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Friday, March 27, 1998

Headlines/Departments
Heretic II FAQ
SciTech Display Doctor
Praevus Screenshot
MegaTrak
GameLaunch Released
Nihilistic Plans
Technology
Quake II Releases
People
*reviews
Competitions
Editorials
Editing
Site Seeing
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

Heretic II FAQ
Version .001 of the Unofficial Heretic II FAQ is online, all reorganized and spiffed-up.

SciTech Display Doctor
Version 6.5 of SciTech Display Doctor is up on GameCenter in some sort of exclusive download dealie. The new version of this display driver utility adds what's described as the "first universal Windows 95 driver" to its support for over ten gazillion video cards(!). Thanks Ant.

Praevus Screenshot
There's a new portal of Praevus (Hexen II Mission Pack) screenshot up on Hexenworld of the "Gyagk" which is Tibetan for Yak (this stuff can be so educational). There are also more details about the pack and its release schedule.

MegaTrak
Epic MegaGames has launched MegaTrak, a new front-end for the MegaMessage Boards that serve as their conduit for communicating with the public. The new system allows you to track recent posts by the Epic staff (a la QuakeFinger and other .plan trackers) among other functions. Thanks Prophet. While on the Epic topic, there are two full-size scans on Unreal.org from the recent PC Gamer UK Unreal preview, the one of the second page with some screenshots.

GameLaunch Released
A public beta 0.99 of GameLaunch 3D, a 3Dfx configuration game front-end dealie has been released with great fanfare on the GameLaunch 3D page. Is a game-launcher worth paying for? There's a trial version to help you decide.

Nihilistic Plans
An article on OGR titled Activision To Publish Nihilistic describes the short-term roadmap for Ray Gresko, Robert Huebner & Steve "Gateway" Tietze's startup company, which includes three titles to be published by Activision, the first to be a third-person RPG.

Technology

DirectX 6 Schedule
Microsoft's schedule for releasing DirectX 6.0 to the public is discussed in this ZDNet article as due as being due as a Win95 upgrade when Win98 ships (thanks Bryant Luk). I also received mail from Madjuan [IM] who passed along the following message from MS to DirectX partners:

...In order to alleviate any uncertainty, we have taken a hard look at our development schedule and feature set over the past month in an effort to set a target date which we could stand behind unequivocally, without compromising the quality of the final deliverable....

...Based on these projections, DirectX 6.0 for Windows 95 and Windows 98 will be released in July, 1998.

Furthermore, we expect to release the general beta of DirectX 6.0 at Microsoft's Seminar Day at CGDC, on May 9, 1998, within a one week margin of error. Clearly, this deliverable will depend on our ability to converge on a very high-quality release, as this will be our only general beta.

Voodoo2 Bump Mapping Demo
Homer Simpson: "Mmmmm. Donuts." 3Dfx has posted a downloadable "Donut Demo" that shows off bump mapping on the Voodoo2. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Quantum
Sure enough I heard from a couple of people who pre-ordered one of those baddass looking 24MB single board SLI dealies from Quantum 3D, before it was pulled, so it may just be an availability issue.

Quake II Releases

People

Tom Hall Interview
StormTroopers has posted a Tom Hall Interview, and there's some never-before seen (well I suppose there actually are people who've seen it, but you get the idea) Anachronox artwork up on Anachronically Correct.

Rob Cohen Interview
GameSlice has an interview with Rob Cohen, from the Turok/Turok 2 team at Iguana, the newest disciple of g.o.d.

I76 Chat
PC Games Chat Log from their recent IRC session with the Interstate '76 team is online.

*reviews

Eraser Bot Review
On Games.Net, PC Games' Weasel takes on the eraser Bot.

Competitions

PGL Follow-up
As noted yesterday, registration for the the teamplay portion of the upcoming second PGL season ends tonight at midnight Pacific time.Clans who have registered should check to make sure they're properly signed up (teams need four total members) Additionally, the Quake II rankings mentioned yesterday are now online.

TF2 Giveaway
Quake2Fortress.Com is holding a competition offering a copy of TeamFortress2 as the prize.

Editorials
Opinions expressed herein don't necessarily yada yada yada:

Editing

Linux QStudio
A Linux port of the QStudio Quake map editor is up on Epicenter.

Ravages Tutorial
The sixth tutorial is up on Ravages of Radiant, dealing with Edge Manipulation. Thanks Prophet.

Decoy Tutorial
A player Decoy tutorial is up on Quake DeveLS. Make your own holo-Quake! Thanks Prophet.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Feeling almost 100% already. Thanks again for all the kind words.

Thursday, March 26, 1998

Headlines/Departments
QuakeCast
Carmack on Q3 & BeOS
Heretic II Screenshot - FAQ
The Big Pictures
Alpha 3Dfx Blood Patch

Romero on Heretic II
Scott Miller on the Codies
Technology
Quake II Mods
People
*views
Competitions
Site Seeing
etc.
etc.

