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Friday, January 15, 1999

TRIBES Skin Templates  [5:02 PM EST]
The downloads page on the Starsiege Tribes Players site has posted all of the skin files from TRIBES as PhotoShop files (zipped) with individual layers containing armor sets for each Tribe, plus an additional layer labeling the armor parts. Thanks Datumplane::Starsiege.

Heretic/Hexen Source Code EULA Update  [5:02 PM EST]
Raven's Kenn Hoekstra updated his .plan with word on the strict End-Users' License Agreement that was mistakenly included in the recent release of the Hexen/Heretic source code:

Regarding the Heretic/Hexen source code: According to the licensing agreement that shipped with the game, you really can't do ANYTHING with the source code. The restrictions are such that you could never legally make a mod or distribute the code or modify it or ANYTHING without Raven and/or Activision dropping the elbow on you and causing you great bodily harm. This is a mistake. The bottom line about the Heretic/Hexen source code is that you can pretty much do anything with it that people did with the DOOM source code as long as you don't charge for it or use it to make money. If there is anything you would like to do with the code, but you're not really sure about how legal it is, just drop me a line or send an e-mail to Steve Stringer at sstringer@activision.com. We'll get you on the right track. I'll see what I can do about updating the EULA as soon as possible. In the meantime, there have been over 14,000 downloads from our page alone so far! AWESOME! I can't wait to see what people do with the code.

PlayStation Unreal Announced  [2:04 PM EST]
PlanetUnreal has a report up announcing plans to release a version of Unreal for the PlayStation ported by "conversion outfit Aardvark." There's no word yet on when to expect a release.

ION Article Follow-up  [1:00 PM EST]
A follow-up to the scathing Dallas Observer Online article on ION Storm (story) is up offering several internal emails (there's a questionable situation, eh?) from the company detailing the impact some of the recent fallout there has had on their business dealings with Eidos. On the same subject, ION's Patrick Deupree updated his .plan talking about email privacy and ex-employee chatter, etc.

PlayStation Quake II Screenshots  [6:03 AM EST]
There are seven PlayStation Quake II screenshots on videogames.com. Thanks QuakeStation.

Revelations Preview, Shots  [6:03 AM EST]
Sharky Extreme's Revelations preview takes a look at the upcoming official Blood2 add-on offering several screenshots.

Daikatana Shots  [6:03 AM EST]
There are two new Daikatana screenshots on StormTroopers that came out of last night's chat session. One shot shows off the Ion Blaster and the other the inside of a temple from the Greek episode.

Messiah Shots  [6:03 AM EST]
Sharky Extreme's Messiah first glimpse is up offering some new screenshots of Shiny's upcoming game offering the third-person perspective exploits of Bob the Cherub.

SpecOps II Preview  [6:03 AM EST]
I meant to mention this earlier, there's a Spec Ops II Preview on Gibbed.com written by Tom Williamson, the producer/designer of Spec Ops II.

NightFall Shots  [6:03 AM EST]
Sharky Extreme's Nightfall first glimpse is also up, also offering screenshots (rounding out screenshot mania for the moment). Nightfall is a first-person 3D action adventure game from Altor Sys.

State of the Genre  [6:03 AM EST]
The Current State of the First Person Shooter Arena is an article by Valve's Yahn Bernier on Extreme Games that gives his feelings about where the first-person shooter is right now, and where it's headed.

More TRIBES Tactics  [6:03 AM EST]
The Starsiege TRIBES FAQ/GUIDE mentioned yesterday has been updated with more tidbits on being a worthy member of your TRIBE.

New AvP Quake II  [6:03 AM EST]
The Predator & Prey page has a new version .993 release of their Aliens versus Predator for Quake II mod, which hopefully fixes the problem that was causing it to crash dedicated servers.

New QStat  [6:03 AM EST]
A new version 2.2a of QStat, the command-line program that displays the status of Internet game servers running Quake and some other shooters is now available. The new release offers Half-Life support and improved Sin support, and future releases will support even more games (Shogo, Blood 2, Heretic 2, etc).

New MapZ  [6:03 AM EST]
For editing types: A new version 1.1 beta of MapZ, the "Map Automated Processing Zystem" (either they're terribly 'leet, or they're going for the Zima sponsorship) is now available. Here's the deal on MapZ, ganked straight from their page: "A mapper simply zips up a standard .map file, attaches it to an email and sends it to a server running MAPZ. Within the subject line, you can specify whether you're doing a quick compile or the full ding-a-ling.  After each step (qbsp, vis, rad) an email is sent back to the mapper with a text file describing any errors during the process. If the compile went flawlessly, you'll receive a .zip in the mail containing the final .bsp, the .prt and a log of everything."

New Monster 3D II Drivers  [6:03 AM EST]
The Diamond Multimedia Monster 3D Drivers page has new version 4.10.01.0207 Windows 95/98 drivers for Diamond's Voodoo2-based Monster 3D II. Thanks BugSmashR.

New SpaceOrb Drivers  [6:03 AM EST]
The SpaceOrb 360 page has some new support files including software to use to play TRIBES and Half-Life with a SpaceOrb. Thanks [TCoD]Kynmore.

TF Bar and Grill  [6:03 AM EST]
There's word on what I think is a very sincere effort to restore some sense of community for some gamers through an appropriate IRC channel posted on #TFBarAndGrill, which gives the basic lowdown of the channel and its intent.

Reviews  [6:03 AM EST]
A couple of hardware reviews from the cutting edge. Thresh's Firing Squad has a review up of the just announced 500 MHz Pentium III processor with interviews and quotes from Outrage, Infogrames, and John Carmack. The site seems to be down as I write this, but hopefully it's only temporary. Also, XGN' 99 reviews the new SGI visual Workstations, discussing the pros and cons of these powerful NT machines. Finally, GameCenter reviews Starsiege TRIBES giving it four out of five "X"s (thanks CiDcO of StormTroopers), and GameLinks' TRIBES Review is also up, awarding the game a similar score of eight out of 10.

etc.  [6:03 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [6:03 AM EST]
Follow-ups on pinky support in TRIBES--I'm now using my shift key (and thus, my pinkie) for the jetpack, which as several who wrote in suggesting it, provides the best feedback for when it's being inadvertently pressed. Miles wrote in suggesting I pry off the Shift key, (you gotta love gamers--and yes, I did consider it). Oh, yeah, Happy Birthday to Aristotle, head Jedi over at JediKnight.Net. Finally, yesterday's quote of the day was of the hidden pop culture game variety, though it's pointed out that Monty Python and the Holy Grail (the source of the quote) has certainly been used enough for the Quote of the Day for quite some time (hard to resist when a France reference comes up).

Here's an Image of the day (the image's title says it all). Thanks R-2-RO C.

Thursday, January 14, 1999

International Half-Life Patch  [11:21 PM EST]
WON's FTP Site has got the international version of the Half-Life 1.0.0.8 patch available for download as separate files for French, German, Italian, Korean, and Spanish language versions of the game. Thanks Buster.

