Now welcome to the 30th issue of the Community Crunch! To those unaware this is a topic which primarily consist of content to share, made by the community, for the community! As well as any little changes I want to make survivors aware about, which happen within our community ;).
Fanart, Screenshots and more!
The Raptor Rider by Secrios
ARKVille: Homestead by Green ♥ #Didney
Leono’s Artwork for his kids!
EverythingnightxRIOT Fan art! by Mr. Jurassic
Rex by Sara
Fanmade Dossier: Livyatan by the_british_kiwi
Fanmade Dossier: Tarpan by Dakhar93
Fanmade Dossier: Ceratosaurus by Chips
Fanmade Dossier: Thylacoleo by Solitak
Every week for the foreseeable future we’ll be hosting two contests for our Community Crunch. Remember for this week (and the foreseeable future!) we'll also be accepting entries for the newly introduced: Warpaint images, human and dino tattoos/bodyart for the #ARKArt award as well as bases both on your Brontos and Rafts for #ARKitect! Can’t wait to see the platform bases, the ships and tattoos/bodyart! Also can’t wait to see your new bases in the new biomes!
This is a title given to the Survivor who has created, in our eyes, the best base for the week. Survivors will need to upload their screenshots to the Community Hub, both the Artwork or Screenshot section will suffice and then post them in the designated thread, it’s also possible that we’ll see the screenshots in the hub but posting them in the thread will ensure that they’ll be spotted!
We’ll be judging the bases not on the quality of the screenshot, but on the unique designs, functionality, and the use of in-game tools available to you! At the end of each week, the screenshot for the best base will be featured in our #ARKitect section of the Community Crunch!
The #ARKitect award for Community Crunch 30 goes to…
Herbivore Island Base
If you’d like to check out the rest of the fantastic shots, you can see them here (there’s loads! awesome job Fredmra!):
Honourable Mentions / Runner ups
We’ve got some runner ups for ARKitect this week too! So big shout-out to them and we’ll be in touch too ;)!
Super ARKio Bros by Valoule
and the rest of the fantastic shots can be seen here!
Merry X-Mas by [DN]-rednex
with some more festive-screenshots here!;
The second contest which will take place is for the #ARKArt award! This is a title given to the Survivor who has created, in our eyes, the best piece of art for that week using our new Per-Pixel painting system! Similarly to #ARKitect, Survivors will need to upload their masterpiece to the Community Hub, both the Artwork or Screenshot section will suffice and then also post them in the designated thread, it’s also possible that we’ll see the screenshots in the hub but posting them in the thread will ensure that they’ll be spotted!
We’ve also got a little request! Do you lovely painters mind uploading your ART PNT files so others could also give them a whirl? http://arkpaint.com/ has recently launched and will be a great place to do so! Be sure to provide a link in your next post
The #ARKArt award for Community Crunch 30 goes to…
Okim’s Tavern Advertisements
with more awesome art pictures here;
Honourable Mentions / Runner ups
To The Poker Playing Rex by Faranthea
Keep up the great work guys! We’ll be in touch to get the prizes sorted
Workshoppers: jslay & boats
Workshop Items: Offline Raid Protection, Item Sorting System & More
Survivors, this week we're joined by the duo jslay and boats and they're here to answer some questions and talk about their mods with us. Thanks for joining us! Do you think you could introduce yourself to the community, and let us know about what you're currently working on?
I am the Server Owner/Op for DenverARK and have been playing ARK since release. I have primarily focused on building a good community for my players as much as possible. I have had a passion for this game from the start, and love seeing players working together and having a good time. Hosting DenverARK started out as a side project for writing automation tools to better learn python. After the server took off and started to take care of its own thanks to an awesome admin team (shout out to you guys!), I was able to get enough time to start digging into the ARK Developer Kit. It all started with 'Slay Ride Lift Kit' because I couldn't place elevator tracks how I wanted to to make it work with my base. It then progressed from there thanks to support from other modders in the community. Actively working on Offline Raid Protection with boats and a few other ideas that will come to light soon enough! Will be adding a call remote to Slay Ride Lift Kit shortly to remotely call elevators!
Hey thanks for featuring us! I'm boats, I'm a student at Pima Community College. I'm currently working to a two year transfer degree in Computer Science.
I'm the creator of the Item Sorting System, and I've also done a good portion of the blueprints for our mod, Offline Raid Protection. I also created a mod called Ark Server Cleanup which purpose was to assist admins in removing abandoned bases. Although it was incredibly primitive, it did it's purpose more than once haha. It's now disabled as v206 introduced PVP decay. I learned blueprints from UT4, creating the mod UForts over there, I also have dabbled around in UE4 itself.
