Q3E Minimizer V1.5

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Q3E Minimizer V1.5

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TiM (UberGames)





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Q3E Minimizer v1.50 by UberGames

File Name: Q3E Minimizer v1.50
Version: 1.50
File Size: 272k
Developer: TiM
Date Created: 11/11/05 1:03AM
Creation Time: A few weeks (10% coding, 90% Debugging... gah!! ;P)
Programs Used: Visual Basic 6, Adobe Photoshop CS
Website: http://www.ubergames.info


Q3E, or Quake 3 Engine Minimizer is a program that has been created to
give you the ability to quickly and easily minimize nearly every game
that has been coded using the Q3 engine as a base. The reason I made
this was because I was tired of having to spectate, or suffer being
killed over and over again as I used Alt-Enter to switch to my desktop
which took practically forever so I could answer MSN or ICQ.

The concept of the "un-Alt-Tab-able" game minimizer isn't mine.
This one is more of an extension to an idea that someone else had,
that I thought could be expanded furthur.
I was cruising JK2files.com one day, looking at the utilities section
(I had just sent in KT 101 and was looking to see if anyone had d/led
it yet) when I saw a file called "JK2 Minimizer" created by a very cool
d00d who goes by the name of Deathwish. Being interested,
I downloaded the file and found out how simple it was, yet at the same
time, so very very useful. Responding to people on MSN/ICQ, etc was
no longer a grueling task. Later on, I was playing STV: Elite Force online
and found that I greatly missed the ability to minimize it like I could
with JK2. So, I took it upon myself to create my own Minimizer. Using
snippets of VB code around the internet, I managed to create a similar
program I named "EF Minimizer", that I submitted to effiles.com. Many
people found it immensely useful, and I was extremely happy with the
feedback. ^_^
A few months later, I attended a LAN party (My first ever LAN party
actually Laughing out loud ) where I got involved in a heated battle of Q3A with some
other people there. After a few minutes, I, by reflex, tried to minimize
Q3. When nothing happened, I said to myself at that point, "I'm going
to make a version of EF Minimizer that can minimize all Q3 based games".
After the LAN party, I clean forgot about doing that, so the half finished
"Uni Minimizer" (I hadn't thought of a good name then) sat on my hard
drive for a month.
After a month, I downloaded the new Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy demo (May
I point out, an AWESOME demo). Whilst I was playing it, someone on MSN
messaged me, and I realised that I was stuck in-game, having to alt-enter
out. At that point, I remembered Uni Minimizer, and decided to complete
work on it. So, after a few nights of working, I brought you version
1.0 of the new Quake 3 Engine Minimizer, or Q3E Minimizer, but now, I
bring you version 1.50 of Q3E Minimizer!



-=Features new to v1.50=-

-Now supports these games:
*Quake 4 (Same boat as Doom 3 -See Below Wink )
*American McGee's Alice
*Game Over in Machinimation
*Medal of Honour Allied Assault
*Medal of Honour Allied Assault Spearhead
*Medal of Honour Allied Assault Breakthrough

-Fraggin' Huge Codebase Revamp
Thanks to my programming work on the EF mod RPG-X, I've learnt a great deal
more about programming, which I was able to incorporate into Q3E Minimizer. Smile
Through a LOT of recoding (very nearly re-wrote the whole thing!) and optimisation,
I managed to chop off about 50kb off of the size from the previous version! Laughing out loud!

-Revamped Key Selection
I recoded how you select hotkeys, so it is now a lot more flexible. Not just
alphabetic characters, but nearly any key on your keyboard you can use now! Laughing out loud
(NB: Although I didn't disable it, you may want to avoid F12 as some windows apps
need that one Tongue ).
Additional flexibilty include being able to assign the same key twice (so you can
just use the same keys to toggle in and out of game) and being able to set no
keys at all (Could be useful in some instances. I can think of a few)

-All New DSM
Having finally grasped the concept of API functions and how to use them right, I
found out how inefficient the DSM function was. It's now been totally redone
from scratch and I think it's safe to say, it's a lot faster and it'll leave
your icons alone now. ^_^!

