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Friday, January 29, 1999

RBR on GameTime2  [5:56 PM EST]
Tonight on the All Games Network, GameTime2 will be interviewing Randy Pitchford of Rebel Boat Rocker about what happened with EA, and the just-announced cancellation of Prax War (story). GameTime2 starts at 7:00 PM Eastern time, RealPlayer required.

GotMilk? Interview  [5:56 PM EST]
PlanetStarSiege's GotMilk? Interview talks with Dynamix's Mark Frohnmayer about TRIBES, touching on TRIBES2 and Starsiege as well.

Sony Sues Connectix  [5:56 PM EST]
Sony Sues Connectix is the Next-Generation Online report that the other shoe has fallen in the story of the Connectix PlayStation emulator, as Sony has announced it is suing Connectix "for infringements of their copyright and intellectual property." Thanks Gary7.

AvP Interview  [1:44 PM EST]
Sci-Fi Week on GameSpot UK kicks off with an Aliens Vs Predator Interview Part 1 & Interview Part 2, as well as some Aliens Vs Predator exclusive art.

Tread Marks Revealed  [1:04 PM EST]
More information has been revealed about Longbow Digital Arts' top secret OpenGL tank game. It turns out the name of the game will be Tread Marks, and it is actually an off-road racing game (with weapons). There are eight new screenshots showing off some pyrotechnics and "dynamic craters" on their website, and here's a bit more on the game, currently expected to be available third quarter of this year:

It's a tank game, and as some of you might have guessed from the older screen shots, it's also a racing game. Unlike most off-road racing games, in Tread Marks you can actually put holes and scorch marks in the terrain, which last for as long as the race does and don't hurt performance. With a suitably powerful weapon, you can even dig yourself a new canyon, or level a significant chunk of the map.

The terrain engine is a binary-triangle tree based dynamic view dependant Level of Detail height field renderer, taking complete advantage of fast 3D hardware accelerators, and allowing complete run-time modification of the landscape. The desired level of detail can be adjusted on the fly to suit the performance of the system running the game, and the desired frame rate of the player.

CPL Extreme Annihilation  [12:49 PM EST]
The Cyberathlete Professional League announces their Extreme Annihilation Event, planned for March 12-14, 1999 in Dallas, TX. Included in the announcement is word that Intel will be their showing off their Pentium III processors, and that PIII's from Dell will be used in the tournament. Interestingly, though a tournament is mentioned, there is no mention whatsoever about what game will be played in it:

The Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), announced today the details of its upcoming computer gaming event: Extreme Annihilation. The event will be held in a 15,0000 square foot ballroom at The Westin Park Central hotel in Dallas, Texas from 2:00PM Friday, March 12, 1999 until 4:00PM Sunday, March 14, 1999. Extreme Annihilation will host conferences, workshops, exhibitions, competitions and an official CPL tournament with $25,000 in cash and prizes, including a first prize of $5,000...

The CPL also announced today that Dell Computer Corporation, the leading direct computer systems company in the world, has agreed to become a sponsor of the CPL. In its debut sponsorship of the CPL, Dell will provide high-performance Dimension® desktop PCs, optimized to offer an exceptional gaming experience. The Dell Dimension PCs will feature new Intel® Pentium® III processors, 16MB STB nVidia TNT 3D Graphics Cards and 21" monitors for the Extreme Annihilation event.

Extreme Annihilation is expected to attract close to 900 gamers from all over the United States. Online registration is located at the Extreme Annihilation website. Attendants are encouraged to bring their own computers to the event and participate in various LAN competitions...

General admission to the Extreme Annihilation three day event is $20, or $25 if participating in the official CPL tournament.

PSX Quake II Release Date  [12:17 PM EST]
I should have realized I was swimming in shark-infested waters when I posted the quoted release date for the PSX port of Quake II (story). I received the following from id's CEO Todd Hollenshead, which repeats the release date mantra:

I saw the "QII PSX Delayed" post from yesterday and just wanted to clarify: Quake II for the Playstation will be released, you guessed it, when it's done and when we believe that it is the best product it can be. If that is in May/June as indicated in the story, then so be it, however, we don't "slate" titles for release (as everyone who knows or follows id knows by now).

TRIBES Interview  [12:17 PM EST]
Insomniax.net has posted an interview with the TRIBES Development Team talking with Tim Gift, Mark Frohnmayer, and Scott Youngblood about Starsiege TRIBES.

TRIBES Mod  [12:17 PM EST]
Also on Insomniax.net is word of a version 0.5b of the Insomniax TRIBES mod which adds a new weapon, out-of-area damage, and the ability for Snipers to shoot weapons out of other players' hands.

Prax War Post-Mortem  [9:23 AM EST]
Rebel Boat Rocker's Randy "DuvalMagic" Pitchford updated his .plan with the confirmation of the bad news that Prax War has, in fact, been cancelled. If you are curious, one of the last lines of this update "But, alas, "our game is but a dream"." is taken from a Scott Miller .plan update on the subject of the cancellation that Scott admits in a later update was "taking the low road". Here are a couple of excerpts from the lengthy update (which includes a list of thank yous):

Prax War has, in fact, been cancelled.

The word from EA that's out there about why Prax War was cancelled just about sums it up. "EA's reasons were that they missed their technology window on this product and that things were not progressing as quickly as they would have liked."

I need to mention, however, that the RBR content team was working closely with the on-site EA director of development on tight content schedules and milestones right up to the end. This includes all game art, models, levels, animation, artist objects, sound effects, etc.

While I am ashamed that Prax War was cancelled because RBR "missed their technology window" and because "things were not progressing as quickly as they would have liked" (as reported) I am very proud to say that the RBR content team never missed a milestone and always delivered high quality and respected work. No one who has seen Prax War's content has left thinking anything but that a lot of work and talent went into its creation. My hats off to the entire RBR content team who continued to put up with my undaunted optimism and produced the best looking work I have ever seen in a 3d game.

Unfortunately, content alone does not a game make.

I am truly sorry that the gaming public will never get to play Prax War, for it was truly becoming something remarkable.

However, I have to give my highest respect to our publisher, EA.

I have heard some pokes at EA from the community over the past few months and I have to take exception to that. Consider that I still have great respect for EA - and I was the lead designer on the project they felt the need to cancel.

<snip>

Last Words:

All of the Prax War *content* developers will be leaving RBR. If you're a developer interested in grabbing some of the most experienced, hard working and talented designers, artists and animators I've had the pleasure of working with, you can find their e-mail addresses on www.rebelboatrocker.com 'TEAM' page. If you have difficulty contacting any of them, I have direct contact.

<snip>

But, alas, "our game is but a dream".

I'll keep in touch...

-DuvalMagic

Levelord Chat  [9:23 AM EST]
Tonight will be an online IRC chat session featuring the one-and-only (to the best of the authorities understanding) Levelord. Here's the poop on the session, which I understand may include the giveaway of a copy of Sin hand signed by the 'lord:

When: Friday, Jan. 29 at 9:00pm EST
Where: #3dgaming on 3dnet
Bring: no need, Levelord is supplying

Sanity: New LithTech Game  [9:23 AM EST]
This Monolith Productions Press Release announces Sanity, their once top secret project that will be using the LithTech engine, slated for a release around Christmas of this year. Here's an excerpt:

Sanity is set in a near-future universe that is physically warped by the powers of the mind. In this world, players strive for mastery of their innate Psionic (psychic) abilities. These "Talents" range from the simple ability to shoot fireballs to high-level powers, such as summoning creatures. Players learn new Talents as they progress through the single-player game, or collect and trade Talents via the Internet to enhance their multiplayer experience. Using either a mouse or keyboard hot keys, players rely on strategy to "cast" their Talents to defeat unwary enemies. However, using these Psionic Talents depletes both Health and Sanity, so players must walk a fine line to insure that they don't fall into berserk rages. As a result of this mental strain, Psionics often suffer massive brain explosions in the heat of combat, their heads bursting in a messy gush of flame and fluid.

