Twas the night before Christmas….

I thought about trying to remake that story based on Urban Terror and then decided I did not have the time, desire or effort to make it. But rest assured, I am sure someone in the community will come up with one. So I was MIA for the quiet release of 4.1. No real PR push or Urban Radio, since I was away at work with many more things on my mind than a release. There seems to be some good feedback and many are enjoying this version, which is a good thing.

As for work, I started by certification week today and things went very well. I even asked for help, which is what management and my peers want to see at this stage in training. So if I can get through the weekend, then I am gold. All I must remember are three small words. ASK FOR HELP! This has been a downfall for me recently, because I would be so focused on a single task that the rest of the system would be falling to pieces and I would fail to notice. That is not the type of person they want working. So as long as I remember everyone is there for me and at my disposal, then I should be fine because there is not much I cannot handle right now.

Christmas came early to our household, as the wife and I along with Zoom, our son opened all the gifts from my parents, as well as the wife and I exchanging gifts. I did call one of the gifts, Guitar Hero III. How and where she got it, I won’t ask, but I have it and have been playing for about 3 hours tonight. Also scored a cordless drill and seasons one and two of CSI. I made out. In return, I bought her a new Kenmore Elite microhood that goes above the matching stove, it is a combination microwave and hood.

More later I hear GHIII calling…

I’ll Take That Bet!

For viewers who play or follow Urban Terror you know there was a new and updated version of the game released on April 1. The development team and the majority of the community are in agreement, this a much better playing version that the previous, v3.7.

The Urban Terror Forums are always and interesting place to browse and since the release there has been a big influx of new gamers with new opinions into the community. This is a GREAT thing! One of the more recent threads started in the General Urban Terror Discussion was titled, “Which is the best new addition in 4.0?”

An overwhelming percentage of the comments cite hit detection as the biggest improvement. I think nearly everyone who has been around for some time and played 3.7 or some of the older versions will tend to agree. The new feel to the hit detection is almost immediately noticed due to changes in how hits are detected. This too, is a GREAT thing.

Amazingly enough, up until today there was no one who thought differently about the new hit detection. Then it happened. We had a gamer who contends, “3.7 had no problems with hit detection.” Wow! Talk about dropping a bomb. “No problems?” We on the development team even said there were hit detection issues dating back to the introduction of the ARIES hit code. This gamer also claims [hit detection] is, “more of a bug fix than a feature or new map…not impressed.”

Those are some pretty bold claims there, junior. Needless to the say the community tears his comments to shreds. Their comment of, “bigger models are a crutch in my opinion…but if it makes people like you feel like there is now better hit detection then more power to you,” this in response to a few comments directed to him.

As the thread progresses there is back and forth comments about why the hit detection is better or why 3.7 was not perfect. In the end he says, “I give 3 months to a year before the same people that complained before are whining about hit code again.” That is a pretty bold statement, so bold in fact he is willing to put up $50 “that in 6 months we will have the same amount of people complaining about hit detection even though the detection is now solid.”

So, I challenged him and took the bet. So come October 20 we will see how the community feels about the current hit detection. Outside of this one gamer I have yet to hear any issues regarding how hits are detected. Even those who pissed and moan about everything else in the release agree we have “got it right” in regards to the hit detection. If that is the case, how can so many gamers be wrong, and this one individual be right?

I would like YOUR feedback on this. Come October 20 if you feel the hit detection is no better than it was in 3.7, send me an e-mail. I tend to think I will be $50 richer on that day, but who knows maybe he knows something I don’t. We are only 3 weeks into Urban Terror 4.0, but so far it has been a very strong showing for the game and hit detection.

Blood. Sweat. Cheers.

This is always an exciting time for the development team, as the hours tick down and we close in on release day. I wish I was scheduled different hours these past few weeks to offer up my services to BladeKiller because she has been the “heart and soul” of this development cycle. Without her strength, the mod would not be where it is right now, on the verge of release. I am quite sure she is a ball of stress and she works feverishly to get everything completed and packaged for the April 1 release.

Woekele has been a welcomed addition to the team. He works very well with TwentySeven and BladeKiller as the team continues to push forward. The same can be said for QA, many of the testers, for example [T]Stone seems to be around all the time and willing to lend his services to testing as a moment’s notice.

My stress level is starting to build as we get closer to Sunday. I am still working on coordinating the release and will maintain the files and provide those individuals with access in order to host the files. The release party on Urban Radio will get the festivities started. And if previous shows are any indication, I am sure many will be calling for the files even before the show begins. Patience my little minions, you will have to wait until the show is over.

The effort of the development team might go unnoticed once you finally drop into a server and play the new version of Urban Terror. Many countless hours of blood, sweat and more blood make it all worth it when the files are released and gamers are populating servers at a rising rate. Hopefully the decisions Frozen Sand has made over the course of this development cycle will help equate to a success and popular release of Urban Terror.

