Descent being ported to Unreal Engine 3

Remember Descent? The first-person shooter spawned a couple of sequels, but the last one came out way back in 2000. We haven’t really seen another shooter offer the same six degrees of movement freedom since, leaving my awesome SpaceOrb 360 game controller to gather dust. Good news, though. The Penny Arcade Report brings news that Descent is being ported to Unreal Engine 3.

Apparently, making Descent‘s six degrees of freedom work in the Unreal engine is somewhat complicated. Instead of walking along the floor with a fixed horizon, as in most shooters, you pilot a ship through zero-gravity mining environments that don’t always have a consistent sense of up, down, left, or right. For the uninitiated, the sample video below provides a sense of what to expect.

Maximillian Schulz, the man responsible for the port, hopes to follow in the footsteps of the Black Mesa remake of Half-Life. He’d like to replicate Descent without using its name or any of the original assets, which will hopefully keep the lawyers at bay. That approach requires all the in-game content to be created from scratch, and Sculz is inviting the modding community to help out on that front. Interested parties can contact Shulz through the port’s website.

I’ve gotta say, the short video brings back a lot of good memories of Descent‘s gameplay. I’m eager to check out the first release, which is expected to come out in 2-3 months. Perhaps it’s time to dig out the SpaceOrb.

Comments closed
    • bigfootape
    • 10 years ago

    The AvP games were more disorienting, especially the facehugger levels.

    • travbrad
    • 10 years ago

    Yep. The latency, and especially the consistency of that latency is far more important for online games than raw bandwidth. Most games only use about 5K/S (40Kbps). Gaming on wireless around here (10 routers in range) is almost impossible because of latency spikes from all the interference, even though I can reach the full 20mbit speeds of my internet connection.

    Of course you are only one link in that chain though. Depending on your ISP and the game servers you may end up going through a bad router and there’s not much you can do about it.

    I’ve never used cFosSpeed but it appears to basically be QoS and I’ve had a lot of trouble getting consistent latency when using router-based QoS. It takes a lot of fiddling and tiny little changes in settings to get it perfect.

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    You do realise that there’s a difference between lanes and speed limits of traffic?

    I have 120 Mbps broadband and a license of cFosSpeed on top, and still have weird latency issues in Diablo 3, Quake Live or Blur (three of the most different games I could come up with). It might even be that the problem isn’t with my local machine, but that still goes to prove bandwidth is far from being everything.

    • twizttid13
    • 10 years ago

    I didn’t but looking at the game play videos on youtube, hellbender looks good.

    • bcronce
    • 10 years ago

    Kali.Net.. best $20

    Quake over IPX before QuakeWorld came out whit TCP/IP support. WC2 over Kali also, before WC2 B.Net ed was around.

    • Jason181
    • 10 years ago

    I love how the very first feature includes double- and triple-chording. That was my first question when I saw this; it looked like it was properly implemented in the video, but it can be hard to tell unless you have another ship at normal speed to compare to.

    • Jason181
    • 10 years ago

    There are Windows versions now… I tried D1x Rebirtth recently, and it feels true to the original (based off the original descent source code, heavily modified for 3d acceleration, with support for lots of monitor resolutions including widescreen.

    [url=http://www.dxx-rebirth.com<]D1x Rebirth Website[/url<]

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 10 years ago

    TV was ok, but descent was better. Did you play hellbender too?

    • twizttid13
    • 10 years ago

    I played terminal velocity back in the day.

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    Don’t forget almost every Uwe Boll movie.

    • Deanjo
    • 10 years ago

    [quote<]We haven't really seen another shooter offer the same six degrees of movement freedom since[/quote<] Ummm Diaspora perhaps? [url<]http://diaspora.hard-light.net/[/url<]

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 10 years ago

    Silent Hill, Resident Evil, House of the Dead, Mortal Kombat, Dungeon Siege, Alone in the Dark…I could go on.

    /cry for Survival Horror Games turning into Generic (and bad) horror movies.

    • Cyco-Dude
    • 10 years ago

    ah, that makes sense. the movie was bad, therefore all the games are bad!

    • Grigory
    • 10 years ago

    The movie killed Wing Commander and then did unspeakable things with the corpse.

    • alienstorexxx
    • 10 years ago

    best engine in gaming history.

    • SNM
    • 10 years ago

    Doesn’t Shattered Horizon have the same movement scheme? It’s one of the things to love about that game.
    (Thing not to love: empty servers and no single-player campaign.)

    • Cyco-Dude
    • 10 years ago

    oh sure, the descent remake gets a front-page plug, but [url=http://www.robertsspaceindustries.com/star-citizen/<]the guy who is making essentially a new wing commander + privateer[/url<] doesn't. bah! loved all those old games back then, doom, wing commander, descent, command & conquer...good times. thumbs up for old games that kicked ass!

    • Buub
    • 10 years ago

    One of my favorite games of all time. I truly hope this one makes it!

    • juampa_valve_rde
    • 10 years ago

    Sweeeeeeet! Lets fight those flying robots on the mines again!

