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Should Epic repeat the 2k3 -> 2k4 history again to save UT3?

Discussion in 'Unreal Tournament 3' started by Mircea, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. JaFO

    JaFO bugs are features too ...

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    I can think of one simple reason : performance.
    Try reading 40+ files, each at least a few megabytes just to see if they are for a given gametype.
    And then compare that to a standard windows file-search according to a simple filter (like CTF-*.map).
    The only way to get it faster is to do such a full scan at start-up, but that has the disadvantage of an extremely long startup-procedure for the game.

    There's of course also the option of selecting maps before changing the settings for the gametype, but that is rather weird and you still would have to ensure that a map-list contained only maps for a given gametype ...
    // ---
    Most people barely understand the requirements for one gametype. Telling them to place more than one in a single map would have a good chance of creating even crappier maps for the gametypes it wasn't optimized for.
    The fact that not every map is considered to be good enough for the insta-gib variant of a gametype should be enough evidence.
     
  2. DGUnreal

    DGUnreal Level Designer

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    You said this with regards to my having said this:

    "I'll try to keep my post small, since y'all know how long-winded they can get... "

    right? ;) :lol:


    I don't think either AS or BR were flops. They just didn't have a large user-base, so IMHO it is mostly a waste of resources and time for Epic to develop that. Their time is better spent polishing the rest of the game. IMHO AS, BR and other gametype variants over DM, CTF and WAR are best left to the mod community to add to the game.


    I disagree. For a package structure set up with a tag format header, the time to read a single set of game type fields is very fast on today's hardware.

    The benefits outweigh the lack of community knowledge.
    The simple fact that a single map can be created that supports multiple game types removes the need for shipping two or three variation versions, or for community mappers to hack/modify an existing CTF into a DM version, etc.
    If community mappers don't understand the multi-gametype setup, they can still create DM, CTF, etc. The current individual game prefix system could stay intact, simply add a new prefix for the multi-gametype maps. The existing WorldInfo already supports the gametype selection, so it is essentially a minor extension to the existing setup.
    And as I mentioned, this technique has already been used on a shipped retail game on UE2, so it is workable, and the mapping community for that game didn't have any issues with it.
    The issue you mention regarding UT and the lack of the mapping community to even get proper instagib is just indicative of the fact that a percentage of the community mappers do not understand game play and design regardless of whether multiple gametypes are integrated into a single map. The sheer number of odd and absurd mutators shows how the UT community sees and understands the standard gametype game play. :)



    With regards to everyone commenting on my post with the ability to create maps that are cross-gametype capable, it's nice to see an agreed concensus. This type of system has been done successfully before on UE2 so there is no reason why it can't be done on UT3.
    The only issue it brings up is that community mappers will have more to learn when creating multi-gametype maps. Support for DM- CTF- VCTF- WAR- and a new multi-gametype map would have to be established. And as an example a single WAR map can easily be made into a DOM/VCTF/WAR by swapping out flags for cores, and cores/nodes for dom points. One map = three supported game types.

    The majority of game companies do not take actual game play and design feedback, and I understand and agree with that. You ask ten people and you get ten different responses.
    I actually have a number of ideas that can be integrated into the UT3 game infrastructure without changing the core game play and without impacting the game universe. They are mostly tweaks to the general mapping/actor system and game options/control that will most likely be fully accepted by the entire community since they only strengthen the game, and all are optional game settings that aim at things like unbalanced matches and new game features that add some depth without adding complexity.
    A few people at Epic already know who I am since I have been in the Licensee area for a few years, wrote UDN tutorials, etc. Jeff or anyone else at Epic is more than welcome to PM me if they want to hear my few game ideas or integrate anything I've already mentioned, for which Epic can freely have without obligation.
    Maybe one day if I ever had the time I would mod the scripts to integrate it myself, but mods/muts rarely become mainstream.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  3. Bersy

    Bersy New Member

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    AS was really fun if you gave it a chance, even (actually especially, imo) the race maps. It just makes sense that it should have been merged with Warfare. What I feel we should have got were some maps that play like ONS, some like ONS with an orb, some like ONS+AS, and some basically pure AS. Then there would really be a lot of existing assets and possible combinations for custom mappers to work with, together with Kismet it could have been really really awesome.
     
  4. DGUnreal

    DGUnreal Level Designer

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    Since most of my UT'ing is here on my LAN with friends, we tried bots to fill out the 2k4 AS maps. Unfortunately the bots are what made us stop playing it. :)
     
  5. G.Lecter

    G.Lecter Registered Tester

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    From my point of view, this would really suck... :tdown: If a map (seemingly) works on multiple gametypes, it's unlikely to be a great map. Of course, you can play a WAR map in VCTF by replacing the cores by flags, but the WAR version is going to work way better since the map was designed to be played that way. Some maps might actually work but they're few exceptions (some CTF levels to BR, perhaps). Despite it would be nice to have multi-gametype support in those cases, the community may abuse that feature in a terrible way... beginner mappers would make their levels support all gametypes because they think that's really cool, and not-so-newbs might try to make a design that supports multiple gametypes instad of working on something that does the best of a single one...
    DOM is not meant to use symetrical levels btw... they're half as fun as non-symetrical ones... :p
     
  6. Shambler[sixpack]

    Shambler[sixpack] New Member

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    Yea but I think that's very different with UT3 now due to cooked content, and the automatic pushing of files to clients.

    If I recall correctly, in UT2004/UT1 etc. you could load the map info object from the package, without loading anything else, but I believe that cooking now also compresses the package, causing the game to decompress it all into memory before it can reference those objects.
    Also, the automatic pushing of files may cause all opened maps to be sent to the clients as well; however I could be wrong there, as I haven't needed to test it myself.

    It may be possible in other ways though, e.g. by defining the list of compatible gametypes in a .ini file that comes with the map, but that info wouldn't be brought over with maps that are transferred to the client (so maps taken from the cache would be missing gametype info).
     
  7. DGUnreal

    DGUnreal Level Designer

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    I disagree, but that is the nature of the UT community... ;)
    It comes down to the knowledge of the level designer and if they design the map from the start with multiple types in mind. I'm not stating that every map should be a two or three gametype map, but probably 25% of current well designed maps can be played just fine in multiple gametypes.

    The community already abuses the existing gametype support... :)

    The gametype actors (Cores/Nodes vs DOM Points) would not be auto-switched out by the game scripts, they would still all be inserted by the level designer. This would allow for adjusted placement should the level designer wish to have DOM points at slightly different (or more or fewer) locations than Cores/Nodes. Same with Flags.
    WAR/ONS with Cores/Nodes swapped to DOM Points would play similar to BF2142 Conquest, and the UT3 weapons and vehicles and the Point locations would play just fine with the UT3 style.
    And if VCTF were also supported, the Flags don't even have to be where the Cores are. It would depend entirely on the map design. The VCTF mode may even have a smaller play area, the Flags could be at opposing 90 degree sides from the core locations, etc.
    The entire point of this technique would be to obtain more maps in the game types from the work of the level designer. Even if 25% of the shipped maps were all that supported two gametypes, IMHO that is worth the feature since if we assumed 40 shipped maps, actually creating another 10 maps would be months of art and level design work, whereas designing the map to support this and placing the additional game actors is an overall work gain.
    Sure, you could take those 25% of the maps and simply remove the one gametype actors and put in the others, but then you are shipping twice the content and file size for those maps.
    I'm not just pulling this out of the air with nothing to back it up, this type of system has already been successfully done before on a AAA UE2 retail game. :)


    True. Cooked content will pose a few hoops to jump through.
    UT2004 created .ucl files on-the-fly when reading through the current set of maps, if the .ucl didn't exist for a map, it was constructed once. This technique should just as easily work with UT3. UT3 already creates an .ini file if one doesn't exist. When you drop a new map into the game, it requires just that map to have a file created. Since the stock shipped maps would have their .ucl from the install (or created on first-run), this would only ever happen once for each new map you add to your game install. So first-time run on each new map would have a couple of seconds delay, not a large deal in cost versus benefit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  8. Wail of Suicide

    Wail of Suicide Member

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    I don't see why you'd object to having more maps to play. Assuming the mapping support for multiple-gametype maps were on-par with the rest of the mapping tools, I don't see a problem with this at all. For perhaps 10-20% more time invested, you get a map that's playable with multiple gametypes instead of just one. That's a good idea for almost any map unless you're totally purist about people playing your map the right way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  9. Bersy

    Bersy New Member

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    diluting the amount of good maps (particularily online) with ones that play only half well or not well at all... not a very good idea.. think of how people just mapvote the same garbage map over and over now... then think of how it would be if there were that PLUS maps that weren't even designed for a specific gametype in the mix, just to get more variety.. the overall quality diminishes and the net result is nobody plays.

