Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

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RaymanRedemption
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Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by RaymanRedemption »

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Hello everyone! :)

I open this topic to introduce a new project for hosting and sharing Rayman Designer levels.
Indeed, it’s quite hard to find a central place for Rayman Designer levels nowadays. We already know ReDesigner levels have their website, so there is no reason Designer levels don’t have one either.

The website is called Rayman Designer.Com and can be found on https://raymandesigner.com.
You can also call it RDC if you want.
 
 
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Hosting features

Here’s how the website is structured for now:
  • A welcome page with some stats.
  • A page containing all available levels.
  • An upload page *which doesn’t require an account*.
  • A page showing the latest videos on YouTube about Rayman Designer.
  • A page showing the latest streams on Twitch about Rayman games.
  • Two more contact & useful links pages like every website has.
For now, the website counts more than 100 Designer levels, most of them found on the Internet. It misses KMG and Rayman Fanpage levels because I think I can’t post their levels on my website without their permission. I still need to send an email to ask them the permission. Most levels on RDC have been found on some public websites referenced on the useful links page.

I can also host some useful tools related to Rayman Designer, such as the Extended Rayman Designer Editor made by Till.

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Technical hosting details
  • Hosted by OVHcloud.
  • About €35 per year.
  • Total disk space: 1 Gb.
  • Server language(s): PHP.
  • DNS AnyCast: enabled.
  • HTTPS: enabled (Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate).
The website is coded by-hand. I am not using WordPress or any ready-to-use interface. Everything is coded in HTML, CSS, JavaScript or PHP with NotePad++. I try to build an efficient website that respects HTML5 standards. Check on Validator.nu that the website respects HTML5 standards.

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Future updates

Here are some ideas for the future. I will choose updates that I feel comfortable with in the list below, the actual order doesn’t mean priority.
I’m open if anyone would like to give me some help for tutorials. You will be credited as the author, of course.
  • A detailed page for each level with extra info such as the number of lives or cages* per level.
  • A tutorial explaining what PCX files are and how to use them with levels.
  • A tutorial explaining how to import & export maps in Rayman Designer.
  • French version of the website on fr.raymandesigner.com.
  • Better difficulty’s estimation for each level.
  • An unseen Rayman mini-game just for fun.
  • A specific page or section dedicaded to modding.
  • Any other idea? :idea:
* Note: I think I can automatically get the number of lives or cages in a level by parsing the EVENT.MAP file of each level.

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Special thanks and other stuff

Special thanks to Rayman Saturn for his help reviewing this thread, as well as giving relevant suggestions for the website.

:?: Are you looking for Rayman ReDesigner levels instead? :?:
:arrow: https://raymanpc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=74499
Last edited by RaymanRedemption on Thu Mar 30, 2023 2:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by PluMGMK »

RaymanRedemption wrote: Wed Mar 08, 2023 6:22 pm The website is coded by-hand. I am not using WordPress or any ready-to-use interface. Everything is coded in HTML, CSS, JavaScript or PHP with NotePad++. I try to build an efficient website that respects HTML5 standards. Check on Validator.nu that the website respects HTML5 standards.
I like the way you go about things! :hap:

I'm pleasantly surprised that the domain was available for you, I would have expected Ubisoft to own it, and have it redirect to ubi.com like all the other Rayman domains they own! Best of luck with the site, hopefully I'll get back into Designer enough to make good use of it some day soon! :D
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by Hunchman801 »

I love it! Thanks for creating such a cool website for the community. :)

Are there plans to add a section for modded events and textures at some point?
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by RaymanRedemption »

Hi there! :)

New update: latest Rayman streams on Twitch

A new page on the website shows the 5 most recent Rayman streams that have been played on Twitch. For now, there are only four streams because the bot is waiting for new streams to fill the database. It can takes up to 5 minutes for the page to be up to date.
 
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More precisely, streams on these games are monitored by our bot:
  • Rayman 1
  • Rayman Designer
  • Rayman ReDesigner
  • Rayman Redemption
Some technical details: this service already exists since 2021 on the official Discord server associated to the website. I edited my Discord bot so that it can send data to the website's API. The streams are parsed by the bot using Twitch API, then it sends the data to the website.

PluMGMK wrote: Wed Mar 08, 2023 8:25 pm I'm pleasantly surprised that the domain was available for you, I would have expected Ubisoft to own it, and have it redirect to ubi.com like all the other Rayman domains they own! Best of luck with the site, hopefully I'll get back into Designer enough to make good use of it some day soon! :D
I was also surprised when I bought the domain. I was thinking about rayman-designer.com or even rdesigner.com. But the actual one is better because it's quite simple to memorize. And thank you!

