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Friday, December 11, 1998

Pure3D II Glide 3.0 Beta Drivers  [8:04 PM EST]
The Pure3D II Software Updates page has new beta version 1.40.02 Windows 95/98 drivers for Canopus' Voodoo2-based accelerators. Thanks Dire Wolf. The new drivers offer support for Glide 3.0, but since they are a beta, no technical support is being offered, but final (supported) drivers are expected soon.

Ritual Departure, Wot Shots  [6:37 PM EST]
Matthias Worch updated his .plan with word that he is departing Ritual Entertainment to work at Legend Entertainment, currently working on the Unreal-engine The Wheel of Time game. Coincidentally, there are four new WoT screenshots, and a WoT character update on Gamer's Alliance.

On 3D Video Cards  [6:37 PM EST]
An Adrenaline Vault Feature Article called The Hardware Game: 3D Video Upgrades looks at 3D accelerator options. Thanks Brent Olsen.

More Reviews  [6:37 PM EST]
Sharky Extreme's Thief review is up, as well as their Asteroids review, and another Heretic II review is up on PCFan.

SkinView  [6:37 PM EST]
A new version 4 of the SkinView Mod for Quake II is now available, offering an update to this mod that allows modelers and skin artists to view their work within Quake II without having to fire off a multiplayer server.

Heretic II Modeling  [6:37 PM EST]
Raven's Jon Zuk updated his .plan with a rundown on how to create models and animate them within Heretic II maps.

Half-Life, Heretic II Reviews  [9:43 AM EST]
There's a Half Life Multiplayer Review on GameSpot UK (with Half Life Multiplayer screenshots). Also, Planet Review reviews Heretic II in a piece that calls the "uniqueness of third person shooter" one of the game's highs, while calling the "third person standpoint" one of its lows, as well.

Creed Christmas  [9:25 AM EST]
Insomnia Entertainment has posted a Christmas edition mission pack for their playable demo of "The Creed."

On Ever-Slower Shooters  [9:25 AM EST]
The Slowdown Game is a new article on Thresh's FiringSquad that examines the trend of ever-slower movement speeds in first-person shooter games.

Unlocking Gore on German Heretic II  [9:25 AM EST]
Raven's John Scott updated his .plan with word on how to get the sliders to adjust the violence level for German users (the strict censors there have locked the violence level at "0"). John also reminds everyone that (almost) any civil question posted to the HereticII.com Forums is normally answered within one working day. Here's the German violence level override:

So if you go to Regional Settings in the control panel, and change your language to anything else (including the other German languages), and restart your computer, when you next run Heretic 2 you will have gained a violence level slider in the options menu.

Vengeance Drivers  [9:25 AM EST]
The Wicked3D Drivers page has new version 1.50 drivers for the Wicked3D Vengeance, Metabyte's Banshee-based board. Thanks Sharky Extreme.

Heretic II Editing  [9:25 AM EST]
Shane 'Fishman' Sherman of Rust sends word of a new Heretic II editing mailing list just getting underway:

To join send an email to listar@middleearth.telefragged.com with the words "subscribe heretic2_editing" in the body of the message.

Find out more information, like how to send messages to the list, etc at rust

Rage Fury Review  [9:25 AM EST]
Tom's Hardware Guide's First Look at ATI's Rage 128 reviews the new Rage 128-based ATI Rage Fury. Thanks Paul.

Thief Reviews  [9:25 AM EST]
3DGN reviews Thief: The Dark Project, the new 3D action / RPG from Looking Glass Studios. Similarly, The Game Complex reviews Thief, as well.

Competitions  [9:25 AM EST]
the Impulse 98 page has photos, demos, and results from their recent huge gathering of gamers down under.

etc.

mightym.jpg (3637 bytes)Out of the Blue  [9:25 AM EST]
Yesterday's quote was indeed from Apocalypse Now!, though Danzkin points out it's used in an Iron Maiden tune as well. Also, word from DCE is that in addition to being the 30th birthday of the input-type mouse, yesterday was also the 43rd birthday of Mighty Mouse! We should switch over to the new server sometime today (I've got my fingers crossed).

Thursday, December 10, 1998

Bloodshot Interview  [6:15 PM EST]
There's a Bloodshot Interview on GameSpot that talks to Will Loconto about the future of this start-up company made up of ex-ION Storm employees. Thanks Simon Speichert.

Half-Life Guide  [6:15 PM EST]
Also up on GameSpot is their Half Life Game Guide offering tips and strategies for both single-player play and deathmatch.

Heretic II Contest  [5:40 PM EST]
Word of Raven's Heretic II Contest has been posted on HereticII.com. Here's word that Raven's Kenn Hoekstra just sent along:

Create an original in game cinematic of at least 30 seconds in length for Heretic II. An example of an in game cinematic is the conversation between Corvus and Dranor in the Silverspring Docks. We're looking for what we feel is the most original cinematic of all entries. It can be funny, sad, shocking, or anything else your devious little minds can think up.

Shooters  [5:30 PM EST]
There's no new Shooters this week, our apologies to all the hardcore fans, and insomniacs who depend on the show for sedation: We should return next week at the same bat time, same bat channel.

glDoom Tip  [5:30 PM EST]
The following tip on running glDoom comes from Radoslav Boev:

In trying to run glDoom, most (if not all) 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics users will come across the error "OpenGL driver is not accelerated." To correct this, get 3Dfx's OpenGL 2.1 beta drivers and install them. Then, copy the 3dfxopengl.dll that gets extracted into your glDoom directory and rename it to opengl32.dll.

