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Hell Theatre

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Everything posted by Hell Theatre

  1. Hell Theatre

    Favorite Source Port?

    The invisibility behavior originates in Heretic and the reason it defaults to that is, if I remember correctly, the majority opinion of forum users at the time when it was decided to restore the original. Don't forget that long ago ZDoom completely eliminated that option! But why are you picking out ZDoom here? Playing Boom (the original) and MBF on default settings is exhibiting the same amount, if not even more of gameplay related issues. This has been standard operating procedure for ports when the source was freshly released. The main difference is that those two ports are dead and replaced by now but GZDoom still has to work with that 20 year legacy of mods for different default setups. What are Eternity's defaults anyway? Boom or vanilla? If it's Boom, welcome to the club! Agreed. But I guess that's the difference between a full feature implementation and making the things work that could be made to work. If you look at the changes that were made, it was all relatively superficial, but the remaining things require far deeper investigation of the existing implementation and how to translate it to another port. At least that's what I got from the discussion when it was hot. On the other hand, does any other port out there even support Strife?
  2. Hell Theatre

    Favorite Source Port?

    Yopu know that most other ports have NO working multiplayer at all, right? It does have demo support - just not vanilla compatible demo support. The engine wouldn't even exist in its current form if it had to keep all the stuff that is needed for vanilla compatible demo support. I think it's entirely reasonable to use a separate engine that specializes in demo playback if demos are of interest, instead of insisting that every engine gets bogged down by the restrictions this imposes. If you want both at the same time you most likely end up with some ugly compromises along the way - or get held up for far too long by blending the new features with the needs of playing back vanilla demos. Have you ever looked at Eternity and all the code duplication it needs to support both its features and demo playback? You are aware that the complexity of those two engines cannot be compared, do you? If you want to get the same performance out of a feature rich port as you get out of a basic-level port, you would have to strip it down to that basic level. And what for? That I actually can run NUTS.wad at full frame rate? So what? You are the "real" Doomer because you have "seen the light" and only use those ports which reenact what Doom would have been 20 years ago? And those who use GZDoom, its hardware renderer and possibly its fancy effects are yet to be converted? Correct me if I am wrong, but that's the vibe I get from that statement.
  3. Hell Theatre

    Favorite Source Port?

    GZDoom for me. It really is the only one delivering the whole package - modernized visuals, good editing features and overall the best content support. As for the rest, some quick notes: Doomsday looks nice but performance is far, far too bad to even be considered. Also, still no Boom support which is a big minus. Chocolate, Retro, Crispy: No, I have no interest in stuff that pretends it's 1998. Prboom+: Good for demos, but for actual playing I don't need it. EDGE: It's getting good again. Here's some hope. At its current state I'd pass, though because it still seems a bit buggy. ZDoom: Do people really still care? It's been abandoned and GZDoom has already made some significant improvements over it in the software rendering department. Eternity: Two issues strike me: A) It's about features but makes absolutely no effort to run feature-rich maps made for other ports. As a result the offering of content is so limited that its advantage over PrBoom is entirely nullified. Over the last 5 years I have pulled it out twice to play some maps, to be immediately retired afterward. B) Of the feature centric ports it is the only one without a hardware renderer, and I think this limits its appeal even further. Which is sad because it actually could be so much more popular if it tried to step out of its sandbox.
  4. Hell Theatre

    What's your Opinion on Linux?

    WTF? Do you even know how much nonsense your post contains? Try any 320x200 Windows game on a driver from the last 10 years and let's talk again. Yes, they require "Programs and hacks". The main problem being that modern Windows's drivers have problems with palettes. That's why, for example, all modern Doom ports have dumped native paletted support by now. Yes, new ports suppress them, but you clearly did not read what I said, namely that the ORIGINAL games from 20 years ago suffer from this problem. And not all have source ports to offer. To get around this you need a graphics driver-side workaround to give them a shorter extension string. Yes, a lot of APIS were deprecated. But very few were REMOVED! Even DirectDraw still exists in modern Windows - even the 64 bit version! The 16 bit installer problem was acknowledged but you conveniently ignore that acknowledgement - and if you get a working installation you normally can make it work on a modern system. Been there, done that a few times. Wrong! Most old software fails for a relatively small number of reasons: 1. Underestimating the maximum size of a resource and not being able to handle the case if the assumed maximum gets exceeded. 2. Underestimating the maximum performance of a modern system and getting into problems when a too coarse counter gets set to a value that's too low or too high to be handled reliably. 3. Depending on certain hardware quirks - the most prominent example being some CD checks that abused system bugs. 4. Depending on undefined behavior of the system's API or not using it properly. All of these were extremely common in games programming 20 years ago, and they all lead to stuff not working any lionger today. It is very rare that a clean program will break and many games of that vintage still work fine today - at least those that use hardware accelerated 3D, because those APIs haven't changed much.
  5. Hell Theatre

    What's your Opinion on Linux?

    And back to topic: No, I don't use Linux. Why should I? Yes, it's surely a free operating system but it also shows all the drawbacks of that. Unlike Windows and macOS which are mostly homogenous systems where components cleanly interact, Linux often strikes me as an unpolished hodgepodge, where for every task some free library was chosen but nobody saw any need to polish the whole thing and make it a consistent experience.
  6. Hell Theatre

    What's your Opinion on Linux?

    @kb1: What are you trying to say here? Edward850 countered your point that Microsoft "intentionally" broke backwards compatibility with old software when this is clearly not true, save for the 16 bit issue. Unlike on Macs, where stuff regularly breaks, any cleanly programmed software from the Windows 95 days will still work. The only exception I experienced is that 8 bit DirectDraw games show issues on modern systems, crashes on overlong OpenGL extension strings by Quake engine games and that they cannot use 320x200 video modes anymore. But these are both issues mainly caused by removed support in modern video drivers, not the operating system itself. The main roadblock with older software is not system incompatibilities but bad assumptions by that software's programmers.
  7. Hell Theatre

    Net Neutrality Gets Screwed Over... Again

    So, they revert some regulations from 2015. I can't remember that the internet in the USA was in trouble before that date. That highly depends on how such regulations are set up. But as things stand, most other countries have a healthy internet structure where competition between ISPs will ensure that nobody can ever afford to meter traffic for selected sources and such.
  8. Hell Theatre

    End of MP3 licensing and stupid journalism

    As sad as this kind of incompetent "journalism" is, it still hides something far sadder: Looking at the various music downloads stores, most are, bluntly spoken, pure shit. That goes particularly for Amazon who only have MP3 on offer, but nothing modern. The only one that genuinely seems to care about quality is iTunes, where not only better compression formats are available, including lossless, but it also seems to be the only one which offers the CDs' bonus tracks. Again no such luck on Amazon which rarely have more than the base versions, and in inferior quality. So from a pure commercial standpoint, the sooner MP3 really dies, the better for the customers. Today bandwidth is high enough that any store not offering lossless formats should be boycotted!
  9. So true. Ironically this goes for all ports that tried to build a 'Let's define everything through universal magic' format, i.e. Doomsday's DED, EDGE's DDF and Eternity's EDF. They all contain good ideas, do an ok job at exposing the engine's innards - but in the end are complicated, unwieldy clunkers that all fell into the same trap of making the defined data parsing friendly, not modding friendly, by lacking a crucial degree of abstraction in some departments And because these formats are the foundation on which the engines work, they are non-negotiable. Funny that ZDoom with its multitude of different different lumps, each with its own syntax, that are all being parsed separately was the only one that had success gaining traction among mappers and modders. Although Doomsday is a relatively successful engine, we cannot consider DED a success, because - where's the mods? I'm not sure what this should tell us, but one thing that's for sure is that the mappers should not really be bothered by engine internals if it can be avoided.
  10. Me, too. But sadly, if you check the discussion, that one person who disagrees is shitting over the entire thread, essentially telling everybody "I am right and you are too blind to see my wisdom." This will more likely result in the other n-1 devs just giving up. Maybe that's the sinister master plan here because it should be clear by now that Ladna can not win this discussion. So much blabbering and not one single 'like' received for it... :P
  11. I was just reading through all this lengthy stuff and I have to wonder: Why this heated discussion? I'm sorry, but I do not get what Ladna is up here. To me his counterexample for an INI-based DECORATE replacement looks like a perfect example of redundancy for the sake of doing it differently. It's not even proper INI because with INI I would assume that the value is just that - a value being stored somewhere, but here it ends up as some block of code that needs to be parsed again. Which is ironic because he's been rambling on about standard parsers endlessly but to crunch this stuff into engine-digestable data it needs to be processed by - guess what - a non-standard parser geared at parsing this particular chunk of data again. So where's the gain here? I have seen great parsing solutions that can be given a text and they return a stream of tokens - here's an identifier, next is a number, a string literal, a comma or whatever else needs to be isolated. These parsers are ridiculously easy to use, they help write short and concise code that gets directly to the point of the matter and allow to create data format that help present the data in the most adequate form possible. INI is the total antithesis of such an approach, here the formality of the defintion takes center stage above everything, even at the risk of misrepresenting the data or not being able to express it adequately. And what's so much better about first parsing the key/value pair and then cracking the values into several subvalues with such a tokenizing parser anyway? Why not define a format that uses the tokenizing parser from top to bottom? But wait - isn't that what DECORATE is, assuming people do not abuse the shenanigans that are allowed by Hexen's script parser?
  12. Hell Theatre

