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Friday, June 19, 1998

Voodoo2 Beta Drivers Including Glide3  [6:21 PM EDT]
The 3D Blaster Voodoo2 page has sign-ups to beta test the new 3Dfx drivers from 3Dfx as soon as they are released, and available right now on sign-up are beta Voodoo2 drivers that contain:

Glide Driver Version: 2.53
Glide3 Driver Version: 3.0
Voodoo2 DirectX Driver Version: 2.17
Voodoo2 D3D Driver Build Number: 4.10.01.0158-2.17
Voodoo2 Control Panel Applet: 4.10.01.0079

Yep, Glide3 3.0! Here's a quote from the page (thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme):

On June 19th, 3Dfx released a new set of drivers to Creative Labs. This is a major update and includes enhancements such as anti-aliasing support under Direct3D, various Glide and Direct3D improvments, better monitor detection, and more.

We've begun the testing process on this new release and we'll officially release them to our customers once they've been completely checked out. In the meantime, we're releasing them as a beta to customers who'd like to try them out.

Blood2 Update  [6:21 PM EDT]
The new weekly update and weekly screenshot on the Blood2: The Chosen page   Thanks Billy at VE again.

New ClanRing CRMod++  [5:57 PM EDT]
The ClanRing Mod Development page has version 4.02 of the ClanRing CRMod++, which re-adds deathmatch 3 mode support to what they like to call the ultimate competition mod for Quake." Here's a local copy (192 KB) thanks to GamesNET FTP. Thanks Razor.

New SkinEd: Unreal Support  [3:52 PM EDT]
Beta build 036 of SkinEd is out offering Support for Unreal, a Palette builder for creating custom palettes, and Palette Export (PSP, Adobe). Saw that on PlanetUnreal.

Add-on Editorial  [3:43 PM EDT]
Fargo, ever-articulate word-putter-together guy, has written a  PlanetQuake Featured Editorial called Add On Packs: Pro or Con? The piece examines the impact of add-on packs, particularly focusing on the debate raised by the possibility that TeamFortress2 will be a Half-Life mission pack, rather than part of the game.

ddt's StarCraft Maps  [1:02 PM EDT]
Dave "ddt" Taylor, once of id Software, and current owner/head dude over at Crack dot Com, makes mention in his .plan of a couple of small multiplayer StarCraft maps he's produced up on his homepage.

100 Player Quake II  [12:45 PM EDT]
Barry's World is accepting volunteers for some private beta testing of their "MegaGame Platform" a week from tomorrow, Saturday June 27, at 20:00 BST. The project is described as a couple of hours of trying things out and then popping back to IRC, and so they look for "tolerant and patient volunteers." Check Barry's World for more details. Thanks gary7.

Unreal DM Maps  [12:45 PM EDT]
TerraFusion now has 46 unreal Deathmatch levels archived, and are adding a single-player Unreal map archive now as well.

Voodoo/Voodoo2 Giveaways  [12:45 PM EDT]
GameSpot UK's Mega World Cup Competition offers the chance for UK residents to win Diamond Voodoo2 cards. GQJ is giving away a Diamond Monster 3D in their GibAthon, a Quake II tournament using the Lithium mod.

Dementia  [12:07 PM EDT]
The Daily Dementia today talks with Sean "Redwood" Martin of Red's 3D Hatchaha, talking about Quake and Quake Arena and stuff. Also TC is trying to work sympathies based on my crack on Shooters last night. TC knows I was kidding, so don't let him milk this one too far  ;)

Intel Counter-Sues Intergraph  [10:04 AM EDT]
From the legal beat: News.com is reporting that Intel is counter-suing Intergraph accusing Intergraph of infringing seven of their patents, additionally arguing that "an existing cross-licensing deal gives Intel 'absolute immunity' against Intergraph's initial patent claims."

Quake Editing: New Quest  [9:12 AM EDT]
The Official new DOS/Win95 Quest homepage has version 2.27 of the quest level editor. The new release offers perspective correct texture mapping, the ability to select sounds from the entity editor, the removal of duplicate Quake II textures, and much faster BSP modes. Saw that on Redwood's by way of Rust.

Q2: Parsers and Front-ends and Bears!  [7:53 AM EDT]
Oh my! Here's a little deluge of Quake II doo-dads: Version 1.5 of FragLog is on Mike-D's FragLog Page adding support for GibStats Standard Log files among other changes. Version 2.16 of the Quick Start: Eraser Wizard is up on the Sloshy Software site, called an early release, to be followed quickly by version 2.18. Also, version 1.8 of the Tectonic multi-mod front-end is on the Tectonic Site (sorry if I confused anyone by writing 1.5 originally, thanks Ken). Finally (can you believe these all came in at once?), version 3.4 of the Eraser Front-end is out on  Industry News offering bug fixes and support for the new "ctf_special_teams" and "ctf_humanonly_teams" commands.

Daikatana Screenshot  [6:55 AM EDT]
StormTroopers has posted a cool new Daikatana screenshot. Thanks Nitrous.

Unofficial UnrealEd Manual  [6:55 AM EDT]
Skarz News has posted version 0.4 of the Unofficial UnrealEd manual, conveniently written in Help File format. This manual for the bundled editor that comes with Unreal contains insights from the guys at Epic. Here's a local copy (600 KB) thanks to GamesNET FTP.

Wing Commander: Secret Ops  [6:55 AM EDT]
A teaser Wing Commander: Secret Ops website is up. Nothing but a Shockwave Flash preview so far, but it's pretty durn cool (that Flash stuff can be quite flashy). Thanks Fabricator.

SPQ2  [6:55 AM EDT]
Matt Sefton's SPQ2 will no longer be updated due to Matt's impeding, err impending fatherhood, so our loss his his gain. congrats and best of luck Matt!. Thanks Darkstarr. Also, CO2//nop is departing CO2 design, though you can expect to seem him resurface soon, best of luck to out oxygen-deprived art friend.

Out of the Blue
Wow, crashed and burned again (with no pharmacological excuses to fall back on). So there's the answer to that "do you sleep?" question: yes, twice so far this year =].

Thursday, June 18, 1998

Wedge Interview   [9:37 PM EDT]
There's an interview with Steve "Wedge" Bond on VX Half-Life. Learn about his life as a game programmer at Valve starting from his humble beginnings at a pizza guy (the Deliverator).

Proxy   [9:37 PM EDT]
Qizmo 2.0 is a proxy for QuakeWorld. This is the second site for this today, it broke the first server it was posted on. This program is based on FAQ-proxy, but is 15 minute limited shareware.

Zoom   [7:14 PM EDT]
Off to the the show!

Shooters: George Broussard and John Jack   [4:10 PM EDT]
We contacted the Springer show (next story), and they hooked us up: Tonight on Shooters (the RealPlayer program formerly known as QuakeCast), we have   John Jack (Jack John?) from Monolith and George Broussard from 3D Realms to talk about Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, and Duke Nukem Forever respectively (and perhaps a little cross-over, as we ask John if it was George's HouseBoat he was referring to in his .plan). The fun all begins tonight at 8:00 PM Eastern (pay no attention to the blinking text on the page -- do you know how much they'd have to pay someone to fix that?), followed by the ION Chat (below).