New Q2Start  [5:30 PM EST]
Version 1.21 of Q2Start, the Quake II front-end, has been released..The new version fixes a bunch of bugs, and adds a few features, including the ability to launch a server for more than eight players.

glDoom Released  [1:03 PM EST]
The eagerly anticipated glDoom port of the Doom source is now available. Though I can't hit the glDoom page right now, the files are up on 3DFiles.com, and here is a local copy (981 KB) on GamesNET FTP. Here's word from the author, Bruce Lewis:

I wanted to update the technology of Doom. It's a great game but in this day of 800x600 resolution games running on 3D accelerators it was beginning to look "dated". The goal is to bring Doom forward in time. Not to change the game itself.

glDoom will work on Doom 2, Final Doom - Evilution, Final Doom - The Plutonia Experiment, Ultimate Doom, Registered Doom 1 and Doom Shareware.

The absolute minimum system configuration to run glDoom is a 133Mhz Pentium with 16Mb of RAM and an 3D accelerator card with OpenGL drivers. The program will run on a system like this but is far too slow to be enjoyable.

The recommended system configuration to run glDoom is a 166Mhz or higher Pentium with 64Mg of RAM, a 3D accelerator card with native OpenGL drivers (not a Direct3D wrapper), a mouse and a sound card with wave table Midi support.

The optimum system configuration (to date) to run glDoom is a 450Mhz Pentium II with 128Mb of RAM, a Quantum 3D X-24 dual Voodoo 2 SLI board running 3Dfx's OpenGL drivers, a mouse and a SoundBlaster PCI64 with a general Midi sound font enabled.

PowerVR 250 Screenshots  [12:26 PM EST]
There are some 640x480 PowerVR 250 screenshots on PVR-NET, with five shots showing off Tomb Raider III, and five more from Unreal.

Sin Mission Pack Screenshots  [10:12 AM EST]
The 2015 page has posted two screenshots from their upcoming official Sin mission pack, offering the first look at the project. Thanks TechnoAllah and Ritualistic.

glDoom Release Event  [9:12 AM EST]
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the release of Doom, and it is also the date of the planned release of Bruce Lewis' OpenGL port, glDoom. Here's Doom Nation's announcement of the release party (one of those insane IRC dealies), planned for 1:00 PM Eastern time today:

glDoom is finally upon us! To celebrate Doom Nation and Frag.com are holding an IRC hangout/party over on GamesNET (irc.gamesnet.net) #gldoom. Come hang out with the fans as Doom players of the past and current unite for the anticipated release of this port!

Download links information will be posted at exactly 12:00 CST and we will be holding random quizes and questions with prizes before and after the release, prizes range from PingTool registrations to some swanky t-shirts and caps. What better way to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Doom?

To connect to GamesNET try one of the following servers: irc.frag.com west.gamesnet.net pa.gamesnet.net irc.gamesnet.net

Ground Zero Disruptor  [9:12 AM EST]
Rogue's Patrick Magruder updated his .plan with word that he's posted a .dll to activate the Disruptor weapon in their Ground Zero Quake II mission pack, which is embedded in the pak file, but not enabled. This is an unsupported "release."

Quake 2 BattleGround  [9:12 AM EST]
Version 1.35 of Quake 2 Battleground is now available. Major changes since version 1.30 include fixes for a couple of potential (but rare) crashes, multi-team support, top four teams dynamically shown in the HUD, auto-reporting to the Quake2 Battleground master server for the servers page, improvements to the autocam's logic and HUD, and still more.

Voodoo3 Q&A  [9:12 AM EST]
There's a Voodoo3 Q & A on Voodoo Review that offers answers from 3Dfx's Steve Schick to some burning questions from readers, even facing up to stumpers like "Will there be any noticeable difference between Voodoo2 and Voodoo3?"

PyroPimps  [9:12 AM EST]
The newest edition of the PyroPimps Show is online, offering the reflections of the P.P.s on their trip to Acclaim on Saturday (they were part of the small group I was there with). This is a "special installment" of the show, as HAL9000 settles into his New York digs. RealPlayer required.

Outcast Preview  [9:12 AM EST]
CGO/OGR previews Outcast looking at this upcoming software-only action/adventure game. Thanks kurtz ("I wanted a mission, and for my sins, they gave me one") at Outcast Central.

Rage 128 Reviews  [9:12 AM EST]
AnandTech's ATI Rage 128 review is online, offering Anand's take on ATI's new chipset. Thanks Necromancer. Also, Sharky's Rage Fury review is up as well.

etc.  [9:12 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [9:12 AM EST]
Today is the fifth anniversary of the release of Doom, so blow out five flaming skulls and make a wish. The new breed of old-schoolers at 5 Years of Doom have posted a copy of the Doom Bible, Tom Hall's original design document for the game, and if your tastes run to the more obscure, the history of the Doom ASCII Logo chronicles one of Frans P. de Vries' contributions to the grand old game. Also, speaking of anniversaries, Steve Maines and James Chu point out yesterday was the 30th birthday of the mouse, and as I start to wonder how such a date is determined, column castigator (apologies to Pete Vecsey) Ant sends along The mouse turns 30 a ZDNN article on the subject. Work on the move of the site continues relentlessly, all the files have been transferred, so it's time to tweak some stuff and make a switch. I'll probably post a forwarding page on the old server when the move happens, so it'll be pretty obvious. Things should settle down with normal updates pretty soon after that. Your patience with any glitches that have occurred, or may yet, is appreciated.

