If you're looking for the upcoming Unreal Tournament reboot, you might want to check Unreal Tournament 4.
Unreal Tournament is a first-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and Digital Extremes, and published by GT Interactive. It is the second entry in the Unreal series, released for Microsoft Windows on November 30, 1999. Retrospectively, the game has also been referred to as UT99 or UT Classic to differentiate it from its numbered sequels. The game is based on the same technology that powered Unreal, but the design of UT shifted the series' focus to competitive multiplayer action, a trend at the time: id Software's Quake III Arena was released only ten days later.
Unreal Tournament was designed as an arena FPS, with head-to-head multiplayer deathmatches being the primary focus of the game. The game's single-player campaign is essentially a series of arena matches played with bots. For team matches, bots are again used to fill the roles of the player's teammates. Even on dedicated multiplayer servers, bots are sometimes used to pad out teams that are short on players.
UT is known and widely praised by critics and players alike—primarily for its bot A.I., the product of programmer Steve Polge who had earlier risen to fame by designing the Reaper bot for Quake II, one of the earliest examples of an effective deathmatch bot. The player can choose a bot skill level (anywhere from "Novice" to "Godlike") or set it to automatically adjust to the player's performance. Bots can be further customized by changing names, appearance, accuracy, weapon preferences, awareness, and so forth.
Unreal Tournament is capable of using maps created for Unreal. The Unreal content was automatically replaced with Unreal Tournament content when running an Unreal DM map with one of the Unreal Tournament gametypes.
The game was officially announced by publisher GT Interactive on November 3, 1998, as part of a two-game deal that also included Unreal II: The Awakening, though development on the game had already started after Unreal was finished. It was originally planned as just an expansion pack under the name "Bot Pack", when it was realized that the multiplayer aspect of Unreal was popular and something that people sought after, so the first priority was to fix the problems with online play. According to Tim Sweeney, the development team felt that the "botmatch" (deathmatch play against bots) was slowly becoming a popular mode, and Steven Polge, who was behind the AI, felt he only scratched the surface of what was possible with bots, therefore placing the focus on getting a competitive AI that felt more "human" as well as working well in complex team-play situations like Capture the Flag. However, what also impulsed the dev team's decision, weeks before UT's own announcement while the game was still being worked, was the announcement of what would eventually become UT's main competitor, Quake III Arena, by Id Software's own John Carmack, a decision that took the development team by surprise. Therefore, instead of taking technological risks, they decided to focus on just fine-tuning and polishing the multiplayer aspect.
At some point during its development, it became clear that the number and extent of the changes to the Unreal codebase that Epic was required to make made UT too incompatible with Unreal. In fact, according to Tim Sweeney, the game has between 200 and 300 C++ classes. Thus the expansion pack was broken off from Unreal and made into a standalone game. The game contains nearly all of the content present in Unreal, except for the maps and music. Nick Michon was in charge of the code trigger scripts, Steven Polge and Brandon Reinhart wrote the mutators and the code for the Relics (according to Tim Sweeney, Reinhart also contributed to the game code, weapons and masterminded the ngWorldStats interface and Linux port), Erik de Neve wrote the LOD character rendering and other optimizations, Jack Porter (who was hired by Epic Games after his USpy mod for Unreal impressed both Brandon Reinhart and Mark Rein; this mod ended up being the basis of the UWindows GUI) wrote the WebAdmin system. In the artistic side, James Green is credited with creating the models and animations for the Relics, the Skaarj Hybrid models, and the weapon on top of the Nali WarCow which eventually made it as a playable character, as well as a lot of concept art, and making high-poly models to test with the skeletal animation system which made it into the Bonus Pack 4.
