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If you'd like to try out the Level Description Language and/or AudioQuake on modern platforms, here's the first test version of a major new release for you :-). Whilst times have moved on in terms of accessible games and mainstream game accessibility, I wanted to bring things up-to-date so at least you can still play the game - and most importantly, try out the Level Description Language (LDL).
Feedback is welcome. Here are some major changes…
New GUI launcher based on wxPython.
Level Description Language (LDL) is built in to the launcher.
Support for Quake, Open Quartz (more on that in a bit) and ‘high-contrast’ texture schemes for maps (and all AGRIP maps have been built for all three ways to play).
Support for QMODs has been reinstated since the previous beta from years ago (and the GUI is massively improved since then, too).
It’s much easier to build AQ yourself because the build system has been completely rewritten and the documentation updated. Even on Windows it can compile the engine for you automatically, without the need for you to use the Visual Studio GUI. (You still can, and you still need to install some build tools from Microsoft; the documentation has all the info.)
The user and development manuals have been edited and brought up-to-date (though I'm still working on the multiplayer section of the user manual, but wanted to start by getting this beta out now things are working well).
I would be really interested in your thoughts on the Level Description Language (LDL), simplistic as its geometry is, if you fancy having a go at that. The tutorial has many examples to help you get started, and each tutorial map, plus some examples, are included. You can give feedback via the AGRIP Google Group.
I hope to work a bit more on this and get a stable release out this year. I am not sure how often the releases will be (or need to be) after that, but as I’ve wanted to make it easier for you to access the tools and the game for some time, and finally found the time, I thought I’d give it a go. There are some things that I still want to add; an incomplete list can be found at the end of this message. Also there are some known bugs in this initial beta:
The code is not signed, for Mac nor Windows, as I don’t have developer accounts. On Windows you’ll be given a choice as to whether you want to run it. On the Mac, you would need to allow it through Gatekeeper and move it somewhere on your computer if you decide you want to run it.
The server will only run if you have the full Quake data installed. If you don't, it will just not run. On Windows this means it'll instantly disappear, which isn't very informative.
Several sounds and models are missing from Open Quartz, as a result you will get some messages about missing sounds (sometimes quite a lot of them; you can stop them from all being announced by opening and closing the console again), and LDL tutorial map 7 won't run at all. Neither may some mods (though some will be able to).
There's no Linux version, simply due to lack of development time. I have tried to keep all the new code and build system cross-platform, so it would be easy to add Linux support back in, but I have not had time (nor a regular Linux install, though I think a VM would be fine to get this working if there's sufficient demand).
I have tested the launcher with VoicOver and NVDA and it works well, though the file picker controls' textboxes don't have their own accessible names. I have tried to provide some, but haven't met with success; need to do more research on this.
There are some funny special/non-printable characters in the various manuals (user, developer and LDL tutorial) on Windows. Not sure why; working on it.
When you install the registered data on Windows, the file dialog won't actually show any files, because it's a directory selector. I was expecting the classic tree-based directory picker to be used, but it seems to've been replaced. This is a bit confusing, but it doesn't stop the thing from working - just make sure you're in the directory where pak0.pak and pak1.pak reside, and use the "Select folder" button and you'll be good to go.
Thanks for all the feedback, particularly in the AudioGames.net forum, on the first beta! We've made a number of improvements to this in light of your feedback (though we've not been able to squash all the bugs you reported -- we are working on it!) Here are the changes...
- You can now launch a server and a remote console session from the Launcher.
- We've a "key to the sounds" document on the Launcher menu.
- We have included the old documentation for AudioQuake 0.3.0.
- All documentation written by us is in HTML format now, so should be easier to navigate.
Please note that the old AudioQuake 0.3.0 documentation has not been updated to take into account the new Mac/Windows release, nor the new GUI launcher, so please ignore the parts about installation, the old command-line-based launcher and anything to do with Linux (for now). We are working on updating the documentation as soon as we can, and would suggest that if you're totally new to the game, you wait until we've been able to done that before playing.
Please remember that AudioQuake was and is a research project and not all of the Quake levels are very accessible -- however a number are, and a number of accessible multi-player levels are provided, as well as a server. Most importantly, we are working on updating and including the Level Description Language (LDL) with AudioQuake ASAP so that you can make your own maps for the game.
Please keep the feedback coming; we're doing our best to address the issues and make improvements.
We've been working hard to make AQ run on modern versions of Windows and OS X; here are the results so far. This is a beta of what was essentially the last official release of AudioQuake, but with a re-written (GUI) launcher and re-compiled engine. You no longer have to install anything; just download, unzip and run the .app (Mac) or download, unzip and run AudioQuake.exe (Windows). Please direct feedback to the AGRIP Google Group or report issues directly on GitHub. Happy fraggin'!
P.S. There may be some rough edges at the moment and we are hoping to integrate the Level Description Language into AQ releases, for easy access, soon. For now, we just want to make sure AQ still runs as expected (if not better, hopefully).