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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) What's the maximum number of movers per zone? (Read 4496 times)
Devil Master
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What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Aug 23rd, 2014 at 1:02am
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I have read in a message on this forum that there's a limit to the amount of movers you can have in a single zone. What is it? I'm asking because I'm making a large map, most of which is set in one zone (the streets of a city) where I want to put lots of breakable stuff (breakable windows; things that get knocked down like billboards, poles, columns etc.). The idea is to make enough of them so that fights between the player and the monsters can cause collateral damage to the city, but I want to know when to stop.
I also don't want to use the trick of creating "buildings" (actually, just walls) that go up to the ceiling of the map, just to be able to place zoneportals there and split the outside into more zones, because I have created a jetpack as an inventory object, and I want to be able to fly above every building.
I would hate to design this wide, interactive map, only for it not working because there are too many movers in one zone!
  
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gopostal
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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #1 - Aug 23rd, 2014 at 4:33am
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A couple of things.

First: You may want to consider different ways of doing things than to strictly using only movers. Movers have a lot of trouble when you group them because they throw off the BSP tree. You can get hidden faces, weird occlusion, invisible walls, stuff like that and it may be dependent on viewing angle. That makes it really hard to ensure you covered all your bases and your map has no problems.

Second: You might drop by ut99.org and grab a mod I did called "Destructibles" that's posted there. It may help with some of the things you want to do.

There are many tricks that can be used instead of movers. For instance if you wanted to make a destroyable wall you can make a simple wall mesh using meshmaker (takes just a few minutes, very low technical knowledge needed). Now place a wooden box in your map and change it's mesh to your wall one. Now when someone shoots the "wall" it will break apart into wood chunks. Easy and simple effect, no movers needed. 

I was interested in this concept myself once upon a time. I wanted to make a Godzilla map with a destroyable city but it was just way more than the engine could handle. There was a destructible Lego map for 2k4 that was pretty damn good too. AFAIK no real attempt has ever been made for a fully immersive environment that can be thoroughly trashed in Unreal. Good on you if you give it a go.

If I can help you explaining some other things you could consider just let me know. You have multiple options and you'll have to take time to consider each effect to decide the best path to take. I think it's safe to say that you won't have to worry about mover limits. Done right you will not have a great many of them. Matter of fact I'm working on a map right now for a SP mod that's based on Mario. I did the replacement trick on the "?" boxes that you break with your head and it looks/performs just fine, no movers required  Wink

(here's the thread at ut99: http://www.ut99.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4877
and here's an old vid of what destructibles do:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw67fsV0nlY
I'm sorry for the hitches in the video, it was a horrible capture but it will give you the idea of what you can do with the mod)
  

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Devil Master
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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #2 - Aug 23rd, 2014 at 4:59pm
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Quote:
There are many tricks that can be used instead of movers. For instance if you wanted to make a destroyable wall you can make a simple wall mesh using meshmaker (takes just a few minutes, very low technical knowledge needed). Now place a wooden box in your map and change it's mesh to your wall one. Now when someone shoots the "wall" it will break apart into wood chunks. Easy and simple effect, no movers needed.

Heh. I already used that trick, to create trees that a missile can cause to explode into chunks of wood. To avoid doing changes on a per-object basis, however, I created a class that inherits almost everything from the (wooden) barrel, but it uses a tree mesh, with the collision cylinder appropriately resized.
I was already considering to use the same trick with custom meshes too, but I was wondering: don't all meshes use cylinders as collision bounds? If that is the case, I wouldn't be able to use a mesh for a wall that can be blown up, because it would collide with the player character as something big and round, as opposed to something flat like a wall. Or could I just create the wall in a horizontal position, make a mesh out of it and then rotate the obtained decoration appropriately, so that the player character collides with the flat faces of the cylinder?
  
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gopostal
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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #3 - Aug 23rd, 2014 at 10:55pm
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You are stuck with cylindrical collision unless you use movers. That's the only drawback. You can get around this some by being creative with your radius but it's certainly something to consider when deciding which to use.
On the other hand you'll run into issues if you try to use movers stacked up into a wall/building because it can create occlusion if they touch. There's also the problem of gravity not affecting them too. If you watch my vid I created a BSP framework for the destructibles because it ruins the effect for a bottom support to be destroyed and the upper parts still floating in space unsupported. Unsupported meshes can fall when the undersupports are destroyed and this makes it worth the problems with collision.

It's just an old engine and it's going to force you to be creative in solving the problems. I look forward to your solutions though. It's almost got me wanting to revisit my destroyable city idea just to see if I could do it knowing what I know now.
  

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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #4 - Aug 23rd, 2014 at 11:41pm
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gopostal wrote on Aug 23rd, 2014 at 10:55pm:
You are stuck with cylindrical collision unless you use movers. That's the only drawback.

