Anyone For Air Buccaneers?

That was a bit of a bust. Not sure what the problem was. I’ll have to fix it when we’ve got more time to experiment. Sorry!

EDIT: Server up again, but likely not for long. Will try to fix it up for tomorrow.

EDIT: Server had crashed, it’s back now. And crashed again. It’s not look very healthy. Working on it. It’s up for now, but not sure why it should be crashing so regularly.

Craig from PC Gamer UK sends word that they’ve got an Air Buccaneers server up and running until May 6th. We had some success with a revival last year, and details for getting started are here. Shall we have a game from, say, 2pm UK time tomorrow? The server should come up in the game browser, or the IP is Reminisce over last year’s events here.


  1. Petethegoat says:

    Ahh that was awesome last time. I recall some poor bloke telling me ‘Left! Left! No, the other left!”.

  2. Theory says:

    Yes. Very much. In fact, I will join the server right now and hope for some opponents.

  3. Senethro says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    We have to get a mumble or ventrilo running for this.

  4. pkt-zer0 says:

    Last time was quite fun, even though I sucked pretty badly at the game.

    • Senethro says:

      We should do something about this. Its very easy not to suck at the game. All you need to know is how to load a cannon manually. Last year the skill of cannon loader was scarcer than good aimer or good helmsman. A good loader triples your rate of fire and all you have to do is switch between ammunition and torch, clicking once with each on a part of the cannon.

      Maybe show up a little early and people could show new players why its so important to manually load and not use the Bot loader?

  5. DizzyDoo says:

    I missed this last time around. Installing and downloading now.

  6. dartt says:

    Excellent. Time to dig out the UT2004 discs again.

    See you groundlubbers tomorrow.

    • ascagnel says:

      UT2004 was great, but it took a day to install the CD version. 6 freaking discs! Can anyone remember if a game shipped on more than that? Previous to UT2004, the most discs in my collection was Riven, with 5.

    • Vinraith says:


      The Editor’s Choice Edition came with, IIRC, 10. You only needed the first 7, though, which always confused me.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Baldur’s Gate also had 5 and, with the expansion, 6, though I’m not sure that quite counts. Still, UT04 was definitely a high-water mark for… something.

      (Baldur’s Gate also came with a lovely and unique CD case that had trouble fitting pretty much anywhere. More’s the pity!)

    • Vinraith says:


      Didn’t BG2 have 4? I seem to recall it coming in one of those double-decker jewel cases. BG1, on the other hand, had 5 and Tales of the Sword Coast made it 6.

    • bill says:

      I once got posted an upgrade to internet explorer by microsoft. It came on around 35 floppies.
      Does that count?

  7. Mereli says:

    Last time was fun, I’ll have to dig up the old UT04 Discs again.
    I sucked at cannoneering but I was pretty good at hijacking the opponents balloons!

  8. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Sad face.

    I would love to have a go at this again, it was wonderful fun last year. Alas, I’ll be attending a wedding tomorrow.

    • Ush says:

      And I’ll be working, won’t be anywhere near a computer until 8pm at least. Bugger. How long do sessions last for, usually?

  9. Schaulustiger says:

    Ah, darn! Just checked for UT2k4 on Steam and sadly it is not available in Germany. Would’ve bought it in a split second.

    So I have to pass on Air Buccaneers, unfortunately. I hope for more RPS crowd gaming, though. Great job, Jim, in doing such stuff.

  10. Senethro says:

    Steams getting a little battered what with all these DLCs to download, so if you’ve got to download UT2k4 I recommend you start soon!

  11. Mr_Day says:


    But I can’t connect to the server. Boo! I’ll go and cry, shall I?

  12. Jayt says:

    Anyone care to explain what this game is all about?

    • Mr_Day says:

      Two teams engage in aerial cannon battles.

      Each ship (I think the large ones are battleships and the smaller ones are called cogs) have several positions on them, the pilot who steers the ship and the cannons on the ship.

