LiveView (beta)
Started by Tig
Tig Rep. 1554
#1   07 Nov 2020
The LiveVIew (beta) system is up for a number of people now.

This system is designed to allow you to preview a map in your browser. This is not perfect, not as smooth as playing the game in a native client side engine. You are loading and playing Q3A in your web browser. The LiveView system is not designed to replace a client side engine. It is purely an enhancement for ..::LvL.

The first load can take a bit of time as data needs to be downloaded, but the next load should be a lot quicker. The data is cached on the browser. If the engine has been updated (which will happen a bit until it is stable) you may be required to download the data files again.

The maps can be jittery when moving around. There are some workarounds that help. Making your browser window smaller is possibly the best option. You may be required to press CTRL+R or F5 to reload after you have resized the window.

Some feedback and requests:

  • Keep config setting.
  • Improve or remove the jitters when moving.
  • Enable the option to load bots (bots have been disabled as they degraded the performance too much).
  • Enable the hud (was originally disabled to give more of a preview feel).
Please post suggestions, feedback and errors below.
Mapsking Rep. 361
#2   07 Nov 2020
One suggestion I mentioned that may have been missed, is to start the default in spectator mode, as it is designed to preview a map. Personally, adding bots and showing the HUD are not relevant, if it is designed only/primarily as a map viewer. That way, the focus is on loading the map, flying around it, by default, and seeing if you want to download it. However, it is also nice to be able to run around in the map itself, but with jitter/latency, it may not be feasible. It is better to do one thing well (preview maps live), rather than ten things poorly.
megamind Rep. 30
#3   11 Nov 2020
It might be cool to move around and use jumppads, but not be able to pick up items, so you can always see where they are placed. Similar to spectator mode, maybe even remove the hidden gun firing. Anyway, Add Bot menu is working again.
raspatan Rep. 4451
#4   12 Nov 2020
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.
megamind Rep. 30
#5   13 Nov 2020
@raspatan Good suggestions, E+ has options for adding an overlay for additional instructions, it would be cool to look at modifying the game code and menu code. The screenshot and mouse sensitivity should be an easy fix, as well as binding a new key to menu, maybe tilde ~ for main menu and long press ~ for console.
raspatan Rep. 4451
#6   13 Nov 2020
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 ( 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.
So congrats!
Edited 1.7 minutes after the original posting.
Mapsking Rep. 361
#7   13 Nov 2020
Good suggestions. I personally hate using Chrome, and would rather not use it unless I absolutely have to. I also had experienced some graphical issues, such as with resolution, and the UI being stretched on the left half of the screen. One suggestion might possibly be a dialog box that comes up , with simple settings, like resolution, gametype, mouse sensitivity, and possibly windowed/fullscreen BEFORE the map is loaded, then uses whatever settings are chosen. This would allow to view different layouts of maps, and ones that support FFA and CTF, for example. Also, maybe I am wrong, and don't take me wrong here, but I personally feel this is designed more to preview what a map looks like, so it isn't really practical to aim at getting the full in-game experience. There are so many variables, at least at this point, that I think it should be more focused on the average user that wants to see what a map looks like, and less about playing in the browser. Anyone looking on LvLWorld for Q3 maps probably already has OA or Q3 installed anyways, and many people do not know about, or want to mess with setting configs every time (especially since they are not remembered anyways.) For example, the jump button I use is not the default button, so every time I use the tool to test a map, the first thing I have to do is run round, wonder why I can't jump, and then go mess with the Q3 UI, and try to change it or fix it. That part is not very user friendly. Sometimes less is more, and I think this may be a good example of that.

"Map XYZ? Click here to see what it looks like", and leave it at that. Also, not sure of the customizability or practicality of it, but maybe an option to go back to LvL after done?

