Always snap to grid
Who am I?
As you might have noticed from my website (see BOP site below), I've been modding games for a LONG time. However, it goes back much farther than that project alone. Like many others, I was involved when Doom was getting hacked to use different art for the creatures, like Barney, StormTroopers, etc. I was very active in the Quake (1) modding community... my mods included a chain-lightning mod (lightning that would jump from target to target in one blast, depending on their conductivity and proximity – I once took out 12 zombies simulataneously in the graveyard area!). Plus, I generated a fair amount of contributions on the Quake2 (and later, Shogo-MAD) modding mailing lists and websites, answering many questions and writing tutorials. (I think I may have been using the Zor Prime nick during the Q2 days.)
Regrettably, my PC hardware has always lagged behind the times. When Unreal first hit the scene, there was no way I'd be able to run it on my Pentium75 with a Monster3D (voodoo1) vid card, so I just let it slide and knew that one day I would give it a run. So instead, I resigned to modding on lesser engines on lesser hardware. In a way, I now wish I had gotten into Unreal/UT modding much earlier, but things just have a way of working out anyway. By that, I mean that my work with the Shogo-MAD community ended up kick-starting my professional game-development career (i.e. I got a job with LithTech in 2000), and later I moved back to NC to work with some great people at Vicious Cycle (on several console projects, with both good and mediocre designs and production cycles).
And now, after a LONG hiatus (during which I devoted much of my time to my family and career), I've decided to revive my modding projects and finally realize some of the designs that have been floating around in my head for the last few years. I will most-likely finish the "Macross: Balance of Power" project using UT2004, and I have several other smaller components to implement that will become weapons, items, mutators, and a few simple gametypes on their own. In addition, I feel that this Wiki is a perfect place to call "home" for giving back to the modding community that seems rather quiet (lately, at least), but still has so much to offer. I don't think the Wiki concept is a "perfect" solution to organizing info in this type of community, but it's the BEST thing I've come across SO FAR. :)
ANYWAY, I fear I'm getting too long-winded now. I just want to state that I'm happy to be here, and I hope to fulfill any needs the Wiki asks of me while I explore this engine more closely and complete my projects.
[Update: I am currently dabbling in UT3 scripting/modding, and although it has its challenges, it is still fairly rewarding. My main problems are lack of a decent video card to really see what I'm making in all its glory, and the sheer amount of work it takes to do some things that were kinda simple in UT2k4, such as providing a UI configuration interface for a mutator. Anyway, I'm making progress... and the community is maturing.]
Balance of Power
I'll update the Bio text to reflect this, but for now, an update in this section should suffice. As mentioned on the project website, I've updated a lot of the text about the shift to the UT2k4 engine [Now UT3]. Also, the scope (as a whole) of the project has become more concise -> No longer will I try to recreate the DM, CTF, ObjectiveDriven modes, etc. Instead, I will provide a mutator to allow substitutions with vehicles in the Onslaught and VehicleCTF modes of UT2k4. This allows me to concentrate on balancing and tweaking just ONE new mode, dubbed Balance Of Power. The initial set of vehicles/weapons will be from the Macross universe (hence the name BOP: Macross), but later I will be releasing sets of vehicles from other licenses (e.g. BOP: Gundam, BOP: Star Wars, BOP: Transformers) and even some new designs I have on the back-burner [and some of which are being created as I learn UT3's quirks].
Note: The vehicles I'm creating are not derived from SVehicle, since they are skeletal mecha. Also, they cannot derive from KVehicle, because they're not restricted to PHYS_Karma and PHYS_None. Instead, I'm attempting to create a new class (derived directly from Vehicle) that includes a lot of the perks from those classes (including ONSVehicle), but of course, is a thundering mecha with multiple weapon systems available to one pilot. I've seen other mods replace player models with mecha, but to my knowledge, no one has tried this with bipedal vehicles before. So as I get some conclusive/stable findings, I will begin posting them to this Wiki for others to benefit.
And btw, as a tidbit, I currently have the HWR-00-Mk II Monster romping around ONS-RedPlanet, with initial sounds and anims. After some additional anims and camera-work are completed, I'll add the weapons and targeting system, and ensure the script is net-friendly... then it should be ready for at least a small download as one new vehicle (as a taste of what is to come), and I'll probably start creating some Wiki pages.
Small Update: Because the Monster was in the wrong space in Maya (X-right, Y-Up, Z-forward), it was causing major problems when trying to move it (and aim the nodes) in UT2k4. Therefore, I totally rebuilt its skeleton (after rigging up the Tomahawk model as a test), re-animated it, and re-exported it. That sucked a lot of time away, but at this point (6/5/05), I have some weapons in, and I expect to have a release of the Monster as a new vehicle within a few weeks. About 1/2 the code and about 1/4 the anims are done right now. Of course, I'll may need someone to help with the texture work, but it's not really a priority right now.
- Vehicles derived from SVehicle (e.g. ONSVehicle) will assert in C++ land (and crash the game) if they are not PHYS_None or PHYS_Karma. That blows, but I can only imagine the native code (replication, etc) makes some assumptions that require this restriction. Derive from Vehicle (or ASVehicle) to use other movement types.
- GetRootLocationDelta() and GetRootRotation() both return (0,0,0) (vector and rotator, respectively) when you have a BOPWeapon attached (subclassed from ONSWeapon). Not really sure why yet, though, since these functions work fine when attaching a weapon derived from Inventory (e.g. ShockRifle, etc). Btw, the vehicle is not really stuck... you can modify the Velocity and it still moves just fine.
- It seems that no matter which space value you specify (e.g. 0 or 1), GetBoneRotation() always returns the worldspace rotation. Also, no matter which space value, SetBoneRotation() always seems to be additive, meaning it moves the bone with the animation, then adds the specified rotation. For example, SetBoneRotation( 'j_Torso', rotator( 8192, 0, 0) ) will point the torso up 45 deg from its current anim position. I'm not sure if this is completely accurate, since for the Monster, I had to make some adjustments in rotation of shoulders, and I've seen extra rotation in the torso when yawing the pelvis.
Tarquin: Welcome! :) Enjoy your stay on unreal wiki.
EntropicLqd: Hello and welcome to the Wiki. Enjoy your stay here.
Geist: Thanks guys! I've been visiting for a while, trying to get more into UT modding (it's LONG overdue), and now I finally have time from work to really dive in. I have a fair amount of history with game engine documentation and development, so I expect to contibute a lot.