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Friday, May 8, 1998

Daikatana Weapons
The Discus of Daedalus, Venomous, Poseidon's Trident, and the Hand of Zeus are the weapons Daikatana on display in today's action-packed Daily Informant over at the ION Storm site. These showings, from the Greek episode, are part of their plan to preview much of what will be seen of Daikatana at E3. There's also word there that the ION storm chat lobby is back in action, and a clarification from Todd Porter on his opinions about some big real-time strategy titles after he feels he was misquoted in OGR's recent article about Dominion.

Sin Ad of the Day
Phoebus has posted the third and final installment of the Sin gatefold magazine ad up on HardCorps SiN News, where he continues to hint at some mysterious big goodie in the works.

Unreal Screenshots
Four of the coolest Unreal screenshots yet have been added to the Screen Shots Archive at the The Official Unreal Home Page. Thanks Mek from Unreal News Australia.

CGDC Spotlight Awards
Seen on Voodoo Extreme: OGR has posted the Spotlight Awards from CGDC. From the lengthy list of winners: Best Action Game: Quake II, Best Online Game: Quake II, Best Use of Graphics: Quake II, "Coolest New Hardware that We All Have to Own": Voodoo2.

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More Quake/Quake II Mods (Updated)

FrogBot
Version 0.07 of the FrogBot, the state-of-the-art classic Quake AI playmate is out on the Frogbot homepage offering runes (for bots too), grapple (humans only), favorite weapon toggle (rl\shaft), teamplay 1-5 support, deathmatch 1-6 support, match mode, custom models if wanted, and more.

Viking Mod
Version 0.97b of the Viking Mod, the Quake II server program is available offering a bunch of menu-configurable options, like the Eraser Bot (v0.92), new spectator modes (EyeCam, ActionCam, AutoCam), item banning, respawn protection, choose the power of CTF techs, Swinging Hook, ServObit 1.4, QW-style FragLogging, flood protection, model restriction (choose the client models allowed on the server: no more VWep "diapers"), and three detail levels (to control lag).

TagYerIt
Version 1.15 beta 5 of TagYerIt is out on SteQve's No Frills Quake Mods Page, also known as the "Black Friday" version, based on a fire a couple of weeks ago at SteQve's apartment on Black Friday, or as he mentions in his update at the time: "My apartment building was set on fire. I'm OK, and my apartment basically is, and nobody died. More news later when I milk this unfortunate tragedy for promotion of TagYerIt 1.15." The new beta includes VWep, Q2CTF-style "id" command, ServObit 1.41, and GenderMod 0.2.

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More Technology

New Permedia2 Drivers
New Windows 95 and Windows NT Permedia2 Drivers are up on the 3Dlabs Downloads page. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

UberVoodoo2
Thanks to QuakePsycho for pointing out I missed the gist of the Wicked3D Voodoo2 announcement in Next-Generation Online that they are promising up to 40% performance gains over Diamond and Creative Labs Voodoo2 cards in Direct3D thanks to Metabyte's drivers.

Raven Interview
Gamewise Interviews Raven Software. Thanks Prophet. Never one to resist a smooth segue, it turns out Mplayer Quake News interviews Prophet, where we learn he got his start by sending news to the Void, the WarCouncil and QuakeMania, making him the typhoid Mary of the web (glad he didn't mention me or they'd probably be digging my grave as we speak).

ION Newsletter
The May issue of ION Storm's monthly newletter is out on ION's website.

Unreal Preview
MeccaWorld's Unreal preview is online taking a look at Epic's now-imminent release. Like a few other sources (such as this UGP Online blurb), this article lists the game's release date as May 28, which if it is optimistic, is probably not off by that much, as I hear little birdies saying the game is right on the verge of going "gold" (into manufacturing), which does not put the 28th out of range.

Prey Screenshot
Perhaps in an effort to incite Geoff at GameSlice, The PreyGround has posted a new Prey screenshot scanned from a recent Computer Gaming World.

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Technology
Lots of stuff coming out of the Computer Game Developer's Conference, though word from TC and Geoff in the DD conversation (mentioned below) is that the Conference "wasn't as interesting...as some online sites would have you believe."

RIVA 128ZX Board Shipping
STB Ships 8MB Version of Velocity 128 Based on NVIDIA RIVA 128ZX Chipset is the headline of a wire-story (passed along by the fine folks at RivaRave) describing STB's RIVA 128ZX-based boards going out the door already. Here's a quote:

Extended resolutions for the 8MB version include 1280 x 1024 with 16.7 million colors, 1600 x 1200 with 16.7 million colors and 1920 x 1200 with 65,000 colors. The addition of AGP 2X and an 8MB frame buffer with scatter-gather DMA supports the storage of 3-D textures.

New 3Dfx Titles
3Dfx Shows New Titles, an article on Next-Generation Online gives a rundown on what 3Dfx showed of at the CGDC, mentioning that no mention has been made of their next chipset, the Banshee. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

S3 Savage3D Shines
If Geoff Keighley at GameSlice writes something, it's an editorial dangit, and today's editorial gives the lowdown on what Geoff's impressed with at the CGDC, including his comment that the S3 Savage 3D was outperforming the Voodoo2. Geoff is also the live RealAudio interviewee of TC over at the the Daily Dementia at the MeccaWorld, again talking about CGDC impressions. S3 and the upcoming Savage3D are the sole focus of S3 Planet, as well. Still scraping your jaw off the floor at the prospect of an S3 3D offering kicking ass after the pathetic VirGe, check out this performance chart on Cyrellis showing an early alpha of the Savage 3D (a 2x AGP board that claims 4X AGP performance -- thanks RoLanD for the clarification) significantly outperforming an 8 MB Voodoo 2, and Intel740, and a RIVA 128 running D3D Turok at 800x600 resolution. On the subject of newer accelerators breaking 3Dfx's stranglehold on the top of the heap, 3Dfx Meets The Competition is an article on 3D Gaming Extreme takes a look at the state of the market.

