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Friday, June 26, 1998

New FFVII PC Demo  [8:31 PM EDT]
There's an exclusive Final Fantasy VII PC Demo up on GameCenter. This is not the 120 MB beast that circulated a while back, but a lean 9 MB download (thanks CiDcO of StormTroopers). Here's the scoop

This is a totally new Final Fantasy VII demo, which showcases the game's first-rate 3D combat mode. The demo's read-me file reads, "The Final Fantasy demo is a standalone demonstration of the game's battle system...The demo will put you directly into the Battle Arena area of the game."

Prax War Board  [8:31 PM EDT]
A Prax War Message Board is up on Prax World devoted to discussion of the upcoming shooter from Rebel Boat Rocker.

Ritual Interview  [8:31 PM EDT]
RitNews has an interview with Ritual modeler Murphy Michaels talking about things like his departure from ION; his current project, F.A.K.K.2; and modeling.

New RIVA 128 K6-2 Drivers  [8:31 PM EDT]
Updated RIVA 128 K6-2 Drivers are on this NVIDIA Drivers page. Thanks Billy "Floating Point" Wilson at Voodoo Extreme.

Charlie and Gary's Company  [6:38 PM EDT]
As promised earlier, sCary's Shack has n Q&A with Charlie Brown & Gary McTaggart to set the record straight again about their departure from Ritual, and to talk about their plans for their new company.

Hexen & Heretic Source Code Release  [6:26 PM EDT]
Following id's release of the parent Doom source, Raven is preparing to release the Hexen and Heretic code, as revealed in Rick "SuperFly" Johnson's .plan (thanks Phoebus and Hexenworld):

One final note, we have received permission from both GT and id to release the source code to Heretic and Hexen. I'm not sure when exactly this will happen, as we have to remove the sound code within each of those games (the same issue that Carmack had when releasing the Doom source code).

By the way, speaking of SuperFly, Rick's .plan also reveals the name of the community celeb whose likeness was used recently in a concept sketch for Raven's upcoming Quake II engine game, Soldier of Fortune (and yes, I did get my chops busted about the Jenny Craig crack).

Unreal Saga  [6:26 PM EDT]
Part two of Blinded By Reality, The True Story Behind the Creation of Unreal, Geoff Keighley's epic about Epic's shooter and its development, talking about the ups and downs of developing a game in a "virtual company," is up on GameSpot.

GibStats II 2.0  [4:44 PM EDT]
Version 2.0 of GibStats II, the standardized frag logging tool for Quake II is out. the new version offers support logs Linux servers, new graphs, new export and save dialogs for graphs, and tons more.

Brian Hook Interview  [4:33 PM EDT]
There's a Brian Hook interview on Voodoo Extreme talking to the id programmer on a variety of subjects, or as Billy puts it, "Brian Hook steps into the Voodoo Extreme lime-green polyester leisure suit and cuts da rug in VE's double-wide on the orange shag-carpet!"

On UberRumors  [3:54 PM EDT]
Gary McTaggart's .plan has a statement he hopes will end speculation of ill-will between the himself (along with cohort Charlie Brown) and Ritual Entertainment since the departure of the two  programmers who had been working on the UberEngine at Ritual:

There certainly has been a lot of gossip/speculation going on on the net about Charlie and I leaving Ritual. Most of this "news" has attempted to either make RItual look really bad or us really bad by speculating the most negative/untruthful things possible. We realize that it is important to get the true story out there instead of remaining quiet. Look for that soon. . . we should have an interview up on www.shugashack.com soon where we talk about what we are doing.

One thing I will say here is that Ritual is a great place to work and I'm tired of seeing them being bashed for our departure. There are a lot of very cool people over there. When we left, they understood our reasoning behind leaving and our departure was an overall positive thing. The final word upon leaving is there is a chance that we may collaborate at some level in the future. . . no definite plans.

Revolution #9 Screenshots  [3:54 PM EDT]
3DXTC (VE affiliate) has some screenshots of some 3D games running on the new Revolution IV board from #9 an upcoming accelerator looking to make a splash among all the promising sounding new cards in the works ("they tell me that it's evolution, but we all want to change the world"). Forsaken, Incoming, GLQuake, and Wooden Ship are the games on display.

Unreal, H2 Mission Pack Reviews, Gore Preview  [1:11 PM EDT]
GamePen Reviews Unreal in an enthusiastic write-up, and GameSpot UK's Hexen II Mission Pack Review scores it an 8 out of 10. Ever More Gore is GameCenter's look at 4D Rulers' upcoming gory shooter.

etc.  [1:11 PM EDT]
Where's the etc. section been anyway? Here's a rush o' stuff with nary a time for a gasp of breath in between... ready, set, go: The Quake Literary Guild has a couple of new pieces up, one an attempt to write the prologue for Quake Arena, and the other an article summarizing the FPS scene "and which ones make the cut" ... The Quake 2 Depo has posted a 10 map collection of favorites from their reviews, and they also say they're starting their own RealAudio show ... Multiplayer online gaming services were discussed in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, apparently Quake figured prominently in the story ... Similarly, apparently Epic and Unreal were in the New York Times yesterday, here's a link (thanks David Whitehead), but like the WSJ (dunno if there's a web version of that one), all sorts of registration and passwords are required to access their website ... There's more Quake movie stuff up on Dark Horizons, (are any of these movie rumors worth the electrons they're transmitted on?). Thanks Grendel[DeD] ... The top five Quake II players in a match on Wireplay UK's 64 player server this Sunday at 3:00 PM (local time?) will each receive the Quake II mission pack of their choice ... Cali Girl News has a Theresh profile up called King of Quake ... Finally, today is ION Storm Director of Advanced Technologies Corrinne Yu's birthday.

Jobs  [10:27 AM EDT]  [1:11 PM EDT]
Adam at Volition sends along word of some openings there for a Senior Programmer, an Entry-Level Programmer, a Senior/Lead Artist, an Entry-Level Artist/Animator, a Musician/Audio Engineer, a Level/Mission Designer, a Writer, a Website Designer, and a Network Engineer, details are posted here.  Also, Gateway at Nihilistic sends word they seek a 2D artist to work in their offices in the San Francisco Bay area:

Job Qualifications:
. Must have great traditional illustration and painting skills.
. Must be capable of putting detailed ideas down on paper.
. Be a talented figure drawing artist
. Graduate from an art school preferred
· Technically proficient with PhotoShop 4.0
· Ability to communicate and work as part of a small tight team
· Must have the dedication required by a top notch team making an 'A' title

We offer a full benefits package.

The artist will work with lead artist to create original
designs and textures. Work with level design to create detailed textures.
Storyboard cinematics cut scenes

Send digital samples of 2d work if possible.

Send all email responses to jobs@nihilistic.com.

If sending a package of your work, please include name and telephone # on all materials.

PlayStation Quake II  [10:27 AM EDT]
This press release describes the resumption of the on again/off again plans to bring Quake II to the Sony PlayStation. Thanks Lorien at Gamer's Alliance.

Redline Screenshots  [10:27 AM EDT]
Accolade has posted a 5.5 MB movie and six new screenshots of REDLINE, their 3D combat simulation due this fall. Thanks Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers'.

Unimpressed by Unreal  [10:27 AM EDT]
An Associated Press review of Unreal is up, and is unimpressed, with comments like: "Rather than pushing the envelope, it just overstuffs it, creating a cumbersome, top-heavy game that crashes under its own weight." Thanks Knock Knock (nice addy, warms my heart to have fans).

FFVII PC and the Voodoo Rush  [10:27 AM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme got the dope from 3Dfx's Jack "morbid" Mathews that a new driver to fix problems with Final Fantasy VII on the Voodoo Rush is due in early July. Check Jack's plan for a link to the cool terra-server, a bonus this morning).

Banshee Interview  [10:27 AM EDT]
The hardware show has a visit to the 3Dfx offices to look at a Banshee Demo, and a discussion of the Banshee with Scott Sellers of 3Dfx.