Hunchman801 wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 9:43 am I love it! Thanks for creating such a cool website for the community. :)

Are there plans to add a section for modded events and textures at some point?
That's a good idea! I think I'll note the idea somewhere (well, now it's on the topic :hap:) and get it back later when I can. About tutorials, I'll try to put the priority on the basics, such as "how to import maps", "what PCX files are", etc.

But sure, if it's possible to add one section related to modding on the website, why not! :)
Last edited by RaymanRedemption on Sat Mar 11, 2023 9:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by PluMGMK »

That reminds me that I once talked about using a bot to scrape and download all the content of the Betilla's Gardens forums, then never actually did it :oops2:
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by Mortamon Saturn »

Congrats for the website and the update! There's no doubt it will be a wonderful platform for the Designer community! :D
I've added the link to the main posts in the ReDesigner topics for anyone looking for Designer content! :up:

RaymanRedemption wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 6:24 pm
PluMGMK wrote: Wed Mar 08, 2023 8:25 pm I'm pleasantly surprised that the domain was available for you, I would have expected Ubisoft to own it, and have it redirect to ubi.com like all the other Rayman domains they own! Best of luck with the site, hopefully I'll get back into Designer enough to make good use of it some day soon! :D
I was also surpised when I bought the domain. I was thinking about rayman-designer.com or even rdesigner.com. But the actual one is better because it's quite simple to memorize. And thank you!
Seems like they really don't care about their old games after all. :noel:
That aside, it's great you could use the perfect name! :mryellow:
RaymanRedemption wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 6:24 pm
Hunchman801 wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 9:43 am I love it! Thanks for creating such a cool website for the community. :)

Are there plans to add a section for modded events and textures at some point?
That's a good idea! I think I'll note the idea somewhere (well, now it's on the topic :hap:) and get it back later when I can. About tutorials, I'll try to put the priority on the basics, such as "how to import maps", "what PCX files are", etc.

But sure, if it's possible to add one section related to modding on the website, why not! :)
And I approve that idea! I may not be into Designer (y e t), but I did notice how modding was a huge thing for it in the community! :)
...Speaking of which, I wish the same thing could be said about ReDesigner. :hap:
Vive Rayman et les prunes !:angel:

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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by RaymanRedemption »

Hi there! :)

I'm glad to announce that the first level has been uploaded on the website! It's called Stationery Land and has been made by Newraymanheeonejan, maybe you know its alias raymandesigner on the forum.

The level has been well received on my side, the upload page seems to work. I tried to download the map by FTP, using FileZilla, and I learned that Filezilla can corrupt some bytes of a ZIP file due to "ASCII transfert type". This is why the first time I opened the ZIP archive, it didn't work. I checked how to repair this error and now I can download maps without any problem.
PluMGMK wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 7:37 pm That reminds me that I once talked about using a bot to scrape and download all the content of the Betilla's Gardens forums, then never actually did it :oops2:
That could be an interesting idea to retrieve every level from there :noel:
I downloaded a lot of levels from almost every thread on this forum by-hand, it tooks me a few hours :hap:

Rayman Saturn wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 10:52 pm Congrats for the website and the update! There's no doubt it will be a wonderful platform for the Designer community! :D
I've added the link to the main posts in the ReDesigner topics for anyone looking for Designer content! :up:
Thank you for adding links in ReDesigner threads!
I've done the same in the first post as well, in case someone is searching for ReDesigner levels instead :)
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by Hunchman801 »

Congrats raymandesigner on being the first to upload a level! I'm sure there's many more to come. :)
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by RaymanRedemption »

Hello,

Some news regarding the website:
  • A few maps have been added ;
  • We have reached more than 500 visits ;
  • The contact page has been renamed to About us ;
  • A €10 Discord Nitro giveaway will be organized soon!
What about the future updates showed in the first post? For now, nothing new. The university is taking a lot of time, I'm forced to slow down the development. But, good news, I should have some holidays pretty soon! :wink:

What are the next updates coming, and when?
I really want to begin the tutorial concerning PCX files. Custom PCX files are used in a bunch of levels and a tutorial about them is more than welcome. After that, I still want to improve the difficulty criteria for each level, but the only way to do this is to play each level one by one, it will takes time and it will be done drop by drop.

Also, I will fix the navbar that still says "Contact us" instead of "About us" on some pages.
I cannot say when these updates will be done, the sooner is the best of course.

Except for the missing PCX tutorial, I feel like the website is almost... done? The main objective was to design a place where people will find Designer levels and upload them. I think this core goal has been achieved. I'd say other stuff are more "extra". I think.

