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Friday, March 13, 1998
Site Updates
Help Wanted

Today's Headlines
Carmack Announces Quake III
QuakeWorld Master Plan
American Update

Quake II Mods (Updated)
- Visible Weapons
- QERadiant
- LM CTF
- Keys II
- ServerConfigMOD

- Newer Eraser
- Headhunters

.plans
- Paul Steed

- Gateway
- Dave Taylor

3D Video Cards
- Creative Chat
- Viper 330 Drivers
- Monster 3D II
- Voodoo Rush Drivers
- No Canopus AGP Voodoo2
- Hardware Therapy

*reviews
- Star Trek: First Contact
- Portal of Praevus

- Designer Diary
As the Community Turns
- Expatriate American
- Trey Leaves Crack
- Rogue Designer
Quake II Bible Update
Reckoning Screenshots
Quake II Demo Specs
Chit-a-Chat
- Paul Jaquays
- Matthias Worch

- Valve
- Anachrochat
- VRGN
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

John Carmack Announces Quake III
In another surprise announcement, John Carmack just made a .plan update that reveals a change in plans over at id. Say so long to the id Quake II mission pack, and say hello to... Quake III!:

The Old Plan:

The rest of the team works on an aggressive Quake 2 expansion pack while Brian and I develop tools and code for the entirely new Trinity generation project to begin after the mission pack ships.

The New Plan:

Expand the mission pack into a complete game, and merge together a completely new graphics engine with the quake 2 game / client / server framework, giving us Quake 3.

"Trinity" is basically being broken up into two phases: graphics and everything else. Towards the end of Quake 1's development I was thinking that we might have been better off splitting quake on those categories, but in reverse order. Doing client/server, the better modification framework, and qc, coupled with a spiced up DOOM engine (Duke style) for one game, then  doing the full 3D renderer for the following game.

We have no reason to believe that the next generation development would somehow go faster than the previous, so there is a real chance that doing all of the Trinity technology at once might push game development time to a full two years for us, which might be a bit more than the pressure-cooker work atmosphere here could handle.

So, we are going to try an experiment.

The non-graphics things that I was planning for Trinity will be held off until the following project -- much java integration with client downloadable code being one of the more significant aspects. I hope to get to some next generation sound work, but the graphics engine is the only thing I am committing to.

The graphics engine is going to be hardware accelerated ONLY. NO SOFTWARE RENDERER, and it won't work very well on a lot of current hardware. We understand fully that this is going to significantly cut into our potential customer base, but everyone was tired of working under the constraints of the software renderer. There are still going to be plenty of good quake derived games to play from other developers for people without appropriate hardware.

There are some specific things that the graphics technology is leveraging that may influence your choice of a 3D accelerator.

All source artwork is being created and delivered in 24 bit color. An  accelerator that can perform all 3D work in 24 bit color will look substantially better than a 16 bit card. You will pay a speed cost for it, though.

Most of the textures are going to be higher resolution. Larger amounts of texture memory will make a bigger difference than it does on Quake 2.

Some key rendering effects require blending modes that some cards don't support.

The fill rate requirements will be about 50% more than Quake 2, on average. Cards that are fill rate limited will slow down unless you go to a lower resolution.

The triangle rate requirements will be at least double Quake 2, and scalable to much higher levels of detail on appropriate hardware.

Here are my current GUESSES about how existing cards will perform.

[SNIP]

QuakeWorld Master Plan
Disruptor made a .plan update warning of a change in IP's for id's master QuakeWorld server planned for tomorrow:

Effective at 3pm, Saturday, March 14th, idgecko (192.246.40.12 -- Our QuakeWorld master server) will be going down permanently.

The new replacement masters are now running on 192.246.40.37.

Please adjust your GameSpy master lists accordingly.

American Update
American McGee passed along word of what's up with him since this morning's surprising announcement. I believe he is currently not able to get on the 'net, so be aware of that if you use the included email address (which I do believe is already working):

The past four years at id have been some of the most exciting of my life. I've had a chance to work with great people, producing a few of the most awesome games in the industry.  I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of the people who have given their support of my work.  I would also like to thank the owners of id for bringing me on and allowing me to grow and learn with them, it was an experience of a lifetime that I could have got no where else.

Now that my time at id is over I plan to take the philosophies and ideas that I have learned and use them to achieve my own goals with my own company.  For some time now I have recognized that applying retail game experience to casino and Internet based gaming (gambling) systems is what I truly wish to do.  There is a lack of impressive content in this market, and I plan to change that.  If anyone has interest my future dealings, whether that be from an investment or employment standpoint, I can be reached at american@usalink.com.

Quake II Mods (Updated)

Visible Weapons
You know 'em, you love 'em, you can't live without 'em, they're Hentai's already famous visible weapons. But can you get through to their website? You can now, since Tsunami Quake 2 Extensions have moved to TeleFragged.

