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kb1

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About kb1

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  1. kb1

    The Doom Confessional Booth

    Problem is, removal will break existing maps, won't it? There's some middle ground possible. Each console command could have a flag "Allow use in scripts?" (Yes/No/Confirm). Same for console variables: "Allow scripts to change?" (Yes/No/Confirm). The 'Confirm' choice is not pretty. The problem is that functions like ConsoleCommand provide services beneficial to have. Providing "ConsoleCommand" is a bit lazy, but the alternative is a bunch of functions that essentially do the same thing, and still need to be locked down. For scripts setting console variables, another option is to prefix the variable name with the name of the WAD, meaning that the variables only pertain to the loaded WAD. But, in all cases, it requires the classic tradeoff: balancing power with safety, which is always a complicated compromise. Are there WADs out there that maliciously mess up a user's config? What console commands are causing problems? What variables are being messed up? Knowing that might lead to a decent compromise solution. (I'm interested in this, as I've been considering adding a similar functionality in my source port. I want my script engine to have the necessary abilities, but I don't want to create a platform that enables mischief.)
  2. Maybe someone should contact John and ask?
  3. kb1

    PBR for Original Doom Textures

    I hear you, loud and clear. I'm in the same boat - there's only 24 hours in a day, and, sometimes I manage to fit some sleep in there too. Work of this caliber is worth waiting for!
  4. kb1

    The Doom Confessional Booth

    It's a damn shame, IMO. Every now and then, in every executable environment, a developer devises an "interpret at runtime" super function, like ConsoleCommand, or Eval(), or even Microsoft ActiveX/macros in a Word doc. Without a doubt, these functions are cool - extremely powerful and convenient. And, without a doubt, some numbnuts say "Oooh" and do bad stuff with it, ruining it for everyone else. The super function gets marked "evil", when it's really not that function's fault at all. Every piece of technology needs an "I'm a good guy - let me through" button. But we, as humans, have yet to invent a "Good Guy" detector that actually works.
  5. kb1

