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The Next Unreal Tournament: Totally Free, Developed By Public 122

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Epic Games is rebooting Unreal Tournament, but not in a typical way. A small team of veteran developers will begin work on the next edition of the popular, multi-player shooter, in collaboration with pretty much anyone who wants to participate. "From the very first line of code, the very first art created and design decision made, development will happen in the open, as a collaboration between Epic, UT fans and UE4 developers. We'll be using forums for discussion, and Twitch streams for regular updates," reads a note on the company's blog. All code and content will appear on GitHub, and development will focus on Mac, Linux, and Windows. What's the catch? According to Epic, it'll take months to forge a playable game. "When the game is playable, it will be free. Not free to play, just free," the blog adds. "We'll eventually create a marketplace where developers, modders, artists and gamers can give away, buy and sell mods and content. Earnings from the marketplace will be split between the mod/content developer, and Epic. That's how we plan to pay for the game.""
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The Next Unreal Tournament: Totally Free, Developed By Public

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  • so (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hypergreatthing ( 254983 ) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @04:40PM (#46953363)

    If it's free, as in free to download, compile and use, why would anyone want to use a market place to buy and sell skins/artwork?

    • Re:so (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @04:45PM (#46953417)

      Ease of use? Installing mods in previous games (UT99, UT2004 and UT3), while not particularly difficult for the tech-savvy, isn't exactly user-friendly, and when you mess up there's little information on how to fix it.

      As for "why would you sell it on Epic's marketplace instead of on your own?", that's almost definitely going to be what most gamers will be using, so that's where all the customers are. I certainly wouldn't mind selling maps for a dollar a pop.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        The Umod package format was designed for ease, but since most people play pirated copies that never installed it properly (umod extension setup happens at install time) there was often complaints about that (and less about not being able to use umods on Linux or Mac platforms which is a valid issue, but definitely the minority.)...
      • by Khyber ( 864651 )

        "Ease of use? Installing mods in previous games (UT99, UT2004 and UT3), while not particularly difficult for the tech-savvy, isn't exactly user-friendly, "

        What the fuck crack are you smoking? You either copy the mod to the game directory or run the self-extracting and installation-detecting executable.

        Speaking as I have all UTs instaled on my system and still play and mod them regularly.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Because the stuff they develop for use in the market place is not included in the original free game. Moron.

      • by Khyber ( 864651 )

        As if someone else can't make the same or equivalent thing and simply not charge for it.


        • As if someone else can't make the same or equivalent thing and simply not charge for it.

          Ok, I'm sure you will then volunteer to do all that extremely hard work for not a single penny.

          • by Khyber ( 864651 )

            "Ok, I'm sure you will then volunteer to do all that extremely hard work for not a single penny."

            It's only hard if you're totally inept at understanding tutorials provided by many many many other communities dedicated to modding.

            But you seem the ill-educated type.

            • Ill-educated, eh? :) How about you? Have you created a full playable deathmatch level from beginning to end?
    • Re:so (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stewsters ( 1406737 ) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @04:47PM (#46953439)
      Some people want to make a profit, some don't. It gives the people who want to make a few dollars of their model get paid, and lets those who just want to make something offer theirs free. See https://www.assetstore.unity3d... [unity3d.com] for an example of this now. If you don't have all the skills to make a game, you can still make money off of selling assets.

      I have no idea how this will go, but it will be interesting.
    • Re:so (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Thursday May 08, 2014 @04:48PM (#46953451) Homepage

      I assume they'll not be making this extra content Open Source, and perhaps have official servers which any old compiler will not be able to connect to.

      The greater benefit here is that there will be a very public log of what it takes to make an AAA title. A super in-depth tutorial for all those devs who might want to license it.

    • by Himmy32 ( 650060 )
      People like to pay for convenience.
    • I am no longer interested in this cheat infested type FPS's. I totally lost interest in deluging a person with a rocket launcher only to be killed by him with a knife.
      Best of luck folks.

      • I am no longer interested in this cheat infested type FPS's. I totally lost interest in deluging a person with a rocket launcher only to be killed by him with a knife.
        Best of luck folks.

        So you're saying his skill won out over your cheats?

      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        - I'm sick of cheaters!

        * Brings rocket launcher to knife fight *

      • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        take it up with careserv newb!

        • I have a better idea, why don't you keep using your cheats and I will move on to a game that utilizes skill and not mods to overcome opponents.

      • by Threni ( 635302 )

        Don't you report them, and then they get watched/videod and if there's evidence they're cheating they're kicked/banned?

    • When I first heard this earlier today what came to mind is Minecraft.
      If they can create a good stable base product with good enough <Insert developer jargon for "information people need to develop mods" here> support then there very well may be a market for good mod packs.
      I know I would have been more than happy to pay $20 or $30 for Feed The Beast for MineCraft.

      If they can turn that into a market where they skim some money off the top from the mod pack sellers to pay for a free base product (the oppo
      • oh.... and we are talking about a LOT more than just art and skins here. IF they are going the Minecraft route.
    • Skins, for example.

    • Think of it this way... Sure you *can* use the Amazon App Store on your Android Phone, and even get some Android Apps cheaper than you would on Google Play, however you would need to seek it out and install it yourself versus just using the one that is pre-loaded on your phone.

