|Posted by Baker on 2006/03/26 23:24:13|
|This is a discussion that may not have any easy answers, but a thought I wanted to introduce into the wild in a place where the issue could be explored.
One crime in single player Quake is the sheer pain a new player has in learning how to load a custom map.
First, the player must find out where to put the map. Second, the player has to type the name in the console like "map ac2" to load the map. The *only* engine that has a built-in maps menu to take that pain out is JoeQuake, and I might add it even finds maps in pak files and displays them separately.
The user-unfriendliness is a killer.
Here is a possible solution I want to introduce into the wild.
There is a mod called RuneQuake. The source is available and it is actively maintained by Slot Zero at http://www.runequake.com and http://forums.runecentral.com
It is available in both Quake and Quakeworld varieties.
It has been run on multiplayer servers for ages and is very powerful, easy to use and user friendly.
1. It can be run in cooperative mode with monsters.
2. It has an amazing "vote-map" capability with support for up to 200+ maps.
3. On maps without a sufficient number of spawn points, it will spawn a player somewhere else.
To see it in action, a recommended servers to check out are:
Type "custom" in the console and it lists the maps available. Type the map name in and it will initiate a vote for that map.
vb pointed out to me a list of Quakeworld servers at quakeservers.net and there are a grand total of 3 servers running coop in the whole world listed there.
It seems to me that something that would be very logical would be a Quakeworld server running various custom single player maps in coop mode (that don't require a progs, of course, that would throw a huge wrench into things).
I think it would be a great way to expose players to single player maps without them having to do anything/learn anything.
It would be a totally lazy way for players to experience single player maps and they could "vote" for the map they wanted to play on the server.
There are a million server hosts out there, one server host that is known to do a great job and has a lot of experience with Quake/Quakeworld is Essentrix.net and, for the sake of thoroughness, the contact email address there is chris ---at--- essentrix.net. There are many good hosting companies, but I'm a thorough guy and wanted to provide at least one name for research purposes.
Anyway, I don't know if anything will ever come of this, but I wanted to introduce this thought into the wild somewhere that cares about such a thing.
If such a thing existed, I'd make sure a lot of players know about it. I've seen a post about coop servers at quakeworld.us and basically, there aren't any.
Coop Server Example
vb pointed this server out to me last week:
It runs Quake Mission Pack #2. It is also laggy as hell for me because the server is in Australia and I am in the US.
Just trying the server .. after the map/model/sound downloads complete ... makes one marvel at the possibilities.
Of course, a server running single player maps without custom models, only the map would download.
seems like installing a map and typing "map blah" isn't much harder than finding a server and typing "connect blah." Voting for maps can't be any easier than typing "map blah," either. Oh, and if you're that much of a noob, you probably don't have a QW client installed, either.
However, ignoring the "noob-friendly" angle for a second, the idea of having some permanent COOP servers with a bunch of custom SPQ maps on them is pretty cool.
I dare hope people who still play quake are smart enough to quickly find out online how to load maps...
Having sp maps on servers might help them getting played by more dm oriented people who aren't really interested in sp maps to start with though, which can't be a bad thing.
this notion sounds like user-friendliness was synonymous with dummy-compability.
copying maps to the right destination and running them isn't that hard - besides it works similar in almost all fps games, there are heaps of faqs and it's even explained in most text files coming along with the maps. if people are to lazy to read (or do a simple google search), they can't be helped anyway.
and if people find typing "map x" too exhausting, they are free to use some launcher program, like http://paul.fov120.com/qlp.html
some coop severs running custom maps would be great, indeed. (though i must admit i haven't checked yet if there are). one problem might be that most modern maps do not really support coop, at least not in an appropriate way, i believe.
What Would Be Cool
You could have a small service running on your computer that handled a new protocol, (like http, it could be qglp (Quake Game Launch Protocol) or something.) that would contain information about what mod a map is for (id1, rogue, zer etc), the map name, a server the map can be downloaded from, maybe a little string of what it requires from the engine (skybox support, .lit support, etc) and so on.
Websites would then use these urls to let users launch a map just by clicking on a link. The service would check if the user already has the map, if not it would download it from the server into the correct maps directory and wait for user confirmation to launch the game (would suck if the game suddenly started by itself while you were out on the loo or something).
Launches Ankh's map in a engine that supports skyboxes and .LIT.
