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Friday, May 1, 1998 Happy May Day (workers of the world unite!) 

M2M2 Demo
The Monster Truck Madness 2 trial version (17.6 MB) is now available. Here's Download.com's M2M2 demo page. Jeff over at TRI sends a music tip and help for users of lower end systems who need better performance than provided by the default settings:

Upon installing the trial version of Monster Truck Madness 2, we recommend turning on the 'Pre-Race Music' under the OPTIONS/ SOUND menu to obtain the best user experience.  If you are running a lower end PC, the number of default computer trucks can be changed by editing the OPTIONS/ GAME menu to obtain the best possible frame rate.

Daikatana Weapons
The informers at the Daily Informant over at ION Storm's steroidal website plan on showing off the weapons that will be in the demonstrations at E3. Today firepower from the fourth episode: the Glock 2020, the Ripgun, the Kineticore, and the Novabeam are on display. Also on display is John Romero in full royal splendor in a king's outfit in a new Panther XL ad.

Prey Update
3D Realms' Site has a Prey development update talking about the KMFDM soundtrack. Thanks Lithium of PreyGround.

LithTech Engine 1.0 (Alpha)
Version 1.0 (alpha) of the LithTech Engine is up on Monolith's LithTech Engine page. Remember this is not a game, but an engine technology demo. Users who already have a brand code will need to repeat step #3 in the demo download process and get a new brand code for this version.

Quake Arcade Tournament Edition (Updated)
This press release (thanks HarPax) describes an updated version of the Quake arcade machines from LBE called the "Tournament Edition" that brings the deathmatch level, "The Edge" to arcades. Disruptor sent along a clarification of how that differs from the Quake II level The Edge:

Actually, The Edge included in the arcade version *IS* the same version included in Quake II, but it was converted by Tim Willits for use in the Arcade version. You won't find that version available for Quake I anywhere else.

Tim, Brandon and myself had a chance to head over to the local GameWorks a couple weeks ago to see it in action, and it's a hoot.

Back to the Future Activision to Publish N64 Q2
Activision Begins Publishing Titles For The Nintendo(R) 64 is a press release that talks about Activision's return to their console roots (the company began doing Atari 2600 compatible games), in announcing they will begin publishing titles for the Nintendo 64 with their first two re-entries in the field being N64 ports of Nightmare Creatures, and Quake II. Thanks devilbunny.

More Activision - The E3 Lineup
Activision's E3 Line-Up: An Inside Look is an OGR article that looks at what the big A is showing off at this month's expo, including Heretic II, SiN, and the Quake II Mission Pack. The preview includes conversations with the teams and screenshots from each  game. Thanks CiDcO of StormTroopers.

Blood 2 Update
This week's Blood 2 The Chosen update is online showing some screenshots of the LithTech engine and editor in progress. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme. Today is also the day that the new LithTech engine demo is to be released.

Anachrochat
A reminder that tonight is the monthly online chat at 8:00 PM Central time (9:00 Eastern) with Tom Hall, Squirrel Eiserloh, Rich "Zdim" Carlson, Iikka Keränen, and other members of the Anachronox team. Discussion topics will include the progress of Anachronox development, the team’s plans for E3, and the recent Anachronox CD burn for a "safety net" CD (presumably to protect Tom from losing it before this year's E3). You can join the chat through your browser (or IRC client) at www.ionstorm.com.

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Hi Tech

New Display Doctor
SciTech Software has released version 6.52 of their Display Doctor program, described as "the first and only universal display driver for Windows 95." Thanks [H2K] Napalm. Though word isn't up on the site yet, you can snag it from their FTP site.

Sound Mistake
Jim Dosé updated his .plan to clarify that the sounds in Duke Nukem 3D were altered to suit different environments using the same DSP technology used in Half-Life, not as re-recorded samples as was mentioned in the GX Half-Life preview.

Divx Update
An article on No Divx Day made the front page of thee business section of the Houston Chronicle (thanks Hawkwind). Also I noticed on The Tech Zone that bootNET is reporting that on No Divx day not a single Divx player was sold (okay they're not available yet, but...). Finally, there's a News.Com article titled Divx dust-up looms (thanks Tony on Yahoo), talking about efforts to combat the attempts to combat adoption of this controversial technology describing Digital Video Express's investment of "$100 million in a marketing campaign designed to erase the negative publicity Divx has generated in its efforts to supplant DVD."

Voodoo Review
An HTML version of the new issue of the Voodoo Review is up on Voodoo Extreme.

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Computer Game Developer's Conference
Some of the happenings at next week's Computer Game Developer's Conference (CGDC):

Messiah Engine at CGDC
Shiny To Highlight 'Messiah Engine' at CGDC is a story up on Prophet's News that describes Shiny's plans to hold an hour-long discussion at the CGDC to talk about their company and show off the engine from their upcoming Messiah.

UberEngine at CGDC
Gary McTaggart's .plan file has a bit on what Ritual is going to show of UberEngine at the CGDC.

PQ at CGDC
Hyping the Computer Game Developers Conference as a no-hype affair, the boys a PQ have a page up to unify their coverage of the event, so they're all set to bring pictures and interviews and stuff (but remember, no hype).

