Movie Battles is a class-based, team-orientated Multiplayer Total Conversion for Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.

Report RSS 15 Years of Movie Battles

15 years ago today the original Movie Battles released its first full version for Jedi Outcast. Hard to believe isn't it? On eve of the release of a new Star Wars movie none the less!

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15 years ago today the original Movie Battles released its first full version for Jedi Outcast. Hard to believe isn't it? On eve of the release of a new Star Wars movie none the less!

We wanted to take this opportunity to show off some of the upcoming changes to Movie Battles II. However, for those who haven't seen the 10 year anniversary send off by our founder RenegadeOfPhunk I highly suggest checking it out here: 10 Year Anniversary news - Movie Battles II mod for Star Wars: Jedi Academy he goes over some of the history creating the very first version of Movie Battles.

The core new player experience for Movie Battles is about to change drastically. We are working on making the UI much easier to navigate and handle, adding interactive tutorials to help ease players into MB2, fixing bugs with the launcher, and general QoL improvements over the next coming weeks and months. Today we will be going over some of those changes to the heart of Movie Battles as well as some other cool things we are adding!

Most of what you are about to see are Work In Progress shots and the final version may not be the same.

New User Interface
We are updating the base User Interface to make it much simpler, easier to understand, and more organized so that the most important bits of information are more front and center or are in much more sensible places. @Frost and @Starushka have been working for over a year now from concept to realization on this new UI and you may see the first little bit of it in the upcoming release as well as continuous upgrades to other parts of MB2s UI and additional code support over the coming months.

Main screen:

  • Animated background.
  • New logo.
  • 3d model currently the last player model you used in the game. We might end up using a predetermined set of models instead, as not every model right now looks good in menu (escpecially droideka).

[​IMG]

​Play menu:

  • Play menu leads directly to server browser (Less clicks to get in the game)​
  • Create server menu will have all server settings listed in server.cfg​
  • Removed profile menu. Achievements have a separate menu and goes to main screen. Player name goes to settings menu. Demo menu goes to main screen.​

[​IMG]

​Settings menu:

  • Finally, setup menu and controls menu combined in one.
  • Getting more space for more options in future.
  • Player naming.

[​IMG]

Library menu:

  • Everything is on one screen, no menu separation (less clicks).

[​IMG]

Tutorials
Coming soon you will get to try some early feats of labor on some interactive tutorials @Sno-dog , @Defiant , @Mcbober , and I (@MaceMadunusus ) have been working on. We've had the problem for a long time where learning Movie Battles and its various ins and outs can be pretty difficult to learn on your own and its difficult to rely on people in-game, or to rely people to basically reading a wiki either on the wiki itself or the in-game library or long forum posts. So why not create some in-game tutorials that let people learn the basics and take them chunks at a time as well?

What you are about to see is the start of that. I want to stress though that this is still relatively early in the development process and we will likely be releasing the first couple of tutorials without having all of their features and functionality fully finished in order to still help people get introduced into Movie Battles that much faster.

Each tutorial on completion will be:

  • Fully interactive
  • Fully voice acted with assisting subtitles.
  • Contain various popups with various tips and details, including accurate keybinds for various moves and abilities.
  • Contain example videos showing how certain things are done.
  • And more.

At the end of all this we plan to have a tutorial detailing just about every aspect of MB2 from moving around, to joining the game, to each classes various abilities and mechanics, how objectives work, and even how to duel.

Tutorial 1 - Basic Movement, HUD, and Weapon Handling.

Tutorial 1

Tutorial 1

Tutorial 1

Tutorial 1

Tutorial 2 - Class Configuration
The second tutorial takes place on a Republic Assault Cruiser as you head towards Geonosis while learning how to join a team, select a class, configure your characters abilities, create build templates, and customize your appearance.
Tutorial 2

Tutorial 3 - Mandalorian
This tutorial takes place on Geonosis where you take the role of Jango Fett to learn the abilities of the Mandalorian class while making your way through various obstacles.