Unreal Dementia  [2:59 AM EDT]
The Daily Dementia for June 26 talks with Cliff Bleszinski of Epic MegaGames and Geoff Keighley of GameSlice about Geoff's new Blinded By Reality Unreal story, as well as the general unreal discussions. RealPlayer required.

Prey , Blood2, Half-Life Previews  [2:59 AM EDT]
The Adrenaline Vault Previews Prey, there's an enthusiastic Blood 2: The Chosen preview on MeccaWorld, and Wavelength E3 Report is up talking about Half-Life at E3.

Quake II Botster  [2:59 AM EDT]
Version 2.2 of Botster, the Quake II front end for the Eraser and CRBots is now out with optimizations and bug fixes, and a few new features, including the Botster Backup Manager (BBM).

Tourneys  [2:59 AM EDT]
There are cash prizes being offered in the Soldier of Fortune Inc. Quake II Tournament on Mplayer (not to be confused with Raven's upcoming Quake II engine Soldier of Fortune game). Also, there's a North Peace Gamers League tourney in Alberta Canada on the Fourth of July.

Playable Demos  [2:59 AM EDT]
A playable demo of Blizzard's RTS StarCraft was released yesterday, available at Blizzard, AVault's, and GameSpot (thanks sCary). Also, I saw on VE a House of the Dead demo on AVault, a PC demo of the recent arcade game.

Online Distribution Editorial  [2:59 AM EDT]
Inspired by a couple of recent statements on the topic, Dean's Editorial Page tackles the question of why we're not seeing as many shareware titles as we used to.

Quake II DM Reviews  [2:59 AM EDT]
Quake 2 Depo now boasts over 250 reviews of Quake II deathmatch levels that are available on cdrom.com.

Out of the Blue
Had a good time on Shooters last night, thanks to Scott for pinch hitting for loony, and thanks to sCary and Paul Steed for coming on and talking to us, they were both great. Also, thanks for all the mail on the ad thingie yesterday, I received nothing but support, including a very polite apology from Dry Vermouth.

Thursday, June 25, 1998

The Real Unreal Story  [9:55 PM EDT]
Blinded By Reality, The True Story Behind the Creation of Unreal is part one of sweeping three part story on the making of Epic's epic by Geoff Keighley as a GameSpot/GameSlice collaboration.

Matrox G200  [9:55 PM EDT]
There's some Q&A with Matrox on the Matrox Users Resource Centre giving the latest on the upcoming G200, and offering a 1024x768 Quake II screenshot.

FFVII PC RIVA Blues  [9:55 PM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme points out that RivaZone has the scoop from Eidos for owners of RIVA 128 accelerators disappointed to find that Final Fantasy VII, in spite of its D3D support, doesn't work on their cards. here's the quote:

Final Fantasy VII does not currently support Direct3D acceleration for the RIVA 128 or RIVA 128ZX chipsets. Due to the problem of RIVA chipsets not directly supporting 8-bit palletized textures, which the game requires, nVidia Corporation has been working on a solution. Up to now, however, nVidia has not been able to provide an adequate fix.

For the past several months, Square Soft has been working closely with nVidia (along with all of the other major 3D chip companies) to ensure that its chipsets are supported by the game. We expect some positive word soon from nVidia that a solution has been developed that will give RIVA chipset owners the opportunity to experience the incredible 3D accelerated graphics of Final Fantasy VII.

Our suggestion is to contact nVidia directly because the solution has to come from them rather than Eidos or Square Soft.

Eidos and Square Soft are by no means disregarding Riva owners and we hope to have a solution soon.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Gary Keith
EIDOS Interactive
Gkeith@EIDOS.com

Shooters  [6:48 PM EDT]
Tonight on Shooters we have sCary to talk about all that's been going on with him lately with the end of VRGN and the move to Op3Dfx, and special guest id Software artist/modeler Paul Steed will come in and talk to us about Zen and the art of modeling, and steedisms and stuff, so this should be a fun informative show (and thanks to the audio-only format, none of that chair-throwing). The festivities kick off at 8:00 PM, RealPlayer required.

sCary Physics Poll  [6:48 PM EDT]
sCary has posted a poll on Quake II physics with the idea of giving feedback about whether physics changes in 3.15 should remain or not.

Blood2: The Chosen Update  [6:48 PM EDT]
The new weekly update to the Blood 2 The Chosen site is by Daniel Bernstein, General Manager of Monolith's Audio/Video department (the AV squad?), talking about Blood2's use of Microsoft's Interactive Music Architecture (an early version of DirectMusic) , saying B2 and Shogo will be the first games on the market with this new technology. There's also a new weekly vision that sure is dark (unlit, not evil). Thanks Tha Blood Shack.

Dear Mynx  [6:48 PM EDT]
A new PlanetQuake Dear Mynx is up. Jerry Springer watch out, here's the summary of this week's Q&A with Mynx:

This Week: Rejoice, another butt guy! Prank calling chicks, Quake while mourning, a homosexual crush on that funky buttmonkey shuga guy, firing the missile in algebra class, questioning the tarty column contributors, and a crusty escapade with Dave "ddt" Taylor's boogers. Somebody bring me the frosting.

Team Evolve  [6:48 PM EDT]
With the disappearance of VRGN, team evolve has relocated to www.teamevolve.com/. If you were on their mailing list, you need to head over there and sign-up again.

Half-Life Image  [4:29 PM EDT]
THe Half-Life has a neat new exclusive image from Half-Life (link supplied because theirs is broken) showing off the deadly and sleek assassin. Thanks sCary.

Forsaken Update  [4:29 PM EDT]
The new Forsaken Newsletter is up, giving the lowdown on what's up with the dedicated server, currently expected in July, as well as what else is up with Acclaim's hover-scooter shooter, including word that a level editor is still in the "discussion phase" and that a new demo is coming. Thanks Lorien at Gamer's Alliance.

New Recon Wars  [4:29 PM EDT]
Version 3.20 of Recon Wars is now available. RW is a class based Quake II teamplay mod, and the new version adds an off-hand grapple, among other features, and fixes a lot of bugs.

Extensive E3 Video Coverage  [2:29 PM EDT]
This Page from Business Wire and NewsDirect contains video news coverage of more than 25 E3 '98 exhibitors and 20 SUPERCOMM '98 exhibitors. Thanks Lorien at Gamer's Alliance.

Rage TC Follow-up (Part 2)   [2:21 PM EDT - Updated]
The Rage TC website has been updated with an official response to the allegations mentioned in this story about their use of models created by other artists. The update acknowledges the inappropriate appropriation, and apologizes.

Obsidian2 Drivers  [2:02 PM EDT]
The Quantum 3D Driver Downloads page has new (dated June 19, but no one spotted them?) drivers for the Obsidian2 line of Voodoo2 boards. The drivers come in both "full" and "lite" variewtys (the lite version being a "quick and easy" version that omits the DirectX 5.0 ReDistribution Setup, GMOJO, and GDETECT (Quanum3D Test Utilities). Thanks Prophet.

New WinGlides  [2:02 PM EDT]
Gamma WinGlide v0.94 and Overlay WinGlide v0.94 are up on Chris' WinGlide Page (Multi-threaded WinGlide is now a part of Gamma WinGlide). The new releases fix a bug with 3Dfx OpenGL Beta 2.1 at certain resolutions. WinGlide allows Voodoo and Voodoo2 graphics accelerators to display their output in a window. Thanks Billy "Overlay" Wilson of Voodoo Extreme.

Deathmatch Manager  [2:02 PM EDT]
Deathmatch Manager version 2.4 is out, updated to work with the Quake II Eraser Bot version 0.992, and fixing a couple of small bugs.

Video Sinterview  [12:42 PM EDT]
Infinite MHz has a video interview with onethumb from E3 in .mpg format talking about Sin. The .mpg is 5.5 MB and runs about 3 minutes long (shot on the E3 floor, the audio is a bit rough).

