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Friday, July 17, 1998

LMCTF Server Patch  [8:53 PM EDT]
There's a patch for Loki's Minions 4.0 servers up on the Loki's Minions Capture the Flag page that fixes the killer lmctf19 crash and adds a missing pic for the WarHammer40k models. They've also posted a GUI front-end for easy server configuration.

New Quake II Movie  [8:17 PM EDT]
Team Spleen Homepage has a new Quake II move called Four Portals. It's funny and well done, though the post movie meandering, well, meanders. Here's a local copy (2.8 MB) on GamesNET, and here's a description from the Team Spleen page:

Four Portals in NOT revolutionary by any means. There is a lot of stuff that, in retrospect, needs fixing. Like the quality of the voice acting, the actual idea of the plot and such, but I think its still very enjoyable if you aren't expecting a huge epic film. This project originally started as a test of the cool features available in Keygrip 2, so if you're a big Quake movie buff, you'll probably want this just to drool over the camera work, etc.

For best results, use GL, crank the volume, and wear some headphones. Also, drink a gallon of beer.

The Hank Vote Returns!  [7:57 PM EDT]
Get this: today's ZDNet AnchorDesk offers a quickie poll on who's to blame for the Year 2000 problem, and one of the choices is.... yup, Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf! Thanks Marvin Daniels.

Monolith in Europe  [7:08 PM EDT]
This Computer Games Online article talks of Monolith's new European distribution deal.

Gore Shot  [7:08 PM EDT]
Processed News has a screenshot from Gore that appeared in PC Gamer UK.

Expert Quake Hangolicious  [7:08 PM EDT]
What's a hangolicious? Here:

The Expert Quake team will be having an IRC Quake "hang out" in celebration of Expert being named PlanetQuake's Mod of the Week on Friday the 17th (that's tonight) at 9:00pm PST in the #expert_quake channel on DALnet. Nothing big and serious, just the boys gettin' groovy. All are welcome.

Complete step by step instructions for using the GameSpy Chat IRC client for connecting to the #expert_quake channel can be found at the top of the EQ News page.

Eye for an Eye  [6:34 PM EDT]
Scott Miller  updated his .plan commenting on the LucasArts versus Remedy Entertainment logo brouhaha (story).

Messiah Weapon Input  [6:34 PM EDT]
Team Ego's Messiah site has the following tidbit about their interest in input on weapons for Messiah (thanks Billy over at Voodoo Extreme):

Shawn has typed all the ideas for weapons for you to see (except the really cool secret ones), and now is the time to act if you have a secret weapon fetish and want to push for a certain type in the game. Check out the weapons ideas here, and email us if you have any cool ideas.

New Freeze Tag  [6:25 PM EDT]
A small 1.53a update to Freeze Tag for Quake II is available, fixing a bug in the scoreboard, and stopping the telefrags at the end of the round. Hmmm, Freeze Tag sounds really appealing right now, it's damn hot here!

Prax War, George B Interviews  [6:00 PM EDT]
There's a short interview with Randy Pitchford of Rebel Boat Rocker on Gamers Digest. Also sCary sends word of a short George Broussard interview on the Universal Gaming Network.

Myscha Interview  [5:13 PM EDT]
A T. Elliot Cannon Interview on Deus Ex Incarnate talks to the Unreal designer better known as Myscha the Sled Dog about Unreal, and his recent visit to ION Austin to help out the Deus Ex team.

Action Gaming Links  [5:13 PM EDT]
Quake at the Mining Company has expanded to become Computer Action Games at The Mining Co., a good resource to send links and find them for action games.

Newer FreeSpace Patch  [5:13 PM EDT]
The Volition, Inc. page has news of another new patch for Descent FreeSpace (thanks Billy at AskGrandMasterB.Com). Here's the deal on the update:

Notice this is newer than the 1.03 version we released earlier. You can get 1.03.01 by hitting "Update FreeSpace" in your FS Launcher, or you may download the manual updater from our Updates Page.

1.03.01 Changes:
-Fixed "Alpha Waves" problem that made "Darkness and the Light" mission unplayable
-Fixed problem with updating read-only FreeSpace.exe files.

1.03.01 is compatible with 1.03 in multiplayer, but is not compatible with versions earlier than 1.03. Make sure your friends also update, or you will be unable to see each other's games in multiplayer.

ICQ USERS: FreeSpace and ICQ currently use the same ports. If you have ICQ, make sure you shut it down before running FreeSpace, or you will probably have crash problems. This will be fixed in the next FreeSpace update.

Unreal V2 Glide Driver (Multi-Texture Support)  [3:41 PM EDT]
3 Fingers and Billy at Voodoo Extreme sends along a beta Unreal Voodoo2 Glide Driver (21 KB) that offers increased performance by enabling Multi-Texture Support. Here's the deal from the read me:

VERY IMPORTANT: For this new GlideDrv.dll to work properly with Unreal, you must be using the latest 3DFX Glide 3.0 Voodoo II Reference drivers or the below drivers from Creative Labs. The below are preferred as they don't have the V Sync SLI bug that the 3DFX 7/15/98 drivers have. Either of the mentioned Voodoo II drivers will disable TV Out if your Voodoo II has that feature. If you wait, your Voodoo II manufacturer will eventually release Voodoo II drivers that are updated with Glide 3.0

CPL Event Update -- QuakeCon No More  [3:20 PM EDT]
The Cyberathlete Professional League page has an update announcing that each of the 32 tournament machines for their upcoming CPL Event will be a PII-266, with 64 MB of RAM, and a 17" monitor all proved by Tiger Distributing, each equipped with a Pure3D II LX (Voodoo2) card provided by Canopus Corporation. What I've just recently come to realize, though I believe this may be evident in some of the previous PR for this event, is that it is no longer being referred to as QuakeCon in any way. The next event actually called QuakeCon will be QuakeCon 1999 which I understand will be sponsored by id Software.

QuakeWorld Client and Server on One Machine  [2:17 PM EDT]
Metropolis has posted a utility called priority 1.2, here's a local copy (15 KB), that allows you to run a QuakeWorld client and server on the same computer. Here's what Timm has to say about this one:

I just posted a small (15k) program on Metropolis by Alan Kivlin. it's now possible to run the server and client on the same machine - with 0% packet loss and ~50 ping! Nice, or what? Currently it works best in windows 98. Win95\NT has some problems using it, although some people have managed to get it working.

This is VERY useful if you want to try out your mods, and stuff like that.

It's also possible to play the frogbot in QW with only one computer now.

It rocks, try it out.

Vigilance Shots  [2:17 PM EDT]
The Vigilance page has some new screenshots from this first-person shooter in a nifty high-tech web slideshow dealie. Thanks Prophet.

More on the Quake II Sampling Rate  [12:46 PM EDT]
Kenn (Gamers Extreme Quake II Bible) sent along a comment on the comment I commented on (yeah baby!) from Redwood earlier (story) about the accuracy of observations about a 10 Hz mouse sampling rate in Quake II.

I believe what Thresh was talking about wasn't the sampling rate of the *mouse* (which is, according to JohnC, sampled by Windows 25 times a second in WQ/Q2 no matter what you tell it to do), but rather the *server*. This does in fact make for easier animation of single-player models, but hurts control and timing while playing online, especially at a high framerate and connection where absolute precision is necessary. Carmack himself said that it was a good thing for single player, but ended up being bad for multiplayer, which is why it's going to be removed for Quake Arena.

I dug around and found this John Carmack .plan update from June 7 that seems to bear out what Kenn says (though the mouse is sampled 40 times per second by Windows, or every 25 ms, not 25 times per second-thanks Geist):

I spent quite a while investigating the limits of input under windows recently. I foudn out a few interesting things:

Mouse sampling on win95 only happens every 25ms. It doesn't matter if you check the cursor or use DirectInput, the values will only change 40 times a second.

This means that with normal checking, the mouse control will feel slightly stuttery whenever the framerate is over 20 fps, because on some frames you will be getting one input sample, and on other frames you will be getting two. The difference between two samples and three isn't very noticable, so it isn't much of an issue below 20 fps. Above 40 fps it is a HUGE issue, because the frames will be bobbing between one sample and zero samples.

I knew there were some sampling quantization issues early on, so I added the "m_filter 1" variable, but it really wasn't an optimal solution. It averaged together the samples collected at the last two frames, which worked out ok if the framerate stayed consistantly high and you were only averaging together one to three samples, but when the framerate dropped to 10 fps or so, you wound up averaging together a dozen more samples than were really needed, giving the "rubber stick" feel to the mouse control.