BattleZone 2 Screenshots  [11:21 PM EST]
Pandemic Times has posted a couple of brand-new screenshots showing off the upcoming BattleZone 2, as well as some new Dark Reign II screenshots.

More TF Classic Interview  [11:21 PM EST]
There's a Q&A about TeamFortress Classic on PlanetFortress talking to TFS' Robin Walker more about the just-announced free release (story).

Toms' CPU Overview  [11:21 PM EST]
Tom's Hardware Guide's CPU Overview for the first quarter of 1999 is online talking of the influence of the Celeron and AMD's CPUs on the market.

Valve on Shooters  [6:05 PM EST]
I'm off to the show. Tonight on Shooters we will welcome the gang at Valve into our studios (via telephone, at least), to talk with us live about the latest happenings over there, including the new multiplayer patch, TeamFortress2, and this new TeamFortress Classic announcement. Joining us will be Gabe Newell, TFS' Robin Walker, and programmer Yahn Bernier. The action all kicks off at 7:00 PM Eastern time, RealPlayer or equivalent required.

Mortyr AVIs  [4:58 PM EST]
The Mortyr website has posted a new AVI format movie showing off action from this upcoming back to the future World War II game from iMagic. Thanks mwadaibe[ls].

Project V1  [4:58 PM EST]
The Digital Platoon site has news and screenshots of an upcoming game called Project V1 that I keep meaning to mention because what's there looks so promising (dig those screenshots). Here's a little of the description of this upcoming 3D action game:

PROJECT V1 provides a unique 3D action simulation of the most elite and versatile small unit of special warfare. Until very recently, their operations and equipment have been sealed in the deepest secrecy. For the first time, the gamer will relive real SEAL missions and use fighting guerilla-style warfare, advanced combat tactics, rely on his teammates to survive and take striking force to fight the enemy. This game in progress will invite the gamer into warfare and counter-guerilla operations in an open landscape with surrounding jungle sounds of typical animals. This game gives the gamer the opportunity to familiarize himself with the kind of missions lived by true, real life heroes, in accurate detail and realism.

Half-Life Model  [4:58 PM EST]
The Wavelength Models page has a new user-created deathmatch model of a soldier called Dukowski that looks pretty sharp. No team colors are available for the model.

Redwood Interview  [4:58 PM EST]
There's a new interview With Redwood on pels.interactive in their invariably entertaining finish the sentence format.

Babylon 5 Trailers  [3:42 PM EST]
Two trailers from Babylon 5 are out on the Babylon 5 Games site showing off action from this upcoming Space Simulator based on the Television series. The clips each come in smaller (~5 MB) and larger (~10 MB) varieties to suit your bandwidth's limits. Thanks Gamer's Alliance.

Blood2 on GameTime  [3:42 PM EST]
Today at 6:00 PM Eastern time, GameTime talks to Blood 2 Lead Designer Jay Wilson. You can watch via RealPlayer and also pass along questions for shade through chat.

Get A Job  [3:42 PM EST]
Don "onethumb" MacAskill sent over word that Ritual has posted a Help Wanted for a modeler/animator for F.A.K.K.², so I added it to the Paid Want ads section here. I also busted out the HTML whupping stick to try and make the listings easier to use, which has resulted in redesign, and a separate Volunteer Help Wanted section. The Help offered listings will be updated and similarly split soon. I put the listings into chronological order, and some of them are getting a little stale, so if you've got an older listing in there, you might want to let me know, because I will probable start culling the older entries soon.

Valve Interview  [5:37 AM EST]
To fill in some more information after last night's series of Half-Life/TeamFortress announcements, I fired off some questions to Gabe at Valve, who was good enough to answer them, enlisting help from Robin Walker and Yahn Bernier. Here's a brief interview with Valve about Half-Life, TF2, TF Classic, and the SDK.

TeamFortress Classic Shot  [5:37 AM EST]
Billy has posted a screenshot showing off the just-announced TeamFortress classic on Voodoo Extreme.

Shawn Rosen Demented  [5:37 AM EST]
Today's Daily Dementia features part two of TC's conversation with Shawn Rosen of Acclaim, talking about Forsaken 2, Shadow Man, South Park, and his thoughts on Descent III. RealPlayer required.

Nelno on LithTech  [5:37 AM EST]
Monolith's Jason Hall updated his .plan with some comments passed along by Jonathan  "Nelno the Amoeba" Wright of BloodShot Entertainment about why they chose the LithTech engine, which is not solely due to price, as it would seem some are saying.

Daikatana Chat  [5:37 AM EST]
Tonight at 9:00 PM Eastern time is a Daikatana Cabana chat session with the Daikatana team. You can access the chat with an IRC client using www.ionstorm.com as the server and #ion as the channel, or by following the live chat link on the ION Storm site.

New GameHost  [5:37 AM EST]
Beta 1.21 of GameHost, the front-end that allows you to easily setup, run, and manage network servers for Quake, QuakeWorld, Quake II, Hexen II, Half-Life and Sin, is now available from the folks who brought you QHost and QView.

New GameLaunch  [5:37 AM EST]
Version 1.05 of GameLaunch 3D, a front-end program designed more for solo-play, is now available, adding support for Half-Life as well as support for additional controllers, including the Logitech Wingman Warrior, the Gravis XTerminator, and the MadCatz PantherXL.

New Digital Paint Quake II PaintBall  [5:37 AM EST]
The Digital Paint site has a new beta 5.1 release of their PaintBall for Quake II as a server-only release. The new version fixes a bunch of small problems with beta 5.

Daptec QuakeWorld  [5:37 AM EST]
The Daptec QuakeWorld mod page has version .24 of the Daptec mod for QuakeWorld, a fun sounding mod with a crack-addled set of rules that include such innovations as: Lava gives you health, slime gives armor, water refills ammo, random teleports, if you go below 25 health, you disappear, and more.

TRIBES Strategy Guide  [5:37 AM EST]
Here's a new Starsiege TRIBES FAQ/Guide that offers some strategy tips and basic info to get starting TRIBES players off and playing.

Competitions  [5:37 AM EST]
Compétition Quake2 Française de Duel is a new one-on-one ladder intended for players from France and anywhere French is spoken ("your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!").

etc.  [5:37 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [5:37 AM EST]
pinky.gif (2745 bytes)The pinky support group lives! Little did I suspect that my tale of woe trying to play TRIBES without messing up by accidentally holding down the shift key through force of habit would strike a chord with so many similar sufferers. If we stick together, this will all be okay.

Wednesday, January 13, 1999

Half-Life Version 1.0.0.8  [11:25 PM EST]
Valve has released an updated version 1.0.0.8 patch for Half-Life. The new release offers "significant improvements" to multiplayer connectivity over the Internet, as well as a pair of new deathmatch maps. The patch is not yet available at Sierra Studios website, but can be downloaded using Half-Life's auto-update feature, and is up on Sierra's FTP site as a patch for version 1.0.0.5 and version 1.0.0.6. Here are copies in the Blue's News wing of cdrom.com courtesy of the fine folks at Walnut Creek CDROM. Here's word on what's new with this release:

Kirkland, WA. - Valve L.L.C. and Sierra Studios announced the immediate availability of an update for its award winning game, Half-Life. The update includes new multiplayer maps, player models, a new team-play mode, and significant improvements in Internet bandwidth utilization. "We are very committed to supporting the Half-Life multiplayer community, and will continue to invest in further enhancing this aspect of our technology and gameplay," said Gabe Newell, Valve’s Managing Director.

