So here in this (rather big) news item, I want to cover 2 things:
- the new release;
- my potential retirement from the UT scene (to probably create my own game in UDK instead).
So, Nali Weapons 3 was finally released in the start of November after 2+ whole years of development, but the release wasn't perfect: GameFront failed to provide files in time, a few bugs appeared, and proper help files were missing for the admins and even some players, besides some content being postponed to be released as bonus packs.
Well, in the past 2 weeks I did absolutely nothing, I just took a long rest from all the modding and anything UT related, also to give you guys time to check and play with the pack and report back in, but now probably starting this week I will get back in active development on the pack to make a new release within a few weeks.
This new release will be mostly aimed to:
- Fix bugs;
- Improve gameplay;
- Add more settings;
- Add proper help files (with a FAQ and info on each weapon);
- Add "official" NW3 servers to play on;
The new release will also bring all the content I planned for a bonus pack, some mutators to make gameplay far more interesting and entertaining (no, there won't be new weapons) and also a big map to test the nuclear weapons on.
Also, on the request of a few users I will add make another video only containing the pack nuclear weapons and blasts, as a "nuclear compilation" similar to the one done for the previous version of the pack back in 2009 (NW2X).
Now, there's something rather important you must know: the next release will probably be the last one, the final release. So if you have any feedback at all to give, request on new settings, bug reports, etc, please do so asap here: Moddb.com
After the final release, nothing more will be done to this pack, so please take advantage of this while you can to either get some new features done or get some bugs fixed that you may find.
Also, this was likely my very last mod for UT (so no X-Vehicles or other mods I had originally planned), reasons being that this is a very old game and people seem to not be interested in it anymore, and I don't want to spend another year or two making new mods such as vehicles or even new gametypes to then see that almost no one plays with them.
The true success of a mod is not the amount of popularity it has on the community, but instead in the servers online.
Yes, the release itself was a success and I thank every single person who patiently waited for it, but the post-release wasn't as great with servers opening with just a few players, no players even most of the time.
This only goes to show that UT lacks players and most of the existing ones just don't like to experiment new things or just don't give a damn anymore to even try, or in another words, this mod came in too late, and even if it came sooner probably it wouldn't change much either.
It could be the mod itself being the culprit, but truth is I see even the current popular UT mods getting less and less popular by the day, thus this is a sign that this game is slowly fading away (seeing new mods and maps becoming a rarity over the years), and the community is severally fragmented into smaller ones.
NW3 also took this long to make since under the hood there's something like a "mini-engine" or a framework of sort to speak, a multitude of base classes and optimized features to build new mods upon using all the NW3 visual and core features and capabilities, unfortunately it seems it won't be used anymore.
Instead, I will probably create my own game in UDK. A few years ago I wouldn't even dream about making a game in such platform, but nowadays I actually feel I can do it for real.
NW3 was actually supposed to have much more detail, better visual effects and I am not 100% satisfied with it, but I cannot make it better either in this highly limited engine, and it's rather frustrating to make a mod which cannot be better because the engine doesn't let me.
With UDK I don't have any of those limitations at all, thus I would be free from those chains and only be limited by what I am actually capable off, plus I get to work with far better and easier tools such as Blender (I was using MilkShape so far, a terrible modeler, it's like MS Paint next to Photoshop, making models there is like creating a hi-res paint one pixel at a time, but it was also the only program in existence with proper UT vertex animation support).
Nothing is set in stone yet, but if nothing changes after the new release (like a flood of players coming back to UT or Epic supporting their own game again with new patches or similar), then it's the end of the line for me as far as UT developing/modding is concerned.
I will still be around to help and answer on any doubts on this mod or UT development in general (I may do a few tutorials too).
If you read this far, then I thank you for your full attention, and I apologize if you were expecting more UT mods (like X-Vehicles) or NW3 bonus packs... but with almost no players in the game and no interest to whatsoever, spending another 1/2 years of frustrations over the engine and Milkshape limitations to make everything work properly to then not see enough use whatsoever, I would rather spend that time doing a completely new game instead using the UDK, which has much higher probabilities in getting played and where I can make far better things.