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FortKnox's Journal: UT Mod Idea 16

Journal by FortKnox
First, check out this site for the coding language and stuff (uses its own language "unrealscript" that's OO).

OK, I've got features, but not an overall idea, yet.
For those that have halflife, you might want to check out the Day of Defeat Mod, cause a lot of my ideas come from there.
  • Features:
  • Team environment
  • World War 2 atmosphere: especially like in france and poland (or Stalingrad Russia), where buildings are falling apart due to invasion. Places to hide and peer out of.
  • Team Spawn - Respawn happens once every N seconds. For example, if N = 10 (although, I think the minimum will be like 20. I want dying to mean something), then every 10 seconds, every dead person respawns. So the max you'd have to wait is 10 seconds (minimum is instantaneous, if your lucky), but everyone that died will all return when the 'respawn' happens. This is tough to explain, but its how "Return to Castle Wolfeinstein" works.
    Another possibilities is to only respawn after next objective is met (like a 'reinforcement').
  • Realistic weapons: especially a distinct lack of semiautomatic weapons. Using stuff like 'bolt-action' so you just can't run out firing at everyone. Automatic weapons should have a strong enough kick that you can't run while firing (plus its tremendously inaccurate, like the tommygun).
  • Prone - the ability to lay down and crawl around (slowly).
  • This idea doesn't seem together or worth it at the time being: Ranks - given to the better players each round (team environment, so the high ranks have 'command' functionality). Ranks also allow you to disperse weaponry?? (an idea I'm not comfortable with, yet).
  • Winning is capturing areas - You have to have X number of players in an area for Y amount of time, with no enemies touching the area to capture the area. Enemies can cap it back using the same formula. Goal is to capture all the areas (like advancing the line...)
  • Winning also with different methods - protect VIP, destroy object, protect object, assassinate VIP, etc...
  • Explosive/Destructive objects - More of a mappers job, but the ability to destroy (with the proper amount of firepower) any and all objects in the game. May be an 'objective' or 'secondary objective'.

That's all the ideas I can remember. If I have more, I'll add them. If you are interested in joining the mod, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me your opinions on each item (whether you hate it or like it. Don't worry, I looove constructive criticism), and give me your input on what you'd like to see!

Addendum: Some ideas implemented above.

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UT Mod Idea

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  • it's called Day of Defeat, and hit behaves, exactly like what you're planning. It's a mod for halflife, v2.0 should be coming out RSN. check it out [dayofdefeatmod.com].
    ---
    • Geez, did you miss the "Check out Day of defeat, its what I'm basing most of my ideas on"??

      Heh... anyway, its a starting point, and others in the mod (I hope) will give their input making it a different game. Plus putting it on the Unreal engine should change stuff around, bigtime.

      Keep in mind the 'ranking system', 'team spawn', and 'area capture' aren't implemented in DoD, either (I play DoD everyday. Great mod!)
  • First off, I'm glad it's not just my wife and I who enjoy UT still.

    Second, I'm *really* anxious to play multiplayer Return to Castle Wolfenstein. (The LAN [systemaddicts.net] is this weekend...so perhaps some others will have picked it up.) I love the WWII feel, the missions I've seen (at a glance), etc. I think it'll be the Counter-Strike killer in the circles I run in.

    Lastly, your idea sounds intriguing. I've never played the HL mod you mentioned, but lemme give you my impressions of your idea:

