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Friday, December 18, 1998

TeamFortress II Preview  [11:05 PM EST]
There is a Sneak Peeks at Team Fortress II on GameCenter giving a pretty detailed look at the upcoming multiplayer Half-Life game. The preview talks a bit about the classes and the AI in the TFBots, and offers a bunch of screenshots. Thanks Ant.

Heretic II Map Pack (Again)  [9:29 PM EST]
Update:
This is a newer version of the pack than the one originally uploaded, since the first pack Kenn sent along was missing a map (as mentioned in Jeremy Statz's .plan). Raven's Kenn Hoekstra sends along a holiday gift from the birds over at Raven, a Heretic II Map Pack that offers four new DM maps for third-person carnage. Here are local downloads (1.7 MB) courtesy of Blue's News FTP, Walnut Creek, and the First Church of the Gooey Faith, Discount House of Worship. Here's the poop from the read me:

Merry Christmas from Raven!

This pack is a sort of unofficial Raven release. We wanted to get some extra maps out there for everyone to enjoy over the holidays. I think you'll find quite a variety in here. As you read on, you'll notice that two of these maps were created by designers on Soldier of Fortune. They had so much fun playing, they made their own maps. Please distribute these maps freely, but only in this zip file and with this readme. You may not sell these maps to others or distribute them on a CD, and if you paid anything for them, you were ripped off. These maps are for public enjoyment and are the property of Raven and Activision. With that legalese out the way,

Enjoy,

Jon Zuk Raven

P.S. See www.hereticii.com for the scripting contest and look for the upcoming contest on www.gamegirlz.com.

Vampire Shot, Art  [8:13 PM EST]
cris_darkages.jpg (122777 bytes)Christof_DA_Oldtown_1.jpg (31326 bytes)Activision just sent along a screenshot and a piece of concept art that are the first images released from upcoming action/RPG, Vampire: The Masquerade, being created by the newly formed Nihilistic Software (Ray Gresko, Rob Huebner, Steve Tietze, and friends). Vampire is expected in Fall 1999.

Attached please find a sketch and an early screenshot of Christof, the main character from Activision's upcoming action-role playing game,Vampire: The Masquerade. The title, which is being developed by Nihilistic Software, is inspired bythe well-known Vampire series of games from White Wolf Publishing. Vampire: The Masquerade is based on an original script and will tell anepic story of one vampire's (un) life throughout an eight hundred yeartime span. Revolutionary technology, visually stunning graphics and a compelling story will draw players into the World of Darkness where they will find intriguing characters, challenging puzzles, and intense adventure.

Tim Sweeney on Unreal Tournament  [7:15 PM EST]
There's a Tim Sweeney Interview on VUP3D talking to Epic's lead programmer about their plans for Unreal Tournament.

Mortyr, Turok2 Screenshots  [7:15 PM EST]
There are five Mortyr screenshots on Gamer's Alliance, and the last of the boatload (26) of Turok2 shots are up on Sharky Extreme.

Heretic II Contest  [7:15 PM EST]
The GameGirlz Name the Female Corvus Contest is online, asking readers to suggest names for the female player character in the upcoming Heretic II expansion pack. The contest will be judged by everyone at Raven. I guess Corvette is a copyright issue as well as a bit diminutive.

Descent 3 Patch Info  [7:15 PM EST]
Kevin Bentley's Developer's Notes offer an update from this Outrage programmer on the status of a Descent 3 update patch that will offer GameSpy support, among other things. Thanks Assasin at Planet Descent.

New Final GibStats  [7:15 PM EST]
Version 2.7 of GibStats II, the Quake II stat logging and analysis program, has been released. The new release is described as probably the last version, though the author admits he's said that before.

Loose Cannon Preview  [7:15 PM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault previews Loose Cannon, looking at Digital Anvil's upcoming car combat game.

Baldur Gold  [7:15 PM EST]
Baldur's Gate is gold. Follow the yellow brick road. Follow, follow, follow... oops... sorry.

New MGA-G200 Drivers  [7:15 PM EST]
The Matrox MGA-G200 Windows 95 and Windows 98 drivers page has new version 4.50 drivers available. Thanks Rankor.

Valve Interview  [12:48 PM EST]
Voodoo Extreme has posted another Valve interview, this one with Lead Systems Programmer Jay Stelly answering questions about Half-Life posted by Shiny's Michael "Saxs" Persson.

3 and 4 Team CTF  [12:48 PM EST]
A public beta version of the The 4-Team CTF Port is now available. This is described as a "use at your own risk" beta, but if you run a 4 Team CTF server, you are asked to E-mail Charles. Also, Sal "Sluggo" Accardo sends word that a new version 1.11 server for 3 Team CTF is out adding a few new features, tweaks, and bugfixes.

Akolyte Update  [12:48 PM EST]
An update to the Revenant page gives the latest on development of their upcoming Akolyte, giving an interesting anecdote about how excited the team was over a recent missed milestone because it was the first delay caused by art considerations, rather than programming. Thanks Lorien at Gamer's Alliance.

BC3KAD Screenshot  [12:48 PM EST]
There's a spectacular screenshot from the upcoming BattleCruiser 3020 AD posted that is a frame from a movie about to be released that shows off the new 16-Bit models, explosions etc.

FireTeam Interview  [12:48 PM EST]
There's a FireTeam interview on WarZone talking to producer/designer Art Min just before the game went gold. FireTeam should be available many places by now, is an online teamplay strategy game that offers real-time voice communication to your teammates.

FastGraphics  [12:48 PM EST]
I got a lot of email from readers interested in the SoundBlaster Live!/Monster Sound MX300/Sonic S90 comparison on Fast Graphics mentioned here recently, since it has been inaccessible because the site has been down since then. With everything more-or-less straightened out, the site, and its contents are now back online for your reading pleasure.

Tribes Gold  [7:57 AM EST]
Word from Scott and the Tribes team is that Starsiege: Tribes, their online multiplayer shooter that pits teams in combat on huge battlefields, has gone gold, and is off to manufacture. Word is the game should be available in stores by Christmas if not shortly thereafter.

More on Unreal Tournament  [7:57 AM EST]
Unreal Tournament Unveiled is a Next-Generation Online article giving more detail on Epic's upcoming Unreal Tournament project, having tracked down Mark Rein for some conversation on the subject. Here's some of what they've uncovered:

So we turned our attention to the rumor that UT has no story. "Unreal Tournament has a really cool story that will eventually be revealed and it ties quite nicely into the Unreal world. Just think about that prison ship you were on when the game started and soon it will all become clear" says Rein.

Rein revealed that Unreal Tournament has in fact four distinct game types "that make up the Unreal Tournament" and in the screenshots, one of the game types appears to be capture the flag. Rein says that the "simulated human opponents" (Puh-leeze. Are Epic's new bots too good to be called 'Bots' now?) can play all the distinct game types both on your team and against your team. For good measure Rein says they're much better deathmatchers now too. Apparently the Bots can also fill out your team or opposing teams when you go to play Unreal Tournament online.

Independent Game Festival  [7:57 AM EST]
The first annual Game Developers Conference Independent Games Festival has been announced, an opportunity for small independent developers to show off their work, and potentially secure publishing deals. They are now soliciting round one entries (a written document describing the project and the team, accompanied by supporting materials delivered to the jurors via the Web) which are due January 6, 1999, and between ten and thirty games will be invited to participate as official Festival selections. Selections will be featured in an Independent Games Festival Pavilion on the Expo floor at Game Developers Conference, March 16-18, 1999 in San Jose, with prizes to be awarded for the stand-out products.

