UA in Unity Game Engine

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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UA in Unity Game Engine

Post by Remork » Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:10 pm

Hi guys, I joined this forum a while back but I haven't been very active so far. I've been toying with an idea these past couple of weeks and I'd like to hear what you guys think!

As far as I can see there's no active remake being made of UA right now, is that correct?
I'm currently in the process of learning the Unity Engine. I don't have any extensive experience in game develoment but that doesn't even matter because it is SO good. Everything about it makes your life easier and lowers the threshold for people to join. It has a very decent editor which takes care of a shitton of coding work (physics frameworks etc) for you and gives you a great GUI to manipulate all sorts of pre-made scripts. Doesn't matter whether you do graphics, modelling, scripting, sound design, ... it's all easily accessible through the interface so multiple people could work on a single project file.

If you haven't heard of Unity here's a showcase: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxg_m3Qsnik
A nice bunch of tutorial series which show you how simple it is to manipulate models, animations, code, prefabs, etc. to make a decent game in no time: http://unity3d.com/learn/tutorials/modules
Plus its free for personal use! Give it a try, do a couple of those tutorials, you'll see it's quite a pleasant workflow.

So I'd love to remake UA with Unity but doing it on my own seems like a drag, having a group to work with would be way better. Especially since we have something to strive towards so there shouldn't be too much of a problem to work with multiple people on one file, as long as we do a good job of documenting it. Who is still here that would be willing to help out? We could start out with some simple challenges and build on those. The nice thing about the editor is that your main 'frame' is a scene aka a level. So we could have a prototype terrain with a host station and perhaps a few buildings in no time, and then start working from there, adding units & game mechanisms, etc. I'd say we stick to making a pure rebuild to begin with, and once that has actually happened we could start implementing new ideas. (Something I always wanted to see in UA and other similar games was destructible terrain. Some of those tanks sounded like they could've blasted craters into a hill - this would open up possibilities for types of materials that tanks would have to go through, think of it as a terrain mechanic)

Perhaps we can even use the building blocks of other UA reboot projects that have died? There must be some unused models & other assets that are gathering dust somewhere.

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Re: UA in Unity Game Engine

Post by LloydJara » Sun Apr 05, 2015 10:34 pm

Well seems that dragonfire won´t come through here,at least for a while.The problem on remaking UA directly is the copyright thing,as Microsoft seems to still own it despict beign "abandonded" so remaking it exactly as it is or calling it UA 2 would give us a problem.Aside from that i think i wont be a great help if you want to remake it,but i can give you ideas for units/buildings etc...,as well as mechanics or that stuff (because i always have ideas on my mind) to make a similar game, or remaking it, but without having problems with the copyright stuff.

Hope to see some news about this.Btw welcome to the forum.
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Re: UA in Unity Game Engine

Post by Remork » Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:09 am

Hm bummer. But the more I think about it the more I wouldn't mind it being different from yet inspired by UA... The problem then however becomes how to properly decide which direction the game takes, if there's any interest by others in helping out at all of course :D

Ok w/e, if it has to have another name we might as well just throw out ideas about a new game (yet fundamentally similar to UA). How about we call it Unity Assault? ahahah

The more I think about it, the more I start realizing that automation is becoming some kind of norm within the RTS genre. So why not try to make a creative twist on that automation? How about adding advanced movement and formation options for units? One thing I'm good at is making graphical interfaces. I could envision some type of alien-looking but still intuitive interface that gives you an interesting control over the game. It's hard to describe my idea for this, but think of it as 'managing the flows'. I really loved this part about UA, and I might be able to adapt that feeling to a more contemporary form. Perhaps I'd go more experimental but I'm a sucker for stuff like this - http://www.macosxtips.co.uk/geeklets/mo ... .23.21.png and just all of this in general - https://www.pinterest.com/nlivened/hud/ -

Furthermore, I for one wouldn't mind having some automatic spawning mechanic, but there needs to be some amount of management involved. Has to be some destructible object/structure you can build in a zone you own. Getting a bit inspired here by the broodwar UMS 'zone control'. Modern machines should be able to handle massive armies so it wouldn't be bad to have this as a high tier option or something, later on in the game. I wouldn't wanna remove the charm of the 'warping in' creation that UA had, so we can start out like that. Perhaps also make it so that distance plays a role in regards to energy consumption due to beaming, etc. That could balance it out and prevent the game from just becoming a massing-only game.

