Chaotic Dreams

warhead's dev room
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Author:  warhead [ Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  warhead's dev room

I will use this thread to keep the team up to date on what project I am currently working on and it's details.

Author:  warhead [ Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

I have decided to go ahead and pick up an initial subscription to epic's ut4 engine.

Due to the early and messy state of this engine, it will be many months before I would be willing to pick up another. Epic by charging a fee just to get the latest version, makes modding difficult for the small time modder, so that just means in these early days when stable version is not ready yet, we just have to take things slow.

My first goal will be to watch tutorials on how ut4 modding works, play the ut4 alpha game, and get to know it.
Then I will download the chaos mod for ut2004 and play around with it and get to know it.
Finally, I will do whatever improvements need to be made to the grapping hook and gravity belt, and also do the work to make another relic.

I will need feedback posted here on what improvements need to be made to the hook and belt, and which relic is desired to be made.

Author:  warhead [ Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

I see there are threads for relics and the hook, so I will defer the detailed discussions on those items to those threads. I'll leave this thread for more high level discussions and updates.

Author:  warhead [ Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

All right, let me introduce you all the Agile dev method if you don't already know what it is.
With Agile, you will not be waiting for months waiting for the developer while they are out doing "something".
The dev doesn't come back to you and say "I need 3 more weeks while I'm working on this architectural stuff in these 5 classes, then i'll get back to you to get that gun to you".
With Agile, the focus is on very small deliverables to the end user. A deliverable is something that the end user can see, play with and test.
It doesn't deliver "architecture", it delivers things like "guns", something you the user can see and touch.
Of course, architecture always must be done, but it's divided into these kind of end user pieces.
Agile work is always divided up like this, to keep delivering small pieces with can be tested and immediately put into end user use.
The two keys are "small" and "deliverable". If I spend three weeks doing some back ground work I haven't delivered anything to you.
A deliverable must be playable, visible and testable.
Because they are small, they can be planned, created and tested very easily, and then you are done and move on to the next thing.
This doesn't mean more issues, bugs etc won't come up, but you still have a working piece, and any issues found later are put to a future time line which is called a "Sprint".
The time period in which I develop these deliverables is called a "Sprint". By definition Sprints must be small.
If pieces get too large, no one can manage it properly and we have stopped pumping out product, and believe me, we want to pump out product.

So for example if would I get hit by a truck in two weeks, you at least get all the deliverables I have given to you so far, and they all have been tested and finished, and you are good to go.

I will be developing all this within the Chaos "IR" release framework that flagg has set, but will be developing these in Sprints.
To keep things fun and leisurely, no time limit will be placed on a sprint, but by definition they must be very short, so it should not take long to complete one, but actual time taken will vary according to my likes and schedule.
I also will take time off between sprints, to keep it loose and fun for all.
I will inform in this thread when I start a sprint and what will be in it, unless flagg deems otherwise for privacy purposes.
Flagg will be generally consulted beforehand for each Sprint so he can control what I post up.

This way it's easy to keep up with what I'm doing and what I'm about to release to the team. No one will ever be in the dark and never have to wait very long to get their hands on something. Cool!

I am please to announce my first Sprint has officially begun!

In this sprint I will be
-getting all the ut4 tools and etc downloaded and learning with it
-downloading ut2004 chaos and learning it
-tweaking gravity belt and grappling hook
-implementing a beta version of the Vampire relic (works, good enough for users to see and test)
-making sure we have a plain vanilla mutator (working with whatever your last coder had started) which spawns you with the hook and belt, and spawns a Vampire relic near to you when you spawn.

If you didn't have anything before (I'm new so not sure just what you have), after this sprint you will have a working game!!
Granted, limitations in ut4 may prevent me from achieving this goal at this present, but it is the goal for now, and I will let you know if this changes.

Due to the learning curve I have for ut4 (not having used at before last night), this will take me a little more time than what I plan for other Sprints, but still should be fairly simple to do.

last night I downloaded the pre alpha for ut4 and played it for first time.

My impressions?

Not impressed! :!:

It's so early on, and nothing was "next gen", lot's of borrowed meshes from UT3, no map textures, everything looked pretty bad.
It's still early for them.
The movement has been further restricted so no more double jumping and etc, none of my beloved Dodge Jumping from ut2003/ut2004, and yuck I just hate the movement.
We need some Chaos!! :borg: :twisted:

However I was pleased to find that servers are already running with online games and I joined a death match and had a blast.
The game's working well enough to have a fragging blast and it was super fun.
I plan to participate in this growing community and have fun with ut4.
It's an amazing opportunity to get to know this game and participate in it's early stages.
I will be such a pro at it by time it hits Retail quality and official release!

