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Friday, April 17, 1998 Happy Geek Pride Day

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John Carmack Puts the Smack Down

Headlines

Carmack and Alex St. John
Carmack on Quake 3
Blood 2 Preview
Technology Part III
StarFighter Drivers
TweakIt
Final HexenWorld Soon
Zombie Licenses LithEngine
Forsaken Countdown
Quake 3 FAQ
Editing - New QuArK
Technology Part II
New Viper 330 Drivers
Obsidian Rebate Details
3D Blaster Bundle
PII 400
Todd H on the Doom Movie
Unreal
Unreal at E3
Unreal Chat
Unreal Preview
Descent: Freespace Demo
Quake/Quake II Releases
Weapons of Destruction
Eraser Bot Wizard
Technology
ATI OpenGL Beta 3
New Stingray Drivers (Again)
Righteous 3D II
Quantum 3D Rebate
Tom on the BX and Stuff
Motherboard Update
Rendition's Plans
3Dfx Earnings
People
Mike Wilson Interview
What's in a Name
Zoom
*reviews
Heretic II
Rocket Arena 2
Quake64
PCI SoundBlaster
Activision's Fall Lineup
Competitions
Cyberathlete Schedule
Canada vs. USA
CTF Map Contest
The Ragnarok
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

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bootNet's Ask Alex (Let's Try This Again) has John Carmack's response correcting Alex St. John's speculation that there is no OpenGL in GLQuake and Quake II. Here's an excerpt:

"You have been playing the Glide version of Quake." - Alex.

This is a false statement with just enough of a kernel of truth to confuse people.

GLQuake and Quake II are programmed to the OpenGL API. They have no knowledge of Glide, and only require the presence of a DLL that exports the OpenGL function calls.

The 3dfxgl.dll driver that allows GLQuake to run on 3Dfx hardware is an implementation of OpenGL on top of the Glide API. I find it a pretty big stretch to call GLQuake a "Glide version" because of that. It would be analogous to calling any Windows program an "ATI version" because you happen to be running it on an ATI video card with an ATI supplied display driver.

GLQuake runs just fine on nVidia, Rendition, ATI, Intel and other chipsets that don't support glide at all.

John Carmack

John Carmack on Quake 3
John Carmack updated his .plan with some car talk (vroom) and some poop on Quake 3:

[snip]

The distance between a cool demo and production code is vast. Two months ago, I had some functional demos of several pieces of the Quake 3 rendering tech, but today it still isn't usable as a full replacement for ref_gl yet.

Writing a modern game engine is a lot of work.

The new architecture is turning out very elegent. Not having to support software rendering or color index images is helping a lot, but it is also nice to reflect on just how much I have learned in the couple years since the original Quake renderer was written.

My C coding style has changed for Quake 3, which is going to give me a nice way of telling at a glance which code I have or haven't touched since Quake 2. In fact, there have been enough evolutions in my style that you can usually tell what year I wrote a piece of code by just looking at a single function:

[snip]

Blood 2 Preview
OGR's Blood 2 preview is online offering some spiffy screenshots along with a look at Monolith's upcoming game.

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Technology Part III
Whee!

StarFighter Drivers
New Win95/98 D3D drivers and a new Win NT OpenGL driver for the Intel740 based Real3D StarFighter are up on the StarFighter Drivers page. Thanks Andy Dayton.

TweakIt
Billy at Voodoo Extreme sends word of a TweakIt 1.0.22 Maintenance Release (314 KB) up on 3dfx Mania for all your Voodoo tweaking needs.

Final HexenWorld Soon
Rick Johnson updated his .plan with word on the status of the final version of HexenWorld, due out next week (which also reveals changes in the works for QuakeWorld, doesn't it?):

Will be uploading the "final" version to Steve Stringer, he'll create a new install and put that out early next week. I'll be on vacation next week as well.

There will be one additional release of HW in the near future, as Zoid is making some changes to QW that needs to be incorporated into HW as well.

Thanks to Zoid, Jack Mathews, Steve Stringer, Phoebus, the people behind all of the tools (GameSpy and PingTool especially), and the alpha testers. For the maps, Kenn, Mr. Renner, Jeremy, and Jon. And of course, programming, Nathan, Ron, and Steve.

Zombie Licenses LithEngine
Monolith has announced that Zombie Studios, whose current project is the highly anticipated Spec Ops, is licensing Monolith's LithEngine for their next project, a joint venture with Wildstorm Comics titled EXFOR Omega.

Forsaken Countdown
Looks like the countdown to Forsaken is underway, T minus 13 days and counting. Thanks Spike.

Quake 3 FAQ
The second unofficial Quake 3 FAQ is now up to version 0.11.

Editing - New QuArK
Version 5.0.a3 of QuArK, the Quake Army Knife, is out on the Official QuArK HomePage. Thanks Colin McStravick.

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Technology Part II
Just seems like too much technology for a single update a day (here's the earlier batch if you missed it):

New Viper 330 Drivers
New drivers for the Viper 330 (both AGP and PCI varieties) are up on the Diamond Multimedia VIPER V330 Drivers page, offering full OpenGL support. This news comes way of Cyrellis 3D Games & Hardware where there's news from the rumor mill via RivaZone that Diamond's planned name for their RIVA ZX offering is the Viper 350.

Obsidian Rebate Details
Details of the Quantum 3D Obsidian rebate offer are online. Thanks Obiwan.

3D Blaster Bundle
An update to Creative Labs 3D Blaster Voodoo2 - F.A.Q. reflects their recently announced intention to bundle the same games (Ultim@te Race Pro, Incoming, and G-Police) with the 12 MB version of the card as with the 8 MB version, though the promised announcement of how those who've already bought the 12 MB cards can collect has not yet been made. Thanks Tony on Yahoo.

PII 400
Pentium II-400 The Great Leap Forward is a Games.Net look at the new Intel machines.

Todd H on the Doom Movie
id CEO Todd Hollenshead updated his .plan to clarify what the real deal is with the Doom movie (AKA Doom: Gift Over Hollywood):

I've seen a great deal of recent speculation about the DOOM movie. We're very optimistic about the prospects.

To clear up something I've seen on the 'Net, Ivan Reitman hasn't been involved with the movie for over a year and a half. The inside scoop says that he chose to do the Howard Stern movie at the time, but I have no idea if that's really the truth. Universal declined to re-option the rights in November 1996 and the rights came back to us. We're now working with Tri-Star, who appears set on going to production. They also claim to be interested in making a movie that all the DOOM fans will appreciate (lots of blood, violence and scary monsters from Hell, etc.).

Hollywood has the abolute worst reputation about saying one thing and then doing another (all deserved, I might add), so I wouldn't buy advance tickets yet.

Btw, anyone got a good suggestion for the title we should use for the movie? The guys at Tri-Star don't seem to be into obscure literary references, but what do they know? ;)

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Unreal

Unreal at E3
I saw on the Org that a post on the Epic MegaMessageBoard by Epic's Mark Rein confirms that Unreal will be making an appearance at this year's E3, with a possibility MacUnreal will be making an appearance, as well:

Unreal and UnrealEd will be shown at this year's E3 in GT's. The setup will be very similar to what we had last year with a bunch of PCs running the game.

Unreal will also be shown in several other booths to demonstrate how Unreal supports various peripherals from a variety of hardware manufacturers.

