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[UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ DORADO

For discussion and promotion of Unreal Engine single-player campaigns, mapping projects and total conversions.

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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~

Post Posted: 25 Feb 2018, 17:50

I am finally uploading. I have also finished updating the entries in the story section's spoiler box - I'm using the spoiler box not because of spoilers but for readability, just like how I did in the G59 thread.

salsaSkaarj wrote:Having read it needs the EXU framework I had decided to let this one pass-by. However the intro writing makes me wonder whether my decision is a good one or not. I now think it's not so I'm going to give this ago. Just wondering where I'll find the time, oh well, I could skip some more meals and reduce sleeping hours by another 25% \o/

There's nothing to be scared about EXU :o In this case it's just the framework being used for advanced actors and pawns as seen here viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4300
So much stuff that can be done, so many things to make new maps refreshing without needing a team of people. Sure thing is that I have to thank Waff million times for having done all that, jesus. Using Epic's old actors is like going back to the stone age.
Besides, this is an ok release to also promote G59, which I wish you guys play because it's a fresh experience and I spent a lot of effort on it, and a lot of the changes are suited to Unreal players.
Besides, something like Nali Chronicles goes even more beyond Unreal gameplay, to be honest, and has a massive amount of enemies.

Diego96 wrote:Holy crap, whatever new weapons you made I wanna try them. Does it have a new roster of enemies too?

No new weapons, just a mix of Unreal and UT guns - see the story bits in the spoiler box to check the weapon/item info.

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Subject: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 25 Feb 2018, 18:23

Χέοψ ~Cheope~ IS RELEASED.

Link 1 has the necessary files, including the necessary EXU2 v7.1 files (and even oldskool and bp4 for the people that start from ZERO)
Link 2 is for those who have EXU2 v7.1 installed.

Please tell me about any technical fucks you encounter and check the readme. Thanks everyone!

If decals are too much and it's getting slow, use the command killall decal.

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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 25 Feb 2018, 19:13

Looks like I missed a .u file
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nCToE ... 2ynFPdFJv2
Download it and put in the system folder asap. This is for ALL people.

I'll update the main packages tomorrow, for now I put the link in the op post.

The map hopefully should work well in coop, I put all the necessary checkpoints as well as temporary teleports for when a place becomes locked until a certain point. Some enemies have a lot of more health and there are some unexpected appearances.

For Limbo players, it's absolutely not suggested to use it, especially on Hard and Unreal. Medium Limbo maybe can cut it.

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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 01:57



Presumably the forcefields here (behind me and around the big pyramid) are supposed to turn off when everything is dead? Because the area is clear and I seem to be stuck here. I even ghosted around a bit to make sure there wasn't an enemy stuck or something, but it seems there isn't.
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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 05:19

Semfry wrote:

Presumably the forcefields here (behind me and around the big pyramid) are supposed to turn off when everything is dead? Because the area is clear and I seem to be stuck here. I even ghosted around a bit to make sure there wasn't an enemy stuck or something, but it seems there isn't.

The force fields dissapear after both waves end (1st krall and then skaarj) and both of the last behemoths die. Try again, perhaps?
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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 07:00

Alright, after finally playing on Medium I've noted some problems:

    1. The ground brightness is too high and clashes with most projectiles you have to dodge, mostly with krall bolts (at least on medium brightness).

    2. The default translator is too small and you have to look at the darkness to be able to read messages.

    3. One of the most (probably) important weapons is locked behind a secret that I'm too dumb to find.

    4. The overreliance on the minigun, the slowness of the shotgun, the generally low damage of other weapons and the lack of a rocket launcher or splash damage weapons makes gun balance weird.

I can gloss over the flatness of the map but I felt I needed to point of these issues. It can certainly be improved.
I really liked the music, the performance on low-end PCs is very acceptable (with dynamic lighting off) and the fighters at the end were very cool enemies. :)
M'nali

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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 11:13

Semfry wrote:

Presumably the forcefields here (behind me and around the big pyramid) are supposed to turn off when everything is dead? Because the area is clear and I seem to be stuck here. I even ghosted around a bit to make sure there wasn't an enemy stuck or something, but it seems there isn't.