-Remade Icons
I resized and optimized the games icons used, so they should look a lot more
crisp and less blocky in the system tray now.

-Minimize Game if it Loses Focus
A requested feature. When this is active, if the game loses focus (ie, the user switches
to another window or hits the windows key), it'll automatically minimize the game.

-Command Line Arguments
Not really a detailed feature, but it could prove useful. Basically,
as you start up this program, you can add the command line argument '-run "" ',
and when Q3E Minimizer runs, it'll start up that program too. Smile

-More efficient registry settings
I went through and consolidated a few of the registry settings into single entries,
thereby saving a tad more memory lol. Smile

-Subclass Message Support
This was another requested feature. I added support for external developers to be able
to send commands directly to the program from their own programs using the Windows SendMessage
API function. Supported commands include Toggle, Minimize, Maximize, SaveGameRes, GotoDesktopRes,
and GotoGameRes.
Unless you're a programmer, you probably won't be using this feature at all. Wink Any developers
interested in trying this out, e-mail me and I'll send you the necessary defines. Smile

-=Features new to v1.45=-

-Minor UI Adjustments
I made a few changes to the interface background pictures. See if you can
spot the differences. Wink

-Screen DPI Adaption
It was pointed out to me that when a person's screen had it's DPI set
to anything other than the default 96, it would totally throw the program's
interface out of whack (The buttons wouldn't be in the right spot etc,).
That being the case, Q3E Minimizer now has the ability to detect this and
adjust the UI accordingly so everything still matches.

-Bug Fixes
*The HORRENDOUS (;P) bug in whereas the Dynamic Screen Modifier would crash
the program if you tried to turn it on has now been fixed. Not only that,
but I noticed that the modifier wasn't working correctly anyway, so I've recoded
most of it so it now does (Fully tested on my Desktop PC and laptop PC with
satisfactory results Laughing out loud )

*If the Automatic Game Detector detected Jedi Academy Multiplayer, the program
would crash. This has been taken care of.

*More odds and ends have been tidied up. ;P

-=Features new to v1.40=-

-Revamped Codebase
It's been about a year since I released Q3E Minimizer 1.0. Since then,
I've graduated from high school, gone to uni, and formally studied programming.
So now that I understand programming methods much better, I've noticed that
the code for thisthing was in some cases quite in-efficient.
As a result, I've totally redone a large portion of the code, which
will definately let the program run more efficiently/quickly now. Smile

-Minimzer has the option to open upon Windows startup.

-The main window (The one that pops up at the start) now has the option of not
appearing when Q3E Minimizer starts up.

-Reconfigured Hot Key Registration
I've found that when the Minimzer is open, even when not ingame, the active hotkeys
(Which disable that command for any other program) made working in other areas
more difficult (For example, ctrl-z is the 'undo' command
for many programs.)
As such, I've now made it that the hotkeys are now active only when an active game
is detected. This should make the presence of the minimzer less visible now. Laughing out loud

-Now additionally supports these games:
*Call of Duty: United Offensive (SP)
*Call of Duty: United Offensive (MP)
*Doom 3
(NOTE: Doom 3 seems to override the hotkeys Q3E Minimizer assigns in-game,
meaning it doesn't work when directly in Doom 3. To get around this, press
alt-tab first, and then try the minimzer's hotkeys. Getting back into
Doom 3 is the same as any other game though)
(EXTRA NOTE: Okay Okay, I know that Doom 3 is TECHNICALLY not a Quake 3
based engine, but I still got several requests by people who wanted support
for it anyway. So uh here it is Smile
Then again, Doom 3 WAS created by the same company, and they would have been
foolish to not recycle bits and pieces from Q3. So, theoretically, on a
remote scale, it could be considered Q3. ;P But I think I'll draw the line
here. No more deviations from Quake 3 games. Wink )

-=Features new to v1.30=-

-At the criticism of one of the admins at jk2files.com, I have now removed the
prompt you get when quitting Q3E Minimizer whilst a game is active.

-I also redid the offline icons for SoF2 SP and MP so they have much better quality.

