T H E   G A M E S P O T   N E T W O R K
Blinded By Reality: The True Story Behind the Creation of Unreal
Part One - In the Beginning
- Introduction
- Action Aficionados
- From Carpet to Foot
- Tools of the Trade
- Sculpt Your Own World
- Virtual Recruitment
- The Name of the Game
- GT Enters the Fray

Part Two - Virtual Development

Part Three - Reality Rises
Behind the Games
GT Enters the Fray
By the time the team had demonstrated the game to Gates, Unreal didn't have a chance of becoming a Microsoft product. That honor had already been bestowed on GT Interactive, who signed a multimillion dollar deal for the game in mid-1996. Based on Epic's huge investment in Unreal - self-funding it for over a year and a half - signing a publishing deal was a necessary step toward finishing the game. "At some point we probably would have run out of money to develop Unreal had we not signed a deal," says Rein. "It was a huge project - our biggest ever in terms of time, money, and human resources."

Just how did GTI get the rights to Unreal? In mid-1996, Jim Perkins, then president of software publisher FormGen, visited Rein at his house outside of Toronto, Ontario, and saw Unreal.

"Based on the engine and Epic's vision, I believed it had triple A potential"
- Ron Chaimowitz,
GT Interactive chairman and CEO

(FormGen was later acquired by GT Interactive, and Perkins now serves as senior VP, artists and repertoire.) Perkins recalls, "The Unreal game system and editor totally blew me away - it was gorgeous and well ahead of anything I'd seen before in terms of beauty, speed, and ease-of-use." Remembering when he first demonstrated the product to Perkins, Rein says, "He told me point blank, 'We really want this game, and we are going to give you the best deal you can get.' That was on a Monday, and on Wednesday, we signed a tentative deal with them for Unreal."
The first shot of a level called Bluff Eversmoking. This level, including the Manta creature, made it into the final game.
Although the deal was quickly closed, Rein recalls that, "We actually had one publisher offer us more money than GT for Unreal, but we were more comfortable working with GT - it owned the genre at that time with games like Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, and even Spear of Destiny."

At GT Interactive, chairman and CEO Ron Chaimowitz first saw Unreal back in 1996. "Based on the engine and Epic's vision, I believed it had triple A potential," he explains. "The graphics, expertise of the team, and the promise to have an editor by which anyone could easily design their own levels appealed to GT." So the deal was struck for Unreal, even though the game had just barely begun hard-core development. As Chaimowitz said - the vision was there, but now that vision had to be made into a reality.

Next: Virtual Development>