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Urban Terror News



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The Story Of Urban Terror HD

in Urban Terror - posted Friday, 01 November 2019 by FrozenSand
Where did 'HD' come from?

Ah...back in the days.....back around the time all those High Definition products were being released... so shiny... so new... we thought we would jump on the bandwagon and bring out a High Definition game.

One second... I've just had word...

My bad, I've made a serious mistake here... you see here at FS HQ we have 3 departments to seek answers from. They would be Answers, Answers with Thought, and Correct Answers... I confess I only spoke to the 'Answers' guys cause I get a set of free steak knives with every result. I won't be going to them again... they really just make fun of me for not knowing whatever it is, and then send me on my way with some answer out of a hat.

Remind me to fire them at some point... maybe after I get my steak knives.

So after contacting the 'Correct Answers' department I have it on good authority that 'High Definition' has absolutely nothing to do with 'Urban Terror HD' at all. Wow ok... the High Def thing seemed so legit didn't it...

It actually stands for 'HEAVY DUTY'! Righto! We learn something new everyday, and today is no exception! I will pass this onto the Answers Department also... :P

Some history before we begin

So you remember DOOM? Well, id Software made that - they're a game development company who have been around since the 90's and have made fantastic developments in video game technologies for the PC, and in particular their work in 3D computer graphics technology and game engines has been very important. Their engine idTech3, popularly called the Quake3 engine has been used for a number of games including their own Quake 3 and of course Urban Terror (people also tend to call the engine by the version of the game it came out with, so to use this as an example, we were after the Quake 3 1.32b engine, so confusing isn't it!). Just for ease we will call it idTech3 from here on in.

So back when Quake 3 was released they allowed teams of modders to mod the game, but only by using the QVM. The QVM in essence is like this little wart on top of the big engine. You can do some things with it, and it links to the engine, but you are never really touching the engine itself. So anyway, you could play with the QVM, and make mods of the game itself but you had to comply with the licensing conditions. That's how we began! As a team of modders in 1999-2000 who used that mod license to create a quake 3 mod, which was running on Quake 3.

Urban Terror as you know it today

On August 19 2005, id Software released the idTech3 source code - under the GNU General Public License. If you wanted to modify the engine however, and keep the modifications closed source (private), you had to pay for it. And it was pricey!
Shortly after that a team of developers decided to take on the idTech3 engine and make it better. So after idTech3 was made open source the 'ioquake3' project was also started. Since then the ioquake3 team (and FrozenSand - you can see all our files here) have added a lot of features and improvements to the open-source engine. Urban Terror 4 runs on any of the Quake 3 compatible engines including Quake 3 itself, of course.

Around that time (2007 - 2009) cheaters started becoming prevalent and the community wanted something done about it. Which meant an anti-cheat system. That combined with the fact we could use things like md5 animations (as opposed to the stock md3 ones) led us to wanting to purchase the engine off id Software so we could modify it and do what we liked. The engine we were interested in was the one quake 3 was released on (idTech3). We would need to start from scratch on it, as none of the things that had been applied to the open-source ioquake3 project could then be applied to our engine which would be closed source. Buying the engine was the only way we could implement the anti-cheat and auth properly, as working in the QVM is very limited, as mentioned before.

Just as a quick explanation of what md5 is, I will quote our master of animations, FrankieV, "MD5 is a skeletal based animation system first introduced in idTech4 and expanded in Doom3. The format was used along with layering so a handful of takes can be used to create a much larger number of stats than what can be accomplished using MD3 by itself. Meaning that instead of storing an entire mesh for each frame of animation, there is only one mesh file. This single mesh file is deformed using a vertex shader. Because there is only one mesh, only one VBO (vertex buffer object) needs to be created for each MD5 model. 50% of the animations in MD3 format are controlled by the player compared with MD5 where the player can only make moves that we will allow. Turtling for example is a non-issue with skeletal based animation (see 'turtling' here) "

BlakeKiller (modeller extraordinaire) continues, "..another disadvantage with MD3 is you have to split the player models up into legs, torso, and head and then rejoin them later. Which tends to cause weird lighting and popping with the animations."

haha! I laugh everytime I see that video!

The engine saga

So we contacted id Software to let them know our intentions to buy their engine. They gave us permission to start work immediately whilst they drew up the contract - and so our engine FSTECH1 was born. We were in negotiations with them for months and hadn't received a proposed contract by the time the FSTECH1 was ready for benchmarking on UrtHD so they gave us permission to release an alpha test.

