Urban Terror Feeds

Urban Terror Blogs

  • [Tipeee] Developer News - March 2023

    -email- (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!
    Hi there,

    This month was a bit quiet on my side so I will focus on the work of the other team members!

    The Thingley project is moving forward at a very nice pace. Lizart has completed the modeling of many buildings already as shown the previous months. He has gotten the help of x-dcx-x and Markinho this month, who built a beautiful church for the map as you can see on the screenshots. Lizart also did several walkthrough videos of the current state of the map on Unreal Editor. I can't wait to watch it become alive once the textures and props get added!

    Ever since we started working on Urban Terror 5, we've been using the Genesis 3 framework for the character models and animations. The framework provides base male and female characters, and we then put our own animations and character skins on top of them. The framework allows for many things such as body morphing, facial animations, organic bends and articulations.
    The Genesis 3 framework is quite outdated now as Daz3D provides the version 9 of the framework nowadays which is far more advanced and provides many new functionalities. FrankieV and Neon are therefore trying out the G9 framework in a separate branch of the project to assess whether it would be worth moving the project to it.

    It's important to try to stay up to date with the various frameworks and technologies we use. The goal isn't to release UrT 5 one day with many outdated stuff under the hood! We'll see over the next few weeks how this develops!

    - Barbatos

  • [Tipeee] Developer News - February 2023

    -email- (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!

    First of all, thank you again for your continued support. I know I say it often but it truly has become vital to the survival of the current infrastructures supporting the game. With the everlasting increases of energy costs our monthly expenses have continually increased (for the same service!) over the months, from about 90€ per month of expenses to 106€ per month today. Your Tipeee donations are pretty much our only source of revenue nowadays and they cover our monthly expenses to host everything (website, forums, auth server, build server, test server, master server, storage and backup disks, etc.).

    This month I feel a bit ashamed, huh. Last month, I was happy showing you Urban Terror 5 running fine on a MacBook Pro 2023 on the Arm64 architecture... only to notice a few days later that this wasn't really the case. I was in fact unknowingly compiling the game to run on Rosetta, which emulates the old Intel x86_64 architecture on Arm64. Well, this is still useful as we now know that the game can run on older Mac architectures without too much trouble, but this isn't really our target hardware. Our primary goal for the Mac platform is to allow players using the current-gen (2020+) of Apple laptops and desktops to run the game smoothly.

    As you can imagine, switching to compiling for the Arm64 architecture did bring its fair share of compile errors and crashes, which I spent several days fixing. The team is currently running Unreal Engine 5.1.1 (latest stable release) but Epic have done some substantial fixes for Unreal Engine 5.2 (which is still in development today), so I decided to rebuild the engine on the current WIP UE 5.2 to get the latest changes. I'm now able to cook and package the game, run it with Steam, as well as launch the Unreal Editor and play from there. UE5 is still quite unstable on this platform though, and my Editor crashes several times a day, but we're getting there! I hope Epic can keep on improving the developer experience on this platform in the near future, because this MacBook seriously rocks and it's a joy to work with it.

    Mr.Yeah has made some progress on 2D sketches for the new loadout menu and he's currently gathering opinion from the rest of the team. The main goal is to take from the legacy UrT what worked really great (the simplicity of the menu, the speed at which you can change your gear) and improve upon it. I quite like it so far! Once we've settled how the menu should look like and work, Mr.Yeah and Holycrap will start the implementation into UrT 5.

    Neira is currently obsessed with boxes so he made quite a few variants (see the attached screenshots). They'll now be added to "common assets" that are available to be used on various maps depending on the mappers needs.
    Lizart is fascinated with blinking lights so he's made all sorts of blinkers. Watch out for epileptic seizures!

    Unfortunately the sky issues (see the attached screenshots on Turnpike where it's clearly visible) are still not fixed on Epic's side, they seem to be affecting many projects using forward rendering such as UrT5. We hope that those issues will be fixed very soon as JohnnyEnglish got quite depressed about them distorting his maps, which understandably isn't really motivating for him lately.

    Neon is still fiddling with learning animations but we'll talk about it next month!

    - Barbatos

  • Urban Terror has its first ever Professional Developer!

    -email- (Barbatos)
    Hey everyone!

    There's some great news that I'd like to share with you! But first, to add some context... (there's a tl;dr at the end of the blog post!)