Shogo Patch Update  [7:57 AM EST]
Monolith's Jeremy Blackman updated his .plan with quite a bit of detail on what's up with the version 2.1 patch for Shogo, including discussions of lag fixes past and future (including info on how to contact him if you still have lag problems). There's also a bit on plans for the 2.2 patch, which will include fixes for enhanced joysticks.

Kick Announcement  [7:57 AM EST]
The team working on the Kick Engine project have announced a game based on the engine, to be titled Kick. They describe plans to create "the mother of all multiplayer FPS games." Work on the game will start in January 1999, and it will offer all the features of the Kick engine including full real-time lighting, full real-time shadows, 3D texture mapping, curved surfaces, bump-mapping, volumetric fog and volumetric liquid. More details will be announced soon.

Messiah Profile  [7:57 AM EST]
The Messiah Press has posted a new Ego Profile (previously known as Bright and Shiny Biographies), this one profiling Shawn Berryhill, a 3D artist on Team Ego.

Half-Life Editing  [7:57 AM EST]
The Half-Life Workshop has opened its (virtual) doors, a sister site to the Quake Workshop2. The site's goal is to be a comprehensive Half-Life editing resource, already offering ten tutorials.

Return to the Twisted Christmas  [7:57 AM EST]
The PlanetQuake Download Center has locations for the Twisted Christmas modification released last year by the now-defunct VRGN. The mod has been basically unavailable since last year, but has now been re-released in a fit of holiday cheer.

Ongoing Decay  [7:57 AM EST]
The third in a string of three daily releases from the Decay for Heretic II modification is now available. This version is called the first really stable version (now you tell us), and stricter attention has been paid to balance and "fairness" in this release.

Quake Movie  [7:57 AM EST]
Version 1.4a of QuakeMovie is now available. New features of this Quake movie and demo filming utility include "long awaited" camera waypoints and timebombs (for those really explosive scenes), as well as improved camera control and a few monster animation fixes. Source code is included.

Q2-Start  [7:57 AM EST]
A "mini"-update to Q2Start adds a "no ipx" and a "no tcp/ip" checkbox to the options on this Quake II front-end.

Competitions  [7:57 AM EST]
The Quake Draft League is getting underway, a QuakeWorld Team DM four-on-four league.

etc.  [7:57 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [7:57 AM EST]
Site's still slow, still working on it, my apologies (dammit Scotty, I need more power!). Yesterday's reference was indeed Ren & Stimpy (Log, from Blammo!). Happy birthday to young (in years) Hanif.

Thursday, December 17, 1998

Shooters  [6:04 PM EST]
Tonight on Shooters we have a double-dip from the gang at Acclaim, as we are slated to speak with Shawn Rosen about Turok2: Seeds of Evil, and "Oh my god, they killed Mace Royer," we're also going to have a member of the team creating the South Park game to talk about this shooter that shares the same 3D engine with Turok2. The festivities all kick off live at 7:00 PM Eastern time, RealPlayer, or equivalent, required.

Another QuakeWorld Test  [6:04 PM EST]
Zoid has updated QuakeWorld.net with a newer version of the QuakeWorld 2.33 test (548 KB) released earlier (story). Here's the update:

With any test release, problems tend to show up quickly.

Test release 2.33-0001 is now available. Changes are:

Test release 2.33-0001 downloads:

EAX Enhanced Unreal Scenarios  [6:04 PM EST]
There are six Unreal Scenarios on the SBLive! site that are enhanced for the SBLive!'s EAX extensions. Thanks Ray.

eyeSCREAM Software  [6:04 PM EST]
The Wicked3D eyeSCREAM CD is now available for ordering. This software will enable Wicked3D driver support for H3D stero glasses and any Voodoo2 card for $29. Thanks Classy Glasses.

QuakeWorld 2.33 Test Release  [3:52 PM EST]
Zoid has posted a test version of Quakeworld version 2.33 on QuakeWorld.net. Thanks Hanif. Here are local downloads (547 KB) courtesy of Blue's News FTP, Walnut Creek, and Log (it's big, it's heavy, it's wood). Here's the lowdown from Zoid's update:

QuakeWorld 2.33 is a test release to address several issues that have come to light in the QuakeWorld community. Several different DoS (Denial Of Service) attacks have surfaced that need addressed.

This test release contains both a new client and server to address these problems. This release is currently compatible with 2.30 servers and clients, but this will not be true once the test period has completed. The next release of QuakeWorld with be 2.4 and will be changed so previous versions will no longer function. This is necessary in order to fully combat all the denial of service attacks currently present and to facility some changes in the prevention of cheating.

The QuakeWorld 2.33 client has the follow changes and issues addressed:

QuakeWorld 2.33 server changes:

Test release downloads:

Feedback for the release should be directed to Zoid at zoid@idsoftware.com

Unreal Tourney Screenshots  [3:52 PM EST]
There are five new Unreal Tournament Screenshots on AGN3D.

S3 Intel Deal  [2:31 PM EST]
S3 has announced a 10 year deal with Intel that involves a technology exchange through a cross-licensing agreement, as well as a possible future purchase of S3 stock by Intel. Thanks Dragon. Here's part of the announcement:

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 17, 1998--S3 Inc. (Nasdaq:SIII - news) today announced a long-term agreement with Intel Corp. (Nasdaq:INTC - news) which includes a 10-year cross-license agreement for all S3 and Intel patents for development of certain semiconductor products, a bus license for current and future Intel general purpose processors, and the selection of S3 as an Intel AGP 4X validation partner.

S3 also announced that Intel is to purchase warrants to buy S3 shares under undisclosed terms.

Quake III  Arena Screenshots  [2:13 PM EST]
Apparently a few Quake III Arena screenshots come along with the Quake II: Extremities CD, and they've been uploaded to sCary's Quake3 messageboard and are posted on sCary's Shack.

Max Payne Preview  [2:13 PM EST]
There's a new Max Payne Preview on GameSpot UK that offers some new screenshots from 3DRealms' upcoming gritty third-person shooter. They have a new Babylon 5 Space Combat Simulator preview up with screenshots as well.

Messiah Screenshots  [2:13 PM EST]
Billy has posted another couple of screenshots of Shiny's upcoming Messiah on Voodoo Extreme.

Shogo: Legacy of the Fallen  [1:38 PM EST]
This press release announces an expansion pack for Shogo: Mobile Armor Division to be produced by Aztech New Media titled Shogo: Legacy of the Fallen. Here are some excerpts from the announcement:

The Aztech expansion package, entitled Shogo: Legacy of the Fallen, is expected to reach the market by April, 1999.

The Aztech expansion package will be developed for Aztech by Utah-based developers, Anarchy Arts, a talented young development team.

Other new Aztech features for Shogo: Legacy of the Fallen include:

6 new characters
8 new monsters and alien killers
8 new weapons
8 Mobile Combat Armor (MCA) mechs

In addition to preserving the LithTech 3D engine, Aztech's Shogo: Legacy of the Fallen enhancement package will also introduce a new approach to level play. Instead of proceeding through a level in a linear way, most of the levels in a zone will be accessible to a player. The goals are completed using items in these levels. ``The way you play the game can really affect the outcome of the story line, even determining which levels are played,'' Seepe said. Legacy of the Fallen will also incorporate the LithTech engine's multi-player abilities, with its client-server architecture supporting TCP/IP, IPX and modem play.

Unreal Tournament & Unreal II Announcement  [11:00 AM EST]
GT Interactive has issued this press release officially announcing they are publishing Epic MegaGames' upcoming Unreal Tournament, and Unreal II, to be created by Legend Entertainment. GT will also retain rights to publish other Unreal II-engine projects. The announcement also contains mention of an official Unreal level pack, and a semi-detailed description of Unreal Tournament, which does (as many speculated upon announcement of the title) sound similar to the announced plans for Quake III Arena. Thanks Yellow 5 at PlanetUnreal. Here's a hunk:

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 17, 1998-- Further strengthening its product portfolio with the top-selling franchise that broke new ground in 3D action games, GT Interactive Software Corp. (Nasdaq:GTIS - news) announced today it has obtained exclusive global publishing rights to two new Unreal titles from Epic MegaGames.