"We’ve come up with a number of techniques for encoding the multiplayer datastream that significantly improve overall latency on lower speed connections," said Yahn Bernier, senior development engineer at Valve. "Most players will see a dramatic improvement in the smoothness of gameplay."

The maps included with the update are optimized for the new team play mode. Frenzy is best for small groups of players, especially those with lower-end PCs. Crossfire is for much larger groups of players and allows a team to call in air strikes that will destroy anyone who hasn’t been able to reach a protective bunker in time.

This update is available via the auto-update facility built into Half-Life, as well as via download over the Internet from game sites, Half-Life fan sites, and from Sierra Studios (www.sierrastudios.com).

TeamFortress Classic Announcement  [11:25 PM EST]
Along with the release of the new version, Valve sends along word of plans to release a version of TeamFortress based on the original TeamFortress Quake, as a free Half-Life add-on. TF Classic is due by the end of this month, along with the Half-Life software developers kit. This free release should not be confused with TeamFortress II, which will still be released soon as a stand-alone (commercial) game, offering new features. Here's the lowdown on TF Classic:

Valve also announced that they will be releasing Team Fortress Classic as a free add-on for Half-Life. Team Fortress Classic is a direct port of the original Team Fortress developed for id Software’s Quake. Its innovative gameplay, character classes, and mission variety contributed to its enormous popularity, with over 500,000 downloads of the add-on from a single FTP site.

Team Fortress Classic will be available for free downloading by the end of January, and will include two entirely new maps from David Sawyer and Matt Armstrong, the developers of the acclaimed Canal Zone map.

"We wanted to introduce Team Fortress gameplay to the Half-Life community and give current Team Fortress players a glimpse of some of the new technology we’ll be using in Team Fortress 2," said Robin Walker, Lead Designer for Team Fortress 2. "We were able to take the original Team Fortress add-on for Quake and port it to Half-Life as a way of testing the Half-Life software development kit. Team Fortress Classic players can now enjoy Half-Life’s superior graphics and audio, ease of use, and advanced animation technology while we focus on making Team Fortress 2 the best multiplayer game possible."

"This is a great idea!" said Dave Carter (a.k.a. Bundy), a member of one of the Internet's leading Team Fortress Clans, and author of a Team Fortress community commentary web page. "It's very exciting to those of us who've been playing Quake-based Team Fortress, because we can finally play Team Fortress with viewable weapon models, decals, D3D acceleration, and all the other great Half-Life engine functionality. Half-Life players who haven't yet experienced Team Fortress will find it much easier to get into, and once they play it they'll understand why it's one of the most popular multiplayer games on the Internet."

Team Fortress 2 is a much more advanced, stand-alone multiplayer game built on top of the Half-Life technology. It will be shipped by Valve and Sierra Studios later this year.

Also available in late January will be the Half-Life software development kit. With over 50 Half-Life add-ons already announced (http://www.planethalflife.com/wavelength/tclist.htm), interest in the software development kit is very high within the Internet gaming community. "We have had several of the development teams here to our offices in Washington to try out early versions of the development kit," said Valve’s Harry Teasley, "and it’s very exciting to see just how far both single-player and multiplayer products are building on the Half-Life technology."

Linux Half-Life Status  [11:25 PM EST]
The final portion of Valve's big press release is an update on the status of the Linux server port. Here's the word on that:

Valve also said that development on the Linux version of the Half-Life dedicated server was going well. "Zoid should have something for people to start beta testing shortly, with general availability within a few weeks," said Mike Harrington, Valve’s Director of Development. "The Linux dedicated server will get rolled into that Half-Life Primary Server Program." The Primary Server Program is a free download of all of the components necessary to host Half-Life or Team Fortress Classic servers, and is available from WON.Net.

New Pure3D II Beta Drivers  [9:30 PM EST]
Canopus' Pure3D II  Software Updates page has new beta II version 1.40.03 Windows 95/98 drivers, which include Glide 3 and DirectX 6 support. Thanks Yog-Sothoth. As with the previous beta, these drivers include the following note: "No tech support will be available for these drivers but fully supported drivers will be released soon."

New GameSpy 3D  [9:06 PM EST]
Version 2.07 of GameSpy 3D is now available for registered users only. The new release of this server browser adds support for five new (and in a couple of cases, not yet released) games: Descent 3, Baldur's Gate, Dark Vengeance, Turok 2 and South Park.

Bad ION Press  [7:24 PM EST]
Stormy Weather is a Dallas Observer Online article (mentioned in GameSpot) that has the mainstream press taking the tack of some recent articles on rumor sites and anti-ION sites that cynically question the future of John Romero and company's game company. The article discusses Mike Wilson's departure, recounts the recent departure of the team that became BloodShot Entertainment in serious detail (even if they incorrectly credit BitchX for breaking the story smiley3.gif (948 bytes)), and cover some of the internal personality struggles at ION.

TRIBES Admin Pages Update  [7:24 PM EST]
The Starsiege TRIBES Players page has been updated with new information on both the Basic and Advanced Administration pages. Thanks Voodoo Extreme. "Included in the updates are clarification and correction of some issues, and the inclusion of missionList.cs in the Advanced Administration section."

Hab-12 Shots  [7:24 PM EST]
The Ratloop site has been updated with screenshots from Hab-12, their upcoming third-person adventure game as well as an .mp3 track with some music from one of the levels.

New PingTool  [6:24 PM EST]
Beta 3 of PingTool version 2.5 is now available. This new version of this server browser program addresses a bug in beta 2 that caused the "New Workspace" feature to report "invalid file format" and crash. Thanks Phantom_309.

Q3A Macworld Tech Demo Shots  [5:38 PM EST]
Disruptor sends along word that he's updated id's Quake III: Arena site at quake3arena.com with some screenshots taken from the tech demo of Q3A shown off by John Carmack at Macworld.

Daikatana Interview  [5:38 PM EST]
Gamer's Alliance interviews Jim Daly the conceptual artist for Daikatana over at ION Storm, who has also done work for Marvel Comics, White Wolf Games, Kenner-Hasbro Toys, and Fleer. The piece also includes some sketches from the game.

Heretic/Hexen Source Zip  [5:38 PM EST]
Activision/Raven's Steve Stringer updated his .plan with word that the just-released source code for Raven's Doom-engine games, Heretic and Hexen, is now available on Raven Software's page for the source code as a .zip file, for those that could not use the Windows .exe format of the original release.

Gore Update  [5:38 PM EST]
The 4D RULERS News page has an update on the state of their upcoming shooter, Gore, that talks of the addition of new features to the editor that allows them to add complex geometry easily, newer hi-res skins for the monsters, and how the player model is going to "wear" equipment, as well as talk of a revamp they are doing to their website.

