Although this project was started by Hellzed via a thread on this forum, since he is not answering to his PMs, Iss Mneur and I decided to continue this project on our own. Hellzed, if you're reading this, please contact one of us.
So far, we have only several mock-ups on how the launcher will look like, and a ton of ideas on how will it work.
Key additions to the current launcher design:- Internationalization
- Greater control over a particular the mod by it's author (via the mod.ini file)
- Integrated install/update solutionInternationalization
The launcher will be available in multiple languages.Profiles
- A profile basically contains the status of all the options available to the user (exe, mod, video, advanced options, etc). So, if you bothered saving one profile for a certain configuration, you can just select that profile from the list and voila, everything is set to what the particular mod you want to play needs.
When you create a new profile, the launcher should ask for it's (unique) name and the option to "clone" one of the existing profiles. That way, if you have a profile for, let's say Derelict, and want to create a new profile for Blue Planet, you can base the new profile on the existing Derelict profile and modify just the selected mod and one or two options if needed, save the profile and have a BP profile with just a few clicks.
- The launcher should ask you to save a profile if you made changes to it, when exiting and switching profiles (just as your ordinary text editor: "Do you want to save the changes to <profilename> before exiting?" Yes, No, Cancel).
- There should be one profile named "default" that is used to save the settings when using the launcher for just one mod/TC to avoid forcing you to name a profile on startup, when none is found in the configuration file. The "Always save default" check-box (intended to be named "Always save default profile" but left to "Always save default" due to not enough space on the mock-up) forces the launcher to save the default profile when exiting or switching profiles without asking - kinda replicating how the current launcher is working ATM.Control over your own mod
Via the mod.ini, a mod author can skin the launcher window to some extent, force flags to be always on and disallow certain flags from being used. Also, a mod author can mark some flags as being recommended (but not mandatory). These flags will be marked by the launcher on the advanced settings page. The exact details are still being worked onInstall/Update integrated
With the help of a central content server, the launcher can keep track of news, new releases and available updates to your existing files. Updating will translate to downloading only the changed files, or a patch, if available. As for how all these things will happen, we're still working on it
Now, without further ado, these are the mock-ups so far:
Welcome pageMod selection pageBasic settings page
The basic settings page concatenates all the configuration tabs except the "features" one from the current launcher. It also adds the option for proxy servers.*I KNOW*
the binary selection mechanism is missing from this page, but it will be there on the actual launcher. Advanced settings pageInstall/update page
Other things of interest that the launcher will contain:
- Option to remove a mod via right-clicking
- An on-screen indicator when updates are available
- A status bar (below the main window) for messages of minor importance to the user
- Ability to download updates in the background and keep playing the game at the same time
- The proverbial "more"
Anyone else interested in joining the project? We could use a graphic artist to create some images for the launcher.
And in case you missed the essence of this post.... we're looking for feedback
. (what's good, what sucks, better ideas, etc)