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Friday, February 5, 1999

New PingTool  [9:59 PM EST]
The PingTool site has a new version 2.5 beta 5 of the PingTool server browser. The new release offers TRIBES support in addition to fixing a few bugs, in particular a bug for Win95 OSR2 users that caused the program to crash. Here's a copy (1.8 MB) once again thanks to the fine folks at Walnut Creek CDROM. Here are the Version 2.5 Beta 5 Release Notes.

GameSpyder  [9:59 PM EST]
The industrious spies over at GameSpy industries have launched their latest effort, GameSpyder, a gaming website links database that they're calling the descendant of Slipgate Central. The site offers databased searches, and the option for readers to submit ratings on websites.

Kingpin Preview  [8:54 PM EST]
GameCenter's Sneak Peek at Kingpin is up looking at Xatrix' upcoming game that puts the Quake II engine to use gangsta-style.

Updated Tirtanium Benchmark  [8:54 PM EST]
Version 1.1 of the Tirtanium OpenGL/Direct3D benchmarking program is up on the Michael Tirtasana 3D programs page. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme. The new release offers DirectX 6.1 support, better stereo music, bug fixes, and a new results viewer.

Starsiege TRIBES 1.2  [8:25 PM EST]
The version 1.2 patch for Starsiege TRIBES is now available from Sierra (thanks PlanetStarSiege and Datumplane::Starsiege). The patch comes in two versions, one to update version 1.0 (633 KB), the original distribution, and a patch to update version 1.1 (617 KB) which was the joystick patch. File downloads thanks to the fine folks at Walnut Creek CDROM.

New REDLINE Demos  [7:50 PM EST]
3DFiles has posted the updated demos of REDLINE, Accolade/Beyond Games' game of driving and shooting (as well as shooting with no driving). There is a new single player mode in one 48 MB demo, and an updated multiplayer demo that's a 19 MB download. Word is the new multiplayer portion now supports eight players, but is not compatible wit the earlier version of the demo. While the files are available for download at the link above and other places, I received the following from Accolade on the demo and the Gigex downloads that they prefer folks use:

The demo includes two REDLINE multi-player arenas: MultiAirport and TRIAGONIZER, two Training missions, and the first two game missions: STADIUM CITY and YAHOOS. Players will have access to up to 11 vehicles, each with its own unique weapons and characteristics. Players will also have access to 10 weapons which may be used while on foot. The object of the multi-player game is to stomp, kill and frag as many of your opponents as possible. In the single player missions, the player will be briefed on all the objectives.

We are using Gigex to serve our demos and provide reliable downloads, with no interruptions.

Modem users click here
Corporate users click here

Daikatana DM Demo Screenshots  [6:27 PM EST]
There are four new screenshots showing off action from the upcoming Daikatana Deathmatch Demo on the Mplayer.com/ActionXtreme Daikatana Deathmatch site. A reminder that there's an online chat with John Romero talking about the demo and Mplayer's DM challenge in a short while (story).

Chris Hargrove Interview  [6:27 PM EST]
Sweet.Oblivion - The.Shrine has posted an interview with 3D Realms programmer/loonygames columnist Chris "Kiwidog" Hargrove talking about his work on Duke Nukem Forever as well as Q&A about working as a programmer, and the industry in general.

Viper V550 Drivers  [6:27 PM EST]
The Diamond Multimedia Viper V550 Series Drivers page has new Win95/98 drivers for the V550, though the link there is wrong (you can get the new drivers here). Thanks David Dao.

Decay Screenshots  [4:01 PM EST]
There are five new Decay Screenshots on GA-Source showing off this upcoming action game (all of them new, making up for a couple of repeats in the recent batch they posted). One of the shots is a close-up showing off some bump mapping.

South Park Gold  [4:01 PM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault News has the news that Acclaim Entertainment is reporting the PC version of their Turok2-engine game, South Park,has gone gold, and is due in stores by March 4.

New Kali  [4:01 PM EST]
The Kali website has a new version 1.62 of Kali, offering TRIBES support among other things. Here's a copy (2.6 MB) courtesy of Walnut Creek CDROM, and here's the word on the new release:

Available from:
Full Version (2,658k)
ftp://ftp.cyberstation.net/pub/kali/k95_162.exe - or -
ftp://dibs.dbtech.net/pub/kali/k95_162.exe - or -
ftp://ftp.kali.net/pub/kali/k95_162.exe

Patch from 1.61 (363k)
ftp://ftp.cyberstation.net/pub/kali/p161-162.exe - or -
ftp://dibs.dbtech.net/pub/kali/p161-162.exe - or -
ftp://ftp.kali.net/pub/kali/p161-162.exe

**** What's New in Version 1.62 ****

TRIBES FAQ  [2:27 PM EST]
An update to the Unofficial TRIBES FAQ on PlanetStarSiege adds new info on how to connect to a server from the console, proxy servers and A3D.

Requiem Preview  [2:27 PM EST]
There is a short English Requiem Preview as well as a lengthier preview in German on MagixX.

New Reclamation  [2:16 PM EST]
Version 1.1 of Reclamation is out on Freelance Reality. Reclamation is a Quake II mod with CTF-like teamplay that requires that teams capture and hold territory to win the game.

Morbid Interview  [9:22 AM EST]
Pels Interactive has posted an interview with Jack "Morbid" Mathews talking to this coder for 3Dfx and TeamGameSpy about the world in one of their entertaining finish-the-sentence interviews.

GameTime  [9:22 AM EST]
GameTime is a new program designed to play matchmaker for online gamers. Players register for free and enter info on their game preferences and time zone, and GameTime will find other users who've registered the same preferences and offer several methods of contacting them to play.

Hands-on Voodoo3  [8:58 AM EST]
Hands on Voodoo 3 is a new preview of 3Dfx's upcoming accelerator on Fast Graphics based on a little face time the Dutch press had yesterday with 3Dfx representatives Tony Tamasi and Nick Pandher, and of course, the Voodoo3. There are interesting bits scattered throughout, here's a portion with their interpretation of what was said about the Voodoo3 as a solution for hardcore gamers, unannounced Voodoo3 products, and driver support, which includes OpenGL, but no word yet about NT:

Anyway, both Tony and Nick made clear that Voodoo 3 is not the big thing that the hard core gamers are waiting for. If you have a SLI config, don't get Voodoo 3 is the advice. When asked if there's gonna be a product for the hardcore gamers we didn't get any direct answers, but it's clear that 3Dfx will come with a new chipset before the end of the years which is "supposed to satisfy the hardcore gamers"... I couldn't get more info, but Tony said that at E3 they would probably give more info.

What we do know is that there will be a 3rd version of the Voodoo 3 chipset which will be release when Intel introduces AGP 4x. It's not really clear what changes will be made in this new chipset, only that it will support AGP 4X, but NOT AGP's Direct Memory Execution.

It's quite interesting that the Voodoo 3 drivers come with an OpenGL ICD for Windows 9x which isn't the case with the Banshee chipset. Another interesting fact is that the press papers show no info on Windows NT 4.0.... The papers mention support for Windows 95, 98, 2000 and Linux, but not NT... More on this soon.

JKEdit  [8:58 AM EST]
A new version 1.34 of the JkEdit Jedi Knight/MotS level editor is now available, offering a couple of bug-fixes, and adding new commands for create water, create force field, and create breaking glass. Thanks Killjoy.

Romero Chat Tonight  [7:15 AM EST]
Chat With John Romero is the reminder of tonight's chat session with ION's own JR in conjunction with the upcoming Daikatana Deathmatch challenge from Mplayer. The chat is today from 4:00-5:00 PM Pacific time in the Mplayer "On Stage" chat lobby.

AnachroChat  [7:15 AM EST]
More chat: Like the first Friday of every month, today marks the monthly chat session with the developers of Anachronox to catch up on the latest developments in the development of this upcoming Quake II-engine RPG. The chat kicks off tonight at 8:00 PM Central time, and can be accessed using an IRC client and entering www.ionstorm.com as the server, and going to the #ion channel, or by visiting the ION Storm site and hitting the "live chat" link. Thanks The Zealot.

Eschaton Nightfall Release Party  [7:15 AM EST]
Still more chat! Word from the Strange Company (something I've been accused of keeping myself) is that there's an IRC release party tonight for part two of their Quake II-engine movie, Eschaton: Nightfall. The shindig kicks off at 6:00 PM GMT today (1:00 PM Eastern time, thanks Gestalt from The Coven) in 3DNet channel #eschaton. Here's the lowdown:

Strange Company (formerly Walking Wounded) are proud to announce the release date for the second part of the Eschaton series, Eschaton: Nightfall. An animation based on the "Quake II" game engine, Nightfall is totally converted from the models, maps and textures of the game to the world of Pagan Publishing's Delta Green, H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos and, of course, Strange Company's Eschaton series.

