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Old 18th May 2007, 05:11 PM   #1
lightfoot
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How to create an AlienSwarm menu map

This is a small HowTo. It is a bit bloggy, I admit, and maybe not as sophisticated as a tutorial should be, but granted that you have an intermediate knowledge of the UnrealEd, it will enable you to create an AlienSwarm Menu map.
While this HowTo relies on an external tutorial explaining how to build Matinee scenes for standard UT2K4, it features the things that are handled a bit different in Alien Swarm.

The "menu map" I am talking about is doing its job as the background for Alien Swarm's main menu screen. While standard UT2K4 maps (exception: Assault maps) and, likewise, the normal AlienSwarm maps do NOT support movie-like scenes, the menu map DOES. So, with some work and patience you can customize the main menu appearance to your liking. Or, with some more effort, you could even make a real movie-scene that gets played every time you start your game.

You maybe want to read the menu map thread. The idea for this comes from the FuzzyBunny. He and NoData pointed me to the fact that the Menu background is a map...

First thing I did was to start the Editor, and open that AlienSwarmStartup.ut2. Really interesting stuff, I had never thought about looking in there.

But of course: to have the 3D effects, and the Marine Pawn, which is even breathing, the Menu background has to be a map. And as such, it can be modded easily via the UnrealED, or exchanged with another one.

This kind of map seems to do its work purely client-wise, so whatever you do there, as long as it doesn't crash the game, everything else will be just like normal. So, in other words, there is no need to fear version mismatches or such. You could even use some dirty mapping tricks that never should be used in a map thought to be playable online (thinking of things like 'attaching stuff to movers').

The original startup map (to be found here: UT2004/AlienSwarm/Maps/AlienSwarmStartUp.ut2) is a nice piece of work. A very small place, yet packed with a dozen of actors that were more than cryptic to me at the first look.

But I found that most of that actors aren't crucial. I mean, you don't necessarily need them for your own Menu map. They are just there, in the original, to make everything look better. The possibilities to spice up such a menu map are manifold: movers, projectors, emitters etc. AmbientSounds. Maybe a skybox (a thing AS mappers normally don't need...) for the background. And: a careful choice of the music!

Speaking of which, you can adjust the volume and choose the song of your liking in the LevelProperties->Audio. You can pick any song that is in your UT2004/music folder. Can be an .ogg type file, but just enter the title, without the file extension.

But the most important here is a Matinee, another thing AS mappers normally don't have to use. I, at least, knew nothing about it. But of course, the UWiki was helpful again. Especially good was a link I found there, the link to AngelMappers nice Matinee Tutorial.

Further reading: http://udn.epicgames.com/Two/MatineeTutorial.html

That tutorials explain what a Matinee scene IS in the first place, and what actions can be performed in it, while a scene plays. You will find all the options explained.

Using that options, the Matinee can do a lot more than just move the camera through your map. You could, for example, script actors to do stuff, and have that actions triggered by the matinee scene when the camera looks at them.

Only some small details are to be added, and noted that they are handled slightly different in AlienSwarm. See below.


Given that you got your architecture prepared, make sure your map's GameType (to be found under View->LevelProperties->LevelInfo->DefaultGameType) is 'AoInterface.AoCinematicGame'. This is needed to make AlienSwarm recognize it as a Menu Map, and be able to play the Matinee. One of the effects of that special gametype is that it makes the game dive straight into the map itself, meaning there will be no roster and briefing state before that.

You hopefully read that Matinee tutorial, but I will duplicate the WARNING nevertheless: that Matinee Tool (like an inbuilt GUI for matinee actors) comes with the Ed for a reason, you really should use it! I mean, DON'T try to edit the matinee actors (Scenemanager, InterpolationPoints, LookTargets...) manually in the Ed, it WILL crash. (If you use the Matinee tool, it only MAY crash. But there is a measure you could take to be immune to the Goblin's mischief: save often! )

That tool will add and edit the Scenemanager actors for you. You just have to define some camera points and camera actions, using the Matinee tool's luxury.


I tested around quite some with these, resulting in interesting ways to crash the Ed.
But it seemed to me that you will need at least two scenes:

1. Unlike in normal Unreal, the first Scene will have to be named 'MainSlideInScene'. It will normally do just that, 'slide' the camera via a predefined way, up to its resting point. Thus, you will at least need two InterpolationPoints, as start and end points of your camera slide.