I am hoping the Mac version of Unreal will make an appearance or two at E3 and expecting some licensees to show some of they're Unreal Engine products at E3 as well.

Unreal Chat
Part two of the Daily Dementia's conversation about Unreal with Cliff Bleszinski of Epic MegaGames is online. Real player required.

Unreal Preview
Next-Generation has a big old Unreal Preview online

Descent: Freespace Demo
Word on the Volition Inc. page is that a playable demo of Descent: Freespace is being privately beta tested and will be released soon (the page currently says "late April"). Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

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Quake/Quake II Releases

Weapons of Destruction
Version 5.3 of Weapons of Destruction for Quake II is out, offering an improved Chasecam, the reappearance of the standard Machine-Gun, fixes for the Cluster Bomb bug and the kamikaze when dead bug, and in a twist, the removal of VWep viewable weapons because they don't work with custom models.

Eraser Bot Wizard
Quick Start - Eraser Bot Wizard is up to version 1.48 and climbing.

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Technology

ATI OpenGL Beta 3
Beta 3 of the Windows 95 OpenGL Quake/Quake II minidriver for ATI Rage Pro cards is out on the ATI Technologies Inc. Beta Driver Pre-Releases page. Changes from the previous beta are listed in the 3D RAGE PRO OpenGLQuake FAQ. Thanks Jason Winter-Roach.

New Stingray Drivers (Again)
Don't blink or you'll miss a release: Hercules has issued version 1.28 of the drivers for the Stingray 128 on their FTP Site. Apparently the version 1.26 drivers failed to correct the problem with the 1.25 drivers (I have no clue what the deal was with 1.27, I missed that one entirely). Thanks to my old comrade Unknown Soldier.

Righteous 3D II
An Orchid Technology Press Release dug up by Tony on Yahoo lovingly reproduces many of the positive reviews of the Voodoo 2-based Righteous 3D II (does it really prevent tooth decay?). On that note, here's the Gaming Age PC Review of the R3D II, and a dedicated Righteous 3D II Page.

Quantum 3D Rebate
Billy over at Voodoo Extreme sends along a heads-up about an offer Quantum 3D is cooking up that will allow you to trade in a Voodoo Graphics accelerator for a rebate on one of Quantum's Obsidian uber-Voodoo2 cards. Details will be posted on their website soon.

Tom on the BX and Stuff
Intel's New Blessings for the PC and More ... is a new article up on Tom's Hardware Guide giving the Tomster's take on the new Intel releases.

Mother of all Motherboard Updates
My boy Tony on Yahoo went wild and dug up links to about every motherboard manufacturer's BX motherboard plans. Announcements of 100MHz bus BX-based MB's include the ABIT BX6 and ABIT IT6B; the BCM QS440BX; the ChainTech CT-6BTM; the EliteGroup P6BX+; the Epox EP-61BXa-M; the FIC VB-601; the FreeTech P6F91BX; the Gigabyte GA686BX; the Intel SE440BX; the Iwill DBL100, DBS100, BS100, BD100, and XA100; the M-Tech ATX-SY-6BA; the Micronics M1DBH-001/M1DBH-006 and M1SBR-001/M1SBR-006; the MicroStar MS-6116, MS-6119, MS-6120, and MS-6121; the QDI-P6I440BX Brilliant I and QDI-P6I440BX Brilliant IV; the Spacewalker HOT-641; the SuperMicro P6SBA, P6DBE, P6SBS, and P6DBS; the Tekram P6B40-A4X; and the Tyan S1836DLUAN, S1832DL, and S1846SSLA.

Rendition's Plans
Björn's 3D World spills some beans about Rendition's next-generation 3D board, which Rendition has been pretty tight-lipped about so far. Thanks SoulTaker.

3Dfx Earnings
3Dfx Interactive Announces 1st Quarter 1998 Financial Results, a Yahoo press release, details another record earnings quarter for 3Dfx. Thanks morbid (can you release my family now Jack?).

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People

Mike Wilson Interview
Part two of the interview with Mike Wilson, head of g.o.d. and ex biz dude for both id Software and ION Storm is up on the Daily Dementia at MeccaWorld.

What's in a Name
3D Realms' George Broussard chips in on the Dominion name "issue" in his .plan further questioning the pros and cons of titles for game series', a topic also touched on by ION's Dr Sleep as well as Brian Hook in his .plan (get that tongue out of your cheek Brian, you don't know where it's been), and a follow-up by another smirker, Kevin Cloud.

Zoom
John Carmack's .plan make you wonder which goes faster, a Ferrari F50, or the cash out of your bank account as you make the payments.

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*reviews

Heretic II
PC Gamer Previews Heretic II.

Rocket Arena 2
OGR's Mod Zone reviews my favorite Quake II mod (there's my review for you): Rocket Arena 2. Thanks Jeremy Hanson.

Quake64
There's a Quake64 review up on Sixtyfour.Com.

PCI SoundBlaster
RivaRave reviews the new PCI SoundBlaster card. Thanks PsychoNews.

Activision's Fall Lineup
OGR has a list of fall releases planned by Activision, along with a screenshot of each. The games mentioned are: Heavy Gear II, Third World, Heretic II, and Interstate '82 (if they replace that funky seventies soundtrack with something that sounds like Mr. Mister I may have to go postal on someone).

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Competitions

Cyberathlete Schedule
No official announcements have been released, but a sharp-eyed Wokka spotted an update to the Cyberathlete Events page which now includes dates for three "professional" tourneys, the first planned for this summer in Dallas, as well as announcements of The FRAG II (Halloween 1998) and The FRAG III (Halloween 1999).

Canada vs. USA in ThunderWalker
Registration to participate in an upcoming tourney that pits the US against Canada in ThunderWalker CTF ends tomorrow.

CTF Map Contest
TerraFusion is holding a CAP-PAK competition to find five large (24+ player) maps to include in their CTF pack with a Voodoo 2 to be awarded to the top entry.   

The Ragnarok
The Ragnarok is a Loki's Minions CTF tourney getting underway. For those looking to decipher the title, books on Norse mythology, or old Thor comic books are recommended reading.

etc.

Out of the Blue
We had a lot of fun with Hentai and SteQve on the QuakeCast last night, but darn it, the archive only picks up halfway through the show, missing half of SteQve's appearance, and since we cut him short anyway, I think we need to get him back on. I also failed to give his URL as promised, so if you're looking for that here's SteQve's No Frills Quake Mods Page.

Thursday, April 16, 1998

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SiNIRC

Headlines

SiNIRC
Game Names
More Technology
400 MHz and on to Slot 2
BIOS Merger
PCI SoundBlaster
QuakeCast & Other Chat
MacUnreal Update
The Doom Movie
Heretic II FAQ
Quake II Maps
Single Player Levels
Deathmatch Level
Quake/Quake II Releases
FamkeBot
ServerConfigMOD
Bot Front-ends
Technology
Monster Sound Drivers
Newer Stingray 128 Drivers
3D Accelerator FAQ
Pure3D II Pre-Orders
Benchmarks from Beyond
Editing
Wally
SkyPaint 3D
Rocket Arena 2 Map Specs
Sin Vaporware?
SubSpace
Comp. - Diamond Q2 Tourney
*reviews
Holy Wars 2
Akolyte
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

The single-digit phenom, Don "onethumb" MacAskill updated his .plan announcing a new 3DNet server and the channel where the Ritual killers occasionally hang out:

o Ritual's new IRC server on 3DNet is now up and active. We hang out on #sin periodically (more if our fans start hanging there!) to chat, answer questions, and ask for suggestions... So cruise on over if you dig   talking with the folks behind the games...