Mega Quake II Skin Pack  [12:08 PM EDT]
3dfx Mania has industriously combined 14 different publicly available Quake II skin packs into one giant .zip that includes over 1000 skins. Here's a local copy (16.2 MB) thanks to GamesNET FTP.

Alienware Review  [11:36 AM EDT]
There's an Alienware Custom System Review up on Voodoo Extreme. Alienware is not some sort of Area 51 clothing line, it's a high-end system integrator specializing in game systems.

Mad Over Models  [11:36 AM EDT]
The Q2PMP page is worked up in a state over the Rage TC currently in the works for Unreal. At issue is something that has come up before in the community, accusations that someone is taking credit for models and skins they did not create, as they site the origination of some of the screenshots associated with the TC. As of this writing there is no reaction on the Rage site. Thanks STrikerRW.

Martini Time  [11:36 AM EDT]
Since I posted about it in out of the Blue today, I want to note that The Texas Martini Foundation has been updated with a bit of a change in heart on the flames directed my way earlier.

Biz  [10:12 AM EDT]
Win 98 a resurfacing job is the reaction on PC Week Online to MS' new OS, while News.Com reports: Win 98 Minor upgrade, forced march, and What I Hate Most About Windows 98 is the Rant du Jour on ZDNet (here's ZDNet's "Ultimate Guide to Windows 98", and TechWeb's Windows 98 Megasite). Speaking of TechWeb, here's a TW article on yesterday's Telcom wheeling and dealing called Approval Appears Likely For AT&T-TCI Deal, while in contrast, InfoWorld Electric reports AT&T's bold move to buy TCI faces multiple hurdles. On the subject of the deal, TCI buyout gives AT&T entrée into local markets reports PC Week, and TCI deal may speed PC-TV marriage, reports News.Com.

Voodoo2 Roundup  [4:01 AM EDT]
Who Do That Voodoo 2 on GameCenter looks at five different offerings: the Canopus Pure3D II, the Creative Labs 3D Blaster Voodoo2, the Diamond Monster 3D II, the Metabyte Wicked3D, the Quantum3D Obsidian2 S-12 PCI-TV, and the Quantum3D Obsidian2 S-12.AGP-NLX.

Daily Dementia  [4:01 AM EDT]
The Daily Dementia today has part two of TC's conversation with Jay Wilson of Monolith with more on Blood 2: The Chosen. Real player required.

Out of the Blue
George Broussard updated his .plan with his opinion on the opinion sites of the moment, specifically mentioning BitchX Online and Gaming news & Views and The Texas Martini Foundation. The former has been discussed here, and the later will inspire our topic today. Headstrong after covering the scene for a full 48 hours now, Dry Vermouth, the Martini's maintainer, seems to think he's got me pegged as being bought by ad dollars: Here's what I will say about his comments: Advertisers have zero influence on any of the content of this site. None. Zip. I never have made a point of stating this because I thought it went without saying, based on my sincere hope that readers would not frequent a site that they felt was so influenced. Also, one of the main reasons I work with an outfit like IGN is so I can have zero contact with the advertising sales aspects of this site. None. As for opinions, though I disagree that I don't ever share them, they are not the main focus of this site. The main focus is information, not me, and not my opinions about things. Making that point tells me it's time to wrap this up.

Wednesday, June 24, 1998

FFVII PC, Descent FreeSpace Reviews  [10:33 PM EDT]
Next Generation Online's Final Fantasy VII Review is up already, as well as their Descent: FreeSpace review.

WitchDoctor Addendums  [10:33 PM EDT]
cyrellis 3d mentioned a couple of tidbits about the new Canopus WitchDoctor: That the card will retail for $139 (US) instead of $149, and that currently the reverse passthrough support only works for Voodoo2 cards, with Voodoo support coming within a few weeks.

New QuArK  [10:33 PM EDT]
5.0.b6 of QuArK is up on the The Official Quake Army Knife Homepage. Thanks David Pletcher.

Secret Ops  [8:50 PM EDT]
GameSpot tells All About Wing Commander: Secret Ops in a conversation with Origin general manager Neil Young (Hey hey, my my) with a few more details on how this free Internet installment of the Wing Commander series, set to be released in weekly "episodes" (as announced last week), will work.

Da WitchDoctor  [8:37 PM EDT]
GameSpot has a post up about the new WitchDoctor called Canopus Casts WitchDoctor Magic enthusing about the card's features.

Joe Selinske Sinterview  [8:09 PM EDT]
There's a Joe Selinske Interview on LA Reviews that talks to Sin's project manager about Sin, Ritual, and of course, his feels about Tamagotchis.

New ATI OpenGL Quake/Quake II Minidriver  [8:02 PM EDT]
There is what I believe is a new version of the Windows 95/98 OpenGL Quake/Quake II minidriver for ATI RAGE PRO based video cards up on ATI's OpenGL page. The release notes call it Build 1036, dated June, 1998. Thanks KONANtheKILLER.

Siege Source  [8:02 PM EDT]
Phoebus sends word that posted an offer for what amounts to the final source code for Siege up on Hexenworld (the site). Siege is a modification for HexenWorld (the program) that is the result of a lot of hard work by Hexen II's designers (the final version is due soon), so the source me be a valuable resource to aspiring mod author types. Here's the dope straight from Raven's Mike (Cosmos) Gummelt:

If you send me an e-mail, I will send you the source code, as it will not be changing significantly before the final version. The only reason I'm not doing a full release is because it's not final and there's a lot of hacky little stuff in it I did to fix map bugs so that we didn't have to make people download a new map everytime we changed something on the map. Also, the code is still kind of sloppy and doesn't have enough comments. But, if you want it anyway, e-mail me and I'll send it to you.

Gore Interview  [5:58 PM EDT]
There's an interview with 4D Rulers on GamesDomain that talks about their upcoming gory shooter, Gore. Thanks Billy "Gory" Wilson at Voodoo Extreme.

Montego Review  [5:58 PM EDT]
Here's a review of the A3D-based Montego PCI soundcard from Turtle Beach.

Ex-Ritual Programmers to Stay Ex-Ritual Programmers?  [5:23 PM EDT]
We haven't heard much on this situation since Gary McTaggart's and Charlie Brown's departures from Ritual were followed by word that it was possible they might still return, but Gary McTaggart's .plan update suggests they are striking out on their own:

We have a short list for company names. . . anyone have any whack company names that we should know about, yo?

I suggested "Rebel Airplane Bathroom Smoker"  smiley3.gif (948 bytes)

WitchDoctor Press Release  [5:23 PM EDT]
The promised press release on the Canopus WitchDoctor is finally out. Thanks Lorien at Gamer's Alliance.

FFVII PC in Stores?  [5:23 PM EDT]
I thought it wouldn't be in stores until this weekend, but my emailtells me copies of Final Fantasy VII for the PC are on store shelves in some places right now.

Of id and Ego  [1:20 PM EDT]
A strong opinion piece on Games Domain (actually it calls itself a rant), takes both of last week's big shooter announcements (Duke Forever and Quake Arena) as negative signs, saying of id, "these developments make it very clear that the company's position as the undisputed FPS industry leader is now a thing of the past." Saw that on cyrellis 3d.

AT&T to Buy TCI for $48B  [11:16 AM EDT]
AT&T and TCI make $48B deal is the headline on CNNfn detailing the announced purchase of cable and telecommunications giant, TCI, by the even more giant telecommunications company, AT&T, for a most giant of all $48 Billion (US). The move is described as ATT's attempt "to leapfrog back into the local telephone market and become a premier Internet player." Thanks Chase.

The Oracle  [11:16 AM EDT]
The Oracle on the Gathering of Developers site is regularly updated with answers from the developers themselves on questions submitted by readers. Today the Oracle give the 10 rules for coding in DirectX.

Baseball Game to use Messiah Engine  [11:03 AM EDT]
VR Sports has announced plans to use the engine in Shiny's upcoming cherubic 3rd person action game Messiah, in their upcoming VR Baseball 2000. According to OGR's article on this, the Messiah technology will allow VR Baseball 2000 player models to included an excess of 3,000 polygons. I wonder if they'll consider a Messiah-inspired title change: Jesus Alou Baseball, perhaps? Thanks Prophet.