Daikatana Chat - New StormWatcher  [3:48 PM EDT]
The Daikatana Cabana at Stormtroopers, sent a reminder of another Cabana Chat with the Daikatana Team today at 8:00 PM Central in #daikatana on ION Storm's IRC server, accessible through ION Storm's web site (Live Online) or use an IRC client to connect to www.ionstorm.com. John Romero and the rest of TeamDaikatana are expected to attend. And don't try and kid me with that Central time stuff...I can do the math here: this is almost opposite Shooters tonight. Great, a ratings war with the Romero... we better book some guests from the Springer show, pronto!

Also, Stormtroopers has a new beta of StormWatcher, the client chat meeting place for Dominion players looking to start games and chat.

Quake the Movie: Not  [2:02 PM EDT]
I got an email from id CEO Todd Hollenshead with some not too unexpected news: reports of the Quake movie are at best, premature:

We have had some preliminary discussions about making a TV show or movie based on Quake or Quake II, but nothing more than that.  The source you quote is probably misinformed about GT's involvement since they don't have any movie rights whatsoever.  So if GT is negotiating something, they would be doing so without our authorization and with no (legal) ability to sign a deal.

More Pure3D Driver Woes?  [2:02 PM EDT]
Purified3D is reporting there are still problems for users of the newer Pure3D drivers. They say they have informed Canopus about the problem. Thanks Thug[CP].

George B Interview  [2:02 PM EDT]
There's a pre DNF-Unreal announcement interview with George Broussard up on PQ.

Heavy Gear 2  [1:47 PM EDT]
Activision has some new Heavy Gear 2 screenshots up, and OGR has a preview Heavy Gear 2. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

MailBag: Mondo Quake Arena Opinions  [1:47 PM EDT]
I have another boatload of mail on Quake Arena in today's MailBag, and I mean a boatload: basically every response on the subject I've received. Hit the john before you check it out. Also, Here's another Quake Arena opinion poll, this one on on 3DNEWS.net (in addition to the poll mentioned here). Here's an Editorial on Quake Arena

Finally, Disruptor has a .plan update to make sure that the nature of single player in Quake Arena is understood:

It's kind of frustrating checking out websites and seeing people calling Quake Arena a "multiplayer only" game. There seems to be a bit of confusion in the community where people think that QA will be an internet-only game.

This is not the case. Please read John Carmack's announcement in his .plan again. id has not abandonded single player in QA. It just won't be the single player experience you have come to expect thus far. Yes, id are doing something different, but please don't jump to conclusions.

Quake Movie??  [12:53 PM EDT]
Another id title has become grist for the Hollywood rumor mills (along with the perennially written about, never filmed Doom). Dark Horizons is reporting that a Quake movie may be in the offing (thanks Grendel[DeD]):

Quake: The Movie: 'Human' has heard that 'GT interactive' is rumoured to be selling the film rights to this megahit computer game to Warner Brothers. The word is that a script has in fact already be written, and the film itself may be entirely in CG (ala "Final Fantasy").

Q2 Editing: New NST  [12:21 PM EDT]
Version 0.9b2 of Npherno's Skin Tool is out on the The Q2PMP Page. This version fixes the tint button, and is said to be harder to crash.

Mark Rein on the Dementia  [6:55 AM EDT]
The June 18th Daily Dementia is up featuring a conversation between TC and Mark Rein of Epic MegaGames talking about Unreal, and the big announcement that Duke Nukem Forever will be switching to the Unreal engine. RealPlayer required.

Expendable  [6:45 AM EDT]
Expendable places you in the familiar role of "a space marine who is dropped in to a series of unfamiliar alien worlds to fight for the survival of your race with a huge arsenal of apocalyptic weapons at your disposal." There are screenshots on their page of this top down perspective game, due for the PC in the beginning of 1999. Like other things we've seen from Rage, this looks filled with eye-candy (just remember to brush and floss your eyes twice a day). Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Unreal Shareware Status  [6:20 AM EDT]
Unreal Nation notes that Mark Rein made a post to the Epic MegaBoard on the status of the Unreal shareware:

The shareware will come out sometime after the update to improve multiplayer performance over the internet is released and we've had a chance to get seom feedback from it.

PlayStation Quake II?  [6:20 AM EDT]
Though there's no official announcement, PSMONLINE has a report up that Activision has confirmed a PlayStation version of Quake II will surface later this year. Thanks BLoG [UT].

New Quake II Eraser Bot  [6:20 AM EDT]
The Impact Development Team page has version 0.992 of the Eraser Bot up (thanks KHORN8). Here's the lowdown on this, promised as the last beta:

Check the releases section for downloads. This is absolutely the last release before v1.0. Any crashes found in this version I would appreciate being reported to me, so they can be fixed for the final release.

Recon Wars  [6:20 AM EDT]
Version 3.05 of Recon Wars for Quake II, described as TeamFortress-like, is now out.

RIVA AMD 3DNow!  [6:20 AM EDT]
This NVIDIA Drivers page has the AMD K6-2 3DNow! drivers for the RIVA 128 AGP. Thanks Ghost.

Multiplayer Important?  [6:20 AM EDT]
Just How Important Is Multiplayer? Does Quake Arena Signal a New Trend? These are the questions of the day pondered in today's GameSlice editorial. Is id making the right decision with Quake Arena is the current poll on the AVault. Thanks Chris Singleton.

Q2 LMPC Demo Utility  [6:20 AM EDT]
A new version 3.17 of the The Little Movie Processing Centre is out, finally offering fully integrated support for Quake II's DM2 format. LMPC is Uwe Girlich's demo utility that supports an unbelievable number of games: Doom, Doom ][, Heretic, Hexen, and Strife LMP files, as well as Quake DEM files, QuakeWorld QWD files and Quake II DM2 files, rudimentary support for Duke Nukem 3D and Redneck Rampage DMO files. The DEM file cutter tool (DEMcut), The DEM Text File Analyser (DEMA) and The Demo Broadcasting Server (DBS) are included as well. Also, Uwe's DM2 specs (v1.0.0) are updated to cover Quake II version 3.15.

Myscha on Unreal/Quake II  [6:20 AM EDT]
Unreal level designer Myscha the Sled Dog updated his .plan with a reaction to some comments about Unreal in Paul Steed's .plan yesterday. Saw that on Unreal Nation

Reckoning Review  [6:20 AM EDT]
GameSpot's Quake II Mission Pack The Reckoning Review gives the Q2 MP a 7.4. Thanks El Nino.

Out of the Blue
Hrm... kind crashed out on the just-in-case painkillers last night (don't try this at home kids, I grew up in the seventies). I might have missed a few goodies this AM, I'll try and catch all my misses after crashing a bit more.

Wednesday, June 17, 1998

Descent III Screenshots  [10:49 PM EDT]
There are several new screenshots from Descent 3 on the Outrage site. D3 is currently slated for release late this year. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

The Charlie Wiederhold Experience  [9:22 PM EDT]
There's a Charlie Wiederhold interview on HardCorps Sin News talking to this Ritual level designer about Sin and life and stuff.

20" with... Eric Biessman  [9:22 PM EDT]
There's an Interview with Eric Biessman, Raven designer, on Serpent's Realm. This is the first installment in a new department titled 20" with...

Levelord Found  [8:25 PM EDT - Updated]
The Ritual Outpost has an update that the story about the Levelord being busted they posted earlier (see story) was indeed untrue. Thanks Matt Anderson of Duke4.com. They seem to be indicating there it was a misunderstanding rather than a hoax, but it turns out that it indeed was a practical joke, as revealed in onethumb's .plan and Levelord's .plan (thanks Mark Chisolm and Chris I.).

