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Kappes Buur

Why is Eternity not so popular?

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I have adopted ZDoom from the very beginning, and now map only for GZDoom. Why? Because I like the eyecandy and the possibilities it offers and the simplicity of the creation process. Plus the constant evolution through the community involvement.

 

I do know of Zandronum, which seems to be still popular to some degree, but I do not use it since it is just a lesser version of GZDoom, and I no longer play multiplayer.

 

But Eternity, that is a different story. I tried to edit a map for that format but did not succeed. To me it seems too complicated in order to create a decent map. There are too many confusing subcategories to be considered.

 

Why is Eternity not actively promoted by its creators with showcasing different aspects of its capabilities, similar to the extend as is GZDoom, and thusly loosing ground as time goes by?

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I've wondered this myself too and I'll just guess here. Eternity's philosophy seems to be to try and fill the gap between vanilla-compatible and borderline almost GZDoom-level scripting capabilities (which is extremely similar to the niche PrBoom+ fills in my opinion). The only flaw with that is most people including myself usually use at least 2 source ports to scratch that particular itch. For most, it's PrBoom+ and GZDoom. For me I use Crispy Doom to scratch the vanilla side, PrBoom+ for the Boom side, and if I'm feeling daring I use GZDoom instead when I want to pump Doom full of mods or if a map requires it. It's hard for me to fit Eternity in my catalog because my three source ports are already there and preconfigured, ready to launch in two clicks. That's one of the problems I have with Eternity personally. I feel unsure how to switch it from its vanilla "modes" to its almost-GZDoom mode.

 

Another problem of Eternity's is less popular to begin with than GZDoom and understandably so, through no fault of its own. Since I've used GZDoom far longer than Eternity (although I started with Skulltag :p), I've just come to know GZDoom as the source port of choice for intuitiveness when it comes to doing some ambitious gameplay changes. GZDoom is also, by far, one of the most popular source ports for Doom to date. Look at YouTube which I feel is responsible for the popularity of GZDoom. Chances are, over 80% of the gameplay videos were recorded with (G)ZDoom. Add the notoriety of Brutal Doom's infamous reputation of being over-the-top for any game, and the usage of GZDoom shot through over the roof. Hell, even Ghoul's Forest 3 got people using GZDoom. Two of the famous video-gaming YouTubers used GZDoom, PewDiePie and Markiplier for Ghoul's Forest 3 and Brutal Doom respectively from what I remember off the top of my head. So logically, GZDoom-based scripting would skyrocket over Eternity-based scripting, ignoring the obvious fact that GZDoom's scripting is far more versatile especially with the introduction of ZScript.

 

Obviously the explanation for the lack of Eternity usage over GZDoom's to begin with is that there's no Eternity-exclusive mods that I know. In addition Crispy Doom, PrBoom+, and GZDoom offer far more settings the end user can tweak to fit their needs. When I used Eternity, the lack of user-settings like crosshair, HUD, etc, put me off a little. Once I toyed around with trying to modify my CABIN mod to be supported in Eternity I couldn't help but feel like I was missing something when I was browsing the Eternity wiki particularly at EMAPINFO. I just felt like I was missing a million things yet I couldn't put my finger on what it could've been, if any at all. Maybe I skim way too much but that may be just me. However reading your OP, you specifically pointed out that there's no showcase of its capabilities so... yeah. Maybe that was it?

 

I should definitely give Eternity a try again though and try to adapt more to it. It's been a while since I've last used it seriously. It definitely felt "cleaner" and more refined to use than PrBoom+ but at the same time, I wish it could be tweaked a lot more. I should actually give suggestions to the Eternity devs now that I'm saying this :p

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Eternity is a great port and it achieves all its goals really well. The only issue with Eternity is simply a lack of high-profile content for it, which unfortunately does mean that it doesn't see much widespread adoption. However, Cubic Worlds is looking great, Colander is also pretty good, I've seen Skillsaw occasionally post screenshots of an unnamed Eternity project, and Mordeth E2 is still technically in development, so there's definitely hope for some more cool stuff in the future.

 

I should try making some stuff myself but I'd need to figure out portals a bit better beforehand.

Edited by Spie812

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Because, while a port I personally use relatively regularly, it lacks in user content created for it, and it also doesn't offer too much to choose it over PrBoom or GZDoom right now. Want to record demos? Yeah, well, chances are you're going to use Choco/Crispy, or PrBoom for that instead. Advanced stuff, or more advanced than Boom/MBF etc? You're probably going to use something else for that too.

