Problem hosting a LAN game in Unreal Tournament?

Just installed the classic UT from Steam and discovered that LAN gaming doesn’t work. When you try and host a game you get;
Your network configuration may not be compatible with
hosting matches. Please check your router’s manual for
instructions on setting up “Port forwarding” or a “DMZ
server”.

The easiest way around this is to get the Host to write down their IP address. Then they should start a LAN game as normal, ignore the dumb error message. Then the other players start UT open the console (F10) and type; open {Host IP Address}

NB if you the client gets an error complaining that they don’t have Steam Authentication then they should close UT, go to Task Manager and kill any Steam processes and try again.

I checked, it is almost 2016 and we’re having to do this :s

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ATI Catalyst Center always crashing

I admit that one of the criteria of buying a laptop was that is must have a dedicated graphics card because I’m do like to play a bit of Left 4 Dead. Unfortunately for me I chose one with a combo of Intel 4000 and Radeon which dynamically switches depending upon the application executed. I say unfortunately because it doesn’t work with Left 4 Dead. In my attempts to force it to work I created an Application Profile in ATI Catalyst Center (CC). Having second thoughts I decided to delete the project…BANG. CC crashed. Restarted app, rebooted, re-installed…crash, crash, crash. The solution was to into you user profile /AppData/Local/ATI/ACE and rename ACE to ACEold (or something). Happy CC again. No idea what the exact issue is, but it did the trick. I hope this helps prevent anyone else losing an hour to head-scratching.

Understanding the various names and user ids used by Steam

Recently I published an iPhone/iTouch/iPad application (sTeam Achievements) for those people who play games via the popular Steam service. The application relies on the user making their achievements public and knowing how to sign-in using either their ‘Custom URL or Steam ID’. However, Steam uses a number of names to represent the user and several of my application’s customers have struggled to properly connect. So I thought I would attempt to explain what these details are.

 

1. Sign into Steam

Open your favourite browser and go to https://steamcommunity.com/

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This is your Steam Username, typically no-one else will see this name, it’s private to you. This is NOT required by sTeam Achievements. Login.

2. Edit your profile

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Locate the Actions section and select ‘Edit my Profile’

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Now we’ve arrived at the page that best explains the majority of the names available in Steam;

  • Steam ID – one important detail missing from this screen is your Steam ID. It’s a long number that is prone to mis-typing. If you’ve only got a Steam ID then look at the URL showing your profile, if you’ve not entered any other names then you’ll see the long number in the URL. NB sTeam Achievements allows to just use the Steam ID, however in v1.0.0 there is a bug that prevents you getting further than the game list, either wait for v1.0.1 or carry on reading
  • Profile Name – This is the name that will be used when you’re playing games. Other Steam Users will see this name in-game or when searching for you as a friend. Although sTeam Achievements will use this name it is NOT the name you enter on the settings screen
  • Customer URL – this is the name that will be placed into the URL when you next sign-in to the Steam site. It’s a URL friendly alias for you. This IS the name you enter into sTeam Achievements

3. Make your achievements public

The last step for allowing access to your details from sTeam Achievements is to make your achievements publically available.

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So hopefully you now have enough details to make use of sTeam Achievements. It’s also worth pointing out that if you want to create a team with your friends then they’ll have to configure their profile using the same steps.

Hope this helps, happy gaming.

Completed Unreal Tournament 3 (2007)

I spent some (un)productive holiday time completing UT3 campaign mode and it was good fun. It’s more story based than previous versions and does give you an opportunity to choose different paths through the campaign although I’ve not spotted how I can replay it ensuring I don’t retake the same path. It’s certainly more hectic than 2004 and judging by the levels of my hair pulling it was certainly harder to beat some levels, especially one particular warfare game where my team was outnumbered. I guess I was supposed to use the ‘play card’ feature and there also seemed to be some hints about a team roster but I didn’t use either. One negative critism I’d level was that the AI was pretty dumb. Without wishing to spoil it there is a very important 1 vs 1 duel in which the CPU player is highly skilled, however the computer cannot resist going for the power ups. In this map the "double-damage" is situated in a difficult to reach spot that involves ducking to reach, which in turn means you’re moving really slowly. I.e. you go in there and it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Having realised that, I would wait for the power up to apear but make no attempt to get it. I’d simply wait for the computer to attempt to get it when I could then easily mark up another kill. Now I would have expected a human opponent to realise that this strategy was costing them dearly and to give it up but the computer AI was just dumb. In the same duel in 2004 it took me a good few goes to see off the computer but I did this first attempt. Bit of an anti-climax really. But overall UT3 is great fun and getting in a ‘dark walker’ and unleashing War of the Worlds style death rays is good fun. Unlike many other games I’ll still be playing this for some time to come.

The trouble with RTS’

I do like to play Real Time Strategy (RTS) games but I’m getting a little bored with the AI in them. One of my biggest bugbears is the use of mission triggers. For example, in Company Of Heroes you must take a town hall from the Nazis. As soon as you take the hall then the misson changes to hold to the town hall. You then have a few mins to set up a defence and are then attacked with a large number of enemy tanks. So the trick is not to take the town hall. Destroy everything but don’t take the town hall. You are then free to cover every approach with a carpet of land-mines, snippers, anti-tank guns, etc. Then when you’re sure that there isn’t enough room for a knat to get to the town hall you take it. Then enemy now has no chance to get near the town hall and you win easily. The same strategy works on numerous missions and also on pretty much every other RTS. An example from Act of War is where you need to destroy a training camp. Then all hell breaks lose and you’re attacked from the ground, from the air, missile strikes the works. So you use the same tactic, don’t destroy the last building in the camp but you go after all the airfiles, heli-pads, etc. The AI just sits there waiting for the trigger of the losing the camp before it attacks. Again, when you’ve covered the area with turrets, wiped out every air threat and have snipers behind every tree then you destroy the last building. I know it’s not entering into the spirit of the games but the AI is so stuck in the mission trigger state that it never reacts to the threat you pose, come on game developers please try and build reactive AI into the games.
 

Unreal Tournament 2007 Demo

Just downloaded and played *the* demo for me, UT2007. I tried it on my old P4 9800XT XP SP2 and, well the graphics were rubbish, but it was still playable. In fact the speed was great but 640×480 and characters like spuds doesn’t make for a great game. My old-ish gaming rig faired better although was still only 800×600 – Vista, AMD 4600×2, 6800GT (very old card). The game played well enough and does seem better than 2004, although not by much. Sort of 2004 crashing into 1/2life. I’ve got dual boot on that box so I’ll see how it fairs with DirectX9. First impression were good, and I can’t wait for the 8800GT cards to be released.