Early in development, every map from Unreal, including the 10 default maps; the Fusion Map Pack maps; and the Unreal Special Edition maps, were considered for the game. Ultimately, only Curse, Deck16 and Morbias were selected for the retail version as DM-Curse][, DM-Deck16][ and DM-Morbias][; with Cybrosis, HealPod, Mojo and Shrapnel making it through the Epic Bonus Pack as DM-Cybrosis][, DM-HealPod][, DM-Mojo][ and DM-Shrapnel][. 4-team CTF was also planned for the game, but was dropped halfway through development. According to Alan Willard, this was so mod makers could implement the mode. According to Cliff Bleszinski, there were other ideas which never made into UT, except one which eventually made it into the UT200X series:
The first publicly available version (version 322) of the demo was released on September 17, 1999. According to Steven Polge, Epic worked on the demo until the last minute and it was going to be uploaded when hurricane Floyd hit Raleigh the day prior and Epic's offices lost power, fortunately, the demo was uploaded at the end of the day. A version 321 was briefly and accidentally made available to the public the night before, but was rapidly withdrawn. The version 322 demo is for use with 3dfx video cards only. This early version of the demo omits DM-Tempest. A patch was provided to update prior version 321 to 322. Two days later, a patch to the 3dfx-only demo was provided to correct a server crash that occurred whilst using the Web-based remote administration facility.
The first full demo (and a patch to the 3dfx-only demo to convert it to the full demo) was released September 28, 1999. This took the demo to version 338. A Version 338a demo intended to test a server map change problem was accidentally released but rapidly disowned by Epic. The Version 338 demo is not compatible with the final version of the full demo. A final demo was released on October 19, 1999 and contains 5 maps from the game; one map for each gametype, except Assault. The demo has the maps CTF-Coret, DM-Morpheus, DM-Phobos, DM-Tempest, and DOM-Sesmar. The Linux and Mac versions of the Version 348 demo, as well as an additional crashfix patch for the PC version, were released on October 20, 1999. According to Tim Sweeney, the reason of why UT didn't have good OpenGL support is purely because of market share (at the time, DirectX was the main API used for development).. Finally, an additional patch to update version 348 servers was released November 9, 1999. Network compatibility is unaffected by this patch.
The game went officially gold on November 15, 1999. According to Jack Porter, once the game was released, in the beginning, the team caught some flak for bugs, unbalanced mirroring of items in symmetrical CTF maps and poor Direct3D support, but eventually these bugs were sorted out.
- November 23, 1999 - Unreal Tournament (PC) - 2 CDs
- January 17, 2000 - Unreal Tournament (Mac)
- October 26, 2000 - Unreal Tournament (PS2) - 1 DVD
- October 27, 2000 - Unreal Tournament: GOTY Edition (PC) - 2 CDs
- March 14, 2001 - Unreal Tournament (DC) - 1 RD-Rom
- March 21, 2001 - Unreal Tournament: GOTY Edition (Mac)
- August 29, 2001 - Totally Unreal (PC) - 4 CDs
- November 6, 2006 - Unreal Anthology (PC) - 1 DVD
- Main article: Unreal Tournament/Release Notes
Four content packs were released after the PC retail game shipped. These packs are named, respectively Epic Bonus Pack, DE Bonus Pack, Inoxx Pack and Bonus Pack 4. The first three packs are integrated into the Game of the Year Edition, with some levels being added to the Single player ladder as either additional or replacing rungs.
The first of these packs is the DE Bonus Pack, created by Digital Extremes. It's composed of two new maps (CTF-HallOfGiants and CTF-Orbital) and three new mutators (Team Beacon, Volatile Ammo and Volatile Weapon). Initially only the maps were available as separate downloads in December 23, 1999, with the relaunch of DE's website; the mutators (created by Steve Sinclair and Adriano Bertucci) were announced and released later in January 04, 2000, but due to an error regarding the original .umod installer, were later repackaged and re-released in January 17, 2000. Eventually all of this content was solidified onto a single pack.
The second of these bonus releases, the Epic Bonus Pack, created entirely by Epic Games, and was released on February 25, 2000. It's composed of eleven new maps for the Capture the Flag and Deathmatch-based modes, three new character models, and the Relics mutator. The new maps are CTF-Cybrosis][, CTF-Darji16, CTF-Hydro16, CTF-Noxion16, DM-Agony, DM-ArcaneTemple, DM-Cybrosis][, DM-HealPod][, DM-Malevolence, DM-Mojo][ and DM-Shrapnel][. The new models are the Skaarj Hybrid ("Arena Warriors" Berserker, Dominator and Guardian; "Cyber Warriors" Disconnect and Firewall; and "Pit Fighters" Baetal, Pharoh and Skrilax), Nali ("Ouboudah" and "Priest") and Nali WarCow ("Atomic Cow" and "War Cow").
The third pack is the Inoxx Bonus Pack, created by CTF-Face creator Cedric 'Inoxx' Fiorentino. It was announced on April 26, 2000, and according to Cliff Bleszinski, the pack is composed by either arenas that were not finished in time to ship with the game, and map ideas that Fiorentino was tinkering with after UT was shipped; it was also made smaller due to the team working on "the next big thing". The pack was eventually released on May 9, 2000. It's composed of six new maps: CTF-Face][, CTF-High, CTF-Kosov, CTF-Nucleus, DM-Crane and DM-SpaceNoxx.
Finally, the fourth pack is commonly called Bonus Pack 4, but it's also called Christmas (2000) Bonus Pack. It was released on December 22, 2000, and is composed of twelve new maps for the Capture the Flag, Deathmatch and Domination-based gamemodes, skeletal character support, and two new game models. The new maps are CTF-Beatitude, CTF-EpicBoy (released as a preview of the pack on December 5, 2000), CTF-Face-SE, CTF-Ratchet, DM-Bishop, DM-Closer, DM-Grit-TOURNEY, DM-Viridian-TOURNEY, DOM-Bullet, DOM-CiDom, DOM-Lament][ and DOM-WolfsBay. The new characters are the WarBoss and Xan Mark II.
In addition, Cedric 'Inoxx' Fiorentino and Dave Ewing later released the free addons DM-Gen][ and CTF-Command][, the first is a readaptation of the Skaarj Generator level from Unreal for UT, released on March 3, 2000, and the other is a mirrored version of CTF-Command, released on October 27, 2000.
On August 10, 2000, the Game of the Year Edition was announced. This version was advertised with the original game being packed with the latest updates, the first three Bonus Packs and the mods Rocket Arena: UT, Chaos: UT and Tactical Ops. Of all these features, only Tactical Ops didn't made it into the pack, due to negotiations starting too late, although it would later be released as a standalone game by Infogrames called Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror. Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition was eventually released on October 27, 2000. This has been the edition that was included in every compilation launched since then, with the sole exception of the mods. Preordering this edition at seleted stores would also come with bonus: BestBuy had the exclusive level DM-Chronos, while Babbage contained CTF-Baranco by Rogelio Olguin, and CompUSA had AS-Bridge.
A fifth content pack was in the works, being developed by Digitalo Studios. The pack was announced on May 14, 2000, before the release of the fourth Bonus Pack, but according to Mark Rein, it was cancelled due to UT still selling well and existing other more important Unreal-related projects. The project, originally a single-player focused effort with possible focus on the Unreal universe outside of the Liandri Grand Tournament, eventually evolved into the game Devastation, after Digitalo Studios decided to keep using the Unreal Engine 1 for their project. In the end, the aforementioned game used an early version of the Unreal Engine 2.
Having moved on after the release of the fourth Bonus Pack and the version 436 patch, Epic Games lended the development onto the UTPG, who released three more patches, version 440 and the infamous versions 451 and 451b, both of which broke the editor. UTPG was working on a version 468 when the group went AWOL and their site shut down. On September 27, 2019, OldUnreal's administrator AnthraX, creator of the popular anti-cheat system ACE (Anti-Cheat Engine), announced that the OldUnreal community got the approval from Epic Games in order to develop new community patches for the game. The first community patch from the group, for version number 469a, was released on September 22, 2020.