2. The 2nd Scene will have to be called 'LoopingScene'. Self-explanatory too. So you could make the camera run a loop, literally, or a sequence of moves, or just sit still.

(I guess this is it that does the trick of preventing the player from 'escaping' from the menu; as it loops, the scene just NEVER is at an end...)


It would be easily done to have the camera do nothing at all, in both of the scenes. (But why do that, if the Matinee allows for a universe of possibilities for striving movie directors...)


Last Step: As soon as your custom menu map works the way you want, 'install' it. Rename the original into, say, 'OLDAlienSwarmStartup.ut2' to have a Backup, then rename YOUR map into 'AlienSwarmStartup.ut2'.

Another - maybe more elegant - method to install your menu map: look up the 'LocalMap=AlienSwarmStartup.ut2' entry in your AlienSwarm.ini, and change that path to point to your own menu map instead.


Here is the map I did, as an example: http://hosted.filefront.com/humpelfuss
(EDIT: the link leads to the Zip with the last version. This screenie is from an older version. A newer shot is in post #5 below)

EDIT: I finally managed to batch a launcher starting a random menu map out of five possibilities. See below, in post #6 ff.
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Last edited by lightfoot; 8th Feb 2010 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 19th May 2007, 12:17 AM   #2
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Dude this is a really good tutorial, I'll definately be taking a crack at this. Thanks a lot LF
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Old 19th May 2007, 07:03 AM   #3
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 Originally Posted by lightfoot: ( link to post ) 
Here is the map I did: http://www.1webspace.biz/Lightfoot/A...armStartUp.ut2
And a new Screenie.
 Quote:
Error:

File not Found

Anything for a change, anyone care to make a pack? They only need to be small parts of other maps, random start up would rock - like halflife 2
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Old 19th May 2007, 08:13 AM   #4
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I replaced that two non-functional links with one that works, hopefully.

Sorry.

PLEASE HAVE PATIENCE WHILE WE UPGRADE OUR FACILITIES.


By longer staring at it I found some things I don't like in that attempt, so there will be another version soon. (EDIT: done, read on below)
But I do already enjoy having it installed nevertheless. Especially the changed background music...

Last edited by lightfoot; 8th Feb 2010 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 22nd May 2007, 05:25 PM   #5
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Wink Zen and the art of spaceship maintenance

"Hark, dudes! Mother has put up some make-up, 'cause she is going out tonight."

USS Conrad stabilised at low planetary orbit. Team standing by, awaiting mission orders.
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 03:43 PM   #6
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I made another small map with a camera slide. It mainly shows the APC mesh I got from X-Newbie. Thanks again for that.
3d-apc.jpg
With the original one, the Sigma/Telic lobby maps, and my two small attempts there were 5 working menu maps now.


So I read some things about batch scripting, and tried some things out. Then I read and googled some more.


- To make a long story short, I finally devised a small batch script that randomly chooses one of these five maps as a menu background when I start AlienSwarm.

Here it is. A very basic version, but it works.
Code:
@echo off
setLocal EnableDelayedExpansion
set number=5
set /a target=!random!%%number+1
del AlienSwarmStartup.ut2
copy MenuMaps\%target%.ut2
ren %target%.ut2 AlienSwarmStartUp.ut2
set number=
set target=
cd..
AlienSwarm.exe
Then I tried to make it look better, added a loading screen (tchatzi's idea -thanks!) and some comments.
Code:
@echo off

: IMPORTANT This launcher will only work when it is 
: in your UT2004\AlienSwarm\maps\ folder.
: It further assumes that there is a folder called
: 'AlienSwarm\Maps\MenuMaps',
: which contains 5 (yes, the 'number' variable)
: actual menu maps, named '1', '2', '3', '4' and '5'.


: give our window a name and make sure it's got the right size
title Hit a key to proceed to Alien Swarm.
mode con: cols=80 lines=29

: the following seems to be needed for randomness
setLocal EnableDelayedExpansion

: we have 'number' menu maps to choose from
: (TODO: the script should rather make a head count of the files
:             in the MenuMaps folder, instead of primitively setting it here!)
set number=5

: so randomly find a target between 1 and number
:
set /a target=!random!%%number+1

: get the respective map description from a 'subroutine'. brr, clumsy.
:
if %target%==1 goto Original 
if %target%==2 goto Sigma 
if %target%==3 goto Telic 
if %target%==4 goto Conrad 
if %target%==5 goto APC

