Slow and Easy

Beta 2 development has gotten the best of me recently. Thus, no time for updates. With regular testing which happens daily, Silicon Ice Development is trying to get the mod completed sooner than later. Obvious statement, yeah I know. SID was able to update the Urban Terror Screenshots section with all new Beta 2 shots of the levels and the new models/skins which will debut in Beta 2.

eXKalibuR is back with some outstanding screenshots of his latest mapping attempt titled Museum. He was nice enough to send me the pk3 file to test it and provide him feedback as to where to changes and address problems spots. Overall, the level is large! Probably the largest level I have play tested to date, except for the ut_desert level by my 6th Floor crony, NRGizeR. The level would make for some interesting game mode variations, like Capture & Hold and Infiltrate. While this is just an early version look for the full release sometime after Beta 2. Here are a few shots from the Urban Terror Forums:

[SHOT #1] | [SHOT #2] | [SHOT #3] | [SHOT #4]
Many level designers keep inquiring about the new features for their Urban Terror levels. Features such as surface parameters, volumetric snow and rain, visible breathing, entities and spawn points. There are just a few which will be made available on Urban Terror, The 6th Floor and AMP web sites. Stay up to date on Urban Terror level design by visiting, The Level Design Forum on the Urban Terror Forums.

I know this thread was mentioned before, but if you are into mapping and I mean REALLY into mapping, then bookmark all the sites. This thread was started by AstroCreep over on the Quake3World Forums and lists many excellent reference sites for Quake III level design. So check it out!

One word of caution to those desiring to use Urban Terror or id Software related material on their non-id games,

 To The Freeman and any other “converters” who may be reading this thread. id Software does not permit content from the games it makes to be converted for or included in content made for other games. This means ALL content and ALL games. That means no models, meshes, skins, animations, textures, level designs, or code from our games is to appear in other games. If we wanted to have any other policy, we would say so.

If you have converted an id model or used an id texture on a model (or map), you have violated our copyright and the contract terms under which we license our game content to users. When we discover violations of our copyrights and trademarks, we will ask that any and all web sites displaying such content to remove them immediately … not just from visible web pages, but completely from the server. Giving credit to id for conversions to other game types is NOT acceptable to us. The converted content must come off the Internet and not be distributed in any manner.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact me directly.”

As Paul Jaquays was quoted, “That’s me, id’s big meanie, depriving poor gamers from using id content in their non-id games.” Rock on Paul! And yes, Urban Terror does fall under that copyright since we have signed the EULA with id Software.

Maybe you saw this, but there was someone at FilePlanet who posted this Urban Terror link, mistakenly reporting this as the “latest” version. The link actually shows a Beta 2 screenshot of the H&K G36 being fired. Oh well, not bad, 14,000+ downloads in three days. Hopefully this is a bit of foreshadowing as to what Beta 2 will do once released.

Redhot Mapping

Before we go into “tease mode” there was an excellent thread posted on the Quake3World Forums So all you mapper types, get your pens and pencils ready…its lineup time [okay, the baseball season is upon us too]. Astrocreep, Webmaster over there has begun a thread entitled, Post all your Level Editing Links here!!!. It features links for tools, manuals, tutorials, textures/shaders, terrain, map objects, Macintosh, sound effects, plug ins, architecture & level design, map packing utilities, review sites and a whole lot more. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you check it out and bookmark most, if not ALL of these sites since they provide great information in your mapping endeavors.

Speaking of mapping, I was talking to SweetnutZ and got a sneak peak at some of the “extra” work he has put into Casa. Gone are the boxy looking structures you can see in the Urban Terror Screen shots found on the web site. The map is a combination of architectural styles, taking Italian and Spanish influence and using them together. Since SweetnutZ is a 2D and graphic artist, his texturing is quite impressive. He has already been in contact with WetWired and BattleCow, both of whom have “provided real early feedback…and helped a lot” says SweetnutZ. Unfortunately with his job of finishing up the impressive looking user interface [UI], chances are this level will not be seen until after the release of Beta 2, with a few other surprises. Look for new screen shots in the future from Casa.

Thanks to TheSorus, who is a member of the clan DAWG, and a frequent visit to the Urban Terror Forums. He bought up an excellent point, that I missed when I read the April 2001 Issue of PCGamer. There was an article [on page 110 for those playing at home] in the Opinion Section under The Point After titled Specification Shock. While the authors take centered around the comparison of console vs PC sports games, his opinion did raise a few questions in my mind, as did some of his thoughts about computer gaming. “In my eyes, the problem is that PC sports developers are aiming way too low in the marketplace. By trying to appease those with lower-end systems, they wind up frustrating their actual target audience.” I think he is onto something here. I could be completely nuts for thinking this, but the fact remains, “If you build it, they will come” when talking about gamers.

Counter-Strike had flaws, still does depending on who you ask, but the mod is still the most successful undertaking in online gaming today. Why should SID have to sacrifice “quality” to appease those with lower-end systems? Hell, I cannot count the number of people who have said something to the effect of, “Oh yeah, I bought Quake III just for Urban Terror.” Does it stand to reason that, if the mod/game does not run well enough you will upgrade? Sure, to some point, be it more RAM, a new video card, faster processor. I can remember playing Quake 2 on my girlfriend’s IBM 233MHz Aptiva, with onboard sound and video, I dropped $249.99 on a Voodoo2 card. Why? To get the game to run better. More on this, as I think it will turn out to be a solid rant for Friday. Look for it.

