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New official Unreal Tournament in the works, made by Epic Games with the help of the community

You probably all know by now that a new UT is in the works, developped by Epic Games on Unreal Engine 4 with the help of the community. It should be free.

Before going into my thoughts about this i’d like to refresh memories about its goal and features.

For starter, here’s some info from the wiki for those that don’t know them yet :

  • We’ve created a small team of UT veterans that are beginning work on the project starting today.
  • From the very first line of code, the very first art created and design decision made, development will happen in the open, as a collaboration between Epic, UT fans and UE4 developers. We’ll be using forums for discussion, and Twitch streams for regular updates.
  • If you are a fan and you want to participate, create a free account and join the forum discussion.
  • All code and content will be available live to UE4 developers on GitHub.
  • The game will be true to its roots as a competitive FPS.
  • Development will be focused on Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • So far it’s looking good : UT veterans to develop it (i understand people that worked in the previous titles in this phrase, but it may also be community veterans/pro-gamers), developpement in the open, community listening, competitive fps and PC focus.

    It will be free, it will not be playable anytime soon and there will be some sort of marketplace for sharing content (more on that later).

    Two composers for UT99 and one from UT2kX will probably take part on the music for the new UT which is sweet 😀

    Michiel van den Bos :

    Hi!

    My name is Michiel van den Bos and one of the two main composers for the original Unreal and Unreal Tournament. It’s been a while and my memory’s a bit foggy, but my music has been featured in classic maps like Curse][, Codex, Facing Worlds, Tempest and many others. I’ve been composing for games ever since, including the universally praised soundtrack for Age of Wonders 3.

    I’m writing here because I was getting messages and e-mails telling me I should, due to the announcement of the new UT.

    I was wondering if there is any interest in me getting involved and I’m sure I can get Alex to join in too.
    If so, I’d be happy to continue a discussion here or off-forum at mikebossmusic[at]gmail.com.

    Thank you for your attention and best regards,
    Michiel van den Bos

    and Alexander Brandon :

    Not a hoax. Michiel speaks true. And we greatly appreciate your support!

    -Alexander Brandon

    to which the lead of UT reply :

    Michiel,
    Of course we would be thrilled to have you and Alex involved in this project! The music you guys made always invokes tremendous nostalgia for me – I’m always instantly transported back to playing UT. How are you interested in participating?

    Steven Polge

    Then we have the chance to have Kevin Riepl :

    It’s awesome to hear the responses and the passion for this series! It was so much fun working on it. Thanks for reaching out!
    I know first hand that the fans are HUGELY attached to Michiel and Alex’s work on the early UT’s. Coming into the series for Ut2003 & 2004, that was made apparent, =) but i had different shoes to fill. And i am super happy that fans received my contribution to the series pretty well.
    I agree with the lot, Michiel and Alex’s music embodies the true essence of what UT really is.

    I’m certainly not opposed to being a part of this. I have no idea the schedule of the development and my contribution I suppose would depend on my schedule allowing it.
    So that being said…much thanks for the passion for my music I wrote for UT. I hope I can stay on top of the info being circulated regarding the development.

    Many Thanks.
    Kevin.

    with an answer from Steven Polge :

    Kevin, you did a fantastic job with your contributions! For a lot of fans who were first introduced to the series with UT2004, your music is the definitive sound of the franchise (and it rocks). We’d love to have you participate if you are able. It’s a bit early for us now to have any specific development plans for music, but I know we’d love to have whatever you were able to do.

    Thanks
    Steven Polge

    Considering the marketplace aforementioned, i don’t really know how it’ll go. If there are paid maps, there’s close to no chance they’ll be used. The small mods/mutators would be the same, how could we log into a server with paid suff in it ? why would we want to ?

    In my opinion it will be more used for assets trading. You did assets for your successful map and people want to use them, why not put a small fee to compensate for your time ?
    You’re mainly an 2D/3D designer and don’t want to map, put your stuff on the marketplace so someone will use it for a map.
    You’re a mapper but don’t have any design skill and don’t want your map to look generic, go to the marketpalce ?

    This could work, i know i would have paid for some assets i used in my map if the price was good. Also most of the talented and/or dedicated mappers know or learn at least some basic 2D/3D design so it shouldn’t be an issue for them.

    I see how a big modes like “The Ball” by Hourence could use it, but gameplay only stuff should be forced to be free with a donation system, quoting myself from the forums :

    In my opinion if a donation system is implemented, gameplay only things should be forced to this type of monetisation, meaning a map cannot be set to 1$ for example, it should always be free with donation. Same goes for mutators and such.

    For full gamemodes i don’t know really as i never did any.

    Then for assets (for mappers/modders to use i mean, not for player to be able to play a map/mod) and cosmetic stuff, you can chose to put it for free/donation/paid as you see fit.

    This way everybody would get to play on every map with every mutator. But a good mapper/coder will be solicited and giving him some money would give him some incentive to work on more quality projects and pay for his subscription.

    Two big points that are still not known at the moment is the use of Steam/Steam workshop (that could possibly compete with the UE marketplace and i’m not sure Valve would allow that) and the availability of a free Editor for the game when it’ll be released. The Unreal Engine 4 is what you need to use at the moment if you want to contribute and the subscrptions are paying for the developpement, but when the game is released (for free), will there be a free editor with it? The current subscription model for the whole engine will not work for it. I’m curious to see how they’ll fix that.

    I hope for a free editor but i don’t think there will be one. My best bet is for some sort of one time paid editor, that will work exclusively with the game. I’d be totally fine to pay a normal amount of money for it (think about it like the price of a small game, 20-30$) as it would be the same as paying for the full game. I can’t see myself playing it for long without an editor to go with it, and a lot of people will probably do the same. It has always been the editor that differentiated the series with other arenaFPS, and it’s a big part of its longevity and success. A subscription based editor for unreal wouldn’t work in my opinion, i don’t see anyone willing to pay 20$ to get in the tracks for a map then paying again for realeasing it. I know i wouldn’t even start the project.

    If you want to participate you can by joining the forums and expressing your opinion, looking at the code and giving feedback or suggesting changes. But at the end it’ll be Epic that will decide, so you better take your time before giving a fully thought out argumentation or it will probably be ignored. Be polite, discuss with logic, know to listen to counterpoints and the game will be better at the end.

    It’s time for a new UT and the community being divised so much, it could be the beginning of the best UT to date if done right, or just die in a fire if the different communities can’t agree.
    I hope for a unified movement style that would be a mix of UT99 and UT2k4, with maybe mutators for the true old styles and extremes. After having played a lot on each games, the best movement style in my opinion is the UT3 one, it’s really well balanced, fun, gives lots of place to personaly improve your skills while being easy to grasp, it also allows to produce great maps (balanced and fun). Just being able to move and do all sorts of trick-jumps with the UT3 movements is incredibly fun and rewarding (check how fun and hard can be the bunnytrial gamemode). The only things i’d like to change is a bit more speed, slightly less gravity and MAYBE short dodge-jump (not the full floaty one from UT2k4).

    How Epic handle the movement balance will be the key for this game, i hope they’ll do it well, from a casual, competitive and mapping perspective.

    Anyway i’m quite happy with the announcement as it gives a bit of activity in the games and various forums. It’s a good time to get back in the game you liked and try ( or try again) the ones you didn’t played or didn’t liked at first. They all 3 are great games with pros and cons, have lots of contents and insane customization potential.

    Hope to frag you soon 😀

    Some useful links for the project :

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