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Jun 17th 2003 - 05:50:43pm
Game Mode: Bomb/Defuse
One of the most anticipated features for Urban Terror 3 is the implementation of the Bomb/Defuse game mode. This is a feature that has been discussed going back to the Beta 2 development cycle. Unfortunately, during that time we just did not have the resources to support the game mode.

Like other games that feature a bomb mode, the basic rules will be similar in Urban Terror. The Red Team will always be the attacking team with the bomb, while the Blue Team will try to prevent the Red Team from accomplishing their objective. When the round begins, the bomb will randomly spawn with a Red Team player. Provided they are able to accomplish the objective, they will keep the bomb. If they die or pass it to another team mate, they'll start spawning with it or another player will be selected. This way, if a team has a designated bomb carrier, they'll only have to "pass" the bomb at the spawn if thei carrier did not make the plant in the previous round. If bomb mode is being played outside of 'match mode' then the teams will automatically swap sides at the midpoint of the map time.



Each level will have two plant points (Bomb Site A & B), designated by a pulsating, red bulls eye on the ground. As the bomb carrier approaches the site, they will need to select the bomb from inventory and move near the marker and press the fire key in order to arm the bomb. Once the bomb is armed, it is automatically dropped, with a message on the screen alerting gamers of that fact.

By default, the bomb will explode in 45 seconds if not defused by the Blue Team. Once a defensive player approaches the bomb it will take 15 seconds to disarm the bomb and avert the impending explosion. While defusing the bomb, a defuse bar will show your progress, as there are also tone changes as the bomb gets closer to exploding, followed by an onscreen countdown from three seconds. Both of these times are recommended defaults by Silicon Ice Development, but they can be changed by the server admin through a server side cvar.



Bomb mode features all new code and animations, including a massive explosion, fire and shock wave effect, if the bomb is detonated. The bomb sites are also located on the mini map as red, pulsating markers. Many of the current Urban Terror levels have been updated in order to allow for game play. Some of the levels that will support this new game mode are, Village2, Revolution, Sanctuary, Crenshaw and Druglord3. There have also been updates to levels like Abbey and Casa so you can play Bomb/Defuse.
By : [Laus]Freshman
Source : Urban Terror

Jun 11th 2003 - 09:07:13am
Urban Terror Server Directory
Silicon Ice Development proudly re-introduces our Online Server Directory for Urban Terror, located at servers.urbanterror.net. This application is actually a series of components working together to bring you this powerful web-based utility. The directory allows gamers to quickly and easily find a game server that meets their fragging requirements. The server list is sortable and can be filtered by several different attributes including gametype, empty/full, and Punkbuster support -- just like the ingame server browser but no refresh is required! Click a server in the list to see its current settings and LIVE status. There's even a graph that illustrates the server's overall activity level!

The Play Now! button allows gamers to connect directly to the game server from the web browser. Current support is included for Win32 and Linux clients. Click the help link below the Play Now! button for instructions on configuring your PC to work with this cool feature.



Perhaps the most powerful feature of the online directory is the player search. Click the Find Players link and enter your search string -- the application will show you a list of matching players currently gaming! This feature is great for clanners -- simply enter your clan tag to find all of your teammates.

Behind the scenes are a couple of applications which make this all possible. A scanning utility checks the status of each Urban Terror server every 3 minutes. The information this application collects is added to the database that drives the server directory. If you run a server and cannot find it in the list, then you are probably not reporting to our master server. Add "master.urbanterror.net" to your server's configuration and within minutes you should find your server in our directory.

Long time Urban Terror gamers might remember a similar application called TerrorStrike that BASiLiSK worked on before joining the development team. This is that same application with new enhancements and features. Check it out! For problems and questions please go to the Website Support & Questions Forum. This link will take you to the thread that has been created to deal with problems client run into.
By : Pingvin
Source : Urban Terror

Jun 4th 2003 - 09:31:16am
Beta 3 Weapon: IMI Negev
By now many are aware of the new weapon that is being implemented in Beta 3 called the IMI Negev, a 5.56mm NATO, belt-fed (150 rounds) light machine gun. In Urban Terror, the weapon will probably be used as a defensive weapon, in order to chew up and spit out enemy opponents.



