Recording Serverside Demos (UT)

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Introduction

It is possible for a server to actually record a demo of a match. These are the same as clientside demos but hold a few differences.

The default point of view for these demos is 3rdperson, but it is possible to see in a player's eyes by switching to them and using the console command "behindview 0". Also, and this is the interesting part, serverside demos will record the positions and moves of all players during a match wherever they are*. This is in sharp contrast to clientside demos where the recording of events are limited to the "scope" of a player. There is one downside and that's the aim and positions aren't as precise as on a client-side demo. This is probably only of concern to competitive websites like clanbase.

How To record Serverside Demos

This can be in serveral ways:

  • Entering the demorec command in webadmin console.
  • Logging in as admin on the server and using the console command "admin demorec <filename>".
  • By using a mod called DemoRecRemote (by JustDoIt) which allows players to trigger a demo recording without logging in as admin and announces this publicly. See this thread for more details.

Things To Consider

In order to read back serverside demos properly, it is best to note the following :

  • The server should be using the retail textures and not the "lightweight" ones that are supplied by default with the UT server. Without them, players will seem to walk around like statues or lurch up and down as if you are playing back a demo recorded on a client using the hi-res s3tc textures.
  • Due to various exploits, most hosts have upgraded their servers to the latest version of UT. The current version is 4.51 (4.51b for Windows) and, due to various reasons, the demos recorded on these versions of UT will only work on clients using the same version.
  • Seeing that recording demos serverside uses extra ressources, it's a good idea to ask your game server provider if they allow it.

Tips

Make a copy of your system folder and apply the patch on the copy (name it System451 for example). This way you can play online using version 4.36 for maximum network compatibility and watch serverside demos using the patched version.

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