[Added] Level summary after the episode ends

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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Gutawer » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:56 am

Graf Zahl wrote:Regarding Adventures of Square, what hackery did they do? The engine has enough means to do such things properly without any risk of backfiring

Adventures of Square uses an in-level tally screen because they have a dynamic camera background like Quake does, which obviously isn't possible with the ZScript system (also it was written way before the ZScript system was available).
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Major Cooke » Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:46 pm

KDiZD also has their own intermission screens too.
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Tormentor667 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:56 am

I can’t agree more to what AFADoomer has already said. I really don’t understand why this had to be added. It worked without that for 3 decades and it breaks maps and mods (even though it’s only aesthetically) that use NOINTERMISSION or makes modders to take these possible screens into account. I‘d feel better with a different solution that shows stats at the end but without using the intermission when it is clearly not wanted by the mod.

*EDIT*
After thinking about it for another while I simply think that a different way of displaying stats at the end of a map or hub is needed for the desires of speedrunners or similar audiences. If modders is NOINTERMISSION then it is for a reason. Overriding this with a cvar has nothing to do with obsessions for control but simply for aesthetics and atmospheric decisions.

Maybe something can be implemented that is more generic, a small hud display or an info box that is being displayed at the end of the map or hub instead of showing the complete intermission mechanic that is not wanted mod-wise
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:33 am

Tormentor667 wrote:After thinking about it for another while I simply think that a different way of displaying stats at the end of a map or hub is needed for the desires of speedrunners or similar audiences. If modders is NOINTERMISSION then it is for a reason. Overriding this with a cvar has nothing to do with obsessions for control but simply for aesthetics and atmospheric decisions.


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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Rachael » Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:55 am

I have two proposals to deal with this issue:

1) Change the CVAR to not save with the config file. This means that changes to it will be session-only. This possibly also means removing it from the menu. Meaning you have to manually activate this option or stick it in your autoexec.cfg. This basically discourages its use, to the point that mod authors should not worry because it gets to the point where if the user enables it, they are willfully destroying their own experience, regardless of the mod author's artistic vision - and that's something that should be well beyond the concern of any mod author.

2) GAMEINFO option that blocks this CVAR from working at all. For older mods, it'll be possible to implement a rudimentary mod-wide compatibility system (similar to NERVE.WAD checking) which checks the hash of the loaded mod file, and then older mods can be thrown into this system which will enable the GAMEINFO option automatically. For this to work, we'd need to get a good list of mods. This compatibility system can be expanded later on, obviously, but it will be basic to start with.

It is possible to implement either or both of these solutions. Note that Solution 2 (with the compatibility system) has the potential side effect of slowing down mod loading, since the engine would now have to calculate the file hashes.

The basic idea here is not so much to empower mod authors' "control" over the user's experience, as much as it is to prevent the user from destroying an artistic vision accidentally.

Personally - I do believe the concerns are a little bit overstated, however, they do remain to be valid in any case, in my view. Sometimes the best way to account for something is simply not to, and it's been that way for a long time. User is gonna user, and they will do user things.
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:12 am

Not saving it may make more sense but if we discount older mods we again have a situation where modders are not using the features made for a certain job but working around them.
It is not surprising that this may eventually backfire. It is virtually impossible to account for any trick in the book and deal with it while improving the experience for the end user.

Every trick and workaround of this kind that needs to be preserved means less options in the future.
Please always keep this in mind when deeming an official feature unsuitable and rolling out your own replacement for it!
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby drfrag » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:16 am

I don't think this is that much of a deal and don't like the idea of hash checking, that would be way overkill IMO.
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Rachael » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:25 am

I'll just remove the save bit from the CVAR then, and leave it in the menu.

@ AFADoomer & Tormentor667: Sometimes you just have to tell the end-user - "you are on your own." That's how it is with a lot of things. It's up to them to preserve or mess up their own experience - you are not their slave and you don't have to go to bat for every stupid thing they do.

