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Yamian

Unreal Modding Capabilities

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I was thinking about making my next project a UT2K7 mod, and wanted to get into scripting UnrealScript before then with UT2K4. However, my vision is radically different from a FPS, and I was wondering just how versatile modding an Unreal game is without a commercial liscense. My idea is something closer to Advent Rising, which I know used UE2. Would such a big difference be possible simply by modding?

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Completely possible - it'll just require way more work than usual!

I've only got limited experience with UScript, but with enough work it should be doable, there have been several third person games of a similar style made as mods for 2k4.

One thing you should be aware of is that UScript has changed quite substantially between UE2 and UE3, so you won't be able to directly port any code across - at least that's what I was told when I talked to a guy working on a UE3 title.

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I assumed I wouldn't be able to port code to UE3, but I'm sure basic skills can be obtained.

Yeah, looking at all the scripts, it looks like the whole engine is here, while the un-modable executable is just a script reader. No wonder so many games use UE, these scripts are so clear and organized as opposed to Source's hundreds of seemingly useless CPP files. Yeah, I'll be using this.

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I'm looking forward to 2k7 hitting the shelves so I can get to work on a project for it - a housemate recently did some contract work as a level designer for Huxley so he's been espousing the joys of working with UE3 while trying not to break his NDA, it's been infuriating!

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I've seen at least one RTS project produce results, and that was in a very old version of the engine. It's very, very flexible. There are very specific things it will disallow, but my experience was that it seemed like the number of things disallowed shrank each time they released a new generation, that is, UT < Deus Ex < UT2k3. I gave up after that, but I know that a lot of modders found the UT2k4 vehicle stuff to be a massive advance in capabilities.

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A simple Unreal Engine example:

One of the things that you simply don't (or at least didn't used to) get much access to in the engine is the physics code. Physical behaviours are very difficult to change in interesting ways; mainly, you can just change speeds and broad-level behaviours. Having said that, I took it upon myself to hack together a Spiderman-style wallcrawling ability for Deus Ex, and succeeded. The base ability took about 10 hours, the bugfixing & polish about 2 weeks. Not only did the physics of climbing walls on contact work, but I could turn the ability on and off at will, and I managed to get it to work so that you could jump between parallel surfaces and "stick" at the far point of the jump.


Now for the negatives:

In doing so, however, I had to create a new "base" class for just about every core character concern. This was highly frustrating at times, as the way the system works is that you cannot re-specialize a base class without breaking the chain of inheritance for child classes. There is no good way to do what is commonly called "Aspect Oriented Programming". Instead, you end up copying + pasting a large amount of code directly from the interesting child classes.

Depending on how well-decomposed the base script is for the engine you start with, you can expect a large amount of mostly unnecessary (in the sense of "if the script were to be refactored for more atomic operations, this wouldn't be necessary") work. But it is almost always possible.

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Sweet. Is there any easy way to make UT2004 as bare-bone as the UE2 Runtime Demo? I thought about using the demo for now, but all tutorials out there are for UT2004, and start out as mutator tutorials. My game won't even have any guns, so most of the code in UT2004 is useless to me. This doable?

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i actually found ut2k4/3 and all of its additional code very overwhelming. I think the runtime may be better for learning uscript and dealing with base classes.

unreal engine is fantastic. I think its the best there is. Ut2k4 has to be the best looking game for the lowest hardware. You can run deathmatch at highish settings on an ati 8500 - wonderful.

I think the unreal 3 engine is going to pave the way to that single expandable flexible engine which can be used anywhere. And that engine will probably be ue4.

this technology has been expanding comfortably since unreal 1.
Quake2 couldnt even touch unreal 1 in terms of engine design.

http://www.unrealtechnology.com/html/powered/released.shtml

beautiful

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This one:
http://udn.epicgames.com/Files/UE2/Runtime/UE2Runtime-22262002_Demo.exe
And some docs here:
http://udn.epicgames.com/Two/WebHome
But most of them are locked for liscensies. Where can I get good tutorials other than here for UScript that work with the runtime?

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Almost all the UScript tutorials I find revolve around mutators. I already know the syntax, I just to get a betetr understanding of the class structure.

With HL2, coding made no sense to me until I mapped. There, I gained a basic understanding of how the entities I was making in coding were implemented into the game. Maybe I should map first?

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