The IMI Negev has some special characterisitics that are unqiue if selected. First, stamina burn is quicker than if you load out with any other weapon. This is the only weapon in the Urban Terror arsenal that has an encumberance penalty. Second, if you select the IMI Negev as your primary weapon, you will not be able to carry or pick up a secondary weapon. This weapon also comes with an extra 150 round belt. That's a whole lot of spammage!



Initially for Beta 3 we planned on including two other weapons for release, including the Remington m870 shotgun and the FN P90 sub-machine gun. Since we moved up the date on the release of Beta 3, regretably neither of these weapons will be available in the next release. Both weapons are modelled and skinned, but not yet animated or tested for game play. These weapons will be included in a future patch released by Silicon Ice Development.
By : Pingvin
Source : Urban Terror

Jun 1st 2003 - 02:29:02pm
Dick Dastardly . Plan Update
Hi all,
Well, I thought it was time I let you all know what I've been up to since joining SID: Firstly, I've released a couple of early versions of my new map ut_nimrod to the QA team. As you may have read elsewhere, this map is (very loosely) based on the storming of the Iranian embassy in London by the SAS back in 1980, although the action takes place in a hotel rather than an embassy. This map contains a few suprises which I think you're going to like and I'm really pleased with the way it plays, but I still need to add quite a bit more detail and new textures.

The three screenshots below show some of the areas which are closest to being final, although there are still some temporary textures in them. The first shows one of the hotel bedrooms (which contains what I think I'm right in saying is Urban Terror's first trouser press); the second shows part of the library and includes some of the new sofa and chair models I've been working on; and the third was taken in the TV room, and again shows some more new furniture.





I've also been lucky enough to have a chance to update one of my favourite maps, ut_casa, for beta 3. (Although as |NV|S pointed out, given the map's popularity, people are likely to show up at my door with pitchforks and lanterns if I screw it up, so I've been spending a lot of time on it). The new version supports all gametypes (including the new bomb mode) and also features new routes and quite a few minor graphical tweaks. Thanks to the new func_walls entity, the layout changes depending on the gametype, enabling me to keep the map's great TS play whilst opening up some new areas for CTF.

In the first shot below, you can see the red flag and the exits from the new CTF spawn rooms; the second shot shows part of one of the new routes; and the final picture is a view from near the fountain in which you can see the distant rooftops are now being drawn properly (no more flickering in and out of sight). N.B. The skybox in these shots is still very much a work in progress.





Anyway, that's about it from me, I'll just close by saying you have a real treat in store with beta 3.0 - the whole team have been working their asses off to bring you great new gameplay, features, weapons, sounds, skins and maps, and if you enjoy playing it even half as much as I do, you'll have a hell of a good time.
Cheers,
DD
By : Pingvin

May 30th 2003 - 10:11:21pm
Get Wet & Wired
One level designer who has not received much attention recently has been WetWired. For those new to Urban Terror you might remember some of his Action Quake 2 levels, for example beer and nobeer. After some persuasion during the early years of Urban Terror, he was asked to join the development team and lend his talents to the mod.
His release of ut_revolution, at the time of Beta 2 was the "flagship" level for our release. Unfortunately, with some changes in development the level never really got the credit it deserved. The level was meant to be played in a game mode form, for example an attack/defend type of scenario. Since that was not included in Beta 2, the level received some bad publicity and really just faded away.



For Beta 3 WetWired's level, ut_precinct will be making its Urban Terror debut. By far one of the better all around levels that will be release. One thing WetWired can do is take all the aspects of level design into account and release a damn fine level. Revolution is a testament to that, except the timing was off.

There has not been much mentioned about Precinct from the band of testers helping Silicon Ice Development play test the build before it is released. The level is comparable to that of ut_swim by NRGizeR. How's that you ask? Well, first off it is a completely indoor level, with narrow hallways, stairwells, offices and an elevator. Snipers will tend to shy away from this level as it is probably going to feel a be "tight" to them. This is a true shotgun level! At last check, the level was set up for Team Survivor, Capture & Hold and CTF.