Wages of Sin Shots  [9:23 AM EST]
There are some new screenshots from Wages of Sin on 3D-Unlimited showing off this upcoming official Sin mission pack from 2015.

Prax War Fool's Gold  [9:23 AM EST]
Doh! Rebel Boat Rocker's Rob Heironimus updated his .plan on the subject of those cool Prax War shots that leaked yesterday (story) before the announcement of the game's cancellation (story). It turns out that while they gave word that the leaked shots were cool to post, we learn now that these are not actually 100% in-game shots:

Hmmm...Looks like someone found themselves a pot of fool's gold. I just want everyone to know a few things about the screenshots that recently got "released". All the content in the shots is actual Prax War content (i.e. map geometry, models, textures) that appears as it would in the actual game. However, the arctic scenes were not rendered in the game engine, but were 3DS Max renders that I had done for my own personal portfolio, which was sitting on our local linux box. I gave Jobe (boatrocker.com) the OK to post them once they got out since I didn't feel it would do any harm, but I do apologize for any confusion that has resulted.

TRIBES Map  [9:23 AM EST]
The Tribe One Home has what's called the "final" release of a custom Defend and Destroy map for Starsiege TRIBES. There are two versions, one that includes custom lighting, and therefore will require a client download, and another that just needs to be run on the server. This map is running evenings on the Shadows of Amber server.

Starsiege Near Gold  [9:23 AM EST]
Rick Overman's .plan gives word that Starsiege, Dynamix's upcoming mech combat game set in the period between the EarthSiege series and TRIBES, is close to going gold. Thanks PlanetStarSiege.

Romero Interview, Daikatana Shots  [9:23 AM EST]
NetCombat.net has posted three new Daikatana Screenshots, and an interview with John Romero that focuses on the progress of the game.

Descent III Screenshots  [9:23 AM EST]
Gamestream.Net has posted nine new screenshots from Descent III showing off action from this upcoming sequel.

KingPin Preview  [9:23 AM EST]
PlanetQuake Preview of Xatrix's Kingpin is a look at this upcoming Quake II engine game after their recent unveiling in Los Angeles, written by Fargo, no less.

Unreal Tourney Preview  [9:23 AM EST]
GameFan previews Unreal Tournament giving the lowdown on what's known about Epic's upcoming Unreal game, offering some screenshots (I'm not sure if they're new or not).

Oni Preview  [9:23 AM EST]
Look Out for Oni is a preview of Bungie's upcoming action game on GameCenter that offers some new screenshots.

Mortyr Preview  [9:23 AM EST]
Also new on GameCenter is a sneak peeks at Mortyr looking at iMagic Online's upcoming World War II combat shooter.

Emulator News  [9:23 AM EST]
This PC.IGN.COM blurb and another N64.IGN.COM blurb talks of a new N64 emulator dealie for the PC, but, as is often the case with emulator stories, the website of the emulator is already off-line.

New Viper V330 Drivers  [9:23 AM EST]
Diamond Multimedia Viper V330 Drivers page has new Windows 95/98 drivers for the V330, both AGP and PCI. Thanks Dissident.

Reviews  [9:23 AM EST]
Here's ZDim's Thief review (ZDim is also sometimes known as ION Storm's Rich Carlson).

Competitions  [9:23 AM EST]
The Classy Glasses site is holding a giveaway where you can win a pair of eyeSCREAM stereo specs.

etc.  [9:23 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [9:23 AM EST]
My Jury Duty ended yesterday, I'm not sure whether it was the subconscious fear of being sequestered preying on me, or if I've been fighting some bug at the same time, but I can't believe how exhausted the process of sitting around and listening to the proceedings combined with updating this site has been, it certainly did not end a moment too soon. Things should be back up to speed here pretty quickly.

Thursday, January 28, 1999

Half-Life Multiplayer Content  [11:34 PM EST]
Gabe from Valve sent along a zip of multiplayer content for Half-Life. Here's a copy (1,482 KB) in the Blue's News ward of Walnut Creek CDROM. Here's the note that accompanied the file:

We have some additional Half-Life multiplayer content, and we'd appreciate it if you could help us get it out to people. People should extract using the -d option to the folder above Half-Life (the paths in the zip file are Half-Life\Valve\...).

The contents are:

1) G-Man multiplayer model - the infamous guy with a briefcase. Ted Backman, modeler.

2) Recon grunt multiplayer model - the human military commander. Ted Backman, modeler.

3) Cannibal multiplayer model - a humorous comic book character from Chuck Jones' twisted childhood.

4) Skeleton multiplayer model - low visibility, low contrast model. Hard to play against. Steve Theodore/Chuck Jones, modeler.

5) New decals - collection of multiplayer decals including flags, political parties, barnyard animals and other images from, yes, you guessed it, Chuck Jones' twisted childhood.

6) Team9.bsp - a new team map intended for 4 on 4 competition. Developed by Doug Wood, who did the Bounce map.

Prax War Cancelled  [11:34 PM EST]
It sounds like that's the case, there's a report on Sharky Extreme calling this a rumor, and a post on sCary's Shack from an exchange with someone from EA confirms it:

EA has cancelled Prax War. For further information feel free to email me specific questions.

Along with this from GA-Source:

EA's reasons were that they missed their technology window on this product and that things were not progressing as quickly as they would have liked.

PSX Quake II Delay  [5:41 PM EST]
A report on PSX.IGN.COM announces that the PlayStation version of Quake II has been delayed by about three months, and is now expected for a May/June 1999 release. Thanks QuakeStation. As for why, to quote the article, "though no reason was given as to its delay, the four-person death match mode looks to be the biggest delay."

Tom on the Voodoo3  [5:41 PM EST]
Tom's Hardware Guide has posted some info on 3Dfx and the Voodoo3 that includes word on what's up with STB, like their name change to 3Dfx. Thanks Redwood.

Two Quake III Arena FAQ Updates  [4:40 PM EST]
The Unofficial Quake 3 FAQ (the TeleFragged one) has been updated to version 0.3. also, there's a new Q3A FAQ on the newly opened Quake III Nation, though Scott "Spectre" Havens points out that they've failed to include Disruptor in their "who made Quake 3: Arena" question.

Quake for Speed Freaks  [4:40 PM EST]
The Mod Shop has posted their newest modification, Riot, which sounds true to its name, offering Quake II gameplay where players have twice the normal running speed, and weapons hold twice as much ammo, fire twice as fast, and have 50% more kickback. The mod also features the super shotgun as the default weapon and instant weapon switching.

More Q2 Mod Updates, New FreezeTag  [4:40 PM EST]
Sluggo from Mod Central was kind enough to catch me up on some recent Quake II mod releases that I've missed in the shuffle here, including a new version of FreezeTag. Here's the gang of them in nostalgia producing bulleted format:

BattleComm Beta  [4:40 PM EST]
There is a BattleCom 1.2 Public Beta on the ShadowFactor Software page offering a new release of their program formerly known as Battlefield Communicator that allows real-time voice communication over the Internet in games that even works for modem users.

Tim Gift Q&A  [4:40 PM EST]
There's a two question Q&A with Dynamix' Tim Gift on PlanetStarSiege talking about how he feels the TNT will ultimately perform playing TRIBES, and why they changed their plans to add Direct3D support for OpenGL support.

Ken Levine Q&A  [4:40 PM EST]
SystemShock2.com has posted another Q&A with Ken Levine from Irrational Games about their work on the upcoming system Shock 2.

Prax War Shots  [8:50 AM EST]
Boatrocker.com has posted three new screenshots from Rebel Boat Rocker's upcoming shooter Prax War. Redwood's 3D News has posted a shot as well, all from the mysterious Chump McRunfast (rbrfan). I also found one of these gifts in my stocking (thanks Mr. McRunfast), and since BR.com and Redwood have already determined that these are cool to post, even though they're "leaked," I'll post this one here. I think you'll agree that this is damn cool looking:

Badass Prax War Shot

Shogo Mission Pack Shot  [8:30 AM EST]
Ingenuity has posted a new screenshot of Shugotenshi, an upcoming mission pack for Monolith's Shogo: Mobile Armor Division being produced by Instant Access.