      The pilot basically tries to fight the wind for the most part, you turn the ship left and right and can make the ship go up and down, the ship will always try to go forward but the wind can fuck it over. You can also use special combos to move the ship – back back up up should boost you forward. You can repair the ship by flying into the bumdles of wood ships that have been destroyed leave floating in the air.

      The cannons are loaded and fired by other players, and you try to hit the enemy ships. A lot. There are different types of ammo which I will cover in these abilities you have when you aren’t manning a position:

      Telescope – lets you call out targets

      defense musket – you can shoot at other players, but it barely hurts them. You use them to deflect incoming shots from cannons.

      cutlass – very basic melee attack, really hurts as long as it hits.

      gunpowder bag – you can throw these onto the ground as little time bombs, or you can load them into the cannon where firing it turns the cannon into a flamethrower. Very good at close range.

      Rockets – If you fire them they deploy into mines that enemy ships can run into, try to set them up in the path of enemy ships. If you load them into cannons they fire a very long distance, in a flat trajectory, but do very little damage compared to a cannonball. you can load a bunch of them at once, however.

      Cannonballs – you load them into the cannon and they are fired in a fairly good aproximation of a cannonballs trajectory. The longer you hold down the button to load the cannon when you do it, the more damage the ball does when (if) it hits. It does more damage than the rockets, but doesn’t fire as far.

      If you fall off the ship you can press jump twice to try and latch a rope on it. you can also do this to enemy ships – you get points for boarding and taking enemy ships too.

      At the end of the game everyone goes to a pub and the game gives rewards for being awesome in various ways.

      The maps have differing objectives, but they are fairly easy to get to grips with, and mostly it is about ship to ship combat.

      Also, if you fall to the ground, a the ground will try to kill you. It is possible to make it back to your base, but there is little point, dying is usually faster and accomplishes the same thing.

    • Mr_Day says:

      heh, bumdles.

      Forgot to mention – the guy manning the cannon can turn it and call for reloading, but cannot load or fire the cannon himself, someone else has to do it. Getting a good two man team on a cannon is fantastic, but if there is no one else there an npc on each ship can be called to load and fire the cannon for you.

      I call him the barrel monkey, as he lives in a barrel when he isn’t in use. It is better to use a different player than the barrel monkey.

    • Senethro says:

      Don’t do this. The NPC barrel monkey is slower than you doing it yourself (unless you’re a silly scrollwheeler who can’t find the cannonballs or torch).

      You double your fire rate by loading yourself and the fuse is plenty long enough to give you time to aim.

    • Mr_Day says:

      The barrel monkey is there to hold your hand* if you are still new, though on a few occasions (such as aiming at a cog who has boosted) lighting the fuse then using the cannon doesn’t always give you enough time to aim. I am simply pointing him out.
      EDIT: Though it didn’t help I said you couldn’t reload if you use the cannon, when I clearly meant you had to let go and move around to do it yourself. Dumb Petey.
      * But he does throw barrel-faeces around, so try not to let him hold your hand.

    • Jayt says:

      Thanks Mr_Day!

  13. Hat Galleon says:

    I have to ask, why are there not organized megagames for this more often, especially by RPS? Once a week would be perfect, and I can’t think of a reason not to just designate a time once a week to play this mode, since you’ll never be able to play it otherwise.

  14. dadioflex says:

    UT2004 is the only Unreal I never bought. And it seems to have all the best mods. :(

    It did come straight after Unreal 2 so I wasn’t in the best of moods with Epic…

  15. Oddtwang says:

    I shall be there, perhaps a little later than 2. Utterly brilliant game, which never really took off due to the learning hump. Once you – and at least a few other players – get the hang of how cannons work (a hint which tends to get ignored for some reason – listen to other players who already know this :) ) it’s glorious.

  16. disperse says:

    Have any US RPS followers tried playing on this UK based server? How’s the latency? I’m very tempted by this (the event will start at 7:00 my time, right around when the kid goes to bed).

