Reboot of Urban Assault

Urban Assault is an old game and its rare blend of FPS and RTS deserves to be seen again. For those of you who want to start/coordinate projects to make an Urban Assault 2, this is a dedicated forum for you!
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dragonfire967
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Reboot of Urban Assault

Post by dragonfire967 » Wed May 29, 2013 3:37 pm

Hello,

Just wanted to get some feedback from you guys (and yes, I'm new to these forums). I am the owner of a new game development firm called Chaotic Realm Studios, LLC, and I am currently engaged in talks with Microsoft to do a reboot of urban assault. While I am waiting for their response, and a deal to be worked out (if at all), if you have any suggestions or requests for features to be added to the original game for the reboot, please let me know. I cannot promise a positive or negative result of this talk, but I am doing what I can to bring this great game back to life using modern game development technologies and graphics.
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Re: Reboot of Urban Assault

Post by Thomas Fredson » Wed May 29, 2013 4:10 pm

Hello dragonfire967,

Nice to see an official game development structure getting interested in rebooting UA.
However, I doubt MS will allow you to use UA license...
Anyway, Good luck for everything! ;)
://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd333/pete_kaboom/MykoniansUB1.png[/img]
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Re: Reboot of Urban Assault

Post by Ormu » Wed May 29, 2013 5:57 pm

Bronsteijn24K once said that Microsoft doesn't really care about UA anymore. He has worked for Microsoft so it might be very true but I'm not sure if it's their official stance. Whatever they answer (or not) please let us know. And welcome to the forum. ;)

I'll post some ideas/suggestions later...
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Re: Reboot of Urban Assault

Post by uatg » Thu May 30, 2013 4:20 pm

dragonfire967, your words seem to come from an angel! I'm very curious about how Microsoft will react to your project.

My suggestion will not help you much but in my opinion a reboot of UA should only have better graphics and physics... I can't think of anything that I would add besides better vehicle models, higher res texture and better landscape models. But as UA wasn't a big hit changing nothing could be dangerous. I can only think about adding a difficulty setting (easy, normal, hard, extreme...) but that is pretty obvious.

I propose you check out some topics under 'UA 2 projects', like this one: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=692
I'm new here too but I guess you could start a topic under 'UA 2 projects' (at least if Microsoft's reaction is positive)?

I wish you the best!
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Re: Reboot of Urban Assault

Post by dragonfire967 » Thu May 30, 2013 6:20 pm

Thank you for all the replies. I'm still engaged in talks, and have to talk to their legal department tomorrow regarding this. As far as changes, one of the big changes I will be doing (outside of the obvious graphics upgrade), will be doing a revamp on the map from the current 2D top-down map (which doesn't do the terrain justice for whats high and low), to a 3D map that allows you to actually see the environment in a 3D view, thus enabling you to make more informed decisions on where to place your units for strategy. Right now, if you open the map, and you see the solid white line, that indicates a cliff, but unless you are zoomed in to see what tile it is one, you can't tell which side is higher. The map idea I'd be working in would allow you to see this in a 3D map so you can see not just the cliff, but also the bumps and changes in environment as well.

You would be able to move around the map using your mouse or the arrow keys, and can zoom in and out, rotate, etc. This is just a sample of what I'm looking into.

NOTE TO ADMIN: Hey, due to the nature of this topic, can it (or a copy of it) be moved to the UA2 section. Thank You. - Dragonfire967
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Re: Reboot of Urban Assault

Post by uatg » Fri May 31, 2013 5:07 pm

That map idea seems to be pretty cool. It could be implemented without removing something existing: the interface could start with the traditional 2D top view map and by using the mouse or some keys you could change the 'angle of view' just like on google earth (with the other features like you said). Should look cool and it indeed increases the strategic importance of the map. Nice.
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Re: Reboot of Urban Assault

