Good news: the Artillery Strike system is working! I managed to get everything more or less functional, if a bit inelegant and inflexible in some respects. But then UA got back from the Global Game Jam and started working with me on an improved version, one that is still capable of being used for any sort of event you want while giving more powerful controls to the launcher class.
The end result will be a system usable for multiple independent artillery barrages that can be distributed over multiple signal flares in a wide area. Also possible are meteor storms, firestorms, airstrikes, map-wide cataclysmic events, you name it. It’s really fun to start working on designs that take advantage of these kinds of events, as they are great “HOLY SHIT!” moments for the player.
I also have left the signal flares as destructible projectiles, so you can shoot them down before they land and prevent the strikes from happening. However, on Unreal difficulty… probably not! Speaking of which, I need to think up new names for the difficulty settings in EXU2, because the stock Easy/Medium/Hard/Unreal titles are pretty boring. Anyway, more on that later.
We’re currently in the midst of the technical details so I don’t feel like elaborating on that right now, but we definitely have something workable which is more efficient and capable than the system I designed myself. The Artillery Guardian Krall has also been modified to accept any projectile as its FlareClass, so you can give it different kinds of signal flares to call in different sorts of “off-map” attacks. This should prove useful in the future, especially in maps like the air base, where there’s a lot of different kinds of large-scale attacks that can be used against the player.
Speaking of the air base, I also figured out how wonderfully useful Max is for editing complex brushes instead of hacking them together in UED. I started redesigning the control tower a few days ago, and have since made a lot of progress on a more demonic-looking 12-sided cylindrical structure that’s a hell of a lot bigger and more interesting than the old one.
Anyway, I built a large conical structure and chopped off the bottom at the appropriate height so I could use it for slanted radial windows like you see on actual air traffic control towers at airports. The problem is, UED’s rotation goes from 0-65536, which is not a number that’s cleanly divisible by 12. If I were to subtract out windows manually, not only would I be at the mercy of finding grid points that were roughly parallel with the angled lines of the cone shape, but I’d be rotating by very slightly inaccurate amounts to subtract the windows out of the eight faces that aren’t UED-rotation-friendly.
Instead, I exported the brush to a t3d file, imported it into Max with the Undying T3D converter, and then went to work editing the geometry there. I inset the top and bottom face of my chopped cone, bridged them, and then did the same for every individual inner and outer face. Bam: perfectly accurate windows on all 12 sides. It only took me about 20 minutes of fiddling with export settings and 3D Object Converter to find out how to save these exported brushes in a format UED could handle; it ended up being an AutoCAD .dxf file. UED brought the brush in, tessellated and all, and all I had to do was merge the polys. Everything has gone smoothy since, and no BSP errors in sight! I’m impressed and super glad I figured out how to do this, because it’s already enabled me to make a lot of other complex brushes that wouldn’t be possible in UED without taking some ugly shortcuts.
That’s all for now. I’m kinda tired and I need to go get some more pita bread. Screw you