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February 14, 1997

Whew
My ordeal is over. I have made my break from my 9-5 job as a geek, and am now some manner of web guru (I'm not sure if that ranks above or below a web pimp, I still haven't received all the manuals). Anyway, life is good. I look forward to being able to devote the proper amount of attention to this site.

Context Sensitive Help
The Romero's Gamesmania interview on Gamesmania has been amended to try and put John's comments in a context that is a little less inflammitory:

"I don't think about the id thing," says Romero of comparisons to his former workplace. "We're doing it here (at ION Storm) instead of at id. I mean...I made id," he adds, referring to the fact that he was instrumental in founding both companies.

Wasatchfault
The home of QView/QHost, Wasatchfault, has been redesigned. Gixmo points out that Kris Nosack has redone the 'Explore QuakeWorld' section, to list all current masters, a server list, server details, and player details, as well as a player search which retrieves stats for a player across all the masters.

Compatible?
If you're having troubles with DirectX, you might want to check out this article on Gamecenter on hardware that doesn't support Direct-X, and/or Direct Sound, called the Dark Side of DirectX. GamerX (as far as I know no relation to DirectX) also answers over 30 common Quake questions, but this is for the general audience more than hardcore Quake players (so if you want to know how to call up the crosshairs, or what's this Capture the Flag thingy, this is for you). Thanks Jason. I also saw another profile of Hipnotic's and Rogue's upcoming level packs there.

Darkmare
Darkmare, the TC from the Evolve team has been cancelled. Thanks to Kip Werking for the word. They say they want to concentrate on more projects like AifFist.

DRiller
Congrats to Dave Riller (Kevorkian), who has been snapped up by Valve Software as a level designer, according to RevCo's page (thanks )

Plans
Lokatana sends the word that Paradox updated ever more enthusiatic about the upcoming Scourge release (and demonstrating a lack of understanding of actuarial tables). Also:

-Today is Mike Hadwin's Birthday, drop him some Happy Birthday E-mail at MPH@hipnotic.com

DaKoTa of Clan Xenocide sends along word that Levelord updated his .plan, expressing his disappointment in the preliminary review from one of the reporters that stopped by recently (teach ya not to invite me).

 

February 13, 1997

MPlayer Free
Mplayer is now free for unlimited access. There is also an interview with American in the In Your Face section. Thanks Stele.

Plans Part III
John Carmack made a large update to his .plan (thanks Z o m b i e C h i l d r e n):

There will be a new QuakeWorld release soon with a very different interface and several improvements.

On the topic of network gaming, I have a couple questions that I would like answered by anyone with the required technical knowledge:

If I understand correctly, UDP headers are currently not compressed over PPP links like TCP headers commonly are. During a network game (or internet phone or videoconference), all the packets are just between two addresses, but tons of bandwidth (and corresponding latency) is eaten by sending full headers. Has anyone developed UDP header compression extensions, and if so, how common are they?

On a lower hardware level, have any modem manufacturers considered optimizing interfaces or protocols for lower packet latency? Once again, if I understand correctly, modem transmission involves a level of packetizing for modulation/protocol/compression work that is underneath the serial interface seen by a computer. Do partially filled buffers sit idle for a time if there isn't a continuous stream of data, or do they immediately flush when a byte failes to clock in? It would be nice to be able to explicitly syncronize with UDP packets, because a realtime game running within bandwidth limits is going to send and receive discrete packets interspersed with idle time, which is not really what modems are optimized for now. I know that modem data compression is generally a bad thing for low latency connections right now, but if the modem could be signaled to flush at UDP boundaries, it would probably become a positive thing. I'm sure there are also things that could be done at the modulation/protocol layer to improve latency at some cost in bandwidth or error rate, but I have no idea if it could be done compatably.

It would be an interesting point of differentiation for ISP's or modem manufacturers if an "optimize for games" checkbox was available somewhere. Even at the os level, a "max packets buffered" option would be valuable to keep packets from piling up when bandwidth is overcommited.

