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[released] [ut] [Unofficial Thread] [Beta] Zenith

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Subject: Re: Zenith (Large UT99 SP. October Release. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 07 Nov 2013, 12:14

I'm trying to get as far as possible in order to find something enjoyable other than 50% of the build. Though every time I have to exit the game and kill the damn 129+ MB logfile because I'm getting random crashes while playing.

Also I'd suggest to update the thread title with the specific imageinfo tags.
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Subject: Re: Zenith (Large UT99 SP. October Release. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 07 Nov 2013, 13:58

I'm not sure what map I'm on, but so far the gameplay switches between easy and Unreality-hard, with little in between. There are too many instances of enemies using hitscan weapons and not enough supplies to make up for them. Trying to fight a minigun-wielding boss with nothing but the starting weapon is making me want to cheat.

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Subject: Re: Zenith (Large UT99 SP. October Release. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 08 Nov 2013, 14:33

Almost 500MB+ logfile, interesting. Somebody here has already mentioned what's wrong with the music so I'm not going to talk about it.

I know this is a beta but was this at least play-tested once?


I mean, okay, aside that floating cube and various issues with the build, the whole village map has given me a lot of problems. I can barely get through any of the doorways, which doesn't make sense because in general, Nali places are bigger and almost never have cramped hallways. And doorways that I can't go in, let alone enemies. Also bad zone portal locations where you can hit the enemies without them doing anything. Lastly, those doors with "locks" that I can't seem to open at all so I have been forced to ghost (except the last one).
I can imagine this map being hard on Unreal difficulty. I've been forced to Medium due to cutscene gametypes because people still forget about that bug. Besides, almost every cutscene has confusing, cinematic-wishtobe angles.
Medium or not, there are too many Krall that is almost grating. At least you aren't supposed to beat those 10 Krall inside that church at the end of the village map. The game's own "Dispersion Pistol" is too wonky: primary fire shoots only from the center, secondary fire is too weak and leave you defenseless for 2-3 seconds. Its only "useful" thing is that it never runs out of ammo - once it touches 10 ammo, it reverts back to 50. And don't get confused by the ammo icon, the plasma gun thing doesn't share ammo with the ASMD.

In the first battle against that Krall boss where I get trapped in that cage room, I have been forced to ghost outside because the gates didn't open. Now the Krall boss map hasn't worked at all - none of the scripted events did happen after the sudden appearance of those Fire Krall. You can also walk up the ramps behind those Krall statues and ending up being stuck behind the rails. Once again, I have to ghost, into the blue orb and kill that Krall boss.

Then after that, a bunch of Krall appearing from thin air capture me and while I get some of my weapons back, I lost all ammo and items (and this seems to happen A LOT), including those seeds I bought in that service station. Don't buy weapons; even if you would lose them one map later, you don't get them at all either.
I have yet to experience all the extra health things shown in the HUD, which also disappeared temporarily.

Still don't understand what's going on with the story; it feels like being a sequel to something that you need to know beforehand. Barely interested with what's going on, let alone care about the subquests.
The "bouncing jet-thing" needs to be either re-coded or the map has to be removed altogether. Game said that information about the vehicle controls were in the translator but I didn't see a damn thing. I can't express myself about the map without unleashing myself but all I can say is that it's an enormous step backward from ONP's Wipeout stuff... and you know how I feel about those.
Intermission map doesn't work correctly as every time you enter it from the service station, your friends there keep say the same things and you can't do anything until the cutscene is over.

Not sure if I'm going to play more of this. It has been released for the sake of being released.
Feel bad for the guy who has been through a torturous development cycle. Starting with very ambitious / complex projects from the getgo is never a good idea.


