Legacy:New Features In UT200X

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This is a page of features in UT2003 and UT2004, focusing on the changes from Unreal Tournament editing.

See also:

Key Differences

New Terminology

  • Static Meshes (old page: Hardware Brush)
  • Karma – Rigid-body and ragdoll physics, used for map eyecandy and in place of death animations.
  • Terrain
  • Volumes – Arbitrary shapes that set players' properties, used instead of zones for water, lava and other zone effects in Unreal Tournament.
  • Antiportal – Used for manual occlusion, since BSP doesn't automatically occlude anymore (and static meshes never did).
  • Static mesh
  • Volume
  • Topics On Materials - Shaders, cubemaps, whathaveyou.
  • Fluid surfaces - Animated sheets used for fluid surfaces
  • ScriptedTrigger - replaces Counter, Dispatcher, SpecialEventTrigger that were used in UT

New Tools

Modelling

Particle Engine

"The particle system in UT2003 looks just amazing. UT just faked it, with particle meshes and animated sprites. UT2003 has a real true-to-life particle system, that lets you do sprite, mesh, or beam emitters. The beam emitters they showed us were used to make very cool lightning effects (and is likely what they use to do the lightning gun's electrical effects). I imagine it can also be used for lasers and similar things. Mesh and sprite emitters really only differ in the type of particles they create. A sprite particle draws a particular texture at its location, a mesh particle draws a fully skinned mesh. In either case, you have a great deal of control over the particles, including their scale, color, and velocity at varying points in time. The particle system in UT2003 looks to be so versatile and adaptive that you can probably spend days creating particle effects and no two will be alike."

Source: Nights Edge

Lee Perry (Epic)on Polycount:

"but even if they're {they were talking about spacewarps to modify particles} not in our system, DE's system is still in the engine as well, and both are full-function."

So there appears to be 2 particle systems :)

Githianki: I posted the above Lee Perry quote on a special mod makers thread over on Polycount where Lee Perry as eepers (:)) hands out info. He comfirmed that yes there are two complete particle implementations.

"Gith,

Yeah there's 2 particle systems, Emitters and xEmitters (DE's system). You can use either in levels with no probs. Xemitters still have the ability to be moved around by force effecting things like rockets. DM-Compressed has some steam vents that do this I believe.

The UDN docs should cover our system, I'm not sure if DE has a tutorial for theirs planned or not, but they're both generally easy to use. I heartily reccomend not making effects from scratch, but instead snagging them from other levels, then editing them to what you want customized. The fields in properties are relatively self explanatory and the effects update realtime in the editor, so it's pretty easy to jack around with.

There's no vertex manipulation such as the explosion thing you mentioned, I'm not sure where that story came from, sorry, I haven't heard that before.

There's not a real way to use karma on bits right now without significant code/scripting work for a mod, future engine games may have that but UT2k3 doesn't have that implemented easily right now. Would be nice, but we weren't ready to hold the game's release to implement functions we didn't actually use on the game's shipping characters.

Maybe James has some more insight..."

and from BigSquid (James):

"Regarding dangling Karma stuff from character - as Lee says you can't really do that right now. It will probably be too tricky to add in at this point, but I will look into it if I get a chance..."

The vertex thing was something I asked about a thread discussion in the BeyondUnreal forums where someone posted a pic that sure as heck looked like it had this. Various previews of Unreal 2 mentiond a similar feature so I thought I'd ask. U2 is a diff engine though (sort of).

External References

Related Topics

Transferring Maps from Unreal Tournament

Projects


UsAaR33: Are you supposed to know this? :p Can people just put any information they know about UT2K3 or what?

Dma: We don't know how we know this. Mainly rumor and hearsay. Try googling for DynamicActors or something. UDN does have some stuff on it about terrain.

Tarquin: The link there has a list of new features, but it's a bit old. I'm hoping that with a rough list here we'll have an idea of what to write new pages about when we get the demo. :D

EntropicLqd: Arrrrgh! Stop making me impatient for the game. :( New stuff sounds fun :)

Dma: Actually some loser leaked a demo version of the game. I didn't know it wasn't legitimate until after I ran it and noticed the banner at the top.

UsAaR33: But basically, I can put anything I do know about the "new features" of UT2003, regardless of how I got such "information"?

Mychaeel: Well, there are some that have legitimate means of knowing those things (and some of it is public knowledge too). :-) Posting information gathered from illegally obtained software isn't endorsed, in any case.

UsAaR33: Well, if I posted something that I don't really know, just delete it :p And projects, er?