Okay, so, if I rotate a decoration (along the X or Z axis, to make it horizontal instead of vertical), does the collision cylinder rotate too?
  
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gopostal
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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #5 - Aug 24th, 2014 at 2:11am
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No, the cylinder does not rotate with the mesh's orientation. You can alter the center point of the mesh around if you need to by changes in the import code when creating the mesh but this is fairly troublesome and requires a lot of guess-compile-test-repeat to get exactly the way you want it.

I hope you aren't getting frustrated too much. Try to remember how old this engine is and what little developers really knew was needed when this stuff was made. It's amazing it even functions as well as it does.
  

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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #6 - Aug 24th, 2014 at 8:45am
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Devil Master wrote on Aug 23rd, 2014 at 4:59pm:
don't all meshes use cylinders as collision bounds?

As far as I understand, collision bounds are determined for actors rather than for meshes. If an actor has cylindric collision, then its collision bounds do not depend on the shape of the actor's mesh and are determined by CollisionRadius and CollisionHeight specified for the given actor. Unreal 227g and higher subversions (the current is 227i) support additional flag bUseMeshCollision that makes it possible to use the shape of the mesh as collision bound.

Another thing you should take into account besides collision is whether AI-controlled pawns should see through walls, whether walls should protect from explosions, and how projectiles should interact with walls. By default actors like barrels are transparent for monsters and bots as well as for explosions, and projectiles tend to explode or disappear immediately after contact with such actors. Setting bWorldGeometry (introduced in 227g) to true makes the actor to behave similarly to walls formed by brushes.

I don't know if there is a way to make decals attachable to decoration-like actors (by default they won't be attached).
  
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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #7 - Aug 24th, 2014 at 9:20am
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Masterkent wrote on Aug 24th, 2014 at 8:45am:
Unreal 227g and higher subversions (the current is 227i) support additional flag bUseMeshCollision that makes it possible to use the shape of the mesh as collision bound.

I did not know that! Well, that does it for me. I'm making my map idea now. Destructible city FTW!
  

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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #8 - Aug 24th, 2014 at 12:02pm
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Masterkent wrote on Aug 24th, 2014 at 8:45am:
Unreal 227g and higher subversions (the current is 227i) support additional flag bUseMeshCollision that makes it possible to use the shape of the mesh as collision bound.



P.S.
How can I keep the texture flags when I create a mesh out of a structure of brushes? For example, to have a mesh where only some of the faces are unlit, or translucent?
  
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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #9 - Aug 24th, 2014 at 2:55pm
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Does meshmaker not preserve those choices? It's been a while but I thought it would create new texture assignment lines for texture placements that were not default. Import one with some non-default face setting and see if you have multiple lines like this in the import code:
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#exec MESHMAP SCALE MESHMAP=ZombieGordo X=0.1 Y=0.1 Z=0.2
#exec MESHMAP SETTEXTURE MESHMAP=ZombieGordo NUM=0 TEXTURE=ZombieGordo
#exec MESHMAP SETTEXTURE MESHMAP=ZombieGordo NUM=1 TEXTURE=ZombieGordo
 


In the case above the Num 1 texture is a transparent face on the mesh's front.

I'm almost sure it does preserve the settings now that I think about it. It saves the other texture flags like scale and orientation so no reason not to preserve the rest.
  

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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #10 - Aug 24th, 2014 at 3:07pm
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After making a StaticMesh: go in the mesh browser to Edit -> Properties -> StaticMesh -> Materials -> [<number>] and here you can set surface flags. You will have to find out which material is which with trail and error. If you need one texture to use different flags on different surfaces in one model then you need to set these prior to making the StaticMesh. This way the editor will treat these as different materials.

But when making Static Meshes this should be done automatically if flags where set before converting.
  

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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #11 - Aug 24th, 2014 at 4:29pm
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Skywolf wrote on Aug 24th, 2014 at 3:07pm:
After making a StaticMesh: go in the mesh browser to Edit -> Properties -> StaticMesh -> Materials -> [<number>] and here you can set surface flags.

Sorry for not making myself clear, I was talking about meshes created with MeshMaker.
  
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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #12 - Aug 24th, 2014 at 7:24pm
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Just curious, what is the reason to use MeshMaker over 227 native static meshes? Since static meshes in 227 can be in the same way normal meshes can and saves the trouble of using an external program.
  

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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #13 - Aug 24th, 2014 at 8:13pm
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Normal decoration meshes are compatible with UT and older versions of Unreal.
  

You must construct additional pylons.
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Re: What's the maximum number of movers per zone?
Reply #14 - Aug 24th, 2014 at 8:13pm
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Not to hijack this, it's probably germane though: How do you use 227 to make a custom mesh? Can you create one in the same way meshmaker does?
  

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