More System Shock 2 Shots  [8:30 AM EST]
SystemShock2.com has posted three more new screenshots from System Shock 2, Looking Glass' upcoming sequel to the original System Shock. By the way, I think it's pretty groovy that the Looking Glass folks offered an episode of the pop culture quote game in the title of one of the shots posted in the previous batch (story), as "big badda-boom!" must be an homage to The Fifth Element (what do I win?).

Reborn Shots  [8:30 AM EST]
There are four screenshots of an upcoming 3D action adventure called Reborn on Voodoo Extreme.

More on TRIBES OpenGL  [8:30 AM EST]
Dynamix' Dave Moore updated his .plan with word on what's up with the OpenGL patch for TRIBES that also recounts some of the history of OpenGL and D3D in the shooter genre. Two quotes of particular interest are the summaries of where this leaves things, here's part:

The truth is, except for the speed, Tribes has been running on my TNT with no visual flaws for well over a week. Shell, Sim, etc., are all fully implemented, and pretty stable. I've jumped in several servers, and had no trouble running around, and shooting folks who were kind enough to stand still for me. Our trouble, as TimG mentioned, is with texture management. Let me just explain in a little more detail what I believe is happening. Skip the rest of this .plan file if you have no interest in hearing me ramble. The upshot of our current status is this: the RivaTNT and the G200 are up and running, I'm working at making them run fast, and I'll be releasing more info on other cards as it come

And here's more:

SUMMARY OF CURRENT STATUS:
--------------------------
On TNT: Runs visually flawless, w/ good framerate (20+ in all but pathological static scenes outdoors, 40+ in most indoor environments), subject to "hitches"

On G200: Runs, slight mipmapping problem (ours, I believe), I'll release framerate info after I finished the GL_EXT_paletted_texture implementation. I'm using their current release of the new ICD, not the D3D wrapper.

Upcoming tests: Riva128zx, Savage3D, Rage128, i740, etc, etc...

Unreal Tech Update  [8:30 AM EST]
Tim Sweeney made a lengthy update to the Unreal Technology page covering a few topics including the possibility that a beefed up future version of the installer program would be equipped to automatically install user-created modifications. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme. Here are two quotes, one, about the state of OpenGL support:

I'm working on Unreal's OpenGL support, and will soon get a version of the code to the 3D hardware makers who have some driver issues to work out. The Riva TNT is currently the fastest and most stable card, with the ATI Rage 128 looking very promising, especially in 24-bit color.

And one on the state of Unreal Tournament:

The rest of the team is hard at work on Unreal Tournament, and we're really happy with the way the game is shaping up. Unreal was such a huge, multi-faceted project that we weren't able to focus on deathmatch as much as we would have liked. Unreal Tournament, with its identical gameplay style between single-player and multiplayer (the only difference being bots vs. human opponents) has given us a far more opportunity to polish the gameplay and the look-and-feel.

Zero Gravity  [8:30 AM EST]
The Zero Gravity Entertainment website is back online at a temporary home, once again offering information on their past (X-Men Quake) and future projects. Thanks John Callaham.

Server Watch  [8:30 AM EST]
Version 2.0 of Server Watch is now available, an update to this Windows system tray utility that automatically pings game servers and displays the number of players online (this is not a server browser). The new release offers support for Half-Life and Heretic II servers, as well as QuakeWorld, Quake II, Sin, Heretic II, and Half-Life remote console support.

Shooters  [8:30 AM EST]
Unfortunately, due to the demands of Jury Duty, this week's Shooters has been cancelled, or rather, is a re-run, as I'm told they'll actually "run an older episode," which I guess is somehow different than you randomly picking a show from the archives. I hope they post a link to a classic episode with Mace Royer.... maybe the one where he talks to socky, the sock puppet. After missing a couple of weeks in a row, we promise to make up for it next week by being extra-off-topic.

Follow-ups  [8:30 AM EST]
I managed to post a beta Shogo server .dll yesterday that wasn't supposed to be public, but luckily, the file was corrupted, so if you were wondering why the file was broken, or if you saw the post on the subject that went away, that's the explanation. Also, here's an email I received from Alex Aguila at Alienware who want to clarify the origination of Pentium III systems they are advertising in light of comments yesterday about the legitimacy of current PIII availability (story). Here's the poop:

We actually have an Intel representative who shows up here at least once a month, we test stuff Intel brings us all the time, we had a 500Mhz engineering sample a month ago. The Pentium 500Mhz CPU looks completely different than the Pentium II ,it is not remarked. We did have one engineering sample (that sample actually had a Pentium II cover) so it is not our personal engineering sample that is for sale, that would be ridiculous, and last but not least , we purchased a very large block of them .We have the Pentium III's in stock. I would like to shed some information on what is known as the "gray" market. .Here are the Facts : A large Intel distributor gets the CPU's a little early, they mark up the price $100 and sell them before the February deadline. This happens all the time with all products not just Intel. Intel has to sell X number of CPU's in March , does anyone actually think these CPU's are not done and packaged yet? At least a majority of them? Would Intel suddenly go into production and shipping on February 27th for X number of CPU's?? We are on a 3 1/2 week shipping schedule (we always have been) getting the CPU's now allows us to ship them in about 3 weeks, the time Intel is making the announcement anyways. Instead of getting them at the time of the announcement and not shipping them until the middle of March. This was worth it to Alienware to pay the higher premium, we're not breaking any NDA this way, this is how business is done daily in the computer industry. At least in the Major corporations.

Reviews  [8:30 AM EST]
FiringSquad.com reviews Thief: The Dark Project, the new skulky first-person adventure from Eidos.

Competitions  [8:30 AM EST]
Word is there are some tremendous demos of the action from the The Ragnarok LMCTF Tourney, which is now entering its finals. Also, news from OZTFCon 99 is that this upcoming LAN tourney will be postponed until June of this year. Also, UCTFL is a classic Quake CTF league currently accepting sign-ups. Finally, on the subject of LMCTF competitions, here's a spoof article Loki and his minions would love to see.

etc.  [8:30 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [8:30 AM EST]
On my first day of Jury Duty Tuesday, I was told that if I wasn't selected for a case after two days, I was done. Well, I am not on a case, and today will be day three of this dealie, so I have no confidence that I really understand when (or if, for that matter) my services to protect society will no longer be required. Hey, I'm not really sure it was a pop culture quote, but in the Bad Clan story the other day, the "Marco is a bad clam" is from the all time greatest commercial/promo from the old QuakeCast. "I'm an old, old, man." Just remember, don't crawl to Penumbra (oh yeah, I'm fried).

Wednesday, January 27, 1999

New Quake II GL Drivers  [9:57 PM EST]
Creative Labs has posted new beta drivers for Quake II. There are two separate releases, one for the Voodoo2 and the other for the 3D Blaster Banshee. Here are the notes that accompany the files:

Decay Screenshots  [6:34 PM EST]
The Insomnia Software page has posted some new screenshots from their upcoming 3D game, Decay. The shots are said to be from an Alpha version and show off some spiffy looking cars and trucks, and a subway that looks authentic enough to make you consider walking. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Levelord Interview  [6:34 PM EST]
There's a Levelord intervju on nukezone (that's interview for non-Swedes), talking with Ritual's royal level designer about his work, his life, and his magic bus.

FreeSpace2 Preview, Interview  [6:34 PM EST]
Volition Talks Freespace 2 is a preview on Next-Generation Online that talks to Volition about their upcoming sequel, Descent FreeSpace 2 which is set 32 years after the Great War of the original FreeSpace.

New PingTool  [6:34 PM EST]
Version 2.5 Beta 4 of the PingTool server browser is now available offering custom themes to add personality to your PingTool, and support for the newest version of BattleComm (formerly BattleField Communicator), the software from ShadowFactor Software that allows real-time voice communication over the Internet. Thanks Phantom_309.

HexenWorld Source  [6:34 PM EST]
The version .15 source code for the scripting files for HexenWorld has been released by Raven, there are links to the originals as well as a local mirror on HexenWorld. Thanks Semmel.