(snip)

It takes a pretty intense player to even notice the difference in most cases, but if you have a setup that can run a very consistant 30 fps you will probably apreciate the smoothness. At 60 fps, anyone can tell the difference, but rendering speeds will tend to cause a fair amount of jitter at those rates no matter what the mouse is doing.

(snip)

I have also concluded that the networking architecture for Quake 2 was just not the right thing. The interpolating 10 hz server made a lot of animation easier, which fit with the single player focus, but it just wasn't a good thing for internet play.

Quake 3 will have an all new entity communication mechanism that should be solidly better than any previous system. I have some new ideas that go well beyond the previous work that I did on QuakeWorld....

Quake II Deathmatch Pack  [12:46 PM EDT]
FearTech Unlimited Productions has released DMPAK2, a five level deathmatch pack for Quake II. No word on any servers running the pack, but it looks pretty slick, so hopefully someone will start running it so we can try it in action.

Upcoming Unreal Interviews  [11:26 AM EDT]
The Intel Owner's Club is gearing up to interview the Unreal team, and are offering the opportunity to submit questions.Additionally, tomorrow (Saturday) night at 8:00 PM Eastern time, Tech Radio is interviewing Steven Polge, Dr. Reaperstein of the Reaper Bot for Quake and member of the Unreal Development team. Tech Radio can be heard in the Washington D.C. area on WJFK, 106.7-FM, and I believe they will also make a transcript of the talk available.

Is Quake Dead?, Part II  [11:26 AM EDT]
Thresh's Front Line asks Is Quake Dead? -- Part Deux, revisiting the question in more detail. One of the topics he touches on is the comment that Quake II uses a 10 Hz sampling rate for the mouse, which, interestingly, I see Redwood calling "a myth," saying Q2's mouse input is read every frame, but may seem less responsive due to interpolation.

New PaintBall for QuakeWorld  [11:26 AM EDT]
Digital Paint has released version  1.39 of PaintBall for QuakeWorld, updated to work with QW beta 2.29. DP has an agreement with Quake Innovations, originators of PB, whereby they can modify the original source for bug fixes and compatibility. Thanks PaintBall Central.

International Match  [11:26 AM EDT]
Challenge-au and Cali Girl News both have reports up profiling an upcoming match where Thresh and the DeathRow guys are flying to Stockholm Sweden to duel against Clan [9] in an international Quake Event.

CNET on DIVX  [11:26 AM EDT]
DIVX new convenience or digital disaster? Thanks Guy Davis.

Talon's Strike on Strike  [11:26 AM EDT]
No, not really on strike (but hey the headline beast must be fed), but Talon's Strike will be on hiatus as Talon fulfils his obligations to the armed services. Good luck Talon, looking forward to your return.

More on the BattleZone Patch  [11:26 AM EDT]
In the BattleZone Patch release story yesterday, I failed to note that Voodoo2 owners will want to download this large assets file (3.1 MB, local copy) as well. Thanks Brian Hitch.

NAM Review  [11:26 AM EDT]
A Nam review on Gamesmania (thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers) takes a look at this newly released Build-engine game. They do not seem convinced that this is the authentic experience promised. Here's an excerpt:

Uh, I'm playing this game, but it's not bringing back many found memories of Duke. I seem to remember Duke--for all its pixelated bitmapped characters--being sharper. Character definition is so poor that I can't make the characters out from the background. Yes, they are supposed to be camouflaged, but some of them are standing in front of brick buildings. I can't seem to find any way to increase the resolution (the detail levels are supposedly on "high" already), unless I resize the screen.

"True experience of the Vietnam War"? I just took an extended burst of rifle fire at close range. I've still got plenty of health. And, like all shooters, all I need to do to restore it is walk over a nearby health pack. I am sure that any soldier who has been limping through a jungle with a bullet in his leg would love to just touch a health pack to be instantly healed. But I gather that's not the way it works. There's also no noticeable strain on my character. I've got 7 health and I'm still jogging merrily along like I'm in peak form.

All right, never mind the realistic portrayal of warfare. The manual describes your character as having taken an "experimental serum" that makes him so tough anyway, putting us thoroughly into comic book stuff. Let's just try to enjoy this on a pure action game level.

Hmm...not happening.

Levelord Rocks  [11:26 AM EDT]
We had an up and down Shooters last night, but Levelord was entertaining as hell, as usual. I want to thank his lo'ness for taking the time to talk with us, and to urge any fans of his to check out the chat with him, it is a lot of fun.

Heretic II Interview  [3:09 AM EDT]
I saw on Cyrellis 3D there's a Heretic II Interview with Jon Zuk on Exscape.

PowerBall 2  [3:09 AM EDT]
Version 2.0 of PowerBall for Quake II is up on Powerball for Quake2 H.Q. offering a new map; new features; including "Hattrick Mode" and assists; new models; the rebirth of the Lightning Gun; and new sounds and graphics.

Soldier of Fortune Scripting  [3:09 AM EDT]
Raven's Rick Johnson made a .plan update talking about he scripting language he's working on for their upcoming Quake II engine game, Soldier of Fortune:

Thought I would give a little update on SoF. As Eric Biessman mentioned a week ago, I've been working on a designer scripting language. The purpose of this language is twofold: to allow for much more complex events inside of a level (rather than creating a hundred trigger_multiple type brushes) and to give some of the programming power back into everyday people.

The language so far is very simple and easy to understand. This will limit its power in some ways. Of course if you want more powerful things, then you'll have to resort to the regular game code. The language will be under continuous development, as when designers request to be able to do new features, we'll be able to easily add them.

Nam Site  [3:09 AM EDT]
3D Portal has announced they are hosting a website for NAM, a new Build-engine game that is supposed to realistically depict action from the war in Viet Nam.

Whither Orchid?  [3:09 AM EDT]
Or is that wither: Is Orchid's future in question? Sharp-eyed Rob Gibson points out that the recent press release on the finalization of Diamond's acquisition of Micronics, that no mention of Orchid is made at all.

Quake II Server Help  [3:09 AM EDT]
Quake 2 Server Ops is dedicated to answering all the "how do I configure this darn thing" questions that pop up. Still getting underway, the site has basic how-tos already, as well as a mod-watch page to try and track the ever-changing versions of all those mods out there.

Dear Mynx  [3:09 AM EDT]
Always one of the week's most amusing blurbs, here's the lowdown on the latest Dear Mynx:

This Week: Mom's a babe, best friends with homosexual urges, ugly old net girlfriends from hell, how Quake kills sex lives, holding the pee and the poo, Romero's marital status and vitamin enrichment, and a reader contributes an embarrassing moment. It's two, two, two mints in one!

Glug  [3:09 AM EDT]
Squonkomatic's AquaQuake Vault, uniquely dedicated to water-based Quake combat, has been updated with even more aquatic fun.

Out of the Blue  [3:09 AM EDT]
Been a while since we've had an Image of the Day, today's is another odd pseudo-Quake symbol sighting (thanks ludes). I picked up a USB mouse (did I ever mention that my USB port crashes were a result of a flaky beta USB game controller? I don't think I did, but they were--yeesh), that I've been knocking around. I had no idea that the little hitches experienced when dragging and dropping stuff in Windows were related to the mouse port, but the USB mouse smoothes this stuff out greatly... I don't notice much change in games, but I would recommend this for desktop work, at least on high-end machines, as it's an easy way to make your machine seem faster and more responsive.

Thursday, July 16, 1998

BattleZone Patch  [10:45 PM EDT]
A version 1.31 patch for BattleZone has been released by Activision. Thanks Voodus Extremus. You can get it from their West Coast server via FTP or HTTP, or here's a local copy (3.7 MB) on GamesNET. Among the changes in the new release are the addition of five multiplayer maps, reduction of lag and the addition of more cheating protection. Also, for your patching needs, The AVault PC Release List has an F-15 patch from Jane's Combat Simulations.

Blood Update  [10:45 PM EDT]
The weekly update to the Blood 2 The Chosen page is up talking about the use of "brushes" in the LithTech engine. Thanks Tha Blood Shack.

StarSiege Tribes  [10:45 PM EDT]
GamePen's Insider looks at StarSiege Tribes.

George Broussard Interview  [10:45 PM EDT]
The Apogee Temple has posted a short George Broussard Interview.

Duke Meets Doom TC  [10:45 PM EDT]
3D Portal sends word that the Duke Meets Doom TC v1.0 beta has been released.

