Air Buccaneers

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AirBuccaneers (Beta 2) - Readme File

AirBuccaneers is a modification for UnrealTournament 2003. It contains a new multiplayer game type with hot air balloons, cannons, airmines and various other pseudo ancient gadgets. The game is a compelling combination of graceful air ballet, fierce pirate-like action and 3D tactical manoeuvring. AirBuccaneers is targeted for novice 3D gamers, but offers plenty of challenge for veteran team players as well. 

The game is intended to be played on the Internet/LAN but can be also practiced offline. The use of bots is supported with the limitation that they are not able to fly balloons or aim cannons. However, they can be used as crewmembers – loader, firer and defender - on player controlled balloons and they are also quite good in defending bases with swords and airmines. 

The game contains: 

New multiplayer type containing intense and strategic hot air balloon fights. 
New player models, weapons, graphics and sounds to complete the unique atmosphere 
Three maps: Fuel (Objective), Tower (Domination), OldForest (Team DeathMatch) 
Special features: 

Original and highly unique content with special thematic atmosphere 
Genre mix (airwar, tactical vehicle ops and "sea" battles) 
Simple control interface (action button, jump, walk, strafe, turn, throw "weapon", F1 for stats) 


Requirements and Installation
You need a retail version of UnrealTournament 2003 to be able to play AirBuccaneers. The game must be also patched to the latest version v2225. The installed game files require 295 MB hard drive space. 
To install double-click the file AirBuccaneersBeta2.ut2mod 
Additional way of installing is to uncompress the contents of Manual Installation ZIP-file into your UT2003 folder. 
To uninstall use the uninstallation shortcut. Alternate way is to run setup.exe in the UT2003\System directory and choose to uninstall AirBuccaneers Beta 2. 
Getting started
Remember to start your AirBuccaneering session by using the shortcut. The shortcut will be provided in the installation package. Do not launch the UT2003 normally, or the character models will not be ABu style. Additional way to start ABu is to execute the bat file (AirBuccaneers.bat) from UT2003/System folder. 


AirBuccaneers (Beta 2) is a multiplayer-only modification for UT2003. It has limited support for the use of bots at the moment. To find AirBuccaneer servers from the Internet, open the Play On-line / LAN menu and select the AirBuccaneers tab. 



AirBuccaneers uses the same keyboard settings as normal UT2003. The keys you will mostly need are: 

Movement keys (forward, backward, strafe left, strafe right) 
Action keys (normal fire, jump, crouch, throw weapon) 
Number keys (or mouse wheel) for browsing the inventory items 
Normal look operations (mouse) 
Balloon steering has some evasive manoeuvres bound to control keys: Upwards blast (4xUP), Dive (4xDOWN) and Fast forward or “Puhuri” (2xDOWN+2xUP) 
F1 for player and team status (score, etc.) 


The HUD contains the following items: 

Inventory items you currently have. The selected item is highlighted. 
Action Icon shown when you can use your current item on the object in front of you. 
Health indicator showing your current health 
Balloon crew list is shown when you are in a balloon 
Balloon status information is shown when you are steering the balloon 
Remaining time of the current round 
Compass for directions to home base, enemy base and to possible objective target 
Scores of both teams and your personal score referred as XP (experience) 

Inventory items 

Empty Hands are necessary for cannon aiming and balloon steering. 
Torch for firing the cannon 
Cannonballs can be used on cannons (double load for increased damage). 
Sword is used for cutting the balloon ropes and for hacking enemies. 
Gunpowder pouches can be used to destroy other balloons, objectives and other players. 
Defence Musket for blocking incoming direct cannonball hits 
Airmines for laying minefields into the air 
Telescope for snooping around 


Hot air balloon is the most important way of travelling. It also has a lot of firepower thanks to the cannon attached to it. Balloon contains one action position. Use the steering icon near the rudder to enter the balloon steering mode. In this mode you can change the direction and height of the balloon. To exit the steering mode press action key/button. 

Evasive manoeuvres can be launched by sequential key presses. 4 times UP launches the Upwards blast causing the balloon to increase height rapidly, 4 times DOWN executes Dive with fast altitude drop. Finally, 2 times DOWN combined with 2 times UP (in sequence) initiates Fast forward or “Puhuri” which increases the balloon speed for a while. These “stunts” require a certain period of time for “recharging”. Check out the status screen for stunt availability.

