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I posted this over at the Doomworld forums, and I thought I'd give it a quick plug here as well.
I've developed a simple program that allows ZDoom and GZDoom users to launch multiplayer games from an easy-to-use console GUI as opposed to using the command line. All of the basic options are there, and I'd be willing to hear suggestions from the community on what else to include or fix. Hopefully somebody finds this program useful.
The launcher executable can be ran from any location. It does not need any formal installation.
If you want a relatively long list of features and issues I found, click the spoiler button.
- Needs to save settings for next time you open it. - Remember that Visual Studio Icons are everything but nice. - For each group of RadioButtons, one of them should be checked as default option. - I would change the distribution of the elements in the window: Source Port and Client/Server Frames, in the top part. Game Mode and Custom Contents Frames just down the first ones. And Skills in the lower part. - Set "Go!" CommandButton as default button, so a single "ENTER" launches the game. - Use a List instead two CommandButtons and two TextBoxes to add custom PWADs. What if I want to use three or more PWADs? - (Derived from the first issue) The first time the player launches the program, this must ask him/her to search for (G)zDoom executable. - Use a ComboBox to save the Game Executables, so I may select zDoom or GzDoom with such ComboBox, without having to search the executable when I want to use other engine. - Change "IP Address:" Label Text to "Server IP Address:" or even "Connect to Server:"(more intuitive, for those novice player). - Skill RadioButtons will look beter with "Hurt me Plenty", "I'm too young to die","etc..." text, instead of "Skill 1", "Skill 2", ... text. - Remove the MsgBox when clicking "Go". - Missing an "About..." Dialog Window, so I can check the program version and the Author's name and site or mail. - When I enter the map "E1M6" instead of "6", zDoom is not launched correctly. Fix map number/names for games other than Doom 2. - I can launch the game without selecting the starting map. That's not bad at all BUT in such case, you should set a default text for the "Map Start" ComboBox, something like "<Launch from Titlepic>" or similar, with italic and grey letters, so the user know that field is optional. - As general tip, the MsgBox'es should have the same tittle as the Application itself, not the field or button that calls them. - Hide (or even close) the launcher when the game is launched, and show them back when game finishes. I refer to Hide, not to Minimize. - "IP Address" TextBox allowing only to enter a IP-Formatted text, not any type of text. I could launch zDoom to join sever 1234567890 - If the program allows to launch zDoom and GzDoom, why the application tittle is only "zDoom Multiplayer Launcher"? - Change the "Total Players" Label text from "Total Players" to "Max Players". I know this sounds stupid, but many players don't have to know what that refers to exactly: the total players that will play, or the max. players that can play. - (Solved if issue 3 is implemented) I can launch the game without selecting any difficulty setting. - Program totally crashed when I selected zDoom or GzDoom RadioButton, "Browse" the executable, but click "Cancel" in the CommonDialog (this is, while brosing for the executable). - If I browse for (G)zDoom executable, and accept, and later on I browse again, but this time click "Cancel", the previous executable path in the TextBox, is removed.
Without having into account the issues, I find your launcher not bad at all. The problem is that I will be not using your launcher since I play SkullTag for multiplayer, not zDoom. If you could add support for SkullTag, with "favourite servers" lists I could be using your launcher, since I always connect the same SkullTag servers and it's annoying to open Doomseeker, refresh servers and click my favourite server to connect to.
Is there any way to add more than just two custom PWAD files? I have a bunch of mods I want to play with my brother online, but this thing can only load up to two additional PWADs, which is a huge, huge problem.
Another thing... being a total newb when it comes to Multiplayer... what is the IP Address section for? I tried using my IP Address, but that didn't seem to work...