Epic Games Unreal Engine Epic Games Forums Epic Games Community

September 10th 2013 – September 17th 2013
6sept_reaperbodyv5final_lo_by_arukun14-d6l8mjzEach week, members from the Gears of War community will be chosen to be the Epic Reaper. Members will be chosen based on their contributions to the community. We also wanted to showcase some artwork recently created by Tim Fangon of Team Epic Gamers. “Arukun14″ has been creating art based on all of Epic’s IPs for a few years now, and he never fails to surprise us with his work. Over the next few weeks we’ll be showcasing some more amazing Gears of War: Judgment Reaper art, so keep watching!

You can follow Tim on the following sites and social media. You can find the original Reaper post HERE.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/arukun14
Instagram: http://instagram.com/arukun14
Twitter: http://twitter.com/arukun14

Our new group has been chosen! We’re still waiting to hear back from some more reapers so stay tuned.

5sep_cartoonreaper_by_arukun14-d6l8ojeEach will receive a custom Gears of War: Judgment dog tag.

You will still also be able to find some of the developers from Epic Games playing as the Reaper as well as Raczilla, Cher, Zap, DarkAp89 and Fl4k, and the Reaper Festival Reapers, I EV0L 0NE I, Alex Brand LE and LeMansFahrer.

Be sure to join them this week, because rumor has it that @Petenub has doubled the XP in Gears of War: Judgment!

Julio – Brazil – Gamertag: JPK l P4L4D1N0
Max – Brazil – Gamertag: Morocoto
Idris – UK – Gamertag: ImDzombieLegend
Wendy – UK – Gamertag: Mad Bad Vixen 
Alex – US – Gamertag: ElJibaro25
Stefano – Italy – Gamertag: STEPLATONE

Follow the Reaper_Tracker for hints where they will be. Thanks to Gnashes and Bizkitdoh for the feed and good luck slaying the Reaper!

In the original script for Gears of War, the Brumak from Adam’s house chased the squad through the streets of Timgad,  trapped them inside a thrashball stadium, and ended with a vehicle vs. Brumak “boss battle”.   As we were running incredibly low on time, that entire level got cut and Delta squad just sort of magically appears at the Timgad train station after leaving Adam’s house without any real context or explanation.  After we shipped the game, we decided to do the Windows version, and felt like this this content was worth reviving.

timgadAs we sat and looked at the script, however, we knew that we wanted to do something a bit more extensive for the PC version, and something that tied more into the core combat loop of the game rather than another vehicle sequence.  So we went back to the drawing board and wrote a whole new script.  As we talked through what would happen during the sequence, we wanted to have a visual representation of what the city looked like so that everyone involved would have the same understanding of what we were building.

I started sketching together a Timgad neighborhood while we were talking, and attempted to incorporate all the different areas that people suggested.  An old Theater, a disabled drawbridge, a multi-story parking deck… I just started drawing as we talked, and we were able to work out the flow of the level before anything was ever built in the editor. If you’re familiar with the level you can pretty easily see how things were meant to flow from a top down perspective: Start at the central road in the direction of the arrow, jump across a fissure (blocking the path back) and end with the APC trapped at the open drawbridge. Travel under the bridge into the alleyway.  From there head into a park, followed by a co-op split in the theater.

The theater loops back to the parking decks, which were separated by a footbridge at the top.  The second parking deck leads back down to street level where there are some shops (and a piano for dramatic effect) before crossing over to the power station.  The power has been cut by a giant e-hole, but Jack works his magic in the control room and restores power to the bridge so that the squad can make it to the train station in time to intercept the Lightmass bomb.