New Pure3d Drivers  [7:41 PM EDT]
The Pure3D Software Updates has version 1.60.05 of the Windows 95 drivers for the Pure3D & Pure3D LX, fixing the problems (reported earlier) with the drivers released yesterday. Thanks William Hooper.

Fixed  [7:27 PM EDT]
Oops. Added the link to Steed's .plan I forgot earlier. Sorry about that.

Heretic II AVIs  [2:01 PM EDT]
Kevin over at Activision sent along a pair of never-before-seen AVIs of Heretic II gameplay showing off some combat and some neat GL eye-candy (I believe the sounds are temporary). Both movies are of different sequences, and Kevin tells me in the next few days he'll send along a considerably longer movie showing off even more. Here are local copies of final1.avi (2.7 MB), and final2.avi (2.8 MB), courtesy of you-know-who's adjective-free whatchmacallit.

Quake Arena Opinions  [2:01 PM EDT]
Paul Steed made a .plan update with a positive reaction to the PQ editorial (story) and a discussion of some of the questions that have been raised in response to the Quake Arena announcement, and sCary has posted an editorial of his own.

Unreal Editing: Fly-by Tutorial  [2:01 PM EDT]
There is a tutorial up on Unreal World Designer's Workshop that teaches how to make a fly-by sequence like the one at the start of the game (which is one of the cooler game openings I've ever seen). Thanks Ken Moyers.

Quake Launcher  [2:01 PM EDT]
A new version 0.99 of Quake Launcher is available.

Levelord Busted?  [1:32 PM EDT]
Ritual's Levelord Busted with drugs? Is the Levelord on crack or is the Ritual Outpost? The R.O. is reporting that the lord of levels has been busted for possession. Thanks Shanaynay 'All Flustered' Jenkins. (I guess I should add that while this would be an odd topic to joke about, I suspect some leg-pulling is going on here.)

Duke Reactions  [11:35 AM EDT]
Today's GameSlice Editorial talks about 3D Realms' Duke Forever engine switch announcement in a piece called You Do the Math, We Do the Game: Engine Licensing: Toward a Standard? Also, the Daily Dementia for June 17th has 3D Portal's Lithium as TC's Real Audio interview guest talking about the same subject. Whaleboy updated his .plan with reassurances that there will be a seamless switch for the artwork in DNF on the Unreal engine.

SGI Quake II  [3:23 AM EDT]
The SGI Quake page has SGI Quake II version 3.14 for IRIX (6.4 and 6.5 are the only tested platforms). Thanks Peckerhead.

MailBag: Quake Arena  [3:23 AM EDT]
Some reactions to the Quake Arena announcement  in today's MailBag. There's also an editorial up on PQ on the subject.

John Carmack on Quake Arena Cheating  [3:23 AM EDT]
The talk of changes to the client server relationship in id's Quake Arena project prompted me to ask John Carmack about a subject I've pestered him about before, cheating. Here's our exchange:

Blue: Your recent .plan talks of changes to the client/server structure in Quake Arena.  In your current vision, is this going to have an impact on the possibilities of cheating with hacked clients, either making such abuse easier or perhaps harder?

John Carmack: I have been stressing a bit about this.  Writing a stoogebot type client side dll becomes almost trivial if you can change the client side presentation logic.  Each game will probably only be allowed to work with a specific client side module.  While there would be some neat things you could do with simple client side modifications, the cheating risk is too great.  The enforcement of that requirement will be carried out by the network logic.  Because it will involve binary digests, I have some concerns about cross-platform compatibility issues.  Servers will probably have to have a small list of digest values that represent valid clients -- one for win32x86, one for win32alpha, one for linux, etc.

Blue: There have been more efforts made recently by you guys (I think Zoid in particular) to add some more cheat deterrence to Quake / QuakeWorld / Quake II. Are you planning on looking into this further for Quake Arena, especially since some are trying to create a professional sport of online play?

John Carmack: The cheating issue is really hard.  If the simulation were distributed it would be far worse, but even with non-authoritative clients, informational cheating (making players easier to see, seeing around corners, auto targeting, etc) is still very significant.

At its core, the problem theoretically cannot be solved.  A talented hacker with a dissasembler can eventually make a program that appears indistinguishable from a quake client.  All we can try to do is make is obnoxiously difficult, but unfortunately there are people that just take that as a challenge.  Effort spent on that is effort not making gameplay better.

Pure 3D Driver Woes?  [3:23 AM EDT]
Purified3D is reporting problems with the new Pure3D Drivers (story). Though there's no word on the Canopus site yet, you may want to proceed with caution. Thanks Axis.

Q2CompMod  [3:23 AM EDT]
I meant to mention yesterday the release of Q2 Competition Mod version 0.20. Q2CompMod is attempting to fill the role of the ClanRing mod for Quake II. Available for Win32, Solaris, and Linux Said to be the first stable Linux version).

TF2 Preview  [3:23 AM EDT]
Contaminated.net's Team Fortress Preview is up. Thanks Prophet.

Team Energy Quake  [3:23 AM EDT]
Version 1.0 of Team Energy Quake is up on the Energy Quake page (like energy Quake, but for teams).

LMCTF Used Voodoo Poetry Contest  [3:23 AM EDT]
The LMCTF page has word of their poetry contest with a used Voodoo card as a prize (in one of the oddest contest's I can recall).

LAN Tournaments  [3:23 AM EDT]
Brutalica 98' offering Quake II four-on-four CTF and eight player deathmatch on a LAN (can't figure out where). FragLand's SummerCon is an online Quake II dealie using the Lithium mod.

Out of the Blue
Thanks for all the kind Birthday wishes for Mrs Blue, you all are pretty damn nice. Just as I was just pondering my policy of updating Out of the Blue in daylight, I received a couple of letters asking that if I do that, that I place it up top with what I'm posting at the time, rather than here at the bottom. Since I think that the bottom of the page is the best place for this kind of stuff (since I really want people to be able to skip the whole mess if it's of no interest, which is probably most of the time), I will just start updating this section in the wee hours (you've been warned) when it gets posted. I'll be out for a few hours this afternoon at the dentist (no sweat, the horror of this is has been over for some time now, the dentist is no longer significantly affecting updates here like it was a couple of months ago (knock wood).

Tuesday, June 16, 1998

Pure 3D Drivers  [11:53 PM EDT]
New version 1.60.04 Windows 95 drivers for the Canopus Pure3D/Pure3D LX are up on the Canopus website. These drivers include the Canopus Application Launcher and Quick Control found in the Pure3D II drivers. Thanks William Hooper.

Unreal Tech Info  [8:12 PM EDT]
Epic has posted a some new stuff to the Unreal Technical Information page, Unreal Audio Documentation, and Unreal Texture Documentation. Thanks Billy at  VE.

Unreal Audio Documentation and and Unreal Texture Doc.

John Carmack's New Shocker: Quake Arena  [6:38 PM EDT]
John Carmack has updated his .plan some startling news, id is abandoning Quake 3, and abandoning designing a single-player game altogether for that matter, to concentrate on a deathmatch only project called Quake Arena:

My last two .plan updates have described efforts that were not in our original plan for quake 3, which was "quake 2 game and network technology with a new graphics engine".

We changed our minds.