3rd Person Perspective  [10:23 AM EDT]
Third-Person Invasion is an article on Games.Net that describes the assault the first person game's preeminence in the action genre by an upcoming crop of third-person games (Omikron, Heretic II, Dark Vengeance, Drakan, and Shadowman). Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Sin FAQ  [10:23 AM EDT]
With yesterday's news of the demo release date, the SiN FAQ on Ritualistic has gotten an update, adding new sections on weapons and online previews, and updates to the features and release date sections.

Deadly Sin?  [10:23 AM EDT]
Today's GameSlice editorial considers the ramifications of a Sin demo release date, questioning whether breaking from the now-standard "when it's done" by setting a date in stone and may be "The Eighth Deadly Sin?"

Q2: Ground Zero Preview  [10:23 AM EDT]
There's a very positive preview of Quake II: Ground Zero, the upcoming second Q2 mission pack from Rogue Entertainment, up on the The Adrenaline Vault. Thanks John.

Blood2 E3 Video Coverage  [10:23 AM EDT]
There a bunch of video Blood 2 E3 Coverage (in Real format) up on the (tha?) newly constructed Tha Blood Shack.

Daikatana Image  [10:23 AM EDT]
Here's a cool piece of Daikatana-inspired artwork by PaK up on the QuakeEasel.

WitchDoctor Review  [3:37 AM EDT]
There's a Canopus Total3D 128DX Witchdoctor AGP Review up on cyrellis 3d.

The Levelord's Secrets  [2:52 AM EDT]
It was pointed out to me (thanks zero) that in mentioning the CGW/GameSpot Shooters article, I failed to note an article by the Levelord on advanced level design, likely of interest to aspiring mappers looking to be savvy in the ways of the 'lord.

Gabe Newell Interviews  [2:52 AM EDT]
Valve's Gabe Newell has been getting around: He is interviewed on Sleepnever Central Half-Life (there's also an IRC log there), The Breeding Grounds, Twisted Y, and Twisted Half-Life.

Botster  [2:52 AM EDT]
Version 2.1b of Botster, the Quake II bot launcher for the Eraser and the CRBot is out.

To Clarify  [2:52 AM EDT]
Before I corrected it the post about SciTech MGL yesterday originally made it sound like this was the first time the product was being released for free, which is incorrect, it was free before the new release (the book, on the other hand, will cost you). Thanks Jim Paris.

Out of the Blue
A note about the help-wanteds, since a few have asked recently: I am working on getting the new Want Ads going, and it will just take a while (but it will happen). I'm still not sure if anything can be done for all the many help requests for (non-paying) team members for TCs and the like. In the meantime, since still I get so many of these type of requests, I'll give a reminder that I'm sorry to say I don't post those at this point (and haven't for a while) there are just plain a lot of them. By the way, thanks to Alice at Computer Shopper for listing Blue's News in her ten bookmarks. I don't know what's up with your buddy Bob, but if he's reading the sites on his list while you're visiting here, I know who wins when you two throw down in deathmatch  smiley3.gif (948 bytes)

Tuesday, June 23, 1998

GameSpot Shooters Roundup  [11:35 PM EDT]
GameSpot has posted the online version of Computer Gaming World's shooter roundup titled: Watch Your Back! Thanks Redwood.

Dan Freed Gets Demented  [11:35 PM EDT]
On the Daily Dementia Dan Freed of Raven Software talks about Heretic 2.

AMD K6-2: Gamers Bliss?  [11:35 PM EDT]
AMD K6-2: Gamers Bliss? is an article that pits the new AMD offering against Intel's PII's offering benchmarks and an explanation of the difference between the two CPU families. Saw that on cyrellis 3d.

V2x00 Beta OpenGL ICD  [10:18 PM EDT]
A new beta OpenGL installable client driver for Rendition V2x00 cards is out on the Rendition Software Download page (thanks RedGuru). Here's the deal:

Rendition V2x00 OpenGL ICD - June 23, 1998
**BETA RELEASE**

This ICD release provides full accelerated OpenGL support under both Windows 95 and NT. As this is a beta release, some features have not been implemented yet, and a few bugs may still exist. Be sure to read the included release notes before using.

June 23rd update is the first "beta" quality release, and is OpenGL 1.1 conformant. Many performance and stability fixes have been incorporated into this release.

3Dfx Rampage  [10:18 PM EDT]
3Dfx's Next Chipset Goes on Rampage is a Next-Gen article taking a speculative look at 3Dfx's post-Banshee plans for the mysterious Rampage.

Obsidian2 X-24 Lock-ups  [10:18 PM EDT]
There is a lengthy letter from Quantum3D's Danny Sanchez that was sent to X-24 owners reprinted on Voodoo Extreme. The letter addresses reports of lock-ups some Obsidian2 X-24 cards, identifying the problem as a manufacturing defect in a small number of boards that has been addressed. New boards have been supplied to those afflicted with the problem, and they will resume shipping boards to fulfil current orders on June 26.

South Park TC Models  [8:41 PM EDT]
Come and listen to Chef: Scoot's Quake2 Zone has a special treat for all you childrens. They've released the models from the soon/never-to-be-released Quake II South Park conversion. The sounds are not included (though they may be released in the future), but the  pack includes models of Cartman, Stan, Kenny, Kyle, Chef, Starvin' Marvin, and a big brown cow. Thanks Ravenlocke.

Army Arcade  [8:41 PM EDT]
This press release describes a contract issued by the Army to create what sounds like their own version of Quake. The release goes on to describe the project's gaming implications, but doesn't really describe where the Army fits in. Here's a quote:

Perceptronics, Inc. today reported that the Company had received a $750,000 SBIR Phase II Fast Track contract from the U.S. Army Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command (STRICOM) for continued development and commercialization of its new InterGame(TM) on-line game networking technology, and had also received equity purchases and/or subscriptions for the $375,000 in outside equity investment required by the SBIR Fast Track process.

Dr. Gershon Weltman, Perceptronics' chairman and chief executive officer, said, ``The InterGame contract is a very important part of the Company's growth strategy, and are extremely pleased and excited to have won it. We plan to use the SBIR contract, supplemented by funds from the associated equity investments, to develop a prototype commercialized version of the InterGame software technology in approximately 12 months. The envisioned initial InterGame product is a set of software tools plus protocols that would allow users to create multi-player, on-line games more efficiently, and with greater entertainment values and salability. Its anticipated sales targets will be Internet game developers and service providers, as well as networked location- based entertainment developers.''

Incoming Voodoo2 OEM Patch  [8:26 PM EDT]
3DfxMania has word of a Voodoo2 patch for the OEM version of Incoming. The OEM (Original Equiptment Manufacturer) version is the one bundled with a computer or a video card, so this isn't for the regular retail release. The patch will lock the framerate of Incoming on a Voodoo2 at about 30 FPS so that it runs at normal speeds. Thaks Billy "Bundled" Wilson (Voodoo Extreme). Here's a local copy (227 KB) thanks to GamesNET FTP. Thanks Ant.

Permedia2 Drivers  [7:13 PM EDT]
3D Labs has posted new Windows 95 drivers for Permedia 2 boards on their driver download page. Thanks TVP-JohnGotti.

More Reckoning Secrets  [7:13 PM EDT]
On the subject of Reckoning secrets (here), Akuma's SPQ2 has all of the secrets from the mission pack posted, with screenshots and detailed descriptions on how to get them, as well as every secret item location (even items not counted as secrets). Thanks Tron of 3D Gamer's Edge.

Chaos Interview  [7:13 PM EDT]
The Time for CHAOS is an interview with Mike "CHAOS" Werckle up on Ritualistic talking to the one-time Raven artist/modeler who is now settling in to his new job at Ritual. The conversation covers modeleing, why he left Raven, what's all this fuss about "feet sliding," and more.