"Ritual.3dnet.net" is our server, and you can get on any of the others (including id's, Monolith's, Stomped's, and PlanetQuake's) by using "irc.3dnet.net"

Game Names Point/Counter-Point
Posts in .plans from 3DRealms' Scott Miller and id's Kevin Cloud, and later John Romero, come out with opinions in the age old debate over whether a rose by another name still smells as sweet over ION Storm's choice of title for their RTS game Dominion: Storm Over Gift 3.

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More Technology
A continuation of today's listing of techno-stories:

400 MHz Slot 1 and on to Slot 2
Amid this week's unveiling of the new 350 and 400 MHz Pentium II processors, the 440BX chipset, and the celery powered (or something like that) Celeron processor from Intel (all detailed in this Yahoo press release), was also the first public showing of the next step in the evolution to make the stuff you buy today obsolete, the Slot 2 processor. As this bootNET article (that I found on Voodoo Extreme) describes, the Slot 2 Deschutes is slightly wider than the Slot 1 version, but almost twice as tall due to the size of the 512 KB L2 cache, housed in silicon casings as big as the core CPU.

BIOS Merger
Two of the biggest names in BIOS are joining forces as Phoenix and Award have announced a merger as detailed in this InfoWorld article passed along by Tony on Yahoo.

PCI SoundBlaster
I saw a note over on OGR that Creative Labs today officially announced a SoundBlaster 64 PCI as well as their branded version of the Creative Ensoniq AudioPCI (they recently acquired Ensoniq, though they still haven't bought a vowel, Pat). The cards are expected to retail for $99.00 and $49.00 (US), respectively.

QuakeCast & Other Chatty Stuff
Tonight on QuakeCast we will be talking with Hentai about his remarkably popular Visible Weapons patch, and SteQve about his many projects (TagYerIt, ServObit, his beta testing page, the whole no-frills dealie, and of course, what's the deal with that "Q"?). As always, the action starts at 8:00 PM Eastern time, Real player (also, as always) required. Joost won't be there tonight, so you'll also get to hear loony and me mock him in his absence: not bad for free, huh? Also on the RealAudio broadcast front, a reminder that the Smoke Break is new every Monday: a couple of Joes talkin' Quake. Finally, the Zone (who even now have a beta version that works with Netscape Navigator) has announced they will be holding an online Q&A with Stephen Shaw, Jedi Knight Mysteries of the Sith Project Leader today at 6:00 PM Eastern time.

MacUnreal Update
A blurb on the Westlake Interactive site on the state of MacUnreal makes it sounds like there will be little or no delay in getting the Mac version of the game into stores upon the completion of the PC version, as they are pretty much in sync (Thanks Prophet):

We're keeping the Mac version up to date with the PC (which is progressing very nicely), and adding more Mac specific features steadily.

We now have cross platform network games working (Mac<->PC) with TCP/IP, and are working on the options setup interface (all nice and Mac standard with a beautiful grayscale appearance).

Check out the latest Unreal ads from Epic in the PC game magazines like Computer Gaming World, you'll see a MacSoft logo and "coming soon for Mac" above it!

The Doom Movie
A blurb Dark Horizons gives the latest on the state of the Doom movie, apparently quoting a recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald, written by Doom co-screenwriter Ron Mita (thanks ^Drag0n^):

"Doom was set up at Universal, where Ivan Reitman was producing. They took several passes at the script, but it never amounted to much. Universal let it go and Tri-Star jumped on it. Part of the problem was the tone. Universal wanted to make it like 'Ghostbusters'. That, obviously, is a bad idea. Tri-Star wants to be true to the game and our primary goal is to create a story that won't alienate the die-hard fans. The studio really likes the 'hell on Earth' concept. The story will have something to do with an alternate evolution from the bowels of the Earth that makes its way topside. Like the game, our heroes will be locked in combat with the creatures and forced to annihilate them. If you've played the game then you know there isn't much story there. We've overcome that hurdle and hope to begin writing any day now."

Heretic II FAQ
A new version .008 of the Unofficial Heretic II FAQ is online at Iconoclast's new location at Frag.Com (just ignore the line on the FAQ that says "Hosted by TeleFragged" I have a feeling it will be removed soon).

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Quake II Maps
A recent conversation with Matt Sefton of SPQ2 Level Heaven lead to an agreement to take advantage of his clear expertise in evaluating user-created single player maps, and Jeff over at Ramshackle's similar bent about deathmatch maps to provide a quick look at some of the high quality work coming down their respective pikes (I'd be lying if I denied that some inspiration was drawn from our buds over at JediKnight.Net who do a similar thing). Anyway, as Matt and others well know, level review is more than enough work to occupy a site full-time, and so his and Jeff's help in spreading the word about the works of some talented map authors is greatly appreciated. Here's the latest cream of the crop from the world of maps:

Single Player Levels
SPQ2 Level Heaven currently features what Matt describes as two of the highest quality user created maps yet seen, Crater's Edge (1.2 MB) by Alex Richardson (read me) and What the End is For (1.3 MB) by Carson Utz (read me).

Deathmatch Level
Meanwhile over on Ramshackle the rage of the moment is The Rage (224 KB) by Sten "ZTN" Uusvali of DAPAK2 fame (read me).

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Quake/Quake II Releases

FamkeBot
Version 5.6 of the The FamkeBot is out. In the new release, bots can learn the levels and save the routes they've learned (only about 10 KB each).

ServerConfigMOD
Deathmatch Quake 2 - ServerConfigMOD has emerged from beta, with the final version 2.1 of this server-side mod offering GibStat support, full ServObit support, and QW style frag logging, as well as all sorts of server configuration options.

Bot Front-ends
Version 1.2 of Bot Johnny, the bot front-end is out, offering CRBot support, a .pak file viewer, and support for Eraser 0.95's ctf_auto_teams option among other things. also, Eraser Front-end version 2.01b is out on the Industry News page fixing the "is not a valid integer bug" that popped up in the previous release.

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Technology

Monster Sound Drivers
There are new 1.06.10 drivers for the Diamond Monster Sound card up on the Diamond Multimedia Monster Sound Drivers page. Thanks Billy from Voodoo Extreme.

Newer Stingray 128 Drivers
A report on Wirehead's Rush News reveals that the recent 1.25 drivers for the Hercules Stingray 128 had a fatal flaw: they don't work with Quake (picky, picky), so a quickie 1.26 patch is available on their FTP site, in case you happen to find this a problem.

3D Accelerator FAQ
The 3D Accelerator FAQ on Next-Generation Online has gotten an update with new info on the Intel740, the Matrox G200, the NVIDIA RIVA 128 TNT and ZX, the 3Dfx Voodoo 2 and the PowerVR PVRSG. Thanks Billy from Voodoo Extreme.

Pure3D II Pre-Orders
Word on the Canopus website is that pre-orders are being accepted for the Voodoo2-based Pure3D II. Previous Canopus customers can receive a $30.00 discount off the cards $329.00 MSRP by ordering before May 15, 1998. As described in the Pure3D II Press Release, the sequel to the award-winning (hey it won that spontaneous Blue's News award) Pure3D is a 12 MB Voodoo II (8 MB of texture RAM) card with an integrated cooling fan, and a capacity for higher over-clocked speeds (100 MHz, as opposed to the Monster 3d II's 95 MHz: the V2's stock clock speed is 90MHz).