Wang: Just added a bunch of stuff I came across when bored

Hugh: UsAaR33: If you're not under NDA, legally, you can say anything you know about it. However, if you're not, but you found out things using 'dodgy' methods (leaked version, talking to someone who was under NDA), then I'd say you probably ought not to say. If you are under NDA, then you're not allowed to say anything which has not already been made public.

Tarquin: I've changed the top of this page to reflect that. Hugh, feel free to change it again if it needs it.

Mychaeel: As for NDAs: The one Epic had the people on the UT2003/Mod Summit sign technically disallowed disclosure of any information obtained on the summit to anyone outside the invited mod teams, but Tim Sweeney expressly told us at the end of the summit that we were free to talk about it publicly, and that the NDA's main purpose was to prevent software leaks.

DJPaul: If, in theory, I knew someone with a leaked build of UT2003, in theory, and I stole a look at the class file, would the data gathered be postable on the Wiki or considered "hands-off"? Remember, this is in theory and I don't have it, so no accusing.

Mychaeel: It would be considered hands-off. We're not going to embrace the use of stolen software, neither directly nor indirectly.

Highlander: I have been wondering, Due to the use of static meshes in maps, would it be better to go for a granular / modular approch for making meshs. For example: instead of making a large support beam (one of those made from cylinders if you know what i mean) make the cylinders as meshes and simply use them to make the support beam in unrealed(scaled & rotated etc etc...). I realise the memory footprint of lotsa identical smaller meshes would be less (i think). But would there be a performance hit in fps from having to render "more" objects?

Mychaeel: Well... using many different low-poly meshes is worse for performance than using a single high-poly one many times, I believe. As for modularity, settle for what makes sense: That would be (in my opinion, in most cases) neither building an entire map as a static mesh nor making 3D primitives to be combined in UnrealEd but, in your example, building that support beam as a single static mesh.

Highlander: Another question would be what is happening with collision in ut2k3? is it still cylinders? or can we create arbitary shapes for collision? (do we even still have the option of cylinders?)

Mychaeel: See Hardware Brush. (Collision cylinders are only for actors, and static meshes aren't technically related to Unreal Tournament's Decoration meshes anymore.)


EntropicLqd: So how are we going to handle UT2003 stuff then? Has a decision been made yet. From all accounts (and this is all based upon rumor, speculation, and the odd fact here and there) the class hierarchy for UT2003 is pretty different to that of UT. It also sounds like a lot of the classes have tweaked (or changed) functionality as well. Although it does seem like the game isn't due out any time soon now, I think we'll wind up having to keep most of the script-type information seperate from the UT stuff.

Mychaeel: This has been discussed at length in a now lost thread in the Unreal Wiki forum. We haven't found a conclusive answer yet, but your input would certainly be welcome.

EntropicLqd: Thanks. I always forget about the Wiki forums.

Luggage: Better check this whole thread: PolyCount's Mod Summit thread

Tarquin: quote from that thread: "as well as a bunch of non-descript europeans or something" !!!

Githianki: I've added some info I confirmed about the particle systems. Someone should go through here (who can do a complete list) and re-factor and clean out obviously old comments.

AS for the mesh questions, recall that each mesh has an overhead so the overall number of dicreet and distinct meshes is what impacts performance (along with tex obviously) not necessarily the number of instances of any one of those meshes or the number of polys in one of those meshes. That said lots of instances of a huge variety of of high poly meshes will have a big performance impact over a few instances, of a few, low poly meshes. The least important factor is the poly count of a mesh since the poly numbers that can be thrown around are enormous.

GRAFIK: Seen as how UT2003 differs little in terms of engine features, instead of having seperate New Features in UT2004 as linked to on the Home Page, shouldn't there be a New Features in UT200X?

Tarquin: Since the 2004 page doesn't exist, yup. Might as well rename this one to 200x and link all the more spcific new feature lists from here.

GRAFIK: Done. :)

[Edit: Updated pages linked to at top of page as well.]

LionsPhil: Would it be worth having a section on "broken/removed features in UT200X", like warp zones, mirrors, and even vaguely advanced dynamic lighting (no, projectors do not replace that as they don't actually cast light, and "casting shadow" is an unnecessarily complex ugly kludge; bDynamic doesn't work for animation effects like rotation)? I don't mean a whole new node, but just another heading on this one.

Evilmrfran: There is one big difference in the old and new editors. The Unreal Ed 2.0 had an option called "create new path network" As far as I know UT2k3/UT2k4 doesn't have this option. I miss being lazy -_- lol