Reflex Roundup is a summary of Reflex related news that is released at the beginning of every month. The series covers happenings in the competitive community, the latest development updates, and finally looks showcases some of the best community created content.

Tournament Results

ArenaFPS Duel Cup #1 [ Event Page ]
icon_cup_gold Vo0
icon_cup_silver afghan
icon_cup_bronze Tr1pwire

BOXR Duel Cup [ Event Page ]
icon_cup_gold Vo0
icon_cup_silver sane
icon_cup_bronze guilt

EU Duel Cup #2 [ Event Page ]
icon_cup_gold memphis
icon_cup_silver gaiia
icon_cup_bronze Tr1pwire

Unfortunately I was unable to watch ArenaFPS Duel Cup #1, or BOXR Duel Cup as I was away for those two events. I briefly reviewed the results and quite frankly I wasn't shocked as AFPS giant Vo0 took both events in convincing fashion. He was almost flawless in his dazzling run through the BOXR Duel Cup, winning himself the largest prize purse so far in Reflex's young history, only dropping a single map. After the disappearance of AZK, Vo0 has cemented himself as the top player in the North American community.

I was able to catch most of the streamed games for EU Duel Cup #2, and it proved to be quite the showing. With fan favourites gaiia, HAL_9000, and memphis in attendance this tournament provided all the promised thrills of what people should expect from high level play in Reflex. It's quite difficult to summarize the event as it was a 32 player, double elimination tournament, but I would highly recommend to check out the following games:
  • gaiia v. Thump4 (Upper Bracket Quarter-Finals)
  • gaiia v. Tr1pwire (Upper Bracket Semi-Finals)
  • memphis v. HAL_900 (Upper Bracket Semi-Finals)
  • gaiia v. Tr1pwire (Lower Bracket Finals)
  • gaiia v. memphis (Grand Finals)

Upcoming Tournaments

EU ATDM Cup of Hype

With the flurry of activity we saw in September it looks like things are cooling off a little bit for October as organizers, and administrators take a much deserved break. However, Owl will be organizing the first real league for Reflex this month by hosting a 2v2 ATDM (Arena Team Death Match) event. The first week of games will start off on October 5, 2015.

Reflex Development Update

There were a series of small information leaks from the developers as the covered bots, visibility, hitboxes, rag-doll physics, as well as upcoming maps.
  • Bots
TurboPixelStudios: yeah, we all want to do bots
TurboPixelStudios: but they're months of work
TurboPixelStudios: so theres other more important things to do first
randomstupidnick: did bots on cpm were able to do stairjumps, telejump, etc?
TurboPixelStudios: the kind of could, but they were bullshit.. they kind of just moved faster
TurboPixelStudios: we're actually thinking of recording player tricks and having the bots use them
TurboPixelStudios: and once we have stats, potentially basing bots accuracy on real players stats etc
So it looks like bots are planned but due to the nature of the work, and the requirement to complete more pressing features they are further down the list.

  • Hero Lighting
The current enemy model isn't final, but I don't expect the silhouette of the model to change significantly. This week though, we did implement special "hero lighting" for the players that helps bring out recognizable internal shapes in the character, regardless of the scene they're standing in. After a certain point, these internal shapes are much more useful for reading a character than just the silhouette.

Comparing the visibility of the current model to the planned visibility method.
  • Hit-boxes
The animations are definitely going to be redone, but we don't have an ETA on them yet. There are technical reasons why the Keel model in Quake 3 is "conveniently standing around in his cylindrical hitbox" and gameplay reasons why 99% percent of players forced their playermodels to Keel, instead of something that backflips everywhere.

Hitboxes in Quake 3 are axis-aligned bounding boxes, meaning they don't rotate on any axis, regardless of what the player does. AABBs are used it most games when possible because it's extremely fast to calculate collision and hits against them. QuakeLive moved to a cylinder hitbox for hit detection but I'm confident it always remains flat on the ground for similar reasons.

So, most players used Keel because he was one of the few models that actually sat nicely within that AABB and didn't leave it. Quake 3 had some characters with far more interesting animations, but they were generally avoided because of how inaccurate they were. For example, the Doom model occasionally does a backflip. When he's upside down at the apex of his jump, his entire legs are outside the bounds of the hitbox (so if you shoot them, nothing will happen). But then at the bottom, there's half a player worth of "empty" hitbox (so if you shoot the empty space below them, you'll get a hit).

While we want to make the animations in Reflex look good, they need to still consider these issues. We have a very small threshold for what we consider acceptable when it comes to player animations straying outside the hitbox, so we need to work with that.

The current hitbox for you guys is a standard AABB, same as Quake3. As you can see, there's issues with it. It's easy to have the player rotated in a way where he doesn't fill out the hitbox nicely and (since the hitbox is axis-aligned), there's certain angles that give a greater surface area to aim at than others. This was annoyingly inconsistent in Quake 3, so Quake Live eventually replaced them with cylinders to minimize those issues.

The current hit-box model.
The current hitbox we've created for the next update is a capsule shape.* This significantly reduces all of the issues above, to an even greater extent than cylinder hitboxes do. The hostile was actually designed around this hitbox shape and if you look at one of the early concepts created literally years ago, you can see the capsule design in the background.

The planned "capsule" shaped hit-box model.
So yes, as of the next update, the hitbox will "coincide strongly with the model's geometry" -- although not CS:GO style. Despite seeming good on paper, capsule-per-bones systems like that have a ton of technical issues to go with them too. The most obvious (because there's 36,000 threads about it scattered around the internet) is that once you're sending everything over the internet, it ends up feeling less accurate as there's far more to get out of sync / incorrectly extrapolated between client and server. One potential solution to that would be client side hit detection, but that generally doesn't feel nice to be on the receiving end of (and is a cheaters wet dream). Doom 3 actually had per-pixel hit detection, but it was offline only for exactly these reasons.

And really, a system like that doesn't even make sense in a game like Reflex. Given the movement speeds, shots to the lower half of a player would basically be a coin toss, even if we could magically have the hitbox immune to network issues. I'm pretty confident that if we implemented it, neither us developers or our players would be happy with the way it felt.

  • Ragdoll Physics
Ragdolls for non-gibbed enemies has been planned for a very, very long time. We were going to put it in before Kickstarter but we ran out of time and ever since then, it's been pushed back in favour of more important tech and art work. At the very latest, it will come when we update the characters and animations. It will also magically fix a bug with floating corpses (which is the reason why we don't use the death animations we've got and instead always gib players ;)).

  • Upcoming Maps

bdm1, and bdm2

Community Content

From the community we saw a terrific update to an existing map, a couple of great new looking maps and some community pickup games.
  • The latest art update has allowed mappers to take their maps to the next level aesthetically, and a popular community map dp5 saw a terrific update as fht took over the art side and provided a great conversion.

The latest art update to def's dp5.
  • In a bit of a surprise, the community recieved another great duel map from Viscerated. A small duel map, "vst1-abbadon" has lots of interesting angles it that provides for some frantic gameplay. Download.



Finally, make sure you stop by on for organized TDM games ;)

That's all for this edition folks.