Featuring over 4000 frames of new animation, a totally original score and 40 minutes' continuation of the Eschaton story begun in Darkening Twilight, Eschaton: Nightfall will be released at 6:00 PM on Friday 5th of February 1999. A trailer is available in RealVideo format from the Strange Company website, http://www.strangecompany.org.

Unofficial Messiah FAQ  [7:15 AM EST]
There's now an Unofficial Messiah FAQ on MessiahPress that offers quite a bit more detail on Shiny's upcoming third-person action game than the official version that was updated yesterday (story).

IAS Q2 Reckoning Patch  [7:15 AM EST]
The Extreme Audio Reality page now has an IAS audio-enhancement patch for Quake II: The Reckoning, Xatrix' mission pack. The site has been temporarily slightly relocated (they've lost the www along the way), and should be accessible for those looking for the Quake II 3.20 IAS patch they recently released (the server went down very shortly after they posted it).

New EGN2  [7:15 AM EST]
A new 572 alpha build of the EGN2 combo server-browser/ICQ chat dealie, is out on the Enternet Global Network site. Thanks BetaNews.

Road Wars Shots  [7:15 AM EST]
I don't know why I thought it was a racing game with a title like Road Wars (see my need for guns comment yesterday), but the Road Wars screenshots posted on Game Post yesterday are pretty spiffy looking, even if they don't show off the game's combat.

Quake II Massacre  [7:15 AM EST]
A new version 1.0 of the Skirmish CTF mod for Quake II is up on the newly relocated Massacre page. The new release removes the Q2CTF maps from the distribution, and adds new skins and flags.

Sin Q2 Mod  [7:15 AM EST]
The Lair has a beta release from Team Wolfen of their S][N patch, which is a Quake II mod, not a Sin mod (thanks Hexagon from Ritualistic for the clarification). The mod is said to include 90% complete enhanced enemy AI. They are also recruiting new members for their team.

Æstats  [7:15 AM EST]
The Æstats Page has a new release of their log file parser that can create organized output (including HTML) from the logs for Quake II (and a few mods) and Unreal, with plans to add support for Half-Life and Sin in the future.

Mac PSX Emulator Clears Legal Hurdle  [7:15 AM EST]
ZDNet Tech News reports that Sony's attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order to prevent the distribution of the recently unveiled Connectix PlayStation emulator have failed. Thanks Ben at 3DFiles. There is no indication whether this case is related enough to the recent N64 PC emulator case to tell if this is an indicator of how the litigation over that case may go. On the subject of emulators, CLEAR (the Campaign to Leave Emulation Alone (plus an R)) and The Official IDSA Boycott Homepage discuss efforts to thwart the IDSA's efforts to thwart emulator distribution. Finally, Game Makers Challenge Emulation Precedent is a TechWeb article on these recent emulators and their ensuing legal entanglements.

MotoRacer2 Patch  [7:15 AM EST]
The off-topic patch du jour is a new patch for Moto Racer 2 on the Moto Racer 2 site. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

GameSpy: TRIBES & BG Support  [7:15 AM EST]
A recent .plan update by Jack Mathews announced that TRIBES support is working in GameSpy 3D, and would be released after the TRIBES 1.02 patch. Also, the GameSpy site has a new version of GameSpy Lite for Baldur's Gate. Finally, the GS folks have announced a partnership with Case's Ladder to create something called GameDex (not GameSpy Industries as I originally wrote, so there are no plans to build factories), which will dedicate itself to LAN events across the US that will act as a gaming tradeshow.

On Shooters  [7:15 AM EST]
Okay, here's the deal with Shooters. We have put the show on "hiatus" for a bit, so we can get our act together (or call in Dr. Kevorkian to do his thing on the show). The show has had its ups-and-downs in its storied, confused life, but right now we're facing an additional hurdle. The several hours a day of gaming content on Pseudo's All Games Network have made it almost impossible to book guests that they haven't interviewed within a couple of days, so we need to get some things straightened out before we can proceed.

Reviews  [7:15 AM EST]
PC GameFan reviews Starsiege TRIBES. Also, AGN3D reviews Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. Finally, FiringSquad.com reviews the Turtle Beach Montego II, giving it but two stars (of a possible five).

Competitions  [7:15 AM EST]
The Bay Area Network Gaming Group (BANGG) has announced a big shindig in San Jose March 31 through April 4. Also, there's a Quake Tournament at a computer show in Chantilly, VA this weekend. It's free to enter (though you need to pay $6.00 to get into the show), and they are offering cash prizes. Thanks Covaro at Doomworld.

etc.  [7:15 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [7:15 AM EST]
Thanks for the definitions of Ars Technica, I actually exaggerated my problem working through that (though Latin is all Greek to me). As they say: "We believe that our site rox so hard that we can choose a crazy name like this, and people will still come back."

Okay, the game related thing I've been trying to get to here (sometimes I don't let myself get a word in edgewise) is that I've had the opportunity to check out the new TRIBES patch (I suspect it will be released very soon), and just wanted to share how cool it is. TRIBES shipped relatively bug-free, but the patch does feature some tweaks to gameplay, including health gauges on friendly emplacements (to tell their state of disrepair), ammo stations restore health (on updated servers-you may have already experienced this) like inventory stations do, and other tweaks, like zippier jetpacks (very helpful for heavies), and new keys to bind (like "buy favorites 1," and "escort flagcarrier"). I asked if out-of-area damage was in the works, and CornBoy! said it would not be in this one, but they may sneak it into the OpenGL patch. The changes work really well, I can't wait for the release so updated servers come online. There--a game related Out of the Blue. Hope you can forgive me  ;)

Link of the day: Death of Wiarton Willie kept a secret for days, a Groundhog day story that may mean no end ever to that 40º below zero Manitoba winter. Thanks Frank van Roessel.

Thursday, February 4, 1999

Messiah FAQ  [8:43 PM EST]
Shiny's short-but-shiny official Messiah FAQ has been updated, Billy at Voodoo Extreme, who sent this along, thinks the portion describing the game's possible use of bump mapping is the new part.

Wages of Sin Screenshot  [8:43 PM EST]
As their image of the day, Ritualistic has posted a screenshot for 2015's upcoming Sin add-on, Wages of Sin, with plans to post more for their Wages of Sin screenshot week.

Mortyr Movie  [5:47 PM EST]
The Mortyr website has posted the fourth in the series of AVIs showing off action from their upcoming time-travelling World War II game.

Steed Model  [5:47 PM EST]
NetCombat.net has posted a new model from Paul Steed of a female character that may or may not be released as part of a post-Q3A release model pack, but is definitely not a Quake III Arena model.

Quake III Arena Shot  [2:22 PM EST]
GameSpot UK's Quake 3 Gallery has been updated with a couple Quake III arena shots they say have never been posted before (it seems it's actually just one that's new-thanks Fabian Huester).

Kingpin Interview  [2:22 PM EST]
Stomped Interviews Drew Markham, Xatrix Entertainment's CEO, about their upcoming Quake II-engine game, Kingpin.

Randy Pitchford Q&A  [2:22 PM EST]
What Happened to Prax War is a WarZone feature that talks with Randy Pitchford about what the deal is with the now (to our knowledge) defunct Rebel Boat Rocker project.

Drakan Shots  [2:22 PM EST]
There are four new Drakan Screenshots on GA-Source showing off Surreal Software's upcoming Drakan: Order of the Flame.

AvP Multiplayer  [2:22 PM EST]
GameSpot UK has posted part one of a piece called Aliens Vs Predator - The Multiplayer Test. With the fine line sometimes blurring between reviews and previews (as opposed to first looks and sneak peaks), the GS UK blokes have dubbed this a "multiplayer test" which certainly helps add to the confusion, since it sounds like there's something to download. What it is, is a preview of the multiplayer aspects of Rebellion's upcoming of Aliens versus Predator game, focusing on the Colonial Marine's weapons and tactics. Part two is due tomorrow.

Play at Interplay  [2:22 PM EST]
I received an invitation for gamers to participate in a focus group for Interplay. You MUST live in the LA/Orange County, CA area and be willing to visit Interplay for a couple hours of playing games that haven't been released. If you're interested, email betatest@interplay.com with the words "focus group" as the message subject. Everyone who participates will get a free Interplay game of their choice.

AMD CPU Roadmap  [2:22 PM EST]
Sharky Extreme has posted an AMD CPU roadmap they say gives the official word on planned product roll-outs from AMD for the coming year.