Comments?

There's also a new entery from American McGee and John Romero, which seems to put an end to the recent war fo words (thanks to Sir Rush for the word). First American:

John Romero, be my Valentine.

Then Romero:

American, I love you.

QuakeCast
Ack! Running (literally) off to QuakeCast... We've got another blockbuster lined up. Ben Morris, ColdSun, Steve Fukuda, and the guys from the newly formed editing group, TerraFORM. We're also going to be a media circus tonight with Al Dzurka of QuakeTV coming down to film us, and we'll be visited by a reporter writing a New York Times article.

WorldCraft Recognized
In the March issue of Wired (5.03) on page 164 is a profile of WorldCraft! How cool is that? Congrats to Ben Morris for all his successes. Thanks to JUDGECAL for sharing that.

More Planning
I hope I wasn't out of line with that Titanic crack... thanks to Sir Rush for the word that Tom Hall updated his .plan.

QuakeWorld Rankings
Thanks to Stanza for the word that Barf updated his QuakeWorld Rankings page.

WinQuake of the Day
Redwood has been busy working with Michael Abrash debugging WinQuake. Here's today's WinQuake, version .992.

sCary
Some hotshot webmaster from Hipnotic took the time out to let me know that sCary's page is suffering from some technical difficulties, which is the reason for spotty updates.

Rangers
I know I'll anger every other clan in the world when I don't report similar news for them (with over 1000 clans, I have to stay clear of clan news or announcements--equal time would probably put this page at one megabyte a day), but the Rangers are looking for recruits for their LPP squad, check their page for details.

JoinInAndDie!
Due to circumstances beyond their control, the maintainers of the JoinInAndDie! Quake Page have moved the site to http://www.housegirl.interfire.net/qpage/.

Plans
Glad I know what's going on, at least, (yeah, I still feel kinda stupid), it's getting interesting in .planville. Thanks to [Moogle] for the word that John Romero updated:

"I don't think about the neighbor thing", says Romero of his amazingly good luck. "I just said 'nice car' and found myself working up here."

Jim Dosť updated also, with a call for peace (thanks DaKoTa of Clan Xenocide), quoting the Romero and Tokay updates and adding:

Can't we all just get along? :)

Tom Hall and Levelord also updated (thanks again DaKoTa), Tom will release The Corpseyard II, his Rise of the Triad inspired deathmatch level soon. Sounds like a Titanic inspired luxury liner, but I'm sure it rocks anyway. Levelord hates meetings, but loves the ideas they're generating for Hipnotic's next game.

Woof
Version 1.4 of Nelno the Amoeba's Cujo, the doggie bot has been released. Here are some of the new features and enhancements, straight from the amoeba's mouth (or whatever it is that passes for a mouth on an amoeba):

Umm... one of the above items is fake, by the way. I'm sure you can figure out which one... You can download the patch from the following locations:

http://trailerpark.com/phase1/nelno
http://www.planetquake.com/qca/zeus
ftp://ftp.cdrom.com/pub/quake/quakec/

SGI Quake Follow-Up
Thanks to Linux QSpy guru Paul Miller who was unable to send me an SGI workstation to test SGI Quake, but did do the next best thing, and send his impressions of the port after playing it. Paul also mentioned that a version of SGI QSpy is in the cards:

Yes, it works. SGI OpenGL Quake supports 640x480 up to 1280x1024 24-bit modes on O2 machines, 1280x1024 on IMPACT machines, and any available video mode (which can include direct support for video-walls) on Infinite Reality machines. And it can run in any-size window (but without mouse support).

At 640x480 it looks about 30fps on a 180Mhz O2 system - switching to 800x600 doesn't slow it down much either. IMPACT support is a little broken. On our Infinite Reality box (which has 80MB of frame-buffer memory and 512MB of RAM) we're getting 60 fps at 1280x1024, and that's with multisampling (full-screen antialiasing with 4 samples per pixel). VERY VERY NICE.

