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Unreal Tournament BattleGrounds

Discussion in 'Unreal Tournament' started by gopostal, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. gopostal

    gopostal Active Member

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    Don't know if any of you guys play PUBG or not but this will mean a lot more to you if so.

    I was playing a lot of PUBG and finally got fed up with the horrible lag and netcode. The game dynamics stuck with me though and I thought I'd give it a try and see if I could bring that gameplay to regular DM.

    Using CSSWeapons as a base I ripped them apart and recoded them to fit the king-of-the-hill playstyle that UTBG will have. I've made the pickups (health, armor, throwables, even the deflect-some-bullets pan!) and coded a collapsing zone that forces the players to eventually come together. There's even an airdrop that rewards you with top-tier weapons.

    Demo vids:




    I'm about halfway through primary coding and then I'll need some time to balance the weapons. I figure early spring I'll have a server up.
     
  2. meowcat

    meowcat take a chance

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    That looks like its coming along nicely gopostal!
     
  3. gopostal

    gopostal Active Member

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    I've gotten the rough gametype done as well as the HUD, scoreboard, pickups, death effects, and assorted other 'PUBG' elements. I'll start the weapon balancing this weekend. I still need to run down some access nones and tighten the code but it's in playable shape. I hope people find this an interesting game to try out.

    I'll get a new video up in the next couple of days.
     
  4. meowcat

    meowcat take a chance

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    Will you package it all in one file, or will we need to download some other mods first?
     
  5. gopostal

    gopostal Active Member

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    It's a single u file but it's going to be large since it holds everything. I've tried to replicate the feel of PUBG as much as possible so I've built in a bunch of stuff to the gametype. For instance helmets are a big part of that gameplay so last night I added helmets to protect from sniper headshots. Since there is no way to do it to the models I added it into the HUD like this:
    [​IMG]

    The compass/Heading overlay is super important to team gameplay for enemy location callouts, etc. For single player it tells you where the zone center is (little HUD add on the left) as well as the direction of any airdrops that are spawned as the game progresses. This version is DM only though. If this gets use I'll add team game support.

    I wanted to do the weapon balancing this weekend but I'm working through bugs I'm finding. You interested in some offline testing? I know you like real life mod stuff. I would be fine sending you the current state if you want to see it. Some honest feedback would be nice, I've been working so hard that I think I'm too close to be objective.
     
  6. meowcat

    meowcat take a chance

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    Hi gopostal, yeah I'd love to give it a try, just PM me a link to the file(s).

    I like the Helmet Icon, and Zone sphere is looking pretty good.
     
  7. gopostal

    gopostal Active Member

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    PM'ing you now. The entire mod is self-contained, just select UTBattlegrounds as the gametype and everything else is automatic once you select a DM map. The collapsing zone works but still pops in and out of visibility depending on your view angle. Feralidragon assures me it's fixable and I'm waiting for him to get some free time to show me how to properly put it at the end of the rendered actor list so it always draws.
    The zone spawns too fast and collapses quickly and the airdrop also spawns very early in the round but I have those set for testing purposes. In the final version it will be much more randomized. There are some broadcast messages that you'll see that are just for testing but you'll know them when you see them.
    Thanks for taking the time to review this. Your opinion means a lot to me.

    BTW, got some voice talent to do the announcer voice:

     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  8. meowcat

    meowcat take a chance

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    So far I'm liking it a lot, very clean and the HUD indicators/information works nicely. The weapons feel pretty darn good and polished, and they seem to behave very nicely code-wise (I did not notice any script lockups/freezes). And there has been no UT.log spam!! (hardly any accessed none errors!) I'm glad you used skeletal animated models as they behave nicely and don't have that "vertex swimming" wiggle.

    Only a few minor recommendations for stuff I'm sure you are already aware of:
    1. The SteyrAug and the Sig552 (I think), must have there drawscale set pretty high (at least compared to the other weapons), their meshes clip through the level geometry a lot (I'm playing with the old D3D renderer I believe that does not handle the FP weapon mesh drawing on the Canvas as nicely as I've heard other renders do, w.r.t. the depth buffer) [EDIT] I took a quick look through your source scripts, it may be the way the RenderOverlays functions are written in these two weapons' classes.
    2. a few of the empty shell models could be changed to match the weapon (I could help with this if you don't already have suitable ones available).
    3. The HUD indicator pointing to the center of the zone appeared to disappear at times, not sure what actions I took that lead to it.
    4. Third person muzzle flashes on some of the ARs could be scaled down a tad... but that being said I was only playing on smaller maps so the flash might be needed on larger maps to actually spot the enemy.
    5. The TMP fires super fast. It felt almost too fast, I could see trying to slow it down by maybe 25% and see how it feels.

