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    #76
    Originally posted by dinwitty View Post
    UT99 was mostly your tournament playing a variety of maps to become the victor, the opening flythru spelled pretty much the storyline of the Liandri Mining taking advantage of the miners fighting to make a blood sport TV show.
    Without being too much of a ****: You should feel ashamed of yourself for including the name "Reaper" in Unreal Tournament discussion. There is no plot required. You have the plot summarized in the UT99 opening. UT2k4 was good until it started talking about Skaarj and all sorts of stuff. There's no need for that, that belongs in Unreal not UT. Let UT be about the Tournament. It's a side-plot to the Unreal plot.
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      #77
      UT99's "story," so to speak, was effective because it was a compelling setup ("You have been selected to fight in the professional league by the Liandri Rules Board. Your strength and brutality are legendary. The time has come to prove you are the best. To crush your enemies; to win the Tournament.") in a plausible dystopian world.

      We didn't need huge amounts of direct in-your-face exposition, but some of the maps told bits of world-backstory, and hinted at the mysterious Xan Kriegor. It was simple and it worked because it tapped into good themes: The hero's journey, and setting up this antagonist (Xan) who himself is sort of iconic rather than "just some guy." Xan is mysterious, and the conflict between the protagonist and Xan actually ties in well with the universe's depiction of a world dominated by these abstract megacorporations pitting humans to fight to the death just for profit.

      UT2003 threw that out the window with the WWE-inspired introduction, complete with cheesy announcers and characters who were mugging it for the camera. This is a clear case of more characterization, more spectacle, being far, far worse.

      Even the small stuff is important. For example, when you customize your character in the original Unreal Tournament, you are essentially selecting from various body shapes and faces. But your character is always "you." That guy you make is your avatar.
      Compare that to UT2003 and UT2004. In those games, the player selects from various pre-made characters with individual backstories and play "as" that character. I think this is the wrong model to take. Individualized characters should only exist as bot profiles and characters you encounter as part of the singleplayer tournament.
      Last edited by Wail; 06-12-2014, 09:36 AM.
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        #78
        Great post Wail.

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          #79
          Indeed, Wail hit the nail on the head.

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            #80
            Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
            So what about tying both ideas into one? Say: Liandri were not very pleased with how the Necris war interrupted their Grand Tournaments, and with the Necris being controlled by Phayder, the corporations struck a deal. The Necris were to no longer attack humans, but they could focus on other planets as they wish. Since the Skaarj had been held at bay, and encouraged by some semi-successful necrification attempts of the Krall, Phayder decides to explore the concept of "Necris Skaarj", and in order to get enough materials, starts attacking Skaarj colonies. Some corporations, and the NEG, are supportive of this, because they wish to expand the realm of human influence. Other corporations think it's a big mistake and would rather side with the Skaarj. Liandri itself sees a lucrative opportunity in further engaging the Skaarj in their tournaments, and since they are staying mostly on the sidelines of the new conflict, they put their effort into making the Grand Tournament more sophisticated than ever, thanks to the overwhelming viewer interest.
            I like this Though still I'll never understand how Skaarjs competed as team in UT2004 AND to all rules, but yeah UT2004 had more things that were out of place really.
            I'd like the story to be based on the UT universe and global occassions, not personal revenge as in UT3 or family conflicts in UC2.

            Originally posted by Agent1138 View Post
            NO STORY. It is just Lore as backgrounds to maps, it is the Tournament. UT3 was awful the story was so cringe worthy.
            Yep. I felt in UT99 you make your own (sort-of)story, though one thing about 'ladder' or 'campaign' I liked more in UT2003/4 than in UT99 was team selection, while in UT99 you were forced to be in faction-based team, though this is rather because of personal choice, since it IS logical for player to be in a team with his own faction and compete against other factions.
            And I personally liked UT3 story (and cutscenes), unlike most people here - just opinion; though I completely agree it was't tournament at all.

