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  • Request for more Community involvement during development of "full visual pass".

    The other day, I praised DM-Chill as having good performance, awesome graphics, and good visual clarity. Everyone has their own opinion, but it's clear that I'm in the minority. Several people on the last U-Tea forecast demonstrated an obvious visual clarity issue on DM-Chill, with red player blending into the background like a "predator", and overall, the map being too much sensory overload. Not to mention, not everyone has a GPU with 12 gigs of ram #justsayin

    With TitanPass, the number one complaint was performance concerns. The map is gorgeous, no doubt, but it comes with a severe cost. Players must upgrade to new hardware, which I believe can hinder efforts to attract more people to the game, both players and contributors.

    With Outpost23, the map was also gorgeous, and more effort was put into visual clarity - considering the map is mostly gray tones. Unfortunately, player visibility is *still* an issue, between outdoor and indoor, in certain dark interior spots, and more. Not to mention, with the changes to player scale, the map feels so tight now that it registers as practically unplayable. Nobody is giving feedback on this, and nothing has been done to address the scale of the map in light of the new player scale increase.

    There's an inherent problem with the development process of these full visual pass maps - which is there's an obvious lack of community involvement. This is in no way shape or form, our fault. Gameplay-wise - the shell is fantastic. The transition from shell to final is instantaneous for the community, but long and arduous for the developers. We, the community, do not get an opportunity to offer critique until the map is completely finished. By the time the final version is released, the community is "wowed" by the visual awesomeness of the map, but highly disturbed by the visual clarity - rather the lack of. In the case of DM-Chill, there isn't an easy quick fix. Much of this is due to the map being extremely overdone. Making a changes to the map in its current state would cause it to deviate from its current look. Simple changes to the staircases would reduce poly count and improve performance, but due to the map being nearly completely finished, that type of change is very unlikely to happen now. Also, there are a number of collision issues that need to be addressed.

    This can be alleviated by having intermediate releases of the full visual pass. I suggest showing a handful of screenshots and possibly a video of the map's development once per month *directly on the forum*. This will allow the community to assess certain things, and influence the direction of the full visual pass. As an aspiring game developer myself, I live for constructive feedback. I encourage an open dialogue with the community at all times in order to properly gauge whether or not my projects are heading in the right direction. This is something that a closed QA team cannot properly achieve. As developers, you have encouraged and praised openness of community projects, but do not return the favor in regards to your own development process concerning full visual passes, which I consider to be the absolute most important part for community involvement.

    Not to mention, a lot of us are unclear whether this game is attempting to be "just another UT" or an "esports centric game". So far it's more of the former.

    It doesn't matter to me how this is done, but something needs to be done -whether it's in IRC, reddit, the stream, forums, whatever. Pick one out of a hat. DM-Chill may be a visually amazing map, and some may get great performance on it, but it's too little too late now. The map is practically finished and we had no say in its development. I respectfully request more openness during the full visual pass, so that asset creators, level designers, and more can get more crucial feedback.

    If it seems like this thread has an UnCaptainMigraine tone, it's because it's true. I want UT to be successful, but it's not getting there when the vast majority of the community is this negative. This thread aims to be a solution to that.

    One final thing. @Stuman I know it's probably annoying to have your map used as an example with the hopes of causing a major shift in the development of UT, but I promise you, I know this *very* well in regards to DM-Lea. My map is still being used as a topic of discussion and it's always startling to see people using it as an example a full year after its official release. I try to keep an open mind to all feedback, even when it's heart crushing. :P I personally think Chill is a super awesome map, but the points raised by the community are valid. If you haven't had a chance to yet, take a look at the latest U-Tea forecast. They raise *many* good points. Hopefully you can take the time to address these things. I will also post on the thread with some ideas for improvement at some point.

    -Neil (CaptainMigraine)
    Last edited by CaptainMigraine; 03-15-2016, 09:45 PM.
    Contact me: (Steam: Neillithan) (E-mail: neilvmoore@gmail.com)


  • #2
    Anything that gets/allows the community to be more involved, I'm all about.