I'82 Screenshots, Chat  [10:45 PM EDT]
I76.Com has word of a moderated chat session with Zack Norman of the I'82 team on July 23 at 6:00 PM Pacific time (9:00 Eastern) in the #i82 channel on chat.i76.com. Thanks Lorien at Gamer's Alliance. Also Charlie at Activision sent along a couple more I'82 screenshots that I will post, hopefully with your kind indulgernce. These are back outdoors, and the cars are looking cooler than ever:

caddydes3.jpg (15477 bytes) lionetti.jpg (28990 bytes)

Logo No-Go  [10:45 PM EDT]
LucasArts Fights Remedy Logo reports Next Generation, saying that LEC has asked (in that legal way) Remedy to remedy what they perceived as similarities in their logos. Word is that Remedy is indeed changing logos, but that they were planning the move before LEC's protest. Here's a side-by-side (err, top and bottom) I snagged from Next Generation:

lucasremedy.jpg (5764 bytes)

#9 Hands-on Demo  [10:45 PM EDT]
Tonight's All Games Hardware puts the Number 9 Revolution IV 3D accelerator card through its paces in an in-studio demo.

Shooters  [6:01 PM EDT]
Tonight on Shooters we will talk with the guys from this Generations Quake 2 Mod dealie as well as one of our all-time favorite guests, Ritual's Levelord, to talk about Sin and beer and other stuff of interest to his lo'ness (we'll have to ask about the insurance on his OJ doll, depicted on Ritualistic. Shooters starts at 8:00 PM Eastern time, RealPlayer or MS Media player required. There's a full slate of gaming streaming video today and every Thursday on Pseudo, on tap for today is a preview of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six and a conversation   with Lionhead Studios' Peter Molyneaux.

Heavy Gear II Shot  [6:01 PM EDT]
Phoebus sends word that the Heavy Gear II site has a new HGII screenshot.

More on the Pure3D Drivers  [6:01 PM EDT]
Many have noticed that the Pure3D drivers released by Canopus (story) are the same as those posted a while back, and then pulled when they caused problems for some users. Purified3D has posted an explanation from Jerry of Canopus Technical Support"

Honestly we can't recreate the problem in house to fix them. it's why we have the drivers back online. Hopefully someone locally will install them and have the problem. Then we might be able to request use of the customer's system to debug the error we found.

Nothing seems to be in common on the system. They just don't work and you get a windows protection error, or a lockup or black screen. The refresh thing is something we can recreate here and work on fixing.

Hopefully we'll have something soon with a fix. if you run into anyone in the San Jose area that comments they have 1.60 driver errors, please point them our way and we'll ask for the customer's help.

Actual Real New Voodoo2 Reference Drivers  [3:53 PM EDT]
3 Fingers sends word of still more news on the status of the Voodoo2 reference drivers from yesterday. It seems the "actual new" Voodoo2 drivers posted by CL last night were still not the new ones, but that now, finally new beta Voodoo2 reference drivers are up on 3D Blaster Voodoo2 site, for those willing to submit their email addresses. So to summarize, for those that downloaded the June 19 beta drivers from Creative labs, neither the drivers posted by 3Dfx yesterday (story), nor the ones posted by Creative Labs last night (story) with the same name are new. The new drivers are now named v2win9x.zip and nt40v2.exe for the Win95/98 and the WinNT drivers, respectively, and word is CL will use unique filenames in the future to prevent such occurrences in the future. Here's what 3 Fingers has to say:

These new Creative Labs Voodoo II drivers fix the SLI V Sync bug that is in the 3DFX reference drivers released by 3DFX on 7/15/98. But you still must disable V Sync in a batch file, registry or with the new V2 Over Clockering Control Panel which now has a check box to disable V Sync in addition to an overclocking slider that goes from 85Mhx to 105Mhz. Get it here: http://www.voodooextreme.com/files/V2OC1200.zip

To uninstall your old V2 Overclocker Tab, if you have it. Just double click the V20Clnst.exe file once to uninstall and then double click it again to install the new one.

Now to the good news. The new drivers boosted my GL Quake timedemo demo 2 from 210fps up to 214.7fps. Hey, every little bit counts. (: This is 640x480 on a PII400 Dual Creative Labs 3 D Blaster 12MB SLI.

Any Voodoo II Board which has TV out should not use these drivers as it will disable your TV out function.

New QBS2  [3:33 PM EDT]
QBS2 version 1.03 is up on the QBS2 Downloads page providing bug fixes from version 1.01 and the unannounced interim 1.02, as well as adding weekly polls and a new way of viewing headlines.

Unreal Net Play Update  [2:07 PM EDT]
I saw on PlanetUnreal that Mark Rein made a lengthy post to the Epic MegaBoard with another update on the state of Unreal Internet play.  Here's an excerpt:

Plus Tim also believes that, at some point in the near future, a server-side patch is necessary to get up to the next major level of improvement but such a patch would mean total incompatibility between the current client code and the servers. This is much like the patches QuakeII goes through where a new server version requires everyone who wants to play on the net to download a big patch before they can resume network play. This is something that can't be taken lightly. Tim wants to take his time, explore every client-side avenue first, and then put as much as possible into the server-side patch before he forces every copy of Unreal to be incompatible with netplay requiring netplay users to download a very large patch. QuakeII did their first patch of this type several MONTHS into the release of their game. Unreal is only 7 weeks into its release (less than 4 month in many major International markets) and is still selling very strongly. So, for now, client-side improvements are getting priority over server-side. If we're going to make every copy of Unreal incompatible with network play then we want to make sure that everyone is seeing massive improvement before we do so.

Tribes Players Site  [2:07 PM EDT]
The Starsiege Tribes Players site is online offering a place to interact with members of the Tribes community, tribes, players, and the developers. The site offers .plan files from the developers, a webring, and all the latest skinny on Dynamix's upcoming 1st person multiplayer game.

Quake II Ground Zero Website  [1:24 PM EDT]
Phoebus sends word that the Quake 2 Mission Pack Ground Zero site is live over at Activision HQ.

Damage Skins and Code Exchange  [12:17 AM EDT]
Version 0.1 of Damage Skins is available as the first project for the Code Exchange. Damage Skins allows you to see the state of your deathmatch opponents' health in a Quake II deathmatch by the damage shown on their skin. The mod is designed to be modularly added to other mods, like VWep, as the Code Exchange name implies.

Loki's Solaris Minions  [12:17 PM EDT]
Solar Eclipse has the Solaris ports of the newly-released LM CTF Tournament Edition. Thanks Prophet.

Quake II HeadHunters  [12:17 PM EDT]
Version 1.2 of HeadHunters Quake II is up on HeadHunters Central as a server-only update. Thanks Prophet.

NVIDIA Interview  [12:17 PM EDT]
Cyrellis 3D has an interview with Jay Stocki, NVIDIA Developer Relations Manager.

Cliffy's Cat Scan Contest  [12:17 AM EDT]
Heh. Cliffy B from Epic passes along word of his Cat Scan contest, which could win you an autographed copy of Unreal:

Cliff Bleszinski announced today that he will be hosting a "Cat Scan" contest! This contest will feature cat-loving owners across the world holding their felines on their flatbed scanners in the name of ART. The rules are as follows:

1. If the cat looks like it is in serious pain, if you have to hurt the cat to scan it, your entry will not be allowed. I love cats, I just believe that a scanned cat is hilarious. 2. All entries must be recieved by August 10th, 1998. 3. All entries become property of Cliff Bleszinski and can be posted on this webpage without prior written consent. 4. All entries must be JPG format, no larger than 384x384 pixels.

The best cat scan will recieve a Care Package courtesy of Cliff, which will include a free, signed copy of Unreal, a signed Unreal T shirt, an Unreal Hat, and any other junk Cliff has laying around his house that he's looking to get rid of. Expect pizza crust and beer bottle caps as well.

Entrances will be judged in several categories:

-Style- Does the cat's squashed hair make an interesting pattern? -Beauty of the cat- Is this an attractive feline, or a fat, dirty old bag of fleas? -Form- Does the cat's squashed body look like a pear, or a pile of dough? -Positioning- Can you see the cat's face? What about his paws? -Consistancy- Did the cat squirm much during the scan? Squirm-free, full-body scans will have a better chance of victory.

Cliff Bleszinski has been around since 1975 and has only loved cats for the past five years. Prior to that he was well known for being a twisted bastard who enjoyed setting fires and melting stuff.

More information can be found at www.unrealnation.com/crackhouse/catscan.html!

Lara Croft: Author  [12:17 PM EDT]
Lara's Book. Eeek. Thanks Prophet.

Under It  [12:17 PM EDT]
Hmm. May be a bit spotty on the updates today, I'm a bit sick to my stomach from pain killers this morning.

John Carmack's Rhapsody  [4:47 AM EDT]
John Carmack made a lengthy .plan update talking about the pros and cons of developing on Apple's Rhapsody platform. Here's are a couple of excerpts that touch on code portability:

I ported the current Quake codebase to rhapsody to test out conix's beta OpenGL. The game isn't really playable with the software emulated OpenGL, but it functions properly, and it makes a fine dedicated server.

We are going to try to stay on top of the portability a little better for QA. Quake 2 slid a bit because we did the development on NT instead of NEXTSTEP, and that made the irix port a lot more of a hassle than the original glquake port.

I plan on using the rhapsody system as a dedicated server during development, and Brian will be using an Alpha-NT system for a lot of testing, which should give us pretty good coverage of the portability issues.

[snip]

In other operating system news, Be has glquake running hardware accelerated on their upcoming OpenGL driver architecture. I gave them access to the glquake and quake 2 codebases for development purposes, and I expect we will work out an agreement for distribution of the ports.

Any X server vendors working on hardware accelerated OpenGL should get in touch with Zoid about interfacing and tuning with the Id OpenGL games on linux.

LMPC, Demo Specs Updated  [4:47 AM EDT]
The Little Movie Processing Centre has been updated to beta 3.18. The program now offers full support for server-side DM2 files (up to Quake II 3.17), and the QWD decompiler can now handle QuakeWorld files up to 2.29BETA. In addition, Uwe's comprehensive unofficial DM2 format description and unofficial QWD format description have each become that much more comprehensive, with updates to cover the new versions.

Quake II BattleGround  [4:47 AM EDT]
Version 1.0 of Quake 2 Battleground is out, described as a comprehensive teamplay mod designed to make clan matches run smoothly. Some of the mod's features include GibStats fraglogging support, QWComp-style dm and tp commands, optional ping minimum enforcement for modem leagues, configurable team names/skins, multiple security levels, and automated multi-round matches.

John Carmack on ROS Coding Issues  [4:47 AM EDT]
Probably of particular interest to mod author-types, the Revenge of Stroggos page has posted some exchanges with John Carmack about coding issues encountered in RoS that shed some light on how the size of the player's is hardcoded in Quake II's client side prediction, and how that will change for QuakeArena to help mods like RoS do their thing. There's also a bit there on fog creation.

Fragapalooza Server  [4:47 AM EDT]
Fragapalooza '98 kicks off today in Edmonton. The webpage has posted some photos of the setup, and they have a public server  up at 24.108.20.227:27910 if you want to join in on the festivities. Thanks Prophet. If you are interested in looking for a LAN party in your own area (or someone else's for that matter), remember the LAN Parties listing here has more such events listed than you can shake a stick at, if stick shaking is your idea of a good time.

Adrenaline Rush 3D Drivers  [4:47 AM EDT]
This Adrenaline Rush 3D drivers page has version 2073B of the Windows 95 drivers for the AR3D that offer beta Windows 98 support. Thanks Billy's House o' Polys (VE).

Out of the Blue  [4:47 AM EDT]
I've gotten a few messages telling me that some mail to me has been bouncing lately, I'll look into it, sorry if anyone is having real problems with that. Also, OE is doing weird stuff (wrong names appearing in the from field), so I think I'm gonna bag it and go back to Eudora, having learned a bit about how she uses resources. Here's the quote of the day from Linux originator Linus Torvalds (thanks Jim Priest) answering bootNet's question What would your dream job be?

Torvalds: Paying lots of money for me sitting in some Hawaiian island playing Quake...

Wednesday, July 15, 1998

Actual New Voodoo2 Reference Drivers  [11:20 PM EDT]
Apparently the 3Dfx Voodoo2 reference drivers posted earlier (story) are not truly new, but the same drivers Creative Labs posted on June 19 as a beta. The good news is Creative Labs has released a newer set of Voodoo2 Reference drivers on their 3D Blaster Voodoo2 drivers page (thanks 31C3VQ6), again as a beta (you must submit your email address). Word is the new drivers are not significantly changed, but "address a few minor issues relating to monitor detection and fix a problem with VSync operation while in SLI mode."

Anachronox Preview  [11:20 PM EDT]
Computer Games Online previews Anachronox in a short profile that calls ION's upcoming RPG "Squaresoftian." Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

LMCTF 4.0 (Tournament Edition) Released  [9:41 PM EDT - Updated]
Loki's Minions Capture the Flag version 4.0, the Tournament Edition, has been released. Thanks Hurricane from Nachos.net. Here's a local copy of the combined client and server package (19.5 MB). The link was posted before the file was completely uploaded so the file I originally mirrored was incomplete: The file should now be the complete deal.

US FreeSpace 1.03 Patch  [9:00 PM EDT]
The version 1.03 patch for the US version of Descent: FreeSpace is up on the Volition - Downloads page, or you can hit the update FreeSpace button and let the magical FreeSpace elves do the rest. Here's a local copy (2.6 MB) on GamesNET FTP. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Quake II versus Unreal  [9:00 PM EDT]
GameCenter: Quake II vs. Unreal. Thanks Darien Day of Redox Portal News.

More Turok2 Art  [7:43 PM EDT]
More Turok 2 artwork, mostly character sketches, are up on VoodooNation.

Trespasser Interview  [9:00 PM EDT]
Raptor's Den has an interview with Brady Bell talking about what to expect from Trespasser.

Requiem AVI Take Two  [8:37 PM EDT]
Seems the local copy I posted originally of the Requiem AVI released earlier (story) was corrupt (sorry about that: it's Murphy's Law that this would happen as I was leaving for the afternoon). Here's take two of a local copy of the Requiem AVI (13.1 MB, zipped).

New Voodoo2 Reference Drivers  [7:43 PM EDT]
3dfx has posted new Voodoo2 Drivers for Windows 95/98. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

LMCTF TE IRC  [6:47 PM EDT]
The tournament edition of Loki's Minions Capture the Flag is slated to be released this evening in one of those chaotic IRC release parties. The festivities kick off at 10:00 PM Eastern time on irc.stomped.com #lmctf.

Turok 2 Art  [6:47 PM EDT]
Here's a cool piece of Turok 2 artwork done by Dhabih Eng (Doc Holiday) for the cover of Electronic Gaming monthly.

Heretic II AI  [6:06 PM EDT]
Activision's Heretic II Page has an update that describes the AI system they are working up for the game where the level designer can set waypoints, or "buoys" as they call them, to help the monsters effectively navigate levels, including difficult architecture, and doors and lifts.

ION Storm Interview  [6:47 PM EDT]
GameWEEK has an Interview with ION Storm. Thanks McGarnicle.

Max Payne Update  [6:47 PM EDT]
The Max Payne Website has the third of the three part development updated. This installment talks of Max's character, and what makes him different than the heroes in other games. There's also word there of a Level Designer job opening available at Remedy for Max Payne. You can read all about that here.

FFVII Rush Patch  [6:47 PM EDT]
A new patch to fix Voodoo Rush support for Final Fantasy VII for the PC is available on this page. thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

I'82 Contest  [6:47 PM EDT]
The Interstate '82 Get Your Name Up in Lights Contest offers a chance for the winner to get their name in lights on a Vegas billboard in Interstate '82, plus any three current Activision games of their choice.

Clan Steel Maelstrom Contest  [6:47 PM EDT]
The Clan Steel Maelstrom Homepage has word on their competition to give away a copy of the Quake II mission pack to celebrate their second anniversary.

Skin Up UK  [6:47 PM EDT]
Skin Up UK plans to collect the skins of individuals and clans who regularly play Quake II in the UK so they can issue a skin pack.

Tom Hall Interview  [11:14 AM EDT]
An Interview with Tom Hall on Commander Keen that concentrates on his history in gaming, discussing his days at id, Softdisk, and stories from the Commander Keen era (I hear Commander Keen is really bitter these days about being forgotten for that upstart Duke Nukem guy).

Requiem AVI & More  [11:14 AM EDT]
Hell on Earth, a site dedicated to Cyclone Studio's upcoming Requiem: Wrath of the Fallen, has posted some new Requiem screenshots, a Requiem .AVI, and has announced the launch of the "Official" Requiem Webring.

Half-Life Movies  [11:14 AM EDT]
Speaking of game cinema, Frans at 3D Action Gamers points out that Sierra has just now posted those Half-Life movies recently released on Twisted Half-Life up on their FTP Site:

ftp://ftp.sierra.com/pub/goodies/pc/hlmov1.exe   -- Local copy (4.1 MB)
ftp://ftp.sierra.com/pub/goodies/pc/hlmov2.exe   -- Local copy (8.4 MB)
ftp://ftp.sierra.com/pub/goodies/pc/hlmov3.exe   -- Local copy (4.5 MB)

Sin T-Shirt Giveaway  [11:14 AM EDT]
Ritualistic are giving away five Sin t-shirts to five random entrants in a drawing in conjunction with this Sinday dealie (July 26). Details on how to enter are up on their site.