Out of the Blue
Yesterday

QuakeCast
On QuakeCast tonight H3D Media dropped by (in a virtual sense) as well as some of the gang from Raven software to chat with Loony and Joost (who were lucky enough to be spared my presence this evening by my illness--I only slept about 20 hours today). The show can actually be found in the archives now(!), and the QuakeCast page is back in its original home, and as I watch the show I see that JUDGECAL stopped by as well.

Carmack on Quake 3 and BeOS
John Carmack updated his .plan about the BeOS story (basically mailing him about this isn't helping the project along at all). He also mentions the Quake 3 Suggestion Page on OpenQuake, so they have put the site online so you can participate in the discussions of features for Quake 3 that will be considered for inclusion by id.

Heretic II Screenshot - FAQ
Never look a .gif horse in the mouth: The first Heretic II screenshot is up on Hexenworld, showing off the main character, Corvus (there's also a rundown on the story), and The Unofficial Heretic 2 FAQ is already online.

The Big Pictures
AVault has popped up some SLI screenshots of Quake II in 1024x768 as a preview of what life with a pair of Voodoo2's is like. Thanks Wicked (of Voodoo Extreme, where they've put up a one-upsmanship screenshot at 1280x960).

Alpha 3Dfx Blood Patch
An alpha 3Dfx patch for Monolith's Blood and Plasma Pack is available on this page.

Romero on Heretic II
John Romero updated his .plan with his feelings about the announcement of Heretic II :

Heretic II. Uh, thanks guys.

Heretic, Hexen and Hecatomb would have been the artistically "right" way to preserve the scope and story of the Trilogy of the Serpent Riders. After i left, Hecatomb became Hexen II and series integrity went out the window.

The sentence that was originally here was rewritten about 10 times because i'm trying to be Politically Correct in stating my feelings for how the whole series lost its focus and instead is just using its established brandname to sell copies.

Dan Freed updated his .plan as well talking about reactions to the Heretic II announcement, though it is not clear if this is one of the reactions to which he's reacting.

Scott Miller on the Codies
3D Realms' Scott Miller's .plan has word of the SPA's Codie Awards (these really do defy comprehension: Starfleet Academy won as Best Arcade/Action Software Game, beating out Flight Unlimited II, Machine Hunter, Claw, and Disney's Hercules Action Game). Scott also points the way to this GameSlice editorial on the same topic.

Technology

Diamond Viper 330 drivers
New release candidate drivers for the RIVA 128-based Viper 330 are up on Diamond's website incorporating the beta RIVA OpenGL support. Final drivers are promised soon. Thanks Bullhonkie.

Quantum Leap?
Hmm, did I do that? The  24 MB single board SLI Obsidian 990-0805 with TV-out listed for $599.00 on Quantum 3D's online order form that I was oo-ing over has been removed from the list, and some of the prices originally listed have been raised (anybody get an order in before the page was changed?). Thanks John Davidson (whom I would also like to personally thank for the New Hollywood Squares, as well).

More PVRSG
The fourth report from CeBIT on the PVRSG (PVRNG?) is up on eXtreme3D.

Quake II Mods

People

Magicman Interview
Rogue's Steve "Magicman" Thoms is interviewed on Ravages of Radiant

Lee Perry Interview
Anachronox lead artist Lee Perry is interviewed on Anachronically Correct.

Phayyde Interview
Phayyde, author of the upcoming CTF for HexenWorld, is interviewed on Captured.Com.

*views

HexenWorld Review
Loonyboi takes a look at HexenWorld on Hexenworld (the program and the website, respectively).

Mad Catz Review
Cal's Hardware Shop has a review of the Mad Catz Panther XL (joystick trackball combo).

Competitons

PGL
The PGL page has word that the Quake teamplay registration ends in two days, with competition in that category to begin on the 30th. Word there is they are also fine-tuning their Quake II ranking system and will be implementing it soon. Thanks Rui Magro.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
As I said here earlier (before adding news to this update), you don't want to know what's coming out of the Blue right now (I think you shouldn't take painkillers on an empty stomach), I've been pretty sick all day. Thanks for all the good wishes, I wasn't fishing for sympathy, I was just letting you know what was going on with updates, but it's appreciated.

Wednesday, March 25, 1998

Today's Headlines
Heretic II Announced
Praevus Goes Gold
Quake II Releases
VWep Deathmatch

Weapons Factory CTF
Atlas
Botster

Overclock Your Voodoo2

BeQuake
Video Cards
Matrox Voodoo 2 Killer
Obsidian
3Dfx Biz Buzz
ATI GL Comparison

Map Design
Quake Map Competitions
Quake II Chain Maps
SPQ Classic

.plans
Brian Hook
Rick Johnson

Competitions
Big 12
Soldier of Fortune on Mplayer

Corrections
Site Seeing
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

Heretic II  Announced
And I always thought that Hexen was Heretic II, but the news out of Raven-ville is that their super-secret next project is, in fact, Heretic II, as announced in Dan Freed's .plan (thanks Phoebus). Here's an excerpt:

We are currently working on a game called HERETIC II. Yes that’s right HERETIC II. The character from the original Heretic is back for more action. We are using the Quake II engine and it is going to be played from the third person perspective. This way the character (Corvus is his name currently but we reserve the right to change that if need be) can climb up ledges, jump to ledges and grab them, climb ropes, and various other really cool stuff.

