Unreal 1 Development History

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Dan
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Unreal 1 Development History

Post by Dan »

The original Unreal game had an interesting history where its development was concerned. The original concept for the game was "a Magic Carpet-like environment where you fly through caverns with robots." as mentioned by James Schmalz (The only one who was working on it at the time)

Here is a link to a Gamespot article that details the development of Unreal and reveals some interesting facts about the game: http://uk.gamespot.com/features/makeunreal/index.html

A line from the help file included in the 1995 Alpha version:
"This is a little game we are creating for a Fall ‘96 debut. Unreal will be published in shareware by Epic MegaGames and distributed in retail stores worldwide by Electronic Arts."
It seems Unreal was going to be distributed by EA at one point, but this was changed for some unknown reason.


Here are a few screenshots of very early builds of the game (From 1995, 1996 and 1997) Almost everything you see in these screenshots never made it to the final retail version of Unreal.

Screenshots from the leaked 1995 Alpha (Which I'm sure is already on the server.)

(1995)
Image

(1995)
Image

(1995)
Image

More information about the 1995 alpha can be found here: http://tcrf.net/Proto:Unreal/1995_Tech_Demo
Unseen64.net has some useful info about the 1995 Alpha too, including some videos: http://www.unseen64.net/2009/06/16/unre ... tech-demo/

One of the very first (released) screenshots of the game showing the "Woman" and "Dragon", both cut from the final release. (1996)
Image

The "Quad Shotgun" that was never finished for the final game. (1996)
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A VERY early version of the "Automag" weapon. (1996)
Image

A slightly updated version of the "Automag" weapon. (1997)
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The final "Automag" weapon design. (1998, retail version)
Image

A castle-themed map, never seen in the final. (1997)
Image

There are many more screenshots over at UnrealSP.org: http://unrealsp.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=78

Also, if it's allowed (Not sure, thought I'd ask first) I have a collection of music from various Alpha/Beta versions of Unreal and I'd like to share them :P They date back to 1995/6/7.

Coppermine
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by Coppermine »

Do you have music from leaked builds only?
Long Live Windows XP!

Dan
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by Dan »

Coppermine wrote:Do you have music from leaked builds only?
Yes, from both the 1995 Alpha and 1998 Beta all in the original ImpulseTracker (.it) and ScreamTracker 3 (.s3m) format.

LEOTCK
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by LEOTCK »

Yeah, the thing is we know where those betas are located now, they are on the FATE CDs released by Numbers and probably on some BBS as well back in 1996 and 1997. I still need to find someone who has these and is willing to share it.

UNREAL *BETA* BY EPIC MEGAGAMES [01/04]
THE UNREAL EDITOR! / UNREAL BETA [01/03]
RAR.EXE NEEDED TO UNPAK UNREAL EDITOR [01/01]
UNREAL ALPHA LEVELS PREVIEW BY EPIC [01/04]
UNREAL ALPHA MONSTERS PREVIEW BY EPIC [01/01]

They were on FATEs 029, 030, 036, 309 respectively, that is 96-97 stuff.

Ziron
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by Ziron »

BTW, the "models" in the "woman and dragon" image are actually sprites.

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by LEOTCK »

Ziron wrote:BTW, the "models" in the "woman and dragon" image are actually sprites.
Why do you think so? I saw other screenshots with them which showed they are models.

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by Ziron »

LEOTCK wrote:
Ziron wrote:BTW, the "models" in the "woman and dragon" image are actually sprites.
Why do you think so? I saw other screenshots with them which showed they are models.
I remember reading about that on UnrealSP. They do look like sprites to me, tho.

LEOTCK
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by LEOTCK »

That's because of the poor rendering, they are not sprites though and not everything you read must be automatically true, it was something someone thought, but those are either polygonal or voxel based models. Since the other shots showed it clearly it was 3D.