LATE NIGHT EDIT:
Keep playing. The next few maps seem to work right for the most part. Unfortunately the gameplay is quickly going into unacceptable levels. Barely any health around and yourself fighting craptons of human bots on drugs armed with Pulse/Shock Rifles that spawn in front of you or behind you? :/
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Subject: Re: Zenith (Large UT99 SP. October Release. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 09 Nov 2013, 00:09

So, based on the comments in this thread, against my better judgement I decided to try this, and got stopped by some sort of save corruption at Port Anogalon ("server is already at capacity"). So here's some thoughts on what I could play:

The setting doesn't seem to be established at all. Getting thrust into a world and having to work out what's going on is probably my favourite type of introduction when done right, but there's nothing here for me to latch on to or care about; Skaarj working with Humans is semi-interesting, but I'm not even sure if this is supposed to be set in the standard Unreal universe yet (if it isn't the importance of that would drop). You just have a bunch of people you don't know talking in your ear and telling you what to do with no way to explore the nature of the setting for yourself. Maybe you get info-dumped on a bunch of stuff a little bit on, but that's my thoughts on what I could get to. Like Frieza said the fact that there's frequently almost no link between the cutscenes and where you end up in gameplay doesn't help.

The default weapon is so bad it's almost comical. It's base appearance is okay, but there's no feedback when you shoot it, or when you can shoot again after using the secondary, and the bullets don't even come from the right place (as UBerserker mentioned). There's also giant delays before you can switch weapons after doing anything with it (If this wasn't an issue at least using the secondary before switching to something else could be a pretty deadly tactic). When I got the opportunity I switched back to the default guns and never looked back. If there are other new guns maybe they are better, but the first one sure didn't leave a good first impression. For comparison Legacy might have had some major issues with it's weapon design, but at least it drew you into them by making the first gun you get an insta-gib flak-launcher (well that and the guns still had feedback and responsiveness).

The vehicle also completely lacks feedback; there's no signal of the delay before you can jump again (also, saving and loading after getting in the vehicle seems to break jumping and make the level impossible to finish), and I didn't even realise crashing causes you to take damage until I exploded the first time. The weapons also make basically no sound except for explosions (this applies to enemies too). The momentum you have fight when making fast turns also doesn't fit the fast-paced arcade nature of the sequence and makes it much more clunky than it should be.

Despite that I like the design style so far, there's lots of strangeness if you take a closer look but I think the giant areas that are seemingly built inside of something and soaring buildings create a somewhat evocative atmosphere, the amount darkness seems a bit much though.

Finally, stop blocking me with invisible walls FALMMLSDFA;KGSDGSDL;K (PS this is to every game that does this).

Hmm, I have a save from the level before the one with the crash so maybe I'll give it one more shot.

Edit: This is with the hotfix BTW.

Edit 2: I also forgot to mention I've had to reload at times due to stuff like an enemy I need to kill getting stuck behind a door.
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Subject: Re: Zenith (Large UT99 SP. October Release. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 09 Nov 2013, 00:34

@bug-reportors: ahh that sucks. Is the game fundamentally broken or does it seem like the sort of thing that a patch could fix in another 3 weeks? (or 6 months, for further playtesting)
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Subject: Re: Zenith (Large UT99 SP. October Release. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 09 Nov 2013, 01:16

Okay, went through that level now. I encountered the corruption again (it starts around the ending area where the paths converge), so I just godmoded to get through that without saving.

The balance of the two routes seems completely off; with how bad the normal weapon is the pure combat path is much, MUCH harder to the point it's not even worth bothering with under normal circumstances (E.G. when you're not godmoding). There doesn't even seem to be any health before the convergence.

At least the log entry thing after that gave some context to things (what I could hear of it anyway; I'm not sure why subtitles are completely inconsistent), but it only highlighted the narrative problems in some ways; I didn't even realise that the character I'm playing as was one of the people sucked through that space anomaly thing (I know they're on the ship, but I thought they might have been the only survivor who escaped or something) and just assumed that that was some event that would have importance in the world later.

Also, I'm not convinced the constant level changes for cutscenes are needed; some cutscenes have like 2-3 level transitions during them when they're about a minute long maximum.

UBerserker wrote:Lastly, those doors with "locks" that I can't seem to open at all so I have been forced to ghost (except the last one).


There should be a key in the first building that lets you open that door; that also links to the floating cube issue as opening the first locked door is what triggers the crate to fall (which also gives you a bunch of ammo). I still found one door (so far) that I had to ghost through as it didn't open all the way though.

Edit: Are you kidding me, if your health goes over 300 it rolls back over and you go back down to almost zero health.