QERadiant
Version 0.46 of the very popular QERadiant level editor is up on the QERadiant page.

LM CTF
Version 2.0 of Loki's Minions Capture the Flag is up on the Loki's Minions Capture the Flag page.

Keys II
Version 1.65 of Keys II is up on the Keys2 Web Site. Thanks Prophet.

ServerConfigMOD
Preliminary release 3 of version 2.0 of the ServerConfigMOD patch is up on the ServerConfigMOD page which includes options to ban specific weapons, visible weapons support, and an enhanced HUD.

Newer Eraser
With the paint barely dry on version 0.81, a bug-fixed version 0.82 of the Eraser bot is up on the Impact Development Team page (thanks Obiwan). Additionally, version 1.1 of Eraser Launch, a front-end for this bot in particular is up on the Eraser Launch Home Page. Also designed to make your Eraser bot management easier is the Tectonic Quake2 Launcher.

Headhunters
Version 0.8 of Headhunters for Quake II is up on Headhunters Central. This is one of those server-only updates, so clients don't have a new download.

.plans

Paul Steed
I failed to point out that Paul Steed updated his .plan a few times yesterday about the CrackWhore: Once about the add-on EAVY made (he lists the original home of the patch in case you had trouble with the version posted here), soliciting sound submissions for the CrackWhore. He also made a large update about the reaction to sexism issues raised by the whole deal. Today, in his most recent update he talks of the sound pack for C.W. he sent to Redwood, and a bit about the recent Redwood incident (Joostgate as one reader called it).

Gateway
Rogue's Steve "Gateway" Tietze made a .plan update announcing Scott McNutt as the winner of his level design contest, along with some advice for level designers.

Dave Taylor
Ex-id employee, and current Crack dot Com President Dave Taylor updated his .plan with a remark I interpret as intended to invoke a sense of irony.

3D Video Cards (Updated)

Creative Chat
A story about yesterday's Voodo2 chat with Creative Labs is up on OGR.

Viper 330 Drivers
New drivers for the RIVA 128-based Diamond Viper 330 on this drivers page. New AGP and PCI drivers based on the same source code as the WHQL certified drivers but also provide the option to activate GDI acceleration which improves performance. Thanks Voodoo Extreme (and DangerMouse who helped fix my original crack-addled posting on this).

Monster 3D II
The hot word is that Diamond started shipping their 8 MB Monster 3D II's yesterday, so they should start trickling into stores as we speak. To celebrate the event, Diamond has launched a 3D gaming site called  Diamond Underground (everybody wants to get into the act: do you see me manufacturing video cards?). Thanks Tony Chang.

Voodoo Rush Drivers
New drivers for the Voodoo Rush based Intense 3D Voodoo are up on the Intergraph Intense 3D Voodoo site. Danke Voodoo Extreme.

No Canopus AGP Voodoo2
Canopus has not yet announced plans for their Voodoo2 card, but according to a report on Cyrellis 3D Games & Hardware, they  will do so in the last week of April, and ship shortly thereafter. The one bit of info they have dug up is that Canopus will not be offering an AGP Voodoo2 card, as the chipset isn't really designed to take advantage of AGP's extra bandwidth. Given their recent history of building "best-of-class" cards (Pure3D for Voodoo, Total 3D 128V for RIVA 128), AGP or not, the Canopus offering is one to keep an eye on.

Hardware Therapy
Hardware Therapy, the GamePen column that keeps tabs on the action in USENET's comp.sys.imb.pc.hardware newsgroup, gathers reactions to the first wave of Voodoo2's to hit the streets. Thanks Prophet.

*reviews

Star Trek: First Contact
GameSpot UK has a posted a Star Trek: First Contact Preview that takes a look at this Unreal engine game that puts you in the role of various memebrs of the the crew of the Starship Enterprise pitted in a struggle versus the Borg Queen.

Portal of Praevus
The Hexen 2 Mission pack, Portal of Praevus is previewed up on OGR.

Designer Diary
The latest installment of the Hexen II Designer's Diary is up on GamePen. Thanks Prophet.

As the Community Turns
A couple of stories of departures (and a help wanted) this morning:

Expatriate American
John Carmack updated his .plan to announce that American McGee has been let go from id:

American McGee has been let go from Id.

His past contributions include work in three of the all time great games (DOOM 2, Quake, Quake 2), but we were not seeing what we wanted.

I just want to take a second to wish tokay the best of luck. Like many I know, I've always been a big fan of his work.

Trey Leaves Crack
Trey Harrison announced his departure from Crack dot Com in his .plan (we'll miss someone whose smart enough to warn you about people like me).

Rogue Designer
I updated the help wanted's to include a want-ad for a new designer at Rogue. There are a few more updates to be made there (and I am aware there's a problem with the email address there: I'm working on that).

Quake II Bible Update
The latest book in the Quake II Bible over on GX is an updated free-for-all strategy guide, that covers the subject chapter and verse.

