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Please, Keep up the good work. Go all the way, and don't pull out!

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    Please, Keep up the good work. Go all the way, and don't pull out!

    I have a confession. I haven't touched this game in some two years. I just installed it this past week ..and I love this game! Absolutely. However, I am dumbfounded by the apparent cessation of development.

    People are dying to know what's going on, others are dismissive, suggesting that EPIC's golden child Fortnite means everything else is at best, on the backburner. Some say there's too much disagreement behind the scenes in terms of the game's direction. Some people are even trying to figure out how to make the game more like Fortnite in order to be successful.

    Nobody asked for my opinion, but I 'm posting it anyway. Why? Because I don't want to see Quake Champions come out, being the dumbed-down game its shaping up to be, and actually become successful while UT is slowly forgotten because noone could figure out *what game to make*.

    First, everyone and their mother talks about Fortnite. How did Fortnite get its player base? I've never even heard of it prior to last week, yet evidently, it is a phenomenon. Why then, is it such a smash hit? Hint: It's not just an accident.
    • Fortnite has a very appealing aesthetic, cartoony - resembles Team Fortress 2. It's not scary, but when you start playing, it's familiar.
    • You can just play the game. No hunting for maps, no deciding on a server, no figuring out what game mode to play. Click button, start playing. UT4 finally does this - and that's a good start.
    • Team Fortress 2 has been around forever, having evolved from a modification for Half Life. It's simple, it's funny, and it's good. Does anyone care it's 10 years old?
    • These games are inviting, not intimidating. From the second they see the cover art (be it on Steam or elsewhere), you get an idea of what's going on.

    This game doesn't need spectacular graphics, it doesn't need to be a clone of UT99 or UT2004. It doesn't need cover art showing every single item and feature from the every game mode. it needs to simply look good and be fun. Im sure nobody knows that Fortnite is Unreal Engine, nor does anyone really care.

    UT99 didn't reel me in on the technology or the engine. The gameplay was savage, the taunts were brutal, the action and the speed were incredible ...but most importantly, the attitude. That game had attitude. It was made with pride and passion. It wasn't just a platform for which EPIC could derive other, better-selling titles. It was an experience.

    So, because I love this game, and because I see great potential, and lots of confusion, I'm providing my opinions of what *I think* would propel this game into the smash hit it ought to become. Take it with a grain of salt. This is aimed at the developers, and to a lesser degree, the current fans who maybe don't quite know what UT should be. My opinion is based on my experience with the game since its inception, and the trends in gaming over the past ten years. For UT to truly be successful, it needs to capture the interest of both casual and skilled gamers - something I think is quite easily achievable .

    Getting the casual gamer:

    The first thing to luer in the casual gamer is the cover or the game art - When you look at games like Fortnite or TF2, you see a gathering of characters, all looking decidedly human and perhaps even, friendly. We all know every UT character is a badass, so show people how badass they are. This game is all about the characters and the action.

    The second thing then, is the premise. What are we playing? Deathmatch? Elimination? Capture the Flag? Domination? Excellent. Sign me right TF up!

    And most crucially, keeping the gamer interested is the experience. The casual gamer should not have to put any level of effort into being able to play the game. I stress this because, even though UT implements some matchmaking and instant-action features, it can still be a mess if the game includes 8 modes! Everyone should be able to browse servers, filter on game types and mutators if they wish, but that is no longer necessary, chiefly, because programming these features has become easier and the frameworks already laid out, ready to be taken advantage of.

    Example Cover Art:
    • Unreal Tournament - A Trophy with the characters; enough said.
    • UT2003 - 3 characters in different poses, with weapons - easy to tell what's going on still.
    • UT2004 - basically the same, but with a giant Skaarj head. I get it, UT2003 was a faux-pas.
    • UT3 - Some fat guy in his fat, obese armor with a gigantic gun. <-- what's going on there?
    • UT4? Can't be the Taye show. Get everyone together.