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Quake/Quake II Mods

New Eraser
Beta 0.97 of the Eraser bot is up on the Impact Development Team page as a Win95 installer (1.2 MB), or a zip file (1.2 MB). word on the new release is that it kills the persistent green line bug, enhances the boys' use of the grapple, adds some "major tweaks" to the camera, as well as movement AI tweaks.

Pandora Bot
The Pandora Bot may open Pandora's Box, as it is a client bot that can log into a server and play as a player. This is not a proxy bot, as it takes no human input, and at the current moment its deathmatch skills are described as poor, but the implications for the future are interesting, to say the least.

Disposable Heroes
The demo version of The Coven's Disposable Heroes Quake II deathmatch pack is out on The Coven Home Page offering three maps and one patch taken from the pack. There is also info there about servers running the demo.

Weapons Factory - New Version & Merger
Version 2.1b of the Weapons Factory CTF mod is out on the ST Weapons Factory page, so renamed because as of today, the WF gang has merged with the Star Troopers project to form the ST Weapons Factory project.

Film at 11 Source
The source code for Film at 11, the classic Quake demo editor is now available. Thanks IcX.

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Interviews

Heretic II Team
PC Games Interviews Heretic II Team talking at length with the gang at Raven about their upcoming third-person Quake II-engine game. Thanks Prophet.

crash
I forget if he's the Siskel or Ebert of Quake level reviews (then again, I can't remember how to tell the real Siskel from Ebert), but I digress: Anyway, crash of crash's Quake2 pages is interviewed over on The Workshop, talking about level design and reviews and stuff.

Competitions - TeamFortress World Tour '98
Sign-ups are underway for Team Fortress World Tour '98. Remember to get you passport and your inoculations.

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*reviews

Voodoo2 Versus RIVA 128
RivaRave has posted a comparison between the Voodoo2 and the RIVA 128 in an article called My Experience with a Voodoo2 (Long-time RIVA lover commits adultery).

Voodoo2's Head-to-Head
Cyrellis 3D Games & Hardware has a comparison pitting the Canopus Pure3D II versus the Creative Labs 3D Blaster Voodoo 2.

Abit BX6
Abit's BX6 motherboard is reviewed on Cyrellis 3D Games & Hardware, as well.

etc.

Out of the Blue
Not a Hank scandal? According to The Official Auntie Dynamite Column sent along by Walter Goodwin (thanks!), the people at People are actually reneging on their original stated intention of putting the winner of their 3rd Annual Most Beautiful People Poll on the cover of the magazine. Hank also gets his due in an ABC news article (thanks Jason Grundy) titled Internet Dwarfs DiCaprio (that guy could write headlines for Blue's News!). If my new motherboard arrives today I'll be indisposed for a while (hopefully a short while) while I rebuild the Blue Tower (my machine, not the newsroom--you should've seen sCary laugh at me at m3 when he saw that "My Computer" was named the "Blue Tower"--yeah I'm a dork).

Thursday, April 30, 1998 Happy Queens Day (Netherlands)  

Bundle in the Jungle
A conversation I had with Dylan Rhodes from Creative Labs clarifies the status of the game bundle with their 12MB Voodoo2 card that was reported at one point on their website, but then pulled. Our conversation covered two questions: First, would the 12 MB card actually get the three game bundle (Ultim@te Race Pro, Incoming, and G-Police), included with the 8 MB card. To this, the answer is an unqualified yes, nothing has changed, they have added the game bundle to their 12 MB Voodoo2, but pulled the word of it from their website to avoid confusing customers, since all the cards in stores at this time have no game bundle included. As soon as the inventory on store shelves sells out, and cards with the bundle are available, then word of the bundle will return to the website. The second question is, would owners of cards that shipped without the bundle get a "retroactive bundle?" The answer to this is almost definitely: They thought the deal was set enough a couple of times that Dylan posted its imminence on some newsgroups, but now is holding off on any further announcements until it is carved in stone. The fly in the ointment here is that game companies didn't agree to let them send bundled games to people who bought hardware without the bundle, and there are International companies involved, to boot, so there are negotiations involved. Nonetheless, Dylan assured me it is a priority for them to offer the early adopters a "grandfather bundle," so barring unforeseen difficulties an announcement on this will be made shortly, as well.

QuakeCast
Tonight on QuakeCast we will speak with Dakota of Captured and the Gamer's Guide and we've tentatively scheduled some members of ION Storm's Daikatana team. The festivities begin at 8:00 PM Eastern time, Real player required. Be there, or be somewhere else. Aloha. Also tonight for your RealTM pleasure is Inside the AMD PGL.

DirectX 5.2
Winsome William over at Voodoo Extreme has been into the Jolt again, passing along word of the availability of DirectX 5.2 for end users over on Microsoft's DirectX Site where they offer downloads of this latest version distributed with a recent SDK.

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Interviews (Updated)

Harry Teasley
The boys over at Voodoo Extreme have posted a conversation with Valve's Harry "mf" Teasley. Here's a quote that gives a first hand thumbs-up to some of the upcoming 3D accelerators:

Some of the unannounced chipsets coming out are pretty amazing. All of the other chip manufacturers are targeting Voodoo2 level performance, and adding 2D functionality, aiming for a much lower price, or both. We were really pretty skeptical about some of the claims that were being made until we were able to get Half-Life up and running on these new boards, and, well, it's going to be a great year for gamers.