You guys have quite a collection between you! Can you tell us more about your work with the Item Sorting System and the Offline Raid Protection you're currently working on?
Offline Raid Protection was an idea that stemmed from an existing 'mod' that uses DLL injection for Windows servers. With the recent updates to ADK, the functionality we needed to produce such a mod was made available to us. We wanted it to be a clean and stackable mod for any server to be able to use, regardless of Windows or Linux environments without having to worry about how it might interact with other mods or the game itself. PvP play is awesome in ARK, but being offline raided over and over again, is not.
Love it or hate it, offline raiding is a part of the game. The main issue with offline raiding is the weakness in tamed AI dino's, and the relative ease to destroy structures that have no resistance. The mod focuses to reduce the amount of random offline raiding, and encourage players to engage in actual PvP, not PvOP (Player vs Offline Player).
Large Tribes that leave a player online for protection will actually be counter intuitive with this mod in place. Balancing out the protection provided so that smaller tribes have a fighting chance.
For Item Sorting System I wanted to do a mod that allows moving items around your storage without constantly opening and closing storage. When my group was playing a lot of our time was spent constantly wandering around pressing F on every storage box looking for stuff, or moving items to their respective labeled boxes. I was inspired by Minecraft mods, where a system to sort your items is something you build and control. I originally wanted to make it the same way, where items would have to be piped between containers. The issues I ran into with that were the time constraints (I had to enter the modding contest!) and I couldn't figure out the logistics of that. I then thought, "First I'll make it work, then see what I can do from there."
Which is where this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkCRJLMFhGY takes place.
I then polished and refined it, giving it a model I created in Blender and textured in Substance Painter. Which I then submitted to the workshop and the Alienware Arena Modding Contest. (I didn't win by the way). That version was a complete mess, so I decided to cleanup my blueprints, which brings us to the current version which is far more clean, but currently non-functional.
Those are some very interesting mod ideas, definitely some of the more unique ones and I know a lot of players would find those incredibly useful! Now, can you tell me more about the Offline Raiding Protection, how do you plan to balance it? Is its purpose to prevent offline raiding completely?
We are primarily focused on it being a balanced mod that provides protection when you are offline, but not in a manner that a tribe can trigger the activation just by logging out. We have developed a proprietary timer system that will activate the protection so that if you are raiding someone, and they log out, you as the raider are not at the disadvantage because they quit or not being able to raid them at all. The method of how this works is not being revealed at this time to prevent players from trying to game the system. Due to the nature of this mod, we are firing up a public beta test environment on DenverARK to make sure we have worked through all of the balancing, bugs, and any other unforeseen circumstance that may come up before we are releasing to the public for other servers to use. The last the we want to do, is mess up existing servers, causing them to have to wipe. Our end goal is to provide a mod that does what it is intended to do, without hampering game play. Eventually, we hope to have servers presenting players with a [ORP] tag in the server name, informing them this mod is in use.
That sounds like a pretty good idea! I can’t wait to see it in action once you guys have polished it some more and have done your testing - a lot of servers would definitely want to make use of a mod like that. Now, in regards to the Item Sorting System, how exactly does it work?
So Item Sorting System basically works by waiting for the Inventory to have more than 1 item. It then allows the player to click the "Sort Items" button. When the button is clicked it gathers a list of all the nearby storage containers (modded or vanilla). It then grabs the first item in the Sorting Chest and compares it to every item in every single nearby storage container.
When (and if) it finds the same kind of item, it attempts to move the first item in the sorting chest into that storage container it located. If its successful it moves on to the next item, if it's unsuccessful (Container is full, or stack is maxed) it will continue checking until it reaches the end of the list of containers. If it never finds a home for the item, it drops it to provide some feedback to the player (and make it a bit more interactive!)
In it's current state I'm told it's been dropping items for players no matter what, which is an issue I'm looking into. I've been working on my finals so I haven't found the time to address this, but it should be ready for the re-launch of DenverARK on 12/14!
Now I know you guys plan to work together for the next modding competition and that you’re going to cook up something special for that - is there anything you can tease us about?