Did you go next to the staircase at the end to trigger another enemy wave? When all of them are dead the minibosses show up. Otherwise I have no idea why nothing would happen, tested right now and it works. I know there's a crazy rare bug that causes a single enemy to jump in the air with an astronomical size but he should land into the same point he jumped from.

Diego96 wrote:1. The ground brightness is too high and clashes with most projectiles you have to dodge, mostly with krall bolts (at least on medium brightness).

You could see this as an opposite of the many MANY maps that use darkness as a difficulty. The brightness is here to stay (which means changing the lighting which is a no-no) but I could make the Krall bolts green and orange and cast a bit more stronger light.

Diego96 wrote:2. The default translator is too small and you have to look at the darkness to be able to read messages.

That's something I'd like to do for when I want to add a custom gametype. The Unreal's HUD system as a whole is terrible to work with and so far I don't know of a single mod that uses decent letterbox for subtitles and such. Translator issue can be easily dealt with.

Diego96 wrote:3. One of the most (probably) important weapons is locked behind a secret that I'm too dumb to find.


► Show Spoiler


Diego96 wrote:4. The overreliance on the minigun, the slowness of the shotgun, the generally low damage of other weapons and the lack of a rocket launcher or splash damage weapons makes gun balance weird.

That's mostly intentional. The Minigun has been always a dogshit weapon in every Unreal pack (except the Chaingun in Xidia/7B but that's a different thing altogether) due to sharing Automag ammo and so I wanted the gun to shine once for all - it's why I made sure people would rely on it all the time throughout the whole map. It's the overall best weapon and you have a lot of ammo.
The feel and franticness of unloading a myriad of bullets onto enemies is too good to not be emphasized.

The Quadshot needs to be treated as a short-ranged Automag. You use it on weaker enemies, generally when they are alone or in few numbers, and when especially you don't want to waste other ammo types. Also the Quadshot does a lot of damage against the Fighters. Weapon fits its spot well as a low-tier weapon just like most games employing a shotgun of sorts. I don't remember how 7B Quadshot is but if it's improved it could work like that one.

The Shock Rifle is the filler weapon of the bunch for sure but it's there and in higher difficulties when you have to save ammo for other weapons you'll end up using it a bit on certain enemies in the late game; I used it quite it a lot on Unreal difficulty against distant targets. Maybe giving it a headshot ability a la 7B Shock Rifle, that's the only way I'm going to improve it.

Rocket Launcher or Eightball are a no-go; decided from the very first moment to never have them. There are multiple reasons:
  • 1. Both weapons feel clunky to use. They are slow to charge up, slow when firing, rockets feel like having no impact, and they cast those annoying trails. I very much hate the rocket weapons in Unreal.
  • 2. Enemies can dodge rockets, and in a level that's very large it'd be really hard hitting someone.
  • 3. Even though the Flak Cannon is also a very niche weapon here, both its fire modes are helpful. All enemies except the Skaarj and the Boss can't really dodge the primary fire (UT Flak has a higher ROF I think?); no one dodges the secondary fire and when that firemode was ever useless? In comparison, RL/8Ball grenades would do absolutely nothing or would be absolutely overpowered. The only idea would be replacing the Shock Rifle (or the Flak Cannon maybe, since the Shock Rifle is a hitscan weapon and that helps) with a rocket launcher that works like the SS variant - just straightforward single rocket firing and the secondary fire being a scope.

The flatness of the map is an obvious architectural design, which is true to Egyptian ruins - see Luxor and such.
I really wanted to put some mountains outside the walls but the editor began to crash for some reasons when putting more brushes around so I never bothered.