Newer Qoole 99  [5:38 PM EST]
The QOOLE site has a new Beta 18 of Qoole 99 fixing a texture browser bug that caused the just-released beta 17 to crash for some users.

Loose Cannon Interview  [3:07 PM EST]
3DNews.Net interviews Tony Zurovec, producer, director, script writer and one of the programmers on the Loose Cannon team about this upcoming action game from Digital Anvil that will offer combat on foot and in cars (something in there for both the East Coast and West Coast).

Piranha Shots  [3:07 PM EST]
There are nine new screenshots of Piranha on Gamer's Alliance, as well as some shots on the reakktor media site. Piranha is an upcoming submarine game that will offer 3D enhanced underwater action in a future that features 90% of the earth's surface flooded (where's Kevin Costner when you need him?).

RSB Plug-ins  [1:23 PM EST]
The Rainbow Six site has posted the RSB plug-ins for download that will allow you to edit the bitmaps of Rainbow Six in either Adobe PhotoShop or Paint Shop Pro. Thanks 3d Retreat.

Sin Add-on Update  [6:17 AM EST]
Tom "Underdog" Kudirka of 2015 broke in his .plan file with an update on the state of their upcoming official Sin add-on, The Wages of Sin. Here's the lowdown:

OK, Here's the scoop. For those of you interested on the status of the official SiN Mission Pack. The game is entitled "Wages of SiN" is being published by Activision and should be available in February.

We believe it’s the most expansive add-on pack ever created. It includes 17 new single player levels, 7 new weapons, 12 new deathmatch levels, 4 new characters, 12 new enemies that include 2 end-level bosses. We have made changes to the AI, vehicle code, particle effects, etc.

We created new music tracks, sounds, dialog, cinematics, effects, traps and a completely new storyline, which of course teams us up with Blade and his side kick JC.

Something else that’s new to the SiN universe is the Hoverbike. We’ve created from scratch new vehicle code, which allows the player to ride around on something similar to a levitating motorcycle. It’s equipped with 3 weapons and a turbo-boost that can really accelerate your speed. We have so much fun playing Hoverbike Deathmatch that we think it will be the next big thing.

Anyway, enough of me tooting my horn. Just needed to do the official plan file thing.

SoF Screenshots  [6:17 AM EST]
Billy has posted a pair of Soldier of Fortune screenshots on Voodoo Extreme showing off Raven's upcoming Quake II-engine game.

Unreal 221 Status Report  [6:17 AM EST]
Epic's Mark Rein made a huge update to the Unreal Announcement MessageBoard with word on what's up with the Unreal 221 patch, which is a bit over-due based on their stated intentions. According to the update, the delay is due to their new homegrown OpenGL implementation. Thanks Yellow 5 at Planetunreal. Here are a couple of excerpts, starting with the state of TNT support:

The Riva TNT, previously a thorn in our side, now completely FLIES! Yesterday Tim showed me Unreal running rock-solid, and looking fantastic, on a Creative Labs TNT Blaster at 1280x1024 resolution at approximately 25 frames per second! Yes, I really did say 1280x1024 resolution! Seeing it run at such a super-high resolution but with a totally playable frame rate really hit home how amazingly fast it was. It appeared to be supporting every visual effect in our bag of tricks, including multitexturing. There are still a few minor things left to get working properly; gamma adjustment and full-screen switching but these should be fairly minor to do. The visual quality is superb and it will, of course, be significantly faster at more normal resolutions.

The update talks of taking steps to get the same sort of performance out of other accelerators (RIVA128, and ATi Rage Pro), and concludes with talk of better Mac support (including Unreal tournament), and the planned release of five new deathmatch maps:

This is great news for us, our users and our licensees. For Mac users I talked this week with Westlake and Macsoft and both companies have stated their commitment to try and release the Mac version of Unreal Tournament simultaneously, or very close to, the PC version. As soon as the 221 code is released we'll get it to Westlake and they'll hopefully get the Mac version updated to 221 as soon as possible and start working on porting our new OpenGL driver to work on the Mac too.

One more thing. We're going to go ahead and release the 5 new deathmatch maps, created by the Unreal team, that were previously going to be released with the official patch but had been caught up in the 221 patch delays. Watch for an announcement soon on your favorite Unreal fan site.

Half-Life DM Map  [6:17 AM EST]
There's a new deathmath map for Half-Life on PC.IGN.COM titled "Gasworks," by Randy Lundeen. The map was designed with the sniper and the crossbow in mind, and can be played by eight to 24 players. The article says the gang at Valve call this their favorite non-team level.

New Fantasy Quake  [6:17 AM EST]
Version 0.91 of Fantasy Quake: Rise of the Phoenix is now out, adding two new monsters, AI improvements, and some bug fixes to this modification of the original Quake. Also, a new official Fantasy Quake server is up at 204.201.130.98 port 2600 (note that's 2600, not 26000). Thanks TheAvatar.

Stand DM Pack  [6:17 AM EST]
The Sidewinder Down website has posted a five level pack for Quake II. The five maps are all designed for deathmatch, and four of them include route files for the Eraser Bot.

Demo Specs Update  [6:17 AM EST]
Uwe Girlich, or better, Dr. Uwe Girlich (congrats to the Doc on his new PhD in Theoretical Physics) has made several updates to his Demo Specs page. The new portions include the unofficial DM2 format description version 1.0.3 (now compatible with Quake II up to 3.20 with Mission Packs 1 and 2), the unofficial QWD format description version 1.0.3 (QuakeWorld version 2.30 corrected), the unofficial DEM format description version 1.0.9, his Miscellaneous demo related stuff version 1.0.5, the recording FAQ version 1.0.6, and finally the Little Movie Processing Centre version 3.2.3, public release. That final LMPC release has been updated from version 3.2.2 since the big update where all that stuff was posted, so if you visited after the bulk of the update, you may have missed that newest version.

NF Proxy  [6:17 AM EST]
Version 0.70 of the NF Proxy is out on the Nitro Force page (worth a visit just to rock out to the Escape from New York midi that it plays). The new version of this QuakeWorld proxy completely removes the power-up timers, and offers a bunch of speed optimizations.

Reviews  [6:17 AM EST]
Next-Generation Online reviews Starsiege TRIBES. And AGN Hardware's Celeron 366 and 400 showdown is online.

etc.  [6:17 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [6:17 AM EST]
After yesterday's OotB I heard from several readers who habitually hold the shift down while playing FPS games (most of us learned the habit the same way: from Doom), so we can start some sort of pinkie/shift key support group. Actually there's good news for TRIBES fans that belong that group, I heard from CornBoy! at Dynamix who says that while we may be a minority, we're quite the vocal one. He says they "goofed" in their implementation of shift, control, and alt, and that this will be addressed.

Quote of the day: "Heres my favorite line that won't be going into the manual: Lynch Mob is a trademark of the state of Mississippi. If your from the state of Mississippi and your reading this I don't really care. I'm declaring a plan file war with your state. Watch out... I was an English Major." -- Zied Rieke's .plan file.

