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Archvile22

Please help me how to record demos!

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Hello,
I am new here and i want to start recording demos, but even after reading all the tutorials on this site (and other sites), i dont know how to record them. The main problem is, that all the tutorials start with something like:
"To record a demo, you need to put -record in the command line"
ok, that is nice, but i just dont even know what is the command line, so how can i open it?
in none of the tutorials there was not even a single word about how to open this command line!
ok, so i had to use google, and i found that i can open some command line by writing cmd.exe in the run window in the start menu. So i did it and some strange dos-looking window opened. so i tryed to write all the diferent commands for recording demos to it and nothing happened.
so can someone here please tell me what EXACTLY to do to record a demo? i am using zdoom and the first demo i want to record is of the map 07 in doom 2, so what have i to do to record it?

I am really sorry to bother with such stupid problems but i would be really thankfull for any help

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I'm a computer idiot myself and don't really understand the cmdline. Here's what I do to record demos :

- make a shortcut of the exe I want to record in.
- rightclick on that shortcut and select "Properties".
- in the "Target" field, enter whatever stuff I need for this demo.


So in this example, in my shortcut to zdoom.exe I'd type -skill 4 -warp 7 -record Mydemo.lmp (after the "D:\My Games\Doom\Zdoom\Zdoom.exe" that is already there, or whichever path your Zdoom is in). Then the "select IWAD" thingy pops up, I pick Doom2, I play, and when I exit there's a Mydemo.lmp demo file in my ZDoom folder.

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Thank you a lot! it works and it is easier than i thought.
Now i will try to record my demo. It will be a tyson demo of map 7 and i want to make it in about 3:30 minutes. My best time till now was 2:53, however i have been using a single save after killing all the mancubuses. without the save it will be far more difficult.

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Probably the reason you haven't found much guidance on this is that there are so many ways to enter and run a command line, and probably everyone has a slightly different preferred method. The simplest is just to place it directly in the "Start-Run..." window.

If I am going to be making a few attempts at a demo, I normally make a batch file. Now don't let those words confuse you; it is dead simple.

Just make a text file (such as Notepad can create). In this text file, place the command line that you want to run. In your case it would be something like:
c:\doom2\zdoom -iwad doom2.wad -warp 07 -skill 4 -record ty07-xxx

Save this text file. Name it with the extension ".bat" instead of ".txt". Thus the complete filename could be ty07.bat for instance. Save it wherever you like, as long as you know where to find it. Your desktop will do, if you don't know how to use Windows Explorer (etc.).

Then running this bat file (just click on it) will run the command line, and the game will start. The nice thing about this is that you can make another attempt just by clicking on the batch file again.

If you want to get fancy, you can add to the batch file so that it renames previous attempts in some way, but that needs a little bit more knowledge.

And if you want to attempt a different demo at some point, you can just edit this batch file.

By the way, I hope you are aware that Zdoom makes the Tyson category much easier than it is in vanilla, especially when facing monsters like mancubuses and arachnotrons. Map07 is still tough to do this way of course, but an order of magnitude easier than with Doom2.exe or most other ports.

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Thank you, i have tried your method and it worked good!

But why is the tyson cathegory with zdoom easier? i havent played under any other port to compare, but shouldnt it be the same?

I have already recorded my demo, today in the morning. I finished the level in 2:50 minutes! I will try to attach it here.

ty070250.zip

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Archvile22 said:

But why is the tyson cathegory with zdoom easier? i havent played under any other port to compare, but shouldnt it be the same?

Try it and you'll see immediately.

Zdoom changed the way melee attacks work quite considerably. For the precise details, see the changelog for version 2.0.51 (if I remember correctly).

To hit a monster with the fist in Zdoom, you just need to make contact with its bounding box, which for the arachnotron and the mancubus is rather large. You can even hit the corner of it and draw blood, even though it looks like you have missed the monster by quite a large amount.

By contrast, in the original game (and any ports that don't change this behaviour), you need to hit at a certain fixed distance from the centre of the monster (I think it's 56 units). This makes the larger monsters rather hard to hit with a melee weapon. Try chainsawing a spider mastermind, for instance. It's possible, but only just. In Zdoom, you can do it when standing vaguely near the mastermind, with, e.g., a pillar protecting you from the mastermind's bullets.

Anyway, it's good that you got it to work, and your demo is of course welcome here.

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I have tried the map with PR-boom-plus and you are right. It took me quite a while to kill even a single mancubus, and it even wasnt possible to kill the mancubuses on the platforms from the bottom like i did it in the demo.
Thats bad, i thought i made a new record on that map.
Are there any other things that are in Zdoom easier than in other ports?