    Why do people still map in Boom format?

    That entirely depends on how the code is maintained and if its state of affairs is conductive to contribution. And here I see some issues. Let's first start with the ultimate negative example, Doom Legacy. Declaring this code a mess would be a gigantic understatement. It is utterly broken, unless using an old and long obsolete version of GCC to compile it. And don't even think about using anything else, it won't work. Been there, tried that, gave up, and I don't think I was the only one to see that happen. For obvious reasons such a port won't see any external contributors, nobody wants to work with such code. PrBoom is nowhere near this state but from looking at the project I see one potential issue: It only comes with project files for ancient Windows compilers. Never mind that the Visual Studio 8 (i.e. 2005) solution can be upgraded, but the implications lie deeper. The mere presence of the project files suggests that someone actively develops the port with some ancient compilers, one 12, the other 18(!) years old. What that means is that all those neat features that come bundled with modern C++ versions are out! Even though the code base is C, it could easily interoperate with some C++ code, but as things stand, if that code uses some more modern stuff from the STL the game is over, if one wants to get the feature back into the mainline. Again, progress is stalled by maintainers that are thoroughly living in the past. And what for? Presumably so that the compiled binary can run on Windows 95 - I really cannot see any other reason to stick to a broken compiler like MSVC 6 that doesn't even properly support C++. So who's up to working with a dinosaur language from another time than the fossil programmers that aged with it?
  13. Hell Theatre

    Why do people still map in Boom format?

    Presenting misinformation as fact needs to be clearly pointed out as such! If you want to let that stand, present the numbers that prove that PrBoom is so important that a mapper "would lose a lot of players" if it was not supported! A mapper saying he maps for vanilla Doom or Boom because he prefers the style of maps that allows to make is perfectly legitimate. But mapping for those engines to maximize audience is bollocks. To maximize audience you need an uncompromised product, and in this case that includes choosing the proper engine for what you want to make! Say what you want, but maps based on hacks and exploits do not feel like a polished product, they feel like the things they used: hackish!
  14. Hell Theatre

    Why do people still map in Boom format?

    This is flat out wrong. I think this has been said before, but what makes you people even THINK that PrBoom and other low end ports are the engine of choice for most players? This is what I wrote last year about the same thing and I believe everything I said back then still applies to the situation: In clear English: All you'd lose is the hard core of Doomworld, but very little beyond that. Last year PrBoom's and all other 'classic' engines' downloads were dwarfed by GZDoom's downloads, I cannot say what the state of things is now, because the counters are no longer available, but I don't think it has changed much since then.
  15. Hell Theatre

    Make Freedoom Great Again

    But then the damage will be done and some contributors who got scared off by the ensuing uncertainty will be lost forever. I think you have a serious problem on your hands if you give someone with overblown ambitions free reign and establish no rules what may and what may not be done, and in this case it gets compounded by the fact that he wants to replace 6(!) out of the first 10 maps. Sorry to be negative, but this cannot and will not end well. And if the experiment fails, which is likely, you'll be back to square one, with no real work being done on the old maps because quite unsurprisingly, nobody else wants to get in the way of an uncontrollable wild shot.
  16. Hell Theatre

