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Monthly Archives: March 2012

How to host a unreal server (The semi-ultimate Guide)

Like  last weeks post this post is very well thought out and I spent nearly 3 days writing parts of it up. If  I missed something here or you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment.I could’nt cover every detail , But there is enough here to get someone started and running with a basic game server , and  a good understanding of some key Area in unreal and networks in general.

This is a topic which is a never ending ongoing question I hear from people.

How to host a server?

I want to host my own server unreal is the best game ever \(!)/

The thing about this is I would love  to explain this,  But it requires multiple areas of  expertise to do it correctly. The typical person who wants to run a unreal server and is asking that question typically has no idea what ports or a IP address are or how to access there router. In many cases that means the person is a teenager or kid that lives in his parents home and shouldn’t necessarily be mucking around with a machine exposed to the intenet.

Some things you need to understand before we even talk about starting the game , You need a  rudimentary understanding of how a  network works.  It will help you to  understand what a local and extrenal ip adress is , You need to know how to access a routers control panel and how to foward ports in said router.

Understand The Network Model – A Short Crash Course:

This model assumes you have a router , If your server is  directly connected to you cable modem via a single wire  you may be able to skip this. That’s Highly unlikely these days.This dosnt cover ipv6 or any ‘weird’ setups like windows ICS.or Linux.If you have a Firewall such as zonealarm installed make sure you allow unreal to pass tho it.

The network your pc’s connect to in you home or business or school  is called a LAN (Local Area Network). Every device , be it a Xbox , Set-top box , or PC that communicates in this  LAN is assigned a number by a router  when it makes a connection  for the first time (In the case of a DHCP). This could be considered a room number  for the purpose of understanding.  This number  looks like “192.169.1.x”  This range of  “192.169.1” can vary by router ,Many routers can also be configured to use a custom range. These number ranges are reserved for lan use. The number  that the router assign each computer is called the internal IP address.

Now that you understand about local  or private IP addresses or “Room numbers” , Its a lot easier to grasp the next concept. “house numbers”!

Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) That you get your internet service from assigns you a number that your conection is identified as to there WAN , This is a number from 0.0.0.0  To 255.255.255.255 It cannot be any IP in the reserved block that used for Private networks..  This is you external IP address ,It can be used to identify your network from the outside of your home.  But the outside world can’t see your rooms inside your house. This make any sense to you?

Here is a handy diagram that explains what I just summarized.

Port Fowarding:

In order for the outsite world to directly see a computer or server hosted on a LAN , The IP address and port needs to be forwarded.  When a (Player)  Queries your server they use the extranal IP, Then the router points then to the fowarded pc on the LAN network. Unreal and many other game servers  require  you to forward ports , Now that we understand why people outside you house cant ever see your server ,Lets discuss how to  forward ports.

Routers are Embedded PC”s with no display , So how can I access the settings are there buttons on the router somewhere? All managed routers , (that are not hubs ) , Have a built in web interface that can be accessed in any internet browser on  any PC on your LAN. By simply typing the gateway IP adress into the browsers for example 192.168.1.1 But as we discussed earlier different manufacturers of different brands of routers use a slightly different subnet sometimes, Like  176.192.1.1, to find out what the address of your router is theres a few ways. The only fail proof way I know of is to first find the internal IP of the computer your sitting at.

Theres a number of way to do this, One is to  open a dos commandline window ,  goto start manu >RUN  and type ‘command‘ and hit enter. Then type ‘ipconfig’ , Something like this This will be printed to the screen

If you cant use ms-dos , You can also find the gateway in the network connection properties in the control panel in windows XP.

Now it spits Up a bunch of info , But the  info we want is the ip address and  the default gateway.Take the default gateway and  goto start menu > Run and type “http:\\192.162.1.1”  Where that number is the defualt gateway and hit enter. this should open up a  window in the defualt browser.A dialog asking you for a user name and password.

What you need to enter into this box varies by router models ,(http://www.routerpasswords.com/) You may need to refer to the routers instructions for the default credentals. in the case that he default  user / pass combo has been changed ,  You may need to contact the network administartor or the person that setup you newtork , (Your parents mabye?) to  get the password to gain access.Or have your administrator do this for you.In the case of the linksys wrt54g  the defualt info is user= admin password= admin

Router Login Dailog (Shown in chroome)

Enter the password and  click login. The next step assumes you got past the login somehow.

The interfaces vary by brand ,But you looking for a tab labeled Applications and Gaming , or  Port Fowarding,

WRT54g Port Fowarding Table.  Some webcam and doom ports 

Now you have 2 options You could use this table (Best) or setup a DMZ (lazy) If you setup a DMZ every port on you computer will be visable to the world , This may be useful if you have alot of network services running on one machine , Like HTTP , FTP , WAMP ,   or multiple unreal servers on one machine where you don’t have enough fields to forward all the ranges.. It’s not generaly  recommend.

Unrealgold could use port 7777 – 7780 or so by defualt.  So you can make a rule to allow 7776  to 7780 over UDP  to be safe and set the address to the last number in you local IP address  you got earlier.You need to  also forward  master server port. 27900 over UDP so add a rule for 27900 – 27900 Udp.

