How did Unreal Engine start?

So what is the story behind Epic games and Unreal Engine? Did it start with Unreal Tournament?

Tim Sweeney (ceo) started with games i think in 1992. Unreal started in 1998.

My first experience was seeing someone play original Unreal on PC, and then later I got Unreal Tournament and just started playing with bots and it was the best thing ever. I think I had the demo first and then got the game for Christmas. I even made a small map for UT in which I guess was Unreal Engine 1. At the time I had no clue it would turn into how UE4 is today… in fact I feel no resemblance/similarities between then and now except maybe those brushes for blocking out a level.