Easier to alt-tab into notepad tbh, or scribble on paper the old fashioned way. Sounds like a big ask to expect both engines and editors to support something like that.
record and talk your notes, parse them for your comments afterwards, im sure a skilled coder could bind the playerposition to your notes as well.
if only we had in-engine map editing... and that it was actually usable.
in the mean time, -condebug
t<YOUR MESSAGE HERE><enter>
then grep the qconsole.log file for your 'name: message' lines.
some engines have commands that print your current position (like 'setpos' in fte). the text of those commands will of course also be written into the qconsole.log file.
in-editor markers for those points might be nice... you might be able to make some sed script to generate enities from your points, I'm alergic to regex so lets hope its not needed. :)
hacks are fun.
Whenever testing a map I always have a notebook nearby and write down every problem. In the beginning I'll usually stop playing when I get to around 25 or so things written down to fix. I go back to the editor, make the fixes and start over.
There are things I have thought would be nice to have in the engines to help with mapping. I can't remember everything, but lately I have thought it would be nice to have fullbright surfaces disabled (not drawn) when r_lightmap 1 is used. Water and lava always get in the way of seeing what's below. You can noclip outside the map, but your view is still limited.
Another nice thing, for taking screenshots from outside the map, would be the ability to disable drawing of the sky.
I know there are other things I've wished for, but that's all I can think of right now.
in the game i'm workin on there's nice feature: when in game you make a screenshot of the problem, then drag'n'drop it into the editor and editor tries to move to the same coordinates where screenshot was taken in its 3dview.
That would be easy to do with TIFF tags or EXIF tags for JPG/PNG. Not sure it would be useful in a game with maps as small as in Quake though.
"Hmmm I've taken this screenshot of a level that I'm currently building but I can't for the life of me remember where I built this area..."
Is literally a problem that never happens in Quake mapping.
We had this on Gears and it was super useful. We had a command that would spit out your position, rotation, screenshot and a note you could type in. Later, the editor would drop little markers in the editor so you could warp to each spot. Made iterations times a lot faster during the bug hunt before shipping.
Hehe, tbh, just taking screenshots of the areas where you got a problem would probably be enough for a game like Quake.
Bring down console, type
say [write your notes here]
Then you've got your notes added to your screenshot without needing to leave quake.
I prefer pen and paper as well.
Taking screenshots will take you longer than just scrawling a note for yourself on a pad. Ideally you want to make your level design pipeline faster, not slower...
What I have done in the past is modify the qc to do more DPrints. So when you've got obvious logic errors the game complains about them more.
Most mods don't bother with this, and Quake doesn't have that many either. The usual logic errors like a button not pointing at anything or what have you.
If you keep your .map files in /maps/ (I do! Radiant likes them there), it shouldn't be that difficult for a Quake engine to write some 'info_note' entities to that level's .map file that records camera position and rotation along with a message. From there, you'd want some editor support that recognizes the .map was changed externally, reopens it, and can nicely tab through all the notes.
But what I think would be more useful: what about an engine that lets you edit entities in engine? You wouldn't be able to do things that require compilation like redoing lighting or resizing brushmodels, but you could plop down enemies, move them, and modify properties on doors and lifts, and the .map and .bsp could be updated for you.
Now that would be super cool for tweaking in the final stages or quick fixes on enemies and such.
I Like Spirits Idea Best
Screenshots with metadata. I would add support to TB.
Thinking About It More
How about this: Add a new command to the engine called devnote. You'd do /devnote <somestring> and it would make a screenshot and save the string, player position and view direction to meta data or an additional text file with the same filename as the screenshot.
TB could pick those up automatically and add them to the issue browser. Clicking on such an entity takes you to the position and orient the camera in the view direction as saved in the metadata or text file. Fixing the issue in the editor would delete the screenshot and text file.
Clicking on such an entity... should read Clicking on such an issue. Sorry.
Yay, Let Me Overcomplicate The Idea
Writing metadata should be almost free so I would suggest a var instead. scr_screenshot_writemetadata 0/1? Then if jpeg or png are used, add exif data. I don't think any other format is sane to use in a modern engine.
Someone might want to take a shot without adding a note or not want to setup another command/alias.
It looks like EXIF supports a directory so someone could design some Quake specific tags and define them. origin, viewangle, game/mod, bspfile, maybe lots of other things (gamma, fog, custom settings?).
Looks like Quakespasm only supports TGA though, ugh.
QS Is Open Source
And adding something like lodepng should not be too difficult.
Awesome, I didn't know that! Could you add it until the weekend please?
Just remember to remove it by the weekend.
Did anyone else notice that on Warren's first day of vacation, a time in which he isn't map jamming, he got on here to talk about the Gears of War find/fix cycle?
Dude, for some things, you just gotta cut your holiday short.
Eh, I use my iPad before going to sleep. Even on vacation. Eat me. :P