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Gez

Happy New Ports

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To celebrate the new year, a salvo of new official versions of ports has been launched:

  • Eternity Engine 3.37.00 "Sekhmet": includes decorative slopes, sprite scaling, widescreen support and more.
  • GZDoom 1.4.0: include several bug fixes, better portals, and more flexible actor functions.
  • ZDoom 2.4.0: includes so many new features compared to 2.3.1 that even listing just the major ones would take all day. Many of those are "old" features for those who used GZDoom 1.3.17; but we can list greater accuracy in Heretic and Hexen gameplay, many powerful new options for skill definition in MAPINFO, dozens of new flags, properties and codepointers for custom DECORATE actors, enhanced support of several MBF features, rewritten input code letting one play with a joystick or gamepad without hassles, rewritten archive code adding support for many more formats, IWAD recognition expanded to Ultimate Freedoom, Action Doom 2, Blasphemer and Harmony, and the possibility to compile ZDoom on a Macintosh (Mac binaries not included).

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Cool, my 360 controller works better with ZDoom. Great release, maybe I'll try playing it on my HDTV.

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I am so glad Gez wrote that wonderful writeup on the zdoom port features but gave Eternity Engine one line. Maybe I should have listed more features so you could just copy and paste my previous news post.

All fake drama aside, EE has a shitload of internal fixes and optimizations. IF EE is taking up too much CPU or if you're on a laptop, you can type "powersaver 1-10" where 1-10 is, obviously, a value from 1 to 10. This will free up some CPU so if you're playing on a laptop, EE won't sap your battery.

EE also now has additive translucency mode where translucent things such as fireballs and plasma balls look "hotter" and more like the original sprites, while still being see-through. you can access this by going to the console and typing "R_TLSTYLE 2". It doesn't work with rocket explosions, but I don't think even Zdoom does this.

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Csonicgo said:

EE also now has additive translucency mode where translucent things such as fireballs and plasma balls look "hotter" and more like the original sprites, while still being see-through. you can access this by going to the console and typing "R_TLSTYLE 2". It doesn't work with rocket explosions, but I don't think even Zdoom does this.

It's had this ability since forever, it's just got a nice built-in option to apply it to stuff now instead of it just being a modding feature. I had a few lines in user.edf that made projectiles and teleports and archvile fire and such additive-blended long before this was a built-in option. :)

And rocket explosions aren't additive or translucent because, unless you're actually modifying the states and adding new codepointers (which a mod could easily do, but a port can't do it as a built-in thing without wrecking compatibility), you'd have to make the actual rocket translucent as well.

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Csonicgo said:

EE also now has additive translucency mode where translucent things such as fireballs and plasma balls look "hotter" and more like the original sprites, while still being see-through. you can access this by going to the console and typing "R_TLSTYLE 2". It doesn't work with rocket explosions, but I don't think even Zdoom does this.

I like this.

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Actually now, it'd be more like

IS THIS AWESOME? Y/N

    YES
    NO

But the answer should be obvious. :P

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Csonicgo said:

IF EE is taking up too much CPU or if you're on a laptop, you can type "powersaver 1-10" where 1-10 is, obviously, a value from 1 to 10. This will free up some CPU so if you're playing on a laptop, EE won't sap your battery.

I did a quick timedemo test and found that with powersaver=1, I actually get a higher framerate than with powersaver=0 (which ought to be "uses more battery but gives a higher framerate").

It's counterintuitive but makes sense if you look at how the OS scheduling works (I'm using Linux; other systems may be similar). The scheduler gives a priority boost to interactive applications; if a program gives up its timeslice willingly (with a sleep call, for example), it is given a higher priority next time it runs. However, if the program hogs the CPU, it is penalised by the scheduler and given a lower priority than other applications.

In summary, don't expect this variable to always do what you might expect, or assume that it is only useful for saving battery life; it might be useful in itself.

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The problem is actually that EE still does not have a proper sleep in its main loop. If somebody knowledgeable in how to add it would give us some tips, it would be in there in a heartbeat. The powersaver command is close, but not precisely the same, because it sleeps always, rather than sleeping at the best time to do it, which is when the game is just spinning its wheels waiting to run the next gametic(s).

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I was playing a map in Eternity recently (build 937) and somehow I managed to die yet could still walk around. I'd shot a rocket into an area in which there was a voodoo doll. My face was bloodied and dead and no weapon was displayed. I took a little more damage shortly afterwards and died for good. I don't remember what compflags I had on at the time.

Did this particular bug occur in vanilla? I can't really remember encountering it before though I probably have at some point.

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Yeah that's vanilla behavior. Damaging voodoo dolls can make the player's health get out of sync with the player's mobj's health and that leads to the weird behavior you experienced.

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I have to ask, what has improved so greatly about portals in GZDoom? Is there anything we can do now that we couldn't do? Is this merely an optimization? There were some bugs in levels that used portals I've seen, (UTNT and AD2 in particular) would those issues be resolved?

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Previously you can only assign portals to floors only. Linedef portals allow us to use them from the wall. Also, there was a render glitch concerning sprites that may be gone as well.

Is there a demo wad?

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Patrick said:

I have to ask, what has improved so greatly about portals in GZDoom? Is there anything we can do now that we couldn't do? Is this merely an optimization? There were some bugs in levels that used portals I've seen, (UTNT and AD2 in particular) would those issues be resolved?


The renderer now checks if a sight-blocking line is in front of the portal or inside of it and discards everything that's in front. It won't magically cure all portal problems though. Badly designed portals will still glitch but it has been significantly reduced.

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BlackFish said:

Previously you can only assign portals to floors only. Linedef portals allow us to use them from the wall.

Not exactly. It's still floor and ceiling only, but you can use a linedef to set them up, instead of a couple of special actors. Same method as for the floor/ceiling portals in Eternity.

The improvement mostly comes in the form of less glitches and more FPS.

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Hmm, trying to figure out to get ZDoom to recognize the Harmony IWAD, would it be 6zharm.wad? And will it automatically use the other wads and the DEH file when selected as the IWAD?

If there was any documentation explaining how this worked, I apologize in advance for my dumbassedness.

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Texas Libra said:

Hmm, trying to figure out to get ZDoom to recognize the Harmony IWAD, would it be 6zharm.wad? And will it automatically use the other wads and the DEH file when selected as the IWAD?

If there was any documentation explaining how this worked, I apologize in advance for my dumbassedness.

An update to Harmony was released with everything merged into one WAD.

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Texas Libra said:

Hmm, trying to figure out to get ZDoom to recognize the Harmony IWAD, would it be 6zharm.wad? And will it automatically use the other wads and the DEH file when selected as the IWAD?

As Thrasher said, it's for the updated, all-in-one version of Harmony. You can find all the relevant info on the supported IWADs page of the ZDoom wiki.

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