New Starfighter Drivers, Half-Life Support  [6:34 PM EST]
The StarFighter Drivers page has new Windows 95/98 drivers for the StarFighter AGP, which include D3D and OpenGL drivers. Thanks 740. The new release fixes a problem with corrupted animated cursors, better DirectX 6 support, and the addition of Half-Life support.

Paul Jaquays Interview  [2:00 PM EST]
PlanetQuake interviews Paul Jaquays, talking to this id Software designer about his work on some of the levels for Quake III Arena, and his life in the gaming biz.

Redline Interview  [2:00 PM EST]
GA-Source interviews Steve Ackrich, the Executive Producer of Redline, talking about this car and foot-based combat game.

Oni Motion Blur Shot  [2:00 PM EST]
The Oni page has been updated with a new screenshot from Bungie's upcoming action game showing Konoko throwing a kick in a shot that demonstrates the way the game creates motion blur. Thanks Phunk.

Drakan Preview, Shots  [2:00 PM EST]
There's a preview of Drakan on Gamers Depot based on some hands-on play of Surreal Software's upcoming action/adventure game that offers seven brand new screenshots.

TRIBES Sound Editor  [2:00 PM EST]
The just launched PlanetStarSiege sends word of a new program that allows TRIBES players to edit the game's sound files. Here's the scoop:

Since Dynamix's VT program doesn't let you save the list of files in a .vol, I wrote a program which lists the files in a .vol and (optionally) creates a .bat file which then extracts all of the files using vtextract. This is probably very convenient for all of you MOD makers out there (or people like me who want to get every sound file out of MALE2.VOL)

Anyways, the program, documentation, source code, and required DLL, are in a 294K zip file at

http://chip-web.com/pub/users/ludwigp/voldir.zip
ftp://chip-web.com/pub/users/ludwigp/voldir.zip

Intel *Not* Inside AZ?  [2:00 PM EST]
Arizona lawmaker seeks to ban Pentium III is a CNET/News.com article describing an Arizona state legislator's plans to introduce a bill that seeks to ban the sale or manufacture of Pentium III processors in the state of Arizona because of complaints that the serial number embedded in the chips could threaten personal privacy. Thanks Kent R. Spillner.

We Interrupt this Interruption  [2:00 PM EST]
If you're curious about this midday update, after I said I'd be out all day, we got a 90 minute lunch break, so I decided to try to rush to the Blue Tower and try to catch up quickly.

Quake II Toy Update  [8:42 AM EST]
The ReSaurus Toys Quake II page has been updated with more new info on this upcoming line of Quake II Action figures. Thanks Elliot. Also, they have announced that in addition to their soon-to-be-available Quake II line, which includes the Quake II male and female marines as well as several Strogg, including an Iron Maiden and a Tank, will soon be followed by a series of figures inspired by the original Quake, including the pudgy marine, the DeathKnight, the Fiend, and the Shambler.

Anachronox Shots  [8:42 AM EST]
The Daily Informant on the ION Storm site has some full-sized versions of the screenshots from a recent PC Games' Anachronox preview. There is also a Deus Ex shot from PC Games' Deus Ex preview. There is also a new Daikatana Windows desktop wallpaper.

Navy SEALs Shots  [8:42 AM EST]
GA-Source has posted new screenshots from Navy SEALs, an upcoming Unreal-engine action/strategy shooter from Yosemite Entertainment.

More on TRIBES OpenGL  [8:42 AM EST]
Dynamix's Tim Gift updated his .plan with more on the status of the TRIBES OpenGL patch, which he says is not actually delayed (I think I have to plead guilty to being one (the one?) to bandy about the term delay--sorry about that). Here's the update:

Hmm, I've just heard a rumor that we delayed the OpenGL patch. Not sure where that came from, but I don't remember mentioning anything about delays. In fact, the OpenGL patch seems to be coming along pretty well. Just down to the final optimizations, though it is annoying having to tweak the game for each OpenGL card out there, it's all a part of the normal process. Dave's installed the G200 and is testing that today. As we hear back from NVidia, we'll continue working with them on getting all the performance we can out of their card. Soon as it runs reasonably, we'll release a beta version to get some feedback.

John Scott Interview  [8:42 AM EST]
Talkin' nasty with Raven's John Scott - one man a trained chimp and a six pack of vaseline. Where else could an interview with that title be but Voodoo Extreme. Jack Mathews, Tim Sweeney, and Brian Hook all contributed questions to the Q&A.

System Shock 2 Interview  [8:42 AM EST]
There's a System Shock 2 Interview on The Vault Network talking with the game's lead designer Ken Levine about what to expect from their action/RPG.

System Shock 2 Chat  [8:42 AM EST]
If that's not enough for you from Ken Levine on SS2, Ducky sends word of an announcement on SystemShock2.com that the System Shock 2 lead designer will also be attending an IRC chat session to discuss the state of the upcoming game's progress on Sunday, January 31 at 9:00 PM Eastern time in The StarChat Network IRC (server polaris.starchat.net and channel #System`Shock`2).

BattleZone 2 Chat  [8:42 AM EST]
Also, segueing to another segue, on the subject of IRC chats, Pandemic Times sends word of a BattleZone 2 chat today at 6:00 PM Pacific time (9:00 PM Eastern) in EFNet #watch. Attending will be George Collins, and possibly other members of the BZ2 team.

On PIII Availability  [8:42 AM EST]
A couple of vendors are making claims about the availability of Pentium III processors already, a little confusing, since there's been no announcement that they've shipped yet, and word is the official launch will be during this year's Super Bowl (this Sunday, for Atheists smiley3.gif (948 bytes)). On this subject, Falcon NW's Kelt Reeves was able to share some insights into what's at work here:

Note: The following is not an official intel press release and should not be construed as such.

Several people have inquired recently as to why Falcon Northwest is not selling Pentium III CPUs, even though they have appeared for sale on a competitor's website, and at other isolated sites on the web. Falcon spoke with Intel about this situation this morning. Intel stated that their official Pentium III launch date is now Friday, February 26th, 1999. ALL Pentium III processors that have been produced so far are still under Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) until that date. These NDA's prevent anyone in possession of the Pentium III processors from selling or disclosing any performance or technical data about their samples. Intel theorized the following possibilities concerning the advertised Pentium III processors:

1) Although they are advertised as being in stock, they are not. 2) They are illegally remarked Pentium II CPUs. 3) These companies are breaking NDA's by selling engineering samples. 4) Someone else has broken an NDA and sold their engineering samples to the system maker.

Although yesterday Intel officially stated that their production processors will have their CPU ID feature turned off, these processors were obviously produced before this announcement. Intel said their security will be advised of the current situation.

AMD Roadmap  [8:42 AM EST]
AMD's Frequently Asked Questions has an updated CPU roadmap outlining AMD's production plans for the coming year+. Thanks Gimpy at the AMD Zone.

WONSwap  [8:42 AM EST]
A new version of the WONSwap Half-Life upload/download utility has been released. Here's the deal:

WONswap, the hip, suavy, sexy, and super cool Half-Life file transferring utility has released yet another beta. But this one is much, much mo' beta' than the others. It now supports Spray Paints and Models, with graphical previews available for each.

All you need to do is hop over to the WONswap site, click on the Get it Here link,download and install it.

If you've made a map, model or spraypaint, then upload it now because it'll get out to the community faster than you can say "Radium map review site rocks" or "Gosh the Wavelength tutorials help me make maps"!

After that you can go to the page to look at and search for Maps, Models and Spray paints. The beauty of it all is it compresses and installs the files automatically. Never again will you have to worry about your zip file paths being set correctly, WONswap will take care of it all! :-)

Any problems or questions, E-Mail WONswap@won.net

To search for all the maps
To search for all the models
And to search for all the Spray Paints
Oh yeah, and to launch the uploader

Gamer's Assistant  [8:42 AM EST]
Tweak3D has posted a new version of their tweak/game launch program, the Gamer's Assistant Beta v.1.02b.

