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Friday, February 13, 1998

  Today's Headlines
- Eraser 0.6 Update
- Unreal Shot of the Day
- Levelord on Character
- Tina Trinity
- John Carmack's 3D Card Roundup
- New Vérité OpenGL (NT Support)
- Hexen II mission Pack Trailer
- Quake Studio Max
- CyberAthlete Mod
- King of the Hill Map Fix
- New Obsidian Drivers
- .plans
- Unreal Previews
- Descent to Undermountain Review
- Mysteries of the Sith Review
- Forsaken Preview
- Todd Porter Interview
- Holy Wars Interview
- Competitions
- Site Seeing
- Departments
- etc.
- Out of the Blue

- Yesterday

Eraser 0.6 Update
A new version 0.6b Eraser Bot installer (993 KB) is up on the Impact Development Team page that fixes a problem in the original installer from yesterday (if you downloaded the zip, you did not have this problem). Thanks (LoA)Lord Nightmare. There is also a note on how to implement the simulated lag:

Oh yeh, I forgot to document the push_latency stuff.. to give yourself some lag, just type "cmd lag n", where n is the number of milliseconds of lag, from 0 to 1000.

Unreal Shot of the Day
The latest Unreal Shot of the Day has been posted on OGR making four total.

Levelord on Character
Levelord has written a short essay for OGR called In Name of Good Character describing the creation of characters for computer games. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Tina Trinity
Paul Steed sent along three views of a new model he's created for John Carmack to use in testing the Trinity engine (this model will not actually be in the game). Brad "Technomage" Herman, of the Quake Modeling Association passes along a little more technical info that Paul mailed to the QMA mailing list, the model is exactly 5000 faces and her base skin will be 512 x 256, and that "we will also have a specular and glow map for the characters with the specular also serving as an opacity map as needed".

trina1.jpg (21027 bytes)trina2.jpg (19411 bytes)Trina3.jpg (20226 bytes)

John Carmack's 3D Card Roundup
John Carmack took the occasion of the Intel740 release to give, as he puts it a general update on the state of 3D cards as they relate to Quake engine games", in his .plan. He runs down a whole list of cards, but the two we haven't heard much from him about yet are the Voodoo 2 and the Intel740, so here's his analysis of those:

3DFX Voodoo 2
-------------
Not shipping yet, but we were given permission to talk about the benchmarks on their preproduction boards.

Excellent throughput, excellent fillrate, good quality, excellent features.

The numbers were far and away the best ever recorded, and they are going to get significantly better. On quake 2, voodoo 2 is setup limited, not fill rate limited. Voodoo 2 can do triangle strip and fan setup in hardware, but their opengl can't take advantage of it until the next revision of glide. When that happens, the number of vertexes being sent to the card will drop by HALF. At 640*480, they will probably become fill rate bound again (unless you interleave two boards), but at 512*384, they will probably exceed 100 fps on a timedemo. In practice, that means that you will play the game at 60 fps with hardly ever a dropped frame.

The texture swapping rate is greatly improved, addressing the only significant problem with voodoo.

I expect that for games that heavily use multitexture (all quake engine games), voodoo 2 will remain the highest performer for all of '98. All you other chip companies, feel free to prove me wrong. :)

Lack of 24 bit rendering is the only visual negative.

As with any voodoo solution, you also give up the ability to run 3D applications on your desktop. For pure gamers, that isn't an issue, but for hobbyists that may be interested in using 3D tools it may have some weight.

Intel i740
----------
Good throughput, good fillrate, good quality, good features.

A very competent chip. I wish intel great success with the 740. I think that it firmly establishes the baseline that other companies (especially the ones that didn't even make this list) will be forced to come up to.

Voodoo rendering quality, better than voodoo1 performance, good 3D on a desktop integration, and all textures come from AGP memory so there is no texture swapping at all.

Lack of 24 bit rendering is the only negative of any kind I can think of.

Their current MCD OpenGL on NT runs quake 2 pretty well. I have seen their ICD driver on '95 running quake 2, and it seems to be progressing well. The chip has the potential to outperform voodoo 1 across the board, but 3DFX has more highly tuned drivers right now, giving it a performance edge. I expect intel will get the performance up before releasing the ICD.

It is worth mentioning that of all the drivers we have tested, intel's MCD was the only driver that did absolutely everything flawlessly. I hope that their ICD has a similar level of quality (it's a MUCH bigger job).

An 8mb i740 will be a very good setup for 3D development work.