RA2 Tourney  [7:13 PM EDT]
Here's a Quake II Rocket Arena 2 Tournament looking to kick off in July with one-on-one and four-on-four competitions. The one-on-one tourney has an open and a low ping division, and the and four-on-four is open to all pings.

Q2: The Reckoning Secrets  [5:15 PM EDT]
Gamesmania has posted a Quake II: The Reckoning Secret Guide giving away the goods on all the secret areas in the first half of the mission pack, with a guide to the second half to follow next week.

Sin Demo due Sinday, July 26  [4:31 PM EDT]
Ritual and Activision have announced that the demo version of Ritual's upcoming Quake II engine game, Sin, will be released on Sunday (or as they say Sinday, bloody Sinday) July 26, 1998 (thanks Lithium at Ritualistic). Here's all they are revealing for the moment:

Rolling the seven deadly sins into one wicked download, Ritual and Activision will unleash the demo among an assemblage of promotions, contests and tournaments. Sinners take heed: the Second Coming will reveal more details.

sindemot.jpg (11571 bytes)

TNT Benchmarks  [3:51 PM EDT]
There are some RIVA TNT benchmarks up on cyrellis3d that show a prototype of this upcoming 3D accelerator slightly outperforming a single 12MB Voodoo2 card in Turok and 3D WinBench 98 (DX6). The TNT results, supplied by NVIDIA, were obtained using drivers that are said to be "at '50%' of their final form." Thanks 3D Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

John Romero Interview  [3:24 PM EDT]
Following up on their chat with Scott Miller yesterday, LA Reviews now has an interview with John Romero.

MS Wins a Court Battle  [3:24 PM EDT]
Appeals Court Sides With Microsoft on IE Bundling reports ZDNet that describes a U.S. Appeals Court decision to overturn the preliminary injunction made by a lower court that ruled MS had to remove Internet Explorer from Windows 95. This of course, confusingly comes a couple of days before the roll-out of Windows 98 (thnaks grimlock). Here's a quote from the article that tries to sum up the decision's true meaning:

First, it does not mean the government's case against Microsoft is over. It will still go to trial in September. But the court has told Microsoft it can continue doing business as usual for the time being. In this case, business as usual means Microsoft can force manufacturers to take Internet Explorer whether they want it or not.

In the short term, it's a public relations victory for Microsoft. But it's not going to change any contracts or details related to the Windows 98 rollout this week because all of that is already in place.

Mid-term implication is Microsoft can start to renegotiate contracts again. Some OEMs, including Gateway, NEC and others, have been trying to wriggle out of some of their agreements, thinking the injunction and DOJ scrutiny would give them some protection from the wrath of Microsoft.

Long-term this decision sends a signal that the government may have trouble convincing the courts of its position. But there are still many months to go and this latest development will serve as a warning to government attorneys that they need to shore up weaknesses in their case.

MacQuakeWorld Corrections (MacUnreal Status)  [1:28 PM EDT]
I've been corrected on this MacQuakeWorld release story (thanks Torsten). If I had read more carefully, I would have seen that this was not actually a new version, but an update on bugs in the old version (hence the same version number in the files I found - duh). Here's the quote from the page that reveals that the delays in the new MacQW are due to "final beta testing" of MacUnreal:

There are a few known bugs in QuakeWorld 2.21b1 Mac, including joining servers with non-default ports (not 27500) and having players quit from a server without disconnecting. We are planning on fixing all reported bugs, but right now we are extremely busy with final Unreal beta testing, so unfortunately the next QW beta release is going to delayed a while.

Xeon Delay  [10:41 AM EDT]
Saw on Redwood's a PC Week Online that a report titled Chip set bug to delay Xeon server rollout till late summer, describes six to eight week delays in Intel Xeon CPU shipments due to a bug (or an "errata" as they put it) in the 450NX chipset.

New MacQuakeWorld  [9:43 AM EDT]
A new version 2.21b1 of MacQuakeWorld is out on Westlake Interactive's page as both a new client and a new server (though I believe they've failed to increment the version number since the last release). Here's a local copy of the client (1.3 MB) and a local copy of the server (290 KB) thanks to GamesNET FTP. Thanks Lorien at Gamer's Alliance.

SciTech MGL  [9:43 AM EDT]
Also from Gamer's Alliance comes word that SciTech Software has released a new version of their their graphics SciTech MGL. This tool allows developers to create applications using the OpenGL API in either a window or full screen mode (rendering to VGA, VESA VBE or DirectDraw surfaces) in a Windows or DOS environments. MGL has been used in the development of games like WinQuake, and Hexen II.

Hostile Water, Diablo2 Previews  [9:43 AM EDT]
The Adrenaline Vault previews Hostile Waters (thanks Voodoo Extreme), and Games.net previews Diablo2.

New Unreal TimeDemo  [1:28 AM EDT]
Version 0.2 of the Unreal TimeDemo is out on PlanetUnreal, following up on the first version by adding the ability to time exactly one cycle of the Unreal flyby sequence, as well as showing your minimum and maximum framerates during the timedemo.

Quake II Freeze Tag  [1:28 AM EDT]
Version 1.51 of the Freeze Tag mod for Quake II is out, a better ChaseCamera and MapVoting are among the changes to this teamplay mod that allows you to freeze your opponents and turn them into gib-cicles before their teammates can thaw hem out.

New Action Quake2  [1:28 AM EDT]
Version 2.93 of Action Quake2 is out. AQ2 is a deathmatch-only mod that promises "All the speed of your favorite action film without the cost of a ticket."

New UNREALINATOR  [1:28 AM EDT]
A new version of UNREALINATOR is out on Willow Pond. Here's the deal on this program that can turn your 3D graphics program into an Unreal editor:

UNREALINATOR allows an artist the freedom to work in any program that exports to the VRML 2.0 standard.  For example, an entire map's geometry can be built within 3D Studio and then easily exported to a format that UnrealED can understand. Texturing, lighting, and scripting can them be done/tweaked in UnrealED - although some of that stuff may make it into this program in the near future (depends on the feedback I get).

Jedi Knight Patch  [1:00 AM EDT]
A version 1.01 patch for Jedi Knight is out. The patch only addresses a couple of joystick issues, and you do not need to upgrade to play multiplayer games with others who have applied the patch. Here's the AVault's PC Release list page, and here's a local copy (606 KB) thanks to GamesNET FTP. Thanks Ant.

Out of the Blue
Everybody who has been putting off that trip to NYC, go ahead and buy a ticket, 'cause you won't be able to resist: I hear they are adding a new batch of celebrity voices to the recordings that play in cabs to remind you to fasten your seatbelt (they better not get rid of Ertha Kitt). Alright: I admit it, I just played a couple of straight hours of Rocket Arena 2 and my brain is still somewhere in an arena (but I warned you about the night-time updates)...

Monday, June 22, 1998 Happy Second Birthday Quake!

All-Star CTF 2  [9:14 PM EDT]
The fisrt Quake II All-Star CTF 2, version 0.90, is now available. Here's PQ's list of mirrors, and here's a local copy (8.5 MB) thanks to GamesNET FTP.

Matrox G200 in Production?  [9:14 PM EDT]
Word on the Matrox Users Resource Centre is that the Matrox G200 has gone ointo production, and is expected to start shipping nbuy the end of July. Word from Ant at the MURC is that some online online stores are already taking orders on the 8MB version, with prices as low as $122.

Raven Website  [9:03 PM EDT]
After some serious rearrangement of electrons, Phoebus has re-opened the re-vamped Raven Software website.

Earthworm Jim 3D  [9:03 PM EDT]
Interplay has released a pair of movies to show off their upcoming Earthworm Jim 3D: A 10 MB mov, and a 16 MB full-screen executable. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme, and the fine folks at 3dfx Mania.