Praevus Goes Gold
The other word from Raven, again passed along by Hexenworld's Phoebus, is that the Hexen II Mission pack, Portal of Praevus has gone gold, and should be hitting shelves around April 4.

Quake II Releases (Updated)

Overclock Your Voodoo2
Brett "3 Fingers" Jacobs has a utility on 3 Fingers' & Heron's Quake and Quake II Ultimate Boundaries (at the bottom of the page) to overclock any Voodoo2 card up to 100 MHz (a modified Monster 3D control panel that could be used on Creative Labs' boards for that purpose had to be pulled at Diamond's insistence). The Creative Labs V2 has no clock speed control panel, while the Diamond's drivers only allow it to be clocked to 95 MHz (only?). Needless to say, overclocking is one of those "do at your own risk" kind of things.

BeQuake
A blurb on BeOS Central claims that Quake for the Be has been complete for some time, awaiting sign-off from id (thanks Noah Rosenberg).

Someone in the audience at BeDC asked about Quake got BeOS, Dominic Giampolo, a Be engineer answered that Quake had been finished and has been waiting approval from ID Software for weeks, if not months....

Video Cards

Matrox Voodoo 2 Killer
An article on bootNET, and a preview, describes Matrox's renewed efforts to make the same splash in the 3D world as they have in 2D with their upcoming MGA-200, described as a Voodoo2 killer, that also boasts double the Matrox Millennium II's outstanding 2D performance. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Obsidian
toh points out that Quantum 3D has an order form up on their website for their Obsidian Uber-Voodoo/Voodoo2 boards. Considering the features, and Q3D's pricing on the first line of Obsidians, some of these prices are surprisingly low (for example a 24 MB single board SLI Obsidian 990-0805 with TV-out for $599.00).

3Dfx Biz Buzz
A couple of articles on NASDAQ's site noting 3Dfx's successes: Voodoo2 Dominates Independent 3D PC Accelerator Tests, and Report Shows 3Dfx Interactive Achieved Over 85 Percent Market Share For 3D-Only Graphics Acceleration. Thanks mesh.

ATI GL Comparison
Here's a page with side-by-side comparisons of GLQuake/Quake II on 3Dfx hardware, with the same scenes on the ATI Rage Pro using that card's new GL drivers.

Map Design

Quake Map Competitions
There's a map competition to select one-on-one Quake (not Quake II) maps for GibCon '98, with a Monster 3D II and a Monster Sound card from Diamond among the prizes. Also, the winner of Realm X's CGDC 98 Level X Competition will snag a trip to the CGDC (Computer Game Developers Conference.

Quake II Chain Maps
There's information on Quartography Ultimate about a few chain map projects (maps that are passed around from author to author in a chain collaboration), including a quite ambitious "expert chain"aiming to snag the participation of some of the noteworthy professionals in the industry. The plan is to eventually start chain maps for other games like Jedi Knight, Hexen II, and future games like Unreal.

SPQ Classic
Nostalgic for the mid-nineties? Single Player Quake Classics is also: It's a new site devoted to Quake II conversions of single player maps (like all of the Quake maps).

.plans

Brian Hook
Brian Hook made a .plan update further detailing the future of the current Quake/Quake II .pak files in .zip format.

Rick Johnson
Raven's Rick Johnson is updating his .plan fairly often with tidbits about HexenWorld, his latest update talking about speed improvement plans for GL HW.

Competitions

Corrections
I referred to the new DEMentED 2 release as a level editor, when it is, in fact, a demo editor (thanks Daniel Hsu). Also, I used the word members when I meant employees, in yesterday's story about who is eligible for PGL competitions. Obviously the rules exclude employees of TEN (excluding members would mean no-one could play.was Sorry for the confusion. Thanks [SA]Lone^Wolf for showing me the error of my ways on that one.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Where have we heard this before: Blue is off to the Dentist! This one could be traumatic: I'm not sure what the rest of today is going to be like for me. (Remember kids, be true to your teeth, and they''ll never be false to you).

Tuesday, March 24, 1998

Today's Headlines
Wheel of Time to Roll at E3
StormTroopers
Quake II Releases
DEMentED 2

HotLaunch
Tectonic
Eraser Front End
Battle of The Sexes
ServerConfigMOD
H3D Font Fix
Quake II Name Maker

Thresh Drops GX Ties
Not New Monster3D II Drivers
Worldcraft Patch
New Omicron
New 3Dfx Q/Q2 Minidriver
Gateway Joins Nihilistic
PingTool (HexenWorld Support)
HexenWorld Server Fix
Gloom for Dosé's GL Doom
Job Fair
Sin FAQ
CustEnts
Quake WinAmp Skins
*views
Quake II Review
Turok 2 Preview
Incoming Preview
Blood II Preview
MotS Review
Philip Campbell Interview

Site Seeing
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

Wheel of Time Will Roll at E3
The hot news on the The Wheel of Time page is that not only has Legend signed on the dotted line with a publisher for their Unreal-engine game, but that they will be showing WoT off at this year's E3. Thanks The Hound (World of Dreams).

StormTroopers
StormTroopers has launched, a big ole new site devoted to following the developments over at ION Storm, starting things off with a John Romero Interview and a ZDim interview.

Quake II Releases (Updated):
About a thousand bot launchers released today (give or take):

Thresh Drops GX Ties
Gamers Extreme has announced that Thresh has given up his holdings in their website in order to avoid what has been seen as a conflict of interest, as GX is involved in the administration of PGL events in which he participates. In a semi-related move, the PGL has announced they are altering the rules of their tournaments so that only employees of TEN and their families are excluded from PGL participation (previously "agents  and other partners" were also excluded from participation). Here is the statement from Gamers Extreme about Thresh:

Gamers Extreme has announced that Dennis Fong (aka "Thresh") has given up his holdings as a partner in Gamers Extreme.  Mr. Fong has decided to renounce these shares in order to avoid any potential perceived conflict of interest in his newly chosen career path full-time professional gamer and member in good standing of the Professional Gamers' League (PGL).

Although Mr. Fong will continue to volunteer his services as a contributing writer to the Gamers Extreme website, he will no longer draw a salary from, or own any stock in, Gamers Extreme, which supports the PGL in certain operations and administrative capacities. As before, Mr. Fong will have no involvement with the Gamers Extreme events division or the administration of the PGL.

Not New Monster 3D II Drivers
Sorry, the news of the new Monster 3D II Driver (Voodoo2) posted here earlier was a false alarm (as Mark Jenson from Diamond described it to Billy from Voodoo Extreme, a "business-as-usual corporate foul-up"), as they were the same drivers shipped with the card, and not new. Don't confuse this with the Monster 3D drivers (original Voodoo) from yesterday, which are new.

Worldcraft Patch
A Worldcraft patch is up on the Forge that will update any registered version of this level editor from 1.3 on to version 1.6a, which fixes some texture handling problems and other small errors in WC 1.6.

New Omicron
The classic Quake Bot release in as many days brings an updated playmate to the old school: version 1.02 of the Omicron Bot (986 KB) is out on Ramshackle, where there is a list of other mirrors if you have trouble with the (for the moment) flaky http download here.

New 3Dfx Minidriver
New 3Dfx GL miniports for both GLQuake and Quake II are out (thanks PrIeSt) on 3Dfx's site as separate Quake (139 KB) and Quake II (139 KB) installers. The main change in the new minidriver is to take advantage of triple color buffering on the Voodoo2 (improves visual quality when you set synching to the monitor refresh rate off). Word on Voodoo Extreme is that they also allow screenshots in SLI mode. Also available on 3Dfx as FTP or HTTP downloads (downloading from here may still be problematic...I figured it was a small file, so I'd try it while the FTP is still being set up).

Gateway Joins Nihilistic
Steve "Gateway" Tietze sent along word of his resignation from Rogue Software to join Nihilistic (he also updated his .plan. I'd like to wish Gateway all the best at his new gig, because he is simply a Hell of a guy, as well as a talent (where's my dollar Gateway?).

- ni·hil·is·tic /"nI-(h)&-'lis-tik, "nE-/ adjective

- soft·ware/soft-"war, -"wer /noun

Those two words combined have been recently causing a lot of stir in the gaming industry. Some of you may have heard of these names already Ray Gresko, Rob Huebner and Ingar Shu. Now its time to add another name to that list, Steve Tietze aka (Gateway). It’s now time to combine the best of the Quake design world with the best of the Lucasarts design world.

I will be joining Nihilistic Software to head up the level design department. As of the first of April I will no longer be with Rogue Entertainment, a company which has given me great experience in the gaming industry. I would like to thank Jim Molinets for supporting me in this decision and allowing me to pursue this dream and John Carmack for allowing me to work with some of the best engine technology currently available.

I hope the Quake community has benefited by some of the articles I have written. I have always wanted to give things to the community and hope everyone benefited from my work including the first spec of the .mdl format for quake, "creating levels with speed in mind" (also published in a book), and finally the manual for the qe4 editor written by John Carmack.

I will still be active in the quake community as much as I can, although it will be some time before I can discuss what is brewing over at Nihilistic. I just want to thank everyone who enjoyed Dissolution of Eternity -giving Rogue Entertainment a 5 star rating from CGW and keeping it number one on CGW’s action Readers poll for so many months. I hope everyone enjoyed the levels as much as I did making them.

Thank you.

Steve Tietze

PingTool (HexenWorld Support)
An open beta of PingTool 2.0 is being conducted. In addition to enhancements to the cool "shared ping" feature (find the best server for you and a friend, or clan match, etc.), the new release already supports HexenWorld.

HexenWorld Server Fix
The first released archive of the HexenWorld (the program) server was corrupt last night, so a new one is up on Hexenworld (the site) if you had trouble installing it. Rick Johnson's .plan has more info on the release, as well as word that GameSpy will be joining PingTool in supporting HW shortly ("within a day or two").

Gloom for Dosé's GL Doom
Ritual's Jim Dosé updated his .plan with word that he was abandoning his GL Doom port, but points the way to the great job being done on Bruce Lewis' project on the The Official WinDoom/glDoom Homepage.