New quick3D  [8:42 AM EST]
A new version 1.2b of the quick3D OpenGL model viewer is now available. The new release fixes lots of bugs, and adds support for importing BMP backgrounds.

Overclocking Survey  [8:42 AM EST]
BXBoards is in the midst of a gigantic survey of results of overclocking experiments that offer insights into what techniques and principles do and don't succeed at boosting CPU performance, tracking the new Celeron line on a week-by-week basis as they are produced.

Follow-ups  [8:42 AM EST]
In the article about the Half-Life model viewer yesterday (story) I originally wrote that it was unsure whether it worked under Windows NT. It turns out it will, but the same caveats about making sure it's installed using the proper directory structure apply. Also, CiDcO from StormTroopers points out the GameCenter SS2 article I couldn't find yesterday (story). Also, I'm told that while SoF.Org is not actually located at sof.org, it will be soon. Finally, Sharky Extreme has posted a follow-up on their Voodoo3-4000 story that corrects their initial report that these upcoming accelerators would require Intel's latest motherboard chipset:

Voodoo 3 4000 will certainly be timed and executed with Intel's upcoming AGP4x chipset and next-gen CPUs but it by NO means requires it. In fact, we've designed the entire Voodoo 3 product family to scale very, very well even on Celeron and the entire range of AMD processors. AGP is so closely associated with the latest from Intel that the message of support for AMD and lower end Intel CPUs sometimes get lost. But the hearts and minds of those gamers don't get lost with us. No fear, all Voodoo 3 products scale very well on all technologies from Intel and AMD.

Brian P. Bruning
3Dfx Interactive Developer Relations Manager

Help Wanted and other Departments  [8:42 AM EST]
A couple of entries came in that warranted posting on the Help Wanted-Paid page, word from Matrox about an opening in their developer relations department, Coil is looking for a programmer, and American McGee sends word of a few openings over at Electronic Arts. Good luck to all that apply. I want to point out that I meant to post the MailBag today, but will be sacrificing that in a compromise over Jury Duty (I keep considering moving it back to the weekend, too--does that make a difference to anyone?). As soon as the dust settles here. I'll get all the regular department stuff back up to speed ASAP. Also, seems the BlueTracker is not tracking right now (I know what's happened, and it's my fault, it just may be a bit before I can hook up properly to get it straightened out--ugh).

Competitions  [8:42 AM EST]
Gamehut is holding a three-of-a-kind contest, giving random entrants the opportunity to win their choices of three games from a field of nine.

etc.  [8:42 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [8:42 AM EST]
In respect of the principles involved, I won't share any details of my experience with Jury Duty so far, other than to say it's been enlightening, and exhausting (and today will only be my second day). Today again, I will not be back until early evening. I have also begun an amazing collection for suggestions of radical things to be overheard saying to be automatically dismissed should the need ever arise (thanks to all you pathological liars that wrote in suggestions). Thanks zoOt for the quote:

Quote of the day: "The 43-year-old chief executive's holdings are valued at $87.6 billion, slightly more than Singapore's economy..."
--CNET News.com on estimates of Bill Gates' personal wealth.

Tuesday, January 26, 1999     Happy Australia Day!

Descent 3 Demo 1.1 Patch  [7:11 PM EST]
Interplay's Descent3 site has the version 1.1 patch for the Descent 3 Demo posted in their demos section. Thanks Deep Space and Planet Descent. Here's what they have posted:

Download the Descent 3 1.0 Interactive Demo!

D3DEMO.EXE on FPT1 (28.0 mb)
D3DEMO.EXE on FPT (28.0 mb)

Descent 3 Demo 1.1 patch if you already have the 1.0 demo version.
Info on this in in this README.TXT file.

D3DEMO11P.EXE on FPT1 (1.0 mb)
D3DEMO11P.EXE on FPT (1.0 mb)

(A 1.1 demo version will be added soon.)

Drakan Interview  [7:11 PM EST]
Flamelands has posted a second part of their Drakan interview speaking with Shaun Leach and Stuart Denman, talking about the Riot engine and the ability for end-users to customize the game.

More Shauna  [6:53 PM EST]
This week's edition of Paul Steed's Thinking Outside the Box column on loonygames offers a tutorial on animating Shauna, the female figure that Paul released an AVI of (story). The tutorial also offers a few more movies in AVI format of Shauna walking the walk.

TRIBES OpenGL Delay  [6:02 PM EST]
Tim Gift's .plan on the Starsiege Tribes Players page (something is screwed up in BlueTracker's attempts to poll this file) has word on the status of the eagerly-anticipated OpenGL patch for TRIBES, which sounds discouraging:

I'll talk about OpenGL since that seems to always be on people's mind. Dave Moore is the one working on our OpenGL driver. We are using the TNT card as our testbed and basically have it running, but we are running into some serious performance issues with their OpenGL driver. The main problem is the rate at which the OpenGL driver downloads textures to the card. When playing indoors, TRIBES has a small texture set, and the driver and card run flawlessly, but as soon as you go outdoors, we start to encounter some bad pauses. When outdoors, TRIBES generates a large number of composite textures to cover the lower detail terrain poly's in the distance. This is all part of the terrain detail management system. The composite textures change frequently as you move around on the terrain, and are constantly being rebuilt and downloaded to the driver. All of this management was optimized for Glide and our software driver. Unfortunately, with OpenGL, we have much less control over how textures get downloaded to the hardware. This is pretty much left up to the OpenGL driver. There were a few things we were able to do to reduce our download rate, which helped considerably. We also talked briefly to NVidia and they informed us that they had improved their texture management in the latest beta driver. We downloaded and tested this driver, and it did made a huge difference. It still doesn't get rid of all the pauses, but definitely much better. We are re-grouping to see what's next. That the TNT, a 2xAGP card, should download textures slower than a Voodoo I card doesn't seem very likely, the card should be able to handle what we're doing. This is the annoying thing about using a higher level rendering interface: you end up at the mercy of the people writing the low level drivers, who usually have completely different idea's on what to optimize.

Mortyr Movie  [6:02 PM EST]
The Mortyr page has been updated with a new look, and to celebrate the occasion, a new movie of gameplay has been posted in AVI format. New screenshots are also promised soon.

Sorcery Screenshots  [6:02 PM EST]
The Starbreeze Homepage has received one of its twice-a-year updates and has some very impressive new screenshots from their upcoming 3D action game, Sorcery. The folks at Starbreeze are also looking for programmers and level-designers.

System Shock 2 Screenshots  [6:02 PM EST]
SystemShock2.com has posted five new screenshots from Looking Glass Technology's upcoming System Shock 2. They are described as "an exclusive GameGrab from GameCenter," which makes no sense, but I can't locate them on GameCenter, so I won't worry too much about it. They've also posted info on player classes they say is also at GameCenter:

System Shock 2 is an RPG with an in-game character generation system--your character develops as you make decisions along the way, rather than right at the beginning.

If you decide to specialize in Cyber-Tech skills, you can hack into systems, repair damaged computers, and research advanced technologies.

If you choose Psionic skills, you can gain the edge by Electro-dampening your cybernetic enemies, or using your Enrage power to turn them against each other.

Those who go for Weapons skills will be able to configure, modify, and repair all sorts of weapons and use a variety of ammo types, such as armor-piercing, dum dum, and incendiary.

BattleZone Add-on Preview  [6:02 PM EST]
There's a Sneak Peek of Red Odyssey on The 3D Nexus that looks at this upcoming official add-on pack for BattleZone.

Kenn Hoekstra Interview  [6:02 PM EST]
There's a Kenn Hoekstra interview on the newly opened SoF.Org (confusingly not located at sof.org) talking about Raven's upcoming Soldier of Fortune.

Bad Clan Mod  [6:02 PM EST]
The first release of Bad Clan Mod CTF for Quake II is now available, offering capture the flag, modified weapons (including the hyper-railgun), and a homepage in French. If you are so inspired by the French-fried gameplay, you can enter the Compétition Quake2 Française de Duel. And remember, "Marco is a bad clam!"

