Did you know? Every one of these messages is hand-typed live, just for you.

Shifting priorities

For public discussion of all things EXU2.

Moderator: Buff Skeleton

User avatar Buff Skeleton
>:E >:E
Posts: 4069
Joined: 15 Dec 2007, 00:46

Subject: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 28 Sep 2014, 18:39

I'm approaching my one-year hire anniversary at my dream job - Halloween! While my job is fantastic, it definitely reduces the amount of time and energy I have available for EXU development, particularly the SP campaign. It's been nearly two years since I did any kind of major release.

I'm a social developer. I tend to get more done when I'm bouncing ideas around with EXU players. It drives my motivation to keep working. But since I've only had time to fuck around with EBM's maps, I've primarily worked on the coop experience for the past year, and it shows: coop is a total blast while SP is behind the times. EBM and I have been in our own little bubble of bleeding-edge EXU development while everything else (save for unofficial stuff like G59) has been frozen in time.

I know most of you guys here like EXU for the SP campaign rather than coop, and there's no current coop scene for it (that I'm aware of, at least). This is largely on me, since I haven't made efforts to foster one, though I would if I had the time. I don't, though, so private coop testing is where the action is, and meanwhile SP has been on the backburner.

EXU's been stagnating under the "I'll release one big fuckoff patch when everything is perfect" mindset. It always seems like an attainable goal six months down the road, then six months later I realize I've made no traction towards that end, shrug, and go back to coding or fixing EBM's terrible texturing / geo work. See where this is going?

So... here's the thing. I'm going to return to my original plan: more frequent small releases, even if that means unfinished shit gets out. I won't release anything that is outright broken, but there may be bugs and rough edges here and there. Some of them will be smoothed over soon after release, while others will remain because they're low priority or difficult to fix. I'm also going to release all the campaign maps as they stand (required for technical reasons anyway), but will not be working on them for the foreseeable future. That doesn't mean never, as EXU is my baby and I want to see the campaign finished one day, but it will be concluded at a tinkerer's pace while other features that take less energy to develop, like new pawns and game features, will see more rapid deployment.

When will this happen? Well, what day could be better for an absurd, irreverent, demonic-themed shitstorm of carnage to explode than Halloween? So fuck it, v6.00 is coming on October 31, one of my favorite days of the year!

It will be unfinished and unpolished in spots, but it will still be a quantum leap ahead of v5.03. It will also contain a huge toolkit for mappers, stuff I've made to make my life easier as a coop level editor. These tools translate just fine to SP, so while my own SP maps will move at a snail's pace, there's never been a better time to make your own! And with EXU, the standards of quality can be much lower for the visuals if you take advantage of the scripting backend and deliver dynamic, replayable gameplay in a solid layout. It's so much easier to do that now than before - you can get a fully-playable level set up in hours, not days.

Some of the goodies to get excited about:

  • Offline Coop Mode! You can play "coop" without running a dedicated server and without using any netcode if you want to experience the batshit insanity of coop gameplay on your own. No bot support, though. Not yet, at least. That's tricky to implement.
  • ASSController (Advanced Spawner System) for automating enemy deployment map-wide or in localized areas, either as a steady stream, surges, or anything in between, plus automatic load balancing
  • An extremely flexible artillery strike system that can be used for off-map bombardments or automatic turrets
  • Inventory dispensers that can be used to refresh things like armor, ammo, health, shields, and virtually any other kind of item
  • Lots of other new classes that remove the tedium from building complex scripted sequences
  • Advanced pawns, such as the improved Hellfighter and its new cousins (including devastating bomber classes), plus ground pounders like the Rage Reactor Heavy Assault Brute
  • Improvements to the code framework to facilitate development of your own ridiculous pawns with a minimum of scripting, or none! And when you do need to look at code, it's cleaner and easier to understand and important variables are all documented, so even a UScript novice can figure out what's going on and copy-paste their way to success
  • Release of EBM's CA (Coop Annihilation / Corpses Assured / Completely Absurd) unpolished-but-fun-as-fuck maps: EXU2-CA-Urk, EXU2-CA-Lavagiant, EXU2-CA-GarbledGuts, and the yet-to-be-revealed EXU2-CA-CorruptedCorpse, which is pretty much the pinnacle of EXU2 gameplay at this point. It has everything, and then some.
  • Shit tons of bug fixes and polish, refactored code, optimizations, etc.

So if you were waiting for the final release of EXU2 before trying it, may want to just dive in now. I don't think there WILL be a final release, because I have so much fun just fucking around with this mod, I will probably keep making new stuff for it as long as I can. I've really opened it up to outside development, too, so you don't have to rely solely on me for new EXU content!

My focus for now will remain on gameplay and developing features for use in levels rather than the levels themselves, but I still really do like mapping and have a couple arena-style WIP maps in the tool shed. One of them is still on the drawing board, but will make use of every last feature I've developed to its fullest. Pretty excited about that one.

Thoughts? Questions?
Image

User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7592
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00
Contact:

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 28 Sep 2014, 19:33

I'm good with this.

If there's a log with the entire list of changes, I'd like seeing it live a week or so before the release date - well anything that would give people a clear direction of what changes or what needs to be changed, for example like me that I have to hurry up re-releasing G59 again under the new version and I don't know exactly where to begin other than the usual "export -> import" tricks.
Image

User avatar Buff Skeleton
>:E >:E
Posts: 4069
Joined: 15 Dec 2007, 00:46

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 28 Sep 2014, 23:11

The number of changes is so huge that even if I COULD list all of them, it wouldn't matter - you'll be doing a lot of refactoring to get stuff compatible (sorry bruh!). No way around that, I'm afraid - same deal as before. Hopefully it won't be too painful with a few export/import jobs. I recommend making two UT installs: your current one and one for the new deployment, so you can quickly convert stuff from one to the other and go back and redo operations if needed.