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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 15:09

I've walked around basically everywhere there. I guess I'll walk around a bit more around the stairs but otherwise I guess I'll just ghost past the barriers.
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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 15:47

So it turns out Semfry was playing on Hard difficulty where somehow that battle sequence was broken after a post-testing change; ONLY on that difficulty, other ones still worked fine.
Redownload the map here https://drive.google.com/open?id=1oYuC4 ... eHjpQhmSB4

Link added to OP post.

If anybody is playing on Hard already, if you want to turn off the forcefields type the following commands:
causeevent dumbforcemovers
causeevent pyramidmovers

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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 16:46

Haven't played it yet but from the screenshots: add some zone light to the level. An area that bright in the sun wouldn't have pitch-black shadows anywhere near the exterior due to light reflecting off of surfaces and scattering all around.
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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 16:50

Buff Skeleton wrote:Haven't played it yet but from the screenshots: add some zone light to the level. An area that bright in the sun wouldn't have pitch-black shadows anywhere near the exterior due to light reflecting off of surfaces and scattering all around.


There's already a zonelight, shadowy zones aren't pitch-black, just a very dark brown/gold color-

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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 18:01

Finished it (on hard, as mentioned above), I also found all the secrets. The theme is really unique and has been done very little (at least in SP). The lighting is so bright it leads to some greenings at times, but it actually kind of works in the context of intense desert sun. The occasional large element is cubic but the huge scale geometry and structures mostly carry it. The fog use is also a standout feature and subtly adds a ton to the interior parts. As Diego96 mentioned though the enemy projectiles have a habit of blending in at the brightest areas (especially when you have yellow-ish Krall shooting yellow projectiles) and translator messages can be hard to read without finding a shadowy area.

The main challenge was realising that the rules for weapon use are completely changed, with the Minigun as the mainstay and some of usual weapons being more niche. The Quadshot was useful but still felt a little underwhelming (as it tends to for me); I don't know about the limits of editing it, but in an intense map like this is feels like it could have a much faster reload to be more powerful without being dominant. As mentioned above the Pulse Gun being easy to miss seems a little odd, and it could maybe at least be put in another secret at some point. Is the improved Krall tracking an EXU thing? Krall can actually be pretty dangerous when they lead you properly. The mini-Warlords having seemingly unavoidable projectiles felt a little strange, even if their damage is quite low; especially as the Titan variants later had a similar concept but actually were possible to dodge if you moved at the last second (which felt more correct). On that note the later backtracking worked well as the later enemies relied on the environment more, and the fact you were familiar with the locations helped avoid them getting frustrating.

Also, I'll spoiler this question about something since I guess it's supposed to be a surprise
► Show Spoiler

The story details and implementation were nice (readability issues aside), but it does seem to need a little proof-reading because there are various small mistakes and stuff that's technically right but not really how a native English person would put it.

Overall I like it a lot and put it among the best single-maps I've played, especially given how relatively short it's development time was.
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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 26 Feb 2018, 21:53

Thanks!

Semfry wrote:Finished it (on hard, as mentioned above), I also found all the secrets. The theme is really unique and has been done very little (at least in SP). The lighting is so bright it leads to some greenings at times, but it actually kind of works in the context of intense desert sun. The occasional large element is cubic but the huge scale geometry and structures mostly carry it. The fog use is also a standout feature and subtly adds a ton to the interior parts.

Said it on Discord few hours ago but the fog you probably see is an illusion effect caused by the sand/smoke emitters and the dim zoneinfo light, which worked very well. The skybox, the inside of the Cheope's Palace and the Ziggurat's interior are what make use of fog overall.

Anyway the fog stuff wasn't the actual thing I wanted to say. It's time to talk about how much of a pain in the ass was doing the lighting in this level. I dread to ever do something like this again, at least on UT - I'm sure 227 with the sunlight actor makes things easier, and while it may nerf the mapping skillceiling I'm absolutely pro-modern-tech and I'd love to see what I can do with it.

