UTXMP-Interview mit Alex Dobie - Teil 2
Der nächste Teil des Interviews beschäftigt sich etwas konkreter mit UTXMP. Viel Spaß beim Lesen!
XMP - General
Q22: There are some new visuals shown in the movies (forcewall hit effect, register effect, turret explosion). What about the level of detail in UT:XMP? New high resolution textures for the models (vehicles, SMs) and maps or just converted original lowres U2:XMP stuff? The textures in UT2004 look much crisper and detailed.
Alex "Raptor" Dobie:
The converted stuff looks just like it did in U2XMP. However, I'm told you can expect a significant improvement in performance from U2XMP to UTXMP.
Q23: What about support after the game is released? The low-level support comes in form of new official UT2004 patches. What are the (additional) plans of FMI?
We'll keep supporting UTXMP once it's out there in terms of bug fixes and possibly even more maps.
Q24: Do you plan any mutators bringing features to the game some fans mentioned? (vehicle repair, deploy teleporting, turret control, …)
No mutators are planned at the moment.
Q25: What about the scoring system? Did you change it in any way? New awards? Some tweaking?
Scoring works just as it did in U2XMP.
Q26: There was a really good idea in the FMI forum about awarding vehicle pilots. Drivers should receive points/awards for their actions and the actions of co-drivers (killing people, transporting arti carrier). What do you think about that?
I don't think this is something we'll be implementing.
Q27: There will be no bot support in the first public release, FMI said. Do you plan to implement that feature in future patches/updates or is it not set yet?
Well, that may be about to change. Jason Yu (CaptainKewl) has made great progress with UTXMP bots recently, so it's likely that the first release may have basic bot support. How basic this support will be remains to be seen.
Q28: FMI already pointed out that the XMP vehicles will be based on the UT2004 Onslaught codebase. The unconventional, “raffish“ driving behaviour in XMP exerts a lot of charme on most fans and makes it unique. To which extent will the XMP vehicle feeling be authentc? How is development of the vehicles going on?
Thanks to the efforts of Jason Yu and Peter Carlson, the vehicles are looking awesome. They take advantage of UT2004's smoother vehicle physics and are on the whole much more fun to use than they were in U2XMP.
Q29: There was a nice idea to add new ground and/or air vehicles only appearing in new, specially designed maps. What's your opinion about that? Are there any considerations for this, maybe a future Bonus Pack containing this idea?
Air vehicles were a nice idea, but I don't think they're going to be appearing anytime soon. Our current UTXMP maps are all based around the three existing ground vehicles.
Q30: How many maps are currently making it into the final release of UT:XMP?
Lots. All U2XMP maps (minus Freefall), plus at least as many all-new UTXMP maps. So we're looking at 50% new content and 50% old classics.
Q31: In your opinion, what map (ported or new one) will be visually the most astonishing one for the fans as to the “Ooooh“- and “Ahhhh“-effects.
That's a tough one, but I'd say that Valley of Apes (the map from the Matinee movie) would be the best graphically. Styx has really worked wonders there. However, Reeps and Air are both working on two new maps that I haven't seen yet, so that could change ;)
Q32: Some maps will be “new“ versions of existing ones (Wonderwoods2). So the design and layout could be very different from the templates. But what about the pure conversions? Aside from bugfixing, do you apply any make-up and add more level of detail (textures, StaticMeshes)?
All the Legend maps we've ported will be direct ports. They'll look and play exactly as they did in U2XMP. As for the new versions of CBP maps, that's a little different. Wonderwoods2 is a direct port of the CBP map, however Styx is also working on Hell2, which is a completely new map inspired by the icy CBP map. Also Reeps is working on a follow-up to Xaemia, which takes place many years after XMP-CBP-Xaemia, after the “donut” around the edge of the map has eroded away and the volcano in the middle has exploded in a cloud of explosive green goop.
Q33: Freefall yes, Freefall no. Some fans are already starting their own conversion projects. Did the poll on your website tip the scales?
Mapping / Editing
Q34: Porting the maps seems to be a very difficult and time-consuming thing...?
It's mainly a case of copying and pasting. Most of the work involved with porting maps comes from tweaking lighting, since lighting works differently in UT2004.
Q35: Converted maps for UT:XMP have to be scaled up by about 20-30% and light sources have to be darker by about 60%. Is that right?
Air tells me that lights need to be about 50% darker in UTXMP. In terms of scaling, I think we've worked that out by making players themselves larger.
Q36: What about the import of XMP StaticMeshes?
UTXMP will come with all U2XMP StaticMeshes in UTXMP format. We may or may not be able to release the tool that Aaron Leiby created to help us port them across, in case there's anything we've missed.
Q37: What else should mappers consider converting maps? What problems can they expect?
The biggest problem will be lighting. We've been careful to make porting everything else a simple matter of copying and pasting things between the UT2004 editor and U2XMP editor.
Q38: Will there be a XMP Map Conversion Guide BEFORE the release?
Most likely yes.
Q39: For the development of mutators it's interesting to know whether the UT:XMP code will be accessible by simply extracting it?
Yes. In fact, I see no reason why we can't include all UTXMP UnrealScript source in with the installer when it's released.
Freefall nein - nun gut. Dafür aber mindestens noch einmal soviele NEUE Maps, wie es originale und CBP-Maps gibt! Ohne Freefall wären das 7 (XMP) plus 11 (CBP)...UTXMP wird uns demnach wohl mit über 35 Maps erfreuen. Für Lanzeitspielspass sollte da also gesorgt sein! Schade finde ich, dass das Scoring-System keine sinnvollen Ergänzungen bekommt (Driver). Aber mal sehen, inwiefern die Fahrzeuge nun NOCH mehr Spaß machen werden als früher...vielleicht ist das für die Piloten schon Dank genug.
Der letzte Teil des Interviews erscheint dann morgen und beschäftigt sich vor allem mit der Engine und der Performance.