Of course, it's "you are," not "your,"(twice) and "here's," rather than "heres," but I'm sure even Mississippians who aren't English majors can work through that for themselves  ;)

Tuesday, January 12, 1999

Unreal Tourney Preview  [10:35 PM EST]
PC.IGN.COM previews Unreal Tournament in a piece that talks of an impending competition with Quake III Arena. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Qoole 99  [10:35 PM EST]
Beta 17 of QOOLE '99, the latest version of the Quake Object-Oriented Level Editor is up on the QOOLE page, and a mirrors page. Thanks Sharky.

New Viper V550 Drivers  [9:37 PM EST]
The Diamond Multimedia Viper V550 Series Drivers page has new version 4.10.01.0245 Windows 95/98 drivers for the Viper V550. Thanks Tim at 3DFiles.Com.

id on Q3A Rage128 Rumors  [7:33 PM EST]
A post today on 3D Gaming puts forth a rumor that id is working closely with ATi to incorporate some special features for Rage 128 accelerators for Quake III Arena. Inspired by a letter on the subject from Jacek Fedorynski, id Software's Brian Hook had the following to say, which he was kind enough to cc me and Billy on:

ATI is, in fact, working closely with id, however so are many other hardware vendors. The only preferentially treat IHVs that demonstrate a lot of competency, and the Rage128 is looking to be an outstanding part by all indications.

Quake3 supports various OpenGL extensions, however there are no ATI specific extensions within Q3 at this time. The only IHV specific extension in place is support for S3's texture compression (hopefully to be replaced with a more general compressed texture extension). We strongly believe in open standards, and as such would not be interested in supporting any extensions unique to an IHV _for the sole purpose of locking out other manufacturers_. We will, however, support IHV specific extensions that allow for greater performance on that platform, even if other IHVs do not have the capability to support that extension.

The Rage128 has great specifications, and it should turn out to be a great Quake3 accelerator. However, we anticipate that the TNT2 and Permedia3 will have comparable features and performance, so there should be several accelerators that will run Quake3 with extremely good performance.

TRIBES FAQ Updated  [7:33 PM EST]
A recent update to the Starsiege Tribes Players FAQ adds info on a couple of topics like adjusting mission times and how to take a screenshot. Thanks Datumplane::StarSiege.

LithTech Update  [7:33 PM EST]
Monolith's Jeremy "Loki" Blackman updated his .plan with the latest on what's up with the LithTech engine, and why he's been a bit absent from the mod support scene, mentioning an upcoming LithTech 1.5 to bridge the gap until 2.0, and word on what's up with the Linux server port, which is going to be finished soon.

Elexis Sinclaire Photos  [7:33 PM EST]
Gamer's Alliance has posted some Elexis Sinclaire photos of a real-life model doing the Elexis Sinclaire thing in the flesh (presumably from a gaming show, or something).

BattleZone 2 Interview  [7:33 PM EST]
Pandemic Times interviews George Collins of Pandemic Studios about their work on BattleZone 2.

Cendant Sale Complete  [2:47 PM EST]
Some business from the business side of gaming comes from a Yahoo News story announcing the completion of Cendant's Software unit to French media company Havas SA "for $800 million cash plus future potential cash payments." Thanks BloodBoy. According to the blurb, the sale, which includes Knowledge Adventure, Blizzard Entertainment, Davidson & Associates and Sierra On-Line, is part of Cendant's effort to sell off its non-core assets, repay debt and repurchase stock.

Babylon Five Interview, Preview  [2:47 PM EST]
This Babylon 5 Space Combat Simulator preview includes an interview with J. Michael Straczynski, creator of the show. Here's a quote they sent along:

“Space isn't likely to feel empty here. Instead, you can expect some battles of an unprecedented epic scale. So far, the team has tested the engine with up to 350 ships fighting it out. Scalable detail will allow gamers who own a Pentium 200 with an original Voodoo card to see such battles while maintaining a decent frame-rate. Of course, if you have a P2/450 with a RIVA TNT card, battles at 1600x1200 resolution may look better than on the TV show. “

Blood2 Add-on Info  [2:47 PM EST]
Gamer's Alliance has posted some new info on the weapons to be included in the upcoming Blood2 add-on, Blood2: Revelations.

Redguard Sound Q&A  [2:47 PM EST]
Gamers Central has posted a Q&A: Bethesda about soundcard problems some folks are experiencing with Redguard.

Heretic/Hexen Source Code Released  [11:43 AM EST]
As Raven's Kenn Hoekstra's .plan announces, Raven has released the source code to both Heretic and Hexen, each of which are based on id Software's Doom, the source for which was released last year. The source, about one MB, can be found on this page. Here's a quote that accompanied the announcement:

"As a result of the enormous popularity of id Software’s DOOM® source code, we are extremely excited to see what the gaming public can do with the Heretic and Hexen code," says Brian Raffel, vice president of Raven Studios. "It is our hope that people will create such modifications as GL Heretic and GL Hexen and support higher resolutions, greater multiplayer capabilities, mods, and ports to new operating systems like BeOS and Linux. The possibilities are as endless as the community's imagination."

2015 Interview, Shot  [11:43 AM EST]
Action Xtreme interviews Tom Kudirka the president of 2015, about their upcoming add-on pack for Sin, The Wages of Sin. The interview, the first of two parts, also offers an exclusive 2015 screenshot, with a second shot to be posted along with part two.

Amen Shots  [11:43 AM EST]
Gamer's Alliance has posted two new screenshots from Cavedog Entertainment's upcoming Amen: The Awakening.

Aliens versus Predator Quake II  [6:03 AM EST]
The Predator & Prey page has version 0.99 of the Aliens versus Predator mod for Quake II. Fox traditionally takes a dim view of such homage, so this may not be around for a long time (and I'm having trouble downloading it, too).

German QW Master Server  [6:03 AM EST]
The IP of the German QuakeWorld master server has changed, and the members of clan Ocrana, who maintain it, pass along word that it now should be addressed by name, rather than IP. The DNS entry for the server is qwmaster.ocrana.de.

New BC3000AD  [6:03 AM EST]
The BattleCruiser downloads page has got a version 2.02 patch for BattleCruiser 3000AD. "If you are downloading the v1.0 to v2.01 patch, there is a $10 one time charge. Once you have v2.01, all future patches are free of charge."

The Heretic II Awards  [6:03 AM EST]
This Heretic II Awards page shows off the kudos Raven's most recent release has garnered, like a refrigerator covered with good school grades.

New Qoole Due Today  [6:03 AM EST]
Today is the planned release date for the first public beta of the next version of the Quake Object-Oriented Level Editor, QOOLE '99. Here's the announcement passed along by Matt "WhiteFang" Ayres at Lithium Software.

The public beta release of Qoole 99 is still scheduled for January 12th. We'll begin with a discussion at 6pm PST (9pm EST, 2am GMT) on EFNet IRC channel #Qoole. The authors (Paul and myself) will both be there. The beta will probably be made available around 7pm. Hope to see you there!