Balance hasn't changed much, though. Mostly just technical backend and new things. You're going to shit yourself with glee when you start using the ASS though, holy crap is it beautiful.
Image

User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7592
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00
Contact:

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 29 Sep 2014, 01:02

awww man ok

This will actually give me a reason to start already a heavy makeover of G59 just like what happened last time with v5.00.
Image

User avatar ividyon
Administrator Administrator
Posts: 2269
Joined: 12 Nov 2007, 14:43
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Contact:

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 30 Sep 2014, 15:44

And with this release, people may finally understand my old comment. ;)
UnrealSP.org webmaster & administrator

ImageImage

User avatar jaypeezy
Skaarj Berserker Skaarj Berserker
Posts: 310
Joined: 25 Sep 2010, 04:32

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 02 Oct 2014, 01:59

I am totally excited to hear this! Honestly, I've been waiting to see and try some of this content first-hand, by the sound of it it's going to be quite a lot of great stuff.

As far as arena-style maps, that's something in particular I want to tinker around with more after the first one I made, and the artillery system... well, is already putting some ideas in my head for possible use :twisted:

Congratulations on lasting at that job for so long, too! Halloween happens to have some significance for me as well - It's my birthday. This should make an excellent gift.

~~~

I totally sympathize with your sentiments about the lack of a coop scene for UT, let alone this mod. I've tried to play even some MonsterSpawn rounds online with a friend with the pawns from EXU, since I find even that so much fun. Hopefully, this release, with its improvements regarding the co-op stuff, can compel a certain server admin who hosts an older version of EXU to update things. :o

User avatar UArchitect
Skaarj Lord Skaarj Lord
Posts: 182
Joined: 18 Nov 2007, 21:22

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 02 Oct 2014, 12:20

Also with said release can you try and dig up some of the old test/example maps to demonstrate usage of certain actors/code features, prime example is the scriptedtrigger, its fully documented, has an example map, and one scriptedtrigger can replace almost an infinite amount of seperate individual complex triggers/dispatchers and other things, etc as it can perform the role of several different types of trigger simultaneously and can respond to and trigger multiple events

User avatar UArchitect
Skaarj Lord Skaarj Lord
Posts: 182
Joined: 18 Nov 2007, 21:22

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 02 Oct 2014, 12:25

I need to get my shit sorted so bad, I want mcshootymin the halloween release!

User avatar Buff Skeleton
>:E >:E
Posts: 4069
Joined: 15 Dec 2007, 00:46

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 08 Oct 2014, 04:53

Hey you wanna know something cool I just did?

I added the SK-6. From TLF. With a few enhancements.

The alt fire now loads the chambers, so you can cram in up to six rocket artillery shells and fire them all at once, or you can fire smaller numbers. The more you stuff in, the less accurate the gun becomes, but holy FUCK is it awesome. You now have an at-will rocket artillery SHOTGUN.

That is all
Image

User avatar jaypeezy
Skaarj Berserker Skaarj Berserker
Posts: 310
Joined: 25 Sep 2010, 04:32

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 08 Oct 2014, 05:01

BUFF SKELETON wrote:Hey you wanna know something cool I just did?

I added the SK-6. From TLF. With a few enhancements.

The alt fire now loads the chambers, so you can cram in up to six rocket artillery shells and fire them all at once, or you can fire smaller numbers. The more you stuff in, the less accurate the gun becomes, but holy FUCK is it awesome. You now have an at-will rocket artillery SHOTGUN.

That is all


Image

No but seriously awesome news! I loved that gun and it was one of the best parts of TLF (aside from the awesome map itself). I think it's going to fit right at home with the rest of the EXU arsenal. :tup:

User avatar UBerserker
Nali Priest Nali Priest
Posts: 7592
Joined: 11 Nov 2007, 21:00
Contact:

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 08 Oct 2014, 15:46

That's nice!
Image

Gameite2260
Skaarj Warrior Skaarj Warrior
Posts: 73
Joined: 21 Sep 2013, 14:56

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 20:14

Image
On an unrelated note, I have a special Halloween present for the community: EXU2 trailers! Waff has already seen them, but I haven't shown the public. You can use them to spread the word of EXU around.

I'll be making a different post some time with links when I'm not clusterfucked with IRL work.
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

Gameite2260
Skaarj Warrior Skaarj Warrior
Posts: 73
Joined: 21 Sep 2013, 14:56

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 10 Oct 2014, 20:18

BUFF SKELETON wrote:You're going to shit yourself with glee when you start using the ASS

I thought that's what asses were for all along.
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

User avatar Gizzy
Skaarj Berserker Skaarj Berserker
Posts: 449
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 12:55

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 22 Oct 2014, 14:33

I suppose since an update is imminent, I can put the 227 port on hold until then!

User avatar Buff Skeleton
>:E >:E
Posts: 4069
Joined: 15 Dec 2007, 00:46

Subject: Re: Shifting priorities

Post Posted: 31 Oct 2014, 21:18

RELEASE IMMINENT

I'm putting together the package now to get the uploads going, but a few notes:

  • Only Maps 1 - 11 will be in the initial release, with maps 12 - 16 and the CA maps coming some time next week. Had some unforeseen stuff come up at the last minute that cut down on my ability to playtest and clean up the latter half of the campaign, and EBM and I are still doing stuff with the CA maps.
  • Everything else will be released as planned, so all the code assets and such.
  • The whole point of this new release plan is to go back to the idea of frequent updates anyway, so staggering the release but getting the core stuff out the gate doesn't seem like too bad of a deal, yeah?

That's all. Biggest chunk of content comes out today!
Image

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest