Improved AI, Hor+ FOV widescreen support, proper splitscreen support and improved gamepad support for Unreal Tournament 3

Report RSS Version 0.4 Released

Short post on the release of v0.4 and a blurb about UT3 AI work.

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As of this writing, the fourth release of the UT3 Splitscreen / Gamepad Support mutator has been submitted to ModDB and is awaiting approval. I hope anyone following the project enjoys the changes and new features implemented. This project has been an interesting adventure in UT3's scripting so far (been pawing about with the UDK as well), and is also the first time I've ever worked on handlign control input for a game. Although I think it could still use some work, I'm pretty happy with the controller support I've managed to implement, especially compared to vanilla UT3's controller support.

Since it's worth mentioning, I've also worked a little on a small mutator to improve various aspects of the game's AI. Currently under the working title of "foxMod - AI Improvements", it currently implements better squad-level behavior, randomized AI orders, allowance of advanced routines in team games (more expensive on the CPU, but it's 2012), and more varied deathmatch behavior (use hunting behavior from sounds etc. on other bots as well as players). I'll likely post playable material for that soon, likely expanding this profile to cover all "foxMod" UT work.

Anyways, with that out of the way, here's the final changelog for the new release:
Changes in v0.4 (07/18/12):

  • Audio levels now adjust to account for the number of splitscreen viewports active
  • Swap Splitscreen Control key removed (could cause issues including profile corruption if client exited to main menu)
  • New "Fine Aiming" function that shrinks the crosshair and sets finer aim sensitivity to allow for easier long-range shots
  • Any support hacks applied for splitscreen functionality (such as disabling of music, dialogue, etc.) are now instantly reverted when the game is no longer in a splitscreen state
  • Death messages are now disabled in a splitscreen game (less HUD spam for the smaller screens)
  • Improved autoaim mechanics slightly
  • Splitscreen clients can now always enter the game menu properly (could get stuck on the chat tab previously)
  • Quick-Pick weapon wheel is now shown when switching weapons in splitscreen (there is no HUD indication of what you're cycling through otherwise)
  • Switch to Best Weapon on gamepads will now switch to the driver's seat in a vehicle (in addition to next/prev weapon cycling seats)
  • Added a new "Splitscreen Players" option to dynamically select number of splitscreen players (from 0 to 3), can be used in-game to dynamically add/remove players as well
  • Removed the "Add Splitscreen Player" control (use the new option instead)
  • Improved Warfare support in splitscreen - the (fullscreen) map no longer automatically shows when a player dies in splitscreen
  • Tweaked default gamepad controls to accommodate the new Fine Aiming function, as well as move the Impact Hammer off right stick (was easy to accidentally activate in heated combat)
  • Implemented working look-to-steer controls and the associated Vehicle Controls option
  • Implemented a local profile system to save splitscreen players' settings. Currently saves settings by the local player number (2nd players' settings will always be 2nd players' settings), but this will be expanded in the future
  • Added bindable "Drop Flag / Orb" control
  • All shared settings (such as network speed, custom character loading, etc.) are now only set by the first player
  • "Small Weapons" option is now set per-player in split-screen, instead of globally
  • Keyboard bindings are no longer set on splitscreen players unless bAllowSplitscreenPlayerKeyboardBinds in UTGame.ini is set to true (less menu clutter)
  • Reorganized controls menu again (all gamepad options are now at the top of the list)
  • Gamepad autoaiming can now be toggled off if desired
  • Music and Announcer are now mostly functional - they will play at full volume from the first player, but the remaining local players' music cues and announcement messages are skipped (this will be improved in the future)
  • Weapon Picker now functions as a secondary fire key for vehicles (instead of previous seat), since it is usually on the left trigger
  • Weapon Picker menu now orders weapons like the normal UT weapon row (Enforcer, Bio-Rifle, Shock Rifle, etc. clockwise)



Yes! Can't wait to try this after work!

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Really diggin v0.4. Being able to save 2nd-4th player controls is a gigantic improvement. There is a minor learning curve to the way their controls are set in the UI, but after that it's really easy to manually set people up when they first start playing. I really ike the new implementation of the "splitscreen players" slider. It makes it really easy to drop my gf out when she breaks to shower/cook/whatever. The ability to disable auto-aim effectively adds at least 5-6 new difficulty levels to the bots; we had to dial it back to Adept to even stand a chance, which is GREAT, because thrashing the Godlike bots time after time had gotten boring.

All in all, despite the lack of conventional Xbox Live-style profiles, I'd say the experience is almost perfect, and it provides much-desired functionality which Epic should have been included out of the box in the first place.

I thought I'd mention Mapmixer: it's a really good companion piece to foxMod. It actually nullifies foxMod's chat menu glitch which causes the 2 minute pause between map changes by substituting a user-defined break period (I just set it to 1 second). Despite the fact that both mods make changes to the UI, they work together flawlessly, and abilities like saving map lists, making multi-gametype maplists, setting different player/bot counts for each map, and accessing the "players vs bots" option offline, are all really handy for the kind of couch gaming sessions that foxMod caters to.

Minor feature request: in the 360 port of UT3, the impact hammer was removed from the weapon up/down cycle so you could only access it via a bind or the picker wheel. It would be nice to have a toggle for this in foxMod, cause this is really tripping up one or two of my friends who started on console.

It would also be nice to toggle the appearance of the weapon picker wheel when using other weapon switching methods, though it's a nearly as big an issue as I made it out to be earlier.

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foxBoxInc Author

Glad to hear things are are working well. I too recently discovered MapMixer and love it - for some reason, the in-game MapMixer menu and leaderboards break in splitscreen, but otherwise it seems to work great.

Also, I've already tinkered around and added an option for the quick-pick weapon select peek. I too have found switching to the Impact Hammer / Translocator annoying on cycling weapons, so I may investigate a toggle for that as well.

Also, do you find the per-player profiles working well enough? I may implement player alias support for the next release, which would allow splitscreen players to choose a name (and thus a unique local profile, since local profiles are actually stored by name)

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I think the per-player profiles work great. I actually haven't tried to set a specific character/model for the 2nd player yet, is that possible yet? If not, it'd be nice, as would be aliases, but they don't really affect gameplay so it's not a big deal.

One thing I have noticed is I have an unusual set of binds for player 1 that foxmod is overwriting at the beginning of each match. It's not the end of the world, cause I made a keyboard bind to rewrite them that I can just slap at the beginning of each match, but it'd be nice if I didn't have to. I will post the binds when I can home from work if it'd be helpful to you for bugsquashing purposes.

Last thing, I keep forgetting to check, does foxmod have a deadzone slider already? That would be handy, cause one of my controllers is starting to drift the crosshair on its own.

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