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The Elusive One

Bad design or Doom 3 engine limitations

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First let me congratulate everyone involved in making The Dark Mod on a fantastic job.

 

I have played through the 4 available missions and i like The Dark Mod a lot even though i had a couple of crashes in the training mission (none in the other missions). I sincerely appreciate the huge effort that has been put into this and i hope the Thief fan mission community will embrace it and start producing missions for it.

 

Having said that i have a couple of questions. I myself am a software developer and i would like to know whether the following are limitations based on the Dooom 3 engine, conscious design decisions or just something no one thought about.

 

1: Would it be possible to setup another path for the fms folder that is currently located under the darkmod folder? At the moment it's not a big deal it's only 23 MB, but again hoping the volume of Dark Mod missions increases it could grow to many gigabytes. I use a fast WD Raptor 10000 rpm disk for system & games drive, but it is limited in size. So for Thief1/2/3 with Darkloader/Garrettloader i have the missions folder (11,8 GB at the moment) on another slower & larger data drive. I would love to be able to do the same with The Dark Mod.

 

2: Having a seperate directory for every mission. Currently not such a big deal but as the number of missions hopefully starts increasing the Doom3 folder gets messy. I'm assuming this a is Doom 3 limitation. Would it be possible to change it so that they instead were placed in a "Missions" folder under the Doom 3 folder?

 

3: Because of the seperate directories we end up with a large number of copies of gamex86.dll. I assume the Doom 3 engine needs it there, but how about letting the install/uninstall routines copy/remove that file?

 

4: Also we get to have two copies of each mission pack (.pk4 file). One in the fms folder and one in the missions directory. Again how about letting the install/uninstall routines copy/remove that file?

 

5: Having all the saves for every mission you ever installed at the ready is great, but not when the saves take up as much space as they do. The training mission produces a save of about 32 MB which is the largest of the 4 missions and that is still a relatively small mission. So when we get real large missions will we end up with 100 MB saves? 10 of those and you hit a gig. As the number of missions grows that gets to be too much. So have you considered having the install/uninstall routines archive the saves like Darkloader does? Using RAR they compress down to about 4% of the actual size.

 

Sincerely

The Elusive One

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Yes, a program like DarkLoader could work with the Dark Mod. I'm not very familiar with the inner workings of Darkloader (particularly that savegame archive you mentioned), but it should concievably be doable.


yay seuss crease touss dome in ouss nose tair

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I try to answer as best as I can:

 

1: It would be possible to implement a feature in TDM that reads the path from a config file, so you could store your FMs on another drive. However, no promises :)

 

2: I dislike that very much myself. However, that is a technical limitation that each FM is a mod-to-the-mod and to keep their savegames and configs sep and to make sure that one FM doesn't interfere with the next. (However, even after all the discussions I am not really sure that we need that distinction and one directory for each FM, instead we could have only one "active directory" inside doom3. Also, the idea of having a subfolder missions sounds interesting, but I am not able to tell if it would work.

 

3: and 4: I raised that concern, but it was apparently not shared by others :( On my laptop f.i. I have to live with a 160 Gbyte disk and having each mission and the gamex etc duplicate just wastes a lot of space.

 

To combat this, you could use symlinks, but I am not sure how stable their support on windows is and what TDM does in this case. Worth trying?

 

5: zipping up the saves sounds like an idea, but it also takes time and needs implementing.

 

In summary, I share your concerns, hopefully greebo can implement a few things :)


"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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Another idea for the future which might come in handy when more missions are available, would be an optional more detailed mission overview like in DarkLoader/GarretLoader:

Columns for:

  • Date (of the *.pk3 file)
  • Last Played
  • Finished (on easy/normal/expert)
  • Version (if an author releases an update etc)
  • Author

Edited by Chiron

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Seems like I was not the only one getting confused by the created folderstructure. :)

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GarrettLoader was promising to be able to hand Dark Mod FMs, don't know if that will ever get developed though.

 

I personally don't like the built in loader's file structure/handling either, but it's definitely something that can be changed


shadowdark50.gif keep50.gif

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This is a response to Tels post:

1: I thought that was possible since this is obviously not a built in feature of Doom 3. Well here's hoping it gets made. :)

 

2: If archiving of saves/config and removal of gamex86.dll and .pk4 files were implemented that would leave nothing left in the mission folder. That could open up the possibility of using just a single mission folder where the content is just changed when you install/uninstall.

 

3 & 4: I tried deleting the gamex86.dll and .pk4 file from a mission folder. When you install again new copies are made. So essentially only the uninstall needs to be changed to automatically remove them. Off course there might be a problem if the files are in use by Doom 3 and therefore are locked. Doom 3 doesn't allow me to change to my Windows desktop while running so i am unable to check whether the 2 files are in use when you are in the menu. If they are the removal gets somewhat trickier (it would have to be done after the restart).

I don't think symbolic links are a solution. The Windows API function CreateSymbolicLink is not available until Windows Vista so that's out and CreateHardLink has to many limitations to be of any real use.

 

5: I don't think anyone would complain about the time it takes to archive the saves. We are all used to Darkloader/Garrettloader that has to actually unzip the entire mission when installing and archiving the saves when uninstalling. With The Dark Mod the missions don't need to be unzipped so it would still be a lot faster.

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As for #1:

 

It's currently not possible to have the fms/ folder is outside the darkmod/ tree, because it wouldn't be possible to load the splash images files using Doom 3's virtual file system. Once Doom3 is open-sourced we can add that functionality, but right now you're stuck with that.

 

If disk space is a problem, then you need to use your Cut & Paste skills and move those missions you're done with out of there, and delete the savegames.

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When is it going open source again? I've forgotten the timescale for that...


Ha! So what if I am, huh? Anyways, I work better when I'm drunk. It makes me fearless! If I see a bad guy, I'll just point my sword at him. And saaaaaay "HEY! Bad guy! You're not s'pposed to be here! Go home or I'll stick you with my sword...'til you go...'Ouch I'm dead!' Ahahahah (hic) See? Ain't no one gonna be messin with old Benny."

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When is it going open source again? I've forgotten the timescale for that...

 

My guess is that this will happen when the next ID engine (ID Tech 5) becomes officially released (with the release of RAGE and/or Doom 4). Let's hope it happens in 2010.

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