Epic senior programmer and UT project lead Steve Polge updated the company's blog on Thursday, reporting that development of a new Unreal Tournament installment has begun. While fans like myself will be jumping up and clicking their heels in glee, the announcement comes with an interesting twist; fans will also be involved in the development process.
"We're happy to announce that we're going to do this together, with you," Polge writes. "We know that fans of the game are as passionate about Unreal Tournament as we are. We know that you have great ideas and strong opinions about where the game should go and what it should be. So let's do something radical and make this game together, in the open, and for all of us."
According to Polge, Epic has already created a small team of Unreal Tournament veterans who are now working on the project. As he stated, development will be out in the open so that Epic, Unreal Engine 4 developers and UT fans can properly collaborate on the game. Twitch streams and forums will be used for discussion and regular updates.
"A lot of this is brand new for Epic, and we don't yet have everything figured out," he writes. "Things will probably definitely go wrong from time to time, and when they do, we'll have to work through them together. There will be a lot of tough decisions to make, and not every feature will make it into the game. But if you're a fan of Unreal Tournament, a UE4 developer, or a future modder – or if you just want to learn how we make games – we hope you'll join us. It's going to be fun."
Polge confirms that the new installment will stay true to the Unreal Tournament roots as a "competitive FPS," and development will be focused on Windows, Mac and Linux. UE4 developers will have access to all code and content stored on GitHub.
So when will gamers get a first taste of Unreal Tournament (4 or 2014)? Polge says development will take "many months" before it becomes playable, as Epic is starting from scratch with this installment. However, when it does become available, it will be free. Polge emphasizes that the game will be free period, and not free-to-play.
Now here's the catch; the game will be financed by a marketplace. Here gamers, modders, developers and whatnot can purchase and sell content and mods. Sales stemming from the marketplace products will be split between the modder/creator and Epic.
Additional information regarding the Unreal Tournament game can be found here in the Wiki. Sounds like now would be a good time to get re-acquainted with the Flak Cannon!