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20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

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Moderators: ividyon, Semfry, zYnthetic

User avatar ividyon
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Subject: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 21 Jun 2021, 02:59

Hi all,

today marks the 20th year that UnrealSP.org has been online. To this day, our small community continues to be blessed by map releases and lifesigns from oldschool regulars (The Vale, Savage Land), gorgeous advancements of the medium by longterm community members (Resurgence) as well as stunning developments from previously unseen actors (Unreal Redux). For a game with a history like Unreal's - eclipsed on release by Valve's blockbuster Half-Life - this kind of continued activity is nothing short of a miracle, and I want to thank you all for continuing to visit this site and encouraging our modders and creators in their work.

Unreal and UT99 enjoy the presence of several high-profile fansites with OldUnreal and UT99.org. Our specific niche has always been single-player campaigns and single maps, as well as being a place of learning for the hows and whys of UnrealEd, UnrealScript and all the other technologies that bring such works to life. This will continue to be the mission moving forward, as well, and there are some things on the horizon that hope to bring a little more life and a return to form in some of our proudest disciplines, such as the editorial "games journalism" format of our main site.

So, what's in store for USP?

While all our old editorial content continues to be visible in the Legacy section of the site, work continues to be made - at slow pace due to real life concerns, but nonetheless at pace - on a refreshed and updated iteration. The various goals of that new and updated site are:

  • A comfortable admin interface for staff to make contributions without having to touch HTML code, and without technical intervention by an administrator.
  • A clean, readable layout inspired by modern "games journalism" sites, but retaining the traditional USP color scheme and flair.
  • Technical back-end work to make the site more visible on search engines and hopefully bring more new arrivals.
  • Full support for reading on mobile devices.
  • Subscribing to RSS feeds of various content.
  • The groundwork for a future system of user-submitted and user-curated reviews and articles.
  • Viewing images in full resolution.
  • Directly downloading reviewed maps from reliable mirrors (either UnrealSP.org itself or a trusted host; will approach UnrealArchive *and* UnrealArchives on that ;) )

While my plans to have this initial release ready for this significant anniversary did not come to fruition, the system is very close to ready for public consumption and I am confident in a 2021 launch.

Desktop:



Mobile:



Regarding the forums, our spam-bot issue has miraculously been resolved for a while now, and mail sending has been restored, meaning that people can once again normally register and make use of the forum's functions, such as PM notifications and thread watching.

Along with the relaunch, a forum update is planned, where the newest version of phpBB will be installed, along with a not fully custom, but slightly tweaked pre-existing theme to help it approach the original UnrealSP design and vision a little. The forum URL will move back to "unrealsp.org/forums" and separated from the "main site", however full URL redirects will be established for all previous forum links, so that there will be no broken links anywhere on other websites or chats that may have linked to USP forum threads before.

Finally, there is the matter of the UnrealSP.org Discord Chat.

Discord is a modern fusion of IRC and Skype that allows both private messaging as well as public chat channels on all things. The UnrealSP.org Chat is a Discord "server", a collection of channels that any Discord user may join and partake in, with its own rules, format and moderation.

Sporting 300+ members and well over 100,000 messages sent, the UnrealSP.org Discord has been a hive of activity that one wouldn't expect hidden behind the otherwise sleepy forums. The community has been exchanging banter, modding tips, and showcasing screenshots, video clips, music bites and other works in all things Unreal single-player, and shows little sign of stopping.

While the forums will absolutely remain functional and enjoy full support of staff as the "OG" way of communication in the community, I continue to wholeheartedly encourage you and extend an invitation to join the Discord and come hang out with your fellow Unreal fans if you haven't already. :)

Join the UnrealSP.org Discord chat

(Note: A Discord account is required. Discord is available as a browser application, but also as a program for any platform like Windows, Mac, Linux, mobile devices etc.)

Again, thank all of you for still sticking with this game, and this site, for these many long years. Here's to a 2021 that puts the previous year to shame in all matters!
UnrealSP.org webmaster & administrator

User avatar AlCapowned
Skaarj Elder Skaarj Elder
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Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 21 Jun 2021, 03:15

Happy anniversary UnrealSP! As much as I love Unreal, I don't think I would still be making anything for it without this community.

Thank you for continuing to support the site ividyon, the redesign looks great!

