FNG Logo created by Nick Serr

29 March 2013

Team FNG ShootMania: Storm Royal Server - Logo to Be Seen By All

Last December I told you about how Thundr figured out the way to get our Team FNG logo to appear on the poles and spawn points of ShootMania Storm (including Team Modes).

The problem was, we had to manually place the correct "Emblem" files in the ManiaPlanet file structure where user data is kept.  It worked like a champ, but there were two problems:

  1. Only the players that manually went through this process could enjoy it.
  2. The Emblem not only showed in our own Team FNG servers, but in every server we played in.
We wanted a way for everyone that joins our servers to see our Emblem, and only when on our servers.

I'm happy to report that with the help of a few friends (MrBob and community members on the ManiaPlanet forums) I was able to successfully make it so our server would show it for everyone when they play on our servers.  

DISCLAIMER: To be perfectly clear, I only know that this works for non-team based script modes.  I will have to experiment on some team mode scripts and see if it's possible there, but I wouldn't recommend it; because Nadeo is working on a cooler way to have team modes show clan specific logos when competitions between clans happen on those servers.

With that out of the way, let's discuss how it is done:
Steeffeen explains "Club Links" (which have to do with my disclaimer above), "NeutralEmblemUrl" and emblem requirements in response to my question on the ManiaPlanet Forums.

Our server uses a customized version of the Royal.Script.txt that was used in Storm before the Royal mode was moved to its own Title pack in prep for free-to-play availability at launch.
Because of that, the following from Steeffeen's response are important to our server:
  • Emblem images are required to be 512 x 512 pixels
  • Emblem images are required to be in the DDS format (with mipmaps)
  • The NeutralEmblemUrl must point to a valid URL that will serve your Emblem image.
I started digging to try to find how I could change that and discovered a variable in a base script for all modes called:

So all I had to do (since we already had the DDS image ready and had been using it for months on our own systems) was add the following line to my custom Royal script:
NeutralEmblemUrl = "http://path.to.emblem.com";

So, for those of you that would like to do the same... here's what you have to do:
  • Create an emblem image with the following requirements:
    • 512 x 512 pixels
    • DDS format with mipmaps
  • Upload your Emblem to a valid URL you can point the game mode script to.
  • Add the following line to your game mode script:
    • NeutralEmblemUrl = "http://path.to.emblem.com";
I imagine that this will work in the Team Modes too while poles aren't captured.  Once a pole is captured it will reflect the proper Blue or Red team logos since the pole is no longer "neutral."

I hope this helps others who wish to customize their server a little more.

Also, please note again for team game modes... Club Links are being developed right now and will be a better way to customize how these show up in your team mode server.  Use this if it works until that is available (there may be Red and Blue EmblemUrl variables you can assign in your scripts too, but I don't know what they are or if they exist at the time of this writing.)

Good luck.  Have fun!

Comcastic! Xfinity boosts speeds in parts of Utah

I got an email today from Comcast letting me know that speeds are now boosted in my area.  I was informed to power cycle my modem to have it take effect.

The reason for this is that the modem is signaled to download a firmware update.  Once the update is complete, the modem resets itself again and after it finishes initializing all the way, you should see the speeds your package is supposed to get.

My email told me I'd be getting up to 50Mbit down and 10Mbit up.  I'm happy to report I'm getting around 55Mbit on burst for downloads.  However, for some reason, my upload actually went down.  I used to see 6-8, but am seeing 3-4.5Mbit up now.

Boma power cycled his modem after I told him about the update and he is seeing the promised speeds.  I will wait a week and see if my upload goes up to the 10Mbit... if not, I'll have a Comcast tech come check out the situation at my home.

For everyone else in Utah between Salt Lake and Spanish Fork (maybe further south?) -- power cycle your DOCSYS 3.0 modem and see if you get to enjoy faster connections.  If you don't have a DOCSYS 3.0 modem, upgrade now.


22 March 2013

"Portal 2 in Real life" - funny fan video

The YouTube crew "PhysicallyShaken" does a pretty awesome job having some fun with Portal guns.  Enjoy!

15 March 2013

Arrow and Warning Signs Now Working for TrackMania 2 Stadium

With many many thanks going out to BLiNNeMaNS, a well known TrackManiac veteran and track author, I come bearing great news for those that are loving playing TrackMania 2: Stadium!

When the game was first opened up to all to play as Open Beta, I ported a bunch of maps be recomputing their shadows using ManiaPlanet.

We ran into a couple of problems with those tracks, though.  The arrow and warning signs weren't appearing; replaced by TrackMania logo billboards.  This caused a lot of lost time on the server explaining to new players how to take the tracks or forcing them to spectate veterans to learn how to take some of the tracks.

I'm pleased to announce that BLiNNeMaNS figured out how to fix that problem by pointing out on the ManiaPlanet forums where server hosts could download the old signs and where to place them in order to have the signs show up for players on your server.

I had to make a slight adjustment in the placement of them for the English version and am happy to announce that they work like a champ.

You can get them in one of two ways:

  • Jump on the Team FNG server and play an old track until you see them appear (it might take several times starting the track over while it downloads the content to your machine ... you should see them by the time you finish 1-2 old tracks.)
  • Head over to the ManiaPlanet forums and see how to manually get them placed in your own ManiaPlanet client so you can see them immediately.

Once you have them, you should be able to see the warning and arrow signs on any server with tracks from the original TrackMania Nations/United (Forever).

Now if Nadeo can fix the camera triggers to work the same as the old game, we will be golden hosting old maps on the new game!