User panel stuff on forum
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General Discussion
2017-04-18, 07:18
Member
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Jan 2017
So as well as being brought up in the recent thread by chewz, I was having a chat with some people in Milton's stream chat recently about this, and it's also something I've felt should exist ever since I first began to play this game. I used nQuake for a little while, but then I decided to just go and make my own personal package because I wanted something minimal, easy to customize, high performance, and easy to use out of the box if I shared it with someone else who I'd just sold trying the game out to with my tales of how elegant and hardcore and customizable and FUN it is.

I'm happy to do all of this myself if somehow NOBODY wanted to contribute, but I know there are a lot of you out there with much better capabilities in many areas than I have (especially configs). What's really important is having a strong direction with it!

I'll start with listing what I think is important / needed in this new package, or rather what I want to put in my own package idea. If you agree with these concepts, I hope you can help me. Everything I'm listing here, I could happily (and lazily, and slowly) do myself, but I know there are others that have greater abilities than me, so I wanna see who chimes in. If you fundamentally disagree with too much of this, I don't think you are interested in doing what I want to do:


- No installer. You download the package, unzip it where you want it, run the executable and play. If you want it gone, you delete the directory. If you want a shortcut and you can't work out how to do that yourself, that's outside of the scope of this package

- Easy to customize and clear instructions on how to do so. This means no storing anything away in PK3s for a start. The beauty of QuakeWorld (at least with the ezQuake client, I've never tried anything else) is that it's incredibly easy to personalize the hell out of it. You save an image with the correct name in the correct directory to replace a texture, and you can delete things you don't want just as easily. You have so many console commands / cvars at your fingertips to wildly change the appearance and behaviour of your game. The question is... where do you start? I learned the hard way by starting my own install from scratch, and to this day it's an archaic mess, and it would be a lot more beautiful if I had a primer on what I'm doing from the start. A nice little readme with a list of the most fundamental of commands and cvars, and a small explanation as to how custom assets work would be an incredible boon to anyone that has an interest in tweaking things.

- An optimal graphical config (performance). Out of the box, the game must run as well as possible. No compromises. This package should have no intention of appealing to people through eyecandy, or dressing itself up as looking 'modern'. It's all about running lightning fast and smooth for even the worst setups.

- An optimal graphical config (visuals). Now, assuming we have already done the above to lay a foundation, this part is all about clarity and being easy on the eyes. Not eyecandy. I'm talking making everything as visible as possible, reducing visual noise, eyestrain, general visibility / enemy recognition issues from as objective (within reason) a standpoint as possible.

- Sparingly using custom assets where they can really contribute while following the package philosophy. Examples of this are having bright rocket / nade projectile textures, very readable font + number set, a small and practical selection of basic custom crosshairs, and MAYBE even custom map textures if someone is talented enough to make some really damn good ones that fit the package philosophy (Milton may have been onto something with his custom textures, but I'm talking a few steps further into thinking about the design).

- A nice little explanation on keybinds and basic bread and butter weapon scripts. Not everyone will want to use individual weapon bind + fire, or weaponhide if they're not interested in 4on4, but it's a pretty unique concept to QW from my experience, and it's a beautifully elegant system. Similar to my first point about giving a clear asset + config customization primer, one for keybinds would also be nice.

I really hope you guys have some feedback / ideas of your own to expand on what I've said (or argue with me). I really think this package is something QW needs.
2017-04-18, 10:11
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May 2007
Could you post a few screenshots of how it looks in-game? I mean your actual set up. It sounds like you already have something you plan to build this installer upon.
2017-04-18, 10:37
News Writer
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Registered:
Jan 2006
We just need the default nQuake configs removed, the frogbot configs re-added, and then everyone will be set.

Would be cool to include some well known players configs in the package so people can try them out.
2017-04-18, 10:54
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Sep 2006
dirtbox wrote:
We just need the default nQuake configs removed, the frogbot configs re-added, and then everyone will be set.

That's not what DOG_SACRIFICE seems to be after. I agree with him that it would be very helpful to include these (among other things):

DOG_SACRIFICE wrote:

Easy to customize and clear instructions on how to do so. (customization)
...
A nice little readme with a list of the most fundamental of commands and cvars, and a small explanation as to how custom assets work would be an incredible boon to anyone that has an interest in tweaking things.
...
A nice little explanation on keybinds and basic bread and butter weapon scripts.
2017-04-18, 11:34
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Sep 2015
dirtbox wrote:
Would be cool to include some well known players configs in the package so people can try them out.