-Now additionally supports these games:
* Call of Duty (SP)
* Call of Duty (MP)
* Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K²
(Thanks goes to Oomjan and Flying Fool for sending me the details to integrate these games!)

-=Features of v1.20=-

- If a game is active, and you choose to close Q3E Minimizer, it will now prompt you
to make sure you really have chosen to close it whilst a game is active.

- Major Overhaul on the Dynamic Screen Resolution Modifier. Now, when you quit the game,
it won't keep the screen at the same resolution as your game. If you quit Q3E Minimizer
whilst the game is still running though, it will keep it at the same resolution.

-Whilst a game is running under automatic detection, you can change the game while the
game is still running. (In 1.10, when the game was active, the menu was locked.)
The user will need to quit the game if they want to re-enable auto detection however
(But you had to do that anyway. Wink )

-Now supports these games:
* Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix (SP)
* Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix (MP)
* Return To Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
(Thanks goes to OomJan and coffee for the help in order to support these games)

-=Features of v1.10=-

-Auto Game Detetection
Users now have the abilitity to set the minimizer to automatically
scan for any active Q3 game, and then automatically set that game
as the target for minimization. This feature is optional, and users
may still manually choose which game they want the minimizer to target.
(The detector will only work right if only one Q3 based game is running.
If more than one is active, it will choose one itself)
Whilst the detector and game are running, the drop-down menu is locked
to prevent changing the game as it may cause errors.

-Dynamic Screen Resolution Modifier
A large number of gamers play their games at lower screen resolutuions,
usually to get better performance from their video card, or due to older
hardware. When a person normally minimizes the game, it will display
their desktop at the same resolution as the game, which is usally quite
ugly and quite difficult to operate with. At the request of several people,
v1.10, and 1.20 come with the feature to activate an option that will
automatically adjust the user's resolution upon minimization and restorization,
depending on what the resolutions are when the game is minimized and the game
is active.

- Version 1.10 supports these new games:
*Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (SP)
*Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (MP)

(If you still want to play the JKA demo, select the JKA SP choice as they are
both the same thing. Smile )

-Updated Interface

-=Original, Primary Features=-

-Will Minimize/Restore a specified Q3 based game at the touch of a key
-Now has an all new graphical interface (Format is GIF to minimize size)
-Runs in the background so as not to take up many system resources,
leaving it all for fragging!
-Icon in the system tray changes depending what game is running
-Left-Clicking on the system tray icon will bring up the hot keys window,
If game is running, it will instead restore the game
-Right-Clicking the icon will access a simple menu to configure or quit
the minimizer.
-Quitting the minimizer will automatically restore the game.
-Version 1.0 Supports the following Q3-based games:
*Quake III Arena
*Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force (SP)
*Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force Holomatch (MP)
*Star Trek: Elite Force II
*Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (SP)
*Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (MP)
*Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Demo (No longer in v1.10/1.20/1.30/1.40/1.50)
*Return to Castle Wolfenstein (SP + MP)
[Wolfenstein had the nifty feature of naming both MP and SP windows the
same thing, so I was able to put SP and MP into one option. ^_^]


Instructions for Use:

1. Open the Q3EMinimizerv150_Setup.exe and follow the instructions.
2. Once installed, and upon opening Q3E minimizer, the main window will appear.
In the drop-down menu located near the bottom of the window, choose which game
you would like the minimizer to currently focus on, or leave it at Auto Game Detection,
if you wish.
3. Start up that game as you would normally.
4. To minimize the game, press the default keys: Control-Z
5. To restore, press Shift-Control-Z

To configure the hot keys, right-click on your current game's icon in
the system tray, and choose "Settings...". From there, use the interface
to select your new keys.