BX Buster
This bootWire blurb describes a Pentium II motherboard chipset from VIA Technologies called the Apollo Pro that supports Slot 1 and Socket 7 processors with most of the Intel 440 BX chipset's features, and offers support for Ultra DMA 66 hard drives. Thanks Tony on Yahoo

OGR Goes Off
OGR's hyper-caffeinated coverage of the CGDC continues with their impressions of Wicked 3D's Voodoo 2 and H3D, ION Storm's Dominion, PowerVR's Second Generation, NVIDIA RIVA TNT, Matrox's G200, Rendition at CGDC, News on Anachronox, and Brian Hook Open GL and Quake 3.

Obsidian 2
Quantum 3D Showcases Obsidian2 in a Next-Gen blurb about Q3D's uber-Voodoo2's showing at the CGDC.

Got Crack?
This page has word on a 3Dfx emulator for Matrox Mystique cards (crack pipe not included). Thanks Mark Whiteford.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

New Eraser
A patch to update the Eraser Bot to version 0.99 is out on the Impact Development Team page as a Windows installer (218 KB) and a zip file (196 KB). Ridah also mentions he will be keeping us up to date on his projects in his .plan file from now on.

ThunderWalker Update
A couple of patches for ThunderWalker II followed its release, and now a whole new archive is available on ThunderWalker CTF's House of Fixins, where the Linux version is also available.

Eraser Front-end
Version du jour of the Quick Start Eraser Bot Wizard is 1.68.

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Interviews

Chris Hargrove
Duke Nukem Forever co-programmer Chris Hargrove is interviewed on Duke4.com.

Brian Pelletier
An interview with Brian Pelletier by Bakshra is up on HexenWorld. Turns out Brian worked on the Fantastic Four, which makes him like a descendant of Jack Kirby (or something), so you better not say anything bad about him while I'm around.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Pretty neat that Quake was the Question to an answer on Jeopardy last night (see story), but to answer the several who've asked, I didn't see it, so I don't know if the contestant got it right. I was kind of goofing around, rather than teasing a big announcement when I said it was too quiet, but maybe I can cook up something cool to make that interpretation work as well.

Thursday, May 7, 1998

H3D MiniGL 1.2 Beta (Quake II/Voodoo II Support)
H3D Entertainment has released 3Dfx/H3D MiniGL version 1.2 which allows stereoscopic Quake II on Voodoo accelerators. Here is the deal on the release, straight from their news page:

3Dfx/H3D MiniGL v1.2 beta is now available for testing. The major function of this feature is independence from H3D glide drivers. So, if you want to use the drivers that came with your card (what, you don't trust us?), or you run on NT, or you have a Voodoo II, this driver will enable H3D on your system, without having to change from your manufacturers drivers. Click here for the zip file containing just the driver, or here for the newest installers with the Generic driver
(included with the Voodoo II setup option only).

Please note: This is a temporary fix for the Voodoo II. It does not take full advantage of all the VoodooII features, and has not been optimized for performance. It is a Beta release, which means we will be unable to give individual attention to providing fixes for problems. It is provided to gather feedback from a larger test audience.

Features:
H3D version of glide NOT required
Quake 2 @ 512x384 (Voodoo graphics), 640x480, 800x600 (Voodoo2), 1024x768 (Voodoo2 SLI)

Since it is a Beta release, please send feedback to improve@h3dmedia.com

New Blood II Screenshot
Monolith's Blood 2: The Chosen page has been updated with a new screenshot in their weekly vision section. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

I'll Take Gibs For $200, Alex
To paraphrase: "In 1996, id Software released this best seller shoot-em-up, and in 1997 released a sequel" That's right, Quake was the question to an answer on Jeopardy tonight, Hi-Q (all the answers began with "Q." ) for $300. Thanks Guyver and Matt Green (Guyver first and Matt for the best shot at paraphrasing the quote).

New 3Fingers Quake2 Tweak Guide
Offering all the sugar and twice the caffeine of other leading brands, a new and improved 3Fingers Quake2 Tweak Guide is up on 3 Fingers' & Heron's Stuff..

Judge Tells Wang to Hold It
News.com is reporting that a Federal Judge has dismissed Wang's lawsuit against Netscape that claimed the Navigator browser infringes on patents owned by Wang by letting users save and rename web pages using the "Save As" command, and save and rename Web bookmarks. Thanks slauGht. Here is the dose of sanity from the Judge:

Wang filed the patent claim last fall. Leonie Brinkema, District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, ruled that Wang's patent on the early-1980s "Videotex" system was "generically and fundamentally different" from Internet Web browsers and related technologies.

QuakeCast
Tonight on QuakeCast we will speak with Dakota and Ronn Harbin, animator from the Daikatana team. No, this is not a repeat of last week's show, we just misfired connecting with both our guests in one of those beautiful live broadcast moments. The action kicks off at 8:00 PM Eastern (pay no attention to the blinking text on the horrible soon-to-be revamped website), Real player required.

Fighting Shovelware
id CEO Todd Hollenshead made a .plan update clarifying that the Canadian company contacting Quake II level authors about including their level on a CD has no association with id (in spite of their use of id's logos), and that he urges level authors to be wary of deals like this, recalling the Actura software scandal from back in the old days.