€10 Discord Nitro giveaway
To celebrate the opening of the website, a €10 Discord Nitro giveaway will be organized on the Discord server linked to the website. A special popup will appear on the website when the giveaway will start. A verified Discord bot will choose the random winner inside a public channel that everyone will be able to see. Claiming time will be 48 hours.

Abandonned update: french version
I tested to add the subdomain fr.raymandesigner.com, it works, but I cannot create more than one subdomain in practice (see OVH Web Hosting plans). It means that I cannot add other languages in the same way. Two more options are possible: raymandesigner.com/fr/, or the other one is to use a cookie that save the user's preferences. For now, there isn't any cookie on the website, and I prefer to keep it that way. I don't want to annoy the user with a « cookie consent » banner.

The last option raymandesigner.com/fr/ is possible, but hard to manage in practice. It would require to store and maintain at least two versions of the website, one for each language. This will double the work to maintain the website and I prefer to focus on more useful stuff. This update is thus canceled, at least for now.

Other updates are still on the plan, even if it could take some months to see them :hap:

I hope to have more time to work on the website during my following holidays :)
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by Hunchman801 »

Great news! I hope people will continue adding levels to the site. :up:
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by RaymanRedemption »

Hello,

Some news on the website:
  • The "About us" links have been repaired in every page
  • A new Designer level has been added! (see below)
  • The €10 Discord Nitro giveaway has started on the server
  • I designed a new image for the slider here
  • The website is now partially indexed on Google if I trust the Google Search Console
Hunchman801 wrote: Sun Apr 02, 2023 9:39 pm Great news! I hope people will continue adding levels to the site. :up:
It seems you were totally right! :)
Another new Designer level has been uploaded on the Discord server related to the website, and thus, this level has been uploaded on the website as well. The level is called Antitoon Hell and has been made by MilesTheCreator. You can find the level on the map page and I also made a video of it.

Good to see people are still making new Rayman Designer levels, can't wait to see more of them! :up:


Indexing the website on Google

I tried to index the website on Google some time ago. It's not that easy as it seems. The more efficient way to do it is to submit a sitemap of the website to Google, I've done it some weeks ago. For now, only 3 pages are indexed: home page, maps page and useful links page. The reason other pages aren't indexed is unknown. I tested these pages using the console and Google didn't find any problem to index them. But.... they aren't indexed, still. I guess they will be indexed with time, maybe.

The point is, if the "useful links" page or "maps" page are indexed, what's wrong with indexing the others? :hap:
I think it needs more time, I hope it's just a question of time.

Good news that home & maps pages are indexed, they are the most importants ones after all :noel:
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by Hunchman801 »

Perfect! I have updated the portal with the latest news. :)
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by RaymanRedemption »

Thank you a lot! I hope this will help people to see the website and maybe create new Rayman Designer levels as well :)

I also have a little good news about the indexation: we are sure now that the problem (some pages not indexed) comes from Google System and not from the website itself, as you can see in the picture below. The source column indicates whether the condition listed in the Reason column is caused by the website or by Google. I guess we'll wait and see if Google resolves the issue one day on their side, there is nothing I can do at the moment.

 
s.png
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The Google Search Console also shows the top queries used to find the website on Google:
  • rayman designer
  • rayman stationery
  • rayman design
  • rayman designs
  • desmap.com
  • rayman world map
  • rayman redistributor
  • rayman website
  • rayman map
  • rayman discord server
Except the fifth one, every query includes "rayman" keyword.
It's fun to see the website is also showed when someone queries "ReDistributor".
---------------------------------------------

I'm also quite proud of the little popup on the website showing our Nitro Giveaway :hap:
nitro.png
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Happy Easter to everyone! :cookie:
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by hoodlumsworld »

If you've submitted a URL to Google Search Console and got the message Crawled - Currently Not Indexed, it means Google has crawled the page but chose to not index it.
I wonder why, but the most important pages are indexed at least.
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by RaymanRedemption »

Hello :)

Some little news about the website:
The website has received more than 1000 visits and the Discord server has reached 200 members!
Thanks to all people that have given a little bit of their time to visit the website and / or the server! I can say this project is a success, regarding how old is the game! I hope people might get back to play the game again, who knows? :)
An unknown bug has reset the visit's counter
Some of you maybe have seen this, the visit's counter was reset down to 32 visits! We were at more than 1100 visits from my memories, so I added 1100 to the actual counter. I have no idea where this bug is coming from? I think OVH has messed up something with the file on their side. On my side, here's the actual code writing to the hidden textfile /admin/visits.txt.