Is Quake Dead?  [11:14 AM EDT]
On the release of Quake II (and subsequently Unreal), many Quake players declared themselves "old school" and refused to migrate their game. Now Thresh's Front Line addresses the Question "is Quake dead?", commenting on a perceived slowdown in Quake play.

GameCenter on the PERMEDIA3  [11:14 AM EDT]
3Dlabs' Permedia for the Masses is the title of GameCenter's look at the newly announced PERMEDIA3 chipset.

G200 Review  [11:14 AM EDT]
Cyrellis 3D has posted their review of the Matrox Mystique G200 16MB AGP.

ThunderWalker Invite Capture Ring  [11:14 AM EDT]
Results of the ThunderWalker Invite Capture Ring have been posted.

Outie  [11:14 AM EDT]
Oops forgot to mention in Out of the Blue that I'll be AWOL for at least most of the afternoon (perhaps into the evening if I just come home and crash) with a Dentist appointment (first lengthy/painful visit in a while -- and perhaps one of the last -- whee!).

No Name CTF for Unreal  [3:20 AM EDT]
The good news is the first release of Noname CTF for Unreal, version 0.1, is out. The bad news is there's a bug, described as a showstopper. The author says he thinks he has a handle on the problem, and is working on a fix.

Quake II DimensionX CTF  [3:20 AM EDT]
The first release of Dimension X Capture the Flag (version 1.4b) is out. DX CTF is a server-only Quake II mod.

Shogo Preview  [3:20 AM EDT]
The Adrenaline Vault Previews Shogo Mobile Armor Division.

TeamEgo Interview  [3:20 AM EDT]
There's an interview with TeamEgo, who are working on Shiny's Messiah on Messiah.World. Thanks Free Willy Wilson at Voodoo Extreme.

StarSiege Tribes Preview  [3:20 AM EDT]
Playing Starsiege Tribes is the tale of GameSpot's hands-on look at Dynamix's upcoming multiplayer game.

DirectX 7!  [3:20 AM EDT]
For those already bored with the yet-to-be-released DirectX 6.0, Microsoft reveals DirectX plans is an InfoWorld Electric article that looks into the crystal ball at DirectX 7.0 and (eek) DirectX 8.0. Thanks Redwood.

Action Quake 2 Review  [3:20 AM EDT]
The OGR MOD Zone takes a look at Action Quake 2. Thanks Cail.

Mac TombRaider II, Unreal, and Falcon Updates  [3:20 AM EDT]
The Westlake Interactive page has three new updates on the status of the Mac versions of Unreal, Tomb Raider, and Falcon 4.0. to summarize, they're all still in the works. Thanks BossMonkey.

3Dfx Cool  [3:20 AM EDT]
There's a 3DfxCool Voodoo 2 Cooling Fan review up on Game Post.

PaintBall Sites  [3:20 AM EDT]
Pball.Net is a new site devoted to PaintBall for Quake. Also PaintBall Central has started a new webring as well as a finger dealie.

TF Tourney  [3:20 AM EDT]
Team Fortress World Domination is a competition with a twist, as combatants vie for territory on a world map like a a TeamFortress match crossed with a Risk game. To start, each of 12 teams will have two territories apiece, with world domination the goal.

DM DB Adds Clan List  [3:20 AM EDT]
Epidon's Clan Listing has combined with The DeathMatch Database, and as a result, th4e DM DB is now offering a Clan database in addition to their extensive player listings.

Netscape 4.5 Preview 1  [3:20 AM EDT]
Preview 1 of Netscape 4.5 is out on Netscape's FTP site. Thanks Digital.

Out of the Blue  [3:20 AM EDT]
Here are a few small thoughts: I ditched the quote at the top after one go 'round, I didn't want it to be trite (maybe I'll do something intended as trite in the future) ... Fake emails were a theme yesterday as Myscha's .plan mentions it, and a spoofed mail not from Gabe from Valve was sent around with a fake Half-Life release date (not a good spoof, it was signed Gabe Newton instead of Newell) ... 3DRealms' Joe Siegler wants to know your favorite game news site in his .plan), on that theme, thanks again for the continued insane support on that World Charts Foundation thingie, I don't even know what to say but thanks ...

Tuesday, July 14, 1998            Happy Bastille Day (& World Cup), France

New PERMEDIA 2 Win95/98 Drivers  [7:38 PM EDT]
On the heels of the new NT drivers, the 3Dlabs Drivers page also has new Windows95/98 drivers up as well. This news comes from PGR who also pass along word of the announcement that 3DLabs has acquired Dynamic Pictures, manufacturer of 2D/3D graphics boards for Windows NT workstations (best known for its Oxygen line).

Shogo Movie  [7:04 PM EDT]
saw on sCary's Shack o' Shuga that Jason Hall's .plan has word of a "bootleg" Shogo video. Here's an excerpt talking about what's up:

So, despite all the warnings, disclaimers, stare-downs, and bodyslams, I secretly spent 2 hours last night putting together a 1 minute SHOGO preview AVI at home, and tried to not include anything that whould get me in trouble with the team. (yeah right, I'm dead meat now)..

I would have loved to show you much more than what is in this video, and trust me when I say that this footage barely scratches the surface of the ANIME inspired experience that is SHOGO, but hey, I think that we gotta show you a little something more right NOW. I mean, others are stepping up to the plate and showing their goods...I guess underneath it all, I must be some kind of marketing type. :)

Alrighty then, without further ado, here is the link to the alpha clip:

ftp://ftp.lith.com/pub/shogo/shogonew.avi

NOTE: The team does not yet know I'm putting this up. It is entirely possible that when they read this and look at the video that they will make me take it down. I'm taking a gamble here, so GET IT FAST! (if you are interested)

Side notes -
The music I used for the background is actually one of the IMA (interactive music) tracks that is played during the game. It is not CD audio. It's pretty cool. It's basically the new DirectMusic technology from MS. I think that it's neat that the LithTech team got that stuff in there.

Well, too late to take it back now, I snagged a local copy (15.5 MB), that's now up on GamesNET FTP.

More Akolyte Screenshots  [6:47 PM EDT]
If you liked the Akolyte stuff from earlier (story), they have released over 30 more screenshots. You can grab the whole batch here in a handy zip (457 KB).

Pure3D Drivers  [6:47 PM EDT]
The Pure3D Software Updates page has version 1.60.05 of the Windows 95 drivers for the Pure3D/Pure3D LX. According to the release notes, there are some known problems with this version: "Some people might experience Windows Protection Faults during boot. We are aware of this problem are attempting to correct it. If you have this problem or any other booting problem with these drivers please notify Canopus Tech Support with the below requested information..." Thanks Roark and jay'effaar.

AvP Movies  [5:22 PM EDT]
GameFan Online has four Alien vs. Predator Movies in QuickTime 3.0 format, as well as a bunch of Alien vs. Predator screenshots. Thanks Mark.

More on Tom's on AGP  [5:15 PM EDT]
There's an article up on Tom's Hardware called AGP - Real3D's Response (thanks BadMojo), that replies to the article Real 3D response to article Does AGP Really Improve Performance posted on MPOG a while back in response to an article on Tom's called Does AGP really Improve Performance?

New Total3D 128V Drivers  [5:15 PM EDT]
The Total3D 128V Software Updates page has version 1.30.05 of the Windows 95 drivers for the Total3D 128V. This updates the OpenGL support to the latest NVIDIA release, adds new options to the display drivers tab, with other additions and fixes thrown in on the bargain. Saw that on AGN3D.

Turok2 Preview  [3:09 PM EDT]
VoodooNation has posted a large Turok2 preview.

3Dfx on the Dementia  [2:37 PM EDT]
Today's Daily Dementia offers a conversation with Brian Bruning of 3Dfx Interactive "on a myriad of topics, including arcade games, the Banshee, AMD's K6 2 with 3D Now!, and more!" It's the more part that'll get ya. RealPlayer, or that new MS media player dealie required.

GC Responds to TNT Test Questions  [2:30 PM EDT]
Ken Feinstein from GameCenter sent along the following on their TNT testing methodology to answer some questions that the benchmarks raised:

I would like to set the record straight regarding our test methodology used in evaluating the preproduction version of Diamond's RIVA TNT-based Viper.

There is no reason to believe that Gamecenter mistakenly tested Diamond's preproduction RIVA TNT-based Viper board with wait-for-v-sync enabled. For instance, running the Forsaken Biodome demo at 640 by 480, the Viper scored 142.69fps. This could not have been possible with with wait-for-v-sync enabled. With wait-for-v-sync enabled, the card's performance would have been limited to number of screen refreshes per second, which, if I remember correctly, was 85 times per second in this case. All of our other test results are consistent with this conclusion.