 

But there's more factors to it I'd say. Lack of truly unique features to give it a real edge over its competitors would be one, then there's also the lack of promotion, despite it having its own category here on DW, which has an instant killer for a newcomer at the same time - the name of the website needs to be hidden in one way or another, or renamed, as it is, it's not helping much. "You fail it" indeed.

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@seed hit the nail right on the head. Aside from Eternity exclusive maps, there is little reason to use the port compared to the more established ones out there. I like the UI and compatibility options better in PRBoom+ for playing vanilla-to-boom stuff and GZDoom for anything else. A lot of people also like OpenGL mode, and Eternity doesn't have it.

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I think the main issue with Eternity is that it faces the "egg and chicken" problem. There aren't many people using Eternity because there aren't many Eternity exclusive wads/mods out there. This, in turn, means that only few would stick around to make more content for it.

 

Another reason why Eternity isn't so popular is that it is kind of a "jack of all, master of none" when it comes to demo recording and modding capabilities. While Eternity can playback Boom/MBF demos, it cannot record them (atleast the last time I checked that was the case). It can only record vanilla Doom or Eternity format demos. Not to mention all of the extra demo recording/playback features of PrBoom+.

On the modding front, while Eternity has good modding features, it doesn't beat that of ZDoom family ports. Not to mention all the documentation of ZDoom's features.

I still think Eternity is an all-round solid port and a port that I use from time to time. But like Seed mentioned, it just doesn't have many unique features to offer.

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1 hour ago, Spectre01 said:

I like the UI and compatibility options better in PRBoom+ for playing vanilla-to-boom stuff and GZDoom for anything else. A lot of people also like OpenGL mode, and Eternity doesn't have it.

 

I think the menus are quite a bit better now than they used to be, after Altazimuth bit the bullet some time ago and restructured them to be more intuitive. PrBoom has its fair share of nonsense in the menus too - how many of us were unaware of the location of the secret notification toggle, for instance? Or why it has two categories named "General" and "Setup", wtf.

 

The lack of a hardware render is also going to severely limit what it can run in the long term. It may be able to play some large and complex maps, but with Software alone it's never going to handle very busy maps like slaughter ones too well.

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|: Why isn't Eternity as feature-rich as GZDoom? Because it is focused on compatibility.

   Why isn't Eternity as compatible as PrBoom+? Because it is focused on features. :|

 

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15 minutes ago, seed said:

PrBoom has its fair share of nonsense in the menus too - how many of us were unaware of the location of the secret notification toggle, for instance? Or why it has two categories named "General" and "Setup", wtf.

I agree. I typed UI when I meant Advanced HUD and Automap instead of the options menu. :P Mostly for the total monster count increasing with Vile resurrections and level time on the HUD, and a more readable map compared to vanilla. 

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I see, people are complaining about lack of content for eternity engine, I dropped this demo map almost 2 weeks ago . It could use some more reviews, because now I don't know what's worthy for the improvement, maybe once I'm done with second map, it will get more attention.

 

What I found worst in Eternity is abysmal default mouse speed, it needs to be bumped up to vanilla levels and ability to reset keyboard binds if it gets screwed up.

 

@Spie812 Eternity Engine has discord server, you could join here and ask questions, people here were kind enough to answer my questions or help with problems I had. 

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5 hours ago, seed said:

the name of the website needs to be hidden in one way or another, or renamed, as it is, it's not helping much. "You fail it" indeed.

youfailit.net is the name of @Bloodshedder's web hosting, and this meme was pretty popular during Doomworld's young years. Also keep in mind you're playing a game called "doom", which is pretty synonymous with "you fail it forever".

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Eternity is less popular than the most popular ports, hold the press.

 

It's still more popular than EDGE or k8vavoom I think.

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21 minutes ago, printz said:

youfailit.net is the name of @Bloodshedder's web hosting, and this meme was pretty popular during Doomworld's young years. Also keep in mind you're playing a game called "doom", which is pretty synonymous with "you fail it forever".

 

Perhaps, but it doesn't help with attracting newcomers who know nothing about source ports and some of these references.

 

To us it may not be a problem, but to an outsider it is an instant kill switch, they'll just think it's some trollish nonsense and move on once they see it. At the very least it should be masked under a "Eternity Doom Port Homepage" link (or a variation thereof) to redirect to its homepage or Github repo.

Edited by seed

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22 minutes ago, seed said:

 

Perhaps, but it doesn't help with attracting newcomers who know nothing about source ports and some of these references.

 

To us it may not be a problem, but to an outsider it is an instant kill switch, they'll just think it's some trollish nonsense and move on once they see it. At the very least it should be masked under a "Eternity Doom Port Homepage" link (or a variation thereof) to redirect to its homepage or Github repo.