    Make Freedoom Great Again

    Why not? Your attitude is not that dissimilar, coming in here, being freshly elected to do a responsible job, but instead you boast that in order to make it 'great' you intend to first destroy it, and worse, seem absolutely resistant to negative criticism. Good luck - but if I were responsible for the project I'd throw you out after that last post, because it is abundantly clear that this attitude will do no good. Freedoom needs people that complete the vision. You will only piss off other contributors to stop their work because you act disruptively. Just like Donald Trump! I see the first one has already pulled out for the time being. Congratulations on an efficient job! And adding more 'borrowed' work to replace original levels will also hurt Freedoom's reputation in the end.
  17. I've been trying out some other ports recently, aside from the better known ones. Some were good, some were bad, obviously but there's one question I was asking myself repeatedly: How did it come that among the feature-centric ports there is so little actual competition? That part of the market seems to be under total control by ZDoom and its children. It can't really just be the quality of the code - testing some older ZDoom versions showed an engine that was just having as many compatibility issues as the others.
  18. Hell Theatre

    Reasons for success or failure of source ports?

    I think he got it perfectly. What I see in you and Ladna is two people who are far too emotionally attached to Doom's inner workings and tend to glorify the achievement that some things that never were meant to work out as they did, actually - by coincidence-, do, most of the time. But here's the catch: There's no guarantees, one hiccup somewhere in the connection at the wrong time and it's over. When I read your and Ladna's posts I only see pedantry taken to the extreme. And both of you develop their own source ports? Can you even do some work on your projects without standing in awe at the glorious code id created 24 years ago? Sorry, but when it comes to programming, I'd rather listen to more levelheaded voices - and there's more than enough among source port developers, which are far more pleasant than you two to discuss such matters with.
  19. Hell Theatre

    Reasons for success or failure of source ports?

    All these developers came in when the port they currently work on had already descended into obscurity. Had they been there before things went bad they might be in a better position now. Chocolate Doom hardly qualifies as a modern feature centric engine so it's not even in the same class as the stuff I was talking about. It is now, but back at the time about which I was talking it was a fringe port that just made its belated transition from DOS to Windows. The crucial decisions that made ZDoom what it is today were made 10-13 years ago. Maybe some of the other ports will catch up not only in features but also in users, but it's a long road.
  20. Hell Theatre

    Reasons for success or failure of source ports?

    Uh, what? You call not caring about 100% backwards compatibility 'dropping the ball'? In a commercial product? I beg to laugh. I mean, seriously, what do we want? Right now there's a whole fleet of source ports that virtually cater to the same small group, because the all-dominating feature of demo compatibility is guiding their ways. Why do we need 4, 5, or even 6 ports that can do the same thing? I'd rather have one that puts its entire focus on this feature, doing it really well, and allowing all the others to be more liberal in what they so - and yet they all voluntarily put themselves into the same straitjacket - because some people at some time arbitrarily declared that a 'real' Doom port has to be demo-compatible. About all the backstory, all the other feature-rich ports would still compete with ZDoom today, had they not dropped the ball on their own. The demand for these ports clearly was there, they just failed to capitalize on it. None of them was pushed out of business, they all can only blame themselves for their eventual demise and descent into irrelevance. ZDoom had the luck to be the only advanced port to eventually gain a dedicated developer who really cared about the game and not just the new features. Without that I think it wouldn't be where it is today.
  21. Hell Theatre

    Introducing ZokumBSP

    I see the Doomworld mafia is in full swing again, taking totally unjustified potshots at those few who seem to be able to keep a levelheaded view at the situation at large beyond the tiny pathetic niche somewhere back in 1993 in which you all seem to mingle in. You people are truly a lovely bunch. And dew, your 'example' is really just a pathetic excuse of ill-motivated activism.
  22. Hell Theatre

    Reasons for success or failure of source ports?