Blue's First Look at the Canopus WitchDoctor  [8:22 PM EDT]
Jacek Fedorynski passes along word that GameStats is reporting that Canopus will issue a press release on their new RIVA 128 card (the WitchDoctor) today. Since I've been playing with one of these all day, I thought I'd pass along some first impressions, since they'll be timely:

When Canopus said they would send one of their new AGP RIVA 128 cards to evaluate, the coolest thing I knew about the card was it would offer an internal pass-through connector for Canopus' Voodoo2 card, the Pure 3D II (certainly a neat feature for owners of both cards). But when the board, dubbed the Canopus 128DX (AKA the WitchDoctor), arrived today, I found it also offers an additional feature that should be pretty exciting to all Voodoo and Voodoo2 owners, regardless of manufacturer: a reverse pass-through cable. I currently have a pair of Creative Labs Voodoo2 cards connected to the 128DX, but rather than the VGA card into the Voodoo2s out to the screen, the V2s go into the VGA card, which stays connected to the monitor in the traditional fashion. Since passing the 2D signal through the Voodoo and Voodoo2 cards normally forces it to pass through two filters (the filter on the 2D card, and the filter on the 3D card), the reverse connector means your 2D image only goes through a single filter before it goes to the monitor, making for a sharper 2D image (especially at high refresh rates and high resolutions). This arrangement also allows you to use the Total 3D 128DX's TV out features with any Voodoo or Voodoo2 card, even those without their own TV out, as well as allowing you to power your Voodoo/Voodoo2 with Canopus' feature-packed drivers. The WitchDoctor: master of Voodoo, get it?

My one complaint is that this uses the aging RIVA 128 chipset, rather than the newer 128ZX chipset (a 2X AGP part), or an Intel740, but to be honest this is a quibble, since I am not into this card for its 3D at all (see my comments about power-users and the Voodoo Banshee earlier), and its 2D is more than acceptable for my needs, supporting snappy Windows performance at up to 1600x1200 resolution in 16 bit color. So this becomes a rare item: something I would recommend for gamers even though it's not a performance leader. This $149 card will do fine 2D, and is compelling thanks to the internal and reverse pass-throughs, which make this the coolest card I've seen to own in combo with any Voodoo/Voodoo2 card (especially if the TV out capabilities appeal to you).

Also on the Canopus front, this press release describe T-Rex, a new Canopus video card (not targeted at gamers) based on the RIVA 128 chipset that promises "the first digital video product which enables workgroup video editing over a network through the use of DV and Motion-JPEG software Codecs."

Micron to Acquire Rendition  [7:37 PM EDT]
This press release announces that Micron Technology is going to acquire Rendition, Inc. (thanks Victor Vedovato). Here's a quote:

Micron Technology, Inc., (NYSE:MU - news) and Rendition, Inc., today announced that they have signed an Agreement and Plan of Reorganization whereby Micron will acquire Rendition pursuant to a stock-for-stock merger. The merger is expected to increase Micron's presence in the field of graphics accelerators and provide other strategic benefits to both companies.

Scott Miller Interview  [6:16 PM EDT]
There's a Scott Miller Interview, talking about Duke Nukem Forever, and of course, the World cup, on LA Reviews.

More Banshee  [5:57 PM EDT]
OGR Techtalk and Anand's Hardware Tech both look at the 3Dfx Voodoo Banshee. Thanks Redwood's. Also, 3 Fingers sent along word that Guillemot International today announced plans to develop the Maxi Gamer Phoenix graphics accelerator card using the Voodoo Banshee.

Unreal TimeDemo Util  [3:12 PM EDT]
There's a new utility up on PlanetUnreal to allow you to get an on-screen average frame-rate in Unreal. TimeDemo 0.1 gives an overall FPS, as well as an average over the last second. Useful in helping with tweaking, or just for system bragging. Thanks Marcus "YtsejaM" Yam.

Shareware Where?  [3:01 PM EDT]
3DRealms' Scott Miller updated his .plan looking at the question asked by the GameSlice Editorial (story) on where has all the shareware gone (without mentioning the "Apogee Model," no less!).

More Intel Price Slashing  [2:54 PM EDT]
Intel steps up price cut pace reports ZDNet (thanks Shawn L. Brown) in an article describing price cuts to the big I's Xeon CPU's before they've even shipped. Prices on the 450 MHz flavor of this high-end CPU targeted at workstations will be $3,690 when it ships next month, down from a high of $4,500. The article goes on to predict that today's top-of-the-line 400 MHz Deschutes PII CPU's will drop to $375 in October (almost halving the current price of around $720).

E3 Best of Show  [1:35 PM EDT]
The UGO Best of E3 Show Awards for 1998 are online. With what I saw at the show, I only felt qualified to vote in three categories myself: picking Anachronox, Half-Life, and Prey as most promising new game, best game PC, and best action game respectively (Half-Life and Prey were both so noteworthy I wanted to honor each, so the odd split vote is based on that). Here are the winners:

On Duke Forever & Quake Arena  [1:04 PM EDT]
Dimensions: The Winds of Change is an article on the Adrenaline Vault that attempts a deeper look at the headline grabbing Quake Arena and Duke Nukem Forever announcements.

Game OpenGL versus Pro OpenGL  [12:50 AM EDT]
This article on CPU Madness discusses the different aspects of OpenGL stressed when the API is used for gaming versus when it is used in professional applications, using Quake II and 3D Studio as their examples. The article offers a rundown on different cards and their applications (pointing out there are $2000 pro cards that can't run Q2 at an acceptable framerate), and speculates about future cards ability to bridge this gap.

More Super-Cheap Super Networking?  [9:46 AM EDT]
An article on ZDNet's Anchor Desk examines the latest home networking announcement, The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance, which includes AT&T, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Intel. The HomePNA, as it's known, promises a home networking standard that runs over standard phone lines at 1 Mbps by the third quarter of this year, and have hopes to boost this as high as 10 Mbps eventually. A website detailing this promising sounding technology is supposed to be up soon at www.phonelan.org.

Video FAQs  [9:46 AM EDT]
The Unofficial PVRSG FAQ on PVR-NET has been updated, and busy FAQing Billy at Voodoo Extreme has posted a quick and dirty Voodoo Banshee FAQ.

Banshee PR  [9:46 AM EDT]
Here's the official Press Release on the Voodoo Banshee. Thanks Game Post.

Whither Goes the Shareware?  [9:46 AM EDT]
Shareware, Where Are You? is the question asked by today's GameSlice editorial, which examines possible reasons that we seem to be seeing fewer shareware releases to accompany games these days, and asks the question: "Is shareware dead?"

Voodoo Banshee  [2:09 AM EDT]
Today is the  day that the embargo on information on the Voodoo Banshee is lifted, so expect a bunch of stuff to be posted. Here's some Banshee Info on 3D Central (thank Marcus "YtsejaM" Yam) that has the press release and more, and here's a TechWeb article (thanks Jason "idealego" Keddie). The skinny on this 1x AGP card is that it manages to combine stellar 2D performance (said to surpass  the Millenium II) with near Voodoo2 3D performance. Here are the specs on the Banshee, snagged from Voodoo Extreme:

I got to see the Banshee presentation at E3, and this is what I came away with: There are a couple of aspects of its 3D that may be pushed beyond the Voodoo2 (when they start making the 0.25 micron chips, they will run them at 125 MHz), but as a single TMU card (no single pass multi-texturing), that cannot be combined in SLI mode with other card, it is simply not the next generation in 3D performance some had been expecting, based both on 3Dfx's track record and the veil of secrecy that has surrounded Banshee info until now. The Banshee sounds like it will hit a great price/performance point for a lot of people, but is not targeted as the next power-user card, unless it's for 2D (the type of power-user I'm thinking of already has a Voodoo2 or two).

New ICQ  [2:09 AM EDT]
Saw on Redwood's that ICQ version 1.30 is out on Stroud's CWS Apps (ICQ 98a v1.30).

Blood2 on the Dementia  [2:09 AM EDT]
Today on the Daily Dementia TC talks to Jay Wilson of Monolith about Blood2. TC also reveals a Blue's News dream he had (I kid you not). For the record, Unreal doesn't use Direct3D (yet), its PowerVR and 3Dfx support are both native. RealPlayer required.

