Tim Sweeney


Tim Sweeney is a computer game programmer and the founder of Epic Games, and is best known for his work on their Unreal engine.

Sweeney established Epic as a shareware company while he was a student majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland. Sweeney revealed that he had been interested in game development and computer programming since he was 10 years old. Tim finally started to make games, right out of his parents’ basement where he lived. Epic got its start when Sweeney created ZZT, the company’s first game. As Sweeney has revealed in interviews, ZZT‘s success fueled the side-scroller Jill of the Jungle, the success of that game led to the next, and so on.

Sweeney became most well-known for working on Epic’s Unreal engine, the game engine used for the Unreal series of first-person shooters and other computer games.

For Unreal Engine 3 and upcoming Epic Games titles, Sweeney states that he is not doing as much programming as was done on previous projects, and that he is fulfilling the role of a technical director. His duties include: setting the overall direction of the engine and the various projects based off the technology, meeting with the independent hardware vendors, and doing research and development work for future engine technology.

Sweeney is frequently considered the counter-part to another famous game programmer, John Carmack. Both are industry leaders in game engine design and, although various tools now allow these developers to program less, it is noteworthy that they simply focus more on engine programming. Testament to this is the next Unreal Engine (Unreal Engine 4) already being under research and development with a team of 1, Tim Sweeney. These new technologies as well as additional programmers take away some of the tedious work of project specific programming and instead allow the game engine programmer to focus on larger and more difficult concepts.

He is well known for his love of exotic sports cars; he owns a Lamborghini Diablo and a Ferrari F430.

Tim currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Games Credited

Gears of War (2007), Microsoft Game Studios
Gears of War (Limited Collector’s Edition) (2006), Microsoft Game Studios
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (2005), Ubisoft, Inc.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005), Rockstar Games, Inc.
Star Wars: Republic Commando (2005), LucasArts
Shadow Ops: Red Mercury (2004), Atari, Inc.
Thief: Deadly Shadows (2004), Eidos, Inc.
Unreal Tournament 2004 (2004), Atari, Inc.
Devastation (2003), HD Interactive
Unreal II: The Awakening (2003), Infogrames, Inc.
Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror (2002), Infogrames, Inc.
Unreal Championship (2002), Infogrames, Inc.
Unreal Tournament 2003 (2002), Infogrames, Inc.
Deus Ex (Game of the Year Edition) (2001), Eidos Interactive, Inc.
Deus Ex (2000), Eidos Interactive, Inc.
Tyrian 2000 (1999), XSIV Games
Unreal Tournament (1999), GT Interactive Software Corp.
The Wheel of Time (1999), GT Interactive Software Corp.
Unreal (1998), GT Interactive Software Corp.
Extreme Pinball (1995), Electronic Arts, Inc.
Tyrian (1995), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
Jazz Jackrabbit (1994), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
Traffic Department 2192 (1994), Safari Software Ltd.
Solar Winds: The Escape (1993), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
Xargon (1993), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
Zone 66 (1993), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
Brix (1992), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
Jill of the Jungle (1992), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
Jill of the Jungle: Jill Goes Underground (1992), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
Jill of the Jungle: Jill Saves the Prince (1992), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
Kiloblaster (1992), Epic MegaGames, Inc.
Onesimus: A Quest for Freedom (1992), Ark Multimedia Publishing
ZZT (1991), Epic MegaGames, Inc.


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