Friends of Terror

It is still hard to believe there is a group of dedicated individuals who have the desire and make the effort to keep Urban Terror alive. The fact we still have a very strong and dedicated community is a contributing factor to the longevity and success of the game.

I have been fortunate over those years to meet (yes, face to face) with many individuals on different levels as it relates to Urban Terror, from the invite to Quakecon in 2000 and 2001, to LAN parties in NoCal, SoCal and Colorado Springs and an appearance on TechTV (when it was around). There have been closed door, sit down meetings with Activision and id Software, which was more of a “wow factor” for me at the time since we did not know where we wanted to take Urban Terror.

If I knew then, what I know now, Frozen Sand (at the time, Silicon Ice Development) could be mentioned being on par with Splash Damage. Those guys had their shit together! They also had an amazing group of talented individuals. Not saying our development team hasn’t, because we have had over the years many contribute to the game.

Meeting gamers, executives, sponsors and personalities alike have been some of the best memories I have had. I mention this because I was able to meet Lt1 (aka Rob Bergman) last night, as he flew into NoCal for some training. Now, it’s not often that an opportunity arises, which will have gamers come in contact with each other, let alone team members. Remember, outside of meeting INVIS, BladeKiller and RabidCow I have not met the other talent on our team. But we have all worked together for nearly 4 years (if memory serves me correct).

It’s always interesting to put an alias to face, face to a voice and a voice to the online persona. I flashback to Quakecon 2001 when I was employed by TsN and our station was covering the event. I wanted to meet WarWitch, who at the time covered RtCW and was just an amazing announcer, complete with an entire online persona. With his voice, I expected something other than I got. Here stands a short, maybe 5′-5″ guy with a dark ponytail. Really blew my mental image of him, but nonetheless a great person and top class shoutcaster!

LAN parties are always interesting, especially when they were Urban Terror specific. Now I attended a weekly LAN in SoCal and Urban Terror was still rather new, but when our group made the transition to Quake III Arena, we played it every weekend. I did attend the .223 LAN in NoCal in 2003, which was also the first time I met Hottlipz face to face (little did I know we would marry a year later), along with many gamers from .223 and some other local Urban Terror players.

A few larger LANs featured Urban Terror and I was fortunate enough to attend those as well. Once in Los Angeles, where I was on hand to award the winner a custom Urban Terror case that was specially designed and constructed in Australia. I was also fortunate enough to attend EverLAN in Colorado Springs a few years, once when they did use an older version of Urban Terror.

Again, it is the people who make the game. I could sit here and rattle off a list of people who I have met and known over the years. I would love to have the time to go on a world tour just for Urban Terror. I know it sounds silly (Oh, remind me to talk about my East Coast trip!), but I think it would be a great time! I am sure there are enough gamers worldwide, I could shack up with, drink beer with and game with that could easily fill one month of travel.

The itinerary would include a trip south to Los Angeles and a stop by the GGL offices, where Epileptic Gaming transmits from, because djWheat is still Inside the Game. From there it would be on to Phoenix, Arizona to hook with Blankz, also of iTG. You can blame him for getting me involved in shoutcasting, thus the reason I can’t say Euro names correctly. I would fly to Colorado and check in with Spellbinder, because he has been a long time friend. This would be a coordinated trip to stop in Mesquite, Texas for Quakecon and countless people I know at that event including: Evil John, Tapper, Precious Death, the guys at id Software, especially Robert and of course, just to keep the list short Splash Damage.

The East Coast swing would include a stop to visit with Ghozt, AGBD and Fragging Newby. Hopefully we could find MFDoom, yes the now married Doomy and Capt. Porno. I went shooting with these guys and hung out with them years ago and it was one of the most memorable trips. Especially when you don’t know dick about some guy who goes by ‘A Giant Black Dude.’ Maybe a quick stop over in Florida to kick the shit out of BasiLisK.

The European tour would start with a stop in Portugal, why? Because I still feel they are the best community of gamers going for Urban Terror (yeah flame me, then fuck off, it’s my website and my opinion). From there it would be on to England to see Dick Dastardly and his flatmate, Qster and lord know who else we would find in and around the UK.

A trip would not be complete with traversing he frozen tundra of Sweden, Denmark and Finland (sorry Norway!). Definitely stop by House Valhalla! Many in the Danes and Swedes on the list who have been supporters for many years. A tour of the Rhine, well, Germany to meet Warbird (aka Wolfseye), since he has become a good friend.

An intersting stop would be Slovania, because of SLOfaca, Blaz especially and many of his countrymen have been wonderful to cover and talk to over the years. The Netherlands would mark one of the final stops, to meet “Whoa Keeley” or woekele. I need to forgive my lack of knowledge, but I would want to hook up with J0E and Preat of FROServers.com. Then again I would hope J0E is not nekked getting into the shower.