Best Game Prospects of 1999  [6:02 PM EST]
Is Quake III Arena one of your most anticipated games of 1999? Well, it didn't crack the Games.Nets Top Five Computer Gaming Prospects of 1999, though Xatrix' Quake II engine Kingpin did, in a list that names PlanetMoon Studios' upcoming Giants their most highly anticipated game of the year.

RTIME Patent  [6:02 PM EST]
A press release on the RTIME site announces that it has received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its RTIME Interactive Networking Engine, their client/server networking solution that enables realtime interactive applications over the Internet. RTIME’s patent (U.S. #5,841,980) is comprised of 54 individual claims that cover several facets of distributed, interactive communication systems. Thanks Kent. "Some of these include realtime data filtering, whereby only relevant data is distributed to each interested party. Relevance can be based on object location, type, priority, or data rate. Additionally, RTIME has received protection for its unique global timebase that keeps disparate users synchronized within milliseconds to overcome high and varying network latency."

Linux Version 2.2  [6:02 PM EST]
The big gnus on Slashdot is the announcement of Linux 2.2 is released. Thanks gobills[Mosh].

N64 Quake II Shots  [7:44 AM EST]
N64.IGN.COM has posted some new screenshots of the upcoming Nintendo 64 port of Quake II. N64 Quake II is said to be slated for a March '99 release date. Thanks [X*F]bSf.

Return of the Shauna Model  [7:44 AM EST]
The movie of the Paul Steed "Shauna" model is back online, along with NetCombat.net, who posted it. The site experienced some downtime caused by the overload on their server after first posting the movie, probably partially due to inaccurate reports that this was an AVI of a Quake III Arena model. What the movie actually represents is a female model pre-rendered in 3D Studio Max (though Paul says that an in-game version wouldn't look that different) showing Shauna holding the Quake III Arena railgun. The story behind the model is that it is based on the appearance of the maintainer of NetCombat.net's ex-girlfriend, and though it's not a Q3A model, Paul tells me it has been used in testing the game. A mirror is also up on nG! Online.

Project V1 Interview, Shots  [7:44 AM EST]
3D Unlimited interviews Wesley Davis of Digital Platoon about their upcoming shooter, Project V1, offering five exclusive screenshots along the way.

Windows of Retaliation for Quake II  [7:44 AM EST]
The first release of the Windows of Retaliation modification for Quake II is now available. This mod is described as a new mission, and offers nine all new maps (set on an outlying planet of Stroggos), new weapons, and "Monster mods including the awesome Hornet class flyer." The download is about 10 MB, and includes a Windows installation routine.

Half-Life QERadiant Update  [7:44 AM EST]
The Half-Life plugin for QERadiant page has an updated version of the plug-in that allows Half-Life level editing using Robert Duffy's QERadiant level editor, which is based on id's own QE4 editor source code. This version addresses a problem when encountering incorrect directories that caused crashes, rather than error messages. There is a new feature planned for a future release that will lower memory usage and increase performance by loading lower quality versions of the textures.

New GameHost  [7:44 AM EST]
Beta 1.3 of GameHost is now available, described as "the ultimate tool for running network game servers." Thanks Anyware. GameHost allows you to easily setup, run, and manage most of your favorite network games, including Quake, QuakeWorld, Quake II, Hexen II, Half-Life and Sin. If used on Windows NT, GameHost runs as a service, which means no one needs to be logged in to run game servers.

Half-Life Model Viewer  [7:44 AM EST]
Atomic Half-Life has posted a new Half-Life model viewer for Windows 95/98.

Newer QuickStart  [7:44 AM EST]
The Sloshy Software page has released another new version of their Eraser Bot Wizard front-end for the Eraser Bot. Revision 3 of version 2.30 makes some minor changes to fix the real-time update wizard.

Reviews  [7:44 AM EST]
Thresh's FiringSquad reviews Heretic II, calling Raven's latest a 4.5 of 5. Also, GA-Source reviews Blood 2: The Chosen giving it a 78%.

Competitions  [7:44 AM EST]
Dressed To Kill is a new contest on GameStats that offers seven prize packages which include a copy of Half-Life, an embroidered Half-Life baseball cap, a Half-Life t-shirt, and a "special Dressed To Kill Certificate."

etc.  [7:44 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [7:44 AM EST]
A follow-up on yesterday's OotB, Jagged of The Cineplex points out a mirror of Operation Bayshield on cdrom.com can be found right here. I'm experimenting this morning with performing my civic duty by reporting for Jury duty. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't really hoping that there's some way to be a responsible citizen and be done with it all in a few hours, because as the sole maintainer of this site, if I'm unavailable to update, there's not even anyone to sweep out the cobwebs here. So serving an extended term on a jury (much less being sequestered, or something) would certainly put a crimp in things around here. I'll keep you informed.

Link of the day: Closed on Account of Rabies (the website isn't closed, that's what the site's title is). Thanks Apache. Where else can you find the convergence of two of my favorite overwrought, melodramatic artists: that's right, the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe, read by one of my Clan's favorite actors, Christopher Walken (yes, there is a RealAudio sample available here, and a .wav, as well).

Monday, January 25, 1999

Voodoo3 4000  [10:15 PM EST]
3Dfx's CEO spills the peanuts on Voodoo3 and then some is an article on Sharky Extreme that details conversations with 3Dfx CEO Greg Ballard covering server aspect's of 3Dfx's upcoming plans, including the first hints of the yet-to-be-announced Voodoo3 4000. Details on the new card are not available but the vague report does talk of full 4X AGP, the yet-to-be-released Intel Camino chipset as a requirement, and according to the report "3Dfx will time the release of the Voodoo3 -4000 to coincide with Intel's launch of Camino in summer 1999."

Turok2 February 9, South Park Soon After  [10:15 PM EST]
Word on Acclaim.Net is that Turok 2: Seeds of Evil for the PC is slated to ship February 9. There is also word there of two separate special offers that will allow early purchasers of Turok2 to get a free copy of Forsaken, as well as a free limited edition copy of issue #1 of the Shadow Man comic that is the inspiration for another upcoming Acclaim game. Finally, a note on the Forsaken Patch download page is that the PC version of the Turok2-engine South Park game will ship soon after Turok2.

Forsaken Version 1.1  [7:05 PM EST]
The Acclaim.Net Forsaken Patch page has version 1.1 patches for Forsaken in different versions for the English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish versions of the game. Each patch is about 5.9 MB, except the Spanish version which seems to be 1 MB smaller. Thanks Descentile.

More Blood2 Add-on Screenshots  [7:05 PM EST]
PlanetBlood has posted the last seven screenshots of the batch of 19 that they've posted from Monolith's upcoming Blood2 add-on pack.

Blood2 2.0 Patch & Linux Update  [7:05 PM EST]
Speaking of Blood2, Monolith's Jeremy "Loki" Blackman updated his .plan with news on the status of the version 2.0 patch for Blood2 and how the Linux port is coming along as well. Here's part of the update:

Most of my time of late has been going to the Blood 2 v2.0 patch... trying to fix AI quirks and generally make things smoother for the patch release. This has, unfortunately, meant a delay in the Linux porting efforts. However, I do have the Linux port ALMOST finished on the engine 25.5 build (I fell behind one internal build again), and will hopefully be able to sit down with Mike next week to merge the Linux stuff back in. As a side effect, this would mean that there would be not only a Linux server for Shogo (which will be moving to the same engine version for v2.2) but also one for Blood 2... and it should really only take a couple days after the patch stuff is done. I'm going to really try to allocate a couple days to finish that - since I know many people REALLY want it - before moving on to the Blood 2 mission pack add-on AI.

Additionally, if I get the ok from PR/marketing, I'm going to put up a mailing list for the Linux port, to answer questions and give status reports on how it's going. :)

Kenn Hoekstra Interview  [7:05 PM EST]
The Coming's short Kenn Hoekstra interview has to be one of the most bizarre Q&As I can recall ever reading.