Quake II N64 Box Art  [11:53 AM EST]
This N64.IGN.COM story shows off the cover art for N64 Quake II. Just to be safe, I'll reproduce the warning from the top of the page. "Warning: Box art story. By clicking here, you will see a box. Do not be alarmed by the lack of info." As well as some helpful instructions: "Click on the link to see the box. Print it out, lick the back of the paper and stick it to your forehead. You can now carry the box graphic wherever you want. Amaze your friends with your very own Quake 2 forehead."

John Romero on Daikatana DM Maps  [6:19 AM EST]
John Romero updated his .plan with a plug for gigadeth.com (or an attempted plug: as of this writing the hyper-link in his .plan goes to the wrong site), as well as word on a feature of Daikatana deathmatch maps to help suit them to the number of players on the server:

Also, one of the cool features of Daikatana Deathmatch is that, depending on the number of maxplayers your server is set for, the map can open up new areas or keep them closed off. If you want your DM map to be scalable for 1-4 players, you just put in a special wall that blocks off access to the other areas if maxplayers = 4. Likewise for the other maxplayer levels (8, 16 and 32). This allows DM mappers to create one single map that is good for 2 players to 32 players! You'll see this feature in our Daikatana Deathmatch Demo...

More Requiem Shots  [6:19 AM EST]
MagixX has posted five more screenshots showing off single-player action from Requiem: Avenging Angel, as they continue to work on a preview.

Voodoo3 Screenshots  [6:19 AM EST]
Billy has some new shots on Voodoo Extreme showing off 1600x1200 action on a Voodoo3. There are two shots from Quake II, and two from Need for Guns (the proper name for all racing games).

Unreal Tourney Site, UT Shots Follow-up  [6:19 AM EST]
GT's official Unreal Tournament site is online in both shocked and insulated varieties. Thanks Anyware. Also, I received a note from Epic Meg... err, EpicGames' Cliff Bleszinski, correcting my interpretation of one of the screenshots mentioned in this story yesterday, pointing out that rather than a space station, the structure in one of the shots is "a floating Nali arena of death."

Print John Carmack Interview  [6:19 AM EST]
A few have sent in word that the March issue of the print edition of Next-Generation magazine features a fairly lengthy interview with id Software's John Carmack.

Doom Movie Update  [6:19 AM EST]
As far as I know all the Doom movie rumors are just those, rumors. That having been said, the following report has appeared on Coming Attractions about the oft-discussed, but never made, Doom movie. Thanks Will Hannold. Here's the blurb:

Moe Lospinoso, one of the two producers of the Doom movie, contacted us today to announce that Todd McFarlane's deal has been finalized; in other words, McFarlane will be working on Doom movie. "We are very pleased to be working creatively with them," commented Lospinoso.

Duke Movie Update  [6:19 AM EST]
Also on the gaming cinema front, The Den's Daily Movie News has the latest on the Duke Nukem movie (which I do believe is a confirmed, ongoing project). Thanks {CCT}Dim. Here's the blurb on that one, which they say is being created by Threshold (Mortal Kombat, Terminator 2) with production set to start in six months:

Kasanoff couldn't reveal much about the film's plot, but he could tell us this: "It's a movie where a lot of the impetus happens because someone is messing around with Duke's strippers. That's what sets the whole movie in motion."

That'd get me riled up. The next hurdle for Threshold is finding the right actor to play the Duke.

"The cool thing about Duke Nukem is the character, but we're still on a search for the Duke. We asked the original Duke (John Wayne), but you know, he couldn't do it."

Adopt-A-Mod  [6:19 AM EST]
Adopt-A-Mod is a simple idea that hopefully will help get some of the Quake II mods that folks have cooked up playing on some servers out there with a lengthy list of mods, their homepages, and the number of servers known to be running each one. Server ops with empty deathmatch servers are encouraged to check it out.

DirectX 6.1 Warning  [6:19 AM EST]
I haven't confirmed a problem, but I've received a warning from Jeff Kehr about DirectX 6.1 saying he's found compatibility problems with it and Heretic II, Rogue Squadron, and on some machines, Quake II. This seems prudent to pass along, as it looks like the exact same word has found its way to Activision's Steve Stringer, who updated his .plan (thanks Killjoy) about this.

New Qoole 99 Beta  [6:19 AM EST]
The QOOLE page has beta 24 of Qoole 99, the iteration of the Quake Object-Oriented Level Editor, which allows the creation and modification for Quake, Quake II and beyond. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme. They say they plan to add HL/Sin/Heretic II entity models, a prefab previewer, and a texture manager.

StarFighter PCI Drivers  [6:19 AM EST]
740, dedicated to the Intel740 accelerator, has posted word of new Windows drivers for the PCI StarFighter. The updated drivers offer support for Unreal OpenGL and Half-Life.

Falcon Patch  [6:19 AM EST]
Here's a Falcon 4.0 1.04 update. Like the word on the Baldur's Gate patch the other day (only one person busted my chops about that), this is off-topic, but easy enough to pass along. Thanks again Killjoy.

Competitions  [6:19 AM EST]
The QuakeCon 99 site has gotten a face-lift, and New info has just been released on tourneys, schedule, location, sponsors, Denny's updated menu, and where to find cricket repellant (okay, I added those last two). Also, the LMCTF portion of The Ascension tourney is underway.

Reviews  [6:19 AM EST]
FiringSquad.com reviews Starsiege TRIBES giving the impressions of the game from CalBear and Thresh (I believe I suffered my first TRIBES frag at Thresh's hands when we were both checking out the game this summer).

etc.   [6:19 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [6:19 AM EST]
I'm not sure that Monday... oh, okay, by this time you've probably either gotten the homage to Groundhog Day in the last few Out of the Blues, or you haven't (I've received a good handful of "corrections" to the repeated posts). Also, yesterday there was an edition of the pop-culture quote game for all of those who feel the usual fare is too easy: congrats to Myrddin Emrys for being the sole respondent to pick out the Bowie lyric. Noteworthy guesses included Styx (and Eric Cartman) Come Sail Away, and someone suggesting it was a song from H.R. Pufenstuff (which, if you're unfamiliar, is proof positive that kids TV writers in the '70s were hitting the magic mushrooms pretty hard). Wow, look at me go on. I think I've hit my rambling limit already, without getting into the game-related stuff I was going to mention (twice now). Maybe I'll just post it separately today (game-related stuff would seem so out of place down here anyway, right?).

Wednesday, February 3, 1999

Max Payne Screenshots  [7:20 PM EST]
The Max Payne Website has been updated with three new screenshots from this third-person action game in the works from Remedy Entertainment and 3D Realms. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Shogo: Legacy of the Fallen Shots  [7:20 PM EST]
There are six new Shogo: Legacy of the Fallen Screenshots on GA-Source showing off this upcoming add-on pack for Shogo: Mobile Armor Division.

More on TRIBES Crosshairs  [7:20 PM EST]
Dynamix's Mitch Shaw updated his .plan with more on TRIBES crosshair mods:

I've gotten some great feedback on the crosshair stuff I did, and I'm working on making up a bunch of new ones based on a few things I learned from our resident GUI guy, "Thulsa Doom" Tinman. Since   several people e-mailed to ask questions on the subject, I'll share some info with you.

I'm trying to come up with some ideas for some interesting and useful new crosshair designs. If you have any ideas, please leave a guestbook entry on the GeoCities page mentioned below -- I've seen what happened to Scott when he asked people to send suggestions to his normal e-mail address :)

Daikatana DM Details  [5:53 PM EST]
The ION Storm news page has been updated with details on entering the Mplayer Daikatana Deathmatch Tournament, as well as the entire press release on this promotion detailing what's involved in participation, what can be won, etc. Also, I saw on Voodoo Extreme that CGO/OGR has posted an article on ION talking about the games in production, as well as the recent talk of turmoil over there.

DirectX 6.1  [5:53 PM EST]
The Microsoft DirectX page now has the official release of DirectX 6.1 on the DirectX Download page as a package for home users, as well as an SDK for developers. Thanks Tim Goble.

Requiem Screenshots  [3:04 PM EST]
I found four screenshots in my mailbox sent along by 3DO showing off multiplayer play in Requiem. I've posted the thumbnails on this page. I've posted them separately in case some folks feel they'd rather be surprised by new games when they play them, rather than recognizing things from screenshots.

Unreal Tournament Screenshots  [3:04 PM EST]
GA-Source has posted two exclusive screenshots from Epic's upcoming Unreal Tournament. One showing off a space station, and the other showing a sailing ship (!) with red sails ("red sails take me, make me sail along....").

