Rocket Launcher - frontend for windows

EDIT: This has been superseded by Rocket Launcher 2.0, please click here

EDIT: This has been superseded by Rocket Launcher 2.0, please click here

EDIT: This has been superseded by Rocket Launcher 2.0, please click here

Rocket Launcher: A new GUI for launching Doom wads I've been working on for windows:



For those who have not used a Doom Frontend such as ZDL before, this is an interface allowing you to quickly set up a doom game using any combination of source port, IWAD, patch wads and additional arguments of your choosing. Furthermore, you can associate and launch doom files with this program, and it is also compatible with doom builder to test your maps with.

Q: Why use this instead of ZDL?
A: No particular reason, this is a personal project I am working on that I have decided to share. This may not be quite as feature rich as ZDL, but it does have a few advantages, such as:

-DOSBox support:

Want to play vanilla doom but tired of typing commands and mounting directories in dosbox? Then use Rocket Launcher, it will automatically run the doom executable in dosbox with the correct aspect ratio, will understand skill and command line parameters, and attempt to load any additional files you specify (must be doom compatible wads).

Yes, simply add dosbox.exe as an engine, then select it and you will be prompted to locate your original doom/doom2 executable file. In order for this to work, you must make sure the files used (including any pwads) and folders containing them (including parent folders) used are no longer than 8 characters long, or it probably will not work properly!

Here is me testing the vanilla compatibility of obsidian deathmatch for instance from Rocket Launcher:


(note, this picture was taken before certain features such as saving and loading config files was added)

-More ergonomic design, including a box listing all of your patch wads allowing you to quickly add them to load in the engine of your choosing.
-An "Include Skulltag Data Files" checkbox, saving you time by not having to load the data files individually.
-Displays the associated logo for each engine.

Hypnotoad said:

I finally decided to work on this again after all this time. My first update brings some much requested features:

First of all the pwad loading system has changed, you now have a button to add each pwad from the pwad folder listbox into the main 'Files to load' listbox, and you are able to manipulate the order or remove individual wads from this box; no longer must you have to clear the box and load files again if you want to change their load order or remove individual files not in the default pwad folder!

Support has been added for the popular new 'Doom Retro' source port.

Rocket Launcher now remembers the last IWAD and Engine you selected on application start, allowing you to quickly launch wads without having to select the engine and iwad each time.

A checkbox to hide or show the command line arguments has been added.

edit: also I'd like to mention, because people seem to be unaware about this: Rocket Launcher supports wad/pk3 file association, so if you associate your doom wads with Rocket Launcher in windows and double click them, it should run Rocket Launcher with the pwad loaded and ready to go.


Download: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46003682/RocketLauncherb7.zip

(Note, for the time being due to the strange way the doomsday engine works, it is not properly supported by this application at this time.)

As usual, please contact me if there are any bugs!

Probably requires .net redistributable

Engine support list as of version b6:

Chocolate Doom
Doomsday Engine //nope :(
Doom Legacy
Doom Retro
DOSBox
EDGE
Eternity Engine
GZDoom
Odamex
prboom
glboom
prboom+
glboom+
Vavoom
ZDaemon
ZDoom
Zandronum



Additional thanks to:
Propaganda - for testing and suggestions
TerminusEst13 - for testing and coming up with the name
capodecima - testing

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Hey cool. I'll check this out. Not quite as "minimalist" as ZDL, but looks more versatile!

Edit, just saw this part:

Jroc said:

Q: Why use this instead of ZDL?
A: No particular reason, this is a personal project I am working on that I have decided to share. This may not be quite as feature rich as ZDL, but it does have a few advantages, such as:

-DOSBox support:


Maybe I'm using an older version of ZDL but the one I have is really only good for ZDoom variants. It works with Chocodoom but sometimes decides not to. I don't think it works with Doomsday either. I don't see how ZDL is more feature rich. :P

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Nomad said:

Hey cool. I'll check this out. Not quite as "minimalist" as ZDL, but looks more versatile!

Edit, just saw this part:



Maybe I'm using an older version of ZDL but the one I have is really only good for ZDoom variants. It works with Chocodoom but sometimes decides not to. I don't think it works with Doomsday either. I don't see how ZDL is more feature rich. :P


I assumed that ZDL works with any engine (other than DOSBox) but it may not.

Features the latest ZDL has that this doesn't includes Multiplayer support with additional parameters to set things like dmflags, as well as more default settings being able to be specified in the settings tab. I suppose these aren't major features though. It's also probably more stable and is open source, and I assume is multi-platform.

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Looks interesting, I'll have to see how it compares with LaunchTool.

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Looks nice. I'll have to give it a try.

Personally, there are couple fo things I'd like to see in a launcher that I have yet to come across. One thing I'd like is a simple tick box for the No Sound argument a la Fast Monsters etc. Another would be the ability to append custom folders to an exe file to load things such as Brutal Doom with a mutator. Don't know if that last one makes sense. If your interested I can explain further. The concept is simple enough - the description not so!