    1. Team environment - Absolutely
    2. World War 2 atmosphere...where buildings are falling apart due to invasion... - Groovy. That's one thing I love about RtCW! What a great environment to play in.
    3. Team Spawn...this is tough to explain, but its how "Return to Castle Wolfeinstein" works... - Since I've not played RtCW yet, I don't know how I'd like that idea. I know that it makes *sense* in CS for, when you die, you're dead until it's over. In "real-world" scenarios, why would you want respawning at all? Hmm...I'd have to play it to see how I liked it. It would be nice to stay in the game instead of taking frequent extended breaks if you're a newbie...
    4. Realistic weapons: especially a distinct lack of semiautomatic weapons... - I could get into that, as long as the weapons were usable and playable. I love snipers, and they play very well in a "war torn" area like you are talking about. Weapons of varying degree, but realistic for the time, sound like fun.
    5. Prone - Hmm. As long as it wasn't tedious. Seems like it would be a bit slow. I'd have to see it in action. I bought "Ghost Recon" for my wife, which utilizes "prone", but I've not played it myself.
    6. Ranks...given to the better players each round...Ranks also allow you to disperse weaponry?? - Without seeing it an action, I'd say "no". Too complicated. Plus, it would suck to always be the peon. (I'm a middle-of-the-road player, never the top, never the bottom.) Rank would almost seem to isolate the better players, and for what purpose, really?
    7. Winning is capturing areas - Sounds tough, with little room for close calls. It would be frustrating to have an area *almost* secured, only to have someone run across the area and be quickly shot. I'd say that an enemy would have to come into your area for a certain amount of time and stay alive for it to "reset" the clock.
    All in all, it sounds like a helluva lot of fun, and I'd certainly love to try it out. Keep in mind that my multi-player experience comes from Rise of the Triad (ahh, back in the day), DukeNukem 3D, UT, CS, and Q3 mostly. Some of your scenarios might be just dandy, and I've just never played that type before. Nothing wrong with that!

    --SC

    • some explanation:
      Team Respawn - it stops suicide runners. Guys that run in, get killed, respawn, and do it over and over again. Gives you a breather, makes 'death' and 'dying' something to avoid, instead of just an annoyance.

      Prone - this is, usually, totally defensive. Holding your ground by making yourself harder to hit. I've seen it abused (run into a heavily populated area, and just drop), but it can do good.

      Capturing areas - I like your idea that an enemy has to be in the area a certain amount of time. The thing I'd also like to implement (or at least try) is that you can't see the timer. Neither you, nor the enemy, knows how much time you have left to capture something. You just have to hold it, and wait. If an enemy jumps into the area for a while, he doesn't know if its enough or not to reset the clock. The only thing you see is "Allies capture tower" (and maybe "Allies attempting to capture tower"). Makes it more realistic in that you are holding areas, and advancing the line.

      I'm glad your hyped up about the mod. I can definitely use your help, even if its just ideas and testing.

      As far as the atmosphere (instead of RtCW), I'd suggest Medal of Honor, or Day of Defeat. They have a much scarier atmosphere. In DoD (in good games, at least), people will sneak and hide in buildings... you'll jump at noises when you progress, in case that's a sniper inside that battered building... its just a great atmosphere.

      I've found the best thing about atmosphere is sound (ever play System Shock 2? God that game kicks ass). I really wish I could find a good sound engineer to volunteer his/her time.
  • by daeley (126313)
    * World War 2 atmosphere: especially like in france and poland, where buildings are falling apart due to invasion. Places to hide and peer out of.

    I'm a WWII nut, so this is right up my interest-alley. You might also think about Russia: Stalingrad comes to mind for ruins to run around in (see Enemy at the Gates for inspiration). The Assault mission in UT (the name of which escape me right now) where you come up the beach and try not to get thwacked by mortar rounds comes to mind as well.

    * Team Spawn - Respawn happens once every N seconds. For example, if N = 10 (although, I think the minimum will be like 20. I want dying to mean something), then every 10 seconds, every dead person respawns. So the max you'd have to wait is 10 seconds (minimum is instantaneous, if your lucky), but everyone that died will all return when the 'respawn' happens. This is tough to explain, but its how "Return to Castle Wolfeinstein" works.

    This sounds pretty cool. I was wondering about something like a combination of Respawn + Last Man Standing, where you go into a 'reinforcement pool' that generates every n minutes. As in a new 'squad' of friendlies showing up to help out.

    * Realistic weapons: especially a distinct lack of semiautomatic weapons. Using stuff like 'bolt-action' so you just can't run out firing at everyone. Automatic weapons should have a strong enough kick that you can't run while firing (plus its tremendously inaccurate, like the tommygun).

    Definitely cool ideas. Any time tactics can be imposed from the equipment itself rather than dictated from above, that is a good thing. Machine gun nests were 'invented' for a reason -- it's impossible to haul the frickin' things around.

    * Prone - the ability to lay down and crawl around (slowly).

    Excellent. Soldiers practice crawling around for a reason.

    * Ranks - given to the better players each round (team environment, so the high ranks have 'command' functionality). Ranks also allow you to disperse weaponry?? (an idea I'm not comfortable with, yet).