Job Fair
Get a job! For those that aspire to make a living in the game industry, there's a listing of jobs available with g.o.d. affiliates on the Gathering of Developers site.

Sin FAQ
An updated version 1.40 of the Sin FAQ was posted on Ritualistic. Thanks Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers.

CustEnts
Version 6.0 of CustEnts, the beloved entities utility for classic Quake map authors is up on the The Trench of Mental Warfare. Word is that this is the last CustEnts, bugs be damned (RealLife considerations).

Quake WinAmp Skins
For WinAmp (.mp3 player) fans, a TeamFortress skin for WinAmp 1.8x (which supports skins) was mentioned on the Shout RealAudio show the other day, but couldn't find it. Thanks to Korb for pointing the way to this page a Layer3.org where you can find the TeamFortress WinAmp skin, as well as a classic Quake skin, and this page that has both a Quake II skin, and a Sonic Mayhem (authors of most of the Quake II soundtrack) skin, and this page that has another WinAmp skin for Classic Quake.

*views

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Now that Spring is sprung, is gullibility in season? In the last few days, I have received reports of software 3Dfx emulators (better come with its own crack-pipe), a site claiming secret knowledge of the QuakeWorld2 release (odd, client prediction is already built into Quake II), and I even saw (or better Redwood pointed out) a website perpetuating one of those good-times-esque "don't open an email with this subject line" virus warnings typically reserved for AOL mass mailings and ICQ spam. I think I need to change the filter on the ole B.S. detector here at the Blue Tower.

Monday, March 23, 1998

Today's Headlines
Hexenworld Beta Released
MacQuakeWorld Announced
New Monster 3D Drivers
Quake II Weapons FAQ
Quake64
More Video Goodies
- ATI OpenGL Quake
- Pure3D LX

FrogBot for Quake
Doc Holiday Does Half-Life
RA Mailing List - Beta Invitation
The Video Bleeding Edge

- PRSG
- RIVA TNT
- Voodoo2 - Obsidian
- Intel740
Quake II Releases
- VWep
- Daily Dose of Bots
- Capture the Flag Mods
Jedi Rebate
*views
- Billy Wilson Interview
- Wheel of Time Preview
.plans
- Scott Miller
- Gary McTaggart
- Joost Schuur
Site Seeing
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

HexenWorld Beta Released
A public beta of the client and server software for HexenWorld, the Hexen II version of QuakeWorld, an Internet deathmatch only version of Hexen II featuring client-side prediction and other lag reduction technology is now available on Hexenworld, where you can also find instructions on how to get connected and playing.

MacQuakeWorld Announced
Word on the Westlake Interactive news page is that they are undertaking a Macintosh port of QuakeWorld, as well as a GLQuake update (thanks Luke Malish):

Westlake Interactive has begun the conversion of QuakeWorld to Macintosh. Due to the strong demand for a Mac version of QuakeWorld, MacSoft and Westlake are going to jointly fund the conversion of QuakeWorld to the Mac, as well as update the Mac version of Quake to the latest version of GL Quake (.97). Once completed, these updates will be available for free.

The GLQuake update should come fairly soon. Due to Westlake's other time & resource commitments a release schedule for QuakeWorld is unavailable at this time.

New Monster 3D Drivers
New version 1.10 Monster3D Drivers are up on the Diamond Multimedia Monster 3D Drivers page. Thanks Red Rage.

Quake II Weapons FAQ
An updated and newly spiffed up with all sorts of graphical goodness version of the Quake 2 Weapons and Combat FAQ by Rebel Boat Rocker Randy "DuvalMagic" Pitchford is online. Knowledge is power!

Quake64
Midway's Quake64, Quake for the Nintendo 64, is appearing on store shelves starting today. Thanks Lorien of PsychoNews.

More Video Goodies
A few hours go by and new goodies appear:

ATI OpenGL Quake
The Windows95 drivers to allow GL Quake on an ATI 3D Rage Pro are up on on this page (thanks Xtc). The 3D RAGE PRO OpenGLQuake FAQ has been updated, as well. There has been a lot said about how such drivers would perform, so it will be interesting to see the reaction to these.

Pure3D LX
For the moment, Canopus is going back to the future with the Pure3D LX, combining 4MB of texture RAM with Voodoo Graphics, the LX simply omits the Pure3D's TV-out capability, allowing a bargain basement retail price of $129.00 (US), with the Pure3D also taking a price cut from $179.00 to $149.00 (US).

FrogBot for Quake
Version 0.03 of the FrogBot is up on Metropolis Quake 1 & 2 bot news. The updated version of this Quake bot can now play on DM4 as well as DM6, supports deathmatch 1-5 modes (as in QuakeWorld), and adds "more" AI. I played it for a bit and it behaved surprisingly realistically (it played really well without having "digital aim"). Also on Metropolis is an Interview with MrElusive, author of the Omicron bot.

