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Postmortem: Epic Games' Unreal Tournament
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Postmortem: Epic Games' Unreal Tournament

June 9, 2000 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4

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!

Unreal Tournament

Epic Games Inc.
Raleigh, N.C.
(919) 854-0070

Digital Extremes
London, Ontario, Canada
(519) 657-4260

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

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 4

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