Many gamers ask me, or tell me, “Urban Terror is dead.” I beg to differ on many levels. Our core community is strong and I am sure they would follow us regardless of what game we were working on and offer up their services to help test. There are still leagues that support Urban Terror, so the competitive side of Urban Terror still lives, although it has been dwindling at a good rate, this release will give it a shot in the arm and I think we will see more clans participate. The functionality of the stand-alone files and the impending support of BattlEye means that ANYONE without Quake III Arena will be able to play the game.

These are just a few factors that lead me to believe the game will continue to see success in the community, on public servers and in leagues. Hopefully this will mean a larger community that continues to play and support Urban Terror for a few more years. The development team continues to support a game they love and I am sure the same will hold true for those in the community.

Urban Fools Day

Okay, so I am a few days late actually announcing the release of Urban Terror on my site. I figure many of you who visit already are aware of the date (time TBA) and are looking forward to the release.

As a gamer I am excited for this release. Sure there are other “prettier” games out there to play, but I still feel that Urban Terror has solid game play and that is what keeps many coming back for more. I don’t game as much as I once did, attending a LAN party on a weekly basis for 2 years, but I still enjoy sitting down and playing a game that will entertain and keep my attention. Hard to do, but it can be accomplished.

Aside from Urban Terror there have been some retail games that have made their way onto my HDDs and survived for an extended period of time. Going back “old school”, Quake II and Action Quake 2 were probably the first that kept me coming back for more over the course of a few years. It was Quake II that got me interested in PCs (as I was a Mac guy) followed by AQ2 and CTF that we played faithfully at our LAN.

More recently my attention has been focused on the console world. I bought the Xbox a few years back and had it modded, so I did not have to buy games, but rented and burned them to the 100+GB HDD I installed. For sports games, consoles are where it’s at, I never did like playing sports games on the PC. More recently it was my poor decision to buy an Xbox 360, which has been a real letdown overall. The games have not been impressive from a game play point of view. Either the controls suck or the game play just lags. Maddedn 07 is a prime example.

So while I love my PC and gaming, it’s much quicker to plop on the couch and kick out a few quick games of soccer or football than search for a server to play, say BF2 on. But I think Urban Terror will help renew that interest in PC gaming. While the mod was never the biggest, best or most popular it is something special. As a development team member for 7 years, the only original one remaining it holds a special place in my heart.

The longevity of games these days are really short lived. Developers and publishers are out to make a buck more than a good game. Ask INVIS about his experience working on Medal of Honor expansion pack. Da horror! If asked, “Would you like to be profiting from Urban Terror?” I think we would all emphatically say “YES!” But the reality of the situation is we don’t, haven’t and probably won’t unless we happen to score a development deal to create Urban Terror as a retail project.

So April 1 will be an exciting day for all. The development team members (God bless BladeKiller, woekele and 27) and community are all looking very forward to the release. It has been a very LONG time for everyone which culminates in a great professional package. No longer is Quake III Arena required. The possibility of BattlEye providing anti-cheat support could spur an entire new influx of gamers. So the prospect are looking very good for the game and community.

The NEW Urban Terror

Not that I am looking to give out super secret information on this site, which at one time was home to Action Quake 2 and Urban Terror level reviews, but it’s amazing how far a little information goes. Okay, so today’s update, “Day 2 – Community Expectations” was much longer than anticipated. Guess I lost track of time last night at work when composing it. And yes Mech, 25 more days to go, sorta feels like Christmas, eh?

Not really sure what to say, I know I am excited about this release, now that I have something to do. I am sure some Urban Terror gamers will tear me a new one because I was not keeping them up to date on our development. You know what? This was our decision, not mine, we, as a team decided we were not going to release any information or screenshots, outside of levels that were nearing completion. Why? Because if on the off chance something did not make it into the final release, we did not want to get the hopes of the community up, only to have them dashed because a cool feature would not be included. Makes sense to the development team. Then again, we know [alledgely] what we doing.

I will let you in on this, for those who read this site before checking the Urban Terror site for an update. Day 3 will feature the first screenshots of models/weapons. That is really all I am going to give you. In fact I just got off the server with Tango_ii and BladeKiller as we posed for pictures that will be used in the coming updates. If I had boobs and wore a skirt you would call me a tease.

So, the question remains, “Is Urban Terror poised for a comeback?” Spellbinder, don’t answer I know what you think. Honestly, maybe you are right and the best days are behind us. But, with everything we are going to announce in the coming days, I think it will only build a stronger commuinty, introduce new gamers and breath new life into the game. That is our hope, as this game provides us a great stepping off point for future development.