Oni Preview  [6:03 AM EST]
Next-Generation Online's Oni Preview takes a look at this upcoming fighting/adventure game from Bungie.

Canopus Speaks  [6:03 AM EST]
Purified3D has some follow-up on the rumors reported yesterday about Canopus canceling their TNT-based Spectra cards. The report confirms that they won't be making more Spectras, and describes them "doing a lot of soul searching lately regarding the graphics business," though there's no definite word about their plans for the future. Sharky Extreme interviews Jim Anderson at Canopus to discuss what this all means for their future, quoting Jim as saying "We are not planning to leave the graphics accelerator business entirely." The question about whether Canopus would continue to support existing products received a resounding yes answer.

GameFig  [6:03 AM EST]
Version 2.21 of the GameFig Quake II configuration editor is now available, offering support for multiple mods.

New Winamp  [6:03 AM EST]
The Winamp Home has a new version 2.09 of the Winamp .mp3 player which fixes several bugs from 2.08. Thanks Mister Beefy.

Reviews  [6:03 AM EST]
3DGN reviews Starsiege TRIBES.

Competitions  [6:03 AM EST]
Heat.Net has a new dealie going where you earn coupons every time you win when you play on their online service. Coupons are redeemable for hardware, software and the intriguing "more." Also, anyone who downloads or plays CyberStrike 2 online by January 18, 1999 will be eligible to win a buff gaming rig from Falcon NorthWest as part of the CyberStrike 2 Launch Party. Finally, there's a Win a Qoole 99 CD contest on Pursuit of Perfection over at rust, giving away seven copies of the new version of Qoole, which is supposed to be released today.

etc.  [6:03 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [6:03 AM EST]
I finally got my copy of Starsiege TRIBES today (perfect timing, the day after we talk to the TRIBES tribe on Shooters). Wow, what a lot of fun TRIBES CTF is: you get two large teams on one of those huge maps with aircraft flying overhead dropping enemy among you, it is one wild battle. I can't wait to play some more. Wheee! Now I just need to try and learn to keep my pinkie off the shift key because there seems to be no way to devise a config that can deal with it (I brought up this problem when I tried the game in the Dynamix offices way back, but I guess those of us in the "hold shift to run" crowd are too small a minority to notice).

Quote of the day: "I came across the coolest game description EVER written. Period. It's for a Japanese game called Mahjong Goku Tenjiku - they claim it is 'Serious mahjong action with monkey god'. Yes!!!" --Raven's Nathan Albury .plan update.

Monday, January 11, 1999     The Day of the Interview?

Requiem Multiplayer Screenshots  [8:20 PM EST]
Requiem Testament has posted five new screenshots from Cyclone Studios' upcoming Requiem: Avenging Angel showing off multiplayer deathmatch.

Sin Art  [8:20 PM EST]
Ritualistic has posted another big ole piece of Sin artwork created by Ritual artist Beau Anderson "in his spare time."

loonytoons  [6:00 PM EST]
Wake the kids, phone the neighbors, it's time for another episode of loonygames. Here's what's on tap to be posted over the course of this week:

Nyaah! Put that back! That's issue twenty of loonygames! Embarrassing your girlfriends this week:

New Terminator Beast Drivers  [5:44 PM EST]
Hercules has released new Windows 95/98 Terminator BEAST Drivers. The new drivers address problems in Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, Final Fantasy VII, and other apps. Thanks Joey Lau.

On Pure3D/II Driver Delays - Spectra Cancelled?  [5:44 PM EST]
Purified3D has word from Canopus the long-delayed DirectX 6 drivers for their Pure3D and Pure3D II accelerators, which are still apparently held up waiting for updated code from 3Dfx. Also on the Canopus front, Billy has posted an email on Voodoo Extreme that reports the cancellation of the Spectra 2500 by Canopus, though no official word on that has come down.

Sin Add-on AVI  [2:06 PM EST]
The 2015 website has posted an AVI of action from their upcoming Sin mission pack showing off some hover-bike deathmatch. The file is mirrored on Ritualistic, where I learned of this.

Wedge & Choryoth Interview  [12:53 PM EST]
10 Questions With Wedge and Choryoth is a Q&A with Steve Bond and John Guthrie of Valve talking about their work on Half-Life, their start in the community, and stuff like that. This is the first installment in a 10 questions with Sam Hell feature on Divide and Conquer that looks to keep tabs on what in Sam Hell is going on in the gaming business.

Half-Life Server Manager  [12:53 PM EST]
A new Half-Life Manager for Servers has been released by the makers of the UMan Unreal server manager program. This utility puts all the commands needed to configure and run a multiplayer Half-Life server at your fingertips. The program includes the ability to set a Message of the Day, and a custom map cycle.

New OSP Tourney  [12:53 PM EST]
Version 1.06f of OSP Tourney DM is up on the Orange Smoothie Productions site offering what's called a full upgrade to this Quake II tournament mod. The program is now available for Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD Operating Systems.

Eidos Interview  [12:53 PM EST]
Action Xtreme interviews Gary Keith of Eidos interactive talking about game, the business, and life with two first names.

Official Pentium III Announcement  [12:53 PM EST]
As has been rumored, Intel Announces New Pentium III Brand for Next Generation Processors is the official announcement that Intel's next-generation CPU, previously code-named Katmai, will be marketed under the Pentium III brand. Thanks GameStone.

On Q3A Multi-Platform Support  [3:56 AM EST]
A follow-up post by Zoid to a Quake3 Arena on Linux article on SlashDot.Org offers some info on planned cross-platform support for Quake III Arena. Thanks Moebius. Here's the quote:

My current platform support for is clients on Linux x86 and SGI IRIX. For servers I'm supporting Linux Alpha, Solaris x86 and Solaris Sparc. LinuxPPC may be considered, but I couldn't get LinuxPPC to install on my Mac G3 machine.

Quake3 is a hardware _ONLY_ game for visuals. You must have OpenGL hardware support. Currently, that means MesaGL with VooDoo, but I have also got stuff working with XiGraphics Accelerated X11 as well. I have hardware Quake2 up and running with a Number Nine Revolution III card using OpenGL on it. I'll be testing Quake3 with it shortly. :)

So, the plan is hardware OpenGL support under Linux for MesaGL w/VooDoo, and XiGraphics Accelerated X with OpenGL (with serveral different cards supported). I'm also working with the Metrolink guys who are building accelerated OpenGL X servers as well.

Currently, there isn't any hardware OpenGL support for platforms such as Linux Alpha. Sun does have hardware OpenGL on their new UltraSparc Creator workstations and I'll be investgating support for that as well. I'd like to see Quake3 running on every platform that supports hardware accelerated OpenGL.

New EGN2  [3:56 AM EST]
The Enternet Global Network page has a new 548 Alpha build of the EGN2 server-browser/chat program. Thanks BetaNews.

Todd Hollenshead Interview  [3:56 AM EST]
gamers.de ("die Computerspieleszene in Deutschland") has posted an interview with Todd Hollenshead about the recent announcements at Macworld (or as they put it, "Auf der nordamerikanischen MacWorld Expo liess Apples Übergangs-CEO Steve Jobs gleich mehrere Bomben platzen."). The article is translated to English for those of us who can't figure out what the fahrvergnügen the original says.