Tutorial 3

Tutorial 3

Launcher Update
In a few days we will be updating the launcher with the goal of making it easier and less problematic to install or update the game. Check out those details here in case you missed it!
Launcher Updates and Fixes
Launcher Update - What to Expect

To summarize: the new update includes a totally rewritten patch engine which should prove to be much more resilient to the existing system. As well as several other minor bug fixes. The Launcher is the gateway into the game for new and veteran players alike, we strive for it to be a simple but good first impression for new players whilst being a useful and unobtrusive tool for veterans. The Launcher will continue to see steady improvements and new features whilst sticking to this mantra.

Our future plans for the Launcher include the ability to run more Open Beta events without some of the restrictions that we are currently faced with - such as currently being server side only and improvements to the Anti-Cheat system, both to be more reliable, more accurate and better able to respond to the types of exploits that we commonly see.

Gameplay Changes
General Gameplay
The recent open betas have allowed us to try out many mechanics and tweaks meant to improve general gameplay by addressing issues long pointed out by feedback. Looking at the results of this research we have decided to include a part of the changes that we feel are the safest and were the most generally agreed upon. Next patch will thus feature increased projectile speeds, decreased concussive blob damage (and non-increased blob projectile speed), reduced duration of poison dart damage, increased vulnerability window for Force Pull, and more.

Sabering
In recent years the sabering system has been the subject of numerous experiments with new, potentially controversial features and mechanics meant to flesh out the substance of saber vs saber gameplay. Despite a number of findings and many changes that can almost objectively be considered improvements, there has also been a gradual decrease in the identity of each saber style as well as the diversity of playstyles from duelists, despite constant attempts at new style-specific perks and other mechanics. Duels tend to feel repetitive no matter which stance is used and the current general mechanics do not give a clear feeling of reward from performing better than your opponent, in part due to BP drains being too low and BP regeneration too high which deletes the impact of mistakes very quickly.

The upcoming release will thus take a completely new direction in order to address these issues. Sabering will be considerably simplified, for example through the removal of all style-specific perks and the refactoring of the ACM mechanic so that ACM only kicks in when one player has an extremely significant lead over his opponent (similarly to ACM's behaviour from older versions before v1.1). The focus will instead be once again put on the core aspects defining each style and the system. The attack power and defense power of each style will be changed completely so as to be much more different (similarly to versions before v1.1). Overall BP drains will be increased and BP regen will be decreased, so as to more severely punish mistakes, while a significant BP regen will be added upon scoring Perfect Blocks, so as to allow more skilled players to still make remarkable comebacks. In the same vein, interruptions and being hit while not blocking will also be much more harshly punished (once again more similarly to older versions). These core changes as well as many others smaller ones should once again encourage style-switching, reduce the length of duels and make skill differences much more apparent, for an overall vastly improved experience and feel at any level.

Duel Mode
Since its introduction this mode has long since received criticism and suggestions for improvements. This update will add major quality of life features such as a long-awaited mid-round joining, the ability to change character configuration during the round upon respawning, longer rounds and several customization options available to server owners.

Map Updates
As most of the level design resources for the past few months have been allocated to the tutorial most of the map updates for this upcoming patch will be centered around bug fixes. Though Smuggler will be receiving some additional loving from @Hexodious.

New Models
@Scerendo has been working on some new models for this update and I am sure at least a few people will be happy with the additions!

Nien Nunb
Nien Nunb

Fan favourite Nien Nunb joins the ranks of our Rebel Heroes, loveable laugh included.

Grand Moff Tarkin
Grand Moff Tarkin

The original villain Grand Moff Tarkin brings some additional class and sophistication to the imperial officers.

Baze Malbus
Baze Malbus

With some efforts to finish the Rogue One roster, Baze Malbus is our latest addition.