Shadows, mirrors, transparent water are all functional, with no slowdown.

 

February 12, 1997

Level Editing Guide
There is a really slick guide on creating your own Quake levels written by Levelord and Paradox up at PC Games. Thanks to Bluesman of the Volcano Gods.

New QuakeWorld Skins
DRiller just uploaded the latest set of QuakeWorld skins to id's FTP server. The 2.9 MB file contains additions and revisions, it is not a replacement. A note from Richard (^Dragon^) Brewer points out that the text files have been ommitted from this .zip for space reasons (besides the fact that very few of them followed the proper guidelines). He also shred this skin skinny:

People wanting password protection of their skins should indicate this at the time of submission. I will NOT lock skins at any later date without substantial proof of ownership.

People wishing to submit skins should read the README.TXT file included in the latest zipfile.

Please address any questions to me at qwskins@idsoftware.com or dragon@shax.idsoftware.com

QPed
Pete Callaway sends along word of his new .pak file editor called QPed which allows you to create new .pak files from scratch, edit existing .pak files, view models and play sounds. More information, and the program are available on the QPed Homepage.

SGI Quake
It's not one of Zoid's ports, but there's an SGI Quake avaiilable at Ed's Homely Page (which is part of the SGI site). I don't know if it works or anything, but if anyone want to send me a Silicon Graphics workstation to test it with, I'll be glad to. Thanks CareTaker.

Translation
Thanks to Erik Pukinskis (the first of many to write in with his) for translating American's .plan as a parody of this line from Romero's Gamesmania interview:

"I don't think about the id thing," says Romero of comparisons to his former workplace. "We're doing it here (at ION Storm) instead of at id. I mean...I made id."

Yes I am so crazy lately (two more days after this--yay!!!) that I hadn't read the interview yet...

Plan
Michael Hadwin made an update to his .plan with some non-PC ASCII art (thanks Digital1).

GL Tweak
Thanks to SiN13 - [Dark Messiah] for the word that there's an article on Gamecenter on how to get better performance out of GL Quake.

Matchmaker
Are you a clan that needs members? Maybe you're looking to join a clan. In either case, check out the NO-CLAN page, which looks to solves these kinds of problems.

Mergers and Acquisitions
The New Vore Times has merged with Red Silencer's House of Frags. Red Silencer will run the "real" section of the NVT classifieds.

February 11, 1997

Quake Rally Demo
There is a non-playable demo of the eagerly awaited driving TC, Quake Rally, up at the Quake Rally page. Thanks Red Silencer.

American .plan
Thanks RENster[HW] for the word that American McGee updated his .plan with the following:

"I don't think about the llama thing," says McGee of comparisons to
his former glory. "We're doing it here (at llama barn) instead
of at w00d. I mean...I made w00d."

Before you ask, I don't know what it means either.

New BSP
The new BSP, version 0.70, is available at the Elite Quake Editors Corner (home of BSP).

New Qoole
Thanks to CR-Carnivore for the word that Qoole 0.99g is out on the Qoole Page.

Severed Server
There is a server up running the severed patch at 204.72.198.5.

QuakeWorld Stats
There is a script that displays a screen with information about any QuakeWorld player, skin picture, etc. up at the Quake Domain. This feature will soon be integrated into the QD's QuakeWorld server list and monitor.

Romero Interview
There's an interview with John Romero on Gamesmania (thanks Stormer.crc).

Eureka!
Or should I say Eudora! I fixed my email... seems a 5 meg attachment that was never cleared off the server was clogging the works. The craziness countdown continues, after Friday the update schedule here at the old Blue Tower will resume its typical insane frequency.

WinQuake
Thanks to Redwood for riding shotgun on the buggy WinQuake situation. Here's WinQuake 0.991 which will allow 1.06 clients to attach to 1.07 servers (which also means that server operators should now consider running WinQuake -dedicated rather than WinDed). Red's also updated his WinQuake FAQ (thanks to DaKoTa of Clan Xenocide).

