The latest round of site updates introduces game expansion support and images in RSS feeds.
Posted by INtense! on Jun 5th, 2011
With Desura now starting to list more games, it was only a matter of time before we encounted the need to support game expansions (or the buzzword been DLC). A game expansion is essentially a mod (i.e. requires the original game to run, adds new features / levels), with the main difference being that expansions are usually not free and are usually made by the original game developer.
Game expansions have been around forever, they used to be really popular 10 years back with games like Diablo: LOD and Half-Life: Opposing Force examples. They lost popularity a few years ago when (standalone) episodic games and sequels became more the norm, but the rise of DLC has brought them back in a big way.
In hindsight it is a feature we should have supported all this time but just added. Now if you are adding a game WHICH DEPENDS on another game to run, you should select that game in the "expansion field" when editing its profile.
When you do this, the games profile will state that this game "is an expansion for XX", and vice-versa the parent game will list all of the expansions available for it. The screenshot below demonstrates this, with these changes now live on Desura, ModDB and IndieDB (so feel free to update your games if they are expansions). This feature is essential for Desura because we don't want you to buy and expansion for a game only to find it won't run unless you buy the full game as well!
The first series of games using this new feature is the awesome Penumbra Collection (by Frictional Games the makers of Amnesia), which includes Overture, Black Plague and Requiem (an expansion for Black Plague).
The next step will be adding the ability to link "related games", so that way you can connect sequels, episodes etc which are standalone (thus not expansions) but would be good to list. That'll come in a few months as it isn't top priority right now.
Finally, I just added the preview image to RSS feeds, so if you browse them in your browser (i.e. latest headlines, articles, downloads) you will notice that an image is provided with every item. Enjoy the updates and as always post suggestions / flames in the comments below. Oh and don't forget to fan / follow Desura / IndieDB / ModDB: