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Introduce me to demo watching

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I ate too much pizza and now I just want to lie on the couch and watch Doom demos. I've seen some videos on youtube but the quality is usually terrible and eats up too much bandwidth for me to be able to afford at the moment (I live in Australia where the internet is insanely expensive).

So, I would like to request the following:

- The best port for watching Demos in (are there any that support the original adlib style music like ZDoom?)
- Some great wads people make demos for
- And some great demos for those wads

Also, the fastest, pain-free way for me to start watching them in.

I know I am a noob to this, so I trust you not to interpret "great demos" as demos you made the other day and think you can trick me with.


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I can give answers to at least some of your points

The best port for watching Demos

PrBoom+ is pretty much all you need. Some demos are port specific, a demo recorded under Legacy 1.42 needs Legacy 1.42 for playback; recorded under ZDoom 2.4.1 needs ZDoom 2.4.1, and so on. Still, the majority of demos were recorded in Doom2 1.9 and they all can be played back with PrBoom+, which also covers Chocolate Doom, Doom95, Boom, PrBoom and proper PrBoom+ demos. Not only this, when you acquire the taste of simple demo watching, I can show you some "advanced" features I use, such as chasecam, tracing monsters health, etc. It's a demo oriented source port, so you won't find anything better.

Some great wads people make demos for

At Doomed Speed Demos Archive you have now 16429 demos on 1426 WADs for a total running time of 1580 hours, 29 minutes and 41 seconds :) Here you'll find the most popular WADs, sorted by number of demos and demos length.

And some great demos for those wads

Okay, everyone will give you a different answer. One likes ultra-fast UV Speed demos, one likes long Tyson struggles, one likes demos filled with tricks. What I can do is list demo speedrunning categories and give you my favourite demos for each category (trying not to flood you with too many demos). This way you'll eventually find out what you like best. Note: most of these demos are quite recent, but trust me, they ARE good.

Here we go (you may find definitions of demo categories here). I won't give you direct links in most of the cases, as most of them can be found at DSDA, using WAD alphabetical list or player list. You may also download every WAD you need for demo playback in case you don't have one:
UV Max
pl2 / MAP20 / Okuplok / 7:28
scythe2 (2nd release) / MAP27 / eschdoom / 17:14
tde-lutz / MAP29 / Heretic / 15:13
UV Speed - here I prefer longer demos :)
pl2 / MAP26 / dew / 4:51
eternal / MAP24 / TimeOfDeath / 4:36
requiem / MAP23 / xepop / 1:49
NM Speed
mm2 / MAP06 / Xit Vono / 7:33
av (2nd release) / MAP18 / Tatsurd-cacocaco / 5:32
UV -fast
mm2 / MAP32 / Eugene Kapustin / 2:00
av (2nd release) / MAP06 / Tatsurd-cacocaco / 6:54
mm2 / MAP26 / TheGreenHerring / 5:45
plutonia / MAP12 / Altima Mantoid / 0:37 (not uploaded to DSDA yet, so I give you a temporary link)
requiem / MAP10 / Xit Vono / 14:54
Ultimate Doom / E4M6 / Xit Vono / 29:24 (not uploaded to DSDA yet, so I give you a temporary link)
Movie - in this case UV Speed Movie
plutonia / from MAP01 to MAP30 / stx-Vile / 41:11

Also, the fastest, pain-free way for me to start watching them in.

Well, I'm an orthodox command-line user, which may not be a pain-free way, so maybe somebody else will give you a hand?

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Sigvatr said:

Also, the fastest, pain-free way for me to start watching them in.


Once you've set it up, select the wad from the wad list and the demo from the lmp list, or just keep them both in zips and select the zips. Then press Run and the launcher will do everything else for you.

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To watch demos I just drag and drop the demo files onto the executable (PrBoom+ of course).

Can't think of many "must watch" demos, but things that jump to my mind are Akse's TAS runs and TimeOfDeath's max demos.

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Xit's TNT Map09 NM-Speed and Stx-Vile's UV-Speed run of One Bloody Night Map09 are the two greatest I can think of off of the top of my head.