The balloon also contains a wooden barrel which can be used to store items like extra cannon balls. Drop items (“throw weapon”) near the barrel to store them into it. Use empty hands on barrel to get items back from it. 



Cannon is used to blow up all kinds of things. Cannon contains three different positions: 

Use the back of the cannon to enter the cannon aiming mode. 
Use a cannonball (or two) on the cannon barrel to load it up. 
Use the torch to light the firewire in order to shoot with the cannon 
Extra special human cannonball stunts available for gung-ho buccaneers! 

Game objectives 

There are three types of games available at the moment. Objective maps (e.g., Fuel) contain mission that has to be completed by the assaulting team before the time runs out. The other team tries to prevent this. Area Domination maps (e.g., Tower) have a specific area that needs to be dominated. Consistent air supremacy is practically the only way to win the game. Third game type is the traditional TeamDeathMatch (e.g., OldForest) where the teams compete against each other. First team to reach the score limit wins. Or, if time runs out, the higher score wins.

Trophy room is the place for aftermath and debriefing. Glorious players will be awarded and you are free to express your feelings about the session. After the party is over, the next map will be automatically loaded and AirBuccaneering starts again.

To score points in the game you can: 

Destroy objectives to finish the game and achieve victory (for example blow up the fuel storage to finish the round in map “Fuel”). 
Drop enemy balloons with cannons, gunpowder pouches, airmines, etc., to score 5 points. Note that the whole crew of the balloon who dropped the enemy balloon with their cannon or gunpowder pouch receive 5 points each. 
Kill enemy players to score 1 point. This is also shared among crew members if airborne. 
Destroy empty enemy balloons to score 1 point. 

Every time you receive points your overall team score increases accordingly. So, if you have a crew of 5 and you drop an enemy balloon with crew of 2, you’ll get 7 personal points, your crew members get 7 points each, and the overall team score is increased by 35 points. 

Command structure for Bots (and fellow team members)

You can access the modified default UT2003 command menu through “v” button (by default). Feel free to experiment with the command structure. Some critical command features include (accessible through “v” + “3”):

Fire cannon (for example “v” + “3” + “1” + “1” = “command > order > fire cannon > all” ) 
Load cannon 
Defend balloon 
Leave balloon 
Join my crew 
Defend the base 
Bots are not too smart in this version (Beta 2) but they can provide some support when playing with small teams. Bots, however, cannot fly the balloon or aim the cannon as yet – these features will be forthcoming in the final release. 

Command menu also allows players to communicate with directional commands. There are some preliminary settings for upr, down, left and right commands. These may be helpful when there is no voice communication between the players. Of course, additional key bindings can be also configured personally.



LudoCraft Game Design and Research Team

Producer & Lead Designer 
Tony Manninen

Lead Programmer 
Tuomo Korva 


Graphics & Level Design 
Heikki Korva 


3D Models & Animation 
Tomi Kujanpää 


Audio Design & Graphics 
Pekko Koskinen 


Concept Art & Graphics 
Jani Löthman 


Server Admin & Graphics 
Tomi Hurskainen 



Special thanks

AirBuccaneers (Beta 1) fans and testers (in alphabetical order): 


[Hun]Foglalo, Bahamut, beefsack, blitZ, Bloodwolf, cajuncook, Cool Man, CptMonkf, Curry, Drac, Dragon_of_Doom, drkim, Fire_Bolt, Fragmaster, gray_fox, Hellmaster, jatfield, Killmaster, Kissamies, Lokus, Maynard, Orzo, perfectwingzero, rhinodog, Rob, Syphon, Thanatos, The Undertaker, toolboi, Zealot and the rest of the crew.



People who have heavily supported our work:


Peter Antoniac, Mikko Rajanen, Jiri Lahti, Ari Vaulo, Tarja Tanska, Ville Wittenberg, Matti Kurkela and Soili Väinämö


Honorable mentions go to:


Epic Games, Steve Polge, Kyle "Pezman" Peschel, PlanetUnreal, HomeLAN, Johan Julin, SugarParticles, hauki (<2kg), DeadLines and all AirBuccaneers out there…





University of Oulu - Department of Information Processing Science


Contact information: 

Team leader: [email protected] 
AirBuccaneers MOD site: 
Copyright © Ludocraft 2003. All rights Reserved.

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