Why Did UII Exist?

A Treatise On UII

As a preface, Unturned 4.0 was a product that Nelson had put indefinitely on hiatus, another name used to refer to it was Unturned II, it was planned on being a successor to Unturned 3.0, that being the version of Unturned the majority of users, as of this post, currently play.

What could Unturned 4.0, or, as some also called it, Unturned II, have actually achieved? This is an important question which I feel was never asked with the type of hard hitting introspection that it deserved. Part of what appeared to be an issue with the project was that it was harsh, but also somewhat directionless. Gun remodels, changes which would have made things more complicated for the end user, none of it seemed to have any unique merit beyond the fact that something was being changed. There were obvious upsides and downsides to the change but nothing was really improved, it seemed more of just a case of things being diversified for no strong reason beyond the need to change.

Coming to terms with how these changes were unnecessary was part of why many began to lose excitement for UII, even before the project was put on an indefinite hiatus, effectively being canned as
a work-priority. Another additional cause appeared to be the rising success of U3, as in truth, Unturned never appeared to have died, instead growing, which was something many took note of to promote pride within the community in order to instill confidence in the wider future of Unturned. This also had the effect of reminding everyone that they had an active, perfectly viable product in front of them, further showcasing UII’s unnecessary existence, to many.

However, to counter this perspective, sequels for many games don’t need to come out, the previous iteration can be just as viable as the next one. Yet this back and forth could go on for ages, and although I would love to allow it to go on for ages, the desire to rest comes for everyone at some cursed point.

To proceed onwards with answering this question, we should first look towards what UII got close to achieving during it’s short development cycle. The most notable of which being driving. UII found a way to enhance the driving physics within UII, one of the most fundamentally flawed aspects of it’s predecessor. Driving in U3 is floaty, clunky and prone to glitches or clipping. Through my time exploring the driving tests, dev logs and other sources, I do see an intent by Nelson to fix this through UII, a desire which undoubtedly paid off, even in the test builds we have access to. Gun modification in my eyes was a poor change, it made things feel more complicated without adding much. Some liked it, others didn’t, but it’s mixed reception helps to demonstrate how the change was unnecessary when the previous system worked perfectly fine. I left the least built upon thing for last, which were human NPC’s that could move. In UII, Nelson seemed to have added bandit NPC’s with not much to them. These already exist in a heavily limited, low quality form with examples including the following links;

The addition of moving NPC’s should be noted as they had no dialogue to my knowledge (edit upon correction) or major function.

Now, moving on from that, I postulate a question, one that is open to discussion…

What could have UII been? What could have UII done?

Personally, I’m interested in your response. For me though, I believe that UII could have expanded on a number of ways without needing to unnecessarily move it’s engine, which did nothing but complicate things. The goal of preventing Unturned II from being a mishmash of spaghetti code was completely lost when Nelson tried to learn a new coding language on the fly, thereby leading to… the game, if it were to have been completed, likely suffering by being a complete package of spaghetti code, made worse by how it tried to be graphically superior to Unturned 3 was at the time, which would have added up to be a firestorm of nightmarish failure for Nelson. Which it turned out being, despite not even being fully realized.

