Friday, August 12, 2005

Console Commands

Interaction in most FPS engines occur through the use of console commands. Any key/button/input can be bound to any console command. Commands cover everything from gameplay input (moving, jumping, switching weapons) to administrative tasks to debugging and developer functions. There are even console commands for changing the key binds.

A list of keys and their assigned commands are usually stored in a text file in the game directory. In UT2004 it's the User.ini file in the System directory.

How can they be used in this project?

1) Basic game inputs.
-Moving around
-Looking around
-Jumping
-Shooting

2) Cheat/Debugging commands
-Third Person
-Fixed Camera
-Variable Game Speed
-Changing variables and properties in realtime
-Display settings to adapt to mood

3) Add our own commands
I've done this before and it's fairly easy. You can specify your own commands in unrealscript and have each command execute functions of code. It's also possible to have the commands accept variables/arguments, so they could do different actions based on the input.

Limitations
It seems that CaveUT uses a network game in order to have each display run on seperate computers. This means that none of the cheat and debugging commands will normally work. Some of these can be enabled by becoming the server administrator, but not all work very well. Commands to change/alter rendering and display options will also only affect the server computer and not any other displays.

Here is a list I've compiled of what commands would be useful in this project. The file includes the name, game outcome and possible uses for each console command.

Complete List of console commands
http://udn.epicgames.com/Two/ExecFunctions


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