As you may have heard, Gamespy is shutting down. We want to be sure you’re still able to play Unreal Tournament 3 Multiplayer. Thanks to community member Shambler, we have a patch that will allow you to continue playing. We also want to thank all of the server admins and other community members who have helped test the patch to be sure it’s ready to go. (We’re looking at you Bubbaxm2 and Hedsteem!)
IMPORTANT TECHNICAL STUFFS: This “patch” is actually a replacement executable that will direct you to the new Unreal Tournament 3 master server which we have moved to the Epic Games server bank along with the Unreal Tournament 99 and Unreal Tournament 2004 servers.
Once you have the new .exe and go to log on it will tell you that username and password are wrong. You will need to recreate any and all of your usernames on the new master server as all of the ones you have registered on Gamespy will go away with Gamespy. You can use the same names as before and even the same passwords, you just need to have them registered on the new server now instead of Gamespy.
Now that Gamespy's services have become a thing of the past, a number of PC games are no longer playable online. However, Epic is not content with this idea and is fully planning to keep Unreal Tournament 3's online play alive, thanks to a new patch that allows users to play through the game's master server.
Gamespy is dead. Sort of. A quick check will reveal that, at present, some of the games yet to hack-off the necrotic multiplayer matchmaker are still functional, albeit likely on borrowed time. Luckily, that list is ever-decreasing. Epic have released a new patch for Unreal Tournament 3, removing the lesser-loved sequel's Gamespy dependency in favour of the developer's own server bank.
"Thanks to community member Shambler, we have a patch that will allow you to continue playing," announces the Epic Games community page. The patch, which takes the form of a replacement executable, will work with both the regular and Steam versions of the game. Those transitioning to the new servers will need create new login credentials, after which they're free to Impact Hammer some power-armoured beefcake.
"This will apply to servers as well," explain Epic, "they will need to have the new .exe and all Gamespy usernames will need to be recreated or replaced in the command line as well. The larger server providers should be able to handle this for you but please contact your provider if you are unsure. In the event that you run your own server on your own box, you will need to patch this as well."
If manually overwriting executables feels too old-school, you can instead wait for the Steam patch to be cleared. "We have sent the file to Steam and hope they have it live soon," explains Epic's 'IFlak'.
For more on the death of Gamespy, check out Ian's investigation into the people keeping the service's forgotten games alive.
Unreal Tournament 3 brought a more serious tone to the series.
Epic recently announced that they're making a new free Unreal Tournament game in collaboration with the UT community. This is good news. We like Unreal Tournament. Only yesterday, Andy wrote about his love for Facing Worlds. The monstrous flak cannon took the top spot in our roundup of gaming's greatest guns. With misty-eyed memories of frags gone by, we fired over some questions to Steve Polge, senior programmer and project lead on the new Unreal Tournament, to find out how this community collaboration thing will work.
PC Gamer: Why did you decide to go with a community-driven development model?
Steve Polge: We wanted to bring back Unreal Tournament in collaboration with our passionate fans and mod community. Community-created content and mods have always played a huge part in the appeal and success of the Unreal Tournament series. With Unreal Engine 4 now available to everyone, we see a unique opportunity to re-invent the competitive FPS.
PC Gamer: Can you give an example of how Epic s team will collaborate with the community when building the game?
Steve Polge: We will have a very open and inclusive process for establishing how the core of Unreal Tournament evolves. We'll build consensus and make sure the community buys into the direction we establish together. Design questions will be discussed on the forum and in regular Twitch streams, and the decision process will be inclusive and transparent. Players will be able to make their voice heard, and participate meaningfully in setting the direction of development. We will release playable alpha versions and use those to get hands-on feedback from players as well. Epic realizes that we are ultimately responsible for making sure that the core game is awesome and we ll get there with the contributions of our community.
PC Gamer: Would you ever veto a community decision that you don't think fits in a UT game?
Steve Polge: It isn't a matter of Epic overruling community decisions we'll be an integral part of the process that produces those decisions. A great thing about this development model is that community developers can both participate in the core design process, and at the same time are free to perfectly realize their own creative vision in their mods.
PC Gamer: How do you go about balancing an open-source, community driven competitive shooter?
Steve Polge: I believe this development model gives us the opportunity to build a much better balanced and finely tuned game, which is vital to the long-term success of a competitive shooter. It s already evident that there are many players contributing to our design discussions that have a thorough understanding of game mechanics and balance issues. Their contributions will help make Unreal Tournament s gameplay deeper and more balanced than any past title. In addition, having a large audience of developers and fans continuously playtesting the game and providing feedback will have a massive impact on our ability to make sure all elements of the game are well-balanced for a wide range of skill levels.
Epic are going to start with deathmatch and team modes for the new UT.
PC Gamer: Are you taking inspiration from earlier arena-based UTs, or Unreal Tournament 3 s larger-scale-with-vehicles approach?
Steve Polge: We are focusing first on implementing a polished and updated version of the arena Deathmatch and team game modes. After that, we d love to work with our community to bring the vehicle-based combat of UT2004 and UT3 to the new Unreal Tournament.