GT Interactive will publish Unreal II, the sequel to Unreal; and Unreal Tournament, a completely new entry in the category. GT also obtains an option to utilize the specially designed Unreal II engine to create additional software titles.

Epic MegaGames has selected Legend Entertainment to create Unreal II on its behalf. Legend is currently developing the PC game Wheel of Time, which utilizes the Unreal engine and is being published by GT Interactive in 1999. Legend is also working with Epic on the development of the official Unreal Level Pak, which includes more than 10 new previously unreleased Unreal levels. GT Interactive plans to publish both Unreal Tournament and the Unreal Level Pak in the Spring of 1999.

Unreal Tournament - All-New, Easy to Learn Game Play

One of the most highly anticipated games of 1998, the award-winning Unreal has performed among the industry's top 10 best-selling PC games since GT Interactive released it in May of this year. Unreal Tournament pits players against the hardest criminals in the galaxy in multiple new kinds of contests and settings. The goal is to become the Unreal Grand Master, testing your skills against, or fighting alongside, teams of the best simulated human opponents ('bots') ever seen in a 3D action game. Players can also take the challenge online, playing with combinations of 'bots' and human opponents.

Designed for players from novice to expert, Unreal Tournament features training, novice, normal, hardcore and turbo modes. The favorite Unreal weapons have been brought back and improved, while several new weapons make their debut, including the 'Redeemer' - a weapon so lethal you can actually control the projectile through the eyes of it's built-in camera. An advanced, state-of-the-art, user interface makes it simple to play Unreal Tournament, easy to get online and easy to adjust the game to their specific preferences. Programming enthusiasts used the tools that shipped with Unreal to make it one of the most widely modified games ever. Unreal Tournament extends the capabilities of enthusiasts even further, allowing them to make more sophisticated improvements to Unreal Tournament than any previous 3D action game has ever allowed. More details about Unreal Tournament will be released soon. The Unreal Level Pak will also include new enemies and never-seen-before weapons.

New glDoom  [10:16 AM EST]
Version 0.94D of glDoom is available, described as a "Maintenance Release," fixing things including the mouse context switching, mouse sensitivity, no video mode list, no 16 bit color desktop available, menu lockup problems, lack of sound card detection, ability to run with no sound (for those who don't need it or don't want it), level switching problems in Ultimate Doom episode four, and more. Thanks Necromancer. Here are local copies (989 KB) on Blue's News and Walnut Creek FTP.

New PingTool  [10:16 AM EST]
A double dose of new PingTool is now available, version 2.4 is out of beta, fixing the last couple of known bugs from beta 3, and for the more daring, a new beta as well, with beta 1 of PingTool 2.5 available, offering integration with ICQ. Here are local copies of PingTool 2.4 (1.7 MB), and PingTool 2.5 Beta 1 (1.7 MB) on Blue's News and Walnut Creek FTP.

Heretic II Add-on Shot  [10:16 AM EST]
HereticII.com has posted an 1152x864 screenshot from Greg Barr's one-on-one map Citadelic from the upcoming H2 enhancement pack.

Unreal Networking  [10:16 AM EST]
Tim made an update to the Unreal Technology page yesterday that covers a lot of ground on the past, present, and future of networking in Unreal, following up on his original Unreal Networking Architecture essay.

Redline Interview  [10:16 AM EST]
More on Redline is a Next-Generation Online interview with the team from Beyond Games working on this 3D action/shooter set in the year 2000 that offers combat both on foot and in vehicles.

Bruce Lewis Interview  [10:16 AM EST]
On today's Daily Dementia, an audio (RealPlayer) interview with glDoom author Bruce Lewis.

Shogo CTF  [10:16 AM EST]
Version 1.0 of Sticks 'N Stones CTF for Shogo has been released on ShogoTech, offering a Shogo 2.1 compatible capture the flag.

New Heretic II Decay  [10:16 AM EST]
Beta 7 of Decay for Heretic II is available, offering a more stable release of this multiplayer mod where players' health decreases steadily unless they regain it by damaging their opponents.

Quake II DeCamper  [10:16 AM EST]
SteQve's Jolly Frilly Quake Mods Page has another of his promised upcoming spate of modification releases with version 1.0 of the DeCamper patch, which is an update to this controversial mod which offers a server-side, democratic camping deterrent for Quake II on Win95/NT systems. Source code is included in this release, which is the final release by Two Pole Software. Established mod authors who want to take over maintenance of the code may contact SteQve.

New Binder  [10:16 AM EST]
Hot on the heels of the version 1.0 release comes version 1.01 of the Binder, a Quake II program that allows you to quickly bind up all the keys you need to make the perfect config file. The new version, available on Otser's Site, fixes a bug, adds the ability to bind four actions to each mouse button (it already allows up to four actions to be bound to each key), and there is now an option to clear a key of all binds with a single mouse-click.

Job Openings  [10:16 AM EST]
Brian Goble's .plan file has word on some job openings at Monolith, and where to send your résumé. If you are interested in game work, you can also peruse the Blue's News Want Ads.

Shadowman Preview, Shots  [10:16 AM EST]
PC.IGN.COM ha s posted a preview of Acclaim's upcoming third-person action/adventure, Shadowman (based on the comic book) offering some new screenshots.

Reviews  [10:16 AM EST]
Gamers Central reviews Thief, Action Xtreme reviews Half-Life, Sin is reviewed at MeccaWorld, and GamersDepot reviews the ATI RAGE FURY 128.

Mailbag  [10:16 AM EST]
This week's MailBag is up a day late (it was waiting on a feature that will debut next week instead of this because of a delay). In the current crop o' correspondence, a comment on the 3Dfx/STB deal, more on 16 versus 32 bit color (Voodoo3), an essay on player movement speeds (responding to a recent article by Thresh), some commentary inspired by a mention of games being "indexed" in Germany (such mentions always get a load of responses, clarifications, and opinions), and some heated responses to the pimpage flame from last week.

Competitions  [10:16 AM EST]
The Online Gaming League is getting underway with a new Quake II open deathmatch competition using their brand-new fully-automated ranking system. Also, The Playing Fields is having a face-to-face Half-Life and Quake II competition this Saturday with prizes and stuff. Finally, according to TeAM EviL DaWgS Creative Labs is sponsoring an upcoming match between Singapore-based players and a team of top Malaysian players.

etc.  [10:16 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [10:16 AM EST]
Today is the two year anniversary of the release of the first version of the QuakeWorld client, which marks the beginning of practical Internet deathmatch for many. Only small progress on the problems with the server, so if still seems slow to you, that's why. Addressing this is the top priority here at the Blue Tower at the moment, and you have my apologies for the site's poor performance, and my appreciation for any patience you have as we work out the kinks.

Wednesday, December 16, 1998

Wicked 3D, 3Dfx Interviews  [7:36 PM EST]
There's an interview with Wicked3d on the 3Dfx/STB merger on Gamers Depot, a Wicked3D interview on AGN3D, and a Brian Bruning interview talking to 3Dfx on Voodoo Nation.

Mac Unreal/KHG Updates  [7:36 PM EST]
Word on the Westlake Interactive site is that Mac Klingon Honor Guard has gone gold, and if manufacturing goes as planned the game will be on sale at MacWorld in San Francisco (Jan 5), and in stores in early January. There's also news that version 220 of Mac Unreal will take a bit of time before release, perhaps not until after MacWorld, and depending on how PC releases go, they may just release a version 221 port at that time. Thanks actionXtreme.com.