    Things about Doom you just found out

    The texture, patch, and flat names in Doom became more and more distant from their original reasonings, as Doom went from alphas, to beta, to release, and up to Doom II. If you study this progression, you find that certain groups of images get split up and moved around many times. I suppose the id guys got used to the names, and didn't bother to better organize them.
  6. @zokumVery interesting info about local bus video cards! I knew it could be a problem when I bought it. I got it anyway, because I had done some timing tests, and verified that writing to video memory was much slower than standard memory, and much slower than I thought it should be. The LB card was much faster, and I could live with the issues. I traded the occasional wrong pixel for much faster write speeds, and a very obvious frame rate boost. Regarding DirectX (and the 'fun' of ISA cards in general), I think younger programmers would be surprised/horrified by just how ugly game (and other) development was in the DOS days. A few topics come to mind: 16-bit/segmented memory model: All memory had to be "chunked" into max 64K chunks/segments, unless the developers were brave enough to use DOS Extenders to allow them to compile 32-bit programs that temporarily dipped into 16-bit mode when DOS functions were needed The above-mentioned video mode nightmare, to include video memory banks which worked differently in the different modes. In some modes, a bank covered only a portion of the screen. In other modes, a bank controlled a color channel ISA cards with DIP-switch selectable memory ranges, interrupts/extended interrupts. Not of this fancy plug-and-play, or self-configuring USB stuff. Conflicts had to be resolved manually, by physically configuring individual cards. Some cards only gave you a few choices of the available range, so this became tricky. And, once the hardware conflicts were resolved, the software had to provide the same options allowing it to communicate with the hardware. Each brand of a particular type of hardware had unique capabilities. To take advantage of any of these specialized capabilities, each software title had to add brand-specific support. Because of this, it was rare that special capabilities were ever used. Windows 95, and DirectX must be given some credit for their role in standardizing access to this hardware, without crippling it, and without degrading the performance too much. This took the hardware code out of the games, and put it in the OS. But, in Doom's day, you either had to include hardware code for every device you wanted to support, or you made "safe" choices, and chose hardware that you could expect to exist. 320x200 mode was a safe choice. Just look at all the difficulties Doom had with the sound and music, as they tried to take advantage of some special capabilities. Today's programmers can concentrate almost exclusively on the game, and just expect the hardware to work.
  7. Nice analysis! And it seems like both your numbers jive: Emperical: 15.08 Calculated: 14.5 < 5% difference
  8. Soon after Doom's release, I bought a 486 50Mhz (straight 50, not doubled) with 8Mb, and a 40MHz Diamond Stealth Local bus video card. It had a pretty crazy lean DOS memory setup, and counter to the instructions, I ran SmartDrive which made a big difference for Doom lump paging. This box regularly enjoyed 35 fps. But, because the local bus video was slower than the CPU, I'd occasionally get "sparkles" on the screen, which were single pixels of the wrong color. I think a conflict occurred between the CPU writing to video memory, and the video card reading the same memory to update the monitor (at least, that was my best guess). I called Diamond tech support, and the tech was extremely rude and kept saying that they would not honor a refund, even though I wasn't asking for a refund. I just wanted to know what was happening, and if it was ok to keep using that card on that motherboard, with that CPU. The guy refused to answer any questions (probably was clueless), and he eventually hung up on me! Anyway, I think Windows 95 and the DirectX effort may have played a big part in pushing some video mode standardization. It was sorely needed then, because those old DOS games really struggled to support those fancy hi-res video modes. The video cards claimed to be able to do hi-res with tons of colors, but it wasn't easy to find programs that would try to use those modes. Then again, the hi-res/hi-color modes might have been a disappointing, because the computers back then simply couldn't push that many pixels quickly enough. Wolf and Doom were not the first to do 320x200, or 3D rendering. But they were probably the first wildly popular games that combine 320x200, 256 colors, and high-speed full(ish) screen 3d first-person video. Textured 3D 320x200x256 colors @ > 20fps was just about the most that could be done with affordable computers back then. For those wondering about the power of Doom nostalgia: When I bought that computer, I also bought a tape drive for backups. The drive was bought used, and it came with a handful of used tapes (those tapes were expensive.) The tapes has been used to backup a local bulletin board system (BBS). One of the tapes had doom1.exe (the shareware Doom v0.99.) I had never heard of Doom, and there was no description. I had been checking out the files on the tapes, and decided to give Doom a try, with no idea what to expect. When the game started, my jaw hit the floor - I had *never* seen a convincing fully textured, shaded, computer-generated 3D view before. I wasn't sure that it wasn't a movie at first. But, when I figured out how to open the door, and I walked into the zig-zag room, I must admit that I freaked when I saw the imps, and they threw fireballs at me! That experience burned E1M1, and Doom, into my mind forever, as an amazing experience. *This* is what Doom nostalgia is for me. On that blurry 320x200 screen, I had seen something that I couldn't imagine was even possible. I think they chose 320x200 because it was the highest resolution that could produce the desired frame rate on machines of the day, and at the time, it was plenty effective.
  9. ETTiNGRiNDER answers are spot on. The target CPUs at that time were 486, or if you were lucky, Pentium. These CPUs could paint a 320x200 screen with a decent frame rate, but not much more, even if the video card could support higher resolutions. Doom's memory subsystem was designed to swap out previously-used resources and swap in the resources needed to paint the current frame, play the current sounds, etc. Having more frames means more swapping, unless you had enough memory. Again, the target PCs was a 4Mb machine which struggles with swapping. This also gives a good reason for why they took out the rotations, and used mirrored sprites for a lot of the monsters. Computers were just starting to have the ability to do Doom-like things.
  10. kb1

    Help with mapinfo bug(?)

    "26" suggested "A" to "Z" to me, as if the number was converted to a letter at some point, but it's just a guess.
  11. kb1

    Do People Really Like Classic Doom For What It Is?

    I agree with this. Some things are so good that they earn the right to not be quantified. A beautiful woman. Is there really the most beautiful woman in the world, past a point? At some point, beautiful is beautiful, and you can't really compare after that. A band. There will never be another Led Zeppelin. Sure, there are great bands, and guitarists that can play more notes per second, and singers that can hit higher/lower notes, and drummers who can do tighter fills, etc., etc. But, at some point, you're just good - the comparisons break down. Doom has also reached this plateau. Doom is good - not better than this, worse than that. Sure, I know this is all subjective and opinionated. But, by it's very nature, the word "outdated" is a comparison word, just like "better than", "colder than", "faster than". In your statement above, you say "...even when judged against 25 years...", at which point a comparison is suggested. *That's* my problem with the word. (Thanks, it took me this many posts to be able to verbalize exactly what my issue with the word was. Now I can!) Only that 8 bits gives you a maximum of 256 colors on the screen at once, whereas 32 bits (really 24 - the other 8 are used for other purposes) gives you 16,777,216 colors (TrueColor). Again, my issue is with semantics: I have no problem with a developer/artist using 8-bit color. But to call it a "feature", compared to TrueColor is a bit silly.
  12. A "holly course"? I think you mean a "holy crusade". Tips? Here's a better tip: When a description of your actions feels like a personal insult, that's a clue. But, if you look carefully, I didn't insult your person once. I did claim that your comments were unfounded and not backed by reality. I said your conclusions might hurt other's feelings. Not once did I insult you personally. I'm sorry the humanity you are familiar with doesn't "work like that." Why not? It's a dream that helping doing what you can to support like-minded people is actually helpful? Is it a dream that the people that supported ZDoom actually helped it become what it is today? You don't believe that you have the power to help others by being positive, by doing tests and reporting bugs, by building a map? That's a shame. I believe that you can make a difference, and that difference can be positive, or negative. For example, your posts might convince someone to avoid trying Eternity, and discovering what it can do. So, no, it's not "dream land". The power of actions is very real, and it can be a positive or negative force. Apparently, we all care about and enjoy Doom. So, why not try to make positive differences, for every port, for every mapper, song composer, reviewer? This isn't about me, my community, or "dream land". It's about showing an ounce of respect for the people that offer their hard work, for free, for our enjoyment. Even if their offerings are not very good, they are giving their time, their energy, their love, and a portion of their lives, for free! All they ask for in return is an open mind, the occasional bug report, an a tiny amount of respect for their troubles. Most people would write you off as a "hater." I decided to believe that you were *not* a "hater". I decided to, instead, show you a different point-of-view, by letting you know how others might feel about your posts. You can call me "holly course", and "Cinderella", or you can use your voice and your power to affect a positive change in the world. I ask you to consider the latter.
  13. kb1