:hell
: display my awesome ASCII-art, now feat. the targetted Map's descrip.
:
echo.
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN"NN4NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN  ` 4NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNF      ´NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN                        NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNF`         NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN      ALIEN SWARM       NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNN_           ´NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN Just another bug hunt. NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNL            NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN   by Black Cat Games   NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNN. .        4NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN                        NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNJ"  ,      ´NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNF`,´          4NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNN\´,´           ´4NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN                              NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNF                ´NNNNNNNNNNNNNN This launcher was batched by NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNL_´       .,        "NNNNNNNNNNNN the Lightfoot, SpaceEngineer NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNN)       _´`          4NNNNNNNNNN                              NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNL.       _            ´NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNL´                    "NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN)                     (NNNNNNNNN                            NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNNLJ      _."            4NNNNNNNN Today's menu map is nr.%Target%:  NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN`      L              (NNNNNNNN %descrip% NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNNL                       NNNNNNNN                            NN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNNL                       NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN)`   ,                  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN 4NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN/`,. (L                ´F"4NNNNNNNNNNNNNNN",NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNF`  ´  (F`                  ` ""N4FNNNFF"" ` JNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNL   ,___L_ __.,_      ,.                    JN"LNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNLN_JNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)
echo  (NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN_LF_NOV_07)

: (silently) wait for keypress, before actually doing stuff.
pause >nul

: now do stuff.  ONE: delete old menu map.
del alienswarmstartup.ut2

: do stuff          TWO: copy target into this directory.
copy menumaps\%target%.ut2

: do stuff          THREE: rename target into what the game expects.
ren %target%.ut2 AlienSwarmStartUp.ut2

: clear variables
set number=
set target=
set descrip=

: ...and now, gear up! For just another bug hunt...
cd..
AlienSwarm.exe
: (this would be the place to set ?mutator=... or other options)

: ...but first, quit this. See you, and watch your reload!
exit


: the following are subroutines for setting the map description
:
: in case there is more menu maps to include: they could be added
: here, provided that you also add another if-condition up there.
: also, increment 'number' then, and see that the descripts have proper
: string length. has to be exactly 26 digits for the ASCII-art to work... 
:
:Original
set descrip=The original menu map.    
goto hell
:Sigma
set descrip=The Sigma campaign lobby. 
goto hell
:Telic
set descrip=The Telic campaign lobby. 
goto hell
:Conrad
set descrip=The mothership USS Conrad.
goto hell
:APC
set descrip=The APC at a close view.  
goto hell
Here is a screenshot:launcher_screensh.jpg

Due to the comments this version contains, I hope it to be pretty self-explanatory.

You can download this two scripts, the maps, and a more detailed Readme here. It is all insinde a zip package called 'Maps.zip', to be found there. You have three guesses where to extract it to...
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 06:33 AM   #7
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You're a credit to you society.
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Old 11th Mar 2008, 10:37 PM   #8
Xyruul
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Hey guys,

I'd really like to know how you would make a menu map outside of Alien Swarm just using my own mod.

Cheers
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Old 12th Mar 2008, 12:44 AM   #9
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I can't say for sure, but I think you might need to make a custom game type. You might try looking at the Alien Swarm menu map or its game type in the editor to see how BCG did it.
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 06:41 AM   #10
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With 'outside of Alienswarm' you probably mean UT2K4? Let's hope you do.

As already said, to be able to play any matinee at all, the map would need to be of a certain defaultgametype.

But, does vanilla Unreal work like this at all? I mean, use a certain map file as menu background? I don't know, and its yours to find out.
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Old 13th Mar 2008, 01:45 PM   #11
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 Originally Posted by lightfoot: ( link to post ) 
With 'outside of Alienswarm' you probably mean UT2K4? Let's hope you do.

As already said, to be able to play any matinee at all, the map would need to be of a certain defaultgametype.

But, does vanilla Unreal work like this at all? I mean, use a certain map file as menu background? I don't know, and its yours to find out.
Quit mapping and come play a bit, missed u
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Old 26th May 2008, 08:56 PM   #12
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I have not mapped much lately, but I did another version of the launcher.

launcher.bat:
Code:
@echo off

: IMPORTANT This launcher will only work when it is 
: in your UT2004\AlienSwarm\maps\ folder.
: It further assumes that there is a folder called
: 'AlienSwarm\Maps\MenuMaps',
: which contains 5 (yes, the 'number' variable)
: actual menu maps, named '1', '2', '3', '4' and '5'.