The new product is going to be called "Quake Arena", and will consist exclusively of deathmatch style gaming (including CTF and other derivatives). The single player game will just be a progression through a ranking ladder against bot AIs. We think that can still be made an enjoyable game, but it is definately a gamble.

In the past, we have always been designing two games at once, the single player game and the multi player game, and they often had conflicting goals. For instance, the client-server communications channel discouraged massive quantities of moving entities that would have been interesting in single player, while the maps and weapons designed for single player were not ideal for multiplayer. The largest conflict was just raw development time. Time spent on monsters is time not spent on player movement. Time spent on unit goals is time not spent on game rules.

There are many wonderful gaming experiences in single player FPS, but we are choosing to leave them behind to give us a purity of focus that will let us make significant advances in the multiplayer experience.

The emphasis will be on making every aspect as robust and high quality as possible, rather than trying to add every conceivable option anyone could want. We will not be trying to take the place of every mod ever produced, but we hope to satisfy a large part of the network gaming audience with the out of box experience.

There is a definite effect on graphics technology decisions. Much of the positive feedback in a single player FPS is the presentation of rich visual scenes, which are often at the expense of framerate. A multiplayer level still needs to make a good first impression, but after you have seen it a hundred times, the speed of the game is more important. This means that there are many aggressive graphics technologies that I will not pursue because they are not apropriate to the type of game we are creating.

The graphics engine will still be OpenGL only, with significant new features not seen anywhere before, but it will also have fallback modes to render at roughly Quake-2 quality and speed.

Daikatana Shockwave Screenshot  [5:12 PM EDT]
John Romero updated his .plan with a screenshot of a badass shockwave weapon effect from Daikatana that he mentioned in his earlier update.

16 MB Voodoo2?  [4:32 PM EDT]
Sharp-eyed Billy at Voodoo Extreme points out something neither of us noticed at first from that AOpen Voodoo2 announcement from earlier: An intriguing comment about an upcoming 16MB board, that would likely contain three TMUs:

And users can look for AOpen in the near future to supply 16MB of high performance EDO DRAM to offer even better performance, quality and speed. The bottom-line: awesome 3D game performance, with crisp and clear, real-life game play.

Would this be the ultimate gaming card? Billy points out there's a recent Ask Grand-Master B on VE where Brian Hook gives his opinion on the worth of adding a third TMU to a Voodoo2:

"A three-TMU board is not going to provide much in the way of any added advantage unless a developer is willing to specifically support it...."

"But overall, I would say that a three TMU board is not worth the money until a lot more games take advantage of it. I would rather spend a bit more money and get a Voodoo2-SLI."

Game Server Monitor  [4:32 PM EDT]
5thD team has released version 1.4 of their LAN server monitor. This Windows 95/98/NT program monitors your LAN for the appearance of game servers. This version supports Quake1, Hexen2, StarCraft, and Age of Empires. Sa always, keep this out of the hands of the boss at all costs.

Over-rated/Under-rated  [4:32 PM EDT]
More on the issue du jour: Paul Steed's .plan, and sCary's Over-rated/Under-rated list.

Be a Tribesman  [4:11 PM EDT]
Ritual has posted a help wanted for a 2D artist over on Ritual Island, so grab you portfolio and your grass skirt and canoe on over.

Unreal Release Party Date Change  [4:03 PM EDT - Update]
GamesCon sends word that there is a change of date for the Unreal release party, originally slated for this Saturday in Toronto. The event has been pushed back a week to Saturday, June 27 (I wrote the 20th at first -- what's with me and dates lately, sorry for the sloppiness).

AOpen Voodoo2  [2:49 PM EDT]
AOpen America Announces PA2000, a Voodoo2-based accelerator. Thanks again Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Patch: Burnout  [2:49 PM EDT]
A version 1.22 patch for Burnout Championship Drag Racing is out. Thanks Billy "Burnout" Wilson/Voodoo Extreme.

3Dfx on GC Banshee Comments  [2:36 PM EDT]
There's a quote on 3DNews.Net (Op3Dfx) from 3Dfx honcho Tony Tamasi on the GameCenter Banshee article (see story). Here's an except from the lengthy post:

AGP 2x support is not a necessity for products that are not bandwidth limited. Until you reach about 4+M triangles per second (or about 12x the triangle rate of Quake2) you won't be bus bandwidth limited. (assuming about 100 bytes per triangle - strips and fans can reduce this more as well...) All AGP really is is a fast bus - AGP 2x is a 533MB/sec bus. It can be used for texturing, and/or "traditional" I/O - like moving triangles, downloading textures, sending commands, etc. to the graphics hardware. When it comes to texturing, local texture storage doesn't hurt performance, on the contrary - AGP bandwidth can be limiting for textured performance in some circumstances. Texture bandwidth can actually be the highest user of bandwidth in high fill rate systems, which means that on AGP applications texturing out of main memory may actually run slower than if they were texturing locally.

Raven on Networking  [1:22 PM EDT]
Raven programmer Josh Heitzman updated his .plan on the networking issue discussed earlier in John Carmack's .plan (see story), mentioning that this was also the way he has been steering Heretic II network development:

Just read Carmack’s and Romero’s finger updates about moving more of the responsibility over to the client to decrease network traffic. I thought this would be as good time as any, to throw in that we’ve had a Client DLL, which encapsulates most of what was mentioned, since February 3rd this year. Just so no thinks we are just following id. This strikes me as a general paradigm shift in the whole industry as we all simultaneously discover that the dumb client/server model isn’t ideal for fast action multiplier gaming.

Currently, all of our spell effects (some of which have nearly 100 independently moving entities), static animating objects (banners, candelabrums, fire, etc.), temporary environment effects (scorchmarks, footprints, blood splatters, etc.), bouncing debris from destroyed objects, jibs trailed by blood, persistent effects (halos and lensflares) are sent over the network only at their creation and destruction. Everything else during the interim is handled on the client, mirroring a server entity if there a matching physical entity.

NIQBOTS for Quake II  [1:10 PM EDT]
Beta build 1.6 of the NIQBOTS 1.6 is up on the NIQ Mods for Quake II where it's try before you buy: "All the information for NIQBOTS is in the file niqbots.txt (included in the zip) and there is currently no NIQBOTS-specific information on this site." But I can tell you NIQ is a server-only mod that allows the server to control the weapon and ammo counts for each player, rather than distributing them on a map.

id Not to Invest in Activision  [11:11 AM EDT]
id's Todd Hollenshead updated his .plan debunking the mmwire report (next story) that id is buying Activision stock. Here's the update (that includes a mission pack plug):

No, id has not purchased a block of ATVI stock. Unconfirmed conjecture and plain factual errors are the reasons I cancelled my subscription to MMWIRE about a year ago. *IF* they would have emailed or called me, I would have told them that we have  warrants to buy ATVI stock that we may or may not exercise in the future. This isn't anything out of the ordinary.

Back to cool stuff!

It looks like CompUSA is going to outdo Best Buy in the bargain department. CompUSA is running a promotion this week on The Reckoning for $14.99. Those of you who tried to get a copy last week at Best Buy but couldn't (I got an email saying Best Buy had an unexpected run after someone put up something on the 'Net :) are in luck.

id to Invest in Activision?  [10:32 AM EDT]
Bucking what seems to be a trend of publishers buying portions of game companies, according to PlanetQuake, today's print edition of mmwire is reporting that id Software is purchasing a block of Activision stock:

Activision yesterday filed to register 150,000 shares of common stock issued to id Software, according to documents filed with the SEC. An additional 11,000 shares issued to NBG USA were registered. The aggregate 161,000 shares carry a proposed maximum offering price of $1.56m or about $9.66 a share.