Of course a lot of details would have to be figured out, like how it would handle using different progs, and where to get the mod resources, and also what to do with commercial resources (rogue, hipnotic).
Several conventions would have to be agreed upon, and I know the Quake community is pure shit with agreeing upon conventions.
An interesting idea though...
> user-friendliness was synonymous with dummy-
This isn't so much of an issue of superiority. It is more an issue of exposure and accessibility.
1. Most people ARE lazy.
2. Most multiplayer types scoff at singleplayer ... "Single player? *laff* What's that?"
I did do a lot of homework in that first post, there are ..
#1 exactly 3 coop servers in the whole world according to quakeservers.net
#2 The RQ mod mentioned in the first post can run standard coop and it deals with insufficient spawn points by spawning the player somewhere else, so not having multiple spawn points on a map isn't an issue with that mod.
And, as any custom dm mapper will attest to, Quakeworld map download makes playing new maps very easy.
The typical server costs about $4 per player per month last time I checked.
Oldest rule of thumb in Quake:
"You can get a player to connect to a server, but you can't get them to download a map."
There are about 200 idle Quakeworld servers at any given point in time because they are mostly run the same thing.
> there are heaps of faqs and it's even
> explained in most text files coming along
> with the maps
Half the players out there are too lazy to even register for FilePlanet. In fact, I've seen many a mapper bitch that a map is hosted by FilePlanet and they don't want to register.
In all fairness, if there are mappers that are "too lazy to register for FilePlanet" it is a little unkind to have a higher standard for non-mappers.
Oh Yeah And Also.
Steam already uses this for launching games:
You can click a link like
which will open steam and ask you to purchase Half-Life 2.
I think it's something like
to launch games.
Btw ... Exiting The Building
I won't be posting in thread again. I did some research and wanted to present the information and about 96% of what it takes is in that first post.
I don't want you guys to feel like an external influence is trying to get you to do something.
I like your work a great deal. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.
[ /me exits the building ]
I don't think it has as much to do with being lazy, but rather not wanting to sign up.
Well, You Have A Point
though i don't really get what you meant by some mappers being too lazy to register at fileplanet.
(anyhow, fileplanet isn't a valid source for quake1 stuff anymore)
the autodownload in qw is a neat thing, indeed, but what sucks about it is that text (and additional) files are missing from the maps then.
this would also be the case with coop servers.
in this respect, czg's idea is very good. it somewhat reminded of the mpq3 (or whatever it was called) plugin that was listing a lot of information about q3 servers, such as map, settings and players, and could also join the game with only one mouse click. of course, it didn't have any advanced download/string features.
Coop Server Would Rock
One small catch is that the QW protocol limits the number of edicts or something (?) but the result is that larger maps such as czg07 won't load in QW without a modified progs.
Baker, were you suggesting that Rune Quake has coop ability? If it's actively maintained, does that mean the maintainers would be willing to add support for huge maps?
Since You Said My Name ... RPG ...
Yes, it does have coop ability on ANY map, regardless of whether or not it has coop spawn points.
Keep in mind, the only types of maps that could run on a permanent coop server would be standalones. No custom monsters, no custom models .. anything that uses it's own QuakeC wouldn't be plug and play. (And even then it might not be completely plug and play, but should be pretty damned close in the scheme of things.)
Limits? I do know ... this is going to sound funny ... that I have played deathmatch on czg07 on a regular Quake server (not Quakeworld).
I could not tell you where the limits fall, but it seems reasonable to me that maps that aren't trying to set records, work with WinQuake, and don't use their own QuakeC should all be very plausible ... but maybe there are other limits in play I am not aware of.
It seems like without a whole ton of effort, it should be possible to make a server with solid maps like CZG's Doom-style ones and stuff like SM82 and Antedivulian, cherry-picked speed maps, and most maps that would otherwise run in WinQuake that you just toss in the maps folder.
Going outside that box gets VERY difficult and adds a ton of complications.
And your question about the maintain, the main benefit of it being actively maintained is that he does answer questions about it, can give you advice, can answer configuration questions and is very experienced. Customization/changes to the code is typically a "you are on your own" thing. He is a busy guy.
I hope that answered your question.
Connecting to those servers above (ignore the runes, they can be turned off) should be pretty enlightening and, for reference, the mod download location:
I can very quickly turn map screenshots in mass into great looking, Quake paletted texture files. I also have the ability to mass produce automated textures with map names in the Quake font.
