Vote: Single Player Launcher
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Author Message
mapmanager demian 17 Apr 2009 10:25 pm QUOTE

I have been bugging Warg and Koen about this idea for a very long time now. Seems Warg wants some feedback on the overall concept, so here is a description of what I envision, as well it's uses. We basically need a vote, and some feedback about it.


The idea is to have a way to launch single player mappacks within the Matchmaker. I imagine under huts there would be the option under number of players. We could then set any of the custom features we would have in a multiplayer map. When the game launches, it would launch a menu like we would see in Undiscovered Worlds showing up to 12 maps on a list and in the Matchmaker others would see that you are playing a single player map. Perhaps right a way to see some details of the mappack, chosen map, and other details.

Most Multiplayer Mappacks are not really designed for single player action. Many lacking the correct AI information, etc. So I would suggest that under the "Mappacks" tab we have two tabs within it. Multiplayer, and Single Player. So the single player mappacks would be kept separate from multiplayer mappacks.


I have a few reasons for suggesting this. First and foremost, I just think it would be fun. But that aside there is the obvious fact that there isn't a single database (that I know of) where large collections of single player maps are kept. I have player some user created maps that I probably will never find to play again. And I have made some of my own that I lost. Having such a feature would both bring single player maps together to one place, and also make it easy for the average player to launch such maps without having to mess around with their files.

Then there is the fact that if done through the matchmaker, we can play with custom colors (we'd have to be able to select the other tribes colors in single player mode) , change the constants, etc. Having this function within this matchmaker would totally change the way some maps are played.

I also think this will solve the "Revolving Door" problem, where someone logs in, sees that no one is playing, then either logs out or goes AFK, so when the next one logs in they too don't see anyone playing. etc. etc. etc. Because when no one is on to play, they can launch the latest single player mappack, and play by themself, then when the next user logs in, they see that someone is playing, so will either play by themselves, or wait.

And of course, it would be fun.


So with that said, a vote for yes or no, thoughts, suggestions, etc.

mapmanager demian 17 Apr 2009 10:27 pm QUOTE
Also, such a launcher could also be used to launch the original game from within the mm, and as well a way to basically install Undiscovered Worlds without actually installing it, and any other Single Player collection that exists, along with the changes the mm can allow.
wildman DAroo 19 Apr 2009 04:15 am QUOTE
i vote yes.
Idea is good BUT there is one detail to make it work - users have to create playable maps with balanced and a bit intelligent AI. And as far as i see there are no active mapmakers enought who can handle maps and AI scripts creating.
btw situation is similar to the TedTycoon random maps generator - idea was good but there weren't players enought to create valuable random map scripts :(
mapmanager demian 19 Apr 2009 11:04 am QUOTE

i vote yes.
Idea is good BUT there is one detail to make it work - users have to create playable maps with balanced and a bit intelligent AI. And as far as i see there are no active mapmakers enought who can handle maps and AI scripts creating.
btw situation is similar to the TedTycoon random maps generator - idea was good but there weren't players enought to create valuable random map scripts :(

My very first map was a single player map which was challenging. It takes longer to make then a single player map, but I could make as many as are needed. Warg has made several himself already. Then there are other user created Maps floating around. So finding people to makes the maps won't be an issue.

To be challenging, "Balanced" basically means the enemy AI has almost everything and you have almost nothing, in a single player map, because the AI is imperfect and I have yet to figure out how to make direct changes to an AI file itself, or even to make the enemy compete for a stone head or even worship it on a timer like in other maps. It might be possible to get the AI to do this by simply making modifications to existing original maps in such a way as to leaves at least the original bases and obelisk location alone but change everything else.

Modifications of the constants could make a map more or less challenging. If it's too easy you could give yourself a crutch. If it's too hard you could make it easier. So this gives the user more control of challenge rating.
wildman Supermegaman 19 Apr 2009 08:12 pm QUOTE
I vote yes also its important to attract more people to it because if there bored they will have a chance to play something a wait on more people making them stay in the chatroom or matchmaker.Plus it will give everyone else also to practice better.
mapmanager demian 20 Apr 2009 07:34 pm QUOTE

I did some searching to see if I can find some old single player maps people have made over the years. Well, I can't find a single one. Not even a map I made myself. None. There were some map collections kept on other websites but those are all down. All dead links. Warg's Age of Chaos exists but I can't get it to work. And Undiscovered Worlds exists and works, but I think that was official.

Now I want this more than ever...

Because if we have this, the good old maps that still exist might be preserved. It's sad to see good maps fade into oblivion.

While we could always just keep a database of our own, they won't hardly get used without a simple way to launch them so they might as well be dead.
mapmanager demian 21 Apr 2009 08:57 pm QUOTE
Adding to the idea, it would need to be able to load AI files for single player maps, in case a player makes custom AI. And should also be able to optionally replace the launch screen.

So, for example, you would see a different launch screen between undiscovered worlds and age of chaos.

Since not everyone liked the Graphical Changes in Age of Chaos, Graphical Mods should be handled as an option from within the mm and not from the mappack itself. That way, if someone likes a Mod, they can choose to use it, and if they don't, they don't have to use it.

Finally, and probably the most important feature to implement, is for a unique save directory kept for each mappack on the computer. When loading a single player mappack, it attempts to swap out the save directory with a save directory associated with the mappack. If none exists, it creates it, then it swaps it back after load game ends to retain those saves. It should also have something to make sure that, should the game crash, it can still swap the save directory back so data isn't lost. Because the save files are the most important function of a working single player launcher, and if we don't swap saves in and out there is probably going to be bugs associated with trying to load.

After talking with people in the mm I am sure now that if we had this feature our mm would be THE mm. People would come to us at least just to play single player maps, once they learn of that feature. But if it isn't done right people won't pay it much attention I don't think.

I wish I knew enough about programming to do this :(
wildman Brandan 01 May 2009 05:33 pm QUOTE
SPL 1.1 BETA is release signups are at NopWorks Productions HomePage At:
wildman taity mini 02 May 2009 12:06 pm QUOTE
Yeah I'm defeintly supporting this idea!
It should get this client more active too :)
wildman Brandan 11 May 2009 01:19 am QUOTE
Hi, I'm Brandan the lead programmer of "Single Player Launcher" so far what me and demian have tested it will be a great addition to the mm. Our Beta testers and provided more feed back. I would just like to announce some upcoming updates to SPL's (Single Player Launcher) release candidate. Some new features are:

* Building mode
* Auto Updates
* Bug Fixes in installing
* Added Submit Mappack
* Faster Launching and loading.
* Color is picked "Blue" default.
* Added language
* Its own registry fix
* New Icon
* Skin bug fixes
* Help Menu

And More Features to come!
Thanks To (Programmers/Ideas):
MrcredsAlex (Programmer)
Demian (Ideas)
King Warg (Programmer)
Thanks To (Beta Testers):
Area-51 (?)
Brandan (hehe)

The expected release date it 5/12/2009.
NOTE: The beta expires on the 12th for the release of SPL's release candidate.
Any Ideas/comments please list them below.
- Brandan Tyler Lasley
NopWorks Productions Owner
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