Unreal Cliffy B.
By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman
The single player mode of UT relies on bots. Will you be porting over any of the bot code from Unreal, or will Steve Polge be rewriting it from scratch?
Why would you throw out such a good starting point? Much of Steven's code is crossing over to UT, with an insane amount of enhancements and tweaks.
Will the bots have moods? Can a bot get frustrated and start a more aggressive hunt?
The bots will have moods but only according to what the player wants them to do. You'll be able to tell them to attack, or defend, guard your butt, or any other number of commands.
Let’s be totally honest here. How good can CTF with a mostly bot-filled team actually be? Is it your goal to create AI that can pose for believable people?
I'll answer that with an anecdote.
Yesterday I was playing 2 on 2 CTF with myself and bots. This took place on a map called "Facing Worlds," which takes place on an asteroid that is spinning in space with two huge towers on either end. We're obviously caught in the gravitational pull of a nearby planet, as we can see we're slowly rotating around it. I'm on the red team. I decide I'm going to take my sniper rifle and go to the top of the tower and play Grassy Knoll for a while. I order my bot to go after the flag and I load up on ammo and zoom in a few hundred yards. The bot looks like a little marine out of a real-time strategy game. He grabs a rocket launcher and starts making his way towards the base. A blue enemy comes out from behind the base. I cap him in the head and he drops. My bot zips in the base and I see some gibs come flying out from behind the wall... I start to get concerned for him when I hear him over my intercom "Red leader! I've got the flag!" I see a blue glow coming out of the base (he's glowing now that he has the flag) and my buddy comes zipping out, flag strapped to his back. The enemy bots are back on his tail again after respawning and start attacking. I cap both of them and clear the way for my teammate as he comes back to our base and scores.
Do you find the "arena" style maps in Unreal Tournament easier, or harder to design for?
Both. Each style of play has many things you have to watch out for.
Deathmatch maps should be recursive and have very few dead ends, whereas single player maps tend to take you on a (mostly) linear progression from start to finish. Each style of design has its own elements to master, and a person who can make a great DM level can't always make a great SP level.
Here’s a question that’s been eating me up…you’ve got this uber-weapon called the ‘Redeemer’ right? So the thing can be fired so that you switch to a projectile camera and control it by hand. Am I crazy, or does this just leave you completely open while your body’s just standing there twiddling its thumbs?
That's the beauty of the gun. It is so powerful and controllable, but if you steer the rocket you become a sitting duck.
Do you think the future of the first person genre lies in multiplayer or single player gaming?
This is a commonly asked question and it always amazes me how someone can make such a broad statement such as "Multiplayer gaming is the future! Single player is dead!" I love single player. I love multiplayer. Each form of gaming has its own moments that cannot be simulated in the other. In single player you're the hero, the star of the drama, you're The Man. You can't have a Skaarj Introduction in multiplayer! But, in single player you can't launch your buddy halfway across the level with a well timed rocket attack, or team up with someone to take out a common foe. Each type of gaming has its own merits and each are in their infancy.
Got any unreleased UT screenshots lying around? ;)
Lemme see what I can dig up for you.
Let’s talk about the other Unreal projects in the works, shall we? What’s up with Unreal 2?
Legend is fleshing out a kick-ass design right now. We have the utmost of confidence in Mike Verdu and crew to produce a great Unreal game. That's all I can say about that for now.
The Unreal level pack?
Legend is working on a traditional single player level pack that will feature some great surprises for fans of the series as well as folks who have never played Unreal before. Some fantastic level designers that I know from Matt Sefton's SPQ page are working on it, so it will be killer.
What are your impressions of some of the licensed Unreal games in development?
Some are incredible, some are okay, and many I haven't seen.
Wheel of Time?
Breathtaking. A perfect mix of strategy, fantasy, and first person action.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse?
I've only seen some neato pre-rendered worm and wolf screens from this
Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee?
The Oddworld guys are awesome, but I haven't seen anything on Munch yet. They've really got their shit together over there, so I'll expect nothing less than a first rate product.
Oh, it will suck and no one will buy it. ::wink::
George and crew have got some of the best shit-filters in the biz. They'll deliver something that'll make the rest of the development world pee their pants.
How about the ones already out there? What’d you think of Klingon Honor Guard?
I didn't play too much of KHG, but what I saw was okay...
TNN Outdoors Pro Hunter?
I don't play hunting games.
What games are you looking forward to seeing in the coming months?
-Quake Arena will be cool because id knows what they're doing, always have, always will.
-Daikatana will be fun because Romero, like George Broussard, has a good shit filter. He knows what is fun and what is lame.
-I'm dying to get Lunar: Complete on the Playstation, because it is one of the few great love stories I've ever played. Few games bring me to tears and Lunar1 did that for me.
Is there any game out there that you wished you had worked on?
That's a tough question, right up there with "Now that you're getting married, is there anyone you regret not sleeping with?" I'd have to say I'm pretty happy with things the way they are. Sure, the grass always seems greener, but I'm more excited about what I can do in the future rather than what I may have wanted to work on in the past.
Got a closing statement to say?
Yeah, when the hell is someone going to make a Buffy the Vampire Slayer game anyways?
Make it third person like Tomb Raider and have Buffy's outfits change every other level or so... you could have tons of karate attacks as well as the stakes, crossbows, holy water, etc... Imagine Sunnydale recreated in beautiful 3d! Rescue Buffy's mother from Spike! Get Angel out of his bad mood and inside before the sun comes up and fries him!
Giles could be your dispatcher, like JC in "SiN," offering tips on how to beat monsters and what weaponry to use. Willow could make you protection spells... Faith could be your backup Slayer, and you could give her orders like "Watch my back!" or "Hey can I borrow your necklace?"
Uh, no wait...
Gaming has a long way to go before it is taken seriously by the masses. Recent products such as Metal Gear Solid prove that an interactive movie is truly an achievable goal, and grand social experiments like Ultima Online prove that there is more to gaming than shoot and kill. With the recent advancements in hardware I feel that we're really moving forward as an industry and the future looks amazingly bright.
- Jason "loonyboi" Bergman is the editor-in-chief here at loonygames. His girlfriend is very understanding.
|Credits: Illustration © 1999 Michael Krahulik. The Unreal Cliffy B is © 1999 Jason Bergman and Cliff Bleszinski. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't try it...or you'll pay. Oh, how you'll pay.|