A finishing touch, should something like this ever happen, would be to select a map of maps with screenshots and the name of the map above teleporters so someone could select a gallery map on a server, look around at the different map screenshots and names and then select the map they want to play.
I spent a lot of time automating the process and, in fact, produced such things for all the E1M1-E4M8 maps.
But not being a mapper per se, didn't have all the necessary time to finish a gateway map and being a novice, it probably would have sucked anyway being a first map ;)
So, where do you get QLP? There does not appear to be a link on the page.
Uhh, No Idea
i thought this program has been released ages ago. i only wanted to use it as an example and didn't check for any dl link...
...it looked good
Thanks. Yeah, you did answer my questions. :) czg07 and other such maps will load on NetQuake protocol, but not on QW. Actually, now that I think of it, it might only be the server.exe that needs to be modified. It's been a long time since I used nb's fix, and I've forgotten what he did.
My main complaint with most QW coop was the lack of map voting, which meant you needed the operator there to switch maps. If RuneQuake can be setup to be just plain Quake coop on QW with map vote, that would certainly be cool! :)
Do we have proper coop support in Quakeworld at all? Afaik it's still a mod that you must run in order for coop to function semi correctly.
Is it not possible to add improved netcode, dynamic progs switching, map voting, downloading etc. into one of the already heavily modified netquake (win/gl) engines?
I can imagine this being a huge job, but there is so much code out there that does half of these things that could perhaps be taken and used to create a special coop engine?
Progs switching is quite a big deal, because it would allow us to try coop in mods. I suppose coop spawn enhancements that add spawnpoints or delay spawns depending on whether or not the map supports coop (obviously, if it does, then this wouldn't be needed).
I also like czg's idea.
Imagine all of this stuff happening for QExpo 2006 ;)
As Baker said, map voting is part of RuneQuake. Downloading is part of any QW engine. But what's this about improved netcode? What's wrong with the existing situation?
The only half decent netcode is in Quakeworld, and to play coop, you need a modification (right?), which means it is impossible to play mods, unless the progs are recompiled to include the coop code.
Also, the best engine mods imho are the SP oriented ones, which have higher limits and more non-flashy features.
The netcode of netQuake is pretty shit though :(
But maybe it's ok on fast modern connections. I must admit I haven't tried playing netQuake over the internet since I got fast net access.
I know DP has improved the NetQuake code, but my sense of propriety disappears when using that.
Thanks for the link. I'm now using Spawn at the moment, which seems the best of what was there.
Having written my own compiler GUI I might even have a go at a Quake Map Launcher myself.
There Are Still Q1 Players...
who don't know how to load a custom map? where are these people?
The NetQuake Option
I've been reading through the thread and it seems like there is a strong sentiment to be able to use regular Quake clients (DarkPlaces, FitzQuake, <insert your choice here>).
That is incredibly easy to do in the form of a permanent server with map voting.
The downside is that it would require users to seek out a download outside of the Quake client, but depending on your goals that may be a better option.
And being from a primarily NetQuake, primarily multiplayer community myself (QuakeOne.com), I can tell you that there is no special advantage of QW if you have broadband, it is like playing on a LAN for the most part.
Any spikes or lag comes from the same unavoidable ISP route issues that give lag in Quakeworld, your computer acting up or spyware. It isn't like in Quakeworld you can connect across the Pacific and expect to not have lag.
Broadband has a bitrate capacity 20 to 40x higher than dialup, dialup players do significantly benefit from Quakeworld's improved netcode however, but dialup will still be dialup.
If you just want to have a coop server up for single player enthusiasts who are willing to do a download, that could still be very popular but a map pack would have to be assembled and hosted somewhere for download.
I just wanted to do some myth busting and provide additional information. There are some NetQuake coop servers, and I've actually tried to see if one of the servers would be willing to run custom maps.
I guess part of the reason I started this thread is because
1. I'd like to play coop on a lot of these maps, even the ones that don't have the right spawn points and the RuneQuake mod makes that easy. And I can tell you, it's NOT just me. Lots of people like it.
2. For those maps, you can just turn on "weapon stays" so the coop players can still get armed, etc.
3. Coop servers are more popular than you think, but the boring factor of the standard maps which is on almost all of them is a real interest killer.
4. I guess there just isn't anything as fun as shooting the monsters with some buds on a map you've never played before. That's why I suggested the Quakeworld option due to map download so someone could experiment and vote, and try something new and surprising without much thought or effort involved.
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