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    simple serious gaming mod needed for research

    Hi,

    I am a serious games researcher and a noob in the UT2004 modding world.

    In my research I want to compare the learning effects of a simple 2D self-made serious game with a commercial 3D game, where the player can fly around and move frictionless.
    For this purpose I need a 3D game which is fun to play, but where no shooting takes place. We are taking this project in schools and they won't allow a shooter like UT2004.

    I basically need a level where a player can fly around, using the jetpack Mutator. Since shooting should be turned off some other fun factor is needed. probably this could be finding fuel-tanks for the jetpack.

    Now I took a look at Onslaught-Primeval. It seems like
    an elaborate environment, large enough to fly around in.

    Could anyone here help me mod this environment into a level where no shooting takes place, fuel tanks are hidden and the ceiling lowered so that the player stays in the forest when flying, rather than hovering over it?

    Thanks for your interest in my question,
    Martijn

    #2
    Disabling weapons can be done through a Mutator easily. You could even use the Instagib code without adding the weapon itself.
    Hidden fuel tanks - those you have to add yourself with UnrealEd.
    Lowered ceiling - again, UnrealEd, this is limited Z that is set in the ZoneInfo or LevelInfo. KillZ setting I believe.
    Jetpack - well, you need to code/get a jetpack, essentially something that makes your physics PHYS_Flying or even a custom vehicle.

    Comment


      #3
      Do you have a link to this jet pack mutator?

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for your help:

        I am afraid I have a few additional questions though.

        Hidden fuel tanks - those you have to add yourself with UnrealEd
        can anyone explain how I would do this? I have started UnreadEd but I did not see a way to add fuel tanks ("noob" I am).
        I have dowloaded a jetpack

        I understand that I can lower the ceiling.

        can anyone reflect on the gameplay in a weaponless environment? Are such immersive game-environments known of?

        thanks for the interested in my research,

        martijn

        Comment


          #5
          I guess you know Assault. Well, some Assault fans made "trials". It's without weapons and the goal is to reach the end of the temple, palace, whatever. Like Jump 'n Runs a bit but in 3D.
          So the idea behind this isn't bad They use only one weapon sometimes: a Shield Gun which doesn't deal damage so that you can shieldjump. All other weapons are disabled. In this case I'd say it's not really a weapon.

          Comment


            #6
            You need to code to create the fuel tanks first.

            Comment


              #7
              want to compare the learning effects of a simple 2D self-made serious game with a commercial 3D game, where the player can fly around and move frictionless
              A 2D game (sidescroller? fixed arial view?) can't provide the learner with a "sense of scale" as well as a 3D environment but, depending on what you're hoping to "teach", 3D might introduce "distractions".

              What age range will the audience be? Regardless the age, how engaging would it be "flying around looking for fuel packs"?

              What "learning effects" do you have in mind? Players will learn something(s) within the game environment? Press a button or bump an object and text/hints displays onscreen?

              Will the gameplay be singleplayer, or cooperative (team based)?

              can anyone reflect on the gameplay in a weaponless environment? Are such immersive game-environments known of?
              Part of the reason I questioned "how engaging?" is that I've seen such an 'immersive' (not unreal engine) game used by cyberschools... and my pre-teen (obviously jaded, as many kids are, after playing countless console games) described it as "painfully LAME!". The kids strolled around the environment, asking NPCs for clues... and had to find a "treasure" (and report back to the instructor, describing the treasure as "proof" that they had completed an assignment).

              In the UT2004 realm, several nonviolent mods have been realized. You can download most of these from www.moddb.com

              A while back I downloaded a jetpack mutator after seeing it used on one of the net servers... but I don't think it used accessory fuel packs. As I recall, the fuel just slowly recharged.

              Will the players be at risk? Can their character 'die' (bear in mind that even without weapons in hand, falling damage, drowning damage, burning damage can kill a UT2004 pawn).

              "Floating around, frictionless"... in my opinion, is "fun" for about 30 seconds. After that it becomes just plain annoying.

              UT2004 weapons can be created to serve as "tools" (without possibility of using them to harm other players). The "ninja rope" translauncher mutator is an example -- its disc acts like a stick pad (grappling hook). Another possibility is use of a damageable object class or a trigger that only responds to a specific class of "weapon fire". Until the player (learner) finds and retrieves the appropriate tool, she won't be able to activate the trigger, or door, or whatever. For replay value, the game can be setup to spawn retrievable objects in randomly-selected locations...

