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Legacy:Mod Ideas/MultiCTF

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Mod ideas for UT 2003 – Multi-Team CTF


This mod was done by at least three different teams for Unreal Tournament. What I'd like to do for UT2003 is get one definitive mod so that we don't suffer a fractured and collapsed community like there was in UT.

The basic idea of the mod is quite simple, although some of the details about scoring and gameplay are a lot more complex. In essence, this is just capture the flag with an extra team or two. In UT the extra teams were Green and Gold, and it's reasonable to assume that UT2003 will have similar, if not exactly the same, team colors, so it shouldn't be too hard to do this.

Scoring is probably the most complex part of having multiple teams. I'm not sure how CTF+ handled this, CTF4 handled this by just giving you every conceivable scoring option and letting people decide on their own. MCTF did this by having "reverse" scoring, when you cap you give a point to the team you capped on, and a team is out when they reach the "cap limit". I propose that for a UT2003 mod we pick one and only one of these to do, because multiple options just splits up the (hopefully not too few) players the mod has.

Ok, to wrap it up the idea of this mod has already been much thought over, and obviously there are differences of opinion about how this should be handled. I think UT2003 is a great opportunity to take the seperate mods and combine them together, hopefully with everyone working together on it but at the very least only having one mod.

Interested Scripters

If you are interested in developing this mod for UT2003 then add your name to the list. Once you start development you should indicate that below (and hopefully include a link to a journal page). Before you start development you should also check this section to see if anyone else has started.


Birelli: I don't know enough scripting to do this, if I did I'd be the first (ok maybe behind Ciggie) to jump in and code the mod. What me and Ciggie would like to do is run the website for uploading maps and a few reviews and stuff. Basically be the promotion/website guys. While I know a mod with "only a website" is a horrible thing, I know that Uncommon (made CTF4), Wyzard (made MCTF), and whoever all did CTF+, I'm not all that clear on that, are out there and might be interested in doing this.

Mychaeel: I heard (but can't confirm) that UT2003 doesn't support more than two teams in general. If that's true, I don't know how much of that limitation is hard-coded into the game though.


I did CTF+. There were two features in CTF+ that were very cool. The first was the ability to mix 2, 3, and 4 team maps in the same map rotation. The number of teams on each map always matched the number of flags. The second feature was the single flag mode. The scoring in CTF+ followed the traditional CTF scoring mechanism - the team with the most caps wins.
The single flag mode is really worthy of its own game type as the maps in which it works well are way more open than traditional CTF maps - defending the base needs to be really hard. There are also AI changes that need to be made to ensure the bots play like people. I have a sneaky suspicion that the double domination maps will play better for single flag CTF as the control points are probably harder to defend (and more open) than the standard CTF ones.
In terms of scoring I really didn't like the last-team-standing idea that MCTF used. I hate being out of play in spectator mode - it's boring. Although I vaguely remember an option to reassign players of a losing team to other teams still in play.
AFAIK Uncommon has never been interested in a combined Multi-team CTF mod as he doesn't feel that there is enough work there to support more than one developer. I'm still not completely convinced about the actual gameplay of a multi-team CTF mod. It always seemed to me that the maps were too big for the number of players (typically 6-12) playing on the map, and more often that not it was simply a 4 way 2v2 CTF game. I was always neve convinced about the HUD (but that was probably just a failing of CTF+). However, your real problem with a multi-team CTF mod is figuring out which set of options to include and which set of options to drop. There are so many different ways in which you could handle scoring and captures (including carry the flag, target captures etc) that working out the set to include is going to be very difficult. Otherwise, as Birelli has already observed, the player base gets fractured into different segments who prefer different rule settings.

Tarquin: It's a difficult choice: if the team here choose one particular set of rules, another team may form to offer a variant. :(

DJPaul: Could the "core" mod have a sort of sub-atomic wiki support, that changes the rule sets?

Mychaeel: What about creating some sort of plug-in architecture for scoring purposes? Like mutators, server admins could run a certain set of scoring (and possibly other) rules with the base game type which all maps are compatible with. Thinking further, creating a voting tool for those plug-ins wouldn't be an issue either.

EntropicLqd: Do we know what other types of "plugin" classes are available in UT2003 besides mutators? Having a set of mutators to turn scoring elements and game features on and off is a workable idea. It would need some careful thought and you'd have to create your own mutator class with all of the callbacks you could conceivably need, but definately workable.

Wormbo: Mutators seem to have lost some of their power (I didn't see any DamageMutator, MessageMutator or HUD mutator functions), but there's a new class called GameRules which creates a linked list like the mutators. Some features of the mutators have been moved to this class, but there are also new ones. Those rules seem are added in InitGame() right before the mutators are spawned. You should download the XIIIEd (the new UnrealEd) and export the classes. A lot of stuff has changed.

Mychaeel: Yes, you're right; they split the concept of mutators into a number of different similar concepts that take care of different aspects of the game each.

Birelli: Ok, I have relatives over and I haven't been online too much. If UT2003 doesn't have, for instance, skin colors for 4 different teams, or any kind of support for more than two teams at all, 4-way CTF would probably too much of a hassle to make work. Personally I liked the potential that DOM in UT has for multiple teams, I'd hate to see all of that go. Anyways, the thing about mutators and dropping things in and out isn't my problem with multiple scoring systems. The mod menu really isn't all that much different from a set of mutators (user-end anyways, I know that it's completely different code-wise). The problem with multiple scoring systems is the potential for having different servers with different settings (which UT had really no interface to communicate about through the server browser), and having that be a major online fragmentation, you need one package with essentially one set of rules, so that people not want to play on a server because it is as different from what they want to play as instagib is to normal weapons, which some of the scoring variations at least in CTF4 definitely had the potential to do. As Tarquin said though, if you don't make lots of options people will probably make other mods, as happened in UT.

