I was recently wondering why I hadn’t yet posted about this, so here we are.
Unreal Warfare is quite fascinating to me (if you hadn’t guessed already). Gradually through the years since it began development, parts of it have slowly leaked out - either through licensees of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 2 (resources were provided as examples to licensees) or directly through Epic Games themselves, either as reused assets or just pieces they simply forgot were there.
I had always been meaning to piece all of these resources together and last year I finally found the time to do so. If you want to take a look, you can do so here.
If you’re not familiar with Unreal Warfare, it was, in simple terms, the predecessor to what eventually became Gears of War, but was radically different in design - I’m aware, for example, that the earliest iteration was intended to be first-person (as can be seen from the screenshots below).
As a bit of research, I decided to look into when exactly the game ceased development and will walk you through some of that process below.
Mark Rein of Epic Games also gave an update regarding Unreal Warfare in an article published by Blue’s News on the 14th of March, 2002, in which he states that Unreal Warfare is ‘still a long way away.’ He does seem to imply that Unreal Warfare was still in development at this point.
As a side note, I’ve seen quite a bit of aggravation towards Mark Rein during this time, but what he said in this article doesn’t seem intent in misleading anyone and what he describes is basically other forks of the Unreal Engine - which is accurate to how the games he referred to were developed - though I realise I’m arguing with people from many years ago now.
In the same month, Epic Games did a technical demonstration at GDC for Unreal Engine 2. This tech demo actually incorporated content intended for Unreal Warfare and gives us a good glimpse at what Epic Games were going for artistically before the game was shelved.
According to an interview with Tim Sweeney in 2006, it sounds like the game was no longer actively in development at some stage in 2002, during the development of Unreal Tournament 2003. In an interview with Cliff Bleszinski that was posted in October of 2002, he states that there isn’t an Unreal Warfare ‘at this time’, which seems to support what Tim Sweeney had said in his later interview.
The Bonus Pack released for Unreal Tournament 2003 the following year in March reused a lot of content from Unreal Warfare (which then found it’s way into Unreal Tournament 2004), including content used in the aforementioned tech demo.
It seems reasonable to conclude that Unreal Warfare ceased development at some point between March to October of 2002.
I hope you guys find the repository interesting and I hope to find the time to put a bit more on the repository relatively soon as well. As usual, any contributions would be highly appreciated as I can only dedicate so much time towards things like this.