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Flag Run Setup

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    [TUTORIAL] Flag Run Setup

    This tutorial will guide you through setting up a Flag Run map, including pre and post game lineups, location call outs, and rally points.

    Initial Setup and Geometry
    As with any other map, Flag Run maps need a basic environment and some level geometry; if you are completely new to mapping with Unreal Engine, or are just new to UT check out these tutorials; Dasic DM setup, and Basic BSP. These two tutorials should help get you started with making maps for UT.

    I won't be covering what makes a good Flag Run map in this tutorial; partly as this gametype is new and still being worked on. My objective is to give a grounding to how the pieces fit together so that the community can make more Flag Run maps to test

    World Settings
    There are three notable World Settings you need to set for Flag Run. Firstly make sure you select Allow Side Switching, this is critical otherwise your teams will not switch between rounds. It is also worth setting your game type to UTFlagrunGame for testing purposes. You may also choose to set the Default Round Length, this is best done once your map is complete and after some play testing. It defaults to 300 seconds, which is 5 minutes.

    NB: There is currently a bug where starting a PIE session with the game type set to UTFlagrunGame can cause the editor to crash if there are no flags present on the map. Make sure you save your work before you try to test if you're not completely sure!

    Flags and Starting Sides
    Flag Run is heavily based on the CTF gametype and thus uses the CTF flags as markers for the attacker flag starting position and target location. The current methodology (at time of writing) assumes the Red team starts attacking, and the Blue team starts defending; therefore place UTRedFlagBase in the attackers spawn, and UTBlueFlagBase as the target location.

    Spawn Rooms
    These are a somewhat new concept to UT, however they function much like spawn rooms in other titles. A spawn room is a safe location for the player to spawn, it is only accessible by members of their team, and will usually supply health and/or ammo. It is also where the attacking teams flag traditionally starts, and thus where it will route back to.

    Flag Run spawn rooms have 4 components; Team Doors and Shields, Weapon Lockers, Heal Stations, and Player Spawns.

    Team Doors and Shields
    Keeping the enemy out of spawn rooms is critical; this is a two step process. Firstly you want to block direct access by adding doors that only open for friendly team mates. There's a specific blueprint to do this, BP_TeamDoor (RestrictedAssets/Blueprints/Doors/). You want to add these blocking access to any area you consider a spawn room, for both teams.

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    When placing take note of the arrow found at the bottom of the door. This should be placed facing INWARDS towards the spawn room, otherwise the door will allow opposing team members to enter as it assumes that they are trapped behind a team only door, inside a team only space, unable to escape; obviously the opposite of what we want.

    BP_TeamDoor has quite a few possible settings. While none of these are critical to getting a Flag Run map to work, there are a few emerging standards which are worth keeping in mind. Attackers doors should start the game locked, and only open once; while Defender doors should never be locked and close behind players. It has also become standard to turn off the floor markings to remove visual clutter around doors.

    Suggested Attacker and Defender Door setups.

    Also make sure you set your Attacker doors to team RED and Defender doors to team BLUE. The Allow Side Switching flag in World settings will swap these around at the start of a new round so you don't need to worry about it!

    Next we want to stop the enemy team shooting into open doors, for this we want to add another blueprint to our doors, BP_TeamDeco_WeaponShield (RestrictedAssets/Environments/TeamDecos/Blueprints/).

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    You want to place these shields so they sit inside the doors themselves so they block projectiles entering while the door is open. The orientation of these matters less, and is only changes the location of the attached light. I would suggest placing it on the outside of the door, but it doesn't make much difference. The only setting of note here is the team, much like the door you want to set Attacker shields to team RED and Defender shields to team BLUE.

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    Finished door setup.

    Weapon Lockers
    BP_WeaponLocker (RestrictedAssets/Pickups/) is a simple blueprint which gives players multiple weapons and ammo in one pass. They have a really basic appearance right now, but they work and are simple to set up. You want to make sure your attackers and defenders have at least one per spawn room so they have some starting weapons.

    To add weapons to the locker; select it then press the + next to the Weapon List setting. This will give you a very similar UI to a standard Weapon base, simply select your chosen weapon and it will all work. For each weapon you want the locker to provide add an extra entry with the + icon. You can also set the per player respawn timer, this limits the amount of ammo the player can pick up while alive and resets if the player dies. By default this is 30 seconds, which seems to work well.

    Heal Stations
    Similar to the Weapon Lockers, BP_TeamDeco_HealStation (RestrictedAssets/Environments/TeamDecos/Blueprints/) is a simple blueprint with simple functionality. Traditionally you only really need to provide heal stations for the defenders spawn rooms as an aid to their limited lives. They are also much more likely to fall back to their spawn rooms as the attackers approach their base. The only setting here is, once again, teams.

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    Heal Stations and Weapon Lockers in place.