    I'm mostly terribad at UT so I can't really offer much more than basal visual information with regards to this exact thread, but that seems to be what this thread is about. Thanks for taking the initiative and getting this on the table.

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    • #3
      I think for this game to be UT it needs to have some of both. I think the real problem is that out of the three (four if you count Face...) fully meshed maps, none of them seem to be made for competition. In fact, it doesn't seem like there is an official map that is made for competition. If there is, that isn't the stated goal of any of them.

      Personally I think a lot more could be done to make characters more visible in the maps even if they are highly detailed. I shouldn't have to be hunting for shifting blobs against same colored backgrounds in UT. I generally argue for visual acuity being a skill that requires training and is part of UT, but there is definitely a point where acuity is no longer the real problem and meshed Chill kind of exposes that pretty readily. Characters shouldn't stand out like neon beacons no matter where they are in the map, but they also shouldn't go invisible just because they stand in the "right" spot.

      Back to my first statement, I don't think it would be UT if there weren't visually stunning and demanding maps in the game. In the original UT, you couldn't run the game at the highest level of detail on the average PC until long after the game came out and that was pretty true of all of the previous UT games. The problem is that the issue got a lot worse in UT3. You should actually be able to run the game on low settings on an average PC and have the game be relatively smooth. In UT3 the game was practically unplayable unless you had a high specced machine. That shouldn't be the goal here.

      I realize that some amount of performance tuning hasn't really happened in the game and I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt there but a somewhat reasonable amount of effort should go into making sure that a GTX 760 for example on a 3-4 year old i5 or i7 can still run the game at some settings level.
      HABOUJI! Ouboudah! Batai d'va!
      BeyondUnreal - Liandri Archives [An extensive repository of Unreal lore.] - Join us on IRC [irc.utchat.com - #beyondunreal]

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      • #4
        Competitive communities and tournaments are not going to be using the finished versions of the maps unless they are optimized for low-mid end computers. In #ut4pugs we already use map shells such as CTF-Outside (TitanPass) for competitive CTF Pugs simply due to the fact that we can't get stable frames, even with high end cards.
        Steam
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        UT Username - nvz
        gg! Galaxy Gaming Community


        SPECS
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        #PREALPHA

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        • #5
          I think the exterior/interior difference in lighting could become a gameplay element. It's the same in rainbow six siege. Player must decide if it's worth taking the risk to charge into a room full speed or wait or use another path. Could be used to ambush people too, etc. It's way more realistic than having a flat uniform lighting everywhere imo. As long as it's the same for all players it's not an issue imo.

          Concerning characters visibility... can't we just use slightly emissive materials on the models so they are not affected too much by dark areas? Basically brightskins but not as bad as those in q3.
          Last edited by heartlessphil; 03-16-2016, 04:51 AM.
          Rawr1234 on Unreal Tournament play-test servers and IRC!

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          • #6
            I call it bull**** sry for language, i got stable 120-(150 FPS locked), on low settings and res of: 2048x1536.
            avg 80 fps on EPIC settings.
            pc specs:

            i7 4770k @ 4.5ghz
            16GB ram
            r9 390 nitro

            If you can't get a decent fps on your pc's consider upgrading, I don't know what you consider mid-range pc. Every mid range pc should be atleast i7 series from sandy (2600k++) and a graphics card of gtx770++
            Here are screenshots:


            Last edited by bass3; 03-16-2016, 07:58 AM.

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            • #7
              I cant agree more, I want more community involvement across the board, not because I think Epic is doing a bad job but its clear they need help and the community has spare hands. Its not really as complex or political as people make it out so Im with [MENTION=7192]CaptainMigraine[/MENTION] here but I would like to add that I think we need to avoid instant reactions. We should as Epic has said in the past, let changes settle in abit and I cant agree more about Outpost, it needs to be reworked for scale, it was one of the first few maps to come through for this UT and the movement was barely done back then.

