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  • [PROTOTYPE] Map cosmetics... free maps with priced DLCs

    All about...
    There are some unknown issues about priced content on the marketplace. Priced content can include maps. There is a quite good conversation about the consequences of such priced maps but I don't want to cover any aspect of that. Instead I'm gonna present a feature which might work with pricing maps and also being able to play these maps for free.

    Map cosmetics - Maps with free basic version and priced cosmetics
    This concept is basically a similar system like a known app where a free version and a premium version exists. What does free and premium - in the context of maps - could mean?
    Well basically it can be anything including this comprehensive list:

    Free maps Priced DLCs
    Only basic shell High quality assets
    Un-themed map Several themes like winter, apocalypse-like, UE4 Elemental, etc.
    Could include ads Free of any ads
    Any server admin can install the free version. The author of these versions should create both versions to be conform so one map doesn't differ much from the other one. The server is able to calculate everything properly (if the map has proper collision data) and a connected client will automatically been able to download that free version.

    How to create such map? A good example is the optimized map by CaptainMigraine called DM-Deck-Pro for UT3. This map is highly optimized and features a low-poly (low quality) BSP-like version but also a high quality version (still visually reduced to get proper FPS in online games). I used his version to create a noticable version of such conceptional map. In the following video, the left screen is a client which doesn't have the cosmetic item installed. The right instance has it. Both connect to the same server and play on the same server.



    As you might have seen, the left player has a low qualtiy map but the right one has additional effects like falling snow particles and various complex meshes on the top scene and on walls etc.. This cosmetic map is (currently) loaded once the map starts for a client (this happens when the game actually starts).

    So this is an UT3 example, I tried the same thing on UE4 (UT4). I'm not gonna present a fully meshed map for the client version of UT or any cooked version as I'm not sure how I actually have to cook such map cosmetic items. So let's take a look at this example. The concept is the same. From the editor, I create 2 running instance which mimics a network game. In the following screenshot you can see the left instance is the server showing a very basic BSP map but the right instance is the client instance. This one has a map cosmetic loaded.
    Click image for larger version

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    What's the purpose of this concept?
    Well basically it would reduce the existence of a so called "paywall" (which is covered in the referenced thread) and it would also allow such maps to be played publicly without having to buy specific maps. If there are players who prefer to play on a quality map than just a pure gameplay focused map, they would be able to pay a given price the author has set for a specific cosmectic item from the marketplace for this map. As said, this allows to play that map on the same server, but with a different look.


    Technical background
    Technical issues might exist as I was using uncooked/non-packaged versions. I'm using the streaming level technique which is available in both engine versions. There might be some side effects as the map cosmetic is just another file where players could load a different file but this can be prevented by the game itself (hash check etc.). Currently, I used a method to check if a specific named map exists and the basic/free version just streams that level in. This level is declared in the free version so it couldn't be just modified to replace the map. Map cosmetics should not create a different layout.

    You can try this concept on your own. Here are the files I used to create this video/screenshot.
    Last edited by RattleSN4K3; 03-16-2015, 11:53 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
    ] UT3 Addons: NoMoreDemoGuy | PickupRespawnTweak | Mutate Spec | MutePawnSounds | NoPlayerBeacon | Epic FTW | Epic FOCK | TripodSound (... and many more)

  • #2
    I'm not really sure how well this would work. I think a lot of map authors would be severely disappointed with the amount of people paying for the nicer looking version vs all the people who don't care and just want a good map to play with good frames.

    Comment


    • #3
      Some players do get good frame rates on higher quality maps as well. And some prefer detailed maps than basic BSP versions. It's just an option for the map authors. Instead of fearing/disappointed their maps won't be played at all and they had several weeks for create that map, they can basically publish their map as a free map on the market and a premium one for like 99cents (with 25% royalty). Server admins will appreciate that as they are able to host these free maps.
      ] 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
      ] UT3 Addons: NoMoreDemoGuy | PickupRespawnTweak | Mutate Spec | MutePawnSounds | NoPlayerBeacon | Epic FTW | Epic FOCK | TripodSound (... and many more)

      Comment


      • #4
        Maybe this can work for some players. But for the competitive ones, the "clean" version always is better. The problem is not the FPS, but the visual pollution. At present in UT99, 90% of competitive players uses all textures and effects on low.
        Sell maps for me is completely impractical.
        Last edited by AdrianUT; 03-17-2015, 12:32 AM.
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        • #5
          personally, I just don't agree that maps should cost money.
          >Should I be able to easily donate to map makers? - Yes. - Should epic games get a marginal portion of the donation? -> possibly, but if I'm donating to a map maker, I want most of the money going to them, for them to continue to make maps.

          Should epic games make money off of UT4? deff, but not off maps.
          http://www.speedtest.net/result/5025355936.png
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          • #6
            Originally posted by AdrianUT View Post
            Maybe this can work for some players.
            This shouldn't work for players. This should work for map authors and server admins. Because of...