Testing the Viper with a beta version of DirectX 6 installed produced practically identical benchmarks to testing with DirectX 5. Incoming at 640 by 480 ran at 80.06fps with DirectX 5, and 79.86fps with DirectX 6. Quake II ran at 57.8fps at 640 by 480 with DirectX 5, and 58.5fps with DirectX 6. Turok, at 800 by 600, ran at 53.5fps with DirectX 5, and 53.8fps with DirectX 6. Forsaken ran slightly faster at 640 by 480 with DirectX 6 than with DirectX 5 (142.69fps vs. 146.22fps), but running at 1,024 by 768 the results were nearly identical with both versions of DirectX.

All of our tests (Savage3D, Voodoo 2, and RIVA TNT Viper) were performed on the same system (Gateway E-4200) with the same versions of test software installed.

-Ken Feinstein Technical Editor CNET GAMECENTER.COM

New Old Half-Life Screenshots  [2:23 PM EDT]
The Vault has word of the release of a couple of Half-Life screenshots that were previously unauthorized. Saw this on Contaminated.net via halflife.net via sCary's Shack. The shots show off a Houndeye attack (nice magnum!) and a Bullsquid underwater.

New Akolyte Screenshots  [2:00 PM EDT]
Eight new Akolyte screenshots (with damn fun captions) are up on the Revenant website. Akolyte is a multi-character, 3D action-RPG kinda dealie. Thanks Dave.

NVIDIA on the TNT  [12:01 PM EDT]
3Dimensional 128 has posted a response from Lew Paceley, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at NVIDIA, responding to comments on TNT and early benchmark analysis. The post talks of the early stages that the board and drivers where tested under (which begs the question why anyone was showing off the board in such a state, but I guess that's the nature of the business at this point). Here's an interesting quote with some performance predictions, and more on the comparisons to Voodoo2 and Voodoo2 SLI:

We're not ready to share any numbers yet but I can say that we have a name brand, honest-to-goodness game that already runs faster on TNT than V2 SLI. I'm not expecting anyone to blindly believe it - we'll show you when we release the first production build.

We have also gotten questions about clock speed and process technology. To ensure a fast production ramp NVIDIA decided to stick with .35u technology. Yes, this means that the clock speed may be less than some of our competitors using .25u. The difference is that we will be in volume production. And yes, despite using .35u we expect the RIVA TNT will be the fastest 2D/3D chip on the planet when it ships. See for yourself in a little more than 30 days.

On 3D Promises  [12:01 PM EDT]
On the subject of manufacturers claims for future products, 3D accelerators in particular, there's an article on Computer Heaven urging skepticism when reading such claims (for those who are not already downright cynical about them), titled Listen to half of what you hear and believe half of that. The future 3D arena.

New FrogBot for Quake  [11:41 AM EDT]
Version 0.11 of the FrogBot for classic Quake is up on the Metropolis offering some bug-fixes and enhancements, as  well as a QuakeWorld version. I found the text on the site hard to read under Navigator, so you may want to try highlighting the text.

New PERMEDIA2 NT Drivers  [11:41 AM EDT]
New Windows NT drivers for PERMEDIA2-based cards (as well as new GLINT MX and GMX NT drivers) are up on this 3Dlabs drivers page. Thanks Timschel.

Blood 2 Update  [11:41 AM EDT]
Oop, missed this at first, but the 11th weekly update to the Blood 2 The Chosen page is up (or usually weekly update, they skipped a week this go 'round). Thanks Frans at 3D Action Gamers.

BC3KAD Patch  [11:41 AM EDT]
The BattleCruiser Website has a new version 1.08B Patch for BattleCruiser 3000 A.D.

Quake II Weapons Factory  [11:41 AM EDT]
The Weapons Factory (they've dropped the "ST" from the name) has Linux and Solaris ports of their "TF for Quake II-like" mod available.

Freeze Tag Interview  [11:41 AM EDT]
There's an interview with Freeze Tag author Darrell "Doolittle" Bircsak on mne[MON]ik's shrine of infinite khaki. Again, I suggest highlighting the article with your mouse if you are having trouble reading the dark text on the dark background (the word of the day is "contrast").

On the Sin AVI  [3:43 AM EDT]
Ritual's Paradox made a .plan update that, among other things, talks about the new Sin AVI on GameCenter, pointing out a couple of things worth noting. Here's an excerpt:

-Heya, for those of you who haven't checked out the new ACTION PACKED (heh heh) SiN avi head on over to http://www.gamecenter.com/News/Item/0,3,1940,00.html and check it out.

The AVI was recorded in the Sewer level displayed at E3 and shows off some of the complex interaction and destruction that goes on in SiN. Plus, the middle sequence gives a little insight into our creature duck, cover, fallback, and hiding AI. That dude is REALLY into self preservation! Also, if you notice, as I shot at the baddie, when you hit him in the leg, he reacts to being shot in the leg and that portion of his body becomes damaged! Ahhhhh, the joys of SiN.

There is also a little peek at our 3rd person view in the AVI, you can see the weapon attached to Blade, and the damaged parts of his body revealed as he gets shot. Neato stuff!

DNF Interview  [3:43 AM EDT]
A Keith Schuler Interview on Duke4ever.com talks with this 3D Realms level designer about his work on Duke Nukem Forever.

Solaris Chaos DM & Freeze Tag  [3:43 AM EDT]
Solar Eclipse has Solaris ports of both version 1.01 of Chaos DM and version 1.53 of Freeze Tag.

New Quake II Tectonic  [3:43 AM EDT]
Version 2.0 of the Tectonic, the multi-mod Quake II launcher is out offering Catch The Chicken support.

On TNT Performance  [3:43 AM EDT]
Diamond Viper TnT Performance Explained is an article up on Cyrellis 3D that sheds light on recent TNT benchmark results on anonymous, but what they say are reliable, sources.

On Pure3D II Performance  [3:43 AM EDT]
Purified3D has posted some benchmarks on a Pure3D II using 3Fingers' newly released Crusher demo (story).

Voodoo 2 Controls Explanations  [3:43 AM EDT]
Those Crazy Voodoo2 Controls by d0gmA and 3 Fingers gives a run down on what those checkboxes in a Voodooo2 control panel do.

Voodoo2 Overclocker  [3:43 AM EDT]
Speaking Voodoo2 control panel options, Billy over at the Voodoo Extreme House o' Pancakes has posted an updated overclocking program that adds a display properties tab which allows you to turn off VSYNC ("Don't sync buffer swaps to monitor refresh rate") on a Voodoo2   (an option removed from the most recent set of reference drivers).

Getting GameSpy to Spy through Firewalls  [3:43 AM EDT]
Gamespy/Proxy server config help give instructions on how to use GameSpy to connect to games through a firewall using a proxy (the author even bravely offers to answer questions on the topic).

Rail Tourney  [3:43 AM EDT]
Clan KR Presents The First Annual Rail Tourney.

Out of the Blue  [3:43 AM EDT]
Well, didn't realize I'd learn something as a result of my comment yesterday, but here it is, Friday the 13th is apparently associated with the Knights Templar. Here's the Yahoo listing on the order if you want to read more (thanks gnfnrf).

Monday, July 13, 1998

New QuakeWorld Beta  [11:43 PM EDT]
Zoid updated his .plan with word that he's released a beta version of QuakeWorld 2.29. Here's the update:

I've released a public BETA of QuakeWorld 2.29. This release is not compatible with previous versions. Please note that this is a beta only release and not meant for general use.

You may get the BETA from:

ftp://ftp.idsoftware.com/idstuff/quakeworld/beta/qw229BETA.zip

This 2.29 BETA release contains servers and clients for Windows (Win32) and Linux i386 ONLY.

I'm looking for bug reports and suggestions about this new release. This 2.29 version should address the problems that were present in the 2.21 release. Once the beta test is finished (length depends on what problems are found, etc), I will release a 2.30 public version.

Here is the list of changes:

- 2.1 movement code mostly restored, but sv_friction is still 4 (like NQ) and the gravity application matches NQ. This should fix some bugs on maps people saw in 2.21 and fix some other errors.
- Complete rewrite of the reliable data handling. NO MORE OVERFLOWS.
- Client to Server (from you to the server) data is about 25% less bandwidth
using delta compression. This means you can bump up your cl_maxfps by about 20%. This will have a minor impact on lag.
- QuakeWorld now allows one external command packet until server connection. This makes QPlug work again as well as older versions of QuakeSpy/GameSpy.
- In GLQWCL, the size of the eyes.mdl is double sized. In GL, the default eyes model was much, much harder to see than in software. This should help even it out.
- New spectator camera. A 'through the eyes' view of the player you are tracking. To enable this, type "cl_chasecam 1" when in spectator mode and chasing a player.