    The bots seemed to be very deadly with the knife and pan (I turned on God mode and they pinned me in a corner with the Pan, smacking me almost every other 'tick' it seemed like). For the knife I think an indicator of when you are close enough to hit a player with it (perform a short trace maybe at 3Hz, then change the xhairs to the lock on texture) might be worth experimenting with so that the human players have a better idea of when to time their attacks (though maybe it is just that I've not learned its range well enough yet...).

    I'm kind of torn on the weapon damages thus far. The whole time-to-kill seems really short... but that might just be because I played on really tight corridor maps (and I may have had Hardcore or Turbo mode turned on too). A generic damage scaler (from 0.5 up to 1.5) might be handy to play with in the Gamemode's settings.

    The zone collapse seems to work well (as you said its bit quick, but on small corridor maps its actually quite nice). Without having seen the code (maybe you already did this), you could eventually scale it collapse speed by the "size of the navigable level" (e.g. use the pathnode lists locations to determine max/min X, Y, Z values to quantify the size of the playable space). [EDIT] I see you've already got that code in their for setting the czone starting size.

    This is a really, really nice mod so far (and probably more polished than 98% of the mods with this much content that were ever released for UT99).

    Also, I thought I recognized that Helmet model and woodland camo skin :) That woodland camo pattern looks like one of the first textures I ever painted with Jasc PaintshopPro. Nice to see it still getting some use.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  9. gopostal

    gopostal Active Member

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    Oh wow...Thank you for taking so much time for a detailed reply. I'm just getting ready to go to work but I'll reply in depth tonight with an edit to this post. Ugh, why can't I just be independently wealthy?

    Edit**********
    Again, I really appreciate your time with this, it means a lot to me. Some replies...
    1) I've noticed in playing that some of the scaling isn't ideal. A few of the weapons aren't held correctly by the bots, the origin needs to be adjusted, etc. It just seems to me that the port of these weapons was rushed and the minor details weren't worked out. I've had to fix a lot of access nones they generated, bad anim calls, etc. Anyway I'll start fixing the scaling, pivot, origin of all of these starting Sunday.
    2) Thanks, I'd for sure like to have correct models. It bothers me to no end that the ejected brass isn't "spent" even worse than it doesn't match. I'll make spent shotgun casings too. Shame we can't use the U227 effects classes, I'd make the spent casings glow as they cool and leave a trail of wispy smoke. But yeah, this is on my to-do list for sure. Little things mean a lot when they start to add up.
    3) I didn't put a lot of effort into the HUD marker, the zone center point thing, or the distance to center that pops up in the HUD. Once the collapsing zone is fixed to always be visible I'm going to remove all that stuff. I added it thinking that I may not be able to fix the zone fully but Ferali assures me it can be done. I hope so because none of these things exist in PUBG. Figuring out the zone is part of the total game strategy so it should be also here.
    4) I hadn't consciously noticed that until you said something but I couldn't agree more. I'll ease them up some. They are a bit aggressive.
    5) OK, this leads me into something I'm very torn over. Is it more satisfying to have an SMG that spits like fire and just tone the per-bullet damage way down or slow the gun and improve the damage per hit? To me it's gratifying to spray across someone and send a ton of rounds downrange. It makes for constant reload but I think that's the way the SMG is meant to be used in a FPS setting. I'm curious how you feel about it.

    I'll teach the bots to be less aggressive with the pan. I made that for the Food Fight mod and they legit have pan arena games so the bots need to be bad ass swinging one. I'll slow the swing way down but make it quite damaging if you hit. Really they are useless until you figure out that just having one gives you a proxy boost of 10% to your armor. I remember when we first figured out the pan could block shots in PUBG. You clearly heard the "clang" of a round hitting the pan and you didn't take damage. After that everyone grabbed pans. I was going for that here too.

    Moving forward I'll set up a scaling collapse for the zone depending on it's initial drawscale. It needs to start slow doing low damage, speed up a bit in the middle game with an increase in damage, then slow down again in the later game but be very damaging to anyone trying to venture out of it. Lots of games in PUBG are settled by the zone and it forces players to think ahead or get caught in a bad spot near the center.

    I've been keeping track of all the assets I've used and there will for sure be credits in the code and readme. Except for the camo pattern. I don't see any camo pattern? ;)

    Thanks again MC!