SID has not decided on the full complement of levels to be included in the distribution...yet. This list will be made public shortly. I mentioned this on the Urban Terror web site. Right now, there are MANY levels being tested, tweaked and updated. Probably more than should have. But nonetheless, the entire level design team has really come together and are working collectively as a group, it's awesome to see. Props to Dragonne, BladeKiller, RabidCow, Dick Dastardly, SweetnutZ, Bar-B-Q, INVIS, with help from thnom and QueenBee.
By : Pingvin

May 30th 2003 - 07:41:08pm
Beta 3 User Interface
In order to simplify console commands and allow better match control, we have updated the user interface to include some of the more common commands that will be used in the upcoming release. As we discussed in our last update, we enlisted the services of thnom from the community to help update our existing game menus to allow for better interface and more functionality.



The START SERVER menu now has a new layout that includes a preview of levels, along with color coded bot support for team games. PLAYER menu has changed within the code, for gamers to select sex and race, not allowing them to have all the control selecting individual skins as in previous versions. A new addition under the PLAYER is a menu for our newly coded match mode. There are three commands that will be listed: READY, CAPTAIN and SUBSTITUTE. The READY command tells the server that you are ready to begin the match. CAPTAIN will let the server know which team member is in charge, while SUBSTITUTE will allow a gamer to spectate and talk to their team without being selected to play.



We have taken some of the hassle of using console commands and included those in the OPTIONS menu. The new commands include MINI-MAP POSITION that allows you to toggle all the screen positions for the mini map. You will also be able to change your field of view (FOV), set to the default of 90 to the medium (100) or low (110) setting. Finally, the DRAW HUD will let you toggle the heads up display (HUD) from the menu. The 'ENABLE PB' and 'CROSSHAIR SETUP' shown in the bottom right of the OPTIONS menu will let you toggle PunkBuster and configure the type and size of your crosshair.

The RCON menu now has four sub menus included: ADMIN, PLAYER, PB and OPTIONS. The admin will now be able to control the match from the user interface. Common admin commands include: reload map, next map, map pause, swap teams, shuffle teams, match mode (on/off) and the rcon password. Some of these new admin commands were discussed in the previous news post.



The second tab under RCON is labelled, PLAYER and will allow the admin to slap, kick or ban a given gamer on the server. The admin selects a name from the list of gamers on the server and the appropriate action. There are some basic PunkBuster commands listed under the PB menu. For a description of their use read PunkBuster for Server Administrators. The final menu is the OPTIONS tab, with five options: toggling friendly fire, allowing voting on the server, provide respawn protection, force spectating and flood protect.
By : Pingvin
Source : Urban Terror

May 27th 2003 - 09:42:23am
Where is Urban Terror 2.7?
The question on nearly everyone's mind is, "Where is 2.7?" Let me be the first to break the news. There will not be an Urban Terror 2.7. The overall scope of this current development cycle has undergone changes in the course of the last four months. Originally, the "next" planned release was to be called "2.6b", that addressed bugs and server side issues. That plan was revised and we decided to move ahead with what the community came to know as Beta 2.7. At this point in the development cycle, we are much further along (we'll get into details shortly) in development that we have decided to call the next Urban Terror release, Beta 3.0. So what does that mean to you, the community? Keep reading and we'll shed some light on what we've been working on since our 2.6a release in January.

First off, Beta 3.0 will be completely repacked; gone are the seven pak files from your 'q3ut2' directory, replaced by a single, trimmed down pak file. Right now, we only have estimates for the final release, but once it's confirmed we will pass along the total size. Remember by repacking the files, many duplicate files will be removed, including .tga, .jpgs and .bsp files (ever see the size of some of those .bsp files for the maps?). So, while this new pack will be a considerably larger download than an update, it will allow us to clean up much of the mess we have made getting to this point. Now, onto some of the details from the development team.

