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Windows Tools - FM Manager


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So here's my issue with what I have to offer:

 

I'm a windows application developer, and a big fan of .net and of WPF. To that end, I'd really like to contribute small tools for windows users that could replace things such as the in game install/restart requirements (pulling it external) an external config tool (for straightforward simple config editing and merging) and an FM manager (install, delete, launch, etc.)

 

In the case of the later, I'd like something that could connect to a hosted webservice and get a list of all posted FM's and download mirrors etc. I'm sure someone could mimic this tool linux side, but then again, linux users rarely fall into the "Hand holding" crowd when it comes to things like "file management" *shiver*

 

Anyhow the drawbacks:

 

-It's windows only.

-It would require WPF, and therefore .net 3.5 framework to be installed (all vista and windows 7 systems as well as most windows XP SP3 systems already have this)

 

What does the team think?

I'm in yur forumz,

Makin' them frobbable.

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As a pure linux user I'd say "why bother", but I am biased :)

 

The "FM download" was talked to be part of our menu, but so far we have issues like "no central hosting place yet" and "no time to add it to the menu".

 

However, once it is there, the question would again arise: "What would the external tools offer that the menu can't`and why would one bother to work on them?" There is also the issue on "who would be able to maintain these tools". We already have too many things to worry about, and I am not sure if we have anyone else who would know what "WPF and NET" are for and how to code in them.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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I'm happy to see someone offer some help, but I am inclined to agree with Tels. The mod is cross platform, windows only is of little use to us in the long run. :( We need cross platform tools.

 

We have linux players, and as soon as we can get someone with some mac experience we'll have a Mac build available as well...and I know some folks who want to play it on their Macs. Anything supporting the mod should be cross platform. I don't want to start down that all too familiar road of only supporting the mod with windows applications.

 

While I happen to be using windows at the moment, my primary system before my computer crash a year and a half ago, was Ubuntu. I played TDM on it all the time because it was much smoother for me in linux than in windows.

 

When D3 goes open source, we should be able to solve the restart requirement. Until then, it's really not that big of a deal.

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I wouldn't mind seeing something like Garrett Loader for Darkmod personally. Maybe not so much to launch it as I think the ingame menu is fine, but more so with the interface that garrettloader has to list missions, have a spot to read the read-me's(without digging through the missions folders), see online ratings from other users, being able to check mark which missions you have played, write notes about them, give them your own rating.etc...

Whether or not it was cross platform wouldn't matter so much because it wouldn't be 'a part of the mod', just a stand-alone mission sorter/inspector.

 

It's really nice for the Thief series FM's, with over 400 missions it's hard to keep track of which you've played, what you liked about them, or disliked, etc...

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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I'm glad to see constructive feedback on all of this, and I figure this might be the case unfortunately. While I can develop in C++ platform neutrally, I'm not sure I can make the time commitment, whereas I can have a working application with most of the afforementioned features done in a matter of a dozen hours in C#/XAML.

 

Either way, I'm probably making this tool for personal use (minus obvious hosting and downloading features), I'll probably post, maintain, and self host if there is community interest.

 

@ Tels et al.

 

I'm glad TDM is platform neutral and it makes me very happy that it is so. I just happen to be a Windows Fanboy for many reasons and so I choose to develop for .NET for the most part.

 

Either way, I may spend my time more on mapping now, if I could only figure out DR :-P.

I'm in yur forumz,

Makin' them frobbable.

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I wouldn't mind seeing something like Garrett Loader for Darkmod personally...

 

It would be nice though if someone had the time to perhaps further develop the in game loader menu, rather than build an external manager from scratch. Perhaps the ingame menu can't do everything an external Garrettloader can, but if the more attainable features could be handled ingame, like sorting the missions and allowing players to check them off after playing, I think it would go a long way to making the ingame menu more appealing to players used to Garrettloader. In the end though, it does what it's supposed to do, but if someone wants to create some type of external loader so be it. I had just hoped we would be able to avoid external apps that were a requirement with Thief for technical reasons, and have a truly stand alone experience.

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My personal preference is for things to be handled from within TDM itself. The New Mission menu could certainly use some extra features--what you see right now was just the basics needed to get TDM out the door. I'd rather see the menu expanded than see an external app take that on, personally.

 

That said, I think there are definitely a lot of useful 3rd party aps that could be created for mappers, like a wisywig readables editor, or some kind of prefab downloader/manager.

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That said, I think there are definitely a lot of useful 3rd party aps that could be created for mappers, like a wisywig readables editor, or some kind of prefab downloader/manager.

 

Agreed, though I would also like to see those developed for cross platform use and perhaps even as a plugin for Dark Radiant.

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As an outsider...

 

It would be nice though if someone had the time to perhaps further develop the in game loader menu, rather than build an external manager from scratch.