    I've been feeling uneasy with my current full-time job as Software Developer for a little while now, and I think it really began during the first covid lockdown period that lots of us around the world had to experience in early 2020. At the time I was made aware that, as I had not a key role at the company (which is kind of true!), I needed to stop working, stay at home during the lockdown and enjoy getting paid 92% of my usual salary... doing nothing. Well, not being allowed to work for my company. For two entire months.
    At first, I felt a bit disheartened, especially since most of my close colleagues were working every day. Also, in a split second all your habits and routines are gone, and you are flooded with an insane amount of free time which you hadn't prepared yourself to deal with.

    We even saw this on Urban Terror, where the number of players quickly tripled during the whole lockdown period and beyond. It appears that lots of us took on the opportunity to use some of that renewed free time to dip toes into some cool old games! :)

    It took me a few days, but I ended up realizing the amazing opportunity I was 'offered' and started working on a lot of various projects on which I could not make significant progress earlier due to a lack of time. Urban Terror 5 was among those projects, and those two months were one of my most active period as a developer of this game since 2011. The cherry on the cake being that... I absolutely loved it!

    In the past year or so, I've thought about what happened during this lockdown and how I felt regarding my involvement in various projects. I've always wanted to spend more time on the development of UrT5, but it's never been an easy task when already working 45+ hours a week on a demanding job which already requires a lot of coding on a daily basis.

    I'm therefore happy to announce that I'll be the first part-time developer to professionally work on Urban Terror 5! I'll be staying partly employed at my current company for at least a year, splitting my time 50%-50% between my new freelance work and my current employer. It is a one year experiment to see whether I like and can sustain working on the game professionally and potentially full time in the future.

    Of course this will last only if losing half of my paycheck is somehow made sustainable in the long run. I'm currently fortunate enough that I don't have to worry about this in the immediate future, but I'll quickly need some other source of income to make this experiment last as long as possible.

    In that regard, I have decided - with the blessing of the FrozenSand team - to try out creating a Tipeee page. Tipeee is an easy way to support your favorite projects (and developers!) with small, automatic monthly recurring tips. If you feel like supporting my work on Urban Terror 5 and making it a sustainable situation, thank you! Even a 1€ recurring tip will make a difference. I have detailed on my Tipeee page on which parts of the game I intend to work on during the next few months, check it out!

    I am very excited to start this new journey on this game I've loved for over 14 years and many more to come!

    Have fun

    tl;dr: I'm going to professionally work part-time (50%) on the game starting this year. You can make this sustainable by supporting me on Tipeee!
  • Under the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

    -email- (Bladekiller)
    It's been a while since my last blog so I thought I would show you how the first of the Asian characters is coming along. Her name is Jade. She is named for the beautiful snow-capped mountain that stands guard over her home town of Lijiang in Yunnan, China. Lijiang was an economic and transportation hub along the Ancient Tea Horse Road and its intricate system of waterways, as well as its location, make it an important strategic city in Urban Terror 5. Jade is a member of the UTRT who protect the town from those who would destroy its irrigation system and water network.

    I've completed her jacket, pants and shinguards in Zbrush and have started work on her boots. This is a high res version in Zbrush with cavity maps applied as textures. They fill the indentations with shadows similar to AO maps.

    This is the low res game version with the same cavity maps applied but no normal maps so it isn't smooth.

    This is the RGB mask painted on the models in Zbrush. The shin guards are painted green for plastic.

    The boots start as low res. Once I have the basic shape I'm after I subdivide it multiple times in Zbrush until they are over 6 million tris. Now I'm ready to start carving the high res version that will be used to make the texture, AO, cavity and normal maps.

    Less than 1000 tris:

    Just over 1 million tris:

    Now I'm ready to start sculpting the details into these boots with over 6 million tris to play with. I'm limited by my 32 G of RAM or I would subdivide more. The nice thing about Zbrush is I can change the level of subdivision with a slider because all 7 subdivisions are always present.

    Stay tuned!
  • Jump Mode in Urban Terror 5!

    -email- (Barbatos)
    I can't believe it's been 5 years since my last blog post!

    Reading my past posts and watching the associated videos really made me realize how much we have achieved in the past few years. Urban Terror 5 is starting to look and feel better than we could have hoped back in 2014 when we scrapped the Urban Terror HD project, switched to Unreal Engine 4 and started everything from scratch.