    I hesitate giving ranks in a mod that is pushing for realism, but perhaps that's nitpicky. On the other hand, ranks might enable calling for artillery or air support, enabling reinforcements (so all your buddies who got thwacked can get replaced), improving situational awareness, etc.

    * Winning is capturing areas - You have to have X number of players in an area for Y amount of time, with no enemies touching the area to capture the area. Enemies can cap it back using the same formula. Goal is to capture all the areas (like advancing the line...)

    This sounds basically good, with some refinement.

    Another idea is the Escort model. 'Captain X must reach the forward command post alive.'

    Or 'the AA guns next to the bridge must be knocked out so our boys in the air can knock down the bridge.'

    I'm not much on programming, but I'd be glad to offer suggestions and/or beta testing.
    • This sounds pretty cool. I was wondering about something like a combination of Respawn + Last Man Standing, where you go into a 'reinforcement pool' that generates every n minutes. As in a new 'squad' of friendlies showing up to help out.

      SWEET IDEA! You need to get the next capture to release the guys from the pool. Very very interesting idea.

      Also, the escort model is also a personal fav, so thats definitately included.
  • Let me preface this by saying I play CS almost religiously, and I have played DoD enough to know what you're talking about with the MOD you propose.

    World War 2 atmosphere
    Personally, I think I like Ghost Recon and CounterStrike more than the WWII genre, but part of that stems from the control and game system that RTCW and DoD employ versus GR and CS. I'll explain further on the elements of each I do and don't like.
    Team Spawn
    I do like the "team respawn" idea behind RTCW (even though I've only played the online beta2 multiplayer test version), especially being able to respawn in a forward area once your team captures that area. 30 second-1 minute intervals are more to my liking though, since I really don't like the Quake3 deathmatch instant respawn as there is no time for your 'team' to get together any strategy. It's just run and shoot.
    Realistic weapons
    Again, since I'm partial to the current era of weaponry a la Ghost Recon and CS, I like automatic weapons. DoD pulls off their weapons pretty well, but I hated RTCW Multiplayer Test's weapons. I couldn't aim worth crap with any of the automatics, but maybe the real game has the accuracy adjusted more now, I dunno. And yes, whatever genre we end up doing, please use realistic weapons. Team play is more fun IMO when it's using realistic, limited use type of weaponry.
    Prone
    DoD doesn't implement this feature too well because there's no ground camaflouge to hide in, but Ghost Recon does use this to pretty good effect. I like the prone effect, but only if we're going to be able to incorporate 'ground cover' to make it worth the slow movement penalty.
    Ranks
    Very interesting idea, but watch out for cheaters. Make sure you natively include a PunkBuster or similar type client on the server/client that 'authenticates' what files may/may not be changed on the users computer when connecting to the server. I'd especially like to see a command/control structure that allows a 'Colonel' to see more of the battlefield in his "radar" based on 'call-ins' from the field. I.E. In CS you can use a command to say "Sector clear." but this means little to someone not near you. If the guy or two in command could receive this info, and be able to subsequently issue a team command like "Cover the right flank!" or something, that would be cool. Somehow make the 'grunts' rely on the commanders orders as their 'eyes and ears' of the overall battle. (This may be impractical on a small scale mod, but more useful were this some massive online war game similar to Everquest).
    Winning is capturing areas
    The multiple objective idea in RTCW is pretty cool, and would be a neat addition to any team-play game.

    Exploding world objects
    Too bad CS doesn't incorporate this enough. I like RTCW's use of this, but the constant random air attacks, with no way of knowing when or where they will strike (for the most part) in DoD and RTCW is REALLY annoying. Having myself blown up while running to the frontlines is rather stupid. But let's definitely have scriptable object events and destroyable world objects (provided enough explosive ;) ) to keep the task-based team play thing more involving. I.E. You can 'wire' a bridge with explosives, then use a detonator to explode right when half the other team is crossing it. Etc.

    Lastly, count me in. I don't have my Linux system all setup to play OpenGL games yet, but I'm working on it. I'll buy UT if I can be part of something like this, whether we build it in Windows or Linux. Just remember I'd like to see it as Open Source as possible.

    I could serve in a code testing/map design and flow testing role. Minor graphical needs could potentially be met by me too, at least early on. I'm sure I could add a little creativity to the mix. ;) Email me with any additional info.