Disposable Heroes Released  [9:47 AM EST]
The Coven's deathmatch add-on for Quake and Quake II, Disposable Heroes, is now available. The pack can be purchased directly from GameSpy Black Market. Here's how their description kicks off:

It's five mods in one! With three classic Quake modifications and two Quake II modifications all on the same CD. It's the ultimate Quake-fan's Deathmatch arsenal, with 58 new maps and more weapons or models than you'll know what to do with.

Unofficial TRIBES FAQ  [9:47 AM EST]
The Unofficial Tribes FAQ on PlanetStarSiege has been updated.

Kingpin Preview, Shots  [9:47 AM EST]
Sharky Extreme's Kingpin preview is up offering perspective on Xatrix' upcoming Quake II-engine game based on the behind-the-scenes showing during the LA event last week. The preview also offers 13 exclusive new screenshots.

Project V1 Shot  [9:47 AM EST]
The sixth of seven screenshots from Digital Platoon's upcoming Project V1 has been posted on 3D-Unlimited.

Wheel of Time Interview, Shots  [9:47 AM EST]
There's a Mark Poesch interview on PlanetUnreal talking to this programmer from Legend Entertainment about their upcoming projects in a Q&A that also offers three new screenshots from Legend's upcoming Unreal-engine game, Wheel of Time.

Scott Herrington Interview  [9:47 AM EST]
MessiahPress interviews Scott Herrington talking to Shiny's "press guy" about AI programming in Shiny's upcoming Messiah, which is apparently partially to blame for the game's delay. Here's the answer to the question "Is Saxs going insane because of the delays?:"

Saxs was actually insane when he began the project, so there really hasn’t been a change in that. He was the one who was pushing for the revolutionary AI in the game, and so he’s really brought it on himself. At the same time, though, I think he’s really excited about doing something unique with the AI in the same sense that he brought out a new way to render and display characters in games. It’s the challenge of doing something new that keeps him going, and the delays in Messiah have given him time to challenge himself even more.

TRIBES in Newsweek  [9:47 AM EST]
The current edition of Newsweek.com Cyberscope offers a blurb on Starsiege TRIBES (thanks Tungsten at Captured.Com). Here's what they wrote:

Gamers aren't just going solo anymore. If you haven't tried "cooperative play" yet, Starsiege: Tribes (www.dynamix.com) could get you hooked. Start off training as an individual warrior, then enter combat over the Internet or a LAN, where players work together to survive battles against rival tribes. Games range from basic capture-the-flag to more difficult defend-and-destroy missions. The rich 3-D backdrop lets you see for miles in all directions and travel seamlessly from outdoor to indoor environments (no waiting for the graphics to load). Up to 32 people can play, but victory depends on a competent tribe commander who views the action from an overhead 2-D map and is responsible for issuing orders to individuals or the whole team. May the best tribe win.

Starsiege on GameTime  [9:47 AM EST]
This was sent as a TRIBES on GameTime story, but it's my understanding (I haven't gotten to listen to it yet), that though they were going to touch on the TRIBES patch, the GameTime interview listed below, is actually devoted to the TRIBES prequel, Starsiege. Anyway, here's the poop from the All Games Network:

Jim and Scot are joined in the studio by Jeff Hoff, Vice President of Marketing for Dynamix, developers of the great new team-based shooter TRIBES! Jeff lets us know about the upcoming patch, what's in the works for Starsiege, and more!

Check out the show's archive in both 85 and 21k versions, and downloaded. The show can be seen using your Real player.

Unreal Tourney Print Ad  [9:47 AM EST]
NetCombat.net has posted a scan of a print ad for Unreal Tournament. Thanks Anyware.

N64 Emulator Lawsuit?  [9:47 AM EST]
Nintendo May Sue Emulator Makers is a TechWeb article detailing the potential for legal action springing from the short-lived release of the Ultra High Level Emulator (UltraHLE) that can play N64 ROMs on a PC. Thanks Anyware.

etc.  [9:47 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [9:47 AM EST]
I'm not sure that Monday is the right day to post the MailBag, then again, I'm not sure it matters at all. Uncertainty is a terrible thing, don't you think? Or don't you? (Happy Groundhog Day). Okay, I'm amused.

Some sort of glitch last night/this morning held up today's update... I actually had something game-related to post in this space, but I'll hold it for now in the name of getting rolling (best to warn everyone first to prevent heart attacks, etc.). Congrats to Raven's Robert Love and family.

Tuesday, February 2, 1999       (Groundhog Day)

On Q3A 3DNow! Support  [5:58 PM EST]
id programmer Brian Hook updated his .plan with more on potential 3DNow! support based on some unhappy reaction to his previous post on the subject. I've cut out some of the techie bits, and here's the part that mainly addresses the 3DNow! stuff:

I guess somebody setup a Web page with a "threaten Brian to put in 3DNow! support RIGHT AWAY or we'll never buy Q3" banner. Grrr.

<snip>

We would like to have 3DNow! and KNI (or whatever it's called these days) support out of the box, and I believe that we are intending to support these SIMD instruction sets, however we simply can't GUARANTEE it at this point. A patch will definitely be released if necessary with the requisite support, however.

However, for you 3DNow! users -- Quake3 runs just fine on a 3DNow! box such as the AMD K6-2!!! It runs slower than a comparable Intel, but faster than a comparable Cyrix. But it is by no means unplayable.

Floating point really comes into play in two key areas: OpenGL driver throughput and client/server game code. Right now, BY FAR, the OpenGL driver is consuming the most time, sometimes up to 75% of the overall execution of the program. This means that whatever SIMD optimizations we do pursue will not have NEAR the impact of SIMD optimizations within the OpenGL driver.

Your time is better served lobbying your video card driver manufacturers for 3DNow and KNI support. This will net, by far, the most gains in overall performance for the majority of users with PIII and K6 systems.

K7 should run great out of the box, with or without 3DNow! support.

EpicGames  [5:58 PM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault News has announced that Epic MegaGames, in addition to relocating the remainder of their operations in their new digs in North Carolina, will also henceforth be known only as EpicGames. Thanks CiDcO from StormTroopers.

More Kingpin  [4:33 PM EST]
Bobbi at the All Games Network sends word of more Kingpin scoop on yesterday's GameTime:

Drew Markham President of Xatrix had lots of juicy tid-bits to reveal about Kingpin on today's (Monday's) GameTime. Among other things, he discusses how this shooter goes beyond the Q2 engine, the use of 32 bit color (STRONG support for NVidia cards).

AND...some brand new screenshots from the game (used in some very...interesting ways)!

Check out the show's archive in both 85 and 21k versions, and downloaded. The show can be seen using your Real player, of course, found at http://www.real.com.

Daikatana Deathmatch Website  [4:33 PM EST]
MPlayer's new Daikatana Deathmatch website has gone live with news and announcements surrounding the upcoming competition planned to take place with John Romero using the Daikatana deathmatch demo, which is due for release this month. Among the updates on the site is word of a Romero Chat session this Friday at 4:00 PM Pacific time.

Rainbow Six Q&A  [4:33 PM EST]
There is a very short Q&A with Red Storm Entertainment on the Rainbow 6 Retreat that's called an interactive interview since the three questions come from reader-submissions.

TRIBES Crosshairs  [1:01 PM EST]
Dynamix's Mitch (Skeet) Shaw updated his .plan with word on how to get improved crosshairs going in Starsiege TRIBES using this file (21 KB, FTP courtesy of Walnut Creek CDROM) he's posted on Skeet's Tribes Screenshots page (thanks once more PlanetStarSiege, as well as QuakeFinger, since I also ganked their list of .plans for BlueTracker, which is still in the process of updating). This is good stuff for TRIBES players, because the default crosshairs are pretty tough to see, especially against a daytime sky. Here's the update:

For those of you who want a different shaped or colored crosshair for Tribes, I cobbled up a small collection of different ones -- circular, tiny dots, etc. in a variety of fashionable colors. I'll zip them all up and put them on my old GeoCities screen shot page for anyone who's interested -- the URL for that is http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Dunes/8338

Don't expect much from this page -- I just threw together some screen shots a couple of months ago before the game came out, and added some lame attempts at funny captions. The link for the zip file should be near the top of the page, above the screen shots. Unfortunately, there isn't any way of keeping track of the number of downloads, so if you grab it and find it useful (or have suggestions for new, useful crosshairs), drop me an e-mail if you would be so kind.