    This year we kickstarted the Private Alpha of Urban Terror 5. The feedback from testers has been overly positive so far, especially regarding movement mechanisms as well as gameplay, which are in my opinion at the core of what truly makes UrT a unique and enjoyable game. Of course, there is still a long road ahead, and testers keep us busy with a lot of bug reports and suggestions. However, opening up the game to a bunch of players outside of the development team after more than 4 years of backstage development, and getting some useful primarily feedback had a net positive effect on the overall mood and motivation of the dev team.

    The COVID-19 global pandemic has given me the rare opportunity to work almost full time on Urban Terror 5 for over a month, which was a really nice, new and enjoyable experience for me. I would definitely like to work more on the game, but it is quite challenging when having a full time job and IRL occupations. I have some leads I'd like to explore to spend more time on developing the game while keeping a part-time job, but this will be for another blog post. :)

    I've worked on various areas of the game in the last two months, from the usual bug fixing to more interesting stuff like implementing an in-game console, voting system, match mode features as well as... the Jump Mode!

    Jumping has always had a special place in my heart, being of the things that made me stick to Urban Terror when I discovered the game back in 2008. Jump Mode also happens to be the first major feature I implemented in UrT HD in 2011 when I joined the development team. It was then ported to UrT 4.2 in its sixth release.

    So here we are, Jump Mode has made its way into Urban Terror 5!

    The primary focus was to port the features from UrT 4.x, such as position saving and loading, teleporting to other players, ghost players, custom stamina regeneration settings, speedometer, jump timers, etc. I also added a new feature allowing jumpers to race against their own best time (you can see such thing in the TrackMania racing game for example!).

    Now that this is done, the next step will be to look into adding some other cool new features to improve this game mode. I can't say for sure that those will ever make it into the game, but I'm looking into implementing checkpoints for timed jump runs, as well as objects to collect or shoot at while jumping to get more points. I'd also like to make it possible to race against a map's best ever time.

    If you have other ideas of new features to implement for this game mode, please do not hesitate to share them on the official UrT Discord or on the forums!

    Here is a little video of the Jump Mode in action, on a new jump map for Urban Terror 5 called SkyLines, by JohnnyEnglish. I'm also doing some jumping on the map Uranus, which we ported from urt4 over to Urban Terror 5.

    As a bonus, I recently implemented corner clipping (also called corner cutting) in Urban Terror 5. Jumpers know how cool this quake3 bug-which-became-a-feature is, so I'm glad we could port it to urt5. Alpha testers are loving it! If you don't know what corner clipping is, it allows players to pass through wall corners or thin objects without losing velocity (when done properly), instead of sliding along the wall and losing all speed. It makes for a faster gameplay when mastered! You can see some examples of corner clipping on Turnpike at the end of the video.

    Please don't hesitate to let me know whether you liked this blog post or not!
  • Let's Talk Audio: The NEW Turnpike

    -email- (Chump)
    Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Chump is back bringing you all a spicy new audio update.

    Today we're going to run, jump and slide through the backstreets of Pennsylvania to visit a community favourite - Turnpike! Sit back, grab yourself an age-appropriate beverage, and enjoy listening to our latest video. Let's take a dive into the audio progress of UrT 5!

    TURNPIKE in 2020:

    Turnpike has evolved a lot since the days of 4.3. For you Turnpike veterans, the most noticeable change is the decrease in background noise - This map used to be swarming with the wail of police sirens, which although atmospheric was tedious to listen to. The new ambience honours the same tone, but with a subtler approach. I hope that this will be much easier on the ears, providing much more room for other game audio to shine (and preventing migraines after those 13 hour SR-8 only sessions!). The goal across the board is more detail, higher quality, and for more consistency between maps.


    A key aim on all of our new maps is to create as much auditory variance as possible between map locations. You will notice much greater variance in the soundscape, general ambience adjustments, and the strategic use of props across the map. To ironically quote myself:
    Quote of Chump:
    "A player should be able to hear their location on a map, just as well as they can see it!"
    Almost all of the ambient sounds used on our new maps are not simple loops, but sounds that are randomised, modulated and layered in-engine from multiple different samples. This means the maps feels more alive, removing as much repetition in the game audio as possible.


