deleted from the save, with a message giving the reason for the error.

    You can also work around this yourself by "updating" your mod on the workshop with an empty table, and leaving that online for a while. Then, anyone with that mod will get the update from Steam, and all of the offending URLs will be wiped from the record (unless they already have their own save of the game in question).
    De Chelonian Mobile

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldKnight View Post
    I choose to delete my mods. ... This is about how the game should handle content that has been removed from the workshop.
    Right. But you're asking that for every mod that comes off of Workshop, for whatever the reason, that everyone who subscribed to it has that json file deleted from their mods, saying that it wasn't good for anyone. I was pointing out why I would dislike that. Not that people still wouldn't have access to the mod, anyone who created a savefile of your mod, or backed up the json file, would still be able to access it.

  10. #10
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    A modification to my suggestion is made at the bottom of this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by hooliganj View Post
    The most popular mod for TTS on the Steam Workshop has just under 2,600 subscribers as of this writing. That mod contains a single model, but for the sake of your argument lets pretend its a very complex mod involving 200 different URLs, and that 150 of those files are full sized images (~5 Mb each) and the rest are models (insignificant in size).

    If every single one of those subscribers loaded that mod at the exact same time, that could potentially generate 1.95 Tb worth of traffic. When compared to what a site like Imgur is set up to handle, I'm reminded of Sagan's "fraction of a dot", by which I mean they basically wouldn't notice. On the other hand, your personal server would very likely exceed your bandwidth allowance, unless you get a good rate from your host provider.
    For one mod you're absolutely right; however, take those figures and multiply it an estimate of all the mods that make use of those site.

    Quote Originally Posted by hooliganj View Post
    That's assuming that you have, for some reason, left the files online to be downloaded. Given your description, it seems that you've also removed all the actual images from your server, in which case what you would get from the worst-case scenario I described is 390,000 hits on your server with no returns. That may seem like a lot of traffic when you're personally scrolling through the logs, but it's not even 1 Mbps in volume. If your host provider can't handle that, your complaint should be with them, not TTS.
    It's still needlessly wasted bandwidth, for both the clients and server.

    Quote Originally Posted by hooliganj View Post
    Also, this whole scenario only happens the first time each player loads the mod - afterwards the files are pulled from the local cache, with no strain on your server at all. So no, this is not a DDOS threat waiting to happen.
    True, but again if you go beyond my one server and look at it from a whole, the issue is there however remote the possibility is. That's a lot of requests from a lot of people for content that isn't there it's still a flod of packets that add up.

    Quote Originally Posted by hooliganj View Post
    That said, it would be nice if TTS could strike a bad URL from the save file. Objects with missing model and image files should be deleted
    from the save, with a message giving the reason for the error.
    This combined with a form of peer transfer would be the best solution for missing content altogether; and, It would allow people to still enjoy things that have been removed for one reason or another.

    Quote Originally Posted by hooliganj View Post
    You can also work around this yourself by "updating" your mod on the workshop with an empty table, and leaving that online for a while. Then, anyone with that mod will get the update from Steam, and all of the offending URLs will be wiped from the record (unless they already have their own save of the game in question).
    Perhaps if I still had the original mod on the workshop however that is long since gone, which is why I made my initial suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by em View Post
    Right. But you're asking that for every mod that comes off of Workshop, for whatever the reason, that everyone who subscribed to it has that json file deleted from their mods, saying that it wasn't good for anyone. I was pointing out why I would dislike that. Not that people still wouldn't have access to the mod, anyone who created a savefile of your mod, or backed up the json file, would still be able to access it.
    What you're going on about make for a interesting topic of creative ownership and control over content. In short my initial suggestion was an easy fix to a problem of wasted bandwidth from dead links. Having a forum such as this is a valuable tool to hash out and refine that suggestion to something a bit more agreeable. It's still just a suggestion and the final discussion is left to the developer.

    A modification to my suggestion:
    When a workshop mod is deleted and the links are dead, have TTS remove the links from the file. Optionally peer transfer from the host to connecting clients the require files from the deleted mod.

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