Team Hostile
Team Hostile is interviewed on TC Land.

Cyber-Models
id's Barrett "Bear" Alexander updated his .plan to mention those Cyber-Model dealies mentioned here a while back. I totally recommend these paper classic Quake marine model kits to any Quake nut, they're way cool (I have two). Oh yeah, to answer Dave and Bear, I get that unsolicited GameNews-WIRE dealie too, among others).

Quake 3 Suggestions
A reminder that today is the deadline for submissions for the first batch of the OpenQuake's Quake 3 Suggestions which will be forwarded to John Carmack for consideration for inclusion in the game. The website has details on submitted proposals, and how to participate. Thanks b..

LXXXV PC FFVII Screenshots
There are now no less than 85 PC Final Fantasy VII Screenshots up on the Intel Owner's Club Sneak Peek. Thanks HarPax.

Daikatana Movie
StormTroopers has posted a cool new Daikatana movie (more like a music video) in high and low quality AVI formats, as well as a RealVideo version.

Prey Designers Journal
The latest edition of the Prey Designers' Journal #5 describes the ongoing development process for prey, describing the role of GSE's (Game Space Engineers), and the Preditor Prey editor. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

A3D Unreal
Prophet passes the news that support for version 2.0 of Aureal's A3D Interactive 3D audio support has been announced for Unreal. Word is that BattleZone will also receive an an upgrade to 2.0 from the 1.0 A3D support with which it shipped.

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The Legal Beat

On Cheating
A Yahoo release titled Online games leagues sites fight against cheaters (thanks Paul "Screwtape" Lamere) discusses the measures the PGL has taken to curtail cheating,

The UO Lawsuit
A GameSpot article called Lawsuit Clock Ticking for Origin and EA describes both of those companies as being on the 30 day clock to respond to the UO lawsuit (related story if you're catching up) after being officially presented with the suit in the past couple of days. Thanks Lanhdanan.

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Technology

Best Gaming CPU?
With many upcoming entries into the CPU market claiming technological innovations, a ZDNet article titled Who makes the best gaming chip (thanks JetLag) seems to want to shed some light for us, but eventually draws no other conclusion than saying we will have to wait and see:

"If all these plans reach fruition, Intel could finally have some serious competition. However, history has proven on more than one occasion that plans on paper don't always make it to reality...unless they can deliver the volume, it's difficult to see them really chewing into Intel's marketing share. But if they get their manufacturing lines in shape, that could change."

Zoom!
Players team for high-speed games is a News.Com article describing an agreement between the @Home Network and the SegaSoft Networks (thanks Tony on Yahoo). Here's the lowdown in the form of a couple of quotes:

"@Home Network and SegaSoft Networks tomorrow will announce plans to provide multiplayer gaming via high-speed cable networks--providing the fastest online game playing yet, they say."

"...SegaSoft's Heat.net Internet game network becomes the exclusive online provider for @Home. Game servers will be located directly on @Home's network, resulting in latency of 30 to 60 milliseconds, compared to 150 to 400 milliseconds for typical Internet latency, the executive said."

"The service is expected to launch this summer. The online gaming is free to @Home users. But for an extra $5.95 per month, players will get to participate in special tournaments, among other benefits. Some 40 games, including Quake II, will be featured. Game playing on the network can accommodate up to 32 players on any one game at any given time, depending on the game."

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Quake/Quake II Mods

Lithium II
Version 1.0 of the Lithium II Mod for Quake II is out, adding an adjustable chasecam, some minor features, and some bug fixes, including the VWep lastmessage error bug. A few of the future planned features (no guarantees!) of Lithium II include teamplay options, competition modes, CTF II support, Eraser bots, and a quick weapon switching option.

Quest Editor
Version 2.25 of the revived Quest level editor is out on the Official new DOS/Win95 Quest homepage.

Bot Launcher of the Day
The first public version of the The BgBot Launcher is out with C.R.Bot, Eraser, ACE, 3ZB, Oak, and Famke Bot support.

*reviews -- Pure3D II
Two of 'em: Voodoo Extreme's big-ass Canopus Pure 3D II review, and Pure3D Central reviews the Canopus Pure3D II.

Competitions - Win Two Voodoo2s at CGDC
TeamGamespy has announced their booth at the upcoming CGDC where you have the opportunity to spank them at deathmatch and win a pair of Voodoo2 cards in a win-win scenario. Details can be found in Bastage's farging .plan.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Hats off the the people at People for adding a radio button to vote for Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf in their 3rd Annual Most Beautiful People Poll. Shortly after I speculated here on Hank' chance of making the cover if he won, I saw in a local rag that this poll is to pick the winner for the website, not the cover, but should he win, Hank will be featured the same as Leo would have (BTW, here's HS!' Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf website). Also, thanks to all who suggested Outlook '98 over Outlook Express, I should've pointed out that I tried it, but it doesn't want to run on my machine, stopping every time while "creating sample appointments." Oh, yeah, a huge thanks to the many who pointed out the easiest way to get to the sender's email address is through the properties tab (duh). That's a lifesaver. Looks like the local copy of the Freespace demo was crapped up (my apologies), I'll try and fix it.