Impressive was the whole user interface Epic has given to us with the alpha download, a little command center with access to everything ut related.
That is totally awesome and I love it.

The plain download didn't give me much so far as dev tools go, so next I will be purchasing their dev kit and take their tutorials.
I'm a professional programmer with 3 generations of ut modding experience so that won't take very long.

I will let you know when I'm done with that and then i'll learn Chaos, and then I can get right to coding! :)

Honestly, I will get done with things whenever I get done with them, so don't expect "he'll get that done in a few days" and etc, but I will try to keep some reasonable but flexible time frames(Agile's short Sprints make that happen) and keep this thread fresh, so and you can always check this thread to keep up with where I'm at. Technical details of the work will be in other Dev threads, but this thread will keep a high level status update so everyone knows what I am doing and about to deliver on.

Looking forward to pushing out some product. Talk to ya'all soon! (a)

Author:  warhead [ Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

had opportunity already to review some of your last coder's code, and it appears you already have a working mutator spawning you with the hook and belt so we seem all set there, and I just need to add in relic support. support will be plain vanilla for now so we can get a look at the new relic and play with it and then we'll kick it up a notch later on and bring it in line with chaos design specs (spawn locations and etc). much thanks to Rob for the quality work he has done, code looks really clean, well done, and well documented. Makes it easy on me to get started.

Author:  Dr.Flay [ Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

Well you are at the same stage and pace as the rest of the team, and baby-steps are exactly what is needed at this moment anyway so no need to apologise for lack of product.
This is a mod rather than the standalone, so byte sized it good.

Better to mix that time with familiarising yourself with the last release of the mod.
Getting the point of everything is as important as being competent at making the items.
"How do I feel about it?" is as important as "Does it look cool?".

The Grapple/Claw/proxy-launcher is a very important part of the kit due to the inter-relatedness of Chaos features, so it will probably get a lot of testing and criticism.
The claw is a melee weapon, flak and proxy launcher, and the claw fires as a hook as a grapple or medium range weapon.
As you see it takes the principals of UT multi-function weapons and goes a step further.
So if we stick with the previous setup, the final hook will be part of the "Chaos army knife" Claw weapon.

Author:  warhead [ Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

ty doc
Alright status update. i've bought the tools and installed them, watched many tutorials and done my "hello world" first ut4 app. it's all gone pretty smooth.

I like what i see so far. The new toolkit is very slick and so far i am loving it. They use visual studio 2013 form the IDE and that i also love because i use it at work and already know it.

Their shift from unreal script to c++ is a major change and i'm sure it rubs a lot of people the wrong way but i understand and agree with it.
Granted the modding process is more complicated now, but using a tool like VS to create fast running code modules is a needed thing imo for a next gen game, and choosing VS good because VS is very very good at creating fast running code modules.
Getting a mod out to various platforms(pc, linux, etc) will also be more of a head ache and it boils down to more complexity for the modder, which is a downside of this approach, but it's a win for the end game, who will enjoy the speed and efficiency a next gen game needs to have.

Epic has bent over backwards to give the modder a huge variety of tools to make stuff with. Kudos to them, the number of things (blueprints, project templates, etc etc) is amazing and the modding world should cheer because of this. I'm loving it.

Ok so i'm no expert yet but i've gotten the nickel tour and should know enough to plow ahead.

I've download Rob's code from his very last post and put that in my ut4 area so i can recreate the project files (which unfortunately he did not include) and get the code compiled and running.

>>>There is a big issue here which i hope we can overcome. When i tried to run his stuff on the current version of ut4, ut4 said it was not compatible with that version of ut4 and needed to be recompiled, so i hope this doesn't mean we have to keep paying for subscriptions just to get the darn thing to run. We will have to deal with this. If this proves to be the case then maybe we need to stick with a single version of ut for a certain period of time. We will need to play it by ear for now and see how it goes but i'm giving the Heads Up right now on it.

Anyways it's now time for the next step.
I am downloading the ut2004 Chaos mod and will play with it and get to know Chaos better.

When i am done with that, it will be time to get the mod running on my pc and get coding

Author:  warhead [ Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

ok done learning chaos and i absolutely love it. Proxy: "You're gonna diiiiieee!!". LoL! What a mod. Moving on now to try to get the mod running on my sandbox and starting some coding. Things are going well. Regarding the learning, it's just enough learning to get going, and i will continue that process as i need, but i got enough to get rolling.

