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Zenity's blog


HUD, Domination, Menus, and More

posted Monday, 27 July 2015 by FS Zenity
It's been over two weeks since my last post, so I figure it's about time for an update.

Progress has been very fast, but I've been focusing on getting a hang of the engine in various areas while laying the groundwork for future development. As a result there hasn't been anything in particular to showcase yet, since most of the features are still in half-done state. That said, here's a quick rundown of what I've been working on:

Gameplay

I have focused on adding some missing combat features like fall damage, limping, locational bleeding, and a primitive bandage function. Not much to say here really. Fall damage and limping behaviour are almost identical to Q3UT, whereas bleeding and bandaging will likely be changed a little bit.

Also thanks to HappyDay's measurements, I have been able to tweak various other aspects of the physics to make them more identical to Q3UT. This includes the exact dimensions you can fit through, or steps you can climb up on.

Domination

Domination is the first game mode I have been implementing. Most of you probably know what it is, but for those who don't here's a quick description:

You fight over control for three flags on the map. If you control more flags than the opponent, then every five seconds you get points based on how many flags you control more than the opponent. Your team also gets a point for every kill. When you die, you quickly respawn randomly in the quarter of the map which has the least enemies.

It's a very simple mode, and I think it will be one of the best modes for new players to make their first steps with Urban Terror. It's very easy to understand (go to nearest flag, kill people) and the punishment for death is manageable. That said, simplicity is not the only thing the mode has going for it. It also creates very balanced match ups on practically any type of map (which is very useful for Urban Terror's diverse range of maps), and in a competitive setting it can offer a surprising amount of depth which mainly centres on strategies to hold two of the flags at the same time. Due to the random respawns it also provides quite dynamic gameplay and does not suffer from the spawncamping issue.

It's not quite done yet, but I am very happy with how easy and fast it was to implement the basic game rules in UE4, and we'll be able to finish it quickly once we are ready for testing. Another reason I started with Domination is that I believe that it's the best mode for early testing, since it focuses the action and does not require advanced teamplay.

New Player Model

The art team around FrankieV and BladeKiller have done a fantastic job working on a new high quality player model (starting with Sarah) and I've been working with Frankie to get it into the game and hook up the animations. There is still a lot of work to be done of course, but it's coming along really nicely as you will see in the video further down. :)

HUD UI

I have also done some work on the HUD, mainly re-creating the health/stamina bar of 4.x. This is probably by far the most complex element of the URT HUD, so I wanted to get it done early. My goal for the design was to stick with the current design but give it a bit of an HD treatment. I think it turned out very nicely, although I'm sure that it will receive further touch-ups. You could already see it in action in HappyDay's jump video, but here are some "close up" shots:

Menu System

Finally, I've started working on a new menu system and the basic framework for our customisable character models. This is still extremely early work in progress of course, but at least we can choose maps and characters already.

This video provides a quick glimpse of most of the new stuff:

Action Mode?

One thing we discussed is the possibility of an "action mode", which would essentially be to Urban Terror what CPMA is to Quake 3. Urban Terror 1.x began as a much faster paced game than what is is today, based on the spiritual ancestor Action Quake 2. Right now there seems to be a lot of support for increasing the pace of the game within the team, so this is something we may want to explore.

An action mode could have features like no stamina, faster base speed, CPMA style air control, and ramp jumps. In other words, it would lose all pretences of "tactical" movement in favour of mad skill based carnage.

Of course there is the concern of playerbase fragmentation, so we are not going to add such an option lightly. But this seems to be a good time to give it a whirl and simply see how it goes. If it looks like it could cause a serious split in the community, then we'll probably want to go back to the drawing board and see if we can come up with a better compromise.

Right now this is just a thought experiment so it may not happen after all, but I think it's certainly interesting to mull over. I also appreciate the irony that UTHD on Unreal Engine could become more Quake-like than Q3UT ever was. :)

What's Next

One thing we are still missing is a test server and the ability to connect to it, so I will prioritise this as well as fixing any missing bits that stop us from having a decent game. This shouldn't take too long, so hopefully we will soon be able to show some actual gameplay and then we can build on that.

As usual, I will keep you updated!
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