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Request for New UT: Seamless Portals - Everything You Need To Know

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    Request for New UT: Seamless Portals - Everything You Need To Know

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    Seamless portals would be an extremely good addition to Unreal Tournament because it would add variety to both gameplay and map making decisions. It has existed since early 2000s in games such as Prey (an ID based game), Roboblitz (UE3 game), Portal 1 & 2 (Source Engine games), Xonotic (ID), and others. I also hear that it exists in Quake CPMA.

    In case you’re not familiar with what a seamless portal is, it’s basically a doorway that you can walk in and out of at will, and it automatically, seamlessly transports you from one part of the level to another.

    A seamless portal is *NOT* a one way teleportation. It behaves like a doorway or a hallway, meaning you can enter and exit seamlessly without any indication that you ever used it. However, seamless portals could potentially be one directional if the map maker desires. Example here: http://youtu.be/0osGzrbTRyw?t=10s

    People have been begging for seamless portals for a very long time, and I think it’s high time they get added to UT as an easy to place volume or plane.

    Seamless portals should be built into the game and extremely easy for anyone to take advantage of. In UT2004, you had to do some complex stuff with warpzones in order to achieve seamless portals, but it was always janky and didn’t work properly. Including but not limited to the fact that most of the time shock cores and shock beams would not connect through warpzones making shock combos impossible to pull off though a warpzone.


    Examples of Seamless Portals in Other Games

    [Video of Prey Seamless Portal]

    In this example, the portals can spawn in and out of existence at will. The effect of walking through the portal is important. Seamless portals in UT would be permanently part of the level. Prey did some absolutely insane things with portals, including entering a portal and exiting as a tiny flea sized scale.



    [Video of Xonotic Seamless Portal]
    In this example, the seamless portal fills the entire doorway. There is a faint glow around the edges, which serves as a nice visual touch. The map maker also decided that a weird watery shader effect would be nice. I personally don’t like the water effect, but at least the portal serves its intended purpose.



    [Video of Portal 1 / Portal 2]
    These portals can be relocated to wherever the player chooses. UT seamless portals would be permanently placed, unless the mapmaker chooses to make them dynamic (movable or destroyable).

    [Video of Roboblitz seamless portal] - I didn’t find any videos for this. I just know from a friend that this game had seamless portals.



    How Seamless Portals Are Supposed to Work
    • Players should not even know that they are a seamless portal, it should just look like a doorway to another room.
    • Projectiles, bullets, and all manner of damage dealing weapons should be able to enter and exit the portal without any issues of any kind. This includes shock combos where the core was fired from the entrance and the core was comboed after the exit. Also, your cores should be able to be comboed from opposing players on the opposite side.
    • Lights (whether they are dynamic or static) should be able to penetrate or cast through seamless portals without any bugs, or obvious imperfections.
    • Seamless portals should be able to be placed on walls, floors, ceilings, diagonal surfaces, any surface of any kind.
    • If the exit portal is facing a different angle than the entrance portal, players should fall through and their cameras should reorient accordingly (i.e. portals from Portal 1 / Portal 2)
    • Portals should maintain player velocity. If you go through at a slow speed, you should exit at a slow speed, and vice versa with a high speed.



    How They’re NOT supposed to Work
    • A seamless portal is *NOT* a replacement for a teleporter. A teleporter still serves a purpose. In areas where one way teleporting would be better suited, a teleporter should be used. (i.e. Deck). A seamless portal is an extra feature that mappers can either decide to use or not, depending on the situation.
    • They should *NOT* be low resolution, low framerate previews like the portals in UT3
    • They should *NOT* flash your screen when going through the portal.
    • There should not be any jarring effect while entering / exiting the portal. Hence the name, the portal should look and feel seamless.
    • A portal should not interrupt your dodges, or mid air movements. If you dodge into a portal, you should exit the portal mid dodge without any negative or unpredictable alterations to your velocity.