Reckoning Screenshots
I failed to note yesterday that four new screenshots from the upcoming authorized Quake II mission pack, the Reckoning (Xatrix Software), are up on QUAKE-CZ (in Czech). Thanks Ellusion. There is also a Reckoning Preview on Next Generation Online.

Quake II Demo Specs
Uwe has an updated set of demo specs up on his Demo Specs page with "almost everything worth [knowing] on demo files is in the LMP, DEM, DMO, QWD and DM2 section." Also, an update to his Little Movie Processing Centre (LMPC) brings that up to alpha 3.1.6.

Chit-a-Chat

Paul Jaquays
is Software's Paul Jaquays is interviewed on the Quake Workshop.

Matthias Worch
New Ritual hire Matthias Worch is interviewed on Ritualistic.

Valve
Valve is going to submit to an interview on Undernet #half-life tomorrow at 6:00 PM Central (7:00 PM Eastern). The session will likely be locked and moderated. more details are on eXponential Half-Life.

Anachrochat
The monthly Anachronox chat session is slated for this evening at 8:00 PM Central time (9:00 PM Eastern). In a new ease-of-use move, the chat can be accessed through the web at www.ionstorm.com, or by connecting to www.ionstorm.com with your IRC client, channel #ion.

VRGN
Dallas area folk may want to stop by the InfoMart a week from tomorrow, where SharkMan will be answering questions about VRGN, and holding a free drawing for a Voodoo2. Detals are on this page.

etc.

Love Boat!
Here's an account of a unique deathmatch: Quake on a boat!

Out of the Blue
We've worked out most of the bugs on the new server after our recent hasty move, but I am told there are problems (still) with local downloads. We'll get this straightened out, but until I'm certain it's fixed I won't post any more local files (it really sucks downloading half a file more than once, sorry about that). thanks for all the get well wishes: I'm feeling better (dunno what it was: brain flu?).

Thursday, March 12, 1998
Today's Headlines
QuakeCast
Solaris Dedicated Q2 Server
Quake II Patches
- New Eraser - CTF Support
- Visible Weapons
- Battle of the Sexes
- AutoBot
- Highscore
- ServerConfigMOD

- CrackWhore Fixes
Quest 2.0
Chairman Romero
Quake II Server FAQ
3D Video Cards
- Creative Chat
- Quantum Voodoo2 Leap
- GameCenter on Voodoo2
- Tom on Voodoo2
Scott Miller Interview
Site Seeing
- TRI
- PsychoNews
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

QuakeCast
Looks like QuakeCast is off for this evening due to a variety of factors, including the illness of one of the hosts (that would be me). Back on schedule next week (when we'll try and figure out what happened to the website).

Solaris Dedicated Q2 Server
Zoid has released the Solaris dedicated server for Quake II (520 KB). Here's the announcement in his .plan:

The Sparc Solaris Quake2 dedicated server has been released at .../q2ded-3.14-sparc-sun-solaris2.5.tar.Z
It includes a Makefile for building the game source for Solaris as well (grab the Linux shar archive and run it to get the game source on Solaris). Obviously, it only runs as a dedicated server and supports TCP/IP only. Enjoy. I had fun testing it as a coop server with a couple buddies. It was a riot running around in coop taking out the Strogg.

The BSDI port has stalled. Creating a.out jump table libraries isn't fun and honestly, I looked around and couldn't find a good way to build the game library for BSDI. :(

Quake II Patches

New Eraser - CTF Support
Version 0.8 of the Eraser Bot is up on the Impact Development Team page as an installer (2.2 MB) or a zip (2.1 MB) featuring Capture the Flag support, though the bots don't grapple in this version (requires CTF pack), and Viewable Weapons support (requires the View Weapons pack). Also, Grimlock sent along a pack of 10 eraser skins (637 KB) that he put together, apparently a couple of the new skins in the Eraser distribution are from this pack.

Visible Weapons
One Quake II add-on that folks seem to be most excited about is Hentai's visible weapons patch, available on the Tsunami Quake 2 Extension page. VWep, which allows you to see your opponents weapons during deathmatch, is so exciting because it can be incorporated into most any modification. VWep support is now available for the Eraser bot (as noted above), the CrackWhore model (including CTF skins) using this archive (568 KB) as well as the recently released Viking Mod, among others. Authors interested in including VWep in their Quake II mod should contact Hentai.

Battle of the Sexes
Version 2.8.1 of Battle of the Sexes for Quake II is up on the Spinoza's Quake 2 Mods Page. The new release, fixing a bunch of bugs that got introduced in the Quake II 3.14 update and adding some new features, is server-side only, so clients can sit tight.

AutoBot
Version 1.7 of the AutoBot is up on the newly relocated AutoBot homepage. The update to this Windows front-end for Quake 2 bots adds support for  the SecantBot and new options for C.R.Bot. AutoBot also supports the Eraser bot and the Stupid bot (with support for more promised).

Highscore
Version 0.27 of the Highscore server-side mod that stores the deathmatch high score on the server is out on the Highscore Q2 Patch page. The new release adds a bunch of features, including an enhanced HUD.

ServerConfigMOD
A preliminary version 2.0 of the ServerConfigMOD patch is up on the ServerConfigMOD page. Thanks Steven Carstensen.

CrackWhore Fixes
EAVY sent along a fixed up CrackWhore archive (896 KB) with all the requisite fixes made to help you get the most out of your C.W. experience:

I quickly fixed some little problems with the new Crackwhore model and here's an extra archive containing all the fixes... It should be helpful for a lot of people since it contains everything that is required (plus some additional stuff)... FIXES

filenames fixed case of filenames (now all lower-case)
sounds included original female sounds (Point Release)
ctf-skins enhanced CTF skins (Q2CTF icons and colors*)
extra stuff Crackwhore bio and contest information...

* The red CTF skin has red hair instead of dark hair like the red DM skin; I used the ThreeWave player icon instead of the default CW one.

Quest 2.0
An unexpected announcement on the Quest page reveals that version 2.0 of the long-dormant Quake editor Quest is now available, featuring Quake II support, on the new "Official" new DOS/Win95 Quest homepage. Thanks Richard Connery (who saw this on Rust).

Chairman Romero
The Cyberathlete Organization has announced that ION Storm top dog John Romero has ascended to the position of CPL Chairman of the Board.

Quake II Server FAQ
[KT]Stress has compiled a FAQ for Quake II server operators that looking for a resource to help with set-up. Here's a local copy added to the FAQ's section, and it can also be found here.

3D Video Cards

Creative Chat
Creative Labs is hosting an online chat session to answer questions about their Voodoo 2 card today at 1:00 PM Eastern time.

Quantum Voodoo2 Leap
An article on Next-Generation Online describes Quantum 3D is taking a direction with their Voodoo2 plans that should target the consumer market more than their ultra-high-end Obsidian Voodoo Graphics cards did (thanks Voodoo Extreme).

GameCenter on Voodoo2
There have been questions in the past at what has seemed like a negative view of 3Dfx products, but the GameCenter Monster 3D II review bucks that trend, as they rave about the latest offering from 3Dfx (thanks Voodoo Extreme).

Tom on Voodoo2
Tom (Tom's Hardware Guide) has updated his Monster 3d II review (having received a final version of the card) making comparisons to the 12MB Creative Labs offering. Saw that on Redwood's.

Scott Miller Interview
Part one of a Scott Miller interview in Real format is the first installment of the Daily Dementia at MeccaWorld, which looks like a daily interview show. Thanks MostlyHarmlessFLAG.

Site Seeing

TRI
The new Terminal Reality Inc. website is online.

PsychoNews
PsychoNews has relocated.

etc.

Braindead Frag Around the World
Braindead Frag around the World in DM6 is a virtual world tour of computerized carnage that looks to "travel" the world via 12 hours of non-stop deathmatch. Details are on the page on how you can participate (clans in particular are encouraged to take part in the challenge).

Out of the Blue
Still operating slowly enough to be moving backwards: I think I may be under the weather or something, I don't feel ill, but I swear my IQ has dropped 50 points in the past few days (I didn't have much more than that to spare. Here's the question of the day: have you tried the JailBreak mod yet? If not, I suggest you check it out, it's an awful lot of fun: very highly recommended.

Wednesday, March 11, 1998
Today's Headlines
CrackWhore Sounds. CTF Skin
CrackWhore Model
On Unreal's Imminence
Quake II Releases
- Vanilla CTF
- Keys II
- Quad Descent Quake
- Ionic Teamplay
Thresh Lecture
Video Cards
- 3D Blaster Voodoo2 Bundle
- 3D Exposed 3
- Tweak Guide
Competitions/Events
- Tom Hall's Cookies
- TF Con
- LanWar
- The League
PReviews
- Quake II
- Blood 2
- Torn Apart 3
.plans
- Glenn Smith
- Matthias Worch
Site Seeing
- AGDA
- House of Mouse
- World of Dreams
Out of the Blue
Yesterday

CrackWhore Sounds, CTF
As Paul Steed mentions in his .plan, there are no CrackWhore sounds, so you may want to copy the female player .wav files into the "crackho" subdirectory. Also, The_JoEker sent along a version of the C.W. skin (16 KB) renamed for CTF use.

CrackWhore Model
As he announced in his .plan, Paul Steed has released the model for the CrackWhore (304 KB) for Quake II he did an animation for a while back:

Well the day your mother has been dreading has arrived. I've done three versions of my little crackwhore for your fragging pleasure. The skins were done in a rush so be easy on the criticism. After all I ain't no Adrianator :]

The following zip file will take care of what needs to go where so check her out and have fun.

http://www.idsoftware.com/psteed/q2_cw.exe

Thanks again for everyone who got involved with the Contest and for those of you understand it was done in chest...er jest and in no way is it a slight on chicks...er women.