The file should be up on the GeoCities page by 2:00 PM PST today. I'll throw a README in too, but just in case you're one of the 95% who don't bother to read such files -- unzip the zip file (duh) and browse thru the BMPs. (I recommend ACDSee) If you find one you like, copy it to your tribes\base directory and rename it to H_Reticle.BMP (if you don't do this, your crosshair will not change). Enjoy!

Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, happy birthday Mom. :)

TRIBES Map Pack  [1:01 PM EST]
Xteme Gaming has posted a new TRIBES map pack. Here's a copy of the pack (927 KB, FTP courtesy of Walnut Creek CDROM), and the PlanetStarSiege download link can be found here. Here's word on the map pack, which, if it contains no new textures, only needs to run on the server end, even over the Internet:

Hi guys, here is a copy of the Xtreme Map pack. I finally got it complete last night, got some really good feedback from them. My favorite is the new Desert of Death 2 map. Finally makes the stage VERY playable and fun. Anyhow I hope you can post this zip file for the community!

Baldur's Gate Patch  [1:01 PM EST]
A new official (not beta as I wrote at first) patch for Baldur's Gate is up on Interplay's Baldur's Gate site. Thanks GamePoint.

TRIBES A3D Support  [1:01 PM EST]
Update:
To the best of the understanding of everyone who has mailed about this story, this "fix" just messes up sounds worse. Here's the original post: tAng of PlanetStarSiege sends along the following unconfirmed report about fixing A3D support in TRIBES from the PlanetStarSiege Forums:

go into the config directory and open the ClientPrefs.cs file in notepad. Look for this line and change it to true.
$pref::useAureal3D = "True";

Kingpin Screenshots  [5:37 AM EST]
There are eight new Kingpin screenshots on the Interplay Kingpin site and four new Kingpin shots up on Voodoo Extreme showing off Xatrix' upcoming Quake II-engine game, Kingpin: Life of Crime.

Requiem Screenshots  [4:52 AM EST]
The MagixX website has five new "exklusiv" screenshots taken from an alpha build of 3DO's upcoming Requiem: Avenging Angel.

Unreal Tourney Preview  [4:52 AM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault News looks ahead at Unreal Tournament focusing on the game's "cutting edge GUI." Thanks CiDcO from StormTroopers for word on this (yesterday, I kind of lost this one at first).

TRIBES Skin Pack  [4:52 AM EST]
The Forge has a 3.5 MB archive for download that's packed with over 130 skins for Starsiege TRIBES. They are accepting submissions for future skin packs, and a future pack may include only complete skins with all five armor types.

Half-Life Model FAQ  [4:52 AM EST]
There's a new Half-Life Modeling FAQ on Wavelength offering loads of info to get modelers started making their own creations for use in Half-Life.

3Dfx Article  [4:52 AM EST]
GameSpot's Reality Comes Knocking is an article by Geoff Keighley looking at 3Dfx Interactive, past and future. The piece includes images of Quake III Arena and an exclusive shot of Unreal Tournament, as well as quotes from Epic's Tim Sweeney, id's Brian Hook, Valve's Mike Harrington, and others from 3Dfx, NVIDIA, ATi, and S3.

Thresh on Q3A Trends and More  [4:52 AM EST]
The newly revived Thresh's Front Line on FiringSquad.com gives Thresh's take on the trends in weapon balance in id's games starting with Doom2 and looking ahead through Quake III Arena. Other topics in the column include Pentium III availability, and the word Thresh is declining to participate in the PGL's season 4.

Competitions -- Free TRIBES at GamesCon  [4:52 AM EST]
Word out of GamesCon is that every single three LAN day attendee (up to 550 total) of their event in Toronto at the end of this month will receive a free full copy of Starsiege TRIBES. Also, the PGL Quake II Brackets for season four have been posted. Thanks Immortal. Another competition just getting underway is this Lithium II CTF tourney. Finally, 3DGN's Anime Giveaway continues like the Energizer Bunny. Up for grabs are prizes from ADV films, and copies of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, and now word is that they'll be giving away signed copies of Blood2, as well.

etc.  [4:52 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [4:52 AM EST]
I'm not sure that Monday is the right day to post the MailBag, then again, I'm not sure it matters at all. Uncertainty is a terrible thing, don't you think? Or don't you? (Happy Groundhog Day). Speaking of which, lots of comments came in on the follow-up about Blue Moons in yesterday's Out of the Blue, some clearly missed the original comments about it the day before, offering more traditional explanations, which can be researched in Once in a Blue Moon a Sky and Telescope article sent along by Antrent. Anyway, to likely cap off this thread, Darren Chriest sends along the names of each of the full moons from back when in the days when everything, including homes, had names:

Jan: Old Moon or Moon After Yule; Feb: Snow, Hunger, or Wolf Moon; Mar: Sap, Crow or Lenten Moon; Apr: Grass or Egg Moon; May: Planting or Milk Moon; June: Rose, Flower, or Strawberry Moon; July: Thunder, or Hay Moon; Aug: Green Corn, or Grain Moon; Sept: Fruit or Harvest Moon; Oct: Harvest, or Hunter's Moon; Nov: Hunter's, Frosty, or Beaver Moon; Dec: Moon Before Yule, or Long Night Moon.

If that's not too much information, I don't know what is  ;)

Monday, February 1, 1999

Descent 3 Demo Patch  [10:23 PM EST]
The Outrage website has a new version 1.1.1 patch for the Descent 3 demo. Thanks Assasin. Here's a copy of the patch (1,154 KB, FTP courtesy of Walnut Creek CDROM). Here's the update:

The Descent 3 Demo 1.1.1 Patch and Auto-Update are now available for downloading. Use the Auto-Update feature found in the launcher to automatically update you to version 1.1.1 or download the following self-extracting file:

D3Demo1.1.1_Patch.exe

This version fixes the same problems as v1.1 with the addition of the following:

This patch will update both 1.0 and 1.1 versions to 1.1.1. There is no reason to update to 1.1 first. If you do experience problems with updating your 1.0 or 1.1 version to 1.1.1 please report all relevant system and error information to d3bugs@outrage.com.

Brian Hook on Q3A Servers & 3DNow!  [9:53 PM EST]
id Software programmer Brian Hook updated his .plan with some info on server bandwidth requirements for Quake III Arena, the importance of floating point performance in a server, and word on 3DNow! support, which is planned, but they "can't promise it out of the box just yet." Here's the update:

Two common questions I'm getting are "How much net bandwidth do I need for a server, per player?" and "How important is floating point performance for a server?"

General rule of thumb for now is that you need about 2-3K/sec of bandwidth per player for a server.

Floating point performance is still very important for a server. A safe assumption is that a Cyrix or K5 CPU will be able to support only about half the players of a comparable Intel CPU. K6 isn't nearly as bad as the K5 and Cyrix, however it's not as good as an Intel for regular floating point stuff, so figure (VERY rough) about 75% of an Intel processor. Obviously a LOT of this depends on the complexity of the underlying maps.

So, just pulling numbers out of thin air, you could say:

Intel PIII/500 - 40-50 players
Intel PII/300 - 25-30 players
AMD K6/300 - 18-23 players
Cyrix MII-300 - 12-15 players

While we do plan on supporting 3DNow, etc. we can't promise it out of the box just yet.

New Weapons Factory Server  [9:53 PM EST]
There's a new version 4.1 server for the Weapons Factory for Quake2 mod offering what is referred to as an important bugfix. Thanks Jacob Matthews.

New QuArK & Source Released  [9:53 PM EST]
The Official QuArK Homepage has the release of version 5.5 of the Quake Army Knife all-purpose level editing program, as well as the latest version of the source code. Thanks Jaimi McEntire.

Sin Update  [8:05 PM EST]
Ritual's Mark Dochtermann updated his .plan with word on what to expect from the Sin 1.02 update, which will be released along with the upcoming Sin mission pack from 2015, Wages of Sin. Here's part of the update, which concludes with a couple of "shameless requests for help" looking for info on software to help with lip-synching, and help with arcade machines:

Status of 3DNOW support, 1.02 patch, 2015 pack "Wages of Sin"

The 1.02 version contains:

- AMD 3DNOW support
- Creative EAX support
- specific support for 2015's mission pack, "Wages of Sin"
- save game fix, which fixes crash in Area 57
- software crashes on Dam
- various bug fixes

1.02 is FULLY COMPATIBLE with 1.01, so servers will not need to upgrade unless they want to. 1.01 save games will be FULLY COMPATIBLE with 1.02.

Originally, I was going to release the 3DNOW support and EAX support as a public beta. Because of the timing of "Wages of Sin", Activision and us mutually agreed to hold back another version so that there would only be one version 1.02. That version is currently in heavy beta testing and as soon as Activision's QA signs off on it, it will be released to the net.