Anyways, I guess this mod is definitely on hold for even talk of development until UT2003 comes out, because of the potential that it will be virtually impossible to do anyways.

Mychaeel: What about creating some sort of plug-in architecture for scoring purposes? Like mutators...

DJPaul: That's what I meant when I said: "Could the "core" mod have a sort of sub-atomic wiki support, that changes the rule sets?" - wiki was a typo for mutator :D

EntropicLqd: The plug-in idea for scoring and rules is a nice one. When we get the code we'll see how feasible it is. Since UT2003 has completely ditched team coloured skins in favour of these shoulder carried lights adding support for multiple teams shouldn't be too hard. It'll be the AI implications and the alternate path re-coding that might take a bit of work. If we were going to do it I'd want to make the single flag mod compatable with the multiple team stuff - Probably wind up duplicating the code between the mods though :/

Birelli: I suppose the way this should be approached is first making a multi-team mod (maybe six with purple and orange too? If you make it work for four teams then six should be a pretty natural extension right? Anyways, this could be released as a complete mod package for use in DeathMatch and even DoubleDomination (although that might have to be an even additional mod what with control point logos and all). AI would probably have to be individual mod-based, but AI tends to be that way anyways. I'm thinking this multi-team mod would have the skins, models, whatever, and support for 6 colors in the "player color" menu etc. I'm sure there's some more interface stuff there as well. I guess I should make up a mod page for this.

Anyways, once that's up and running making mods such as this shouldn't be any harder than they were in UT.

Draconx: In my opinion, regardless - a multi-team CTF mod of any use to me would have to have a) At least some way to play with reverse scoring, and b) a carry flags back option. BTW - is there better way to post these comments besides the Edit Text Of This Page button?

Wormbo: Nope, editing the page is the (only) Wiki way. :)

Draconx: Well - I'd say to get this mod running we should listen to Birelli, and start by creating a 4-team mod. This is my area of non-expertise, my area is with creating map actors and mutators and the like. For after a four-team mod has been launched, I've compiled a pack of textures for the green and gold flagbases. Hope thats helpful!

Draconx: I updated that file - it had a problem, which was, the flags didnt have any alpha. That should be fixed now.

NickR: A CTF4 petition was start on the Atari Forums here - When I saw the post I decided to have a go and I have been sucessfull in creating a 4 team gamemode for UT2003. I haven't added new player skins for the Green and Yellow team, but I will change the enemy names that pop up on your corsshair to their team colour. Everything is done except for that and the Scoreboard. I plan to release a build when its done and hopefully enough people will play it and give me feedback on it as well as any bugs they happen to come across. Once that is done I'll start on 4 team capture the flag.

Foxpaw: I think that all of the above suggestions are implementable... The team thing is also quite readily possible but it requires rewriting almost all of the gameinfo - you couldn't do it easily by just subclassing CTFGame. The team index of a player would allow up to 255 teams, plus one for spectators. If you just use the pointer to that players team object, you could have a theoretically unlimited number of teams. Though since the number of players is limited, the value of this is questionable. :P The problem with adding more team color support to skins is that you would have to manually convert every skin you knew of and offer that for download - user made skins would still be using just the two team colors. Some don't even have those implemented due to the common belief that team skins no longer exist. (Which they do, they're just harder to see.) It may be possible to 'tint' the coloration of the entire skin, though I'm not sure if that would be the best solution. I am not a big fan of the shoulder coronas, in fact I don't like them at all, but they may be a better method of distiguishing teams.

RegularX: You could also force the members of a specific team to have the same mesh/skin which could likeise distinct them or at least cut down the workload of trying to create custom skins. This was actually the reason that lead Riftwar to being class based. Riftwar's code is, I'm assuming you know, free to download/drift through/borrow.

NickR: On the thread I posted Mr. Evil came up with a suggestion that might be able to get around the team skin problem. We could use the ColorModifier. You can use it just like FinalBlend and maybe with a mask or something we can just alter parts of a skins color and that would give us programming control over the skin colors, which would give us a wide color palette to choose from.

Anyway about the progress I'm making on the 4 team deathmatch mode. I'm working on a new custom bot config page and new player settings page to give the extra 2 team support. I only need to get the Linkgun and Shieldgun 4 team compatible aswell as make a better looking scoreboard which is just a deathmatch version with the team number info for each player. I'm still getting a lot of Accessed Nones with bot related functions. I believe this to be a Squad problem. I'm looking into it.

EntropicLqd: Don't forget about the team-coloured Instagib beams.

NickR: Thanks for the reminder.

NickR: My 4tdm gametype "Quad Team DeathMatch" is now available.

OverloadUT: CTF4 for UT2004 has been released, which is pretty much exactly what this Mod Idea is. And believe me, almost EVERYTHING in UT2004 is hard coded to 2 teams. I had to replace pretty much every major class to make this work. (Pawn, PlayerController, Flags, HUD, AI, Console...)

Wormbo: I didn't check the sources yet, but did you create something like a generic four team support and base your gametypes off of that or did you only integrate it into your gametypes?

OverloadUT: Oh, I would never forgive myself if I had done it the latter way! Yes, I build a gameclass that adds generic support for four teams, and then TDM4 and CTF4 are both subclasses of that class. Uncommon is also developing BR4, which relies on the OLTeamGames (CTF4) code. My goal from the beginning was to allow other mod developers to build 4 team gametypes on top of my code.

Birelli: Yeah, CTF4 is exactly what I was asking for with this. It's been a long time since I made this up in the hopes of getting a mod going for the new gen (before we even had UT2003), but it's nice to see the 4-way CTF gametype come through. Who knows, maybe I'll get some free time (heh) and do some mapping, it's where I started back in UT.