It’s Never Right

I’ve been involved far too long to honestly care about those individuals who feel compelled to do nothing better then bitch and complain. This is nothing new, it has been going on since our first release and will continue to detract from the great community we have. Yet that “vocal minority” loves any chance to rip and tear at the development team. I guess they should be thankful they didn’t pay $49.99 for Urban Terror. Not that we would care any more, or is that less? At least we would have your money. LOL!

Prior to the release it was a given there would be complaints about the weapons, namely the SR-8 and the SPAS. I can’t remember a time we have not had any complaints about these. Now some comments are constructive and well thought out and possibly provide some validity to their case. Others come across with nothing more than, “this sucks we want it like version .”

I don’t want to rip at QA for their fine job of assisting the development team in the version that was release at the beginning of April. You would think (remember logic does not apply) they would side with the development team, but there are some “objectors” who feel the need to speak out against how the weapons were implemented.

Even a better example is the current version of Uptown, originally created by Phil “BattleCow” Tasker (wow I still remember his name). The TEAM decided not to release this level because BattleCow had not sent us the updated file when we asked for it and we were not going to update it on our own and include it. Well, as we say, plans changed. After announcing on Urban Radio that Uptown would not be released we went back on our original decision and said we would include it in the 4.0 release.

This was excellent news for the community! Many gamers hate change, thus having an “old school” level would help them feel comfortable with Urban Terror after loosing so-called “classics” as Streets, Swim, Trainyard and Docks (atleast temporarily). I come from the standpoint of, if the level is not updated it won’t be included. Seems resonable. Sorry, but the original Streets was a shitty map, both in game and in an editor, moreso the later.

So Uptown is included and the OGers rejoice for they know the level and feel at home. But something strange happens, the complaints start to roll in on the level. Snipers this, spawns that, map is too small, blah blah blah. I am sure this could be one of those “I told you so moments” just I will refrain. In the time BladeKiller had to update, test and compile Uptown, she did a great job (as always, she really is an amazing woman!). But there are still many shortcomings on Uptown.

In my opinion, which is the only one that counts, because this is MY site, we should have stood by our original decision to release it at a later date for a few reasons. First, the level was never designed for CTF or Bomb mode. I do believe any level can be adapted and game modes other than TS can exist. Casa is an excellent example of this. But it dis not come without a lot of work and effort on part of the team and testers.

I remember pre-2.0 we tried to work Bomb mode into Urban Terror using Uptown as our test level. It failed, partially because we could not get the code fully implemented and partially because of the layout of the level. CTF is much the same animal. I do not believe this is a CTF level, nor should the game mode be included. Refer back to my comment about BK. This is not a reflection on the level designer, but the fact that we are forcing a game mode into a level that just does not seems to have any game play or flow to it.

Second, if we did not include Uptown in the current release it would have provided us more time to work new spawns into the level, possibly changing the level and game play for a game mode like CTF, but as it is now, CTF is unbalanced at best. The community has provided some positive feedback as to possibly fixes, many dealing with spawn points, but the fact remains to do it correctly, we would need to rebuild most of the level, as we are doing with Docks and as was done with Crenshaw.

Will this happen? I highly doubt it. We will continue to make minor changes to factors that contribute to spawn points in hopes of getting adequate game play. In order to have a “Casa like effect” we would need to add to the level in order to provide better mechanics for game play.

Just my two cents…not the opinion of the team

Show me the money!

Finally I have a chance to bring you up to date on all the happenings. First off, I knocked the two interviewers dead with my cool responses. Maybe it helped they were female, no matter. I found out yesterday I successfully passed the interview and have been promoted to management. “About damn time!” Hell, I kept saying I was going to go look for a new job, but after 6 years it becomes very difficult to go out looking something new. This will not effect the work on The 6th Floor or Urban Terror.

Thanks to the coding team for completely the third build of Urban Terror Beta 2. A few of us got together last night and “tested” the build. Okay it was all fun….we really didn’t do much in terms of debugging. But the latest update and build has Urban Terror looking and feeling outstanding. Of course there are a few things to get comfortable with, not to mention rebinding all my damn keys since things have changed. Even had it up on the The SniperCAM while we were playing around.

Speaking of testing, thanks to BattleCow for giving me the guided tour of his latest creation for Urban Terror, Uptown. The map is a large city block layout, reminiscent of Action Quake 2. The design is large enough to offer a few different game play modes, such as search and destroy and capture and hold, along with the standard modes of play. BattleCow has really spent a good deal of time developing this level. I really to think the gamers will take to it, like they did Urban by Gerbil! but Uptown has much better play-ability.

Also with blessings of Silicon Ice Development, there are six new screen shots of the Athena model posted in the Urban Terror Forums. These pictures show off some of the amazing detail which the models have, including viable weapons, and attachable items, depending on what the player has selected, such as a helmet, kevlar vest or night vision goggles.

Today’s submission for Link of the Day features pr0n like you have never seen before. Hot, amateur…..shellfish. WTF? Check it out, Click here. Whackos…

Back in the saddle

Finally I have some fresh new information for you to check out. First, comes the highly delayed review of Corn!! by Pablo Gil ‘eXKalibur’ Fernandez. While the map has a modest score, there are some real problem areas. Most notably the game play. The layout is very flat and one dimensional. Hopefully you find it interesting. If you don’t, keep reading, maybe I will have something else to interest you.