Post by GoldStar611 » Fri May 31, 2013 11:00 pm

dragonfire967 wrote:NOTE TO ADMIN: Hey, due to the nature of this topic, can it (or a copy of it) be moved to the UA2 section. Thank You. - Dragonfire967
Welcome to the forums, wish to be granted shortly :D

I would vote for a easier method to modify the game. I have spent more than 5 years working on decompiling the game in hopes of adding new vehicles ;) Some great games like Unreal Tournament have had plugins for creating new modifications back in their day.
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Re: Reboot of Urban Assault

Post by dragonfire967 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:31 am

One of the key things my company would be doing if Microsoft approves transferring the game rights over to us (or work with us on it), is coding the game in two main languages. C++ for the core game mechanics and code (and utilizing whatever code the game engine we choose to use uses.), and Python for modding support for the game. This would be used for certain elements of the game we want to be moddable for the community, such as changing how something looks graphics / texture wise, changing sounds, adding custom HUDS or addons to the game to make it more comfortable for a player (such as making a mod that lets a player have his most active squads in a hot bar for quick access, versus searching for them in the squads menu, or changing the stock game interface with an interface the player feels more comfortable.).

Keep in mind certain things will NOT be moddable, such as anything that can affect the actual gameplay mechanics, and multiplayer. No matter how much you mod your copy of the game, we don't want you to be able to do something that gives you an unfair advantage over another player, or makes the game too easy. This would include things such as making a bot mod that does things for you so you can walk away from the game, and it keeps playing, moving units, etc. for you. Another one would be changing how much damage your units / structures do, how much armor they have, and how much energy it costs to make them.

We would be keeping pretty much all original content the same for the original games so that you don't have to completely relearn the game, but some functions would be more user friendly so that a player won't go bald after a hour playing (for those of you that had a harder time learning how to play effectively, and kept dying to a Taerkasten air and / or ground attack.) One thing we may add, is a function where instead of you having to click once per unit to make a squad of say... 25 Foxes... you can right click the Fox, and use a scroll bar to select how many to make, or just type in how many, and it will tell you the cost, and make them all in one click.

This is just some ideas of what we have in mind. Please feel free to hit me up with more suggestions / ideas via this post or PM, and if you haven't already, you can check out our company via our facebook page linked in my signature.
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Re: Reboot of Urban Assault

Post by uatg » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:57 pm

The improvements you post sound good, here are a few I thought about:

It would be nice to have the option of playing the single player campaign cooperatively. The same campaign but with some allies (each having an host station). This option will then conflict with the story but that is no problem (like in the Halo video games). I think it would be a nice addition without much extra work (I don't know anything about programming so can be wrong!). You probably must rebalance and make minor adjustments so that it becomes not too easy of course...

The option of playing 'skirmish games' on auto-created maps would be cool too. I remember in Red Alert 2 that you could generate custom maps by changing some parameters. You could choose the quantity of mountains, water, etc... and click on 'generate map'. I also remember generating maps until I got some cool locations and maps and the replayability was huge because you always have new maps to your disposal. You could generate maps with parameters such as size (X and Y sectors), quantity of ridge lines, quantity of mountains, quantity of urban sectors (buildings, etc...), quantity of key sectors, quantity of existing power stations,quantity of research stations, stoudson bombs ...

In fact adding water to the environment would be a nice addition too. It creates another barrier for ground units or could even become the home for new water units. The water is probably highly polluted and may perhaps harm units? No, plasma created units are probably immune to that but water sectors would definitely add some new potential!

I guess making better damage models for the buildings in the environment is part of the basic overhaul. Damage models could even be extended onto units and created buildings? Like misfires, slower speed, slower gun elevation (for tanks) or even accidental explosions resulting from destabilized units that are heavily damaged? Or even screen malfunctions (short black outs, ...) because of the damaged neural interface between the SDU/unit.