Edit 2: Now I'm getting "server capacity at full" errors in this level too, so I'm going to file this under "currently unplayable" for now, even if I could technically godmode through and do each level in one go.
Formerly Mman

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Subject: Re: Zenith (Large UT99 SP. October Release. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 09 Nov 2013, 09:41

I don't understand all that negativity in this thread. I've played through 2/3 of that pack and I must say it's one of the most awesome things I've ever seen in Unreal. :tup: The maps are top-notch. They are diversified and I see much foresight put in designing them. You often make round trips and see where you have come from. Generally I don't care about story so I can't judge it (by all means good voice acting and plenty of story telling).

It's just that the pack is too much overachieving in my opinion. As a result you encounter problems from time to time. The vehicle/glider didn't work properly, I had problems using one computer/terminal, I have a negative amount of credits so I was never able to buy anything, the Krall/Skaarj followers are used in narrow maps, the boss levels are bugged or unbalanced, sometimes I had 300 health, other times I lacked of health, the default gun is hmmm (its top is cut off if you stand near a wall, missing sounds, especially if you hold down the primary fire key, hard to say when secondary fire is recharged, collision size of projectile too big, there's a bug that sets ammo back to 50, I had to change my AudioDevice when I first collected it). But let's not forget that this is still a Beta.

Mman wrote:So, based on the comments in this thread, against my better judgement I decided to try this, and got stopped by some sort of save corruption at Port Anogalon ("server is already at capacity")

It's not really a save corruption. It's just that a certain variable increases when you load a save game and save it again (only if bots are present in that level?). If that variable gets too big, the game throws you out. It's not really related to Zenith, I've seen that before.

If you want to get rid of that, comment this code out of Info -> GameInfo -> UnrealGameInfo -> SinglePlayer2 -> ZenithPK4.zenithgame and recompile:

Code: Select all

event playerpawn Login(....)
   // ....
   if( MaxPlayers>0 && NumPlayers>=MaxPlayers )
   {
      Error=MaxedOutMessage;
      return None;
   }

xoleras
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Subject: Re: [released] [ut] Zenith (Large UT99 SP. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 09 Nov 2013, 10:02

Hi,

Please read the whole thing if you will!

First off I appreciate the feedback and any supporters because the closed beta testers weren't very resourceful and didn't get through the campaign fast enough. So even though there were a few fixes here and there, I didn't have the resources to clean up an open beta. That is to say that there is little difference between the closed and open beta because of the lack of response from our small line of closed beta playtesters...so I apologize for that and for the amount of bugs and I'd like to address some of them. In summary I am aware that this campaign is far from being finished and there are still a lot of changes I'd like to make.

Some of these changes I planned in the patch that would finish this mod up:

1. A complete overhaul of ZENITH2. A lot of the reason this map is awkward in a lot of ways is because it's actually ancient and didn't receive a lot of renovations. It's about five years old and was generically built and ultimately is just a large pathway to the next mission for the most part.

2. I did see the 'Server is already at maximum capacity' error in the closed beta by a user. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm fairly certain that this is in fact not the mod but comes from the fact that saving and loading sort of 'duplicates' the player in a sense. This goes back to the saving and loading system in Unreal. I believe that if you change the MaxPlayers in UnrealTournament.ini from 16 to 32 it should fix it, albeit it's sort of a band aid for something that should have been fixed a long time ago.

3. You might notice that the campaign gets unusually difficult as you progress. This is because I wanted the combat to be proportional (in a certain manner) to the player's unique properties. Once a player uses the marketplace to 'augment' himself, you get a few changes in the gameplay. If you buy extra health, not only do you spawn with more health, but each Zenith health pickup gives you the default amount plus your extra health. So, once you get to map four if you bought 20 HP, for every health pick up, you will actually get 45 HP up to 120 HP maximum, in the case of super health, 240 HP. You also have an uncut damage reduction option, health regeneration, damage bonus, et cetera. Not to mention you can also buy weapons to spawn with. If you didn't find something to exchange for money, or if you didn't even know there was such a feature, I'll certainly make it more fitting...

4. The UTX error? I don't know if that's on my side or not; all the closed beta testers were able to get through the first level without that.

5. The hot fix should have fixed the purchase weapons issue as well.

What I am considering from reading a few points of the posts:

1. When I patch it, a few of the cutscenes will be completely remade and much more elaborated.

2. ZENITH2 completely remade as previously mentioned.

3. Editing for a few of the voice sounds.

4. A few changes in ZENITH1Part3 as specified.

5. About the save error: Can you elaborate? I had gotten the issue before and I am sure I fixed it. I've tested this on multiple computers and with other people: the saves are fine here.