I sure hope the Urban Terror Community is an excited as we are about Beta 2. Eight members of SID and one brother, spent about 2 hours last night playing Team Survivor, followed by an insanely intense game of Capture and Hold on Tub’s new map, Abbey. We really feel good about the progress which is coming along. All the pieces are falling into place. And damn that Apox. I never see him, yet I am always on the receiving end of weapons, catching bullets with my teeth. Just an incredible time! Stay tune and watch the Silicon Ice Development and Urban Terror web sites in the coming weeks.

Arcades. Denise. And peaches?

While spending more time at the ever so popular Quake3World Forums, I came across a thread from Astrocreep who is quite knowledgeable when it comes to mapping. He is beginning a series of tutorials called, Architectural Design for 3D Gaming. The first tutorial covers ‘Arcades’ and no these are not the places you go with a pocket funny of quarters to play video games. Click here to see what an arcade looks like. Keep checking back, these could prove quite a valuable tool for the mappers.

I can tell this update is going to hell….I am just not into it tonight. ON a happy not, definitely check out the flick ‘Wild Things’ with Denise Richards and Neve Campbell. Enough said! More tomorrow.

Today’s submission for Pic of the Day comes from GameTraveler who runs The GamepLAN here in SoCal. He dropped this gem on our LAN discussion list. Can you find the peach?

Damn she is hot!

By the title of today’s update, I am sure you are thinking I have some dashing redhead stuck on my mind. That is not the case. I am talking about the new screen shots available on Urban Terror feature the new female model, Athena. Check her out! She is one chick you do NOT want to piss off

Last month, Devlin, who is a community mapper contacted me and wanted to know if I was interested in posting his “rant” on realism. The article is titled, On the Side of Realism and talks about levels and how to give them that warm and fuzzy feeling, that some other mods might have missed. Check it out!

And you thought the Lightmap vs Vertex is just an Urban Terror problem. Not the case. I ran across this thread on the Quake3World Forums today. Is there a clear cut winner? Of course not. At least not until our poll is concluded. At any rate, if you want to voice your opinion, stop on over.

I am sure many of you heard there was another school shooting. This time a high school in San Diego, Santee High. The shooting claimed the lives of two and injured many others. Of course the media will play this piece up again and I am sure we will start to see more of those nonsense articles talking about how violent computer games breed violent kids. Of course that is complete bullshit in my opinion. What really got my goat today was when I was accused by a employee [a mother actually] that I am contributing to the violence in teenagers today by creating a “violent and mindless killing simulator.” This lady was about to go O.J. on my ass and lop my head off for my contribution to this delinquency. Please lady, back the f**k off! You have no idea what our “killing simulator” is about! So before you get the on that damn soapbox of yours and begin throwing accusations around, why don’t you step back and do some soul searching of your own and ask yourself, “Am I a good parent?” and “Is my child growing up in a good environment?” Don’t come up into my face bitch! I don’t need to hear it. Sorry, had to vent, this incident got me a bit frustrated today. Oh well, watch the gaming sites, I guarantee you those stories are coming. As always, Quake3World has a say on the issue.

The Link of the Day takes a shot at Counter-Strike, which still seems to be fairly nuevo. The link is called, Silly Grenades and Their Whacky Physics. As Apoxol responded, “ours will roll!” Indeed they will. Check it out.

Lightmap vs Vertex

Occasionally I screw up, if you had not noticed. I had one of those moments last night. I guess after 31 years, well the last 10 years I would have figured it out. DO NOT update the web site while under the influence of alcohol. I end up sticking my foot in my mouth, looking like, well a drunk.

I made the mistake last night of offering some incorrect information as it pertains to BattleCow and his upcoming level for Urban Terror Beta 2 called Uptown. I made reference to a spawn point which the red team uses as being less than satisfactory to say the least. We were playing Team Deathmatch or Deathmatch, while the spawn points were actually set up for Team Survivor and Infiltration. The problem has already been corrected and level designers, like BattleCow will be using new spawn point entries when mapping for the different game types.

There is a new poll up today. We want to know how you play Urban Terror, using lightmap or vertex and why. This is a relatively hot topic on the Urban Terror Forums recently and we just wanted everyone to voice their opinion and see where that leads us.

Found this piece of information over on the Quake3World Forums. It seems there is a guy working on an experimental Quake 3 Level Renderer. It might interest some of you, check it out.

For those of you looking to incorporate different into you map, check out this real world shot. Then check out some of those 1337 level designers who took on the challenge of reproducing them, here One guy named bushboy, probably had the best looking solution, but those are not available for download. But Hydra made his solution available for download.

Link of the Day goes out to those looking to settle a score and get even. “Yep, this is the site to really get your own back on mates and enemies…come on in and you’ll see what we mean !” Check out BeHorrible.com.

Coming tomorrow. A guided tour of Uptown by BattleCow and a mapping article from Devlin along with other 6th Floor goodness.