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Epic Stuffs Head in Sand - UT3 Postmortem

ja1484

Platinum Member
Dec 31, 2007
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http://gametab.com/news/2507329/

Developer president Mike Capps joins senior producer Mike Morris to discuss the woes of releasing a shooter during the "FPS Christmas of All Time."


Epic, it didn't help that you released into a crowded field, but the central fact was that your game was not nearly as fun as the competition, not when it came out. Orange Box, BioShock, and Crysis did not have sales troubles. In fact, I own a copy of all of those titles, but I don't own a copy of UT3...because it's not very fun. I own a copy of every other Unreal title (even that abysmal abortion Unreal 2, which was NOT a proper sequel to one of the best shooters ever released), but not this one. No magic = no money.
 

Sylvanas

Diamond Member
Jan 20, 2004
3,752
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And so the blame game starts....I have UT3 here but I won't be reinstalling it after my reformat, it's just boring for me- not like they'll care they got my money...unfortunately :(.
 

I4AT

Platinum Member
Oct 28, 2006
2,629
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I actually would buy this game, if people were playing it. No sense in spending the money to have trouble finding good games to join.
 

Pocatello

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
9,754
2
76
If Epic doesn't want to waste too much time in designing a good single player game, I don't waste my money on Epic.
 

Kur

Senior member
Feb 19, 2005
677
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Personally I just couldn't afford all the blockbuster hits that came out last year and UT3 was simply UT2003 with better graphics, while all the others offered something new...

When I saw UT3 pictures and confused them for gears of war one's I knew it wasn't going to end well.
 

milesl

Member
Oct 11, 2004
103
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My favorite quote.It made me laugh.

"Capps was also pleased by the unified look and feel of the game, saying that for the first time, the game didn't have a hodge-podge aesthetic of disparate elements and visual designs."

I guess this means they were happy with the overuse of grey and the blury look to go along with the lag everyone had in the demo.

These guys just know the market so well they can put out crap and they know it will sell.Oh ,wait it didn't sell that well.

I still don't think these guys knew what they did in the original Unreal and UT games.Nothing as awesome has come out of epic since.
 

ja1484

Platinum Member
Dec 31, 2007
2,438
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More to the point, I don't think Epic really needs games any more. The majority of their income is from licensing deals, and I wouldn't blame them if that's where they put their focus these days. After all, it's their *job*, it's what they do for *money*.

I see a lot of people that get confused on that topic - thinking that developers exist to try and produce cool games. The more successful ones typically do, but it's a byproduct of their enthusiasm. Most development studios exist to make money, and Epic has always been a business first and foremost.

I think Epic could easily produce another excellent UT game, but they need to step back and realize what made UT special in the first place, and then leverage those strengths. More than that, they can't be afraid of change. One of the things that made UT99 and 2004 interesting was the departure from the norm. UT3 was very much just a rehash of the norm. That won't do it.
 
Oct 30, 2004
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This is what I posted in the comments section for the article:

The horrible user interface and server browser played a big role in sinking this game for the PC. Everyone who played UT99 and UT 2004 reasonably expected that the server browser and user interface would be as functional and as quick and feature-filled as what they had in UT99 and UT 2004. Instead the game felt like a console-port and the user interface was clunky and slow and offered less than half of the tweaking options available in UT99 and UT 2004 and the server browser was featureless and you couldn't even add Favorites! People loved the game play in the Demo but despised the user interface and server browser and when they found out that the full retail version was essentially the same as the Demo, they decided not to purchase it and the game has been regarded as a joke in the UT99 community ever since.

With regards to the consoles--if the game is not successful and popular on the PC--you won't get many custom maps or mods. (UT99 must have had about 10,000 of them.) I have a UT3 regular-weapons no-vehicles (aka "real") CTF map that I've cut out, textured, and lighted up, but I don't have any motivation to finish it since so few people are playing the game online (so it won't make it to your consoles). Some other mappers have contemplated boycotting the consoles (in anger at Epic's having ruined the game for PC by having the user interface and server browser feel like a console) by not "cooking" their custom maps for the consoles.

Can Epic save UT3 for the PC? They would need to completely remodel the user interface and server browser so that they were as quick, as smooth, and as detailed as what we had in UT99 and UT 2004. Then they could add some more game mods (Invasion, UT99 Domination, Assault) and maps and re-release the game with new marketing. Call it:

Unreal Tournament 3: Online Multiplayer Extreme Edition.

Of course, everyone would be able to patch up to it and install any needed bonus packs, etc.

I wonder if Epic really learned its lesson and now understands that you can't give PC gamers a game that feels like a console game and that there's no excuse for not having an excellent user interface and server browser, especially when they had gotten it right before! Getting the game play right is like doing chemistry, but the user interface and server browser are straightforward and objective. It's really sad that Epic fumbled the ball so badly on this one, especially since they got the most difficult part--the game play--right.
 

coloumb

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,096
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81
Epic doesn't care for the PC anymore. Sadly consoles are where the real $$$ is at now.

Alas - all they've done is re-hash the same wheel since UT99.
 

Lonyo

Lifer
Aug 10, 2002
21,939
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Originally posted by: coloumb
Epic doesn't care for the PC anymore. Sadly consoles are where the real $$$ is at now.

Alas - all they've done is re-hash the same wheel since UT99.
I assume that you can't mean UT2k4 was a rehash of UT99, because that would put you at odds with pretty much every person in the world ever. I would agree that UT3 doesn't do much to make it fresh compared to UT2k4 though, it just feels like a graphical update, or at least did in the demo.
 

EvilComputer92

Golden Member
Aug 25, 2004
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It's seems like Epic pulled off another UT2003. Perhaps we will get a UT 3.5 in years time?

On a another note, it appears UT3 is still staying alive with 854K copies
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
80,109
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Originally posted by: Lonyo
Originally posted by: coloumb
Epic doesn't care for the PC anymore. Sadly consoles are where the real $$$ is at now.

Alas - all they've done is re-hash the same wheel since UT99.
I assume that you can't mean UT2k4 was a rehash of UT99, because that would put you at odds with pretty much every person in the world ever. I would agree that UT3 doesn't do much to make it fresh compared to UT2k4 though, it just feels like a graphical update, or at least did in the demo.
I played Unreal Tournament for many years, and Unreal Tournament 2004 for many years. Aside from a few extra game modes, the game play is pretty much the same in both titles.
The graphics are certainly superior in UT2004, but I spent one weekend bouncing back and forth between them and both games feel very similar as far as playability goes. The newer game just looked prettier.
And since I didnt like the new version of Domination, it would almost be less playable, except for the Assault mode is part of the basic game. Now if I could just find some quality homemade Assault maps.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
19,685
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Originally posted by: Pocatello
If Epic doesn't want to waste too much time in designing a good single player game, I don't waste my money on Epic.

I agree ... the original Unreal was one of my all-time favorites.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,920
254
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Originally posted by: I4AT
I actually would buy this game, if people were playing it. No sense in spending the money to have trouble finding good games to join.
Same here. :(

I played Unreal Tournament for many years, and Unreal Tournament 2004 for many years. Aside from a few extra game modes, the game play is pretty much the same in both titles.
Compared to the other FPSs, yes, the gameplay is almost the same. However, the slight adjustments they made to things like movement speeds and damage ratings had a big impact on the weapon balance and overall style of play. For an experienced UT99 player the difference was quite significant, and not in a good way. UT3 is more like the original, which is good as far as I'm concerned, but I don't want to buy it if nobody is playing online.
 

TehMac

Diamond Member
Aug 18, 2006
9,979
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PC Gaming is in disarray for Epic because PC Gamers do not want to play a reskinned game that came out 4 years ago.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
54,971
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Originally posted by: TehMac
PC Gaming is in disarray for Epic because PC Gamers do not want to play a reskinned game that came out 4 years ago.
I'd love to play a reskinned game from 4 years ago. The UT3 of my dreams is UT2k4 with a new engine, and some very minor weapon tweaks. UT2k4 is just about perfect for me :^)
 

ja1484

Platinum Member
Dec 31, 2007
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Originally posted by: lxskllr
Originally posted by: TehMac
PC Gaming is in disarray for Epic because PC Gamers do not want to play a reskinned game that came out 4 years ago.
I'd love to play a reskinned game from 4 years ago. The UT3 of my dreams is UT2k4 with a new engine, and some very minor weapon tweaks. UT2k4 is just about perfect for me :^)
....UT3
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
54,971
4,897
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Originally posted by: ja1484
Originally posted by: lxskllr
Originally posted by: TehMac
PC Gaming is in disarray for Epic because PC Gamers do not want to play a reskinned game that came out 4 years ago.
I'd love to play a reskinned game from 4 years ago. The UT3 of my dreams is UT2k4 with a new engine, and some very minor weapon tweaks. UT2k4 is just about perfect for me :^)
....UT3
UT3 isn't anywhere near what UT2k4 is. Overpowered spammy weapons, nerfed movement, and constricted spammy maps. They took all of the grace and finesse out of the game, and made it into a Q3 remake.
 