New Prax War FAQ  [2:09 AM EDT]
Prax World has version 0.5 of their unofficial Prax War FAQ answering all those nagging questions about the upcoming shooter from Rebel Boat Rocker.

War Mod for Quake II  [2:09 AM EDT]
The 5thD team has released version 0.9 beta of their War Mod for Quake II, a TeamFortress-like mod with five player classes.

Unreal Mappage  [2:09 AM EDT]
Snarf's Unreal Map Emporium boasts over 50 user created Unreal maps, all reviewed, rated, and ready to download.

Quake II CTF League  [2:09 AM EDT]
Battle Command, the tourney formerly known as the QWHPCL, one of the most successful leagues in terms of keeping their league rolling, are taking sign-ups for their next season, set to use Quake II CTF this time around.

Rocket Arena 2 Clan List  [2:09 AM EDT]
Here's a Quake Rocket Arena 2 Clan List.

Out of the Blue
Today is the second anniversary of the release of the shareware version of Quake. Here's to John Carmack, John Romero, Adrian Carmack, Michael Abrash, John Cash, Sandy Peterson, American McGee, Tim Willits, and Kevin Cloud for designing a game that changed a lot of people's lives (mine included).

Sunday, June 21, 1998 Happy Father's Day!  --  i76 daddies: Here's a Father's Day greeting from Taurus!

New Qizmo  [8:55 PM EDT]
Version 2.01 of Qizmo, the updated version of FAQ Proxy is out. A neat feature of this QuakeWorld proxy that I overlooked the first time I mentioned it is the ability to do real-time voice communication in the game over a modem. The new version of this time-limited QW proxy fixes some bugs. The program also includes a built-in server browser and several lag-reduction features.

Retro Rocket  [8:55 PM EDT]
The Pro-Rocket page has a new twist on their back to the Quake Rocket Launcher for Quake II philosophy: a new mod cleverly called Retro Rocket, which is a Quake-style rocket launcher model when connecting to Quake II Pro-Rocket servers.

BC3K Patch  [3:59 PM EDT]
The BattleCruiser Website has a version 1.07C patch for UK/US BattleCruiser 3000 A.D. cd-rom owners (it will not work on the recently released free version of the game). This patch contains the official release of 3Dfx support.

Op3Dfx gets sCary  [1:30 PM EDT]
This page details the peaceful settlement of the previously uneasy situation between the All Games network and Operation: 3Dfx (mentioned here), as well as an official announcement of something that's been rumored in a couple of USENET posts: that sCary will be taking over as the webmaster at Operation: 3Dfx.

Unreal: On a LAN, AI Review, Glide 3.0  [11:40 AM EDT]
A couple more pertinent posts from the Epic MegaBoard on the state of Unreal. There's a lengthy post by Mark Rein to this thread passing along detailed instructions on setting up Unreal on a LAN. I came across that while looking at a post found by busy Billy at Voodoo Extreme made by Tim Sweeney to this thread about his thoughts on Unreal Glide 3.0 support (as reported here, game-specific support is required for Voodoo2 Glide 3.0):

I just downloaded Glide 3 and am going to check it out to see whether converting over is going to be beneficial. I'm also testing a beta update of Unreal that supports Voodoo2 multitexturing, which will give a performance increase for Voodoo2 owners, not sure exactly how much -- probably 10-15% maximum for Unreal.

Also, Lorien at Gamer's Alliance sends word of a review of the Unreal AI on The Game AI Page. Here's chunk:

As one developer who wrote me put it, "Imagine building AI/ALife creatures that could jump from server to server and breed/kill/migrate/ etc. The engine is already there for what I think could be serious AI research...." His statements are backed up by the sheer number of people who are building Terminators, Companions, Pets, and all manner of AIs for this game....it's simply incredible.

On balance, I'd say Unreal's AI advances the art another notch, but doesn't set any new standards gameplay wise. Its inclusion of Unreal Script, however, seems to have provided garage developers with a powerful tool to building stronger and more sophisticated opponents, and we'll need to watch that to see what crops up.

Unreal Patch Update  [8:58 AM EDT]
Tim Sweeney made a hefty update to the Epic Known Bugs & Experimental Patches page giving the status on the Internet patch, OpenGL support, Voodoo2 support, the state of the shareware, and more. Here goes (thanks to my buddy Billy "Lortab" Wilson at Voodoo Extreme for word on this):

Multiplayer fixes: I've identified the major causes of the heavily lagged 28.8K performance people have been reporting. I've added a client framerate limitor, and significantly reduced the client->server bandwidth. I've hooked up a slow ISP connection at 14.4K with 400 ping to test the worst-case performance. A patch is getting closer, but it needs more testing before release. There should be a public beta in a few days (I don't know exactly when), and if that works well, it'll turn into the "official patch".

OpenGL: It's up and running internally on a few 3d cards, and is undergoing some changes to boost performance. It turns out that we need to change Unreal's hardware rendering strategy a bit to get performance up on the Riva 128 and i740, and that work is in progress now. This is looking like a week or two (still) before public beta.

3dfx: Voodoo2 multitexturing is up and running experimentally ... should be ready for public consumption at the same time as the OpenGL support.

Other things I've been working on: The majority of my time is going into misc unexciting necessities: Working on the translation infrastructure for the Spanish, French, German, and Italian. Preparing the shareware version (no news on release date yet). Preparing a new installer. Bringing new licensees up to speed. Investigating bug reports.My general strategy here is to address the most significant issues first (internet play, opengl support, significant bugs) and then move on to the less critical "tweaking" type improvements that users have been requesting.

Everyone's patience is appreciated.

New Battle of the Sexes  [8:58 AM EDT]
Version 2.9.7 of the battle of the Sexes mod for Quake II is up on Spinoza's Quake 2 Mods Page.

New Kali95 Beta  [12:35 AM EDT]
Beta version 1.47 of KALI for Windows 95 is up on KALI's FTP Site. The new version adds support for Z.A.R. and Dark Omen, adds an option to drop mail from ignored users, adds Descent and Descent2 server games to the games list, and fixes the pinging servers problem. Thanks Kyle Hammering. Here's a local copy (2.4 MB) thanks to GamesNET FTP.

Unreal Skin Pack Patch  [12:35 AM EDT]
The Unreal House of Style has a patch to fix a bug found in the skytrooper skins in the Unreal Skin pack they released yesterday.

New Voodoo Lights  [12:35 AM EDT]
The Voodoo Lights Download Page has beta 8 of version 1.1 of the Voodoo Lights screensaver. This isn't gaming related, but it is about the coolest thing you can view on your monitor that doesn't come from alt.binaries... Thanks Billy "Binary" Wilson, Voodoo Extreme.

Tom's Travels  [12:35 AM EDT]
Christoph points out I've failed to mention Tom's Hardware Guide has an article on his E3/Computex US/Asia Trip detailing what he saw in his recent travels.

Botster  [12:35 AM EDT]
Version 2.1of Botster the CRBot/Eraser Bot front-end is out.

More on Op3Dfx  [12:35 AM EDT]
The other side of the story in this morning's Op3Dfx break-up report is now online. Thanks Bob Woodward.

Out of the Blue
Computing thought of the day: Monitor manufacturers caught in the manly act of exaggerating about an inch or two have been forced over the years to tell consumers how big the viewable area of a monitor is, in addition to the relatively meaningless measurement of how much tube you cannot see. I guess it doesn't really matter nearly so much, so it's possible we'll never see the same happen here, but when is the last time you got close to the proper amount of space out of a hard disk? My 6.4 GB WD drive is formatted with FAT32, and has a capacity of 5.98 GB. If that doesn't sound like a big deal, name some other products where you willingly accept 7% less goods than you were promised. I'll just add this comment, because I'm getting so many "explanations:" I understand they are measuring GB differently , with 1000 bytes to the KB instead  of 1024, and on up the line), I just don't like it. Should car manufacturers be allowed to use a different definition of the word "gallon" than the consumer is expecting in miles per gallon quotes?