            Originally posted by AdrianUT View Post
            But for the competitive ones, the "clean" version always is better.
            ... only in early stage a map author (with the skill of creating maps like Outpost, and believe me, they will come if you look at some UT3 maps) has to decide wether to create a freely available map or a priced map. If it is priced, no one would even be able to play these maps as likely no server admin will host such map where they have to pay for it. Without such option to create a cosmetic map, a map author of decent skill would never address both sides (the competitive scene and the ones who prefer detailed maps). Such maps (free with DLCs) allows to have such players on the same map and play on the same map. The popularity of such map (if it looks superb or can be played competitively) will increase. Think about if servers won't allow cosmectic items to be disabled, players with cosmetic items will never been able to play on such servers (where they play more competitively) and if servers force cosmetic items to be visible, competitive players won't ever connect (via quickmatch or similar) on such server. It will divide the community.

            With such concept, we all share the same world no matter if we want to support devs (for creating maps and actually pay for such high detailed maps) or just play the game for free. This concept is just a bridge to connect both worlds.
            Last edited by RattleSN4K3; 03-17-2015, 12:49 AM. 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
            ] UT3 Addons: NoMoreDemoGuy | PickupRespawnTweak | Mutate Spec | MutePawnSounds | NoPlayerBeacon | Epic FTW | Epic FOCK | TripodSound (... and many more)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RattleSN4K3 View Post
              This shouldn't work for players. This should work for map authors and server admins. Because of...


              ... only in early stage a map author (with the skill of creating maps like Outpost, and believe me, they will come if you look at some UT3 maps) has to decide wether to create a freely available map or a priced map. If it is priced, no one would even be able to play these maps as likely no server admin will host such map where they have to pay for it. Without such option to create a cosmetic map, a map author of decent skill would never address both sides (the competitive scene and the ones who prefer detailed maps). Such maps (free with DLCs) allows to have such players on the same map and play on the same map. The popularity of such map (if it looks superb or can be played competitively) will increase. Think about if server won't allow cosmectic items to be disabled, players with cosmetic items will never been able to play on such servers (where they play more competitively) and if servers force cosmetic items to be visible, competitive players won't ever connectec (via quickmatch or similar) on such server. It will devide community.

              With such concept, we all share the world no matter if we want to support devs (for creating maps and actually pay for such high detailed maps) or just play the game for free. This concept is just a bridge to connect both worlds.
              For just one second, and listen to yourself, you're trying to rationalize having paid maps...
              Consider the fact that one of my favorite UT99 servers, had over 400 maps (that's just a ctf server!)
              Even if one of those maps, costed only ONE dollar each, that's 400 dollars!!! ...

              I'd rather UT4 cost 100 dollars to buy, then have to pay 400 dollars to enjoy map quality. -
              Maps costing money, is absurd.
              http://www.speedtest.net/result/5025355936.png
              My Gaming Setup;
              i7-4770K @3.5Ghz (original clock speed) 12gig RAM. nVidea GTX 760 (192-Bit) - Windows 10 64 Bit
              Razor DeathAdder Chroma(Mouse), Razor Vespula (Mousepad), Razor Kraken Pro (headset), Acer 19.5' Monitor, LG 120 Hrz 4K 49' TV
              Total Build Cost; $3,610 CDN, w/ 5 year extended warranty on all parts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Canada, please reply in the other thread. This thread is not about arguing if maps should be priced or not. It's about providing a way to have priced DLCs (cosmetics in general) and free available maps on the market and let everyone play the same map structure.

                Also, that server can still host these 400 maps and you don't have to pay 1 single dollar (or any price) if the authors would made the same 400 versions of these maps available for free. Also a fact, commerically exploiting any UT wasn't allowed in the past. This has changed in about 16years from then to now. Epic has created a completely different business model where you and everyone can make money out of mods and projects for free without ever licensing the engine on a fee-basis (subscrption) or licensing the full engine for XXX$. You don't pay for the full game, nor the editor. Things have changed, even Mozilla has added a fully optional way to present advertisment in Firefox (by default). Accept how the business works these days.
                Last edited by RattleSN4K3; 03-17-2015, 03:04 PM. Reason: Fixed name.
                ] 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
                ] UT3 Addons: NoMoreDemoGuy | PickupRespawnTweak | Mutate Spec | MutePawnSounds | NoPlayerBeacon | Epic FTW | Epic FOCK | TripodSound (... and many more)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Please dont take the 'should maps cost money' discussion here, too! I also don't think that it can fix the paywall problem entirely (you have to let creators choose if they want to allow a free basic version of their map or whether they keep their map for payers exclusive!), but taken it as an additional option for creators: absolutely great!

                  We have to be careful with putting pure competitive with high gfx layer in the same world of course, I don't want to be handicapped for being a fan of high gfx maps compared to the lowpoly-picmic-90's-arena-shooter-competitive-heads (no offense).