Keep an eye open for Chirrut and K2 and others to follow soon!

Director Krennic
Director Krennic Update

Krennic's model has been overhauled to bring him in line with the other villain officers. He has received a new body and cape mesh, and his head textures have been improved. On top of this his sounds and taunts have also been redone using only samples from Rogue One.

That's all for now!

Comments
lukex
lukex

Is that possible to make latency and ping conpensation? It's awful for Asian players to play on those servers. And we alone can't have much fun since the player-base has been shrinking over these years, but there are still some active players and "idle" players waiting for a proper situation to come.

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MaceMadunusus Author
MaceMadunusus

Sadly not much we can do about that from that kind of distance. There is a few things we would like to optimize but it likely won't make a huge difference from Asia. Would likely need engine modifications too and we are still based on the SDK rather than the source release.

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lukex
lukex

So is there any possible for you to do some improvements based on source code release in future? Does source code release ever bring fundamental change to modding? Sorry I don't know about modding so I have no idea what that release means.

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MaceMadunusus Author
MaceMadunusus

Not something we plan on utilizing in the near future as it would require us to work under an entirely different license that many developers aren't comfortable with. The OpenJK guys are doing quite a bit of good work with it though and you can run updated versions of their engine with MB2.

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Torky
Torky

Holy ****.

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lukex
lukex

Three suggestions.
1: Release an individual update pack for downloading. Some people don't feel convinient using launcher update due to long distance.
2: Maybe an new mode like anihilation which enable players have more spawns? Each side have certain respawn points from the beginning and every death cost the point. Some classes like knights cost more on death. When the point of one side runs zero, that side loses the match. Maybe this will make the match funner compared and more intense while traditional one lies more on strategy and depth.
3: Any chance to see bots with planned behavior being added?

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MaceMadunusus Author
MaceMadunusus

1) We have an individual update pack! Moddb.com for full download
Moddb.com for the upgrade package.
2) We've been thinking about modes similar.
3) We would like to but don't currently have the resources as a small team.

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SPTX
SPTX

I too would love to see the gundam versus like mode he proposed.

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lukex
lukex

Oh, I understand. And, happy birthday Moviebattles II!

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moduser
moduser

W@W very nice work, must say !

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Cankler
Cankler

Interesting News.
But i always asked myself. Why did Movie Battles 2 never had any bots?
It´s not that you must code them from the ground up, they are already in the game. And please don´t say that they do not "fit" in this game because of "Online Only". What do you mean with "No resources"?
They ARE already in the game.
It just dont make sense to me. Adding bots would be the icing on the cake.
Sorry if this sound a little bit too harsh, but i just want to know it and also if there will be any possibility to see them at some time in MB2.

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MaceMadunusus Author
MaceMadunusus

In order to make bots work in MB2 we would want to do it right. Currently JKA bots just use basic waypoints and very little AI when a target comes into view. This means they just follow lines across the map.

We would want them to essentially be dumb players. Which means they could correctly traverse the map with a navmesh (getting rid of the walking between 2 points base has). They would also need to understand the various objective types MB2 has and attack/defend them properly. You don't want them aimlessly wondering the map until they find an enemy. You also want them to know where various cover spots are. They would also need to understand class structure (random preset builds work but they don't have ANY understanding of it). They would need to programmed to know what each ability does after they have it equipped and the optimal situations to use it in. Bots in JKA in general prefer lightsabers because they suck at actually aiming so that would need to be adjusted quite a bit.

So yes, while they are in the game, they just simply do not function at all in a Movie Battles environment (Ravensoft themselves disabled them for Siege mode which MB is based on) and would require at least a year of multiple programmers, level designers, free time in order to accomplish.

We are a small team right now with 5 or so coders (2 of which are working on tutorial, 1 of which working on back end optimization/cleanup/new UI, 2 working on general gameplay updates) and 2 level designers. All of the work we do is in our spare time which isn't much these days as we've gotten older and needed jobs to survive. AI is also one of the most complicated systems you can design in a video game. Making good AI is very hard.