The map was at first lighted with huge radius cylinder lights. Hue is always 35, brightness varies wildly between 80 and 200, saturation between 80 and 140. I tried to be as consistent as possible with the cylinder lights' placement and radius, following closely the sun direction.

As far as I remember, there hasn't been a map with a similar outdoor lighting style. Also all the brushes, including movers, had textures with the high-quality shadows property on.

Some people will likely remember me whining about how bright lights (something that the Unreal engine was never expected to do, especially in large outdoor areas) looked very washed up and barely colorful. It looked like the sunlight was dampened by the clouds (there are clouds in the sky, yes, not to the point to cover the brightness of the sunlight realistically), so overall the sunlight felt weak, the strongest possible brightness on certain brushes wasn't emphasized and everything looked like... static and lifeless? Just more gray/white than gold. This was very noticeable in the later courtyards, it's probably still noticeable now. SteadZ suggested me a hue of 28 but I was too much far into the level's development and how it should've looked like, so I had to stick with 35 (I wanted a golden/colorful setting).
I had to change the general hue of the skybox first; before it was blue and looked kind of dark and not that exotic/alien enough. Green seemed ok, conveyed better how much hot and warm the whole planet was, and did fit more with the skybox horizons' haze. Already an improvement on ground level as the color clash between the playable area and the sky gave more strength to the sunlight hammering on the ground.
Still wasn't enough - I had to put a shittons of non-cylinder light actors to illuminate certain zones that were more exposed to the sun than others.

This was the most annoying part because I had to make sure the lights would illuminate what I wanted, without having their radius illuminate things that didn't want. Holy fuck are there like 1000 lights in the level? I took even the time to illuminate parts that you could never see in-game but the point was striving for the best balance possible - not having too much brightness (which is why the desert shines so much, I really couldn't do that much - though realistically it should make sense) and not having the game render too many light actors at once. It looks like I did hit some engine limit because yes, the engine light crash was happening at certain points in-game and had to remove a bunch of stuff.

There was a huge amount of special lit lights at work. You see those columns in the open? Especially the small ones like around the pool or in the side secret areas? Many of their sides were pitch black and I had to light them out with a set of special lights. I forgot the count of how many times I did that shit and how many innatural black spots I had to fix with special lit. There are indeed a lot of unfixed darkened textures because of probably how cylinder lights work (like in the last area) but I am not sure if also special lights can impact on the engine's stability (e.g. causing it to crash or not).
Most of the obelisks were all special lit-lighted; not probably as consistent as I hoped but as you can see the sides that shouldn't be supposed to be illuminated by the sun are dark - the obelisks around the small pyramid, and the obelisk next to the pool.

It was just too awful. The smoke emitters did however an incredible job making the place lively, as well as giving the illusion of an arid/hot atmosphere around, as well as making sunlight stronger.


Semfry wrote:I don't know about the limits of editing it, but in an intense map like this is feels like it could have a much faster reload to be more powerful without being dominant.

Definitely wanted the Quadshot to have no reload. It's the default oldskool one actually, except with modified ammo quantity. I know jackshit about weapon code and didn't feel like bothering anyone.


Semfry wrote:As mentioned above the Pulse Gun being easy to miss seems a little odd, and it could maybe at least be put in another secret at some point.

About the Pulse Gun - it does Burned damage and there are certain enemies like the Krall Seers that are resistant to it. Boss is also immune. I turned off the resistance/weakness effects because I felt they were a bit out of place.

Semfry wrote:Is the improved Krall tracking an EXU thing? Krall can actually be pretty dangerous when they lead you properly.

I think the EXU Krall act just fairly a bit more aggressive overall, generally constantly moving and attacking. However the regular Krall and KrallElites in Xeops are enhanced already with better movement speed and better projectile speed. Legless mode is turned off on the other hand (which is something that can be done for the EXUKrall class only). The Seers have higher melee speed.