    -Kelly
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  10. meowcat

    meowcat take a chance

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    Hi gopostal, That all sounds great!
    For item #1, I mean the First Person (FP) view models specifically, the third person stuff all looked great from an alignment perspective (the TP models are perhaps a bit too high-poly for UT's old LOD edge culling, but that's only fixable be remaking the models altogether). I'll see if I can post a screenshot tomorrow of what it looks like. I'm truly not sure if its something in the RenderOverlays function for those two weapons (possibly related to the drawmode setting of the Canvas actor), or simply that those two models are too big or something when imported in.

    For item #2, if you need any empty shell case models, just let me know and I could provide them in your preferred file format set is ( .d_3d and .bmp, or .ms3d and .tga, or .ase and .psp etc.). I've got ones from my YARM mod for the shotties, rifle shells, and pistol shells.

    For item #5, yeah I hear ya. I do like the bullet-hose idea for the SMGs (as a contrast to the ARs), but it just felt really fast on that one. I'll give it a try in game again to see how it feels against the bots.

    I enjoyed hearing that pan-clanging sound knowing that another shot had been deflected!

    I've got two different helmet models in YARM that are slightly better than the current one (and have skins actually painted form them), and some other body armor pickup models that could be used if you were interested.

    [EDIT] Ok I tested UTBG some more. I'm coming around to thinking that the fire rate on the TMP is OK as is. A few other notes:
    a) the Bots seem to have a problem collecting the pills. Its like they wait for the current bottle to wear off(?) before collecting the pill bottle they are now standing on. This means they end up running-pausing-running to the next bottle-pausing and repeating. It is not really that bad of a problem until you are waiting for them to kill each other off at the end of a match before the next round begins.... which brings me to the next minor issue.

    b) In one match I played, the bots successfully wiped me out early. They then proceeded to camp in their own respective spots. I expected the CZone collapse to kill them off, but it stopped shrinking with just the two bots left, so I had to restart the practice session. Not sure if this is an intended feature or bug. Could be a good optional setting to allow for though in the case where at least one player is a human.

    In some levels, typically those with lots of catwalks/verticality, a grapple gun feature could be pretty cool to allow for some last minute acrobatics to get back in the CZone. I noticed that in some of the corridor DM levels you'd be stuck away from the bot and the only way to get there was to go pretty far through the non-CZone (usually resulting in your expiration), so I thought it might be a fun feature to try out.
    UTBG_test_AUGclipping.jpg UTBG_test_SIGclipping.jpg

    I'll bet DM-Brikby and DM-Malaria would be pretty good maps to play this with...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
  11. gopostal

    gopostal Active Member

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    As far as bots go I appreciate immensely that you are logging issues but don't get too concerned about existing problems. I haven't even touched the attractiveness of items or messed with BotDesireability but I know there are issues. The pills mainly are a problem because the mod prevents multiple copies of the pickup in your inventory. The bots grab one and are still attracted to the others and so don't leave. If you test in Deck there will almost always be a bot in between the crates where the vials are. I think I'm going to script a radius check for the pills and destroy all but one of the grouped vial pickups. That will help some but I'd still like to fix the reason behind it.

    I wanted to get the core pvp gameplay set then work fully in the bot code to make them behave properly. I've kinda been putting this off because I know that getting them to respect the zone is going to be a beast to solve. It may be that I end up with a bot subclass to solve it, though I'd like to avoid that (obviously).

    I would love a better helmet/armor model if you want to share. I spent an entire evening trying to find decent helmet models but there are almost no free ones that are both good and low enough poly to be useful. No one makes very low poly models any more and the ones we could use aren't popular enough to be archived....I've got to learn modelling, it's starting to be embarrassing that I can't make simple stuff outside of editor and meshmaker.

    In the final version there won't be any unfinished games. After a time the zone will eventually collapse in on itself and the remaining players will burn until one gets left as the winner. This happens from time to time in PUBG too when the zone ends on the bridge. One player can be up top and one in the water. Healthiest player wins (as it should be).

    Funny you mention about grapple guns...The other game I was basing this on is Fortnite and it has a builder gun that can make ramps, walls, etc. That's way too technical a solution to be used in this engine but I was debating how to deal with it. In my Unreal coop server I had a sort of builder gun that spawned a series of steps in the direction you fired it. They lasted for 30 seconds but it made a nice bridge across open voids and would make a sort of usable staircase up to a decent angle. I'd like something like that but it creates a situation where offensively it's just too powerful. A decent grapple solves most of this about as good as it can be. I'll see if I can find a good one to add to the random spawns (unless you think it might replace the knife?).

