UT99 finally gave me a reason to put my beloved old Amiga 4000 to rest and buy my first PC clone.
I played UT99 until UT2k3 came out. I never liked 2k3 for a number of reasons but by far the biggest reason was double jumping. I hated double jumping. UT2k4 promised a return to a more UT99 style of gameplay but failed to deliver. Though 2k4 was in many ways an improvement over 2k3 it still had double jumping and I still hated double jumping.
When UT3 came out I wasn't going to be fooled again. This time my mind was made up beforehand, if double jumping was in the game I wouldn't be buying it. I could have lived with it being a mod like it was in UT99, or even an option as long as the default was off and most maps were designed to be played without double jumping. But double jump was in, on by default and all the maps were made for it and so I was out.
Then earlier this year the news broke that Epic was going to start developing a new version, UT 2014, only this time in conjunction with community developers (mappers, modders, etc.) and asking for input from the public on everything. I was quite skeptical but there was a nice looking artistic concept screenshot plus they had some very interesting things to say that caught my interest in spite of my skepticism and gave me reason to think they just might get it right this time. I made a post about that here.
Since then pre-alpha builds of the game have been released periodically. These builds are available to anyone for gameplay testing. Keep in mind these are very early builds (hence the pre-alpha designation) with pretty much everything subject to change. The maps are just basic BSP layouts without any texturing, static meshes, fancy lighting, or other atmospheric touches. Right now it's all about nailing down basic gameplay mechanics, the fancy stuff will come later.
Here's a link to Epic's official thread for downloading the latest pre-alpha build
Note you do have to register with Epic's forums in order to download the pre-alpha.
A gameplay video has also been released showing legendary Quake player Fatal1ty playing a couple different maps.
After watching the video I have to say gameplay looks extremely good at this point. I was especially pleased to note that double jumping doesn't seem to be in the game at all so far (YEA!!).
I hope it stays that way, if it does I'll definitely be checking it out once development is a little further along.
But if they put double jumping back in, my interest in UT 2014 will end right then and there. I'm pretty sure most UT99 fans will feel the same way too.
Finally there's a UT Movement Mechanics Design thread over at Epic's forums. This is the place for all us UT99 fans to make our voices heard and let Epic know just how badly double jumping ruined our game.