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LooseChange (gametype + mutator)

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    LooseChange (gametype + mutator)

    about the Beta status:
    You should expect a solid, bugfree game. This is a 'Beta' release in the sense it hasn't been tested on a net server, only locally. I also believe the bot AI can be further improved.

    In this gametype, during a match, kills don't necessarily increase score.
    Instead, scoring centers around cha-Ching! "chasing coin". When a player is killed, she drop her coins. You score by picking up coins (and toting them to a drop point). Optionally, scoring can be based on both kills and collected coins. Also (optionally) each time 2 players bump, they both spill their coins -- loose change!

    LooseChange is derived from the Greed gametype, and works with existing DM maps. The package also includes (and automatically installs) a freestanding mutator [LooseChange] TreasureHunt. Intended for use in DM matches, it is also compatible with (but pointless, as its pickups only increase player score, not team score) BR and CTF maps.

    Sourcecode is provided, including several placeable pickup actor classes (coin, large coin, treasure chest) which can be compiled in editor and embedded into custom maps without creating an external package dependency.

    LooseChange includes a variety of GameRules options, supporting a range of gaming scenarios, including non-violent (no player deaths) gameplay. The gametype employs both custom pawns and custom bot AI. (The mutator uses neither of these.)


    The bots typically play very conservatively, dutifully trotting to find a DropPoint after collecting one, or a very few coins, rather than holding out to collect a score bonus. Sometimes though, their behiavior may surprise you. They may camp at a drop point (like a human player might do) and they keep tabs on "who's carrying how many coins", quick to hound any opponent who's
    carrying a large number of coins... and usually ignoring any newly-respawned opponent (who hasn't yet collected any coins). Yeah, usually. So, don't blink.

    ===== Game options for the LooseChange gametype =====

    most of the following text is shown in-game, when you hover on each option

    # of Drop Points
    This many drop points (Max) will be spawned into the level at random locations
    Visualize 'DM-Gael' with one dropoff point. Now, visualize it again, with 2 or 3 drop points present.
    Ignoring all other factors, changing the # of dropoff points will considerably alter the effective strategies for playing a given level.

    Min DP Separation
    Minimum distance between DropPoint locations (suggest: 1000 or 1500)
    Note: a high value here may prevent the requested (Max) number of DropPoints from spawning.

    Coin Lifetime (secs)
    Loose coins will remain in the level this long (seconds) before vanishing.
    a few caveats (as in, "that's a feature not a bug dammit"): Coin pickups spawned into a lava volume etc will immediately self-destruct. Also, spilled coins may be hard to find, especially if a low gravity mutator is in effect, because the trajectory is based on the killed player's momentum at time of death. Also, bear in mind that Lifetime is affected by the GameSpeed mutator.

    Weight (% Speed Loss Per Coin)
    Percentage a player's speed is reduced for each coin held (recommended value: ZERO)
    this variable is capped, so that speed becomes sucky slow... but player can still move. Speed resets to default when coins are cashed in at a DropPoint, when bump-spilled, or when the player pawn dies.

    show all player coin inv
    when enabled, HUD display includes an ongoing count of how many coins each player is carrying
    Bots continually 'know' this everchanging stat, and they adjust their strategy accordingly. Choose whether to display this extra info in your HUD -- for me, it's helpful, but for you it might seem like just visual clutter.

    add Konk Rifle
    Adds a low damage, HIGH impact rifle. Useful for knocking opponents offcourse (overuse, by bots, can be annoying)
    Annoying? YMMV. Several times during testing, in wide open (outdoor) maps, I found myself "pushed up the wall an pinned to the ceiling
    (sky)" after being targeted by multiple KonkRifle-wielding bots. Yes, you can "turn down" the momentum output by the rifle (see separate option,
    below) and yes that (me getting 'pinned to sky') is one of the reasons why the momentum adjustment is available.

    zero 'AirControl'
    when checked, eliminates the CARTOONY aspect of the game which permits bots and players to change direction while in midair
    Seriously, try it. zero AirControl (semi realism, without any forced 'footstep viewShake', thank you)(cough, cough YARM) -- it's tough. Regardless of the AirControl setting, the "Body Check" custom pawn physics employed in LooseChange is quite dramatic compared to stock gameplay.