This might also be a lot more work, maybe Tig has a script or something, but one feature which might be cool for previewing maps, is to automatically load a demo file of someone playing it, to demonstrate what it looks like. Not sure of the practical ins and outs, or if possible, just a thought.

raspatan Rep. 4451
#8   14 Nov 2020
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.
megamind Rep. 30
#9   14 Nov 2020
@Mapsking I like the demo idea, I was tossing around that idea with the Pan (from worldspawn), basically using some features from q3 MME (movie maker edition) to create camera splines like football games on TV. And generating some kind of 3D demo from that. It's a little more complicated than just using Spectator mode. Maybe a combination of adding a few bots and spectating? But at that point, the author might as well just make a youtube video of the map.
arcan770077f Rep. 30
#10   23 Nov 2020
Hey @Tig is the LiveView still in beta? I'm checking this thread every few days. Hoping to see it in prod soon.
Tig Rep. 1554
#11   23 Nov 2020
@arcan770077f : LiveView is active now for all members that are signed in. There is a link on the Media and the Review pages for supported maps. Note: you do need to be on a desktop PC.
themuffinator Rep. 1048
#12   23 Nov 2020
@Tig: Finally gave this a try. The jitters really are bad - I think it's because quakejs runs on the old ioq3 renderer2 which is painfully unoptimized. Strangely enough I get some random missing textures, too.
Interesting to see how this develops, if we get a fork up on github I might have something to contribute. I assume a stripped-bare Q3 with the sole purpose of loading and rendering maps and map items would be the ideal end point?
megamind Rep. 30
#13   24 Nov 2020
@themuffinator Github is here, what is in master should be pretty close to the version that is live. I agree with the renderer2 sentiment wholly, and doing a Performance recording says most of the time is spent in DrawElements(). It is based on Quake3e (some cvars moved). I tried to switch to renderer1 but there are some emulated GL emscripten overlaps that I don't understand, and I'm severely lacking on my renderer writing skills. GUNNM from the recent Oculus port did some work on porting to Quake3e but "got stuck on ARB functions". I would be overjoyed if anyone was willing to take a look at optimizing the renderer. Perhaps even taking from Spearmint or RBQuake or Daemon and putting in the Quake3e or original QuakeJS context, I would gladly drop it in as a replacement. Pull Requests welcomed, but I sorta muddied QuakeJS in terms of goals (e.g. working on a multi-QVM loader for web and native right now).

If you have a map example of missing textures I will try to update the manifest. It is mostly an automated process, but there is still some hard coded stuff I don't have a good fix for.

raspatan Rep. 4451
#14   26 Nov 2020
Just checking. RA3 maps are not supported in LiveView?
Tig Rep. 1554
#15   27 Nov 2020
At this stage I have switched off support for RA3 maps. Currently you would land in the common room but would not be able to progress to the different areas.
Takkie Rep. 1778
#16   01 Jan 2021
I really like the liveview. It works ok on my macbook air. On small maps there is not much lag and i got a couple of minutes to check the level out.
This is my 'customer' experience. I visit ..::lvl because i love q3. I click on a map i want to check out. Hmmm, looks interesting and then i go into LiveView. Now i enter the game as a player and i get the feeling i can actually play the map/game online at ..::lvl. (i almost feel the urge to drop down the console and type /addbot sarge 4).
I don't think that would be the right intention of the LiveView. Perhaps it would be better, if possible, to start the map in spectator mode. So you can fly around the map, check the locations out, check item placement and see which comments make sense etc. Then you dl the level and get the 'real deal'.
Maybe even a no_clip option with a ' spoiler alert' warning to check the easter eggs and/or bugs in some maps...
Edit/add: after reading the previous comments made here (Sry for haven't done that before posting my comment) I stand even more strongly by only supporting only spectator mode. Else you will end up improving upon the engine to enhance the gameplay experience. Maybe spectator mode and adding bots to see them battle it out a map might be cool (even to record a little demo/vid) .
Edited 4.05 hours after the original posting.
Tig Rep. 1554
#17   02 Jan 2021
A request has been sent off to megamind to see if this is possible to switch over to spectator mode by default.

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