    Pros
    • Map design would be greatly enhanced.
    • Ability to place a seamless portal in an arbitrary spot with an arbitrary destination to create the effect of a doorway, or a hallway would give map makers so much freedom/creativity…
    • Could greatly enhance gameplay by offering a quick and dirty way to balance an imbalanced map. If after playtesting a map, it is determined that certain areas should be more accessible… you can add a seamless portal somewhere and get an immediate improvement without having to worry about creating vast structural changes to a map.
    • Unreal Engine 4 is a vast improvement over previous engines, offering dynamic lights, and superior graphics. A seamless portal could serve as a testament to its abilities/features. Seamless portals would make a good showcase.
    • Players can fight through seamless portals. You can have entire battles from either side of the portal, or you can flee through a portal the same way you would flee through a random doorway. You can chase an opponent through the seamless portal all the while, shooting projectiles or hitscan at them. Unlike Portals in Quake, or previous iterations of UT, this adds a completely new dynamic to the game which could have some very interesting outcomes.
    • If a player shoots a shock core through a seamless portal, and then decides not to go through the portal, he could perform a cool shock combo by popping the core as it passes by.





    Cons
    • Performance Concerns - Since this gives mappers the ability to place seamless portals virtually anywhere, caution should be exercised. Seamless portals should be placed where there is limited line of sight so that the level does not get rendered triple or quadruple times.
    • The portals should be optimized for performance as much as possible. I imagine early prototypes would be laggy, and lag frustrates everyone.
    • Seamless Portals should be used sparingly. Too many portals could trash a map in both performance and gameplay, so a maximum of 4 should be used… unless the map is so big (with plenty of blocked line of sight) that it permits additional portals.
    • In addition to balancing a map, seamless portals could easily imbalance a map if the mapmaker is inattentive to the potential outcomes of matches. If placed incorrectly, a seamless portal could make it very easy for a player to navigate from one side of the map to the other, which could result in spawn rape issues.

      Here’s an example of such an issue. http://youtu.be/d7OOnOttyMk?t=6m34s - In this example. the seamless portal was placed in such a way that it permits one player to easily launch an attack or spawn rape with minimal effort. In addition, one player can easily get lockdown on the powerups simply by taking the portal shortcut. This is because the entrance and exit portals were placed extremely far apart. The best way to prevent this is to exercise caution when map making. Do not place portals too far away, otherwise issues like this may arise.



    Potential Considerations
    • One way to optimize the portals would be to have a viewing distance. If the player is more than X number of feet away from the portal, the portal would become a solid color. This number would be configurable by the map designer.
    • A seamless portal could have a slight emissive glow around the border/trim of the portal. This would be configurable by the map designer. The glow could be modified, or disabled completely if the map maker desires.
    • A seamless portal does not have to be a circular portal like in the Portal games, or like the UT3 portals. A seamless portal can be any shape you want, extending from left to right, top or bottom… It can be a triangle, or any polygonal shape you want. In other words, if the surrounding doorway is any shape besides a square (for instance, an arch), you can place a seamless portal there and it would fill the space of the doorway.
    • Seamless portals could come in 2 varieties… a basic static/immovable seamless portal, or a dynamic seamless portal. Dynamic seamless portals could be animated, or disabled.
    • Spectators should be able to enter and exit seamless portals. This would be important for competitive livestreams on twitch.tv. Shoutcasters need to be able to follow players, even if they go through seamless portals.
    • A seamless portal could be made to be single directional. Meaning, if you enter the portal from one side, it will be impossible to enter the portal from the other side. An example of this can be seen here: http://youtu.be/0osGzrbTRyw?t=10s

      I do *NOT* recommend using single directional portals multiplayer or competitive maps because it gives one player a distinct advantage and the other a severe disadvantage. Single directional portals would be useful for single player projects, or maps intended to be played against bots. Silly things, in other words.



