Easy Access To Unreal Tournament’s Weekly Builds

As has been previously documented, the prospect of a new Unreal Tournament game fills me with joy. It’s a sort of violent, twitch-shooting, wall-dodging, gib-splattering joy but I take what I can get. Development continues apace, though naturally not nearly as fast as I’d like, with weekly livestreamed updates. There’s new builds of the game every Friday and still radical changes being made to even the most basic systems of movement, shooting and aiming. These builds are now officially available to all (as opposed to the community hosted jerry-rigging I last reported on) though still “non-representative pre-alpha” to use Epic’s phraseology.

All that’s required to get in and play is an account on the official forums. Once you’re tooled up, this thread¬†will be accessible and contain the most recent version. At time of writing that’s the 10/16 build which fixed some extreme mouse issues and altered underwater movement. To find people to play with, forums user RushPL has made a custom launcher¬†which will check you’re on the correct build and find servers. (Addendum: I’ve been informed by UT community hero ‘raxxy’ that the in-game server browser does work and the custom launcher is unnecessary. It does mean those servers are running custom maps, however. Thanks to him for letting me know.)

If you’ve got an Unreal Engine 4 license you can also host your own servers, via the link in that same thread. Last time I checked there were no UK-based ones, so it’d be nice to get some RPS Motherland inhabitors in on that action. UE4 license owners can now also access an auto-updating version of the game through the UE4 launcher, which is also now a prototype of the eventual standalone launcher for the full game.

What I’m finding most interesting about following UT is how well the community has taken to their task of helping build the game from the ground up. The Flak Cannon model pictured above is community sourced and is now going into development as the official one. The weapon design forum is chock full of threads and polls about how certain guns should work, as well as early prototyping within the engine itself. A personal favourite is the webbed Bio-Rifle by threadlock, adding a significant new ability to UT’s long-standing dud.

Here’s Epic’s latest livestream, going over their most recent developments and plans for another community event:

17 Comments

  1. Lucid says:

    Holy crap, that webbed bio rifle is incredible.

  2. Sp4rkR4t says:

    I’ll look into getting a server up and running and agreed the webbed bio rifle concept is superb.

  3. SominiTheCommenter says:

    The expression Pre-Alpha in what is clearly Beta products irks me to no end.
    I blame Google for calling a finished product “Beta”.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      There are many different definitions of those terms, but I believe the most common one for beta software is something like “feature complete but not finished tested and polished”. Going by that definition, this is not clearly beta.

      • The Godzilla Hunter says:

        But I think it would be considered Alpha. As far as I know, Pre-Alpha is writing on a whiteboard.

        • LogicalDash says:

          To call it alpha means it is at least ready for testers to test. Pre-alpha means the flaws are sufficiently obvious that even testing would be premature.

          That means Epic doesn’t feel any obligation to fix any problem you have with the pre-alpha builds. That they are fixing things *anyway* is just… out of the goodness of their hearts, I suppose?

          • skittles says:

            Yeah, it is different by every company that uses the terms. There is no set usage, it is simply whatever milestones a team sets for itself, and what they want completed by those milestones.

            However by any definition you could definitely have a fully-functional game and call it pre-alpha. Basically before alpha is the conceptual stage, it could be on the whiteboard, but there is nothing stopping it being ingame already. Basically it is a stage when they are experimenting with different ideas and concepts. I think that is the main difference. Pre-alpha you’re still experimenting, the game design could alter radically still. By alpha you begin testing, experimentation is significantly less, you have a pretty good idea of what systems you want in place and you’re beginning to test and implement them.

            So yeah you could have a game that is fully complete and bug free by anyones thinking, but still call it pre-alpha, because it is just your conceptual design work. Not that any company would ever spend enough time to make a conceptual design bug free.

  4. DrollRemark says:

    Just remember folks: the sooner you get into the beta, the sooner you can proclaim that you played the best version of the game, before they made it so noob-friendly and ruined it.

  5. Kaeoschassis says:

    That flak cannon is absolutely beautiful. Hope they keep the smiley-face shells too. Or even let us put our own images on them, gosh.

    While I love that new bio-rifle concept and would definitely like to see it ingame, I object to calling the old snot-gun a ‘long-standing dud’. It was pretty damned useful if you got the hang of it. Not to mention you could one-shot people most of the time with a fully-charged altfire.

  6. Raoul Duke says:

    Please tell me they are including the sniper rifle from the original UT? Still the best sniper rifle in any game IMHO.

  7. Bassem says:

    The flak cannon is my absolutely favourite gaming weapon, in both its firing modes. Hot chunks of bouncing metal or a lobbed grenade arcing perfectly. What a strategic and satisfying gun.

    God I really want to play some UT now.

  8. kael13 says:

    Oooh, I do like their new logo.

  9. Ryuuga says:

    Why’s the barrel rifled for what is basically a shotgun? Can it fire some kinda slug round?

    • The First Door says:

      Yes! From what I remember the secondary fire of the Flak Cannon fired an explosive slug which detonated on impact like a shrapnel grenade, whereas the primary fire effectively detonated the slug in the gun and directed the shrapnel forwards like a shotgun. That is based on a fairly hazy memory of what it said in one of the older UT’s though.

      • Ryuuga says:

        Ahh, yes, this does ring a bell! Makes some kinda sense, then. Ah, this made me remember the fire-reload sound of the Flak cannon in old UT99.

  10. The First Door says:

    I am massively excited for the game and I’m so happy about how the community is rallying around it. It reminds me of the old 2K4 days when the community grouped up to make the incredible bonus packs.

    Having said that, I can’t agree the bio-rifle was a dud! It certainly wasn’t the best weapon by a long shot, but it could be used as an amazing close range weapon: a charged secondary fire would utterly ruin someone if you got a direct hit. The web-firing version looks terrifying and rather fun though!

  11. LuNatic says:

    That smilie shell kind of reminds me of the giggling smiley mines that chase you around in Chaos UT. I hope someone adds those into the game.