Other than that a player should be good at micro management (both at the squad level and at the FP level), which would be awesome to do with multiple people in multiplayer btw (Broodwar had this and it would be PERFECT for UA) ; player should be good at map control & capturing sectors & power stations & upgrades ; uhhh... what else?

Btw did units become more powerful when you took personal control of them in UA? I always had the feeling but I didnt know if it was actually so.

How about advanced collision detection? Checking what part of your vehicle was hit and thus will break down faster. This could potentially open the door to highly skilled players using machinegun (or plasmagun??) against specific parts of vehicles to take them down faster (or rather, more efficiently). Speaking of weapons, how about giving different weapons to vehicles? On the one hand I'm thinking 'it could become too complex', but on the other hand, I feel like complexity and hardcore gameplay elements are perfect for this 'genre'. I mean it's both FPS and RTS at the same time how gently caress hardcore is that anyway.

One of my favorite parts of UA was always driving/flying along with a humongous swarm of tanks/wasps. Just recreating and even improving the feel of such a huge fleet alone would be an accomplishment for me. I intend to learn Unity as I go along so I'm not expecting perfection, but there's nothing wrong with reaching for the stars either :D

A crazier idea - making really complex maps in 3D space - sortof like those tunnels we see in the Matrix. There's a lot of stuff in that movie that would mix well with the UA genre, don't you think?
This would of course make for even crazier HUD/interfaces. But ... why the hell not? One possibility is to have a 'hologram' type map, where you can expand your 2D map into orthogonal/perspective 3d view and get outlines but a better overview of depth. There's no reason why this shouldn't be possible, but it's probably pretty hard to achieve, even in Unity.


And like I said, destructible terrain. With cool explosion physics and shit, awww yiss.

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Re: UA in Unity Game Engine

Post by Remork » Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:36 pm

38 views no replies ?_?

Either there are a lot of lurkers here or those are bots crawling....

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Re: UA in Unity Game Engine

Post by Samsah » Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:07 pm

Lurking almost daily :>

I don't usually have much to say because:
I got zero graphic skills, only very minor python coding skills (learning) and my imagination is most of time stuck to facts and things I know.

What comes to this idea to use Unity, it does sound quite neat.

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Re: UA in Unity Game Engine

Post by Ormu » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:19 am

I don't know if there are active projects at the moment. But last time when dragonfire967 visited he told that their project is still alive. And they're using Unity as well.
Remork wrote:Btw did units become more powerful when you took personal control of them in UA? I always had the feeling but I didnt know if it was actually so.
Yes, they do, at least they gain some extra HP/armor (which is likely hard-coded) and some units have different reload times which can be configured in the scripts. I personally do not like the additional strength very much, it is unrealistic and makes the AI look even worse.
Remork wrote:This would of course make for even crazier HUD/interfaces. But ... why the hell not? One possibility is to have a 'hologram' type map, where you can expand your 2D map into orthogonal/perspective 3d view and get outlines but a better overview of depth. There's no reason why this shouldn't be possible, but it's probably pretty hard to achieve, even in Unity.
Possible, and I think dragonfire967 suggested something like this too. Battlezone has a rudimentary 3D map, BZ II has full 3D view from above like traditional RTS games but it can be only used in Relay Bunkers.


Destructible structures are of course a very important feature of UA. Fully destructible terrain might be harder to implement, at least if you want to save the changes (it might take lots of HDD space). I'd not like to see partial saving, i.e. you save a level with lots of damage and load it, then some of the damage and changes is gone. I think some GTA series games do it this way and it is rather dumb.


edit: The first HUD you linked actually looks a bit like UA. Compare it with the rotating thing which you can see in the intro videos...
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Re: UA in Unity Game Engine

Post by CharlotteLabyrinth » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:21 pm

Haven't been around here for a while...

Hello Remork,
Remork wrote:38 views no replies ?_?

