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Old 06-15-2006, 11:08 AM   #1
CombatGold1

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Talking WinDuke3DMenu
Duke Nukem 3D for Windows Menu

This is a front end program to JonoF's Duke Nukem 3D port and EDuke32. It provides a graphical interface where you can select a game / add-on, various settings, and start up Duke 3D with them. It eliminates the requirement to create batch files, shortcuts, or manually have to type in commands each time you load Duke 3D with different parameters.

There is also a HTML document included containing a list of all the episodes and levels, numbered and named to help you choose on the "Start on episode/level" option.

Please visit the official information page for screenshots and a download of the latest version.


Make sure you read the readme file for installation and help (if the program isn't simple enough).

Noteable Features
  • Advanced game configuration management supporting multiple groups to be loaded in a specific order.
  • Many game on launch parameters.
  • Groups, zips, cons, and maps can be loaded from subfolders easily.
  • Multiplayer startup support, including bots.
  • Nice clean interface, including optional balloon tips for help.
  • Everything you do is saved for next time.
  • Easy update checking!
  • HTML episode and level reference guide.
  • HTML help file, containing all the information you could require to use this program.
Please let me know what you think It appears some of you have been waiting for a program like this for a while.
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Last edited by CombatGold1 on 2 Dec 2003 09:53; edited 541978961291 times in total.
Last edited by TerminX; 02-03-2008 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:14 AM   #2
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Like I said before, cool program. I also was wondering why the add-ons aren't mentioned under one single header?
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:16 AM   #3
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
I decided to split up the official and 3rd party add-ons.

In the future, those 5 "3rd party add-ons" option buttons may become a list, where you'll be able to add your own preset game configurations. That will eliminate the need for the "custom game" bit at the bottom too.
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:21 AM   #4
Iggy

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
I don't quite understand why Caribbean and Nuclear Winter are considered as official add-ons while Duke it out in D.C. isn't. Caribbean and D.C. are from the same creator, Sunstorm Interactive, and I know that Nuclear Winter certainly isn't from 3D Realms.
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:40 AM   #5
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
DC was? Sorry, I had no idea lol. Guess I didn't look at who made the expansions when I got them years ago.

I only discovered duke it out in DC about 2 days ago :s I always thought Caribbean and Nuclear Winter were by 3D Realms.
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:45 AM   #6
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Just found out, Nuclear Winter is made by SillySoft.
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:06 PM   #7
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Nice program.

Perhaps you could merge it with the sob-bot program?
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:07 PM   #8
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
I won't get a chance to try this until later. But in the meantime, I wonder: (1) Does it work with eDuke32?, and (2) Can it be used to load zips, or do we still have to put those in the command lines of our shortcuts?
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:11 PM   #9
CombatGold1

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy
Just found out, Nuclear Winter is made by SillySoft.
Okay... updated the layout for 0.2.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by lycanox
Nice program.

Perhaps you could merge it with the sob-bot program?
Thanks. I'll have to look into Sob-bot first. The name rings a bell though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeperThought
I won't get a chance to try this until later. But in the meantime, I wonder: (1) Does it work with eDuke32?, and (2) Can it be used to load zips, or do we still have to put those in the command lines of our shortcuts?
I've not optimized it for eDuke32 nope. I don't even know what eDuke32 is entirely, but I'm guessing it's another port? Also, no it can't load ZIP's (yet).

I only made the program yestoday to build up a command line thanks for the suggestions though. I'd like this program to be very feature rich, need to gather what sort of features you all want.




Keep sending your feature requests, providing they aren't insanely difficult to impliment. Thanks for the feedback so far
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Last edited by CombatGold1; 06-15-2006 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:21 PM   #10
Iggy

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
EDuke32 is basically jfDuke3D but with enhanced features, especially usefull for Mod and TC-authors (some usermaps also require it). EDuke32's author should also be wandering around here.
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:22 PM   #11
Tea Monster

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Thank you for this great util. I'm at work, I'll check it out when I get home.

You will need support for eduke as it is currently the most advanced port.
Jonof and TerminX share code, and eduke is for supposedly for mods, but it is released more often than Jonofs port and it currently has more features and fixes.

Zip support would be good as the HRP is released as a zip file and it would make it much easier if you could load mods from a particular zip file.
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Old 06-15-2006, 02:12 PM   #12
lycanox

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Eduke just runs fine, Just remember to rename Eduke32.exe to duke3d.exe.

Perhaps you should make an option where you can select the *.exe file.
This would work even if the version number on the name changes.
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Old 06-15-2006, 04:49 PM   #13
CombatGold1

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Ah, are eduke32.exe's parameters the same as duke3d.exe's? If someone could post me a dump of: eduke32.exe /? I'd be most greatful. If they are the same, I could simply make an option button.