Pure3D II Drivers
New Win95 drivers for the Voodoo2-based Canopus Pure3D II, described as the shipping drivers, are up on the Pure3D II  Software Updates page (the page specifies to Download this driver if you received your card before May 5).

New Hexenworld Siege Update
Raven's Mike Gummelt's .plan has news that a new HexenWorld release (which will include his HW Siege mod) is imminent, but a later update reveals it will not be released today, as he originally thought.

Multiplayer Doom... On WebTV!
This Next-Generation online blurb describes an intriguing announcement from the Computer Game Developer's Conference that Microsoft is adding gaming capabilities to its WebTV browser, with the first two titles available for Multiplayer play over the Internet to be you don't Know Jack, and Doom. The article addresses the first question that came to my mind in pointing out there's no word on controller support. Thanks glShemp.

More Unreal Exposed
There's a new Unreal Shot of the Day, as well as brief blurbs from the rest of the Unreal team (Alexander Brandon, James Schmalz, Steve Polge, and Dave Carter) posted in GameSpot UK's feature, PC Gaming World's Unreal Exposed.

More Sin Ad Art
Another large piece of Sin ad art (no not scanned Geoff, settle down) is posted up on HardCorps SiN News, suitable for framing, your Colonel John R. Blade Halloween mask, etc.

Levelord Sin Chat Log
A transcript of the IRC conversation with the Levelord is up on Gamers-Zone.

Max Payne Input
Remedy's Petri Jarvilehto's .plan solicits input for Max Payne, not just on weapons and such, but level design as well.

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The Attack of the Game Engines
Perhaps it's the CGDC and E3 inspiring all these game engine-type announcements. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes from some of these projects. Here are a couple more:

Arsenal
Arsenal is a game under construction from Hirise Software using OpenGL and a NURBS-based engine (to pretend I know what I'm talking about, NURBS stands for Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline surfaces). There are a couple of screenshots from early stages of development.

Poly Engine
Lorien from PsychoNews sent along a URL for the Poly Engine page which has a semi-functional 3D game engine demo that imports Quake II data. The demo comes in the form of a DOS file, a Windows version, and an OpenGL version that runs on RIVA 128 OpenGL. This is one of those I do not know what to make of from a legal point of view, I'm guessing it's not, but as the old saying goes, I am not a lawyer. We shall see.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

Arena CTF
Arena CTF has been released on Deconstruct. A pak of 4 maps that places the flags much closer together than traditional CTF maps, Arena CTF and has a more open, deathmatch style of play. As the page describes: you spend more time fighting than you do running around trying to find the opponent's flag carrier.

Quake II Superheroes
Beta 10 CTF of Quake II Superheroes is out. Thanks j.c.f..

Freeze Tag
Version 1.41 of Freeze Tag, a server-side only teamplay modification for Quake II is out. Here's what's new: the server can change the length of time a player is frozen and which skins to use, frozen bodies are a different color so you can tell which team they belong to, a CTF-like scoreboard has been added, a new HUD, and a new (foolproof) score system.

Linked
The Linked Quake II mod has an interesting approach to creating cooperation between teammates: you can link to a teammate (via a "rope") and share their health. Different, huh?    

Bot Front-ends
Quick Start Eraser Bot Wizard version 1.66 beta is out adding literally dozens of tweaks and fixes. Version 1.5.4 of the BgBot Launcher is out.

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Demo Mania
Makin' movies. A few recent happenings on the demo scene:

DEMentED 2
Version 0.600 of DEMentED 2 was released on Sunday. D2 is a program to allow you to shoot Quake II demos using a configurable camera offering several options to exercise your cinematic muscles in making movies.

Quake2 Camera
Smile, you're on Quake2 Camera. Quake2 Camera is a program that will chase a player from the third person chasecam view, and take a static position when an opponent is encountered, making for nifty deathmatch demos.

DemoPlay
If you are a demo nut DemoPlay is a utility to view classic quake and QuakeWorld demos by double clicking the demo file, and provides some VCR functionality (slow motion, fast forward, pause, zoom, etc.).

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On Skins

Kevin Cloud
Kevin Cloud's .plan gives some insights about what modeling and texture tools they are using over at id and why, as well as his enthusiasm for Sin (and his weariness at some competitor's comments).

SkinED
Now available is the first public beta of SkinED, a 256 color pixel editor for Quake II skin development by Stephen Duffy, brother of Robert Duffy, of QERadiant fame. Thanks ReaperMan.

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*reviews

Messiah
Next-Generation Online looks at Messiah at the CGDC. Thanks Voodoo Extreme. Here's an interesting quote:

At the GDC demo of the game, most of the character movement was bouncing and moving breasts, like that in Dead or Alive (although this movement was much more subdued). However, what was more impressive was the roundness of the characters who looked far more like real people than the blocky models used in the typical 3D game, such as Goldeneye or Turok. To take advantage of this, the company added a host of strange characters like shapely prostitutes, almost topless bimbos, hairy male hookers, and a bad guy who looks like a middle-aged Chewbacca.

RIOT: Mobile Armor
MeccaWorld previews Riot Mobile Armor.

Heavy Gear II
Next Generation Online's Heavy Gear II Preview has some new screenshots.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
It's quiet... too quiet...

