Mostly Harmless

Legacy:Highlander/Developer Journal

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Well I figured i should start one of these things sooner than later. If for no other reason than to keep my thoughts organised. Currently I am working on Unreal-Command as a mapper / coder. With the primary focus of my code being the integration of our gametype with the maps and other map-related actors.

January 8th 2003

First entry, well ive been working on Unreal-Command for a good few months now. Its an interesting project that seems to be butting heads against a few engine limitations already :). Foremost amongst them is the draw limit, the engine stops drawing about 60,000 units out (further at the corners of your vision). Ive found a few methods to cope with this.

  • Dont make maps that big. Not really an option here :) but it may solve the problem for others.
  • Have a central tall object that will block the region not drawn, eg: volcano / mountain
  • Stick to small rolling hills, This works pretty well as the sky is rendered over the area that is out of range.

The other hurdle Ive ran into was transfering data from one level into the next. Basicly as part of my work on Unreal-Command ive been working out the details in a system to have one map effect the next map. For example: The primary objective of one map could be to destroy a bridge, now depending on which team wins that bridge may or may not be there in the next map (which takes place at a later time.) I basicly settled on passing a single string across the level and parsing it at level start and level change so you can also define a branching "campaign" of maps to be played.

Recently ive started work on a modular volume system to be used for defining Bases / objectives / control points or whatever else the mapper needs the objectives are also designed along a similar idea where the mapper adds what they want to happen when the objective is captured via editinline (exactly same way as emitter works). I have also been experimenting with some different ideas for the in-game interface i'm gonna see how they play out ive gotten a lot of feedback from the team so its time to start work on the second revision.

January 21st 2003

Had a good meeting between all the uscript programmers involved in unreal-command on the weekend. Got a lot of stuff worked out and things are progressing well. I tooks some time to do some preliminary work on a side project of mine.

class blades extends actor;
//protoss style hand weapons.
//bleh just wanna see effect... 
function postbeginplay()
	local xPawn ThePawn;
	foreach allactors(class'xPawn',ThePawn)
		StartEffect (ThePawn);
function StartEffect ( xPawn P )
	local coords BoneLoc;
	local vector elbow,hand;
	local Bladesfx MyBlade;
	BoneLoc=P.GetBoneCoords ('rfarm');
	BoneLoc=p.GetBoneCoords ('righthand');
	MyBlade=Spawn(class'bladesfx', P,, Hand,rotator(Elbow-Hand));
class bladesfx extends xEmitter;

Basicly.. It attaches a neat looking stream of particles to the right arm of every player in the game. Works pretty well. Need to make the stream feel more "solid" and perhaps make a better texture for the particles.

Eldhrin: Wow, this looks really cool. Unreal Command is good, but the Protoss-style blades thing is really, really good. I'm sure I'll change my mind about that when Unreal Command is playable, but I'm just continually surprised by what can be done... congratulations.