              Also UT2004 "weapon fire" can be rigged to impart (kImpulse?) momentum, but minimal or zero health damage (may need to create a workaround to falling damage, after being fired upon). Some of the UT2004 mods have used this to enable players to "boost" teammates, or punt ball objects, etc.

              One "kewl" aspect of UT2004 which really hasn't been widely utilized in netplay is that you can chain together multiple worlds (maps, environments) and enable players to teleport between them. That, along with An RPG-like mutator to keep track of a player's stats/inventory as she progresses, would provide a platform for engaging the learner across multiple gameplay sessions.

              A few years back, toward building a (botless and) non-violent UT2004 "mod", I created a "space station" level and added the ninja rope mutator plus a "suit light" (flashlight) mutator. The players would not depressurize outside the station, but they could (would!) run out of air. Respawning set them "back to go", inside the space station.

              There's an existing gametype called "Greed" (also "Team Greed") which probably has a lot of potential for further customizing into various nonviolent games. In Greed, a configurable number of treasure chests are spawned to random locations within the level and players run around collecting them... not actually scoring any points until they pass through/over (spawned to random locations each round) goal stations.

              Another UT2004 mod (constructor gun?) enables players to add persistent objects, realtime, into an existing level.

              Comment


                #8
                @Jefe,

                the link to the jetpack-mutator is: http://www.utzone.de/forum/downloads...164&rating=8.7

                @Melissa Jo

                Thanks a lot for the elaborate reaction.

                You share my concern that the game will be LAME. That is the reason I am looking for "kewl" levels where no shooting takes place.

                In our research we want to compare the "learning gain" and "flow experience" form a simple 2D "boring" educational game to that of a commercial immersive game.
                We use the game to offer the learner some experience with frictionless motion. (how to break, how to turn, how to go around in a circle (keep moving towards the centre of the circle))

                Especially the part where we measure flow of a commercial game is tricky, since we have to turn of weapons in this school-environment. We risk turning of the flow as well, as your kids clearly indicate ;-).

                The jetpack can be configured in such a way that extra fuel packs are needed. that is a first step towards gameplay.
                When treasures are hidden high enough, one would need jetpack fuel in order to be able to grab the "treasures".

                The idea of the ninja rope and damageable objects seems great.

                Two teams go around the woods. they need fuel for their jetpacks, and they need jetpacks to hover around (at height z) to pick up "treasures, which are clearly visible from the ground, but quite hard to reach.
                Best would be when the treasure could be placed next to an object that may not be touched (inorder to learn how to break) Do such objects exist?

                The team that collects the most items wins. Maybe characters can push each other away, take a away fuelpacks when approached from behind?
                That would bring back some of the gameplay (ambush, fast manoeuvring)

                other addition to the gameplay could be that each team has to collect their own treasures, but can pick and hide in a better place the trerasure of the opponents ( with the constructor-gun, that can be retreived somewhere difficult, e.g. after moving in a circular motion))
                maybe a shield-gun could add some gameplay: I do not see exactly how.

                The idea of chaining togehter multiple worlds is Brilliant. We could move from one world, where no friction exists while floating, towards a world where friction does exists and a propagating force ('w" key must be held in order not to stop moving).
                Just like in the simple 2 D game, where levels with and without friction, are alternated.

                So my plan for this level is slowly emerging, though I have not the experience to build it..

                I think I should find an
                • elaborate Greed level
                • turn of weapons
                • add ninja rope
                • add jetpack
                • hide fuel packs
                • hide treasures
                • add constructor gun
                • add killing-objects
                that cannot be touched

                If anyone has an interesting refelction or addition to this level I suggest I would be really interested.

                if there is anyone out there who can create such a thing easily, I would be very interested in working together.

                regards

                martijn

                Comment


                  #9
                  I just checked my UT2004 game. I do not see a Greed level.
                  Can I find this level somewhere online and download it? Do I need to set up my own server?
                  We need a lan game in the final research anyway...?
                  I learned on the web that you have to collect cois that are dropped by killed characters.
                  Should I need a modified version where some coins are placed in the map before the game starts. Do I have to edit?

                  thanks for thinking along,

                  martijn

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by spook1 View Post
                    I just checked my UT2004 game. I do not see a Greed level.
                    Can I find this level somewhere online and download it? Do I need to set up my own server?
                    We need a lan game in the final research anyway...?
                    I learned on the web that you have to collect cois that are dropped by killed characters.
                    Should I need a modified version where some coins are placed in the map before the game starts. Do I have to edit?

                    thanks for thinking along,

                    martijn
                    Greed is a gametype by Mysterial:

                    http://mysterial.linuxgangster.org/

                    I read over the jetpack's readme. The author of the mutator has included pickups, so it would be simple enough to add them to a level. I don't think greed has any options like that. Adding coin pickups would require some coding i think.


