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Author Topic: FreezeTag mode  (Read 176 times)
Neon_Knight
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« on: January 06, 2019, 10:24:44 am »

It's been a long time coming.

I've been working on porting the Freezetag mod to OA code, though I've lost a bit of momentum and will due to the FT code itself not being GPL'd, and scrapped the whole thing.

So, how does Freezetag works? As a gametype, it's a round-based mode. Instead of dying, players get frozen. A round ends when all players are frozen. A match ends when a team reaches the scorelimit. The main difference with Elimination/eCTF/LMS is that players can get thawed, either normally (gaining 1-2 HP per second) or with nearby teammates (gaining 10 HP per second), so once a frozen player reaches 100 HP, they can continue the battle.

So how this could be implemented in OA? Due to it really having few differences with Elimination, it could better work as a modifier (something like elimination_freezetag) for Elimination/eCTF, which would allow us to have Freezetag TDM and Freezetag CTF with relatively few code. Additional settings could involve the amount of health gained during thawing both with and without allies (elimination_ftThawTime and elimination_ftAlliedThawTime). There's also the matter of what we could use in order to display frozen players. A cube? A powerup-like shader?

Discuss...
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 07:11:04 am by Neon_Knight » Logged


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Gig
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2019, 10:51:00 am »

Interesting. I played a bit of FreezeTag in Q3 (OSP mod maybe?) maaaaany years ago. I do not remember if that mode did remove the items from the arena, like Elimination, or not.
Quickly looking at one youtube video of osp freezetag (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktpwMl9Ah6A), it looks like it removed weapons pickup but kept health bonuses. Of course we have no need to make it exactly the same as the OSP version!
What do you think about how the "freeze" effect looks like there? However maybe a complete "cube" may be even nicer? (the only problem may be in case of player models larger than hitboxes? I don't know.)

Also, I don't remember what happened to players falling in deadly pits.

About appying it to non-team-based modes, at first I thought "and where is the tag team there?", then I thought that with thawing automatically at the right speed it may work. Maybe we may even remove the "tag" part of the name, and just name it "Freeze mode", then?
But I still have to figure out possible behavior in non-round-based modes (thinking about possible interaction with g_elimination)... as having to wait a long time to thaw instead of being allowed to respawn after 5 seconds may not be so funny.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 02:33:15 am by Gig » Logged

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Neon_Knight
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2019, 07:11:27 am »

I've played FT both offline and online on UT2004, which is where most of my FT memories come from. The mode is thought only for round-based modes. It doesn't make sense to use this on non-round-based modes.

Although yeah, on second thought, it may not work on LMS as it should be.

Falling players would get gibbed, as normal. Only weapon damage would freeze them.
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2019, 08:38:46 am »

Yes, probably it would have very little sense (or may require too many changes to give it a sense) outside from Elimination/Elimination CTF.
I'm not sure about LMS: with auto-thaw and no teammates, if you get frozen for first, you get thawed for first (if the round isn't ended yet), so you may re-enter the match with only few, weakened opponents remaining, which may sound unfair.

I just tried to get a little into how the OSP version of the mode worked, searching for some documentation about it. I found this repository:
https://ioquake3.org/files/ioq3/osp/

From https://ioquake3.org/files/ioq3/osp/freezetag.cfg
Quote
set freezetag_respawn 3.0
It looks like they did set the amount of seconds you had to stay next to a teammate to thaw him.

This documentation file mentions some aspects of the mode: https://ioquake3.org/files/ioq3/osp/Docs/osp-q3-FreezeTag.txt
It is quite interesting... it looks like the only way to thaw is to have a teammate stay next to you for three consecutive seconds (by default, seeing the cvar above), it doesn't mention auto-thaw at all there.
And it mentions weapon respawn time and ammo pickup rules.

