sign the petition…

Now normally I don’t support any petitions, but I found an interesting thread on the Urban Terror Forums titled, Online petition to rescue Oswalds gaming rig started by Hippie of PIT and UAA.

You see, my computer has been held hostage, stuck in the world of Guild Wars, which I will refer to as “Guilt Wars” from this point on. My wife, I love her A LOT had issues with a Dell she built with a former clan mate. Well unfortunately the computer went tits up and didn’t even last a year.

She contacted Dell who contacted a tech to look at it and it’s been a complete SNAFU on the part of Dell. Bottom line, Dell built her a new computer that is actually better then what she had. In the meantime I was persuaded to loan her my game rig, after being told I had three computers and I had not offered to let her use one of them. Pfft…yeah.

So being the supportive and loving husband I am, I disconnected all the extra wires and connectors that were connected to my game rig, which doubles as my video/audio rig for Urban Radio. I even let her install Guilt Wars…sigh. Yes, my box is corrupted. All audio settings were changed so she could spend her precious time doing wizard shit in lands I cannot pronounce.

With any luck I could have my game rig back in the computer room by this week (Tuesday possibly?) and on the road to an Urban Radio show this weekend. Lord knows how much work I have ahead in order to get all the audio settings back to where I can broadcast and stream Urban Radio to the community.

I am looking forward to firing up UrbanTerror TV and getting some feedback from the community on what they think of it. UrTV was revealed to the community this week on the UT Forums. Many like the concept, so hopefully we can use it to the benefit of Urban Terror.

Reaction: Gamers Like FREE!

Oddly enough, it seems a gamer in the Urban Terror Community was a step quicker than myself yesterday when I wrote the piece title Gamers Like Free! Impy from the Urban Terror Forums posted here, “sent the editor a message the other day and he said he would check it out,” in reference to Urban Terror.

Over on Scott Sharkey’s 1UP Blog he comments, “Every year we strive toward perfection- the platonic ideal of an article encompassing every damn free game worth playing, but it always just escapes my grasp. Every time a handful of games slip through my fingers at the very end. Stuff like Quake 3-based Urban Terror…

Well he did strive and forgot one free, quality game in Urban Terror. No worries Scott we forgive you. Just make sure you make up for that mistake by promoting Urban Terror in the Freeloader section of GfW. LOL. Then and only then will things be perfect. So if you want to see your Urban Terror pimped, e-mail Scott and let him know.

Urban Terror: Your Life Breath?

While Urban Terror might not be the biggest, the best or most popular mod/game in the electronic entertain industry, we have a very strong following. When it comes to gamers I feel we still have a very strong and dedicated group of gamers who make up the foundation upon which our community has been created. Many are passionate about “their game” and how it plays from version to version.

Of course there is a [usually] small contingent who are disgruntled, upset with development decisions or just never seem to get “their way” when it comes to “their game.” These gamers for one reason or another set out to ruin the fun and enjoyment surrounds Urban Terror from IRC to the Urban Terror Forums to online game play. Some attempts are rather obvious when it comes to hacks or exploits (read cheats) used by gamers for whatever reason. “I just wanted to see what this cheat would do.” Sorry, that’s a line of BS!

Some gamers and supporters of Urban Terror have gone as far as to offer support in the form of file hosting or web sites in order to support the game. Hell, we have our forums and web site hosted by a community member who has never asked for a penny from us, yet we contributed whenever we can in order to offset some of his costs. But the point I am trying to make is, gamers continue to support a 9 year old game. That in itself is just awesome.

Many in the community also understand the development is not paid for their development efforts. Many of us over the years have 40-hour a week jobs, not necessarily related to computer gaming. Some in the past thanks in part to Urban Terror have helped them ascend to a professional development studio like Bungie and Ravensoft. Those past and present put in countless hours of working and supporting the game.

Hopefully gamers can remember we are just like them, avid gamers to varying degrees. While we design,develop and support Urban Terror, it is input and feedback that help to improve the game. Many in the community are understanding when it comes to change. Yeah, we know you hate change, but sometimes change is necessary. Hopefully gamers won’t become belligerent and unruly on IRC of the forums when something they liked [read weapon] has been changed or removed [read flashlight…lol]. Many gamers will take these changes in stride and work on developing their current skills in order to acclimate their style of play to the new version of Urban Terror.

So what’s my point with all these? Not really sure, as I don’t intend to call out anyone in particular. That would be counterproductive. This has been too long of a journey in which I have met many great gamers and people who have played Urban Terror faithfully over the years. Hopefully many keep it in the back of their mind we have jobs and families and other responsibilities to tend to. While Urban Terror might be their life breath, sometimes we, as developers have to take a step back in order to catch our breath.

For Sale: Urban Terror?

Gamers continue to question the future of Urban Terror after it was mentioned a few times on the Urban Terror Forums that version 4.1 would possibly be the final version of the game. It has been nearly 8 years that the development team has been working on the Quake 3 mod (now stand alone game) that started in late 1999. To this point there has not been $1 made by the team off the development of Urban Terror.

I know BladeKiller and I mentioned this years ago, but we need to have closure on the game. At this point in time I feel we are very close to doing that, but it does not mean the game dies. The community does not see it that way. A day does not go by that I am receiving an e-mail or IRC message asking what are plans are for 4.2 or why Urban Terror is not going to be retail or why we are “quitting.”

First, let me say we have not quit in the past 8 years and we don’t intend to start now. Since most mods are never finished we wanted to put finish the mod and move on to new ventures. So yes, that could mean that at some point in the future there will not be any further development on the Quake 3 version of Urban Terror. It is then up to the community to keep the game alive, but based on the comments I see that won’t happen. If the team is not involved, then supposedly the game is dead.

We retain all rights to the Quake 3 version of Urban Terror. We own a Trademark on the name, “Urban Terror” which means we can use it as a software title in the future. When we were planning MX, we had ideas of taking Urban Terror to a new engine. Will that happen? Right now it is hard to say, I would not rule it out but we won’t commit to anything.

Does there need to be a 4.2? LOL. How about we get 4.1 out before gamers start jumping down our throat for a new version. Honestly, I have no idea where we are on the release of 4.1. I have been out of the loop on development due to work related training (yes, real life, which pays the bills overriding a FREE game). I have no doubts that TwentySeven and BladeKiller will know when the release is ready.

So what is the future for FrozenSand? Urban Terror? We are not saying right now. The team has been working hard on different aspects of development. Will the Quake 3 engine be involved? Again, it’s difficult to say, I would say probably not as it is old technology. We need to look forward to the next generation engines and see what that holds for any future versions (possibly retail) of Urban Terror. I won’t even go into the challenges (costs) of developing a retail project.

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.