Benchmarks from Beyond
3Dlabs has posted benchmarks for GLINT GMX and PERMEDIA 2 on a system with Intel 440BX AGPSet and 400MHz Pentium II processor. Thanks Billy from Voodoo Extreme.

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Editing

Wally
Version 1.0 of Wally, the utility that allows the management and manipulation of textures in Quake II's .wal format is out.

SkyPaint 3D
Version 1.0 of SkyPaint 3D, a tool to allows you to create panoramic sky textures for Quake II, Live Picture, 3D Studio MAX, Bryce, VRML, and QuickTime VR as easy as painting 2D images by allowing you to work directly in an unwarped what-you-see-is-what-you-get view.

Rocket Arena 2 Map Specs
A file with all the info you need to make maps for Rocket Arena 2 is now available. Though the RA2 team is not accepting any map submissions currently, they plan to do so in the future, and this can give eager authors a chance to get started.

Sin Vaporware?
In his .plan, Ritual's Mark Dochtermann reacts to an accusation that must've appeared somewhere that Sin is the dreaded "vaporware", as well as a cry for help from a win32 guru with a SinEd programming problem. Here's the vaporware bit:

I just love being called "Vaporware", it really gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling all over. For the record, Sin began development April 1st, 1997. It is now April 15th, 1998. That means that we have been in development for 1.039 years. Now I won't say how long other games called "Vaporware" have been in development, but a year is about 6 months sooner than any game since Wolfenstein 3D. So the next time, someone decides to talk dirt about our baby, I would appreciate if they looked at the facts first.

The Wide World of Gaming - SubSpace
A version 1.34 patch for Sub-space, the massive multiplayer space combat dealie, is up on the SubSpace Downloads page. Thanks Prophet.

Competition - Diamond Quake II Tourney
There's a contest on Diamond's Underground QuakeNet site that looks to throw 22 entrants into a deathmatch along with a pair of Diamond employees, offering the winner their choice of a Monster 3D II video card, or a MonsterSound card.

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*reviews

Holy Wars 2
Holy Wars 2 is among the many mods that get simple one paragraph reviews on AiR's Gaming Page.

Akolyte
An Akolyte preview on AVault takes a look at this upcoming 3rd person 3D action/RPG title.

etc.

Out of the Blue
This week's update to that Internet Websites Top 100 sees Blue's News fall four spots to #46, so we are no longer the answer to "Life , the Universe, and Everything", but still hanging in the Top 50, which is nothing to complain about by a long shot (though spending a second week in a row directly behind Hansonline is pretty frightening). Thanks to all who've bothered to vote!

Wednesday, April 15, 1998 "Nothing's certain but death and taxes." (US Tax filing deadline)

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Amiga Quake

Headlines

Amiga Quake
Heretic II Preview Site
PC FFVII Screenshots
Monolith Doings
Half-Life
Screenshots/Beta News
Video
Activision to Distribute Q3
Quake/Quake II Releases
Jurassic Quake
Weapons Factory
Linux Holy Wars
Q2CTF+
Eraser Front-end
Technology
ADSL
The Big Bus-CPU Price Cuts
CPU's and Games
More on the Matrox G200
People
CliffyB Interview
BillyZ Interview
Tangent Interview
DuvalMagic on Boss Battles
Editing
AirQuake II Entities
Battle of the Sexes Entities
Competitions
A Tribute to Paul Steed
QuakeWorld Invitational
UKooL Invitational
Quake Council 2+2 Tourney
TeamFortress 1-on-1
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

I saw on PlanetQuake that clickBOOM.com is reporting that Amiga Quake has been approved by id Software, and "As soon as production of material is ready, Quake will ship." There've been some inaccurate reports on the status of Amiga Quake in the past, so I asked id CEO Todd Hollenshead about this, and he confirmed that Amiga Quake will ship soon with id's blessings.

Heretic II Preview Site
Activision's Heretic II page  is now online.

PC FFVII Screenshots
There are 24 screenshots from the upcoming port of Final Fantasy VII for the PC up on the Intel Owner's Club. Thanks Nemesis.

Monolith Doings
A new video showing off never before seen footage of several Monolith games in progress is up on the brand-new LithTech Engine page, in both huge (16 MB) and ridiculous (45 MB) sizes. The LithTech page is a new site devoted to the 3D game engine formerly known as DirectEngine, Monolith's recent acquisition from their co-developer of the technology, Microsoft. Also, Monolith's new Blood II: The Chosen site is online celebrating all things about their upcoming LithTech engine sequel to Blood. There's also a QuickTime trailer up on their still relatively new Get Medieval site (a top down multi-player RPG), and finally, if there was a doubt they've broken out the Jolt over at Monolith high command, a new movie is promised soon on the Riot: Mobile Armor site, of course dedicated to Monolith's upcoming LithTech engine mech combat game.

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Half-Life

Half-Life Screenshots & Beta News
There are a couple of new Half-Life screenshots up on the Half-Life Haven, as well as a quote from Sierra' s Eric Twelker intriguingly talking about some form of public Half-Life beta:

There will be a public beta-test for Half-Life -- it has not been determined how wide a test and how we will get participants. Date is also TBD although probably May sometime. Vague enough for you? : ) Touch base in mid-May -- we'll see where we stand.

Half-Life Video
A Half-Life video is up on VX Half-Life in Real format (though it doesn't seem to stream properly as of this writing, and they aren't allowing mirrors).

Activision to Distribute Quake III
id Software announced today that Activision has licensed the worldwide distribution rights for Quake III. You can read all about it in this press release up on Yahoo. Thanks David Parke.

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Quake/Quake II Releases

Jurassic Quake
Beta 2 of Jurassic Quake, the classic Quake mod that pits you against the scaly beasties is out (on their pre-historic website... don't they know blinking text should be extinct?).

Weapons Factory
Version 1.07b of The Weapons Factory, a mod that adds a few wrinkles to Threewave Capture the Flag, is available (required for servers only). Thanks Prophet.

Linux Holy Wars
The Linux version of Holy Wars 2 for Quake II is out, as well as a fix for the "psychedelic bug" on the HW6 map and a new map rotation file.

Q2CTF+
Q2CTF+ is described as "an upgrade" for Zoid's Threewave CTF, created by EAVY, the CrackWhore enhancer. Details on what changes to normal CTF play this mod provides are up on the The Handy-Team Clan page.

Eraser Front-end
Version 2.01 of the Eraser Front-end is up on the Industry News page, offering support for the new ctf_auto_teams command, and offering some bug fixes.

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Technology

ADSL
GTE to offer ultra-fast Internet access is an announcement from GTE that they are planning the largest roll-out of ADSL technology in the US to date beginning in June. they have plans to bring this affordable high-speed networking technology to homes in 30 markets by the end of the year. Thanks Oak.

The Big Bus - CPU Price Cuts
The Hardware Center on Cyrellis 3D Games gives word on Abit's upcoming BX (100 MHz bus) motherboards, and this press release (snagged from Redwood's) describes Tyan's entry into the BX market. These mobos should be the perfect place to put your new PII chip after you jump on the latest round of CPU price slashing by Intel, detailed in this News.com article. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

CPU's and Games
Who's Going to Have the Best Gaming CPU? is an article on Computer Gaming World discussing the possible impact of non-Intel CPU's on the gaming market through the remainder of this year. Thanks Kindjal.