Wednesday, December 9, 1998

Shogo Patch Friday, Multiplayer Demo Monday  [6:36 PM EST]
Monolith's Brian Goble updated his .plan with the latest on Shogo development, saying the version 2.1 patch should be released on Friday, and the version 2.1 playable demo (featuring multiplayer play) is almost ready as well, he expects its release on Monday. Finally, word is that work is underway on the Blood2 patch, as well.

WONSwap  [6:28 PM EST]
WON has announced the beta testing of their new utility for file transfers, WONswap. Here's the word:

On Wednesday, December 09, 1998 the file transferring and install utility for Half-Life enters into beta supporting Half-Life maps, with models soon to come.

WONswap is a new file transferring utility that will allow you to easily search, download and seamlessly install Half-Life maps (with models and logos soon to come) for Half-Life that are created by users. It eliminates the problems of knowing what directory the files go in and of putting them in the wrong place by accident. WONswap allows you to search for the most popular user created maps. It will give you a huge selection of user created files to choose from to liven up your multiplayer experience.

In order for WONswap to be successful however we want maps, maps and more maps. If you make maps for Half-Life, if you want your maps to be seen by the most people, if you want people to never have troubles installing your maps, then download the beta now and upload your maps. Listen to the voices that babble in head, upload your maps!

If you have any questions about WONswap check out our lovely WONswap message boards, or e-mail.

To download WONswap
To view the WONswap FAQ
To view the WONswap home

glDoom Tomorrow  [6:28 PM EST]
There's a glDoom Release Announcement on MeccaWorld that announced that glDoom Bruce Lewis' eagerly anticipated OpenGL Doom port will be released tomorrow at 1:00 PM Eastern time.

A3D Variables  [6:28 PM EST]
David Gasior of A3D Developer Relations sent along a list of console variables for A3D cards for Sin, Heretic II, and Half-Life. Here's the skinny on the list, which includes the default values "in case anyone gets totally lost in making changes:"

These variables are currently implemented in Half-Life, Sin, and Heretic II. Some of the console variables are A3D 2.0-specific, and will not work in Sin or Heretic II until Activision releases their A3D 2.0 patches for those games.

Heretic II Update
Raven programmer Jake Simpson updated his .plan with word on what's up with the Heretic II enhancement pack, which includes the above-mentioned A3D 2.0 enhancements. The update covers several other subjects, including a note that those having trouble with Heretic II joystick support email him or Kenn Hoekstra.

Matrox Beta OpenGL ICD
Beta 1 of the OpenGL Installable Client Driver for Matrox MGA-200-based accelerators is now available on this page. Thanks sumC and Motionman. As the benchmarks posted on the site demonstrate, gamers are actually much better off sticking with the D3D wrapper, since it offers considerably better performance.

Drakan Interview
There's an interview with Stuart Denman on Altered Worlds talking about Drakan: Order of the Flame, Psygnosis' upcoming 3D fantasy game.

John Jack Q&A  [6:28 PM EST]
PlanetShogo has posted a Q&A with Monolith programmer John Jack answering a few questions about Shogo mods and the next patch.

Texture Tool Update  [3:56 PM EST]
Harry at Valve sent along an updated set of instructions to go along with the Half-Life texture SDK he sent along earlier (next story). Here's a local copy of the updated document (10 KB), which has been added to the SDK if you have not yet downloaded it.

Half-Life Texture Wad Tools  [9:35 AM EST]
Harry Teasley at Valve sent along a small zip file of all the tools (plus source) one needs to build Half-Life WAD3 format WAD files. There are some sample textures, and a tutorial for painting, naming, and using textures. Here's a local copy of the Half-Life Texture SDK (169 KB) on GamesNET FTP.

Blood2 Interviews  [9:35 AM EST]
PlanetBlood has posted a couple of Q&A's with Monolith, offering up short conversations with Bill Vandervoort and Brian Goble, both talking about Blood2 and the upcoming patch.

John Romero Interview  [9:35 AM EST]
5 Years of Doom interviews John Romero talking to perhaps Doom's proudest parent, on the eve of the game's fifth anniversary.

New A3D Drivers  [9:35 AM EST]
The A3D Drivers page has new version 2.04 reference drivers that work on any A3D card or PC. If you are experiencing problems related to A3D it is recommended that you use these drivers, but if you are experiencing general sound card problems, these drivers will not be of use. Thanks Mantis.

Alternative Server Monitor  [9:35 AM EST]
Version 21.3c beta of the alternative Game Server Monitor or [aGSM] is now available for download. aGSM is a freeware program that can find and monitor LAN and Internet game servers that supports Quake, StarCraft, Hexen II, Age of Empires, Diablo, Total Annihilation, Quake World, Unreal, Quake II, Sin, HellFire, Heretic II, and Dune 2000.

