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Epic Games is Making a New, Free Unreal Tournament Game

| 8 May 2014 18:05

Epic Games is talking about UE4, Unreal Tournament, and VR on their Twitch channel. Watch it here live!

Part One of the Epic stream is over. Here are the major points to take away from the Unreal Tournament annoucement (with stream notes following below):

  • Epic Games is now working on a new Unreal Tournament title
  • Unreal Tournament 2014, as we're calling it for now, is going to be free. Epic Games says it is not free-to-play, as they've made the distinction several times now.
  • Through the Unreal Engine 4 editor, the community is going to be actively involved right from the start
  • Mods, skins, and other in-game content can be developed by the community, then sold or given away for free. There's no restrictions on what can or cannot be sold or distributed gratis. (This sounds a lot like free-to-play...)
  • The first game mode will be Deathmatch, with others to follow.
  • Forums and Wiki are coming soon.

Epic also has a new blog post up about Unreal Tournament, which confirms a few other details. For starts, development will be focused on Windows, Mac, and Linux first, so this is decidedly a PC release for now. Furthermore, the wiki for Unreal Tournament is now live -- check it out here. The forums are going to be part of the Unreal Engine board.

Stream Updates:
Epic Games is making a new Unreal Tournament, and they want community feedback from the get-go. The new UT title will be 100 percent free, says Epic, and they are stressing that it is not "free-to-play." So it sounds like micro-transactions aren't going to be a major factor going forward, at least internally.

"We are going to start development today," said Steve Polge, Senior Programmer and UT Project Lead.

Also on screen during the Twitch stream: Lead Level Designer David Spalinski, and Community Manager Stacey "Flak" Conley.

Epic is taking a ground-up approach to the new Unreal Tournament, asking for Unreal Engine subscribers for contributions on day one. I think micro-transactions will come into play here -- users making skins and levels, and selling them in some sort of marketplace -- but that's just speculation.

Regarding mods and the marketplace: The marketplace, which is in the early stages with UE4, is going to serve the community as well as Epic. The marketplace will allow contributors to give content away for free, or sell it -- it's totally up to the user. Mods are going to be a big factor in the marketplace, be it free content or paid mods for specific kinds of competition.

"Everyone's feedback is going to be invaluable," said Spalinski. This really sounds like a community collaboration not typically seen in game development -- at least while a game is still being built.

Senior Programmer Joe "Dr. Sin" Wilcox is coming on-screen now in the stream.

Polge: "Our process really depends on play-testing and iterating...weapon balancing...movement." Community involvement will let the UT team iterate ideas that they might not normally have time for.

Initial game types: Core Deathmatch experience is coming first.

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