Click save changes

Broadcasting The Server To The World

Unreal uses the master server model so your server tells the master it here and the master relies this information to the clients. So You need to do one more thing to be visable. Open the game , hit tilde “`~`  and type preferences  in the console. Scroll down to masterServerUplink , and change the value douplink to true ,Also expand tcp/network play. make sure dobeacon is set to true as well. This will allow you game to be broadcast to the master server.

Public Server Information

You server is advertised as a server name so you need to set one up so that people can find you.Open the game and open advanced option by opening the console and typing ‘preferences’   goto networking , > public server info > and set the servername .Servers with blank servernames are not advertised.The shortname is the game as xirwe are gamespy will denote it when long names are not avalible.

While you are here you may as well fill in the rest of the fields , they are mostly optional, You can fill in The  adminEmail field if you would like players to be able to contact you in case they need assistants or they want to contact you for any reason.  You can add a admin address here or a  AIM address or a msn messenger address is sometimes used   so they may  use instant messager to contact. Depending on how paranoid you are , You may consider making a separate email address for this purpose and not exposing your main email. and possible a Facebook account attachted to that adress etc

adminname – This feild  is generaly used to display the owners name , in the case somebody can contact the server owner , But it is generaly excepted that many people have used this field or a website address or a blog address.

MOTD line 1 – 4 – these fields are  a message that will display above the score board in the hud , It useull for a website url , or  some message o the day , If you use this field , make sure to enable showmotd

Alternate Master servers(optional)

To note are the new master server addresses , Open up the unreal.ini file  of the advanced option panel of the server ,and make sure these 2  alternative master servers  are in the list  in the serveractors. This step is not critical , But sometimes when the  gamespy or epic master server goes down no one can see your server , Many dedicated players have hosted masterservers for unreal , and these will help you be seen.

For 226 and 225 it should look like :

Nephthys.NptServerUplink MasterServerAddress=hyper.dnsalias.net MasterServerPort=27900
Nephthys.NptServerUplink MasterServerAddress=skwmaster.no-ip.org MasterServerPort=27900

For 227

IpServer.UdpServerUplink MasterServerAddress=hyper.dnsalias.net MasterServerPort=27900
IpServer.UdpServerUplink MasterServerAddress=skwmaster.no-ip.org MasterServerPort=27900

Netspeeds and Tickrates;

While you also here expand tcp/ip network play and find the tickrate and netspeeds .The defualt unreal installation assumes you use  a dialup connection, So these numbers need to be adjusted. You can use a fancy netspeed calculater if you know what you network throughput actually is.If you don’t want to do all the math for that. You can just enter some good numbers , assuming you have cable  or dsl.  Set maxclientrate to about 10000 – 20000 people recommend 10,000 .But alot of 227 clients seem to use 20,000 when they join so find a good number between those 2 yourself.  maxtickspersecond is largey dependent on you connection bandwidth , but it recommended to set this to somewhere between 10 – and 15. increasing your net speeds and tick rate can speed up downloads in some cases , but it will negativity effect the game play in game.

Try to Start your server!

Start unreal , Goto Muliplayer> Start new game , an select some game type and hit start  wait a minute or 2  then Goto the all servers tab in you server browser and see if your visable!

Now your server is visable to the world (Hopefully)  If not you need to check every thing i just said above intill it works.I know you are excited , Before you do anything serious , Its important to continue reading..

Hardware Considerations.

You need at least a basic high-speed home  cable connection. Preferably  higher tier then basic service. As you need more upload  bandwidth. Normal home internet upload speeds will be the killer here (The latency as well). If all you have is DSL or Dailup , Consider renting a server from a site like ultimategameservers.com It cheap, Only 8 or 9$ a month for 8 players . For that premium price you get Tier 1 bandwidth  , But you lose control of the advanced settings.  If your gonna Self  host you preferably need a dedicated machine , Or a multi core pc to host and play with the same PC any old crap pc can host a server for unreal ,A 1.3ghz win98 machine with 256mb ram  ‘Could’ work *, its not recommended.

*Depending on the version of unreal you wish to run , That machine may need to be running windows xp or above.

You need about  1GB of harddrive space for a basic unreal install ,If you gonna run custom maps or mods , Plan or needing 4 – 8 GB.If your name is Bob , or you edit maps and mess around a lot , Plan on needing about 10GB.  My unreal server install is about 9GB!   You should have 512MB – 1 GB of ram at a bare minimum on the server most people will recomend about 2 gb. Unreal can run with 256mb but its seriously not recommended. Bigger maps and  huge mods with tons of monsters  o even just adding a lot o skins to the server can eat up ram like candy.  I have 3 GB of ram on the PC I use to host , It’s not enough sometimes.

Picking A Unreal Version:

You need to decide if you want  to run 226, 225 or 227 , And weather you want RTNP support (Unrealgold) you need the version of your choice’s install disk.