    Perhaps this could be somewhat avoided if the mapper has the ability to flag what gametypes the map should be available for.
     
  10. MonsOlympus

    MonsOlympus Active Member

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    Yeah I full agree with you guys on this, the extra time and knowledge needed to make 1 multiple gametype map is well worth it when compared to making 3 different maps to support those gametypes. Once the level designer has this knowledge also it will be easier for them to refine and build on in the future, so while the initial investment might be larger like the swap to UE3 from UE2.5 the long term benefits far outweigh the time it takes to make the switch.

    I guess one possible problem could be support for mods, since a mapper has the control and its not code swapping objects out custom gametype support would come in the form of custom maps for those which need it. Simply adding the gametype to the ini wont work correctly since there would be required objects for that type to work correctly.

    From a retail UT perspective though it makes alot of sense to add multiple gametype support for maps, then all the default gametypes can use those maps. Some gametypes work without all that though and can be played on existing map lists like for eg all the maps supporting DM.

    When looking at the community though you could see people releasing custom maps with support for both default and custom gametypes so its not a total loss. I guess to that end the problem of re-releasing default maps with adjustments for certain gametypes will be there but its not like that doesnt already happen :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  11. DGUnreal

    DGUnreal Level Designer

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    That's a-what I said, if you go back and re-read my posts. :)

    The level designer chooses the supported game types in the WorldInfo properties, just like you already do in UT3 UnrealEd.
    And it is already a dynamic array that allows you to add multiple supported game types. UnrealEd auto-creates and fills this in for you if you save the map with a pre-defined prefix, so if you create a new map and save it as DM-MapName, it creates the SupportedGameTypes array and fills it with DeathMatch, Duel, etc.
    I'm talking about just extending this to also allow cross gametype capabilities between DM and CTF, and WAR, VCTF and DOM.
    Again, the level designer chooses what is supported, so that they have control over what their specific map design properly supports. So we may see a WAR/DOM map, and a WAR/VCTF map, and a WAR/VCTF/DOM map, etc.

    And the level designer is the one who has to insert all of the gametype actors, such as Cores, Nodes, Flags, DOM Points, etc., so that they have control over the placement and location of the various game actors and how the map will play.


    UnrealEd also already correctly manages this. If you create the scripts to add your own custom GameType, extending from the UTGame, compile your scripts and your custom game type will show up in the WorldInfo supported games list.
    If you install any of the current community mods, such as TheBall etc., launch UnrealEd and check out the supported game lists, you'll see that mod gametype already there.

    We already see (and also saw with UT2004 etc.) a plethora of mis-managed game types and poorly executed conversions (ie. CTF to DM maps) by some community mappers, so I don't see where this feature would increase that. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  12. Sir_Brizz

    Sir_Brizz Administrator Staff Member

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    Of course they did. Otherwise UT3 would just be UT2004.

    Still, even if it wasn't strong enough focus, spreading it among people who have their own ideas of what it should be is bound to lead to even worse failure than UT3 experienced.
     
  13. Bersy

    Bersy New Member

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    I don't have my own ideas of what UT should be so much as my own conclusions about what comprised a long chain of bad decisions and what decisions would be truer to what UT is... but I'd rather not carry on about it, because while I feel this way, a. I could still enjoy the game if there were actually others interested in playing it, and b. I can't be bothered to waste anymore time over it without first seeing they're interested in doing something about things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  14. Smoke Screen

    Smoke Screen New Member

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    As a FPS-player since the early nineties i was witness of the rise and
    in my eyes - avoidable decline of the Unreal-Games. Im not MP only. In
    fact im a SP-Fan who also plays MP. But getting to the point what is beyond
    me is why the devs tried to invent the wheel anew.
    I mean they made UT and it was simply great,and after the lukewarm acceptance of UT2K3 they came out with UT2K4,which is also a great game.
    But with U3 it looks like they have forgotten their lessons.
    For me its just logical that if u develop a recaped version of one of the best
    games ever made that u stick with its strongpoints and advance from there
    to make a better and richer new game.
    For U3 i had expected that but i was sooo wrong. And i guess i was not the
    only one who expected U3 to be a evolutionary step above UT2K4: technicaly
    recaped,with probably a new gamemode that digs deeper into strategic game-
    play,a large number of excellent maps out of the box, an advanced tournament mode.
     