    remove most weapons (and pickups)
    With this option enabled, only the shieldGun will be available in game (and, per other options, the translauncher and KonkRifle).
    By default, the gametype doesn't disturb any pickups present in the level, and players spawn carrying: FlakCannon, ClassicSniperRifle, and ShieldGun

    coins spill if 2 players bump
    when enabled, this option causes both players to spill their coins when 2 players bump
    (this option, combined with zero AirControl, is crazy fun)
    After a bump event, any subsequent bumps are ignored for a few seconds, to give players time to grab some coins and scram (or not. It's a risk/benefit thing). Immediately after a bump, the parties each hold zero coins. Even if a player is carrying buku coins, only a max of 12 per player will spill. Any excess coins are removed from play.

    score by killing
    when UNchecked, only coin events increase player score. When checked, each kill ALSO advances player score.

    MultiCoin score bonus
    when enabled, player receives bonus points when arriving at a DropPoint with multiple coins.
    Bonus for 5 coins is 2 (7 total). Bonus for 10 is 6 (16 total). Bonus for 13 is 6 (19 total) etc

    Konk Rifle: momentum
    push force imparted by the Konk wepfire (recommend 80Thousand for normal gravity matches)
    Initially, I added this to give bots something to hold (avoid 'with no weapon' logged warnings) in the context of Spook1's non-violent gameplay request. I decided to retain a ShieldGun (modded for harmless melee and higher shield jumps) but, as an option, plinking opponents with the KonkRifle adds a fun twist.

    prevent player deaths
    enabling this non-violent gameplay mode invokes the Treasure Hunt mutator
    (otherwise, without kills, no coin pickups would appear in the level)

    note: Some platform maps etc are unsuitable for use with the "prevent player deaths" because players (bots especially) can fall off a ledge and get stuck. Even the example map I mentioned above, DM-Gael, is problematic. Sooner or later, eveebodee gonna fall down that center shaft. Without a translauncher, a stuck human player must spectate/rejoin (zeroing her score) to get unstuck. Bots, well... maybe the game will eventually get around to 'aneurysm-ing' a stuck bot.

    To install, extract the 4 zipped files (LooseChange.ini, LooseChange.u, LooseChange.ucl, and to your ~UT2004\System directory, and start the UT2004 game. Click HostGame, then
    choose LooseChange gametype. Your existing DM (deathmatch) maps will be loaded as the default LooseChange maplist.

    Known Issues:
    Arguably, the conditional HUD message stating "player carrying 0 coins" doesn't make sense, considering that a dying player always spills at least one coin. The message is accurate in the sense that the viewed player truly _is_ carrying 0 coins (or 4, or whatever) at this moment.

    Some peeps might 'take issue with' one of the (non-configurable) scoring rules. For human players, LooseChange enforces a harsh penalty for self-inflicted deaths -- deducting one point, plus a point for each coin you were carrying when you killed yourself (by jumping off a cliff to rob your opponent of the opportunity to collect your coins. or whatever.)

    Except for the "platform maps are unsuitable for 'no player deaths' issue", most Deathmatch, BombingRun and CTF maps I tested seemed fine for use with the LooseChange gametype. With ONS and Invasion maps, bots often made poor choices (long range kills from a vehicle are senseless, someone else will retrieve the victim's dropped coins before the killer can reach the kill spot). BTW: you must exit a vehicle and touch coin/chest pickup with your player pawn... and, testing with vehiclular play in general is largely untested.

    coupla intermittent logged warnings that I haven't fixed:
    Warning: LCBot DM-1on1-Desolation.LCBot (Function UnrealGame.Bot.RelativeStrength:01D5) Accessed None 'Other'
    Warning: LCBot DM-1on1-Desolation.LCBot (Function UnrealGame.Bot.TacticalMove.EnemyNotVisible:0026) Accessed None 'Enemy'

    Mysterial (author of June 2004 Greed gametype for UT2004)
    popsi (author of May 2005 Body Check v2 pawn physics mutator)


    Configurable options for the [LooseChange] TreasureHunt mutator

    number of chests
    number of concurrent chest pickups the mutator will attempt to maintain in the level throughout the match

    max items per chest
    each chest placed into the level will contain a random number of coins, between "one ane howevermany" you set here

    chest fill method
    random quantity (random, from 1 to "max items per chest")
    add 1 coin every xx seconds (random, between "min time per item" and "max time per item")

    For general use, I think the "random quantity" method is best, but maybe your maplist will contain levels with hard-to-reach spots and you'll want to encourage players to fully explore the level instead of cherrypicking the obvious and convenient pickups? Regardless which you select, the mutator attempts to find an out of the way spot (no line-of-sight within xx units) each time it spawns a treasure chest pickup. In followup posts, I look forward to hearing which maps seem more interesting to you using the latter. The only one which springs to mind for me, at the moment, is DM-TheShire.


