Unreal Tournament 3 - interview

Epic's Unreal Tournament games have always been well populated with playable characters attached to teams/factions within the universe, and the likes of Malcolm have become icons for the series. The latest, Unreal Tournament III, is no different with six teams and potentially 24 characters lining up to be "possessed" by players when it launches in November.

But what inspires the game's character designs? What does Unreal Engine 3.0 mean to Epic's character artists and will we truly be able to appreciate the level of detail given to models as we zip around blowing each other to kingdom come?

We put this and more to Epic character artist Chris Wells...

What defines an Unreal Tournament character?

Chris Wells: In Unreal Tournament, and especially in Unreal Tournament III, we've broken the character roster up into teams and unified the styles within those teams. So the Necris are more defined by the nano suits and heavy armor and the Krall really more makeshift armor with skulls and the leather straps and everything - much more of a savage look.

There's really wildly different aesthetics per team, and we try to have something for everyone.

What extra considerations have to be brought to the character design in a game like Unreal Tournament III as opposed to a game like Gears of War?

Wells: In Unreal Tournament III we have a feature where you can customize your character, so when the player selects a character they can change the shoulder pads, the boots, the torso, the legs and also any additional parts - for example, helmets.