  17. Greg Wild says:

    link to

    For anyone without UT2004 :)

  18. LionsPhil says:

    Alright, this time I hear about it BEFORE it happens!

    To help avoid Fail, what *exact* version is the server running? Because while I still poke UT2004 on occasion, nothing has been updated in years. (Core UT should be on the final 3369/ECE, though.)

  19. Heliocentric says:

    I recently reinstalled ut2004 trying to play alien swarm with a 360 pad emulating a mouse, essentially turning it into a twin stick shooter, failed miserablery.

  20. Tom O'Bedlam says:

    Ooo how have I not heard of this before? I’ll dig out the old UT2004 discs tonight :D

    I can’t wait!

  21. Senethro says:

    Is the server up yet? I tried to connect with a UT2k4 downloaded straight from steam and couldn’t find it.

    I’m on version 3369. Do I need to upgrade?

  22. Ogun says:

    3369 is right, i can’t see the server either.

  23. oceanclub says:

    I was crushed I missed the last round – will definitely try to make it,


  24. Indraco says:

    Oh this is tempting. I may have to repurchase UT2k4 since I probably don’t have the discs anymore. Although, there may still be an install on my machine.

  25. Tye The Czar says:

    You know, as impossible as it might be, I’d love to see this game get a port or even a spiritual successor on the Source Engine or UDK. That way people might find it more accessible(without having to install UT2K4),

  26. Hat Galleon says:

    It’s not in the server browser, and putting “join ipoftheserverherenotactuallythisphrasebuttheipoftheserver” in the console leads to absolutely nothing happening whatsoever. If the server up and I’m just terrible at joining it, or is it down for some reason?

  27. leo says:

    Hmm, i think there’s a retail copy of UT2004 at my local Half Price books for 5 bucks. Is it worth it for the mod?

  28. DarkNoghri says:

    It just occurred to me, that’s like 9 in the morning local time. :(

  29. Quasar says:

    I installed 2K4 (I bought the Unreal pack on Steam back when it was on sale, only ever tried half the games in it so far…) and got the mod running… Can’t get to the server, but I had a mess about on my own with some airships. Wonderful stuff.

    Here’s hoping all goes well this afternoon.

  30. Player1 says:

    I loved this mod at the time. I really think someone should port it to UDK, it would be an instant success.

  31. Senethro says:

    So is the server up or not? And if it is, what do I have to do to see it?

  32. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Lazy Saturday afternoon in the Sun VS Joyful dirigible combat in Air Buccaneers?

    Why must you torment me so with your digital pleasures, RPS? WHY?

  33. Mr_Day says:

    Just had a quick go, server seems temperamental. Others claimed it died during map change, but just then it died when a battleship sunk.

    Or I got kicked for being too good. Awww yeah.

  34. Lilliput King says:

    Not seeing any servers, can anyone else find any?

  35. Tom O'Bedlam says:

    I’m having trouble getting the mod to load, UT2004 runs fine but I’m getting this message

    “UT2004 Build UT2004_Build_[2005-11-23_16.22]

    OS: Windows XP 5.1 (Build: 2600)
    CPU: GenuineIntel PentiumPro-class processor @ 1831 MHz with 2047MB RAM
    Video: ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 (Omega 3.8.442) (6755)

    Failed to enter LudoCraftLogo.ut2: Can’t find file ‘LudoCraftLogo.ut2’

    History: UGameEngine::Init <- InitEngine

    any ideas

  36. Mr_Day says:

    The server dislikes starting a new game, so map changes required waving at Jim which I am sure he was annoyed at.

    Still, managed to get a couple of videos – annoyingly the sound still goes out of sync the longer you record for with X Fire, which is a pain.

    link to

  37. Lilliput King says:

    Server down again :(

    Just when I was starting to learn to not nuke my entire crew with accidental thrown gunpowder. Always the way.