I have been in touch with BattleCow, who is currently working on improving the quality of his next level, Uptown which will debut in Urban Terror Beta 2. Here is just a sampling of what to expect:

He has about 25 new shots which I will share over the course of the next few weeks. This level is look better and better every time I see it. Enjoy the new shots.

Did you happen to read this coop article by Hellchick titled Crosshairs: Counter-Strike alternatives-great taste, less cheating? I guess I was most interested by the final paragraphs:

And finally, for those of you with Quake III Arena there’s Urban Terror. Urban Terror is actually more like an Action Quake for Q3A than it is a Q3A version of Counter-Strike. The current beta 1 version has only two game types: team play and deathmatch. But already the programmers have implemented four new game types for beta 2, which will be coming soon: search and destroy (somewhat similar to Counter-Strike’s bomb-defusing scenario), tax collector (in which teams must be the first to grab the two piles of cash on the map), infiltrate (blow up the enemy base with some C4) and assassinate (a “protect the VIP” type of objective). Look for beta 2 in the coming weeks.

Thanks to Hellchick from dropping the p1mp hammer and giving Urban Terror props.

If you are interested, I was asked to give another interview. This is it was the Belgium web site, ShrimpWars 2.0. I met up with Sch3lp on IRC as he probed me for information. Check out the interview.

Every realism comparison you see these days is becoming a “Counter-Strike clone.” This term is beginning sound quite redundant. Why can’t gamers just accept the fact it was a great and highly successful mod? Why continue to bitch and complain about its shortcomings? No more than every gamers are realizing that the Half-Life engine is an “old” engine. Yet it is still a powerful enjoy to provide game play for a wide spectrum of computer systems. Not a day goes by, there is not a comparison made to CS. It does not matter if it is our mod, Navy Seals, Reaction Quake 3, Front Line Force, Infiltration….they are ALL compared. The horse is dead for Christsakes, quit beating the damn thing! Who should Urban Terror be compared to then? I believe we can be compared with those mods built on the Quake III engine, that is who? Navy Seals, True Combat, Reaction Quake 3 and countless other mods which are generating a fraction of the interest in realism mods for Quake III. The winner? That is not for me to choose. That will be up to the gaming community to decide. Partial? Me? Hell yes, I want to see Urban Terror do it. But that does not mean there will be others.

id Myths

I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and stumbled across this piece on the Quake3World Forums posted by Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id Software. He attempts to dispel three of the top myths surrounding id Software.

#1 id myth: Everyone drives a Ferrari.

Reality: Only John Carmack drives a Ferrari. While I assume Romero still has his, those two were the only id guys to *ever* have/drive/own Ferraris, unless one of them let one of the other guys borrow theirs (unusual and unlikely). [No, we did not see the Ferrari there during QuakeCon 2000.]

#2 id myth: Everyone who works at id is rich and that makes them all lazy.

Well, maybe only the jealous, the critics, and the cynics add the “lazy” part since they have no idea how much people here work.

Reality: Um no. How many former id employees left/got fired/moved on to become members of the wealthy retired? Answer: none. Tom Hall went to work for Apogee. Dave Taylor started his own company, which failed, and then went to work for Transmeta. Bear and American tried to start their own company but then ended up at Rogue and EA respectively. Sandy Petersen works for Ensemble. Sean Green still works at ION. Jay Wilbur took a few months off and now works at Epic. Brandon James works at Rogue. Steed works at Wild Tangent. John Cash works at Blizzard. Mike Abrash went back to Microsoft and now contracts on his own. Brian Hook went to Verant (where he apparently did cash out from the Sony buyout, but that’s not id-related). Anna Kang started her own business. Mike Wilson went to ION, then Gathering.

#3 myth: We worship Satan.

Reality: Paul Jaquays is a deacon at his church. Sandy Petersen is a devout Mormon. Not everyone is religious (like it’s anyone’s business but their own), but that demon stuff is wack. Just because Anne Rice writes about vampires doesn’t make her a blood sucking demon with super-human devil powers.

What else?

Todd Hollenshead

In more id Software news, the guys released a beta version of their newest point release, 1.27h. The fixes include:

-Fixed James model bug
-CD Key read correctly when starting from Q3A vs TA shortcuts
-Handicap exploit fixed
-Bot routing bug fixed
-Potential 20 FPS increase for some clients
-Sensitivity is back how it was

For further information, check out Robert Duffy’s .plan file. Look for the full 1.27h release in the coming weeks.

If you plan Urban Terror, then you have undoubtedly played the map, Docks by BattleCow. I had the chance to talk to Cow tonight and got caught up on his upcoming map which he calls, Uptown. Over the course of this week, I might give out some screen shots. Unfortunately, it was not the best compile, so the screen shots seem a bit washed out. But nonetheless, BattleCow’s map is looking great! IN his words, “Yeah it is kinda big…didn’t really mean to do that. There’s only four spawns though so people can guess the other team’s spawn and will have an idea of where to go look.” When I inquired what was left to complete, he responded, “The design is done, I think…just need to tweak the appearance.” For a sampling, check out today’s ‘Latest Action Fix’ featuring Uptown by BattleCow.

Today’s 6th Floor Link of the Day: “Book ’em Dano!” Okay, so we are not in Hawaii and this is not the 5-0. But it is your chance to check life behind bars, thanks to the jail cam which has been established in Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona. Check it out. Only bad part, you need to submit registration information.