    Functionally, the TreasureChest mutator can be used with ANY map, in any gametype. Outside the LooseChange gametype, players score +1 each time they pickup a chest. (Bots will stumble onto chests, but they won't know to hunt for chests). The mutator doesn't care whether it's running under a 'team' gametype.

    Known issue: If a level contains few navigation nodes (especially when a high "max number of chests" value has been set) a new chest may spawn to the same node where one already exists. To the eye, looks like a single chest pickup. When you touch the spot, you gain coins from the multiple pickups at that location. (Makes it seem like one visible chest paid out more coins than the "max#" setting.)

    a note, for the sake of clarity:
    When running inside a LooseChange match, the TreasureHunt mutator doesn't provide immediate gratification/score.
    Coins from treasure chests are added to inventory and players must tote coins to a DropPoint to score.

    Hehe, sounds a bit like Greed or the Coin Matches in Beat 'em Ups.
    Will download


      I really have to try that out. Will do so at least tomorrow, downloaded already
      But I have a question: If a player has no coins and bumps into a player will a lot coins, are they still spilled on the ground? If yes, wouldn't that be a little unfair?


        Originally posted by Sly. View Post
        Hehe, sounds a bit like Greed
        I think it's the same.. Nice coding tough!


          If a player has no coins and... wouldn't that be a little unfair?
          I think it's great fun, but I included it as a game option in case I (or you) wish to omit that twist from the game scenario. Before you do turn it off, give it a play (or ten) and you'll see that it invites a whole bunch of new strategies. Instead of running to collect coins, you might camp at a DropPoint and try to bump players as they approach. If you see (on the HUD, again this is an option) someone is carrying buku coins, you might try to bump them off a ledge... and scoop up the coins they spilled. On the other hand, when you are carrying a lot of coins, you probably should avoid traveling near ledges. When you approach a DropPoint and find someone camped there {gulp} whatchagonna do? Reroute to a different dropPoint? Try to draw the player away from the DropPoint (good luck with that)? Frag the blocker and score with your coins as well as hers?

          I think it's the same
          By hunting through my notes I could dig up the list of 40 or so significant differences, but off the top of my head, for starters, bots in Greed really "didn't quite get it". If I set a match GoalScore of 50, played against bots... MAYBE one of them would have scored 3 or 4 by the time I reached 50. With the current AI, the bots are still unlikely to win, but they usually manage to score 25 or 30 against my 50. I would REALLY love to make the bot AI more clever, but I'm at a loss what else to tweak or override in order to steer their motivation toward coin hunting vs fighting.

          The other top o' mind difference is that, in Greed, the multicoin scoring bonus is forced, is extreme (25coins nets you 150+ points) and is easily abused. How to win at Greed: 1) collect coins 2) find a lonely corner and kill yourself 3) collect more coins, retrieve your cached coins, and touch a DropPoint. In LooseChange, that now an ineffective strategy.

          Originally, I just intended to break out the TreasureHunt mutator to work in other gametypes. I wound up reworking the gametype because it seemed like a "natural" framework for coding something which would fulfill Spook1's non-violent gameplay request.


            it's too similar to greed gametype. but i think greed are better than that because greed have a better code, team-based version and playable on any maps. And AI not too different. Also your version disable dodge-jumps and gives you some weapons when you spawn. And i like greed's score-gaining system more than that
            Mutator looks like the heaven of relics or another mutator that spawn random gifts on a map (but it gives you a powerups)
            And i think there's no reason to make such similar things. Try to come up with something new)


              i think there's no reason to make such similar things
              We disagree, but that's okay. Thanks for reviewing it and posting your feedback.