Mailing Lists: Half-Life Editing & Duke Nukem  [7:36 PM EST]
The Half-Life Test Center has started a mailing list dedicated to Half-Life level editing. Also, the Duke Nukem 3D Mailing List is open for discussion of everything Duke from Duke Nukem all the way through Duke Nukem Forever.

New Quake II Java  [7:36 PM EST]
A new version 0.7.0 of Quake II Java is now available (source code included), designed for authors interested in programming Quake II modifications in Java. Here's the rundown:

This version adds support for Linux, and JDK 1.2 on Windows. Because of Java's cross-platform binary compatibility, you can write a Quake2 Java game on a Windows machine, and run it on a Linux or Solaris server without having to recompile.

The Java code contains an almost-complete implementation of plain deathmatch, Threewave CTF, two original games titled "Bounty Hunters" and "Paranoia", and several other code modules that can be loaded with the main game modules to provide interesting variations (such as deathmatch with CTF powerups).

While a few minor features may be missing from the DM code, we've added several things that go beyond what's possible in plain DM, such as multi-language support (each player players can choose to see game messages in English, Dutch, or German), Java security support (prevents rogue game code from running amok on your machine), and loading/unloading of game modules on the fly.

Q2 LavaCam  [7:36 PM EST]
Version 1.12 of LavaCam for Quake II is now available.

More Turok2 Shots  [2:53 PM EST]
Dino week continues on Sharky Extreme with more screenshots in their first glimpse at Turok 2.

Mortyr Site  [2:53 PM EST]
A new official website is now online for Mortyr, the WWII shooter being developed by a Polish team, which is now to be published by Interactive Magic. Thanks Gamer's Alliance.

glDoom FAQ  [10:25 AM EST]
The Official glDoom FAQ is online giving questions and answers for Bruce Lewis' just-released port of the Doom source.

Vigilance Patch  [10:25 AM EST]
The Vigilance site has posted a version 1.1 patch for Vigilance that offers improved performance, in mission save/load games, and more. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

On Descent Plans  [10:25 AM EST]
Descent Creators Disclose Upcoming Titles is an Adrenaline Vault article that talks with Volition about their work on the recently announced Descent 4 and FreeSpace 2.

System Shock 2 Shot  [10:25 AM EST]
There's a new screenshot on Voodoo Extreme showing off System Shock 2 (kind of, it's an awfully dark shot).

Heretic II Development Kit Update  [10:25 AM EST]
Raven's Jeremy Statz updated his .plan with word of an updated zip of the Heretic II developers toolkit that adds a few missing things and fixes the path weirdness with the QE4 project file, as well as offering a bunch of example qdt files.

Seeking Starsiege Servers  [10:25 AM EST]
Dynamix Seeks 1000 Dedicated Game Servers For Starsiege TRIBES Server Corps is the announcement of the server hunt currently underway. As an incentive, Dynamix will offer a free copy of Tribes to qualified servers selected by the Tribes development team. Thanks Datumplane::StarSiege.

Decay Heretic II Mod  [10:25 AM EST]
Version 0.9 beta 6a of Decay for Heretic II, one of the first Heretic II mods, is now available. This is a teamplay mod where everyone starts at 50 health and loses one health per second, and must keep their health up via successful attacks on opponents (vampire-style) while defending themselves against other players. If a player successfully reaches a pre-set health limit (server defined), all opponents will die instantly for a bonus score. The mod is currently being tested on 207.174.15.70.

Viking Mod  [10:25 AM EST]
A new deathmatch-only version of the Viking Mod for Quake II was released a few days ago, incorporating the newly release 3.20 source code.

New BotJohnny  [10:25 AM EST]
Version 2.1 of BotJohnny is now available, the latest release of this Quake II bot front-end.

Quake II Binder  [10:25 AM EST]
Otser's Site has a new program for Quake II called the binder that lets you easily edit your keyboard bindings, allowing you to assign four actions to every key (allowing an 89-key keyboard to offer a handy 356 different binds!).

Quake II 3.20 Demo Joy  [10:25 AM EST]
Tolwyn sent along an interesting bit of info about improved demo playback controls in the new version of Quake II. Here's the deal (with a correction to the original script which mistakenly used "timedemo" in place of "timescale"):

With the release of 3.20 of Quake II, you now have access to the Function keys (F1 - F12) during Demo Playback. This means that not only can you take screenshots during those frag-filled demos or cooperative gaming sessions on the fly, you can also adjust a great many things with just a tiny bit of tweaking.

Here's what you need to get the most out of it:

  1. Quake II 3.20 (um...)
  2. Keygrip 2

Load up the demo of your choice into Keygrip. Honest, if you don't know the first thing about demo editing, that's okay... we just need to take 3 steps.

Once the demo is loaded, click in the Demo Information button (the lowercased "i"), or select View-Demo Information from the menu.

  1. Change Server version from "33" to "34"
  2. In the left "Configstrings" sections, locate MaxClients in the list and change its Value to "1"
  3. Save the demo as a *.dm2 file (it prompts you for either *.kg2 or *.dm2 - just select *.dm2).

When you load the demo up in Quake II, you can adjust the speed of the demo, turn off gl_polyblend (pain and underwater colorshift), and probably a bunch of other options. Here's an example script with a description of each command:

//Script for demo playback tools

bind f1 "timescale .2" //change to slowmotion mode
bind f2 "timescale 1" //change to normal playback mode
bind f3 "timescale 4" //change to fast forward mode

bind f5 "gl_polyblend 0" //remove colorshifting
bind f6 "gl_polyblend 1" //enable colorshifting

bind f9 "stopsound" //stops stuck sound (grapple anyone?)
bind f12 "screenshot" //take a screenshot of the action

//end script

Hopefully people will find this information useful and that it will breath life back into Quake II demo recording and playback. The Thresh vs. Billow demo that was recammed at Zarathustra Studios is just awesome to watch in slow motion.

Saving Unreal Saved Games  [10:25 AM EST]
Don Ramirez sends along the second tip of the day, on how to use older Unreal saved games after installing the version 220 patch. Here's the procedure:

  1. Open your current Unreal folder and copy the "Save" folder to the desktop (or wherever).
  2. Install the patch (i.e., 2.20) and launch the game.
  3. Once the game has begun, fill each of the 10 allotted save slots. It doesn't matter where you are, the object is to assign a title to each of the save slots (i.e. Vortex Rikers).
  4. When all the slots are filled, quit the game.
  5. Copy your previously saved game files from the old Save folder to the new Save folder, overwriting all the new save files.
  6. Restart, go to Load Game. Even though the titles of the save files may be "Vortex Rikers", they will contain the contents of your previous save files. When you save again, the title will be that of wherever you actually are.

Tom on Overclocking  [10:25 AM EST]
There's an article on Tom's Hardware Guide discussing the future of overclocking Intel CPUs, which sounds more like a short future every day. Thanks taxi_driver.

New ICQ  [10:25 AM EST]
Though it still is an alpha release, a new version of ICQ 99a is available on Mirabilis' site. Thanks SailorScout.

Reviews  [10:25 AM EST]
GameCenter reviews Thief: The Dark Project and Heretic II (thanks CiDcO at StormTroopers). CGO reviews Heretic II. Gaming Age reviews Half Life.

etc.  [10:25 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [10:25 AM EST]
Many have commented that the site can be quite slow since the recent move, but rest assured that there is some sort of problem that's currently being investigated. That's the good news, since it means that when the problem is discovered (and fixed), performance should improve (it seems better for me this morning, so I've got my fingers crossed that something's been addressed already). Speaking of the server move, a big thanks to my buds at GamesNet for permitting me to leave the local files that I have on their FTP server where they are for the moment, saving me the chore of moving all that stuff about.