Either there are a lot of lurkers here or those are bots crawling....
Generally it's bots crawling. :P

Just like any other members on here, I have plenty of ideas for UA2. However being a reserved and timid person as I am, specifically concerning the UA2 planning and its design decisions in general, I mostly kept my words for it and will. About the main topic, there are several points about the gameplay mechanics that I could agree with from your posts. :idea:

As for the support, I am afraid to say that I won't be able to directly assist you with your new project. Currently I don't have enough free time to spend on a third-party activity, and what makes me even more reluctant is that I just can't devote myself into an uncertain development decision for now. (Not that I don't trust you, but seeing how many projects were initiated until this time and eventually none of them were ever accomplished...) Being a second year student at the university is not the most comfortable thing... But feel free to send me any miscellaneous programming / coding / scripting works that you might require to be done with instructions. I will take a look into it.

I have always been a sceptical and lazy bystander of the forum anyway. Sorry...
Remork wrote:Btw did units become more powerful when you took personal control of them in UA? I always had the feeling but I didnt know if it was actually so.
Yes, technically the amount of damamge directly taken from hostile weapons to user-occupied vehicles are reduced by 2/5. So essentially you possess a 2.5 times superior armour than the normal vehicles. (i.e: You can consider that Tien-Ying 7's 25% armour is dramatically increased to 70% when user controlled, likewise Phantom's 80% to 92%... etc) In addition to that, a torque of user-occupied vehicles are increased to some extent via unidentified constant (or variable?), results in a faster turning rate than the normal vehicles as well. Please keep in mind that these two functions are strictly hard-coded and cannot be altered with any of conventional methods. Also I have to partially agree with Ormu that it gives more handicaps to already miserable AI units, despite the fact that developers purposely worked on it to give more significance and necessity for a direct user control.

@ Off Topic:
Samsah wrote:... my imagination is most of time stuck to facts and things I know.
Samsah,
Personally I applaud your modesty in this statement. We are all contingent upon our own empirical and subjective opinions in most of time, and it would be also great to see some of our most desirous features in a so-called UA2. Yet the problem is that apparently some people (I am not directing this to any particular person) did not take adequate preceding thoughts when they made suggestions for new crative ideas in the UA2. Especially not considering the inevitable technological/support limitations that we might go through as being a 'fan sequel'.
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Re: UA in Unity Game Engine

Post by LloydJara » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:46 pm

Those are Bots my friend. :lol:

I have have to say Unity Assault sounds fitting only if you consider it will be made on Unity.Maybe a title who will make people remember UA but without calling it Urban Assault itself.

Well,i completly agree with the destructable terrain,it would be awesome to see how tanks and jeeps move on destructed terrarin rather than plains/mountains ,the only destructed stuff on UA are the buildings remains if im not wrong,and they´re not a great obstacle at all,unless the AI gets stupidly trapped into the holes. :?

Hitting an Enemy/Ally tank/Jeep or in the case of air units too could slow you down actually depending on which zone of the tank/jeep/heli/plain you hit,that would give a chance to use the MG as a main attack weapon rather than a "Auxiliar Weapon",but in fact in UA the Machinegun is used but it hard to constantly hit the enemy with it when it is in constant movement.

Btw Each faction may have a Custom HUD? Honestly i dont like the Gray one at all,that´s why i used the Mario´s Intense Resistance Blue HUD for my Mod.Maybe using the same HUD for all the factions the may not be a good idea at all.

Finally,i agree with the Matrix like tunnels,having more different envoirements to fight would be really good.
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Re: UA in Unity Game Engine

Post by Ormu » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:49 am

Pete_kaboom found out that the trade mark of UA has expired and Microsoft has not renewed it. I don't really know how this affects possible UA2 projects but it's good to know.

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1463&p=15921#p15921
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Re: UA in Unity Game Engine

Post by Remork » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:06 pm

Nice to see all these replies :)

Too bad it's not clear whether dragonfire is still working on this .... It'd be a bit silly to put a lot of work into this, only to see a finished product being released halfway into the production process.

I've been reading up a lot on transhumanism and stuff ... gives a lot of inspiration for a post-human, AI dominated world ... need some more time to organize my thoughts on it though. It'd still be heavily UA inspired of course, but with a different storyline.

And wow, Batlezone! I totally forgot about that game. I remember the 3D map :D I thought that was really cool back then.

I think that as long as rockets/bombs don't punch huge holes into the terrain it should be fine for the AI. Perhaps define some sort of max depth for destruction, else people might start trying to dig through the map by continually dropping bombs in the same place haha. Though I guess this could even be used as a tactical mechanic, imagine your host station is in some valley, and you cut off the last entrace by digging a trench with a bomber while you rebuild your airforce.

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