Some changes that happened along the way through development:

  • The PC version of Timgad was supposed to be a series of Berserker fights instead of a Brumak.  But the idea of being stalked by – and eventually getting to fight – this giant dinosaur was just too appealing so we brought him back in from the original script.
  • The first Berserker fight was planned atop the parking garage, and you had to lure her to run off the edge in order to get away.  But with the Brumak in pursuit, the Therons entering the fray, the Troikas, and the Seeders… the ramp in difficulty (and overall chaos) was just too much.  It made sense to just focus on the Brumak as the main threat and push ahead.
  • The piano was supposed to have a much larger role in our original plans.  We wanted you to push it out into the street and use it as mobile cover during the fight toward the power station.  It was supposed to cover you from a Troika attack, and possibly even a Berserker roaming the streets.  We had some technical difficulties with networking and scripting, so in the end, the piano just falls into the fissure.
  • The final battle was supposed to be a sequence where you remotely controlled Jack as he was being pursued by a Berserker.  With the Berserker cut and the Brumak in place, we thought it would be much more exciting to actually fight the giant Brumak (you never got to do this in the original game) rather than play with a little RC Jackbot.  This also made much more sense from a co-op perspective since only one person could control Jack, and we didn’t want to cut anyone out of the action of the final battle.

Anyway, the map ended up crumpled and coffee stained as evidence that it went through a full development process, but it’s actually kind of amazing that it never really changed from that original meeting we had.  It was fun to find it all these years later, and reflect back on how far Delta went on their journey.

-          Jim Brown

Despite the cluttered nature of my desk, I’ve always been able to work fine (a question I always get asked) and, no, they are not all Transformers either.

Unlike most collectors, I don’t buy everything; only designs from anime and games that interest me. So my collection is by no means random and I delight in surprising people by explaining the back-story to each of the toys on my desk. Though I spared Tim Sweeney that when he visited the studio, as he’s a nice chap after all.

I’ve always had a populated work desk, with my last job being no exception. As for my favourites, that’s a tough one. Dancougar and Final Dancougar are great, but the massive SDF-1 Macross toy is amazing. I also have a lot of love for my Tetsukyojin toy and Kaneda’s bike from Akira. Talking of big figures, the fullsize RX-78-2 Gundam in Japan would be nice to have too.

My current desk  only represents about 10% of my total collection, as I have a lot of toys carefully wrapped up in boxes. There’s also quite a turnover too, as I get newer toys and replace older ones (as I prefer accuracy over nostalgia).

In my spare time I run a mecha gaming site, called Mecha Damashii, and used to look after an original Virtual On cabinet. I also play a lot of mecha games, along with everything else out there obviously, and have won a fair few tournaments over the years as well.

My mecha gaming knowledge as also been helpful in my job, particularly during the two years when I was lead designer on Strike Suit Zero: a space combat game featuring transforming mecha. I came up with the core mechanics and overall design, as well as bringing Junji Okubo and the composer Paul Ruskay on board. However, I left a year before the game was released, so the final game wasn’t exactly what I’d intended. The balancing was off and the mecha had a time limited transformation, among other  things. That aside, all my mecha knowledge was very useful in making the game and hopefully one day I will be able to make another mecha game of my own.

In the meantime, enjoy the photos of my crazy desk and don’t mind me as I have more mecha toys to obtain and mecha games to play…

Ollie Barder – @Cacophanus
Senior Game Designer
People Can Fly

ollie_desk_1My entire desk of toys, plus stuff I need for work obviously…

ollie_desk_2The Swedish flag Optimus Prime is holding was a present from Arcade Berg, another designer at People Can Fly. The small Gundam at the front is the Hi-Nu Gundam from Beltorchika’s Children and one of all-time favourite mobile suit designs.

ollie_desk_3I tend to cluster the toys together, so I thought I should give a top down view. You can just about see the Metal Composite Unicorn Gundam in the centre.

ollie_desk_4I’m a big fan of Gurren Lagann, so you can see Simon in the Lagann and the final form of the mecha tucked away. I also love Aura Battler Dunbine and the alternate colour Billbine was a limited edition figure. Samus from the Metroid games also makes an appearance too.

ollie_desk_5

Interesting shot this, as it features the Layzner in the centre (a very influential series), as well as the Dougram (that inspired much of Battletech) and the mighty Crossbone Gundams at the rear. The White Dingo GM Sniper II is also from a Dreamcast game called Rise from the Ashes. The little ships either side of the Layzner are the OF-1 Daedalus from an excellent game called Image Fight, which in turn inspired the fantastic Radiant Silvergun.