User avatar Aspide
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Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 21 Jun 2021, 08:49

Congratulations to everyone in UnrealSP.org, this community is more that 20 years old, but thanks to the games in the Unreal franchise and the awesome community, it keeps going, and that makes me so happy :D.

Out of all the video games that I have played, none of them have aged as well as Unreal and its successors.

Happy anniversary UnrealSP \o/ \o/
Somewhere in Nevada...

User avatar Hellscrag
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Location: In a random access memory of dreams

Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 21 Jun 2021, 12:49

It started as an HTML web page in a small student bedroom in 2001.

A modernisation like this is long overdue, but the site is still chugging on and has never relied on advertising to support the service. Thank you ividyon for your continued efforts!

I wish I could have seen my own more recent mapping efforts through, but alas I have other priorities. I have never and probably never will use Discord…
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Life is what you make of it.

User avatar Buff Skeleton
>:E >:E
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Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 21 Jun 2021, 19:10

Old men. Warning! Warning!

I'm so glad this site is still kicking, and even thriving somehow, in its old age. I've been really tied up with IRL stuff the past several months, too, but still have that spark in me to create stuff, so once life normalizes again over the next few months, I think I'll probably be releasing something else before too long. All thanks to the continued existence of this site.

Thanks again for keeping the lights on *and* cleaning the floors!
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Loke
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Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 21 Jun 2021, 23:36

Thanks for all the hundred upon hundred of memorable hours this site and all of the modders have given me over the years. You guys even inspired me to make my own singleplayer map!

User avatar Hellscrag
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Location: In a random access memory of dreams

Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 22 Jun 2021, 15:59

According to the site, ividyon is 29 years old today (happy birthday??).

If that's true, then he was 8 years (and 364 days) old when I set this place up. That just makes me feel... ancient... :lol:
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Life is what you make of it.

User avatar ividyon
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Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 22 Jun 2021, 16:20

Indeed I am! Thank you!

I still smile at the coincidence of my birthday coinciding so well with the site's anniversary, though it makes it a little hard to prepare cool things for the occasion.

And yes, to add more to the "Old men, running the world. A new age!" meter, UnrealSP was absolutely one of the biggest parts of my formative years, and laid the groundwork for my English skills when I joined the forums with 13-15 years, however old I was then. :D

On top of that, the website building skills I acquired modding the forums and managing the site turned into my rather successful professional career; I had no experience with websites and didn't pursue any related education, it all came hobby-wise from projects like USP, and the current state of USP was part of my portfolio that landed me my first job. :)

It is quite the fateful place and community for me!
UnrealSP.org webmaster & administrator

User avatar Mister_Prophet
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Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 22 Jun 2021, 18:12

Happy 20th USP, and a very Happy birthday to Ividyon as well!

I always seem to find my way back to this community. I'm glad to see it still thriving after all this time. Like others, I've spent more time lurking over the years than posting but there is something about this place that still compels me to be a part of it. Hope it stays that way.
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User avatar WhirlWindWabbit
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Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 22 Jun 2021, 18:25

ividyon wrote:On top of that, the website building skills I acquired modding the forums and managing the site turned into my rather successful professional career.


That's always nice to see! I'm happy for you. But the 20 year anniversary part... my god, time flies. So, happy birthday USP, and Ividyon!
"Sir, we're surrounded!"
"Good, we can attack in any direction."

User avatar fashahhh
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Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 23 Jun 2021, 18:24

Happy birthday USP! I did have a long hiatus for a few years but returning I was so pleased that people were still here, that's what motived me to finish off the vale map. Hope it continues for many years to come!

Look forward to seeing the new look site up & running.

User avatar evilgrins
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Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 24 Jun 2021, 22:08

For this year I've been using this on all birthdays...
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..works for an anniversary too!

User avatar Tarydax
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Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 26 Jun 2021, 18:45

That redesign looks fantastic - and thanks for all your hard work!
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User avatar Darkon
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Subject: Re: 20th Anniversary of UnrealSP.org - A thank you, and some updates

Post Posted: 29 Jun 2021, 20:03

Happy (belated) birthday! VERY VERY happy to see the site is still up and chugging along. Thank you all for keeping the community+site alive! Many good memories to this place...

Edit: I just realized that I even joined BEFORE Hellscrag, the founder! lol.. must've been the re-start of the website, since I'm very sure the site was already here before 2007...
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