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Episode definitions and MAPINFO support

edited 2014 Dec 14 in Developers
Last week I merged the last of my pending 1.15 work branches to the master, incorporating user customizable Episode definitions and support for the Hexen dialect of MAPINFO, in all supported games. Necessary web server maintenance and a MediaWiki upgrade meant this couldn't be announced earlier, as the associated documentation would be unavailable.

Episode definitions

Until now it has not been possible to customize episodes in Doomsday. Version 1.15 introduces a new DED definition type for this purpose, which offers mod authors a flexible way to extend and/or customize the episodes of the game.

Through Episode customization one can; reorder the maps of an existing episode, create an additional episode based on them, or in combination with your own maps, create an entirely new episode of your own design.

Although Doomsday is hardly first to offer this kind of functionality...

MAPINFO support

Introduced by Raven Software in Hexen, MAPINFO is the "original" definition language for the description of map metadata (title, music to play, etc...) in the id Tech 1 engine. It is however fairly limited, and in this dialect does not offer support for episodes.

This definition language was later extended by the ZDoom team to introduce all manner of new features, including customizable episodes. Presently there is only limited support for this extended feature set (i.e, only those for which a counterpart exists) in Doomsday. Doomsday will however automatically alert the user if an unsupported feature is encountered.

Behind the scenes Doomsday uses the idtech1converter plugin to automatically translate MAPINFO definitions into DED format.

Comments

  • You'll likely notice that the wiki looks somewhat different. Sadly the customized GuMax skin we have been using for a number of years is no longer being updated to support newer versions of MediaWiki. Consequently we had to switch to using the default Vector skin. No doubt this will change in the near future once we've decided on a suitable modern alternative.
  • Hey, great to see work continuing :)

    With this new definition, will it be possible at some point to define video sequences to be played? Im thinking specifically of the videos that are played as an intro to each new episodic "hub" in HeXen.

    Best regards and Happy Christmas :)

    BAM
  • BAM wrote:
    With this new definition, will it be possible at some point to define video sequences to be played?
    Not with this definition, no. Maybe we'll look into supporting in-game video playback at some point, however its pretty low priority as none of the games we support currently make use of videos.
    Im thinking specifically of the videos that are played as an intro to each new episodic "hub" in HeXen.
    AFAIK the only version of Hexen that has such videos is the PS1 port. So we'd first have to support loading the IWAD from the original game media. Its certainly possible (assuming the codec is known, etc...) but really low priority.
  • DaniJ, would it be easier or more likely I should say to see on-the-fly cutscenes in the future, such as in certain other ports? For instance, maybe a camera sequence that goes over some of the level to give the perilous attitude of what you're in for, and then it starts you off?

    Haha, maybe like in the beginning of Double Dragon, where the dude punches your girlfriend in the stomach and takes her, or like in Golden Axe when everyone goes running, and you come across a bad guy beating a villager; or in yet other games similar to Doom where, once a certain switch is activated, there is a short camera change where it zooms in on what the switch has affected in real-time, pausing the action for the player momentarily?
  • In-game cut scenes implemented via scripting is something we'll definitely support at some point in the future. At the very least, it is needed to support ZDoom mods, which utilize ACS and some dedicated "HUD Message" stuff for this.
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