    Other Thoughts

    Some people seem to be against Seamless Portals because it promotes door fighting (Door meaning, the seamless portal will behave like a doorway). I happen to believe (and I'm not alone), that if Seamless Portals are placed with careful consideration, they can improve a map and will result in very little doorfighting. If seamless portals are placed on opposite ends of a map with lots of line of sight, then yes.. there will undeniably be door fighting, which consequently is a bad thing. If Seamless Portals are placed closer to each other, and there's limited line of sight to larger areas of a map... then door fighting will be at a minimum, which will be a good thing. Ultimately, this would be up to the mapmaker's discretion.


    Final Thoughts

    Seamless portals would make a very interesting mechanic, but in order for it to work, epic *must* implement it correctly. I do not believe this should be left up to the community to make. The reason is because Epic are masters at their engine, and would be able to very quickly debug their own portal, and ensure that it meets a certain standard. If the community finds a bug with the portal, it can be reported and fixed very quickly. Whereas, a seamless portal invented by once person may die due to the author being endowed with other more pressing responsibilities. On top of this, epic would be able to optimize it to a much greater extent and implement it directly into the game, bypassing certain obstacles required for improving performance and stability. All in all, I believe epic should be the one to make this.

    Hopefully the community agrees.

    Thanks for reading!
    -Captain
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    Last edited by Neilz0r; 07-08-2014, 10:26 AM.
    Contact me: (Steam: Neillithan) (E-mail: neilvmoore@gmail.com)


    #2
    Oh god, please vote yes. As a mapper I'm constantly trying to think of new ways to make space in playing areas more unique and interesting and this would add a whole new dimension to what I can do. Portals in UT3 are clunky and disorienting. They can speed up the way the map plays and change the flow but they don't change the way the map plays in any interesting way, whereas seamless portals would add depth to the playable space. I would love to see this implemented.

    Comment


      #3
      I think they will work on Portals as UE3 already got a proper portal version. I'm not sure if there is one stock map with a seamless portal so i don't know if they, Epic Devs, think it will be a good addition to the (online) gameplay. It could work well tho but it needs to be tested.

      Btw. a working version for UT3/UDK can be found here:
      https://forums.epicgames.com/threads...one-in-UT3-UDK

      Edit:
      I think DM-Fractal uses a seamless portal.
      ] Map Scaler Tool | Betrayal for UT4 | No Spawn Protection | No Pickup Timer | BioLauncher (revived) | ForcePickupSpawn | Map cosmetics::P | Safe Spawn::P | Why numbers for Health/Armor suck!::ANALYSIS/CONCEPT
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        #4
        Originally posted by RattleSN4K3 View Post
        I think they will work on Portals as UE3 already got a proper portal version. I'm not sure if there is one stock map with a seamless portal so i don't know if they, Epic Devs, think it will be a good addition to the (online) gameplay. It could work well tho but it needs to be tested.

        Btw. a working version for UT3/UDK can be found here:
        https://forums.epicgames.com/threads...one-in-UT3-UDK



        Edit:
        I think DM-Fractal uses a seamless portal.
        Cool. Oh hey, rattlesnake, can you add me back or unblock me on steam? lol
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          #5
          It would be a good idea. It would work well in arena shooters. Worked excellent in Xonotic.
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            #6
            I loved the portals in prey. As long as the portals in ut4 dont kill my framerate like they did im ut3 in all for it.
            Last edited by Zen3y3; 06-29-2014, 12:24 AM.

