I’m Back!!!

I’m back!!! It has been sometime since I have provided a worthwhile update on The 6th Floor. Now that QuakeCon 2001 is over and the Urban Terror 2.3 Beta is released, I will be able to focus a bit more attention on providing the quality reviews the community is looking for. The site is currently under some development, as I move from HTML/CSS to ASP and better way to present the information that has gathered here since 1999, when I opened the doors to The 6th Floor.

The most recent news was the announcement by Silicon Ice Development releasing their highly anticipated map pack, which has become known as Beta 2.3. While there are only minor code changes in this version, it does introduce 8 new levels to terrorize, along with 3 updated levels from NRGizeR. I feel this map pack will provide hours, hoping months of action for the Urban Terror community, as SID begins development on the next beta version. No speculation on its completion date. New levels include SweetnutZ and his first Urban Terror map, ut_casa. I stick by my guns, texturing makes the map, this is no more evident than in this level. The newcomer to SID, dotEXE seems to have created a much needed mirrored CTF level titled, ut_riyadh. I really do think the CTF players will quickly find this to be a favorite. Same fors for the snipers, better keep your head down.

Bar-B-Q finished up ut_rommel, which seems to be getting mixed reviews on the forums. It is not your typical Urban Terror level, but does play quite well. BattleCow was able to get his level, ut_uptown finished, and GottaBeKD was able to complete work on the elevator, that this AQ2 style level finally was released. ut_pressurezone is the latest creation from Gerbil!, who had considerable success for Action Quake 2, but has been suffering a bit of design block in his levels. Pressure Zone is quite an impressive looking underwater base, but from the preliminary comments I hear, there are more issues with spawn points. Something SID has been working on to remedy. Let me also say, these usually effect the TDM game.

Tub is back with a map and a half. His latest work is called, ut_austria and continues the European type village genre. Also pay attention to the impressive model of Michelangelo’s David, created by Meaty and skinned by BladeKiller. The level, ut_village also reappears for the first time in Beta 2.3. There are some issues with this level still. While Legomanser did some of the updated work on it, NRGizeR provided some insight into reducing the FPS.

Finally comes ut_alleys from Bot Killer, which was a map we had seen months ago, before he played Houdini and disappeared. But, he is back with a map that should play a bit like ut_pressurezone as many of the areas are tight. But this map does play on a few different levels. It is also quite large.

You can check out all the sexiness of QuakeCon 2001 over at theUrban Terror web site, as I provided a running diary of this year’s event and what Silicon Ice Development did while in attendance. Check it out!

The review for ut_casa should be ready in a few days. I am trying to get adjusted to the daily routine. Unfortunately being away at QuakeCon, I have been unable to keep up with all the happening on the Level Deesign Forums, but I can guarantee you, one of the other guys like LORDofDOOM or Mungo Zen are on top of it.

Give it to me Wet!

So what’s better than two chicks getting it on? Two chicks named Evelyn and Meela getting it on knives in each hand. Very cool scene in the latest movie, The Mummy Returns. It you liked the first one, then definitely check out the return! It was a good flick, lord knows I had to get from behind this computer!

Onto what you came to The 6th Floor for. Details, the scoop and why the hell hasn’t Silicon Ice Development has not offered a release date. Let me answer the latest question first. SID is not entirely finished. As many read on the Urban Terror Forums or on the web site, there was a new internal build released, build_14. This build fixed another 50+ bugs which the testers had submitted to the bug database. Looking at the extensive list, nothing really jumps out as ground breaking in terms of development.

Based on the screen shots released yesterday, there were two new maps which were released in this build, ut_revolution by WetWired and ut_docks by BattleCow. First the skinny on Wet’s creation.

Believe it or not, this level actually started out as a remake of Bot Killer’s Beta 1 level, Trainyard. Looking back at some of the shots WetWired sent me, not much of the original level remained, with the exception of the foundation, which featured two channels, one with water and bridges perpendicular to those. The project then shifted gear a bit, and a few of the SID level designers, namely Tub and NRGizeR were each going to do a separate portion of this new creation that was called Revolution. WetWired took his time and decided to make this entirely his own project. While a culmination of those three designers would have produced a great map, I don’t think anyone is discouraged by the new screens from what now is, ut_revolution. Here are some more shots from WetWired’s upcoming level:

[SHOT #1] | [SHOT #2] | [SHOT #3] | [SHOT #4]
As for ut_docks, many have spent countless hours fragging on this seaside level which was created by BattleCow. Believe it or not, it was his first ever attempt at a level. Hahaha….funny thing, I went back last night and loaded up Alpha6, which was a prerelease for SID before Beta 1, just to get this screen shot. Anyway, for Beta 2, BattleCow, has completely retextured and redesigned a few areas in Docks, to increase the game play and flow of the level. For example, the bar on the waterfront is no longer accessible. This was partly due to the rising FPS in this area, by eliminating the interior, it allowed for a bit higher rate. I really don’t think it will hinder game play. This level is sure to turn some heads, as it is a beautiful level! Check a few more shots out from ut_docks:

[SHOT #1] | [SHOT #2] | [SHOT #3] | [SHOT #4]
Some news from the Urban Terror Community. As most of you know, there has still been no word about the fate of Warhammer of ISPGN. This means no quality FTP site to download files and maps. While we could pick up the slack here, we use FilePlanet.