: resize our window. title will come as soon as we know it.
mode con: cols=97 lines=38

: the following seems to be needed for randomness
setLocal EnableDelayedExpansion

: we have 'number' menu maps to choose from
: (TODO: the script should rather make a head count of the files
:             in the MenuMaps folder, instead of primitively setting it here!)
set number=5

: so randomly find a target between 1 and number
:
set /a target=!random!%%number+1

: get the respective map description from a 'subroutine'. brr, clumsy.
:
if %target%==1 goto Original 
if %target%==2 goto Sigma 
if %target%==3 goto Telic 
if %target%==4 goto Conrad 
if %target%==5 goto APC

:hell

:rename title bar
title Todays menu flavour will be: %descrip%   - Hit any key to proceed to the game. -

: display the ASCII table, now feat. the targetted Map's description (in the title bar!)

echo.
echo.
echo.
echo.
echo.
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN`     4NNNNN)     NNNNNNN)     N)           NF      'NNNNN) (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)       4NNNN)     NNNNNNN)     N)    (NNNNNNN)       'NNNN) (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN) ,N     'NNNN)     NNNNNNN)     N)    (NNNNNNN)  L     'NNN) (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNF  JNL     'NNN)     NNNNNNN)     N)          'N)  NL     'NN) (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNF  '"""`     NNN)     NNNNNNN)     N)    ,______N)  NN)     4N) (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN`            'NN)     NNNNNNN)     N)    (NNNNNNN)  NNN.     4) (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNF ,NNNNNNL     4N)     """"""N)     N)    '""""""4)  NNNN.     ` (NNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNF_,NNNNNNNN)_____N)___________N)_____N)___________(L__NNNNN.______(NNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNNNF""""""""""NF""""4NNNF"""""NNNN""4NNNNN""""""NNNNNNF"""""""""""""NNNN""""""4NNNNN""""""4NNN
echo  NNN`           N)    'NNN)     4NNF  JNNNN`      'NNNNN)              NNN       4NNN)      (NNN
echo  NNN    4NNNNNNNNN     (NF       NN`  NNNN)  .     (NNNN)     (NNN     NNN       'NNF       (NNN
echo  NNN            4N.    'N)       4F  (NNNF  JN      4NNN)     '"""     NNN  (.    (N  ,)    (NNN
echo  NNN             N)     N  ,)    `'  NNNN` (NNL     'NNN)             ,NNN  (L     `  J)    (NNN
echo  NNN_            NN        JN       ,NNN`            'NN)     (L     "NNNN  (N.      (N)    (NNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNN)     NN)      (NN)      JNN)  ______      4N)     (NL     4NNN  (NN      NN)    (NNN
echo  NNN`           JNNN.     JNNL     ,NN)  JNNNNNNL      N)     (NNL     4NN  (NNL    JNN)    (NNN
echo  NNN___________JNNNNL_____NNNN_____JNN__JNNNNNNNN______NL_____JNNNL____JNN__JNNN___JNNNL____JNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNFNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNF"NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo  NNN`(F4) NN`_ '   '4NNNN"4N"NF4N"'"NL   '`4 4"  "N` '"NNNN    "N"N"NF  NNNN'N"N") 4NFNNN)   "NN
echo  NNN.') ) () NL_N ,JNNNN) (F `)() _ 4N) JN"( ( ___N.,  NNNN)'N  ) ) F JF4NNN N N L (F 'N N) JNNN
echo  NNNL ) N (N. 'NN (NNNNF .(`  `( (N. N) NN ' ( `"(N)' ,NNNN`   () ) ) ` _NNN " ) N ()  N N`(NNNN
echo  N) N ` N ("N` (F NNNNN _ ( ,  J NN) N`.NN , ( """4.  'NNNN. N  ` ) L " NNNN _ ) N ( , ",N NNNNN
echo  NN.  ) `,L   _N) NNNNLJNLJ_NN N  " _N JNN.J J.__JNL NL"4NN) " ,)  JNL,(NNNN J.L `,N_NL JN NNNNN
echo  NNNNNNLJNNNNNNNLJNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN_NNNNNLNNNNNNNJNNNNNNL__NNNLJNNNNNNNNNNNNNLJNNNNNNNNJNNNNN
echo  NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
echo.
echo.
echo.
echo.