Improved performance, a way for Nelson to untangle the web they devised through the Spaghetti code they currently use, all from the ground up. This could also allow for the game’s higher graphical fidelity to be more appealing (however Nelson chooses to enhance the graphics), this would include if the graphics remained similar to what they do now at higher settings. As for features, I believe that dynamic NPC’s would have been amazing. The ability to have NPC’s with dialogue pop ups, even if it’s just Animal Crossing gibberish + chat bubbles, the ability to talk with an NPC through chat, with the NPC responding via an audio message, having this be able to be customized within an NPC’s advanced section at all has huge potential and, even if not utilized in the main game, having it just be an option allows for a ridiculous amount of possibilities and giving the room for the unintended parts of it other than what is directly shown would be insane. This does not at all mean doing away with stationary NPC’s and a standard dialogue option. The addition of more ranged attacks with animations and line of sight dependant projectile attacks, as well as maybe even those without such limitations, with whichever arc, movement therein would be equally tremendous. The fact that I would be able to have a theoretical PreyTurned where Phantom’s would be able to attack with some decent range in an amazing attack, or have the options to add in their orbs of death, would also be… Woah.
The ability for factions, maps, faction alignments, faction territories and conditions etc would also be great. Spawn adjusting events or variables, or even actions would also be a massive addition to be able to add into UII. Imagine if NPC’s could build? What if I could find some schizophrenic coalition NPC constructing a small fort by a hilltop? That alone would be game changing, same for bringing over the barrier destructions zombies are able to partake in into the game through NPC’s with raid weapons. Add some more things, like cultures or NPC’s being able to take equipment and we would already have one of the core conditions needed to create a Kenshi-esque experience, and I see that as gold waiting to prop up. Trader NPC’s, caravans, bandits ambushing them. What if the Syndicate defended caravans in Germany for a fee? Adding some sensible elements to a reimagined version of Germany through the lens of a survivor at the scene of everything for being able to explain why the Syndicate succeeded, or even had the resources it did, would have been amazing. Survivors in Coalition territory, Berlin having infected exterminator squads with the coalition working shifts. Gang warfare at night and the Coalition, as well as the Syndicate, having their first major confrontation in one of the irradiated zones, potentially leading to the first major loss for the coalition which was part of why such a powerful group lost the capabilities to hold most of Berlin, instead having to fall back to it’s large fortified hub. What if the previous Unturned maps states were ported in as legacy maps without all this extra stuff, for those looking for a more quiet survival experience.

Going past this, I believe that one of the other changes that could have been added into UII would be an official plugin system for servers, or even maps a la Roblox’s plugin devkit. This plugin system would be a manager portal where plugins can be added in as well as price tags. This would help reduce the amount of viruses and unofficial, potentially untrustworthy marketplaces that exist for plugins. It could also rectify the current problem of Unturned outpacing the plugins, or plugins falling off entirely, leading to what I like to call “Ghost plugins”, which represent the majority of plugins. These are plugins, usually costing money, which no longer function and are defunct, acting as walking unintentional scams for whoever acquires them. This would help build a thriving, and compensated, community of plugin devs while allowing Nelson to incorporate the ragtag system of servers that currently exists into Unturned, all of this helping ensure the customers (who financially assist Nelson too in this endeavor) attain a strong, healthy system for whatever they may be creating. It may take some moderation effort, but it has the potential, far more than even this rough, unrealized idea can imagine. Examples of how this could work may include a plugin that allows for maps, or portions of them, to be randomized through a GUI or a “new weather” panel. Having more options in the game, with ways of working with the tools given by these more convenient options, could be what is needed for Unturned II to be an amazing experience. Shatter physics, Projectile states (i.e having low speed speed projectiles that are able to interact or be dynamically moved, as well as objects which could influence projectiles, or other dropped non-stationery buildables, would also go hard)

These are but 2 of the many options which could have been neat additions to Unturned II, and although it is now on hiatus, the potential for something great still looms in my eyes, even though the dreams of a revised Unturned are, likely, to never come to pass.

Additional things which would have been fun in my eyes:

  • More modifiers or customizability when it comes to movement, inclusive of zero gravity
  • Custom animal or zombie flinch animations
  • Dynamic animal behaviors (hunting, food chain, allowing room for adjustable pack tactics)
  • Deeper ability to adjust prop movements or responses to triggers.
  • Allow for more than one animation for animals and the like.
  • Custom idle animations of actions.
  • Allow for special death animations or lock animations, inclusive of the possibility of executions (would open up creativity a lot, especially for the one time encounterable bosses).
  • Reworked water physics and zombie responses in water.
  • Allow animals to have states that correspond with their status i.e amphibian, land animal, etc. Causes animals to potentially drown. Would work well with dynamic animal systems.
  • Could make for some fun underwater maps.
  • Allow for character body proportions to be adjusted via movement or animation, would work well with having creatures bend themselves across angles or stretch slightly? (Not sure if this exists)
  • Allow for underwater bases to be sealed to remove the effects of water, or have special buildables for it (could make for a fun oceanbase experience, animal classifications paired with everything else could also breed some fun maps, or lovely situations with a version of the Subnautica Leviathan)
  • Customizable inventory themes and settings for UI, as well as the ability to accept serverside skins for these with some warning prompts. This total UI freedom would greatly benefit the game, allow for mods and dynamic experiences to flourish in a similar vein to how they flourish for games such as osu!