6. Fix up some of the ship vehicle points. I felt, though, that the fighter jet pawns were very slow and easy to defeat, so I didn't pay much attention to the limit of their fire.

7. Remake default weapon

8. Purchased inventory items do not pick up (they will auto pick up now)

9. Look at money property issue.

This also implies that I can't specify when the official non beta will be released.

Please understand that most of this was made over a period of two years and with varying degrees of time. A few areas were rushed or sloppy because of the lack of time or just my want to get it over with. It's a miracle I was able to make this with a full time job, full time college, and a very sketchy and ever-changing development team. I'll admit this was a bit of a rushed version just to get it out of the way, and I hadn't much choice after running through the closed beta testing with little resources. I'm sure I would have changed a lot of issues but after two years I just want to finish this up and move forward.

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Subject: Re: [released] [ut] Zenith (Large UT99 SP. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 09 Nov 2013, 10:13

UTX error was related to people using the unofficial S3TC version by diehard so I suppose only a very few people would encounter that problem.
I didn't encounter ANY save bug though.
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Subject: Re: [released] [ut] Zenith (Large UT99 SP. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 09 Nov 2013, 11:50

The save game bug is easy replicable. Just start any normal Zenith map. Press Quicksave, Quickload, Quicksave, Quickload and so on. After 6 iterations the game should crash/exit (and you cannot use the save game afterwards).

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Subject: Re: [released] [ut] Zenith (Large UT99 SP. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 09 Nov 2013, 13:08

Good to see you've made contact Xoleras, and happy to hear there's a patch in the works :tup:
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Subject: Re: Zenith (Large UT99 SP. October Release. Now with Screenies!) [Unofficial thread]

Post Posted: 09 Nov 2013, 13:41

If poor beta-testers were an issue (even if it was due to something out of their hands) then you should have looked for more/better ones rather than just releasing anyway. Actually now I'm in to it I'd be willing to sign up for it; though my comments in this thread aren't beta-tester calibre because I'm speaking from a casual player perspective and didn't know any context about the mod beyond that it's ambitious.

integration wrote:It's not really a save corruption. It's just that a certain variable increases when you load a save game and save it again (only if bots are present in that level?). If that variable gets too big, the game throws you out. It's not really related to Zenith, I've seen that before.


I've never had this in other bot-centric SP releases; which also happen to be the ones that make me naturally spam the hell of quicksave and load.
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xoleras
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Subject: Re: [released] [ut] [Unofficial Thread] [Beta] Zenith

Post Posted: 09 Nov 2013, 20:33

Hi,

There are no Bot type pawns in any of the levels. All of the pawns are ScriptedPawns. I'll make sure to fix that as well; I hadn't looked into a permanent fix because I figured that since it has something to do with a super class I'd probably end up doing nothing --referring to the server capacity error.

Thanks.

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Subject: Re: [released] [ut] [Unofficial Thread] [Beta] Zenith

Post Posted: 13 Nov 2013, 09:32

Oh I forgot about that thread. You should have a look at those maps:

ZENITHBoss1.unr: The Krall won't come out of the bottom. The creature factories can be activated by touching them.
ZENITH9Part2Ext.unr: There's a trigger that blocks you from entering a door. The map seems to be unfinished (the part after you've crouched into the fan).
ZENITH10Part2.unr: After I open the very first door the game freezes (memory usage rises up to 2 GB).

Image Image

Perhaps ZENITH8.unr can't be finished, too. Not sure about that since there are 2 ways. I liked the part where you had to defend your base at the end of ZENITH10Part1.unr, but I think 5 Marines less would be better. Generally, I found the game too extreme at the end, especially the boss battles. I don't like to fight against nearly invisible enemies or enemies who are invulnrable while inflicting undodgeable damage ('poison').

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Subject: Re: [released] [ut] [Unofficial Thread] [Beta] Zenith

Post Posted: 19 Nov 2013, 08:37

xoleras: may I suggest, *please* add subtitle support! For once, it'd be easier to make translations for the content and for twice, it'd be easier to follow the story.
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