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An Audience with Mark Rein (P2)

Continue: UT III mods on 360, Windows gaming, DX10 and mice and keyboards

Last week we popped down to Brighton and the Develop conference where we caught up with Epic's Mark Rein for a chat. Below is the second and concluding part of a two-part interview, part one of which we brought you earlier in the week. Let's get on with the show...

Any plans for a new Make Something Unreal contest?

Rein: Yes. We don't have specifics to announce but we absolutely will be doing another Make Something Unreal contest. We're just talking to partners right now about setting it up.

We had over 1800 entries last time. I don't know if we'll get that many this time because it's a generation later and content is more complex to create. But either way we'll have great stuff, there's no question.

Will we ever see the UT III mods come to Xbox 360, or is that just not going to happen due to Live being a closed network?

Rein: That's part of the reason we announced we were shipping the game on PC and PS3 this fall, but we don't have a date for the Xbox 360 version - it'll be some time after the new year. Part of that is because we haven't been able to figure out just how we're going to do the mods.

And Microsoft's got a very busy Christmas schedule... they've got a lot of games coming out this year - oh, and that Halo thing. We just couldn't get enough attention from them to solve that problem.

We just don't have the answers for how it's all going to work on that. I shouldn't say we'll guarantee it, but we hope to find a way to bring mods over to the Xbox 360. Worst case scenario is, we port them and we put them through certification and we put them up as downloadable content.

That's the worse case scenario. Hopefully between now and whenever it is we ship on Xbox 360 we figure out a user-managed way to do it.

What's the score with mouse and keyboard support for Unreal Tournament III on PS3?

Rein: I have no idea. You know what, Sony once said it would, totally unbeknownst to us. And we did support it on PS2. To be honest I have no idea if we're doing it or not. There's no technical reason why we shouldn't, it's just a question of is it a little unfair. It might be unfair to give people access to keyboard and mouse.

Update: Rein has since confirmed that the PS3 version of UT3 will indeed include mouse and keyboard support. Update ends

Going back to Gears of War on PC... How have you found Windows Vista as a gaming platform?

Rein: You can play games on Vista? (laughs). I play UT all the time on my Vista laptop, and it flies. It's still early days for the new operating system. It's going go take the driver writers... that's the biggest problem, they've changed the driver model a bit and it's going to take time to get those optimised. Personally I like Vista, I'm enjoying it.

And what about DirectX 10?

Rein: If you're making something to exploit the power of DirectX 10 today, there's very few people who can run it. It's not commercially viable to go nuts with DX 10 today.

I don't think that's going to be the case for a couple of years actually. I doubt that in the next two years we'll make a game that won't run on the great DX9 hardware - the good DX9 hardware, not the crappy stuff.

What more are we going to see from DirectX 10 beyond Crysis?

Rein: To be honest, and I'm going to cast a small pall on the industry here, I don't think you're going to get much higher until the next generation of consoles for a couple of reasons. One, the gulf between a high-end PC and a low-end PC is bigger now than it's ever been. Hopefully that's going to change soon - in a couple of years that will change.

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