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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

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

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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Coming soon: Urban Terror 4.3.4 release

in Urban Terror - posted Friday, 08 June 2018 by FrozenSand
Edit: Urban Terror 4.3.4 will be released this Thursday, June 21st in the evening.

The Urban Terror 4.3.4 release will include some important bug fixes regarding the game's stability and security. The crash issues on some maps and servers were especially tricky to tackle but they should now be fixed.

In order to confirm the bug fixes, a pre-release of UrT 4.3.4 is available now for testing:

Warning: This pre-release is to be used for testing purpose only, do NOT use it for regular/competitive play!
Please visit the forum thread for information on how to download and install the test build. Several servers with various gametypes are available for testing.

Your feedback is welcome!
comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums

Urban Terror 4.3.3 release

in Urban Terror - posted Wednesday, 28 February 2018 by FrozenSand

Bugs squashed!


While the development team is working hard on Urban Terror Resurgence with the goal to bring it to your screens quickly, we have cooked a 4.3.3 release for Urban Terror : Still Dying.
Information: This release contains several important security fixes and various bug fixes and improvements. It is highly recommended to update as soon as possible.
To update your game client, simply run the UrTUpdater executable from your game folder. You can alternatively download the full Urban Terror 4.3.3 pack or the 4.3.2 to 4.3.3 update package.

Changelog

Security fixes

Fixed CVE-2017-6903 #73
Fixed a potential buffer overflow exploit with the funstuff cvars
Fixed a potential exploit with the cl_guid variable
Fixed a potential exploit: do not allow loading .menu files from the /download/ subfolder and enforce menu files to have the .menu extension
Fixed a potential exploit where the result of the /stats command called by a spectator while following a player would be sent to the followed player instead of the spectator
Fixed a potential exploit with ROM and INIT cvar types being forced to USERINFO

Engine

Fixed the server browser not showing any server when using the legacy Quake 3 engine
Fixed modern ioq3 engines crashing with the error "Engine linkage error #31" #399

Match Mode

Fixed the substitute status being sometimes applied when g_matchmode = 0 #404
Fixed substitute players randomly spawning and being invincible on map restart in certain game modes

Jump Mode

Fixed wrong value of y-axis being used when loading a saved position in Jump mode #80
Jump mode: fixed persistent position saving which was sometimes loading another player's saved position #131

Gameplay

Gun Game: fixed being stuck with the HK69 when playing with g_randomorder 1 #394
Tweaked the FR-F1: torso/vest hits make players bleed. Zoom reset if getting >= 50% of damage (previously: 20%)
Tweaked P90's and Benelli's positions on screen #217
Potentially fixed fire mode of a spectated player's weapon being sometimes picked up #7
Fixed bots failing to load on Cascade and Kingdom
Tweaked bot files for UrT 4.3.3

Rcon

Fixed g_inactivity timer inconsistencies #414
Fixed the rcon "players" command that wasn't always displaying player's auth names #419
Fixed /rcon players command returning wrong slot and IP values for clients
Added current half info to /rcon players if g_swaproles is set to 1
Fixed a bug where a map_restart after changing the g_matchmode cvar would spawn the same random weapon an infinite number of times #81
Fixed g_redteamlist and g_blueteamlist not always being recognized as valid server cvars #83

Miscellaneous

Potentially fixed the "Couldn't find weapon xx" error which was introduced in 4.2.014
Fixed the TOD50 texture file size which was causing a crash on map load when using the legacy Quake 3 engine
Updated quake3's master server port in server_example.cfg (please update your custom server configs!)
Fixed the server browser showing several times the same servers when quickly refreshing the list multiple times
Clarified server browser filter options
Fixed a bug where spamming a key binding while downloading a map would result in a "client overflow" game crash
Fixed ignore list not being saved on map reload/change and other inconsistencies with the /ignore command #23
Replaced all .png textures with .tga textures to fix some UI elements not being displayed correctly when using the legacy Quake 3 engine

Many thanks to the players who have reported issues on our GitHub repository, as well as community developers who contributed to the engine code, menus files and bot files: Ionkamikaze, IyeOnline, mickael9, NotVeryGood, Z3nny and travmon.
comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums

Urban Terror Security Update

in Urban Terror - posted Sunday, 07 January 2018 by FS Barbatos

Urban Terror players!

Vulnerabilities found

Several vulnerabilities have been detected within the game engine and may be used by malicious entities to alter your game experience. We've made the necessary fixes and it is highly recommended to update your game clients as soon as possible.

How to update?

There are two ways to update your game client:

Launch the UrTUpdater which is located in your Urban Terror game folder, it will automatically download and update the necessary files
Manually download the files from here and put them in your Urban Terror game folder
Information: Game servers are not affected by those vulnerabilities, but it is also recommended to update your servers with the new binaries.
Stay safe and happy fragging!
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Urban Terror 4.3.2 Release

in Urban Terror - posted Saturday, 04 February 2017 by FrozenSand

It's been a long time since we announced this update but, with all our efforts being directed to Resurgence, it took us some time and dedication to leave the fancy Unreal Engine 4 development environment to push one of the last updates of the ioQuake editions of Urban Terror.

We hope that you will enjoy this small 2017 update in which we tried to fix the most important bugs known in 4.3 along with a few enhancements for the new GunGame and InstaGib modes.