    Boy, this was a fun one! In audio, there is so much room for play, especially with music, radios and announcements. In this video you heard metro announcements voiced by our very own BladeKiller, and custom randomised Lobby Music for Turnpike's newest tennant, Guntown Travel. But it doesn't end there - there are other locations dotted around the map with more juicy content (but if you want to hear those, you'll need to take me on a second date)

    These aren't simple loops, but built from a multiple randomised and adapting segments, creating tons of variance which to stop sounds becoming repetitive. Some even include rare easter egg content, with a low chance of triggering unique voice lines... Keep your ears peeled folks!

    The use of these pieces of content serves a function beyond improving the map audio. Crucially, they help to establish the lore of the UTRT and Red Dragons, building links between maps that previously had very little backstory. They help give the game personality, fun, and I hope you all enjoy them!

    Got an idea for some fun music, advertisement, or map radio that would fit on an UrT map? Comment it on this blog post, or share it with us on the official FS Discord!


    Some of our maps, like Turnpike, feature unique visual and audio events like the passing metro. These add so much life and dynamics to the feel of a map, and even open up potential new gameplay styles (imagine initiating your attack on an enemy under the cover of a passing train!)


    At FS we are very serious about developing Urban Terror in a way that empowers third-party mappers. There are numerous challenges to this, one of which is having audio behave consistently on externally developed maps.

    We are tackling this through providing Mapping Tools (currently in Alpha testing), and a small part of this tackles the handling of audio features. This includes things like surface properties, custom zones for managing ambient sounds, and for handling common assets such as doors and buttons. That's all I can say for now, as this is very much a WIP aspect of the game audio until we finalise our internal audio systems, but as always keep following us to hear the latest on all of our work.

    That's all for now folks!

    As always, feel free to ask me any questions, let us know what you think, and share it with your friends! We love engaging with this wonderful community we're all in and hearing what you think of our progress. Don't be shy!

    And if you'd like to see more of my personal audio work, videos, and exclusive early snippets of UrT 5 audio, follow me on Instagram @arrigoni.studio
  • OJ typing things

    -email- (Ohjay)
    Welcome to next edition of OJ typing things!

    The next edition but unfortunately the last, from an official standpoint anyway. I am stepping into a less formal role here at FrozenSand, still a vital role nevertheless...you may now call me OJ the Urban Terror mascot.

    Not to be confused with those furry things on the sidelines at football games but something a lot sleeker...sexier. Picture it. Yeah, baby!

    In all seriousness tho I can't keep up with what this job demands and give it 100% of what it deserves as well as keep up my increasingly busy personal life.

    So I am going to step down and allow them to find someone that can do the job to the fullest. FS is going to need a team of former 'me's, and for those of you reading this think you're up to the task, APPLY.

    If you're wondering what precisely I'm talking about, look up the duties of a Public Relations Manager. Then look up setting goals in a professional environment (GOAL -> OBJECTIVES -> STRATEGY -> TACTIC),
    then look up the goals of game development companies and slot them into the goal slots. Then understand that there could be maybe 50 primary goals of a company, and under each goal could be 50 objectives, and so on and so forth. Add writing blogs and news posts and monitoring social media...and I'm just getting started.

    Is your mind-boggling yet? Mine was back at the looking up duties of a Public Relations Manager.

    So anyway I can't do this job justice, and if I tried it'd only end in disaster. After discussing it with the guys today that is one thing we all can definitely agree on (picture me with a little Hitler moustache cracking a whip over FS)...it just doesn't end well for anyone! :P

    This post is just a formality, so you know why you haven't heard from me sitting in my chair for a while. Well, I'll still be here lurking somewhere, but just enjoying my time rather than running around like my face is on fire.

    It has been a privilege writing for you guys and being part of this awesome team.

    Keep harassing the guys for updates and blogs and pics because they will get focussed in on their work and forget to update us.

    Feel free to drop by for a chat anytime on the official Urban Terror Discord!

  • OJ sitting in a chair - Alpha update 1

    -email- (Ohjay)

    Hey everyone!

    Welcome to the new edition of 'OJ sitting in a chair'! Apologies once again for the lack of a quality heading but the creative titles department hasn't shown their faces since the last time so I'm really just winging it at this point with the title creation...

    Anyway, it's been a minute since I have written a blog, and I know I promised to be more regular with them, but between riding kangaroos whilst smoking cigars and fighting the losing battle of trying to retain my sanity there isn't much time left in the day so do forgive me.

