What made UT99 such a success and what can we hope for if a new sequel to be made?
Well, it's a big topic and you guys here obviously have a lot ideas, as we talked in this and this.
But I still have some thoughts that I have to share, because I am a fan of UT, and I am bored.
First, I'd like to get into some of the details of UT99 to see in a degree what makes UT99 a sexy game like that. But I am not going to talk about every aspect, just those I find interesting.
1.1) Space maps. I mean maps like a floating island or a spaceship or something wrapped in big environment that you feel like in space.
-- At least 9 DM maps from UT99, including maps from bonus packs, are space maps.
-- Some of them are all time favorites of many UT fans. Like HyperBlast, Morpheus, Peak, Phobos.
-- And CTF-Face is also a space map.
-- In UT3, only 2 DM maps are space maps. UT3 has a consistent theme that everything happens ON a planet. Grounded.
- I am not saying space maps are better. But something in space maps actually helps to build UT99 style.
- Generally, space maps are very open, sci-fi, and usually have straightforward layouts (that's the point of dm17 from q3) that everyone can easily remember. That's one thing crucial for fast-paced shooters.
- Space maps can have gorgeous sky and background. You can put as much details as you can into the background and they don't affect the gameplay of your map. But those grounded indoor maps, you tend to add details in the playable area and that affects gameplay.
1.2) How much details do we need in UT maps?
-- Visual details takes most of time and manpower to create. More next-gen details usually means more cost and that could hurt other aspects of a game project.
-- You have to admit, visual affects gameplay. Pretty much.
-- And you have to admit, details are a big part of visual.
-- And details can be SFX details or animation details, not necessary to be static meshes locating everywhere.
-- It's a fact that UT99 maps look way more neat than UT2K4, UT3.
-- The BSP has something to do with it, as you can see, HOLP maps for UT3 look very UT99-ish.
-- BSP is just a way, old-fashioned way to make a map.
-- Sometimes BSP maps could be very ugly, we all downloaded many ugly UT99 custom maps before.
-- General players always want nice visual, which they usually consider as realistic and detailed.
- But nice visual does not have to be Crysis-ish or BF3-ish or Gears-ish. Don't forget there was something called UT-ish and we just forgot or haven't figure out how to get it back in modern games. It's not a technical problem that you can simply solve it by mimic BSP. It's technology meets art, something tastes like the first time we see Mirror's Edge or Portal. Both games are having its unique visual style that not just following those military shooters.
- Detail-based visual is welcome when talking about movies (usually, not any movies) or movie-like games, especially the ingame cinematics. But details can also make you hard to notice the important gameplay things happen fast in real time, which means the more visual details, the harder to figure out what's going on and what to do next in game.
- And this effect is much obvious in games like UT, because its fast pace nature.
- In UT99, we don't need enhanced skins to see the others, the pickups. They are easy to spot, because the level visual is neat. But since UT2k3, things have changed. UT becomes more like a super highly detailed demo to show the engine.
- Staticmeshes using as visual details can easily cause collision problems.
- But I don't think details are bad for UT. It needs brilliant, subtle details that makes it a modern game that looks like a much advanced UT99.
- Cool SFX and animation details are more than welcome.
- One word can describe what a good UT map has to be. That word is: SMOOTH. I am not worry about the gameplay flow as we know EPIC has some very talented level designers. I just worry about the visual smooth as we have seen bad examples in UT2K3/4 and UT3.
It's always good to talk about what we fans think about UT. And its the least we can do to help EPIC to make a decision of a new sequel.
Last edited by chonglee; 04-20-2012 at 12:25 AM.
Added some thoughts about weapon slots
I disagree about limiting the weapon slots. It's what makes UT what it is. It's about the possibilities you have, a skilled player should have the chance to be able to collect all weapons and use them according to his preferences and environment such as a newcomer should have the chance to find out what weapons he should use in which situations - which requires the freedom to be able to collect them all and try them out in different situations.
yup, I agree newcomer should be able to learn about all the weapons, but that is not really relevant with weapon slots. It's never a problem for other shooters having less slots. It's just something UT99 originally did and looks quite UT-ish and meanwhile UT-like old-fashioned. I don't hate old-fashioned, but if a new UT would have any innovation, this slot thing could be something to consider.
And to use weapons according to situations, you can still do it with less slots, just you need to get the right weapon in place A first before you can use it in place B. A very good example of this is the railgun in Q3 dm17. You have to go that far to the small platform to get that railgun and bring it back to fully use it. And that's THE thing makes that map. Of course using a map from another game seems not convincible but you know what I mean.
But on a second thought, this limited slots may be risky to use in UT. In a degree I agree UT is what it is, a system already self-consistent, or at least being that for UT99. That's why innovations are always hard to make, especially for fast-paced games like UT99 which already set a very high standard.
In the end of the day, it's all about fun and feels Unreal style. IMO anything can be changed as long as it doesn't break these 2 factors.
Thank you for taking the time to write this, was a good read.
About the limit weapon slot, if that was ever implanted id never buy the game, guaranteed 100%. From my 10 years of experience on playing Unreal, i most say this would kill fast paced gaming for unreal. I will edit this later, i am way to tired right now.
I deleted that limited slots part.
From my years of experience over the last decade playing this franchise, I know most hardcore UT players simply don't want any change, all they want is a remake of UT99, that's cool and I get it. I just feel it's not enough to make a new UT ever close to GOTY again.
What this game really needs is innovation which feels like UT, not exactly a clone of the original UT. That slot thing, work or not, all depends on how to implement the details of the design, and you never know for sure what it could be unless you actually make a prototype demo out of it. So I guess here I talking about it, is pointless, so I deleted it.
For now, I would rather see an U3 than any new UT. UT could be shelved, I don't care that much anymore, as long as we have Unreal and its multiplayer.
well put +1
Originally Posted by chonglee
Innovation would be replicating the proven UT99 game play and feel while including all of the UT 2004 game types in addition to the UT99 game types and allowing server hosts to choose UT99 or UT 2004 style movement. Innovation could take the form of an excellent user interface and online multiplayer system. Innovation could take the form of a good and detailed built-in voice comm system and built-in Internet Relay Chat browser, etc. There's plenty of room for innovation while still producing a game with excellent game play (UT99 game play).
Back when it was a simpler time, free from the redundant and over complicated BS of today's games, back then it was about game play then gimmicky, money grubbing tactics, does not apply to every game.