Cash Crash
Thanks to Timur M Kunayev for pointing out John Cash updated hip .plan describing his recent safe delivery from an auto accident by fine German engineering:

Yes, I got bored the other night and slammed my BMW M3 into a concrete barrier. Well, the ice might have helped, but I'm sure I could have done it without ice if I had tried. The car is kaput, dead, totalled. Thanks to airbags and a few BMW engineers who did their jobs I am OK. I did get some nasty friction burns on my face from the airbag, but that beats the hell out if dying.

The incident inspired an update to JC's w00p/llama lists:

w00p list
---------
Air bags
Crumple zones
Da men at BMW who do safety stuff

llama list
----------
Ice
Concrete barriers

As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap
There is a Reaper Bot League forming, check the site for details. Thanks DarkSky.

Help Wanted
Thanks to Erik for the word that the Ion Storm page has been updated with the intriguing phrase "Now Hiring."

Future v. Fantasy
Future vs Fantasy v1.84 [Build 6] is beta testing. There are now nine classes rather than eight (a new "secret" class, Wasteland Warrior which includes seven new weapons has been added, for a grand total 57 Different Weapons. Screenshots of the new weapons are on Freeform's Web Page.

UK Clan League
The UK Clan League has moved again, the new URL is http://www.minos.co.uk/ukcl/ (thanks to Minos' donation of web space). Stay tuned for another move soon to their own domain.

Contest Mania
There is a deathmatch level contest at RoM's Quake Page with a prize of twenty dollars. Hey, $20 is $20.

 

February 10, 1997

Player Search
Skylord of the The Definitive Quake Server Listing has added a Clan Services page, which that allows Clans (or anyone) to add Player Search and Server Details to their site with simple copy & paste HTML.

Winded Dead? Part II
I wrote earlier that [Moogle] pointed out an interesting revelation in Redwood's WinQuake FAQ, that server operators should no longer be using WinDed as a dedicated WinNT server, but WinQuake with the -dedicated parameter:

10. Will WinQuake work as a dedicated server?
Yes, WinQuake will run as a dedicated v1.07 server using the -dedicated command line switch. You should actually run dedicated Winquake instead of winded now because in Mike Abrash's words, 'Winded is obsolete; use -dedicated.'

But I also have received word from knowhow and Redwood that there is a problem with 1.06 clients connecting to 1.07 servers, so proceed with caution. Michael Abrash is aware of the situation. More details when they're available.

Final Severed
In a rare move, the popular Severed patch by Vengence of the Lone Gunman (which allows wounded players to lose limbs) has emerged from beta testing, and is available as a final release. Here's Severed, the Severed source code, Severed for QuakeWorld, and the Severed Placebot.

Severed Screenshot
"I can still bite ya..."

As it happens, Vengence will be returning to Real LifeTM around now, so these releases from TLG will not be as frequent, however, ]-[ITMAN tells me their next project is helping out with "Armageddon 3" - Quake Convention in Brisbane Australia

Plan
Thanks EmBrioNiC P373 of the NAWC for the word that Michael Hadwin of Hipnotic updated his.plan.

Killer Quake Pack Mailing List
There is a mailing list to provide the latest news and information on the Killer Quake Pack. Details on how to subscribe are on Killer Quake Pack News. Thanks again to EmBrioNiC P373.

New Requiem
Requiem 1.07b has been released, on the Requiem page. The new version features "loads of new features and bug fixes."

Broke the Code
Found my mail... it was on a different server. Yeeesh.

CLP
The Clan Leader's Poll has been updated. Undead Smurfs are this week's CLP Spotlight Clan, and there are interviews with Jokey & Baby Smurf.

QuakeWorld Rankings
The QuakeWorld Rankings page has been updated. Thanks Stanza.

QuakeWorld Clan Rankings
ClanRating is an attempt to gather and rate clan performance in QuakeWorld.

terraFORMA
Old buddy Ryan Freebern (AKA Drake) has formed an editing group, called terraFORMA, hosted on Telefrag. Their plan is to release free levels and design tips.