    Player Spawns
    Like any other team game you want to make sure your UTTeam Player Start actors have the correct team set. For flagrun they should be clustered in spawn rooms. Make sure you have at least 5 spawns per side, I would normally throw in a few more just to be completely sure. If you have multiple spawn rooms for a team make sure you spread your spawn points equally between them so that one isn't biased.

    Rally Points
    Another new element in Flag Run are Rally Points. These are pre set locations that allow the flag carriers team to teleport to them if they are able to hold it for a few seconds. This can be extremely adventitious when you want to push into the enemy base, or quickly change your approach. These are once again fairly simple actors. RallyPointLarge (RestrictedAssets/Blueprints/FlagRunBPs/) is the standard actor you want to use. There is a smaller RallyPoint actor, but this has been largely replaced with the larger version. There are no important settings you need to set.

    There is however some extra functionality available with rally points; at the moment this is limited to opening a specific door. While quite limited as of yet, this can be a fairly useful tool. In order to set this up you will need a particular blueprint actor; BP_RallyDoor (/RestrictedAssets/Blueprints/Doors/), and a standard rally point. On your rally point set the Door Asset reference to your Rally Door. You can also set your rally beacon text and location to something suitable.

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    Door and connected rally point

    Game Volumes
    Game Volumes control a few things. They allow the designer to label certain areas of the minimap, attach specific VA call outs, and add extra protection to Spawn Rooms. You want to give each major area it's own game volume(s) to assist in identifying them, and to help control how the game flows. Unlike a lot of other volumes you want to try to avoid overlapping Game Volumes where possible, don't worry too much about it but try your best. Try to cover the majority of the map, but keep in mind that not every single area needs to be covered, small gaps and holes are perfectly fine. If you are ever unsure about how to layout Game Volumes check out the stock Epic maps.

    There are quite a few settings but it all depends on the context of the game volume. The Critical ones are explained bellow;
    • Volume name: Name displayed on minimap.
    • Show on minimap: Toggles if the volume name is displayed on minimap.
    • Is Team Safe Volume: Stops team members from taking damage, kills opposing team members.
    • Is No Rally Zone: Disables Rally points inside volume.
    • Is Warning Zone: Will sound alarm when flag carrier enters the volume.
    • Team Index: The team index for the volume; only valid for volumes flagged Is Team Safe Volume.
    • Voice Line Set: Controls what VO set to use (see bellow)
    • Report Defense status: Controls if VO line is reported.

    There are a few extra little notes to add here. Firstly the location of the minimap name display is based on the origin of the volume. This can be further altered by with the Minimap Offset setting, but I would advise using it only for small adjustments and not shifting it across the map unnecessarily. You can also use several Game Volumes with the same settings to cover multile areas, however note that you can use Show on minimap to only allow one of those volumes to display their name. This will avoid having a complex area that needs lots of volumes to properly cover it from unnecessarily covering the minimap with duplicate labels.

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    Example of Game Volumes displaying their names on the minimap (FR-Fort)

    Secondly the Voice Line Set information is currently a little obscured. There is currently no way to see what voice lines are available in the editor, and what code they are related to. However if you have linked your Epic account to GitHub you can view this page. Look for entries prefixed with GV_; for example list has entries for GV_Bridge, GV_Tower, GV_Tunnel, and GV_Flak. From this we can tell there are Voice Line Sets for a Bridge, a Tower, a Tunnel and a Flak area. If any of these work for our map we can set the Voice Line Set of the Game Volumes that cover those areas to that code.

    This can be a little confusing to start with, however by cross referencing that list to your areas you can find the ones that work for you. Don't worry if you can't match them all up nicely, it's just a nice extra to help bots communicate with players.

    Examples of Game Volumes from various maps.

    Line Ups
    At the start and end of a flagrun game, and between rounds the game will display one of the teams (depending on context) in a line up. These Line Ups are controlled by LineUpZone (Game/Blueprints) actors; every Flag Run map requires 3 of these actors. One for the Intro, one for Intermissions, and one for the Post Game. This is set via the Zone Type setting.

    The LineUpZone actor is really nicely set up. It comes in with a Zone Type setting of "invalid", however upon selecting any other option it will automatically generate any extra actors it needs, and sets them up correctly! All you need to do is find some suitable locations for your lineups, place the actor, change the Zone Type setting and you're done.

    There are a few little settings you can choose to set, this includes setting up each camera. If you have a tight area but still want to use it for a lineup you can not only select and change the camera's location and field of view, but also grab and move any of the Line Up locations. That said I would avoid doing this whenever possible, largely for consistency across maps.

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    Intro lineup. A few patches ago this was a massive pain to set up!

    Hope this helps you get going making flag run maps. Let me know if this goes out of date, if I've missed something, or if there are any massive spelling errors!
    Last edited by NATO_chrisjm; 03-03-2017, 05:47 PM.

    Is this the same game mode as Capture The Flag?