    Oh, and hell yes on the shell casings. I had actually set down to start making those this evening. I'll take whatever model type you have handy. I can convert over from whatever. Thanks!!
     
  12. meowcat

    meowcat take a chance

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    I've sent you a compressed file with some shellcase models and skins (both high and low poly versions), and a helmet model with two different skins to choose from. If you need me to adjust them at all let me know (I could make a shellcase model with a triangle count somewhere between the high and low poly versions as well).

    I re-read through a bunch of the Bot code and the UT DeathmatchPlus game code this afternoon.... yuck! UT2004 definitely improved this aspect of the code base since it is much easier to affect the bot's priorities in a specific gamemode via swapping out the SquadAI and TeamAI class (the UT TeamGame class is a little easier to use since you can actually affect the Bot's objectives.... but then it is also limited to only 4 teams...), or heck even the BotAI portion itself. It might be possible to 'kludge' the Bot's goals in the UTBG/LMS game mode to make them try to get to the center of the CZone. By forcibly setting their OrderObject to the CZone spawner actor, calling Bot.FindPathTo(CZoneSpawner); and then set them to the Roaming or Hold state they might try to head to it... but even then I'm doubtful it will work reliably.

    The old Chimeric site used to have a NinjaRope/Grapple rope code tutorial (I based my own ninjarope in YARM partially on it). Something that functioned as simply as the 'hookshot' from Legend of Zelda; Ocarina of Time (shoot wall, then forcibly set the pawn's velocity in that hook attachment direction until the pawn lets go, or reaches the attachment point) might be enough.
     
  13. gopostal

    gopostal Active Member

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    I spent a little time playing with grapples last night and you are right. They add good dimension to the maps, especially in places where you can get stuck. I don't think the idea of using them offensively is good though. I'd like to keep this as pure of a military shooter as I can.

    Now about those shell casings and helmet....They improved the entire mod by 50%. *NOW* it feels right. Ejected brass is spent, the shotgun shells are used, and the helmet looks just fantastic. I cannot thank you enough for these! I've been trying to attach a small glow to them as they drop and cool off but UT is just too primitive to pull this off convincingly. That's fine, the improved models are enough to make it right. I'll update the mod download if you want to see the results as soon as I finish this post. Thank you again, this meant a lot.

    I found a very simple grapple gun that works right but I need a better gun model for it. I'll try to find something today that works.

    Bot code....um...yeah. I'm dreading that part. It's going to end up being hacky.
     
  14. meowcat

    meowcat take a chance

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    I agree about leaving the grapples as a movement-aid only (don't give them an offensive capability). I was thinking that maybe it could be done as an off-hand sort of grapple (you could use the 'ActivateItem()' function already bindable for human PlayerPawns, which calls 'Activate()' to start and end the grapple). If it was offhand then you really would not even need an FP view model for it. I could probably send you a model or two to use for the rope itself and a simple hook/claw mesh.

    I'm glad that the helmet and shell case models worked out well. I'd love to try out a revised version.

    BTW, for the CZone, you might try putting a debug code block in the UTBGHud class to draw the location of the CZone offset on screen, and then also the CZone mesh centerpoint and a little data on whether its Region.Zone or Region.ZoneNumber is the CSG nullzone (out of the playable worldspace/embedded in level geometry), I'm thinking that maybe that is why it flickers in and out of visibility.
     
  15. gopostal

    gopostal Active Member

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    The original download has been updated if you want to try the mesh changes. It's very satisfying.

    I reduced the number of ammo/health pickups that pile around each other to help reduce the bots getting hung up. I spent most of today messing with different grapple guns and honestly I'm not sure if they fit in with this type of game. There will be times people get stuck and die to the zone but in trying to fix a small problem I might be creating a much larger one. Grapples change the z dynamics of every map and end up allowing access to parts of the map you shouldn't be able to reach. I played around on a selection of larger DM maps today and just adding the grapple fundamentally changed the way the map would be attacked and defended.

    I'll log out the CZone. That problem is really starting to gnaw at me being unsolved. I'm for sure going to make those adjustments to the pan/knife too. Changing the crosshair when an enemy is in range is a great suggestion. I'd like for melee weapons to be a legit threat if you run low on ammo.
     
  16. meowcat

    meowcat take a chance

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    I can understand about the grapple changing the gameflow too much.