226

Dispute retail unrealgold being the last offical release of unreal( 226f wasn’t made  to patch unrealgold) ,  It is one of the worst versions or servers compatibility wise to host with , When 226f came out it broke compatibility with 226b (Gold)  So if  you host with unreal227f  225 and 226b users cant join you.Users with 227 patch without unrealgold support cant join your server. I would recomend staying away from 226 If at all possible. If you absolutly must use gold use the retail version and dont patch it to 226f  so that the migatory of the retail players can still join you server. Oh yeah I forgot the fact that  there is also the anthology version , Witch also cant join 226 or something…yeah stay away from 226..

edit: as many have piointed out and casey explained , you CAN use 226b to host if you disable upak , but 226f may not be able to join you. ( so we still have issues again )

225

225 is the common version of servers since all future versions after it were  built against it , So any version ever made after 225 can join a 225 server** 225 isnt terrible stable if abused , Dosnt support upak or rtnp , but there are workarounds for most of that.  225 obviosly dosnt support the features in 227 , so you cant play new 227 maps. From a technical standpoint level summary wasnt introduced intill 226 , So you will need to hex edit or convert maps made after 225 to work in225  It also requires extra security mods to be safe for online hosting, People can exploit you server or crash it if it not protected.That why i said you needed to continue reading. ** certain native mod issues

227

http://www.oldunreal.com

227 is the offical community version patch. Currently if you run a 227 server 226F cant join you but the release of  227I will fix this. This patch added hundreds of bug fixes an many awsome enhancements. 227 requires windows xp or later to run . When 227I come out this is you best choice without any doubts. 227 supports both Unrealgold , and non gold versions. If you patch your server to unrealgold version you can also use rtnp maps and content , but at the trade off that people who dont  own rtnp cant join your server.  So you need to decide about that.. You have a lot more options later for mods if you use 227 now.

unreal lets you use super fast redirects so your client can download up to 10X as fast as 225 here’s a post on how to setup a free redirect server

Thinking about mods  before deciding on a server version

If you choose 225 , You cant use rtnp maps. They used native upak code that wasnt built intill 226 came out. If you want those weaposn of maps , You need to use one of the many rtnp conversion like thsrtnp. also if any custom maps you use use those weapons of actors , They wont work without editing thoe maps..If you used 225 or 226 , You cant use mods that use emitters , skeletal meshes , static meshes , dynamic zones or any 227 features. so that great mod that just came out , may not work with your server.

————

Gametypes and specifics

You need to decide on the gametype ,Generaly you can only use one gametype at once. You can have multiple gametypes installed onto the server , and you can switch mid game  but that not a typical application.You can use voting handler to allow you players to vote what gametype they want to play . but for the immediate purpose of this article we will concentrate on running a single game type on a single server.

This may end up conflicting with you choice or server version as  some gametypes like mcoop only support 225 or 226.If you already have one in mind then you can jump to that section.If not you  need to decide what you doing this for and what your options are. I cant cover the details and issues with every single version of every single gametype , as this is only to help up get up and running.

Coop Game  Types

unrealshare.coopgame

unrealshare.coop is the basic coop gametype in unreal.  this is ‘fine’ to play for 5 minutes  but offers no usefull features by istelf.
Not recommended if your serious about running a server , this gametype screems you just bought the game and you have no idea what your doing.
compatibility : all versions , it part of the original unreal game.

Installing Jcoopz1

jcoopz1 is  a feature packed coop game subclass. if offers alot of features in a small package. Since I cant acully dicuss the featues here without 7 more pages I will jump to installation

This aassumes you have a version of unreal installed already.

  • Copy Jcoopz1.int , Jcoopz1.u , Jcoopz1grp.u Jcoopz1ntp.u  and Jcoopz1ssf.u  Into your unreal/system folder.
  • If you are going to run  server as 226 or 225 ;
    If you plan on using 227 , Skip this step.

Open the archive Nephthys_v1.5a018_inst.zip and run the Nephthys_v1.5a018_inst.exe installer.
Press next ,  Argree to the terms of use , Select unreal ,   Then press next then next  twice , Intill a path is requested. Browse to your unreal installation click next ,. It will then ask for a ini file, Leave it alone unless you plan to use a separate ini file for your server. Select the unreal version you choose to install.. Click install…

  • Start up unreal, Open the console , Type preferences . Hit enter.
    Something that looks like this will open. Locate the section ‘Gametypes’ expand it to reveal “Advanced coop play jcoopz1” then find the child section “Gamecontrol” from there find the section “Primaryadmin” Here is where you will setup  the admin password for your server. Fill out the field  ‘adminpassword‘ with a pasword keep in mind this is a game server , and not you bank account , You can use a 3 charactor password if you want , The odds of someone brute forcing is is nill since then get like 3 attemps to guess it. I highlighted the field in red for you.Set the value benabled to True so we can use this password. For normal users , ‘bauthenticate’ should be set to False .
    You dont need to edit any of the other fields ,The game will fill them out when the admin logs in for the first time.