                    @Melissa_jo: Great post. You mentioned some things you've created for UT2004, do you have another handle I'd know you by?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Modifying the gametype to place coins on the map instead of letting them drop would need a different code. Should not be too difficult though, i have seen a lot of modifications featuring collectable stuff placed around the map (e.g. relics).

                      Edit: Jefe was quicker...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I read over the jetpack's readme. The author of the mutator has included pickups, so it would be simple enough to add them to a level. I don't think greed has any options like that. Adding coin pickups would require some coding i think.
                        I'm not onboard with the jetpack idea. As-is, even without weapons in the scenario... won't the mutator cause the player to die a fiery death (from her fuel tanks rupturing) if she's travelling fast and bumps into something?

                        Greed. The mutator places treasure chests into the level. You configure how many chests max should be concurrently present. Each time a player collects a chest, a new chest appears at another random location. In other words, a player doesn't need to kill opponents in order to collect coin tokens.

                        we will be taking this into schools
                        In preparation for your project, have you secured licensing from Epic?
                        http://www.udk.com/licensing

                        regarding "learning gain":
                        Have you decided, in advance, the learning goals (subject matter)? Would you care to articulate them here, along with a brief description of how you intend to assess the gains? I'm asking because, in my estimation, the goals should HUGELY influence the nature and details of the environments (levels, maps) which will be used.

                        regarding "flow experience", are we on the same page?
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

                        If the intended emphasis of your project is primarily the study of flow, you're in good company:
                        http://blog.ted.com/2010/03/17/gaming_can_make/
                        http://tomchatfield.blogspot.com/201...ssons-for.html

                        Toward detailed analysis of the player interactions which have transpired, consider using the UT2004 server-side "demo recorder"
                        http://wiki.unrealadmin.org/Recordin..._Demos_(UT2004)
                        The gameserver can also produce a timestamped tpyechat chatlog for each match.

                        I think I should find an
                        * elaborate Greed level
                        Greed works with existing UT2004 deathmatch level. At the start of a match, it injects the (scoring) rules, the treasures, and the coindrop goal locations.
                        http://www.moddb.com/mods/greed

                        * add ninja rope
                        Hmm, now I regret mentioning this mutator. Although it's "fun", the ninja rope is dodgy -- it can crash the player's client (meaning, they need to restart the game and rejoin the match).

                        * add jetpack
                        * hide fuel packs
                        Doesn't the jetpack mutator automatically (optionally) handle insertion and placement of the "fuel pack" pickups, spawning them at randomly-selected nagivation nodes? If you want to achieve absolute control of the pickup placement(s)... why so?

                        how to go around in a circle (keep moving towards the centre of the circle))
                        First of all, the jetpack applies only a vertical vector. Players control direction using WASD keys.

                        Second, as a player, I might well balk at, or refute this, upon hearing that it was a stated "learning objective". It's much too oversimplified. I would argue (and players will certainly "learn") that vectors are cumulative, that each burst must be tailored to the immediate moment of inertia...

                        * add constructor gun
                        Another "regret that I mentioned this", especially to someone who hasn't "been there, done that". The constructor gun is a whole other can of worms. It may well be mutually exclusive, prohibiting you from injecting some of the other gameplay aspects you have in mind. For instance, the constructor gun is probably designed to replace the translauncher (which would rule out simultaneous presence of the ninja rope).
                        Ultimately, setting up a server for constructor gun gameplay probably involves more work than you're willing to invest in your project.

                        add killing-objects
                        Scope creep? With jetpacks in the scenario, doesn't the the notion of creating "pain causing" obstacles represent unnecessary work in setting up the environment? With environmental gravity, falling damage can represent significant risk to a player. Even without gravity, a simple rule like "striking (or being struck by) ANY object traveling too fast causes the player to take damage" might obviate the need to inject instances of "hazardous objects".

                        So far, it seems you're somewhat committed to the notion of jetpacks (and zero-G). Please, visit moddb http://www.moddb.com/mods?filter=t&game=78 and based on the various gameplay idea you read there, consider a few alternative prospects.

