Demos: Sync Points? FFW, RW, Pause, etc.

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Sticky
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Demos: Sync Points? FFW, RW, Pause, etc.

Post by Sticky »

We've discussed demos many times-- see similar post here.
Since we now have a feature request forum, this frequently requested item should find a new home.
Note: This thread is *NOT* about compatability issues between versions.

What makes demo watching a drag for me is the inability to rewind, fast forward, pause, or otherwise navigate at more than 1x. Previous suggestions include speeding up game speed so that the demo is processed at a faster tic rate until brought back to the normal speed. Though some kind of FFW functionality would be preferable, it seems this was not very feasible and/or too much work to implement.

I propose a different approach (that may be easier to implement) involving some kind of periodic "sync point" similar to a save game. Basically, demos could be setup to autosave at a specified interval, and these save points (games) could be recalled (loaded) during demo playback--thus a demo could be divided into smaller sections, similar to chapters on a DVD.

The result would be a standard .lmp file and some recorded .zds files (though perhaps a new extension to help differentiate would be nice). The advantage of this approach is that you still have a compact and efficient demo, but you also have the ability to skip ahead or back a few "chapters." As far as all those .zds files getting in the way, perhaps they could be recorded to a new directory, or appended to each other, or who knows what.

Ideally, the period of the sync point would be user defineable via a command-line variable (in seconds, or game tics, or whatever). Then those who are concerned about demo size could create relatively few points (e.g. every 10 mins), while those who want more skipability could create more frequent points (i.e. every min), or--of course--you could create none at all.

What do you all think? Is something like this possible? Would you benefit from it? Would you use it? Obviously Curunir and I would, but I know we're not alone.
Pretty pretty please with imps and cacos on top? Thanks!
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Graf Zahl
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Post by Graf Zahl »

Possible: maybe
Relation of required work to benefit: most likely not good

I can't say exactly how much has to be changed to do this but my guess is that it is probably too much compared to the use of this feature. I really don't see the point in Randy wasting his time to implement stuff that wouldn't be used much. Considering that there aren't many demos for ZDoom to begin with I seriously doubt that this would change it. In the time I have been using ZDoom I watched exactly one demo that was not a bug demonstration (that was the RTC-3057 walkthrough.)
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Post by Sticky »

Graf Zahl wrote:Considering that there aren't many demos for ZDoom to begin with I seriously doubt that this would change it. In the time I have been using ZDoom I watched exactly one demo
I understand that you don't use demos Graf, and I'm sad that such a great feature is lost on you. Clearly you think demos are a waste of time, and something Randy shouldn't even consider spicing up; however, there are lots of users out there who watch demos frequently and would very much appreciate an easier way to do so. And even you might benefit from this feature the next time you have a demo to watch!

I watch demos at least once--and usually twice--a week, and the demos I watch aren't short. They're always 35 mins+ and usually fall in the 45-60 min range. If I want to see something again (say from another player's perspective), I have to restart the demo, set a timer, and then come back to it x minutes later. And sometimes I'll get to the point I want to see and the phone rings, or the door bell, or whatever, and the lack of a pause feature lets me start all over again. That's just one example of where such a feature would be useful, there are many others (platform maps, dm tournaments, bug tests etc.).

I do appreciate the time you took to evaluate my suggestion, Graf, and I can only hope that it is possible and easier to implement than you forsee.
If Randy will at least consider it, that's all I ask.
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Post by Graf Zahl »

Sticky wrote:
Graf Zahl wrote:Considering that there aren't many demos for ZDoom to begin with I seriously doubt that this would change it. In the time I have been using ZDoom I watched exactly one demo
I understand that you don't use demos Graf, and I'm sad that such a great feature is lost on you. Clearly you think demos are a waste of time, and something Randy shouldn't even consider spicing up; however, there are lots of users out there who watch demos frequently and would very much appreciate an easier way to do so. And even you might benefit from this feature the next time you have a demo to watch!

I watch demos at least once--and usually twice--a week, and the demos I watch aren't short. They're always 35 mins+ and usually fall in the 45-60 min range. If I want to see something again (say from another player's perspective), I have to restart the demo, set a timer, and then come back to it x minutes later. And sometimes I'll get to the point I want to see and the phone rings, or the door bell, or whatever, and the lack of a pause feature lets me start all over again. That's just one example of where such a feature would be useful, there are many others (platform maps, dm tournaments, bug tests etc.).

I do appreciate the time you took to evaluate my suggestion, Graf, and I can only hope that it is possible and easier to implement than you forsee.
If Randy will at least consider it, that's all I ask.
I have at least an overview about the amount of work necessary to achieve this and I really don't think that the ends justify the means. I'd rather see useful features being suggested instead of wishful dreams like this one and if it continues like now (i.e. most features are not really doable with a reasonable amount of work) this forum may be gone quicker than some people think.
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Post by David Ferstat »

I'm sorry, but I don't believe that demos / .lmps are a significant part of the Zdoom community, if only because of Randy's decision to prevent non-specific version demo playback.

Zdoom has not been demo-friendly for years, so I really can't see many people devoting much to to them.

Until and unless Randy makes demos playable across versions then I see this as pipe dream material.
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Post by Graf Zahl »

David Ferstat wrote: Until and unless Randy makes demos playable across versions then I see this as pipe dream material.

Exactly!

And he repeatedly said that he does not intend to let demos get in the way of other enhancements.

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