Unreal Tournament 2004 (UT2004) has produced many user modifications (mods) that are more high profile than Carball, but very few with players as dedicated as the crowd of Carball regulars ("The Carball Community"). You will be hard pressed to find a mod for any game that inspires the use of the word "addicted" or outbursts of laughter from its players as much as Carball does.
This guide provides some information that is not about how to play the game, but is still about Carball and its community of players.
There are a good number of Carball servers that run seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Standard practice for server admins is to set a maximum number of players to eight and use additional bandwidth for spectators. Most players feel that four players per team is ideal for a Carball match, with many of the opinion that five players per team makes for a good match as well. This may be the result of a self-feeding circle of mappers creating maps that are ideal for eight players because server admins set their maximum player count at eight and server admins starting servers for eight players because all the maps of designed for eight participants. However, this has not been proven either way and somewhere between 8 and 32 players it becomes obvious that Carball is not meant for games with huge numbers of players. Carball is very demanding on the physics modules of the UT2004 engine and having too many cars and the bouncing ball in close proximity can have a very negative effect on game performance.
At the time of writing the most common game rules for public Carball servers were 15 minute time limit and no goal limit. Servers with goal limits have and do exist, usually with a maximum goal limit set in the 5-7 range. These are just trends, Carball can be played with different game rules settings.
Seeing a few servers full and all the other available servers empty is not uncommon. There may be others checking the game browser when you are, so waiting on a server for other players to show up can result in a match developing. Advising spectators on full servers that you plan to be on a specific server in a few minutes can also result in enough players getting together on the specified server to start a match.
Please note that when matches are between uneven teams some players have certain expectations as to how the team with the greater numbers will play. Some players expect the larger team not to ram too much or not to kill too much, etc. Many players are just willing to play at the disadvantage and do not expect play to change. You may wish to inquire what is considered fair play whenever you join a server that is experiencing unusual circumstances.
If you are a new player, mention it during your first few days playing Carball. It is possible that someone will "make fun of the newbie" but there will also be players there to help you along.
There are Carball specific clans, so once you have gotten used to the Carball game type, you may want to join a team or form one of your own.
The Carball Community Teamspeak server can be found at teamspeak.carball.net. Many Carballers like to use Teamspeak instead of the built-in voice chat of UT2004 as the voice activation features of Teamspeak make speaking and driving simultaneously easy. At this time, the Carball Community Teamspeak server is available for free use by players in Carball games. (Please note that the owner of the Carball Community Teamspeak server reserves the right to administrate the server and the service it provides as he sees fit.)
Undoubtedly, the hub of the Carball community is the Official Carball Web Site located at http://www.carball.net. The latest news can be found there, as well as all the essential Carball files and our web based Bulletin Board System. The Carball forums are very active and just about everyone who plays Carball regularly visits. We highly encourage you to drop by as well.
Please help us grow the Carball community. Active participation in the community from new blood always has potential to benefit the mod. Experiment and show us some new moves, make some maps with new ways to score and use the environment, contribute art/code/dreams, start organized tournaments, spread the word about Carball to your clan and the local LAN parties, make your own Carball web site, etc. The more who get involved the better for all players. Even just telling us what you think in a constructive way can help.
The Carball documentation makes reference to various software and information available online that may be of benefit to players. This info is collected together in a list you will find bellow. This list also includes previously unmentioned, but helpful computer tools. (Please note that unless otherwise stated, web sites and other resources referenced in this document are unrelated to the Carball Development Team and are only provided for convenience.)
- Official Epic Games Website
- Beyond Unreal
- Unreal Tournament newsgroup: alt.games.unreal.tournament
- Unreal Playground
- Unreal Wiki
- Unreal Developer Network
- UnrealEd Newsgroup: alt.games.unreal.ed
- Fordy's Unreal Web Pages
- Angel Mapper
- Python Script for installing UMODs
- UMOD Tool 2.0
- Santaduck Toolpak for Mac UT2004
- UT Cache Extractor
- umod Wizard
- Blender 3D
- Maya Learning Edition
- Softimage XSI Mod Tool
- GIMP Image Processing
- Photogenics Image Processing
- WinRAR (for Windows with Mac and Linux betas)
- WinZip (for Windows)
- WinAce (for Windows)
- StuffIt (for Mac, Windows and Linux)
- Teamspeak (soon to be cross-platform)
- TeamTalk (for Windows and Linux)
- Skype (cross-platform)
- Ventrilo (for Windows and MacIntosh)