Sixpak over at Mobilized Forces has some new screen shots courtesy of SID from ut_revolution Check them out, if you still have not gotten your Revolution fix. Sixpak as has started broadcasting live music from his site, which features music from Mark Klem, better known as the “Mad Mississippian” or throughout the community as Bar-B-Q and a band who contacted me to advertise for them in our maps using billboards, Creeper Lagoon. Give it a listen as you read through the forums! Now WinAMP compatible!

Next up the weird and the whacky over at Rubber Ducky. *SQUEEK* No Fear, that little bastard caught me in a true, real world moment. At first I was, “Oh damn, did I get caught with a finger in my nose picking a winner?” Then he showed me this screen shot. Hahaha….oh well, hard at work, but needing to stuff my pie hole. No go check out “The Ducky” and see what he has conjured up.

Finally, for the level designers out there….while SID is still working on releasing the important files you will need for you Beta 2 maps, including .def files, entities and textures, news from Linga over at LevelEditing.de. “Hi Oswald I’ve just finished 700 photo based textures. Check them at my page, http://www.levelediting.de/index.php3?site=texturestudio.inc and tell the SID mappers from my textures if you want. Most of them are based on photos I’ve found on the WWW but some are easily ripped textures from other texture pages like Jeremy Engelman.” So give it a look.

Do you have what it takes?

Our interviews with the Urban Terror mappers continue this week. Recently we added, the following Silicon Ice Development mappers to our Interview Section: BattleCow, Bot Killer, The Riddle and WU. Give them a read and get inspired!Maybe you have noticed that the Action Quake 2 information is slowly beginning to go the way of the dinosaur here at The 6th Floor. Sorry A-Team! But look at it this way, you laid the foundation for many other realism mods. Thanks! On that note, you can check out the new Help Section for answers to any further questions. The same can be said for the Links Section. It even includes the new Urban Terror button to place on your site! While you are at it, grab The 6th Floor button also.Next on the agenda of reorganization, working on the required files, editors, tools and tutorials to get you started on your way to mapping heaven for Q3 and specifically, Urban Terror. There is an overwhelming amount of information out there, which could possibly deter someone from wanting to begin. I will help to wade through all the muck and help sort it all out.Not much news out of the Silicon Ice Development camp. The word came down from dokta8 and GottaBeKD, they have implemented ‘func_breakable’ in the Urban Terror code, which will allow for breakable glass. We have heard the mappers are quite excited about this new feature! He coders themselves were so excited they decided to throw rocks and play around in a glass for countless hours. Sounds like they need to be put in a white, padded room. Keep up the good work guys!

Oswald Rant: Urban Terror Development Team – Project Leaders

BotKiller’s interest in this mod is based on games such as Action Quake 2, Rainbow 6, CounterStrike , and Swat 3, all of which take realism and port it into our digital world with amazing accuracy. For a mod which can be considered “violent”, BotKiller hates seeing violence. “I don’t own any guns, and I have no military or special training.” His gaming/mod background includes, what is the “best map of the year for Duke Nukem 3D,” but this is his initial attempt on a public mod.

BotKiller on BotKiller, “I am the founder of the mod, started back in mid-September (yes, before Quake 3 came out). It started as just a skin pack for Quake 3 and a map I made for Quake 2 that I ported over to Quake 3 (I only put machine guns in my maps so it was half way real). I also map for this project, I have finished one map, and am finishing another. I do just about all the web site work, including most of the forum reply’s too. I do a lot of miscellaneous work, all those odd-job things.

Preacher, along with being the co-Project Leader is also the SoundFX and PR guy for the Urban Terror Development Team. “I’ve been gaming since the days of Doom and Duke Nukem. My main area of knowledge are Music/Sound production (been a guitarist for no less than 18 years Heavy Metal…muahaha).” His tasks include creating accurate and realistic sound effect for Urban Terror. “Weapons are another strong point for me. I own a variety 😛 Shooting is one of my absolute favorite hobbies.” Judging from the preliminary sounds I have heard, they sound incredible. Outside of his Cisco training and active participation in this mod, Preacher’s gaming interest include Rogue Spear, Action Quake 2 and Tribes.

Oswald Rant: Urban Terror Development Team – Intro

What makes a game like Quake 2 or Quake 3 so successful? It is the developers who put their time and effort into creating modifications or “mods” using these game engine. After endless conquering of Quake 2, there was no challenge left, this is when we turned our attention to mods, in search of something better.

One mod in particular became a smashing success, almost overnight. This mod was Action Quake 2, who’s slogan read, “All the speed of your favorite action film, without the price of the ticket.” Based on the idea of realism, players toted real world weapons, such as assault rifles and shotguns as opposed to rocket launchers and rail guns. The mod included realistic map and settings, such as the slums of a city or the dense foliage of a jungle. The damage system was modified, allowing for a person to loose health, requiring them to bandage.

Going in search of a Quake 3 mod based around these “real world” concepts used to be a no-brainer, but recently many development teams have chosen this path in search of success. One such team, is a collection of hard core gamers looking to take this realism to the next level.

The mod is known as Urban Terror and has been gaining momentum from its introduction over at Quake3mods.net. The team is spearheaded by two visionaries, BotKiller and Preacher, both of whom share responsibilities as co-Project Leaders.