    The more I think about it, the more I believe that the reason is very simple: ZDoom was a port that dared to break barriers. While the rest of the community was focussed on demo compatibility like a hypnotized rabbit - thereby bringing actual progress in other areas to a virtual standstill - or even in non-demo-compatible ports an unhealthy focus of "we must preserve every vanilla glitch as closely as possible - other things are secondary", ZDoom was basically the only port that went ahead and fixed many of these glitches - some small and some with such a big impact on how the game feels that it's hard to switch back, once you take the increased robustness for granted. One particular issue that's important to me is the sliding against blocking two-sided walls, which was overlooked in Doom.exe, but to my knowledge, ZDoom is the only engine which ever fixed this. For all others it was like "demo compatibility and 100% reproduction of vanilla behavior is more important". So from an outsider's standpoint, ZDoom just handles a lot better than all these 'compatible' engines combined, and once you add its editing capabilities to the picture you get a winner, all it needed to take off into space was that one mod that would draw in even non-Doomers, and it got that with Brutal Doom and its offspring.
  23. Hell Theatre

    Reasons for success or failure of source ports?

    These numbers are indeed somewhat surprising. And it doesn't look any better for the other 'second tier' ports: Remood hovers around 30 downloads per week, 3DGE has 100 - what's baffling here is that the long obsolete EDGE still has 50 downloads, half of what its modern successor manages to do. It's funny somehow. When reading the discussions about some of these ports here at the forum, one gets the impression that they are well known engines that find at least some occasional use, but from the looks of it, it all doesn't really matter. All the users who are not part of the actual community seem to squarely focus on the more popular choices, which appear to be GZDoom and Doomsday exclusively, with a smaller percentage going to PrBoom - plus or not. The mystery here is why the downloads for Doom Legacy are still relatively decent, despite all the problems the engine had (and has.) It's surely not near what it was when the port was at the top of its popularity but with 400 downloads per week it's still one of the more frequently downloaded. I wonder how Eternity's download numbers look - overall I would have estimated its popularity around that of 3DGE, but with that one a virtual no-show and no pressing reason whatsoever to download Eternity, other than for playing through the Vaporware demo once, I'd say its numbers are on the dark side of 'dismal'.
  24. Hell Theatre

    Introducing ZokumBSP

    You seem to be easily offended if someone points out some valid concern here. People use older versions of various ports for different reasons, some personal, some hardware related and some obviously bogus. It's something that cannot be changed and some of these users can become very irrational if their choice gets questioned. You can find such posts here and at any other forum about Doom if you just start searching a bit. Aside from that - good luck getting all port developers into the boat, especially those who have no desire to deal with the attitude here and never read this discussion.
  25. Hell Theatre

    net neutrality

    That's actually the core problem here. I know some people living in more rural areas near the town where I live that constantly suffer from bandwidth breakdowns - presumably because others in the same area are doing some extensive streaming and the common part of the line cannot handle all that traffic. And nobody wants to invest there because strenghtening the connections costs too much money. And yet at the same time big *foreign* companies are raking in the money without ever paying for the infrastructure that makes them earn the money. While net neutrality is certainly a noble goal, this cannot work if a small number of big players is constantly increasing the strain on the whole network while not paying for it. As things stand now, it's the end users who pay the price because they have to shoulder the costs alone for keeping the lines updated. The American problem is twofold: Not only the costs for keeping the connections competetive but compounding this with a business that has no competition and some politicians in the pockets of the bigshots who actively prevent competition. I remember a few years back that some German ISP tried to impose such throttling on their customers but to my knowledge the mere announcement cost them more than it would have saved so the plan was quickly abandoned, before the lawmakers could step in. With proper competition there would be no need for strict regulation, because you can bet that if company A tries to do it, companies B, C and D will step up their efforts to get the customers who got screwed over by A. Too bad if, like in parts of the US, there are no B, C and D. In that case A could do what they want. But in the end there has to be some way to make the initiators of such traffic pay for the infrastructure. Remember: These are not small private outfits but huge for-profit corporations which are just as greedy as the ISPs. The net cannot cope with this data forever, especially if more and more customers are subscribing to such services. And Fraggle's "business plan" graphics sound like plain old FUD.
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