I apologize for the delay (especially to the 3DNOW users out there).

Wait until you play "Wages of Sin", especially in Deathmatch. The 2015 development team have done an amazing job and I think a lot of people are going to dig it.

Q3A Female Model Shots  [6:40 PM EST]
Paul Steed is a bit worked up over some message board postings about the female Shauna model that he recently released over people apparently confusing Shauna with an actual Quake III Arena female model. Paul sent along some pics of the mesh from the medium model (which is based on the female Quake II marine) with no makeup or "pretty Kenneth Scott textures":

q2chica1.jpg (24881 bytes) q2chica2.jpg (23432 bytes) q2chica3.jpg (29633 bytes)

Paul also sent along the following note:

I just read a couple of the messages posted on your boards about shauna and the Q3A chick, etc. Here's the scoop. As of now we plan on three female characters, one light class, one medium and one heavy. A battle worn Q2 space marine chick will be the medium class character. Enclosed is some pics of her mesh with no makeup or pretty Kenneth Scott textures. Note she lost her pony tail during the Stroggos War to a berserk Gladiator blade.

As far as Shauna goes...

People. Get a fucking clue.

(Sigh) As in the case of the Crackwhore, Shauna is just the product of Steed's Weird Science. Rest assured all you feminists, female gamer activists and fellow philogynists, she is not going to be in the goddam game. Okay?

The .avi's I put up on that loony TOTB was done as a very basic introduction to animation and took all of about 15 or 20 minutes to produce. In no way does it represent the level of art or model or animation in Q3A. My models with Kenneth's textures and some mocap-enhanced keyframe animations will knock our corner of the virtual world on its collective fat ass.

When people see the finished product, 'Depends' will quickly go out of stock. Our character stuff has more horsepower than John's TR. Once you see the characters (and the rest of the game) you'll wonder even more what the hell other people are doing with their free time (other than trying to reach a bar raised yet again by the most bad-assed game company on the planet.)

And yes, I'm a little peeved right now.

TeamFortress Classic Update  [6:40 PM EST]
A message from Valve's Harry Teasley on the Planet Half-Life Forums gives the latest on the TeamFortress Classic release that was expected by now (since it was promised before the end of January). Thanks Jim McQuillan. Here's the update:

We had an intensive playtest this weekend and it shows we have some more balancing to do before we release Team Fortress Classic. Development on TFC and the SDK are coming along nicely. Look for more news as we get closer to releasing both the SDK and TFC, which should happen in the coming weeks.

Wages of Sin Shots  [6:14 PM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault News has some new screenshots from 2015's upcoming Sin add-on Wages of Sin. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Win95/98 Lives?  [6:14 PM EST]
A ZDNN article called Win98 not such a lame duck after all says that Microsoft is wavering in it's plans to eliminate the current generation of Windows for desktops to be replaced entirely with products built upon the WinNT kernel. Thanks Bagpuss. Word is that the venerable Win95/98 8/16/32-bit hybrid core may be used one more time for a product they say may be called Windows 2000 Personal Edition.

More AvP Interviews  [5:17 PM EST]
Sci-Fi Week on GameSpot UK continues with more conversation about Aliens versus Predator with The David Stalker Interview (Part 3) - This Time It's Predators and David Stalker (Part 4) This Time It's Weapons. The plan is to cap of their celebration of Science Fiction on Friday with an "Aliens versus Predator exclusive play test."

Sample Design Document  [5:17 PM EST]
The all knowing Oracle section on the Gathering of Developers site has been updated with a response to a query that should prove valuable to aspiring game developers: An example of a full design document, the oft-described essay that can sell a prospective game.

New 3Dfx Voodoo2 Reference Drivers  [5:00 PM EST]
3 Fingers sends word that new version 3.01.01 Voodoo2 Drivers for Windows 95/98 and version 3.01.01 Voodoo2 Drivers for Windows NT are now available. Also included separate from the drivers is a non-WHQL certified display properties tab that allows you to disable Vsync.

Unofficial Half-Life FAQ  [5:00 PM EST]
The unofficial Half-Life FAQ on this site has been updated to version 2.1. Thanks Apache at Planet Half-Life.

Updated 3D WinBench 99  [4:42 PM EST]
The 3D WinBench homepage has an updated version 1.1 of this benchmark program that attempts to gauge your 3D video subsystem's performance. Thanks 3DFiles. Here's what's new with the update:

BattleZone II Preview  [4:42 PM EST]
CGO/OGR's BattleZone II preview is up looking at Activision's sequel to their 3D action/strategy hybrid. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Decay Update, Screenshots  [4:32 PM EST]
There are six exclusive Decay Screenshots on GA-Source (except I'd swear I've seen at least four of these before) along with a Decay development update from Jim Malmros of Insomnia Software giving the latest with their upcoming game, including the following clarification:

We would also like to make sure that your readers have 'the right impression' of Decay. Some other site kinda over-exagerated the 'roleplaying-elements' in Decay. It's important for us that you understand that Decay is an action-game all the way. The character-generation, hitpoint-system and the advanced inventory is seemlessly integrated into the gameplay and is intended to enhance the gameplay, not change it drastically to a roleplaying game.

Still More Project V1 Interview, Shots  [4:32 PM EST]
Following a familiar theme, GamezNet interviews Digital Platoon about their upcoming game Project V1, also offering some screenshots along the way.

Legend Interview  [4:32 PM EST]
The Rust game editing design site has posted an interview with David Kelvin of Legend Entertainment talking about his work on their upcoming Unreal level pack, as well as level design in general.

Quake II 3.20 IAS Beta  [4:32 PM EST]
The folks at Extreme Audio Reality send word of the release of the latest beta of their IAS patch to add 3D surround sound to Quake II. Here's the poop:

Quake2 IAS version 3.20beta the new version has several bug fixes including: monsters now scream after they've been hit, instead of before. Player sounds supported for any model. Client-side re-established when joining to external server. All sounds positioned correctly server-side when acting as a server. also this version supports creative's EAX audio extensions. so for you people with SB Live!/PCI out there... here's a little added bonus!

note: Multiplayer STILL has not been implemented. If you have any Quake2 coding experience, and would like to help with this port, contact Aaron Lesch at alesch@earsound.com.

More Project V1 Interview, Shots  [2:36 PM EST]
Gone Gold previews Project V1 in a piece that includes an interview with Digital Platoon about their upcoming Unreal-engine game, and offers a bunch of screenshots as well.

Kenn Hoekstra Interview  [2:36 PM EST]
Tonight on the All Games Network, Lilith & Eve will speak with Kenn Hoekstra of Raven Software live, via RealPlayer at 5:30 PM EST about Heretic II, the Expansion pack, and more.

Daikatana Demo Specs, Screenshots  [1:54 PM EST]
The Adrenaline Vault News has word on what's up with the Daikatana demo that's been promised for release this month. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme. The piece also includes four new screenshots, one from each of the game's four episodes, and offers up the following info about what's included in the demo:

Savage4 Announcements  [1:33 PM EST]
S3's Savage4 Accelerator First to Market With Intel's AGP 4X Technology is the official announcement of the new S3 Savage4 accelerator with 4X AGP technology. Thanks Sharky Extreme. Also, Diamond Multimedia Partners With S3 is the official announcement from Diamond Multimedia about their upcoming Savage4 product. Here's more on the Savage4:

Spanning all volume mainstream PC price segments, Savage4 comes in two configurations: the Savage4 PRO and the Savage4 GT. Targeted for mid-range volume PC markets, the Savage4 PRO offers industry-first AGP 4X technology, 143MHz memory support and up to a 32MB local frame buffer, while the Savage4 GT offers AGP 2X technology, 125MHz memory support and up to a 16MB local frame buffer for low-end PC markets.

Based on its feature set, expected performance level and price point, S3 believes that the Savage4 accelerator is the mainstream graphics platform to beat in 1999.

Mortyr Screenshots  [11:16 AM EST]
The official Mortyr site has been updated with some new screenshots of Mortyr, their upcoming shooter that puts you in the role of a modern soldier sent back in time to do battle in World War II (just remember not to shoot your father or something... time travel gets tricky).

More Project V1 Shots  [11:16 AM EST]
There are four exclusive Project V1 screenshots on Action Xtreme showing off Digital Platoon's upcoming Unreal-engine Navy SEAL combat game set in Vietnam. They've also used the images to create their own Project V1 wallpaper. Also the third in the trickle of Project V1 shots that are being posted once a day is up on 3D-Unlimited, with the fourth a possibility to go up sometime today.

