1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Two Factor Authentication is now available on BeyondUnreal Forums. To configure it, visit your Profile and look for the "Two Step Verification" option on the left side. We can send codes via email (may be slower) or you can set up any TOTP Authenticator app on your phone (Authy, Google Authenticator, etc) to deliver codes. It is highly recommended that you configure this to keep your account safe.

Unreal Tournament Turns 10!

Discussion in 'News & Articles' started by hal, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. hal

    hal Dictator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 1998
    Messages:
    21,405
    Likes Received:
    18
    I want to share a few thoughts with you about the circumstances around the release of Unreal Tournament as I remember them. But before I do that, I want to invite all of you to take a look at BeyondUnreal's UT Anniversary website theme - it's a real throwback and just our fun way of saying thanks to Unreal Tournament for 10 great years. You can select your theme from the dropdown box on the upper left corner of the page. We've also got an Unreal Tournament server in the works - more details on that later - for those of you who want to join us in some good old-fashioned fragging.

    It's hard to believe it's been ten years, but today marks the decade anniversary of Unreal Tournament. What a success story! Looking back, it's easy to see what an important game UT turned out to be.

    Epic Megagames had already made a solid name for itself through its successful early shareware releases. Unreal was a huge step forward for them and it gave the world a chance to see that the studio was ready to step up into the world of 3D and cutting edge technology in a market currently dominated by id and its DOOM and Quake juggernauts. But if Unreal made the public sit up and take notice, Unreal Tournament grabbed it by the throat, bitch-slapped it and yelled "TAKE IT!"

    Unreal was a big success by almost any measure, but it suffered a bit due to early netcode issues (which were later ironed out, but too late to bring back many of the early adopters) and found its critical and public reception punctuated by something of a dismissal. Yes, Epic's quirky shooter was colorful and charming, the engine tools were deceptively easy to use, the engine was amazing, but... the multiplayer modes were nowhere near as polished as Quake and Quake 2. Online player counts dwindled in Unreal's second year and it appeared that the all-important multiplayer champ would not be dethroned. Oh, and Quake 3 was coming out at the end of the year.

    Buzz about Unreal Tournament began to build, though it always seemed to be filtered through the lens of the public perception of Unreal's multiplayer experience. Scheduling it for release alongside id's latest did little to bolster confidence.

    Then there was the demo.

    Three maps demonstrating the key multiplayer modes: CTF-Coret, DM-Phobos, and DOM-Sesmar. All absolute classics in their own right. I don't think anyone, despite previously seeing screenshots, was quite prepared for the visual boost in player characters, environments, and those big chunky weapons. The core weaponry was there, but felt and looked so much better than before. Bots chattered and taunted and the music was driving and spot-on. It was as close to a demo home-run as they could have released. You could feel excitement for Unreal Tournament building around the release of the demo and the messageboards began to go wild.

    But still there was the underlying public skepticism that perhaps Epic had shown all its best cards, which surely Quake 3 would match and then trump. Release week for both came and even the critics had to admit that Unreal Tournament had a leg up on its competition, even earning multiple mentions and comparisons in its competitor's review.

    Most surprising, for me personally, was that the demo offered but a taste of the amazing game found in the retail package: Assault, mutators and more than fifty levels - each more amazing to see than the last. With its built-in IRC client and community page, UT was a complete multiplayer package. The addictive fun and the endless amount of content made it the game I went to over and over again. In fact, probably two years passed before I gave more than a moment's attention to other games.

    Best of all, the swelling numbers of gamers joining the ranks of the faithful meant that the community had reached a critical mass in terms of warranting competitive attention. Casual gamers found a core community of friendly old-schoolers who welcomed new players to the fold. Level designers and modders benefited from the expertise of those who cut their teeth with Unreal's editor. And websites like Nali City, Unreal Nation, and PlanetUnreal were all established and ready to cover the communities' every move. UT was lightning in a bottle.

    As far as the engine itself goes... it didn't take the success of Unreal Tournament to solidify the Unreal Engine as a front-runner choice in the eyes of developers - many were already onboard, including the likes of 3D Realms, Human Head, Dreamworks Interactive, and Ion Storm. But it sure didn't hurt.

    It's been a real wild ride over the last 10 years (and who knows where the franchise will go over the next ten?), but one thing will always remain true to me: Unreal Tournament and the community that rallied around it will always hold a special place in my gaming list and in my heart.
     
  2. NeoNite

    NeoNite Worst hack fraud ever

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2000
    Messages:
    19,972
    Likes Received:
    164
    Happy birthday Unreal Tournament. There's much I can say about this old game, and I've spend (too) many hours playing this classic. I'm always open to new games, always ready to try something new. But UT still manages to draw me back in. That's pure gaming magic.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  3. Swanky

    Swanky Natural Born Killer - Yoshi!

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hm... recently thought about making another map... had a few ideas when I went to sleep yesterday... would be perfect timing I guess.

    Maybe someone should mention all those community released pretties. I remember FoT V :)P) being released last year.
     
  4. Raynor.Z

    Raynor.Z Ad Nocendum Potentes Sumus

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,487
    Likes Received:
    6
    Much <3 UT. Unrivaled masterpiece :shock:
     
  5. Tom10320

    Tom10320 New Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Happy 10th UT. It will have been 10 years ago that I played the demo. I was very young then. I remember discussing epic headshots and gibs in the playground with my only other UT playing friend. I must have been the only kid to know the collection of UT console commands before knowing the lyrics to 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'. And two years ago today I went looking for sequels on the internet, finding 2k4. The Unreal series quickly became my favourite series ever, and I am astounded to this day that almost nobody has heard of UT1, and yet they have all played UE based games! I aim to educate them.

