You know what’s crazy is that I can remember when I was entering my first year of high school and there was this game that all my friends were going nuts about. I went over to a friend’s house for a LAN session of Duke Nukem 3D and there instead, he was playing this little game called Unreal. I was already a huge fan of the genre, so it seemed natural that I fall headlong into it as well. After all, it was way ahead of the curve and had the most impressive enemy AI and graphics that I had ever seen.
Fast forward to 2006, and I’d received a job offer for an Associate Producer position at Epic Games to work on the exact franchise that had fascinated me almost exactly 10 years earlier. AHAHAHA OMGNUTS!! I mean, yeah – in this generation, growing up as a gamer, and then getting the opportunity to work at a company that epitomizes the games that you’ve loved for a big part of your life; it’s just nuts.
So anyways, 10 years later, and what’s changed? The series is still going strong with Unreal Tournament 3 and all of the great gameplay that UT fans love, but there is a big feature that we had been wanting to bring to the console platform for some time. Since a good portion of UT3’s development team got their game industry start in mod making; it only made sense that we would bring to PLAYSTATION 3 what PC owners have known for years with mod support. Mods, or modifications (to the original game they were based off of) can include new weapons or characters, models, meshes, maps, mutators; or they can even be entirely new games themselves using the editing tools, game assets, and code base.
You, my PS3-loving friends reading this, have the opportunity to reshape the distribution and development of user created content and game making. In a generation where making a game for a console is becoming restricted almost exclusively for larger companies due to cost, this is your opportunity to bring your idea to Sony’s platform via UnrealEngine3’s tool set.
But HOW you say?! You’re not a coder, and you haven’t modeled anything in your life?! Well, first step would be to watch some of the tutorial videos made by our talented LDs to get familiarized with the toolset. Next would be to get the PC version on your system and use the level editor tools to create a level while experimenting with UT3’s existing assets.
When you get more advanced, you could use the scripting language UnrealScript, Kismet (a visual based scripting system, so no coding knowledge required); or even your own 3D models to make something completely unique. When you’ve finished, just use UnrealFrontEnd (or ‘UFE’ – it’s included with the PS3 mod tools), a program that will automatically format your project into PS3-optimal packages. Just name your mod something cool, select your removable media, plug it into your PS3, import the mod, and you’re ready to play. By the magic of the programming team, any new maps or mutators will be automatically recognized in the menus. Important to note that if you’re not one of those creative types, you’re more than welcome to download any of this new content from a friend onto media and enjoy the mod revolution that way as well.
Right now, this tech is only available on the PS3 console, so this is my challenge to you, PS3 owners! Create the next big thing! Completely change the world of gaming as we know it! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.