New Vérité OpenGL Minidriver (NT Support)
Rendition has released a new Open GL Miniport (170 KB) for Vérité 100 & 2x00-based cards. The miniport is a beta, unsupported product, and the new release is said to fix problems seen in the recent patches to Quake II, as well as enable miniGL support under NT. Thanks Punisher.

Hexen II mission Pack Trailer
Activision has posted a a collage of images as a trailer for the upcoming Hexen II mission pack, Portal of Praevus.

Quake Studio Max
A plug-in for 3D Studio MAX that allows you to export directly to the Quake1 .mdl format has been posted on Quake Studio MAX.

Cybertathlete Mod
Prophet sends along word that an updated version 0.9b of the Cyberathlete competition mod for Quake II (152 KB) has been released.

King of the Hill Map Fix
There is an updated map 6 for King of the Hill available on the Orange Smoothie Productions page fixing the problem servers have rotating to the map that follows.

New Obsidian Drivers
There are new drivers for Win95 ands WinNT posted here for those lucky enough to have Obsidian-based graphic boards. Thanks Operation 3Dfx.

.plans

PReviews

Interviews

Competitions
Ground Zero QWDM League is accepting sign-ups for the first season through February 22, with the league to commence on February 23.

Site Seeing

Departments
A long needed update to the Want Ads. If you have an ad posted there that's obsolete, I'd appreciate it if you let me know, so I can pull it.

etc.

Out of the Blue
Quote of the day (millenium?), thanks Yevgeny Ostrovsky:

"The war engines are in place, the mines buried beneath the earth, and already the towers tremble; the ladders stand at the gates, the grappling hooks cleave to the walls and fire runs through the roof tops.  With the gleaming swords and the menacing faces of his enemies around him, and thinking utter ruin is upon him, why should he not quake and mourn?"
Francesco Petrarca, from the Secretum, 1342 A.D.

Thursday, February 12, 1998

  Today's Headlines
- QuakeCast
- Mysteries of the Sith Demo
- More Intel740
- New Eraser Bot
- Battle of the Sexes
- King of the Hill
- Revenge of Stroggos
- Sword of Ares
- New Linux Server Browser
- Respawn/Ben Leaves Valve?
- Thriller 3D Drivers
- New Model Viewer
- QuArK IRC
- Obsidian Review
- Intel 740 Preview
- Half-Life Preview
- Kenn Hoekstra Interview
- Glock9 Interview
- Site Seeing
- etc.
- Out of the Blue

- Yesterday

QuakeCast
Tonight on the QuakeCast, loony, Joost and I will speak with Scott Woodward  from Orange Smoothie Productions about their new mod, King of the Hill. QuakeCast starts at 9:00 PM Eastern Time, Real player required. There is some sort of glitch in getting the web page updated, in case you were looking for recent shows in the archive: we're told this is being worked on.

Mysteries of the Sith Demo
A playable demo of Mysteries of the Sith (13.9 MB) the upcoming Jedi Knight expansion pack has been released by LucasArts. The demo, also available onb Download.com, and cdrom.com, requires DirectX 5.0, but does not require having Jedi Knight installed, although Jedi Knight will be required to play the full expansion pack when its available. Thanks Prophet.

More Intel740 Announcements
Hot on the heels of this morning's announcement of the Intel740 come a flurry of announcements from graphics card manufaturers about using the new 2D/3D chipset in future products (these links courtesy of Redwood): Diamond, Real3D, and STB. Also, this release discusses the chipset's apparent emphasis on image quality as opposed to highest performance, and the Intel Product Brief is now online. Also, bootNet has a preview of the Intel740.

New Eraser Bot
Beta 0.6 of the Eraser bot is out on the Impact Development Team pages as a Win95 installer (993 KB), and a zip file (759 KB), with a Linux port expected soon. The new release features teamplay, zip support for disk space savings, and latency simulation. If you want to use teamplay with the bots, you need to download Millenium's skinpack (140 KB) as well.

Battle of the Sexes
Version 2.5 of Battle of the Sexes for Quake II has been released on Spinoza's Quake 2 Mods Page, featuring a new observer mode and ChaseCam, a new custom map, and several bug fixes.

King of the Hill
Version 1.0 of the King of the Hill Quake II mod has been released on the Orange Smoothie Productions page, with the simple strategy of find the "hill" (not always a hill, per se) and rack up time defending it.

Revenge of Stroggos
The first alpha of the Revenge of Stroggos TC, which allows you to play as a Strog, is out on The Revenge of Stroggos page.

Sword of Ares
The Sword of Ares is a shareware TC for Quake that has been released on the The Sword of Ares homepage.