Wednesday, May 6, 1998

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Upcoming Games: Screenshots and More (Updated)
The crystal ball tells much ("but are they friendly spirits?"):

Prax War
Screenshots from a print preview of Prax War, the upcoming game from Rebel Boat Rocker, are up on Rebel Boat Rocker; Below Decks. The piece, in the June issue of Next Generation magazine, is the cat's-out-of-the-bag preview mentiened in RBR .plan updates from Rob Heironimus, Randy Pitchford (who says the one page preview "didn't really say anything"), and Stephen Palmer, who points out the print article "wasn't entirely accurate." Here's another note of interest from Randy's .plan:

Oh, and one last thing...You see that dune buggy in the lower right screenshot of the NG article? You can drive it. It's got four big rubber tires with independant suspension. It's all-terrain, high-speed and seriously fun. It's got a mounted .50 gun, too.

Tribes
There are some sharp screenshots, design sketches, and a 10 MB AVI showing off a newly announced Starseige engine first person shooter in progress called Starseige Tribes. The movie is amazing, showing that their claims of a "simply massive" world are quite accurate compared to any such game I've seen. The style of play seems like a multiplayer first person MDK, right down to the sniper zoom and the jetpack (is that a jetpack in MDK?). Here is the skinny on this from Dynamix's CornBoy:

Tribes is a multiplayer focused game targeted at Internet and LAN play.  The game is centered around organized team play and will offer some unique features (Commander Screen etc.) to enhance team organization and interaction.  Technology wise Tribes offers seamless indoor to outdoor transitions without any pauses... the worlds are "Simply Massive".  No longer will players be constrained to duke it out in interiors.

A quick run down of the feature list:

Sin Screenshots
Following up on the scanned versions they previously posted, Ritualistic has scored the original versions of the PC Gamer Sin ad screenshots. They are also soliciting opinions on the magazine scanning "issue" (subject of a GameSlice Editorial).

Hacx2
There are new screenshots up on the Banjo Software Site of the Quake II engine demo they are showing off at the CGDC, word is they are ultimately developing their own engine for Hacx2.

More Unreal Conversations
There is a very cool Unreal Shot of the Day up on GameSpot UK as part of their PC Gaming World's Unreal Exposed feature (click on the thumbnail, it's badass, the small version does it no justice). Also added to the feature are four new sections (numbered five through eight) of the interview succinctly titled Myscha level designer on Unreal, and have added their interview with Unreal lead level designer Cliff Bleszinski. Thanks Unreal News - Australia.

OGR at CGDC - Half Life, Unreal, More
OGR's Computer Game Developers' Conference '98 Coverage page has all sorts of stuff going on at the conference, including looks at Half-Life At The Orchid Booth, S3's Savage 3D Chip In Action, Unreal At The Diamond Booth, and continuing in the S3 saga, Exclusive S3 Savage 3D Screenshots.

Levelord Chat
Gamer-Zone's SiN Online Chat is scheduled for tonight at 8:00 PM Eastern time in EFnet IRC #gamers-zone with an online interview with the Levelord.

Multiplayer Merger
GameStorm HEAT.NET Offer 'One-Button' Connection is a press release on Yahoo describing the latest on the collaboration between Kesmai and SegaSoft, who are providing what's described as a "seamless connection" between GameStorm and HEAT.NET and reduced rates for those who subscribe to both services. Thanks devilbunny.

QBS Fix
A version 1.30b fix for QBS, the system tray gaming newspage watcher, is out, testing a fix for the crashing problem many are experiencing with version 1.30. Thanks Mordred.

Siege Update
Raven's Mike Gummelt updated his .plan with the latest word on Siege, the cool sounding mod he is working on for HexenWorld.

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3D Video
Lots of news this morning is in the cards... 3D cards that is:

New RIVA Open GL ICD Beta
As promised, NVIDIA has released Beta 2 of their OpenGL ICD (Installable Client Driver) for RIVA 128 accelerators. There are separate Win95 PCI drivers (991 KB) and Win 95 AGP drivers (1.0 MB), and a PCI/AGP driver for Windows NT (588 KB), NT Service Pack 3 required. Thanks for the news to the fine RIVA lovers over at RivaRave where you can find a list of mirrors and all the latest RIVA skinny.

DirectX 6.0 Beta Ships
Word out of the CGDC is that Microsoft has announced release of the beta version of the DirectX 6.0 Software Development Kit. Here's the description from the Press Release:

The next generation of Microsoft's set of multimedia application programming interfaces (APIs), DirectX 6.0 provides significant enhancements to existing APIs, optimizes hardware performance and delivers unparalleled multimedia functionality on Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT(R) 5.0 operating systems. Microsoft expects to release the final version of DirectX 6.0 in July.

New features in DirectX 6.0 speed development by delivering greater stability, reliability and consistency across all APIs, enabling increased innovation in 3-D hardware and software. In addition, Microsoft's development agreements with leading chip manufacturers and other hardware developers bring DirectX 6.0-based applications compatibility across multiple hardware platforms.

3Dfx Hits Four Mill
3Dfx has announced that it will ship its four millionth Voodoo chipset later this month, "more than doubling its 1997 installed base of 1.5 million within the first five months of 1998." Thanks Screwtape.

Uber Intel 740 Board?
Some new benchmarks have been posted by Diamond Multimedia to support their claim that their new 8 MB AGP Stealth II G460 (here's the press release pointed out by Billy at VE) is the fastest Intel740 based card on the block. Thanks mad_skilz.

Pure 3D II Review
Zanshin, the shoeless one of the GLDojo has his Pure3D II Review online.

AGP Total 3D 128 Review
Also on the Dojo is an updated version of Zanshin's Total3D 128V AGP/PCI Review. Thanks for both Dojo updates to over-caffeinated Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

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Technology

Apartment LANs
A wired article titled Net Access via Apartment LANs describes the home of many Internet game players dreams describing a 600-resident complex in Sunnyvale, California with 1.5 Mbps 'net access. Thanks devilbunny.

