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UnrealSoftware.de is the website of Unreal Software, as well as the provider of most of the Unreal Software games-related serivces. It is run and administrated solely by Peter Schauss, with volunteer staff helping in the Forum and the File Archive.
No exact date of UnrealSoftware.de launch is known, but it was launched in the first quarter of 2003. During the following years, the site has changed design and functionality numerous times, the last largest functionality change being Apr 10, 2010, and one of the most noticeable design ones occuring on Apr 1, 2011.
There were as well many downtimes, ranging from minor nuisances to global-scale catastrophes. The largest ever downtime was registered on Oct 9, 2009, when the UnrealSoftware.de server had received damage and a large part of the website was lost, with some of it never to be recovered - all File Archive uploads, the Lab, the Stuff and other parts of the site had parished.
UnrealSoftware.de has a steadily high number of visitors from most countries on the globe. In 2010-2011, the highest numbers of page views were registered during the time periods of December 2010, April-May 2011 and August-October 2011. 18.5% of all UnrealSoftware.de visitors are from Turkey.
On Sep 11, 2011, UnrealSoftware.de's File Archive total downloads number has reached the mark of 500.000, with the total downloads number steadily increasing toward the 3.000.000 milestone.
UnrealSoftware.de presents a variety of features, most of which are described below.
News provide the information about the latest events concerning Unreal Software projects.
This feature has existed since the site launch, but the latest update of Dec 8, 2008 made it so that users could leave commentaries on news, and news entries themselves are merely forum posts in the News section.
Forum is a place where users can communicate and discuss various topics between themselves. This particular feature has undergone massive work in the past years.
When it was implemented Nov 6, 2003, it only had a few sections, and any visitor could post on it. As time passed, more sections have been added.
At some point[Date?], posting priveledges were restricted to registered users only. The posts made by unregistered users, however, still remained.
On Dec 28, 2010, the subforums feature has been added, allowing one board to be divided into numerous thematic subforums.
File Archive is a database of user-made uploads. It was introduced Jul 19, 2008.
On Oct 9, 2009, an incident at the website server has happened. Numerous features were shut down temporarily and permanently, including the File Archive. All the user uploads were permanently lost. The full functionality of the File Archive was only restored Nov 5, 2009.
Since Apr 10, 2010, when a file is uploaded, any registered user may comment on it and rate it on a 5 points scale, with 1 being bad and 5 being amazing. The average rate is then calculated and displayed in the file list. This feature has been removed from the website with a new system named "Likes System". Any registered user on the US.de website can leave a like on a specific file by checking "I like it!" box on the bottom of the Comment field.
On Nov 29, 2015, DC decides to implement the Reviewer rank mode for the sake of the quality of F.A. (File Archive) and complains from other users regard the bad quality of files (mainly in CS2D Archive entry). With the help from elected reviewers, their main task is to review a file based upon many factors (its quality content, guidelines / requirements met, etc.). Every newly uploaded file by a user will be unreviewed until a reviewer or any particular user with such privileges (such as DC, moderators) review and approve the file. If the file gets approved then that means its quality is good and meets all the requirements and guidelines. Otherwise, if the file gets declined, the specific user will be notified to improve the work of a file until the user must request a new review of his file. If the user either refuses or ignores the notification or the last edit of the work is still poor then it'll be deleted from the File Archive after a certain time.
Users is a feature added along with the forum Nov 6, 2003. It allows any site visitor to freely create an account and with it receive some privileges not available to unregistered users.
Aside from the Forum and the File Archive, another its major role is in Unreal Software games, where Unreal Software (previously USGN) accounts serve as unique identifiers for players. After registration, the user is assigned a unique ID number, which has numerous applications - for example, being extensively used by Lua scripts in Counter-Strike 2D.
User accounts have some degree of customizability - users can upload their avatars and set their signatures that will be displayed on the website - on the Forum and the File Archive.