                  But going away from financial classes or competitive/casual layers of maps, see what amazing opportunities it can offer for visual variety of the same popular game grounds? Think of it as every map can have different skins which you can change according to your mood! Much less boredom from playing AnarchyHalls for the 20th time of the day if I had like 10 different skins for it.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TheoRiginal View Post
                    [...]see what amazing opportunities it can offer for visual variety of the same popular game grounds? Think of it as every map can have different skins which you can change according to your mood! Much less boredom from playing AnarchyHalls for the 20th time of the day if I had like 10 different skins for it.
                    Exactly. I didn't cover that case precisely but this is also possible. And to point out, if such map cosmetics are interchangeable (if more of the same maps are installed) there could be actually such option to select the one you prefer in your current mood. And such skins wouldn't need to be DLCs (in sense of priced). They can also be free. This concept is a way to provide any skin/theme/overlay for a map and no other player has to own that version too in order to play on the same level (the experience you get on both version can differ but that depends on the map author and the basic version).

                    @Canada:
                     
                    Spoiler

                    I ignore that post for now. I hope you're okay with that ... doesn't looke like so (at the time I previewed this post, your post has changed)
                    ] 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
                    ] UT3 Addons: NoMoreDemoGuy | PickupRespawnTweak | Mutate Spec | MutePawnSounds | NoPlayerBeacon | Epic FTW | Epic FOCK | TripodSound (... and many more)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't think you should have to pay for maps but that's me. I personally would like UT4 to be free and if there was some type of way i can help the map maker by donating or something like that, that would be great. I bet there will be a ton of free maps for you to play on just because of the fact that UE4 is completely free. You are able to map what ever you would like to. I also think if people actually want to play with a bunch of their friends on a map and not have to pay they will put in the effort to making a map. Not ever good map maker is out there to make money. People want to play on something they created too. There is enough map makers that are willing to put in the time to play on something they created and i bet they would be willing to share that experience of the map with others. Personally I will probably not spend any money on maps but if there is a map out there that I really enjoy playing on i think it might be a good idea to donate to the creator of the map. I think the marketplace should just be for cosmetic items that have no impact on how a game is played. I played a lot of UT99 and I enjoyed knowing that i have a choice of playing over 400 maps for free. It always made it fun for me going to a map that I haven't played in a long time. Also if you have to pay for a map I don't think there will be as many players playing it along with you. Personally I would make some maps that are free so that everyone may be able to play them because I like knowing people are playing my map. I also think some type of donation system should be implemented for all people who have created things whether it is a hat or a map or a cool gun skin. I don't mind the idea of people buying maps, i'm just saying it might not work out well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Personally I think RattleSnake came up with a great idea but I don't like the proposed execution. I don't really like the idea of dangling a carrot for pretty graphics when UT4 should be able to look good for everyone when it's a free game. Maybe this isn't really a case of a barebones BSP map to start with, infact I would say the opposite would be true. I would suggest having the default maps download be whichever the author chooses. They can offer different looks that change up what it looks like for the client side while the default remains normal high quality for everyone.

                        You can have super low FX/textures/meshes as a "Pro skin" to buy if you really cared that much but I'm more interested in the other options. You know all of those color iterations Epic went through with Outpost23? They could offer them as downloadable marketplace skins for the map. For people who like the dreary mars like look they can download it for some small price. I'm not really a fan of outpost's overly white paint job and I would definitely like a skin to have that orange and black version.

                        I find the possibilities idea of the thread to be a hell of a lot more exciting for the marketplace than hats.
                        Last edited by FirebornForm; 03-17-2015, 03:00 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I really doubt many map makers will actually do this. I havent met a map maker yet that plans on selling their maps in the first place. Its a neat idea, but the work required to get it up and running with far exceed the productive results. Maps will not be sold by mappers.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FirebornForm View Post
                            I find the possibilities idea of the thread to be a hell of a lot more exciting for the marketplace than hats.
                            Hats are just a test mechanism at this point, although there is no reason they cannot be part of the game. I can imagine custom players skins, armor, decals, huds, crosshairs and whole host of other cosmetic content will be for sale on the marketplace.

                            Originally posted by -jay- View Post
                            I really doubt many map makers will actually do this. I havent met a map maker yet that plans on selling their maps in the first place. Its a neat idea, but the work required to get it up and running with far exceed the productive results. Maps will not be sold by mappers.
                            This is exactly why I feel that threads hating on map sales are way overblown. A small percentage of mappers who would try to sell their content would probably be forced to give it away and hope for donations, or face the truth that few players or servers will use their maps.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FirebornForm View Post
                              You can have super low FX/textures/meshes as a "Pro skin" to buy if you really cared that much but I'm more interested in the other options. You know all of those color iterations Epic went through with Outpost23? They could offer them as downloadable marketplace skins for the map. For people who like the dreary mars like look they can download it for some small price. I'm not really a fan of outpost's overly white paint job and I would definitely like a skin to have that orange and black version.
                              That's why this thread (for this feature) is initially called map cosmetics which can range from BSP to MeshedMap, DayEdition to NightEdition, Default to PhysX-Partciles etc.

                              I just checked DM-Outpost23 in the editor and I saw they are already using Streamed levels as DM-Outpost's FX (effects) is streamed in from a different level called DM-Circuit_FX.
                              ] 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
                              ] UT3 Addons: NoMoreDemoGuy | PickupRespawnTweak | Mutate Spec | MutePawnSounds | NoPlayerBeacon | Epic FTW | Epic FOCK | TripodSound (... and many more)

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