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by Kaplan

What is BunnyTrack?

BunnyTrack is a new game style in Unreal Tournament, also known as "mod", which takes the movement elements of UT into a map with various obstacles. By separating the Red and Blue team from each other players can no longer kill each other to win but have to get over the "Finish line" in order to score points for their team.
You can compare it to a race between two teams. To score a point in BunnyTrack a player has to capture the flag at the end of the map. Over time, 2 types of BT maps have been designed. BunnyTrack+ (BT+) and normal BunnyTrack (BT).

Classic BunnyTrack (BT)

A typical classic BunnyTrack has the Blue and Red team separated by a glass wall in the middle. The teams can see each other trough this glass but cannot get to the other side. The teams follow the exact path trough the map and have to conquer or survive exactly the same obstacles. Mostly the obstacles are identical but sometimes they are mirrored in movement.

Though mirrored obstacles give disadvantage to people who have handicap with dodging. I'll explain:
Unreal Tournament has 5 dodging movements:

Almost everybody has difficulty performing the Left-Sidway dodge. I don't know why this is but even I have this handicap. If for example a dodge obstacle has been mirrored then the team which have to do it Right-Sideways have a bigger advantage then the team who has to do it Left-Sideways. Because builders knew this they discarded the Glass wall and simply have build 2 entirely separated routes trough the map. This way both teams have 100% the exact course, obstacles, range etc etc.

BunnyTrack+ (BT+)

BunnyTrack+ was born in October 2005. The idea originally comes from CouilleNoire from i4Games®. Together with Medic (i4Games head amin, who is familiar with the UT engine) they have created BT+.
BT+ is a slightly enhanced BunnyTrack style where the linear game play of BT disappears. BT+ games involve finding "keys". These are items in the map which can be collected to progress trough the map. The major difference is that you are forced to perform the obstacle in order to progress to the next one, so you cannot evade it in sort of way. Also you are not totally dependent on other players (excluding team play such as boosting of course). BT+ gives the BT mod more like an adventure style (explore, conquer and collect keys).

How it all started

A question asked by many people and because BunnyTrack has been around for a long time people forgot where it all came from. To answer that, a small history is required here.

We are going all the way back to the year 2001, old member Fluffy Evil Bunnies "Staelth" had made a Death Match map with obstacles which are nowadays seen in BunnyTrack. I played this map at his house where we agreed not to kill each other and to see who can conquer the traps. At the same time Staelth was also teaching me how to use the Unreal Editor. I never had real UTed (Unreal Editor) skills. I always disliked making serious maps such as DM, DOM, or CTF. The maps I made were mostly fun and small. One of the maps for example I made was "CTF-TurnAround". It was basically small map for 1on1 with 2 flags and a spinning floor.

In the year 2003 I was thinking of making fun map. One that would be played on public servers a lot. I was kind of aiming to be famous or try to be somehow. By borrowing Staelth's original ideas, I made a small map with few obstacles. Just to test out my editor skills. The obstacles were functioning and I decided to make a full map out of it, but before doing so I needed a goal for the map.

By just making DM map wouldn't work on the Internet. People would not know what to do. First I needed to program/script my own actor (actor = object in editor which can have functions such as lava, water, slime). But since I got 0 programming skills in Unreal Tournament I decided first to take a look at Assault (AS) game play for the roots. However this gave one major problem. Assault Game play is based on Attack and Defence. Meaning only one team can be attacking while the others have to sit around and defend, and after one team has finished its goal the teams swap. Now this could be used but it would give too much trouble.

First of all the teams needed to be separated. AS and CTF logic game mode allows teamed colour spawns. Meaning Blue can Red cannot spawn at same place (unless I intend to) so I decided to put 4 flags in the map and separate the teams with a glass barrier. Every room I designed was equal sized for both sides. The hallways were either mirrored or equalled trough out the map (Example: when walking, if Red team has an inner curve then also Blue team gets to walk an inner curve eventually)

After the map was completed I named it CTF-MountainBase. But naming it CTF would cause massive confusion and people would think it was a CTF map when it's actually something different. I started to brainstorm for a name and came up with "BunnyTrack".

Bunny: Track:

Merging 2 words together formed BunnyTrack and BT as prefix. CTF-Mountainbase was renamed into CTF-BT-Mountainbase and so BunnyTrack was born out of Staelth's and my ideas combined. Now you would properly say: "CTF-BT? That's not a new game type!" Correct, but as I said in previous question. I have 0 scripting skills and did not know how to make a mod for this game.

But a BunnyTrack mod exists, who made it?

An old clan mate, ykS aka Sky (ex DIE clan member, later on FEB) knew how to handle basic Unreal scripting. I asked him to help me out to develop a mod which takes out the CTF-BT problem and making it a real game type. I told him to make me a new actor which could also eliminate the flag system in BunnyTrack. But Sky did not have the knowledge to create new actors.