    Cynical hates on NIghtdive Studio

    Better for who? By that logic, I could say: "You'd never be upset about SSP if you'd never been born." So, let me re-state for the anally-retentive: Knowing that they are buying the franchise, what choice did they have? What if SSP has a backdoor that steals keystrokes and sends them to some server on the web. ND would be liable to everyone that lost money. You could argue that SSP doesn't have a backdoor, but what's your proof? Should they buy the SSP source code? Should they hire the guy? Sure, all those things are a possibility. But should ND have to be blackmailed like that? Of course not. You know, if the programs were reversed, you wouldn't even be complaining. If SSEE was the rogue program, and ND had created SSP, you wouldn't even be posting about them. Your whole argument is "SSP" was cool, so ND sucks. ND has positioned themselves to be able to move a dead franchise forward and you're whining about "your precious." Come on, man.
  14. kb1

    25 Years Of Doom Retrospective

    @RileyXY1This is a great idea, I think! Your series could serve as a great introduction to Doom mods of the years, and putting it into the wiki makes it "official"! Maybe someone could add some screenshots, and you could have like one page for every year, with "<- Back" and "Next ->" links. You knows, maybe it would end up on or near the home page! Regardless, this is a nice concept. You have an easily-approachable, no-nonsense style to your writing, which I very much enjoy.
  15. @xanrer: You're experiencing resistance in this thread because I think you've been drawn into making some unfair conclusions about Eternity. ZDoom has become an extremely popular port, and that popularity can pull the spotlight away from other ports. ZDoom deserves the popularity it enjoys - it can render all the idTech1 games, and it is highly moddable. One drawback it that it doesn't maintain complete compatibility with those original engines, as it chooses to abandon various gameplay mechanics, in favor of sensible choices and, again full moddability. Eternity also aims to be highly moddable, but it's late to the scene. However, original engine compatibility is of high priority in Eternity. Eternity gameplay ranges from exact vanilla to highly customizable. Eternity also boasts some nice unique features. But it's a chicken vs. egg issue: To get mappers interested in a source port, that port needs players. Yet, to get players, a port needs mappers creating maps that utilize the engines features. Claiming that Eternity is nowhere as compatible as <whatever> demonstrates ignorance of what it can do. Calling it an "unpopular vanilla-like", and an "experiment" is just disrespectful, rude, and narrow-minded. You do realize that these source ports are labors-of-love, being given to you for free for your enjoyment and entertainment, from generous people that do not get paid, and believe in the concept of free software, right? Their ports are available to anyone - to be played, to be modified. To be promoted. Or criticized. You went from curiosity, to actively dissing this port - why? Because of their generousity, and vulnerability, statements like yours can really hurt people's feelings. Why not make a nice port-specific map, and support their growth? You might find that this software has some cool features that you wished were in other ports. If you have a mouse issue, submit a bug report. This might lead to a fix, which will, at least, help the next guy have a better impression. You see, that's what Doom's about. Carmack started this idea with Doom, by making the WAD format, which allowed anyone to easily modify the resources. He also released the source, which allowed the community to improve the game, by sharing and communicating. That's what you can do to help: Report bugs, make maps, promote *all* source ports, and encourage the mappers and developers. Dooming is so rich and powerful these days, because people share their maps, resources, and code. Because people submit bug reports. And because people encourage everyone to try out new engines, maps, and resources, in a positive way. When you crap on a port, you're crapping on everyone that came before you, and many that will come later. Why not do the right thing, instead? Do your part.
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