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Sigvatr said:
- The best port for watching Demos in (are there any that support the original adlib style music like ZDoom?)

For vanilla demos (but not Boom demos that are also common) you can get OPL chip music emulation by using Chocolate Doom or the DOS engine on DOSBox, although unlike ZDoom both stick exclusively to a screen resolution of 320x200 or equivalent. The Doom+ hacks on the PrBoom+ page raise the original limits in the DOS version, allowing one to also run "limit removing" (but otherwise vanilla) WADs with full demo compatibility.

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Sigvatr said:

- And some great demos for those wads

Anything by Sedlo, Ocelot, Stx-Vile, Henning Skogsto, Adam Hegyi, or Anders Johnsen.

Every other player has shitty demos to some extent...those six guys do not. This is not a subjective opinion, but an objective fact.


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I got *disgracefully* lazy when trying to figure out the best way to watch demos:

I have a folder on my desktop called "Doom". Inside it are a lot of batch files, each named according to the WAD I want to watch demos for. There is also a "LMPs" folder, which contains the PrBoom+ shortcuts that correspond to these batch files.

With these in place as they now are, all I have to do is:

1. Open the Doom folder
2. Click the link for a demo-containing Zip file, it opens in WinRAR automatically
3. Drag the .lmp file out of the Zip file into the "LMPs" folder inside the Doom folder
4. Run the appropriate batch file

It gets lazier. Once I've got the folder open and the appropriate batch file selected, all I have to do for the next demo is:

1. Drag it into the LMPs folder
2. Hit the Enter key - Dragging something into the folder doesn't deselect the batch file, so the Enter key runs it!

For those interested, the batch file contents are all pretty much as follows. I'll use my Plutonia2 batch file as an example:

cd C:\Games\PRBoomPlus
del *.lmp
cd C:\Users\Admin\Desktop\Doom\LMPs
ren *.lmp 1.lmp
move 1.lmp C:\Games\PRBoomPlus

The corresponding shortcut (.lnk file) target is:

C:\Games\PRBoomPlus\glboom-plus.exe -iwad Plutonia.wad -file PL2.wad -deh PL2.deh -playdemo 1.lmp -complevel 4

No need for command-line stuff when you've got a setup like this. And for those wondering why I don't simply have the batch file do everything, including direct command-line running: It seemed sorta random as to whether the demo file would end up in the right spot before GLBoom got running or not - In some cases the file system simply doesn't finish the move request in time for GLBoom to pick up the file in its directory (a race condition in action, for the programmers out there). Having the .lnk file being run instead guarantees that the demo file will have been renamed and moved by the time the program runs - And the renaming and move are necessary so that the shortcuts and batch files are consistent and can be duplicated and modified appropriately for a new WAD with very little change.

Naturally all the corresponding WAD files are already present inside the PRBoomPlus folder, as well as any extras like .deh files.

If there's an even lazier way of watching demos (to use, not create, cause making this system did take effort!), I'd like to know :P

Edit: If anyone wants a copy of the folder so they don't have to set this up for themselves, I'm happy to upload it. It really does make life easier :) Just keep in mind that you should only have one .lmp file in the "LMPs" folder at a time, cause more than one confuses the very simple setup I've got happening :P

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Gingercat said:


But doesn't this mean you can have only one demo lmp in the folder at a time, so you have some hassle in moving/storing the files? ;)

Here's my, which I use for everything and without any of that additional hassle :) :
1. Download demo zip to my Doom files folder (can be any folder, really, because it's set in launcher settings)
2. Press the WWW-button on my keyboard which is set to launch CDL
3. Pick the wad from the wad list
4. Pick the demo zip from the zip list
5. Press play (I always have prboom+ selected so no need to change port, and most demos I watch are for doom2 so no need to change iwad either)

Maybe slightly less lazy to use, but like I said, no file-moving hassle, no extracting zips and no creating batch files. And it works for playing wads too.

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double-click lmp (with launcher disabled, and -auto set as default behaviour)

If that doesn't work, edit the cfg to add a new pattern or edit an existing one. Then double-click lmp.

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