Here's a local copy (965 KB) on GamesNET FTP.

StarCraft Suit Dropped  [6:18 PM EDT]
GameSpot News is reporting that the StarCraft lawsuit has been dropped. The report says sources at Blizzard are saying the complainant will drop the suit, which was filed over privacy issues after information was obtained from the registry of StarCraft users over Battle.Net. According to the story, the attorney who filed the original complaint could not be reached for comment.

Messiah Preview  [6:01 PM EDT]
The PC Accelerator website (from the new magazine), has an online preview of their print preview of Messiah, Shiny's upcoming third-person game. You can actually read the preview online, which also has some new images. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme. Additionally, the site offers a Daikatana preview, a Forsaken review, and an article on Unreal versus Quake.

Obsidian2 X-24 Review  [6:01 PM EDT]
Quantum X-24 Review @ AGN3D.COM looks at the single-board SLI Voodoo2 offering from Quantum3D.

Help Wanted at WoT, No More for PCGamer  [6:01 PM EDT]
Legend Entertainment's Glen Dahlgren points out that The Wheel of Time page, dedicated to their upcoming Unreal-engine RPG, has a help-wanted ad for a senior technical person for the project. The detail are in today's news update on the WoT page.

Also, please, no more calls, they have a winner. The following follow-up on the PC Gamer help wanted in the following story came in shortly after it was posted:

First of all, thanks for the tremendous response to my earlier post. When I got back from lunch I had well over 200 emails waiting for me and more coming in every minute. Word travels fast!

I've managed to whittle my way through the messages and have narrowed it down to 15-20 candidates (who I will be contacting in the next few days for additional information). At this time, I am no longer seeking candidates.

To those who were not selected, thanks for taking the time to write in, and I'm sorry I couldn't personally respond to each message.

Thanks again for the great response!

William Harms
Multimedia Editor
PC Gamer Magazine

Get Paid to Play!  [3:14 PM EDT]
The following comes from the game-happy fools at PC Gamer that they are looking to pay someone to play through all the new levels that come out for Quake II and Unreal to provide blurbs on their website (I would say going through every level that's released is really earning this money). Here's the scoop:

PC Gamer is creating a level add-on section for its web site, and needs someone to help with the maintenance of the Quake 2 and Unreal sections. This paid, freelance position requires someone who knows both games like the back of their hand (single- and multi-player) and is extremely reliable. We prefer to hire someone who has past experience running (or contributing to) a similar web site. The site will be updated weekly.

What's the job? You must play through all new single- and multi-player levels for both games and select the best ones out there for inclusion on the PC Gamer website. In addition, you will need to provide 2 screens and a 20-25 word synopsis of the level.

The position will pay $400.00 a month. (Since it is a freelance position, no benefits will be paid, taxes will not be taken out, and it can end at anytime.) In addition, you will be able to say that you help out PC Gamer Online, one of the largest gaming sites on the web.

Send your name, e-mail, phone, and a listing of related experience to bharms@pcgamer.com. William Harms Multimedia Editor PC Gamer Magazine 150 North Hill Drive Brisbane CA 94005

MeccaWorld Mega-Giveaways  [3:14 PM EDT]
I got some info from someone named "Publisher - MeccaWorld Properties" (I assume it's TC, at least he's not "New Compaq Owner") about a drawing on the Daily Dementia, to give one winner a Real 3D StarFighter 2D/3D AGP card, and copies of BattleZone, Interstate '76 Arsenal, Heavy Gear, and Monster Truck Madness II. The catch here is you have to listen to the show (RealPlayer required), so like the story above, the winner is earning his keep (J/K, T.C.).

2D/3D Card Roundup  [3:14 PM EDT]
The Graphics Cards Update at Fastgraphcs.com gives their latest take on 2D and 3D performance on a variety of cards. Tip o the hat to Voodoo Extreme

New Quest & Source  [1:23 PM EDT]
Version 2.28 of the Quest Quake level editor is out on The "Official" new DOS/Win95 Quest homepage. In addition to the new version of the editor, the source code is being made available under GNU General Public License, good gnus to those interested in the internals of such a program.

Quake II Demo Opener  [12:16 PM EDT]
Version 1.0 of the Quake II Demo Opener is out. Q2DO allows you to view a demo in Quake II by double-clicking it in Windows, shows the time and date the demo saw recorded, and shows the map that the Demo was recorded on.

Duke Forever FAQ  [11:28 AM EDT]
There's an unofficial Duke Nukem Forever FAQ up on Duke4.com.

Multiplayer Spec Ops  [11:17 AM EDT]
This press release from Rip cord Games announces that multiplayer play will by implemented in Spec Ops via an add-on pack due this fall using the RTIME Interactive Networking Engine (thanks Lorien at Gamer's Alliance). This is the same networking engine that Acclaim recently announced would be handle multiplayer play in Turok2: Seeds of Evil.

PERMEDIA 3 Announced  [9:20 AM EDT]
3D Labs has announced plans for the PERMEDIA 3 graphics accelerator, according to this Microsoft Investor News Article. Here's some of the hype and hope in the form of three quotes excerpted form the lengthier release:

3Dlabs(R), Inc. TDDDF today announced the details of its forthcoming PERMEDIA(R) 3 graphics processor, its next-generation device in the award-winning PERMEDIA family, which integrates 2D, 3D, digital video and VGA processing in a high- performance, single-chip design. Processing up to 250 million texels-per-second while rendering dual-textured polygons in a single pass, the PERMEDIA 3 design is expected to deliver comprehensive acceleration for Microsoft(R) DirectX(R) 6 multimedia API -- providing fast gameplay while boosting 2D, video and 3D Windows application performance. 3Dlabs has completed design of the PERMEDIA 3 and expects to sample and ship the device during the second half of 1998.

The PERMEDIA 3 will be manufactured in a 456-pin BGA package using a state-of-the-art 0.25 micron silicon process. The device is expected to be priced at approximately $45 for quantities of 100,000 units per month once it enters into production and will be available solely from 3Dlabs. The Company does not expect to derive revenues from PERMEDIA 3 until Q4 98.

"The PERMEDIA 3 architecture is the result of a dedicated development effort by 3Dlabs to deliver a complete, single-chip, high-performance accelerator for DirectX 6," said Osman Kent, president and CEO of 3Dlabs. "We expect the projected performance and feature set of this latest-generation PERMEDIA processor will position 3Dlabs as a contender in the PC performance desktop and high-end gaming graphics markets by offering what OEMs and end-users have been looking for: high 3D fill rates, sustainable special effects, fast 2D and DVD playback with support for multiple displays, digital flat-panels and advanced video options."

Sound Showdowns  [4:13 AM EDT]
There's a 3D Audio Showdown on 3DHARDWARE.NET with a side-by-side-by-side, etc. comparison of the Monster Sound MX200, the Turtle Beach Montego, and the IOMagic Magicwave PCI. Also, I missed from a couple of days ago that Anand's Hardware Tech Page has a PCI Sound Roundup offering looks at a bunch of Diamond cards, the Monster Sound MX200, the Monster Sound M80, and the Sonic Impact S70.

HyperQuake  [4:13 AM EDT]
Beta 2 of HyperQuake for Quake II is out on the HyperTeam Development page. In addition to bug fixes, new features include Gibstats logging, an in-game chasecam, and MOTD support.

Cool Cooler  [4:13 AM EDT]
Billy at VE points the way to this article on the TennMax Stealth Voodoo2 Cooler that talks of impressive Voodoo2 over-clocking results for those with the need for ever-more speed.

Requiem Clan Registry  [4:13 AM EDT]
Okay, so you've formed your clan for Requiem: Wrath of the Fallen, but you can't play any matches, because the game isn't out yet, what do you do? You can register your clan's name with the Hell on Earth Requiem Clan Database. Then work on strategies or a clan song or something.

Correction  [4:13 AM EDT]
In the original story about the Freeze Tag map pack yesterday, I said they were converted CTF maps,  but they are actually two maps by Sten "ztn" Uusvali and three by Headshot of Headshot's Tiny Deathmatch Map Depot.

Out of the Blue  [4:13 AM EDT]
Now why isn't it worse luck for the 13th to fall on a Monday?