: wait for keypress, before actually doing stuff.
pause >nul

: now do stuff.  ONE: delete old menu map.
del alienswarmstartup.ut2

: do stuff          TWO: copy target into this directory.
copy menumaps\%target%.ut2

: do stuff          THREE: rename target into what the game expects.
ren %target%.ut2 AlienSwarmStartUp.ut2

: clear variables
set number=
set target=
set descrip=

: ...and now, gear up! For "Just another bug hunt"
cd..
AlienSwarm.exe
: (this would be the place to set ?mutator=... or other options)

: also, quit this ingenious piece of code. have fun, and watch your reload!
exit


: the following are subroutines for setting the map description
:
: in case there are more menu maps to include: they could be added
: here, provided that you also add another if-condition up there.
: also, raise 'number' then, of course. 


:Original
set descrip=The original menu map.    
goto hell
:Sigma
set descrip=The Sigma campaign lobby. 
goto hell
:Telic
set descrip=The Telic campaign lobby. 
goto hell
:Conrad
set descrip=The mothership USS Conrad.
goto hell
:APC
set descrip=The APC at a close view.  
goto hell
Does the same, just looks different. A screenshot is here:

Someone up for making a mac or linux version?

Last edited by lightfoot; 27th May 2008 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 5th Aug 2008, 10:43 AM   #13
lightfoot
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And yet another version. Displaying the asciified "Chat noir". A screenshot is in my "Stuff" album.

lnch.bat:
Code:
@echo off

: IMPORTANT This launcher will only work when it is 
: in your UT2004\AlienSwarm\maps\ folder.
: It further assumes that there is a folder called
: 'AlienSwarm\Maps\MenuMaps',
: which contains 5 (yes, the 'number' variable)
: actual menu maps, named '1.ut2', '2.ut2', and so on up to '5.ut2'.


: resize our window. title will come as soon as we know it.
mode con: cols=79 lines=66

: the following seems to be needed for randomness
setLocal EnableDelayedExpansion

: we have 'number' menu maps to choose from
: (TODO: the script should rather make a head count of the files
:             in the MenuMaps folder, instead of primitively setting it here!)
set number=5

: so randomly find a target between 1 and number
:
set /a target=!random!%%number+1

: get the respective map description from a 'subroutine'. brr, clumsy.
:
if %target%==1 goto Original 
if %target%==2 goto Sigma 
if %target%==3 goto Telic 
if %target%==4 goto Conrad 
if %target%==5 goto APC

:hell

:rename title bar
title Today's menu map: %descrip%   - Hit a key to accept and proceed to the game. -

: display the ASCII table, now feat. the targetted Map's description in the title bar

