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[Tipeee] Developer News - April 2023

posted 1 month ago by FS Barbatos
Information: This Developer News was originally sent 6 months ago to people supporting us on Tipeee. I write these posts with my own words, every month, mostly showing internal development screenshots/videos and explaining the latest features in the works on the upcoming Urban Terror game on Unreal Engine 5.

If you are willing to support the development and maintenance of Urban Terror, the posts are available on Tipeee for as low as a 1€ tip. From now on I'll also repost them here with a 6 months delay. Enjoy the read and let us know whether you like them or not!
Hey everyone!

Let me start by thanking you again in the name of the FrozenSand team for your continued support. Some of you have been donating monthly for over a year already, and we are extremely thankful. The donated funds allow us to keep the Urban Terror infrastructure up and running in serenity.

What's great in team dynamics is that whenever one or two key members of the team pick up their activity, they naturally motivate the others to do the same. This is what is happening at FrozenSand lately. This month the team has been on fire. Neon and FrankieV have been hard a work trying out the G9 framework for the character models and animations. They have also started experimenting with the ladder climbing animations (WIP), the end goal being to have more realistic animations without constraining the players in their movements.

Unfortunately the skybox issues experienced by many UE5 projects (especially virtual reality games and projects using forward rendering like UrT5) has still not been fixed by Epic. As we've been waiting several months for a fix now, JohnnyEnglish and Lizart have decided to create their own sky system, driven by a single HDRI file created in Blender. This works quite well and will allow us to restart doing releases to the QA team in the coming days. JohnnyEnglish has been busy updating all the maps to use the new sky system.

Neira and x-dcx-x are still hard at work creating various models used as map objects. Lizart has set up a mechanism in Blender dedicated to creating more believable tiled roofs and floors (see the attached video). This will be useful for Thingley and several other maps. The artist has to create/model a few individual tiles, and the geometry nodes mechanism does the rest of the job by using random tile instances among them. This looks much better than tiled textures and the randomness guarantees that each roof or floor is uniquely looking.

As for me, I've been looking into fixing the UrT4 Updater for the Arm64 architecture (Mac). I've developed the Updater almost 10 years ago (duh!) so the version of the Qt framework used back then is now quite outdated. Thankfully migrating to a much newer Qt version wasn't that difficult. I'm currently testing the update and trying to understand why it doesn't work quite as well on some community members' macbooks than on mine.
I've also worked on improving the in-game UrT5 console and doing some bug fixing.
On a side note I had to migrate the Urban Terror France website to a newer server this month. The website was running on a very old Python2 / Django architecture. It's now running Python 3 and a much newer version of Django after several nights of cold sweat. Migrating such a big project really is a pain in the *ss. :D

See you next month!

- Barbatos

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