Un­real Tour­na­ment

al­ways did love a good mu­ta­tor

Hyper - - PREVIEW - Daniel Wilks

When it comes to arena style shoot­ers there are two names that pop up time and time again as be­ing the cream of the crop – Quake 3: Arena and Un­real Tour­na­ment. Un­for­tu­nately, even though Epic Games re­leased a num­ber of se­quels to Un­real Tour­na­ment, the se­ries never re­ally picked up the steam it needed to flour­ish. Un­real Tour­na­ment 3 in 2007 was the last UT game un­til a new arena shooter sim­ply ti­tled Un­real Tour­na­ment was an­nounced in 2014. You can def­i­nitely be for­given for think­ing that three years of devel­op­ment is a heck of a long time to get some­thing into Pre-Al­pha, but when you find out who is ac­tu­ally mak­ing the game it all makes sense.

Rather than sim­ply de­vel­op­ing a new game and look­ing for a com­mu­nity to play it, Epic Games has in­stead brought in the com­mu­nity as an in­te­gral part of the devel­op­ment team. Un­real Tour­na­ment is a crowd­sourced game in the most lit­eral way. Any­one can down­load the Un­real Tour­na­ment ver­sion of the Un­real Edi­tor to take a look at the code and de­velop mods, plug­ins, mod­els, meshes, tex­tures, maps and more for the game. Even if you’re not up with coding, the de­vel­op­ers still want any­one in­ter­ested to sug­gest, com­ment on, cri­tique and share ideas on the fo­rums. In an in­ter­view with PC Gamer, Steve Polge, one of the key pro­gram­mers over the en­tire Un­real se­ries, said that Epic "will have a very open and in­clu­sive process for es­tab­lish­ing how the core of Un­real Tour­na­ment evolves. We'll build con­sen­sus and make sure the com­mu­nity buys into the di­rec­tion we es­tab­lish to­gether. De­sign ques­tions will be dis­cussed on the fo­rum and in reg­u­lar Twitch streams, and the de­ci­sion process will be in­clu­sive and trans­par­ent. Play­ers will be able to make their voice heard, and par­tic­i­pate mean­ing­fully in set­ting the di­rec­tion of devel­op­ment. We will re­lease playable al­pha ver­sions and use those to get hands-on feed­back from play­ers as well.”

The playable Al­pha is cur­rently up to 0.1.12, but even at this ex­tremely early stage of devel­op­ment when some maps still don’t have com­pleted tex­tures and fixes keep com­ing to sta­bilise fram­er­ates, patch weapons and the like, Un­real Tour­na­ment feels good. It’s ex­tremely fast and the amaz­ing range of weaponry that made the orig­i­nal games so much fun per­form like they should. There’s still great sat­is­fac­tion in lob­bing the per­fect Flak Canis­ter into a group of play­ers or hit­ting your own shock orb with a blast from your Shock Ri­fle to oblit­er­ate the op­pos­ing team. We haven’t been able to play with any of the tra­di­tional mu­ta­tors (Un­real mu­ta­tors are mods that change cer­tain game­play as­pects) as yet, like Low Grav­ity and Quad Jump, the com­bi­na­tion of which can turn any map into an aerial bal­let with guns, but we still can’t wait to see what is com­ing.

Due to the na­ture of devel­op­ment it doesn’t look like Un­real Tour­na­ment is go­ing to be fin­ished any time soon, but even so, there’s a great deal of fun to be had. When the game is fin­ished it will be en­tirely free, with­out any type of mi­cro­trans­ac­tion at all.

A side e ect of crowd­sourced devel­op­ment is train­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of devs in Un­real En­gine.

DE­VEL­OPER PUB­LISHER PLAT­FORM RE­LEASE DATE Epic Games Epic Games PC Cur­rently in Pre-Al­pha

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