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Very nice :)

Will try this out with Doomsday sometime this week.

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I downloaded it and did a couple of test runs, and I must say it is pretty nifty. Having used ZDL for ages now, I don't see how this wouldn't be a serious contender.

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Average said:
One thing I'd like is a simple tick box for the No Sound argument a la Fast Monsters etc.


Interesting, why would you want to launch doom without sound? Is this something a lot of people do?

Another would be the ability to append custom folders to an exe file to load things such as Brutal Doom with a mutator. Don't know if that last one makes sense. If your interested I can explain further.


I am not sure what you mean by mutator (have not played brutal doom for years), do you mean simply loading all the wads/pk3s in a particular folder? The easiest way to do this would be to change the pwad folder, and then highlight all files in the pwad listbox.

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This is just what I want from my Doom Launcher:

  • Small
  • Fast
  • Easy to use with a little option for command line arguments
This suits the criteria perfectly. Continue with the good work!

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Hooray! It became quite annoying to launch Doom by command-line from Windows "Run…", especially after I moved the Doom folders down to my user profile folder. Hopefully I remember about this utility when I use Windows next.

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It's a good name for a launcher. I'm surprised nobody else has thought of it before now.

The concept of a minimalist launcher program is a good one but the screenshots make it look slightly cluttered (though sadly no more cluttered than any other Doom launcher ever made). I'd love to see a genuinely minimalist launcher with a carefully thought-through UI.

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- Uhh, what is this easy/medium/hard stuff, why not just say I'm Too Young to Die/Hurt me Plenty/etc? I was confused by this at first.
- Needs a filename filter, searching by the first symbol is not enough when you have thousands of wads.
- Needs the ability to change the order of selected wads.
- I'd like to be able to remove a wad from "Files to load" by clicking on it and pressing "delete".
- Remove paths from "Files to load". I can't even see which wads I have selected because the path to my wad folder is too long.
- I don't want to see that message after I click play.

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Memfis said:

- Uhh, what is this easy/medium/hard stuff, why not just say I'm Too Young to Die/Hurt me Plenty/etc? I was confused by this at first.


I'd say use 'Skill 1', 'Skill 2', etc, since this can load up more than just Doom/Doom II IWAD's.

Also this sounds good but I like ZDL's interface a lot better. I may give it a try at some point though. May I suggest Doom 64 EX support?

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Memfis said:

- Uhh, what is this easy/medium/hard stuff, why not just say I'm Too Young to Die/Hurt me Plenty/etc? I was confused by this at first.


I was just copying ZDL, should not be too hard to figure out what it corresponds to, it is because not all wads display the same difficulty names.

- I'd like to be able to remove a wad from "Files to load" by clicking on it and pressing "delete".


You can deselect pwads from the pwad box to remove it from the files to load box.

- Needs a filename filter, searching by the first symbol is not enough when you have thousands of wads.


What does, the PWAD box?

- Needs the ability to change the order of selected wads.
- Remove paths from "Files to load". I can't even see which wads I have selected because the path to my wad folder is too long.


I will look into it.

- I don't want to see that message after I click play. [/B]


That is actually some debug code I was supposed to remove.

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Death Egg said:

I'd say use 'Skill 1', 'Skill 2', etc, since this can load up more than just Doom/Doom II IWAD's.

Surely it should be possible to make it display Hexen's skill levels if Hexen IWAD is selected.
And wads that use new difficulty names are in the minority so displaying the default names makes more sense imo. At least add the option to toggle between uv/hmp/etc, hard/medium/etc, 4/3/etc.

Jroc said:

You can deselect pwads from the pwad box to remove it from the files to load box.

But that's very inconvenient. What if I select ABC.WAD, then select XYZ.WAD and then suddenly decide that I don't want to load ABC.WAD anymore? It will take some time to find it again. I shouldn't have to look for it when it is already on the screen!

About the filename filter, in prboom-plus' launcher when you press "a" you get to the wads that start with "a", then if you press "b" afterwards, you get to the wads that start with "ab". And you can erase the remembered symbols with backspace I think. That's what I'd like to see.

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Something I've requested over at ZDoom.org which might turn this into a perfect match for everyone's needs:

Tormentor667 said:

Well, guys, I know there is ZDL and it is doing a fine job. Though, it isn't the best thing to organize and play our whole collection of wads in a nice, solid way with a beautiful GUI so I came up with an idea: What about a nice Windows/OS Frontend for your complete collection, that makes playing wads and original maps with various sourceports easy as hell and also displays various information about the project within the frontend?