            Originally posted by Wail View Post
            Even the small stuff is important. For example, when you customize your character in the original Unreal Tournament, you are essentially selecting from various body shapes and faces. But your character is always "you." That guy you make is your avatar.
            Compare that to UT2003 and UT2004. In those games, the player selects from various pre-made characters with individual backstories and play "as" that character. I think this is the wrong model to take. Individualized characters should only exist as bot profiles and characters you encounter as part of the singleplayer tournament.
            I felt that too. Though I find it inevitable for at least two reasons, first because we should have few of those old characters (Xan, Malcolm, Lauren, Brock, ...) back, probably with some of their descriptions/backstory too, and second because character design is a bit more complicated and specific than it was in UT99 (just two simple models per gender, all depending on how its skin is designed), especially since we get different factions, and even races.
            I felt that in UT3 too, even with that sort of character customisation. Previously, I had to choose a named characters and I just do gear change on her, but I still play that specific character after all.
            Also, since you already mentioned it, I like that I was able to read team characters descriptions in UT99 ladder before match, which wasn't so in UT2004 and UT3. And no descriptions when choosing your character, which was opposite with other UT games.

            Maybe it's because we didn't have any descriptions when we were choosing character in UT99, or because we first chose model (Commando/Soldier), then body skin (Necris, Mercenary, Iron Guard, ...), and then the face (named by respective character - Lauren, Brock, Blake, Rylisa, ...).

            And I agree - small stuff IS important

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              #81
              Originally posted by smantz0rZ View Post
              There's no need for that, that belongs in Unreal not UT. Let UT be about the Tournament. It's a side-plot to the Unreal plot.
              But why not having some backstory applied to scenarios, characters lore? UT still belongs to Unreal world, so it's logical that some events are tied to or influenced by others.
              I thought it was a great idea to introduce the Skaarj to players who have never played Unreal games - AS-Mothership 'battle recreation' was a huge movie-style crossover that helped to learn the plot w/out being forced to play Unreal.

              Originally posted by Wail View Post
              UT2003 threw that out the window with the WWE-inspired introduction, complete with cheesy announcers and characters who were mugging it for the camera. This is a clear case of more characterization, more spectacle, being far, far worse.
              I see your point here, @Wail, but what was so bad about these so-called 'cheesy' announcers and all the 'spectacle' thing there? Isn't that Tournament a spectacle in fact?
              Playing UT99 I often caught myself thinking 'Why so serious?' (not kidding here). The backstory of conflict between the protagonist and Xan is too... serious, heavy, 'dramatic', don't know...
              It appears to me that, first of all, Tournament is the future sport (a lethal one, to be precise) therefore, it's a kind of a show (remember the Running Man?). Also, keeping in mind respawners, leaderboards, announcer notifications, etc. - doesn't it prove that Tournament might appear just a bit like a 'spectacle'?
              Last edited by polyneutron; 06-12-2014, 01:05 PM.

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                #82
                AS_Mothership had nothing to do with the plot of any of the single-player games. I don't recall there being any backstory to the protagonist and Xan in UT99 either. There really couldn't be, because you had multiple choices for what character to play.

                Also, I liked that UT99 was a serious bloodsport... It felt like a series of underground illegal grudge matches, the character descriptions described as much (poor Blake), and the intro sold that idea as an institution. If the most callous and morally depraved corporate ethos could be applied to entertaining a jaded dystopian future, it would be Deathmatch.

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                  #83
                  Originally posted by Moona View Post
                  I like this Though still I'll never understand how Skaarjs competed as team in UT2004 AND to all rules, but yeah UT2004 had more things that were out of place really.
                  The teams were based on clans. No big difference there. As for how they managed to follow the rules, well, their description says it: they joined the Tournament in the first place to regain their honour of losing the Mothership by proving themselves. They can't do that if they break the rules – they would be seen as cheaters and lose even more honour.

                  Originally posted by Moona View Post
                  I'd like the story to be based on the UT universe and global occassions, not personal revenge as in UT3 or family conflicts in UC2.
                  I agree.