What's with these ZIP files then? If my utility is going to allow ZIP mods, must they be extracted to the Duke 3D folder first? Are they kept there after the game quits?
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Old 06-15-2006, 05:18 PM   #14
DeeperThought

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
.zips can be loaded via command line just like other files, as in:

/gduke3d_hrp.zip

No, they aren't extracted first, thank goodness. The parameters should be identical to JonoF's port, maybe with a few additions.
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:13 PM   #15
CombatGold1

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Ah, Duke3D handles it? Even easier

Just so you all know, the next version will be a day or two yet. I'm rebuilding the project in VB.Net (using Visual Studio 2005 Professional). So far it's proving far better than Visual Basic 6.

Also coming in 0.3.0:
  • Preset games system, with data stored in a datafile. Such properties for each game will include it's name, group file, con file, and most likely zip file.
  • Launching a custom map.
  • Tabbed form, so the form won't grow too big.
  • Saved form states in the user registry.
  • Tick box to close my application when you launch the game / map editor.
  • Two file application, just the program and the episode/level web page (thanks to VS2005 Pro).

I'll look into supporting eDuke32 once I look it's parameter list.

I'm also considering how I should be storing presets. I have a number of options (text file, binary file, excel sheet, access database).

Anywayz, more on this tomorrow. I'm tierd; going to bed
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:24 PM   #16
DeeperThought

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatGold1
Ah, Duke3D handles it? Even easier
...By which you mean that the source ports (JonoF and eDuke32) handle it. The original Duke3d game from 199X does not, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatGold1
I'll look into supporting eDuke32 once I look it's parameter list.
Probably all you need to do is allow the launching application to be named "eDuke32.exe".

Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatGold1
I'm also considering how I should be storing presets. I have a number of options (text file, binary file, excel sheet, access database).
Text might be the best, because that way we can update it without any special knowledge or software.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:03 AM   #17
datahead

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
well, i geuss i started makin mine at the wrong time. i aswell am using vs 2005
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Old 06-16-2006, 05:35 PM   #18
CombatGold1

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Just thought I'd let you know how things are going with version 0.3:

Game Tab
Nicer way of selecting games. Key items are support for eDuke32 and ZIP files Saving games should be handy too.

Options Tab
Not much different here. A little cleaner, and support for starting on custom maps (should be handy for multiplayer games).

Multiplayer Tab
Again, just a little cleaner. No new settings, or support for peer-to-peer games (do you really want that anyway?).

Launch Tab
First thing to notice is the 4 large icons to launch the programs. I think they look pretty sweet (yes, I made them myself). Being able to launch the game folder too might be handy, and the ability to close the launcher when a program is launched.

About Form
About form is a little better. The key thing here is the update checking; it works It's completely bound on my home website at the moment, so bandwidth may be sucky. Anyway, if I decide to change that, you can get it through the update check anyway


As you can see, the whole interface is much cleaner. Everything you do will be stored (cleanly) in the registry, so the launcher looks exactly the same next time you open it.

Programming in VB.net has turned out far better than using VB6 (which 0.2.2 was made in). I've had Visual Studio 2005 Professional off my college for a while now, I should have started using it earlier

I'm not sure if I'll be able to get 0.3 out by tomorrow, I've got an 8 hour shift at work. I'll be pretty bored on sunday anyway, so I may have it done sunday evening.
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:14 PM   #19
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
I don't really understand why so many people fail to capitalize the "E" in "EDuke32". Otherwise, good work.
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:20 PM   #20
CombatGold1

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerminX
I don't really understand why so many people fail to capitalize the "E" in "EDuke32". Otherwise, good work.
Because one person did it, and everyone else copies them.

I thought it WAS eDuke32, because I've seen so many people use that name. I've not downloaded EDuke32 to know otherwise.
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Last edited by CombatGold1; 06-16-2006 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:40 PM   #21
DeeperThought

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerminX
I don't really understand why so many people fail to capitalize the "E" in "EDuke32". Otherwise, good work.
I'M GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY

I thought the 'e' was like the 'i' in iPod. Don't ask me why.

CombatGold1: What you're doing seriously kicks ass. Maybe you should hang around here and kick some more.
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Old 06-17-2006, 05:49 AM   #22
Iggy

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Can't wait for this to come out, I'll write something about this on Duke4Ever.net when out.
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Old 06-17-2006, 06:00 AM   #23
Parkar

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
heh, guilty of the 'e' here to.
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Old 06-17-2006, 01:52 PM   #24
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
those screens remined me of DUI
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Old 06-17-2006, 04:29 PM   #25
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Just to let you know, I'm already very close to releasing 0.3 The exact form states are saving to the registry, and getting reloaded when the program starts. If something doesn't have a setting saved, the default is properly used.