Too bad I have no control over that subforum's banner content. Would there be a way to update it, @Bloodshedder or @Linguica or @Mordeth? What should we put there, @Altazimuth and @Quasar

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Just now, printz said:

Too bad I have no control over that subforum's banner content. 

 

Then whoever does should change it :p.

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Maybe Eternity would be more popular if all the big projects for it weren't in development hell for decades :P

 

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The website name is mere bikeshedding.  Most people wanting to find the port are going to Google it.   Of course, the problem with that is that googling the port's name is probably going to get you Doom: Eternal or Eternal Doom.  And the people complaining about the interface have a point IMHO - ZDoom's dated interface might be cribbing shamelessly from Quake 2, but Eternity's paging menus are...not great.

 

But I still don't think that Eternity's lack of popularity is fundamentally caused by either of those two issues.  The real issue is that ZDoom has a multi-year head start on it in terms of features because Randi was perfectly okay with incorporating Hexen and BUILD code into ZDoom, whereas Eternity wanted to remain GPL from the start.  That kind of put Eternity behind the eight-ball.

 

Thing is though, I don't think that Eternity is going to remain unpopular for long.  ZDoom in 2020 is not really a source port, it's a 2.5D engine that just so happens to play a facsimile of Doom.  It's great if you want to make Adventures of Square, but if you just want to make a set of Doom levels, I don't think you need most of its features.  Eternity is not abandoned, and I could easily see it get to a set of features that is "enough".  Not to mention that with prBoom+ on hiatus, I think that there is room for an easier-to-use port that supports 1.9, Boom and MBF demos.

Edited by AlexMax

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I personally really like Eternity since it's derived from SMMU; to me it seems like the most advanced "faithful" port (as in, not totally unique like GZDoom) -- I especially like that it has an improved software renderer. I do wish it supported complevels, but the only thing keeping me from using it all the time is the lack of proper 4:3 320x200 support (a la Chocolate).

 

That said, most people probably don't really see the difference from PRBoom+ since there's not much content unique to Eternity.

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I can only speak for myself, but between vanilla, chocolate, PrB, GZD, and the 3 multiplayer ports, I already have the ability to play or create any Doom wad or mod I can conceive of. Eternity is not alone though, there are many actively developed ports I don’t use simply because the niche they fill isn’t something I’ve yet found myself needing. It’s strictly a matter of demand already being met elsewhere, as far as I can tell. 

 

Although I would wager it’s a little more popular, Odamex finds itself in a similar situation to EE but from a multiplayer perspective. Demo compatibility, multi-wad server rotations and several other features it has are amazing to me, but most people who just want to play some survival, cooperate or deathmatch, they don’t really care about it’s useful-but-niche features. Couple that with it lacking some cool features the other two have such as advanced scripting, custom skins, experience points etc and it just falls in the position of simply not having that much demand since 98% of MP players don’t care about vanilla demos and are having all their needs met between Zand and ZD.

 

I will always have Oda installed on my PC and I’ll always be running servers from Doomshack, but I’m also not the average Doomer - I’m much more vanilla oriented, most don’t give a damn about that. The extra features Oda has are badass, but they just aren’t in demand enough for it to make a huge difference from the perspective of popularity.

 

I still appreciate every source port and developer, the more the merrier I say, and being the “most popular port on the block” doesn’t really mean shit anyway. It’s the same deal with wad making.. Wgaf if you’re not winning cacowards or making the most popular wad of all time.. If creating it is enjoyable and even just a handful of people have fun with it, mission accomplished I say.

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50 minutes ago, AlexMax said:

ZDoom in 2020 is not really a source port, it's a 2.5D engine that just so happens to play a facsimile of Doom.

That meme is annoying.

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I'm not going to really comment on the original question, especially since it's framed as a comparison with GZDoom. This inevitably results in remarks why one prefers EE over GZDoom and this usually gets certain GZDoom devs offended when no offence was intended. Especially when i mention that I see EE as a Doom source port that has advanced features, and GZDoom as an advanced engine that just happens to play Doom.

 

I also don't get the premise of peeps not using EE wondering why EE isn't popular. People tinker away at their own source port for much the same reason people continue to play Doom: even though you aren't a zeromaster or looper, you still enjoy playing Doom.  Should you stop doing what you love to do, just because someone else holds the world record or won the popularity contest or whatever?

 

1 hour ago, SOSU said:

Maybe Eternity would be more popular if all the big projects for it weren't in development hell for decades :P

 

From my point of view there's a really interesting observation to be made between the development of EE and Mordeth E2: Eternity inspired its development to a great degree, and vice versa what E2 needed influenced Eternity in return.