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Using the BFG is easier due to the blockmap fix (someone else will have to explain that one). In example, you can routinely kill spider masterminds in one BFG hit in ZDoom, but in normal Doom it's rather rare.

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There are a fair number of small differences. They don't all make things easier in Zdoom by any means - some make it harder - but overall the effect is to make quite a difference. In some cases it makes particular tricks impossible (or possible).

Yeah, the blockmap change, which was introduced at the same time as the melee change. It means that more hitscan attacks (i.e. bullets, shells and BFG tracers) generally hit the target they were aimed at (especially if they are not aligned to the blockmap lines). This cuts both ways, as the player also takes more damage, on average, from hitscan enemies.

There are some differences in the way momentum is handled. I don't believe the "thing wobble" effect occurs in Zdoom. Air control is different, meaning that an archie blast is easier to profit from. Some "bugs" are "fixed", so that you don't get ghost monsters, wallrunning and thingrunning are different (or removed, depending in your compatibility options). Partial invisibility works differently. Explosions are a little different. The kill percentage is reported differently with respect to lost souls, resurrected monsters and (re)spawned monsters.

Some typical tricks rely on the precise details of the Doom code, and so are affected by optimizations in things like collision detection. For instance, grabs and glides can't be guaranteed to work the same.

And probably quite a few other things. And that's even assuming you're not using jumping, crouching or freelook aiming, and have set all compatibility options as close as possible to the original game's behaviour.

But please note that Zdoom demos are completely welcome here, especially on maps that require Zdoom :) One should just be aware that these little differences make a large difference to demos. Also note that demo compatibility has never been a major priority for Zdoom (necessarily due to its nature), and so a Zdoom demo may not be supported by later (or earlier) versions. If you record in one of the standard "classic" formats (Doom2 and Boom being the most common), then these will probably be supported pretty much as long as Doom is played in some form.

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[shameless plug]

Back to the command line problem for a moment in case you're open to alternatives, you could also use a launcher that lets you add command line arguments. Just type, for example, "-record mydemo -warp 07" to the commandline field, pick wads and press run.

[/shameless plug]

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Ok, I got it to work and it works brilliantly :)

My new doubt is, I'm trying to record a demo in a real hard level and I keep dying. Do I have to close and restart EVERYTIME I DIE or is there a way just to, restart the level/demo everytime I die?

Thanks a lot.

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I hate to bump such an old thread, but I've established some UV-Max times and I want to record them. I'm not sure if demos are still done as per this thread, but I was majorly confused on how to get a particular wad such as say Scythe 2. I tried the shortcut advice from the 2nd post but no luck. I strongly prefer to use Skulltag(Outdated, I know), but if I have to, I'll use another source port. I would appreciate a clear cut example using scythe2.wad. Also, I would like to upload to youtube as well as a demo for here. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Edit: I did see in another thread that it was okay to bump old threads concerning demos.

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Ashstrodamus said:

I hate to bump such an old thread, but I've established some UV-Max times and I want to record them. I'm not sure if demos are still done as per this thread, but I was majorly confused on how to get a particular wad such as say Scythe 2. I tried the shortcut advice from the 2nd post but no luck. I strongly prefer to use Skulltag(Outdated, I know), but if I have to, I'll use another source port. I would appreciate a clear cut example using scythe2.wad. Also, I would like to upload to youtube as well as a demo for here. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Edit: I did see in another thread that it was okay to bump old threads concerning demos.


Grazza's post (creating a batch file) is still applicable, just follow the instructions in it. If you wanted to record on Scythe 2, you would also need to add "-file scythe2" to the batch file. Skulltag isn't a good choice for sp recording; aside from being outdated in general as you said, it is not intended for single-player anyway. For Scythe 2, my suggestion is PrBoom+; if you use it, you would also add "-complevel 2" to the batch file to record a vanilla-compatible demo.

If you really want to record in a more advanced port, you could use ZDoom or GZDoom (no "-complevel 2" needed), but it is an unpopular choice for recording as there are major gameplay changes from vanilla/Boom, and demos recorded in (G)ZDoom are not compatible with vanilla/Boom. Cross-compatibility between versions of (G)ZDoom is also pretty bad (not to mention there have been weird desync issues that resulted from stuff like whether the advanced HUD was in use while recording). Because of all that if you were to get a record in either ZDoom or GZDoom fewer people would watch it (since they'd have to use the specific version of whatever port you used to watch the demo), and the time wouldn't be fully comparable to the fastest demo that wasn't recorded in an advanced port due to major gameplay differences.

