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.

What Went Wrong With UNREAL 2's Development?

Discussion in 'Unreal 2' started by Vortex Convict, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Vortex Convict

    Vortex Convict New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've returned to Na Pali for discussion....

    Anyway, I hope you guys can help me with a nagging question: what the hell happened during Unreal 2's development. I mean, I read the scans of a PC GAMER preview featured on one old thread in this part of the forum, and it seems to me that even though Legend had very ambitious ideas for the game, such as using Half-Life and Deus Ex as models for the how they would approach the sequel, they also had unrealistically high expectations for what they could do with the Unreal Engine 2 technology (particularly a number of ideas surrounding breaking windows, as I recall from reading the preview). The ironic thing, is that after setting out to do an immensley large and ambitious game, the result was a badly written and cheesy adventure with none of the power of the first game, or even much of an attempt to surpass the first game.

    I recall one experienced developer on the team thought that the game failed because of the Atlantis interludes, but I disagree with him. Breaks in the action of an interactive and immersive FPS are no problem (Elite Force did it with much better effect, and so did Deus Ex): it's only when the ship is not really that well designed and containing annoyingly limited characters are they a problem.

    He also states that the developers were far too lost in the background detail of the planets to focus on the design. They should've remembered
    Unreal 1's approach to level design by making the planet detail a part of the level design.

    I mean, it also it strange that a company known for its well executed adventure game stories would've have written conventionally contrived dialogue, sayings, retorts, and scenarios for a game that they should've excelled at making interesting. Though... come to think of it, they probably didn't write and record the dialogue for the prisoner in Return to Napali that well either, but still, this considering that Unreal 1 was such a crazy blend of sci-fi and fantasy, and Legend excelled at fantasy storylines, I would've thought that they could have applied how they wrote their fantasy games to the sci-fi games.

    One example of stupidity of the game is the genius babe of the ship, whose superior intelligence somehow missed that the balding office clerk commander is the real evil one. Another is the main character's tendency to trust the lamest of explanations, and offers the most simple-minded helping words when it comes to coping with the grief of killing a whole alien civilization for the betterment of other lifeforms.

    Oh, and the last is the bad voiced guy in the first mission who gets killed before you could save him.

    Insights, anyone?
     
  2. Big-Al

    Big-Al amateur de bière

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Messages:
    8,576
    Likes Received:
    32
    Unreal 2 was not terrible, although it primarily felt like a demo for successfully promoting their new engine to developers.
     
  3. N1ghtmare

    N1ghtmare Sweet Dreams

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,411
    Likes Received:
    12
    Yea, even the intro sequence (a blend of neon lights and post-modernist meshes) was kind of a tech demo.
     
  4. dutch_gecko

    dutch_gecko Think Pink

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,882
    Likes Received:
    1
    This is pure speculation, but my guess is that it came down to the old bugbear of limited time. The game (and your original post sums this up well) smacks of a developer with almost limitless imagination and enthusiasm being suddenly told to get on with it. Most ideas remain on the drawing board, and those that do get implemented don't do the original concept justice.

    XMP fell foul of the same problem, and I know there that the issue was more visible to the outside world. Atari put massive pressure on LE, until they got fed up and canned the studio when they were half way through the development of a patch. Apparently the big guys at Atari didn't share the same vision as the LE devs.
     
  5. Kyllian

    Kyllian if (Driver == Bot.Pawn); bGTFO=True;

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,575
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hm, I just might reinstall U2 after I'm done with my current slab of gaming crack
     
  6. GreatEmerald

    GreatEmerald Khnumhotep

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    4,042
    Likes Received:
    1
    Indeed, mostly time and Atari. It didn't help that UT2003 went out around the same time - they had to cancel their DM, CTF and XMP gametypes probably because it would have competed with another Unreal title.
     
  7. Gambit84

    Gambit84 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    0
    The lack of CO-OP was its biggest problem.
     
  8. BITE_ME

    BITE_ME Bye-Bye

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    3,564
    Likes Received:
    0
    English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired

    All the time, it has to keep loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading, and loading.
     
  9. evilgrins

    evilgrins God of Fudge

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    7
    Who can say...?

    I was unaware it failed in any sense but I don't always keep up on such things. I played it, I liked it...it was fun.

    However this poor Skaarj, that I summoned and put behind a glass wall, seems to think there's something very wrong...

    [​IMG]

    ...his expression just says "Are you fucking kidding me?!?"

    I'm guessing that thing rampaging in front of him, a Skaarj body with a human head and some kinda cyborg limb, did not meet with his approval.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  10. MrMaddog

    MrMaddog Flak Monkey

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    543
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear BUF, please put in a "Like" button for cool stuff like this, kthanx by! :lol:
     
  11. Plumb_Drumb

    Plumb_Drumb yumb

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2002
    Messages:
    8,616
    Likes Received:
    1
    a couple of the Skaarj encounters were pretty neat; otherwise it was a piece of crap.

    weapons fire and plot were bottom of the barrel.

    Not only is it not a good sequel, it's not a good game, and nobody could get it running well at the time.
    And Epic prefer to wash off the UT2003 taint (which is a really good game)...
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  12. AlCapowned

    AlCapowned Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    15
    IMO, it suffered from the same problem as UT2003: Epic worked on the engine instead of the games. Neither of them felt like the originals at all. Both games could have been good if Epic at least gave more input.
     