On Unreal's Imminence
A post by Epic's Mark Rein on the Unreal MegaMessageBoard (I spotted on Unreal Nation) is encouraging about the current state of Unreal, but warns that some reports that make it sound like it is coming out any day now are a trifle optimistic:

It sounds like a lot of you folks will be interested in reading the Unreal status report I'm working on for www.epicgames.com. I visited Digital Extremes yesterday and I've been writing up a status report to let people know how things are going.

One thing I can tell you is that the latest reports that make it sound like Unreal is coming out any day now are wishful thinking. I'll talk more about that in my report. I would advise against pre-ordering Unreal until you hear that it has mastered. Here at Epic MegaGames we are NOT accepting pre-orders for Unreal yet so that should tell you something.

I wrote that Tim Sweeney posted this at first (thanks Hound for the correction) then spelled Rein with a "g" in my correction (thanks Stonage for the correction correction). Sorry 'bout that.

Quake II Releases

Vanilla CTF
Version 0.5b of Vanilla CTF is up on the Vanilla CTF page, featuring support for Quake II 3.14 and Quake II CTF skins and maps. A Win95 installer is provided, with Linux support promised soon.

Keys II
Version 1.64 of the Keys mod for Quake II is up on the Keys2 Web Site.

Quad Descent Quake
Alpha 0.6 of the Quad Descent Quake II mod is out on Quad Central.

Ionic Teamplay
Version 1.51 of the Ionic teamplay mod for Quake II is out on the Ionic Q2 Mods page featuring bug fixes from he previous release. A Linux release is promised soon.

Thresh Lecture
TEN has announced an online lecture scheduled for this Friday the 13th called "Thresh's Frag-O-Delic" (I shagged her rotten, baby), featuring Thresh answering questions about Quake and Quake II for subscribers of TEN, with a few "pick-up" deathmatches to follow. Also, Happy Birthday to Thresh, who turns 21 today (hang in there Dennis, only four more years 'till the monthly insurance payments on the Ferrari drop below six figures).

Video Cards
They sort of belong in their own department at this point, don't you think?

3D Blaster Voodoo2 Bundle
Creative Labs has issued a press release announcing the game bundle with their 8 MB Voodoo2: Ultim@te Race Pro from MultiProse, Incoming' by Rage Software and G-Police from Psygnosis. Thanks Tony Chang.

3D Exposed 3
3D Exposed Part 3: The Hard Choice is up on GameSpot, the third part of their look at 3D accelerators. Thanks Hanif.

Tweak Guide
Brett "3 Fingers" Jacobs has updated his 3 Fingers' Ultimate Tweak Guide for GL Quake & QW to include all the Voodoo2 skinny he's collected. Available at 3 Fingers' & Heron's.

Competitions/Events

Tom Hall's Cookies
The Gaming Nexus has a contest online where you can Win Tom   Hall's Cookies offering a box of Tom's infamous misfortune cookies as a prize (thanks Voodoo Extreme).

TF Con
A schedule of events for TFcon '98 is online announcing that the TFS guys (Robin, Ian, and John) will be in attendance, possibly brining TF2 along with them.

LanWar
There's information on the LanWar Home Page on their Quake II/Total Annihilation tournament slated for April 25-26 at the University of Louisville Student Center in Louisville with room for 250 players.

The League
The League is said to be Scandinavia's largest one-on-one classic Quake league.

PReviews

Quake II
PC Magazine's Quake II review is online. Thanks Tony Chang.

Blood 2
There's a Blood 2 preview up on riot.com.au, and another up on Next Generation Online (thanks Voodoo Extreme).

Torn Apart 3
A preview of Torn Apart 3, the upcoming film from United Ranger Productions, is online. Blue's News flashback (the following story ironically appeared in this space exactly one year ago yesterday): "ArchV's MOVIE FAQ on the Ranger's Page has been updated. Word is that RGB3 is on the way and 'looks bitchin!'"

.plans

Glenn Smith
Raven's Glen Smith announces his departure in his .plan.
Matthias Worch
They come and they go: new (or at least newly-arrived) Ritual hire Matthias Worch made his first .plan update.

Site Seeing

AGDA
AGDA or "The Association of Game Developing Artists" is a new organization with the goal of enhancing relationships between game developers and artists. Details on how this is to work can be found on their What is AGDA page.

House of Mouse
House of Mouse is a new site devoted to preaching the religion of the mouse as the controller of choice for action games.

World of Dreams
World of Dreams, a proud citizen in the Unreal Nation is a new uber-site devoted to the upcoming Unreal-engine Wheel of Time game.