Montego A3DXstream Review
OGR reviews the PCI-based Turtle Beach Montego A3DXstream sound card. thanks Tony on Yahoo.

New Eudora
I saw on Redwood's that a Eudora Pro 4.01 update is on the Qualcomm site.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

ThunderWalker CTF
The Quake II version of ThunderWalker CTF, ThunderWalker II: Rolling Thunder, is up on the Very Plain Page for Downloads (be aware of the patch file already released containing a few missing files) on the ThunderWalker CTF's House of Fixins. The new release requires Threewave CTF for Quake II. Thanks Darkhand. Weird coincidence department: I was poking through the news archive and I find that it was one year ago today that version 2.1 of ThunderWalker CTF was released.

Quasar
Version 1.1 of Quasar, along with a new Linux version of quasar (also version 1.1) are up on the Twisted Criminals page, offering new sounds and some bug fixes.

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Editorials
As the old saying goes, everyone's got an opinion:

Scammed Images?
Geoff Keighley at GameSlice has kicked out with another editorial, today opining on whether fan sites scanning game images from print magazines is a positive trend (I'll give away right now that he does not think it is). On that subject, Phoebus has posted some hi-rez scans of the recent Sin ad (lower quality scans of that ad are part of the subject of the GS editorial), on HardCorps SiN News.

For the Love of g.o.d.
Sgt. Hulka's Bootcamp has the sage sarge (AKA our "big toe") checking in on why he likes g.o.d..

Hype Gripe
When you're calling it hype, chances are you don't like it, and Private Ebolt (apparently Sgt. Hulka's been recruiting) checks in with some opinions of his own in a piece called To Hype or Not to Hype.

etc.

Out of the Blue
Since I mentioned it yesterday, I'll update that as it turns out, I was not too late in responding to the offer to be a judge at the E3 best of show awards, so I'm getting fitted for my robes right now. "Here come da judge"...

Tuesday, May 5, 1998 Happy Cinco de Mayo! 

New Vérité 2x00 OpenGL ICD
A third alpha of the OpenGL Installable Client Driver for the Vérité 2x00 family accelerators is up on the Rendition Software Download page. Word is today's update adds triple buffering, line doubling, and speed improvements. Thanks Mike D.

Zoid on the Quake II Backdoor
Zoid updated his .plan with more on the state of a fix for Quake II and QuakeWorld servers vulnerable to exploitation through the backdoor rcon password:

As John mentioned, there is a security backdoor in QW and Quake2. I'm working very hard on getting the new releases of QuakeWorld and Quake2 out ASAP in order to address this (the new releases also have several other features).

In the meantime, I'd like to thank crt for providing an interim solution. He has a web page up that describes the problem and has a simple program that patches the binary to fix it. I recommend that all server operators grab this patch until I get QuakeWorld 2.2 and Quake2 3.15 out the door.

The Return of the CL 12 MB V2 Bundle
Details on how the bundle deal will work in North America with the Creative Labs 12 MB Voodoo2 are up on this 3D Blaster Voodoo2 - Special Offer page (pointed out by Billy at Voodoo Extreme). In brief, owners of 12 MB cards that came with no game bundle will be able to receive the three games (Ultim@te Race Pro, Incoming, and G-Police) that came with the 8 MB card for the cost of shipping and handling. Because word that future packages of the 12 MB card would have the bundle appeared on their website possibly leading purchasers of 12 MB cards to believe they had a bundle coming to them, those who purchased cards between April 7 and today will not have to pay the shipping and handling charges (US$9.95 in the US, Canada, and Mexico and US$14.95 elsewhere in the Americas).

ThunderWalker II
A reminder that the ThunderWalker II: Rolling Thunder IRC release party is tonight at 7:30 PM Central in irc.stomped.com in channel #thunderwalker. In the meantime, if your itchy, the maps from this Quake II version of ThunderWalker CTF can be found on Dteam pages.

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Interviews

Unreal
Unreal Exposed: Myscha level designer on Ureal is a conversation with T. Elliot Cannon (Myscha the sled dog) of Epic Megagames' Unreal team up on GameSpot UK's Unreal Exposed feature. Chief Unreal Engine programmer and Epic MegaGames owner Tim Sweeny was interviewed on Friday.

PowerVR
PowerVR Power has a RealAudio interview with Trevor Wing, Patrick Jubb, and Paula Turner from VideoLogic talking about PowerVR's 3D chipsets, the PCX2 and the upcoming PVRSG. The interview can be found in the highlander section.

Cool DM Map
I want to point out a Quake II deathmatch map made by my bro Robs that is getting rave reviews from everyone who has tried it, myself included. I urge you to check out Evil Hours (312 KB). The games I played in had four or five players and rocked, and the read me describes it as good for 6-10 player DM. The map is currently running on coredump.reliant.net:26001.

Godzilla Quake
An exclusive classic Quake level developed for the Godzilla UK site is up on this page. The deathmatch only map (sorry no chance to kill the big lizard here) is by Kevin Johnstone, aka Rorshach (Rorshach's Journal) and has a complete new set of Godzilla textures, new sounds and is suited for team games. Random Blue nickname quote from Rorschach (the 'proper' spelling): "None of you understand: I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me!"

Sin Ad
Ritualistic has scans posted of the most recent Sin ad to appear in PC Gamer.

Blood2: The Chosen Wallpaper
A new hi-rez a shot of Ophelia in action (suitable for wallpaper) from Blood2: The Chosen is up on Monolith's Blood2 site.

