[No] Caverns of Darkness ZDoom patch - Redundant?

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Caverns of Darkness ZDoom patch - Redundant?

Postby Redneckerz » Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:11 am

Its not exactly a suggestion but i am going to drop it in anyway just so Graf has a ticket of this. If this is in the wrong place, please move it to the appropiate one. Thank you. :)

It concerns Caverns of Darkness (duh).

Background
The following is written in general so that other users have some background info:

Caverns of Darkness relies on a custom engine based on Eternity for DOS. This engine is called the COD Engine. Because by the time Caverns was released, DOS was already a few years obsolete, Graf made a compatibility patch to enable playthrough of Caverns in ZDoom.

  • The first release of this patch was a replacement executable, a source mod of ZDoom 2.0.96, called zdoom-cod.exe and also known as 96cod. This was the first version submitted to /idgames on January 23, 2005. Wayback timestamp here. + ZDoom thread here. (Unfortunately it has been erased from /idgames. For good reasons, obviously, but i would have loved to preserve this version. Anyway.)
  • In that thread, Randi made the notion that this was merged in 2.0.97, prompting Graf to think about a WAD-only patch instead. 2.0.97 thread here, Graf post here.
  • However this apparently (Not found why yet) did not fully resolve the issue, and two updates followed, on June 21, 2006 (Was this not a pk3 instead?) and finally on November 15, 2008. Thread of 2008 change here, idgames link here.
So far this is the latest version of the patch. But new developments have existed since.

Suggestion:
Although it was released on Google Drive in 2019, i finally managed to get the COD Engine source code on idgames, thanks to the help of Joel Murdoch. Find it here.
  • Now that the source code is out, would it make sense to take a look at the changes and implement Caverns of Darkness support natively in ZDoom/GZDoom?
I realize the suggestion makes more sense for GZDoom considering the former is discontinued. If its already natively supported without the need for a patch, then please disregard this thread.
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Re: Caverns of Darkness ZDoom patch - Redundant?

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:56 am

Why should this stuff be native? It'd require some pointless additional setup for this one mod which in return will increase demand to do the same for other mods. I'd rather not open that can of worms.
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Re: Caverns of Darkness ZDoom patch - Redundant?

Postby Rachael » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:27 am

A better approach is always to look at it from a generalized perspective. Seeing as how Graf's original patch is adequate for running the mod otherwise as-is for ZDoom-based engines, there's nothing here that would benefit GZDoom.

If COD added features that GZDoom didn't already have that would be a different story and even then it would be approached differently - it would be approached from the perspective of how to allow other modders to make use of said features with much more priority than making COD actually run.
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Re: Caverns of Darkness ZDoom patch - Redundant?

Postby Redneckerz » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:30 am

Graf Zahl wrote:Why should this stuff be native?

I figured with the source now at bay, you can emulate exact behavior - I recall that even with the patch it was not 100% similar to the original.

But i realize this goes against your credo not to make ''exceptions'' for singular mods that rely on exceptional behavior.

Nevertheless, perhaps the source can be used to improve upon the patch - whatever that may be. Or not. :) If not for the suggestion atleast you can peak around whenever you feel about it.

Graf Zahl wrote:It'd require some pointless additional setup for this one mod which in return will increase demand to do the same for other mods. I'd rather not open that can of worms.

One exception i know of is Super Sonic Doom. It only works perfectly in its own custom ZDoom version (2.0.94f) but the idgames entry lists it being updated for GZDoom 3.1. I am not sure if that works perfectly, seeing as this 2018 thread mentions that the intro sequence is broken. You also mentioned there that both SSD and License to Spell Doom could use an upgrade, so i guess that the ideal way to play that is still that old ZDoom build.

Either way, sorry for the waste for the time.
Rachael wrote:A better approach is always to look at it from a generalized perspective. Seeing as how Graf's original patch is adequate for running the mod otherwise as-is for ZDoom-based engines, there's nothing here that would benefit GZDoom.

If COD added features that GZDoom didn't already have that would be a different story and even then it would be approached differently - it would be approached from the perspective of how to allow other modders to make use of said features with much more priority than making COD actually run.

Yeah, i must have forgotten about the generalized perspective you mention. - Heck, that's why Graf wrote a patch in the first place. Silly me. :?

Oh well. Atleast there is a condensed history provided. :lol:
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Re: Caverns of Darkness ZDoom patch - Redundant?

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:36 am

Redneckerz wrote:
Graf Zahl wrote:Why should this stuff be native?

I figured with the source now at bay, you can emulate exact behavior - I recall that even with the patch it was not 100% similar to the original.


The patch is as good as you can get with DECORATE. I got the source for the custom engine when the mod was released and the patch was build directly from that.
The one thing where accuracy could be improved is the monster spawning Arch Vile, but that thing only appears once in the entire game, so it's not really worth it for some very minor changes in probability.
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Re: Caverns of Darkness ZDoom patch - Redundant?

Postby Redneckerz » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:10 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:The patch is as good as you can get with DECORATE. I got the source for the custom engine when the mod was released and the patch was build directly from that. The one thing where accuracy could be improved is the monster spawning Arch Vile, but that thing only appears once in the entire game, so it's not really worth it for some very minor changes in probability.

Aha, now that makes a lot of sense. Thanks for this tidbit, Graf. Then this case can be closed.

(Well, unless you still have that zdoom-cod.exe with wad still laying around... :wink:)
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Re: Caverns of Darkness ZDoom patch - Redundant?

Postby Graf Zahl » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:47 pm

That ZDoom-cod.exe was just the regular ZDoom with two feature additions that I also immediately submitted for inclusion into the mainline, that was the healing sector special and the compatibility option for Boom scrollers, both of which have been officially documented engine features for all the time they existed. The EXE was just a stopgap to get around Randi's lax release schedule and got replaced as soon as I was able to do a second patch without it. Absolutely nothing of interest to be found there
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Re: Caverns of Darkness ZDoom patch - Redundant?

Postby Redneckerz » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:18 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:That ZDoom-cod.exe was just the regular ZDoom with two feature additions that I also immediately submitted for inclusion into the mainline, that was the healing sector special and the compatibility option for Boom scrollers, both of which have been officially documented engine features for all the time they existed. The EXE was just a stopgap to get around Randi's lax release schedule and got replaced as soon as I was able to do a second patch without it. Absolutely nothing of interest to be found there

From my side of the fence, i respectfully disagree. :) Things like these help map a timeline of history. I understand the granularity of such efforts is meaningless to you, as it will be for many others. But those that collect and archive, cannot really sidestep that.

Especially when its these details that put the dot on a page.

Given that, i reckon this is no longer in your possession.
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Re: Caverns of Darkness ZDoom patch - Redundant?

Postby Graf Zahl » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:16 am

No, the code I wrote back then went into ZDoom as-is, here's the thread containing the diff to 2.0.96 - that's really everything that ever existed:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4977
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Re: Caverns of Darkness ZDoom patch - Redundant?

Postby Redneckerz » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:19 pm

Graf Zahl wrote:No, the code I wrote back then went into ZDoom as-is, here's the thread containing the diff to 2.0.96 - that's really everything that ever existed:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4977

How dare you use the same link as in the OP :)

But yeah, one and done. Thanks for the discussion Graf.
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