Since Jul 29, 2011, the online state of the users is displayed as well - if the user is on the site or playing a game. It was, at first, displayed in the top left corner of the user's avatar, but later, due to the will of the community, it was changed so that it would be displayed under the user's group.
There is a number of user groups with different priveledges and rights. At this point, there are 7 groups (these groups are sorted upon their privileges, powers or rights):
- Admin - the head of the website. Only 1 person belongs to that group: DC. Members of this group have almost unlimited privileges.
- Moderator - a peacekeeper of the website. Can give out temp and permanent bans, move threads and delete threads/posts, give out rule violations and decline / approve files in the File Archive.
- Reviewer - the pillar of the File Archive. Can review a file by approving or declining it based upon its quality contents, requirements / rules / guidelines met and such. This group has a same special privilege as a Super User.
- Super User - an important contributor to the community. The only special privilege of this particular group is increased upload size.
- Security Supporter - an important supporter for the security of both Unreal Software's games, the website and U.S.G.N. as well. This particular group has a similar privilege like the Super User (increased upload size).
- User - a regular community member. No special privileges.
- Idiot - a particular person who behaves in an inappropriate way or breaking the rules frequently. This rank group lacks of special privileges and rights. The main thing is that they must fill up a CAPTCHA for each action they are doing in the website. This is a form of punishment.
When a user is banned, he is stripped of the right to post or upload files and to log into Unreal Software games with their account.
At some point[Date?], the regular ban was separated into three ban modes - community ban, game ban and general ban.
- Community banned means the user cannot post/upload/PM on the site but can log into Unreal Software games
- Game banned means the user cannot log into Unreal Software's games with U.S.G.N. service but has full abilities on the website
- Banned means the user is stripped of all rights, both in-game and on the website
Beside, the three bans rank, there is the temporary ban (or abbreviated temp.ban (singular) / temp.bans (plural). A temporary ban is a ban given by the moderators and DC as a form of punishment upon the users who are violating the Rules. The temp.ban has a limited period of time (max. one month = 4 weeks) and divided sections (All, Forum, Messages, Comments and File Archive) depending on the severity of the violation caused by a user and in which part of the website violated it as well. As for the sections of the website, there are 5 sections:
- All - Meaning, that the user is temporary banned on all sections of the website. Therefore, the specific user won't be able to post on threads or creating new topics (Forum), commenting on files (Comments), uploading a file (File Archive) and sending messages to other users (Messages).
- Forum - Meaning, that the user is only temporary banned on Forum section. The user will not be able to post replies on topics or creating new ones but has other abilities like commenting on files, uploading files and PMing other users.
- Messages - The specific user will not be able to send messages to other users, but has other abilities like posting on forums, uploading a file and commenting on the files of other users.
- Comments - Meaning, that the user is not able to comment on other files but has other abilities like uploading a file, posting on threads (and creating new ones) and sending messages.
- File Archive - The user won't be able to upload file/s in the File Archive but has other abilities such as posting on forums, sending messages and commenting on files.
Moreover, these temp.bans are displayed in a red highlighted box to the users who received the temp.ban. Commonly, they receive a reason for the ban with the violated rule and a link to the reply/post that violated the rule (in Forums only), the name of the moderator that gave the ban also the time when the temp.ban has been given. This is only visible to the user who received it (except the duration, the locked sections, the time that when the ban has been given and the name of the moderator are visible globally). However, at contrary in the Comments field section, they will not receive a link of the comment that violated the rule though.
Stuff was a website section that had some of the minor or abandoned projects by Unreal Software, freely available.
It was lost during the downtime of Oct 9, 2009 and never restored by DC.
Lab was a website section where users could suggest ideas to be implemented into Unreal Software games. The suggestions were divided into 3 groups - refuted, pending and approved. Each suggestion was appointed to a group manually, being reviewed by DC, and after it was appointed, a comment from DC was added to the suggestion, explaining the reasons of his choice.
The Lab was lost during the downtime of Oct 9, 2009, along with the Stuff section and the File Archive uploads and has not been restored by DC despite the numerous proposals.
References and notes