Quake II Gladiator Bot  [9:35 AM EST]
The first release of the Gladiator Bot for Quake II is now available, the new release from MrElusive, author of the Omicron for Quake. There is also a MrElusive interview on the Bot Epidemic.

ServerConfigMOD  [9:35 AM EST]
Version 3.2 of ServerConfigMOD is now available, offering both a new Linux and a new Win32 version of this program that offers many configuration options for Quake II servers.

Games of Encouragement  [9:35 AM EST]
Games of Encouragement is a holiday season game drive by GameStats in cooperation with the Ronald McDonald House At Stanford to provide computers and games for their Computer Learning for Ill Kids (CLIK) program. Details are on the page on how those interested in participating can do so.

Review-o-Rama  [9:35 AM EST]
A bunch of p/reviews have been posted recently on GamePen, reviewing Half-Life, Shogo Mobile Armor Division, Sin, as well as a preview of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil.

New ATI Beta ICD  [9:35 AM EST]
The ATI Products page has a new version 5.35b56u beta of the OpenGL Installable Client Driver for Windows 95/98. Thanks BetaNews. This is now a full Windows 95/98 driver set with an integrated OpenGL ICD component, DirectX 6 support and 3DNow! optimizations.

Matrox Drivers  [9:35 AM EST]
The Matrox MGA-G200 Windows 95 and Windows 98 drivers page has version 4.50 beta 3 drivers for MGA-200-based cards. All known Socket 7 and AMD issues have been resolved with this update. Thanks grimmy.

MailBag  [9:35 AM EST]
Some more hot potatoes being tossed around in this week's edition of the Mailbag including someone who feels WON is a winner for Half-Life multiplayer, a few on the thread of violence in games, some reflections on the Magic Coffee experiment, and two letters on the pimpage "issue," one pro, and the other quite anti.

etc.  [9:35 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [9:35 AM EST]
Today marks the one year anniversary of the release of Quake II in the US. Work continues apace on moving the server. One more day where the news is as cooperatively light as it was yesterday should do the trick to get everything moved. To clarify, when I mentioned the problems some have been having connecting to this site yesterday, I was just mentioning that the server move should coincidentally address the problem some have been having connecting here (that would have been cleared up shortly whether the site moved or not). I don't mean to imply that this is the reason the site is moving, or that there is a problem with GamesNET: Quite to the contrary, I will probably never be able to adequately thank my hosts for what has been close to a year of sterling service. More on this as the move progresses, I just wanted to be clear that I wasn't slagging on anybody.

Tuesday, December 8, 1998

PingTool  [9:05 PM EST]
Beta 3 of version 2.4 of the PingTool server browser is now available, offering what's described as a much improved "New Workspace" feature. Thanks Phantom_309.

Q-Racing  [9:05 PM EST]
Version 1.3 of Q-Racing, the Quake II racing mod is out, adding loads of new stuff, like updated "less-annoying" sound effects, vastly improved handling, and improved opponent AI / model.

More Heretic II Tips  [9:05 PM EST]
Raven's John Scott updated his .plan with some Heretic II tips:

1. Always let Windows handle your virtual memory and make sure you have at least 100Mb hard disk space free (200Mb recommended). Hr2 uses a lot of virtual memory when it is loading. Jake & Co will likely be addressing this for the EP.

2. If your video card doesn`t work, try the latest reference drivers for your card. eg if your Diamond Monster II shows problems, download the latest drivers from 3dfx. The problem is the actual chip used on the card is sometimes well hidden.

3. Even if you have a p2/450 with a Riva TNT, you won`t necessarily get a low ping in a net game. Ping is to do with the quality of your net connection, modem speed and number of hops to the server.

4. We use VC6 at Raven to compile the game. Apparently, you can compile with VC5 (with VS SP3), but this is not recommended. The documentation is wrong in this case. If requested, I`ll place some documentation up somewhere on some "how to" stuff. As I`ve been working on the stuff for 11 months , it all seems perfectly straightforward to me, so you`ll have to suggest what you want me to publish info on :)

5. There is a problem with the joystick code. Certain joysticks were broken in the demo, unfortunately the fix broke something else :( We are working on a fix for this for the 10 or so joystick users. This will be fixed in the EP at the latest.

6. "unauthorised access" error in the demo. We accidentally left in some anti piracy code for the demo (ooops). You need to download a new dll from the Activision site.

7. Linux version. We are all Windows peeps here at Raven. We are extremely unlikely to do one, although subcontracting this out may be an option. What is involved in doing a Linux port ? All our servers are NT based, so testing would be another problem.

KingPin Feature  [9:05 PM EST]
Gamer's Alliance's First Look at Kingpin offers a preview and screenshots of Xatrix's upcoming Quake II-engine game.

Messiah Feature
Shocked.Net's Messiah preview offers a look at Shiny's upcoming game, as well as new screenshots. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Sin Video Review  [9:05 PM EST]
GameSpot TV reviews Sin in a video review, RealPlayer required.

Aliens versus Predator Demo  [5:45 AM EST]
AGN3D has posted the playable Aliens versus Predator demo for download. The demo, included on the CD with the January PC Gamer, is about 47 MB. Thanks Cliff Yaun. The demo is described as a work in-progress, and "not fully optimised and configured for lower spec machines."