I would say this is where changes to the client should be made to make this easier, where necessary. For example with huds, add a /hud_clear command, removing all hud elements, then in a huds/ directory, have that on the first line, then add all the hud variables. Have a folder for hud configs like that, then add hud_load <name>, let user load huds from a folder.

The big issue with helping people with nquake (from developer point of view) was:
  • Autoexec.cfg seemed to change where the 'default' config had to be saved
  • Built-in config files executed automatically based on different states, this leads to "ezquake resets my config" complaints
  • nquake-defaults override ezquake-defaults, so when ezquake saves a small config (based on its defaults), executing that config won't get desired result
  • Can't get back to standard assets without tricks (this affected Locktar at Quakecon - we had to create invalid 0-byte .jpg files to trick the client into using defaults)


None of this is helped by the mass of special cases that ezquake has hiding away in the background (i still use /exec, /cfg_load seems to try to be clever). nQuake is very good at getting someone playing Quake very quickly, but troublesome as a base for people to start customising, there's definitely room for both.
2017-04-18, 14:59
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Jan 2014
Dog_Sacrifice, I am in so much agreement about your recent posts that they might as well have sprung forth from my own brain.

nQuake is, indeed, a minimalist nightmare. It has lots of content , but the content is a mess under the hood. It takes too damn long to configure a fresh install, even for an expert.

I would be happy to bring some minor contributions to your project if there is anything a non-programmer could do. Let me start by pointing out a few changes I think would gel with your design philosophy.

Simplify the directory structure. All maps should be in quake/maps. All textures should be in quake/textures/mapname. Same with skins, sound, screenshots, crosshairs, configs, demos, etc. Files should not be buried in pak files or deeper directory structures such as quake/qw/ in most circumstances. And they should certainly not be stored in multiple places. Tweaking is a fact of life in QW, so file locations should be intuitive and easily apparent. I acknowledge that this might be an issue with some mods, but ease with standard multi-player deathmatch should be prioritized.

Ezquake should not create new directories by default. It should not force a quake/ezquake/configs directory every time it starts, nor should it create a config.cfg there unless I tell it to. It might be better if quake/ezquake didn't exist. Keymaps/sb/configs should all be merged into /quake . The .ezquake_history file should be stored in the base dir. I am unclear about how useful ezquake/qwprogs.dat and spprogs.dat are.

HUD controls should be simplified, and there should be a quake/HUDS directory with a few solid hud configs, per Meag.

The console background should be blank (or some solid color) until the user customizes it.

The startup welcome message (if there is one) should not erase the initialization info (GL_VENDOR, etc etc).

Menus and console fonts should be plain and to the point. No need for the gothic love fest.

Consider abandoning the ID pak files. We have the popular maps open-sourced. I'm not sure how much remains from those pak files that is still needed.

Fewer maps and loc files should ship with the package. Maps can be downloaded during play as needed. Support for client-server loc downloads should be considered.
2017-04-18, 16:32
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Apr 2017
I also like the idea of a minimalist's QW package but I don't think new players would appreciate it. I assume new players would want eye candy. And It's only the hardcore players that crave very high frame rates and high visibility of opponents and map features.

It would be cool if we could come up with some way of making QW have high visibility settings while also looking aesthetically nice.

nQuake is great for new players but it does need to be open to customization. At the moment the autoexec.cfg file is hidden away inside .Pak3 file.

As a returning player I eventually ended up having to abandon nQuake and created and new install of Ezquake. But then I realized lots of things from nQuake were missing and so I then copied all the nQuake files over to my ezquake folder and I was back to square one. So anyway, after nearly two years of fiddling around I've finally got a decent config again. So yeah, it only takes two years to learn how to configure QW. Easy peasy!!
2017-04-18, 19:36
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Jan 2017
nix wrote:
Could you post a few screenshots of how it looks in-game? I mean your actual set up. It sounds like you already have something you plan to build this installer upon.


I actually wasn't planning on basing it on mine much at all. Aside from having gl_max_size on something low, yellow enemy models and brightly colored projectiles, my install is not inline with what I want this one to be really. Either way, the beauty of it is (or will be) that it's not very far from a bone stock ezQuake anyway.

dirtbox wrote:
We just need the default nQuake configs removed, the frogbot configs re-added, and then everyone will be set.

I'm going for something completely different to nQuake. More like an ezpzQuake, if you will :-D
I want it to be as close to a stock ezQuake as possible, except with all the objectively good optimizations / tweaks we can cram in while keeping it as low profile as possible.

dirtbox wrote:
Would be cool to include some well known players configs in the package so people can try them out.

Nice idea, but how would we include them? In a zip? Just in the configs directory? My only worry is that the scope could start to creep with too many 'goodies' included, but a few bonus configs can't hurt... right?

meag wrote:
nQuake is very good at getting someone playing Quake very quickly, but troublesome as a base for people to start customising, there's definitely room for both.