  13. UBerserker

    UBerserker old EPIC GAMES

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    4,798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some of the new enemies were really cool; I still wish they could be ported to U1/UT
     
  14. evilgrins

    evilgrins God of Fudge

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    7
    well...

    Some of them were ported into ut2004. I've got all the Skaarj from U2 in that.
     
  15. evilgrins

    evilgrins God of Fudge

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    7
    heh

    If only I could. :D
     
  16. Vortex Convict

    Vortex Convict New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, evilgrins, that aspects of the game were fun. There are some moments in the game that had multiple outcomes to a situation, except when I failed on an aspect of a mission I knew could have been remedied, the game took longer to load after I failed an objective than when I completed it. Other times, they never really give you a chance to do an objective right, like when you couldn't save that stupid, annoying voiced worker in the first mission from the Scaarj. No matter how fast you try to get to him, the game always cuts to a cutscene where the Scaarj had surrounded the guy, and he's whining "No! No! Go away!" and then pushed into a pit screaming. I sadly didn't have much pity for him (for those who did like him, my humblest apologies).

    However, I have been irritated with a few Adventure game review sites who thought this game was a masterpiece in storytelling and writing, as well as a brilliant union between FPSs and adventure games. I would disagree with that view, since I find the game's story and writing to be really dumb and conventional, but who am I to judge? I myself am love an adventure game which other adventurers and game reviewers hated, and thought it was really weak and a total letdown in comparison to other adventures like King's Quest. The game, after all, was a Sierra title, and was in fact Al Lowe's Torin's Passage. I could definitely see why the game was a letdown, because beginning cinematic for the game led the gamer to the believe that this was going to be a really serious and intense experience. Alas, the main game turned out not to be quite as intense as the intro cinematic, and was more a fun and unique comedy game with simpler puzzles and a easygoing pace. The unexpected part about Torin's Passage was that it was meant to be a game for children, or at least a game children can enjoy playing with their parents, who would also enjoy the game (because there are two levels of humor).

    The intention is surprising, because the game's cinematics seem terribly sinister, intense, and at times scary for children to enjoy, and felt more in the lines of an experienced gamer's adventure game. I love it, because of its 3D art, its humor, its story, characters, and its easy playability. Other adventurer, annoyingly again, complain that it's not perfect because it doesn't have the adventure game interface of the early 90s (with separate icons for every action instead of a simple mouse cursor), and because they couldn't get to look and respond to everything as they could in other Sierra games. I disagree with these criticisms because, in my own opinion, if it weren't for the simplified interface, I wouldn't be able to appreciate adventure games in the first place, and the classic adventure games too. Fortunately, I'm not the only one who loves the game, and there's a website of Torin fans still surviving today.

    Back on point, that game wasn't liked too much by hardcore adventurers, yet I feel Torin's Passage had better writing, characters, and scenarios than Unreal 2! The main character, Torin, is, like the John Dalton (and even Aida too, sadly), stupid, but at least he's funnier and wittier than John Dalton, has better written dialogue, and even sounds funnier when he says something stupid. Legend Entertainment was supposed to be the master in comedic writing when they did the Spellcasting series, and were even praised a lot for improving the serious story of Wheel of Time books when they did the WoT game, so I don't understand what gap they were up against when writing for Unreal 2. Time's the obvious answer, but I wonder whether if the story would have been better if the game was given a longer development time.

    By the way, evilgrins, that image is quite funny. :D:lol:
     
  17. GreatEmerald

    GreatEmerald Khnumhotep

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    4,042
    Likes Received:
    1
    I never found the story to be dull or anything. But I'm not picky, either.
     
  18. XMP.Arc

    XMP.Arc +-aka Arcturus, HalcYoN, goBOT etc-+

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah- I agree. The story about powerful artifacts hidden in the galaxy did not seem dull. It actually grabbed me.
    But Game was too short. Levels and story were cut. We know the Multiplayer was cut from game as well. If what was planned for debut had made it into game it would have been nothing short of fantastic (the N, Striders, and multiplayer) with the graphics capabilities of that engine.
     
  19. Vortex Convict

    Vortex Convict New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    I never said the story was dull, guys. The artifact grabbing part was the primary element I really liked too, and got me interested in the sequel in the first place. It made me think of Hexen II, where the acquisition of certain items were necessary to progress forward. In fact, it reminds me even more of the Super Solver Games, like Challenges of Ancient Empires, pretty much involved the same premise (except it was for educational purposes, of course).

    I just would have liked the individual search for each artifact to have more of a Unreal 1/Hexen II feel, where you roamed long forgotten and interesting ruins, infested with monstrosities worse than the ones found on Na Pali, and a few helpful Nali-like inhabitants to aid you (provided that you didn't shoot them). I felt like they could have done more with the artifact search than what they had delivered in the retail product. They could have given you the ability to choose in any order which planets you'd choose to explore for the artifact.

    I have a bunch of ideas on how I'd want to remake Unreal 2, though I don't think the game's own engine is suitable enough to remake it on (because of its undocumented features). Maybe it could be done with Unreal Tournament 2004, or with just Unreal Tournament (I know it sounds counterproductive to remake advanced games on older engines. I probably need to be briefed on all the technicalities involved).

    Anyway, that discussion is for another topic.
     
  20. GreatEmerald

    GreatEmerald Khnumhotep

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    4,042
    Likes Received:
    1
    Don't forget the Shian. N and Striders were still in the early content creation phase when the game was released, but the Shian level was already basically complete.

    That was planned, but then the time ran out.
     

Share This Page