Out of the Blue
I went on a rampage this morning and rethought the design of the news page a bit to get rid of the growing trend towards bullet points (I visited a page that had taken the bullets concept one step further and I realized I didn't like it). Like most of the little changes around here, I may spent some time today tweaking it, but I think I like it better already (feels a little more organized). Feedback? Of course these last couple of days I shouldn't mess with experimentation, as my brain seems to not be working properly... everything seems to take me ten times longer to do than expected. I hoped senility would hold off for at least a couple more weeks, but no such luck I guess. Oh well. For the record, yes I am still working on my Half-Life preview. I've learned to avoid making promises like that for fear of breaking them, so I intentionally mention it again to make sure I keep the pressure on myself (thanks for indulging me).

Tuesday, March 10, 1998
  Today's Headlines
- More Hook's RIVA Q2 Marks
- Qtracker 2.02
- Quake II Classic Map Pack
- Orange Quake II
- King of the Hill

- Doctor, My Lithium!
- Unreal, Sin, Daikatana
- Paul Jaquays Interview
- Joey Liaw Interview
- Todd Porter Interview
- Voodoo2 Driver Status

- Q2 Indexed in Germany
- Transparent HUD Icons
- Revolting Gamers
- Biz Buzz
- PReviews
- Competitions
- etc.

- Site Seeing
- Out of the Blue

- Yesterday

More on Hook's RIVA Quake II Benchmarks
The news about the performance of the latest unreleased RIVA 128 drivers Brian Hook is testing keeps on getting better. According to his .plan, it turns out the reason framerates on the AGP RIVA were so superior to the PCI version in his Quake II 3D Card benchmarks posted yesterday, was because the PCI numbers weren't updated:

Doh! The performance numbers for the RIVA were updated for AGP, but not PCI. The difference between PCI and AGP for the RIVA128 is NOT that big! More like about 20% if I recall correctly. Since I didn't rerun the tests with PCI, I'm going to remove the old PCI scores to remove any confusion.

Qtracker 2.02
Version 2.02 of Qtracker is up on the Qtracker Homepage, described as a maintenance release with nothing more than small bug-fixes. Thanks Prophet.

Quake II Mods
Your daily dose:

Interviews (Updated)

Unreal, Sin and Daikatana: Slippery Shooters
A Games.Net article called Slippery Shooters: Unreal, SiN, Daikatana discusses these three games in light of their slipped ship dates, and rounds into a preview of each. Thanks Maarten "Hexagon" Goldstein.

Voodoo2 Driver Status
A post to a 3Dfx newsgroup by Tony Tamasi explains the delays in Voodoo2 Drivers (thanks Voodoo Extreme):

One of the bugs we fixed was related to the "Voodoo2 expected, none found" symptom (which can also exhibit itself in other ways), which turns out to be a really nasty low level problem that was particularly hard to track down. Well, we tracked it down, but in tracking it down we exposed another bug, which we decided to fix too. All of this takes time, so, in the intrest of shipping good quality code, I decided that you guys would be better served with better, less buggy code a little later.

Sorry for the delays, and thanks for your patience.

Quake II Indexed in Germany (Final Word?)
Finally something concrete to look at (thanks Michael Huber): a list of games on the dreaded German "Index" (illegal to openly display/advertise, or to sell to minors, but not technically illegal to sell or own) that lists Quake II in red as a recent addition, apparently described as a "preliminary order" (thanks Joost for the translation). So the current word is that Quake II is indexed in Germany, not banned. I want to thank all of those patient enough to to hang in there and write me back with translations (this bilingual page is also tracking the situation, thanks Tetsuo Plastic), as we hashed through the different stories (the alternating subject lines in my mailbox: "Quake II Banned in Germany", "Quake II NOT Banned in Germany" would be comical but for the frustration at not being able to find a simple straightforward answer to this question). All that having been said, I don't think this came out of nowhere, and I suspect there is still more to come on this, as some of the reports strongly suggest inside information that a ban is still being considered by German authorities. Ahh the difficulties of trying to report on the legal doings of a foreign land.

Transparent HUD Icons
The CO2 Quake Art page has posted a set of transparent Quake II HUD characters to allow designers to take hudless screenshots of their levels, and similar uses. I'll sheepishly admit I assumed before seeing this that you could get rid of the HUD by hitting "+" a couple more times like in Quake and Doom, but you cannot.

Revolting Gamers
Or is that gamers revolt? A couple of current stories seem to suggest a trend towards previously unprecedented consumer activism from the gaming community. This story on GameSpot describes a lawsuit brought against Origin and Electronic Arts (thanks RefuX) over failed promises from Ultima Online that certainly has serious implications for the industry if it turns out that the courts are sympathetic to the plaintiffs (or the defendants for that matter). Also, an article on Jesse Berst's Anchor Desk (thanks Ant and Michael Buttrey) describes a movement towards consumer rights for software buyers (following up their Why We Need a Software Lemon Law article) where software warrantees (which typically afford consumers zero buyer-protection) come under scrutiny for their shortcomings. The article features links to a discussion forum and a petition.