Tuesday, December 15, 1998

Spec Ops 2 Screenshots  [8:00 PM EST]
H.I.M.O.N. has posted a pair of new screenshots from Zombie's upcoming Spec Ops 2, as well as an interview with John Williamson, Producer/Developer on Spec Ops 2, following up on Fresh 3d's recent John Williamson interview.

New GameSpy  [8:00 PM EST]
The shareware version 2.06 of the GameSpy 3D server browser is now available. Here's a local copy of GameSpy 2.06 (1.4 MB) on Blue's News FTP. GameSpy currently can find multiplayer servers for the following games: Quake, QuakeWorld, Quake II, Shogo, Sin, Blood 2, Hexen II, Heretic II, Unreal, and Half-Life.

Giants Preview  [8:00 PM EST]
Giant Words From The Giants Team is part one of a giant (two-part) preview of Giants on Next-Generation Online that offers comments from the developers at PlanetMoon.

Shogo Multiplayer Demo Released  [6:13 PM EST]
Shogo Mobile Armor Division multiplayer demo is now available for download on GameSpot. According to the page, the single player levels in the version 2.1 demo remain the same as the original demo, and two new multiplayer levels made specifically for the demo are included. Here's a copy on the nifty new Blue's News directory (41.9 MB) on Walnut Creek CDROM.

Anachronox Update  [6:13 PM EST]
Today's edition of the ION Storm Daily Informant offers a look at the progress of Tom Hall's upcoming Quake II-engine RPG Anachronox, straight from the development team's mouths.

Unedited Q3A Chat Log  [6:02 PM EST]
An unedited version of last night's impromptu IRC chat with id's Brian Hook, Disruptor, and Zoid in EFnet #quake3arena has been posted on Q3arena.net. This is the full (and as they point out, at times, hard-to-follow) transcript of the session from which the edited log posted here earlier (story) was derived.

Tribes Not Gold Yet  [6:02 PM EST]
I got an email from Dynamix's Scott "CornBoy" Youngblood correcting the report on Voodoo Extreme that Tribes was gold (story). Here's the poop:

Just wanted to shed some light on the status of Tribes. We haven't actually gone gold yet... we are currently in the finaling process, trying to get the last few issues with the install fixed. Once that is out of the way, then we will have gone gold. QA is still pounding on the game while we fix the install issues and submit a new 'gold candidate'... if they find significant problems that need to be addressed we will stop the product certification (at sierra) and do a new build.

Shogo 2.1 Re-release  [5:47 PM EST]
Monolith has re-released the Shogo: Mobile Armor Division patch to include the fixed server .dll, which you can also download separately. Here's a local copy of the new Shogo 2.1 patch (2.0 MB) on Blue's News FTP, and a local copy of the .dll alone (173 KB).

Tribes Gold  [5:47 PM EST]
Billy on Voodoo Extreme is citing an unnamed source in reporting that Starsiege Tribes, Dynamix's massive online multiplayer shooter, has gone gold, and is off to manufacture.

Half-Life Guides  [1:17 PM EST]
GameSpot's Half Life Game Guide is online with a walk-through of the entire game, tips on how to go about finishing each level; detailed descriptions of the weapons, items, and creatures; and when all else fails, the cheat codes. Thanks Apache at Planet Half-Life (formerly Contaminated.Net). Also, there's a Half-Life DM Guide on The Boomstick Joint that outlines some ideas to help your frag count in multiplayer games.

Rainbow Six Mission Pack Info/Shots  [1:17 PM EST]
The Rainbow Six Mission Pack page on the redesigned Red Storm Entertainment site has been updated with new information on Eagle Watch, their upcoming Rainbow Six add-on. The page includes info on the pack's new levels and three new weapons, as well as an outline of new multiplayer game options, and a bunch of new screenshots showing off the action. Thanks Rainbow 6 Retreat.

Linux Q2Java Port  [1:17 PM EST]
Bernd Kreimeier sends along word of a beta Linux port of Q2Java for download on this FTP server. Here's the lowdown on the project:

Q2Java was developed by Barry Pederson, using JDK on Win32, and was released many months ago. It was quickly ported to Solaris JDK for a Q2 dedicated server. The port to Linux turned out to be rather challenging, mainly due to the Linux move to libc6, and partly due to Sun's reluctance to support the Blackdown group which is doing the unofficial Linux JDK port.

The beta test above was compiled and tested using a snapshot of the upcoming Debian 2.1 "slink", namely libc6-2.0.7u-7.1, and gcc version 2.7.2.3-6. I would be interested in success or failure reports from those using Debian 2.0r1/r3, and RedHat 5.0/1/2. Please provide ldd info, libc6 revision (and gcc/egcc version if you compile the DLL from the source). If you use "slink" but have not upgraded to the above version yet, then you don't have to try - I've been there ;-). You will need the Blackdown JDK 1.1.7-v1a plus the native thread package (see www.blackdown.org). There is a chance that the OpenGroup JDK 1.1.6v2 native thread port might also work (see www.gr.opengroup.org). Test was run against Quake 3.20.

S3 Design Contest  [1:17 PM EST]
The S3 Developer Relations Contests has word on a level design contest that offers cash and S3 products as prizes for maps designed to take advantage of S3's S3TC texture compression. There are separate competitions for TrueSpace4, Unreal, and Quake II/Half-Life levels.

id Q3A IRC Log  [6:30 AM EST]
Thanks to Mark David Owens for sending along an edited log of an appearance last night/this morning in EFnet IRC (#quake3arena) by Disruptor, Brian Hook, and Zoid, where Quake III Arena was the topic of conversation. The log covers a lot of bases, and includes the first mention I can recall seeing of a planned q3test (which has indeed been mentioned before as a couple have reminded me, it's just my senility acting up).

Ken Birdwell Interview  [6:30 AM EST]
Talkin' nasty with Valve's Ken Birdwell - one man a trained chimp and a six pack of vaseline is an interview on Voodoo Extreme with the programmer at Valve responsible for Half-Life's animation among other things. The interview is helped along with some questions provided by Epic's Tim Sweeney.

Shogo Demo Update  [6:30 AM EST]
Brian Goble's .plan has an update on the status of the Shogo multiplayer demo, previously mentioned to be expected yesterday, with word that it will probably be released today or tomorrow. Brian "strongly suggest(s) that you pick up a copy of the full version of Shogo while you're waiting. ;)," though it's not clear why you would need the demo at that point.

aGSM  [6:30 AM EST]
A new version 2.13d of the alternative Game Server Monitor (aGSM) is now available, offering a few fixes for this program for finding LAN and Internet game servers for Quake, StarCraft, Hexen II, Age of Empires, Diablo, Total Annihilation, Quake World, Unreal, Quake II, Sin, HellFire, Heretic II, and Dune 2000.

PowerVR Half-Life Driver  [6:30 AM EST]
NEC/PowerVR's Vik Long sends along a new PowerVR PCX2 driver tweaked for Half-Life. Here's a local copy (88 KB) on Blue's News FTP.

QuickStart  [6:30 AM EST]
Version 2.30 of the Quick Start Eraser Bot Wizard is out, offering a huge list of fixes and changes to this Quake II Eraser bot front-end.

WadTool  [6:30 AM EST]
Version 1.01 of Wadtool, the complete texture management utility for the Mac is now available adding an animated sky preview, and GIF and JPEG importing.

Sliding up the Poll  [6:30 AM EST]
As previously mentioned here, a poll about TIME.com's Man of the Year 1998 is up. Now it seems the action lovers at TeamAction Quake2 have started lobbying for votes, and are in 9th place as of this writing. It was pointed out to me recently that Eric Cartman's name has been pulled from the polling (weak), but others currently in the top 20 include the famed trio of Mick Foley, mick foley, and MICK FOLEY; as well as beautiful people poll vet Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf, and of course Jamie Tyler, Master of His Domain. BTW, it's apparent from the site that this is not the vote for the Man of the Year award itself, just a tally of reader opinion on the subject.