Wednesday, April 29, 1998 No DIVX Day! 

Descent Freespace Demo
The Descent Freespace Demo is up on the Volition Inc. site along with a list of mirrors (I can't get a direct transfer so a local copy may not happen for some time). The playable demo of this space shooter weighs in at 26 odd MB, and has 3 missions and supports 3D acceleration, though its not required.

Half-Life Preview
Gamers Extreme's Half-Life Preview is up based on their experience at the Sierra Studios Launch Event.

Sin Box Art
The cover art for Sin is posted over on HardCorps SiN News (hey, get your I off his butt!).

Levelord Interview
In his .plan, Levelord mentions an interview with him up on Norton's Stuff (deathmatch.org), the only 100% Levelord endorsed HIPDM1 strategy page. Thrill to the prose, thrill to the screenshot (framing reminiscent of many vacation photos), and bask in the glow of the blinking text (unless you are prone to seizures).

New Monster 3D II Drivers
Busy Billy over at VE passes along word of the new version 4.10.01.0201 Monster 3D II drivers up on Diamond Multimedia Monster 3D Drivers Page.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

LMCTF
A new server-only update to Lokis Minions Capture the Flag is available fixing some bugs (apparently the version is the same making this the new version 3.14). The new release is for Linux, Win32, and Solaris servers, but is not to be confused with the upcoming Tournament Edition (4.0). Also, one of the competitions in the just announced Online Gaming League is an LMCTF modem ladder. Finally, the busy minions tell me that version 3.14 of LMCTF will be on the CD of an upcoming issue of PC Gamer Magazine.

m2m Quake to Quake II Map Converter
Version 1.0 of m2m, a utility that converts Quake maps to Quake II maps is out on the 5thD page. Features of the new release include QuArK support, new tweaking parameters, and loads of user requests fulfilled.

Unnamed Mod
Version 1.1 beta of the unnamed mod is out, offering server admin options and a competition mode. The program will have a short "feature freeze" to, as the author put it, "avoid the release a day syndrome."

Eraser Front-end
Version 2.5 of the Eraser Front-end is out. I know, only one bot launcher release today, but it's still early yet.

Quake Stats
Nezstat is a new Quake stats program, beta 1 is on Nezstor.

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Business

No DIVX Day
Remember today is the day. Here's the No DIVX FAQ. Here's a Salon Magazine Article on the festivities. It's funny to read Circuit City's confusion at the adamant reaction. An interesting aspect of this struck me: corporations clearly communicate best to consumers by talking at them, and two-way communication seems to really confuse them.

12MB Creative Vooodoo2 Bundle Bummer?
Brian points out that the Creative Labs site has been revised, and no longer seems to have information about a game bundle with  their 12MB Voodoo2 card. No word yet if they've actually changed their minds about offering the same bundle with the 12MB cards as the 8MB cards, or what the deal is.

Forbes on 3Dfx
Two articles on the Forbes Digital Tool, dug up by Billy, the analog tool over at Voodoo Extreme, take looks at 3Dfx's recent strong earnings. Here's one article, and here's the other.

The Intel 3D Effect
Another article on Forbes (you gotta love that digital tool, eh Mrs. Cartman?) is titled the Intel effect talking about the impact of the big I's forays into the 3D accelerator market.

Notebook Price Cuts
Notebook prices fall with chip cuts is an article on News.Com. Thanks Tony on Yahoo.

*reviews - Pure3D II
A Pure3D II Review on The Pure3D Station proclaims Canopus' Voodoo2 entry "the King of the World!" obviously replacing Leonardo DiCaprio who probably abdicated the throne after his man beating at the hands of Hank.

Out of the Blue
I had to put Eudora to sleep yesterday, may she rest in peace. It was to the point where often I could not open one program other than Eudora without running so low on system resources that my machine would crash (which is ridiculous because my machine has more RAM than existed in entire the world in 1972), which is probably affected by my ridiculous usage (over 27,000 messages in my trash, for instance). I ended up running a copy of Outlook Express, and while I'm not happy at being an old dog learning new tricks (Eudora was my mailer for years), having my mailer and a few other programs open now uses up less than half my system resources, so there it is. When I converted my inbox I was shocked to find dozens of emails I failed to recover when I thought I fixed my last corrupted inbox, so some folks may receive replies to mails they don't even recall sending. Now I just have to deal with a new interface, and an email program that doesn't seem to want to let me copy the sender's email address to the clipboard until I make it an address book entry (um, huh?). Finally the People Online 3rd Annual Most Beautiful People Poll has Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf' leading Leonardo DiCaprio over 37,000 votes to 5,000. So, what do you think, will People cancel the write-in portion of the competition, or put Hank on the cover? You know what I'm rooting for. Go Hank!

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Tuesday, April 28, 1998

Daikatana Shot
There's only one, but the new Daikatana screenshot on ION Storm's site is especially cool (it says exclusive, so I'll leave it where it is).

