I love the smell of UnrealEd crashing in the morning. – tarquin
Legacy:Mod Authoring/The Three Mod Types
Mutators are mini-mods. They have limited functionality as defined by the Mutator class. Mutators should follow certain rules. If you can't follow these rules, you should probably work on a GameType mod.
The first rule is that Mutators should be able to work with any other Mutator. If you write a "Vampire" mutator that allows the player to drain life from an enemy he shoots, the mutator should work well if combined with one of the Arena mutators or the No Powerups mutator. This is one of the beneficial features of the Mutator system. They slightly change (or mutate) gameplay, allowing for interesting combinations.
The second rule is that Mutators should only change gameplay in a slight fashion. Although that's a vague way of putting it, you need to try and restrict your Mutator behavior. Careful mutator design will increase the chances of your mutator working with other mods and will decrease your support effort.
The third rule is that Mutators should share resources with other Mutators. If your Mutator implements the
ModifyPlayer function, you need to call
NextMutator.ModifyPlayer somewhere inside your version of the function. This ensures that any Mutator on the Mutator list after your mod gets a chance to deal with the function call. Failing to do this is poor programming style.
GameTypes are a much larger class of mod. They do everything the Mutator can't and allow you access to a much larger range of functionality. If your idea can't be implemented within a Mutator, you should work on a GameType.
The drawback of a GameType is that it cannot be mixed with other GameTypes. For example, Capture the Flag is a GameType in Unreal Tournament. It is a wholly different style of gameplay from Assault (another GameType).
GameTypes are implemented as subclasses of the TournamentGameInfo class. There aren't any specific rules for GameTypes, other than some client-server issues that you should be aware of (and that we will discuss later).
It is possible to write a mod that doesn't change gameplay through the GameInfo (UT) or Mutator classes. These would include Player Plugin Models (PPM) or a new weapon. We'll talk about a few prime examples like Weapon (UT)s and Pickup (UT)s later. GameTypes will often include many new weapons, pickups, AI features, or special actors that are separate from the game rules themselves.
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