System Shock 2 Screenshots  [5:45 AM EST]
Through the Looking Glass has posted an exclusive screenshot from Looking Glass Studios' upcoming action/RPG, System Shock 2.

Brian Goble Interview  [5:45 AM EST]
There's a ten question interview with Brian Goble on project 9 talking with Monolith's V.P. of engineering about Shogo and Blood2.

Derek Smart Interview  [5:45 AM EST]
There's an interview with Derek Smart on the AMD Zone talking about BattleCruiser3000AD and BCK3020AD and 3DNow!

TeamTNT Interview  [5:45 AM EST]
There's a Ty Halderman interview on 5 Years of Doom talking to the leader of TeamTNT about their many Doom projects.

Blood2 Reviews  [5:45 AM EST]
Sharky Extreme's Blood 2: The Chosen review is up offering their "patented in-depth weapons guide." Also, self-confessed Monolith crony Evil Avatar reviews Blood 2 in a short look at the full version of the game.

More Rage Fury  [5:45 AM EST]
3DHardware.Net's ATI Rage Fury Preview is up with their first look at ATI's new 32MB AGP card, along with some benchmarks.

Competitions  [5:45 AM EST]
Raven's Kenn Hoekstra updated his .plan with word that they're going to hold a Heretic II contest, and are looking for "bids" from websites interested in hosting it. If you're interested, contact Jon Zuk or Kenn Hoekstra by Wednesday, December 9 at 5:00 PM CST.

etc.  [5:45 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [5:45 AM EST]
Well, some big changes are afoot, as the project for the week is to gear up for a move to a new host and server. This will likely address the problems connecting to this site many have had for the past several weeks, and allow some progress on some of the scripting issues that is long overdue (like installing a search engine before the turn of the next century). More on this very shortly.

Monday, December 7, 1998

QuakeCon '99  [11:42 PM EST]
Here's the first official word on QuakeCon '99 from id's Anna Kang:

Just wanted to send word that id Software will be sponsoring one of the greatest pastimes of the gaming community, a fragfest known as QuakeCon '99. QuakeCon '99 will feature the first official tournament for Quake III Arena in addition to the free-for-all which will include id classics. The event will also host a variety of gaming workshops with topics ranging from level design and programming to creation of mods. Making its debut, QuakeCon '99 will feature a special seminar for the female gaming community.

Some of the preliminary details for QuakeCon '99 are as follows:

Where: Dallas, TX at The Mesquite Convention Center and Exhibition Hall located within the Hampton Inn & Suites. The hotel has reserved 115 rooms at a rate of $69-$79/night available on a first come, first serve basis.

Date: QuakeCon '99 will open its doors on August 6-8, 1999. On-site equipment registration will begin on August 5th.

Attendance is free and limited to 1000 enthusiasts - first come, first serve. Registration is scheduled to begin on Friday, April 9th. For more information, check out the QuakeCon '99 site.

I will send you periodic updates as the event develops further.

More AvP  [11:42 PM EST]
The Jason Kingsley Interview Part 2 finishes off GameSpot UK's Aliens Vs Predator Special. Thanks Ant.

New A3D2 Driver Installer  [11:42 PM EST]
The A3D Drivers Downloads page has a new installer for the latest version 2.02 of the A3D support files. These drivers add support for Half Life, Half Life: Day One, and Motorhead, and work for most any Vortex or Vortex2-based cards. These drivers were previously available without the installer, which ensures the .dlls are properly registered in addition to copying them to the proper location. Thanks Mark Muschett 3DsoundSurge.

USB Mouse Review  [11:42 PM EST]
GameCenter reviews the Logitech USB Wheel Mouse looking at the gaming implications of that perky USB port, giving LogiTech's entry four out of five Xs.

Game Commander Review  [11:42 PM EST]
Gamer's Alliance reviews Game Commander checking out this headset/software combo designed to enable the user to substitute voice commands for keypress combinations.

More on Unreal 220  [1:14 PM EST]
Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart updated his .plan with a rundown on the Unreal 220 patch, possibly due this week. Here's a bit from the lengthy update about game modes:

There are four types of game mode now. Novice, Normal, Hardcore, and Turbo. Hardcore sets the gamespeed at 110% and increases damage by 170%. Couple this with increased knock around and splash damage from splash-based weapons and you get a much faster, rougher game. Turbo mode does everything that Hardcore does, but it also sets the players speed from 400 units to 600 units. Playing in Turbo mode is INSANE. You move like the way DoomGuy moved. Its very crazy fun.

ATI Rage Fury Review  [1:14 PM EST]
AVault reviews the Rage Fury, ATI's new 3D Accelerator.

Samoan Switches Storms from ION to Red  [11:29 AM EST]
I just received news of another departure from ION, as Jeff "The Mad Samoan" Wand sends word he has left ION Storm for Red Storm. Here's the note:

I'm no longer at ION Storm and am now at Red Storm Entertainment in North Carolina working on the Rainbow Six sequel (Rainbow 7?) I want to wish the best for ION and recently ex-ION (Kenneth, Corrine, the Bloodshot crew, Mike M., Ben H., Hushvahtov. I can be reached at jeff.wand@redstorm.com

Hired Guns Preview  [11:29 AM EST]
Computer Games Online's Hired Guns preview is up looking at this upcoming remake of the Amiga game that uses the Unreal engine.