Things I have left to do:
- The "Command to execute" building. Shouldn't be too hard, most of it I can copy from 0.2.2
- Reading and writing to "GamesList.txt". The harder part.

I've already defined a format for this file:
Code:
# Duke Nukem 3D for Windows Menu
# Games configuration list.
#
# DO NOT MODIFY THIS FILE IF YOU DO NOT KNOW
# WHAT YOU ARE DOING!
#
# Format:
# Name	Group/ZIP	CON
#
# Use a TAB to seperate each item.
#
Caribbean	VACATION.GRP	VACATION.CON
Nuclear Winter	NWINTER.GRP	NWINTER.CON
Duke it out in D.C.	DC.GRP	DCGAME.CON
Duke Zone 2	DZ.GRP	DZ-GAME.CON
Penthouse Paradise	PENTHOUS.GRP	PPAKGAME.CON
The Gate	THEGATE.GRP	THEGATE.CON
Xtreme!	EX.GRP	EXGAME.CON
I was considering using an MS access database. It's far easier to read and write from VB.net. Is there serious demand for it being a text file?
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Old 06-17-2006, 05:22 PM   #26
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
I was thinking of doing a tool like this, but now I don't need to. Looks promising.
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:10 AM   #27
Iggy

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Perhaps a good idea to include this in the next HRP or as an recommended tool to use with.

I hope you can release v0.3 today.
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Old 06-18-2006, 06:24 AM   #28
CombatGold1

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Done the building command part.

All that's left is the part to read and write to the text file. I'm seriously considering using an Access database for this instead, it's alot easier to read/write to from VB.net.

Would any of you seriously object to me using a database?

After that, I just have to test this thing before I give it out.
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Old 06-18-2006, 08:55 AM   #29
Iggy

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
What kind of consequences does this have?
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Old 06-18-2006, 09:36 AM   #30
CombatGold1

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
The only downside of me using an MS Access database to store the game configuration is that you will require MS Access installed to modify it, if you don't have this utility.

You will not require MS Access to run my utility. Whether I use a text file, spreadsheet, database, or whatever, it will not change how the application uses it. You will always see the same things.
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Old 06-19-2006, 08:31 AM   #31
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Sounds good. Talking of releasing thihgs in packages, it might be cool to release it with Roma Looms GRP viewer. That is assuming the two authors are happy with this idea.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:54 AM   #32
CombatGold1

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Gah! Sorry for the late release date.

Here is why.

If anyone can help me with that, I'd be much appriciated.
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:59 AM   #33
DeeperThought

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
It looks like you are having trouble getting the text data to read into the array correctly. What if you had code that puts in default values for the array when the text file cannot be found? Then just use the default values in the initial release, and make the text file later.
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Old 06-19-2006, 01:39 PM   #34
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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
I am really looking forward to this. I haven't been able to run many mods because I can't get the blasted command line system to work with JFDuke or ED32, especially batch files
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Old 06-19-2006, 02:51 PM   #35
CombatGold1

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
I'd be more than happy to distrobute this utility with existing packages, maybe I could get it inside JonoF's port or EDuke32.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:26 PM   #36
Parkar

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatGold1
I'd be more than happy to distrobute this utility with existing packages, maybe I could get it inside JonoF's port or EDuke32.
If you intend this to be THE launcher you should contact JonoF since he has some ideas on how launching mods should be treated etc.

Once it is feature complete enough I would happily add it to the HRP.
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:12 AM   #37
CombatGold1

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
If you guys wanted it, I could release 0.3 with a default set of group/con values (same as the 5 I used in 0.2), then later on release 0.3.1 with the text file working.

At least the check for updates feature works, so it wouldn't be too much hassle checking for updates and downloading it.

You can always use any mod you like even without the games list functioning, by adding /gGROUP and /xCON in the addtional parameters box at the moment.
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:22 AM   #38
DeeperThought

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatGold1
If you guys wanted it, I could release 0.3 with a default set of group/con values (same as the 5 I used in 0.2), then later on release 0.3.1 with the text file working.
Ha! So you ended up going with my suggestion.
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Old 06-20-2006, 12:27 PM   #39
CombatGold1

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Indeed

It seems a few people want to munch on this new version. Seeing as updating is easy, I don't mind giving out a version earlier than normal without a piece.

I need to finish the games list, then I'll give it out
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Old 06-20-2006, 01:18 PM   #40
Tea Monster

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Re: WinDuke3DMenu
Sorry for replying so late to the earlier post. A text file would be great and from the look of it, rediculously easy to edit in notepad.

If it is a flat-file database it should still be editable via a text editor. The 'fields' are just comma seperated. Do you really need Access to do this? Surely if its that bad Open Office will do.

A plain text file (even if sourced from access) would make our editing MUCH MUCH MUCH easier.
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