New 3D Blaster Banshee Drivers  [7:05 PM EST]
Creative Labs' download page has new Win95/98 drivers for their 3D Blaster Banshee and a new BIOS, as well. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Paul Steed Model AVI  [5:29 PM EST]
Update:
I've pulled this story since their server is a bit hosed right now, so please be patient while they straighten it out.

Project V1 Shots  [4:47 PM EST]
Sharky Extreme's first glimpse at Project V1 is online, offering some details on Digital Platoon's upcoming action/strategy combat game.

Outcast Preview, Shots  [4:47 PM EST]
Sharky Extreme's first glimpse of Outcast offers a gangload of screenshots of this upcoming action game showing off the game's action, as well as its voxel-based terrain.

GT Interactive Sues Midway  [4:47 PM EST]
GT Interactive files suit against Midway is word of the announcement of some interesting litigation. Note the part that tweaks on "Midway...failed to provide 'bug-free' disks" (pointed out by loonyboi) that seems to have implications for the future. Here's the report:

NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) - GT Interactive Software Corp. (Nasdaq:GTIS - news) said on Monday it filed a civil complaint against Midway Games Inc. seeking "tens of millions of dollars" in compensatory and punitive damages.

The entertainment software maker said it is suing Midway, a Chicago-based video game maker, in New York Supreme Court for alleged breach of contract, interference with prospective business relations and defamation.

GT Interactive said that in late 1994, it entered into a series of contracts with Midway that gave it exclusive distribution rights.

GT Interactive alleged that, having paid Midway $35 million in advance, Midway intentionally delayed new product notices and development schedules and failed to provide "bug-free" disks.

The company also claims Midway defamed GT Interactive by isssuing false public statements designed to damage GT's reputation, it said.

Official TeamFortress Website  [3:24 PM EST]
The Official Team Fortress Web Site is now online at Sierra with the lowdown on Valve's upcoming team combat game, as well as some new screenshots. Thanks CGO/OGR. Interesting for those of us who have been trying to figure out what it will actually be called upon release, the logo on the site says TeamFortress2, but the name on the title bar is the "The Official Team Fortress Web Site" (no 2 or II at all).

Intel Relents on CPU ID  [3:24 PM EST]
This ZDNNews News Burst reports that in response to the possibility of a boycott (story), Intel is backing down on the electronic ID feature in their upcoming Pentium III processor line, which will now be shipped turned off by default. Thanks Amer at Sharky Extreme. Here's the report:

An Intel Corp. (Nasdaq:INTC) spokesman said that in response to a potential boycott by privacy groups, the company has decided to change the electronic ID feature of the Pentium III chip. Intel planned to ship the chips with the ID feature turned on, but instead will change it so the trackable serial number can only be read if the user opts to turn it on. Details to follow.

Alpha Centauri Gold  [3:24 PM EST]
CGO/OGR is reporting that Sid Meier's turn-based sci-fi game Alpha Centauri has been completed, is off to duplication, and should be in stores soon.

Intel CPU ID Boycott  [1:15 PM EST]
The reaction to the recent announcement that Pentium III processors will have embedded ID numbers is heating up, as there is now an Intel and the Processor Serial Number Boycott FAQ online at Junkbusters. Thanks STriker RedWolf.

GL Direct OpenGL Wrapper  [1:15 PM EST]
Under the heading of should have mentioned this by now: SciTech GLDirect is a new program from the folks that created the famed Display Doctor "universal Windows display driver" which seems from the description to be a commercial OpenGL wrapper that allows you to run OpenGL applications under Direct3D. There is a free trial version available to evaluate before you buy. Thanks Voodoo Extreme and  [TD]SlagMan.

New Terror Quake2  [1:15 PM EST]
A new beta version 1.0 of Terror Quake2 is now available, along with a fix for a skin glitch that early downloaders may experience. TQ2 is a Quake II mod that incorporates four new realistic weapons, locational damage, blood splats, bullet holes, a CTF mode and other new features. There is also an official player model pack on the download page.

Soldier of Fortune Screenshots  [6:45 AM EST]
There are a pair of new Soldier of Fortune screenshots on Action Xtreme showing off Raven's upcoming Quake II engine game, as well as a SoF desktop wallpaper the AE gang has cooked up for the game in three different resolutions.

loonygames  [6:45 AM EST]
The latest issue of loonygames is underway, here's the slate of articles for posting this week:

Defying logic, it's issue twenty two of loonygames! Crawling up your leg this week:

New HLMan Server  [6:45 AM EST]
Half-Life Manager Software has another updated release of their HLMan program, which allows you to quickly and easily set up a multiplayer Half-Life server. Version 1.2.2 fixes some bugs, and adds a few mouse controls.

Another 3D Sound API  [6:45 AM EST]
This 3DsoundSurge article on Sensaura - The Technology talks of another 3D sound technology to rival the much-discussed EAX and A3D APIs.

Q2Java  [6:45 AM EST]
A new version 0.8.80 of Q2Java, the mod that allows ambitious programmers to create Quake II mods using Java. The new release is mainly a couple of minor bug-fixes, plus better support for multithreaded Java code. There are also a few tweaks and a makefile for compiling with Kaffe under Linux (although word is "Kaffe doesn't quite work well enough yet to actually let you play on a Kaffe-driven server"). All source code is included.

Tectonic  [6:45 AM EST]
A new version of the Tectonic front-end, described as a multi-mod Quake II launch window, is now available. The new release fixes some bugs, but if you didn't experience them, it's said you don't need the new version.

Editing Tutorial  [6:45 AM EST]
The Quake Maps by Neil Manke site on Planet Half-Life has a new tutorial for download on the Vis command. I believe this applies to all Quake-engine games, not just Half-Life. Thanks Apache.

Reviews  [6:45 AM EST]
There are a few reviews of cases for your system on Ars Technica to add to their Case Considerations section: An Antec KS-188 review, a Compudex/Inwin IW-A500 review, and a SC-750A review.

etc.  [6:45 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [6:45 AM EST]
Today is the approximate two-year anniversary of the release of the classic Quake action/comedy movie, Operation Bayshield, which stands second only to Scourge done Slick as my favorite Quake movie of all time. I just wanted to bust out some MAD PROPS, vintage-style, for the Polish and ParadoX and all the Clan Undead nuts who made that thing. Okay, I felt too guilty about this post without finding the file, but I can't find a copy of Op:Bayshield on cdrom.com, so here's a copy on a mirror (approx. 3 MB, Quake 1 required), that was the only one I could find.

Link of the day: This webpage (not the one you're reading right now, the one in the link) is served by the world's smallest webserver (a picture of the server is on the page), which measures 2.7" by 1.7" by .25" for a volume of about a cubic inch, less than a tenth the size of the previous record holder. Thanks Rosebud.

Sunday, January 24, 1999

System Shock 2 Preview, Shots  [4:09 PM EST]
Sharky Extreme's first glimpse at System Shock 2 offers a preview of Looking Glass' upcoming sequel to the original SS, offering an in-game screenshot, a piece of concept art, and a rendered version of the concept art.

Wages of Sin Details, Shots  [12:01 PM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault previews Wages of Sin, 2015's upcoming Sin add-on, offering some details on what's included, and offering several brand-new screenshots. The article mentions a February availability for the pack, and an MSRP of $29.99 (US).

Cliff B Interview  [12:01 PM EST]
NetCombat.net interviews Cliff Bleszinski talking to the Epic level designer about their upcoming Unreal Tournament.

Decay Interview  [12:01 PM EST]
3D Palette interviews Per Green, an artist from Sweden's Insomnia Software, who are working on Decay, an upcoming 3D game whose screenshots are so impressive. The piece also includes some original Decay concept art.

Brian Raffel Q&A  [12:01 PM EST]
The Raven Archives has posted a short Q&A with Raven's Brian Raffel about Soldier of Fortune, Activision's acquisition of the Star Trek license and the future of Raven Software.

Action Quake2 Model Pack  [12:01 PM EST]
The Actor's Guild is a new site opened in association with Action Quake2, where they have posted a new Action Quake II skin and model pack, as well as a new model viewing program.

