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Issues with interactive hats

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    Issues with interactive hats

    N.B: If you want to a generic discussion about hats see this thread.

    Earlier today Jim (Entropy) popped onto the irc to encourage people to make more interactive hats. I had a good think about it but almost all my ideas fell down at the same issues, in essence it all comes down to the payoff point; i.e. the point at which the hat does it's coolest thing. To take a live example the payoff point for Paul's skull mask is becoming the leader and hence spawning the horns. The question is how do you balance that payoff point with the required effort; some players may only become the leader once in 100 games, others will almost every game (at least in the current environment without match making).

    (Side note: I'd really like to know how the skull leader status is being done in BP, are you simply swapping the hat out for a 'leader hat' or simply showing the horns based on some parameter change?)

    The current event set up leave you with a limited number of payoff points;
    • Score Kill - Very frequent, thus any effect should be relatively subtle. The cardboard hat changes faces for a few seconds for example. Cumulative effects are possible but the iteration would have to be really small to avoid reaching 'complete' too quickly; this also bleeds into killing spree awards rewards. Death would also reset any cumulative state.
    • Enter Spree / change spree level - Less frequent, but logically should be a precipitant state since the player is in a spree state until they die meaning one off effects seem lacklustre. You can do interesting things with levels and one off effects but there should be a logical progression (glowing leading up to bursting into flames etc)
    • Becoming leader - As mentioned before; only one person can hold this at a time, and it's also a precipitant state.
    • Taunting - Since this is player triggered I kind of discount it from the payoff stand point, if you can trigger it whenever you like I kind of feel like the effect should be minimal, an added bonus rather than the main event as it were.

    I'm ignoring persistent/repeating effects since they're not truly interactive.

    This leaves a gulf for ultimate one off effects. For example I had a silly idea for a rocket being fired from the players head. As they scored kills / got a spree the rocket would grow in size / appear further out of the silo / generally prep more until it launched. Headshotting the player would cause it to misfire and explode. What it lacked was a suitable event at which the rocket fired i.e. a payoff point; A non state based event which was not score kill.

    On top of this you have the spectre of fitting the universe. Currently UT doesn't really have a coherent style or theme, especially over all 4 games. We are defiantly moving towards one, Pern's hat concept post helps shape that when it comes to hats, but we're not there yet. This alone is curbing my ideas, I know a lot of people aren't really happy with the cardboard hat being added to the marketplace, for various reasons.

    I'm not going to use this thread to debate the relative merits and flaws of 'silly' hats, but suffice to say creating interactive events that fit the universe is really tricky. These interactive events must be visual, otherwise there isn't any point in having them, and since we're not dealing with a 3rd person environment they're not truly for the players edification. The player isn't effected by growing horns when they become leader, it's an ostentatious flaunt. It has to be visually distinct. Meeting all the requirements without dipping into 'silly' is outstandingly hard. Even the visor change and unreal logo appearing for Teriyaki style's helmet veer towards silly.

    I don't really have any answers, I just wanted to provide some direct feedback as to why I'm having difficulty. I want to suggest more one off events but there aren't really any major events you can trigger from. You could do something with Flag state changes. Holding the flag, returning it etc but since that would be limited to CTF it feels very limited. Similarly you could randomise off score kill so roughly 1 in 5 kills causes an effect to play, but that feels wrong.

    Hello. Sorry for necroing this thread, but then again I don't think I should start a new one when this one shares some of my questions, and has no answers.

    What is Epic's stance on cosmetic items? Are we encouraged to make them interactive, or are static ones just as welcome? Is there a precise requirement as to what events they should react to? Is there a technical tutorial showing how to do it in Blueprints, or a chance of including an example in the next revision (the ones included right now are not interactive, as far as I can tell)?

    I'm making a mask, which will probably not fit the head perfectly (by design), so you'll be able to see a bit of the inside. Will making the material two-sided be enough, or should I make a proper inside as well? I have no problem making it either way, but I guess what I'm asking is: should we favour optimization, or rather "coolness" of the item itself (within reason, of course)? I guess same goes for the interactivity: more states require more meshes/textures. Is that not a problem?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by rosenand; 11-25-2017, 12:02 PM.