ZIKI map (and SkaarjCastle)

post any map related problems you should find / description of map-fixes
User avatar
VooDoo-(DOG)-
Full Game Admin
Full Game Admin
Posts: 427
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:09 pm
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Re: ZIKI map (and SkaarjCastle)

Post by VooDoo-(DOG)- » Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:34 pm

Rubie wrote:I also ask myself why we do al this for the 16 pl online??? :(
Because you love the game and if people didn't "do all this", there would only be 15 pl online! :star:

Our game needs more camaraderie basically. To a certain extent, we need camaraderie more than new maps/mods.......
 
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

User avatar
strategy-(DOG)-
Full Game Admin
Full Game Admin
Posts: 1266
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: Austria
Contact:

Re: ZIKI map (and SkaarjCastle)

Post by strategy-(DOG)- » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:05 pm

VooDoo-(DOG)- wrote:Our game needs more camaraderie basically. To a certain extent, we need camaraderie more than new maps/mods.......
well said! WOOF! :flap:
strategy-(DOG)-
[ no tolerance for intolerance ]

User avatar
£éè£å-(DOG)-
Full Game Admin
Full Game Admin
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:27 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: ZIKI map (and SkaarjCastle)

Post by £éè£å-(DOG)- » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:42 pm

Hello :)

I think I should explain some things for a better understanding.
Today renaming a map is easy and simple. Just rename the mapfile and make a change in an ini file and that's it. But it was not always as easy as it is today.
In the past there was no Monsterspawner, which also handles the maplist on the server. Maps were linked together one by one via the Endteleporter.
Since I started on Newbies I worked on more than 200 maps. Changing one filename meant in the past also changing the former map, even if that one was not altered in any way. (We did that only in few cases where it was absolutely necessary). But then also this not altered map had to be renamed to be correctly. And at the end all maps would have needed a rename.
That was something which Sparky not wanted to do. Instead he chose the way with the Supercache.
Ziki for example is one of the older fixes, that's why it never was renamed. Of course, we could start rename every modified map on the server, but that would take a lot of time and work. Not only changing the filenames and ini files on all coopservers. Also a new Supercache would be needed. That is something only Strategy can decide. I can give a list with all fixed and the other affected maps if needed, but you should know, that would be more than the half of all maps on the coopserver.

For the rename of the Herd maps there was a reason as I already said.
In the past I was attacked by several people for the modifications. Lol, they even didn't ask why the maps were modified or what was done.
And when the discussion about Zone3 came up I asked Strat if he could rename the maps I had worked on so everyone could see at once which maps were fixed by me.

About SkaarjCastle I think there is a little misunderstanding. It's not simply about one map being more important than another. SkaarjTower and SkaarjCastle are special cases. These two maps are very popular in Unreal. You cannot change something on them and keep them under the original name. It would be like altering one of the stock maps but keep its name.
When Strat told me about the idea with the altered end of SkaarjCastle I talked with Drew about it and told him what idea I had in mind. He liked it and said, that he has no problems with it. But he also wished, that we would use a different name for the modified map.

Currently the original Zone3 map should run on the servers. I must mention, that Rubie did an incredible job on this one, except the missing secret :cheesygrin:
The original map is of course totally playable and has no serious issues on the way from start to end. But there are also these huge bsp errors around the water where players instantly crater and Rubie fixed these problems. I can honestly say, that I would not have touched the geometry of this map. I'm no mapper and this huge thing is some numbers too large for me :mrgreen:

User avatar
£éè£å-(DOG)-
Full Game Admin
Full Game Admin
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:27 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: ZIKI map (and SkaarjCastle)

Post by £éè£å-(DOG)- » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:01 pm

Hiya (-:

Rubie, yup the original Ziki map is from Matt Rasmussen (Razman), you also can find it here:

http://www.oldunreal.com/maps/single/ziki.zip

And the map was made in original for SP only, that's why it never had an endteleporter. When I started with the fix on that map some years ago it already had some modifications done by Jackal. For example the endteleporter on the mountains and the additional monsters. Main goal of the first fix was to get a somehow coopfriendly playable map. I did not change anything on the modifications Jackal already had done.
As already said, the original map has some issues and some of the fixes I did were only compromises at that time. For example the falling floor or the boxes instead of the broken lift.
And you also must know, that things change with time. Today a fix of this map would for sure be much different to the one I did years ago.
There are quite some fixes in the past where today I say to myself: My god, what have you done there. :Drogar-BigGrin:

Anyone with basic coding skills could write a mutator that would modify URL of exit teleporters. Its implementation is trivial:
Yes, and that's exactly what TomKatRebel did when he developed his Monsterspawner mutator. You can set a new end URL in the ini file and the mutator changes it ingame. But as said before, we had nothing like that to use before the monsterspawner came up.
(lack of people willing to learn basic things in UScript and implement a simple mutator for your needs)
I've often heard and read statements like this one. It's easy to say when you are a natural coder. I once was a coder too, but never on a pc and not professional. I've never learned a language which is approximately near to UScript.
Even though I got some basics about UScript over the last years even today I couldn't write a mutator on my own. But this has nothing to do with not willing to learn it. I simply don't have enough basic knowledge about it and also there is a language barrier which makes it even more difficult for me. Nearly everything you can find about UScript is in english and that's not my native language.
Maybe that makes me less worth regarding coding things, but therefor I've other knowledges about Unreal.

User avatar
strategy-(DOG)-
Full Game Admin
Full Game Admin
Posts: 1266
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: Austria
Contact:

Re: ZIKI map (and SkaarjCastle)

Post by strategy-(DOG)- » Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:21 pm

i think it is better that everyone contributes his/her personal skills, rather than someone trying to do everything on his own.
for sure some got better skills in coding, others in designing a map, creating nice soundscapes or got good ideas how to improve gameplay of a map by working out fixes. if those people come together, the result will be good. and of course i understand that not everybody is interested to deal with all different kind of disciplines.
for example, i know quite some coders and the majority of them got no sense for design - they even don't care about it, because they rely on others who do that part of a teamwork project. on the other hand, designers care little about source-codes or programming... sharing synergies is always the better option imo ;)

everyone who is willing to contribute to the community is part of the common efforts to keep the game alive. i am very happy that there are numerous talented people out there who share their skills, their passion for unreal! thanks to all of you! :flap:
strategy-(DOG)-
[ no tolerance for intolerance ]

User avatar
-(bob)-
FOD
FOD
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:18 am
Location: NJ , USA
Contact:

Re: ZIKI map (and SkaarjCastle)

Post by -(bob)- » Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:45 am

before tkr_spawner came along, Back in 2009 - 2001, I knew you guys had exhasted all the slots to redirect maps in jcoopz1 and dzmap mut combined ( you were editing the maps at that point to swap teleporters, i knew from looking at the cached maps), I made mutators to help you. I made a simple 225 based 400+ map url changer that works by both map file name or maptitle and can redirect based on the teleport target , it even can swap internal teleports optionally.

I also created a way to save the information of every map in your rotation after i heard kamikaze was spending weeks copying the info manually to make a map list. ( filename, title , music , # of pawns , auther, end url(s) etc) and formatted the exported info in such a way when open office or excel could import from the ini and export it to html with less them 5 minutes of effort.

My efforts and work were usually totally ignored, Usually with excuse " we don't want to use more mutators!".
Refering to the fact that you guys back then would choose to edit the maps to suit your needs vs fixing them with a few custom mutators like you do now,Witch makes no sence from a server prepective of redownloading the large files( back then no redirects), Just to fix somthing you can do serverside with a mod.

also on that note alot of the stuff you take for granted as "new" like UMapMod now a days is basicly just a glorified end user freindly- non scripting way for newbies to fix things easily. admins who knew how to code , hardcoded similar ( and somtimes much more advanced things , such as adding actors , triggers , blockalls , endings, weapons etc) fixes like this for the last 15 years..

i have a mod called "mapfixes", it has a individual checks for 70% of maps that are on my server. Each of those fixes translations , triggers , movers etc.,

csetje2 was fixed for example by dynamic loading a custom teleporter trigger with collision radius into the areas of the maps where you can get fall and get stuck , these were scripted to move you back to the surface nearby if you fell in, in a case like that the only thing you could do otherwise is to edit the map with a killzone , or such in editor. why would you make a player redownload a 8 mb map when you can just put 17 kb of code serverside ??
Image

User avatar
strategy-(DOG)-
Full Game Admin
Full Game Admin
Posts: 1266
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: Austria
Contact:

Re: ZIKI map (and SkaarjCastle)

Post by strategy-(DOG)- » Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:06 am

as a matter of fact i know little about newbies' technical side before my time. but i know sparky was always sceptic and might have tried out this or that but would have soon switched back to what he was used to before (in most cases). that's why it took so long until sparky agreed to switch from 225 to 227 - and that wasn't some easy-going decision!

the tkr-spawner comes along with a web-interface that would enable all admins, even with 0 coding skills, to create a maplist and add monsters to those maps. it works simple on users side and does what it should do.

regarding the mapfixes it never came into my mind to talk to sparky why it had been done as it was common use on newbies, but i know that he really had a huge respect for leela as a person and for her passion to the game. maybe he thought it would show little respect for her work if other workarounds would have been used or he had too little trust in mutators, scripts that he could not understand - always in fear someone could/would harm newbies.

i want to make clear that leela's support for newbies is outstanding and she got highest respect within the clan and even outside newbiesplayground. i understand that she got her own way to fix problems nevertheless there might be other ways less invasively.

personally i am always open for new approaches/ideas/ways, if they help to increase stability, "playability" or reduce the workflow and necessary effort asides the contributors.

i understand that coders got their opinion as they take a "basic" knwoldge as being given or that everyone would share the same passion for dealing with source codes. yet sometimes they tend to forget about the "human factor".
everyone contributing to unreal is doing that on a voluntary basis. no orders, no pressure and no obligation! please keep that in mind. if someone is willing to share his/her knowledge, maybe in form of a "workshop", that would be very much appreciated. maybe that could be an approach to motivate others to work with those elegant solutions coders provide with their scripts and mutators. i understand that these solutions provide powerful and userfriendly possibilities, yet the guidance to these solutions lacks a bit of "friendly welcome". you are not dealing with other coders who just swap code snippets as if they would just handover a piece of pizza. here you deal with players who started to gain some knowledge by time, in order to keep their game/passion running and alive.

what i ask for is just a little bit more respect and tolerance for each other. that's the only way a community can work. everyone here might have a different opinion, yet everyone should understand that communities' achievement is a compromise and the sum of many people's opinions/ideas/wishes...

i'd welcome more teamwork and strengthen the community spirit. but to approach each other also means one step aside your own opinion. in the end everyone discussing here got the same goal. we desire to keep unreal alive, we appreciate to have fun together when playing online and we consider many of the playernames we know but mostly never met the person behind it in real life - as friends! treat them as friends, it won't be a disadvantage!
strategy-(DOG)-
[ no tolerance for intolerance ]

User avatar
£éè£å-(DOG)-
Full Game Admin
Full Game Admin
Posts: 612
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:27 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: ZIKI map (and SkaarjCastle)

Post by £éè£å-(DOG)- » Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:52 pm

Hello :)

I think I should clarify some more things.
Endteleporters and linking maps together for the server was never my business, usually I had nothing to do with it. When I started with a fix for a map, this map was already included into the rotation. Therefore I actually never worked on an original map, but an already modified one.
Adding maps to the rotation was always done by Jackal and Sparky only, because they made the decisions.

My only job was to make sure, that maps run without problems in coop. Therefore I never spent any thought about how maps are linked together or if there is even any other way to do it.
Also I had nothing to do with any scripting things and in the past I nearly knew nothing about it. The only reason why I started to take interest in it were related to problems which occured in maps, especially tons of ScriptWarnings in logfiles.
When I look into a script there are things I can understand and also follow, but there is also a lot which I don't know or can't understand, especially the syntax.
You must know, that I learned coding in a time where a game like Unreal was still impossible. First I started coding in BASIC V2.0 and later also in machine language, but that was many years before the development of Unreal started.
I'm sure you still know BASIC V2.0 and how different it is to coding languages of today and even UScript.

Writing a basic program is no problem for me and I still could do it, but doing the same in UScript for example is currently still not possible for me. The only things I can do in UScript are very simple ones like modifing functions for example.
You shouldn't think, that I've never spent any time in UScript. I've already spent lots of hours with it. I've even tried already to write a mutator on my own and used Banes simple mutator tutorial for it, but it did not work right and I even don't know why. Ask Strategy about the mutator for the dualmags, I'm sure he still can remember it :Drogar-BigGrin:

Another thing you should know is, that I've never had and still have no intention to become a coder in UScript (although I played with the thought for a short time). But if I would have the intention then I would learn it for sure somehow, because I don't give up easy on something.
Regarding the linking of maps it never was a matter of will, it simply was not my busyness. But I can assure you, if it would ever have been, I would have found a way for it.

@Bob
I'm sorry, I've never heard about the mutators you mention, because Sparky never told me about them.
But I think there is also a big misunderstanding. For sure you can do some neat things with mutators, but you can not really fix a map with it. All things a mutator can do are only temporary. Run a map with a mutator which solves some problem. Then take this map and put it on any other server for example. Not a single bit of the former changes will follow the map and the problem is back.