Drakan Interview, Shots  [3:56 AM EST]
Extreme Games interviews Duncan (apparently now one-named, like Madonna and Cher) of Surreal Software about Drakan: Order of the Flame, in a conversation that includes new screenshots of this upcoming action/adventure.

Randy Pitchford Interview  [3:56 AM EST]
Stomped interviews Randy Pitchford of Rebel Boat Rocker, talking to the lead designer on Prax War about this upcoming shooter, as well as hinting about at some super-secret stuff that will be announced soon about them working with some of the developers that recently departed Ritual.

Decay Interview  [3:56 AM EST]
3DNews.Net interviews Jim Malmros lead programmer for Decay by Insomnia Software about their recent screenshots (story) and the technology behind them.

BankHeist Interview  [3:56 AM EST]
Stomped interviews Mark Shander and Warren Weems, both of IcePick games, about their upcoming action game BankHeist, which will use Monolith's LithTech engine.

Gina Garren Interview  [3:56 AM EST]
The new GameGirlz Women Spotlight talks to Gina Garren, texture artist at Raven Software, discussing her work, and life as the only female at Raven.

John Blade Speaks  [3:56 AM EST]
Another Q&A on the newly opened Stomped Interviews is a conversation with Eric Mills, the actor who does the voice portrayal of Colonel John R. Blade in Sin.

Descent 3 Preview  [3:56 AM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault Previews Descent 3 looking ahead to this upcoming next installment in the Descent series, and even clarifying the complex roots that lead to the separate Descent projects being created by both Outrage and Volition.

What's in a Name  [3:56 AM EST]
This Adrenaline Vault Feature Article discusses the situations with domain names and corporate copyrights, specifically talking about attempts by the owner of the quake.com domain name (which isn't id Software) to sell it for some $20,000. The article talks to 3DRealm's Scott Miller, and id's Todd Hollenshead about this, Todd actually using the idea of me selling the bluesnews.com domain in one example.

New Quake II PaintBall  [3:56 AM EST]
Digital Paint has released beta five of their "award winning" PaintBall II Quake II mod. The new release offers a new HUD, lots of new models, new sounds, and a bunch of tweaks and new features. There is a new client for the new version, and the client archive includes all the files required to run a server.

New Gladiator Utility  [3:56 AM EST]
The Gladiator Bot page has version 0.9 of Winbspc, the utility that converts existing maps into the format required when playing against the Gladiator bot for Quake II. The new release offers support for maps from Sin, Half-Life, and Quake 1.

New Kick 16/32 Bit Color Demo  [3:56 AM EST]
Kick Engine page has a new version of their side-by-side 16 bit/32 bit color comparison program that runs on all accelerators (previous versions were TNT only). Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Competitions  [3:56 AM EST]
Round two of the competition offering eyeSCREAM stereo glasses has begun on Classy Glasses.

Further Clarification  [3:56 AM EST]
For the record, Monolith's Craig Hubbard has posted part three of his .plan update clarification spree regarding the Justin Chin interview dealie (story, and earlier story).

etc.  [3:56 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [3:56 AM EST]
There are so many interviews today, we've even got one with a fictional character! Congrats to id's Brian Hook who I see over on Billy's recently got, well... hooked, in that matrimonial sense.

Sunday, January 10, 1999

John Carmack on Quake III Arena & Macs  [5:31 PM EST]
id Software's John Carmack updated his .plan with the straight poop on what he had to say at Macworld along with his feelings about where all the recent announcements at Macworld place the next-generation Macs in the scheme of things for gaming. The update is extremely lengthy, this is just an excerpt:

Ok, many of you have probably heard that I spoke at the macworld keynote on tuesday. Some information is probably going to get distorted in the spinning and retelling, so here is an info dump straight from me:

Q3test, and later the full commercial Quake3: Arena, will be simultaniously released on windows, mac, and linux platforms.

I think Apple is doing a lot of things right. A lot of what they are doing now is catch-up to wintel, but if they can keep it up for the next year, they may start making a really significant impact.

I still can't give the mac an enthusiastic reccomendation for sophisticated users right now because of the operating system issues, but they are working towards correcting that with MacOS X.

The scoop on the new G3 mac hardware:

Basically, its a great system, but Apple has oversold its performance reletive to intel systems. In terms of timedemo scores, the new G3 systems should be near the head of the pack, but there will be intel systems outperforming them to some degree. The mac has not instantly become a "better" platform for games than wintel, it has just made a giant leap from the back of the pack to near the front.

I wish Apple would stop quoting "Bytemarks". I need to actually look at the contents of that benchmark and see how it can be so misleading. It is pretty funny listening to mac evangelist types try to say that an iMac is faster than a pentium II-400. Nope. Not even close.

From all of my tests and experiments, the new mac systems are basically as fast as the latest pentium II systems for general cpu and memory performance. This is plenty good, but it doesn't make the intel processors look like slugs.

More Outcast Screenshots  [2:00 PM EST]
There are eight new Outcast screenshots on Gamer's Alliance showing off Infogrames' upcoming 3D action/adventure that will offer more voxels than you can shake a polygon at.

More Giants  Q&A  [2:00 PM EST]
Part two of the Q and A with Planet Moon on Citizen Skarstedt's is online, talking about porting their giant upcoming action/adventure Giants, merchandising, and more.

New PingTool  [12:01 PM EST]
Beta 2 of version 2.5 of PingTool is now available. PingTool is a server browser program that allows you to find a server from about the entire current crop of multiplayer action shooters. The new release improves the new ICQ integration feature and ping sharing, adds a new busy-server redial feature, and the ability to set your own custom background image. Thanks Phantom_309.

New Decay Shot  [12:01 PM EST]
This new screenshot of Decay by Insomnia Software has been posted to demonstrate that this is actually an in-game shot, rather than something pre-rendered. Thanks Retoocs.

Return of the Link Databases
GameSeek is a new gaming link database on Stomped. Also, The UnrealNation Link Database is back online at UnrealNation, ready to add your unreal-related link, or to guide you to a destination. Also, Pels.Interactive has posted a reply from Dave "Fargo" Kosak hinting that the massive folks over at Critical Mass have something "in the works at PlanetQuake at the moment that may just take the place of Slipgate Central..."

Clarifications  [12:01 PM EST]
Monolith's Craig Hubbard updated his .plan with a clarification of his comments yesterday about the Justin Chin interview (story). Also, as several readers were quick to point out, the report I linked to yesterday that Sony was planning to sue Connectix over their upcoming PSX emulator (story) was actually from a rumor column, so this is speculation/rumor at this point, rather than a done deal.

Reviews  [12:01 PM EST]
Game Post reviews Thief: The Dark Project. Also, FiringSquad.com compares the Celeron 400 Socket-370 vs. Slot-1.