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              #7
              @nvz: Hi. Never played Xonotic. I was offline on Steam.
              ] Map Scaler Tool | Betrayal for UT4 | No Spawn Protection | No Pickup Timer | BioLauncher (revived) | ForcePickupSpawn | Map cosmetics::P | Safe Spawn::P | Why numbers for Health/Armor suck!::ANALYSIS/CONCEPT
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                #8
                I'd like real support for portals, for sure. UT99 had the best ones of the series that I saw, but even there a mapper couldn't really use them as intended, because traces don't pass through them. You can hack in more support with mods that would extend a trace on to the other side, but it couldn't be done with stock weapons/gametypes. That includes the UT3/UDK work as linked earlier in this thread.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The pass-through works for UT3/UDK with PortalTeleporters (these are different to Teleporters). The only missing thing is the replication of effects. The ShockRifle beam stops at the surface of the Portal but the actual trace is done through and can trigger/damage anything - like Combo for instance.
                  Last edited by RattleSN4K3; 06-29-2014, 07:26 PM. Reason: Typos
                  ] Map Scaler Tool | Betrayal for UT4 | No Spawn Protection | No Pickup Timer | BioLauncher (revived) | ForcePickupSpawn | Map cosmetics::P | Safe Spawn::P | Why numbers for Health/Armor suck!::ANALYSIS/CONCEPT
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                    #10
                    Since UT99 I always wanted seamless portals. However, since I learned to think with portals (Portal 1/2), I got veeeeeery cautious with this. Among other things, the one particular scenario I fear the most is that this will introduce 'door' fights. There's going to be fights where both players will just keep shooting through the portal at each other because either the one entering saw the other guy and started shooting, or the one on the other side saw the guy coming and started shooting at him.

                    Other than that, if you know the map well, you can pull off ridiculous shock combos. Imagine shooting a shock ball somewhere in the direction of the portals exit, then you shoot it by shooting the ball through the portal. This very cool, but it can also be easily abused (again, in the end it will develop into a door fight).

                    I think the best option would be to use portals similar to those in UT3. In UT3, if you looked closely you could see the players on the other side. The picture on the portals was updated like once every second and at a very low resolution What I think would be viable is to give a lot clearer picture, like in the case of seamless portals, but prevent shots from going through portals. It would also be mindful to add something like a water droplet effect on the picture (pulsating) that distorts the image, so you can only tell that someone is on the other side, but can't tell exactly where.

                    EDIT: hmmm... maybe shooting through portal with the distortion effect could be allowed, but what would be the point of shooting through it anyways? You'd just give away your position.

                    More EDIT: UNLESS the very few professionals have such knowledge of the map, that they know exactly from where and how to shoot a shock ball through the portal, so they can shoot it directly from the other side of the map (not through portal). Yeeeeeees, this would add a lot of depth and awesome TOP10 replays to the game.

                    I can't stop EDITing: On the other hand, like how you need to have some kind of prediction with the instance portals. It allows for more tactical gameplay. I'll probably like which ever portal version they put in the game. I just hope they will be very careful with the seamless portals if they decide to use them. Seriously, seamless portals ain't toys for the amateur level designer, I can't stress this enough
                    Last edited by InVader; 06-29-2014, 06:28 PM.
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                      #11
                      The support for seamless portals should be given. Everything else is in the hand of a LD. imo
                      ] Map Scaler Tool | Betrayal for UT4 | No Spawn Protection | No Pickup Timer | BioLauncher (revived) | ForcePickupSpawn | Map cosmetics::P | Safe Spawn::P | Why numbers for Health/Armor suck!::ANALYSIS/CONCEPT
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                        #12
                        Originally posted by InVader View Post
                        Since UT99 I always wanted seamless portals. However, since I learned to think with portals (Portal 1/2), I got veeeeeery cautious with this. Among other things, the one particular scenario I fear the most is that this will introduce 'door' fights. There's going to be fights where both players will just keep shooting through the portal at each other because either the one entering saw the other guy and started shooting, or the one on the other side saw the guy coming and started shooting at him.

                        Other than that, if you know the map well, you can pull off ridiculous shock combos. Imagine shooting a shock ball somewhere in the direction of the portals exit, then you shoot it by shooting the ball through the portal. This very cool, but it can also be easily abused (again, in the end it will develop into a door fight).

                        I think the best option would be to use portals similar to those in UT3. In UT3, if you looked closely you could see the players on the other side. The picture on the portals was updated like once every second and at a very low resolution What I think would be viable is to give a lot clearer picture, like in the case of seamless portals, but prevent shots from going through portals. It would also be mindful to add something like a water droplet effect on the picture (pulsating) that distorts the image, so you can only tell that someone is on the other side, but can't tell exactly where.

                        EDIT: hmmm... maybe shooting through portal with the distortion effect could be allowed, but what would be the point of shooting through it anyways? You'd just give away your position.