System Shock 2 Shots  [11:16 AM EST]
Sharky Extreme's first glimpse at System Shock 2 looks at this upcoming System Shock follow-up from Looking Glass Technologies, offering nine new screenshots from the game along the way.

Unreal-Engine Wolf3D TC  [11:16 AM EST]
An updated alpha of the Wolf3D conversion for the Unreal Engine is now available from its home on UnrealNation.

New Crystal Space Engine  [3:49 AM EST]
The Crystal Space site has a new Crystal Space Beta Release of their freeware 3D engine that supports Direct3D hardware acceleration under Windows, and Glide hardware acceleration for Windows and Linux. Thanks Sinner. Other features of the engine (this isn't a game, per se) are curved surfaces, colored lights, mipmapping, portals, mirrors, alpha transparency, reflecting surfaces, 3D sprites, scripting, as well as 8-bit and 16-bit display support.

Contacting RBR  [3:49 AM EST]
BoatRocker.com has a new RBR Contact Info. section so that those looking to get in touch with the former members of Rebel Boat Rocker can do so.

loonybin  [3:49 AM EST]
Here's the poop on the articles that will be posted this week for the new issue of loonygames:

Hey, get offa my lawn! That's issue twenty three of loonygames yer standing on! Ah, those damn kids... On life support this week:

Diablo II Movie  [3:49 AM EST]
The Unholy Battlegrounds has posted an 80 MB movie showing off gameplay from the upcoming Diablo II, as well as a list of mirrors. They've also posted tidbits of info they've gleaned from watching the movie.

Amiga Hexen & Heretic  [3:49 AM EST]
Raven's Kenn Hoekstra updated his .plan with the announcement that the Amiga ports of Heretic and Hexen are now available:

Amiga Ports for Heretic and Hexen are now available! I just received word from Stephen Haeuser:

I just released the first versions of Hexen and Heretic for the Amiga PowerPC Kernel "WarpUP". On a 150 MHz Amiga Heretic runs at around 40-45 fps, Hexen at around 35 fps. (For now only "basic" ports, i might add more features like Hi Res support in the future) The files are at:
...AmiHeretic.lha
...WarpHexen.lha
Well, there are still some problems (sound/music up to now only in Heretic, but i will still fix this for Hexen... also Heretic-Sound-Effects have still some ?quirks?).

OpenGL Model Program  [3:49 AM EST]
The 3DUtil Home Page has version 0.01 of 3DUtil, a basic 3D triangle modeler that uses OpenGL to do most of its rendering. You can import BMP, TGA, JPEG, and PCX as textures, and you can export as BMP or TGA. You can export scenes as POV-Ray scenes.

MailBag  [3:49 AM EST]
I dusted off the overdue edition of the Mailbag, here it is for your perusal. Picking up a bunch of dangling threads, such as auto-updating, Thief and TRIBES, the Q3A AVI, the PVGS, that damn shift key, some science for the literal minded, plus more on cookies, more on blank spaces, and one rant from theAntiELVIS, and another about him.

Reviews  [3:49 AM EST]
3DFiles reviews Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. Also, 7¾ Reviews Gloom 1.0, the just released Quake II mod. Also, there's a Metabyte eyeSCREAM 3D LCD Glasses Review on Riva3D. Finally, FastGraphics reviews the Creative Cambridge Desktop Theatre.

Follow-ups  [3:49 AM EST]
Neil Manke's page has a follow-up on the follow-up (story) to his fast vis article. Also, I mentioned a special low price for Eagle Watch on the Zone (story), but incorrectly called it a special price on playing, but it's actually a special price on the Rainbow Six add-on itself. Playing Eagle Watch on the Zone will, in fact, be free. Also, in the first version of the write-up about the Random Quake Map Generator yesterday (story), I mistakenly attributed a quote to the program's author saying the program generated maps better than some pro maps, which he did not even remotely say (just shows you how badly I can screw something up if I put my mind to it). Sorry about that (or in the Teflon®-coated world of journalism, it would be "Blue's News regrets the error"). Finally, I mentioned an update by 3D Realms' Scott Miller about the Prax War cancellation, but I want to mention Scott's subsequent update as well, since it clarifies and expands upon what he originally said.

etc.  [3:49 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [3:49 AM EST]
I'm not sure that Monday is the right day to post the MailBag, then again, I'm not sure it matters at all. Uncertainty is a terrible thing, don't you think? Or don't you? On the subject of the Blue Moon, Ryan "Novus" Harris sends word that he recently learned that "...the modern folklore involved in determining a 'blue moon' is actually wrong. It was originally determined by the seasons. There are supposed to be three full moons every season, but on some rare occasions there is a fourth. There are specific names for the three moons in a season. The first one is the Harvest moon, the last one is the Lintel moon, and I forget what the middle one is but it has a name. So, when there was a fourth moon in the season they didn't know what to call it so it's the Blue moon. I don't know if you know this either, but by modern folklore there will be another Blue moon in March. It's a big deal in the astronomy community. The little facts are sometimes the most interesting."

Yeah, sometimes... smiley3.gif (948 bytes)

Sunday, January 31, 1999         (A Blue Moon)

More on TRIBES (Non) Egg/Bug  [1:25 PM EST]
Jesh sends along an update on the TRIBES Easter Egg dealie posted earlier (story) that clarifies that it is neither an Easter egg, nor a bug:

I talked to Tim and he told me that the bug you posted (which I originally sent in to Planet Siege) is not a bug:

"Turns out that is not actually a bug. The tiles on the terrain are replicated outside the center area, what he ran into was a hole cut out for a building somewhere else on the map. You usually have to get pretty far out of the center area for this too happen.

If you do that on any map you will have it happen. Also - you can run to 'the edge of the world', as Tim told me:

"If they run far enough, they can run over to the edge of the world. Takes a while, but it's cool to have been there :) Should think about organizing a tour :)

OpenGL TRIBES Shots  [10:35 AM EST]
Riva eXtreme has posted a pair of new screenshots showing off Starsiege TRIBES running on a TNT using the beta OpenGL patch. Thanks PlanetStarSiege. The shots actually don't look identical to the Glide version, or the way the OpenGL version will ultimately look either, for that matter, since fogging is not enabled in the shots.

On the Heretic II EP  [10:35 AM EST]
Raven's Pat "CodeKing(tm)(R)(c) :-)" Lipo updated his .plan with the latest on what's up with their work on the upcoming enhancement pack for Heretic II. Here's a portion of his comments:

The beta is going AWESOME. The guys have been extremely helpful so far in their suggestions and in rooting out bugs. I've been finding that I've had to hold back on doing absolutely every-thing we've come up with for fear of NEVER getting done with the EP, but trust me, there's plenty there. The EP will be done soon, and it will be worth the wait, in most of the beta tester's eyes.

BC3K 2.03  [10:35 AM EST]
BattleCruiser downloads page has a new version 2.03 of BattleCruiser 3000 AD. The BC#K version control file is now in HTML format for ease-of-use. also now available is the 2.03 compatible version of their Game-Building System, and a new bug reporting utility.

New Benchmark  [10:35 AM EST]
Michael Tirtasana's 3D programs page features the release of his brand-new benchmarking program, Tirtanium (thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme. Here's the deal on what it incorporates:

New Quake II BraZen  [10:35 AM EST]
Version 1.0 of the BraZen mod for Quake II is now available. The new release features the return of single player play, as well as bug fixes and some new models.

Quake Random Map Generator  [10:35 AM EST]
The Quake Random Map Generator Official Web Page offers info and downloads for this program, which, as the name states, will create random Quake maps. The new release adds support for multiple rooms, more items, a new deathmatch mode, better lighting, and faster Qbsp, Vis, and Light compile times, as well as bug fixes.

TRIBES Easter Egg  [10:35 AM EST]
For single player games, the policy around here is to not post Easter eggs in the news in case it spoils the experience of the egg hunting for anyone. However, tAng from PlanetStarSiege sends word of a TRIBES Easter egg that I'll risk posting here, because I imagine most didn't even think to look for them (and I also can't imagine how this got found. Here's the poop:

In Desert of Death, keep walking north until you are out of limits. Walk north for about 1 more minute or so (may need to fly to get an 'aerial' shot of the world). You'll see a red glow in the north. Head to it... There is a 'hole' in the ground. If you fall through it you'll keep falling, and falling, and falling... Try shooting your blaster in either direction too.

Return to Fast Vis  [10:35 AM EST]
The Wavelength Half-Life Editing site has posted an article with a different perspective on Vis time considerations refuting some of the concepts in a recent article that was mentioned here on Neil Manke's site on the same subject.