                        If studying flow is, in fact, an important aspect of your project, I'd scratch several of my previous suggestions. "TeamGreed, in zero-G... with jetpacks"? I expect that scenario would be more frustrating than engaging. The risk / reward aspect of Greed (player weighing the decision to get his coin to the goal, or collect additional coins, or shoot other players and take their coins) is absent from the weaponless scenario. Perhaps what fits the bill is a Greed-like mutator which causes players to drop their coins when they bump into another player. The multiplayer "flow" might be coordinating which teammates will serve as blockers and which will serve as coin-carriers. Another acceptable possibility might be shieldGun-only (or translauncher-only) FreezeTag...

                        Spook, you haven't indicated whether or not bots will present in your project scenario. In case you do intend to include bots, bear in mind that the AI doesn't cope well with zero-G. So, as an alternative, you might consider the "Waterworld" mutator. It overlays any existing map, floods the level with water (from memory, drowning damage, fog effect and friction are configurable) ... but that would rule out jetpacks, eh? (The packs won't ignite underwater)

                        I'll echo what Sly mentioned earlier: the UT2004 Assault gametype along with existing mutators can provide most of the specs necessary for non-violent gameplay. There's a mutator to remove all weapons except shieldGun (which also increases the 'kick' of the gun and minimizes self-induced damage)... and a 'timed trials' mutator which maintains a persistent server-side record of best times achieved. One of the EU clansites has (or at least had) a HUGE downloadable zipfile containing over 600 AS maps plus their dependent packages. By looking at "what's already out there", you may find a solution which will require minimal (or zero) custom coding.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Well, if there is no need to create something yourself then you could try Metaball (mod for UT2k4): http://metaball2.org/m_metaball1.php

                          Comment


                            #14
                            jetpack is working now. I managed to add the jetpack class in the unrealeditor and add fuelpacks.
                            When jetpack mutator is installed I can add via the actors menu.
                            It seems I cannot get extra fuel when my tank is full, that is no big deal.

                            Next step will be to figure out how to reduce the map-height (to lower the ceiling of the environment...

                            . Oh, I see you posted a reaction:

                            Perhaps what fits the bill is a Greed-like mutator which causes players to drop their coins when they bump into another player. The multiplayer "flow" might be coordinating which teammates will serve as blockers and which will serve as coin-carriers. Another acceptable possibility might be shieldGun-only (or translauncher-only) FreezeTag...
                            This sounds like a great idea.

                            Indeed, I mean the same flow you refer to.

                            The learning goal is to have the student "experience" what it is like to move around a frictionless environment.
                            I will turn off the "a,s,d" buttons for movement, leaving only the "w" button.
                            I figured out that when the jetpack makes the avatar 'float", a movement started by a click on "w" keeps going. The player has to turn around to stop the movement. This way the student can experience how hard it is to stop a movement when no friction is present.
                            Alternating levels with and without friction will make the student very aware of these mechanisms. A previous study showed that students who played a (simple 2 D) game gained significantly more understanding of the force concept than students who just received a plain old-school lesson on the subject.

                            After this pilot study we want to examine now how the flow increases when we use an immersive 3D game.

                            So, I am not stuck to the jetpack, if other possibilities exist to have a player float around frictionless.
                            At the other hand, by hiding items high up, visible from ground level, and hiding jetpacks and fueltanks some gameplay may be induced. But also the idea of a bump into another player to make him drop the coins is a great suggestion.
                            You mention the bloody scenario when a player falls down. I have noticed that when I ran out of fuel, testing the level.
                            Is there anyway to turn off that animation?

                            I may need some bots in a tutorial level, to teach the students how to move. Once they practiced that they would be ready for a match. I have not given that part much thought yet.

                            What exactly does a shield weapon do? can it prevent the player from being hurt when bumping into a tree or falling on the ground?

                            I will forget about the ninja rope and constructor gun. the simpler the better...

                            I really appreciate you thinking along! I will look into the existing levels. As a noob I am not familiar with onslaught, assault, ect. I have to get aquainted with all that. Some directions are really really helpfull. especially since you also understand the flow-issue I am trying to address.
                            same problem with the moddb. I found it earlier today (in Holland it is midnight now and I am going to sleep in a moment ;-)) but I did not find time to try all these levels. I could not figure out how to start some either; should I buy these mods? Are they freely available?

                            We have budget to purchase the UT2004 licences by the way, I think that is what you were aiming for in your previous post?

                            Enjoy your evening,

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by spook1 View Post
                              We have budget to purchase the UT2004 licences by the way, I think that is what you were aiming for in your previous post?
                              Are you sure? The UDK license does not apply to the UE2 license. There is no kind of royalty bearing license for UE2 stuff, I only know that you can buy it for 350.000$

                              Comment

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