Favourite Doom Launcher

Discuss anything ZDoom-related that doesn't fall into one of the other categories.

Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby QBasicer » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:18 pm

Hey all,
As I'm sure most of you are aware, I've been releasing versions of (q)ZDL for a couple months now and trying to provide a rock solid doom launcher.

I also serve past versions of ZDL from my website, for those who want the classic ZDL.

What I'm interested in knowing is why people are (still) picking ZDL 3.1a. Or if people are using another launcher, why they chose that?

I'm in a very early point of directing the future development of ZDL, and I think I have some great ideas on how to improve it, but I want feedback from the people who actually use it, you guys.

Please, tell me which doom launcher you use, and what you (dis)like about it, and what you'd like to see added or removed.
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby Enjay » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:43 pm

I'm now use QZDL all the time. It does all the good things ZDL does/did and has a few advantages (the resizeable window is my favourite). I personally don't need anything added to it, or taken away.

As you know, I like the simplicity of (Q)ZDL so I wouldn't want any new feature to create clutter but as long as any new features can be disabled/kept out of the way somehow, I'd continue to be happy. I'm certainly not opposed to new features. I just can't think of any that I need.
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby Hellser » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:56 pm

I used to use ZDL 3.1a. I didn't like how ZDL felt at the time, for some odd reason, I got so frustrated with it multiple times. Even damning the program in the process and used CCleaner to "shred" the program 50 times just to amuse my self. I couldn't resize anything, the interface felt small and compressed. There was too much information given to me at once in a small confined space. More or less; information overload. Some people like that. I like things easy. Select the PWADS I want to use -- followed up with an IWAD, and switch engines if I want to. Sure, ZDL did that. But again, everything was confined in a little tiny space.

I then switched to command lines -- via multi-choice bat file -- to launch my games for (G)ZDooM after my experience with ZDL 3.1a. But as you can expect, if I wanted to add different wads, I had to manually type in where everything was and make sure they are in order. This was neat, in my opinion, but it proved to be a pain in the ass.

Another program I used was Doom Connector. Mainly for the /getwad feature. Finding some wads today is tough. Especially if they use a whole different name on say, /idgames compared to what the wad it self is called. Example here would be ww-stranger.wad .. I know what that is. I associate wads as their name. Never have I really called ww-stranger as "Wild Weasel: The Stranger", it just didn't jive with me correctly. Back on subject; I don't have ww-stranger.wad.. I want to download it. So I type in '/getwad ww-stranger.wad' and it'll search just about anywhere on the internet and download ww-stranger.wad for me. But this feature is probably extinct. I mean, who really still uses Getwad anymore? (Don't say Zandronum/Skulltag)

I stumbled across qZDL. I thought 'Oh. Great, we had ZDL, ZDLSharp.. and now qZDL?', after reading that you fixed most of the issues I had with ZDL (mainly; resizable windows) -- and the fact that it is using Q, I jumped at it and fell in love with it. Whatever you are doing with qZDL -- keep up the great work.

TL;DR: qZDL is the best launcher evar!!11!1oneone ever.
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby QBasicer » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:09 pm

Enjay wrote:As you know, I like the simplicity of (Q)ZDL so I wouldn't want any new feature to create clutter but as long as any new features can be disabled/kept out of the way somehow, I'd continue to be happy. I'm certainly not opposed to new features. I just can't think of any that I need.


I'm working really hard to preserving this. I have some great ideas on how qZDL can have some new features and keep down the complexity and bloat. The download is already over 6 megs, I'm trying to keep it from getting any larger.

My goal for qZDL was to provide the same interface that we know and love, and add new features. Cluttering the interface isn't a goal.

qZDL 3.0.5.12 currently has 380 downloads, but I think most of those are "download accelerators", so I calculate 116 downloads. ZDL 3.1a has 146, ZDL 3.1 has 71.

More people are picking ZDL 3.1a than qZDL, as far as I can tell, people like the simplicity better, or maybe it's something they're just used to. Either way, I'd love qZDL to become more popular than ZDL 3.1.
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby piratefinn » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:15 pm

I use QZDL but when I play Risen 3D i see its own front-end which I personally find also very intuitive and useful, especially with the option to change some game options before start.
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby Average » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:13 pm

I still use ZDL 3.1a. The main reason is that I've grown used to it and it's limitations. The lack of resizable window is no biggy (no pun intended) in so far as I can still load the files I want and I've heard mention of bugs but I honestly can't say I've seen any...

For me, qZDL just doesn't bring anything new. It's just the same functionality wrapped up in different code.