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by T02my »

OH, thanks for posting, new for me. Unreal 1996 looks like Quake 1, really.
Coppermine
I can upload music from Unreal Beta 1997, need this?

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by LEOTCK »

Yeah a part of it looked like Quake and bit more simplistic, but remember that they wanted to have maps running optimized and also for N64 at the time and even the 95 tech demo was a bit too demanding. So yeah they went pretty simplistic at those maps back then, then again with the hardware back then, you can't wonder why. Quake was really the peak at the time and many machines even froze during gib scenes and stuff, it was that demanding.

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

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Btw about the discovery of the Numbers Fate CDs. I have stumbled upon them before I visited this site actually, and while i was looking for someone to have them I discovered someone asked for them at the requests section a while ago.
I have talked to the guy who has the archives online, he had few CDs himself but none of the ones I wanted. I know of someone else too who has the entire collection, so he has those betas, but he isn't willing to share at the moment as he is busy etc and it is not sure if he will get to it.

Just wanted to get out, because someone obviously misunderstood me and took me out of context.

Also I know how at least the level preview files were named, they were ROR-UNL(1-4).zip. Yeah by the infamous release on rampage (known for leaking Quake before its release). At least one other beta was released by them as well.

Dan
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by Dan »

Ziron wrote:BTW, the "models" in the "woman and dragon" image are actually sprites.
I believe that VERY early on in Unreal's history (1994/1995) that sprites were used as simple placeholders, but as Leo said, these screenshots are of actual 3D models.

Look at this one; you can see that the Woman's hands are flat, just like the final player models'.

Image

LEOTCK wrote:Btw about the discovery of the Numbers Fate CDs. I have stumbled upon them before I visited this site actually, and while i was looking for someone to have them I discovered someone asked for them at the requests section a while ago.
I have talked to the guy who has the archives online, he had few CDs himself but none of the ones I wanted. I know of someone else too who has the entire collection, so he has those betas, but he isn't willing to share at the moment as he is busy etc and it is not sure if he will get to it.
I would VERY much like to see these CD's, particularly the ones with the Unreal content on. I hope your contact agrees to a release soon, Leo. Hell, I'd pay good money to have them.

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by klaiser »

LEOTCK wrote:Yeah, the thing is we know where those betas are located now, they are on the FATE CDs released by Numbers and probably on some BBS as well back in 1996 and 1997. I still need to find someone who has these and is willing to share it.

UNREAL *BETA* BY EPIC MEGAGAMES [01/04]
THE UNREAL EDITOR! / UNREAL BETA [01/03]
RAR.EXE NEEDED TO UNPAK UNREAL EDITOR [01/01]
UNREAL ALPHA LEVELS PREVIEW BY EPIC [01/04]
UNREAL ALPHA MONSTERS PREVIEW BY EPIC [01/01]

They were on FATEs 029, 030, 036, 309 respectively, that is 96-97 stuff.
we have a very small chance to find someone who still have it nowadays and would release it for all. :(

dezodor
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by dezodor »

I saw this topic, and digged a bit on my old hdd, found some unreal stuff which i downloaded from various sites back in 2005-6, or even earlier, then tested and repacked them, and uploaded to megaupload. (each has readme, and some has screenshots and fixes etc... the screenshots weren't made by me, I downloaded them from google, or the same sites where I found these builds back in 2005-6)

1st one:

A 'rare to find' alpha build from 1995, contains 4-5 maps, seems like a tech-demo.
download build: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=9KWKQTMO
screenshots: http://img51.imageshack.us/g/unrealalphascreen1.jpg/

2nd one:

The well known (but hard to find?) unreal 97-98 leak, with unreal editor. log says build 099.
download build: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=4ZU32DJD (patch and readme included in pack)
screenshots: n/a

3rd one:

A "special editon" of unreal, bundled with soundblaster soundcards back in 98. build date is July 18, 1998. in log it says build 205:
download build: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=N985WFFQ
screenshots: n/a