IAS Glitch  [11:29 AM EST]
Extreme Audio Reality sends word of a problem with the IAS component for SoundBlaster Live! and SoundBlaster PCI-64/PCI-128 released this weekend (story). The glitch prevents 3D audio from working properly, a problem since the whole point of the software is to allow 3D audio in titles that don't natively support it. Separate updates are available to fix this for the SBLive! and the PCI128.

loonygames  [7:33 AM EST]
It's time for issue 16 of loonygames, rounding out the site's first third-year of operation in its own inevitable style. Here's this week's schedule:

Mark Rein Interview  [7:33 AM EST]
There's a Mark Rein interview on Unreal Nation talking about the planned release of an enhanced editor (which Mark clarifies will not be free, as Tim mistakenly stated), as well as the upcoming release of version 220, and the shareware, which is still in the works.

3Dfx Interview  [7:33 AM EST]
There's an interview with 3Dfx's Brian Bruning on Voodoo Unlimited Power.

Scourge done Slick Re-release  [7:33 AM EST]
The Scourge done Slick page has a repackaged version of the Quake done Quick team's most remarkable effort: a speed run through the Quake Mission Pack, Scourge of Armagon. The re-release offers some add-ons, including a 500 second Skill 0 run through the pack that uses over 60 rocket/grenade jumps. If you haven't seen this movie yet, and have the original Quake and the Scourge mission pack, then I cannot recommend more highly that you check this out.

Doom Party  [7:33 AM EST]
Bust out your BFG, PC Format magazine is hosting a fifth anniversary party for Doom in Dallas at Sambucca's (15207 Addison, 972-385-8455) this week. Here's the lowdown as sent along by id's Anna Kang:

On Thursday, December 10th, PC Format will be hosting a 5 year DOOM anniversary party at Sambucca's in Dallas from 10.30pm. Developers in the Dallas area and individual contributors to the DOOM legacy are invited to attend. For more information, contact Jim McCauley.

Doom Aliens TC Interview  [7:33 AM EST]
There's an interview with Justin Fisher on 5 Years of Doom talking to the creator of one of the very first TC's, the Aliens TC for Doom. The Aliens TC is one of the most immersive, frightening mods (or games for that matter) ever devised.

This Old Half-Life Level  [7:33 AM EST]
A new installment has been posted on This Old Level, part of Hoc Opus, AKA "Wedge and Choryoth's page dangit" (thanks Mattimus). In the new edition, Archie Vial, the Bob Villa of level design, offers insights into the use of "The Clip Brush in Theory and Practice."

TF Custom Server  [7:33 AM EST]
Version 1.6 of the TF Custom Server is out, a server-only program that adds custom classes to TeamFortress Quake, allowing players to purchase components of their class piece by piece.

Console+  [7:33 AM EST]
Version 2.03 of Console+ is now available that adds a bunch of features to a Quake II game, as well as new variables for the server, and even some built-in aliases.

Revolution IV  [7:33 AM EST]
There's a Revolution IV review on AnandTech offering a look at Number Nine's new chipset, calling it a business solution, not a gamer's card.

etc.  [7:33 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [7:33 AM EST]
To follow-up on yesterday's comments about Turok2 and South Park, I should point out that both games were early betas, and may not have been true representations of how the final games will play. Larry Hastings sent along his tribute to the missing song in the South Park game (saying "It's a tragic but ultimately fulfilling story of redemption. A baby owl is born into a classical-music family, but he only loves singing jazz.") from the old Tex Avery cartoon (can you imagine them withholding the rights to this from the game makers--as if they're afraid Madonna won't record it if that happened). Thanks maCks and DawgBear[ss] for this link that fills in the missing lyrics: (by E. Y. Harburg).

I love to sing-a
About the moon-a
and the June-a
and the spring-a

I love to sing-a
About a sky of blue-a
or a tea for two-a
anything-a with a swing-a
to an' I love you
I love-a to, I love-a to sing!

Sunday, December 6, 1998

New EGN2  [2:00 PM EST]
WarZone's Enternet Global Network has released a new version of their flagship program, EGN2, which combines the ability to find multiplayer servers on the Internet with an ICQ-like chat client. The new version offers Blood2 support, and the ability to launch your own publicly accessible chat server.

On Unreal 220  [12:41 PM EST]
T. Elliot "Myscha the sled dog" Cannon updated his .plan giving a lot of detailed info on changes to Unreal that will be included in the upcoming Unreal 220 patch. From the description it sounds like they're addressing many of the areas of multiplayer play that Quake players found lacking (beyond obvious complaints about lag), including splash damage radius for explosive weapons (which he says will be increased by 20%), weapon sound and punch, and player movement rates. Here's the update:

We recently had a large meeting to scope out some finer points of upcoming projects, organizations, leadership issues, and other business affairs.

One of the big items discussed there was this upcoming 220 Version of Unreal which fixes Multiplayer woes and responds directly to gamer feedback regarding items like

1. Weapon damages/splash radii
2. Weapon Sounds and Punch
3. Player Movement rate
4. Player Jump Height
5. Menus-HUD-Messaging etc.

And I've been testing the latest versions here with some brand spanking new maps I've been working on, as have the other level designers here.