Even if a mod has 2 tally screens - so what? It's not the end of the world. At least with it being removed from the config file now, though, it will require the user to have done it intentionally to themselves.
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby drfrag » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:38 am

But if you don't save it users will ask why it's not being saved.
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Enjay » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:49 am

I hadn't even thought about maps which provide their own tally. I've certainly released some like that.

I did it with my Burghead mod. From memory, most of the maps have no intermission, but a global count is kept by ACS of all the kills, items and secrets, as well as of any bonus information found and any prisoners rescued. These all get displayed on a custom ACS tally screen once the final map (map112) is complete. The final map (map112) is actually a map that had been visited earlier that you go back to after being on map113. If you have found additional items or rescued prisoners, the end sequence shown before the tally is altered slightly.

So, forcing tallies on that mod would mean getting the default Doom-style tally between most maps where it isn't intended (and tallies for gathered info etc would not be present), you would presumably get a (default Doom) tally on leaving map 112 to go to map 113, get another one on coming back to map112 from 113, then on completing map112 for the final time, you would get the end sequence followed by the ACS tally and then a default Doom tally.


I also did an ACS tally on my Heretic Thief map to show how much loot you had gathered during the map and to thereby assign you a "thief rating" as well as the usual kills etc. That's not as complicated as the Burghead situation but it would still, presumably, mean getting the ACS tally with all its loot etc stuff and then a default Heretic one afterwards as well.
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Rachael » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:00 am

This is all why I thought it prudent to try and set up this option as more of a "you are on your own" or "do this at your own risk" type of setup - and removing it from the config file. There really is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem that's going to make everyone perfectly happy, and I'd rather have this option than not have it. I am hoping the solution I put up is some sort of middle ground that everyone can be happy with - it's off by default which means in most cases it will respect the mod author's wishes, and reduces the likelihood that the user will accidentally change that.
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Enjay » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:13 am

Oh, I'm very much from the "if the user breaks something by their options, it's their choice" camp. However, if a good middle ground can be established that allows the feature to exist, but minimises the chances of people inadvertently breaking mods, then that would certainly be the best outcome as far as I'm concerned.
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Tormentor667 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:22 am

I am a bit sensitive when it comes to engine changes or additional features that potentially break old mods, even if it is just an aesthetical problem. I kinda understand that mods replacing the intermission with ACS (like KDiZD or Square) are a special case but what about mods that use NOINTERMISSION for a reason?

Sure, you can say „players are on their own“ but imagine them playing mods that used the NOINTERMISSION flag and players override it with their cvar option infame. They get a black blank screen, maybe a broken intermission screen after each map, totally destroying the atmosphere for mods that were designed not to use an intermission.

How will people know that it is not a bug in the mod but a „wrong option“ they set in the engine? Not everyone will post a comment about it somewhere. They will maybe use the option (kinda „Hey, I want stats after each map, why shouldn’t I? It’s informative“) and get to the conclusion that a lot of mods are buggy because it has 2 tallys or a broken one, but not talk about it. The experience is not as it is meant to be or how the modders wanted it.

The question is - if the feature is kept and the player is on his own with the options: How will he know that this specific feature will change some mods to the worse?
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:38 am

I just repeat myself: If you sidestep engine features, don't be surprised that feature extensions to these features may bite you in the ass later. That's the risk you are willing to take by doing that.
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Re: Level summary after the episode ends

Postby Tormentor667 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:53 am

Why is NOINTERMISSION an engine-sidestepping? It’s a feature that is there for decades now and there never was a single reason for considering that users can override this in the engine. Modders never had the chance to either prepare for this.

In the end players will either get 2 tallys or they will get an intermission screen that does neither fit to the tc‘s design nor to the whole style of the mod if it doesn’t rely on an intermission screen at all for design reasons.

I simply think we need to make sure that players know that they will break the mods and design choices modders have made. Just saying that using NOINTERMISSION or creating your own intermission via ACS is sidestepping engine features is not a good call in my opinion. Is this new feature worth breaking old mods? I always thought GZDoom has a philosophy when it comes to keeping mods backwards compatible.
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