IMO nQuake is not exactly ideal for getting people playing very quickly either, it's just the only real option right now. QW is a pretty no-bullshit game, and when I convince someone to play it by telling them that, I want to be able to link them a no-bullshit package. Whenever I've referred anyone to nQuake, they've basically been immediately asking me how to turn on fullbrights, how to edit the HUD, how to edit their binds, how to get started with that nice weapon bindfire script I told them about etc.

sned wrote:
bunch of stuff

I agree with everything you've said here, but I'm not knowledgable to say how much of this is in the scope of this package and how much is for guys like meag on the ezQuake end. But you're definitely getting my idea!

lemonjuiced wrote:
I also like the idea of a minimalist's QW package but I don't think new players would appreciate it. I assume new players would want eye candy. And It's only the hardcore players that crave very high frame rates and high visibility of opponents and map features.


I'm a new player (been playing for perhaps a year now on and off, but I abandoned nQuake within a month or two), and this is what I want from the game. I'm trying to appeal to people that are like I was when I discovered this game myself, but weren't as inspired by it as I was to stick with building my own install up from scratch (which is still a mess because I'm learning as I go). I know many potential new players that were put off by nQuake. If you want eyecandy, you don't want QW in 2017, it's as simple as that IMO. Don't try and appeal to people that aren't in the potential demographic. Not everyone that hasn't already heard of QW is looking for a relevant blockbuster movie-game or overproduced eSport, there are plenty of arena shooter guys that simply haven't been clued into QW despite being disillusioned with modern offerings such as Reflex.

All that aside, eyecandy out of the box is what nQuake is there for IMO.

lemonjuiced wrote:
It would be cool if we could come up with some way of making QW have high visibility settings while also looking aesthetically nice.


IMO, the two go hand in hand. Making a game easy on the eye is naturally pleasing aesthetically I feel. TF2 is an example of this really being mastered. That said, the goal here is a single-minded pursuit of making the game as objectively free of visual noise and as visually efficient as possible without regard for aesthetics at all.

lemonjuiced wrote:
So anyway, after nearly two years of fiddling around I've finally got a decent config again. So yeah, it only takes two years to learn how to configure QW. Easy peasy!!

For someone like me (or evidently like you :p) that enjoys fiddling with stuff, this is fine, but to many people, life's too short. As I said, I know people that do like this game, but didn't like the nQuake experience. I also have friends ask me about it sometimes, and I'm always having to give them a boring primer on the pros and cons of nQuake or using my personal clusterfuck install. Every time this happened, I came 1 step closer to making this damn thread
Today, 13:27
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May 2007
lemonjuiced wrote:

It would be cool if we could come up with some way of making QW have high visibility settings while also looking aesthetically nice.


I think this is one of the main problems. I never found a way to make my QW aesthetically pleasing in a sense of keeping the original style and atmosphere of the game and just introduce the most basic enhancements to the visibility in-game (fullbright skins and changed item textures). Most of us are used to the look by now, but if you take a step back and look at the game with somehow faithful level textures and then fullbright skins. It just looks appalling. Therefore, I would vote for a consistent look. Meaning, faithful level textures with matching items and no fullbright models. The aim should be a well aged looking game. And then offer an easy second step for adding fullbright stuff and customization in general, for when the new player is hooked.
Today, 16:38
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Sep 2014
nix wrote:
... and no fullbright models. The aim should be a well aged looking game. And then offer an easy second step for adding fullbright stuff and customization in general, for when the new player is hooked.


This is a really bad idea. New players would just end up getting even more raped and quitting the game with higher frequency.
Today, 17:15
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May 2007
praxismo wrote:
nix wrote:
... and no fullbright models. The aim should be a well aged looking game. And then offer an easy second step for adding fullbright stuff and customization in general, for when the new player is hooked.


This is a really bad idea. New players would just end up getting even more raped and quitting the game with higher frequency.


I think FB skins make no difference to the amount of rape new players will endure. They will have a difficult time ahead no matter what. Having addiitonally off putting visuals is just another bump in the road.

The highly customizable nature of QW is its blessing and curse at the same time. And sooner or later you have to dive into config writing and exchanging files if you want to get YOUR QW setup. I see no way, sparing new players from this experience and it kind of is part of the game. Fact is, that most new games have very limited or regulated customization, to present a coherent game world and atmosphere. Having lovecraftian maps with detailed textures + 2d items + shining unicolored FB skins will just be eye cancer. if the people stick to the game and are interested, they will sooner or later start modying their setup themselves.
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