New Single Player Site
Lt. Dan's Single Player Quake is a new site devoted to recognizing the best Quake maps designed for single player mode based on reader response. No word on Forrest Gump's deathmatch page...

 

February 9, 1997

This Kinda Sucks
Well this weekend was supposed to be an oasis of calm in my sea of nuttiness, but no such luck. Seems a power surge struck my provider last night (the computer equivalent of "the check's in the mail"), and this server needed a rebooting (which didn't happen until I called). The server is back, but I have not received any email for the last 24 hours, so there are still monkey wrenches in the works. There is some new stuff in yesterday's news from when I couldn't upload last night, but right now I'm a little frustrated, I think I have to go gib some reaper bots, or something.

 

February 8, 1997

Hipnotic Hirings
Hipnotic has announced the hiring of sCary and Giggler (thanks Stephan Suhocki ). Huge congratulations to both of them. I see on sCary's that he's going to have freedom to do whatever he wants on their website, so no longer will it be the prim, restrained sCary we have grown used to (eeek!). Here's the announcement from Hipnotic:

Hipnotic Interactive is pleased to announce two new members of the Hipnotic team.

On February 14th, Mike Giggler Wardwell will join forces with Levelord and BSP Pimp "Paradox" Mustaine to create the hippest design team in the LANd.

As of March 10th, Steve Scary Gibson will begin haunting the halls of Hipnotic as our Online Public Relations Director, Gameplay Specialist, and Web Pimp.

(Phew! that's a mouthful)

We have respected and admired Mike's and Steve's contributions to the Quake community and know they will do great things for Hipnotic.

Romero's Contest
Thanks to Hexer for the word that Plok is the winner of John Romero's contest with a time of 40 seconds on E2M5. Check out the results on the Ion Storm page.

Reaper Madness
sCary, the originator of the idea, has got a new Reaper contest running.

Finger
The maintainer of the Quake demos section at Cdrom.com, Steve Dipstick Towle, has updated his .plan file with some information on sCary's contest (above), as well as general demo stuff, and a request for ads for the Quake Rally project. Also, Whaleboy update his .plan file yesterday (thanks Dock), saying he's almost done with the Ion Storm website.

QLEN's New Home
As promised, Quake Level Editing News has moved to PlanetQuake. The new URL is http://www.planetquake.com/edit/. The results of Plucky's favorite editor poll are up.

QuakeWorld Rankings
The QuakeWorld Rankings page has been updated. Thanks Eucker.

New QStat
There is a new beta of QStat (version 1.6 Beta1). QStat is a program that queries Quake servers (the basis for many of the server list webpages), available on the QStat Page. The new version features more QuakeWorld support than 1.6 alpha:

New Editors
Version 1.25 of AdQuedit (Quake editor) is out on the AdQuedit homepage (contains no unnatural preservatives), and thanks to Orog Ork for the word that vitamin-fortified Qoole 0.99f is on the Qoole Homepage.

Level Pack
There is a press release for Scourge of Armagon up on Gamefan (thanks Rukes).

Clans Clans Clans
A new clan warfare system is being cultivated by FQC, the Federation of Quake Clans. There is also a new ClanRing News page, with information about a meeting tomorrow (Sunday) night in #clanring on EFnet.

Hexen II
There are new screenshots of Hexen II on Raven's page (thanks Filth). Meanwhile, regarding a bunch of notes I'm getting about Hexen II information on the web, apparently there is a little civil war among the Hexen II sites out there. I don't have any intention of getting embroiled in this, so I'll stay clear of the mess from now on. Equal time department: in addition to the sites mentioned yesterday, check out upaboveit's Hexen II page, and RETRIBUTION.

Quake in Germany
For Quake news in German, check out Doc Poweruser's Quake Seite.

The Kage
Stagger, who used to run Telefrag, has started a new site called the Kage, dedicated to contests, the first competition being a (prizeless) level editing contest.

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