More Biz - Blizzard Sued over Registry Sniffing
Another lawsuit is in the air as Rulon Anderson sends along word of a clip in the San Jose Mercury that says the fallout from the recent incidents of registry information being transmitted to Blizzard on failed StarCraft Battle.Net logins will end up in court:

Blizzard Entertainment is facing a lawsuit as a result of its brief fling with copying information such as e-mail addresses from some users' computers running its Starcraft video game. Albany attorney Donald P. Driscoll has sued the Irvine company and its corporate parent, Cendant Corp., under California's unlawful business practice laws, and charges that the company violated laws that prohibit the introduction of a ''contaminant'' designed to transmit information from a user's computer without the user's permission. Blizzard says it only collected information to resolve technical issues, did not keep the information, and no longer collects such information.

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Wide World of Gaming (Updated)

Warbirds D3D
One for my bro RedAnt and his buds in the fly-by-the-hour set, here's a local copy of the new version 2.01 Warbirds with Direct3D Support: the base Win95 installer (9.8 MB), the Win95 full installer (19.8 MB), the 640x480 artwork (11.3 MB) and the 1024x768 artwork (24.0 MB). Check six!

New Dominion Maps
The ION Storm Site has posted a pair of new maps for the Dominion public demo.

Unreal Pre-Orders?
Mordred sends word of CompUSA's Unreal Order Page which proclaims "SHIPPING MAY 21ST--TAKE BACKORDERS." A harbinger of an imminent release, a retailer with an itchy trigger finger, or both?

Quake Things Considered
Quake was a topic of conversation on National Public Radio's All Things Considered yesterday. Here's a RealAudio version of the segment (thanks Greg Landry), where the reporter, AKA Target, describes how he can be a pacifist and still love Quake.

MacQuakeWorld Support Page
The Macquake.com QuakeWorld Support Message Board is online offering a chance to get some help with Mac-QW, which is unsupported.

Quake II LAN Sniffer
FRAGS'R'US - Toys has a program called Quake II peek that sits in your system tray and alerts you when a Quake II server has been kicked off on your LAN (just don't let the boss get his hands on a copy).

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Quake/Quake II Mods

Expert Quake II
A beta of Expert Quake II is out, required on the server-end only. EQ2 offers some interesting gameplay options, including "Expert Pogo" (like a painless rocket jump), new server .cfgs, Small Strategy DM  (item-gathering strategy deathmatch for 4 players or less) and Clan Strategy Teamplay (same but for clans).

Battle of the Sexes
Version 2.9.5 of the Battle of the Sexes teamplay mod is out on Spinoza's Quake 2 Mods Page. this is a server-side only patch that adds poisoned lasers a bodyguard decoy command, and the ability to mute annoying players (whoa! Zoid... whatya think?).

Stroggs Gone Mad
An updated version of legion's Stroggs Gone Mad is up offer a few changes, including route files for nine id levels. SGM is a single-player mod that enhances enemy behavior.

Linux Holy Wars
No not the OS war, build 3 of the Linux version of Holy Wars for Quake 2 is out.

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Da Biz

Intel Suit
No, not one of those clean room suits, one of those antitrust suits, as this News.Com alert is saying the Federal Trade Commission is lining the big I up in their sites. Here's a quote (thanks loonyboi):

The Federal Trade Commission is expected within weeks to file an antitrust lawsuit against Intel, according to a report in USA Today. The report, citing sources familiar with the case, said the FTC will charge Intel with withholding technology from customers and companies with whom it is feuding. The FTC is also considering filing a broader suit within a year that will claim that Intel forced PC makers that license Intel's microprocessors to also buy related products, according to the report. FTC action against Intel first came to light last fall, when the agency said it was looking into whether the chipmaker had engaged in unfair business practices

3Dfx, NVIDIA and Activision
Here's an announcement of a renewal of the Activision and 3Dfx Strategic Initiative. Thanks Tony on Yahoo. And this Next-Generation article gives some more insights and quotes on this deal and the similar deal announced yesterday between NVIDIA and Activision (thanks Voodoo Extreme).

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Interviews

Coven
An interview with John Bye  of The Coven on Mplayer Quake News talking about their work, including their upcoming Disposable Heroes.

Wally
Here is an interview with Neal White III, the author of the Wally Quake II texture tool on Wooden Men.

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Competitions

id in Oz?
Wireplay Australia is reporting id's Brandon James and Tim Willits have set down in Australia to attend the finals of the Frag U Competition.

High Ping Bait
The High Ping Bait Netquake Tournament is accepting applications for their classic Quake CTF tourney.

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*reviews

Trespasser
GameSpot's Preview to Trespasser: Jurassic Park has a profile and screenshots from this upcoming dino-shooter.

Moto Racer 2
Saw over on Voodoo Extreme that Next Generation Online's Moto Racer 2 preview is up.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
A Howard Stern inspired effort, no doubt, but I can't help but support the cause of voting for "Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf'" (related link) as a write-in vote (must be spelled that way exactly) on the People Online 3rd Annual Most Beautiful People Poll. This was sent to me by no less than two dozen twisted people.

Monday, April 27, 1998 Have you checked out the new files archive?  

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Technology
"Fill my glass Rosie" -- "Yessir Mr. J."