Changelog

Engine
Build optimizations, full SSE/SSE2 support on Windows
Locked sv_fps & snaps back to 20 #348
New cl_mouseAccelStyle 2, with logistic curve for smooth and limited accel #54
Various fixes for OpenBSD and 64bit systems #59 #60
Updated Q_CleanStr to discard multiple color code prefixes and fixed broken COM_GetExtension #63 #38
Fixed 'stopserverdemo' being called on clients where the command doesn't exist #63

User Interface
Scoreboard columns sorting update: KAD columns now reads KDA (kills, deaths, assists)
Added assists to player sorting (K>D>A) on scoreboard
Renamed ".44 Magnum" to "Magnum" in the kill events
Fixed scores not updating in time when moving to intermission #142
Fixed $gametime and $roundtime calculation #346

InstaGib
Prevent bots from switching to knife
Disabled the gear selection menu in InstaGib
Everyone has a medkit as their sole item
Display a gamemode explanation text + an "INSTAGIB" box in the team selection menu
Added a gamemode identifier, " - INSTAGIB" next to the game mode name on the map load screen

Gun Game
Added a cvar g_randomorder (0/1): random gun order on map load
Fixed scoreboard sorting inconsistencies #319
Fixed a server crash when two players would win simultaneously in GunGame

Gameplay
New sound for the Glock when a silencer is equipped
Minor weapon specs enhancements
Fixed bot_minplayers not working properly
New version for Paris fixing #335 and #361 along with other enhancements

Menus
Added support for r_noborder in the menu files
Fixed weapon verification of items when primary is 'none' #320
New .arena scripts for maps to include the newer gametypes in the server creation menu

Misc
Updated default.cfg, server_example.cfg & mapcycle_example.txt
The command players now correctly displays auth logins and assists were added

Once again we would like to thank the numerous players who reported issues on our GitHub repository, as well as the developers who contributed to the engine and menu files. Many thanks to Iye, Fenix, Karnute, JRandomNoob, lonkamikaze and Thomas Brierley!
comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums

Urban Terror 4.3.1 HotFix Release

in Urban Terror - posted Wednesday, 05 October 2016 by FrozenSand
Urban Terror players!

Thanks to your incredible feedback after the 4.3 release, we have identified and fixed the FPS drops issues which were affecting a vast number of players.

We promptly decided to release a 4.3.1 HotFix to address them. This release also includes some engine optimizations for the Windows users as well as the fix for Mac OSX 10.12 Sierra users who couldn't launch the game.

Have fun!

Urban Terror 4.3.1 Changelog

Fixed the FPS drops / lag issue #334
Slightly improved engine performances on Windows
Fixed Ghosttown, Paris, Mykonos appearing as 3rd party maps in the server browser #296
Added instagib to server_example.cfg #342
comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums

Urban Terror 4.3 "Still Dying" Launch

in Urban Terror - posted Saturday, 01 October 2016 by FrozenSand

FrozenSand is delighted to announce the release of Urban Terror 4.3: 'Still Dying' !

This important update from 4.2 brings with it numerous changes and additions, based on internal testing and community suggestions. The 4.3 series will be the very last version on the Quake 3 engine, as we move our development focus to UE4 Urban Terror: Resurgence.



Before going over the big features this update offers, we want to thank the many community members who have done an incredible job in helping us out regarding the menus, engine, updater and maps. Namely: Iye, Kronik, Mr.Yeah, karnute, Clatoo, PapyRunny, MajkiFajki, Thomas Brierley, ryan-sg, Fenix, Mickael9, clearskies, t3slider, and last but not least, the JrandomNoob. We also would like to thank former QA testers for the two years of testing, the community members and 4.3 pre-releases testers for their feedback.
Information: This is an update of the Urban Terror 4 version on Quake 3's engine, and it is not to be confused with Urban Terror: Resurgence which will run on the Unreal Engine.

Modes

A brand new game type has found its way into Urban Terror - Gun Game. It challenges you to kill your opponents in a free-for-all style fight, using weapons dictated by the game. Each time you kill someone, you gain a level and switch to a new weapon. The first player to earn a knife kill (the highest level weapon), wins the game!

Instagib has been an all time favourite mode in Quake 3, and is finally available in Urban Terror! Watch a sadistic smile spread across your face, as you instantly kill players with a single bullet from the instagib-exclusive weapon: the TOD50. In this mode, stamina can be unlimited, booting can be done with the TOD in your hands, its bullets can ricochet on certain surfaces, and rumour has it, you could even kill multiple players with one bullet! Instagib is available in any gamemode (excluding jump and Gun Game).

Weapons

In Still Dying, we've revised the (long awaited) Groin & Butt hit location damages, as well as adjusted other damage values based on community suggestions. Additionally, we're proud to announce that the Benelli M4 Super 90, MAS FR-F1, FN Herstal P90 and .44 Magnum Revolver found their way into the the family of Urban Terror weapons. The Benelli will join the lonely SPAS in the shotguns category; the FRF1 will please the fastest and sharpest long range shooters; the P90 will serve as a secondary alternative, while the Magnum is a devastating but slow sidearm.

Maps

Some maps have received small updates, like Kingdom, and we are welcoming two new maps to the game: Mykonos and Paris. Feast your eyes on the teaser below, then check them out fully in game.

HUD & UI

We have made some adjustments to the HUD and user interface. Improvements have been made to the chat and console designs, better option settings, and an improved server browser. A brand new UI and menu is also almost complete, which you can look forward to in the 4.3.1 update.

UrTUpdater

Along with many other improvements, our Urban Terror Updater now provides full OS X support, statically linked builds, OS specific updates and a brand new UI with download options as well as an improved progress bar.

Read more about the Urban Terror 4.3 features and bug fixes in the full changelog.
comments: Feel free to discuss this on our forums
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Copyright © 1999-2020 Frozensand Games Limited  |  All rights reserved  |  Urban Terror™ and FrozenSand™ are trademarks of Frozensand Games Limited

Frozensand Games is a Limited company registered in England and Wales. Company Reg No: 10343942