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Levels as PWAD or LMP

Release levels and components separately too.  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Release levels and components separately too.

    • Hate it
    • Yes, Levels as PWAD
    • Yes, Levels as LMP
    • Yes to all components available separately

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Proposal of an idea.

In addition to the current IWAD, and in support of its development, have FreeDoom ALSO release the levels and components of the wad separately.
Each level would be available as a separate file, probably a LMP or PWAD.

Each level then could have alternatives, which would solve several problems. Only problem levels would likely have alternatives, most levels would likely have only one version.

FreeDoom could, at some time, provide the tool that would combine a selection of levels and produce the IWAD. This is much easier than trying to provide an engine. There is likely a tool that already provides the needed capability and that could be used for the interim. As an alternative, some ports already allow the loading of many PWAD files.

I repeat, only a few levels would have many of these proposed versions, and most levels would have only the one standard. The following provides the structure and nomenclature to support versions of levels. It is then left to the feelings and needs of the affected to make such versions, if it reaches such importance to them. For some levels it will and this provides a mechanism to fork only the one level, instead of the entire FreeDoom project.

As an example using level 2.

* Level2.std would be the standard release of level 2 for the average player, using Boom extensions.

* Level2.vd would be a version of level 2 that plays on basic engines like vanilla doom. It does not need to be identical in play to the std.

* Level2.ez would be an easier level 2 for players that find the average to be too difficult. There are many physically disadvantaged people out there and I support them being able to make use of FreeDoom as much as I would support the deathmatch, or ultra-violent players.

* Level2.dm would be a version of level 2 specially tweaked up for deathmatch. It would add areas, approaches, traps, and other room modifications desired for deathmatch that are too difficult to do with only the thing flags.

* Level2.uv would be a version of level 2 for the ultra-violent. It is expected to have more and stronger monsters. That alone could be done with thing flags, but a separate version could take it further in changing major elements of the level design.

* Level2.x would be an extreme player version, as a challenge. It would have the most difficult puzzles, and would require the most experience. If a level submitted to FreeDoom is judged to be too tough then it could become the .x version and a more playable version be made the standard.

For deathmatch players, FreeDoom could then release a version of the IWAD, called FreeDoom.dm that would be made of all the *.dm versions of the levels, and the standard version where no dm version was available.

Other special versions of FreeDoom could also be released, as all they would require is someone to patch together the levels, give it a name, and host it. There could be a FreeDoom.uv and a FreeDoom.x.

The point of all this is that FreeDoom would no longer be limited to one group and one viewpoint on these issues, and it would serve the interests of a wider group.

Please note the most important point of all this is that 90% of the resources are shared between all the versions. That is good reuse of resources. And it is only the problem levels will get special level versions, which is likely only 4 or 5 of them. But once the support structure is in place for the idea, this could expand to any number and complexity of differentiation.

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wesleyjohnson said:
Each level would be available as a separate file, probably a LMP or PWAD.

That would be a PWAD because each level is already made up of various lumps.

You can include separate deathmatch sections in single player and cooperative levels. The normal starts are placed at the beginning of the normal section while the deathmatch starts are placed about the deathmatch section.

Keep in mind Freedoom is compatible with thousands of PWADs so there's really little need to make many varieties of it for different player types. People who find it too hard or too easy in all the available difficulty levels can just apply add-ons they like and play those more than the stock levels.

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I agree - a "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" approach to wad building makes no sense to me.

wesleyjohnson said:

The point of all this is that FreeDoom would no longer be limited to one group and one viewpoint on these issues, and it would serve the interests of a wider group.

There's also the law of diminishing returns to be considered. The time and effort required to support a small percentage of users with non-compliant ports becomes harder to justify as you stray further from the set benchmark.

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wesleyjohnson said:

And it is only the problem levels will get special level versions, which is likely only 4 or 5 of them.

What "problem levels"? The problem is the port of your choice. Again, Freedoom is designed for Boom compatible ports. When you try to run a Playstation game on a X-Box and it doesn't work obviously... is the game broken?

But whatever, Freedoom is free software. Nobody will stop you from forking to create your own, Legacy compatible Freedoom version.

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In every project I have encountered there arise these issues that get serious discussion. A while ago in this project is was a big discussion on vanilla doom vrs Boom extensions. Every time some group "wins" on one of these issues someone else "loses", and the losers generally go away and find something else. Each time the winning group gets smaller, tighter, acquire a few new people, and lose people who are turned away by the incompatibility with their path.

This project has advertised itself using terms like "Public", and such that I would believe that it was greater than just a bunch of guys doing their own wad. Are you truly dedicated to this being usable by the widest number of users, or am I just misled by something I read ??

For those of you who are "warm and happy" with the way things are right now, I point out that nothing I proposed would alter your situation in any way. You could still download the STD wad and ignore all the rest of the downloads. So why are you against it?? What I mean is, it doesn't seem to do you any harm, so why oppose this ??

I am interested in hearing any technical reasons why this would not work.
Would it really be difficult ??
Is is hard to get the space to provide such downloads??
Would it be that much work to maintain ?? As far as I can tell all that needs to be done is to have a directory where the webmaster puts the file. Is there more to it ??