New Zone
Microsoft unveiled their new version of the Zone today, now Netscape 4.x+ compatible. Apparently the new and improved Zone supports Quake II deathmatch, the bad news being that this is done through listen servers. Thanks Zapf.

H3D Voodoo2 Guarantee
H3D Entertainment is offering a hedge for Voodoo2 owners whose money-back guarantee on an their stereo glasses will be extended to 30 days after the drivers are released to allow V2 owners to take advantage of the last week of introductory pricing on the setup at no risk, since the Voodoo2 drivers aren't out yet. Thanks Jeff Magill.

A Blow Against Divx
The announcement that Paramount Home Video Enters DVD Market is a victory in the anti-Divx movement. Thanks Kenny Hobbs for the first word, and kraemer for the link to the story. On the Divx issue, here's a page called Consumer Alert on DIVX sent along by Schwab, who points out that equal time can be served by pointing to the Divx consortium's page o' pimpage that gives their side of the story.

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3D Goodness (Updated)
As always, up to 50% more dimensions than that nasty old-fashioned 2D:

Tom on Graphics
Tom of Tom's Hardware Guide has posted an article called Graphic Chips Review April 98, that does do a little slumming in talking about that 2D stuff too.

Pure3D II LX Announced
Canopus has announced the Pure3D II LX, a second Voodoo2 offering with12 MB of RAM, like the recently announced Pure3D II, but with no TV-out capabilities or cooling fan, reducing the price to $279.95. Canopus has also extended their rebate program for the Pure3D II through June and has announced a free cooling fan upgrade program for current customers who purchase a Pure3D II LX.

New PERMEDIA Drivers
New Win95 and Win NT drivers for the PERMEDIA 2 are up on the 3Dlabs site. Thanks Mauler.

Voodoo II on Slower Machines
There's a Comparison Frame rates in Quake 2 on Flying Penguin's Quake Coop that, among other things, takes a look at Voodoo2 performance on non-Pentium II machines.

NVIDIA and Activision Team Up
Activision and NVIDIA Team Up is a GameCenter article describing a just-announced strategic partnership between this video card manufacturer and game publisher.

Big Old Chart
Zanshin has a comprehensive chart up on his GLDojo showing most major video cards, and describing their GL support, including whether they work under NT. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

3D Triathlon
Described as their "most controversial competition, bootNet's 3D Triathlon compares visual quality on several 3D accelerators on Quake II, with a benchmark chart looking at performance as well.

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FAQs (Updated)

QERadiant FAQ
Add version 0.10 of the QERadiant FAQ on Ravages of Radiant to the lengthy list of FAQ updates today (okay, maybe four isn't lengthy, but...).

Forsaken FAQ
A FAQ for the retail version of Forsaken is out. Thanks Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers).

SiN FAQ
Also, thanks to the sharp-eyed FPdV (3D Action Gamers), we find the SiN FAQ on Ritualistic has been revised, though the new version number, 1.0 seems a backslide from the previous 1.40.

Moody's Voodoo 2 Games FAQ
Billy over at Voodoo Extreme sent along a new copy of Moody's Voodoo2 game FAQ (.doc format 19KB zipped) that gives the lowdown on what's the deal with the handful of games that still may not work right with the V2.

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Quake/Quake II Releases

New Eraser Beta
Beta version 0.96 of the Eraser Bot is out on the Impact Development Team page as a Win32 installer (1.2 MB), or a zip file (1.2 MB). This is described as a final release candidate, and there a list of new features on the page, some serious and others tongue in cheek. For example new features include "Grapple usage" and "New sentiant [sic] abilites [sic]: bots are conscious of their own existance [sic], and will act accordingly" I'll let you decide which is its real.

Freeze Tag
Version 1.3e of Freeze-Tag for Quake II is out, offering a few tweaks, including a shorter time spent "frozen."

Weapons of Destruction
Version 5.4 of Weapons of Destruction for Quake II is out adding a freeze-gun, night vision, the standard railgun (re-added), and new grenade and super-blaster effects.

Quake II PaintBall
Viper PaintBall Quake2 Conversion is a new Q2 paintball patch with a couple of different game play variants.

QuakeMovie
Beta 4 of QuakeMovie is out: a patch to allow the creation of movies in classic Quake, putting a great deal of control in the hands of the camera-person. Source code is also available.

Front-ends/Parsers
Log Parser of the Day
is version 1.51 of the Qlog QuakeWorld Stats Generator log parser (featuring HTML output) is available, including the full source code. Front-end(s) du Jour are Tectonic 1.32, the latest release of this multi-mod Quake II launcher; and version 0.11a of the Quake2-LaunchPad, the author promising a much more bug-free experience after a long weekend hunting the buggers down.

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Interviews

Jason Hall
Part two of the Daily Dementia's conversation with Monolith's Jason Hall is now online, talking mostly about Blood2. RealPlayer required.

Robert Duffy
A pre-interview interview with QERadiant author/portmaster Robert Duffy conducted at the QERadiant release party is up on Obiwan Reviews, and the main Robert Duffy interview from that night is up on The Workshop

Xatrix
An interview with three of the designers from Xatrix Entertainment (Dan Koppel, Mal Blackwell, and Alex Mayberry) is up on RUST talking about their upcoming Quake II mission pack.

