2003 Resolutions

Now that Festivus is over and the new year is here, it is time it straighten up and get my ass back into gear. The last few months have been…well, long and tiring. I think I peaked with the release of Urban Terror Beta 2.6. Of course, many supportive fans praised our work, while others continued to bitch. What else is new, huh? So much of November and nearly all of December I have not done a damn thing. For me, there is more than Urban Terror. I know many out there think SID we spend every waking moment at your beckon call. Fact is, we don’t. We each have priorities to attend to. Currently mine is trying to keep my job at the airlines, seeing as our company has gone into bankruptcy. So, I have not been my cheery, friendly self as I have in the past.

*sigh* But that is more less in the past, we can wipe the slate clear (sorta) and start fresh in January to try and provide some insight into Urban Terror, while bringing you reviews, rants and interviews. Unless you have run a web site, or two, or three, then you do not know how tiring and time consuming it can be. We all want to see fresh and new information posted every day, but sometimes (maybe that is often) it will not happen. Not sure what will happen in 2003 with this site. I know the focus will continue to be on Urban Terror. I am not closing the doors or ignoring the fact that for last few months of November there was not much added to the site. Hopefully we can see some new tutorials from the UT Community and a few reviews of the outstanding levels in the community.

I am not going to make any promises as to what I will bring each week. You have seen it before, I go fast and hard for a month or two and then hit a brick wall and nothing comes out. So I will try to keep things consistent. Who knows, maybe an assistant to help out is needed. It’s not like I do THAT much traffic a day, but being able to bring you 365 new things a year would be cool. We’ll see. I would like to spend time on the site, doing what I do best. Who knows, maybe I will FINALLY be discovered and offered a PR job at one of these gaming companies (Activision, Blizzard, Bungie, Raven, I am talking to you!!!). Until then, I will hold onto my little corner here on Planetquake.

That is really all I have right now. Just wanted to drop my first post of 2003 out here and hopefully those in the Urban Terror Community will continue to support the mod, as the development team looks to have another great year ahead of them. To all who visit this site, thank you for all your support.

Oswald Rant: Behind the Release

Eight months of development culminated with the release of Urban Terror Beta 2.6 this past Saturday, November 9, 2002. The overall development cycle slid in at just over eight months, based on the previous track rate, this was about two months longer than other development cycles before a release. Speaking strictly from a “release” aspect, everything went off relatively smooth.

The release party began with a pre-release radio show hosted by myself approximately two hours [DOWNLOAD HERE] before the official release time. By far this was the most coordinated effort to date. Not only do I want to commend the development team who helped make the release successful, but also those admins and FTP hosts who were able to host our full and upgrade files. While I was shocked with some 300 people inquiring about hosting files or receiving files early in order to upgrade their gaming servers. Unfortunately, the team could not fulfill all those requests. The initial release just before 3pm EST had about 15 FTP sites to choose from, worldwide. I do want to extend special thanks to Zac of ZD Webhosting for hosting the files in order for admins and FTP sites alike to download from.

As for the actual release party, I can sum it up in a single word. Wow! The community from the Urban Terror Community never ceases to amaze me. Between #urbanterror and #releaseparty, we had over 1500 gamers checking out the release Beta 2.6. While #urbanterror was moderated for most of the radio show, the spam flowed free in #releaseparty, as there was some business to attend to and information to pass along in #urbanterror. Thanks to ETG for the support and assistance during the release party.

I also want to give props to TsN, the Team Sportscast Network for continuing to support Urban Terror and allow me to time to shoutcast the weekly, Urban Radio Show on their network, powered by Speakeasy. Before the release party, the development team was kicking around some numbers, but when I some 600 listeners tuned into the pre-release party it just went to confirm what the development team already know. Urban Terror has the best community support for any mod out there. Between the two server (high and low), there were relatively no lag or problems during the cast. Although, the TsN server guru, Juno asked I decrease the bit rate on the high bit server from 64 bits to 40 bits, in order to accommodate more listens and decreases chances to lag or skipping.

Unlike the return of Urban Radio the day before I was not really prepared to host a full show, partly due to all the work the development was doing leading up to the compiling of the final pak file and the packaging of the support files into the official zip files we would be distributing. Nonetheless, I was able to get a quick and dirty guideline together, along with some fantastic music from the “happy fatty,” Mungo Zen and host the pre-release party.

We had also made the decision to not release the files during the radio show, in hopes of limiting the spam in IRC inquiring about the development releasing the files. It also gave those a definite time in case they did not want to tune into the release party radio show. But when the links we made available, gamers responded and jumped at the downloads.

Leading up to and during the shoutcast, I was uploading the full and upgrade files to ZD Webhosting for those admins and FTPs that would either be hosting or upgrading their servers before we released the links. I do wanna extend my thanks on behalf of the development team to those people who helped support the release. There were absolutely no complaints about not being able to download the file or any sort of lag or lack of bandwidth during the initial rush after the links were announced.

Thanks goes out to Trainman at Midwest Mayhem, Tapper for waking Steve Gibson at Fileshack, [HV]Spawn, Majic of Barrysworld, Roger at Planetquake3.net, Bunny aka Q of FSK405, gleam for the phat Data Source link, Zac at ZD Webhosting, Cigar_Man of TLB, Drizzt_DUcan at Clanbase, DasGIB of urbanterror.de, [QV]Buffetti of urbanterror.it, nMX.SquiD at Thunderdome, Juha at eDome, Csan, Solanine of FuKnUt Beer and Bullets, Harmonieman over at eXtreme-players.de, illogical and Clanhosted and anyone else I did not mention for helping out with the early releases.