Looking at the video I linked in the previous post, I haven't noticed weapons around (only health and armor) -maybe it's my fault... but I wonder if that video was maybe using a different version of the mod? I'm a bit confused.-, and judging from 8:45 (fragged) to 9:12 (unfreezed), when you thaw you respawn in another location, with health and ammo replenished.

There is also this other file mentioning some few other freeze-related variables, but they doesn't seem very relevant to us, as mainly have to do with OSP behavior: https://ioquake3.org/files/ioq3/osp/Docs/osp-q3-Variables.txt

However, I repeat we don't need to make everything like OSP did. I'm just trying to gather infos about freezetag.
Probably our best option is to blend it with Elimination in the simpler ways...
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 04:45:51 pm by Gig » Logged

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Neon_Knight
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2019, 09:14:36 am »

Indeed. Starting with something simpler is always the direction to follow. Just the FT support and the freeze variables.
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2019, 07:45:02 pm »

The concept of the mode's simple enough, we shouldn't even need to cargo cult it over from legally incompatible codebases...
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Gig
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2019, 05:12:24 am »

So, which rules do we need to consider?

- Allowing thawing in different sessions (e.g. "restore health up to reaching a certain amount"[1] as in Neon Knight's first post) or requiring a single session (e.g. "stay next for X consecutive seconds")?
-- Inthe first case, also including auto-thaw or not?
- Making it as a modifier for Elimination and Elimination CTF only.[2]
-- Also applying to Last Man Standing? Not sure, it may be unfair? It would require auto-thaw.
- Removing all items, as usual for Elimination, I would say.[3]
- How many units should be the "range" of the thawing?[4]
- Some specific HUD notifications may be needed.
- In Elimination CTF, one should be sure that frozen players would drop the flags.
- Effects for frozing and thawing.
- Should thawing restore default ammo load? And armor?
- Should thawing make you start moving from where you were, or should it make you explode and respawn somewhere else (like OSP)?
- People frozen mid-air should complete their movement and reach the ground[5], as it would be hard to thaw a teammate stuck mid-air. This implies the side effect someone may end up in some deadly trap after being frozen.[6]
- Are there other things to bear in mind?

Notes:
[1] It exists elimination_startHealth cvar, which defaults to 200, IIRC. I don't know if that should be considered as the "target health to thaw".
[2] As other modes would probably require major changes to make a sense.
[3] If one may like to have some items still around in Elimination, there is an apposite "idea" thread about that.
[4] Due to the axial system of hitboxes, maybe in some cases it may think he's touching a teammate while he isn't actually doing it due to being at the wrong angle. So maybe a small extra range may help. Just guessing. I don't know if gauntlet reach code may provide some kind of guidance here.
[5] Keeping their momentum or just falling vertically (easy death in space maps)? Continuing to be pushed by further jummpads they may end up on or not?
[6] Just to say such scenario should be tested.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 06:42:15 am by Gig » Logged

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Neon_Knight
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2019, 06:06:09 am »

- Only for round-based and team-based gametypes. Ergo, no items and all weapons at round start.
- Players get frozen only by weapon fire. Level hazards (void, lava, slime, etc) kill them as always.
- Thawing can be done either on its own (1 HP/S) or with teammates nearby (5 HP/S per teammate). Once the player reaches 100 HP they're thawed.
- Freeze/thaw actions don't modify the player's arsenal (it doesn't make sense, really).
- In eCTF, frozen players drop the flag.
- Thawed players restart from the position they were thawed (it doesn't make sense to teleport them).
- Only the freezing effect is needed. It could be a static Quad Damage effect so we don't have to create new shaders.
- HUD notifications in the form of upper-right messages: "X was frozen by Y", "X was thawed by Y"
- HUD notifications in the form of big center messages: "You were frozen!", "You're being thawed", "You were thawed!"

