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Posts Tagged ‘mod’

planetstorm01For today’s post (or yesterday’s…) I thought I’d write a little about a mod I have recently encountered.

Angels Fall First – Planetstorm is a futuristic space\land battle multiplayer mod for Unreal Tournament III.  I haven’t had much chance to play it yet, just messing around offline with bots trying to learn the mechanics, so I don’t have much information on how it plays.  But I still think it’s worth a post simply for the ideas.  Several years ago, back when UT2004 was released I had an idea for a mod that was quite similar to this, so when I first read about it I was excited. (more…)

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Another classic UT2004 mod.

Jailbreak is a team based game, the main mechanic being that if you are killed you are put in jail.  Your team mates then have to race into the enemies base and unlock the jail releasing all inside.  Should all members of a team be locked in jail, the game is over and they are terminated.  This idea was originally developed for Quake 2, then a version for the original UT was developed, there have since been many other versions including an update to UT2003 and UT2004 this is where I first encountered it. (more…)

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SlaveMaster

While writing about Bombing Run a few days ago I started thinking about all the great mods that were made for UT2004.

Mods are the one of the things that makes PC Gaming especially special.  The most modded games are probably HL1, HL2 and UT2004.  Epic Games had a whole contest for making mods for UT2004, with real cash prizes which not only encouraged some great ideas, but also a higher than average amount of polished mods.  Since anyone with access to a PC can make some kind of mod, you get a lot of little projects that, while interesting, are not very memorable.  Some however can often equal or even surpass the base game.

sm02Sitting there on the list of game modes, SlaveMaster fits in so seamlessly with the official options, that you could easily imagine it having been there since release.  An extension of traditional deathmatch, SlaveMaster uses the same options and maps, the twist comes in-game.

The round starts off like deathmatch, spawning all over the map, followed by the rush for better weapons.  If you kill someone, instead of respawning, they become your slave.  They no longer take part in the fight, instead performing useful tasks for you.  If you are killed, then you become your killers slave.

sm03You are respawned as a ghost, unable to be killed (except falling off the map) and you must earn favour with your Master to be set free.  Any weapons, ammo or power-ups you collect are passed through to your Master.  Each time you collect something your score goes up, once it reaches the preset limit you are free and are respawned ready to join back in with the fight.  The score required can be adjusted before the match starts, the default being 100.  sm04The other way of earning favour is to ‘tag’ other players.  This highlights them on the Masters HUD, even through walls.  Left-click fires a glowing ball, that travels in a slight arc, it has to connect with a player to tag them.

Over the length of a match you can build up your number of slaves, the score being kept in the upper left HUD.  If you are killed then all of your slaves are set free, this can result in a large wave of extra players, so you need to keep an eye out if you’ve just killed someone with a large retinue of slaves.  During the course of this play through I actually had thirteen slaves in a sixteen bot game, but then I was killed and they all went free…  The match ends when either you reach the standard frag limit, or you capture every other player on the map. If you perform especially well for your Master then you respawn with extra health, shields and even weapons.

sm05For these matches of SlaveMaster I have used my favourite deathmatch map in UT2004, Morpheus3.  I liked it the first time I played the original way back in the original Unreal Tournament demo.  Set on three skyscrapers many miles up into the outer atmosphere.  The massive buildings are at slightly different levels and gravity is low allowing for plenty of mid-air battles.  High up on the highest spire of each tower are the best power-ups, large health, double damage, the biggest shield and the redeemer.    These offer the largest amount of points towards your favour score.  One of the little twists I like on this map, is the screen showing the score of the top player:sm06

I never got a chance to play SlaveMaster online, and there were no servers available when I looked, but then almost five years after release it’s understandable that UT2004 only has a small online community now.  Where I can see it bringing the most fun, is at LAN parties.  Never been to one myself, but the PCG writers have often mentioned what a good game it is for a LAN party, and I can see their point.  There are at least four or five mods (including SlaveMaster) which would be perfect for an impromptu match, not to mention the base game itself.

The bots do a good job however, they collect plenty of pick-ups for you as slaves, and put up a good fight when they’re the Masters.  In the latest version of SlaveMaster they also make use of the tagging system, gaining a slight bonus so that tagging no longer benefits just you.

If you have a copy of UT2004 floating around, this is one mod I suggest you have a go at.  Download it from here.

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod. idea

s.t.a.l.k.e.r.

I just thought I’d post an idea I had once for a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod.

The basic idea revolved round something that plagues all free-roaming\open-ended games, particularly S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and from what I’ve heard Far Cry 2; Respawning enemies.  Obviously you have to have them, to replace the hoards of NPCs the player has ploughed through, otherwise the game world would become empty pretty quickly.  But it can be very immersion breaking having static spawn points.  The player could be working through an area towards an enemy stronghold, not letting anyone past, then on their way out find the outpost behind them is already restocked with enemies.

The solution I came up with was to simply adjust the positioning of the spawn points and give the AI travelling instructions.