Editing - New QuArK
Version 5.0.b2 of the QuArK (Quake Army Knife) level editor is out. Thanks Henrik Nilsson.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
I just have to express my excitement again over the new files archive, how useful is that? w00w00! There's lots more on the way from the Blue Tower as the Spring cleaning continues...Another edition of the Websites Top 100 is out, seeing another rise for this site, up nine spots to #26, showing that shameless plugging has its value. Thanks so much to all of you who are supporting the Blue's News assault on the pop charts...Finally, my buddy Billy from Voodoo Extreme sends me a note every time a new version of this Voodoo Lights screensaver (486 KB) is out, talking about how great it is. I'm like "what's the big damn deal?," but finally curiosity got the best of me and I installed the latest version. Holy crap! If you have a Voodoo Graphics, Voodoo RUSH, or Voodoo2 card, get this now! I must be hitting off the same crack pipe Billy's gotten onto, because I think I'm gonna spring the shareware fee when my time on this one expires! Way cool.

Sunday, April 26, 1998 Unrandom tip of the day: Did you know the escape key kills (annoying) animated gifs on most browsers?

Files Section
I am proud to unveil the return of the Blue's News files archive, new and improved to say the least. Created by [deicide] of the Quake Domain & Absolute Quake Files Archive, the archive offers an opportunity to locate the file you seek on cdrom.com's comprehensive Quake file listings with a few different useful interfaces, including a search engine, and download from your choice of mirrors once you've found your file. The files stored locally on GamesNET's sterling FTP site will be added shortly. A big thanks to [deicide] for his great work.

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Editing (Updated)

Newer QERadiant
On the heels of last night's 0.71, version 0.72 of QERadiant is out offering four bug-fixes, three of them mouse related. Word is that the schedule leading up to a 1.0 release is being accelerated.

TF Map Editing RealAudio
DyerMaker's Map Tips has a RealAudio program that focuses on map making techniques, focusing on TeamFortress maps in particular. Thanks --rOt--.

MacQuakeWorld Beta 2
Beta 2 of QuakeWorld for the Macintosh is up on Westlake Interactive's site as a patch to update beta 1 (664 KB) or as a full installer (1.2 MB), registered Quake also required. For more info, here's the HTML read me file. Thanks Jvox's Boomstick.

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Quake/Quake II Releases

Q2Proxx
Version 2.0 of Q2 Proxx is out on Jeff Debrosse's Home Page. If one computer on your LAN has an Internet connection, you can run Q2 Proxx, a Win32 utility, to play Quake II on the 'net from any other machine on the LAN. A lot of new features have been added, including the oft requested install program.

Bot Front-ends
Another new Bot Johnny, the bot front-end, is out, apparently yesterday's 1.31 was messed up, and just plain didn't work (I'd call that a bug). Today's Quick Start - Eraser Bot Wizard is version 1.56 beta.

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Interviews

Jim Molinets
GrrandMaMa over at RUST gives the third degree to Rogue Entertainment's Jim Molinets, mostly discussing editing.

Oak II
John Crickett, author of the Oak II bot, is interviewed on the Bot Epidemic.

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Competitions

GamesNET DM Tourney
The GamesNET DM Tourney is a single-elimination four-on-four QuakeWorld single-elimination deathmatch tournament on DM3, with both high-ping and open divisions, aimed at North American clans.

Online Gaming League
There's information about a bunch of different Quake, Quake II and CTF ladders on the revamped Online Gaming League page.

Site Seeing - No News is Good News?
What's the damn deal on news pages this weekend? Well onethumb updated his .plan saying not to expect updates to Redwood's page, 'cause he's busy whipping collective Ritual ass at Sin deathmatch. Meanwhile the boys at Voodoo Extreme apparently have inherited one of my old 286 servers, and it's been down for a good (no, make that bad) 24 hours now. Word is that if they can put some silk stockings and chocolate bars in the right hands it may be up again today, but then again, it might not be until tomorrow (hey Billy, if it is my old 286, sometimes it helps to kick it right below the floppy drive).

etc.

Out of the Blue
Thought of the day... have you played in a "pick-up game" in Rocket Arena 2? If you like regular RA, you should give it a try.

Saturday, April 25, 1998

Newer Daikatana Screenshots
There are four more new Daikatana screenshots up on the AVault.

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Editing (Updated)

QERadiant Release Party
Version .071 of QERadiant is out, released at the Ravages of Radiant party in 3Dnet IRC #QERadiant (it began at 7:00 PM Pacific time/10:00 PM Eastern this evening) celebrating the release.

Rocket Arena 2 Bot Tutorial
There is a tutorial for bot authors up on the Rocket Arena page to show how to get RA2 support working for bots.

Design Essay
Ideals of Design is an non editor-specific essay on design principles up on The Forge.

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Quake/Quake II Releases (Updated)

Stroggs Gone Mad
Version 1.0.00 of legion's Stroggs Gone Mad is out, meant to enhance the single player experience with changes to the Quake II enemy AI, including bot-like route learning, and support for El Niño Quake Extensions visible weapons patch for co-op play, as well as a couple of other features.

New(ish) CRbot
Missed this at the time, but version 1.14 of the CRbot came out Thursday.