Really, it doesn't need to be complicated.
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2019, 06:26:03 am »

- Freeze/thaw actions don't modify the player's arsenal (it doesn't make sense, really).
It may make sense considering you may have to frag the same people over and over again (especially with high elimination_roundtime values), so you may risk to remain out of ammo.
Quote
- Thawed players restart from the position they were thawed (it doesn't make sense to teleport them).
Maybe OSP used that trick to take advantage of spawn routines to restore player stats. Or maybe they just liked their exploding ice effect. I don't know.
Quote
- HUD notifications in the form of upper-right messages: "X was frozen by Y", "X was thawed by Y"
Or maybe as console upper-left notifications? Just an idea. cg_obituaryOutput may be taken into account maybe.
Quote
Really, it doesn't need to be complicated.
I agree. Maybe avoiding the self-thaw part and going for the OSP route in the particular aspect of "how to thaw" may be even simpler.
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Neon_Knight
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2019, 07:06:43 am »

- Players already start with full health. They already have an advantage.
- We don't have to copy OSP (May be an idea for another modifier, but only for the future. Right now we have to get the basics BEFORE overcomplicating things.)
- Didn't had obituaryOutput in mind. Well, yeah, it should depend on that value.
- Self thaw is necessary, if only to make the modifier stand out from regular Elimination. Otherwise you may as well not implement the mode.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 07:11:14 am by Neon_Knight » Logged


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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2019, 08:32:38 am »

- Players already start with full health. They already have an advantage.
Okay.

Quote
-We don't have to copy OSP (May be an idea for another modifier, but only for the future. Right now we have to get the basics BEFORE overcomplicating things.)
What does that phrase refer to, exactly? I was the first one saying that we don't need to make it exactly the same as OSP (although I didn't repeat the phrase every single time I mentioned an OSP feature, it was implied). We don't need to make it exactly the same as Unreal Tournament as well. We are just brainstorming to evaluate what better fits for us.
If you were referring to the "teleport on thaw" thing, my point in the previous post about it was just trying to guess the reason why they did that way. If it looked like as "teleport on thaw is surely the best option", I apologize, I didn't want to say that. For me it's okay to restore playing from where you were as well, I have no preference about one option or the other.

Quote
- Self thaw is necessary, if only to make the modifier stand out from regular Elimination. Otherwise you may as well not implement the mode.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand this point. Why shouldn't the mode be feasible as an Elimination variant, if only teammates could revive you? Really, no offense, I really don't get the link. Having only teammates revive you sounds just as something aimed to enforce team cooperation, I don't get where it would break Elimination.
On a side note, taking 100 seconds to revive on your own when the whole round usually lasts 120 seconds max, looks like autohealth would be a side feature anyways, maybe useful but not strictly necessary. While it may work of course, I don't get how its lack may break the mode.

UPDATE: I finally got it. You said "stand out from regular Elimination". "Stand out" is not an English expression I use often, I misinterpreted it! So you didn't mean it would "not work", you meant it would have been "too similar" to standard Elimination. My fault. Well, in standard Elimination you just cannot revive before the end of the round at all, so I don't see the "danger" of being too similar to it...

Now that I think about it, existing "g_regen" feature may risk to interfere with the mode, or may somehow help it?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 12:31:46 pm by Gig » Logged

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Gig
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2019, 02:39:24 am »

Just to clarify my point of view about the requirements to thaw:
I think both ways may be feasible, sill making the mode worth it.
For my personal taste, I slightly prefer the "stay near for N (3? 5?) consecutive seconds" way (as it looks like a bit more straightforward and forces cooperation), however if you prefer the other way it's still okay for me.
But in that case, maybe the touch thawing speed may be faster than 5 hp/second, as standing still for almost 20 seconds in this frenetic game may easily mean you are doomed (and also 20 seconds are 1/6 of a typical 120 seconds round... maybe 10 seconds may better fit?).
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 05:44:34 am by Gig » Logged

I never want to be aggressive, offensive or ironic with my posts. If you find something offending in my posts, read them again searching for a different mood there. If you still see something bad with them, please ask me infos. I can be wrong at times, but I never want to upset anyone.
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