    • Exploding world objects

      I've read in countless game design books, that the more you can modify the world (move/blowup/destroy stuff) the more players feel involved and encompassed in the atmosphere (read: realism). So that's definitely a good plan. This is more of a map-makers job, except for adding 'objectives' to be destroyed (maybe secondary objectives, like the bridge explosives (step by step) you talk about. Have to plant each wire, wire it to a detonator, then use the detonator.).

      And, I plan on using sourceforge, and prolly a variation of the GPL, so we'll be open source (I'm a little worried about people making cheat clients, but it'll be something to consider in the design).
      • This is probably the coolest feature to put in any game. For example, I LOVE to snipe. But on UT with the static maps, everyone has played the maps offline with some bots (or even without) and found every possible sniping place in the map. If I could go up to a tall building, and punch through a crumbling wall to make myself a little sniper nest, OH BOY! That would make it a lot more realistic.

        This sounds pretty sweet. I'm swamped at work, but doing a UT (my fav PC game EVER) mod is something I've long wanted to do. I'll help out however I can. Judging from the programming projects I've been involved in, I have an abstract mind, and I do well in coming up with creative ways around problems. I.e. you know what you want it to do at one place, but just can't seem to find the code to do it right. Usually, I can do something like that. I think it has something to the fact that I like a challenge, and I'm a bit of a show off. But I think this could be fun.

        • I don't think the unreal engine has the ability to "punch through walls". Only the geomod engine (red planet, I think is the name of the game) has that kind of ability... I'll try, though...
          • Maybe if we didn't make them walls exactly... can't you define your own "items" in Unreal? It's been so long since I played with a mod editor... We were talking about exploding bridges and things like that. Maybe we could define our own type of item and build things out of that? I don't know, like I said it's been forever.
  • I'm a fan of Day of Defeat, just waiting for 2.0 to come out. But your idea should be good to see on the UT engine.

    My thoughts have to go with the last two options, rank and holding the areas instead of the CTF style that DoD uses. While I would LOVE to play a game that would use those options effectivly (it sounds like it would be a blast to play), I'm afraid that both options would only work well on large servers (32+ people, if you want me to guess a number...). There have been many a time where I was able to easily blast through the fronts of the opposing team.

    But you know, I just realized that I'm assuming you'll be applying these rules to an existing game....you obviously won't be. Which means you'd just have to design the maps to have specific points that are bottlenecked to allow for the capture of them. Another thought is about spawn points...as a team advances forward, should the spawn points move forward with them?

    Wow, you know, now that I think about this game on its own (instead of just putting your rules into existing games), it sounds like a blast. I really like the capture the area bit. And one last thing...I like the idea of making the spawn time have to be at least 10 seconds...though I'd still rather it be at 20-30. There are too many DoD servers that I play on that the counter is at 5, and ends up making the option useless...even 10 seems like too short of a time, actually.

    Well, I wish you luck on this, cause it sounds like it would be a blast to play. Keep us posted on how your thought process is goin...
  • This definitely sounds like something I would be willing to work on. I am going to start setting up my home system for development and I will check out the links you provided. My take on your feature suggestions:

    Team environment - Will definitely needs this. Good team based environments are like crack to gamers.
    World War 2 atmosphere- I really like this idea as well. An environment like Enemy at the Gates would make a great look and feel.
    Team Spawn - This sounds interesting but I need to think about it a bit more. My suggestion with this would be to not get hung up on realism with this feature, but go for game balance. The decision made here will make a huge difference on the playability of the game and will probably affect how much people want to play.
    Realistic weapons - I also like this idea, provided we can achieve game balance. A lot of thought will need to go into how the weapons work, there is a fine line between realistic weapons and player frustration.
    Prone - Sounds good.
    Ranks - I actually really like this idea, though I don't know if will appeal to others. How about this take on it: Your highest ranking player is part of the objective, e.g. you need to get them somewhere. Rank would be determined by some skill measurement over time, so in theory your team's best player needs to be protected and can't go running around killing by himself. Hmm, maybe not.
    Winning is capturing areas - I really like the idea of capturing areas, we just need to make sure it plays well.
    Explosive/Destructive objects - Sounds interesting.

    I am going to go do a bit more research and come back with some more suggestions. I am also willing to help with the initial project setup.

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