This has been the number one mentioned glitch in this program. Sad
From testing various settings, it appears to me that ATi did this on purpose
whenever windows were switched to keep each view at the native settings.
It is definately a feature inserted into the latest ATI Graphics drivers, and
as such, I don't think there's much I can really do. Sad
Only prob is that when Q3 is restored, it doesn't actively update it's gamma,
so u get normal desktop gamma ingame. >.<

With a small bit of coding, I briefly fixed this error... but then when I
installed the next update for the ATI graphics drivers, it stopped working again.
( @^!^#! >Sad ). As a sort-of fix for this, there are three things you can do:

*In the Q3 console, type '/r_ignorehwgamma 1' and then '/vid_restart'. This
will work, but might require a bit of tweaking of the gamma setting after that
to get it look the same as it was before.

*Create a bind script that changes your gamma ('/r_gamma') to a different
value, and then changes it back. This is kind of hacky, but works well.

*Go out and buy an nVidia brand graphics card. This issue doesn't seem
apparent with them. >.<

-=When I minimize, the desktop's really bright! :S=-
Sometimes, upon minimizing a game, your desktop may seem extremely bright.
This is because the Q3 game will modify your screen's contrast according
to your settings in-game.
When you exit the game, the screen will return to normal. To restore the
screen's color to normal whilst the game is running, there are 2 things you
can do. First, in the game console, type '/r_overbrightbits 0' (without
quotes, and sometimes without the '/' at the front, depending on which game)
Secondly, if that doesn't work, go into your games video settings and
adjust the brightness to a lower level.

-=Bugs Ahoy!=-
Okay, since I've heavily recoded Q3E Minimizer's code base for this release,
I am no doubt positive that there are probably a few new bugs in it.
I've heavily tested it myself, but I that's not a guarantee that I got all
of the little blighters. ;P
So please, if the program acts up, please e-mail me and tell me what you were
doing and what happened. Smile

-=Windows 98 Doesn't Work with this! :S=-
I have received several e-mails from people telling me that this program
won't run in Windows 98. After doing some research, I found out it was
because I was using several API functions that don't work in Windows 98.
I'm not quite sure which functions they were, and if they can be fixed.

I have tested this program on 2 computers, one running Win ME, and one
running XP. On both, the program minimized the Q3 games flawlessly.
This may not be the case for other operating systems, so if you do come
across a system that doesn't work, please e-mail me and I'll see what I can
do to fix it. At this point, I am aware that Q3E Minimizer won't work with
98, but I'm not entirely aware at what exactly isn't working in it.

-=Whoa! I minimize and my desktop has all of these funny lines going across it!!=-
This is apparently an issue that is caused by the use of ATi-brand video
cards (I myself am on an ATi Radeon 9800 Pro so I can vouch for this bug. Wink )
If you just grab a window on the screen and drag it around, it clears it up.
Conversely, you can try restoring the game and then minimizing it again.



-Program Designer/Main Coder/Graphic Artist

-For coming up with the awesome concept of minimizers!

-For taking the time and effort to send me the info and files I needed
to integrate those new games in. Smile

Flying Fool
-For giving me the details so I could integrate Call of Duty.

-For also sending in info so that I may integrate RTCW: Enemy Territory.
I may not have needed them at the time, but thanks anyway d00d!

-For beta testing that this program actually does minimize SoF2. Thanks!

-Providing details to incorporate the MoHAA series.

-Providing the details for Alice and GoIM

Szico VII
-For being the most annoyingly persistent nagger I have ever met. ;P

Brian, Brad, Jon and Frenchie
-For your suggestions about the resolution changer and game detector.

-For helping me with some of my pretty stupid questions and providing feedback

Owen S.
-For sending me the info needed to add CoD: UO

Jeremy D
-For sending me the window name for Doom 3 (Would have been useful if you
sent me a picture of the game's EXE as well Wink )

-For bringing up the issue about the Screen DPI messing up the minimizer's interface.

-For sending me all of the files I needed to add CoD: UO and for suggesting some
interesting ideas for the minimizer. Smile

-If you hadn't messaged me, I probably never would have finished this program, d00d. ^_^

The countless legions of people who flooded my e-mail inbox with messages about the
dynamic screen modifier bug ;P
-I was actually contemplating removing the DSM from v1.40 since I thought no one was using it.
Turns out I was dead wrong lol. Thanks for the feedback guys! ;P

*Not being an experienced programmer, I needed to refer to some internet
samples to get this whole thing working right. Here are some people/sites whose
programming skills are totally awesome and their effort, time and examples deserve
high recognition!