                  Originally posted by Dementiurge View Post
                  AS_Mothership had nothing to do with the plot of any of the single-player games.
                  Yes it did. It summarised Unreal in a sentence.
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                    #84
                    Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
                    Yes it did. It summarised Unreal in a sentence.
                    Unreal didn't feature the recovery of the Vortex Rikers, that was Return to Na Pali. And I'd prefer if RtNP didn't exist.

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                      #85
                      Originally posted by polyneutron View Post
                      I see your point here, @Wail, but what was so bad about these so-called 'cheesy' announcers and all the 'spectacle' thing there? Isn't that Tournament a spectacle in fact?
                      Playing UT99 I often caught myself thinking 'Why so serious?' (not kidding here). The backstory of conflict between the protagonist and Xan is too... serious, heavy, 'dramatic', don't know...
                      It appears to me that, first of all, Tournament is the future sport (a lethal one, to be precise) therefore, it's a kind of a show (remember the Running Man?). Also, keeping in mind respawners, leaderboards, announcer notifications, etc. - doesn't it prove that Tournament might appear just a bit like a 'spectacle'?
                      The bad thing was the tonal shift. The first Unreal Tournament presents you with a premise that is grim and dystopian -- Blood sport used as opiate for the masses. That's a solid premise, and the game backs it up with the environmental and character art, as well as snippets in descriptive text.

                      UT2003 presents the flip side of that, which is to completely gloss over and trivialize that all of the guys fighting in the tournament are killing each other. The tongue-in-cheek tone of the announcers and the comic behavior of the characters shown through the UT2003 intro cutscene is completely at-odds with the nature of the sport they're partaking in. Something like The Running Man film shows a similar world, but the difference is that The Running Man doesn't present this in a straightforward and approving manner, but rather contrasts the spectacle of the show against the film's depressing world and in so doing provides social commentary.
                      That sort of presentation is not really appropriate for a videogame where you have maybe a minute or two to establish your premise through a cutscene and then get people into the game.

                      Tellingly, UT2004's intro cutscene sequence was much more serious, and much better for being that way. The sport-y feel of UT2003 was just an awful misstep, as was UT3's attempt to tell some kind of developer-directed narrative. The narrative of Unreal Tournament games is the player's personal journey through the tournament, not anything else. The next UT would be wise to stick to the roots of the series in terms of premise and tone as it was by far the most successful and evocative despite all the money thrown at expensive cutscenes in the later games.
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                        #86
                        Originally posted by Dementiurge View Post
                        I don't recall there being any backstory to the protagonist and Xan in UT99 either.
                        I was referring to @Wail's previous post piece:
                        Xan is mysterious, and the conflict between the protagonist and Xan actually ties in well with the universe's depiction of a world dominated by these abstract megacorporations pitting humans to fight to the death just for profit.
                        BTW, isn't it a conflict when your goal is to knock the hell out of Xan? Kind of.

                        Originally posted by Wail View Post
                        Tellingly, UT2004's intro cutscene sequence was much more serious, and much better for being that way. The sport-y feel of UT2003 was just an awful misstep, as was UT3's attempt to tell some kind of developer-directed narrative. The narrative of Unreal Tournament games is the player's personal journey through the tournament, not anything else. The next UT would be wise to stick to the roots of the series in terms of premise and tone as it was by far the most successful and evocative despite all the money thrown at expensive cutscenes in the later games.
                        I agree that UT2004 intro was WAY MORE spectacular and large-scale. But isn't that 'journey through the tournament' IS actually a 'wrestling-show-kind-of-sports'? No need to make it a thriller where one-man-army player cruelly conquers the Tournament in a dirty corrupted dystopian world <dark atmosphere etc.>... (*Tried to read the last part with some specific dramatic narrative voice. I'm serious, it sounds like a trilple-A Hollywood cyberpunk intro that deserves a blockbuster movie, I tell you)
                        Isn't UT supposed to be more fun instead of serious?

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                          #87
                          Originally posted by polyneutron View Post
                          I was referring to @Wail's previous post piece:


                          BTW, isn't it a conflict when your goal is to knock the hell out of Xan? Kind of.
                          Backstory is the wrong word to use there. There is no backstory to the conflict between Xan and the player.


