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

Part Two - Virtual Development
- The Pressure Mounts
- Maple Leaf
- The Scalpel Comes Out
- Reality on the Horizon

Part Three - Reality Rises
Behind the Games
The Scalpel Comes Out
Tensions remained high in Canada as the developers worked around the clock with flaky technology and the high standard of cutting any element that didn't live up to its maximum potential. It was at this point that the team members decided their initial vision for the game was simply too grand. The Unreal universe was a vast playground of indoor and outdoor settings, but it was unrealistically expansive. "We realized that the game was far too big - it would take too long to play," Mark Rein recollects. "So, we trimmed levels and decided to concentrate on the 30-odd levels that we wanted to put in the game. It's no different than a movie editor who has to cut down a movie to a certain amount of time. We had to focus the game to get it done."

"Fan pages are an amazing phenomenon, and to be honest, a great morale booster for development teams."
- Cliff Bleszinski

So, out came the digital scissors. Entire levels were scrapped only months before completion, and various creatures were axed as well, including a fire-breathing dragon. What started out as a Minotaur was refined to the point that it morphed into the sleek Krall creature. And a pterodactyl-esque monster was cut from the game because it just didn't live up to the "cool" standard established by the developers.

Deep Internet Roots
Another level that was never used in the game, this screenshot was dubbed the "Shot That Would Not Die" by the development team as it appeared in almost every Unreal preview at the time.
All the content cutting and scrapping of so much hard work was discouraging. But from day one, a huge Internet fan base believed in Unreal and helped the team to maintain faith in its project when things got tough. Two Unreal fan sites on the Internet, Unreal.org and UnrealNation, constantly supported the title and tracked it throughout its development. "They believed in what we were doing," says Bleszinski. "Whenever the team was a little doubtful, we visited some of the online chatrooms and tons of people would pump us up and tell us how they are really looking forward to playing the game. These fan pages are an amazing phenomenon, and to be honest, a great morale booster for development teams."

Next: Reality on the Horizon>