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itch.io app is decompressing my .love bundles

A topic by fluffy created 29 days ago Views: 80 Replies: 9
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Hi, I've been distributing LÖVE bundles (which are just a .zip file renamed with a .love extension) and suggesting that people use the itch.io app to manage them. Unfortunately, since the .love file is really a .zip, at least on Windows, the Itch app goes ahead and decompresses the bundle file when it installs the game - making it much more difficult for people to simply launch the game with their installed version of the LÖVE runtime.

Is there any way to mark the file as not being a zip file, even though it is totally a zip file?

I use butler to publish, but the directory I tell it to publish has just the .love file in it. Would adding a readme.txt or whatever help? (I should totally add a readme.txt anyway.)

Admin

Hey fluffy!

The LÖVE situation is a bit hairy, but the plan is for the itch.io app to actually support .love files on all three platforms (Linux, macOS, Windows).

I've already done the first 90% (making our own builds of love automatically for each version that comes out), it's the last 90% that's missing (integrating it into the app, showing the user which versions of the LOVE runtime are installed, cleaning up when they're no longer needed by games, etc.) - you can track our progress here: https://github.com/itchio/itch/issues/135

In the meantime, I believe `love.exe` supports dragging a folder to it (it doesn't have to be a zip-compressed .love file - I'm getting my info from this page), so maybe you can instruct your players to do that in the meantime? Let me know if that works out.

ah, that's all good to know! I feel like the drag to folder approach is way too complicated though, not to mention inconsistent on Linux which is the only reason I provide a raw bundle in the first place. But having built in support for runtime versioning etc is great. I look forward to that feature!

Admin

In addition to dragging, on the command line you can  run: `love my_folder` and it should run the game

Yes, I am aware - that's how I do my development in the first place, after all. But instructing players to do that (finding where the folder is, telling them to install the love binary, get the love binary on their path, etc.) is way too many steps for this purpose.

Admin

As for 'where to find that folder', right-click on the game's tab and "Show local files" shouldn't be too hard ;)

(Edited 1 time)

I know, but it's still many many more steps than people seem to want to take, especially when nobody wants to install the itch.io app or they get scared by the first-time "this application is from an unknown developer" warning. Believe me, what seems really easy and straightforward to us is an impenetrable, scary barrier to even incredibly experienced users.

I mean the main people who would be using the .love bundle would be Linux users, and hopefully they'd already know this stuff, but this is just like an impenetrable force field around a lot of things even for them.

The long-term of having the itch.io app supporting LÖVE directly is great. These short-term "just ask the users to" ideas preload a lot of assumptions into the word "just."

Admin(+1)

I definitely agree!

That's precisely why I want the app to support .love bundles directly - everything should "just work".

It's also why the app is signed, btw (so there's no scary warning on install).

I just wanted to point out that even though it's a bit silly that the app extract .love file right now, the situation is pretty much the same as if it didn't extract them - your users (whatever the platform) would have to click "Show local files" and drag the .love bundle somewhere (Linux users probably would have to use the command-line).

The current behavior of the app isn't really worse than either "just not extracting .love files" or "refusing to download them" (folks would still have to know what to do with the .love file they get from the website). It's really more of a planned feature than a bug :)

I'm very much looking forward to ship love support as soon as I can!

Well, I mean, it's easier for someone to find the .love file and double-click it than it is for them to know what to do with an exploded folder full of .lua files. It's obviously still not ideal but having the .love file get expanded adds even more of a burden on players than it would otherwise. But adding a readme.txt to the folder seems to have worked to prevent that from happening.

Okay, so, placing a readme.txt in the same directory as the .love file prevents the itch client from decompressing the bundle itself (at least on macOS, haven't tried on Windows). This workaround solves the problem I was trying to describe., because then there's a .love file they can double-click on (rather than having to do things like dragging a folder onto an app icon or open a command line and do a scary, annoying invocation). This is an acceptable solution to me.