Saturday, June 20, 1998

On Glide 3.0  [7:17 PM EDT]
A post by Creative Labs' Dylan Rhodes to a 3Dfx newsgroup gives the scoop on Glide 3.0 (in yesterday's Voodoo2 Driver release). This quote is pulled from a larger portion posted on Voodoo Extreme (dug up by 3 Fingers):

Glide 3.0 is the long-awaited new version which supports strips and fans. Games will need to be modified to use Glide 3. Right now I don't have any information on when any particular games will have Glide 3 patches. Right now, all of your Glide games will use Glide 2.53.

Quake II RamBot  [7:17 PM EDT]
Rambot's Pit has a new version   0.46 of the RamBot for Quake II which "includes 'wandering' code that eliminates startup lag," along with VWep support and target leading.

Newer Q2 Tectonic  [7:17 PM EDT]
Tectonic 1.801 is up as quick fix for a bug in version 1.80 of this multi-mod front-end. Thanks the Quake2 Pipeline.

ST Weapons Factory  [5:31 PM EDT]
Version 2.3 of the ST Weapons Factory for Quake II is out. New to this version of this CTF mod are "Team Fortress style flag capture," a new class armor system, a new sniper rifle model, deadly diseases (eek!), and "tons of bug fixes."

HeadHunters II for Q2 Out, Party Tonight  [5:12 PM EDT]
The "gold code" for HeadHunters II version 1.0 are up on HeadHunters Central as a client pak, the server code, and a map pack. There is an IRC release party tonight, to commemorate the occasion, where details of some sort of give-away that they are planning will be revealed. Thanks Prowler

Lithium II for Quake II  [5:12 PM EDT]
Version 1.06 of the Lithium II Mod for Quake II is out, fixing the admin list and a few small bugs, and adding a new map voting system.

Unreal Laser Site Rifle  [5:12 PM EDT]
Portal has posted a new Unreal weapon mod that puts you behind a rifle with a laser site.

Overclocking Comparisons  [5:12 PM EDT]
The OverClocker's Comparison Page has new results up pushing the speed limits on the new 300 MHz Intel Celeron processor on Unreal, Quake II, and Quake.

Beau Knows Shoes  [1:31 PM EDT]
A little .plan-based war of words between Paul Steed and Scott McCabe that brought up the subject of character's feet sliding in games inspired a .plan update from Ritual's Beau Anderson (saw this on Ritualistic), that says that in sin, they are not letting this feet sliding stuff slide:

On feet sliding: A cool thing about the Sin animation system is that the movement for each character is saved off with the animation. We actually animate him moving in the world and his deltas get exported with the animation. It's really cool and allows for perfect foot placement in strafes, walks, taking a step back in pain, etc. This also keeps thrusts and quick world movement by a character in the hands of the animator and the programmers don't have to touch it.

QuakeVoice  [1:03 PM EDT]
Beta 10 of Quake Voice is out, striving to bring real-time voice communication to Internet Quake II games. The new version features fixes to the UDP code, and bug fixes to the client, and is said to work on even more machines now. It is noted that this version does NOT work well on a modem, as the compression routines will be added later. Thanks Phoenix_X.

Unreal Skin Pack  [12:53 PM EDT]
The House of Style has released their first Unreal Skin pack, that apparently contains a small amount of nudity, certainly living up to the name skin pack. Parental discretion advised (meaning be discrete with this around your parents).

Quake II The Reckoning Review  [12:53 PM EDT]
There is a review of Quake II: The Reckoning, the first official Quake II Mission pack, up on Processed News.

Quake Rules the Cosmos  [12:53 PM EDT]
That headline for Darin McNeil, as I just realized yesterday was the second anniversary of the closing of Quake Will Rule the Cosmos, Darin's Quake site. Darin's passion for the subject and style were one of my inspirations here and I've missed his site ever since it closed.

Spec Ops Stealth Patch  [11:07 AM EDT]
A new version 1.3 patch is out for Zombie's Spec Ops that adds new enemy AI, idle animations, and a new Stealth mode that allows you to sneak around the battlefield. Available on Spec Ops Tactical Operations Center (it does not yes seem to be up on the Zombie Spec Ops page), or here's a local copy (998 KB) thanks to GamesNET FTP. Word on S.O.T.O.C. is that an OpenGL patch is on the way soon:

"Mark also informed me that he has an ALPHA version of the OpenGL patch. Its 42+ Mbs. There obviously needed to be some texture changes? or maybe just recompilation of the maps. Anyway, that too will be available soon."

New Voodoo Review  [11:07 AM EDT]
A new issue of the Voodoo Review, lovingly HTMLized for your protection, is up on Voodoo Extreme.

Giants Screenshots  [4:03 AM EDT]
Here are some cool screenshots that I believe are new from Giants an upcoming game from Planet Moon Studios, the team that created MDK.

Live from DMCon  [3:42 AM EDT]
Here's live coverage from DMCon in Aimes, IA.

Unreal DetGun 2 - The Shirking Sequel  [3:42 AM EDT]
Oddities has posted a preposterous, but wonderful bit of weapon design. Version 2.0 of their Unreal DetGun adds a shrink effect, so now when your arrows strike your victims they shrink before they explode.

Clan Central  [3:42 AM EDT]
An upgraded webpage, version 2.0 of Clan Central, the new and improved database for clans who play Quake, Quake II, Hexen II, Jedi Knight, and Unreal.

Q2 and the AMD K6-2 Video Roundup  [2:08 AM EDT]
There's a look at the AMD K6-2 running Quake II different video cards on HPC Hardware Guide

Quake 2 Level Editing  [2:08 AM EDT]
Here's PC Games Quake 2 Level Editing guide. Thanks Genocyde from Prax World.

Voodoo2 960x720 Q2  [2:08 AM EDT]
Sean 'Hamburger' Hall sends along word that 960x720 resolution is possible with the new Voodoo2 drivers released yesterday (story). I can't get this to work, but I didn't spend too long trying to get the beta 3Dfx OpenGL drivers installed over the Open GL drivers for my RIVA 128. If you feel like playing around with this, here's the deal:

Glide 3.0 allows 960*720 res. but, the Q2 mingl does not. So, what you do is use the beta 3Dfx OpenGl driver and Quake 2 can be run at 960*720. Thanks To Dylan Rhodes from CL for helping me out on this one.

That Voodoo2 Magic  [2:08 AM EDT]
GameSpot's Voodoo2 Magic reviews a bunch of Voodoo2 offerings.

New Eraser Front-end  [2:08 AM EDT]
Version 3.4a of the Eraser Frontend is out adding a map refresh button and a couple of bug fixes.

RIVA TNT Review  [2:08 AM EDT]
Gamespot's STB Velocity 4400 Review takes a look at this RIVA TNT-based accelerator (thanks PlanetRiva). Here's a quote:

As for performance, I'm not ready to stake my reputation on performance numbers yet, but what I saw looked pretty solid. Let's just say that at its current state, it beats any 2D/3D combo card hands down and comes reasonably close to Voodoo2's performance (single card mode, of course). And we're talking purely alpha hardware and drivers.

Op3Dfx  [2:08 AM EDT]
It seems Operation 3Dfx is gone for the moment, at least, due to what's described by one side as "an internal argument." The site is now split in two, with 3DNews.Net presenting one side of the story, and the 3D Central Homepage promising a full explanation tomorrow (not sure if that means today) with their side. Thanks Marcus "YtsejaM" Yam and Purified3D.

Out of the Blue
Fun with meta-filters! I've seen these before, but they both showed up in my mail today, so I'm inspired: Here's s'eulB sweN (thanks tnA, I mean Ant), or Blue's Redneck Ramblings, Uesblay's Usenay, and of course, Bwue's Wascawy News, among the options at The Dialectizer (thanks Mike). BTW, congrats to my old buddy HarPax on the occasion of his wedding! Best of luck to the bride and groom.

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