    Unreal, you changed my life. And I'm not saying that in a cheesy internet way. It really did. And it did it in a gore-splattering, rocket launching, flag-capturing way for the better.
     
  6. Northrawn

    Northrawn New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    0
    Congratulations UT. You gave me (and my office mates) thousands of hours of fun.
     
  7. UBerserker

    UBerserker old EPIC GAMES

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    4,798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Always an ultra-excellent game. On the other hand, DM-Peak is always a "**** you" map.
     
  8. Alhanalem

    Alhanalem Teammember on UT3JB Bangaa Bishop

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,238
    Likes Received:
    0
    didn't the demo have DM-Turbine?
     
  9. romero>cliffyb

    romero>cliffyb New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was 12 when it came out

    Playing ctf-face and tugging my self silly over pictures of tawnee stone was what the internet was about.

    how times have slightly changed
     
  10. Raynor.Z

    Raynor.Z Ad Nocendum Potentes Sumus

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,487
    Likes Received:
    6
    It did, but IIRC earlier demo didn't include DM-Tempest.
     
  11. JohnDoe641

    JohnDoe641 Killer Fools Pro Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2000
    Messages:
    5,329
    Likes Received:
    51
    That might have been the 3dfx demo. I exactly remember the order.
     
  12. Raynor.Z

    Raynor.Z Ad Nocendum Potentes Sumus

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    1,487
    Likes Received:
    6
    Yes, that could be it.
     
  13. barballs

    barballs Packed with Unreal goodness

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    0
    Happy 10th Anniversary Unreal Tournament!

    Ah such fond memories!
     
  14. alien8

    alien8 Run, you magnificent bastard.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 1999
    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    I remember receiving my review copy of Unreal Tournament in the mail the day of release after playing the demo seemingly non-stop since it's release.

    Wow.

    I was working shift work at the time, and was in the middle of a stretch of 12 hour night shifts. As I recall, I had four more to go before a set of days off, and I called in sick for each and every one.

    Never had I played a game where everything was just so 'bang-on'. The player movement, the weapons, the power-ups, the levels, the different game modes - the combination of all those things (and my brand-new-at-the-time high speed internet connection!) made for what seemed a perfect gaming experience. And one that (for me) remains the pinnacle of multiplayer gaming.

    Congratulations on a job well done, Epic. I look forward to another decade of gaming excellence! Oh yeah, and I'm still waiting on those UT jerseys promised to us admins so long ago...
     
  15. QAPete

    QAPete Chief Muckety Muck

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 1999
    Messages:
    1,329
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am unapologetic when I say that UT99 (as I like to call it) was the best of all the Unreal Tournaments. The sheer fun of the game, combined with the almost frenetic pace of mod development, made UT99 a very special game for all time. I had a tremendous amount of fun online (there was nothing as fun as fragging Shai'tan in the back at close range with a Flak Cannon in CTF-November). Remember how much fun CTF-LavaGiant was? ChaosUT back then? ExcessiveUT? Eavy's Unreal Tournament Mods? So much good stuff back then...

    I have very special memories of UT99, and the people who played it, and the people who followed me from the old PlanetUnreal to create BeyondUnreal. Wild ride indeed!
     
  16. m00naY

    m00naY Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    948
    Likes Received:
    5
    Happy 10th Birthday Unreal Tournament.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Beelzebud (Satanas)

    Beelzebud (Satanas) New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I still have the original box it came in, and I can still remember telling the guy at the game shop how lucky he was to have 1 copy that wasn't pre-ordered. :D

    UT was, and still is, one of the better shooter games to ever come out. A testament to how good it is, is the fact that you can find more people playing UT online than UT3. Over the holiday weekend I attempted to play both, and never had a problem finding a UT server full of people.

    I remember the night UT came out though. I was on a dial-up connection back then, and on launch-night I saw CliffyB in about 5 different servers over the course of the night basically demanding that people answer his question of "Is the net-code ok??" They still had a lot to prove after Unreal's lackluster netcode. The last time I saw him that night a bunch of people had replied that the netcode seemed nice, and he said something like "Good, I'll be able to sleep tonight now!". That's what I loved about Epic back then. They had a presence in the community. Back in those days Tim Sweeny would hop in Unreal servers just to talk to the admins, ask for log files, bug reports, etc.
     
  18. SkaarjMaster

    SkaarjMaster enemy of time

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2000
    Messages:
    4,835
    Likes Received:
    4
    Happy B-Day UT!!!

    As I've said before in these forums, my original install date was June 4, 2000 and I've been fragging offline and online ever since. I continue to play UT and remember playing the UT demo and the Q3 demo and then deciding I wanted UT first. I believe I played a version of the UT demo with DM-Morpheus in it, so it must have been a different demo. I mostly played offline and wished I had played online more often, but I was out-of-town a lot back then. I remember a few online matches against "Squirrel" (I think) and a few others as well as other random servers for DM and CTF, then I got involved with various incarnations of ILTK's Sniper server and honed my sniping skills; although, my fav. weapon will always be the flak cannon. I'm still playing this game even today and have migrated my bot stats from one install to another and I check these every now and then just to see the stats for fun. Hope this forum continues for as long as possible and I'll still come here.:)
     
  19. [NBK]Rattman

    [NBK]Rattman Goo God

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    0
    I played UT for at least 5 years every night with my friends and clan mates. That was the best time in my gaming life and will never be repeated

    I miss those days of all night fragfest and playing instagib in all the giant maps.

    Happy birthday UT and many thanks to you!!!!
     
  20. QAPete

    QAPete Chief Muckety Muck

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 1999
    Messages:
    1,329
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey a8, long time! I still have a jersey, btw...
     

Share This Page