Reviews  [6:30 AM EST]
A pair of Half-Life reviews: 3DGaming's (3dgaming.com not .net), and Gibbed.Com's. The Game Complex reviews the Intensor chair. 3DHardware.net reviews the Elsa Erazor II (a new TNT-based board). There's an MX300 review looking at Diamond's Vortex2-based soundcard on 3DsoundSurge.

etc.  [6:30 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [6:30 AM EST]
Loony Skip Rooney was indeed from the Uncle Floyd Show (five points). Got the anonymous FTP cranking now (thanks Ben!), and am gearing up to rework the links in the file library.

Monday, December 14, 1998

Diamond on 3Dfx/STB Deal  [11:24 PM EST]
Offering more follow-up on the story of the day, Sharky Extreme has posted a short Q&A with Diamond Multimedia getting their reaction to the announced acquisition of STB by 3Dfx (story).

Q3A Benchmarks Revisited (Again)  [10:20 PM EST]
I wrote Brian Hook asking about the sub-fifteen scores in his Quake III Arena benchmarks (next story), and he wrote back saying simply "seriously hardcore map," elaborating further in his .plan:

NOTE: this particular benchmark is on a noway-are-we-gonna-ship-it-level that has about 50 to 60K VISIBLE triangles in a scene. We're aiming for 10K tris/scene average in our final maps, which means you'll see performance hopefully about 5-6x of what I show below.

Q3A Benchmarks (Updated)  [9:57 PM EST]
(Updated) Brian Hook made a .plan update with benchmarks of a new build of Quake III Arena running on many current 3D accelerators along with some comments on the results. The RIVA TNT came out on top of the list with the Voodoo2 dragging up the rear with the old ICD, but doing much better with the new one. It's not clear if the scores listed are actually framerates, as none of the cards tested manage to top over 15. Thanks DarkVein and Joe Saxon for pointing out faults in this story originally that prompted this update

NVIDIA on 3Dfx/STB Deal  [9:44 PM EST]
Sharky Extreme has posted a short Q&A with someone at NVIDIA getting their reaction to the announcement earlier today that 3Dfx will acquire STB (story), previously a significant NVIDIA customer.

Brain Goble Q&A  [9:00 PM EST]
PlanetBlood has posted a brief interview with Monolith's Brian Goble discussing Blood2 and cars and stuff.

Unreal Linux Server Plans  [9:00 PM EST]
Something I failed to note earlier from GreenMarine's Unreal Technology page update is the announcement of definitive plans for a Linux Unreal server, which he wants to have ready by February (though it's taking a back seat to Unreal Tournament in Epic's priorities). Thanks Joseph Kowalski.

GameCenter on 3Dfx/STB Deal  [9:00 PM EST]
3Dfx to Purchase STB is a GameCenter article that offers analysis of the deal announced earlier (story) with comments from 3Dfx, Creative, and Diamond.

New CL Voodoo2 Drivers  [9:00 PM EST]
The Creative Labs Voodoo2 page has new release candidate drivers for their Voodoo2 boards. Thanks Bill at Voodoo Extreme.

Turok2 Screenshots  [5:00 PM EST]
Sharky Extreme's first glimpse a Turok 2: Seeds of Evil offers a half-dozen new screenshots from Acclaim's upcoming sequel, with the promise of five additional shots every day through Friday.

Game Retailer Games   [4:19 PM EST]
The Retail Game How Publishers Pay to Play is a fascinating new feature article on GameCenter that gives some insights into the arrangements between game publishers and the large retail game chains relating to how shelf space can be influenced by factors such as the purchase of standing in-store displays and such. Here are an interesting couple of quotes sent along by GameCenter editor Bill Meyer:

"The price of such high-profile merchandising vehicles varies with the season, reaching its zenith during the holidays. 'Everything is negotiable,' said Paul Baldwin, Eidos Interactive's vice president of marketing, 'but [retailers] definitely jack things up [during the holidays]. In July, for instance, an end-cap at CompUSA costs $30,000 to $40,000. In October, November, December, and January, those things go up to $90,000. Standees [standing cardboard cutouts of game characters] cost $30,000. They kill you.'

"Not every inch of retail shelf space is for sale--it just seems that way. Retailers, after all, make the most of their money by selling merchandise, not floor space. But each chain, from the specialty stores and the mass merchants to the warehouse outlets (such as Costco and Sam's Club), can commit only so much space-- and so much inventory capital--to games. One way publishers can i nfluence buyers to stock their games--commonly known as 'selling in' inventory--is by helping retailers promote the fact that the retailer offers their games for sale. Maia calls this 'in-line' advertising, and it can include buying space in a retailer's mail-order catalog, paying to be included in the retailer's advertisements, purchasing 'shelf talkers' (those cardboard ads that jut out into the aisle), and more."

Katmai Versus Pentium II [3:52 PM EST]
Katmai Shows Little Advantage Over Pentium II is part one of a two-part article on GameSpot UK comparing Intel's upcoming CPU, code-named Katmai , to the current crop of Pentium II processors. The new CPUs will offer 70 new instructions, like AMD's 3DNOw! instructions, specifically aimed at improving 3D, but the article questions whether the new chips will offer any actual performance gains beyond Pentium IIs clocked at the same speed.

Thief Review [3:52 PM EST]
PC Gaming World's Thief: The Dark Project Review is up on GameSpot UK.

Kenneth Scott to id Announcement  [3:29 PM EST]
As mentioned Saturday (story), former Daikatana skin artist Kenneth Scott's bio has been added to the id Software page, and now id's Anna Kang sends along the official announcement that he's joined their team:

We at id Software are proud to announce that Kenneth Scott has joined id's development team. With Kenneth, id Software continues the tradition of hiring quality talent. As it has become expected of id, the talents of our team will be showcased in our games. Kenneth's great artistic craft will be an integral part of Quake III Arena and we look forward to releasing an exceptional product created by an exceptional team. We welcome Kenneth as a valuable member to our talented group of artists.

New NST  [3:29 PM EST]
The Q2PMP page has version 0.9 beta 3 of Npherno's Skin Tool, said to be the last beta before version 1.0, due in early January.

3Dfx on 3Dfx/STB Deal  [2:01 PM EST]
AGN3D has posted an interview with 3Dfx's Scott Sellers talking about the just-announced acquisition of STB Systems (story). There's loads of key info on the move there, including word that STB will likely stop producing boards using other company's chipsets in the future, and this quote about what this means about current support and future distribution of 3Dfx's chipsets:

"The plan now is to continue to support existing products for all of the current products including Voodoo Graphics, Voodoo2 and Voodoo Banshee. Right now we have not made a decision on the Voodoo3 product, although it is likely that product will not be distributed outside of 3Dfx, and that the board level product for Voodoo3 will only be supplied by the combined 3Dfx and STB entity. So the long term vision is to be a completely vertically orientated company and really have a model that is in someway similar to ATI.

Descent 4 and FreeSpace 2 Art  [12:04 PM EST]
The newly re-launched Volition Inc. website has sections on their current titles such as FreeSpace and Silent Threat, as well as games in development, giving the first glimpses of FreeSpace 2 and Descent 4. The Descent 4 page offers some concept art for the upcoming sequel to Outrage's upcoming sequel, mentioning that Descent 4 is just a working title, and the FreeSpace2 page (FS2 is also a "working title") also offers concept art, as well as a game overview.