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4shockblast said:

Grazza's post (creating a batch file) is still applicable, just follow the instructions in it. If you wanted to record on Scythe 2, you would also need to add "-file scythe2" to the batch file. Skulltag isn't a good choice for sp recording; aside from being outdated in general as you said, it is not intended for single-player anyway. For Scythe 2, my suggestion is PrBoom+; if you use it, you would also add "-complevel 2" to the batch file to record a vanilla-compatible demo.

If you really want to record in a more advanced port, you could use ZDoom or GZDoom (no "-complevel 2" needed), but it is an unpopular choice for recording as there are major gameplay changes from vanilla/Boom, and demos recorded in (G)ZDoom are not compatible with vanilla/Boom. Cross-compatibility between versions of (G)ZDoom is also pretty bad (not to mention there have been weird desync issues that resulted from stuff like whether the advanced HUD was in use while recording). Because of all that if you were to get a record in either ZDoom or GZDoom fewer people would watch it (since they'd have to use the specific version of whatever port you used to watch the demo), and the time wouldn't be fully comparable to the fastest demo that wasn't recorded in an advanced port due to major gameplay differences.

Okay, thanks but still a couple more questions before I d/l PRBoom and try it. This is exactly what I see in the "Target" on the shortcut: "C:\Users\Ashstrodamus\Downloads\Doom 1 & 2\Doom 1 & 2\skulltag.exe". Where and how do I add the wad and how do I determine which level I want to demo? Also, can you recommend a free file reader that will play .Imp files? My cpu won't read the demos. Sorry if I'm a nuisance, but I'm bad at these type of things.

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Ashstrodamus said:

Okay, thanks but still a couple more questions before I d/l PRBoom and try it. This is exactly what I see in the "Target" on the shortcut: "C:\Users\Ashstrodamus\Downloads\Doom 1 & 2\Doom 1 & 2\skulltag.exe". Where and how do I add the wad and how do I determine which level I want to demo? Also, can you recommend a free file reader that will play .Imp files? My cpu won't read the demos. Sorry if I'm a nuisance, but I'm bad at these type of things.


Well, what Grazza described has no shortcut, but if you want to use the shortcut method (I've never used it), I guess you add all the parameters after what's already written in the target. So, in the case of PrBoom+ and Scythe 2, you'd write "-complevel 2 -iwad doom2 -file scythe2 -skill 4 -warp 1 -record aaaa" to record a demo called aaaa.lmp on Ultra-Violence on map 1. Also, just so you know you want PrBoom+ not PrBoom, as PrBoom+ is more updated and demo-friendly (specifically you'll probably want the 2.5.1.4 version here as it is the most updated).

.lmp files can be played back with the original game or source ports. PrBoom+ will play back most demos (certainly most that matter for the purpose of Scythe 2). Once you download PrBoom+, you can easily play back a .lmp by just dragging and dropping it onto the exe. Alternatively, you can right click the demo file and press "Open with," click "Choose default program," then search for PrBoom+ and click OK. This will associate demo files with PrBoom+, so any demo will automatically play back with it if you double click it. Also, you can create a batch file for playback as well; just instead of "-record aaaa" put "-playdemo aaaa" which will play back the demo called aaaa.lmp (assuming it's in the same folder as the batch file).

This will only work for demos compatible with PrBoom+, though, mainly vanilla, Boom, and MBF demos. Anything recorded with ZDoom, GZDoom, ZDaemon, or other advanced ports will have to be played back specifically through that port (dragging and dropping might not work for all of them, so you might have to create a batch file for playback).

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4shockblast said:

Well, what Grazza described has no shortcut, but if you want to use the shortcut method (I've never used it), I guess you add all the parameters after what's already written in the target. So, in the case of PrBoom+ and Scythe 2, you'd write "-complevel 2 -iwad doom2 -file scythe2 -skill 4 -warp 1 -record aaaa" to record a demo called aaaa.lmp on Ultra-Violence on map 1. Also, just so you know you want PrBoom+ not PrBoom, as PrBoom+ is more updated and demo-friendly (specifically you'll probably want the 2.5.1.4 version here as it is the most updated).

