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Gametype: Spider Race

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    Gametype: Spider Race

    I don't know if that's the best possible name, someone suggest a better name please! I'm calling it "Spider" because the "Track" crosses itself multiple times, looking like a form of spider web.

    Some time in the past I wanted to solve a design issue of racing games involving with weapons, like Rock'n'Roll Racing and similar, by making a system that promoted more combat and encounters with players no matter they're positions in the race or how well or bad they're performing. I ended up with a solution that turns out to sounds very interesting for UT, so I adapted it.

    The design problem I wanted to solve was how to get all players in the race to fight a lot of the time, as the original racing mode spread players to far from each other of the weapons are usually geared to attacking the player right in front of you. So the solution I found was to have players start the circuit at different checkpoints and make the map open and paths cross each other constantly (hence "Spider" Race, as the road would resemble a web).

    First take a look at the map below (which's a CS map btw, I choose it because it's very clean and has a shape that helps me explain the concept):

    The eight numbered dots with different colors are the Checkpoints that make the road of the map. The numbers indicate the order at which the Checkpoints must be completed. From #2 to #3, from #5 to #6, etc. Each of these Checkpoints is also a weapon pickup, while the white "X" marks simbolize minor pickups, just for the sake of exemplification.

    The lines represent the most obvious and fast paths to take between each Checkpint segment. Notice how players are fated to cross ways multiple times, specially if they pick the shortest route. And to grab pickups, they have to go out of their way for a moment.

    In this example map with 8 Checkpoints there would be ideally 4 (or for a crowded match, 8) solo players, or 2 teams of 2 (or 4) players (or 4 teams of 2 players).

    The Rules

    The match rules for foot-only matches are as following:

    1) Each player spawns in a different Checkpoint and gets the weapon of that Checkpoint. If it's a team mode, the players on the same team spawn as separatedly as possible, like #1 and #5 for 2-man teams or #1, #3, #5 and #7 for 4-man teams.
    2) Each player has to head to the next Checkpoint in order from where he spawned. For example, if one player spawns at 6 he has to head to 7, then to 8, then to 1, then to 2 and so on, completing a "lap" everytime he reaches Checkpoint #6 again.
    3) As the player reaches a Checkpoint, he gains the weapon from that Checkpoint.
    4) Whenever a player gets killed, he loses all his weapons and pickups, and respawns back in his last Checkpoint again with the respective weapon (plus the starting equipment). Players drop weapons and power-ups normally.
    5) Players that finish the configured amount of "laps" disappear and wait for the others to finish. In solo-player races, the player that finishes first wins and so on. In team races, the times of the whole team are summed and the team with the smaller total timer in the end wins.

    Strategy and Depth

    As players head to their respective objective Checkpoints, they'll cross with each other a lot, that's where confrontation comes from (as explained why this mode came to be). But adding the features of UT to the mix, many things change in how the racing strategy is played. Here are some of the basic things to consider:

    - Reaching the Checkpoint as fast as possible is desirable, but not so much if done carelessly and predictably to get killed and wasting so much time respawning on the last Checkpoint and losing all the weapons and equipment acquired so far.
    - Sometimes taking a longer and safer route is better than the obvious path that encounters everyone else and is constant target of projectile spam.
    - Killing other players is desirable to push them back into the race, have them lose their items and also to grab different weapons one wouldn't find in his optimal routes until later.
    - If not possible to kill other players, just delaying them away from their route or their Checkpoint for a few seconds is already an advantage, but not much so if you also waste much of your own time doing so.
    - Going out of your way to collect pickups is a good long term strategy, specially so for the important power-ups, but many other players will possibly show up to contest them too, which can become dangerous but also offer an opportunity to delay or kill many of them at once.
    - If two players end up having the same spawn at the same time (which's likely to happen a lot in crowded races), it might be a better idea to run together in a temporary aliance than to keep spawn killing each other resulting in both losing a lot of precious time, specially because a 2-man unity will be far more likely to succeed against players running around solo. But beware betrayals, they'll certainly happen sooner or later!
    - Slow and steady might prove a better strategy than rush mode, as a stacked player with weapons for all situations can perform a lot better than a just spawned man with a single weapon. Besides, slowing others down can be just as good as speeding oneself up sometimes.

    So, there's a lot of strategy, depth, and meta-game fuel in this mode. Better yet, it doesn't necessarily needs specific maps (though those would be better), as TDM and DOM maps can fit the mode pretty well. Just add a configurable screen to the server admin t set up the weapon order of Checkpoints and everything will work out.

    Vehicle and Hybrid Modes

    In a vehicle or hybrid mode, a vehicle would be part of an specific Checkpoint, automatically spawning (with you already inside it) as you reach it's Checkpoint, and vanishing when you reach the next one. For a better experience, only light vehicles should be used in hybrid modes, like Scorpion, Manta, Viper and Scavenger.

    Vehicle usage shouldn't be very common, to allow more foot players than vehicle players at any time. A rate of 2 vehicle Checkpoints for each 4 weapon Checkpoints would be good. Their placement should be equaly spaced and their roads to the next Checkpoint should be far away enough that a vehicle player spends about the same time as a foot-player takes to reach their own checkpoint if no one interferes, this way vechile players won't automatically get into a double-player Checkpoint situation.


    Please give feedback!
    Attached Files
    Last edited by LuAu.LwOw; 05-13-2014, 06:40 PM.
    DM-1on1-Deck8 | DM-1on1-BirdCage | DM-Complexo (GoldenEye Redesign) | DM-ShootThemMalcomsGood | DM-1on1-Toxicity

    Designer at Candango Games. Check my Gamasutra Blog.

    Is that a screenshot of de tuscan?

    Anyway, I would like to see some race mode in UT, but I think I would prefer one without shooting in which the only thing that counts is to reach a spot as fast as possible.

    I like those deathrun maps for cs or bhop maps in general. In those maps people play at the same time and try to finish as fast as possible.

    When we have weapons in them they are not the same anymore because people can just kill you and stop you.
    Signature removed, over allowed size


      Yes, that's Tuscan. I used it because it's clean of clutter and fits into a square shape, so distances across the map are similar.

      Other kinds of racing mode would be cool too. But the idea behind this one is exactly to be a race with weapons and people killing each other. The specific thing is that it would not work at all if all players would just be following the same path at the same time, as it makes people that's behind shoot those in front of them, and players ahead would have to run backwards to be able to shoot others, much like a CTF situation. Also, once people get too far ahead, there's no more encounters with players that are far behind, so this Game Mode is all about having combats being part of the race, in a way that creates many Risk vs Reward dynamics.
      DM-1on1-Deck8 | DM-1on1-BirdCage | DM-Complexo (GoldenEye Redesign) | DM-ShootThemMalcomsGood | DM-1on1-Toxicity

      Designer at Candango Games. Check my Gamasutra Blog.


        Originally posted by DonkeyKong View Post
        Do you know ***** Track? That's exactly what you're saying

        EDIT: B u n n y is censored for some strange reasons


          @luauDesign: Okay, I see your point. It sounds like fun that way too. Maybe we could have 2 separated race modes at the same time. It would kinda split the community but it shouldn't be a problem if the community is big enough.

          @van Kuss: I didn't knew of these b-tracks, but yeah they are exactly the kind of maps I want to see in a new UT.
          Signature removed, over allowed size