Two very similar programs come to my mind here:
Emulation Control Center (for roms and emus)
D-Fend Reloaded (for DOS games and DOSBOX)

The idea behind this is that people can keep track of their wads and addons for Doom, rate them, have some kind of preview for them (e.g. showing the TITLEPIC if there is one, recording movies and screenshots which where displayed in the Frontend as well, showing all the info from the text file and stuff like that) and making it easy to play it with predefined sourceports and stuff.

Feature ideas are as follows

  • Complete list of all wads/addons with various columns to sort them (year, type, author, personal rating, etc)
  • Autoloading information directly from the text file (shouldn't be easy to code)
  • Displaying the TITLEPIC lump if presend (other than that, no image will be display)
  • Recording videos and making screenshots for the frontend (check D-Fend Reloaded for this)
  • A search function (search by various tags)
  • Some kind of interchanging format (so people can share their database content, check ECC datfiles for this)
  • Configuration for sourceports, IWADs and stuff just like in ZDL3
These are ideas I am throwing out and for all this stuff you need at least a good programmer, but I guess this might be very useful - especially if it is OpenSource so the development is quick and aiming.

Well, I'd find this kinda useful, maybe other people as well :) Just share your thoughts!

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I finally decided to work on this again after all this time. My first update brings some much requested features:

First of all the pwad loading system has changed, you now have a button to add each pwad from the pwad folder listbox into the main 'Files to load' listbox, and you are able to manipulate the order or remove individual wads from this box; no longer must you have to clear the box and load files again if you want to change their load order or remove individual files not in the default pwad folder!

Support has been added for the popular new 'Doom Retro' source port.

Rocket Launcher now remembers the last IWAD and Engine you selected on application start, allowing you to quickly launch wads without having to select the engine and iwad each time.

A checkbox to hide or show the command line arguments has been added.

(Note, for the time being due to the strange way the doomsday engine works, it is not properly supported by this application at this time.)

As usual, please contact me if there are any bugs!

Download here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/46003682/RocketLauncherb7.zip

Tormentor667, your ideas are interesting and I may look into implementing some of those features at some point, but in general I'd say what you're suggesting is out of scope for this project at present.

edit: also I'd like to mention, because people seem to be unaware about this: Rocket Launcher supports wad/pk3 file association, so if you associate your doom wads with Rocket Launcher in windows and double click them, it should run Rocket Launcher with the pwad loaded and ready to go.

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I'm puzzled as to why you're unable to support Doomsday (not that Doomsday really needs a third party launcher but hey). What is "strange" about it? Anything I can offer assistance with?

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Hypnotoad said:

Interesting, why would you want to launch doom without sound? Is this something a lot of people do?

I launch Doom without sound when I'm playtesting a map I'm working on - I like to listen to music as I map, so I play without sound until I'm ready for final testing.

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This looks great! I am not familiar with ZDL. A quick search on doom wiki turned up nothing. Not to detract from your post Hypnotoad, but are there many of these front end programs floating around? Honestly, I use Doom Builder as my front end, which is not ideal. I look forward to downloading this and giving it a try when I get a chance.

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Egregor said:

This looks great! I am not familiar with ZDL. A quick search on doom wiki turned up nothing. Not to detract from your post Hypnotoad, but are there many of these front end programs floating around? Honestly, I use Doom Builder as my front end, which is not ideal. I look forward to downloading this and giving it a try when I get a chance.

http://zdoom.org/wiki/ZDL

ZDL is source port agnostic, I like that I can create zdl "shortcuts", I use them a lot.

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Can you please add support for 3DGE as well? Despite the similarity in name the two are different, especially since the engine is getting major visual updates in the next coming months.

Other than that this launcher is great!

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DaniJ said:

I'm puzzled as to why you're unable to support Doomsday (not that Doomsday really needs a third party launcher but hey). What is "strange" about it? Anything I can offer assistance with?


Basically because some standard command line arguments don't seem to work as expected, -iwad for instance seems to specify the IWAD folder rather than the iwad itself.

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Chu said:

Can you please add support for 3DGE as well? Despite the similarity in name the two are different, especially since the engine is getting major visual updates in the next coming months.

Other than that this launcher is great!


I'll look into it for the next release.

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Hypnotoad said:

Basically because some standard command line arguments don't seem to work as expected, -iwad for instance seems to specify the IWAD folder rather than the iwad itself.

Doomsday allows one to change game dynamically at runtime. Also, a single IWAD may support multiple game modes. Or, load Doomsday with no game at all if you want to run scripts, check file contents etc...

If multiple IWADs exist in the folder(s) you specify with -iwad, or, they are found by Doomsday in some other location (say the Steam Apps folder) then it is necessary to specify the game you want to play using the -game option (otherwise you'll launch to the home screen where you'll pick the game to play using the GUI).

This works a bit differently to other ports because the intention is to remove dependence on launchers entirely in the near future (even our own Snowberry) and move all addon management into the engine itself. (This won't preclude launching a specific configuration explicitly from the command line, though, it'll just work slightly differently).

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