If you think you can see a bug in the code below, please let me know :noel:

Code: Select all

File: /index.php
---------------------------------------------------
<?php

$f = explode('#', file_get_contents('admin/visits.txt'));

// Check if the user has visited the website recently
if (!strpos($f[1], $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'])) {
    $c = 1 + $f[0]; // Increase counter
    
    $arr = explode('/', $f[1]);
    array_shift($arr); // The oldest IP is deleted
    $f[1] = implode('/', $arr);

    file_put_contents('admin/visits.txt', "$c#$f[1]/$_SERVER[REMOTE_ADDR]");
}

// STATS for the maps
$cnt = count(glob('maps/*.zip'));


?><!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>

[Only HTML code with some echo in php]

Finally, a few words about the indexing. It didn't evolve since last time. But I know a bit more about the why:
Discovered - currently not indexed

The page was found by Google, but not crawled yet. Typically, Google wanted to crawl the URL but this was expected to overload the site; therefore Google rescheduled the crawl. This is why the last crawl date is empty on the report.

https://support.google.com/webmasters/a ... ear_status

So, Google thought it would have overload the website :pfff:
The website is stronger than that, c'mon :hap:
Anyway, there is nothing I can do, just sit and wait I guess.

Giveaway winner
And the winner for our €10 Nitro Giveaway is ☮ヅℙ𝕥𝕚𝕥𝔸𝕟𝕒𝕟𝕒𝕤ヅ☯#7020, congrats! :)
He had 48h to claim and he received his gift as promised:
nitro-2.png
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by Hunchman801 »

Would it not be easier for you to store your visits and IP addresses in a common serialization format such as JSON? The built-in functions available for this would limit the odds of introducing errors in the code.

And glad to hear that the giveaway was a success, well done!
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by RaymanRedemption »

Hello,
A few news about the website and its services.

First of all, out Discord bot is offline due to hosting issues. These issues can only be resolved by the host itself and at the time I'm writing, it's been more than 2 weeks that the host isn't reachable at all. This is why I'm gonna find a new Discord bot hosting service (more expensive, then) by the first of July, so the bot will be back online! The fact that our bot is offline explains why the streams and videos pages of the website aren't up-to-date.

Secondly, the website host is planning to increase its prizes for all .com domains: €15.11 per year instead of €10.88 (incl. VAT). And I cannot be sure it won't increase its hosting prizes as well (total prize = domain + hosting + optional features + VAT). If I add the new Discord hosting prize to the new total website hosting prize, it exceeds €50, the prize limit I've set to host everything per year. For now, the website hosting service is paid until February, 2024.

Besides these hosting issues, I need to check if I'm still motivated to maintain this project, and the answer is negative. I had a few news to post on this topic (e.g. the 2000+ visit counter, the latest new uploaded levels, etc), and I never "find the time" (motivation) to do so. I'm thinking about releasing the source code (PHP included) of the website on Github, so anyone that wanna start a new project on it, is allowed to do so.

So yes, this announces the end of the website project. The Discord bot will remain online, as it is linked to the Discord server. I'm happy I could maintain this project until now, it was a pleasure! :)
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by Mortamon Saturn »

I'm sorry to hear about all those issues, it's really a shame... :(
You've made such a great website and it would be sad to see the project go to waste, so I'm bumping this topic with hopes it can get more attention. :!:
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by Hunchman801 »

I'm not sure how I've missed this announcement, but it would be a shame to see such a project die and we'd be happy to host the website and cover the costs for the domain name if this can help raymandesigner.com survive. :)
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Re: Rayman Designer .com - new hosting website

Post by RaymanRedemption »

Hello,

Time has come for me to express my final decision regarding the website for the future. First of all, I would like to thank @Hunchman801 for its offer of hosting the website. As hosting costs wouldn't have been a problem anymore, the remaining question is about my personnal motivation to continue this project.

It's been more than one month I'm thinking of it. Now, I know. I won't continue this project and I decline the offer of Hunchman801. I know I was first hyped by this offer, I had the motivation to continue. But I do prefer to stop here. I wanna build other projects in my life, play other retro-games, end my own Rayman chapter and write a new one on another topic.

I'll keep the server-side source code of the website for me because I'll re-use parts of it in my future personnal projects. I suggest everyone to download the Designer maps you wanna save before the website gets down in February. A complete ZIP file that contains every maps of the website is available on the Discord server, this file is too big to be uploaded in this message.

I finally want to thank every people that supported this project and helped me to achieve it as it is today.
I'll make a similar announcement on the Discord server as well.

Be sure I'll stay a Rayman Designer fan all my life even if I'll be less active! :wink:
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