3Dfx to Acquire STB  [11:38 AM EST]
3Dfx has posted a press release announcing they are acquiring STB Systems. Here's an excerpt:

San Jose, California, December 14, 1998 – 3Dfx Interactive® Inc. (NASDAQ: TDFX) today announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire – STB Systems®, Inc., (NASDAQ: STBI), a leading manufacturer and distributor of award-winning multimedia products, in a transaction that will extend 3Dfx's leadership and enable it to deliver direct-to-customer graphics solutions.

In a stock-for-stock purchase transaction, STB shareholders will receive 0.65 shares of 3Dfx common stock for each share of STB common stock. Based on Friday's closing stock prices, the transaction is valued at approximately $141 million. The deal is expected to close in March of 1999, subject to various conditions including customary regulatory approvals and approval by the shareholders of both 3Dfx and STB. At the completion of the acquisition, STB's operations will remain based in Richardson, Texas, although the combined companies' headquarters will be at the 3Dfx site in San Jose.

The key benefits of the transaction will be:

New EGN2  [11:38 AM EST]
The Enternet Global Network has released an update to their flagship EGN2 server browser program, calling the new release the "official version."

Witchboy on FireTeam  [11:38 AM EST]
There's an article on Witchboy's Cauldron celebrating the release of FireTeam, a multiplayer online-only teamplay game from Multitude. Witchboy worked on this game at one point, and the piece gives his impressions of the game.

Shogo Tools and Source  [4:42 AM EST]
The updated version 2.1 source code and tools for modifying Shogo: Mobile Armor Division have been released by Monolith, and can be downloaded from the LithTech Game Modifications page.

Goin' loony  [4:42 AM EST]
loonyboi, the proudest loon to wear the mantle since Loony Skip Rooney, sends along his customarily pithy announcement (he's a pither) to accompany this week's loonygames:

Hey, don't swallow that! It's issue Seventeen of loonygames!
Doing the heimlich this week:

Heretic II Joystick Patch  [4:42 AM EST]
Thorson from Hexen2.com passes along word that the guys from Raven have okayed the posting of the mysterious joystick patch a couple of them hinted about in their .plans. The patch updates the version number to 1.01, but since it only fixes a problem with certain joysticks and gamepads, you do not need this patch if you are not experiencing control problems with your input device.

Quake II Extremities FAQ  [4:42 AM EST]
There's now an Unofficial Quake II: Extremities FAQ on Mod Central to answer any questions you may have about id's recently released collection of user-created Quake II modifications.

No Saving Saved Games With Unreal 220  [4:42 AM EST]
The Unreal Technology page has been updated with a correction to an error in the Unreal 220 documentation that says that old saved games will still work after applying the 220 patch, which is not true. Thanks Anyware.

New AirQuake II
Version 0.6 of AirQuake II is now available. The latest release of this Quake II version of the popular flying mod now allows you to pilot one of eight all-new craft (airplanes, helicopters, and ground vehicles) in eight deathmatch maps.

Third Person Quake Update  [4:42 AM EST]
The Spine Design page has an updated version 1.1 of their Third Person Perspective Quake2 Quake II Project, which, as the name implies, adds a functional third person view to Quake II.

Quake II BattleGround  [4:42 AM EST]
Version 1.36 of Quake 2 Battleground is out offering fixes to the Linux and Solaris version of this Q2 mod that is designed to aid in team competitions like clan matches.

R6 Mission Pack Interview  [4:42 AM EST]
Action Xtreme interviews Darren Chuckitus, Producer at Red Storm Entertainment, about their upcoming Rainbow Six Mission Pack "EagleWatch" in part one of a two part conversation.

Reviews  [4:42 AM EST]
The Game Complex reviews Half-Life and Heretic II in a pair of short reviews. Also, Action Xtreme reviews Sin, and VUP3D reviews Sin and Thief: The Dark Project. Finally, Blockbuster games develop action plot Even best games aren't without Sin is an article from the Houston Chronicle that reviews both Sin and Half-Life.

Competitions  [4:42 AM EST]
The Total Entertainment Network Events page announces the Intensor Quake II Tournament, offering $1,000 in cash and prizes in a tourney played on TEN.

etc.  [4:42 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [4:42 AM EST]
Still working out a couple of the kinks in the new home: there's a glitch with the anonymous FTP that I hope will be sorted out today, so new local files can go online. Thanks to Walter |2| Costinak for taking the time out of his truly hectic schedule to spread a little holiday cheer all over the logo. Ho, ho, ho!

Sunday, December 13, 1998

Half-Life Autoexec Creator, Walkthroughs  [10:01 PM EST]
Tweak3D's Half-Life Autoexec Creator has been itself tweaked to create an even more state-of-the-art resource for creating a tweaked-out config file for Half-Life. Also, I see on Voodoo Extreme that there's a Half-Life walkthrough on CGO to help get past the sticky spots in single-player if you're stuck.

Unseen Demo  [9:42 PM EST]
The Tequila Software page has a playable demo of Unseen, a Quake II modification that's said to be slated for an eventual commercial release. The demo is a 9.4 MB installer, and the files page also has a config file to help if you find the demo too difficult.

Jason Hall Interview  [2:56 PM EST]
The newest 3DGN Interview Thingy is ten questions with Monolith's Jason Hall in one of the less serious dialogs you'll read.

QuakeWorld Admin Beta  [12:04 PM EST]
Beta version 1.1 of Dr.Drain's QWAdmin is available, the latest edition of this remote QuakeWorld administrator tool for Windows. This release offers a ton of new features and enhancements, but as a beta, is not fully tested.

Quake II Dynamic Map Organizer  [12:04 PM EST]
SteQve's Jolly Frilly Quake Mods Page (yes, the formerly no-frills SteQve has gone graphical on us) has demos up of version 2.0 of DynaMO, SteQve's Dynamic Map Organizer for Quake II, which allows the addition, removal, and replacement of entities such as weapons, monsters, ammo, respawn points, power-ups, and even more esoteric entities such as path corners, info_nulls, and lasers. The new release will offer new features like scripted entity movement (e.g. to move a weapon around the map), event scheduling (e.g. perform a weapon switch every 2 minutes), and much more. This release is the first of what are planned as at least four projects from the now frilly house of SteQve over the coming weeks.

Linux Zaero  [12:04 PM EST]
The Zaero Goodies page on the Team Evolve page has a new version 1.1 of the binaries for their Quake II add-on, which includes a version compiled to run under RedHat Linux 5.1.

Half-Life Review  [12:04 PM EST]
Another Half-Life review is up, this one on 3DGaming.Net

BC30x0AD Updates  [12:04 PM EST]
The Galcom News Network has a few bits of news related to Derek Smart's BattleCruiser series, including the first couple of screenshots from the upcoming BC3020 showing off a couple of 16-bit color starships. Word is that a demo of 3020 will be available by E3 1999 (Spring). There is also word there that Interplay is going to release version 2.0 of BC3000AD on December 21 (earlier than expected), and that there's a version of BC3000AD in the works to run under OS/2, of all things.

Texture Gallery  [12:04 PM EST]
The Texture Studio has a collection of over 100 brand-new textures, available as Half-Life's WAD3 format, Unreal's UTX format, straight BMP and PCX versions, and a split-zip for easier downloads. This week's pack has a medieval theme, though they say many of the textures do not strictly adhere to the theme.

Unreal 220 Beta  [2:57 AM EST]
Tim Sweeney sends word that the Unreal Technology page has the release of Unreal 220, saying "There are a lot of new things here, including an improved 'Hardcore' deathmatch mode, better chatting, new weapon sounds, improved weapon feedback, and lots of minor fixes and enhancements." Here's the lowdown from the page:

To install a patch: Download it. Run WinZip to extract the files. Exract the files into your c:\Unreal\System directory, replacing the existing versions of the files. If you've installed Unreal into a directory other than c:\Unreal, then extract the files into the System subdirectory off of your custom Unreal directory.