Anyone who has made reasonable progress into the game knows the rough layout of The Zone.  My mod idea was to remove all the spawning points for NPCs, instead working out a flow chart style of movement.  There are two groups to consider, the military and the stalkers\bandits.  All newcomers to the area would enter from the main road leading through Cordon.  The military would then use troop vans and helicopter transports to get to their various outposts.

The more complicated part involves everyone else.  All new arrivals would start out as lone stalkers.  They would spend a certain amount of time wandering around Cordon, then they would ‘level up’.  A certain percentage decide that life as a stalker is too hard and they become bandits, they would then hang around the surrounding area. (remember the barn, in your first mission?)  The remainder would move on to Garbage.  After spending time wandering around Garbage, some staying around the junk yard, some at the hanger and others just wandering, they would level up again.  As before some would become bandits, this time the slightly higher difficulty ones you find in the Garbage, some head for the Agroprom military bases but the bulk head for the Bar.  This is where things would get more complicated.  The ones who reach the Bar would make a choice, Duty, Freedom or Loner.  Then they would scatter to through the surrounding areas.  Of those who join Duty, some would head back for the gate at Garbage, some stay ar0ound the Bar and the others would become higher level Duty and go on to Army Warehouses.  All the ones who join Freedom would head straight for the Army Warehouses, and spread out to Freedom’s various outposts.  The Loners would just generally scatter everywhere a few joining the bandits and mercenaries, a lot heading North ending up as Monolith, a reasonable percentage heading for Yantar.  Those that reach the bleak area of Yantar would be doomed, those that wander too close to the Scorcher would become Zombies.

So what is the point of this massive journey?  When any of these NPCs die, they won’t respawn.  Stocks of people are realistically replaced, meaning areas can take a while to recover.  S.T.A.L.K.E.R. already has some pretty good group movement.  Areas can change hands in the time you are away, that friendly camp you spent the night in could be overrun by bandits by the time you visit there again.  This mod. would add to that fluidity, areas would stay clear for some time after you clear them out, (although not too long) and you could keep them clear if you made a conscious effort to do so.  This, I felt, would add a lot to the immersion.  At the moment it’s all a bit random, places changing hands to easily, and it feels like nothing you do makes an impact.

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I don’t really stay up-to-date with the world of Garrys Mod.

I go off to play something more structured then when I get back something new is happening.  When Garrys Mod implemented LUA coding, the ideas exploded.  Overlooking the strangeness of modding a mod, there are many great new ways to play that have arisen.  The first one I found was RP.  The Role Playing mod. in itself is very simple, what results ranges greatly.  The general feeling of RP servers is that they all just devolve into dm’ing, or deathmatching.  Spawning as many guns as possible and shooting all newcomers.  On the opposite end there are some servers where the admins take role-playing too literally, and immediately kick anyone not conforming to their dream.  There is a good side to be found, I’ve had some great experiences on RP servers, and despite the Friends joke, rules can make things more fun.

Stranded

Lost: The Game?

The next mod I found was Stranded.  Someone on a forum somewhere was showing a video called Stranded:  The Movie, it’s artistic charm made me want to find out more.  (Sadly it’s no longer available.)  Whilst I didn’t find what was in the video, I did find yet another way of playing.  Normally in Garrys Mod you can spawn (create) as many items as you want, in Stranded you have to make them using resources.  Want a wooden bench, start hacking at that tree.  You also have to look after your health, eating, drinking and sleeping.  This makes for a dangerous environment that stimulates your creativity.  The mod is based off this game, I recommend you try it.

I am a duck.

I am a duck.

This time I had decided to give RP’ing another go.  Servers running Garrys Mod tend to require certain files to play on them, not including the ones you download when joining.  These are made up of other mods and whilst you can still play on the servers without them, you see a lot of error symbols everywhere and you miss out on on their features.  After joining and enjoying my time on the Biscuits of Brutality server I decided to I would be coming back, so I downloaded these extra files.  One set of these files was for Wiremod.

How to sum up Wiremod?  It’s basically circuitry you can use in Garrys Mod.  Take a thruster and connect a button to it and you can control it, normally you have to assign a key, this limits your options and doesn’t have the same feel as your own control panel.  Plus Wiremod can do so much more.  Okay, so you’ve wired your thruster up to your rocket, suppose you want to have a ten second count down before it ignites.  That’s easy, connect up a timer and a comparison chip, then when it detects the timer has reached ten, it ignites the thruster.

10...9...8...

10...9...8...

It’s a little complicated to get the hang of, and the system does seem to have some strange quirks, but you can build some amazing things.  A floating turret that tracks peoples movement, a control mechanism for a spaceship, many things are possible once you’ve worked out how.  It’s the most fun, when you take it to a public server to show off.  I once made a Lottery machine, all it did was generate random numbers between one and ten, and only one person had a go.  But for that moment, I was giddy with excitement.  :mrgreen:

A great place to start is this set of tutorials by -orb-. He goes through things step-by-step, explaining what each part does, much better than some who just tell you what to place.

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