                          Originally posted by polyneutron View Post
                          I agree that UT2004 intro was WAY MORE spectacular and large-scale. But isn't that 'journey through the tournament' IS actually a 'wrestling-show-kind-of-sports'? No need to make it a thriller where one-man-army player cruelly conquers the Tournament in a dirty corrupted dystopian world <dark atmosphere etc.>... (*Tried to read the last part with some specific dramatic narrative voice. I'm serious, it sounds like a trilple-A Hollywood cyberpunk intro that deserves a blockbuster movie, I tell you)
                          Isn't UT supposed to be more fun instead of serious?
                          Original UT played it straight in the game. That doesn't mean people didn't have fun. But it wasn't laughing and pointing out its own absurdities in a tongue-in-cheek way.

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                            #88
                            I'm leaning more towards fun than serious. That said, I agree that UT2003 overdid it a bit. (Still, the UT2003 announcer is my all-time favourite. Five! Four! Three! Two! One!!!)
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                              #89
                              To think about that the Tournament is held because "people want to watch it" and therefore it needs to be a spectacle and fun to watch. It's like the gladiator games of Rome; where the gladiators battle in almost pristine arenas, got cheered by the crowd and even liked to some degree but live as slaves. The Tournament needs to be fun to watch or there will be no viewers, simple as that. Bright colors, different (and maybe absurd) races, incredibly powerful weapons (like Redeemer) is all there to make the Tournament fun to watch. Still, the combatants may think otherwise. Hell, maybe some of them wants to make a living out of it because they enjoy the killing and/or outside life is just garbage. Who knows?

                              As for the story, the Tournament should be BOTH fun and serious. You can have a serious undertone and story beneath a confetti-filled battle arena. If you do it right, it will enhance the contrast between these two and make the game more powerful in that regard.

                              The story is a single-player thing in games; it is only considered in multiplayer games where the game is an MMO or a co-op game. Online shooters may have a simple story hold on matches (like Titanfall) but I think the Tournament premise and the story can be integrated without any obstruction to the gameplay and the playstyle of the players. I need to think about it more to write things down (it's 04:15 here now ) but I think I'll expand my initial story idea regarding this matter. You can read it here: https://forums.unrealtournament.com/...ll=1#post36567

                              UT4 should move forward in story terms; it MUST NOT be a reboot/remake/re-something. It's story should connect to the universe (I'd prefer it as a sequel to UT3, even though it isn't a magnificent game). If we want the game to be fluid and light on story (to make the game not prevent the core player from the fun in frags), it should have a familiar feeling attached to it. To get this feeling with a new storyline (not a sequel but a spin-off) is much harder to get (both from the writer's and the player's perspective). We can even make a "History of the Tournament" in the game that explains the canon story for players that actually want a story. Also, we can make it like MGS Database (on PSN): conceal the spoilers for the UT4 and reveal them as the player progresses. Just a thought. (:
                              Last edited by Tycerax; 11-10-2014, 09:08 AM.
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                                #90
                                Originally posted by Tycerax View Post
                                To think about that the Tournament is held because "people want to watch it" and therefore it needs to be a spectacle and fun to watch. It's like the gladiator games of Rome; where the gladiators battle in almost pristine arenas, got cheered by the crowd and even liked to some degree but live as slaves.
                                I completely agree with this. I'd love to see it be more of a sport...and with that, we could also push this game as an E-Sport. If the game plays like a sport, and a good enough spectator mode is available, then you can actually promote both the singleplayer "sport" aspect of the story, and the multiplayer as an E-Sport.

                                The Unreal championship fighters were praised as celebrities or wrestlers, in real life we do the same thing for champion Starcraft players...let's push that, as a story.

                                The question is, where does that go? Is it just a sport? Then where's the drama? I don't want to leave the arena or focus on an outside war or something...because that takes away from the arena. That's what made Gladiator such a good film, it all went down in the gladiator arena, even the last fight and the epic reveals.

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