Unreal Tournament has two console versions, each one with its own features. The version for the Playstation 2 console was first hinted by Tim Sweeney on July 16, 1999, and developed in-house by Epic Games themselves. According to Mark Rein, the game was created with the purpose of showing a product running under the Unreal Engine for the console in order to be able to license the engine to interested third parties. While it took some time for them to get used to the Playstation2 development tools, by February 2, 2000, they managed to get a bare-bones engine for the console, and input, file management and scripting were integrated some time later. The first public demonstration of this version took place at the GDC 2000, where it was also confirmed that UT won't have online multiplayer, as the development team hasn't received the Internet documentation from Sony's behalf. Local multiplayer was, however, confirmed the days prior to the E3 2000, supporting up to 4 players in a single machine, with them playing on split screen. Around this time, there was also consideration for updates to be downloaded onto the console's memory cards by connecting the PC to the PS2 via USB port, as well as support for custom user content. During this time, there was also some controversy regarding the PS2 version of the game running on PC rather than PS2 at this event. Another late confirmation, this time by Epic's VP Mark Rein, was that the game could be played with mouse and keyboard, although support for the Dual Shock 2, the console's main controller, was the priority. Eventually support for USB modems and four-player split-screen play were dropped, though Epic still managed to get Ethernet support for the game, though not on launch, and cross-play with the PC version was still under consideration.
Two maps were cut from the console versions: CTF-Fortress by Inoxx and DM-Gutter by Mike Bastien. Fortress would be later remade for Unreal Tournament 3 as CTF-Searchlight, while Gutter was cut because the map had a lot of vertical gameplay, something that didn't suit well with the console version. The PC maps CTF-Command, DM-Conveyor, DM-Gothic, DM-Peak and DOM-Leadworks were considered for the game, according to promotional screenshots.
The game eventually went gold on October 7, 2000, and released on October 26, 2000, as a launch title for the console.
The Sega Dreamcast version was first hinted on June 2, 2000 by IGN, and later revealed to the public on July 24, 2000. After its official announcement, it was later revealed that Secret Level would be the main developer, having obtained access to Epic's and DE's own assets, and Epic Games would be testing it. Secret Level were contacted by Infogrames (the publisher of UT) after the refusal on part of both Epic themselves and other developers. Both Epic and Secret Level saw as a challenge trying to get the game to run within the Dreamcast's specs. The DC version also had to branch drastically from the PC version, to the point that the PC version couldn't really use the DC maps, aside from the dedicated servers used to run the servers at SegaNet. Memory concerns and framerate issues also prevented many levels from reaching this port, and initially the idea was to release the game without any kind of Internet support. On August 23, 2000 it was reported that the game would ship with nearly 30-50 arenas and that Assault and Domination were cut; on the plus side, online play was up from day 1. Also under consideration were the rest of the arenas from the Rocket Arena: UT maps and the Relics, which were dropped because they didn't added much to the gameplay and were hard to implement. The game's original release date was set to the end of 2000, but it got delayed so the team could work on optimizing the game for 8 players, as well as adding more features; two of which were the return of Domination, and the addition of Team Deathmatch. On March 13, 2001, the game was released.
The main differences between the PC versions and the console versions, thus, are as follows:
- Many maps had to be removed from the game:
- Both versions of the game lack most of the Bonus Packs 1-4 maps. The only notable exceptions are CTF-Face][ (present in the DC version), DM-Agony (present in both versions), DM-HealPod][ (present in the DC version), DM-Malevolence (present in both versions) and DM-SpaceNoxx (present in the DC version).
- The Playstation 2 version also lacks the maps CTF-Command (though it was considered during development), DM-Barricade, DM-Morbias][, DM-Morpheus, DM-SpaceNoxx, DM-StalwartXL and, DOM-Ghardhen.
- The Sega Dreamcast version also lacks all of the PC Assault maps (due to the gametype not appearing) and the maps CTF-November, DM-KGalleon, DM-Tempest, DM-Turbine, DM-Zeto, DOM-Cryptic and DOM-Sesmar.