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I honestly see Eternity as a sort of middle point between those two fundamental features, a fusion, so to say. Combine vanilla features with advanced capabilities and you have EE.

 

Mordeth has a point though. No matter the port that you are using, you're STILL playing Doom. It's the same game, just a different approach to use the game and complement with more contents. The rest are just nitpicks between each user. That's all.

 

Eternity just needs some love....

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1 hour ago, Gez said:

That meme is annoying.

 

That was not a value judgement or an attempt to "other" the port.  It was "ZDoom has a lot of cool features, but I don't think Eternity needs the complete feature-set of ZDoom to compete".

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1 hour ago, AlexMax said:

The website name is mere bikeshedding.  Most people wanting to find the port are going to Google it.

 

Spoiler

hghghg.png

 

I see that it is truly a pointless endeavor to bring this up, as others did before me...

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8 hours ago, ReaperAA said:

There aren't many people using Eternity because there aren't many Eternity exclusive wads/mods out there. This, in turn, means that only few would stick around to make more content for it.

[...] But like Seed mentioned, it just doesn't have many unique features to offer.

For me, its particular implementation of portals is definitely unique enough to justify making content for it. I've always been more of a creator than a player, so I don't particularly care about any sort of compatibility with anything else, or demos, or menu options. I care only about what I can create with it, and I've found that this particular source port has enabled me to explore my own mapping style in ways that simply wouldn't be possible in any other port. In fact, I've said this before and I stand by it: you can create the sorts of levels in this port that you just wouldn't really find in any other FPS in general, at least not without a great deal of effort and fiddling around. Or maybe that's just me being weird and wanting to create weird levels that nobody else would want to do anyway. I'm having a blast working on Cubic Worlds, and in the end I don't even terribly mind if only a handful of people play it, though of course I'd love to see it get more attention. It just really suits my own weird mapping desires.

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It's too vanilla for ZDoom fans, and not vanilla enough for vanilla fans. It's kind of a weird in-between. It's a nice port, but I have no use for it as a speedrunner.

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I feel it's a multitude of things, and I'll probably end up repeating what others have said here, but if a few of these things (not all of them, but even two of them would really boost popularity) ever happened for Eternity it'd definitely see an increase in users:

 

1. A killer app map set that shows off Eternity Engine's features and isn't playable on anything else.

2. Good multiplayer. There was a split screen branch that would be awesome to see finished, since no other popular source port out right now has that, and C/S support has also been considered.

3. OpenGL renderer. I don't care about this but enough people do that even something as simple as what prBoom+ offers would suffice.

4. Support for remaining features prBoom+ supports, namely demo compatibility. Since prBoom+ isn't actively worked on outside of the Graf Zhal branch, this would essentially turn Eternity into the successor of prBoom+, and over time users would migrate over to it.

5. Complete Heretic/Hexen/Strife support. Heretic is almost done, but the other two are not even close, if started.

6. Better release schedule and more developer support. There's not much that can be done about this other than just having more people interested in maintaining the port who aren't busy.

 

Of course all of these are huge endeavors that require dedicated people to pull off, so the best way to get this done is for people who have the time to invest it in helping the port out.

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1 hour ago, Death Egg said:

Since prBoom+ isn't actively worked on outside of the Graf Zhal branch

 

Slightly off topic, but I was actually hipped to this fork of Graf's prBoom+ a few days ago and it looks quite active, which is promising.

 

1 hour ago, Death Egg said:

Of course all of these are huge endeavors that require dedicated people to pull off, so the best way to get this done is for people who have the time to invest it in helping the port out. 

 

Always.  However, I think it's worth mentioning that although Eternity could use some more developer support, it's also not on life support and is actively being worked on.

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The Eternity Engine is the spirit of Boom. Expand Doom for wad creation, but keep the classical feel. Which is an extreme niche for people like me, a so-called lax purist.

 

GZDoom succeeded at the niche that ports like DOSDoom, Legacy, and Vavoom had as goals by being able to implement it's own version of killer features (portals, UDMF, custom weapons, 3D floors, Strife support, etc.), and usability; PrBoom+ is the only demo port bar none; and Chocolate and Crispy have all that's needed for vanilla/limit-removing purists. But for those who love Boom/MBF/SMMU, but want progression, is there any port other than EE?

 

It's a progressivism v. conservatism issue, and EE is going the speed limit which is never glamorous.

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3 hours ago, PaquoCastor said:

But for those who love Boom/MBF/SMMU, but want progression, is there any port other than EE?

Odamex kinda counts, since it has almost every Boom/MBF feature (except voodoo dolls in MP games) but also adds some stuff, along with being one of the big three Multiplayer ports... but its additions aren't quite on the same level as the ones in EE.

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