3D Card Roundup  [10:20 AM EDT]
The Fast Graphics Site has a 3D Add-On Roundup looking at a bunch of accelerators including benchmarks on a PPro 200, a PII-333, and a 6x86 166+. Thanks John Mitchell.

Paul Jaquays Interview  [9:16 AM EDT]
There is an interview with id's Paul Jaquays on Redwood's House o' 3D Happenings. Among the topics in the very lengthy conversation are id Software, level design, Paul's art, and his history in gaming.

More Duke Aftermath  [9:08 AM EDT]
An interview with George Broussard on Duke4ever.com is an in-depth conversation with the DNF producer about the switch to the Unreal Engine from the Quake II engine (announced yesterday). Thanks Lithium at 3dportal (I owe you a sake, bud).

GameCenter Corrections  [9:08 AM EDT]
GameCenter has posted some corrections to their article about what's overrated/underrated in gaming. No changes of heart, just clarifications to their statements about Romero's role in Quake II, the semantics of their write-up on AGP, and a the addition of some facts to their Dolby Pro Logic piece. Thanks Rick Smith.

John Romero On Networking  [8:49 AM EDT]
John Romero updated his .plan in response to Carmack's update (next story), agreeing with JC's assessment, saying that in a similar fashion, Daikatana would be eliminating the "dumb client" as well.

John Carmack On Networking  [2:35 AM EDT]
John Carmack updated his .plan talking about a change of heart over networking for Trinity, that will change the relationship between the server and the clients (which will be Java-based). Here is an except:

I am giving up on one of my cherished networking concepts -- the client as a dumb terminal.

[Snip]

The new paradigm is that the server controls all information necessary for the rules of the game to function, but the client controls all presentation of that information to the user through models, audio, and motion.

[snip]

Almost all cycling animations can be smoother. If the client knows that the character is going through his death animation for instance, it can advance the frames itself, rather than having the server tell it when every single frame changes.

Motion of projectiles can be predicted accurately on the client side.

All aspects of your own characters movement and presentation should be completely smooth until acted upon (shot) by an outside entity.

All the clever coding in the world can't teleprompt bits from other computers, so lag doesn't go away, but most of the other hitchy effects of network play can be resolved. Lag reduction is really a seperate topic. QuakeWorld had instant response packets, because it was designed for a dedicated server only, which helped quite a bit.

During the projects development, the client side code will be in a C DLL, but I intend to Do The Right Thing and make it java based before shipping. I absolutely refuse to download binary code to a client.

George B on DNF  [2:35 AM EDT]
OGR interviews George Broussard of 3DRealms (thanks Billy & Voodoo Extreme). Also, George updated his .plan answering all the questions he's received about the engine switch in DNF which consist of queries about Internet play, high system specs, and the impact the switch may have on the game's release date.

Q3Suggest  [2:35 AM EDT]
The Q3Suggest Vote on OpenQuake, providing community feedback on the suggestions for Quake 3 that were forwarded to John Carmack, ends June 18. Until voting closes, the results (calculated dynamically) can be found here.

More AMD K6-2  [2:35 AM EDT]
There's a review of the AMD K6-2, on GameCenter (Intel is an investor in CNET/GameCenter). Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

sCary Move  [2:35 AM EDT]
sCary's Shuga Shack is now at its new location: www.shugashack.com/ after an unexpected (at least this soon) shutdown of the VRGN server.

Out of the Blue
Well, I think I have most of my hardware problems straightened out. I'll probably be in and out for the rest of the day, since it's Mrs Blue's (the unsung hero of Blue's News) Birthday. smiley3.gif (948 bytes)

Monday, June 15, 1998

Unreal DNF Articleditorial  [11:54 PM EDT]
Today's (tomorrow's actually) GameSlice editorial talks about the switch in engines for Duke Nukem Forever in a piece called Duke Gets a Dose of Reality.

Soldier of Fortune Image  [9:51 PM EDT]
HexenWorld has posted the first image (a character sketch, not a screenshot) from Raven's upcoming Quake II-engine game, Soldier of Fortune. Word is that the sketch depicts a known person in the community, and the first to correctly guess it wins some Activision/Raven doo-dad (while the person the sketch depicts may want to head off to Jenny Craig: that's one out-of-shape soldier). Rick Johnson's .plan has the scoop on the contest.

Unreal Duke Nukem Forever Release  [9:51 PM EDT]
The press release from today's DNF-Unreal engine announcement is online. Here's an excerpt:

"The game should not be significantly delayed", noted Broussard, "but it will take a little time to get up to speed with the new engine and learn how to exploit it. Fortunately, all of our game data will transfer very easily and we see being back to where we were at E3 within a month to 6 weeks."

People who have seen the Duke Nukem Forever E3 video, or back room demo voiced concerns that some of the items they saw would be lost. "Not at all" says Broussard. "If anything, the E3 demos showed what we could do with licensed technology and how we can extend it. We intend to apply the same ideas and efforts into the Unreal engine and push it until it breaks. Fans can expect all the stuff they saw at E3 to make the crossover to the Unreal engine."

In response to fans, asking about Internet play and the high machine specifications of Unreal, Broussard had this to say. "We are very confident that the Epic team will fix any and all outstanding issues with Unreal multiplay over the Internet, and see it becoming one of the most popular games over the net. As for machine specifications, Duke Nukem Forever is a 1999 game and we think that timeframe matches very well with what we have planned for the game."

In anticipation of an obvious question, "Why not use the Prey engine?," George said, "It is of utmost importance to us to have Prey be the first game released using the Prey technology. By going with Unreal's tech to create Duke Nukem Forever, we'll be able to stay on schedule to get Duke done and released before Prey."

AMD's Quake II Support  [8:54 PM EDT]
AMD's Quake II drivers page is up. The K6-2 optimized Quake II minidriver is not there yet, but promised on June 30, along with a load of support information. Thanks YtsejaM.

John Romero Interview  [8:33 PM EDT]
There's a John Romero interview about his CPL participation on the Cyberathlete Professional League page.

Warren Spector Interview  [8:33 PM EDT]
The ION Storm site has an interview with Warren Spector talking about Deus Ex.

Banshee Behind the Times  [8:33 PM EDT]
GameCenter has an article up called Banshee--Behind the Times that questions the performance of the upcoming Voodoo Banshee based on speculation that it is an AGP 1x part. This interesting timing for such a post for GameCenter, on the heels of their controversial "over-rated article," since there has also been much criticism of their reporting of news about 3Dfx in the past (as just noted yesterday in morbid's .plan).

CrackWhore Contest Winner  [8:33 PM EDT]
The winner of Paul Steed's CrackWhore Contest has been posted. Thanks Randy Perry.

Duke Forever to Switch to Unreal Engine  [6:13 PM EDT]
The 3D Realms site and George Broussard's .plan announce tat Duke Nukem Forever is switching to the Unreal engine, the most shocking announcement of what engine a game will use since the original announcement that DNF was to use the Quake II engine. Here's the skinny from George's .plan:

Major Duke Nukem Forever announcement time ;) We are switching to the Unreal engine to finish the game. You will be able to find a press release online at www.3drealms.com in the next 24 hours. We are very excited about this decision, and we think our fans will be as well.