Absolutely. I've drawn up a general concept for a mod that expands on the idea of Item Sorting System. I really like the concept of item management being something you create, not a click of a button and items teleport away. But the problem with ark is the space required for something like this would be astronomical, and the fun in it may be completely lost trying to force it to fit. I want something that scales, where a compact 2x2x2 could find use, and a huge 20x20x10 could find use. This is where my concept for Integrated Systems comes into play. (Concept: http://pastebin.com/SW3BVb3c)
Essentially this will make your items digital and store them into a server farm you build! But that introduces the issue of "How do I raid digital items?" Well this mod would allow players to craft USB flash drives, which could be used to download contents of servers. This would make server rooms incredibly valuable to raid, as someone might have 20,000 metal in a single drive! A lot of this is too much to write up, so I highly encourage you to read the pastebin above to really get an idea for this mod and the initial balancing of it. We also had a couple ideas we've thrown around which may show up integrated into this mod.
That sounds like a very fun mod indeed! Cyber-Warfare Evolved? Now clearly you’ve got to have some experience with the engine itself, right? Tell us more about your experience thus far
This is not my first venture into modding. My first time opening UE4 was Unreal Tournament 4 (As mentioned above). ~8 Months ago I started working on a mod for UT4 called UForts. UForts is a remake of the source engine game SourceForts using unreal tournament as a base.
(this is my very first day in UE4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaHTfFcfe3s).
UForts did eventually come to a real pre-alpha play test. It was clunky, buggy, but the people who played really could see the potential. As school started up again the time I had to work on UForts was tiny, and the people who were in my testing group disappeared making it hard to balance (since that's the stage I had reached). As of now UForts is pending a full rewrite (a lot of bad practice since it was my first project, and broken functionality from updates).
Moving a bit further to now, Ark Server Cleanup is the first thing I did in ADK. It essentially did a single line trace straight up from every foundation, and if no ceilings were found it would destroy the foundations around it. Very primitive but it did end up being somewhat helpful. Item Sorting System is where I really put my effort forward.
First time modder. Never done anything of this sort before. I have a background in Automation Software Development, but nothing with UE or games in general. The learning curve to UE is a bit steep, in my opinion. With the right support and documentation, I feel that more people could possibly get involved, which is where I am trying to focus now that I have a better hang of it myself. Eventually, I would like to open source all of my mods (ORP might be the exception for now) once they reach a final state, so that other modders can learn, improve, and develop further. We all have to learn from someone else.
So we’ve got a veteran and a newbie! Two different sorts of perspectives :). Do you have any tips for upcoming modders on what they can do when working with UE4 and ARK itself?
Find someone that would be willing to mentor you. At the same time, don't drive your mentor crazy. There are two types of people in this world when it comes to troubleshooting. Those that look left and right for someone else the minute they hit a problem, and those that dig into the problem. Be the latter.
Well, I personally taught jslay a lot of what he knows now. It really helps he is able to google his own problems, and comes to me for review and help with more ark specific problems. Honestly my biggest suggestion if you're looking to start modding, is just start modding. Don't think about "is this efficient?" because it won't be. Think of something you want to do, or even better try and re-create someone else's mod. Everything you can contribute is a benefit to the game, even if you don't think so. It might not be a smash hit day 1, or ever, but you made something, you learned, and you can do better with your next project.
For my own personal path in UE4, I literally just launched the unreal tournament devkit and started making stuff. Tons of googling my problems, questions asked on the forums / answerhub, and eventually I became less awful at it. There is a pretty extensive tutorial series on the UnrealEngine youtube channel for basically anything you can think of. You have everything you need to make the next big mod, just gotta jump right in.
For ARK, a lot of this is undocumented and there is very few answers to your ARK specific questions. I can't really speak directly to starting in ADK since I didn't, but I'd recommend downloading UE4 or UT4 and learning some of the basics there so you at least know what to search to solve some of your problems.
Thanks for the tips guys! And finally is there anything you'd like to end with before wrapping this up?
Just want to give my thanks to the Devs of ARK for providing modders with good support and always listening for suggestions and improvements. The community here is what has made everything here for me possible!
I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to put my work out there. I try to put a lot of thought into everything I make, even if it might be broken. I hope that shines through when you try out our mods. I'd like to encourage you to come try out Offline Raid Protection on DenverARK This upcoming Monday (12/14).
Speaking directly to the Devs, I'd like to thank you for this amazing game, nerf gigantos pls, and consider adding a function to move an item from one inventory component to another :).
And to the community, thanks for showing support for modding. You're all invaluable for anyone developing a mod, and seeing people use something you've made is a great feeling.
That’s it for this week’s Crunch guys! As always if you’ve got anything to share please get in touch and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @survivetheark, Facebook at www.facebook.com/survivetheark and Reddit at www.reddit.com/r/playark
All the best,
Wildcard Jat and the ARK Survival Evolved Team