More on the Matrox G200
The Matrox Users Resource Centre has an enthusiastic hands-on report from someone who sampled the upcoming Matrox G200 chipset running a bunch of games. Thanks Phil Whaley.

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People

CliffyB Interview
As promised, on today's Daily Dementia Cliff Bleszinski of Epic MegaGames talks about Unreal. Real player required.

BillyZ Interview
Rebel Boat Rocker Billy Zelsnack is interviewed on The Rebel Watcher.

Tangent Interview
There's a Tangent interview on the Bot Epidemic talking to the author of the Tangential Quake II mod.

DuvalMagic on Boss Battles
Rebel Boat Rocker Randy "DuvalMagic" Pitchford has a very interesting essay on boss monster design in 3D shooters (and how the genre can learn something from console games) in his .plan.

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Editing

AirQuake II Entities
It's never too early to get a head start on mapping, so while AirQuake II is still on the drawing boards, an entity set for AirQuake II maps are up on the AirQuake II homepage offering eager editing-types a leg up on making maps. Thanks Prophet.

Battle of the Sexes Entities
There's a sample map on Spinoza's Quake 2 Mods Page showing authors how to use the Battle of the Sexes entities to make BotS maps.

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Competitions
More of these than you can shake a stick at today (if that's your idea of a good time):

A Tribute to Paul Steed
The Quake98 Competition is a Quake II deathmatch tournament getting underway on the 9th of May in Brisbane, Australia. As the headline suggests, the theme is A Tribute to Paul Steed, since three of the prizes are items autographed by the Steedster himself.

QuakeWorld Invitational League
The invitees for the first season of the QuakeWorld Invitational League have been announced with play to get underway Monday, April 20.

UKooL Invitational
UKooL Invitational is a United Kingdom-based 1-on-1 Invitational League. Many top players (Sujoy, Timber, Cenobite, Kranium) have accepted invitations, with matches to begin the weekend of April 25-26.

Quake Council 2+2 Tournament
The Quake Council 2+2 Tournament is a mixed (low-ping and high-ping together) Quake (1) tournament planned primarily for west coast (US) players, with plans to have matches officiated representatives of up to eight clans.

TeamFortress 1-on-1
Signups for a forthcoming 1-on-1 TeamFortress league are being held on Clan BRB's Home Page.

etc.

Out of the Blue
I didn't realize it until I saw a couple of mails about it, but yesterday at some point the counter here passed 12345678. As was pointed out, only 100 million visits or so until the next time that happens (123456789).

Tuesday, April 14, 1998

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More Technology

Headlines

More Technology
Total3D 128V Drivers & BIOS
Pure3D Drivers
Stingray 128/3D Drivers
MadCow 3D
Crystal Space
More Interviews
Gabe Newell
Voin
Brian Pelleitier
Quake II Mission Pack AVI
Blood 2 Screenshots
Romero.Com
Competitions
Quake II 1-on-1
KotH Tourney
PGL Q2 Qualifications End
Quake3.com Rescued
Quake/Quake II Releases
Pure CTF
Atlas Phase 2
Freeze Tag
ServObit 1.4
Special Forces Quake
Technology
Pure3D II Info
SGI's Comeback Strategy
Win98 Date
The Wide World of Gaming
FFVII
EverQuest
*reviews
BattleZone
StarCraft
People
Paul S .plan
glDoom Interview
Sujoy Roy Interview
Site Seeing
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

A second dose of techno-news today. Hey these are the nineties:

Total3D 128V Drivers & BIOS
Version 1.20.08 of the Total3D 128V drivers (4.2 MB) are out on the Total3D 128V Software Update page , featuring the RIVA 128 OpenGL ICD are out, as well as a 1.54B BIOS upgrade with separate BIOS updates for users of PAL and NTSC television systems.

Pure3D Drivers
Version 1.51.01 drivers for the Canopus Pure3D (1.5 MB) are up on the Pure3D  Software Updates page. Thanks Bullhonkie of Bullhonkie's Riva News for both these last two.

Stingray 128/3D Drivers
New version 1.25 Windows 95 drivers for the Hercules Stingray 128/3D (2.4 MB) are up on the Stingray 1283D Driver Library.

MadCow 3D
The first release of the MadCow 3D Engine is available on MadCow's Pasture. To prevent the kind of confusion associated with the recent DirectEngine release, to be clear: this is not a game in itself, but an OpenGL engine featuring mlook, stained glass, colored lighting, transparency effects, a portal (to look through, not walk through), and a short soundtrack.  There's also a Voodoo version that has all the above features except the portal.

Crystal Space
While we're talking engines, it seems like a good time to point the way to the Crystal Space 3D engine in progress that R-2-RO pointed out.

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More Interviews

Gabe Newell
Valve's Gabe Newell is interviewed as part of a Half-Life preview on Gamers-Zone.

Voin
ION Storm's Peter "Voin" Hushvahtov is discusses Daikatana in a new interview up on the Daikatana Cabana.

Brian Pelleitier
Raven's Art Services Director Brian Pelleitier is interviewed on Gamesmania discussing Heretic II.

Quake II Mission Pack AVI
An AVI of Xatrix' Quake II mission pack (10.6 MB), The Reckoning, is up on Activision's Quake 2 Mission Pack page that runs just under two minutes showing off some of the mission  pack's new weapons and monsters (and pretty spiffy camera work, too).

Blood 2 Screenshots
There are some new Blood2 screenshots up on Blood2.com. Thanks Matt.

Romero.Com
The man, the myth, the domain? It's the day of the domains, as word on the ION Site is WWW.JOHNROMERO.COM is soon to become a reality:

As of tonight, John Romero is opening his website with a nice Flash intro! He will be releasing all sorts of cool facts, pictures, design documentation, and the like for most of his 3D shooter games.  As of now, he is still compiling these little tasty morsels of information, and plans to have them up there fairly soon.  For now you should drop by and check out some of the VERY cool flash graphics that Dave Cash has put together for the site!

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Competitions

Quake II 1-on-1
Quake2 Liga, a presentation of 3D Action Germany  is described as "the first professional Quake2 1on1 Ladder for Quakers around Germany, Switzerland and Austria."

KotH Tourney
The second season of this QuakeWorld King of the Hill tournament is looking for a total of 20 clan sign-ups.

PGL Q2 Qualifications End
Qualifications for Quake II in the AMD Professional Gamers' League closed last night, with the 128 qualifiers to be posted soon. Thanks

Quake3.com Rescued
It was not something I wanted to unduly publicize (as it would just serve to drive up the price), but the domain name Quake3.com was put up for bids when the new game was announced (it had previously been a pr0n site). It now turns out that id Software, presumably in an effort to prevent exploitation of the domain, has acquired it themselves, so it now resolves to the id site (some slow to update DNSs still apparently point to the old "for sale" page for the moment). Thanks Richard Connery. Alright, maybe they weren't even being weasels: Nite points out a report on Quake2.com says after bidding on the domain they heard from the owners that they were giving it to id.

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Quake/Quake II Releases

Pure CTF
Version 1.40 of Pure CTF, the QuakeWorld CTF compatible with Threewave CTF, the CTF Expansion pack and All-star CTF. Thanks Methabol.