      As such, using the Unreal Store will create immediate visibility to all users, as well as put the onus of distributing and more importantly tracking patch levels and updating the content on Epic instead of the user.

      Still, the te
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      For the user the game will be free as in beer, not "freemium" with in-game micro transactions. The code will neither be free as in beer nor free as in speech, but if you are already a UE4 subscriber ($19/month) you can use and extend the code for no extra charge, presumably under the same license and terms as mods to the engine itself so basically it's a reference implementation FPS. If you sell anything you owe them 5% of the gross revenue, if you give it away you owe them nothing. Which makes their pricin

    • by Z80a ( 971949 )

      The "evil" is most likely simply creating a gigantic programmer and user base of the unreal engine, so they can shift a lot of the indie and big games to use their engine instead of lets say crytech.

    • More importantly, since they want a royalty payment on sales, why are they charging developers per month up-front? Wouldn't this reduce the number of developers willing to experiment with their engine?
    • by rwven ( 663186 )

      I take it you're not the kind of person to donate to OSS projects, then?

  • RealCTF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mfh ( 56 ) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @04:52PM (#46953513) Homepage Journal

    Former RealCTF level designer here.

    This is a really good idea, and I welcome this as great news! :-)

    If anyone needs some level design, hit me up!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That UID.

      • Woah. Woah.
    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @04:58PM (#46953603)
      Holy hell, I don't think I've ever seen a 2-digit ID post before.
      • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

        Uh oh. Now you've done it. Watch a 1-digit roll over in it's grave, and post to top that.

        • by mfh ( 56 )

          The only one who would is CmdrTaco but he hasn't since 2011. I haven't seen anyone post lower than 56.

      • by BTWR ( 540147 )
        I have a friend w/a 1-digit UID. He's not interested in selling but I wonder what it would go for...
  • by damicatz ( 711271 ) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @04:54PM (#46953539)

    I hope they bring back UWindows. That, IMHO, was the pinnacle of interfaces for games and the consolized interfaces of the later versions are crap by comparison.

  • As anyone who's watched the most famous recent use of Twitch [twitch.tv] will realize, this should result in epic loltrolling and griefing of the development process.

    That or else the development process will be sufficiently insulated from the rabble that this announcement boils down to just marketing.

  • I don't see this launching soon.

  • open = being able to have your own build that bypass the DRM.

  • by Dega704 ( 1454673 ) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:32PM (#46953893)
    They seem to have taken a leaf from Valve's book with Team Fortress 2, but are taking it a step further by opening the development itself. If this works out well, it could have a lot of ramifications for the future of game development. I'll be happy enough as long as the lightning gun comes back. That thing made headshots so much more fun.
  • Avid UT player here (the original "UT99") and it was almost *entirely* because of the 3rd-party content (particularly the "Land of the Giants" maps) that I played the game as much as I did...

    • This. It's ancient, but there's something about UT 99 and it's great maps and mods that's un-matched for quick, dirty, mad crazy carnage.

      I would love nothing more than re-creating the feel of that game with a few modern updates (maybe modern, smoother graphics for better eye-candy, destructible map elements (leave a crater where a redeemer went off, drop a wall on an enemy), rockets that actually fly fast like real rockets, blast waves, simulated vertigo/shock on impact, more useable gadgets in maps).
  • just modernize UT2k4 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @08:34PM (#46955149) Journal
    just upgrade UT2k4 with the things that have become standard in the last 10 years.....

    actually fuck that, FPS has only gotten worse over the last decade, re-release with only the most minor tweaks to take advantage of modern hardware and improve the map and mod cache a bit (really just upgrade so hash collisions can't happen and add a browser function to delete only specific cached data when the cache grows to over 9000)
    • Just about your Sig, its Chelsy Manning now or some crap like that.
    • UT2k4 would be acceptable, but U2:XMP was the epitome of multiplayer Unreal games for me. It was the saddest Internet day when the master servers went down and scattered the player base. :(
    • If old FPSes like UT were that great, people would still be playing them. People still play Counterstrike 1.6 and Starcraft, yet they don't play UT or Quake.

      • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
        people still do play 2k4, I have never been unable to get a game.
      • Actually they do still play UT. Check out globalunreal.com it is an active community of around 300 players with draft leagues run 4-6 times a year in various mods.
  • Even though the UT series were great games in their own right, in reality their purpose have always been to serve as tech demos for the latest iteration of the Unreal Engine. The full UT3 source code is also available to UE3 subscribers as an example of how to implement a game using the engine.

    However there hasn't really been any significant changes to UE3 in the last couple of years while they were ramping up development on UE4, so there wasn't much need for another UT game. Now that UE4 is ready to go
  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Friday May 09, 2014 @09:25AM (#46958469)

    Every game these days supports MODs but nobody ever supports S3Ms anymore.

  • UT ceased to be relevant a very long time ago.

    DOATA2 and League of Legends are were it is at now for competition. Before that Starcraft 2. Before that CS. Team Fortress 2.

    Making UT open isn't going to change anything, the world has long since moved on to bigger and better things.

    If you want to bring something back that is relevant, bring back Enemy Territory with an open update. Now that would be awesome. Though much of the reason it was great, were features that have since been integrated into all FPS now,

  • You have to be a paid Unreal Engine 4 developer to access the source on GitHub...

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.