- As a counterbalance, there were plenty of new maps for them as well:
- Maps exclusive to both console versions are CTF-Phalanx, CTF-Sepulchre, CTF-Spirito, CTF-StormFront, CTF-Sundial, DM-Brickyard, DM-CanyonFear, DM-Core, DM-Flux, DM-Loathing, DM-Sorayama and DOM-Osiris.
- The Playstation 2 exclusive maps are DM-Coagulate and DM-Hood.
- The Sega Dreamcast exclusive maps are DM-Babylon, DM-BlockParty, DM-ColdSteelPressure, DM-Damnation, DM-Depot, DM-Dust, DM-GearBox, DM-Girder, DM-Google, DM-Halberd, DM-Industrial, DM-Infernal, DM-Instinct, DM-Megaplex (as a SegaNet exclusive), DM-Nebula, DM-NeoTokyo, DM-Outskirts (as a SegaNet exclusive), DM-Paladin, DM-Pantheon, DM-Sector9, DM-Singularity, DM-StationControl, DM-Underlord, DOM-Coagulate and DOM-Hood.
- Notably, many of these arenas are present in the PC version, but as separate combat areas of the Rocket Arena: UT maps RA-Akuma (Babylon, ColdSteelPressure, NeoTokyo, Sector9 and Underlord), RA-CliffyB (Dust, Gearbox, Girder, Google and Paladin) and RA-Inoxx (BlockParty, Megaplex, Singularity and StationControl).
- As for mutators, the absences in the console versions include:
- Both versions of the game lack the PC mutators Flak Arena, Sniper Arena, Chainsaw Melee, and the BP1/2 mutators.
- The Playstation 2 version also lack the PC mutators Pulse Arena, Rocket Arena, Shock Rifle Arena, Instant Rockets and Jump Match. Interestingly, the mutators FatBoy and Stealth do appear, but as unlockable mutators.
- The Sega Dreamcast version also lack the PC mutators FatBoy and Stealth.
- Naturally, as a counterbalance, the console versions have their own mutators:
- Mutators exclusive to both console versions are Hyperspeed and Slomo.
- The Playstation 2 also has an exclusive mutator called BigHead (unlockable).
- The Sega Dreamcast version also had to cut the Assault mode and most of the other player models, leaving only the Male Soldiers and their skins as selectable.
- Instead of three deathmatches with war machines and a final boss battle, these versions' Challenge ladders feature four boss battles with three characters exclusive to them: Damien, Rampage (known as WarBoss in the PC version) Dominator (the only known official instance of a full-blood Skaarj in the first UT) and, of course, Xan Kriegor.
- Characters in the console versions (especially PS2) are more detailed and have more polys to them. This is because James Green didn't like their designs, so he redid them for the console versions. Animations were also greatly improved and appeared more natural.
- Main article: Unreal Tournament Single player
The game contains the following gamemodes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination, Capture The Flag, Assault and Last Man Standing. There's a seventh mode, called Tournament Darkmatch, however, it doesn't have its own maps.
|Assault maps for Unreal Tournament|
|Capture The Flag maps for Unreal Tournament|
|Epic Bonus Pack maps:|
|DE Bonus Pack maps:|
|Inoxx Pack maps:|
|Bonus Pack 4 maps:|
|Chaos UT maps:|
|Domination maps for Unreal Tournament|
|Bonus Pack 4 maps:|
|Rocket Arena: UT maps for Unreal Tournament|
|King of the Hill maps for Unreal Tournament|
The characters in the game are just selectable skins, sorted by models. Many of the model/skin combinations represent the different teams.
Various weapons are made available for single player as well as multi-player mode.
- Main article: Mutator
(*) "Rocket Launcher Arena" must NOT be confused with the Rocket Arena: UT mod.
- Main article: Music#Unreal Tournament
The music was composed by Straylight Productions with Alexander "Siren" Brandon at its head, and Michiel van den Bos with additional contributions by Dan "Basehead" Gardopée, Peter "Skaven" Hajba, Andrew "Necros" Sega, Tero "Teque" Kostermaa, and Kai-Eerik "Nitro" Komppa.
