Unreal II XMP Community Interview
#BeyondUnreal, IRC.EnterTheGame.Com
9 December 2003, 7:00PM - 9:00PM EST

On the evening of XMP's release, Tuesday December 9th 2003, BeyondUnreal hosted an exclusive IRC chat session with XMP developers Legend Entertainment. As well as several BeyondUnreal staffers and over 200 community members, the following Legend people were present:

  • Scott Dalton: Lead Designer
  • Aaron Leiby: Technical Lead / Weapons Programmer
  • Mike Baldwin: Game Programmer
  • Grant Roberts: Producer / Sound Effects / Provider of Ice Cream

And so, without further ado, on to the highlights of the chat session...

  • Asrial: Is XMP going to be just as moddable as UT2003?
    • Mike: Yes, XMP has UMOD support like UT2003.
  • Raffi_B: Will XMP have bot support?
    • Scott: No, there is no bot support. We weren't allowed enough in our budget for this project to get our AI programmer working full time on bots. It would have been a major undertaking with all of the new things in XMP, and given the resources we had to choose between dedicating our resources to making a cool new type of game, or making a game that's been done 1000 times before but which has bots...
  • edhe: Will XMP include Linux support?
    • Mike: Maybe, no guarentees. We'll do dedicated server support for Linux, if anything.
    • Scott: It's on our list of stuff to work on.
  • Peoii: Will XMP work with all of the localized version of U2, or just the English version?
    • Aaron: It should work with all of them. I installed it here using the French CD a few minutes ago.
    • Scott: There's a Euro and German version coming soon... the USA version will work with any version anyplace, but it does not have localized text for our foreign friends.
  • Limited: Where do you see the Unreal series going now, after persuing the tournament for 3 games and unreal for another 2 games, or might this be the last release we see?
    • Scott: It's not for us to decide or speculate as to what directions Epic might choose to take their IP.
    • Grant: My idea for a 3D action platformer starring Ne'Ban called "Slug Saga: The Adventures of Ne'Ban" was shot down rather quickly, I'm afraid.
    • Scott: Grant - SHHH! Mark Rein is on the phone saying they're moving forward with SS: TAoNB!
  • QAPete: How about it, guys? Dedicated server in our future?
    • Scott: All support you need for a standalone dedicated server is included in the release. As a dedicated server needs the assets, there would be nothing to be gained by a seperate "dedicated server" release which would be almost identical to the full install.
  • MachDelta: Which of the 3 vehicles is your favorite? (Is Scott's "The Bus" by any chance? ;))
    • Scott: My personal favorite is the Raptor... Gut-blowin and doing turbo-jumps is what it's all about.
    • QAPete: I got my first gut-blow on Sunday.... what an experience. Gut-blowing, BTW, is savagely ripping your enemy to shreads using the rotating blades 'o death on the front of the Raptor.
    • Aaron: Robert got a triple gutblow earlier today. Glorious!
    • Grant: We actually received a more recent sound to use for the Harbinger's horn, but we all decided the "INCOMING DEATH BUS" horn was just too good to replace!
  • healthy: Does what you said about not having enough CD-keys for people that bought U2 mean there will not be a dedicated server version for game server providers and therefore the server providers will not be able to offer XMP servers?
    • Aaron: UCC is included with the full download for dedicated servers. They will still need the CD though to install it. If this is a big problem from some of the major server providers, then they can contact us and we can probably figure something out for them.
    • Scott: The full release includes everything you need (UCC, WebAdmin, etc.)
  • Limited: Do you think XMP will be as popular at LAN parties as it is on the internet?
    • Scott: I hope so. it's really oriented around team play, something that is great for LAN parties... we hope people dig playing it on a LAN.
  • Graysson: I heard legend was working on female models, but didnt finished them... is there a chance they will be completed in the future?
    • Scott: You heard wrong... we would have liked to create them if we had the resources to do so, but we did not. None were ever modelled or skinned.
  • Limited: Will there be any bonus packs for XMP if it proves to be popular enough?
    • Mike: Unknown at this time.
  • Luggage: Anyone planning XMP maps already?
    • RaptoR: We (the beta testers) are working on a Community Map Pack that'll contain 4-5 new maps for XMP. Expect a release sometime over the next week.
  • hal: Any plans to release any of the Unreal 2 assets for use in the other Unreal games in the series? Specifically models?
    • Scott: Not at this time, but we'll be considering it.
  • UnderLoK: Since the majority of people do not have physical access to their servers we will be looking for another method to get it installed. Do you know if we can just zip up the installed version from our client upload it and use that to bypass the cd check during install?
    • Scott: Yes.
  • Zapf: Is there any chance of a Mac port of XMP appearing, like with UT2003/4?
    • Scott: We wouldn't be the developers of a Mac port, so it's really up to Atari to answer that. Much like the Xbox version of Unreal 2 is being developed by Tantalus, not Legend, so would a Mac version be developed by another company.
  • Asrial: From a business perspective, if XMP gets a solid community behind it will Atari/Epic/Whoever allocate some funding to Legend to continue further development?
    • Aaron: Unknown at this time.
  • chrisslip: What sort of anti-cheat measures are being taken for the game if any?
    • Aaron: All the standard UT cheat stuff is in, but we still have to see what new creative exploits will be used with XMP.
  • QAPete: Ok, folks. Thanks to Scott, Mike, Aaron and Grant for spending the evening with everyone here at BeyondUnreal. Also thanks to everyone who turned out for the event, and submitted such good questions. Apologies to any that didn't get asked/answered, but there were a ton. XMP is out, everyone's downloading, and we'll all see you on the servers! Any last words, LE guys?
    • Grant: Please don't shoot me! I...I have allergies...
    • Aaron: Free monkey, quit complaining! :P
    • Scott: Thanks everyone! Making XMP has been a blast. We hope you all enjoy playing it... oh, and shoot Grant.

Special thanks to everyone who attended the event, and to Legend for answering everyone's questions!