Where We Go from Here
The things that went wrong are, all in all, much less significant than what went right. Unreal Tournament could have benefited from a more focused initial design and a more solid ship date, but it turned out to be very polished and a lot of fun. Many of the factors that worked in our favor, like timing, also worked against us to some extent. "What went wrong" is a good way of looking at what we could have done to make Unreal Tournament even better.
Epic has developed some pretty clear plans of where we want to go from here. We've been working on free content to release to support Unreal Tournament. We are also looking into doing some kind of Playstation 2 version of the game. After that, we want to focus on an entirely new engine technology for the PC. In the short term, Jack Porter is working on his terrain system and Erik de Neve is putting the finishing touches on the skeletal animation system. Tim Sweeney has been developing an entirely new programming language to support the next engine, with some very powerful features such as parameterized functions.
Unreal Tournament served as a good learning tool for the team. We have a good idea of what processes we need to adopt to produce larger, more story-driven games in the future. We see Unreal Tournament as a good lesson in how to organize a team and produce a game in a short amount of time. The team has grown socially, and everyone is much more experienced in the process of game development. We feel very prepared to face the upcoming challenges and, hopefully, to continue to be seen as innovators in the industry.
Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart is a 21-year-old programmer formerly with Epic Games Inc. Unreal Tournament was his first game after being recruited by Epic from the Unreal and Quake 2 mod community. He is obsessed with games, game programming, and game design. When he isn't playing games, he can be found reading Michael Moorcock, painting miniatures, or listening to the latest in Norwegian black metal. Blodu Ok Jarna!
Epic Games Inc.
London, Ontario, Canada
Release date: November 1999
Intended platform: Windows 95/98/NT, Linux
Project budget: $2 million
Project length: 18 months
Team size: approximately 16 developers
Code Length: 350,000 lines of C++ and UnrealScript
Critical development hardware: Pentium II 400s with 256MB RAM and Voodoo 2 or TNT-based cards
Critical development software: Microsoft Visual Studio, 3D Studio Max, UnrealEd