Max Payne Not Delayed
As revealed in Petri (remedy.fi) Jarvilehto's .plan, the recent reports of 3D Realms' Max Payne's demise have been greatly exaggerated, the result of a spoofed email.

3D Realms Chat
3D Portal's Aaron "Lithium" Corchoran appears on the Daily Dementia to help fill us in on the goings on over at 3D Realms. TC over at the DD is soliciting questions for his upcoming interviews with John Romero and, um, me (you'd have to rush on that one, I think we're talking his afternoon). For the record, the Max Payne delayed story has been proved to be a hoax (see above). Oh yeah, TC, Daikatana, is pronounced die-ku-ta-na (but I'm not going to tell you what ROFL means).

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Quake/Quake II Mods

Eraser Bot
A patch to updated the Eraser Bot to version 0.98 is up on Impact Development Team page as a Win 95 installer (218 KB) and a zip file (196 KB). The new version includes bug fixes and a couple of new touches, like a simulated pause key. Word on the page is the source code and Linux versions will be available soon, and that Ridah's hoping to release version 1.0 within the week.

Bot Front-ends
Version 2.6 of the Eraser Front-end is out fixing the custom cfg bug in version 2.5. Also, Bot Commander version 0.92 is now available. Finally, The BgBot Launcher is now up to version 1.5.3.

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Technology
More high technology than you can shake a stick at (stick shaking is so low-tech anyway). Here goes:

12 MB Monster 3D II's to Ship
Dig up that pre-order receipt, word in this Yahoo release (from Tony on Yahoo, naturally) is that the 12 MB Diamond Monster 3D II (Voodoo2) cards are shipping this week.

The Game Ante
CPUs, graphics chips ante up for PC games is an Electronic Engineering Times article that looks at the products being shown at this week's CGDC and their potential impact on the gaming world. Thanks Marek Biegluk.

GameGauge
This press release describes Computer Gaming World's new "3D GameGauge," described as a new tool for measuring 3D performance. This is a story I got a few tips on (thanks Prophet and devilbunny), but couldn't for the life of me find this program on the CGW website. I'm told it's not a program, but some sort of system for averaging your framerate on several different games. Thanks Cal from Cal's Hardware Shop for helping me understand this scheme (to the extent that I do).

Celeron Update
Intel redraws Celeron road map is a ZDNet article that describes how Intel is rethinking the first release of their celery powered processor as 300 MHz and 333 MHz chips (the latter actually including a small L2 cache). Thanks Tony on Yahoo.

More on the S3 Savage3D
S3 Reentering Performance 3D Market is the title of a story on GameCenter that looks at S3's just announced 3D chipset. Thanks Phoenix_X.

ATI Acquires Oak Warp 5
Next-Generation Online reported (a couple of days ago) that ATI Acquires Oak Warp 5. Thanks Tony on Yahoo.

Graphics Coding Terms
Tom Hammersley Graphics Coding Webpage is a site that can help explain some of that 3D terminology you often see tossed around but seldom seem explained, like ZBuffering. Thanks Lorien over at PsychoNews.

Pure3D II Review
Gamestats Reviews Canopus' Pure3D II.

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Interviews

George Broussard
sCary interviews 3D Realms' George Broussard over on his Shack o' Shuga.

BSP Interview
Yahn and Deadmeat, of the BSP level editor, get the interview 3rd degree over on the Sepulchre.

etc.

Out of the Blue
The Image of the Day (16 KB) is so off topic today it gets bumped from etc., down to the basement here in Out of the Blue. Yep, you may have already guessed, it's a make believe people cover featuring the people's choice. Hey, a guy can dream, can't he? Big thanks to Joe Fulgham for sending that along.

Monday, May 4, 1998

Rconfix5 - Updated Q2/QW Server Attack Fix
Here is rconfix5 (21 KB) the latest version of crt's patch for server operators to close off the rcon backdoor in Quake II and QuakeWorld servers. For more information and instructions on the subject, crt has put up a QuakeWorld and Quake 2 Backdoor webpage. The patch (source included) is to protect Quake II and QuakeWorld servers on all platforms until updated executables are available from id, but in the meantime, as the RSI Security Advisory Library Alert describes, you can also prevent the backdoor from being exploited by filtering id's subdomain (192.246.40.).

New QBS
Version 1.30 of QBS, the gaming news system tray utility is out. The new release is described as a major upgrade, offering a bunch of oft-requested enhancements, including the ability to ignore .plans, sites or groups, and a bunch of bug fixes.

Unreal Movies
The gang over at Epic Megagames has decided to give out a little up to date look at what's going on with their baby, Unreal, in the form of a pair of new movies (of the pumping music video variety), one a minute long and the other three minutes. Here's the one minute movie in AVI format (8.9 MB) and QuickTime format (8.9 MB), and the three minute movie in AVI format (24.3 MB) and QuickTime format (24.3 MB).

Final Creative Labs Voodoo2 Drivers (Updated)
Not really new, the official release of the "Gold" Win95 and WinNT Voodoo2 drivers posted a couple of weeks ago for the Creative Labs Voodoo2 are up on Creative's FTP site.

MacQuakeWorld Beta 3
Beta 3 of MacQuakeWorld (1.3 MB) is up on Westlake Interactive's site. Thanks Will Vuong.

Duking it out in Dallas Pt. 2
Part two of an article titled Duking It Out In Dallas on TechWeb examines the gaming industry in Dallas and what makes it tick. Thanks foolkiller.