This latest batch of DM maps I've been working on go back to 1 on 1 and 2 on 2 and 3 on 3 style of play. The maps are ultra fast paced allowing sound cue players good sense of control and accessibility to adjacent areas quickly and effortlessly. I've been focussing on layouts that allow for players to hear a sound cue and get there without much more than a 2-3 second delay-so that the source of the sound cue hasn't moved on to another area.

I've also brought the scale down on the maps to better respond to the new splash damage radii which are larger on all explosion based weapons and do 20% more damage.

Of course you can expect mucho Structural Elements and themes along with 3 and 4 level interlinking geometry.

My hope is that these batch of maps that are being designed specifically for the new changes to Unreal deathmatch shall be released as seperate free downloads along with Tim and Steve's final patch. This IMO will help give gamers a second look at UDM with maps that are specifically designed for the weapons utilized in them.

Unreal deathmatch has a very brutal feel to it now-whereas previously it didn't have the "umph" it needed.

Of course I'm not sure when the menu/code aspects are to be wrapped up-but we'll also be revisiting the impact these changes have and repairing CO-OP play (praise the lord) And double checking single play.

I'm looking forward to seeing this finalized and out there.

New Qtracker  [11:02 AM EST]
Version 2.2 of the Qtracker server browser is now available. The program now offers the ability to launch a multiplayer Half-Life or Shogo server, as well as to join one, and adds support for Blood II, Half-Life, Heretic II, Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, and Sin.

Zaero Update  [11:02 AM EST]
A version 1.1 patch for the Zaero add-on for Quake II is up on the Team Evolve page offering a couple of small fixes and changes. Also, the source code for the game .dll is now available. Finally, they are also interested in talking to anyone willing to port the source to Linux.

New Kick Engine Demo  [11:02 AM EST]
A new version of the Kick Engine is out, described as the next-generation version of the engine. Here's the scoop on the update:

The first release of the new Kick Engine 'NEXT GENERATION' demo (version 0.1) is out. This has been designed to show the phong shading and real time shadows to the max. K62 3dNow performance now twice the speed of regular K6 and 25% faster than Pentium 2, It's also got far better performance on the Voodoo 2 and Banshee than previous demos. This is the first of many releases for this demo which is going to turned into a mini level over the next couple of weeks. A new location designed to show off the spot-lights, volumetic smoke and fire should be ready for next weekend (fingers crossed) and then it's on to the 3d texture and bump mapping location. It's going to a busy few weeks ahead.

New MacUnreal  [11:02 AM EST]
Westlake Interactive has posted a new version 1.0.2b2 beta patch for MacUnreal. Several bugs from the previous version are fixed, including a network player name gibberish bug. Back up your original Unreal application and Unreal "system" folder before updating. Thanks Cosmo.

Tim Willits Interview  [11:02 AM EST]
There's an interview with Tim Willits 5 Years of Doom discussing how a man who didn't own a computer at the time of the release of Wolfenstein-3D ended up contributing to Doom and games beyond as a designer for id Software.

Half-Life Decal Pak  [11:02 AM EST]
The Half Life Decal Repository has posted a pak file with all of the decals they've collected so far for Half-Life.

Killer Tank Demo  [11:02 AM EST]
The just-launched Killer Tank page on the Electrotech Multimedia site is dedicated to their upcoming 3D action game descriptively titled "Killer Tank." The PC Release List has posted the Killer Tank playable demo.

LMCTF Fix  [11:02 AM EST]
Version 4.22 of Loki's Minions Capture the Flag is now available as a server-only update, offering a fix for a bug in LMCTF 4.21 that awarded random points at times. Currently a patch for the Windows and Linux versions are available, with the Solaris version to come. Also, Loki and his minions will be attending the Quakefest Toronto at the end of January if you want to stop by and offer them mad props, or something.

TeamEnergy Quake II & 3rd Person Update  [11:02 AM EST]
Spine Design caps off their week of living dangerously that's seen a spate of releases of small Quake II mods. The final release is a teamplay mod called Team Energy Quake II where you and your team attempt to collect enough energy to exit the level. Also, they've updated one of the mods from earlier in the week, adding VWep support to their Third Person Perspective Quake II, and fixing the third person view when the player is in the water, and a CTF version is promised soon.

Pr0ndisxs  [11:02 AM EST]
Pr0ndisxs is a new Quake II mod, that (as far as I can tell) has nothing to do with pr0n, but instead offers a multiplayer teamplay mod for Quake II.

Starsiege Preview, Interview  [11:02 AM EST]
GameSpot's Preview of Starsiege looks at the third installment in the EarthSiege mech (called Hercs in this continuity) series (not to be confused with Tribes, more of a teamplay FPS), along with an interview with Dave Selle talking about this game, due in March 1999. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

V2x00 Half-Life 3DNow!  [11:02 AM EST]
The 3DNow! NOW Page has posted an unofficial 3DNow! patch for Half-Life on Rendition V2x00-based systems.

Texture Mecca  [11:02 AM EST]
The Texture Studio is a newly opened site dedicated to the art of texture art, focusing on any game that can handle 256 color textures. To celebrate their opening, they have posted a pak file with over 100 textures described as photorealistic 8-bit pcx format textures. The textures are free to use in non-commercial projects, provided credit is given the artist.