Atlas Phase 2
Phase 2 of the Atlas Phase Quake II map utility project is now available, implementing the first database back-end to this program that helps you track your preferences among the maps on your system. The phases are to allow you to download only the features of the program that you want, so if you only need Atlas to act as a map launcher, you only need Phase 1.

Freeze Tag
Version 1.1 of Freeze Tag is out. This Quake II mod requires competing teams to try and freeze all the members of the opposition. Frozen bodies can be dragged around (back to the base for "safekeeping" for instance), and unfrozen by teammates. The new version offers an automatic thaw after five minutes (useful when you're teamed with llamas), as well as an "aid" command to help explain the rules mid-game.

ServObit 1.4
The Linux version 1.4 of ServObit and its source code are available on SteQve's No Frills ServObit Page.

Special Forces Quake
A version 2.11 patch for Special Forces: Strike Team is now available.  This fixes a few bugs in 2.10 and adds improved monster AI.

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Technology

Pure3D II Info
A post on The Adrenaline Vault gives the word on Canopus' planned Voodoo2 offering, the Pure3D II. Here's an informative quote:

All settings can be saved, giving users one-button access for each game. For example, click on the Quake II button and the screen is automatically set to your preferred settings for the ultimate gaming experience.

Pure3D II offers unsurpassed TV-out capabilities for "arcade" style, or big-screen gaming with a sharp, stable, flicker-free TV image. Pure3D II also provides extensive game compatibility with support for Glide, Direct3D and 0penGL. To maximize game time, a cooling fan is mounted on the board to keep Pure3D II at a reliable temperature.

Pure3D II will be available the week of May 18, 1998 for a suggested retail price of $329. Pure3D II offers plug-and-play installation and includes all the cables needed for game play on the PC and/or TV.

SGI's Comeback Strategy
Silicon Graphics Outlines Comeback Strategy is a TechWeb article describing SGI's current business plans beyond suing NVIDIA. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Win98 Date
Apparently Microsoft is re-confirming their commitment to ship Windows 98 on June 25, according to this ABC.com article and another, both passed along by Tony on Yahoo.

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The Wide World of Gaming
Spanning the globe...

FFVII
Word on PC Gamer is that the Final Fantasy VII demo for the PC will be packaged in all its 3D accelerated glory in their June 1998 issue, slated to hit newsstands sometime in May. Thanks to Mr. Hankey's favorite high fiber site, Voodoo Extreme.

EverQuest
The busy blokes at Voodoo Extreme also send word of a big update to the EverQuest page giving the latest status on this huge online RPG in progress, including a batch of new 3Dfx screenshots. As for Sharkey's question about the root canal? Duck and cover baby (I actually have to pop in to Dr. Drill today to find out why something that shouldn't hurt does, and hopefully solve that).

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*reviews

BattleZone
GamePen's BattleZone Review is online. Thanks Prophet.

StarCraft
Here's Gamelinks StarCraft review. Thanks Prophet.

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People

Paul S .plan
3D Realms' Paul Schuytema's .plan responds to the comment that Prey is Vaporware.

glDoom Interview
Author of WinDoom/glDoom, Bruce Lewis is interviewed on The GLQuake2 Primary LZ.

Sujoy Roy Interview
Sujoy Roy, famed for fearsome deathmatch skills, offbeat humor, and (of course), the long-standing flaming Q Blue's News logo, is interviewed over on Methos Quake.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Had a really fun time for several hours this morning trying to simply get my email program to open properly, what a huge waste of time that was. And I thought the full moon was over. Freaky...

Monday, April 13, 1998

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Interviews

Headlines

Interviews
Sinterview
Mike Wilson
crt
Technology (Updated)
Thriller 3D Drivers
Intergraph Intel Injunction
Intel Road Map
More OpenGL
Egg Hunt Update
Editing (Updated)
New Qoole
KotH Qoole Entities
Editors Signatures
Quake 3 FAQ
Quake/Quake II Releases
New Eraser
Abyss of Pandemonium
Superheroes II
Mana Quake
Quick Start
GameLaunch 3D
Competitions
TFO2
Quake II 1-on-1 Ladder
Wide World of Gaming - StarCraft
*reviews - Loki's Minions CTF
Site Seeing
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

Sinterview
Levelord, Charlie Weiderhold, and Joe Selinske all give responses to some questions about the state of Sin on Unforgiven.

Mike Wilson
The head of g.o.d. himself, Mike "Nickname" Wilson is the latest interview victim of the Daily Dementia at MeccaWorld. Word is the dementia will possibly be snaring Cliffy from Epic Megagames on Wednesday to talk about Unreal.

crt
crt of KeyGrip and Rocket Arena fame is interviewed on The Quaker Box.

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Technology (Updated)

Thriller 3D Drivers
Updated version 0.81 Windows 95 Drivers for the Hercules Thriller 3D are up on the Hercules Thriller 3D Driver Library. Thanks R Eldridge.

Intergraph Intel Injunction
I saw over on OGR Intergraph won an injunction against Intel. Here's a quote:

Intergraph announced today that a federal court order has been awarded in favor of Intergraph against Intel. In the 80-page order released on April 10th, the federal court granted all key items of injunctive and mandatory relief requested by Intergraph in the motion filed November 17.

Intel Road Map
Kenneth's Tech pages Intel road map is a look into the crystal ball of what the guys in the bunny suits are planning for the future culled from reports on Techweb, Byte magazine, PC Magazine, CNet, ZDNet, Intel, and more. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

More OpenGL
An OpenGL article originally published in Game Developer magazine is among the materials posted on the newly opened definition six incorporated website, along with word of the jobs in the industry they for which they are hiring.

Egg Hunt Update
They didn't seem to think the Memorial Day Egg Hunt was a winner, so the Quake Easter Egg Hunt postponed from yesterday will be held next Saturday.

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Editing (Updated)

New Qoole
Version 2.40 of Qoole, the Quake Object-Oriented Level Editor, is out (really!). Here's an update on the state of Qoole from Author Matt "WhiteFang" Ayres:

Main changes since v2.31 include:

Quake II external texture support (.wal files and .paks)
Quake II entity sets CTF2, BotS, Jailbreak, and KotH
Multiple bug fixes, including some that caused leaks

This version does not officially support Hexen II.  I will release a version before the end of this month that does.   Beyond that, v2.xx will be getting no new features.  All effort is being directed toward version 3, which is in progress.

KotH Qoole Entities
Another entity set is up on the Qoole page, this one allowing authors to create their own King of the Hill maps with Qoole. Thanks Prophet.

Editors Signatures
Conformation is changing its focus to become a repository of graphical signatures of level authors who, by including the signature somewhere in their work, help ensure that there's accountability for those who skim levels off the net and try to package them for commercial release without the authors permission (a similar project was maintained for Quake maps by the QuakeLab: Editing).

Quake 3 FAQ
An updated version 0.1 of the second Quake 3 FAQ is online.

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Quake/Quake II Releases

New Eraser
Beta 0.95 of the Eraser Bot is up on the Impact Development Team page as both an installer (203 KB) and a zip file (182 KB), fixing a couple of CTF and aiming bugs, and adding an option to try and keep CTF teams balanced with bots as human players join and leave the game. There is also an appeal there for people to cease requesting Eraser support for various mods (JailBreak, Rocket Arena, etc.), as lack of time, and often the mod source code are obstacles that prevent this. Thanks the sherlock.