Biz Buzz
In addition to the above, a lot of other business-type stuff happening that may or may not interest gamers. Microsoft Investor (you'll get a welcome page if it hasn't cookied you yet) has an article on 3Dfx (thanks Tony Chang). Also, for those that put stock in such advice, investing in Eidos is discussed in The TJK Market Letter. Finally, nVIDIA has filed for an Initial Public Offering.

PReviews

Competitions

etc.

Site Seeing

Out of the Blue
The counter got reset briefly while being installed last night. Nope, sorry, you weren't visitor #1 ...

Monday, March 9, 1998
  Site Updates
- MailBag
- LAN Parties
- Blue's .plan

  Today's Headlines
- Q2 Source License Follow-up
- Unreal Preview
- New PingTool

- New 3D Card Benchmarks
- Oak II
- Highscore
- Tangential
- JailBreak
- Superheroes II Beta 7a

- Weapons Factory CTF
- Assassin Bot

- C.R.Bot
- AutoBot

- Quake II Bible: Servers
- QStatList
- Unreal Mac Screens
- TF Class Info
- German Q2 Banned Wagon
- .plans
- Competitions
- etc.
- Site Seeing

- Out of the Blue
- Yesterday

Quake II Source License Follow-up
A conversation with id CEO Todd Hollenshead up on Quake DeveLS clears up what seem to be misconceptions from this article on the license agreement from PlanetQuake. Thanks Obiwan.

Unreal Preview
Next Generation Online has posted a large Unreal Preview (thanks Voodoo Extreme). This is no less than Next Gen's sixth Unreal Preview, and the experience shows, as they reveal updated word on the game's release date, as well as ION's take on the game engine's usability that describes their favorable comparison to other engines they've used (which would include the Quake engine). Here are the appropriate quotes:

Next Generation Online recently paid a visit to Ion Storm, who recently licensed the engine for use in a number of upcoming projects (specifically Daikatana 2). The staff at Ion Storm claimed that the tools and the editor for Unreal are far easier to use and more powerful than those of competing engines. One of the designers at Ion Storm told Next Generation Online that they rebuilt game levels that had previously taken two weeks to do with another technology in just two days (and had done so with more detail).

The game is currently expected to hit shelves sometime in April for GT wants to have preliminary sales figures to boast about at E3 in late May.

New PingTool
Version 1.9 of PingTool, the QuakeWorld/Quake II server browser is out on the PingTool page. Among the new features and fixes is a real prize: a shared ping function whereby you and a buddy can see what server is best for both of you (sounds great for setting up clan matches).

New 3D Card Benchmarks (Updated)
Brian Hook made another .plan update mentioning the location of the benchmarks he referred to earlier showing the RIVA performance he was so impressed with. Sure enough the AGP RIVA 128 outperforms all but the Voodoo 2's and Obsidians in the latest roundup of Brian Hook's 3D Card benchmarks. A later update clarifies the reasoning behind the machine used for benchmarking.

Quake II Mods (Updated)
More, more, more!

Quake II Bible: Servers
Thresh and Kenn's Quake II Bible on Gamers Extreme has been updated with several new sections by Kenn on setting up a Quake II server.

QStatList
Version 2.3 of QStatList, the package of Perl scripts to generate and maintain an automated Web-based list of Quake-series servers and their current status is now available, featuring support for id's Master server and some enhancements to the installer and documentation.

Unreal Mac Screens
Word on mac.unreal.org (by way of Unreal.Org) is that the Unreal section on the Westlake site has some Mac Unreal screenshots.

TF Class Info
Info about the classes planned for TeamFortress II gleaned from the recently released TF2 map specs are posted on ozTF. Thanks Allan "Machette" McKay.

German Quake II Banned Wagon
A few of the responses to the story about the possibility Quake II has been outright banned (as opposed to simply "indexed") in Germany, have raised the question about whether this is actually the case: I've received mail suggesting the story is inaccurate, but I've also received follow-ups from some of those same correspondents that say after further investigation they found that it is true. To clarify, this has not been officially confirmed or denied: Even as I was waiting for my FTP problems of this morning to be fixed to post this story, I received email from concerned Germans stating that this was definitely true, and other mail saying it's definitely not true. I will pass along definitive word as soon as I can track it down.

.plans

Competitions

etc.

Site Seeing

Out of the Blue
FTP services were upgraded on the server last night. It left me locked out myself for a while this morning (w00ps! Now that's security!). Back in the saddle again now.