    Ops -I left some passwords in there. lol

  • At  this point you can start the  server one of  3 ways.

    In Game
    – You can start a server in the game by going to Multiplayer      > Start game > and selecting ‘Jcoopz1’ select the option ‘Start dedicated server‘. Unreal will close , And Your server will start in the background. Launching from In game is the crappy way to do it as it takes about 15 keyboard presses , and In certain cases this can have issues and crash.
  • Using command line– This is the ideal way , You can create a shortcut to Unreal.exe and edit the parameters. Add this to the target field ”  Nyleve.unr?Game=JCoopZ1.JCoopZGame?Difficulty=3 -server ” now you can click on this shortcut and your server will start in the background..
  • Using a batch file – Batch files are like mini programs , You create a basic control structure and it can do a task. I cant get into the depth of what a batch files is here , But I will explain how to use one.The benefit of using a batch file to launch your server is that if the server crashes or closes down , The batch file will auto restart it. It can also save the  log on crash so we can debug the next time.
    Here is a link to a example batch file guard.zip

    Using UCC
    – you can also start a server using UCC , In a way similar to a batch file. This way , Starts unreal in a dos window , With no GUI or options  this allows unreal server to have a even smaller footprint.. “ucc.exe -server nyleve.unr?Game=JCoopZ1.JCoopZGame?Difficulty=3”
  • To login as admin  in jcoopz , you use’ adminlogin password’ in the game.You can also login with join with password (226 or 227) or by commandline.

    ———–Installing XcoopXcoop is  a open source  coop game subclass. I covered  the features of xcoop in my xcoop review last week so I Will jump to installationThis assumes you have a version or unreal installed already.

    • Copy Ccoop.int ,Xcoop.u , Xcoop.ini, Datastructures.u  and Xcoopdata.ini  into your unreal/system folder. Copy  XCoopTextures.utx into unreal/texture Copy Xcoopsounds.uax into the unreal/sounds folder
    • if you are going to run  server as 226 or 225  do the folloing , If you plan on using 227 , Skip this step.
      download  and open the archive Nephthys and run the Nephthys_v1.5a018 installer.

    Press next ,  Agree to the terms of use ,Sselect Unreal ,   Then press next then next  twice , Intill a path is requested. Browse to your Unreal installation and Click Next. It will then ask for a ini file,  leave it alone unless you plan to use a separate ini file for your server.Select the Unreal version you choose to install..Click install…

    • Start up unreal open the console , Type preferences . Hit Enter.
      locate the section ‘Gametypes’ expand it to reveal “Xcoop” then find the child section “Logincontrol” here is where you will setup  the admin password for your server.
      Fill out the fields   ‘0‘  with a primary password and ‘1‘ as a differnt secondary admin password.
    • At  this point you can start the  server one of  3 ways.
    • In Game– You can start a server in the game by going to Multiplayer    >Start game > and selecting XCOOP select the option ‘Start Dedicated Server‘.Unreal will close and  Your server will start in the background..

    • Using Command line– This is the ideal way , You can create a shortcut to unreal.exe and edit the parameters. Add this to the target field “Nyleve.unr?Game=xcoop.xcoop?Difficulty=3 -server” now you can click on this shortcut and your server will start in the background..
    • Using a Batch File; Batch files are like mini programs , You create a basic control structure and it can do a task. I cant get into the depth of what  a batch file is here , But i will explain how to use one. The benefit of using a batch file to launch your server is that if the server crashes or closes down , The batch file will auto restart it.here is a link to a example batchfile Guard.zip
    • Using UCC –You can also start a server using UCC , In a way similar to a batch file. This way , Starts unreal in a dos window , With no GUI or options  this allows unreal server to have a even smaller footprint.. “ucc.exe -server nyleve.unr?Game=xcoop.xcoop?Difficulty=3”
    • To login as admin in xcoop you use ‘login password’ Xcoop and 225 dosnt support loggining in  password  other then the primary in the commandline
      Installing other gametypesI cant possibly discuss every since game type thats currently available even tho I want to, I am hoping after you understand the basics of how these 2 game types  above operate , Are Installed and how they are configured. That you may be able to help yourself  to install any game type available it basically the same.The game type you plan on installing will have it own instructions and you should most definitly read them as well.

    Is the server running ?  

  • OK you got you server running but where is it I dont see it! The unreal dedicated server  doesn’t have a GUI Per-Se when you start a server a icon is added to your system tray .If you don’t see in there and you know you followed all the directions,You need to open the unreal.log or server.log and trace the error out by reading the information , If all it done properly you should have a running server and no problems so far.


The server’s settings and options can be accessed by right clicking the unreal icon that in the system tray ,  and selecting a option. In this case the server console is selected and shown as a text based window.This basicly shows you in realtime whats happening , It will show Connections , downloads,  Chat , Errors , Spawns , and other Useful Information to the server owner.You cant use any cheats or many commands in the server windows, But you can click the window and type commands and they will show at the bottom of the screen , and you can press enter to execute them.You cant use “player” commands only game type specific or dev commands , Like ‘mem stat’ , or ‘exit’ , You can use say , If you want to talk to the server players. Gamtypes offer there own set of command to be use in this console , You need to refer to the game type’s instruction for thos commands and there uses.

