Launcher Improvements

Feedback on past, current, and future development.
Post Reply
TheGrimblade
Posts: 20
Joined: 04 Aug 2017, 01:49
Github profile: https://github.com/thegrimblade

Launcher Improvements

Post by TheGrimblade » 09 Oct 2018, 23:06

Feel free to point me to the relevant thread if this has already been brought up, but I wanted to make a couple of requests/suggestions aimed primarily at post 1.0 improvements to the launcher.

1. I would like to see the OpenMW launcher have an option to launch external executables (similar to how Mod Organizer does so) from a drop down menu. In the case of ModOrganizer, this was used to do things like launching the base game, launching the script extender version of the game, launching a load order optimization tool, etc. In this case, I see the potential use cases of launching the vanilla morrowind (game or launcher), launching OpenMW, or later launching the OpenMW equivalent of other games. I am guessing that tes3mp will eventually merge with OpenMW, but it would also be nice to be able to launch tes3mp or the server browser from one place.

2. GUI .ini/.cfg editor. This does not seem like a huge deal right now, but as the dehardcoding begins, I imagine that a great number of new options will become available or accessible via config files. I know a lot of things will probably want to be kept out of reach for the average user, but in either case, I think it is possible that the .cfg files could grow and begin to include new settings that were not part of vanilla Morrowind. In these cases, having a GUI would allow the implementation of tooltips describing various options within the .cfg files.

3. Advanced graphics settings outside of the game. This isn't such a big deal now either, but as additional graphics options are added as the engine continues to improve, it would be nice to be able to set graphics settings outside of the game, while making modifications to .cfg files.

In addition to these improvements, I am split as to whether this should be implemented here or as a separate program, but it would be nice to get an OpenMW specific mod manager. This has been discussed before, but Nexus Mod Manager is open source, and Vortex, Nexus' new Mod Manager is GPL-3 licensed. Mod Organizer is also open source.

I had a couple other minor changes I'd like to see added at some point down the line as well:
Scalable GUI elements
Rename Content Lists
Tooltips for warnings in Data Files
Hide inactive in Data Files
Basic load order suggestions in Data Files
Remove Play tab and move the bottom bar to the top of the launcher.
Remove close button on said bar
Detect native resolution

I'm no programming whiz, but I'd be willing to take a shot at a couple of these with some help.

Chris
Posts: 1497
Joined: 04 Sep 2011, 08:33

Re: Launcher Improvements

Post by Chris » 09 Oct 2018, 23:25

TheGrimblade wrote:
09 Oct 2018, 23:06
1. I would like to see the OpenMW launcher have an option to launch external executables (similar to how Mod Organizer does so) from a drop down menu. In the case of ModOrganizer, this was used to do things like launching the base game, launching the script extender version of the game, launching a load order optimization tool, etc. In this case, I see the potential use cases of launching the vanilla morrowind (game or launcher), launching OpenMW, or later launching the OpenMW equivalent of other games. I am guessing that tes3mp will eventually merge with OpenMW, but it would also be nice to be able to launch tes3mp or the server browser from one place.
I'd imagine the main issue there would be the configuration is tied specifically to OpenMW. Presuming you could run an external executable like vanilla Morrowind, it wouldn't reflect the current mod selection or settings. You'd just as well have a link on your desktop to click. With Mod Organizer, it can make the executed process see the "VFS" it creates for the game (i.e. it sees the game data folder as if all the installed mods were collected into that, even though they're actually kept separate for easier cleanup and sorting), while OpenMW handles its VFS internally, no trickery in the launcher.
2. GUI .ini/.cfg editor. This does not seem like a huge deal right now, but as the dehardcoding begins, I imagine that a great number of new options will become available or accessible via config files.
The other way around, actually. As dehardcoding begins, certain config options will become deprecated as mods are expected to take over handing of various features.
In addition to these improvements, I am split as to whether this should be implemented here or as a separate program, but it would be nice to get an OpenMW specific mod manager. This has been discussed before, but Nexus Mod Manager is open source, and Vortex, Nexus' new Mod Manager is GPL-3 licensed. Mod Organizer is also open source.
IIRC, there's a Mod Organizer plugin to generate openmw config settings for the data paths and content file selection. Not quite the same thing as proper game support, but it's at least something.
Basic load order suggestions in Data Files
Integration with something like mlox would be nice.

TheGrimblade
Posts: 20
Joined: 04 Aug 2017, 01:49
Github profile: https://github.com/thegrimblade

Re: Launcher Improvements

Post by TheGrimblade » 10 Oct 2018, 00:01

I'd imagine the main issue there would be the configuration is tied specifically to OpenMW. Presuming you could run an external executable like vanilla Morrowind, it wouldn't reflect the current mod selection or settings. You'd just as well have a link on your desktop to click. With Mod Organizer, it can make the executed process see the "VFS" it creates for the game (i.e. it sees the game data folder as if all the installed mods were collected into that, even though they're actually kept separate for easier cleanup and sorting), while OpenMW handles its VFS internally, no trickery in the launcher.
When I originally considered this potential feature, I was not thinking about running the same config setting, I was thinking of literally just using it as a launcher (similar to how you can launch all of your games from Steam) to keep things organized. I also imagined launching the Morrowind launcher being more useful than launching the actual Morrowind executable for this reason. In either case, minor suggestion looking toward the post 1.0, simply for quality of life.
The other way around, actually. As dehardcoding begins, certain config options will become deprecated as mods are expected to take over handing of various features.
In reading through the comments on a previous change to the launcher, I noted a similar design philosophy of wanting to remove advanced settings from the user post 1.0 (see zini's response): https://github.com/OpenMW/openmw/pull/1 ... -362933302
and I imagine most things uncovered by dehardcoding would fall into this realm. I wanted to get a more detailed explanation behind this thought process. Personally, I am a fan of programs like BethINI (https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/69787) and Fallout 4 Configuration Tool (https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/102) which expose more settings to the user in a user friendly GUI. I think there is a place for giving users access to some additional (but maybe not all) settings via the launcher. I can understand why you wouldn't want to add some features though. I am a bit puzzled that you say some configs options would be removed though. The user has to install mods manually for them to take effect, so not all users will have those changes in place. So, you would need to have the ability to change at least the vanilla config (I would think). Wouldn't it make sense to have settings available, and then, if a mod changes that setting or circumvents that setting by going lower level into the previously hardcoded setting, use a flag to let the launcher know to make the setting unavailable? Also, one last thing on this subject, I am not suggesting that we keep the advanced settings made available by Thunderforge's PR, but rather that the settings that are already there and any other settings that may be seen as appropriate could be modified. And, this would probably be inside some kind of advanced features tab, ideally.
Integration with something like mlox would be nice.
mlox is written in Python. Is the launcher written in Python as well? I saw a mention of Qt, but not PyQt. There might be some extra work in that. I don't know for sure though.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest