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(Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

For discussion and promotion of Unreal Engine single-player campaigns, mapping projects and total conversions.

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Gameite2260
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Subject: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2014, 04:15

So, I heard a rumor that Return To Na Pali was originally going to be very different. In addition to the normal "prisoner human" protagonist, you would be able to play seperate Skaarj and Mercenary campaigns. Each campaign would have its own race-exclusive weapons, items, abilities, and themes (For example, one campaign could have been heavily melee-based a la Shadow Warrior). Every few levels would be the same for each campaign, but with different objectives, items, starting points, etc. I personally liked the Mercenaries and thought they needed more screen time, and also adored the idea of playing the Skaarj and slicing up everything in my path, so I think it would be interesting if we could start up a "fan revival" of this concept.

For the Human campaign, the weapons list would remain the same mostly, with the exception of the UT Chainsaw being added as a melee weapon. Gameplay would be pretty much the same as the original Unreal.

For the Skaarj campaign, you can choose between being a Warrior or a Trooper. Troopers act normally with a mixture of new and old weapons. But Warriors only get one weapon, the Razik, which as you know, is a melee and a ranged weapon. Warriors find "Spare Parts" which can be used to upgrade some of the Razik's stats. (May be scrapped if it proves too hard to code)

For the Merc campiagn, during the first level, your character's arm gets chopped off. Later you find a prosthetic "Robot Fist", your first weapon, which is a very good melee weapon that can do combos and other such things. You will find other weapons throughout the game, but they are rare to encourage use of the Robot Fist more. A weak ranged attack might be added to the Robot Fist as a tertiary fire much like the ninja stars in Shadow Warrior, the game that inspired the idea of melee-based combat in this mod.

[spoiler]The secret campaign is called the "Nali Campaign". In it, you play a Nali that finally has discovered how to use "relics", meaning the SMP, the overpowered pistol that can replace the Redeemer in the OldSkool mutator. Ammo for it is very sparse, so the game is mainly focused on sneaking around. The Nali will have several powers to help them with this, for example, a recharging Invisibility power. Krall, Slith, Tentacles, Gasbags, and Mercenaries will not appear in this campaign, and only the following types of Skaarj will appear: Pupae, Queen, Berzerker, Assassin, Lord, Giant, Infantry, Gunner, Sniper, Officer, Warlord, Paladin (Miniboss).[/spoiler]

Both the Skaarj and the Mercs encounter areas with "Allies". That is, depending on the race, the player will see sections with certain pawns that are friendly. These pawns stay where they spawn, shooting enemies that walk near. But when the player gets close enough to them, all the allies will start to follow a path to the end of the level, showing the player the way and helping them fight enemies. If it's not too hard to code, the allies will be able to push buttons (Just by running into them like the player would, possibly with a "pushing button" animation), and they will also be able to shoot areas that need shooting (Like the lever in the end of Vortex Rikers). The player will not be able to influence the movement of these pawns because that would be pretty damn hard to code according to the post below.


I need the following:
-Coders
-Modelers
-Texture makers
-Mappers
-And, if this project ever sees anything resembling the light of day, people to help with the wiki. Some minor familiarity with UnrealEd would be preferred for this.

So here's some random concepts I had for it that weren't mentioned above:
-A whole bunch more Mercenary pawns. There should be as many Mercenary pawns as there are Skaarj pawns. I'm imagining the melee fighters for Mercenaries being mercs mounted inside of bulky mech-like suits. This is because, since Skaarj are so common as enemies, the list of enemies when playing as a Skaarj would be quite small.
-Human campaign in which you play as a pilot of one of the spaceships dropping the crates of supplies in RTNP. Your shit is shot down by a Mercenary battleship, and you crash.
-Skaarj campaign in which you play a young Skaarj on a Nali hunting trip gone horribly wrong.
-Merc campaign in which you play a Merc general on the front lines of the Merc-Skaarj war.
-A secret mini-campaign (5 or so levels) unlocked by beating any of the three campaigns on Unreal difficulty.
-During the levels that appear in multiple campaigns, the minibosses at the end would often actually be the protagonists from other campaigns. All of which end up escaping you most of the time.
Last edited by Gameite2260 on 28 Feb 2014, 22:37, edited 4 times in total.
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

User avatar ividyon
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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2014, 05:39

Food for thought: A mod team leader should fulfill at least one role relevant to the mod's development, be it mapping, coding, modeling or texturing.

Across modding and amateur game development communities on the web, the concept of "idea guys" trying to assemble teams to make their dream game/mod for them is very well established, and it goes without saying that most such projects fail painfully.

Your project, from what I see, suffers from the same root; you admit to having no skills related to actually creating the mod, but you're almost bursting with ideas. The thing is; everybody has ideas. Most people have some sort of concept of the "best mod ever" in their heads, but either keep quiet about it, work on it of their own accord, or, as in this case, absolutely underestimate the continuous effort and work involved in creating any small number of levels, let alone:

- several campaigns worth of levels
- specialized art and lots of code to enable players to play as other races
- INCREDIBLE amounts of code to set up some form of squad system
- making, skinning and animating custom models for custom pawn types

which are all points you casually mentioned on the sidelines, which says a lot about your expectations of how a project is developed.

A suggestion for you: Read into a couple of mapping tutorials (you should be able to find plenty around UnrealSP.org and the forums), then try to make a short level with a couple of fights. Then, find out how much effort it is to make it look good. Then, find out how you can keep up with making a longer, high-quality level with interesting room layouts, outdoor terrains, engaging story and scripted sequences... and, once you arrive there, consider again if you are invested enough in your dream project to bring it to fruition.

You can gather a team of skilled individuals and share your passion with them, and work alongside them to realize your concept. However, nobody is just going to do it for you. :) This may all sound like I'm just trying to dampen your mood, but it's to the contrary; if your passion is strong enough that you will invest heavily into learning game development to be able to realize this idea you have, then we will be a strong modder and, potentially, an awesome project richer. If not, well, at least you'll know not to be an "idea guy" anymore. :)

It's totally realistic to start with small ambitions and release a map or two first. And once you know game design/modding is truly "your thing", you can worry about starting on bigger ideas... and perhaps we will play this campaign you've thought out in a couple years. It is all up to you. :)
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User avatar AlCapowned
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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2014, 06:26

Yeah, learning about mapping is definitely the way to go. I have some basic skills in coding and animating (I can't make new models to save my life), but without a mapper like Teridax, the most I could do is release things as standalone monster and weapon packs, and people aren't all that interested in that. Inversely, without me, Teridax would still be able to release a whole campaign, and that would be a lot more popular than anything I could release on my own.

You do have some cool ideas, and I would be happy to help, but I can't be a full time contributor because I have my own project to work on. I have a lot of Mercenary variations that could help make up for their normal lack of variety, and I have a working Razik as well. A lot of the MCoop pawns would be great bases for player characters.

Also, I don't know how accurate you want to be to the old design documents, but I think some ideas would translate to the game better than others. Some of the ideas, like the playable mercenaries, are really cool. Other ideas, like titans guarding towns, are really strange (I know you didn't mention this one, but I think it's in one of the documents). It's ultimately up to you, of course.

User avatar Delacroix
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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2014, 09:30

About the Human campaign where you are a marine sent to kill the Unreal protagonist... We're already doing that. All three RTNP Episodes, the Manhunt, Operation Stealth Claw and Na Pali War have this set as either your primary or secondary objective (depending on the episode). :) Best part? We have a full crew and are working in earnest on this.

There is already a Skaarj-centered mod by AlCapowned & Teridax called Resurgence in the works too. Dare I suggest, concentrate on the Merc campaign and try to flesh out some cool concepts for that, as it hasn't been explored before.
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Doublez-Down
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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2014, 18:05

"A suggestion for you: Read into a couple of mapping tutorials (you should be able to find plenty around UnrealSP.org and the forums), then try to make a short level with a couple of fights. Then, find out how much effort it is to make it look good. Then, find out how you can keep up with making a longer, high-quality level with interesting room layouts, outdoor terrains, engaging story and scripted sequences... and, once you arrive there, consider again if you are invested enough in your dream project to bring it to fruition."

Plus a million.
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User avatar SteadZ
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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2014, 19:03

A Mercenary Campaign would be really cool :D

Had I not been working on the whole three RTNP Episodes as "Artistic Director" (?), and this had popped up a year or so back, would have been happy to help you on your quest... but this is not so :/

.......
SZ
.......
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Gameite2260
Skaarj Warrior Skaarj Warrior
Posts: 73
Joined: 21 Sep 2013, 14:56

Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2014, 21:43

ividyon wrote:*snip*

I'm well aware, in fact I am in the middle of trying to learn mapmaking and UnrealEd. I've seen plenty of projects before on ANY moddable game with no replies all because the OP was an "idea guy". But I'm trying to learn this stuff, I'm just not at the point where you would say "Gameite can do that".

And about my views on how a project is formed, just because I didn't say "By the way, this needs a lot of code" doesn't mean I don't know how hard it would be to code stuff. Anyone good enough to actually make something like this probably knows that already.

AlCapowned wrote:I have a lot of Mercenary variations that could help make up for their normal lack of variety, and I have a working Razik as well.

Are you using these in your project? Could I take a look at it?

AlCapowned wrote:Also, I don't know how accurate you want to be to the old design documents, but I think some ideas would translate to the game better than others. Some of the ideas, like the playable mercenaries, are really cool. Other ideas, like titans guarding towns, are really strange (I know you didn't mention this one, but I think it's in one of the documents). It's ultimately up to you, of course.

Titans guarding towns would be fine IMO. I could imagine a level where you had to fight a Titan with a pillbox mounted onto its back with Skaarj Troopers shooting out of it.

Delacroix wrote:About the Human campaign where you are a marine sent to kill the Unreal protagonist... We're already doing that. All three RTNP Episodes, the Manhunt, Operation Stealth Claw and Na Pali War have this set as either your primary or secondary objective (depending on the episode). :) Best part? We have a full crew and are working in earnest on this.

There is already a Skaarj-centered mod by AlCapowned & Teridax called Resurgence in the works too. Dare I suggest, concentrate on the Merc campaign and try to flesh out some cool concepts for that, as it hasn't been explored before.

Thanks for the info, will check out the projects and rewrite the Human story. Or maybe just snip it out because there's the actual RTNP if you want to play a human... and who would want to when you can play TWO badass aliens?



EDIT: Something I just realized.... is it even possible to make the player use a Skaarj or Merc model? Otherwise your character wouldn't actually be a skaarj or merc, and probably wouldn't be marine-ish either.
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

User avatar ebd
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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2014, 23:08

Gameite2260 wrote:And about my views on how a project is formed, just because I didn't say "By the way, this needs a lot of code" doesn't mean I don't know how hard it would be to code stuff. Anyone good enough to actually make something like this probably knows that already.
As someone who holds a degree in computer science and has a fair amount of UE1 Unrealscript experience (but is apparently a bot in IRC) I'm just going to take a wag and estimate that you are looking at 1200+ man hours just to get all your code working. Increase that figure by quite a lot if the person coding is learning as they go, especially since documentation of UE1 code is not great. Increase it even more if there are problems with management or changes to the design during production. I'm no artist so I could be off, but I'm guess to get all your art just so, animated and all, would take a similar amount of time at least. You suggest three full campaigns and a "mini" campaign at five levels. I do not even want to begin to fathom how much mapping time that would take.

Having a dream project is good is good I suppose, but if you do not have enough information about what is involved it is very difficult to draft reasonable project design. The community for Unreal 1 and UT is not even a fraction of the size it was 12-14 years ago, and most everyone I know if involved with projects already, and most of us also have real life responsibilities. There just aren't that many people who are willing to join up on new projects any more, let alone a large team like you seem to be hoping for. The thing about dream projects is that everybody has one.

If you really want to get involved with the Unreal 1 mod community, I would suggest learning to map and just making a few custom maps, maybe working your way up to a small campaign. The editor ships with the game and many mapping tutorials and guides are only a google search away, so there is barrier to entry. Yes it will be work. And yes it will take a LOT of time.

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User avatar AlCapowned
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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2014, 23:35

Gameite2260 wrote:
AlCapowned wrote:I have a lot of Mercenary variations that could help make up for their normal lack of variety, and I have a working Razik as well.

Are you using these in your project? Could I take a look at it?


A few mercenary variations are here: http://unrealsp.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2660&hilit=+mercenaries

Gameite2260 wrote:Titans guarding towns would be fine IMO. I could imagine a level where you had to fight a Titan with a pillbox mounted onto its back with Skaarj Troopers shooting out of it.


It's important to keep your ideas within the scope that Unreal can handle. Even with 227's features, something like that would be difficult to pull off properly. You'd either need to make a custom vertex mesh using Z-Enzyme's editing method with 3ds Max, or you'd need to rig and animate the new titan as a skeletal mesh. That doesn't even cover the hurdle of getting the troopers to stay on the titan.

Gameite2260
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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 27 Feb 2014, 00:21

AlCapowned wrote:
Gameite2260 wrote:
AlCapowned wrote:I have a lot of Mercenary variations that could help make up for their normal lack of variety, and I have a working Razik as well.

Are you using these in your project? Could I take a look at it?


A few mercenary variations are here: http://unrealsp.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2660&hilit=+mercenaries

Gameite2260 wrote:Titans guarding towns would be fine IMO. I could imagine a level where you had to fight a Titan with a pillbox mounted onto its back with Skaarj Troopers shooting out of it.


It's important to keep your ideas within the scope that Unreal can handle. Even with 227's features, something like that would be difficult to pull off properly. You'd either need to make a custom vertex mesh using Z-Enzyme's editing method with 3ds Max, or you'd need to rig and animate the new titan as a skeletal mesh. That doesn't even cover the hurdle of getting the troopers to stay on the titan.

I hadn't meant getting actual pawns on top of other pawns, I had meant a single pawn that looked like it had the skaarj riding on it.
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

User avatar Delacroix
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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 27 Feb 2014, 00:27

And that would be the more feasible approach by the way. Titan killed, free-roaming Skaarj spawned in the process xD
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Gameite2260
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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 27 Feb 2014, 01:36

Delacroix wrote:And that would be the more feasible approach by the way. Titan killed, free-roaming Skaarj spawned in the process xD

That could be doable with my method too, just have it spawn Skaarj Troopers at the titan's death point.
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 27 Feb 2014, 09:06

Do small SP maps at the beginning and make bigger ones as You progress. Smaller SP campaigns are more probably to be finished and are very cool if done right!
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Gameite2260
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Subject: Re: (Looking for members) The Struggle - multiple campaigns as multiple races!

Post Posted: 27 Feb 2014, 23:40

I've snipped away some of the content, hopefully that'll take a good chunk out of the man-hours needed. In retrospect a lot of it was pretty gimmicky too.
-Abilities for troopers riding vehicles have been scrapped
-Changed the "list of people working on it" to "list of people I need"
-Added something about a "tertiary fire" to the Robot Fist, may be changed slightly
-Added a spoiler detailing the secret campaign
-Rewrote the Marine Campaign story
-Added a new "Allies" section, inspired by the little gun sentry things you would find in Doom 3
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.


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