Release Date Mania

ThunderWalker CTF
Tomorrow should see the release of the Quake II sequel to the enormously popular ThunderWalker CTF, in one of those IRC release party chaos-fest things. Here's the scoop straight from the Panda o' Fire:

ThunderWalker CTF for Quake2, known as ThunderWalker II: Rolling Thunder, shall be released Tuesday May 5 (el cinco de mayo) at 7:30pm CDT with one of them purty IRC party things.  Meet in #thunderWalker on irc.stomped.com on Tuesday for all the fun, and somebody bring dip.

Win98
Microsoft warns Wall Street is the title of a News.com article that talks of Microsoft pulling out many, if not all the stops in an effort to prevent the US Justice Department and local authorities from blocking the sale of Windows 98. Thanks Bryank.

3Dfx Minidriver
Word on the 3Dfx Interactive downloads page that a new OpenGL beta (not the OpenGL minidriver used for Quake/Quake II, etc.) is due from them May 18  Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

Carmack on Quake 3 Technology
John Carmack's .plan has some detailed notes on a few of the technologies that he researched in preparing for the Quake 3/Trinity engine.

Aussie Quake II Master
A Quake II Master Server to provide Australian server listings is up at:

203.142.228.131
(or)
q2master.mondial.net.au

Featured Maps
Another round of maps worthy of note passed along by the minister of mappage, Matt Sefton. Thanks, as always for his help in this effort to help spread the word about some quality work:

Single Player
Noteworthy from SPQ2 Level Heaven:

Deathmatch
And the latest thrills to kill in from Jeff Yost's fine old Ramshackle:

Hexen II Tips/Walkthroughs
The Chaos Sphere is a new site on Hexenworld to help when you're stuck in single player Hexen II play. Currently posted is a Portal of Praevus mission pack walkthrough, and they will be posting a complete Hexen II walkthrough soon.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

Quasar
Quasar Laser version 1.0 is now available, this is a teamplay mod that features two maps (three arenas in each), , six new weapons, and new sounds, and three play modes: Eliminator, Supercharge, and Battlezone. Check out the page for the lowdown on how all these variations on the last man standing theme work

Chaos Deathmatch
Version 0.3 of Chaos Deathmatch for Quake2 is out, my favorite new feature being the "Random Sneeze and other 'everyday life sounds.'"

GeNClasses
Version 2.3 of GeNClasses, the classic Quake deathmatch modification that offers 13 new maps new models, new sounds, and a promise of revolutionary gameplay.

Jurassic Source
The (a) Jurassic Quake project has shut down and released the source code to their work so far. This move was inspired by the discovery of another Jurassic Quake project already further along. The team form the closed down JQ are now shifting their effort to a project called Destiny Of Darkness.

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Hi-Tech

Uber-S3
Not to be confused with the phony S3 Voodoo2-killer announcements that appeared on April Fool's Day, S3 has high hopes for Savage3D is a TechWeb article that examines S3's promises for their upcoming 3D chip, the S3 Savage3D. Thanks Faustus.

Tom on Slot 1 Processors
Tom's Hardware Guide has a new article on Slot 1 processors, offering insights into the internal and external construction (with visual aids) and thoughts on performance issues, including overclocking. Thanks I Murder.   

Matrox G200
The reactions to Matrox's new 3D effort continue to be enthusiastic, as GameSpot UK's Matrox G200 Preview declares "Matrox are back!"

3D Basics
NVIDIA 3rd Dimension is a new page on NVIDIA's site offering definitions and explanation of 3D terminology and technology. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Editing - Modelook
Version 0.7 of Modelook, the multi-platform OpenGL Quake model viewer, is available for MacOS, IRIX, and Windows.

etc.

Out of the Blue
The new Websites Top 100 sees Blue's News among the "hottest hits" after breaking the top 20, up to #18 amid extremely strong showings among game sites. Thanks to all of you for all the support (the checks are in the mail). People put Leo on the cover, the dream of Hank up there with the "Most Beautiful" caption dies... it would have been so sublime. Ah well.

Sunday, May 3, 1998

New QBS
Version 1.27 of QBS (formerly the Quake Broadcast System, but now just QBS, pronounced "cubes") is out. QBS is a system tray utility that will inform you when any of a large number of gaming related websites is updated (which, as we know,  is quite often for some of them), as well as keeping tabs on those slippery finger updates (which, as we know,  is quite often for some of them).

Quake II Up to Date
Quake II Up-To-Date was originally planned as a database application to keep tabs on when Quake II mods and stuff are released, but RealLife intervention has forced a re-thinking of the project to become an IE4 channel to serve the same purpose, informing you when your favorite mods are updated (which, as we know,  is quite often for some of them).

Brian Hook on Quake 3 Art
Brian Hook made an update to his .plan going into detail about some of the graphics considerations for Quake 3, including compression scheme's for the cinematics, and the design of the project's workflow that will allow the artists to most readily do their things with models and such. Brian also mentions he will be lecturing at the CGDC.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

Revenge of Stroggos
Revenge of Stroggos 1.32 beta 2 is out, offering full teamplay, new server commands, an improved menu system, a fix for respawns after death, team and class persist after death, frame error fixes, new sounds, and new models for Jorg, Super Tank, C4, Cluster Grenade (MIRV), High Explosive, among others.

Quake II Maze Maker
Quake II Maze Maker is a new program on a site called Lame Stuff Etc... to generate random Quake II mazes.

Bot Front-ends
Version 1.60 of the Quick Start Eraser Bot Wizard is available offering what are described as a "ton" of changes, most significant being the Quick Run feature and the new "Examine" option. Version 1.41 of Bot Johnny is out with loads of fixes and tweaks.