Doc Holiday Does Half-Life
Dhabih "Doc Holiday" Eng, famed for his pre-release Quake II artwork, has returned with a vengeance, creating a Half-Life poster that has to be seen to be believed. Towards that end, here's a thumbnail with the appropriate link:

slave-s.jpg (4590 bytes)

Rocket Arena Mailing List - Beta Invitation
crt passed along word of a new Rocket Arena mailing list running on PlanetQuake. Participants in the list are also invited to take part in the private RA2 beta:

PlanetQuake has launched an official Rocket Arena mailing list. This list is for discussion of all topics related to Rocket Arena 1, Clan Arena, and Rocket Arena 2. We also plan to do things like organize tournaments and test new features via the list. Both myself (crt) and Mungo will be available to answer questions and listen to ideas.

You can subscribe to the list by sending a blank e-mail to subscribe-rocketarena@list.criticalmass.com

All list members are invited to take place in the current Rocket Arena 2 beta test and will get information about it in their welcome message.

More from the Video Bleeding Edge

PVRSG
According to this CeBIT update on eXtreme3D, they got to see a timedemo of Quake II on a PVRSG (formerly PVRNG, AKA Highlander) card, which clocked in at 48.5 FPS on a pre-production version of this next generation PowerVR chip running at 66MHz (the plan for the final version is to run at 100 MHz), and their second update is now also online. Zanshin speaks his mind on his GLDojo about some of these reports coming out of CeBIT, as his hype detector seems to have been triggered.

RIVA TNT
The press release for NVIDIA's upcoming RIVA TNT has been issued, here's a copy posted by RivaRave. Over on OGR there's an article on the RIVA TNT, which is to be released after their upcoming Riva128ZX, which is, of course, the successor to the RIVA 128 (just wanted to get around to mentioning a video card you can actually buy today somewhere in there). The OGR article describes NVIDIA's patent-pending "Perfect Prefetch" technology, which apparently represents a breakthrough (and sounds cool, too).

Voodoo2 - Obsidian
Also, Wicked at Voodoo Extreme reminds me today's the day the new 3Dfx mindriver for the Voodoo2 is slated to become available. As for the V2, Operation 3.D.F.X. ended up posting more info on the Quantum 3D Voodoo2 card, the Obsidian 200SB-8440, which sounds like a real ass-kicker, and this article (spotted on Operation 3.D.F.X. as well) tries to take real-world considerations into account in examining the question of whether a Voodoo2 is for you.

Intel740
Finally, this Real3D Starfighter AGP review on The Silicon Edge has Quake II screenshots and benchmarks (using the D3D wrapper, not an ICD, which is forthcoming) using the Intel740 chipset.

Quake II Releases

VWep
A new version of the CTF VWep patch, the CTF variant of the visible weapons patch that is part of so many other mods, is out on the Tsunami Quake 2 Extension page, fixing the "no more lastframe" errors.

Daily Dose of Bots
Version 4.0 of The Famkebot is out, featuring enhanced teamplay and co-op play. Version 1.06 of the C.R.Bot is out with new features including map cycling, team scores, and AI improvements (including use of BFG ). I see on Quake2 Bot Epidemic that version 1.0 of the StupidBot (VWep required) has been releeased. Also, thanks Cowwithgun for word that the Hot Launch homepage now has version 1.9a of their Bot front-end online. Finally Monolith's Scott Schlegel and Jay Wilson engage in a little .plan-based back and forth and back about Bot and AI programming.

Capture the Flag Mods
Version 0.75 of the Viking Mod, which provides enhanced administrative functions for Threewave CTF server operators is now available, featuring full fun name support among the new features. Also, the newly relocated Q2CTF+ Add-on page has the latest version of EAVY's mod that allows CTF play on all the Quake II levels, as well as the new Linux CTF+. Finally, an editorial by CDC-Bone called Elements of CTF Style is up on Rust (thanks Zenith of CTF News) talking about what goes into designing a good CTF map.

Jedi Rebate
LucasArts is offering a $15.00 rebate on X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter & Jedi Knight for US and Canadian residents. Go figure! Thanks TooooL.

*views

Billy Wilson Interview
Billy Wilson of VE gets the interview treatment over at the Daily Dementia at MeccaWorld. I manage to catch some abuse in there too. What I do?

Wheel of Time Preview
There is a Wheel of Time preview on The Gamer's Network that give a nice in-depth look at this upcoming Unreal-engine game from Legend Entertainment. Thanks The Hound from World of Dreams.

.plans

Scott Miller
3D Realms Prez Scott Miller updated his .plan mentioning that they were not meeting much success off the bat casting the voice role of Talon Brave for Prey. I guess the guy that did Lo Wang's voice in Shadow Warrior doesn't do Native American voices (I couldn't resist).

Gary McTaggart
Ritual's Gary McTaggart updated his .plan with talk of crunch time on the UberEngine (ÜberEngine?), mentioning that they will be showing it off "behind closed doors" at E3.

Joost Schuur
I learn from Joost Schuur's .plan update that we are apparently opening up the discussion of a name change for the QuakeCast to the public.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
I think the FTP situation is just about straightened out over here, so I look forward to being able to provide local copies of new releases again.