Competitions  [12:01 PM EST]
The Lithium Challenge is now up and running, a ladder with an emphasis on having fun. Thanks [RP]Joker. Also, the QIL2 - The Second Coming is back in session. The Week 5 deadline for this QuakeWorld league is Jan 17, which will be followed by their All-Star Weekend, then playoffs to crown the final QW clan champion. Finally, the House Of Quake is holding a Shogo LAN tournament in the Netherlands this February.

etc.  [12:01 PM EST]

Out of the Blue  [12:01 PM EST]
Working out the last few flies in the ointment (to mix metaphors) after moving servers, and things are looking smooth over here for the most part. Unfortunately a DNS/ISP glitch or two has left some folks getting a pest control site (ugh) when typing in this site's URL, but I guess if you're reading this, you are not experiencing the problem or have found a way around it. Hopefully the correct info is winding its way through the system as I write these words.

Quote of the day: "NyQuil tastes and looks the same coming up as it does going down. How is that for .plan file content?" -- Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart .plan file.

Saturday, January 9, 1999

Father Frags Best  [7:32 PM EST]
Zarathustra Studios has released a brand new movie for Quake II called Father Frags Best.  It took all day for me to get this downloaded, but it was worth the effort. The film is terribly entertaining, though it should be pointed out, it is "rated PG-13" based on (mild violence, brief nudity - parental discretion advised), and it certainly makes no effort to avoid themes some might find sensitive. Also, since the movie was first made available, a teeny (2 KB) fix for the missing Gene Simmons model has been posted as a separate download. Here's the lowdown on the movie from its page:

The war against the vicious Strogg was a tremendous victory for all of humankind. Despite the loss of thousands of brave soldiers -- more due to bad planning than the commanders want to admit -- a brave few were able to penetrate the Strogg defenses and bring about complete annihilation. That's all well and good...

But what happens when those same shell-shocked soldiers return to "normal life" back on Earth? How does one get back to "family values" after spending so much time as a killing machine... and a damn good one at that! Will his kids make a smooth adjustment to having a father around who is semi-delusional? Is there something evil lurking in the basement, waiting for someone to check the boiler? Is Little Joey, by some freak genetic accident, his own dad? Do gibs cooked in lava really have higher fat content than, say, broiled gibs?

Most of these questions will, admittedly, NOT be answered in this movie.

But, this is the story of one such veteran, and his loving family.

Ok, maybe "loving" is a bit too strong of a word...

Sony to Sue Over PSX Emulator  [2:00 PM EST]
The possible legal objections mentioned in the story yesterday about Connectix's planned PlayStation emulator are apparently being raised, as this PSX.IGN.COM rumor column reports that "Sony is filing an injunction against, and will then sue, Connectix." Thanks Chern Ann. The story goes on to say "Sony will sue for intellectual rights infringement on the illegal use of its patented game system."

Rage Interview  [12:26 PM EST]
Gamer's Alliance interviews Peter Johnson of Rage Software about their upcoming 3D action shooter, Expendable.

Anachronox Art, Deus Ex Shot  [12:26 PM EST]
The Daily Informant over at ION Storm has posted word of the Deus Ex and Anachronox previews in the February issue of PC Games. The blurb offers a high resolution screenshot from Deus Ex depicting one of this upcoming Unreal-engine RPG's Hong Kong locales, and the original image from the issue's cover, which is based on their upcoming Quake II-engine RPG Anachronox.

Mortyr Preview, Shots  [10:54 AM EST]
PC Games previews Mortyr looking at this upcoming WWII shooter and offering a bunch of new screenshots.

Outcast Screenshots  [10:54 AM EST]
Outcast Central has posted a half-dozen new Outcast screenshots from a huge batch of 45 that they will be posting over the coming days showing off this upcoming action game from Appeal.

New Kick 32/16 Demo  [10:54 AM EST]
The Kick Engine page has a new version of their demo that allows a side-by-side comparison of 16 and 32 bit color rendering. The new release is specifically TNT enhanced, offers a screenshot function, 512x512 textures and ambient lighting.

Heretic II DM Tips  [10:54 AM EST]
The Strategon has re-opened on Hereticii.com now offering Heretic II deathmatch tips.

Justin Chin Interview  [10:54 AM EST]
There's a Justin Chin Interview on GameSpot talking to the Jedi Knight designer about his new design company Infinite Machine. On this subject, Monolith's Craig Hubbard updated his .plan with his reaction to the light one of the questions about Half-Life's impact on the industry cast on Jedi Knight and Dark Forces.

PlanetMoon Interview  [10:54 AM EST]
Citizen Skarstedt's PlanetMoon site has part one of a two part conversation with PlanetMoon software about their upcoming game Giants, the iMAC, Shiny, MDK, level editors and more. Part two will be posted tomorrow. For the record, Tempus Sans ITC is the font you want to remove if you want to be able to read the text on this site.

Descent Chat Log  [10:54 AM EST]
Deep Space has posted a chat log from an IRC session the other night with the Descent 3 team. The conversation covers the demo patch release date, the upcoming release of a new level, and feedback from the public.

Another CTF  [10:54 AM EST]
The Mod Shop has posted a new variant on Capture the Flag called another CTF (all the good names seem to be taken). The twist here is that you can carry your own team's flag as well as your opponents', and scoring results from holding both flags at once. Additionally, flags do not return automatically to their base when liberated from their carrier, but must be returned manually.

Challenger Quake  [10:54 AM EST]
The Creators of Worlds have released version 1.0 of their Quake (1) mod called Challenger Quake, a DM/Coop-Conversion. The new release offers experience levels (raised by killing monsters), two new maps, some server-side configurable commands, and some bug fixes.

Top Rung Quake II  [10:54 AM EST]
Spine Design has released their Top Rung Quake II mod which offers a complete and competitive one-on-one deathmatch tournament modification, offering a new dynamic ladder system, support for eight simultaneous one-on-one matches, six custom made one-on-one deathmatch arenas, timed matches, and a newly improved HUD.

JailBreak Forum  [10:54 AM EST]
Word on the JailBreak page is there will be an open forum to discuss the future of this Quake II teamplay mod, specifically discussing plans for JailBreak 2.5. The chat will be tomorrow (Sunday January 10) at 6:00 PM CST on 3DNet IRC, channel #jailbreak.

More on Entering the Game Biz  [10:54 AM EST]
How to Get Started in the Game Industry: Part 2 is a follow-up on Gamasutra's How to Get Started in the Game Industry: Part I. The sequel offers tips on how to proceed if you already have a job in another industry. Thanks devilbunny.

Intel740 Drivers  [10:54 AM EST]
New version 3.2 Intel740 reference drivers are now available, offering DirectX 6.0 compliance. Thanks 740.

Competitions  [10:54 AM EST]
WarZone is giving away a "Gaming Rig" (computer) valued at $2,500.00. Also, The Hangar's Map Competition offers a Voodoo2 for the best level produced for the AirQuake II mod for Quake II.

etc.  [10:54 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [10:54 AM EST]
To complete our recent game of where in the name of San Diego, California is American McGee, I heard from American, who confirmed that he was indeed at both EA and Maxis (several readers also pointed this out, I forgot they'd been purchased by EA, as apparently did Jim when he corrected me).

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