As with any release, there were a few minor issues we had to “deal with” and work through. I am speaking of a FTP that was made public before our “official” release time. But, with as good as everything was going it was really just ignored and we continued on without any hitch. I would have also like to have had enough time to get all the official links posted on the web site before making the announcement. I take responsibility for that, as the radio show was coming to a close and we were about 30 minutes prior to release, so I told the FTP sites to spam their links. The Urban Terror web page was then updated within thirty minutes for an on time release of Beta 2.6.

It’s Out! Finally!

I think things are slowly returning to normal. This past weekend has been outstanding. As many know Silicon Ice Development released Urban Terror Beta 2.6 yesterday. It was a very long and tiring day for those on the development team who took part in the release party festivities. Mad props go out to all of SID, especially Density who was a real trooper the last few days when it came to the code base.

If you missed Friday and Saturday, we held back to back, Urban Radio programs. Saturday’s program, the Urban Radio Pre-Release Party was out of control. You can download and listen to the shows from the Radio tab. Thanks to the guys at TsN Central we had enough bandwidth to accommodate nearly 600 listeners! Now that is support! It was an excellent time for all, as we discussed the upcoming release, new features, weapons and support features for the mod. Things such as the kick ass Urban Terror Manual. Course I am pimping it, cuz I spent a few months working on it. My contribution to Beta 2.6…hahah.

As for the mod itself, the Beta 2.6 release was very successful! The servers are increasing in numbers, gamers are at an all time high and everything…well most everything is going well. There are bugs and we are aware of many of the common issues that the community is bringing out attention. Of course they are catching things we had fixed, yet something seems to causing problems. So, SID is working on it.

As for the level designers, thanks to Dragonne has updated the def file for Urban Terror. This def file has new keys for the doors: gamemode_open and gamemode_shut. You put the game types that you want the doors locked open or locked closed in those keys I mentioned. If you are not sure what we are talking about, then load up ut_rommel in Team Survivor and CTF and you will notice the tunnel system is locked out and you cannot access it in TS. But in CTF they are open. Nice, huh?

Many mixed responses on the new levels SID released with Beta 2.6. One person will bad mouth ut_uptown and then the next person will praise the changes. It is like that for many of the updated SID levels. The same can be said of ut_riyadh, seeing as those two levels have stirred some controversy in the mod. Guess some gamers do not like change.

As for new levels, the community has responded very to the new levels. Mines by Bar-B-Q is a very popular level, many enjoy the ambiance of the level. Yet a few have had a hunkmeg issue with it. Others seem to like WU’s offer called Turnpike, as it offers fast game play and some excellent texturing.

I think by far, the most popular level was RabidCow’s Twin Lakes, version two, that SID decided to include in the distribution. RabidCow has spent months working, tweaking and improving the original level. All his hard work definitely paid off as Twin Lakes is just visually amazing. You should check out the sky box. WOW! The big trees are well, just freaking huge! The texturing is the highest quality, along with many great features. Check it out!

Back from EverLAN

So I hopped a plane to Colorado Springs, Colorado last weekend for an event called, EverLAN, organized by Everman. This was the Winter ’02 event, as they had held two previous events earlier in the year. Many tournaments were featured, from JKII to CS to Urban Terror. You can actually read my rant on two day event, LAN Your Ass Off – EverLAN. I do want to give out big props to Everman and his staff for the event.

Time is running out, as we approach the release of Urban Terror Beta 2.6. Play testing is in full swing, but I don’t think I will have much of a chance to participate, as I am busy working out some of the other details before Saturday. If you missed the announcement, Urban Radio will return to the Internet airwaves this coming Friday beginning at 1:00pm PST/4:00 pm EST (21 GMT). Hopefully you will tune in for all the fun and frolic, as we look toward the release of Beta 2.6.

As mentioned on the news over on the UT web site, there will be three map packs put together. If you have been around the community for any length of time, then there is a good chance you will already have these map packs. Hopefully, by offering these three packs, along with the contest pack, that will give gamers 21 of the more popular maps played through out the Urban Terror Community. Details will follow on Urban Radio.

One Cool Cat

INVIS have been keeping very busy over at Section 8 Studios. His recent work can be seen in a few upcoming levels, one from SweetnutZ (you know it as the snow map) and from Servinal of 4Saken, in his level, ut_scottbase. The new model is a Thiokal Spryte 2 passenger snow cat. Check out these shots of the snow cat.

Some might have heard that cloudscapes has put aside his ut_canyon level in favor of a new design and level. “I’ve had an unwelcome surprise on how q3a seems to be handling polygons while my work on ut_canyon,” says cloudscapes. For more information on this “abandoned level, check this link. His new level is tentatively titled, ut_nightoperation. He describes the level as, “night time nature map with about 1024 units viewing distance before everything becomes completely black. Except for the many lights on the structures and in strategic positions on the map…One base is a scientific lab. The other is a chopper/parachute drop off.”

Work on ut_streets continues…slowly. As I mentioned, it will not be included in Beta 2.6. Actually, I don’t have much time right now, as we prepare for a release of the “next” beta. I will also enroll the talents of Dragonne and RabidCow to kick in their talents and knowledge when it comes to working within GtkRadiant.

I had plans of kicking out a few reviews, while I have been on vacation the past ten days. No, I was not lazy at all, but my efforts are directed in other directions at the moment (Beta 2.6) and have not had much time to update at all. But fear not, we have a few good reviews forthcoming.

I also want to say thanks to those who responded by e-mail on my latest rant, Busted Punk! Many seemed to get a kick out of it and agreed with what I had to say. Bottom line, CHEATING SUCKS! So, if you have not read it, check it out.