 

I think this is almost certainly the best way to go about this. So far with the limited FMs and more pressing things, I think the system works and can work until the guys working on the real (gameplay) problems are able to breathe for a moment. The system in place is cool: you've got the excellent soundtrack, the nice graphics, the working (if maybe some say limited at the moment) insta-briefing...

 

And it's part of the x-platform foundation of TDM.

 

It just seems that it's got to be the thing to do - improve the fantastic work that's been done.

 

IMhO

"A Rhapsody Of Feigned And Ill-Invented Nonsense" - Thomas Aikenhead, On Theology, ca. 1696

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Firoso, if you're the .NET kind of guy, just try the C# and mono combo. If you didn't know, Mono is a crossplatform implementation of C# and is compatible with .NET. I've already worked with it and it was sheer pleasure. I love C#!!! =)

 

And I even got one more task for your loader: Clean up the folderstructure mess inside the doom 3 folder. :) One folder per mission is unnecessary. Better use a single backup folder to store compressed saves and screenshots in after installing a new mission.

 

This is actually my main concern and if it could be integrated into the ingame menu, I'd be happy as well. I don't mind restarting after installing a mission too much. I am only a little worried that things will get messy, once a hundred FMs have been released. Things like "sort by release date" or a filter "only show unplayed" will be mandatory, as well as a smaller font for the missionlist.

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Firoso, if you're the .NET kind of guy, just try the C# and mono combo. If you didn't know, Mono is a crossplatform implementation of C# and is compatible with .NET. I've already worked with it and it was sheer pleasure. I love C#!!! =)

 

 

Mmy ONLY gripe with this solution is I lose WPF, other than that, i've been meaning to play with GTK sharp, time to dig up \\REQUIEM and set her up on my kvm so that I can work in ubuntu I guess. *le sigh* and I do such beautiful work with WPF too :-/

I'm in yur forumz,

Makin' them frobbable.

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linux users rarely fall into the "Hand holding" crowd when it comes to things like "file management" *shiver*

 

This statement is confusing. :blink:

 

Being a Linux user of 8+ years, I love "hand-holding" "file management" (eg, repositories) as opposed to The Windows Way™ of searching for a program, jumping through several webpages to find a download mirror (all the while shooting popups like a swarm of zombies), hopefully downloading the latest version and correct architecture, then finally installing the program while unchecking the "Install our toolbar!" option. I'll take "urpmi <package>", "sudo apt-get install <package>", or "yum install <package>" over The Windows Way™ any day of the week. For this reason the TDM updater is awesome IMO.

 

Nonetheless, I don't see any problem with you or anyone else creating a third party FM manager, even if it isn't platform agnostic.

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I would be supportive of enhancing the current FM loader with campaign support... Although I understand the current code won't support it without additions, I think it would be very conductive for a 1.1 release, especially considering everyone is developing FM's now, not just the TDM team. I'm not sure how realistic a 1.1 campaign support would be though, I'm not a programmer.

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I totally agree with STIFU. Actually, there are only 10 FMs available, but when more comes out in months or years, the many folders and the two redundant PK4s (the one in \darkmod\fms\ and in the FM folder itself) are a waste of hard drive space. I like more the DarkLoader/GarrettLoader way of the install process and backuping of fms and I hope, this could be implemented anywise in the DarkMod. :)

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As a pure linux user I'd say "why bother", but I am biased :)

Instead I'd say: `Are you kidding me? Take a copy of openwatcom/gcc/whatever and do a true compilable program, and test it in Wine. If it works in Wine it will work also in Windows for the ones that still use it.'

Edited by etdarkb
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Instead I'd say: `Are you kidding me? Take a copy of openwatcom/gcc/whatever and do a true compilable program, and test it in Wine. If it works in Wine it will work also in Windows for the ones that still use it.'

 

Uhm, but a truly compatible program doesn't require Wine to run. :laugh: I know what you're saying, but still....a 'native to all 3 OS' program would be preferable. All this proprietary nonsense that microsoft throws out to make other OS's look inferior is a step backward in my opinion. The technology exists for interoperability between OS's, it would be nice to see it put to use more often.

 

I don't have an issue with firosos stance, my issue is with the nature of the development world in general, controlled by Commander Micro.

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This could work, if it was coded in Java which is cross platformish. It's a good idea, but not needed at the moment in my opinion, we have less than 10 missions I think. I'm glad to see people are so interested in mod though. <3

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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"sudo apt-get install <package>", or "yum install <package>" over The Windows Way™ any day of the week. For this reason the TDM updater is awesome IMO.

 

+1

 

I agree 100% B)

 

I like a lot the TDM Updater, IMHO it's a gem and a lot of games should use this method. Repos crosses with P2P is the future of data distribution.

 

And i agree that if someone want to create a non crossplatform frontend/launcher for mission management (of course i prefer a crossplatform program :laugh:), but in this case it's not a problem at all, anyone it's free to create whatever beaùcause it's totally out of TDM project itself.

Edited by Ladro
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