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The Phase Shifter - A defensive UT2k4 weapon

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    The Phase Shifter - A defensive UT2k4 weapon

    Greetings, everyone!
    Finally, after a lot of of work, I am now ready to release this weapon. It is based on a concept that was in my head for more than two years now. In the beginning I made suggestions to several weapon mod teams, but since no one picked up the idea, I finally decided to learn UScript and do it by myself.
    So here it is, the final version of the PhaseShifter! My very first attempt at UT2k4-modding has finally seen the end of its development cycle (that is, if none of you guys finds any bugs I haven't noticed during my testing sessions). Here we go:

    Name:
    Phase Shifter

    Version:
    v1.0

    Compatibility:
    UT2004 v3369

    Description:
    The 'Anti-matter energy accellerator' is the result of the latest anti-matter research achievements. It is able to shift the dimensional phase-frequency of objects via a stream of positrons (anti-electrons).

    The Alt Fire allows the wielder of the device to bend the rules of space & time, becoming shifted between two dimensions without fully being in either of them, which leads to the effect of immunity to all kinds of physical interaction. It also has a strange effect on time as the wielder experiences it, because the flow of time can be different in the two dimensions the wielder is crossing. This leads to the effect that persons who use the Alt Fire seem to be faster or slower than normal to the beholder, depending on the dimensional frequency, which is determined by the local Tournament organizers. Some prefer to balance the temporary invincibility by reducing the speed, some use the speed-up effect to shorten the long walkways for players on foot in Onslaught matches. To maintain the shifted state, a constant stream of anti-electrons is required, so the effect stops immediately when the trigger is relased or the energy-cell is empty. Don't worry, it will recharge over time.

    Primary Fire sends out a huge amount of positrons through a small particle accellerator, a mechanism similar to the one in the Lightning Gun. The difference is a target acquisition system that is able to distinguish between moving and static objects. If the wielder pulls the trigger when there is no "worthy target" under the crosshair, the system throttles the output to conserve energy. That is necessary because the device only works properly when it is fully charged. Then the amount of concentrated anti-matter energy is strong enough to not only phase-shift the target for a split-second, it also 'freezes' it in time, so the shifted state remains for a few seconds to anyone outside of the affected system. If it isn't fully charged, the only effect will be a small amount of damage dealt to the target. How much, depends once again on the preferences of the local Tournament organizers. On some occassions, Arena matches are held with only the PhaseShifter available. For events like these the damage is tweaked, so that matches don't last too long. These arena matches are great challenges that involve quite a lot of strategic thinking, when using the device to its full potential.

    Even though it is possible to tweak the throttling system to a degree where it deals a good amount of damage, this device shouldn't be considered as a weapon, but as a protective tool. That's why it replaces the Shield Gun. If a combatant who is low on health and/or ammo hits an opponent with primary fire, he/she will have a few seconds to retreat. Combined with a speed-up frequency applied to it, the altfire is also great for retreating, otherwise it is still very useful to avoid roadkills, redeemers or other dangers.

    Comments:

    - Installation:
    Just overwrite your UT2004 folder with the one from the archive.

    - Contents:
    Includes 1 weapon and 2 mutators. "PhaseShifter" will replace the ShieldGun with the PS, while "PhaseShifterArena" removes any weapons and leaves you with just a PS. Originally, the Arena mutator was created only for testing purposes, but proved to be very entertaining, especially in 1on1 matches, because it takes a lot of strategy to strike down an opponent. "Shall I wait until the device is fully charged to trap him for a moment? Should I shift myself so he can't hit me? And when will he probably become attackable again, and for how long?" I suggest a 1on1 on DM-Gael, there's nothing more satisfying than freezing your opponent when he jumps to the item in the middle and drops into the pit when the effect wears out.

    - Looks:
    The model won't get any better, that was the best I could do. The glitch in the Altfire-animation is known, but I couldn't get rid of it.

    - Customizing:
    You can tweak some values via the mutator configuration menu to your liking, but make sure to keep it balanced to avoid negative influences on your server's popularity. It's your responsibility.
    You can determine:
    - wether or not vehicles can be shifted
    - how long a shifted target will remain in the "frozen" state
    - the ammo regeneration interval (affects ammo consumption as well, to keep it balanced)
    - minimum and maximun damage
    - the speed multiplier (value < 1 causes slowdown, anything > 1 causes speedup)


    Screenshots:

    Don't hurt me! Oh, you can't anyway?


    Just bought a few seconds to get away.


    Roadkill? I don't think so.


    "No shield 4 u!"

    Model renders


    Version history:

    Changes v0.8 -> v0.9:
    - Fixed view bug when not playing with 'small weapons' activated.
    - Fixed infinite altfire-ammo bug (at least I hope so), which occured when a player pressed and held altfire a split second after using primary fire, which caused the primary fire timer to regenerate ammo while altfire consumed it again with the same speed.
    - Created GUI-elements for the mutator configuration menu, so everyone can define (without having to edit the .ini file) wether vehicles can be shifted or not and set the values for minimum/maximum damage, ammo regeneration interval, altfire speed multiplier and shifting time (but don't set it too high, people usually don't like being frozen for too long). The values can be different for the PhaseShifter mutator and the PhaseShifterArena mutator, so you can set the damage in the arena mutator to 1000 to turn it into an instagib-weapon, without affecting the damage of the regular PhaseShifter mutator.
    - Added CTF balancing: When carrying the flag, the altfire ammo consumption doubles.
    - Added replication for the tweakable values, so that the server's settings will be passed to the client.