I don’t believe the new language has anything to do with spaghetti code here, but that’d be a question for how Nelson thought his C++ code turned out. Spaghetti code comes from overall inexperience and carelessness, not necessarily language alone. There may be issues with learning memory management or working around features that exist in C# but not C++, but I’d say 80-90% of your knowledge will be shared across C-style languages.

I don’t think the art style would have heavily impacted UII’s development either. The majority of development at this stage seemed to be focused on code, not giving us fifty guns to try out or designing an entire city that we could spend hours learning the secrets of.

As I’ve said a few times before, I see Unturned II as a game with the modding capabilities of Gmod. A potential opportunity to become a leader in mod development for the sequel of a game that helped defined who we are today. A well-defined art style with improved documentation as you could see the beginnings of at Modding - SDG Wiki.

Unturned II is a dream that restrictions on modding are lifted and PvP isn’t the only method of gameplay that should matter.

I don’t play U3 much anymore because I haven’t had a group to play with in the past few years. UII would have gave me the motivation to either make the best map I could or find a new group to be a part of. I got introduced to the online groups I’m in now just by meeting someone involved in them by chance. I want to seek out and remember that feeling, maybe do the same for someone else.

UII is a new playing ground but it’s nice to see U3 still getting love and improvements. I wish some of the updates could’ve came five years earlier but they’re here for the ones still dedicated at least.


I love all of what you’re saying about what the direction for the game could’ve been, I cannot agree more. Adding more and more platforms for more and more types of playstyles while enabling a giant playground of options for modders.

I do think the new engine and new code would have detracted from the dream of Unturned II being more optimized.

I saw U4 as something similar that Valve is cooking with CS:GO to CS2 upgrade. Same game, same controls, but better engine, better graphics, untangling the decades-long spaghetti code both from the engine and the game itself, fixing decade-old bugs, balance shake-up maybe.

There was no need to switch to Unreal Engine, yes it’s cool and all - but why? To follow the trends? Yes, we desperately need driving physics to be fixed - but there are mods that do that, why not implement their features? We could use more detailed vehicle models or whatnot, sure. We need a shakeup to weapon balance. This is something that hasn’t been done in a while. I heard that when U3 was still in early access, Nelson nerfed Zubeknakov, because it was too op, as people put it. So now we have a barely controllable weapon, unless you put on a barrell and a horizontal grip. Then there’s the laser beam called Maplestrike. So many people complain about it over the years and what do we see - no change. Is there a reason such things aren’t done anymore and the focus is shifted to modding support instead?


The zubek cannot match the maplestrike, the maplestrike is hands down the most powerful firearm in Washington.

Making the Nykorev a weaker raid gun was nice due to the increased ammo, but then they removed that, so only Dragonfangs and Rocket Launchers are raid tier in Washington.

The Hell’s Fury used to be… Well… Hell’s Fury. Now it’s absolute trash despite being such a “valuable” firearm.

I agree with how the engine change was a complete mistake. Unity to this day is still a viable alternative to Unreal Engine 4 for a solid reason.

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Washington? Getting Maplestrike on Washington is hard, because it only spawns in airdrops there. It’s PEI that was my concern with my original post. Maplestrike is the single most powerful weapon on ALL of the official maps. It’s just that on some of them getting and maintaining one is more difficult. That said, I don’t understand Nykorev and Hell’s Fury raiding ability removal. Zubeknakov supposedly has a faster RPM than Maplestrike, but it has lower base damage and substantially higher recoil. On top of that, most of the time high pop servers have some clan controlling the military base, so your best bet at getting an assault rifle is going to ranger locations, like Holman Isle (on PEI)… and getting an inventory of attachments for Zubeknakov, but never the gun itself, because the spawn chance seems to be ridiculously low.