Abyss of Pandemonium
A demo of Abyss of Pandemonium, described as a full-blown mission pack for Quake is up on this page on PsychoNews in some sort of exclusive dealie, offering 1 single player level, 1 deathmatch level, 1 new weapon (the Napalm Launcher), and 1 power up in deathmatch play. When released commercially, the full version will offer 16 new levels (ten single player & six  deathmatch), six new enemies, four new weapons, 1 power-up, and GL Quake support.

Superheroes II
Beta 9 of Superheroes Quake II is out, fixing a few bugs in anticipation of the imminent release of version 1.0. The update is a server-side replacement .dll only.

Mana Quake
Version 1 of Mana Quake, a server-only Quake II mod is now available. Carry the mana from the beginning of the level to the end to score. Sounds pretty simple, unless people are shooting at you or something.

Quick Start
Version of the day of the Quick Start - Eraser Bot Wizard is 1.44 beta.

GameLaunch 3D
Beta 2 of GameLaunch 3D, the shareware game front-end is now available. Thanks BigOz.

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Competitions

TFO2
The results of the second 5th Element Team Fortress Open are online.

Quake II 1-on-1 Ladder
A new Quake II 1-on-1 deathmatch ladder looks to take advantage of the lowest rates for phone dial-up service for players in New Zealand.

Wide World of Gaming - StarCraft
An update to the StarCraft FAQ covers queries about the game's map/unit editor and how to create your own scenarios. Thanks Prophet.

*reviews - Loki's Minions CTF
A review of LM CTF version 3.0 is up on Capturization.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Spring cleaning here at the old Blue Tower, look for a few dusty departments to be aired out, with maybe a bit of streamlining and refocusing to boot. I also need to clean all the fast food wrappers out of the BlueJet after the guys at WarZone hijacked it... anybody know if they make "the club" for supersonic fighter planes?

Sunday, April 12, 1998 Happy Easter

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Hunt Postponed

Headlines

Hunt Postponed
Editing (Updated Again)
Base1 Benchmarks
Another Correction
Correction
CTF Chain Map
Eraser Routes
Screenshots
Quake II Player Pack
Let the Hunt Begin!
Vaporware?
Quake/Quake II Releases
Holy Wars 2.0
Eraser Bot Wizard
*reviews - Rocket Arena 2 Review
Technology
WinGlide
Post Final Reality
ATI OpenGL
3Dfx FAQ
Software vs. Hardware Rendering
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

The Quake Easter Egg Hunt planned for this evening is "postponed due to technical difficulties" with a new date promised soon (Memorial Day Egg Hunt anyone?). Thanks FantaZ.

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Editing (Updated Again)

Base1 Benchmarks
Jim Lowell of the long-lost THRED page, and current maintainer of Trinity The Site, has posted some Base1 Benchmarks, not of a timedemo or anything, but how long it takes to compile the map on different systems.

Another Correction
Those WinQoole and GlideQoole version 2.36 test releases mentioned Friday were not actually for public consumption, and are no longer available, but a complete public 2.40 release is expected soon. Thanks Mr. Neutron.

Correction
I wondered "Can he do that?" and the answer was no, the Quake textures converted to the Quake II .wal format posted yesterday have been pulled due to a bit of copyright infringement, with the creator of the .zip passing along his apologies, as he was unaware this was the case.

CTF Chain Map
The chain mappers over at Quartography are preparing to crank out a chain CTF map (passed from author to author to complete as a group). Interested authors should jump in and make themselves be known.

Eraser Routes
SkullPlate's Quake II Bot Page offers 168 route tables for the Eraser Bot to quickly teach your AI friend maps including those from id, CTF, LM CTF, and other user levels instead of taking the time (as long as 20 minutes) to generate your own tables.

Screenshots
Saw over on the sugar-fueled (lay off the Easter candy, Billy) Voodoo Extreme that there are some new Gore Screenshots on the 4D Rulers page showing off this upcoming 3D shooter, and also some new glDoom screenshots up on the The Official WinDoom/glDoom Homepage.

Quake II Player Pack
Dragon updated his .plan with news of the availability of the second player pack for Quake II (5.9 MB).

Ok. Here it is. Finally.

PlayerPack 2 for Quake 2.

4 New Player Models.

Over 100 new skins.

UnZIP it into your "quake2/baseq2/players" directory. WinZIP will do the rest.

Use it. Abuse it. Love it.

Let the Hunt Begin!
A reminder that the Quake Easter Egg Hunt cooked up by the hard-boiled types at Quake Innovations begins today at 8:00 PM Easter, errr, Eastern time.

Vaporware?
3DRealms' Scott Miller's .plan takes issue with the May/June 1998 print PC Games for commentary that Prey "loiters on the vaporware list".

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Quake/Quake II Releases

Holy Wars 2.0
On this Easter Sunday, you may want to make a pilgrimage over to the Holy Wars for Quake 2 page and grab a copy of version 2.0 of their Quake II mod that asks you to be a saint or a sinner.

Eraser Bot Wizard
Version of the day (morning?) of the Quick Start Eraser Bot Wizard is 1.40.

*reviews - Rocket Arena 2 Review
Obiwan, reviewer of all things, is back in action with a Rocket Arena 2 review up on his redesigned reviews page.

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Technology

WinGlide
New version of Pentium WinGlide, MMX WinGlide, and Overlay WinGlide are up on Chris' WinGlide page. WinGlide is the .dll dealie that allows Voodoo Graphics cards, which normally do not support windowed output, to do 3D in a window. Though this causes a performance hit, each different version has optimizations to work as well as possible on specific hardware (version 0.8 of Overlay WinGlide also supports MMX).

Post Final Reality
More on the sequel to Final Reality in Markus Mäki's .plan, where he solicits ideas for their next 3D benchmark.

ATI OpenGL
Further updates to the ATI Open GL Driver Testing page do side-by-side performance testing of the new ATI drivers, both the "Turbo" , and the "beta OpenGL" drivers, discussing performance and visual quality. On a semi-related note, Ken passes along word of ATI's strong reported earnings, showing that while the era of the 3D accelerator may be upon us, it is still quite possible to succeed without making a big splash in that market.

3Dfx FAQ
An updated version of this pretty much unauthorized 3Dfx Voodoo FAQ is online, with tweaks and tune-up hints, as well as helpful tips for Linux users.

Software versus Hardware Rendering
Word in Josh Heitzman's .plan file is that the internal debate at Raven about software support in Heretic II is raging. Josh's advice is to buy a good accelerator.

etc.