Quake to Quake II Map Converter
Version 1.0 of q2map, described as a working Quake to Quake II conversion program with both Win95 and Linux versions available.

NIQ
NIQ Mods for Quake II has word on a pair of mods, one for DM and the other for CTF, that eliminate all the items on a level and force combatants to compete using the same weapon (server determined), resulting in game play that de-emphasizes knowledge of item placement, and emphasizes skill with many different weapons.

Front-ends (Updated)
Version 1.7 of the GibStats log parser is out with some new and enhanced HTML output features and a few bugs killed, especially overflow bug concerning large logs. As for bot front-ends, well, pull up a chair: Version 0.91 of the Bot Commander is now available already offering full support for v1.14 of CRBot, dedicated server support, a map list editor, a number of small bug fixes, and more. Botster version 2.0b3 (two in one day there) is out offering CR and Eraser bot support. The Bot Johnny bot front-end is up to version 1.31. A new bot launcher on the block (or wherever we are) is the The BgBot Launcher with its first public release now online. Another new release is Easy Starter, the first version of which currently only supports the Eraser version 0.95.

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More Interviews
Another dose:

Jay Wilson Interview
There's a Jay Wilson interview on totally3D talking about Monolith's upcoming Blood 2: The Chosen and RIOT: Mobile Armor. Thanks James Bovett.

Redline Interview
There is an interview about Redline Accolade's upcoming hardware acceleration-only driving and shooting game, up on PsychoNews.

Hexenworld and Siege Support
Raven announced HexenWorld as an unsupported project, just like id's approach to HW's parent program QuakeWorld. Now Phoebus sends along word that Mike "Cosmos" Gummelt has stepped up to volunteer his skills to support HexenWorld when the final version is released, as well as the Siege project ("So long boys...have fun stormin' the castle!"), the awesome sounding teamplay variant also in the works for HexenWorld. Phoebus will be the point-person for bug reports and stuff, so you can beat on his beleaguered mailbox on this one.

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Wide World of Gaming

Newer Barrage Demo
An update to the recent two level Barrage demo is up as an exclusive on 3dfx Australian Style News. Changes from the first release include general speed improvements, specific speed improvements during heavy confrontations, buoys now provide extra time in the non registered version, fixes a minor memory leak, and lower minimum entry point in the Barrage Global Competition (easier).

Panzer Commander
Panzercommander.com has a playable demo of their 3Dfx enhanced tank simulator available for download. Thanks CrazyCurt.

BCK3020AD Screens
More Battle Cruiser 3020 AD screenshots are up on the GalCom News Network, showing off transparent missile trails and different types explosions.

Technology More on AGP Obsidian 2's
Michael Garza sent along a lengthy exchange he had with Ross Smith of Quantum 3D that gives some interesting tidbits about possible advantages in the Obsidian 2's over other Voodoo2 offerings. Here are a couple of interesting excerpts:

Artema: What difference is there in the AGP and PCI Voodoo2 cards?

[Ross Smith]: We've observed significant performance difference on texture download speeds and on apps that use edge antialiasing.  On most current games, you won't see significant differences, but on future games, it should become a key differentiator.

Artema: I understand that it does not use the AGP features, just the faster bus, but does that affect it in real world performance like Quake, Quake2, and the upcoming Unreal?

[Ross Smith]: Helps in Quake2, not so much in Quake.  Unreal, Barrage should help.

Artema: Will this thing run on 83 MHz and 100 MHz system buses without having problems?

[Ross Smith]: We've been running in a BX system all week and its ok. (100MHz).

Michael concludes by pointing out "...this AGP Voodoo2 from Quantum3D doesn't have the processing power that SLI does, but it has 2-3 times the bandwidth as SLI, which in the future could surpass SLI framerates with the amount of detail being added to games, especially with 83 & 100 MHz system buses, citing this tidbit from one of Q3D's press releases:

"The S-12 AGP can sink data at twice the rate of 33 MHz PCI based Voodoo2 products," said Phil Huelson, Quantum3D vice president of engineering. "This additional bandwidth will pay off in upcoming games that use edge anti-aliasing, or in games that constantly page textures down to the board— which is why Intel used the board to demonstrate the 3D capabilities of their new "Deschutes" processors at CeBit last week. "We even see good examples of the added performance today—on Ziff Davis' 3DBench `98, texture test 3, we hit 34 fps single-buffered at 640x480while a Creative board will only hit about 8 fps. That's about a 400% improvement in texture download speed over the 3D Blaster."

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Interviews

Corrinne Yu
ION Storm Director of Advanced Technology Corrinne Yu is interviewed on profile, discussing ION's next-generation graphics engine, Aidoru (gee, I like Yu too).

Dairo Casali
Valve's Dario Casali is interviewed on RUST talking about Half-Life level design.

Jake Hughes
Jake Strider Hughes, Producer on both the Anachronox and Daikatana teams, talks about the hectic lifestyle someone leads when working on two projects for E3 on ION Storm's Daily Informant.

*reviews - Descent III
Descent III Out in the Open is a sneak peak on GameCenter. Thanks CiDcO of StormTroopers.

etc.

Out of the Blue
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All rights reserved. Copyright © 1998 by Stephen Heaslip