    In saying that, I thought it about time I put pen to paper (or in this case fingers to keys) and give you guys a little update on how we're going with the alpha. Everyone has been waiting patiently and not harassing us about release dates and what-not so I figure you've earned it. I apologise in advance though because it's going to get a little bit lengthy...

    Let's start with the alpha survey. We had about 470 submissions, to begin with, and have whittled that number down to about 100 potential testers. Over the next few months we'll pick people from this selected group and gradually add them to our team of testers as we need them. Everyone who participated will receive an email telling them if they're on the shortlist or not. Just to be clear, being in this selection doesn't mean you'll get to play the game right now, but there's a good chance we'll eventually invite almost everybody on the list to the private alpha.

    I thought it'd be polite for us to contact the people that don't go through to be an alpha tester as well - this way nobody is left wondering. So now I have the important job of emailing this good looking group of (500) people sometime in the very near future.

    When you hear from us and have any questions, comments, or to comment on my general good looks, we'd love to hear from you. On the bright side for those that didn't make it through, at least you got a super cool email from your favourite game devs. Because we are...right? Right. ;)

    What we were looking for is people with a certain set of PC specs/os's, ideally with QA experience - or are known to be helpful in a testing/QA environment, have the time to spare, and have team compatibility. Now I know all our active players are probably thinking they would be a great tester because they have played the game for so long and know it back to front. I would have agreed with you once upon a time, but not so much now.

    After seeing how they test I now realize we don't need the best or most active players to achieve what we need; we need very technical and methodical people with as much experience in QA as possible because it's far from just jumping in for a quick game and noting any bugs you come across.

    I know being an alpha tester is a bit special and everyone wants to see the game but I think for most people it'd be quite tedious and not that much fun. So for the majority of you that haven't been chosen - don't sweat it cause you're not missing out on much. When the majority of major bugs have been fixed and the game is running smoothly, THAT'S when you want to get in on the action - like beta testing for instance.

    Also just so you know, thanks to everyone's hard work we are now up to our 4th major update since the addition of the alpha testers! Give yourselves a pat on the back guys.

    Next up, let's talk Battle of the Artists competition. We have received a bunch of artwork from you guys and we love them all! JohnnyEnglish has been busy placing them all around the maps and they are looking simply fantastic. Please keep them coming! We were going to wait until the game is released and our artists can find out for themselves if and where their artwork is, and we still will, but to give you a little motivation and to show it's happening we recently released a picture of JE doing some interior decorating in a certain map you all know. Look below for those that missed it.

    Remember, to submit any artwork you can post it on Facebook (either to the Urban Terror page or your own - but be sure to set it to public), Twitter, our Discord, our forum, or email it to me (-email-). Wherever you post it remember to please use the hashtag #battleoftheurtartists so we can find them.

    Last on the list is our donation drive. It's been a few months since we have put the call out so what better time than now for those that can dig deep and help support the project. Every little bit helps and with donations of 20€ or more you get official donor status on our website and discord. To donate click here!

    As a little surprise, I have managed to steal some quotes directly from our testers and out of the grasp of the non-disclosure agreement (I'm so fired), so I can bring you the very first impressions of Urban Terror 5.


    First impressions of Urban Terror 5

    "The first things I noticed are the similarities in movements between 4.x and 5.x. The controls are highly intuitive to the Q3 era."

    "As far as the way it feels, it's very similar to my familiar and loved urt. It's close enough that I feel like I can get used to it as a game. I'm a person who does NOT like change, and I think I can deal with it. Very similar."

    "I wasn't too put off by the movement going from 4.x to 5.x, it was quick to pick up and at times even had more ease performing some jumps in resurgence than 4. All this despite having 1/4 the framerate I can have in 4.x."

    "The first impression is amazing. It just feels like, ye, that's it.. that's UrT 4, but 5."
    Regarding movement

    "The movement and jumping mechanics seem to be quite the same as in urt4"

    "Is pretty smooth, but still feels different. I think this mostly comes down to the performance difference of a flat 126 fps in 4.3 vs whatever tick rate 5 runs at."

    "The movements are very similar to version 4.x. My feelings are good in that way."