We released the alpha of Urban Terror HD - and it wasn't received well at all. Unfortunately we didn't really advertise the purpose of the release properly, what you could expect from it, and what we were expecting from it. Everyone had been waiting for years and were expecting a complete game and when it wasn't they felt let down. Understandably. In reality, however, we had only been working on the engine itself for a very short time (about 5 months) before this. TwentySeven had just implemented the MD5 format two months prior, and FrankieV had quickly done up some MD5 animations to test them. We had a lot of content done for it, but we needed to performance test and benchmark the engine, and the only real way we had at our disposal was to release it to the community. So, as you know it went down like a water logged sheep. Shout out to our New Zealand friends... ;)

Now we have a dedicated QA team to get UrT5 up to the standard you would expect when you come to play it! :D

By June 2009 Zenimax Media had bought id Software and the company underwent a big overhaul with many original devs leaving; including the guy we were working with. After everything settled down we finally received the contract, but it had completely changed, so we had to decline the deal. Which was quite annoying to say the least.

We even tried building an engine from scratch we called Iceberg, but by about 2013 we realized it was going to take a decade for a small team like us to make, so we tossed that idea... also tried out a couple of other engines too, one called Ogre3D which was ok but wasn't really what we wanted. We Found the UDK (Unreal Development Kit) and started some primary art tests using FS based assets to see if if it could create the "feel" of the original and not long after that UE4 appeared, we voted to move to that. The Unreal Engine is amazing in what it can do and we are confident it will take us all into the future - if you are interested in that kind of thing, youtube is your friend.

Changing to the Unreal 4 engine meant a lot of work we did for HD (like player models, animations, maps, weapon models, game types, etc) which was made for FSTECH1 were going to be useless. Rather than having everything go to waste we decided to work on a 4.2 version of UrT, utilizing as much content as we could from HD on the current ioquake3 engine. We figured out a way to add a lot of new skins to UrT 4 to help keep things interesting and also implemented the anti-cheat and auth system (but only in the QVM which is not what we wanted obviously, but had to make do). So for quite a while we actually had two projects going on, Urt4 and 5. So in a nutshell what you are playing right now is a lot of fine tuning and bug-fixes, plus content and features from HD. One of the features from HD is jump mode! We all know that one. Only around 2016 we actually stopped working on the UrT4 project and focussed soley on UrT5.

As you know lots of hard work goes into a project like this. It's something we love doing and will continue to do - and of course we want to give the community the best possible game to enjoy. You have all been super patient and we know it's been a difficult situation left not knowing what's going on and we appreciate that more than you know. It's amazing to see the community (small but) still thriving after this time and in fact it's growing everyday. We are having old people come back, the PUG's (where they play organised games through discord) are more popular than ever and played for hours on end everyday! For a list of discord servers click here, join them all! Especially the top one ;).

Just to give you an understanding of the size of something like UrT5; to make up the game of 15GB like we have on steam it takes almost 1TB of content. That's how big our whole repo/project is. That's 1000 gigabytes of content! :O

Rest assured we are working as fast as we possibly can to get this alpha released by the end of the year - so keep doing what you're doing and before you know it UrT5 will be on your doorstep. Your perseverance will not go unrewarded! If you see the FS guys around be sure to tell them how much you appreciate the work they are putting in (and have put in). If you want a list of who does what, click here! If they feel appreciated by a supportive, friendly community it makes doing the work and putting the time in so much easier and more fulfulling. You want UrT5 out quicker? That's how to do it. Get under their skin and make them feel all warm and fuzzy!

Oh I almost forgot. It is our monthly donation drive time... *cough* give us your *cough* money *cough*. Click here to get verified donor status on our discord, website and forums. *cough*

Maybe I should give up smoking those huge big Cuban cigars. Cause that's how we roll down in Australia. Riding kangaroos and smoking cigars.

So this time there is a link down the bottom that will take you to the same post, but on our forums so you can have a chat about it if you'd like. Any questions? Comments? We'd love to hear them.

Until next time we at FrozenSand, bid you adieu.
comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums

Nations Cup 2019

in Leagues - posted Saturday, 28 September 2019 by FrozenSand
It's finally that time of the year again so the Urban Zone crew is proud to announce that the 22nd NationsCup will be starting soon!

Last year Portugal won the competition and secured their 7th gold medal by beating USA in the Grand Final, while Belgium beat United Kingdom for the 3rd place. Will there be a new nation winning the title this year, or will Portugal make the gap with victories even bigger? Tell your friends and prepare for an autumn filled with epic matches!

The competition will follow this schedule and will be played throughout October and November:

September 24 - Captain applications start & Voting process for Captains
October 3 - End of Captain applications
October 6 - End of Voting, Captain announcement
October 7 - Start of the first match week & Groups published

Captain application and voting process

If you would like to apply for the captain role of your country, send your application to: nationscup@urban-zone.org before the deadline. In your application it's important to write your: Auth name, UZ name, Country, Age, and then an additional supporting comment.