Heretic II Editing Fix  [11:02 AM EST]
Raven's Jeremy Statz updated his .plan with a workaround for those looking to edit Heretic II levels who are having trouble getting scripting to work.

quick3D  [11:02 AM EST]
A new version of the quick3D model viewer is now available, a quick viewer of 3D geometry in Windows 95/98/NT that requires OpenGL.

etc.  [11:02 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [11:02 AM EST]
We had fun visiting Acclaim yesterday, thanks to Sean and Descentile for the invite. Turok2 was okay, though the feel of the controls was just as sluggish as the original, so multiplayer was fun, but nothing to take too seriously. On the subject of things not to be taken too seriously, however, we just loved the South Park game, based on the same Turok2 engine (though in a bizarre twist, I'd swear control was more precise in South Park than Turok2). South Park is a total trip, where you can play as just about any of the show's characters, ranging from the kids to Jesus and Santa (though you can't play Mr. Hanky -- he's a power-up). Best weapon in South Park is the ray that makes your victim sing and dance helplessly (though copyright problems prevent them from using the "I want to moona..." song). It's just for fun, but I promise I will be playing some South Park on the net when it's released. Back to Turok2, it's definitely more of the same as Turok (though the dinosaur enemies are replaced by Dino-humanoid hybrids), but taken a step beyond, so if you're a fan of the original, this will probably float your boat that much more. High points from what we saw were the "Cranial Bore," a weapon that sends a homing drill after your victim to bore his brains out in an over-the-top gory display (as MrCoffee said "it will be a long time before I get tired of watching that"), and the humorous scene that ensues when you mount a Triceratops bristling with automatic weapons, and most of the enemies you encounter from then on proceed to panic and run away screaming and waving their arms in terror (one of the most realistic displays of Artificial Intelligence I can recall).

Saturday, December 5, 1998

Hired Guns, Expendable, Giants Screenshots  [10:22 AM EST]
Some screenshots on Sharky Extreme's Hired Guns First Glimpse, looking at this upcoming Unreal-engine game, and Gamer's Alliance has 11 Expendable Screenshots & a Development Update for Rage Software's upcoming 3D action game. Finally, there are Billy's screenshots of the day yesterday on Voodoo Extreme showing off PlanetMoon's upcoming Giants.

Black Mace Entertainment  [6:30 AM EST]
More moving and shaking from the fast-paced world of gaming. I received the following email from John Eberhardt, producer of Uprising 2, announcing his departure from Cyclone Studios to form a new company called Black Mace Entertainment:

I've resigned my position at 3DO/Cyclone Studios to go off and form a new company, Black Mace Entertainment.

Black Mace is going to produce indoor and outdoor strategy/shooters, and will feature the best talents behind Uprising, Requiem, and a few other titles that I can't talk about just yet.

Our first title that we're working on is Raiders of the Forbidden Zone. Think a strategy Shogo with space pirates - the seedy side of Star Wars. We're currently in discussion with several publishers, the winner of which I'll share with you as soon as the ink is on the page.

Our website will be active next week, with more news to follow.

More on the New Half-Life Model  [6:30 AM EST]
I didn't realize it at the time, but it turns out the Too Much Coffee Man model (270 KB) and The Hill DM map (660 KB) for Half-Life I posted yesterday (story) were actually exclusive goodies from Valve for PC Gamer Online. The PC Gamer guys don't mind it mirrored, but it's only fair that they get their due credit (you can see their logo in the map, in fact).

Dario Casali Interview  [6:30 AM EST]
There's a Dario Casali interview on 5 Years of Doom talking to the Valve designer about his work on the Final Doom.

Online Gaming Interviews  [6:30 AM EST]
Game-Interviews.com has posted a few interviews with the folks behind some online gaming services, talking with Multitude, Heat.net, and Mplayer, with talks with TEN and Kesmai planned to come.

Reviews: Sin, Thief, Heretic II, Half-Life  [6:30 AM EST]
Games.Net reviews Sin offering three sets of opinions in a group discussion format. Also Next-Generation Online has posted their Thief: The Dark Project Review and their Heretic II Review. Thanks Larry. Finally, Avault reviews Half-Life

Shogo Sky Tutorial  [6:30 AM EST]
A Sky Tutorial is now up on PlanetShogo offering an advanced users lesson on how to make a sky in DEdit.

PowerStrip  [6:30 AM EST]
The EnTech Taiwan page has version 2.30 of PowerStrip, their uber-video card utility. The new release offers a bunch of new features, including a color temperature control for desktop publishers. Thanks Beta News.

RIVA Tweaks  [6:30 AM EST]
Tweak3D's RIVA Tweaks section has been tweaked with more info on TNT tuning.

IAS for SBLive!  [6:30 AM EST]
A release candidate SoundBlaster Live! and PCI-64/128 version of IAS is up on Extreme Audio Reality offering surround sound on supported games, including Quake II, and BattleZone.

etc.  [6:30 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [6:30 AM EST]
New York City, home of the fabulous Blue Tower, is mecca to many things, but there are not a lot of computer gaming companies around here. It turns out that one that is in the area is Acclaim. By an invitation arranged through Descentile of The Gaming Krib, MrCoffee and I are going to head out to the Isle of Long to visit Acclaim to get our asses whupped at a little Turok2: Seeds of Evil multiplayer. I'll be back this evening, possibly quite late.

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