Textured For Extra Pleasure  [10:35 AM EST]
The fifth texture patch has been released on The Texture Studio, offering over fifty more new free textures for use in gaming projects. The new set all feature a slimy wall and floor theme, and bring the number of textures available to over 400. The pack is available in the standard PCX, BMP, WAD3 and UTX format, and now in Shogo/Blood2's DTX format as well.

Reviews  [10:35 AM EST]
AnandTech reviews the ABIT BX6 Revision 2.0 motherboard. Thanks Wes Townsend.

etc.  [10:35 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [10:35 AM EST]
Yes, today is the Blue Moon (the second full moon in a month), I suppose I should try to do something very unusual for me today... nah, I guess I shouldn't take it so personally.

Images of the day (game-related, no less). Part I: A "painting" of Ellusion in the gameart Spotlight. Part II: Bobby's Computer Page has a new Q3A background made from a montage of screenshots.

Saturday, January 30, 1999

Quake II Gloom  [1:30 PM EST]
The Gloom Homepage has word of the release of version 1.0 of the Gloom mod for Quake II, from the people who brought you JailBreak and QPong. Gloom offers class based combat between humans and aliens (spiders), with not a Sigourney, Winona, or Fox lawyer to be found anywhere. Game over man! Even as I type these words, there's a release party on 3DNet IRC in the #gloom channel.

BlueTracker  [1:03 PM EST]
With the help of the hard working dogs from Webdog we're working out the kinks on the BlueTracker. With a few glitches along the way, I've gotten Tim from Dynamix's .plan added, with the rest to follow (I still can't figure out what generates the error message when the Dynamix .plans are first added). Also, I'm pleased to announce the most requested BlueTracker feature is now online, a summary page with the past 24 hours worth of updates.

S3 Savage4 Previews  [1:03 PM EST]
Sharky Extreme's S3 Savage4 preview is up (also now available in Sharky's native tongue, Korean), as well as AGN Hardware's Savage 4 preview. The Savage 4 is the follow-up to the Savage3D which includes and expands upon the S3 texture compression technology introduced with the Savage3D.

John Carmack on Q3A  [10:49 AM EST]
John Carmack made a lengthy .plan update discussing Quake III Arena programming issues surrounding creating larger maps than found in Quake and Quake II, discussing the trade-offs involved, and the problems large numbers of players cause in large areas due to client prediction. Here's a bit of the long update to get started on:

The issue of the 8192 unit map dimension limit had been nagging at me for a long time now. The reason for the limit is that coordinates are communicated over the network in 16 bit shorts divided as a sign bit, twelve unit bits, and three fractional bits. There was also another side to the representation problem, but it was rarely visible: if you timescale down, you can actually tell the fractional bit granularity in position and velocity.

The rest of the system (rendering and gameplay) has never had any issues with larger maps, even in quake 1. There are some single precision floating point issues that begin to creep in if things get really huge, but maps should be able to cover many times the current limit without any other changes.

A while ago I had changed Q3 so that the number of fractional bits was a compile time option, which allowed you to trade off fine grain precision for larger size. I was considering automatically optimizing this for each level based on its size, but it still didn't feel like a great solution.

(Update) Just for a smile (or may bit will help), I'm including this certified semi-accurate translation courtesy of sCary and shugashack.com:

"Dude, I was hax0ring with this Quake3 code and stuff and I made it so maps can be totally bigger dude, CRAZY! Then I was looking at these rockets things, and I thought, hey.. I can go buck wild and make the network code cooler for this! Let me try a few things. Nope, that didnt work.. Oh maybe this will though. OMG! I like it!"

Levelord Chat Log  [10:49 AM EST]
There's a Levelord On-Line Chat log from last night's IRC session with his 'loness, talking about Sin, other current games, and the future.

Reborn Interview, Shots  [10:49 AM EST]
GA-Source interviews Mikael Lindgren talking to the President of Nerve Lab about their upcoming first-person action/adventure called Reborn in a profile that offers seven new screenshots of the game.

Project V1 Shots  [10:49 AM EST]
3D Unlimited has posted two new screenshots form Digital Platoon's upcoming Unreal-engine game Project V1 with more in their hand to deal out as they see fit.

Turok2 Shots  [10:49 AM EST]
NetCombat.net has posted a bunch of new screenshots from the upcoming PC version of Acclaim's Turok2: Seeds of Evil.

TRIBES Update  [10:49 AM EST]
Dynamix's Tim (Slacker) Gift updated his .plan with word on what's up with the 1.2 patch, which is expected soon, though the OpenGL beta will be a separate release. The update also includes a complete list of what's changed in the upcoming version 1.2 patch, but this is just the part about the game plan:

Almost done with the 1.2 patch. I'm going to package it up and send it off to some of our beta testers this afternoon. We'll get more servers converted, test it over the weekend and if nothing major pops up, we should release it to the public early next week.

This patch does NOT include OpenGL, we'll release a beta of that separately.

Any server that's has a third digit in the version number is a beta server. We have been running a few here over the past few days, with version numbers starting at 1.1.2. I believe the current version is 1.1.6, but there may be a later one. Please join these servers and help us test them.

I've collected the changes from the release notes that can be tested using the current client. This list does not include all server changes and includes none of the client changes, but these are changes that you can test by joining a beta server.

Kingpin Preview  [10:49 AM EST]
Interplay Unveils Kingpin is GameCenter's look at Kingpin from the recent unveiling. The end of the piece mentions that Kingpin, Xatrix's back to the future gangster game that uses the Quake II engine is "still on track for a spring 1999 release."

On TeamFortress and TF2  [10:49 AM EST]
Chanodin.net's TeamFortress 2 Article is online giving a history of TeamFortress and looking ahead at TeamFortress 2.

SquadMod for TRIBES  [10:49 AM EST]
KilerBunny from PlanetStarSiege (Not to be confused with PlanetStarsiege) sends along the following on a mod for Starsiege TRIBES that will more readily allow for tournament play. Here's the lowdown and link to SquadMod, which apparently has no homepage of its own:

SquadMod release Alpha is now available for download. The changes are as follows: Optional Profanity Filter Optional %L parsing in say messages, this will replace %L with the approximate location of the speaker relative to map objects. Out of bounds damage with a set-able time delay Optional random funny quote in the MOTD Anti-TK (Provided by Kaptain Kickass) Admin command for Match Countdown in Tournament Mode Beacons are now indestructible to the team that set them, they also explode after 200 seconds. Optional automatic weapons switching when client runs out of ammo. Optional respawn delay, and delay increment factor Enhancements for Tournament Play...

Deployable Command station (Provided by LabRat) Stinger Missile launcher for medium armor (Provided by LabRat) Medium and Heavy armor energy levels and Heavy armor max speed tweaked GUI Front end!!

It's available for download at http://www.planetstarsiege.com/scripting/squadmod.zip

New ReMaic Demo Utility  [10:49 AM EST]
A new version 1.1 of ReMaic Studio, the utility that allows you to Reshoot (an) Existing Movie, Altering Its Camera. ReMaic works on any Quake (1) demo or movie, allowing it to be reshot and viewed from different points of view. The new release offers the ability to run the app from the console, skipping the GUI.

Newer QuickStart  [10:49 AM EST]
The Sloshy Software Inc. are on a roll lately, updating their QuickStart eraser Bot Wizard program a couple of times a week. Version 2.32 is now available, straightening out a couple of bugs (you didn't know they were bent, did you?).

Interviews  [10:49 AM EST]
3D-Unlimited interviews John Bye of the Coven about their upcoming Disposable Heroes Quake/Quake II dealie (slated for a February 1 release). Also, Captured.Com interviews VicViper author of the noname CTF mod for Unreal.

Reviews  [10:49 AM EST]
FiringSquad.com reviews the Hercules Terminator Beast Supercharged saying that it "stood toe to toe with the RivaTNT" in D3D testing.

Competitions  [10:49 AM EST]
The Ascension tournament has been expanded, and will now include, Q2 DM, Q2 CTF, Half-Life, and LMCTF for sure, and there is also a good chance we will add Q2 Lithium, Rocket Arena 2, and Starsiege TRIBES..

etc.  [10:49 AM EST]

Out of the Blue  [10:49 AM EST]
Wow -- I crashed and burned last night, and my extreme case of mental fuzziness seems to have disappeared (or at least abated to it's normal daily level). I appreciate what I'm hoping is your patience with what was a fairly disrupted week here at the ole Blue Tower.

Quote of the day: "Hungry Hungry Hippos, Dig-Dug, Twister, Quake III, and Chutes & Ladders"
-- Paul Meegan, Sinister Games CEO (PC Accelerator Dec '98). On what games besides his own he's looking forward to playing.

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