If you think you have what it takes to represent your country join up!

You can read more information about the coming NationsCup on the Urban Zone website so keep your eyes open for more news!
comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums

Welcome Slis! QA extraordinaire!

in Misc - posted Wednesday, 11 September 2019 by FrozenSand
Welcome Slis! QA extraordinaire!

After a long selection process we have finally found the perfect fit for our QA Manager position. His name is 'Slis' and we are happy to welcome him into the team!

Slis and his quality assurance team will be tasked with thouroughly testing the game to make sure it's ready for the next stage of development. To do that they follow a strict set of guidelines to systematically find bugs and make sure they can be replicated. They then document and submit them to the developers for a fix. It's up to him to make sure that these guidelines are adhered to and the final product meets the highest standards.

To give you a little background on Slis; he is an Electrical Engineer by trade and has a lot of experience in the quality assurance industry heading his own teams for the likes of IBM amongst others. Currently in his day job he works with computer automation and electronics. He doesn't have a huge amount of experience with Urban Terror like some of us, but for this position that's not really a bad thing at all, and will actually work in his favour.

So if you get a chance to speak with him you will quickly realize that he is very switched on and doesn't miss a beat whilst having a great eye for detail and making sure things are done the right way the first time. We think he is going to be a great addition to the team and someone we can trust to make sure the game we all love will be perfect when it comes to release.

When you see him around the place please give him a big welcome and a pre-emptive 'thankyou' for making sure this game is set to knock our socks off!

A manager of communities, or as we like to call him, Community Manager!

in Misc - posted Sunday, 25 August 2019 by FrozenSand
We have had a new addition to our team recently; a gentleman by the name of Ne0. Actually he joined a couple of weeks ago now but we thought we'd give him some time to acclimatize a bit before dropping him in the deep end at the mercy of everyone! :P

From here onwards Neo is now the first point of contact for community members regarding accounts or anything else game related. If you want to know something go to him first and if he doesn't know he can surely find the person that does! Saves a lot of running around!

Neo comes from Germany and has been around the place for quite a while - from regular pubs, icy jumps, competitive playing, being involved in Urban Zone and as an admin on various discord servers - so there is a pretty good chance you already know him. We thought it's about time we gave him an official title and put him to official use - our new Community Manager!

If you want to contact him you can either hit him up on our official discord (link below) using the tag @communitymanager, email (also below), or just yell really, really loudly. Probably start with the first two though I'd say. :P

ne0dym@urbanterror.info

discordapp.com/invite/ez4v5bv
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2019 Urban Zone Winter Cup

in Leagues - posted Sunday, 09 December 2018 by FrozenSand
Yay, it’s that time of the year again. Instead of listening to the voice in our heads singing “Last Christmas” we should focus on the good news. As the NationsCup XXI already reached the Playoffs and the Quarter finals are about to be played, the Urban Zone also launches another yearly event: The Urban Zone Winter Cup

The Cup will start Sunday, Jan. 6th. So here’s how to proceed:
Gather your team and sign up here,
Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s Eve,
Start to challenge other teams and climb up the ladder

As you can see, it is the same procedure as every year. Rules, dates and further information can be found on the cup page.
comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums

FrozenSand opens its Discord doors to the public

in Urban Terror - posted Saturday, 17 November 2018 by FrozenSand
FrozenSand is thrilled to invite you, the community, to join the developers on their Discord server.


For almost a year now, we have been using this Discord server for internal discussions. Now, we have decided to open it for the broad public in order to ensure short ways of communication, support and discussions with primarily Urban Terror Resurgence in mind. By joining the Discord community, you will be able to receive the latest UrT Resurgence news as well as live support for the previous game version and chat with the development team. Moreover, you'll get more insights and see more WIP content from the developers.

As Discord is now meant to be our primary channel of communication, it is a great way to deliver and receive feedback. Eventually, we will select community members from the Discord server to get exclusive access to the private alpha version of the game, which might be around the corner. Enjoy your stay!

Follow us!

Did you know? You can also find us on many other social media platforms. Follow us and spread the word!

Facebook: fb.me/urbanterror
Reddit: reddit.com/r/urt

FrozenSand is recruiting - Get On Board!

in Urban Terror - posted Wednesday, 17 October 2018 by FrozenSand
For years we have relied on word of mouth to inform interested parties how to join FrozenSand. We have now set up a recruitment page so you can check out what we are actively looking for. Help us speed up the development of the upcoming UrbanTerror: Resurgence on Unreal Engine 4!

