It’s essentially the same idea as the graphical repo if you keep it up to date. And I think everyone can agree that there was ample need for that given how often assets 404’d. I say yes and the hacks that update too frequently can simply be noted as recommending a download from the owner’s link for the most recent version, maybe even add a .txt with the link so people who download anyway can check easily. It also resolves the Japanese hack link problem.
Feel free to shoot me down here, but here’s my take:
With Discourse, you see how many times a link gets clicked. So content creators can kind of gauge how many people have played their hack. If there’s more than 1 link it makes it harder to gauge. Especially if the 2nd link leads to a hack patch repository.
If anything, I’d say compile a list of hacks created by retired hackers (kind of what you were getting at near the end); and make a repository of those, adding on as people retire. If it garners enough reputation, people might even let you know when they’re retiring and give you permission to add their hack to the repo.
I’m in favour of the proposition. I’ve uploaded things to RHDN for preservation’s sake before, so anything that makes things easier to find is a good thing in my book. As proof of concept, here’s a rough backup of things on FEShrine that still have working download links. There’s a lot of broken Dropbox links there…
Of course, a properly maintained backup would be cleaner and managed on something a bit fancier than Dropbox; I’m thinking messing around on Github might work. Of course, having the original threads and downloads linked would be a good idea.
An issue with this that I could foresee is you mirroring a patch, then the hack gets updated, you don’t update your mirror, and people go to the mirror and now have an outdated version and the author gets bug reports for things they have already fixed; in my experience most attempts at a unified location for stuff like this that’s done by a third party either ends up with issues not crediting the original creators and/or not updating frequently enough to not cause the above issues.
The one solution of this kind that I’ve seen work is instead of a mirror repository or a list of various places on the internet they’re located, a platform for creators to put their hacks on, where they can upload the patches directly to. This way you get one unified location for everything, that both credits the author for their own work (through their account on the platform) and is as up to date as the author makes it.
Fire Emblem Universe could act as that platform if it was possible to upload patches to the site directly (which it currently isn’t, can only do that with images). Instead, you get links to external file hosting sites that could go down at any time, and there’s no way to really prevent that unless we control the platform where they’re uploaded to.
tl;dr seize the means of hack production
GAMERS RISE UP
Basically, it is just a mirror of the patch, right? Then create a cloud box for the forum, where a special team can work together and reupload the patch. Their mission is just check if the project is updated and then update the mirror patch on the cloud.
There are two fairly big issues with that. A “special team” is unnecessary, the entirety of it could be maintained by one person or one thousand people and the same issues would arise. No matter how many people you have, something will inevitably slip through the cracks and be missed. Furthermore, I’m certain everyone you assign the task to will eventually grow bored with it/be unable to do it and the project will die with outdated patches abound. If the burden is placed on the creator for the upkeep instead of a third party, any problems that would arise would be solely the creator’s fault and not spread to any other projects.
Creating a task force specifically to collect patches and keep them updated is incredibly impractical and more open to issues than making a platform and letting the creators of what you want to collect do the work for you.