    I tried out the new version. Yeah, the bots seemed to move about better in this revision. The new shells look great (just need to have the ARs use the rifle shell now too ;-) ) I really enjoyed it, it feels very tense (in a good way) when it is down to me and the last 2 bots (always Loque, or Tamerlane and that one female commando bot...). The last burst of shots fired almost feels like it is in slomo before one of us drops. I'm a little surprised by how much I've been enjoying this gametype (though it definitely helps a lot that UT's levels are tighter than the wide open oversized hallways of UT2k4 levels).

    Have you tried it out in and larger DM maps, do you have any recommendations?

    For the CZone and flickering, you could have the log statement make a log entry every time the Region.ZoneNumber changes, and maybe even have it send a message to the Player's screen via PlayerPawn.ClientMessage() etc.

    Some other thoughts:
    1. Ever consider maybe having the suppressed weapons leave some muzzle smoke when they fire? I think it might add just the right amount of visual effect when firing them, and give a small hint to other players where the shooter is located.

    2. The knockback from getting hit: I'm a little torn on this, in some ways I like it (and it simulates, as best as this UT can, what being hit by a high kinetic energy would do to a player), but sometimes it feels like a bit too much (especially getting hit by the rapid fire). I have not checked the values, but do the SMGs and ARs apply different amounts of momentum change to the player's.

    3. I miss the pistols, it'd be neat if there was someway to see more of them in game since many maps exclude the enforcer and automag pickups. (yeah for the p228 and USP!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  17. gopostal

    gopostal Active Member

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    Thanks for hanging with me on this discussion. Your time means a great deal, I know how busy life can be. I've been working most of the evening on the mod. I began weapon balancing so let me reply in sequence first..

    1. I've been experimenting with muzzle smoke already but I can't get it to look the way I want. Too small is wasted effect but too large starts to get in the way visually. I'm not against that realism but I also remember how much people complained at the sniper rifle smoke in 2K4. I think I'll end up using a spritesmokepuff but at a reduced level that makes it wispy and sheer.

    2. I was going to remove knockback completely. The SMG's end up pushing you off ledges and I don't want that. I had considered the idea of "knockdown" once you took enough damage before you were actually killed but I'm not sure I can force feigndeath on a client without accessing their console and I just don't like doing that. Besides the mechanic would be so different to UT players that they likely wouldn't care for it. I wish there was some sort of crawling animations to use.

    3. Me too. I should have mentioned I was going to rework the weapon spawns. All normal weapon spawns will have an even chance at every non-melee weapon (since you spawn with the knife and the pan is placed randomly around the level). This will help mix up the weapons and ammo and hopefully put more emphasis on looting when you spawn. Ideally I'd like the players to move around a bit to stock up on stuff before engaging. I also was thinking about mixing in the grenades with the ammo but at a reduced rate compared to the ammo. I think I'll see how it plays out. The idea of randomness is key to the success of the gametype. You can know the map but you will have to look to find your chosen weapon and will end up using what's available a lot of the time. Deemer spawns will still be an AWM.

    You mentioned larger, open levels and those are presenting a bit of an issue. The guns overall are not accurate enough to be usable at the far-mid to long range distances, well obviously excluding the snipers. This means you end up having to approach each other or run out of ammo trying to shoot from too far away. I don't know if this is acceptable so I'll be watching how it plays out when I get players on server. I might have to check the map for size and weight the snipers much heavier in the spawns when it's over a certain size.

    I'll have a pretty large update in a couple of days.
     
  18. meowcat

    meowcat take a chance

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    All that sounds good to me (I like the randomized weapon spawn). I don't think I will miss the knockback. Is there a reload function available? (e.g. hit a key to reload)

    When playing with Bots, here are a few of the maps that I've been enjoying testing the game mode out on so far since they have some open sight-lines as well as some corridors to sneak around in:
    DM-Bastion
    DM-Unreality][
    DM-PS2_Brickyard (sorry no link, was part of conversions/recreations(?) of the PS2 UT exclusive map pack)
     
  19. gopostal

    gopostal Active Member

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    Yeah, reload is commented out currently but I'll get it implemented in the next build. the bind for it will be "mutate bgreload". I did that so I could check the weapon animations and make sure that they switch to reload state in the right way without influence. The base coding for these weapons is kinda...weird. Also I've been assigning variables to an ini to allow for on the fly changes. I wanted to have more done by today but the wife and I have been doing some day trips this week. I'm on it tonight though :D
     

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