We are currently looking for the following talents:
Information:
#1 Project Coordinator
#2 Public Relations Manager
#3 2D Artist
#4 Environment Artist
#5 Level Designer
#6 AI programmer
Don't see your spot? You can - as always - apply speculatively.

Interested? Have a look at our recruitment page
comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums
Sponsored link
https://www.urbanterror.info/home/

NationsCup XXI Announcement

in Leagues - posted Saturday, 06 October 2018 by FrozenSand

A few months have passed already since this summers' World Cup concluded, so it's time to show off your flags again and represent your country in this year's Urban Terror NationsCup.

Schedule

Captains applications from: Now to Saturday, 20th of October
Captains voting process from: 20th to 29th of October
Announcement of Captains: 31st of October

The tournament will start on the 1st of November and will end sometime in December. Make sure to submit your application on time!

Captain Application and Voting Process

If you would like to apply for the captain role of your country, send your application to the Urban Zone staff at: nationscup@urban-zone.org before the deadline. Please make sure to include crucial information such as your UrT auth and your nationality, but also your age and clan, as well as anything else you believe may convince others to vote for you as your nation's leading captain.
The UZ staff will then go through all applications carefully and will look for the most experienced applicants.
comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums

Urban Zone Fall Cup

in Leagues - posted Monday, 10 September 2018 by FrozenSand

As the leaves start turning red again and summer comes to an end, it is time for some competitive Urban Terror again, with the Urban Zone Fall Cup.

We hope you had a great summer pause, and come back, recharged and focused, to compete for the chance to claim the right of calling yourselves the best team around.
This time there will be a total of 16 teams battling it out and only a few spots are left, so be sure to head on over to urban-zone.org/index.php?name=Competition&event=179 and sign your team up!

The rules, as well as the game modes will stay the same as previous Cups, but if you’re in need of a quick refresh, they are listed on the cups page.

The 2018 Fall Cup will start on Wednesday, September 12th.
We hope to see you compete for the crown.

comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums

Urban Terror 4.3.4 release

in Urban Terror - posted Thursday, 21 June 2018 by FrozenSand

Although we make the best effort to ensure the stability of our releases, a bug occurring on very rare occasions fell under our radar in the 4.3.3 release.

The 4.3.4 release should fix this bug, which would induce random game crashes and freezes on specific maps (especially Eagle).

To update your game client, simply run the UrTUpdater executable from your game folder. You can alternatively download the full Urban Terror 4.3.4 pack or the 4.3.3 to 4.3.4 update package.
Information: This release contains several important security fixes as well as various bug fixes and improvements. It is highly recommended to update as soon as possible.

Changelog

Fixed the random crash issues which happened especially (but not only) on the map Eagle #431
Fixed several potential buffer overflow exploits
Fixed the bug where unpinning a 2nd nade in a row and switching to another weapon would result in the nade being dropped on the floor. #26
Fixed players being stuck with level 19 in Gun Game when g_randomorder was set to 1 #436
Magnum: fixed the reload animation and the reappearance of the crosshair not being completely synced
Bomb mode: fixed SurvivorWinner events not being written in the server logs in some situations. #293
In order to free up some space in the "serverinfo" variable, and to try to prevent the "info string length exceeded" error messages on the servers, and the subsequent potential bugs:
1 Removed g_bombDefuseTime and g_bombExplodeTime from the serverinfo
2 Changed g_teamnameRed and g_teamnameBlue to g_nameRed and g_nameBlue
3 Removed the "Clan" and "Location" serverinfo vars from server_example.cfg - server admins are free to add them back to their configs if needed
4 Removed auth_tags, auth_verbosity, auth_cheaters and auth_log from the serverinfo as they weren't strictly needed
5 Removed dmflags from the serverinfo string, it's an unused leftover from Quake 2
6 This frees up about 115 chars in the serverinfo string
Fixed output of the "where" client command
Fixed map/next map vote menu ignoring previously highlighted map and calling vote with the first map on the list #122
Menus: fixed inconsistencies in leading space in weapon select screen. #304

Updated engine

Thanks to an incredible community effort led by mickael9, you are now able to play Urban Terror 4.3 on an engine which is up to date with the latest ioquake3 features. This engine brings support for VoIP, Mumble, a new OpenGL2 renderer, and fixes hundreds of engine bugs along the way.

If you wish to try this new engine version (currently in beta), please open your UrTUpdater, go to File -> Settings and select the "ioq3-m9" engine.

Thank you!

Many thanks to the players who have reported issues on our GitHub repository. We would also like to say a special thank you to the DrunkNoobs clan as well as mickael9 and TTimo for their help with debugging the game crash issue.
comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums
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