We don't feel there will be a significant development delay, but there will be a slight one as we move over to the new engine. But this is analogous to people moving from the Quake 1 to the Quake 2 engine. Our game data will convert right over, without a hitch.

It's very important to note that this was a tough decision for us. It does not stem in any way from hard feelings, nor in fact, anything to do with id software. Our relationship still remains very good. This was a business decision and based on what we wanted  to do with Duke Nukem Forever as a game.

Now, if you will excuse us. We have a lot of work to do ;)

Max Payne Video  [6:13 PM EDT]
In cool news that is a little overwhelmed by their other announcement, The 3D Realms site has the Max Payne videos from E3 available for download here.

Updates  [2:28 PM EDT - Updated]
Here are a few follow-ups/corrections to earlier stories: June 22, the date of All Star CTF's release party (here) is Monday, not Friday as I originally wrote (calendars are so tough to operate), and here is the press release on the Diamond RIVA ZX mentioned in this story, on RivaRave (thanks Rivarena). Speaking of the ZX, here's a review of the Velocity 128 ZX on CPU Madness sent along by Billy "Velocity" Wilson of Voodoo Extreme. Also from VE, in addition to AVault's review earlier, here's OGR's Quake II The Reckoning Review. Finally, Disruptor updated his .plan again about the mail spammers (this story): you can stop spamming him with mail about it now.

Cyrix MII-333 Announced  [11:08 AM EDT]
Cyrix has announced the Windows-compatible M II-333 processor (thanks Redwood), said to offer "no-compromise Pentium® II-class performance while providing aggressive pricing for the growing low-cost PC arena." The  press release goes on to say:

Internal testing indicates that the M II(tm)-333 processor continues the upward performance trend of Cyrix's processors, providing performance comparable to 333 MHz Pentium II processors. The M II(tm)-333 allows system manufacturers to offer low-cost solutions at high performance levels - enabling fully featured multimedia systems at entry-level PC prices.

New Q2 Lithium II  [10:50 AM EDT]
Version 1.03 of the popular Lithium II Mod for Quake II, a server-only enhancement, is now available. The new version fixes a number of small bugs and adds some more new server variables (history.txt). There is also a new admin list feature that allows multiple admins to be specified with different access levels and passwords, as well as full Pro-Rocket support.

All-Star CTF II Release Party  [10:50 AM EDT]
The release date for Allstar2 (Quake II All-Star CTF) has been set for this Monday, in one of those entertaining/enraging IRC release parties. Here's the lowdown:

On June 22, 1998, the first public of Allstar2 will be held at an IRC party. Details of this release party will be coming shortly. During the next week, this site will reveal some of the features of Allstar. Stop by often for a sneak preview.

Today's spotlight falls on the two professional level designers that helped us on this project. Charlie "Wieder" Wiederhold and Matthias "Langsuyar" Worch of Ritual Entertainment provided us with two amazing CTF levels. They both have been working on very little sleep as SiN nears completion, and we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for their selfless effort. If you want to see some screenshots of these great levels, head over to the Screenshots page.

RIVA TNT/ZX Mania  [10:50 AM EDT - Updated]
More RIVA TNT announcements: Here's Canopus' announcement of a TNT card here's ELSA's, and STB announces the launch of the Velocity 4400, which will apparently be the first RIVA TNT accelerator to market (nod to Voodoo Extreme). Also Planet RIVA is reporting that Diamond will announce they are set to ship the 8MB Stealth 330, a RIVA ZX-based accelerator.

Unreal Walkthroughs  [10:11 AM EDT]
Saw on the Org that Spire - The Unreal Walkthrough is up showing the way through the first 19 levels of the game.

Review: The Reckoning  [10:11 AM EDT]
The AVault Reviews the Q2 Mission Pack: The Reckoning. Thanks LaRd of the Quake Workshop 2.

Wheel of Time Screenshots  [10:11 AM EDT]
This week's update to the Wheel of Time page, on Legend entertainment's Unreal-engine RPG in progress has a dozen screenshots. Thanks Billy/Voodoo Extreme.

Damn that Spam!  [10:11 AM EDT]
Ever get spam about "Bulls Eye Gold?" bulk email marketing? I sure do, to the tune of a half-dozen messages a week, and apparently so does id Software, according to Disruptor's .plan. Maybe we can all get together and start bulk mailing these dorks back or something.

RBR FAQ  [3:05 AM EDT]
The Dramamine-poppers over at Boatrocker.com have posted a little TLA TLC with the RBR FAQ version 3.0, updated with more of everything you ever wanted to know about Rebel Boat Rocker, and their upcoming game Prax War.

3D Crystal Ball  [3:05 AM EDT]
3D XTC's guide to upcoming chips has been updated to include the latest word on upcoming 3D accelerator technology.

Descent FreeSpace Forum  [3:05 AM EDT]
A new FreeSpace Forum has been added to the ELM Gaming Forums, which cover a wide range of games.

Unreal Mods  [3:05 AM EDT]
Oddities (cue eerie music) has posted some more Unreal mods: Version 1.5 of the Detgun, a new NineBall gun that's more configurable and balanced, and a SonicBeam Gun used to "confuse your target by bouncing them around and hurling them into the air." Also, I saw on Unreal.org that an Unreal RailGun mod is now available on Unreal News Australia.

UnrealScript  [3:05 AM EDT]
Here's an UnrealScript Class Reference that looks like a good resource. Thanks Billy Voodoo Extreme Wilson.

Q2 Deathmatch Mappage  [3:05 AM EDT]
Jeff Yost, the man behind the fine old deathmatch level review site Ramshackle passed along word of a couple of levels worthy of note in the DM world: The first is ZTN2DM4 (263 KB)"Recycler" by Sten "ztn" Uusvali. Jeff calls this waste recycling plant level a great map for 2-4 player battles with great use of 3D "and the usual excellent "ztn" connectivity and weapons layout." The second is CRISIS (183 KB) "Midlife Crisis" by Ray "Scythe" Dahlia. Jeff calls this a beautifully done sci-fi map set in a command control facility, and "an excellent made for 1-on-1 piece that will support 2-on-2 Team play or 3-4 player FFA." Both local copies, of course, thanks to GamesNET's silky smooth FTP. "Recycler" is this week's map pack running at the TerraFusion Custom Map Server (also running Pro-Rocket) at ip 205.140.147.7 : 27911 with "Midlife Crisis" to follow next week. TerraFusion's server is a great idea where they run new DM maps and players vote during the week to determine the Top Map which continues in the weekly rotation. Also, MultiPlayer Quake (also featuring deathmatch level reviews), now has a server running the best five or six Quake II maps they've reviewed that week, both terrific opportunities to get some exposure to some of the terrific user-created maps out there.

Lay of the LAN  [3:05 AM EDT]
The Palmetto Bash, planned for Spartanburg, SC in August has been cancelled due to lack of interest. On a happier note, Fragapalooza '98 (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada July 16-19) seems to be picking up steam, as they've passed along a bunch of announcements about things like shirts embroidered with name for early registrants (beats nametags), as well as more sponsorships and tourneys. See their page for details.

Out of the Blue
I've lost a lot of time the last two days with a few hardware difficulties, and I'm about to bury myself in it again: so if updates are a little spotty, it's an unfortunate necessity. Huge aggravation from OS reinstalls: I now have the most fragmented hard-drive in the world: I've been trying to defrag it, but it may take about 12 hours. Ack.