Selecting the advanced options  will open up the  same menu as preferences did where you can edit spawn rates Serverpackages, and server settings on the fly. Most taking effect imeadiatly or after a Level Switch..Take some time to explore the advanced options and tinker with the settings.

Adding mods and Server packages

On a Dedicated Server , Only the files that are in use are sent to the clients or players. The Gametype and Current map  is always sent to the clients,  Along with any files that are attached to the game type itself like Textures or Sounds , the Exception to this is that some things are Dynamicly loaded.

Weapon mods are dynamicly loaded or replaced , Therefore they are not sent to clients themselves. For the client to be able to use or see the weapon on there end the mod must be in the server packages so it knows to send them the files they need.The map itself can load these file if thay are placed into he map, otherwise you need to add them to the packages.

Some mods that run Server-Side don’t need to be added to the Server Packages, as a rule if the mod has no phyisical obejcts IE (not any  Texture , Sounds , Models , or a weapon or another displayable actor)  The client dosnt need to know about it. So this means any custom weapons or textures  or Mutators that Contain custom models , Pawns or Skins need to be in the Server Packages,

You can edit the server packages 2 ways , In the servers advanced options user   game engine setting > server packages  or in the unreal.ini file manually.Make very sure you don’t load blank lines or incorrect file names , As  in 225 and 226 this will halt the server and exit and you will get annoyed having to troubleshoot you mistake latter manually editing a unreal.ini file in notepad.You need to restart the server for server package changes to take effect , Unless your using 227g or later.

Security concerns.

Every game has asshats and trolls that want only to make you and your players  lives hell. They spam chat , blow themselvess up continuosly , teamkill, hack your servers, cheat or lag you game with rapid joins and downloads.

Most game types have built in banning capabilities, If your game type doesn’t support these features or you want low level control over your connections, both 225 and 227 have advanced ways to deny people from joining you server and ruining you fun and the fun of others.

225 and 226 only – Using Nephthy to block/ ban/ rate limit/ query ban.

Nephthys is a native  security mod made for the older versions of unreal that has so many features that you need to Read the full documentatione if you want a better understaning . Nephthys has more options and features then the 227 stack has and can log EVERYTHING related to the players connection.

If at anytime while in game you want to see the current open connection to your server type ‘admin npt status‘ in the console it will dump every connected user inormation. You can kick players or downloaders  by ip adress as well by using “npt kick 1.1.1.1”

You can ban a  ip or range by ip adress in the server console easily
simple  –  “npt ban new ip= 1.1.1.1 bstealth=0  Message=asshat” Would ban the ip 1.1.1 from joining, and when he connects he would see the message a’ssha’t. If you would likeit  the an to be invisible, ie a server quary ban , you can use “npt ban new ip= 1.1.1.1 bstealth=1”  this way if the player opened the server browser it wont even show you server in the list to him.

If you worrry about cheats/radars/aimbots  online , You can look into psync , or one o the other package checkers , I am not getting into that here.

227

227 uses a entirely diffident network system so you need to use 227’s commands to do this , If your running 227 as server and 227 as your client , You can hit esc , goto tools > admin menu and kick/ban players in a gui.

if your in  the server console , You can use  ‘ugetconnections‘ to display connected players , and use ‘ubanid’ or ‘ukickid‘ note that you cant kick downloaders since they have no id.

You can find the documentation here for that but its pretty sparse.

If you worrry about cheats/radars/aimbots  online you can use unrealintegrely anticheat thats built into unreal 227 , make sure to read and understand the limitations and issuess with  integerity anticheat beore you choose to do this. it can be picky about packages  and only works with 227 clients.

Conclusion

Well I hope this helps someone in case I ever decide to quit hosting unreal servers  one day.I have covered alot of parts here that other tutorials didnt even touch on,I wish you the best on your endeavors to host your own unreal server.

Mabye I can talk about mods  or  messing with gametype-generic settings such as respawn rate and teams and features along with  getting advanced things like voting handlers to work in a seprate post this one is already 10 pages long..

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Xcoop Gametype: Info / Overview / Review

This is likely the longest post I have every made here so far. Its a overview of a deprecated  coop game type. It not made to suggest you go out an change the way you already do things , It just to share  my view on a platform thats  some what ill considered. It took me about 7 hours to write this out in this most coherent detail. If your just a player this doesn’t interest you too much.

I am ok if you  just TL;DR .

Xcoop

You hear me talk about it alot ,
and you see many of the mods I sometimes make require it ,
but what is xcoop?

Xcoop is Pcube ‘s older original  Opensource coop gametype,
Its similar to say – Jcoopz1 , or Jcoop4 , or  Mcoop , or even akcoop That you may have seen online, Its a enhanced subclass of coopgame just like tho others.

Very few servers run xcoop , Such as  the uas clan  , kirby’s tarvern , long journey ,jgj xcoop and  my crazy server,The only 4 I know of , But that dosnt mean its not a good choice. The question  on your mind is why do i want this.