    "The controls are highly intuitive to the Q3 era, but I definitely feel as though there is a lack of stamina or speed, I feel heavier."
    Regarding player models and animation

    "I think dead bodies reacting to physics (when shooting them, walking into them) isn't needed."

    "Overall good job, although I don't think I'm a fair judge given my shit sub-par framerate."

    "The animations are fine. I'm aware that they're not finished. So far the only animation I've seen that fails is when the player bounces off a wall and feels like he's doing a forward turn. I've used all 8 models and I like them."
    Regarding gameplay and performance

    "In 4.x, there is some kind of adjustments being made to compensate for ping.
    As the shots are what-you-see is what-you-hit, but with a delay of ping before the damage is scored it has a different feeling."

    "It has some noticeable performance issues. Other players models tremble a bit when moving and a 5v5 game is actually laggy, with players teleporting sometimes."

    "UrT 4.x runs smoothly for me. UrT 5 when I'm 1v1 or alone it does as well. But combining 3v3 up to 5v5 + my slow IO + server ping / WIP issues ... I lag a lot"
    Regarding the maps and appearance

    "It's absolutely beautiful. Physically, the textures, the graphics, even with everything turned way down low, it's really lovely to look at."

    "Good job at replicating the layout/scale/feel of 4.x maps in the new engine. I feel like the increased fidelity achievable for assets (textures/foliage) makes them compete more with the character models for players' attention. This was less prevalent in popular 4.x maps."

    "Still lots of errors in the maps themselves, broken doors, things we should be able to climb that we can't, and things we should not be able to climb that we can. Missing foot sounds...all of that fluff."
  • Private Alpha explained

    -email- (Ohjay)
    Hallo everyone!

    I know you haven't heard from me in a little while, and I'm terribly sorry about that, but i've had my hands full supervising these guys recently... making sure everything is done right you know... I turned my back on them for a second the other day and before I knew it they'd turned FrozenSand HQ into an inpenetrable fortress and were hurling water balloons via catapult from the roof at our unsuspecting neighbours...

    Undoubtedly there are some of you out there that know bucket loads about developement, and all the power to you, but also some that know very little about development - so I'm going to start from the top and try to cover all the main bits as briefly and simply as I can. There is a link down the bottom that takes you to our forums if you want to chat about anything I have or haven't covered here.

    The typical software release life cycle consists of several stages that describe the current state of the software at that time. They are pre-alpha, alpha, beta, and release. Variations of this general layout are possible, ie two betas.

    The pre-alpha stage is where the core of the game is being developed. This involves lots of planning and design decisions, and the most basic features are added to the game. Testing during this stage is performed by the development team itself and other automated tests. After this is all done we move onto the next phase - the alpha.

    During the alpha stage a game might be playable and contain many of the planned features, but there will almost certainly be plenty of incomplete features and bugs - some potentially even game-breaking. This is where a separate team of testers gets included to find problems and bugs as well as provide feedback for the developers. Generally, alpha software is not released to the public and is completed in-house, and would usuallly end with what is called a 'feature freeze'. This means that no more features will be added to the software after that point and is said to be 'feature complete'.

    The next phase is the beta and usually begins when the software is feature complete, but might still contain some bugs. This is the point when it's potentially released for the first time and is available outside of the organization that developed it. A big part of this phase is focused on compatibility and performance on different systems, and is where you may see game development companies offering beta invites in some circumstances.

    After all these stages are said and done the software can finally be released with (hopefully) no bugs and to the satisfaction of the users. This doesn't mean there won't be any future updates and it's forgotten about though, especially in this day and age and the existance of game platforms like Steam - it just means the software is stable enough to be enjoyed by the general public. Further updates can improve the existing features, add new content or even completely new features. All these updates still get tested by the developers and QA team before going live of course.

    Now we know about the stages of developement I guess you could say we are kind of in the middle of the alpha and beta - utilizing some things that would be expected slightly later in development, such as the private alpha test groups - because we just don't have the people or resources to be able to work on development and bug fixing and proper quality assurance at the same time in-house. This is good though, because it will both help to speed things up, and also allows the community to have more input into the development process.

    Hopefully this has gotten everyone on the same page and understand a bit more about where we are at.