Sunday, March 22, 1998

Today's Headlines
Carmack on Lack of Rhapsody
The Video Bleeding Edge
Quake II Releases
- Bots! Run!
- PureDM
- TagYerIt
- ServerConfigMOD
- DM Plus
Quake Releases
- PaintBall
- PureCTF
- Wmned
- TF in a Box Revisited
Competitions
- FragMaster's Q2 Tourney
- PX & 69's Q2 Tourney
- E3 Tourney
Site Seeing
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

Carmack on Lack of Rhapsody
John Carmack made a .plan update to elaborate on the negative comment he made yesterday about Rhapsody that make it clear that the problem with the upcoming Apple OS is not as much technical, as political:

I haven't given up on rhapsody yet.   I will certainly be experimenting with the release version when it ships, but I have had a number of discouraging things happen.  Twice I was going to go do meetings at apple with all relevent people, but the people setting it up would get laid off before the meetings happened.  Several times I would hear encouraging rumors about various things, but they never panned out. We had some biz discussions with apple about rhapsody, but they were so incredibly cautious about targeting rhapsody for consumer apps at the expense of macos that I doubted their resolve.

I WANT to help.  Maybe post-E3 we can put something together.

The SGI/microsoft deal fucked up a lot of the 3D options.  The codebase that everyone was using to develop OpenGL ICDs is now owned by microsoft, so it is unlikely any of them will ever be allowed to port to rhapsody (or linux, or BeOS).

That is one of the things I stress over -- The Right Thing is clear, but its not going to happen because of biz moves.   It would be great if ATI, which has video drivers for win, rhapsody, linux, and BeOS, could run the same ICD on all those platforms.

The Video Bleeding Edge
Tom's Hardware Guide has a follow-up on reports that have tricked out of CeBIT about PVNG that make it sound like VideoLogic's next-generation PowerVR offering will be as impressive as the PCX2 was not, including a semi-prediction that it would end up a Voodoo2 killer. Also, this news.com article (thank Wicked @ Voodoo Extreme) describes TNT, nVIDIA's soon-to-be announced 3D chipset (the official word is expected tomorrow). There is also a photo of Quantum 3D's upcoming single slot SLI Voodoo2 card (SLI, Scan-Line Interleave, normally requires a pair of matched Voodoo2's) up on Operation 3.D.F.X.. Sounds like we're heading into a great generation of accelerators, keep your motion sickness bag handy.

Quake II Releases

Bots! Run!
Version 0.86 of the Eraser Bot is out on the Impact Development Team page with a spate of features and fixes. Also, version 1.51 (on the heels of 1.50) of Tangential is out, featuring Secant Bots. On the bot front-end front, Botster (at their new homepage) version 1.7 is out, apparently quite changed (you are urged by the author to try it again if you didn't like a previous Botster). The bot front-end Ridah digs the most, Hot Launch, is up to version 1.8a (thanks DaFragsta). Also, apparently version 1.4 of the Eraser Front-end is up on the newly relocated Industry News page (if it is not working properly at its new location, can be reached here). You thought I was done, right? Well I missed a release (hard to believe amidst all this, right?), version 1.9 of the AutoBot was released on Friday. Finally, there is also a new poll up on the Quake2 Bot Epidemic asking what type of bot you are most looking forward to (one to answer polls for me?).

PureDM
Version 3.0 of PureDM (formerly HUD + Vote), is up on the PureDM Quake2 Mod Page, home of the ever shrinking fonts. The new version offers a map cycling system, support for GibStats standard frag logging, and VWep support.

TagYerIt
Version 1.14 of TagYerIt, the one against many Quake II mod is up on SteQve's No Frills Quake Mods Page, along with a top 12 list of signs you are playing too much TagYerIt.

ServerConfigMOD
DM pre-release version 1 of ServerConfigMOD 2 is out, featuring unlimited map cycling, MOTD, weapon banning more.

DM Plus
DMPlus 1.3 beta 1 is up on Byte Me's Quake II Mods, featuring a new weapon, the tractor.

Quake Releases

PaintBall
Version 1.2 of PaintBall, the hugely popular Quake mod, is out on the Quake Innovations homepage, featuring bug-fixes, new features, and even a few new client commands (Paintball 1.0 required).

PureCTF
The quest for purity never ends, as version 1.2 of Pure CTF is out, a version of CTF for original Quake, polished and bug-fixed for purity for the old-school CTF'er.

Wmned
These names aren't just fun, they're wacky: Version 2.20 of Wmned, the wacky Windows Quake name editor for Quake, QuakeWorld and Hexen II is up on the Wmned page.

TF in a Box Revisited
Okay, it was supposed to be everything you need to run a TeamFortress server, but a few essential doodads were left out of the archive they posted yesterday, so there's an additional 3MB archive on Sacrifice's Altar of Quake that is required to complete the TF server package. The large archive with all the fixin's has been updated, so the fix is not required for new downloads.

Competitions

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Lots of interesting commentary on my Rune of w00d comment, including several outlines of the advantages the different Tech's have in different roles in a CTF game (of course proving that there is a lot of room for argument, many of those Tech to Role outlines disagree with each other). I think a majority agreed that in general that the AutoDoc was the overall favorite, but even then, interestingly, some suggested it's better for offense than defense, and vice versa. Weird note of the day: we had all of about a 1/2" of snow all winter here in the metropolitan New York area, but last night had a 3-4" snowfall to celebrate the first day of Spring. Go figure.