Sunday, July 12, 1998

AMD K6-2 RIVA PCI Drivers  [8:03 PM EDT]
PCI RIVA 128 drivers for AMD K6-2 processors up on the NVIDIA Drivers page. Now I posted this news before, and the drivers are dated from May, but Omar from RivaZone tells me that in spite of that, these are actually new (perhaps the drivers previously posted were only the AGP ones?), so I will bow to his expertise.

New Spec Ops Patch  [7:12 PM EDT]
SpecOps.Org has a new load out patch described as "very beta." The patch is the AWAL, or, All Weapons on All Levels patch, and it currently comes in 3Dfx and software varieties, with the OpenGL version currently still being worked on. Thanks Ryan Schneider.

QBS2 Bug Fix  [7:12 PM EDT]
Version 1.01 of QBS2 is out, fixing the "Subscript out of Range" errors that stopped everyone's version of the program from working Saturday night.

Crusher Quake II Demo  [4:17 PM EDT]
3 Fingers sent along word of his new "crusher" demo for Quake II, the sequel to massive1, designed to stress your system to its limits to show the framerate you can expect when it really hits the fan in multiplayer play. Here's a local copy of crusher.zip (366 KB), courtesy as usual of GamesNET FTP.

New Chaos DM & Linux Version  [12:50 PM EDT]
On the heels of Chaos DM for Quake II, released earlier, comes the release of version 1.01 on the Chaos Deathmatch page, as well as the Linux port of version 1.01.

Unreal Multiplayer Tweak Guide  [11:08 AM EDT]
I meant to mention this yesterday when the mad carnivore at VE pointed it out, but the NFF Tweaking Guide has hints on how to better your Unreal multiplayer performance, based on the Unreal Tweaking Guide by Inoxx which is focused on the single player game.

Gore Video  [5:30 AM EDT - Updated]
AGN3D has the Gore Video (story) in VIVO format for a much smaller download. Danke to old Gory over at Voodoo Extreme. Here's a a local copy of the AVI (39.3 MB),  and also a zipped copy (18.2 MB), thanks to GamesNET FTP.

New RAMBOT  [4:58 AM EDT]
Version 0.47 of RAMBOT for Quake II is up on RAMBOT's PIT.

Chaos Deathmatch  [4:58 AM EDT]
Version 1.0 of Chaos Deathmatch for Quake II is out. New in this version are: Havoc Bot v0.1, chainsaw, bastard broadsword, automatic defense turret, automatic rocket turret, explosive crossbow arrows, poison crossbow arrows, new buzzsaw model, new living proxy mine launcher, invisibility powerup, kamikaze mode, self-teleporter, and more.

Freeze Tag Map Pack  [4:58 AM EDT]
The Freeze Tag Home has a map pack that offers five new levels for Freeze Tag for Quake II. Thanks Doolittle.

Out of the Blue  [4:58 AM EDT]
Played a bit too much Rocket Arena 2 last night/this morning, I think I have harmed my brain. Oh well, that's what weekends are for I suppose  =]

Saturday, July 11, 1998

Gore AVI  [6:17 PM EDT]
A movie showing off Gore, an upcoming first person shooter, is up on the 4D Rulers page. The AVI was done in May for a PCGamerUK CD and shows off  "some Gore level design and monsters in early development stages." It weighs in at about 40 MB.

Half-Life Movies  [6:17 PM EDT]
Twisted Half-Life has posted three Half-Life AVI's from the E3 press kit. I would presume these have been released already, but what do I know, Billy tells me the Wicked3D news below is a couple of weeks old (doh!).

Stereo Wicked3D and Voodoo2 at 1024x1024  [2:07 PM EDT]
Couple of hardware stories on a slow afternoon: The Wicked3D website has word their new StereoVision using Voodoo2 technology that seems to promise enhanced support for products like H3D glasses. I saw this when checking out another new dealie I read about on on 3DNews.net that the Wicked3D folks are working on (it's not clear to me what the story is on availability of either of these products) called Re2Flex3D, which is some sort of breakthrough of theirs for their Wicked3D Voodoo2 boards to offer higher resolutions than competing products. Again, it's not clear whether this is currently available, and comments on the site about what developers need to do to support this, as well as references to both DirectX and Dirct3D modes, make it unclear if these higher resolutions would work out of the box with, say, Quake (though their reference to 800x600 and 1024x768 being the maximum resolutions normally available on a a single V2 and SLI respectively show that these are resolutions that do allow use of the z-buffer). Here's a chunk of info that they do provide:

Re2Flex3D provides the ability to set custom modes beyond the usual few which are available on most cards. These normal modes (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 each with a few refresh rate selections) do not take advantage of the full capability of graphics cards or display monitors currently available. This results in a less than optimal environment for game play. Re2Flex3D is an algorithmic approach to generating display modes. This makes available almost any desired mode limited only by the bandwidth limits of the graphics card and the monitor. On the Wicked3D board Re2Flex3D breaks the 800x600 barrier for a single card and provides up to 1024x672 which is almost the maximum available with the competitor's SLI 2 card configuration. With 2 Wicked3D cards Re2Flex3D provides 1024x1024 resolution, the highest in the industry for Voodoo2 based cards. On top of the custom resolution selection Re2Flex3D also allows selection of any refresh rate in 1Hz increments. This lets you take full advantage of all the bandwidth available in your display monitor.

S3 Interview  [2:07 PM EDT]
HardwareCentral Interviews Savage3D is a talk with S3 Vice President of Architecture and Software John Brothers about their upcoming Savage3D chipset.

New Half-Life Shots  [11:30 AM EDT]
Two new exclusive Half-Life screenshots are up on Purified3D showing off a Barney and a former Barney in the form of a dead Zombie in one shot, and a pair of Bull-Squids (are they in a mating dance?) in the other. After their last few skin revisions, it seems to me the Barneys no longer seem to resemble their namesake Barney Fife, which may lower their comedic value, but is probably good for the game.

Forsaken File Formats  [11:30 AM EDT]
Acclaim.Net has got specifications available on the file formats used in Forsaken for those interested in trying to use that information to create editors for the game. Thanks Lorien at Gamer's Alliance.

BattleZone II Interview  [10:37 AM EDT]
After part one discussed the future of Dark Reign II, part two of Gamesmania's interview with Pandemic Studios' Joshua Resnick talks about BattleZone II, the sequel to BattleZone, which is of course, the sequel to BattleZone. Saw that on AGN3D.

Unofficial UnrealED FAQ  [10:37 AM EDT]
Saw on Unreal.org that an Unofficial UnrealEd FAQ is underway to help with Q&A on the bundled Unreal editor.

More Dead Reckoning Art  [10:37 AM EDT]
As promised yesterday, Processed News has posted the rest of the character shots from Dead Reckoning, an upcoming 3D action game. Also Deadreckoning.net is now online to help you figure out what this all means to you.

Valve Interview Logs  [4:13 AM EDT]
Here is the Half-Life IRC log from last ire-written in interview form on AGN3D. Also here's a log of the IRC session on Contaminated.net, or this edited log on Sleepnever Central Half-Life, or this one on Half-Life Haven. Also on the subject of Valve, a Steve Bond section has been added to provide a slice of Wedge in VX Half-Life's Behind Valve Software's Closed Doors feature.

Unofficial Requiem FAQ  [4:13 AM EDT]
Version 0.1 of the unofficial Requiem FAQ is up on Hell on Earth, dedicated to the upcoming Requiem: Wrath of the Fallen.

QBS2  [4:13 AM EDT]
The first release of QBS2 is up on the QBS site. This is the new version of Bagpuss' Windows system tray utility that keeps tabs of when gaming news pages, this one included, are updated. The new release adds a headline function where you can scan the Blue's News headlines, and headlines from Redwood's and Gamer's Alliance (sites that create their own QBS data files may also be added to this function). The new release is available as an upgrade for previous versions, with a full installer promised over the weekend.

Hands-On I'82  [4:13 AM EDT]
This is unusual: You can get a hands on showing of Activision's upcoming Interstate '82 conducted by the game's developers at "Blessing of the Cars," an auto show in Verdugo Park in Glendale, CA (near L.A.) on Saturday July 25.

Solaris eVolution CTF  [4:13 AM EDT]
Solaris ports of Quake II eVolution CTF version 1.0a are up on Solar Eclipse compiled as Sparc and x86 binaries.

Out of the Blue  [4:13 AM EDT]
From yesterday's comments about M.U.L.E. here's The MULE Web, link passed along by Steve "Watcher95" Iams. Folks seem to like the quote up top: I'll leave it for a while and perhaps replace it with another if something appropriate comes along. Also, a lot of the 'net in the US suffered from another of those darn fiber cuts yesterday. Dagnabit Bubbah, call before you dig!

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