    • glacius555
    • 10 years ago

    “I’ve gotta say, the short video brings back a lot of good memories of Descent’s gameplay.”

    To be frank, this particular video brings back a lot of good memories of UT3 gameplay. The map 😉

    • willmore
    • 10 years ago

    Oww, time to use the old Space Navigator for something other than the best Google Earth controller ever.

    • Decelerate
    • 10 years ago

    Never managed to finish more than 2 stages without running for Aspirin :S

    • Firestarter
    • 10 years ago

    > Not sure how well it will port over to the UE3 networking code.

    As long as you have broadband, what’s to worry?

    • slaimus
    • 10 years ago

    Descent was the first shooter game that was fun over dial-up internet due to its completely client side network code. It had no lag at all moving around and shooting, only on opponents registering a hit.

    Between it and WarCraft II, it is what made services like Kali, Kahn, Sega’s HEAT.NET and Microsoft’s Internet Gaming Zone popular.

    Not sure how well it will port over to the UE3 networking code.

    • PGleo86
    • 10 years ago

    This is pretty cool! I actually just discovered Descent while looking at my dad’s old Mac clone and a set of old Mac CDs, Descent II was one of them so I fired it up, it was really impressive to see what we used to have… I’m pumped for this!

    • ludi
    • 10 years ago

    Hawt [i<]diggity[/i<]. Now all it needs is a "Tron" level.

    • UberGerbil
    • 10 years ago

    Don’t worry, based on recent news I suspect that will soon be re-issued. With singing princesses.

    • UberGerbil
    • 10 years ago

    It probably did, and I bet your father — confronted by that message every time he turned on his PC — came to the conclusion that Windows was crap. Or he knew you were playing all along (if you ask them, if often turns out your parents weren’t as unaware of the things you were “getting away with” as you thought)

    • PenGun
    • 10 years ago

    I could make people stop watching by getting into tumbling, doing end overs, as well as all the other motion.

    • thill9
    • 10 years ago

    I remember working at a computer store and hooking two up two of the pc’s with a null modem cable for “network” play. Shareware was the bee’s knees. Good times.

    • just brew it!
    • 10 years ago

    Descent was one of my favorite games back in the day, and also the game that originally got my son hooked on PC gaming. I’d play this for sure.

    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    I remember seeing this game on my classmate’s laptop back in grade school. I made a mad rush and got my own copy that day, went home, rushed upstairs (excited!) to install and fire it up. A few minutes later I was in the bathroom spilling out my last meal.

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    Yeah this has been the only game ever to give me queasyness. I remember my friends saying the same thing playing. I imagine the more realistic graphics this will only get worse.

  1. motion sickness galore

    • Chrispy_
    • 10 years ago

    I played Descent with just a keyboard, made it work with two inverted-T clusters but I’d occasionally hit the keyboard buffer.

    It was definitely great though.

    [i<]Ooh, that reminds me to dig out Forsaken for a bit of nostalgia, too![/i<]

    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    This game reminded me of X-wing just now. Also a very awesome game back then, and one of my favorites. I should make sure to play it again one of these days under DOSBox.

    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    Yeah. Doom 3 was good in its own right, but it just didn’t have the feel of the old games. Well, that’s progress for ya.

    • libradude
    • 10 years ago

    HYPED for this.

    I had an MS Sidewinder 3D (serial, doh!) that I used for this – mapped forward/back to the throttle down on the base, while z-axis and strafe were handled by the top hat on the stick. Pitch/Yaw were normal stick movements, and right/left turn were handled by twisting the stick.

    Sweet, sweet vertigo… how I’ve missed you.

    • albundy
    • 10 years ago
    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 10 years ago

    Still is, and there is no modern equivalent. The graphics IMO are timeless, and so is the gameplay. If there is one game out there that truly deserves a professional remake, it’s descent.

    • yogibbear
    • 10 years ago

    You can tie pitch to a curve based on the position you are forward/back, and yaw can be done on a single joystick along with all those controls like on the Cyborg X where it can rotate.

    • GasBandit
    • 10 years ago

    I got two CH flightsticks just for descent, so I could play it with two joysticks. It really made the game. It was awesome. Left stick handled forward/back and strafe left/right, right stick handled pitch and yaw.

    • south side sammy
    • 10 years ago

    painkiller just got remade. steam account required………. i’ll pass. just give me the game on dvd and leave me alone.

    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    I remember playing this on my DX2-66. It was awesome back then. Fond memories.

    • jstern
    • 10 years ago

    I remember this game coming with my father’s 75Mhz Pentium Aptiva, 1 GB hard drive. I wasn’t allowed to use the computer, but I used to play Decent when I was home alone and press the shut down button when I heard the door. It would just cut the power off right away, which I thought was fine, I wasn’t aware of properly shutting down the computer. So I wonder if Windows 95 gave a message that it wasn’t properly shut down the next time it was turned back on.

    • danny e.
    • 10 years ago

    descent was awesome back in the day. I’ve always wondered if I’d be as impressed now.

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