Sunday, June 14, 1998

Power-User Quake 1 RA Pack  [11:45 PM EDT]
Max "_ArA_" Berg (level designer on Malice) and his partner David "Alpha_Male" Mertz have released a Quake 1 Rocket Arena pack with 9 new maps called "Tribute" (one of the maps in the pack is a tribute level devoted to famed Quake Clans). The map pack was created to provide levels that are both fun to play in and are aesthetically pleasing, but at a cost, as they've stretched the maximum r_speeds they allowed on the levels to 575 (a bit high for lower-end systems), hence 3D acceleration is recommended. The pack is running on a West Coast Server at   wildside.stanford.edu:27503. Here's Tribute (1.4 MB), local copy courtesy of GamesNET's surprisingly refreshing FTP. Also, on subject of high r_speeds, or in this case, extreme r_spreeds, the Sepulchre has a unique (to my knowledge) section up called the photo gallery (currently no entries). The goal is to collect screenshots of levels that demonstrate interesting or elaborate architecture, even if that causes the levels to be actually unplayable.

Die by the Sword Patch -2nd Try  [9:06 PM EDT]
I'll try to do this again, with a bit more accurately: A version 1.04 Die by the Sword patch is out in three flavors: All fix a few bugs, while one will also eliminating some gore to make for a more family-oriented sword-fight, and the other is specifically for Cyrix machines. All are available on this page on 3dfxMania, and here are local copies courtesy of GamesNET's immaculately groomed FTP: the 1.04 patch (784 KB), the 1.04 no gore patch (784 KB), and the Cyrix patch (1.4 MB). Thanks Voodoo Extreme and 3dfxMania.

Quake II Mission Pack Server  [4:13 PM EDT]
Christian Antkow, AKA Disruptor posted word in his .plan that a server at id is running the deathmatch maps from Quake II: The Reckoning:

I've set up a server here running the deathmatch maps from Xatrix's mission pack.

It's up at;

192.246.30.37:27911

SLI Shootout  [4:13 PM EDT]
3 Fingers X-24 vs. Creative Labs 3D SLI takes a look at a pair of CL Voodoo2 boards in SLI mode compared to a Quantum 3D Obsidian2 X-24 board in a series of Quake II benchmarking tests.

More GC  [4:13 PM EDT]
More reactions (see next story): Brian Hook and loonyboi.

GameCenter Reactions  [11:24 AM EDT]
Reactions to GameCenter's over-rated editorial (noted here) from all over: John Romero, John "Slaine" Scott, Rick Johnson, and Don "onethumb" MacAskill. Those are the ones I've found at least.

Raven Reactions  [11:24 AM EDT]
Speaking of being under-rated or over-rated, Raven's Kenn Hoekstra ponders why his gang's game's "don't get more hype on the 'net." This quote is from his .plan file:

June 13th, 1998 - Time for some readers' polls... I want to know what you, the consumers think about the following issues...

1) Why don't Raven Software's games get more hype on the net? Is it because we don't have a ton of websites dedicated to our games? Because we aren't controversial enough? Or because we don't have a "rock star" to identify with at our company? Let me know...

2) What do you expect from a game entitled "Soldier of Fortune" based on the Quake II engine? Do you want gritty realism? Blood and guts? Controversy (IE killing world leaders)? Real world environments? Or Quake II levels re-textured and modified to pass for real world environments? How about weapons? Items? Equipment?

Cover all the bases and drop me a line... khoekstra@mail.ravensoft.com Thanks in advance.

BotJohnny  [11:24 AM EDT]
Version 1.6 of Bot Johnny, is out. New to this bot front-end are a ton of features and fixes, including a a redesigned bots file which can store attributes of other bots than  the Eraser, drag and drop support for the maps tab and Team Editor, a new bot template function for easier addition of new bot types.

The Scoop on Q2 3.17  [5:29 AM EDT]
I've seen a bit of speculation about the word that's trickling out about the version number on the next release of Quake II. The version is currently at 3.17. It was simply increased due to some internal version tracking at id. Zoid says that they're working hard on making sure this release is as solid as can be:

"Once we've grown confident it's rock solid, we'll release it immediately."

OpenGL & D3D Unreal Status  [3:12 AM EDT]
Billy at Extremus Voodoodandinus passes along word of a huge post on the Epic MegaBoard by Epic's Mark Rein on the state of 3D API support in Unreal. Here is but a small (large) chunk of what he had to say:

OpenGL and D3D are just as much on the top of the list as improvements to Unreal’s Internet network play. We're working with expert 3rd parties so that we can be addressing BOTH of these major concerns simultaneously and not just one or the other. Your patience is sincerely appreciated.

We do have OpenGL up and running on a few cards. I've personally played it on the Rendition V2200-based Hercules Thriller 3D. The performance isn't quite there yet but that's to be expected on this very early attempt. The Riva128 is running (I haven't seen it yet) but with some problems that Riva is looking into on their side. Apparently Nvidia tried Unreal on the TNT and the results were extremely good but our focus for now is clearly on cards that are already out there so this is just good news for the future. I'm not sure of the status of the Intel i740 but I can tell you that I personally visited Real3D's Lockheed Martin Florida headquarters a few months ago and they pledged their complete support to us so I expect things will work out there too.

We're still not sure that all the top 3D accelerator cards, when run through OpenGL or D3D, can actually improve on Unreal's software rendering performance. We knew the Voodoo family and the PowerVR would be OK because they have highly optimized native APIs (Glide and PowerSGL) that let you get very close to the hardware. People should not assume that because past 3D game ran acceptably on their particular 3D accelerator card that Unreal would too. Unreal pushes these cards a lot harder than anything that came before it did. Don't expect miracles.

[Read the Full Post]

Freespace Patch  [12:38 AM EDT]
Volition Inc. has released a version 1.02 Descent FreeSpace patch that should improve 'net play. The patch (1.3 MB) is available from Volition's site, or here is a local copy, courtesy of GamesNET's choco-licious FTP. Thanks Billy "Free Willy" Wilson, of Voodoo Extreme. Here's a quote from the page about the patch:

This update improves the "firing delay" problems so many of you have encountered, and should generally make Internet games much more playable. If you still encounter firing delays, it's most likely due to increasing ping times between you and the game server, rather than packet flooding. Next week we'll be dealing with the player ship updates and working to get them more fluid for other clients.

NOTE: Players still need to use the correct Object Updates setting to have reliable Internet games. In general, Only ISDN/T1/T3 connections should use HIGH, 56K modems use MEDIUM or LOW, and modems below 56K should use LOW.

The 1.02 update also fixes real-time voice lockups, sound lockups, and mouse problems, among other things.

Unreal Party Locale  [12:38 AM EDT]
GamesCon has announced the location of the Unreal release party in Toronto next weekend. Here's the skinny:

The location will be at the Ontario Science Center. We will be using The Special Exhibit Hall, for the event, more details, prizes and refreshments will be posted soon. We think that this is a very interesting place to have a party such as this and we hope that you will join us on this special occasion.