Like Unreal (and the expansion pack Unreal Mission Pack: Return to Na Pali), the game's music was done in UMX format, based on Tracker music, which resulted in good quality music and less size. There was never an official soundtrack, but a lot of people obtained it directly from the game (it was in Impulse Tracker format inside the UMX packages) and converted it to more popular formats.
|Credits of Unreal Tournament|
|Epic Games & Digital Extremes|
|Programming||Erik de Neve, Steven Polge, Jack Porter, Brandon Reinhart, Tim Sweeney, Carlo Vogelsang.|
|Art & models||Dave Carter, Shane Caudle, Pancho Eekels, Steve Garofalo, Mike Leatham, Everton Richards, Dan Sarkar, James Schmalz.|
|Level design||Cliff Bleszinski, Elliot Cannon, Shane Caudle, Pancho Eekels, Dave Ewing, Cedric Fiorentino, Alan Willard.|
|Music & Sound||Alexander Brandon, Sascha Dikicyan, Dave Ewing, Lani Minella, Shannon Newans, Michiel van den Bos.|
|Biz||Mark Rein, Jay Wilbur.|
|Associate Producer||Timothy Hess.|
|Director of Studio Operations||Michael Gilmartin.|
|QA Manager||Thomas MacDevitt.|
|QA Supervisors||Donny Clay, Jeff Loney, Ezekiel 'Chuck' Nunez.|
|QA Test Lead||Tomasi Akimeta Jr.|
|QA Assistant Lead||Christopher R. Plep.|
|Testers||Jared Jackson, Ted Tomasko, Mike Tetz, Donny Clay.|
|Compatibility Supervisor||Dave Strang.|
|Compatibility Lead||Chris McQuinn.|
|Compatibility Analysts||Tim Moore.|
|Director of Marketing||Barbara Gleason.|
|Product Marketing Manager||Melissa Farmer.|
|Manager of Creative Services||Sheryl Knowles.|
|Creative Services Coordinator||Chris Curtis.|
|Graphic Artists||Masanori Shimozato, Bill Fitts, Moye Daniel.|
|Documentation Manager||W.D. Robinson.|
|Documentation||Bruce Harlick, Rick Fish.|
Here, you will find all the links to the downloads of the essential files for your Unreal Tournament installation.
- An easter egg in the ending sequence reveals that there were five Liandri Grand Tournament winners before Xan Kriegor. They are named (in chronological order): Green Marine, Roan Terg, Magnus, Geos Dryon and Pariah. It seems that the winners' names are actually nicknames of Epic staff. Green Marine comes from Brandon "Green Marine" Reinhart, one of the programmers.
- According to an interview from FilmAndVideoMagazine, Unreal Tournament played a major part in the creation of AI (Artificial Intelligence).
- According to Shane Caudle, the intro sequence was inspired by a city he designed for a comicbook of his own creation.
- Almost everyone at Epic Games, with CliffyB and GreenMarine at the helm, have a strong dislike of the ZeroPing mod, to the point that ngStats, the stats system used by UT, doesn't register stats from servers using the mod.
- The team icons are all lifted from Unreal: the Red team is the logo that appears on the Tarydium barrels, the Blue team is the logo of the UMS Vortex Rikers, the Green team is the general Skaarj race logo, and the yellow team is the insignia of the Mercenaries.
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- Totally Unreal
- Unreal Deal Pack
- Unreal Tournament 2003
- Unreal Tournament 2004
- Unreal Tournament 3
- Unreal Tournament 4
|Unreal series: Unreal • Return to Na Pali • Unreal II|
|Tournament series: Unreal Tournament • UT2003 • UT2004 • UT3 • UT4|
|Championship series: Unreal Championship - Unreal Championship 2|
|Books: Unreal: Hard Crash - Unreal: Prophet's Power - Escape to Na Pali: A Journey to the Unreal|