4th one:

It's not actually a build, its an unique demo made by S3 to showcase the possibilities of high-resolution S3TC textures in Unreal engine. It needs OldUnreal Multimedia Patch (OMP - included in the pack) with OpenGL be installed and S3TC activated (not sure if it will still run on new vga-s these days)

download: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=TM1KDNRH
screenshots: http://img855.imageshack.us/g/unreals3tc1.jpg/

----------
Maybe these are not the ones you were looking for, but I hope I could help :)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Lost Alpha

LEOTCK
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by LEOTCK »

Nah, these are well known to us and are generally avaiable. But thanks for preserving that anyway seeing as it mostly included the original archives. The special edition was uploaded by me back in 2005 and it's not considered beta. It is basically like shareware version, except the shareware version never surfaced, but this one should be considered shareware.
I also made a fix for the initial 205 version so it will load dark arenam get it here:
Unrealsharewarefix.rar

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by dezodor »

Thanks for the info, and the fix :) I think I will try these oldies again.
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Dan
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by Dan »

loxotron, if you (Or anyone else) is as interested in the 95 Alpha as I am, I can upload some of the original maps that I modified using a Hex-Editor. I can replace the light and camera actors with monster placeholders (Such as the Dragon, Woman, Gargoyle, Wizard and Player). It's strange to note that these monsters use the "Eagle-Head" icon (Actor) instead of the "Chess-Piece" (Pawn) sprite as used in the final.

I also managed to discover a "Pickup" placeholder, which when loaded into the map, displays the "Apple" (Pathnode) icon.
Image


Editing the .UNRs also allowwed me to change the textures in each of the levels and even load some unused ones. Here's a shot of an edited JAMES.UNR:
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After digging around the UNENGINE.DLL file, I was able to also change the text on the information screen that you see at the start too.
Image


I hope nobody thinks I'm contributing useless information, but I'm trying to discover as much as I possibly can about this Alpha version, seeing as though it's the closest anyone will get to seeing how Unreal used to be, before there was a strange development shift. I just pray that somebody has other versions and would be willing to share (Even if I would have to pay for them)

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by z180 »

start the game with the parameter -editor
Stephen Elop….I curse you, that after your death your soul will be forever trapped in the sourcecode of Windows and one day Microsoft will fall because of that virus code!

Dan
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by Dan »

z180 wrote:starting the game with the parameter -editor
Brings up the console, which you can then go to "Window -> New Camera" to bring up the editor grid. You can type commands like "BRUSH ADD", "BRUSH SUBTRACT", "BRUSH NEW" and other such commands into the console and in the game, but nothing seems to happen. I can't seem to load maps in the editor either or for that matter, do anything of real use in the editor.

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by dezodor »

Dan, yes of course im interested in your edits, pls post the stuff :)
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Dan
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by Dan »

loxotron wrote:Dan, yes of course im interested in your edits, pls post the stuff :)
Here you go mate, just be sure to backup your original files :)

UNENGINE.DLL - Modified the text that displays at the start
CLIFF.UNR - Screwed with textures and replaced lights with pickups
JAMES.UNR - Swapped lights and Cameras with Dragons and Gargoyles

Code: Select all

http://www.sendspace.com/file/gc3llg

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by dezodor »

thanks, will check it tonight.
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LEOTCK
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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by LEOTCK »

I'm trying to get the betas from a more official source btw, but it is unsure if it will go well. They exist though, I saw the directory tree at least.

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by Cortal »

I remember playing the third unreal, this may be worth checking out, when you guys get those files from the discs ^^

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Re: Unreal 1 Development History

Post by heslo »

LEOTCK wrote:I'm trying to get the betas from a more official source btw, but it is unsure if it will go well. They exist though, I saw the directory tree at least.
Please let it be true. Unreal was a favourite of mine when I was younger, going back to messing around with early code will be very interesting!

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