Sunday, March 8, 1998
  Today's Headlines
- TeleFragged Quake II Master
- QuArK 5.0 Alpha
- FrogBot

- New Quake Movie
- ThunderWalker CTF
- Ninja Quake
- Used Quake Car Lot
- Sans F CTF
- Ionic Quake II
- Weapons of Destruction
- SuperHeroes II
- Quake II MultiModule Mods
- New C.R.Bot
- AutoBot
- Eraser Review
- Bot Poll
- Online Ethics & TF Cheating
- Quake II Mod Porting Service
- Doom Legacy
- GL Doom
- Paul Steed Interview
- Robert Duffy Interview
- etc.
- Site Seeing
- Out of the Blue

- Yesterday

TeleFragged Quake II Master
If you run a Quake II server, this page has instructions on how to get it to report itself to TeleFragged's master server.

QuArK 5.0 Alpha
An alpha version of QuArK 5.0 is up on The Official QuArK HomePage.

Quake Mods (Updated)
I occasionally get mail asking that I don't neglect the Quake scene now that Quake II is out, and rest assured, classic Quake is not off-topic for this page. However, it does seem pretty obvious that a lot of Quake projects have segued to Quake II, but that doesn't make Quake dead, as evidenced by a couple of new releases:

Quake II Mods
Of course, the Quake II mods just keep on coming:

Online Ethics & TF Cheating
In response to some blatant incidents of cheating that have occurred in TeamFortress games has inspired a couple of interesting sites: I Hate Team Fortress Cheaters is dedicated to exposing cheaters and cheats, and Cheat_H8tr's Study of Online Gaming Ethics is an examination of the moral issues involved, exploring why people are willing to do things online they would never do in real life.

Quake II Mod Porting Service
The OpenQuake team, noted for safeguarding users from malicious game .dll's by verifying their code, is starting another useful community service. Mod authors can submit their patches, and the OQ team will port it to Win32, Linux, Alpha, Solaris, or BSDI as required. If you are a programmer interested in participating in this, email Robert "Arras" LeBlanc.

GL-oom and Doom

Interviews

etc.

Site Seeing

Out of the Blue
Something I've been meaning to do for a while now: here's a preliminary version of the Blue's News FAQ!

Saturday, March 7, 1998
  Today's Headlines
- German Q2 Ban? (Demo Soon)
- New GLTweak Guide
- BagTag
- OnTheWay for Quake II
- PowerBall
- JailBreak
- New qED
- TeamFortress 2 Map Info
- John Romero Interview
- Messiah
- .plans
- PReviews
- etc.
- Site Seeing
- Out of the Blue

- Yesterday

Quake II Banned In Germany? (Demo Soon)
id Software's games seem to have always been borderline contraband in Germany, where Wolfenstein was banned, and both  Doom and Quake were "indexed" meaning they could not be openly displayed or advertised (though they could still be legally purchased). Now comes word from readers in Germany that Quake II (which apparently was already "indexed" in record time) is now banned there outright. I am informed the German term for confiscated, "beschlagnahmt" (thanks M7) describes the prohibition, which makes the game illegal to own in Germany. I asked id CEO Todd Hollenshead if he could confirm this, and he told me he was not aware of the ban, but made this comment (which also includes the promise that the new version of the Quake II demo, including multiplayer play is due "soon"):

I wasn't aware that Quake II had been banned in Germany, so I can't confirm that, but it wouldn't surprise me.  Wolf was banned in Germany, and it's much less realistic than Quake II (Nazi issues notwithstanding).  I don't think that the German agency that makes these rulings is a fan of id Software and may go as far as to search for reasons to keep our games out of distribution in Germany.

If it is true that Quake II has been banned in Germany, then I understand that it would be illegal to own/possess a copy of the game.  In fact, once we get the demo finished (soon, I promise, and with multiplayer), it will be illegal to download it if you live in Germany (and hence, illegal for us to allow downloads).  I guess that would mean that German vacation plans should be ruled out for a while for the crew at id )

New GLTweak Guide
Brett "3 Fingers" Jacobs sent along version 1.08 of his Quake II GL Tweak Guide (48 KB), which boasts info on the Voodoo II, CTF 1.02, and many previously unknown Quake 2 commands, including how to overclock a Voodoo II, triple buffering instructions (big boost in framerate) and 15 new keypad commands for Quake 2.

Quake II Releases
The updates just keep on coming:

New qED
A version 2.0 upgrade for registered users of qED, GT Interactive's Quake editor is available on the 3D Matrix site. qED now supports creation and editing of maps for Quake, X-Men Quake, Hexen II, and Quake II.

TeamFortress 2 Map Info
Details about the map format for TeamFortress 2 are finalized enough to release some information so potential TF2 map authors can get an idea about what's in store for them. Read all about it on the TeamFortress page.

Interviews

.plans

PReviews

etc.

Site Seeing

Out of the Blue
Just a note on the forwarding page: most (all?) browsers seem to have funny ideas about caching index pages: I found that only I started getting this site back at www.bluesnews.com last night after clearing my cache, so if you're still forwarding to the IP here, you might want to try clearing your own cache as well.

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All rights reserved. Copyright 1998 by Stephen Heaslip