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Friday, March 10, 2006

Last Excessive UT Server

I stumbled on this on Technorati this morning: apparently the only Excessive for UT2004 server remaining on the net right now. In the ramp up to the Make Something Unreal contest, Excessive was a very popular mod, easily one of better gameplay mutators at the time and brought MadNad, who went on to work on Troopers - the first "licensed" Star Wars mod, to the modding scene.

Now, I'm not sure if this can be taken as accurate or not ... it's easy to miss other servers out there sometimes. I can't find any gamespy references to much in the way of UT2004 mods except for something called Team Arena Master and Instagib CTF. The former I'm not too familiar with but looks like a series of clan-related modifications brought to bear and the latter has always been around. Even if rumors of Excessive's death are greatly exaggerated - it's still damn hard to get a good mod game going for UT2004, it seems.

It seems a shame that this where the MSUC has brought the Unreal community. Before the contest there was a lot of talk about getting communication going between professional developers and the modders ... never happened. It was often said that mods would be routinely showcased and servers would be leveraged so that people could find games from winning mods. Didn't occur. I've essentially left the scene because if I'm going to code stuff primarily for a small (or non-existent audience) ... I'd rather own it outright.

Some are still interested, and I'm handing over some of my old code to another modder buddy of mine who is interested in possibly revamping it and getting it to run in the latest UT2004 build. Days like this, though, that I wish Epic would follow Id's path of releasing older versions of the engine into the public domain.

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Winkyboy said...

"... mods would be routinely showcased ..."

Yeah, Epic really never pushed the community the way they apparently thought they would. After the contest ended, it's like the gold ran dry.

"I wish Epic would follow Id's path of releasing older versions of the engine into the public domain."

Hear, hear! It *absolutely* would not hurt future sales, and would only keep players loyal (that is, players would remember them more). I speak, at least, from MY point of view: I think it's great that DN3D is available for users to tool around with, and I've managed to get it running on new machines, but it will DEFINITELY not stop me from buying DNF (whenever that comes out ;)

Josh said...

I wrote a column for ModSquad when UT2k3 was due out, saying that UT should be freed up as well ... didn't get much response from Epic on that one :)

The only technical reason I can think of as to why Epic would not do such a thing is that unlike id, they don't rewrite their engine every two years. There might still be relevant portions of UT working in UT2007, so I'm not sure what's involved in licensing new tech based on old tech, etc.

Still, seems like it should be possible. And when UT2007 hits, UT2004 would be an indie developer's dream. Still plenty pretty enough for a lot of games.

Maybe if they couldn't free it, they'd consider releasing it at a much reduced cost.