Jailbreak was one of the most popular mods for the original Unreal Tournament, and today, it will finally make the leap to UT2003 and UT2004. tarquin, the mod's main moose, has taken time out of the frantic pre-release antics to answer a few of our questions.

Would you be so kind to introduce yourself?

tarquin, coder, mapper and PR for Jailbreak. The rest of the team send their love... but they're kinda busy. What follows is a combination of my answers and what they've told me in IRC.

Would you give uninformed readers a little information about your mod?

Jailbreak is a gametype mod: it changes the basic rules of play. You play in two teams. Each time a player is fragged, he respawns in jail. That's a special sealed area of the map, from which you can watch the main action on cameras, or scrap with your fellow prisoners with your shield guns. You're waiting for your teammates to release you, and they do this by attacking the enemy base and activating the Release Switch. That's a Jailbreak! This, er, releases you. A team scores a point each time they manage to capture all of the enemy in jail. That's a Lockdown!

Jailbreak is taking a very different approach in terms of the components under the hood. What benefits will the player experience because of this unique approach?

We think it will mean more variety in the sorts of maps we see. As I write this, some of our mappers who have been on the team since UT Jailbreak are swapping silly ideas in our IRC channel (irc://irc.enterthegame.com/utjb) -- "Reckon you could have a skaarj with 1000 health running around a map as a release switch in jailbreak?". I don't think we'll see anything far out like that even though it's probably technically feasible (see http://www.planetjailbreak.com/features/codedesign200x/) -- but I could be wrong! Already in the release there's going to be maps with different combinations of releases and jails. In UT Jailbreak you had to learn what the release switch looked like for each map -- in Jailbreak 200x there's a standard look to the release switches, but you might need to know which jail they control! The moral of the story, as in any gametype, is: know the map!

What are some of the major differences between this incarnation and the version for UT?

The look and feel of everything is fresh, but most of the features from UT are in the new version. We've disabled the translocator by default, because that really ruined some maps on some servers -- but since we've left it as an option people can set, we've provided mappers with a means of setting up places to block it. There's the matter of greater release and jail flexibility, that I've mentioned already. Also, Arenas no longer have to be separate zones, and that will make for some interesting effects, we hope. Think combat pits made with UT2003's terrain system, with the free players up above. The scoreboard HUD has a panoramic view of the map with players moving on it in real time, and a clock that shows you at a glance the captures made so far. Lastly, there's a couple of game options you won't have seen before: the Arena Avenger and the Release Teleporter.