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quack

is it lame to have a screen prefs menu outside your prg?

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Is it lame to have a screen prefs menu outside your program? I mean I could put it in the game but I didn''t want to have any kinda technical advanced stuff inside the game.(nor have that click of the CRT) I want it to be like an arcade game where all you do is press start. I wanna stay tru to the cause but I would like the opinion of the tru playas.

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I don''t think it''s lame. I''ve seen a lot of games that have a game.exe and a config.exe or setup.exe. The best way to handle this would be to call your setup.exe at the beginning of your game.exe. That way you would always get the setup screen at the beginning of your game.

Sander Maréchal
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I say it is far better to be able to configure a game (especially video and audio prefs) from outside... I''ve tried to play a game that would exit immediately, complaining about an incompatible screen mode, and nowhere could I find a way to change the in-game resolution.

I''ve also played a game where, to quickly get in and turn down the texture detail, I had to beat a specific run-time texture load in the running-in-background intro sequence (I was running on an 8MB Voodoo2 card and the game would load a specific huge title-screen texture at run-time, causing a dump-out of some other textures, and thus causing texture corruption that would make the menu unreadable and the game unplayable).

I much prefer having a full configuration _available_ outside the game. For recent commercially-released references, see Max Payne, Drakan:OrderOfTheFlame, anything made using the LithTech engine (No-One Lives Forever, Shogo:MobileArmourDivision, Blood2:TheChosen)...

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i like it when you can change the settings from within the game, or use a configuration file (or an outside program) to set default settings. but, i don''t know what would be best for your app.

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i would prefer to have an in-game advanced settings menu, but an usual one (change resolution, 3 levels of detail kind of..);
for "advanced users", meaning users that can interpret the changes an outside-game settings menu will be nice too - here the player could choose the 3d driver (opengl, dx), the texture size and so on..
this outside-of-the-game menu will start from other app (aka. game2.exe or gameSetup.exe ...)
that''s it
bye guys

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Yeah, both is best.

Given that you''re doing it arcade-game stylee, I''d recommend sticking with an external config program for the game *environment* - that is, the screen mode, texture detail, etc - because you''re not going to need to change them much.

Gameplay settings, on the other hand - difficulty level, and things like sound volume - I''d say you should put in the game, because players are more likely to want to change them, and should''t have to exit the game completely to run a seperate program.

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates, and when he''s not doing that, runs The Binary Refinery.

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quote:
Original post by superpig
Yeah, both is best.

Given that you''re doing it arcade-game stylee, I''d recommend sticking with an external config program for the game *environment* - that is, the screen mode, texture detail, etc - because you''re not going to need to change them much.

Gameplay settings, on the other hand - difficulty level, and things like sound volume - I''d say you should put in the game, because players are more likely to want to change them, and should''t have to exit the game completely to run a seperate program.



a very good compromise! thanks all for the ideas. I''m going only to have the screen mode set outside the game.




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I prefer an external option, but if you go with an internal one just be sure to provide your user with some type of command line switch (mygame.exe /reset) to reset all options to defaults.

Here''s an example of why. You have a user with a great video card and 21 inch monitor. They crank the resolution up to 1600x1200. Then their fancy 21" monitor breaks down. While they wait for repairs they plug in the 15" they had sitting in a corner. Guess what? They can''t even see the menu to reset their resolution to something lower.

Either

a) Force the configuration menu (internal or external)
to display at 640x480 so you know it will always work, or
b) Provide a command-line argument for resetting stuff.

My $.02

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What I would do is make a setup program outside the game to setup your basic settings such as reso bit depth, sound driver and more advanced options. But in the game have the basic sound volume, gamma, maybe keyboard controls.

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Wow, interesting thread. (BTW I don''t think it''s lame.)
I''ve been wondering about this. What do most commercial games do?

If you *don''t* have the external setup menu, how can you be sure to initially set the resolution correctly? Would you need to run at 640 X 480 the first time, then make users switch it from an in-game menu to get higher resolutions?

Another thing is, couldn''t the external menu be run once and save the settings? I don''t see why you have to ask after the first time, providing they haven''t changed graphics cards..

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I know that everquest has an *.ini file where you can change various run time/load time options (screen mode/bpp/loading of specific textures and such/placement of objects) and it has an in game "Configuration" Panel with different opitions for various aspect of the game.


And of course upon loading up there are several buttons
"Connect"
"blah"
"blah"
"Options" and inside options you can yet again change load time options (mipmap/static lights/which models to load(SoL+)"


~

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quote:
Original post by Zern
I know that everquest has an *.ini file where you can change various run time/load time options (screen mode/bpp/loading of


Microsoft has banned the use of INI files. All programs that uses it must be destroyed. (I had to say that just in case MS is reading this) Now it seems MS want to keep programs from using the Registry with .Net what''s up yo!

like everyone said forcing 640x400 then switching from isn''t too cool, especially if some peoples with those classy LCD monitors get all wack looking at that mode.




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quote:
Original post by quack
Microsoft has banned the use of INI files. All programs that uses it must be destroyed. (I had to say that just in case MS is reading this) Now it seems MS want to keep programs from using the Registry with .Net what''s up yo!

like everyone said forcing 640x400 then switching from isn''t too cool, especially if some peoples with those classy LCD monitors get all wack looking at that mode.




*gasp* Destroy EverCrack? ARE YOU ON DRUGS SON? lol


On a serious note, yes *.ini are obsolete and programs should now use the Registery but tell me this, your average person that only knows how to fire up an application by double clicking on it and going from there - which would be easiser for them to edit? a simple *ini file or searching through keys in the registery and faced with DWORD/Binary/Etc values for each of these keys they can set (or corrupt if they decided to play around with) just my two cents.

~

P.S. Serious about that Destroy EverCrack statement though!!!! haha

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"Microsoft has banned the use of INI files."

Come on, really?!? Thats so lame, isn''t an .INI just a .TXT really?
They better not be able to stop you from using .TXT''s

What if I call mine INZ or something else? but it is just like a .INI they can''t stop you from that now can they?

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Here is what I''d do. Make the setup.exe. This would unpack everyting for you. Then, make a utility.exe. This would have all the configs and source code. And make the game.exe which defines utility.exe. So, i would do it how you mentioned.

Scott

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I think what was really meant was that MS promotes using the registry over ini files.

However, IMHO, the Registry is a really bad invention, and I like the ini file stuff better.
E.g. if you have to re-install windows, you have to reinstall all programs because they save their data to the registry, and some don''t start or behave strangely. That sucks.

I think the program preferences should be kept together with the rest of the program.
A more modern alternative to ini files would be xml files.

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