25th Jun 2008, 05:27 PM
General info can be found on our website - http://www.toltecstudios.com
It doesn't load/I end up in regular UT3/I get lots of errors when it starts
-Make sure you have patch 2.0 or above installed.
-Make sure previous versions of the mod have been removed entirely.
-Verify the location - It must be installed here: C:\Documents and Settings\NAME\My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\TheBall - or similar for Vista.
-If you use the steam version, and our instructions don't work, try going into steam and rightclicking UT3. There is an option somewhere there to set a commandline, or start with a command line. Add -mod=..\TheBall there.
-Try deleting the file located here: C:\Documents and Settings\NAME\My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\TheBall\Shaders - this will make the game load a lot slower the first time so have a bit more patience but it can fix a number of issues.
If it keeps failing consider starting the game via the editor. Add "editor" to the commandline - so that would be ""C:\UnrealTournament 3\Binaries\UT3.exe" editor -mod=..\TheBall" for example, and once in the editor go to File - Open - and select a level. Then, press the little joystick button at the top right to play via the editor.
It asks for a CD Key.
This can happen and we can't do much about it. Re-enter your UT3 CD key.
12th Oct 2008, 08:09 AM
Mapping for The Ball, and any singleplay game for that matter, is very scripting intensive. There is a great deal of Kismet going on in The Ball, and it is essential to have at least basic understanding of Level Scripting in UE3 if you want to attempt creating a level for The Ball.
To run the editor for The Ball, make a shortcut to UT3 exe and add "editor -mod=..\TheBall" - For example:
"E:\UnrealTournament 3\Binaries\UT3.exe" editor -mod=..\TheBall
Attached to this post is a basic example level.
Here are some things to take note off and keep in mind - this is our internal mapping guide:
The Ball Mapping Guide
The ball can be found in Actors - DynamicSMActor - Kactor - KActorSpawnable - TBPhys_Ball. Note that the ball must have collision attached to it in the level or it will not work correctly. The easiest thing to do is to open up an existing level and copy paste the ball and its surrounding invisible collision from there.
Mummies require certain pathnodes to have the property PreferredVehiclePath to be enabled. The pathnodes with this enabled, will function as fallback points for the mummies. For example: If the player is being chased by a mummy, but jumps onto a crate and the mummy is unable to reach that position, it will return to the nearest pathnode with that property enabled and wait there. I usually enable this on a few random pathnodes through the room. Please take note of the direction arrow on a pathnode, point it into the right direction.
Sections TBMonster and TBMummy. ProximityCheckRadius is the radius in which they will always notice the player. bNoProximiyCheck disables this feature. bNoSightCheck disables their sight. By default mummies will come after you if you come into their line of sight, or when you sneak up on them but enter their proximityradius. WakeUpOthersRadius is the radius in which the mummy will wake up nearby mummies if he spots the player. bStartRoaming makes the mummy idle walk around when it has nothing to do.
Note that our mummies only support damage type Crushed. All other damage types result in a mummy that will freeze in mid air! All triggers and volumes that should do damage to mummies must use Crushed as type. This even goes for lava you may have. Change it from type Lava to Crushed.
Use ActorFactoryEx and not the standard one.
Copy all actors in level one, open the real level two, and paste them in. Save. Go back to level one, copy all kismet. Open level two, paste the kismet in a new sequence.
Certain specific bits may be tricky to copy, such as terrain, since those use mylevel assets to work. Importing that level as a streaming level into the generic browser - Level tab, and then moving all actors from that level to the other by rightclicking a level in the level tab may be a work around.
Please use semi solids for intense BSP. That means added cylinders and especially stairs. Tutorial on my site.
Please use detail settings, that means world detail on medium or on high. I use this especially for translucent things as they are always rather heavy. I set all unimportant (/= fire and gameplay) particlesparticles to high world detail. That also goes for all fog planes and certainly lightcones.
Translucency is expensive, please do not use a bazillion smoke particles and lightcones. If the area is large and complex, do not use a single lightcone. If you use lightcones, try to make sure no one can look through 4 lightcones or more in a row as it will quickly add up and kill performance.
If you use smoke particles such as smoke coming down from the roof, look in Shader Complexity view with real time preview enabled to see the impact of the smoke. Often smoke particles go a long way before they are really dead. It is now because you do not see them in the normal view mode that they are now there. They may have 1 percent opacity but that is just as bad for performance as 90 percent opacity really. So use Shader Complexity to see how far the particles reach for real and if possible scale down their downward movement so they die before they fill up the whole room.
To add a secret to a level you must add a TBGoldenStatueManager actor anywhere in your level once. Then, start adding the TBGoldenStatue actors wherever you want. Assign the name in its properties. The list of names in in Google Documents.
Add one or several TBFishManagers anywhere in the level. Then add the fish by adding TBFish. In its properties define what Manager it must use. Using several managers for several different fishes improves their behaviour (more random). Try to make sure the fishes are high up in the water, so the ball does not roll through them. The fish manager must be in the middle of the group of fishes or it will not work.
InterpActors and Lighting
By default interpactors use full per pixel lighting and this is very heavy. Up to now all of our movers were like this and this was a considerable perfomance hit. Please configure all movers correctly in the future. Enable LightEnvironment, disable ShadowCast unless it really really requires that. I also always assign an ambient color to light it up a bit more. Sometimes I assign a whole lot of ambient. I also try to pick an ambient color that mimicks the nearby lightcolors.
Interpactors with Complex Lighting
In case you really do want to have full per pixel lighting on an interpactor as it looks a lot better, you must make sure you have as few as possible lights in that room that have the dynamic channel enabled. The unlock room in Pehua was done like this. Please try as much as possible not to do this though, unless it is really really required.
Please set bCastCompositeShadows to enabled on your most powerful lights. Use this wisely. This will make the ball and the mummies cast realistic shadows.
Use the Black material in LA1 for surfaces that cannot be seen, for example behind meshes. Later on you can easily do a Select By Texture, and then set all black textures to not receive lighting in the Surface Properties.
Please use the prefab buttons at all times. Exceptions are when you wish to make the button behave in a non standard way or when you are copy pasting the whole level into another level.
The vases use full per pixel lighting and thus rather intense, please don't add a milion and keep them in corridors and small areas.
The lensflares are rather heavy as they add another translucency pass to the game. Please do not use the lensflares all over the place and stick to using them in small areas and only for the strongest lights. Also be sure to set their detailmode to high.
Please make sure you never ever use a fallback material in a level or on a mesh as these will not work after the level is cooked. Only use the real materials.
Always enable Hard Attach.
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