Legacy Server Up
Published by Trev on December 10, 2017.
With Christmas just around the corner, I've become a bit nostalgic. RoseBumVCTF has been gone for quite a while and UT4 just isn't getting to where it needs to be so I've decided to rent a cheap UT2004 server for the holidays. The server is running the old RoseBumVCTF mod but I've taken some time to port over some of the improvements from the UT4 version of the mod.

The goal here is mostly to just have some fun on the old server. This will also give me some insight on how many people actually still care at all about RB. I see the site does get traffic but most people don't create accounts or posts. My assumption thus far has been that this site has no purpose until UT4 is complete. Having a server to play on should make this place feel more like RB.

I'd also like to test out all the new balance changes to see what will and wont work in UT4. This will be an opportunity to get the site's leaderboard hooked up with the leaderboard in game to create some cohesion. Everyone will be starting from level 1 since I wasn't able to retain the levels after the official RB servers went down.

Hopefully the game will feel a bit fresh with the changes and level reset. If the server gets a reasonable amount of traffic then I'll just leave it up indefinitely.
New Armor System
Published by Trev on April 22, 2017.
One of the design problems I've been trying to overcome is finding a balance between health and armor. My original plan was for armor to be less durable than health but offer other special rewards such as immunity to certain magic weapon effects. I feel this design is too much of a wildcard which makes it too unreliable when compared to just straight up buying health.

Epic introduced a new armor system late last year which I've finally been motivated to take a look at. It unfortunately required that I reprogram basically everything related to armor as the code base was so drastically changed. This gave me an opportunity to rethink how armor is going to work with the RPG. I've come up a design that still offers the risk/reward setup from before and is far more reliable.

This attribute has been altered to allow for a higher pool than Vitality. Your default max armor is now 100 instead of 200. 1 point of Endurance will now increase your max armor by 4, allowing for a grand total of 500 armor when maxed.

Shield Generation
This ability remains mostly unchanged with the exception of the timer. Armor will now be added to your pool every 5 seconds instead of every 1 second and the amount has been increased relative to the time increase. The main reason behind this change is because Epic has introduced a new first-person visual effect when you gain armor/health. Displaying this effect every 1 second would far too much visual noise. The same change has also been applied to Regeneration and Adrenal Drip.

Metabolic Shield
Boosted shields was renamed to this a while back but I never bothered to explain the change. The original idea was this ability would award armor to the character if it did damage to an enemy's armor similar to how Vampirism would drain health. This was far too unreliable as the ability basically had no use if no other players chose an armor build. Additionally, Epic removed the functionality I relied on to distinguish between health and armor damage. This ability has since been redesigned to just be a clone of Vampirism. You gain armor when you damage a player. Plain and simple.

Shields Up
This remains unchanged from previous builds. All armor pickups will award 50% additional armor per level.

Hardened Shield
This ability has been removed as it would basically remove the weaknesses of the new Endurance design.

The end goal is for armor characters to be more of a risk/reward build. Armor normally only protects against 50% of damage received. If you have greater than 100 armor then it blocks at 100%. The new armor system also allows the player to be immune to being telefragged if they have 100 armor. It will be objectively stronger than a health character but be harder to play by requiring the player to monitor both health and armor levels regularly.

As usual, I've recorded a video of me playing with the Turtle auto-build to demonstrate the style:

Fun With Melee
Published by Trev on January 08, 2017.
Originally posted on April 10, 2016.

Development on the mod has been blocked for a good year as Unreal Tournament is still in early development. I've decided to explore abilities to make a melee-centered character while I wait for adequate mod support for menus and C++ distribution. This announcement brings a few new abilities to the game: Thumper, Thruster and Retaliation.

Retaliation technically isn't new but it was originally planned to be excluded from the new mod due to being too annoying for many players. It has received some changes to how it functions from the old mod which I believe alleviates the problems with it.

Thumper and Thruster will modify the Impact Hammer to make it a viable top-tier weapon. Thumper increases the impact jumping momentum to get around the map quickly. Thruster significantly increases Impact Hammer damage.

I've also created a new Auto-Build: Hammer Time. This encapsulates the new abilities to make a standardized melee character. I've recorded a video of myself playing with it below.

Artifacts Are In!
Published by Trev on January 08, 2017.
Originally posted on June 15, 2015.

After much iteration, artifacts are now in the game. One of the biggest hurdles was trying to find a more streamlined way of using the artifacts. No one was satisfied with having to use brackets to cycle artifacts. In the new system, pressing R will open the artifact menu. From there you can then use the same keybindings as changing weapons to cycle the list. Use Primary and Alternate fire keybindings to activate the left and right columns so you never have to awkwardly move your hands around the keyboard again.

Additionally, I have ported one of the more popular maps of RoseBumVCTF to UT4 which you can see me playing in with artifacts in this video.

Auto-Builds, UI Art and More Gameplay
Published by Trev on January 08, 2017.
Originally posted on April 25, 2015.

Auto Builds are a new feature I created to help new players get into the action a little easier. Now new players will have their character automatically build for them as they play. I've recorded a video of this in action to demonstrate how my character continues to get stronger throughout the match without having to open a menu to buy anything.

You'll also notice some prototype UI art I've been experimenting with to keep the art cohesive enough while we continue to iterate on the layout of the widgets.

First Gameplay Footage
Published by Trev on January 08, 2017.
Originally posted on December 07, 2014.

I recorded myself playing a match of CTF-Dam with some bots. Here you can see the initial setup of how the progression is working. I've rigged my character to have all abilities and attributes to demonstrate how powerful a character could be.

In the video you can also see some other work in development like the awareness bars over the heads of other players, the custom HUD with the experience and resource bars and if you look closely, there are light effects under the feet of players when they double jump. That's just a little flare I got from Unreal Championship 2.

Ultima Is Ready
Published by Trev on January 08, 2017.
Originally posted on December 05, 2014.

After some back and forth with replication and performance issues, Ultima is now working they way I like it. The effect is still very WIP but at least at a satisfactory level considering how early Unreal Tournament still is. I've decided to let the explosion do self damage and pass momentum to teammates which is a deviation from the original but I think makes more sense. It can always be changed to do no self damage later.

Here is a video of the explosion.