Many of us definitely want bots. If a programmer would like to join the team for the sole purpose of taking on that daunting task then they are welcome to. Right now our programmers are already stretched very thin with what we need/want to do.

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Luciensoul2
Luciensoul2

Wow this is looking amazing, I've been a member of the community for 2 years, and what you guys have been doing has been nothing short of amazing. Cheers on reaching 15 years, and thanks for all the hard work you guys put into making the best star wars game possible

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Guest
Guest

when do you think this mod will come out

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MaceMadunusus Author
MaceMadunusus

This mod has been out for a long time? Downloads are on the downloads page here on moddb or on our site: Community.moviebattles.org

If you're talking about the update: soon.

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mynamejeef
mynamejeef

I meant how soon will this version be available since 1.4.9 just got here

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MaceMadunusus Author
MaceMadunusus

Soon, cant give exact date.

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SPTX
SPTX

Slick changes for the main menu.
Puts "professional" star wars games to shame.

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PhaseIII_DarkTrooper
PhaseIII_DarkTrooper

Well most games aren't in development for 15+ years, so when you're on a tight schedule you put your effort into the priorities.

That said, I'm not sure which Star Wars game you're referring to here that have worse main menus. Force Unleashed? Rogue Squadron? Which LucasArts game has had a bad main menu?

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SPTX
SPTX

15 years of developement for a modder means a few hours per months. Do the maths.

I can't remember forced unleashed, I played through both games only once and threw them away. Every factory 5 game was pretty good on all regards. I'm obviously talking about Dice's games, bioware too is pretty bad at designing UIs. The original battlefront 2 also comes to mind.

You really should brake a little in the hate, you're not doing anyone a favour; including yourself.

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PhaseIII_DarkTrooper
PhaseIII_DarkTrooper

"Few hours per month"
Depends on the modder and how dedicated he or she is.

Force Unleashed had that creative logo with hyperspace going through the title, and the silhouette of a jedi (presumably Galen/Starkiller) in front of it. The background is space, and moving the options causes lightning to show on screen. If that's not creative enough for you, god knows what is.

"I'm obviously talking about Dice's games."

Tbh, Dice's games aren't even that different from the main menu shown above. If you're going to criticize them, and believe me, there's plenty of legitimate criticisms, at least be fair about it. It won't be winning any awards, but at least it's functional.

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MaceMadunusus Author
MaceMadunusus

For our team specifically most of us had a ton of time in high school to work on things. This isn't the case any more. Pretty much all of us have jobs or other things in life to deal with and have for the past 10 or so years. Its definitely much slower for the past 10 years than it was for the initial 5 even if we can get some good content pushes out (we are also more efficient today).

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SPTX
SPTX

I've never made a point about creativity.
Creativity isn't what matters in UI design mate.

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SPTX
SPTX

I noticed in the video the tutorial has a time limit. Don't forget to make it disabled.

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MaceMadunusus Author
MaceMadunusus

It shall be. Just wasn't done in time for showing it off in the news post.

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MaceMadunusus Author
MaceMadunusus

I have deleted a line of comments because the user even though they gave very valid feedback and criticism at points they kept calling other community members points in discussion fallacious, incorrect, and overall just acting like his opinion was the only right one. I am not someone who likes having to delete comments, especially ones that are negative because that looks like censorship. However if you cannot have an actual debate with other users without trying to immediately invalidate their argument by just calling it fallacious then you shouldn't be here. Their initial comment was left up for 5 days before they started replying to replies like this.

I am sorry to the other users who commented as well that were deleted. I just nuked the entire line of comments.

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CaptainShack
CaptainShack

Its great seeing classic mods getting updates. Well done mod team on the hard work and effort. That new tutorial looks super slick. Can't wait to jump in and check it out.

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