Please do not flame at the following paragraph, I am not trying to poke anything at anyone, just an observation that disappoints me. I generally try to find solutions so that even the "losers" can get something of use and thus have a reason to participate. It is almost universal that trying to open up opportunities for others to participate are generally rejected by the current controlling group, and I have never found a good explanation. I suspect it has something to do with what it means to have control over something, and how hard it is to give up any. I cannot be that way, so I cannot understand it, so I just keep proposing these things.

Please note, only those so affected and in need of an alternative level would be motivated to modify a level and submit the modified level. Only those levels where someone felt it was necessary would anyone be motivated enough to go through the work. This idea only provides the structure, a method, and a place to keep the alternative levels. That keeps the forked levels "in house" and avoids the need to start whole new projects for "vanilla doom", "ZDoom", "easy FreeDoom", "expert FreeDoom", etc..

I am well aware of the 5 difficulty settings and the flags in THINGs.
But unless someone can point out how to use them to alter door delays, change the size of a gap that must be jumped, add switches, add a ramp from the bottom of a pit, make Boom extensions work in vanilla doom,
etc... I must stay with my proposal as it has much more capability.
For most levels the 5 difficultly settings will suffice, but for some they do not.

I hate to have to point this out, but there are people who have serious handicaps, things like one hand, paraplegic, tremors, etc.. I know most people do their best to ignore the handicapped but I thought that with support for downloading modified levels, that some consideration could be made for them too. It would of course be dependent upon someone having the urge to provide the modified levels. But I suspect that there are those who think, why should the handicapped be playing FreeDoom at all.

I suppose someone thinks that this is a "Legacy" workaround. It is not so please leave that issue in the other thread where I left it. This is a separate issue and is an idea to solve a general problem. I would NOT use this to make "Legacy" levels, and would not want to bring such levels here, it is easier to make a Legacy wad of my own as others have already done.

It is not to support my port or any other weird port. I do not need that kind of support nor would I want the kind of attention it brings. There are only two ports that I have noticed being seriously considered, vanilla doom, and Boom extensions + voodoo. I would leave it at that.

The problem is "creeping features". There is always going to be someone submitting a new level change that works for them but that gives problems to some other people, and some other ports. They will then argue how this new thing should be allowed, and how anyone who does not use a compatible port is obsolete, and how it was used on two other wads, etc. etc..

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chocolate-doom.exe -iwad freedoom-iwad.wad -file epic-vanilla-megawad.wad

Now freedoom supports all ports.

As for shortcuts, you can tag things with skill levels. Even solid things like trees and pillars. Make a shortcut, place a thing in the way, tag it as -skill 4 and 5 only, now people on low skills will have a shortcut and not just easier monsters.

tnt eternal used this tagged thing trick, and even forced an archvile jump on -skill 4 to grab a key in same room. I think in some freedoom maps already there are more than 1 of same color key, tagged with different skills, so players on easier skill can grab key more easily.

wesleyjohnson said:

The problem is "creeping features".

Boom202 format is plainly stated. If people only test in latest prboom it may not quite work in boom202, but can be probably easily be fixed by testers.
Noone yet has submitted a zdoom/legacy/risen3d map, only boom and vanilla maps. Rarely bugs are overlooked from people only testing in zdoom/legacy/risen3d but if its made in boom format it can easily be fixed.

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When you talk about the discussion on vanilla vs Boom, I believe you are referring to this thread. Ok, 44% (after taking off the empty votes) voted for Boom. Now, you should realize that this meant the best target of Freedoom would remain at Boom. It meant that we would lose almost half of (potential) contributors by making the project only for vanilla or just removing-the-limits ports, this is too significant especially given how small the project is as it stands (and to be honest, only 2 or 3 people have really contributed something since then more than discussion). Boom is backwards compatible with vanilla or limit-removing levels, so the choice made no effect on people that will not use Boom features themselves; there was no real "loss" compared to what Freedoom already had, and everyone seem(s|ed) happy with it.

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I am interested in hearing any technical reasons why this would not work.

It won't work because there just aren't enough mappers in the world willing to make, for fun and for free, enough Doom maps to make a 32-map "Vanilla Doom" megawad with a FreeDoom-compatible open source license.

However, I can give you the second-best thing. There is a Freedoom random map generator out there (Oblige/ObHack), and I have made a Freedoom megawad with the maps replaced by easier maps that are vanilla Doom compatible:


There you go. Have fun. If the maps get old, you can even have the random map generator make new ones.

I am of the opinion that Duke Nukem Forever [1] will get released before FreeDoom is a complete 32-map megawad with all Doom 2 sprites and difficulty levels in all 32 maps.

- Sam

[1] The fact the the company making Duke Nukem Forever is out of business doesn't matter.

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Pimping that hack of oblige over and over doesn't help anything here.

P.S. Thanks for the morale boost. Let's all pack up and go home now!

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samiam said:
I am of the opinion that Duke Nukem Forever will get released before FreeDoom is a complete 32-map megawad with all Doom 2 sprites and difficulty levels in all 32 maps.

- Sam

Well you know what they say...

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People just need to setup difficulties in levels, so easy is easy as hell, normal is ok, and ultra violence is hard.

There are also things in some FreeDoom levels that would never work in Vanilla Doom.

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