• Build 261 Released!

    Build 261 is here, it is sweet, and it wants your attention. Like 260, 261 is a collaboration between UWE’s very own Andi and the infinitely energetic volunteer SamusDroid. There are three stand out features: Improved collision, commander keybinds, and reduced early game hitching.

    Whenever a player hits something in the environment, an approximation of their model is used to calculate the appropriate physical response. Games do this because calculating physics for an entire player model would be too ‘expensive’ (i.e hurt performance too much).

    The most mathematically efficient shape to use for that approximation is a distorted sphere, or egg. Every NS2 player model is approximated to some form of an egg shape. This makes for movement with less hitches, collisions that don’t ‘catch,’ and a general feeling of being able to move smoothly through the environment.

    However, NS2 features lots of melee combat. In melee combat, you do not want to slide smoothly around other players. You want to have the feeling of hitting a player, and engaging with them.

    To give a feeling of melee engagement, Build 261 now features a slightly bipolar collision detection system. When hitting the environment, players still use their egg approximation. But when hitting other players, they now use a rougher approximation. Here is an example:

    The second big improvement in 261 is commander keybinding. NS2 is a very international game: It is played in countries all over the world, in a myriad of languages, and crucially, with lots of different keyboard layouts.

    Until now, users of non en-US keyboards were forced to use en-US commander keybinds. This made playing commander on non en-US keyboards extremely frustrating. Thanks to the great work of SamusDroid, you can now select your own keybinds for commander use.

    Samus didn’t stop there. He also turned his attention to early game hitching. By adding several key damage effects to the list of files precached by the game during loading, early game hitching has been significantly reduced. You will not longer have to endure an inevitable hitch during first contact.

    It’s not all collision, hitches and keybinds. There is a boatload of other stuff in 261, all manner of fixes that continue the inexorable improvement of NS2. It is hard to believe this game launched in 2012!



    Fixed Hive steam effect looping instead of being endless
    Fixed overlapping server tabs on low resolutions
    Fixed player status overlapping on lower resolutions, and aligned icons with text underneath
    Fixed WHIPBOMB missing in gamestrings
    Fixed World Championship badges using wrong path
    Fixed ARCs not playing/stopping sounds/effects when they should
    Fixed ladders not working for Ready Room players
    Fixed drifters always turning east before completing a move order
    Fixed axe blocking sprint movement when attempting to use it before it’s fully deployed
    Fixed out-dated information, and typos in gamestrings files
    Fixed bug where the chat would not block the show map key from opening the minimap when typing, dead, and spectating
    Fixed tech map not showing tooltips for Contamination, Bonewall, and Rupture.
    Fixed being able to increase shotgun rate of fire when tapping primary attack in the right moment
    Distress beacon now guarantees that all players will be teleported when at least one spawn point or IP has been found (No, really this time.)
    Fixed Armory health bar offset not adjusting according to model
    Fixed ARCs not updating their target position
    Simplified rifle logic, possibly fixing some instances of weapon jams. (More testing required)
    Fixed grass clipping into a tree in the main menu
    Fixed health bars clipping inside the model on the Armory, Advanced Armory, Sentry Battery, and players in the Ready Room.


    Removed carapace heal penalty
    Slightly reduced jetpack fuel replenish rate (It now takes 0.6 seconds longer to fully restore the fuel tank)
    Fade movement will now ignore air-friction immediately after using the Shadowstep ability
    Slightly reduced energy used by Boneshield ability
    Vortex ability now returns energy cost when consumed
    Reduced swipe energy cost by 1
    Increased enzyme cloud and mucous membrane cost to 2 (up from 1)
    Merged enzyme with storm
    Enzyme requires now a shift hive
    Drifters turn rate lowered slightly


    Added loading screen background on game startup
    Added Commander Bindings
    Spectators can now toggle with F (flashlight) outlining players on their team
    Added Chuckle and Request Weld console binds, to allow binding to a key. Type “chuckle” or “requestweld” in console to perform the action.
    Added minimal HUD option.


    Damage effect decals are now precached (Mitigates hitching during first encounters)
    Added precaching for a few files causing big hitches when joining a team


    Never allow step moves onto other players
    Players now use separate physics models for melee and world collision detection
    Marines will now spawn closer to their spawning Infantry Portal
    Score popups are now green for kills to more clearly separate them from assists
    Made Gorge Tunnels easier to place in areas with suboptimal pathing information
    Gorge Tunnels may now be placed in areas with slightly greater inclines
    Changed Prototype Lab minimap icon to use an unused placeholder icon (was using the Extractor icon)
    Destroying a sentry battery now uses a different sound than destroying a power node
    Lowered waterfall sound effect volume in the menu
    Added Team res to Alien HUD
    Made server browser more usable for lower resolution users, especially in 4:3 resolutions
    Improved Boneshield ability hit detection
    Default consistency config now ignores shaders/DarkVision.hlsl (allows easier modding of Alien Vision)


    Added teleport_destination and teleport_trigger entities
    Added console command “selecthallucinations” for debugging and testing purposes


    Fixed some pathing problems in Containment causing inability to drop Infantry Portals in appropriate places
    Fixed several other pathing issues around the map
    Changed collision geometry on several staircases to make them more easily navigable
    Removed some props from Commander view
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Build 261 Released! started by Seb

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