.lmp files can be played back with the original game or source ports. PrBoom+ will play back most demos (certainly most that matter for the purpose of Scythe 2). Once you download PrBoom+, you can easily play back a .lmp by just dragging and dropping it onto the exe. Alternatively, you can right click the demo file and press "Open with," click "Choose default program," then search for PrBoom+ and click OK. This will associate demo files with PrBoom+, so any demo will automatically play back with it if you double click it. Also, you can create a batch file for playback as well; just instead of "-record aaaa" put "-playdemo aaaa" which will play back the demo called aaaa.lmp (assuming it's in the same folder as the batch file).

This will only work for demos compatible with PrBoom+, though, mainly vanilla, Boom, and MBF demos. Anything recorded with ZDoom, GZDoom, ZDaemon, or other advanced ports will have to be played back specifically through that port (dragging and dropping might not work for all of them, so you might have to create a batch file for playback).

I think I got it. Thanks a million and I'll try and upload some speed demos real soon.

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Still can't figure this thing out. If someone could fill in the blanks to my prboom doom directory of what exactly I need to put in notepad to make a batch file that records, then I'll have it forever and never have to ask again. This is what my directory is- "C:\Users\Ashstrodamus\Downloads\zdoom-2.7.1\zdoom.exe" Now, for say scythe2 map 25, can someone give me that added to my directory exactly as it should be in notepad to record that particular map? Thanks for any help you can give.

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Took from doom DSDA:
C:\Users\Ashstrodamus\Downloads\zdoom-2.7.1\zdoom.exe -iwad doom2.wad -file scythe2.wad -skill 4 -warp 25 -nomusic -record opdemo
command like -nomusic you can delete if music is necessary while recording.
-warp it's a map

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If I'm not mistaken, the +map command is needed only when the level has an unconventional slot name (something like XMAP1 instead of MAP01). For classic names -warp should to the job.

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Well, I actually got some batch files together now. It opened up scythe2 but went to the first level instead of 25. Also, how and when is the demo file saved?

This is the command line I used:
C:\Users\Ashstrodamus\Downloads\zdoom-2.7.1\zdoom.exe -iwad doom2.wad -file scythe2.wad -skill 4 -MAP25 -record opdemo

I also tried prboom with this command line but it said I was using an unknown demo format.

C:\Users\Ashstrodamus\Downloads\prboom-plus-2.5.1.4.test-win32\prboom-plus.exe -iwad doom2.wad -file scythe2.wad -skill 4 -warp 25 -record opdemo


Thanks for the help everybody. I think I'm real close to getting it now.

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Cyberdemon531 said:

for prboom, try setting -complevel 2.

Sweet, actually I changed that map25 to warp 25 and it worked. After I complete the level, where is my demo file?

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Cyberdemon531 said:

it should either be in the game folder, or where the .bat is, I think.

Thanks a million everybody. It's on now, lol. I'm kinda gutted that I can't record my demos with skulltag because ZDoom and Prboom are auto-changing my SSG(if I have it first) to regular SG, GG, RL, where skulltag would only replace the SSG with the PR. I gotta make new hotkeys being a keyboarder.

Edit: Got prboom recording demos and working. I went to the archives to watch some demos, but sometimes I run the demos and just get some weird stuff like not the correct level and doomguy just running around in circles. Not sure what's going on there, but very few of them have been what they were supposed to be. Maybe an older version of prboom was used to record?

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Ashstrodamus said:

Thanks a million everybody. It's on now, lol. I'm kinda gutted that I can't record my demos with skulltag because ZDoom and Prboom are auto-changing my SSG(if I have it first) to regular SG, GG, RL, where skulltag would only replace the SSG with the PR. I gotta make new hotkeys being a keyboarder.

Edit: Got prboom recording demos and working. I went to the archives to watch some demos, but sometimes I run the demos and just get some weird stuff like not the correct level and doomguy just running around in circles. Not sure what's going on there, but very few of them have been what they were supposed to be. Maybe an older version of prboom was used to record?


You're probably not watching them with the correct wad. If you go to Options -> General and go one page right, you will find a setting for the in-game launcher used. You should set this to smart; this way, demos recorded with PrBoom+ will automatically play back with the correct wad. For demos recorded in vanilla or old versions of PrBoom, you'll get a launcher after opening a demo, which will allow you to choose the wad to play it back on.

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For me the launcher sometimes takes more than one minute to load. It is I guess one of the primary reasons why I watch much less demos now, just hate that waiting time. Is it because I have too many wads and too old PC?

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The launcher works fine on my 15 year old pc, so maybe it is too many wads like you said. I never have more than 50 wads in my prplus folder, the ones I'm not using any more go into a separate wads folder.

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