EvilComputer92

Golden Member
Aug 25, 2004
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Originally posted by: lxskllr
Originally posted by: ja1484
Originally posted by: lxskllr
Originally posted by: TehMac
PC Gaming is in disarray for Epic because PC Gamers do not want to play a reskinned game that came out 4 years ago.
I'd love to play a reskinned game from 4 years ago. The UT3 of my dreams is UT2k4 with a new engine, and some very minor weapon tweaks. UT2k4 is just about perfect for me :^)
....UT3
UT3 isn't anywhere near what UT2k4 is. Overpowered spammy weapons, nerfed movement, and constricted spammy maps. They took all of the grace and finesse out of the game, and made it into a Q3 remake.
Have you ever played UT99? UT2004's weapons were nerfed to help out noobs. At least UT3 brings back weapons that actually damage the enemy enough to kill them. In fact, UT2004's gameplay in general was a joke compared to UT99, which at least UT3 attempted to emulate.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
54,971
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Originally posted by: EvilComputer92


Have you ever played UT99? UT2004's weapons were nerfed to help out noobs. At least UT3 brings back weapons that actually damage the enemy enough to kill them.
I've played GOTY, and while I like it better than UT3, it isn't as fun as 2k4. Everybody complains about nerfed weapons in the 2kx series, the game just rewards accuracy with the weapons. Spamming isn't as rewarding as it is in the other games. You have to hit your target to get a frag in 2k4, not launch 6 rockets down a hallway, or get the 1 metre high headshot with sniper like in GOTY.

 

EvilComputer92

Golden Member
Aug 25, 2004
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Originally posted by: lxskllr
Originally posted by: EvilComputer92


Have you ever played UT99? UT2004's weapons were nerfed to help out noobs. At least UT3 brings back weapons that actually damage the enemy enough to kill them.
I've played GOTY, and while I like it better than UT3, it isn't as fun as 2k4. Everybody complains about nerfed weapons in the 2kx series, the game just rewards accuracy with the weapons. Spamming isn't as rewarding as it is in the other games. You have to hit your target to get a frag in 2k4, not launch 6 rockets down a hallway, or get the 1 metre high headshot with sniper like in GOTY.
Even if you were accurate with your weapons, the weapon damage itself was turned down far too much to the point where even several accurate hits with a weapon would only damage a person. The Assault Rifle also sucks compared to the enforcer. Link Gun is a horrible substitute for the Pulse Gun. In UT2004 it was far too easy to just run away from a battle if you knew you were going to get destroyed. In UT99 you would be dead before you even got a chance to turn around. Every shot counted in UT99 because each one did so much damage.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
80,109
12,922
126
Originally posted by: TehMac
PC Gaming is in disarray for Epic because PC Gamers do not want to play a reskinned game that came out 4 years ago.
I disagree. We dont want to replay simple, repetitive games over again.
If they redid the original Deus Ex I would buy it. Same with Baldurs Gate 2, Dungeon Keeper, and a handful of other excellent games.


(I've heard about the Redux project for UT2004 but thats a homemade mod and doesnt look like it will ever come out.)
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
54,971
4,897
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Originally posted by: EvilComputer92

Even if you were accurate with your weapons, the weapon damage itself was turned down far too much to the point where even several accurate hits with a weapon would only damage a person. The Assault Rifle also sucks compared to the enforcer. Link Gun is a horrible substitute for the Pulse Gun. In UT2004 it was far too easy to just run away from a battle if you knew you were going to get destroyed. In UT99 you would be dead before you even got a chance to turn around. Every shot counted in UT99 because each one did so much damage.
I'll give you some of those points. They encompass many of the changes I'd have made for UT3.

Assault rifle- Superior to the enforcer. Having grenades at spawn is extremely useful. The fire cone needs to be drastically shrank though, otherwise it's good.

I agree about the link, and UT3s isn't too bad, but I prefer the GOTY version.

Shieldgun is better than the hammer. I would have drastically shortened the effective shield time, and sped up the regen slightly. You should be able to get out of a sticky situation with it, but not be able to run all the way across a map with it deployed like in 2k4.

 

BladeVenom

Lifer
Jun 2, 2005
13,540
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Wrapping up, Capps said that despite the challenges, the game both sold and reviewed well.
Lots of people make a big deal out of it not selling well in it's first two week, so are there any updated sales figures?
 

EvilComputer92

Golden Member
Aug 25, 2004
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Originally posted by: BladeVenom
Wrapping up, Capps said that despite the challenges, the game both sold and reviewed well.
Lots of people make a big deal out of it not selling well in it's first two week, so are there any updated sales figures?
Originally posted by: EvilComputer92
It's seems like Epic pulled off another UT2003. Perhaps we will get a UT 3.5 in years time?

On a another note, it appears UT3 is still staying alive with 854K copies
 
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