Imran Zaheer
-Creator of the Hotkeys Code

MSDN Database
-Referenced the code to show/hide programs

-Helped me create a hot keys interface
-Helped me obtain a function where I could obtain/adjust the program's DPI setting

Microsoft VB resource
-Showed me how to make programs appear in the system tray

Brian Yule
-Created the code to make the window's edges transparent

-For creating the code to adjust screen resolutions

Garrett Sever (aka "The Hand")
-For creating the nifty code to make the Dynamic Screen Resolution checkbox
transparent around the edges.

-For creating a snippet of code that lets the program open upon system


The future of Q3E Minimizer:

2 years of development, 5 released versions, more than 20,000 downloads in total...
It's certainly been fun. Smile

However, all good things must come to an end, and barring any critical bug discoveries,
this will be my final version of Q3E Minimizer.

The main reason for this is that I think the program is starting to show its
age now. With the Q3 engine source code released, and no more official games
being developed for the Q3 engine, there's probably no point to continue development
on a program designed solely for that.

That being said, at the moment, I'm contemplating writing from scratch a new
minimizer program, one that would be a lot more dynamic than Q3E minimizer,
able to handle any kind of game, and can let users add their own settings to it.

In addition to that, I'm also contemplating releasing the source code to v1.50 online,
under the GNU General Public License, so that other people may continue to develop
it. Smile

In the meantime, there are still several other UberGames projects I have lined
up, so look out for them! Smile

If you enjoy using the Q3E Minimizer or any other programs created by UberGames,
then please think about donating too! Donation details are below.

Well, thank you for taking the time to read all the way down here. ^_^

I hope you enjoy using Q3E Minimizer and that it makes your gaming
experience all the more better.

Happy Fragging!!!!!



Have you seen a bug? Got a suggestion for the program? Feel like chatting?

I can be reached at:


ICQ: 24965853
AIM: DeltaJed
YIM: timo22406
Website: http://www.ubergames.info


Shameless Pledge Donation Plug Thingy:
Although these programs are provided to you free of charge, in order to
maintain the main servers we use as our base of operations, we desparately
need funding.

Anyway, if you have a kind heart and enjoy using this program, perhaps
you'd be willing to entertain the idea of donating a few bucks. Wink

If you do make a donation, I will add a thank you to you in the credit
section of the next program's read me and will personally thank you
through e-mail.

I have a PayPal account under "timothyoliver@bigpond.com" and if you
could donate anything there, I would be extremely grateful.



Legal Stuff:
I am in no way responsible for any harm this program may cause, even
though the odds of that happening are insignificant. You may freely
distribute the EXE, so long as this ReadMe remains with it, intact, and
unmodified. This program is not officially supported by id, RavenSoft,
Ritual, or LucasArts.
And NO I will not be held responsible for any points lost whilst using
this program. I can't stress that enough!

"Quake III Arena", "Doom 3", "Quake 4", and all related assets are trademarks of id Software,

"Elite Force", "Jedi Outcast";, "Jedi Academy", "Soldier of Fortune II:
Double Helix", and all related assets are trademarks of Raven Software,

"Star Wars", "Jedi Knight" and all related assets are trademarks of
LucasArts Entertainment/LucasFilm Inc. 1977-2003

"Elite Force II", "Heavy Metal F.A.K.K²" and all related
assets are trademarks of Ritual Entertainment, 1998-2003

"Call of Duty", "United Offensive" and all related assets are trademarks of Infinity
Ward and Activision Inc, 2003-2004.

"Game Over in Machinimation" and all related assets are trademarks of
Fountainhead Entertainment, 2004

"Medal of Honor Allied Assault" and all related assets are trademarks of 2015, Inc. 2002

"Medal of Honor Allied Assault Spearhead" and all related assets are trademarks of EA Los Angeles

"Medal of Honor Allied Assault Breakthrough" and all related assets are trademarks of TKO Software