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  1. #1

    Question The Ball-Opportunists

    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?

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4

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    k... well i...did...not.... know that....
    still seems incestuous
    Last edited by stanDarsh; 11-06-2009 at 06:15 PM.

  5. #5

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    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.

  6. #6

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    Im glad I'm not the only one who sees this.... Perception is everything btw.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Polge View Post
    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.

  8. #8
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    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.
    Tutorials/Textures/Jobs/Kismet Snippets - http://www.Hourences.com
    The Ball - An Action/Puzzle Game http://www.theballthegame.com/

  9. #9

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    right on.
    you're the man btw

  10. #10

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    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.
    Last edited by maty; 11-10-2009 at 08:03 AM.

  11. #11

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    I don't think we are discussing the correct question. I think the only valid question is dealing with mods getting access early, which has absolutely nothing to do with MSUC. The contest is completely open, you can be a professional game designer and submit an entry. So, why would being given early access to UDK even affect an entrys "preference"?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by maty View Post
    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.
    Several mods had early access. All mods who won a 1st place in a Best Mod category in any of the phases of this contest had early access.
    Tutorials/Textures/Jobs/Kismet Snippets - http://www.Hourences.com
    The Ball - An Action/Puzzle Game http://www.theballthegame.com/

  13. #13
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    This thread is rediculous. Quite frankly it's not that the ball is so unattainably amazing, it's that other mods just don't have a production value to compete.

    Yes it's frickin' hard to get all the elements together to get a mod of a professional caliber together, years of work, many people, etc. etc.

    It's rare these days to see a mod compete at that level, in any fashion, and you want to penalize those that put the effort in. Whatever miniscule advantage Epic's support has provided (the only advantage i can think of is moral support) is very well deserved.
    Last edited by crazyfingers; 11-11-2009 at 09:09 AM.

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    ITT: butthurt people

    It's clear the OP's argument was not well thought out nor did it have it's facts right. OP needs to worry about how to bring himself up to the level of a team like The Ball, instead of trying to bring them down.

    /thread
    Last edited by BlvdNights; 12-25-2009 at 02:42 PM.

  15. #15
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    nevermind
    Last edited by Skred; 12-25-2009 at 04:08 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanDarsh View Post
    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?
    Promotion of one mod as an example of the top of the community if anything just promotes other mods because people will want to see what else can be done with the engine.

  17. #17
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    Well all I will say about the matter is this:

    The Ball HAS been around for a VERY long time now. I honeslty do not see how it would be fair to have The Ball as part of the UDK competition. Given that it was developed long ago enough to be played and tinkered with around the time UT3 was released.

    On top of that the ball is being created by people who have their content released with prior Epic titles. This hardly seems fair. I mean cmon, the main guythat writes all the tutorials for the engine and is also known for having one of the best maps in an Epic title. Rankin

    Is he awesome..yes of course, but you might as well compete against Bungie or hell the Scion division of Epic. It's about the same thing...it honestly is not fair to the others IMO.

    If the team behind "TheBall" wishes to enter, I think that is totally fine, but it should have to be something new, not something they've been developing for at least a year, or maybe closer to 2 years...that's an advatange if I ever saw one.

    Not trying to start an argument or a flame fight, that's just my opinion on the matter

    Let me make it clear, I am NOT in the competition in any way, but I am a ametuer level designer. I've felt for years like I'm playing catch-up to "VIP" people or w/e you want to call them.

    These comments that say: worry about bringing yourself to their level......or......quit getting buthurt...... is nothing but INTIMIDATION. Someting VERY common in the Unreal community..sadly.


    So... no it's not fair to the other mod teams who at best, are having to SCRAMBLE to put something together, while these guys tweak their old mod, and make it better and better.

    I dont know the rules to the MSUC, but this just sounds like a fixed horse race to me. I've never entered the competition myself cause I feel honestly like the winners are already chosen and I'm just spinning my wheels, and driving myself crazy to enter. I happen to know a few other people who do this stuff who feel the exact same way.



    You should be disqualified from these contests once you've won in the past, or had a release with Epic. It's like firing Cliffy to let him compete.

    I love UDK and what Epic has done for us....I just hope this is NOT NOT the case.

    Good luck to everyone on your mods including the ball team I hoep it makes for some great games we can all enjoy. Rather than stifle potiential greatness.

    Good luck to you all.
    Last edited by Skred; 12-26-2009 at 07:25 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Lets see, where to start...