Anyway I'll see what I come up with during my next brainstorm session :D !
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Re: Reboot of Urban Assault

Post by dragonfire967 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:45 pm

uatg wrote:The improvements you post sound good, here are a few I thought about:

It would be nice to have the option of playing the single player campaign cooperatively. The same campaign but with some allies (each having an host station). This option will then conflict with the story but that is no problem (like in the Halo video games). I think it would be a nice addition without much extra work (I don't know anything about programming so can be wrong!). You probably must rebalance and make minor adjustments so that it becomes not too easy of course...

The option of playing 'skirmish games' on auto-created maps would be cool too. I remember in Red Alert 2 that you could generate custom maps by changing some parameters. You could choose the quantity of mountains, water, etc... and click on 'generate map'. I also remember generating maps until I got some cool locations and maps and the replayability was huge because you always have new maps to your disposal. You could generate maps with parameters such as size (X and Y sectors), quantity of ridge lines, quantity of mountains, quantity of urban sectors (buildings, etc...), quantity of key sectors, quantity of existing power stations,quantity of research stations, stoudson bombs ...

In fact adding water to the environment would be a nice addition too. It creates another barrier for ground units or could even become the home for new water units. The water is probably highly polluted and may perhaps harm units? No, plasma created units are probably immune to that but water sectors would definitely add some new potential!

I guess making better damage models for the buildings in the environment is part of the basic overhaul. Damage models could even be extended onto units and created buildings? Like misfires, slower speed, slower gun elevation (for tanks) or even accidental explosions resulting from destabilized units that are heavily damaged? Or even screen malfunctions (short black outs, ...) because of the damaged neural interface between the SDU/unit.

Anyway I'll see what I come up with during my next brainstorm session :D !
Not bad, I like most of them, however, just some notes (doesn't mean I won't / can't do them):

1. Creating a map random generator requires a TON of additional coding versus just making pre-made maps, so I would have to see what all will be involved due to the high number of factors regarding this.

2. Water would be a nice addition, and I can think of a few units and ideas to add to this, such as an option to create off-shore ships that can fire long-range cannons for field support, much like battleships did back in World War II. Due to the size and number of various guns, these may not be player controlled, but I'll see.

As far as random map generation goes, I'd probably make it easy, to where you select how many cells to go across on the X axis, and how many on the Y axis, then multiply them together for the size of map (so if you choose 8 cells on X, and 8 cells on Y, the map would be an 8 x 8 map, or 64 cell map. The biggest I could probably allow for would be around 150 x 150, or 22,500 cells, which is massive. Those maps would probably be reserved for games with more than 6 players, maybe multiple host stations of same faction working as a team against others (3 resistance, 3 ghorkov, etc).

For single player, there will be a co-op mode, but you would not have multiple host stations, as that would, as you put it, conflict with the story. Instead, I would probably have it double the energy each faction's host station can carry (so if on single player you have 800 max energy, on co-op you would have 1600), and both players control same host station. This means player 1 could be creating units, control the host station movement around the map, and man the turrets if attacked, while player 2 sends units out, controls units directly, and controls any defensive buildings placed by host station, for example. They would have to figure out who does what, or they can both do whatever needs to be done to win :)

Finally... damage... you know how now, if you start shooting at a building, after a few shots, there's an explosion, then the building changes from a fully built one, to one with the top missing, and then goes from there until it is destroyed? We will be utilizing the full power of the Unreal Engine 3, or UDK, to make it where depending on where you shoot the building, will depend where the damage occurs. In addition, there will no longer be any sloppy graphic changes for stages of destruction. Instead, your rocket or cannon shot hits building, and you see that section literally explode in rubble, smoke, and fire, with the rubble raining down, and damaging / destroying any unit / structure it touches. This would add a new level of strategy to the game, where if you know the enemy is hiding on the other side of a building, you can try shooting the building to have the rubble damage or destroy your enemy. In addition, if you take out the support pillars at the bottom of a building, the entire structure will collapse or fall over, depending on where you shoot it.

In other news, I'm on the phone with Microsoft Legal right now, wish me luck.
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