To answer that question I will  start with this, Currently thers isn’t many good open source gametypes avalible, the only current  ones are jgrass gxcoop or xcoop, and by open source I mean that you can edit the code of the gametype to extend its usability.

Maybe this dosnt matter to you and you just wanna play the game and never mess with anything or use advanced mods.if so  this likely isn’t for you. in that case I would then recomend jcoopz1, It easy and proven.

Many of us use closed source  software and mods all the time whether we know it or not, The whole open source gimmick  only showed up a few  years of so ago. But in unreal open source is the norm, To close source your mods requires additional tools and effort, and generaly it not what normal people do, what makes close source  odd  in unreal  is that the unreal editor stores the code  in the original files as text buffers, by default.

Unfortinitly many developers seem to think it is necessary to strip out or obfusate there script for security reasons ( like zombie), Mabye there is some merit in that , but it hard to prove.

Jcoopz1 ( every bodies favorite gamtype) For example is mid-closed source , It has a limited api for allowing some parts of it to extended with strict limits.

You can use custom playerpawns in jcoopz , But they need to subclass jzplayer( which they should to follow the flow)  but it requires  duplicating somones work which may not be possible if .. the playerpawn itself is closed source.it also requires  writing a bit of script in the playerlogin class replacemnt scripts as well.

if you want to add advanced mutators that interact with the playerpawn in ways like mutatescorekill  or  draw to the hud  , add mutatecommands  , or modfy admin commands or have mutiple tiers of admins. its simply not possible.

You can use a custom hud in jcoopz , but the original hud code is striped out so you cant properly subclass your own.

Jcoopz also has strange built in security bullshit that  you cant disable as a server owner.( client anomaly comes to mind)  I have contacted zombie a few times about this and his response usually involves him  making a slight change that makes no difference as opposed to removing or added a option to disable it.

While jcoop may be popular and fairly feature packed. Some things just dont cut it , Those little features  and behaviors bother people like me, Yeah i run jcoopz on some of my servers, mainly since that what players asked for and i have no plans to add anything more then jcoopz can support , but when my players ask me to add sothing like  custom playerpawns or hud addons or want mutators that can track monsterkills, I have to tell then it not posssible or too difficult to make happen easily.

Que xcoop:

Xcoop isnt limited be anything , If you can think of somthing and you know how to make it you can add it.

Xcoop lacks some features ,  But some things balance out or can be changed easily

Security:

Attack protection:

Xcoop isn’t terrible secure against certain attacks like RJA attacks by itself   there no join deley limiter, But if you run it in 225 or 226 it is assumed you are running nythes already or you are a  idiot.  In 227 the game isnt vulnerable to there attacks.

Players summoning items are logged along with the items summon , so that admin can easily spot the asshats that summon blobs and bots to lag the servers.

Player rejection / banning:

xcoop has no temporary or pban capibility built in. there is a xcoop addon called xbansecurity that was developed  to allow you to ban ranges , or ip address and also provides the banned player with a custom rejection message. xban security wont work from the server console or webadmin , and dosnt always respond to command due to mutate failing to register sometimes.

Yet again , the nytesis mod  on 225/226, and or 227 offers BETTER banning in most cases be itself. 227 can ban by the players mac address , and nysis provide a rudimentary guid to ban with  aswell as the ability to ban stealth. , A firewall also never hurt to block troublesoome lamers.

Administration:

xcoop allows for 3 seperate user passwords , one for each adminlevel. and employs a 3 tiered admin system ,  where any arbitrary command like fly , summon or say , can be limited to a tier or above , so you could give normal player the ability to fly/walk , but not summon if you so wished.

You can make the lvl 3 admin a moderator or   with permisions to cheat , and fly , but not switch levels.

This 2 tiered admin system also provides another level of security that other gametypes dont offer.If say some user exploits the sefver , and gains admin access ( badmin flag) then they still cant do anything since they dont have a authoriy level set , they cant set the authority level as they cant use  admin set without  level1 access flag the admin login is protected against bruteforce attacks with a kill/ kick system you can specify the maximum attemps before a kick or kill.

It also allows for the addition of a custom authority handler witch allows you to add whatever verification or authentication system you like , uid , ip , mac , name , whatever you can think of , its semi trivial to add more passwords and individual accounts with basic scriting knowledge. These custom handlers can be server-side to increase the security  even more against exploits such as decompiling the defaults. or attempeting to read values of passwords.

Playerpawns

custom playerpawns are supported as a optional setting  , but it is highly recommended that you rewrite the playerpawn branching from xplayer , as standard playerpawns  Wont follow the security changes of the xplayers.

very important  to note is the fact that non xplayer pawns that login via password as any adminlevel , are givin full admin server  control ( equvelent to level 1 privlidges with full admin flags) since they dont have a adminlevel flag attached to them. so choose carfully and think first.

xcoop have the ability to replace custom playerpawn request at login.