    -We have been in development for 1.5 years. There are many many teams who have worked on their mods for a similar amount of time, or even way more. We work 24/7, and we have been consistenly very well on schedule with the project. That is why we got a lot of work done now. We didn't had more time than anyone else. But we worked smoother than many. And that is a good thing for your information, not a bad thing.
    -The entire point of this entire contest was to have teams work on their creation for 1.5 years. That is why there are 4 phases. That is why this contest spans 1.5 years. To let the mods grow throughout the contest. We did exactly that. We entered a prototype in Phase 1, and we reiterated from there on.
    -1.5 year is not an old project. For your information, after 1.5 years of development we are still now where we want to be quality wise. It will take us another six months to get this game up to an acceptable level of quality, something good enough to release for real. You can't just make a game in 4 months. You need years to do this.
    -There is much at stake with a contest like this one, so yes experience people step in. I am by far and far now the only one. There are many people involved in this contest who have done something for Epic in the past, or for another big developer such as Ubisoft and EA. I know many people who entered into the contest, and won things, who have all been working in the industry for a while now, or have done so in the past. The entire reasoning behind this is to ensure a high level of quality. The better the work produced is, the better the publicity is for Epic. It would be mad not to allow that, and it is also really difficult to verify who is and who isn't experienced. Which brings us to the next point.
    -You will always have people who have a lot more experience than others. A contest is just never fair. Even if you would exclude all "pros", you will still have amateurs left who started modding Unreal in 1998, and have since made half a dozen mods, as a hobby. Those people are still way more experienced than someone who just started out with Unreal. It is impossible to have a "balanced" contest.
    -I am the only in the team who has done things for Epic in the past. Our other 12 or so developers have never done anything for them, and in fact all but I believe two of them are amateurs who never worked in the games industry. There are several teams who have more "pros" than we have in fact.

    It usually helps having enough enough background info and not just making assumptions.

    I started in 1999 or whatever, and around 2000 I think there was MSU 1. The very first one. Similar concept. I didn't even bother entering back then, I couldn't compete with level designers like, just to name a few names that pop up, Rich Eastwood, DavidM, Erik Boltjes, and so on either. They were the "vips" of that time. They started messing with Unreal as soon as it came out. I only got into Unreal like a month before UT was released or something like that. Did I go complain? No, I had a dream and a desire, I had the dedication, and I started working and fighting for what I wanted to achieve. At one point or another I managed to catch up, and I continued from there on. Catching up is not impossible, nothing is impossible really, but you must believe in it, and be willing to work and fight for it.
    Tutorials/Textures/Jobs/Kismet Snippets - http://www.Hourences.com
    The Ball - An Action/Puzzle Game http://www.theballthegame.com/

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hourences View Post
    Lets see, where to start...

    -We have been in development for 1.5 years. There are many many teams who have worked on their mods for a similar amount of time, or even way more. We work 24/7, and we have been consistenly very well on schedule with the project. That is why we got a lot of work done now. We didn't had more time than anyone else. But we worked smoother than many. And that is a good thing for your information, not a bad thing.
    -The entire point of this entire contest was to have teams work on their creation for 1.5 years. That is why there are 4 phases. That is why this contest spans 1.5 years. To let the mods grow throughout the contest. We did exactly that. We entered a prototype in Phase 1, and we reiterated from there on.
    -1.5 year is not an old project. For your information, after 1.5 years of development we are still now where we want to be quality wise. It will take us another six months to get this game up to an acceptable level of quality, something good enough to release for real. You can't just make a game in 4 months. You need years to do this.
    -There is much at stake with a contest like this one, so yes experience people step in. I am by far and far now the only one. There are many people involved in this contest who have done something for Epic in the past, or for another big developer such as Ubisoft and EA. I know many people who entered into the contest, and won things, who have all been working in the industry for a while now, or have done so in the past. The entire reasoning behind this is to ensure a high level of quality. The better the work produced is, the better the publicity is for Epic. It would be mad not to allow that, and it is also really difficult to verify who is and who isn't experienced. Which brings us to the next point.
    -You will always have people who have a lot more experience than others. A contest is just never fair. Even if you would exclude all "pros", you will still have amateurs left who started modding Unreal in 1998, and have since made half a dozen mods, as a hobby. Those people are still way more experienced than someone who just started out with Unreal. It is impossible to have a "balanced" contest.
    -I am the only in the team who has done things for Epic in the past. Our other 12 or so developers have never done anything for them, and in fact all but I believe two of them are amateurs who never worked in the games industry. There are several teams who have more "pros" than we have in fact.

    It usually helps having enough enough background info and not just making assumptions.