Out of the Blue
Lithium (PreyGround, Ritualistic), sent me word of the World Charts Foundation which has cooked up an Internet Websites Top 100, a Billboard Magazine-type countdown of websites receiving the most votes in their survey. The chart is just underway (they run these charts for a bunch of things, apparently the only chart not brand-new its their Internet PC Games Top 100, which has Quake II falling to #2  this week just behind Total Annihilation), and as you may have guessed by my mentioning it here (this is out of he "Blue" after all), Blue's News actually shows up on their rankings, at #42! They're probably still working out the bugs that cause glitches like that (heh), as they also have an Internet Homepages Top 100, and I don't know why Blue's News is a website, but Tom's Hardware Guide is a homepage, so there may be some shake-outs here. Anyway, the bottom line is that this site showed up because some person or persons decided it was worth writing in a vote, so I'd like to thank them, and encourage anyone who is so inclined to go over and show the world what you appreciate in a website. I'm getting a peculiar kick out of having snagged a higher ranking, at least for the moment, than some considerably "bigger" sites:

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Saturday, April 11, 1998 Happy Passover

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DM2 Strategies

Headlines

DM2 Strategies
Quake/Quake II Releases
New Eraser
New CRBot
Rocket Arena 2
GL Navy Seals
Bot Front-ends
Games That Ain't Out Yet
Half-Life Goodies
Unreal Status
Blood 2 Schedule
Heretic II RealAudio
Heretic II FAQ
Wide World of Gaming Releases
Outwars Demo
Barrage
Dominion Patch
Jazz JackRabbit2
Competitions
InterFrag
Editing
JailBreak Entities
Tutorial
Site Seeing
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

The DM2 (Claustrophobopolis) Guide is the new chapter up on the Gamers Extreme Quake Bible, offering a DM2 Strategy Guide, a section on Important Areas of DM2, and (gasp) Strategic Hiding/Ambush Spots (Thresh, you camper! How could you?). Thanks NormaL-MaN.

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Quake/Quake II Releases
Please take a look at "Out of the Blue" before trying the local downloads.

New Eraser
A version 0.94 patch for the Eraser Bot is out on the Impact Development Team page, as an installer (196 KB), or a zip (180 KB), fixing some issues with 0.92, as well as further tweaking the CTF AI (version 0.93 made a brief appearance in the wee hours as well, but the flying bug reared its ugly head again, hence 0.94).

New CRBot
Version 1.12 of the CRBot is now available, also offering CTF AI improvements, as well as tweaks to normal DM play.

Rocket Arena 2
The new Rocket Arena 2 client (12.6 MB) and server (677 KB) are both up on the Rocket Arena page, along with VWep (1.7 MB) which is also supported. The server ZIP includes files for Win32, Linux, and Sun Solaris. Servers also need the client files (see you out there!). BTW, on the subject of VWep, Hentai, who clearly appreciates the impact of a name, passes along word that his VWep patch will henceforth be known as the El Niño Quake Extensions to prevent confusion with the Tsunami random map generator (anyone who has a beef with that is asked to speak now or forever hold his peace, or piece, or something). Of course most people just call it VWep anyway.

GL Navy Seals
A patch is out for the original Quake version of Navy Seals to replace some models with variations that are better behaved under GLQuake.

Bot Front-ends
Coinciding with the new Eraser, version 2.0 of the Eraser Front-end is up on the Industry News page. Also, the Quick Start - Eraser Bot Wizard page has relocated.

Games That Ain't Out Yet
Lots of news from the crystal ball ("are they friendly spirits?"):

Half-Life Goodies
There's an interview with Gabe Newell and Steve Theodore of Valve Software up on VX Half-Life, and another interview with Valve's Brett "Thanos" Johnson. There are also a pair of exclusive Half-Life screenshots over on Voodoo Extreme.

Unreal Status
I saw word of a couple of posts by Mark Rein on the MegaBoard over on Unreal.Org, one talking about their enthusiasm for the H3D stereo glasses, and a second giving an Unreal status report:

Unreal is not finished yet and will not be finished before the end of April. We will most definitely announce it when Unreal is finished. A large group of GT's playtesters are furiously testing it any reporting bugs and strange things they find. The programmers and level designers are working very hard to correct them in order to get the game to a realeasable stage as quickly as possible.

The tasks still be worked on are: performance and memory optimization (to make it better on lower-end machines), difficulty tuning (right now it is slightly too hard and defaults to the highest (Unreal) difficulty level, Internet performance and tuning, weapon tuning, improving some sound effects, bug fixing, configuration menus, the intro and a few user interface issues.

GT is doing everything in their power to significantly reduce the amount of time between the date we give them the gold master and the date the game arrives in stores. This might put some pressure on the shareware release which now might not happen until just before Unreal is arriving in stores or perhaps even a day or more later.

The final film for the box is finished and going into
production. The differences between the final box and the "coming soon" boxes you've seen in stores are: The word Unreal will be stamped with gold foil, the creatures will be embossed (raised), many of the screen shots (and ALL of the CD shots have been changed), there are three new partner logos, and there have been some changes to the text.

The most important change is that it now says "Includes Unsupported Beta Version of the Unreal Level Editor". So there you have the news that GT is shipping the full version of the editor as we originally thought. We at Epic have decided that it rightfully deserves to be called a Beta and that's what we'll refer to it as from now on. We're currently in the trademark process for the final name for UnrealEd.

The manual is going through it's final draft next week and then will also be printed.

Blood 2 Schedule
Monolith's Jay "Shade" Wilson made a .plan update stating that the recent changes to the Blood 2 team were not adversely affecting the game's expected release date, still planned for this fall.

Heretic II RealAudio
Raven's Dan Freed's .plan mentions an appearance on the All-Games Network yesterday in a RealAudio interview where he talks a bit about Heretic II (Hey Scott--Quake II does support co-op!).

Heretic II FAQ
Also, version .007 of the Heretic II FAQ is available, now featuring even fewer misspellings than before (guess that qualifies as a bug-fix), and four new sections.

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Wide World of Gaming Releases

Outwars Demo
SingleTrac has released a demo of Outwars (21.7 MB -- DirectX 5.0 required). Here's GameSpot's page outlining the demo's availability on other sites, and for orientation, here's a link to the AVault preview of this first/third person perspective game that I snagged from Voodoo Extreme.

Barrage
Also hot off the presses (or something like that) is the Barrage demo available here on Next Generation Online. I've only played a bit with the demo, but am blown away by the 3D accelerator-only eye-candy of this first person flying shooter dealie. Terrain and trees and missiles, oh my! The limited demo can be unlocked into "a fully playable two environment single player version" for $15.00 (US), of which $12.00 is applicable to the full game (when available).

Dominion Patch
A version 1.1 patch for the demo of ION's real-time strategy offering Dominion was released yesterday, as promised, on the ION Storm site.

Jazz JackRabbit2
The Daily Carrot has word of the release of Jazz Jackrabbit2 Shareware. This game is as far astray from 3D action titles as we ever wander here, but hey, it's by Epic who are also making Unreal, and the Jazz Jackrabbit2 Warehouse (since defunct) gave Blue's News one of the first "awards" it ever received. Thanks Dark Claw.

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Competitions

InterFrag
InterFrag looks to pit Australians against each other in an online Quake II Tournament.

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Editing

JailBreak Entities
The entities to create your own JailBreak maps with the Qoole level editor are up on the Qoole page. Thanks Prophet.

Tutorial
The ninth editing tutorial is up on Ravages of Radiant by GrrandMaMa of Rust, covering QERadiant's "region" tool.

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Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Getting going with the local files here on the GamesNET FTP server. A note about that: I am now downloading files directly from the source to the FTP server: we will look into virus scanning files up there, but given the issues with Quake II .dlls (a lot of the malice in a .dll cannot be detected by Virus scanners), the ultimate approach to this may just be to post the files with the warning that you are downloading at your own risk, as I haven't necessarily gotten them onto my home machine yet. That certainly is the case at the moment: Please download at your own risk (and use protection) you have been warned.

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