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To the Extreme

Vol. 2, Issue 14
February 28, 2000

 

Thatís very good advice.† Thereís nothing like losing a lot of work to make you frustrated.

Eekels: Yeah thatís the worst.

Ewing: † The worst is doing work that youíve already done over again.

Of the feedback youíve gotten from UT, what strikes you the most, what really gets you in the heart and says, ďWowĒ?

Eekels: † I think for me the biggest feedback is people saying that Unreal Tournament is right up there with Quake 3.† And with Unreal deathmatch, we wanted it to be just as good as Quake and give people something different to play and a comparable or even better product.† But in Unreal networking didnít work all that well.† With Unreal Tournament we are competing with Quake III: Arena, and in lots of reviews,† they† favor Unreal Tournament.

Ewing: Especially when we first started Unreal Tournament.† Everybody was saying, ďYouíre going against Quake III: Arena?† What are you guys, crazy? You guys are going to get clobbered.Ē†

Eekels: † And itís holding up and itís doing okay or even better.†

Ewing: † Thatís definitely one of my answers, but my other answer was, Iím very proud of all the accolades that the level designers got.† Just the one fact is that we strive to make something different, to try for a lot of varieties in our levels and make them, to just try and make them different from the regular style deathmatch levels but still make them fun to play.† But to make people say, ďAh man, I remember that level!Ē

Eekels: † Itís the thing that sticks in your mind.† Instead of saying, ďThe one with all those rooms?Ē† I remember this one like the Overlord map.† The Beachhead map!

Ewing: † Just people remembering your map.† ďOh wow that was such a cool map.Ē† Thatís a neat experience to play in an environment like that.† That was one of the big things to me.

Letís talk about Quake III: Arena and Unreal Tournament.† Who was the first to come up with the idea?

Eekels: † Bill Gates.

Ewing: † Well, ah, as most people know, Quake III: Arena was announced first, but Iím sure they were thinking about that idea for a long time before they announced it as well, but we originally also thought of doing a multiplayer expansion pack after Unreal and we had thought of doing this before we heard of Quake III: Arena.† So Iím not sure who originally thought of the idea first, it may very well have been them.† We did think of the idea before we heard the announcement from id that they were going to do it.† Then we did a collective, ďDOH!Ē when we heard that they were going to do that to and that we would have to release it after them.† Ultimately you always get the people saying that youíre copying their idea or whatever.

Was there a rush to release Unreal Tournament, or were you hoping you would get it into stores before Quake III: Arena?

Ewing: † Definitely Iím sure we were hoping that, but above that was our will to release a game that was absolutely as polished as possible.† We kept saying for those last 6 months that weíre 98% done, but we just wanted to squash all the bugs and make everything as good as possible before we released it.

Eekels: † Whenever you get a new version of the game code-wise, things are fixed in it, but because they got fixed something else got broken.† So itís always 2 steps forward Ė

Ewing: † 1 step back.

Eekels: † That kind of thing.† So we just wanted to make sure that Unreal Tournament would perform well.

Ewing: † Of course we were hoping that it would come out before Quake III: Arena, but thatís not something that drove us forward.† I mean, both development schedules seemed to change a lot and I donít think either team really focused on the other team that much we were just making our own game and making it as good as we could.

Eekels: † There is a good thing if you release a product first.† But definitely the decision to release it was when we were sure we had a good game.


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Credits: Illustration © 2000 Allan "Machette" McKay. This interview is © 2000 Russell "RadPipe" Lauzon, Dave Ewing and Pancho Eekels. All other content is © 2000 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited. So don't do it, or we'll deport you.