Sorry for the double post, but I don't want this thread to fall off into oblivion as so many Compet-N resurrection threads have. So, anyway, I was rambling in IRC and figured I'd knock it out here, because I feel it rather sums up the reasons that these threads keep dying. It addresses port usage (first) cheating (second) and pwads (third) by presenting the problem as I see it and me addressing it, trying to keep it as free of my own opinion (har har) and objective as I can, though we all know how good I am at my opinion.
First we have the issue of ports: should we allow ports, what ports should we allow, andwhy should we allow them?
I think, at this point, there's a general concurrence that some port needs to be allowed. The DOS days are dead, and they aren't coming back. So, we need a port that recognises that and addresses it. We need a port that runs on ye olde Windows 98 box, but also the super new 64-bit Windows XP box. We need a port that recognises it's 2006 and not 1996.
But if that is the sole reason to allow ports into the Compet-N (which I believe it originally was), is the solution not already in front of us in the form of Chocolate Doom? Indeed, it may need a bit of work to be "Compet-N ready," but if we're only talking about using a port to allow people using platforms that don't easily (or don't at all) run the DOS executables to record demos, then what else is there to discuss? Plain and simple, the answer is Chocolate Doom.
If the point of allowing ports is also to expand the "features" allowed, then why look any further than removing limits? At this time, there is no definite port to answer this call, but such a thing would be basically be a Chocolate Doom plus, as it would be, theoretically, Chocolate Doom and doom2-plus in one (this is also how I'll henceforth refer to it). This Chocolate Doom plus would basically allow more freedom when dealing with PWAD demos (I cannot think of a point where removing the limits affects the IWADs in a extremely important way, aside from the sprite limit). It is a double edged sword, allowing the player greater ease when recording in maps where care must be taken not to cause a VPO or such, but also would allow to expand to PWADs that are simply labelled limit-removing. It would be that second step, so to speak, in realising (rather grudingly for some) that it is indeed 2006, but also keeping to a fairly strict Doom and only Doom tradition.
Now, you may be asking, if Chocolate Doom plus were to be allowed, why not something like PrBoom? The answer is this: cheating and purity. As far as I can gather, it would be much easier to cheat with PrBoom than Chocolate Doom or the nonexistant Chocolate Doom plus. As far as purity goes, when you start using PrBoom, you've said, "To hell with bothering with the old Compet-N way of keeping to vanilla only, let's just keep with the times, like the community tells us." For this, we would pay the price of not being able to play Boom PWADs. I can think of only one that would even be bothered with, and, not to insult the author or the wad, if that's the price we pay, is it such a hefty price?
Second, cheating must be addressed. What are we going to do to combat it and how? What is the balance between cheating and hassle to record?
First and foremost, we must realize that those who wish to cheat will cheat (I realise this has been said 10000 times). Also, no matter what, some demos will be labelled TAS that aren't, and some demos that are TAS will be accepted. If these facts can't be accepted, the Compet-N just needs to stay dead and nobody needs to bother any further.
Let us first look at how we stopped cheating in the past. Back in the day there were demos that were blatantly TAS, whether labelled such or not, and did not need any distinction but the casual eye of a demo viewer. There were demos that were cleverly TAS, that required a keen eye or using a lump checker to check to see if they were TAS. And, of course, there are some demos that have either been missed for a while or (I am sure) missed up until today, because they were so well cheated. Those required an expert eye, many views and pointing out of minor suspicious details that almost nobody would ever notice.
Bearing that in mind, what would change no matter what anti-cheat method was implemented? There would always be the blatant TAS, the more subtle TAS, and the TAS that slips by. So why go through a series of hoops to make a new demo format or use a server connection when we know that in the end that we'll be back at the starting point, trying to figure out a new anti-cheat technique? Indeed, perhaps the best way would be to continue as has been done, using lump checkers and the sort, and the non replacable eye of an expert doom player?
One final note, using an engine such as PrBoom opens up a whole new world of cheating. I have always been under the impression that it is easier to cheat with that than vanilla, and I have no reason to believe that just because Chocolate Doom is a 32 bit programme it would be of the same ease to cheat with as PrBoom.
Third, what are we to do about PWADs? Should we add more? How many and how often?
The answer to these questions really ought to be given by the one (or group) who takes over the Compet-N. It is not the job of the common person to make every single decision about how something such as the Compet-N runs, and a descision such as adding PWADs should be left to those in charge. If they wish to hand it off to the people through such methods as a vote or just a general query, then so be it. But the final decision should remain with the responsible party.
However, as a minor note to that, adding absolutely no PWADs at all would probably be the death to a new birth, so to speak. If a resurrection is to take place, then it need not be the same old thing it was before, but rather with something refreshing.
And that is all.
Last edited by Hobbs on Aug 12 2006 at 22:57