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I can’t really argue whether the switch from Unity to Unreal was bad or not, I don’t have enough experience with the engine myself. I’ve grown to dislike working in Unity but I’d never touch Unreal to make my own game because the file size is just so large.

I’ve seen people say that the Zubeknakov can be noticeably stronger than the Maplestrike for those who know how to control the recoil though. I haven’t checked the dat files but I thought it had better recoil too. Regardless, some weapons could use a rebalance like the Nykorev being an almost useless gun compared to anything else.


Yeah, at this point the sole purpose of a Nykorev/Hell’s Fury you get out of a horde beacon is a gun to do the next horde beacon with. That said if you are actually going to get resources to make one and not getting jumped by a pvp sweatlord in the first place.

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Can you stop crying about UII , its wont get released aight ?
and if it did get released it will be a miracle then

We aren’t crying about it?

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I felt like bumping this topic since I think I have some valuable input, given I’ve made a few megaposts in the past as a list of suggestions for Unturned II and was excited with how development was going.

I liked the idea of an unturned that was less janky than 3.0. I think that was the general direction with the game aswell, alongside with improving other parts of the game (PvP had always been the strongest aspect of the game). Earlier versions of Unturned (1.0, 2.0) were both their own entire games with their own charm, but there is no denying those games had quite a lot of jank and was sometimes a terrible experience for those playing it, that’s why there were major updates that were essentially whole remakes of the previous version. I feel like because of these massive remakes getting their own first digit version numbers, people’s perspectives on “major updates” are very different compared to those of other games. It’s sort of like you’re not allowed to call an update 4.0 unless it’s a whole remake of the previous version of the game. The thing is, making a brand new game in a different engine than you’re used to is very demanding, and quite an undertaking. And its success is not guaranteed as it’s actually a whole different game now. Like, on a whole different steam page. Not just “Update 4.0”.
The current 3.0 we’re on right now is made on unity, and because it’s a game that’s been under development for almost a decade now, it’d be somewhat correct to assume that there’s a lot of spaghetti code written by a less experienced developer in the past. This alone may not warrant a whole remake, but since most people here, including me, aren’t particularly experienced in the game development side, the best we can do is guess. My personal guess is that it probably had gotten kind of hard to work on a game that had a 10 year history of development, with a developer that had different visions, different amounts of experience at different points of time during the development, with an absurdly high version number too (keep in mind, 2.0’s final update was 2.2.5. In August 2019, before switching to the year-update-patch version numbering, we were at This alone takes a while to say out loud, imagine how many we’ve had since.)
I don’t think development of Unturned II being paused wasn’t all bad. Like I said, game development is tricky, and remaking an existing game on a different engine is what I could only assume is a big undertaking. But there has been quite a lot of experience coming out from this, and we all can see that this experience is being used to improve on the current game we have, Unturned 3.0 (which has only been getting more popular, apparently. Yeah that came as a shock to me, I haven’t really kept up with the game for a while lol). I’m sort of glad Nelson has taken this direction. Majorly improving what currently already exists thanks to the newly gained game development experience is, in my opinion, a bigger positive than what most people think. Sure, I’ll be sad about UII every once in a while, but I don’t think it’d be right to dismiss all the work done on UII, and to say that it didn’t really have any reason to exist.

What could have UII been? What could have UII done?

This is my answer to these questions; UII was something good, and it certainly did something good. For now, we didn’t really get it as a whole different game, but instead as some good updates to the existing game. Maybe that’s a very positive look at this whole thing, maybe way too positive lol, but only time will tell if UII returns in the future, or if it does not. At the moment I’d rather appreciate the current game, I think it’s amazing even though it’s hard to say there aren’t apparent issues, and many people seem to think so aswell, and it’s nice to see it still being improved and getting new features.


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