Semfry wrote:The mini-Warlords having seemingly unavoidable projectiles felt a little strange, even if their damage is quite low

You can dodge those fireballs by dodging at the very last second but they are designed as "NOTICE-ME" enemies - while their damage is low, they attack constantly and when there are many of them, it becomes tough. Their mental gimmick is to attract the attention of the player over any other enemy - as soon as they show up, you have to kill them before they slowly kill you down. This becomes much more important in Unreal difficulty, where you encounter many more of them, as well as almost ALL the regular Krall getting replaced with Elite variants.

Also I believe you never saw the miniboss before the Ziggurat due to that bug:
► Show Spoiler



Semfry wrote:Also, I'll spoiler this question about something since I guess it's supposed to be a surprise
► Show Spoiler

► Show Spoiler



Semfry wrote:The story details and implementation were nice (readability issues aside), but it does seem to need a little proof-reading because there are various small mistakes and stuff that's technically right but not really how a native English person would put it.

Yeah I know; you might be especially referring to the ancient texts that are written in a such weird cryptic way. Maybe it sounds like ass for some. The last text before the final boss fight doesn't make sense at all but it's supposed to foreshadow the whole battle (and makes some references to the "bad guys" of Egyptian mythology, who brought sandstorms and were referenced with a red color).



A TIP TO ALL PEOPLE THAT ENTER THE LEFT SIDE OF THE CATACOMBS
If you are stuck in the first room, look above the three clips. Shoot what you see.
This doesn't matter when you open the catacombs' unlock button at the end, as it unlocks anything (also you can only fight the enemies of one side, the others won't spawn).

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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 01 Mar 2018, 23:23

I think you kinda tricked people when you said this is not EXU. I mean, technically, it isnt because it uses modified monsters and weapons of the original, but the feeling is very much the same: Not only do you fight against EXU enemies in the second half, the focal points generally are the fights against many tough monsters with Cybernetika on your ears, and progression through the map is rather slow. Even the tone of the messages is the same! :lol: Im sorry to say that this is a style of gameplay I personally dont particularily enjoy (apart from the music which makes up for quite a lot), as I would like to have the fights in tightly structured doses or contrasted with different gameplay aspects. But this is purely a matter of taste. In fact, youve hit the nail on the coffin emulating Serious Sam and the idea of The Last Fortress (which I btw dont really enjoy as much either for the same reasons, even though I admire the sense of scale of the map). Because of that, I needed two breaks (consisting of a day) to have a fresh take on the map and finally beat it. I stopped first after the first fight alongside the Gas Bags, then after the pyramid twist, and then I played it till the end.

Your map is really impressive in its grandiose feeling. While being slightly repetitive, the architectural style is certainly coherent, and I particularily enjoyed being rewarded for exploration. I only wished you had aligned the pillars. That wouldnt have needed that much time considering you only use quite a limited amount of different cylinders. The gameplay involvement is certainly the strongest point of the map. Especially the use of different species fighting with you or against each other is well thought-out. I guess thats one part where the EXU framework helped a lot in saving time.

So, all in all, even though, this style of gameplay is not my cup of tea, it is really well done for what it is trying to be. The visuals and sounds are pleasing, and the fights are balanced, even when one might think they were not - at first glance. One just needs to put real effort in (sometimes ab)using the environment to your advantage.
The Unforchers will come again soon...

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Subject: Re: [UT] Χέοψ ~Cheope~ OUT

Post Posted: 02 Mar 2018, 00:51

editor Dave wrote:I think you kinda tricked people when you said this is not EXU. I mean, technically, it isnt because it uses modified monsters and weapons of the original, but the feeling is very much the same: Not only do you fight against EXU enemies in the second half,


With the likes of Xenome and Hard Crash, enemy hordes have slowly become a normal thing in new custom maps. Most people now likely know how Unreal AI act and how they can be exploited. This map is probably a result of that.

► Show Spoiler


The map works as a test of might and since it's one level it was probably the best idea making it very long and fulfilling. On average it'll take a hour to clear it on Medium, while on Unreal difficulty it might take several hours.

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