After brainstorming I asked Sky the following things:

Unfortunately I don't know why people did not release their maps with BT prefix instead they were all CTF-BT. My hope was that all the custom mappers would release the maps as BT, so it would be marked as a real game type. Nowadays most people still think it is a modified CTF game, which is true because the real BT System was never made.

BT CTF mod:

A slightly advanced mod then the original which has features for BunnyTrack such as:

BTPlusPlus mod:

Another BT mod created by ideas of War and Rush, scripted by Rush due to the fact War did not have knowledge of Unreal scripting.

i4Games BunnyTrack mod:

A mod created by the i4Games staff. They have designed this mod in the beginning for their own private use on the i4Games servers. CouilleNoire's ideas have been realised in Unreal scripting by Medic. The mod was still under development and features have been added over time. A thing to mention is that the record timer can also show the "real-time" time. Users can adjust from real-time to original BT record timing. Currently the mod is available for UT community which is very pleasing for those who want to host BT on their servers as well.

Who were the first to play BunnyTrack besides you?

First people I showed MountainBase were Staelth, Drazic, Erazer, Bilbo and Mauluz. These were all clan members of Fluffy Evil Bunnies. The reason for this is that I wanted to test BunnyTrack privately like other game developers do: sort of "Closed Beta Testing". This way I could use their feedback to improve the map before releasing it to the public.

When did BunnyTrack go public?

In the year 2003 somewhere in October (can't remember anymore). When the map was fixed and finished, we uploaded the map to our own clan server. By spamming on IRC the IP number we tried to attract people's attention. Example of spam message on IRC:

/amsg ¬|| BunnyTrack || ¬ is now Active on FEB server (( /notice ||cheerleader|| !bunnytrack )) for mapurls and current map info ||

Who was the first public BunnyTrack player?

I honestly forgot who it was. =(

What happened when BT went live?

The totally unexpected happened. Massive amount of people started to flood into our server. From known clans as well as unknown. People started to play late into the night. It was a totally new addiction for people. I saw people playing at 3 am (GMT+1) on the server. Crazy stuff!

What was their reaction/feedback?

Some of course did not care and left after few minutes (probably because they couldn't get pass the 1st obstacle :X, the infamous dodge ramp)

Others reacted very positive for creating a totally different game play in Unreal Tournament. And they demanded more.

What kind of problems did you ran into?

Like any other games, problems occurred. Such as shooting trough small gaps where the glasses did not meet or crossing the barrier by boosting the players over it. Also other problems, like people blocking each other or jumping on lifts/moving things egoistically.

The barrier crossing was easy to fix. We added an invisible zone above the glasses at spots where crossing was/could be possible. The zone would instantly kill the player. We also banned people who could not behave if we happened to be around. The gaps between glass walls were filled with poles.

The boosting and blocking could not be avoided since it was part of game instead of map. Later on certain mods like "transparent skins" we created so you could walk trough each. As well as other small tweaks such as "noboost" mods disabling the boosting.

Jumping on moving things such as lifts and platforms can never be fixed since it's a part of the map everybody has to use. Basically this problem depends on how much respect people have for each other. This is also known among the community as "mover stealing".

Who were the original builders of the "official BunnyTrack maps"?

Well BunnyTrack started first with me as solo mapper. But Drazic got involved quickly into the addiction and asked me to teach him the editor. Within 30 minutes with the help of TeamSpeak I taught him the basics of the editor and soon he started mapping. He asked me time to time questions in PM about detailed stuff and other tips and hints.

Drazic created BT-Maverick as his first BunnyTrack map which was released on our clan server. The reaction was positive and people demanded more.
Staelth decided to show his evil side of his fluffiness and created Illness. Of course Staelth did not require any lessons because he was the person who taught me in the first place how to build maps. And so BT-Illness was made.

The BunnyTrack building team consisted out of 3 people: Kaplan, Drazic and Staelth. Here is the list of maps in chronological order of release. I also added month of release but it's not 100% accurate. As far as my memory goes:

Does BunnyTrack has any team play?

Yes it does. My idea was to involve both team play and solo play. For example the dodge ramp in MountainBase was a real pain in the ass for 90% of the people. I spectated many players trying for hours to get over it. Only few people succeeded in the beginning. I got to admit; even I had trouble getting over it while testing.

But this gives the map a difficulty factor. Meaning a player who masters these obstacles should go over it as last person. He or she should boost his team-mate over the ramp and then perform the obstacle solo. This way the whole team can progress trough the map and achieve victory.

Unfortunately, trough time people started to master the moves better and faster and because of the timer on the mod people started to develop a new style: "BT record breaking".

Sure nothing is wrong with a healthy competition between players. This way player can improve their skill and increase their chance of winning in a war. But that did not work out that well. Our original maps had balance between team play and solo play. When playing it in 4on4 mode or 3on3 you were forced to use team play to beat the other team. Good example is the mine cart and helicopter in Mining Facility and The Escape. If you would be selfish and jump on the Cart or Chopper, it would take off without the rest of your team. Meaning your team has to wait till it returns and thus losing valuable time.