  38. Tom O'Bedlam says:

    right I’m in, anyone else having no joy finding the server?

  39. oceanclub says:

    Unfortunatley I couldn’t play for long, but it was great fun: enjoy this clip (may take a while to process so if you can’t view it properly, try later):

    link to


  40. Theory says:

    It’s been fantastic fun, but I’m a bit sick of playing the same map over and over again. The crashes in between I can put up with! :)

  41. Quasar says:

    I turned up a bit late, seems I missed the rush… There were still a fair few people on, though. Managed to play for a bit before the server crashed again. Brilliant fun.

    More of this sort of thing!

    • Quasar says:

      Ooh! I know! How about a huge, teamwork-laden session of Natural Selection v1.04? That was the last version where the matches would get truly epic – often one map would take a couple of hours.

      THAT, my friends, is gaming.

    • Rosti says:

      @Quasar: I’ll second that motion (Specifically “More of this sort of thing!”. Not that I’m opposed to Natural Selection, just not played it before.)
      Like you, I only caught the end, as GrpCpt_Suave, but I liked what was happening. Having taken the crash as an opportunity to map useful tools to my mouse of many buttons, I’m ready to play loader/spotter/rocketeer to someone’s cog.

    • CMaster says:

      Various versions of NS2.x would last for ages as well.
      This was steadily fixed, but it is only really with NS3 that the game was made so quick that matches rarely top the 30 min mark.

  42. Doobie420 says:

    I’m in Miami, and by no means have a ‘good’ broadband connection, but while the server was up I had pings of ~150, more than playable for airbucs. Great fun, hope the server gets back up soon (maybe just have one map and set the time limit really high so we don’t have to deal too much with end game crashes)

  43. Doobie420 says:

    …was trying to reply to disperse

  44. Theory says:

    I’ve been running a server of my own, and this is what happens when it changes map under the default configuration.

    The good news is that I’ve been able to fix it, the bad news is that I’m not quite sure how. I think it might be to do with removing the ‘minplayers’ bit from the server startup script. But I made other changes too, including adding a bunch of extra maps to [DefaultAB MaplistRecord] and reducing the time limit to one minute.

    • Tom O'Bedlam says:

      Grand, is it playable?

    • Theory says:

      My server? I’m on a residential line with wonky wireless, so no. :P I could upload my INI and startup script if anyone’s interested though?

    • Theory says:

      Oh what the hell, it’s up. You should be able to connect but I expect it will perform badly.

    • Theory says:

      Took it down, looks like nobody’s about any more.

    • Senethro says:

      Did you have a 30 player game running there?

    • Theory says:

      No, that was someone in America. Mine is set to 12.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      I see your server, but when I try to connect to it UT starts downloading a bunch of Jailbreak files. Which seems a trifle odd.

  45. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    And now it doesn’t. Very odd.

    • Theory says:

      That’s because I removed them. :) The server is now up and running, and doesn’t crash. You do need all of the UT2004 bonux packs installed to use it though — I can’t remove them until I know what the mod uses.

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Heh, cheers for getting that server up.

  46. oceanclub says:

    Noticed that video I put up earlier had no audio, which made it a bit pointless – stuck it up again:

    link to


  47. DarkNoghri says:

    So is the server even up?

    Not seeing it in the browser, and typing “open ip:port” in console just brings up a connection screen that goes nowhere.

    • Senethro says:

      Current server status will likely be crashed, but that great chap Theory has worked out a functional config which he had offered to send to whoever would host a server. I’m hoping we’ll have something working tomorrow.

  48. Lilliput King says:

    If something does get up and running, I’m definitely up for another round.

  49. Schaulustiger says:

    Missed yesterday which doesn’t seem so bad now regarding the server issues you had.

    So, is there something planned for today? Still need to buy UT2k4 and would so only if there’s more Air Buccaneer action later.

  50. Doobie420 says:

    more airbucs plz?