Angel Munoz Interview
PsychoNews interviews Angel Munoz, the man behind the Adrenaline Vault and the CyberAthletes.

Wide World of Gaming - Requiem
Requiem, Wrath of the Fallen (not to be confused with the Quake mod, Requiem, Ode to the Dead) is the subject of a GameCenter Sneak Peek, and an OGR cover Story. Thanks my wicked pal Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

etc.

Out of the Blue
Hank the Dwarf is the subject of a CNN story. Go Hank! Thanks Nicholas Evancich for that one. Lost a few hours this morning (and in the wee hours) because my video card is acting flaky: I finally found that while it locks up in 16-bit color it is working in 8-bit, so that's what I'm using now.

Saturday, May 2, 1998

Solaris Fix for the Server Exploit Fix (Rconfix3)
Yet, yet, yet another update: Here is another (yes another) updated version of the patch posted here in the wee hours this morning that adds support for Solaris servers--the name has now been updated to Rconfix3. David 'crt' Wright, whose credits include Rocket Arena/RA2 and KeyGrip, sent along a fix, though an unofficial one, for both QuakeWorld and Quake II servers that are again being messed with. His server-only patch (16 KB), source included, removes the backdoor rcon password, and can be applied  to both the quake2.exe and qwsv.exe. Here is the RSI Security Advisory Library alert on the exploit. In case you missed it, a bunch of servers were renamed and set to the start.bsp and stuff like that last night.

John Carmack on the Q2/QW Backdoors
I wrote John Carmack with the questions I felt were raised by the "secret" rcon password left in the code of the QuakeWorld and Quake II servers responsible for the recent exploits. Here are my questions and his response (he also updated his .plan on the subject):

Do you feel it is appropriate to leave an administrative password unknown to the server operator on software to run on their server? Can you talk a little about the reasoning behind such an inclusion?

It went in as a development tool so I could easily get information from all the beta test servers during the development of QuakeWorld.

I did knowingly leave it in after release.  I didn't think there was any danger with it, and, to be honest, I liked the idea of being able to kick and ban an obnoxious user on any server I happened to be playing on.  To my knowledge, it was never actually used remotely post release.

QuakeWorld was just a research project, so I wasn't applying the same standards I would to a commercial product.  It was almost certainly inappropriate to leave it in the codebase for Quake 2.

CGW Duke Nukem Forever Screenshots
Saw on Operation 3DFX that the four Duke 4 screenshots from Computer Gaming World's Duke Nukem Forever preview have been scanned and posted on Duke4.com.

HexenWorld Siege Update
Raven's Mike Gummelt updated his .plan with word on a delay in the release of his quite cool sounding mod for HexenWorld called Siege. The new ETA is Wednesday, May 6.

The Doohick-eye?
I don't recall seeing this at the time, so please forgive me if you have, but this New York Times Syndicate article titled A Hands-Free Mouse Guided By Electrical Currents on the Skin from last December mentions Quake specifically by name in describing a mouse that works by detecting head and hand movements. It should be on sale in the US for around $250 sometime this spring if the article's speculation is correct. Thanks 44 year-old LMCTF late-night addict Recon3

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Interviews

The Wonderful Willits of OZ
A conversation with Tim Willits on the Australian News Network.

Reptile
There's an interview with Jim Reptile Dangcil on Methos Quake that talks with "Thresh beater and DM6 guru Reptile."

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Quake/Quake II Mods

Loki's Minions CTF
Version 3.18 of Loki's Minions CTF for all platforms is out fixing a critical bug in version 3.14. Thanks Frederic Cote.

Jurassic Quake
Beta 3 of Jurassic Quake is out, as promised, cleansed of copyrighted material. The new beta offers new levels, a new console, a new ending screen, and demos, and enemies are scattered randomly through each level to give a sense of gameplay to the samples (there are no current dinosaur models).

Solaris Holy Wars
Version 2.0 of Holy Wars for Quake 2 for Solaris servers is out.

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3D Video

New RIVA Driver Near
Word on the RivaRave message board from NVIDIA driver engineer Dwight Dierks gives an expected release date of updated version 2.0 reference drivers for the RIVA 128 as May 5.

3Dfx Driver Rant(s)
3D Realms' Chris Hargrove got a ball rolling ranting in his .plan about 3Dfx's drivers. In a later update he apologizes for his harshness, but not before inspiring an update from Ritual (and former 3Dfx) programmer Gary McTaggart on the politics of these statements. As for Rebel Boat Rocker Billy Z's .plan update praising the qualities of the 3Dfx minidriver, I'm not sure exactly where that fits in here, but I suspect it does.

Matrox Millenium G200
The New Matrox Millennium G200 is officially announced. Thanks Dark.

3Dfx Interview
Games And 3D: 3Dfx Interactive Pushes The Envelope is an interview with Andy Keane, 3Dfx VP of Marketing up on MicroTimes sent along by Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

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Wide World of Gaming

Joe Sixpack.com
PC Games for Joe Six-Pack is an article on ABCNews.com that tries to the explain the phenomenon that is Deer Hunter, and talking about the pro-wrestling aspirations of Monster Truck Madness 2. Thanks EViLz.

HomeWorld
Next Generation Online's HomeWorld Preview takes a look at this 3D-enhanced space strategy game as their 3Dfx game of the week. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
New motherboard is up and working great, so the Blue Tower is humming along again. An apology if I confused anyone with the wrong Eastern time reference on the Anachrochat story yesterday (math is so hard add or subtract, I keep forgetting).

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All rights reserved. Copyright © 1998 by Stephen Heaslip