New Linux Server Browser
Version 0.4 of XQF, the Linux/X11 Quake II/QuakeWorld server browser that uses QStat as its engine, has been released, along with the source code, on the XQF page. Thanks Prophet.

Respawn Wraps -- Ben Morris Leaves Valve?
The demo of Marcus]PHAT[ winning the Respawn Q2 DM tourney is up on Birdman's Lair. The reason Birdman is interested? Marcus was using a SpaceOrb. Also, there is a Respawn recap on GameCenter that contains a revelation in this comment about attendees: "...Ben Morris, the ex-Valve employee..." which is the first published report I've seen anywhere of Ben leaving Valve. I expect more to come of that little tidbit.

Thriller 3D Drivers
New Windows 95 and Windows NT drivers for the Thriller 3D are up on the Hercules Thriller 3D Driver Library. Thanks Jeremy Statz.

New Model Viewer
PRVIEW is a new 3D model viewer that supports both Quake's .mdl format and Quake II's .md2 format.

QuArK IRC
There are a pair of IRC sessions planned with QuArK (Quake Army Knife) author Armin Rigo. The first is tomorrow at 10:00 PM PST and the second is 9:00 AM PST Saturday, February 14. Both sessions will take place in 3DNet (irc.3dnet.net) channel #QuArK, and the topic(s) will be new versions of QuArK, Feedback, How-to's, FAQ's, etc. All are invited.

PReviews

Interviews

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Out of the dental fog. It's actually not the dentistry, it's the PainKillers. I'm not sure I had pain, that's how well they work, I probably could've chanced it: I have faith in my dentist. In fact, so much so, that if anyone wants a recomendation for a top notch (albiet expensive) dentist in the NYC area, I posted his contact info in my make-believe .plan.

Wednesday, February 11, 1998

  Today's Headlines
- New Quake II FAQ
- New Permedia 2 Drivers
- New Holy Wars 2

- Quake64 Movies & Screens
- Unreal Screenshot of the Day
- Quake to Q2 Map Converter
- Orange 2 1.8
- Viper V330 Drivers
- ION Tour
- SPOrb Status
- .plans
- PReviews
- Mysteries of the Sith Interview
- sCary Interview
- Competitions
- Site Seeing
- etc.

- Yesterday

New Quake II FAQ
The Quake II FAQ has been updated to version 1.45.

New Permedia2 Drivers
New Windows 95 drivers for 3DLabs Permedia 2 cards have been posted on the 3Dlabs Driver page. Thanks bart.

New Holy Wars
Beta 6 of Holy Wars for Quake II has been released on the Holy Wars for Quake 2 page.

Quake64 Movies/Screenshots
Movies and screenshots from the upcoming Quake for Nintendo 64 have been posted as part of N64.com's updated Quake64 preview. One of the QuickTime movies shows the splitscreen deathmatch in action.

Unreal Screenshot of the Day
OGR has begun posting an Unreal screenshot per day until the publication of their big Unreal preview next week. Thanks Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers'. Also, it has been announced that when it's available, Unreal will be one of the offerings on MPlayer. Finally, on the Unreal front, Trail's Impressions of Unreal from Respawn '98 are up on JediKnight.Net.

Quake to Quake II Map Converter
Beta 0.6 of m2m, the Quake to Quake II map conversion utility, has been released on the newly relocated 5thD page.

Orange 2 1.8
Version 1.8 of the Orange 2 mod for Quake II has been released on the Orange page, and a test server running the new version at louise.net.eu.org.

Viper V330 Drivers
New drivers for the RIVA 128-based Diamond Viper V330 have been released on the Diamond Multimedia VIPER V330 Drivers page. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

ION Tour
A virtual Tour of ION Storm's boffo new offices has been posted on ION's website. Thanks CiDcO of the Daikatana Bushido.

SPOrb Status
SpaceTec's Rick Perry dropped a line to give an update on the current status of SpaceTec and the SpaceOrb, which he declares, is not dead:

Due to recent posts on the SpaceOrb Message Boards, Spacetec IMC would like to address some of the issues brought forward.

.plans

PReviews
The upcoming Jedi Knight add-on Mysteries of the Sith is reviewed on AVault. Thanks DaFragsta.

Interviews

Competitions

Site Seeing

etc.