Extendability:

xcoop come with alot of replacable and additional addon entrypoints.

mutator plus:

mutaterender:

probably the best one of these , it allows modders to draw/render to the the hud with a mutator, witch is especially important to mods that need to display onto the hud such as radar , osd etc.

mutate scorekill:

one of the most usfull this will rely the kill in the game and the onwers and damage types for scorekeeping of leveling mods to use.

mutate respawnplayer:

this is another handy one , it called when the player respawn , similer to modifyplayer in ut , it lets mods modfy the playerpawn in ways such as adding weapons or inventory , or initalizing theplayer.

mutate :

mutate is a easy way to add commands to you mutators for conrtoling them via mutate strings.

Basic funtionality

xcoop comes out of the box with many options

freindly fire scaling , options toggle momentum/hit blocking, support 128 map path redirects, instant respawn, saved scores to server,customizable entry/exit messages ,  level end sounds, sprees and spree messages and sounds, full custom text colors. optimal  monster deathmessages

Hud/Scoreboard:

xcoop provides a standard custom scoreboard , that shows the standard score kills as well as player name and console and there current playing song. xcoop allows for the player to select there own colors for there  scoreboard  information , as well as a face texture , to show when the player chats a message.

the score board can also display a server logo  or banner to advertise your server. it also allows for custom scoreboards  to by used easily as well. and scoreboard class can be plugged in to entirly change the look and fell.

Installation

xcoop is easy to install , but not as easy as jcoop prehaps.

it  uses xcoop.ini as base as oppose to using the games specified default config  (unreal.ini) so if you have multiple presets or server setups , you can only have 1 configuration per game.

The installation involves copying a few files into your unreal folder , It requires no native  mods  of dependences on dlls, so thers no issues between versions.

setup  after installation is simple

set admin passwords , edit autority handler, and set the defualt inventory , your good to go. but it  doesn’t support adding charges or ammo in the gvieitems  list so you wil need a extra mutator for that. you could use infinite ammo , or create a custom mutatorplus mutator using mutate respawnplayer,too add that functionality.

if you wish to uses the spree sounds, you need to add the xcoop sounds to the serverpackages.

Extending the standard game with mutators:
the thing about xcoop is that its not terribly popular so there is only like 2 developers that evven bother making mods for it publicly.
xcoop support all standard mutators EXCEPT dzmapmut, and CMAPfix cant initialize fast enough in xcoop to fix certain map issues. uh oh!
known mutatorplus addons:
  • Toasty                 – a text phrase sound clip playing mod for
  • xbansecurity    -security / banning extention
  • chatlink       – a addon that links  chat on one server to another
  • dlreporter   – a great 227 hud mutator that adds download status
  • a invasion radar hud
  • dropmut
  • bloodmutator
  • quiz
      non public mods ( mod that were not officaly released)
  • playerpowers  – adds  powers like fireball to player that login with a certain password
  • entry and exit sounds –  add sound when players enter or exit
  • and more…
Popularity:
its not terrible popular for a few reasons , one is that its not on any of the main unreal mod sites , it almost like they dont want players to use or find it. that bothers me and is part of the reason why i try to point it out to others.
Another reson in the dark history , in the early days of xcoop there was alot of hackers , and since xcoop was a unknown , many users complaned of being hacked by xcoop servers , But that  never proven , and unlike tho other gametype i can open the source code for xcoop and prove that there’s no malicious activie going on behind my back.
Many of the developers proved there skills and made there own gametypes , some that you never heard of , like  pgcoop , cooopgame , koopgame , joop4 , abcoop, etc and dont use xcoop.
Then theres the EVERYONE LOVES ZOMBIE problem, where everyone like zombie ands his deadzone server and every single person wants to have the same thing with little variation .
Heres another great example :
Jcoopz1 is like the iphone of coopgames , it works and people know it,
Where as xcoop is like android –Everyone wants iphone , even if they dont know that theres better options avalible.
( wow yay another great blog topic there)
many server admins use xcoop as a base and  build on the sourcecode, as oppose to using the stock source code. uas server’s mx coop is a subclass of xcoop , long journy is a modified xcoop, as is kirbys tavern , that the beauty of open source software , you can make it you own.
in conclusion:
xcoop is a decent to awsome gametype depending on how you look at the feature set and what your  plans for expansion are , I cant really recomend this to newbies or begining server owners , And if you already have experence with jcoop , you will quickly find were the weak points of this gametype is and where it needs impovments.
Eol / sustanability:
Xcoop development has ceased as the new jgrass platform has been released witch includes generic low level access  to pretty much every thing serverside, but xccop is still  more popular and wayyy easyer to setup and get running then jgrass/or gxcoop.
disclaimer:
this post was  in no way endorsed  or requested by udhq.org , im just a big fan , and  i feel xcoop isnt widespread enough.everyone to there own.since I am not directly trying to sell this gametype to anybody , I am not going to supply a link to download.also There is enough original information in this post to start a freaking xcoop wiki, This is what the description of xcoop should look like , not a single paragragh summary that on the author’s site.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in off topic, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hyzorans uaok map progress and website

To be honest , I forgot completly about hyzorans site. I tweeted about it like 6 months ago and forgot to add it to the links page.

reasons i dont remeber to talk about his work:

1)It hosted on webs.com
A site that peerblocklist p2p blocks unless i explicitly allow it temporarily.
2)It has no rss feed or any subscribion methonds so i often dont visit to check up on it.
3) im partial to 225 only stuff and his pack is for 227h

But i digress.