    I started in 1999 or whatever, and around 2000 I think there was MSU 1. The very first one. Similar concept. I didn't even bother entering back then, I couldn't compete with level designers like, just to name a few names that pop up, Rich Eastwood, DavidM, Erik Boltjes, and so on either. They were the "vips" of that time. They started messing with Unreal as soon as it came out. I only got into Unreal like a month before UT was released or something like that. Did I go complain? No, I had a dream and a desire, I had the dedication, and I started working and fighting for what I wanted to achieve. At one point or another I managed to catch up, and I continued from there on. Catching up is not impossible, nothing is impossible really, but you must believe in it, and be willing to work and fight for it.
    Points well taken and I can identify with a lot of what your saying. Having read your points, I still feel the same way.

    Obvioulsy there should be like divisions or something. How could it be fair to go against "industry people" when you've never been in a studio? YOU KNOW THE ANSWER. It's not. You can sit here and mod all day in your home, it's not going into a studio...you know it, and so do I.

    I was'nt trying to get into a debate with ya HourMoria.usx man. I have a lot of respect for you and your work.

    Thus I'd NEVER enter a competition where I have to go against you, cause I know what the result is going to be. Herein lies the problem I think.

    That's all I have to say about it and good luck and I'm glad things are going smooth for you guys, and I sincerely wish you nothing but success.

    take it with a grain of salt bro.
    I <3 Flak

  20. #20
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    I'd take any chance i could get to enter a competition against professionals in this industry, if it's something i wanted to do, who cares if the competition have been at it for 10 years? They have some knowledge you might not, but at the end of the day, if you can create a map, a mod a character, whatever, that surpasses theirs and wins YOU the prizes, well, there isn't going to be a much better result at the end of it is there?

    “A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.” - Richard Bach - The exact same applies here, you have to start somewhere and you can't just jump to the top without a challenge, for that would spoil the point of a contest, it's designed to bring out the best in you.

  21. #21
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    If you'd never enter a competition against experienced people, my only advice is that you drop any desire to ever work within the games industry, because you're going to face this absolutely everywhere you go. You could be a tiny studio, and you're going to be competing against EA, Valve, Nintendo, etc.

    With that said, if you take the approach of "I'm never going to compete against people more experienced than me, because I'm going to assume that they will always win", you're entirely underestimating the power of doing things differently. So you can't compete against The Ball through production quality? Then don't. Compete against The Ball by doing something so outrageously different that everyone is going to forget that production quality even matters, because you've produced something so unique that people can't compare the two.

    As recent examples of that point, no one knew what happened when the Nintendo DS was released, and exactly the same thing happened with the Wii. Competing on the same level didn't work, so they went down an entirely new path. Doesn't matter whether you like the games or the systems, you can't argue with their profits. This is how the industry moves forwards, and taking a defeatist approach to things won't get you anywhere, ever.

  22. #22
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    I don't have any desire to work in the game industry. Unless it's on an Unreal title. IDC about working on stuff I have no passion for. This is a hobby for me, and the equivilent to my art. (I'd also work on DMC but they're in Japan..lol)

    I fully understand that in any carrer field it is extremely competitive no matter your job. So in essence you guys are totally right on. I just always thought that the MSCU was geared more toward hobbyists or the "up and coming" rather than the "established professionals". That's my mistake.

    Good luck on your mods and stuff guys and I hope to see the ball on XBL arcade or something in the near future.
    Last edited by Skred; 12-29-2009 at 07:06 AM.
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  23. #23

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    Well I think that the fact that my mod, Unreal Space, has been picked to compete as a finalist squashes any attack that this contest is not fair. I have absoluetly no industry experience and it has been a major thorn in my side to getting into the industry. So I decided to enter this contest with my mod. My team only had two developers, me and my level designer who was thousands of miles away in another country (and he had other projects to work on besides this mod). But we got it done and managed to put something together that people could enjoy. As a result it was a great honor to be nominated as a finalist along with a mod that is as good as The Ball. So if there is any proof that a non-industry modder can make it this is it.

  24. #24
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    I say good on Toltec Studios. They've pulled together an outstanding mod for many gamers to try that is unique against the other mods in the competition. If they win then it's a well deserved win IMO!

    As for Epic supporting them good on Epic! Epic put the tools into our hands so we can do anything we want and it's good to see a developer supporting modding crews and plugging the great work they've done! Other developers out there don't even release modding tools and never inspire the community to work with their engine/games!

    Toltec and the modders working on 'The Haunted' are showing the rest of us what can be done if you put your mind to it! With myself trying to be a mapper I find these modding crews to be a good inspiration if you ask me!
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