Custom TRIBES Maps  [12:01 PM EST]
I was playing on the WadAsia TRIBES server yesterday, and respawned in a variation on the Dangerous Crossing map that adds a few architectural wrinkles, including trees(!). The map rocked (the trees are great except they don't quite fade in the fog at the same rate as the surrounding landscape), and when I learned that one of the players on the server, Bodhi (nice guy when he's not outside the mission area behind your base sniping you smiley3.gif (948 bytes)) was the server op, I asked where it can be found, and the answer is War World, home of WarWolf's TRIBES page. I suggest server ops interested in some cool new stuff check that out, and the neat thing is that if a TRIBES map doesn't use any new textures, it doesn't even require a client download, you just run it on the server.

TRIBES Editor Tutorial  [12:01 PM EST]
Speaking of custom Starsiege TRIBES maps, this TRIBES Editor Tutorial has been updated with more info on how to use the bundled editor to create custom maps for the game.

New QuickStart  [12:01 PM EST]
The Sloshy Software page has a new version 2.30 rev. 2 of their QuickStart Eraser Bot Wizard, which puts all the commands required to customize and use the famed Eraser bot for Quake II at your fingertips.

Reviews  [12:01 PM EST]
GA-Source reviews the Monster Sound MX300, Diamond's new high-end soundcard.

Competitions  [12:01 PM EST]
There's a Wages of Sin contest on Ritualistic offering a pair of winners a copy of both Sin, and Wages of Sin, 2015's upcoming mission pack, with four second place finishers to receive the mission pack alone.

etc.  [12:01 PM EST]

Out of the Blue  [12:01 PM EST]
Project "X" is looking good (or I wouldn't mention it again), if all goes well a test may happen as soon as next week. If all this mysterious talk makes you nervous that changes are afoot that you won't be happy with, rest assured that the top priority when looking at new ways to do things around here is to not try and fix things that aren't broken, but rather to make it so those who like things the way they are will be as happy as anyone who is happy with the new features (vague enough?).

Saturday, January 23, 1999

Requiem Shots  [7:08 PM EST]
There are some new screenshots from 3DO/Cyclone Studios upcoming Requiem: Avenging Angel on RIVA3D.

New Kick Demo  [7:08 PM EST]
The Kick Engine page has a new Kick Engine 'Next Generation Volumetric Liquid' demo "to show the worlds first volumetric liquid system in action." A 32 bit color card is required for this release (Matrox G200, TNT, Rage 128 and S3 Savage have all been fully tested), and a 3Dfx patch is on its way. Minimum machine required to run the demo is a PII-266, 64 MB of RAM, Windows 9x, and DirectX 6.

New EGN2  [7:08 PM EST]
There's a new version 560 build of the EGN2 server-browser on the Enternet Global Network page. Thanks BetaNews.

John Carmack on Q3A Spectators  [2:49 PM EST]
sCary's Shack has posted a response from John Carmack to sCary's question about whether Quake III Arena servers could be prioritized to keep spectators from overloading the server for players. Mr. Carmack's response talks of the advantages of proxies for such uses, talking of how he will probably code something for that after the release of Q3A. Here's the quote:

The better solution is spectator proxies, where a completely different server gets follow / chasecam views for the players forwarder to it, which can then be forwarded to arbitrary other players. That is scalable to any degree.

The necessary infrastructure is in place, so I will probably set something like that up after release.

Observer Reporter Speaks  [1:33 PM EST]
ION Snoop Speaks is a GameSpot interview with Christine Biederman, the reporter from the Dallas Observer who made waves with her recent story about inside doings at ION Storm. Thanks Sid. The article wraps up with the question: "Three words for Todd Porter... what would they be?"

Biederman: Shoulda toldme yourside.

Romero Interview, Daikatana Shots  [1:33 PM EST]
Romero Replies is another GameSpot Q&A focusing on the fallout from the Observer article, asking John Romero questions about rumors of Todd Porter quitting ION Storm and things like that. The article also gets back to actual gaming a bit with five new Daikatana screenshots. Similarly to the above piece, the Q&A includes this Q&A: "GSN: If you had the chance to say three words to Christine Biederman, what would they be?"

JR: I don't have anything to say to her.

Eagle Watch Movie  [1:33 PM EST]
Red Storm Entertainment has released the opening video sequence from their upcoming Rainbow Six mission pack, Eagle Watch, on this page. The video is a 24 MB, and is in .avi format. Thanks Rainbow Six Retreat.

TeamFortress2 Screenshots  [12:53 PM EST]
The folks at GamesZone point out that among the shots in their TeamFortress 2 preview is one that has not appeared elsewhere to their knowledge. Other included screenshots include digital "originals" of some of the shots that have shown up on the 'net after being scanned from magazines, which may be worth checking out even if your German is too rusty to read the preview (or try the Alta Vista translation if you can deal with the occasional literal sentence like: "During for many players such hochkaraetige name such as Starcraft, Quake or Ultima on-line one in the popularity scale of the Multiplayer plays is, does not dedicate themselves at all times a so small fan municipality to a very special multi-player hobby quite above: Team Fortress."

Blood Add-on Screenshots  [12:53 PM EST]
PlanetBlood has posted a bunch of new screenshots from Monolith's upcoming Blood2 mission pack, having posted six last night and six today, with seven more in reserve to still be posted.

Half-Life FAQ  [12:53 PM EST]
The informative unofficial Half-Life FAQ on this home page has been updated. The text-file zip is now posted as a .zip file, and the next update is planned for February 1, or when TeamFortress classic is released, whichever comes first. Thanks Apache at Planet Half-Life.

Quake II Player Database  [12:53 PM EST]
The Spine Design Beta Team page has a new version 1.2 of their Player Database mod which adds a player database to normal Q2 Deathmatch and uses it to store information about your play and creates a rating from it, and will even display a high-score board on the server. Authors interested in incorporating this code into their own Quake II mods should contact them.

Descent 3 Preview  [12:53 PM EST]
Next-Generation Online's Descent 3 Preview looks at Outrage's upcoming sequel as their "game of the week." Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Cheesy Sin Deathmatch Song  [12:53 PM EST]
How can you resist a story with that title? Ritual's Scott Alden updated his .plan with word on how to invoke the "cheesy Sin Deathmatch Song" at any time while playing in case you need that extra boost.

MP3Spy  [12:53 PM EST]
From the folks that brought you GameSpy (or at least the folks behind those folks) comes Mp3Spy, meant to be to programs that use streaming .mp3 SHOUTcast technology what GameSpy is to games, allowing you to locate content quickly from your desktop. Also on their site is a Beginner's Guide to Setting up a SHOUTcast server, and a Using a Microphone with Your Server tutorial. If you have trouble with the URL try this one : http://mp3spy.gamespy.com/.

Reviews  [12:53 PM EST]
FiringSquad.com reviews the ATi RAGE 128 looking at ATi's new contender in the competitive 2D/3D accelerator market. Also, on the subject of ATi, a news bit on Sharky Extreme describes plans for their next card, the "All in Wonder 128." Also, GamePen reviews Starsiege TRIBES.  

Competitions  [12:53 PM EST]
This page has info on a QuakeWorld deathmatch tourney currently accepting sign-ups. The dealie is named BeatDown '99, but I imagine they'll change that, since it's PQ's name for their monthly LAN gatherings.

etc.  [12:53 PM EST]

Out of the Blue  [12:53 PM EST]
Work begins apace today on the next super-secret Blue's News project following up on the quite successful BlueTracker launch (a single front-page for .plan updates is still coming, BTW). That's all I'm letting out of the bag for now, but I'm too excited abut the project not to tease it a little. It might be a little unfair/unwise to tease about this so early, however, because I really have no idea how long it will be before the nature of this project is unveiled (but there it is anyway).

Link of the day: "He's taken on the demonic minions of Quake. He's beaten up the Highlanders. Hell, he's even spanked the Spice Girls... twice. But what happens when Mr. T is stranded in the Black Mesa Research Base?" Mr. T. versus Half-Life. Thanks Colin Williamson.

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