    We have selected our first group of testers to try out the game, and over the next few months we'll be adding more groups incrementally. QA needs to follow a strict procedure and the testers need to know exactly what they are doing - which takes setting up and training. So rather than having a thousand people pour in and just make a huge mess and send poor Slis crazy we'll instead add smaller groups incrementally, making sure they are trained and know what they are doing before moving onto the next group. We'll try to get a healthy number of people with different skill sets, gaming background, hardware setup and URT experience.

    It's all very exciting isn't it! What are you waiting for? You can find the survey on the bottom of our news post, or click here.
  • OJ typing things!

    -email- (Ohjay)
    Welcome to the new edition of 'News with OJ'!

    Wait a second...I've just had word...we have a new title!

    Welcome to 'OJ typing things!'

    Really? That's what we're going with?

    Those responsible for sacking those other people have just been sacked.

    We will try again next week. Hard to find good help in the 'Creative Titles' department. No wonder they are down there in the basement.

    Yes I know I know, I did promise a post a week but there has been some complications... I have just lost both my arms fighting tigers in Bengal and am now writing this from my hospital bed using my toes and a primitive version of Stephen Hawkings voice program. See the dedication I have for Urban Terror. Without a doubt definitely the hardest worker in FS...

    Anyway, over the last few weeks lots of work has been done on UrT5 but today I'm going to talk about the design and then implementation process. Because after all that's why you are here, other than to read about my adventures in Bengal, right? RIGHT? Right.

    So where was I...ah yes - the design and then the implementation process relating to animation. One of the things we have been talking about is the ledge grabbing and how we could make it better suited to us. Like, sure we know it's as easy as grabbing a ledge and lifting yourself up yeah. But what actually happens? Are we using both hands? Which leg goes up first? Do we have a gun in our hand still? If we put it away at what point do we bring it out again? Can we be firing from the ladder? They go into their technical garble talking about certain things triggering others whilst some sort of other checks are in play... that's when I start drifting off into my own world.

    Lots of questions for such a small thing and to be honest I just don't get most of it and I'm not a stupid guy. So I won't go into much detail as I'll probably just make myself look silly.

    I don't know if you know who HappyDay is but he is one of our coders and our lead developer. Used to be an artist and level designer but decided to go the coding route... you know, one of those guys that is pretty much great at everything he does. And Walker, well you know him - I've shown you some of his artwork before. An accomplished artist in his own right, go check him out on instagram - walkermasuda.art.

    Anyway, I don't even know how it got started but all of a sudden I've seen Walker post this picture (below) of this girl ledge grabbing. And so it began...

    Nek minnut...HappyDay writes up the first draft of what will be the code for the ledge grabbing. Like so:

    1. Falling
    2. Catching yourself with one arm
    3. Start pulling yourself up; simultaneously bringing the other arm up
    4. Getting one toe in the gap
    - at this point we could do a check if there is a wall in front
    - if there is, the knee rotates outwards
    - if not, the knee can stay in a more natural, forward facing direction
    5. Pushing yourself up with that leg
    6. Standing position, right at the edge

    This list is basically asking for 3 different animations. Falling, catching a ledge, and pulling yourself up. As I couldn't word it better I am going to directly quote one of our level designers and all round cool guy - Krasus.

    "From this list, the animators then animate the animations for each specific pose. Usually you have a looping animation for situations where the player can stay in that state, like crouching, and then a transition animation for coming out of that state, like standing up. All the animations are done individually, so you have a falling, ledge hanging and pull up animation all by themselves.

    Once they are animated, they are taken into the game engine where the individual animations can be blended together based on the coded conditions that trigger them.

    To give you an example, when the player falls the falling animation will play, then when the player catches a ledge, the falling animation will blend into a ledge catching animation. If the player stays there, a ledge hanging animation would play. If they climb up, it would blend into a climbing animation, and if they fell down, it would blend into a falling animation."

    Thanks K! He knows things that guy.

    So this is going to be a two part uh...blog? Episode? Either way, when the animations are done and we have the final product or close to, I will do another post then going into the animation process a bit more and then comparing the design to the implementation in the final product.

    If you guys want me to address a certain topic or have any other idea or feedback please email me (-email-) or comment where comments can be found. While you're there join us on the official Discord to keep up on all the latest things.

    Have I written enough to test your attention spans? I could continue but I will leave it here. If you keep your eyes peeled you might see some lovely pictures floating around of certain maps and their progress.

    Until next time, I bid you adieu.

    - OJ
Frozen Sand | Date published: not known
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