But the new BT maps did not contain most of these elements anymore. Through out the time only few people have build maps which contain elements of team play. The community has transformed into "Guinness Record Gaming" rather then BunnyTracking. The players care more about: "How can I break my speed record" rather then "I want to war on Clanbase 4on4 style".

Cups are still being hosted so the team play is not totally lost but the maps become less interesting and less original. BunnyTrack mostly involves the same style trough each map; dodging, jumping, timing, avoiding and being smart and fast.

Nobody knows when first the official BunnyTrack war started? Enlighten us!

I and Drazic held a small Tournament hosted by Fluffy Evil Bunnies on IRC. It was a one day tournament held somewhere in January. The tournament was bit chaotic with sign-ups and shows. People either did not show up or did not have enough players. All in all, it ended in 1 day and the original winners of the first tournament were:

Here is the link to the old web page of BT Tournament (don't mind the layout, I fail at website design and downloads dont work, dont bother :p) http://www.geocities.com/helepolis_h/BTHome2.htm

After this, in May 2004, the first official Clanbase BunnyTrack cup was created; here is the memorial ancient link:
http://clanbase.ggl.com/news_league.php?lid=1476&s=75

Why did you blocked the community in the old days from getting a BunnyTrack ladder?

First of all everybody should remember this: Neither I nor Drazic or Fluffy Evil Bunny member owns BunnyTrack. Epic the creator of Unreal Tournament and the Editor and has full rights for the game including the maps created. They can, whenever they want, take BunnyTrack, license it and protect it with copyright and stuff.

We don't own anything, except we want people simply to know that they don't forget who made BunnyTrack. We never said to the community: "you are not allowed to build maps" cause that's utter nonsense.

Only thing we said in the beginning was we will not support custom made BT maps such as:

A lot of people requested a ladder and started making petitions on Clanbase. Because of the rapid growing popularity of BunnyTrack people wanted to be able to fight clanwars on Clanbase. We knew this was going to happen but BunnyTrack was not ready yet for Clanbase. I even had a personal talk with one of the ladder supervisors of Clanbase to prevent the ladder.

I know it may sound bit selfish but firstly our clan did not wanted BunnyTrack to become fully public. That's why also Fluffy Evil Bunnies never acknowledged the first 2 custom maps BT-Jomax and another map (forgot the name) as official BunnyTrack maps.

We kind of treated BT as our precious and did not want to make hasty decisions before fully transforming the game into separate mutator/mod. However that never happened and after the BunnyTrack Cup on Clanbase we announced BunnyTrack free to public and gave official support for creating ladder.

And so the first ladders came on Clanbase and by this more and more builders made BunnyTrack maps.

What makes your "official" maps so special compared to custom maps?

Nothing. Only difference is that our maps were the first to show BunnyTrack to the people. Maybe only for this reason they can be called special but furthermore they are not different in gameplay. Unless you compare it to BT+ maps.

BunnyTrack these days

Still active and kicking. There are over 700 maps out there (correct me if wrong) and tons of builders and players. There a lot of servers which have BunnyTrack maps hosted. BunnyTrack has been alive since 2003, that's over 4 years! Compared to other game types such as CTF and DOM and DM, BunnyTrack is rising way above them. We never imagined BunnyTrack would become this popular and famous. There are some rumours going around BunnyTrack is dying because it is becoming boring. Well I still see actively several communities supporting the game trough websites and IRC.

How I feel about all this

Proud as a fluffy bunny. I think me, Staelth and Drazic did a superb job creating a totally different gametype for Unreal Tournament. A game type which is accepted and approved by the community.
The tons of PM's, mails and comments we had about our maps made us feel proud and happy. Kind of also made our clan leader Bilbo proud, after all we supported the mod as a clan and not individual.

BunnyTrack was made for Unreal Tournament, why not for 2003 or 2004?

Because UT2003 and UT2004 failed. I am not joking. UT2003 and 2004 have total different gameplay and movement. It's nowhere near the original Unreal Tournament. Almost all the old players who play UT are not satisfied with UT2003 and 2004. Even I dislike UT2003 and 2004. I quit Instagib CTF clanwars 2 years ago and never planned to take BunnyTrack into the newer Unreal series.

What about Unreal Tournament 3?

It would not surprise me if UT3 would fail just as his previous versions. In UT2004 Epic promised the community old-style UT game play but that never happened. Now Epic promises the same thing by introducing the old weapons, movement into the game. But I have seen the trailers or UT3. All I saw was Onslaught game mode being polished and improved. I saw nowhere any information about Instagib, the movement or anything else which interests me.

I will play the demo and see how the game is. Nothing surprises me. But if the game is indeed like UT then I will think of re-mapping the original UT maps into UT3. We will see.