  15. G.Lecter

    G.Lecter Registered Tester

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    You can't expect a supermarket to work like a house or a block of flats... yeh, you can replace all the shelves by beds, but no one would want to live there... A multi-gametype level would be 'playable', but it is not likely to be a freaking awesome map... I think the idea is good when it comes to funcionality, but I don't see it working on levels that should be designed to be enjoyed on a single mode. A placement change might work, but it's the floorplan what has to change in most cases. You could make levels that use a specific set of rooms in gametype A, and other rooms in gametype B (with some rooms in common)... that would be really interesting IMO, but then we're talking about +50% ammount of work, perhaps... I'd prefer two completely different levels anyway, in spite of having less content to play... Lack of content has never been a problem in a UT game IMO... :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  16. gregori

    gregori BUF Refugee

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    I largely agree with all that! I reckon some maps could be varied a lot though (Just as ONS/WAR maps have multiple node layouts)

    Had Warfare been more like Assault, (or had been a combination of mission based sub gametypes), there could have been maps that varied depending on the objective.
     
  17. Grobut

    Grobut Комиссар Гробут

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    The problem with AS has never been that it was a bad gametype, or that it was not liked by people, but rather it has been flawed exicution, and that it was drowned out by the popularity of other gametypes.

    UT did AS best, it was very straight forward and the maps where pretty good, and alot of us enjoyed it alot in offline play, where it probably had its biggest following, but it was not hugely successfull online, not because it was bad, just because it was easier to get into DM and CTF i think, so most people would flock to thouse servers instead of the AS servers, what was really lacking was.. Mapmixer actually, if AS maps could have been voted on in "normal" servers i think the gametype would have done much better.

    UT2004 reintroduced it, but somehow it was just not as good, i find it rather difficult to put my finger on exactly what was wrong, but something about it just didn't recapture the fun of the origional, there where a couple of decent maps, but most where rather flawed.. so even with the help of Mapmixer it didn't really stand a chance.

    It could easilly make a comeback though, but it would require a few things to do so, for one it would really need an UT with native "Mapmixer" style setup of servers, so AS maps could be added to any rotation (UT could really use this anyway!), and the maps would have to be good, loose the silly gimmicks and focus on balance, and add some dynamic gameplay to it, especially the defenders need something to do, instead of just standing on the same platform shooting at waves of attackers, it gets dull, take a hint from the maps of Tactical shooters, here they often find good ways to spice it up so both attackers and defenders have to move around a bit, and objectives can be attacked in different ways, and from different routes, keeping everyone on their toes, and defenders also have to defend their positions and not just the objective.
     
  18. end0rphine

    end0rphine New Member

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    I don't understand why people say this game is "bad," and needs be redone.. Its fine. The only thing that really needs to be done is more marketing by epic, and its community so that other people can see how good this game is. The advent of modern console gaming ****ed everything up for PC games because nobody can afford the new hardware to run this. I'm hoping that somehow xbox can get their port to run with PC that would be cool, and it would also populate the servers a bit more. Arguably PC gamers have an advantage over console gamers which I agree with however, there are ways around this..ie: mouse and keyboard for the console which every first person shooter should have anyway as a 'controller' is a ****in joke.
     
  19. Crotale

    Crotale _________________________ _______________

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    There you go posting something I can totally agree with for once. Arrgh!
     
  20. neilthecellist

    neilthecellist Renegade.

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    Lot of reasons. The top reasons for me is weird scaling in all of the stock maps for UT3, which screws up the balance of the game, on top of completely inbalanced weapons (guy with 100 + 15 extra health and a helmet can die from a single flak cannon shot? What gives?)
     

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