The first time you run the upgraded version of Unreal, you may be asked to put your Unreal CD in the drive. This step is required because files must be loaded off the CD during the patching process. Make sure you have your original Unreal retail CD handy before installing the patch.

After installing the 220 patch, you will need to reconfigure your Unreal settings such as your keyboard configuration, 3D hardware, and resolution. However, your savegames will not be lost; savegames from previous versions will work properly.

Warning: Patches designated as "Public Betas" have not undergone rigorous internal testing and are for enthusiasts who are comfortable using experimental software. After the patches have settled down into a stable new version, an official (non-beta) release will be made.

Shogo Server .dll  [2:57 AM EST]
As promised in Mike Dussault's .plan, PlanetShogo has a replacement Shogo server .dll to help correct "Connection Rejected" errors users of the patch have been receiving.

Reviews  [2:57 AM EST]
There's a video Half-Life review on GameSpot TV (thanks MeccaWorld), and Lithium of Ritualistic has written a Heretic II Review so positive they posted it on HereticII.com.

Competitions  [2:57 AM EST]
WarGamez is holding a Half-Life tournament slated to get underway January 2.

Out of the Blue  [2:57 AM EST]
So far so good on the server move, if everything holds fast when the DNS changes kick in, I will be able to let this breath out. Today's experiment will be posting local files.

Saturday, December 12, 1998

Warning: Bad Half-Life Patch  [7:03 PM EST]
There is apparently a phony patch for Half-Life being circulated that is being passed off as a version 1.07 upgrade. It is not 100% certain what the patch does, but an executable called steal.exe, combined with reports that users who have applied the patch have subsequently had authentication problems with WON, suggest that it is being used to steal CD keys. Thanks I AM HALF-LIFE. Again, while it is not 100% certain what this patch does, it is not from Sierra/Valve, and you are strongly warned not to run it.

Pure3D II Refresh Rate Fix  [7:03 PM EST]
Thorson from Hexen2.com sent along a solution (that doesn't involve registry imports) for a problem with the new Pure3D II drivers that prevents the refresh rate controls from working:

I suffer from this problem. I feel uncomfortable importing someone else's registry files.

This is how I fixed it.

I created a .bat file with these lines.

SET SSTV2_REFRESH_512x384=75
SET SSTV2_REFRESH_640x400=75
SET SSTV2_REFRESH_640x480=75
SET SSTV2_REFRESH_800x600=75
SET SSTV2_REFRESH_1024x768=75

I save it as MYV2.bat (original huh?) and moved it to my C: root directory.

Then I edited my autoexec.bat and added the line: CALL MYV2.bat then rebooted. Now all my refresh rates are set to 75 Hz. You can change the 75 to whatever your monitor and cards will support. You'll probably have to edit the config.sys to get enough environment space for the commands to be implemented. Just add this line to your config.sys shell=c:\command.com /e:1024 /p

Kenneth Scott at id  [10:56 AM EST]
id Software's Bio of Kenneth Scott is now up on the id Software page confirming a report that's appeared unofficially many places, but to my knowledge, has never been "officially" announced: That artist Kenneth Scott, noted for the distinctive look his skins were giving to the Daikatana characters, has left the ranks of ION Storm to join id Software. Thanks Anders Øverby.

Monster Sound MX300 versus SBLive!  [10:56 AM EST]
SoundBlaster Live!, Monster Sound MX300, Sonic S90 showdown on Fast Graphics, comparing the two heavyweight championship contenders in the soundcard arena, along with the Sonic, Diamonds newest Vortex1 offering.

Carmageddon 2 Patch  [10:56 AM EST]
A version 2.0 patch for Carmageddon 2 is available as a separate update for both the UK and the Zombie releases of this driving carnage-fest. Thanks Tim at 3DFiles.Com.

New glDoom  [4:00 AM EST]
The Official WinDoom/glDoom Homepage has an updated version 0.94c of Bruce Lewis' glDoom port that fixes support for the Matrox MGA-200 OpenGL ICD. Thanks Larry.

Shogo 2.1 Patch  [3:17 AM EST]
Monolith Productions has released the version 2.1 patch for Shogo: Mobile Armor Division. The update adds support for launching from The Zone, fixes a bunch of bugs (including some memory leaks), adds a client-side console command "AutoWeaponSwitch", and improved net performance on some modems that were having "high ping" related problems. Here's what the page describes as important stuff:

New Rocket Arena2 Server  [3:17 AM EST]
An updated version 2.21 of the Rocket Arena server code is now available. The new code is based on the 3.20 source release and includes IP banning and id-style VWep (works even for "bad" models/skins). The new version also fixes some bugs from the last release, including even/odd spawning and the in-eyes "stuck" bug. Falling damage has been added as an option for the server config file and voting menus. Available on the Rocket Arena downloads page.

Sin Pack Screenshots  [3:17 AM EST]
Sharky Extreme's first glimpse at the Sin mission pack offers a pair of new screenshots from 2015's upcoming project, the first official Sin add-on.

WONSwap  [3:17 AM EST]
Word from WON is that a new version of their WONSwap program is available, fixing the bugs that plagued the initial release of this program. WONSwap is a new file transfer utility to allow users to easily search, download and install user-created maps for Half-Life immediately after they are created. Model and decal support is promised soon.

Linux Ground Zero  [3:17 AM EST]
Rogue's Patrick Maguder updated his .plan with word that with Zoid's help, he's created a Linux version of the Disruptor .dll that re-adds this hidden weapon to their Quake II mission pack, Ground Zero. The file, along with the Win95/98 version, is conveniently located on this Rogue files page.

Black Crypt  [3:17 AM EST]
Raven's Rick Johnson updated his .plan with word that he's released the initial test of Black Crypt. This first release (only 389 KB) includes the first dungeon level (two playable levels) to test compatibility and stability of the conversion from the original Commodore Amiga code. A future release will contain the entire game.

Weapons Factory  [3:17 AM EST]
Beta version 3.4 of The Weapons Factory for Quake II is out, offering new features including a new class (the Mercenary), some new weapons, and VWep support.

Quake Total Destruction  [3:17 AM EST]
Here's word on a Quake mod called Total Destruction that has only been available in Brazil for the past year, but is now available in an English language version:

It features about 20 spells, 5 special weapons, 4 cool runes, modified weapon system with weapons upgrades and a few other extras, like easy vote-exit(& warp), basic remote administration, etc.

It is fun and I think it's worth a shot. I've got statements from many people saying it's the wildest thing they have ever played. And indeed, it has a ferocious gameplay, like chaosDM, but with the pace and feel of Quake 1

The Quake (not Quakeworld, yet) english translated version is here with manuals in english and stuff.

Reviews  [3:17 AM EST]
Computer Action Games' Heretic II Review is up, OGR reviews Thief (thanks CiDcO at StormTroopers) and GameOver's Thief: The Dark Project review is up as well.

Raven Drivers  [3:17 AM EST]
Version 2.0 drivers for Quantum3D's Voodoo Banshee-based Raven 3D accelerators are up on the Raven drivers page. Thanks Sharky Extreme.

Competitions  [3:17 AM EST]
The winners in the HereticII.com Trivia Contest have been posted.

etc.  [3:17 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [3:17 AM EST]
If you didn't notice the forwarding page flashing by, the site has been switched over to the new server on 3DHosting.Com. Thanks to Ben at 3DHosting for all his help, and, again, let me express the gratitude I have for Grendel and CoolHandLuke at GamesNet for their kind hospitality during the time they hosted the site (that's not the last time you'll hear that from me). There are still some things to take care of, like the links on the file sections and stuff, but most of the HTML should be in its proper place, please let me know if you notice anything missing.

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