I could go on and on about the names, faces and places. But it would be an endless cycle. It has been many years and gamers come and go, but it is interesting to note how many names return to Urban Terror saying something like, “this is the only game I come back to play.” Hopefully this sort of comment is typical through out the community. It has been one helluva ride over the years and hopefully there is more in store for our community and us, as a development team.

Parting shot, I must apologize for not mentioning dokta8, Sam Hinton, one of the original coders. He was a big influence on me, a great friend and the one who got me involved.

Can You Feel It?

It is growing in anticipation…every day moving one step closer to QuakeCon 2001. I’ve had the chance to chat it up with Evil John and Tapper, seems they are pimpin’ Urban Terror too! That is what we like to hear. This was posted a few days ago by Paul Jaquays in his .plan:


SEMINAR: TRASH MY MAP

One of the seminars I’m hosting at QuakeCon is going to be an off the cuff, shoot from the hip, no-holds barred (leave your sensitive egos at home), on the spot map review of maps made be convention attendees. It takes place Saturday August 10th at 10:30 AM in the seminar ballrooms.

I’ve twisted the arms of a couple Q3A engine level designers from other companies who are going to be at the show and convinced them to sit in on this with me (and I expect to hear from a couple more after this). We’ve got barely and hour and we’ll run through (not play) as many maps as we can in that time frame (no more than 5 to 10 minutes per map). One of us will drive and we’ll run through the map on the big screen making comments, criticisms and hopefully useful suggestions for fixing up maps in production.

This is something I am looking forward too! Hopefully, Paul and crew will have enough time to move into the realism genre and take a few shots at an Urban Terror map. I can think of one or two, I’d be curious to hear their “professional” opinion.

I have added a new piece of information to The 6th Floor. It was compiled by Tub, with help from some of the level designers and coders from Silicon Ice Development. The file is called, beta2_mappers_info.txt This file is not really a tutorial, but some basic information pertaining to mapping for Urban Terror Beta 2. The contents: spawn information, locations, game types, surface types, rotating doors, misaligned textures, breakable surfaces, ladders and rain & snow. This used in conjunction with the tutorials from NRGizeR should give most mappers a foundation on which they can build a successful map. Check it out!

p1mp’n da good stuff

I would like to began by first saying, thanks to Blankz at Radio ITG for appearing in studio with him this past Saturday. It was a great time to hang with the “Ponbigi of Internet radio.” He truly is a “pimp!” A quick recap, we talked to Evil John, the Executive Director of QuakeCon, along with Colonel Lai who writes The Colonel’s Barracks over at Stomped. There was also a first time visit from VD-Kat, who helps maintain the IRC Network, Enter The Game, along with Whiz.

The next day was to be action packed, as Blankz and I headed to the world famous amusement park, Cedar Point. This park features three of the top four roller coasters in the world, including the Millennium Force. Just to give you a few specs on this thing: 310 feet high, 80 degree decent, 93 mph and 6,595 feet of track! Now that is one bad ass coaster! Check out these shots:

There has been a new addition to the Silicon Ice Development Team. dotEXE DOS was taken on board as a team mapper for Urban Terror. While he has only released one map, which was for Beta 1.27, called 101_Reykjavik. His current level has a development title of ‘202’ and is a terrain generated level. Think the map Sands on a smaller scale, with heavily fortified bases at opposite corners. Based on preliminary testing, the map show prove to be a success with the Urban Terror Community.

Off the record, SweetnutZ is nearly finished work on the “most impressive” level yet for Urban Terror. It is a well developed layout, with some very impressive texturing. The scary thing is, this is his first map and he really disproves my thinking of “first maps should never be released.” I guess there are exceptions to every rule and SweetnutZ’s level Casa is that exception. No word if this level will be ready for the highly anticipated map pack from SID for Urban Terror. For more sexiness, check out these screen shots:

I have also been in contact with Raunchy, whom some of you might remember was the level designer behind Office for the earlier beta versions of Urban Terror. His latest level, is completely different than what was gamer experienced in Office. This level is a cross between Village Austria [scheduled to be released in the map pack]. Much of the texturing is impressive and comes from Ricochet [by WetWired]. It should only be about a week before I get the map and can do some extended testing with Silicon Ice. Here are a few screen shots to give you a preview of his level:

As a reminder, I will be attending QuakeCon 2001 in Mesquite, Texas, August 9-12. I will be there with nine other Silicon Ice Development Team members. Based on the experience we had last year at QuakeCon, this year should be even better. So, if you are attending, be sure to stop by check Urban Terror out! More news as it becomes available.