And there are things which even the best mutator can't ever fix. One big problem we often had with custom maps in the past was for example path related. Many maps kept crashing the server. The only way to solve this was fixing the pathnet (if one was there) and making a Pathdefine, something a mutator can't do. And even if it would be possible you still need someone who has enough knowledge to write such a thing.
A second big problem were hanging maps. I remember very well when I came to Newbies. Often the server was empty for many hours because a map couldn't be ended. That was by the way even the reason how my work for Newbies started back then. It was the map Fishbait and I had caused it to hang, because I was killed near the end. In the original map it's not possible then to finish the map, because you can't reach the end anymore.
I wrote an email to the server owner, which was of course Sparky ;) and made a suggestion how to fix it after I had downloaded the map and looked in Ued for the exact cause of the problem.

At that time I had not worked with Ued for more than 5 years and about UScript I had absolutely no idea, I even didn't know that it exists or what it is. Everything I know about it today I've learned over the last years.
Sparky then asked me if I could do the fix for the map and so everything started.

In the first years before my health went down I was on the server for many hours each day or better say night, because the time zones are different. I constantly watched the maps and the gameplay. Nothing is more worse for a server than a bad playable map or a map with bad errors. Sooner or later players will start to leave. That's why I try to keep the maps as coopfriendly as possible.
Also you must consider, that most of the custom maps were made for exactly only one player. But on a coopserver these maps must also work good with 8 or 10 players.

Masterkent I understand your point very well, because sometimes I did and do exactly the same. I've often seen some things in maps where I thought, how could the mapper make such mistakes which even a beginner wouldn't or shouldn't do. Then I remember a discussion I had with Zombie about problems in custom maps. I told him about some of these unbelievable things and he said something which I try to keep in mind. He said, that I always should consider, that the mapper didn't know it better at the time when the map was made.
And that's absolutely true. We can never be perfect right from the beginning. We are in a constant learning process. For example I did some fixes in the past, which I never would do the same way today.

Now we have 227 with all its nice features and new functions. We even run a completely new gametype. But in the past nearly all servers were 225 and the most common gametype was JCoopZ. We had to deal with the problems and possibilities of that time.
In most of the cases you can't even notice, that a map was fixed, but there were some serious problems in them. We did not touch a map such for fun.
As an example I tell you something about the map sbegin2unreal. In the beginning this map couldn't run on the server without an admin being present. There was a way through a cave which no player could pass, because there was a big hole in the ground. Sometimes later I found a version of this map where this problem was solved. Unfortunately in this already fixed version there was another place with a huge hole in the ground. I then fixed this problem which took many hours of work. But today you can't even notice this hole if you not know, that it ever was and still is there. Hm, try to find it without looking into Ued. I would be curious if you can find it :Drogar-BigGrin:

Sure, this fix was not done with a mutator, but this map can run nearly everywhere without any additional efforts. It's easy to say, that you can fix a map with a mutator when you are not really confrontated with the maps day by day and the huge amount of so many different problems which occur in maps.
And first you must find someone who has all the required knowledges about the maps and the coding abilities to create mutators for so many different problems. In the past there was no one there who could do that or was willing to do it.
Maybe I have not the coding abilities, but I always used my other knowledges to make maps as good playable as possible.

User avatar
-(bob)-
FOD
FOD
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:18 am
Location: NJ , USA
Contact:

Re: ZIKI map (and SkaarjCastle)

Post by -(bob)- » Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:26 am

"fixes that require rebuilding geometry, lighting, or AI paths cannot be implemented by means of scripts. "

this is not entirely true, if you consider weird solutions,
there is no way to change geomety /bsp via mods. true . but ...

-For (some) geometry issues you can use statigicly placed blockalls to block bsp holes
-You can do something mostly undesirable with teleporters to "skip paste" bsp issues.
- static meshes can play a part - you can "reshape" the geometry with static mesh , and spawn it in dynamically.
- lighting may be tweaked a bit using dynamic lights ,( serverpackage adds req)
- ai paths can be interrupted ( i have never tried) using blockmonsters actors perhaps ,
paths are precomputed , but if there is a obsicale , it will have to pick a new path?
- pathnoding - for true ai paths its not possible to add paths dynamicly, but placing (subclassed )pathnodes using a mutator ,
can help for the case of monsterspawners, as long as they all spawn in before the spawner scans for nodes.

alot of these ideas , require 2 - 10 X the effort to make as a mutator tho , so you need to calculate your return on investment.


also i will add , that masterkents umapmod concept is a handy and a novel thing , it is probably more efficent to address the actors then a traditional mod may be in some cases , not only that but its straightfoward and easy to use for anyone , and the fixes can be shared in plaintext etc.
Image

Post Reply