It’s rare that a more modern game causes me to go crazy and praise. But then this game is 7 years old now, and i’ve been playing it since its launch in 1999. This is my very brief tribute which i’ll extend at somepoint when I get more time to do screenshots and downloads.
Unreal Tournament 1999 is possibly one of the most fun and addictive first person shooters i’ve ever come across, and the excellent Multiplayer mode has done plenty to extend its life for many years now. I remember still the day I first played the game on my 230mhz PC, being totally engrossed in shooting and destroying anything that moved. Sure, the story in Single Player mode was very very naff, but it was the Practice matches and Networking which made the game really shine!
Bots are inteligent enough to play against, but nothing compares to playing against friends and people online. I occasionally played the game against one of my friends and my nephew back in 1999/2000 when the game was big, but it wasn’t until January 2005 that my love for the game was reignited….
I had just started my first full time job as a Web Developer, and one of the first things I was asked was if I played Unreal Tournament by my new colleague Werner. You see, the team played the game every lunchtime against each other and they were hoping the two new “recruitments” (Me and another guy called Chris) would be happy to join in. Erm.. yes!… Considering a network game had only been consisting of 2 people in the past, the potential of 5 – 10 people against each other every lunchtime just made my new job even better 🙂
So commenced work, a fantastic time.. but also a fantastic set of gaming memories on an old FPS. Although just a game, this game is a big memory of now past job. It was a fantastic way to de-stress at Lunchtimes, and I think it made for an excellent ice breaker with the team when I first started.
Interestingly the game sessions started out with statistics being kept, so we had a kind of league of all of us, so there was the odd bit of friendly slagging off about who was the best player with the most kills. This soon died off when Werner was getting a bit pissed off with compiling 100’s of log files after every lunchtime 😀
Many many maps were downloaded and tested, but also we made our own wacky maps with our own personalized touches throughout… a UT2004 map conversion, a Matrix conversion, Lord Of The Rings, Stairway to Heaven (Don’t ask!). Even an attempt to map out our offices was being done, but sadly my experience of the map editor let me down, and we never quite got to do battle over our desks in a virtual world. All that remains are some half finished maps, including one which was getting there, with rooms and even a functioning toilet in place. (Sad… sorry… I know).
Whilst I enjoyed the job itself immensly, I used to always check the clock and hope 1pm would come along quicker. Being an avid gamer, I loved waiting for the time to come along… even if I would get a complete ass kicking in the game. Levels such as “Bedrooms”, “Makari Sewer”, “Scandinavia”, “Command” were some of many titles played quite regular. Even one level with a Twister (“Storm Chaser”) was a great laugh.
Sadly as time went on… I guess the game got inevitably overplayed and people got bored and the games slowly dried up. On the odd occasion the game was dug out and games were played. And my last game against the team was played in my final week before I left work for another job. Possibly the last time i’ll play the game online/networked again… but luckily I have a good memory of the games with my now sadly ex-colleagues, with a series of recorded demo’s done in UT which can be played back… and some of the typically heated exchanges can be felt from the “Red team” (M.I.S) who us the blue team (Web team) would fight against every lunchtime. Affectionately (?) we were known as the F.B.S (F**king Blue Scum) by them…. Lovely 🙂
As well as missing work and my colleagues, i’ll miss the lunchtime gaming too. If you can get the chance at work to do similiar as i’ve been privilaged, then go for it! It is bloody fun 🙂
So to conclude…. to Ian, Werner, Chris, Andy… “GO F.B.S!”… 🙂
To Andrew, Elaine and Dave… “Head shot!” 😉