              I do think Epics work can be improved upon if we all work together, I would like to see Epic have a go at some of the community maps too and get them meshed or vice versa, it was being talked about on IRC and I think it could be a great way for people to get to know each other and specialize their skillsets alittle more if they are still newer to the community
              Upon release, Unreal Tournament 2004 was met with widespread critical acclaim. Several critics praised the unique, fast-paced, fun and challenging nature of the game as its main selling points, while fans touted the post-release support and extensive modding capabilities.

              Comment


              • #8
                It's a vicious circle of showing something incomplete and get raged at, as well as the fear of design by committee. The community is enormously fractured, and while things like visibility are universal the views on possible solutions are wide. It doesn't help when the devs make a firm statement such as 'we don't want brightskins' a chunk of the community yell at them that it's going to be a failure if it's not included. Feels like there's a lot of distrust coming from the community right now, which doesn't encourage the devs to open up.

                In short, and not to make it sound easy, the community needs to work with the devs rather than dictate (not calling anyone out here fyi). First and foremost people need to understand that the devs are trying to widen the appeal of UT. This doesn't mean making it casual, but it does mean adjusting the core gameplay and importantly the skill focus. Currently UT is almost all about movement, positioning and aim regardless of game mode; this actually ends up being quite shallow, especially from an e-sport point of view. Moving the skill towards tactics, strategy, teamwork, planning etc helps broaden the appeal. You don't lose or ignore movement, positioning and aim, you rebalance the skill requirements to make room for your new elements.

                LoL is a great example here; the mechanical skill for most champions is mostly low (you can get to grips with most champions over 3/4 games, mastering them takes longer but the time needed to get competent is relatively low); but that's not really where the gameplay is. The gameplay spans from picking your teams champions to work together through to creating a strategy and implementing it via teamwork ... or adjusting the plan when things go wrong. The skill required to play your champion isn't ignored or sidelined, a single player performing particularly well (or badly) has a massive effect on the state of play; it's just no the be all and end all.

                Got a little off topic there, but this issue spans all aspects of development; the community seems really aggressive towards change and experimentation. Maybe it's just a small proportion of users, but it's not a welcoming environment to drop experimental stuff into. The response to showdown is a good example here; I'd say very polarized but it wasn't really, it was a mixture of generally ambivalent with a few people being quietly positive about new things and some loudly saying it'll kill the game.

                Finally, and I've said this before; there is no 'grand plan' for UT (I'm sure there is A plan, don't get me wrong, it's just not as concrete or as spanning as say, Paragon). It's an experiment and a bit of a side project; it's not necessarily a bad thing, definitely not a death sentence. This is all about looking at where UT was, where games are now, and where we want UT to be in the future; especially given that fast paced arena shooters have such a small player base right now. It's a long and painful process, for everyone involved.
                Last edited by NATO_chrisjm; 03-16-2016, 10:52 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by NATO_chrisjm View Post

                  Got a little off topic there, but this issue spans all aspects of development; the community seems really aggressive towards change and experimentation. Maybe it's just a small proportion of users, but it's not a welcoming environment to drop experimental stuff into. The response to showdown is a good example here; I'd say very polarized but it wasn't really, it was a mixture of generally ambivalent with a few people being quietly positive about new things and some loudly saying it'll kill the game.

                  Finally, and I've said this before; there is no 'grand plan' for UT (I'm sure there is A plan, don't get me wrong, it's just not as concrete or as spanning as say, Paragon). It's an experiment and a bit of a side project; it's not necessarily a bad thing, definitely not a death sentence. This is all about looking at where UT was, where games are now, and where we want UT to be in the future; especially given that fast paced arena shooters have such a small player base right now. It's a long and painful process, for everyone involved.
                  The reason the community is leaning towards change and experimentation is because Epic isn't making the changes the majority of the community wants. There has been a ton of negative reception towards weapons, among other things, so we took it upon ourselves and made the mutators/weapons we needed so we can test them out. Using wail's weapons in NA nwCTF pugs is probably hands down the best **** way to test out weapons right now. We can't wait every month for a weapon change from epic when we can wait within a few days for Unreal Prime weapons to be updated and tested.

