Would you like to be able to browse through demos as easily as you might browse a collection of videos, photos, documents, etc.?
<font color=red size=4>The file to download is here. And you need Prboom-plus.</font>
I imagine most people who watch a lot of demos have a fairly streamlined way of doing so, but nevertheless it is sometimes a bit more fiddly than we'd like. Or you discover part way in that you've loaded the wrong version of the wad, or that plutonia needed to be used as a pwad in this case, etc., etc. And at best it normally takes at least a few seconds to sort out the right command line, or right-click action or whatever.
The aim here is to make it so most demos can be viewed simply by clicking on them, with the correct wads automatically loaded. This is done by an extensive list of patterns against which the file-name is matched.
I'll get straight to the point. You'll need the current or a recent version of Prboom-plus and the big list of patterns that can be found here. I must stress that it doesn't work at all with version 126.96.36.199 or earlier, or "regular" PrBoom - these versions lack the feature that it relies upon.
Here is the quick and dirty version of the instructions (more details in the txt that accompanies the patterns):
1. Check that the new version of Prboom-plus is finding your iwads and working OK (I always use my existing cfg with it and just tweak any new settings).
2. Open patterns.txt in Notepad (or similar). Copy & paste the list of patterns into your cfg in place of the list that is currently in there.
3. Open Prboom-plus's launcher and select (in the Commands window at the bottom):
Associate the current EXE ... with DOOM demos (-auto mode)
(-auto is the command-line option that activates the new autoloading feature)
Now when you click on a lmp (from inside a zip, from anywhere on your computer, or that you have opened from an online source), then as long as the pattern is recognized and it finds the wads, it will automatically load them as needed and play the demo.
This should work with most of the demos you'll find here, at compet-n, and elsewhere. Obviously you need to have any pwads that are required, and they need to be in the location the program is expecting to find them. This means either the same directory (folder) as the program itself, or in a %doomwaddir% that you have defined.
More info is given in the zip. As just one example of what it can do, consider that from a playback viewpoint there are four possible cases of compet-n demos on Evilution:
1. tnt.wad used as an iwad
2. tnt.wad used as an iwad and the tnt31 patch loaded as a pwad
3. tnt.wad used as a pwad
4. tnt.wad used as a pwad and the tnt31 patch loaded too
The patterns include sufficient information to distinguish between these four cases, for all 900+ tnt demos at compet-n (I hope; I'm pretty sure I tested them all). They also include a list of demos starting "et" that are Tysons on tnt.wad (rather than demos on Eternal.wad). And so on.
Anyway, I hope this proves useful. Feel free to extend it, but be careful, as a single misplaced bracket can (and often did) create an awful mess.
[updated: 28-September-2008; 1671 patterns]