Tuesday, February 10, 1998

  Today's Headlines
- ION Storm Licenses Unreal
- MMBoard Returns
- Screen Shot Overload
- Um... Screenshots
- Last Book of the Q2 Bible
- Rust Never Sleeps
- Famke Source
- DMM2 Patch
- SpaceOrb Shake Up
- Riot Story
- .plans
- Inoxx Interview
- Competition
- Earthseige III Preview
- Thriller 3D Review
- etc.
- Out of the Blue

- Yesterday

ION Storm Licenses Unreal Engine
ION Storm has signed a deal with Epic Megagames to license the Unreal engine for Warren Spector's upcoming 3D role-playing espionage game with the working title "Shooter," preliminarily slated for a late 1998 release. The full press release can be found on Business Wire (thanks Prophet). Word is ION is in negotiations with Epic to use the engine for other future games as well.

MMBoard Returns
Speaking of Unreal, the Epic MegaBoard, home to the Unreal MegaMessageboard, is back online, with a moderator in place to prevent the kind of abuse that resulted in the board being shut down recently. The MMBoard, as it's known, is a premier source of new Unreal revelations, as it's frequented by the game's developers. Thanks Prophet.

Screen Shot Overload
There's a very interesting editorial on the Adrenaline Vault called "Picture Perfect or Overkill?" that discusses the effect screenshots have on perceptions of games before they're released. Thanks Prophet.

Um... Screenshots
There are screenshots of the Rocket Arena 2 map pack on the Rocket Arena page, and a peek at FvF 2 in a couple of screenshots on the Freeform - Future vs Fantasy 2 page.

Last Book of the Quake II Bible
The final installment of Thresh and Kenn's Quake II Bible has been posted on Gamers Extreme.

Quake II Editing

SpaceOrb Shake Up
Word on Birdman's Lair, home of all knowledge on the SpaceOrb 360, is that a shakeup at Spacetec, manufacturers of the sp'orb has left the future of the ubiquitous LAN party prize in doubt. Here's the quote from the Birdman, who adds he's "along for the ride":

Riot Story
The rundown of the story line for Riot: Mobile Armor concludes as the final installment has been posted on the Riot: Mobile Armor page.

.plans

Inoxx Interview
Epic level designer Inoxx is interviewed on the Chronos Quake II Conversion page.

Competition
A new page for Gateway's Quake II level design contest is online. This map competition offers the winner a Permedia 2 video card.

PReviews

etc.

Out of the Blue
Chaos reigns at the Blue Tower as a plumbing emergency this morning had things hopping and another in an endless string of dental appointments is on tap for the Bluester this afternoon If you wonder why all the dentistry, I've recently learned that a lot of the dental work I received in the seventies was "beta" dentistry, and so I'm having it upgraded to the full version, which requires uninstallation first. If my old dentists weren't already in prison for crimes against teeth, I'd publish their names to protect future victims.

Monday, February 9, 1998

  Today's Headlines
- Half-Life Preview
- Respawn Recaps
- New C.R.Bot/Oak Preview
- Campaign 0.061
- TagYerIt 1.01
- Orange 1.7
- BackDoor
- QuakeWorld Practice Mod
- New BSP
- 16 H2W Weapons?
- Thresh Interview
- Mac Port Updates
- .plans
- Site Seeing
- etc.

- Yesterday

Half-Life Preview
There is a detailed Half-Life Preview over on The Adrenaline Vault. Thanks Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers'.

Respawn Recaps
Some screenshots and demos from this weekend's Canadian LAN event, Respawn, are on novacane's respawn page, a brief Respawn Review is up on Gamer's Digestive, and there is an Aftermath page on the Respawn page as well.

Quake II Releases

QuakeWorld Practice Mod
The QuakeWorld Practice mod, adds a deathmatch mode 6 to QuakeWorld 2.x as a practice mode. A detailed description is in the text file.

New BSP
Version 0.92 of the BSP Quake/Quake II level editor is out on BSP Headquarters. The new version is described as "more of an alpha release", based on the extensive changes. Thanks Rotwang.

16 H2W Weapons?
Phoebus sends along word that Raven's Rick Johnson made an interesting post to the Hexenworld Messageboard, describing a possibility for Hexen2World (the upcoming Hexen II equivalent of QuakeWorld):

This has been an idea I've been tossing around what if in deathmatch, there was a way for you to achieve weapons from other classes? In other words, it would be possible for a single player to have all 16 weapons. Again, I'm just looking for feedback, and in no way suggesting that I may have time to implement it (need to make sure I cover myself :) )

Thresh Interview
Thresh is interviewed on Net Insider, in a conversation that can be read, or listened to with RealAudio (or both, go wild!). Thanks BabelFish.

Mac Port Updates
The new Westlake Interactive website is online, and features updates on several of their Macintosh ports in progress, giving the latest word on the Mac versions of Quake (they're working on a maintenance release), Unreal (moving right along), Shadow Warrior (beta testing the new 3Dfx patch), X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse (in stores soon/now), and Duke Nukem 3D (a version 1.2 update, which I believe is new(ish), is now available). Thanks Prophet.

