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myk

PrBoom's compatibility levels and settings

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There have been previous discussions about the compatibility levels and advantages of using for example a method like Chocolate Doom's. What occurred to me is that perhaps flags, sort of like Quake's DM flags, would probably be very effective alternative.

Why? Because one of the things about PrBoom is that it's basically used for compatibilities 2-4 and 9, and other settings are a hassle to handle or suggest. Especially because you need to change various settings to get a desired effect. If there were one flags value for each combination of compatibilities, it would be easy to recommend or agree to any set of settings. Currently the individual settings of MBF and PrBoom as well as longtics and overflow emulations all complicate things. With this flags method there would be only one thing to modify instead of a handful.

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Personally I'd just remove them altogether and make the compatibility flags dependent on the compatibility level.

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So you can't customize anything anymore? That sounds really stupid.

There's a lot of WADs out there that only need specific compatibility flags (the most frequent one is the 'lowest texture' bug) and having to set it would force the player to revert to engine settings he might not want.

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Clearly if one is asking the program to emulate, e.g., MBF, then all the settings that are optional in MBF should remain optional. And others should be fixed to match the behaviour of MBF.

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Graf Zahl said:
So you can't customize anything anymore? That sounds really stupid.

Man, what I described doesn't change what you can customize, it only bundles all the customizations into one field like ZDoom does with DM settings.

Still, I can imagine some people might balk at changing the system they're used to altogether, so maybe two fields, one for the compatibility (maybe keeping it as it is unless something like fraggle suggests is used) and another for all the rest of the settings, would probably do quite well.

This would help in three clear ways; it would reduce the fields to change to customize the engine quickly, it would allow wad authors to suggest (not force) ideal settings for their wads, and it would allow demo recorders to chose ideal settings for wads that might not fit perfectly as Doom or Boom compatible.

Grazza said:
Clearly if one is asking the program to emulate, e.g., MBF, then all the settings that are optional in MBF should remain optional. And others should be fixed to match the behaviour of MBF.

MBF in particular has an OPTIONS lump allowing the wad author to set configurations. That is totally missing in PrBoom, making it incompatible with MBF when running wads. MBF will behave like the wad says, PrBoom like the player says unless the player opens the wad in XWE and imitates the settings by manually changing any compatibilities and CFG settings (which could be a pain in the ass to do).

Keep in mind I'm not saying 1 flag value equals MBF, but that a group of settings equals 1 value (or maybe 2 if you take the compatibility level aside). Some sorting out might be necessary because some settings do not apply to certain compatibility levels. Maybe the best way to do it is to be able to choose these things ingame. You select the default compatibility (ingame*), and then any optional flags. Any flags that are not available for that compatibility become disabled. They are "grayed over" or whatever and are simply not applied. This generally happens with settings that apply to newer engines are chosen but you select an earlier compatibility, but also in some other cases (longtics doesn't apply to Boom, for example).

* Not sure why you're currently forced to edit the CFG to change it. Heh, it's probably the most critical single feature but has been left out of the menus.

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myk said:

Man, what I described doesn't change what you can customize, it only bundles all the customizations into one field like ZDoom does with DM settings.



I was responding to fraggle, not you. Your suggestion makes a lot of sense.

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