                  Eventually we will find the "near perfect" weapon values within Unreal Prime, and hopefully Epic realizes that we are right.
                  Steam
                  irc.globalgamers.net #galaxy #unrealtournament #ut4pugs
                  UT Username - nvz
                  gg! Galaxy Gaming Community


                  SPECS
                  || Core i5-4670k @ 4.2 gHz || ASUS GTX 1070 4GB VRAM ||ASUS VG248QE ‑ 24in 144Hz || Random 54 inch TV || Mouse - Razer Deathadder Chroma || Keyboard - Microsoft Sindwinder X4 || Case - Cyberpower Titan X || 16 gb DDR3 RAM || Logitech g930 Wireless Surround sound Headset || Steelseries QCK heavy + Mouse pad ||

                  #PREALPHA

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                  • #10
                    As beautiful as Chill is, in terms of visual clarity it's a step back from Outpost-23. The bricks are reminiscent of the noise found in most UT3 maps. Something that has been discussed in the following quote by the art director at the beginning of this project.

                    Originally posted by Chris Perna View Post
                    We've been discussing visual clarity in a fast paced shooter for a while now. (Actually since UT3) We've also been reading through your forum posts and concerns.

                    A new Unreal Tournament game should feel modern and fresh but also retain some of the DNA that made the previous titles great.

                    I've been playing a lot of UT99, 2004 and UT3 back to back, running through maps like Deck which are available in all 3 releases in various forms. From the start a few things really stood out to me, these are things we have been aware for some time now, but seeing them back to back in such a short time frame really nails the point home.

                    I took some screenshots to illustrate.



                    The shot progression is meant to illustrate how visual clutter, tonal values, textures, overdone post process and lighting can all effect the look of a map and quality of gameplay.

                    This is obviously a comparison of Deck. Left to right the shots are from UT99, 2k4 and UT3. You can see how the UT99 map has a nice visual clarity. The textures are neutral, the lighting is even and the shadows are soft. Great visual clarity although it doesn't look very modern. The UT 2K4 shot looks to have a bit more detail, the tonal values remain fairly neutral and the lighting is diffuse but it loses something, a bit of depth that the shadows from the previous had. The grating is also starting to create a bit of visual clutter. The UT3 map on the right seems very dark and muddy by comparison. The textures are very dark and noisy, because of this, the lighting isn't able to do its work to separate the geometry to add depth, volume and clarity to the area.

                    Textures and Lighting:



                    The above shots were taken from the editor using "Lighting Only" and then again in fully "Lit" mode. You can see the difference in the lighting models between UT2K4 and UT3. The lighting was nicer in UT3 but the clarity was lost with the overly noisy textures and normal. The meshwork is also overdone but without the post process and dark noisy materials the visual clarity starts to return. There is more volume, depth and separation to the scene...etc.

                    Post Process:



                    Visual clarity, scene depth and separation. These shots are from the War_Torlan map in UT3. The bottom shot is how it shipped. The middle shot was taken with "post process turned off" and the top shot is "lighting only".

                    Notice how flat the bottom shot is. There is very little depth perception or separation of elements. You get a depth cue from the stream reflection but everything else is kind of on the same plane visually.

                    When I turn the post process off it helps but the materials are still a bit too dark and noisy so there is more separation but still not a ton of depth.

                    In "lighting only" mode you can see there is now a clear fore, mid and background to the scene. Look at how the machinery geometry stands out on the platform to the left. It's almost non-existent in the shipped version



                    Obviously, these are things that we have identified and will correct moving forward. There are a lot of threads on the forum talking about visual clarity and we are reading them all and working to identify what will make a new UT experience great.

                    I'm guessing that this UT will look very different from any we've shipped before (in a good way) but it's nice to have a quick side by side to compare and contrast against our memories so that we can identify the pros and cons.