echo.
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMNcWMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM#MMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMHMMMMNJMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMHONNMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMNg7MMeWMMMMMMMMMMMMMBJMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMeYMeMMMMMMMMMMM#jM#G+MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMN?M`MMMMMMMMM3M5jMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMNWFMMMMMMMMq5JMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM@?TMMMMMMMpMJMMMMM#cjMMMMMM#YWMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMb` `.THMMMY```.7`  ?MMMMH=  `JMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMp   ` ``            `      .MMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMN,     NJ._     _.JN    .dMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMHHHMMMMMM.   `7M_M#   dM_M=   MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM#Y+gMMMMMMMMMM#`                    dMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMagMMMMHWgggNNMM`                     ,NNNMagggVTHMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMS8MMMMMMMMBH.                     .NNgyYMMMMMMNJTMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMNJMMMMMWXjgMMMMM`                 ..MNg7MMMMNgZWMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMGgMMMMMMMM@`                .MMMMMMMmfMMMMMmJWMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM5dMMMMMMMMM` ``             `  `JMMMMMMMNJWMMMMN,MMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM``   ` ``          `   WMMMMMMMMN`MMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMYMMMMMMMMMF`        `              MMMMMMMMMNMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMB= ` ??T?TMM`                     `  JMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM?751`      `   `` `                       MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMR``              ` `                    `.MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM3`                  ``                    JMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMm,```                    `                   `dMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMB`                       `                 `.gMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMF                                        `..MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMM#1`              `                  `     .JMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMp                 ```             `     JMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMM:                    `          ``    .MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMM                     `         .`   ..MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMMF`                    .`      ```   ..MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMM`                      `     ` '`   :dMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMMF.                      `    `.`     JMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMM:                      ``   ``.`   ``MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMM.                        `  ` .    ` dMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMM1                          `` `     `.,MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMM'`        `                 ` ``  `  `.`MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMM3       `   `               `` `       `.MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMNb`                        `           .MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMML`.                                   .MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMF``                                  .MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMMMF.                                   `WMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMMM#1.                   ```               WMMY?WMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMMF  `                          ```      .     ```dMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMM                  `   ` ``   ``                 `HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMF.               ``                . .```     `` ``JMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
echo  MMMM           ..JNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNJ,.JgJ`....... ..J......,..............WM
echo  MMMM`         .MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMF.MM
echo  MMMM1`     `.JMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM                             MMF#4M
echo  MMMM       `.JMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM                             MM8#dM
echo  MMMM.      ``JMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM#=` `?TMMMMMM        /\ ^|_ ^| [- ^|\^|       MM:#qM
echo  MMMM.      ` .MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMNg,.   `.MMMM      _           _          MM:#dM
echo  MMMMM        .MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMa.   .MMM      \  \/\/ /\ ^|^< ^|\/^|     MMx#dM
echo  MMMMM `    ` ..MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMN.   TMM      ~                      M#tFWM
echo  MMMMMaJ`       .UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM`   `JM             by              M#:NdM
echo  MMMMMMM,        `.MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMF`    JM                             MM1#WM
echo  MMMMMMMN.x        `.YMMMMMMMMMMMM9`    .MM       BLACK CAT GAMES       MM;#MM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMe`           ?7YYYMYY"`      JMM                             MbF#MM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMe  .`          ``         .JMMM  Launcher and ascii proudly MNFMUM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMNMMNa,                  .MMMMM  presented by the Lightfoot MMF@jM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMN,.,          ...gMMMMMM                             MMN#NM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMNNggg,.MMMMMMMMMMMM                             MM5#MM
echo  MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMNgMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMNMMMMNMNMM


: wait for keypress, before actually doing stuff.
pause >nul


: now do stuff.  ONE: delete old menu map.
del alienswarmstartup.ut2

: do stuff          TWO: copy target into this directory.
copy menumaps\%target%.ut2

: do stuff          THREE: rename target into what the game expects.
ren %target%.ut2 AlienSwarmStartUp.ut2


: clear variables
set number=
set target=
set descrip=

cd..
AlienSwarm.exe
: (this would be the place to set ?mutator=... or other options)

exit


: the following are subroutines for setting the map description
:
: in case there are more menu maps to include: they could be added
: here, provided that you also add another if-condition up there.
: also, raise 'number' then, of course. 


:Original
set descrip=The original menu map.    
goto hell
:Sigma
set descrip=The Sigma campaign lobby. 
goto hell
:Telic
set descrip=The Telic campaign lobby. 
goto hell
:Conrad
set descrip=The mothership USS Conrad.
goto hell
:APC
set descrip=The APC at a close view.  
goto hell

Last edited by lightfoot; 12th Nov 2008 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 01:40 PM   #14
Baz
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SwarmFuck!

This little app does the same thing as launcher.bat, but in exe form. It randomly chooses any file ending with ut2 in the maps/MenuMaps as the new menu map, loads swarm, and displays a little animated splash screen covering the normal swarm splash.. and all in 35K!

It has the outrageous minimum requirements of a direct X 9.0c card, and will most likely cause your computer to melt in fantastic new and original ways.

(if you want the blackcat games logo too, it will cost you 5K)

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Old 7th Aug 2008, 04:17 PM   #15
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Does it register as a trojan?
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 04:20 PM   #16
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Well, I ran it with no such warnings.



Or has baz already gained access to my forum account?
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 04:48 PM   #17
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Login, BGD, password, pie.onicman

I should probably also mention you put it in the same folder as alienswarm.exe, and it should accept parameters the same way
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 08:27 PM   #18
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Will it accept a parameter to make me a ham sandwich? Or a /switch to make it not suck?
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 09:25 PM   #19
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yes?
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Old 15th Aug 2008, 05:25 AM   #20
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Baz, this doesn't run for me.

Breaks with an error. Wait, let me try translate that gibberish:

"The application could not be started cos the user configuration is incorrect. For troubleshooting try reinstalling blablah..."
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Old 15th Aug 2008, 11:34 AM   #21
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Crap! it looks like it needs .net new.0 installed. I should probably add that to the outrageous minimum requirements.
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