Let's start off by debunking some of the "myths" between ARIES and ARIES2. When completely rewritten by TwentySeven, the new hit detection will be dubbed, "ZEUS" (that's ARIES father). But, for Beta 3.0, ARIES has been updated.

"ARIES is ONLY responsible for determining which part of the player model gets hit once the bullet has already hit the players bounding box. Yes, it's not entirely perfect, but it's not the cause of "missed shots" or "ghost bullets" or "@!#?$& hit detection", says TwentySeven.

He continues, "You can pretty much test it yourself. A player standing still means the bounding box is not moving around, so it eliminates the rest of the net code being a factor. If you goof around and stick god mode on, you should be able to find a few areas on the hit meshes which allow you to put a bullet through the very edge in certain places of someone's arm or kevlar without it registering a hit. Pretty much all center-of-mass stuff works as expected, however.

The causes behind most of the "missed shots" in the game isn't ARIES, it was the rest of the system that positioned that bounding box in the first place - the "anti lag" system. Now THAT has had a lot of attention paid to it in the last development cycle (2.7) and the issues we've encountered and fixed have made "us" (SID) and "them" (QA) pretty damn happy with where we're at."

To summarize what you can expect in the next release: no longer an issue aiming between LPB's and HPB's, no longer an issue having a full server and the hit detection going to @!#?, no longer an issue of having ghost bullets, unless you really are just crap or the person you're shooting at is 999'ing out. There will still be a small issue with certain animations not having a flawless hit mesh to work off of (climbing and swimming being the worst), those will be addressed at a later date. "The real reason ARIES2 was being implemented was not solely to address the flaws in ARIES (which aren't really that big a deal in 99% of play cases). We simply lost the ability to produce ARIES hit meshes (they were made two years ago!), so we had to come up with something new so we could include the new player models in the game," concluded TwentySeven.



In order to make player models more visible, BladeKiller and Miles have been working on cleaning up and modifying player skins. As you can see from the screen shots, both team skins stand out against a background environment like ut_casa. The skins pictured above are called TAG and SWAT. Once we have all the skins completed, we will show you all three sets together. Along with the new skins, TwentySeven has completed coding the skin set per map code that loads the skins according to the set.txt file. Miles adds, "sleeves and gloves have been added to the cobra team (all teams infact) and replaced their knit-caps with wetsuit hoods. Currently I am redoing the desert team and its looking really good so far. I may have the G36 finished once player skins are done...also a possible shoulder patch to identify a player as a medic rather than the backpack."

We have enlisted the services of thnom, from the community, to help update some of the 2D graphics, including the user interface (UI). Some of the new features include a new layout with map preview and color coded bot support when starting a server. He added a new "matchmode" menu (under PLAYER) that is controlled from inside the game to allow you to "READY," when you are set to play, "CAPTAIN" tells the server you are the captain and "SUBSTITUTE" meaning you can only spectate your team and talk, while not being selected to play. Under the 'MENU' tab you now have the option of changing weather effects, positioning the minimap, resizing the FOV and drawing the HUD. You can also enable PunkBuster from inside the menu, no more typing, pb_cl_enable in the console.

For the admins, we have implemented some new features in order to make their job easier when involved in a match. The new commands consist of: restart map, reload map, next map, map pause, swap teams, shuffle teams, matchmode (on/off) and password (rcon password). Some of these are new for the upcoming release, swap teams will do just that (mainly for bomb/defuse mode). Shuffle teams will take the current player list and shuffle them, while matchmode (including auto demos) will assist in league play and organized scrimmages.



Many of the levels that will be included in Urban Terror Beta 3 are still being finished. Many have seen some sort of modification, due to the implementation of the new bomb/defuse gamemode being introduced. Other levels, such as ut_village2 and ut_casa have been updated to include CTF. Fear not, as I can see you cringing about the update to ut_casa. The coders have created a new tool called a func_wall that will allow a level designer to close off areas of the level depending on what gamemode is being played. So you purists who yearn for the original ut_casa in Team Survivor need not worry; the original is still there.