Saturday, March 21, 1998

Today's Headlines
Own an id Workstation
3D House of Goodies
- 3 Fingers' Guide
- New V2x00 OpenGL ICD
- The Eternal Struggle
- Intense 3D 100 NT Drivers
TeamFortress Server in a Box
Zoid at GamesCon
On Benchmarks
*reviews
- Prey
Interviews
- Ken Hoekstra
- Joe Selinske
- Justin Chin
- Mike Wilson
- DuvalMagic
- Mr. Elusive
- BlackHorse
Site Seeing
etc.
Out of the Blue

Yesterday

Own an id Workstation No more callers, we have our winners, as John Carmack updated his .plan with the news that the machines offered in a prior update are spoken for.

3D House of Goodies Anyone else a Dr. Tongue fan? Put on your 3D glasses and let's get hopping, Bruno:

3 Fingers' Guide Version 1.09 of Brett "3 Fingers" Jacobs Quake II Tweak Guide is now online as a webpage.

New V2x00 OpenGL ICD An updated alpha of the OpenGL ICD for Rendition Vérité 2x00 video cards is up on the Rendition Download page. Thanks Paranrml.

The Eternal Struggle The OpenGL versus Direct3D debate rears its head again in an article titled Developers bash Windows game interface. Thanks Redwood

Intense 3D 100 NT Drivers ChainSaw passes along word that new NT drivers for the Intense 3D 100 are up on the Intergraph site.

TeamFortress Server in a Box Sacrifice's Altar of Quake has put together a helpful archive of all the files required to run a TeamFortress server along with 22 of the most popular TF maps (with entity bug fixes and transparent waterhack applied) in one 18 MB zip file.

Zoid at GamesCon
GamesCon is a traveling convention for multiplayer gaming, featuring LAN-style tournaments. In addition to LAN action, their plan is to showcase the latest entertainment technology, both software and hardware, and keynote speakers from the gaming community to discuss this fast-paced industry (okay so maybe there's a little cut -n- paste in there...). They will be touring Canada in 1998 with plans of expanding their reach down the road, with the first event to be held in Vancouver on May 1-3, 1998, featuring Zoid as a guest speaker (confirmed with Zoid). The latest word is that attendees of thae May event will also receive a $5.00 off coupon (no word on whether it's Canadian $ or US) towards the purchase of Unreal.

On Benchmarks
Brian Hook's .plan touches on the recent controversy over WinBench manipulation, imploring other 3D game developers to include benchmarks in their games to help provide more real-world benchmarks. Also a quote of the day from George Bernard Shaw 9you gotta like that).

*reviews

Prey
The fourth installment of the Prey Designers' Journal is up on GameCenter. Thanks [TERG]MalPractis.

Interviews
More interviews than you can shake a stick at today (if stick shaking is your idea of a good time):

Ken Hoekstra
Raven's Ken Hoekstra is interviewed by Phoebus in a feature article up on HexenWorld. Also, concerned that Raven's role in the gaming scheme of things is under appreciated because they are hesitant to toot their own horns, Mike "Chaos" Werkle updated his .plan doing just that (but remember kid, toot your own horn too much and you go blind).

Joe Selinske
Ritual's Joe Selinske is interviewed over on RitNews.com. Thanks Voodoo Extreme. Also, the Quake 2 Haven has their Joe Selinske interview up. Ack! Did I really originally say Joe was from 3D Realms? No, I deny it! (But thanks to Hexagon from Ritualistic for the correction, had I theoretically made such an error.)

Justin Chin
In his first interview since leaving LucasArts, Justin Chin speaks with PC Gamer about his own new company called Infinite Machine.

Mike Wilson
g.o.d. founder and head-honcho Mike Wilson is interviewed on CNNfn's Digital Jam in video format (VXtreme plug-in required, this apparently problematic for MSIE users). The portion with Mike begins at 14:18. Thanks Altairien. Also, g.o.d.'s deal with Edge of Reality rated a mention in Wednesday's USA Today.

DuvalMagic
Rebel Boat Rocker Randy "DuvalMagic" Pitchford gets the third degree from Rust (my my, hey hey).

Mr. Elusive
With that nickname, it must be hard to track him down, but somehow the Meanstryk scored an an interview with Mr. Elusive on Ramshackle, talking about his Omicron bot.

BlackHorse
BlackHorse of the Navy Seals TC is interviewed on Welcome to Evildead.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
A comment crt made in an email yesterday surprised me, assuming that I shared the opinion of another webmaster that Quake II deathmatch was inferior to Quake. I'm not sure where that came from, but for the record, I love Q2 deathmatch, JailBreak and CTF in particular (I've become much more of a CTF fan than I ever was in Quake), and yes crt, I can't wait for the finished Q2 RocketArena. A ramble about CTF: is the AutoDoc now the most desired Tech, or what? You couldn't give its equivalent away in Quake CTF, but in Q2, my partner in crime, MrCoffee, and I have taken to calling it the Rune of w00d (yeah, they're all still runes to me).

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All rights reserved. Copyright © 1998 by Stephen Heaslip