He is working on a 227 mapset called UAOK , Witch you have probably never heard of. often unappreciated as well.

I had the privilege of  playing on some of these unfinished maps and I can say they are certinly different from the normal maps you  ussally see, of Course they use 227 features as is, So that saying a bit much  mabye.But you will just have to wait to see them yourselves.

hears some lovely screenshots. …and sweet grass

I would point you to the alpha release of uaok episode 1 but the link is long since dead, and you dont want to spoil the release of the beta.

His site also contains a enhanced 227h weapons pack with muzzleflashes and emitters.

if you want to read more about these maps visit his site

http://ktuaokunreal.webs.com

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Cool Stuff

 

A month of other things and catch-up

Yeah im sure visitors have noticed Nothing got posted here in the last 25 days. I try to post about every few days here..

I have been busy making some money, also i traveled to maryland for a day ( 160 miles each way) to help somone move and  have also been doing some geocaching on the wonderful 70 degree days we have been having lately and trying to go  outside away from the computers for a break.

As for the unreal scene there isnt to much going on. I have been watching , My servers have been empty now other then a few visitors a week.

goldmod got added to the tva server but there still is no interface to purchase stuff or even groundwork to use the values of coins you collect.

Dual automags were added as well.

The new updated version of samspawn (sspawn2.38) Witch I didnt announce yet has a critical flaw in the fact that it is no longer working at all. ops never run out and update things without testing first..

So the spawn where killed is borked on the ah monster server , The issue dosnt seem to effect the crazy sever as it is   hooked into the ssf respawn function when i rebuilt the xcoop gamtype last time.  so the issue is in ssrcl someplace I need to look at, But it not  that bad you can manage  thru the maps if you are awake when you play ,    try harder not to die , it will be fixed soon.

BBG found my posting about his 3 maps on here and we talked a bit and he gave me permision to modify his maps to remove the checkpoints   (In reference to bbgbarrels map), But I dont want to create issues with mismatches so (or want to redownlaod files ) I am just gonna push a serverside change to ‘break’ the event links to  the checkpoint messages since there  (Bstatic), I will leave the checkpoints intact if the players  wish to use them.

I have talked about since like forever creating a player triggered message for that sort of thing , like in serious sam , where it a chattrigger, but it trick to retrofit that into a map serverside, as the instagator  of the event is not passed to the trigger or somthing?? I forgot why it didnt work last time.

That will get pushed next time the serverside mutator  get updated to the ah monsters server , the changes are already in place on the crazy server.

I added a few new monsters to the ah server like the cyberdisc’s and increased the difficulty by creating more dropwhenkilled rules also i added monsterspawn202 to it as well but its not in use atm.

Both the ahmonsters and tva server got a a full mapvote list auto fill ,So every map up to a week ago is now in the mapvote , about 900 or so so if you want to play any specific map it there to play, anytime you want. i will add even more as time goes by.

I messed around a bit attemping to landscape part of the ron5a maps but only succedded in dropping the framerate from 50 to 12 via mesh decoration overkill.ue1 engine not great for  landscaping

Ron made a cool map which is based on a  youtube video of a game similar to  mariobros “Clone: A Lenda do Heroi” played from a side view where you fight with a sword. The maps is  basic , But if you watch the original video it kinda cool that he recreated it.

He is also making a few videos to youtube  of play througs of some of his maps if you interesting in watching somone who knows the way.

Also there was another ‘main’ release of some of his maps,  download

Ok yeah just noticed he moved yet again  to  http://unreal225.blogspot.com/ look like i need to fix all the link again ;/(

stop moving damit lol you lose people  and all the  links break when you move! i lost 90% of my established visitors that way!

some screen shot of some parts I liked

I read in a forum that Dots is working on a mod to get UT clients to connect to a 227 server.  To bad it not the other way around ut runs like mollasas on here.

if your looking for weird  tracker music  for maps and want weird stuff i found this collection or chiptune tracker music.

I started messing around with gf2 a bit more and somewhat ported  the vooddoobfgmutaton and exxessive weapon to unreal for a future project.(a more complete gf2 port)

One of the new features that was intruduced in the not yet released 227i patch is the abbility to allow 226f clients to join a compatible 227i server , this will be a game changer for me if it works as they say.

pcube is working on a voice clip playing translator mod and needs people who wish to submit voiveovers.  This mod is is stillborn to me  as only 1% of people use the jgass gametype.

Hyzoran  told me somthing about his maps that i was suppost to be excited about but total forgot what it was—Sry mate.

oh yeah and udhq.org is back online but it kinda ‘vandalized’ so to speak lol