I agree the tool should not distract from the main point: get a quick feeling of the map. In this case the best solution might be to nudge users toward that goal by starting the map as spectator by default. This minimises ptonential nuances with mouse, keyboard, full screen and so on. Users might join the game if they want to through the in-game menu.
I forgot to say my congratulations for the new feature. It will be an excellent addition. It is particularly helpful to give a glance at maps that have low number of votes AND low rating. There might be some maps that happen to have a bad review or votes, discouraging later users. I found one already using this live preview and imo it is very good (lvlworld.com/review/id:611). It might also be helpful to allow for quick revisions of maps which number of votes are below the needed threshold to appear in the overall ranking (10), a bit of a gray area of the site.
Edited 1.7 minutes after the original posting.
Hi there. Tried with Chrome and it is indeed much much faster. But some issues remain.
- I was not able to get the console in Chrome. Usual key didn't do anything (it did in Firefox).
- Since ESC is the key from browser to recover control of mouse from the game, and also the key to call the in-game menu, pressing ESC to get menu (which must be done TWICE) means you return to the range of movement allowed by your desktop screen, range of movement can be limited. The range actually depends on multiple things like: mouse sensitivity in desktop, mouse sensitivity in game, screen size. Some users might experience that they cannot get to every item of the menu with the mouse, depending on their config. I would warn about this. If you want to know what I mean, change the in game sensitivity to 1 and check the in-game menu. "Solution" is to have high sensitivity, but I actually advice the contrary below, for better gameplay experience.
- F11 is the command in both Firefox and Chrome to get full screen (notice it reloads the map). It is cool to use it! BUT, F11 takes a screenshot in-game. I would remove that config from q3config to avoid spamming browser folder with images. Also I would recommend users to use F11 option!
- BUT... there is a difference... In Firefox, while in F11 mode, you can go up and temporarily see the tab bar by moving the mouse to the top of the screen. In Chrome you cannot (you need to press F11 again). The difference is huge because if you are in the in-game menu in Firefox, you can hit that top screen and the game will reload. This is VERY annoying. I suggest you try it. Firefox + F11 + in-game menu. I don't think there is nothing you can do here. Only option is to warn users and tell them to prefer Chrome.
- Sometimes, like above, when using ESC to bring menu, and then back into the game, player moved automatically to the left. Couldn't reproduce this manually but happen at least twice. Had to tried with ESC and right click several times to stop automatic movement.
- I would lower the mouse sens. Default is 5, which is too high. I doubt anyone ever played with that sense. Pro players play with a ridiculously low one. Perhaps something in-between, like 3.5? Problem is range of movement though, as stated above. But I think 5 is too high to be a good experience.
- load everything before entering the map. Currently textures are not fully loaded. I rather wait a few second to have a smooth experience than start early but with half of textures. It gives a better first impression imo.
- I would remove almost everything from the in-game menu, to keep it simple. Only leave "start game" (o allow spectator mode), "add/remove bots" (I do have some doubts about this, since you want people to actually download the map), "setup" and "exit". Nothing else, particularly not the "leave arena" option.
- Personalise server name shown when loading to Lvl Live preview or something like that, with nice colours! Maybe add a welcome message too? (not sure if Vanilla Q3 allows these features though).
- Gametype seems always to be FFA. Some maps have different layouts in Tourney than FFA. Or you cannot grab the flag. It makes little difference in many maps but perhaps change gametype depending on maps' default?
Finally, when the feature go live, as said above, I would explain clearly all and give instructions and suggestions, like control of mouse, full screen, console, ESC menu, movement keys being the "standard ones" (ASDW + space bar for jump), and strong preference for Chrome.
Edited 3.65 minutes after the original posting.
Does it work in Q3? Also, about your other maps. Why not make a Q3 version?
Tig, what other testing would be most useful to you? Different maps? Different browsers?
Hey, good feature! I tried in Firefox, in decent laptop (not a gaming one) and it was decent FPS but not great.
Tried a small map and took longish to load but it was worth the wait as you could actually see the map from the inside without downloading. The ingame menu (º key) worked fine and seems to me most commands work. I changed some settings (mouse sensitivity, fov, draw item, etc), added a bot, and tested the map with bots (imgur.com/3TtjYqL). You can also control the game settings with Setup menu and even exit to the game menu and reload the map (no other map seems to be available).
So all seems very nice. My only minor point is that the add bot option from the in-game menu (Esc key) is disabled but you can easily add them with the console (addbot...), or through leaving the arena. Maybe you want to enable that option? Is it better for people to try a map with bots or not? What is your aim? Maybe people will get distracted playing? Maybe people will remember how nice Q3 is? Not sure.
In any case, very nice feature! I think this might be particularly useful for maps which you are not convinced of downloading or not. It might hopefully increase retention too, to the site and to the game!
Edited 1.05 minutes after the original posting.