Urban Terror: Close the Door

Since leaving the development team and Urban Terror, nearly 2 years ago I have yet to return to online gaming. The motivations for my departure and retirement were purely personal. For me, I had gone as far as I could with development as it was quite clear the game would never flourish as I had hoped for during the early years.

It’s quite rare I even bring the name, Urban Terror up because it’s a part of my past and I have moved on, leaving the community, the web sites and activities to others in order to cultivate. I still have an informal tie to the community as I continue to hold the rights to the domain name.

I happened upon a conversation today with an individual who is still around the community and as I understand it, the community and the game are not the same. I can’t speak to that, but can only surmise the problems plaguing the community/game now. While I never had a direct hand in any development, it was the community who drove the game to the success it had upon my departure.

Of course the development team was at the core of the community, with talented individuals leaving their mark and moving on. The early years were truly the “best of times” for me personally. Being courted by id Software, visiting their offices, participating in Quakecon, jet setting to Los Angeles for E3, being featured on Tech TV are just some of the highlights I take with me. Of course those days are all in the past and rarely do I even cast a glance at the newest PC games on the market because it’s “more of the same.”

With that said, there is still something to say about those individuals who continue to support the game after so many years. I have a few individuals in mind who, through thick and thin stuck it out with the development team. Not sure if I were on the outside looking in, like I was with Action Quake II if I could have continued for nearly 10 years even with a game I enjoyed

Being in the rare position I was, between the community and the game I had a unique perspective and seemed to get opinions from everyone. For many, I was the voice/face/name of Urban Terror, but never did I attempt to take credit. While I was involved, I left the real development/design to the talented individuals that knew how to code a feature, or create a model, uvwrap it and skin it. I was highly impressed with those who were level designers, but that was not my calling.
Unfortunately, it was “never quite good enough” for some. The worst place to be the day of a point release was on the community support forums. This was my domain, a place I controlled and supported and nurtured from the beginning. It was a unique feeling creating a community from virtually nothing to a strong community of supporters we had when I departed. I was amazed at the success and the ride I had been privy to.

Maybe my departure gave rise to someone with new ideas and new blood to bring something into the community to improve the game. While some may disagree I took a lot with me the day I left. Much of the unwritten history left with me. Many gigabytes of files continue to reside on my archived hard drives that will most likely never be accessed again.

Most of all I remember the people, behind every alias, either in game, via e-mail or on IRC there is a person. I was fortunate enough to meet a small percentage of these people over the years. The strongest bonds were between the long standing development team members. The same can be said for the long time supporters in the community, the people I entrusted files or hosting to. There were some great people behind the scenes who rarely got a mention. Maybe they hosted files or ran a web site or always put in a word of praise to the community, game or development team. While I will probably never communicate with these individuals again, they were a special part of the community and one of the things I held close though out my tenure.

Often times I was referred to as, “not a developer” because I did not provide any content for the game. While that is a true statement, it could not be further from the truth. I was a development team member and played an integral role that was often overlooked. Many individuals involved couldn’t or wouldn’t do what I did over the course of 10 years. While not the most important aspect of the game or community, I brought Urban Terror to life though the use of shoutcasting, when online gaming radio stations were still in their infancy.

My use of the radio medium introduced a new dimension to online gaming that was rarely seen previously. I attempted to stress the importance of the community, wanting feedback and information from supporters in order to strengthen the radio show on a weekly basis. By far, the most important portion of the show, aside from my bad, 80’s music was the development team update. This was sometimes a futile attempt to provide up to the minute information about development.

The second part of this new medium was acting as a commentator during online matches. I spent many hours a week dedicated to my radio shows and broadcasts. It would have been enough to just cover the match, but our community was something special and they deserved more. I had a pre and post game report, as well as commentary and sometimes guest casters on air.

This, to me was my calling for the game and it went a long way in the community. Yet some failed to see the connection. In the end I was burned out, tired. Maybe it was the years of abuse I took never really striking back or going off, unless completely necessary. A few examples spring to mind. When I initially got involved I wanted to see this development through to a defined end. For me, that will never happen as I dropped everything in a blink of an eye and walked away, never to return.

But, as I said early on the friendships you make will last a lifetime. The memories remain, but may fade as years go by. For the most part these were good times, never great, but good enough to keep you going for just a bit longer. Hopefully those involved now have an idea of where the game came from and of those who came before.

Sexiness at E3

Ah yeah, Day Two of E3 is doesn’t get better, the apex of the show. While I was not able to hang as long as I wanted to because of the real J-O-B, but I did get to check out some of the goodies, inside the box known as the Los Angeles Convention Center. Damn, my feet hurt from all this walking.

More highlights from E3, what better way to show off E3 then through pictures, I know you don’t me throwing around my opinion, you see that enough on the other gamin sites. Tonight you can read E3: Day Two, read my brief introduction and see the madness.

Read this on the Urban Terror Forums, which originated on the Quake3World Forums by ttimo. “GtkRadiant 1.1-TA released! Version 1.1-TA of the Quake III Arena and Quake III: Team Arena map editor is available. This version has been in the works for quite some time, and everyone is very happy to see it out at last.” You can check out the new versions for Linux and Win32 at: http://www.qeradiant.com/files.cgi?dirin=GtkRadiant/ So check out GtkRadiant and look into the thread to see what it will behold. There is a considerable amount of information in these forums.

Want news on the upcoming point release from id Software:

Not-Newswire: “Bad news on the Quake 3 gaming front today as id software completely disappeared overnight. id staffers are now on the run for blowing all of the proceeds from their successful (but unfortunately never finished) multi player game Quake 3 in a debauched orgy of booze, loose women and pizza. Before leaving, the coders set fire to the building destroying all source code for Q3A.

“They think we’ve been working on an update,” slurred an unnamed employee, “but it’s all we could do to sober up and get a .plan out the door once a month”.

“They bought a finished product at retail” they were heard drunkenly chanting as they left.

Attempts to contact an id management spokesperson have proven unsuccessful, as apparently no-one is actually responsible for running id Software…

A spokesman for the Mac gaming community reported “They’ll resurface when they need more money. Probably pushing some new engine”.”


(The preceding article is of course entirely fictitious and the result of too many hours waiting for a GODAMN update to Q3. It is in no way meant to cast doubt over the integrity of the id staffers, how much they drink, how often they shag and whether or not they get the munchies, even if they do far too much of all three when they probably should be coding. It’s not mine to say. I am also in no way suggesting any pyromaniac tendencies in any id staffers – even if there seems to be a lot of fire everywhere in their games. I’m sure it’s nothing).

This courtesy of Sailbad on the Quake3World Forums. I thought it was quite funny, maybe I can do something like this regarding Urban Terror.

Oswald Rant: E3 – Day #2: Workin’ the Floor

While Day One provided a great overview of what there was to behold and drool at E3 this year, you really get more selective the next two days as to what you want to check out and inquire about. I tried like hell to talk to some of the developers, but really had little chance of getting a word in edge wise. I did check out some of the upcoming game. Spent about 30-40 minutes getting the low down on Soldier of Fortune 2, then stepped next door to Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which was wall to wall bodies. Hell, that’s nearly every inch of the convention center the past two days.
I am not sure if you are into the sport scene, but the EA line up looks solid again! As if that is any surprise. While we talk shit and trash Microsoft regarding their operating system, but their Flight Simulator 2002, looking incredible! Yeah, I know flame me. Who the f**k plays these? I DO! So, back off! It looks to top anything that has yet been released.

I am not into the console gaming, so I did not spend much time in that hall. Did see the Nintendo Cube and over in the PC the X-Box was on display and nearly impossible to get up to. But with all the screens and monitor, the system looks amazing! I am even considering one. Yeah, like I will wait in a line or even pre-oder one of these things. It’s a fad, it will go as quickly as it comes.

What better way to show off what E3 is about than with pictures. Here are another sixteen shots that will give you and idea as to what is going on this “industry trade shot.” So, kick back, check out the shots and I will wrap everything up tomorrow. Then we can look forward to QuakeCon. Rock on!!!














What better way to show off what E3 is about than with pictures. Here are another sixteen shots that will give you and idea as to what is going on this “industry trade shot.” So, kick back, check out the shots and I will wrap everything up tomorrow. Then we can look forward to QuakeCon. Rock on!!!

Day #1 of E3

You realize just how small of a fish you are when you head to a convention like this. Urban Terror? Silicon Ice Development? Who are they and what do they do? I am sure that would be the comment from many at a showing of his magnitude. That’s fine, they are neither a LARGE development company or bidding for Game of the Year in PC Gamer [although mod of the year would be cool!]. E3 began this morning at 10:00am and while I only hung out for about 3 hours, it was not nearly enough time to take everything in I wanted to. You can read, E3: Day #1, to get some idea what caught my eye, along with a flurry of pictures I was able to get. Look for more tomorrow, as I return for Day #2 and getting down and dirty with the booth babes….hahaha. Yeah, right.

Oswald Rant: E3 – Day 1: Overwhelming

When can a 31 year old feel like a kid again? Each year you attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo, better know though out the industry as E3. While this is only my second year, you can compare walking into the Los Angeles Convention Center, home to the expo, like a kid taking a walk though his first toy store. You know how you see something and start walking towards it, then something else catches your eye and you end up wandering aimlessly though thousands of square feet of exhibits.
The expo last three days, and I intend on hitting it each day, just to take in everything. Today I arrived about thirty minutes after the doors opened and it was already jam packed with expo goers. The registration lines were just outrageously long, thanks to the early registration, the closest I ever got to those lines were a picture from the mezzanine level.

The main hall was buzzing with excitement and anticipation, as I approached the glass doors that held the “Mecca” of the gaming world. Many of the exhibits and attractions seemed to have a ‘2’ attached to them: Unreal Tournament II, Soldier of Fortune 2, Return to Wolfenstein [not a ‘2’ but a sequel] and Aliens vs Predator 2. This also set the stage for what seemed to be many realism shooters debuting this year at E3.

While Counter-Strike was highly successful and still going strong, lesser name developers were showing off their projects which will compete for domination in the realism genre. Some of these titles include Operation Flashpoint and Global Operations being developed by Barking Dog Studios.

There are still others who will be looking to dominate this genre, one such title is THQ’s Red Faction or Max Payne by GOD Games and there is even a Sierra expansion pack called Half-Life: Blue Shift and the much talked about Halo by Bungie, all look to have some impact on the gaming community. Look for more deatils and more pictures as E3 rolls on over the course of the next few days. E3 is really more than just realism shooters, but since mods like Action Quake 2, Counter-Strike and even Urban Terror to a degree, help usher in this wave of shooters, it pays to check them out. But don’t fret, there will be more goodness to come.

While I spent most of my time checking out each exhibit today and did not pay close attention to detail, you can count on more info and shots from some of the big name games you are all looking forward too. What would E3 be without booth babes? It seems this is not the marketing strategy of 2001, as the number of booth babes was dramatically decreased from last year. Yeah, as if I am keeping count. But rest assured, where there is acrowd, there is a booth babe ready to pose with you or for you. Oh yeah, the line to get your photo taken with them at the Tecmo exhibit was better than 30 minutes. Ah no thanks, booth babes are not that important. Here are some of the other shots I took today, Day #1 of E3:









Look for more information as I will spend a few hours at Day #2 of E3.