                    I'll be chatting about this a bit more Thursday on the Twitch stream.

                    -Chris

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nvz View Post
                      The reason the community is leaning towards change and experimentation is because Epic isn't making the changes the majority of the community wants. There has been a ton of negative reception towards weapons, among other things, so we took it upon ourselves and made the mutators/weapons we needed so we can test them out. Using wail's weapons in NA nwCTF pugs is probably hands down the best **** way to test out weapons right now. We can't wait every month for a weapon change from epic when we can wait within a few days for Unreal Prime weapons to be updated and tested.

                      Eventually we will find the "near perfect" weapon values within Unreal Prime, and hopefully Epic realizes that we are right.
                      While I completely agree that weapons are messed up, this also reinforces NATO's point. There are lots of people in the community that aren't willing to let Epic experiment at all. They have to get the weapon balance done now. They have to get gameplay done now. They have to get visibility done now. They have to have a completely working game right now.

                      I prefer the community being able to test and iterate quickly but the community is also going to be heavily biased towards their idea of what UT used to be rather than what UT will be in the future. This seems to be the ideological divide between Epic and the community that has existed almost since the beginning. I think Epic should be doing as much as possible to make it easy for the community to play with whatever settings and mods they want and then make UT however they want to make it.
                      HABOUJI! Ouboudah! Batai d'va!
                      BeyondUnreal - Liandri Archives [An extensive repository of Unreal lore.] - Join us on IRC [irc.utchat.com - #beyondunreal]

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sir_Brizz View Post
                        I prefer the community being able to test and iterate quickly but the community is also going to be heavily biased towards their idea of what UT used to be rather than what UT will be in the future. This seems to be the ideological divide between Epic and the community that has existed almost since the beginning.
                        Epic do need to help the community understand their vision though, its not all on the community to read Epics mind as to the future of UT. The more the community knows, the more we can help Epic with their vision, whether that means offering different perspectives or actively contributing to the larger process of creating a game vs making a small part of one. Obviously the more freely we can work the more productive we can be, for me that means the quicker I can get my ideas into peoples hands for testing, I do think youre right [MENTION=3252]Sir_Brizz[/MENTION] theres a point where a franchise is its own living entity and if this UT is born from Epic and their tight collaboration with community it will give the title (and the franchise) a strength to go further at less risk to Epic.

                        There are so many recent success stories for game franchises but of those successes one constant is community, its should be hard to ignore the positive way forward for everyone.
                        Upon release, Unreal Tournament 2004 was met with widespread critical acclaim. Several critics praised the unique, fast-paced, fun and challenging nature of the game as its main selling points, while fans touted the post-release support and extensive modding capabilities.

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                        • #13
                          Still no "official" answer or opinion from Epic about this topic?

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                          • #14
                            They are working on it, from what I've read. They can't reply unfortunately to every thread.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MonsOlympus View Post
                              Epic do need to help the community understand their vision though, its not all on the community to read Epics mind as to the future of UT. The more the community knows, the more we can help Epic with their vision, whether that means offering different perspectives or actively contributing to the larger process of creating a game vs making a small part of one. Obviously the more freely we can work the more productive we can be, for me that means the quicker I can get my ideas into peoples hands for testing, I do think youre right [MENTION=3252]Sir_Brizz[/MENTION] theres a point where a franchise is its own living entity and if this UT is born from Epic and their tight collaboration with community it will give the title (and the franchise) a strength to go further at less risk to Epic.

                              There are so many recent success stories for game franchises but of those successes one constant is community, its should be hard to ignore the positive way forward for everyone.
                              I don't disagree but community involvement with this project seems to be falling further and further "off the roadmap" so to speak. I'm honestly just glad they are still giving semi-regular updates about the project at this point.
                              HABOUJI! Ouboudah! Batai d'va!
                              BeyondUnreal - Liandri Archives [An extensive repository of Unreal lore.] - Join us on IRC [irc.utchat.com - #beyondunreal]

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