Author:  warhead [ Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

well, there are going to be snags. I now know why Robert didn't include any project files, because there are none. you have to include your mutator as part of the UnrealTournament project and complile the UnrealTournament project (that's the whole freaking ut game!) just to compile and run your mutator. well, I don't mind saying this is a horrible scheme and now beginning to see why he didn't like ue4. so this process ended up maxing out drive space on my hard drive, so now I'm working on getting stuff over to another drive and getting it compiled there. it also appears there is some mysterious and undocumented convention on just where you need to have these project directories for ut and ue4 on your hard drive and I didn't get it right first time. also got some other weird compile error so aaaargh! lots of technical issues to work through before I can even getting the mod running on my machine in a dev sandbox.

Author:  Dr.Flay [ Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

:? I am reminded of trying to paint a ship, while at sea in a storm.
I guess until the core of UT is finished things are going to stay weird.
The final product must have a more sensible way to make mutators, or nobody ever will.

It may be ugly, but you may well benefit from using the Windows folder or drive compression.
I use it on my internal SSD and it regained me an annoyingly large amount of space.

Author:  warhead [ Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

good analogy doc, and btw thx for all your helpful insights about the game, gr8 to hear about your chaotic experiences as it helps me to understand the game.
I'm by all the drive space issues, got all ut4 stuff now on their own separate drive with more then enough space (fortunately being the kind of computer user I am, I have lots of drives I use for various purposes).

yea all this technical bs with the game will definitely slow things down until they come out with better stability and framework, until then we just have to stick with it and do best we can. this is most definitely the longest time it's *ever* taken me to get up and running with an unreal engine and this is the most convoluted scheme ever.

on the plus side, in my learning so far, it appears there is more mutator support than is general let on by the community at large, it's just no one likes the current support. it appears they perhaps ported old code and implemented a lot of the old support (not sure how much yet), it's just the old scheme is quite brittle and lots of people want to overhaul it. current implementation has lots of bugs however. so I am optimistic we have enough support to get rolling. the first relic will tell us a lot by how well it works out, because it relies heavily on mutator framework.

I managed to corrupt my ut4 project so had to redownload that and now at least the game is runnable again :/
Been searching the internet for answers and slowly finding them.
You have to follow all these precise steps and know certain tricks or you are screwed, unfortunately, it's a pretty brittle process right now.
Slowly learning all the dark secrets and i'll get the hang of it eventually.
I am really looking forward to working on the relic.

Author:  warhead [ Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

i have gotten by all my ut compile woes. no more errors. i had to manually fix file location problems in the editor. sadly, they are putting out builds which don't always even compile 8O

now i am working on gettting the mutator to compile. unfortunately, rob's code is already out dated and not compatible with the latest engine, so i am now working on compatibility fixes.

i also discovered the documentation on how to even run a mutator is outdated and wrong :? and this has cost me quite a bit of time, but i found another web page with an alternate way to do it which works.

once i get the mutator up and running, i will post the latest code to a box which the other coder Mons can pick up so he can also get working.

Author:  warhead [ Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

Good news 8)

I am done with compatibility fixes and have successfully loaded the mutator into a ut game.
Not that being said, I still can "see" it yet, because I don't have things like keybinds set up yet, and without the keybinds nothing will work as yet.
Unfortunately (I will be using that word a lot LoL), keybinds are not a part of the source code and we have to do some editing in the base game configs to get them to work, and this was one of the issues rob was struggling with before he left, epic promising to get some fixes out for that.

I need to work through some issues like that now to get it fully running and usable. Once I get it working I probably will do a small tweak to the hook and post a release, just to get everyone up and running with the latest.

Author:  thatscrawnykid [ Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

Sounds like your making good progress!

Author:  warhead [ Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: warhead's dev room

:borg: Coding on Chaos for Unreal Tournament 4 has begun :borg:

Mutator is successfully running on my machine and it's a beautiful thing. Working on coding tweaks to the grapping hook and gravity belt.

Remember, the nitty gritty details of dev work directly relating to Chaos mod itself will be kept to dev threads, but I will keep you up to date of what I'm working on here, unless that is deemed private by flagg (and there will be such things). Also, once I get my first tweak pack out to the dev team, you will see me slow down a bit. it was important to get the ut environment up and running, but now that the mod is running and the environment is working, I can hit some kind of more even stride and put this thing in cruise control.

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