PC Gamer: How do you think a free old-school UT game will fit into the modern shooter climate?
Steve Polge: Unreal Tournament still has a lot of passionate fans. We think there is a desire and a place in today s PC FPS community for a modern competitive shooter that brings back the kind of pure, fast action, skill-based gameplay for which the series is known.
PC Gamer: What do you think of the way modern shooters have moved away from community-driven content and dedicated servers, toward prescribed services driven by expansion packs?
Steve Polge: We think that our community-driven model is something gamers want and will love, and we re excited to bring it back for all our fans who already appreciated it, and to introduce it to a new generation of gamers.
PC Gamer: Do you see UT mod development as a gateway from amateur development towards larger projects using the now cheaper Unreal Engine subscription model?
Steve Polge: Epic's roots are as a small independent game developer, and introducing game development to aspiring designers, artists, and programmers has always been part of our DNA.
From the adventure creation capabilities of ZZT back in 1991 to the release of the Unreal Editor tools along with the first Unreal game in 1998, to making Unreal Engine 4 widely available this year, we have always wanted to inspire and support new generations of students, hobbyists, modders and small teams to make their games a reality.
We focused on making Unreal Engine 4 much easier to use with designer-friendly features like Blueprints. Building Unreal Tournament in close collaboration with UE4 developers and fans feels like the next logical step towards breaking down the remaining barriers to getting more and more people making great games.
The rocket launcher: better than the Flak Cannon?
PC Gamer: What are the favourite UT maps at Epic? Which guns are popular on the team?
Steve Polge: That s a tough question with maps especially, since there are so many great maps to choose from. Historically, the maps we shipped with our demos were generally the ones we thought at the time were both really fun and broadly appealing. When I polled guys around the office, we ended up with a huge list. Just sticking with official maps from UT99 our list includes for Deathmatch or TDM: Deck16, Phobos, Tempest, Curse, and for CTF: Coret, November, FacingWorlds, and Lavagiant.
My personal favorite weapon is the Shock Rifle. When I polled guys around the office, the Flak Cannon and Rocket Launcher were often mentioned, along with some love (and some hate) for the Bio Rifle. We also have several Sniper fans (*cough* campers *cough*). And the Impact Hammer and Translocator got some votes.
PC Gamer: Are you looking to encourage an esports community around the new UT? Will there be spectator tools etc?
Steve Polge: In the near term, aspiring to be a competitive FPS means making sure we have balanced gameplay mechanics that reward a variety of play styles so that success is primarily determined by skill. Longer term, we'd love to support UT as an eSport game, and we'll need the community's help in designing and implementing many of the features that implies, like advanced match spectating, broadcasting and livestreaming.
Work on the future of Unreal Tournament has begun and we’re happy to announce that we’re going to do this together, with you. We know that fans of the game are as passionate about Unreal Tournament as we are. We know that you have great ideas and strong opinions about where the game should go and what it should be. So let’s do something radical and make this game together, in the open, and for all of us.
Here’s the plan:
We’ve created a small team of UT veterans that are beginning work on the project starting today.
From the very first line of code, the very first art created and design decision made, development will happen in the open, as a collaboration between Epic, UT fans and UE4 developers. We’ll be using forums for discussion, and Twitch streams for regular updates.
If you are a fan and you want to participate, create a free account and join the forum discussion.
All code and content will be available live to UE4 developers on GitHub.
The game will be true to its roots as a competitive FPS.
Development will be focused on Windows, Mac and Linux.
So what’s the catch?
It will take many months until the game is playable by gamers. This is real development from scratch.
When the game is playable, it will be free. Not free to play, just free.
We’ll eventually create a marketplace where developers, modders, artists and gamers can give away, buy and sell mods and content. Earnings from the marketplace will be split between the mod/content developer, and Epic. That’s how we plan to pay for the game.
A lot of this is brand new for Epic, and we don’t yet have everything figured out. Things will probably definitely go wrong from time to time, and when they do, we’ll have to work through them together. There will be a lot of tough decisions to make, and not every feature will make it into the game. But if you’re a fan of Unreal Tournament, a UE4 developer, or a future modder – or if you just want to learn how we make games – we hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be fun.
Want to get involved?
Want more detail on the project? Read our wiki.
Want to participate & give feedback? Check out the forums, and sign up for a free account here to join Unreal Engine 4 community.
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It's been ages since the gaming community has seen any new content revolving around the Unreal Tournament franchise. But, today, Epic Games made good on its promise to spill the beans on a new project in the series. One that will focus just as much on being a tried-and-true first-person shooting experience as much as it will on being a devoted project where fans have some say.
Epic Games forum member "TourianTourist" created the Unreal Tournament map, "Deck 16" in Portal 2!
Tourian says, "My approach with this level was recreating Deck's infamous architecture within the Portal 2 editor, so it wasn't designed with a clear puzzle in mind except for how some parts would be made with Light Bridges."