I would like a little more flexibiltity. Things like a tick box option for sound/music, no monsters etc (kinda like the Risen launcher mentioned above).

One thing I'd really like to see in a launcher is an ability to scan a 'wad' directory like a library and be able to just click them. A 'recents' list would be nice to when I have a few wads on the go at the same time. Oh, and since it's mainly aimed a ZDoom it would be nice to have a link to the 'skins' folder too.

I know it's a lot to ask but you did want to know what I was looking for in a launcher! :)

PS: If I had a pipedream version of a lanucher it would be nice to have Obhack built-in too just so that you could quickly play a random map or two with just one click of a button...
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby QBasicer » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:54 pm

Average wrote:I would like a little more flexibiltity. Things like a tick box option for sound/music, no monsters etc (kinda like the Risen launcher mentioned above).

Older versions of qZDL has a DMFLAG picker, I've had to remove it for being outdated at the moment though.

Average wrote:One thing I'd really like to see in a launcher is an ability to scan a 'wad' directory like a library and be able to just click them. A 'recents' list would be nice to when I have a few wads on the go at the same time. Oh, and since it's mainly aimed a ZDoom it would be nice to have a link to the 'skins' folder too.

Coming soon!

Average wrote:I know it's a lot to ask but you did want to know what I was looking for in a launcher! :)

If I don't know, I can't write it!

Also, qZDL releases have been very similar to ZDL 3.1 releases and haven't offered a whole lot, mainly because I've been working to make sure qZDL has at least the same features as ZDL 3.1. From this point forward, it's new ground to break, and that qZDL will become more feature rich.
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby Ethril » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:43 am

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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby MG_Man » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:37 pm

Will there be an option to not remember the PWAD list when starting qZDL? I associated WADs with it but I find that it only adds the newly opened WAD to the list instead of emptying it, and this is tedious whereas ZDL3 didn't do this.
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby QBasicer » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:01 am

MG_Man wrote:Will there be an option to not remember the PWAD list when starting qZDL? I associated WADs with it but I find that it only adds the newly opened WAD to the list instead of emptying it, and this is tedious whereas ZDL3 didn't do this.

Sure https://github.com/qbasicer/qzdl/issues/31
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby QBasicer » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:14 pm

MG_Man wrote:Will there be an option to not remember the PWAD list when starting qZDL? I associated WADs with it but I find that it only adds the newly opened WAD to the list instead of emptying it, and this is tedious whereas ZDL3 didn't do this.

This has been implemented in ZDL 3.2.2.0
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby Enjay » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:26 pm

Ouch. 3.2.2.0 forgets all my settings when it closes. I mean all of them - IWADs, ports, everything. :(

[edit] as a matter of interest, where does qzdl store its information. Other than the ini backups I have made, I can't find one that qzdl has made for itself but it remembers settings between session so the information must be *somewhere*. :ninja: [/edit]
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby QBasicer » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:11 pm

Enjay wrote:Ouch. 3.2.2.0 forgets all my settings when it closes. I mean all of them - IWADs, ports, everything. :(

[edit] as a matter of interest, where does qzdl store its information. Other than the ini backups I have made, I can't find one that qzdl has made for itself but it remembers settings between session so the information must be *somewhere*. :ninja: [/edit]

Go to ZDL and go to the about screen, the location is listed below.
It typically ends up in "%APPDATA%\Vectec Software"

I've reverted the version information so 3.2.1.1 is now back to the default version.
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby Mr.Rocket » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:14 am

Hi,

I'v been using Launch Tool for some time now, can be found here with source: http://www.teamhellspawn.com/exl/index. ... launchtool

It's really easy to use and I see qZDL having the same potential. I think the main thing that makes LT work so well for me is the ui layout and engine drop down selection etc.
I think if you were to setup qZDL with just about the same sort of ui system, it would work much easier for others.
If I remember right, Launch Tool only had a hand full of source engines that it would support "out of the box", but several engine configurations can be added by savy end users if wanted, as I did; So it's easy to keep the thing up to date, I actually have it fixed up supporting 16 source engine .cfg's at the moment.

On the side of Doom Connector, well it's for multi-player games of course so being able to chat with other players is a must, as well as getwad support. Without these elements Doom Connector would just be a launcher. unfortunately it can't be used off-line unlike a standard launcher, which is actually imo its down side heh.
But I too think it's one of the best launchers of its class.

Thanks!
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Re: Favourite Doom Launcher

Postby Enjay » Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:45 am

QBasicer wrote:"Vectec Software"

Aha! Got it. I had already browsed my "roaming" directory but scanned past that one because it didn't link with qzdl in my brain. I have it now, thanks.
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