Summary: Today we have a special double feature for you ladies and gents - an interview with Cliff Bleszinksi of Epic Games, about the NVIDIA $1 Million Make Something Unreal Contest (is that cool or what? Seriously, one million dollars...), and exclusive concept art from Far Cry. We also have some concepts of Alex D and the Ruck, a creature cut from Deus Ex: Invisible War. Come check it out and discuss it on our forums.
Cliffy B: My time is split between producing UT2004, producing Scion's new unannouncedproduct, and working with the other part of Epic's team on designing something new. Many balls are up in the air!
I also work with our in-house producer Jeff Morris to keep tabs on Unreal2 Xbox and other external projects.
FiringSquad: Who came up with the idea for the $1,000,000 NVIDIA Make Something Unreal contest?
Cliffy B: Steve Polge and Mark Rein spearheaded the contest. Remember, this is the second time we've done this, and hopefully not the last!
FiringSquad: How are the mods going to be judged and who will the judges be?
Cliffy B: Judges hail from Epic, Digital Extremes, Atari, Nvidia, and a host of other contest sponsors. The mods submitted were judged on a variety of criteria including their originality, artwork, gameplay, polish, and fun factor.
FiringSquad: With mod teams becoming so professional lately, I'm sure a few people are hoping for the opportunity of employment. Would Epic consider hiring particularly talented designers, programmers, artists?
Cliffy B: Half of the folks that work at Epic are from the mod community. If we have an opening we'll most certainly be eager to interview any talented mod makers. Scion Studios across the hall is hiring in all areas as well!
SIDEBAR: Come check out our new forums!
Cliffy B: Nvidia has a great enthusiasm not only for our products but for the results of mod maker hard work. If a mod maker makes a break out hit mod for UT2003 then it encourages people to go to the store and pick up the game, which in turn makes folks want to have the latest and greatest Nvidia card to run the game on!
FiringSquad: Any recommendations on what judges will be looking for? Is originality and innovation a big concern, or is it more about a solid, polished end result?
Cliffy B: If you're going to do something that's been done before with your mod then make sure you're doing it three times better than your competition. Otherwise you should shoot for something entirely unique or original!
FiringSquad: Does the contest tie into Unreal University in any way?
Cliffy B: Some mod makers that are participating in the contest attended Unreal University. Many who attended acquired enough knowledge to get going with their own mods and will hopefully enter the next phases of the contest.
FiringSquad: How's work on UT2004 progressing?
Cliffy B: The last 5% of a game is the hardest and that rule is holding true for UT2004. The game is all there, it's intact, it's fun, but chasing down and squashing all of those annoying bugs is truly a difficult task. There's so much in this game; it really is an enormous toy chest of gaming fun. We want to make sure it is a solid, stable, balanced gaming delight.
SIDEBAR: You can just use your standard FS login to go to the forums, no need for a new one.
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