Out of the Blue
Hmm, never got back to OotB yesterday, sorry about that. Maybe it's obvious, but the reason I usually do my daily blathering in the daylight, is I figure that it's safer than risking the kind of rambles that would occur in the wee hours (a frightening thought). Anyway, I lost track of that amidst losing a lot of yesterday doing the reboot shuffle trying to track down an issue on my machine (I've seen this movie before: it doesn't want to shut down properly from the start menu--I'm pretty sure it's got to do with network configuration). 12 hours and one OS reinstall later, and I'm back right where I was: locking up on shutdown. That's the nice thing about the news tending to slow down on the  weekends, it gives a busy webmaster time to relax and enjoy some quality time with his computer.

Saturday, June 13, 1998

Unreal Skin Collection  [7:28 PM EDT]
This page has information on where to send your Unreal skin if you want it included in a pack they plan on distributing on the 'net. There is also info there to help you get started creating your own skins for Unreal.

Unreal Reviewage  [7:28 PM EDT]
legion's Stroggs Gone Mad, dedicated to AI (and actresses) in its own right, reviews Unreal's vaunted bots, giving them a mere 61 out of 100. Also there's an Unreal Level/Add-on Reviews site up on Unrealization (I'm taking that on faith, the link is currently down for me).

Eraser Bot Aids  [7:28 PM EDT]
Version 1.3 of BotGen is available. BotGen is a program to create an Eraser Bot BOTS.CFG entry for every skin you have. Also, version 1.4 of the Erased Launcher has been released, offering options to add, remove, and customize your own bots and teams, as well as bug fixes.

Q2 Editing: Qoole Wishlist  [7:28 PM EDT]
Like a similar list for Worldcraft mentioned earlier, a Qoole Wishlist is underway, organized by the members of the Qoole mailing list to provide feedback for this level editor's authors.

Uber-Photos  [7:28 PM EDT]
There are photos from the recent Atlanta UberFest on E3 UberFest '98.

Jedi Knight Anti-Cheat Patch  [1:21 PM EDT]
My force wielding friends at JediKnight.Net have posted a patch that can prevent many forms of multiplayer cheating online in Jedi Knight games, though it currently does not support Mysteries of the Sith.

New Unofficial Unreal FAQ  [1:01 PM EDT]
An update to the Unreal Kingdom unofficial Unreal FAQ brings it up to version 0.2.

Unreal Super-EightBall  [1:01 PM EDT]
RepoMan sends along a Super-EightBall patch for Unreal (2 KB, courtesy of GamesNET's no MSG FTP) which, inspired by my comment yesterday, works like the original EightBall gun, except it will load up to eight balls in both fire modes, rather than the six the original loads in secondary mode. Random nickname inspired quote (paraphrased) from Repo Man: "...but you know what? YOU'RE ALL RIGHT!"

Reviews: Unreal, Sound Cards  [1:01 PM EDT]
This Unreal review on Jumbo gives it a 9.5 out of 10 (thanks NORDS). Also, there's a review of the Diamond Monster Sound MX-200 on Generation 3D Hardware and Gaming, and there are reviews of the Turtle Beach Montego, and Xitel Storm VX, both A3D based sound cards, up on PCGaming.

Q2 AutoBot Launcher for Ace  [1:01 PM EDT]
The home of the AutoBot has a new AceBot specific version of their Quake II bot launcher.

Hardware II  [1:01 PM EDT]
A second PlanetQuake Featured Editorial on hardware has been posted with comments from Jeremy "Loki" Blackman of Monolith and Pat Lipo of  Raven.

Q2 Editing Worldcraft 2 Suggestions  [11:58 AM EDT]
There's a Worldcraft 2.0 Suggestions Sheet up on The Forge soliciting user suggestions for the next version of Worldcraft.

Shut Up that Grapple: Follow-up  [10:21 AM EDT]
As mentioned in this story, Vynn of clan Elite Strike sent along this hookfix.zip (24 KB, courtesy of GamesNET's polyunsaturated FTP), a pak4.pak for Threewave Quake II CTF that will prevent the grappling sound from getting caught in a repeating loop long after the grappling is done (the one in the earlier story still occasionally sticks, but will always allert you to "hangers").

K6-2 Review  [4:38 AM EDT]
There's an AMD K6-2 Processor Review on Anand's Hardware Tech Page. Thanks Bill "TooSlow" Holman.

Unreal Interview  [4:19 AM EDT]
The Future of Unreal is an article on GameCenter that talks a bit to Mark Rein and Tim Sweeney, and gives a mention to our buddy 3 Fingers along the way.

Dark Reign II  [4:19 AM EDT]
A Dark Reign II Interview on GameCenter talks with the game's director, Greg Boroudhas, and has some some revelations already about the just announced game (thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme):

The 3D rendering system is a combination of elements from Battlezone and the new Heavy Gear 2 engine. These engines made up our foundation. For the last six months we have been building upon this foundation, creating the Dark Reign II engine, which we believe will be truly revolutionary.

Slagging Q2, 3D and the Romero  [4:19 AM EDT]
Also at GameCenter, where they've obviously had their coffee (though maybe not their bran), is an article on the most Overrated and Underrated topics in gaming. Their picks are intriguing to say the least. Here are some of their choices for over-rated topics: Quake II ("This game was one of the most anticipated sequels ever. We played it for about two days."), John Romero ("OK, we suppose the gaming industry can have its rock stars, but please, this man is not God...he's a geek, and a very rich one at that."), and 3D ("Sure, we want cool 3D software to justify shelling out a couple hundred for the latest 3D hardware, but not if it's shabby."). While also making some interesting selections for what gaming topics they feel are under-rated: Direct 3D ("although Direct3D started out really slow and lame, it's getting better...much better"), and 2D ("2D isn't dead, even though some think it should die. In fact, Deer Hunter, one of the cheesiest of all el cheapo games was done completely in 2D, yet it reached the number-one spot for video game sales."). The article also provides the opportunity to provide your feedback on these topics. Thanks Miguel.

Quake II Battleground  [4:19 AM EDT]
Version 0.99i of Quake2 Battleground is out. This teamplay mod for Quake II is designed to make clan matches run smoothly and efficiently (though it is possible to switch the mod over to standard id deathmatch mode)by adding a number of teamplay and team management features.

Quake Config Maker  [4:19 AM EDT]
Quake Config Maker (QCM) is out to save you the hours of drudgery making a config file in a text editor represents.

Shiny Site  [4:19 AM EDT]
The guys at Shiny have put a spit shine on their website making some impressive use of the Flash plug-in to create a dazzling page. Thanks Billy "Umbrella Drinks" Wilson (Voodoo Extreme).

Server Browsers  [4:19 AM EDT]
With all the current activity on the server browser front, Q.S.B.N. is offering updated reviews on the new versions of Qtracker and GameSpy.

Quake Word Search  [4:19 AM EDT]
An update to the search database on Quake3.nu make its output more like a traditional search engine. This engine actually can find a word or phrase for you from it's index of over one trillion Quake-related webpages.

Newer Q2 CTF Grapple Sound Fix  [2:00 AM EDT-Updated]
One more time on this one. Here's  hookfix2.zip (24 KB, courtesy of GamesNET's lightly toasted FTP) a pak4.pak for Quake II CTF sent along by Vynn of clan Elite Strike with replacement sounds for the grappling hook to prevent the infinitely revving phantom hook that can drive you nuts sometimes. This .pak format version is to replace the .wav file fix originally posted here. This is an alternate file that still allows you to hear people hanging, but can also start repeating in an annoying fashion. I'll post the one that completely circumvents the problem when I get it (forgotten attachment syndrome).

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