.plans

Site Seeing

etc.

Sunday, February 8, 1998

  Today's Headlines
- Prey Screenshots
- Quake 64 Screenshots
- Battle of the Sexes Bugfix
- Mouse Doohicky FAQ
- Interstate '76 Demo
- Greg Barr Interview
- Navy Seals Interview
- Anachronox Chat Log
- Site Seeing
- etc.
- Out of the Blue

- Yesterday

Prey Screenshots
There are 14 new screenshots from Prey (they're marked January, but this is the first I recall seeing them) up on 3D Realms' Prey Screenshots page. Also, part of yesterday's Prey progress report is a pretty detailed rundown of the state of the tools that are being used in Prey development. Thanks Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers'.

Quake 64 Screenshots
There is a preview with screenshots of Quake for the N64 up on Nintendojo. Thanks Fernando Guerra.

Battle of the Sexes Bugfix
A server-side only version 2.4.1 of the Battle of the Sexes mod for Quake II, has been posted on Spinoza's Quake 2 Mods Page fixing a bug and adding a couple of features. Clients do not need to download the update.

Mouse Doohicky FAQ
A FAQ to guide you through the complicated process of setting up the Logitech Mouseman+ for Quake and Quake II to allow the use of both the wheel doohicky and the fourth (thumb) mouse button has been hosted on the home of the doohicky, Buzzkill's Quake Page.

Interstate '76 Demo
It was a bit difficult to download, but I finally got my grubby hands on the two level playable demo of Interstate '76 Arsenal (30.3 MB), so I figure I'd post a local copy (these demos get bigger and bigger, don't they?). The demo (Direct3D hardware acceleration required) contains a new mission from the Nitro Pack, the upcoming stand-alone mission pack for I76, as well as an updated mission from the Interstate '76 Gold Edition, the concurrent re-release of the original I76 (to be included in the Nitro Pack) that boasts 3D acceleration and other enhancements. Like any old-timer that considers Starsky & Hutch and old Burt Reynolds movies to be high art, Interstate '76 was one of my favorite games of last year: excuse me, I have to dig up some 8-Tracks to listen to while I drive.

Interviews

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Site nonsense of the day: I added a link to kill the Throbber. Throbber haters of the world rejoice.

Saturday, February 7, 1998

  Today's Headlines
- More MotS Screenshots
- Chris Hargrove Interview

- Prey Progress
- PGL Season 2 Announced
- JailBreak 1.4
- Battle of the Sexes 2.4
- Holy Wars 2 Beta 2
- Lithium Mod 0.85
- Superheroes 2 Beta 5
- Fox and Hound
- CyberAthlete Mod Redux
- Ultimate Quake
- .plans
- Competitions
- Site Seeing
- etc.
- Out of the Blue

- Yesterday

More MotS Screenshots
No less than 20 new screenshots from Mysteries of the Sith, the imminent Jedi Knight add-on have been posted on JediKnight.Net

Chris Hargrove Interview
There's an interview with 3D Realms'  Chris Hargrove on videogamedesign.com/ talking about his work on Duke Nukem Forever.

Prey Progress
There is a large Prey development update on the 3D Realms website. Thanks Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers'.

PGL Season 2 Announced
A press release announcing Season 2 of the AMD Professional Gamer's League has been released, announcing that the action category will be Quake II rather than Quake this time out with Total Annihilation replacing Red Alert in the strategy category, and classic Quake the game of choice for the brand-new category: Action Teamplay, showcasing Quake clans. The season begins in March, and culminates in face-to-face finals during E3 in May in Atlanta, GA.

Quake II Releases
Well, a whole boatload of Q2 goodies, let's take a look:

Ultimate Quake
Matthias "Maddes" Buecher sent along word of his Ultimate Regular Quake Patch 1.01 and his new Ultimate Regular Scourge Of Armagon Patch 1.00. Each is a server-side mod that features several valuable fixes/enhancements while not altering the original gameplay greatly, including native multiskin support (based on the seminal MultiSkin Pro), an sv_aim toggle that works individually for each client during deathmatch, and no more auto-switching to dangerous electrical weapons when you pick them up in the water. The patches, and more information (albeit in German), can be found on Maddes' Quake Homepage.

.plans

Competitions

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Whatya think? Thanks Longslide (slightly altered from his original) for this entry, as well as everyone that contributed. Many of the other entries are quite good, and I may find other uses for them.

Read Blue's News or I'll shoot you with my railgun.

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