ollie_desk_6

The shiny blue mecha at next to the monitor is Tetsujin 28-go, pretty much the granddaddy of all modern mecha. In front of that is MBV-04-G Temjin from the first Virtual On, with the Burglary Dog at its feet. I also have the regular coloured Billbine too.

ollie_desk_7

Link is at the front, as I adore the Zelda games , and both Getter Robo and Mazinger Z give him backup from the rear. This version of Mazinger Z is from the new series and it transforms into a giant fist. Overman King Gainer and Xan are also in the shot, as I think both the series and designs (by Akira Yasuda) are fascinating.

ollie_desk_8

The final top-down shot and you can see Sam from Vanquish, the mighty Final Dancougar as well as the YF-29 Durandal with super packs. The blue mecha in the top of the picture is the VF-1J Max Type with super packs from the original Macross. Max Jenius, its pilot, is also one of my favourite characters in all of Macross.

reaperthumbThe Reaper Festival is a community event where you can play against the Community Epic Reapers that Epic Games selects every week. If you’re looking to earn your Reaper Medal and Weapon Skin and you can’t seem to find an Epic Reaper, this is the event for you!

The Reaper Festival is every Saturday at 12 PM PST / 3 PM EST / 8 PM GMT and usually last a few hours. We usually play TDM and FFA. If you want to join in on the action just visit the forum thread and send a message to the lobby hosts. The Xbox live links to hosts are available on the thread.

All of the reaper action will be streamed live on EV0L0NE’sTwitch.tv channel and you can watch the matches while you wait for an invite.

Reaper Festival Thread

EV0L0NE’S Live Stream

Follow the Reaper_Tracker for hints where they will be. Thanks to Gnashes and Bizkitdoh for the feed and good luck slaying the Reaper!

Story written by Brittality

COGassault_rifleIt’s an instrument used to tear through armor and slash the confidence of the opposition.  The mere revolutions of its teeth send a chilled gasp from the throats of enemy players, who run seeking immediate shelter.  The Lancer—an assault rifle with gritty attitude.

Today it may be the standard rifle for COG soldiers in Gears of War, but this groundbreaking and iconic weapon in the gaming industry almost did not make the cut.

Can you believe the Lancer almost didn’t exist?  I know, right?  Don’t you agree that Gears of War would not be the same without it?  The satisfying sneak attacks, the focused animations, and the millions of facepalms heard ‘round the world would not be happening right now!  zswagun42Let me take you back (cue Back to the Future sound):

Before the first Gears of War installment ever hit store shelves, there was a debate as to whether the Lancer’s saw feature should even be included in the game!

Some argued that it was too gruesome.  Others said that the saw could set the Lancer apart from every other rifle out there.  You guys may actually remember watching this face-off on MTV’s “The Race to E3” special.

I guess you know the outcome of that discussion: Blam! Saw wins!

sawgun2

They decided to put the Lancer in the game – with saw attached  - but now what should it look like?  I had the pleasure of attending a Gears of War panel at Dragon*Con last year in Atlanta.  Jim Brown was there from Epic Games showing off some gameplay from Judgment and some other never-before-seen little goodies.  Among those trinkets, he discussed the evolution of this trailblazing weapon.

sawgun4I could not believe all the other models of the Lancer that were shown.  I said to myself with each turn to the next slide, “Well that was an interesting idea, but I am so glad that didn’t happen…”  One of the first slides was the Lancer naked—without a chainsaw attached. It was like ketchup on your ice cream; just really weird.  Another prototype had a buzz saw attached just under the barrel.  “Sweet pizza cutter”, I thought to myself.

Slide after slide, it just became clear how much of a process making weapons actually is and how much I really appreciate the outcome.  Somewhere, someone at Epic trusted their gut and went with the Lancer design we know now… or maybe they were just really good at arm wrestling.

saw

When people think of Gears of War, one of the first things that comes to mind is the Lancer – I know that’s the first thing I think of… Okay you got me: I think of Baird first.  But the first weapon I think of is the Lancer.  What would Gears be like without this brush of carnage painting the faces of the Locust?  What would I use to haunt you during those hours gaming with your buddy from work, or during sleepovers? Our Gears world would definitely be a different one.

Lancers Up!




Recent Posts