                        More EDIT: UNLESS the very few professionals have such knowledge of the map, that they know exactly from where and how to shoot a shock ball through the portal, so they can shoot it directly from the other side of the map (not through portal). Yeeeeeees, this would add a lot of depth and awesome TOP10 replays to the game.

                        I can't stop EDITing: On the other hand, like how you need to have some kind of prediction with the instance portals. It allows for more tactical gameplay. I'll probably like which ever portal version they put in the game. I just hope they will be very careful with the seamless portals if they decide to use them. Seriously, seamless portals ain't toys for the amateur level designer, I can't stress this enough
                        Not sure if you read a lot of what I posted, particularly the "Cons" section... but a lot of these concerns are addressed. If a map maker designs the map poorly with seamless portals in bad locations, then yes... you're going to have door fights. However, if the mapmaker designs seamless portals so that they don't have extreme line of sight, then door fights will be less common. The idea is to design the seamless portal so that it looks and behaves like any random doorway that you'd place around a map. There's no problem with a bit of back and forth fighting through seamless portals so long as they're placed in good spots.

                        Ultimately, the community will decide which maps are best via natural selection. In other words, if a map is designed so poorly that the seamless portal ends up being a huge detriment, then that map is less likely to be played. Either that, or an FE or a Pro version of the map can be made to fix certain issues. Maps that have more attention to these kinds of details will probably end up being played more.

                        Remember, teleporters if placed incorrectly can result in a bad map. This is why in UT3, most duel maps didn't have teleporters, and if they did... they were used extremely sparingly and a lot of thought was given to placement.

                        We shouldn't rule out a map design feature that has potential merit all because it has potential misuse scenarios. That kind of thought process causes a game to stagnate due to people being unwilling to explore new territory for fear of negative repercussions. Simply let the community rule on what maps are good and bad and it shouldn't be a problem.
                        Last edited by Neilz0r; 06-29-2014, 09:26 PM.
                        Contact me: (Steam: Neillithan) (E-mail: neilvmoore@gmail.com)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Well I actually imagined stock UT maps having seamless portals, like DM-Deck and DM-Gateway.

                          The seamless portals leading to the forest/cave are on Gateway would definitively encourage door fights. The portal between snow and industrial area shouldn't be a problem.

                          On Deck there's the portal leading to the Redeemer. Now that's a one way portal. How would we deal with that? The guy at the redeemer can't see what's happening on the other side. If shots could go through that portal, the guy in the redeemer room is as good as dead. Just like you said, it gives the other guy a clear advantage. But Deck has to stay Deck, the people love that map, sooo...

                          I really think the best would be to either block shots or obscure/distort vision (e.g. the water droplet effect). Unlike in your post I do believe portals should still be recognized as portals and not just doorways to other rooms. It gives you a very distinctive feeling and makes you think different about how you approach it or go through it.

                          I'd be happy with instanced portals too. They should be like the ones in UT3, but they should be bigger, and give a better image. I'd be more than happy with that. It would have minimal impact on the game and it would still be easy on level design = a LOT less trash maps from the community.

                          Also I think problems with lights + seamless portals cannot be avoided in 2014
                          Last edited by InVader; 06-30-2014, 09:52 AM.
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                            #14
                            Have you checked the portals (UTTeleporter) in UDK? That ones are updating more frequently and have a better quality. The style of the portals will be changed as the portal look comes from the Necris/GoW/Dark-moody design.
                            ] Map Scaler Tool | Betrayal for UT4 | No Spawn Protection | No Pickup Timer | BioLauncher (revived) | ForcePickupSpawn | Map cosmetics::P | Safe Spawn::P | Why numbers for Health/Armor suck!::ANALYSIS/CONCEPT
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                              #15
                              Originally posted by RattleSN4K3 View Post
                              I think DM-Fractal uses a seamless portal.
                              2kx, and UT3 versions of DM-Fractal uses a warpzone, that you can't hit shock combos though because of the flaw in the design/volume whatever.
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