    When I see the art for Fortnite, I feel like Bill Burr when he's at Subway and the clerk asks him if he wants a cookie. You're god **** right I want a cookie, but now that you asked me, well, I'm not supposed to just take the **** cookie even though I really want a ******* cookie. In other words, it looks fun and cheesy, and I want a fun and cheesy game to play, but it needs to be covered in blood and bullets, and contain mature language. That's where UT can break the barrier.

    The Problem for Casual Gamers:
    Specifically, with games like UT, there are generally two main issues that make it difficult for some people to get into. This shouldn't be the Elite UT99 Alumni Club, nor should it have to be so dumbed down that you are unable to play the way you want to, if you can. My Two Big Issues are:
    • Maps
    • Weapons
    "Who are you? GTFO, n00b! Go play Candy Crush Saga, you loser!"

    I'm serious - like a seizure.

    Starting out in game with the default weapon is a carry-over from Unreal's story-based gameplay and makes zero sense anymore. We have so many game modes now, some of which even default the player to all weapons.
    • When you start with the enforcer, have to look for a weapon, and end up getting killed repeatedly by the time you found the rocket launcher, well, that just sucks. That's why we have League-Edition maps and such, right?
    • Let characters have distinct weapons and features. This doesn't have to be a formula like "Engineer, Medic, Soldier, etc". Perhaps Taye prefers a rocket launcher and has armor by default. Perhaps some characters have regenerative health. Allow the player to select the character with the features they want.
    • The placement of weapons on a map seems to vary from "whatever" to strategic, purposeful design, i.e., the sniper rifle is near a great location for sniping. That is a nightmare for the casual gamer should he/she find themselves in a match with experienced players.
    • There are ten weapons, each with multiple fire modes. See the first bullet point. The casual gamer is not going to find the nuance of each weapon nor will they figure out which part of the map a weapon is best suited for.
    What about the maps?
    • Maps vary from nearly perfect to over-complicated mazes of torment.
    • Maps in any game type should still be simple enough that the casual gamer won't get overwhelmed and/or lost.
    • Maps should be designed with UT in mind - fast-paced action FPS.
    • If it makes sense, depending on the game type, put many kinds of weapons and armor in immediately accessible areas. Spawn, grab, and GO.

    My Take:

    What's good so far?
    • Instant matches.
    • Game hubs.
    • Graphics and models are outstanding.
    • Customizing your player's appearance (loot box items, etc.)
    • The soul of the game feels quite in-tact.
    • Game modes. Elimination is a *******, but it's fun.
    • Teamwork-based rewards, assists.
    • Headshot outline in sniper scope. Nice.
    • Taunts - Lots of taunts to choose from is excellent.
    What's not so good?
    • Weapons. Many are UT3 and feel rubbish.
      • Translocator is awful. The arc is weird, and you have to recognize UT's original worked just fine - and all of us old schoolers are used to it. Everyone got used to it as I recall.
      • Flack is awful. This weapon was great for its bouncing shards and explosivity. It feels broken on purpose because someone listened to a bunch of people who whined it was too "spammy". Is that not the point?
      • The shock rifle - Just the noise. The noise is unbearable. please make it sound nice.
      • Can we just have a regular minigun please?
    • Emotes. Unreal doesn't have emotes, it has ****ing brutal taunts. You guys actually built a feature into the game at one point that when a user turned all the settings up to their highest value, the game responded with HOLY ****! I see none of that spirit in "emotes." I don't want to see the word emotes in this game. I want to be able to have my player tell another player to eat **** when I blow them up!
    In Closing:
    Again, I love the game so far. I wish for this to be successful. I know that everyone working on this game is aware of what's necessary to bring it to the masses, and I hope it doesn't get discarded or end up as simply niche fan-service for some old-school nostalgia nerds. Keep the soul of the game in-tact; everything else should be open for consideration, even if it alienates some of the hard-core "fans" who, in reality, just want an updated version of UT99 which only they will want to play. Don't be afraid to copy successful game formulas, just don't go on the dumbing-down bandwagon, and please, don't give up on the game.