The list of levels to be included for Beta 3.0 has not been finalized quite yet, but you can expect to see approximately five levels per gamemode (TS/TDM CTF, Bomb) along some other "new additions" for the distribution. Pictured today, we feature screen shots from ut_siberia by SweetnutZ, ut_streets2 and ut_crenshaw by INVIS. These are some of the modifications we have made to the existing and new levels. You will also see some of the original levels, such as ut_docks updated for CTF, thanks to the use of the func_doors in GTKRadiant, we now have the ability to make one-way doors, that will allow teams to spawn in safety, without having to contend with grenade spam when they respawn. Another level getting an update is ut_ricochet, originally designed by WetWired. Dragonne has made some changes to the level, adding the new bomb/defuse mode, along with updating the spawn points, adding some new access routes and removing that red car, in favor for a white truck. Bar-B-Q has been quite busy, revamping ut_mines, ut_rommel and and ut_sanctuary, by adding the new bomb/defuse gamemode to them.



This is the culmination of the past four months and there is still more information we did not discuss, along with rounding out all the levels. There have, and continue to be bug fixes and modifications to the game code, including new animations (Negev) and sounds for the AK-103, IMI Negev, the SR-8 and the explosion of the bomb, courtesy of Bar-B-Q. As we get closer to our "code freeze" we will release more screen shots, videos (DiVX required) and information about the upcoming release.
By : Pingvin
Source : Urban Terror

May 25th 2003 - 11:49:13pm
Call For Help
When is comes to online gaming communities, the development team believes the Urban Terror is one of the best, well manored going. No, really! There are many great people in the community who continue to support and assist the community, a testament to the relationship between the gamers and the development team.

While we are still working on the "next" release, we put out a small call for help. As you know, most of what you see from the development and community sites comes to you without having to shell out any cash. I even commented on it during my recent trip to San Francisco, for the in studio taping of The Screen Savers.

Many have help to shape the community into what it is today, but we are looking for some help to finish out the year, without having to resort to "other means" when it comes to continuing to host our forums and urbanterror.net web site. The donations we received last year via our PayPal button on urbanterror.net were able to succesfully pay off about 90% of our hosting costs.

We again turn to the community in order to help offset some of the costs we continue to incur as development rolls along. I can already see some of the comments rolling in, "Well, where is 2.7?" "Give us something before we give you money!" And in due time we will, as you will read on the Urban Terror web site in the next few days.

We do not require anyone to donate. If you do not want to donate, that is fine, continue enjoying the mod and playing in the leagues and community. But, we are thankful to those who help SID offset some of the costs. If you feel the need to donate, then click the PayPal button on urbanterror.net.
By : Pingvin

May 7th 2003 - 10:30:36pm
Cover this !
This started as an april fools joke, but we thought we would modify it and release it to the community. It's a little thing that me and [Laus]Rednex whipped up in a matter of minutes or something



You can download the cover in full resolution (300 dpi) here (approx. 8 MB). Anyone is free to mirror this if they want. Our server sux!

Don't forget to read the fine print on the back !
By : Pingvin

May 7th 2003 - 12:52:41pm
Enhanced Bot AI
Since the early days of Urban Terror, there has been a continued interest in the development team improving the current bot code. Not since GottaBeKD, that is going back to 2000 have we had someone whose primary focus was bot AI. I guess we can all agree that some bot code is better than none, but it could be better...

Recently, we have been in contact with a coder who goes by the name of AxonMisFire. His interest is two fold when it comes to AI and the implementation, or shall we say enhancement of the bot AI. Currently, he and his research team at the University of Texas, Arlington are working on bots in a given environment. Based on previous conversations, getting the bots to move and act in the Urban Terror (Quake 3) environment is something that is of interest to both his personal research and the development team.

Currently, he is working with the code base. While no real window has been set or talk about merging the current code base with that of the bot code, the wheels are in motion to bring "smart" bots to life in Urban Terror. No more seeing Chicken running around in circles shooting at the ground or Cockroach running right past you, until you fire a shot. We will update you on the process as it relates to the bots and get AxonMisfire to give you a bit more information.
By : Pingvin
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