First off, grats to The Ball team. Best of luck, I hope it sells.
Half of what I know about Unreal Engine has come from Hourences sweet sweet site.
These guys have made it to the next level. They've ascended the realm of the mod. That being said. Wouldn't it be classy for them to step out of the mod competition?
The word incestuous comes into mind when I see The Ball all over the UDK sight... like Epic has sponsored them. How fair is it that a team, that is pretty much sponsored by Epic, is set to win a contest put on by that same company. Not to mention, The Ball isn't even playing with the same tools as the rest of the mods in the contest... They got UDK early? WTF? How is that fair Epic?
What I'm asking for, is people's opinions on the matter. Sure they stand to win more money, and I'm 100% down for competition, but at a certain point you have to put the second stringers in and give the little guys a chance to shine too. When does opportunism turn into bullying?
I don't see a reason why they should drop out just because they've worked really hard, they should be rewarded for their efforts. The fact that they were willing to set aside time to port a demo of the Ball over to the UDK in the middle of the competition is an honorable action, not a competitive one.
MSUC mods must be made with UT3, not UDK. While we provided early beta access to UDK to The Ball team so we could get feedback about UDK issues, we didn't provide mod specific support or any compensation. I can't think of any advantage they gained, and if anything, porting their mod to the UDK distracted them from polishing their final version for the MSUC.
I agree OP, it does seem kinda shady. Regardless if they used UDK or not for their submission, they are still blatantly sponsored by Epic Games.
When an Epic sponsored game wins their own contest it is going to look really bad. I dont understand why they didnt wait until the contest was at least over to come out with it. They didnt even try to hide it.
MSUC mods must be made with UT3, not UDK. ..... I can't think of any advantage they gained, and if anything, porting their mod to the UDK distracted them from polishing their final version for the MSUC.
What Steve said.^
And this is solely based on an assumption that the Ball will win phase 4. Don't count out the other fantastic mods in the running. The Haunted mod comes to mind and is just as polished as The Ball is, if not more so.
I would say this thread is premature at best.
And if The Ball does win, well it's not like a top notch mod like that doesn't deserve it anyway.
Like said, we were not paid for porting The Ball over, and the MSU contest is for UT3. Having, or not having, early access to the UDK doesn't change your chances in the contest because it has nothing to do with the UDK.
We have no money, no funding, no jobs, and we are gambling everything on The Ball.
It took us quite a lot of time and effort to port The Ball over. We didn't just copy paste it over, packaged it, and called it done. This took us several weeks to port and polish. That was time that we could have spent on our grand finals submission. Even this week, just a week from the deadline, and at the moment that the mod version entered the final beta phase, I also had to work on the UDK builds besides the mod.
The UDK build was done entirely by me and our main programmer Markus. We are the two most important developers of The Ball, and the rest of the team had to do without us for a considerable amount of time. That is not optimal, but we managed.
We have more publicity than you because of the UDK, but you have had more time. Publicity doesn't impact the contest, time does.
My personal opinion is that its great Epic are supporting mods in this way - and that some are being given a greater opportunity to port early, which is even better.
The problem I think people are having that perhaps hasn't been explained well is that by being given early access to the UDK, this shows preference for one mod over any number of others.
Of course, I don't believe that Epic has any "preference" for one mod over the other, but it has to be understood that with no reasoning from Epic "why" one project was selected over the others, and with the MSUC on the go, that some people question whether the contest can be judged to be "fair", as some may argue (valid or not) that Epic has shown a preference.
This whole thing can be silenced with just a single sentence from Epic just clarifying why they chose The Ball (they felt it was small-scale enough to be ported in the time-frame for the UDK release, for example, would be a completely valid reasoning).
I don't have a problem, but I can fully understand where others are coming from. Some other, very popular mods, were not only not given the same opporunity, but were not even informed to any degree about the UDK's impending release.
Its not about "advantages", its about a showing of special treatment for a project. Showing a "preference".
I do not think for a moment that this is the case, I believe Epic must have had valid reasoning based on time-frames and which mod team they felt could deliver for the UDK release date. Its just a decision that hasn't been made clear, and with so many people dedicating time to the MSUC on various projects, all competing, clarity on behalf of Epic is a must to keep those hard-working people content that the contest will be judged without any bias.