Unreal Tournament: November 26th, 1999
Finally, we have the staple of gaming that is the reason that we are all here today. Unreal Tournament was Game of the Year in 1999, beating out Quake 3 for the top spot, and was played by thousands from the day it was released. The game contained a larger list of content than any game that had ever been released, and included ultra-intelligent bot AI, which allowed those that were not as excited about their less than stellar internet connection to play the game offline. I, personally, was one of those that played and played this game despite the fact that I did not have an Internet Connection. I believe I played the game online twice, maybe three times and logged well over 1,000 hours on the game total.

Unreal Tournament, released in November 1999, took the Unreal-engine to new standards of excellence in online play, graphics and introduced several new integrated gametypes. Single player was out, Deathmatch remained and Epic Games (formerly Epic Megagames) added Domination (where you try to maintain 'control points' while fragging your enemies), Capture the Flag (get their flag and bring it back to your flag while *it* is still there) and Assault (conquer objectives while on your way to laying siege to your opponent's base faster than he can do it to you).


Upon its release in early November 1999, Unreal Tournament surprised the gaming community with its rock-solid network code, challenging single-player bot play, unique gameplay modes, and polished presentation. The critics were equally impressed and UT was awarded with Game of The Year honors by a variety of publications, including GameSpy.com and Computer Gaming World. UT was later ported to the PS2, Dreamcast, Linux, and Mac.


Undoubtedly, Unreal Tournament changed the face of gaming once again. Including over 50 maps on release, and releasing 4 Bonus Packs during the life of the game certainly helped it along its way, and today, 5 years later, UT is still one of the most played games on the Internet. Many people started the series with Unreal Tournament, looking for an awesome online gaming experience, and many of the people making mods for, or even running sites for, Unreal began their saga with Unreal Tournament. Another thing that started with the release of UT was the $150,000 Make Something Unreal Contest, of which you can see the logo below. The major difference between the contest for UT and the one for UT2004? In this contest, the community voted for the winners! The contest was originally sponsored by MPlayer.com, who was a big partner of Epic Games at the time.

Those that haven’t played Unreal Tournament are definitely lacking a landmark in computer gaming history. It was, at this time, when gaming as a whole began to make its shift from a mostly offline, single player experience to the online, multiplayer experience that we have today. UT was one of the greatest games released in our time. It was the beginning of a series of communities, clans, ladders, and friends. The community has continued on, and so have the games. Community mods made the game almost immortal to its community. Quickly, Infiltration was ported over to the new engine, and tweaked out of UT gameplay. Infiltration soon became a staple for Unreal mods, and many mods followed suit. One, Tactical Ops, would later see its debut as the first UT mod to have a retail release. Also, the promise of extensive mutator support was fully realized in UT. Mutators like Excessive Overkill were slapped into the UT universe and people watched the framerates crawl. The in game GUI that allowed you to add and remove mutators from the current game on the fly made the mutator support even more popular. By the end of UT’s life hundreds of mutators and mods had been released for it, as well as hundreds, if not thousands, of maps and models. By the release of Unreal Tournament, 6 Unreal Engine games had been released, and 6 more had been announced.

Series 1 Cancelled Projects:

At the end of each part, there will be a section devoted to the Unreal Engine games that were announced but cancelled during that generation. Games in the Unreal through UT generation to get cancelled include: an untitled sequel to Abe's Exodus (possibly Munch’s Odyssey), Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Hired Guns, and Aeon Flux.

Untitled Oddworld Game:
I had to search the Wayback machine to even find anything on this title, for the most part. After A LOT of Google-ing, I finally found the following two articles.

Oddworld Grabs Unreal Engine

The next title from Oddworld Inhabitants will utilize Epic MegaGame's Unreal engine, GTI cofounder and CEO Ron Chaimowitz told GameSpot writer Geoff Keighley.

The next title in the Oddworld Quintology will follow this fall's Abe's Exodus.

Read Keighley's Unreal feature in GameSpot, and have a look at GameSpot News' interview with Oddworld Inhabitant's president Lorne Lanning. Links are to your right.

By Staff, videogames.com (now gamespot.com)


This week's interview, "Gettin' Odd with the loonies" is one that I set out to do the minute I heard the rumor that the fine folks at Oddworld Inhabitants had licensed the Unreal engine for their next game, Munch's Odyssey.


Werewolf: The Apocalypse:
Once again, A LOT of Google-ing revealed the following article by our friends at PlanetUnreal.

8. Can you explain a little about the "morphing" technology used in changing forms?

In 50 words or less...

The morphing system uses algorithms to make a smooth transition from one shape to the other. These algorithms take each vertex of the original shape and calculate the closest vertex of the second shape. Then, an invisible line is drawn between the two points. Because the relationship between the vertices is pre-calculated (not actually done while the game is running), morphing won't bog down the processor. When a creature morphs during game play, the vertex of the mesh moves along the invisible line from the starting to ending point, based upon those pre-calculated figures.


Hired Guns:
I remember when Hired Guns was announced. It was supposed to be a really awesome Squad based game. It was apparently axed in 2000 when Psygnosis closed its US divisions and moved to Europe to develop strictly for PS2.

As you can see from the new screen shots, the interface includes not only the main view for your main character but also small split screen views for each of your three teammates. While the game is primarily single player, fans of cooperative play can look forward to playing through the single player game with four networked gamers, each playing one of the four mercenaries.


You can find some more media on the game here. (Thanks PlanetPhillip)

Aeon Flux:
This game was particularly difficult to find media for. Apparently, it was only in development for a few months after it was announced. Some information about the Aeon Flux games can be found here. Proof of this game’s announcement can be found here.

To see how the Engine has improved with each Unreal series game, take a look below. You will see a collage of one of the only maps that has made it's way through the generations, Deck 16. Also, be sure to watch for part two of this series in the coming days for information on the UT through UT2003 releases of Unreal Engine games!