    Changes v0.9 -> v1.0:
    - Fixed the only remaining bug I found: When playing over network, the client's ammo could reach zero, which is normally prevented. That caused an unwanted automated weapon switch. I overwrote the weapons OutOfAmmo function and got rid of the autoswitch command there.


    Credits:
    Since the posting rules say I should not forget myself, I start with me. I had the idea, created the model, animations and texture and wrote most of the code, exept for some parts which were inspired by some helpful fellows out there:
    First and foremost I'd like to thank Xyx, because he had a lot of patience with a UScript beginner like me and his tips were really, really helpful.
    UT2004Addict provided the source code of his Arbiter, which was crucial in solving a very nasty issue and helped to stabilize the whole functionality, thanks a million for that and your useful tips, mate!
    Further thanks go to 3DBuzz for their great VTMs, every Unreal-Wiki-contributor, [6pk]Shambler for the translucency overlay effect (I found his code example in the Atari forums via the search function) and of course Epic Games for creating this great game.

    Homepage:
    n/a

    Download:
    Download from my personal webspace.
    Mirrage Mirror (please use this one if possible)


    I hope you'll like my idea of an almost completely defensive weapon. I'm looking forward to your feedback about your experiences with it!


    Have fun,
    Doc Shock

    #2
    Hah, A*. Very nice.

    Comment


      #3
      Great work, I ike it! Just 1 thing though, the correct term for anti- electron is "positron".

      Comment


        #4
        Excellent weapon, although there are some bugs.

        When I use it in ONS, the character I freeze begins to rapidly spawn at a certain node... usually around 9 of them... clones... ideas?

        Comment


          #5
          Hm, that bug occured during the early testing phases. I never knew what exactly caused it, I messed around a bit and it seemed to be gone, so I went on with fixing other stuff. It seems somehow it crept back in (or never left, maybe I just wasn't able to reproduce it), that's bad news. Everything should work fine in Multiplayer, though, it's a pure bot-problem.
          I'm very busy these days, but there might be a v1.1 someday to fix that nasty bug (that is, if I ever find out what exactly causes it). For now, setting the Allow Vehicle Shifting value to "No" should help...

          Comment


            #6
            Errrr, you can telefrag people if you jump on their heads and press alt fire at that split second... Was this intentional?

            Comment


              #7
              To be honest, it was planned in the early design phases but somehow I forgot about it. Its quite funny that it works now anyway, and that completely unintentional. So the answer would be yes, consider it a feature.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Doc Shock
                To be honest, it was planned in the early design phases but somehow I forgot about it. Its quite funny that it works now anyway, and that completely unintentional. So the answer would be yes, consider it a feature.
                Well, all righty then...

                Comment


                  #9
                  nice thread/ weapon ... shame i only have the demo game
                  by the way i like the deck and blacker on it lol

                  Comment


                    #10
                    very cool and original
                    the character I freeze begins to rapidly spawn at a certain node... usually around 9 of them... clones... ideas?
                    there is code somewhere in the engine that will allow you to spawn clones (usually with no weapons, 0 hp, and that are on neither team). Your code may use a reference to this. But I wouldn't want to extract code without your permission

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by i-m-a-user
                      very cool and original

                      there is code somewhere in the engine that will allow you to spawn clones (usually with no weapons, 0 hp, and that are on neither team). Your code may use a reference to this. But I wouldn't want to extract code without your permission
                      Permission granted. I'd be glad if you could help to solve this problem, the cause of it is a complete mystery to me... So, if you want to take a closer look at it, send me a PM and I will send you the .uc file you need.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I've accidentally spawned a few clones while working on the remote controlled Condor Fireblades. Something to do with the driver not properly exiting the "remote controlled" vehicle.

                        Are the clones perhaps copies of bots that were in vehicles?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Xyx
                          Are the clones perhaps copies of bots that were in vehicles?
                          Yes, they are, the problem never happens with bots on foot. That's why I suggested to set "Allow Vehicle Shifting" to "No" for the time being. I guess the problem is that I store the bot's controller in a temporary variable and set his to none for the time the vehicle is frozen. It might be that he wants to get out while he isn't in control of anything. Did you find a solution to that problem yet?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            No solution.

                            Why did you choose this approach? Did you try to "simply" paralyze their vehicle? Or do they respond even worse to that?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              That approach brought the best results for players on foot and it didn't seem to cause trouble with vehicles in the first place. I needed to produce the effect that they get frozen in time, and that doesn't work when they are still rotating vehicle turrets and shoot at you, so I removed their controller during that time to ensure they do nothing at all.

                              Comment

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